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Haryana has seen a drop in its Covid-19 fatality rate, from 0.90 percent on April 24, 2021 to 0.87 percent currently, stated an official spokesperson of the state government. Similarly, while 3,663 patients recovered on April 19 this year, recoveries almost tripled to reach 10,423 on May 2, he added.

These figures were presented to demonstrate that the state is recovering from the Covid-19 crisis. The Haryana government has deployed senior IAS officers in all 22 districts to ensure proper arrangements to deal with Covid-related problem, along with several HCS officers on duty in many districts.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has also been interacting with the officers through video conferencing from Chandigarh and visiting hospitals in the field continuously. In the last one week, he visited 17 districts and reviewed the preparations to deal with Covid. Haryana’s progress is being credited to such efforts being made by the Chief Minister.

Divulging more details in this regard, the spokesperson said that on April 22, 2021, the state’s oxygen quota was enhanced from 156 MT to 162 MT, and then further enhanced to 257 MT. The Haryana government has also set up a state-level control room to monitor oxygen supply in the state. Besides this, six PSA technology-based plants are ready in Faridabad, Sonipat, Karnal, Ambala, Panchkula and Hisar. Out of these, production has started at the Sonipat plant and will start in a few days at the remaining plants.

It was further informed that vaccination is being done at a fast pace in Haryana. Vaccination for people between 18-44 years of age has also started. So far, about 40 lakh people have been vaccinated.

The spokesperson also mentioned that there is sufficient availability of remdesivir and other medicines in all hospitals and medical colleges in the state and supply is being ensured continuously as per requirement.

Haryana has also imposed a lockdown for one week. Besides, curfew has been imposed from 10 pm to 5 am. The Chief Minister has appealed to the people to follow these guidelines and get vaccinated to contribute positively in the fight against the pandemic.

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Three others injured in grenade attack on wine shop in Baramulla.

Ajay Jandyal



As another member from the minority community falls victim to the terrorist act in Kashmir, there has been a growing fear among the people working in various parts of the Valley.

On Tuesday evening, terrorists lobbed a hand grenade inside a wine shop in the Diwan Bagh area of Baramulla in which four members from the Hindu minority community were injured. Ranjit Singh of Bakhar area of Rajouri district succumbed to injuries while he was being shifted to the hospital.

All the victims belong to the Jammu region and were working as employees at the wine shop that had opened just two days ago.

Police said that terrorists came on a motorcycle and one was wearing a burqa went near the pothole of the wine shop and threw a hand grenade injuring the four employees of the wine shop. The police launched a rescue operation soon after the incident and the injured were rushed to the hospital where Ranjeet Singh succumbed to his injuries.

Residents of Sunderbani on Wednesday came on roads to protest the killing of Ranjit Singh and his family members demanded that the government should provide immediate compensation to the family and a government job to his children.

After the attack, there has been fear among the minority community working in Kashmir as they say that terrorists are targeting them so that they leave the Valley.

Official data suggest that about 18 minority community people including Kashmiri Pandits and non-local Hindus have been killed in different terror attacks after the abrogation on Article 370 and 35A since August 2019. Three Kashmiri Pandits, five Non-local Hindus and one Sikh woman were killed by terrorists.

Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar on Tuesday met the protesting Kashmiri Pandits and assured them that elaborate security arrangements would be provided to them. He had said: “The terrorists and Pakistan want to scare the community but they should stay strong and the authorities will do everything possible in their efforts to provide security to the minority community working and living in Kashmir Valley.”

Sources within the security establishment say that terrorists are desperate to carry out such attacks to ensure that normalcy is not restored in the Valley. Attacking the wine shop and minorities clearly point out to the fact that they want complete Islamisation of the Kashmir valley however the security agencies will not let this happen at any cost.

In the recent past, there has been an increase on the attacks on minorities, especially the Hindus living in the Valley. Last week, government employee Rahul Bhatt was shot down inside his office in Chadoora area of Budgam district.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration under Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha promised that it would provide every possible assistance to the family of Rahul Bhatt and would give a government job to his wife.

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A Delhi court on Wednesday sent Manish Lakra, Harish Goyal, and Varun Goyal to five-day judicial custody in the Mundka fire case.

Delhi police sought five-day judicial custody of the accused persons. The accused were produced after one day of police custody. Metropolitan magistrate Udita Jain Garg granted judicial custody of the three accused after police interrogation. The accused will be produced in court on 23 May 2022. The court directed the jail authorities to take care of the health of accused Harish Goyal and to provide him with medical treatment. An application seeking five days of judicial custody of all the accused was moved by Inspector Gulshan Nagpal. He submitted that the investigation is still going on. The accused should be sent to judicial custody during the investigation. Advocate Pradeep Arya and Kapil Dhaka opposed the application for judicial custody saying why the police are seeking 5-day judicial custody, why not 14 days custody.

Advocate Varun Gupta submitted that Harish Goyal is suffering from High blood pressure and the jail authorities be directed for providing proper treatment to him. Police on Tuesday while seeking police remand had submitted that it had found 27 dead bodies out of which 8 were identified.

