CMYK FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 18 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 PATRIOT WITH A DIFFERENCE US PURSUES FEDERAL CHARGES AGAINST VIOLENT PROTESTERS P10 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. One or two spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 36-28 degrees Celsius. P6 P10 Govt pursuing status quo ante at LAC: Singh RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY 'Will not rest till Indian troops patrolled in its mid-April positions' Max.93% STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE TEMPERATURE Min. 59% Max: 35.6°C (3) Min: 28.1°C (2) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:24 hrs 17:38 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 04:58 hrs 17:51 hrs Moon first quarter on 24 September THUMBNAILS Devotees perform ‘tarpan’ ritual to pay obeisance to ancestors on the last day of Pitru Paksha near the Howrah bridge. In Kolkata on Thursday. AFP Four dead in Jammu-Kashmir encounter: K Three Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants and a civilian woman were killed, while two CRPF personnel, including an officer, sustained injuries in a predawn gunbattle in Batamaloo area in Srinagar on Thursday, officials said. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Firdousabad locality in Batamaloo around 2.30 a.m. following information about the presence of militants there. The search operation turned into an encounter after the militants opened fire on security force, the officials added. Prime Minister turns 70: Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned 70 on Thursday, and wishes poured in for the BJP leader from top dignitaries, including President and Vice President, Union ministers and leaders from across the political divide. The BJP is organising a number of events across the country to celebrate Modi's birthday as 'Sewa Divas'. Top BJP leaders said India's stature rose on the world stage under his leadership and his life dedicated to the nation’s welfare is an inspiration for them. Allow Indian lawyer for Jadhav: India tells Pak govt NEW DELHI, 17 SEPTEMBER espite violent face-offs thrust upon India by the Chinese Army, the Government will not rest until status quo ante was restored on the India-China border in Ladakh, and the Indian Army patrolled in its mid-April positions. This was stated by Defence minister Rajnath Singh in the Rajya Sabha today when the Opposition sought clarifications on his statement, detailing the Indian response to Chinese attempts at transgressions in the northern region. The minister agreed to Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu’s suggestion to brief senior leaders of different parties on the current situation. Singh said this was an ongoing situation and obviously involved sensitive operational issues. He said External Affairs minister S Jaishankar had met Chinese Foreign Minister in Moscow on 10 September. The two had reached an agreement, which, “if implemented sincerely and faithfully by the Chinese side, could lead to complete disengagement and restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas.” The minister said India was keen to resolve all differences with China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) peacefully. “It was in pursuit of this objective that I met my Chinese counterpart on 4 September in Moscow and had a detailed discussion regard- D NEW DELHI, 17 SEPTEMBER Defence minister Rajnath Singh in the Rajya Sabha ing the current situation with him.” He made it clear to the Chinese Defence minister that even as India “wanted to peacefully resolve the issue and would like the Chinese side to work with us, there should also be no doubt about our determination to protect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Singh said. The Opposition leaders were however keen to know how far the Government would go in achieving its objectives. Anand Sharma (Congress) said the Defence minister had said that diplomatic and military engagements were continuing. “Do we understand by this that status quo ante will be restored,” he asked. Former Defence minister A K Antony (Congress) said the Galwan Valley was never a disputed part. Now Indian soldiers are not allowed to patrol in the Pangong area. They must be allowed to patrol up to the areas they were doing earlier, he said. R C P Singh (JD-U) said India had helped China to get into the UN Security Council but it was ungrateful and still attacked India. Ravi Prakash Verma (Samajwadi Party) said the electronic media coverage of the India-China face-off gave the impression that war was imminent. Several members expressed solidarity with the Government. China continues to be in illegal occupation of approximately 38,000 sq. kms in Ladakh. India asks China to complete disengagement in LAC: New Delhi today asked China to sincerely work with India for complete disengagement at the earliest from all friction areas, including Pangong Lake, as well as deescalation in border areas in accordance with bilateral agreements and protocols. “'We hope the Chinese side will strictly respect and observe the line of actual control (LAC) and not make further attempts to unilaterally change status quo,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said. India today asked Pakistan to allow it to appoint an Indian lawyer or a Queen’s counsel for Indian death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav to ensure a free and fair trial in his case. “The Pakistan Government has not fulfilled its obligations on implementation of the ICJ ruling. It has not addressed the core issues, which includes provision of all related case documents, providing unconditional consular access to Jadhav and appointment of an Indian lawyer or a Queen’s counsel to ensure a free and fair