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Maoist blast kills seven CRPF troopers



Dantewada (Chhattisgarh), March 30 : Seven CRPF troopers were killed on Wednesday when Maoists used concealed explosives to destroy their truck in a remote part of Chhattisgarh, police said.

The improvised explosive device (IED) used in the attack was so powerful that it sent the vehicle in which the troopers were travelling flying several feet high in the air and created a huge crater.

The Central Reserve Police Force personnel died instantly, their bodies blown apart in the deafening blast on a newly-repaired road at Malewara in Dantewada district, about 400 km south of capital Raipur.

It was the biggest attack by Maoists in Chhattisgarh in recent months.

The dead security personnel were in civilian clothes and were returning to their base after a holiday, police officials said.

“It was a massive blast. The vehicle flew several feet up in the air and then landed on the ground in four pieces,” Director General of Police D.M. Awasthi told the media.

The CRPF personnel belonged to the 230th battalion.

Police officials who rushed to the spot within 45-50 minutes said the deceased were unarmed.

Local tribals who first got access to the blast site and tipped off police about the incident said the bodies of the CRPF men were beyond recognition as their body organs were found strewn several metres from the attack site.

Chief Minister Raman Singh denounced the killings and called it “a clear sign of frustration among Maoists who are feeling the heat of increased police presence in their strongholds.

“I salute the supreme sacrifice of the seven CRPF men. The attack has strengthened my resolve to weed out Maoism from the state,” he said in Raipur.

Initial probe indicated that five to nine Maoists executed the blast for which excess of 40 kg of explosives could have been used to rattle the mini truck.

Dozens of heavily armed paramilitary troopers launched an operation to track down the insurgents who reportedly slipped into nearby forests after the bloodbath.

Officials at the Chhattisgarh Police headquarters here dubbed the attack “a classic case of failed intelligence network” in the Maoist heartland of Bastar which includes Dantewada district.

Home Minister Ajay Chandrakar presided over an emergency meeting of top police and home department officials in Raipur to assess the situation in the wake of deadly attack.


DMK to hold black flag protest against farm laws on Saturday



Mk Stalin

Chennai, Dec 4 : DMK President M.K. Stalin on Friday said that his party will hold a black flag protest against the three farm laws passed by the Central government.

In a letter to party members, he said the protest will be held in solidarity with the farmers protesting against the laws in Delhi.

Stalin said party leaders will hold the black flag protest in all the district headquarters following the Covid-19 safety precautions.

Reacting to the DMK’s protest, Tamil Nadu BJP’s agriculture wing head G.K. Nagaraj said Stalin, who is supporting the protesting middlemen in Delhi, should tell what he has done for the welfare of the farmers.

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Bengal government to provide tabs to 9.5 lakh students to facilitate online education

There are around 36,000 government and government-aided secondary schools, around 14,000 higher secondary schools and 636 madrasahs in the state.



Mamata Banerjee

The state government will provide tabs to around 9.5 lakh students in government schools and government aided schools, chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Thursday.

“Because of the pandemic students are suffering. We will provide tabs to 9.5 lakh students studying in class 12 in government schools, government-aided schools and madrasahs. Computers would also be also provided to every secondary school to facilitate online education during pandemic,” Banerjee said at the state secretariat.

There are around 36,000 government and government-aided secondary schools, around 14,000 higher secondary schools and 636 madrasahs in the state.

“Many students are not being able to follow the online classes. The tabs would help the students even when they are pursuing their graduation,” said Banerjee.

With an eye on the crucial 2021 Bengal assembly elections, the chief minister also announced 3% dearness allowance for 10 lakh state government employees from January 1, 2021. This would cost the state exchequer Rs 2200 crore.

Speaking in another program during the day Banerjee said that Information Technology (IT) firms in West Bengal have registered 133% growth in the last eight years and IT exports have gone up by 175%.

“Many more investments are coming. On December 1, we cleared 20 proposals of setting up IT offices at Bengal Silicon Valley Hub with a proposed investment of Rs 3000 crore. They would directly employ 9000 IT professionals,” Banerjee said at a program

At present over 1500 IT companies, including Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, Infosys, Cognizant and IBM among others, have their offices in West Bengal. The state has around 2.1 lakh IT professionals.

The chief minister while listing out a series of expansion plans of some of the top IT firms in the state said that while Nxtra Data of Bharti Airtel has come up with a proposal of Rs 350 crores, Wipro has an expansion plan worth Rs 500 crores in the state.

“Tata Consultancy Services is expected to increase their employment from the present 44,000 to around 61,000. Very soon their operation in West Bengal would be larger than their Bengaluru operation,” she said.

The chief minister added that while Cognizant Technology Solutions is also expected to expand further, ITC Infotech has almost completed their project in New Town and will employ around 3000 IT professionals there.

IT services giant Infosys will start construction of a proposed software development centre in the state by July 2021. They have been allotted 50 acres of land.

“Our youth will not have to roam in other states and across the world looking for jobs. They can work here,” Banerjee said.

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Farmers try to force their way into Delhi at Ghazipur border, stopped




Delhi UP Ghazipur Border

New Delhi: Agitated farmers on Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border near Ghazipur on Thursday failed in their attempt to enter the national capital by breaking the barricades after the police pacified the situation.

“If a decision is not taken in 24 hours, we will break all the barricades at different locations and enter Delhi,” Pawan Khatana, Bharat Kisan Union’s Delhi-NCR President, told IANS after attempting to break the barricades.

Thousands of farmers protesting against the Central farm laws have laid siege at Ghazipur border and on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway in a bid to enter the national capital. The crowd swelled after around 100 tractors reached the protest site at noon.

The border points in the area continue to remain under heavy police cover with multilayered barricades in place.

In the morning, when the farmers had blocked the expressway, Gayendra Singh, SP (City), Ghaziabad, had said that the police were hopeful that the blockade will end soon on the key road leading to Delhi.

All eyes are now on the ongoing fourth round of talks between the farmers’ unions and the Centre. The third round talks had failed to break the deadlock on Tuesday.

The farmers have been sitting on protest for the last eight days at Delhi-Haryana and Delhi-Uttar Pradesh borders. Thousands of farmers have been camping at the Singhu border, while several other groups have blocked entry at the Delhi-Haryana border in Tikri, the Delhi-UP border in Ghazipur and the Delhi-UP border in Chilla.

The farmers are demanding that the three farm laws passed by the Parliament in September be repealed, expressing apprehension that they would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the mercy of the big corporates.

The government has, however, maintained that the laws will provide farmers with better opportunities. It has also accused the opposition parties of “misleading” the farmers.

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