Night curfew in Punjab towns & districts as CM announces fresh curbs from 1 December - The Daily Guardian
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Night curfew in Punjab towns & districts as CM announces fresh curbs from 1 December

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Amid the grim Covid-19 situation in Delhi-NCR and apprehensions of a second wave in Punjab, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ordered a series of fresh restrictions in the state, including re-imposition of night curfew in all towns and cities as well as doubling of fine for not wearing masks or following social distancing norms, with effect from 1 December.

The curbs, which will be reviewed on 15 December, also restrict opening timings of all hotels, restaurants and marriage palaces till 9.30 pm. Night curfew will remain in force from 10 pm and 5 am, announced the Chief Minister, warning people against letting their guard down under any circumstances.

Giving details of the new restrictions after a high-level state Covid review meeting, an official spokesperson said that fine for now following Covid-appropriate behaviour shall be hiked from the present Rs 500 to Rs 1,000.

Given the in-flow of patients from Delhi for treatment in Punjab, it has also been decided to review and optimise the beds availability in the state’s private hospitals. The Chief Minister has asked Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan to work with the concerned departments to encourage more private hospitals to come on board and earmark beds for Covid care.

To further strengthen the availability of oxygen and ICU beds, Captain Amarinder has ordered strengthening of the L II and L III, with constant monitoring of districts that are not equipped with L III facilities. The management practices in GMCHs and Civil Hospitals should also be examined in light of the recommendations of the report received from the Expert Group, he said.

The Chief Minister has also directed the Health and Medical Education departments to make emergency appointments of specialists, super-specialists, nurses and paramedics, to further augment the manpower which was recently strengthened with the recruitment of 249 specialist doctors and 407 medical officers. The departments have also been asked to consider preparing 4th and 5th year MBBS students as reserve and back-up, in case needed in the future.

To ensure that no deaths take place in home isolation, Captain Amarinder said the agency hired to look into these cases should keep close tabs on such patients. While mortality audit was ongoing, it was a matter of satisfaction that the department was now collecting reasons for placing patients on ventilator by private hospitals, and there was a referral group available to monitor these patients, he added.

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Congress workers burn effigy of Ghulam Nabi Azad for praising PM Narendra Modi

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Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 2 (ANI): Congress party workers on Tuesday burnt an effigy of senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and raised slogans against him in a protest in Jammu.
This comes as Azad praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G-23 event in the state saying that he speaks frankly about his past as a tea-seller and never tried to hide his background from the world.
Targeting Azad, Shahnawaz Choudhary, General Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee said Congress has always held him in high esteem but today when it is time to support the party, Azad forged a friendship with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Congress has always given him (Ghulam Nabi Azad) so much. Congress has only made him the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, but when it is time for him to pay-back to the party, he is making Congress weak by not supporting his own party,” Choudhary said.
Another Congress worker, Aijaz Choudhary, Vice President of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee said, “Ghulam Nabi Azad praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi who took our statehood and people like him become the reason for making Congress weak.”
“Azad should have guided the party with his experience in politics to resurrect the party and not weaken it,” Choudhary added.
The protesters who were carrying party flags said they will fight against any force questioning the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
At the same time, Ghulam Nabi Azad’s statement has not been liked by G-23 members too. A leader told ANI on the condition of anonymity that Azad should not have made these remarks as they can deflect attention from the G-23’s aim of strengthening the party.
An event was organised in Jammu by the Gandhi Global Family whose national chairman is Ghulam Nabi Azad where G-23 leaders were invited. (ANI)

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Fuel price hike: Youth Congress stages protest outside petroleum ministry

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Youth Congress workers on Tuesday staged a protest outside the petroleum ministry over rising prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.
Hundreds of Indian Youth Congress activists assembled outside the petroleum ministry office with placards in their hands and raised slogans against the central government. The police, meanwhile, arrested a few of the protesters to control the situation.
The prices of petrol and diesel have increased sharply over the past few days, with that of petrol touching the 100-rupee mark in some of the cities. Opposition parties have held protests in different parts of the country over the rising prices of fuel.
On February 25, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that she won’t be able to answer when the prices of petrol and diesel will be reduced.
“I won’t be able to say ‘when’. It is a ‘dharam sankat’ (dilemma),” Sitharaman said at an event in Ahmedabad after being asked when would the central government reduce fuel prices.
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has also said that price of fuel will decrease once the winter season ends.
“Increase in petroleum price in international market has affected consumers too. Prices will come down a little as winter goes away. It is an international matter, price is high due to increase in demand, it happens in winter. It will come down as the season ends,” Pradhan had said on February 26. (ANI)

