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Wadhawans picnic fracas: Maha IPS officer sent on leave

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Mumbai police-wefornews-min

Satara/Mumbai, April 10 The Maharashtra government on Friday sent on ‘compulsory leave’ an IPS officer and Principal Secretary (Special) Amitabh Gupta for allegedly allowing the scam-tainted Wadhawan brothers and others to travel from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar on Wednesday at the height of the lockdown.

Simltaneously, the Mahabaleshwar Police early on Friday booked 23 persons of the Wadhawan family and others for flouting various laws including the Epidemic Diseases Act, an official said.

“They were found here on Thursday evening and said they had come from Mumbai, travelling from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar. We have lodged an FIR against them under various laws pertaining to flouting lockdown under the pandemic,” an official from Mahabaleshwar Police Station told IANS.

“As per discussion with CM (Uddhav Thackeray), Amitabh Gupta, has been sent on compulsory leave with immediate effect, till the pending of enquiry, which will be initiated against him,” said Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a tweet early on Friday.

The permission – in the form of a ‘To Whomsoever It May Concern’ letter – was issued by Gupta on his personal letterhead on April 8 (Wednesday), permitting the Wadhawans and others to cross from Khandala in Pune to Mahabaleshwar in Satara.

The matter sparked off a huge political storm late on Thursday with the Bharatiya Janata Party Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis and state Vice-President Kirit Somaiya demanding a probe and Deshmukh’s scalp.

Deshmukh said the probe will also go into how the 23-member team managed to reach from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar despite the stringent lockdown which has stranded millions of migrants all over the country.

Gupta’s letter said: “This is to just inform you that following are well known to me as they are my family friends and are travelling from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar for family emergency. Hence you are hereby informed through this letter to co-operate with them to reach their destination.”

It listed the registration numbers of all the five vehicles and the names of all the family members, friends, and others who were planning to travel in each of the vehicles for the unspecified ‘family emergency’.

The Wadhawans have been linked as accused in the Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank and Yes Bank scams along with the entities, DHFL-HDIL.

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With 299 new cases, Karnataka Covid tally crosses 3K

In total, 2.93 lakh samples have been tested so far, of which 2.86 lakh were negative.

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coronavirus hospital

Bengaluru, May 31 : Karnataka’s Covid tally crossed 3,000-mark, a record jump of 299 infections in the past 24 hours, mostly constituting returnees from Maharashtra, raising the state’s tally to 3,221, an official said on Sunday.

“New cases reported from Saturday 5 p.m. to Sunday 5 p.m. are 299,” said a health official.

Continuing the trend of past several days, domestic returnees formed the lion’s share of new cases, accounting for 258 or 86 per cent of the cases.

Of the 258 returnees, 252 returned from Maharashtra alone, 98 per cent of the domestic returnees.

Returnees from other states are a miniscule — two from Delhi and one from Andhra Pradesh.

Unfortunately, three young healthcare workers working at an isolation ward in Davangere has also contracted the virus.

There were seven international passengers who got infected on Sunday, four from Doha, two from Malaysia and one from Indonesia.

Incidentally, cases with contact history rose to 34.

In the past 24 hours, cases spiked in Vijayapura, Bengaluru Urban, Raichur, Kalaburagi, Bidar, Mandya, Yadgir, Belagavi, Udupi, Davangere, Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada.

Among the new cases, Bengaluru Urban contributed 21, followed by Yadgir (44), Kalaburagi (28), Mandya (13), Raichur (83), Udupi (10), Bidar (33), Belagavi (13), Davangere (6), Dakshina Kannada (14), Vijayapura (26), Uttara Kannda (5), Ballari, Shivamogga and Kolar (1 each).

Of the new cases, 168 are men and 131 women, including 33 children below 10.

On Sunday, two patients succumbed to the virus, a 50-year-old man from Raichur and a 75-year-old man from Bidar.

