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Shimla’s NRI Family Recalls Cruel Joke Played by KLM Airlines Amid Corona Crisis   

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Shimla NRI Family stopped fro boarding flight

Shimla-With his wife and his three-year-old-daughter Arvind, an NRI, had to travel to Delhi from Shimla and then back from Delhi to Shimla, risking their lives by traveling amid COVID-19 crisis. The family has permanent residency of Norway and, was to catch their flight (KLM Airlines) on May 5, 2020. It was a special flight to Europe and the family had the permission of the Norwegian embassy. They had booked the flight after receiving written permission issued by the embassy informing them about the special flight.

However, on reaching the Indira Gandhi International Airport, the staff of KLM Airlines did not let the family board the flight. Alongiwth this family, several other Indians were prohibited from boarding the same flight despite all permissions. They were not shown any directions or orders prohibiting their travel to Europe.

But that was not all. What happened after the family returned to Shimla was the real joke.

While speaking to Himachal Watcher telephonically, Arvind termed it mental and physical harassment and racial discrimination they faced at the hands of the KLM staff. He had also recorded a video at the Airport, which he shared with HW.

Here is the whole story in Arvind’s Own Words:

‘’My heart laments to share what happened with us on the night of 4th May. I along with my family (wife and 3 years daughter) had a KLM flight( KL872) from Delhi to Amsterdam at 3.00 am on 5th May. We travelled almost 400 KM from Shimla to Delhi on 3rd May in the lockdown period to board the aforesaid flight. However, to our surprise, we were not allowed to board the KLM flight KL872 despite I being Permanent Residency holder of Norway.

The reason given to us was that due to some changes in regulations it is not allowed for us to board the flight as we don’t have EU passports, neither do we have someone in our blood relation who has an EU passport. While I booked a flight from the KLM website on 27th April, no such information or regulation was there. Neither were we informed by the KLM authorities by phone about the changes regulation. The KLM staff was not at all friendly especially Duty Station Manager Mr Ajay Goel did not help us in any way, rather he created unnecessary hassles. When we asked Mr. Ajay Goel to show us the regulation which he was referring to, he did not show it to us saying it was confidential.

Thus, violating the Right to Information (RTI) act 2005. Although the Norwegian Embassy representative also intervened and told Mr. Ajay Goel that the embassy had special permission for us from Ministry of External Affairs to board the flight, but still we were refuted by Mr. Ajay Goel to board the flight.

Shimla NRI Family 2

In response to Mr. Ajay Goel’s aberrant behaviour of not providing us any written documentation for not allowing us to board the flight, I had to film a small video as evidence for my future reference. We risked our lives during Covid-19 to reach Delhi from Shimla all for nothing. On top of that, we were told to leave the airport at 3.00 am without any assistance from KLM.

Thereafter we had to book a taxi back to the hotel and also back to Shimla (400km back). Furthermore, now we are home quarantined deprived of our freedom for 14 days and constantly under the fear of being a COVID carrier, due to irresponsible behaviour and attitude of KLM employees on duty.

To further aggravate the situation, I received a call from KLM customer care on 07th May, stating that the rule has now changed, hence we can now travel on the next flight scheduled on 10th May. However, I still doubt the verity of the statement made by KLM customer care.

This entire incident has affected me and my family, mentally, physically and financially, hence , I demand justice from the authorities and concerned people especially KLM India.

Arvind has also filed a complaint against the KLM staff and claimed damages on account of mental agonies and physical harassment/abuses/ racial discrimination.

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Vaccination of 15-18 Year Age Group in India from Jan 3, Precautionary Dose for Frontline Workers from Jan 10

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teenage vaccination in india

New Delhi-India will begin vaccination of the children in the age group of 15-18 years from 3rd January 2022. The move is likely to aid in education normalization in schools. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Narender Modi on Saturday evening. He also announced a precaution dose (booster dose) for healthcare and frontline workers from 10th January 2022, Monday.

In India, this has been called the ‘precaution dose’ not booster dose. An option of precaution dose will be available for senior citizens above 60 years of age with co-morbidities on the advice of their doctors from 10th January 2022. 

