Kochi 15 October 2013 tuesday `5 pages 20 late city edition CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BANGALORE ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELGAUM ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIMOGA ■ TIRUCHY ■ www.newindianexpress.com Man-made MP Temple Tragedy Kills 115 standard operating procedures not in place at the annual pilgrimage to the 400-year-old temple in datia district number of pilgrims dead at Ratangarh shrine on sunday goes up to 115; over 100 others reported injured by Abhinandan Mishra r a da r US Economists Win Nobel Stockholm: US trio Lars Peter Hansen, Eugene Fama and Robert Shiller won the Nobel Economics Prize on Monday for groundbreaking work on spotting trends in asset markets, the jury said. P12 Move to Snap Agusta Deal New Delhi: Armed with fresh details on the alleged kickbacks, India has initiated steps to cancel the `3,600 crore chopper deal with Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland by issuing a showcause notice to it in this regard. Ex-Minister Dharia Dies Pune: Former Union minister Mohan Dharia, 89, who quit the Indira Gandhi government against imposition of Emergency, died here on Monday of chronic kidney failure. P7 Akademi Books to go Online Thrissur: The Kerala Sahitya Akademi here will publish as many as 1,001 books that completed the copyright terms from its collection of books in a digitalised format soon, so as to make them available to the public. P6 Less Hungry People in India New Delhi: The number of hungry people has dropped in India with its score on the Global Hunger Index improving to 63rd position in 2013, but the country still lags behind China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Arafat Died of Poisoning? Paris: Radiation experts have confirmed they found traces of polonium on clothing used by Yasser Arafat which “support the possibility” the Palestinian leader was poisoned. P11 political blame game begins with chief minister shivraj singh chouhan accusing congress of politicising it 20,607.54 6,112.70 24 ct (1 gm): 3005 22 ct (1 gm): 2,770 Sensex: Nifty: Gold Silver Bar (1 kg): 47,220 Retail (1 gm): 50.50 Exchange 61.55 83.46 US$: Euro: Bhopal: A day after a stampede during Navratri festivities near Ratangarh temple in Datia district killed nearly 115 devotees and injured over 100, negligence on the part of the district administration emerged as the main reason for the escalation of the toll. Despite the congregation being an annual affair, there was no standard operating procedure in place like traffic plans, provisions of separate entry and exit points and barricading to control the crowd. Moreover, despite the temple being only 60 km away from district headquarter, it took the Superintendent of Police, C S Solanki, more than six hours to reach the spot. “The SP reached the spot at 3 pm. I cannot comment on why it took him so long to reach,” D K Arya, DIG Chambal range told Express. There was no response to the messages sent to Solanki. The District Magistrate, who is responsible for the administration of the 400-year-old Ratangarh temple stampede Death toll rose to 115 on Oct 14 Bhind Gwalior Seondha Madhya Pradesh Datia Uttar Pradesh KBK the stampede, which occurred at 9 am, officers posted in the adjoining police chowkis did not take it seriously and reached the spot only after 11 am. “Vehicles are required to be stopped at a distance of 4 km A scene after a stampede at the Sindh river bridge through which pilgrims were heading towards the Ratangarh temple in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh on Sunday | pti from the temple. However, on Sunday, the constable-rank policemen who were manning the area around the bridge were openly taking bribes from the tractors, which were ferrying devotees to the temple, to allow them in the no-traffic zone,” Sameer Garg, a local journalist, said. Court: ‘Allah’ Exclusive to Muslims by P Ramdas Kuala Lumpur: A Malaysian court on Monday ruled that non-Muslims can not use the word “Allah” to refer to God and prohibited a Christian newspaper from using it in Muslim-majority nation. A unanimous decision of the Court of Appeal here allowed the government’s appeal to set aside the 2009 decision of a High Court, which allowed ‘The Herald’, a Malaysian Catholic newspaper, to use the word “Allah” to refer to God. In December 2009, the High Court had declared the decision by the home ministry prohibiting ‘The Herald’ from using the word “Allah” as illegal, null and void. Anger over that ruling sparked attacks at churches and other places of worship. Federal Court judge Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali, leading a three-member panel, said it was the court’s considered finding that the Home Minister had not acted in any manner that merited judicial interference on his decision to prohibit the publication to use the word “Allah”. “It is our common finding that the usage