Describing the incident as “unfortunate”, Swaraj said all Indians were safe.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said there were no Indian casualties in the fire incident today at a hospital in Saudi Arabia where 30 Indian nurses were on duty. At least 31 people were killed and over 100 injured in the blaze at the hospital in the southwestern port city of Jizan, reports said. The blaze broke out at the intensive care unit and the maternity department of the hospital. Describing the incident as “unfortunate”, Swaraj said all Indians were safe. “Unfortunate fire incident in Jizan Hospital, Saudi Arabia with many casualties. Our Consulate reports from Jeddah that all Indians are safe,” Swaraj tweeted. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup also tweeted, saying there were no Indian casualties in the incident. “Update on Fire in Jizan Central Hospital, Saudi Arabia where 30 Indian nurses were on duty. Consulate confirms no Indian casualties,” Swarup tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>
“We’ve offered our assistance. Certainly, India is a very developed government with its own domestic services or capabilities to provide emergency assistance,” he said.
The US has offered assistance to India in meeting the humanitarian challenge posed by the Chennai deluge and condoled the loss of lives in the worst flooding faced by the city in decades.”The US stands ready to assist the people of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, as well as the Government of India as they face the worst flooding in decades,” State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.”We express our deepest condolences to the families of the people who have perished in these floods, and our thoughts are with those families who are still trapped and whose livelihoods are affected,” he said yesterday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said the US was in touch with the Indian government to discuss ways in which it can provide any assistance at a “difficult time”.Toner said so far the US had not received any request for assistance from India.”We’ve offered our assistance. Certainly, India is a very developed government with its own domestic services or capabilities to provide emergency assistance,” he said.”That said, it’s something we normally do especially in the cases of strong partners like India…where we offer whatever assistance we can in the aftermath of natural disaster,” Toner said.While pointing out that the US has a Consulate in Chennai, Toner noted that on December 3 the US Consulate General there issued an emergency message for American citizens, warning of severe flooding taking place in the region.”It’s closed for all services today and tomorrow, and we advise US citizens to divert all travel to the area. Those in the region are advised to shelter in place, but they also should – both Indians and American citizens — monitor the Consulate General’s website for updates on that,” Toner said.Heavy rains have lashed the region with over 250 people killed in Tamil Nadu.
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis is set to embark on a three-day visit to London with the prime minister to formally open a memorial to Dr BR Ambedkar there even as opposition parties targeted the government over not being invited for the event.
Ambedkar London House
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is set to embark on a three-day visit to London with the prime minister to formally open a memorial to Dr BR Ambedkar there even as opposition parties targeted the government over not being invited for the event.Fadnavis said the event is being organised by the British Consulate and will be a “small” one and, thus, the number of invitees are limited.”The programme has been organised by the British Consulate with limited invitees. There will be no loudspeakers or firecrackers since it is a residential area. This will be a small event,” the chief minister, whose tour begins Thursday, told reporters in Mumbai.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The house will be developed into an international memorial to the architect of the Indian Constitution, he said.”(Ambedkar) was a scholar and a multi-faceted personality; he wrote some research papers during the period he stayed there (at the London house). Along with these research papers, artifacts will also be kept on the first and second floors of the Ambedkar house,” Fadnavis said.He added that two students, selected through a scholarship every year, will also get a chance to reside on the third floor.Meanwhile, the proposed event prompted an attack from the opposition Congress and NCP who said that the government should refrain from politicising such issues.”What do you expect from these RSS-minded politicians when they did not invite us for ‘Bhoomipujan’ for the Dr Ambedkar memorial at Indu Mills, where there were no restrictions,” charged Congress leader Sachin Sawant.”They should at least stop politicising issues related to national leaders. They should first understand Ambedkar before they hold programmes,” he added.
In a letter to the Indian Consulate, Rajan has said that he does not feel safe in the custody of the Bali police.
