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Pvt. hospitals told to give test reports in two days


Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra on Saturday instructed private hospitals to issue COVID-19 test reports within two days of taking samples.

Speaking at a COVID-19 management co-ordination meeting, he said some hospitals took a week to issue the reports. In such cases, the chances of spread of infection will be more.

Dr. Rajendra said hospitals should not turn away COVID-19 patients. They should not shift the patients at the last minute denying them treatment. If so, medical negligence case will be registered against such hospitals.

He said cases are on the rise in the district and there will be a spurt in another fortnight. Private hospitals should reserve 50% of their beds to treat COVID-19 patients.

He said the private hospitals should not charge more than ₹800 per COVID-19 test.

Chief Executive Officer of zilla panchayat Kumara said the rate of administering vaccination in private hospitals was very low. Hospitals should convince eligible patients to get the vaccine.



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Night Curfew In Bengaluru, 6 Other Cities In Karnataka From Saturday


Bengaluru has reported a surge in COVID-19 cases along with most major cities.

Bengaluru:

Bengaluru and six other cities in Karnataka will enforce a night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am starting Saturday, the government announced on Thursday, minutes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged states to announce fresh curbs to tackle soaring COVID-19 cases.

The curfew, which will be in place till April 20, will also be imposed in Mysuru, Mangaluru, Kalaburagi, Bidar, Tumakuru and Manipal, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced. “Essential services will continue,” he said.

Karnataka is among 10 states besides Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala and Punjab that have shown a steep rise in the daily COVID-19 cases accounting for 84.21 per cent of the record 1.26 lakh new infections on Thursday, according to the Union Health Ministry.

India’s COVID-19 cases have soared 13-fold in barely two months – a vicious second wave propelled by an open disregard for safety protocols nationwide – that has seen the third-hardest hit country soaring past its mid-September peak of around 98,000 cases a day.

Election rallies led by PM Modi and other major figures, as well as crowded festivals and religious gatherings, have characterised the record resurgence of the new coronavirus.

After quelling the first surge late last year, leaders have let down their guard. Allowing or even encouraging dangerous behaviour, they underestimated the virus, reopening the economy too fast and too broadly, experts say.

Days after Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan declared India’s COVID-19 outbreak contained in late January, Mumbai reopened its massive suburban train network and authorities let tens of thousands of visitors into stadiums for international cricket matches.

Many of the country’s 135 crore people ignored masks and social distancing, while politicians including PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah greeted hundreds of thousands of mostly mask-less supporters at election rallies.

With 1.29 crore cases, India remains close behind Brazil and well below the United States, which has recorded more than 3 crore infections. India’s COVID-19 deaths are above 1.66 lakh, although its fatality rate is one of the lowest in the world, partly because of its relatively young population.



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CSTEP to help deal with air pollution


Enters into MoU with BBMP and KSPCB for efficient implementation of National Clean Air Programme

Bumper-to-bumper traffic, major road and other civic works taken up simultaneously have often seen the city turn into a dust bowl. Air pollution continues to be dangerously high despite widespread improvement in air quality during 2019 and 2020.

Now, under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) action plan for 120 cities, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) for efficient implementation of the programme.

CSTEP has been picked as an Institute of Repute (IoR) to work with Urban Local Bodies and State Pollution Control Boards. The recent development comes as the ‘World Air Quality Report, 2020’ compiled by IQAir has revealed that Bengaluru’s pollution levels were above the WHO prescribed limit in 46.7% of the days. The city’s annual average stands at 27.5 µg/m3, nearly three times the prescribed limit.

As part of the initiative, CSTEP will refine and help implement KSPCB’s 44-point action plan, involving nine government departments and divided into ‘short-term, mid-term and long-term’ plans. The plan, which was submitted to the Union government had not been approved. Officials said the KSPCB had been asked to explain what it meant by ‘long’ and ‘short’ term, and to send timelines. Later, they submitted a revised plan.

