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Adults have right to choose their partner, irrespective of religion: HC


The Allahabad High Court made this observation on Thursday while granting protection to an interfaith couple from Gorakhpur.

The Allahabad High Court has observed that adults have the right to choose their life partner, irrespective of the religion professed by them. The court made this observation on Thursday while granting protection to an interfaith couple from Gorakhpur. “In such a case, not even their parents can object to their relationship,” the court further observed.

Hearing a petition jointly filed by Shifa Hasan and her Hindu partner, a division bench comprising justice Manoj Kumar Gupta and Justice Deepak Verma said, “It cannot be disputed that two adults have the right of choice of their matrimonial partner, irrespective of the religion professed by them.”

“As the present petition is a joint petition by the two individuals who claim to be in love with each other and are major, therefore, in our considered opinion, nobody, not even their parents, can object to their relationship”, the court added in a judgment delivered on Thursday.

In the joint petition, the petitioners’ contention was that they are in love with each other and are living together of their own will. However, their relationship was not being accepted by some of their family members and they were disturbing their peaceful living.

After hearing all sides at length, the court granted protection to the couple, saying that not even their parents could object to their relationship.

Accordingly, the court directed the police authorities to ensure that the petitioners were not subjected to any harassment by the father of the girl or by any other person in connection with their relationship with each other.

During the course of the hearing, the petitioner, Shifa Hasan submitted before the court that she had also filed an application for conversion from Muslim to Hindu religion. According to her, on the said application, the district magistrate had called for a report from the police station concerned.

As per the report, the boy’s father was not agreeable to the marriage though his mother was ready for the same. Both parents of Hasan were opposed to the marriage. The court took note of the fact that both the petitioners are major, aged 19 and 24 years respectively.




Monsoon mayhem in UP leads to 38 deaths in past 40 hours


Deaths were reported mostly due to accidents and house collapses, and massive waterlogging, and power and telecom disruptions.

Uttar Pradesh is witnessing its worst-ever monsoon mayhem that has thrown normal life completely out of gear. Heavy and incessant rains since the past 40 hours have led to 38 deaths so far.

Heavy to very heavy rainfall accompanied with thunderstorms and lightning is very likely at one or two places over Bahraich, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Kanpur Nagar, Unnao, Lucknow, Barabanki, Rae Bareli, Amethi, Sultanpur, Ayodhya, Ambedkar Nagar, Firozabad, Etawah, Aurraiya, Bareilly, Pilibhit and adjoining areas, the MeT has said.

Various districts have recorded over 22 mm of rainfall while Lucknow has recorded 235 mm of rainfall in the past 36 hours. Nine of the deaths have been reported from Barabanki alone, mostly due to accidents and house collapse, and massive waterlogging and power and telecom disruptions.

Official sources said 15 persons died due to the rains while more than 10 were injured, in accidents. Two children died due to electrocution in Lucknow.

In view of the forecast from the MeT department, the state government has announced that all schools, colleges, and other educational institutes in the state will remain closed on Friday and Saturday. However, UP Board improvement exams, slated from September 18, will be held as per the schedule.

Severe damage to crops has been reported, mainly from central districts of the state due to torrential rains. Several hospitals, police stations, and even the Nagar Nigam offices were waterlogged in the state capital.

The chief minister has directed senior officials to tour their areas and ensure that relief work is being done properly. He has also asked officials to assess the damage in each area to fix compensation.

The situation was worst in Lucknow where even posh localities including Mall Avenue and Raj Bhawan colony turned into canals with several vehicles submerged after incessant rain.

About a dozen cars fell into caved roads while over 100 were damaged after being submerged in water. More than 150 trees fell and so did 300 electric poles. More than 60 transformers in the state capital developed snags which led to major and prolonged power disruptions. Road, rail, and air traffic also stand disrupted.

The maximum temperature plummeted to 25 degrees Celsius, almost eight degrees below normal. The weather department has predicted that rainfall intensity would start declining from Friday, but a few spells of light to moderate showers are expected in the next 48 hours.

Relief Commissioner Ranvir Prasad said that the MeT department has issued an alert for Friday as well and the state machinery was gearing up to deal with the situation.

The Police Commissionerate and district magistrate in Lucknow have issued an advisory asking people not to move out of their houses unless absolutely essential. People have been asked to avoid proximity to electric poles and stay away from potholed roads.




Viral flu cases of children in 12 Karnataka districts on rise


The children showing symptoms of cold, cough, fever, and breathing issues are getting admitted to hospitals for the past 15 days in the state.

