CMYK FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 24 JULY 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR NEIGHBOURHOOD RUMBLES POPULIST LEADERS FARE POORLY IN PANDEMIC STRUGGLE P10 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. One or two spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 31-27 degrees Celsius. WHIFF OF CORRUPTION STALKS YEDDY GOVT P6 P4 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Max.97% NEW DELHI, 23 JULY Record 1,129 deaths in a single day take death toll to near 30,000 SNS & AGENCIES TEMPERATURE Max: 29.3°C (-4) Min: 24.3°C (-1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:05 hrs 18:21 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 20:41 hrs 07:27 hrs Next moon quarter on 28 July THUMBNAILS A Long March-5 rocket, carrying an orbiter, lander and rover as part of the Tianwen-1 mission to Mars, lifts off from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre in southern China's Hainan Province on Thursday. AFP Flipkart acquires Walmart India: In a significant re-organization of India’s e-commerce retail industry, the Flipkart Group has announced acquiring a 100 per cent interest in Walmart India and the launch of Flipkart Wholesale. The new Flipkart Wholesale is to be a one-stop digital platform offering wholesale market access for small businesses and retailers. P8 Relaxation in admission criteria: The HRD Ministry has decided to relax the admission criteria for NITs and centrally funded technical institutions in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, doing away with the requirement of minimum 75 per cent marks in Class 12 board exams. JEE Main 2020 qualified candidates will only need a passing certificate in class XII examination, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal tweeted. NEW DELHI, 23 JULY ith the highest single-day spike of 45,720 cases, India's Covid-19 tally crossed the 12-lakh mark on Thursday, while the death toll mounted to 29,861 with a record 1,129 fatalities in a day, according to data made available by the Union Health Ministry. The country crossed the 12-lakh mark just three days after it went past the 11-lakh milestone. The coronavirus caseload in the country surged to12,38,635 on Thursday, while 7,82,606 people have recovered so far in the country, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed. There are altogether 4,26,167 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country. Maharashtra (10,576), Tamil Nadu (5,849), Karnataka (4,764), Uttar Pradesh (2,300),West Bengal (2,291), Telangana (1,554), Bihar (1,417), Assam (1,390), Delhi (1,227), Odisha (1,078), Kerala (1,038) and Gujarat (1,020) contributed around 75 per cent of the total single-day spike of 45,720. Andhra Pradesh with nearly 8,000 cases topped southern states in daily numbers for the second day on Thursday as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala also reported record single day tallies with the aggregate of the four breaching the 20,000 mark. Of the 1,129 deaths W 12,38,635 4,26,167 45,720 A ragpicker stands in front of a mural on Covid-19 awareness on a wall in New Delhi on Thursday. AFP reported in the last 24 hours, 518 are from Tamil Nadu, 280 from Maharashtra, 65 from Andhra Pradesh,55 from Karnataka, 34 from West Bengal, 34 from Uttar Pradesh, 29 from Delhi, 28 from Gujarat, 14 from Madhya Pradesh and 10 from Jammu and Kashmir. Telangana and Jharkhand have reported nine fatalities each followed by Haryana with eight deaths, Assam, Punjab and Rajasthan six each, Odisha five, Goa and Uttarakhand two each while Kerala, Puducherry, Tripura and Chandigarh have registered a fatality each. As many as 29,557 Covid19 patients have recuperated in a 24-hour span till Thursday morning, the highest recorded in a day so far, taking the recovery rate to 63.18 per cent, according to the health ministry. Thenumber of tests for detection of the Covid-19 has crossed the 15 crore-mark in the country. Amidst return of lockdown in state, Covid cases jump by 2,436 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 23 JULY Even as the state was put under a complete lockdown to break the chain of rapidly increasing Covid-19 cases, the biggest single-day spike so far in number of cases ~ 2,436 ~ and 34 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours. The major contributor to the single-day case load and deaths was Kolkata which recorded 795 fresh cases and 19 deaths, which are so far the highest for the city. North 24Parganas recorded fresh cases 545 and Howrah 303. Of the remaining deaths, six persons died in North 24Parganas, three in Howrah, two in South 24-Parganas and one person died each in Hooghly, East Burdwan, West Midnapore and Birbhum. According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 1,50,75,369 samples have been tested up to July 22 with 3,50,823 samples being tested on Wednesday. “All efforts have been made to increase access to testing even at district level. Efforts of ICMR to ramp up testing continue,” said Dr Nivedita Gupta, senior scientist and coordinator of Lab Network, ICMR. According to the health ministry, there has been appreciable growth in the recovery rate, which stands at 63.18 per cent. This can be attributed to the central government-led Covid-19 management strategies, it said. Sustained efforts by the Centre, states and union territories (UTs) are resulting in more effective containment, aggressive testing, and prompt and efficient clinical treatment strategies, it said. “These combined efforts have resulted in Case Fatality Rate being 29,557 29,861 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. THURSDAY 23 JULY 2020 managed at low levels. It is 2.41 per cent, as on date, and steadily declining,” it