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Disha’s arrest reflects govt’s frustration in trouncing independent thinking: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

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New Delhi [India], February 15 (ANI): Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday came out in support of climate activist Disha Ravi who was arrested by Delhi police over the “toolkit” controversy related to farmers’ protest on social media.
Besides extending support to the climate activist, senior Congress leader launched a scathing attack on the Central government.
“It is really ignominious to note that a 22-year-old environmental activist has become the victim of tyrannical govt, who thought that better to hector down a girl for her offence of supporting the farmers’ agitation and bow down before #China in #Ladakh than to uphold the basic rights of the common citizenry, and to teach a lesson to China,” Chowdhury tweeted.
Attacking the central government over the arrest of the climate activist, the Congress leader said, “Narendra Modi Ji, you have been defeated morally by the satyagrahi farmers of India. It reflects your frustration in trouncing upon the independent thinking girl, putting her in jail. Today or tomorrow people of the country will deliver you a poetic justice.”
Chowdhury in a subsequent tweet also said, “It is really ignominious to note that a 22-year-old environmental activist has become the victim of tyrannical govt, who thought that better to hector down a girl for her offence of supporting the farmers ‘ agitation and bow down before China in Ladakh than to uphold the basic rights of the common citizenry, and to teach a lesson to China.”
Several political leaders slammed Delhi Police for arresting 21-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi from Bengaluru and termed her arrest as “unwarranted harassment, unfortunate and shocking”. She was arrested for allegedly editing and disseminating the “toolkit” on social media.
Another Congress leader P Chidambaram said, “The Indian state must be standing on very shaky foundations if Disha Ravi, a 22-year-old student of Mount Carmel College and a climate activist, has become a threat to the nation.”
A Delhi court on Sunday remanded Disha to five days of police custody following her arrest in connection with allegedly spreading a “toolkit” related to the farmers’ protest. Duty Metropolitan Magistrate Dev Saroha of Patiala House Courts Complex allowed Delhi Police to quiz Ravi for five days. She was arrested last week.
According to the Delhi Police officials, Disha is a key conspirator in the “toolkit” case as she had admitted during the initial interrogation to editing, adding some things in the “toolkit” and spreading it further.
Last week, the Delhi Police sent a communication to Google seeking registration details and activity log of the account through which a “toolkit” related to the farmers’ protest was created and uploaded on the social media platform. (ANI)

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Bengali actor Srabanti Chatterjee joins BJP ahead of assembly polls

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 2 (ANI): Bengali actor Srabanti Chatterjee joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kolkata on Monday ahead of the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections.
The actor joined the party in the presence of West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh and party’s election in-charge in the state, Kailash Vijayvargiya.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. Counting of votes will take place on May 2.
While Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state Assembly. Congress and the Left have stitched an alliance for the polls and had already finalised the seat-sharing agreement.
With the announcement of the election schedule, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the state. (ANI)

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SBI commits Rs 11 crore to support government’s COVID-19 vaccination drive

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 2 (ANI): In order to support the next phase of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination drive, the State Bank of India (SBI) has decided to contribute Rs 11 crore to the PM CARES Fund, said an official statement on Monday.
“It is at times of adversity that the true form of unity is tested, and we all can take pride in the efforts that our nation has put in to fight the pandemic. The fight against the pandemic is not yet over, and as a responsible Corporate Citizen, we consider it our duty to support the government’s efforts to vaccinate all. I request everyone to come forward and help in whatever way they can to ensure a successful vaccination drive,” Dinesh Khara, Chairman SBI said in a statement.
In 2020, SBI had committed 0.25 per cent of its annual profit to support the fight against COVID-19 and also made significant contribution in the form of supply of masks, sanitizers among others to the needy. Additionally, SBI employees in their effort to support the nation in the unprecedented times had contributed Rs 107 crores to the PM CARES Fund. (ANI)

