Derek Chauvin asks judge for new trial after being convicted of George Floyd’s murder



Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin asked a Minneapolis judge on Tuesday local time for a new trial, court records showed, two weeks after he was found guilty of second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd.

In a series of motions filed to District Court Judge Peter Cahill, Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, said his client was deprived of a fair trial, adding there was prosecutorial and jury misconduct, errors of law at trial and that the verdict was contrary to law.

On 20 April, a 12-member jury found Chauvin, 45, guilty on all three counts he faced after considering three weeks of testimony from 45 witnesses, including bystanders, police officials and medical experts.

The rare verdict against a police officer is considered a milestone in the fraught racial history of the United States and a rebuke of law enforcement’s treatment of black Americans.

In a confrontation captured on video, Chauvin, a white veteran of the police force, pushed his knee into the neck of Mr Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in handcuffs, for more than 9 minutes on 25 May, 2020.

Chauvin and three fellow officers were attempting to arrest Mr Floyd, accused of using a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes at a grocery store.

More to come.

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Karnataka asks Centre for 1,500 tonnes of oxygen, one lakh vials of Remdesivir


Bengaluru: Karnataka has asked the Centre to supply 1,500 metric tonnes of oxygen and one lakh vials of Remdesivir in view of the growing COVID cases in the state.

“We have estimated that in the next one month, we may require 1,500 metric tonnes of oxygen. In this regard, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has written to Union Minister for Railways, Commerce and Industries Piyush Goyal,” state Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar told reporters here on Thursday.

 

He said he too has written to the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan for supply of oxygen.

Sudhakar said the state government had a meeting with the major oxygen generators in the state.

Of them JSW Steel is the largest one.

“We had a meeting with Sajjan Jindal and he has assured us to supply as much oxygen required in the state,” Sudhakar said.

The Minister said after the meeting JSW steel supplied 40 metric tonnes in the last two days required for Bengaluru.

Besides this, the State has demanded additional supply of Remdesivir injections, which is crucial for COVID treatment.

 

According to him, the state has ordered 70,000 vials of Remdesivir injection, of which 20,000 had arrived while the remaining would be supplied in the coming days.

“We have already ordered 70,000 vials of Remdesivir. This besides we have put forth the demand for one lakh Remdesivir vials for which we have written to the Centre,” he added.

To a question as to why the state did not stock enough oxygen beforehand, the Minister said when the cases had reduced, there was no such demand and hence there was no point in storing it.

Now that the cases have gone up the meetings took place to meet the requirement.

 

The minister’s statement came as the demand for oxygen and Remdesivir injection grew in view of the alarming rise of COVID cases, leading to their blackmarketing as well.

The government cracked the whip and arrested a few who were black marketing Remdesivir injection.

However, the shortage persisted.

There, however, is no crackdown on the blackmarketing of oxygen cylinders in the state.

The grim situation could be assessed from the fact that on Wednesday alone, the state reported 23,558 fresh COVID cases and 116 deaths while the active cases in the state has gone up to 1.76 lakh.

 

The active cases comprised 904 patients in the ICU.

Bengaluru Urban district alone contributed more than 70 per cent of the cases and fatalities, prompting Sudhakar to call Bengaluru the epicentre of COVID in Karnataka.

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Russia, retaliating against Washington, asks 10 U.S. diplomats to leave


Russian President Putin attends a session of the Russian Geographical Society in Moscow
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the board of trustees of the Russian Geographical Society via a video conference call in Moscow, Russia April 14, 2021. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

April 16, 2021

By Andrew Osborn

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia on Friday asked 10 U.S. diplomats to leave the country in retaliation for Washington’s expulsion of the same number of Russian diplomats over alleged malign activity and suggested the U.S. ambassador return home for consultations.

The measures, part of a broader retaliatory package, were approved by President Vladimir Putin, as a response to an array of U.S. government sanctions imposed on Moscow a day earlier, including curbs to its sovereign debt market.

Though Moscow responded swiftly and with measures designed to hurt U.S. interests and shrink its diplomatic footprint, it left the door open for dialogue and did not kill off the idea, proposed by President Joe Biden, of a Putin-Biden summit.

“Now is the time for the United States to demonstrate good sense and to turn its back on a confrontational course,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

“Otherwise an array of painful decisions for the American side will be implemented.”

