Explain relaxed Covid-19 curbs for Bakrid: SC to Kerala - The Daily Guardian
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Explain relaxed Covid-19 curbs for Bakrid: SC to Kerala

Ashish Sinha

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The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Kerala government’s response on a plea against its decision to relax Covid lockdown restrictions in the state for three days in view of Bakrid. 

Senior advocate Vikash Singh appeared for the petitioner and said: “Kerala has an official positivity rate of 10.96% and yet the relaxation has been granted. Kerala has 13,000 cases where as UP has much less. SC should pass orders quashing the relaxation.”

Appearing for the Kerala government, Advocate G. Prakash responded that he would file reply to the application; the bench asked him to do so during the day and said it would take up the matter for hearing as the first item on Tuesday. 

In a late night development, the Kerala government filed its reply in the Supreme Court and said that the restrictions and the economic downturn were seriously affecting the lives of the people.

In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court by Chief Secretary V.P. Joy regarding the granting of lockdown concessions to Bakrid, it was made clear that the lockdown could not be extended indefinitely. People are upset at the restrictions, which have been in place for three months. Exemptions are granted taking into account the opinion of experts. The state government has said that special measures are being taken to control the spread of the disease.

On July 17, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had announced the concessions at a press conference and said that in view of Bakrid (Eid-ul-Azha) being celebrated on July 21, textiles, footwear shops, jewellery, fancy stores, shops selling home appliances and electronic items, all types of repairing shops and shops selling essential items shall be allowed to open on July 18, 19 and 20 from 7 am to 8 pm in category A, B and C areas.

Earlier, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, Senior Advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan informed the court that all Kanwar Sanghs have agreed that in view of Covid-9, they will cancel the yatra, there will be no Kanwar yatra at all. The top court in its order said: “Considering that the pattern of last year is to be followed by the State of Uttar Pradesh, in which it is clear that the ‘Kanwar Sanghs’ of the various districts have given in writing their consent that, in view of the health and safety of the public, the Kanwar yatra will be postponed this year also, it is necessary now to close this matter.”

“We may only remind the authorities at all levels to have regard to Article 144 of the Constitution of India, and ensure that untoward incidents which directly affect the lives of the public will be looked upon sternly and prompt action taken immediately,” it added.

The Supreme Court was hearing an intervention application by one P.K.D. Nambiar, a Delhi resident, in the suo motu case already initiated by the Supreme Court in connection with Uttar Pradesh government decision on ‘Kanwar Yatra’.

Meanwhile, The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has slammed the Kerala government over lockdown relaxations due to Bakrid. “IMA is pained to see amidst the rise of cases and Seropositivity, the Kerala government has issued an order to ease out lockdown followed in the state on the pretext of religious gatherings of Bakrid. It is unwarranted and inappropriate at this time of medical emergency. When many northern states like J&K, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal have stopped, with a constructive sense of public safety, the traditional and popular pilgrimage yatras, it is unfortunate that the learned state of Kerala had taken this decision which will pave wave for mass gatherings,” the top medical body stated.

Kerala is witnessing a sharp surge in new infection cases as half of the country’s fresh cases are being reported from two states—Kerala and Maharashtra. On Sunday, Kerala reported 13,956 new Covid cases, while 81 deaths were reported due to coronavirus. India on Sunday reported 41,157 new cases and 518 deaths in the last 24 hours.

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1,082 POLICE PERSONNEL GIVEN MEDALS

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On Independence Day, 1,082 police personnel from CAPFs and state forces have been awarded various categories of service medals, including for gallant action, as per an official statement on Sunday.

The decorations include 347 police medals for gallantry (PMG), 87 President’s police medals for distinguished service, and 648 police medals for meritorious service.

Out of the 347 gallantry awards, 204 personnel are being awarded for their gallant action in Jammu and Kashmir, 80 for displaying bravery in Left Wing Extremism or Naxal violence-affected areas, and 14 personnel for showing bravery in North-East Region, the Union home ministry said.

The maximum gallantry medals at 109 have been received by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) followed by 108 to the J&K Police, 19 to the Border Security Force (BSF) and six each to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

Among the state police forces, 42 gallantry medals have been given to Maharashtra, 15 to Chhattisgarh among other forces and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).

