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Hardik gets bail, set for freedom after 10 months



Hardik Patel

Ahmedabad, July 11 : After serving over nine months in jail, Patidar reservation spearhead Hardik Patel was on Monday granted bail in the last case against him, preparing the ground for his release.

The Gujarat High Court, which had allowed him conditional bail last week in two sedition cases, followed suit in the case related to the attack on the office of Visnagar BJP MLA Hrishikesh Patel and other government properties during the reservation agitation.

He had challenged in the high court the Visnagar court’s refusal to give bail to him. The appeal was heard on Monday.

Police had filed a chargesheet against Hardik Patel and 16 others in a case of rioting and assault registered at Visnagar town. The first rally by Patels seeking quota in government jobs and educational institutions was held at Visnagar on July 6 last year.

The 23-year-old Patel leader has been bailed out in the sedition cases on the condition that he stays away from Gujarat for six months. In the Visnagar case, he has been barred from entering Mehsana district for three months after the previous term concludes.

“This, in effect, means he will be out of Mehsana district (of which Visnagar is a part) for nine months,” his advocate Zubin Bharda told reporters. Mehsana is the home district of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah and Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.

The high court has allowed Hardik Patel to stay in the state for two days to visit his house to collect his belongings. However, the court declined his request to visit the temple of family deity in Unjha town in Mehsana, Bharda said.

“It may be about a couple of days when Hardik walks out into fresh air as we need to complete some formalities,” his lawyer said.

Sources in the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) say Patel was likely to spend the next six months in election-bound Uttar Pradesh.

The Kurmis in the country’s most populous state are equivalent to Patels in Gujarat and are considered electorally significant.

Gujarat PAAS convenor and spokesman Varun Patel told IANS: “We are yet to decide where Hardik stays. It will either be Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan or Delhi.”

The release of Hardik Patel was welcomed with firecrackers and shouting of slogans by his supporters and family members outside the high court, his hometown Viramgam in Ahmedabad district and at Visnagar town in north Gujarat and in Surat city.

“We are very happy that Hardik would be free after nine long months,” his mother Ushaben Patel told mediapersons at their residence in Viramgam.

Asked if she would agree to Hardik Patel continuing the quota agitation, she said she would stand by him at all times.

“He is no longer just my son. He is the son of the community. If he thinks he is required for the community, I will stand with him,” she said.

Hardik Patel has several times in the past said he would continue his agitation in a peaceful manner and was not agreeable to the 10 per cent quota announced by the Anandiben Patel government to economically backward classes among the non-reserved category of communities.


No restriction on accessing any website in Jammu and Kashmir: Centre

Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said the mobile data services are presently restricted to 2G speed in all but two districts of the Union territory.



Postpaid Mobile in Kashmir

There is no restriction on accessing any website, including social media sites, in Jammu and Kashmir, the Lok Sabha was informed on Sunday.

Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said the mobile data services are presently restricted to 2G speed in all but two districts of the Union territory. “There is no restriction on accessing any sites, including the social media sites,” he said in a written reply. Reddy said the internet services are already available in Kashmir on fixed line (without any speed-related restrictions) as well as mobile data services (at 2G speed) since January 24, 2020.

He said restrictions on accessing social media sites were also lifted on March 4, 2020. Further, high speed mobile data services too have been commenced in the districts of Ganderbal (Kashmir Division) and Udhampur (Jammu Division) with effect from August 16, 2020. The minister said fixed line internet connectivity is available without any speed-related restrictions, with Mac-binding.

He said the businesses have had access to internet through fixed line connectivity and internet kiosks opened in large numbers across the Valley without any speed restrictions.

Reddy also informed the Lower House that 2G mobile internet speed is not an impediment in Covid control measures, including dissemination of information to the general public as well as health workers.

Also, he said, e-learning apps and education/e-learning websites of the Government of India, Government of J&K are accessible over 2G internet for downloading e-books and other study material.

“Further, the restriction on high speed mobile internet services has not been an impediment in the administration of justice and the courts have taken special measures to conduct their proceedings during the pandemic by providing video links/URLs to lawyers and the litigants,” the minister said.