It said it had options to hurt the United States economically and to shrink its diplomatic corps in Russia to just 300 people, but was holding fire for now.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Russia’s response.

Russia-U.S. ties slumped to a new post-Cold War low last month after Biden said he thought Putin was a “killer” and Moscow recalled its ambassador to Washington for consultations. The envoy has still not returned almost a month later.

The Russian foreign ministry said John Sullivan, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, should return home for consultations too.

Washington said its own sanctions were pay back for Russia interfering in last year’s U.S. election, cyber hacking, bullying Ukraine and other alleged malign actions.

Russia denies all the U.S. allegations.

RETALIATION

Moscow’s response was mostly tit-for-tat.

It expelled 10 U.S. diplomats and banned eight high-ranking current and former U.S. officials from entering Russia for their contribution to what it called Washington’s “anti-Russian course”.

Those banned included FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

Others to face an entry ban were Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons Michael Carvajal, Director of the Domestic Policy Council Susan Rice, John Bolton, the former U.S. National Security Advisor, and ex-CIA head Robert James Woolsey.

The Russian foreign ministry said it would also end the activity in Russia of U.S. funds and NGOs which it believes interfere in the country’s internal affairs, while Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister, spoke of potential “painful” measures aimed at U.S. business in Russia.

Other measures were designed to make it harder for the U.S. embassy to staff itself.

Biden, after imposing sanctions on Moscow, had called for a de-escalation in tensions and had said it was vital the White House and Kremlin kept communication lines open.

He has also proposed that he and Putin meet for a summit.

“(Putin) has repeatedly said we’re ready to develop dialogue as much as our counterparts are ready to do so. In this sense it is probably positive that the views of the two heads of state coincide,” Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told reporters before the Russian counter sanctions were unveiled.

“Their views categorically do not coincide when it comes to creating mutually beneficial relations and taking each other’s interests into account,” Peskov added, however.

The foreign ministry said Biden’s Putin summit proposal had been initially well received, but was now being studied in the context of unfolding events.

“We would like to avoid a further escalation with the United States. We are ready for calm and professional dialogue, ” the ministry said.

“However the reality is that we hear one thing from Washington and in practice we see something completely different. There should be no doubt – not a single sanctions ‘wave’ will remain unpunished.”

The Kremlin says Putin has yet to decide whether he will take part in a U.S.-led climate summit next week.

It has also said that it would be hard to quickly organise a Putin-Biden summit.

(Additional reporting by Tom Balmforth, Dmitry Antonov, Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, Andrey Ostroukh and Alexander Marrow in Moscow and by Trevor Hunnicutt in Washington; Editing by Nick Macfie and Alison Williams)

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Brazil asks women to delay pregnancy over new coronavirus variant fears


Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Sao Carlos
A medical worker administers medication to an intubated coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient at a UPA (Emergency Service Unit) in Sao Carlos, Brazil April 16, 2021. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

April 16, 2021

By Eduardo Simões

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil asked women on Friday to delay getting pregnant until the worst of the pandemic passes, saying the virus variant that is devastating the South American country appears to affect expectant mothers more than earlier versions of the coronavirus.

The recommendation comes as Brazil continues to be one of the global epicenters of the pandemic, with more Brazilians dying of the virus each day than anywhere else in the world.

Hospitals are buckling under the strain and stocks of drugs needed for intubating severely ill patients are running perilously low, with Brazil turning to international partners for help with emergency supplies.

“If it’s possible, delay pregnancy a little until a better moment,” Health Ministry official Raphael Parente said during a news conference on Friday.

He said the recommendation was partly due to the stress on the health system but also due to the more easily transmissible Brazilian variant known as P.1.

“The clinical experience of specialists shows that this new variant acts more aggressively in pregnant women,” Parente said.

Previously, COVID-19 cases during pregnancy were focused on the final trimester and birth, whereas lately there have been more serious cases in the second and occasionally first trimester, he said.

Parente did not give any more details.

The P.1 variant, first discovered in the Amazon city of Manaus, has quickly become dominant in Brazil. It is thought to be a major factor behind a massive second wave of infections that has brought the country’s death toll to over 350,000 – the second highest in the world behind the United States.