BBMP Special Commissioner (SWM) D. Randeep said the three-way MoU is a “purely non-financial technical support MoU”, wherein the IoR will help with implementation of the programme. “This is a time-bound programme. Apart from cleaning the streets, we also want to install air pollution monitors across the city, which will help us intervene in the right places with air mitigation efforts. We are also looking at a central command centre for BBMP,” he said.

Last year, it was revealed that an action plan for nine projects amounting to ₹279 crore and aimed towards reducing air pollution has been drawn up by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Action Plan Committee. Some of the projects including improving pedestrian facilities, using water sprayers and mechanical street-sweeping machines to tackle dust pollution, making urban spaces more green and keeping a check on open-air burning of municipal waste. The projects are being funded by the Centre under the Urban Local Body grant as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission.

In the first instalment, the Union government has released ₹2,200 crore, of which ₹139.5 crore has been sanctioned to Karnataka and transferred to the BBMP.

Pratima Singh, research scientist who leads the Air Pollution domain at CSTEP, told The Hindu that the NCAP, launched in 2019, is envisaged as a collaborative, cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder programme to tackle air pollution, and an Institute of Repute (IoR) will function as a technical partner and provide technical assistance to the ULB and SPCB.

“CSTEP will provide knowledge, advice and performance assessment, among others to BBMP and KSPCB. The BBMP’s action strategy includes procurement of mechanical sweepers, improvement of road infrastructure to reduce traffic congestion, and installation of water fountains at traffic junctions, and they have initiated work on this. Going forward, we will be preparing a more extensive action plan and implementation strategies for the city,” she said. The CSTEP has been working on similar plans for 80 cities, including Davangere and Kalaburagi in Karnataka.

Pollution arising out of transportation is a big challenge in major cities, she said. “More public transportation infrastructure is needed, which is not petrol and diesel driven. Dust is another major concern – arising out of roads, construction and demolition. Road dust reduction strategies, like end-to-end road pavement and covering the mud or soil on dividers with plants, are some of the measures that can be looked into,” she added.



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NCP candidate’s withdrawal from bypoll triggers protest in Basavakalyan


The withdrawal of Maratha leader M.G. Muley from the bypoll contest for Basavakalyan constituency triggered a protest by the Maratha community on Sunday. Mr. Muley had, a few days ago, quit the Janata Dal (Secular) and joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). He had subsequently filed his nomination papers as the NCP candidate.

Community members associated with Sakala Maratha Kranti Morcha and Sambhaji Brigade, apart from the NCP, staged a flash protest at Shivaji Park in Basavakalyan, Bidar district, and raised slogans against Mr. Muley, condemning his withdrawal. Some thrashed with footwear a picture of Mr. Muley printed on a banner. They alleged that Mr. Muley had stepped back from the contest after being lured by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“Mr. Muley has claimed that Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has assured him of fulfilling the Maratha community’s demands and that is why he is withdrawing from the contest to facilitate the victory of the BJP candidate. How could the Chief Minister personally assure him of fulfilment of the community’s demands? He is trying to cover up his misdeeds and betrayal to the community. How could he take the decision to withdraw from the contest without consulting the community leaders when he was the candidate of not just the NCP, but also the entire Maratha community? Mr. Muley has betrayed the community and sold himself to the BJP,” said Narayan Ganesh, district convenor of Sakala Maratha Kranti Morcha.

Another leader said the community leaders would hold a meeting in a couple of days and decide the future course of action.

“If Mr. Muley supports the BJP, the entire community will vote against the party. We will teach a lesson to him and the BJP. We will boycott him and appeal to community members not to have any relationship with him,” another protesting leader said.



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Karnataka 23-Year-Old Stabbed For Travelling With Woman Of Other Religion


Dakshina Kannada district has seen incidents of communal tension in the past too

Bengaluru:

A 23-year-old man was beaten and stabbed in Mangaluru in coastal Karnataka on Thursday for travelling on a bus with a young woman from another religion in an incident that comes in the wake of divisive right-wing rhetoric and laws across the country.

Mangaluru Police Commissioner, Shashi Kumar said, “On Mangaluru city outskirts yesterday, around 9:30 pm, a bus was obstructed and a boy and girl who are classmates and friends, belonging to different religions, were made to get down from the vehicle. The boy was beaten up – and when the girl tried to come in the way, she was also hurt.”

