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7 more Air India cabin crew among 58 new corona cases in Kerala




Thiruvananthapuram, May 30 (IANS) Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja on Saturday said that 58 new coronavirus cases were reported in the southern state, including seven more Air India cabin crew.

As on date, she said, there are 624 corona patients under treatment. As many as 575 patients have so far been cured.

It was on May 7 that the air evacuation operations began from the Middle East.

On Friday, the first case of two Air India cabin crew testing corona positive had surfaced. So, nine cabin crew of Air India have so far tested positive.

Kerala has four international airports where evacuation flights had landed.

Of the 58 new cases, 17 were returnees from abroad, and 31 returnees from within India. Only 2 cases were of local infections.

As on date, 1,28,953 people are quarantined at homes and 1,204 in various hospitals.

Shailaja said that in the past 24 hours 3,206 samples was send for testing.

On Saturday, five more hot spot areas was added, taking the total numbers in the state to 106.

In a related development, the relatives of a patient who died of Covid on Friday at the Kottayam Medical College Hospital have written to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Shailaja to allege serious lapses in the treatment at Pathanamthitta’s state-run hospital.

Shailaja on Friday had claimed that the patient was obese and diabetic.

The 68-year-old person had visited UAE and returned on May 11. He was moved from an isolation facility to the Pathanamthitta hospital on May 18 and to Kottayam Medical College Hospital on May 25.

The bereaved family claimed that even though it was said that the treatment is free, they had shelled out over Rs 80,000 for his treatment.

The hospital authorities however denied any lapses and said everything was done according to the WHO guidelines.


Cancel exams, pass students on past performances: Rahul




Rahul Gandhi Video Conf

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Friday questioned the University Grants Commission (UGC)’s decision to hold examinations during the Covid-19 pandemic, calling it “extremely unfair”.

With #SpeakUpForStudents, Rahul tweeted, “It is extremely unfair to conduct exams during the Covid19 pandemic. UGC must hear the voice of the students and academics. Exams should be cancelled and students promoted on basis of past performance.” (sic)

The UGC has decided to hold final-year examinations for college and university students compulsorily. 

Former UGC chairman Sukhadeo Thorat, who remained in his office between 2006 and 2011, has called the UGC’s move as “unfortunate”.

“The UGC’s latest advisory on examinations is unfortunate because it takes us backwards rather than forward. It effectively extends the period for holding of exams (for final-year/semester cohorts) until September, the second such postponement. And it creates fresh uncertainty for states that had already decided to cancel exams,” Thorat wrote in a letter to current UGC chairman Dhirendra Pal Singh on Thursday as reported by The Print.

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Muslim leaders threaten protest over razed mosques in Telangana secretariat




asaduddin owaisi

Hyderabad, July 10 (IANS) AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, religious scholars and leaders of various Muslims organisations have condemned demolition of two mosques in the premises of old secretariat in Hyderabad and demanded their immediate reconstruction.

Hyderabad MP and other leaders of the United Muslim Forum (UMF), an umbrella organization of different Muslim groups, said the ”tragic” and ”unconstitutional” demolition of the two mosques caused pain and agony to the Muslims.

Owaisi, whose All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) is a friendly party of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), and other leaders warned that if the government failed to take steps for reconstruction of the demolished mosques at the same place without any delay, Muslims would be forced to launch strong protest.

They said Muslims were angry with the government over its action because according to the Islamic belief a mosque remains the property of Almighty Allah and its status can never be altered.

They stated in a joint statement that the demolition of two mosques shocked the confidence of Muslim community in Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, who have been projecting himself as a secular.

Demanding that the demolished mosques be rebuilt at the same place, they said Muslims could never accept their reconstruction at other place.

