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PM Modi urges nations to work together to fight Covid, says CoWIN to be made open source

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that India has adopted a completely digital approach while planning its vaccination strategy as it helped in tracking the usage of vaccination and minimising the wastage.

Addressing CoWin Global Conclave via Video conferencing, PM Modi began by remarking that there was no parallel to such a pandemic like Covid 19 in hundred years and no nation, however powerful, can solve a challenge like this in isolation. 

“The biggest lesson from the Covid-19 pandemic is that for humanity and the human cause, we have to work together and move ahead together. We have to learn from each other and guide each other about our best practices,” said the Prime Minister.

Underlining India’s Commitment for sharing experiences, expertise and resources with the global community, the Prime Minister also expressed India’s eagerness to learn from global practices. Emphasising the importance of technology in the fight against pandemic, Mr Modi said India made its Covid tracking and tracing App open source as soon as it was technically feasible. He pointed out that with nearly 200 million users, the ‹Aarogya Setu› app is a readily available package for developers. Having been used in India, the Prime Minister told the global audience, you can be sure that it has been tested in the real world for speed and scale.

He added that given the importance of vaccination, India decided to adopt a completely digital approach while planning its vaccination strategy. This helps people in proving that they have been vaccinated, expediting the normalcy in the post-pandemic globalised world. A safe, secure and trustworthy proof helps people to establish when, where and by whom they have been vaccinated. 

In line with India’s philosophy of considering the whole world as one family, the Prime Minister said that Covid vaccination platform CoWin is being prepared to be made open source. Soon, it will be available to any and all countries.

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SHAH HOLDS MEETING WITH NIA CHIEF ON UDAIPUR, AMRAVATI

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Days after the Ministry of Home Affairs directed National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the probe of the brutal killings in Rajasthan’s Udaipur and Maharashtra’s Amravati, NIA chief Dinkar Gupta on Monday held a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah at his office in the national capital.

On June 28, a tailor Kanhaiya Lal Kumar was beheaded by two men inside his shop in Udaipur in the broad daylight, while a chemist shop owner Umesh Kolhe was killed by several men in Amravati on June 21.

In Udaipur, curfew was relaxed for 12 hours on Monday as the situation in the Rajasthan city, which was gripped by communal tension following the brutal murder of a tailor by two men, remained peaceful. Mobile internet services were also restored after remaining suspended for days.

Following the incident, curfew was imposed in areas falling under the limits of seven police stations — Dhan Mandi, Ghanta Ghar, Hathi Pole, Amba Mata, Suraj Pole, Bhupalpura and Savina.

“A curfew relaxation of 12 hours, from 8 am to 8 pm, has been given today. The situation is absolutely normal,” Udaipur Collector Tara Chand Meena said. Another official said the suspension of mobile internet services in the city ended at 12 pm. Superintendent of Police Vikas Sharma said, “Policemen are deployed in the city to maintain law and order and the situation is normal and completely under control. Udaipur has been peaceful and appeals have been made to people to maintain the peace.”

In Amravati killing case, a district court in Amravati sent the key accused and Irfan Sheikh, the mastermind in the murder case to police custody till July 7. The accused, identified as Irfan Sheikh, was arrested by Amravati police in Nagpur on Sunday. The six accused have been identified as Mudassir Ahmad (22); Shah Rukh Pathan (25); Abdul Thoufique (24); Shoaib Khan (22); Atib Rashid (22) and Yusufkan Bahadur Khan (44).Investigators so far believe that the chemist was killed allegedly in retaliation for a social media post supporting BJP’s Nupur Sharma who had made controversial comments on the Prophet in a television debate.NIA on Thursday said it suspects the role of a “terror gang and not a terror outfit”.The anti-terror agency, however, made it clear that there is a role of a bigger gang behind the brutal killing and that it was not just an act done by only two persons, who were arrested by state police after the incident.

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Jaishankar-Wang likely to meet in Indonesia, LAC row may figure

Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar will deliver a stern message to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi over the border stand-off.

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi are likely to meet in Indonesia this week during which the Line of Actual Control (LAC) stand-off may be discussed. Sources told The Daily Guardian Review that Jaishankar and Wang may hold talks on the sidelines of the G-20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting which is scheduled to be held in Bali on 7-8 July. The FMs’ meeting is being hosted by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.  

