Many dead after pilgrim bus falls into gorge in northern India | News

At the very least 26 folks die after bus in a mountainous area in northern India plunges right into a gorge, police and media stories say.

At the very least 26 folks have died and 4 others had been injured after a bus in a mountainous area of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand plunged right into a gorge, police and media stories stated.

The bus was carrying 30 folks, together with the motive force, to Yamunotri, the distant Hindu pilgrimage web site within the Himalayan state, when it went off the highway on Sunday night.

The accident occurred close to Damta in Uttarkashi district, about 160km (100 miles) from the state capital Dehradun.

“The injured individuals have been rushed to the close by medical amenities,” district police superintendent Arpan Yaduvanshi stated.

Yaduvanshi added that rescue employees had been nonetheless on the lookout for a lacking passenger and the demise toll “might enhance additional”.

The bus was carrying 28 vacationers from the Panna district in Madhya Pradesh, native media stories stated.

The picturesque Uttarakhand has among the holiest Hindu websites and receives hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year, however has a poorly maintained and notoriously harmful community of Himalayan roads.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced a compensation of 200,000 Indian rupees ($2,575) every from the Prime Minister’s Nationwide Aid Fund for the households of these killed within the accident. The injured will obtain 50,000 rupees ($644) every.

India’s dwelling minister Amit Shah stated he was in contact with the native authorities in regards to the ongoing reduction work for the “very unhappy” incident.

Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami stated the state administration and rescue groups are on the scene.

Dhami’s Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan referred to as the incident “unlucky” and stated he’s in fixed contact with the Uttarakhand authorities and district administration.

“Preparations are being made for the therapy of the injured and bringing the our bodies of the deceased to Madhya Pradesh. The households shouldn’t contemplate themselves alone on this time of disaster. All of us are with the grieving households,” he tweeted.

India: Diplomatic storm over BJP staff insult of Prophet Muhammad | Religion News

A global diplomatic storm has engulfed India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Occasion (BJP), the get together of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, following the sanctioning of two get together spokespersons over insulting remarks the pair are reported to have made in direction of Prophet Muhammad.

BJP nationwide spokeswoman Nupur Sharma was suspended from the get together’s major membership on Sunday for feedback made in a current tv debate, whereas the BJP’s Delhi media operation head Naveen Kumar Jindal was additionally expelled, in line with BJP paperwork and media stories.

Sharma is reported to have insulted the prophet and his spouse Aisha in a TV debate final week. Following an outcry over the feedback made through the debate, Sharma’s colleague Jindal is reported to have posted a now-deleted tweet in regards to the prophet that additionally angered many.

India’s ambassadors to Kuwait and Qatar had been summoned on Sunday to obtain official notes of protest over the feedback, and Pakistan’s ministry of overseas affairs issued a press release condemning the “extremely derogatory remarks” and the BJP’s response.

“These completely unacceptable remarks haven’t solely deeply damage the feelings of the folks of Pakistan however of billions of Muslims all over the world,” the overseas ministry mentioned in a press release.

“BJP’s tried clarification and belated and perfunctory disciplinary motion in opposition to these people can’t assuage the ache and anguish they’ve triggered to the Muslim world,” the ministry mentioned.

Qatar’s Ministry of International Affairs summoned the Indian ambassador to current an official be aware “expressing the frustration of the State of Qatar and its complete rejection and condemnation to the controversial remarks”, the QNA state information company reported.

Whereas welcoming the BJP assertion and suspension of the employees member over the feedback, QNA reported that “Qatar is anticipating a public apology and rapid condemnation of those remarks from the Authorities of India”.

Kuwait additionally summoned the Indian ambassador and mentioned it had handed the ambassador a protest be aware during which Kuwait rejected and denounced the statements made by the BJP official, Reuters reported.

‘Worldwide worth to pay’

Delhi-based journalist Saba Naqvi informed Al Jazeera that the BJP had beforehand benefitted politically from “mobilisation” in opposition to Muslims in India.

“However on this occasion, there was a world worth to pay,” Naqvi mentioned.

“India has one of many world’s largest Muslim populations, so it has come to the discover of the world that that is taking place,” she mentioned.

In a statement on Sunday, the BJP mentioned it respects all religions and “strongly denounces insult of any non secular personalities of any faith”.

“The Bharatiya Janata Occasion can also be strongly in opposition to any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or faith. The BJP doesn’t promote such folks or philosophy,” the get together mentioned.

“India’s Structure provides proper to each citizen to follow any faith of his/her selection and to honour and respect each faith”.

The assertion didn’t straight reference the insulting remarks or the sanctioning of the 2 get together officers.

The controversy has raised the ire of social media customers in Arab international locations who’ve known as for a boycott of Indian merchandise, denounced the escalation of hatred in opposition to Islam and Muslims, and accused India of following within the footsteps of France and China in selling Islamophobia.

In April, the US Fee on Worldwide Non secular Freedom (USCIRF) urged the US Division of State for the third straight 12 months to place India on a listing of “international locations of explicit concern” when it comes to non secular freedom.

The unbiased bipartisan panel accused India of “participating in and tolerating systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of spiritual freedom”.

“In the course of the 12 months, the Indian authorities escalated its promotion and enforcement of insurance policies—together with these selling a Hindu-nationalist agenda—that negatively have an effect on Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, and different non secular minorities,” the fee mentioned in its annual report (PDF).

In its assertion, Pakistan’s overseas ministry mentioned it was “additionally deeply involved on the alarming rise in communal violence and hatred directed in opposition to the Muslims in India”.

In a tweet on Sunday, the BJP’s suspended spokeswoman Sharma responded to the controversy saying that she had mentioned issues in response to feedback made a couple of Hindu god nevertheless it was by no means an “intention to harm anybody’s non secular emotions”, and that she wished to “unconditionally withdraw my assertion”.

In a subsequent tweet, Sharma mentioned {that a} “safety risk” had been made in opposition to her household.

Reuters information company reported that Jindal, her colleague who was expelled by the get together, mentioned on Twitter that he had questioned some feedback made in opposition to Hindu gods: “I solely questioned them however that doesn’t imply I’m in opposition to any faith”.