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Why is Modi govt charging common people for COVID-19 vaccine, asks Prithviraj Chavan

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 2 (ANI): Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday questioned the central government’s decision to charge for COVID-19 vaccine in phase-II that began on March 1.
In phase-II, people over the age of 60 and over the age of 45 with co-morbidity can get inoculated at the designated centres by paying Rs 250.
In a press conference, Prithviraj Chavan said that in phase-I, the union government had procured 1.65 crore doses of vaccine at a cost of Rs 210 per dose.
“According to the budget speech delivered by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on February 1, 2021, Rs 35,000 crore has been earmarked for the vaccination drive. In this amount, at the cost of Rs 210 per dose more than 1.5 billion doses can be procured which can inoculate 75 crore population twice covering almost the entire adult population of India. If budgetary provisions are made then, why charge common people?” Chavan asked.
Comparing to the vaccine drives in countries like the United States of America (USA) and United Kingdom (UK), the Congress leader said, “Large countries such as the USA, UK or Canada are providing free vaccines to their citizens either through insurance scheme or by budgetary provisions.”
He further demanded that all beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (Aayushman Bharat) must be given a free COVID-19 vaccine.
“I demand all beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (Aayushman Bharat) must be given free COVID-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, despite lofty budgetary announcements and India being the largest supplier of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Modi government is digging into the common man’s pocket.”
The price of the coronavirus vaccine at private facilities in the country has been capped at Rs 250 per dose, which includes Rs 100 as a service charge, according to central government sources.
Last Friday, the health ministry had said that the COVID-19 vaccination will be free of charge at government vaccination centres. The beneficiary will have to show a photo ID document for proof of age (preferably Aadhar card or EPIC card) and a certificate of co-morbidity (if required).
Those taking the COVID vaccine at any designated/empanelled private health facility will have to pay a pre-fixed charge.
States and UTs were explained the simplified process of registration, which shall be through three routes: Advance Self-Registration: In this, the beneficiaries will be able to self-register in advance by downloading the Co-WIN 2.0 portal and through other IT applications such as Aarogya Setu etc. (ANI)

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BJP chief asks officials in Rajasthan to strengthen party cadre, do self-analysis

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Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], March 2 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Jagat Prakash Nadda on Tuesday advised party officials to strengthen the cadre and do self-analysis.
Addressing the ‘State Executive Meeting’ at Birla Auditorium, Jaipur, Nadda asked the officials to complete the formation of booth committees by September 24.
“A lot of people among us have stopped self-analysis. This reduces our productivity. You all need to start doing self-analysis. You need to analyse –what you are giving to the party, how much contribution are you making to the party, at what level are you accepted in the party,” he said.
“The formation of our booth committees should be completed by 25th September i.e. Deendayal Upadhyay ji’s birth anniversary. There should not be any booth where our booth committee is not formed and every booth should have women, youth, Dalit brothers, people from backward caste in our committees,” he added.
Nadda asked the party officials to ensure BJP’s victory in Rajasthan in the next Assembly polls.
“Ashok Gehlot government’s priority is to not have a well-governed state. Seeing this, it is our responsibility, to say ‘namaskar to this sarkar’ and make sure that the lotus blooms here,” he said.
Commenting upon the goal of the party in 2021, Nadda said, “We have a good image in public, but we are a cadre-based party. Therefore, it is our responsibility to strengthen the cadre. Strong mandals, active booths and active panna pramkukhs, these are the three goals we have to complete in 2021.”
Lauding the Prime Minister’s role in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, the BJP chief said, “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination has begun. We have sent the Made-in-India vaccines to over 20 countries.”
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi by taking the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday has given a clear message that we must take the vaccination drive ahead,” he added.
Nadda also slammed Opposition parties over the protest against the three farm laws saying that farmers are our ‘annadata’ and “we need to bring them in the mainstream. But, many parties are exploiting the protest for their own gain.” (ANI)

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‘Hundred suspicion don’t make a proof’: Court cites Russian Novelist to drop murder charges against two in Delhi violence case

