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PM supports media freedom for stronger democracy

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, File Photo

New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday expressed unwavering support to media freedom, saying a free press makes a stronger democracy and makes the society more vibrant.

“A free press makes a stronger democracy. Today, on World Press Freedom Day, let us reaffirm our commitment towards steadfastly supporting a free press. It is the multiplicity of ideas and human expression that makes us more vibrant as a society,” Modi tweeted.

“I applaud all those who have been working tirelessly to uphold freedom of the press. It is due to these countless women and men that the spirit of a free press is significantly enhanced.”

Modi also appreciated the role of people on social media towards safeguarding the freedom of press and expression.

The UN General Assembly declared May 3 to be World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press.

Input from IANS

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Over 92K new corona cases in India, total over 54-lakh mark

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Coronavirus iraq covid 19

With another significant single-day spike of 92,605 coronavirus cases, India’s total tally on Sunday breached the 54-lakh mark to reach 54,00,620 cases even as 1,133 more COVID-19 deaths were recorded in 24 hours.

Of the total cases, 10,10,824 are still active, 43,03,043 patients cured and discharged, whereas another 86,752 lost the battle against the viral disease.

While the recovery rate stands at 79.68 per cent, the fatality rate has come down to 1.61 per cent, data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state with 11,89,815 cases, including 32,216 deaths, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research data, India conducted 12,06,806 sample tests in a single day on Saturday, taking the total samples tested so far to 6,36,61,060.

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‘Should have remembered Gandhians have lost favour with this regime: Ribeiro’s response to Delhi top cop

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Ribeiro SN Shrivastav

New Delhi, Sep 16 : A day after Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava replied to an email by retired IPS officer Julio Ribeiro about the investigation by the Delhi Police into the North East Delhi riots, Ribeiro has reverted and said his doubts in the open letter have not yet been addressed by Shrivastava.

“I realise that it is difficult, indeed impossible, to justify the licence given to the three BJP stalwarts I named — licence to rant, rave and threaten those who are peacefully protesting perceived wrongs. If the speakers were Muslims or leftists the police would have surely taken them in for sedition !” Ribeiro wrote to Shrivastava.

He further added: “After talking to you on the phone and perusing your letter I have decided to put myself in your shoes! How would I dispel the doubts that your retired brother officers still have about the Delhi Police investigations in North East riots? I would quickly file the charge sheets in all the 753 cases, including specially the conspiracy case registered by your Special cell and get the evidence authenticated in a court of Law.”

“More pertinently I would not prolong the UAPA case by arresting persons just a day or two before the time limit expires for filing the charge-sheet,” he wrote.

The former IPS further added: “I note in your email to me that you have doubted the patriotism of the three who I named as ‘True patriots’. The three include Harsh Mander, Prof. Apoorvanand and me. I have not described one else as such and hence my surmise. Harsh and Apoorvanand are Gandhians. I should have remembered that Gandhians have lost favour with this regime!”

The response came after Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava backed the investigation of its force in a reply to doubts raised by Ribeiro and said that a false narrative of the riots investigation was being created.

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Haryana transport minister tests positive for COVID-19

With the speaker too positive for the disease, Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa will be presiding over the House proceedings.

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Mool Chand Sharma

Chandigarh, Aug 25 : Haryana Transport Minister Mool Chand Sharma tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, a day before the Assembly’s monsoon session begins here.

On Monday, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Speaker Gian Chand Gupta were also found infected with the virus. Officials said the chief minister, admitted to Gurgaon’s Medanta hospital, is in a stable condition.

The speaker had mandated a coronavirus test for all MLAs, Assembly staffers and officials ahead of the session beginning August 26.

BJP MLAs Lakshman Napa, Ram Kumar Kashyap and Aseem Goel have also tested positive as have six Assembly staffers, officials said.

Sharma, a BJP MLA from Ballabgarh in Faridabad district, said he was asymptomatic and appealed to all those who had come in contact with him to get themselves tested.

Until Tuesday morning, I’ve had no symptoms. I am not running fever, my throat is clear, there is no runny nose and there are no flu-like symptoms. As of now, I have isolated myself at home, Sharma told PTI over phone.

The state’s transport minister had on Monday carried out a surprise inspection of a bus stand in his assembly constituency.

Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who is leader of opposition in the Assembly, has tested negative for the infection, sources said.

Khattar’s test report came on Monday, six days after he had attended a meeting with Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who was later found COVID positive. The chief minister reached Gurgaon on Monday night from his official residence in Chandigarh

With the speaker too positive for the disease, Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa will be presiding over the House proceedings.

The speaker had made it mandatory for anyone entering the Assembly complex for the monsoon session to show a COVID-19 negative certificate, which should not be older than three days. This was done on Health Minister Anil Vij’s suggestion. The seating arrangement in the House has also been changed to ensure social distancing, officials said.

Haryana Assembly has a strength of 90 members.

With 1,074 fresh cases, the state’s COVID-19 tally is 55,460, according to the health department’s daily bulletin on Monday.

Vij on Friday said all offices and shops, except those providing essential services, will remain closed every Saturday and Sunday in the wake of the increase in COVID-19 cases in the state.

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