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Posts Tagged ‘Bihar’

Bihar prepares for Chhath

Patna, Nov 16 (IANS) Sobha Devi was one of the millions of devotees preparing for Chhath Puja Friday −− the annual Hindu festival which will start across Bihar and other parts of the country the next day.

Sobha Devi, who is in her early 40s, will fast, observe rituals and perform oblations to the sun god during the four−day festival which begins Saturday.
“I have bought a cotton sari, bamboo basket and other materials for rituals and prayers,” said Sobha Devi, who helps her husband Mahesh Prasad run a general store in the Bihar capital.
Another devotee Manju Singh here is also eager for Chhath to start.
“It is a festival of purity and devotion,” said the housewife from a posh locality here.
Chhath will began with ‘nahai−khai’. Devotees, mostly married women, will throng to river banks early in the morning for a ritualistic bath, before preparing the traditional meal of boiled rice and pumpkin.
This will be followed by ‘kharna’, when ‘kheer’ will be cooked and distributed among neighbours, friends and relatives.
During the festival, married women observe a fast for 36 hours and devotees offer wheat, milk, sugarcane, bananas and coconuts to the sun.
The Patna administration, along dozens of voluntary organisations, is working round−the−clock to clean and beautify the banks of the Ganga.
But high prices of fruits and vegetables have dampened some of the festive spirit in the city.
“We have bought less vegetables, fruits and milk for Chhath this year,” said Sobha Devi.

Protests in Patna over filthy Chhath ghats

Patna, Nov 14 (IANS) Hundreds of people took to the streets and blocked roads here Wednesday to protest against the pathetic condition of the ‘ghats’ (banks) along river Ganges ahead of Chhath – the most popular Hindu festival in the state, police said.

With less than a week to go for the four-day Chhath festival and no effort by the district administration to clean the filth and garbage collected at the ghats, people gathered on roads at Kurji, Digha and Durja (near the historic ‘Gol Ghar’ in central Patna) and raised anti-government slogans.
The Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank the Sun god for sustaining life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes. The rituals include bathing at the river ghats and standing waist-deep in water for long periods of time.
“It is shocking that the ghats are still dirty and yet to be cleaned. Their condition is pathetic,” Sunil Kumar Singh, a resident of Digha said.
Sunil said the ghats are littered with garbage and filth. Some ghats also face the problem of overflowing dirty drains.
Mukesh Yadav, another protester, said the condition of the ghats was bad due to accumulation of garbage and the failure of the administration to clean them.
“It is difficult to stand near the ghats due to the bad smell and dirty water and garbage littered all over,” Yadav said.
Guddu Baba, who leads a movement to clean the river, said the district administration has utterly failed to clean the ghats.
“It should be a matter of concern for the state government’s good governance claim that ghats are left at God’s mercy,” Baba said. “Administration has no time for cleaning of ghats,” he alleged.
The poor condition of the banks of the Ganges and its altered course that has taken the river kilometres away from the city has forced people to celebrate Chhath at small ponds and other make-shift arrangements.
Until a decade ago, Chhath was traditionally celebrated only at river banks. This exclusivity was affected when people began to move away from river banks due to pollution.
During the four-day festival that will begin later this week a large number of people – mostly married women – will throng the banks of rivers Ganga, Punpun, Gandak and Kosi as well as big and small water bodies to have a ritual bath before preparing vegetarian food at home.

Nitish, Lalu crackers missing this Diwali

Patna, Nov 13 (IANS) Bollywood stars have replaced Bihar’s politicians in the firecracker market in the state this Diwali.

Firecrackers named after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, former chief ministers Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi and former central minister Ram Vilas Paswan used to be hugely popular. They are now missing.
“This time firecrackers are named after Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Sonakshi Sinha. And they are selling like hot cakes,” said Tahir Ansari, a shopkeeper here.
Shamim Khan, another shopkeeper, also said that firecrackers named after political leaders have given space to Bollywood figures.

Four years on, Koda to miss Diwali with family

Ranchi, Nov 12 (IANS) Jailed former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda will miss celebrating Diwali with his family for the fourth year in a row.