of the name ‘Allah’ is not an integral part of the faith and practice of Christianity,” said Justice Apandi, who read the summary of the decision. PTI Kochi: The decades-long demand for setting up a High Court Bench in Thiruvananthapuram is once again in focus with the HC constituting a committee comprising five senior-most judges to conduct a feasibility study for the same. As per the order issued by Kerala High Court Chief Justice Manjula Chellur, a committee headed by Justice K M Joseph and comprising Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan, Justice K T Sankaran, Justice S Siri Jagan and Justice T R Ramchandran Nair will consider the request to set up a High Court Bench in Thiruvanan- thapuram. According to highlyplaced sources, the panel will examine all aspects relating to the matter and hear the pleas of the Advocates’ associations. Welcoming the decision, Union Minister Shashi Tharoor said it was unusual for a state capital not to have a HC Bench. Given the large number of cases in which the state is a litigant, the government spends close to `3 crore a year in TA/DA for sending officials to depose in Kochi, leaving their work in Thiruvananthapuram unattended. “In other words, it leads to waste and inefficiency. A Bench in the capital would prove beneficial for the people of the southern districts of the state,” Tharoor told Express. Tharoor said he had taken several steps since 2009, including speaking to three successive Chief Justices of Kerala and four successive Union Law Ministers. He also introduced a Private Member’s Bill to push the issue before Parliament. “But nothing can be done without the state judiciary coming on board,” he noted. “The Centre has been sympathetic but feels that a final decision requires the concurrence of the Chief Justice of Kerala. When CM Oommen Chandy and I met Union Minister Kapil Sibal on Oct 4, he promised to press the Chief Justice for a decision that has been delayed,” he said. More: P4 express poll of the day Do you think India will retain its no. 1 position in One Day Internationals? no 33% Today’s question: Is India getting better at cyclone warning and management? SMS TO 54646 www.newindianexpress.com 20 pages, including 4 pages of City Express initiation into the ‘b’ world L Unnikrishnan, Changanassery SB College Economics Head, suffering from low vision, taking braille ‘vidyarambham’ with assistance of a visually-challenged filipino volunteer in T’Puram | Manu R Mavelil Lapsed Rly Funds State’s Loss, Neighbour’s Gain by Deepthi Sreenivasan Kozhikode: Over the years, political parties have made much hue and cry over the lack of proper fund allocation for railway development in Kerala. However, the laxity on the part of the Railways and the state government has resulted in a massive chunk of these funds being diverted, allegedly, to the neighbouring state, over the span of a decade. As per data received from railway sources, an amount The accusation was, however, denied by Chambal range DIG Arya. “A force of 250 police personnel, including SAF (Special armed forces), led by High Court Forms Five-member Panel to Study Feasibility of Bench in T’Puram Source: BSE, NSE, RBI websites Yes 67% Widening gap in major projects Projects Allocated (cr) Utilised (cr) New railway Lines `287.19 `82.64 Sabari Rail line `187 `71.22 Line Doubling `122.41 `89.59 Gauge Conversion `395.19 ` 372.60 Railway Over Bridge `237.38 `63.75 of `2708.55 crore was allocated for various railway development work in the state between 2002 and 2012. Out of this, only `1465.95 crore was utilised. Funds to the tune of policemen deny accusations of taking bribes to allow tractors ferrying devotees into no-traffic zones temple, reached the spot in the evening around 6 pm. According to locals and eyewitnesses, the temple premise and the adjoining areas were being manned by merely 50 police officials, supervised by a sub-inspector level officer. Even after getting to know of Markets Indices Superintendent of Police, district magistrate, other officials face flak for being late in reaching the disaster spot Diverted (cr) `204.55 `115.78 `22.82 `22.59 `173.63 `1242.06 crore lapsed due to various reasons and were diverted for the development of railway infrastructure in Tamil Nadu. “There are times when a token amount is given but the Railways is unable to finish a project. Since the amount remains unused it would be diverted to the next project after a review, according to priority. Many a times resources are spread thin and wide across the state. The funds are not lapsed. It is only reallocated to a project that is on the verge of completion,” said a senior Southern Railway official who declined to be named. However, C E Chakkunny, general convenor, Malabar Rail Users Association said, “The amount diverted to Tamil Nadu is a huge loss for our state.” M K Raghavan MP, Kozhikode said this happens because the decisions are made by a body