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Killer heat wave: Over 1700 dead in two Telugu speaking states of India

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New Delhi: People fill water from a water tanker to beat the heat on a scorching hot day in New Delhi on May 23, 2015. (Photo: Sunil Majumdar/IANS)

Hyderabad/New Delhi/Mumbai/Jaipur: The searing heat wave continued unabated on Thursday in many parts of India, claiming another 414 lives in Andhra and Telangana alone to take the toll above 1,700 while rains brought relief in some states, officials said.

Andhra Pradesh reported 313 more deaths due to sunstroke during last 24 hours while 100 more succumbed in Telangana.

With this the toll in the two Telugu states rose to 1,774. While Andhra Pradesh accounted for 1,334 deaths, 440 people died in Telangana, officials said.

Four deaths due to sunstroke were reported from West Bengal and one from Bihar, in addition to two from New Delhi on Wednesday. According to unofficial sources, two dozen people have died in Bihar.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned that the heat wave conditions will continue at few places in Odisha, Vidarbha, Jharkhand and Telangana and at isolated places over Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and coastal Andhra Pradesh over next two days.

It has also forecast rain/thunder showers at most places in the northeast and at a few places in Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

No respite from the blistering heat was in sight in Andhra and Telangana as both states sizzled with the highest temperature of 47 degrees Celsius.

Khammam and Nizamabad in Telangana recorded 47 degree Celsius, as did Nandigama and Ongole in Andhra Pradesh.

According to the Meteorological Centre in Hyderabad, though rains brought the temperature down in some parts of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, severe heat wave conditions continued in the state.

The heat wave paralysed life in Rajasthan, which continued to reel under heat wave conditions on Thursday, with the maximum temperature hovering between 40 and 45 degrees Celsius.

The temperatures in some places, including state capital Jaipur was higher by 3-4 degree celsius above the average. Jaipur was hot at 44.7 degrees Celsius, four degrees above average, while Bundi and Kota were sizzling at 45.5 degrees and 45.4 degrees Celsius.

“The heat wave is likely to prevail in some places in Rajasthan in the next 24 hours. Jaipur will see partly cloudy skies with the possibility of a dust storm. The maximum and minimum temperatures will be around 44 degrees and 28 degrees respectively in Jaipur in next 24 hours,” a weather department official told IANS.

The hills of Himachal Pradesh experienced warm weather, with Una town recording a high of 43.2 degrees Celsius.

“Temperatures soared due to the dry spell. Shimla recorded a maximum temperature of 28.5 degrees Celsius, four degrees above normal (average) for this time of the year,” a meteorological department official told IANS.

Dharamsala, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile, recorded 32.6 degrees Celsius, five notches above average.

It was a hot and dry Thursday in the national capital, with the maximum temperature recorded at 41.1 degrees Celsius, a notch above average. The met office forecast similar conditions on Friday, with the sky likely to be clear through the day and the maximum and the minimum likely to hover around 41 degree and 27 degree Celsius.

Heat wave conditions continued in Bihar with the mercury touching 41.7 degree Celsius in Gaya district, the hottest place in the state and Patna recording 39 degree Celsius, met officials said in Patna.

“People will have to wait for a few more days to get any respite from the prevailing severe heatwave,” said met office director A.K. Sen.

Vayas ji, the principal secretary of the state disaster management department told IANS that heat wave has claimed one life so far. However, unofficial reports received from different parts of state said that at least two dozen people have died in the last one week due to the heat.

Uttar Pradesh also continued to reel under the intense heat with the met office promising no immediate relief from the scorcher.

The weather office in Lucknow said maximum temperatures across the state were expected to rise further during the next 24 hours to Friday evening.

“Bundelkhand region and parts of western UP will see as much as three degrees rise in day temperatures,” said meteorological department director J.P. Gupta

Slight relief was experienced from the heat wave conditions in certain parts of Maharashtra’s Vidarbha and Marathwada regions though high temperatures ruled the roost in most areas on Thursday.

Chandrapur recorded the highest temperature of 47 degrees Celsius and Nagpur was second at 46 degrees, though the state has no officially recorded heat-wave related casualties.

Wardha, Akola and Parbhani recorded 45 degrees – a degree higher than Wednesday -while Yavatmal stood at 44 degrees on Thursday.

