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Floods claim 119 more lives in Bihar, Assam, West Bengal




Patna/Guwahati/Kolkata, Aug 18 : Around 119 more deaths were today reported from the deluge-battered areas of Bihar, Assam and West Bengal, where swirling floodwaters have paralysed normal life and marooned over 1.20 crore people.

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The figure of flood casualties mounted to 119 in Bihar, with 47 more people losing their lives. The deluge has affected nearly 98 lakh people in 16 districts, forced postponement of examination and cancellation of trains, officials said.

Araria district accounted for 23 deaths, Sitamarhi 12, Kisanganj, East Champaran, West Champaran and Supual 11 each, Madhubani and Katihar 7 each, Madhepura and Purnea 5 each, Darbhanga and Saharsa 4 each, Gopalganj and Khagaria 3 each and Sheohar 2.

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Aerial view of flood affected areas of Bihar.

The flood situation may take a turn for the worse as the MeT office has predicted rain in Nepal and northern and southern Bihar for one more week.

The Health Department has launched a toll-free number — 104 — officials said, adding hospitals have been directed to maintain a sufficient stock of anti-snake and anti-rabies injections.

Disaster Management Department Principal Secretary Pratyay Amrit said 3.59 lakh people have been shifted to safer places. Of them, 2.13 lakh were put up in 504 relief camps.

Food packets are being airdropped in inundated areas.

Where flood waters have receded, they are being supplied through panchayats.

Principal Secretary, Road Construction, Amrit Lal Meena said 124 roads, including national highways, have been damaged due to floods.

An East Central Railways statement said 39 trains were cancelled as water overtopped tracks.

Floods claimed 17 more lives in six northern districts of West Bengal, even as the overall situation improved today, officials said.

Out of the 17 people, 15 drowned while two others died after they were bitten by snake, a senior disaster management department official said.

Forty-nine people have died in flood-related incidents in the districts of Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Malda since July 21, the official said.

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Flood affects 1.19 lakh people in West Bengal, 966 relief camps set up

As rains have abated, water has started receding and the situation has improved a lot, he said.

Ten more people died due to floods in Assam. Around 31 lakh people across 24 districts are bearing the brunt of the flooding.

The toll in the third wave of floods in the state has risen to 49. 133 people have died so far this year in flood- related incidents.

According to a report by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), three persons died in Dhubri, two in Morigaon and one each in Dhemaji, Sonitpur, Barpeta, South Salmara and Nagaon districts.

Currently, 2,584 villages are under water. 1.67 lakh hectares of crop area has been damaged, the ASDMA said.

Authorities are running 602 relief camps and distribution centres in 21 districts, where 1,01,035 people are taking shelter.

The NDRF, SDRF and district administration personnel have evacuated nearly 3,500 people to safer places.

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13 kindergarten students injured in Himachal Pradesh accident



Shimla, June 21: At least 13 kindergarten students were wounded on Thursday after their vehicle skidded off the road and fell into a gorge in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district.

The accident took place, when students belonging to a private school in Sarkaghat area, were returning home from school when the driver lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a turn near Garli, IANS reported.

According to ANI, one student was killed.

Injured children were admitted to the Zonal hospital in Mandi, some 150 km from the state capital.


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Army operations kill more civilians than terrorists: Ghulam Nabi Azad

BJP’s language of “all out operations” in J&K indicated that a “massacre” was being planned. BJP said the comments were unfair to Army personnel who put their lives on the line to protect civilians.



Ghulam Nabi Azad

NEW DELHI: Congress leader and former J&K chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad sparked a controversy when he said Army operations in the state killed more civilians than terrorists, eliciting a strong response from BJP, which accused Congress of trying to demoralise the armed forces.

In a TV interview, Azad also said BJP’s language of “all out operations” in J&K indicated that a “massacre” was being planned. BJP said the comments were unfair to Army personnel who put their lives on the line to protect civilians.

“They (forces) take action against four terrorists and kill 20 civilians. Their action is more against civilians than terrorists. For instance, they killed 13 civilians in Pulwama and just one terrorist,” Azad said in the interview.

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Gorakhpur terror funding mastermind arrested in Pune




Lucknow, June 21: Gorakhpur terror funding mastermind Ramesh Shah has been arrested in a joint operation by the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra Polic in connection with the  6 terror suspects who were arrested in March.

On his instruction, the ATS official said more than Rs 1 crore exchanged hands between the Pakistani handler and terror operatives, with major funds coming from the Middle East, Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala and distributed to various states.

The arrest was made from Pune on Tuesday and he is being brought to Lucknow on transit remand.



Inspector General of ATS Aseem Arun said that soon after his arrival, Shah would be produced in an Uttar Pradesh court and taken on remand for further interrogation.

Six persons involved in criminal conspiracy and distributing money into various bank accounts on the instructions given by a Pakistani handler were arrested on March 24 from Gorakhpur, an official told..

The 28-year-old Shah was the kingpin of the gangand he hails from Gopalganj in Bihar and has been operating a shopping mart in Gorakhpur for many years.

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