“Seven or eight people are in custody – and four from the Bajrang Dal who were involved will soon be arrested,” he told NDTV.

“The four men came in a car and stopped the bus. The boy was beaten and also received a stab injury near his hip. He is in hospital and his condition is stable,” Mr Kumar said.

The police said the young woman was travelling to Bengaluru and that her classmate was with her in a private bus to help her as he was more familiar with the city.

“They were classmates and the girl told us she had known the boy for many years,” Mr Kumar said.

A case of attempt to murder has been registered against those responsible. Special teams have been formed headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police. The police are also investigating who shared information about the two young people.

Dakshina Kannada district in coastal Karnataka has seen incidents of communal tension in the past as well.

An increasing number of cases of religious intolerance have been reported since a renewed push by members of the BJP, which governs at the centre and in Karnataka, for laws against “Love Jihad” – the right-wing conspiracy theory of Muslim men seducing Hindu women to have them convert.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah joined the campaign in Assam last month, promising laws against “Love and Land Jihad”. Such laws have already been adopted in states like BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh that discourage inter-religion marriages by listing conditions like a judge signing off on the relationship in advance.



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"BS Yediyurappa Interfering In My Ministry": In Karnataka, BJP vs BJP



Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has been accused of “interference” by one of his own ministers, KS Eshwarappa, who has formally reported his boss to the Governor and the BJP leadership.



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No Lockdown In Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister As Covid Cases Rise


Bengaluru is witnessing the maximum number of COVID-19 cases in Karnataka.

Bengaluru:

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa chaired a meeting this evening to discuss ways to deal with the continuous spike in coronavirus cases in Bengaluru — the state government describes the rate of spike as alarming.

The daily average of new COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru has reached around 1,377 while the city recorded 16,921 cases in just the last 14 days.

Bengaluru is seeing the maximum number of COVID-19 cases in Karnataka, a state that has been hit by a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the state government is not considering any lockdown in the city. After the meeting with officials, the chief minister said there would be no lockdown or curfew.

“We are not going to close any schools and colleges,” he said. “We discussed that if children come to school, they will be in one place with discipline. If they are at home, they will be mixing with everybody. It is good for schools to continue from the point of view of control. Exams will be held in 15 days,” he added.

No protests or rallies would be permitted for the next 15 days, the chief minister announced. The number of people at events like weddings would also be strictly monitored, he said.

The state government said a greater number of infections was in the age group of 20 to 40 years.

Karnataka today recorded 2,792 new cases of COVID-19 and 16 related deaths, taking the total number of infections to 9,89,804 and the death count to 12,520, the Health Department said. The day saw 1,964 patients getting discharged after recovery. Of the 2,792 fresh cases, 1,742 were from Bengaluru Urban alone.

Up to 60,000 Covid tests are being done in Bengaluru and over 6.61 lakh people have been vaccinated in the city till now.

The state government informed that there are enough hospital beds to meet the needs of Covid patients.



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Woman's Family Alleges Congress Leader Behind Karnataka Sex Tape Scandal


DK Shivakumar has denied the allegations (File)

Bengaluru:

The “sex scandal” allegedly involving former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi took a new twist on Saturday with the parents of the woman in the purported video blaming State Congress chief D K Shivakumar, and accusing him of playing “dirty politics” by using their daughter.

Jarkiholi too, who has been hinting about the involvement of a “Mahan Nayaka” (great leader) behind the video clip and its leak, named Shivakumar for the first time as he flayed him for indulging in such a “filthy conspiracy”.

He also announced a political and legal battle against him. Mr Shivakumar on his part, however, said, he has nothing to do with the case as he has never met the woman, and let the investigation happen.

Following the developments, the woman released a video statement, her fifth, and claimed her parents were speaking under the influence of someone and after seeing all this, she was scared to appear before the SIT to give her statement.

She also sought help from Chief Minister Yediyurappa, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Leader of Opposition Mr Siddaramaiah and Mr Shivakumar to give her statement about the injustice done to her before a judge.

