CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 01 SEPTEMBER 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 INDIAN-ORIGIN AS FIRST OPPOSITION LEADER IN S’PORE PM-DESIGNATE VOWS REFORMS IN CRISIS-HIT LEBANON P10 P9 Partly cloudy sky. Thundershower in some areas. Temperature will be in the range of 35-28 degrees Celsius. RAKESH KUMAR RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY ormer President of India and stalwart of Indian politics Pranab Mukherjee today breathed his last in Army Research and Referral Hospital, Delhi. Mukherjee, 84, was admitted in hospital after contracting Covid-19, and then on the same day, he underwent surgery for the blood clot in the brain. The information of his death was broken by his son Abhijit Mukherjee on twitter. "With a heavy heart, this is to inform you that my father Shri Pranab Mukherjee has just passed away despite the best efforts of doctors of RR Hospital and prayers, duas and prarthanas from people throughout India! I thank all of you with folded hands," Abhijit Mukherjee tweeted. Mukherjee has been in hospital since 10 August, and later he also developed a lung infection. Today, his health deteriorated, and a health bulletin issued by the hospital said he was TEMPERATURE Min. 58% Max: 35.5°C (3) Min: 29.1°C (3) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:19 hrs 17:54 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 16:58 hrs 03:20 hrs Full moon on 2 September THUMBNAILS People cross a deserted intersection during a day-long lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the surge in Covid-19 cases. In Kolkata on Monday. AFP DGCA says no international flights till 30 Sept: The suspension of scheduled international passenger flights has been extended till 30 September, said Indian aviation regulator DGCA on Monday. “However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis,” noted the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in a circular. Scheduled international passenger services continue to remain suspended in India since 23 March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Amit Shah discharged from AIIMS: Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was admitted to the AIIMS in New Delhi for post-Covid care, was discharged on Monday morning, the hospital said. Shah, 55, had undergone treatment at the Medanta Hospital as he tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was discharged after he tested negative. He was later admitted to the AIIMS on August 18 following complaints of fatigue and body ache. Apex court imposes token fine of `1 on Prashant Bhushan I propose to submit to the order and respectfully pay the fine PRASHANT BHUSHAN AT PRESS MEET SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 31 AUGUST The Supreme Court on Monday imposed a token fine of Re 1 against activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan in the contempt case for his tweets against the judiciary. A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, who will be demitting office on 2 September, asked Bhushan to deposit the fine by 15 September, failing which he will attract a jail term of three months and debarment from law practice for three years. Freedom of speech cannot be curtailed but rights of others need to be respected, said the bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murari. The bench also noted that the statements of Bhushan submitted in the court were released to the media before they were taken on record. During an earlier hearing, the bench had orally observed that the sentence, if any, will not be enforced against Bhushan till the deci- P8 GANGULY EXPECTS RECORD TV VIEWERSHIP FOR IPL P12 Pranab Mukherjee passes away at 84 WEATHER Max.94% ADANI TO BUY CONTROLLING STAKE IN MUMBAI AIRPORT sion is taken on his plea seeking review of the judgement convicting him in the case. On 14 August, the apex court had held Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt for his two derogatory tweets against the judiciary and maintained they cannot be said to be a fair criticism of the functioning of the judiciary made in the public interest. Bhushan had refused to offer an apology to the Supreme Court, saying what he had expressed represented his bona fide belief which he continued to hold. On 25 August, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan had urged the top court to show “judicial statesmanship” and not make Bhushan a “martyr” by punishing him. Bhushan, said at a Press conference today that he had always believed the Supreme Court is the “last bastion of hope for the oppressed” and that he never intended to hurt the judiciary, but wanted to express his anguish on a "deviation from its record". NEW DELHI, 31 AUGUST F in a deep coma and on ventilator support. His son said that his father was “hemodynamically stable” but asked everyone to pray. Following his demise, the government announced 7-day state mourning from 31 August to 6 September, both days inclusive. “As a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, seven days State Mourning will be observed throughout India from 31 August to 06 September, both days inclusive. “During the period of state mourning, the National Flag will fly at half-mast on all buildings throughout India, where it is flown regularly and there will be no official entertainment,” reads government release. Pranab Mukherjee, an astute politician, fondly called ‘Da’ in political circles and by his colleagues. He had a chequered political career spanning around five decades. He was the leader who saw a major transformation of Indian politics ~from the Congress’s unipolar hegemony days under Indira Gandhi as Prime Minis- ter in the late 1960s to the BJP’s ascent in 2014. He became a national political figure in 1969 when elected as a Rajya Sabha member from the Bangla Congress, a breakaway faction of Congress. He was considered Number 2 