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Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

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Man arrested for prank call threatening to kill UP CM Yogi Adityanath

IT News
Mumbai, May 24 :
The Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) on Saturday arrested a 25-year-old man from Chunabhatti area in North East Mumbai, for allegedly sending a message on the Lucknow Police headquarters’ Whatsapp number, threatening to kill chief minister Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in a bomb blast.
In his message, the accused, identified as Kamran Amin Khan, claimed that he was plotting the attack on the UP CM. The message was received by the social media cell of UP Police’s integrated emergency response centre UP112 in the early hours of Friday morning, following which a first information report (FIR) was registered at Gomati Nagar police station under sections 505 (1)(b) (causing fear or alarm to the public to commit an offence against the state or public tranquillity); 506 (for threat to cause death), and 507 (for using anonymous communication for issuing threat) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against an unknown person.
After tracing the number used to send the message, to Khan, UP Police informed the Maharashtra Police and ATS started conducting an inquiry. Khan was picked up from Chunabhatti and brought to the Kalachowki ATS unit in South Central Mumbai. During his interrogation he confessed to the crime, an ATS officer said. Maharashtra ATS will hand over Khan to the Lucknow Police for further inquiry after being be produced in a court for remand in Mumbai.
“We traced the accused using technical and human intelligence. He has a history of drug abuse but no criminal record. His actions seem to have been a prank. Even his number is saved on Truecaller as ‘Yogi Ji’,” an ATS officer said.

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COVID-19 does not spread through burial of dead bodies: High Court

IT Correspondent

Mumbai, May 23:

The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed pleas by residents seeking cancellation of permission given by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to bury bodies of COVID-19 victims at Bandra (West) Kabaristan located in North West Mumbai.

Disposing of the petition filed by Pradeep Gandhi and others, a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice S S Shinde, passed a ruling through videoconference, in which it observed that there was no scientific data to support the claim that COVID-19 can spread through dead bodies and that the BMC had all the authority to demarcate the cemetery. The court said that the case was fit for ‘exemplary costs’ but avoided to impose it on petitioners due to a pandemic situation and said that the plea was filed in panic.

The petition was filed by the petitioner, through advocate D P Singh in the Bombay high court on April 14. When it came for hearing on 27 April, the court refused to grant an interim relief to the petitioners and also directed the BMC to remove locks put up on the gates of the cemetery ground by local residents with the help of Police on 13 April, protesting against the burial of dead body at the cemetery. After HC refused relief, the petitioners moved Supreme Court with a special leave petition and the apex court on 4 May returned the petition to the HC with instructions that the petition be disposed of within two weeks.

The residents had claimed that permitting the use of the burial ground in Bandra (West) to bury COVID-19 victims will lead to community spread. They had claimed that the burial ground is located in the heart of Bandra (West), next to their residences, and as per the revised circular issued by BMC on 30 March 2020, COVID-19 patients cannot be buried near residential areas. On 13 April, a body was brought for burial at the cemetery. However, after the residents protested, the authorities did not bury the body.

The petitioners had pointed out that the burial ground shared a common wall with a residential area near G7 multiplex on V P Varde Marg off Turner Road. However, advocate Pratap Nimbalkar appearing for Kabaristan Trustees, had opposed the plea and said that due process was followed before disposing of the bodies and that the petitioners had not placed any scientific reasoning to show that COVID-19 spreads through dead bodies.

On 19 May, a senior counsel for BMC, Anil Sakhare, also opposed the petitioners’ argument and submitted an affidavit in reply saying burial of the victims cannot lead to spread of virus in adjoining areas. The BMC reply stated, “It is well established and declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) that Covid-19 virus is not “air borne” and hence transmission of the virus to other people staying in the vicinity of the burial ground is highly impossible.”

”The transmission cannot happen unless people in the locality come in direct contact with the body brought for burial or cremation. Direct contact of people staying in the locality with a body is impossible, as it is wrapped in plastic by hospital staff before handing it over to relatives for the last rites”, the BMC stated.

The court accepted BMC’s submissions and asked it to strictly follow WHO and Central government guidelines on burial of COVID-19 positive bodies and said that the civic body can add or delete demarcated cemeteries as per the law and guidelines.

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Maharashtra Govt takes 80% beds in private hospitals, caps treatment charges

IT Correspondent

Mumbai, May 23:

In a crack down on private hospitals, the Maharashtra government took control of over 80 per cent beds in private hospitals and also capped treatment charges for COVID-19 and other illnesses in these hospitals on Friday.

Amid reports of hospitals in Maharashtra refusing admission to coronavirus patients and overcharging, the Maharashtra government issued orders for taking control of 80 per cent beds in private hospitals and nursing homes in the state.

