Farmers Chakka Jam: Extra security has been deployed and barricades strengthened in Delhi.
Ten days after unprecedented violence during a farmers' tractor rally marred India's Republic Day celebrations in parts of Delhi, the protesters observed a three-hour chakka jam (road block) across the country amid high alert in the national capital today.
Highways across north India, including the Eastern Peripheral Expressway around Delhi were blocked by farmers protesting against the centre's three farm laws passed in September.
In Bengaluru, 30 people were taken into preventive custody.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said Saturday afternoon that farmers will not return home till their demands are met, and will not be pressured into holding talks with the centre.
Meanwhile, India's COVID-19 infection tally climbed to 1,08,14,304 with 11,713 new cases in a day, while 1,05,10,796 people have recuperated so far pushing the national recovery rate to 97.19 per cent on Saturday, according to Union Health Ministry data.
There are 1,48,590 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which accounts for 1.37 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.
The total coronavirus cases mounted to 1,08,14,304 and the death count climbed to 1,54,918 with the novel coronavirus virus claiming 95 lives in a span of 24 hours in the country, the data updated at 8 am showed.
The COVID-19 case fatality rate stood at 1.43 per cent.
Here are the Highlights on Farmers' Chakka jam:
Oxford Covid Vaccine Less Effective Against South African Variant: Study
British drugmaker AstraZeneca said on Saturday its vaccine developed with the University of Oxford appeared to offer only limited protection against mild disease caused by the South African variant of COVID-19, based on early data from a trial.
The study from South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand and Oxford University showed the vaccine had significantly reduced efficacy against the South African variant, according to a Financial Times report published earlier in the day.
Among coronavirus variants currently most concerning for scientists and public health experts are the so-called British, South African and Brazilian variants, which appear to spread more swiftly than others.
"In this small phase I/II trial, early data has shown limited efficacy against mild disease primarily due to the B.1.351 South African variant," an AstraZeneca spokesman said in response to the FT report.
The newspaper said none of the more than 2,000 trial participants had been hospitalised or died.
French COVID-19 Cases Fall As AstraZeneca Inoculations Start
France on Saturday reported a fall in new COVID-19 infections and in the number of patients being treated in hospital, slightly easing pressure on the health system as the country rolled out shots with a third approved vaccine.
The country registered 20,586 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, down from 22,139 the previous day and marking the third straight daily fall.
Hospitals were treating 27,369 people for the disease, down 245 from the previous day in a fourth consecutive daily fall.
The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care eased to 3,225, down 20 from the previous day, data showed.
The government has resisted calls from health experts to impose a new national lockdown but the level of new cases per day has remained relatively steady above 20,000.
Bengal Reports Only One Fresh Covid Death, Lowest Since April Last Year
West Bengal on Saturday registered only one fresh COVID-19 fatality, the lowest since April last year, a health bulletin said.
The fresh fatality, reported in South 24 Parganas district, pushed the state's coronavirus death count to 10,202, it said.
The state's caseload rose to 5,71,178 as 197 more people tested positive for the infection, it said.
As many as 293 more people were cured of the disease, taking the recovery rate among the coronavirus patients in the state to 97.36 per cent, the bulletin said.
Over 1 Lakh Vaccinated For COVID-19 In Delhi So Far
The total number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 till date in Delhi, majority of them being healthcare workers, has crossed the one lakh-mark, officials said on Saturday.
On Saturday, over 9,500 beneficiaries were given the shots, including frontline workers. The turnout was about 53 per cent.
"The target was 17,900 and 9,510 people got vaccinated, with AEFI (adverse events following immunisation) in nine persons," a senior official said.
Rahul Gandhi To Visit Rajasthan Next Week To Support Protesting Farmers: Ajay Maken
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will be on a two-day visit to Rajasthan next week to raise his voice for farmers protesting the new agriculture laws, party general secretary Ajay Maken said on Saturday.
"To fight for farmers' interests, to raise the voice of farmers in the struggle for the repeal of the three back laws, Rahul Gandhi ji will be in Rajasthan on February 12-13," the AICC in-charge of Rajasthan said in a tweet in Hindi.
A ''Kisan Mahapanchayat'' was held in Rajasthan's Dausa on Friday in solidarity with the farmers camping on the borders of Delhi. The resolution passed at the meet reiterated the farmers' demand for the repeal of the three new farm laws.
Repeal Farm Laws Without Further Delay: Shiromani Akali Dal Chief To Centre
Slamming the the new farm laws, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday asked the Centre to accept the farmers' demand of repealing the legislations without further delay.
