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New Delhi, Mar 27 (PTI) These are the top stories at 10 pm: NATION DEL31 LDALL VIRUS Increase testing, Centre to 12 states, UTs reporting surge in cases as India records sharpest weekly rise since May last New Delhi: As India recorded the sharpest rise in weekly COVID-19 cases since May last, the Centre on Saturday came out with a five-point containment strategy for the 12 states and Union territories reporting a surge that included exponential increase in testing while the worst affected Maharashtra announced a complete ban on all types of gatherings.

DEL32 DL-VIRUS-DDMA DDMA puts cap on number of guests at marriage, other events in Delhi after surge in COVID cases New Delhi: In view of recent surge in coronavirus cases in the national capital, the Delhi government on Saturday put a cap of 200 guests in marriage and other events being organised at open-air venues and of 100 people for closed spaces in the city.

DEL28 EC-POLLS Nearly 80 per cent turnout in W Bengal, over 72 per cent in Assam till 5 PM:EC New Delhi: A voter turnout of 79.79 percent was recorded in West Bengal and 72.14 percent in Assam till 5 PM on Saturday in the first phase of assembly elections in these states, the Election Commission said.

CAL25 WB-LD POLL-MAMATA-TAPE-CONTROVERSY BJP claims Mamata sought help of party leader to win Nandigram, TMC hits back Kolkata: A huge controversy erupted on Saturday amid the polling for 30 assembly seats in West Bengal, with the BJP releasing an audio clip where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is purportedly heard cajoling a saffron party leader from Nandigram to rejoin the TMC and help her win the seat.

DEL30 PB-BJP-2NDLD MLA BJP MLA thrashed, clothes torn by protesting farmers in Punjab's Muktsar Chandigarh: A BJP MLA in Punjab was allegedly thrashed and his clothes torn by a group of farmers at Malout in Muktsar district on Saturday, police said.

DEL18 DL-PROTECTION-INTERFAITH MARRIAGES Delhi govt issues SOP for protection of interfaith couples; sets up 'special cell', 24-hr helpline New Delhi: The Delhi government has issued a standard operating procedure (SoP) for the protection of inter-faith and inter-caste couples from harassment and threats and directed setting up of 'special cells', headed by deputy commissioners of police, to look into such matters.

LEGAL LGD4 DL-COURT-RIOTS-LAWYER Delhi Court appoints Local Commissioner to oversee sealing of advocate Mehmood Pracha's computer New Delhi: A court here on Saturday appointed a Local Commissioner (LC) and directed the police to coordinate with him a visit to advocate Mehmood Pracha's office to seal his computer in a case of alleged tutoring of a witness in connection with the north-east Delhi riots.

FOREIGN FGN49 PM-BANGLA-3RDLD MATUA India, B'desh want stability, love and peace instead of instability, terror and unrest in world: PM Modi Dhaka: India and Bangladesh want stability, love and peace instead of instability, terror and unrest in the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday as he underlined that the two friendly neighbours want to see the world progressing through their own development.

FGN50 BANGLA-INDIA-TRAIN Modi, Hasina jointly launch new passenger train between India and Bangladesh Dhaka: A new passenger train connecting Dhaka and New Jalpaiguri on the Indian side was inaugurated jointly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina via a video conference on Saturday. PTI SNE