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Man-eating tiger in Karnataka forest tracked, captured

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Man-eating tiger

Bengaluru, Oct 13 : The man-eating tiger, which was at large for five days, was tracked down and safely captured in Karnataka’s Bandipur reserve forest on Sunday after tranquilising it, an official said.

“The tiger was captured late in the afternoon (around 2:30 p.m.) with the help of Soliga tribals, who spotted it hiding in a bush,” state Chief Wildlife Warden Sanjay Mohan, who was supervising operations from outside the forest, told IANS over phone.

The tiger, aged 4 to 6 years, had killed two men since last month and a search was on for the animal since October 9 in the 872km Bandipur forest in the state’s Chamarajanagar district, about 220 km southwest of Bengaluru.

Soligas, who are experts in hunting the wild animals in the forests, found the tiger hiding in a thick bush and guided the guards and the vets to the spot.

“The tiger was hit by a tranquiliser dart by forest guards atop on an elephant based on the Soligas’ cues, but that attempt failed as it recovered quickly from the impact of the dart and crossed over a stream into another thicket. As a result, the Soligas had to again track it down,” said Mohan.

The Soligas, however, managed to spot it again and enable the big cat be hit with another dart, which succeeded in immobilising it, he said.

“As the tiger lay unconscious after it was tranquilised, the forest guards brought it out in a net with the help of the Soligas,” Mohan said, adding that as the elephant could not be taken to the spot where the tiger lay unconscious, the guards threw a net over it to drag it out of the thicket.

The veterinary doctor administered an antidote to the tiger after it was brought out of the forest to revive it.

“The tiger will be shifted to Mysore rehabilitation centre on Monday after conducting routine tests and a check-up,” Mohan added.

The search for the elusive tiger was intensified earlier in the day, on foot and on elephants, by about 60 forest guards, 5 Soligas and 3 veterinary doctors after the partial remains of a just-born elephant calf it killed and ate was found in the jungle.

Mohan had earlier told IANS that the tiger killed the calf near the safari in a 10km radius of Melkamanahalli village in the jungle, and termed it a “good sign for knowing its whereabouts and helps us to search in the target area to capture it”.

Shivappa, a farmer, was the second victim of the big cat, which is said to have turned man-eater over a month ago after killing Shivamadaiah in its territory when he was returning to his village with two bullocks from another nearby village.

The tiger has devoured 14 cattle during the last two months.

The state Forest Department obtained a camera trap picture of the tiger early on Saturday.

The search operation was conducted as per the guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

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JNU protest leads to massive traffic snarls in central Delhi

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JNU students protest outside campus

New Delhi, Nov 18 : Massive traffic snarls were reported in central Delhi on Monday as hundreds of protesting students of JNU were stopped from marching towards Parliament which also led to them scuffling with the police.

The authorities also shut the entry and exit gates at three Delhi Metro stations near Parliament to prevent the students from approaching parliament.

Earlier, the police put up barricades near Safdarjung Tomb to stop the students from marching towards Parliament, which began its winter session on Monday.

The students, protesting against the hostel fee hike, gathered near Safdarjung Tomb to continue their protest. They shouted slogans demanding a fee hike roll back.

The Delhi Metro said in a statement it would not have trains at Udyog Bhawan and Patel Chowk, while the Exit/Entry Gates for Udyog Bhawan, Patel Chowk and Central Secretariat have been closed temporarily.

Massive traffic jams were reported in the areas near Safdarjung Hospital, Arabindo Marg, AIIMS and Safdarjung Tomb.

Earlier, with posters in hand and chanting anti-fee hike slogans, hundreds of students marched on the streets of Delhi. The students defied the imposition of Section 144 that prevents gathering of more than four persons in one place, to continue with their protest march to parliament.

As police put up barricades, the JNU climbed over the barricades, leading to scuffles with the police.

“The students are struggling hard to clear the barricades installed by the Delhi police, but they admit that they might not reach parliament because of heavy police and CRPF deployment in the way,” a student said.

The protest march is against the hostel fee hike.

The protest was held even as the Education Secretary addressed their concern by a partial roll back and on Monday announced a new committee to open dialogue with the students.