Mr Badal also asked Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to name one political party which is representative of farmers and has welcomed the three laws, instead of trying to "mislead" people in Parliament by giving the impression that the laws were acceptable to all.
Mr Tomar on Friday had asserted that the government's offer to amend the new farm laws to assuage farmers' sentiments did not mean they had any flaws.
60 Detained In Delhi For Allegedly Staging Protest In Support Of Farmers
Around 60 people were detained near Shaheedi Park in central Delhi on Saturday for allegedly holding a protest in support of the ''chakka jam'' call given by the farmers agitating against the Centre's new agri laws, police said.
The protesters were from different organisations, they said.
They were detained around 12.30 pm and later released in the evening, police said.
Police said some trade union leaders were also detained on Saturday at some places as a preventive measure.
Delhi Police Serves Notice To Gurdwara Functionary In UP Over Republic Day Violence
On the lookout for those responsible for the violence at the Red Fort during a farmers' tractor parade on the Republic Day in the national capital, a team of the Delhi Police on Saturday served a notice on a functionary of a gurdwara in Uttar Pradesh's Pilibhit district.
The police team arrived at Puranpur adjoining Shahjahanpur and served notice on granthi Gurtej Singh, asking him to come to Delhi for recording his statement, area SHO Suresh Kumar Singh said over the phone.
The police team served notice on the granthi of a gurdwara in the Ghunghchai chowki area, saying that a tractor from the gurdwara had gone to Delhi, the SHO said. The team later left for Shahjahanpur, he said.
JMM, Congress Block Highways In Jharkhand In Support Of Farmers' Stir
Activists of the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Congress and various Left parties on Saturday blocked national highways in various parts of Jharkhand in support of the farmers' agitation.
The normal flow of traffic was disrupted in several areas but no untoward incident was reported.
National highways were blocked at various places in several districts like Palamu, Deoghar, Dhanbad, Hazaribag, Ranchi and Koderma for some time from noon, Inspector General of Police Saket Kumar Singh said.
Agriculture Minister Had Agreed To Make Amendments To Farm Laws During Talks: Farmers' Union Leader
PM Modi To Lay Foundation Stone For Key Infrastructure Projects In Bengal Tomorrow
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of key infrastructure projects in Haldia, West Bengal on Sunday at 4:15 PM.
"Tomorrow evening, I would be in Haldia, West Bengal. At a programme there, will dedicate to the nation the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) import terminal built by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL). Will also dedicate to the nation Dobhi-Durgapur Natural Gas Pipeline section of the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga project," PM Modi said in a tweet in Bengali and English on Saturday.
People Should Overthrow This "Dictatorial" Government: Maharashtra Congress Leader
Several farmers' groups held a protest in Mumbai on Saturday against the Centre's new agri laws.
Addressing the rally, Maharashtra Congress leader Naseem Khan said the BJP-led Centre, rather than trying to find a solution, was trying to insinuate that the protests underway for several days near Delhi were being backed by Khalistani elements.
People should come together and overthrow this "dictatorial" Union government, Mr Khan added.
Budget Will Help Realise ''Aatmanirbhar Bharat" Aim: BJP Leader Bhupendra Yadav
The Union Budget 2021-22, which was tabled on February 1, will help achieve the aim of ''Aatmanirbhar Bharat'' and strengthen the agriculture sector, senior BJP leader Bhupendra Yadav said on Saturday.
Mr Yadav met representatives of various trade and social organisations at the BJP's Gujarat state headquarter.
He said the Budget was welcomed by all sectors and it will strengthen the resolve of self-reliant India and create a base for the country's progress.
Farmers Submit Memoranda Urging Repeal Of Farm Laws In UP
Farmers staged protests in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday against the Centre's three farm laws and handed over memoranda to the respective district authorities demanding its withdrawal.
We did not participate in the "chakka jam" (road blockade) but handed over memoranda to the district magistrates in different districts of the state, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Alok Verma said.
56,36,868 Vaccinations Done So Far: Health Ministry
Over 1 Lakh People Vaccinated In Delhi So Far: Official
The number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 till date in Delhi has crossed the one lakh-mark and the majority of them are healthcare workers, officials said on Saturday.
On Friday, over 9,200 healthcare workers had received COVID-19 vaccine shots in Delhi during the third week of the inoculation drive, registering a turnout of more than 50 per cent.
"The total number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 so far has crossed 1,00,000-mark," a senior official said.
Vaccination of frontline workers has also started, he said.
