ജമ്മു: ജമ്മു കാഷ്മീരിലെ ബന്ദിപ്പോറയില് ഭീകരര് സൈനികര്ക്ക് നേരെ നടത്തിയ ആക്രമണത്തില് രണ്ട് സൈനികര്ക്ക് പരിക്ക്. ഷാകുന്ദ് ഹജിൻ ഗ്രാമത്തിൽ ബുധനാഴ്ചയായിരുന്നു വെടിവെയ്പ്പ്. മേഖലയിൽ ഭീകരർക്കായി സുരക്ഷാസേന തെരച്ചിൽ നടത്തുകയാണ്.
A fire and explosions during a fireworks display to mark the start of the local Hindu new year killed 100 people and injured more than 380 at a temple in India’s southern Kerala state on Sunday.Thousands of devotees had packed into the Puttingal Devi temple, about 70 km from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram in the coastal district of Kollam, to watch the display that started at midnight and went on four hours.
The blaze started when a cracker fell onto a shed where the fireworks were stored, sparking a string of powerful explosions that blew the roof of the administrative block of the temple and caused another building to collapse, residents said.“There were body parts on the floor and on the roof there was an arm,” Anita Prakash, a resident said. “In the past, there’s been fireworks but not on this scale.”
Kerala is studded with temples managed by rich and powerful trusts that often flout local regulations. Each year temples hold fireworks displays, often competing to stage the most spectacular ones, with judges who decide the winners.Kollam district magistrate A. Shainamol said people living in the area near the temple had complained about the danger of these fireworks in the past.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew to Kollam with a team of doctors to help state authorities cope with the large number of injured, moving swiftly to head off criticism of a lack of public safety.“The fire at the temple in Kollam is heart-rending and shocking beyond words,” he said in a Twitter post. “My thoughts are with families of the deceased and prayers with the injured.”
Modi has faced public criticism in the past for failing to respond quickly to disasters such as the floods in Chennai late last year. Large parts of the metropolis were under water for days before government help arrived.Earlier this month, a flyover under construction in the eastern city of Kolkata for years collapsed killing 27 people, prompting allegations that shoddy material was used and that the metal parts had corroded during the years of delay.
Television images from the devastated temple site showed people, some clutching children with burn injuries, being taken to hospitals. Others carried out charred bodies of victims.Kerala’s Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told Reuters that 60 of the 100 dead had been identified while the number of people admitted to hospitals in Kollam and the state capital had risen to 383.
With Kerala in the midst of an election for a new state assembly, the fire quickly turned into a political issue as local leaders demanded an investigation.In Kerala, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) trails its Congress party and communist rivals. The BJP has focused on building up grassroots strength in the state for decades.
Kerala’s Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the Kollam district administration had denied the temple authorities permission for the display and the government would investigate why they went ahead anyway.“There was no permission to even store the fireworks,” he said.
Witnesses said they had repeatedly warned the local administration about the danger of firework displays in the crowded neighborhood. Chennithala said a case for illegal possession of explosives had been registered against the temple.The temple trust was not immediately available for comment.
The explosion from the fireworks was so strong that some parts of the temple roof caved in. Local media showed bulldozers trying to clear the area of the debris.The Puttingal temple is one of the oldest in the state. It was built on the site of an ant hill where locals believe a goddess appeared centuries ago.
Political parties gear up for assembly polls
Thiruvananthapuram: With dates of state assembly polls expected to be announced in few days time, major political parties in Kerala are gearing up for the election with leaders engaged in discussions on finalising their list of candidates.The process of giving finishing touch to candidates\\\' list has speeded up in the Congress, the lead partner in the ruling United Democratic Front, with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, KPCC President V M Sudheeran and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala holding talks with district leaders.
The sub-committee of each district have given a list of candidates of their respective constituencies with more than six probable names to the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee.KPCC wanted to finalise the list in a few days time and submit it to the party high command for approval, party sources here said.
Discussions with Front partners on seat sharing was also progressing.The second largest partner in the ruling UDF, Indian Union Muslim League, which contested 24 seats last time, is likely to demand more seats this time.
Other constituents, Kerala Congress (M) and JD(U), which contested 15 and six seats in the last polls, have already demanded more seats.RSP and KC-J, are the other two minor parties in the UDF.
Deliberations are also going on in full-swing in CPI-M, which heads the LDF opposition, in finalising the candidates.
Key discussion in the party is over the candidature of CPI-M veteran and state Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan.As per reports, the focus of debate is whether both 93-year-old Achuthanandan and politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan should contest the polls and who should lead the Front campaign.
