CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 17 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 CELEBRATING MUSICAL MARKERS OF THE 60S CELEBRITIES JOIN PROTEST AGAINST FACEBOOK INACTION P7 P10 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. One or two spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 35-28 degrees Celsius. P8 India's Covid-19 tally crosses 50-lakh mark RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Could potentially overtake the USA as worst-hit country within weeks Max.94% STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 16 SEPTEMBER TEMPERATURE Min. 61% Max: 34.7°C (+2) Min: 27.1°C (+1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:24 hrs 17:39 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 17:08 hrs 03:55 hrs Next moon quarter on 24 September THUMBNAILS Sabiha, mother of Umar Khalid, former JNU student speaks to the media on Wednesday in New Delhi. The special cell of Delhi Police arrested Khalid on Sunday night under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Rajasthan boat capsizal: At least 11 people, including women and children, were killed after a boat carrying over 30 devotees to a temple in Rajasthan's Bundi district capsized in the Chambal river here on Wednesday morning, officials said. Three people are still missing while 20 devotees were rescued, they added. Belonging to the KhatoliItawa area of Kota, they were going to the Kamleshwar temple in Indergarh of Bundi to offer prayers. Bachchans security boost: Security has been increased outside the bungalows of Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan in Mumbai, a day after she told Parliament that the film industry was being defamed by some and asked the government to protect and support it, police said. “Amitabh Bachchan already has X category security cover. After the speech (in Parliament by Jaya Bachchan), we stepped up peripheral security and increased patrolling outside their bungalows in Juhu,” a police officer said. ith the addition of 90,123 cases in 24 hours, India's tally of confirmed coronavirus cases crossed the 50 lakh mark on Wednesday. The total number of Coronavirus cases mounted to 50,20,359, while the death toll climbed to 82,066 with a record 1,290 people succumbing to the disease in a span of 24 hours, according to the Union health ministry data updated as of 8 a.m. on Wednesday. India's Covid-19 cases jumped from 10 lakh to 20 lakh in 21 days. Then it took 16 more days to race past 30 lakh, 13 days more to cross the 40-lakh mark and 11 days to go past 50 lakh. India added 10-lakh cases this month alone. It took 110 days for the Covid-19 cases in the country to reach one lakh while it had taken 59 days more to go past the 10-lakh mark. With the country adding in the vicinity of 90 thousand new cases every day, it could well become the pandemic’s worst-hit country within weeks, surpassing the United States, where more than 6.6 million people have been infected. India’s record daily high of 97,570 cases was reported on 11 September. According to the Union health ministry data, there are currently 9,95,933 active cases, 39,42,360 patients have been discharged, while 82,066 people lost the battle against the disease. In the last 24 hours, 82,961 patients were dis- HYDERABAD, 16 SEPTEMBER W The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), a Russian sovereign wealth fund, and Dr Reddys Laboratories Ltd. have agreed to cooperate on clinical trials and distribution of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine in India. Upon regulatory approval in India, RDIF shall supply to Dr. Reddys 100 million doses of the vaccine, Dr Reddys said in a release on Wednesday. Deliveries could potentially begin in late 2020, subject to completion of successful trials and registration of the vaccine by regulatory authorities in India, the release said. Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said RDIF is very pleased to partner with Dr. Reddys in The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given permission to Serum Institute of India to resume clinical trial of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine candidate in the country. It has revoked its order suspending any new recruitment for phase II and III trials. India. “India is amongst most severely impacted countries from Covid-19 and we believe our human adenovirus dual vector platform will provide a safe and scientifically validated option to India in the battle against Covid-19,” Dmitriev was quoted as saying. G V Prasad, Co-Chairman 50,20,359 9,95,933 90,123 82,961 charged, also a record; the recovery rate stands at 78.53 per cent while the fatality rate is 1.63 per cent, the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state with a total of 10,97,856 cases, including 30,409 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. 82,066 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. WEDNESDAY 16 SEPT 2020 3,237 fresh cases, 61 deaths in Bengal KOLKATA,16 SEPTEMBER West Bengal recorded yet another huge single-day spike in Covid-19 cases and deaths, with 3,237 fresh cases and 61 deaths being registered in the last 24 hours. Kolkata recorded a dip in single-day cases by registering 474 fresh cases and 15 deaths while North 24 Parganas recorded 506 cases and 11 deaths. Till now, 2,12,383 people have been affected by Covid, 4,123 died due to infection and 1,84,113 have recovered with 2,971 patients being discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours. There are 24,147 and Managing Director of Dr. Reddys Laboratories said the Phase I and II clinical trials of Sputnik V have shown promising results. “We will be conducting Phase-III trials in India to ensure safety and efficacy for the Indian population and to meet the requirements of the Indian regulators,” he said. On August 11, the Sputnik V vaccine developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology was registered by the Ministry of Health of Russia and became the worlds first registered vaccine against Covid-19 based on the human adenoviral vectors