CMYK SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 13 AUGUST 2017 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 20 | `5.00 |LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR THE HISTORY OF DRAMA IN THE SUBCONTINENT, TOLD THROUGH THE STORIES OF 10 STARS THERE ARE INCREASING CONCERNS OVER ANXIETY RELATED TO UNACHIEVABLE APPEARANCE IDEALS WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. A few spells of rain/thundershowers likely. Max/min temperature in range 31-26°Celsius. RAINFALL: 11.2 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.94% TEMPERATURE Max: 29.6°C (-3) SUN RISES 05:13 hrs MOON RISES 22:06 hrs Gorakhpur infant deaths: coll principal suspended Action taken for ‘delaying payment’ to supplier of oxygen cylinder, death toll 60 Min. 78% Min: 28.0°C (+1) SUN SETS 18:10 hrs MOON SETS 10:04 hrs First quarter 18 August THUMBNAILS Captain Virat Kohli plays a shot during the first day of the third and final Test match against Sri Lanka at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on Saturday. AFP (SEE P 12 ) Gurung claims Delhi talks invite: The Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) on Saturday said that it had received intimation from Union home minister Rajnath Singh, requesting them to join for talks at 4.30 pm in New Delhi on Sunday (today). “I am hopeful that the Hill parties leading the movement will attend this meeting, and help find a possible roadmap to Gorkhaland statehood,” GJMM chief Bimal Gurung said in a statement. “I have submitted this invitation for the consideration of all Hill parties and non-political bodies,” he said. CBI books SAI Deputy Director in graft case: The deputy director of Sports Authority of India (SAI) Shiv Dutt Bakshi ex-administrator of Karni Singh Shooting Range, has been booked by the CBI for allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs one lakh from a news reporter in a sting operation, in return for providing imported weapons and facilities at a shooting range. The case has been registered on a complaint from the chief vigilance officer of SAI that a reporter of a Hindi news channel had carried out a sting operation aired on July 17, 2016. Under-19 Asia Cup venue shifted from India to 1 Malaysia: The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on Saturday accepted Pakistan's concerns and agreed to shift Under-19 Asia Cup from India to Malaysia, sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) informed DawnNews. PCB had raised security concerns for the Pakistani team's safety if the cup was held in India, which were accepted by the ACC in a meeting in Colombo. "We are asking for a neutral venue for the Under-19 World Cup, rather than holding it in India," PCB Chairman said. SNS & PTI ‘No death of children due to shortage of oxygen. A high-level committee headed by the chief secretary has been constituted to probe the matter. Stringent action will be taken against those found guilty, the role of oxygen supplier and allegations and reports of shortage of oxygen cylinders will be probed thoroughly.’ GORAKHPUR, 12 AUGUST he principal of Baba Raghav Das Medical College was today suspended with “immediate effect” even as the Uttar Pradesh government faced all-round flak for the death of 30 infants in the staterun hospital here within a span of 48 hours since August 10. UP Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon said Rajiv Mishra was suspended for his “irresponsible act” of allegedly delaying payment to the supplier of oxygen cylinders. He said a probe, led by the state chief secretary, had been ordered. Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said stringent action would be taken against those found guilty. “Whosoever is found guilty in the tragic and painful incident at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College will certainly face stringent action,” he told reporters in Lucknow. UP Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh told reporters, “The principal of the BRD Medical College has been suspended with immediate effect because of his laxity.” T YOGI ADITYANATH UP CHIEF MINISTER ON GORAKHPUR CHILD DEATHS The state authorities went into a damage control mode after the opposition parties went hammer and tongs against the Yogi Adityanath government, terming the death of the infants as an outcome of the government's “gross criminal negligence”. The chief minister said in a tweet, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought information about the Gorakhpur incident. On his directives, Union Health Minister J P Nadda and MoS Anupriya Patel also sought information of the incident.” According to the offi- cial Twitter account of the UP chief minister (@CMOfficeUP), Adityanath has directed that a detailed probe be conducted into the incident and strict action be ensured. Tandon said on August 1, the dealer (oxygen supplier) had written a letter to the principal of the medical college demanding the payment of an outstanding amount. “The letter was forwarded to the DG's (director general, medical education) office. On August 5, the payment was made to the medical college and the amount was credited NEW DELHI, 12 AUGUST Janata Dal(U) Rajya Sabha members today removed Sharad Yadav, who opposed the party's decision to ally with the BJP in Bihar, as their leader in the House and replaced him with R C P Singh, a senior party leader said. The MPs met Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to