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‘Had free hand to implement lockdown’: Centre in strong message to Kejriwal over migrant exodus

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As the Delhi government garpples with the mass exodus of migrant labourers due to the lockdown, the Centre has come down heavily on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for the government’s inability to provide basic facilities and reassurance to the migrant workers that their needs would be taken care of.

In a strongly-worded letter, according to a report in Hindustan Times, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has conveyed Centre’s displeasure over the handling of the situation.

“It also makes the point that the Delhi government had a free hand to implement the lockdown and had all the powers that it needed,” an official has said.

The migrants say they are moving back home as there is no employment, food and shelter due to the 21-day lockdown.

Though all inter-state bus service were suspended following the 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24, thousands of daily wagers and labourers from Delhi, Haryana and even Punjab had been reaching Anand Vihar, Ghazipur and Ghaziabad’s Lal Kuan areas since Thursday after arduous treks on foot in a bid to ride buses to their respective native places.

Following this, the Delhi government on Saturday deployed 570 buses to drop migrants to the Uttar Pradesh border, expecting the Yogi Adityanath government to press buses in the neighbouring state.

However, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot had said the city government wants migrants to stay back.

“But for those who want to leave for UP, the Delhi government is making necessary arrangements. As many as 570 buses of Delhi government will leave these people at the UP border. We would be very happy if the UP government sends its buses to take all these people,” Gahlot tweeted in Hindi.

Upset over the situation, two senior Delhi government officials were suspended from duty for failing to control the mass exodus of migrant population from the city and inept handling of the crowd, and an explanation was sought from two others.

“These officers have failed to ensure public health and safety during the lockdown restrictions to combat COVID-19. Due to the serious lapse in performance of their duties, the competent authority has initiated disciplinary proceedings,” the government statement said.

As the situation was getting out of control with thousands of migrants leaving for their natives in packed buses, the Centre on Sunday directed the states to strictly follow the nationwide lockdown norms and stop the movement of people across the cities, advising them to arrange shelter, food and other facilities for migrant labourers at their workplace.

Noting that there has been movement of migrant workers in some parts of the country, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba through video conferencing with officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs, state Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police on Sunday morning decided to “seal” the district and state borders.

The Ministry of Home Affairs later wrote to states and Union Territories (UTs) to take measures to prevent large-scale migration of workers. In a five-point guideline, Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla directed the states and UTs to ensure adequate arrangements like “temporary shelters and provision for food to poor and needy people, incuding migrant labourers, stranded due to lockdown measures in their respective areas”.

In a five-point guideline, Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla directed the states and UTs to ensure adequate arrangements like “temporary shelters and provision for food to poor and needy people, incuding migrant labourers, stranded due to lockdown measures in their respective areas”.

As per the direction, the migrant labourers who have moved out to reach their home states must be kept in the nearest shelter by the state and UT government quarantine facilities after proper “screening for a minimum of 14 days” as per standard health protocol.

“All the employers, be it in the industry or in the shops and commercial establishments, shall make payment or wages of their workers, at their work places, on the due date, without any deduction, for the period their establishments are under closure during the lockdown,” the order said.

The order mentions that the landlords of properties where migrant labourers are living in rented accommodations shall not demand payments or rents for a period or one month.

On sealing the borders, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba said during video conferencing: “Directions were issued that district and state borders should be effectively sealed and states were directed to ensure there is no movement of people across cities or on highways,” said a government statement.

“Only movement of goods should be allowed. District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police should be made personally responsible for implementation of these directions which have been issued under the Disaster Management Act”.

Saying that “sufficient funds are available with states in the SDRF head, the Cabinet Secretary advised states to ensure timely payment of wages to labourers at their place of work during the 21-day “period of lockdown without any cut”.

It is learnt that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah had expressed grave concern over exposing the migrants to health hazard during lockdown to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

In a follow-up action, Kejriwal on Sunday appealed to the migrant labourers to stay where they are and not to go home. He assured to pay rent to landlords if the tenants are unable to pay it.

Kejriwal said if the lockdown is not followed, the country will fail to contain the coronavirus outbreak, and assured the migrant workers that his government has made food and boarding arrangements for them.

“I want to appeal to them with folded hands when the Prime Minister announced lockdown, he said ‘jo jahan hai wo wahi rahe (please stay wherever you are). This is the lockdown mantra. If we don’t follow this, we, the country will fail in the fight against coronavirus,” he said.

“If two or four people have corona, they will spread to others. You will also be infected. If you go to your village, your villagers will be infected. If this spreads in the country completely, it would be a difficult task to control it,” he added.

Meanwhile, with thousands of migrants thronging the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh borders and trying to return to their native states by any available transport or even foot, the AAP government has started setting up temporary shelters for them at its schools.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday said two schools in border areas have been opened for migrants on Saturday — in Anand Vihar and Ghazipur.

Not just shelter, food is also being arranged in these schools for those who wish to stay.

The Delhi government has started 568 hunger relief centres in schools, apart from 238 night shelters to provide food to over four lakh people daily.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 announced a complete lockdown of the entire country for 21 days in an unprecedented drastic measure to try halt the spread of Coronavirus shortly after which the Centre said all road, rail and air services will remain suspended during this period.

With this, the migrants were forced move to their native places as different economic activities came to a virtual halt.

