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Families of Odisha Train Accident Victims Continue to Wait for the Return of Bodies

The heart-wrenching wait for closure continues for the families affected by the tragic Odisha train mishap on June 2, as they endure an agonizing four-week wait for the bodies of their loved ones.

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Indian Railways Recommends CBI Probe into Odisha's Triple Train Accident
(Photo: news18)

Bhubaneswar: The heart-wrenching wait for closure continues for the families affected by the tragic Odisha train mishap on June 2, as they endure an agonizing four-week wait for the bodies of their loved ones. The deadly accident, which claimed the lives of nearly 300 individuals, has left grieving families in a state of despair.

Basanti Devi, hailing from Bari-Ballia village in Bihar’s Begusarai district, has been residing in an isolated guest house near AIIMS for the past 10 days, desperately awaiting the retrieval of her husband’s body. Yogendra Paswan, a contract laborer, lost his life in the accident at Bahanaga Bazar while returning home on the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express. With tears streaming down her cheeks, Basanti Devi expressed her frustration at the lack of clarity from officials regarding when she will be able to claim her husband’s remains.

“The administration has provided no definitive timeline. Some officials suggest it may take another five days, while others imply it could be longer. There is a complete lack of clarity,” she lamented. Basanti Devi, who is the sole caregiver for her five children, has left three kids behind and brought two of her sons along with her. The loss of her husband, who was the family’s sole breadwinner, has left her uncertain about their future.

Narayan Rishidev from Purnia shares a similar plight, awaiting the opportunity to claim the body of his grandson, Suraj Kumar, since June 4. Suraj, who had recently completed his matriculation, was traveling to Chennai in the ill-fated Coromandel Express, hoping to secure employment opportunities. While the authorities have already obtained Narayan Rishidev’s DNA sample, the awaited report is yet to arrive, prolonging the family’s anguish.

Shivkant Roy from Cooch Behar district in West Bengal recounted the tragic tale of his son, Vipul, who was returning home from Tirupati for his upcoming wedding in late June. Although Vipul’s body was reportedly held at KIMS Hospital, Shivkant Roy tirelessly searched for him at a Balasore hospital. Subsequently, he was informed that KIMS Hospital had released the body to an individual from Bihar, who took it away for cremation, leaving Shivkant Roy devastated and confused.

Rajkali Devi from Muzaffarpur, Bihar, is also awaiting the return of her husband’s body, as he was en route to Chennai. Currently, 35 individuals are residing at the guest house, anxiously awaiting closure, while 15 others have returned home due to the delay in receiving DNA reports.

Attempts to contact AIIMS director Ashutosh Biswas by PTI remained unanswered. A railway official revealed that they are urging claimants to provide DNA samples and emphasized that they serve as a liaison between AIIMS and the state government.

In the meantime, the identities of 81 bodies preserved in three containers at Bhubaneswar AIIMS remain unknown. To date, DNA samples have been collected from 84 families.

The tragic accident near Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore district involved the Chennai-bound Coromandel Express, the Howrah-bound SMVP-Howrah Superfast Express, and a goods train. The incident claimed the lives of over 290 people, leaving families devastated and seeking closure in their grief-stricken journey.

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Bengaluru

Karnataka Deputy CM alleges BJP plotting Governor’s rule.

Shivakumar vehemently refuted the BJP’s claims, asserting that Karnataka boasts one of the most robust law and order mechanisms in the country.

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Karnataka Deputy CM alleges BJP plotting Governor’s rule.
Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar | PTI Photo

In a recent statement, Karnataka‘s Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar has raised concerns over the BJP’s alleged secretive agenda to impose Governor’s rule in the state amidst heightened tensions regarding the law and order situation.

The backdrop to this accusation stems from the BJP’s criticism of the deteriorating law and order scenario in Karnataka following the tragic murder of Neha Hiremath, the daughter of a city civic body councillor, on the premises of her college in Hubballi. The incident has triggered widespread outrage and protests across the state.

Shivakumar vehemently refuted the BJP’s claims, asserting that Karnataka boasts one of the most robust law and order mechanisms in the country. He accused BJP leader R Ashoka of clandestinely plotting to enforce Governor’s rule as part of a political strategy to undermine the current administration.

The tragic incident involved the stabbing death of Neha Hiremath, a 23-year-old Master of Computer Applications (MCA) student and the daughter of Congress Councillor Niranjan Hiremath. The alleged perpetrator, Fayaz Khondunaik, was apprehended by the police following his escape from the crime scene.

The incident has escalated into a political showdown between the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP. While the Congress attempts to portray the incident as a personal tragedy, the BJP has framed it within the context of ‘love jihad,’ further exacerbating the political tensions.

Protests, led by BJP’s student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and other Hindutva-aligned organizations, have erupted across the state, demanding justice and stringent punishment for the accused. This has added fuel to the political fire, with both parties capitalizing on the tragedy to further their respective agendas.

