Number of NRIs killed in Kuwait building fire rises to 45; emir vows prompt probe

News Network
June 13, 2024

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Kuwaiti authorities have identified the bodies of 45 Indians and three Filipino nationals killed in the tragic fire incident in a building housing foreign workers in the Gulf Kingdom, a top official said on Thursday. Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah was quoted as saying by Arab Times that efforts are still underway to determine the identity of one remaining body.

According to the Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs of State of Kerala, the number of people from Kerala who died in the Kuwait fire tragedy has risen to 24. 

The blaze, which started in the kitchen, erupted around 4 am on Wednesday while most of the 195 migrant workers were asleep. The fire incident in southern Kuwait’s Mangaf area claimed 49 lives and injured 50 others.

Meanwhile, an Indian Air Force aircraft is on standby to bring back the mortal remains of Indians killed in the incident. Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya assured full support to the Indians affected in the fire and vowed to promptly investigate the tragedy, hours after meeting Minister of State for External Affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh.

Kerala govt to provide Rs 5 lakh

The Kerala government said it will provide Rs 5 lakh financial assistance to the families of the people from the state who died in the Kuwait fire tragedy that claimed 49 lives and left 50 others injured.
The decision was taken at an emergency Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the morning, a statement issued by his office said. The cabinet also decided to provide Rs 1 lakh financial assistance to those injured in the incident, it said.
The statement also said prominent businessmen M A Yusuff Ali and Ravi Pillai have informed the CM that they will provide Rs 5 lakh and Rs 2 lakh, respectively, to each of the families of the Keralites who died in the fire.

Probe ordered

Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has ordered a probe into the fire incident at the apartment building, which housed foreign workers with mostly Indians. At least 49 people have died, and the Emir has instructed the officials to investigate the cause of the fire and hold those responsible in the incident as accountable for it.

PM holds meeting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the fire incident as "saddening" and held a meeting with external affairs minister S Jaishankar, NSA Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, and Principal Secretary to the PM PK Mishra to review the situation. 

The fire in the Al-Mangaf building was reported to authorities in Al-Ahmadi governorate at 4:30 am yesterday, with most of the deaths attributed to smoke inhalation. Kuwaiti media reported that the fire started in a kitchen. Kuwait's interior ministry confirmed that the death toll had reached 49.

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News Network
July 3,2024

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Bengaluru: Police detained over 10 people, including state BJP chief B Y Vijayendra and leader of the opposition in the assembly, R Ashoka, for attempting to lay siege to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's official residence on Kumar Krupa Road in central Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Led by Vijayendra and Ashoka, over 10 people attempted to stage a protest in front of the Guest House, just beside the CM's official residence, against the alleged multi-crore scam at the Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation (KMVSTDC) and recent developments in the state, such as the fuel price hike.

Even as the protestors gathered to denounce the Congress government and the CM, as a precautionary measure, security forces deputed at the K K Guest House (near CM’s house) swooped down on the agitators, detained them and shifted them to a bus stationed at the location.

BJP leaders Araga Jnanendra, MLAs Suresh Kumar and Aravind Bellad and MLC CT Ravi were among the protesters detained by the police.

The alleged multi-crore scam in the KMVSTDC came to light after Chandrashekhar, the accounts superintendent of the corporation, died by suicide on May 26 at his residence in Shivamogga.

The Karnataka governmentt transferred the case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the scam.

The SIT has arrested 11 people in connection with the case and the inister for Tribal Welfare, B Nagendra resigned from the Cabinet after the scam came to light.

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News Network
July 6,2024

Mangaluru: The Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) meeting chaired by district minister Dinesh Gundu Rao here on Friday, debated why Dakshina Kannada had not been sanctioned houses for the poor under various government schemes after the 2021-2022 period.

Puttur MLA Ashok Kumar Rai, raising the issue, said that although housing schemes had been sanctioned for all districts across the state, Dakshina Kannada had not been considered after 2021-22.

“It has been brought to my notice during a discussion with the housing minister, that the district has not submitted a demand for houses between 2021-22 and 2024-25,” Rai said.

When an official cited a technical reason, the minister stated that it was a serious lapse on the part of the officials. 

“There is a need for the initiation of disciplinary action against the concerned officials, because the district failed to sanction houses in the past four years, despite having government land. We cannot tolerate negligence in the implementation of the housing scheme for the poor,” the minister said. Officials informed that in the 10 years between 2010 and 2020, the district was sanctioned 64,123 houses. While 48,252 houses have been built, work on 4,898 is in progress, and the remaining are yet to be started.

Dakshina Kannada ZP CEO Anandh K said that as per a survey conducted in 2018, the district has a demand for 49,715 houses. However, no houses were sanctioned after 2022, he said.

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News Network
July 15,2024

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Bengaluru: Senior JD(S) MLA C B Suresh Babu is the party's leader in the Karnataka Assembly, Speaker U T Khader said on Monday.

The position fell vacant following JD(S) leader and Union Minister H D Kumaraswamy's election to the Lok Sabaha.

"JD(S) state President H D Kumaraswamy on July 14 has given a letter stating that Chikkanayakanahalli MLA C B Suresh Babu has been appointed as the JD(S) party leader (in the Assembly) and the same has to be recognised. Accordingly, Suresh Babu has been recognised as the JD(S) party leader," Khader told the House.

Kumaraswamy resigned as the MLA from Channapatna segment after his election to the Lok Sabha in the recent polls.

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