Snigdha: Hello, this is Snigdha from NewsLaundry. com bringing you your daily dose of news.
Today is Saturday, the 5th of December. India has recorded over 36, 000 new COVID 19 cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the country's tally to over 96 lakh or 9. 6 million. The states of Kerala, Maharashtra remain the biggest contributors to the national tally, with both states reporting over 5, 000 cases in the last 24 hours.
The country's death toll has inched closer to the 1, 40, 000 mark with an addition of a little over 500 fresh fatalities. India has conducted over 14. tests since the pandemic began, with over 11. 5 lakh samples being tested yesterday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing an all party meeting on the COVID 19 situation in the country, said that a vaccine could be rolled out in the next couple of weeks.
He said and I quote, as soon as scientists give a green signal, the vaccination process will begin in India, unquote. He added that frontline healthcare workers and those with comorbidities would be administered the vaccine on a priority basis. Meanwhile, Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij, who had taken an under trial COVID vaccine last month, has COVID 19.
He wrote in a tweet this morning that he has been admitted to a hospital after testing positive. This comes just a fortnight after the minister had participated in the phase 3 trial of Bharat Biotech's vaccine candidate Covaxin. Farmer protests on the borders of Delhi entered the 10th day today. Farm leaders are scheduled to meet the central government for a fresh round of talks today.
Ahead of the meeting, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh Amit Shah and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar arrived at the Prime Minister's residence. Meanwhile, farmers at the Singhu border said that they will initiate a walkout if the government does not scrap the farm laws. After Thursday's talks turned out to be inconclusive, the government had hinted that it could amend the laws.
The farmers, however, have maintained that they want the laws to be scrapped completely. They had submitted a 39 point presentation on the inadequacies of the laws to the government on Thursday. Earlier today, Kisan Mahapanchayat President Rampal Jat also asked the government to withdraw the farm laws.
He also asked the Centre to give in writing that the minimum support price or the MSP mechanism would continue. About today's meeting, he said and I quote, if any positive result does not come out of today's talks, farmers from Rajasthan will march along NH8 towards Delhi and camp at Jantar Mantar.
Unquote. The Indian Express reported today that according to government sources, the Centre is willing to give in writing that the procurement at MSP would continue. The General Secretary of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, Harinder Singh Lokowal, said that farmers will burn effigies of the central government and corporate houses today as part of the protest.
Lokowal added that Punjab's sportspersons will also return their medals in solidarity with the farmers on 7th December. Farmer unions yesterday also called for a Bharat Bandh on 8th December and threatened to occupy toll plazas. Foreign leaders, meanwhile, have also commented and shown support for the farmer protests.
Despite India's summoning of a Canadian envoy over Justin Trudeau's comments on the protests, the Canadian Prime Minister reiterated his stand yesterday. He added that Canada was pleased to see the moves towards de escalation and dialogue. A Times of India report said yesterday that 36 British MPs have written a letter to the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
They have urged him to raise their concerns with India over the ongoing farm law protests. The letter also cited that the Sikh population in the United Kingdom was also concerned about the protests as many of them have family members and ancestral lands in Punjab. Meanwhile, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court of India yesterday seeking immediate removal or shifting of the protesting farmers.
The petition also sought the court to direct the opening of the Delhi [00:04:00] borders to give the farmers a spot to protest. It also asked the underlining of COVID safety guidelines for the protesters in order to contain the spread of the virus. Dear listeners, not to boast, but News Laundry's coverage of the ongoing farmers protests has really stood out.
Nidhi and Basant, my colleagues, have been visiting the protest sites day in and day out, bringing you ground reports based on their conversations with the agitating farmers. Do check out their reports on our website newslaundry. com. Apart from the both of them, award winning journalist Anumeha Yadav also recently wrote a detailed ground report for us on the protests.
It is titled, Why Landless and Marginal Farmers Are the Backbone of the Farmer Protests. Do check it out. And before I move on to the next news story, here is a small request for all of you. After you're done listening to this podcast, please spare a few minutes to check out our website and all the other ground reports we've been publishing.
Give them a read, and if you think we're doing a good job, please do consider subscribing to News Laundry. I'm asking you this because we are a 100 percent ad free news platform, meaning we only count on people like you, who understand the importance of keeping news independent, to support us and to help us stay afloat.
So go to our website and hit that subscribe button on the top right corner. A monthly subscription costs as low as 300 rupees only. The police in Uttar Pradesh yesterday stopped an interfaith marriage in Lucknow despite the consent of the couple's parents. According to an Indian Express report, the police told the couple that they would have to seek the permission from the state authorities under the new anti conversion law that targets love jihad.
The wedding ceremony between a Hindu woman and a Muslim man was supposed to take place on Wednesday in Lucknow's Para area. Ten minutes before it began, however, a police team reached the venue and asked both the parties to accompany them to the local police station. The police action was prompted by complaints received from the members of Hindu Yuva Vahini, a right wing youth outfit [00:06:00] founded by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, in 2002.
