11 Kano district heads defy Ganduje’s directives on Hawan Daushe

Source: thenationonlineng.net

11 district heads whose territories fall under the new emirates created by Kano Governor Abdullahi Ganduje on Monday evening participated in the Kano Hawan Daushe.

Their participation was in defiance of an order by the governor to the effect that they should observe the festival in their newly created emirates.

Ganduje’s directive was issued in response to an order by Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II inviting District Heads from all 44 local governments in Kano to attend the Hawan Daushe in Kano city.

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary Abba Anwar  directed the district heads not to obey Emir Sanusi’s invitation.

The statement further ordered only district heads under the jurisdiction of the Kano Emirate should attend the Hawan Daushe at Kano while district heads in the four new emirates created by the Ganduje administration should attend the Durbar at their respective emirate capitals.

But the district heads were in Kano on Monday for the festival.

Those who attended include Madakin Kano Yusuf Nabahani of Dawakin Tofa, Dan Amar Aliyu Harizimi Umar of Doguwa, Dokaji Muhammadu Aliyu of Garko, Makama Sarki Ibrahim of Wudil, Sarkin Fulanin Ja’idinawa Buhari Muhammad of Garun Malam, and Barde Idris Bayero of Bichi.

Others were Sarkin Bai Mukhtar Adnan of Danbatta, Yarima Lamido Abubakar of Takai, Dan Isa Kabiru Hashim of Warawa, Dan Madami Ibrahim Hamza Bayero of Kiru, and Sarkin Dawaki Mai Tuta Bello Abubakar of Gabasawa.

The district heads’ defiance is in continuation of the running battle between Ganduje and Emir Sanusi II.

The Ganduje administration is accusing the Emir of supporting its political opponents, an allegation the monarch has always denied.

Ganduje had attempted deposing the Emir but some influential citizens had intervened to stop the move.

In May 2019, Ganduje split the Kano Emirate into five kingdoms and appointed four first -class emirs for the the new emirates.

34 local government areas were excised from the Kano Emirate, leaving only Kano Municipal, Dala, Tarauni, Nassarawa, Fagge, Dala, Kumbotso, Ungoggo, Dawakin Kudu and Minjibir under the jurisdiction of Emir Sanusi II.

Emir of Rano, Tafida Abubakar also heads 10 local governments – Rano, Bunkure, Kibiya, Takai, Sumaila, Kura, Doguwa, Tudun Wada, Kiru, and Bebeji.

Bichi Emirate headed by Emir Aminu Ado Bayero has nine local governments – Bichi, Bagwai, Shanono, Tsanyawa, Kunchi, Makoda, Danbatta, Dawakin Tofa, and Tofa.

Gaya Emirate under Emir Ibrahim Abdulkadir comprises of eight local governments – Gaya, Ajingi, Albasu, Wudil, Garko, Warawa, Gezawa, and Gabasawa.

Karaye Emirate led by Emir Ibrahim Abubakar II has seven local governments – Karaye, Rogo, Gwarzo, Kabo, Rimin Gado, Madobi, and On Saturday, the Emir of Gaya, Ibrahim Abdulkadir, suspended Sarki Ibrahim (District head of Wudil), Bello Abubakar (District Head of Gabasawa), Kabiru Hashim (District Head of Warawa), Yusuf Bayero (District Head of Dawakinkudu) and Muhammad Aliyu (District Head of Garko) for allegedly disobeying a series of directives by the emirate council. Malam.

Last Saturday, the Emir of Gaya, Ibrahim Abdulkadir, suspended Sarki Ibrahim (District head of Wudil), Bello Abubakar (District Head of Gabasawa), Kabiru Hashim (District Head of Warawa), Yusuf Bayero (District Head of Dawakin Kudu) and Muhammad Aliyu (District Head of Garko) for allegedly disobeying a series of directives by the emirate council.

Walking the Path of the Buddha in a Neglected Corner of India

Source: newyorker.com

Buddhism was born under a giant fig tree, which, today, grows at the center of the remote and unbeautiful town of Bodh Gaya, in India’s destitute northeastern state of Bihar. The tree is about three crooked blocks from the Be Happy Café and a few minutes’ walk from a used book store where a middle-aged Krishna devotee from Iowa, named James, works, reselling old paperbacks by Hesse and Murakami.

