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Amarinder sees bigger design of Pak Army in Kartarpur affair

Amarinder said in the interview that the demand for opening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor was pending since partition as several holy Sikh shrines (Sri Nankana Sahib, Sri Panja Sahib, Dera Sahib and Kartarpur Sahib) had gone to Pakistan.

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Amrinder Singh

Chandigarh, Dec 9 (IANS) Dubbing the whole affair initiated by Pakistan on the Kartarpur corridor as a “bigger conspiracy” hatched by the Pakistan Army, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said the hostile neighbour is trying to revive militancy in Punjab but it will not be allowed to succeed.

Citing that Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had “broken the news of opening the Kartarpur Corridor to Navjot Singh Sidhu even before Imran Khan was sworn in as their Prime Minister”, Amarinder said the whole affair smacked of a bigger conspiracy.

“The opening of the Kartarpur corridor is clearly a game plan of the ISI (Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence). A bigger conspiracy seems to have been hatched by Pakistan Army against India. Pakistan is attempting to revive militancy in Punjab and thus everyone should be wary of all of its overtures, no matter how grand they appear to be,” Amarinder told a TV news channel.

“The Sidhu affair is being unnecessarily hyped and those raising it have clearly failed to see the ISI game plan, said Amarinder, lashing out at the Akalis for branding the Punjab Minister as stooge of the Pakistan Prime Minister,” the Chief Minister’s spokesperson said here on Sunday.

Dismissing the issue as “nothing more than a credit war”, Amarinder lambasted the Akalis and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) central leadership “for indulging in unwarranted controversy over his (Chief Minister’s) relations with Sidhu in a bid to divert public attention from the core issue of Pakistan’s continued and deliberate perpetration of terror activities in Punjab with the ultimate aim of destabilising the border state”.

Amarinder said in the interview that the demand for opening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor was pending since partition as several holy Sikh shrines (Sri Nankana Sahib, Sri Panja Sahib, Dera Sahib and Kartarpur Sahib) had gone to Pakistan.

“Even former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh had taken up the issue of opening the Kartarpur Corridor with Pakistan. I had myself raised this issue with my Pakistan Punjab counterpart Parvez Elahi and with then President Parvez Musharraf during my previous tenure as Chief Minister,” Amarinder pointed out.

The Chief Minister said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan “is undoubtedly making efforts to bring peace, tranquility and harmony with India”, but at the same time he should also prevail upon the top brass of Pakistani Army to ensure that killings of Indian soldiers at borders are stopped immediately.

Asked why he opted not to go to Pakistan for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, Amarinder said he declined the invite because he could not think of going there while Indian soldiers and civilians were being killed by the Pakistan Army.

On the issue of Navjot Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan for the ground-breaking ceremony, the Chief Minister said he had told Sidhu that he had declined the invite by writing a letter to the Pakistan Minister for foreign affairs, and had also shared a copy of the same on the social media. Despite his advice against going to Pakistan, Sidhu went ahead due to his friendship with Imran Khan,” said the Chief Minister, adding that “this was not unreasonable”.

He said that he himself has many friends there, including former Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi.

“We had been meeting frequently during my previous tenure and Elahi had also been coming to meet me in Patiala,” Amarinder said.

Downplaying the controversy around his rumoured feud with Sidhu, Amarinder said Navjot Sidhu is a “likeable person” and he shares warm ties with even Sidhu’s parents when the cricketer-turned-minister’s father was president of Patiala district Congress unit and his (Amarinder’s) mother Mohinder Kaur was the Member of Parliament from Patiala.

The Chief Minister said that he and Sidhu “were not at loggerheads as reported by the media and he has absolutely no problems with Sidhu in running the government”.

Amarinder said that Sidhu always speaks in a forthright manner and his only problem is that “sometimes he shoots before he thinks”.

Responding to another question regarding Sidhu’s remarks that Rahul Gandhi is his captain, the Chief Minister said that this was hardly any issue to be raised as Sidhu has always treated him (Amarinder) as a “fatherly figure”.

Amarinder Singh warned Pakistan against carrying on its nefarious designs and urged it to desist from trying to foment trouble in Punjab.

“General Bajwa should understand that Punjab Police is fully geared up to take Pakistan head-on, if it continues to vitiate peaceful atmosphere of the state through terror. Bajwa is sadly mistaken in underestimating the unbounded capacities and capabilities of Punjab Police in facing any daunting challenge,” the Chief Minister said.

