Kuwait building fire: 30 Indian expats among dozens killed; embassy assures assistance to injured

News Network
June 12, 2024

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At least 30 workers were among dozens killed in a massive fire that broke out in a building housing workers in the city of Mangaf in southern Kuwait early Wednesday. According to the Health Ministry, the blaze also injured nearly 50 workers.

In a post on X, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered condolences to the families of those killed in the fire. "The fire mishap in Kuwait City is saddening. My thoughts are with all those who have lost their near and dear ones. I pray that the injured recover at the earliest. The Indian Embassy in Kuwait is closely monitoring the situation and working with the authorities there to assist the affected," he said.

Condoling the deaths, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said he was "deeply shocked" and that the Indian ambassador had gone to the camp.

"Deeply shocked by the news of the fire incident in Kuwait City. There are reportedly over 40 deaths and over 50 have been hospitalised. Our Ambassador has gone to the camp. We are awaiting further information," he said in a post on X.

Jaishankar further expressed condolences to the victims' families and wished the injured people early and full recovery.

Meanwhile, the Indian ambassador in Kuwait Adarsh Swaika met a number of injured workers and assured them of full assistance from the Embassy, the Indian embassy in Kuwait posted on X.

The Indian embassy has also put out an emergency helpline number and has people to connect over the helpline for updates.

"In connection with the tragic fire accident involving Indian workers today, Embassy has put in place an emergency helpline number: +965-65505246. All concerned are requested to connect over this helpline for updates. Embassy remains committed to render all possible assistance," the Indian embassy in Kuwait posted on X.

Action against owner

The building, which accommodates over 195 labourers from the nearby commercial area, housed people from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and North India. The building belongs to NBTC group owned by Malayali businessman KG Abraham. Employees at NBTC's supermarket also lived in the building.

Kuwait Deputy Prime Minister Fahad Yusuf Al-Sabah visited the site and ordered a police inquiry in the matter. He has instructed the police to detain the owner of the building, its janitor, and the employer of the workers living there until the conclusion of the criminal investigation into the fire. 

He has also directed the Kuwait Municipality and the Public Authority for Manpower to take immediate action to address similar violations, where a large number of workers are crowded into residential buildings. 

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News Network
July 10,2024

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Mangaluru, July 10: In a dramatic turn of events, police opened fire on the notorious ‘Chaddi Gang’ known for their involvement in robbery, as they attempted to flee this morning. The incident unfolded on the outskirts of the city at Padu Panambur. During a site inspection, the robbers attacked the police, prompting the officers to open fire in self-defense.

The robbers have been identified as Raju Singhania (24), Mayur (30), Bali (22), and Vicky (21), all hailing from Madhya Pradesh. On Wednesday morning, during the inspection, the robbers attacked an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) and another officer in a bid to escape. Police Commissioner Anupam Agarwal stated that the officers fired at the robbers' legs to prevent their escape.

Two police officers sustained injuries in the incident. The injured robbers and officers were promptly taken to the hospital for treatment. Senior police officials visited the site following the incident.

Capture in Sakleshpur

The infamous inter-state "Chaddi Gang" members were apprehended in a joint operation by Mangaluru, Hassan, and Sakleshpur police, thanks to precise information provided by KSRTC Mangaluru's 3rd division staff and private drivers. The gang was nabbed in Sakleshpur on Tuesday, July 9.

In the early hours of July 9, 2024, the gang committed a robbery and assault at a house on Kotekani Road, Derebailu village, targeting an elderly couple, Victor Mendonca and Patricia Mendonca, in Mangaluru. They fled the scene in the victims' car, making off with gold and diamond jewelry worth Rs 12 lakhs, a Samsung mobile phone, 10 branded watches valued at Rs 1 lakh, and Rs 3,000 in cash. They later boarded a KSRTC bus heading towards Mulky. CCTV footage revealed the accused traveling to Mangaluru.

Upon receiving this information, police approached KSRTC Mangaluru's 3rd division. They showed the video footage to a driver who recognized the bus and confirmed that four unknown individuals had boarded their bus at the Mulky bus stand and later alighted in Mangaluru. They subsequently traveled on the 5:30 AM Mangaluru-Bangalore KSRTC bus of the same division.

Using the information provided by KSRTC staff and private drivers, police traced the robbers to Sakleshpur. With the assistance of Hassan and Sakleshpur police, they successfully apprehended the gang members. The stolen gold, cash, and watches from Mangaluru were recovered from the accused and handed over to the Urwa police.

The police managed to trace and capture the accused within five hours of the theft at Kotekani.

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coastaldigest.com news network
July 11,2024

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Mangaluru: Two athletes from Mangaluru are gearing up to represent India at the Paris Olympics starting on July 26. Poovamma MR, a seasoned member of the Indian women’s 4x400m relay team, and Mijo Chacko Kurian, selected for the men’s 4x400m relay team, are poised to showcase their talent on the international stage.

Poovamma MR had a notable moment recently, marking her third interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reflecting on her journey, she shared with the Prime Minister that she was just 18 when she served as a reserve member for the 2008 Olympics and was part of the team again in 2016. 

Determined to break a longstanding barrier, she mentioned that the team hadn't reached the finals since 2002, but this time, they aim to create a national record and secure a spot in the finals. The Prime Minister commended her confidence and dedication.

“This was my third interaction with the PM. I met him in 2014 and 2018. Earlier, we showed him our medals, and he congratulated us. This time, he asked us questions about our experiences and aspirations. It felt wonderful,” Poovamma remarked. Currently training in Patiala, she is set to depart for a 20-day training camp in Poland before heading to Paris.

In contrast, Mijo Chacko Kurian is making his Olympic debut. His journey began in class XII when he switched from cricket to athletics upon seeing runners at the NMPT stadium while Mangala Stadium was under renovation. 

Living nearby, he approached the coach and joined the training sessions. Despite initial struggles, he balanced his studies in engineering with his growing passion for athletics. His dedication paid off, leading him to leave college after two-and-a-half years to focus fully on his athletic career. Now a junior warrant officer with the Indian Air Force, Mijo is ready to make his mark in Paris.

As these athletes prepare for their Olympic journey, their stories of perseverance and dedication inspire many back home, highlighting the vibrant sporting spirit of Mangaluru.

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News Network
July 6,2024

Mangaluru: District minister Dinesh Gundu Rao directed the district administration of Dakshina Kannada to conduct an inquiry into the alleged substandard work in the Riverfront project, which is being undertaken by Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL) in the city.

At a Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) meeting on Friday, MLC Ivan D’Souza and Mangaluru City South MLA D Vedavyas Kamath brought the issue of the collapse of a retaining wall constructed by the side of the Nethravati River in Boloor to the minister’s attention.

The minister stated that a detailed report should be submitted within a week. Raising the issue, D’Souza mentioned that despite having access to advanced technologies, MSCL has failed to ensure the quality of work.

He added that people have been blaming the representatives for the lapses of officials. Officials of the MSCL explained that a 740-metre-long retaining wall was constructed by the side of the river, as part of the 2.1km riverfront project. Since soil could not be filled during the work, a portion of the retaining wall, about 12-metres-long, collapsed during the rain. The contractor has been asked to reconstruct the wall, the official said.

In response to a query, an MSCL official stated that two cases pertaining to the riverfront project are pending before the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

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