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Fire at Serum Institute of India building in Pune, 5 dead

A massive fire broke out at Pune-based vaccine manufacturing company Serum Institute of India on Thursday, killing five people.

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serum institute fire

A massive fire broke out at Pune-based vaccine manufacturing company Serum Institute of India on Thursday, killing five people. At least nine people who were trapped inside were evacuated from the under-construction building in SSI’s Manjari premises in Pune, police said. The company manufactures Covishield – the coronavirus vaccine that is developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. The vaccine has been given authorisation in India recently and is being used to inoculate Indian citizens in a mega vaccination drive.

Adar Poonawala, CEO of Serum Institute of India, offered his condolences to the families of victims who died in the tragic event.

However, he assured all governments and the public that fire would not affect the production of Covishield due to multiple production buildings that he had had kept in reserve to deal with such contingencies at @SerumInstIndia.

Murlidhar Mohol, the Pune mayor, said the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but there are speculations that welding, that was going on at the building, caused the fire.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope confirmed that the fire took place due to some ongoing welding work as some insulation material, which is inflammable, was kept near the work site.

Meanwhile, Indian Express reported that the fire has been brought under control and cooling operations are underway, according to Prashant Ranpise, Chief Fire Officer, Pune City Fire Brigade. He said that the fire was brought under control at 4.15 pm.

ANI has reported that fire has broken out again in one compartment of the same building at Serum Institute of India (SII), in Pune. Fire fighting operation is underway.

Also Read: 8 killed in major explosion at Shivamogga district of Karnataka, CM Yediyurappa, PM Modi express condolence

India News

Religious outfit vandalises The Blessed Mother Teresa High School in Telangana after teachers object to students wearing Hanuman Deeksha dress

The Religious group broke glass windows and flower pots and pelted stones on the statue of St. Mother Teresa at the school’s entrance. The religious outfit also attacked Father Jaimon Joseph, the school manager.

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A religious group shouting Jai Shri Ram has vandalised a Catholic school and assaulted a priest in Telangana’s Mancherial district on Tuesday. The saffron mob staged protest and vandalised The Blessed Mother Teresa High School in Kannepally village. They broke glass windows and flower pots and pelted stones on the statue of St. Mother Teresa at the school’s entrance. The religious outfit also attacked Father Jaimon Joseph, the school manager.

The priest who is a member of the Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (MCBS) said some of members of the mob even slapped and threw punches at him while others attacked him from behind. The religious outfit accused the school management of not allowing Hindu students to wear their religious costumes. The school authorities said the allegation made by the mob is misleading and has no truth in it.

Earlier, the students who wore religious costumes had informed the school principal that it was part of a 21-day special religious practice. The principal said he had only asked the students to bring their parents to school after noticing that they are not wearing the school uniform.

Later, members of the religious outfit started protesting outside the school. They demanded action should be taken against the management for stopping the students from entering the school and appearing for their annual examinations as they were wearing the Hanuman deeksha dress.

The priest said soon after the video started circulating on social media and became viral with hate messages against Christians. After this incident many Hindus reached the school and vandalized it. A complaint has been lodged at the local police station by the school management, but no arrests have been made so far. Instead of taking action against the miscreants, the police have filed a case against the school management for hurting religious sentiments of the local people.

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India News

Clashes erupt during Ram Navami procession in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari wrote a letter to the West Bengal Governor and sought a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into clashes and violence during a Ram Navami procession in Murshidabad’s Rejinagar area.

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Clashes and violence erupted during the Ram Navami procession in the Shaktipur area of Rejinagar, Murshidabad district, West Bengal on Wednesday. According to reports, the stone-pelting started taking place when the Ram Navami parade was underway as people threw stones from their rooftops. The situation reached a point where the police had to resort to a lathi charge. Some individuals sustained injuries during the clashes and violence. The BJP alleged that Hindu devotees were targeted in Rejinagar.

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari wrote a letter to the West Bengal Governor and sought a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into clashes and violence during a Ram Navami procession in Murshidabad’s Rejinagar area. Around 20 people were injured after stones were thrown at the Ram Navami parade from rooftops. The police has imposed Section 144 in the area.

Another incident took place during the Ram Navami parade, as an explosion went off in Shaktipur, Murshidabad, which resulted in injuring a woman. The woman was taken to the Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital, and the police have started investigating the matter. But, it is still not clear whether the explosion was caused by a bomb or some other reason.

The BJP also alleged that another Ram Navami parade was attacked and pelted with stones in Medinipur’s Egra. BJP leader Amit Malviya said party workers would gherao the Egra police station to protest the brutal attack. Amit Malviya tweeted that Hindu devotees were singled out during the Ram Navami celebrations in Rejinagar, Murshidabad.  He further added Mamata Banerjee is a blot on West Bengal. 

Many videos are circulating on social media, which show people throwing stones at the procession from their rooftops. The police had to conduct a lathi charge and also fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd. The police have said that the situation has been brought under control, and additional security forces have been stationed in the area.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Election Commission advises Bengal Governor to not visit Cooch Behar on voting day

The Election Commission advised the Bengal Governor to call off his proposed visit to Cooch Behar on April 19.

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West Bengal governor CV Ananda Bose has been warned by the Election Commission of India (ECI) not to visit Cooch Behar on April 18 and 19, since the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls will begin with a silence period on Wednesday evening.

According to those familiar with the situation in the EC, the poll body informed the governor’s office that no local program could be planned for the governor on April 19 due to the Model Code of Conduct and the election day.

The poll body added that if they had to provide local security cover for this unexpected proposed visit without a imminently known requirement, the tour would be a diversion because the district administration and police force will be completely occupied with election management on April 18 and 19.

As a result, under Section 126 of the Representation of People Act, campaigning is prohibited in Cooch Behar starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

In order to ensure a free and fair election process, the poll board has asked all district election officers and district police chiefs to make sure that all prominent individuals, campaigners, and political workers who are not local voters leave the polling area once the silence period begins.

The seven phases of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections will take place between April to June. Polls will be conducted in seven phases: the first on April 19 and the seventh on June 1. On June 4, the results will be announced.

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