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Monday, May 10, 2021

Daily briefing: Covid transmission rate goes up; Cart puller arrested over recovery damages for anti-CAA riots

From the Indian and Chinese troops deciding to move back in the Hot Springs sector to former former Indian Navy official Kulbushan Jadhav's alleged refusal to file an appeal against his death sentence, here are the top stories from the print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 9, 2020 9:16:38 am
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Dear Reader,

The Big Story

Do kilometre ki doori: That’s the mantra both the Indian and Chinese sides appear to be following while ordering their troops to step back from friction points. On Wednesday, keeping pace with the slow process of disengagement on the Line of Actual Control, both sides moved back by around 2 km from the standoff site at PP15 in the Hot Springs sector. The Indian Express has learnt that the disengagement process is built on a four-pronged disengagement approach that includes keeping adequate troops in depth areas until it is completed.

From Front Page

Pakistan claims that former Indian Navy official Kulbushan Jadhav, who was convicted on charges of spying and terrorist activities in Pakistan, has refused to appeal against his death sentence. India aptly responded to the claim, saying it is “continuation of the farce” in play for the last four years.

A fortnight after coming under the BJP radar, the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and two other trusts linked to the Nehru-Gandhi family will be probed by the Centre in connection with alleged violation of various Acts including money laundering. The Congress termed the government’s move as “cowardly” and a “blind witch-hunt”. “

Three members of a family, all linked to the BJP, were killed in a militant attack on Wednesday evening in North Kashmir’s Bandipore, leading to the arrest of their entire security detail. The high-profile killings in a fortified zone came as a shock for the security establishment, especially as Bandipore has been relatively calm in recent years.

The Pandemic

From cylinders to concentrators, the demand for medical oxygen has shot up ever since it emerged as a key element in the treatment of Covid. Such is demand that many dealers of concentrators, most of which are imported from China, say they are out of stock. Going against expert advice that oxygen must be only used under medical supervision, even residential societies are snapping up oxygen cylinders.  

The Covid-19 transmission rate in India has increased for the first time since March. India’s Covid-19 reproduction number, or R, which estimates the number of people infected by one already infected person, was on a steady decline from 1.83 for months since March 4. However, in the first week of the second unlocking phase in July, the rate has shown an increase for the first time, research by the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai shows.

Khagaria district in Bihar, where Narendra Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Abhiyan, seems to have had little to offer to migrants who returned. Take Alauli for example. It has 21 panchayats but barely 10 have so far started some works under the ambitious campaign. “These small works with little income cannot hold back workers in Bihar for long,” says Brajesh Kumar.

A demolition amid the pandemic left several East Delhi residents in the lurch on Wednesday.

In Brief

* The surge in polymer content that set off the leak at Visakhapatnam in May and claimed lives  had also happened barely 10 days earlier but no serious note was taken, a probe team has found.

* A coastal village on the outskirts of Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram has emerged as a sensitive Covid-19 hotspot after over 100 people in the area tested positive for the virus in last one week.

* The Centre has “taken a serious note” of the gold smuggling case wherein a senior IAS officer was removed as principal secretary to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

* Ninety-seven per cent of the Congress’ total foreign funds came from the Rural India Supporting Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (both US-based), and the Delhi-based Public Health Foundation of India.

* At a time when the BJP in Chhattisgarh is mocking the Congress-led government’s scheme to purchase cow dung, the RSS has come out in praise of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel for the scheme.

Beyond Covid-19

“Workers like me wonder, even you must be wondering, how to work with Congress leaders we fought against.” Encapsulating the dilemma of party workers who will have to campaign for former Congress leaders in the upcoming Madhya Pradesh bypolls, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said that he often sensed their discomfiture at the prospect of seeking votes for their formal rivals

A cart puller in Lucknow has been arrested for failing to pay for the damages related to the anti-CAA and NRC protests in December last year. Tehsildar (Sadar) Shambhu Sharan, who is overseeing the recovery process in the city, said: “Mohammad Kaleem will be released after 14 days and we will see what assets he has and will auction them.”

And finally

A pandal, a complimentary banquet hall, e-invites, henna artists, music, all-day meals, including starters and mocktails — and of course, hand sanitisers, social distancing and seating only for 50. The Gujarat government has opened bookings for a “perfect destination wedding” against the backdrop of a picturesque location and open-to-sky setting at the Statue of Unity complex on the Narmada Dam.

🎧 In today’s episode of Three Things Podcast, we discuss how a raid to catch Vikas Dubey, a local gangster in Uttar Pradesh, went horribly wrong and its fallout. 

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