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Gadkari tests Covid-19 positive as India’s tally crosses 5-million mark

Aishvarya Jain

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Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday tested positive for Covid-19, following which he isolated himself. Another shocking news came when Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi also tested Covid positive and was taken to AIIMS, Delhi. As per reports, his condition is critical.

Meanwhile, India’s Covid-19 tally crossed the 50-lakh mark with a spike of 90,123 new cases and 1,290 deaths in the last 24 hours.

According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, the number of people who caught the infection in the first fortnight of the month was more than twice the number of new infections in US — the second worst hit country. It is worth mentioning that India added 1 million Covid cases in a record time of 11 days in September.

After testing Covid positive, Gadkari tweeted, “Yesterday, I was feeling weak and consulted my doctor. During the course of my check up, I have been tested Covid-19 positive. I am at present doing well with the blessings and good wishes of all. I have isolated myself. I request everyone who has come in my contact to be careful and follow the protocol.”

The total case tally in the country stands at 50,20,360 including 9,95,933 active cases, 39,42,361 recoveries and 82,066 deaths. India logged in the highest number of single-day recoveries with 82,961 recoveries in the last 24 hours. A total of 82,961 patients were cured and discharged, steeply pushing the recovery rate to 78.53 per cent.

As many as 23,365 new Covid-19 cases and 474 deaths were reported in Maharashtra in the last 24 hours. A total of 17,559 patients were discharged. Total cases in the state rose to 11,21,221 including 30,883 deaths and 7,92,832 patients discharged. Active cases stand at 2,97,125 in the state. The total number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi rose to 2,30,269 with 4,473 new positive cases and 33 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. The numbers of active and recovered cases are 30,914 and 1,94,516 respectively. The death toll stands at 4,839 in Delhi.

A total of 8,835 new Covid-19 cases, 10,845 recoveries, and 64 deaths were reported in Andhra Pradesh in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases is now at 5,92,760 including 90,279 active cases, 4,97,376 recoveries, and 5,105 deaths so far. West Bengal re- ported 3,237 new Covid-19 cases and 61 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking total cases to 2,12,383 including 1,84,113 discharges, 24,147 active cases, and 4,123 deaths.

Meanwhile, the total Covid cases in Haryana crossed the one lakh-mark on Wednesday. The state recorded 2694 fresh cases and 19 fatalities in the last 24 hours. The total tally now stands at 1,01,316 and death toll at 1045. Uttar Pradesh recorded 6337 fresh cases in the last 24 hours. 4690 people have lost their lives so far in the state. The active cases in the state now is above 67,000. The total tally in the state now stands at 3,30,265. Around 2,58,573 people have also recovered in the state.

As many as 110 new Co- vid-19 cases, 103 recoveries, and 1 death were reported in Manipur in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases in the state stands at 8,320, including 1,751 active cases, 6,521 recovered cases, and 48 deaths. Punjab recorded 2,717 new Covid-19 cases and 78 deaths, taking the total number of cases to 87,184 including 63,570 recoveries, 21,022 active cases, and 2,592 deaths.

A total of 1,540 fresh Covid-19 cases reported in Uttarakhand in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases in the state now stands at 35,947 including 24,277 recoveries, 11,068 active cases, and 447 deaths. Chandigarh reported 366 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 8,958 including 3,171 active cases, 101 deaths, and 5,683 cured cases.

Kerala reported 3,830 new Covid-19 cases, 2,263 recoveries, and 14 deaths in the last 24 hours. Count of active cases now stands at 32,709, while 84,608 patients have recovered till now. A total of 1,590 new Covid-19 cases–832 from Jammu divi- sion and 758 from Kashmir division, 747 recoveries, and 11 deaths reported in Jammu and Kashmir in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases now at 58,244 including 19,503 active cases, 37,809 recoveries, and 932 deaths. Himachal Pradesh recorded 178 new Covid-19 cases and 18 recoveries, taking total cases to 10,513, including 6,435 recovered cases, 3,960 active cases, and 89 deaths.