Brazil’s outbreak is increasingly affecting younger people, with hospital data showing that in March more than half of all patients in intensive care were aged 40 or younger.

President Jair Bolsonaro has opposed lockdowns and held large events in which he often does not wear a mask. He has only recently embraced vaccines as a possible solution, but the inoculation rollout has been plagued by delays and missed targets for getting people inoculated.

This week, vaccinations were stopped in several cities due to a shortage of vaccine supply, according to local media.

The surge in COID-19 cases has also left hospitals short of sedatives needed for patients who require mechanical ventilation.

An emergency shipment of the drugs arrived in Brazil late on Thursday from China, while donations from Spain are expected to arrive next week.

Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have both sounded the alarm over shortages, with Sao Paulo’s health secretary saying this week that the city’s ability to care for seriously ill COVID-19 patients is on the verge of collapse.

Despite the shortage of drugs and 85% of intensive care beds occupied, Sao Paulo announced on Friday it would begin reopening stores and restaurants, saying the number of new hospitalizations had fallen sufficiently to do so safely.

(Reporting by Eduardo Simoes, writing by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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AFL asks Collingwood to explain phone incident during loss to West Coast Eagles



Collingwood has been issued a “please explain” by the AFL after stars Jordan De Goey and Jeremy Howe were spotted with their phones midway through Friday night’s loss to West Coast.

The injured Magpies pair left the ground and headed for treatment in the change rooms, with De Goey (concussion/broken nose) caught on a TV camera picking up two phones and giving one to Howe (hamstring).

AFL rules bar players from using their phones during matches due to integrity concerns, with only 10 people per club allowed to access them.

Players are expected to hand over their phones to a club compliance officer before the start of each match, with the devices then placed in a secure box.

The AFL confirmed it had requested the club explain the actions of the two players.

Collingwood’s season is on thin ice at 1-4 and it faces a defining match against Essendon on Anzac Day.

Coach Nathan Buckley is keen to continue the Darcy Moore experiment despite the side’s defensive struggles in the 27-point loss in Perth.

Moore was swung into attack in a bid to fix the Magpies’ goalscoring woes, and the All-Australian defender finished with three goals and eight marks from nine disposals.

“It’s not a one-week thing. We need to get a little bit more evidence to see if that’s something sustainable going forward,” Buckley said.

“He looked dangerous at times. It’s going to take him time to get a handle on it.

“The last time he played forward, the game was pretty different. So that’s going to take time. But we needed to change things up, we’re looking to get better.”

Buckley cut a flat and frustrated figure after Friday night’s loss, with the pressure ramping up on the out-of-contract coach to turn the season around.

AAP

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Tech glitch: Sebi asks NSE board to fix ‘individual responsibilities’ within 21 days


Mumbai: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has asked the board of National Stock Exchange (NSE) to determine why the exchange’s management failed to shift to the disaster recovery site within the specified time frame on February 24, when trading halted for nearly four hours due to technical glitch. The regulator has asked the exchange’s board to fix ‘individual responsibilities’ for the fiasco within 21 days.

At present, if there is a technical glitch stock exchanges are required to declare that incident as disaster within two hours and take measures to restore operations including from disaster recovery site within two hours from the declaration of disaster.

Sebi has also directed NSE to implement within 90 days the functionality of updating the collaterals at the ‘slave system’ of NCL (NSE Clearing Ltd) placed at data center of BSE and MSEI.

NSE has also been directed to connect the trading system at its primary site to the slave system of NCL placed at data center of BSE and MSEI.

The regulator said NSE presented its detailed root cause analysis report before its technical advisory committee(TAC) on Monday.

Based on the Sebi panel’s suggestion, the regulator said unannounced live trading sessions will have to be conducted from disaster recovery site (DRS) of stock exchanges within a notice of four hours from the regulator before the start of the trading session from April 2021 and within 45 minutes from July 2021.

In the event of disruption in stock exchanges system, they will have to declare the incident as disaster within 30 minutes and restore operations including from disaster recovery site within 45 minutes from the declaration of disaster, Sebi said.

“MIIs (market infrastructure institutions) shall study the feasibility of intra-day shifting from Primary Site to DR site with a notice of 45 minutes from SEBI,” the regulator said in a circular on Monday.

