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PM Modi declares South Asian open

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The rich and diverse culture of India’s Northeast was on display in all its splendour as curtains went up on the 12th South Asian Games in a colourful opening ceremony with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of other dignitaries in attendance.

PM Modi declared the Games open at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium to mark the formal beginning of the 12-day event to be competed by more than 2600 athletes.

Eight countries — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, besides India — will be vying for the top honours in the Games to be co-hosted by Shillong.

“I declare the 12th South Asian Games open,” Modi said amid cheers from a capacity crowd at the stadium.

Present on the occasion were governors of Assam and Meghalaya, chief ministers of the two states, besides Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and IOA president N Ramachandran among others.

Postponed several times due to various reasons, the much -delayed but the biggest ever South Asian Games being held under the aegis of South Asian Olympics Council begins after a delay of four years.

The ‘Gender Equal Games’ will have 23 disciplines and 228 events, with all the sports having both men and women’s sections for the first time, making this edition the biggest ever sporting spectacle in South Asia.

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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