A large number of children in 12 Karnataka districts, including Bengaluru, have got affected with viral flu amid the fears of the Covid third wave to hit the children. The Karnataka health department is closely observing the developments. The parents, who had heaved a sigh of relief after the reopening of schools are now concerned about development.

The children showing symptoms of cold, cough, fever, and breathing issues are getting admitted to hospitals for the past 15 days in the state. Though the experts are saying that it is normal viral flu found in the rainy season, the health department sources say that the fingers are crossed over the development.

The most number of cases are reported from Bellary, Yadgir, Chikkaballapur, and Chitradurga districts. Along with this, more children are being admitted to hospitals in Raichur, Bidar, Ramnagar, Belagavi, Vijayapura, Kalburgi, and Bagalkot districts. Consultations to private clinics and pediatric hospitals are also rising in these districts.

All beds are full in the K.C. General hospital, one of the main government hospitals in Bengaluru. The children affected with cough, cold, fever, breathing issues are being admitted and treated. A few cases of Pneumonia and Dengue are also being treated.

All children who faced breathing issues are subjected to RT-PCR tests and no Covid positive case has been found. The symptoms are found in the children among the age group of 1 and 3 years rather than in the school-going children, explains Dr. Lakshmipathy, the pediatric division head in K.C. General Hospital.

The district health hospital ward in Bellary is full and people from the rural areas are staying with their children on the premises looking up for admissions in the hospitals. The Bellary district hospital has 30 dedicated beds for children. The hospital authorities have arranged another 23 beds to treat children, explained District health officer, Dr. Janardhan.

Along with district hospitals, taluk hospitals are also seeing a rush in admissions of children for viral infections. On an everyday basis, as many as 150 to 200 kids are being treated for viral flu in each of the district hospitals and 50 to 60 children are being admitted.

About 50 kids are admitted to the district hospital in Chikkaballapur with symptoms of cold, cough, and fever, the native district of the Health Minister K. Sudhakar. The influenza cases are on the rise in districts of Bidar, Kolar, Belagavi, Bagalkot districts.

Meanwhile, the state government has undertaken a massive Covid-19 vaccination drive in the state on Friday. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has announced that the state has set a 30 lakh vaccination target for the entire state in one day. He will kickstart the drive from Kalburgi. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta stated that he has set a target of 5 lakh vaccinations in Bengaluru alone.




Market valuation of all BSE listed companies going up: Ashish Chauhan


On Thursday, the market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies reached its all-time peak of Rs 2,60,78,355.12 crore at the close of trade, largely riding on a record rally in equities.

Ashish Chauhan, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), has observed that the market valuation of all its (BSE) listed companies is going up to USD 3.54 trillion and that it could perhaps be the “fifth highest in the world”.

In a tweet on Thursday, in which he tagged the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman, and BSE India, Chauhan said, “Market cap of listed companies on BSE at Rs 260.78 lakh crore, INR: USD exchange rate at Rs 73.51 per Dollar, India crossed market cap of USD 3.54 trillion today Sept 16,2021. Perhaps, the 5th highest market capitalization country in the world. @PMOIndia @nsitharaman @BSEIndia”


In fact, on Thursday, the market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies reached its all-time peak of Rs 2,60,78,355.12 crore at the close of trade, largely riding on a record rally in equities.

With Thursday’s profit, which was the bourse’s third consecutive session of gain, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex jumped 417.96 points or 0.71 per cent to its new closing peak of 59,141.16. During the day, it zoomed 481.09 points to its all-time high of 59,204.29.

In three days, the benchmark Sensex has gained 963.4 points. Investors have become richer by over Rs 4.46 lakh crore in three sessions of a market rally.

The benchmark index has gained 11,389.83 points or 23.85 per cent so far this year.




300 units of electricity free in UP if AAP forms its govt: Sisodia


Addressing a press conference, he made four major announcements targeted at UP voters, besides 300 unit free-of-cost electricity for every household.

Keeping an eye on the 2022 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced on Thursday that people in the state would get free electricity supply up to 300 units a month once his Aam Aadmi Party was able to form its government in UP.

Addressing a press conference, he made four major announcements targeted at UP voters, besides 300 unit free-of-cost electricity for every household.

Sisodia said within 24 hours of his party succeeding in forming its government in UP, there will be free power supply up to 300 units per meter for every household in the state. All farmers will get free-of-cost electricity supply irrespective of how much power they consume. All pending power bills will be waived. People of UP will get uninterrupted 24-hour electricity supply without any difficulty.

He asserted, “If people in Delhi can get free electricity supply up to 200 units and 400 units at half the rate, why can such a facility not be given to the residents of UP? After all, UP can generate enough power for its use which is not possible in Delhi. Power bills in UP will be zero when an AAP government is formed. People can tore their pending power bills as we will waive these off.”