trial,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson said. His comments came after Pakistan’s Parliament extended by four months an ordinance that allowed Jadhav to file a plea against his conviction in a Pakistan high court. SNS His comments came shortly after the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson stated that it was imperative for India to immediately ''correct its mistakes, realise disengagement on the ground and take concrete action to ease up tensions in relevant areas.” Harsimrat quits in protest Delhi violence: Opp leaders raise against Centre’s farm Bills concerns over probe with Kovind PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 17 SEPTEMBER Harsimrat Kaur Badal has submitted her resignation as Union minister to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), principal advisor to Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal said. Harcharan Bains, the principal advisor, said Kaur submitted her resignation soon after the party chief announced in Lok Sabha that she would quit the Union Cabi- net in protest against the three farm Bills, tabled in Parliament by the Centre. Kaur, the Union minister of Food Processing Industries, is the only SAD representative in the Modi government. In his speech during a discussion on two of the farm Bills ~ the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said the proposed laws will “destroy” the 50 years of hard work put in by successive Punjab governments and farmers to build the agriculture sector. Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, meanwhile, called Kaur’s resignation as nothing more than a gimmick. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 17 SEPTEMBER Opposition leaders met President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday and raised questions about the role of the police during the February riots, besides expressing their lack of confidence in the probe of the incident. In a joint memorandum, the leaders raised their concerns over the probe into the riots being conducted by the Delhi Police. The Delhi Police has set up Special Investigation Teams (SIT) and its Special Cell is also probing the aspect of conspiracy behind the Delhi riots in which 53 people lost their lives. “There are, however, serious questions about the role played by the Delhi Police during the violence and also the manner in which the police is harassing and attempting to falsely implicate activists and young people who took part in the anti CAA/NRC/NPR movements as the perpetrators of violence. “Such a manufactured conspiracy theory has now begun to falsely implicate political leaders,” it said. The memorandum also criticised the police for the reference made to CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury citing disclosure statements by the accused. They also alleged that there are several publicly documented accounts and videos of police being “complicit in the violence, directing mobs pelting stones or looking the other way when mobs were indulging in violence”. “During the violence, a disturbing video emerged showing uniformed policemen assaulting young men lying injured on the road and forcing them to sing the national anthem while repeatedly beating them with lathis. “One of the men, Faizan, suc- cumbed to his injuries a few days later,” the memorandum said highlighting other such instances, including one in which they alleged the “DCP stood quietly next to a BJP leader who was instigating violence against the protesters”. “Despite several complaints being filed alleging involvement of senior police officials in the violence, it appears no urgency has been accorded to identifying the policemen involved in the violence,” it said. The memorandum also said that the ongoing investigation by the Delhi police did not inspire confidence as there were serious questions about the “impartiality” of the probe. “We, therefore, urge you to call upon Indian Government to institute an inquiry into this investigation under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952, headed by sitting/retired judge(s),”it said. WASHINGTON, 17 SEPTEMBER The US Justice Department has charged five Chinese citizens with hacking over a 100 companies and institutions in America and abroad, including the Indian government’s networks, and stealing valuable software data and business intelligence. Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen on Wednesday announced three indictments have been unsealed in the matter that collectively charge five Chinese nationals with computer hacking and two Malaysian nationals for helping some of those hackers target victims and sell the fruits of their crime. The Malaysian nationals were arrested on Sunday and the Chinese nationals have been declared fugitive, according to a Justice Department statement. Rosen severely criticised the Chinese government. “The Department of Justice has used every tool available to disrupt the illegal computer intrusions and cyberattacks by these Chinese citizens. Regrettably, the Chinese Communist Party has chosen a different path~ of making China safe for cyber-criminals so long as they attack computers outside China and steal intellectual property helpful to China,” the deputy attorney general said. “In 2019, the conspirators compromised Indian Government websites, as well as virtual DATA THEFT PLOT The US Justice Department has charged five Chinese nationals and two Malaysian nationals In 2019, the con- The conspirators used VPS spirators compro- PROVIDER servers to connect to mised Government an Open VPN network owned by of lndia websites, the Government of India as well as virtual private networks In the attacks, the conspirators and database servers installed ‘Cobalt Strike’ malware supporting the Gov- on Indian government-protected ernment of