QBullet: Gorakhpur Tragedy Worsens; Landslide in Himachal Kills 46

Read The Quint’s compilation of the top headlines in national dailies across the country.

6 min read
Yogi Adityanath.

1. Gorakhpur Tragedy: Adityanath Promises Action, BRD Medical College Nodal Officer Sacked

Facing intense scrutiny from the Opposition over the Gorakhpur hospital tragedy, the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government on Saturday sacked Dr Kafeel Khan as nodal officer for the Department of Pediatrics of Baba Raghav Das Medical College.

The latest development comes a day after the state government suspended Rajeev Mishra as college principal for negligence in delaying the release of payment to the supplier of oxygen to the hospital and ordering a magisterial inquiry into the incident.

More than 70 children have died since 7 August at the BRD medical college in Gorakhpur, which falls under Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s Lok Sabha constituency. Infections and possible disruption of oxygen supply in the paediatrics ward are being blamed for the death. However, the hospital and district administration have rejected the contention that inadequate oxygen supply led to the tragedy.

2. 46 Killed in Landslide in Himachal Pradesh

 The landslide on the Mandi-Pathankot National Highway swept away the road and the buses for almost 800 metres down into a gorge. 
The landslide on the Mandi-Pathankot National Highway swept away the road and the buses for almost 800 metres down into a gorge. 
(Photo: ANI)

At least 46 people were killed and 10 missing after a landslide triggered by a cloudburst swept away several vehicles and a busy highway stretch in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday.

Mandi deputy commissioner Sandeep Kadam said a team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and army dug through mounds of mud and stones to recover 46 bodies from the site.

The rescuers also pulled out five people alive from the rubble. They were rushed to the zonal hospital at Mandi with severe injuries.

3. Big Blow to Hizbul: Yasin Yatoo, Who Took Burhan Wani’s Place, Killed

Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba militants with slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani (centre). Photo used for representational purpose. 
Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba militants with slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani (centre). Photo used for representational purpose. 
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

In a major setback to the Hizbul Mujahideen, Yasin Yatoo alias Mehmood Ghaznavi, who had replaced Burhan Wani as its top commander in the Valley, was killed Sunday in a gunbattle with a joint team of the Army, CRPF and J&K Police at Awneera village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

The operation, which lasted over 15 hours, claimed the lives of two soldiers, identified as Sepoy Gawai Sumedh Waman of Akola in Maharashtra and Sepoy Ilayaraja P from Sivagangai in Tamil Nadu. Two associates of Yatoo – identified as Umar Majeed and Sheikh Irfan-ul-Haq – were also killed.

4. Gorakhpur Tragedy: Principal Suspended, His Wife Accused of Calling Shots

The wife of suspended BRD Medical College Principal Dr Rajeev Mishra has been accused of calling the shots at the college. Mishra, who was suspended over delay in payment to the dealer who provided the BRD hospital oxygen, resigned on Saturday.

Dr AK Srivastava, who was transferred as Chief Medical Superintendent (CMS) of BRD Medical College on 10 August, told The Indian Express that Mishra’s wife Dr Purnima Shukla interfered in all administrative decisions. Shukla is attached to BRD Medical College, but it was not clear in what capacity.

5. Mamata Govt Locks Horns With Centre Over Independence Day Celebrations

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. 
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. 
(Photo: Reuters)

The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government locked horns with the Centre over how to celebrate Independence Day on 15 August in schools across the state.

The state government instructed schools to ignore a directive issued earlier by the human resources development ministry asking education institutions to follow a centre- prescribed format for I-D celebration.

The state government took the stand amid the ongoing controversy over BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government making it compulsory for Madrasa students to sing the national song “Vande Mataram” on I-day.

In its circular, HRD ministry directed all educational institutions to conduct quiz contests, lectures and debates among others on the occasion. The schools were advised to submit supporting video recordings of the celebrations to the office of Sarva Shiksha Mission (SSM) by 31 August 2017.

6. Lok Sabha Elections to be Advanced to Sync with State Polls Next Year?

A man gets inked after casting vote. Photo used for representational purpose.
A man gets inked after casting vote. Photo used for representational purpose.
(Photo: Reuters)

The possibility of aligning a significant number of state polls with the next Lok Sabha election is being discussed in government circles with the scenario hinging on advancing national polls, along with a few state elections, in sync with assembly polls due in November-December 2018.

The discussion is part of an informal exercise intended to explore how to align Lok Sabha and state polls – over time if not in one go – in keeping with PM Modi’s oft-repeated view that staggered assembly elections disrupt governance and are a financial burden.

The political permutations, said sources, take into account views of former Lok Sabha secretary general Subhash C Kashyap and a group of secretaries.

7. Delhi Woman Pushed Off Building After Rape Bid, Critical

An anti-rape protest. Photo used for representational purpose.
An anti-rape protest. Photo used for representational purpose.
(Photo: The Quint)

A 21-year-old woman who worked as an assistant chef at a five-star hotel in south Delhi was pushed off the fourth floor of an under-construction building in Rohini district's Begumpur for resisting a rape attempt by one of her "friends".

Police said the matter came to light around 11pm on Friday, when the victim's friends made a PCR call. Cops rushed to the spot, finding the girl lying naked in a pool of blood. She is now battling for life.

We got a call from police late at night, informing us that our daughter was hurt. Nobody told us that she was injured to such an extent.
Victim’s father

8. Centre Plans Post Mandal: Sub-Quotas Within OBC Share

Even as the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) awaits Constitutional status, the idea of sub-categorisation among OBCs appears to have emerged as an item on the Government’s “future agenda”, sources told The Indian Express.

The idea is still at a “very nascent stage” but has received attention at the top levels of the Government, said sources with knowledge of the ruling establishment’s line on this issue.

9. Delhi to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha: End Strike

Union home minister Rajnath Singh today told the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and other hill organisations to withdraw the indefinite strike and allow normality to return to Darjeeling.

Rajnath also advised a six-member delegation of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC), a platform of political and apolitical organisations, and the Mamata Banerjee government to hold talks.

The appeal suggested that the Centre did not have any plans to hold talks on the statehood agenda, the main demand of the hill parties. The disappointment of the Morcha was manifest in an assertion by a leader in Darjeeling that the strike would continue.

For the Morcha, the meeting with Rajnath, at best, provided the optics it was looking for. In an appeal, the Union home minister said the state government “should restore all civil supplies... Internet services, cable TV and local channels”.
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