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India logs 20,408 new Covid cases, 54 deaths



In the last 24 hours, India reported 20,408 new Covid cases and 54 deaths, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday.

The new fatalities took the nationwide death toll to 5,26,312.

The active caseload marginally declined to 1,43,384, accounting for 0.33 per cent of the country’s total positive cases.

The recovery of 20,958 patients in the last 24 hours took the cumulative tally to 4,33,30,442. Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.48 per cent.

While the daily positivity rate marginally declined to 5.05 per cent, the weekly positivity rate stood at 4.92 per cent.

Also in the same period, a total of 4,04,399 tests were conducted across the country, increasing the overall tally to over 87.48 crore.

As of Saturday morning, India’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage exceeded 203.94 crore, achieved via 2,69,93,794 sessions

Over 3.89 crore adolescents have been administered with a first dose of Covid-19 jab since the beginning of vaccination drive for this age bracket.


Covishield vax death case: Bombay HC issues notices to Centre, Bill Gates, SII




The Bombay High Court has issued notices to the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and the Centre in a case filed by an Aurangabad man alleging that his medico daughter died due to the side-effects of the Covishield vaccine and sought Rs 1,000-crore as compensation.

The petitioner is Dilip Lunawat, who has contended that his daughter Snehal Lunawat, 33, who was also a Senior Lecturer at the SMBT Dental College & Hospital in Nashik, was compelled to take the vaccine along with all other healthworkers there.

Dilip Lunawat said that his daughter was assured that the vaccines were completely safe and posed no risks/threats to her body, and attached his daughter vaccine certificate (January 28, 2021), and how she died on March 1, 2021, due to the alleged side-effects of the Covishield vaccine.

A few days later, she suffered severe headaches and vomiting and was rushed to a hospital where doctors detected bleeding in her brain and she later succumbed owing to the purported aside-effects of the vaccine’, as per Lunawat’s plea.

He also cited the views and interviews of experts like the Drug Controller-General of India, Dr. V.G. Somani, and AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria, making them respondents along with the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and how the incident figured in the Centre’s own Adverse Events Following Immunisation Report of October 2, 2021.

In his petition filed in February 2022, Dilip Lunawat said that in 2020, the SII, Pune entered into a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to speed up the process of manufacture and delivery of upto 100 million doses of Covishield vaccines in India and for other third world countries.

“The petitioner lost his elder daughter. His loss can neither be explained in words nor can be compensated in terms of money.

Only some sort of succour can be done by awarding compensation,” said the plea, seeking Rs 1,000crore as interim compensation to the family.

Dilip Lunawat also sought a declaration that the state authorities are responsible for causing his daughter’s death “by false narratives”, the authorities should initiate steps to stop further deaths of citizens and publish the side-effects of the vaccines.

The plea urged that the state authorities should be given the liberty to recover the compensation amount from SII, which manufactured the Covishield vaccine.

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Supreme Court asks MHA to seek reports from 8 states on plea alleging attacks on Christians




 The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Union Ministry of of Home Affairs to seek verification reports from Bihar, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh on a plea alleging attacks on the Christian community.

The apex court granted two months to conduct the entire exercise, which includes registration of FIRs, arrests made, status of investigation, and the charge sheets filed.

A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Hima Kohli said that it “can’t form an opinion on the veracity of allegations made (in the plea) submitted to us”.

The bench added that it would be better to verify the allegations made in the plea.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, representing the petitioner, submitted that 700 prayer meetings of Christians were stopped and violence was used against them.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, said the MHA on verification found that many incidents referred to in the plea as communal attacks, were found to be either false or exaggerated.

The Central government has told the Supreme Court there is no merit in the plea alleging increasing attacks on Christians in the country.

It said that such deceptive petitions, creating unrest throughout the country and perhaps for getting assistance from outside the country to meddle with internal affairs of the nation.

The MHA, in a written response, said: “It is submitted that there appears to be some hidden oblique agenda in filing such deceptive petitions, creating unrest throughout the country and perhaps for getting assistance from outside the country to meddle with internal affairs of our nation.”

The Ministry said the petitioner has resorted to falsehood and self-serving documents and also cited press reports, where Christian persecution is either false or wrongfully projected.

The MHA’s response came on a plea alleging rising number of attacks on Christian institutions and priests across the country and seeking the implementation of its guidelines to curb hate crimes.

The petitioners Rev. Peter Machado and others sought implementation of the guidelines issued by the apex court in the 2018 Tehseen Poonawala judgment.

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BJP faces a new challenger from within: The Hindutva fringe




Karnataka is witnessing a new development — Hindutva activists and organisations posing an open challenge to the ruling BJP.

The trend which has gathered steam after the murders of Bajrang Dal activist Harsha in Shivamogga and BJP Yuva Morcha member Praveen Kumar Nettare in Dakshina Kannada.

The state’s ruling BJP is facing a hate campaign and social media trials after videos and screenshots surfaced of the accused in Harsha’s murder case found chatting with their family and friends from prison.

The matter worsened with state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra allegedly turning a blind eye to Harsha’s sister, who had approached him with a complaint against luxury treatment being given to her brother’s alleged killers.

The saffron party which rejoiced the developments following the hijab crisis and boycott calls on Muslim traders leading to the young generation being lured towards Hindutva ideology, is now on a damage control mode after the young cadres started a movement to quit across the state.

Amrith Shenoy, a former AICC Member from Udupi, told IANS: “BJP leaders have politicised every murder that took place during the tenure of the Siddaramaiah government. If the accused were Hindus they did not bother and if they were Muslims they made it a big issue. The same trend has continued in the Harsha murder case as well.”

“The BJP cadres and young party workers are thinking why Hindu leaders were being killed during the rule of the BJP? The violent mob had almost attacked BJP State President Nalin Kumar Kateel who had gone to Nettare’s funeral. Ministers V. Sunil Kumar and Araga Jnanendra had to take protection from people.”

Gradually, BJP supporters are realising that the the party’s Hindutva is bogus, Shenoy said and claimed that the party does not even worship Lord Ram.

“Karnataka, especially the coastal region, was a Congress bastion till 2000. In the beginning, Hindu leaders such as Praveen Togadia and Pramod Muthalik started organising Hindu samajotsava and invited everyone. They claimed that the programmes were apolitical,” he stated.

The claims however, turned out to be fake, as they spoke against the Congress and Hindus being threatened and projected the BJP as the champion of Hindus, Shenoy says.

Gradually, the young generation from oppressed classes were drawn to their fold. and were encouraged to carry out moral policing, wield swords and pelt stones, he added.

Pramod Muthalik, founder of the Sri Rama Sena, explained that his organisation won’t support the BJP in next year’s Assembly elections.

“We have asked the BJP to change. The dissatisfaction towards BJP is very much there. The party is corrupt and it is not sensitive towards the needs of Hindu community. It has digressed from its objectives,” he said/

Dharmendra, state General Secretary of the Akhila Bharata Hindu Mahasabha, said that his organisation is much more powerful now than earlier.

He maintained that Mahasabha will change the political scenario in the state following the 2023 polls and claimed that the “BJP’s prospectus would be harmed to a great extent across Karnataka”.

Dharmendra further says that the people have seen how the ruling BJP leaders have amassed wealth and also caused tremendous pain and suffering to Hindu activists.

BJP insiders explain that the party leaders are hoping to recover from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the coastal town of Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada district on September 2, where he will address a public rally.

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