Meanwhile, the Russian Direct Investment Fund on Wednesday confirmed reaching an agreement to supply 100 million doses of Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V to India’s Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. Last week, the Russian Health Ministry announced that the first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 has been released into civil circulation. The Russian health ministry registered the first vaccine against Covid-19, named Sputnik V, on 11 August.

With agency inputs

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Kashmir: 2 terrorists killed, arms and ammunition recovered

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Security forces

 In a joint operation, Indian security forces gunned down two terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in the Anantnag district of South Kashmir. LeT is headed by UNdesignated global terrorist Hafiz Saeed and operates mainly from Pakistan. “Two LeT terrorists killed, incriminating material including arms and ammunition recovered. Search going on, further details shall follow,” said Jammu and Kashmir police in a tweet. 

Chinar corps-Indian Army in a tweet said, “#Update Op Sirhama, Anantnag. Two terrorists killed. One AK and one INSAS rifle recovered. Joint operation in progress.” The firefight between the terrorists and the security forces started in the Sirhama area on Thursday evening after security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation on the basis of specific information about the presence of terrorists. As the security forces zeroed in on the spot, where the terrorists were hiding, they came under a heavy volume of fire that triggered the encounter.

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Andhra govt to provide special health cards for animals

Lokeswara Rao

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Andhra Minister

To provide top-notch health care services to all the animals, the Jagan Mohan government in Andhra Pradesh is now giving out health cards to over 1 crore livestock in the state.

 In order to elevate the animal husbandry industry in the state to the next level, the Animal Husbandry department is actively educating the farmers about the best practices followed across the world. Using these health cards, the owners can avail a wide range of necessary healthcare services at the village level, without having to pay a penny.

 The department has also taken up the responsibility of training the breeders via a special course called the ‘Pasu Vignana Badi’, which consists of practical training in the form of demonstrations, apart from imparting theoretical knowledge. 

The Pasu Vignana Badi acts as an encyclopedia for Animal Husbandry related aspects. Right from the Do’s and Don’ts to best practices, everything will be taught to the farmers via the Pasu Vignana Badi. Its main objective is to impart training and render extension services to the farmers at the village level through a low cost, lean structure model, to evaluate present practices adopted by the farmers and suggest suitable improved practices. 

The government has entered into an MoU with Anand Milk Union Limited (AMUL) to strengthen the Dairy Co-operative societies at the village and district levels by involving women of the village, farmers, producers and other organisations. Steps are being taken to establish Milk Collection Centres at various RBKs and to market hygienic milk products through Co-operative societies.

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Manipur CM inducts 5 new ministers, drops 6 in Cabinet reshuffle

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N Biren Singh

In a major political development, two ex-MLAs got ministerial berths as Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh finally effected a major cabinet reshuffle in his three and a half years council of ministers on Friday amid resentment within the BJP-led coalition government.

 Biren Singh is heading a coalition government of the BJP, NPP, Naga People’s Front (NPF) and the LJP. Singh dropped six cabinet ministers-3 from BJP, 2 from NPP and the lone LJP minister and inducted five new faces, reducing the strength of his council of ministers to 11.

 Governor Najma Heptulla in a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan administered the oath of office to the five new ministers — Sorokhaibam Rajen, Vungzagin Valte, Oinam Lukhoi Singh, Thokcham Satyabrata Singh and Okram Henry Singh. 

The NPP had four ministers in the BJP-led government in the northeastern state and the party had on Wednesday decided in a meeting that it will come out of the coalition ministry if anyone is dropped from the cabinet. 

Social Welfare and Cooperation Minister Nemcha Kipgen was the only woman minister in the 12-member cabinet led by Biren Singh.

 The Chief Minister had gone to New Delhi with BJP state president S. Tikendra Singh on September 21 and met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other central leaders.

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Youth found murdered in Telangana’s Sangareddy, honour killing suspected

Lokeswara Rao

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In a shocking case of alleged honour killing, a youth from Hyderabad was kidnapped and murdered allegedly by the family members of his wife for marrying her against their wish. The body of Hemant Kumar, 28, was found in Sangareddy district near Hyderabad. 

