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India’s nuclear explosive materials at risk of theft by terrorists?

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With serious allegations of leaky nuclear reactors and poor security levelled against India’s nuclear programme, Atomic Energy Commission chief Sekhar Basu brushes aside these charges saying this is a “well designed agenda” to “stall or delay” the country’s development.

Levy said that  the Kalpakkam  nuclear plant is highly unsafe from the security point of view as material here can be easily stolen by “the insiders with grievances, ill motives, or in the worst case, connections to terrorists”.

Journalist Adrian Levy, working for the Centre for Public Integrity in Washington, has levelled serious charges in a four-part investigative report against India’s nuclear establishment

New chief of India’s nuclear programme Sekhar Basu, also director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, counters the allegations.

Levy   in Decmber 17 gave  details of how “ several kilograms of what authorities described as semi-processed uranium were stolen by a criminal gang, allegedly with Pakistani links, from a state mine in Meghalaya, in northeastern India, in 1994.

Excerpts from an interview:

Q) How much of truth is there in the charges levelled by Adrian Levy against the nuclear establishment?

A) I do not consider these as charges; he has written a paper based on something somebody else has said elsewhere, which he has put into his account. It is not a scientific document, it is not a document based on facts, and it is based on comments of some people. I do not consider these as charges. It looks to us as a very well designed agenda for them whoever is funding him, to stall or delay the development of our country

Q) So, who do you think is motivating Levy or trying to stall the Indian nuclear programme?

A) Ok. Definitely, Indians will not stall the Indian programme, that I am confident. It will be somebody from a foreign country who thinks that India should remain poor and that India should remain poverty ridden, and that India should remain in darkness, so they are the people who are doing it

Q) Levy says that in Jadugoda where India has its uranium mines, they leak, and that there is a lot of radioactivity that comes out, and people are suffering because of that, you probably must have visited that area several times, what is your experience?

A) Whatever he has said is based on certain facts that earlier somebody has published. He must know that there was a suo moto case that was taken up by the judge and to that, we have given a reply. The details are available he can see the reply to see that if there is anything to be talked about

In summary, the judge had told us to form a committee, we had formed a committee and based on that committees conclusions it is very well established that nothing new has happened, there is no extra burden of diseases or no new types of diseases have come up or even that the number has not increased, nothing of that has happened

If you go there, I would request all other communities to go there and have a look if this is true or not. There children are moving around happily in their college and schools. This is an area where there is poverty, it is because of that, malnutrition or those type of problems that are there

India

Priyanka raps Yogi on migrants testing positive remark

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Priyanka Gandhi Election

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, here on Monday, took a jibe at UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over his statement that people returning to the state from other states were raising the number of coronavirus cases and asked him to share the testing and infection data with full transparency.

“Heard the UP Chief Minister’s statement. According to him, 75 per cent of returnees from Maharashtra, 50 per cent from Delhi and 25 per cent from other states have tested Covid-19 positive. According to the state government figures, around 25 lakh people have returned to UP,” she said in a series of tweets in Hindi.

Questioning the Chief Minister, Priyanka said did he mean there were more than 10 lakh people affected by Covid-19 in the state. The state government statistics say total number of Covid-19 affected persons in UP is 6,228. “What’s the basis of statistics of infection reported by him? Where did this percentage of returned migrants come from,” she remarked.

If there was some truth in the Chief Minister’s statement then the state government should share the testing and infection data with the public, she said and added, it should also tell us about the preparation to control the infection.

The migrant workers have been returning from the Shramik special trains since May 1. UP has received the maximum number of Shramik special trains, ferrying stranded workers, students, tourists and pilgrims.

Thousands of people have also returned to the state either on foot or through other modes of travel, like trucks, buses, bicycle and auto-rickshaws.

According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, UP has recorded 6,268 Covid-19 cases. Of this, 161 people have died and 3,538 recovered.

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SAD condemns Akali worker’s murder in Punjab

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Chandigarh, May 25 (IANS) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal, here on Monday, condemned the murder of Akali worker Manjot Singh and murderous assault of two other youths, including an NRI, saying political killings continued unabated in Punjab even during lockdown.

The SAD chief said the Batala police district continued to remain the vortex of political killings, and added, earlier the district had witnessed murder of Dhilwan sarpanch Dalbir Singh in a shootout.

Like in the earlier case, the Batala police had failed to move quickly and arrest the accused even though they had been identified, he said and demanded immediate arrest of those associated with the murder and assault.

He also asked Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to rein in Congressmen who were taking the law in their hands to settle political scores.

Badal also assured free legal aid to the aggrieved family.

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After spurt in cases, Ghaziabad seals border with Delhi

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Ghaziabad, May 25 (IANS) In more woes for the people travelling from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi, the Ghaziabad district administration on Monday once again decided to seal its borders with the national capital after witnessing a surge of 10 fresh cases of coronavirus in last 24 hours.

The district administration in an order said, “In Ghaziabad district, there is an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the last few days. A large chunk of these cases are linked to those who travel between Delhi and Ghaziabad.”

“Hence, on the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer, the district administration has decided to seal the Delhi-Ghaziabad border until further orders,” the order read.

The district administration had earlier ordered to seal its border with the national capital on April 26.

According to the district administration on Sunday, 10 people tested positive for the virus in the district.

The administration said that the people employed in essential services will be allowed. Doctors, paramedical staff, police, media personnel and bank employees will not need passes. Their identity cards will be enough.

Meanwhile, the officials of the third and fourth grade working with the central and Delhi government offices where 33 per cent attendance system is in place, would be required to produce temporary passes from their offices to gain entry into the district and their identity cards alone would not be considered.

The order also stated that till the time the central and Delhi government employees don’t get proper passes their ID cards will be valid to travel. Even the advocates have been allowed to travel to Delhi.

The order also asked the government employees to enter Delhi before 9 a.m. and return to Ghaziabad after 6 p.m.

The order also stated that in case of emergency. residents willing to get e-passes will have to apply. Such applications will be assessed and then e-passes issued, it said.

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