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India is firmly on its way to winning the wrong race: Rahul Gandhi on sudden spike in coronavirus cases

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday attacked the government over India becoming the fourth worst-hit country in terms of coronavirus cases.

Taking to Twitter, Rahul Gandhi wrote: "India is firmly on its way to winning the wrong race. A horrific tragedy, resulting from a lethal blend of arrogance and incompetence."

Rahul Gandhi

India is firmly on it's way to winning the wrong race. 

A horrific tragedy, resulting from a lethal blend of arrogance and incompetence.

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6:58 AM - Jun 12, 2020
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Sharing the chart of Covid-19 cases in all the 4 lockdowns, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday targeted the Union Government for mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis. Rahul said, doing same thing again and again is insanity.

Sharing a quote in a tweet, Rahul Gandhi said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Rahul Gandhi

”Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” - Anonymous

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8:25 PM - Jun 12, 2020
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The Congress leader remarks came on a day when for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak, India recorded over 11,458 new cases in 24 hours taking the tally to 3,08,993, while the death toll rose to 8,884 with a record single-day spike of 386 fatalities.

India on Thursday went past the United Kingdom in terms of coronavirus cases to become the fourth worst-hit country, according to the Worldometer and Johns Hopkins University data.

Two terrorists killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam

Two terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district.

According to a report by news agency ANI, an encounter took place at Kulgam district-Anantnag district border in Jammu and Kashmir, earlier today in which two terrorists were eliminated. According to Army's record the area comes under the Anantnag district and as per Police record it comes under Kulgam district.


 · 2h
Jammu and Kashmir: Precision operation carried out in Anantnag district ensured no collateral damage. Both terrorists eliminated were of Hizbul Mujahideen. 2 pistols with ammunition and 3 grenades recovered. Operation over. (visuals deferred by unspecified time) …

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Jammu and Kashmir: A joint operation was launched in early hours today on intelligence input in Lallan of Anantnag district. Cordon was laid & contact established. Firefight ensued. Two terrorists eliminated. Operation in progress.


CLARIFICATION: An encounter took place at Kulgam district-Anantnag district border in Jammu & Kashmir, earlier today in which two terrorists were eliminated. According to Army's record the area comes under Anantnag district and as per Police record it comes under Kulgam district.

8:29 PM - Jun 12, 2020
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Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in the area. The search operation turned into an encounter after terrorists fired at security forces, who retaliated. In the ensuing gunfight, two militants were killed.


Jammu and Kashmir: Precision operation carried out in Anantnag district ensured no collateral damage. Both terrorists eliminated were of Hizbul Mujahideen. 2 pistols with ammunition and 3 grenades recovered. Operation over. (visuals deferred by unspecified time) …

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Jammu and Kashmir: A joint operation was launched in early hours today on intelligence input in Lallan of Anantnag district. Cordon was laid & contact established. Firefight ensued. Two terrorists eliminated. Operation in progress.

8:01 PM - Jun 12, 2020
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The terrorists who were killed belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen. Two pistols with ammunition and three grenades were recovered from them.

Meanwhile, security forces spotted a suspected IED near a bridge on River Erin in Bandipore. All vehicular movement in the area was stopped and suspected IED was being neutralised by a bomb squad.

DD News

Jammu and Kashmir: Security forces spot suspected IED near a bridge on River Erin, #Bandipore; all vehicular movement stopped, area sanitised; suspected IED being neutralised by bomb disposal squad

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8:51 PM - Jun 12, 2020
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Pakistan initiated an unprovoked ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rampur sector of district Baramulla by firing mortars on Friday morning.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan violated ceasefire along the Line of Control by resorting to unprovoked shelling in the Uri sector of Baramulla. Pakistan has been repeatedly violating ceasefire along LoC in bordering districts of Jammu and Kashmir over the past few weeks.

Don't ostracise essential workers just because they are in the forefront of the war against COVID-19: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court on Friday said that no frontline worker battling the coronavirus pandemic should be ostracised. Instead, the court observed, they must be encouraged to work without any restraint.

The court made the statement while turning down a petition seeking accommodation for such workers, who work in Mumbai but have to travel from other cities or districts.