The woman’s parents and brothers today appeared before the Special Investigation Team which is probing the scandal.

They were subjected to almost six hours of questioning on their complaint of kidnap and the woman’s video clip.

“..we have evidence, we have spoken to officials (SIT) and have given it to them, we will give it to you (media) as well. My daughter is an example of politics being played using a Schedule Tribe (ST) woman,” the woman’s father told reporters after appearing before the SIT.

“If anything happens to our family, DK Shivakumar is responsible for it,” he said.

“I’m an ex-soldier, I have guarded the country, can’t I guard my daughter..for your dirty politics why are you using a woman for all these things. Send her back to us,” he said.

Also stating that the family was under no pressure and because of their current mental tension, they are put up at a relative’s house,he dismissed concerns expressed by his daughter about their safety, and asked her to return to them.

“What protection will you get from them that you can’t get from me, I have guarded the country, I’m your father, I’m here to protect you..come to us, we don’t want such politics,” he told his daughter through the media.

The woman’s brother too alleged Shivakumar was behind all this and he has evidence for it.

“My sister has been used to making such videos. DK Shivakumar has done it, I have evidence and will share it..,” he said.

Stating that his sister used to say it was not her in the video and someone has morphed and edited the clip, he claimed when he asked her (on March 2) to return, she said she was going to DK Shivakumar’s house.

“She also said D K Shivakumar is giving her money and sending her to Goa. She said she was asked to follow what he says..,” he said, quoting his sister. He also said for the last 20 days, there has been no contact with her.

In an audio clip that surfaced later, reportedly shared by the family, the woman can be purportedly heard telling her brother that she has been asked by Mr Shivakumar not to go to her native place and follow his instruction, and nothing will happen to her.

As her brother warns that she will be deserted later on, the woman can be heard purportedly saying, it won’t happen as Mr Shivakumar himself was sending her outside and has given her the money.

Clarifying that nobody had threatened them, the family requested the police and media to help them in getting back their daughter.

Hours after police registered an FIR against Jarkiholi for sexual abuse based on the woman’s complaint on Friday, the first purported unauthenticated recording of a telephonic conversation between her and family members had surfaced in which she can be allegedly heard talking about going to Mr Shivakumar’s house to meet him.

The audio clip had triggered sharp reactions, with Karnataka BJP attacking Shivakumar and demanding that Congress seek his resignation as party’s state unit chief.

Jarkiholi, who spoke to the media minutes after statements from the woman”s parents, said he will be fighting Mr Shivakumar both legally and politically.

“..I’m ready to join hands with (Mr) Kumaraswamy (of JDS) or anyone against him. I will not contest from Gokak, will make my brother to contest from there and work to defeat (Mr) Shivakumar,” he said.

Jarkiholi also claimed he has some evidence and will hand them over to the SIT.

Hitting out at Shivakumar, the Gokak MLA alleged he was unfit for politics and appealed to all political party leaders including the Congress to retire him politically.

“…such conspiracies should not be hatched. There is no pardon for him”, he said and pointed out the family’s statement has proved him innocent.

Dismissing the allegations, Mr Shivakumar said Jarkiholi was speaking out of frustration and that he cannot respond to whatever someone speaks, and he has nothing to do with it.

“He (Jarkiholi) is in frustration, may have some problem, so he is speaking…I cannot answer whatever he speaks. There is law, there are officials, let the investigation happen. I have nothing to do with it,” he said.

The Congress leader said government should investigate and punish the guilty.

On a parent’s allegation about him playing politics using their daughter, he said, “I don’t need it, I don’t know. I have not met her (woman), no one has come to me…” Mr Shivakumar earlier in the day too had clarified that he had never met the woman.

The woman in a video statement released earlier in the day, her fourth, had sought protection for her family.

A day after news channels aired videos of the alleged sex scandal, Jarkiholi, who was Water Resources Minister in Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa-led cabinet, had resigned on March 3.

Jarkiholi has repeatedly claimed that he was innocent and that the video was “fake”.



