01. 14 Held In ONGC Kidnapping Case, Probe Reveals ULFA-(I) Hand
A total of 14 linkmen, who aided the United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent (ULFA-I) in kidnapping the three ONGC employees, were apprehended by Assam police on Friday. This was stated by Assam police during a press conference today. With this, it has now been confirmed that ULFA-(I) is behind the kidnapping. Further, the names of the kidnappers were also announced. The abduction was done under the direction of one Ganesh Lahon alias Purna Lahon. The others in the group include Pradip Gogoi alias Akan and Adyaman Assam alias Moniram Borgogoi. On Tuesday, three ONGC employees were abducted by ULFA-(I) from an ONGC rig site at Lakwa field in Sivasagar district.
02. Assam: Coaching Institutes To Run With 50% Attendance
The Assam government has ordered the coaching institutes of the state to continue classes with 50 percent attendance in districts with over 100 cases of COVID-19. In an order issued by the Secondary Education department of Assam, it said that online classes should also be made available wherever necessary. On the other hand, the order said that the women teaching and non-teaching staff with children below the age of 5 years shall be exempted from attending schools or coaching institutes. Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also shared the order in his Twitter saying, “In continuation of our earlier notice on districts over 100 cases, today Govt has ordered that coaching institutes shall run with 50% capacity. Also, women teaching / non-teaching staff with children below 5 yrs shall be exempted from attending schools/coaching.”
03. Kokrajhar: DNH High School Declared Containment Zone
The D.N.H. High School in Kokrajhar has been declared as containment zone after the Principal and staff tested positive for COVID-19. The Kokrajhar administration has restricted entry and exit in the school after its Principal and a staff member tested positive of the virus. The administration also restricted movement of vehicles in the road in front of the school. Meanwhile, five students of North Ghoramara Pre-primary School also tested positive for COVID-19. Moreover, the administration asked the school authorities to follow the new SOP issued by the state government regarding conducting classes. It may be mentioned that 21 people in the district have tested positive on Friday taking the total number of cases in the district to 124.
04. Fire At Mumbai Hospital Leaves 13 COVID Patients Dead
At least 13 COVID patients lost their lives after a fire broke out at Vijay Vallabh Hospital in Virar in Mumbai on Friday morning, confirmed Dr. Dilip Jain, the hospital CEO. According to Dr. Jain, the fire started at around 3.15 AM due to a short circuit in the cir conditioner in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital. It was extinguished by 5.30 in the morning. There were 17 COVID patients in the ICU, informed the fire department out of which 13 patients died and the five survivors have been shifted to other rooms.
05. Samajwadi Party Leader Rammurti Singh Verma No More
Former Uttar Pradesh minister and Samajwadi Party leader Rammurti Singh Verma died on Friday following a prolonged illness, family sources said. He was 71. Verma was admitted to a private hospital in Bareilly on Wednesday and was undergoing dialysis. He passed away during treatment around 2.30 am on Friday, the party’s district president Tanveer Khan was quoted by PTI. Last month, the SP leader was admitted to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi and was discharged later, the PTI report said. Verma was a four-time MLA — three times from Jalalabad seat and once from Dadraul. He also represented Shahjahanpur in Lok Sabha. In 2015, he was accused of killing a local journalist and an FIR was registered against him. Later, the victim’s family members reached a compromise with him and the case was closed.
06. 10 Missing As Jeep Falls Into Ganga River
Around 10 persons have reportedly gone missing after the vehicle in which they were traveling fell into Ganga river in Patna’s Peepapu. According to ANI, the jeep, which was carrying at least 15 occupants, was returning from a marriage function when the incident happened. Four people swam to safety but others could not make it. The missing are feared dead.
07. “Work Together, Coordinate With Each Other”: PM Modi To States On Oxygen
Amid the ongoing second wave of the COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday held a meeting with oxygen manufacturers in the country via video conference amid concerns expressed by some states that the supply of the life-saving gas is inadequate. Participants of the meeting included Reliance Industries Limited Chairman Mukesh Ambani, MD of Air Water Jamshedpur Noriyo Shibuya, Naveen Jindal of Jindal Steel and Power, Rajesh Kumar Sharaf (NOL), M Banerjee of LINDE, Sajjan Jindal of JSW, SAIL’ Chairperson Soma Mondal, Dilip Oommen (AMNS) and Siddharth Jain (INOX). Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held the 4th review of scenario on Oxygen in the last one week. Earlier ones were held on April 16,17 and April 22. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra held a meeting with chief ministers of states with high burden of coronavirus cases.
08. Free Food Grains To 80 Cr Beneficiaries Under PMGKAY
In a welcome move, the Centre will be providing free food grains under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) for the month of May and June 2021. The government said that around 80 crore people will benefit from the scheme. Under the PMGKAY, the poor will be provided 5kg of free food grains for the next two months amid a devastating second wave of COVID-19 gripping the nation. PM Modi said that when the country is witnessing a resurge in COVID-19 cases, it is important that the poor be provided nutritional support. As per a report, over Rs 26,000 crore would be spent on this initiative.
