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Next Covid wave ‘like tsunami’, warns Uddhav Thackeray

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With people ignoring Covid-related SOPs during festive times, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday warned people not to ignore safety measures as it can trigger a second or third wave “like a tsunami”.

“In the past, we celebrated all our festivals with caution. Be it Ganeshotsav or Dussehra. Even while celebrating Diwali, I requested you to not burst crackers and you followed. And because of this, the war against Covid is in our control,” the CM said in a televised address to the state.

“But I am a bit angry with you all. I had already said after Diwali there will be overcrowding. I have seen many people not wearing masks. Don’t think Covid is over. Don’t be so careless. Be in western countries, Delhi or Ahmedabad. This second and third wave is strong like a tsunami. Ahmedabad has even enforced night curfews,” Thackeray said.

“Covid is not dying because of overcrowding. In fact, is going to grow. The vaccine is still not out, and we don’t know when it will come out. Even if it comes out in December, then when will it come to Maharashtra? Maharashtra has 12 crore people. And it needs to be given twice. So, we will need vaccine for 25 crore people. So please take care of yourself. It will take time,” he said.

“If we don’t have enough beds, our healthcare workers get infected, then nobody can save us. This is not the case right now, but we still must be very careful. We have still not been able to open schools. We are at a cusp. I don’t want to go to any lockdown again,” the CM said.

“Hence once again I want to tell you, do not overcrowd, wear a mask, wash hands, and keep a distance. This alone will keep us safe. I have now opened all places of worship. But please do not overcrowd these places,” he added.

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COVID-19: Travellers from Maharashtra, Kerala need RT-PCR negative report to enter Rajasthan

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Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], February 25 (ANI): Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday announced that people travelling from Maharashtra and Kerala to Rajasthan will need an RT-PCR negative report to enter the state in the view of COVID-19.
The decision was taken during a COVID-19 review meeting chaired by Gehlot.
In the meeting, it was decided that a vaccination awareness camp will be launched from the first week of March, Gehlot said in a video posted on his Twitter handle.
He has urged people to follow all COVID-19 guidelines and avoid any kind of carelessness.
Expressing concerns over the rising COVID-19 cases in the neighbouring states, Gehlot had called a meeting with officials.
According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), there are 53,153 active COVID-19 cases in Kerala, while 60,559 active cases are in Maharashtra.
There are 1,204 active COVID-19 cases in Rajasthan, according to MoHFW. (ANI)

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Kerala court dismisses plea against bail to actor Dileep

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Kochi (Kerala) [India], February 25 (ANI): Additional Special Sessions Court in Kochi on Thursday dismissed the petition seeking cancellation of bail granted to Malayalam actor Dileep, who is the eighth accused in the Kerala actress attack case.
The prosecution had approached the trial court for cancellation of bail arguing that Dileep had intimidated two witnesses in the case to make statements in his favour.
Dileep pointed out that the Crime Branch which probed the matter had not found any evidence on this allegation.
The actor was in jail for over two months before being released on bail.
Dileep has been charged with conspiracy in the case in which an actor, who has worked in Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu films, was allegedly abducted and molested inside her car by a group of men, who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17, 2017. She later escaped. (ANI)

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Railways to reactivate ‘UTS ON MOBILE app’ to ensure social distancing at stations

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): The Ministry of Railways has decided to reactivate the “UTS ON MOBILE” app in order to decongest ticket booking counters and to maintain strict compliance of social distancing on railway stations.
“To decongest ticket booking counters and to ensure smooth compliance of social distancing norms, facility to book unreserved tickets through ‘UTS ON MOBILE’ app is being reactivated by Indian Railways,” read a release by the Ministry of Railways.
“In addition to UTS ON MOBILE app facility available on suburban sections, this facility may also be reintroduced on non-suburban sections of zonal Railways. Zonal Railways have been instructed that whenever unreserved train services are introduced on any zonal Railway, the zonal Railway concerned may accordingly enable the for issuing unreserved tickets,” it said. (ANI)

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NIA files chargesheet against 4 Tritiya Prastuti Committee members

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Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], February 25 (ANI): The National Investigative Agency (NIA) filed a second supplementary charge sheet before the special court here on Thursday against four members of Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) including its Zonal Commander, for pertaining to the recovery of cash and arms and ammunitions.
In a statement, the NIA, said that the charge-sheet against the group members of TPC, a Jharkhand-based terrorist group, namely, Vikas Ganjhu, Avinash, Dashrath Ganjhu, Varun Ji, pertaining to the recovery of Rs 5 lakhs cash along with arms and ammunitions from Shyam Bhokta, a TPC operative.
The case was initially registered at Panki, Police Station, on November 23, 2017.
Tritiya Prastuti Committee is a break-away terrorist group of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), and an unlawful organisation proscribed by Jharkhand under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908.
TPC is involved in extortion and levy collection from the businessmen, industrialists, contractors involved in the government developmental projects in several districts of Jharkhand and Bihar, NIA said.
The absconding accused were remanded on September 2, 2020, and an investigation was established in which the arrested people were actively involved in extortion and levy collection for further strengthening TPC and to carry out various terrorist activities.
Earlier, NIA had filed the first supplementary charge sheet on July 23, 2017, against eight accused people, namely, Shyam Bhokta, Uchit Mahto, Premsagar Mahto, Amit Singh, Akraman Ji, Laxman Ganjhu, Kohram Ji, Mukesh Ganjhu, Nageswar Ganjhu, and Tarun Ji in this case. (ANI)

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Crime branch busts prostitution racket in Goa’s Calangute, 3 women rescued, 2 arrested 45

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Calangute (Goa) [India], February 25 (ANI): As many as three women were rescued on Wednesday night after the Goa crime branch busted an on-going prostitution racket. Two accused have been arrested in the case so far.
According to police, the crime branch team led by police inspector Narayan Chimulkar conducted raid at Royal Village Hotel, situated at Goa’s Calangute.
“The two accused have been identified as Dipak Sarkar and Ranjita D’Costa. Both the accused are residents of West Bengal,” the police said.
“Three women were rescued and have been sent to protective homes,” he added.
Further investigation into the matter is underway. (ANI)

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45-yr-old man sets aside rooms in his house for protecting birds in Bihar village

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By Surya Pratap Singh
Gaya (Bihar) [India], February 25 (ANI): At a time when a large number of birds are perishing due to lack of food, water and shelter, a 45-year-old man at Niskha village in Gaya, Bihar, has set aside several rooms of his house to provide a habitat for birds, especially sparrows.
This bird lover is Tanzilur Rahman Khan, a resident of Niskha village. He said he is thinking of making more rooms in the same way so that birds could have a habitat. According to Tanzilur, after watching the National Geographic Channel, the idea of conserving and protecting came to his mind. “It is said that the air of the sparrow’s wing protects from 38 kinds of diseases,” said Tanzilur.
Meanwhile, his elder brother Tousufur Rahman believes that at the pace at which the mobile tower is being built in the city, the birds are being harmed.
“My younger brother looks after them. We all try to keep these birds safe,” he said.
Conservation of birds matters in terms of keeping the environment balanced. Many species of birds are becoming extinct. The sparrow is also disappearing from courtyards. Tanzilur has taken an initiative to conserve birds, especially sparrows. (ANI)

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