Morning Digest | No fresh vaccine registration for frontline workers, police claim that alleged PFI men got funds to stoke riots in UP’s Hathras, and more

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

The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (UPSTF) filed a chargesheet against eight members of the Popular Front of India in a Mathura Court on Saturday. They have been accused of receiving funds from abroad to foment riots in Hathras in the wake of the alleged gang rape and murder of a Dalit girl in September 2020.

Two persons, including an elderly farmer, were injured in a clash between agitating farmers and the police during Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal’s visit to Rohtak on Saturda. The police, however, maintained that injuries were caused during stone-pelting by the farmers and no force was used.

No fresh registration for COVID-19 vaccination in categories of Health Care and Frontline workers will be allowed with immediate effect, confirmed a senior health ministry official on Saturday.

As of 10 p.m. on Saturday, India reported 86,184 new COVID cases, 471 new deaths and 58,523 fresh recoveries, with an active case load of 6,82,202 patients. States such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh have shown a steep rise in their daily COVID cases and over 80% of the new cases on Saturday were reported from these seven States.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK co-coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami has said the move to provide 10.5% internal reservation to Vanniyars within the 20% quota for Most Backward Classes and Denotified Communities and the generic title of Devendrakula Vellalars to seven castes among Scheduled Castes “will not affect others in any manner”.

Bharatiya Kisan Union national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait told farmers, “2021 is the year of agitations. Keep your tractor ready with tent and edibles.” Addressing a massive kisan mahapanchayat in Gonda area of Aligarh district, Mr Tikait said the fact that large corporate entities had built godowns even before the three contentious farm laws were passed showed that they were in the know of things. Inc has apologised to U.S. Representative Mark Pocan, admitting to scoring an “own goal” in its initial denial of his suggestion that its drivers were sometimes forced to urinate in bottles during their delivery rounds.

The Union Home Ministry on Saturday termed as “distorted” and “misleading” media reports linking its letter to the Punjab government on the plight of 58 “bonded labourers” rescued in the state to the farmers’ agitation and said no motive should be ascribed to a routine communication over law and order issues.

With Maharashtra recording over half of the daily coronavirus cases in India, the State government is considering diverting all industrial use oxygen supply for medical use, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said.

The half-brother of Jordan’s King Abdullah says he has been placed under house arrest by Jordanian authorities, accusing the country’s leadership of corruption and incompetence. In a videotaped statement, Prince Hamzah said he was visited on early Saturday by the country’s military chief and told “I was not allowed to go out, to communicate with people or to meet with them.”

At least 18 individuals who were to be involved in the Indian Premier League’s Mumbai leg, including Delhi Capitals’ allrounder Axar Patel, have been confirmed as having contracted COVID-19. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is not overly worried about the fate of the Mumbai leg, scheduled from April 10 to 25.

Real Sociedad beat local rivals Athletic Bilbao 1-0 in the rescheduled 2020 Copa del Rey final on Saturday to get their hands on a major trophy for the first time since 1987.


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