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Gujarat to decide on lockdown relaxation, reopening small outlets

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Gandhinagar, April 25 Following Home Ministry’s decision about opening of shops as part of the easing of lockdown restrictions announced on April 15 with neighbourhood shops and others being allowed within the city and all shops except those in malls allowed outside the municipal limits with 50 per cent strength of workers, the Gujarat government is yet to decide on the easing of restrictions, depending on the ground situation.

State Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said on Saturday that after mulling over the notification, a decision will be taken by the Gujarat government shortly to grant permission for this relaxation to be effective in the state.

Talking to reporters, Patel said, “The central government’s notification issued last night has allowed for small shops in the state to be opened in rural areas. Even in the municipal corporation as well as municipalities, small shops and commercial activities can be opened while maintaining a distance, which shall be decided by the local authorities. This is a good decision as small trades and commercial activities were hugely affected since more than a month of nationwide lockdown.”

The Deputy Minister said that shortly during the day, a meeting will take place to issue further orders from the Gujarat government accordingly.

“A decision regarding this will be taken in a meeting shortly today at the CM residence. We will study the notification, the pros and cons of the relaxation, as the lockdown is still in effect till the May 3rd and we will decide on further issuance of orders accordingly,” Patel added.

Saturday is a 32nd day of the nationwide lockdown following the COVID-19 pandemic.

India

Ex-PM H.D. Deve Gowda takes oath as RS member

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HD Devegowda

New Delhi: Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda took oath as a Rajya Sabha member on Sunday.

The Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) supremo took oath in Kannada in the presence of Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu shortly after the House convened for the day.

Gowda, 87, was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka with the support of the opposition Congress on June 12 in the biennial elections held in Bengaluru for four seats that fell vacant after the previous members’ terms ended on June 25.

Though 45 of the 61 new members took oath on July 22 in Parliament House, Gowda could not go to New Delhi then, as he was unwell and due to coronavirus-induced restrictions on travelling for senior citizens amid the pandemic.

Gowda has entered the Rajya Sabha for the second time, 24 years after he was elected when he was the Prime Minister from June 1996 to April 1997.

Meanwhile, former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Congress leader Ambika Soni and Samajwadi Party’s Revati Ramn Singh have sought leave from Sunday’s session.

Citing health issues, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram also sought leave.

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38 new Covid deaths in Delhi; cases top 2.42 lakh

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New Delhi: Another 38 people have succumbed to the dreaded novel coronavirus here, taking the death toll due to Covid-19 in the national capital to 4,945. Also, 4,071 fresh infections have been reported, taking the total number of cases beyond 2.42 lakh, officials said.

In the last 24 hours, 61,973 RT-PCR and antigen tests were conducted in Delhi, officials said on Saturday.

The Delhi government said a total of 2,42,899 persons have so far tested positive for Covid-19, while 2,05,890 people have recovered.

It said that in the last 24 hours, 4,219 people have recovered while 4,071 new cases were detected.

Currently, there are 1,820 Containment Zones in the national capital.

(IANS)

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BSF foils bid to smuggle weapons, drugs from Pak in Jammu

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Jammu and Kashmir Shopian Indian Army

Jammu, Sep 20 (IANS) The Border Security Force (BSF) has foiled an attempt to smuggle weapons and narcotics from Pakistan on the International Border (IB) in Jammu’ Arnia, officials said on Sunday.

The attempt was made on Saturday night.

The (BSF) observed suspicious movement near the IB in the night and thwarted the attempt to smuggle arms, ammunition and narcotics into the Indian territory.

“The BSF troops of Border Outpost (BOP) Budhwar/Bullechak observed suspicious movement of a Pakistan person near the IB during night hours and subsequently fired.

“During thorough search of the area later in morning hours following items are recovered — 58 Packets of suspected Narcotics, two pistols, four magazines and ammunition,” said the BSF.

–IANS

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