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PAGES 12 & 13
Tiger Express flagged off
RAILWAY minister Suresh Prabhu
flagged off the inaugural run of the
Tiger Trail Circuit Train on World
Environment Day and promised
more such initiatives to highlight
the importance of the environment
trains, such as
The Tiger Trail
with a five to
six nights itiner-
ary will start
way Station and
take guests to the world-famous
Bandhavgarh and Kanha National
Parks, as well as to Dhuandhar Wa-
terfall in Bhedaghat near Jabalpur.
Visa allowed for yoga
THE Indian government is
including “attending a short term
yoga programme” in the list of
permissible activities under the
tourist and e-tourist visas.
Currently, a tourist visa is granted
to a foreigner whose objective
of visiting India is recreation,
sightseeing and casual visit to
meet friends or relatives, while
an e-tourist visa is also given to
those on a short duration medical
treatment and casual business visit.
Water tourism in Madhya
THE Madhya Pradesh Tourism
Development Corporation is
planning to introduce water tourism
to woo tourists to the state.
Houseboat rides will start in
Hanumantiya, located in the
reservoir of Indira Sagar Dam on
Narmada river and boat rides will
be available between Tawa resort,
on the Tawa river in Hoshangabad
district, and Madhai resort in
Satpura National Park.
The corporation is also planning
to run a mini-cruise liner, which will
start from Barwani on the banks of
Narmada river to Sardar Sarovar
in Gujarat — a distance of about
Navy to harness solar, ocean
IN A bid to reduce carbon footprint,
the Indian Navy has set a target of
producing 21MW of solar power
and is looking at tapping ocean
power. Generation of the 21MW of
solar power will be implemented in
According to a statement, the
navy has pledged to use 1.5 per
cent of its work budget for gen-
erating renewable energy. It also
said that solar projects are being
undertaken at various naval stations
while those with scarce available
land, have resorted to deploying
rooftop solar panels.
Market yards for HP farmers
MARKET yards and small vegetable
collection centres are being set up
across Himachal Pradesh to help
farmers market their produce.
The government is also
emphasising on marketing produce
through cold stores and fruit
vegetable yards. Efforts to enhance
agriculture production have brought
satisfactory results with grain
production reaching a high of 16.74
lakh tonnes in 2014-15.
The state also produced 1.81 lakh
tonnes of potatoes in the same year.
A provision of Rs482 crores has
been made in the state’s budget in
this fiscal year for promoting off-
season crops, especially vegetables.
Goa’s Church of Santa Monica
ASIA’s first and largest convent
— the 450-year-old Church of
Santa Monica in Old Goa — will be
opened to the public on June 10,
after years of restoration work.
The state-protected monument
has been restored by the Museum
of Christian Art Goa with financial
assistance from the Goa Directorate
of Archives and Archaeology.
The renovation was needed as
the church’s altars, crucifix, statues,
paintings and other art objects had
worn out over the years. The state
government had provided a grant of
Rs1.3 crores in two phases for the
More women in Tamil Nadu
HALF of 1.32 lakh posts in mu-
nicipal corporations, municipalities,
town panchayats and panchayats in
Tamil Nadu will be represented by
women, an increase from the cur-
The state government has noti-
fied the law promising 50 per cent
reservation for women in all local
bodies. The legislation was passed in
the last assembly on Feb 27.
Fall in number of beggars
THE number of beggars has shown
a 41 per cent decline in 10 years
between 2001 and 2011, with
Hindus and Muslims making up
most of the numbers. They form
97 per cent of the beggars in the
According to Census 2011 fig-
ures, there were 3.72 lakh beggars
in India, which is a drop from 6.30
lakh recorded in 2001. The number
of beggars in the age group of five
to 14 showed most improvement
from 82,615 to 34,736 — a 58 per
A.R. Rahman and Virat Kohli team up
SINGER-composer A.R. Rahman and cricketer Virat Kohli
(above) will work together to compose the official anthem for
the inaugural season of the Premier Futsal League, which will be
launched on July 15. This is the first time Rahman is lending his
musical talent to a franchise-based sport league in India.
The anthem, titled Naam Hai Futsal, will be released with
a video featuring Kohli. He said: “I have been a fan of A.R.