States, Union Territories Were Urged To Increase Pace Of Vaccination: Health Ministry
Restoration Of 4G Internet Services Will Boost Economic Recovery In Jammu And Kashmir: Trade Bodies
Trade bodies and tourism players on Saturday welcomed the restoration of 4G mobile internet services in Jammu and Kashmir, saying it will boost economic recovery in the union territory.
High-speed mobile internet services were restored last midnight in 18 districts. The services were there in two districts - Ganderbal and Udhampur - since August last year.
"It is better late than never. The government has realised how much loss our economy has suffered. This move will give a boost to the economic recovery now," president, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Sheikh Aashiq told news agency PTI.
Protesting Farmers Make Way For Ambulance On Palwal-Agra Highway
As part of the countrywide ''Chakka Jam'' called by the farmers' union on Saturday, farmers who were blocking Palwal-Agra Highway made way for an ambulance.
The ambulance was stuck in the traffic caused due to blockage of roads and highways.
Karan Singh Dalal, member of the Haryana Legislative Assembly from the Indian National Congress told ANI, "Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is conspiring to destroy the farmers' protest. We all are protesting peacefully here and will continue to do so."
Kerala Police Uses Water Cannons On Congress Workers Protesting Alleged Backdoor Appointments By LDF Government
Kerala Police used water cannons and tear gas shells on Youth Congress workers who held a protest against the alleged backdoor appointment made by Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.
The Youth Congress workers staged the protest outside the state Secretariat.
Earlier on January 12, Congress MLA Shafi Paramapil had given them notice to move an adjournment motion against the alleged backdoor appointments conducted by the government instead of recruiting candidates from the Public Service Commission (PSC) rank list.
Over 6.73 Lakh Healthcare, Frontline Workers Inoculated In UP So Far: Official
Over 6.73 lakh healthcare and frontline workers have been given the first dose of anti-Covid vaccine in Uttar Pradesh till date, a senior official said on Saturday.
The number of people inoculated against the pandemic disease in Uttar Pradesh till Saturday is highest in the country, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said.
The first dose of Covid vaccine is being given to people in the state and on Friday, a total of 84,109 healthcare and frontline workers were given the vaccine shots, he added.
Traffic Movement Normal During Chakka Jam, No Violence Reported: Delhi Police
Traffic movement was normal in the national capital on Saturday during the "chakka jam" called by farmers, Delhi police said.
"The traffic movement is normal and the life is going on as usual here," Delhi Police Public Relation Officer (PRO) Chinmoy Biswal told ANI, adding that no violent incidents took place in Delhi.
"The Chakka Jaam call wasn't for Delhi but in the wake of January 26 violence, we had made heavy security arrangements," he said.
"Security was further tightened at Delhi's border areas where farmers gathered in large numbers. The security forces are still deployed at the protest site," the official added.
Will Increase Minimum Wage Of Tea Workers Soon: Assam Finance Minister
Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said the government will issue a
notification in the next 10 days to increase the minimum wage of tea garden workers in the state.
Addressing a public rally in the presence of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, he said the proposal to raise the minimum wage of tea labourers will be approved in the next cabinet meeting.
"Wait for 10 more days. We will issue a notification to increase your wages. After the next cabinet meeting, you'll hear good news," he said.
Farmers Stage Protest On Jammu-Pathankot Highway, Demand For Rollback Of Agri Laws
Farmer organisations on Saturday staged a protest on the Jammu-Pathankot Highway as a part of the nationwide ''Chakka Jam'' called by farmers.
"We demand implementation of Swaminathan report and guarantee of Minimum Support Price (MSP) as well as repealing the farm laws," said Kulwant Singh, member of Jammu Kashmir Kisaan Vikaas Front.
The protestors blocked the Jammu-Pathankot highway which affected the traffic movement.
Farmers Stage ''Rasta Roko'' In Maharashtra, 40 Detained
A ''rasta roko'' was staged in Karad city in Satara district of Maharashtra on Saturday as part of the ''chakka jam'' protest called by farmer bodies agitating at borders of New Delhi against the three new farm laws.
At least 40 protesters, including senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan's wife Satvasheela Chavan and farmers, were detained by the police for holding the protest on a busy road at Kolhapur Naka in Karad in western Maharashtra this afternoon, a police official said.
They were detained under sections 68 and 69 of the Mumbai Police Act and released, he said.
Haryana Police Cautions People Of Cyber Fraud On Covid Vaccine Registration
Haryana Police on Saturday cautioned citizens against fraudsters who could dupe them on the pretext of registration for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Issuing an advisory, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Haryana, Navdeep Singh Virk said that cybercriminals may defraud citizens through phone calls, emails and social media applications and steal personal details in the pretext of vaccine registration.
