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No casualty in Motihari bus accident, confirms Bihar Disaster Management Minister

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Patna, May 4: A day after claiming that at least 27 people were killed due to fire in a bus after it overturned in Bihar’s Motihari, Bihar Disaster Management Minister Dinesh Chandra Yadav on Friday confirmed that were no casualties in the accident.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Yadav said, “The information of deaths was wrong. Yes I said 27 people have died, it was based on info from local sources, but I also said that only final report will be considered”.

“There was booking for 13 people. 8 were taken to hospital by authorities, there was no sign of remaining 5, no remains were found. They might have left the spot on their own”, he told media.

“It is a really sad incident. There is a provision to give compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of dead in such cases and it will be given”, Bihar Disaster Management and Relief Minister had told news agency ANI on Thursday.

 

National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force teams have reached the spot. Meanwhile, hospitals in Motihari and  Muzaffarpur districts put on alert.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also condoled the deaths saying  “It is a really painful incident, local administration officials are present at the spot. We will extend all possible help to the families of those who died”.

Prime Minister Office had also expressed grief.

“My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones due to a bus accident in Motihari. I pray that the injured recover at the earliest”, PMO tweeted.

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Mumbai bar dancers hail Supreme Court verdict

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Mumbai dance bars
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Mumbai, Jan 17: Bar dancers, who were abruptly rendered jobless after the Maharashtra government shut down dance bars on August 15, 2005, hailed the Supreme Court verdict permitting conditional re-opening of these joints, here on Thursday.

Read More: Supreme Court allows Mumbai dance bars to reopen with restrictions

Bharatiya Bar Girls’ Union (BBGU) President Varsha Kale said that the dancers have been fighting for it since nearly 15 years and finally now the dance bars have been allowed to resume operations.

“The closure in 2005 left many thousands suddenly unemployed, many fell ill and died. Their female children were forced into prostitution. But, now things should change,” Kale, a co-petitioner for re-starting dance bars, told IANS shortly after the verdict.

However, official sources said on Thursday that the government was still not in favour of re-starting dance bars and might consider going in for a review plea in the Supreme Court.

A former dancer in a prominent suburban bar, Kiran M., said that the verdict will provide jobs to lakhs of semi-literate girls who throng Mumbai from all across the country for employment opportunities but are rejected by different organisations.

“They don’t get proper jobs as they lack either qualifications or experience. Many end up doing low-paying menial jobs, or fall victim to social evils. Now, with the dance bars getting a green signal, we are hopeful of a better future,” she explained.

Kale said that the stakeholders would study the issue pertaining to the licensing norms of the Maharashtra government, which was challenged.

“We don’t expect dance bars to become functional immediately till the licensing authorities do the needful, though there is a huge demand from various quarters.”

The dance bars were shut down during the erstwhile Congress-Nationalist Congress Party rule by the then Home Minister, the late R. R. Patil.

During its heydays, there were an estimated five-six lakhs dancers working in 2,800 legal and many other unauthorised dance bars spread across Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Pune, adjacent to state highways, supporting a few lakh others comprising support staffer, allied businesses and families.

IANS

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Supreme Court allows Mumbai dance bars to reopen with restrictions

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Mumbai dance bars
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Mumbai, Jan 17: The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed dance bars to reopen in Mumbai but imposed regulations such as barring CCTV surveillance.

It said there was no need for CCTV surveillance inside dance bars as it violates privacy.

The apex court said that the performers could be tipped, but showering of cash and coins will not be allowed inside the bars.

The court added that Maharashtra cannot ban dance bars by taking recourse to regulating them, noting that since 2005 no licence has been issued.

“Since 2005 till date, no licence has been issued. There may be regulation but that does not amount to total prohibition,” said a bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan.

Pronouncing the judgment, Justice Sikri said that there could be no segregation of dance stage and that of drinking and eating space as it struck down the provision for “mandatory” installing of CCTV cameras in the dance bars holding that it violates privacy.

The court upheld the definition of obscenity given in the State law saying that it was not vague.

Holding that those visiting the dance bar could give tips, the court said no to the showering of money during dance performances.

The court held as “unreasonable” the provision that says that a dance bar should be one kilometre away from religious places, hospitals and educational institutions.

However, it left it to the state legislature to take a call on the issue.

Striking down the provision that said that the owner of the dance bar should have a “good character” and no “criminal antecedents”, the court said: “There is no precise definition of what amounts to good character and criminal antecedents.”

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Cold, foggy Thursday morning in Delhi

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Delhi cold morning fog
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New Delhi, Jan 17: Delhiites on Thursday woke up to a cold, foggy morning with the minimum temperature recorded at 4.2 degrees Celsius. N

“Shallow to moderate fog enveloped the city in the morning, with the visibility at 8.30 a.m. recorded at 400 metres at Safdarjung,” an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official told news agency IANS.

The sky will remain clear with haze thereafter, he said, adding that the humidity was recorded at 100 per cent in the morning.

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the overall air quality of the national capital was recorded in ‘very poor’ category with the air quality index being at 346.

On Wednesday, the maximum temperature was recorded at 21.3 degrees Celsius, a notch above the season’s average.

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