With polls months away, Udupi BJP MLA not in a position to openly justify unjustifiable Hejmadi toll, calls it ‘grave mistake’

News Network
November 28, 2022

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Udupi, Nov 28: Even though Karnataka BJP chief Nalin Kumar Kateel has publicly thanked the union government after it decided to collect the toll of Surathkal tollgate in Dakshina Kannada at the plaza at Hejmadi of Udupi district, the local MLA has realised it would be a grave mistake to defend the move as assembly polls are just months away. 

K Raghupathi Bhat, who represents Udupi in Karnataka Legislative Assembly, said the collection of combined tolls at Hejmadi after the merger of Surathkal tollgate will burn holes in pockets of people in Udupi district. 

Calling the decision of merging Surathkal tollgate with Hejmadi from December 1 a 'grave mistake' by the officials, Bhat said taxi operators and many other organisations have opposed the decision and a letter will be written to the Union government in this regard to revoke the order.

Bhat, however, has blamed officials for the grave mistake instead of National Highway Authority of India and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led union government.  

The MLA added that people's representatives will urge the government to review its decision of collecting the toll of two gates at Hejmadi. 

Meanwhile, the day and night dharna being organised by the Action Committee Against Surathkal Toll Gate entered 32nd days on Monday. Action committee convener Muneer Katipalla said the dharna will end on December 1 only if the toll collection stops at Surathkal.

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News Network
January 25,2023

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North Korea has ordered a five-day lockdown in the capital over "respiratory illness", a report said Wednesday, in what appears to be the first city-wide restrictions since Pyongyang declared victory over Covid-19 in August 2022.

Residents of the North Korean capital have been ordered to stay in their homes from Wednesday to Sunday and must submit to multiple temperature checks each day, Seoul-based site NK News reported, citing a government notice.

The notice did not mention Covid-19 but said that the illnesses currently spreading in the capital included the common cold, the report said.

The government order comes a day after NK News, citing sources in Pyongyang, reported that people in North Korea's largest city appeared to be stocking up on goods in anticipation of a lockdown.

It is unclear if other areas have imposed similar lockdowns and state media has not announced any new measures.

The Korean peninsula is currently in the grip of what weather forecasters have described as a Siberian cold snap, with temperatures in Pyongyang dropping as low as -22 Celcius (-7.6 Fahrenheit).

North Korea's neighbour and key trading partner China recently abandoned its zero-Covid policies, and battled a wave of infections that overwhelmed hospitals and crematoriums.

North Korea has maintained a rigid blockade since the start of the pandemic, but does allow some trade with China.

North Korea acknowledged its first Covid-19 outbreak in April last year but declared victory over the virus just three months later, calling it a "miracle".

Experts, including the World Health Organization, have long questioned Pyongyang's Covid statistics and claims to have brought the outbreak under control.

North Korea has one of the world's worst healthcare systems, with poorly equipped hospitals, few intensive care units and no Covid-19 treatment drugs, experts say.

It is not believed to have vaccinated any of its 25 million population, although reports indicate it may have received some vaccines from China. 

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News Network
January 22,2023

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Chandrapur, Jan 22: A police mock drill in a temple in Chandrapur in Maharashtra landed in controversy after the personnel posing as terrorists were allegedly shouting slogans connected to a particular community.

A group of lawyers has submitted a memorandum to the district police authorities on the issue, while Superintendent of Police Ravindrasingh Pardeshi on Sunday said all efforts would be taken to ensure such an error is not repeated.

The mock drill, which was conducted on January 11 at the renowned Mahakali Temple here, enacted a scene in which a group of terrorists took over a place of worship and held devotees hostage before being apprehended by security forces. 

"Videos of the drill showing the personnel who played the part of terrorists in the mock drill shouting particular slogans. This portrays one community in a negative light and makes one believe all terrorists are from this community," said Farat Baig, part of lawyers' group here.

"We have submitted a memorandum to the office of the district SP against such sloganeering and portrayal. This act of the police amounts to defaming a community. Obviously, the script of the mock drill must have been overseen by the SP and other senior officials," Baig said.

When contacted, SP Ravindrasingh Pardeshi said his department will "take necessary steps to ensure such an error is not repeated". The mock drill was carried out by personnel from the local police, the Anti-Terrorism Squad, the specialised combat unit C-60, among others, officials said.

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News Network
January 27,2023

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Manglauru, Jan 27: Two dogs of Belgian Malinois breed joined the canine squad of CISF that overlooks the security of the Mangaluru International Airport (MIA). Max and Ranger are the two dogs that joined the CISF canine squad.

Max stood first and Ranger was second in the training that was held at the dog breeding and training centre of CISF at Taralu in Bengaluru, a release from the MIA here said.

The dogs were welcomed in a grand manner by the Airport Security Guards (ASG) wing of CISF.

The guards also gave a demonstration about defence tactics. Kishore Alva, executive director (projects and corporate business) was the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations.

Chief officer of airport security Kishore Kumar and others were present.

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