04 JUNE 2023 www.thestatesman.com Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR TURKEY'S ERDOGAN TAKES OATH OF OFFICE FOR HIS THIRD TERM RAHUL'S OUTREACH TO THE INDIAN DIASPORA P7 ‘NEW ERA HAS BEGUN IN NEPAL-INDIA RELATIONS’ P11 P5 ‘MORE GAMES GIVE US A CHANCE TO TRY OUT PLENTY OF THINGS’ P12 Guilty will get 'strictest' punishment: PM WEATHER PARTLY CLOUDY SKY. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURE WOULD BE AROUND 37 AND 23 DEGREE CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. ‘I have no words to express my pain’: PM Modi visits site of the accident, also meets injured in hospital in Balasore RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P Max. 88 % Min. 36 % TEMPERATURE Max: 36.4°C (-4) SUN RISES 05:23 hrs MOON RISES 19.48 hrs Min: 22.7°C (-4) SUN SETS 19.16 hrs MOON SETS 06.03 hrs THUMBNAILS A view of the holy Shiva Lingam of Amarnath Shrine Board at Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. ANI Manipur: Security forces recover 40 looted sophisticated arms: The security forces in Manipur have recovered 40 sophisticated automatic arms that were looted when the ethnic riots broke out, from the police and various security forces, an official said on Saturday. Defence sources said that the Army and Assam Rifles along with Manipur Police and other Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) commenced area domination operations in the hills and valley area across Manipur on Saturday. "As part of a joint strategy for recovery of snatched weapons, these operations are significant for restoring peace and would continue in a calibrated manner. Conducted under the surveillance cover of drones and quad-copters, the operations have so far resulted in recovery of 40 weapons (mostly automatic), mortars, ammunition and other warlike stores," a Defence spokesperson said. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 3 JUNE rime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the Government had taken the Friday night’s triple-train accident in Balasore, Odisha, “very seriously” and whoever is found responsible “will be given the strictest punishment, and will not be let off.” Speaking after visiting the injured at the Balasore hospital, he said instructions have been given for a comprehensive inquiry into the accident. The Prime Minister visited the site of the accident and said he had met the injured at the hospital. “I have no words to express my pain,” he said. People from several States had lost their lives. The accident was really painful and disturbing, he said. He said those who died in the accident, cannot come back but “we are together with their relations in this hour of grief.” The Government PM Narendra Modi meets victims at a hospital in Balasore on Saturday. ANI would leave no stone unturned for the proper treatment of those injured in the accident, he said. He said the Odisha government and its officials had risen to the occasion, and whatever means they had, they tried to help people. “I am thank- done with speed. The railways had deployed all its energy in rescue and relief operations, and restoring the tracks for resumption of services. “In this hour of grief, I saw the whole situation at the spot. I visited the hospital and met the injured. Didiwants probe, says anti-collision device wasn’t fitted STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 3 JUNE Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday announced financial assistance of Rs 5 lakhs to the families of those from West Bengal affected in last night’s horrific train mishap in Odisha’s Balasore district. The TMC meanwhile, has announced an additional Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of those from the state who died in the mishap. Coromandel Exp was on loop line, as per preliminary probe SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 3 JUNE Amidst confusion over the sequence of events that led to the horrific multi-train mishap in Odisha's Balasore on Friday evening, preliminary investigations indicate that the Coromandel Express that was going towards Chennai, entered the loop line and crashed into a goods train parked there just ahead of the Bahanagar Bazar station. Several coaches of the SMVP-Howrah Superfast Express, that was coming in the opposite direction, capsized after crashing into the coaches of Coromandel Express that had scattered on the adjacent track. A preliminary report has been submitted to the Railway Board, according to sources. Railway Ministry officials said that 12841 Coromandel Express (Shalimar-Chennai) at the time of the accident was ful to the people of the area who gave all possible help, including donating blood, and joining in the rescue work, particularly the youth who worked the whole night.” Mr Modi said the citizens gave help in ensuring the relief work was travelling at its full speed across the Bahanaga Bazar station as it was not supposed to stop there. “The impact of the accident was such that 21 