He advised Bajwa “not to compare Punjab with the 1970s and 1980s when its police force was a meager 16000-17000”.

“The force now is well equipped with high tech weapons and ammunition, along with professionally committed commando battalions and the Punjab Armed Force, to effectively tackle any challenging task,” the Chief Minister asserted.

Reiterating his government’s commitment to break the backbone of terrorism, Amarinder said that no one would be allowed to push Punjab back into the black days of terrorism.

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700 Doctors At Delhi Civic-Body Hospitals Go On Indefinite Strike Over Pending Salaries

Resident doctors of Hindu Rao Hospital are on a relay hunger strike for the last couple of days, demanding release of their pending salaries too.

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Doctors Protest for Salary

New Delhi: Patients of North Corporation-run hospitals faced hardship as the senior doctors there went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday, a day after they had gone on casual leave en masse over their pending salaries.

Maruti Sinha, general secretary of the Municipal Corporation Doctors’ Association (MCDA) said, “Our demands, which include release of pending salaries for the last three months, have not been met, so we are now on an indefinite strike”.

MCDA, an association of senior permanent doctors of the civic hospitals, was established in 1974, and has about 1200 members. It also includes doctors from hospitals run by other two municipal corporations.

“We have about 700 doctors from the North Corporation hospital who are part of MCDA. We all went on mass casual leave in protest. And, even though our conscience doesn’t allow, our doctors did not attend to patients even in emergency wards,” Sinha said on Monday.

Patients at Hindu Rao Hospital and other North Delhi Municipal Corporation-run hospitals faced inconvenience as doctors struck work to press for their demands. Authorities may have taken services of contractual doctors, she said.

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Services were also hit on Monday when the senior doctors went on a mass casual leave and did not even attend to patients in the emergency department.

Resident doctors of Hindu Rao Hospital are on a relay hunger strike for the last couple of days, demanding release of their pending salaries too.

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Covid cases cross 8-lakh mark in Karnataka, 10k recover

Out of 1,00,511 tests conducted in a day, 17,729 were through rapid antigen detection and 82,782 through RT-PCR.

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Coronavirus in India

Bengaluru, Oct 25 : With 4,439 new cases in a day, Covid tally in Karnataka crossed 8-lakh (8,02,817), including 81,050 active cases, while 10,106 were discharged, taking recoveries to 7,10,843 till date.

“The death toll rose to 10,905, with 32 succumbing to the infection during the last 24 hours across the state, including 20 in Bengaluru, which increased its toll to 3,734 till Saturday,” said the state health bulletin on Sunday.

As epicentre of the virus, accounting for 50 per cent of the state’s cases, Bengaluru Urban district registered 2,468 fresh cases in the last 24 hours, taking its Covid tally to 3,25,773, including 51,672 active cases, while 2,70,366 recovered so far, with 6,759 discharged on Saturday.

Among the districts, Bengaluru Rural recorded 234 positive cases, Tumakuru 141, Mysuru 140 and Dakshina Kannada 139.

After Bengaluru, 415 were discharged from Hassan, followed by Mysuru 366, Chikkaballapur 233 and Dakshina Kannada 211.

Of the 939 patients in the intensive care units (ICUs), 432 are in Bengaluru hospitals, 61 in Ballari, 44 in Hassan and 38 in Chamarajangara district.

Out of 1,00,511 tests conducted in a day, 17,729 were through rapid antigen detection and 82,782 through RT-PCR.

“Positivity rate of the state has further declined to 4.41 per cent and case fatality rate to 0.72 per cent,” added the bulletin.

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Over 1700 challans issued on Dussehra for violating Covid norms

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Dussehra

New Delhi, Oct 25: The Delhi Police issued over 1,793 challans on Sunday on the occasion of Dussehra for violation of COVID-19 norms, officials said.

A total of 1,711 challans were issued to those who were found not wearing masks, 18 challans for spitting and 64 challans were issued to those found violating social distancing norms, according to the Delhi Police data.

A total of 1,793 challans have been issued for various violations till 4 p.m. on Sunday, officials said.

Citing the collective data, the Delhi Police said since June 1,54,26,561 challans have been issued for mask violation, 3,112 challans for spitting and 33,439 challans for violation of social distancing norms.

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