Chhota Rajan, the underworld don who was arrested in Bali after 20 years has written to the Indian government saying that his life endangered and he wants to be sent to India at the earliest, say reports. He also requested for consular access saying that there was threat to life.In a letter to the Indian Consulate, Rajan has said that he does not feel safe in the custody of the Bali police. He also said that he has not been getting proper medical care. He wrote that his health was deteriorating as he was suffering from kidney failure and that he was not having proper meals.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajan, one of India’s most wanted gangsters, was arrested in this popular Indonesian tourist destination on a Red Corner Notice issued by Interpol after eluding law enforcement agencies for over two decades. Out of these 75 cases, Rajan is facing four cases under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA), one under Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and over 20 cases under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).Indian security agencies are likely to send a team of officials here to bring back the gangster who is in custody since Sunday.The sources are tight-lipped about the exact arrangements to bring him back because of security concerns arising out of his fierce rivalry with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his gang.
The suicide as well as murder motive have been rejected.
Jail authorities have ruled out drug overdose and “attempt to murder” angles in the Sheena Bora murder case accused Indrani Mukerjea’s sudden collapse in prison last week and are now focusing on a “new angle”, a senior Home Department official said on Thursday. The official, privy to probe into the last Friday’s episode at Byculla Women’s Prison, where she fell unconscious, said focus on altogether a different angle has led authorities to defer submission of their report by a few days. The report was to be submitted this week. He, however, declined to elaborate on the angle authorities are focusing on.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indrani was rushed to state-run JJ Hospital after she fell unconscious. The 43-year-old was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday last. “Going by the information gathered till now, it seems highly unlikely that Indrani could attempt suicide. She has denied attempting suicide and anti-anxiety medicines were being given to her in presence of a jail doctor. Also, she had no place to hide medicines in her cell,” the official said. “Attempt to murder” theory has been discarded because the food provided to her is cooked by inmates themselves, he said. “If somebody wanted to murder her, there would have been a long chain to follow. This could not have been possible without the support of other inmates. The Investigating Officer has taken statements of people who have come in contact with Indrani in the prison. Nobody seems to have been involved in assisting a third party in trying to kill her. Once these two theories are discarded, the Investigating Officer is now working on a new angle.”The findings of this, coupled with evidence collected till now and the JJ Hospital report will then be scrutinised and a report will be submitted by either Monday or Tuesday,” he said. Newly-appointed IG (Prisons) Bipin Kumar Singh is heading the probe into the episode. After Indrani’s hospitalisation, conflicting reports had emerged on suspected drug overdose in prison. While one report showed she had overdosed on anti-depressant pills, the other found no such thing. Meanwhile, Principal Secretary Home (Appeal & Security) Satbir Singh said that the British Consulate has given an application to the Centre to allow its officials to meet Indrani in the Jail premises. “The Centre had granted the required permission. It is now up to British Consulate to write to Jail authority whenever they want to meet Indrani,” Singh said.Indrani and the two other accused – her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyam Rai – were arrested in August- end on the charge of murdering her daughter Sheena and disposing the body in a forest in Raigad district, about 84 km from here, in April 2012. The case, initially with Mumbai Police, is now being handled by CBI.
Mina: The number of Indians killed in a stampede at the Hajj rose to 45 on Monday as authorities identified 10 more bodies among the victims of the worst tragedy in 25 years to hit the annual pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
Hajj Consulate in Jeddah on Monday said the deceased included three pilgrims from West Bengal and two each from Kerala and Jharkhand and one each from Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
Earlier, 13 more bodies were identified among the dead yesterday raising the death toll to 35.
Saudi authorities have put the total death toll from the stampede during Haj to 769. The number of injured stands at 934. At least 13 Indians were among those injured.
King Salman has ordered the formation of a committee to probe the deadly incident during the five-day pilgrimage in which around two million people from over 180 countries took part. From India, 1.5 lakh pilgrims performed Haj.
The stampede broke out after two massive lines of pilgrims converged on each other from different directions at an intersection close to the five-storey Jamarat Bridge in Mina for symbolic stoning of the devil.
It was the second major accident this year for pilgrims, after a construction crane collapsed on September 11 at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, killing over 100 people, including 11 Indians.
