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Delhi government orders probe into Bawana warehouse fire, announces ex-gratia

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New Delhi, Jan 21: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday ordered a thorough probe into the Bawana plastic factory fire incident that claimed at least 17 lives and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased.

As many as 17 people, including 10 women, were burnt alive or asphyxiated and 30 others injured at a fire in a plastic warehouse in west Delhi’s Bawana on Saturday evening, officials said.

“It is a very tragic incident. We have ordered a probe into the incident,” Kejriwal told reporters after meeting the injured people at a hospital here. He said the injured will get an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh.

The Chief Minister said the matter will be fully probed on how the licence was given, who gave the licence and how the incident happened.

Union Minister Harsh Vardhan, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manoj Tiwari and Leader of Opposition in Delhi assembly Vijender Gupta and North Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Preety Agarwal also reached the spot.

Manoj Tiwari also announced compensation of Rs 50,000 to the victims of fire incident.

“Saddened at the loss of 17 lives in the Bawana cracker factory fire. My thoughts are with the families of the persons killed in the mishap,” Harsh Vardhan said in a tweet.

He also said that the government should “enforce strict safety regulations to such hazardous industries” to avoid at least future accidents.

“Seventeen bodies have been taken out from the warehouse. As many as 30 persons, including some women, have reportedly sustained burn injuries. Some others are still feared trapped inside,” a Delhi Fire Services officer said, adding that the condition of four persons is critical.

IANS

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KCR wants 15 special teams to prevent breach of lakes in Hyderabad

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Telangana CM KC Rao

Hyderabad, Oct 21 : Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday ordered formation of at least 15 special teams to prevent breach of tanks and lakes in Hyderabad.

He asked the official machinery to be on high alert to ensure that tanks and lakes are not breached due to heavy rains and flash floods.

He said the special teams should examine the tanks in the city from time to time and take the necessary measures to prevent any untoward incident. He spoke to Principal Secretary (Water Resources) Rajat Kumar in this regard.

“Hyderabad received heavy rains which were unprecedented in the last hundred years. This has resulted in heavy floodwater inflows. Besides the floodwater in the city, water from the tanks in surrounding areas also entered the city. All the tanks are overflowing with water,” said Rao.

As the Met department has forecast more rains, the entire official machinery should be on a high alert. “As the tanks in city have water to their capacity and there are still flood water inflows coming into them. There is every likelihood of these tanks getting breached causing more damage. Hence, at least 15 special teams with water Resources department officials and staff should be formed. They should examine each and every tank and lake in the city,” the chief minister said.

He asked the teams to identify the tanks that may breach and take precautionary measures. He also wanted repair of the breached tanks.

The CM instructed officials to alert people in low-lying areas and those living in vulnerable places to shift to safer places.

The chief minister’s instructions came amid reports that at least 100 tanks in and around Hyderabad either breached or overflowed, inundating adjoining residential areas. Hundreds of colonies have submerged, affecting more than five lakh people.

Several areas in Chandrayangutta in the old city and in Uppal remained inundated.

Spells of rains with varying intensity in various parts of the city and outskirts since Tuesday have added to people’s woes and affected relief and rehabilitation work in the affected areas.

The forecast of more rains on Wednesday and Thursday has left the people more worried. The administration has already sounded an alert.

Indian Army flood relief teams have been put on standby for anticipated rescue operations of people due to heavy rains forecast for next few days.

The Indian Army said its teams were kept on standby on request of the state government.

Nine flood relief reams with boats are on standby to be launched immediately on requirement. Additional teams and boats will be sent as per the situation, a defence release said.

Heavy rains and flash floods since October 13 have claimed 33 lives in and around the city and caused widespread damage to houses and civic infrastructure.

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Police detains DUSU President, ABVP members while protest against Delhi govt

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NSUI Delhi University

New Delhi, Oct 21 : The Delhi Police detained around 50 members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) along with president of Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) from Delhi secretariat after they jointly held a protest against the Delhi government for authorising 12 colleges of DU to use Students Society Fund (SSF) for payment of outstanding salary to their staff.

The detainees were taken to IP state police station and Rajendra Nagar police station, where they were released after a few hours on Tuesday.

The DUSU and ABVP carried out a march on Tuesday from the ITO Metro Station to the Delhi Secretariat, demanding the revocation of the order by the Delhi government’s Directorate of Higher Education to use the SSF for the payment of teaching and non-teaching staff of 12 colleges.

DUSU president Akshit Dahiya stated that they would continue with their agitation till the state government revokes its order. The student organisation has already decided to file a petition in the court alleging the order as a misappropriation of funds.

Delhi government’s Directorate of Higher Education had released an order on Saturday commanding the 12 colleges to draw on the Students Society Fund (SSF) for payment of outstanding salary to the teaching and non-teaching staff. The staff of these 12 colleges has not been paid up to six months.

The order had cited ongoing special audit and non-release of grant-in-aid as the reasons for the pending salaries of staff. It also cited a similar basis to utilise SSF for the release of salaries.

Dahiya stated that the DUSU would not let the state government touch even a single penny from the SSF. “Students undoubtedly get affected when the teachers remain uncompensated. However, nothing can warrant the misuse by the Delhi government of the funds that rightfully belong to the students of the varsity. In the face of continuing government indifference, we will approach the Delhi High Court seeking immediate nullification of this anti-student directive. We will not allow even a single paisa from the SSF to be appropriated towards discharging existing liabilities,” he said.

Meanwhile, ABVP accused the Kejriwal government of being incompetent and demanded to hand over these 12 colleges to the Centre.

“The Delhi government is using the pandemic as a convenient excuse to camouflage its incompetence and justify the misappropriation of the SSF corpus towards functions unconnected to student welfare. It’s high time that the management and control of these 12 colleges wherein everyone ranging from the teaching as well as non-teaching staff to the students is suffering due to the apathy and ineptitude of the Delhi government, is entrusted to the Union government,” said Sidharth Yadav, secretary, ABVP-Delhi.

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Police officer shot dead by terrorists in Kashmir

The police have registered a case in this regard under the relevant sections of law.

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Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar, Oct 19 : Suspected terrorists gunned down a police inspector in the Chandpora Bijbehara area in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday.

The police said that terrorists fired upon a police inspector identified as inspector Mohammad Ashraf Bhat, a resident of Chandpora Kanelwan, near his residence.

“The officer received gunshot injuries and was evacuated to a nearby hospital. However, he succumbed to his injuries in the hospital,” the police said.

The police have registered a case in this regard under the relevant sections of law.

A wreath laying ceremony led by IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar was held at DPL Anantnag, where floral tributes were paid to the martyr.

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