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New Zealand PM speaks about embassy-oxygen-Congress controversy

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern responded to the raging controversy that was triggered after the country’s Embassy asked the Indian Youth Congress—the youth wing of the country’s main opposition party—for help in providing an oxygen cylinder. Ardern said the New Zealand High Commission in India should have used “normal channels and protocols” to secure oxygen for a person they say is critically ill with Covid-19.

Ardern said there were other ways the High Commission could and should have used to seek medical assistance.

She further said, “The High Commission themselves have removed that tweet and acknowledged that wasn’t the process that should have been used. They’ve done that, they’ve corrected that.”

Source: YouTube

She contended that one person working in the commission’s compound, an Indian national, was “very unwell” and recognised why the commission might have done what it did. However, Ardern added, “there are other means and channels because the commission was very well supported by the Indian government through the pandemic.”

The Kiwi Prime Minister said that the NZ government is doing all it can to keep both Kiwis and locals working at the commission safe, including introducing bubble arrangements and enforcing strict protocols.

New Zealand embassy tweet to the youth wing of Congress for oxygen sparks controversy

The controversy erupted after the New Zealand embassy in India on Sunday (May 2) bypassed the Ministry of External Affairs and sought oxygen supply from the youth wing of the Opposition Congress party. “Srinivas BV, could you please help with the oxygen cylinder urgently at the New Zealand High Commission? Thank you,” the tweet read.

Srinivas B V then reached the New Zealand High Commission with oxygen cylinders along with other Congress workers. “We have reached New Zealand High Commission with oxygen cylinders. Please open the gates and save a soul on time. #SOSIYC,” he tweeted.

In another tweet, he informed, “Update- New Zealand high commission opened gates of the embassy and accepted cylinders. Also, they thanked the #SOSIYC team for this quick relief as the patient inside the embassy was critically ill.”

The tweet drew sharp criticism from netizens, who slammed the New Zealand embassy for not proper protocols in demanding the supply of oxygen.

Following the controversy, the New Zealand embassy in India deleted its initial tweet. “We are trying all sources to arrange for oxygen cylinders urgently and our appeal has unfortunately been misinterpreted, for which we are sorry,” it apologised in a tweet.

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12-Year-Old Among 4 Killed as Slabs Collapse in Ulhasnagar Building, 1 Missing

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Rescue operation at the Ulhasnagar building. (Image: Twitter/ANI)

Rescue operation at the Ulhasnagar building. (Image: Twitter/ANI)

The incident took place in a ground-plus four-storey residential building in camp no 1 around 1.40 pm.

  • News18.com Thane
  • Last Updated:May 15, 2021, 19:16 IST
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At least 4 people were killed after slabs of a residential building collapsed in Ulhasnagar town of Maharashtra’s Thane district on Saturday, Thane Municipal Corporation said. A 12-year-old child is among the four people who lost their lives. According to latest update, one person is still missing.

The incident took place in a ground-plus four-storey residential building in camp no 1 around 1.40 pm, said Santosh Kadam, chief of the regional disaster management cell of the Thane Municipal Corporation.

A slab on the fourth floor came crashing down on other slabs, trapping people in the process, he said. Local firemen rushed to the scene and rescued 11 residents, who were taken to a local hospital for first aid, the official said.

A team from the Thane Disaster Response Force is at the scene to help firemen remove the debris and rescue five others who are trapped, he added.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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IDF says demolished building that housed Al Jazeera was used by Hamas

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The Israel Defense Forces have issued a statement over the demolition of the Al Jalaa Building that housed the offices of Al Jazeera and other international media houses. The IDF has said that the building was being used by Islamic terror group Hamas, making it a valid military target.

The IDF said on social media, “Hamas has turned residential areas in the Gaza Strip into military strongholds. It uses tall buildings in Gaza for multiple military purposes such as intelligence gathering, planning attacks, command and control, and communications.”

Source: Twitter

“When Hamas uses a tall building for military purposes, it becomes a lawful military target,” it added. It stated further, “The Israel Defense Forces struck a number of such buildings in recent days, but before we did so, we took steps to try and ensure that civilians would not be harmed.”

Significantly, the IDF said, “All the multi-story buildings targeted by the IDF were used for military purposes within each building.”

Earlier, Israel had demolished the Al Jalaa building that housed the offices of Al Jazeera and other international media houses. A warning had been provided one hour prior to the demolition. The demolition comes during a phase of heightened tensions between Israel and Palestine.