Sebi also said stock exchanges should prepare comprehensive testing plan and build sufficient redundancy in its systems in order to mitigate impact of any unforeseen technical glitch. It must also ensure that failure of any subsystem would not impact other critical systems of stock exchanges.



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Half-price flights on offer as Government asks Australians to holiday for cheap at home


The federal government will halve the price of nearly 800,000 airline tickets as part of a $1.2 billion package aimed at getting more Australians to spend big on domestic holidays.

The move is designed to prop up ailing parts of the tourism and aviation sectors, which have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and which fear the end of the JobKeeper program later this month.

Between April and July, a 50 per cent discount on tickets will be offered for flights to and from 13 regions that normally rely heavily on international visitors.

The destinations are the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays region, the Sunshine Coast, the Lasseter region which includes Uluru, Alice Springs, Launceston, Devonport, Burnie, Broome, Avalon, Merimbula and Kangaroo Island.

Routes and the precise number of tickets will be driven by demand and are still being discussed with airlines, but it is estimated an average of 46,000 half-price fares will be offered each week mostly with Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar.

They will be available for sale on airline websites from April 1.

Senior government ministers hope this new package will encourage cashed-up Australians, who normally travel to Bali or Europe during Autumn and Winter, to instead spend their money at home.

They say a flight from Melbourne to the Gold Coast could be as cheap as $60 and boost traffic on the route by as much as 40 per cent.

“This package will take more tourists to our hotels and cafes, taking tours and exploring our backyard,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

“Our tourism businesses don’t want to rely on government support forever.

Many of the initial destinations included in the program are in marginal or winnable electorates for the government.

However, it insists the program is targeted at locations that still have the highest dependence on JobKeeper, international tourists and domestic flights.

More locations and routes may also be included later in the year, depending on demand.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the package was about more than just encouraging Australians to travel domestically.

“We’re also backing the workforces of our international airlines and the teams and infrastructure they need,” he said.

The Government will provide support to Qantas and Virgin to keep 8,600 international flight workers employed and planes in a condition to resume service when borders reopen.

Private equity firm Bain Capital bought Virgin for $3.5 billion in November.

Training and accreditation for ground crew will also be subsidised until the end of September.

Existing support, like waivers for airport security charges, relief from Airservices Australia fees, subsidies for regional routes and international freight assistance have also been extended to September.

Zoos and aquariums will also have their financial support extended for another six months, while struggling small and medium businesses will also be eligible for loans worth up to $5 million over a 10-year period.

In recent days, the Labor Opposition has ramped up its calls for the Government to extend the JobKeeper program to specific industries, like tourism and aviation, warning of the potential for widespread job losses.

On Wednesday, Tourism spokesman Don Farrell said: “The Morrison Government is asking cash-strapped families to spend their money on saving Australia’s tourism industry when it isn’t prepared to do the same thing itself.

“While an announcement might be on the horizon, support is long overdue and will be too late for many.”

The government warns the success of the domestic travel scheme could depend heavily on whether premiers will vow to keep their borders open, giving travellers confidence they can get to and from their destinations.

Tourism Minister Dan Tehan spoke with his state and territory colleagues on Tuesday, urging them to do what they can to avoid lockdowns or travel restrictions.

“We want to see that only as a last result,” Mr Tehan said.

“As the vaccine is increasingly rolled out we want people travelling, we want people spending.”

Notes: “Marginal” reflects seats within a swing of 6 per cent

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Latrobe Valley community asks if electric vehicle factory will ever be built


Community members in Latrobe Valley want clarity about whether an electric vehicle factory will go ahead, more than two years after it was announced ahead of the 2018 Victorian state election.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced a deal with the company SEA Electric, to create 500 jobs building electric vans, during a visit to the region on the eve of the election campaign.

The project was the centrepiece of the government’s response to the closure of the Hazelwood power station and its attempt to recover the marginal seat of Morwell.

But more than two years later, a site has not been secured and the company said it needed to modify the agreement for the project to go ahead.

The government said its support “is contingent on the company meeting milestones set out in the agreement,” and has not paid any money to the company since May 2019.

It would not reveal how much has been paid, saying the matter is commercial in confidence.

Independent Morwell MP Russell Northe said he believed the factory would never come to fruition and the government needed to be clear about its future.

