Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) vigilance team has summoned a ‘Panch-Witness’ Prabhakar Sail in connection with the allegations of extortion he levelled in his affidavit of October 23, here on Wednesday.
The NCB team is likely to reach here later in the day and will question Sail for his statements claiming another ‘Panch-Witness’ Kiran Gosavi was the conduit for an alleged Rs 18-crore extortion bid from Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan.
He had also said that a part of this amount, Rs 8-crore was allegedly to be given to the NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, currently in the eye of a huge storm with a series of charges hurled against him.
In a related development, a businessman H.B. Bafna has claimed that his photo has been circulated as that of Sam D’Souza, one of the players in the alleged extortion bid, circulated by Sail.
Bafna has expressed fear for his life and sought a probe into how his photo came to be released as that of D’Souza on October 24, kicking up a huge controversy.
Considering the seriousness of the charges in Sail’s affidavit, it was forwarded to the NCB headquarters in New Delhi for necessary action last Sunday.
India logs 9,216 new Covid cases, 391 deaths
India on Friday reported 9,216 fresh Covid cases in the last 24 hours, below the 10,000-mark for the seventh day in the row.
A total of 391 deaths were reported across the nation taking the toll to 4,70,115, said the Ministry of Health and Family welfare on Friday morning.
The recovery of 8,612 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally to 3,40,45,666. Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.35 per cent, highest since March 2020.
India’s active caseload presently stands at 99,976. Active cases constitute 0.29 per cent of the country’s total positive cases, which is the lowest since March 2020.
Also in the same period, a total of 11,57,156 tests were conducted across the country. India has so far conducted over 64.46 crore cumulative tests.
Meanwhile, the weekly positivity rate at 0.84 per cent has remained less than 1 per cent for the last 19 days now.
The daily positivity rate stands at 0.80 per cent, which has also remained below 2 per cent for the last 60 days and less than 3 per cent for 95 consecutive days now.
With the administration of 73,67,230 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid inoculation coverage has reached 125.75 crore as of Thursday morning.
This has been achieved through 1,30,65,773 sessions.
More than 22.05 crore balance and unutilized Covid vaccine doses are still available with the states and union territories to be administered, according to the health ministry as of Friday morning.
Schools in Delhi shut down till further orders due to pollution
Due to ‘very poor’ air quality, all schools in Delhi will remain closed from December 3 onwards till further order, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Thursday.
Earlier on November 13, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced to shut down physical classes in schools for a week, adding that education will continue in virtual mode. After a gap of almost two weeks, all schools in the national capital were reopening on November 29.
This move of the Delhi government came after the Supreme Court of India gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the Centre, Delhi and its neighbouring states to act against rising air pollution. Despite the ban, CBSE exams would go ahead with necessary precautions and safety measures.
The state government took a similar decision on Monday when it announced a blanket ban on all the construction and demolition (C&D) activities in the city until further orders. Besides, the entry of non-CNG and non-electric trucks from outside of Delhi was also prohibited on the same date till December 7 to reduce vehicular emission.
While stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab is reported to be a major source of pollution in the capital, dust from the construction and demolition activities, vehicular emission and pollution from open burning contribute as the city’s own source of pollution.
On Thursday, Delhi’s overall AQI at 9.30 a.m. stood at 382 with the level of PM2.5 and PM10 standing at 227 and 401, respectively, as per System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
According to the Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi, the air quality is likely to remain in the ‘Very Poor’ category on December 3 and December 4. “Winds are likely to remain slow/calm during December 3 to 5 which are unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants. The Outlook for subsequent five days: The air quality is likely to remain in Very Poor category with PM2.5 to be the predominant pollutant,” It added.
India registers 9,765 fresh Covid cases, 477 deaths
India logged 9,765 fresh Covid cases in the past 24 hours, below the 10,000-mark for sixth day in a row, the Ministry of Health and Family welfare said on Thursday morning.
With the addition of 477 fatalities, the total death toll has climbed at 4,69,724.
The recovery of 8,548 people in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally of the recovered patients to 3,40,37,054. Consequently, the recovery rate stands at 98.35 per cent, the highest since March 2020.
India’s active caseload presently stands at 99,763. It constitutes 0.29 per cent of the country’s total positive cases, which is lowest since March 2020.
Also in the same period, a total of 10,98,611 tests were conducted across the country pegging the cumulative tests at 64.35 crore.
Meanwhile, the weekly positivity rate at 0.85 per cent has remained less than 1 per cent for the last 18 days now.
The daily positivity rate stands at 0.89 per cent, which has also remained below 2 per cent for last 59 days and less than 3 per cent for 94 consecutive days now.
With the administration of 80,35,261 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid inoculation coverage has reached 124.96 crore as of Thursday morning.
This has been achieved through 1,29,79,828 in sessions.
More than 22.78 crore balance and unutilised Covid vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs to be administered, according to the ministry. India has administered over 124.96 crore vaccine doses so far under the nationwide vaccination drive.
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