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Wednesday,05-August-2020

Crime

9 die after consuming sanitizer in Andhra Pradesh

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Unable to get liquor due to the Covid induced lockdown in place, nine people died after consuming sanitizer in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh, police said on Friday.

While three people died on Thursday, six succumbed on Friday. The incident occurred in Kurichedu mandal headquarters in Prakasam district.

As the liquor shops in town and surrounding villages were closed for the last 10 days due to lockdown, the habitual drinkers had started consuming sanitizer used for hand hygiene.

The deceased include three beggars. Two of them who used to beg at a local temple complained of severe burning sensation in their stomachs on Thursday night. While a man died instantaneously, another was shifted to a hospital at Darsi where he succumbed while undergoing treatment.

Another 28-year-old man, who had consumed country made liquor mixed with sanitizer, also fell unconscious at his home. He died while being shifted to hospital.

Six more were rushed to hospital in the early hours of Friday and they all succumbed. Police were trying to find out if more people were brought to hospital with similar complaints.

Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal ordered a probe into the incident. He said sanitizers were seized from shops in the area and sent for chemical analysis.

Police were trying to ascertain if the victims were using only sanitizers or mixing it with some other chemicals.

Due to lockdown in Kurichedu and surrounding villages in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases, liquor shops were closed for the last 10 days.

The deceased were identified as A. Srinu, 25, B. Tirupataiah, 37, G. Ramireddy, 60, Kadiam Ramnaiah, 29, Ramanaiah, 65, Rajireddy, 65, Babu, 40, Charles, 45, Augustine, 47.

Crime

Rains pound Mumbai, MMR for second straight day

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Heavy rains pounded Mumbai, Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and coastal Konkan for the second consecutive day, hitting suburban train services and disrupting normal life, officials said.

In a rare development, many parts of south Mumbai like Churchgate, Marine Lines, Marine Drive, Kalbadevi, Dongri, Byculla, Mazagaon, Parel, Dadar and surroundings witnessed heavy waterlogging, throwing the central business districts of the area out of gear.

Central Railway (CR) suburban train services were suspended between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Kurla on the mainline and CSMT and Vashi on the Harbour Line after heavy downpour, said CR spokesperson Shivaji Sutar.

Similarly, Western Railway spokesperson Sumit Thakur said that owing to heavy rains, some suburban trains were suspended and all trains were reversed from Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra and Andheri.

Major landmarks like the Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) Phiroze Jeejeebhoy Tower suffered the brunt of the rain fury when its massive signboard on the 29th floor got ripped off and hung precariously.

Some sections of a cement cladding adorning the exteriors of the Jaslok Hospital in south Mumbai were blown off and fell in pieces on the road below, but there were no reports of any casualties.

In some areas, water rushed into ground-floor homes, shops or offices in south Mumbai as incessant rains continued all day.

Huge traffic snarls were witnessed in south Mumbai with trees falling on some roads in Churchgate, Marine Lines, Charni Road and Worli, hitting vehicular traffic on the Eastern Express Highway and the Western Express Highway.

With thousands of commuters getting stranded, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday evening said that it had made arrangements for people at the nearest civic schools outside the major railway stations.

Heavy rains also lashed the adjoining coastal districts of Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg since the past 24 hours.

In Ratnagiri and Raigad, more than 25 villages in two sub-districts remained cut-off, while in Mahad town in Ratnagiri, rubber boats were deployed by disaster agencies to rescue several families stranded in at least four feet water.

Rains pounded Palghar and Thane causing waterlogging in many towns like Mira Road, Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Ulhasnagar, Naigaon, Vasai, Virar and Dahanu, hitting people in a big way.

The IMD has forecast heavy to extremely heavy spells of rain in Mumbai and the coastal Konkan area in the next 24 hours.

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Crime

Pakistan violates LoC ceasefire for 3rd day in Jammu and Kashmir

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Pakistan troops indulged in unprovoked ceasefire violation on the Line of Control (LoC) for the third consecutive day on Wednesday in Jammu and Kashmir.

Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Devender Anand said Pakistan troops started firing with small arms around 7 pm and shelling with mortars along the LoC in Mankote Sector in Poonch district, to which the “Indian Army is retaliating befittingly”.

Till the last reports came in, heavy firing and shelling were continuing from both the sides.

Pakistan has been violating bilateral ceasefire on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir with impunity since the beginning of this year.

So far, over 2,720 ceasefire violations have been recorded, in which 21 civilians have died and 94 others injured.

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Crime

Dr Kafeel Khan’s wife launches campaign to free him

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Jailed paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan’s wife Dr Shabista Khan has launched a campaign on the social media seeking support for her husband’s release.

The campaign was launched on the eve of the hearing of the Habeas Corpus plea in Allahabad high court.

The campaign, #DrKafeelKhanKoAzaadKaro, was trending on Twitter on Tuesday evening.

Shabista Khan, in a video message, urged people to come with her to run a campaign for release of her husband.

According to Kafeel’s brother Adeel Ahmad Khan, the Habeas Corpus plea has been filed by their mother Nuzhat Parveen.

The plea challenges the detention of Kafeel for four days before imposing the National Security Act (NSA) on him even after he secured bail in all the cases registered against him.

He said, “How can he disrupt the law and order situation during a pandemic when all schools and colleges are shut.”

Kafeel has been behind bars since January 29 after a speech he had delivered at Aligarh Muslim University during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests. The speech was deemed “provocative” by the UP government, which booked him under the NSA but hours after he had got bail in the case.

Detention under the NSA allows the state to detain a person for up to 12 months, which can be extended if the state finds “fresh evidence”.

Many political representatives across party lines also tweeted in Kafeel’s support. Bollywood actors Richa Chadha and Swara Bhasker lent their support with the hashtag #FreeDrKafeel.

While the campaign demanding Kafeel’s release has been a sustained one, he was in news recently after a letter in which he wrote about the pathetic conditions of the prison in Mathura where he is lodged, was shared on social media.

The four-page letter, purportedly written by him in June, spoke of the “hellish” conditions of his barracks, where 150 inmates were sharing a toilet.

Earlier, in March, he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting that he should be allowed to use his medical expertise to help in the fight against the pandemic. “I have conducted 103 free medical camps since out of jail after the BRD oxygen tragedy examining over 50,000 children/patients all over India. I feel I could be of some help in curtailing this disease,” he had written.

The death of nearly 60 children at the state-run BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur due to oxygen shortage in August 2017 had put Kafeel on the firing line of the state government.

He was charged with medical negligence and dereliction of duty but absolved of the charges in a departmental inquiry. He had spent nine months behind bars at that time.

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