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Russia Suspended From Rights Council

India abstains from vote at UNGA

Russia’s membership to the Human Rights Council (HRC), to which it was elect­ ed in 2020, was suspended on Thursday after the Unit­ ed Nations General Assemb­ ly (UNGA) voted, 93 to 24, with 58 abstentions, includ­ ing India, to adopt a resolu­ tion suspending Moscow from the UN body.

The resolution, ‘Suspen­ sion of the rights of mem­ bership of the Russian Fed­ eration in the Human Rights Council’, was proposed by a group of countries that in­ cluded Ukraine, the U.S., the EU, several Latin Ameri­ can countries and required a two­thirds majority of those present and voting for adoption. Abstentions do not count in the tally of those ‘present and voting’. India abstained for reasons of “substance and process”, its Permanent Representa­ tive to the UN (UNPR), T.S. Tirumurti, said.

India’s stand
“We firmly believe that all decisions should be taken fully respecting due process as all our democratic polity
The Russian delegation reacts to the vote at the General Assembly. * REUTERS
and structures enjoin us to do so. This applies to inter­ national organisations as well, particularly the United Nations,” Mr. Tirumurti said during his ‘Explanation of Vote’ speech at the UNGA.
The U.S., which has had an uneven relationship with the HRC itself (having quit it under the Trump adminis­ tration only to rejoin it last year) had been a driving force behind the resolution.
“If India has chosen any side, it is the side of peace. And it is for an immediate end to violence,” Mr. Tiru­ murti said, calling for diplomacy.

Central Probe Agencies Should Raid Hoarders’

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that instead of conducting raids on Opposi­ tion parties, central investi­ gation agencies should raid hoarders to curb the rise in prices of essential commod­ ities.
She was speaking at a meeting convened at the State secretariat to discuss rising prices of essential commodities. Though price rise was a Central subject, the Centre was not only in­ diffrent to the plight of its people but also responsible for the spike in the price of petroleum, 14 times in the past 16 days.

She reiterated that the rise in the prices of petro­ leum products, including LPG cylinders, was a “re­ turn gift” for voting the BJP to power in four of the five States where Assembly elec­ tions were held recently.
Ms. Banerjee said the country’s economic situa­ tion was turning from bad to worse. “I doubt if States will be able to pay salaries in the coming days”.
The Chief Minister im­ pressed upon the Union go­ vernment the need to pay GST dues to the States and also requested it to extend GST compensation for another five years. Calling for a policy intervention, she requested the Centre “to control fuel prices and temporarily stop collecting toll tax”.
Ms. Banerjee urged trad­ ers and representatives of market associations to not increase prices of essential commodities, particularly during the ongoing holy month of Ramazan and up­ coming festival of ‘Poila Baishak’.

Woman gives birth under cellphone lights at A.P. hospital

Videos of the infant suffring due to power cut went viral

A baby was reportedly deli­ vered at the Narsipatnam Area Hospital in Andhra Pra­ desh’s Anakapalli district, using candles, cellphone torches and battery lights due to a power cut, late on Wednesday night.
The incident drew sharp criticism from the local peo­ ple and public in general af­ ter the videos of the infant suffering due to the power cut went viral on social media.
Locals said that power cuts had been severe for the past week, with the outages varying from seven to 10 hours a day.

On Wednesday, the pa­ tients in the hospital had to bear the brunt as even the generator in the hospital and the inverter in the labour room failed to work report­ edly due to some technical snag.
“This has forced us to per­ form the delivery using can­ dles, cellphone torches and charging lights. Fortunately, it was a normal delivery,” said in charge superinten­ dent of the hospital Dr. Da­ vid Vasanth Kumar.
The power outages are causing serious trouble to the patients, especially the elderly persons, pregnant women and the newborn ba­ bies in the hospital.

The videos of a woman bringing out a newborn ba­ by for some fresh air and pa­ tient attendants expressing displeasure on the facilities in the hospital have been cir­ culating in social media since Thursday morning. In a video, a woman is seen ask­ ing the hospital staff which hospital on earth delivers a baby using mobile phone lights”.
“Last night after waiting for about two hours without power, we asked the staff about it. They did not have an answer and told us to bring candles. Who will pro­ vide us candles past mid­ night,” asked a patient in the hospital.

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