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Train services partially resume in Amritsar; protesters booked

The people were watching the proceedings from the railway tracks when the Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU (diesel multiple unit) train crushed them.

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Joda Phatak

Amritsar, Oct 21 : Amid tension and tight security, train services were partially restored on the Amritsar-Jalandhar railway section as the Punjab Police booked unidentified protesters on Sunday who clashed with the police at the spot where 59 people were crushed by a speeding train on Friday.

A near-empty passenger train was plied on the railway section amid tight security measures on Sunday evening.

Railway services on the track on this section had been suspended following the train disaster.

Punjab Police personnel stood guard on both sides of the railway tracks near Joda Phatak (railway gate) area of Amritsar to prevent any protesters from getting near the tracks.

Earlier in the day, railway authorities plied a cargo train on the same section. The cargo train also had empty bogies.

The police booked unidentified protesters who clashed with them on Sunday morning as the police began clearing the railway tracks in the area. The protesters were booked for rioting and attempt to murder.

The protesters indulged in stone-pelting, leaving at least half-a-dozen policemen injured. The police resorted to cane-charge and even arrested one person.

Protests staged by residents against the Punjab government and the railways turned violent on Sunday. Police had to rush reinforcements to the area.

The injured policemen, including a Punjab Police commandos, were rushed to a government hospital. Residents of the area threw stones at the police when the latter tried to remove them from the railway tracks where the tragedy occurred.

The protesters were demanding action against organisers of the Dusshera function near Joda Phatak for which hundreds of people had gathered to see the burning of the Ravan effigy.

The people were watching the proceedings from the railway tracks when the Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU (diesel multiple unit) train crushed them.

Family members of the train tragedy victims said Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and his wife Navjot Kaur, who was the chief guest at the Dusshera function on Friday, had not even bothered to meet them despite their loss.

The Punjab government headed by Amarinder Singh on Saturday ordered a magisterial probe into the train tragedy. The probe will cover if mandatory permissions for holding the function were given.

The railways said it was not responsible for the incident.

Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal demanded that a case of murder be registered against the organisers, who were mostly ruling Congress leaders.

IANS

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Central team visits drought-hit districts in Karnataka

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Bengaluru, Nov 17 : A 10-member inter-ministerial central team (IMCT) began visiting 17 drought-hit districts across Karnataka for spot assessment of the losses incurred by farmers and the people, an official said on Saturday.

“The 10-member team, divided into three groups are on a three-day tour of the 17 drought-hit districts in the state to assess the grim situation arising out of deficit monsoon rains,” a senior revenue official told IANS.

The team, led by Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare Joint Secretary Amitabh Gautam, has been split into three groups to visit the affected districts simultaneously.

The first group is visiting Ballari, Davangere, Raichur and Yadgir; second group Bagalkote, Belagavi, Dharwad, Gadag and Vijapura; and third group Chikaballapura, Chitradurga, Kolara and Tumukuru.

“The central team will meet state officials of the departments concerned on Monday in Bengaluru for discussing the drought situation in the state for the report to be submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office,” the official said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 10 assured a state delegation, led by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, in New Delhi that he would send the team to assess the damage caused by drought in 17 interior and northern districts of the state.

“The delegation sought Rs 2,000 crore package for rehabilitation and rebuilding of infrastructure in the affected regions in the state from the central government,” said the official.

A cabinet sub-committee assessed the losses due to drought and sent a report to the central government for relief aid in October.

State Revenue Minister R.V. Deshpande, Public Works Department Minister H.D; Revanna, Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Byre Gowda were part of the delegation.

The Chief Minister also told Modi that half the state’s area faced drought due to weak monsoon.

The state has been facing drought conditions during the last 13 years. As per preliminary estimates, 15 lakh hectares of agricultural and horticultural crops have been affected, with an estimated loss of Rs 8,000 crore.

“There has been a prolonged dry spell in September, which resulted in about 50 per cent crop production loss,” Deshpande said earlier.

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IndiGo employee commits suicide at guest house in Gurugram

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New Delhi, Nov 17: A 35-year-old IndiGo airline employee allegedly committed suicide at a guest house in Gurugram’s Sushant Lok on Friday.

The deceased has been identified as Mausami Gautam, who hailed from Assam. She was working with the airlines’ security wing. Her body was found hanging from a ceiling fan at the guest house.

The autopsy will be conducted today after the arrival of her family members.

Meanwhile, police has registered a case and an investigation is underway.

IANS

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Bihar: 5 injured in explosion at Nawada medicine shop

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Bihar, Nov 17: At least five people were injured in an explosion at a Bihar medicine shop on Saturday. 

The explosion took place at a makeshift traditional medicine shop in Nawada district’s Rajauli. The police investigation is underway.

WeForNews

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