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Unlock 4: Class 9-12 students may voluntarily visit schools




While schools and colleges will continue to remain closed for regular activities during Unlock 4, students of classes 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools that are in areas outside the Containment Zones on a voluntary basis, to take guidance from their teachers, said the MHA on Saturday.

This will be subject to the written consent of their parents or guardians.

The MHA further clarified that skill or Entrepreneurship training will also be permitted in National Skill Training Institutes, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Short term training centres registered with the National Skill Development Corporation or State Skill Development Missions or other Ministries of the Government of India or state governments.

“National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD), Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) and their training providers will also be permitted,” said the MHA guideline. All these will be allowed post September 21 for which SOPs will also be allowed.

Meanwhile, higher education institutions only for research scholars like PhD and post-graduate students of technical and professional programmes requiring laboratory or experimental may also be allowed. But these will be permitted by the Department of Higher Education (DHE) in consultation with MHA, based on the assessment of the situation, and keeping in view incidence of COVID-19 in the States and UTs.

Outside containment zones, all activities save cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres (excluding open air theatre) and similar places are allowed. Meanwhile international air travel also remains out of bounds except as permitted by the MHA.

However Lockdown will continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till September 30, 2020.

It further adds that Containment Zones shall be demarcated by the district authorities at a micro level after taking into consideration the guidelines of MoHFW with the objective of effectively breaking the chain of transmission. Strict containment measures will be enforced in these containment zones and only essential activities will be allowed, adds the MHA.

Unsurprisingly, within the Containment Zones, strict perimeter controls are to be maintained and only essential activities are allowed. These zones will be notified on the websites of the respective district collectors and by the States or UTs and information will also be shared with MOHFW.

However, the MHA has categorically said that states will not impose any local lockdown, at the State, district, sub-division, city or village level outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government.

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Remarks of BJP leaders on child rape political puffery: Punjab CM




Trashing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) senior leadership’s attack on his government as well as Gandhis over Hoshiarpur rape-murder case, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday termed the remarks of Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Prakash Javadekar as political puffery, with no substance or basis to support their criticism.

Contrary to what these leaders were claiming, there was no comparison between Hoshiarpur and Hathras cases, said Amarinder Singh, pointing out in the latter instance, the Uttar Pradesh government and police did not only fail to initiate stern action but in fact was seemingly trying to cover up the matter to benefit the upper-caste accused.

This, he said, was in sharp contrast to the prompt action taken by the Punjab Police, who immediately arrested the accused and were now preparing to file the challan within a week.

He himself had directed the Director General of Police to ensure that the case is fast-tracked by the courts to ensure strict and exemplary action for the accused, said the Chief Minister in a statement here.

Ridiculing the BJP leaders’ criticism of the so-called silence of the Congress leadership on Hoshiarpur case, Amarinder Singh pointed out that his party had been forced to speak up and protest in Hathras case because the state had failed to get justice for the Dalit girl there.

“Had the BJP government in UP responded as effectively and speedily as we did in Punjab, neither the Congress and Gandhis, nor scores of NGOs, lawyers, human rights activists would have been forced to take to the streets to fight for the victim,” he added.

The ‘selective politics and selective outrage’ charge, which Sitharaman made against Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, was, in fact, completely apt for the BJP, said the Chief Minister.

No BJP leader had uttered a word in protest against the acts of omission and commission of the UP government and police in Hathras case, when the entire nation was in angry uproar, he said, slamming the party over its politically motivated reaction to Hoshiarpur incident.

The Chief Minister expressed shock at Sitharaman’s and Javadekar’s remark of ‘picnic tour’ by the Gandhis and other Congress MPs in Hathras, saying it reflected the grossness of the BJP’s anti-Dalit and anti-woman mindset.

Gandhis faced lathis at the hands of the brutal UP Police in Hathras, they walked miles in their attempts to reach out to the victim’s family, who cried on the shoulders of the brother-sister duo, he pointed out.

If the BJP had made even an iota of this effort to pressurise the UP government into ensuring justice for the family in Hathras, the Congress would not have been forced to take on the responsibility of doing so, he added.

