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Bangalore News Highlights: Quarantine primary, secondary contacts of Covid patients, orders K’taka govt amid Omicron threat

Bangalore earthquake, active Covid-19 Cases, Bengaluru, Karnataka Omicron News Highlights, 22 December: Meanwhile, pro-Kannada organisations have called for a state-wide bandh in Karnataka on Dec 31 against the recent vandalisation of the statue of freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna in Belagavi.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: December 23, 2021 9:05:24 am

Bengaluru News Highlights: A day after the Union Health Ministry asked the states to reactivate Covid war rooms and enhance restrictions and surveillance in the backdrop of rising cases of Omicron, the Karnataka government Wednesday directed the health officials, deputy commissioners and district surveillance officials to steadfastly track, trace and quarantine primary and secondary contacts of persons infected by Covid-19. Currently, around 300 Coivd cases are being reported daily in Karnataka and the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) is between 0.25 per cent and 0.3 per cent. As on date, 19 cases of Omicron have been detected in Karnataka.

In a major development, pro-Kannada organisations have called for a state-wide bandh in Karnataka on December 31 against the recent vandalisation of the statue of renowned Kannada warrior and freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna in Belagavi. The statue was allegedly defaced by activists of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES). A series of retaliatory skirmishes have taken place in recent days between Kannada and Marathi activists in parts of Karnataka as well as Maharashtra.

Meanwhile, a coalition of 40 organisations took out a protest march in Bengaluru from Mysore Bank Circle to Freedom Park on Wednesday, against the anti-conversion Bill, which is slated to be debated upon in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Thursday. The protest was attended by Bengaluru Archbishop Peter Machado. “Now that the contents of the bill are read by all, they say it is not affecting only the Christians, but also the larger society. It is the question of privacy, the question of marriage, the question of women, Dalits, Muslims,” Peter Machado said.

The state government had on Tuesday tabled the controversial Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill 2021, commonly known as the anti-conversion bill, during the ongoing winter session in Belagavi.

Live Blog

Bengaluru news Live Updates: Quarantine primary, secondary contacts of Covid patients, orders K'taka govt; Pro-Kannada groups call for Karnataka bandh on Dec 31; 40 organisations protest against anti-conversion bill; Earthquake of 3.3 magnitude hits Karnataka dist; Omicron tally at 19. Follow live updates

22:48 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Bengaluru: Hundreds march against ‘unconstitutional’ Karnataka anti-conversion Bill

Bengaluru Archbishop Peter Machado said, “Karnataka is a progressive state in the country and has to give out a message to others that it is open to privacy, dignity and human rights.”

Hundreds of people from at least 40 socio-political organisations Wednesday took out a protest march in Bengaluru against the Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, commonly known as the anti-conversion Bill. The march commenced from Mysore Bank Circle and ended at Freedom Park.

The Bill was introduced in the state Legislative Assembly Tuesday during the ongoing Winter Session in Belagavi. Home Minister Araga Jnanendra tabled the Bill while Congress leaders objected to the manner in which it was introduced. The Cabinet had cleared the Bill Monday but no official information was shared about introducing it in the House. Read More

19:37 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Bengaluru: CSIR-NAL, NRDC join Tata Trusts-backed initiative to foster innovations in aerospace

Social Alpha, an initiative supported by Tata Trusts, along with the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) and CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) on Wednesday announced the launch of mach33.aero, which is set to be the country’s first public-private partnership that focuses on accelerating innovations in aerospace.

The joint initiative will develop a support ecosystem to nurture start-ups in aerospace and allied engineering at a dedicated state-of-the-art centre at the CSIR-NAL campus with a vision to expand its reach to new geographies in future.

Speaking on the launch, Tata Trusts Chairman Ratan Tata said, “I am pleased to note that CSIR-NAL and Social Alpha have joined hands to promote innovations in aerospace engineering with wide ranging applications across aviation, defence, agriculture and climate technologies. I hope a number of high impact and scalable solutions emerge from this initiative, creating a new wave of technology entrepreneurship in the country.” Read More

18:17 (IST)22 Dec 2021
CM Bommai emphasises upon practical based education system

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday emphasised upon practical based education system and said the NEP would bridge the gap.

