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Dalit student suicide: Suspension revoked but the storm intensifies

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The storm over the suicide of a dalit student in Hyderabad University intensified on Thursday despite the revocation of the suspension of four of his co-research scholars as the Controller of Examinations and 12 other faulty members belonging to SC/ST communities gave up their administrative posts in solidarity.

Wilting under relentless pressure from the students agitating for the removal of the Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and punishment for those responsible for the suicide of Rohith Vemula, the varsity Executive Council met and decided to “terminate” the punishment imposed on the students.

But the protesting students were not satisfied with the revocation of the suspension and burnt copies of the EC decision.

In solidarity with the students, the Controller of Examinations, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Warden were among the 13 faculty members belonging to SC-ST communities who gave up their administrative posts which they were holding as an additional responsibility.

Vijaya Kumar, one of the students, whose suspension was revoked, said this was not enough”The VC must go. This (revocation) is a welcome decision. But we can’t celebrate it because Rohith is not there. We are not able to accept your decision. We have other demands like appropriate compensation and a job for one of the members of Rohith’s family.

India

Prisons are not for detaining undertrials to send message to society: Delhi High Court

In February, clashes broke out in North east Delhi between the groups supporting and opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

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Justice Anup J Bhambhani

New Delhi, Jun 1 : The remit of the court is to dispense justice and not to send messages to the society, the Delhi High Court has observed, while holding that prison is primarily for convicts and not for detaining undertrials to give a message to the public.

Justice Anup J Bhambhani made the remarks while granting bail to an accused in the North East Delhi violence which occurred in February this year and rejecting the argument of the police that granting of bail at this early stage may send an adverse message in the society and such crimes should not be allowed to happen in the national capital.

The judge said there cannot be a basis for denying bail to an accused if the court is otherwise convinced that no purpose in aid of investigation and prosecution will be served by keeping him in judicial custody.

“Prison is primarily for punishing convicts; not for detaining undertrials in order to send any ”message” to society. The remit of the court is to dispense justice in accordance with law, not to send messages to society.

“It is this sentiment, whereby the State demands that undertrials be kept in prison inordinately without any purpose, that leads to overcrowding of jails; and leaves undertrials with the inevitable impression that they are being punished even before trial and therefore being treated unfairly by the system,” the high court said.

It added that if at the end of a protracted trial, the prosecution is unable to bring home guilt, the State cannot give back to the accused the years of valuable life lost in prison.

On the other hand, an accused would of course be made to undergo his sentence after it has been awarded, after trial, it said.

The high court granted bail to Firoz Khan on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties of the like amount from his blood relatives and directed him not to leave the national capital without permission of the court.

According to the plea, he was taken into custody on April 3 in connection with an FIR lodged at Dayalpur police station in north east Delhi for alleged offences of rioting and mischief by fire or explosive substance with an intent to destroy a house under the IPC.

As per the complainant”s version in the FIR, on February 24, some rioters set his shop on fire and looted lakhs of rupees.

Khan sought bail on the ground that he was neither named in the FIR nor any material was collected during the investigation that would identify him as one of the perpetrators of the offences alleged in the FIR.

The prosecution opposed his bail saying that the accused has been identified by the complainant, a police constable who was present at the crime spot and a CCTV footage obtained from a nearby school.

After perusing the FIR and the complainant”s statement, the high court noted that the complainant had neither named or otherwise identified the accused.

The high court, in its 14-page order, also said that while ordinarily it would not have entered into any discussion on the evidence at the stage considering bail, however, here is a case where a purported unlawful assembly of some 250-300 persons is alleged to have committed offences, of which the police have picked-up only two and one of them is accused Khan.

“In this peculiar circumstance, this court was compelled to sift the evidence only prima-facie and limited to cursorily assessing how the police have identified the applicant from that large assembly of persons. This court is conscious that ”judicial custody” is the custody of the court; and the court will be loathe to depriving a person of his liberty, in the court”s name, on the mere ipse-dixit of the State, when it finds no substantial basis or reason for doing so,” it said.

In February, clashes broke out in North east Delhi between the groups supporting and opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

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Disaster

Mohena Kumari Singh And 6 Family Members Test Positive For COVID-19

Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai Fame Mohena Kumari Singh And 6 Other Family Members Test Positive For Coronavirus.

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Mohena Kumari Singh

Mumbai, June 1 : Actress Mohena Kumari, who is best known for her role in the TV show “Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai”, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

A day ago, IANS had reported that Mohena”s father-in-law Satpal Maharaj, who is Uttarakhand”s tourism minister, got contracted the COVID-19 infection.

Now, it has been reported that Mohena has also been infected. Her husband Suyesh Rawat and mother-in-law have also tested positive.

“Seven from our family have been tested positive for COVID-19, but we are doing fine now. Right now we are in the hospital. My brother-in-law”s latest report has come negative so he”s fine now. There are people too who have been infected but they are from the sanstha. We had very mild symptoms and we thought it must be because of the change in weather,” said Mohena, confirming the news, in an interview with Times Of India.

“But nobody has any kind of major symptom. Coronavirus is such that it spreads like a wild fire. First my mother-in-law got it but her symptoms were so mild that we couldn”t figure it out. It is our second day in the hospital, everyone is showing improvement and we will be fine soon. We are in quarantine now and getting our treatment done,” Times of India quoted her as saying.

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Bharat Biotech: Vaccine development moving positively, next 1 month crucial

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Vaccine

New Delhi, June 1 : The development of a vaccine for Covid-19 is moving in a positive direction and the next one month will be very crucial, said Krishna Mohan Ella, Chief Executive Officer at Bharat Biotech.

The company has formed a collaborative framework with the University of Wisconsin, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Thomas Jefferson University of Philadelphia to develop a vaccine for Covid-19.

Speaking to IANS, Mohan said, “The vaccine development is moving in a positive direction. The next one month is very crucial. I am a scientist and I believe in science.”

Queried on Bharat Biotech”s plans on vaccine production in the backdrop of the statement by The Serum Institute of India, which said it plans to produce 60 million doses of a potential Covid-19 vaccine by year-end, Mohan said the company is working very hard on the development of the vaccine.

He expressed satisfaction on the progress of the research connected with the vaccine development so far, but insisted that “in science, things can change”.

“If things were not moving positively, I would not be talking to you…we are at a very crucial stage, but I cannot comment on the number of doses (like The Serum Institute) etc.,” added Mohan.

According to ICMR, human trials could begin in at least six months.

Queried on the same, Mohan said, “Let us go by science. I cannot comment on the beginning of human trials. We are working very hard on the vaccine, which will benefit the people.”

He insisted that the global media is watching the vaccine development very closely, but refrained from making any comment on the specifics of the progress made so far or about any specific goal set for the next month.

India reported 8,390 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the country”s Covid-19 tally to 1,90,535 on Monday. India has emerged as the seventh worst hit country globally, leaving behind France and Germany. There are at least 93,322 active cases, while 91,819 people have been cured. The recovery rate in the country is 48.19 per cent now, while the death rate is 2.83 per cent.

Mohan had said last month that Bharat Biotech is collaborating with Thomas Jefferson for developing a vaccine for Covid-19 using an inactivated rabies vector platform.

He said that since the basic proof of the concept has been established by using it for other infectious diseases. The company is committed to global public health and will be involved in an end-to-end development of vaccine, including comprehensive clinical trials to achieve commercial licensure, he had said.

(Sumit Saxena can be contacted at [email protected])

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