Amarinder Singh further pointed out that unlike Hoshiarpur incident, Hathras case, and the subsequent developments including the middle-of-the-night burning of the victim’s body, were a part of the chain of atrocities being committed against Dalits in UP under the BJP rule.

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Vote out the corrupt, give youth a chance in Bihar: Tejashwi Yadav




Chief ministerial candidate and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav said here on Saturday that a government of the corrupt is ruling in Bihar. He appealed to the people to give an opportunity to the youth in this election and said that 10 lakh youth will be given jobs if the Grand Alliance came to power.

Yadav attacked the Bihar government while addressing a large election meeting at Krishnananda Stadium of Sultanganj assembly constituency in favour of the Grand Alliance-backed Congress candidate Lalan Yadav.

Speaking in Bhojpuri, Yadav said Nitish Kumar had been in power in Bihar for 15 years but no work has been done in the last 10 years.

Yadav said the youth in Bihar were kept away from employment. When the migrant youth returned to Bihar during the pandemic, the chief Minister was locked in his room instead of speaking with them. He has now ventured out when it is time to seek votes.

“The people of Bihar are going out of the state for education and employment. Hospitals in the state are in a dilapidated condition and the education system in disarray.”

In the style of his father Lalu Prasad, Tejashwi appealed to the people to make a hard-working and deserving candidate like Lalan Yadav victorious and said that the country needs young people. Yadav said the chief Minister is tired.

After getting an overwhelming support from the audience, Tejashwi garlanded Congress candidate Lalan Yadav.

Congress candidate Lalan Yadav also utilised the opportunity to take an oath to serve the poeple of Sultanganj. He said the MLAs who had been there so far did not work, otherwise the situation in Sultanganj would have been different.

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Prakash Javadekar targets Rahul over ‘rape-and-murder’ of minor girl in Punjab




Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday targeted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over the alleged rape and murder of a six-year-old Dalit girl in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. He said Rahul does not pay heed to the injustice done to women in the states ruled by his own party. The victim was the daughter of a migrant labourer from Bihar.

“Instead of going on political tours, Rahul Gandhi should visit Tanda (Punjab) where a shocking incident of rape and murder happened with Bihar’s six-year-old daughter,” Javadekar said. The Union Minister has expressed displeasure with no arrests in the horrific incident till now and questioned the lackadaisical attitude of the Congress government in Punjab.

“The six-year-old daughter of a Dalit migrant labourer from Bihar was allegedly killed and set on fire after being raped at Jalalpur village in Tanda. The accused have not been caught yet in this gruesome and painful incident. We demand that the Punjab government nab the culprits and take stern action,” Javadekar added.

Javadekar also attacked Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for maintaining a silence on the horrific crimes against women in Congress-ruled states Rajasthan and Punjab.

He said, “Rahul Gandhi goes on political tours, instead he should visit Tanda in Punjab and Rajasthan as well. In whichever states Congress governments are in power, they fail to take cognisance of the injustice and sexual crimes against women. Neither Rahul, Priyanka Gandhi visited the family of the deceased girl in Tanda nor did Sonia Gandhi comment on this incident.”

Javadekar said, “The Dalit girl who was raped and killed in Tanda village is the daughter of Bihar. BJP leader and former Union Minister Vijay Sampla went to meet the victim’s family. But none of the Congress leaders from Punjab have met the deceased girl’s kin despite being in power in the state. We condemn such gross injustice and tyranny.”

The Union Minister also questioned the silence of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav over the murder of the Dalit girl hailing from Bihar.

Javadekar told Tejashwi Yadav that “His party is campaigning in Bihar with those who remain silent on the atrocities inflicted on the daughter of Bihar. The way the atrocity was committed in Tanda village on the Dalit daughter of Bihar is a blot on humanity. Why does Rahul Gandhi not visit Tanda while having the time for a ‘photo-op’ in Hathras and other places. There were 10 incidents of rape in Rajasthan, why did he not go there. This brand of politics does not work.”

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