“If it’s not going ahead, at least come forward — tell the community the reasons why it’s not going ahead and look at other options for the Latrobe Valley community,” Mr Northe said.

Since the deal was announced, SEA Electric has shifted its focus to international markets and the company’s chief executive Tony Fairweather is now based in the United States.

He said the company would like to proceed with the Latrobe Valley factory, provided the focus could shift away from producing vans towards electric buses and battery packaging.

Last year, Parliament’s Public Accounts and Estimates Committee heard the factory had been delayed after a dispute with Westpac bank regarding a $7 million trade finance facility that needed to be repaid and closed.

Mr Fairweather said there was ample finance for electric vehicles available in the US and the issues with Westpac “pretty much sums up the challenges associated with [electric vehicles in] Australia at the moment”.

But he said despite the greater opportunities abroad, he still wanted to develop the business in Australia and “deliver on” the commitment to build a factory in the Latrobe Valley.

“So if the state has the ability to vary our terms in the agreement to look at the different structuring of what we’re doing down there … then we’re open to that,” Mr Fairweather said.

He said if that was not possible, the company could explore other opportunities in Australia.

Victorian Regional Development Minister Mary-Anne Thomas declined a request for an interview, but a spokesperson issued a statement which said the Government had supported SEA Electric “and its promise to deliver jobs for Victoria and the Latrobe Valley in particular”.

“While we are disappointed that the company has not yet been able to meet its commitment, our support for their project is contingent on the company meeting milestones set out in the agreement. As such, no Victorian Government financial support has been provided since May 2019,” the spokesperson said.

“Future milestone payments to SEA Electric are conditional on the company hiring additional workers from the Latrobe Valley; finalising a site, and entering into a contract for the construction of the new facility.

The spokesperson declined to say whether the government would renegotiate its agreement with SEA Electric as “the terms of the arrangements between SEA Electric and the Victorian Government are commercial in confidence”.

Ms Thomas last month revealed the Government was providing funding for four SEA Electric employees who live in the Latrobe Valley to travel to the company’s Dandenong factory as part of the agreement, in response to questions from the Opposition.

Behind closed doors in September 2019, the Latrobe City Council considered a request from SEA Electric to become the lead tenant at the council’s planned Gippsland Logistics Precinct in Morwell.

Latrobe City mayor Sharon Gibson said the council hoped the project would “kick start” the logistics precinct, leading to more jobs and hoped the Government and the company would “work through” any issues.

“Council has worked really hard with the company. The company have not come back to us with any issues [about the site agreement],” Cr Gibson said.

Wendy Farmer, from community group Voices of the Valley, said the community wanted certainty on whether the project would go ahead.

“If it’s a dead deal, let us know it’s a dead deal. If we can work with the company and work with government to make it happen, let’s make it happen,” Ms Farmer said.

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PM Modi asks party leaders to educate farmers, build grassroots support for new laws


The farmers’ agitation and the forthcoming Assembly polls in five states dominated the discourse at the one-day BJP conclave of national office-bearers on Sunday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed the cadre to spread the word from the grassroots level up about the benefits that will accrue to farmers from the three farm laws and other good governance measures.

With the farmers’ protest showing no sign of ending soon, the BJP meeting dedicated most of its political resolution to how the farm laws will help farmers at all stages – from the production of the crop, to storage and farmers getting the right price for their crop. The party has decided to launch a 15-day campaign to reach out to farmers on the three laws and educate them about its benefits.

The campaign will also “expose the false propaganda” of the Congress-led Opposition on the issue. The conclave, the first such exercise where leaders were physically present since the Covid pandemic began in March 2020, also discussed the broad strategy for the poll-bound states of West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry. Those incharge of these states presented reports on the prospects and the challenges facing the party in the April-May elections. Other than the national office-bearers, the BJP state unit presidents, state general secretaries (organisation), and leaders appointed as incharge and co-incharge of states also attended the meeting.

Speaking at the inaugural session, Modi said BJP does not work with the sole aim of winning elections and coming to power but also with the mission of bringing all-round development of the country. He said the party should increase its political presence with this motto in mind. He enumerated various measures like the Goods and Services Tax, the farm laws and the Covid fightback which have helped the country. Modi underlined that a “positive atmosphere” for development prevails in the country and this will help the economy grow and bring in investment.

