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Odd-even in Delhi ends today, air pollution levels to decide extension of scheme

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A decision on extending the odd-even road space rationing drive will be taken on Friday, transport minister Kailash Gahlot said on Thursday.

“As of now, Friday is the last day of the odd-even drive in Delhi. However, we have received a number of requests and appeals to extend the drive as air quality is still in the severe category,” Gahlot said.

The minister said a final call on whether the road rationing drive should be extended would be taken only on Friday, based on the air pollution levels. On Wednesday, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had said the Delhi government was ready to extend the odd-even drive if pollution levels in the national capital continued to spike.

On Thursday, 475drivers were prosecuted for violating the drive. With this, the total number of challans issued since November 4, when the drive started, stands at 4,309.

Meanwhile, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel once again staged a protest against the scheme. On Thursday, the leader stood at the busy ITO intersection holding placards blaming the Delhi government for the spike in pollution levels.

“The Kejriwal government failed to work on 90% of the internal factors that cause pollution. Kejriwal should resign for making Delhi a gas chamber. Even the Supreme Court has raised serious questions on the implementation and impact of the odd-even drive,” Goel said.

On the first day of the odd-even drive, Goel had staged a protest by deliberately violating the rule.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for violating the pollution control norms in Delhi. “When pollution increases in Delhi, the BJP celebrates and their slogan is ‘Pradushan Badhao’ (increase pollution). It’s unfortunate that when the AAP government arranged a four-day laser show to encourage people not to burn crackers this Diwali, the BJP encouraged people to burn crackers in Diwali,” said Sanjay Singh, AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP.

“When the AAP government brought back odd-even, then BJP leaders drove cars violating the norms, he said.

The AAP leader urged union environment minister Prakash Javadekar to hold a meeting with all state governments of North India to discuss solutions for stop stubble burning and suggest long-term anti-pollution measures.

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Earthquake tremors felt in Delhi, nearby areas

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Tremors of the earthquake were felt in Delhi on Friday evening prompting people to come out from their homes.

The earthquake was of magnitude 4.5 on the Richter Scale, according to India’s National Center for Seismology.

As per the agency, the epicentre of the earthquake was 63 km southwest of Gurgaon in Haryana.

Strong tremors were felt in the national capital and surrounding areas for several seconds.

No casualty has been reported yet.

In the last couple of months, multiple earthquakes have hit the national capital and nearby areas.

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‘Your bravery has sent a message to world about India’s strength’: PM Modi to soldiers in Ladakh

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday marked a surprise visit to Leh and forward locations to review the ground security situation.

The visit came amid the ongoing tension at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Eastern Ladakh.

While addressing the troops at Nimmoo, Ladakh, PM Modi said, “The bravery that you and your compatriots showed, a message has gone to the world about India’s strength.”

“Your courage is higher than the heights where you are posted today,” he added.

PM also paid tribute to the martyrs of the 20 soldiers in a recent face-off with the Chinese army in Galwan Valley.

“The bravery of 14 Corps will be talked about everywhere. Tales of your bravery and valour are echoing in every house in the country,” he said.

Mentioning his Atmanirbhar Bharat call which he induced during the lockdown, PM Modi said, “your (soldiers) sacrifice and efforts have strengthen the oath of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

“Bharat Mata’s enemies have seen your fire and fury,” he added.

“Peace can never be brought by the weak. Power is the condition to bring peace. India is widening its powers on land, air and water and this is for the welfare of mankind,” he said.

“The era of expansionism is gone. The world has moved on the path of development. The expansionist forces have ruined the world in the last century. But they have either been defeated or forgotten in the history,” he added.

“Whenever I think of a decision based on national security, I think of two mothers. The first is our Mother India. The second is our mothers who’ve given birth to brave hearts such as you,” PM Modi said.

Located at 11,000 feet above sea level, Nimu is among the tough terrains, surrounded by the Zanskar range and on the banks of the Indus.

PM Modi’s visit comes just a day after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called off his own visit to Ladakh. Singh was to visit Eastern Ladakh region to interact with soldiers deployed at the hostile border on Friday.

He had plans to interact with the soldiers injured during the barbaric attack carried out by Chinese People’s Liberation Army on June 15.

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2 private tutors held for sexually harassing minors

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Two private tutors were arrested on charges of causing sexual harassment to a minor boy and a minor girl in two separate incidents in Memari and Katwa areas in Burdwan (East) last night.

Sandip Mondal – a private tutor by profession hailing from Gangatikuri village in Ketugram Police Station area in Katwa was booked by the police last night after the parents of a 11 year-old boy student handed over a video footage that reportedly exposed Mondal’s dirty practice.

After the class V student of a local high school complained to his parents that Mondal was forcing him to ‘cooperate’ in filthy acts, the parents had set a cell phone at the study room that grabbed the video on 26 June and helped in exposing Mondal.

Yesterday, after the parents lodged a complaint, Mondal was booked by the police under the provisions of Pocso (Protection of Child from Sexual Offences) Act. Dalim Konda – another tutor from Mondalgram village in Memari was arrested by the police early this morning on charges of causing sexual assault on a minor girl.

Syed Nizamuddin Azad – the judge, Pocso Court in Burdwan today ordered judicial custody for the accused till next Sunday. Also, he ordered forensic examination of the accused.

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