Ahead of the sixth phase of voting in West Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held massive roadshows. While the BJP leader held a rally in Habra, the Trinamool Congress chief led a roadshow in Kolkata. Many participants at the rallies didn't follow Covid protocol, failing to maintain social distance. Some didn't even wear face masks. Watch the full video for more.
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Encounter broke out between security forces and Naxals in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada. Search operation was launched by District Reserve Guard (DRG) after inputs and body of a Naxal was recovered following gunbattle.
Naxals allegedly killed two villagers in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh. Police said that naxals were suspicious of them being police informers. “Naxals killed two persons in Sukma, people went to probe the deaths. A note was also placed by the naxals near the bodies of deceased. Note stated that naxals have killed them for being police informers,” Sukma SP said. Incident comes days after the fierce Sukma-Bijapur encounter on April 3. As many as 22 security personnel were killed and 31 others were injured in the gunfight.
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Naxals allegedly killed two villagers in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on the suspicion of being police informers. Sukma SP KL Dhruv said, "A note was also placed by the naxals near the bodies of deceased. In the note it was stated that naxals have killed them for being police informers."
In an exclusive interview with ANI on April 21, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hit at Centre for not executing proper planning to fight with second wave of COVID-19 and called it "government's failure." She also said that the government had time to tackle the situation but they ignored it. She said, "India's production capacity for oxygen is one of the largest in world. Then why is there a shortage? You had 8-9 months (between first and second wave), your own Sero-surveys indicated that a second wave is imminent, you ignored it. You had time. Today, only 2000 trucks in India can transport oxygen. How tragic it is that oxygen is available but it's not reaching where it should. 1.1 million Remdesivir injections were exported in last 6 months. Today, we're facing shortage." She further said, "Government exported 6 crores vaccines between Jan-March. During this time 3-4 crores Indians were vaccinated. Why were Indians not prioritised? Vaccine shortage is due to bad planning, Remdesivir shortage due to no planning, oxygen shortage due to no strategy. It's Government's failure."
Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo reacted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to nation on April 20. He said that he was hoping that the PM in his address would announce free vaccine for every citizen. "The PM didn't mention anything on how much the vaccine production capacity will be boosted and on the number of vaccine doses to be given to states after that".
CRPF jawan Rakeshwar Singh Manhas reached his hometown, Jammu on Friday. Rakeshwar was released last week after being abducted by Naxals in Chhattisgarh. The jawan was warmly welcomed by family, friends who put garlands around his neck. “I am very happy that I am meeting my family today. Our soldiers were brave enough to fight back the Naxals,” Rakeshwar said. Rakeshwar was abducted by Naxals during the Sukma-Bijapur encounter on April 3. Rakeshwar, who was part of security force's elite CoBRA unit, was released on April 8. 22 security personnel were killed and 31 others were injured in the fierce gunbattle.
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A purported video from Sitalkuchi in Bengal's Cooch Behar is doing rounds on social media. Four villagers had died in the area in an altercation with CRPF jawans during the fourth phase of polling. Ruling TMC said video vindicates its position that there was no provocation for CRPF to fire. TMC MP and spokesperson Derek O'Brien went on to dub it as cold-blooded genocide. The video shows many locals gathered in a field, while some are seen wielding sticks. In the viral video, some central force jawans can also be seen. Soon firing can be heard, though it is not clear who fired the shot. Video shows a ruckus erupt in the area after the shots are fired. Earlier, Cooch Behar SP had said there was rumour that police opened fire. Debasish Dhar had added that the rumour led locals to come out in large numbers. The SP had said that this led the Central forces to open fire in self defence.
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Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF) under its Madadgaar project on Aprik 12 organised a 'Day out' picnic for the disabled youths at the famous Tulip garden in Srinagar. About 25 people were taken out for a day of fun, out of which 18 were disabled and 7 were helpers of them. CRPF also provided transport and refreshment to these disabled youths keeping in mind COVID norms. Such initiative was taken for disabled ones to give a change to the disabled usually living inside their homes and it was also an opportunity for them to interact with the normal people.
Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, the CoBRA jawan who was abducted by Naxals following the April 03 encounter in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur and released later on April 08, finally met his family in Jammu on April 17. Manhas got a rousing welcome upon his arrival at Jammu airport where his family and friends were waiting for him. He expressed his happiness after meeting his family. During his abduction, Manhas's family repeatedly urged the government to ensure his safe release from the hands of Naxals. He was finally released on April 08 during a jansabha of Naxals in Bijapur. The deadly encounter in Bijapur on April 03 claimed the lives of 22 security personnel while injuring more than 30 jawans.
Five vehicles engaged in the construction of a water filter plant were put on the fire by naxals in Bijapur on April 11. It took place in Bijapur's Naimed police station limits. WTP is being built on the banks of Mingachal river to supply water to Bijapur town. Bijapur recently saw a deadly attack on security forces by Naxals which left 22 personnel dead.
Government of India had announced that everyone above 18-years will be eligible to get vaccinated from May 01. Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren took another step in the same direction and announced free vaccination to all above the age of 18-years. Currently there are 40,942 active cases in the state. On April 22, the state reported 7,595 new COVID infections and 106 deaths. The death toll of Jharkhand mounted to 1,715.
Maharashtra Government appealed Centre to allot more Remdesivir injections to the State to battle COVID-19. "We need 50,000 Remdisivir injections daily but now we have been allotted only 26,000 injections for the next 10 days by the Centre. I appeal to the Government of India to allot more injections to the State, I will write to them today," said Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope.
Commerce Secretary of Government of India, Anup Wadhawan said that efforts are underway on a war footing to make oxygen supplies available amid increase in demand due to COVID-19. "DPIT (Dept for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) is coordinating it. The efforts are underway on a war footing to make oxygen supplies available. It's being coordinated on a 24x7 basis. Supplies position will improve tremendously in my understanding," said Anup Wadhawan.