BBMP war room’s Muslim staffers who were suspended thanks to Tejasvi Surya communal stunt may get jobs back

News Network
May 9, 2021

Bengaluru, May 9: The 17 Muslim BBMP war room staffers that were suspended from their jobs and branded as “terrorists” after a communally motivated “raid” by Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya's team earlier this week, are expected to get their jobs back from May 10. 

On May 4, the MP along with MLAs Sathish Reddy, Ravi Subramanya and Uday Garudachar stormed the war room and made allegations of a bed-blocking scam during which he read out the names of only Muslim staff and questioned their appointment.

The 17 were part of the 212 staffers outsourced by Crystal Infosystems and Services. Within minutes after the MP singled them out, they were branded as terrorists and many of them were picked up by the police in the night.

Sources said Crystal Infosystems and Services, the company which had outsourced the employees to the BBMP, met Thulasi Maddineni, the IAS officer who is in charge of the South Zone War room, on Saturday and requested for the reinstatement of the staffers considering that none of them were connected to the bed-blocking facility.

To a question, the officer said they have assured the company that the jobs will be restored. "The agency came and requested us to reinstate the issue. For many of the employees, it is the question of their livelihood. The request was made on Saturday. The staffers will be taken back from Monday," she said.

Shivu Naik, manager of Crystal Infosystems, said he was yet to hear from officials but the move was a good step forward considering none of the staffers provided by the company were working in the bed-blocking section. "It's definitely a welcome move. Our company had given a letter to BBMP on behalf of the employees as the job was important to them in the pandemic. I will meet the officials tomorrow," he said.

A day after Tejasvi Surya's allegations, the war room had seen attrition as many employees refused to work citing the leakage of their personal phone numbers. Surya visited them once again and apologised for the leak of numbers. His office has clarified that the MP didn't apologise for what happened to the Muslim staffers as reported by some media.

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News Network
June 1,2021

Bengaluru, June 1: Universities in Karnataka have collectively urged the state government to vaccinate college students at the earliest and said that they will be unable to start regular or offline classes for the academic year 2021-22 without students being vaccinated.

The varsities stuck to the online mode of teaching during the previous year. Their demand comes even as students going abroad for higher education have sought vaccination at the earliest in the wake of foreign universities mandating the same. 

Fr V M Abraham, Vice-Chancellor, Christ University said students can be invited to campus only if they had completed both doses of vaccination. “The university is even planning to conduct convocation only after all students are vaccinated. I think it is justified in the interest of everyone’s health and safety. Until then, the institution will stick to online classes,” he said.

M R Doreswamy, Chancellor, PES University had a similar view. Whether a student was from within the state or outside the country, vaccination should be mandatory before starting offline classes, he said. While urging the government to ensure vaccination for all college students at the earliest, Doreswamy said offline classes were necessary for effective learning. “Online classes cannot replace offline classes. It can only be a temporary solution,” he observed. 

Many universities in Karnataka, especially those in Bengaluru, also see a number of foreign students. “Those travelling to India for studies will be required to produce proof of vaccination,” said Dr N V H Krishnan, Registrar, Jain Deemed-to-be University. Once the lockdown is lifted, the university will give an option to students to choose between offline and online classes, he added. 

Government universities have different challenge to face. Many of them cater to a large number of rural students. Since rural Karnataka is now seeing a spike in cases, faculty in these universities have also urged the government to vaccinate students at the earliest. 

“Unless the government takes initiative in vaccinating all these students, it will be a challenge to conduct offline classes,” said University of Mysore Vice-Chancellor G Hemantha Kumar. While the university can comfortably conduct online classes for about eight weeks in a semester, it will have to go for offline classes for the rest. “Since there will be practical work, students need to come to the campus,” he said.

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News Network
June 14,2021

israel.jpg

Tel Aviv, June 14: Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year tenure as Israeli prime minister has come to an end, as the country’s parliament on Sunday approved a new coalition government led by right-wing nationalist Naftali Bennett.

Bennett, the head of an ultranationalist party that controls six seats in the 120-seat Knesset, was sworn in as prime minister after the parliament backed the new coalition government by a razor-thin margin of 60 votes to 59.

