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Set up citizens committees to combat Covid, says Thackeray



Uddhav Thackeray

Mumbai, July 9 (IANS) Stressing the need to involve the common people, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday called for setting up local ”Corona Vigilance Committees” to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The growing incidence of coronavirus in Thane district is worrying. The Municipal Commissioners must involve the citizens of their respective cities and towns, along with local NGOs. It will then be easier to control this scourge,” Thackeray said.

Making the first of its kind suggestion, he pointed out how such mass participation had helped during the Independence movement, and recently the public boycott of Chinese goods had sent a big message across.

“Likewise, the battle with corona is not just about the government. Set up Corona Vigilance Committees in every city, town, villages and hamlets, get the local people, youth and NGOs to join. Check the health of high-risk persons like senior citizens, their chronic ailments, their oxygen levels, hygiene, whether they wear masks and take other precautions,” said Thackeray.

He referred to the malaria and dengue spread in 2010 when the slum-dwellers and people of Mumbai joined in a big way in spraying of public areas to control the diseases and called for a similar ”mission mode” to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thackeray”s suggestion came during a video-conference with the Municipal Commissioners of Thane district”s civic bodies like Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivali, Bhiwandi-Nizampur, Ulhasnagar and Mira-Bhayander, when he sought to impress that the battle with corona cannot be fought alone and must involve citizens and NGOs.

Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar and the CM”s Principal Advisor Ajoy Mehta directed all the Municipal Commissioners to crack the whip and take stringent steps to prevent the further spread of coronavirus in the district, while Konkan Divisional Commissioner Lokesh Chandra made certain suggestions for the region.

Thackeray pointed out that with almost four months experience in tackling corona, everybody has acquired enough knowledge on the dos and don”ts, and instructions from the government are also self-explanatory.

“I am certain that you will get success if all the officials are more careful and take appropriate action. Some officials were replaced not because they were inefficient, but now Covid has spread so much that we needed to take tough steps to prevent its further multiplication,” he added.

Citing the example of Mumbai, he asked the authorities to build jumbo facilities for Corona patients along with ICU and oxygen beds, and seek help from industrial houses, private companies and other organisations in this endeavour.

Thackeray said that given the possibility of the number of patients increasing over the coming days, it was urgent and imperative to set up jumbo Covid-care facilities outside Mumbai.

“The jumbo facilities in Mumbai are not merely tents, but they have full-fledged treatment facilities, beds, ICU beds, oxygen beds, drinking water, drainage, toilets, etc. The civic bodies must also make arrangements to stock up adequate medicines required for the future,” he said.

The Konkan division comprises Mumbai district, Mumbai Suburban district, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, with a total of eight Municipal Corporations, 17 Municipal Councils and 23 City Councils under its jurisdiction.

Within the division falls the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, including the Thane district which has notched up 67,722 cases and 1,695 deaths till date, besides Mumbai”s 5,064 fatalities and 87,856 cases.



Congress blames ‘toxic’ TV debate for Rajiv Tyagi’s untimely demise

“Till when will toxic debates and venomous spokespersons continue to kill sober and simple people? Till when TV channels will continue to run the TRP business through such debates? Surjewala tweeted




Randeep Surjewala

New Delhi, Aug 13 : The Congress has blamed ‘toxic’ TV debate for the untimely demise of its spokesperson Rajiv Tyagi, who passed away on Wednesday after suffering a cardiac arrest.

The Congress leader had attended a television debate at 5 p.m. and complained of chest pain soon after the programme ended. He then fell unconscious and was rushed to the Yashoda Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, “Till when will toxic debates and venomous spokespersons continue to kill sober and simple people? Till when TV channels will continue to run the TRP business through such debates? Till when will divisive communal agenda continue to poison the soul of the country? Till when? #rajiv_tyagi.”

Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi, former party chief Rahul Gandhi and senior leader Priyanka Gandhi spoke to Tyagi’s wife and extended their condolences.

Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet, “Congress has lost a lion. We will always remember his love for the party. My condolences are with the family.”

“Shocked to hear about the tragic demise of Shri Rajiv Tyagi. He was too young and had a long life ahead of him. It is a big loss for the party. My heart goes out to his family & wellwishers. May God give them the strength in this hour of grief,” tweeted senior leader Ahmed Patel.

A resident of Ghaziabad, Tyagi was a member of the Uttar Pradesh Congress before becoming the party’s national spokesperson.

The Congress in a statement said, “We are deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Rajiv Tyagi, a staunch Congressman and a true patriot. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this hour of grief.”

Congress leader Jitin Prasada said, “I am shocked and deeply saddened by his untimely demise.”

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “I can’t believe that my friend Rajiv Tyagi is not with us any more. He was in a debate with me at 5 p.m. Life is uncertain.”

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Refrain from inappropriate social media posts: Telangana Police

With a provocative social media post triggering violence in Bengaluru, Telangana Director General of Police M. Mahender Reddy and Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar on Wednesday cautioned people against posting inappropriate content online.



Begaluru Violence

Gajwel: The police chief, in a statement, requested people to be cautious while posting any content on social media.

“A malicious social media post has led to mindless violence in Bangalore (Bengaluru) city resulting in loss of life and properties. Public are requested not to post/circulate any inappropriate content in social media which is likely to adversely affect public order and peace in the society,” the DGP said.

He said Telangana Police were closely watching round the clock for anti-social elements circulating such malicious content in social media.

“All the SHOs and other senior Officers have been instructed to register specific cases in every such instance and initiate strong and strict action against such offenders without fail. I request the public to partner with police to maintain the highest standards of safety and security in Telangana,” he added.

Anjani Kumar has also urged people to be very cautious before posting anything on social media. “Last night there was violence in Bangalore because of such a social media post. We will take very firm legal action for any irresponsible post. We cannot allow under any circumstances our city to get a bad name,” he tweeted.

A Facebook message posted allegedly by a relative of a Congress MLA triggered violent protest in Bengaluru on Tuesday night.

Three people were killed in the police firing and 60 police personnel were injured in the violent incident of stone pelting and attacks by rioters.

Earlier, Telangana Industries Minister K. T. Rama Rao said that social media cannot turn into an instrument for anti-social behaviour.

The minister took to Twitter to share his thoughts after violence in Bengaluru.

“Goes to show you how dangerous spreading fake news in social media can be…,” tweeted Rama Rao, who is son of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.

Rama Rao, who is also the President of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), requested all social media users to be responsible. He urged them not to indulge in propaganda and stop spreading fake news.

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Bengal govt withdraws state-wide lockdown on Aug 28

Hence, the statewide lockdown will only be observed on August 20, 21, 27 and 31.



Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata, Aug 12 : The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government on Wednesday withdrew the complete lockdown on August 28 and imposed a curfew on August 20 instead.

The state government passed an order to this effect, saying the step was taken in response to various requests it had received.

As a result, the lockdown dates were once again revised to six days this month. This is the fourth time that the state government has revised the coronavirus lockdown dates for the month of August.

Hence, the statewide lockdown will only be observed on August 20, 21, 27 and 31.

According to the statement, the revision comes in view of difficulties cited by businesses and banking operators due to the consecutive two-day lockdown in the last week of August.

“Several communications have been received citing difficulty to conduct of businesses and banking operations because of the two-day lockdown on Thursday and Friday in the last week of August, followed by one-day lockdown on the following Monday. The state government has considered the requests for relaxation of lockdown,” the notification read.

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