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NEW DELHI: With a spike of 74,442 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, India’s coronavirus count crossed the 66-lakh mark, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed. With this, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country stands at 66,23,816, including 9,34,427 active cases. The total number of cured/discharged/migrated cases stood at 55,86,704.

As many as 903 deaths were also reported in last 24 hours taking the total death toll to 1,02,685, it added.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst affected by the pandemic with 10,244 new Covid-19 cases, 263 deaths and 12,982 discharges reported today.

The total cases in the state rose to 14,53,653, including 38,347 deaths and 11,62,585 discharges. Active cases stand at 2,52,277.

Karnataka reported 7,051 new Covid-19 cases, 7,064 discharges and 84 deaths today, taking total cases to 6,47,712 including 5,22,846 discharges and 9,370 deaths. The number of active cases stands at 1,15,477 in the state.

Tamil Nadu reported 5,395 new Covid-19 cases, 5,572 recoveries and 62 deaths today, taking total positive cases to 6,25,391, including 5,69,664 discharged cases, 9,846 deaths and 45,881 active cases.

Kerala recorded 5,042 new Covid-19 positive cases in the last 24 hours. There are 84,873 active cases in the state and 1,49,111 people have recovered from the infection till date.

Meanwhile, Delhi reported 1,947 new cases, 3,588 recoveries/discharges/migrations and 32 deaths today.

Total number of cases rose to 2,92,560 including 2,63,938 recoveries or discharges or migrations and 5,542 deaths in the national capital. Active cases stood at 23,080.

Jammu and Kashmir reported 632 new Covid-19 cases and 1,386 recoveries today, taking the total tally in the Union Territory to 79,738, including 63,790 recoveries and 1,252 deaths. Active cases stand at 14,696 in Jammu and Kashmir.

A total of 4,256 new cases, 7,558 recoveries and 38 deaths were reported in Andhra Pradesh, taking total positive cases to 7,23,512, including 6,66,433 recoveries, 51,060 active cases and 6,019 deaths

Meanwhile, 2165 new cases and 14 deaths were reported in Rajasthan today. The total number of positive cases rose to 1,46,195 including 21,215 active cases, and 1,559 deaths in the state.

Gujarat reported 1,327 new Covid-19 cases and 13 deaths today. Total cases in the state rose to 1,44,027, including 1,23,770 discharges and 3,512 deaths. Number of active cases now is 16745.

Jharkhand reported 816 new Covid-19 cases, 1,284 recoveries and 4 deaths today, taking total cases to 88,026 including 76,843 recoveries, 747 deaths and 10,436 active cases.

Similarly, 29 deaths and 1,460 fresh Covid-19 cases were reported in Madhya Pradesh. The total number of positive cases in the state is now 1,37,098 including 18,757 active cases, 1,15,878 recoveries and 2,046 deaths, State Health Department said.

A total of 17 new cases were reported in Sikkim in the past 24 hours. One more death was reported today, taking the total tally to 46.

As many as 250 new Covid-19 cases, 129 recoveries and one death were reported in Manipur today. Total positive cases now is 12,105, including 2,696 active cases, 9,334 recoveries and 75 deaths till date. Recovery rate is 77.10 per cent.

Himachal Pradesh recorded 17 new Covid-19 positive cases today, taking the total cases in the state to 15,909 including 3,147 active cases, 12,521 recoveries and 216 deaths.

Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said Therapeutic, diagnostics and vaccines for the whole world is the only way out of this pandemic.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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Pakistan targets LoC, IB in ceasefire violation




JAMMU: Pakistan on Saturday violated ceasefire at multiple locations by firing unprovoked along the International Border (IB) in Samba sector and the Line of Control (LoC) in Degwar sector of Poonch district in Jammu & Kashmir.

Official sources said Pakistan violated ceasefire along the International Border at Rajpura area of Ghagwal in Samba district around 2am by firing at the border outposts (BOPs) of Border Security Force (BSF). BSF troops retaliated promptly and effectively to the enemy fire. No loss of life or injury was reported in the exchange of firing. Sources said that BSF had started some development work of forward locations along the international border, and Pakistani firing was aimed at hindering it.

Later in the evening, Pakistani troops violated ceasefire along the LoC in Degwar sector of Poonch district. Jammu-based defence spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand said, “Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing with small arms and mortar shelling along the LoC in Degwar sector at about 6.30pm. The Indian Army retaliated befittingly.”

On Friday, Pakistan had violated ceasefire by resorting to unprovoked firing and shelling along the LoC in three sectors of Poonch district. Before this, it had violated ceasefire in the Mankote sector on October 16 and in two sectors along the LoC in Poonch district on October 14. Prior to this, it had violated ceasefire for three consecutive days — on October 9, 10 and 11 — in Rajouri and Poonch districts.

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Farooq Abdullah to head seven-party Peoples Alliance, Mehbooba Mufti nominated VP




SRINAGAR: The Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, the seven-party amalgam of mainstream Kashmir parties demanding the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, appointed on Saturday National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah as its president, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti as vice-president, and decided the flag of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir would be the flag of the alliance.

