QBullet: Driver Gives Statement in Amritsar Train Tragedy & More

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Updated
India
6 min read
A crowd gathers at the site of Friday’s train accident in Amritsar.
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1. Amritsar Train Accident: Braked but Couldn’t Stop in Time, Says Driver

In his written statement to the Railways administration, Arvind Kumar, the driver of the local Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) train that crushed 59 people near Amritsar Friday evening has claimed that he did, in fact, apply the emergency brakes but continued with the journey as people “started attacking the train by throwing stones”.

This claim by the driver is at odds with eyewitness accounts, and the several videos of the incident circulating on social media. However, there will be no probe by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) into what is this year’s biggest railway mishap.

This is because the Railways Ministry is not calling this an accident — as its passengers were not affected and its assets were not damaged.

(Source: The Indian Express)

2. CBI Names Asthana as Accused No. 1 in Bribery Case

In a development with wide ramifications, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked its Special Director Rakesh Asthana in a bribery scandal, naming him as an accused in an FIR filed earlier this week. Asthana is No. 2 in the CBI hierarchy.

The FIR has also named Samant Kumar Goel, Special Director of India’s external intelligence agency (R&AW), but not as an accused. CBI filed the FIR on Tuesday. It named Asthana as Accused Number 1 for demanding and taking bribe from a businessman who was under investigation in the Moin Qureshi corruption case by a special investigation team (SIT) headed by Asthana.

According to sources, CBI has put telephone intercepts, WhatsApp messages, money trail and a statement before the magistrate under Section 164. Text messages sent to Asthana seeking a reaction went unanswered.

(Source: The Indian Express)

3. Sabarimala Row Rages On, 4 More Women Denied Entry

The famed Sabarimala temple in Kerala.  
The famed Sabarimala temple in Kerala.  
(Photo: IANS)

With just a day left for the Sabarimala temple to be closed after the monthly pooja, angry devotees continue to block the trekking path to the hill shrine to ensure no women in 10-50 age- group enter the shrine.

On Sunday, 21 October, four women were sent back after protestors found they were below 50 years of age, police said. Hailing from Andhra Pradesh, they said they came to the temple without knowing the custom and they were ready to go back.

Since the temple opened its doors after the Supreme Court verdict on 28 September allowing women of all ages to worship at the temple, ten women were sent back. Of those ten, six were activists and mediapersons.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

4. 7 Civilians Die in Explosion After J&K Encounter in Kulgam

Image used for representation.
Image used for representation.
(Photo: PTI)

Seven civilians were killed in Kashmir’s Kulgam on Sunday, 21 October, in an explosion at the site of a gun battle between militants and security forces after the encounter ended with the death of the three Jaish-e-Mohammed members, the police said.

Police spokesperson Manoj Kumar said the civilians were killed by “stray explosives” after they rushed to the encounter site, despite a warning by security forces. Locals earlier arrived at the spot and began shouting slogans and throwing stones at the troops after they heard about the ongoing encounter, the police said.

The three militants were killed in a house after the gunfight broke out early on Sunday after security forces began a cordon-and-search operation following reports of the presence of militants in Laroo village. The police said once the firing stopped, local residents went too close to the encounter site before security forces could sanitise the area.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

5. Petrol, CNG Pumps in Delhi to Remain Shut on Monday

Image used for representation.
Image used for representation.
(Photo: IANS)

All 400-odd petrol pumps along with linked CNG dispensing units in the national capital will remain shut on Monday, 22 October, in protest against Delhi government’s refusal to reduce VAT on fuels, the Delhi Petrol Dealers Association (DPDA) said in a statement.

There are about 400 petrol pumps in Delhi which also have linked compressed natural gas (CNG) stations and all of them will remain closed for nearly 24 hours in protest from 6 am onwards on 22 October and remain closed till 5 am on 23 October, it said.

DPDA president Nischal Singhania said, “The central government had slashed the rate of petrol and diesel by Rs 2.50 per litre each on 4 September. This was followed by reduction of VAT (value added tax) by various states including neighbouring Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, bringing relief to their residents.

(Source: PTI)

6. Lawyer-Activist at the Centre of Kathua Row Accused of Rape, Again

After accusations of rape were levelled against him, lawyer Indira Jaising who represented Kathua anti-rape activist Talib Hussain in his fight for justice against alleged custodial torture, has said that she will no longer represent him.
After accusations of rape were levelled against him, lawyer Indira Jaising who represented Kathua anti-rape activist Talib Hussain in his fight for justice against alleged custodial torture, has said that she will no longer represent him.
(Photo: Facebook/Altered by The Quint)

Bakerwal activist Talib Hussain, who was recently released on bail after spending two months in jail on charges of rape by a close relative of his estranged wife, has been accused of rape by another woman.

The news portal Firstpost published an anonymous account Saturday by a woman who alleged she was raped by “a man leading the protests against the Kathua sexual assault”. The account did not name Hussain.

Subsequently, in a public statement, senior Supreme Court advocate Indira Jaising announced that she intended to stop appearing on behalf of Talib Hussain, a decision she had taken in “view of full support of the #MeToo movement”.

(Source: The Indian Express)

7. At Bose Event, Modi Takes Veiled Digs at Jawaharlal Nehru, Congress

PM Narendra Modi. 
PM Narendra Modi. 
(Photo: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, 21 October, said that the architects of Indian systems continued to see the country through the “prisms of England”, in an oblique reference to Jawaharlal Nehru and the Congress, invoking sharp reactions from the principal Opposition party.

At an event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’ Azad Hind government at the historic Red Fort, the PM also sent across a sharp message of India’s strength in security, announcing that any challenge will be met with twice as much reply.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

8. Lonely After Parents’ Death, 4 Siblings Hang Themselves

Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only.
(Photo: iStock)

Residents of Faridabad’s Dayal Bagh colony woke up to a shock on Saturday, 20 October, morning as police personnel broke down the door of flat number C-31, following complaints of an odour from the house — and found its four residents hanging from the ceiling fans.

Police said the dead, identified as Meena Mathews, Beena Mathews, Jaya Mathews and Pradeep Mathews, were aged between 37 and 42, and were siblings.

Police said that prima facie it appears they committed suicide. A note dated 18 October and purportedly signed by them was found at the spot, claiming they were taking the extreme step because they were distraught by the death of their mother, father and brother in the span of the last one year.

9. 32-Yr-Old Man Drowns Inside DJB Sewer in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri

A 32-year-old man drowned while working inside a tank of a Delhi Jal Board (DJB) sewage pumping station in north Delhi’s Jahangirpuri on Sunday.
A 32-year-old man drowned while working inside a tank of a Delhi Jal Board (DJB) sewage pumping station in north Delhi’s Jahangirpuri on Sunday.
(Photo: Flickr/Altered by The Quint)

A 32-year-old man drowned while working inside a tank of a Delhi Jal Board (DJB) sewage pumping station in north Delhi’s Jahangirpuri on Sunday, 21 October.

The victim, identified as Doman Ray, was equipped with an oxygen mask and a safety belt when he was sent inside the sewer tank to open a valve. Ray, however, couldn’t be pulled out in time when drain water started gushing into the 30-foot deep tank, eyewitnesses said.

Police said that Ray was employed on contract by KK Spun India Limited, a private company hired by the DJB to repair sewer lines in Jahangirpuri area.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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