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): A Delhi court on Tuesday dropped attempt to murder charges against two accused in connection with north-east violence case quoting Russian Novelist Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky that “from a hundred rabbits you can’t make a horse, a hundred suspicion don’t make a proof.”
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat dropped the attempt to murder charges and Arms Act against two accused- Imran alias Teli and Babu and said that there must be some material against the accused persons to frame a charge.
“Presumption can’t be stretched to take the shape of proof/evidence. The chargesheet depicts nothing for charging them under Section 307 Indian Penal Code (IPC) or Arms Act,” the court said.
The court said that Dostoevsky in, “Crime and Punishment” says from a hundred rabbits you can’t make a horse, a hundred suspicion don’t make a proof”. Thus, both the accused persons are discharged of the offences under Section 307 (attempt to murder) IPC and Arms Act.
Delhi Police has alleged that Imran alias Teli and Babu were members of unlawful assembly armed with weapons and participating in the rioting on February 25, 2020, near Maujpur Red Light. Delhi Police has booked them under Section 143/144/147/148/149/307 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 27 of Arms Act.
The Court noted that the gunshot injury is stated to be caused to one Rahul but he is missing and his statement is also not on record.
The police have, after a long investigation, concluded that Rahul, who is stated to have been shot by the mob/rioters comprising the accused persons, had given a wrong address as also a wrong mobile phone number in his Medico Legal Case (MLC).
“So by the time, police arrived at the hospital, the alleged victim Rahul had vanished. It is not as if Rahul gave an initial statement and then vanished. The State is categorical in saying that the police never saw Rahul,” the court said.
“That being the case, who is going to say that who shot whom and by whom and where,” the Court added.
The court further said that the alleged victim has never been seen by the police. He has never given any statement about any gunshot injury or about any mob or rioters.
“So how is Section 307 IPC made out against the accused persons when the victim is absent from even the police investigation. How is the gunshot injury established? There is no murmur of that,” the court further added.
The Court said that there is ground for presuming that the accused persons have committed the offence but not exclusively triable by the Court of Sessions.
Therefore, the Court transferred the matter back to the magistrate Court to decide on the issue of framing charges under unlawful assembly and others.
The Court asked Imran and Babu to mark their appearance at the magistrate court on March 8. (ANI)

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Delhi court seeks voice samples of AAP MLA Jarwal in doctor’s suicide case

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): A Delhi court on Monday directed Delhi Police to deposit the voice samples of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Prakash Jarwal with Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report immediately in connection with a doctor suicide case.
Jarwal is accused of abetment to the suicide of a 52-year-old doctor.
Additional session Judge Geetanjali Goel also pulls up Delhi Police and said, “Quite clearly at every step, the matter is sought to be delayed. The investigation officer is directed to deposit the voice samples of accused Prakash Jarwal and co-accused Harish Kumar Jarwal with FSL immediately and place the report on the record before the next date of hearing. Put up on March 20, 2021, by which date it is hoped that necessary steps would be taken failing which, the court would be constrained to take necessary action.”
“Despite the order dated February 15, 2021, it is now stated that the voice samples of only accused Prakash Jarwal and Harish Kumar Jarwal had been taken and the said samples had also not been sent yet to FSL for obtaining the report for which there is no explanation,” the Court noted.
The Court also noted the submission made in the report of Additional DCP that due to heavy law and order arrangements in January in connection with Republic Day Celebrations and in February 2021 for ongoing Farmer’s protest, the services of the maximum staff were utilised but the same does not inspire confidence, in view of the fact that even prior to that no cogent steps were taken for completing the investigation and obtaining the voice samples.
AAP’s sitting MLA from Deoli assembly area Prakash Narwal is currently on regular bail in the matter granted by the Delhi High Court and had denied the charges made against him in the matter.
He through his lawyer had submitted that suicide note in different pen ink, different handwriting, the second portion of the suicide note not bearing the signature of the deceased.
Jarwal’s lawyer also argued that the wife of the deceased gave one complaint to the DJB just one week before the suicide but there are no allegations of extortion and the name of Prakash not mentioned anywhere. The deceased family had a motive to implicate Prakash as the deceased and his son were disengaged from DJB from carrying out any water tanker activities.
The deceased doctor’s son, in his complaint to the police, had said that his father supplied water tankers to the DJB and was upset because of monetary loss as the accused had demanded money from the victim, failing which his payment was stopped. (ANI)

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