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Shot at by bikers, woman crashes car into footpath in Dwarka

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A 30-year-old woman was critically injured on Wednesday morning after being shot at near Radisson Blu hotel in west Delhi’s Dwarka.

Police said that the woman, identified as Kiran Bala, was targeted by two motorcycle-borne men when she was driving back home after dropping her son at school.

The gunshots made Bala lose control of her vehicle, causing it to break through a road divider before crashing into a footpath several metres away. The car’s tyre burst and the vehicle’s airbags were deployed by the time it came to a halt.

Police said one bullet passed through Bala’s neck while another grazed her hand, leaving her battling for life at Venkateshwar Hospital in Dwarka.

Anto Alphonse, deputy commissioner of police (Dwarka), said that by Thursday evening, Bala’s husband Varun Yadav, was among four persons detained by the police for questioning. “The couple shared a strained relationship. Her husband is the primary suspect in the case,” said the DCP.

The officer said that Yadav has been arrested twice in the past, including once last year for shooting at someone during a drunken brawl. “He has worked with a bank in the past but is currently unemployed,” said the officer.

Yadav had married Bala in 2008. They have a four-year-old son who studies at a private school located near the crime spot. Bala is a homemaker who sometimes dabbles in real estate dealings. According to the police, the couple has been embroiled in a matrimonial dispute that is currently playing out in a court.

A senior police officer said that Bala lived in a Dwarka flat owned by her in-laws. Her husband lived elsewhere in the same neighbourhood. “Earlier this year, her husband had filed a case of trespassing against her after accusing her of trying to occupy another flat owned by him,” said the officer.

On Thursday morning, Bala had dropped her son off at his school and was driving back her Nissan Go car when she was attacked.

According to an eye-witness, Mahender, the two men wearing helmets and riding a red Pulsar motorcycle closed in on Bala’s car while it was about to negotiate a roundabout near Radisson Blu hotel in Dwarka Sector 12 around 7.45am.

“The pillion rider whipped out a pistol and fired multiple times at the woman through the car’s window on the driver’s side. The men then sped away. Their motorcycle didn’t have a number plate,” said Mahender.

Police suspect that the shooting caused the woman to lose control over her car and jam her foot down on the accelerator in panic. “The car swerved off the roundabout, broke through a road verge and then crashed into a footpath about 60-70 metres frem the spot where she was shot at,” said Mahender.

An auto-rickshaw driver, who was resting nearby, immediately rushed to her help. “The bullet had knocked her unconscious but her car’s airbags saved her from more harm. I brought her out, loaded her on an e-rickshaw and rushed her to a hospital,” said the driver, who didn’t want to identify himself.

Bala’s siblings told the police that they suspected her husband of having plotted the attack, prompting the police to pick him up for questioning. “We are probing if the matrimonial dispute or conflicts between them over property had anything to do with the attack,” said the DCP.

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IMD issues ‘red alert’ for North India as heatwave intensifies, warns people to stay indoors between 1-5pm

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As the temperature in the Northern India is soaring high with each passing day the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned that heatwave is likely to persist for the next few days in most parts of the northern India, Maharashtra and Telangana. While, the day temperature in the state capital is likely to touch 46 degrees Celsius by Tuesday.

The IMD has also issued a ‘red alert’ for a severe heatwave, for parts of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Rajasthan for the next two days.  While sweltering heat engulfing the capital city on Sunday with maximum temperature hovering close to 45 degrees Celsius in most parts of the city.

Meanwhile, the IMD also issued “orange” warning for eastern Uttar Pradesh.

“Heatwave will prevail in many places and severe heatwave in isolated places. Mainly clear sky with strong surface winds (20-20 kilometres per hour),” the IMD forecast said.

The maximum temperature was recorded at 44.4 degrees Celsius, which was five notches above the normal, on Sunday and the minimum temperature was recorded at 28.7 degrees Celsius, two notches above the normal.

The temperature is likely to remain around 46-48 degrees Celsius in all the northern states affected by heatwaves except for Uttar Pradesh.

Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the regional forecasting centre of the IMD, said some respite from the stifling heat is expected in the national capital on May 28 due to a fresh Western Disturbance and easterly winds at lower levels.

“Dust storm and thunderstorm with winds gusting up to 60 kilometres per hour is likely over Delhi-NCR on May 29-30,” he said.

Srivastava added that this this is the first “Red” warning for heatwave which is issued by the IMD according to the intensity ascending from  green to  yellow to orange with the highest level of red.

“The warning has been issued to caution people not to step out between 1 pm and 5 pm, when heat is most intense,” said Srivastava.

The ‘Red alert’ comes at a time when lakhs of migrant labourers are on roads, walking back to their home states amid the Coronavirus lockdown, making it all the more difficult for them to reach their destinations when even the ‘Shramik Special’ trains and buses with inadequate numbers and mismanagement haven’t been able to take them  back safely.

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As India resumes domestic operations partially after two months of shutdown, 82 flights cancelled on Day 1

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India finally resumed its domestic flight services from Monday, two months after commercial airlines ceased operations in view of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Accordingly, the first flight from Delhi’s IGI airport since resumption of domestic flight operations, landed at Pune early today.

