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PM Modi in Shillong: Centre committed to North East’s welfare

Shillong: The government is committed to the welfare of the northeastern India, especially the women of the region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday after laying the foundation stone of a new football stadium here.

File photo of Narendra Modi.

PM Modi also inaugurated passenger train services to Mizoram and Manipur on the newly-laid broad gauge line, and the Kamakhya-Katra weekly train from Assam to J&K. File photo

Modi laid the foundation stone of a football stadium which is being constructed in Shillong at a cost of Rs 38 crore.

“Foundation stone of a football stadium has been laid. This region has a great talent in sports, particularly football. Football is a passion here and it is played in each and every nook and corner of the state and the region,” said Modi.

The prime minister also inaugurated passenger train services to Mizoram and Manipur on the newly-laid broad gauge line, and the Kamakhya-Katra weekly train from Assam to Jammu and Kashmir.

“The government is committed to the development in the northeast region, the Self Help Groups (SHG), particularly the women SHGs. Keeping this in mind, the government has also approved a special package for the northeast,” the prime minister said at the North Eastern Council meeting here.

He said he wanted to see the northeastern region shine in the organic farming sector.

“I am particularly keen to see the northeast shine in the organic farming sector. Northeast can become the organic food basket of India,” said Modi, who is the first prime minister in the last two decades to attend the NEC plenary meeting.

He said the central government’s focus on the northeast is manifested in its ‘Act East Policy’.

“We want to particularly improve connectivity, infrastructure and tourism,” said Modi.

The North Eastern Council (NEC) is the nodal agency for channelising the funds for economic and social development in the region.

The prime minister said Agartala, the capital of Tripura, has become the third international location to be connected to Cox Bazar of Bangladesh, which would further aid the social and ecomomic empowerment of the northeastern region.

Navratri begins, PM Modi to observe fast for 9 days

PM Modi like millions of other devotees will be observing fast on the pious occasion of Navratri, which started on Friday. He started the day by offering prayers to Goddess Kamakhaya Devi in Guwahati and said it was his ‘good fortune’ that he could do it on the occasion of Navratri. Modi, who came to Guwahati from Delhi last night, drove up to the base of the famed temple at Nilachal Hill this morning and walked up the flight of steps to the shrine to offer prayers. Before resuming his poll campaigns in Assam, the Prime Minister performed puja on the first day of Navratri at the Shakti Pith dedicated to Goddess Durga and her various incarnations, temple officials said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi, who visited the temple for the first time, then went towards the people waiting for him, shook hands with them and left for his campaign for the second and final phase of elections on April 11 in 61 constituencies of the state. PM Modi, despite his hectic schedule, has been keeping Navratri fast for the last 35 years. According to report, Modi only drinks water during this period of 9 days and consumes only one fruit with lime juice in the evening every day. PM Modi was on a similar fast during his US visit in 2014 and special arrangements were made for him. On Friday, addressing an election rally, Modi said, the whole country is “engaged in ‘shakti sadhana’ and it is my good fortune that on this holy day, I was able to offer my prayers to Ma Kamakhya.” “Navratri is devoted to ‘devi upasana’. It is mentioned in the Puranas that it is difficult to find the Devi in most places, but in Kamrup (as Assam is referred to in the Puranas) it is to be found in every home,” he said.On the pious occasion of Navratri, “I take the opportunity to offer my humble respects to all women in every home of Assam,” he said. Speaking in Assamese, the Prime Minister said he “bows his head before aie (mother), bai (elder sister) and bhoni (younger sister) of the state”.With PTI inputs

Missing Army Captain found in UP after 6 days

An officer of the Indian Army, who had disappeared while travelling on a train from Bihar to Delhi on February 6, was found in UP’s Faizabad district on Saturday morning.The officer has said that he was kidnapped, though police are investigating the matter. The army and his family had raised an alarm in the media and on the social network about the Captain having been kidnapped, fearing a terrorist plot.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 25-year-old Captain Shikhar Deep, posted in Jammu and Kashmir, had gone missing while travelling by train from his hometown Katihar in Bihar to Delhi. A cousin who had gone to receive him at the Delhi station on February 7 found the officer’s luggage, phone and wallet.A police spokesman told reporters here that the army officer walked into a police station in Faizabad on Saturday morning and introduced himself.Captain Deep told the police that he had boarded the Mahananda Express and had detrained at Patna station to pick up a bottle of water. He returned to his AC II tier coach when he began frothing at the mouth.He did not remember anything after that until he regained consciousness and found himself tied to a chair in a dark room, Captain Deep reportedly told the police.”I was in a dark place in a dense jungle. They gave me porridge every day and spoke very little with me,” the officer told the police.He said he managed to escape from the place after breaking the window of the room. He saw railway tracks after walking a few kilometres.The Captain boarded the Kamakhya Express which was standing there and reached Faizabad. After noting the details, the police officials handed the officer over to the army.

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