in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet but after her assassination, he fell out of favour with Rajiv Gandhi. However, later he joined Congress again and worked comfortably with Sonia Gandhi. Many a time, he was seen as the prime ministerial candidate. The highest point of his career came when he became the 13 th President of India~ from 2012 to 2017. Before it, Mukherjee held various key positions in government including Minister of Finance between 2009 and 2012, Minister of Defence (2004-2006), Minister of External Affairs (2006-2009). He was conferred the Padma Vibhushan in 2008 and the Bharat Ratna in 2019. Even though he was a staunch Congressman but he was liked by everyone, irrespective of political parties affiliation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly expressed gratitude for the guidance he got from President Pranab Mukherjee during his first term in the Prime Ministerial office. As the news of his death broke, he was the first to write the condolence message. “India grieves the passing away of Bharat Ratna Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation. A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman, he was admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of society,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As the news of his demise circulated, condolences messages started pouring from everyone. “Our former president, a Bharat Ratna and a thorough gen- tleman..We shared a very warm and cordial relationship. Heartfelt condolences to the family” tweeted Lata Mangeshkar. “The nation has lost a brilliant leader. Saddened to hear about the passing of Shri Pranab Mukherjee. My sincere condolences to his family” tweeted cricketer Virat Kohli. He is survived by his 3 children. Sharmistha Mukherjee, Abhijit Mukherjee and Indrajit Mukherjee. PRANAB MUKHERJEE BORN: 11 DECEMBER 1935 DIED: 31 AUGUST 2020 Covid-hit economy Indian Army thwarts PLA at Pangong Lake contracts 23.9 p.c. Nationwide lockdown from 25 March impacted all sectors of economy SNS/PTI NEW DELHI, 31 AUGUST India’s GDP shrank by the steepest ever 23.9 per cent in the April-June period as the coronavirus lockdowns battered an already slowing economy, official data showed on Monday. Agriculture was the only outlier as all other sectors, including manufacturing, construction and services, suffered steep declines. India’s economy had grown by 5.2 per cent in the same quarter of last fiscal, as per the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO). The government had imposed a nationwide lockdown from 25 March, 2020 to curb the spread of Covid19 infections which adversely impacted all sectors of the economy. According to the data, gross value added (GVA) growth in the manufacturing sector contracted by 39.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2020-21, from 3 per cent expansion a year ago. However, farm sector GVA grew at 3.4 per cent, compared to 3 per cent in the corresponding period of 2019-20. Construction sector GVA contracted by a whopping 50.3 per cent from 5.2 per cent expansion earlier. HIT-HARD A labourer cuts bamboo used to make baskets, on a roadside in Allahabad on Monday. AFP India’s economy had grown by 5.2 per cent in the same quarter of last fiscal, as per the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) Mining sector output declined at 23.3 per cent, as against a growth of 4.7 per cent a year ago. Electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services segment too shrank by 7 per cent in the first quarter of 2020-21, against 8.8 per cent growth a year ago. Similarly, trade, hotel, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting declined 47 per cent in the first quarter from 3.5 per cent growth Agriculture was the only outlier as all other sectors, including manufacturing, construction and services, suffered steep declines earlier. Financial, real estate and professional services fell by 5.3 per cent in Q1 FY21 from 6 per cent growth in same period last fiscal. Public administration, defence and other services too saw a decline of 10.3 per cent during the quarter under review, from 7.7 per cent growth a year earlier. “GDP at Constant (201112) Prices in Q1 of 2020-21 is estimated at Rs 26.90 lakh crore, as against Rs 35.35 lakh crore in Q1 of 2019-20, showing a contraction of 23.9 percent as compared to 5.2 percent growth in Q1 2019-20,” the NSO said in a statement. “With a view to contain spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions were imposed on the economic activities not deemed essential, as also on the movement of people from 25 March, 2020. “Though the restrictions have been gradually lifted, there has been an impact on the economic activities as well as on the data collection mechanisms,” it added. It also said the timelines for filing statutory returns were extended by most regulatory bodies. “In these circumstances, the usual data sources were substituted by alternatives like GST, interactions with professional bodies etc. and which were clearly limited,” it said. The Centre began easing the lockdown for certain economic activities from 20 April onwards. Most rating agencies had projected contraction in India’s GDP for the first quarter of 2020-21. China’s economy grew by 3.2 per cent in April-June after recording a decline of 6.8 per cent in JanuaryMarch 2020. ASHOK TUTEJA NEW DELHI, 31 AUGUST In a fresh confrontation in eastern Ladakh, the Chinese army carried out “provocative military movements” to “unilaterally” change the status quo on the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake on the intervening night of 29 and 30 August but the attempt was thwarted by the Indian troops, the Army said here on Monday. Army Spokesperson Col Aman Anand said troops from China’s People’s Liberation Army(PLA) “violated” the consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements on the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo. Government