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Teen set ablaze for refusing to marry cousin
Banda (UP): A 16-year-old girl was set ablaze in Uttar Pradesh’s Hamirpur district, allegedly by her cousin for refusing to marry him, police said on Monday. The girl had gone out to attend nature’s call on Sunday evening in Jarakhar village when the cousin met her and started putting pressure on her to flee and get married, said Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Santosh Kumar Singh. When she refused, the accused poured kerosene on the girl and set her ablaze. The girl has suffered 50-per-cent burns and undergoing treatment at a hospital, the ASP said. A case has been registered on the complaint of the girl’s father and efforts are to nab the accused who is absconding, the officer added. (PTI)

Jharkhand declares drought in 18 districts
Ranchi: The Jharkhand government on Monday declared 129 blocks in 18 districts drought-affected and released Rs 49 crore for immediate relief, an official said. A communication in this regard has been sent to the central government asking for assistance, the Disaster Management official told IANS following a survey conducted by the Raghubar Das government. “Rs 49 crore have been sent to the affected districts to be used for drinking purposes, fodder for animals and help to farmers,” he added. The survey came after Chief Secretary Sudhir Tripathy conducted a meeting in October. As per the data, Jharkhand received 72 per cent average rainfall in 2018. However, at some places it was less than 50 per cent. The worst affected are Pakur and Koderma. Ranchi, Khunti, Gumla, Garhwa, Latehar, Dumka, Jamtara, Deoghar and others received more than 50 per cent but less than 75 per cent rainfall. The drastic lack of rainfall affected paddy sowing, which was less than 16 per cent of the average. According to the official, paddy sowing is done on 18 lakh hectares of land in the state. However, this year sowing took place only in 15.27 lakh hectares. The average rainfall in the state is 1,027.7 mm, but in 2018 it received only 741.9 mm. (IANS)

Mamata Banerjee’s biography hits shelves
Kolkata: A biography of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was released in bookstores across the country on Monday, an official of publishers Penguin India said. The biography was penned down by journalist Shutapa Pal, keeping the national readers in mind, the official said. The book, titled Didi: The Untold Mamata Banerjee, brings out the unique position the Trinamool Congress supremo has occupied in Indian politics and establishes her as a national figure. Describing Banerjee as one of the country’s toughest women, the book explores her unique style of politics, her struggles and achievements, starting from her days in college politics to defeating the formidable over-three decades-old Left Front government in West Bengal in 2011. It also explores the role she is expected to play in the 2019 parliamentary polls. (PTI)

Play postponed at AMU after posters depict India map wrongly
Aligarh (UP): A controversy over the display of a map of India, with parts of Jammu and Kashmir missing, stalled the staging of a play on the country’s partition at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) here, authorities said. The play, penned by famous Hindi playwright Asghar Wajahat and scheduled for Sunday evening at the AMU drama club, was put off after objection was raised over its publicity posters carrying the erroneous map. The matter came to light a day earlier when Manvendra Singh, the vice-president of BJP’s Brij Prant regional committee, pointed out that the posters carried an erroneous map of India without portions of Jammu and Kashmir. Left red-faced, AMU authorities immediately pulled out all posters and issued notices to staff associated with the drama club. AMU spokesman Prof Shafey Kidwai said the president of the drama club Dr Vibha Sharma and Abdul Mannan of the cultural education centre have been asked to submit their response on this matter. Kidwai told PTI that the play titled Jissay Lahore Nahin Dikhya — has been performed in many countries of the world but banned in Pakistan after protests by Muslim hardliners. The play, he said, highlights the tragedy of the partition of India and makes a strong plea for cross cultural bonds of undivided India. (PTI)

Four people laundering clothes killed in central Delhi fire
New Delhi: Four people were killed on Monday in a fire incident at a factory in central Delhi after one of them, a man of heavy build, got stuck at the exit door while escaping the building and blocked the route for others, firefighters said. Delhi Fire Service (DFS) officials said the fire started at 12.23 pm in Beadonpura area in Karol Bagh after a solvent used for laundering clothes spilled out on the floor accidentally. The DFS had received a call that a fire has broken out at a house but when firefighters reached the spot, they found the victims were involved in laundering clothes, said an official. He said the victims were about to steam iron clothes and were putting solvent in a container when it spilled on the floor and came in contact with the steam iron triggering the fire. A heavily-built man, who was sitting near the door, tried to get out of the exit door and got stuck. This blocked the route for others who were inside the building, the officer added. (PTI)

Rahul sends Israeli banana saplings for Amethi farmers
Lucknow: If the BJP is wooing the electorate in the Congress citadel of Amethi through frequent visits by its Union minister Smriti Irani, local MP Rahul Gandhi has kept his promise to local farmers, sending Israeli banana saplings for them. “The local farmers had met their MP during his last visit and talked about scope of cultivating bananas in the area after which the party president has sent 40,000 banana saplings for them,” Congress spokesman Anshu Awasthi told PTI. These saplings of G-9 variety have been brought here from Israel and are said to be high yielding, Awasthi said, adding that the responsibility of their distribution among the farmers has been given to the head of ‘Khetihar Mazdoor Congress’ , Anil Shukla. “This is not the first time that the local MP has taken care of the needs of the electorate whom he considers as his family,” Awasthi said. The distribution of these saplings, which commenced on Indira Gandhi’s birth anniversary, would continue till December 9, the birthday of Sonia Gandhi. (PTI)

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