Monday November 19, 2018
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RTI activist hacked to death by henchmen of a village head in UP

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Lucknow:  An RTI activist was on Saturday hacked to death by henchmen of a village head in Bahraich,  police said.

The activist was rushed to a medical facility by his friends and family members but he could not be saved.

The village head was arrested after a police complaint was filed, a police official said.

According to police, the incident took place in Hardi Gaura village where RTI activist Guru Prasad had sought information on some development work initiated by village head Triloki Nath.

Incensed at this, the village head with some of his supporters barged into his house and attacked him with pickaxes, sticks and some other sharp-edged weapons, police said.

They left him badly injured and fled the crime scene.

Guru’s son Vijay and daughter Rinki were also injured in the assault.

The activist’s body has been sent for post-mortem examination and police have filed a first information report (FIR) against Triloki Nath and his men, after which the village head was arrested.

Former BJP state president Surya Pratap Shahi termed it “another example of the lawlessness in the state”.

“The fact that the tragedy took place just a few days after a journalist was burnt alive at the behest of a state minister, and another journalist was shot dead in Kanpur speaks volumes of the jungle-raj in the state,” the BJP leader told IANS.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) state spokesman Vaibhav Maheshwari said senior party leader Sanjay Singh will be visiting the village on Monday.

A statewide protest will be organised by the AAP on June 16 against the ‘hooliganism’ taking place under the Akhilesh Yadav government. (IANS)

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India Begins Its Election Season With Five States

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh.

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India began on Monday the first of five state elections to be held in coming weeks, important tests for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he plots a course that he hopes will ensure him victory in a general election due by May.

Voters in the central state of Chhattisgarh went to the polls on Monday to elect representatives for 18 of the state assembly’s 90 seats in a staggered poll complicated by logistical problems and left-wing guerrillas.

The state of about 26 million people has been ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2003, and he will be hoping to hold on to power.

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“Some unholy people have handed guns to children who should have pens in their hands,” Modi told a rally in the state on Friday, referring to the rag-tag guerrillas battling government forces from forest hideouts. “They’ve finished the lives of our tribal children.”

Hundreds of election workers had to be flown in to remote polling stations by helicopter because of the danger posed by the rebels.

Modi called for voters to back his BJP and its vision of “development for all.”

The final phase of voting in Chhattisgarh, which is known for its coal, iron ore and bauxite reserves, will be on Nov. 20.

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The BJP was the preference of about 43 percent of voters in Chhattisgarh, 7 percentage points ahead of the main opposition Congress party, according to a survey released last week by the Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Modi’s other big tests will be in the neighboring central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is slightly ahead of Congress, according to polls, and in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, where Congress is expected to emerge victorious.

A good performance by the BJP in the elections would help it deflect growing criticism over unemployment and a crisis in the countryside over falling farm prices and wages.

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Elections will also be held for assemblies in Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh, including Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu priest and the BJP chief minister in Uttar Pradesh state.

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Adityanath has been appealing to the BJP’s Hindu-nationalist base and on Sunday accused the opposition of blocking construction of a temple for Hindu god Ram on a disputed site in Uttar Pradesh.

The destruction of a mosque on the site by a Hindu mob in 1992 sparked deadly riots across the country. (VOA)