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Deadly India

India: Deadly building collapse near Mumbai, many feared trapped – Al Jazeera English

Rescue workers search for survivors from the debris of the three-storey residential building in Bhiwandi [Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters]

Rescue workers search for survivors from the debris of the three-storey residential building in Bhiwandi [Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters]

A three-storey building on the outskirts of Mumbai has collapsed in the early morning hours as residents slept inside, killing at least 10 people, according to officials.

A further 20 to 25 people are reportedly trapped in the building in Bhiwandi – about 40km (25 miles) from Mumbai – the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said on Monday.

Emergency workers from the NDRF team pulled 19 people from the rubble – including two boys aged four and seven – to loud cheers from residents.

“Total number of deaths is 10… Rescue operations are ongoing”, NDRF commandant Ithape Pandit told AFP news agency.

More than 40 emergency workers, including a team of 30 rescuers from the NDRF, were pressed into action for the rescue operation.

The accident in the city of Bhiwandi occurred at approximately 3:40am local time (22:10 GMT on Sunday), local authorities said.

Images shared on the NDRF’s official Twitter page showed emergency workers combing through concrete and brick rubble with electrical wires hanging over their heads.

BHIWANDI BLDNG COLLAPSE:

REAL TIME update4

🔶@NDRFHQ teams on site

🔶2nd live victim RESCUED

🔶38 yr man rescued alive

🔶More live victims likely

🔶Ops will continue @PMOIndia @HMOIndia @BhallaAjay26 @PIBHomeAffairs @PIBMumbai @ANI @ndmaindia @DDNewsHindi @airnewsalerts pic.twitter.com/ybFpXyFagO

— ѕαtчα prαdhαnसत्य नारायण प्रधान ସତ୍ଯପ୍ରଧାନ-DG NDRF (@satyaprad1) September 21, 2020

Television showed a pile of rubble with rescuers climbing ladders to get to anyone still inside and deploying dogs to search for survivors.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Twitter. “Praying for a quick recovery of those injured. Rescue operations are underway and all possible assistance is being provided to the affected,” he wrote.

The building had been on a list of dangerous buildings and a notice for it to be vacated had been issued, the Times of India reported, citing Pankaj Ashiya, a commissioner in the Bhiwandi-Nizampura City Municipal Corporation.

Last month, at least 13 people were killed after a five-storey building collapsed in Mahad, an industrial town about 165km (100 miles) south of Mumbai.

In 2017, National Crime Records Bureau data showed that more than 1,200 people were killed in building collapses nationwide.

Bhiwandi map, India

[Al Jazeera]

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies













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India rushes

India rushes supplies and ammunition to contested border as China war tensions soar – Daily Express

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Since May, the two countries engaged in a number of military clashes from both sides of the North-Eastern border of Sikkim. In June, they had their first bloody altercation in 45 years after troops met in the Galwan Valley, in Ladakh.

The confrontation left 20 Indian soldiers dead and at least 35 Chinese, including a senior official, were killed, according to local reports from each side.

Both sides have continually accused each other of escalating the tensions along the border, with New Delhi blaming Beijing for the ongoing disputes.

As tensions continue to rise, India has now activated its entire logistics network to send supplies to thousands of troops on the border ahead of a harsh winter.

Over recent weeks, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises has sent vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh – the region bordering Tibet which is administered by India.

India rushes supplies and ammunition to border

India rushes supplies and ammunition to border (Image: Getty)

Tensions between India and China increase

Tensions between India and China increase (Image: Getty)

Major General Arvind Kapoor, chief of staff of the Indian army’s 14 Corps, said: “All the supplies that we need have already been pushed to wherever they are required.

“In a place like Ladakh, operations logistics is of huge importance. In the last 20 years, we have mastered it.”

Despite both countries negotiations to resolve the confrontation, neither side has backed now and India is prepared to keep troops deployed along the high-altitude border throughout winter.

Normally, Eastern Ladakh is manned by up to 20,000 to 30,000 soldiers but reports claim the figure of soldiers has more than doubled.

READ MORE: India-China panic: Beijing accused of major step at border flashpoint

The Himalayan border is highly contested

The Himalayan border is highly contested (Image: Getty)

On Tuesday, an Indian Air Force large transport aircraft landed at a forward base in Ladakh carrying men and materials.

