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Homechevron_rightLifestylechevron_rightHealthchevron_rightCentre assures...

Centre assures examination of 'havana syndrome' issue in India

Havana syndrome

New Delhi: The Centre has informed the Karnataka High Court that it will delve into the matter of 'Havana Syndrome' within India.

The statement was made in response to a petition filed by A Amarnath Chagu, a resident of Bengaluru, who called for an inquiry into the enigmatic illness in the country. He also urged the central government to take measures to prevent its spread within India.

Following the court's July 27 order, which acknowledged the Centre's intent to investigate, the case was resolved, with a stipulated consideration period of three months. The petitioner's counsel, Srikanth VK, emphasised that the authorities are obligated to address the issue in line with Article 350 of the Indian Constitution.

Article 350 asserts that every individual possesses the entitlement to submit grievances to Union or State officers or authorities in the languages employed by the Union or State.

Havana Syndrome first surfaced in 2016. The illness was first reported by CIA personnel stationed in Havana, Cuba. These individuals exhibited baffling symptoms, including migraines, nausea, memory gaps, dizziness, inexplicable sounds, and vertigo. Certain cases endured these symptoms for an extended period.

Although christened 'Havana syndrome', the underlying cause of this ailment remains a mystery. There are conjectures linking it to high-frequency microwave emissions, a facet that the petitioner underscored in his plea before the Karnataka High Court.

Numerous US intelligence and embassy officials have reportedly suffered from mental health symptoms attributed to Havana syndrome across different nations. In March 2018, Canadian diplomats underwent MRI scans and other tests conducted by a neurologist in Pittsburgh, revealing signs of brain damage paralleling those encountered by their US counterparts.

Similar accounts emerged regarding unexplained symptoms experienced by US intelligence agents in Moscow, Tbilisi, Poland, Taiwan, and Australia.

In January 2022, the CIA released an interim assessment negating the notion of the syndrome originating from "a sustained global campaign by a hostile power". Of the 1,000 reviewed cases, foreign involvement was ruled out in 976 instances. In 2021, the US introduced a new law titled HAVANA (Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks Act). This legislation authorised the disbursement of compensation to intelligence personnel and diplomats afflicted by injuries associated with the syndrome, alongside other purposes.

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