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Arms smuggling gang busted in Indore, 5 held with 51 firearms

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Indore (Madhya Pradesh) [India], February 21 (ANI): Indore Crime Branch busted an arms smuggling gang and arrested five accused with 51 firearms on Saturday.
“51 firearms including 22 country-made pistols, 29 pistols were seized from their possession. They were planning to distribute firearms in other states. It is being investigated where they have distributed firearms earlier and from where they procure raw materials. We are looking into their criminal records. We got to know one accused has a criminal record,” Manish Kapooria, Deputy Inspector General of Police told reporters here.
One of the five accused hails from Bihar whereas others belong to different parts of Madhya Pradesh.
The accused have been identified as Prakash Singh, Govind, Rajendra, Piyush Singh and Ravi Solanki. (ANI)

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153 monks test COVID-19 positive in Himachal Pradesh

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Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) [India], March 2 (ANI): With a sudden surge of COVID-19 infections in Kangra district, 153 monks have been tested positive at Gyuto Tantric Monastery of Karmapa in Sidhpur area of Dharamshala on Tuesday.
Following initial cases on February 23, 330 monks tested so far for COVID-19 and 153 monks have tested positive at Gyuto monastery in Himachal Pradesh, informed said Dr Gurdarshan Gupta, Chief Medical Officer, Zonal Hospital, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.
“During the case investigation, it was found that few of the monks travelled from Karnataka and Delhi after new year’s celebration but surprisingly all the people who have travelled from outside have tested negative. One of them is shifted to Tanda Medical College as he had serious symptoms, others are in isolation in the monastery itself,” said Dr Gupta.
“The entire locality has been now declared as a containment zone,” he added.
Informing about the safety protocols, Secretary of the Department of Health, Palden Dhondup said, “We are taking all precautions measures and we are taking care of the monks and the situation is very grave but after 10 to 15 days everything will be alright.” (ANI)

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Kangana Ranaut, sister move SC to transfer cases from Mumbai to Shimla court

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Hindi film actor Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel have moved the Supreme Court seeking the transfer of criminal cases pending against them in various courts of Maharashtra’s Mumbai to Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.
Ranaut and Chandel claimed that they face a threat to life if the trials proceed in Mumbai, because of the personal vendetta of Shiv Sena leaders against them.
Ranaut in her plea said that looking at the threat perception, she was granted Y-plus category of CRPF security by the Home Ministry, therefore, it becomes quite evident that they “face a serious threat to life and property and if the trial of the cases are not transferred out of Mumbai their life will be at risk.”
Various cases were filed against both the sisters including the criminal defamation complaint by veteran lyricist, Javed Akhtar alleging that Ranaut had made defamatory remarks against him on Republic TV after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
Advocate Ali Kashif Khan Deshmukh had also filed a criminal case against them in Mumbai for allegedly causing disharmony between Hindus and Muslims by her tweets. He had cited the example of Ranaut’s tweet on Mumbai turning into “Pakistan Occupied Kashmir”.
A sedition case was filed by casting director Munawar Ali Sayyed, who alleged that Ranaut and her sister tried to create a communal divide through social media and they deliberately made the tweets to bring hatred and excite disaffection towards the Maharashtra government.
The sisters have now approached the top court urging to transfer all the cases to Himachal Pradesh, their home state.
In their petition, Ranaut stated that “Shiv Sena will leave no stone unturned to eliminate her, because of her continuous outspokenness against the wrongs done by the Shiv Sena in collusion with big names of the Hindi film industry.”
Ranaut in the plea pointed out that Sanjay Raut, who is a senior Shiv Sena leader and a Member of Parliament had used inappropriate words against her and the Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) illegally demolished her Pali Hill Bungalow. The plea added that the Bombay High Court has declared the BMC’s act of demolishing a part of her bungalow illegal, and added that it smacked of malafide intentions.
Ranaut and Chandel further stated that while they have utmost faith and respect for courts in the country, they apprehend a threat to their life and property if the trial in the cases continues in Mumbai. They also alleged harassment at the instance of the Maharashtra government led by Shiv Sena.
“These acts of the Maharashtra government clearly show that the Maharashtra government has malafide intentions against the petitioners and that if the petitioners visit Maharashtra to attend the trials, there will be a constant threat to them from the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra government,” the plea stated. (ANI)

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Congress workers burn effigy of Ghulam Nabi Azad for praising PM Narendra Modi

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Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 2 (ANI): Congress party workers on Tuesday burnt an effigy of senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and raised slogans against him in a protest in Jammu.
This comes as Azad praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G-23 event in the state saying that he speaks frankly about his past as a tea-seller and never tried to hide his background from the world.
Targeting Azad, Shahnawaz Choudhary, General Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee said Congress has always held him in high esteem but today when it is time to support the party, Azad forged a friendship with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Congress has always given him (Ghulam Nabi Azad) so much. Congress has only made him the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, but when it is time for him to pay-back to the party, he is making Congress weak by not supporting his own party,” Choudhary said.
Another Congress worker, Aijaz Choudhary, Vice President of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee said, “Ghulam Nabi Azad praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi who took our statehood and people like him become the reason for making Congress weak.”
“Azad should have guided the party with his experience in politics to resurrect the party and not weaken it,” Choudhary added.
The protesters who were carrying party flags said they will fight against any force questioning the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
At the same time, Ghulam Nabi Azad’s statement has not been liked by G-23 members too. A leader told ANI on the condition of anonymity that Azad should not have made these remarks as they can deflect attention from the G-23’s aim of strengthening the party.
An event was organised in Jammu by the Gandhi Global Family whose national chairman is Ghulam Nabi Azad where G-23 leaders were invited. (ANI)