The sacred Bodhi Tree is surrounded by a wall and guarded by police. (Islamic extremists bombed the site in 2013.) At dawn, before pilgrims begin their daily perambulations around the tree’s massive trunk, local children forage under its sprawling canopy—some branches are propped up by iron columns—to gather fallen leaves. Pressed inside clear plastic, the leaves are sold to visitors from Bhutan, Myanmar, and Manhattan, and to outposts of Buddhism around the world. The historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, a reputed prince from what is now Nepal, is said to have achieved nirvana while meditating under the tree, in the fifth century B.C. The Awakened One purportedly spent seven weeks under under the Bodhi Tree after achieving liberation from the wheel of suffering that binds humankind to selfhood, aging, disease, and death. So Deepak Anand told me.

Last winter, I met Anand not in the Be Happy Café but at one of its competitors, the Tibet Om Cafe. The menu offered a staple comfort food of Western spiritual seekers in Asia: banana pancakes. Anand, who was forty-five, didn’t eat. He was tall, pin-thin, had a shaved head, and was so intense and talkative that he ordered a cup of tea but forgot to drink it. Anand is a self-taught cultural geographer. For the past twelve years, he has analyzed historical texts and used G.P.S. technology to chart what he says are the pathways walked by the Buddha as he spread his philosophy of mindfulness across northern India, about twenty-four hundred years ago. Anand hopes to promote this spiritual legacy by reviving a network of “Buddha trails” for pilgrims and tourists to walk in Bihar, the cradle of the world’s fourth-largest religion. Yet Buddhism largely vanished from the region centuries ago, eclipsed by Hinduism and Islam. Today, farmers plow up stone effigies without realizing that the sculptures are antique representations of the sage. “People long ago tore down the stupas and built their homes using the old bricks and stones,” Anand said, referring to Buddhist monuments that once dotted the Ganges River plains. “They simply didn’t know.”

To test his ideas, Anand suggested we hike from the Tree of Enlightenment, in Bodh Gaya, to the ruins of the Nalanda university—an important center of Buddhist learning, which was razed by Turkic invaders in the twelfth century. The four-day trek effectively spans Buddhism’s rise and fall in the subcontinent—many scholars believe the university’s destruction contributed to the religion’s decline. No one in recent times, Anand assured me, had retraced the Buddha’s footsteps along the fifty-mile route.

The Buddha’s only concession to hiking kit was a begging bowl. He sometimes strode through the villages of Bihar with a large crowd of followers in tow. Our own walking party numbered four: the Bangalore-based journalist Bhavita Bhatia carried a Free Tibet flag in her rucksack; Siddharth Agarwal, a river conservationist from Kolkata, lugged a leaden hardback copy of “Ganges: The Many Pasts of an Indian River”; I packed the electronics needed to transmit stories from the trail. Only Anand practiced Buddhist non-attachment. All he brought was a light sweater. “Sorry, sorry, sorry,” he said, when we caught up with him on the trail, after he repeatedly surged ahead. “I’m a high-energy person.”

In the Buddha’s day, northern India’s religious landscape was in a time of spiritual crisis and social upheaval. Disillusioned, rudderless, Siddhartha renounced his gilded life—a childhood with thirty-two nursemaids, a kingdom with seasonal palaces and private gardens, and his princess wife and their child—to join other ascetics meditating in forests along the Neranjara River.

Today, plastic trash spangles the river’s sandy banks. Miles of rice fields steam where giant trees once threw blue shadows. “British records reported a leopard at the train station as late as the nineteen-thirties,” Anand said, wistfully. “It’s all gone.”

A carload of sightseeing Malaysian monks stopped to ask us directions. They ended up debating Anand about the location of Ratnagiri Rock, the site sometimes identified as the place where Siddhartha finally abandoned the hermit life, broke his fast with a bowl of gruel, and invented a “middle way” to transcendence that rejects both extreme sensuality and extreme austerity. Anand informed the monks that he had geotagged the exact coördinates of Siddhartha’s epiphany. The monks smiled in polite silence. “There are so many sects in Buddhism,” Anand said. “It’s impossible to convince them all.” We walked on. We passed the mountain cave where Siddhartha was said to have mortified himself for six years, by some accounts sleeping on a bed of spikes. And, after that pilgrimage stop, Bihar became just Bihar.

