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Indian Railways: 150 private passenger trains to run on 100 routes



Bharatiya railways MODI

Indian Railways has picked 100 routes to run 150 private passenger train rakes and bids for the routes are likely to be invited next month, a senior railway official has told ET Magazine.

With finance ministry’s Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) giving in-principal nod to the proposal on December 19, the path has been cleared for the railways to roll out its reform in engaging private operators, ending its long monopoly in running passenger trains.

The official, who did not want to be named, said the major long-distance routes identified for bidding include Mumbai-Kolkata, Mumbai-Chennai, Mumbai-Guwahati, New Delhi-Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram-Guwahati, New Delhi-Kolkata, New Delhi-Bengaluru, New Delhi-Chennai, Kolkata-Chennai and Chennai-Jodhpur.

Other prominent routes include Mumbai-Varanasi, Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Lucknow, Mumbai-Nagpur, Nagpur-Pune, Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam, Patna-Bengaluru, Pune-Patna, Chennai-Coimbatore, Chennai-Secunderabad, Surat-Varanasi and Bhubaneswar-Kolkata. Some routes connecting New Delhi to Patna, Allahabad, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Katra, Gorakhpur, Chhapra and Bhagalpur have also been selected.

Commercial viability seems to be the key yardstick in picking the routes. Thirty-five of the 100 routes will connect to New Delhi, 26 to Mumbai, 12 to Kolkata, 11 to Chennai and eight to Bengaluru, all metropolitan cities.


Barmer SP removed, SHO suspended after Dailt death in police custody





Jaipur, Feb 28 Twenty-four year old Jitendra Khatik, a dalit was killed while in police custody and after much hue and cry Barmer SP Sharat Choudhary was removed from his post late last night.

Jitendra Khatik was detained for committing theft on Wednesday, without an FIR, and died while in police custody on Thursday.

Nagaur MP and Rashtriya Loktantrik Party convenor Hanuman Beniwal, following which the Station House Officer Deep SIngh of Barmer Rural was suspended, and then the Superintendent of Police was removed from post until further orders.

The entire staff at the police station is in the line of fire as the incident has turned political after the RLP laeder raised questions on police working.

Beniwal has asked how can a youth be detained and tortured without any case registered against him. He could have been called for investigation but keeping him in police custody raises questions, he said.

The Rajasthan government is expected to respond to Beniwal’s questions in the Assembly on Friday.

Khatik’s family members said that they went to meet him on Thursday morning and at that time, he complained about police beating him. They came back after meeting him. However, his health deteriorated in afternoon suddenly in police station from where he was shifted to hospital.

The family has alleged that the youth was beaten and tortured leading to his death. The SHO did not care for him when he had fallen ill and the constable also took him to hospital not in an ambulance but in normal vehicle when he was quite unwell, the family said.

The doctors declared Jitendra Khatik as brought dead.

A post mortem is yet to be conducted.

The issue was raised in the Assembly on Thursday.

A judicial inquiry has also been ordered in the matter with Jodhpur IG Navjyoti Gogoi reaching Barmer on Thursday to look into the matter.

Barmer SP Choudhary on Thursday admitted that Khatik was picked up for questioning but no case was registered against him. “A medical board has been formed to conduct his post mortem and the SHO suspended while the entire staff of police station has been sent to lines.”

Late on Thursday even Chowdhury was declared APO till further orders.

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BSP blames police for Delhi violence, demands action against rioters



BSP supremo Mayawati

Delhi, Feb 28: Expressing deep concern over the Delhi riots that claimed 39 lives, Bahujan Samaj Party National Spokesperson Sudhindra Bhadoria demanded strong action against those behind the rioting and blamed Delhi police that is under direct control of Home Minister Amit Shah for the inaction to prevent the Hindu -Muslim clashes.

“The government needs to act swiftly ,all those who are responsible for this rioting should be book and dealt with iron hands and peace and normalcy should be maintained at all cost,” Sudhindra Bhadoria said.

Terming the riots in Delhi as unfortunate incident in which 38 people lost their lives and property worth hundred of crores rupees destroyed.

Pointing to the intelligence failure on the part of the police without naming AMit Shah, BSP National Spokesperson blamed the police for inaction at the time when the riots started.

” It’s time to maintain peace, law and order situation and everybody should be treated equal before the law” Bhadoria further added.

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Nripendra Mishra to visit Ayodhya on Saturday



Nripendra Mishra

Ayodhya, Feb 28 Nripendra Mishra, the Chairman of the Ram Temple Construction Committee, will visit Ayodhya on Saturday to initiate the process for preparing a blueprint for construction of a Ram temple.

This will be his first visit to Ayodhya after being appointed as Chairman of the committee.

Prabhat Singh, a spokesperson for the Nirmohi Akhara, said: “We have been informed that Nripendra Mishra will be in Ayodhya on Saturday. He will also meet Mahant Dhirendra Das (head of the Nirmohi Akhara) and other trustees.”

According to official sources, Mishra will also finalise the place, where Ram Lalla will be shifted before construction of the temple begins.

This relocation will take place before the festive occasion of Navratri which begins on March 25.

Meanwhile, a three-day conclave on Ramayana will be held in Ayodhya in the first week of March.

The event will be inaugurated by head of the Ram Janambhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das.

Sources in the government said the conclave will see discussions around the life of Lord Ram and his impact on society.

Experts on Ramayana from India and abroad, and research scholars are expected to attend the event.

There will also be an exhibition on the presence of Lord Ram in art and around 200 artists are expected to display their works.

The event is being organised by Sanskar Bharti, the cultural wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Ayodhya Research Centre and Avadh University.

Prominent leaders who will participate in the event are Ram temple trust secretary and VHP leader Champat Rai, former Goa governor Mridula Sinha and writer Narendra Kohli.

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