09. COVID-19 India: Oxygen Generation Plants To Be Imported From Germany
Amid reports of shortage of oxygen in the hospitals during the second wave of COVID-19 across the country, the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) has decided to import oxygen generation plants and containers from Germany to cater to the shortage. The Defence Ministry informed on Friday that 23 mobile oxygen generation plants are being airlifted from Germany. These will be deployed in AFMS hospitals catering to COVID patients. These oxygen-generating plants are expected within a week, the ministry said. Earlier this week, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting to review the Ministry of Defence’s preparations and response to the COVID-19 situation. Sources had informed that Defence Minister took the review of progress in COVID-19 hospitals on Tuesday. He also asked officials to analyse and let him know what more is required and there will be procurement immediately, sources said.
10. One More Mumbai Cop Arrested In Ambani Bomb Scare Case
The National Investigative Agency (NIA) on Friday arrested yet another Mumbai cop in the Ambani bomb scare case. The officer in question is Sunil Rane, an inspector of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch. Earlier, former Assistant Police Inspector of the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) Sachin Waze was arrested by the NIA after his name cropped up in businessman Mansukh Hiren death case. He has been transferred to the Citizen Facilitation Centre in Mumbai.On April 15, NIA special court sent Waze to judicial custody till April 23 in connection with his role and involvement in placing an explosives-laden vehicle near Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s house Antilia in Mumbai on February 25 and Mansukh Hiren death case.
11. 200 Sikh Pilgrims Tests COVID +Ve After Return From Pakistan
200 Sikh pilgrims, who went to Pakistan to celebrate Baisakhi, have tested positive for COVID-19 upon their return to India, a national media outlet reported. The report said around 800 devotees had gone to Gurudwara Panja Sahib in Lahore on the last day of Baisakhi. Out of them, 200 have tested positive for the virus after taking rapid antigen test. According to Pakistani High Commission in Delhi, over 1,100 Sikhs were issued visas under Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974. Every year, pilgrims from India visit Pakistan to attend festivals every year. With a resurge in COVID-19 cases in India, the demand for oxygen shot up unprecedentedly amid the deadly second wave. The supply of oxygen has become extremely limited due to the same. Baisakhi is a spring harvest festival for Sikhs and Hindus. It marks the Sikh new year and commemorates the formation of Khalsa panth (saint warriors) under Guru Gobind Singh in 1699.
12. 2,384 New COVID Cases In Assam, 10 Deaths
Assam on Friday reported 2,384 fresh cases of COVID-19, pushing the active cases tally to 12,595. Also, ten coronavirus related deaths were recorded today. The new cases were detected out of 72,405 conducted in the last 24 hours, of which Kamrup Metro recorded 883 cases, Kamrup Rural at 159, Dibrugarh at 154 and Nagaon at 100. Today’s cases positivity rate was 3.29 per cent. Meanwhile, 348 patients were discharged today. With a recovery rate of 93.53 per cent, the state has 2,18,339 recoveries. The deaths have been reported from Kamrup Metro (5), Kokrajhar (2), Dibrugarh (1), Hojai (1), Jorhat (1), Kamrup Rural (1) and Udalguri (1). The total fatalities in the state touched 1,172.
13. Canada Bans Flights From India, Pakistan Amid Surge In COVID Cases
The Canadian government has banned all passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days due to the unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases in the region, the longest country-specific travel ban imposed by Canada. The flight ban took effect from midnight Thursday, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said on Thursday. A number of countries like the UK, Australia and Singapore have banned travel to and from India due to surge in coronavirus infections, reported PTI. Over 3.14 lakh new coronavirus cases were registered in India on Thursday, the highest-ever single-day count in any country. While the death toll increased to 1,84,657 with a record 2,104 new fatalities. The national recovery rate fell below 85 per cent.
14. Shravan Rathod Of Famous Nadeem-Shravan Duo Dies Of COVID-19
Shravan Rathod of the iconic music composer duo Nadeem-Shravan died of COVID-19 complications at a Mumbai hospital. He was 66. The news of Shravan’s death was confirmed by his son, musician Sanjeev Rathod, reported PTI. According to the report, the veteran composer died at around 10.15 PM on Thursday. “Please pray for his soul,” the grieving son was quoted as saying. Rathod was admitted to Mumbai’s SL Raheja Hospital on Monday in a critical condition after testing COVID-19 positive. Condolence messages from celebrities across the music industry, fondly remembering Shravan Rathod, flooded Twitter soon after the news of his death was announced.
15. Bollywood Actor Amit Mistry Dies Of Heart Attack
Bollywood actor Amit Mistry has passed on Friday following a heart attack at his home in Mumbai. He was only 47. Mistry was known for his roles in movies including Kya Kehna, Ek Chalis Ki Last Local, 99, Shor In The City, Yamla Pagla Deewana and A Gentleman. He also acted in TV and OTT shows. According to his manager, he was at his home in Mumbai’s Andheri and suffered a heart attack after breakfast. He passed away on the spot before his parents could get any help. Many actors of the fraternity offered their condolences on social media like Karanvir Bohra, Karan V Grover, Jacqueline Fernandes, Sumeet Vyas, Kubbra Sait, Rajesh Tailang, Cyrus Sahukar, Rajesh Tailang and many others.