The Hindu Important Articles 22 May 2018

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# Seven policemen killed as Maoists blow up their SUV
Choice of vehicle added to risk of attack; rebels take away weapons
Seven policemen were killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast triggered by Maoists targeting a police vehicle in Dantewada district of south Chhattisgarh on Sunday.

The incident took place near Cholnar village, around 10 km from Kirandul town, when the policemen were travelling in a white SUV.

D.M. Awasthi, Special Director-General of Police, Anti-Naxal Operations (ANO) unit of the Chhattisgarh police, said the vehicle belonged to the police.

“The incident took place around 12 p.m. It was a government vehicle attached to a police station there. The jawans had escorted a truck carrying construction material for the Kirandul-Aranpur road. The blast took place when they were returning to Kirandul. All the deceased were posted at the Kirandul station,” he told The Hindu .

AK-47 recovered

The weapons of the deceased policemen were missing after the blast, and the police suspect that the Maoists might have taken them away.

“Six weapons were missing, but one AK-47 has been recovered now. We expect to find some more weapons. Maoist cadres, possibly at the militia level, were present near the site of the blast. But there was no firing after the blast,” he added.

The deceased were identified as head constable Ramkumar Yadav, constable Tikeshwar Dhruv and auxiliary constable Salik Ram Sinha of the Dantewada district police and head constable Vikram Yadav and constables Rajesh Kumar Singh, Ravinath Patel and Arjun Rajbhar of the 16th battalion of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force.

Five out of the seven policemen died on the spot, while one died on the way to hospital.

Arjun Rajbhar was evacuated to Raipur for treatment. However, he succumbed to his injuries in the evening.

Security lapse

Asked if there was any lapse on the part of the policemen, Mr. Awasthi admitted that they should not have gone in the SUV.

“It’s a catch-22 situation in the Maoist insurgency-hit areas. You have to take the forces’ protection to construct a road and our personnel do get complacent when they travel in the same area frequently. Seven people should not have gone for patrol. They should have used motorcycles and a minimum of 20 to 25 men should have gone, which would have prevented such an incident. Because there were not enough personnel, officials may have sent the available strength for the patrol,” Mr. Awasthi added.

# Congress, JD(S) to discuss coalition modalities
Kumaraswamy to hold consultations in New Delhi today
The modalities of forming the Janata Dal (S)-Congress government are expected to be finalised on Monday when Janata Dal (S) State President and Chief Minister-designate H.D. Kumaraswamy will visit New Delhi to hold consultations with the Congress high command.

Mr. Kumaraswamy, who is taking the oath as Chief Minister of the JD (S)-Congress coalition government on May 23, told reporters in Bengaluru on Sunday that during his visit to the capital, he would invite AICC leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to the swearing-in ceremony to be held on the grand steps of Vidhana Soudha, and hold consultations on the coalition government. He would also discuss the composition of the government and sharing of Cabinet berths with the Congress high command, Mr. Kumaraswamy said.

Two Deputy CMs?

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara, who is one of the contenders for the Deputy Chief Minister’s post, said there was a proposal to have two Deputy Chief Ministers from the Congress. The high command would take a call on this, he said.

However, it is not clear if any Congress member will also be sworn in along with Mr. Kumaraswamy as AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K.C. Venugopal said a decision was yet to be taken.

Four CMs to attend

Meanwhile, leaders of 11 Opposition parties and Chief Ministers of four States are expected to attend Mr. Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in, in an indication of the shape of things to come in the 2019 general elections, where the ruling BJP may face a united opposition.

The shifting of the swearing-in ceremony from Monday to Wednesday is being seen as a move to facilitate the attendance of various parties especially in the wake of the coalition’s win being projected as a victory of the united Opposition.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury who played a significant role in stitching together the alliance between the Congress and the JD(S) could not have come on Monday, as he has called a Politburo meeting of his party, the first after he won a second term as general secretary. Also, Monday is the 27th death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

# Pawan sounds confident of forming government in 2019
TDP, YSR Congress failed to resolve public issues, he says
Actor and Jana Sena party (JSP) founder Pawan Kalyan on Sunday exuded confidence that his party would form the government in 2019 with the support of youngsters and women. He said his party would contest all 175 seats on its own to bring a remarkable change in society.

‘Divide and rule policy’

Kicking off his Statewide “Porata Yatra” at Icchapuram on Sunday, Mr. Kalyan charged that both the TDP and the YSR Congress Party had failed to resolve the public issues.

He alleged that the TDP government was deeply mired in corruption. It failed in achieving the Special Category Status (SCS) surrendering to the NDA government. Mr. Pawan vowed to participate in hunger strike for the SCS.

