Morning Digest | 233 people killed, over 900 injured in Odisha triple train crash; PM Modi announced ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh for next of kin of deceased, and more 

Morning Digest | 233 people killed, over 900 injured in Odisha triple train crash; PM Modi announced ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh for next of kin of deceased, and more 

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Locals gather after the Coromandel Express derails after hitting a goods train near Bahanaga station in Balasore on Friday.

Locals gather after the Coromandel Express derails after hitting a goods train near Bahanaga station in Balasore on Friday.
| Photo Credit: ANI

Odisha train accident | 233 people killed, over 900 injured in Odisha triple train crash

The accident took place at around 7 p.m. when two coaches of 12864 (SMVB-HWH) Yashwantpur-Howrah Express derailed near Bahanaga Railway station in Balasore district. The derailed coaches tossed over to the adjoining track and hit the speeding 12841 Coromandal Express coming from the opposite direction. It led to derailment of about 17 bogies. A goods train was also involved in the accident as the coaches of the Coromandel Express hit its wagons after getting derailed, the official said.

TMC demands Railway Minister’s resignation over Odisha accident

The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal on Friday demanded Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s resignation over the horrific triple train crash in neighbouring Odisha. TMC’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee alleged that the Centre was spending crores of rupees on software to spy on opposition leaders while neglecting the installation of anti-collision devices in trains to prevent such accidents.

Odisha train accident | PM Modi announces ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh for next of kin of deceased

Expressing distress over the train accident in Odisha, PM Narendra Modi on Friday said rescue operations were underway at the site and all possible assistance was being given to those affected. PM Modi announced an ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh for the next of kin of each deceased and ₹50,000 for the injured from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

Manipur violence | At least 98 killed, 310 injured, says State government

At least 98 people lost their lives and 310 others were injured in the ethnic violence in Manipur that broke out a month ago, the government said in a statement on June 2. A total of 37,450 people are in 272 relief camps at present, said the statement, issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO). In all, 4,014 cases of arson have been reported since the violence broke out in the state on May 3, it said.

Wrestlers’ protest | Meet with wrestlers or face agitation from June 9, khap leaders warn Centre

A mahapanchayat in Haryana’s Kurukshetra on Friday gave the Centre a week’s time to initiate a dialogue on the wrestlers’ demand for the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. If the government failed to reach an amicable resolution of the situation, the agitation at Jantar Mantar in Delhi will be resumed from June 9, it said.

Mural in new Parliament shows Ashoka empire: Government

India on Friday downplayed the issue of a mural in the new Parliament building that has triggered some concerns in Nepal and Pakistan. At a media briefing, EAM spokesperson Arindam Bagchi described the mural as an artwork that depicted the spread of the prehistoric Ashokan empire.

Indian democracy is a global good and its collapse will impact the world: Rahul Gandhi in Washington

Indian democracy is a global good and its collapse would have an impact on the world, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi told journalists at the National Press Club in Washington on Thursday, even while reiterating that he considers it an internal battle. “It is our job to fight the battle for democracy in India,” he said.

Centre announces new guidelines for granting deemed university status

Higher education institutions which are less than 20 years old will now be eligible to apply for deemed university status and private universities will have to create executive councils like central universities, according to the UGC’s revised guidelines. Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan released the UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2023, which will replace the 2019 guidelines.

Govt. wants to make sedition law more draconian: Congress

Citing the Law Commission’s backing of Section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC ), pertaining to sedition, the Congress on Friday alleged that the BJP government was planning to make the law more “draconian” and wanted to send a message before the next general election that it would be used against Opposition leaders.

IRDAI eyes insurance push in rural areas with Bima Vahak 

IRDAI’s plan to improve insurance awareness and penetration in the hinterland is all set to gain momentum with the insurance regulator issuing draft guidelines for Bima Vahak, a dedicated distribution channel to reach out to every Gram Panchayat.

Pharmexcil seeks explanation from eye drops maker flagged by Sri Lanka

Pharmaceutical exporters body Pharmexcil has sought an explanation from Indiana Ophthalmics LLP in the wake of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health directing the company to recall eye drops as its usage was recently linked to eye infections in some people .Pharmexcil has set June 3 as deadline for the Gujarat firm to furnish details of the licensees and importers to whom the drug was supplied as well as the manufacturing licence copies.

Blinken says no Ukraine cease-fire without a peace deal that includes Russia’s withdrawal

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that there can be no cease-fire in the war in Ukraine unless it is part of a “just and lasting” peace deal that includes Russia’s military withdrawal. Mr. Blinken said that “a cease-fire that simply freezes current lines in place” and allows Russian President Vladimir Putin “to consolidate control over the territory he has seized, and rest, rearm, and reattack — that is not a just and lasting peace.”

U.S. reopens Embassy in Seychelles after 27-year absence

The United States has reopened its Embassy in Seychelles after a 27-year absence during which China and other U.S. rivals made significant inroads in the Indian Ocean islands. The Seychelles Embassy is part of a push to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific.

Australia unsure about India’s bowling line-up in WTC final

Australia are expecting Ravindra Jadeja to feature in India’s playing XI in the World Test Championship final but are unsure about Ravichandran Ashwin’s participation in the marque contest to be played at The Oval starting June 7.

Harmanpreet scores twice as India stun Belgium 5-1 in Pro League hockey

Captain Harmanpreet Singh struck a brace as India stunned Olympic champions Belgium 5-1 here on June 2 after back-to-back defeats in their European leg of the the FIH Pro League. Midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad gave India the lead in the second minute of the game before Harmanpreet (20th and 30th min) scored twice from penalty corners.

 Jessica Pegula, American seeded No. 3, loses at French Open to Elise Mertens

Jessica Pegula quickly gathered her belongings and marched out of Court Philippe Chatrier after a 6-1, 6-3 loss to Elise Mertens in the third round Friday at the French Open, a far earlier exit than the No. 3-seeded American has been used to at Grand Slam tournaments lately. Pegula was a quarterfinalist at four of the five most recent majors, including a year ago at Roland Garros.

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