High court admits suit against appointment of cabinet secretary

Allahabad-High-CourtLucknow, Dec 24 : Admitting a long pending writ petition against the creation of the post of cabinet secretary, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Thursday issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government.

A division bench headed by senior judge Justice Pradeep Kant has given four weeks time to the respondents to file their reply, and thereafter two weeks to the petitioners to file their reply.

The case has been posted for hearing in February.

Train hits truck at unmanned crossing in Uttar Pradesh

Train hits truck at unmanned crossing in Uttar PradeshLucknow, Dec 24 : An engine of a passenger train caught fire when it hit a truck carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders at an unmanned railway crossing Thursday in Uttar Pradesh's Farrukhabad district. No one, barring the truck driver, was injured, an official said.

"It could have turned into a major accident, but with god's grace only a few of the 100 cylinders kept in the truck exploded after the crash," Government Railway Police Inspector Jaiveer Singh told reporters in Farrukhabad, some 300 km from here.

Five-foot-tall candle for Christmas

Five-foot-tall candle for ChristmasLucknow, Dec 24 : A five-foot-tall candle, weighing nearly 10 kg, prepared by an Uttar Pradesh resident, will definitely light up the festive celebrations for Christmas.

Naveen Kumar of Badaun district, some 250 km from Lucknow, has come up with a unique wax candle prepared exclusively for celebrating Christmas.

"People not only from my locality, but also from other areas of the district are thronging my home in the civil lines locality to see the unique candle I have prepared for the festival," Kumar told reporters Thursday in Badaun.

Crorepati clerks in Uttar Pradesh government

Crorepati clerks in Uttar Pradesh governmentLucknow, Dec 24 : Uttar Pradesh is notorious for its affluent politicians and bureaucrats. Now a new report by the state vigilance department says even clerks in the state government have been found owning assets far beyond their known and legitimate sources of income.

According to the report, "as many as 364 clerks have been identified as 'crorepatis' (multi-millionaires) at the state headquarters alone".

A senior vigilance official told IANS Thursday that "the list of these clerks would shortly be submitted to higher-ups for suitable action".

Girl dies after being beaten by teacher

Girl dies after being beaten by teacherLucknow, Dec 24 - A teacher of a government-run primary school in Uttar Pradesh's Auraiya district has been arrested after he allegedly beat up a seven-year-old girl student who died after she succumbed to her injuries, police said Thursday.

Amar Singh Guatam, a teacher at Sarikhat Primary Pathshala in Auraiya district, allegedly thrashed class three student Akansha for not bringing her Hindi textbook.

Asaram Bapu victimised, says VHP's Singhal

Asaram BapuLucknow, Dec 23 : Vishwa Hindu Parishad's (VHP) international president Ashok Singhal Wednesday accused the police of conspiring against self-styled spiritual guru Asaram Bapu, facing charges of paedophilia and child abuse, and demanded immediate removal of the Gujarat police chief.

"Asaram Bapu is being victimized. The saints would not tolerate it at any cost and will take to the streets if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Gujarat fails to take action against the DGP (Director General of Police S. S. Khandawawala)," Singhal told reporters in Allahabad, some 200 km from Lucknow.

Three BSP men held for rape in Uttar Pradesh

Three BSP men held for rape in Uttar Pradesh Lucknow, Dec 23 : Three leaders of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) were arrested for allegedly raping a 30-year-old woman in Uttar Pradesh's Bareilly district, police said Wednesday.

Lokpal, Pyare Lal and Vinay Gautam were arrested from the Baradari area, some 200 km from Lucknow.

While Lokpal is the chairman of the BSP's Nawabganj assembly unit, Lal was its former chairman and Gautam is a functionary of the party at the district level, police said.

Mobile booths outside schools to offer healthy milk products

Lucknow, Dec 23 - Lucknow Milk Producers Co-operative Union (LMPCU), Uttar Pradesh's largest dairy organisation, will offer "healthy milk products" to children by opening mobile booths outside schools and educational institutions.

The organisation aims to provide children a healthier alternative to carbonated cold drinks and fast food.

"The objective behind launching mobile booths is to attract school-goers, college students towards healthy milk-based products," LMPCU general manager S. K. Prasad told reporters here Wednesday.

"Our upcoming project would initiate a healthy habit among students, who go after carbonated drinks and junk food that do not have any significant nutritional value," he added.

300-year-old 'Sunheri Quran' to glitter in museum

300-year-old 'Sunheri Quran' to glitter in museumLucknow, Dec 23 - A 300-year-old ancestral \'Sunheri Quran\' (Golden Quran), with its pages in the shape of golden leaves, the most prized possession of an Uttar Pradesh Muslim family, may soon become the centre of attraction at a museum.

But the family is not complaining about 'losing' the valuable document.

Ensure urban amenities in rural areas, Kalam tells students

Ensure urban amenities in rural areas, Kalam tells studentsLucknow, Dec 22 :Former president A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Tuesday asked students in Uttar Pradesh to emulate a development model he had successfully implemented in Tamil Nadu years ago to bring urban amenities to rural areas.

