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Thursday, March 04, 2021

Daily Briefing: Bihar sets up 10 teams to check Covid testing after Express Investigation; At least 2 power projects of U’khand disaster flagged by PMO two years back

Newsclick raids continues; J&K DDC polls results; Uttrakhand's route to devastation; P. Chidambaram on "Andolanjeevis." Take a look at the top news for today

Written by Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 14, 2021 9:06:14 am
Daily briefing: Congress Puducherry govt falls, BJP, ADMK weigh options; Bombay High Court gives Varavara Rao bailA look at the top news today, February 23, 2021.

Only in the Express

In the wake of The Indian Express investigation that found glaring gaps in Covid-19 testing records, the Bihar Health Department announced the setting up of 10 teams to randomly verify testing data from across all the state’s 38 districts. While the state is still testing about 20,000 RT-PCR samples per day, districts have been told not to “rush to meet target”.

Exactly two years ago, records show, the two power projects hit by the glacial flood burst in Uttarakhand last Sunday were in a list of 13 flagged at a meeting in the Prime Minister’s Office. Less than three weeks after that PMO meeting, CM Trivendra Singh Rawat wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, underlining the hydroelectricity’s importance for the state’s energy security and employment. 

Former union minister P Chidambaram writes: “Andolanjeevis will ultimately prevail over those who will suppress speech, writing, expression, dissent, protests, agitations or movements.”

From the Front Page 

 ED officials camping at the residence of NewsClick editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha and author Githa Haraharan finally completed their search on the fifth day. Usually, ED searches get over within a couple of days. Officials claimed the raid continued because of “technical issues”. 

The coalition of J&K’s mainstream parties that contested the District Development Council elections together had managed to secure control of only five of the 10 councils in Kashmir despite winning the maximum seats.  In Jammu, the coalition as well as the Congress failed to get a single council with six of the 10 DDCs going to the BJP

Must Read 

A week after a flash flood struck Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, The Sunday Express travels along the route of the devastation to find that as the raging water destroyed everything that came in its way — homes, projects, trees, lives — it left behind a few lessons, and several questions

With temperatures rising over the past week in the national capital, farmers and coordinators at the Singhu protest site are getting ready for their second change of season. “Our village has collected around Rs. 1.5 lakh in funds. Once it gets warmer, we will purchase an AC and generator,” says a farmer. 

Five persons including an international referee and two women wrestlers were shot dead in cold blood by a disgruntled former employee of a wrestling academy in Haryana. The shooter was removed from his job after facing allegations of harassing a woman wrestler. 

ICYMI 

Union Home Minister Amit Shah told Lok Sabha that Jammu and Kashmir will be granted statehood at an “appropriate time.” Shah also said that it is a “sensitive part of the country” which has been “wounded many times” and it is the “duty of this House to apply balm on it, and not scratch it”.

The Supreme Court has dismissed petitions seeking review of its judgment of the Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protests case, reiterating that the Constitutional guarantee of the right to protest comes with certain duties and there cannot be continued occupation of a public place in case of prolonged dissent or protest.

In a video widely shared on social media, Haryana Agriculture Minister J P Dalal is purportedly heard responding to a media query on over 200 farmers’ deaths during the ongoing stir and commenting that they would have died even if they had stayed back home.

Petrol price in Mumbai neared record Rs 95 per litre mark on Saturday as its rate as well as diesel prices were hiked for the fifth day in a row.

The seaplane service of SpiceJet from Ahmedabad to Kevadia launched in October last year has been suspended for the third time as it has gone for maintenance to its home country Maldives.

And Finally

This Valentine’s Day, The Sunday Eye looks at how India loves, through the stories of four couples who have overcome odds to be together. The first is about how a same-sex couple met at a mental-health centre, hit it off, and have been striving to seek social acceptance and legal right to marry and live like heterosexual couples.

Inside Track: Why would Uddhav Thackeray’s government choose to embarrass Maharashtra’s icons Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar by ordering an inquiry into their tweets in defence of the Centre’s farm policies? The object is not to target the Bharat Ratna awardees, but an attempt to prove that some persons in the BJP’s publicity wing had access to the social media accounts of the VIPs and were tweeting on their behalf. 

 

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