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8 killed in major explosion at Shivamogga district of Karnataka, CM Yediyurappa, PM Modi express condolence

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fire breaks out in Delhi's Rohini

At least eight people died in a massive explosion at a stone mining quarry in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district on Thursday. The Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has ordered a probe into the explosion.

According to the police, a major explosion of truckload of explosives took place near a gravel and boulder crushing facility around 10:30 pm last night, which sent shockwaves to neighbouring areas including Davangere and Chikkamagaluru districts.

An eyewitness said the blast was so strong that window panes shattered while many houses and even roads developed cracks, reported news agency PTI. The senior district and police officials including the superintendent of police of Shivamogga rushed to the spot as soon as they were informed.

The people who were killed in the blast were reportedly transporting the explosives meant for mining in a truck. The entire area of the incident has been sealed off. Since some dynamite sticks were still alive, the possibility of subsequent blasts at the quarry at Hunasondi near village Abbalagere has not been ruled out. Hence, nobody inside the quarry is allowed till bomb disposal teams arrive.

Reacting to the incident, Yediyurappa expressed his deepest condolences to the family of those who died. The wounded are being treated and I wish them all speedy recovery. A high-level investigation has been ordered and strict action against the guilty is certain, tweeted the Chief Minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also reacted to the tragedy. Pained by the loss of lives in Shivamogga, he expressed his condolences to the bereaved families and prayed that the injured recover soon. The state government has been providing all possible assistance to the affected, wrote PM Modi in the tweet.

Earlier the jolt was mistaken to have been caused by an earthquake as per officials. Following which geologists were informed, who said no tremors have been recorded in any of their observatories. 

Also Read: Fire at Serum Institute of India building in Pune, 5 dead

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AAP claims Arvind Kejriwal lost 8.5 kg, Tihar jail rebuts

Not 8.5 Kgs but Kejriwal lost around 3.5 Kgs during his incarceration period in prison.

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The authorities in Tihar jail on Monday addressed the accusations of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that the Delhi Chief Minister has lost 8.5 kg weight through his term of imprisonment, saying not 8.5 Kgs but Kejriwal lost around 3.5 Kgs during his incarceration period in prison.

This was only after one of the confessed BJP’s was planning to destroy Kejriwal’s life by ignoring his medical needs as a diabetic. In contradiction, Tihar prison representatives, according to reports, disclosed that the chief minister has only lost 2 kg of weight from March 30 till now, and he is under the scrutiny of a medical board comprised of doctors from AIIMS.

It all started when AAP leader and Delhi Minister Atishi on Sunday claimed that Kejriwal had a drop in his weight of 8.5 kg after his arrest and his blood sugar continued to be below normal levels several times while in care.

AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh painted a picture of doom by stating that Tihar doctors had verified Kejriwal’s weight loss, mentioning the consequences of excessive health complications due to hypoglycemia. However, the Tihar prison administration denied the claims of AAP, which were sent to the home department of Delhi by saying they were misleading and detrimental to the prison, and were crafted to weaken trust in the prison system.

The authority alleged that they see a report each time the measurements are done; it makes them do their work better, as Kejriwal’s doctor uses it to monitor his condition. Prison staff stated that all necessary health care is provided to him, and he is always fed three times a day with home-cooked meals.

They were vociferous in condemning a plot, saying that the aim was to damage the image of the prison with wrong tales. As stated by Tihar-based medical documents, Kejriwal’s weight was 65 kg on April 1, as he got into the prison, and 66 kg from April 8 to 29. After getting back to jail on June 2, following a 21-day intermediary bail, his weight went down to 63.5 kg.

On July 14, his weight reduced further to 61.5 kg. Thus, a total of 2 kg was lost during his detention. The health condition of Kejriwal is still monitored by the AIIMS medical board, and updates on his health are being regularly given to his wife, Sunita Kejriwal.

However, there is the AAP that is adamant about their affirmative claims, stating that the act of reporting the documents without his go-ahead is illegal and also gives the impression that there are activities going on with the ultimate goal of getting rid of him.

This was followed a few months later by his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation on June 26 in a corruption case that revolved around the same case. Although he was granted anticipatory bail by possibly the apex court filed in the case of money laundering, he is still detained due to the ongoing corruption case.

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Hemant Soren meets PM Modi in Delhi, first meeting after release from jail

He secured bail and became chief minister again on July 4.

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Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday in Delhi. This was his first meeting with the Prime Minister after he was released from jail where he spent around five months.

Taking to X, Jharkhand Chief Minister said that the meeting was a courtesy call. Notably, he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on January 31 this year in connection with a money laundering case related to an alleged land scam.

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) executive president had spent around five months in prison, he secured bail and became chief minister again on July 4.

On July 3, JMM leader and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Soren stepped out of the Birsa Munda Jail in Ranchi Friday following the grant of bail by the Jharkhand High Court.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rongon Mukhopadhyay, while granting bail, noted that the Court’s findings satisfy the condition that there exist reasons to believe that Soren is not guilty of the PMLA offence he has been accused of.

Following Soren’s bail on July 3, the outgoing Chief Minister Champai Soren had said that the party alliance decided to elect Hemant Babu (Hemant Soren) as leader, after which he resigned from his post. Champai Soren tendered his resignation to Governor C P Radhakrishnan and soon after Hemant Soren staked a claim to form the government. Soren along with alliance party leaders met the Governor after he reached Ranchi on July 3 evening from outside. Hemant Soren took oath as the 13th Chief Minister of the State on July 4 again.

Meanwhile, earlier today, BJP leader Deepak Prakash claimed that Hemant Soren’s government of 4.5 years has been one that wreaks havoc on the public, one that takes away employment from the youth. Hemant Soren’s government is a synonym for corruption. The government has been involved in a mining scam, a tender scam and one that has brought jungle raj in the state, he added.  

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NDA numbers drop below Rajya Sabha majority mark, can impact passage of bills

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With the completion of the term of four Rajya Sabha MPs, the BJP’s number fell by the same number.

Since the current strength of the Upper House is 225, the BJP’s numbers now stood at 86 and the National Democratic Alliance led by it has 101 members, which is less than the majority mark of 113.

The members whose term ended on Saturday are Rakesh Sinha, Ram Shakal, Mahesh Jethmalani and Sonal Mansingh. They had been chosen by President Droupadi Murmu on the advice of the BJP as non-aligned members and later joined the party cohort.

The Congress-led INDIA bloc has 87 members, the Congress with 26, Trinamool Congress 13, AAP 10, DMK 10. The remaining members are from parties that are not in either camps.

What this means is that the BJP will need the help of other unaligned parties to get bills passed. These range from Tamil Nadu’s AIADMK and the YSRCP and the Biju Janata Dal. Both the governments of the YSRCP and the BJD were voted out in the recent assembly elections.  While the BJD has earlier lent issue based support, it has announced it will not return similar favours now, especially after the BJP won the assembly election.

The AIADMK had split from the NDA ahead late last year in anticipation of the Lok Sabha elections. It had claimed its continuance in the NDA would hurt its Lok Sabha prospects from the state.

Similarly, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi of K Chandrashekhar Rao also can help the BJP. With so much dependent on parties that have bene sidelined in recent polls, the BJP has a bigger job of coralling the numbers in the Upper House than running the NDA coalition, which is purring along since the election victory.

Some 20 seats are vacant in the House and elections to these will fill the total number of Rajya Sabha seats.

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