Gujarat Bridge Collapse: Death Toll Rises To 141; Search Underway For Missing People
After a British-era Bridge in the Gujarat Morbi area collapsed, at least 144 visitors lost their lives. While 177 people have been saved, several are still missing, and rescue teams are currently searching for them. Around 500 people were on the bridge when the cables supporting it snapped, sending people crashing into the river below. The horrifying incident in Gujarat took place when many were performing Chhath Puja rituals on the 150-year-old bridge. The suspension bridge is located 300 km from Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Visuals from the accident showed many people desperately clinging to the remains of the bridge while many were seen swimming to safety. The old bridge in Morbi is located over the Machchhu river and had been shut for months due to repair work. However, the suspension bridge was reopened recently on October 26, the Gujarati New Year. "Renovation happened last week. We are also shocked. We are looking into the matter... The government takes responsibility for this tragedy," said Brijesh Merja, Gujarat Minister for Labour and Employment. Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi informed that a criminal case has been registered against the accident, and a five-member committee will be probing the bridge collapse. "A case has been registered under charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and intentional act causing death against whoever is found responsible," said Mr Sanghavi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Gujarat, said that he was deeply pained by the unfortunate incident and that the centre is extending all help to the state. Meanwhile, the Gujarat government has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to family members of those who have died and Rs 50,000 for the injured. The Central government has announced financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the victims.
PM Modi Pays Tribute To 'Iron Man of India' Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel On His 147th Birth Anniversary
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Gujarat, paid tribute to former Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 147th Birth Anniversary. He paid floral tribute to the Iron Man of India at the Statue of Unity in Gujarat's Kevadia. Flower petals were showered on the world's tallest statue - Statue of Unity by helicopters. The Birth Anniversary of Sardar Patel is observed as 'Rashtriya Ekta Diwas' (National Unity Day) across India. PM Modi also participated in the National Unity Day celebrations by attending the parade. He said: "I am in Ekta Nagar, but my mind is with the victims of Morbi. Rarely in my life, would I have experienced such pain. On one hand, there is a pain-riddled heart, and on the other hand, there is the path to duty," The PM said that everyone in the country is working to achieve the dream of Sardar Patel.
ECI To Hold Two-Day International Conference On Election Management Bodies From Today
India's principal election body, the Election Commission of India, will be hosting a two-day international conference on 'Role, Framework and Capacity of Election Management bodies' starting today. The international conference will take place on 31st October and 1st November in New Delhi. While the conference will be inaugurated by Chief Election Commissioner of India Rajiv Kumar, the concluding session will be chaired by Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey. The ECI leads the Cohort on Election Integrity - which was established as a follow on to the Summit for Democracy in December 2021. This year, the election body took a collaborative approach to invite Greece, Mauritius and IFES (International Foundation for Electoral Systems) to be co-leads for the Cohort. Around 50 participants from 11 countries, including Australia, Chile, Greece, Philippines, Sao Tome, Nepal, Mauritius, Armenia, Cabo Verde, Federal State of Micronesia, and Principe, USA and three international organisations, including International IDEA, UNDP India and IFES are expected to join the international conference.
Telangana Becomes Ninth State To Withdraw 'General Consent' To The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
Recently, Telangana withdrew 'General Consent' to the Central Bureau of Investigation to register and investigate cases in the state, making it the ninth state to do so. General Consent allows the central agency to investigate a state case without the approval of the state government. Though the order was issued by the Telangana government on August 30, it became public after the Additional Advocate General (AAG) informed the Telangana High Court about the same. The AAG made the information public during a hearing on the Bhartiya Janata Party's (BJP) petition seeking a CBI probe into the alleged poaching of Telangana Rashtra Samiti's MLAs. With the passing of this order, the CBI would require prior consent from the state government before investigating any cases in Telangana. "The government here withdraws all previous general consents issued by the state government under Section 6 of the Delhi Police Establishment Act, 1946, vide any letters and notifications issued, including notification issued on 25.09.2016 to all members of Delhi Police Establishment Act to exercise the powers and jurisdiction under the state Act in the state of Telangana,"read the order. The withdrawal of General Consent is not a shocking development at a time when opposition parties have been accusing the BJP-led centre of misusing central investigative agencies against its political opponents. Before Telangana, eight other states, including Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Chhattisgarh, have withdrawn General Consent to CBI.