SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 21 OCTOBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 20 | `5.00 |LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR A CLOSER LOOK AT HOW SWAMI AYYAPPA AND SABARIMALA TEMPLE ARE CONNECTED. PEOPLE IRRESPECTIVE OF CASTE, CREED AND COLOUR ARE ENTITLED TO ENTER THE TEMPLE TOXIC MEN ON ONLINE DATING -PROPOSITIONING FOR SEX, LASHING OUT WHEN THEY’RE TURNED DOWN, SENDING PICTURES OF THE MALE ANATOMY Blame game amidst grief and shock WEATHER Mainly clear sky; morning mist/fog likely in some areas. Temperature will be in the range of 36-25 degrees Celsius TEMPERATURE SNS & AGENCIES AMRITSAR, 20 OCTOBER RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 92% Railways says not informed; civic body denies permission issued; Punjab chief minister orders magisterial probe Min. 46% Max: 34.8 (+3) Min: 24.3(+1) SUN SETS SUN RISES 17:07 hrs 05:36 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 15:16 hrs 02:22 hrs Full moon on 24 October THUMBNAILS The Prime Minister of the Republic of Sri Lanka, Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe (sitted, middle) calling on the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi on Saturday. SNS Widespread violence during Afghan polls: Nearly 170 Afghans were killed or wounded in poll-related violence on Saturday, officials said, as the legislative election turned chaotic with many polling centres opening hours late - or not at all -- due to technical glitches and lack of staff. In the latest attack, a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a Kabul polling centre, killing at least 15 people and woundP9 ing 20, police said. he railways was not informed about the Dussehra event along the tracks and the civic body did not give its permission either, officials from the two organisations said Saturday, a day after 59 revellers were mowed down by a train while Ravana's effigy went up in flames in a cacophonous burst of firecrackers. Grief, shock and outrage swirled in the air as families, officials and others tried to piece together the sequence of events of festivities gone horribly wrong when a train from Jalandhar came hurtling down the tracks where scores of people were standing to get a better view of the spectacle. Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, who visited Joda Phatak, the site of the tragedy, and hospitals, announced a magisterial probe and said 59 people were killed and 57 injured. Officials earlier said 61 people were killed at the event, barely 50 metres from the railway track. Except nine, most of the bodies have been identified, Singh told reporters. Most of those killed are migrant labourers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. An FIR was lodged against unknown persons, officials said, as locals asserted that effigy burn- T ing had been going on at the spot for at least 20 years. The Amritsar Municipal Corporation said that no permission was given. “Nobody was given the permission for organising the Dussehra event. Moreover, nobody had applied for the permission with the Amritsar Municipal Corporation,” commissioner Sonali Giri said here. Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani, who visited the spot at midnight, said the railways was not informed about the event and the accident occurred at a stretch between the Amritsar and Manawala stations and not at a level crossing. “At midsections, trains run at their assigned speed and people are not expected to be on the tracks. At midsections, there is no railway staff posted,” he said. For the crowds that gathered outside the hospitals and squatted on the tracks, it all was mere officialese and of scant comfort as they tried to come to terms with one of the worst tragedies of the kind. By morning, the tracks at Joda Phatak had been cleared of the bodies and body parts that were strewn about after the accident. Tensions ran high as police, which barricaded the area, tried chasing people away. “Why did the government not ensure proper security arrangements? THE DAY AFTER Linking the tragedy to Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu whose close aide (the husband of a Congress councillor) was the main organiser of the celebration, the Shiromani Akali Dal alleged that a cover-up operation has begun, and sought action against the Congressman behind the Dussehra celebration Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has directed the state home secretary to prepare detailed guidelines for permission to hold religious and social congregations, in order to prevent a similar tragedy in the future. Forty of the 59 people killed in the train accident have been identified so far and the bodies of 36 of were cremated, officials said Saturday. The bodies of four other persons, who belonged to Uttar Pradesh, have been sent to their home towns by the district administration. Why was such a function allowed to take place near railway tracks?” asked Sujit Singh, one of the protesters. If angry slogans like Congress government hai hai were heard at the resi- dential area of Joda Phatak, loud cries broke the silence outside the hospitals. It was a night of unspeakable horrors, said Vijay Kumar, who lost his 18year-old son Manish. