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Tuesday,03-August-2021

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Goa Congress seeks FIR against CM in O2 shortage deaths

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Pramod-Sawant

Twelve days after filing a First Information Report (FIR) against Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Health Minister Vishwajit Rane in connection with deaths of Covid patients earlier this month due to oxygen shortage, state Congress president Girish Chodankar on Friday appealed to the North Goa District SP for registration of the FIR.

In his complaint filed before SP (North Goa) Utkrisht Bansal, Chodankar has alleged that nearly 400 persons have died due to oxygen shortage, on account of negligence and mismanagement on part of the state administration over the last few weeks.

“Despite 12 days of filing police complaint at Agacaim Police Station, police failed to register FIR against CM Pramod Sawant and Health Minister Viswajit Rane for killing innocents, the Goa Congress Party in order to pressurise Goa Government to register FIR against the duo has now approached SP (North Goa) by filing a complaint under section 154 (3) of Code of Criminal Procedure,” Chodankar said.

“This dreadful act is totally unacceptable to the Congress Party and this clearly shows that the BJP that’s ruling the state of Goa today has no value for human life whatsoever, and despite of having the supply of oxygen in abundance as per the CM’s own admission, the Health Minister ruthlessly just allowed a large number of people to die on day-to-day basis, shamelessly citing logistical issues,” Chodankar also said.

The death of nearly 80 patients at the state’s apex health facility, the Goa Medical College near Panaji, due to oxygen shortage in mid-May had triggered shock waves in the state.

The deaths also led the Bombay High Court bench in Goa to intervene in an attempt to streamline the oxygen management procedure at the medical college.

While Health Minister Vishwajit Rane in an interview had initially said that oxygen shortage had led to the death of the patients, the Goa government’s Health Secretary Ravi Dhavan has insisted that the deaths did not occur due to oxygen shortage.

“The Congress party is not going to sit idle over this allowing this to happen to its precious citizens of Goa and our Party is committed to go to the root of the matter and make sure that the guilty are punished severely and the people of Goa get justice,” Chodankar said.

National News

Assam to withdraw FIR against Mizoram RS member

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Mizoram-Rajya-Sabha

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday asked the police to withdraw an FIR against Mizoram Rajya Sabha member K. Vanlalvena which was lodged in the wake of the July 26 border row.

In the wake of the July 26 clashes, the Assam Police had issued summons to K. Vanlalvena and six Mizoram state officials for their alleged role in the violence.

In a series of tweets on Monday, Sarma said: “To take this goodwill gesture ahead, I have directed the Assam Police to withdraw the FIR against K. Vanlalvena, Hon’ble MP, Rajya Sabha from Mizoram.

“However, cases against other accused police officers will be pursued. He (Vanlalvena) was not in that area on that day. We had booked him only for provocative statements.

“I have noted statements in the media by Hon’ble CM Zoramthanga wherein he has expressed his desire to settle the border dispute amicably. Assam always wants to keep the spirit of North East alive. We are also committed to ensuring peace along our borders.”

Zoramthanga retweeted his Assam counterpart’s posts.

Monday’s development came a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday spoke to the Chief Ministers of Assam and Mizoram and requested them to resolve the border issue amicably through meaningful dialogue.

Regarding thewithdrawal of the FIR, Assam Police’s Special Director General G.P. Singh also in a tweet, said: “This has been done at the instruction of Hon CM Office, Assam Sri Himanta Biswa Sarma in the interest of de-escalation of the tension along the border.

“However, criminal proceedings against erring police personnel of Mizoram Police and other miscreants shall continue.”

Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo on Sunday that following Zoramthanga’s advice, the state administration would “relook” into the FIR registered against Sarma.

He said that Zoramthanga did not approve of the inclusion of Sarma’s name in the FIR, adding that he too was not properly aware of the Assam Chief Minister’s name being included in the FIR before it was lodged.

Besides Sarma, who is accused of “attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy”, six other officials, including an Assam IGP, DIG and the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police of Cachar district and 200 unidentified Assam Police personnel, were named in the FIR lodged at the Vairengte police station in Kolasib district on July 26.

Chuaungo also said that the state government had taken up the issue of “economic blockade in Assam”, which stopped supplies, including transport fuels, with the Union Home Ministry.

The most violent clashes, seen so far, along the Assam-Mizoram border on July 26 left six Assam Police personnel dead and around 100 civilians and security personnel of the two neighbouring states injured, including an Inspector General of Police in Assam and Cachar Superintendent of Police Vaibhav Chandrakant Nimbalkar, who subsequently shifted to Mumbai.

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National News

Karnataka cabinet expansion: CM Basavaraj Bommai to meet Nadda in Delhi

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J.P. Nadda and Basavaraj Bommai.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is likely to get consent for cabinet expansion after meeting the party Chief J.P. Nadda on Monday. Bommai is scheduled to meet Nadda in the first half of the morning hours.

Party sources said that the list of ministers will be finalised. Chief Minister Bommai had earlier requested the high command to approve the appointment of 12-13 ministers as the state is facing multiple issues in the form of floods, heavy rainfall and the Covid crisis.

Chief Minister Bommai, who was expecting a call on Monday, was called again to New Delhi on Sunday within 24 hours of his return from his maiden trip after taking charge as the Chief Minister.

He had already held a long meeting in an undisclosed location with a BJP top leader who is also a Union Minister in connection with cabinet expansion.

The list is going to be finalised in the meeting with party Chief Nadda and the state cabinet will be expanded in one or two days, sources explain.

Chief Minister Bommai had submitted a tentative list of the cabinet ministers to the BJP high command. However, the party top leaders did not give consent and the high command has changed the list, sources said.

It is also learnt that, it has been decided to create more than two Deputy CM posts, and in the first phase 12 to 15 cabinet ministers will take the oath.

Chief Minister Bommai is also likely to meet Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi and National Organising Secretary B.L. Santhosh, both hail from Karnataka.

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Karnataka lays down rules for travellers from Kerala, Maharashtra

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The Karnataka government has started taking stringent measures to deal with the Covid threat in the state from Monday onwards. Special teams have been formed to ensure proper surveillance on travellers coming from Kerala and Maharashtra into the state especially to Bengaluru.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta has passed an order to check and enforce the RT-PCR tests on travellers coming from Kerala and Maharashtra, which are witnessing a surge in Covid cases.

The special drive will be carried out in Bengaluru and the responsibility is fixed on zonal commissioners and health inspectors. Officers from the revenue department have also been roped in to conduct checks and ensure testing at all entry points in Bengaluru.

Revenue department officials will check whether travellers have a certificate of RT-PCR test of 72 hours. Health department officials will conduct an RT-PCR test for those who do not have the certificate.

Majestic Railway station, bus station, Mysore Road Satellite bus terminal, Yashwanthpur Railway station and bus stop, Kengeri Satellite bus terminal, Shivajinagar bus terminal, Cantonment Railway station, K.R. Puram railway station, which are considered entry points for the travellers coming from these states. They will be strictly monitored on these points.

Guidelines have been prepared by the health secretariat and the government has given strict orders to contain the Covid crisis.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has already announced that after watching developments in the state for 15 days, the government will take a call on imposing restrictions that were lifted recently.

Karnataka logged 1,875 fresh Covid-19 infections and 25 deaths on Sunday which took the total cases in the state to 29,06,999 and death toll to 36,587.

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