Similarly, two flights operated at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, while one departed from Mumbai for Patna. The first arrival was from Lucknow as the domestic flights operations resumed. Both operated by IndiGo, the first service to Patna flew out at around 6.45 am, while the incoming flight landed aound 8.20 am, said airport officials.

Several other incoming and outgoing flights are scheduled during the day as the Maharashtra government late on Sunday permitted restricted operations in view of the Coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the state in a big way. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport authorities and the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, state government and other agencies have deployed full Covid-19 protocols to handle the incoming and outgoing flight passengers.

Flights are so expected to resume at Pune, Nagpur — both international airports — besides smaller state airports like Nashik, Shirdi, Kolhapur etc.

Maharashtra government has allowed 25 takeoffs and 25 landings every day from Mumbai airport.

However, adding to the frustration of passengers, as many as 82 flights to and from Delhi have been cancelled, with the people claiming that they were not informed till the last minute.

An Air India Bengaluru-Hyderabad flight was reportedly cancelled without prior notice from the airline. Passengers came to know about the cancellation only when their boarding passes were scanned at the airport entry.

Also, an Air India flight to Delhi from Mumbai was cancelled without prior notice.

Meanwhile, as mandated, airline officials and cabin crew were seen in full protective suit, while passengers in masks were checked for their temperatures before entry into airports.

The re-commencement of services comes a day after massive spike in ticket cancellations, along with a drop in bookings, was reported by the aviation industry for Monday’s flights as several states had moved to limit air operations.

Consequently, in order to calm nervous passengers Centre said that barring just two states rest of the country is open to accept domestic flights.

States across the country will resume domestic flight services on Monday except Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, said Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday.

Airports in Andhra Pradesh will resume services on Tuesday, May 26, and West Bengal will restart on Thursday, May 28.

Another daunting confusion was over the quarantine norm which many states said they will enforce on air travellers.

This led to a cascade of calls at the customer care centres of online travel agents.

Nevertheless, many passengers still wanted to travel, if they were provided with a choice for ‘Home Quarantine’.

Earlier, air passengers gave an overwhelming response to the re-commencement of passenger flight services from May 25, as healthy demand was witnessed for tickets on all metro routes.

The Centre had only allowed limited passenger flight operations of about one-third capacity of the summer schedule to operate between metro cities and other destinations from May 25, adding that this capacity might be ramped up in the coming period.

Aarogya Setu App status is a must for air travel. Passengers with “Red” status on the app are not allowed to travel. No traveller from containment zones would be allowed. Further, it is mandatory for passengers to wear protective gear i.e. a mask.

Meanwhile, the Centre has said that it will try to start a good percentage of international passenger flights before August.

Union Civil Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri Saturday said that if the virus gets under control, the international flights could resume as early as mid June.

On May 20, the Government had informed that domestic flights would recommence in “calibrated manner” from May 25.

Passenger air services were suspended for both scheduled domestic and international flights since March 25, due to the imposition of the nationwide lockdown in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.

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India among top 10 worst hit countries with over 1.38 lakh Coronavirus cases, death toll at 4,021

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As domestic flight operations in India start on Monday, the total number of Coronavirus infections in the country rose to 1,38,845. Of these 77,103 are active, while 57,720 patients have been discharged. The death toll stands at 4021.

For the fourth consecutive day, India reported the highest ever spike of 6,977 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours. As many as 154 new deaths were reported during the same period.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the total number of cases in India has surpassed that of Iran becoming the 10th country with the highest number of confirmed cases worldwide.

With 50,231 confirmed novel Coronavirus cases, Maharashtra remains the worst-affected state in the country, followed by Tamil Nadu (16,277) and Gujarat (14,056).

According to the latest data from the Union Health Ministry, Maharashtra has reported 1,635 COVID-19 deaths so far. As many as 14,600 patients have recovered.

The death toll was 111 in Tamil Nadu and 858 in Gujarat. Delhi has reported 13,418 cases and 261 casualties.

States/UTs with more than 5,000 COVID-19 cases are Rajasthan (7,028), Madhya Pradesh (6,665) and Uttar Pradesh (6,268). Others with more than 1,000 cases are West Bengal (3,667), Andhra Pradesh (2,823), Punjab (2,060), Telangana (1,854), Bihar (2,587), Jammu and Kashmir (1,621), Karnataka (2,089), Odisha (1,336) and Haryana (1,184). States and UTs with significant number of cases are Kerala (847), Jharkhand (370), Chandigarh (238), Assam (378), Tripura (191), Chhattisgarh (252) and Uttarakhand (317).

Sikkim and Dadra and Nagar Haveli did not report any fresh incident in the last 24 hours, as per ministry data. Goa has reported 66 cases so far. A spurt has been observed in Pudducherry which now has 41 cases. There are now 52 cases in Ladakh.

With the number of cases passing 1.38 lakh, the government announced an SOP(Standard Operating Procedure) that would begin with social distancing at the airport and no-contact check-in. All the passengers have been asked to download the Aarogya Setu application on their mobile devices and state to ensure thermal screening. Passengers have also been asked to reach the airport two hours before departure and maintain social distancing.

Globally, over 5.5 million people have been infected with the novel Coronavirus, with death toll at 3.4 lakh.

Currently, the US has the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 1,643,098 and 97,711, respectively.

In terms of cases, Brazil accounted for the second highest number of infections at 363,211.

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