located in Chennai. “Most of the decisions taken by the head quarters is not positive for the growth of railways in our state. An example is the move to bifurcate Palakkad division,” he said. Calicut Chamber of Commerce president P T S Unni said the lapsing of railway funds is shocking. the SDOP, was deployed to manage the crowd. News about bribes being taken are baseless,” Arya told Express. The Congress has demanded that accountability be fixed to punish those responsible for the tragedy. “It is a complete administrative failure as the whole pilgrimage management was left with the local police chowki in-charge. For Modi’s rally in Bhopal they deployed more than 5,000 policemen but in Ratangarh, when it was known that 4 to 5 lakh devotees would turn up, the BJP deputed less than 30 policemen. The magisterial inquiry that has been ordered is just an eyewash,” party spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said. Countering the attack, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, “The BJP denounces Congress politics on Ratangarh tragedy. All parties should discuss ways to avoid such tragedies in the future. Ratangarh is not an isolated incidence. Such tragedies occur at different pilgrimage sites every year. They must be avoided.” more: P7 Ganesh Faces Many Hurdles ahead of Re-entry by Mathew A Thomas T’Puram: The reinduction of K B Ganesh Kumar as the representative of Kerala Congress (B) in the UDF Government is not going to be a smooth affair. While Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is favourably disposed to the move,many leaders including those from the ‘A’ camp, are wary whether the second coming of Ganesh would spell disaster for the government. Expressing serious reservations in taking Ganesh back, the ‘I’ faction has left the onus on Chandy to take the final decision in this regard. However, Chandy told Express that no discussions have been held on this issue so far. “There will not be any hasty decision. The KC(B) has put forth the demand. It has not set any time limit, but has opined that it will be better if the reinduction takes place sooner than later,” he said. “I’ve constraints in handling the two portfolios handled by Ganesh earlier,” the Chief Minister added. Even then, he was non-committal on any time frame. The talk of Ganesh’s reentry is also apparently intended to appease the estranged Nair Service Society, and derive political gains ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Expressing his strong displeasure at the way the media is raising the topic of induction of Ganesh,the Chief Minister said it will be discussed in the UDF. The front Chandy Rubbishes Media Reports Kochi: Dismissing reports of ministership for K B Ganesh Kumar, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Monday told reporters that a decision will be taken only after holding discussions with everyone. The issue will be discussed at the next UDF meet, he said. had assigned him with the task of taking an appropriate decision. “Since the party has staked claim for ministership, handing over the two portfolios even temporarily to someone in the Cabinet would send a wrong message. But there will not be any hasty decision (on induction of Ganesh),” Chandy told Express. More: P4 Phailin Tragedy Averted as 9 L Evacuated in the Nick of Time by Bijoy Pradhan Bhubaneswar: Monster cyclone Phailin that made landfall in Odisha on Saturday night, devoured its coastal districts leaving infrastructure in shambles, four districts reeling under floods, 1.18 crore people affected, but significantly low in terms of human casualty. The death toll was just 21 because of one of the largest evacuations off the Odisha coast of over 9 lakh people. However, there were fears of an epidemic as vast swathes of the districts were inundated. Phailin also completely destroyed crops across the coast. According to estimates, people in 15,578 villages and 40 urban local bodies were affected by the cyclone and floods. Crops in around five lakh hectares estimated to be worth around `2,300 crore were damaged by the cyclone alone. Ganjam district was the worst hit where about 2.34 lakh thatched houses were damaged and standing paddy crop over 2.1 lakh hectares destroyed. This is apart from the massive damage to roads, communication and electricity infrastructure in the district. In fact, power took the biggest hit. Official sources said restoration of electricity in the district will take at least 15 days. Several villages in Mayurbhanj and Balasore districts were inundated with flood waters forcing the administration to airdrop relief packets in marooned areas using helicopters. In low-lying areas of Baripada in Mayurbhanj, people took shelter on rooftops as water rose to eight feet. Water also entered first floor of the district headquarter hospital from where patients were evacuated. EDIT: P8, more: P10
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