Across the state, 1,950 are active cases, 1,218 discharged, 51 deaths and 15 patients in ICU.

On Sunday, 221 patients got discharged.

In the past 24 hours, Karnataka has tested 13,358 persons, of which 12,841 tested negative.

In total, 2.93 lakh samples have been tested so far, of which 2.86 lakh were negative.

Top five places with active cases in the state include Yadgir (275), Raichur (214), Mandya (209), Kalaburagi (146) and Bidar (131).

Of the total, Bengaluru Urban has so far accounted for 10 deaths, followed by Kalaburagi (7), Dakshina Kannada (6) and Vijayapura and Bidar (5 each) among others.

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Punjab shops, beauty parlours to open 12 hours daily

Bicycles, rickshaws and auto-rickshaws will be allowed subject to compliance of the SOP as issued by the Transport Department.

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Amarinder Singh

Chandigarh, May 31 : In line with the Central government’s guidelines for ‘Unlock 1.0’, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday ordered formulation of clearly defined guidelines for opening up of hotels, hospitality services, shopping malls, places of worship, and restaurants for in-dining, from June 8, while announcing immediate opening up of shops, including liquor and barber shops, beauty parlours, spas, etc, from Monday in the non-containment zones.

He has directed the Health and Transport Departments to come out with detailed SOPs for permitted activities and movement in this phase of the lockdown, beginning June 1 till June 30, for the areas outside containment zones.

In the containment zones, however, only essential activities will be allowed and there will be a strict perimeter control. Such zones will be demarcated by the district authorities, after taking into consideration the guidelines of the Union bMinistry of Health and Family Welfare.

The district authorities would also identify buffer zones outside containment zones wherein restrictions as considered necessary, may be put in place.

The movement of individuals for all the non-essential activities shall remain prohibited between 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. as per the Centre’s guidelines and district authorities have been directed to issue prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Cr.PC and ensure strict compliance.

As per the directives of the Chief Minister, effective June 1, shops in main bazars will be open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and liquor vends can remain open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Deputy Commissioners have been authorised to exercise their discretion in staggering the timings to avoid crowding, in main bazars, market complexes and rehri markets.

Subject to compliance with SOPs to be issued by the Health Department, barber shops, hair-cut salons, beauty parlours and spas are also allowed to open up from Monday.

E-commerce is now permitted in Punjab for all goods, including non-essential, as per the latest guidelines issued on the directives of the Chief Minister.

Sports complexes and stadia can also open without spectators.

As far as inter-state travel is concerned, buses will ply with the consent of other states.

There are no restrictions on either inter-state or intra-state movement of passenger vehicles such as taxis, cabs, stage carriers, tempo-travellers and cars, but self-generated e-pass would need to be downloaded from COVA app.

Bicycles, rickshaws and auto-rickshaws will be allowed subject to compliance of the SOP as issued by the Transport Department.

For inter-state movement of trains and domestic flights, the inward passengers would have to follow the SOPs of the Health Department and would be required to either download Cova-app and get self-generated ‘e-pass’ or declare their particulars at the railway station.

The passengers would also be home quarantined for 14 days.

All categories of industries, and construction activities are allowed to operate, without any restriction, in both rural and urban areas, along with agricultural, horticultural, animal husbandry, veterinary services.

No separate permission would be required by the industries and other establishments to resume their operations.

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Continue strict enforcement of measures in containment zones: Delhi LG

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Delhi L-G Anil Baijal

New Delhi, May 31 : Delhi Lt. Governor Anil Baijal on Sunday directed the officials concerned to ensure continued strict enforcement of health and other measures in containment zones in the national capital as per central government guidelines.

In a series of tweets, he said that he had held a meeting on the ongoing coronavirus situation in Delhi with the Chief Secretary and other senior officials, including Municipal Commissioners, and reviewed steps taken to ramp up health infrastructure in Delhi keeping in mind various scenarios.

The total coronavirus cases in the city had crossed 18,000-mark on Saturday.

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