The remaining bodies are to be identified for which DNA profiling would be done. It was submitted that for this purpose we required the list of employees who were working in the factory prior to the fire incident. This list is in the possession of Harish and Varun Goyal. Many workers were from other states. For this reason, their custody is also required. Inspector Gulshan Nagpal had submitted that the father of Harish and Varun also died in the suffocation. His identification also is to be done. For taking the blood samples of Goyals their custody is required. Other necessary documents are also in the custody of the Goyals. A massive fire occurred on Friday in a factory in Mundaka. In the incident, 27 people died.

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Jacqueline Fernandez withdraws plea for nod to travel abroad



Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez who is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case, on Wednesday withdrew her petition filed before a Delhi court seeking permission to travel abroad, including Abu Dhabi, to attend the IIFA Awards.

Fernandez withdrew her petition as the dates of the event were shifted in June and hence the court questioned her regarding the early approach. Her lawyers agreed to the court’s query and said that they would approach the court after a few days. Meanwhile, with regards to the travel to France and Nepal, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed the court that for Nepal, her pass to attend the particular event has been cancelled and with regards to travel to France, she has not submitted satisfactory documents and hence the ED opposed her plea.

Earlier this month, the court sought a response from ED on an application moved by Fernandez seeking permission to release her passport for urgent travel to Abu Dhabi, UAE, Nepal, and France for 15 days. Fernandez is being investigated by the ED in Rs 200 crore extortion case involving alleged conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar.

She had earlier appeared before the probe agency for questioning in a money-laundering investigation against Sukesh Chandrashekhar and others. The Additional Sessions Judge Praveen Singh sought a response from the probe agency and had listed the matter for May 18, 2022 for hearing. The plea submitted that Fernandez is a Sri Lankan national living in India since 2009 and belongs to a Bollywood fraternity and holds a good name in the Bollywood industry. Advocate Ajit Singh, representing the actor submitted that the ED filed the chargesheet and has not named the applicant as an accused in the present matter. However, without citing any reason to the applicant, the ED seized the passport of the applicant.

The applicant had prayed for the release of her passport and seeks permission from the court to travel to Abu Dhabi, UAE, tentatively from May 17 to May 22, as International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards is organizing the 2022 IFA weekend and awards in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It further stated that the applicant actor represents the Hindi film industry at the Cannes Film Festival and has been invited to attend and participate in the same from May 17 to May 28, 2022, in France. The applicant is also associated with the Dabang show since 2017 and has been further invited to attend the same in Nepal from May 27 to May 28, 2022. There is an active Look Out Circular against her which had led to her brief detention at Mumbai International Airport last year.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed happiness at India’s participation as ‘Country of Honour’ at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.



In a major step to enhance India’s stature as an international film-making destination, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Wednesday announced an incentive scheme for the audio-visual co-production and shooting of foreign films in India with a cash incentive of up to 30% and a cap of USD 260,000. The Minister made the announcement at the inauguration of the India Pavilion at the 75th Cannes Film Festival.

“I’m delighted to announce today in Cannes an incentive scheme for audio-visual co-production and shooting of foreign films in India with a cash incentive of up to 30% with a cap of USD 260,000,” the minister said. He also announced incentives to boost local employment. “In the case of foreign films that will be shot in India, an additional bonus with a cap of USD 65,000 for employing 15% or more manpower in India,” the minister said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Tuesday expressed happiness at India’s participation as “Country of Honour” at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. In a message, the Prime Minister had said that India truly possesses immense potential to become the content hub of the world and the government remains steadfast in its efforts towards furthering ease of doing business in the film sector. He had also said that from facilitating international film co-productions to ensuring single window clearance mechanism for permissions for filming across the country, India offers seamless possibilities to filmmakers of the world.

“Our spellbinding locations, technological prowess in film making and the talent of young men and women provide a perfect backdrop for film makers,” PM Modi had said.

Anurag Thakur on Tuesday led the largest-ever Indian official delegation of eleven celebrities walking together on the inaugural event at Cannes Film Festival. Mame Khan became the first ever folk artist to open a Red Carpet for Indian contingent.

India has been named the first “Country of Honour” at Marche du Film or Cannes Market which runs parallel to the festival. “A historic moment as India the 1st ‘Country of Honour’ at Marche Du Films @Festival_Cannes gets set to manifest into the ‘content hub of the world and the preferred ‘post-production hub’ for global filmmakers,” Thakur tweeted.

At the inauguration of the India Pavilion at Cannes 2022 on Wednesday, Thakur spoke about the future of Indian cinema and how he wanted to make India the content hub of the world. He also inaugurated the poster of IFFI Goa 2022 at Cannes 2022. He also invited Cannes and the world to IFFI Goa. He said, “We’ll do whatever we can to make India the content hub of the world and to make India destination of the world for filmmaking, film production and post-production. I extend an open invitation to all to be part of IFFI Goa 2022.”

