Monthly Archives: AUGUST 2016


'You must have needed boats to get here': John Kerry to IIT students
31.08.16 -
'You must have needed boats to get here': John Kerry to IIT students



 Hit by heavy Delhi showers for the second time, US Secretary of State John Kerry applauded IIT Delhi students for turning up large numbers despite the deluge on Wednesday. 

"Don't know how you all got here. You must've needed boats to get here," Kerry quipped in his session with students in the morning.

Kerry was scheduled for a talk with IIT Delhi's students at 9.30am on Wednesday but was delayed as heavy rains lashed NCR. He arrived closer to 11 am, instead.

The top US official got a warm welcome from students as he opened his talk with IIT Delhi students with the joke about the rain.
 
As part of the second India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, US Secretary of State John Kerry visited the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi – the country’s premier engineering college – to interact with students.

The US secretary of state got a taste of Delhi's monsoon traffic jams on Monday, when his motorcade took nearly an hour to reach the Taj Mahal hotel from IGI Airport.

Kerry's cavalcade was stuck near the Teen Murti crossing as the Shantipath-Teen Murti roundabout was waterlogged. Cops had to stop traffic on all the other stretches for half an hour to allow the cavalcade to pass. Sources said more than 50 policemen were deployed to make way for the VIP.

Kerry was supposed to visit the Sisganj Gurudwara, Gaurishankar Temple and the Jama Masjid in the national capital after his IIT event, but that programme has been postponed for now 

Civic authorities and Delhi police have asked residents to stay away from the roads as far as possible. It started to pour around 7 am in various parts of Delhi NCR and by 9 am water was knee-deep in over a dozen neighbourhoods.




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12-year-old dies on father's shoulder after hospital denies admission, stretcher
30.08.16 - TEAM PT
12-year-old dies on father's shoulder after hospital denies admission, stretcher



A father lost his ailing son on his shoulder after he was allegedly turned down at the government-run Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital in this Uttar Pradesh industrial city Kanpur on Monday.

The hospital’s emergency section refused to admit Sunil Kumar’s 12-year-old son, Ansh, neither did the staff provide the father any assistance to carry the boy to a children’s medical centre where he was suggested to go.

The boy died on his father’s shoulder when he was dashing on foot to the children’s hospital, 250 metres away.

Sunil Kumar has alleged that his son Ansh died on his shoulder on Friday, as he tried to get a doctor to see him urgently. The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered two inquiries into allegations that the child was denied timely treatment in this city just 80 km from state capital Lucknow.

"He was in Class 6 and very intelligent. I took him to a local hospital, they asked me to take him to the government hospital," says Mr Kumar, a mechanic. His son had high fever and had been treated at local clinics for two days.

At the emergency ward of the government-run Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital, the biggest in the city, the desperate father waited 30 minutes before he was allegedly told to take the boy to the children's section some 250 metres away. The doctors did not even examine the child, says the father.

Allegedly denied a stretcher, Mr Kumar rushed out on foot, hefting the boy on his shoulder. The heartbreaking spectacle was filmed by a reporter.

At the children's section, he was told that the boy was dead, that he would have survived even moments earlier. "It took me nine minutes....how could he be dead in nine minutes?" the father sobs.

Kumar again bundled his son’s body on his shoulder and walked home. No one helped.

The tragedy highlights, once again, the poor state of health care in large parts of the country.

Uttar Pradesh health minister Ravidas Mehrotra said: "Whoever is guilty will not be spared."

This incident comes merely days after a video showing a tribal man in Odisha, carrying his dead wife on his shoulders, went viral. It was reported that the authorities did not help him and he was compelled to walk 10 km carrying his dead wife.




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Two dead, several feared trapped in hospital fire
27.08.16 - TEAM PT
Two dead, several feared trapped in hospital fire



Two persons were killed and several were injured after a fire broke out at the government medical college hospital in Murshidabad district of West Bengal today morning. Several patients are feared to be trapped inside the hospital.

"A fire broke out in the hospital. Two causalities were reported. Fire has been brought under control. There is no need for panic", Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) S Saha said.

The fire was first noticed at the male surgical ward on the second floor of the hospital. It soon spread to the pediatric ward on the floor above.

Many patients broke windows to escape from the hospital. Two fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the fire.

Smoke engulfed the entire hospital and screams of patients rent the air. Panic-stricken patients ran for their safety, creating a near stampede.

Newborns in the Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) were brought out of the hospital premises and kept on the lawns as their parents and hospital staff attended to them.

 The two women were killed in the stampede and smoke inhalation, according to initial reports.

According to reports, the fire was caused due to a short-circuit in the medicine department of the hospital.

Initial reports suggested that the main exit gate of emergency was locked and the patients and hospital staff could not come out of the building after the fire broke out.