The senior police officer advised the people to exercise caution and not to entertain any phone calls on the vaccine registration.
Court Dismisses Bail Plea Of Man Who Allegedly Opened Fire At Police During Northeast Delhi Violence
A Delhi court has dismissed the bail plea of Shahrukh Pathan, the man who allegedly opened fire at police personnel on February 24 during the northeast Delhi violence.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat in an order passed on February 4 said that the gravity of the offence and the allegations against the accused are quite grave, adding that the conduct of the accused showed that he does not satisfy the triple test for the grant of bail.
"In view of the above discussion, I am not inclined to grant the relief prayed for. Accordingly, the bail application under Section 439 Cr. P.C of accused Shahrukh Pathan @ Khan stands dismissed," the court said in its order.
Langar At Ludhiana-Ferozepur Highway After Chakka Jam
Congress Slams Centre For Water, Electricity Supply Cut At Farmer Protest Sites
Congress General Secretary and Member of Parliament KC Venugopal on Saturday slammed the government for withdrawing water and electricity connections from the farmer protest sites.
"Farmers are on streets for 71 days, they are struggling. On one hand, the government is ready for talks, while on other hand they are withdrawing water connection, electricity connection. They are harassing the farmers, how can a democratic government act like this?" asked Mr Venugopal.
"Won't Return Home Unless Demands Met": Rakesh Tikait As Chakka Jam Ends
Farmers protesting the centre's agriculture laws will not return home till their demands are met, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait said Saturday afternoon, after the three-hour chakka jam (blocking) of highways passed peacefully.
50,000 Personnel, Drones, Water Cannons: Delhi On Stand-By For Chakka Jam
The national capital has fortified itself for a protest that it may not officially witness today. Ten days after unprecedented violence during a farmers' tractor rally marred India's Republic Day celebrations in parts of Delhi, the protesters are observing a three-hour chakka jam (road block) beginning noon across the country, except in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and in the city. It remained largely incident-free half-way through the protest aside from a handful of student-activists raising gathering and slogans in the ITO locality. Authorities, however, are taking no chances. Read Here
Telangana: Police removed the protesters who were agitating on a highway on the outskirts of Hyderabad as part of the countrywide 'chakka jaam' called by farmers today.
Protesters block roads as part of 'Chakka
Jaam' call given by farmers from 12 pm to 3 pm today; visuals from Golden Gate on Delhi-Amritsar National Highway in Amritsar.
Personnel of Security Forces including that of Rapid Action Force deployed at Ghazipur border (Delhi-Uttar Pradesh).
Heavy security deployment at Ghazipur border (Delhi-Uttar Pradesh), in view of protests against the farm laws.
Chakka Jam Protests in Haryana
Protests being held at Atohan Chowk near Palwal, Haryana as part of the countrywide 'Chakka Jaam' call given by farmers.
Farmers Block Key Highway In Haryana During Chakka Jam, Delhi On High Alert
The nationwide three-hour chakka jam - blockade of national and state highways -- by farmers protesting against the Centre's farm laws started with a high alert in Delhi today. A group of farmers have blocked the highway at Haryana's Palwal. The farmers have said there will be blockade in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in case they are "called to Delhi". In Bengaluru, 30 people have been taken in preventive custody. Read Here
Police detain the protesters who were agitating outside Yelahanka Police Station against the farm laws as part of the countrywide 'chakka jaam' called by farmers today.
Bengaluru: Police detain the protesters who were agitating outside Yelahanka Police Station against the farm laws as part of the countrywide 'chakka jaam' called by farmers today.
Farmer organisations in Jammu stage protest on Jammu-Pathankot highway as part of the nationwide 'chakka jaam' called by farmers today.
The three-hour nationwide "chakka jam" blockade of national and state highways -- by farmers protesting against the Centre's farm laws started with a high alert in Delhi today. A group of farmers have blocked the highway at Haryana's Palwal.
Allow Peaceful Protest By Farmers, Internet Access: US Congress's India Panel
The leadership of the powerful Congressional India Caucus has urged the Indian government to ensure that the norms of democracy are maintained and the protesters are allowed to demonstrate peacefully and have access to the Internet, as it discussed the issue of the ongoing farmer's agitation in the country.
