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India reports 1.96L Covid cases, lowest since April 14




India’s daily coronavirus cases fell below 2-lakh mark for the first time since April 14. The country reported 1,96,427 fresh Covid cases on Tuesday and 3,511 fatalities, Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said.

On April 14, India had recorded 2,00,739 cases. This is for the first time after April 14 that the cases have gone below two-lakh mark.

On Monday, India crossed three-lakh mark of fatalities due to the coronavirus infections, thus becoming world’s third country after the US and Brazil to cross three-lakh deaths.

India’s overall tally of Covid-19 cases now stands at 2,69,48,874 with 25,86,782 active cases and 3,07,231 deaths so far.

In the last 13 days India has recorded over 50,000 deaths.

According to the Health Ministry, a total of 3,26,850 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours, with 2,40,54,861 being cured from Covid till date.

The Health Ministry said that a total of 19,85,38,999 people have been vaccinated so far in the country, including 24,40,236 who were administered vaccines in the last 24 hours.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 33,25,94,176 samples have been tested up to May 24 for Covid-19. Of these 20,58,112 samples were tested on Monday.

India registered record deaths due to Covid on Wednesday with 4,529 deaths — the highest number of fatalities from Covid infection in any country since the coronavirus outbreak was reported in China’s Wuhan in December 2019.

It surpassed 4,468 deaths in the US on January 12, and earlier 4,211 in Brazil on April 6. These three are the worst-hit by the pandemic. Now, India is behind US and Brazil with highest deaths due to Covid-19.

After battling a brutal second wave for weeks, fresh Covid cases came down below the three lakh-mark for the first time on May 17 after touching record high of 4,14,188 on May 7.


26 killed as tractor-trolley falls in pond near Kanpur




At least 26 people were killed while several injured after a tractor-trolley carrying devotees overturned and fell into a pond near a village in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur district on Saturday evening.

The devotees, all residents of Kortha village under Sadh police circle, had gone to the Chandrika Devi temple in Fatehpur in the tractor-trolley. There were about 40 people in the vehicle. While returning, the trolley overturned into a roadside pond between Sadh and Gambhirpur village.

The injured were rushed to a community health centre (CHC) in Bhitargaon. The police and senior officials have reached the spot and are supervising the rescue operation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have expressed grief over the incident.

“Distressed by the tractor-trolley mishap in Kanpur. My thoughts are with all those who have lost their near and dear ones. Prayers with the injured. The local administration is providing all possible assistance to the affected,” Prime Minister Modi said in a tweet.

“The road accident in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh is very sad and heart-wrenching. The local administration is providing treatment to the injured. I express my condolences on the irreparable loss of those who have lost their loved ones in this incident. May God give strength to his family to bear this loss,” Shah said in a tweet.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has instructed officials to provide proper treatment to those injured in the accident.

The Chief Minister also appealed people to not carry passengers on tractor-trolley. He asserted that tractor-trolley should be used only for agricultural works and freight. “Life is priceless, please don’t be careless,” he said in a tweet.

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Mumbai: 1 dead in post-Navratri firing, cops launch manhunt for assailants




 In a horrifying incident, two persons indiscriminately fired at a crowd dispersing after Navratri celebrations in Mumbai’s Kandivali west suburb, killing one and injuring at least three others, on Saturday.

Kandivali police, which is probing the incident, said that they have launched a manhunt for the unknown assailants.

According to an official, at around 12.15 a.m., the two men sped to the Laljipada area and started shooting at the people dispersing after a local Navratri programme.

Amidst the chaos, the assailants’ bullets managed to kill one and wounded three others, said the official.

The victim was identified as Ankit Yadav, who died on the spot, while Abhilash Dabholkar, Prakash Narain and Manish Gupta who sustained gunshot injuries, have been admitted to the BMC’s Shatabdi Hospital for treatment.

Locals claimed that the assailants may be youths living in the vicinity, while the police ruled out the possibility of a gang war and suspect it to be vendetta for some previous enmity.

Deputy Commissioner of Police-11 Vishal Thakur said that teams were on the lookout for the killers, scanning CCTVs in the area, probing various angles, including from where the guns were acquired, the exact number of rounds fired, and other issues.

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Munib Memon’s bail plea rejected (2012 Pune blast case) : Bombay High Court




MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has rejected the bail plea of Munib Memon (38), one of the nine accused arrested for his alleged role in the conspiracy to trigger four bomb blasts on the Jangli Maharaj Road in Pune in August 2012.

A bench of justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Sharmila Deshmukh said Memon’s complicity in the conspiracy was evident from confessional statements of three other accused in the case and turned down the argument that he had been in custody for a long time. The bench said charges have been framed against the accused on May 25, 2022 and the prosecution intends to examine 107 witnesses to bring home the guilt of the nine accused.

Four low-intensity bombs, placed on bicycle baskets, went off near prominent spots along Jangli Maharaj Road, a prominent business area within Pune city, on August 1, 2012, and the fifth bomb was diffused. A local resident, who picked up a bag containing one of the four bombs, suffered minor injuries after he opened the bag.

“Having regard to the gravity of the offence, the role of the appellant, the evidence qua him and above observations made by us, we also decline to consider the appellant’s plea for bail on the ground of delay in commencement of the trial,” said the bench.

The court, however, directed the trial court to conclude the trial by December 2023, keeping with the right of the accused to a speedy trial.

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which initially investigated the case before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the case, arrested nine people, including Memon. ATS alleged that the blasts were planned to avenge the death of Quatil Siddique, a member of Indian Mujahideen, who was arrested for conspiracy to trigger a blast at a temple in Pune and was killed in Yerawada jail by two other inmates.

ATS said the accused initially planned to kill Sharad Mohol and Alok Bhalerao, the two men suspected to have killed Siddique when they were brought to court, but when the plan did not succeed. They later decided to carry out bomb attacks.

To be sure, Sharad Mohol and Alok Bhalerao were acquitted of the murder charge in June 2019.

In his request for bail, Munib Memon argued that he was made an accused only because he was employed with Firoz Sayyed, another accused in the case and the prosecution only accused him of getting some SIM cards on the basis of bogus documents prepared by another co-accused.

He also said that he had already spent 9 years and 9 months in jail.

Special public prosecutor Vaibhav Bagade, appearing for NIA, contended that Memon was present at a meeting where the attack was discussed and was entrusted the job of obtaining some SIM cards on the basis of bogus documents. The SIM cards were used in the commission of the crime.

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