Each winter, temperatures in Ladakh can drop well below freezing and snow blocks mountain passes into the region for at least four months.

A military official told Aljazeera they have “mirrored the increase” of Chinese troops in the region and added they were well-prepared but did not want further escalation or a prolonged conflict.

India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said: “Our government, too, has stepped up the budget for border infrastructure development to about double the previous levels.

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China vs India military power

China vs India military power (Image: Express)

“As a result, more roads and bridges have been completed in the border areas.

“As of now, the Chinese side has mobilised a large number of troops and armaments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as fellas in the depth areas.”

Yesterday, Indian officials accused Beijing of laying cables and staking further claims on the disputed border.

Two Indian officials accused Chinese troops of laying a network of fibre optic cables at a western Himalayan flashpoint.

Border disputes between the countries is ongoing

Border disputes between the countries is ongoing (Image: Getty)

A former Indian military intelligence official said the cables offered secure communications as well as the ability to send data such as pictures and documents.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry denied any claims the cable network.

Relations between the countries have grown increasingly strained over the last three decades.

Several rounds of talks have been held in an attempt to resolve the ongoing dispute but with no success.

In 2017, the two countries clashed over China’s attempt to extend a border road through a disputed plateau.

Only once has there been an outright war between Beijing and New Delhi. In 1962, India suffered a devastating defeat to China.







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China India

China, India accuse each other of firing shots at disputed border as tensions rise – Fox News

China and India on Tuesday accused each other’s troops of firing warning shots along a disputed border, as tensions between the two nuclear powers continue to escalate despite holding talks to defuse the standoff.

China’s western military command said the incident happened Monday along the southern coast of Pangong Lake in an area known in China as Shenpaoshan, and in India as Chushul. Chinese officials said Indian forces crossed into the territory it holds and were the first to fire warning shots at a Chinese patrol.

INDIAN LAWMAKER ACCUSES CHINESE BORDER TROOPS OF ABDUCTING 5 CIVILIANS

After shots were fired, Chinese forces took “necessary measures to stabilize and control the situation,” the command said in a statement citing spokesman Zhang Shuili.

India denied China’s accusations and said Chinese soldiers tried to surround one of its forward posts in a “grave provocation” and also fired warning shots.

In this Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2src2src, file photo, an Indian army convoy moves on the Srinagar- Ladakh highway at Gagangeer, northeast of Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan, File)

In this Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, file photo, an Indian army convoy moves on the Srinagar- Ladakh highway at Gagangeer, northeast of Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan, File)

Col. Aman Anand, an Indian army spokesman, said China continues “provocative activities to escalate” tensions and called the Chinese military statement an attempt to mislead domestic and international audiences.

Officials for each country accused the other of violating agreements made over the disputed border.

INDIA BANS ‘PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS’, 117 OTHER APPS IN BORDER DISPUTE WITH CHINA 

The two countries have been engaged in a tense standoff in the Ladakh region for decades but it escalated in May.

In this Sept. 14, 2src18, file photo, Border Roads Organization workers rest near Pangong Lake in Ladakh region, India. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)

In this Sept. 14, 2018, file photo, Border Roads Organization workers rest near Pangong Lake in Ladakh region, India. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)

Late last month, India accused China of making “provocative” military moves near the border “to change the status quo.” China denied this and accused Indian troops of crossing established lines of control.

The conflict turned deadly in June when Indian officials said Chinese troops fought Indian soldiers atop a ridge in the narrow Galwan valley. The Chinese troops threw stones, punched and pushed Indian soldiers down the ridge at around 15,000 feet, leaving 20 Indians dead, including a colonel. China did not report any casualties.

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The nuclear-armed rivals’ defense ministers met Friday in Moscow in the first high-level direct contact between the sides since the standoff began.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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India Passes

India passes Brazil, becomes second worst-hit country as coronavirus cases top 4.2 million – CNBC

A health worker takes a swab sample from a man for coronavirus testing, near Bal Bhawan ITO, on Sept. 6, 2020 in New Delhi, India.

