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2021 in photos part 2 — Covid pyres burn all day, police of 2 states clash, a deadly ambush

An Assam Rifles Colonel was killed along with his wife, son & four other soldiers in a terrorist ambush in Manipur. This year also saw the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, which dominated headlines for weeks.

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New Delhi: In 2021, the second Covid wave hit the country like a tidal wave. As the virus spread like wildfire, there was a shortage of hospital beds, medicines and oxygen. Countless people lost their lives gasping for breath, some even before they could access treatment.

The most heart-breaking sights were witnessed at hospitals, cremation and burial grounds where people queued up in hundreds to bid goodbye to loved ones. Crematoriums and burial grounds functioned round the clock to accommodate the dead. Mass cremations were held often.

As the second Covid wave ravaged the country, the government ramped up its vaccination programme. And healthcare workers worked extra hard to ensure the vaccines reached the remotest corners of the country.

Away from Covid, the news cycle threw up several significant events. The Kashi Vishwanath Dham Project — a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which was launched in 2018 — went on in full swing. Spread across an area of 5 lakh square feet, the project aims to provide world-class facilities to pilgrims who visit the Kashi Vishwanath temple, a shrine to Shiva. The PM inaugurated the first phase of the project earlier this month.

One of the biggest news stories was a clash that erupted between the police forces of two states in the northeast. The clash between the Assam and Mizoram police left six personnel dead and 50 others injured.

Meanwhile, in a terrorist ambush in Manipur, an Assam Rifles Colonel was killed along with four other soldiers. What makes this ambush particularly heartrending is the fact that the colonel’s wife and eight-year-old son were killed in the attack as well.

Many a big story emerged from Kashmir too. Apart from the spate of civilian killings, a big controversy erupted over an encounter in Hyderpora in November that led to the death of a suspected Pakistani terrorist, and three local residents, of whom police have alleged militant links for two. However, the families of all three have described them as innocent. An investigation in the matter is under way.

Here’s a look at some of these events from the lens of ThePrint National Photo Editor Praveen Jain.

Family members stand between burning pyres at the Seemapuri crematorium | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Family members grieve near a burning pyre at the Seemapuri crematorium in Delhi. During the second Covid wave, the cremation ground often had numerous pyres burning at the same time | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A woman grieves after the death of a family member at Isanpur crematorium | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A woman grieves after the death of a family member, at Isanpur crematorium in Ahmedabad in May | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
| Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Smoke billows continuously from the chimney of a crematorium in Gujarat as ambulances wait in queue with more bodies of Covid victims | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
The Mizoram Police post (left) and the Assam border post at Kulichera are separated by just a nullah | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A nullah is all that stands between a Mizoram Police post (left) and the Assam border post at Kulichera. In July, a post built by Mizoram Police had led to a clash between them and their Assam counterparts, leaving six personnel dead and 50 others injured. While Mizoram Police claimed they built the post to ‘secure their area’, the Assam Police claimed the post was being built in an inner line forest reserve area, which was illegal | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
The post constructed by Mizoram Police at the disputed site | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
The post constructed by Mizoram Police at the disputed site | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Soldier R.P. Meena’s daughter lays flowers on the coffin carrying his body at Imphal airport Sunday | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Soldier R.P. Meena’s daughter lays flowers on his coffin at Imphal airport. Meena was among the soldiers killed in the ambush at Manipur’s Churachandpur district in November | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A team of healthcare workers on their way to a vaccination drive in Kashmir's Naranag village in Ganderbal district | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A team of healthcare workers on their way to conduct a vaccination drive in Kashmir’s Naranag village in Ganderbal district | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A medical team, including Asha workers, at a vaccination centre in Srinagar’s Abidal | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A medical team, including ASHA workers, at a vaccination centre in Srinagar’s Abidal | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Altaf Bhatt's widow Mariyam with her daughter Nyfa grieving at their house in Srinagar. | Photo: Praveen Jain/ThePrint
Mariyam, the widow of Altaf Bhat, who was one of the civilians killed in the Hyderpora encounter, and her daughter Nyfa grieve at their house in Srinagar | Photo: Praveen Jain/ThePrint
Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha at his residence, the Raj Bhawan | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha at his residence, the Raj Bhawan | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Construction workers carrying out work at the main gate of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham Project | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Construction workers put finishing touches on the main gate of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham project. The first phase of the project was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi early December | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A construction worker at the Kashi Vishwanath Dham site | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Construction workers involved in the Kashi Vishwanath redevelopment project | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Families of those killed wait outside the mortuary of the district hospital in Lakhimpur Kheri | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Families of those killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence wait outside the mortuary of the district hospital. In October, Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra, allegedly mowed down protesting farmers in Tikonia village in Uttar Pradesh. Eight people were killed in the incident, including some members of the minister’s convoy in the ensuing violence. Ashish, the main accused in the case, is currently in police custody | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Journalists were given special access to the Ram Janmabhoomi, where the Ram Temple is currently under construction | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Journalists were given special access to the Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya, where the Ram Temple is currently under construction | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma with daughter Kaiyyan at their residence in Shillong | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma with daughter Kaiyyan at their residence in Shillong | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
CM Mamata Banerjee addressing her last election rally at Jadu Babu Bazaar Sunday | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses her last bypoll rally in Bhabanipur constituency’s Jadu Babu Bazar in September | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives Russian President Vladimir Putin at Hyderabad House| Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives Russian President Vladimir Putin at Hyderabad House in early December | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav adjusts his cap as he arrives to support the suspended Rajya Sabha MPs who have been staging a protest near a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Parliament complex | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav adjusts his cap as he arrives to support the suspended Rajya Sabha MPs who protested near a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Parliament complex during the winter session in December | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint

(Edited by Gitanjali Das)


Also Read: 2021 a bloody year for military aviation: CDS among 22 dead in 11 crashes, 5 involving MiG-21s


 

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