The BJP-led coalition government in Assam has purchased biographies of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya worth ₹1.6 crore after coming to power in May 2016.Replying to a question by Congress MLA Debabrata Saikia in the 126-member Assembly on Wednesday, Cultural Affairs Minister Keshab Mahanta said the government bought 4,000 copies of the 15-volume Hindi biography for libraries across the State. The total number of books works out to 60,000. The Directorate of Libraries spent ₹1.6 crore for the purchase on the advice of Cultural Affairs Department, he added.Delhi-based publisher The biography has been brought out by a Delhi-based publisher, the Minister said.“We have not purchased biographies of any iconic person other than Deen Dayal Upadhyaya,” Mr. Mahanta, who represents the BJP’s regional ally Asom Gana Parishad, said.The AGP, ironically, has been vocal about the BJP’s bid to “impose” anything related to RSS and Hindutva on the “people of Assam”. The party had opposed the Sarbananda Sonowal government’s decision to name 12 new colleges in the State after Deen Dayal Upadhyaya in August last year.
An explosion that killed seven people and caused panic in the Pakistani city of Lahore was caused by a gas leak and not a bomb as police had earlier stated, according to officials 24 February. AFPPakistani officials on Friday said a blast that killed 10 people at a shopping centre in the eastern city of Lahore was most probably an accident caused by a gas leak, not a bomb, as initially described.Panic gripped the city on Thursday after the blast at an upscale market, which also wounded 32 people.Soon after, a burst tyre in another commercial district prompted police to clear the area and rumours of another blast began to spread.”Yesterday’s blast was not an act of terrorism,” Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah told reporters.”It took place by accident. There is no evidence of explosive materials. There were gas cylinders present at the site and there is a strong possibility that the explosion was caused by a gas leak.”Speaking to Reuters on Friday, Punjab government spokesman Malik Mohammad Ahmed Khan revised his statement the previous day that the initial blast had been caused by a planted bomb.”Confusion was caused because the evidence was buried under the rubble, but it is now clear that this was not a bomb blast,” Khan said. “It was a gas cylinder explosion.”The injuries suffered by victims were not consistent with a bomb explosion, he added, while no militant group had claimed the blast.Pakistan has been hit by a wave of militant attacks in recent weeks that have killed at least 130 people. One attack at a Sufi shrine in southern Sindh province killed 90 people.