BBC News – Amritsar: India train mows down crowd killing scores

More than 60 people have been killed and 100 hurt after a train ran into a crowd near Amritsar in India’s northern Punjab state, police told the BBC.

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 20 October 2018. The victims were standing on the railway tracks watching celebrations for Dusshera, a Hindu festival marking the triumph of good over evil.

They did not hear the train approach as they watched a firecracker-filled effigy of the demon king Ravana burn.

Children are said to be amongst the dead.

Spectators were watching the effigy burn, and a fireworks display, when many started moving towards the railway tracks a short distance away.

Some reports suggest organisers told people to move away from the firecrackers, while other reports say participants ran towards the track because they were afraid the burning effigy would collapse.

According to eyewitnesses, many on the tracks were busy filming the festivities on their phones, and did not notice the train approaching at high speed.

Police say the noise of the firecrackers and the crowd may have stopped victims from hearing the train.

The train that hit the crowds was travelling from Jalandhar to Amritsar.

Eyewitness Amar Nath told BBC Punjabi that people were “mauled” by the train.

“I removed the bodies from the tracks… my hands were full of blood.”

Local resident Amit Kumar told the BBC the celebrations were a regular occurrence: “Every year, people sit on the tracks when festivities take place here”.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh described the incident as “absolutely tragic”, and wrote in a tweet that local authorities were being “mobilised”.

“We will do everything possible to assist the injured,” he said, adding: “[I] have directed the district administration to leave no stone unturned to ensure the best possible treatment for them.”

He said that victims would be given medical aid for free.

A state of mourning has been declared – offices and schools in Punjab will be closed on Saturday, Reuters reports.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-45913793

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Sikh24.com – Giani Gurbachan Singh resigns, Seeks apology for pardoning Gurmeet Ram Rahim

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 19 October 2018. Amid day by day intensifying crisis in the SAD (Badal) leadership, the SGPC appointed Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh has resigned from temporal post of Sikhism.

Interestingly, he has also sought an apology from the Sikh community for granting an unasked pardon to Sirsa cult chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

Giani Gurbachan Singh’s resignation came suddenly during the evening hours of October 18 despite the fact that he had been negated speculations of his resignation on October 17 as well as during the morning hours of October 18.

Shedding light on the positive achievements of Sikh community during his tenure, Giani Gurbachan Singh has sought apology from the Sikh community for exonerating Sirsa cult chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in blasphemy charges.

In resignation, Giani Gurbachan Singh has cited weakening health as a reason behind his resignation. He has appealed the SGPC executive committee to appoint an eligible person in his place.

Giani Gurbachan Singh and his personal assistant Satinderpal Singh (who sent a press note regarding resignation) went unreachable immediately after making public the resignation.

However, the SGPC’s secretary and spokesperson Diljit Singh Bedi didn’t confirm receiving of Giani Gurbachan Singh’s resignation. “As and when we receive it, we will take the move accordingly. At this juncture, we have no official intimation regarding it and no resignation has been received,” he said.

https://www.sikh24.com/2018/10/19/breaking-giani-gurbachan-singh-resigns-seeks-apology-for-pardoning-gurmeet-ram-rahim/#.W8pr4fZoTIU

Leuven Funfair – Leuven NMBS – Gentbrugge Braemstraat – Gent Belfort

Leuven Funfair
12 September

The carousel

Leuven NMBS
12 September


Gent-Sint-Pieters via Mechelen


Left: IC to Gent via Mechelen
Right: IC to Genk via Hasselt


IC train to Gent-Sint-Pieters via Mechelen

Gentbrugge Braemstraat
13 September


Evike reading

Gent Belfort
14 September


Emile Braunplein
Tracks of Tram 4

To see all my pictures:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

India Today – Train runs into crowds at Ravan burning in Amritsar, several dead

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 19 October 2018. Amritsar train accident: More than 50 people were killed after a train ran into crowds at Joda Phatak crossing in Amritsar. People had gathered to see burning of a Ravan effigy on Dussehra.

Several people were killed after a train ran into crowds at Joda Phatak crossing in Amritsar, Punjab, where a large number of people had gathered to watch Ravan effigy burning on Dussehra evening.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate Amritsar (I) Rajesh Sharma said 52 people have died and at least 72 injured have been admitted to Amritsar hospital.

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/train-runs-into-crowd-at-ravan-burning-in-amritsar-several-dead-1371351-2018-10-19

Dawn – Chief justice stresses the importance of water conservation, dam creation

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday stressed that arduous measures need to be taken in order to avert the water crisis facing Pakistan, Radio Pakistan reported.

Islamabad Capital Region – Pakistan, 19 October 2018. Addressing the opening session of a two-day international symposium titled Creating a water secure Pakistan in Islamabad, the chief justice said that it is unfortunate that no one in Pakistan made any dedicated efforts to construct dams and water reservoirs in the past 40 years.

He said that water reserves in Pakistan have decreased to an alarmingly low level and if drastic measures are not taken now, Pakistan could run dry by 2025.

Justice Nisar said the judiciary could not have remained oblivious to the issue as it has the obligation to protect the interests of the citizens.

He said that the judiciary took this issue and passed a judgement, urging the executive to play its role for the construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam.

Justice Nisar said the dam fund was created as the country did not have the capital required to construct large dams.

“There was an overwhelming response from the public and even children and pensioners made contributions to this fund,” he told the attendees of the symposium.

The chief justice added that the sensitisation of the issue at a national level has made the nation realise the importance of water conservation and management.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1440026/chief-justice-stresses-the-importance-of-water-conservation-dam-creation