The fire was contained after almost three hours. Many patients are lying in the open with relatives holding saline bottles; some have been put up in in other wards.  
 
Eyewitnesses said there was virtually no disaster management apparatus present in the hospital.

Some locals climbed up trees to break windows of the hospital and rescue patients. Three fire engines were rushed to the spot.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has ordered an investigation into the reasons behind the incident.




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Haji Ali dargah must allow women to enter the inner sanctum : High Court
26.08.16 - TEAM PT
Haji Ali dargah must allow women to enter the inner sanctum : High Court



In a significant judgment, the Bombay High Court today lifted the ban imposed on women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of Haji Ali dargah here, saying it contravenes the fundamental rights of a person.

A division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice Revati Mohite-Dere said the ban order by the Haji Ali Dargah Trust contravenes Article 14 (equality before law within India), 15 (prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, caste, sex), 19 (1)(d) (to move freely throughout the territory of India) and 25 (freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propogation of religion) of the Indian Constitution.

The court has, however, stayed its order for six weeks following a plea by Haji Ali dargah trust, which wants to challenge it in the Supreme Court.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Noor Jahan of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan in November 2014. The PIL states that women were going to the dargah since childhood, and suddenly in June 2012, the Trust restricted the entry of women to the sanctum of the dargah.

Earlier, the trustees of the dargah told the court that entry of women in close proximity to the grave of a male Muslim saint is considered a grievous sin in Islam. The existing arrangement provides for a secure place for women to offer prayers. "This has been decided in the interest of women and they are close to the inner sanctorum of the tomb as far as possible."

"The State Government and the Haji Ali Dargah Trust will have to take proper steps to ensure safety and security of women entering the dargah,” the court said.

The High Court had in June this year reserved its verdict on the petition.

Haji Rafat, MIM of the Haji Ali Dargah, said the high court should not have interfered in the issue. The trust will now approach the Supreme Court, he said.

The Maharashtra government had batted for women saying that they cannot be banned inside the inner sanctum unless it is shown that banning them is integral to Islam. Advocate general Shreehari Aney argued that if the trust says it has a fundamental right to manage its religious affairs, then it has to be weighed against Articles 14 (Right to Equality) and 15 (Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth) of the Constitution.




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Mehbooba Mufti walks out of press conference as Rajnath tries to pacify her
25.08.16 - TEAM PT
Mehbooba Mufti walks out of press conference as Rajnath tries to pacify her



Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today lost her cool and abruptly ended a press conference being addressed by her and union Home Minister Rajnath Singh here when journalists asked questions about her role in dealing with the current unrest. She suddenly got up, saying "thank you”, after replying to a question even as Singh was seated. He also then got up reluctantly and the press interaction at her residence ended.

They also sought clarification over her earlier remark of "only 5% of the population supporting the current agitation’’.

"I did not say it’s just 5%. All I said was 95% people in the valley want peaceful resolution to the problem. The issue has, however, been hijacked by 5% of people who believe in violence,’’ she said.

"I am for resolution of Kashmir issue. There should be dialogue. But by resorting to stone-pelting and attacking the camps, no issue will be resolved. We are not sidelining the issue. We want resolution,” she asserted.
 
The Chief Minister sought to explain the manner in which casualties took place, particularly of the youngsters, over which there has been uproar.

"95 per cent of those killed — mostly youth — have died in retaliatory action while they were attacking the security establishments,” she said.
 
She added, "People have come onto the roads. We imposed curfew. Did the children go to army camps to buy toffees (candy)? Was the 15-year-old boy, who attacked the police station at Damhal Hanjipora (in south Kashmir), going there to get milk?”

Mehbooba reacted strongly after being reminded of her criticism of Abdullah’s government for civilian killings and indefinite curfew during the 2012 unrest.

"The agitation in 2010 was about human rights violations. Machil fake encounter had happened, Shopian rape and murder case was there, a teenage boy was killed - there was a reason for the anger. Today, three militants were killed, as it has been happening for years, people came out on roads and curfew was imposed. How is the government to be blamed?’’ she asked.

Mehbooba, however, added that violence can offer no solutions to the issue in ‘today’s world’. "I am for a resolution of Kashmir but not for violence. If you want to give a cause a bad name, you resort to violence,’’ she added.

"No issue gets solved by attacking camps,’’ Mehbooba said before storming out of the press conference, she was addressing with Union home minister Rajnath Singh.
Even as the home minister tried to pacify an agitated Mehbooba, she reminded people of how she has "saved the same Kashmiri youth’’.

"I have saved them (youth) from knives, when they used to run after seeing the vehicles of task force (special counter-insurgency force), they used to be taken as bonded labourers (by army) in south Kashmir,’’ she said.

Kashmir has been on the boil after Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8. His death triggered a violence that has left 68 people dead and at least 10,000 injured.




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