24 from Kerala, 7 from TN, 1 from Karnataka among 49 killed in Kuwait building fire

News Network
June 14, 2024

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An uneasy silence hung over the import cargo terminal of the Kochi airport on Friday morning as authorities made arrangements to receive the bodies Indians who lost their lives in a tragic building fire in Kuwait two days ago. Ambulances were stationed at the terminal to carry the victims' bodies to their homes.

The special flight carrying the bodies of 23 Keralites, seven Tamil Nadu natives, and one Karnataka resident is expected to reach the Cochin International Airport around 10.30 am, Deputy Inspector General, Ernakulam Range, Putta Vimaladitya told the media.

The mortal remains will be received in Kochi by their respective state governments and taken to their homes. The flight will then leave for Delhi with the bodies of the victims from other states.

The blaze in the seven-storey building that housed 196 migrant workers in Mangaf, south of Kuwait City, on Wednesday killed 49 people and injured around 50 others. A preliminary probe has indicated glaring lapses – there were around two dozen gas cylinders on the ground floor of the building; inflammable materials were used as partitions to separate the workers in the cramped rooms; the doors to the rooftop were locked, etc.

24 of the Indian victims are from Kerala, 7 from Tamil Nadu, 4 from Uttar Pradesh, 3 from Andhra Pradesh and 2 each from Bihar and Odisha. The victims also include 1 person each from Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab and West Bengal.

The Karnataka man who died in mishap has been identified as Vijaykumar Prasanna from Alanda in Kalaburgi district.

Out of 24 Keralites who lost their lives, 23 have been identified. Of these, five are from Pathanamthitta district, four from Kollam, three each from Kottayam and Kannur, two each from Thiruvananthapuram, Kasaragod and Malappuram and one each from Alappuzha and Thrissur districts.

Some of the bodies that are yet to be identified will be subjected to DNA test and the process will take two weeks to complete, said NORKA Principal Secretary Dr K Vasuki.

She said the immediate priority is to bring back the bodies, for which the Union government has arranged a special aircraft.

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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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News Network
July 16,2024

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A shooting near a mosque in Oman killed at least four people and wounded several others in a rare act of violence in the Gulf nation.

The attack early on Tuesday took place in Wadi al-Kabir, a district east of the capital city, Muscat, during a major religious event for Shia Muslims.

Video from the scene shows people fleeing near the Imam Ali Mosque, its minaret visible, as gunfire rings out followed by a voice saying, “Oh God!”

Omani police said they’re taking “all necessary security measures and procedures … to handle the situation”. They gave an initial casualty toll of four killed and “several” injured.

“The authorities are continuing to gather evidence and conduct investigations to uncover the circumstances surrounding the incident,” police said on social media platform X.

No motive or potential suspects were identified in the attack. A state of emergency was declared in the area.

‘Remain vigilant’

It appears some of the victims were Pakistani expats as Pakistan’s ambassador “visited three hospitals and met with the wounded”, an embassy statement said, adding, “all Pakistanis residing in Oman are requested to cooperate with the authorities”.

The US Embassy in Muscat issued a security alert following the shooting and cancelled all visa appointments on Tuesday.

“US citizens should remain vigilant, monitor local news, and heed directions of local authorities,” the embassy wrote on X.

Such an attack is rare in Oman, a frequent regional mediator with a low crime rate. It comes during the Muslim day of Ashura when Shia Muslims commemorate the seventh-century battlefield martyrdom of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

Many Shia mark Ashura by performing a pilgrimage to Imam Hussein’s shrine in the Iraqi city of Karbala. Sunni Muslims commemorate the day through fasting. 

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coastaldigest.com news network
July 11,2024

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka Lokayukta on Thursday, July 11, morning raided 56 locations across nine districts in connection with 11 disproportionate asset cases.

The raids are underway at two locations in Chitradurga and Davanagere, and one each in Kalaburagi, Mandya, Dharwad, Belagavi, Kolar, Mysuru, and Hassan. The officials have raided the properties of 11 government officials, including two retired government employees.

Properties related to Basavaraj Magi, Revenue Officer, BBMP (Kengeri Zone); Shivaraju S, retired executive officer from Mandya; M Ravindra, retired chief engineer at Minor Irrigation Department; Shekar Gowda, Project Director; DH Umesh, Executive Engineer; and MS Prabhakar, Assistant Executive Engineer.

Simultaneously, the Lokayukta officials are conducting raids at the properties of Vijianna, Tahsildar; Mahesh K, superintendent engineer; NM Jagadish, grade 1 secretary; and KG Jagadish, superintendent engineer.

A well-placed officer at the Lokayukta said that they had taken up DA cases even before the raids. They had done the background work to list all the properties linked to officials on whom raids are underway.

The raids are a joint operation of the Karnataka Lokayukta wing and the police wing of the anti-corruption watchdog. The Superintendents of Police (SP) with the Karnataka Lokayukta in the respective districts are supervising the ongoing raids, and over 100 officers are aiding them.

This is the third such massive raid Lokayukta has taken up this year.

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