Five labourers were killed in a fire that broke out early on Thursday in a saree godown at Uruli Devachi, about 20 km from the Pune city, the authorities said.The incident occurred a little after 4 a. m., said fire brigade officials. They ascribed the cause of the blaze to a short circuit.Four of the deceased hailed from Rajasthan, while one was from Maharashtra’s Latur district, said the police.All of them were in their 20s. They have been identified as Rakesh Riyad (22), Rakesh Meghwal, Dharmaram Vadiyasar and Suraj Sharma, all aged 25 and belonging to Rajasthan, and Dheeraj Chandak (aged 23) from Latur.“The labourers died due to asphyxiation within minutes of the blaze. They were sleeping inside the 6,000 sq. ft. godown, which was locked from outside by the owners to preclude any theft. When we retrieved their bodies, some of them had been burnt,” said a police official.Fire brigade officials said five fire tenders were sent to the spot to combat the conflagration.“We received a call at the control room at 4.15 a. m., following which five fire tenders were immediately rushed to the spot. In addition, eight to ten water tankers too were sent,” said a fire brigade official. The intensity of the blaze was such that it could be brought under control only after more than four hours of firefighting. The rescue team had to break into the godown through the rear windows, he said.December 2016 blaze In a similar incident in late December 2016, six sleeping labourers were charred to death at the ‘Bakes n Cakes’ bakery in Pune’s upmarket Kondhwa area.In that case too, the bakery was locked from outside, as a result of which the employees could not rush out when the fire broke out.
Sports Minister Ajay Maken.The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Friday dealt a major blow to Sports Ministry’s effort of reconciliation between Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation by rejecting the interim “working relationship” between the two warring bodies.The FIH said that it was “surprised and disappointed” to learn about the temporary arrangement and threatened to take away the hosting rights of men’s Champions Trophy (in December) and next year’s Olympic Qualifiers from India if the situation remains the same.The world body also made it clear that it recognises only HI as the sole governing body for hockey in India.”The FIH has expressed to the Indian Sports Minister its grave concern about the ‘settlement’ recently announced between Hockey India (HI) and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), without prior consultation with the FIH.”It is a fundamental and non-negotiable requirement of the Olympic Charter and the FIH Statutes (and indeed of the Indian Government’s own guidelines and draft sports bill) that there can only be one governing body for a sport in each country with exclusive authority and responsibility to govern, organise national competitions and to enter national teams in international competitions,” FIH said in a statement.”The FIH recognises HI as the governing body for hockey in India. The FIH does not recognise IHF and has not done so since 2000. The FIH is therefore surprised and disappointed to learn that the proposal now is simply, as a temporary fix, to transfer governance authority in India from HI to a new ‘joint executive committee’ controlled jointly by HI and the IHF and ‘co-chaired’ by the HI and IHF presidents,” it said.-With PTI inputs advertisement