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West Bengal: 8 killed, 25 injured after a bus falls into canal in Tehatta village

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Rains clobber Mumbai, MMR for second day but no fatalities

The IMD has forecast heavy to extremely heavy spells of rain in Mumbai and the coastal Konkan area in the next 24 hours.

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Mumbai Rains

Mumbai, Aug 5 : Heavy rains, accompanied by gusty winds of upto 70 kmph, lashed Mumbai city and suburbs, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and coastal Konkan for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, hitting suburban train services and disrupting normal life, officials said.

In a rare development, many parts of south Mumbai like Churchgate, Marine Lines, Marine Drive, Kalbadevi, Dongri, Byculla, Mazagaon, Parel, Dadar and surroundings witnessed heavy waterlogging, throwing the central business district out of gear.

Locals attributed it to the ongoing work on the Mumbai Metro Railway and the Coastal Road Project, though officials declined to comment.

Central Railway (CR) suburban train services were suspended between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Kurla on the main line and CSMT and Vashi on the Harbour Line after the heavy downpour, said CR spokesperson Shivaji Sutar.

Similarly, Western Railway spokesperson Sumit Thakur said that owing to heavy rains, some suburban trains were suspended and all trains were reversed from Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra and Andheri.

At least 250 commuters stranded in two trains between Byculla and Masjid Bunder stations on the CR were rescued by police and disaster teams.

At the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, over half a dozen flights had to do a go-around before coming in but there were no diversions or cancellations, said officials.

Major landmarks like the Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) Phiroze Jeejeebhoy Tower suffered the brunt of the rain fury when its massive signboard on the 29th floor got ripped off and hung precariously.

Some sections of a cement cladding adorning the exteriors of the Jaslok Hospital in south Mumbai were blown off and fell in pieces on the road below, but there were no reports of any casualties.

The roof and metal supports of the iconic D.Y. Patil cricket stadium in Navi Mumbai were badly damaged in the strong winds and rain.

In some areas in south Mumbai, Kandivali, Dahisar, Kurla, Parel, Dadar, Wadala and Sion, water rushed into ground-floor homes, shops or offices as incessant rains continued all day, and the subways in Dahisar, Malad and Andheri were flooded, preventing east-west movement of traffic.

Two persons suffered injuries in a minor house crash in Bhandup, while there were more than 150 incidents of tree crashes in the city, and 10 incidents of electric short-circuits, but there were no fatalities.

Huge traffic snarls were witnessed in south Mumbai with trees falling on some roads in Churchgate, Marine Lines, Charni Road and Worli, hitting vehicular traffic on the Eastern and the Western Express Highways.

With thousands of commuters getting stranded, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday evening said that it had made arrangements for people at 130 civic schools outside the major railway stations.

Heavy rains also lashed the adjoining coastal districts of Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, besides downpours in Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli, and Pune, since the past 24 hours

In Ratnagiri and Raigad, more than 25 villages in two sub-districts remained cut off, while in Mahad town in Ratnagiri, rubber boats were deployed by disaster relief agencies to rescue several families stranded in at least four feet water, and 63 were saved from Sonyachi Gaon in Raigad district.

Rains pounded Palghar and Thane causing waterlogging in many towns like Mira Road, Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Ulhasnagar, Naigaon, Vasai, Virar and Dahanu.

Till evening, Mumbai recorded an average of 22.9 cm rainfall and the suburbs notched 9.5 cm.

The IMD has forecast heavy to extremely heavy spells of rain in Mumbai and the coastal Konkan area in the next 24 hours.

Amid apprehensions of a 2005-like flood situation, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reviewed the monsoon situation and the state government has rushed 15 disaster relief teams for Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur to help in any contingency.

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DU students ‘not thoroughly prepared’ for open book exams: High Court

Meanwhile, a separate bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh reserved orders on a batch of pleas challenging the DU’s decision to conduct online OBE for final year students.

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New Delhi, Aug 5 : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday observed that final year students of the Delhi University “are not thoroughly prepared” to participate in the online open book examination (OBE) proposed by the varsity.

