Pakistan orders Shell pay at least $2.4m after tanker fire

Pakistan orders Shell subsidiary to pay at least $2 million for deadly tanker explosion.(AFP)
Updated 07 July 2017

Pakistan orders Shell pay at least $2.4m after tanker fire

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday ordered Shell Pakistan to pay at least $2.4 million in compensation after more than 200 people were killed when one of its tankers overturned and exploded in a devastating inferno last month.
The tanker contracted by Royal Dutch Shell’s local subsidiary crashed on a main highway in central Punjab province while carrying some 50,000 liters of fuel from Karachi to Lahore on June 25.
It exploded minutes later, sending a fireball through crowds from a nearby village who had gathered to scavenge for the spilled fuel, despite warnings by the driver and police to stay away.
Health officials and police Friday put the death toll, which has continued to rise since the accident, at 218 people and said 38 victims were still in hospital, some in critical condition.
“OGRA (the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority) has found Shell Pakistan responsible for the oil tanker incident and imposed a fine of 10 million rupees ($100,000) on it,” authority spokesman Imran Ghaznavi told AFP.
“Shell Pakistan has also been ordered to pay 1 million rupees compensation to the families of each deceased and 500,000 rupees for each of the injured,” he added.
That would require Shell pay at least $2.48 million to the families of the dead so far. It was not immediately clear how many wounded would receive compensation, or if the death toll might continue to increase.
Ghaznavi said OGRA had sent a list of 21 questions to Shell Pakistan about the accident, but had not yet received an answer.
OGRA’s investigation found that Shell never checked if the private tanker it had hired complied with safety standards, according to a report seen by AFP.

UN sanctions on militant group welcomed

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry has praised the UN for imposing sanctions on a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, which is linked to deadly attacks in the country.
In a statement Friday, the ministry welcomed the move in which the UN Security Council on Thursday added the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar group to a list of organizations and individuals subject to freezing of assets, a travel ban and an arms embargo. The ministry said the UN took this step at Islamabad’s request.
Pakistan often claims that Jamaat-ul-Ahrar operates from neighboring Afghanistan. It imposed a ban on the group last year and launched a crackdown to trace and arrest its leadership.


Indian woman who alleged gang rape dies after burn attack

Updated 07 December 2019

Indian woman who alleged gang rape dies after burn attack

  • The woman was attacked in the state of Uttar Pradesh by a group of men that included two of the five she had accused of gang rape last year
  • The 23-year-old woman suffered extensive injuries and was airlifted Thursday from Uttar Pradesh to Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi, where she died late Friday of cardiac arrest

NEW DELHI: An alleged rape victim in northern India who was set on fire while heading to a court hearing in the case has died in a New Delhi hospital, officials said Saturday.
The woman was attacked in the state of Uttar Pradesh by a group of men that included two of the five she had accused of gang rape last year, police said. The two were out of custody on bail.
Five men were arrested in connection with the burn attack, police said.
The 23-year-old woman suffered extensive injuries and was airlifted Thursday from Uttar Pradesh to Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi, where she died late Friday of cardiac arrest, said Dr. Shalab Kumar, head of the hospital’s burn unit.
Yogi Adityanath, the state’s chief minister, said that the case would be heard in a fast track court and that the “strictest of punishment will be given to the culprits.”
Priyanka Gandhi, general secretary of the opposition Congress party, faulted the Uttar Pradesh government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, for failing to provide the woman with security, even after a similar case in the state in which a woman who accused a BJP lawmaker of rape was severely injured in a vehicle hit-and-run incident.
Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, is known for its poor record regarding crimes against women. According to the most recent available official crime records, police registered more than 4,200 cases of rape in the state in 2017 — the most in India.
Government figures for 2017 also show that police registered 33,658 cases of rape in the country. But the real figure is believed to be far higher as many women in India don’t report cases to police due to fear.
Indian courts also seem to be struggling to deal with these cases. Data shows that more than 90% of cases of crimes against women are pending in city courts.
The burn victim’s death came on the same day police in the southern state of Telangana fatally shot four men being held on suspicion of raping and killing a 27-year-old veterinarian after investigators took them to the crime scene. Their deaths drew both praise and condemnation in a case that has sparked protests across the country.
The woman’s burned corpse was found last week by a passer-by near the city of Hyderabad, India’s tech hub, after she went missing the previous night.
Police took the four suspects, who had not been charged with any crime, to the scene to help them locate the victim’s phone and other items, officials said. They said the men grabbed police firearms and began shooting, and were killed when police returned fire.
The Telangana High Court ordered authorities to preserve the bodies of the suspects and submit a video of the autopsies ahead of a court hearing set for Monday.
Separately, the National Commission on Human Rights, an autonomous body within India’s Parliament, sent a fact-finding mission to the crime scene and mortuary where the suspects’ bodies were held on Saturday amid questions from opposition lawmakers about the circumstances of the suspects’ deaths.