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE THIRUVANANDTHAPURAM, 20 OCTOBER Assam bus accident: At least seven persons were killed and 21 injured on Saturday when a speeding bus turned turtle and fell into a pond in Assam's Nalbari district, police said. The driver of the speeding Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) bus lost control of the vehicle in the Adabari area of Nalbari following which it overturned and rolled down the road to fall into a pond at around 3.30 pm. Goddess Durga idols are immersed in the river Hooghly in Kolkata on Friday. DILIP DUTTA Four days after the Sabarimala temple opened its doors for the first time since the Supreme Court lifted the ageold ban on women in the 1050 age group to enter to the shrine, no woman in the contested group could make it to the sannidhanam. Though chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has declared that his government is dutybound to implement the 28 September verdict of the Supreme Court allowing women of all age groups entry to the famed hill shrine, the LDF government has so far not succeeded in implementing it due to huge protests from the devotees On Saturday, 38-year old P Manju, a functionary of Kerala Dalit Mahila Federation who reached Pampa could not perform darshan at the temple. On getting information that Riyadh admits Khashoggi killed in consulate AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE Preliminary investigations... revealed that the discussions that took place between him and the persons who met him... at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul led to a brawl and a fist fight with the citizen, Jamal Khashoggi, which led to his death RIYADH, 20 OCTOBER Saudi Arabia on Saturday admitted that critic Jamal Khashoggi (photo) was killed inside its consulate in Istanbul, more than two weeks after his disappearance tipped the kingdom into one of its worst international crises. The kingdom also sacked deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri and royal court media advisor Saud alQahtani, both top aides to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who has faced mounting pressure over the Khashoggi affair. The admission that Khashoggi died at the hands of Saudi officials after weeks of vehement denials by the Gulf kingdom comes after President Donald Trump said that the United States, which is Saudi Arabia's biggest backer, could impose sanctions if it was proved the journalist was killed. Saudi Attorney General SHEIKH SAUD AL-MOJEB M SAUDI ARABIA ATTORNEY GENERAL Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said Khashoggi died after “discussions” at the consulate devolved into an altercation, without disclosing any details on the whereabouts of his body. “Preliminary investigations... revealed that the discussions that took place between him and the persons who met him... at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul led to a brawl and a fist fight with the citizen, Jamal Khashoggi, which led to his death, may his soul rest in peace,” the attor- ney general said in a statement. In its first reaction to Khashoggi's confirmed death, the White House said it was “saddened” but made no mention of any possible action against its major ally. “We will continue to closely follow the international investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent and in accordance with all due process,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said. UN chief Antonio Gutter- who has been roaming from hospital to hospital looking for the remains of his elder son. A leg was found and one hand, but they are not Manish's. “My son was Traditionalists continue to hold sway in Sabarimala tussle FAREWELL TO A GODDESS Pachauri charges: A Delhi court Saturday framed molestation charges against former TERI chief R K Pachauri in a case of alleged sexual harassment lodged by his former colleague. Metropolitan Magistrate Charu Gupta put Pachauri on trial for the offence punishable under sections 354 (outraging modesty), 354 A (making physical contact, unwelcome and sexually coloured remarks) and 509 (teasing and using vulgar gesture and actions) of the IPC. Odisha Titli toll: The official toll in Cyclone Titli and the subsequent floods in Odisha has been raised to 61, with the state government confirming four more casualties on Saturday and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directing officials to complete restoration work within the stipulated time. Reports of death of 11 more people were being verified at district level, Chief Secretary A P Padhi said after a review of relief and restoration activities. A WhatsApp photograph of a head had flashed on his phone screen at 3 am, confirming his worst fears - his son was one of those killed. His younger son, Ashish, returned safely, said Kumar, wearing blue jeans. This one is not wearing blue jeans. I have lost my world,” an inconsolable Kumar said outside the Guru Nanak Hospital where most of the injured were taken. Sapna, who was on a WhatsApp call with her husband to relay the 'Ravan Dahan' event live to him, when the accident took place, said they could not hear the horn due to the sound of the bursting crackers. The 30-year-old lost her cousin and her one-yearold niece, who she said were not crushed by the train but in the stampede that ensued. Recounting the minutes before the disaster, most of the injured said they could not hear the horn of the approaching train. They said another train had passed moments earlier. The aftermath had its inevitable political ramifications. Navjot Kaur Sidhu, former MLA and wife of Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, was chief guest of the event, reportedly organised by Saurabh Madan, husband of Congress Councillor Vijay Madan. Opposition parties, including the Akali Dal, BJP and AAP demanded strict