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West Bengal Governor meets poll violence victims in the state and Assam

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West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar has been visiting the areas affected by post-poll violence in West Bengal and also meeting people who have fled to the neighbouring state of Assam due to attacks by the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) goons. After visiting post-poll violence-affected areas in Nandigram in East Midnapore Saturday (May 15) morning, Dhankar urged Mamata Banerjee with folded hands to take immediate measures to prevent post-poll violence in the state.

Drawing attention towards the miseries of these victims of West Bengal post-poll violence, the Governor Twitted today: “Unimaginable post-poll violence @MamataOfficial. Terrified people with difficulty and fear @WBPolice and reprisals at hands of ruling party workers narrate indescribable woes of horror. Appeal CM to take urgent steps to restore their confidence in the worst post-poll violence”.

The governor posted a snippet where a group of distressed women sob as they recount their horrifying tales in front of the WB Governor.

Speaking to the media, Dhankar said: “I have never imagined that I will see such heart-wrenching violence in Bengal. Lakhs of people fled from their respective villages out of fear. Several houses were bombed, people killed, women were raped because they fearlessly voted while maintaining the decorum of our Constitution. India has never seen Bengal like post-poll violence before,” Dhankhar said.

“I would like to appeal to our Chief Minister that it is high time she should take note of the law and order situation as millions of people are suffering. They are sitting on a volcano. I do hope that she will attend to the situation,” he added.

West Bengal Governor visits a camp at Agomoni area of Dhubri in Assam

The Governor, who started his visit to violence-hit areas on May 13, had expressed similar angst yesterday, May 14 after he interacted with the refugees who were forced to take shelter in Assam after TMC thugs looted, vandalised and arson their houses, raped and killed their family members, forcing them to flee the state.

“Nothing can be more shameful for us than people of West Bengal taking shelter in other states,” Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said while visiting a camp at Agomoni area of Dhubri in Assam, where people from West Bengal have been camping post-poll violence.

‘One is made to pay with life and rights for voting’, Tweeted Jagdeep Dhankar after visiting Cooch Behar

Similarly, after visiting Cooch Behar on May 13 (Thursday), Jagdeep Dhankar had taken to Twitter to post a series of Tweets where he disparages the goons of the ruling dispensation of West Bengal who under the patronage of their supremo Mamata Banerjee, have been unleashing unimaginable atrocities against those who dared to vote against them in the recently concluded Assembly elections.

Dhankar was distraught by the “tales of sorrow” which he said, “left no tears in his eyes”. “Never imagined severity of post poll retributive [email protected]
was much beyond. One is made to pay with life and rights for voting!”, rued the Governor.

He also informed that when he was on his way to Cooch Behar, a dozen ruling party workers stopped his convoy “with no fear of law and police”. “Such state of affairs @MamataOfficial!” Dhankar deplored.

Yesterday too, Dhankar shared a small snippet where a helpless old victim narrated her ordeal. “All day witnessed such tales of sorrow, grief and horror as victim after victim narrated horrendous post poll retributive violence incidents @MamataOfficial. Helpless victims in crossfire of police @WBPolice and ruling party workers. Will endeavour to deliberate with CM”, wrote Dhankar.

“History will judge the bureaucracy of West Bengal, police and administration… This is such an issue, where nobody has the right to play politics,” a visibly miffed Dhankar had told reporters.

Ignoring the ‘order’ of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Governor visited Cooch Behar district on Thursday and accused the state government of not doing anything to contain the post-election violence.

Mamata Banerjee, ‘orders’ West Bengal Governor to ‘refrain from surpassing CM’, latter hits back

It is pertinent to note here that the Governor’s decision to visit the post-poll affected areas had irked Mamata Banarjee, who a day prior to his scheduled visit had written to him advising him to “desist” from undertaking “field trips” and follow the established government protocols. She drew the Governor’s attention to one of her previous letters and asked him to ‘refrain from surpassing her and her ministers’ orders’.

The West Bengal Governor, in response to her letter had torn into Mamata Banerjee, categorically rejecting her ‘order’.

Condemning the rampant incidents of loot, arson, killings, rape and other horrendous acts against those in opposition to the ruling dispensation, the Governor urged the state CM to revisit her stance and commit herself to the constitution that she by her oath is obligated to uphold and follow.

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