Chronically listed as one of India’s poorest states, Bihar isn’t usually associated with spiritual revival. Its news cycle instead tallies droughts, floods, fatal encephalitis outbreaks, and the violent aftershocks of a failed Maoist insurgency.

Following Anand, we plodded through abandoned sand mines. We stepped over railroad tracks. Inert villages slipped by, hollowed out by urban migration. In granaries, families hand-cranked large mechanical fans to generate a breeze for threshing their harvest. The Biharis, though, are ritually kind. They offer a cup of well water, a spot of shade, a narcotic betel nut to chew on the way. A day’s walk from the global tourist bubble of Bodh Gaya, where lamas broadcast meditation tips on YouTube, the world grows so insular that young village boys, peering up at me, exclaimed, “Look at that face! Have you ever seen a face like that?”

“What our people and the government don’t realize,” Anand told us, in frustration, “is that they are living on top of a global treasure—inside a living museum.”

Anand isn’t Buddhist. He was a Hindu by birth and is an empiricist by nature. Mostly, he is a proud Bihari.

The middle-class son of a military father and a housewife mother, Anand studied engineering and hoped to become a fighter pilot. But his curiosity kept drawing him to the mounds of Nalanda. The grassy hillocks are rubble from the powerful Magadha empire, whose kings funded the world’s first Buddhist monasteries, more than two millennia ago. Anand began poring through early travellers’ accounts of his homeland’s largely forgotten past. His hero is Xuanzang, an adventurous Chinese monk who travelled to India, in the seventh century, to study the roots of Buddhism. Working as a pilgrimage interpreter and cultural consultant, Anand became an unlikely Buddhologist. An entry on his blog, announcing his purported discovery of Ratnagiri Rock, and citing a fifth-century Chinese monk named Faxian, contains paragraphs like this:

Anand has compiled hundreds of such waypoints in his Buddha-trail database. He is a keen admirer of his predecessors, the nineteenth-century British archeologists whose excavations proved that Buddhism was a South Asian idea. (Earlier scholars had maintained, based on curly-headed statues, that the Buddha was Ethiopian.) “The British were colonizers,” Anand said, “but they gave India the Buddha.”

“And they took everything they found away to London,” Agarwal, the river conservationist, said.

When we walked into a village called Lohjara, every household seemed to wave at Anand. He was hailed for pressuring the local police into investigating the theft of the village’s stone Buddha. The weathered statue, contemplating eternity in the lotus position, had been sitting in a local field for generations. In 2014, art thieves hefted the heavy sculpture into a car trunk and made off into the night. Two years later, acting on a tip, officers raided a nearby warehouse and found the Buddha packed for export. “We felt very bad those two years,” Rattan Pandey, a village elder, recalled. “We protested to the authorities to recover it immediately. We even blocked the roads.”

The restored Buddha was anchored with steel hoops beneath a village tree. The statue’s face was hacked off centuries ago, possibly by a Turkic soldier. Pandey worshipped the figure as Nakti Shiva, or Noseless Shiva, a mutilated version of the Hindu god.

We climbed the Jethian valley, plucking tart berries from jujube trees. According to the explorer-monk Xuanzan, a local man had tried to measure the Buddha’s height when he visited the place, but gauging the immense soul by any earthly means had proved impossible. In frustration, the skeptic had thrown down his bamboo yardstick—which sprouted to green life. Canebrakes still feathered Jethian’s high ravines. There were also faded village posters advertising Anand’s first effort at resuscitating the sacred landscapes of Bihar—a pilgrim’s walk organized with a charity from California.

A remote mountain road patrolled by rhesus monkeys led us to Rajgir, the former capital of the Magadha empire. The area was a bewildering Venn diagram of India’s singular spiritual history: Jain caves, Hindu temples, Muslim shrines, Ashokan stupas. Anand was well-known here, too. At Vulture’s Peak, a shrine where the Buddha taught his Heart Sutra—“Form is only emptiness, emptiness only form”—a crowd of touts, stevedores, rickshaw drivers, and cold-drink venders ringed Anand. They complained about being bullied by a pilgrimage mafia. He advised them to unionize.

On day four, we limped into Nalanda under clouds the color of polished lead. Anand showed us around. At its peak, Nalanda, in central Bihar, was the largest center of Buddhist learning in the world. It housed as many as ten thousand student monks. They argued about Buddhist doctrine and studied cosmology, astronomy, and art. Scores of villages nearby were dedicated to feeding resident scholars. Nalanda’s graduates helped carry Buddhism to Tibet and points along the Silk Road. “They used big mirrors to reflect light onto the Buddha statues inside temples,” Anand said, highlighting the monastic center’s architectural wonders.

