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Jessica Lal murder case: Manu Sharma released from Tihar Jail

The Delhi Sentence Review Board (SRB) which comes under the Delhi government had recommended Sharma’s premature release last month

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Manu Sharma Jessica Lal

Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal has approved the premature release of Jessica Lal Murder case convict Manu Sharma, who is serving life sentence, according to an official order.

The Delhi Sentence Review Board (SRB) which comes under the Delhi government had recommended Sharma’s premature release last month. The sources said the recommendation was made at a meeting of the SRB chaired by Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain on May 11. Sharma, son of former Union minister Vinod Sharma, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Delhi High Court in December 2006 for killing Jessica Lal in 1999.

A trial court had acquitted him, but the high court reversed the order and the Supreme Court later upheld his life sentence in April 2010. Lal was shot dead by Sharma after she had refused to serve him liquor at the Tamarind Court restaurant owned by socialite Bina Ramani at Qutub Colonnade in south Delhi’s Mehrauli area on the night of April 30, 1999.

Cities

26 die in fresh lightning strikes across Bihar

The Meteorological Department on Wednesday had issued an alert for heavy rain and thunderstorms in the next 48 hours.

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Lightning

Patna, July 2 : In Bihar, more people were killed by lightning strikes in a week than due to coronavirus. On Thursday, 26 more people died in fresh lightning strikes across the state.

An official of the Disaster Management Department said, according to information received from the districts, 26 people died due to lightning strikes on Thursday in the state – six in Patna, four in East Champaran, seven in Samastipur, three in Katihar, two each in Shivhar and Madhepura and one each in Purnia and West Champaran districts.

The Meteorological Department on Wednesday had issued an alert for heavy rain and thunderstorms in the next 48 hours in Bihar.

On Tuesday, 11 people had died by lightning in various districts of Bihar, while on June 26, at least 96 people died across Bihar in lightning strikes.

So far more than 78 people have died due to Covid-19 in Bihar in more than three months since the first case was detected in the state and more than 10,000 are infected with the virus, while more than 125 people were killed by lightning strikes in the state in just a week.

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India

Private trains’ fares to be competitive with airlines: Chairman

Yadav said the train sets would have to be brought by private operators and maintained by them.

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Tejas Express Indian Railways

New Delhi, July 2 : A day after inviting the request for qualifications from private entities for running 151 trains on 109 pairs of routes, Railway Board Chairman V.K. Yadav on Thursday said the private train operations would begin by April 2023 and the fares in these trains would be competitive with air fares on similar routes.

Addressing a virtual press conference, Yadav said private players in passenger train operations would mean a quantum jump in introduction of modern technology and high-speed coaches.

The improvement in technology would also mean the coaches that required maintenance after 4,000 km, would need maintenance after every 40,000 km, that’s either once or twice a month, he added.

Yadav said the train sets would have to be brought by private operators and maintained by them.

“Private train operations are likely to begin by April 2023. All coaches will be procured under the ‘Make in India’ policy. Fares in private trains will be competitive and rates on other modes of transport, like airlines and buses, will have to be kept in mind,” he said.

Yadav said the private operators would pay fixed haulage charges for path, stations, access to railway infrastructure and charges for electricity consumed to the Indian Railways for 35 years. It will also share revenue with the Indian Railways through competitive bidding.

The private entity would have to ensure 95 per cent punctuality and not more than one failure per lakh kilometre of travel. “If any performance indicators are not met by private players, they will be penalised,” Yadav said.

He also said there would be a power metre in every locomotive and private operators would pay for the actual amount of energy consumed.

“Through this the common man will get better trains, better technology and at low cost. The Indian Railways will continue to run 95 per cent of the trains,” he said.

The Chairman said of the 2,800 mail express train operated by the railways, only 151 trains, just 5 per cent, was being given to the private players.

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India

US H-1B visa suspension should be revoked: Rahul Gandhi

The Trump administration suspended the H-1B visas along with other types of foreign work visas until the end of 2020 to protect American workers in a crucial election year.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, July 2 : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has demanded that suspension of the H-1B visas should be revoked as it will impact millions of Indians. He also said that America has benefited from India’s talent.

Rahul Gandhi in a tweet said, “America has benefited enormously by embracing India”s vast talent pool through its H-1B program.”

“Its suspension will impact millions of Indians and US firms. It should be revoked,” added Rahul.

The former Congress president was reacting to US Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, who said that he will lift the temporary suspension of the H-1B visas if he wins in the November Presidential elections.

The Trump administration suspended the H-1B visas along with other types of foreign work visas until the end of 2020 to protect American workers in a crucial election year.

“He (Donald Trump) just ended H-1B visas the rest of this year. That will not be in my administration,” said Joe Biden, who was responding to a question in a town hall meet.

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