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Indian company faces attempted murder charges in deadly Kolkata overpass collapse

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A section of a bridge that was under construction collapsed into a park area

A section of a bridge that was under construction collapsed into a park area

KOLKATA, India (Diya TV) — An Indian construction company faces charges of attempted murder, mischief and criminal conspiracy in connection with the collapse of an overpass in Kolkata that killed 24 people, said Nurul Absar, who heads the police station in the city where the charges were filed.

The victims were killed midday Thursday when a section of a bridge that was under construction crashed down onto the streets.

Police brought in 12 employees of the construction company, IVRCL, for questioning on Friday. At this time, it remains unclear how many of them, if any, will be formally arrested and charged, and on what counts. There was no immediate response from the company on Friday to the charges, however, an IVRCL company executive said the collapse was not entirely his company’s fault.

Workers remove a section of the collapsed overpass.

Workers remove a section of the collapsed overpass.

“It’s nothing but a God’s act,” K. Panduranga Rao of the Hyderabad-based company told reporters. “So far in 27 years, we have constructed several number of bridges … it never happened.”

This isn’t the first instance of a bridge collapsing in the country, or even underpasses that were under construction.

In 2006, a bridge fell on an express train traveling through Bhagalpur, killing 37 passengers. Three years later in 2009, another 30 workers were killed after scaffolding on a bridge being built in Kota crashed down. More recently, in March 2013, fully constructed overpass collapsed in eastern Kolkata, not far from Thursday’s incident. The collapse in 2013 sent a truck into a canal, however the people inside were rescued.

Jayaprakash Narayan, a doctor and Loksatta Party founder, took to Twitter to describe his haste over the incident, and Rao’s response to it.

 

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Exclusive: Judges Srinivasan, Rao kickoff SABA virtual conference

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Srinivasan

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Diya TV is home to the South Asian Bar Association virtual conference this weekend, which got kicked off by perhaps the two most powerful Indian American lawyers in the nation: Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan & Circuit Judge Neomi Rao, both of whom serve in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, considered the second most powerful court in the nation to only the Supreme Court. We’ll update you on their conversation and preview this weekend’s virtual gala featuring Stacy Abrams, Preet Bharara, Vanita Gupta, Ajit Pai and many others.

Meanwhile, Judges Srinivasan and Rao may get another Indian American colleague, as President Trump nominated Vijay Shanker to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Democratic Party announced they will be conducting their convention virtually from Milwaukee.

Indian American Jeremy Cooney is leading in the race for New York State’s 56th Senate District, with absentee ballots still to be factored in.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Satellite images show larger Chinese presence at Indian border

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Satellite images

LADAKH, India (Diya TV)  — While the ongoing fracas between India and China has not led to all-out war yet, satellite images indicate China is sending a larger group of troops and building infrastructure in Galwan Valley, site of that vicious clash that killed 20 Indian troops, and a reported 43 Chinese soldiers. It was the first loss of life in battle for the Chinese in more than 40 years. U.S. intelligence decreed China instigated the battle and India says China has been staffing up in the area since May. Following the release of the satellite images, China says India is to blame.

The U.S. is regressing in its battle against COVID-19, setting a new single day record for coronavirus cases at more than 37,000. The virus has infected nearly 10 million people globally, a quarter of that total in the U.S. The death toll now stands at 125,000 in the United States, with Florida, Texas, Arizona and California seeing major increases.

Pakistani-American Qasim Rashid advanced in the Democratic primary in Virginia’s First Congressional District. ​He’ll take on longtime incumbent Republican Congressman Robert Wittman in the fall.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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As critics fume, Modi says India was not breached by China

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NEW DELHI (Diya TV)  — During an all-party political leaders meeting, Indian Prime Minister Modi told the group China did not breach Indian territory in Ladakh, nor was any Indian Army border post captured. Modi emphasized India will protect Galwan Valley, the region where the clash killing 20 Indian soldiers and a reported 43 Chinese soldiers took place. But Modi’s critics say the situation was an intelligence failure and many want Modi to strike back with force. Meanwhile, in a statement, the Chinese Government pinned the conflict on India and is laying claim to the entire valley region.

India was elected as a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council for a 2-year term starting next year, receiving 184 out of 192 valid votes.

And in a wild Friday night surprise, the Justice Department said Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York would be stepping down, to be replaced by Jay Clayton, the current Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. But in a statement, Berman said he’s not leaving until Congress confirms someone & his investigations, including into folks allied with President Trump, will continue.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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