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Mahagathbandhan will come to power in Jharkhand: Sanjay Paswan

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Congress

New Delhi, Nov 18 Jharkhand Congress Working President Sanjay Paswan has claimed that the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ consisting of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress, will come to power in the mineral-rich state as the people have witnessed that the BJP-ruled government has not been been able to deliver on any front in the last five years.

When asked why being a national party Congress was contesting on lesser seats than a regional party like the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Paswan told IANS: “Congress always believed on coalition dharma. Wherever we think we are strong, we are contesting. We (JMM, Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal) share a same ideology.

“If they think we are afraid of the BJP, it is their misunderstanding. People of Jharkhand have seen them in the past five years. Infact, the BJP is themselves afraid of losing as they are contesting the elections in five phases. Once they said they will remove ‘Naxalism’ from our state, when they chaim it has been removed then why are the elections going four five phases?”

“They (AJSU) are more or less the same. I feel after the results they will again switch hands with them (BJP). We have seen them for last 19 years, we don’t know about them.”

If it comes to power, the Mahagathbandhan’s roadmap would be about taking Jharkhand on the top of the country, Paswan said.

“Firstly, we will provide employment to the youth of Jharkhand so we don’t have to go away from our state. The present BJP-led government did nothing for the youths except looting them. They have given all the mineral-rich lands to the industrialists who are getting benefitted while our youths are struggling for jobs.

“We will change whatever has happened. Every single person of Jharkhand will be happy when we take charge,” he concluded.

Jharkhand will go to polls in five phases from November 30.

Fighting in alliance with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Congress is contesting 31 of the state’s 81 seats, the JMM 43, and the RJD seven.

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UP power employees strike over PF scam

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Yogi Adityanath

Lucknow, Nov 18 Employees of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL), on Monday, proceeded on a two-day work boycott to protest against the provident fund scam in which their money was invested in the tainted Dewan Housing and Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL).

However, the units generating power have been exempted from the protest to prevent grid failure.

The energy department has issued directives to the officers concerned to make adequate arrangements to keep electricity supply normal in in the state in view of the 48-hour work boycott.

The state home department has also asked all district magistrates and police chiefs to ensure proper security of all vital installations in their areas.

The employees are demanding that the state government give a guarantee for safe return of their provident fund money, invested in DHFL by the Uttar Pradesh Power Sector Employees’ Trust.

The Uttar Pradesh Vidyut Karmchari Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti, a joint forum of power employees and engineers, has warned the management against taking any repressive measures against the agitating staff during the ‘work boycott’.

The employees will report to their offices but shun work in a ‘work boycott’ as opposed to a full-fledged strike in which they may not even show up at the place of work.

Uttar Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (UPPTCL) director (operation) R. K. Singh has asked the officials concerned to outsource staff to man the transmission substations and lines in view of the proposed 48-hour work boycott.

He said ex-army men should be deployed for the security of the substations and local police should be contacted for the security of the employees who want to work. Proper arrangements of food, stay and conveyance should be made for the staff that might have to work for longer hours due the work boycott.

Similar measures, according to sources, were being taken to man and manage distribution substations and lines as well.

The power employees, meanwhile, are continuing with statewide demonstrations and meetings, protesting against investment of their provident fund worth of above Rs 2,600 crore in an unsecured private housing company.

They demanded that the state government should not only give a guarantee for the safe return of the money, but also take action against the IAS officers responsible for the scam.

Samiti convener Shailendra Dubey said the employees were also agitated over the fact that the CBI probe into the PF scam had not begun yet. “There appears to be an attempt to save the bureaucrats who actually presided over the scam,” he alleged.

Dubey said all preparations had been made to make the 48-hour work boycott successful. “We would proceed on strike if any of our agitating employees was harassed during the work boycott,” he warned.

Shailendra Dubey further said that engineers will not fix any fault in power plan and even faults in transmission and distribution system will not be attended by the power employees during the 48-hour boycott.

The employees have been up in arms against the UPPCL management, demanding the arrest of former UPPCL chairman Alok Kumar, who was also the ex-officio chairman of the Uttar Pradesh State Power Sector Employees Trust which invested more than Rs 4,100 crore in DHFL since March 2017.

UPPCL sources said the corporation was preparing to file a review petition in the Mumbai high court, which has barred DHFL from releasing money to its creditors.

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