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Goa returnees: Oppn demands white paper on state’s preparedness



Vijai Sardesai

Panaji, May 26 : The opposition in Goa on Tuesday demanded a white paper on the preparedness of the state machinery to handle an expected influx of large number of stuck non-resident Goans and others into the coastal state.

A memorandum submitted to Chief Secretary Parimal Rai by a delegation of opposition MLAs led by former Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai demanded a customised SOP for Goa to allow stranded natives to be given priority to return as well as free quarantine facilities for seafarer, who have already returned or are expected to come back in the coming weeks.

“In the white paper we have demanded to know the state’s preparedness to handle stranded persons who are expected to return to Goa. It should detail the critical health infrastructure got ready in the state, including availability of ventilators and PPE, ICU facilities etc,” Sardesai, an MLA of the Goa Forward Party, told reporters at the state Secretariat.

Sardesai said that it was unfair that seafarers and other Goans expected to return were expected to stay in paid quarantine facilities, while persons not of Goan origins and allowed access to the coastal state were allowed to stay in home quarantine.

“The government claims this is as per the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines. We have demanded that the state government formulate an SOP specific to Goa,” Sardesai said.

“There should be no discrimination. Currently, Goan seafarers have to compulsorily stay in paid quarantine facilities according to the standard SOP, while non-Goans visiting Goa are being given the option of home quarantine. This is unfair,” Sardesai said.

Goa currently has 48 active coronavirus cases.

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Opposition slams Yogi govt over Vikas Dubey encounter



Akhilesh Yadav

Lucknow/New Delhi, July 10 : The opposition parties on Friday slammed the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government over the encounter of dreaded gangster Vikas Dubey, while being brought back to the state from Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain.

Former Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav took to twitter and wrote, “Actually. his car has not overturned, but the government has been saved from turning over the secret.”

His remarks came soon after Dubey died on Friday morning after being critically injured in an alleged shootout with the STF officials on Friday morning near Kanpur. The gangster was shot when he reportedly tried to flee, following a road accident in which the vehicle he was travelling in overturned near Kanpur. Dubey was taken to the emergency ward of the Hallett Hospital. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kanpur Dinesh Kumar said that the doctors have confirmed the death of Vikas Dubey.

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Jayant Chaudhary also slammed the BJP government over the “encounter rule” in the state and urged all the judges to resign. “After Vikas Dubey”s encounter, all the judges of the country should resign. There is no need of court in BJP”s encounter rule,” Chaudhary said in a series of tweets. “All this drama has been created to save the real culprits of killing eight policemen,” the RLD leader said in another tweet.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Kumar Jha also criticised the Uttar Pradesh government over the encounter saying the “black truth” of the entire “syndicate” has also been “encountered” along with Dubey. “If the news of the Vikas Dubey death in the encounter is true, then accept that the black truth of the entire syndicate has also been encountered. The system has saved itself from being naked. How the story is so simple from yesterday”s visuals of Mahakal temple to the story till today morning. Proceed with this as the final truth (sic),” Jha tweeted.

According to reports, as the convoy bringing Dubey from Madhya Pradesh”s Ujjain reached the Bhauti area under the Barra police circle in Kanpur on Friday morning, the vehicle in which Vikas was seated, overturned after skidding on the road due to heavy rain.

Dubey, along with two other police personnel in the vehicle, was injured in the accident. As soon as the gangster was taken out of the vehicle, he allegedly snatched a pistol from the STF team and tried to fire at the police. He was fatally injured in retaliatory firing. Dubey received a bullet injury in the chest which proved fatal. Five members of the Dubey gang have been killed in police encounters over the past seven days.

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Unholy nexus of BJP govt and MNCs stands exposed: Congress

“If on June 16, hand sanitisers were essential commodities up till 30th December, 2020; what changed in 15 days? Why does the government want the people to be charged high prices? Why no price limit on these essentials to fight Covid-19? Is the war on Covid over?” Surjewala questioned.




Randeep Surjewala

New Delhi, July 10 : The Congress on Friday criticised the Narendra Modi government over its decision to remove face masks and hand sanitisers from the essential commodities list. It said that an “unholy nexus” between the BJP government and the MNCs stands exposed.

In a series of tweets, Congress national media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Opportunity in Adversity said the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi). The unholy nexus of BJP government with MNCs/Companies of profiteering at the cost of people stands exposed. Government has removed face masks and hand sanitisers as essential commodities. Now, masks/hand sanitisers can be sold at any MRP.”

He further said, “On June 16, the BJP government had said — As lockdown has been relaxed, demand for hand sanitisers may increase & it should continue to be covered under EC Act till Dec 31, 2020.. ”its continued availability is of paramount importance” & “to ensure its availability at affordable rates.” Surjewala also attached a copy of the June 16 order in his tweet.

“If on June 16, hand sanitisers were essential commodities up till 30th December, 2020; what changed in 15 days? Why does the government want the people to be charged high prices? Why no price limit on these essentials to fight Covid-19? Is the war on Covid over?” Surjewala questioned.

His remarks came after the government”s decision to remove hand sanitisers and face masks from the essential commodities list. On Friday, India recorded 26,502 cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours taking the total tally to 7,93,802 cases with 21,604 fatalities due to the pandemic.

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Congress leader Sushmita Dev tests Covid positive in Assam, tally 14,032

Gogoi’s legal counsel Santanu Barthakur told the media, “In the morning, I received the news that Gogoi has tested positive for Covid-19.”



Sushmita Dev

Guwahati/Silchar, July 9 : While former Congress Lok Sabha member Sushmita Dev has tested positive for coronavirus, the Assam government refuted the media reports that Akhil Gogoi, jailed top farmers leader, tested Covid-19 positive.

On Thursday, Covid-19 death toll rose to 24 and number of cases jumped to 14,032 in the state.

All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) chief and the party”s national spokesperson Dev, daughter of former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev, was on Wednesday admitted to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital after she tested nCoV positive.

“I have tested positive for Covid-19. I am asymptomatic as of now,” the 48-year-old Congress leader tweeted. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra inquired about her health.

On Akhil Gogoi testing Covid-19 positive, Inspector General of Prisons Dasarath Das said he had not received any such report from the health department.

Gogoi’s legal counsel Santanu Barthakur told the media, “In the morning, I received the news that Gogoi has tested positive for Covid-19.”

The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samitee (KMSS) founder is lodged in the Guwahati Central Jail for the past seven months for his role in the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

On Wednesday, two associates of Gogoi, who are in the judicial custody, tested Covid-19 positive.

Meanwhile, during the day two more Covid-19 deaths were reported in the state, taking the toll to 24, while the number of cases rose to 14,032.

Two more Covid-19 patients, aged 70 and 56, succumbed to the infection this morning at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, tweeted Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The Health Department is conducting door-to-door Covid-19 testing in Guwahati from Tuesday. The campaign in the Pandu area of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation is being personally monitored by Sarma.

According to the health officials, the number of Covid-19 cases in Assam has climbed to 14,032. Of this, 5,279 are active as 8,726 people have been discharged, three migrated to other states and 24 died.

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