“This is a clear indication that the final year students are not thoroughly prepared to participate in the online OBE that the University of Delhi has proposed to conduct,” a division bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad observed after comparing the data relating to the first and second phase of mock tests that were conducted by the varsity.

The data revealed that as against 1,83,376 students who had registered to participate in the OBE in the first phase, 1,86,814 students had registered themselves in the second phase.

However, the total number of the students who had logged in during the first phase were 93,185 whereas only 75,593 had logged in the second phase. The total number of papers attempted by the students in the first phase were 60,181 whereas, in the second phase, the total number of papers attempted were 51,176.

The data also revealed that the total number of papers submitted in the first phase were 33,162 whereas, in the second phase, the total number of papers submitted were 23,693.

After seeing the data, the bench said: “Even for the PWD (person with disability) category students and VH (visually handicapped) students, the data of the second phase of the mock test is no better than that of the first phase, if not worse.”

The observations were made while the bench was hearing a plea filed by Prateek Sharma, a physically disabled student, highlighting the difficulties that will be faced by disabled students in taking the online exam.

The court also granted 10 days time to the varsity to file an affidavit clarifying its position along with the exact date by which the results of the final year students who propose to sit in the online open book examination will be declared.

“It shall also be stated as to how many students had actually logged in to participate in the online OBE and the assessment of the number of students who will take the examination physically at a later date, to be indicated by the University,” the bench said while slating the matter for further hearing on August 17.

Meanwhile, a separate bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh reserved orders on a batch of pleas challenging the DU’s decision to conduct online OBE for final year students.

During the hearing, the DU submitted that the OBE were the best option to check the student’s knowledge in keeping with the UGC’s guidelines while adhering to the restrictions thrown by the global pandemic.

“The idea behind OBE was to prevent students from assembling in one hall as it would be difficult to maintain social distancing during the pandemic situation. There were detailed deliberations,” senior advocate Sachin Dutta, representing the DU, said.

He further told the court that a student does not need very high technology to sit for online OBE as having an email will be sufficient and that connectivity issues will be far more in other modes.

While the hearing was underway, with a lot of students too present, music suddenly started playing in the background, following which Justice Singh said: “I don’t know what they are celebrating.”

Initially, the varsity had announced that the online OBE would commence from July 1, which was later postponed by the varsity to July 10 and again, the institution has now postponed the same till August 15, without giving a specific date as to when it would take place.

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Delhi HC seeks police response on Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita’s bail plea

Initially, Kalita was arrested on March 23 in an anti-CAA protest case related to Jafrabad in North-East Delhi. She got bail in that case. But on March 24, she was arrested in another case, for which she is in the judicial custody.

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Devangana Kalita

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court, here on Wednesday, sought the Delhi Police’s response over Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita’s bail plea.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait issued the notice and asked the police to file the response by the next hearing in the case.

Earlier in July, Kalita and Natasha Narwal, another member of the Pinjra Tod group, were denied bail by a trial court. The trial court said from the charge-sheet it was clear that the investigation was pending.

The crime branch of the Delhi Police arrested Narwal and Kalita in May, accusing them of charges related to rioting, unlawful assembly and attempt to murder.

Initially, Kalita was arrested on March 23 in an anti-CAA protest case related to Jafrabad in North-East Delhi. She got bail in that case. But on March 24, she was arrested in another case, for which she is in the judicial custody.

Recently, a separate Bench of the high court restricted the Delhi Police from issuing any press note on Kalita or any other accused in connection with the Delhi riots case till the beginning of trial.

The police said Kalita and Narwal were actively involved in hatching the conspiracy to cause riots near Jafrabad Metro Station in Delhi.

“They were also part of a larger conspiracy and were found to be connected to the ‘India Against Hate’ group and Umar Khalid. The message, found in the phone of an accused, on Whatsapp chat, reveals the conspiracy and the extent of preparation for the riots,” the police said.

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