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Heavy rains disrupt normal life in Karnataka, more likely

In north interior areas, isolated heavy to very heavy rains are predicted from October 23-26.

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IMD heavy rains predict

Bengaluru, Oct 22 : Heavy to very heavy rains across Karnataka disrupted normal life, caused rivers to overflow, inundated low-laying areas and hit vehicular traffic, a weather official said on Tuesday.

“Due to low pressure in the Arabia Sea on the west and depression in the Bay of Bengal in the east have created conditions for heavy to very heavy rains and thundershowers across the state with strong surface winds,” a Meteorological Department official told IANS here.

Besides flood alert in the coastal areas and evacuation of people from low-laying areas and river banks in northern districts, the authorities declared holidays for schools and colleges in rain-soaked Belagavi, Bagalkote and Vijayapura districts till Friday ahead of the Diwali festival.

“With heavy to very heavy rains forecast over the next four days, we have issued an orange alert and red alert for extremely heavy rainfall across the state as a precautionary measure to ensure safety of the people, cattle and houses,” said the official.

Orange alert indicates heavy to very heavy rainfall and red alert extremely heavy rainfall. Rainfall from 7-12 cm is considered heavy and 12-20 cm as very heavy. Torrential downpour above 20cm is termed as extreme rainfall.

“Orange alert mandates the state machinery to be ready for rain-related exigency while red alert demands action. Yellow alert makes the authorities keep a watch and stay vigilant,” added the official.

Regionwise, the forecast is heavy to very heavy rainfall in coastal areas till October 25, with scattered and isolated rains on October 23-24.

In north interior areas, isolated heavy to very heavy rains are predicted from October 23-26.

In south interior areas, widespread rains have been forecast on October 23-24.

Rains and thundershowers continued to lash several districts across the southern state, including Kolar, Bengaluru, Mandya, Mysuru, Kodagu, Chikkamgaluru, Hubli-Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Raichur, Yadgir and Uttara Kannada.

According to Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority Director G.S. Srinivasa Reddy, streams and rivers are in spate due to heavy rains across the state, especially in catchment areas.

“Areas which used to get less rains are getting more rains this time. Heavy rainfall in the neighbouring Maharashtra has led to heavy inflows into our state’s northern districts, resulting in submergence of Kudthini and Athini road bridges in Belagavi district” Reddy told IANS.

Relief camps have been set up at Belagavi, Bagalkot, Chikkmagaluru, Kodagu, Haveri, Chitradurga, Gadag, Dharwad to shelter 2,180 people shifted from low-laying and flood-hit areas.

Preliminary property damage report 5,444 houses affected and 45 animal deaths. A dozen camps were set up to shelter 130 cattle.

“Three National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) teams have been pressed into service, with two at Belagavi and one at Gadag. Three more teams to be stationed at Dharwad, Bagalkote and Haveri,” added Reddy.

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Police officer injured as students clash in Varanasi

The ABVP and Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha supporters were taking out processions after the nominations. As soon as they came near, they started shouting slogans and then started throwing stones.

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Clash Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth

Varanasi, Nov 20 : A clash broke out between members of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha at Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, on Wednesday, during the nominations for students union elections.

The two groups pelted each other with stones and set some vehicles on fire.

Station officer of Sigra was injured in the clashes. Some other constables were also injured.

The clashes took place near the Bharat Mata temple on the Cantt railway station road.

The ABVP and Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha supporters were taking out processions after the nominations. As soon as they came near, they started shouting slogans and then started throwing stones.

Additional forces have been deployed in the area and the injured students have been hospitalized.

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Won’t allow NRC in Bengal: Mamata Banerjee

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Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata, Nov 20 : On a day when union home minister Amit Shah asserted that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise would be undertaken across India, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee assured people on Wednesday that her government will never allow preparation of any such list.

Addressing a public meeting at Sagardighi of Murshidabad district, Banerjee said nobody can take away the citizenship of any person and make him/her a refugee.

She also challenged the Bharatiya Janata Party to clarify why the names of 14 lakh Hindus and Bengalis were left out of the final NRC brought out in Assam.

Obviously targeting the BJP without naming it, Banerjee said “a few people” were trying to foment trouble in the state in the name of NRC.

“A few people are trying to foment trouble in the state by saying that NRC exercise will be carried out in Bengal. I would like to make it very clear, that we will never allow the NRC exercise in Bengal,” she said.

“We won’t allow anybody to divide people on the basis of religion,” she added.

Shah told Rajya Sabha during the day that NRC will be implemented nationwide, and asserted that no person from any religion need to be afraid of it.

“The NRC exercise is monitored by the Supreme Court. No religion has been targeted or isolated during the NRC exercise,” said Shah responding to a query of Congress leader Syed Nasir Hussain.

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BHU students continue protest, Muslim prof feels ‘insulted’

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Varanasi, Nov 20 : The students’ protest against the appointment of a Muslim professor in the Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vigyan in the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) entered its 14th day on Wednesday with the students refusing to give up on their demand.

The BHU administration continues to maintain that the appointment of professor Feroz Khan is in accordance with the prescribed norms and there is no question of his removal.

The BHU administration has issued a statement, saying, “The idea behind the establishment of the university was to contribute in nation-building by providing equal opportunity of study and teaching to all deserving people without any discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, gender and sect.”

The statement also said that Khan’s appointment was a unanimous decision made by a selection committee under a transparent process.

The Muslim professor Feroz Kahn, meanwhile, said that he felt ‘insulted’ by the incident and added that he would have never applied for the job if the university had mentioned in the advertisement that they did not want a Muslim.

Students sitting on dharna, on the other hand, have started reciting Hanuman Chalisa to underline their opposition to a Muslim faculty member.

Chakrapani Ojha, a student leader leading the protest since November 7, said: “The appointment of a Muslim faculty member has hurt the sentiments of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya who established the BHU. This appointment has been made as part of a conspiracy. The entire process, including the interview, was rigged in favour of Feroz Khan. The stone inscription installed in BHU clearly states that no non-Hindu can either study or teach in our department. Then why was a Muslim professor appointed in the faculty?”

The university spokesman Rajesh Singh said that there is no stone inscription on the premises that says non-Hindus cannot study or teach in BHU.

Shubham Tiwari, another student leader, said, “In this department, there are no teachers, all are our gurus. Everyone keeps a ‘choti’ on their head, we touch their feet and participate in ‘havan’ which is a regular ritual. If a Muslim professor is accorded a place in the department, then he will not be able to perform rituals and teach us our dharma.”

Umakant Chaturvedi, the head of the department, said that the deadlock continued and no classes were being held in the Sanskrit department.

Sources said that some faculty members in the department were instigating protest and provoking students.

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