Security beefed up across Kashmir ahead of Amit Shah’s visit, tension mounts in the Valley

News Network
October 23, 2021

Jammu, Oct 23: Security has been beefed up across Kashmir ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s maiden visit to the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370 on Saturday, officials said.

They said a thick security cover has been thrown around the BJP office at Jawahar Nagar in the city where Shah is likely to pay a visit.

Similarly, roads leading to Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) have been made off-limits for three days from Saturday as the Union home minister is expected to attend an event there, they added.

It will be Shah’s first visit to Kashmir after the Centre revoked J-K's special status and bifurcated the erstwhile state into union territories in August 2019.

The officials said additional deployment of security forces has been made across the valley, especially in Srinagar.

Official sources said 50 companies of additional paramilitary forces are being inducted into the valley in the wake of the recent spate of civilian killings.

Bunkers manned by paramilitary CRPF have come up in several areas of the city as well in other parts of the valley, the officials said.

They said the aim of constructing new bunkers and putting more personnel on the ground was to cut the free movement of militants.

The officials said barricades have been put up on the roads across the valley, especially in the city, while frisking and checking of people has been intensified.

The mobile internet services on a dozen towers -- mostly in the areas where non-local labourers were killed in the past week -- were snapped three days ago as part of the security measures, they said.

The officials said police have started stringent checking of documents of two-wheelers plying on the roads and many have been seized by police.

However, IGP, Kashmir zone, Vijay Kumar had said these steps were purely related to terror violence.

"Seizing some bikes and shutting down of internet of some towers is purely related to #terror #violence. It has nothing to do with visit of the Hon'ble HM," he tweeted on Thursday. 

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News Network
November 29,2021

Bengaluru, Nov 29: The government of Karnataka has clarified that there would be no lockdown in the state in the wake of renewed concerns over a fresh covid wave. Health Minister K Sudhakar said on Monday said that contact tracing is underway for all travellers coming from South Africa, where the Omicron variant was first detected, and the travellers are being surveyed and contacts are also being tracked.

“There is no such proposal to impose a lockdown. Fake news is being spread on social media. There will be a meeting held with the Technical Advisory Committee, doctors and future guidelines on COVID-19 precautions will be discussed. We should not do anything that creates tension, false information should not be spread on social media. Many have already suffered during the pandemic and now panic should not be spread. People should follow precautions and follow appropriate COVID-19 norms to protect themselves from the virus,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government issued new guidelines for international travellers coming into the state. As per the circular released by the Department of Health, travellers coming from 12 at-risk countries will have to undergo RT-PCR tests on arrival. Home isolation is being made mandatory for seven days, and the travellers will also have to undergo re-testing on the eighth day.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday stated that international passengers can step out from airports only with a negative COVID-19 test report. The World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines will be followed in connection with the new coronavirus variant Omicron, which was recently discovered in South Africa. The Prime Minister and Union Health Minister have also recommended precautionary measures to be followed.

According to the guidelines, international travellers, if tested positive, the sample will be sent for genomic sequencing and they will be admitted to a separate isolation facility. They will be discharged at the discretion of the treating physician if the genomic sequencing is negative for B.1.1.529, the Omicron variant.

For travellers coming from countries excluding those enlisted as at-risk countries, a random sample of 5% of travellers with negative results will undergo RT-PCR testing on arrival. If tested positive, their samples will be sent for genomic sequencing.

Countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival include all countries in Europe including the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.

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News Network
November 18,2021

cows.jpg

Even though the ‘Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act, 2020’, claims to protect cattle and increase the breed of cattle, in reality the Act has a detrimental impact on the cattle rearing and market ecosystem, according to a scientific study. 

The study was led by public health specialist Sylvia Karpagam and independent researcher Siddharth Joshi. The study was an initiative by a group of researchers part of Ahaara Namma Hakku collective. 

The study report “Criminalising Livelihoods, Legalising Vigilantism” analyses the impact of the legislation on various communities including farmers, cattle transporters, slaughterhouses, skin and hide curing units, butchers, eateries and consumers.
It states that the justification provided by the government to implement the Act “betrays a complete lack of understanding of how the cattle production cycle works, and the utter disregard for the destructive impact it is going to have on the lives, incomes and livelihoods of the those who are part of the long chain of economic activities sustained by slaughter of cattle...”

While farmers usually sell unproductive cattle to traders who transport them to slaughterhouses, the new legislation which prohibits the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and buffaloes (below the age of 13 years), criminalizes traders who buy cattle for slaughter. Without an option to sell unproductive animals, farmers have to continue taking care of the animal making it economically unviable, it says. The report also highlights farmers lamenting how the legislation portrays them like criminals, leaving them vulnerable to vigilantes.

Further, the measures proposed by the government for mitigation of these adverse impacts are also impractical, it points out. For instance, while the government has proposed to take care of stray cattle in gaushalas, it doesn’t solve the economic loss to the farmers from being unable to sell the unproductive cattle. The report also quotes stakeholders who point out that cattle aren’t fed properly in gaushalas and they are sold on the sly. 

Considering that Karnataka is grappling with malnutrition, the researchers emphasize the importance of beef as a nutrition source.

Karpagam demanded that the government revoke the Act. “Else, it should at least allow slaughter of all other animals such as ox and bull. Now the exemption is allowed only for buffalo, which people in Karnataka do not consume,” she said.

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News Network
November 17,2021

Mangaluru, Nov 17: The district administrations of Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu have sounded high alert following the reports of Norovirus cases in Kerala’s Wayanad. 

The Norovirus infection was reported among 13 students of a veterinary college in Wayanad district and at least a dozen more are said to have been showing the symptoms.

The district administrations of Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada, which share a border with Kerala, have instructed the field surveillance staff to safeguard water sources shared at a community level like community wells. Consuming drinking water disinfected with chlorine has been advised.

Kodagu administration acknowledged the disease it is highly contagious but the Dakshina Kannada administration said pre-emptive screening was not possible unless people show symptoms like nausea, diarrhea or vomiting. The district administrations have also advised the students not to eat stale food from hotels around college campuses.

Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Anyone can get infected and sick with Norovirus. One can get Norovirus from having direct contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated food or water, or from touching contaminated surfaces and then putting one’s unwashed hands in one’s mouth.

Dakshina Kannada District Health Officer Dr Kishore Kumar said, “It’s a zoonotic virus and can spread through contaminated food. If anyone has symptoms similar to gastroenteritis like stomach pain and diarrhea, their family members at home are most likely to be infected too as Norovirus spreads through touch of unwashed hands.

Dr Venkatesh R, District Health Officer, Kodagu, said, “It mainly comes from stale food and contaminated water. We can treat stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting. We will be chlorinating water regularly as ours is a border district. Norovirus is rare but is highly contagious and the infected students in Kerala were living outside the college hostel. NIV Alappuzha confirmed it.

If we find any symptoms like fever and stomach pain we will test people here. We will be shortly issuing a circular asking people drink only lukewarm water. We need to give instructions to hotels to serve only freshly cooked food. Many visitors from Wayanad mostly go to Mysuru.”

Dr K H Prasad, District Health officer, Mysuru, said, “Bavali in HD Kote is the only check-post between Wayanad and Mysuru. Every day up to 200 vehicles take this route. We will be doing temperature surveillance of visitors to see if they’re feverish. We also screen Wayanad visitors coming in from Chamarajanagar’s Gundlupet to Mysuru’s tourist attractions.” 

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