Addressing the 7th convocation ceremony of the Uttar Pradesh Technical University (UPTU)here, Kalam sought to introduce the "Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas" (PURA) concept that he had experimented with at the Periyar Maniammai College of Technology for Women in the state's Tanjore district.

Jailed gangster, cops nabbed enjoying luxuries

Jailed gangster, cops nabbed enjoying luxuriesLucknow, Dec 22 : A jailed gangster who audaciously checked into a government guest house with the connivance of policemen and was having a good time has been caught in the act. Gangster Ateeq Khan is headed back to prison while four guilty policemen have been suspended.

Charged with murders, abductions and other heinous crimes, Khan was brought from Uttar Pradesh's Siddhartnagar district jail to Kanpur Dec 17 to attend a court case.

Uttar Pradesh set to shiver

Uttar Pradesh set to shiver  Lucknow, Dec 22 : Chilly winds will lash most parts of Uttar Pradesh in the next 48 hours, bringing down the temperature by several notches, officials said Tuesday.

The fall in temperature will follow changing wind patterns because of snowfall in the hilly regions, the Meteorological department said.

Uttar Pradesh Met director J. P. Gupta told IANS: "The state appears to be moving towards normal winter owing to cyclonic circulations, western disturbance and high pressure belt."

Tension in Uttar Pradesh town after desecration at Sikh shrine

Tension in Uttar Pradesh town after desecration at Sikh shrineLucknow, Dec 21 : Tension gripped Uttar Pradesh's Bahraich district Monday as hundreds of Sikhs carried out violent protests over desecration of their holy scripture, police said.

Agitated over the burning of the Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhs went berserk in the Fakarpur area in Bahraich, some 270 km from Lucknow, damaging public property, targeting vehicles and clashing with police.

Uttar Pradesh students to be picked for science programme

Uttar Pradesh students to be picked for science programme Lucknow, Dec 21 : The Indian Institute of Information Technology-Allahabad (IIIT-A) will select students from Uttar Pradesh for the national award programme 'Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research', an official said Monday.

The Ministry of Science and Technology has entrusted the IIIT-A with the task.

Muslim body seeks justice over Babri mosque demolition

Muslim body seeks justice over Babri mosque demolitionLucknow, Dec 21 : The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has sought action against those responsible for the demolition of Babri mosque.

Addressing reporters here on Sunday, Maulana Abdul Rahim Quraishi, spokesman of the AIMPLB, welcomed the findings of Liberhan Commission report that probed the demolition and demanded a criminal charge against all conspirators.

VHP launching helpline for Hindu pilgrims

VHP launching helpline for Hindu pilgrimsLucknow, Dec 21 - The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is to start a toll-free helpline service in India for Hindu pilgrims and tourists to help them in booking low-cost accomodation, hiring vehicles and medical services during pilgrimages.

The 24-hour helpline, which would be functional from January 2010, would be part of the VHP's "social responsibility programmes", the group's Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand organising secretary Purshottam Narain Singh told IANS.

Uttar Pradesh membership drive proving successful: Youth Congress

Uttar Pradesh membership drive proving successful: Youth Congress Lucknow, Dec 19 : The ongoing Youth Congress membership drive in Uttar Pradesh is attracting keen interest, a party member said Saturday.

Even as membership has been opened in only 26 of the state's 80 parliamentary constituencies, as many as 650,000 aspirants have already submitted their application forms, he added.    

Uttar Pradesh takes steps to control food prices

MayawatiLucknow, Dec 19 : To check rising prices in the state, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Saturday issued a stern warning to hoarders, a day after she asked the authorities to run mobile shops to sell basic food items at controlled rates.

Following her instructions, Chief Secretary Atul Kumar Gupta Friday promptly convened a video-conference call of all divisional commissioners and district magistrates, directing them to ensure that hoarding of essential commodities was not allowed at any cost.    

Principal Secretary (Food and Civil Supplies) Jacob Thomas said: "If necessary, we will import of pulses."    

Policeman suspended for beating girl

Policeman suspended for beating girl Lucknow, Dec 19 : An Uttar Pradesh policeman has been suspended after he and a colleague thrashed a 12-year-old girl accused of committing a theft, police said Saturday.

Sidharthnagar district Deputy Superintendent of Police D. N. Pandey told IANS that while Constable Raj Yadav was suspended, Sub-Inspector Ram Bharti had been sent to the police lines.    

The two allegedly beat the girl Friday in Khajua village, some 350 km from Lucknow. The girl is battling for life in a hospital, her distraught mother Kismati told reporters in Sidharthnagar.

Magh Mela to attract 20 million, amenities not ready yet

Magh Mela to attract 20 million, amenities not ready yetLucknow, Dec 19 : Around 20 million devotees are expected during the more than month-long Magh Mela that begins Dec 31 in Allahabad, but civic amenities to handle such a massive crowd, including hospitals, are not ready yet, officials have admitted.

The work by civic agencies was to be completed by Dec 15. However, the basic infrastructure at the site of the Sangam, the holy confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, remains dismal.    

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