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As PM pays homage on Partition Horrors Remembrance Day, Congress reacts

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid homage to all the people who lost their lives during the partition of India and Pakistan. The Congress alleged that the real intent of PM Modi to mark 14 August as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day is to use the traumatic events as fodder for his current political battles.

PM Modi tweeted, “Today, on #PartitionHorrorsRemembranceDay, I pay homage to all those who lost their lives during partition, and applaud the resilience as well as grit of all those who suffered during that tragic period of our history.” 

Congress general secretary, communications, Jairam Ramesh said that the tragedy of partition, cannot be misused to fuel hate and prejudice.

He said the politics of hate will be defeated and the Congress will continue its efforts to unite India while upholding the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Sardar Vallabhai Patel.

“The real intent of PM to mark 14 August as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day is to use the most traumatic historical events as fodder for his current political battles. Lakhs upon lakhs were dislocated and lost their lives. Their sacrifices must not be forgotten or disrespected,” Ramesh said in a series of tweets.

The Congress leader asked, “Will the PM also recall today Shyama Prasad Mookherjee, the founder of the Jan Sangh, who championed the Partition of Bengal against the wishes of Sarat Chandra Bose, and who sat in free India›s first Cabinet while the tragic consequences of Partition were becoming evident?”.

Alleging that the “modern-day Savarkars and Jinnahs” are continuing their efforts to divide the nation, Ramesh said the Indian National Congress will uphold the legacy of Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and many others who were untiring in their efforts to unite the nation.

“The politics of hate will be defeated,” he asserted.

“The tragedy of partition cannot be misused to fuel hate and prejudice. The truth is Savarkar originated the two-nation theory and Jinnah perfected it. Sardar Patel wrote, ‹I felt that if we did not accept partition, India would be split into many bits and would be completely ruined›,” he also said.

PM Modi had last year announced that 14 August will be observed as ‹Partition Horrors Remembrance Day› to remind the nation of the sufferings and sacrifices of Indians during the partition in 1947. 

“Partition›s pains can never be forgotten. Millions of our sisters and brothers were displaced and many lost their lives due to mindless hate and violence. In memory of the struggles and sacrifices of our people, 14 August will be observed as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day,” PM Modi had said.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday inaugurated an exhibition on the theme ‹Horrors of Partition› at the Parliament Library Building. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and Union Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy were among the leaders present.

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SIX DELHI POLICE PERSONNEL GET HOME MINISTER’S MEDAL

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Six officers and personnel of the Delhi Police received Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation on Saturday.

As per the official, Assistant Commissioner of Police Sanjay Dutt and Inspector Anuj Kumar Tyagi received the award for their investigation of a drug trafficking case in which they caught Amandeep Singh and Harpreet Singh with 25 kg of mephedrone and methamphetamine. Later, the accused Harvinder Singh was extradited from London in 2021. Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Deepak Yadav and S.I. Muneesh Kumar, who probed the case of extortion calls made to Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra, last year are among the medallists.

In this case, five people were arrested. The accused claimed that they had some incriminating video clips and had demanded Rs 2 crore from the minister. The minister was threatened when he was in the news after his son was arrested in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, in which eight people, including four farmers, were killed.

Inspector Sanjay Kumar Gupta has also been conferred with the medal for breaking a nexus of gangsters in the city. In 2018, a case was registered against gangster Gogi, for running an organised crime syndicate in Delhi and Haryana, which was investigated by Special Cell. 15 members of the gang, including Gogi, were booked and as many as five charge sheets were filed. Assets and properties worth more than Rs 15 crore were also attached. Later, Gogi was murdered.

DCP R.P. Meena who investigated a case registered in 2021 in which a huge quantity (approx. 25kg) of gold was stolen from a jewellery showroom also received the award.

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PAPER LEAK: UTTARAKHAND POLICE ARREST 18 SO FAR

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With the arrest of State District Panchayat member Hakam Singh, the Uttarakhand Police has arrested 18 persons so far in connection with the Uttarakhand Subordinate Services Selection Commission (UKSSSC) paper leak case.