As the situation unfolds, the political landscape in Karnataka remains tense, with accusations and counter-accusations dominating the discourse. The fate of the state’s governance hangs in the balance amidst growing concerns over law and order and the specter of Governor’s rule looms large, intensifying the political turmoil.

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Bengaluru

Bengaluru Firm: Rs 1,500 ‘Forest Bathing’ at Cubbon Park – Viral Post

Debate erupts as Trove Experiences offers Rs 1,500 forest bathing in Cubbon Park. Is commercializing Shinrin Yoku ethical? Explore the controversy.

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Bengaluru Firm: Rs 1,500 'Forest Bathing' at Cubbon Park - Viral Post
(Image:troveexperiences.com)

In Bengaluru, Trove Experiences’ decision to monetize Shinrin Yoku, a revered Japanese practice, has stirred controversy. The offering of guided forest bathing experiences for Rs 1,500 has triggered outcry and ridicule, igniting a fierce debate over the commercialization of a sacred ritual.

Research highlights the benefits of communing with nature, emphasizing its capacity to alleviate anxiety, depression, and uplift mood and self-esteem. Shinrin Yoku, the Japanese art of forest bathing, has long served as an escape from urban chaos, offering a slow, deliberate stroll through wooded areas to soothe modern malaise and restore well-being.

However, criticism has mounted with the introduction of paid guided forest bathing experiences, a novelty in Bengaluru. Trove Experiences’ initiative has sparked a firestorm of debate with its Rs 1,500 forest bathing excursions, conducted not in a forest but at Cubbon Park, where strolling has always been free.

On Trove Experiences’ website, the description of their offering underscores the need for city dwellers to reconnect with nature amidst the stress of urban life. The immersive forest walk promises to leave participants feeling centered and revitalized.

Yet, screenshots of Trove Experiences’ pricing have circulated widely, provoking outrage and mockery. Social media users have derided the notion of paying for a forest bathing experience in a park where grass-touching remains free. The viral post on X has garnered significant attention, with thousands of likes and comments reflecting widespread skepticism and humor.

The controversy surrounding Trove Experiences’ commercialization of Shinrin Yoku underscores broader questions about the ethical boundaries of monetizing sacred practices and the commodification of nature’s healing benefits. As debates continue, the clash between commercial interests and cultural reverence remains unresolved, leaving many to ponder the true essence of Shinrin Yoku amidst the uproar.

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Bengaluru

Tejasvi Surya Faces Backlash at Bengaluru Campaign Event

Tejasvi Surya faces criticism at Bengaluru campaign event as investors demand answers on Guru Raghavendra Co-operative Bank scam.

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Tejasvi Surya Faces Backlash at Bengaluru Campaign Event
(Image: timesnownews)

Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya encountered a turbulent situation during a recent election campaign event in the city. The event, held at the Laxmanrao Imandar auditorium, took an unexpected turn when investors who had suffered losses in the multi-crore scam involving the Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank Niyamitha demanded accountability from the parliamentarian.

The investors, visibly frustrated by the delay in compensation for their losses, sought answers from Surya and other leaders present, including Basavanagudi BJP legislator L A Ravi Subramanya. Despite attempts by the leaders to assuage their concerns, the investors remained dissatisfied with the responses provided.

Footage from the event circulated on social media platforms, capturing the moment when Surya was escorted out of the venue by his security personnel. During his exit, he engaged in heated exchanges with some of the investors who approached him with their grievances.

The incident drew attention from various political quarters, with Karnataka Congress seizing the opportunity to criticize Surya’s handling of the situation. The party took to Twitter to highlight the MP’s departure from the event, characterizing it as an escape through an “emergency exit door.”

In response, Surya’s office released a statement accusing Congress workers of disrupting the meeting and attempting to derail the BJP’s campaign efforts. The statement condemned the alleged tactics employed by Congress workers, including pushing and shoving attendees, and emphasized the BJP’s commitment to a positive and development-oriented campaign.

The controversy surrounding the campaign event underscores the ongoing fallout from the Guru Raghavendra Co-operative Bank scam, which came to light in 2020. Despite efforts by regulatory authorities and the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation to mitigate the impact on depositors, many individuals remain uncompensated for their losses.

The Enforcement Directorate’s investigation into the scam revealed instances of fund misappropriation and financial irregularities, leading to the attachment of the bank’s properties worth Rs 159 crore. With over 15,000 depositors yet to receive full compensation, the Karnataka government’s decision to hand over the probe to the CBI reflects the seriousness of the situation.

As the election campaign in Bengaluru South unfolds, the incident involving Tejasvi Surya serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by politicians in addressing the grievances of affected constituents amidst ongoing controversies and political scrutiny.

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