Karnataka imposes weekend curfew, other curbs amid covid surge

News Network
January 5, 2022

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Karnataka, the state government on Tuesday released fresh guidelines to mitigate the spread of the infection.

As per the fresh order, weekend curfew will be imposed from 10 pm on Friday till 5 am on Monday in the entire state. Besides, theatres, malls, pubs and bars will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity, Karnataka minister R Ashoka said, adding that no gatherings will be allowed at public places.

Further, schools in Bengaluru, apart from 10th and 12th standards, will be shut down for two weeks from January 6.

The order comes after Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai met with members of the COVID-19 task force and experts in Bengaluru earlier today.

State Health minister K Sudhakar, Revenue Minister R Ashok, BBMP Commissioner Gaurav Gupta, Chief Secretary, DGP Praveen Sood, BBMP officials, health senior officials and technical advisory committee members were also present in the meeting.

As the highest rise in COVID-19 cases is being seen in Bengaluru, Sudhakar insisted upon special measures for the state capital.

Stating that the third wave of COVID-19 has set in, Sudhakar predicted that Bengaluru will be the epicentre of the latest outbreak.

He said the infections went up to 1.6 per cent from a mere 0.4 per cent in the state, of which 90 per cent were reported in Bengaluru.

Meanwhile, Karnataka reported 2,479 new COVID-19 cases, 288 recoveries, and 4 deaths in the last 24 hours. Active cases in the state stand at 13,532.

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News Network
July 1,2022

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New Delhi, July 1: The Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma for her abusive comments against the Prophet, saying her "loose tongue" has "set the entire country on fire" and asked her to immediately apologise to the nation for her remarks. 

Refusing to entertain Sharma's plea for clubbing of FIRs lodged in various states against her for the remark, the bench held that the comment was made either for cheap publicity, political agenda or some nefarious activities.

"She actually has a loose tongue and has made all kinds of irresponsible statements on TV and set the entire country on fire. Yet, she claims to be a lawyer of 10 years standing... She should have immediately apologised for her comments to the whole country," the court said.

Sharma's remark against the Prophet, made during a TV debate, triggered protests across the country and invited sharp reactions from many Gulf countries. The BJP subsequently suspended her from the party. 

"These remarks are very disturbing and smack of arrogance. What is her business to make such remarks? These remarks have led to unfortunate incidents in the country...These people are not religious. They do not have respect for other religions. These remarks were made for cheap publicity or political agenda or some other nefarious activities”, the bench said. 

While refusing to entertain Sharma's plea for clubbing of FIRs, a vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala allowed her to withdraw the plea. 

"She has a threat or she has become a security threat? The way she has ignited emotions across the country… this lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country," the bench said when Sharma's lawyer Maninder Singh pointed out that she was facing threats to life. 

The bench further said," the way she ignited emotions across the country has led to unfortunate incidents. This lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country. We saw the debate". The court's observations against the suspended BJP leader come in the backdrop of the brutal murder of a tailor in Udaipur by two men, who had posted videos online, claiming that they were avenging an insult to Islam.

Senior advocate Singh, appearing for Sharma, said she had apologised for her remarks. The bench said,"her apology came too late and that too conditionally saying if religious sentiments are hurt and so on. She should have been on TV immediately and apologised to the nation". The court said her petition smacks of arrogance and that she thinks that the magistrate of the country is too small for her. Singh said Sharma was a spokesperson of a political party and her unintentional comments were in relation to a debate.  

"If you are a spokesperson of a party, it is not a license to say things like this", the bench said, adding, "if there was a misuse of the debate, the first thing she should have done was to file an FIR against the anchor". Singh said she had reacted to the debate initiated by other debators and pointed to the transcript of the debate. The bench said, "what was the TV debate for? Was it to fan an agenda and why did they choose a sub-judice topic?" Referring to various apex court verdicts, Singh said there cannot be a second FIR on the same cause of action. 