Graphic videos available on the Internet show piles on piles of bodies, people of numerous nationality and race flung on top of each other in death. Asif’s words describe much the same.
An ambulance helicopter lands atop a hospital next to the site where pilgrims were crushed
“One man from Kerala has died, and 17 Indians are injured,” said SM Asif, an Indian journalist in Mecca, speaking to dna on phone, with the furore of the stampede relief work audible in the background. The Delhi-based journalist is in Mecca for Haj. He too had gone for the ritual of the stoning of the devil, in the city of Mina just east of Haj, on Thursday, when the stampede that killed so far 717 people happened.”I was on a floor above,” said Asif, recounting his experience. The stampede took place on the ground floor where, he described, 3000 to 4000 people crammed into a space meant for only a few hundred. “I had gone for the ritual when we heard noises of people running about.” He added, “People had started dropping to the ground of sheer suffocation. That space is such that if one man falls then another, who may be trying to help him will also fall.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asif described the lower floor as a round space enclosed on all sides by a jaali, a wire mesh. “One has to go round in the room for the stoning. When people started suffocating, others got scared. They tried to escape from all ends but there was just no way to get out of the area,” he said. That lead to the lethal stampede.Graphic videos available on the Internet show piles on piles of bodies, people of numerous nationality and race flung on top of each other in death. Asif’s words describe much the same.”Our officers, such as Dr Abbas who is in charge of the ambulance there, have been helping with the relief work. They have extricated almost 200 bodies. Work is still going on and the death count will go up,” said Asif, now with the officials of the Haj Mission, Indian Consulate.”It was the fault of the people in charge of security there. They should have not let so many people go inside, or they should have broken the jaali to help them out. Then so many would not have died,” he said.Though Asif informed dna about the death of one Indian man, the Haj Committee of India did not officially confirm this fact. The Committee had been fielding calls from anxious family members since afternoon.
New Delhi: Two Indians have been killed and 15 others injured in the crane collapse at the Grand Mosque in Mecca in which more than 100 people have died, the External Affairs Ministry said on Saturday.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Indian officials from the Indian Consulate in Jeddah have been on the ground and have set up a 24X7 helpline to provide information and assistance.
They have been monitoring the situation through the night, Swarup said.
“Regrettably we have been informed that 2 Indians have been killed in the unfortunate accident,” he said.
“We have received reports that 15 Indians have been injured and are being assisted in various hospitals. These include 11 from the Haj Committee of India and 4 from Private Tour Operators,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson said.
Over 100 people died when a massive construction crane crashed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque yesterday with scores more injured, days before the annual haj pilgrimage.
A part of the massive crane collapsed as a result of strong winds and heavy rains, media reports said.
According to prison sources, on Wednesday, officials from the British consulate approached the jail authorities, seeking access to Indrani, stating that she is a Britain citizen.
Officials from the British embassy were turned away by authorities at women’s prison in Byculla when the former approached the officials there with a request to meet the celebrity inmate Indrani Mukerjea.According to prison sources, on Wednesday, officials from the British consulate approached the jail authorities, seeking access to Indrani, stating that she is a Britain citizen. “The consulate officials told us that Indrani had surrender her Indian passport and she holds citizenship of Britain and hence the Britain Consulate wanted to meet her and check on her well-being,” said a jail authority on condition of anonymity. “They also cited that India is a signatory to Geneva Convention and according to it they had access to Indrani,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, the Consulate officials were politely declined access to Indrani, citing she is currently an undertrial and she is been tried for a murder case. According to procedure, whenever a citizen of another country is arrested in India for any offence, the Consulate concerned has to be informed in writing. After Indrani was arrested, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone IX, Satyanarayan Chaudhary had written to British Consulate, informing the same.
Washington: More than 100 US cities will organise a Yogathon on the first International Yoga Day to be celebrated on 21 June, organisers of the event have said.