He said the UP government was unjustifiably treating as “criminals” the people whose power bills had remained unpaid. There are many people in UP who have huge unpaid electricity bills due to various reasons.

Criticising the government for many power consumers not being able to clear their bills, Sisodia said, “The people who have pending electricity bills are not criminals. It is the government which is to blame for this situation. It generates money through power.”

AAP’ in-charge of UP Sanjay Singh was also present on the occasion.

Taking on the BJP government in UP led by Yogi Adityanath, Sisodia declared the state would be free from corruption when his party was in power in the state. An AAP government in UP will ensure quality education for students in UP schools. Women will feel safe and farmers will get adequate price for their produce.

He announced that his party would contest the coming assembly elections in UP under the leadership Arvind Kejriwal on its own. He described him as an able administrators who “understands people’s difficulties” as he was “an IITian”.
Replying to a question as to who will be the chief ministerial candidate of his party, Sisodia said it would be made known at the right time.

The AAP leader’s announcement regarding free electricity and other benefits to people has come a day after the party released a list of 100 probable candidates for contesting the coming UP elections on its ticket.

Sanjay Singh said all communities have been given representation in the list, which also has doctors, engineers, advocates, postgraduates and farmers.




Harish Rawat meets Sonia; asked to settle Punjab issue


Sources said the party leadership asked Harish Rawat asked to settle the raging tussle within the party as MLAs have once again started raising voices and seeking the Legislative party meet.

Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat has met Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and sources said he has been asked to settle the raging tussle within the party as MLAs have once again started raising voices and seeking the Legislative party meet.

Rawat met the two top leaders here on Wednesday. He is also said to have spoken to the top Congress leaders in Punjab.

The MLAs have demanded that two neutral observers be sent from Delhi so that they can narrate their grievances. The prime movers this time are Pargat Singh and Tript Singh Bajwa, both are close to the state President Navjot Singh Sidhu.

While Rawat is likely to travel to Chandigarh before he starts the second leg of his yatra on Saturday from Haridwar. He was in Chandigarh in the first week of this month to settle issues, but fresh trouble has surfaced.

Punjab Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu had last month traveled to Delhi to meet Congress leadership but was advised to talk to General Secretary in-charge Harish Rawat, who was in Chandigarh at that time.

Harish Rawat has met all the stakeholders in the state. He has also held meetings with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh regarding the tussle. Rawat in Chandigarh had said, “We are heading towards an amicable solution.”

Both Sidhu and Amarinder are pitted against each other and the state Congress infighting has escalated.

Harish Rawat had met Rahul Gandhi on the issue in the past and had briefed him about the situation in the state. There is also uneasiness after Amarinder Singh’s remarks on farmers’ protest which was criticized by Samyukt Kisan Morcha.

Amarinder said, “His government as well as the people of Punjab, had always stood with the farmers on the issue of the farm laws, and it was sad that they were now suffering due to the continued protests of the farming community across the state”.




Central agencies issue terror alert in Karnataka coastal belt


The red alert was issued after detecting calls to foreign locations made from multiple locations in Karwar, Dakshina Kannada, and Chikkamaglur districts, which are on the radar of intelligence agencies for a long time for terrorists and Naxal activities.

The central intelligence agencies have issued a red alert along the 225 kilometer-long coastal stretch of Karnataka after detecting suspected terror activities in the thick forests and hilly regions in the coastal districts, sources said.

Central Intelligence Agencies have detected calls being made from multiple locations in Karwar, Dakshina Kannada, and Chikkamaglur districts, which are on the radar of intelligence agencies for a long time for terrorists and Naxal activities.

The hilly and dense forest regions of the districts are being used as shelters to carry out anti-national activities by suspected terrorists. The calls were made from these locations in Karnataka to the foreign locations in the last week, according to sources.

The call locations are being tracked and investigations have revealed that the calls are being made to discuss carrying out nefarious activities. The sources are also looking into the angle of whether the sleepers’ cells in these locations are being activated by foreign elements.

Central Intelligence agencies have recently warned that as many as 12 suspected IS terrorists from Srilanka sneaked into the coastal districts of the state in the guise of fishermen. A red alert has been announced in the coastal areas in this backdrop.

Sources say that these calls were made by suspected terrorists. It is also suspected that these calls were made from sleeper cells in Karnataka. The intelligence agencies suspect that suspected terrorists are using Thuraya satellite phones which are banned in India since 2012.

The intelligence agencies raided multiple locations in Karnataka and Kerala last month. They have also taken two persons into custody for having connections with terrorists and carrying out anti-India propaganda.