The interactions at the foreign ministers’ meet will set the stage for the G-20 Summit which will be hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo later this year. At the FM’s Meet, Jaishankar will outline India’s stand on food, energy security and global supply chains, sources said. Jaishankar may also engage with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Definitely, the Ukraine situation will be one of the key agendas during the talks between the Indian and Russian foreign ministers. Jaishankar is set to reaffirm India’s stand favouring dialogue to resolve the problems between Russia and Ukraine. The Chinese and Russian foreign ministers had last met Jaishankar in India in March and April, respectively.

EAM Jaishankar is also likely to hold bilateral talks with his counterparts from various countries in the West including the US. He will also hold a separate meeting with the host Indonesian Foreign Minister.

All eyes will, however, be on Jaishankar’s meeting with Wang Yi, during which the LAC deadlock may figure. The diplomats on both sides are exploring the possibility of scheduling a meeting of Jaishankar and Wang on the sidelines of the G-20 FMs’ meet.    

Top diplomatic sources informed that if the meeting takes place, Jaishankar will deliver a stern message to his Chinese counterpart on the LAC problems. “Wang will be told that normal ties between India and China will be back on track only if the boundary row is resolved,” sources said. This will be a clear message for Chinese President Xi Jinping as well, who wanted bilateral relations to be normal between New Delhi and Beijing ‘without waiting for resolution’ of the LAC issue, sources add.

Wang had come with Xi’s proposal on 25 March, and Jaishankar had rejected it outright.  Wang reiterated this proposal during his recent meeting with India’s ambassador to China, Pradeep Rawat. Rawat had also rejected the proposal, emphasizing the criticality of maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas for realizing the full potential of India-China relations and its positive implications for the world, particularly Asia.

During his talks with Wang, Jaishankar is going to reaffirm India’s stand that China should first cooperate with India to resolve standoff over LAC and then the other normal processes in bilateral ties will be restored. The 15th round of negotiation between military commanders of India and China on 11 March failed to break the impasse on mutual withdrawal of troops from Hot Springs or Patrol Point 15 in eastern Ladakh. Next round of talks at the military commander level will be held and a date will be fixed once Jaishankar returns from Indonesia after meeting Wang, sources said.  

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EKNATH SHINDE WINS MAHARASHTRA TRUST VOTE, 164-99

Speaker Rahul Narwekar reinstates Eknath Shinde as Legislative Party Leader and appoints Bharat Gogawale as Chief Whip of Shiv Sena.

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The newly formed government in Maharashtra led by Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde comfortably won the floor test on Monday by a 164–99 margin. With 39 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs on his side, the BJP throwing the weight of its 106 MLAs behind him and 19 Independent legislators romping up support for Shinde, the result of the trust vote was a foregone conclusion. With his floor test win, Shinde has proved his government’s majority while cementing his position as chief minister and the leader of the Shiv Sena.

Eknath Shinde at the swearing-in ceremony on Monday. ANI

In the trust vote conducted by Speaker Rahul Narwekar, the newly formed Shinde–BJP coalition polled 164 votes, whereas 99 votes were polled against the coalition government. Interestingly, Shiv Sena MLA from Shetkari Kamgar Paksh of Uddhav Thackeray faction Shyamsundar Shinde also voted in favour of Shinde government, though he did not join the Shinde faction. The Uddhav faction got another jolt when one more Shiv Sena MLA Santosh Bangar

joined the Shinde camp just before the trust vote.

The trust vote was proposed by BJP’s Sudhir Mungantiwar and Shiv Sena’s Bharat Gogawale. After a voice vote on the proposal of trust vote, opposition members demanded a division of vote. Speaker Narwekar allowed the demand and conducted the division of votes by head count.

Earlier in the day ahead of the crucial trust vote, Speaker Narwekar removed Shiv Sena MLA Ajay Chaudhary as the Legislative Party Leader and reinstated Shinde in the position. Before staging a rebellion against Uddhav, Shinde was Legislative Party Leader of the Shiv Sena in the House. The Speaker also replaced Sunil Prabhu with Bharat Gogawale as Chief Whip of Shiv Sena in the House.

It may be recalled that in the height of political crisis, Udhav Thackeray had replaced Shinde by Choudhary as Legislative Party Leader in the state Assembly. The rebel MLAs, who were then camping in Guwahati, had written a letter to the Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal objecting to Choudhary’s appointment. The Shinde camp moved the Supreme Court challenging the disqualification notices issued by Deputy Speaker Zirwal to 16 rebel MLAs as well as Choudhary’s appointment as Shiv Sena Legislature Party Leader.

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, on the other hand, ordered Udhav Thackeray to go for a trust vote, which was challenged in the Supreme Court. However, the apex court refused to intervene, thus clearing the deck for a floor test on 30 June. Sensing an imminent defeat, as he has lost the numbers game, Thackeray chose to step down and resigned the same day before going for a trust vote, thus paving the way for a new government to be formed by the BJP and rebel Shinde faction.

Interestingly, amid the ongoing battle between two Shiv Sena factions, led by Shinde and Thackeray, both sides issued separate whips to Shiv Sena MLAs to vote in favour of their respective candidates during the Speaker’s election on Sunday and later accused each other of violating them. Interestingly, the Opposition got 107 votes in favour of their candidate Rajan Salvi.

During the trust vote, several legislators did not show up. Conspicuous by their absence were Congress MLAs Vijay Wadettiwar, Zeeshan Siddiqui and Dheeraj Deshmukh. NCP MLA Sangram Jagtap too was missing, while former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan reached the House after the vote. Upset over the outgoing MAV government’s decision to rename Aurangabad, Samajwadi Party legislators Abu Azmi and Rais Shaikh abstained from voting, so did AIMIM MLA Shah Farukh.

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MORE THAN 25 EXOTIC BIRDS DIE IN 8-MONTH-OLD CHANDIGARH BIRD PARK

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Call it the obdurateness of a bureaucrat that a misconceived project has caused innocent exotic birds succumb to the lackadaisical approach of the Forest and Wildlife department of Chandigarh. More than 25 exotic birds costing lakhs of public money went in vain due to the intentional obliviousness of the department. The project which is merely an eight-month-old and inaugurated by First Lady of India Mrs. Savita Kovind in the month of November last year falls dubious with the death of these exotic birds as the department did not follow Central Zoo authority recommendations judiciously. 

Earlier also this project fell under the lens of the financial jumble. As per senior officials of the Chandigarh Administration, a few exotic birds named Green Winged Macaw Pair Rs 3.5 Lakh each had died, Cockatoo pair of around Rs 2 lakhs died, Pheasants cost Rs 50-60 thousand died, Sun Conure pair costing Rs 15-20 thousand died in few months. It is said that more than 25 such imported exotic birds have died to weather and non-medical attention in Chandigarh Bird Park. 

The Department of forest and wildlife had hired non experienced veterinary doctor contrary to Central Zoo Authority recommendations. CZA visited this place after which they asked the department to seek medical care from Chattbir zoo in case of any medical emergency required for Exotic Birds. 

While speaking to The Daily Guardian, Chandigarh Home Secretary IAS Nitin Yadav stated, “We have sought information of the died exotic birds from the department. The requisite action and remedies will be taken at a fast pace”. 

Region’s first Bird Park earlier was under the lens of the Audit Department which clearly said in its official report that the expenditure being made on this project is not justified and if in future anyone moves to court against the department, the latter would have no answer to these financial flaws. 

These financial flaws that have surfaced under General Finance Rule 2017, say, “In order to initiate any construction, the department has to sign a contract agreement with the agency hired for construction services.”

There have been evident perturbations in the construction of the foundation of birds aviary and this job was allotted to Disha Associates for which the department of Chandigarh Forest and Wildlife did not levy any condition of performance guarantee which is standing as an outstanding of Rs 39.05 lakh.

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FIVE PUNJAB MLAS TAKE OATH AS CABINET MINISTERS

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Five new ministers joined the Punjab Cabinet at 5 pm on Monday. Governor Banwari Lal Purohit administered the oath to all. Aman Arora from Sunam is a second-time MLA, MLA Dr Inderbir Singh Nijjar from Amritsar South is elected for the first time, MLA Chetan Singh Jaudamajra is from Samana, MLA Anmol Gagan Mann is from Kharar; and MLA Fauja Singh Sarri from Guruharsahai took oath as Ministers. 

Dr Nijjar is a doctor and an MLA of the Amritsar South Assembly Constituency. He is also the president of Chief Khalsa Diwan, the oldest religious and educational institution of the Sikhs. He has also been the Pro-tem Speaker of the Punjab Legislative Assembly.

Arora, a flamboyant speaker, has become MLA for the second time from Sunam. He won with a big lead. His father Babu Bhagwan Das Arora was one of the veteran Congress leaders and had been a minister in the Congress government.

Kharar’s MLA Mann is a famous singer and has also been the state VP of AAP’s youth wing.

Jaudamajra, 54, is an MLA from Jodamajra Samana and belongs to a non-political family. He has been the President of the Rural Unit of Patiala District of the AAP. In the 2022 assembly elections, he defeated former Akali minister Surjit Singh Rakhda with a big margin. 

Sarri is the MLA of Gurharsahai and is a former police employee. After retirement, he joined the AAP and won by a big victory.

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Delhi Police arrest youngest hitman Ankit in Moosewala murder

The 19-year-old boy from Sirsa is known for firing arms from both hands and was involved in shooting that killed the Punjabi pop singer.

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singer Moosewala

Acting on a tip off of from their Punjab counterpart, the Special Cell of Delhi Police on Sunday evening arrested arrested sharp shooter Ankti Sirsa and his accomplice Sachin Chaudhary alias Bhiwani from Kashmiri Gate Inter-state Bus Terminal in Delhi in connection with Punjabi pop singer Siddu Moosewala murder. According to the Delhi Police Special Cell officials, Ankti was also involved in Moosewala’s murder. He had shot at him from close range.

Ankit Sirsa

Nineteen-year-old Ankit is said to shoot using both hands and has been involved in two attempts to murder cases in Rajasthan. But Moosewala’s was the first murder committed by him. Officials of both Delhi Police and Punjab are baffled at the audacity of the Lawrence Bishnoi–Goldy Brar gang hit man, who is barely out of his teens. Ankit is alleged to have pumped in bullets into Moosewala’s chest using firearms on both hands.

Police have seized one 9 mm bore pistol, 10 live cartridges, another 2.30 mm bore pistol and 9 live cartridges from the accused. Apart from this, three Punjab Police uniforms, one dongle and two mobile handsets with SIMs have also been recovered. The Punjab Police uniforms were to be used by the accused to make good their escape from Punjab after killing Moosewala, said the police officials.

Earlier Delhi Police had on 19 June arrested Priyavrat Fauji of Sonipat, Haryana, along with another shooter Kuldeep alias Kashish, from Kutch, and had recovered a cache of sophisticated arms, grenades and bullets from them. Investigations revealed that Fauji drove Ankit and other accused to Kutch after the murder, where they were all hid. Ankit is a resident of Sirsa a village in Sonipat in Haryana. His associate Sachin Bhiwani, who is a point man of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang in Rajasthan, is also wanted by Rajasthan Police for a heinous crime he is alleged to have committed in Churu. Sachin is alleged to have provided logistic support and safe haven not only to Ankit but also other sharp shooters arrested in connection with the case.

According to Delhi Police, Special Cell teams are working on the case in six states and the accused had changed 35 locations after committing the crime. The accused were provided funds and other logistics to carry out the murder. The Special Cell is investigating the source of funds. Preliminary investigations had revealed that initial funds were provided by Goldy Brar, who operates out of Canada.

Delhi Police on Monday produced Fauji and his accomplices, Kashish, Keshav and Deepak, before a Patiala House Court where Punjab Police sought their remand.

Earlier, Punjab Police had sought remand of Lawrence Bishnoi, whose interrogation revealed that the AK-47 used in the murder was bought from Kurban–Imran gang in Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh. According to Punjab Police, there were four main accused involved in the murder, including Ankit, Sachin, Kashish and Fauji. They stayed in a hotel in Fatehabad before they executed their plan.

Moosewala was brutally shot dead on 29 May in Mansa, Punjab, sending shockwave throughout the state and the country. Brar had taken the responsibility for the murder.

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