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Punjab CM withdraws 6,000 cops from non-core duties to fight coronavirus

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Capt Amarinder singh

Following Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s directives, Punjab Police on Thursday withdrew 6,355 personnel from non-core duties to create Covid-19 reserves and reinforce its field force at police stations and in the armed battalions.

While 202 Covid-19 reserves have been created in police stations across districts, another 20 have been constituted in the armed battalions, to improve operational readiness for enforcement of the various safety norms and protocols in place in the state.

The decision was taken during the Covid-19 review meeting chaired by CM Captain Amarinder Singh. DGP Dinkar Gupta said, “ The manpower mobilisation exercise was undertaken from 17 July, and as of 23 July, 3669 personnel were part of the 202 Covid-19 reserves in districts while 475 were in the Covid-19 reserves of the Armed Battalions.” According to the DGP, the diversion of force has been done from non-core police duties at district police offices, police lines, saanjh kendras, those attached with police/civil officers and threatened persons, and officials on temporary attachment with other units.

Post the exercise, additional 1,800 police personnel have been mobilised at the police stations, across the ranks of constable to inspector.

The additional personnel deployment, in addition to 475 in the Covid-19 reserves, has been made at Shambhu Barrier (118).

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‘Vocal for Local’ will be potent tool in fight against illicit trade, says Harsh Vardhan

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New Delhi [India], January 21 (ANI): Restating the call for ‘vocal for local’ (VFL) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said that the Atmanirbhar Bharat and VFL could provide solutions to a host of challenges that lie ahead of the country.
Speaking at the 7th edition of “MASCRADE”– Movement against Smuggled and Counterfeit Trade, Harsh Vardhan said, “The call for an Aatma Nirbhar Bharat and Vocal for Local could indeed provide solutions to a host of challenges that lie ahead of us. As India starts to produce strong domestic brands and gradually reduces its dependence on foreign products, avenues for profiteering by smugglers and counterfeiters will sooner become limited.”
In his address, the Health Minister expressed pleasure that the 7th edition of MASCRADE will deliberate and discuss actionable, innovative policy solutions that can reverse the rising tide of counterfeit, smuggled and spurious products.
He emphasized the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic and illegal operator of drugs and stated, “As we are all aware, amid the chaos created by the pandemic and the various policy responses designed to contain its spread, illicit players have used the pandemic as an opportunity to increase their nefarious activities, causing significant damage to the economy of the nation, health and safety of people worldwide.”
Dr Harsh Vardhan added, “The aim of MASCRADE 2021 is to foster a healthy discussion on newer and practical strategies to mitigate the challenges of counterfeiting and smuggling especially in a post COVID era. Chief among them should be a focus on generating awareness. The pandemic has placed unprecedented demands on our health system. Health care providers are reinventing existing delivery models to bring healthcare closer to the patient.”
He also called for a greater focus on coming together to address the growing hazards of counterfeiting and smuggling. In this regard, he said, “Businesses and industry must come together and partner with the government to become a greater force in fighting this growing threat with the ultimate goal of keeping consumers safe. The methods by which spurious, misbranded and adulterated drugs enter the distribution channel have become increasingly complex,” he said.
Highlighting the areas that need attention, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “Reviewing current regulations related to smuggling, counterfeiting and piracy, using the latest technology to aid security forces and enforcement agencies, raising the penalties for those committing this crime and allocation of more financial and human resources to counter this activity are some areas where adequate thrust can be given.”
The Union Health Minister applauded the efforts of FICCI’s MASCRADE and said, “I greatly appreciate FICCI MASCRADE for recognizing the work of the law enforcement agencies and felicitating the best performing officers each year for their outstanding achievement in the prevention of counterfeiting and smuggling, and enforcement of anti-smuggling and anti-counterfeiting laws.” (ANI)

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1 more held in Pantheerankavu UAPA for Maoist links

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Kochi (Kerala) [India], January 21 (ANI): The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday arrested one more person named Vijith Vijayan in connection with the Pantheerankavu UAPA case for alleged Maoist links.
According to officials, the NIA’s Kochi unit has arrested Vijayan (27) from Kalpetta in Wayanad district. NIA will bring him to its Kochi office soon.
In this case, two youths, Allen Shuhaib and Thwaha Fasal were arrested by Kerala police in 2019 November for allegedly holding a secretive Maoist meeting outside a petty shop in Pantheerankavu, Kozhikode in Kerala.
NIA took over the probe in December 2019 and later filed a charge sheet in the case.
Earlier this month, the High Court had given a direction to the NIA Court to complete the trial within one year.
Thwaha Fasal and Allan Shuhaib were arrested by the Kerala police in November 2019 under the UAPA alleging that they were supporting proscribed Maoist groups, which have been declared as terrorist organizations. The NIA took over the case later. (ANI)

