Karnataka govt allows partial Ganeshotsav celebrations

News Network
September 5, 2021

Bengaluru, Sept 5: In a high-level meeting with the technical experts, the state government Sunday decided to relax the prevailing guidelines to allow partial Ganeshotsav celebrations and setting up of pandals.

The decision to approve partial celebrations comes in the wake of fears looming over the possible third wave of Covid hitting the state.

Permission to erect pandals has come as a major relief to idol-makers, who had gone bankrupt last year due to the ban on Ganeshotsav during Covid lockdown in the country.

Pandals install big Ganesha idols which brings good income for them.

According to the guidelines, not more than one Ganesha pandal can be set up in each ward. They also disallow immersion of the idols post 9 pm.

Ganeshotsav festivities have been permitted for a maximum of five days, and cultural programmes have been completely banned.

Ganeshotsav celebrations are banned in border taluks where positivity rate is found over two per cent

Apartment associations have been permitted to celebrate on their premises, but a maximum of 20 people present at a time.

Karnataka Saturday had reported 983 new infections and recorded 21 deaths, taking the total caseload to 29,54,047 and the toll to 37,401.

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News Network
February 14,2024

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New Delhi: An Indian-origin family from Kerala was found dead at their home in US' California in an apparent case of murder-suicide. The family have been identified as Anand Sujith Henry, 42, his wife Alice Priyanka, 40, and their 4-year-old twin children Noah and Neithan.

Cops found the bodies after one of the family's relatives sought a welfare check as nobody in the house was attending the call.

The Indian-American couple, Anand and Alice, were found dead with gunshot wounds inside a bathroom. The twin children were discovered dead in a bedroom, with the cause of their death still under investigation.

"After arriving officers were met with no response, they searched the perimeter of the home and did not see any signs of forced entry into the house. Finding an unlocked window, officers entered the home and located four people dead; 1 adult male, 1 adult female, and two children," police said.

A 9mm pistol and a loaded magazine were recovered from the bathroom.

The couple had purchased the house in 2020 for $2.1 million, records show.

An initial assessment by the police suggests a possible murder-suicide scenario, though they have not ruled out other possibilities.

"Based on the information we have at this time, this appears to be an isolated incident with no danger to the public as we are confident the person responsible was located within the home," the San Mateo police department said in a statement.

The family, originally from Kerala, had been living in the United States for the past nine years. Anand, a software engineer, and Alice, a senior analyst, had relocated from New Jersey to San Mateo County two years ago. Described as friendly, hardworking, and devoted parents, the couple was well-liked by both neighbors and colleagues.

According to court records, Anand had filed for divorce in December 2016, but the separation did not go through in court.

San Mateo County's Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) has taken over the case, working alongside the San Mateo County Crime Lab to collect evidence. The bodies have been taken into the custody of the San Mateo County Coroner, who is working to positively identify each individual and notify next of kin.

The case bears an eerie resemblance to a recent case where a wealthy Indian-origin couple and their teenage daughter were found dead in their $5 million mansion in Massachusetts.

In the last month, at least seven Indian-origin people have been found dead in the US. US envoy to India Eric Garcetti reassured that the US is committed to making sure it remains a safe destination for Indian students.

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News Network
February 11,2024

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Palestinians in Rafah, in which more than half of the Gaza Strip's population have been forced to seek refuge from an ongoing genocidal Israeli war, vow to remain in the city, despite the imminent threat of an all-out Israeli assault.

More than one million people have fled to the southern Gaza city amid the October 7-present war that has so far killed around 28,000 Palestinians, mostly women, children, and adolescents.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli military on Friday to prepare to evacuate civilians from Rafah ahead of a planned ground operation against the city. Aid organizations, however, say such a move will be nearly impossible to fulfill, given the scale of devastation elsewhere in Gaza, and the huge numbers of people trapped in the besieged area.

In a statement on Saturday, Palestinians in the city asserted that "we will not leave Rafah under any circumstances. We have decided to either die here or return to our homes victorious when the war has stopped."

"We will not leave Rafah. And we will die standing tall. Either victory... or martyrdom," they said.

"On behalf of every displaced person and on behalf of the people of Rafah, we call on all world powers to act forcefully to curb the aggression, stop the massacres, and prevent the Rafah catastrophe."

Philippa Greer, head of Legal Office at UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, in the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, posted on X, underlining the appalling humanitarian condition in the city.

"1.4 million people are amassed in deteriorating conditions, many displaced multiple times," she said, underlining that "the population has already endured intolerable pain, suffering, hunger & fear," and noting that the city suffered from "acute shortages of shelter, clean water, food & medicine."

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News Network
February 15,2024

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court's decision to strike down the electoral bond scheme will help bring in transparency in political funding and protect the interest of people, Congress leader Jaya Thakur, who had challenged the scheme in the apex court, said on Thursday.

In a widely anticipated verdict, the apex court said the electoral bonds scheme violates the right to information and the freedom of speech and expression under the Constitution. It also ordered the State Bank of India to disclose to the Election Commission the names of the contributors to the six-year-old scheme.

"Those who were donating money through electoral bonds were not disclosing their names. Somewhere they would want favours from the government... This verdict will make a difference. It will protect the interest of people," Thakur told PTI Videos after the verdict.

Advocate Varun Thakur, who represented her in the case, described the ruling as a historical step for democracy.

"This is a major setback for the government because the SC has directed to disclose all transactions between 2019-24. It has also directed the SBI to submit a full report to the Election Commission. And it has also directed the Election Commission to disclose that report within a week.

So this is a very big setback... the way donations were being taken off the record. Now accountability will be fixed: whether policies have been formed to favour those who have donated. The public have the right to know this... We can say that democracy has won today."

He said the government can now either revert to the schemes that were earlier in place for political funding or bring in a new scheme. He said companies running in losses were also making donations and people have the right to know how that happened, he said.

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