Intermittent drizzle and strong winds overnight brought welcome relief to Bhopal and other places in Madhya Pradesh which had been reeling under blistering conditions.

The residents of Bengaluru experienced pleasant weather on Thursday, while other parts of Karnataka braved a heat wave – the mercury at 42.5 degrees Celsius in Kalaburgi, 41.5 degrees in Bijapur and 42.4 degrees in Raichur, officials said.

-IANS

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Mercy for the Nirbhaya Rapists?

Gender discrimination is the root of many evils. While keeping the aspiration of females down, certain males have committed many wrongs in the past.

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Nirbhaya
The Nirbhaya incident in Delhi was “instrumental” in bringing about a kind of gender awareness renaissance in India.

By Salil Gewali

Gender discrimination is the root of many evils. While keeping the aspiration of females down, certain males have committed many wrongs in the past. Apart from various kinds of physical tortures, the mental tortures undergone by defenseless females are endless. Within the confinement of four-walls innumerable sins are still being committed which mostly go unreported. However, it was Nirbhaya’s rape incident in Delhi that was “instrumental” in bringing about a kind of gender awareness renaissance in India. Post-Nirbhaya incident, a lot many changes in the laws have been made. The safety and security of women have been prioritized, the nation-wide the whole police departments have been sensitized, to a greater extent the road transportation has been made women-friendly.

Nirbhaya rape
The public is right and more sensible now to point out the “hard cruelty” with which the gang had sexually tortured Nirbhaya that night.

Thanks to the countless number of protests across the country condemning the six rapists. The people from all walks of life came together and relentlessly pressurized the government that the Nirbhaya convicts must be awarded capital punishment. Media’s contribution in the campaign is immeasurable. Alas, India’s judiciary is so annoyingly slow it has taken over 7 years to pronounce the death sentence.

Nirbhaya rape
Advocate Indira Jaising suggested that the convicts of Nirbhaya rape case could be “forgiven” by the parents.

However, now nothing could be so mind-blowing than the flood of condemnation against the comments by a veteran advocate and social activist Indira Jaising. Without a sense of guilt and potential backlash, she suggested that the convicts be “forgiven” by the parents. Jaising’s idea has clearly touched a raw nerve of the major population in the country. People’s anger is spilled well over social media. What is most noteworthy is the scathing condemnation directly from the horse mouth — the mother Asha Devi. A very bold lady, who determinedly fought for justice for so many years, thunders – “Who is Indira Jaising to give me such a suggestion? The whole country wants the convicts to be executed. Just because of people like her, justice is not done with rape victims,” Asha Devi aptly further adds — “Can’t believe how Jaising even dared to suggest such this; I met her many times over the years in Supreme Court, “not once” she asked for my well-being and today she is speaking for convicts. Such people earn a livelihood by supporting rapists; hence rape incidents don’t stop,”

The latter comments by the Nirbhaya’s mother clearly hint the doubt at the “integrity” of the advocate Ms. Jaising. How on earth that one who has not spoken a word of sympathy in spite of many encounters in the court can reserves the right to suggest that which offends the distressed victim party. Asha Devi deserves a salute for her boldness. Yes, India Jaising is one of the advocates who knocked the door of the Chief Justice of India in the middle of the night in July 2015 in order to seek the mercy for the dreaded terrorist Yakub Menon.

Nirbhaya rapists
In 2015, the Delhi Government proposed to award the Nirbhaya juvenile convicts with Rs 10000/- and a sewing machine.

Again, here is another bombshell to drop which many of us may have forgotten. Can we ever “forgive” for the shocking proposal in 2015 by Delhi Government to award the Nirbhaya juvenile convicts with Rs 10000/- and a sewing machine?  Who has approved such bizarre ideas and which leaders are responsible? What kind of lesson should the citizens take from this?

Also Read- Here’s how Climate Change has Affected the Economy

I think the public is right and more sensible now to point out the “hard cruelty” with which the gang had sexually tortured Nirbhaya that night. They had used the iron-rod to inflict deep injuries upon the girl which is unspeakable, which is very unpardonable. So, given the increasing cases of rapes and subsequent inhumane cruelty and cold-blooded killings, Capital punishment can be the only answer and “one of the deterrents”. Before the divine retribution, the hard rod of punishment should not be spared at all. 

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali