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Maharashtra records new high of 139 Covid-19 deaths, Mumbai toll crosses 1.5K




Maharashtra recorded a staggering new high of 139 Covid-19 deaths on Friday, while Mumbai’s total fatalities crossed the 1,500 mark, health officials said here.

The state recorded its highest single-day death figure on Friday, making it the third time in June and the sixth time in 10 days that it has witnessed a 100-plus toll.

The previous highs of three-digit tallies were in the past three days – 103 on June 2, 122 on June 3, 123 on June 4.

The latest toll includes 93 deaths in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region alone – the worst-hit in the country, besides 2,436 new positive cases across the state.

This comes to roughly one death every 10 minutes, and an average 101 new cases notched every hour in the state.

Maharashtra has been recording 75-plus fatalities and over 2,000 cases daily for the past 11 consecutive days, with the previous highest figure of 3,041 infections notched on May 24.

With the latest fatalities, the state death toll has reached 2,849 while the total number of coronavirus patients increased to 80,229.

The Health Department said of the total number of cases declared till date, 42,215 were active cases, increasing by 822 over Thursday’s 41,393.

The state, however, has recorded an encouraging recovery rate of 43.81 per cent and a mortality rate of 3.55 per cent.

Of Friday’s fatalities, 54 were recorded in Mumbai alone – taking the city death toll to 1,519, while the number of Covid-19 positive patients here shot up by 1,149 cases to touch 46,080.

There were also 38 fatalities in Thane (Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali, Bhiwandi), 14 each in Pune and Jalgaon, 10 in Nashik, five in Ratnagiri, two in Solapur, and one each in Palghar and Aurangabad.

The victims comprised 75 men and 64 women – the first time that the number of female victims shot over 60 in a day – and nearly 79 per cent of them suffered from other serious ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, heart problems and asthma.

On the positive side, a total of 1,475 fully cured patients returned home on Friday, taking the number of those discharged from 33,681 to 35,156 now.

Mumbai’s Dharavi – Asia’s biggest slum – remained a problematic hotspot with 17 new cases, taking the total number of infections to 1,889, besides 71 deaths till date.

At least 31 police personnel in the state, including 19 in Mumbai, have lost their lives to Covid-19 so far, while another 1,499 including 195 officials are currently infected.

Mumbai International Airport Ltd announced that henceforth, it has started screening and fumigating the drivers and all cabs entering the airport premises to ensure passengers can avail a safe ride till their homes.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust has converted its Multi Skill Training Centre at Bokadvira in Raigad into a 120-bed Covid-19 hospital and handed it over to the state government, besides providing temperature guns, disinfecting and sanitising villages in the port’s vicinity.

The MMR (Thane Division) continued to cause grave concerns with 93 new Covid-19 deaths taking the toll to 1,903 and positive cases crossing 60,000 to touch 60,604.

Pune Division fatalities touched 506, besides 10,855 patients.

Since June 1, Thane district with 11,877 cases and 292 fatalities, has shot past Pune district which has 9,051 patients and 390 deaths.

The next major region of concern is Nashik Division with 223 deaths and 2,686 positive cases, followed by Aurangabad Division with 96 fatalities and 2,233 cases, and finally Akola Division with 56 deaths and 1,253 cases.

Latur Division has 15 deaths and 451 cases, Kolhapur Division 20 deaths and 1,215 patients, and finally, Nagpur Division has 12 deaths and 867 cases.

Meanwhile, the number of people sent to home-quarantine decreased to 545,947, while those in institutional quarantine went down by 332 to 30,291 now.

In another relieving news for patients, there are as many as 72,375 beds currently available for Covid-19 quarantine in the state.

The state’s containment zones decreased from 3,804 to 3,479 on Friday while 18,026 health teams have fanned out around the state to survey a population of around 69.1 lakh till date.


Huge cache of weapons seized under ‘Operation Disarm’ by TN Police




The special police team constituted by Tamil Nadu Director General of Police C. Sylendra Babu, named ‘Operation Disarm’, has seized more than 900 weapons, including three firearms.

The raids conducted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning also rounded up 2,500 rowdy elements in South Tamil Nadu.

The arrest and seizure of weapons followed the four beheadings that took place in South Tamil Nadu, specifically in Dindigul and Tirunelveli districts in the past 12 days.

The DGP in a high-level meeting of the police officers at Madurai directed them to investigate murder cases that were even ten years old. He also called upon the officers to conduct routine raids at the residences and premises of rowdy elements in these districts.

The DGP also told the police officers to round up and arrest those people who can be involved in possible retaliatory attacks. Police officers said that the DGP also directed them to intensify night patrolling and not to allow any untoward incidents to happen in the days to come.

According to a senior DSP who was present in the meeting, the DGP was furious over the back-to-back murders in these districts and the resurgence of caste wars that had dominated South Tamil Nadu during the mid-1990s.

Sociologist and Professor at a foreign university M.K. Krishnan, who hails from Madurai, while speaking to IANS said, “Police have to take stringent action against those who take law into their hands. However, unless the sublime issue of caste is not weeded out this will reappear in one form or the other.

“While the present DMK government has had a good start, the awareness on the futility of fights over castes have to be inculcated in young minds and for that good education is very important. These youths who are involved in beheadings will not be allowed to be given any heroic receptions.”

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Carcass of tiger found in Dudhwa reserve




The carcass of a tiger was found on Sunday in the Mailani range of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.

The carcass was found alongside the Gola-Pilibhit road near Chhedipur village here and the tiger is said to be two years old.

Sanjay Kumar Pathak, field director of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR), said that all vital organs, including jaws and nails, were intact though there were some abrasion marks on the carcass.

“The circumstances indicate that the tiger died in a road accident or it could be due to fighting during the mating season,” Pathak said.

He said the exact cause of the death could be ascertained after post mortem by a team of experts from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly.

The post mortem would be conducted according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines, Pathak said.

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Pramod Tiwari denies hand in attack on BJP MP




Former Congress MP Pramod Tiwari has rejected the allegation that he was behind the attack on Pratapgarh BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta.

Tiwari, speaking on the phone, said, “He is trying to gain attention in the party and increase his TRP ahead of the Assembly elections.”

Tiwari alleged that Gupta had himself torn his clothes and there might have been a scuffle between the workers which somebody told me. Nobody attacked the MP, Tiwari said.

The BJP MP had alleged that the supporters of Congress leader Pramod Tiwari had beaten him on Saturday as the supporters of both clashed at the ‘Garib Kalyan Mela’ in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP alleged that the video of the attack was a proof and Gupta was beaten up in the presence of Tiwari and his daughter Aradhana Mishra, who is congress leader in the Assembly.

Both have refuted the allegation and said, “Gupta was making allegations because in Pratapgarh BJP was feeling helpless, so they are resorting to such cheap tactics.”

Congress MP Pramod Tiwari, Congress legislature party leader Aradhana Mishra and 48 others have been booked under Section 307 (attempt to murder), 146 (rioting) and 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) at the Lalganj police station in Pratapgarh.

The case was registered late on Saturday night after BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta, with his supporters, blocked traffic on the Prayagraj-Pratapgarh road for several hours.

Earlier on Saturday, several people were injured as Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers came to blows during the Gareeb Kalyan Mela held at Sangipur development block auditorium in Pratapgarh district.

BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta was also allegedly beaten up and had to be rescued by the police and escorted to a safe place.

Congress leader Pramod Tiwari was also manhandled and Aradhana Mishra’s mobile phone was lost in the melee.

According to reports, BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta was invited as the chief guest at the Gareeb Kalyan Mela but he came late.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Pramod Tiwari and Aradhana Mishra ‘Mona’ reached the Mela venue and a few minutes later, the BJP MP also arrived, leading to tension among the Congress and BJP workers.

After a heated argument, both groups attacked each other. In a video which went viral, it can be seen that some people chased his vehicle and damaged it. The programme was also suspended following the chaos. Heavy force reached the spot and controlled the situation.

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