A bench comprising Bombay High Court Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Amjad Sayed was responding to a PIL seeking accommodation for such essential workers in Mumbai. The petition claimed that these workers were the one of the major carriers of COVID-19 and because of them, districts or cities like Palghar, Vasai-Virar, Dombivli, etc recorded a spurt in coronavirus-positive cases.

The plea was vehemently opposed by Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, the advocate general of Maharashtra, arguing that it was impossible to provide accommodation to such workers in Mumbai, who travelled from the neighbouring cities.

Having heard the contentions, CJ Datta said, "The essential staffers, having an onerous responsibility of discharging most important public duties, are perceived as carriers of infection, who could easily spread it among others, by the petitioners. Their fears of exposure to COVID-19 have been allayed by the authorities by stating that the essential staffers have been made to follow and adhere to the precautionary measures."

The bench further said that these workers must be encouraged to continue with their work and not be discouraged by forcing them to live away from their families.

"We are also inclined to the view that even if some of such staffers might have unfortunately been infected by COVID-19, that is no ground to sort of ostracise them. The authorities have been actively engaged in formulating policies to tackle the pandemic and these essential staffers have been tirelessly working to implement the measures for the overall benefit of mankind. It is a humane approach, which is the call of the moment," CJ Datta observed.

"The essential staffers, instead of being put to any disability because of their nature of work and also instead of being forced to reside in places away from their residences, should be encouraged to discharge their duty without fear of duress and restraint," the judges added.

The judges further said that these staffers have their own families and to ensure that none of their family members is infected, it is expected that they would themselves take the greatest care and act with caution so that they are free of the infection and do not transmit the same to their near and dear ones.

The bench accordingly dismissed the petition.


Assam gas leak: Oil Ministry sets up high-level panel to inquire into disaster

The Petroleum Ministry has constituted a three-member high-level committee to inquire into the blowout at an Oil India Ltd well in Assam and the subsequent fire that killed two firefighters and injured at least one. The panel will be headed by SCL Das, Director General of Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), a ministry order said.

It will "identify the lapses in following laid down protocols and procedures which led to the incident," the order said. The committee will also recommend short and long-term measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents including identifying any gaps in laid down standard operating procedure.

The panel, which also includes former ONGC chairman B C Bora and former ONGC director T K Sengupta, will submit its report within one month, the order said. "Natural gas mixed with condensate started flowing uncontrollably from one of the wells of Oil India Ltd (OIL) in Baghjan fields in Tinsukia district of Assam on May 27, 2020 leading to a blowout. The well caught fire on June 8, 2020," it said.

OIL on Thursday said the fire has since been contained to the well and it is trying to put out the fire.

Except at the well plinth area, the fire around the site has been extinguished. However, the burning of gas at the well mouth will continue till the well is capped.

The ministry said it "is fully cognisant to the gravity of the situation developing in Baghjan and is committed for the safety and well-being of people in Assam." On June 10, the ministry had stated that the well was planned to be capped by following the advice of experts and taking all safety precautions.

"While the clearing operations were going on at the well site, the well caught fire on June 9, 2020, around noontime, spreading the fire in an area of about 200 metres around the well site," it had said in a statement.

The cause of the fire has not been ascertained till now.

A crisis of morality: How a $2.8 trillion economy let down its most vulnerable, writes Sanjay Jha

Every time I turn the corner into the lane of my house, I never fail to notice my famous Bombay Sandwich maker who has been permanently stationed there since decades.

As the diabolical pathogen, the coronavirus, spread its deadly tentacles into India, one began to see that the regular crowd that thronged his contraption where he made his sandwiches had dramatically thinned. The last I saw him was one day before the Janata curfew on March.

Sounding quite disconcerted and yet maintaining a cheerful disposition he said that his business had slumped by over 60%, but he was quite optimistic that things would turn around. Unbeknownst to him India would soon head into a severe lockdown preventing him from being able to return to his makeshift real estate.

His daily earnings would now be wiped out completely. An uncertain dark future awaited him as like everyone else he had probably no clue as to where his next income would come from. He was not the only one who was psychologically devastated and economically impoverished overnight.