Thakur also said, “We’ve started the world’s largest film restoration project under the National Film Heritage Mission. As part of this drive, 2200 movies across languages will be restored to their former glory.” He added, “At Marché du Film, this year India intends to give the global audience a flavour of the country’s cinematic excellence, technological prowess, rich culture and illustrious heritage of storytelling.”

The 75th Cannes Film Festival started on 17 May and will go on until 28 May.

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An application has been filed in Varanasi court to demolish the wall beside the wazukhana where a Shivling is claimed to have been found during the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises, said lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side, on Wednesday. “The court ordered to remove Advocate Commissioner Ajay Mishra for hiring a private cameraman and leaking the contents of the survey. Further, we filed an application for the demolition of the wall beside the wazukhana so that we can enter further,” said Jain. The Varanasi civil court on Tuesday removed the Advocate-Commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra from

the panel formed to survey the Gyanvapi mosque.

The court-appointed special Commission has also received two more days to submit the survey report. The three-day-long court-monitored videography survey of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi concluded on Monday. The Hindu petitioner in the case, Sohan Lal Arya on Monday claimed that the committee found a Shivling at the complex. Arya, who accompanied the court commission for the mosque survey, said that they have found “conclusive evidence”.

The Supreme Court heard the plea seeking a stay on the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi on Tuesday and observed that till the next date of hearing Varanasi District Majistrate will ensure that the Shivling area will be protected, but it will not impede access of Muslims to the mosque for prayers.

Meanwhile, the hearing on the Gyanvapi Mosque matter was not be held in Varanasi court on Wednesday because of a strike by the lawyers. Bar Association has an objection to a notice issued by the Uttar Pradesh government to the lawyers. Lawyers are holding a state-wide strike over the matter.

Following the lawyers’ strike, the Muslim side sought two days’ time from the court to file their objection plea. Notably, the Court Commissioner has also been granted two days’ time by the court on Tuesday to file his report.

Meanwhile, Kashi Vishwanath Temple (KVT) Trust Chairman Prof Nagendra Pandey on Wednesday demanded handing over of the Shivling claimed to have been found in Gyanvapi Mosque to Kashi Vishwanath Temple for proper worship till the matter is in court. “If idol of Baba Vishweshwar was found then how can it be a ‘wazukhana’, this cannot happen now. We demand that, until the ruling comes, Shivling be handed over to Kashi Vishwanath Nyas so that God can be duly worshipped,” Prof Pandey said.

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Hardik Patel discovers Congress is ‘not serious enough’, resigns

Rajat Rakesh Tandon



The writing was on the wall, but few in the Congress could see it coming. It should have been clear from Hardik Patel deciding to skip the recently concluded Chintan Shivir held in Udaipar, a few hours’ drive from Gujarat. However, nobody made the effort to bring the popular youth leader around and join the brainstorming camp where the top party brass were huddled to chalk out a programme to put the Congress back in the reckoning. Three days later on Wednesday, Hardik Patel, the Gujarat Congress Committee Working President, resigned from the primary membership of the party. While resigning, Patel slammed the party leadership for “lack of seriousness” in his open resignation letter to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi. Taking to Twitter, Patel posted a message in Hindi, which roughly translated as “I have mustered enough courage today to resign from the post of the Congress party and its primary membership. I firmly believe that both my comrades and the people of Gujarat will welcome my decision. I also believe that after taking this step, I would be able to work for Gujarat in a positive way in real sense in the future.” Patel took pot-shots at the state Congress leadership, saying that Gujarat Congress leaders were least bothered to address real issues, but were more focused on ensuring that the leaders who came from Delhi to Gujarat got “chicken sandwich” on time. “Lack of seriousness

about all issues is a major problem with the Congress party’s senior leadership. Whenever our country faced challenges and when the Congress needed leadership, Congress leaders were enjoying abroad! Senior leaders behave in a way like they hate Gujarat and Gujaratis. How in the world can Congress then expect that the people of Gujarat will see them as an alternative to lead our state?” said Patel in his resignation letter.

The 28-year-old Patidar leader has of late been critical of the party leadership both at the centre and at the state level. He has accused the party leadership of stifling his efforts to revive the party in Gujarat ahead of the Assembly elections and not allowing a free hand. However, sources say, Patel in reality wanted the Congress Party to project him as the chief ministerial candidate at the hustings.

Reacting to his resignation, Congress leader Raghu Sharma, in charge of Gujarat, labelled the step as, “politics of betrayal”. He said, “In the last Assembly election of five states you (Hardik Patel) were acting as the star campaigner and abusing BJP in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Now what happened overnight?” Claiming that the resignation letter was “not drafted by him”, Sharma said that Patel was trying to get the cases withdrawn he has been embroiled in by the BJP-led state government and “was in constant touch with BJP”.

Patel has praised the BJP for its decisive leadership. Grapevine has it that he may join the BJP. Patel shot to prominence and became popular specially among the youth after he led a movement some years ago seeking reservation for his community in jobs and education. He, along with Jignesh Mewani and Alpesh Thakur, emerged as leaders who could challenge the BJP-RSS in the state.


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