Famous In India

Archive for September 2008

Jodhpur: At least 147 people have been killed and over 425 injured in a major stampede at the Chamunda Devi Temple in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, where devotees had gathered in large numbers on the occasion of the start of Navaratri.

According to eyewitnesses there was a scramble on the narrow two-km path for gaining entry into the temple.

The casualties were mostly men as the stampede occurred in the queue meant for them while the queue for women and children was largely unaffected.

Some devotees slipped on the slope of the temple path, others started falling on each other causing the stampede.

A majority of those killed died due to suffocation. The shrine is in the Mehrangarh Fort run by the erstwhile Jodhpur royal family.

The District Collector of Jodhpur, Naresh Pal Gangwar said a ramp inside the temple collapsed, which led to the stampede.

“In the temple inside the palace, there is a ramp, on which there is a slope. People started pushing each other, and stampede bagan. Some people died due to suffocation. The injured have been rushed to all hospitals nearby,” Gangwar said.

Rajasthan Director General of Police KS Bains said that an investigation has been ordered into the tragic incident.

“It is being inquired. There were a large number of devotees and early morning there was a power failure. That is the cause of stampede. Some people slipped because of which there was a stampede,” Bains said.

He also clarified that that was no bomb scare which led to the stampede.

“There is no bomb blast rumours and police was deployed in full strength. Most of the dead are male,” he said.

A police official, however, said there is difficulty in giving the exact figures as most of the people have taken the dead bodies of their near and dear ones fearing post-mortem.

At least 30 bodies have been brought to the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital at Jodhpur, while the remaining 10 were taken to the Mathura Das Hospital, Divisional Commissioner Kiran Soni Gupta was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.




At least five people are feared killed and more than 50 injured as a bomb exploded in a crowded market in south Delhi.

The explosion, that comes a fortnight after serial blasts rocked the national Capital, took place in the Mehrauli market area on Saturday afternoon, a senior police official says.

According to police sources and eyewitness reports, two youth came on a motorbike and left a black bag that exploded minutes later.

Police have also confirmed the bomb was triggered from a device placed in a tiffin box. According to initial reports, the blast took place in an electronic shop in the Sarai area of Mehrauli.

At least 14 among the 50 injured have been rushed to trauma centre of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. One child was reportedly declared dead on arrival.

AIIMS spokesperson Y K Gupta tells CNN-IBN the team of doctors is ready for everything.

Fire tenders and ambulances rushed to the spot and police have cordoned off 30-m area around the blast site.

Mehrauli is a commercial hub that houses a number of hardware shops.

source : http://www.ibnlive.com/

A fossil, estimated to be 60 centimetres long, has reportedly been discovered in a private house in Chhattisgarh’s Dhamtari District.

The head of the discovered structure is nine centimetres in size, while the forefeet and rear feet are 8 centimetres and 25 centimetres in size respectively.

“The skin and the teeth of the specimen is intact and it is an extraordinary finding. This seems to be a reptile or a predecessor of dinosaurs,” said Dr. Kenny of the Indian Forest Services.

“I was digging this piece of land when saw this fossil. I took it to my home but my wife asked me to throw it away. When I came out, other villagers were ready to buy it. But I was asked by my neighbour to submit it to the forest authorities. It looked somewhat like a dinosaur,” said Rajesh Sharma, the first person to notice the fossil at his ancestral house.

According to Anand Kurejia, the reptile may have been 60 to 70 years old at the time of its death.

The fossil has been sent to experts in Ranchi for further study.

source : http://www.zeenews.com/

It lasted barely half an hour, and a total of 33 shots – 25 by the cops, eight by terrorists – were exchanged. But the reverberations of the battle of Batla House will be felt far and wide, for many days. After a fierce shoot-out in Jamia Nagar area, Delhi Police killed two terrorists, including key SIMI operative Bashir alias Atiq, who allegedly played a crucial role in September 13 Delhi blasts. But it also lost a gallant officer, Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma of the special cell.

Inspector Sharma, who boldly led the 11 am operation in mufti, fell victim to terrorist bullets. Shot thrice, once in the stomach, the 42-year-old cop was rushed to the Holy Family Hospital in critical condition and breathed his last on Friday evening. Head constable Balwant Singh, who was also injured in the battle with the terrorists who were armed with an AK-47 and two pistols, is out of danger.

The other terrorist who was killed has been identified as Mohammad Sajid. Cops also arrested Mohammad Saif, a resident of Azamgarh, from the flat that the group had rented posing as students, while two others managed to flee.

Later in the day, one more person was picked up for questioning from Jhandewalan. He has been identified as Zeeshan, and is said to be a room partner of Atiq.

The death of Inspector Sharma cast a pall over the celebrations among cops and intelligence agencies over the shooting of Bashir. An Azamgarh resident like Sajid and Saif, Bashir was also involved in the July 26 blasts in Ahmedabad.

The special cell squad barged into the fourth floor of house no. L-18, within the Batla House area of Jamia Nagar, following credible inputs about the presence of a person whose physical appearance tallied with that of a senior SIMI operative repeatedly mentioned by those held for the Ahmedabad blasts. A special cell team, helped by inputs from the Intelligence Bureau and Gujarat and Maharashtra police ‘developed’ the information and after confirming the presence of suspects reached the house near Khaliullah Mosque to pick them up.

The raiding team did not expect to come under heavy and accurate fire. Though trained to use firearms, SIMI/Indian Mujahideen members are not known for engaging police in gun battles, preferring to act by stealth and use “bomb-and-scoot’ methods.

