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LAC face-off: Disengagement onus on India, says China

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NEW DELHI: Despite the recent five-point India-China consensus for defusing the border situation, China on Wednesday put the ball for disengagement in India’s court and said it was imperative for the latter to correct its “mistake”, disengage on the ground and take concrete steps to ease tensions.

A week after the consensus arrived in

Moscow

in the meeting of foreign ministers

S Jaishankar

and

Wang Yi

, the two sides are yet to finalise a date for the next meeting of senior commanders. Meanwhile, there is a ‘standstill’ situation on the ground along the Line of Actual Control with both armies holding their positions. “The responsibility for the recent Sino-Indian border incidents is not on the Chinese side. It is the Indian side’s violation of the agreement and important consensus between the two sides, the first to illegally cross the line to provocation, the unilateral change of the status quo in the border area, and the threat to the security of the Chinese border troops,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.

The Chinese statement followed defence minister

Rajnath Singh

’s detailed remarks in Lok Sabha on Tuesday in which he accused China of violating bilateral agreements with its violent conduct on the LAC.

Minister of state for external affairs

V Muraleedharan

reiterated in Parliament that Chinese attempts to transgress the LAC were invariably met with an appropriate response from India. “From April-May this year, there has been an enhanced deployment of troops and armaments by the Chinese side in the border areas and along the LAC in the western sector. Since mid-May, the Chinese side attempted to transgress the LAC in several areas of the western sector of the India-China border area,” he said in reply to a written question.

He said it was expected that the two sides would continue to have meetings of military and diplomatic officials to implement the agreements reached between the two foreign ministers and ensure full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

According to sources, there has been some talk of having a joint military and diplomatic dialogue but the two sides need to first arrive at a date for the next meeting. The Chinese spokesperson on Wednesday also claimed that China had always strictly abided by the relevant agreements signed by the two countries and was “committed to maintaining peace and stability in the China-India border area, and at the same time, firmly safeguarding national territorial sovereignty and security”.

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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INDIA

Covid roundup: PM reviews situation in worst-hit states, Oxford vaccine trial in US & more

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With spike of 83,347 cases, India’s Covid-19 tally crosses 56-lakh mark

With a spike of 83,347 new cases and 1,085 deaths in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid-19 count stood at 56,46,011 on Wednesday. India’s Covid-19 death toll stands at 90,020. Maharashtra continues to be the worst-affected state in the country with 2,72,809 active cases 33,407 deaths while Karnataka

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INDIA

BJP used former Bihar DGP to malign Maharashtra: Congress

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Former Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey, who has taken voluntary retirement from service, arrives to address a press conference, in Patna, Wednesday, Sept. 23 (PTI)

MUMBAI: The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP of using former Bihar director general of police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey to defame Maharashtra, and said he was now being “rewarded”.

While Pandey has dismissed speculation that his ‘political ambitions’ prompted his actions or statements in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, the Maharashtra BJP dubbed the state Congress’s allegations as “baseless”.

“The Bihar DGP who was used for this defamation is being blatantly rewarded. His voluntary retirement says it all,” said Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant here.

While a government officer has to give three months’ notice before resigning, Pandey’s resignation was accepted immediately, he said.

“He is expected to be rewarded,” Sawant said.

The BJP had no sympathy for actor Sushant Singh Rajput but sensed a political opportunity to use his death for the coming Bihar elections and now for the proposed new film city in Uttar Pradesh, he claimed.

“The Sushant case has now been cast aside. There is a new narrative about an alleged Bollywood-drugs nexus. Drugs nexus is a pretext but the real reason is (they want) to control and arm twist the film industry,” the Congress spokesperson alleged.

The Congress has no objection to the Narcotics Control Bureau probing the drugs angle in the Rajput case, he said.

“NCB has an office in Mumbai, why didn’t it probe it earlier? No arrest was made by the NCB in the FIR related to Sushant Singh Rajput death case. All arrests were made in the alleged drug consumption case which has nothing to do with the death case,” he said.

The Union government stated in Parliament that the NCB had no actionable inputs to link the Mumbai film industry with drugs, the Congress spokesperson said.

Speaking to reporters in Patna earlier in the day, Pandey dismissed allegations linking his alleged pro-active stand in the Rajput case to political ambitions.

While in Delhi, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut alleged while speaking to a Marathi newschannel that “he ran a political agenda and is going to be rewarded for it”.

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Pandemics caused by new virus infect humans in multiple waves: Govt

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NEW DELHI: Pandemics caused by a new virus have the propensity to infect human population in multiple waves and some countries which initially successfully contained the Covid-19 outbreak are now reporting a resurgence of cases, the Lok Sabha was told on Wednesday.

Government of India has accordingly advised states to upgrade health infrastructure based on the case growth trajectory in respective states and districts, besides taking stringent containment measures, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey said in a written reply.

He was responding to a question on whether the government has anticipated and is ready for the second wave of Covid-19 during the winter months in India.

“Pandemics caused by a new virus have the propensity to infect human population in multiple waves, each time affecting a cohort of susceptible population.

“Some countries, which had initially successfully contained the Covid-19 outbreak earlier are now reporting a resurgence of cases,” the minister said in his reply.

Giving details of the steps taken by the government to provide funds and medical equipment for Covid-19 care management, Choubey said states and UTs are being provided required technical and financial assistance to manage the public health challenge.

With public health and hospitals being a state subject, the primary responsibility of strengthening the healthcare system lies with respective state governments, the minister said.

All the states and UTs are provided with necessary financial support under India Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package.

During FY 2020-21, Rs 4256.81 crore in funds were released to states and UTs.

In addition, states are being supported in terms of supply of logistics. So far 1.42, crore PPE kits, 3.45 crore N-95 masks, 10.84 crore tablets of hydroxychloroquine, 30,841 ventilators and 1,02,400 oxygen cylinders have been supplied to states, UTs and central government hospitals (as reported on September, 20), the minister said.

For appropriate management of Covid-19 cases, Government of India has advised state governments to set up three-tier arrangement of health facilities exclusively for Covid-19.

These are Covid Care Centres with isolation beds for mild or pre-symptomatic cases; Dedicated Covid Health Centre (DCHC) with oxygen-supported isolation beds for moderate cases and Dedicated Covid Hospitals (DCH) with ICU beds for severe cases.

DCHCs or DCHs may be full hospitals or a separate block in a hospital with preferably separate entry/exit/zoning. In addition, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has set up large dedicated Covid-19 field hospitals with capacity ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 isolation beds, the minister said.

These temporary hospitals have been set up in Delhi, Bihar (Patna and Muzaffarpur).

All states, including Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, have accordingly taken action to create such infrastructure, Choubey said on whether the Union government has any plans to start exclusive Covid-19 treatment and care blocks in states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu where a large number of people got infected.

Hospital infrastructure in the country for managing coronavirus cases is being continuously monitored by Government of India. States have been advised to prepare for requisite surge capacities to manage cases in accordance with existing and projected growth rates, he said.

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