But the manicured ruins felt comatose. Bhatia, the journalist, unfurled her colorful Tibetan pennant—the only touch of color on Nalanda’s barren squares.

How Buddhism ghosted away from its Indian source, between seven and nine centuries ago, remains one of the great mysteries in the history of religion. The Hindu nationalists now in power in New Delhi take an official stance: they insist that Muslim hordes from Central Asia—first Turkic invaders and later the Mughals—wiped out the pacifist Buddhists at sword-point. The general who razed Nalanda, Bakhtiyar Khalji, couldn’t even read the millions of Buddhist manuscripts he torched. But other scholars, Anand included, believe the reality is more complex. For centuries, Buddhism’s influence was waning in India. The monasteries created a brain drain, sapping innovation. The monks grew isolated from the people. Hinduism and Islam attracted more followers. It was as if Buddhism evanesced the same way that its master teacher did. The Buddha reputedly died, at age eighty, near what is today Kushinagar, in Uttar Pradesh. His ashes were taken from the scene of his life and scattered far across the Buddhist world.

According to some scriptures, the Buddha spent a week “walking a long way up and down in joy and ease” after attaining enlightenment. Our own little walking party sputtered to an end at the Nalanda bus stop. Bhatia left for Sikkim. Anand returned to his base, at Bodh Gaya. Only Agarwal and I slogged on—toward the Brahmaputra River. A dense ground fog hugged the fields, making navigation difficult. We stumbled along sodden canal trails. Crows appeared and vanished in the white. Anand had asked, before we parted, for endurance-walking advice. I’d forgotten to tell him that, on any long walk, he will get lost. And that being a little lost isn’t bad. It helps you stay awake. And being found is overrated.

Fear of Mob-Lynching Continues to Haunt Bihar

Source: newsclick.in

Patna: With incidents of mob violence rising during the last four days, the fear of mob-lynching has once again come to haunt Bihar. Over two dozen people, mostly the poorest of the poor, have been attacked and badly beaten up by mobs and at least two were lynched on suspicion of being child lifters in the state.

Mobs also attacked, thrashed and punished over half a dozen people in different places across the state on various charges, such as harassing girls and allegedly stealing mobile phones and other items.

The rise in such incidents is giving sleepless nights to top brass of the Bihar police. Taking serious note of the continuing mob violence, the police has so far arrested more than 40 accused and has appealed to people not to take law into their hands on the basis of mere suspicion or rumours.

Rumours have been spread about of child-lifters in Patna and other places and mostly the poor, such as beggars, vendors and physically challenged people have become the victims of mob violence.

At least two mentally-challenged middle-aged people were beaten to death and over a dozen injured in separate incidents of mob violence in Patna district alone in last two days. A man was lynched on Saturday night by a mob in Chulhaichak under Rupaspur police station and another man was beaten to death on Sunday by a mob at Kalichak village under Dhanarua police station. Both were lynched by a mob on suspicion of being child lifters.

Both the victims have not been identified by police so far.

Patna police officials admitted that more than one dozen incidents of mob violence have been reported in Patna in the past three days. “All the mob violence incidents are results of rumours about child lifters. Police have been trying to counter these baseless rumours to check and control mob violence” Patna senior superintendent of police Garima Malik said.

Malik told NewsClick that as most of the mob violence on the basis of rumours of child-lifters was being reported from rural areas near Patna, police have been asked to be on alert in  Danapur, Maner, Masaurih, Naubatpur and Punpun.

A senior police blamed social media for the spurt in rumours and resultant mob violence.

Since last Thursday, more than 20 cases of mob violence reported in Bihar. In some cases, mobs even attacked police teams that tried to rescue the victims.

On Saturday, two Sikh men from Haryana were badly beaten up by a mob on suspicion of being child lifters in Patna, before they were rescued by the police. Similarly, two youths were badly thrashed by a mob in Danapur near Patna on Saturday on similar suspicions.

Three beggars including two woman were thrashed on Sunday by a mob near Neema railway halt in Patna on suspicion of being child lifters. Timely arrival police saved them from being lynched by a mob of 200 villagers armed with traditional bamboo sticks.