There were at least 80 million more like him suffering a similar predicament. India had opened the floodgates to a humongous humanitarian crisis of its migrant population.

When the world’s second largest populated country with 138 crore people went abruptly into the most stringent lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic with a 4-hour notice, it was creating a man-made disaster that could have been easily avoided with some pragmatic planning. It is astonishing to believe that the experienced apparatchiks and the elected politicians were oblivious of the lives of those who live at the bottom of the pyramid.

Come election time, most politicians woo the poor, underprivileged, marginalized sections of society with phantasmagoric promises of eternal welfare. In a stunning manifestation of contemptuous indifference, the government it seemed had not factored in the insane disruption that would be caused because of the sudden shutdown. That daily wage labour, contract employees, temporarily employed and those who were self-employed like my sandwich maker would have nowhere to go. With no essential goods available and all restaurants shut, where would they get their food from?

Unlike the urban middle-class that could order online deliveries, they had no access to even basic services. And the unremitting escalation of the vector only accentuated their miseries. But what ultimately broke them was that their families were far away from them at a time of the world’s most formidable medical health emergency.

They had no money to send to their families and they had no medium to reach them at the earliest. In times of such an emotional catastrophe, with no one to take care of them, and a government that seemed disinterested in their excruciation, they panicked.

They started to walk back home. Some hundreds of kilometres in the scorching sun, hungry and thirsty, mentally prepared to die along the way. The world’s largest democracy, a USD 2.8 trillion economy and one that regularly boasted of its foreign exchange reserve of USD 400 billion had let down its most needy, its most vulnerable. If ever we need to hang our heads collectively in shame, this was it.

I do not wish to repeat the several heart-breaking poignant stories that have since emerged. But when 16 migrants slept on a railway track at Jalna one night on the way to Madhya Pradesh they were looking at the stars and the heavens they would soon become part of. They were crushed to death by a goods train.

At least momentarily, India’s conscience woke up from a deep slumber. If there are 80 million migrants primarily from West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh working in prosperous states, then it can be realistically estimated that there are 350-400 million Indians (an average family size of 4-5 members) who remain susceptible to economic and social vicissitudes that alters their lives. Forever.

It is true that no government in the world could have been prepared for the unfamiliar contagious virus that unleashed itself. It is also a fact that years of neglected public health infrastructure cannot transmogrify into super-efficient treatment facilities in a jiffy. But where we failed as a nation was our luminous indifference to those who needed us the most. We forget that the unorganized sector that the migrants are part of does contribute 50% of India’s GDP. Their economic activity adds up to fulfilling several urban requirements that we take for granted. Remember what happens when the air-conditioner stops working and the mechanic is not to be found? Or the plumber? Or the house-help?

George Floyd’s agonizing killing in Minneapolis, USA has brought racism into the forefront, not just in the USA but all over the world. If India fails to outrage at the death of several innocent migrants completely on account of state apathy, we will have left ourselves down. Because a great country mourns the death of every soul. But a morally depraved one only treats it as a statistic.

( Sanjay Jha is the National Spokesperson of the Congress. The views are his own).


Meet the Modi behind Mukesh Ambani's Jio deal with Facebook

For the rest of the world, it was Mukesh Ambani who signed the deal with Mark Zuckerberg to ensure the Facebook and Jio partnership last month. However, the chairman of Reliance Industries knows otherwise. For him, his right hand man Manoj Modi, who is practically invisible to the rest of India and the world, is the brains behind all the deals that Mukesh Ambani is cracking at the moment.

According to a profile in The Economic Times, Modi is a director at Reliance Retail Ltd and Reliance Jio Infocom. During a Kota conference, he hinted at the way he thinks: The principle at Reliance is simple. Unless everyone makes money working with us, you cannot have a sustainable business.

Modi has a big say in every deal and often a meeting with him signals the final stamp of approval, according to the report. Termed as ruthlessly efficient”, Modi manages to get the best possible deal for Reliance in mergers and acquisitions

How are the six investors who invested in Jio platforms:

Facebook: It all started on May 22 when Jio announced that Facebook is acquiring 9.99 per cent stake in the company. The transaction is valued at Rs 43,573.62 crore. This deal will be completed through a new entity Jaadhu Holdings, according to regulatory documents.