Suresh Chandra Rawat, a senior Lucknow police officer, told reporters, and I quote, On 2nd of December, we received information that a girl from one of the communities was wanting to get married to a boy from another community. We called both sides to the police station and handed them a copy of the new unlawful conversion ordinance and both sides have given written consent as per law, they will inform the DM and get his permission before moving ahead with things.
In Uttar Pradesh, a Muslim man was allegedly beaten up in side court premises in Aligarh. He had come to the court with a woman who was from a different faith to legally get married. Video clips of the incident that took place on Thursday have gone viral on social media. Meanwhile, news agency PTI reported yesterday that the police in Uttar Pradesh's Mau district have said that they've booked 14 people under the new anti love jihad law.
In one of the cases, a police official said that an FIR was filed based on a complaint by a resident of Molna Ganj village. The complainant alleged that his 27 year old daughter was abducted on her wedding eve by one of the accused Shahbab Khan. All the arrests have been made under UP government's recent law to counter love jihad, which was made into a law through an ordinance.
The new anti love jihad law, called the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance of 2020, was cleared by the state's Governor Anandi Ben Patel not long ago. Under the new law, religious conversion for the sake of marriage, if done through coercion or deceit, was made a punishable offence.
Love Jihad has repeatedly been proven to be a conspiracy theory propagated by right wing Hindu activists who claim that Hindu women are forcibly converted by Muslims through marriage. Just this year, in February, the Centre in response to a question had told the Lok Sabha that no case of Love Jihad had been reported by any of the central agencies.
Despite this, states like Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and most recently Assam and Tripura have said that they will announce similar laws as Uttar Pradesh. The fact that Love Jihad has gone from being a Hindutva bogey to an official state law is deeply worrying and has therefore sparked a debate about the country's democratic values.
A section of TV News in India is partly to blame for promoting the Love Jihad theory and deepening the divide in our country that is already grappling with a bunch of other divisive forces. To know more about what exactly they did, do watch last week's episode of TV Nuisance where Manisha called out some TV News channels who did the same.
The Bengaluru Police today detained over a hundred protesters from different pro Kannada outfits gathered at the town hall for a protest. The Kannada organizations had given a Karnataka Bandh call for today in protest of the state government's move to set up a development board for the Maratha community.
Various political organizations along with OLA and Uber Taxi Drivers Association, Auto Rickshaw Drivers Association and a few others called for the 12 hour strike. Buses and other transport services in the city, however, remained unaffected. The main protest rally was being held at Freedom Park, while smaller demonstrations were staged at different areas of the city.
The chief of the Kannada Chaluwali Vatal Paksha Party or KCVP Vatal Nagraj and the president of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedicke or KRV Narayana Gora were among those detained. Nagraj accused Chief Minister Yadirappa of an anti Kannada stance for subduing the protest and claimed that 30, 000 protesters across the state were detained.
As a part of the protest, two incidents of stone pelting buses were reported in Chandapura and KR Puram. Other parts of the state, however, saw a subdued response to the bandh call. According to a Hindustan Times report, the organisations had said yesterday that they would go ahead with the bandh, demanding the government to give up its decision to form the Maratha Development Authority.
The state's chief minister, Yadrapa, appealed to the organisations yesterday not to observe the bandh. To allay the fears of the organizations that Mati language was being promoted over Canada. The chief minister said, and I quote, Canada has been given importance and we will do even more for promoting the language.
He added that the development board was for the welfare of the mata community and not to promote Meti language as some of fearing Kana, Diggas and Martis have been for years at loggerheads at several border areas between Karnataka and Maharashtra, including Belga and Beida areas. And now for some international updates on COVID 19.
Coronavirus has infected over 66 million people around the world, out of which more than 1. 52 million have died. COVID 19 has emerged as the leading cause of death in the US in the past one week, overtaking heart disease. A 4th of December report from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation said, and I quote, daily reported cases in the last week increased to 165, 200 per day on average compared to 145, 900 the week before.
The increase is likely greater given the substantial reporting lags over the holiday weekend. President elect Joe Biden said on Friday that he plans a scaled back event for the sake of safety during the pandemic. The former Democratic vice president said he does expect to be sworn in on the 20th of January on the platform already being constructed on the steps of the U.
S. Capitol, but he wanted to avoid the crowds that typically gathered on the National Mall and along the Pennsylvania Avenue to view the ceremony and the parade. Biden, who is in his hometown in Delaware, where he is preparing his new administration, said, and I quote, My guess is there probably will not be a gigantic inaugural parade down the Pennsylvania Avenue.
But my guess is you'll see a lot of virtual activity in states all across America, engaging even more people than before. Unquote. Apart from the US, Italy too is facing a rise in cases and is struggling to cope with the mounting death toll. The country has imposed some of the strictest Christmas rules in Europe.
The rules were signed on the day thatItaly registered 993 deaths, the highest daily death toll during the pandemic. In Australia, the state of New South Wales recorded no new locally acquired cases of COVID 19 in the last 24 hours. This follows a case being announced last week of a woman working in a quarantine hotel, the state's first community case after 26 consecutive days of no community cases.
That's all for today. Have a great day or a good night, depending on where you're listening from. See you tomorrow.
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