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Fuel price hike: Youth Congress stages protest outside petroleum ministry

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Youth Congress workers on Tuesday staged a protest outside the petroleum ministry over rising prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.
Hundreds of Indian Youth Congress activists assembled outside the petroleum ministry office with placards in their hands and raised slogans against the central government. The police, meanwhile, arrested a few of the protesters to control the situation.
The prices of petrol and diesel have increased sharply over the past few days, with that of petrol touching the 100-rupee mark in some of the cities. Opposition parties have held protests in different parts of the country over the rising prices of fuel.
On February 25, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that she won’t be able to answer when the prices of petrol and diesel will be reduced.
“I won’t be able to say ‘when’. It is a ‘dharam sankat’ (dilemma),” Sitharaman said at an event in Ahmedabad after being asked when would the central government reduce fuel prices.
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has also said that price of fuel will decrease once the winter season ends.
“Increase in petroleum price in international market has affected consumers too. Prices will come down a little as winter goes away. It is an international matter, price is high due to increase in demand, it happens in winter. It will come down as the season ends,” Pradhan had said on February 26. (ANI)

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Why is Modi govt charging common people for COVID-19 vaccine, asks Prithviraj Chavan

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 2 (ANI): Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday questioned the central government’s decision to charge for COVID-19 vaccine in phase-II that began on March 1.
In phase-II, people over the age of 60 and over the age of 45 with co-morbidity can get inoculated at the designated centres by paying Rs 250.
In a press conference, Prithviraj Chavan said that in phase-I, the union government had procured 1.65 crore doses of vaccine at a cost of Rs 210 per dose.
“According to the budget speech delivered by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on February 1, 2021, Rs 35,000 crore has been earmarked for the vaccination drive. In this amount, at the cost of Rs 210 per dose more than 1.5 billion doses can be procured which can inoculate 75 crore population twice covering almost the entire adult population of India. If budgetary provisions are made then, why charge common people?” Chavan asked.
Comparing to the vaccine drives in countries like the United States of America (USA) and United Kingdom (UK), the Congress leader said, “Large countries such as the USA, UK or Canada are providing free vaccines to their citizens either through insurance scheme or by budgetary provisions.”
He further demanded that all beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (Aayushman Bharat) must be given a free COVID-19 vaccine.
“I demand all beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (Aayushman Bharat) must be given free COVID-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, despite lofty budgetary announcements and India being the largest supplier of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Modi government is digging into the common man’s pocket.”
The price of the coronavirus vaccine at private facilities in the country has been capped at Rs 250 per dose, which includes Rs 100 as a service charge, according to central government sources.
Last Friday, the health ministry had said that the COVID-19 vaccination will be free of charge at government vaccination centres. The beneficiary will have to show a photo ID document for proof of age (preferably Aadhar card or EPIC card) and a certificate of co-morbidity (if required).
Those taking the COVID vaccine at any designated/empanelled private health facility will have to pay a pre-fixed charge.
States and UTs were explained the simplified process of registration, which shall be through three routes: Advance Self-Registration: In this, the beneficiaries will be able to self-register in advance by downloading the Co-WIN 2.0 portal and through other IT applications such as Aarogya Setu etc. (ANI)

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BJP chief asks officials in Rajasthan to strengthen party cadre, do self-analysis

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Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], March 2 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Jagat Prakash Nadda on Tuesday advised party officials to strengthen the cadre and do self-analysis.
Addressing the ‘State Executive Meeting’ at Birla Auditorium, Jaipur, Nadda asked the officials to complete the formation of booth committees by September 24.
“A lot of people among us have stopped self-analysis. This reduces our productivity. You all need to start doing self-analysis. You need to analyse –what you are giving to the party, how much contribution are you making to the party, at what level are you accepted in the party,” he said.
“The formation of our booth committees should be completed by 25th September i.e. Deendayal Upadhyay ji’s birth anniversary. There should not be any booth where our booth committee is not formed and every booth should have women, youth, Dalit brothers, people from backward caste in our committees,” he added.
Nadda asked the party officials to ensure BJP’s victory in Rajasthan in the next Assembly polls.
“Ashok Gehlot government’s priority is to not have a well-governed state. Seeing this, it is our responsibility, to say ‘namaskar to this sarkar’ and make sure that the lotus blooms here,” he said.
Commenting upon the goal of the party in 2021, Nadda said, “We have a good image in public, but we are a cadre-based party. Therefore, it is our responsibility to strengthen the cadre. Strong mandals, active booths and active panna pramkukhs, these are the three goals we have to complete in 2021.”
Lauding the Prime Minister’s role in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, the BJP chief said, “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination has begun. We have sent the Made-in-India vaccines to over 20 countries.”
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi by taking the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday has given a clear message that we must take the vaccination drive ahead,” he added.
Nadda also slammed Opposition parties over the protest against the three farm laws saying that farmers are our ‘annadata’ and “we need to bring them in the mainstream. But, many parties are exploiting the protest for their own gain.” (ANI)

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