An auto-rickshaw driver in heart of Patna was beaten by a mob on Sunday after some women raised alarm of suspected child lifter.

A youth was thrashed on Sunday evening by a mob in a village near Bodh Gaya in Gaya district for his alleged involvement in kidney racket. But police managed to rescue him. 

In another case, two minors were beaten up, their heads tonsured and faces blackened by a mob in a village in Saharsa district on last Thursday for alleged harassment of girls.

The rise in the number of mob violence incidents started after July 20 in Saran district, when three suspected cattle thieves were beaten to death in a village by a mob consisting of mostly youths.

The rise in mob lynching incidents have come as an embarrassment for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who claims to have brought ‘sushasan’ or good governance to Bihar. Especially, in rural Bihar, incidence of ‘mob justice’ have become common.

The failure on the part of the state government to punish people involved in street justice or mob rule is being seen as the main reason for encouraging people to deliver instant justice without fear.

Why religious tourism could be the next big bet for IndiGo

Source: cnbctv18.com

n 8th of August, IndiGo will launch services to Gaya – an in-significant thing to happen for an airline which has been growing at breakneck speed one may think. But Gaya does not feature in the top 50 airports in India by passengers and neither has it seen a sustained scheduled service in recent past. So what makes one look up to the flights to Gaya? It gives an indication of times to come for IndiGo and its focus on Kolkata as a gateway and connecting to India’s eastern neighbours and beyond.

Amidst the war of words in public and subsequent truce between the promoters of IndiGo , the airline seems to be silently pushing ahead with its renewed network plan with focus on religious tourism. IndiGo has time and again, in the last year, made its international ambitions public. Over 30 percent of its capacity growth in the last quarter has been on international routes. While the airline struggled to expand and maintain the Istanbul operations due to Pakistani airspace closure, the airline has tried making in-roads into markets of Jet Airways as the regulatory authorities initiated a re-allocation of seats to other carriers.

While the plan for flying to Gaya and connecting the city to Varanasi and Kolkata was announced a month ago, further phases of the plan seem to be taking shape – one flight at a time. The airline recently announced flights to Yangoon – the capital of Myanmar. Interestingly, the airline confirmed that the idea is to build a Buddhist circuit and attract traffic but it’s very first such connection is not seamless and would require a long layover at Kolkata both ways to travel between Gaya and Yangoon. The airline followed this with announcing the launch of flights to Hanoi from Kolkata.

Gaya is the gateway to Bodh Gaya — where Gautam Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. The temple complex is a world heritage site and attracts tourists from Japan, Mayanmar, Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Japan. Buddhism has four main pilgrimage sites — Lumbini in Nepal, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Kusinagara in India. With the launch of services to Gaya – IndiGo will operate to the nearest airports of all four — Kathmandu, Gaya, Varanasi and Gorakhpur respectively. Interestingly, except for Kathmandu — the other three have direct flights from Kolkata — its regional gateway.

How is it shaping out?

While numbers are hard to come by, anecdotal evidence suggests a large number of charters landing at Gaya for pilgrimage. Vietjet — the Vietnamese low cost carrier which has shied away from launching operations to India despite multiple announcements operates scheduled charter services to Gaya in pilgrimage season.

IndiGo already operates flights to Thailand from Kolkata and has announced flights to Myanmar, Vietnam and China. The only major market which is not yet announced from Kolkata is flights to Sri lanka. The current network will make Kolkata a transit hub for passengers who conglomerate there before proceeding to Gaya, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Kathmandu.

Even if the airline does not launch services to Kathmandu from Kolkata, the open border between Gorakhpur and Lumbini, Nepal does the trick from tourism perspective, helping IndiGo build the Buddhist circuit.

Will IndiGo benefit?

While Air India and Jet Airways in the past have connected religious sites, hardly any airline in India has tried building a network around religious tourism. Connecting tourism centric places is one thing and a international to domestic connection – completely another.

The numbers will take time to shore up and the airline will have to tweak timings, equipment and operations for time to tell how successful this experiment has been. The prolonged closure of Pakistani airspace seems to have motivated the airline to look-east and reduce the dependence on its hub at New Delhi — which became prone to increased flying times due to the airspace closure.

The de-risking strategy will also help get domestic connections from major metros which are connected to Kolkata with multiple daily flights. The lack of non-stop flights to most of the countries in the east including Myanmar and Vietnam — which are becoming popular with Indian tourist, would see a steady traffic potential of Indian tourists flying IndiGo via Kolkata.