Raj K Raj | Hindustan Times | Getty Images

India’s increasing caseload made the Asian giant the pandemic’s second-worst-hit country behind the United States on Monday as its efforts to head off economic disaster gain urgency.

The 90,802 cases added in the past 24 hours pushed India’s total past Brazil with 4.2 million cases. India is now only behind the United States, which has more than 6 million. India’s Health Ministry on Monday also reported 1,016 deaths for a total of 71,642, the third-highest national toll.

India has been recording the world’s largest daily increases in coronavirus cases for almost a month. Despite over 2 million new cases in the past month and the virus spreading through the country’s smaller towns and villages, the Indian government has continued relaxing restrictions to try and resuscitate the economy.

On Monday, the Delhi Metro — a rapid transit system that serves India’s sprawling capital New Delhi and adjoining areas — resumed operations after five months.

Only asymptomatic people were allowed to board the chugging trains, with masks, social distancing and temperature checks mandatory.

“We are on our way. It’s been 169 days since we’ve seen you!,” the official Twitter account of Delhi Metro tweeted.

The capital’s metro train network is India’s largest rapid transport system. Before closing down in March, the packed trains carried an average of 2.6 million passengers daily.

Its reopening comes at a time when India has the fastest-growing coronavirus crisis in the world and the economy has shrunk faster than any other major nation’s.

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India manufacturing

More than manufacturing: India’s homegrown COVID vaccines could transform its pharma industry – Fortune

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Express India

Air India Express crash: Investigators find black box data – Al Jazeera English

Air India Express crash: Investigators find black box data – Al Jazeera English
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India Nearly

India Bans Nearly 60 Chinese Apps, Including TikTok – The New York Times

The move is part of the tit-for-tat retaliation after the Indian and Chinese militaries clashed earlier this month.

Credit…Noah Seelam/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Maria Abi-Habib

India’s government banned nearly 60 Chinese mobile apps Monday, including TikTok, citing national security concerns, part of the larger tit-for-tat retaliation that is unfolding between the countries after their militaries clashed earlier this month.

The move comes after a deadly clash between the Chinese and Indian militaries along their shared, disputed border earlier this month. The fighting left 20 Indians dead and an unknown number of Chinese casualties.

While India has vowed to retaliate, it lags far behind China in military and economic power, leaving it with few options. But Chinese telecommunication and social networking companies have long eyed India’s giant market and its enormous potential. Only about 50 percent of India’s 1.3 billion citizens are online.

In addition to TikTok, the popular social networking platform, the banned apps include UC Browser, Shareit and Baidu Map.

The mobile apps on Android and iOS platforms were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India,” India’s ministry of electronic and information technology said in a statement Monday.

“The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defense of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” the statement added.

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holds India

India holds funerals for soldiers killed in China border clash as tensions stay high – Reuters

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indians burned portraits of Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday as families cremated the remains of some of the 20 soldiers killed in brutal hand-to-hand fighting with Chinese troops in a disputed mountainous border region.

Indian army soldiers stand around the coffin of their colleague, who was killed in a border clash with Chinese troops in Ladakh region, during a wreath laying ceremony in Patna, India, June 17, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer

Troops remained on alert at the Galwan Valley in the Ladakh region of the western Himalayas three days after the clashes, in which India said China had also suffered casualties. China has not given details of any deaths or injuries among its troops.

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar spoke to senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi on Wednesday and the two sides agreed not to take any steps to escalate matters and instead ensure peace and stability on the contested frontier.

An Indian official said senior military officers from both sides were holding talks on Thursday to defuse tensions. The talks were ongoing, the official said.

But both Jaishankar and Wang Yi traded blame for the deadliest border clash since 1967 and called for the other side to rein in their troops.

“The need of the hour was for Chinese side to reassess its action and take corrective action,” the Indian foreign ministry quoted Jaishankar has telling Wang.

The Chinese diplomat said India must punish those responsible for the conflict and control its frontline troops, the Chinese foreign ministry said.

Hardline nationalist groups with ties to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party have stepped up calls for a boycott of Chinese goods and a cancellation of contracts with Chinese firms.

China’s Oppo cancelled the live online launch of its flagship smartphone in India.

