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Big cat count in Odisha, Maoist causing inconvenience

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New Delhi: With the beginning of February, the Odisha government is all set to began its ‘big cat count’ while the authorities plan to skip the Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary that has lately turned into a hot-bed for the Maoist.

The tiger censusin the sanctuary, in Nuapada district, has not been conducted since 2004 after it became a part of the Red Corridor. The sanctuary, accorded in-principle status as tiger reserve by the centre in 2014, is spread over 600 sq km but has still failed to attract wildlife enthusiasts and tourists due to the fear of ultras, who have killed several people, including forest guards and police officers in and around the reserve.

With the presence of central security forces, the government is, however, hopeful this time to conduct a census and combat the Maoist menace.

“We are hopeful of conducting the tiger census this time. There is the presence of central forces besides police forces. If any untoward incidents occur, we may skip the counting. But as of now, we are certain to go for the counting,” said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) S S Srivastav.

Sunabeda was home to 32 tigers and 36 leopards, according to the 2004 tiger census. The current number is unknown since there was no count in 2010. Same was the situation in 2014 and no census was conducted even though the Wildlife Institute of India had done so in the Similipal and Salkosia tiger reserves.

Sunabeda, 1983 declared sanctuary, not only the home of tigers also provides shelter to hyenas, baring deer, chital, gaur, sambar, sloth bear, hill myna, pea fowl, partridge and a number of reptilian species.

Officials accept, the funds allotted for the preservation of the big cats is not being utilized properly due to the fear of the ultras.

Forest department sources said the presence of Maoists in the sanctuary first came to light in 2008 when the rebels started holding motivational meetings in villages of the region. In subsequent years, they started targeting local leaders, wildlife and forest officials.

The guerrillas have also destroyed government infrastructure. Sources revealed that the first major violence by the guerrillas was reported in May 2012 when they ambushed a police party and killed nine policemen, including an additional superintendent of police, inside the sanctuary.

At present, the CRPF troopers and Cobra (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) personnel have been deployed at Barkot, Jamgaon, Sunabeda and Soseng villages in the region.

Sources in the forest department also said there has been a constant fall in the number of visitors owing to the Maoist menace. The department recorded 22,000 footfalls between 2001 and 2005. The figure dipped to 2009 between 2006 and 2009. In 2010 and 2011, only 815 tourists visited the place. No tourist has visited the area since 2012.

Only 28 tigers have been reported in the state according to The All India Tiger Estimation Report-2014, which the Odisha forest department refused to buy and decided to conduct its own counting, hoping to find 60 animals in the state.

“We do not accept the report which put the number of tigers at 28. The report was only based on the data from the Similipal National Park. It did not take into account the tigers in other forests like Atgarh and Kuldhia. The number of big cats in the state would be around 60,” said Srivastava.(IANS)

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Do You Know there are only two Leaning Temples in The World? Visit the Leaning Temple of Huma in Sambalpur

Huma is about 23 kms towards the southern direction of Sambalpur, Odisha. and is connected with Sambalpur and other cities of Orissa by road. The temple is situated inside the village of Huma.

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Leaning Temple
The Leaning Temple of Huma. Wikimedia.

The famous Leaning Temple of Huma built in 1670 AD is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is one of the only two leaning temples in the world. It was constructed by the ruler, Baliar Singh, the 5th ruler of the kingdom of Chauhan of Sambalpur, Odisha, India. The speciality of this temple is it’s structure skewed to one direction.

Reason Behind its Tilted Structure:

It is regarded that the reason for its tilted structure could be some interior dismounting of rocky bed at which this temple is positioned, either because of flood current inside the Mahanadi River or earthquake, thereby affecting the position of this original temple.  An interesting fact to be noted is that the other little temples inside the Hamlet are also tilted to various other directions.

The finest time to visit this leaning temple is October to March. Enshrine your spirituality during these months and celebrate the festive season in the town of Sambalpur, Odisha. Shivratri is believed to be the chief festival of this temple. Hence, it advances a huge gathering specially during Shivratri festival during March. You may also find ‘Kudo’ fishes on the bank of river Mahanadi near the temple who are given food by devotees as a part of the worship.

Leaning Temple
The Leaning Temple of Huma. Wikimedia.

How to Reach the Leaning Temple of Huma:

By Road – Huma is about 23 kms towards the southern direction of Sambalpur, Odisha. and is connected with Sambalpur and other cities of Orissa by road. The temple is situated inside the village of Huma.

By Rail – Sambalpur railway station is the closest station from Huma. You may find taxis and cabs to drop you 23 kms towards the temple of Huma.

By Air – Bhubaneshwar is the closest airport to Huma which is approximately 290 ms away from Huma. Catch a taxi or cab to drop you at the exact destination.

Leaning Temple
Huma Leaning Temple is one of the two leaning temples of the world. Wikimedia.

Where to stay:

There are various hotels nearby the temple at affordable prices presenting the pleasant view of the outside village.

-Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana 

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Rajkummar Rao is India’s ‘Newton’: Watch Trailer and Latest Updates | Hindi Movie News

From the very first glimpse, Rajkummar Rao in and as Newton makes the trailer appear extremely promising

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Newton
Like Newton's law, Rajkummar Rao's character in this film also attempts to find order in chaos. Twitter
  • Rajkummar Rao starrer-Newton draws attention to the clan of Indians who do not vote during elections
  • The film strikes a balance between humor and the urge to tell the real story of the group of Indians who choose not to participate in the decision-making process
  • Newton will have a theatrical release on September 22

New Delhi, August 30, 2017: In the beginning, the name “Newton” may stir thoughts about the great Scientist and his philosophies, but one you get a glimpse of the trailer, you will understand that Rajkummar Rao starrer “Newton” is a dark political comedy going by the simple rule “If you don’t change nothing, nothing will change.”

