Devjyot Ghoshal Profile picture
@Reuters correspondent covering general news and politics in India. Views are those of my paternal grandmother.
Aug 24, 2021 8 tweets 3 min read
Danish Siddiqui.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters photographer was killed on assignment near a dusty border town on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border on July 16.

This is the story of what happened that day - and the events leading up to it.

A thread.… For weeks, a small team of Reuters reporters - @StephenGrey, @char_greenfield, @AlasdairPal, @readelev & I - worked to piece together the sequence of leading up to Danish's death.

We interviewed dozens of people, studied social media, satellite images and Danish's own pictures.
Jun 15, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read

India's govt said it doubled the gap between Covishield shots on the recommendation of an expert group to 12-16 weeks.

But members of NTAGI told us the group hadn't agreed on such a long gap.

@krishnadas56 & I report:… Why does it matter?

AstraZeneca/Covishield accounts for nearly 90% of the 257.5 million vaccine doses administered in India.

So rolling it out efficiently and quickly is key to controlling the pandemic, especially with a dangerous variant already moving around.
Jun 15, 2021 9 tweets 3 min read

The #COVID19 Delta variant is now all over the world.

This is the story of how it all began in a rural Indian district in Feb - and how the Modi govt missed an early alarm, leading to the variant's spread.

@zebatweets & I report.

A thread:… Key findings:

- Top govt officials including Dr VK Paul were warned by a veteran public health expert of a possible variant

- Govt officials played down the possibility of a variant in a private meeting & in public

- Large gatherings like elections continued despite the alarm
May 1, 2021 13 tweets 4 min read

@krishnadas56 and I spoke to around a dozen scientists and officials to piece together the events that led up to India's massive second surge in COVID-19 cases.

We found that the govt had some early warnings but didn't act quickly.

A thread. Our key findings:

- Govt was warned early about potentially dangerous COVID-19 variants

- Large gatherings continue for weeks after, unabated

- By early-mid April, key officials believe large scale lockdowns required

- Days later, PM Modi publicly argues against lockdowns
Jan 26, 2021 7 tweets 5 min read
Tractors have begun streaming out of Singhu border near New Delhi, where thousands of farmers have been protesting for two months.

Police has stood aside, so far.

#RepublicDay2021 The farmers have stopped just ahead of the Outer Ring Road. A number of them want to go straight. A large contingent of police, backed by water cannons and tear gas launchers, are imploring them to go right, as per a planned route.

Jan 25, 2021 10 tweets 5 min read

How does India deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to a health worker in a remote tribal village with spotty mobile connectivity?

@DashJatin, @dansiddiqui & I travelled to Odisha's Koraput district, just as India's vaccination prog started.

Our story:… This is Pendajam, a tiny tribal hamlet in the south Odisha highlands that is home to Reena Jani, a 34-year-old ASHA worker, who was among the first wave of Indians to be vaccinated against COVID-19 earlier this month.
Sep 29, 2020 10 tweets 5 min read

With troops amassed at the border with China and no sign of a drawdown, India is now pushing hard to blast and smash its way through the Himalayas.

Earlier in Sept, @dansiddiqui & I travelled to a road construction project in Ladakh.

Our report: This is the 283-km-long Nimmu-Padam-Darcha highway, along the Zanskar river.

When completed, in an estimated three years, it will be the first road to provide all-year connectivity to Ladakh.

The region is currently cut off for several months each year because of winter snows.
Sep 16, 2020 7 tweets 4 min read

Since tensions escalated with China this summer, India has moved thousands of additional troops to Ladakh.

That's been backed up by a massive military logistics operation.

Yesterday, we got a glimpse into how it works.…

Below: A C-17 lands. In recent months, the military has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh - more than 150,000 tonnes, via two highways and a fleet of large transport aircraft.

You can spot two below.
Sep 2, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
The death of a Tibetan member of an Indian special forces unit in a mine blast near the site of a border flare-up with Chinese troops has offered a rare glimpse into a little-known group of elite, high-altitude warriors.

@rupamjn & I report:… The solider - part of the little known Special Frontier Force - was killed and another commando critically wounded in the blast near the shores of the Pangong Tso lake in the western Himalayas, three Indian government officials and two members of his family told Reuters.
Sep 1, 2020 6 tweets 3 min read
A story on the $13 (or less) device that is helping Delhi fight the coronavirus.

Delhi’s govt has so far distributed pulse oximeters to more than 32,000 people for free, putting them at the heart of its home isolation plan.… The home isolation plan was devised in May, when the city's COVID-19 cases started spiking and hospital beds running short.

“If we hadn’t done this, there would’ve been no room to even stand in our hospitals,” Delhi’s health minister @SatyendarJain told me in an interview.
Aug 17, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
This is the story of Ashish Kumar.

Until late March, he was making boxes for Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

Now, he is jobless and stuck at home - among the millions of young Indians whose lives have been upended by the virus.

@Saurabhsherry and I report.… In school, Ashish was obsessed with plastics.

