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Vinayagar Chaturthi celebrations go peacefully despite tension

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With Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu on the rise, the state government had prohibited installing of idols in public places or taking out processions for immersion of idols. Despite this, a pro- Hindu organisation installed idols in certain areas which were later seized by police.

Government’s decision was vehemently opposed by BJP and other pro-Hindu groups.

Even after repeated requests and the BJP state president meeting the CM and requesting to allow Vinayagar Chaturthi celebrations, the government stuck to its stand and turned down the requests. Pro-Hindu organisations like Hindu Munnani openly dared the government that they will install 1.5 lakh idols as planned for the celebrations. Even the appeals made before the High Court were not fruitful but the court allowed the individuals to immerse the idols in water bodies barring Marina Beach in Chennai.

Hindu Munnani members installed idols in few pockets of Chennai, Coimbatore and in a few other districts. All the idols which were installed in public places were seized by the police and over 20 people were arrested for violating the government order. They even tried to take out processions.

War of words broke out between the AIADMK and the BJP over the government’s decision to prohibit Vinayagar Chathurthi celebration and was seen as a flash point between both the alliance partners.

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Smith won’t be bothered by short-pitch barrage: Andrew McDonald

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Australia’s No.1 batsman Steve Smith won’t be too worried about short-pitch deliveries from Indian fast bowlers during the upcoming tour Down Under, said the hosts’ assistant coach, Andrew McDonald.

“I don’t think it’s a weakness, is it? They’re taking a shot at that area to get him out early and then what you’ll see after that initial potential plan they will go to a more standard try and negate the runs [plan],” McDonald said in a virtual interaction with the media.

“I think they’ve used it before and he’s done well on it before. I’m suggesting that plan hasn’t necessarily worked to its full effect.”

Smith was felled by a short ball from England’s Jofra Archer during the 2019 Ashes, which marked his return to Test cricket after serving a one-year ban. While he missed one Test because of the injury, he scored as many as 774 runs in the series at an average of 110.57.

Smith was then peppered with short deliveries by New Zealand’s Neil Wagner in the Test series between the two sides later in the year.

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PM Modi to inaugurate multi-storeyed flats for MPs

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the multi-storeyed flats for Members of Parliament on Monday at 11 am via video conferencing. The Speaker of Lok Sabha Om Birla will also be present on the occasion. According to an official release, these flats are located at Dr B.D. Marg in New Delhi. Eight old bungalows, which were more than 80 years old, have been redeveloped to construct 76 flats.

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Kerala clears 5-year jail for offensive social media posts

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday clarified that the new amendment made to the Kerala Police Act “will in no way be used to curtail free speech or impartial journalism”. His comments came a day after Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan signed the Police Amendment Act ordinance. As per the ordinance, the law is aimed at stopping cyberbullying, insulting and disgracing individuals on online platforms. Offenders are likely to face a jail term of up to five years or a penalty of Rs 10,000. In some cases, both the jail term and penalty may apply.

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India’s Covid final trials may end in 2 months: Health Minister

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Harsh Vardhan

NEW DELHI: Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said India’s own Covid-19 vaccine candidate could complete its final trials in a month or two. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and privately-held Bharat Biotech this month started third-stage trials of COVAXIN, in a process that would involve 26,000 volunteers. It is the most advanced Indian experimental vaccine. “We are in the process of developing our indigenous vaccines, in the process of completing our third-phase trials in the next one or two months,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

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