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Mumbai Mayor distributes masks to spread awareness as COVID-19 cases surge

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 23 (ANI): Amid the spike in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar distributed masks in the Dadar vegetable market on Tuesday to raise awareness among people.
“We are aware that people have to come out of their homes for their basic needs including buying vegetables, that is we came here to distribute masks and urged them to use them, sanitise hands and maintain social distancing,” Pednekar said while speaking to reporters.
The Mumbai Mayor also said that the awareness programme was conducted with the help of the Police.
This comes following the spike in COVID-19 cases reported in Maharashtra during the last few days.
Maharashtra on February 21 recorded 6,971 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day count in nearly four months.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Sunday had collected a total fine of Rs 28 lakhs from 14,000 people who were caught without face masks in public spaces. As per a statement, the total fine collected was Rs 32,41,14,800 and the total number of persons fined for mask violations was 16,02,536 as of Sunday.
Owing to the spike in COVID-19 cases in the state, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday informed that the coming eight days will decide whether there will be a lockdown in the state. (ANI)

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Prakash Javadekar lauds BJP’s victory in Gujarat local body polls, says results ‘very encouraging’

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) victory in the Gujarat local body elections, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday applauded the party’s efforts and said the results were “very encouraging”.
“Yesterday’s results are very encouraging. Elections were held in 31 Zila Panchayats. In 2015, the Congress party won 22 Zila Panchayats while the BJP won nine. But this time, we won all 31 Zila Panchayats. Congress was wiped out,” he said while addressing a press conference in Delhi.
The minister further said that out of the total 976 seats, BJP won 368 in 2015, while this time, it has won 800, about 80 per cent of the total seats.
He also mocked the Congress party for their poor performance, saying that while the BJP won 72 out of 81 municipalities, the Congress got only 1.
“In 18 municipalities, Congress could not get even a single seat, and could even not cross 10 seats in 52 municipalities,” he added.
Polling in 31 district panchayats, 231 taluka panchayats, 81 municipalities of Gujarat and by-elections of 23 municipalities and 3 taluka panchayats were held on Sunday.(ANI)

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Priyanka Gandhi hits out at UP govt over crime in state

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New Delhi [India[, March 3 (ANI): Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday lashed out at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led government over crime in the state.
“The father of a girl who did not withdraw her case against molestation in Hathras was murdered. The body of a girl, who had been missing for several days in Bulandshahr, was found buried in a house. Every day some family is screaming for justice on the ground, contrary to the false propaganda of the UP BJP government regarding crime,” read Priyanka’s tweet roughly translated from Hindi.
Uttar Pradesh Police on Wednesday arrested a man from Himachal Pradesh in connection with the alleged rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl in Bulandshahr.
“On February 28, a man had filed a missing complaint of his 13-year-old daughter. He alleged that a man named Harendra had kidnapped her. On Tuesday, the victim’s body was recovered from the accused’s house in Bulandshahr and around 7:30 today, we arrested him from Himachal Pradesh,” said Santosh Kumar Singh, SSP, Bulandshahr.
The police said the accused attempted to rape the girl when she went to her house to drink water in Bulandshahr.
Amrish Sharma, a resident of Hathras, was shot dead by another man against whom he had filed a case in July 2018 for allegedly molesting his daughter, at a village in Sasni police station area on Monday, Uttar Pradesh police said. (ANI)

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Assam BJP’s core group to meet today over state Assembly elections

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): A meeting of Assam BJP’s core group over the state Assembly elections will be held in Delhi on Wednesday.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and other BJP leaders will meet the party’s national president JP Nadda ahead of the Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting.
A meeting of the CEC will be held on Thursday at the party headquarter in Delhi which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Ministers Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, party chief JP Nadda, party leader BL Santosh and others. The CEC will clear the name of the candidates for polls and will also release the list of the candidates.
The Election Commission of India earlier announced that Assam will go to polls in three phases beginning March 27.
The counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)

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Maharashtra Deputy CM orders probe into tree plantation drive during Fadnavis regime

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 3 (ANI): Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has ordered to constitute a committee to probe the tree plantation drive of the previous Devendra Fadnavis government.
“The previous government had undertaken a tree plantation drive aiming to plant 33 crore trees from 2014 to 2019. The then government spent Rs 2,429 crores on this drive,” sources said.
The issue was raised by Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole during a discussion at the state Assembly on a starred question about tree plantation during Fadanvis’s regime.
However, a committee will be formed by March 31 and will be given six months to complete its probe on the tree plantation drive, sources said. (ANI)

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Sex tape case: K’taka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi’s resigns, letter sent to Governor for approval

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 3 (ANI): A day after a case was registered against him for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman, Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi on Wednesday tendered resignation from his post.
Jarkiholi’s resignation has been accepted by Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and it has been sent to Governor Vajubhai Vala for approval.
A purported sex tape showed Karnataka’s Major and Medium Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi in a compromising position with a woman.
Jarkiholi in a letter to Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, said, “The allegation made on me is far from the truth. An investigation must be done on this issue. As fair investigation should take place, I am resigning on moral grounds. I request you to accept my resignation.”
Karnataka Minister Jagadish Shettar said, “He (Ramesh Jarkiholi) has resigned. Nobody has given any statement or complaint. We have to make a decision.”
A case was registered against Jarkiholi on Tuesday for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman.
Addressing reporters, the complainant Dinesh Kallahalli, who is a social activist, said, “I have lodged a complaint with police, demanding a probe into a sex scandal involving Ramesh Jarkiholi.”
Denying the allegations, Jarkiholi had said that he will resign from politics if these allegations are proven true.
Speaking to reporters, the minister said, “I do not even know the woman and the complainant. I am going to meet my high command to convey a clarification about the alleged video. I was in Mysuru and I went to Chamundeshwari Temple. I do not even know about the video because I never spoke to that woman. I will resign from my MLA post and politics if these allegations are proven against me.” (ANI)

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J-K Police busts terrorist hideout of Hizbul Mujahideen in Awantipora

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Awantipora (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 3 (ANI): A terrorist hideout of proscribed terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen was busted and destroyed in Awantipora, police said on Wednesday.
“Upon information of terrorist hideout in the forest area of Seer/Pastoona, Police along with 42 RR and 180 Bn CRPF launched a search operation in the said area. During search one hideout of the proscribed outfit, Hizbul Mujahideen was busted and subsequently destroyed,” read a release by the Jammu and Kashmir Police.
The police said the size of the hideout is approximately 5 feetx7 feetx4 feet.
Incriminating material of proscribed outfit Hizbul Mujahideen and other materials including utensils, food items have been recovered from the hideout.
All the material has been taken into police custody for investigation purpose, police said.
A case under relevant sections of law has been registered at Tral police station. (ANI)

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