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HC dismisses Bengal govt’s plea, NHRC to probe post-poll violence


A five-judge bench of the high court dismissed the prayer of the West Bengal government.

The Calcutta High Court on Monday dismissed the West Bengal government’s plea for recalling its order that directed the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to examine all cases of alleged human rights violations in post-poll violence in the state.
A five-judge bench of the high court dismissed the prayer of the West Bengal government for recalling the order passed in respect of a bunch of PILs alleging displacement of people from their residences, physical assault, destruction of property and ransacking of places of business owing to post- poll violence in the state.
The bench had passed the order on June 18, taking note of a report submitted by the Member Secretary of West Bengal State Legal Services Authority which said that 3,243 persons were reported to be affected till noon of June 10.
The Member Secretary of WBSLSA further mentioned that in a number of cases the complaints were referred to the superintendents of police or the police stations concerned but no response was received.
The five-judge bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and justices IP Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen and Subrata Talukdar, had in its order directed the chairperson of the NHRC to constitute a committee to examine the matter.




BJP’s north Bengal leader, seven others join TMC


“Resentment against the BJP was there before the elections, when the central and state BJP leadership never bothered to consult us before fielding the candidates for the district. We felt insulted,” Mr Sharma said.

BJP’s Alipurduar district president Ganga Prasad Sharma today joined the Trinamul Congress, along with eight other leaders.

The BJP leaders, including the party’s district general secretary, secretary, vice-president, convenor and deputy convenor of the Kalchini block in Alipurduar district, held the TMC flag in the presence the party’s Rajya Sabha chief whip, Sukhendu Shekhar Roy, education minister Bratya Basu and former railway minister and Trinamul Congress leader Mukul Roy, at Trinamul Bhavan.

After joining the party, Mr Sharma told reporters that though the BJP had done extremely well in Alipurduar in the last Assembly elections by winning all the five seats, he and his party’s office bearers decided to join the TMC following resentment in the BJP camp.

“Resentment against the BJP was there before the elections, when the central and state BJP leadership never bothered to consult us before fielding the candidates for the district. We felt insulted,” Mr Sharma said.

“However, we did not leave the party before the elections as we would be called traitors then,” he added.

He also slammed the BJP’s Leader of Opposition, Suvendu Adhikary, and asked if he would have remained in the BJP if he was not offered the Leader of the Opposition’s post.

On the other hand, reminded that Mr Adhikary had sent a letter to the Speaker, urging him to disqualify him, Mukul Roy said, “He should first ask his father Sisir Adhikary to step down from the post of MP as he has joined the BJP, though he won the elections on a Trinamul ticket from  Contai.”

Back in Alipurduar, BJP leaders, including Alipurduar MP John Barla and four BJP MLAs, held an “urgent meeting” in the BJP office in Alipurduar town today. Madarihat MLA Manoj Tigga failed to attend the meeting as he was in Kolkata, it is learnt.

The meeting was held in the presence of Nikhil Chandra Dey, the MLA of Cooch Behar (South constituency), who is also the party’s observer for Alipurduar district.

“We will appoint a convenor for the party in Alipurduar district in a day or two. Two of our district general secretaries will look after the organisational work for the moment,” Mr Dey said.

He said that a party workers’ meeting will be held on 29 June, and that any organisational decision may be taken there.

“BJP is a political party based on ideology. Any leader may leave the party, but it will not affect our organisational structure,” Mr Dey added.




India logs 70,421 new COVID-19 cases, 3921 deaths in last 24 hours


The Health Ministry said that a total of 25,48,49,301 people have been vaccinated so far in the country.

India on Sunday reported 70,421 new COVID-19 cases as 3921 more patients succumbed to the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said. The country recorded its lowest daily case in the last 72 days.

India’s overall tally of Covid-19 cases now stands at 2,95,10,410 with 3,74,305 deaths so far.

According to the Health Ministry, a total of 1,19,501 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours, with 2,81,62,947 being cured of Covid till date.