Silver Lake Partners: Technology investing firm, Silver Lake, has over USD 43 billion in combined assets under management and committed capital. It decided to buy 1.15 per cent stake for Rs 5,655.75 crore. This announcement of this deal was made on May 3.

Vista Equity Partners: On May 8, the US-based private equity firm announced that it will pick up 2.32 per cent stake for Rs 11,367 crore. This 2000-founded company focuses on financing and forwarding software and technology-enabled startup businesses, as well as passive equity investment.

General Atlantic: It is a 40-year company, headquartered in New York. On May 17, the private equity firm announced investment of Rs 6,598.38 crore in Jio by picking up 1.34 per cent stake in the platform.

KKR: American global investment firm, KKR & Co, has bought 2.32 per cent stake for Rs 11,367 crore. This firm announced the investment in the digital arm of Reliance on 22 May.

Mubadala: The sixth and the latest investor in the Jio platform is Abu Dhabi-based sovereign investor Mubadala Investment Company. It is reported that two other Middle-East funds that are Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Saudi Arabia’s The Public Investment Fund are in discussion with Jio. So, Mubadala will not be the last investor for this month. Mubadala has invested Rs 9,093.60 crore to acquire 1.85 per cent stake.

Why did Twitter ban former Amnesty India head Aakar Patel's account in India?

A week after an FIR by Bengaluru Police, now the Twitter account of the former head of Amnesty International India and journalist, Aakar Patel, has been "withheld in India in response to a legal demand".

In a notice to Patel, Twitter informed that his account has been withheld in India following a legal removal demand regarding his account. However, the notice said that the content will remain available elsewhere.

"Following the Indian legal process, we are in current communication with the Indian authorities who issued this legal demand in which your account was included. We will notify you if there are any changes to the status of your account," Twitter informed Patel.

Notice by Twitter to Aakar Patel.
Notice by Twitter to Aakar Patel.FPJ
While talking about the issue, the Patel told FPJ that he has not received any intimation from the police yet and he got to know about the news through media outlets.

The activist also said, "I can’t take legal action without a case, as I don’t know who filed the complaint. I believe Twitter received a document from the government, but don’t know its content."

Why did Twitter ban former Amnesty India head Aakar Patel's account in India?
The police in Bengaluru on 2nd June filed an FIR against the activist, journalist, and the former head of Amnesty International India Aakar Patel for a tweet calling for the US like protests (against the death of George Floyd) in India against atrocities committed on Dalits, women, Muslims, and Adivasis.

The tweet by Aakar read: “We need protests like these. From Dalits and Muslims and Adivasis. And the poor. And women. The world will notice. Protest is a craft.”

The controversial tweet. 
The controversial tweet.
The FIR was registered at the JC Nagar Police Station in Bengaluru under Sections, 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 117 (Abetting commission of the offence by the public or by more than ten persons) and 505 (1)B of the IPC, which deals with statements with intent to cause mischief, or likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offense against the State or against the public tranquillity.

Karnataka court finally grants bail to 19-year-old Amulya Leona, who cried 'Pakistan Zindabad'

After a three-month period in jail, Bengaluru student Amulya Leona, who was arrested by the Bengaluru police for allegedly shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans at an anti- CAA Protest in which Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi had taken part, was granted bail.

Earlier, the court rejected 19-year-old Amulya’s bail, stating that she may abscond if she is released.


While rejecting her plea, sessions judge Vidhyadhar Shirahatti said that if the petitioner is granted bail, she may abscond, and hence her petitition is liable to be rejected.

The court further observed that if Amulya is granted bail, she may involve in similar offence which affects peace at large.

Karnataka State had earlier opposed the bail plea of Amulya, who was charged with sedition for shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ during a CAA/NRC protest in Bengaluru in February this year.

“Amulya Leona is an influential person who may threaten and influence the witness and hamper the case in case of the prosecution and will abscond if released on bail,” the state said while trying to get the court to reject the bail plea.


Amulya had filed her reply before the HC to grant her bail earlier last month.

Amulya has been kept in custody since February 20, when she was arrested for shouting Pakistan Zindabad at an event to protest the CAA, NRC and NPR. Asaduddin Owaisi had attended that event.