He said the TDP government had adopted a divide and rule policy among the communities and promised to deliver a clean administration with the focus on checking migrations, ending the woes of those duped by AgriGold, finding solution to the kidney ailments in the Uddhanam region and sorting out other issues plaguing the State.

“The TDP leaders used to say the Jana Sena need not be given more than 15 seats if there was an alliance. We are second to none in politics.”

Earlier, he performed ‘Ganga puja’ at Kapasakuddi for almost two hours.

The fishermen welcomed him in traditional manner. In the evening, the party organised Nirasana Kavatu (protest march) till the Satrangi Raja Vari Grounds.

# Petrol, diesel prices at another record high
Fuel rates hiked for 7th day in a row
Petrol price on Sunday touched a record high of Rs. 76.24 per litre, while that of diesel stood at Rs. 67.57 in the national capital as oil firms raised prices for the seventh day in a row.

The price of petrol went up by 33 paise a litre and diesel by 26 paise in Delhi, according to the notification issued by the state-owned oil firms. Rates vary across States, depending on local sales tax or VAT. Prices in Delhi are the cheapest among all metros and most State capitals. Petrol stood at Rs. 78.91 a litre in Kolkata, Rs. 84.07 in Mumbai and Rs. 79.13 in Chennai. Diesel prices were Rs. 70.12 in Kolkata, Rs. 71.94 in Mumbai and Rs. 71.32 in Chennai. Fuel prices have been revised upward every day since May 14. While daily revisions have been in place for almost a year now, oil companies halted the practice for almost three weeks since April 24, when prices of the fuels were raised by 13 paise each. In all, petrol price has been raised by Rs. 1.61 a litre and diesel by Rs. 1.64 in the past week. During the period that the prices were held stable, the Karnataka election was held on May 12.

# Man beaten to death in M.P. for ‘cow slaughter’
Four arrested for incident near Satna
A 45-year-old man was beaten to death and his friend was severely thrashed by four persons on Thursday night for allegedly slaughtering a cow in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh, the police said. The four accused have been arrested.

Beaten with sticks

The accused are said to have travelled 70 km from Satna on getting information that two persons were slaughtering a cow in a forest area in Anjar village.

They then allegedly attacked and beat the two men with sticks, resulting in the death of one man, while the other sustained severe injuries, Superintendent of Police Rajesh Hingerkar said.

The deceased has been identified as Siraj, and the injured as Shakeel, 35, he said.

Arvind Tiwari, Sub-Divisional Officer, Maiher area, said the police had recovered “beef”, and the carcass of a slaughtered bull from the spot.

Admitted to hospital

On information, the police reached the spot and rushed Mr. Shakeel to a hospital in Jabalpur district, Mr. Tiwari said.

Those arrested were identified as Pawan Singh, 35, Vijay Singh, 26, Phool Singh, 36, and Narayan Singh, 28.

Around 400 policemen have been deployed to maintain law and order in the area following the incident, said Umesh Joga, Inspector General of Police, Rewa range.

# Illicit liquor claims 11 lives in U.P.
At least 11 persons have died and 16 are in a serious condition after consuming spurious liquor in Kanpur Nagar and Kanpur Dehat districts, the police said on Sunday.

The seriously ill have been admitted to the L.L.R. Hospital and the Ursula Horsman Memorial Hospital in Kanpur, and the District Hospital in Kanpur Dehat. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs. 2 lakh each to the kin of the dead.

Quoting relatives of the victims, SP (Kanpur rural) Pradyuman Singh had said on Saturday that all of them had consumed liquor bought from a government liquor shop. An FIR under various Sections of the IPC and the Excise Act has been lodged against Shyam Balak, the licence holder of the shop. Balak, however, is still at large. The main accused, Vinay Singh, a relative of former Samajwadi Party MLA Ram Swarup, was among more than half a dozen persons arrested in the case.

# CBSE schools extend timings, increase fees
With the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) making it mandatory to have one period for health and physical education in schools affiliated to it, several Bengaluru-based school managements have increased their fees for the 2018-2019 academic year in order to improve the sports infrastructure.

# Pak Rangers seeks ceasefire along border
The Pakistan Rangers called up the BSF to seek a halt to the firing and shelling along the International Border in Jammu. A commander of Pakistan Rangers phoned a BSF officer on Saturday night, and urged that Pakistan’s forward posts not be targeted as the incessant firing was causing damage to civilians.

# Speed limits on buses to reduce road kills
In a move that could provide relief to wildlife and reduce road kills in the region, the authorities have imposed speed restrictions on government and private buses passing through forest areas in Chamarajanagar district.

# State to have two Dy. Chief Ministers?
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara, who is one of the contenders for the post, told presspersons on Sunday that there was a proposal for two Deputy Chief Ministers. However, the Congress high command will take a call on that, he said.

Source:- The Hindu

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