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54 trekkers stranded in snowfall rescued in Rudraprayag

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Uttarakhand Snowfall

Dehradun, Jan 24 : All the 54 tourists, mostly trekkers from Mumbai, who were stranded in the high altitudes of Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand have been rescued and sent back to their homes, top officials said on Thursday.

The state disaster response force (SDRF) and police had launched a rescue operation at Chobata, Baniyakund and other high altitude areas in the district after reports that many people were stranded in the heavy snowfall since Tuesday. Rudraprayag has experienced the heaviest snowfall in 25 years during the past two days.

“Since most of the roads were covered with heavy snow, we pressed snow cutters to rescue these people,” said Mangesh Ghildiyal, District Magistrate Rudraprayag. The SDRF and police personnel trekked miles together to provide help to the stranded people.

He said as many as 36 people mostly students from Mumbai, who had come for trekking in the area were rescued on Thursday in the day long operation. Nearly 18 people were rescued on Wednesday, he said. Some of the tourists who were stranded in the area had come from Delhi and Rajasthan areas.

Meanwhile, the district authorities in the hilly areas have closed most of the trekking areas for tourists and trekkers. “Till the situation improves, tourists will not be allowed to go there,” said a government official.

Two foreign tourists who were on the way to Doditaal area in Uttarkashi district for trekking were asked to come back on Thursday as the inclement weather conditions coupled with snowfall continued to play spoilsport. “We have closed the Doditaal trek for tourists,” said a top official of Uttarkashi district.

Meanwhile, the district authorities claimed that most of the link roads have been opened on Thursday. “I think only road to Chobata is closed now,” said Ghildiyal.

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Tension in UP district after mosque construction stopped

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Uttar Pradesh police up

Sambhal (Uttar Pradesh), Nov 15 A mosque allegedly being erected in Sambhal district in Uttar Pradesh, was stopped leading to tension. Police have been deployed in the area.

Work at the under-construction mosque in the Saraitareen area was halted late on Wednesday after people from another community objected to it.

The roof of the building had already been completed when the police locked up the premises to stop prayer gatherings from taking place.

District Magistrate Avinash Krishna Singh said police force had been deployed at the site to stop further construction and also to prevent any kind of clash.

According to reports, some people had started offering namaaz inside a madarsa in Saraitareen some months ago. Later construction of a mosque began inside the same madarsa premises and neighbours from the other community objected to it.

The construction was stopped after police intervened, with the sub-divisional magistrate issuing orders that no further construction could take place.

On Wednesday morning, people from the other community living in the vicinity informed police that construction was restarted the night before.

Station House Officer (SHO) Ravindra Kumar of Hayatnagar police station reached the spot and got the premises locked up.

Those who had gathered there went to a nearby mosque, from where they announced on loudspeakers that police had stopped them from offering Namaaz and thrown their holy book out of the “new mosque”.

Soon, a large crowd gathered there and the women broke the locks in the presence of police.

Sensing further trouble, senior civil and district police officials rushed to the spot and immediately deployed Rapid Action Force (RAF) to defuse the situation.

The officials then held talks with members of the community and assured them the madarsa premises would be opened and that they could continue with all religious activities barring community prayers.

District magistrate Avinash Krishna Singh said: “The situation is under control and construction has been stopped. As precaution, the RAF and police are still deployed in the area.”

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HC slams Delhi govt on pollution; to hear case every 2 weeks

The court said the matter would now be heard every two weeks in order to ensure that steps are taken to curb the menace of pollution in the city.

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Delhi Pollution

New Delhi, Nov 14 : The Delhi High Court on Thursday came down heavily on the Delhi government and other concerned authorities over the deteriorating Air Quality Index (AQI) and increasing air pollution in the national capital, saying “there is complete lack of will to implement” ideas to tackle the problem.

A division bench of Justices G.S. Sistani and Anup Jairam Bambani remarked that if its previous orders had been followed, pollution in Delhi would not be where it is today.

The court said the matter would now be heard every two weeks in order to ensure that steps are taken to curb the menace of pollution in the city.

The matter would be heard next on December 2. The court was hearing a suo moto petition over air pollution in Delhi.

“The problem lies in implementation and not lack of ideas. There is complete lack of will to implement the same,” it said.

The court stated that all the stakeholders, including citizens, have to take a proactive role “in case we have to make Delhi pollution free”.

The petition was heard for the first time in early 2015. Since then, the court has been passing several orders to contain air pollution in the city.

Referring to a CAG report for the time period of 2014-2017, senior advocate Kailash Vasudev, who is amicus curiae in the case, informed the court that the Forest Department has failed to meet its afforestation targets.

The court directed the Chief Conservator of Forests, Delhi government to appear before it on the next date of hearing and apprise the court of the extent of plantation carried out.

The Forest Department is also expected to spell out its plan to increase forest cover and reduce encroachment in Delhi.

To further address concerns of rising pollution level due to dust, the court suggested that from October to January, no fresh demolition of infrastructure should be permitted.

To tackle concerns of streamlining traffic, the court has asked the New Delhi Municipal Corporation and other Municipal Corporations in the city as well the other authorities concerned to take necessary steps to deal with encroachment on the roads.

This exercise has to be done in a routine and regular manner and not on days before the court hearing, it said.

It also directed that senior officers should not only issue circulars for implementation of the orders but also undertake inspection to ensure the same.

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Family of Vashishth Narayan Singh made to wait for ambulance

Ayodhya Prasad, a kin of Singh, alleged that Singh’s body was kept in the open, outside the hospital, as the hospital management kept them waiting for an ambulance for over two hours.

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Vashishth Narayan Singh

Patna, Nov 14 : The family members of noted mathematician Vashishth Narayan Singh, who passed away here on Thursday at the age of 77, have accused the hospital of negligence.

One of the family members said that Singh was taken to Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) after his condition deteriorated, but the doctors declared him brought dead.

Ayodhya Prasad, a kin of Singh, alleged that Singh’s body was kept in the open, outside the hospital, as the hospital management kept them waiting for an ambulance for over two hours.

However, after the news of the mathematician’s death spread, an ambulance was provided to take the body home.

Expressing grief over Singh’s death, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said he had made Bihar and India proud. His death has caused an irreparable loss to the state and the country.

Kumar said that Singh will be cremated with full state honours. The Chief Minister then visited Singh’s residence in Patna and paid tributes.

Born on April 2, 1942, Singh had been suffering from schizophrenia for nearly four decades.

Singh, a resident of Basantpur in Bhojpur district, was shifted to PMCH last month. However, he was discharged after treatment.

The mathematician is said to have challenged Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Singh did his schooling from Netarhat Residential School. In 1962, he passed Class X.

Later, while studying at Patna Science College, he met American Professor Kelly, who invited him to Berkeley, US for research.

In 1963, he went to California University for research. In 1969, he received a Ph.D. degree from the varsity. His research on Cycle Vector Space Theory made him famous.

After completing his studies, he returned to India.

Later, he joined as a mathematics professor in Washington. In 1971, he came back to India. He worked at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur and IIT, Kolkata.

In 1974, he began suffering from several critical illnesses.

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