Speaking to ANI, SSP Ajay Singh of the Special Task Force of the Uttarakhand Police said, «State District Panchayat member Hakam Singh has been arrested in the graduate level exam question paper leak case conducted by the Uttarakhand Subordinate Services Selection Commission. This is the 18th arrest in the case.» Singh was caught from the Mori area near the Himachal Pradesh border. The Zilla Panchayat member was stopped at Arakot Chowki. Hakam Singh returned to the country from a trip abroad on 7 August.

Taking stern action in the state Subordinate Services Selection Commission paper leak controversy, the Uttarakhand government on Sunday removed the secretary of the commission.

According to the information received from the Secretariat, PCS officer Shalini Negi has been made the Controller of Examinations and Surender Rawat, Joint Secretary, Secretariat Services, has been made secretary in the commission.

After the disclosure of irregularities in the recruitment of various examinations of the Subordinate Commission, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami instructed strict action, after which the STF has so far arrested 18 accused. On 22 July, this year a case was registered in the paper leak case at Raipur Police Station. It is being investigated by the STF.

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DON’T FORGET HARD-WON FREEDOM: VP DHANKHAR

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NEW DELHI: Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar wished the people on the eve of Independence Day and paid tribute to those valiant freedom fighters whose courage and sacrifice brought India freedom from oppressive colonial rule.“I extend my warm greetings and good wishes to the people of our country on the joyous occasion of 76th Independence Day. Today, as we celebrate the immense progress made over the last seventy-five years, let us not forget how hard-won our freedom is,” said the Vice-President.

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Police busts Pak-backed module aimed to carry out attack on I-Day

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Thwarting yet another possible terrorist attack around Independence Day, Punjab Police have busted a Pak-ISI backed terrorist module with the arrest of four members associated with Canada-based gangsters. The accused were associated with Arshdeep Singh alias Arsh Dala and Austraila-based gangster Gurjant Singh alias Janta. They were apprehended from Delhi during the intel-led operation carried out by the Counter-Intelligence unit of Punjab Police with the help of Delhi Police.

The Police have also recovered three hand-grenades (P-86), one IED and two 9mm pistols along with 40 live cartridges in possession of the arrested persons, said Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Gaurav Yadav here on Sunday.

This is the third such module of cross-border smuggling of arms and explosives that has been busted by the Punjab Police in less than a week.

Those arrested have been identified as Deepak Sharma of Preet Nagar in Moga; Sandeep Singh of village Kotkaror Kalan in Ferozepur; Sunny Dagar of village Ishapur in Najafgarh in Delhi; and Vipin Jakhar, a resident of Goyla Khurd in New Delhi, where all of them were taking shelter.

Disclosing more details, DGP Gaurav Yadav said that following reliable inputs that associates of Arsh Dala are being harboured by Vipin Jakhar at his accomodation in village Goyla Khurd in New Delhi, teams of Punjab Police’s SSOC Mohali along with Dwarka Police conducted a raid at their premises on Friday, and managed to arrest them after recovering two 9mm pistols (foreign-made) along with 40 live cartridges.

“Working on the leads obtained during the questioning of the arrested persons, the police teams have also recovered one IED and three hand-grenades on Saturday from the locations pinpointed by them in Punjab,” he said, adding that the arrested accused also revealed that they were being tasked by Arsh Dala to execute criminal activities in areas of Delhi and Punjab ahead of Independence day to disrupt the peace and harmony.

The investigations so far revealed that Deepak Sharma, who is a history sheeter and was wanted by the Punjab Police in two cases including murder of Moga-based Jaswinder Singh alias Jassi, who was killed in March 2022 and another for firing in the house of Panchayat Secretary of Village Dala, Moga in June 2022, said the DGP. While, accused Sandeep, who recently came back to India from Dubai, had provided logistic support to Deepak to carry out firing at the house of Panchayat Secretary.

He said that accused Sunny Dagar, who is out from jail on parole, is an active member of Neeraj Bawana Gang and Tillu Tajpuriya gang in Delhi and NCR region and has been facing various cases of heinous crimes including murder, attempt to murder, extortion, theft etc. Meanwhile, the Police have procured remand for five days of all the arrested persons after producing them at the local Mohali Court on Saturday.

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