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The top 5 newsmakers of the week

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:51 IST

From natural disasters to manmade ones, the festivities meant to bring in the regional new year celebrations across India were marred by events that shook the nation.

Here's looking at the top newsmakers from the week that was:

Fireworks explosion at Kerala's Puttingal temple claims 112 lives, injures 350

Photo : PTI

A fireworks explosion killed more than 100 people at a temple festival in Paravur in Kerala's Kollam district in the early hours of 10 April. A complete neglect of safety precautions by the concerned authorities was the primary cause of the biggest tragedy of its kind in the state.

Despite the fact that the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) of Kollam, on 9 April, had issued an order denying permission to the Puttingal Temple authority to conduct the fireworks display, the celebrations were carried out in full swing.

The pyrotechnics began around 1AM and went on uninterrupted till around 3.30AM, when the explosion took place. The police, present in full strength at the venue, looked the other way during the display.

The Kerala High Court on 12 April sought the state government's opinion on a CBI probe into the 10 April Kollam's Puttingal temple tragedy.

The high court reportedly asked government to take action against those responsible for the mishap. The court has also banned 'noise-making' fireworks display at all places of worship in the state between sunset and sunrise.

Over 100 killed as earthquakes strike Japan, Equador and Myanmar

On 17 April, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale rocked Ecuador, killing at least 77 people. A state of emergency has been declared and preventative evacuations in coastal areas were undertaken in lieu of the risk of a tsunami.

Tsunami warnings were also sounded in Japan's Kyushu island, after 29 people were killed and over 400 injured in powerful twin earthquakes on 16 April. The epicentre of the 7.3-magnitude quakes was located 1 km southwest of Kumamoto city.

On 13 April, two people were killed and 70 injured in Assam after an earthquake measuring 6.8 at the Richter scale struck India. The quake - with an epicentre located 396 kilometers north of Myanmar's Naypyidaw - triggered tremors in parts of Kolkata, Guwahati, Patna, Bhubaneshwar and Delhi.

5 dead in Kashmir as protests intensify over girl's claims of molestation by an Army man

Four men were killed and others injured on 12 April when the Army opened fire on a crowd protesting the alleged molestation of a girl by an Army man in Handwara, Kashmir.

A crowd gathered to protest the incident, whereupon the Rashtriya Rifles as well as J&K Police allegedly opened fire, killing four. On 15 April, the army opened fire on a crowd protesting the Handwara killings in Kupwara, killing yet another youth.

While the girl reportedly retracted the statement later, some reports claim she was pressurised into doing so.

The incident has disrupted life in the Valley, with many places remaining shut down all week. Mobile internet services were suspended while Kupwara and Handwara remained under curfew.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit India

Photo : Patrika

Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton arrived in Mumbai on 10 April on their first visit to India and the nation has been abuzz with news of their whereabouts since. The royal couple were on a seven-day tour of India and Bhutan, which was aimed at building strong bonds with both two countries.

Upon their arrival in Mumbai, Prince William and his wife paid tribute to the victims of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks at the memorial at the Taj Palace Hotel. In Delhi, they laid a wreath at India Gate and visited Gandhi Smriti.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted a lunch for the Duke and Duchess on April 12. The Duke and Duchess visited the Kaziranga National in Assam Park before proceeding to Bhutan. They returned to India on 16 April, where they visited the Taj Mahal before heading back home.

Vijay Mallya's passport suspended, ED wants non-bailable warrant

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has moved a special court in Mumbai to seek a non-bailable warrant against Vijay Mallya after suspending his passport for four weeks.

Mallya was first summoned to appear on 18 March, next on 2 April, and finally on 9 April. The 66-year-old failed to appear before the ED all the three times and repeatedly sought fresh dates. He left the country on 2 March, when the consortium of 13 banks that lent him money, moved to the Debt Recovery Tribunal.

Mallya, who defaulted on loans of over Rs 9,400 crore, offered an initial installment of Rs 4,000 crore and requested to settle the rest later. The Kingfisher chief is currently reported to be in London.

First published: 17 April 2016, 2:29 IST
 
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