News Breakfast @6

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01. Assam: Night Curfew Extended Till May 7

The night curfew which was imposed in all districts of Assam has now been extended till May 7, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) informed on Friday. As mentioned in the previous order, the time-frame is from 8 PM to 5 AM daily, during which there will be a total ban on movement of individuals. Anybody found in violation of the same will be tried under Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Sec. 188 of IPC and other legal provisions as applicable, the order stated. Earlier on Tuesday, the Assam government had enforced night curfew till May 1 due to surging COVID-19 cases in Assam. On Friday, Assam reported 3,197 fresh COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths.

02. Two Neo-JMB Cadres Arrested From Dhubri: DGP

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The Assam Director General of Police (DGP) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta on Friday informed that two cadres of banned terrorist outfit Neo-JMB (Jamaat-il-Mujahideen Bangladesh have been arrested by the Assam Police from the Lalkura area in Dhubri district. The DGP informed that four firearms and Rs 1.02 lakh in fake Indian currency note have been recovered from one of the cadres. The DGP in a tweet said, “In a joint operation with Special Branch, Assam Police and a Central Agency, Dhubri Police apprehended two Neo-JMB Cadres from Larkura area under Gauripur PS. One of the cadres was apprehended with four firearms and Rs 1.02 lakhs in fake Indian currency note.” He further urged the Muslim community to come forward and assist the Assam Police in identifying other members of the terror outfit and help the police in bringing all radicalised elements to the mainstream. “In this matter, we appeal to the respected Muslim community and their leaders to come forward and assist us in identifying the other members of this module. We also appeal to them to help us bring all such radicalized elements to the mainstream,” he said.

03. Senior Journalist Nilakshi Bhattacharyya Succumbs To COVID

A senior journalist from Assam who worked in Delhi for Times of India group Nilakshi Bhattacharyya succumbed to COVID-19 on Friday morning. She died at Pratiksha Hospital in Delhi. Bhattacharyya’s husband, Kalyan Baruah, Bureau Chief from Delhi of The Assam Tribune also tested positive for COVID-19 and is under treatment. According to reports, Nilakshi had also been known as a mountaineer. She took active participation in many explorations in different parts of Himalaya. She left behind her husband and her only daughter. The Explorers organizations expressed grief over the sad demise of Nilakshi.

04. Assam: Dry Day Declared On May 2 & 3 For Counting Of Votes

The Assam government has declared May 2 and 3 as Dry Day on account of the counting of votes for the Assam Assembly elections. The excise department has issued order to all the deputy commissioners, excise superintendents and sub-divisional orders regarding the same. However, the order said that the ban on liquor will include the day of the counting of votes which is fixed on May 2 till the time the counting gets over.

05. Ex-MLA Hemen Das Admitted To GNRC Hospital

Veteran leftist leader and former MLA Hemen Das is in critical condition. As per sources, Das has been admitted to GNRC Hospital on Friday. The CPI (M) leader had served as MLA in Sorbhog constituency for three times.

06. “Exit Polls Biased, Politically Motivated”: Ripun Bora

A day after exit poll results were declared, Assam Congress chief Ripun Bora said the predictions are biased and politically motivated and stressed that ‘Mahajot’ will get the majority and form the next government in Assam. “Assam Congress totally rejects the exit poll results. These are not based on scientific system. These are biased and politically motivated. I know most of the agencies have proximity with the ruling government. On several occasions, I have seen that exit polls have not come true,” he told a news agency. “As far as Assam is concerned we are very confident that the Congress-led Mahajot alliance will get majority. Everything will be clear on May 2 when results come. ‘Mahajot’ will get a thumping majority and form the next government in Assam,” he added. Further, he also urged Congress workers and alliance partners to “not get demoralized” by the exit polls predictions. On Thursday, the exit polls predicted that the BJP-led NDA government would come back to power in Assam.

07. Educational Institutions In Dhubri To Remain Shut For 15 Days

Due to the worsening COVID-19 situation in Assam, the district administration of Dhubri has decided to shut down all educational institutions in the district for 15 days until further orders. It also asked students to vacate the hostels immediately. The order has come into effect immediately. According to an official notification, the decision was taken after COVID-19 cases in the district crossed the 300-mark. On Thursday, 62 new COVID cases were detected. The active caseload stood at 317. So far, the virus claimed four lives in the district.

08. 3,197 New COVID Cases In Assam, 26 Deaths

Assam on Friday reported 3,197 fresh COVID cases, taking the active cases of the state to 23,826. Of the new cases, Kamrup Metro reported 1,184 cases, followed by Dibrugarh at 245, Nalbari at 143 and Kamrup Rural at 133. Today’s positivity rate is 4.43 per cent. The new cases were detected out of 72,239. Meanwhile, a total of 2,449 cured patients were discharged today. The total recoveries have touched 2, 26, 643 with 89.54 per cent. Further, 26 deaths have been recorded today. The total fatalities have surged to 1, 307 with 0.52 per cent.

09. Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee Dies Of COVID

Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee died of COVID-19 on Friday morning. He was 91. A senior lawyer and Padma Vibhushan recipient, Soli Sorabjee was being treated at a private hospital in Delhi. Born in Mumbai in 1930, Soli Jehangir Sorabjee started his law practice in 1953 with the Bombay High Court. In 1971, he was designated senior counsel by the Supreme Court. Sorabjee became Attorney General first in 1989 and then from 1998 to 2004. A passionate human rights lawyer, Sorabjee was appointed a UN Special Rapporteur for Nigeria in 1997. According to a NDTV report, Sorabjee joined the UN Sub-Commission on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and was its chairman from 1998 to 2004. He was also a member of the UN Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.

10. TV Journalist Rohit Sardana Succumbs To COVID-19

Renowned TV journalist Rohit Sardana succumbed to COVID-19 on Friday. Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary informed about his untimely demise through a tweet. The untimely and shocking demise of Rohit Sardana, who had a long and very successful association with the Zee Media, has left the media world in a state of utter shock. Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also condoled the death of the journalist. In a tweet, the minister said, “This is a big jolt for journalism. I deeply mourn the untimely demise of fearless and bright @aajtak journalist #RohitSardana. So painful for the family & friends. My prayers and condolences.”

11. Over 3.8 Lakh New COVID Cases In India

India has yet again reported the highest one-day spike in COVID-19 cases with 3,86,452 fresh cases recorded in the last 24 hours. As many as 3,498 lost their lives to the virus, taking the tally to 2,08,330. Meanwhile, 2,97,540 recovered from the infection. The total active caseload stood at 31,70,228. The new cases were detected out of 19,20,107 tests conducted up to April 29. According to the Union Health Ministry, the total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered stand at 15,22,45,179.

12. COVID-19: Second Consignment Of US Aid Reaches India

The United States on Friday delivered its second shipment of medical supplies to India to help the country fight the coronavirus pandemic. “#JustArrived from @USAID to India: the second shipment of life-saving medical supplies to save lives and stop the spread of #COVID19! The American people are standing shoulder to shoulder with the people of India as we continue to fight the pandemic together. #USIndiaDosti,” USAID India wrote in a tweet. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also informed that another US military aircraft loaded with vital medical supplies arrived here bringing more oxygen cylinders and 7 lakh rapid testing kits. “Another US military aircraft loaded with vital medical supplies arrives bringing more oxygen cylinders and 7 lakh rapid testing kits. This is the second such aircraft arriving in a short span of a few hours. Grateful to US for this timely and quick mobilization of medical support,” Bagchi tweeted. Earlier in the day, the United States delivered its first consignment of medical supplies including oxygen cylinders, Rapid Diagnostic Test kits, pulse oximeters and N95 masks to help the country fight the coronavirus pandemic.

13. New Oxygen Plant Set Up At MMCH

Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday inaugurated an oxygen plant at Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital (MMCH) which will generate 0.9 MT oxygen per day. With the set up of the new oxygen plant, the state now has 11 plants which will generate 68.7 MT per day. Inaugurating the oxygen plant, Sarma said that this will be a great relief for the COVID patients as it will generate 0.9 MT oxygen per day i.e. it can generate oxygen which will fill up to 100 jumbo cylinders. “The MMCH has 24 ICU and 100 jumbo cylinders are enough but if we need more oxygen, the oxygen which we brought from premier will also be available. We have started two plants in Dibrugarh Medical College and with today’s plant we have 11 plants in Assam. I don’t think so that nowhere in India there is oxygen plants of their own,” added Sarma. He further stated that in Silchar Medical College and Hospital we will set up another two plants within 48-72 hours. “Other than the medical colleges, constructions of six other plants are on. We will have sufficient oxygen to fight COVID,” he added.

14. Stampede In Israel Religious Gathering Kills 44

The number of people, who have died in a stampede during the mass celebration of the Lag B’Omer holiday at Mount Meron in northern Israel, has increased to 44, local media reported on Friday. The number of injured people has risen to 103, with many of them remaining in critical condition, according to The Jerusalem Post. According to CNN, the attendees were celebrating the religious Lag B’Omer holiday, the largest annual public event in Israel. It commemorates the death of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a second-century Mishnaic sage whose book “The Zohar” is the foundation of Jewish mysticism. “This is one of the worst tragedies that I have ever experienced. I have not seen anything like this since I entered into the field of emergency medicine back in 2000,” said Lazar Hyman, vice president of the volunteer-based emergency organization United Hatzalah, who was at the scene, as reported by CNN. Dov Maisel, another United Hatzalah responder, told CNN that an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 people had been on the mountain, and many people had crowded into a small area. Thousands of people were pushed down a staircase and crushed each other, he said, adding that police are investigating what triggered the incident. Each year, hundreds of thousands of Jews — many of them ultra-Orthodox — flock to Bar Yochai’s tomb site on Mount Meron, which lies in the Upper Galilee region of northern Israel, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of the city of Haifa.

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