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Pak ISI supports LeT, JeM and Hizbul,says David Headley

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Revealing more startling  facts about ISI ‘s activities in India,terrorist David Coleman Headley said Pakistan’s intelligence agency provided “financial, military and moral support” to terror outfits LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen.

Headley testified  before a court for the second day via video-link from the US, said he was working for Pakistan Army and ISI besides LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) and that he knew about ISI official Brigadier Riyaz being the handler of LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who was key man responsible for the November 26,2008 attacks in Mumbai

He also revealed that LeT had planned an attack at a conference of Indian defence scientists at Taj Mahal Hotel a year before the 26/11 strikes and had even prepared its dummy

But the plan was dropped because of logistical reasons, like difficulty in smuggling  weapons  and failure to know the schedule of the meet, he said

Headley told the Special Judge G A Sanap that he was also working  for ISI and had met many people from the Pakistan Army  and also visited India seven times to scout for targets and  conducted a recce of the famous Siddhivinayak Temple and Naval air station

He said his assessment was that ISI and LeT were coordinating with each other

“ISI provided financial, military and moral support to terror outfits Jaish-e-Mohammed, LeT and Hizbul Mujaideen,” he said and went on to claim that his opinion was formed on the basis of hearsay

When Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam asked him if he was paid by LeT and ISI, he replied in the negative and said, “There is no basis for this question.”

Headley, who had on Monday told the court that he was a “true follower” of LeT, on Tuesday said ISI official Brigadier Riyaz was the handler of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. When shown a photograph of Lakhvi, the LeT operative identified him

The 55-year-old, who has turned approver in the case, said LeT had planned to attack Indian defence scientists at a conference in Taj Mahal Hotel a year before the 26/11 strikes

The “plan to attack the conference hall in Taj was cancelled due to logistical reasons, like it was not possible to get weapons and personnel to the hall,” he said, adding another reason for dropping of the plan was that he could not get details about the schedule of the conference.

“In November-December 2007, the LeT held a meeting in Muzaffarabad (in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) which was attended by (LeT operatives) Sajid Mir and Abu Kahfa. In this meeting, it was decided that terror attacks would be conducted in Mumbai,” he said.

India

Premji foundation donates Rs 1,000 crore to fight COVID-19

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Jagan Mohan Reddy

Bengaluru, April 1 (IANS) The Azim Premji Foundation has donated Rs 1,000 crore for a comprehensive on the ground response to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, an official said on Wednesday.

“Modern global society has not confronted a crisis of this magnitude and type and all must work together to not only deal with this crisis and minimize its human impact, particularly on the disadvantaged,” said Azim Premji Foundation’s spokesperson in a statement.

The foundation’s 1,600-member team will coordinate with the government institutions in collaboration with the 350 member strong civil society partners to put the funds to good use.

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1st coronavirus death in UP

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Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), April 1 (IANS) A 25-year-old man from Basti district, who died on Monday evening in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College, has become the first COVID-19-linked death in Uttar Pradesh.

His samples tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, two days after he died.

Government officials are now worried about the number of people who may have been infected or exposed since he was earlier admitted to a hospital in Basti, which is around 50 kilometres from Gorakhpur.

Originally a resident of Basti, the youth had a history of travel to Mumbai but he hid this from the doctors.

The man had been admitted to Gorakhpur’s BRD medical college hospital on Sunday, with breathing problem. However, here too he was admitted to the general ward and not the one reserved for COVID-19 patients.

After his condition worsened, he was shifted to the ICU where he succumbed to his medical condition on Monday.

His body was handed to relatives who brought it to Basti for the last rites.

The patient was admitted to the general ward, where the virus may have spread to staff and other patients.

The BRD Hospital doctors had sent his saliva sample to Lucknow’s KGMU where his samples tested positive on Wednesday.

KGMU media in-charge Dr Sudhir Singh said that this makes him the first established death in the state due to coronavirus.

Dr O.P. Singh, hospital-in-charge, told reporters, “The man gave no information he had a travel history. This is the fault of the patient and his relatives. He said he had been ill for a month and had no fever at the time. He was diagnosed at the OPD (outpatient department) and admitted to general ward. If he or his relatives had said, even once, that he had returned from Mumbai, we would have immediately sent him to the Corona virus ward.”

The Basti district administration has now sealed off the area in which he lived. All relatives he had contact with, have been identified and put into quarantine and also the doctors and paramedical staff at both, Basti and Gorakhpur hospitals.

Patients and relatives who came into contact with him during his stay at either hospital have also been identified and will be isolated and tested.

Gorakhpur is the constituency of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

While 104 cases have tested positive from various districts of Uttar Pradesh so far, this is the first death due to the disease.

According to state government data, Uttar Pradesh has, so far, confirmed 103 cases of the novel coronavirus. The biggest clusters are in Noida in the National Capital Region (39 cases) and Meerut district in the western part of the state (19 cases).

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Coronavirus: Overall tally crosses 1600 mark in India

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New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) The total tally of novel coronavirus cases in India crossed 1600 mark on Wednesday, said the health ministry.

The country has reported 1637 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far, since the first case was reported on January 30 in Kerala’s Thrissur.

Of 1637, at least 1466 people are currently affected by the highly contagious COVID-19 disease, 132 people have recovered and discharged from the hospital while 38 people have lost their lives. One person migrated from the country.

Meanwhile, with one more death and total 321 cases have been reported in Maharashtra. Uttar Pradesh has reported 103 cases of Novel coronavirus. Eight new coronavirus positive cases were reported in Gujarat on Wednesday, all of them in state’s financial capital Ahmedabad. Till now, 82 active positive cases are present in Gujarat, with six deaths due to corona outbreak. Fortunately, no new coronavirus positive case has been reported on Wednesday till 9 a.m from Rajasthan, state health officials said. Total tally stands at 93 though.

On Tuesday, some places were identified as hotspots across the country. These are Dilshad Garden and Nizamuddin in Delhi, Noida and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, Bhilwara in Rajasthan, Ahmedabad, Kasargod and Pathanamthitta in Kerala, Mumbai and Pune. The identification of cases at these places will help ramp up the testing process.

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