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17 killed as massive fire breaks out in hotel in Delhi’s Karol Bagh

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New Delhi: At least 17 people were killed as a massive fire swept through a hotel in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh area early on Tuesday, police said.

The fire broke out at Arpit Palace hotel located on Gurdwara Road in Karol Bagh.

A call about the fire was received at 4.35 am and 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, a senior officer from the Delhi Fire Service said.

 

A senior Delhi Police official said 17 people were killed in the fire.

The injured were rushed to three hospitals, including the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital. Thirteen bodies are at the RML Hospital, a senior doctor said.

The dead includes a child.

A video of the incident showed two people jumping from the fourth floor of the burning building. According to eyewitnesses, most deaths were caused due to suffocation.

They said wooden panelling in the corridors of the hotel contributed to the quick spread of the fire.

A fire department official said some fire extinguishers were found used suggesting people trapped inside tried to douse the fire in a bid to escape.

Cooling process is under way and the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, he added.

The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial probe into the massive fire at Karol Bagh, its Home Minister Satyendar Jain said.

Jain, who visited the Arpit Palace Hotel where the fire broke out in the early hours of the morning, told reporters that he has also directed the fire department to inspect buildings which are five floors or more and submit a report on their fire safety compliance within a week.

“We have ordered for a magisterial inquiry into the case. Seventeen people have died, most of them of suffocation. Apparently, there were lapses (from the hotel administration’s side) and action will taken against those found guilty,” he said.

Generally, four floors are allowed for such establishments, the minister said.

“We saw a canopy was put up on the terrace and tables and chairs were laid out. Inside in the rooms, wooden panels were there on the walls,” Jain said.

“So I have also directed the fire department to inspect such multi-storeyed buildings which have five floors or more and submit a report in a week’s time,” he said.


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National

Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs

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Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.

“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.

This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.

 

According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.

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Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara

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Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.

The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.

“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.

 
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Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.

With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.

Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.

 

Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.

However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.

The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.

The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.

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