The Health Ministry said that a total of 25,48,49,301 people have been vaccinated so far in the country.

Last month, India crossed a grim milestone of three-lakh deaths due to the coronavirus infections, thus becoming the world’s third country after the US and Brazil to cross three-lakh deaths.

After battling a brutal second wave for weeks, fresh Covid cases came down below the three lakh mark for the first time on May 17 after touching record high of 4,14,188 on May 7.




Monsoon arrives in J&K, Ladakh earlier than usual


The Met Department has forecast scattered to fairly widespread light to moderate rain and thundershowers in Jammu and Kashmir in the next 24 hours.

The Meteorological Department announced on Monday that the monsoon season arrived in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh 17 to 18 days earlier than usual.

“The IMD has declared the arrival of monsoon over J&K and Ladakh on June 13 which is 17 to 18 days ahead of the normal onset,” said Sonam Lotus, Director of the MET Department.

The Met Department has forecast scattered to fairly widespread light to moderate rain and thundershowers in Jammu and Kashmir in the next 24 hours.

Srinagar recorded 15.6, Pahalgam 10.2 and Gulmarg 7.8 degrees Celsius as the minimum temperatures on Monday.

Leh town had 12.5, Kargil 12.4 and Drass 8.0 as the minimum temperatures.

Jammu city had 25.1, Katra 22.2, Batote 16.6, Banihal 14.4 and Bhaderwah 15.5 as the minimum temperatures.




Delhi: Sputnik V’s rollout for public to start from June 20


The hospital is giving Sputnik’s shot only to its employees who haven’t been immunized so far.

Indraprastha Apollo Hospital started administering the Russian Covid-19 Sputnik V vaccine on Sunday after a small batch with a volume of 500 doses only of the vaccine arrived in Delhi today.

The hospital is giving Sputnik’s shot only to its employees who haven’t been immunized so far.

However, it’s likely to be available for the public in Delhi from next week with the tentative roll-out date scheduled for June 20.

Hospital sources said that the next consignment of the Russian vaccine will arrive in Delhi from Hyderabad on June 19 and the roll-out is most likely to begin the next day.

The hospital informed that as many as 172 of its employees were administered the Sputnik’s shot.

The first phase of the Sputnik V roll-out by Apollo Hospitals and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories had started on a pilot basis on May 17 in Hyderabad and on May 18 in Vishakhapatnam.

According to the pricing schedule issued by the central government, the price per dose of Sputnik V at private hospitals has been capped at Rs 1,145, which is less than the maximum price for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin at Rs 1,410.




Construction of Tirumala Tirupati temple begins in Jammu


While speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor said that the magnificent divine temple when completed will be a centre of faith as well as a destination of spirituality.

In a major push to religious and pilgrimage tourism in J&K, the much-awaited Bhoomi Pujan ceremony for the construction of Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) was held here on Sunday in presence of top RSS, BJP leaders and bureaucrats.

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha took part in Bhoomi Pujan and unveiled the plaque to mark the laying of the foundation stone in presence of Union Minister PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Home, G Kishan Reddy, Chairman TTD Board, Y V Subba Reddy, V Ram Madhav, Member, National Executive, RSS, and several others.

While speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor said that the magnificent divine temple when completed will be a centre of faith as well as a destination of spirituality.

He further informed that the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Board will establish a Gurukul/Veda Pathshala to promote the Sanskrit language and ancient culture of Vedic teachings and learning. The board has also agreed to set up centres of excellence in the field of healthcare on the lines of its excellence centres in Andhra Pradesh.

Terming the occasion as a historic and proud day for J&K, the Lt Governor expressed gratitude towards Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Board and the Union Government for fulfilling the long pending wish of the people of J&K and North India for establishing the temple of Lord Balaji on the land of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi.

“Lord Balaji’s divine blessing is a state of inner celebration. Ved Pathshala in the second phase will strengthen the foundation of Indian culture. The construction of the temple will also open up opportunities across sectors and it will certainly change the economy of the region”, observed the Lt Governor.