of its coaches derailed with three of them infringing on the down line, on which SMVP-Howrah Superfast Express was passing through simultaneously and collided, resulting in the derailment of two of its rearmost coaches,” the official said. While some sources indicated a possible signalling failure, railway officials said it is not yet clear if Coromandel Express entered the loop line and hit the stationary goods train or it first derailed and then hit the parked train after entering the loop line. News agencies, quoting from the preliminary probe report, reported that the signal was given and taken off for the up main line for train number 12841 (Coromandal Express), the train entered the loop line, hit the goods train and derailed. In the meantime, train number 12864 passed through the down main line and two of its coaches derailed and capsized. Some officials, who wished not to be named, said that both the trains involved in the accident were not equipped with the ‘kavach’ system. Kavach alerts when a loco pilot jumps a signal (Signal Passed at Danger ~ SPAD), which is the leading cause of train collisions. The system can alert the loco pilot, take control of the brakes and bring the train to a halt automatically when it notices another train on the same line within a prescribed distance. At least 31 people from Bengal are confirmed to have died in the accident. Miss Banerjee reached the site of the accident in the morning in a helicopter and later visited the hospital where the passengers of the ill fated trains are receiving treatment. Talking to the media with the Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw beside her, Miss Banerjee said: “Steps should be taken to upgrade the railways. The trains were not fitted with the Anti Collision Device. Earlier, there was separate budget for the Indian railways but that has stopped now. There is absolute lack of coordination that has led to the accident killing so many innocent lives.” Miss Banerjee sought a highlevel probe into the incident. Miss Banerjee and Mr Vaishnaw also engaged in a verbal duel over the death toll in the mishap. While interacting with the media, Miss Banerjee said she had information that the death toll in the train crash might exceed 500. At this, Mr Vaishaw, intervened and said: “As Rail disaster: Unclaimed body disposal worry STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE BALASORE , 3 JUNE Identification of the bodies and handing them over to the deceased’s loved ones has become a tough task as authorities here are finding it difficult to deal with this sensitive issue, a day after the deadliest railway disaster in Odisha. Of the 288 deceased persons, as many as 160 bodies are lying unclaimed in various hospitals in Balasore. The government has decided to evacuate the unclaimed bodies to Bhubaneswar for their preservation in cold mortuaries. Relatives of 30 to 40 deceased have turned up to receive the bodies of their respective kin. The process of handing over the bodies has begun, said P K Jena, Odisha Chief Secretary. Though forensic medicine specialists have been mobilized from Baripada Of the 288 deceased persons, as many as 160 bodies are lying unclaimed in various hospitals in Balasore. and SCB Cuttack medical college hospitals for supervising dead body disposal, the post mortem of all the bodies was completed only late this afternoon apparently due to shortage of surgeons. Several bodies are disfigured beyond recognition with heads and limbs smashed. There is no identity proof left. As per the medico-legal procedure, the post mortem of all the bodies was conducted. Thereafter, they will be handed over to the relatives after they furnish proper identity proof of the deceased. The bodies if not claimed will be preserved in a cold mortuary, added Mr Jena. SC stays HC order to check rape survivor’s horoscope STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 3 JUNE The Supreme Court on Saturday stayed the Allahabad High Court’s order directing Lucknow University’s Astrology Department, to examine the Kundli (Horoscope ) of an alleged rape survivor to determine if she was a Manglik or not, after the rape accused refused to marry her on the ground of her being Manglik. According to Hindu astrology, a person born under the influence of the planet Mars (mangal) is believed to have ‘mangal dosha’ (affliction) and is called ‘manglik’. I have no words to express my pain. May God give us strength to come out of this time of grief,” the Prime Minister said. Before leaving for Balasore, the Prime Minister had chaired a high-level meeting on the accident in Delhi. The meeting was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah and senior officials. At the accident site, the Prime Minister reviewed the relief works underway there, and interacted with local authorities, personnel from the disaster relief forces and railways officials. The Prime Minister instructed that a ‘whole of Government’ approach be adopted to