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WB Governor Dhankhar donates Rs 5,00,001 for Ram temple construction in Ayodhya

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], January 21 (ANI): West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday donated a sum of Rs 5,00,001 to a delegation of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra at Raj Bhawan in Kolkata for the construction of the Ram Mandir in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya.
“Governor West Bengal (WB) Jagdeep Dhankhar and his wife Sudesh Dhankhar donated a sum of Rs 5,00,001 by way of State Bank of India draft to a delegation of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra at Raj Bhavan in Kolkata,” said an official statement issued by the WB’s Raj Bhavan.
The statement also mentioned that the donation has been made in the name of Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra, which has been mandated to collect the funds for the temple, now underway in Ayodhya.
The international working president of VHP Alok Kumar had flown from Delhi to Kolkata today and called on the governor, while leading a six-member delegation.
President Ram Nath Kovind had donated Rs 5,00,100 as a contribution towards the construction of Ram Temple on January 15. (ANI)

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Reduction in stone-pelting incidents in J-K has helped forces in operations, says CRPF officer Rahul Mathur

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New Delhi [India], January 21 (ANI): A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer, who was injured during the Nagrota encounter in September last year after sustaining two bullet-injuries, has said that stone-pelting incidents have reduced in Jammu and Kashmir in the last two years.
Talking to ANI, CRPF Deputy Commandant Rahul Mathur also said that fewer instances of stone-pelting have helped security forces in their operations.
“In the last two years, stone-pelting incidents have come down which has helped the forces in operating in the valley,” Mathur told ANI on Thursday.
Mathur who was injured in the encounter after sustaining two bullet-wounds has joined the service back.
CRPF DG Anand Prakash Maheshwari also echoed Deputy Commandant Mathur’s claims during the force’s annual press conference earlier today and said there has been an overall reduction in violence in the valley in the past year.
“CRPF has neutralised 315 terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir in last one year and apprehended 251 more. As many as 8 militants have surrendered. 360 arms have been recovered by the force. 41 IEDs were recovered and we had 254 engagement encounters with terrorists. We have witnessed an overall reduction in the violence and an increase in surrenders,” DG said.
He also praised Deputy Commandant Mathur for displaying valour during the Nagrota encounter.
“Under operational achievement in Jammu and Kashmir, we have dealt with terrorism and law and order situation. We have neutralised 215 militants. We neutralised three terrorists in Nagrota, and the importance of that is the deputy commandant Rahul Mathur had set an example of bravely during the operation,” said DG Maheshwari. (ANI)

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PPE-clad man loots jewellery shop in Delhi’s Kalkaji

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New Delhi [India], January 21 (ANI): A CCTV footage caught a PPE-clad man looting a jewellery shop in the Kalkaji area of the national capital on Wednesday.
According to the footage, the man looted the jewellery shop at 2 am on Wednesday, while wearing a cap.
The man was also seen carrying a rucksack, filling it with the ornaments. He then climbed a rope and probably escaped through the rooftop. (ANI)

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BJP’s Subhash Sarkar accuses TMC of using police to win polls

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New Delhi [India], January 21 (ANI): Trinamool Congress (TMC) is using the West Bengal police to win elections, said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and MP from Bankura, Dr Subhash Sarkar on Thursday.
“TMC had won 2014, 2016 and 2019 elections in West Bengal by putting the state police in front and creating hooliganism on its back,” Satkar told ANI.
Sarkar’s statement came as a reaction to TMC leader Firhad Hakim’s earlier statement where he slammed the BJP and alleged that it is using the Border Security Force (BSF) to ‘terrorise’ people to vote in the party’s favour for the upcoming state elections.
Sarkar challenged Hakim to file an FIR if he has any proof to support his claim and further urged the public to see through TMC’s ploy.
“Central forces are there so that people can avoid pressure from the state government. I want to ask the TMC leader that if he has any proof, then he should file the FIR directly. They can also go to the BSF office and action will be taken on their complaint. But, if there is no evidence, then they should take back their statement,” he stated.
He further alleged that the violence against BJP workers is still prevalent in West Bengal and reiterated that the presence of central forces is necessary to reinstate confidence in the public that when they’ll go to vote, no harm will come upon them.
He also criticized the arrest of BJP Janata Yuva Morcha president Suresh Shaw and two other activists by the state police.
“The slogans were raised by their (TMC) people. But, all the legal action will be taken against the BJP workers. We fight with the democratic system. That is why the BJP is gaining people’s confidence,” he stated.
He further alleged that TMC helped in rehabilitating refugees from Rohingya in West Bengal and said, “It is not unknown who gave the statement in their favour when Rohingyas entered Bengal. The West Bengal Chief Minister and all the ministers spoke in their favour. They have made arrangements so that Rohingyas can get voter ID cards and ration cards.”
The Assembly elections in West Bengal are scheduled to happen in April-May this year. (ANI)

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