From the very first glimpse, Rajkummar Rao in and as Newton makes the trailer appear extremely promising.

Imagine sitting in a remote village somewhere in Chhattisgarh, far beyond the reach of technology and any worldly interference.

Imagine being surrounded by impassive villagers on one end and Maoists and police forces on the other, with both competing for cooperation and power among local people.

Now, what if you were to conduct election voting in such a scenario?

The Maoists would want the villagers to boycott the elections.

As per the trailer, this film is about the people living in villages, who hardly have any idea about exercising their right to vote, and showcases various shades of human emotions blended with humor.

Newton, a political satire starring Rajkummar Rao in a titular role, tells the story of an oddball named Nutan Kumar who is a stickler for rules and principles- this is revealed from the very first frame of the trailer when he refuses to marry an underage girl.

ALSO WATCH:  “Newton” Trailer Starring “Rajkummar Rao”  

The film is an intimate portrait of a government clerk with the single-minded agenda to conduct free and fair elections in a village riddled with conflict in Chhattisgarh. However, amidst violent clashes between Maoist guerrilla armies and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans, Newton is exposed to a bigger problem- villagers who are not aware of their “right to vote”.

ALSO READ: Bollywood Film “Pink” focuses on India’s Struggle with sexual violence against Women

The film reflects an underlying social problem of the contemporary Indian society- the unrelenting saga of ignorant citizens who do not exercise their voting rights; of people who cannot make sense out of elections and those who deem it unnecessary and treat it like a joke.

What Inspired ‘Newton’ ?

In an interview with LiveMint in January, writer-director Amit Masurkar had said “the only day people feel powerful and really a part of the democratic process is Election Day: regardless of caste, gender, religion” which prompted him to make Newton.

The young director drew inspiration from the Indian Constitution and its Preamble. According to him, these are great documents but there exists an inherent gap between the virtues upheld in the Constitution and the reality of India that could make for quality cinema.

In another interview, Masurkar said, “the humor is incidental and the subject is serious. Some may find elements of a thriller. I would call it a ‘dramedy’.”

Newton Gives Hope To Bollywood

Newton comes at a time when Bollywood is slowly transitioning towards impactful cinema. With films like Nil Battey Sannata and Toilet : Ek Prem Katha, that lend support to adult literacy, and Clean India campaign respectively, ‘Newton’ also aims to impart awareness, however of a different kind. It belongs to the selective category of cinema that entertains yet provokes a viewer to reflect on what he saw, even long after the film has ended. 

The film very conveniently aims to give a wake-up call to everybody who considers voting as an insignificant activity. The trailer exposes how people in villages fail to exercise this right due to deep-embedded fear and hence, continue to stay defenseless.

With Rajkummar Rao’s words echoing in your ears “If you don’t change nothing, nothing will change”, the trailer comes as a gentle reminder that the power lies right in our hands.

The trailer looks quite promising and the film is all set to release on September 22.


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Woman IAS officer Gauri Parashar Joshi saved Panchkula when Local Police Ran Away

When violence escalated, Gauri Parashar Joshi went to her office, issued an order to hand over the situation to the Army that helped to reduce the chaos of the situation.  

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Panchkula Voilence
Panchkula Voilence. VOA
  • Gauri Parasher Joshi tackled the ruckus caused by Dera followers
  • She didn’t flee from there even when her clothes got torn and had injuries
  • Had the Army not come in, the residential area would have seen the unprecedented devastation

Panchkula, Haryana, August 28, 2017: Haryana Police ran away from the spot, leaving innocent people in danger when violence caused by Dera followers increased. This happened after the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on 25 August 2017.

It was then Gauri Parasher Joshi, Panchkula Deputy Commissioner, IAS officer took matters in her hand to tackle the ruckus caused by Dera followers. When she was trying to calm down the agitators, police guards fled the spot as soon as they saw an angry mob of Dera followers who were coming to attack with stones, sticks.

Also Read: RapistRamRahim: Kamlesh Kumar from Rajasthan Lost his Wife at Dera 2 Years Back

Soon violence increased, but she didn’t flee from there even when her clothes got torn and had injuries. She took a wise decision, went to her office along with a PSO and issued an order by which the situation was handed over to the Army. This was a clever move as it helped to avoid further damage in the situation.

A local expressed his disappointment over the cowardly act of the local police.  According to Economic Times report, Satinder Nangia, a local from Panchkula said “Had the Army not come in, the residential area would have seen the unprecedented devastation. We have been serving the local police with tea and biscuits for last few days, but the moment the Dera followers went on a rampage the local police was the first to run.”  It was the Army which prevented further deterioration of the area.

Also Read: Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Being Treated As Ordinary Prisoner, Clarifies Haryana DGP (Jails)

Gauri Parasher Joshi reached home at wee hours, around 3 am but she went home after going around, checking every place with possible danger in the city and thus making sure that the situation was under control and rioters were not causing any more trouble.

She has served in Kalahandi, the Naxal-affected district in Odisha in the past and may be that helped her in tackling the situation with such competence.Betty Nangia praised the efforts of Joshi, “It’s time the patriarchal state, with abysmally low sex ratio, looks up to such woman and take a lesson or two.” She was disturbed as she witnessed the Army men shooting two Dera followers who were at close proximity from her house, as the locals tried to enter their homes in panic.  We need more woman IAS officers like Gauri Parasher Joshi.


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
Click here- www.newsgram.com/donate