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COVID-19 suspects running away due to lack of trust in government: AAP

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Saurabh Bhardwaj

New Delhi, March 16 Aam Aadmi Party MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj on Monday reacted on a news which claimed that 11 coronavirus suspects flee from a hospital in Maharashtra, saying, they should not be blamed, instead, all governments should focus on building trust that suspects and corona positive will be treated with dignity.

In a series of tweets, he asked why a sick person would run away from treatments and said we should imagine the worst conditions or harassment the patients would have faced.

“If suspects are running away, don’t blame them. Imagine the worst conditions or harassment they would have faced,” the AAP spokesperson said.

In another tweet, he said he is sure that the patients would be facing harassment like HIV positives. The suspects have a travel history to Dubai.

“Why will a sick person run away from treatment? I am sure they would be facing harassment like HIV positive. Governments should invest on creating enormous sized Quarantine facilities. All governments should focus on building trust that suspects and corona positive cases will be treated with dignity,” the Greater Kailash MLA said.

Bhardwaj said some people are thinking that others are stupid, that’s why they ran away from the hospital.

“Everyone loves his life. Nobody wants to run away from the hospital to their home and give the disease to their children also. Find out the root cause of the problem, why are the patients running away from the hospital? The media the government should investigate and remove loopholes,” he said.

Cities

Uttar Pradesh: 26 persons bitten by snake

Several villages in the area are currently waterlogged due to heavy rains and snakes are crawling out in large numbers.

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Snake Viper Bite

Bahraich (UP), Aug 7 : In the past 10 days, around 26 people have been bitten by snakes in Chilbila village of Bahraich district out of which one died earlier this week.

The person who died has been identified as Munshi Ram. Now, scared villagers are claiming that it is the same snake that has been biting people. The snake scare has gripped the villagers and some of them have even started leaving the village.

“Snakes are also biting the cattle while this particular female serpent was targeting the residents of our village,” said Pappu, a villager.

The locals are also calling snake charmers to catch the snake.

“This is the rainy season and there are a large number of snakes. We cannot catch all of them,” said Sharifa, a snake charmer.

Several villages in the area are currently waterlogged due to heavy rains and snakes are crawling out in large numbers.

The primary health centre, which is well stocked with snake vaccine, has been witnessing a rush of snake-bite victims.

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Kerala: 15 dead, over 60 missing in Idukki landslide

The landslide occurred after heavy rains over the last few days in the area mostly inhabited by tea estate workers

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Kerala Landslide

Heavy rain followed by a landslide at Rajamalai in Idukki district on Thursday night has left at least 15 persons dead, including a child, and more than 60 others are reported missing, a police official said on Friday.

The latest reports indicate that there were nearly 100 people in the locality, most of whom had returned to the area following the Covid scare. The landslide occurred after heavy rains over the last few days in the area mostly inhabited by tea estate workers.

The place where the tragedy occurred is nearly 30 km from the popular tourist destination Munnar.

A police official taking part in the rescue operations said 15 bodies had been recovered and nearly 67 people were missing.

Incessant rains for the last four days have hampered rescue operations, added the police official.

Meanwhile, the state government has appointed IGP Gopesh Agarwal as special officer to coordinate the rescue and relief operations in the locality.

A 200-member team of Kerala police and other teams from the NDRF, fire brigade, local people and volunteers have reached the spot for rescue work. By the time of filing this report, 16 persons had been rescued.

Meanwhile, a larger tragedy was averted when a bridge connecting the accident site to the main road, which was partially damaged, was quickly made motorable enabling numerous ambulances to take the injured to the hospital.

The women of the locality work in tea estates of the area while most men work as jeep drivers. The authorities got to know of the tragedy after two residents reached a nearby forest station and informed officials late Thursday night.

Deepan, one of the four survivors admitted to a hospital in Munnar said he had no clue about his father and his wife who were with him in the house when the landslide occurred. His mother has, however, been moved to the Kottayam Medical College hospital in a serious condition.

