Bhakts throng Varanasi, flout covid safety rules despite warnings

News Network
August 2, 2021

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Varanasi, Aug 2: Large crowds of Hindus were seen in Varanasi as they took a dip in the Ganga river and offered prayers at Kashi Vishwanath Temple on Monday despite warnings from the authorities to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines.

People were seen flouting Covid-19 safety protocols; barely a few people were seen wearing masks and practising social distancing.

On the second day of the month of Shravan, special rituals were done with devotees.
Shravan, the fifth month in the Hindu calendar, is considered to be the most auspicious month of the year.

It is a traditional practice to observe a special fast and visit Shiva temples on 'sawan ke somwar' (Mondays falling in the month of Shravan).

This year, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual Kanwar Yatra, which is usually undertaken in the month of Shravan, has also been cancelled.

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News Network
July 7,2024

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Henley & Partners Passport Index revealed India's passport strength improved by three position in 2024. The Indian passport is currently ranked 80th place as it has weakened during the past ten years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rule. It has dropped from 76th position to 80th. 

The Index is based on exclusive International Air Transport Authority (Iata) data. In addition, publicly available and reliable online sources were also used to cross-check each passport against all 227 possible travel destinations.

List of countries Indian nationals can visit visa-free or get visa-on-arrival in 2024:

Africa: Angola, Burundi, Cape Verde islands, Comoro Islands, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Zimbabwe

Asia: Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Laos, Macao (SAR China), Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines (valid or unexpired American, Japanese, Australian, Canadian, Schengen, Singapore or UK visa, or permanent residence permit from these states) Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste

Americas: Bolivia, El Salvador

Caribbean: Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago

Oceania: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Niue, Palau Islands, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Middle East: Jordan, Oman, Qatar

NOTE for UAE: As of December 6, 2023, Indian nationals with a normal passport valid for a minimum of six months from the arrival date, holding a visit visa or green card issued by the US which is valid for a minimum of six months or a UK or EU residence ID which is valid for a minimum of six months, can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 14 days for a charge of Dh191 (subject to change). They can apply to extend their stay for an additional 14 days for Dh250 (subject to change) through Amer offices in Dubai.

Indian nationals holding an extension letter for US residency are not eligible for a visa on arrival. (According to a note published on Emirates airline website).

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 28,2024

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Mangaluru: A 21-year-old woman was allegedly electrocuted in a village in Belthangady taluka in Dakshina Kannada district, police said on Friday. 

The deceased has been identified as Pratiksha Shetty, they said, adding that the incident happened in Shibaje village within the Dharmasthala police limits on Thursday evening.

According to police, the woman had stepped out of her house to collect a parcel when she was electrocuted. An insulator of an electricity wire had broken and fallen into the water-filled trench, resulting in Pratiksha’s electrocution. 

She was heading towards the main road, just 100 meters from her home, to collect an online parcel she had ordered. The trench, which becomes waterlogged during the monsoon, lay in her path. 

She was electrocuted on the spot. Her father, Ganesh Shetty, also received a shock while attempting to rescue her.

Pratiksha was a resident of Bargula hamlet in Shibaje village, a police official said. The body was handed over to the family after the post-mortem, the official added.

This is the second incident of electrocution this week. Earlier, two autorickshaw drivers had come into contact with a live cable in Pandeshwar in Mangaluru city on Tuesday and died, police said.

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News Network
July 6,2024

Mangaluru: An unsuspecting woman, who fell prey to online fraud, lost Rs 18.1 lakh. The complainant, who works from home, received a call on July 1 from an unknown person claiming to be from FedEx, informing her that a parcel had been registered in her name. 

Eager to find out more, she was instructed to press 1. After doing so, a person identifying himself as Anurag Tomar, with an employee ID, briefly introduced himself before ending the call.

Anurag Tomar called her back and alleged that the parcel contained contraband items, including a passport, four credit cards, 25 strips of LSD, and some clothes.

He told her she would be connected to the Mumbai Crime Branch and instructed her to download the Skype app for a video call.

Following these instructions, she spoke with an individual claiming to be an officer from the Mumbai Crime Branch. This person obtained her Aadhaar card and bank account details, and instructed her to add a beneficiary to her account. 

Over the course of the conversation, Rs 15 lakh was transferred from her account, followed by an additional Rs 3.1 lakh, after adding another beneficiary. The scammers stayed in touch with her until about 7.30 pm.

When the complainant attempted to reconnect with the same number, she was unable to reach anyone. She informed her family and realised that she had been defrauded. From 1.30 pm to 7.30 pm, the scammers made her believe they were from the Mumbai Crime Branch, threatening her with a case involving the alleged LSD found in the parcel. In total, she was cheated out of Rs 18.1 lakh, she alleged.

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