mitigate this monumental tragedy, with coordination among wings of the Government. He spoke from the site to Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and health minister Mansukh Mandaviya and asked them to ensure that all needed help is provided to the injured and their families. (See also Pg 3,5,9) Staying the 23 May High Court order, Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, heading a vacation bench also comprising Justice Pankaj Mithal observed: “This (examining horoscope) is totally out of context. Right to privacy is disturbed. We do not want to join facts on what astrology has to do with this. We are only concerned with subject matter linking to this.” Justice Mithal observed, “We don’t understand why the astrology aspect was considered” by the High Court. The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who was present at the hearing representing the Central government to argue for the stay of the High Court order said, “Astrology is a science. We are not on that. We are saying while entertaining an application (for bail) by a judicial forum, can this be a question.” Taking suo motu cognizance of the High Court order, the vacation bench in a special sitting today ordered: “At this stage, we say nothing on the merits of the case, except that in the interest of Justice, the operation and effect of this order so far as it gives directions to the Head of the Department (Astrology Department), Lucknow University must be stayed.” Staying the High Court order limited to its direction asking the Astrology Department of Lucknow University to examine the horoscope of the rape victim to determine if she was a Manglik, the vacation bench further said that the High Court will take up the bail application of the rape accused on 26 June, as fixed earlier, and decide it on its merits. Issu- ing notice to the Uttar Pradesh government, the complainant and the rape accused, the bench passed the order in a special sitting taking suo motu cognizance of the High Court’s order earlier in the day. The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, by its 23 May order had directed the Lucknow University’s Head of the Astrology Department, to examiner the Kundali (Horoscope) of an alleged rape victim to determine if she was Manglik. The High Court had asked the Astrology Department to submit its report in a sealed cover in three weeks. per Odisha government's data, the death toll is 238.” In response, the West Bengal CM reiterated the figure claiming that 238 was Friday night's toll. Abhishek Banerjee, national general secretary of Trinamul Congress has demanded the resignation of the Union Railway minister. He said: “Some body should take responsibility. Mamata Banerjee when she was the Union Railway minister had allotted fund to buy anti-collision device in 2009-2010. But the devices had not been purchased.” Rescue operations end after 18 hours; death toll rises to 288 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE BALASORE, 3 JUNE Herculean rescue efforts which continued for almost 18 hours pulling out passengers and bodies from 17 severely mangled coaches in the worst-ever rail accident in Odisha came to an end well after noon on Saturday. The mishap, involving three trains, claimed at least 288 lives and left over 800 people injured. The three-way accident that took place at around 7 p.m. involved the BengaluruHowrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express and a stationary goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar Station in the state’s Balasore district. The magnitude of the tragedy can be gauged from the long hours of the rescue operations and the fact that even major machinery engaged to lift the tangled bogies failed in several attempts before specialised equipment was moved in by the railways. Limbs, clothes and other belongings of passengers were strewn all over the place. PM Narendra Modi who visited the spot and the Balasore hospital said he was deeply saddened and at a loss of words to express his anguish and pain. An investigation has been ordered and those found at fault will not be spared, he said. “I am sure we will learn lessons from the tragedy. The railways has mobilised all its resources for rescue and relief operations. Local people have exhibited great humanitarian spirit by getting involved in the rescue operations overnight and voluntarily furnishing water, food and even blood,” he said. The state government has done its best with available resources, he added. The priority is to render best possible treatment to the injured and ensure their return as well as speedy restoration of the track, he said. On Friday evening, the Coromandel Express that was going towards Chennai first derailed and collided with the stationary goods trains, after which some of its coaches were hit by the SMVP-Howrah Superfast Express that was coming from the opposite direction on the adjoining track.
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