April 13, 2021 8:58:45 am
The Second Wave
“We have followed the Government of India’s guidelines 100 per cent.” That was Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat insisting that his government is implementing Covid-19 guidelines at the Kumbh Mela. His claim, however, fell short on the second shahi snan when over 28 lakh devotees turned up in Haridwar by Monday evening. The Indian Express found that there were no arrangements for thermal screening at the ghats, no action was being taken against those not wearing masks, and checking devotees for their Covid-negative RT-PCR report was lax.
- Amid shortages of vaccine doses, India’s top drug regulatory body gave its nod for emergency use of Russia’s Sputnik V.
- The CBSE Board may not hold exams as per the schedule, given the spike in coronavirus cases across the country.
- Manufacturers of Remdesivir say they are under immense political pressure for supplies and are fielding calls from politicians across party lines.
Only in the Express
Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes on the Gyanvapi Mosque-Kashi Vishwanath dispute: “The Gyanvapi order combined with the Supreme Court’s willingness to entertain a plea challenging the Places of Worship Act (Special Provisions), 1991 is going to open another communal front. In the case of the Gyanvapi Mosque, there is no real dispute. It is widely accepted that parts of the Vishwanath temple were destroyed and its walls may have been raised on the plinth of the temple.”
From the Front page
West Bengal Chief Minister Banerjee is set to sit on dharna today in protest against the Election Commission’s decision to ban her from campaigning for 24 hours. She attracted the EC censure for her “highly insinuating” and “provocative remarks” against Central forces deployed in the state on election duty. Meanwhile, a senior BJP functionary said security forces should have killed eight people instead of the four shot dead in Sitalkuchi.
Rejecting the submission that only 20 people be allowed to enter the Nizamuddin Markaz, the Delhi High Court asked the Centre and Delhi Police to open Masjid Bangley Wali for prayers during Ramzan. The court observed that no other religious place has such norms in place.
In a virtual semi-final for the Assembly polls next year, the panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh will soon be underway with over 3 lakh candidates contesting in the first phase alone. Given the numbers, just getting the applicants to adhere to Covid norms is turning out to be a nightmare for officials. Photos have emerged of long queues and unruly crowds scrambling for forms before nomination deadlines, without masks and not following any social distancing.
Former special CBI court judge Surendra Kumar Yadav, who passed the judgment in the Babri Masjid demolition case, was appointed Uttar Pradesh’s deputy Lokayukta on Monday. Yadav, on the day of his retirement, had acquitted all 32 surviving accused, including senior BJP leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, citing lack of evidence.
It’s not just the BJP that’s turned the smartphone into an election rally ground. As the fifth phase of Assembly elections nears in West Bengal, the ruling TMC has ramped up its online operations, too.
How low is a legal side-arm delivery? Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Riyan Parag tested the limit with a side-arm ball during the game against Punjab Kings. He dropped his bowling arm so low that it almost veered into underarm territory.
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