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Uttar Pradesh makes masks compulsory in Lucknow, Noida and five other districts

In view of the rising Covid-19 cases, the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath stated on Monday that masks in public places will now be mandatory in seven districts bordering Delhi-NCR.

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Uttar Pradesh makes masks compulsory in Lucknow, Noida and five other districts

The rising Covid-19 cases in the country bring fear, tension, and worry for the fourth wave. After a sigh of relief of 11 weeks, the cases in the country are rising yet again, sparking concerns for another wave. Covid-19 restrictions were earlier abolished in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and other states, but the increase in cases necessitates re-imposing them.

In view of the rising Covid-19 cases, the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath stated on Monday that masks in public places will now be mandatory in seven districts bordering Delhi-NCR. The districts where masks are compulsory are Gautam Budh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Baghpat, and Lucknow.

The announcement came after 65 new Covid-19 cases have been reported in Gautam Budh Nagar, 20 in Ghaziabad, and 10 in Lucknow in the last 24 hours. With approximately 1000 tests being taken daily, Gautam Budh Nagar now has 332 current cases and the positivity rate has grown to around 15 percent. The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has also given instructions to monitor these areas closely. The focus on these districts will be given to people who haven’t been vaccinated yet.

Earlier on April 1, the Uttar Pradesh government announced that wearing masks will not be mandatory in the state and will no longer be a punishable offence. At the time of the imposition of the Act in 2020, the fine for not wearing masks was Rs 100, later hiked to Rs 500 and further increased to Rs 1,000 during the second wave of the pandemic in 2021.

The state currently has 695 active Covid-19 cases. In the last 24 hours, India reported 2,183 Covid-19 cases and 214 fatalities. The active cases in the country have reached 11,542.

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Farmers take out tractor march near Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar

The Noida police had issued an advisory for daily commuters and warned them of traffic jams at many places which also included the Delhi-Noida border. The farmers are planning to carry out the tractor march along the Yamuna Expressway, Luharli Toll Plaza and Mahamaya Flyover and traffic diversions have been imposed by the police at these places.

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Farmers took out a tractor rally near the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar on Monday to protest against the central government for accepting their demands, which included a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP) for crops. Videos showed many tractors being driven on the road. The rally was stopped by the police at the Yamuna Expressway’s entry point.

They were not allowed to carry out their rally on the expressway. The development comes even as farmers have delayed their march to the national capital till February 29 after a decision is made and are staying at the Khanauri and Shambhu points on the Punjab-Haryana border.

The Noida police had issued an advisory for daily commuters and warned them of traffic jams at many places which also included the Delhi-Noida border. The farmers are planning to carry out the tractor march along the Yamuna Expressway, Luharli Toll Plaza and Mahamaya Flyover and traffic diversions have been imposed by the police at these places.

The police have barricaded the Delhi-Noida border and police will conduct checking of vehicles entering Delhi or Noida. Daily commuters have been advised not to use the Yamuna Expressway and to use alternative routes or the metro to avoid inconveniences.

Farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa said a farmer named Pritpal Singh was doing Langar seva at the Khannauri on the Punjab-Haryana border when he was allegedly dragged by the policemen from his tractor trolley and was badly beaten. He said Pritpal Singh was admitted to a hospital in Rohtak. But he got shifted to PGIMER at Chandigarh.

Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said Pritpal Singh has suffered multiple injuries and they strongly condemn the action of the police. He said the prime minister should take action against policemen who indulge in such barbaric acts. Former Punjab chief Minister and senior BJP Leader Captain Amarinder Singh condemned the barbaric act of violence against Pritpal Singh.

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Allahabad High Court refuses to ban ongoing puja at Vyas Tehkhana inside Gyanvapi mosque complex, grants permission for worship to continue

Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain who is representing the Hindu side said today the Allahabad High Court has dismissed the first appeal from orders of Anjuman Intezamia which was directed against the order of 17th and 31st January and the effect of the order is that the ongoing puja in the Vyas Tehkhana of Gyanvapi complex will continue.

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The Allahabad High Court on Monday dismissed the Gyanvapi Mosque committee’s appeal challenging the Varanasi district court’s decision to offer prayers in a cellar in the Gyanvapi mosque complex. Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal of the Allahabad high court pronounced the judgement.

He said after going through the entire records of the case and after considering arguments of the parties concerned, the court did not find any ground to interfere in the judgement passed by the District judge dated 17.01.2024 appointing DM, Varanasi as receiver of the property as well as the order dated 31.01.2024 by which the district high court had permitted puja in the Tehkhana.

Advocate Prabhash hailed the verdict and said it is a big victory of Sanatana Dharma. The judge dismissed the pleas that the Muslim side had filed against the District judge’s order. He said this means that the puja will continue as it is. The District magistrate will continue as the receiver of the Tehkhana and the Muslim side can go for a review of the decision.

Another Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain who is representing the Hindu side said today the Allahabad High Court has dismissed the first appeal from orders of Anjuman Intezamia which was directed against the order of 17th and 31st January and the effect of the order is that the ongoing puja in the Vyas Tehkhana of Gyanvapi complex will continue. He said if the Anjuman Intezamia comes to the Supreme Court, then they will file their caveat before the top court.

The Varanasi court on January 31 had ruled that the Hindu side can offer prayers in the southern cellar of Gyanvapi masjid – the Vyas Tehkhana. The court had also directed the District magistrate to make arrangements for prayers and a priest which is nominated by Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust.

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MEA rejects reports about Indians seeking early discharge from Russian Army

The Ministry has clarified that India is actively pursuing all cases related to the issue and that some Indians have already been discharged.

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The Ministry of External Affairs on Monday issued a statement denouncing several media reports claiming that Indians serving in the Russian Army are seeking an early discharge. The Ministry has clarified that India is actively pursuing all cases related to this issue and some Indians have already been discharged.

The statement was issued following a report that stated some Indians are working as security staff in the Russian Army and are forced to fight alongside the Russian soldiers in the conflict zone of the Ukraine War.

The statement further added that every case brought to the attention of the Indian Embassy in Moscow has been strongly taken up by the Russian authorities. Furthermore, the matters that have been brought to the attention of the Ministry of External Affairs have also been taken up with the Russian embassy in New Delhi. 

The Ministry of External Affairs also mentioned that it remains committed and its priority is to actively pursue all relevant cases of the Indian nationals for early discharge from the Russian army with the Russian authorities.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Randhir Jaiswal, spokesperson for the External Affairs Ministry mentioned that the ministry is aware of Indian nationals who have signed up for support jobs with the Russian Army. He further advised all the Indian nationals to be cautious and steer clear of the Ukraine conflict. 

Meanwhile, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen [AIMIM] leader, Asaduddin Owaisi had urged the External Affairs Ministry to rescue the Indians. He asked External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on X, formerly Twitter on Wednesday, to use his offices to bring those men back home, adding that their lives are at risk and their families are justifiably worried.

Reportedly, a 23-year-old Indian named Hemil Mangukiya had died in a missile strike in Russia on February 21. He has been working as a helper in the country and had reportedly been inducted into the war zone on the Ukraine Border.

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