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Fuel bunks to shut on Sundays in seven states, Puducherry

According to him, in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, there were 250-300 outlets owned by oil marketing companies which are not members of the association.

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Chennai/Mumbai, April 18 : Petrol bunk dealers in seven states and Puducherry have decided to down their shutters on Sundays from May 14 in a bid to save fuel and foreign exchange, it was announced on Tuesday.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged people to follow traffic rules and also save petrol and diesel. So we have decided to declare a holiday on Sundays as it will save fuel and foreign exchange,” K.P. Murali, President of the Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association, told IANS.

Murali said petrol bunks in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Haryana and Maharashtra as well as Puducherry will down their shutters on Sundays starting from May 14.

He said there were around 4,850 outlets selling petrol and diesel in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry alone.

“On an average the per day sales of fuel is for around Rs 153 crore. While exact figures are not available on fuel sales on Sundays, it will be around 20 per cent less than what is sold on weekdays,” Murali said.

He said the Sunday-holiday decision will save around 20 per cent fuel burned in the country.

According to him, in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, there were 250-300 outlets owned by oil marketing companies which are not members of the association.

“We are within our right to declare Sunday a holiday. All these days we have been functioning paying workers double wages,” he said.

He said all the outlets will have one staffer on Sundays who will supply fuel in an emergency.

Murali said the petrol bunks accepted the demonetised 500 and 1,000 rupee notes at the request of the government. “Now we have decided to play a role in saving fuel and foreign exchange.”

In Mumbai, the President of the Federation of All Maharashtra Petrol Dealers Association, Udah Lodh, said the move was in support of various demands with the oil marketing companies and other long-pending issues.

From May 15, he said, the petrol pumps in the seven states and Puducherry will work only on a single day shift — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We are currently operating on extremely low margins, selling high-tech unleaded petrol-diesel products in which the evaporation rate is very high, resulting in huge losses,” Lodh told IANS.

Additionally, there were areas of concern like a certain amount of minimum salary to be paid to the staffers at each petrol pumps. This has become unaffordable due to the low operating margins, he said.

Lodh said the move would affect around 4,500 petrol pumps in Maharashtra alone, including 225 in Mumbai, where some 100,000 staffers work, mostly in two shifts and some in three shifts.

A weekly holiday plus working on a single shift on other days will help the petrol pumps to drastically reduce their running expenditure, he added.

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Sukma: CRPF personnel killed in Naxal encounter

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Sukma, April 21: A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel lost his life in an encounter with Naxals near Kistaram camp in insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on late Friday.

The gunfight erupted when troops of 212 battalion of CRPF, 208 CoBRA, along with Chhattisgarh police were carrying out a cordon and search operation last night.

The deceased was a native of Madhya Pradesh.

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Raipur: 7-year-old sexually assaulted in school

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Chhattisgarh, April 21: In yet another case of crime against minors, a seven-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted at Raipur School.

Speaking to ANI, Victim’s father said “It was her first day to the school on Wednesday. She went to the school and we wanted to meet her at the school, but we weren’t allowed to do so. While changing her clothes after she returned from school, my wife noticed blood on her private parts and she was not wearing undergarments.”

On being asked if she had reported about the incident to the teacher, the minor replied that the teacher was absent on the second day of her school.

Meanwhile, the police said that they were investigating the matter and were examining CCTV footages of the school. An FIR was lodged for the same.

The president of Child Right Commission, Prabha Dubey, said “I have spoken to the girl personally. She is saying that a ‘bhaiya’ had allegedly molested her. We asked the peon of the school about the undergarment, to which she replied that she had thrown away the undergarment since the girl had urinated on it. I will constitute a team to investigate the matter.”

In the wake of recent Unnao, Surat Kathua rape cases, Indian social media has been abuzz with the words – “rape horror”.

Massive countrywide protests are being held demanding death penalty for those accused of raping minors.

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Accused in fake facebook post on Manohar Parrikar’s health, gets bail

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Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar (File Photo)

Panaji, April 20: A city Judicial Magistrate First Class(JMFC) court on Friday granted bail to Kenneth Silveira, who was arrested by Crime Branch of Goa for posting fake information about Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s “death” on Facebook.

He was released on a personal bond of ₹10,000, reported The Hindu.

In a related development, members of civil society staged a protest outside the Goa Police headquarters here on Friday morning condemning the arrest.

Kenneth, 35, was arrested by the Crime Branch on Wednesday, a day after he put up the post on social media, on a complaint by a BJP office-bearer.

Parrikar is undergoing treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer in the US.

On Friday, a few dozen protesters rallied at the police headquarters and accused police of trying to “muzzle” free speech.

The Opposition has also criticised the police for the arrest of Silveira, who contested the 2017 by-poll in Panaji but lost to Parrikar.

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