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Joshi takes exception to Sudhakar’s statement


Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi has taken exception to the statement by Health Minister K. Sudhakar on monogamy in connection with the CD issue.

Speaking to presspersons in Hubballi on Saturday, Mr. Joshi said that Dr. Sudhakar should not have issued such a statement and it was wrong. Emphasising that morality was important for people in public life, he said that one should be first true to oneself and one’s conduct should be modelled on others in such issues.

Mr. Joshi also said that the CD issue would not make any impact in the byelections being held in the State.



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कथित सेक्‍स टेप में मौजूद महिला ने कर्नाटक के MLA के खिलाफ केस दर्ज कराया : वकील


कथित सेक्‍स वीडियो सामने आनने के बाद रमेश जारकीहोली को मंत्री पद से इस्‍तीफा देना पड़ा था.

बेंगलुरू:

कर्नाटक के बीजेपी के MLA  रमेश जारकीहोली (Ramesh Jarkiholi) के साथ कथित सेक्‍स वीडियो में नजर आने वाली महिला ने अपने वकील के जरिये इस नेता के खिलाफ पुलिस में शिकायत दर्ज कराई है. विधायक की ओर से अज्ञात लोगों के खिलाफ साजिश और ब्‍लैकमेलिंग की शिकायत के कुछ दिन बाद यह घटनाक्रम सामने आया है. महिला के वकील ने कहा, ‘सीडी में मौजूद पीडि़ता शिकायत दर्ज कराना चाहती थी. हम उसकी मदद कर रहे हैं. उसने लिखित शिकायत भेजी है और हमने इसे पुलिस कमिश्‍नर को सौंप दिया है. उसका यौन शोषण किया गया है.’ कथित सेक्‍स वीडियो में विधायक को महिला के साथ अंतरंग अवस्‍था में दिखाया गया है. कन्‍नड़ न्‍यूज चैनल की ओर से इसे दिखाए जाने के बाद सियासी तूफान आ गया था. कथित सेक्‍स वीडियो सामने आने के बाद उस समय कर्नाटक सरकार में मंत्री पद संभाल रहे जारकीहोली को ‘नैतिक आधार’ पर मंत्री पद से इस्‍तीफा देना पड़ा था.

यह भी पढ़ें

मेरे शुरुआती प्रदर्शनों में से एक बांग्‍लादेश की आजादी के लिए था : ढाका में PM मोदी

जारकीहोली ने अपने इस्‍तीफे के पत्र में लिखा था, ‘मेरे खिलाफ आरोप सच्‍चाई से परे हैं. इसमें विस्‍तृत जांच की जरूरत है. मुझे पूरा विश्‍वास है कि मैं निर्दोष साबित होकर निकलूंगा. मैं नैतिका आधार पर इस्‍तीफा दे रहा हूं, आपसे आग्रह करता हूं कि इसे स्‍वीकार करें.’ जारकीहोली ने वीडियो को ‘100 फीसदी फेक’ बताया था. एक सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता ने जारकीहोली के खिलाफ शिकायत दर्ज कराई थी, इसमें नौकरी के इच्‍छुक के यौन शोषण का आरोप लगाया गया था. जारकीहोली बीजेपी के साथ जुड़ने से पहले कांग्रेस में थे. वर्ष 2019 में कांग्रेस-जेडीएस गठबंधन सरकार को गिराने में उन्‍होंने अहम भूमिका निभाई थी.

मुंबई: बढ़ते कोरोना केसों के बीच मंडराया रोजीरोटी पर संकट, BMC ने धारावी में शुरू की टीकाकरण मुहिम

इस बीच, कर्नाटक के पूर्व मुख्यमंत्री सिद्धरमैया ने विधानसभा में मांग की है कि ‘नौकरी पाने की इच्छुक’ एक महिला का यौन उत्पीड़न करने के आरोपों के बीच मंत्री पद से इस्तीफा देने वाले भाजपा विधायक रमेश जारकीहोली के खिलाफ रेप का मामला दर्ज किया जाए. विपक्ष के नेता ने इस मामले की अदालत की निगरानी में जांच कराए जाने की मांग की है.  



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