Scores of people shouted “Victory to Mother India” as the body of Colonel B. Santosh Babu, the seniormost Indian officer killed in the clash, was taken in a flower-bedecked military truck to his home-town of Suryapet in southern India.

Funerals of other soldiers will also be taking place in their hometowns and villages.

Residents in the northern city of Kanpur held a mock funeral of Xi and burned his portrait, shouting anti-China slogans. While in Cuttack, in eastern India, an effigy of Xi and a Chinese flag were burned.

In the western Indian city of Surat, a group of people gathered on Wednesday and threw a Chinese-made television set on the ground and stomped on it in a show of protest.

“In the current situation, the China issue should not be taken lightly…In many cases, there may be Chinese money invested, but I think the regular things we buy from the market, one should certainly make sure that we avoid Chinese products,” Food and Consumer Affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan told the Economic Times.

STRIDENT NATIONALIST

Russia, which is close to both nations, said on Wednesday it hoped India and China would find mutually acceptable ways to ensure security on their border, Interfax news agency reported.

Rising tensions with China – whose economy is five times bigger than India’s and spends three times as much money on its military – has become Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most serious foreign policy challenge since he took power in 2014.

A strident nationalist, Modi was elected to a second five-year term in May 2019 following a campaign focused on national security after spiralling tensions with old enemy Pakistan, on India’s western border.

Following Monday’s violence, he is under pressure from the opposition and the gung-ho Indian media to respond strongly to China.

China and India fought a brief border war in 1962 and have had occasional flare-ups when patrols have confronted each other at the poorly defined Line of Actual Control, the de facto border.

Slideshow (7 Images)

Under agreements in the 1990s, the two sides have said they will not use arms near the border. But on Monday night, hundreds of soldiers fought with iron rods and clubs studded with nails in the freezing heights for several hours.

India’s financial markets reacted nervously, but steadied later in the day.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was up 2.12% at 10,090.50 at 1000 GMT, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 2.09% at 34,208.05.

Additional reporting by Fayaz Bukhari in Srinagar, Chandni Monappa in Bengaluru, Sumeet Khanna in Ahmedabad, Jatindra Dash in Bhubaneshwar, and Devjyot Ghosal in New Delhi; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Raju Gopalakrishnan

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India officials

India officials say 20 soldiers killed in China border fighting – Fox News

A violent clash with Chinese troops in northern India Monday night resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers, according to government officials.

The confrontation that occurred in the Ladakh region was the deadliest between India and China since 1975.

According to authorities on both sides, not a single shot was fired, and the assaults were carried out in hand-to-hand combat with only rocks and fists.

3 INDIAN SOLDIERS KILLED IN CLASH AT CHINESE BORDER, ARMY SAYS

The Indian Army originally reported that three Indian soldiers had been killed in the fight, but later reported that “17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty at the stand-off location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries.”

Chinese officials have not reported any deaths from the incident.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian gave little in details but accused Indian forces of carrying out “provocative attacks.”

Indian and Chinese forces have been in a monthslong standoff over disputed territory.

CHINA AND NORTH KOREA RAMPING UP THEIR NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARSENALS: REPORT

China claims about 35,000 miles of territory in northeast India, while India also claims that China has occupied around 15,000 miles of territory the Aksai Chin Plateau, an area that India says is a part of its Ladakh region.

Chinese and Indian soldiers have stoodoff for more than a month along the over 2,000-mile Line of Actual Control — the border established between India and China in 1962 following a monthlong war.

Chinese officials have said they are dedicated to ensuring “peace and tranquility” but placed the blame for the altercation on Indian soldiers.

HOUSE GOP ACCUSES CHINA, WHO OF ‘FAILURE OF MONUMENTAL PROPORTIONS’ IN SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS

“What is shocking is that on June 15, the Indian troops seriously violated the consensus of the two sides, crossed the border illegally twice and carried out provocative attacks on Chinese personnel, resulting in serious physical conflicts between the two border forces,” Zhao said.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs likewise said the incident happened “as a result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo.”

Indian officials accused Chinese soldiers of crossing the border last month to erect posts and disregarded verbal warnings to leave.

