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Farooq Abdullah heckled, violent incidents mar Eid festivities in Kashmir valley



Farooq Abdullah heckled, violent incidents mar Eid festivities in Kashmir valley

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah was heckled during Eid prayers at the 17th century Hazratbal mosque in Srinagar on Wednesday, for his emotional speech in which he raised slogans of “Bharat Mata ki Jai” at the end of the all-party prayer meeting for former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Monday.

In other parts, violent incidents were reported with militants killing three policemen and a BJP leader.

Before the prayers, as the Imam spoke about Article 35-A (State Subject Law), Abdullah walked in. People started booing at him, with those present for the Eid prayer demanding his removal from the Masjid, reported Free Press Kashmir.

With the intervention of the Masjid Committee, Abdullah prayed at the Masjid but did not wait for the Khutbah (sermon). As soon as the prayer finished, Abdullah got up to leave. Some protestors took their shoes in their hands while shouting ‘Shame Shame’.

“I did not leave the venue and completed my prayers,” said the 80-year-old parliamentarian from Srinagar. “They are my own people. They are misguided and I cannot escape my duties of being their leader,” Abdullah was quoted as saying later by news agency Press Trust of India.

Abdullah wondered why the issue was being blown out of proportion by a section of the media. “A politician, at times, has to face people’s anger. I only hope these misguided youths are counselled properly,” he said.

Later in the day, Abdullah said he was not a person to be cowed down. “Agar yeh samajhte hai ki ise azadi aayegi toh mein inko kehna chahta hun ki pehle begaari,beemari aur bhookmari se azadi pao (If the people want freedom, they should first get freedom from bonded labour, illness and shortage of food),” ANI quoted Abdullah as saying.

“Azadi [freedom] won’t be achieved by shouting slogans, because in reality the border dividing India and Pakistan in Kashmir has not moved anywhere in the past 70 years. People behind booing and heckling should know that I won’t be cowed down or silenced by such acts,” said Abdullah.

The Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar said the time was right to have a peaceful dialogue between India and Pakistan. “There is a need to get rid of hatred. This country belongs to Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians and all those who live here,” Abdullah said.

Elsewhere in the valley, violent incidents marred Id festivity in Kashmir as suspected militants shot dead three policemen and a BJP activist on Wednesday, the police said.

An official said a policeman, Fayaz Ahmed Shah, 34, was fired upon by the militants when he went to offer Id prayers in Kulgam’s Zazripora area. Another policeman, Mohd. Yaqoob, died after gunmen fired upon him outside his house at Pulwama’s Louswani area.

In the third attack on the police, a sub-inspector, Muhammad Ashraf Dar, was shot dead at his house at Larve village. Dar, posted at District Police Lines, Budgam, was on leave to celebrate Id at home.

In another incident, a BJP activist was shot dead in Pulwama. The body of Shabir Ahmad Bhat was found at Litter Rakh. The victim went missing around 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

Director General of Police SP Vaid said, “The political activist chose to go home in south Kashmir without the personal security officer, which proved fatal for him.”

He said the two deceased policemen [Yaqoob and Dar] “had ignored the advisory asking policemen not to go home without seeking permission and unprotected.”

The National Conference and the CPI(M) have condemned the killings. “My unequivocal condemnation of the use of violence to settle political differences,” said NC vice-president Omar Abdullah.

CPI(M) leader and MLA Kulgam, MY Tarigami said such incidents are “inhumane and unfortunate.” “The perpetrators of violence have achieved nothing except for rendering irreparable loss to the families of those killed,” he said.

Violence also erupted in parts of Srinagar and Anantnag after Id prayers. Security forces used teargas shells to contain the situation.

India News

Bus carrying injured passengers from Odisha train accident collides with van in Bengal town



A bus loaded with injured passengers from the Balasore train accident had to face another unfortunate accident in Medinipur, Bengal on Saturday, June 3. These passengers had sustained injuries in the triple-train crash that occurred in Odisha’s Balasore on June 2, adding to the already tragic series of events.

The bus carrying injured passengers to various districts in Bengal to provide victims with essential medical care, collided head-on with a pick-up van, leading to traffic disruptions on the National Highway in Medinipur. The collision resulted in a momentary halt as emergency responders swiftly sprung into action.

Fortunately, preliminary reports indicate that the injuries sustained by several passengers were minor in nature. The local authorities, displaying commendable efficiency, wasted no time in launching rescue operations. They coordinated the immediate transportation of the injured to different healthcare facilities across West Bengal, making sure they receive all required treatments.