Who benefits?

Kolkata is a level 3 airport by IATA standards. This means that the airport is congested and additional movements may not be possible. However, new destinations get priorities when slots are limited and to add to that IndiGo has built a formidable hub at Kolkata over the years, allowing it to cancel its own flights on domestic sectors to utilise the slots for additional international flights.

With an integrated terminal at Kolkata — the transfer from domestic to international and vice versa is relatively simpler than New Delhi — the airline’s primary hub.

What next?

The results will be known in another year’s time. The airline has the cash to sustain that period, but one doesn’t know if it has the patience to sustain that long. With a growth which is as fast as no other, the airline has pulled the plug on few flights in the past in a short span of time.

Rarely has an airline tried something as innovative as a full circuit on religious tourism and rarely has an airline been in a position to try that. With IndiGo being cash rich at the moment, this could well be the turning time.

May be the blessings of Buddha is what the airline needs to solve its internal issues and maintain its courteous, hassle free and on-time operations.

Now, Mukhyamantri Tirath Yatra Yojana to cover 7 more destinations

Source: millenniumpost.in

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Cabinet in its meeting on Tuesday, chaired by the Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal approved seven new destinations for Mukhyamantri Tirath Yatra Yojana. “In addition to the already functional five routes approved by the council of ministers earlier, the following seven routes are to be added to this scheme: Rameshwaram- Madurai, Tirupati, Dwarkadhish, Jagannath Puri-Konark-Bhubaneshwar, Shirdi, Ujjain and Bodh Gaya,” noted a statement from the government.

It has also been decided that in the existing Ajmer-Pushkar tour, Haldi Ghati destination will be added. “In addition to Three Tier AC Train, AC accommodation may also be provided wherever possible. Further, wherever yatris are required to be transported through buses, the same may be by 2X2 AC coaches wherever possible,” noted the statement.

The statement added that apart from the area MLA, any of the ministers in the Delhi Government and chairman, Tirth Yatra Vikas Samiti, Delhi government, may issue such a certificate irrespective of the constituency in which the applicant resides.

Earlier, the cabinet approved the Revenue Department’s proposal to begin the scheme titled Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana to enable 1,100 senior citizens from each Assembly Constituency per year to undertake free pilgrimages, the expenses for which will be borne by the government. It is proposed that a total of 77,000 pilgrims will be able to avail this facility every year. In case applicants won’t be able to undertake the pilgrimage, he/she has to provide intimation upto seven days before the travel date. Otherwise, he/she shall not be eligible to apply under this scheme again.

All application forms are available online and shall be filed online either through Office of Divisional Commissioner or office of respective MLA or office of Tirth Yatra Committee. The selection of pilgrims will be done through draw of lots and respective area MLA will have to certify the residents as belonging to Delhi. All other modalities will be specified in the final notification. “This son of yours will send you on at least one tirth yatra in your lifetime. Your government has done a lot of development work over the last four-and-a-half years, but sending our senior citizens on a tirth yatra is one of the closest things to my heart,” said Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal while launching the scheme earlier this month.

Manjhi in touch with NDA partner for Jharkhand polls

Source: deccanherald.com

Former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Sunday disclosed that his Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), a constituent of the opposition Mahagathbandhan in the state, would be contesting the upcoming Assembly polls in Jharkhand in collaboration with an NDA partner.

“Our talks with Ajsu is in the final stages. Seat sharing arrangements will be decided soon. We hope it will be mutually beneficial and there will be a seamless transfer of votes during elections”, Manjhi told PTI in Gaya, his native district.

Asked why he would not be contesting as part of the Mahagathbandhan in the neighbouring state, Manjhi said “HAM was never a part of the Mahagathbandhan in Jharkhand. We joined the coalition comprising Congress, RJD and others only for Bihar. Beyond the boundaries of the state, the alliance does not exist. So our move should not be seen as a betrayal”.

He also declined to comment as to whether he was in talks with leaders of the BJP, the senior NDA partner in Jharkhand, and added: “our alliance with Ajsu will be taking place mainly because of the personal friendship I have with its president Sudesh Mahto”.

He also denied that the development was a signal of his plans to return to the NDA in Bihar.

