KL This Week: 4 Students Killed in Stampede at CUSAT Tech Festival
Image by Prakash R
NewsClick brings you a round-up of the important developments from across Kerala in the past week, including the death of four students of the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) in a stampede during a tech fest, the setback to Governor Arif Mohammed Khan after the Supreme Court's observation on governors sitting on Bills passed by the state legislature, protest of rail passengers following the delay of several trains due to the operation of Vande Bharat trains, and the decision of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government to increase welfare pensions to Rs 1,600.
FOUR STUDENTS KILLED IN STAMPEDE
In a stampede at CUSAT on November 25, four people, including three students of the university, were killed, and around 50 students were injured. The incident occurred when hundreds of students tried to enter through a single gate for the music concert. The students attempted to enter the roofed auditorium, the venue for the music concert, as heavy rains lashed the area around 7 pm, barely 30 minutes before the programme's commencement.
Though the auditorium was only partially filled, the sudden inflow of students reportedly led to the tragic incident. The identity of three of the four students who succumbed during the incident was revealed, while two students are reportedly critical and receiving treatment. CUSAT said it will bear the expenses of all students undergoing treatment. Leaders cutting across parties expressed grief over the accident.
Minister for Industries P Rajeev and Higher Education Minister Dr R Bindu were deputed to the site to coordinate the rescue operations and ensure appropriate treatment for the students admitted to various hospitals. The decision to depute the ministers to the accident site was taken during the emergency meeting of the Cabinet during the Navakerala Sadas.
SETBACK FOR GOVERNOR
The Supreme Court's observation on the petitions filed by the government of Kerala against the Governor holding onto Bills without providing assent has come as a setback to the office of the Governor. The apex court has asked the Kerala Governor to read the judgment made on the case filed by the government of Punjab.
The Chief Justice of India (CJI) asked the Attorney General to advise the secretary of the governor to read the uploaded judgment in the case filed by the government of Punjab. The LDF government and the governor are at loggerheads over the delay in assent to the Bills passed by the state legislature, as two Bills have been pending for around two years. Following Punjab and Tamil Nadu, Kerala also moved the SC over the inaction of the Governor.
RAIL PASSENGERS PROTEST DELAY OF TRAINS
Regular rail users protested against the delay in the running time of passenger and express trains due to the Vande Bharat (VB) Express. Several passenger, MEMU, and express trains have been running late and overcrowded due to the operation of VB express in Kerala, running between Kasargod and Thiruvananthapuram.
MP A M Arif, who represents the Alappuzha constituency, joined the protest organised by Friends on Rail.
MP A M Arif travelled along with the members of the Friends on Rails (FoR) in the Alappuzha-Ernakulam MEMU to understand the problems faced by regular commuters. He visited the office of the station master in Ernakulam and registered his complaint about the rescheduling of the MEMU. FoR has staged continuous protests and registered complaints with the concerned authorities on the rescheduling and cancellation of trains for the VB Express to pass.
FOUR PENSION AMOUNTS REVISED BY LDF GOVT
The LDF government has announced the revision of four welfare pensions from the existing amounts to Rs 1,600. The beneficiaries of the Viswakarma, circus artists’ pension, disabled athletes’ pension, and disabled artists’ pension will receive the revised pension amount.
They were receiving Rs 1,400, Rs 1,200, Rs 1,300, and Rs 1,000, respectively. The new pension will be disbursed from the month of December.
KUTHUPARAMBA MARTYRS REMEMBERED
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)], Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), and various mass and class organisations of the CPI(M) observed the 29th anniversary of Koothiparamba Martyrs’ Day on November 25.
Five DYFI activists were killed, and six others were injured in police firing on the same day in 1994 during the UDF regime for protesting against the privatisation of educational institutions. Pushpan, a DYFI member, remains a living martyr, as he was paralysed below his neck following the firing. The leaders of the DYFI met Pushpan on the occasion of the martyrs' day.
A rally was held in Thalassery of Kannur district to commemorate the Kuthuparamba Martyrdom Day. (Courtesy: DYFI Kerala)
The DYFI held block-level jathas and public meetings to commemorate the martyrs' day. CPI(M) leaders, including M. V. Govindan Master, A. Vijayaragavan, E. P. Jayarajan, and M. Swaraj, among other DYFI leaders, addressed the public meetings.
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