At least 61 people were feared killed in a tragic accident when speeding train rammed into a crowd watching Ravana’s effigy burning on Dussehra in Amritsar on Friday evening. Fatalities may rise as several others with serious injuries were being treated.
S S Srivastava, the commissioner of police, Amritsar, confirmed the death toll. He said they were trying to clear the bodies from the tracks and transfer the injured people to the nearby hospitals.
Kamaldeep Singh Sangla, the deputy commissioner of city police said, “All hospitals in the city have been alerted about the injured patients and ambulances from the neighbouring districts have also been requisitioned to carry the injured and dead.”
According to reports, the tragedy took place at the Joda Fatak area as the firecrackers went off, the organisers asked people to move back. A large number of people moved towards the railway tracks behind them.
On Saturday, the officials have confirmed that seven of the 70-odd injured people were in critical conditions.
In an unprecedented accident, the Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU rammed into the crowd. Police officials claimed that the people in the crowd could not hear the train approaching because of the loud explosions from the Ravana effigy and hence were run over by the train.
Minutes before, as eyewitnesses described, the Amritsar-Howrah train had crossed the spot. Had the two trains crossed at the same time, the casualties would have been much higher, the report said.
Meanwhile, Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Minister in the Congress government in the state said that it was an accident and that nobody had done it intentionally. He said there was a “big negligence” and asked his political rivals not to do politics over the incident.
He was quoted saying,”It was an unfortunate incident. I talked to a few people who told me that some people were standing on the rail track and some were sitting on a stone near the track.”
Defending his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who was accused of leaving the accident site without bothering about the victims, the state culture minister said she was attending to patients at the hospital when allegations were being levelled against her.
Chhattisgarh: Rahul Gandhi says PM Modi also has a remote control but he presses it secretly
The Congress MP said when he questioned PM Modi on Adani in the Lok Sabha and his Lok Sabha membership got cancelled.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi launched Mukhyamantri Gramin Awas Nyay Yojana in Chhattisgarh through a remote control. He said PM Narendra Modi also has a remote control but he presses it secretly. Rahul Gandhi waved a remote control at the event in Chhattisgarh and said BJPs remote controls are all secret. Gandhi said the Congress party presses the remote control in the open. But the BJP presses secretly and the public sector becomes private and Adaniji gets Mumbai airport.
The Congress MP said when he questioned PM Modi on Adani in the Lok Sabha and his Lok Sabha membership got cancelled. He attacked the BJP government at the Centre after PM Modi addressed a rally in the poll bound Madhya Pradesh and said the Congress party has rusted like iron. PM Modi said Congress would push back Madhya Pradesh in the sick category whereas 1.5 crore people came out of poverty under the BJP rule in the last five years.
According to PM Modi the Congress and its allies have supported the bill out of hesitation and compulsion as they understood the power of Nari Shakti. PM Modi said Modi means the guarantee of fulfilling guarantees. Rahul Gandhi repeated what he had said in the Lok Sabha during his intervention on the women’s reservation bill.
He said there are only 3 OBC bureaucrats working for the government of India. Rahul Gandhi said caste census is the X-ray of Hindustan. The caste census will determine how many Dalits, SC/STs are there. Gandhi said the government is running away from caste census. He promised the congress will do a caste census.
In all Congress ruled states the public is at the centre and the government is not run by Adaniji. Talking to the media on Sunday Rahul Gandhi said he was confident Congress is winning the election in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. In Rajasthan the fight would be close Gandhi predicted.
Bihar: Dalit woman stripped naked over Rs 1,500 loan, money lender, son booked for assault
The accused have not been arrested so far, and police have initiated a search for them.
In yet another shocking incident, a Dalit woman was assaulted in Bihar’s Patna district by a money lender and his son on Saturday, according to the police. The victim alleged that the accused also urinated on her and tried to disrobe her for not making recurring interest payments on a Rs 1,500 loan that her husband had taken.
According to the victim, Pramod Singh and his son Anshu Singh summoned her to their house on Saturday night mentioning that they had detained her husband and that he would be allowed to go only after the interest on the loan he took from them was fully repaid.
When she reached Singh’s house, her husband was not there. They had lied to her about detaining her husband. The father and son beat her up and tried to disrobe her, and the son also urinated upon her, the woman told the police.
The woman also mentioned that the Rs 1,500 her husband took on loan years ago had already been repaid with interest, but the money lender continued to seek interest from them at regular intervals.
According to reports, police have registered a case against Pramod and Anshu Singh under IPC sections related to assault and misbehaving with a woman, as well as under sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The accused have not been arrested so far, and police have initiated a search for them.
Patna Rural SP Imran Masood asserted that the woman was undergoing treatment for her injuries at a primary healthcare centre. The woman’s brother-in-law told The Indian Express that the poor people of the village have been trapped by money lenders and that it is like a goonda bank. He explained that as most of them are illiterate and cannot get loans from banks, they have to depend on these money lenders and face humiliation.
UP student slapping row: State should take responsibility of incident, says Supreme Court
The bench underlined that if this incident has happened, then it should shake the conscience of the state. It’s a serious issue, the bench noted.
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a teacher at a school in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar who instructed her students to slap a classmate, targeted one community and that the state must take responsibility for the incident.
Hearing a petition that raised concerns over the incident of school children taking turns to slap a muslim student on order of their teacher, a bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal made the aforesaid verbal observation. The video of the incident went viral across social media platforms last month.
The incident sparked widespread outrage, consequently a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against the teacher. While hearing the plea on Monday, the top court bench noted that it had serious objections to the way Uttar Pradesh police handled the matter.
The Supreme Court bench further observed that the teacher is targeting one community and that they will go deep into the matter. The bench questioned whether this was the way teachers teach students and whether this is this quality education.
The bench added that the state must take responsibility for this incident, questioning if the school appointed some counselor for the child? The bench underlined that if this incident has happened, then it should shake the conscience of the state. It’s a serious issue, the bench noted.
The apex court bench also mentioned that at first impression, it was a case of failure on the part of the Uttar Pradesh government to comply with the provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which prohibits physical and mental harassment of students and their discrimination on the basis of religion and caste. There cannot be any quality education if a student is sought to be penalised only on the grounds that he belongs to a particular community, it added.
The bench further ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to appoint an expert child counselor and provide counseling to the victim so that he can overcome his trauma. It also ordered that a senior IPS officer be appointed to supervise the investigation and submit a report to the court within three weeks.