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22 dead in stampede at Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road station, Pakistan agrees to uphold ceasefire: Top stories to bring you up to date

A digest of important stories in the last 24 hours.

india Updated: Sep 30, 2017 07:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai stampede,Elphistone Road stampede,Kulbhshan Jadhav swap offer
Footwear and other items lie at the site of a pedestrian bridge, connecting Elphinstone and Parel stations where a stampede broke out, in Mumbai on September 29.(AP Photo)

1- 22 dead, 35 injured in stampede at Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road station

Twenty-two people were killed and 35 others were injured after a stampede broke out on a crowded pedestrian bridge connecting two stations in Mumbai on Friday, one of the worst tragedies to hit the city’s teeming local train network. It was unclear what caused the stampede, with official and witness accounts suggesting people may have panicked during the morning rush after believing there was a livewire or the bridge was about to fall. The bridge, which connects Elphinstone and Parel stations, is usually crowded during rush hours but it was more so on Friday morning after people huddled to take cover from a sudden downpour. The stampede took place around 10:30am, when hundreds of people are on it at a time on most days.

Read the story here.

2- Mumbai stampede: Rumours of short circuit and bridge collapse created panic at Elphinstone bridge

Every day, at least one lakh commuters take the Elphinstone Road foot overbridge (FOB) and Friday was no different, which begs the question — how did a daily occurrence escalate into a stampede? According to survivors of the tragedy, commuters were stuck on the overcrowded bridge for almost an hour amid heavy rain and the crowd was moving at snail’s pace. Sujay Panse, who managed to get off the bridge before the mishap, said: “The stampede situation started around 10.30am. The bridge is so narrow and it was overcrowded from about 9.45am. No policemen came to regulate the queues, despite the presence of CCTVs.” Two rumours began circulating, which most likely caused commuters to panic, survivors said.

Read the story here.

3- Papa you go ahead, I will come: The last words of Mumbai stampede victim

“Papa, you go ahead, I will come, let the crowd thin out,” 25-year-old Shraddha Varpe told her father as the two tried to make their way out of the Parel railway station in central Mumbai on Friday morning. Those were her last words. Kishore Varpe (57), her father, managed to cross the footbridge connecting the Parel and Elphinstone Road railway stations when a deadly stampede began. He searched for her frantically, only to find that she was among its victims, said a close relative.

Read the story here.

4- Singed by BSF fire, Pak Rangers commit to uphold ceasefire along border in J&K

Hit hard by the Border Security Force’s (BSF) punitive fire during Operation Arjun, Pakistan Rangers at a sector commander level flag meeting at Octroi border outpost in RS Pura sector in Jammu district on Friday said they would observe the November 2003 ceasefire agreement. “Pakistan Rangers assured us to hold the sanctity of ceasefire agreement of November 2003 and BSF assured them that it won’t initiate first fire but reserves the right to hit back, if provoked,” said an Intelligence official, privy to the meeting. Following Operation Arjun that targeted farms and residences of ISI officers and retired Pakistani army officials in retaliation to Pakistani sniper fire, Pakistan Rangers’ Punjab DG Maj Gen Asgar Naveed Hayat Khan had twice called BSF director KK Sharma on September 23 and September 25 requesting to hold fire.

Read the story here.

5- India says Pakistan minister’s remark on swap offer on Jadhav an ‘imaginary lie’

India on Friday termed as an “imaginary lie and story” Pakistan’s foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif’s claim that an offer was received to swap Indian prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav for a terrorist behind the Army Public School attack in Peshawar in 2014. “You have already seen a press release issued by the Afghan National Security Adviser’s office. If you have gone through the press release, it seems this is one more addition to the long list of imaginary lies and stories created by the Pakistani establishment,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a weekly media briefing here.

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6- One polling station in each HP, Gujarat seat to tally paper trail and EVM votes

The election commission will count the slips generated by paper trail machines and tally them with votes registered by electronic voting machines (EVMs) in at least one polling station per assembly constituency during the Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat polls. In both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the election commission has decided to use paper trail machines – or VVPATs – that display the result on a confirmation screen for seven seconds after the vote is cast. A slip generated in the process is collected in a box attached to the machine, and can be used to tally the results later.

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7- BJP govts trying to impose RSS ideology on varsities: Akhilesh Yadav

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Friday alleged that the BJP governments, in the states and at the Centre, were trying to impose RSS ideology in universities which he said, was resulting in students’ unrest and anarchy on the campuses. Interacting with student leaders from various varsities, including the Jawaharlal Nehru University, the Delhi University and the Allahabad University here, he said that ever since the BJP government has come to power at the Centre, the atmosphere in educational institutions has been spoiled.” “The reputation of universities has also been harmed,” the former chief minister was quoted as saying.

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8- Trump to skip India in Asia tour, but could meet Modi

The White House on Friday announced President Donald Trump will travel to Asia in November, which will take him to China and four other nations but not India. But the trip could lead to a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Manila that the American leader will attend. Although there has been no announcement by India yet, Prime Minister Modi is expected to attend the regional summit as well, given the “act East Asia” push he unveiled at the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit in 2014 and that he returned to participate in every summit since; the last one in 2016.

Read the story here.

9- Deadline for selling pre-GST goods extended to Dec 31

The government has extended the deadline for sale of pre-GST goods with stickers of revised rates by three months to December 31, Consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Friday. The decision came after several companies and retailers body CAIT highlighted that they are still left with huge unsold stocks of pre-GST goods and need more time to clear that. After implementing GST from July 1, the government had allowed use of stickers with revised rates, alongside the printed MRP for pre-packaged items to reflect changes in selling price for three months till September 30.

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10- 22 killed in suicide attack outside Shia mosque in Kabul

At least 22 people were killed and dozens more injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Shia mosque in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Friday. The explosion occurred at 2pm local time in Qala-e-Fathullah area of Kabul as worshippers were leaving the mosque after weekly Friday prayers. Eyewitnesses were quoted by Tolo News channel as saying that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. A “suicide bomber who was grazing sheep has detonated himself outside” the mosque, Gen Salim Almas, criminal investigative director of Kabul city, told AFP.

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11- South Africa on top vs Bangladesh in 1st Test despite Dean Elgar heartbreak

South Africa claimed three top-order Bangladesh wickets to take a firm grip on the second day of the first Test at Senwes Park on Friday. Bangladesh were 127 for three at the close, still trailing by 369 runs after South Africa declared their first innings on 496 for three. Dean Elgar made 199 and Hashim Amla scored 137 as South Africa batted remorselessly until tea before captain Faf du Plessis declared.

Read the story here.

First Published: Sep 30, 2017 07:18 IST