Referring to the Omicron infections In India, the Prime Minister requested the people not to panic and to follow precautions such as masks and washing hands repeatedly.

According to the Government, the vaccination campaign started on 16th January this year has crossed the mark of 141 crore doses, and 61 percent of the adult population of the country has received both the vaccines and 90 percent of adults have received one dose.

According to the Government statistics, currently, the country has 18 lakh isolation beds, 5 lakh oxygen supported beds, 1 lakh 40 thousand ICU beds, 90 thousand ICU and Non-ICU beds especially for children, more than 3 thousand PSA oxygen plants, 4 lakh oxygen cylinders and support to states is being provided for buffer doses and testing.

The Prime Minister assured that soon the country will develop a nasal vaccine and the world’s first DNA vaccine.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

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Three Farm Laws to be Withdrawn, Announces PM Modi Ahead of Elections in Punjab and UP

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farm laws withdrawn

New Delhi: Ahead of assembly polls in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narender Modi on Friday retreated from his stand on the three contentious farm laws and announced that the government will repeal three laws. He requested the protesting farmers to end the protest that has been going on for over a year now.

He said the three laws would be repealed in the winter session of Parliament starting later this month. He also said that though the laws were in the interest of the farmers, his government failed to convince them.

The Prime Minister chose the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti to make this announcement. The decision is being perceived as an attempt to appease the farmers, especially in Punjab ahead of the assembly polls. Also, the results of by-poll held in various states are being seen as a setback to the ruling government that compelled it to reconsider its stand on the farm bills.  

The Prime Minister said, “today I have come to tell you, the whole country, that we have decided to withdraw all three agricultural laws. In the Parliament session starting later this month, we will complete the constitutional process to repeal these three agricultural laws”.

It’s pertinent to mention that the Centre government had to announce a cut in taxes on petrol and diesel right after the results of bye polls were declared.

The three contentious bills are The Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill.

The opposition Congress and farmers’ bodies have termed it a victory of their unity against the government’s decision. Former Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh was one of the first to welcome the decision through a Tweet.

 

 

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Himachal Kisan Sabha Condemns Alleged Mowing Down of Protesting Farmers by Minister’s Son, Calls it “Ghastly” and “Inhuman”

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Himachak Kisan Sabha

Shimla-Himachal Kisan Sabha has condemned the incident where four farmers were allegedly run over by vehicles in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, terming it a “ghastly” and “inhuman” act. The Sabha paid tribute to the martyred farmers and demanded immediate arrest of Ashish Mishra – son of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra – and other accused and book them under Section 302 (murder).

The farmers have alleged that three SUVs that mowed down protesting farmers were part of the convoy of the Union Minister of State. The farmers alleged that Minister’s son was behind the wheel in one of these SUVs. Following this incident, violence broke out that killed four more persons. The Minister, however, denied the allegations. 

Kisan Sabha also demanded that an inquiry should be conducted into the incident by a Supreme Court Judge. The Sabha also demanded that the Union Minister of State should be suspended with immediate effect.

Sabha said that it’s extremely shameful that the Centre government is attempting to end farmers protest against three Farm Laws in a dictatorial way by means of violence.

“On September 25, 2021, Union Minister of State, Ajay Mishra, had threatened to end the farmers protest within two minutes in a public meeting, and now his son has been alleged of mowing down farmers,” said State President of Himachal Kisan Sabha, Dr Kuldeep Singh Tanwar.

“The execution of this ghastly act merely one day after the non-violence day clearly reflects that the current Centre Government has no belief in democracy. The government wants to suppress dissenting voices rising against it at any cost,” Tanwar added.

Dr Tanwar further added that protests would be staged against this “barbaric” act in Himachal Pradesh too. The sacrifice of martyred farmers won’t go in vain, and it would only strengthen the farmers’ protest, he added.  

Meanwhile, following this incident, Priyanka Gandhi, who was on her way to Lakhimpur to meet the affected families, was detained by police, while Akhilesh Yadav – former Chief Minister of UP and president of Samajwadi Party- was put under house arrest ahead of his scheduled visit.

 

 

 

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