HUBBALLI MONDAY JUNE 05, 2023 `9.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENCE LLOYD AUSTIN BEGINS TWO-DAY INDIA VISIT The US is keen to bolster defence ties with India, especially in the area of technology transfer for the co-development of military hardware PROCUREMENT OF ARMED DRONES ON AGENDA LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR MODI’S TRIP On Monday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Austin will discuss a proposal by US defence maker General Electric to share technology for co-development of fighter jet engines as well as India’s plan to buy 30 MQ-9B armed drones from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc for $3 bn. China’s aggressive behaviour along the LAC and the Indo-Pacific is also likely to figure in the talks ■ Austin’s visit comes two weeks ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to Washington during which the two sides are expected to unveil initiatives to expand the India-US global strategic partnership ■ India has been looking at the manufacturing of jet engines in the country under the framework of technology transfer to power its fighter aircraft JUNE 2016 WHEN U.S. DESIGNATED INDIA A ‘MAJOR DEFENCE PARTNER’ PAVING WAY FOR TECH TRANSFER CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Tipu Jayanti may be back, will discuss it, says MB Patil E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Vijayapura Restoration of train tracks in progress at the accident site in Balasore on Sunday | DEBADATTA MALLICK HUMAN ERROR OR SABOTAGE? RAILWAYS SEEKS CBI PROBE Officials say two persons responsible for the crash identified; mainline junction had developed snag and was recently repaired B I J O Y K E TA N P R A D H A N & HEMANT KUMAR ROUT @ Bhubaneswar / Bahanaga IN a curious turn of events, the Indian Railway Board on Sunday evening recommended the Centre to hand over the Bahanaga Bazar train accident case to CBI for investigation. The announcement came from Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who earlier in the day had said the root cause of the accident and the people responsible for it had been identified. “It happened due to a change made in the electronic interlocking and point machine,” he told reporters at the accident site in the morning. However, in a hurriedly convened media conference at Rail Sadan, headquarters of the East Coast Railway in Bhubaneswar, after visiting survivors undergoing treatment at SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack, Vaishnaw said the case needed further investigation. “Keeping in view the situation in which the accident took place and all the administrative information that has been received so far, this case is being considered for further investigation. Recommendation is being made by the Railway Board to hand the matter over to the CBI,” Vaishnaw said. The request for CBI probe has seemingly brought the sabotage angle into picture. A senior Railway official said prima facie the accident appears to be an act of sabotage, which is now seen as a criminal act. The CBI will be the competent agency to investigate the criminal aspect of the case. Earlier in the day, Odishia CM Naveen Patnaik spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which officially was stated to be on the treatment of injured passengers. The chief minister assured the prime minister that all possible steps are being taken to provide best of treatment to them. EXPRESS READ Cong may deploy ‘K’taka Model’ in other states Bengaluru : After scripting a massive victory in the Assembly polls, Congress strategists are unlikely to go jobless anytime soon. They are now charged up to try the ‘Karnataka Model’ in the upcoming polls in Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, hoping that the results in these states could set a trend for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections | P4 Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan founder Manoj Misra dies New Delhi: Renowned environmental activist and ex-IFS officer Manoj Misra died on Sunday, leaving behind a legacy of battles fought to safeguard precious forests and rivers. He was 68. Misra had tested Covid positive on April 8. In 2007, he founded the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, which led to the National Green Tribunal calling for the phased rejuvenation of the river in 2015. According to some railway officials, human error is the reason behind the crash. “It was entirely a human error. We have identified it and found the involvement of two persons,” a senior official told this paper on condition of anonymity . The Bahanaga Bazar station, where the derailment occurred, has two mainline tracks. Up and Down lines for trains to pass through and two loop lines used for temporary halt to allow smooth movement of trains on the main lines. After a goods train was allowed to stay on the Up loop line, the signal was given for Coromandel Express on the Up mainline. Usually, after a train is allowed into loop by switching on the panel, it People in search of their missing relatives check photos of victims displayed at the makeshift morgue at NOCCI Business Park in Balasore on Sunday | DEBADATTA MALLICK Toll revised down to 275; 88 bodies identified Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Sunday revised the train accident’s toll to 275 from 288, and put the number of injuries at 1,175. Chief secretary P K Jena told mediapersons that this is because some bodies were counted twice — at the accident spot and then again at the hospital. After detailed verification and submission of the report by the district collector, the final toll in the tragedy has been put at 275, he clarified. Jena said 88 bodies have been identified so far and 78 handed over to their families moves a piece of track from mainline to loop line. Once the train is in, the switch is moved back in the route relay panel to ensure that the moved piece of track is returned to its original position. But here, the track piece did not return from the loop line to the mainline and the point was towards the loop line. Though the issue reflected on the panel at the station and a red light flashed for a few seconds, the station manager present at that time somehow missed it. By the time he saw the panel, there was