Manjhi had floated his own party after walking out of JD(U) in 2015 after he was asked to step down as chief minister to make way for the return of his political mentor Nitish Kumar.

The Mahadalit leader went on to contest the Assembly polls held later that year as an NDA constituent, but his party fared poorly as only Manjhi managed to win one of the two seats he had contested.

About six months after Kumar returned to the NDA in July 2017, Manjhi changed track and joined the Mahagathbandhan, which then comprised only the Congress and the RJD.

The RJD, which at present has the highest number of MLAs in Bihar, helped his son Santosh Manjhi get a berth in the legislative council.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Mahagathbandhan came to include Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP and Mukesh Sahni’s VIP and Manjhi initially threw a fit stating that his party should be given a share of seats that was greater than those of all alliance partners except the RJD.

He, however, relented and settled for only three – far less than the nine given to Congress and five to RLSP. At the hustings, his party lost all the seats including Gaya where he was pitted against a relative newcomer Vijay Manjhi.

Earlier, Manjhi toured the adjoining Nawada district where he came out in defence of Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan saying he must not resign though he should accept the demand for an apology over his remark about Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Rama Devi.

“When brothers and sisters, mothers and sons meet and plant a kiss by way of affection, the gesture is not seen as having sexual overtones. Azam Khan’s words are not being taken in the right spirit. I, therefore, hold the opinion that he need not resign but since all parties have objections he should tender an apology and be done with the matter.


Source: skymetweather.com

Intense rains have been lashing Bihar for almost the last three days. As reiterated by Skymet, the northern part of the state has been a witness to some real heavy downpour, while the remaining parts have recorded moderate amounts of rain.

If we take a look at the last 24-hour rainfall data available with Skymet from 8.30 am on Wednesday, several places in North Bihar like Supaul, Purnea, Muzaffarpur and Farbesganj have recorded 50.4 mm, 40 mm, 51.7 mm and 27 mm of rain, respectively.

The Monsoon Trough which was closer to the foothills of the state has been the vital weather system in giving heavy rains in the region. This Trough is now going to move down south due to which the intensity of rain will decrease in North Bihar and strengthen in South Bihar. Places like Gaya, Nawada, Munger and Aurangabad may observe some very good rain in the next 24 to 48 hours. However, for the remaining days of the month light to moderate rains will continue to be observed in most parts of the state.

If we look at the rainfall pattern in the month of July so far, some really good rains have helped Bihar in becoming rain surplus. The rainfall deficiency that stood at 41% by the end of June has been wiped out completely and the rainfall amount in the state is surplus today by 4%, which is only going to get better looking at the forecast of some more rain in the remaining days of the month.

Meanwhile, due to the build-up of strong Cumulonimbus clouds, strong lighting strikes have occurred causing 55 deaths in Bihar and neighbouring Jharkhand in the last 48 hours. According to reports, 43 deaths have been reported from Bihar alone.

How one phone call busted a Naxal operation in Bihar

Source: livemint.com

NEW DELHI: As floods knifed through Bihar and forces scrambled to aid rescue operations in the state, a telephone call on the afternoon of 22 July in the state’s Bodh Gaya district changed the order of the day: Naxals had infiltrated into the area and had orders to carry out a big operation against security forces.

It was that phone call which ultimately led to one of the biggest anti-Naxal operations in the area in recent years, on Thursday afternoon, leading to the Naxal camp being wiped out by security forces.

From that day on — even as the Central Reserve Police Force’s (CRPF) intelligence wing began to scramble for inputs, which came in abundance – even though it was business as usual, forces were sworn to complete secrecy over the upcoming operation.

“Intelligence Inputs by sources developed by CPRF had been pouring in since 22 July about presence of a Maoist squad in this area and therefore an operation was planned after corroboration of inputs with the assistant superintendent of police (ASP) of Operation in Gaya and Aurangabad, along with a combined team of CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) and the CRPF,” said a senior CRPF official, seeking anonymity.

With the Naxals’ new commander Basavraj already having lost one of his key men Madkam Hidma to an encounter earlier this week, the armed cadre of the Naxals had come prepped to inflict maximum damage, from neighbouring Chattisgarh.

“All these teams were inducted from different routes with utmost deception avoiding all possibilities that could have alerted the vigilant Maoists of our plan. Their activities in the area have been persistently tracked and monitored through recent operations,” the official quoted above added.