“For the past 10 days, it has been pouring. The landslide occurred around 10.30 pm on Thursday. I do not know about my father, wife, and my brother’s family. There are three rows of houses in the cluster where nearly 80 people live. Do not know what has happened to them. Nearly 30 jeeps were buried in the landslide,” Deepan said.

The Kerala government’s efforts to get an air rescue team to the spot failed due to inclement weather. However, two teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were reportedly on the way to the disaster site.

All communication lines to the area have been snapped and roads to the hilly area are blocked due to uprooting of trees, officials said.

State Power minister MM Mani, who hails from the district, said the landslide had occurred at a place where tea estate workers were staying.

“I will not quote any figure as I do not have sufficient information. The place is at the top of a hill. We are awaiting a response, the local legislator is also going to the spot. All emergency services have been pressed into service,” Mani added.

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‘Politically motivated activism’: Ex-judges, CEC counter pro-Bhushan lobby

“We concerned citizens, hereby disapprove of this group in its acts of routinely producing a negative public narrative replete with disrespect to Indian democratic institutions,” wrote the group of 174.

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Prashant Bhushan Lawyer

New Delhi, Aug 7 : Trouble for prominent lawyer Prashant Bhushan seems to be far from over. After 131 “prominent personalities” urged the Supreme Court to withdraw its contempt notice against Bhushan, a group of 174 eminent citizens have countered it, including 2 former High Court Chief Justices, in a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind.

In a no holds barred attack on the first letter in support of Bhushan, the 174 people including former Rajasthan Chief Justice Anil Deo Singh, former Foreign Secretary Amar Sinha and former Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami termed the ones vouching for Bhushan, as an “odd group of persons”.

Bhushan is being tried for contempt in the Supreme Court.

“It is a matter of concern that one odd group of persons, claiming themselves to be distinguished public men of the past, has been observed to repeatedly avail of every opportunity to put Indian democracy and its sacred institutions like Parliament, Election Commission of India, and now the Supreme Court of India, in poor light before the whole world. They end up issuing ill-considered statements, and writing misconceived communications to various authorities to attract media attention,” wrote the anti-Bhushan group, in a damning counter.

This was a reference to the previous group of 131 citizens which included former Supreme Court judge Justice Madan Lokur and Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav, expressing solidarity with Prashant Bhushan. Their statement, arguing for Bhushan read, “The initiation of contempt proceedings against Mr Bhushan, who had articulated some of these concerns in his tweets, appears to be an attempt at stifling such criticism, not just by Mr Bhushan, but by all stakeholders in the Indian democratic and constitutional set-up.”

But on Friday, in their letter to the President, the 174 others retorted, saying, “Freedom of speech is another foundation of democracy, but the freedom to speak can certainly not be misconstrued as a freedom to make a hate speech, subversive speech with the intent to shred national integrity, a diatribe undermining national sovereignty, or carrying out tirades to demolish the sacred institutions of Indian democracy.”

The counter group argued that the contempt case is “exclusively” between Prashant Bhushan and the apex court. But the group consisting of the likes of Yogendra Yadav, has “interfered with the administration of justice,” they said.

They even raked up Bhushan’s previous call for a “referendum” in Kashmir, blaming it on “gaping loopholes in the system”. Calling it “interference in the garb of politically motivated activism”, the 174 signatories say they reject the pro-Bhushan group’s “unprincipled posturing”.

“We concerned citizens, hereby disapprove of this group in its acts of routinely producing a negative public narrative replete with disrespect to Indian democratic institutions,” wrote the group of 174.

This elaborate list consists of 2 former High Court Chief Justices, 15 former High Court judges, 4 former Chief Secretaries, a former CEC, a former DG of the CISF and 12 former DGPs. It also consists of 4 former ambassadors and former Chief Commissioners of Income Tax, each. Shakti Sinha, who has been the Director of Nehru Memorial, also signed on this strongly worded petition to the President.

The Supreme Court issued a contempt notice to Prashant Bhushan earlier on July 22, for a couple of his tweets in which Bhushan had written about the “role of the Supreme Court” in the alleged “destruction” of democracy during the last 6 years.

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