nothing abnormal and he gave the signal. As the piece of track, according to sources, had not returned to its original position, Coromandel Express dashed into the stationary iron oreladen freight train at a speed of 130 kmph. Had the station manager noticed the red light and taken measures, this crash could have been avoided, said the senior official. Besides, the official said, it has come to light that the mainline and loop line junction had developed some snags and were recently repaired by a signal maintainer. “Possibly, this technician, who repaired the circuit made a direct connection with the signal bypassing the procedures. The assistant station manager, thus, could give the signal without knowing the track position. He adopted a shortcut method to repair the fault,” the official added. The electronic signalling system is errorproof and fail-safe, which means when it fails, all signals will turn red and all train operations will stop. Station manager cannot give the signal if there is any fault in the lines. “This is perhaps for the first time in railways history, it happened due to the shortcut method adopted to repair the fault,” sources said. Three separate teams of forensic experts from Kolkata, Hyderabad and New Delhi visited the station and collected forensic evidence. P5,7 Centre sets up 3-member inquiry panel to probe Manipur violence A M I T M U K H E R J E E @ New Delhi THE Centre has set up a three-member Commission of Inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952, to conduct a probe into the incidents of violence in Manipur since the first week of May which has killed at least 100 people , and left thousands homeless. The panel, chaired by Justice Ajai Lamba, former Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court, will specifically examine the triggers of the May 3 violence that sparked the ethnic conflict still raging in the state. The commission will try to determine if there were any lapses or dereliction of duty on the part of authorities and if the measures taken to prevent the outbreak of violence were sufficient. Other members of the Imphal-headquartered commission are retired IAS officer Himanshu Shekhar Das and retired IPS officer Aloka Prabhakar. The commission must submit its report to the Centre as soon as possible, and no later than six months from the Secuirty personnel during an area domination operation in Manipur | PTI date of its first sitting. If it deems fit, it can make interim reports to the Centre before the said date. Meanwhile, violence continued in the state with suspected Kuki militants torching nearly 100 abandoned houses, including that of a Congress MLA, in the wee hours of Sunday . The state has been witnessing sporadic violence ever since ethnic violence first broke out after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. MINISTER for Medium and Large Industries MB Patil on Sunday indicated that the Congress government is likely to repeal the controversial Cow Slaughter Act, withdraw the anti-conversion law and resume the Tipu Sultan Jayanti. However, since “these matters are sensitive, they will be discussed in detail in the party and the government,” he said. On restoring the four per cent reservation for Muslims, which was scrapped by the previous BJP government, he refused to comment as the matter is subjudice. Calling the reservation hike by two per cent for Scheduled Castes an “eyewash” by the previous administration, he said the state government has no right to hike the reservation for Scheduled Castes. “The state government can only recommend it. But the central government has to approve and amend certain schedules in the Constitution. The previous BJP government just announced the hike without following any procedure,” he said. Patil said he will appeal to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to remove the 50 per cent reservation cap so that various communities can benefit. Accusing BJP of only raising “sensitive and senseless issues such as hijab and halal”, he said that the BJP government had miserably failed to uplift the lives of people. “Our government will not spare people who are trying to create communal tensions. We want peace and harmony to prevail in the state,” the minister said. Women should show Aadhaar for free ride G SUBHASH CHANDRA @ Davanagere/Chitradurga ALL state-owned transport corporations are depending on Aadhaar card to find the domicile of women travellers and only Karnataka residents will be allowed to travel free under the government’s Shakti scheme, which is coming into force from June 11, it is revealed. Irrespective of a woman’s original state, if she has an address changed to any city of Karnataka in the Aadhaar card, she is eligible to travel free. A woman traveller in a government bus should display the Aadhaar card and the conductor should issue the ticket having fare as ‘zero’ to the traveller. Free bus travel for women was one of the five promises made by Congress ahead of the elections. KSRTC Divis i o n a l C o n t ro l l e r S i d deshwara Hebbal told TNIE, “The modalities of imple- mentation of the Shakti scheme are yet to be received by us from the KSRTC headquarters. Based on their directions, the scheme will be implemented.” “Even if a woman is from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala or any other state, if she has her address transferred to Karnataka it is sufficient for her to travel free,” he explained. “The ticket-issuing machines are being recalibrated and conductors will be trained on issuing tickets to women travellers. This is to avoid hiccups on June 11,” he added. He said there will be no pilferage of the corporation’s revenue as all buses will be inspected compulsorily by teams of inspectors at various points in the state. He said that 50 per cent of the seats in the state-owned transport corporation buses are reserved for men. Don’t reduce milk procurement price: Siddu to KMF CM Siddaramaiah on Sunday directed the KMF not to reduce the price fixed for milk procurement from farmers by Re 1. This comes after Bamul’s (Bengaluru Milk Union Ltd) decision to reduce the procurement price of milk. “Farmers will suffer if the price is reduced,” the CM said, who has spoken to the KMF MD | P4
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