But his aspirations were a far cry from his father's early years in Dutta Nagar, where the family often didn't have enough food or clothes to wear.

“I thought that the children shouldn’t fall into our rut," his father, Ashok, said.
Jul 2, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
Short thread.

Grim data from Ahmedabad, where overall deaths have spiked.

At 24 Hindu crematoriums: 19% and 145% rise in April & May, compared to last year

At 4 Muslim graveyards: 131% and 396% rise in April & May

@summitkhanna reports:… (1/4) COVID doesn't explain it.

Ahmadabad authorities report around 1,400 COVID deaths in a city hard hit by the virus.

But overall April-May deaths, from sources in previous tweet, are more than 10,000.

So we asked doctors what they think about this dramatic rise in numbers.

May 4, 2020 10 tweets 4 min read
A ground report from Agra.

The city was initially celebrated for its coronavirus containment plan.

Then, cases spiked, bringing its strategy under close scrutiny.

To understand exactly what happened, we went there.

Our piece. Thread below.… When we got there late last month, the city seemed completely locked down.

With more than 100 checkpoints, thousands of police were deployed.

Loudspeakers at traffic signals asked people to stay in.

It was all being monitored from this control room.
Apr 3, 2020 10 tweets 3 min read
A thread on #TabligiJamaat, the Islamic group at the heart of India's biggest coronavirus cluster.

March 18 - alarm bells go off after Indonesians test +ve

March 21 - Indian govt writes to states

March 29 - Manhunt begins to track down 9,000 people… On March 13 - two weeks after a #TabligiJamaat meeting in Malaysia kicks off a huge outbreak in SE Asia - members gather in New Delhi's #NizamuddinMarkaz HQ for a conference.

In attendance are 200 Malaysians and Indonesians, according to two top leaders interviewed by Reuters.
Mar 29, 2020 9 tweets 2 min read

On March 23, Samir Kumar Mitra died in Kolkata after testing positive for coronavirus.

The death triggered a public backlash that left his son - stuck in the US - stunned.

Crowds fought police to stop the cremation.

Online, abuse poured in.… On Facebook and WhatsApp, rumours swirled.

They accused Samir of meeting with his son Satyaki and his daughter in law - who was alleged to be Italian, but is actually American - and bringing the deadly virus to Kolkata.

It was pure misinformation.
Mar 23, 2020 11 tweets 4 min read

For some days, I've been trying to find out the likely trajectory of the #CoronavirusOutbreak in India.

This is what it might look like: around 100,000 - 1.3 million cases by mid-May.… These numbers are from a study by @BhramarBioStat & a team of bio-statisticians and epidemiologists, most of them at @UMich.

And they enforce what some experts and health officials have been telling me since last week: cases are going to spike soon.
Mar 5, 2020 7 tweets 3 min read
Mohammed Anees fled his home as riots kicked off in Delhi last week, escaping with his family of four.

Without money, and afraid of more violence, he is staying at relief camp in Mustafabad - with many more like him.

Our report, pix by @anu_fadnavis:… In total, some 2,000 people are believed to have been displaced - and hundreds of those are taking shelter on the floors of private homes.

“The police brought us and left us here,” said Mohammed Uddin, 70, outside a cramped house. “They didn’t even check if we were hurt.”
Feb 28, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
A district divided.

Bhajanpura and Chand Bagh - one Hindu dominated, the other Muslim - face each other across a wide road in Delhi, which turned in a battleground overnight.

Some residents are trying to understand what happened.

Our story.… “I have lived here for 35 years,” said Santosh Garg, a Hindu who described a narrow escape when a mob of Muslim men set her house alight.

Garg said she lowered her two grandchildren from a balcony and into the arms of police. She herself jumped on to an adjoining terrace.
Feb 24, 2020 11 tweets 5 min read

I've had a little time to digest what we saw today in North East Delhi, finish an update on our story, and take a breath.

Here is our story, with pictures by @dansiddiqui.…

Below is what I saw. It had already built up by 1pm, when we got there.

Police used tear gas and smoke grenades but struggled to disperse the crowds, as both sides hurled stones and turned a wide boulevard into a rock-strewn battle zone, about 11 miles from where Trump will meet Modi tomorrow.
Feb 24, 2020 8 tweets 5 min read
This is a thread of strange, wonderful things spotted during the #TrumpIndiaVisit - that's just about to kick off.

Exhibit 1


Exhibit 2

Some might say #TrumpIndiaVisit will be all about masking the reality - on trade, slums, and faces.

Feb 10, 2020 6 tweets 3 min read
Quick thread on #Jamia since there's so much floating around.

I spent around 6 hours there today, starting from the afternoon, with my colleagues @adnanabidi and @dansiddiqui.

We didn't see/experience:

1. Any lathicharge
2. Any chemical substances

#CAA_NRCProtests A large group of protesters spent several hours pushing at police, many in riot gear, at a barricade.

In the tussle, many protesters fainted, and were quickly moved out of the site by ambulances.

Some may have been injured in scuffles.

#Jamia #JamiaProtest #JamiaMilliaIslamia