The temple will become a major religious and pilgrimage destination attracting lot more tourists, which will ultimately give a boost to the religious and pilgrimage tourism, besides providing ample livelihood opportunities, and socio-economic upliftment of the people of the region added the Lt Governor.

Spreading over 62 acres of land at village Majeen in Jammu, the temple is expected to be completed in 18 months in two phases, at the cost of Rs 33.22 cr.

The prestigious project will include a host of pilgrimage facilities and other Educational & Developmental infrastructure like Veda Pathshala- classrooms, hostel building and staff quarters; pilgrims’ amenities complex, Kalyanamandapam, Vahanamandapam etc.

BVR Subrahmanayam, OSD in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry; Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lt Governor, besides Administrative Secretaries, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, and Deputy Commissioner Jammu attended the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony.




Delhi opens up with riders; see what’s allowed and what’s prohibited


Kejriwal said that while weekly markets activity will resume, only one market will be allowed to open in a zone on a particular day.

As part of the phased unlock plan in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Sunday that all market activities will be allowed starting Monday, 5 am, given certain restrictions.

Kejriwal said that while weekly markets activity will resume, only one market will be allowed to open in a zone on a particular day.

Further, all gyms, cinema theatres, and banquet halls will continue to remain shut.

Besides, schools, colleges, and other educational institutions will also remain closed.

“The coronavirus situation is coming under control in Delhi. The Coronavirus cases have reduced significantly and focus should also shift upon bringing the economy back on track. Slowly and steadily, economic activities are being opened up. Except for certain activities which are completely prohibited, we are allowing rest in a restricted manner,” said Kejriwal during a digital address.

What is allowed?

The activities which are partly allowed in a restricted manner include – government offices, where the rules of last week will be applied in which Group A officers will be allowed to have 100% while everyone else would partly attend the offices at a cap of 50% of attendance.

Private offices are required to operate on 50% capacity from 9 am -5 pm and the effort should be towards maximum work from home opportunity.

However, essential activities like hospitals and police will continue to remain fully operational.

All markets, market complexes, malls, which functioned on an odd-even basis till last week, can now be opened up fully but with a time restriction of 10 am – 8 pm. The restaurants will function on 50% seating capacity.

The weekly markets are allowed but only 1 per zone. Marriage ceremonies can’t take place in public spaces, banquet halls and hotels. It is allowed only at home or at the court with an attendance of no more than 20 people. Not more than 20 people are allowed in funerals and last rights.

Restrictions on public transport will be continued. Delhi metro and public buses will remain operational with 50% capacity. Public transport – autorickshaws and e- Rickshaws are allowed but with not more than 2 passengers. Only 2 passengers are allowed in taxis and Gramin Seva.

The religious places will be opened up but visitors will not be allowed.

What is restricted?

In a broader sense, the prohibited activities include academics at all educational institutions such as schools, colleges and coaching centres.

Besides, gatherings at social, political, sports, academic, cultural, religious festival-related event will be allowed.

Also, sports activities at swimming pools, stadiums, sports complex, gymnasiums and yoga institutes will remain prohibited.

Entertainment activities at cinema theatre, multiplex, water parks, amusement parks will also be not allowed for now. While business to business exhibitions and entry to public parks and gardens will remain prohibited as well.

The CM said that the restrictions on commercial activities can be reimposed if a resurgence in Covid-19 cases is noticed.

“We will observe the situation of the markets and restaurants for 1 week, if the cases do not increase in the next week, then we will continue this but if they do increase then we will have to impose strict measures. Thus, it is my appeal to all the market associations, shopkeepers to ensure that overcrowding does not take place, and maintain social distancing,” he appealed.




India logs 84,332 new COVID-19 cases, 4,002 deaths in last 24 hours


India’s overall tally of Covid-19 cases now stands at 2,93,59,155 with 3,67,081 deaths so far.

