Mumbai, Jan 4 (PTI) Following are the top stories from the Western Region at 1700 HRS.

·3-min read

BOM8 GJ-VACCINE-PRADHAN Those doubting vaccine efficacy mentally challenged: Pradhan Surat: Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday termed as mentally challenged those opposing the efficacy of coronavirus vaccines made in India.

BOM5 MP-VACCINE-CHOUHAN Will take vaccine after priority groups are inoculated: MP CM Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said he will take the COVID-19 vaccine shot after priority groups get vaccinated.

BOM6 GJ-VACCINE-RUPANI Gujarat fully equipped for COVID-19 vaccination: Rupani Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Monday said the state is fully equipped for the COVID-19 vaccination drive and will begin the process as soon as the central government announces the plan.

BOM4 MH-COURT-MALEGAON Malegaon blast case: BJP MP Pragya Thakur appears in court Mumbai: BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon blast case of 2008, appeared before a special NIA court here on Monday.

BOM10 GA-ANTARCTICA-EXPEDITION Scientific expedition to Antarctica to leave from Goa on Jan 6 Panaji: India's 40th scientific expedition to Antarctica will leave on a ship from Goa on Wednesday with 43 members, less than half of the conventional strength of 100, due to COVID-19 restrictions, officials said on Monday.

BOM9 GA-ARCTIC-MISSION Paused by COVID-19,India's Arctic expedition to resume in June Panaji: After a gap of a year due to COVID-19 pandemic, India's annual expedition to the Arctic will resume this year in the month of June, a senior Union government official said on Monday.

BOM3 GJ-FARMER SUICIDE Farmer commits suicide in Gujarat over delay in housing aid Mahisagar: A 70-year-old farmer has allegedly committed suicide in Gujarat's Mahisagar district, apparently over delay in release of funds to construct a house sanctioned to him under a government scheme, police said on Monday.

BOM1 MH-SCHOOLS-AURANGABAD Maha: Schools reopen in Aurangabad, 2 teachers test +ve Aurangabad: Schools reopened for classes 9 and 10 in Maharashtra's Aurangabad district on Monday, even as two teachers have tested positive for coronavirus, a civic official said.

BOM2 MH-PANCHAYAT POLL-ATTACK Maha: Gram panchayat poll candidate's car set ablaze in Thane Thane: Unidentified persons on Monday set ablaze the car of a candidate contesting the upcoming gram panchayat polls in Maharashtra's Thane district, police said.

BES5 CG-NAXAL-NABBED Naxal with Rs 1 lakh reward held in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur Bijapur: A Naxal wanted for attacks on police and kidnapping of civilians as well as other serious offences was arrested from Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district, an official said on Monday.

BES9 MH-AURANGABAD-RENAMING-PATIL Aurangabad name change acceptable to all, says Maha BJP chief Pune: Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil on Monday said renaming of Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar was 'acceptable to all' and his party would pass a resolution on this if it came to power in the civic body there.

BES1 MH-VIRUS-THANE Maha: 379 new COVID-19 cases in Thane, 5 more deaths Thane: Thane has recorded 379 new cases of coronavirus, raising the infection tally in the Maharashtra district to 2,44,250, an official said on Monday. PTI RSY RSY