In India, the total tally of Coronavirus cases has crossed the 1000-mark on Sunday and reached 1,071 with the number of deaths at 29, while in Delhi, 72 positive cases have been reported so far.

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Who owns the Qutub Minar complex? The court will pronounce its verdict on December 12.

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Image Credits: pixahive.com

The matter of demanding the right of worship in the Qutub Minar complex is once again in discussion. In fact, the Saket court has reserved its decision on the reconsideration petition filed in the matter. Delhi’s Saket court will pronounce its verdict on December 12.

This reconsideration petition was filed by petitioner Kunwar Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad in Saket Court. In fact, the Saket court had rejected the petitioner Kunwar Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad’s petition in the matter of ownership of Qutub Minar. Kunwar Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad Singh had filed a petition claiming ownership over Qutub Minar.

By filing the first petition, Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad Singh had demanded to make himself a party in this matter. It was said in his petition that the government had taken over the entire property in 1947 without our permission. This petition was rejected by the court.

The last time in September, when the ASI’s lawyer opposed the petition of Kunwar Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad Singh, saying that Sultan Begum had claimed the ownership rights over the Red Fort, we had opposed that petition in the Delhi High Court. Even then the court had accepted that there is no basis for the demand made in the petition. ASI had requested to dismiss the petition of Kunwar Mahendra Dhawaj Prasad Singh.

Source: Aajtak

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Dry day, holiday in schools, metro timings also changed… know the changes before the MCD elections in Delhi

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The noise of campaigning for the Municipal Corporation elections in Delhi has come to an end. On Sunday i.e. December 4, votes will be cast to elect councilors in 250 wards. Before this, the Delhi government made three major changes so that the election arrangements can be implemented smoothly. In view of the elections, the Excise Department has declared a dry day for three days in Delhi. That is, there will be a ban on the sale of liquor in Delhi from Friday to Sunday. Liquor shops will remain closed on all three days. Apart from this, a holiday has been declared for all government schools on Saturday by the Delhi government. Due to the next day being Sunday, there will be a holiday in the schools. The third decision has been taken by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. Metro services will be available every half an hour from 4 am on Sunday, the day of voting. This process will continue till 6 in the morning.

On behalf of the Education Department of the Delhi government, it was told that due to the preparations for the voting to be held on Sunday, a holiday has been declared for all government schools on Saturday. In return, schools will remain open on 10 December i.e. on the second Saturday of the month.

Liquor shops will remain closed for three days in the capital

Similarly, Delhi will have a dry day for three days from Friday. Delhi Excise Commissioner Krishna Mohan Uppu told that under Rule 52 of Excise Rules 2010, December 2 to 4 and December 7 will be dry days. Dry days are those days when the government bans the sale of liquor in shops, clubs, bars. According to the notification, there will be a dry day in Delhi from 5.30 pm on Friday, 2 December to 5.30 pm on 4 December. Not only this, there will be a dry day on 7th December i.e. the whole day of the results. That means there will be a ban on the sale of liquor.

Metro service will start at 4 am on Sunday

At the same time, Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) has made changes in metro operations on the day of polling. Metro services will be started at 4 am on December 4 (Sunday), the day of voting in MCD elections. Metro will be available on all lines at an interval of every half an hour from 4 am to 6 am. After 6 am, the normal frequency will continue like normal days. Delhi Metro is currently providing services on a total of 10 lines, including Red Line, Yellow, Blue, Green, Violet, Pink, Magenta, Gray, and Airport Express Line.

Source: Aajtak

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Man kills live-in partner with cleaver in West Delhi

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Photo by Hassan Rafhaan on Unsplash | (Representational Image)

According to police, a 45-year-old man was arrested on Thursday for allegedly murdering his 35-year-old live-in partner at her rented house in Ganesh Nagar, West Delhi. According to police, the woman’s 16-year-old daughter was asleep in another room at the time of the incident.

According to the police, the victim, Rekha Rani, had lived in Ganesh Nagar with her daughter for more than 15 years, and the partner, Manpreet Singh, had stayed with them for the past 7-8 years.

According to police, Manpreet gave Rekha’s migraine patient daughter some pills and told her to go to sleep on December 1 at around 6 a.m.

“He informed her that her mother had gone to the market when she became suspicious and inquired about her mother. She called her cousin and went to his Paschim Vihar home. They then called the police when they discovered that their house in Ganesh Nagar was locked. Ravindra Singh Yadav, Special CP (Crime Branch), stated, “The victim’s daughter stated in her statement that she suspected that Manpreet had harmed her mother and that Manpreet and her mother had been fighting over money for some time.”

According to the police, the suspect allegedly stabbed Rekha in the neck and face while she resisted and mutilated a finger on her right hand.

Manpreet moved in with Rekha after meeting her in 2015. He claimed that Rekha stopped letting him visit and talk to his family because, over time, she started to feel insecure. A police officer stated, “He purchased a chopper (cleaver knife) recently to murder her and planned to kill her.”

According to the police, the accused is allegedly involved in six cases in Delhi, including kidnapping for a ransom, an attempt to kill, the arms act, and forgery.

According to the police, the suspect drove to his home village of Nabha in Punjab after killing the woman. Police said the car was found through toll barriers and he was caught using technical investigation.

Source: IndianExpress

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