Citizens' Issues
21 formally charged for hand in Burdwan blast
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday formally charged in a special court 21 people, including four Bangladeshi nationals, for their involvement in the Burdwan blast.
 
Militant outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) is suspected to be involved in the blast.
 
The charge sheet was filed before a National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court in Kolkata.
 
"Twentyone accused, including four Bangladeshi nationals, have been charged for offences relating to terrorist act, conspiracy, recruitment, funding and running terrorist training camps, possession of arms and explosives, offences of forgery, offences relating to foreigners act and passport act," an NIA officer told IANS.
 
The blast took place in a house in Khagragarh in Burdwan district on October 2, killing two JMB militants and injuring another.
 
Probing the blast, the NIA has so far arrested 18 people from various parts of the country as well as Dhaka in Bangladesh.
 
The agency has claimed its investigation showed that the JMB had established its network in many districts - particularly in Murshidabad, Nadia, Malda, Birbhum and Burdwan in Bengal, Barpeta in Assam, and Sahibganj and Pakur in Jharkhand.
 
As many as 15 people suspected to be involved in the case are missing and on the run.
 
The NIA took over the probe a few days after the explosion.

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No Indian in ICC's 2015 cricket World Cup team
No Indian features in the 2015 International Cricket Council's (ICC) World Cup team, according to a release by the sport's governing body on Monday.
 
India were defeated by eventual champions Australia in the semi-finals of the competition. India remained unbeaten till the tournament's last-four stage, bowling out opponents in seven consecutive matches alongwith some strong performances by a powerful batting order.
 
According to the release, the names of Indian bowlers Umesh Yadav (18 wickets), Mohammad Shami (17 wickets) and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (13 wickets) were discussed as possible selections in the team but ultimately they didn't make it due to superior individual performances by others.
 
Pacer Umesh Yadav finished as the third-highest wicket taker in the tournament with 18 wickets behind Man-of-the-Tournament Australia's Mitchell Starc (22 wickets) and New Zealand's Trent Boult (22 wickets).
 
"There were a number of other players that were discussed as possible selections in the team. These included batsmen Mahmudullah Riyad (Bangladesh) and Shaiman Anwar (the United Arab Emirates), Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami (India), Wahab Riaz (Pakistan) and spinners Imran Tahir (South Africa) and Ravichandran Ashwin (India)," Geoff Allardice, ICC general manager of cricket and chairman of the selection panel, said on Monday.
 
"But there were so many brilliant individual performances during the tournament that it was not possible to fit them into the team. The panel eventually came up with this side, which, in their view, was the most balanced outfit that is capable of beating any side on any given day," Allardice said.
 
Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan who scored 412 runs in the tournament with two centuries also couldn't find a place in the team.
 
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum was chosen as the captain following his aggressive leadership during the tournament that was the cornerstone of his team's progression to the final where it lost to Australia by seven wickets.
 
In addition to McCullum, the side includes four New Zealanders -- all-rounder Corey Anderson, pacer Trent Boult, opener Martin Guptill and spinner Daniel Vettori.
 
Australia has three players in the squad, all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, batsman Steven Smith and pacer Starc.
 
Two South Africans, skipper AB de Villiers and seamer Morne Morkel, with Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara as wicketkeeper-batsman have been selected.
 
Zimbabwe batsman Brendan Taylor, who finished with 433 runs in six matches, was named as the 12th man.
 
The team:
Brendon McCullum (New Zealand, captain), Martin Guptill (New Zealand), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka, wicketkeeper), Steve Smith (Australia), AB de Villiers (South Africa), Glenn Maxwell (Australia), Corey Anderson (New Zealand), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand), Mitchell Starc (Australia), Trent Boult (New Zealand), Morne Morkel (South Africa), Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe) (12th man).

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Flood horror haunts Srinagar, people abandon homes, shops
Nisar Hussain, 65, who lives in the Gogjibagh residential area of Srinagar, repents his decision to have come back home after three months. For his 60-year-old wife and 27-year-old daughter, this has been the second uprooting after unprecedented floods hit Jammu and Kashmir last year.
 
When flood waters rose to the second floor of his house in September 2014, Nisar and his family remained trapped in the attic for three days before the army's rescue team came to move them out in motor boats.
 
He and his family moved to a relative's house in old city area of Habba Kadal for two months. And then in December, after locking his flood ravaged house, Nisar shifted with family to Delhi where he lived for three months at a rented accommodation.
 
"I came back to my home after over three months. We started living on the first floor of our home as the ground floor still smells of flood and fungus," he told IANS.
 
A worried Nisar said that on Sunday night he had to quickly shift his family to Habba Kadal after flood alert was sounded by the authorities. 
 
"This is a trauma. My daughter simply refused to live at Gogjibagh after the news about the water level rising in the Jhelum river was flashed on the TV news channels," he said.
 
"I would not have come back, had my daughter not to report for duty early this month. It is simply intolerable. What is this? We had floods in autumn, we have them in the spring now. Summers are otherwise also known for floods in Kashmir," he said.
 
Nisar is one of dozens of other families who have moved during the past three days in areas like Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar, Wazir Bagh, and Gogjibagh. These localities bore the brunt of flood devastation in September 2014. Any downpour has been bad news for thousands of residents in these areas since September.
 
Ghulam Rasool, 56, another local who had come back to live in his flood hit home in Rajbagh, did not even wait for the authorities to warn him.
 
"I left everything behind and shifted out of my home along with my family hardly four hours after it looked the rain was unending during Saturday night," he recalled.
 
Shopkeepers in the once posh and fashionable Residency Road, Lal Chowk and Maisuma commercial hubs started shifting their merchandise since Sunday morning, loading goods on big and small load carriers depending on the stocks in their shops.
 
These commercial areas of the city had remained submerged under flood waters for over 20 days in September 2014 even after the water level had receded to normal in the Jhelum river.
 
"Once bitten is twice shy. But I don't think there is a proverb about somebody's state of mind who is bitten twice. I have still been redoing the windows and showcases of my shop and here is another disaster staring straight into my eyes. This is maddening," said Altaf Ahmad, 54, who owns a shop on Residency Road in Srinagar.
 
What has made matters worse is anti-social elements posting last year's flood pictures showing inundated homes and areas. These posts on social networking sites, claiming these pictures were recent, have caused panic.
 
Authorities have asked people living close to the Jhelum to exercise extreme caution. The massive waterlogging in the city has created a flood like situation in roads, bylanes and markets.
 
People wading in knee-deep water and vehicles suffering mechanical failure is a common sight in the city.
 
Naeem Akhtar, a senior minister in the ruling coalition, says the water table is already high due to last year's floods and a downpour is enough to choke the drainage system in Srinagar.
 
It stopped raining in the state since Monday morning and the weather office has said there would be decrease in precipitation.
 
"But, another Western Disturbance is likely to hit the state on April 3 although it would not be so active as the present one that resulted in heavy rainfall during the last three days," Sonam Lotus, director of the local weather office told IANS on Monday.
 
Authorities have said there has been no breach in the river embankment anywhere in the valley and since the rainfall has stopped, water levels in rivers and streams would start coming down from Tuesday.
 
These assurances, however, mean little to people who have been living on the edge since the September 2014 floods ravaged their lives as another is looming large over them.

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COMMENTS

Deepak R Khemani

2 years ago

If this is the condition of people living in Srinagar one shudders to imagine the plight of people living in far away rural areas who have been affected by the floods.

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