Another skirmish was reported in May involving fist fights and rock throwing, but no deaths were reported in that incident.

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Army officials and diplomats have reportedly held a series of meeting to try to end the impasse, to no avail yet.

“We are concerned about reports of violence and deaths at the Line of Actual Control between India and China, and we urge both sides to exercise maximum restraint,” Eri Kaneko said in a press briefing Tuesday.

“We take positive note of reports that the two countries have engaged to de‑escalate the situation.”

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Bangladesh India

Bangladesh, India brace for Amphan – biggest cyclone in 20 years – Al Jazeera English

India and Bangladesh evacuated millions of people from the path of the most powerful storm in 20 years, which is expected to hit on Wednesday evening and has raised fears of extensive damage to houses and crops.

The authorities’ move to save lives was complicated by continuing efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic and enforce social distancing.

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Approaching from the Bay of Bengal, super cyclone Amphan was expected to hit the coast of eastern India and southern Bangladesh with winds gusting up to 185 kilometres per hour (115 miles per hour) – weakening from the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane.

Al Jazeera’s Tanvir Chowdhury, reporting from Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, said the cyclone was expected to land on the South Asian nation’s southeastern coastal belt about 6pm local time.

He said 1.4 million people have been evacuated and put into shelter but at least 46,000 people remained in the clear line of danger on some of the islands in the coastal areas.

“There is accommodation for at least five million people and there is medical team, rescue operation team, coastguard and the navy have been put on alert and standby in the coastal areas,” he said. 

“This would be one of the biggest cyclones so they are taking it very seriously.”

The Indian weather department forecast a storm surge of 10 to 16-foot (3-4 metre) waves – as high as a two-storey house – that could swamp mud dwellings along the coast, uproot communication towers and inundate roads and railway tracks.

There will be extensive damage to standing crops and plantations in the states of West Bengal and Odisha, the weather service said in a bulletin late on Tuesday.

Authorities were hastily repurposing quarantine facilities for the looming cyclone soon after easing the world’s biggest lockdown against the coronavirus. India has reported more than 100,000 cases with 3,163 deaths.

About 300,000 people had been moved to storm shelters, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said. The state capital Kolkata lies near the cyclone’s path and there was concern about people living in about 1,500 old, dilapidated buildings.

Kolkata was battered by heavy rain and the muddy Hooghly River was rising under dark skies, while in the coastal resort of Digha, large waves were pounding the shore.

Khulna, Bangladesh

A Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP) volunteer uses a megaphone to urge residents to evacuate to shelters ahead of the expected landfall of cyclone Amphan in Khulna, Bangladesh on Tuesday [Kazi Shanto/ AFP]

Rohingya refugees vulnerable

In neighbouring Bangladesh, officials said the cyclone could set off tidal waves and heavy rainfall, unleashing floods.

It was expected to hit land between the districts of Chittagong and Khulna, just 150 km (93 miles) from refugee camps housing more than a million Rohingya in flimsy shelters.

The UN said food, tarpaulins and water purification tablets had been stockpiled, while authorities said the refugees would be moved to sturdier buildings if needed.

“We are fully prepared. But right now, there is no need to take them to cyclone shelters,” said Mahbub Alam Talukder, Bangladesh’s refugee commissioner.

Authorities in Bangladesh have also moved hundreds of Rohingya refugees living on a flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal to storm shelters as the super cyclone barrels down.

The eastern edge of the storm headed for Bangladesh and neighbouring India is expected to batter Bhasan Char island, where 306 Rohingya, members of a persecuted minority from Myanmar, were sent this month after being rescued from boats.

“Each block has a cyclone centre and they have been moved to the centre,” said Bimal Chakma, a senior official of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission.

The United Nations has called for the refugees to be moved to the mainland to join more than a million more who live in sprawling camps outside the town of Cox’s Bazar.

Bangladesh’s low-lying coast, home to 30 million people, and India’s east are regularly battered by cyclones that have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in recent decades.

The eastern Indian state of Odisha was hit by a super cyclone that left nearly 10,000 dead in 1999, eight years after a typhoon, tornadoes and flooding killed 139,000 in Bangladesh. In 1970, Cyclone Bhola killed half a million people.

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