said. This has also helped in reducing the actual caseload of Covid-19 cases which remains confined to 4,26,167 active patients, it said. Bachchan refutes report: Amitabh Bachchan on Thursday dismissed reports that he has tested negative for the coronavirus. “This news is incorrect, irresponsible, fake and an incorrigible lie!” wrote Bachchan, who along with son Abhishek, was admitted to the isolation ward of Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai on July 11, onTwitter, tagging a video clip from a TV news channel. The Supreme Court on Thursday said the voice of dissent cannot be suppressed, or else democracy will shut down. It also wanted to know whether there was democracy within the Congress party. The apex court, which was hearing a plea by Rajasthan Assembly Speaker C P Joshi challenging the Rajasthan High Court decision extending the time for Sachin Pilot and 18 rebel Congress MLAs to reply to the anti-defection notice of July 14, refused to accept the Speaker’s request to either stay the matter pending before the high court or transfer it to the apex court. A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising Justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murari took up the matter up through video conferencing. It said that whatever order is passed by the Rajasthan High Court would be subject to the outcome of the petition before the apex court and fixed 27 July for hearing the matter. “Voice of dissent cannot be suppressed... then democracy will shut. After all they have been elected by the people. Can they not express their dissent?” Justice Mishra asked senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who is representing Joshi. Sibal argued that if MLAs want to voice their opinion they should do so before the party. To which, Justice Mishra asked, "Is there democracy within the party?" complaint against Shekhawat JAIPUR, 23 JULY A city court has directed that Rajasthan police should probe a complaint alleging the involvement of Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in a credit society scam. The development comes amid allegations by the Congress that the minister is involved in a bid to topple the Ashok Gehlot government. The Special Operations Group (SOG) has already sent a notice to the minister in connection with a probe into audio clips which purportedly indicate efforts to lure MLAs away from the Congress. On Tuesday, additional district judge Pawan Kumar directed the additional chief judicial magisThe bench asked Sibal, whether a whip can be issued for attending a party meeting. Sibal denied Joshi issued a whip for the meeting and said: “It was only a notice not a whip.” Justice Mishra asked Sibal: “Isn't this a case where party members cannot raise voice against their own party?” Sibal contended that it is for the Speaker to decide whether not attending meetings outside the House is grounds for disqualification. "But it is about a lot more than not attending a meeting. It is about their antiparty activities," he argued. The Rajasthan High trate's court to send the complaint related to the credit society scam to the SOG. Shekhawat has been named along with his wife and others in the complaint related to the Sanjivani Credit Cooperative Society scam in which thousands of investors allegedly lost about Rs 900 crores. The Jaipur unit of the SOG has been probing into the scam since last year. But Shekhawat was not mentioned in the charge sheet filed by the SOG, causing the applicant to approach the PTI courts again. Court is scheduled to pass its order on Friday on the plea filed by the 19 dissident Congress MLAs. Assembly session soon: Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said his government will soon prove its majority in the assembly, hours before he met the Governor with whom he is said to have discussed calling a session of the House, PTI adds. The assembly session will take place soon. The majority is with us, all Congress MLAs are united, Gehlot told reporters. He hoped that some of the dissident MLAs will also attend the session. Major rejig in TMC ahead of 2021 polls LIFE GOES ON KOLKATA, 23 JULY As a part of the state government’s decision to clamp lockdown restrictions two days a week, there was strict police vigilance across the state. A similar lockdown will be in place on 25 and 29 July. Currently, there are 18,846 active cases, while till now 51,757 people were detected Covid positive in the state and the total death toll is 1255. A total of 2,006 patients were discharged from hospitals in a single day, taking the number of recovered people to 31,656. The discharge rate is 61.16 per cent. As on date, 40.05 per cent beds in hospitals are occupied by Covid patients while 6784 out of 11239 beds in Covid designated government hospitals and 476 out of 2286 Covid beds in private hospitals are unoccupied. Barricades were put up in various parts of the state to stop people from coming out of their areas while special police teams were seen patrolling various parts of the state and drones were also pressed into service in a few areas. Police have arrested 346 persons for violation of lockdown protocols while a total of 289 were detained for not wearing masks. The city wore a deserted look since early morning as the lockdown came into effect at 6 a.m. and will continue till 10 p.m. Vehicles were absent from the otherwise busy streets and only ones that appeared were of the police vans and motorbikes which patrolled the main roads, lanes and bylanes, ensuring none of the standalone shops or markets opened their stalls. More on Page 3 During the lockdown at Shyambazar area in Kolkata on Thursday. BISWAJIT GHOSHAL Permanent commission for women officers in the Army becomes a reality STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 23 JULY The government has issued a formal order granting Permanent Commission (PC) to women officers in the Indian Army, paving the way for empowering them to shoulder larger roles in the organisation, the Army said today. The order specifies grant of permanent commission to Short Service Commissioned (SSC) women officers in all ten streams of the Indian Army in addition to the existing streams of Judge and Advocate General (JAG) and Army Educational Corps (AEC). In anticipation, the Army Headquarters had set in P12 India’s Covid-19 tally Rajasthan crisis: SC declines to restrain HC crosses 12-lakh mark Jaipur court directs probe into RAINFALL: 55.7 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min. 87 % ENGLAND LOOK TO CLINCH SERIES motion a series of preparatory actions for conduct of the Permanent Commission Selection Board for affected women officers. The Selection Board will be scheduled as soon as all affected SSC women officers exercise their option and complete requisite docu- mentation, Army spokesperson Col Aman Anand said. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had granted one more month to the Centre to implement its verdict directing that permanent commission be given to all serving SSC women officers in the Army. The top court’s direction came on an application filed by the Centre seeking six months' time for implementation of the verdict citing the Covid-19 pandemic.During the hearing, the Centre told the bench that decision-making on the issue is at a final stage and only formal orders remain to be issued. In a landmark verdict on 17 February, the Supreme Court had directed that women officers in the Army should be granted permanent commission and command postings, rejecting the Central government’s stand of their physiological limitations as being based on "sex stereotypes" and "gender discrimination against women". Pakistan is blocking all legal remedies in Jadhav case: India STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 23 JULY India has accused Pakistan of being not interested in implementing in letter and spirit the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in the neighbouring country on charges of espionage and terrorism. “The whole exercise of not providing any documents (to India) related to the case even after repeated requests, not providing an unimpeded consular access (to Jadhav) and some reported unilateral action of approaching the High Court on the part of Pakistan again exposes the farcical nature of Pakistan’s approach,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag CMYK The MEA said Pakistan was not only in violation of the judgment of ICJ, but also of its own ordinance in Jadhav's case. Srivastava told a media briefing. “Pakistan has completely failed to provide the remedy as directed by the ICJ and India reserves its position in the matter, including its rights to avail of further remedies,” he added. The spokesperson noted that India has so far requested consular access 12 times over the past one year. However, Pakistan has so far not been able to provide an “unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional” consular access. The meeting of Indian consular officers with Jadhav on 16 July was scuttled by the Pakistan authorities. The consular officers were instructed not to hand over any document to Jadhav. Hence, the Indian officials could not obtain a power of attorney from Jadhav. “In the absence of an unimpeded and unhindered consular access as well as of the relevant documents, as a last resort, India tried to file a petition on July 18,” he said. “However, our Pakistani lawyer informed that a review petition could not be filed in the absence of power of attorney and supporting documents related to the case of Jadhav,” he added. Pakistan had earlier this month said July 20 is the last date of filing a review petition by Jadhav against his death sentence. With Assembly polls on the anvil, TMC chairperson Mamata Banerjee today constituted a 21 member state coordinating committee and a sevenmember steering committee while changes were made in the across the state among the rank and file of the party leaders. These committees will be responsible for overall supervision, guidance, management and coordination with all district units. The select members of the state coordination committee, chaired by TMC convenor Subrata Bakshi, shall form the steering committee which will manage the day-to-day affairs of the party across the state. The other members of the coordination committee are heavyweight state ministers such as Partha Chatterjee, Subrata Mukherjee, Firhad Hakim, Suvendu Adhikari, Aroop Biswas, Sadhan Pande and Gautam Deb. The committee also includes Lok Sabha MPs like Kalyan Banerjee, Abhishek Banerjee, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar and three Rajya Sabha MPs and former Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs who had lost the election in 2019. The party's leader of the Lok Sabha is MP Sudip Bandopadhyay and it's Rajya Sabha leader is Derek O'Brien. The steering committee members are Subrata Bakshi, Partha Chatterjee, Firhad Hakim, Suvendu Adhikari, Lok Sabha MPs Kalyan Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee and Rajya Sabha MP Shanta Chhetri. Miss Banerjee also reconstituted the state committee which consists of president Subrata Bakshi, secretary-general Partha Chatterjee, 17 vice presidents, 8 general secretaries and twelve secretaries. She also included Chakradhar Mahato, who was associated with her in the movements against the then Left Front government, as one of the SNS secretaries. Details on Page 3
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