However, if you see the entire video, Amulya shouts, “Pakistan Zindabad” thrice, following which she yells, “Hindustan Zindabad”. At this point, a baffled Owaisi also rushed to snatch the mike from her and was joined by others who tried to remove her from the state. But the woman was adamant and raised the slogan again repeatedly. Later, the police stepped in and removed her from the dais. The woman had been taken into custody, police said adding she might be charged with sedition.

Amulya is an alumni of NMKRV College for women and is a former Translator/Interpreter at Bangalore Recording Company.

Earlier, Amulya in a Facebook post praised all the neighbouring countries, including Pakistan. "Long Live India! Long Live Pakistan! Long Live Bangladesh! Long Live Sri Lanka! Long live Nepal! Long live Afghanistan! Long Live China! Long Live Bhutan!," she wrote in Kannada.

Amulya was not in the list of speakers but was invited to attend the gathering.

Condemning the act, Amulya's father said "What Amulya said is wrong. She was joined by some Muslims and was not listening to me."


28 CRPF personnel posted in Kashmir test COVID-19 positive

Srinagar: As many as 28 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel posted in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, officials said.

They said the personnel were found infected during a contact-tracing exercise after the death of a 44-year-old coronavirus-infected constable on June 6. The officials said they had collected samples of 75 personnel from the 90th battalion where the deceased constable, a nursing assistant, was posted.

The reports 28 of them returned positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, the officials said. All the affected personnel have been isolated and other results are awaited, they said. A further contact-tracing exercise has commenced and the troops have been asked to immediately report if they feel any illness with COVID-19-like symptoms, a senior official said.

The battalion is situated at Uranhall in south Kashmir. There have been four COVID-19 deaths in the country's largest paramilitary force having 3.25 lakh personnel. It has 516 coronavirus cases till now out of which 353 personnel have recovered, as per latest data. Seven other positive coronavirus cases were also reported from various other units of the force on Wednesday.

Madhya Pradesh Congress accuses Shivraj Singh Chouhan government of making women sell alcohol; shares picture on social media

Well, several restrictions have been lifted in non-containment zones in a phased manner. Liquor shops too have reopened and are also offering home delivery services. Liquor shops have been a topic of discussion in recent times. Several have slammed the government for reopening of liquor shops and raised concerns of spread of the virus and violations of social distancing norms.

But what we have for you goes to the next level. Madhya Pradesh Congress' Twitter handle on Thursday accused CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan for making women sell alcohol in liquor shops and even shared a picture.

The tweet read, "This photo is shameful; The Shivraj government, eager to sell liquor, has now shown its disgusting and sorrowful attitude towards our sisters and daughters by making women sit at liquor shops. Shivraj ji, Our culture worships women, And your culture makes women sell alcohol ..?"

MP Congress

यह तस्वीर लज्जित करती है;

शराब बेचने को आतुर शिवराज सरकार ने अब महिलाओं को शराब की दुकानों पर बिठाकर हमारी बहन-बेटियों के प्रति अपनी घृणित और कुत्सित सोच का प्रदर्शन किया है।

शिवराज जी,
हमारी संस्कृति नारी की पूजा करवाती है,
और आपकी संस्कृति नारी से शराब बिकवाती है..?

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7:30 PM - Jun 10, 2020
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Well, we are not quite sure if the woman in the picture is selling liquor. It is imperative to note that she is donning a police uniform and chances are that she was on her duty when this picture was clicked.

The Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday kick-started the process to run liquor shops whose licences were "surrendered" by contractors amid a stand-off between the two sides on reopening the vends.

Around 70 per cent of the contractors in the state have refused to open their liquor vends for well over two weeks fearing poor sale due to the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak. This had put them on a collision course with the BJP government in the state.

The government will run liquor shops till it finds new contractors for them in rebidding, an official said on Tuesday.

Nearly 1,800 liquor shops in MP had been closed by contractors. A few of them have decided to reopen their outlets and not surrendered their contracts.

Liquor sales, a key source of revenue for the government, have dropped drastically in the state due to the coronavirus outbreak and its fallout.