“‘Diwali kya manayenge’ (How will I celebrate Diwali). Although the investigating agencies failed to find any evidence against me, I am still in jail. This year, too, I will celebrate Dilwai within the confines of the jail and not with my family,” Koda told reporters here Saturday while appearing in a court.
Koda is currently lodged in the Birsa Munda Central Jail here along with former ministers – Enos Ekka and Harinarayan Rai. One more former Jharkhand minister, Bhanu Pratap Sahi, will spend his Diwali in jail. All of them were jailed in various graft cases.

Koda, who was Jharkhand’s chief minister from September 2006 to August 2008, was arrested November 2009.
While the Central Bureau of Investigation is investigating various graft cases against him, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and income tax department are separately probing Koda’s involvement in a Rs.2,500-crore money laundering scam.
A Congress legislator, Sawna Lakra, is also lodged in the Ranchi jail in a murder case.

Permaul in line for debut as Windies, Bangladesh clash (Preview)

Dhaka, Nov 12 (IANS/CMC) Left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul could be in line for his international debut as the West Indies face Bangladesh in the opening Test of the two-match series starting in Mirpur here Tuesday.

The 23-year-old was a surprise choice for the series after being picked ahead of several other proven candidates but with the Windies seriously weighing the option of playing two spinners, he is being considered for the final eleven, CMC reports.
He would join wily off-spinner Sunil Narine in an attack that would be looking to exploit what are expected to be conditions friendly to slower bowlers at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium.
“We have a selector (Robert Haynes) on tour and we will meet later to discuss things further (on the final XI),” Sammy said here Sunday.
“We are tempted to play two spinners, particularly Veerasammy Permaul, since he was part of the HPC team that last month played here. He has done really well here, so he makes a strong case for a place in the side, but the selectors will have to decide what they feel is the best combination for us to win the Test.”
Permaul, the West Indies A skipper, excelled on the recent tour here, taking 21 wickets in all formats. Though without international experience, he is a seasoned campaigner in first class cricket, having taken 152 wickets at 24.59 apiece from 45 matches since his debut five years ago.
His inclusion would make for a novice spin attack as for all his promise, Narine has
never played in Bangladesh before and only has three Tests under his belt after making his debut last June against England.
If the Windies opt for two spinners, it means Sammy will share the new ball with perhaps Ravi Rampaul.
“It looks like a pitch on which you will have to be patient in the batting and the bowling, so it will be about consistency in the execution of the plans you put in place,” said Sammy.
The West Indies will enter the Test without any match practice after heavy rains left the BKSP ground in Savar unfit for play, forcing officials to scrap the three-day warm-up game, the only one scheduled before the Test series.
Sammy admitted this was a blow for the Windies but said the players had utilised the time in the nets to compensate for the lack of a match scenario.
“It is disappointing, but the same thing happened to us a few years ago in Sri Lanka. We still had some specific work which we were doing and this time it is no different.”
The West Indies, boasting the likes of prolific opener Chris Gayle, veteran left-hander
Shiv Chanderpaul and the in-form Marlon Samuels, are tipped to easily win the series against a Bangladesh side that have not played a Test in nearly a year.
Last year when the Caribbean side toured here, they won both the Test and one-day series by narrow margins but Sammy stressed while they would not take the Tigers for granted, they would be looking for emphatic results.
The squads:
Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Mahmudullah (vice captain), Tamim Iqbal, Zunaed Siddique, Shahriar Nafees, Shakib Al Hasan, Naeem Islam, Nazim Uddin, Nasir Hossain, Mohammed Elias, Shahadat Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Abul Hasan, Shohag Gazi.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Denesh Ramdin (vice captain), Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Fidel Edwards, Kirk Edwards, Assad Fudadin, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieran Powell, Ravi Rampaul, Marlon Samuels.

Sammy has done well in tough role, says Gayle

Dhaka, Nov 11 (IANS/CMC) West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle has given a strong endorsement of Darren Sammy’s captaincy, and says he expects him to continue to improve in the leadership role.

