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India reports 24K new Covid cases, 333 deaths




With 24,367 new coronavirus infections and 333 deaths in the past 24 hours, India’s overall tally stood at 10,055,560 on Monday, while the death toll touched 1,45,810, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

A total of 96,06,111 people have recovered till now, while 25,709 recovered in the last 24 hours. Currently, there are 3,03,639 active cases. The recovery rate stands at 95.53 per cent while the fatality rate is 1.45 as per cent.

A total of 16,20,98,329 samples have been tested for Covid-19 till now. Of these, 9,00,134 samples were tested on Sunday, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state with 18,96,518 cases till date.

Over 70 per cent of the daily new cases are being reported by 10 states and union territory — Kerala, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

Over 75 per cent of the deaths are being reported from Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Haryana.

There is, however, light at the end of the tunnel as India has eight Covid-19 vaccine candidates, including three indigenous vaccines, under different stages of clinical trials which could be ready for authorisation in near future.

It includes AstraZeneca and Oxford university developed and Serum Institute of India manufactured Covishield, Covaxin by Bharat Biotech Limited, ZyCoV-D by Zydus Cadila and Russian vaccine candidate Sputnik-V.

The list also contains NVX-CoV2373 by SII, HGCO19 by Geneva, and two unlabeled vaccines-Recombinant Protein Antigen based vaccine by Biological E Limited-and Inactivated rabies vector platform by Bharat Biotech.


ISIS leader Zahran Hashim’s videos used to radicalise Tamil Nadu jihadi gang: NIA




Videos and speeches of Sri Lankan Islamic State leader Zahran Hashim were used by ‘jihadi’ gang ‘Shahadat is our Goal’ to radicalise youths in Tamil Nadu during 2017-2018 calling for violent jihad to liberate their associates lodged in prisons.

Various social media groups, especially on WhatsApp, were created by the gang which later started disseminating materials advocating violent jihad in the region. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) revealed these facts in its charge sheet filed against 10 arrested members of the gang in a special court in Chennai on Saturday.

Sri Lankan cleric Moulvi Hashim was the alleged mastermind behind the bomb attacks that hit the country’s capital Colombo as well as the towns of Negombo and Batticaloa on Easter Sunday in 2019. Over 250 people, including 45 children and 40 foreign nationals, were killed in the deadly explosions.

Sheik Dawood, 33, Mohamed Rifas,37, Muparish Ahamed, 23, Abubakar Siddiq, 24, Ahamed Imithiyas, 31, Mohamed Rashid, 25, Hameed Asfar, 23, Liyakath Ali, 30, Sajith Ahamed, 23, and Rizwan Mohammed, 26 – all from different districts in Tamil Nadu – are the 10 arrested accused against whom the NIA framed charges under the Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act and Arms Act.

The case was originally registered on April 2, 2018 at Keelakarai Police Station in Ramnathapuram district of Tamil Nadu after the arrest of Mohamed Rifas, Muparish Ahamed and Abupakkar Sithik from Keelakarai. Lethal weapons including swords along with pamphlets pertaining to the terrorist gang ‘Shahadat is our Goal’ were seized from their possession and the NIA re-registered the case on January 10, 2019.

Investigation in the case has established that the charge-sheeted accused persons were radicalised by violent jihadi ideology, said the NIA.

“Prime accused Sheik Dawood and Mohamed Rifas had conspired with co-accused and organised meetings at various places in Tamil Nadu, since Ramadan, 2017, with the intention of radicalising and recruiting the co-accused and others for ‘shahadat’ (martyrdom) to establish Islamic rule in India,” NIA said.

“The accused had created various social media groups, especially on WhatsApp and were disseminating materials advocating violent jihad, including the videos and speeches of the Sri Lankan ISIS leader Zahran Hashim.”

The accused had also prepared pamphlets titled “Shahadat is our Goal” calling for violent jihad to liberate their associates lodged in prisons, said the anti-terror agency, adding Sheik Dawood and Mohammed Rifas had also attempted to carry out terrorist acts by procuring illegal firearms in order to liberate their jailed associates.

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Youth injured as neighbour shoots at him following fight over dog



Gun point

A youth was critically injured when a neighbour fired at him following a fight over his (the youth’s) dog in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district in the Kanti police station area. Four bullets hit 20-year-old Keshav Kumar’s leg.

On Friday, Keshav was taking away his dog sitting outside his house in Madhu Chhapra village in Kanti police station area when it ran inside his neighbour Mithilesh Mishra’s house. When Mishra drove the dog out of his house, Keshav was standing outside with a stick in his hand due to which the dog again barged into Mithilesh’s house, leading to a fight between Kumar and Mishra.

It is alleged that later when Keshav was going out from his home, Mithilesh and his son Rishabh Mishra shot at Keshav and also hit him with the pistol’s butt.

Keshav was rushed to the local hospital from where he was shifted to Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital.

Muzaffarpur (west) Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Syed Imran Masood said the police is investigating the matter. The accused father-son duo are absconding and the police is conducting raids to arrest them.

Sources said there was a dispute between the two families over some land.

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Terror hideout busted, ammunition recovered in Jammu and Kashmir




A large quantity of arms and ammunition was recovered after a terrorist hideout was busted by the security forces in the Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, officials said.

According to details, the security forces received specific input about the presence of a terrorist hideout in a forested area in Mandi.

A joint team of the Border Security Force, police and army carried out the operation.

The hideout was busted and a large quantum of arms and ammunition was recovered including one AK-47 rifle, three AK-magazines, 82 AK rounds, three Chinese pistols, five pistol magazines, 33 rounds of pistol ammunition, four hand grenades and one Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL).

Searches were undergoing in the area.

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