Rahman for years. It will be a personal achievement and also a
privilege to share the screen with him and lend my voice to the
anthem of Premier Futsal.”
June 10, 2016
After the police raid... A fire (left) rages after clashes between police
and encroachers who were being evicted from Jawaharbagh in
Mathura. Vehicles (above) that were torched during the clashes.
Eviction of little
occupying 300 acres
of government land
in Mathura ends
in 24 deaths
HE radical group of squatters
behind the deadly violence
in Mathura on June 2 claims
loyalty to Indian freedom fighter
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and
wants to alter the political and eco-
nomic landscape of India.
But deep down, its ambition
primarily was to grab government-
owned prime real estate in Mathu-
ra, a city considered holy to the
Hindus, and create an empire of its
own in the growing market-mix of
politics and sprituality.
The ragtag army of the little
known Swadheen Bharat Subhas
Sena, allegedly led by Ram Vriksha
Singh Yadav, a disciple of Mathura-
based Tulsidas Maharaj also known
as Jai Gurudev, had been occupy-
ing Mathura’s sprawling 300-acre
Jawaharbagh since January 2014.
The group, which calls itself
“satyagrahis”, began camping in
the park on the pretext of staging
In 2014, the group began a march
from Sagar in Madhya Pradesh to
Delhi. Its bizarre demands includ-
ed the establishment of an Azad
Hind government, cancellation of
elections of president and prime
minister and devalutation of cur-
The group traveled through
various states including Gujarat,
West Bengal, Maharashtra
and Odisha to reach Uttar
Pradesh where they settled
at the Jawaharbagh.
The rallyists were denied
permission to move on to
Delhi but were allowed to
hold the demonstration
at the park — which once
had thousands of mango,
gooseberry, and berry trees
— but only for two days.
They, however, stayed
on and encroached on the
park for two years, dur-
ing which they felled the
trees to facilitate the shanty town
of thousands of protesters from
eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,
Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.
According to police, there were
3,000 of them living inside the
park where their leader Ram Vrik-
sha Singh Yadav, who is now un-
traceable, ran a “parallel govern-
ment”, amassing a huge cache of
arms and ammunition.
Police claimed to have recovered
some 47 country-made pistols, six
rifles and 178 live cartridges from
the park after the bloodshed on
June 2 saw 24 people, including
a superintendent of police and 22
A police officer told IANS that
the squatters had also managed to
tap electricity and water connec-
tions illegally and had built toilets
by destroying pavements. He said
they would pick fights with any
outsider trying to enter the park.
All this was happening right
under the nose of the authorities.
The district magistrate’s office and
the police line complex are just a
stone’s throw from the park.
Ram Vriksha Singh Yadav, the
cult leader on the run, is a known
disciple of Jai Gurudev who was
said to have left behind a Rs
2,000-crore empire after his death.
This sparked a leadership tussle
between three claimants — Ram
Vriksha Singh Yadav, Pankaj Yadav
and Umakant Tiwari.
The empire included land worth
Rs4,000 crores, a school and a pet-
rol station in Mathura,
all in the name of the
“Jai Gurudev Trust”.
His fleet of luxury
cars included Plym-
ouths, Mercedes Benzs,
Skodas and BMWs.
Pankaj Yadav won
the battle, and Ram
Vriksha Singh Yadav
fell out with him and
led his own faction of
Gurudev followers to
create another empire
on the grabbed govern-
In the last two years,
he became so powerful that even
the administration could not touch
him and get the park vacated.
He even allegedly held hostage a
government officer who had gone
to inquire about the group inside
the slum-like cluster of semi-per-
The group demanded the rule
book of Subhas Chandra Bose’s
Indian National Army to be treat-
ed as the law of the land and used
for governance in the country.
They wanted the currency notes
used by Azad Hind Fauj, or the In-
dian National Army which fought
the British Empire with the Japa-
nese help, to be printed again with
Bose’s name and brought back
They wanted petrol and diesel to
be priced at Rs1 a litre, and above
all the park to be handed over to
None of that happened.
When the police moved in to end
the 30-month old “revolution”
they were showered with bullets.
Some 250 of the squatters were ar-
rested, and the rest ran away.
Indo-Asian News Service
Leaderless... Members of the sect said
to have been living illegally in the park
look on after they were evicted.
June 10, 2016
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