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Toolkit case: Delhi court to hear Nikita Jacob’s bail plea today

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): The Patiala House Court in the national capital will hear Nikita Jacob’s petition on Tuesday seeking anticipatory bail in the “Toolkit” document case related to farmers’ protest.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana will hear Jacob’s petition today.
Jacob had been granted protection from arrest for three weeks by the Bombay High Court on February 17.
Delhi Police are probing the toolkit case against Jacob, “climate activist” Disha Ravi and others. However, the Court last week granted bail to Disha.
According to sources, Jacob was a committed operator of the Toolkit. She used to address it as a ‘communication package’. The police is analysing about 115 to 120 GB of data which included WhatsApp chats, e-mails, and data recovered from Jacob’s pen drive, mobile and desktop. She was using applications like Singal and Telegram for communication.
The 21-year-old activist, Disha was arrested from Bengaluru in connection with the formulation and dissemination of the ‘toolkit’ document, in the ongoing farmers’ protest. She was one of the editors of the ‘toolkit’ document.
On February 3, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg had shared this ‘toolkit’ in a tweet, which she later deleted. Greta had also extended support to the protest by farmer unions on the borders of Delhi against the new farm laws. (ANI)

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Man held for blackmailing, raping minor girl in Gwalior

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Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) [India], March 2 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Police has arrested a man for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl in Gwalior district.
The accused identified as Sunil, who worked at the shop of the victim’s father, allegedly blackmailed her by saying that he would kill him if she did not give her consent.
“Fed up with this, the minor ran away from her house to Datia where she came in contact with a child protection agency and filed a zero FIR against the accused. We have arrested the accused and registered a case under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act,” said Amit Sanghi, Superintendent of Police.
Further investigation is underway. (ANI)

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National Rice Research Institute develops device for pest management, patents it

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Cuttack (Odisha) [India], March 2 (ANI): Scientists of ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, have developed an Alternate Energy Light Trap (AELT) device for checking pests in agricultural fields and got a patent for the invention.
The automated device was invented by Dr Shyamaranjan Das Mohapatra, Principal Scientist, Entomology and Dr Mayabini Jena, former Principal Scientist and Head of Crop Protection Division of ICAR-National Rice Research Institute. It can help the farmers to identify insect types that lurk in the field and manage them.

“There are two models of the AELT. The bigger valued at around Rs 8,800 can be used on farmland of about one hectare while the mini version costing Rs 4,100 can be used for land under one acre. We have shared the patent with a Maharashtra-based company and the commercial production of the device will start soon,” Dr Mohapatra told ANI here on Monday.
He said: “With this new invention, we can save crops worth thousands of crores worldwide and can also save the life of people from pesticides used in farm lands to kill insects.”
The AELT device includes a light trap unit for attracting the flying insects, a collector unit coupled with the light trap unit for receiving the lured insects from the light trap.
It is an economical and eco-friendly insect trapping method and efficient enough to handle a large number of insects. (ANI)

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PM Modi taking COVID-19 vaccine shot an example of leadership: Harivansh

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Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], March 2 (ANI): Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine during the second phase of the vaccination drive on Monday, saying that it was a true example of leadership.
“The Prime Minister has passed many milestones in leadership. Taking a dose of COVID-19 vaccine was another step towards it. It is a true example of leadership,” Harivansh told ANI.
Harivansh praised the Prime Minister for giving priority to corona warriors in the vaccination drive.
“The Prime Minister has not followed the Very Important Person (VIP) culture. He organised vaccination for corona warriors first,” he added. (ANI)
Yesterday morning, Prime Minister Modi took the first dose of Covaxin, India’s homegrown coronavirus vaccine developed by biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Soon after receiving the first dose of the vaccine at AIIMS Delhi, he tweeted, “Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS.”
“Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked fast to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19,” he added.
The Covid-19 vaccines Covaxin and Covishield have been made available to the general public. (ANI)

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