India on Saturday reported 84,332 new COVID-19 cases as India logs 84,332 new COVID-19 cases, 4,002 deaths in last 24 hours more patients succumbed to the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said. The country recorded the lowest single-day new caseload after 70 days.

India’s overall tally of Covid-19 cases now stands at 2,93,59,155 with 3,67,081 deaths so far.

On June 8, India recorded 86,498 cases, lowest since April 2 when the country logged 89,129 new cases.

According to the Health Ministry, a total of 1,21,311 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours, with 2,79,11,384 being cured of Covid till date.

The Health Ministry said that a total of 2,79,11,384 people have been vaccinated so far in the country.

Last month, India crossed a grim milestone of three-lakh deaths due to the coronavirus infections, thus becoming world’s third country after the US and Brazil to cross three-lakh deaths.

After battling a brutal second wave for weeks, fresh Covid cases came down below the three lakh mark for the first time on May 17 after touching record high of 4,14,188 on May 7.

(With IANS inputs)




Despite public outcry, J&K administration orders 20 days long power curtailment amidst spiralling mercury in Jammu


This is perhaps for the first time that such a massive electric cut has been ordered in the Jammu region during the peak summer.

Despite public outcry against the erratic electric supply in the Jammu division amidst the sweltering hot weather here, the power development department (PDD) on Friday announced a 20-days massive power curtailment programme for the urban and rural areas of Jammu. Electric supply will remain shut for 2 to 6 hours daily in various areas from 11 to 30 June.

The announcement read; “Due to extreme hot weather conditions and resultant overloading of electrical infrastructure at Grid Station level, 33 KV lines and 33/11 KV Receiving Stations, the Power Development Department shall enforce load shedding in different areas w.e.f June 11 to June 30, 2021”.

The Jammu Division is witnessing massive power failures for the past three days and the people were cursing on social media the Lieutenant Governor’s administration for this “chaos”. “Instead of improving power supply, the authorities have imposed the massive curtailment on the consumers”, cried a housewife.

The turmoil in the electric sector was continuing although the central government recently invested several hundred crores of rupees for upgrading the power infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir. Electric consumers blame the PDD staff for the continuing mess, whereas a senior engineer in an interview accused power theft as the cause behind the crisis.

The social media was flooded with posts cursing the administration for the crisis and interestingly even BJP activists and supporters were not lagging behind in criticizing the authorities on the issue of power crisis. They point out that the power supply was not disrupted for even a minute when Jagmohan was the Governor of J&K and the state was under central rule. Former Governor NN Vohra also handled the power scenario effectively during his long tenure.

This is perhaps for the first time that such a massive electric cut has been ordered in the Jammu region during the peak summer. LG’s advisor Baseer Khan on Thursday held a meeting with PDD engineers and ordered them to resolve the power crisis early.




PM Modi to participate in 47th G7 Summit on 12 and 13 June


The theme for the Summit is ‘Build Back Better’ and the UK has outlined four priority areas for its Presidency.

At the invitation of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the Outreach Sessions of the G7 Summit on 12 and 13 June in virtual format. The UK currently holds the Presidency of the G7 and has invited India, along with Australia, the Republic of Korea and South Africa, as Guest Countries for the G7 Summit. The meeting will be held in hybrid mode.

The theme for the Summit is ‘Build Back Better’ and the UK has outlined four priority areas for its Presidency. These are leading the global recovery from coronavirus while strengthening resilience against future pandemics; promoting future prosperity by championing free and fair trade; tackling climate change and preserving the planet’s biodiversity; and championing shared values and open societies. The Leaders are expected to exchange views on the way forward on global recovery from the pandemic with a focus on health and climate change.

This is the second time the Prime Minister will be participating in a G7 meeting. India had been invited by the G7 French Presidency in 2019 to the Biarritz Summit as a “Goodwill Partner” and Prime Minister participated in the Sessions on ‘Climate, Biodiversity and Oceans’ and ‘Digital Transformation’.





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