"A practical based education system is needed to meet challenges of rapid change in the present era. There is a huge difference between the syllabus being taught and the practical needs of the world," the Chief Minister said after laying the foundation stone for the Rani Chennamma University building complex at Hirebagevadi.

According to him, the New Education Policy(NEP) is being implemented to bridge this gap. "Present generation of students need the power of knowledge to face the challenges with confidence and courage and the NEP would empower them with necessary knowledge," Bommai explained. (PTI)

17:24 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Karnataka CM Bommai defends his decision to hold Bengaluru Development portfolio

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai defended his decision to hold multiple portfolios, including the Bengaluru Development Ministry, and said he accorded top priority to the crucial department.

During the Assembly session in Belagavi on Tuesday, former Bengaluru development minister K J George asked Bommai to appoint an exclusive minister who can focus on the development of the city, instead of keeping the portfolio with him. George raised the matter in the context of alleged delays and lack of quality in works carried out under the Smart City project. Read More

16:59 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Media barred from entering Karnataka Assembly ahead of debate on anti-conversion Bill

A day after the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, commonly known as the anti-conversion Bill, was tabled in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, media persons were briefly stopped from entering Suvarna Soudha Wednesday before the scheduled debate on the Bill.

In the morning, when media personnel reached the Assembly, the Marshals, who did not cite an exact reason, said directions had come from the Speaker’s office to stop media persons from entering the House. However, Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said that he was not aware of it.

Former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy condemned the media restrictions by the BJP-ruled Karnataka government and said it is an attempt to break a leg of the Constitution. In a tweet, Kumaraswamy said, “they(BJP) who are saying that they will change the Constitution have now broken a pillar of our Constitution by not allowing the fourth pillar of our democracy which is the media.” Read More

16:55 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Decision on extension of legislature session after discussion: CM Bommai

Decision on extending the duration of legislature session, including the joint session and budget session, in the coming days would be taken after due discussion, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, adding that it would provide more time for meaningful debates in the house. 

Presenting his opinion on the view that the session should include more meaningful discussions in the Legislative Assembly, Bommai said, "There would be no problem if members adhere to the rules and procedures of the conduct in the house. Both the houses of legislature have a rich tradition. There are rules and procedures to raise issues. We should conduct ourselves accordingly."

Referring to making the best use of time allotted for debates, Bommai said, "Opposition parties should naturally get more time and importance. A system of allotting time to a political party according to its strength in the house is in practice in the Lok Sabha. The problem could be resolved if the same system is adopted here." (ENS)

16:36 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Karnataka govt needs to show more respect to Shivaji Maharaj: Maha minister

Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday said the Karnataka government needs to show more respect towards Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his legacy, and an act to defame an icon like him cannot be pardoned.

Seven people were recently arrested in neighbouring Karnataka for allegedly desecrating the Maratha warrior king's statue at Bengaluru. The alleged incident in Bengaluru had raised tempers in the border district of Belgaum, which Maharashtra claims should belong to it.

Shinde on Wednesday made a statement in the Maharashtra Legislative Council over the incident. "The whole incident is to be condemned. I strongly express my condemnation as we all respect Shivaji Maharaj. His contribution towards us is inspirational, and defaming an icon like him is an act that cannot be pardoned,” the state urban development minister said. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has used Shivaji Maharaj's name several times. He even used his name at the time of a function in Kashi recently. But, the Karnataka government needs to show more respect towards Shivaji Maharaj and his legacy,” the Shiv Sena leader said. (PTI)

16:30 (IST)22 Dec 2021
BESCOM launches app to locate EV-charging stations in Bengaluru

The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) has launched the ‘EV Mithra’ app to help residents locate electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations in the city.

A senior BESCOM officer said, “The company has already set up 136 ports at 74 locations across the city for charging electric vehicles. To locate the nearest EV-charging station, we have built a mobile application.”

