KHATTAR BLAMES CAPT AMARINDER FOR CRISIS, DOESN’T SEE TEARGAS, WATER CANNONS AS FORCE - The Daily Guardian
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KHATTAR BLAMES CAPT AMARINDER FOR CRISIS, DOESN’T SEE TEARGAS, WATER CANNONS AS FORCE

Reacting to the statement of his Haryana counterpart, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh hits back, asking why official channels not used to get in touch with him.

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KHATTAR BLAMES CAPT AMARINDER

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday hit back at his Punjab counterpart Captain Amarinder Singh over “lack of coordination” on farmers protest.

“If any dangerous situation arises due to coronavirus, the Punjab government will be responsible for it. I tried to speak to Amarinder Singh on this matter but he denied receiving any call. Later when I showed the proof, he was left speechless,” Khattar said. “A Chief Minister of one state doesn’t use cuss words against a CM of another state. I am not going to comment on this, people are already expressing their views on social media and elsewhere. Provacating protest is a pre-planned strategy of Congress party and Punjab government,” the Haryana CM said.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Khattar said, “Due to coronavirus, we decided not to allow any huge gatherings. We gave permission of up to 100 people for indoor programs and 200 for outdoor events. But I am shocked to see that the people of Punjab didn’t adhere to the rules and the Punjab Government also encouraged the move of protest at this time. If any serious conscience occurs in the future, the Punjab government will solely be responsible for it.”

We blocked the ways of the farmers because nobody would allow such a huge gathering in Delhi. And when protestors tried to move forward, we decided not to use force. I don’t consider tear gas and water cannon as a way of force. It is a means of restricting people,” Khattar told ANI.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Chief Minister on Sunday flayed his Haryana counterpart Khattar for his allegations that the former did not attend to the latter’s calls to discuss the farm issues. “If at all someone from his office called my residence, why were the calls made to an attendant? Why were official channels not used to get in touch with me?” a statement from the Punjab government quoted the Chief Minister.

“Top officials of the Punjab government, at Principal Secretary and DGP levels among others, have been in touch with each other on the farmers’ issue for the past several days, yet none of these officials conveyed Khattar’s desire to talk to me at any point in time. His attempt to seize the high moral ground on the farmers’ Dilli Chalo march is pathetic,” he added.

This comes in response to the Haryana CM’s allegations where he said that he had made a “continuous effort to get in touch with Amarinder Singh” but could not get hold of him.

The Punjab CM further hit out at Khattar for denying that farmers from his state did not participate in the ‘Dilli Chalo’ protest march, saying that rather than standing by them, Khattar was spreading lies and could not be trusted. “A man who can disown his own farmers, and even go so far as to call them Khalistanis, instead of standing by them in this crisis clearly has no moral scruples about spreading lies. Khattar clearly cannot be trusted,” a statement from the Punjab government quoted Singh.

This comes after Khattar on Saturday denied the participation of Haryana farmers in the protest march against the Centre’s farm laws, adding the ongoing demonstrations were being driven by certain political parties and unions.Singh further alleged that Khattar was out to suppress the farmers and had no serious intent of discussing their protests with him and condemned him for politicising the genuine demands of the farmers.

He also hit out at Khattar for his comment that Amarinder would be responsible if Covid spreads due to the protests, saying, “If he (Khattar) is so concerned about farmers spreading Covid in Haryana, he should have allowed them to move quickly through to Delhi rather than stopping them.”

After days of a standoff with police and after facing teargas shells, water cannons and barricading on various points on the Delhi-Haryana border by police, the farmers’ “Dilli Chalo” march was allowed to enter Delhi on Friday and proceed to the ground in Burari situated in its north-west.

A few of them began arriving at the Nirankari Samagam Ground on the outskirts of the national capital later on Saturday after being granted permission from the Delhi Police, while others sat in protest at the Singhu border.

With ANI inputs

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WILL DELETE ‘PUTRA’ FROM BHUMIPUTRA ADHIKARINI BILL 2021: GOA CM

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Goa CM

In the light of the stiff opposition faced, Goa Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant on Wednesday announced that he will be re-introducing the controversial Bill during the upcoming Winter Assembly session. Dr Sawant also announced that the government would delete the word ‘putra’ from the Bhumiputra Adhikarni Bill 2021. 

“Bhumiputra Adhikarini Bill to be withdrawn and reintroduced in Winter session of Assembly with changes,” said the CM in a video message. He further assured to rename the bill as Goa Bhumi Adhikarini Bill as there were sentiments of many people attached to the word ‘Bhumiputra’.

