Morning digest | Amid COVID-19 surge, lakhs take holy dip in the Ganga; Mamata barred from campaigning for 24 hours, and more


A select list of stories to read before you start your day.

As of 11.55 p.m. on Monday, India reported 1,60,695 COVID-19 cases. As many as 864 deaths were also recorded on the day. The figures do not include cases and deaths from Ladakh U.T. and Manipur.

The Election Commission on Monday banned West Bengal Chief Minister and All-India Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee from campaigning for 24 hours till 8 pm on Tuesday after finding her allegation against Central forces and appeal to minority voters not to let their votes get divided to be violations of the Model Code of Conduct.

Amid rising coronavirus cases nationwide, a sea of saffron-clad seers and ash-smeared Nagas converged at Har Ki Pairi in Haridwar for a holy dip in the Ganga during the second shahi snan of the Kumbh Mela on Monday.

Is there something in a name? Punjab Kings could well be thinking there is — unlike William Shakespeare — after its four-run victory over Rajasthan Royals on Monday night. The team that had been known as Kings XI Punjab till last season must be pleased with its winning start to its campaign in IPL 14.

President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday appointed Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra to take over as Chief Election Commissioner from Sunil Arora, whose tenure ended on April 12.

A study commissioned by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) on racial discrimination and hate crimes against people from the northeast States found that the “northeast India seamlessly fits [an] Indian’s imagination of a Chinese person”.

The French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, will visit India during April 13 to 15, the Embassy of France announced on Monday. Mr. Le Drian will hold talks with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar and participate in the Raisina Dialogue.

M. Champa Irangani is in no mood to celebrate ‘Avurudu’, or New Year, the biggest annual festival that Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhalese community observes mid-April, while Tamils celebrate the Tamil New Year around the same time.

 

Tensions are brewing between some Dalit groups and protesting farm unions. The latest trigger is the Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s plans to block Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s from unveiling a statue of B.R. Ambedkar on his birth anniversary on April 14.

The BSE Sensex tanked 1708 points or 3.44% driven by the fear of fresh pandemic effects, taking the Rupee past the ₹75 mark against the dollar on a manic Monday for the economy, even as inflation surged further in March and industrial output collapsed sharply in February as per official data.

Pakistani Human rights crusader and former journalist Ibn Abdur Rehman, who won the Ramon Magsaysay award for his work on fostering India-Pakistan relations, passed away in Lahore on Monday aged 90. I.A. Rehman, as he was called, had several run-ins with the Pakistani establishment as he took a bold stand against atrocities by Pakistani forces in East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) in 1971, marital law under General Zia ul Haq and later the emergency imposed by General Pervez Musharraf, and fought for several causes, including minority rights and excesses by security forces.

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