platform. But the step was taken before large-scale Phase III trials were complete, stirring concern among scientists and doctors about the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. active cases. With a discharge rate of 86.69 per cent and Covid bed occupancy rate of 33.09 per cent, currently 8481 out of 12675 beds in Covid-designated government hospitals and 753 out of 2722 Covid beds in private hospitals are vacant. Meanwhile commissioners and superintendents of police have instructed all police stations to speak to Durga Puja committees about the preparations that are underway for holding the festival amidst the pandemic. There are 28,000 Durga Puja committees in Bengal, of which around 3,000 are in the city. The police stations have been asked to inquire about the measures that have been taken for maintaining physical distancing norms and overall Covid management while the holding the puja. A report on holding Durga pujas along with Covid management has to be submitted to the state secretariat. This would in turn be placed at the coordination meeting that will be held at Nabanna on 25 September. Currently, Kolkata has three containment zones of which two zones were added today, while the total such zones in the state stands at 3192. SNS PRESS TRUST OF INDIA India and China are expected to continue military and diplomatic talks to implement the agreement reached between their foreign ministers last week to restore peace and tranquillity in the border areas, the government said on Wednesday on the standoff in eastern Ladakh. In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan gave a brief account of the four-month-long standoff and said the Chinese side attempted to transgress the Line of Actual (LAC) in several areas of the western sector since mid-May including the Galwan clashes of June 15, in which 20 Indian soldiers died. “These attempts were invariably met with an appropriate response from us,” he said. While referring to subsequent military and diplomatic talks between the two sides, including the talks between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart Gen. Wei Fenghe in Moscow, he noted that an agreement was reached between the two countries following talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on September 10 in Moscow. “Accordingly, it is expected that the two sides will continue to have meetings of military and diplomatic officials to implement the agreements reached between the two Foreign Ministers and ensure full restoration of peace and PRESS TRUST OF INDIA LUCKNOW, 16 SEPTEMBER A special court here will deliver judgment on September 30 in the Babari Masjid demolition case, ruling whether BJP veterans like L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were involved in razing the mosque in 1992. Judge S KYadav onWednesday directed all 32 accused to be present in the court on the day of the judgment. The accused include former deputy prime minister L K Advani, former Union ministers M M Joshi and Uma Bharti, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, Vinay Katiyar and Sadhvi Rithambara. The CBI court was working against the monthend deadline set by the Supreme Court for the verdict. The final arguments by the defence and the prosecution PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 16 SEPTEMBER adding the project cost also includes maintenance works. L&T Ltd had submitted a bid of Rs 865 crore. But Tata Projects Ltd was the lowest bidder, officials said. The Central Vista redevelopment project envisages a India, China expected to continue military and diplomatic talks: Govt An IAF fighter jet flies over Leh, on Wednesday. AFP Cong raises issue of alleged surveillance by Chinese firm NEW DELHI, 16 SEPTEMBER Congress members on Wednesday raised in both Houses of Parliament the alleged tracking of over 10,000 prominent Indian individuals and organisations by a Chinese technology company and asked the government to build an “impregnable firewall” to deal with the “digital aggression” by the neighbouring country. Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asked the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs to inform the minister contranquillity in the border areas,” Muraleedharan said. In answer to a separate question whether India's bilateral ties with neighbouring countries like Nepal, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Myanmar have deteriorated recently, Muraleedharan responded with a negative. “No,” he said to the question that was submitted by Trinamul Congress member Sougata Ray. Babari demolition case verdict on 30 Sept were heard by September 1, and then the judge began writing the verdict. Some of the final submissions by the accused were made through video conferencing. Issuing the order on Wednesday, the judge said the verdict will be pronounced on September 30 and asked all accused to be present in court. The Central Bureau of Investigation, which investigated the case, has produced 351 witnesses and about 600 documents as evidence before the court. Charges were framed against 48 people, but 16 died during the course of the trial. The CBI argued that the accused conspired and instigated the kar sevaks to demolish the 16th century mosque. But the accused pleaded that there is no evidence to prove their guilt and claimed they were falsely implicated in the case by the then Congress-led central government as a political vendetta. The mosque was pulled down on December 6, 1992 by mobs of kar sevaks who maintained that it was built during the time of the first Mughal ruler after razing a temple at the spot which marked the birthplace of Ram. Tata Projects Ltd wins bid for construction of new Parliament building at estimated cost of ` 861.9 cr Tata Projects Limited onWednesday won the bid for the construction of a new parliament building at a cost of Rs 861.90 crore, officials said. The new building will be constructed close to the existing one under the Central Vista redevelopment project. It is expected to be completed in 21 months from the start of construction work. However, a decision