BJP passed a political resolution which laid emphasis on the farm laws, the way the Covid pandemic was handled by the Modi government and the great job done by our scientists in developing two vaccines. The resolution congratulated Modi for not only saving lives but also taking care of the poor and the migrants through PM Garib Kalyan plan, providing free ration to 80 crore people, direct benefit transfer, and reforms in the labour laws. The resolution also emphasised that the TMC dispensation in West Bengal which is “undemocratic, oppressive and practices appeasement politics” has to be thrown out in the elections. BJP vice-president Mukul Roy later presented a report on the challenges facing the party in the state and the road ahead towards achieving victory in the polls.

Earlier, in his speech, the Prime Minister had praised the work of the party in West Bengal, saying a lot has been achieved but more needs to be done to win the state. BJP also expressed confidence of retaining Assam and is hopeful of coming to power in Puducherry. In Tamil Nadu, the party is pinning its hopes on alliance partner AIADMK to improve its seat tally while in Kerala it is working on emerging as the third pole after the Congress and the Left.

Delivering the valedictory address, BJP chief JP Nadda announced that the party will launch a 15-day campaign to reach out to farmers from the block and district level up to the states on the farm laws. The BJP members will meet farmers and strengthen Farmer Produce Organisations (FPOs) aimed at supporting them. The cadre will also talk to tribal communities on efforts initiated to improve their livelihood through the Van Dhan scheme. The party cadre has also been directed to inform people about efforts being made to make India Aatmanirbhar (self-reliant).



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6 elephants die in 14 days in Odisha sanctuary; CM asks authorities to take steps


Bhawanipatna: After six elephants died in just 14 days at Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha’s Kalahandi district, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday asked the authorities to take immediate measures to stop the fatalities.

One more female elephant was found dead near a waterbody in the Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary, a forest official said.

Earlier, four female pachyderms and a calf have died there since February 1.

According to the 2018 census the sanctuary had 17 elephants.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Kalahandi South Division Ashok Kumar and his team and veterinary doctors are camping in the area undertaking surveillance.

“The death of elephants is due to Haemorrhage Septicemia (HS),” the DFO said.

However, the DFO said that there was no report of the death of other animals in the sanctuary and the cattle entering the forest from nearby villages.

Expressing concern over the series of pachyderm deaths, the chief minister directed the departments of Forest and Environment and Animal Resources to consult experts of the Odisha and outside in order to stop further death of jumbos.

During a review meeting held through video conference, Patnaik also directed the district administration of Kalahandi and the DFO to ensure vaccination of cattle in villages close to the sanctuary.

He said that all the water bodies in the sanctuary should be disinfected and water samples should be sent to labs for tests.

Official sources said that there are at least 43 water bodies in the sanctuary of which 25 have been disinfected so far.

Coordinator from Centre for Wildlife Health, OUAT (Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology), Bhubaneswar, Niranjan Sahu after visiting Karlapat sanctuary said: “The death of elephants is believed to be by HS. The postmortem report and laboratory report of one dead elephant is hinting at HS.”

Cattle get infected by HS if not vaccinated, Sahu said, adding that this is perhaps the first incident where elephants are also infected with HS.

He said vaccination of domesticated cattle in the villages located inside the sanctuary and sanitization is in progress by veterinary staff supported by forest staff.

Chief District Veterinary Officer (CDVO) Dr Chaitanya Sethi said that as of now there is no reported death of domesticated cattle in the area due to HS.

Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over 175 square kilometre area and is famous for lush green dry deciduous forest, varieties of flora and fauna and animals like, elephant, leopard, Gaur, Sambar, barking deer, Indian wolf, wild dog, wild pig, sloth bear, Malbar giant squirrel and Pangolin.

This apart a variety of birds like peafowl, peacock, hornbill, Red jungle fowl, partridges, Spurfawl, Hill Myna, Brahminy kite and reptilian fauna includes Mugger, crocodile, monitor lizard, snakes both poisonous and non-poisonous are found in the sanctuary.

The forest consists of flora like Sal, Bija, Asan, Harida, Amala, Bahada and Bamboo and varieties of medicinal plants.



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