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India calls USCIRF remarks on Delhi violence ‘misleading’

“Instead, reports are mounting that the Delhi police have not intervened in violent attacks against Muslims, and the government is failing in its duty to protect its citizens.”

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Delhi Violence

New Delhi/Washington, Feb 27 : India on Thursday hit back at the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), by calling their scathing remarks on the Delhi violence “factually inaccurate and misleading”.

The USCIRF had said that the Delhi violence in which over 30 people were killed, was specifically targeted against Muslims.

Rebutting their comments, the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement said: “We have seen the comments made by USCIRF, sections of the media and a few individuals regarding recent incidents of violence in Delhi. These are factually inaccurate and misleading, and appear to be aimed at politicising the issue.”

The government said that the law enforcement agencies were working on the ground to prevent violence and ensure restoration of confidence and normalcy.

“Senior representatives of the government have been involved in that process. Prime Minister has publicly appealed for peace and brotherhood. We would urge that irresponsible comments are not made at this sensitive time,” the statement added.

Earlier, USCIRF had expressed “grave concern over the ongoing violence taking place in Delhi” and accused India of “targeting and potentially disenfranchising Muslims across the country, in clear violation of international human rights standards”.

USCIRF Commissioner Anurima Bhargava in a statement had said: “According to reports, several mosques have also been set alight or vandalized. Many Muslim residents have been forced to flee the area. This unrest comes in the wake of widespread protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act following its passage in December 2019.”

“The brutal and unchecked violence growing across Delhi cannot continue,” Bhargava said, adding that the Indian government must take swift action to ensure the safety of all of its citizens.

“Instead, reports are mounting that the Delhi police have not intervened in violent attacks against Muslims, and the government is failing in its duty to protect its citizens.”

USCIRF Chair Tony Perkins said the ongoing violence in Delhi and the reported “attacks against Muslims, their homes and shops, and their houses of worship are greatly disturbing”.

One of the essential duties of any responsible government, he said, is to provide protection and physical security for its citizens, regardless of faith.

“We urge the Indian government to take serious efforts to protect Muslims and others targeted by mob violence.”

In its annual report last year, the USCIRF classified India as a “Tier 2” country for engaging in or tolerating religious freedom violations that meet at least one of the elements of the “systematic, ongoing, egregious standard for designations as a “country of particular concern (CPC)”, under the International Religious Freedom Act.

The ongoing violence in North-East Delhi erupted after clashes between pro and anti-CAA protesters on Sunday.

Besides the casualties, over 200 others have been injured in the deadliest violence in the national capital in decades.

India

12 new Covid-19 cases in Kerala, total active cases now 258

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coronavirus cases

Thiruvananthapuram, April 9 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said 12 new coronavirus positive cases were reported, taking the total number presently under treatment to 258.

The number of cumulative cases, including those treated and cured, now stands at 357.

Two deaths had been reported previously, but those patients had other serious underlying ailments.

“Today there are 1,36,195 people under observation at homes and 723 at various hospitals in the state,” said Vijayan.

He also said that eight foreign tourists have completely recovered and have been discharged.

Meanwhile, the police registered 2,206 cases, recorded the arrest of 2,166 people and seized 1,450 vehicles for violating curfew norms.

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India

Corona in Delhi: 720 test positive; 51 new cases, 3 deaths in 24 hours

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Coronavirus News

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) With 51 more patients reporting positive in the last 24 hours, the number of coronavirus cases in the national capital reached 720 on Thursday.

The national capital reported three new deaths in the last 24 hours, raising the corona toll 12 since the outbreak of the infection. According to the Delhi Health Department, among the total 720 cases, 430 cases are from the Nizamuddin Markaz, with four new cases in the last 24 hours. “Among the 51 new cases, 35 had travel or contact history,” the health bulletin said.

It says 249 positive cases have foreign travel history and their contacts.
The positive cases in Delhi have increased dramatically since people were evacuated last week from the Markaz Tablighi Jamaat building where over 2,300 people from different parts of the world and country were staying under one roof without following social distancing.

Among the total patients, 25 have been discharged and cured while one has migrated.

“Total 682 patients are in the hospitals. While 39 are in the ICU, 11 are on ventilators and 23 are on oxygen,” the Health report said.

So far, 9,968 tests have been conducted in the city and 605 reports are pending. “While 720 reports were positive, 8,643 reports were negative,” it says.

About 18,000 people are home-quarantined across the city and 2,664 are quarantined at government facilities. The positive cases in the city are increasing at a rapid rate since last week.

The total positive cases in Delhi were 97 on March 30, which increased to 120 on March 31. While the cases were 152 on April 1, on April 2, the count jumped to 293 Coronavirus cases.

On April 3, the tally reached 386 while the next day, on April 4, it was 445.

The total cases on Sunday was 503. The total coronavirus cases in the national capital were 525 on Monday, and reached 579 on Tuesday. It jumped to 669 cases on Wednesday.


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Odisha govt imposes penalty for not wearing masks in public

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Coronavirus Scare

Bhubaneswar, April 9 (IANS) With the rise in the number of COVID-19 positive cases, the Odisha government has made not wearing a mask in public an offence and decided to impose fines on offenders from Thursday.

The government has decided to impose fines on people for not wearing mask while stepping out of their houses.

The government will impose Rs 200 for not wearing masks for the first, second and third offence. The penalty will go up to Rs 500 for subsequent offence, said chief secretary Asit Tripathy.

The Health department has framed certain regulations in this regard amending the Odisha COVID-19 Regulations 2020.

The general public is directed to cover their mouths and noses with any available form of mask while stepping out of the house for any purpose.

The state government has also promulgated an ordinance with provision of imprisonment of upto two years for those who violate the epidemic regulations.The ordinance has amended a section of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 said whoever contravenes or disobeys any regulation or order made under the principal Act is liable for imprisonment upto two years or with fine up to Rs 10,000 or both.

However, every offence under this Act shall be cognisable and bailable.The amendment was necessitated to deal with procurement requirements entailing the spread of COVID-19, said sources. Odisha has recorded 44 positive cases so far.

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