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Rahul Gandhi, opposition leaders sent back from Srinagar



RAHUL Gandhi

Srinagar, Aug 24 (IANS) An opposition party delegation, led by former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, was on Saturday stopped at the Srinagar airport and sent back to Delhi, soon after they landed here.

The delegation of 12 opposition leaders had left Delhi by 11.50 a.m. Air Vistara flight. It was not allowed to leave the airport, sources said.

The delegation wanted to visit the Valley to take stock of the situation. The Valley has been placed under security lockdown since August 5, when Article 370 was abrogated.

The delegation comprised the Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja, Communist Party of India (Marxist) Sitaram Yechury, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and K.C. Venugopal, Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) Chief Sharad Yadav, Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Majeed Memon, RJD’s Manoj Jha and Janata Dal Secular’s D. Kupendra Reddy.

On Friday, the J&K administration had advised the opposition leaders not to visit, saying attempts should not be made to disturb the gradual restoration of normalcy in the state.

The visit of the opposition delegation comes almost three weeks after the Centre abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution that accorded special status to J&K.

Before leaving for Srinagar, Raja said they were not going to the Valley to create any law and order problem. Azad also said they were not going to break any law as they were leaders of responsible political parties.

“The government says situation in J&K is normal. But then they don’t allow leaders to visit? Haven’t seen such a contradiction. If things are normal there, why aren’t we allowed to visit?” Azad said.

“We are citizens of the country. So is everyone in J&K. We are not people who will make things difficult for anyone. We just want to see the situation on the ground,” Yadav told the reporters.

On August 8, Azad had tried to visit Srinagar, but was not allowed to leave the airport. Similarly, CPI and CPI-M General Secretaries Raja and Yechury, respectively, were also detained at the airport and then sent back to Delhi.

Earlier in the month Rahul Gandhi and J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik had entered into a war of words on Twitter. The Governor had said Gandhi was responding to fake news and trying to politicise the situation.

The Governor on August 12 had offered to send Gandhi an aircraft to visit the Valley and see for himself the ground situation, to which the Congress leader had responded saying he didn’t need an aircraft but freedom to travel and meet the people.


Patanjali chasing profits, exploiting people’s fear: Madras HC



Baba Ramdev

Chennai, Aug 6 : Coming down heavily on yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved Ltd for “chasing profits by exploiting people’s fear and panic” to sell its immunity booster tablet Coronil, the Madras High Court on Thursday slapped a penalty of Rs 10 lakh on it.

The court also refused to vacate the interim injunction restraining Patanjali from using the name Coronil for its tablet in a trade mark infringement case.

The case was filed by city-based company Arudra Engineers Private Ltd that had registered the trademarks “Coronil-92 B and Coronil-213 SPL” in 1993 and holds rights over them till 2027.

The company sells an anti-corrosion product – a chemical agent that undertakes to sanitise and clean heavy industrial machinery and containment units at factories.

Apart from Patanjali, the other defendant in the case was Divya Yog Mandir Trust that makes the tablet.

The court order came in the petition filed by Patanjali and Divya Yog to vacate the interim injunction against the use of the name Coronil for its tablet.

The court said: “Insofar as costs are concerned, the defendants have repeatedly projected that they are Rs 10,000 crore company. However, they are still chasing further profits by exploiting the fear and panic among the general public by projecting a cure for the coronavirus, when actually their ‘Coronil Tablet’ is not a cure but rather an immunity booster for cough, cold and fever.”

“The defendants must realize that there are organisations which are helping the people in this critical period without seeking recognition and it would only be appropriate that they are made to pay costs to them,” it ruled.

The court ordered Patanjali and Divya Yog to pay jointly Rs 5 lakh each to the Dean, Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai and to the Dean, Government Yoga and Naturopathy Medical College & Hospital, Chennai.

In both the organisations, treatment are accorded free of cost without any claim to either trademark, trade name, patent or design, but only with service as a motto, the court said.

“Costs to be paid on or before 21.08.2020, and a memo in this regard, to be filed before the Registry, High Court Madras, on or before 25.08.2020,” it ordered.

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10K count takes Andhra’s covid tally near 2L mark

Deaths were reported from all 13 districts of the state. Anantapur and East Godavari districts reported the highest tally of 10 deaths each followed by Guntur and Chittoor with nine and eight deaths, respectively.




Coronavirus Scare

Vizianagaram: Andhra Pradesh continued to report in excess of 10,000 Covid cases for the third day in a row. While it did not touch the previous highs in terms of single day Covid count or deaths, the state health officials reported substantially high 10,328 cases and 72 deaths in the last 24 hours ending 9 a.m. Thursday.

The highest single-day count of 10,376 cases was recorded on July 31 while the single largest death count of 77 was reported on Wednesday.

Compared to the 10,128 cases on Wednesday, Andhra Pradesh reported 10,328 cases on Thursday morning. The latest update takes the overall Covid tally stopping short of the 2 lakh mark at 1,96,789 cases.

On Thursday, three districts reported fresh cases in four-digit figures, while the remaining ten districts reported three-digit covid numbers. East Godavari topped the list with 1351 new cases followed by Kurnool with 1285 cases.

Deaths were reported from all 13 districts of the state. Anantapur and East Godavari districts reported the highest tally of 10 deaths each followed by Guntur and Chittoor with nine and eight deaths, respectively.

Three of the districts reported six deaths each while another three districts reported three deaths each, and two districts reported two deaths each.

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Deadly cobra comes home for dinner!




Giant Cobra Rescued

Agra, Aug 6 : A slithering serpent triggered a state of panic amongst members of a family as soon as they spotted the uninvited guest comfortably perched in a drawer of the almirah in their bedroom, perhaps waiting for dinner time to move out.

The local police man contacted the NGO Wildlife SOS which sent its team to nab the reptile. A two-member team from the NGO geared up with necessary rescue equipment and rushed to the location. After ensuring that the occupants were at a safe distance, the team carefully extricated the distressed cobra from the almirah and transferred it in a safe transport carrier. It took 30 minutes minutes for the rescue operation. The reptile was safely rescued by the team and was later released back in its natural habitat.

Baijuraj M.V, Director Conservation Projects for Wildlife SOS, said, “We are glad that more and more people are reaching out to us for help, rather than taking matters in their own hands. Snake sightings increase in the monsoons and our teams work round the clock to ensure no call for aid goes unanswered.”

Kartick Satyanarayan, CEO and Co-founder of Wildlife SOS, said “Being one of the four most venomous snake species to be found in India, our team had to exercise a lot of caution while conducting the rescue in order to avoid any unnecessary casualties. Sometimes these rescues can be dangerous and risky, but our team is trained to handle and carry out such sensitive operations, in the interest of public safety and protection of urban wildlife.”

The cobra was kept under observation for a few hours and later released back in the wild.

India is home to a variety of snake species ranging from extremely venomous snakes like the Cobra and Common krait to relatively harmless and non-venomous ones like the Common sand boa, Red sand boa, Wolf snake & Rat snake. Largely misrepresented and often perceived as dangerous, reptiles are met with fear and hostility, leading to incidents of human conflict with this species.

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