on starting the construction work has not been taken yet. “Tata Projects Limited has won the contract to build a new parliament building at a cost of Rs 861.9 crore,” an official said, P12 NEW DELHI, 16 SEPTEMBER RDIF, Dr Reddy’s tie up for clinical trials, distribution of Sputnik V vaccine PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NOT ONE TO BE CHAINED TO THE PAST ‘ECONOMIC RECOVERY IS STILL NOT WELL ENTRENCHED’ new triangular parliament building, a common central secretariat and revamping of the 3km-long Rajpath, from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate. The Central Public Works Department (CPWD), the principal agency for creation and maintenance of all government assets, said the new building will come up at plot number 118 of the Parliament House Estate. More MPs can be accommodated in the new building as the strength of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may increase after delimitation of constituencies. It will have seating arrangements for around 1,400 MPs. The building will be a reinforced cement concrete framed structure, another official said. According to CPWD, the existing parliament building will be used for other purposes once the new building is built. It said, “The plinth of the new building shall match that of the existing one, which is approximately 1.8 metres above CMYK the ground level.” The total plinth area of the proposed building is approximately 65,000 sqm, including the basement area of approximately 16,921 sqm. The building will be ground plus two storeyed with one basement,” the CPWD said. Under the Central Vista redevelopment project, designed by Gujarat-based architecture firm HCP Designs, the prime minister's residence and office are likely to be shifted near the South Block and vice-president's new house will be in the vicinity of the North Block. There are plans to covert the North and South Blocks, which symbolise the government's authority since their inception, into museums. In a landmark judgment last year, the Supreme Court allotted the disputed site in Ayodhya for the construction of a Ram temple, while calling the demolition of the mosque a violation of the rule of law. An alternative five-acre site has been found in the city for building a mosque. Champat Rai, the general secretary of the trust in charge of constructing the temple, is among the 32 accused in the Babari mosque demolition case. On July 24, BJP veteran L K Advani recorded his statement before the court through video conferencing, denying any involvement in the conspiracy to demolish the mosque. He pleaded that he was unnecessarily dragged into the case, claiming that the investigation was conducted under political pressure and the charge sheet was based on fabricated evidence. Delhi riots: Police file charge sheet against 15 SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 16 SEPTEMBER Delhi Police on Wednesday filed a charge sheet before a city court under the stringent UAPA and various sections of the IPC against 15 persons for the “larger conspiracy” in the riots in north-east Delhi in February. Those named in the charge sheet are Taahir Hussain, Mohd Parvez Ahmed, Mohd Illyas, Saifi Khalid, Ishrat Jahan, Miran Haider, Safoora Zargar, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Shahdab Ahmed, Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, Tasleem Ahmed, Saleem Malik, Mohd Saleem Khan and Athar Khan. In the charge sheet running into 10,000 pages, the police has listed 747 witnesses and of them 51 have recorded their statements under CRPC 164 (before the magistrate). The final report has been filed under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), various sections of Indian Penal Codes and Arms Act. The evidence relied upon by the police include WhatsApp chats of February 24, when the riots began. At that point, key conspirators were guiding their foot soldiers about violence in the area, the police claimed. cerned to “see what can be done and find out the veracity also”, after Congress members, K CVenugopal and Rajiv Satav expressed concern over a media report in this regard, during Zero Hour. Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said China was behind the spread of coronavirus, physical aggression in Ladakh and now “digital aggression”. “We are in clutches of China. Is the government not aware of it?...Our national security is being shattered,” he said. PTI Meanwhile, defence Minister Rajnath Singh will make a statement in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday on the border row with China in eastern Ladakh. After his statement, opposition leaders will speak and Singh may give a clarification if required, the sources said. This was decided in a meeting of floor leaders of the Rajya Sabha which was attended by Singh. Yoshihide Suga appointed Japan’s prime minister TOKYO, 16 SEPTEMBER Japan's Parliament elected Yoshihide Suga as prime minister Wednesday, replacing long-serving leader Shinzo Abe with his right-hand man. Suga had been chosen as leader of the ruling party on Monday, virtually assuring he would succeed Abe, who resigned earlier in the day because of ill health. Suga later in the day formed a 20-member Cabinet that retains many previous ministers Suga has stressed his background as a farmer's son and a self-made politician in promising to serve the interests of ordinary people and rural communities. He has said he will pursue Abe's unfinished policies, and that his top priorities will be fighting the coronavirus and turning around an economy battered by the pandemic. Abe said before the change was official that as a lawmaker, he will support Suga's government and he thanked the people for their understanding and strong support for the upcoming leadership under Suga. I devoted my body and soul for the economic recovery and diplomacy to protect Japan's national interest every single day since we returned to power, Abe told reporters at the prime minister's office before heading into his final PTI Cabinet meeting. Details on Page 9
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.