While tactical action teams of Indian security forces had been inducted in complete secrecy, amid incessant rains, they were stationed at the respective locations at the break of dawn on Thursday.

“The CoBRA Strike came in direct confrontation with the Maoist sentry stationed few meters away from a temporary makeshift camp. Although the Maoist sentry emptied his rifle magazine, trying to push back the advancing Commandos, they (commandos) tactfully managed to dodge his bullets, quickly flanking and encircling this temporary camp meanwhile engaging in retaliatory fire,” said another senior security force official, requesting anonymity.

By the afternoon of Thursday, a full gun battle had been raging between the security forces and Naxals in the area of Sathnadia Nallah of Chakkarbandha forest in Bodh Gaya.

“An Exchange of Fire erupted between the CoBRA Commandos and CPI Maoist cadres at approximately 12:30pm on Thursday afternoon near Chakkarbandha forest. After half hour of gun battle, Cobra commandos managed to overrun the camp of the Maoists without any harm or loss on their (CoBRA) side. Five IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were planted in the vicinity of this camp, which were safely diffused by troops,” said the CRPF official.

25-year-old man arrested for killing a person in Delhi six years ago

Source: mid-day.com

On Tuesday, a 25-year-old man was arrested from Bihar for allegedly killing a person in the national capital nearly six years ago. The accused, identified as Rahees Manjhi is a resident of Gaya in Bihar. The police had announced a reward of Rs 25,000 on information leading to his arrest.

According to a senior police officer, Rajesh was killed in the Mundka area on October 14, 2013. During the investigation, accused Upender and his relative Sajan Manjhi were arrested. Upender said that he, along with his nephew Rahees Manjhi and relative Sajan Manjhi, had killed Rajesh with a sharp-edged weapon after an altercation over liquor.

Police got a tip-off that Rahees had been hiding in Bihar. “Thereafter, a police team was sent to Gaya where they arrested Rahees from a jungle of Piyar village after a brief chase,” said Ram Gopal Naik, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime).

In another incident, three teenagers were arrested by Delhi Police for allegedly killing a 15-year-old boy for a smartphone. A missing report of a 15-year-old boy was registered on July 13, at Moti Nagar police station. The investigation to find the missing teenager was initiated.

In the meantime, the police received information about a boy’s body in an abandoned house in Delhi’s Basai Darapur area. After the police reached the spot along with the victim’s cousin, it was found to be the missing boy’s body.

Delhi Commissioner of Police (DCP) West, Monika Bhardawaj said in a statement, “The police team gathered the vital clues with the help of technical surveillance and CCTV footages installed in the locality. On the basis of discreet enquiries, three Children in Conflict with Law (CCLs) were apprehended.” She also added that during the interrogation all three of them confessed the crime.

Things we know happened in Busan aftermath of Typhoon Danas

Source: korea.stripes.com

Typhoon Danas ripped through the Korean peninsula this weekend leaving behind a path of destruction around Busan.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, the total average rainfall in Busan has reached 237.7mm from 7 am to 5 pm on the 21st.

Here’s what we know about the storm according to local media reports:

– No casualties were reported due to the storm in Busan but a 62-year-old man was reportedly found dead in a stream in Geochang, South Gyeongsang Province. Nine people were evacuated from a residential apartment complex.

– Busanjin-gu received the most rain in the city with 334mm among the districts in the city with Gijang-gun receiving the least at 190mm.

– Some roads in Dongnae, Oncheonchun and Geumjeong-gu are still under police control due to flooding and damage.

– The hill in front of the Yeondaebong Ecological Tunnel in Cheonseong-dong, Gangseo-gu collapsed, causing a mudslide on the road.

– Large potholes occurred at the Garakbonglim Underground Car Park in Gangseo-gu and the road to Cheil Jedang, opposite the Saha Police Station.

– Many building exteriors collapsed, including at Gaya market and a villa in the central Chuncheon district in Yeonje-gu.

– Electricity was cut-off in parts of U-Dong, Haeundae-gu for 15 minutes after a tree branch took out a power line.

– A mudslide washed down at an apartment complex in Umgang-dong, Sasang-gu, knocking down four trees at an apartment complex and destroying some flower beds.

– Local beaches were covered in garbage, plastics, seaweed and waste after large waves deposited them from the sea.

– 247 of the 326 flights expected to depart Gimhae International Airport were canceled. Most flights expected to land were also either delayed, diverted or canceled.