Bennett will lead an unlikely alliance of left-wing, centrist and right-wing parties, as well as a party that represents Palestinian citizens of Israel, who account for 21 percent of the country’s population. The parties have little in common apart from a desire to unseat Netanyahu.

Under a rotational agreement, Bennett will serve as prime minister for two years, after which he will be replaced by centrist leader Yair Lapid, the chief architect of the new government.

They plan largely to avoid sweeping moves on issues such as policy towards Palestinians in the occupied territories while they focus on domestic reforms. But with little to no prospect of resuming any sort of fair peace negotiations, many Palestinians are unmoved by the change of administration, saying Bennett will likely pursue the same right-wing agenda as Netanyahu.

Senior political analyst, Marwan Bishara, described the event as a “family feud”, saying that there are no ideological differences between the old and new prime minister.

“They are basically all belonging to the same right-wing Zionist family,” Bishara said, referring to Netanyahu and Bennett.

The differences between them have been personal, vindictive,” he said.

End of an era

Netanyahu, who served for 12 years as prime minister, sat silently during the vote on Sunday. After the new government was approved, he stood up to leave the chamber, before turning around and shaking Bennett’s hand. A dejected Netanyahu, wearing a black medical mask, then briefly sat in the opposition leader’s chair before walking out.

Netanyahu, the most dominant Israeli politician of his generation, failed to form a government after Israel’s March 23 election, its fourth in two years.

The 71-year-old is loved by his hard-core supporters and loathed by critics. His ongoing corruption trial, on charges he denies, has only deepened the chasm.

He remains the head of the largest party in parliament and is expected to vigorously oppose the new government. If just one faction bolts, it could lose its majority and would be at risk of collapse, giving Netanyahu an opening to return to power.

His opponents have long reviled what they see as Netanyahu’s divisive rhetoric, underhanded political tactics and subjection of state interests to his political survival.

The country’s deep divisions were on vivid display earlier on Sunday as Bennett, a former settler leader and hard-right religious nationalist who has called for the annexation of most of the occupied West Bank, addressed parliament ahead of the vote.

He was repeatedly interrupted and loudly heckled by supporters of Netanyahu, several of whom were escorted out of the chamber.

More anti-Iran rhetoric

Bennett’s speech mostly dwelled on domestic issues, but he expressed opposition to efforts by the United States to revive Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

“Israel will not allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons,” Bennett said, vowing to maintain Netanyahu’s confrontational policy. “Israel will not be a party to the agreement and will continue to preserve full freedom of action.”

Bennett nevertheless thanked President Joe Biden and the US for its decades of support for Israel.

Netanyahu, speaking after him, promised to return to power and predicted the incoming government would be weak on Iran and give in to US demands to make concessions to the Palestinians.

“If it is destined for us to be in the opposition, we will do it with our backs straight until we topple this dangerous government and return to lead the country in our way,” he said.

Both Netanyahu and Bennett’s remarks did not mention the plight of millions of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation. 

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News Network
June 9,2021

Bengaluru, Jun 9: Karnataka on Wednesday logged 10,959 new cases of COVID-19 and 192 deaths, taking the total number of infections to 27,28,248 and the death toll to 32,291.

The day also saw 20,246 discharges, continuing to outnumber the fresh cases.

Of 10,959 new cases reported today, 2,395 were from Bengaluru Urban, as the city saw 6,185 discharges and 50 deaths.

As of June 9 evening, cumulatively 27,28,248 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 32,291 deaths and 24,80,411 discharges, the Health department said in its bulletin.

Total number of active cases in the state is at 2,15,525.

While the positivity rate for the day stood at 6.68 per cent, case fatality rate (CFR) was at 1.75 per cent.

Mysuru recorded 22 deaths, Haveri (12), Ballari (11), Dharwad and Shivamogga (9), followed by others.

Mysuru accounted for 1,163 deaths, Hassan 745, Tumakuru 662, Dakshina Kannada 594, Shivamogga 562, followed by others.

Bengaluru Urban district has now a total of 11,89,541 positive cases, followed by Mysuru 1,54,235 and Tumakuru 1,09,916.

Among discharges too, Bengaluru Urban tops the list with 10,76,247, followed by Mysuru 1,38,304 and Tumakuru 98,977.

Cumulatively a total of 3,10,26,189 samples have been tested in the state so far, out of which 1,63,962 were tested on Wednesday alone.

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