Party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, who attended the party secretariat held here yesterday, took stock of political situation in the state and discussed the issue of candidates.
District Committees of the party would meet again in the coming days and discuss on candidates.
Later, the suggestions of the district committees would be debated at the party state secretariat to be held on March 11 and 12, followed by state committee, party sources said, adding, \\\"a final decision on list of candidates is expected by then.\\\"CPI-M had contested 93 seats in the 2011 polls.
Yemen Peace Talks Struggle As Air Strikes Shake Truce
Yemen’s Houthi movement accused a Saudi-led coalition of launching air strikes that killed seven people on Sunday, shaking a truce that has largely held through more than two weeks of U.N.-backed peace talks in Kuwait.The Iran-allied Houthis and Yemen’s Saudi-backed exiled government are trying to broker a peace through the talks in Kuwait and ease a humanitarian crisis in the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest country.The year-long conflict has drawn in regional powers and killed at least 6,200 people, according to the United Nations.“The aggressor’s planes bombed various districts in the Nehm district, leading to the death of seven martyrs and wounding three,” the Houthis said in a statement.
Political sources from the Houthi group’s rivals in Yemen’s government say the bombing in the Nehm area east of the capital Sanaa was directed at Houthi forces that were massing in the area in violation of a ceasefire that began on April 10.A spokesman for the mostly Gulf Arab military coalition did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
As part of the peace talks, representatives of Yemen’s warring sides formed joint political and security committees last week but have made little progress toward a full ceasefire or political transition plan.In a further setback to talks after Sunday’s events, Houthi representatives refused to attend a meeting with U.N. Yemen envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, a statement from the office of Yemen’s prime minister said.
The meetings of the joint committees have as a result been indefinitely postponed, pan-Arab al Arabiya television reported.A civil war in Yemen escalated when an armed push by the Houthis pushed the government into exile on March 26 last year.Seeing the Shi’ite Muslim group as a proxy for its Gulf rival Iran, Saudi Arabia mustered an alliance of mostly Gulf Arab countries to push the group back. But the coalition still appears far from forcing the Houthis out of Sanaa.If confirmed, the air attack would be the deadliest single incident since the ceasefire began.
Quebec Plane Crash Kills 7 Including Ex-Minister Wife
Former Canadian Cabinet minister Jean Lapierre was killed in a plane crash on Tuesday with his wife and three of his siblings on the way to his father\\\'s funeral in eastern Quebec.
The TVA network, for which Lapierre worked as a political commentator, said all seven people on board Lapierre\\\'s twin-engined chartered aircraft were killed when it crashed in bad weather as it was coming in to land on the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, reported Reuters.Lapierre, 59, had been traveling to the Iles de la Madeleine for the funeral of his 83-year-old father, TVA said. Also killed were Lapierre\\\'s wife as well as two of his brothers and a sister, it added.
Provincial police confirmed all six passengers and the pilot had been killed but did not immediately release their names. Photos from the scene showed the Mitsubishi plane lying in several pieces in a snow-covered field.Canada\\\'s Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating the crash, but that due to the bad weather, its team of experts would not reach the site until Wednesday.
The ebullient Lapierre, known for his good humor and animated style on air, made a second career in the media after serving as transport minister in Prime Minister Paul Martin\\\'s Liberal government from July 2004 to February 2006.
He also acted as Martin\\\'s lieutenant in the mostly French-speaking province.
\\\"We\\\'re going to miss him terribly,\\\" a visibly upset Martin told CTV television.
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\\\"He was a very good political analyst, he was one of the best, but he was also a superb political figure in this country and it was a great privilege to work with him,\\\" he said.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, who was in the Liberal caucus with Lapierre from 2004 to 2006, said his former colleague was a natural communicator and a good listener who loved politics.\\\"He didn\\\'t leave anyone indifferent ... everyone will want to pay tribute to him,\\\" Coderre told reporters in Montreal.
Lapierre - praised by media colleagues for his generosity and advice - was a Liberal legislator in the federal Parliament from 1979 to 1990.Amid a dispute over Quebec rights he later briefly joined the separatist Bloc Quebecois before retiring from politics for the first time in 1992 and working for a radio station.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായങ്ങള് താഴെ എഴുതാവുന്നതാണ്.
ദയവായി അവഹേളനപരവും വ്യക്തിപരമായ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങളും അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങളും ഒഴിവാക്കുക.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായ പ്രകടനങ്ങള്ക്കോ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങള്ക്കോ അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങള്ക്കോ 24ന്യൂസ്ലൈവ്.കോം , അമ്മത്തൊട്ടിൽ.കോം ഉത്തരവാദിയായിരിക്കില്ല.