“The EV-charging stations are open from 6am to 10pm every day, but many vehicle owners in the city are not aware of the service. To create awareness about the EV-charging stations, the BESCOM has developed this app,” the official added. Read More

16:16 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Anti-conversion bill: 40 organisations hold protest march in Bengaluru

A coalition of 40 organisations took out a protest march in Bengaluru from Mysore Bank Circle to Freedom Park on Wednesday, against the anti-conversion Bill, which is slated to be debated upon in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Thursday. The protest was attended by Bengaluru Archbishop Peter Machado. 

"Now that the contents of the bill are read by all, they say it is not affecting only the Christians, but also the larger society. It is the question of privacy, the question of marriage, the question of women, Dalits, Muslims," Peter Machado said.

"Karnataka  is a progressive state in the country and has to give a message to others that Karnataka is open to privacy, dignity and human rights," he added.

13:42 (IST)22 Dec 2021
In Pictures | NDRF and DDMA personnel wear protective suits and gas masks during a joint mock drill simulating rescue and relief efforts

(PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak) 
(PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak) 
(PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak) 

12:52 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Karnataka Cong to hold 10-day padayatra for implementation of Mekedatu project

The Karnataka unit of the Congress will launch a 10-day padayatra from Mekedatu to Bengaluru – a distance of around 179 km – on January 9 seeking the implementation of the Mekedatu drinking water project. Announcing the padayatra, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D K Shivakumar on Tuesday said the march will cover 15 Assembly constituencies before reaching Bengaluru.

12:31 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Bengaluru Metro: TBM Urja to start tunnelling stretch between Cantonment and Pottery Town

Bengaluru Metro’s tunnel boring machine (TBM) Urja will start tunnelling the stretch between Cantonment and Pottery Town stations, a distance of 907 metre, from Wednesday, said Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) officials Tuesday. Urja achieved a breakthrough after tunnelling between Cantonment and Shivajinagar in September this year. “It was transported and reassembled for its next journey,” officials added.

Read more

12:12 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Karnataka: Police invite applications from transgenders; community members happy about decision

In a landmark move, the police department invited applications from the members of the transgender community for the post of special reserve sub-inspector in Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB). Notably, the Karnataka High Court earlier this year asked the government to provide 1 per cent reservation to transgenders in state-owned enterprises.

Following the court order, the Karnataka government had issued a notification extending 1 per cent reservation to transgenders in any service or post in all categories of employment to be filled through the direct recruitment process.

Read more

11:57 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Bengaluru: 3 booked for forcing Dalit employee to enter manhole at private hospital

Three staffers of a private hospital in Bengaluru were booked for allegedly forcing a 53-year-old Dalit employee to clean a clogged manhole at the hospital, police said Tuesday. According to the complaint, when the employee refused to enter the manhole, the accused threatened to terminate him from his services. Afraid of losing his job, the man risked his life and entered the manhole.

A week later on December 9, he approached an NGO, Samata Sainik Dal, and on December 15, a complaint was lodged at the Halasuru police station.

Read more

11:34 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Shoot those who vandalised Rayanna statue: Karnataka minister in Assembly

Amid mounting tensions between Kannada and Maharashtra activists in Karnataka, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, K S Eshwarappa, on Monday said those who defaced the statue of freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna and set the Karnataka flag ablaze must be shot dead. He was speaking at the ongoing winter session of the state Assembly.

“The act of vandalising the statue of freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna and burning the Kannada flag is highly condemnable and the miscreants should be tracked and shot dead,” he said. The statement, however, did not elicit any reaction from other members of the House.

Read more

11:09 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Like UP law, Karnataka anti-conversion Bill addresses right wing concerns on ‘love jihad’

The Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill 2021, introduced in the state Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, aims to fulfil two demands of the core support base of the right-wing BJP government in the state – prevention of forced religious conversions and the so-called ‘love jihad’.

