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Twenty Four Killed as Police expel 3,000 Protesters of a semi-religious sect from Makeshift Camp in Mathura, India

The occupants were reportedly demanding lower gas prices and the "cancellation" of the election of various members of government

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Kusuma Sarovar Ghat, Mathura. Image source: Wikipedia
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  • Clashes in northern India due to clashes between Police and sect members killed 24 people 
  • 2 police officers were killed while trying to expel 3000 followers
  • The occupants were demanding lower gas prices and the “cancellation” of the election of various members of government

At least 24 people were killed in clashes in Mathura, a city in northern India on Thursday June 2, when police tried to evacuate a park illegally inhabited by thousands of sect members.

Two police officers were among those killed while attempting to expel around 3,000 followers of a semi-religious sect who had been illegally occupying the patch of land in the city of Mathura for two years.

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Hundreds of members of the Swadhin Bharat Vidhik Satyagrah group were arrested during the evacuation, which began after authorities won a court order to remove tents and makeshift wooden structures set up by the land occupiers.

This Thursday, June 2, 2016 image made from video shows Indian policemen and paramilitary soldiers near the site of violent clashes in Mathura, India. Image source: AP
This Thursday, June 2, 2016 image made from video shows Indian policemen and paramilitary soldiers near the site of violent clashes in Mathura, India. Image source: AP

The squatters responded to the evacuation with gunfire, some of them shooting from treetops. Hand grenades were also thrown, according to local media.

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“The culprits will not be spared at any cost. The police had gone there to vacate land following court orders,” said Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav of the state of Uttar Pradesh.

The occupants were reportedly demanding lower gas prices and the “cancellation” of the election of various members of government. On social media, group members describe themselves as political revolutionaries inspired by Subhas Chandra Bose, an independence leader who went missing in a military operation in 1945.

-prepared by Saurabh Bodas (inputs from VOA), an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @saurabhbodas96

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Cepheid to Establish Manufacturing Unit for TB Diagnostics in India

Rifampicin is a drug commonly used in treating TB bacteria in first line of treatment

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The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach.
The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach. (IANS)

Expanding its footprint in India, US-based molecular diagnostics company Cepheid Inc on Thursday announced its plans to establish a manufacturing unit in the country to improve Tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics.

Cepheid’s GeneXpert MTB/RIF test is a closed-cartridge-based system that is easy to operate by minimally trained staff and gives results in approximately two hours, speeding the conventional backlog that used to exist in traditional diagnostic methods.

The new manufacturing unit would produce MTB/RIF test cartridges, contribute to the government’s “Make in India” initiative and thus bringing the company’s global expertise in TB diagnostics to India, the company said in a statement.

As part of the plan, Cepheid also unveiled its latest portable, easy-to-use TB-testing system — the GeneXpert Edge — which is expected to be available in India later this year, the company said.

The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach.

“Cepheid recognises the need for technological advancement and is committed to contributing significantly to India’s goal of TB eradication,” said Peter Farrell, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Operations, Cepheid.

Cepheid's Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB)
Cepheid’s Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB).

“We are hopeful that GeneXpert Edge will help eliminate delays in TB diagnostics by providing definitive results within hours and facilitating fast and easy last-mile delivery even in the remote villages of India,” he added.

India has nearly one-fourth of the global TB patients and an estimated 4.8 lakh lives are lost every year due to delayed diagnosis and inadequate treatment and there are above 2.5 million new cases of TB every year. The country aims to eradicate TB by 2025.

Approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2010, more than 1,200 Cepheid’s GeneXpert Systems have been installed in the last two years at various Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) sites in the country and more than 2.5 million cartridges were supplied last year at various centres of Central TB Division (CTD).

Also Read: Fruit Bats Identified As Source Of Nipah Virus Outbreak in Kerala

Cepheid’s Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB) and rifampicin-resistance mutations, which are markers for MDR-TB strains in under two hours.

Rifampicin is a drug commonly used in treating TB bacteria in first line of treatment.

Xpert MTB/RIF tests also have excellent negative predictive value, which allows clinicians to manage TB-negative patients more effectively to prevent unnecessary and costly respiratory isolations. (IANS)