Several Delhi Metro Stations Closed Ahead Of Farmers' "Chakka Jam" At Noon
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has closed the entry and exit gates at several metro stations, mainly in north and central Delhi, ahead of three-hour chakka
jam (road block) across the country by the protesting farmers. Read Here
Government of India has a misunderstanding that only Punjab is agitating. The entire country is protesting, farmers from all states are sitting at protest sites. If they still want to turn a blind eye claiming only Punjab is protesting, then one can't do anything: Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Entry and exit gates of Vishwavidyalaya station are also closed: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
Mandi House, ITO And Delhi Gate Metro Gates Closed
Entry and exit gates of Mandi House, ITO and Delhi Gate are closed: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
50,000 Personnel, Water Cannons: Delhi Braces For Chakka Jam-Not-To-Be
The national capital has fortified itself for a protest that it may not officially witness today. Read Here
AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine Works Against UK Variant: Oxford
AstraZeneca and Oxford University's COVID-19 vaccine has similar efficacy against the British coronavirus variant as it does to the previously circulating variants, the university said on Friday. The variant, first identified in Kent, southern England, is more easily transmissible, prompting many countries to restrict travel to Britain. It also led to a spike in infections that forced a new national lockdown in England last month.
India's COVID-19 tally of cases rose to 1,08,14,304 with 11,713 new infections being reported in a day, while the recoveries surged to 1,05,10,796, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.
A total of 20,06,72,589 samples tested for COVID-19 up to February 5. Of these, 7,40,794 samples were tested yesterday: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
To assist Delhi Police in maintaining law and order situation amid 'Chakka Jaam' call by farmers, Paramilitary Forces have been deployed at various parts of Delhi-NCR including borders.
"Exercise Maximum Restraint": UN Human Rights Body On Farmer Protests
Amid renewed international attention on the two-month-long farmers' protest in India, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights or OHCHR on Friday called on both the government and the demonstrators to exercise maximum restraint. Read Here
Security personnel deployed along with barricading measures at the Minto Bridge area. The area has been blockaded as a preemptory counter-measure to thwart 'Chakka Jaam'
calls announced by farmer unions which are protesting the new farm laws.
Security tightened, in the light of 'Chakka Jaam' appeals by farmer unions protesting the farm laws.
Third Phase To Vaccinate People Above 50 May Start In March: Government
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said that the third phase of COVID-19 vaccination, in which people above 50 years of age will be vaccinated, is expected to start next month.
India Fastest Country To Reach 5 Million Covid Vaccination-Mark: Centre
India has become the first country in the world to reach the 5 million COVID-19 vaccination mark in just 21 days, the Union Health Ministry said as nearly 53 lakh beneficiaries have been administered shots under the countrywide inoculation exercise till Friday evening.
Spain Detects First Case Of Brazil Coronavirus Variant
Madrid authorities on Friday confirmed the first case in the region of the Brazilian variant of coronavirus, which is feared to be particularly infectious, in the region.
A 44-year-old man who arrived at Madrid's airport on January 29 tested positive for the coronavirus and subsequent lab tests confirmed he had caught the new strain, the regional government of Madrid said in a statement.
The case is the first report in Spain of the variant, blamed for a disastrous surge in infections in the Brazilian city of Manaus.
The announcement came three days after Spain restricted arrivals by air from Brazil and South Africa to curb the spread of new strains.
174 Doctors, 116 Nurses, 199 Health Workers Died Due To Covid: Centre
A total of 174 doctors, 116 nurses and 199 healthcare workers have died due to COVID-19 in the country, the government informed Lok Sabha on Friday, citing data from states received under an insurance scheme.
In written reply to a question, Union Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey said that duly implementing a series of containment measures including lockdown and promotion of COVID-19-appropriate behaviours, India has been able to successfully manage and blunt the aggressive progression of the virus.
Elaborating on the measures taken to contain the pandemic, the minister said dedicated health infrastructure focused on COVID-19 was identified and earmarked to manage surge in cases.
Over Rs 120 Crore Operational Cost For Covid Vaccination Drive Given To States, Union Territories: Centre
During the initial phases, the COVID-19 vaccine is being provided to healthcare workers and frontline workers for which, apart from free of cost supply of vaccines, the operational cost of Rs 123.49 crore has been released to the states and UTs, Minister of State for Health, Ashwini Choubey informed the Lok Sabha on Friday.
The minister further said no time limit has been set for completion of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in any state or UT presently.
The immunization drive against the novel coronavirus was rolled out from January 16 across the country.
The distribution of vaccines to states and UTs is being done as per the beneficiaries' data load registered on the CO-WIN portal, Mr Choubey said in a written reply.