Ban on conversions for marriage

While the stated objective of the proposed law is to prevent forced religious conversions, the Bill also contains clauses that are intended to curb conversions for marriages – termed ‘love jihad’ by the BJP’s right-wing support base. This is along the lines of clauses in the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, commonly referred to as the ‘love jihad’ law.

Read more

10:55 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Power cuts in several parts of Bengaluru for maintenance work today

Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) officials have announced that power will be suspended in several parts of Bengaluru today for carrying out maintenance work in the city. Parts of Bengaluru will face a power shutdown from 10 am to 5:30 pm.

According to BESCOM, the following neighbourhoods in Bengaluru will be affected:

East zone: Jogupalya Road, Cambridge Layout, Double Road, 11th Main Domlur, KG Pura, Hanumanthaiah Garden, Davis Road, Wheeler Road, Hutchins Road, Ashoka Road, North Road, Dcosta Layout, Vivekananda nagar, Jaibharath Nagar, CK Garden, Manjunathnagar, Manyata Residency and Gayatri Layout will be affected, between 10 am and 5 pm.

Read more

10:40 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Full-blown third wave or mild effect? An expert weighs in amid Omicron scare

With 19 confirmed cases of Omicron in Karnataka till now, an expert, a member of the state genomic surveillance committee, is looking at two possibilities — either a full-blown third wave or a mild effect of the new variant due to a high percentage of vaccination coverage. However, he warned that if the former happens, the state should be prepared for lockdowns and other restrictions.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Dr Vishal Rao, who is also the Regional Director – Head & Neck Surgical Oncology and Robotic Surgery, HCG Cancer Hospital, said while there is a global spike in the number of Covid-19 cases, primarily due to the Omicron variant, currently, it is under control in India.

Read more

10:21 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Karnataka govt tables anti-conversion bill, Oppn alleges there was no prior intimation

The state government Tuesday tabled the controversial Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill 2021, commonly known as the anti-conversion bill, at its ongoing winter session in Belagavi. However, the Opposition attacked the government for keeping them in the dark regarding its introduction. Home Minister Araga Jnanendra tabled the Bill on Tuesday afternoon and Congress leaders took objection over the manner in which it was introduced. The Cabinet had cleared the Bill on Monday, but no official information was shared about introducing it in the House.

10:09 (IST)22 Dec 2021
Earthquake of 3.3 magnitude reported in Karnataka’s Chikkaballapura district

An Earthquake of a 3.3 magnitude was reported in Chikkaballapura district, Karnataka on Wednesday. The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) said “As per the Seismic Intensity map of the said Earthquakes from the Epicentre, the intensities observed are low and the tremors might be felt up to a maximum radial distance of 10-15 kms. These type of earthquakes do not create any harm to the local community, although there may be slight shaking observed locally. The Community need not panic as the intensity observed is low and not destructive.”

Bengaluru Metro’s tunnel boring machine (TBM) Urja will start tunnelling the stretch between Cantonment and Pottery Town stations, a distance of 907 metre, from Wednesday, said Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) officials Tuesday.

Urja achieved a breakthrough after tunnelling between Cantonment and Shivajinagar in September this year. “It was transported and reassembled for its next journey,” officials added. Urja, which has drilled a distance of 855 metre for over a year, is the first TBM to achieve a breakthrough on Namma Metro’s Pink Line from Kalenga Agrahara to Nagawara (21 km).

READ | Bengaluru Metro: TBM Urja to start tunnelling stretch between Cantonment and Pottery Town

Amid mounting tensions between Kannada and Maharashtra activists in Karnataka, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, K S Eshwarappa, on Monday said those who defaced the statue of freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna and set the Karnataka flag ablaze must be shot dead. He was speaking at the ongoing winter session of the state Assembly.

“The act of vandalising the statue of freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna and burning the Kannada flag is highly condemnable and the miscreants should be tracked and shot dead,” he said. The statement, however, did not elicit any reaction from other members of the House.

READ | Shoot those who vandalised Rayanna statue: Karnataka minister in Assembly

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