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Amritsar train accident: Punjab CM orders magisterial inquiry, seeks report within 4 weeks

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punjab cm Amarinder Singh

Amritsar, Oct 20: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday arrived in Amritsar to meet the victims who were injured in a tragic incident in which least 60 people were crushed to death by a train while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy on Friday evening.

Singh visited the Civil Hospital in Amritsar where injured have been admitted after the accident on Friday.

After meeting the families of the victims, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh ordered an immediate release of Rs three crore to the Amritsar district collectorate for payment of compensation to the family of the deceased.

While addressing the media, CM Singh said, ‘It is necessary for us to hold an enquiry into the incident. We have ordered a magisterial enquiry and have sought a report within four weeks. Let the railways continue with their probe, we shall conduct one of our own.’

The Chief Minister, accompanied by Punjab Congress President and Gurdaspur MP Sunil Jakhar, arrived on a special flight from New Delhi.

He immediately held a meeting with senior officers of the district administrations, cabinet ministers and Congress legislators.

The officers briefed him about the whole tragedy and the number of deaths and injuries.

On Friday evening, a 700 strong crowd watching a huge Ravana effigy go up in flames amid exploding crackers spilled on to the tracks at Jora Phatak area when the Jalandhar-Amritsar Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) passenger train heading to Hoshiarpur from Amritsar came hurtling down at around 7 p.m.

Most people reportedly could not hear the hooting of the train due to the exploding crackers.

In just 10-15 seconds it left behind a heap of crushed and dismembered bodies.

amritsar train tragedy

The Punjab government has declared state mourning on Saturday.

Following the accident, the railways cancelled 37 trains, diverted 16 trains, short terminated 12 trains and short originated six trains on the route

Railway authorities have said that the tragedy was not their responsibility as the organisers and local authorities had not informed them about the event being held so close to the railway tracks.

Senior railway officials said here that the presence of so many people, who were watching the function, on the railway tracks was a “trespass”.

The Chief Minister has ordered a probe into the incident.

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AAP will Support Congress if Next PM is From Grand Old Party: Amanatullah Khan

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Amanatullah Khan

New Delhi, Jan 23: Openly announcing support for Rahul Gandhi in 2019, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan on Wednesday said that the party would extend support to the grand old party as there is much likelihood that the next Prime Minister would be from the Congress .

“Abhi bahar mujhse koi keh raha tha ki log keh rahe hain ki Congress ko vote isliye denge kyunki Pradhanmantri unka banega, hum ye keh rahe hain ki agar Pradhanmantri unka hi bana toh hum bhi usey support kar denge,” Khan said indicating that 2019 is Modi vs Rahul Gandhi.

The major statement by AAP’s Amanatullah Khan was made in the presence of Chief Arvind Kejriwal at the Delhi Waqf Board meeting.

The chairman of the board, urged the Imams of the city mosques to support the AAP and said, “People are saying they will vote for the Congress because the next prime minister will be from that party.

Muslim voters should elect AAP in Delhi and if Congress wins at the Centre, “it will draw our support”, he said.

Kejriwal also said that his party will support anyone except Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

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INA veterans to march in Republic day parade

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New Delhi: The Indian Air Force Marching Contingent on Rajpath during Republic Day Parade 2018

New Delhi, Jan 23 : For the first time, four veterans from the Indian National Army (INA) of Netaji Subhash Chadra Bose will take part in the Republic Day parade on Rajpath.

The move is considered as an unprecedented honor for freedom fighters and the acknowlegmentof the contribution of INA in the Indian independence

According to the report, the veterans- Parmanand, Lalit Ram, Hira Singh and Bhagmal. The four are aged 95 plus.
The four veterans, who fought World War II, will be seated in jeeps that will march past Rajpath during the Republic Day parade.

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Piyush Goyal given temporary charge of Finance

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Piyush Goyal

New Delhi, Jan 23 : Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was on Wednesday given charge of Finance Ministry in the absence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who is in the US for medical treatment, apparently ruling out his recuperation in time for the interim budget to be presented on February 1.

Goyal will hold the portfolios of Finance and Corporate Affairs on a temporary basis till the resumption of duties by Jaitley, who has now been made a Minister without portfolio, a Rashtrapati Bhawan communique said.

Jaitley (66) had a kidney transplant in May last year and then too Goyal was put in charge of Finance and Corporate Affairs.

“The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, hereby directed that during the period of indisposition of Arun Jaitley, the portfolios of Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs held by him, be temporarily assigned to Piyush Goyal, in addition to his existing portfolios.

“Further, as advised by the Prime Minister, Arun Jaitley be designated as Minister without portfolio during the period of his indisposition or till such time he is able to resume his work as Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs,” the communique said.

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