Hemant and his wife Avanti were kidnapped by a group of people from their house in TNGO colony in Gachibowli area around 3 p.m. on Thursday. 

While Avanti managed to escape from their clutches by jumping out of a car, they took her husband to the city outskirts and murdered him. 

Hyderabad police have reportedly arrested 12 people in connection with “the kidnap and murder”. They include Avanti’s maternal uncle, cousins and hired killers. 

Hemant and Avanti were neighbours and fell in love about eight years ago. While they wanted to marry but the girl’s family, belonging to an upper caste, was opposed to the marriage.

 Avanti’s parents locked her in the home in November last year and were looking for another alliance. She later managed to escape and on 10 June this year, Hemant and Avanti entered into the wedlock at a temple in BHEL. 

As the couple faced threats from Avanti’s family, they approached Cyberabad Police Commissioner V. C. Sajjanar, who referred the matter to Chandanagar police station. Both sides were called to the police station and Avanti’s family was told not to trouble the couple. 

However, on Thursday a group of more than 10 people in three cars reached Hemant’s house and asked the couple to come with them. 

“We were told that they want to discuss the issue and we boarded the cars. After a few minutes I realized that we have been kidnapped and I jumped out of the car,” Avanti told reporters.

 However, the car carrying Hemant sped away towards Outer Ring Road. Though Avanti and Hemant’s parents alerted police, the vehicle could not be traced and the youth’s family was informed by police early Friday that his body was found in a field near Patancheru in Sangareddy district. 

This is the second such sensational case of honour killing in the state in two years. Earlier, Pranay, (24), a Dalit youth was hacked to death by a hired killer in full public view when he along with his wife Amrutha and mother were coming out of a private hospital in Miryalaguda on September 14, 2018. The sensational murder was caught on a CCTV camera. Amrutha’s father Maruthi Rao, who was against the marriage, had struck the deal to kill Pranay for Rs 1 crore. 

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Farmers protest in unique way against farm bills in Tamil Nadu

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With growing opposition against the Farm Bills, protests were held in various cities of Tamil Nadu on Friday as part of the nation-wide bandh against the “farm reforms”. Led by the Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Association President P. Ayyakannu, farmers sat outside the Collector’s office in Trichy with human skulls, chained hands, and nooses around their necks to demonstrate against the Agri Bills passed by the parliament.

 Farmers also protested against the Bills in Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Tiruppur and Namakkal districts. In Nagapattinam district and at a couple of other places, members of the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India-Marxist protested on the roads against the Bills. In Tambaram near here, farmers and members of the CPI-M also protested against the Bills. Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister R. Doraikkannu said the Bills will not impact the farmers in Tamil Nadu.

 According to Agriculture Secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi, it was Tamil Nadu that first brought in a law for contract farming in the country, and he also assured that the farmers will get the contracted price from the corporates irrespective of market fluctuations. Chief Minister K. Palaniswami has also supported the Bills, saying they are beneficial for the state’s farmers.

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Farmer’s pain will hopefully reach the central government, says Captain Amarinder

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CM Captain Amarinder Singh.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday said that the pain of agitating farmers, who braved the pandemic and the heat to protest against the agriculture bills, will hopefully reach the central government and expressed hope that it will gracefully back off from its decision regarding these bills.

 “Maybe the distressing visuals of tens of hundreds of farmers out on the roads at hundreds of locations in Punjab, and in several other states, will touch the hearts of the central leadership,” the Chief Minister said adding that perhaps the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will now realize its folly. 

Reiterating his commitment to fight the farm bills till his last breath, Captain Amarinder also urged the President of India not to give his assent to the bills. The bills, if implemented, will have devastating effects for the border state of Punjab, as well as for the entire nation, he warned, charging the Centre with ignoring the farmer’s concerns to promote the interests of their capitalist cronies.

 The Chief Minister said that his government, along with the Punjab Congress, will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the farmers to oppose the bills, and will take whatever steps needed, including moving the courts, in the matter. 

He further said that the Akali double standards have been exposed by the fact that they continued to be a part of the ruling coalition at the Centre and had, till date, refused to even come out with any public criticism of the union government.

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