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5 Covid patients killed in Gujarat hospital fire, SC seeks report

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5 Covid patients killed in Gujarat hospital fire, SC seeks report

Five patients were killed and six injured in Gujarat’s Rajkot city on Friday in a fire that broke out in a Covid-19 ward, the fourth blaze in a novel coronavirus hospital since the outbreak began. The Supreme Court took suo motu cognisance and expressed anguish over the incident, seeking a report.

“This is shocking. Let me say this is not the first incident. We are taking suo motu cognizance of this incident,” a three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and also comprising Justices R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah told the counsel appearing for Gujarat. The bench noted that this is not the first fire incident at a Covid-19 designated hospital and remarked that no complete steps have been taken in this regard.

The SC asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, to submit a report on what steps are taken in this regard and also sought a report from the Gujarat government. “Why no fire prevention mechanism is present? Someone has to do 24×7 monitoring of the situation. There needs to be an inspection of whether electrical lines are proper or not. How does this short circuit happen?” Justice Shah questioned.

In August, eight Covid-19 patients were killed in a fire in the ICU ward of a hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

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VP Joy takes charge as Kerala’s new Chief Secretary

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Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], February 28 (ANI): Senior bureaucrat VP Joy on Sunday assumed charge as the new Chief Secretary of Kerala.
Joy is succeeding Dr Vishwas Mehta, who retires from service today.
Mehta handed over the charge to Joy in the presence of senior officers of the state authorities on the secretariat here.
Joy has taken charge as the Chief Secretary of the state just before the upcoming Assembly polls here.
The election for 140-member Kerala Assembly in 14 districts will be held on April 6. For Assembly poll 2021, the number of polling booths in Kerala has been extended from 21,498 to 40,771. The counting of votes will be held on May 2.
According to the Election Commission, of the 140 Assembly seats, 14 seats are reserved for SC category and two are reserved for ST category candidates. The tenure of the Kerala legislative assembly will come to an end on June 1, 2021. (ANI)

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Young singers seek to revive folk music, sufiyana in J-K

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Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], February 28 (ANI): The young singers of North Kashmir’s Singhpora Pattan are working for the revival of the folk and classical forms of Kashmir’s music by making folk albums.
With the help of some senior folk singers, the young artistes are making musical albums in a private studio and selling them in the local market.
Adil Manzoor, a young folk singer said, “Folk music is our identity. We cannot let go of it. Due to the westernisation, the music formats including sufiyana and folk are losing popularity.”
“I did an online program during the lockdown. The program was well received by the people of Kashmir. I did a program in Tagore Hall, which was also a success,” he added.
Abdul Rasheed, a senior folk singer said, “Young artistes are an elated bunch and very energetic. As long as these youngsters show this kind of interest, Sufiyaana will remain alive.”
“I cannot just sit at home during this winter. So I am working with them,” he added.
Another singer, Suhail Faisal said, “Folk music is our culture. We have to take it forward. Even after leaving the studio, I continue to work at home to achieve our aim”.
The Kashmir valley has produced a number of renowned sufiyana, classical and folk singers including Abdul Rashid Hafiz, late Mohamad Abdullah Tibet Baqal, late Ghulam Mohamad Saznawaz, late Ghulam Ahmad Sofi, late Ghulam Hassan Sofi. (ANI)

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Amit Shah assures Puducherry of reducing UT’s unemployment

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Puducherry [India], February 28 (ANI): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday assured people of Puducherry of reducing the unemployment rate in the Union Territory to less than 40 per cent if National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is voted to power in the upcoming assembly elections.
“About 75 per cent of Puducherry youth are unemployed, if you vote NDA government, we will reduce the unemployment rate to less than 40 per cent,” Shah said while addressing an election rally in Puducherry
Shah also cornered the erstwhile Congress government in Puducherry saying it did “petty politics” on implementing Central government schemes.
He lambasted at Narayanasamy’s government and alleged that the chief minister was engaged in rampant corruption in Puducherry. “At least 15,000 crore was sent by the Central government for the development of the Union Territory.”
“The Modi government has given a budget of 20 thousand crore rupees to overcome the shortcomings of the important infrastructure of fisheries,” Amit Shah said adding that Puducherry is going to get the most benefit from it.
“Has this money reached your villages?” he questioned the crowd.
He also alleged that Narayanasamy’s government sent 15,000 crore rupees to the Gandhi family’s service in Delhi.
Raising the issue of local body elections, he said, “For 14 years, the elections were not held here even after the High Court orders. Because they feared that the BJP’s lotus would blossom here if elections were held.”
The central government of PM Narendra Modi has done a lot of work for the development of Puducherry, he said. Puducherry has been connected to Bengaluru and Hyderabad as part of the UDAN scheme to promote tourism inside Puducherry, he added.
“Some days back PM Modi has opened a huge opportunity for the development of the people living on the seashore by performing Bhoomi Pujan of a small port,” he said adding that this port was closed since 2009, which is now starting very soon.
“You should help form the NDA government and I want to assure the people of Puducherry that when it will be 75 years of independence (in 2022), the BJP government will do the work of providing pure drinking water from the tap to every poor house here,” he said.
Regarding the BJP’s plan for Puducherry, Amit Shah said, “the Prime Minister has spoken about making Puducherry the BEST. The four words of B- Business Hub E-Education Hub S- Spiritual Hub T- Tourism Hub- BEST are the foundation of Puducherry’s development.”
Based on this, the BJP government will make Puducherry the jewel of the country, he promised to the public ahead of assembly elections here.
While ending his speech, Shah made an apology to people for not speaking in the Tamil language.
“The Prime Minister said that even when he was Chief Minister, he could not learn Tamil, he is Prime Minister now, yet he said that I want to learn Tamil and talk to Tamil brothers in the Tamil language,” Shah added.
Polling for 30 assembly seats in Puducherry will be held on April 6. Of the 30 Assembly seats, five are reserved for the Scheduled Caste candidates. As many as 10,02,589 electors will choose the candidates for the 15 legislative Assembly of Puducherry. (ANI)