Leading from the front, Sharma entered the building dressed in a kurta-pyajama and inquired about the “tenants”, when the cops suddenly came under fire from behind a door in the flat. The unit had two doors, one of which was locked from inside. As Sharma rushed to the second door which was ajar, he was shot by the terrorists.

Various police teams rushed inside and took part in the encounter. An NSG commando team also moved in to support the Delhi Police team and soon the two terrorists were gunned down while another was arrested. Despite the police cordon, two of the terrorists managed to escape. It was not clear by which route these terrorists were able to make their getaway in the melee.

A significant cache of arms, including an AK-47, pistols, six mobile phones and several SIM cards along with two laptops were seized from the three-bedroom flat. The material in the laptops might give the police more information on the IM network as Atiq was very much part of the core group which also includes SIMI general secretary Safdar Nagori and others held at Indore in March.

After the firing stopped, large number of people thronged the narrow lanes of the area and shouted religious slogans. “We are all against terrorism, then why were our religious places targeted?” asked a resident.

source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/

You have to reach out for the almanac to find out the Durga puja dates, but not so for Vishwakarma puja because it’s one Hindu festival that doesn’t need to follow the tithi (lunar day) system.

Just as Christmas is celebrated on December 25, Vishwakarma puja is most likely to fall on September 17. Even if it varies, it does so by just a day, according to both the Suryasiddhanta and Bisuddhasiddhanta schools of almanacs.

Unlike all other rituals (except Kartik puja) that are based on tithi, the worship of the god of manufacturing is determined by the transit of the sun. “Vishwakarma puja is scheduled on the last day of the Bengali month of Bhadra, more specifically on Bhadra sankranti. That is when the sun transits from Singha (Leo) to Kanya (Virgo) sign,” explains Pulak Bhattacharya of Gupta Press, the 139-year-old almanac that follows Suryasiddhanta. “The sun’s transit into Virgo is what determines the puja date for us, too,” adds Manoj Lahiri, who subscribes to Bisuddhasiddhanta.

There are usually 156 days of the Bengali year in the five months before Vishwakarma puja, calculates Bhattacharya.

In some years, one of the five months may have a day more or less because the number of days in the Bengali month fluctuates between 29 and 32. That is when the last day of Bhadra gets pushed back or forward by a day.

A scan of the last two decades of almanacs at the Gupta Press library revealed just two years when the puja has happened a day later — on September 18. If Asharh and Sravan had 32 days in 2007, Asharh and Bhadra had 32 days in 1995. Usually only one month has 32 days in the first half of the Bengali year.

For Bisuddhasidhanta, the departure during the same period happened seven times, bringing the puja forward to September 16 on each occasion.

In contrast, Durga puja dates vary by a long way. “Since it is tithi-based, we have to take into account the phenomenon of malamasha, a month with two new moons. That renders the entire month inauspicious for puja. The phenomenon occurs every 30 to 33 months,” Bhattacharya says. So while Puja starts on October 6 (Saptami) this year, next year the wait will be over as early as September 25.

source : http://www.telegraphindia.com/

SIMI activist Qayamuddin, wanted for serial blasts in the city, could be the one behind the terror attacks in New Delhi along with Abdul Subhan alias Tauqueer, an official of the Gujarat police said.
“We think Qayamuddin, one of the accused in the Ahmedabad blasts cases, could be behind the Delhi blasts. He could be involved in planting the bombs in different parts of the national capital,” joint Commissioner of Police Ashish Bhatia said.

“Abdul Subhan alias Tauqueer, a computer expert from Mumbai is also likely to be involved in the Delhi blats,” he said.

“There is a possibility that other SIMI members who are wanted in the Ahmedabad blasts cases, could be involved in the Delhi blasts,” Bhatia added.

Abdul Subhan and Qayamuddin names had come up in the Ahmedabad blasts. They are in the ‘most wanted’ list of the state police in connection with the city serial blasts.

Both of them are absconding after the explosions.

Qayamuddin, a resident of Vadodara, had conducted number of meetings in the city to plan the terror attacks. He had stayed in Ahmedabad for over a month prior to the serial blasts.

Police also claimed that Qayamuddin was also present at the terror training camps held in Kerala and Halol in Gujarat.

Abdul Subhan who was working with a multinational computer firm in Mumbai had left his job and joined SIMI. He is expert of computers and is also believed to have wide knowledge about making of bombs, as per Gujarat police.

source : http://www.ptinews.com/

The lunar craft to be used in India’s first unmanned mission to the Moon – Chandrayaan-I – has successfully passed a test of endurance crossing a major milestone in preparation for the odyssey expected some time next month.

The two-week vacuum test to evaluate the thermal design of the spacecraft and to verify its endurance in the harsh environment of space has just been completed at ISRO Satellite Centre here, sources in the space agency said.

“The test was satisfactory,” an ISRO official told PTI today. “Environment and accoustics tests will follow, and the pre-shipment review is expected by this month-end.”

A formal announcement on the date of the eagerly awaited launch is expected to be made by the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) G Madhavan Nair next week.

An ISRO official said on condition of anonymity that October 22 is the first available date for the ambitious launch and the launch window has been fixed for between October 22 and 26.

ISRO officials said it is an “exceptional example” of international collaboration towards exploring the moon.

The nearly 1,400 kg Chandrayaan-I satellite would be launched by the 316-tonne Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-XL) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at the spaceport of Sriharikota.

There are six scientific payloads from NASA, ESA and Bulgaria in addition to the five Indian instruments onboard Chandrayaan-I which is an unique exploratory mission that will undertake full mapping of the moon which does not exist today. The spacecraft will however not land on the moon.


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