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IED blast in J&K’s Awantipora

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Srinagar, March 2: An improvised explosive device (IED) went off in a Jammu and Kashmir village in Awantipora on Saturday, barely 4 km from the February 14 Pulwama attack spot where 40 CRPF troopers lost their lives.

No life was lost in the 3 a.m. explosion though that rocked the Amlar village. But window panes of houses were shattered and a large crater was created at the blast site, the police said.

The Pulwama attack cascaded into a major cross-border tension between India and Pakistan after the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed the attack, and New Delhi responded with an Indian Air Force strike on the JeM’s largest terror camp within a fortnight.

An IAF pilot was subsequently captured by Islamabad during a dogfight, but was eventually returned within two days.

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India

Congress condemns Bengaluru violence, questions police role

The statement comes after the BJP leaders questioned the silence of the Congress on the whole incident, which occurred on Tuesday in which the house of the Congress MLA was attacked by a mob.

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Begaluru Violence

New Delhi, Aug 12 : A day after the attack on its party MLA in Bengaluru, the Congress has condemned the incident and has questioned the role of the police in controlling the riots in which three persons died.

Congress Chief Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala in a statement on Wednesday said, “Riots and arson are reprehensible, condemnable and unacceptable, and it is a complete failure of the law and order machinery and rule of law.”

The Congress raised questions about the role of the police and the Yediyurappa government. Surjewala said, “Was the Yediyurappa government sleeping or waiting for violence to happen. And, why did the police not act in time? Who is responsible for the three deaths?”

The statement comes after the BJP leaders questioned the silence of the Congress on the whole incident, which occurred on Tuesday in which the house of the Congress MLA was attacked by a mob.

Three people died in the police firing, 60 policemen were injured and several vehicles were set ablaze in Bengaluru on Tuesday night after Congress MLA Akanda Srinivas Murthy’s nephew Naveen allegedly posted a derogatory message on social media. Naveen has been arrested. The police had to resort to firing in order to bring the situation under control.

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Health

Covid cases haven’t yet peaked or even plateaued: AIIMS Dir

The remarks come at a time when the infections are racing ahead with the country adding at least a lakh new cases every two days.

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Randeep Guleria AIIMS

New Delhi: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria, one of India’s leading medical experts, has asserted that the coronavirus cases in the country have not yet hit their peak or even plateaued.

The remarks come at a time when the infections are racing ahead with the country adding at least a lakh new cases every two days. It has logged more than 23 lakh cases and over 46,000 deaths so far since the first case on January 30.

“These are trying times. It has tested the resilience of the nation. We have not reached the peak or started plateauing as far as cases are concerned,” Guleria, who is also the part of a core team monitoring the pandemic, said.

Shedding light on the vaccine development, he said that India has an advantage because it makes almost 60 per cent of the world’s vaccines.

“We have the capacity to manufacture a large number of vaccines and that is the commitment that the government and manufacturers have given — that we will be able to upscale our manufacturing capacity not only for our own country but for the entire world,” he added.

Three vaccine candidates are in different stages of human clinical trials in India — one developed by University of Oxford by Pune’s Serum Institute of India, the other inactivated virus vaccine by Bharat biotech and the third DNA vaccine by Zydus Cadila.

The country’s top pulmonologist further said that the vaccine development has moved so rapidly because of the collaborative work between various countries. “What the pandemic has shown is the resilience that the world has and the way researchers, manufactures and industries can come together to overcome any hardship we face as a planet.”

Guleria, however, advised caution with regards to the Russian vaccine, being touted as the world’s first coronavirus vaccine. Elaborating on the safety aspect, he said that the issue would be just to make sure that the vaccine is “safe and efficacious”.

“Any vaccine that is tried in a large number of people who are elderly or have comorbidities, safety is the most important thing and should of course be efficacious in terms of what degree of protection does it give and how long the protection lasts,” the AIIMS Director said.

The comments come in the backdrop of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement about the approval of the coronavirus vaccine for public use. It is, however, marred by controversies and is yet to complete the final trials.

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India

Shia board issues Muharram guidelines

Muharram, this year, begins on August 20 and ends on September 18.

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Muharram Shia

Lucknow, Aug 12 : The All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) has issued its Muharram advisory, asking people to follow all norms of social distancing, wear masks and wherever possible, take part in Muharram rituals online or via TV channels broadcasting them.

The first month of the Islamic calendar, Muharram is a mourning period in remembrance of Imam Husain-Prophet Muhammad’s grandson and his family and companions who were martyred by Yazid in Karbala (Iraq) in 680 AD.

The 14-point advisory issued by board president Maulana Syed Saim Mehdi and general secretary Maulana Yasoob Abbas said that all mosques and Imambaras with carpets and floor covers should ensure disinfecting the space before and after every majlis (sermon session).

Clerics said that the advisory was in accordance with the guidelines by ayatullahs from Iraq and Iran, including Grand Ayatullah Ali Al Sistani.

Children, pregnant women and the elderly have been advised to stay at home and use online and other mediums to be part of the sermons.

Water and food distributed among the poor as ‘tabarruk’, should be packed and sealed, and guidelines issued by the administration should be followed. A number of Shia and Sunni clerics have also met the district officials and discussed the guidelines with them.

Muharram, this year, begins on August 20 and ends on September 18.

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