Mohammed Ahmad Siddibappa aka Yasin Bhatkal was the founder leader of the terrorist organization Indian Mujahideen (IM). He was also listed on the National Intelligence Agency’s (NIA) most-wanted list and hailed from the coastal town of Bhatkal in Karnataka.




Covaxin may get WHO approval by month-end, says NITI Aayog


“We must give time to WHO to make their decisions based on science. However, we hope that these decisions can be taken quickly because people who are receiving Covaxin have certain imperatives of travel. Most of us, who chose the concurrency, is important in terms of licensure. We are hoping for an early decision,”

India’s indigenously-developed Covid vaccine Covaxin may soon receive Emergency Use Listing by the World Health Organisation, eventually enabling its recipients to travel abroad without mandatory quarantine, NITI Aayog’s Member, Health, V.K. Paul said on Wednesday.

Data sharing and data evaluation are going on and a positive decision may come soon, he said.

“The data sharing and data evaluation have been going on through multiple reviews and we are close to a decision point.

“We must give time to WHO to make their decisions based on science. However, we hope that these decisions can be taken quickly because people who are receiving Covaxin have certain imperatives of travel. Most of us, who chose the concurrency, is important in terms of licensure. We are hoping for an early decision,” Dr Paul said.

“We believe that a positive decision could be coming in, before the end of the month,” he added.

In August, Indian Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya also met WHO Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan and held discussions over the WHO approval of Covaxin.

The vaccine’s developer Bharat Biotech has submitted its Phase 3 clinical trials data that demonstrated 77.8 per cent efficacy to the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).

The WHO has so far approved Covid-19 vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, Moderna, and Sinopharm.




DCGI nod to Sputnik’s single-dose vax for Phase-III trials in India


Earlier in July, the Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) had refused to grant emergency-use authorisation to Sputnik-Light.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Wednesday granted a go-ahead for conducting Phase III bridging trials of single-dose Russian Covid-19 vaccine “Sputnik Light” on the Indian population.

The approval follows a recent study published in the medical journal The Lancet that said the Sputnik Light showed 78.6 to 83.7 per cent efficacy against Covid-19, significantly higher than most two-shot vaccines.

Earlier in July, the Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) had refused to grant emergency-use authorisation to Sputnik-Light.

It had ruled out the need for the conduct of the phase III trial of the Russian vaccine in the country, sources said.

The committee had noted that Sputnik Light was the same as component-1 of Sputnik V and its safety and immunogenicity data in the Indian population was already generated in a trial.

The study was conducted on at least 40,000 elderly people in Argentina. Sputnik Light also reduced hospitalisations among the target population at 82.1-87.6 per cent, the study said.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) last year partnered with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories to conduct the phase III trials of Sputnik V vaccine in India. In April, Sputnik V received an emergency use authorisation in India. Reddy’s administered the first dose of the vaccine in Hyderabad under a limited pilot on May 14.




Over 12k in grip of viral fever in UP’s Firozabad


Four more deaths have been reported from the district in the past 24 hours, taking the toll to 114 that includes 88 children.

More than 12,000 people in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad district are suffering from viral fever, according to the state health department officials. Four more deaths have been reported from the district in the past 24 hours, taking the toll to 114 that includes 88 children.

The deaths have continued despite widespread fogging and door-to-door surveys to drain out stagnant water and to check the spread of vector-borne diseases. Veer Pal, a daily wager, who lost his five-year-old son due to lack of treatment on Sunday, told reporters, that a private hospital in the city had demanded Rs 30,000 in advance to start treatment.

“I requested them to start treatment and give me time to arrange money, but they refused. Later, I took my child to the Firozabad Medical College, where staff refused to admit my child as beds were not available. I arranged for a private taxi to take him to Agra, but my son died on the way,” he said.

Chief Medical Superintendent (CMS) of Firozabad Medical College, Hansraj Singh, said that no official complaint was made in the matter.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dinesh Kumar Premi said there are 64 active camps in the district and 4,800 people, including those with fever, are undergoing treatment there.

According to the health department officials, 578 cases of dengue have been confirmed in Firozabad so far. A few cases of malaria, scrub typhus – a bacterial illness spread by larval mites, leptospirosis, another bacterial disease spread through the urine of infected animals, have also been reported.

Diarrhea has also emerged as a threat for children.

Additional Director of the health department, A.K. Singh, said that over 100 teams of health staff are conducting door-to-door surveys to identify patients and provide them with medicines and required assistance.

“There is no shortage of platelets or required medicines at the government centers. Additional ambulances have been arranged to take patients to hospital,” he asserted.

“Civic body teams are carrying out special cleanliness drives in the affected areas and all the recent deaths are being investigated,” Singh added.




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