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Body Of Soldier Abducted From J&K’s Shopian Found After Year, Says Family – dot newz

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Rifleman Shakir Manzoor went missing from Kulgam in J&K, where his burnt car was recovered (File)

Srinagar:

A decomposed body found in a village in J&K’s Kulgam this morning has been claimed as that of Rifleman Shakir Manzoor – an Army soldier missing since August 2 last year, when he was kidnapped, tortured and killed by terrorists from Shopian district.

Shakir Manzoor’s father, Manzoor Ahmed Wagay, told NDTV “I have identified the body… it is my son. I identified him from his feet… his hair and also a bracelet he wore.”

Police, however, have said forensic procedures, including a DNA test, were needed to confirm that the body is that of Shakir Manzoor.

The body was found by locals who informed the police.

News of the body was also circulated to Manzoor Ahmed Wagay, 56, for whom the year has have been a painful quest to find his son.

It was Mr Wagay who found his son’s blood-soaked clothes days after his abduction.

For the last year he would leave his home with shovels and spades every day and return empty-handed, and the family has said the government did not help find Shakir Manzoor.

They did not even receive financial compensation.

According to official records Mr Manzoor has been listed as missing since last year – not dead. This means his family was not entitled to his salary or any compensation.

The family said they had been questioned if Mr Manzoor had joined a terrorist group.

Mr Wagay believes his son was tortured by his kidnappers because they wanted him to make such a statement, something he refused.

Months later, police said the terrorist who claimed to have killed Shakir Manzoor died in an encounter, and they did not know where the soldier’s body had been dumped.

Shakir Manzoor had come home to celebrate Eid with his family.

He went missing while driving back to his camp. The following day police found his burnt car and, a few days later, his blood-soaked clothes were found in an apple orchard.

Subsequently, an audio clip surfaced with terrorists claiming responsibility. They talked about denying his family their son’s body in retaliation for a government policy of not handing over bodies of local militants to their families.

Since March 2020 last year, even the bodies of civilians killed in security forces’ actions have not been handed to their families due to COVID-19 protocols.



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Talks On Sputnik Light Vaccine Production In India Near Completion, Says Russia – dot newz

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The production of the Sputnik Light vaccine assumes significance in light of the Omicron variant. (File)

New Delhi:

The talks on the production of anti-COVID vaccine Sputnik Light in India are nearing completion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

“The talks on Sputnik Light are nearing completion,” Lavrov said following the talks with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar in New Delhi today, reported Russian media TASS.

The agreement on the production of the two-component vaccine Sputnik V in the Republic is also being implemented, the minister added.

“Quite a large scale is expected – around hundred million doses each year,” TASS reported quoting him.

The CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev had said: “We are hopeful for the launch of Sputnik Light in India in December and we are working very well with Indian institutes.”

“We have Serum institute as our production partner in India, and we believe that Sputnik Light will play a big role in the Indian vaccination campaign,” he added.

In mid-September, a committee of experts under the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) issued a permit for intermediate tests of the third (final) stage of Sputnik Light studies in India. Once approved, Sputnik Light will be the first one-dose coronavirus vaccine to be used in India.

The production of the Sputnik Light vaccine against coronavirus in India assumes much significance as a new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.

On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’. The WHO has classified Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’.

Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations since the mutation was discovered.

The new Omicron coronavirus variant has been confirmed in 23 countries and their number is expected to rise, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said.

India has also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country, including post-arrival testing for infection.

India currently uses three vaccines, including Covishield developed by the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca and produced by India’s Serum Institute, Covaxin produced by India’s Bharat Biotech, and Russia’s Sputnik V. Two US vaccines, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, have recently also been approved for emergency use in the country, though the vaccination using those jabs has not started yet in India, according to TASS.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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Amid Omicron Alarm, 100 Back From Abroad Untraceable Near Mumbai – dot newz

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Returnees to KDMC areas from ”at risk” nations have to undergo 7-day home quarantine. File

Thane:

Amid the Omicron scare, Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation chief Vijay Suryavanshi today said 109 out of 295 recent foreign returnees to the township in Thane district were untraceable currently.

He said the mobile phones of some of these people were switched off while many of the last given addresses were found to be locked.

Mr Suryavanshi said returnees to KDMC limits from all ”at risk” nations have to undergo 7-day home quarantine, and a COVID-19 test will be conducted on the eighth day.

“Even if it is negative, they will have to undergo another 7-day home quarantine and it would be the duty of housing society members to ensure the norm is not violated. Marriages, gatherings etc are being watched to curb violations,” he said.

“Some 72 per cent of the people in KDMC have taken the first dose of the vaccine and 52 per cent are fully vaccinated,” he added.

One Omicron case was detected in a Dombivali resident recently.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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Will Get Chief Secretary Who Knows Mizo, Says Mizoram Chief Minister – dot newz

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CM Zoramthanga said the Prime Minister had assured him on the matter. File

Aizawl:

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga today said that the centre would appoint a new chief secretary for the state, who has a working knowledge of the Mizo language.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference here, Mr Zoramthanga said he had recently discussed the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.

“During our meeting in Delhi, the Prime Minister assured me that the centre would appoint a chief secretary, who knows the working standard of Mizo language,” he said, adding that Mizoram is likely to have a Mizo IAS officer as chief secretary.

The Chief Minister said the problem with current chief secretary Renu Sharma is the language barrier.

He said that most cabinet ministers speak in Mizo during a cabinet meeting and the chief secretary has to sit silently, which inconveniences her to carry out administration efficiently.

On October 28, the centre appointed Renu Sharma, an AGMUT cadre IAS officer of the 1988 batch, as the chief secretary of Mizoram.

The same day, the Mizoram government issued a notification directing JC Ramthanga, additional chief secretary of the chief minister, to take charge of chief secretary until further order.

Officials said that the chief minister had proposed Ramthanga as chief secretary to the centre much before Renu Sharma was appointed.

On October 29, Mr Zoramthanga had written to Home Minister Amit Shah, urging him to modify the centre’s order of appointing Renu Sharma as the chief secretary of the state and instead appoint a person, who knows the working standard of Mizo language, as the chief secretary of the state.

In the letter, the chief minister said that none of the cabinet ministers understands Hindi and some even have problems understanding English.

“The Mizo people by and large, do not understand Hindi, and none of my Cabinet Ministers understands Hindi, some of them even have problems with the English language. With such a background, a chief secretary without the knowledge of a working standard Mizo language will never be an effective and efficient chief secretary,” Mr Zoramthanga had said in the letter.

During his meeting with the Prime Minister on November 30, Mr Zoramthanga had urged him to take measures for a separate Mizoram cadre of IAS and other All Indian service officers.

He had also urged to provide housing assistance to ex-cadres of Mizo National Front, who came overground after the signing of the Mizo peace accord in 1986.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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