In the ambitious 100+ cities drive, 15 cities in New Jersey-New York area, seven cities in California, six cities in Texas and three cities in Ohio have already finalised the details of the Yogathon, said Overseas Volunteer for a Better India (OVBI) – the lead organisers – in a statement on Thursday.
All major spiritual and Yoga organisations like Art of Living have joined the campaign, OVBI said adding that more than 50 organisations have joined the countrywide campaign to spread the awareness about Yoga.
Sunstone Yoga, a Yoga studio chain having presence in 13 locations in Dallas has come as a sponsor for the event.
Ethnic organisations like the Nepali Student Organisation and Food for Life Global – the world largest vegetarian food relief organisation has joined in as an event partner.
Among its other partners include the Indian Consulate in New York and Air India and Subway.
The United Nations, in less than three months, declared 21 June as World Yoga Day on 11 December last year, following a proposal by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
During his visit to the United Nations in September last year, Modi had urged the world community to celebrate Indian Yoga at the international level and that 21 June be declared as the World Yoga Day.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congratulated Hong Kong-based Indian Yoga instructor Yogaraj CP, who created a Guinness World Record by performing Yoga continuously for 40 hours non-stop.
He also lauded the role of the Indian Consulate in Hong Kong for their efforts to popularise Yoga and their support to Yogaraj.
“Congrats to Hong Kong-based Indian Yoga teacher, Mr. Yogaraj C.P. for creating a Guinness World Record!,” he tweeted. “I appreciate the Indian Consulate in Hong Kong for their efforts to popularise Yoga & their support to Mr. Yogaraj,” he said in another tweet.
The 29-year-old Indian yoga teacher set a Guinness World Record by performing Yoga continuously for 40 hours non-stop, demonstrating more than 1,500 ‘asanas’.
Before attempting the record, Yogaraj had said if he succeeds, he will dedicate the record to Prime Minister Modi, who was instrumental in the UN’s decision to declare June 21 as the International Yoga Day.
The yoga instructor did multiple twists and turns at his Tsim Sha Tsui studio, Prana Yogam, which was open to public for for the duration of the challenge. Yogaraj started practicing the discipline at the age of five and began teaching when he was 12.
A 21 year-old Japanese national visiting Buddhist tourism hub in Paro, Bodh Gaya was allegedly gang-raped at gunpoint for 12 days, says a Hindustan Times report. She was allegedly molested by two other men in a separate incident before the rape.According to the report, the rape survivor who was staying in Kolkata was approached in November 21 by three men posing as tourist guides. She was later allegedly molestated by them and was also forced her to withdraw Rs 75,000 from the ATMOn November 26 she was gangraped at gunpoint by two men, known to one of the men who molested her for 12 days, according to the complaint mentioned in the HT report.All the five accused were held by Kolkata police with the help of their Gaya counterparts.The complaint, however, led to uncovering of the extortion and rape racket. According to the Detective Department of Kolkata Police, the gang operating out of Bengal’s capital allegedly duped Japanese women, luring them by speaking fluent Japanese language and took turn to rape them. “The accused speak Japanese fluently and act as guides. Some even have Japanese wives. They win the confidence of these women by speaking the same language. They take them to Bodh Gaya, a favourite destination of Japanese and extort money from them. They snatch their belongings, force them to withdraw cash and hand over the woman to other members of the gang, who would take turns to rape her,” said Special Additional Commissioner of Police (crime), Pallab Kanti Ghosh. In the recent past, the Japanese Consulate got in touch with the Kolkata Police and informed them of their citizens being raped and duped in Kolkata. “Immediately after the consulate got in touch with us, we started investigation,” added Ghosh. The investigation reached a the breakthrough, when the Japanese tourist, aged 23-24 years filed a complaint against this gang with the Park Street police station on December 26. This complaint comes a month after she was abandoned by the miscreants, who duped and gangraped her. Interestingly, Kolkata Police nabbed two accused from Gaya with the help of local Police, who are being brought to Kolkata on transit remand. Earlier in the day, the police arrested three individuals from the city. Meanwhile, the police is out on the lookout for others involved in the racket. With inputs from iamin agency