Dr Sawant also said that the government will accept various suggestions from people for which a separate link has been created on GoaOnline.gov.in. “Opposition had the opportunity to put across their suggestions to the Bhumiputra Adhikarani Bill, and if needed, would have even considered sending to Select Committee but they preferred to stage walkout,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dr Sawant said that the Bill will give ownership rights to houses constructed on government and communidade land. “There will be nearly 1.5 lakh households to benefit from it. The Bill is not to facilitate migrants, only those having valid documents to get their name on form XIV,” he informed.

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In a first since pandemic, Chandigarh reports zero Covid cases

‘As zero cases just for one day is not enough, we need to maintain Covid-appropriate behaviour to declare the city Covid-free’.

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Beautiful city Chandigarh today reported no Covid-19 cases in the city. With this, Chandigarh so far has reported 61,965 Covid-19 positive cases in the city since the pandemic broke out and 811 people have succumbed to this infection. It has been quite a painful journey for many of the families who already have lost their loved ones during this period of one year.

Last year, on 1 August, there were 28 positive cases reported with 378 active cases and the city had 1079 total positive cases reported by then and 18 people had succumbed to the infection. Since then, Chandigarh has seen a lot many deaths and many have won the battle as well. While speaking to The Daily Guardian, Amit Garg of Sector 40, recalled the day when he lost his parents within a week and how he suffered due to non-availability of ventilator beds in government hospitals of the city. He said, “Today, when I get to know that city reported zero Covid cases, I so wish that if I could have shared this news with my parents who strove hard to save people during the pandemic, being octogenarian doctors.”

Dr Amandeep Kang, Director Health Services, Chandigarh, told The Daily Guardian, “I am feeling extremely happy that the city has no Covid case today.”

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HARYANA ISSUES ORDERS TO ADDRESS ELECTRICITY GRIEVANCES

Stern action would be taken against officials not providing timely services.

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Electricity act

The Haryana government has issued new directions adhering to the Right to Service (RTS) Act 2014 and according to these, officials will have to provide timely services regarding the problems of electricity across the state. The new orders direct that it has been mandated to record the reason against complaints, which has been resolved outside the RTS Act timeline. If any complaint goes outside the notified timeline, officials or employees concerned will have to mention the reason and the same would be recorded.

It is worth mentioning that there is provision of levying penalty on officials in the RTS Act in case unnecessary delay is found in providing services. Therefore, all junior engineers and SDOs are directed to ensure timely delivery of services. It is worth mentioning that the government continues to issue directions to address the public grievances and officials not following these are subject to stern action. In the wake of this, the government has taken action against such officials in a large scale in the last few years.

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MAHARASHTRA GANESH IDOL MAKERS FACE DEMAND SCARCITY AS COVID CASES RISE

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MUMBAI: Nearly a month ahead of Ganesh Utsav, Ganesh idol makers in Maharashtra’s Mumbai said they are reeling under the effect of Covid-19 restrictions. Business is down for the second consecutive year, claim some idol makers.

“Though the situation is slightly better this year, the demand is still way below pre-Covid levels. Input cost has also risen,” said Sunil Bambulkar, an idol maker whose family has been in the business for over 30 years. In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Maharashtra government restricted the height of the idols in public celebrations to four feet while those in homes to two feet, in order to reduce much fanfare.

“We have completely stopped making bigger idols due to government’s restriction and this has greatly affected the business,” said Bambulkar. He further said that earlier people used to order fancy Ganesh idols from foreign countries also. “Now, even that has stopped,” he said.

Another idol maker Kaushik Prashant reiterated a similar opinion. He said, “Because of the restrictions imposed by the government, the business is down.”

He further emphasised that last year, when the pandemic first hit the country, severe losses were incurred. “Demand is good compared to last year but not up to the expectations. Before Covid, I used to make around 150 Ganesh idols every year but this year I am keeping this number below 100. Though demand for clay idols has increased,” said Prashant.

Last year as well, the celebrations of the festival were subdued due to the rampant surge in Covid cases in the state. For the first time in history, Lalbaughcha Raja Ganeshotsav Mandal had decided not to hold the festivities in the wake of the pandemic.

Ganesh Chaturthi, a ten-day festival that starts on the fourth day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month Bhadrapada, will start on September 10 this year.It is celebrated with much fanfare in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra with lakhs of devotees converging into mandals to seek blessing from Lord Ganesh.

According to the data released by Union Health Ministry, there are 78,700 active cases of Covid-19 in Maharashtra while the death toll due to the infection has gone up to 1,33,038.

ANI

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630 terrorists killed in Kashmir in 3 years, says MoS Home

680 personnel of paramilitary forces died by suicide in last six years, says Home Ministry.

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Minister of State Home affairs Nityanand Rai on Wednesday informed the Rajya Sabha that in Jammu and Kashmir a total of 630 terrorists were killed in 400 encounters and 85 security personnel martyred from May 2018 to June 2021.