Sammy replaced Gayle as the West Indies captain in October 2010, a move by selectors that sparked widespread criticism and rigorous debate among pundits, reports CMC.
Gayle, who recently returned to the side after a 14-month exile, said Sammy had performed well in what had been a difficult role.
“He has bonded himself with the team for the last two years he has been captain,” Gayle told media here Saturday.
“He’s played a particular role in the last two years. It’s not an easy role being captain and we as senior players have to try and make his job as easy as possible. He has done well and in the last couple years (earlier this year) he has actually gotten a Test century which has been a big improvement from his personal point of view.”
He added: “(He’s been) doing well with the ball as well so as time goes on, he’ll actually progress and get to learn more and in the future be a better captain.”
Sammy has led a West Indies revival since his time in charge, leading the side to the Twenty20 World Cup triumph in Sri Lanka last month and to a comprehensive win in all formats when New Zealand toured the Caribbean during the summer.
Last year, the side reached the quarter-finals of the 50-over World Cup and also managed to hold Pakistan to a 1-1 draw in a two-Test series.

Gayle hopes T20 triumph inspires Windies Test form

Dhaka, Nov 11 (IANS/CMC) Talismanic West Indies opener Chris Gayle hopes the regional side can use their World Twenty20 success to inspire their form in the game’s longest form.

West Indies face Bangladesh in a two-Test series starting Tuesday in Mirpur and Gayle says the confidence from their triumph in Sri Lanka last month could go a long way in a revival of their Test fortunes, reports CMC.
“It felt good to be part of a World champion team and to achieve that particular milestone,” Gayle told reporters here Saturday.
“It is something that I can look back in the future and say I was a part of it. Hopefully, we can build on that success and do better in the longer format of the game.
“This has been our major challenge in the last few years. Hopefully, we can get things kick-started and make sure we do better in this Test series and the longer format of the game.”
Gayle missed the Windies trip to Bangladesh last year when the Caribbean side won the two-Test series 1-0, before taking the three-match one-day series 2-1. They went down in the one-off Twenty20 International.
Since then, West Indies have been strengthened by Gayle’s return and the inclusion of star off-spinner Sunil Narine, along with the impressive form of Marlon Samuels and veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul.
The Windies will carry the favourite tags heading into the series but Gayle said they would not be taking Bangladesh for granted.
“The players are just trying to fine-tune things now. We’ve had a camp and I’ve been hitting the ball pretty well, so we just want to get back into the middle and get back into the groove as quickly as possible,” Gayle noted.
“We are not going to take them lightly. They have got a lot of key players and they have a captain who leads from the front, so we are going to play like they were any other opponent.”

Jharkhand assembly winter session from Nov 30

Ranchi, Nov 10 (IANS) The Jharkhand assembly winter session will begin Nov 30, an official said here Saturday.

“The Jharkhand cabinet Saturday decided to convene the winter session of the assembly from Nov 30. The session will conclude on December 6,” cabinet secretary N.N. Pandey said.
“The cabinet also decided to hike the salary of the Jharkhand State Women’s Commission chairman to Rs.70,000 per month from Rs.25,000 per month. The members of the commission’s salary has been hiked to Rs.63,000 per month from Rs.22,000 per month.”

CPI-ML calls for ‘third alternative’

Patna, Nov 9 (IANS) The CPI-ML Friday called for a “third alternative” by left and democratic parties in Bihar and in the country.

“It is high time to work for a third alternative by left and democratic forces to UPA and NDA to provide a platform for the people,” Communist Party of India Marxist-Leninist general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said at a ‘Parivartan Rally’ at the historic Gandhi Maidan here.
Bhattacharya said the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) as well as opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) were involved in corruption and there was a necessity to form a third alternative.
“There is need for unity among left and democratic parties,” he said.
Upbeat with thousands of people, mostly poorest of the poor from rural areas attending the rally, Bhattacharya said CPI-ML would intensify its agitation against the policies of UPA’s central government and the NDA government in Bihar.

Sunil Narine ready to bowl on any pitch

Dhaka, Nov 9 (IANS/CMC) West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine says he is prepared to make adjustments if the pitches in the upcoming two-Test series against Bangladesh do not offer any assistance.