hand him a letter appointing Singh as the leader of the JD-U in the upper house, the leader said. Singh is a trusted lieutenant of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The JD-U has 10 members in the Rajya Sabha. It had last night suspended its Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar Ansari from the parliamentary party for attending a meeting of opposition parties convened by Congress president Sonia Gand- hi. Differences between Kumar and Yadav surfaced after the former snapped ties with the Congress and the RJD, and allied with the BJP to form a new government in Bihar last month. Yadav, who is on a tour of Bihar, has said he still believes he is a part of the Grand Alliance with the RJD and the Congress. The JD-U is not just Nitish Kumar's party, but also his party, he has said. Yadav also claimed that the real JD-U was with him and the one with Kumar was 'sarkari' JD-U. In a related develop- department of the college, 60 children died due to various diseases since August 7. Though the district magistrate had not given any reason for the deaths, an official in Delhi, who did not want to be identified, had said according to the Gorakhpur superintendent of police (SP), 21 children died due to a shortage of oxygen supply. Singh and Tandon visited Gorakhpur to take stock of the situation. Attacking the UP chief minister, the SP and the BSP demanded a highlevel inquiry. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 AUGUST Amid widespread public outrage over the deaths of scores of children in the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur ~ Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's home district ~ over the last few days due to oxygen supply shortage among other factors, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said on Saturday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was "constantly monitoring" the Gorakhpur situation. "PM is in constant touch with authorities from the Central and UP governments," the PMO said, adding that the Union minister of state for health Anupriya Patel and the Union health secretary will take stock of the situation from Gorakhpur. Union health minister J P Nadda asked Anupriya and health secretary C K Mishra to visit Gorakhpur in order to look into the deaths of children in the Gorakhpur hospital. Nadda has also sought a report from the UP health department in the matter. He spoke to Adityanath and assured him of assistance and expertise from the Centre in dealing with it. The UP CM told Nadda that "all aspects of deaths at BRD Medical College are being examined". At least 30 children died in Gorakh- pur's BRD Medical College hospital within 48 hours since 10 August. UP Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said that according to reports from this hospital's paediatric department, 60 children had died due to various diseases since 7 August. He had however denied that deaths were caused due to shortage of supply of liquid oxygen to the hospital. The Congress today held the Uttar Pradesh government “responsible” for the death of 30 infants at a state-run hospital in Gorakhpur, demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and a probe by a Supreme Court judge. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who visited Baba Raghav Das Medical College in eastern Uttar Pradesh, along with party colleagues, expressed deep anguish over the death of 30 children, allegedly due to shortage of supply of liquid oxygen, in a span of 48 hours. Azad said the probe ordered is just “an eyewash”. Lalu alleges `750-crore treasury scam involving Nitish-Sushil Sharad Yadav removed as leader of JD-U in Rajya Sabha SNS & PTI to its account on August 7,” he said. Stating that the dealer claimed that his dues were cleared only on August 11, Tandon added, “Why was there a delay in the payment, why was the supply of oxygen stopped -- these aspects will be probed by the panel.” Gorakhpur District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela had said yesterday that at least 30 children died in the state-run medical college within 48 hours since August 10. Health Minister Singh had said that according to reports from the paediatric PM monitoring situation; MoS, secy to visit UP ment, BJP president Amit Shah said in a tweet today that he had invited Kumar to join the ruling NDA. JD-U to decide on joining NDA on Aug 19 The JD-U will make a formal announcement on joining the NDA in its national executive meeting on August 19 after BJP president Amit Shah invited Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to join the ruling alliance. JD-U spokesperson K C Tyagi said the party will approve the proposal in the meeting in Patna. The JD-U national executive will be chaired by the party chief Nitish Kumar and a decision to join the NDA government will be formally announced, he said. Tyagi's comments came following Shah's invitation to Kumar to join the ruling alliance. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE PATNA, 12 AUGUST RJD chief Lalu Prasad today alleged chief minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi were involved in a treasury scam to the tune of Rs 750 crore which was “fraudulently” transferred to the account of a Bhagalpur-based NGO. He demanded a CBI inquiry into the scam and resignation of the CM and his deputy. The authorities investigating the alleged embezzlement of public money said the amount was almost the size of Bihar fodder scam in Mr Prasad is an accused. Senior Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar said the Economic Offence Unit (EOU) was investigating the matter. Three separate FIRs have been lodged for embezzlement of funds of District Board, District Nazarat and Cooperative Department. Mr Prasad told reporters the money had also gone out of the state besides being invested in real estate and other places. “One can’t deny the money laundering aspect. There is the involvement of banks also and hence a state government agency is not capable of carrying out the probe in a fair man- ner,” he claimed. Mr Prasad also demanded a special audit and a probe by the Enforcement Directorate. Mr Modi, who held portfolios of finance and commercial taxes for several years, had the responsibility of the finance department without whose permission money can’t be transferred to any bank account, Mr Prasad claimed. Showing a photograph to buttress his claim, the RJD chief asserted Mr Kumar, his deputy and several BJP leaders were seen with a top official of the NGO attending a function. “Is it an example of zero tolerance for corruption ? Nitish has destroyed the state in the name of development.” Countering the RJD chief's charges, JD(U) spokesman and MLC Niraj Kumar said allegations could not be made merely on the basis of photographs. These must be supported by facts, he said. Rains wreak havoc in north Bengal, train services hit STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE SILIGURI, 12 AUGUST Torrential rains pounding the region for the past few days have wreaked havoc in north Bengal, killing two persons, injuring many, and rendering thousands of families homeless. While swollen rivers in the Terai and the Dooars broke banks and inundated several areas in the five districts of Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Malda, Cooch Behar and North Dinajpur, heavy rains inundated several areas in the Siliguri subdivision and triggered landslides in the Hills. Train services were also hit, prompting Railways authorities to cancel scheduled trains to and from New Jalpaiguri station. Narbu Tamang, 78, and Mann Kumari, 58, were killed when landslide buried them at Lebong Cart Road and Alubari Rai Gaon in Darjeeling respectively this morning. The two landslides also left several others injured. Several landslides were also reported across the Hills of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong overnight, blocking National Highway-55 and burying the Toy Train tracks. In the five districts of north Bengal plains where around 50,000 people have been affected, thousands of families were shifted to safer areas after hundreds of houses in lowlying areas were submerged in water. The floods also cut off road and rail links in all the districts. Rivers originating in the Himalayas, mainly Sikkim and Bhutan, and flowing towards northern north Bengal, broke banks inundating large swathes of land. Many of the rivers are flowing above the danger mark in unprotected areas, it is learnt. District administrative officials have alerted people and made arrangements for shifting the severely affected families to safer areas in Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, North Dinajpur and South Dinajpur. Jalpaiguri District Magistrate Rachna Bhagat inspected the affected areas today. “The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been pressed into service, while hundreds of people have been rescued,” Ms Bhagat said. According to her, the NDRF teams were, however, not able to reach some areas, given the deep waters there. “We have opened relief camps in all the affected places,” she added. In Malda district, the Malda Medical College and Hospital CMYK authorities had to shift patients from its ground floor to the upper floors after the ground floor was waterlogged since last night. The operation theatre too was waterlogged. People blamed the poor drainage system at the hospital for the plight. "Water entered the operation theatre on the ground floor and it took time for us to disinfect the place, but service was not hampered," medical superintendent and vice-principal of the MMCH, Dr Amit Dawn, said. Several wards in the English Bazaar Municipality were also waterlogged due to heavy rainfall last night. In North Dinajpur, one youth went missing and around 5000 families were affected after villages in Chopra, Islampur and Goalpokhar-1 blocks were submerged in knee-deep waters. The water level in rivers like Dauk, Nagar, Karotoa, Mahananda and Sudani have has gone up. Making matters worse in the district, waters from the nearby Bangladeshi areas also entered the district. The worst affected areas were Chutiakhor, Kalikapur, Diwan Guchh and Dangapara in Chopra. Thirty-five villages, including Agdimti Khunti, Nandanguchh, Patagara, Pandit Porta and Ramganj in Islampur block were also waterlogged. “Hundreds of affected families have been shifted to safer places and many shelters have been opened in Chopra, Islampur and Goalpokhar-1 blocks. The situation worsened after waters started flowing in from Bangladesh,” District Magistrate of North Dinajpur Aiyesha Rani said. In South Dinajpur, 15 families living close to the Atreyee River banks in Ward-22 were evacuated after the water level rose there today. In Alipurduar, almost all the municipal wards are submerged, throwing life out of gear. (SEE ALSO PAGE 2)
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