Replying to Congress MP Digvijay Singh, Rai said that Jammu and Kashmir has been affected by terrorist violence that is sponsored and supported from across the border. “In 400 encounters, 85 security personnel martyred and 630 terrorists were killed from May 2018 to June 2021,” he said in a written reply.

MoS Home Rai further said that the government has adopted a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism and has taken various measures, such as strengthening of security apparatus, strict enforcement of the law against anti-national elements, intensified cordon and search operations to effectively deal with the challenges posed by the terrorist organisations.

“Security Forces also keep a close watch on persons who attempt to provide support to terrorists and initiate action against them,” Rai added.

Rai further informed the Rajya Sabha that 680 personnel of the paramilitary forces have died by suicide during the last six years. The number of personnel who have died due to accidents and encounters during the period are 1,764 and 323 respective Replying to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Sushil Kumar Modi “Whether it is a fact that more than 700 personnel of paramilitary forces have committed suicide during the last six years”, Ministry of Home Affairs made the declaration.

Rai in a written reply to Rajya Sabha said the domestic problems, illness and financial problems could be contributory factors among others behind the suicides.

He further said this issue was reviewed by the govt from time to time consultation with professional agencies. “While the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) conducted a study in 2004 into the factors causing stress, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad did a similar study in 2012 for BSF and CRPF,” he added.

WITH ANI INPUTS

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INDIA LOGS 42K NEW CASES AS WHO STOPS BOOSTER SHOTS FOR DELTA VARIANT

The WHO move has been aimed at enabling that at least 10% of the population of every country was vaccinated, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

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WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday said that the global body is calling for a moratorium on booster Covid-19 vaccine shots until the end of September to ensure equitable access to vaccines. The move was to enable that at least 10% of the population of every country was vaccinated, WHO Director-General Tedros said.

Addressing a press briefing on Wednesday, Tedros said, “WHO is calling for a moratorium on boosters until at least the end of September to enable at least 10 per cent of the population of every country to be vaccinated. To make that happen, we need everyone’s cooperation, especially the handful of countries and companies that control the global supply of vaccines.”

“I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant. But we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it,” Tedros added.

High-income countries administered around 50 doses for every 100 people in May, and that number had since doubled, according to WHO. Low-income countries have only been able to administer 1.5 doses for every 100 people, due to lack of supply.

“We need an urgent reversal, from the majority of vaccines going to high-income countries, to the majority going to low-income countries,” said Tedros.

A small group of nations, including some in Europe, are planning additional shots for the fully inoculated even as Covid-19 continues to infect and kill at alarming rates across the Global South, where vaccination levels remain “catastrophically low”, The Washington Post reported.

The report stated that the decision by wealthy countries to give booster shots to their own people rather than donating those doses to poorer countries is controversial. Health experts have called this move immoral.

Speaking during the presser on Wednesday, the WHO chief also called on global personalities and leaders from all walks of life to support the moratorium call. “We call on everyone with influence—#Olympics athletes, investors, business leaders, faith leaders, and every individual in their own family and community—to support our call for a moratorium on booster shots until at least the end of September,” he said.

Tedro said the world must all remember that vaccines are not the only tool to combat the pandemic. “Indeed, there is no single tool that will defeat this pandemic. We can only defeat it with a comprehensive approach of Syringe in combination with the proven public health & social measures that we know work.”

He further called on vaccine producers to prioritise COVAX and Group of 20 nations to heed his call for moratorium on booster shots till September.

Some countries have begun to use or started weighing on the need for booster doses. Germany on Monday said that it will in September start to offer a booster shot to vulnerable people. The United Arab Emirates will also start providing a booster shot to all fully vaccinated people considered at high risk, three months after their second vaccine dose, and six months for others. Last week, Israeli President Isaac Herzog received a third shot of coronavirus vaccine, kicking off a campaign to give booster doses to people aged over 60 in the country.

Meanwhile,India on Wednesday reported 42,625 new Covid-19 cases, 36,668 recoveries and 562 deaths in 24 hours, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

An increase of 12,076 cases was recorded in the daily infections since Tuesday when 30,549 new cases were reported. With this, the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases has reached 3,17,69,132 including 3,09,33,022 discharges and 4,25,757 deaths. The number of active cases has gone up to 4,10,353, accounting for 1.29 per cent of the total number of cases.

According to the health ministry, the daily positivity rate is at 2.31 per cent, the weekly positivity rate at 2.36 per cent, and the recovery is at 97.37 per cent. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 47,31,42,307 samples have been tested for Covid-19 till now of which 18,47,518 were tested in the last 24 hours.

WITH AGENCY INPUTS

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