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Several killed, over 400 injured in multiple explosions in Sri Lanka’s Colombo on Easter

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Easter Day bomb blasts at three Sri Lankan churches and three luxury hotels killed 160 people, including 35 foreigners, and wounded more than 400, hospital and police officials said, following a lull in major attacks since the end of the civil war 10 years ago.

In just one church, St. Sebastian’s in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo, more than 50 people had been killed, a police official told Reuters, with pictures showing bodies on the ground, blood on the pews and a destroyed roof.

Media reported 25 people were also killed in an attack on a church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province.

The three hotels hit were the Shangri-La Colombo, Kingsbury Hotel and Cinnamon Grand Colombo. It was unclear whether there were any casualties in the hotels.

Nine foreigners were among the dead, the officials said.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks in a country which was at war for decades with Tamil separatists until 2009 during which bomb blasts in the capital were common.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called a national security council meeting at his home for later in the day.

One of the explosions was at St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade, Colombo.

“Our people are engaged in evacuating the casualties,” a source with the bomb squad said.

St. Sebastian’s church posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Facebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from the public.

Last year, there were 86 verified incidents of discrimination, threats and violence against Christians, according to the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL), which represents more than 200 churches and other Christian organisations.

This year, the NCEASL recorded 26 such incidents, including one in which Buddhist monks allegedly attempted to disrupt a Sunday worship service, with the last one reported on March 25.

Out of Sri Lanka’s total population of around 22 million, 70 percent are Buddhist, 12.6 percent Hindu, 9.7 percent Muslim, and 7.6 percent Christian, according to the country’s 2012 census.

In its 2018 report on Sri Lanka’s human rights, the U.S. State Department noted that some Christian groups and churches reported they had been pressured to end worship activities after authorities classified them as “unauthorized gatherings.”

The report also said Buddhist monks regularly tried to close down Christian and Muslim places of worship, citing unidentified sources.

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Traffic chaos in Delhi as marshals struggle to control heavy vehicles on Ashram flyover

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Representational Image | Image Courtesy : Paramjit Dhillon @Paramjitdhillon (Twitter)

Delhi, India – Chaos ensues as the Ashram Flyover becomes a traffic nightmare for commuters in the city. But fear not, as a group of marshals has been deployed to restore order and bring some sense to the madness.

The Ashram Flyover, a major artery in the bustling metropolis of Delhi, has been a headache for commuters for quite some time now. The flyover, which connects the city’s south and central areas, sees heavy traffic congestion during peak hours, causing long delays and frayed nerves.

But things have taken a spicy turn as marshals have been brought in to keep things under control. These marshals, donning bright green jackets, have been tasked with managing the traffic flow, ensuring that vehicles move smoothly and without incident.

The marshals have their work cut out for them, as the chaos on the flyover seems to have no end in sight. The heavy traffic, coupled with the city’s notorious lack of lane discipline, has resulted in a free-for-all on the flyover, with vehicles jostling for space and tempers flaring.

But the marshals are undeterred. Armed with whistles and hand signals, they are determined to bring some order to the chaos. And their efforts seem to be paying off, as traffic has started moving more smoothly, and the honking and shouting have reduced considerably.

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Raahgiri Day is Back: Take Back CP Streets and Reclaim Your Sunday Morning!

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Representative Image | Source : Wikimedia

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has decided to re-launch the ‘Raahgiri Days’ programme in Connaught Place from Sunday, with a focus on sustainable mobility, under the G20 theme. This theme is an invitation for action to make sustainable and secure cities, and the Raahgiri Day completely synchronizes with this goal, said a NDMC official.

Raahgiri Day is an idea that started in 2013 and is an auto-free citizens’ effort that promotes safe, open and comprehensive public streets where individuals can walk to close by markets and kids can walk to close by schools securely.

This will be the initial installment of a progression of Raahgiri Days to be facilitated at Connaught Place post the Covid-19 pandemic. It will be held as a part of Delhi Police Week (February 16-22) under the topic of street security, including center on walkability and ladies’ security. During these occasions, the Connaught Place market zone will be changed into a vehicle free zone, permitting inhabitants to partake in an assortment of exercises, including yoga classes, Zumba, games zones, music, move and even instructive programmes on different points like street security.

Officials from the NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council) asserted that the Raahgiri Day is an initiative to make people aware of the fact that roads and streets are not just meant for vehicles. It is a means to reclaim public spaces and use them for leisure activities as a community. On February 19, the Raahgiri Day will be relaunched at Connaught Place and all Delhi citizens are encouraged to be a part of it. A senior official expressed that this is a chance to make a positive impact on our society and relish the roads in a different way while also encouraging the formation of a safer, more sustainable and walkable city. This event is being organised in collaboration with Delhi Police and other organisations.

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Delhi Police rescue girl who jumped off Signature Bridge into Yamuna

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Image Source: ANI

The Delhi Police, led by Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Parvinder, took immediate action as soon as they were informed that a 17-year-old girl had jumped into the Yamuna river from the Signature Bridge in the national capital on Tuesday night, reportedly due to a quarrel with her father.

The Station House Officer (SHO) Tribhuvan Singh Negi of Timarpur police station, along with a team of more than half a dozen police personnel, began the rescue operation with the help of divers and managed to save the schoolgirl, who is a resident of Wazirabad, within 45-50 minutes. The girl was later handed over to her family.

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