Uttar Pradesh BJP leader Vineet Agarwal Sharda has said Lord Hanuman belonged to the Vaishya community, weeks after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath termed the Hindu deity a Dalit.Mr. Sharda claimed on Thursday that the Vaishya community and Lord Ram come from the same lineage and Lord Hanuman is the adopted son of Lord Ram. Mr. Sharda, however, evaded reply to a question on Adityanath’s remarks. Addressing rallies before the recent Assembly election in Rajasthan, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had said Lord Hanuman belonged to Dalit and tribal communities. “Hanuman was a tribal, a forest-dweller and was deprived. Bajrang Bali worked to connect all Indian communities together, from north to south and east to west. This was his resolve as it was Lord Ram’s wish. Just like him, we should also not rest till we fulfil that wish,” Mr. Adityanath had said. ‘Temple construction ’ On the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, Mr. Sharda said the work was on and would be completed soon.
Five stories in the news for Monday, July 10———MORE EVACUATIONS AS B.C. WILDFIRES WORSENThe wildfire situation in the B.C interior is still escalating. More than 7,000 people had fled their homes by Sunday evening, and emergency officials expect that number to rise as hot, dry, windy conditions continue to fuel more than 200 fires that have charred at least 230 square kilometres. The Ashcroft Indian Reserve is among the hardest hit communities — most of its homes have been gutted. Many tears were shed as evacuated residents returned last night to see all they’d lost to the flames.———FORT MCMURRAY HELPS B.C. FIRE EVACUEESSeeing reports of the wildfire evacuations in British Columbia has brought back stressful memories for residents of Fort McMurray, Alta., who had to flee a devastating fire just over a year ago. But they’ve sprung into action by collecting donations of supplies for first responders, driving those supplies to B.C., and offering advice and guidance for evacuees through a Facebook page.———B.C. FORESTS MORE FIRE-PRONE THAN IN THE PAST: EXPERTIt’s a sad irony — an expert on the subject says British Columbia has become so successful at dousing wildfires that it’s actually made forests more prone to flames. Lori Daniels is an associate professor of forest ecology at UBC. She says increasingly successful firefighting efforts over recent decades have allowed for denser forests with more dead material on the ground. So now when fires ignite Daniels says they’re much more severe and fast-moving.———DELAY IN URGENT SURGERY UPS DEATH RISK: STUDYA new Canadian study suggests patients whose emergency surgeries are delayed due to a lack of operating room resources have an increased risk of death or need extra recovery time in hospital. Researchers at the Ottawa Hospital found surgical delays for patients with serious or life-threatening conditions had almost a 60 per cent higher risk of dying compared to those who received more timely treatment. The study is published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.———ONTARIO SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON $15 MINIMUM WAGEOntario’s bid to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by Jan. 1, 2019 is being put to the public this week. Proposed legislation, which also includes equal pay for part-time workers, increased vacation entitlements and more personal emergency leave, starts committee hearings today. The move is strongly opposed by business groups, but it has the support of some prominent economists.———