The passengers who had gotten away with injuries from the earlier train accident in Balasore must have been shaken at the second incident within 24 hours. The Friday collision involved three trains: the Coromandel Express ( Kolkata-Chennai), the Yeswanthpur-Howrah Superfast Express, and a goods train. The result left a devastating toll, with at least 280 reported deaths and over 900 injuries.

Unfortunately, the collision involving the bus carrying the injured passengers and the pick-up van has further complicated the ongoing rescue efforts. However, the authorities are working tirelessly to provide the necessary assistance and care to the victims, as well as to assess the overall situation and mitigate further risks.

As the nation mourns, during these difficult times, the authorities prioritize the safety and well-being of those affected, extending their support to the victims and their families. 

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PM Modi visits Odisha train accident site, promises tough punishment for people responsible for collision

The Prime Minister met the injured passengers and assured them all the help and asked the Cabinet Secretary to provide special care so that the bereaved families are not put to inconvenience.



PM Modi with Railway minister Ashwini

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited the site of the train accident in Odisha’s Balasore where almost 300 died and some 700 injured. Speaking to the media, he said those guilty of the lapse that led to the accident will be punished.

PM Modi said he shared the anguish of those who have lost their near and dear. He assured the people that all possible help will be provided to the accident-hit families. He said the government will not forgive the culprits and dole out the strictest punishment to them. The Railways are working hard to restore the track, he added.

The Prime Minister met the injured passengers and assured them all the help and asked the Cabinet Secretary to provide special care so that the bereaved families are not put to inconvenience, and those who are affected should keep getting assistance from the government.

He also took stock of the relief and restoration operation on Saturday. PM Modi reached the site with Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan with other senior officials. He interacted with the disaster relief team and other railways officials as well.

Apart from the announcement by Vaishnaw of Central assistance, PM Modi announced an additional ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund on Friday. On the day of incident, he spoke to Vaishnaw on phone and took stock of the situation. PM Modi had been scheduled to flag off Goa’s first Vande Bharat Express but after the Odisha accident happened, he had the event postponed.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge visited the site to provide all possible relief. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a former Railway Minister herself, also visited the site in Balasore. In Vaishnaw’s presence, she said the incident could have been avoided if the Railways had installed the anti-collision system. She announced a separate Rs 5 lakh compensation for families of those who died in the crash and Rs 1 lakh for those seriously injured, and Rs 50,000 for victims with minor injuries. She also said that West Bengal officers and doctors are on the ground for the relief work.

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India News

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw trolled over missing Kavach after Odisha train accident

Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnav said a high-level probe panel has been set up to look into what happened exactly before the two passenger trains on different lines derailed and collided. There is another question arising on the Coromandel Express’ wrong track.



Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav

The Odisha train accident has claimed over 280 lives leaving hundreds injured. The Railways have become targets for trolls given the number of deaths in Odisha.

The trolls have been very specific in getting after Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw since he had posted a video on the Kavach anti-collision system n which he explained in detail how the system would work to prevent collisions. Social media users asked the minister why was Kavach not installed on the stretch which saw the horrific accident. Some even demanded Vaishnaw resign. Railway spokesperson Amitabh Sharma confirmed there was no Kavach deployed on the incident route. The Kavach just might have saved so many lives.

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav said a high-level probe panel has been set up to look into what happened exactly before the two passenger trains on different lines derailed and collided. There are other theories for the accident with some saying the Coromandel Express was on the wrong track.

The Indian Railways had announced to implement Kavach protection system over 2000 km during 2022-23. Around 34,000 km network was planned to be brought under Kavach. With Vaishnaw’s video explaining Kavach getting viral, Trinamool Congress s leader Saket Gokhale said only 2% of the total Railway routes have been brought under Kavach.

Gokhale claimed it was mere repackaging of the anti-collision device proposed by Mamata Banerjee when she was railway minister. In 2011-12, Indian Railways under Banerjee had developed the Train Collision Avoidance System system. The Narendra Modi government typically renamed the system to Kavach only to take credit, Gokhale said.

There was no progress on deploying this crucial rail safety technology until 2019 when three companies were approved for manufacturing and installing Kavach on railway tracks, the Trinamool leader said.

On Twitter, a journalist said similar accidents have happened in the past but the then Railway Ministers like Nitish Kumar and Lal Bahadur Shastri have taken moral responsibility and resigned from the position.

The accident has drawn condolences and outrage from India and abroad. Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif tweeted that he was deeply saddened by the loss of hundreds of lives in the accident. Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said he was broken at seeing the images from the train accident and extended his condolences to the people who lost their close ones, he said Canadians are with the people of India in this difficult time. The European Commission and Turkey have also expressed their condolences at the loss of lives in the tragedy.   

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