The decisions came at a meeting of alliance constituents, some of whom are arch-rivals, at Mufti’s Gupkar Road residence here. “It’s not an anti-national alliance, it is an anti-BJP alliance… BJP wants to divide the country, our aim is to ensure that the rights of the people of J&K and Ladakh are restored,” Dr Abdullah said.

Congress appeared to distance itself from the PAGD with J&K PCC president GA Mir staying away from two meetings of the conglomerate — on October 15 when the alliance was forged, and on Saturday. Sources close to the regional Congress unit said this was because of what they described as a “twist” in the objective of the basic demand for the restoration of special status to J&K, a reference to recent statements from Mehbooba Mufti to the effect that she would raise the tricolour only when the J&K flag, too, was allowed to fly. The source said Congress had raised the issue of the nullification of Article 370 in Parliament but the PDP Rajya Sabha members had not spoken a word on it in the Upper House.

Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, meanwhile, was quoted by ANI as asking, “Why is the so-called secular lobby silent at this anti-national remark (Mehbooba’s remarks of Friday)? … In one country there cannot be ‘do nishaan, do pradhan’. We condemn this.” He added that J&K was “India’s inseparable part” and “Article 370 abrogation was a constitutional process (sic)”.

However, CPM leader Yousuf Tarigami rejected the notion of Congress distancing itself, saying,“Congress party is very (much) a constituent of the PAGD.”

PAGD’s constituents are National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Peoples Conference, Awami National Conference, CPM, CPI and J&K Peoples Movement.

Veteran CPM leader M Y Tarigami was elected convener while Lok Sabha member from South Kashmir Hasnain Masoodi was made coordinator of the conglomerate. People’s Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone would be the spokesman for the amalgam.

Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone said the PAGD would come up with a document, at the next meeting in Jammu in two weeks, on the “lies being spread against the people of Jammu and Kashmir”. “The white paper will compare the reality and false propaganda on the ground,” Lone said.

Both Congress and BJP condemned Mehbooba’s statements of Friday. While Congress advised Mehbooba to desist from such statements, BJP demanded her arrest and party activists burnt effigies of Mufti for “insulting the national flag”

“Our relationship with the flag of this country is not independent of this flag (Jammu and Kashmir’s flag). When this flag comes in our hand, we will raise that flag too,” Mehbooba had said on Friday.

JKPCC chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma, however, added that Congress is for the restoration of J&K’s special status and that J&K should revert to being a single state that includes Ladakh. “We are not with any such irresponsible statement which would hurt the sentiments of Indians,” Ravinder Sharma said.

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Rajnath reviews LAC situation in eastern sector at Army’s Trishakti Corps in Sukna




NEW DELHI: Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday reviewed the combat preparedness of the Indian Army at the Sukna-based headquarters of its 33 Corps which is responsible for guarding the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in the Sikkim sector, officials said.

The defence minister arrived at the key military base, popularly known as ‘Trishakti’ Corps, in Darjeeling district in late afternoon as part of his two-day visit to West Bengal and Sikkim to review the military preparedness in view of the border row with China in eastern Ladakh as well as to celebrate Dussehra with soldiers.

Singh is accompanied by Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane.

The Army has significantly bolstered deployment of troops and weaponry along the nearly 3,500 km-long LAC including in the Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh sectors.

The officials said top commanders of the 33 Corps gave detailed briefing to the defence minister and Gen Naravane on the situation along the LAC in Sikkim sector as well as about deployment of troops and weapons.

In an interaction with a group of Army personnel, the defence minister conveyed his wishes to them on the occasion of Vijayadashami and hailed their dedication in securing the nation’s borders.

“Due to brave soldiers like you, the borders of this country are protected. The whole country is proud of you,” he said.

The defence minister also talked about the rich history of the Trishakti Corps.

“The Trishakti Corps has a great golden history. Especially in 1962, 1967, 1971 and 1975, this Corps demonstrated examples of valour. It has been excellent,” he said.

“I extend my best wishes to all of you and your family for the festival of Vijayadashami,” the defence minister’s office tweeted quoting him as saying.

Officials said Singh will perform ‘Shastra puja'(worship of weapons) at Sherathang area in Sikkim on Sunday morning on the occasion of Dussehra.

The defence minister had performed ‘Shastra Puja’ in the French port city of Bordeaux during Dussehra last year as he was on a bilateral visit to the country then.

Singh has been performing ‘Shastra Puja’ during Dussehra for the last several years including during his tenure as the Union Home Minister in the previous NDA government.

Almost all formations of the Indian Army along the LAC are on a very high-level of alert in view of the border row with China in eastern Ladakh.

India and China are locked in an over five-month-long bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh that has significantly strained their ties.

Both sides held a series of diplomatic and military talks to resolve the row. However, no breakthrough has been achieved to end the standoff.

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