Conditions here are typically friendly to slower bowlers but reports indicate the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium pitch at Mirpur has been favourable to fast bowling during two recent domestic, first-class matches, CMC reports.
“There’s no type of pitch I prefer. I just have to concentrate on the areas in which I am bowling, continue working hard on my game, and focus on what my job is to do,” the wily 24-year-old said here Thursday.
“Any spinner would love to have some kind of assistance from the pitch, but if there is none, you always have to try and do something different. I have not set any goals, but I just have to give it my all.”
The West Indies face Bangladesh in the opening Test in Mirpur starting next Tuesday, before moving to Khulna for the second and final affair.
However, they will enter the series without match practice after the scheduled three-day tour match was reduced to two days before being cancelled because of wet conditions at the BKSP Ground in Savar.
Narine has played only three Tests but is expected to be a key member of the Windies attack. Coming off a solid series against New Zealand in the Caribbean back in July/August, he said he now possessed a clear understanding of what Test cricket required.
“I think it is just the mindset that you adopt and the way you go about what you are doing – just concentrate on the areas where you bowl,” the Trinidadian explained.
“I think you have to be far more consistent and have a lot more patience. Every game I take it as a new game. I think I will approach (the upcoming Tests) the way I approached the last games we played (against New Zealand), so I just have to concentrate and do what I am accustomed doing.”
He added: “We have been practising for the last two days and I already have a mindset, and I know what I am capable of doing, so it is just to deliver the goods for West Indies.”

Cops preparing database of foreign monasteries in Bodh Gaya

Patna, Nov 9 (IANS) Bihar Police are preparing a database of foreign monasteries and their guesthouses in Buddhism’s holy town Bodh Gaya to streamline safety and security, an official said Friday.

“We are collecting information to make a database of foreign monasteries and their guesthouses in Bodh Gaya. The process is aimed at providing better safety and security to them,” said Bodh Gaya police station chief T.N. Tiwari.
A district administration official in Gaya said the number of foreign monasteries and their guesthouses has been increasing and it was becoming difficult to keep track. “This is posing a problem for local authorities as they lack information about their location, the Buddhist monk who is in charge, their security and the inflow of tourists,” he said.
“Some new foreign monasteries have been set up outside Bodh Gaya town, mostly in villages around it in view of cheap land available,” he added.
According to the International Buddhist Council of India, Bodh Gaya chapter, there are 34 foreign monasteries, temples and other institutions in Bodh Gaya.
Bodh Gaya is Buddhism’s holiest town. It is the place where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment over 2,550 years ago, and the town is visited by thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year from India and abroad.
Last month, the security of the Mahabodhi temple that was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2002 was handed over to the special task force (STF) of Bihar Police in view of threats of a possible terrorist attack.

Jharkhand leaders visit Bihar’s violence-hit village

Patna, Nov 8 (IANS) A team of Jharkhand legislators led by a minister Thursday visited Bathsara village in Bihar’s Purnia district where three tribals were shot dead Nov 4 over a land dispute and demanded security for kin of those killed.

The group was headed by Jharkhand Health Minister Hemlal Murmu and included three legislators.
“We have visited the village and met family members of those killed over land dispute by some powerful people last week,” Hemlal Murmu told newspersons Thursday in Purnia.
Murmu said the team will prepare a report and it will be submitted to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. “We have demanded that the state government settle the old land dispute because tribals’ claims over land are genuine,” he said.
He said the killings of three tribals have shocked and frightened other tribals in the village and across Purnia.
“The government should initiate measures to provide safety and security to tribals in view of the violent incident,” Murmu said.
After Bihar’s bifurcation in 2000, the tribal population in the state now is a little over one percent of its 10.5 crore people.
The dispute is related to a huge chunk of 80 acres of land that were illegally purchased by a man named Sitaram Yadav, though many tribals claim they too worked on the land either as ‘bataidars’ (share-croppers) or had acquired rights on it.
The tribals were allegedly killed by goons of Yadav.
“The tribals had been engaged in a festering dispute with Yadav over the ownership of the land for long,” a police official said.

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