Top news of the day: Preliminary probe suggests fault in tracks likely behind Bihar train derailment; first batch of 230 Indians from Israel to be brought back under Operation Ajay, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

October 12, 2023 07:37 pm | Updated 07:37 pm IST

A view of the accident site of the North-East Express train derailed near Raghunathpur station in Buxar, Bihar on October 12, 2023.

A view of the accident site of the North-East Express train derailed near Raghunathpur station in Buxar, Bihar on October 12, 2023. | Photo Credit: ANI

Bihar train derailment | Fault in tracks likely cause for derailment, suggests preliminary probe

Fault in tracks was the possible cause of the derailment of all the coaches of the Delhi-Kamakhya North East Express in Bihar, sources said citing a preliminary investigation report. Highlighting the condition of passenger coaches, the report stated that all 22 coaches and the engine derailed — two of them were fully capsized and two others turned turtle. The probe report has estimated the cost of damage due to the accident at more than ₹52 crore. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar pledged his government’s support to all the victims and announced an ex-gratia of ₹4 lakh to be provided to the families of individuals who lost their lives in the accident.

Operation Ajay to bring back first batch of 230 Indians from Israel on October 12

Around 230 Indians are expected to be brought back from Israel on October 13 in a chartered flight under Operation Ajay, the Ministry of External Affairs said. India launched the operation to facilitate the return of those Indians who wish to come back home as a series of brazen attacks on Israeli towns by Hamas militants over the weekend triggered fresh tensions in the region. MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing on October 12 that the chartered flight is expected to reach Tel Aviv on October 12.

Seven-judge Bench agrees to take a call on giving Money Bill case priority

A seven-judge Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on October 12 said it will “take a call” on a request from petitioners to give priority to a reference concerning the manner in which the Centre got crucial amendments passed in the Parliament as Money Bills. The Centre objected to the request, saying the Bench should not give priority to the case based on a request made by the petitioners, who include Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, on the basis of “political exigencies”.

Bilkis gang-rape case | Supreme Court asks Centre, Gujarat to place record related to remission granted to convicts

The Supreme Court on October 12 directed the Centre and the Gujarat government to submit by October 16 the original records related to the remission of sentence of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case and murder of seven of her family members during the 2002 Gujarat riots. A bench of Justices B. V. Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan reserved its order on the pleas challenging the remission granted to the convicts after hearing submissions by Bilkis Bano’s counsel and lawyers for the Centre, the Gujarat government and the PIL petitioners.

Delhi riots: Supreme Court to hear Umar Khalid’s bail plea on November 1

The Supreme Court on October 12 fixed November 1 for hearing a plea for bail filed by former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Umar Khalid, who is accused of conspiracy in a case registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and linked to the February 2020 Delhi riots case. A Bench headed by Justice Bela M. Trivedi cited “paucity of time” for adjourning the case while posting it after the Dussehra holidays.

Andhra Pradesh High Court adjourns hearing of Chandrababu Naidu’s bail plea in skill case to October 17

Justice K. Suresh Reddy of Andhra Pradesh High Court has adjourned the hearing of former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s bail petition in the skill development scam case to October 17. He directed the CID to file a counter by the above date. A division Bench of the Supreme Court is due to hear on October 13 the SLP filed by Mr. Naidu against the HC’s dismissal of his petition to quash the CID FIR and the ACB Court’s remand order. Meanwhile, Telugu Desam Party national general secretary Nara Lokesh got a substantial relief in the case as Andhra Pradesh High Court disposed of his anticipatory bail petition on October 12.

Karnataka government to appeal again against CWRC direction to release 3,000 cusecs water to Tamil Nadu till October 31

A day after the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee once again recommended the release of 3,000 cusecs of Cauvery river water by Karnataka to neighbouring Tamil Nadu up to October 31, Karnataka’s Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar said the State will appeal against the direction once again. The matter of release of water is expected to soon come up before the Cauvery Water Management Authority, which will issue an order based on the recommendation of the CWRC, its assisting body.

Congress flays govt over GST on Ganga water, CBIC issues clarification

The Congress on October 12 flayed the Modi government for reportedly imposing an 18% GST on Ganga river water, terming it as the height of loot and hypocrisy. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertaking a day-long visit to Uttarakhand on October 12, the Congress also asked when will he visit violence-hit Manipur. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has issued a clarification on claims that the government ahs levied 18% GST on Ganga river water. “Gangajal is used in pooja by households across the country and pooja samagri exempt under the GST,” the release stated.

Israel-Hamas war | Netanyahu vows that Hamas will be crushed

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit on October 12 is a “tangible example of America’s unequivocable support of Israel”. He compared the Hamas militant group that staged a ferocious attack on Israel over the weekend to the Islamic State group. “Just as ISIS was crushed, Hamas will be crushed,” he said. Mr. Blinken reiterated America’s support and said, “The message I bring with me is this: You may strong enough on your own to defend yourselves but as long as America exists you will never have to.” Meanwhile, Palestinians lined up outside bakeries and grocery stores in Gaza on the day after spending the night surrounded by the ruins of pulverized neighbourhoods darkened by a near-total power outage. Israel launched new airstrikes and said it was preparing for a possible ground invasion.

U.S. aircraft carrier arrives in South Korea as North’s leader Kim exchanges messages with Putin

A U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea on October 12 in a demonstration of strength against North Korea, as the North’s leader reaffirmed his push to bolster ties with Russia. The USS Ronald Reagan and its battle group came to the southeastern South Korean port of Busan after participating in a trilateral South Korean-U.S.-Japanese maritime exercise in international waters off a southern South Korean island earlier this week, the South Korean Defence Ministry said.

Sri Lanka confirms major debt deal with China

The Sri Lankan government has confirmed that it has concluded a preliminary deal with China on the restructuring of its debts to Beijing, seen as a “big step” in the cash-strapped country’s economic recovery. In a statement issued on October 11, the Ministry of Finance said, “The Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement on the key principles and indicative terms of a debt treatment with the Export-Import Bank of China. China holds about 52% of Sri Lanka’s $46 billion external credit.”

Sweden convicts man over 2020 Koran burning

A Swedish court on October 12 convicted a man of inciting ethnic hatred with a 2020 Koran burning, the first time the country’s court system has tried the charge for desecrating Islam’s holy book. The conviction comes after a wave of Koran burnings earlier this year that stoked international outrage and made Sweden a “prioritised target”, prompting the country’s intelligence agency to heighten its terror alert level.

Retail inflation eases to 5.02% in September 2023

India’s retail inflation eased from 6.83% in August to 5.02% in September, breaking a two-month streak over the tolerance threshold of the Reserve Bank of India, with food price rise easing to 6.6% from almost 10% in the previous month. Rural inflation stood at 5.33% in September, compared to 7% in August, while price rise faced by urban consumers moderated more sharply to 4.65% last month from 6.6% in August.

Ind vs Afg ODI World Cup | I’ve taken a leaf out of Gayle’s book: Rohit Sharma after smashing sixes record

After surpassing Chris Gayle’s record of most sixes in international cricket on October 11, Indian captain Rohit Sharma said he has taken some inspiration from the ‘Universe Boss’ himself in his journey. During his record-breaking 81-ball 131 against Afghanistan at the Ferozshah Kotla, Rohit hammered five sixes to reach 556 maximums across three formats, three more than the West Indian left-hander.

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