Private hospitals will now have 20 per cent beds for which they are allowed to charge their own rates, while 100 per cent of the ICU beds and 80 per cent others will be regulated by the Maharashtra government. The price capping will stay in effect till 31 August,2020.

With the new order by the state government, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will have access to additional 417 ICU beds for Covid-19 patients and 538 for non-Covid at government rates. Nearly 2,624 beds for Covid-19 patients and 3,020 beds for non-Covid will now be available in 33 hospitals.

The BMC also stated that the 1,000-bed quarantine facility for Covid-19 patients at MMRDA, Bandra in North West Mumbai, will be functional with 56 beds from 24 May onwards. A set of 56 beds will be added every subsequent day. “The Asian Heart Institute” which is located close to this facility will be dove-tailed as ICU for the facility, till the time the 200-bed ICU facility being set up becomes fully functional.

BMC Municipal Commissioner I.S. Chahal said an additional pool of 2,000 Covid beds is being created in the next three days at ward officer level. For every 100 beds in the ward, there will be 20 ICUs. Chahal said this will spruce up bed availability by utilising the ‘80:20’ order applicable to all other hospitals, nursing homes, clinics in the BMC area. The BMC’s order also mentions that testing for Covid suspected patients to be ramped up substantially and BMC Municipal Commissioner will himself be visiting laboratories for the same.

There have been cases in the past where coronavirus positive patients died due to lack of beds in Covid-dedicated hospitals, late hospitalisation or delayed treatment for the deadly infection.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise unabated in Mumbai, the state government has deputed IAS officers to major hospitals in the city for effective management of the outbreak. An IAS officer each has been deputed to KEM, Nair, Sion, JJ-GT-St George and BMC’s Periphereal hospitals for effective management of the outbreak.

The duties set for these IAS officers holding charge of the hospitals involve: Immediate setting up of war room in each government hospital, CCTV live view of all ICU beds and COVID-19 wards, ensuring attendance of doctors, nurses and para-medicals, especially late night and early morning.

Real time data upload every 30 minutes on Bed Management dashboard, strict implementation of discharge policy (to ensure no patient overstays once tested negative), to provide unique ID code to each bed are the other stipulations. Dashboards to allot beds with bed number on call to 1916, to ensure quality food packets to patients and their relatives (by ensuring daily stocking of food/biscuits in canteens through NGOs which are put in place) and to ensure cleanliness and upkeep and minor maintenance are the other issues.

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Mukesh Ambani’s “Reliance Jio” raises Rs 67,194.75 crore amid lockdown

IT Correspondent

Mumbai, May 23:

In less than four weeks, Reliance Jio has struck deals with leading technology giants and private equity firms including Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity and General Atlantic, raising Rs 67,194.75 crore.

According to official sources, on 17 May, Reliance Jio sold a 1.34 per cent to General Atlantic for Rs 6,598.38 crore, while American private equity giant “Silver Lake Partners” bought 1 per cent stake in Jio for Rs 5,655.75 crore. Besides “Facebook” purchased a 9.9 per cent stake in Reliance Jio for Rs 43,574 crore.

COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global economy but could not stop Reliance Industries Chairman & Managing Director Mukesh Ambani in raising,Rs 67,194.75 crore from technology leaders and investors.

The details of the deal are: Facebook: Menlo Park-headquartered “Facebook” purchased a 9.9 per cent stake in Reliance Jio for Rs 43,574 crore. The deal announced in April will help Mark Zuckerberg-owned social media giant place a firm foothold in India. The deal that valued Jio at Rs 4.62 lakh crore (65.95 billion) was Facebook’s biggest since 2014, when it bought WhatsApp for USD 22 billion. Jio in return can significantly cut debt of Reliance conglomerate.

Silver Lake Partners: Less than two weeks later, private equity giant Silver Lake Partners bought 1 per cent stake in Jio for Rs 5,655.75 crore. The deal with the American firm takes the telecom enterprise’s value at Rs 5.15 lakh crore - a 12.5 premium to the value indicated by the social media network.

Vista Equity: US-based private equity firm Vista Equity Partners picked up a 2.32 per cent stake in Jio for Rs 11,367 crore. The firm that runs the world’s largest tech-focused fund. This investment valued Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 lakh crore. Vista’s investment is at a 12.5 per cent premium over the deal with Facebook. The deal marks Jio’s status as a next-generation software and platform company.

General Atlantic: On 17 May, Reliance Jio sold a 1.34 per cent to New York-based “General Atlantic”, a private equity firm, for Rs 6,598.38 crore. The deal is General Atlantic’s largest investment in Asia. “This investment values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 lakh crore. General Atlantic’s investment will translate into a 1.34 per cent equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis,” the company said in a statement. General Atlantic is a leading global growth equity firm with a 40-year track record of investing in the technology, consumer, financial services and healthcare sectors.

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