“Considering the overall security scenario and in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir issues orders from time to time regulating telecom and internet services in terms of the applicable rules and the principles laid down and directions contained in the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India..,” he added.

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Mumbai to get 150 more suburban train services from Monday

The selected 10 per cent staff will require QR ID codes from the government which along with a valid identity card to commute after buying tickets/passes, said an official.



mumbai local

Mumbai, Sep 20 : Mumbai will get an additional 150 suburban services on the Western Railway (WR) which will ease the commuting travails for officegoers and those in essential services permitted by the Maharashtra government, officials said here on Sunday.

With this, the number of WR suburban services will shoot up from 350 to 500 daily, while the Central Railway is already running 355 services.

This works out to 855 services daily – or barely one-third of the regular 2,300-plus suburban services that was the norm before the lockdown in March-end.

AWith the increase in services, the government permitted 10 per cent of key employees of private and cooperative banks to commute by local trains, in addition to essential staff of public sector banks, various government departments, aircraft maintenance staffers and lawyers who have been allowed so far.

The selected 10 per cent staff will require QR ID codes from the government which along with a valid identity card to commute after buying tickets/passes, said an official.

To avoid overcrowding and maintain physical distance, the WR and CR will open additional ticket booking counters at major stations on the suburban section which spans across Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad.

Several railway passengers organisations and Bahujan Vikash Aghadi (BVA) legislator Kshitij from Nalasopara (Palghar) have urged Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to resume suburban services for all office-goers.

Presently, many office-goers, especially those from Thane, Palghar and Raigad who commute to their workplaces in Mumbai are forced to travel at least 6 hours daily owing to huge traffic snarls on main roads and the two highways serving the country’s commercial capital.

Moreover, despite the restricted categories allowed to commute by local trains, there is overcrowding during the morning-evening peak hours making a sham of the physical distancing norms.

Meanwhile, the Covid cases and fatalities in the Mumbai Region (comprising Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad) have been on an upswing since the past few weeks, even as the state case tally reached 12,08,642 besides 32,671 fatalities till date.

Of these, the lion’s share belongs to Mumbai circle with 435,201 cases so far besides 14,780 deaths, causing huge concern among health authorities.

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11-kg tumour extracted from Mumbai woman’s abdomen





Mumbai, Sep 20 : Doctors in Mumbai have extracted a gigantic 11-kg tumour from the abdomen of a 55-year-old woman after a marathon nine-hour surgery.

A team of medicos headed by oncologist Dr Tanveer A. Majeed, urologist Dr Santosh Palkar and Dr Shilpa Deshmukh performed the complicated surgery at the Zen Multispeciality Hospital in Chembur.

The patient Sujata Sinha (name changed) is a housewife who noticed her abdomen growing daily accompanied by breathing difficulties.

At the height of lockdown in June, she consulted a local doctor who confirmed the presence of a tumour with ultrasound and CT scan.

However, owing to the lockdown she did not take any further steps or medicines, even as the tumour continued to grow rapidly, making her look obese.

Finally, she was referred to the ZMH and Dr Majeed checked her condition on September 8 to find she was weighing around 80 kgs, and suffered from diabetes and hypertension.

Further tests revealed the huge abdominal tumour encroaching the right half of the abdomen, pushing the right kidney to the left side, duodenum, liver, small intestine and colon to the left side, besides her major blood vessels supplying to the heart.

After further clinical diagnosis, the patient was advised surgery by Dr Majeed as it indicated a rare cancer of connective tissues that resemble fat cells under a microscope.

“After opening the abdomen, we found a huge tumour which had displaced all the other body organs to the left side. It weighed 11 kgs and had dimensions of 55 cm x 40 cm x 35 cm, and the patient lost around one litre of blood during the nine-hour operation,” said Dr Majeed.

The patient is recuperating well at the hospital now, has started an oral liquid diet, can breathe normally, and will be required for a follow-up after three months.

“We delayed treatment due to the pandemic lockdown. But I am fortunate to be operated at ZMH where the doctors saved my life. I feel much lighter now, can eat and breathe properly and resume normal life,” said the patient gratefully.

Prior to this, a team of doctors at the Global Hospital, Parel, had extracted a massive 12-kg tumour from a woman’s abdomen in December 2014.

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