Advisory committee bats for phased unlock in Karnataka after June 14

News Network
June 9, 2021

Bengaluru, June 9: The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) formed by the State government has recommended a gradual unlocking of activities across Karnataka, as the Covid-battered state gets ready to take small steps towards normalcy after June 14, when the lockdown is scheduled to end.

The committee — which submitted its recommendations to the government on the unlock process on Monday — suggested the chief minister allow shops, malls, hotels to open for four hours initially. But it recommended against opening up places of worship, swimming pools and others till the end of June.

Members also suggested restricting movement of people from high-risk districts to low-risk ones and a ban on elections that involve organising rallies for the entire year. Cautioning against allowing all activities at once, the committee recommended opening up activities on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

The chief minister is expected to discuss these recommendations with his Cabinet colleagues in a day or two.

According to the committee’s report, “Markets shall initially be open for four hours and gradually increased to 10 hours per day.”

The same recommendation has been made for neighbourhood shops, malls and shopping streets. The committee listed activities within a closed environment as a high-risk category and recommended only 50 per cent occupancy in places like pubs, bars and restaurants and closed market areas.

Referring to public gatherings like marriage and functions, the TAC said, “The ceremonies will have only 100 to 200 people maximum with passes till December 2021. A distance of 3.25 sq mtrs has to be maintained between two persons.”

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News Network
June 5,2021

Bengaluru, June 5: The state government on Saturday shunted out Mysuru deputy commissioner Rohini Sindhuri and Mysuru City Corporation commissioner Shilpa Nag following their ugly public spat over the past few days.

Bagadi Gautham, a 2009 batch IAS officer, replaces Sindhuri as Mysuru DC while G Lakshmikanh Reddy, 2015 batch IAS officer, takes over from Shilpa.

While Sindhuri has been posted commissioner of Hindu religious and charitable endowments, Bengaluru, Nag will be director of e-governance in rural development and panchayat raj department.

The government was contemplating action against them after Shilpa resigned from the IAS over alleged harassment by Sindhuri. It had also launched a probe into the construction of a gym and swimming pool at the DC's residence allegedly in violation of heritage laws. The spat between the officers was unseemly, coming as it did amid a huge spike in Covid cases in Mysuru district.

Among the other transfers, P Rajendra Cholan has been posted as managing director, Bescom, and will hold concurrent charge as special commissioner (health and IT), BBMP. 

Resignation and U-turn

Shilpa Nag on Thursday had announced her resignation from the service, citing harassment and humiliation from Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri. However on Saturday she took a U-turn from her decision. She decided to resume work from Sunday.

It has to be noted that Nag had taken her resignation papers to Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar during his visit to Mysuru on Friday but, the CS did not accept the paper and suggested her to reconsider the decision.

“I have sent resignation papers through register post and also e-mailed it,” Nag said. District in-charge Minster S T Somashekar and others suggested her not to resign, she said.

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News Network
June 7,2021

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Bengaluru, June 7: An explosion in a molten plastic paint machine near the underpass of the second terminal of the Kempegowda International Airport caused injury to six workers early Monday, the police said.

According to the airport police, two of the six workers, Ajay Kumar and Siraj are critical after suffering over 40 per cent burns.

The others were identified as Avinash, Goutam, Prashanth, Nagesh -- all have been admitted to Victoria Hospital.

The police said that the workers were using thermoplastic road marking machine to paint the zebra crossing and signages on the roads leading upto the airport terminal.

The exact cause of fire is still not known but prima facie investigations have revealed that a "substantial amount" of paint vapour and mist could have been released causing the accident.

"Perhaps storage of paint material, overspray could have drift into surrounding areas, mixing with the air and accumulating in enclosed or unventilated areas leading to a blast," the police explained.

The blaze spread to the underpass in no time. "Security guards rushed to the spot after hearing the workers' cries and took them to hospital. Fire-fighters soon arrived at the scene but it wasn't before two hours that they doused the flames," the police said.

This is the first fire accident to have happened during the construction of the airport's second terminal, which has been going on for the past few years.

The police said that they have registered a complaint against the company under contract for negligence and failure to take precautions for the safety of workers.

The Kempegowda International Airport, the third-biggest airport in India, began constructing a garden terminal called T2 to accommodate the increasing passenger traffic in 2019 but due to prolonged lockdown and outbreak of pandemic in March 2020, the project is likely to be completed in 2022 second quarter instead of March this year.

The terminal will feature trees, small gardens and ponds with local species of plants. It is expected to serve approximately 25 million passengers a year.

The terminal's design is inspired from Bengaluru's ubiquitous tag as a 'Garden City'.

Passageways throughout the terminal will connect the passengers with nature. The ceiling at the entrance, check-in and security area will feature hanging bells.

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News Network
June 15,2021

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New Delhi, June 15: A division bench of Justices Sidharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani of the Delhi High Court today allowed bail to Asif Iqbal Tanha and Pinjra Tod activists Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita in the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case under UAPA.

Bail is subject to personal bond of Rs 50,000 and two local sureties. Conditions for bail include the three surrendering their passports and not indulging in activities that would hamper the case.

Narwal and Kalita, PhD scholars at Jawaharlal Nehru University, associated with the Pinjra Tod Collective, have also been in custody since May 2020. Recently Narwal was allowed interim bail to attend the last rites of her now deceased father.

The Delhi High Court earlier reserved orders in Jamia Millia Islamia student, Asif Iqbal Tanha's appeal against the rejection of his bail in connection with a case related to larger conspiracy in Delhi Riots that broke out last year.

A division bench comprising of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Bhambhani reserved the order.

Tanha has challenged an order dated 26th October 2020 dismissing his bail plea who was arrested under the stringent UAPA. Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat rejected the bail application after prima facie observing that the case was maintainable against Tanha and that he allegedly played an active role in the entire conspiracy.

Advocate Siddharth Agarwal appeared on behalf of the accused, Tanha whereas Aman Lekhi appeared on behalf of the State authorities before the Delhi High Court.

In the FIR 59/2020, which was lodged by Delhi Police in the Delhi riots conspiracy case, a total of 15 people were named and Tanha, Narwal and Kalita were part of them. The police claimed that Tanha played an active role in orchestrating the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

It was also alleged he is a close associate of Safoora Zargar, Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam and others, and thet he is a "key members of anti-CAA protests and subsequent riots in the national Capital". It was also submitted that Tanha conspired, along with others, to "overthrow the Government" by setting up a chakka jam (road blockade) in Muslim-dominated areas.

Police also claimed that Tanha purchased a mobile SIM card by using fake documents and the same was used in planning the chakka jaam, riots etc and it was used to create a WhatsApp group. It was also claimed that the SIM was subsequently provided to another Jamia student and co-accused Safoora Zargar to organise further protests.

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