action , against those who gave permission for holding the event. They also held the Congress-led state government responsible for allowing the Dussehra celebrations near the railway track. res said he was “deeply troubled” adding there needed to be “full accountability for those responsible.” Saudi journalist Khashoggi, a critic of the Islamic petrostate's powerful crown prince and a Washington Post contributor, was last seen on 2 October entering his country's consulate in Istanbul. His disappearance had been shrouded in mystery and triggered an international crisis, with Turkish officials accusing Saudi Arabia of a state-sponsored killing and dismembering his body. The public prosecutor said 18 people, all Saudi nationals, have been detained in connection with the probe.The Saudi king also ordered the setting up of a ministerial committee under the chairmanship of the crown prince to restructure the kingdom's intelligence agency and “define its powers accurately”, state media said. The controversy has put the kingdom ~ for decades a key Western ally and bulwark against Iran in the Middle East ~ under unprecedented pressure to offer an explanation to take the heat off its rulers. It evolved into a major crisis for Prince Mohammed, a Trump administration favourite who has portrayed himself as a modernising Arab reformer, but whose image and even position at home could now be gravely undermined. “Dismissing Saud al-Qahtani and Ahmad al-Assiri is as close to MBS as it is possible to go,” said Kristian Ulrichsen, a fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute in the United States. “Interesting to see if these moves prove sufficient. If the drip-drip of additional details continue, there's no buffer to shield MBS any longer.” Shortly before Riyadh confirmed that Khashoggi had been killed, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi King Salman agreed in telephone talks to continue cooperation in the investigation into the Khashoggi affair. Erdogan and Salman “emphasised the importance of continuing to work together with complete cooperation”, said a Turkish presidential source, who asked not to be named. The United States warned Friday of a “wide range” of responses should it determine that Saudi Arabia is behind the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as Turkey widened its investigation into the scandal. a young woman has reached Pampa in a bid to enter the hill shrine, large groups of devotees started protests at Neelimala, Appachimedu and other places. Police informed her that it was difficult for them to give protection in view of heavy rain that was lashing the area since morning. Police were also hesitant because they wanted to run an exhaustive background check on Manju, who has allegedly been named in as many as 12 criminal cases. Sources said she has returned from Pampa after giving a written statement stating her disinterest in trekking to the shrine. Another woman who had come with Manju had retreated earlier from the attempt after discussions with police. OnWednesday, two women, 45-year-old Madhavi from Andhra Pradesh and 30-year Libi from Alappuzha in Kerala were stopped on their way to the shrine by protesters. On Thursday, Suhasini Raj, a Delhibased reporter of New York Times, attempted to climb the Sabarimala hill along with a colleague and police protection, but had to return due to heavy protests by devotees. On Friday, two young women, who attempted to enter the temple amid tight police protection, led by IG Sreejith, failed to enter the temple due to strong protests from devotees, including children. Twenty four-year-old Kavitha, a Hyderabad based journalist and another woman, 30-year RehanaFathima from Kochi were heading towards the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple when they were stopped near by a large number of devotees reciting Ayyappabhajanas at Valiya Nadappandhal, the queue complex located a few metres away from the pathinettampadi' (the 18 sacred steps), leading to the sanctum sanctorum. BJP sweeps JMC, makes advances in Kashmir SNS & AGENCIES JAMMU/SRINAGAR, 20 OCTOBER The BJP swept the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) elections and made some advances in Kashmir, by winning 100 wards in the valley, in the four-phased Urban Local Bodies elections in the state that were marred by boycott by the NC and PDP . Independents Saturday emerged as the single largest group in the elections in Kashmir by winning 178 wards across 42 municipal bodies in Kashmir division, including Leh and Kargil, elections authorities said. The Congress was ahead of the BJP in the valley by bagging 157 wards, while the saffron party won in 100 wards. The boycott call by separatists, coupled with threats by militants, and non-participation of the National Independents emerged as the single largest group in the elections in Kashmir, winning 178 wards across 42 municipal bodies in Kashmir division, including Leh and Kargil Conference and the PDP, helped both the BJP and the Congress in a major way as 76 and 78 candidates from the respective national parties were elected unopposed. While the BJP emerged as the single largest party in 12 municipal bodies, it has majority in five of these bodies. The Congress was the single largest party in 15 bodies, having majority in 11 of them. In the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), the Congress won 16 seats and the BJP won in four wards. Independents bagged 53 seats in the 74-member body.
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