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First BSF contingent arrives in Madurai ahead of Tamil Nadu Assembly polls

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New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): The first contingent of 1,130 Border Security Force (BSF) personnel from nine companies arrived in Madurai on Sunday ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.
Nine companies have been deployed in Madurai and its adjoining areas following the announcement of the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.
The BSF personnel were taken for a COVID-19 test immediately after they arrived at the Madurai Railway Station from Assam. They were later sent in different groups to Tenkasi, Tuticorin and Nagercoil districts for election security.
Ahead of the scheduled assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, an all-party meeting was also held on Saturday at the residence of the district collector, T Anbalagan, in Madurai.
The 234 members Tamil Nadu assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of the votes will be done on May 2.
Ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is contesting the polls in a pre-poll alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has joined hands with Congress. This time actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan’s party Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM) is also in the fray. (ANI)

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Attack on Krishna Dhaba proof of ongoing attempts to oust ‘minorities’ from J-K: BJP leader

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Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], February 28 (ANI): Expressing grief over Krishna Dhaba owner’s son Akash Mehra’s death, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kavinder Gupta on Sunday said the ‘targetted’ attack is proof that there are still ongoing attempts to oust the ‘minorities’ from the region.
“We heard the sad news about the death of Krishna Dhaba’s owner’s son. This type of targeted attack is proof that there are still ongoing attempts to oust the minorities from the region. Because the situation is improving in Jammu and Kashmir, some terrorist organisations are actively trying to create panic in the region,” said Gupta.
“We will not tolerate such activities otherwise the situation of 1989-1990 will be repeated. It is very important to stop such attacks,’ he added.
The BJP leader further commented that the Indian security forces are doing commendable work to stop terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, but added, “the attacks on Krishna Dhaba and Shakti sweets show there are efforts to bring back the ‘militancy in the region.”
The son of the owner of popular food joint Krishna Dhaba, who was injured in the terrorist attack on the eatery, succumbed to his injuries on Sunday morning.
“Woke up to extremely distressing news. Young Akash Mehra who was shot at by terrorists at Krishna Dhaba has succumbed to his injuries at SMHS Hospital. I share the pain and grief of his family and stand by them as they mourn this inconsolable loss. May his soul rest in peace,” Junaid Azim Mattu, Mayor of Srinagar in a tweet.
On February 17, terrorists belonging to the ‘Muslim Jaanbaz Force’, an offshoot of proscribed terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba attacked Krishna Dhaba’ in Srinagar’s Durganag area when 24 foreign diplomats were visiting the union territory.
Two days later, Jammu and Kashmir police arrested three terrorists of ‘Muslim Jaanbaz Force’ in connection with the attack, which police said was aimed at terrorising non-locals living in the valley and disrupting tourist activity.
The arrested terrorists were identified as Suhail Ahmad Mir, resident of Dangerpora Nowgam, Owais Manzoor Sofi, resident of Dangarpora and Vilayat Aziz Mir, a resident of Hanipora Wampora Pulwama.
The police had said that the arrest of the trio and the recovery of weapon of crime (pistol) and grenade, along with other incriminating material including the bike used by them, within hours of attack is a big success for the Jammu and Kashmir police. (ANI)

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UP managed to control Encephalitis by 75 per cent: CM Yogi Adityanath

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Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India], February 28 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh managed to control the Encephalitis disease by 75 per cent and the fatality rate due to it has reduced by 95 per cent in the past four years, said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday.
While inaugurating a campaign here to create awareness about communicable diseases, Adityanath said, “In 2017, we started a special vaccination programme to aware citizens about Encephalitis. As a result, the state managed to control the disease by 75 per cent and the death rate due to the disease reduced by 95 per cent in the past four years.”
“We will fully control the disease in coming years. United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO) also supported to make this program a success,” he added.
The campaign will formally start from March 1 and will continue till March 31.
Adityanath said that after coming to power in 2017, the government started a special campaign to control Encephalitis disease. “We formed special teams for treatment and controlling the disease,” he said.
Last week, Adityanath launched the Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine drive and administered the vaccine drops to children in Lucknow. (ANI)

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