The joint statement was issued by Asaduddin Owaisi, his brother and AIMIM floor leader in Telangana Assembly Akbaruddin Owaisi, Moulana Akbar Nizamuddun and Moulana Mufti Khaleel Ahmed of Jamia Nizamia, president of MUF Moulana Rahmeeuddin Ansari, Jamaate-Islami”s Telangana unit chief Moulana Hamid Mohammed Khan, Jamiatul Ulema Telangana and Andhra Pradesh unit president Moulana Hafiz Peer Shabbir Ahmed, eminent religious scholars Moulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, Moulana Jaffer Pasha and others.

The leaders pointed out that both the mosques (Masjid-e-Hashmi and Secretariat mosque) had their record in Waqf Board and official gazette notification.

Meanwhile, in a delayed move Waqf Board sent a letter to the secretary, minorities welfare, urging him to save both the mosques. Waqf Board Chief Executive Officer Abdul Hameed, along with the letter, also sent gazette notifications of the mosques. He wrote that demolition could anger Muslims leading to law and order problems.

As per the Waqf Board record the Secretariat Mosque was spread over 677 square yards. Namaz used to be regularly offered there till recently. Even after shifting of the secretariat to nearby BRK Bhavan last year, prayers continued at the mosque and it was only after COVID-19 breakout and resultant lockdown that people had stopped offering prayers there.

In 2008, during the regime of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy in undivided Andhra Pradesh, the minorities welfare department had released Rs 35 lakh for renovation of the mosque and the work was completed in 2010.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir who was a minister in Rajasekhara Reddy”s cabinet said the TRS government hurt the sentiments of the Muslims and the Hindus by demolishing two mosques and a temple at the old secretariat complex. He recalled that in a letter to the chief minister on June 27, 2019 he had appealed to him to save the places of worship.

Shabbir said some ministers had assured that the places of worship would be protected. The Congress leader said the TRS government betrayed the people by demolishing the mosques and the temple.


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Hours before Dubey’s encounter, plea in SC apprehended Vikas’ fate




Supreme Court

New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking directions for the Uttar Pradesh government to conduct a thorough investigation into the killing/alleged encounter of five aides of gangster Vikas Dubey who might have been involved in the killing of eight policemen in Kanpur on July 3.

The petitioner also expressed apprehension of Dubey”s encounter killing and sought CBI probe into the matter. The plea was moved on Thursday evening by advocate and petitioner-in-person Ghanshyam Upadhyay seeking urgent hearing on the matter.

Hours later on Friday, Dubey was killed after being critically injured in an alleged shootout with STF officials on way to Kanpur. He was shot when he reportedly tried to flee, following a road accident in which the vehicle he was travelling in overturned.

The plea contended the debates on news channels indicate that Dubey got himself arrested by Madhya Pradesh police to avoid his encounter by Uttar Pradesh police. “Thus, there is every possibility that even accused Vikas Dubey shall be killed by Uttar Pradesh Police like other co-accused once his custody is obtained by Uttar Pradesh Police. Since, killing of the accused by the police in the name of encounter even in howsoever heinous crime is against the rule of law and serious violation of human right and this is nothing short of Talibanisation of the country and hence the instant petition,” said the plea.

The plea contended that acts of Uttar Pradesh Police/administration of pulling down/demolishing the residential building, shopping mall of Dubey and also his expensive cars/vehicles and various other movable/immovable properties with the help of bulldozer, JCB, Poclain machines is highly illegal and impermissible in law.

“Punishing the accused/culprit after his crime being proved, is the function of the competent court of law and thus, police cannot usurp jurisdiction to itself to punish the accused by killing him in the name of encounter before his crime being proved in accordance with law,” said the plea.

The petitioner urged the top court to direct the UP police to register an FIR in the incident of pulling down/demolishing the residential building, shopping mall of accused Vikas Dubey and so all his expensive cars/vehicles and various other movable/immovable properties with the help of bulldozer, JCB machines and further killing of five co-accused, who were alleged to be involved in killing of eight policemen and transfer the investigations to the Central Bureau of Investigation.


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