sources said a sizeable number of Chinese troops were moving towards the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake in an attempt to occupy the area but the Indian Army quickly made a significant deployment to foil the bid. The sources said there was no physical clash between the troops of the two sides during China’s attempt to open a new front. The two sides were engaged in a confrontation on the northern bank of Pangong Tso lake but it was for the first time such an incident occurred on the southern bank, they said. It is the first major incident in the area after the Galwan Valley clashes on 15 June in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed. China also suffered casualties but it is yet to make the details public but according to an American intelligence report it was 35. In a statement, Col Anand said the Indian Army thwarted the Chinese intentions to “unilaterally” change facts on the ground and undertook measures to strengthen Indian positions in the area. “Indian troops preempted this PLA activity on the Southern Bank of Pangong Tso Lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on the ground,” the Army spokesperson said. A Brigade Commander-level meeting was underway at Chushul to resolve the issues, he said. The spokesperson further said the Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace through dialogue but is also equally determined to protect India’s territorial integrity. Government sources said the top strategic and military brass including Defence minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs were briefed about the Chinese attempt in detail. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian claimed its border troops always strictly abide by the Line of Actual Control (LAC). In Delhi, experts said that India has taken the Chinese attempt “seriously” and the Army has further increased its deployment of troops and weaponry in and around banks of the Pangong Tso lake following the Chinese attempt. Covid fury : Single day spike of 78,512 cases, 971 deaths SNS&PTI NEW DELHI, 31 AUGUST The novel coronavirus tally in India crossed 36 lakh on Monday with 78,512 new cases, while the number of recoveries surged to 27,74,801, pushing the recovery rate to 76.62 per cent, the Health Ministry said. The death toll climbed to 64,469 with 971 more people succumbing to the infection in 24 hours, according to the Ministry data. There are 7,81,975 active cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the country, while 27,74,801 people have recovered. The total coronavirus cases rose to 36,21,245, it said. The recovery rate has increased to 76.62 per cent, while the fatality rate has declined to 1.78 per cent. The last five lakh recoveries have been recorded in only eight days in comparison to preceding same number of recoveries, which were record- Bengal confirms September lockdown dates STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 31 AUGUST Abiding by its earlier announcement, the Bengal government today notified state-wide complete lockdown on 7, 11 and 12 September along with resuming Kolkata Metro services in a graded manner from 8 September in compliance with the Centre’s Unlock 4 order. The Unlock 4 order issued by the Union Home Ministry on 29 August prohibited states from imposing local lockdowns outside containment zones without prior consultation with the Centre. Thus, the notification was issued after getting necessary cleared in 10 and nine days respectively, the ministry said. According to the ICMR, a total of ances from the Centre, said a senior official of Nabanna. The three lockdown days was announced by chief minister Mamata Banerjee after the state Cabinet meeting on 26 August. The containment zones-based lockdown measures that are in place till today have been extended till 30 September “to contain and combat spread of Covid-19”. Schools, ICDS centres, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutes; cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks and theatres; gatherings and congregations will remain prohibited till 30 September, stated the notification issued by state chief sec4,23,07,914 samples have been tested so far with 8,46,278 samples being tested on Sunday. CMYK retary Rajiva Sinha. The open air theatres will be permitted outside the containment zones from 21 September with necessary permission Complying with the Centre’s order to resume metro services from 7 September, state government allowed the services from 8 September due to enforcement of complete lockdown on the previous day. However, the services would be allowed in a graded manner. West Bengal today registered a spike with 2,993 fresh cases taking the total case count to 1,62,778 and 52 single-day deaths increasing the death toll to 3,228 while 3,318 patients were discharged today. Of the 971 fresh deaths reported, 296 are from Maharashtra, 106 from Karnataka, 94 from Tamil Nadu, 88 from Andhra Pradesh, 67 from Uttar Pradesh, 56 from Punjab, 50 from West Bengal, 29 from Madhya Pradesh, 22 in Delhi, 17 each from Gujarat and Bihar, 13 each in Jharkhand and Rajasthan, 12 each in Haryana and Odisha. Of the total 64,469 deaths, Maharashtra has reported the maximum at 24,399 followed by 7,231 in Tamil Nadu, 5,589 in Karnataka, 4,426 in Delhi, 3,884 in Andhra Pradesh, 3,423 in Uttar Pradesh, 3,176 in West Bengal, 3,006 in Gujarat and 1404 people have died in Punjab. The Health Ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities. “Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said. Around 43 per cent of the total coronavirus cases in India have been recorded from just three states, Maharashtra, Andhra 36,21,245 7,81,975 78,512 60,868 64,469 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 10.00 P.M. MONDAY, 31 AAUGUST 2020 Pradesh and Karnataka, the Union health ministry said on Monday.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.