Justice Kant said she has remedy before the high court and can very well approach it, if there is a second FIR. Singh then referred to the Arnab Goswami case, and said the law has been laid down by the apex court. The bench said,"the case of a journalist expressing his right on a particular issue is on a different pedestal from a spokesperson of a political party who is lambasting others with irresponsible statements without thinking of the consequences". 

Singh said she has joined the investigation being conducted by the Delhi Police and not running away. The bench said, "What has happened in the investigation so far? What has Delhi Police done so far? Don’t make us open our mouths? They must have put a red carpet for you."After the hearing for nearly 30 minutes, the bench said it is not convinced with her bonafide and refused to entertain the petition.

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News Network
July 4,2022

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Bengaluru, July 4: The Criminal Investigation Department has arrested senior IPS officer Amrit Paul in connection with his alleged involvement in the police sub-inspector recruitment scam.

Amrit Paul was additional director general of police (ADGP) of the state police’s recruitment wing when the scam took place.

The CID officers today took custody of Paul before taking him to a government hospital for medical examination. Sources said he might be taken into police custody for further questioning.

According to a police source, the rigging of a strong room and evidence collected regarding tampering with the question paper as well as the OMR sheets led to the arrest of Paul. DSP Shantha Kumar, who was responsible for the strong room, was arrested earlier. According to the police probe, the scam involves more than Rs 100 crore.

In October last year, 54,287 candidates appeared for the examination for posts of police sub-inspectors. As many as 545 posts were to be filled, but several officers were accused of a scam in the recruitment process. The Karnataka Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which is probing the case, has arrested more than 50 persons, including government officials, agents and aspirants who had made it to the list.

The exam scam emerged after a candidate Veeresh N, who obtained the seventh rank among 67 candidates selected from the Kalyana Karnataka region, was found to have obtained 121 marks despite answering only 21 out of 100 questions in an objective paper for 150 marks as per the carbon copy of his OMR sheet.

“When the coded OMR sheet of the candidate Veeresh, received at the police recruitment cell, was compared with the OMR sheet that was provided for the candidate by members of the public, it was found that Veeresh had answered only 21 questions in the exam hall. The OMR sheet received at the police recruitment cell showed that he had answered all 100 questions,” says a CID FIR in the case. Each question carried 1.5 marks.

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News Network
June 22,2022

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Mangaluru, June 22: The southwest monsoon has gained momentum as all the three coastal districts - Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Udupi - are experiencing heavy showers for the past three days.

The intensity of rain increased considerably on Tuesday and it is expected to remain so till Wednesday. The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre has sounded a red alert for the coastal districts for Wednesday and a yellow alert for the next four days.

The inclement weather played spoilsport to mass yoga demonstrations in all the three districts.

Incessant showers have left several residential areas and roads, including high church road, Nandanagadda and railway station road in Karwar flooded. The national highway 66 in front of Ravindranath Tagore beach and the state highway at Habbuwada were inundated with rainwater affecting the vehicular movement for hours. Heavy rain and strong winds battered coastal taluks of Uttara Kannada - Ankola, Kumta, Honnavar and Bhatkal - throughout the day.

Honnavar recorded 82 mm of rain in the last 24 hours (ending 8 am on Tuesday) followed by Karwar 71 mm and Kumta 59 mm.

Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts also witnessed intermittent spells of rain on Tuesday. Torrential showers have left Karavali Junction, Ambalpadi, Mudanidamburu flooded in Udupi. More than 20 electricity poles have been uprooted due to rain and strong winds in the district.

According to the weather department, the twin districts are most likely to witness heavy rain (up to 20.4 cm) till June 25. The met department has warned the fishermen not to venture into sea owing to high tides. Also, the people close to the coast and river mouth should relocate to a safer place, the IMD release said.

Kodagu district received moderate to heavy showers in the day. Parts of Malnad and north interior Karnataka also witnessed scattered rainfall.

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