India. computers private networks and database servers supporting the Government of India. The conspirators used VPS PROVIDER servers to connect to an Open VPN network owned by the Government of India,” the indict- ment said. In the attacks, the conspirators installed ‘Cobalt Strike’ malware on Indian government-protected computers, it added. According to the charges, the computer intrusions affected over 100 companies in the United States and abroad. The victims ranged from software development, computer hardware, telecommunication, social media and video game companies. Non-profit organisations, universities, think-tanks, foreign governments, pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong were also targeted. Security researchers have tracked the intrusions using labels “APT41, Barium, Winnti, Wicked Panda, and Wicked Spider. These intrusions facilitated the theft of source code, software code signing certificates, customer account data, and valuable business information, the researchers said. These intrusions also facilitated the defendants’ other criminal schemes, including ransomware and crypto-jack- CMYK P12 ‘Aim is to dial down mortality rate to less than one per cent’ SNS &PTI NEW DELHI, 17 SEPTEMBER Union Health minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said the government is aiming to bring down India’s Covid-19 mortality rate to less than 1 per cent from the current 1.64 per cent, which is still the lowest in the world. Replying to a debate in the Rajya Sabha, he said India’s recovery rate of 7879 per cent is one of the highest in the world, adding though the total cases may have crossed 50 lakh, active cases are less than 20 per cent. Deaths in India due to coronavirus pandemic are less than many nations in Europe and the government was determined to better the testing rate of the United States, he said. Vardhan said there are chances that a vaccine could come in the country early next year but till then it was necessary for people to follow social distancing and wear masks. Two indigenous vac- Union Health minister Harsh Varshan says India’s recovery rate of 78-79 per cent is one of the highest in the world, adding that active cases are less than 20 per cent, though the total cases may have crossed 50 lakh, cines by Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech have completed phase 1. Serum Institute of India (SII) has again commenced the trials after getting clearance from the Drug Controller General of India. India is the manufacturing partner of the vaccine candidate named Covishield, developed jointly by the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute’s and AstraZeneca. The Pune-based firm, SII, is looking after the trials at 17 trial sites across India. Besides this, the Russian Direct Investment India’s Covid tally goes past 51 L with over 97K new cases Health workers in a mobile Covid-19 testing van take swab samples from residents of the Model Town metro station area. In the Capital on Thursday. DEEPAK STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEWS DELHI, 17 SEPTEMBER With a massive single day spike of 97,894 new cases and 1,132 deaths in the last 24 hours, India's Covid-19 tally on Thursday crossed the 51-lakh mark, with the total number of cases reaching to 51,18,253. On the other hand, the number of recoveries has crossed 40 lakh and exceeds the active cases of infection by 30,15,103, taking the recovery rate to 78.64 per cent. The number of active cases has also crossed 10 lakh; of the total cases so far, 10,09,976 are active, while around 40,25,080 have recovered from the virus and 83,198 have died due to the pandemic, the data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday morning said. The fatality rate stands at 1.63 per cent. A tally compiled by news agency PTI at 9.10 Five Chinese charged in mega hacking scheme; Indian govt networks hit PRESS TRUST OF INDIA KOHLI HOPES TO END RCB'S IPL TITLE DROUGHT NOVICHOK-TINGED BOTTLE FOUND IN NAVALNY’S ROOM ing schemes, the latter refers to the group’s unauthorised use of victim computers to mine cryptocurrency. The Chinese hackers also targeted government computers and networks of Vietnam and United Kingdom. The hackers, however were not successful in compromising the government computer networks in the UK. The racketeering conspiracy pertained to the three defendants’ conducting the affairs of Chengdu 404 Network Technology (Chengdu 404), a Chinese Government company, through a pattern of racketeering activity involving computer intrusion affecting over 100 victim organisations, and individuals around the world. 51,18,253 10,09,976 97,894 82,719 83,198 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 08.00 A.M. THURSDAY 17 SEPT 2020 p.m. based on figures reported by states put the total number of cases at 52,02,223, the total death toll at 84,297 and the total number of patients who have recovered at 40,95,217. Fund and Dr. Reddy’s, have agreed to cooperate on clinical trials and distribution of Sputnik V vaccine in India. The minister today said that steps like testing, isolation of infected persons and other steps can be attributed to this lower mortality rate. Citing the examples of Spain and Brazil, he said the mortality rate in those countries was over 11 times that of India. “We want to bring it (mortality rate) to less than one per cent. We have 50 lakh cases right now but out of these, only 10 lakh are active cases in the country right now,” Vardhan said. “In the country of 135 crore people, we are doing 11 lakh tests now and are second to the US only. It has been possible only due to the united fight against the disease,” the Health minister said. “Vaccines can come in future. Extensive planning is underway to execute how to manage the scenario, “ Vardhan said. Another 3000-plus cases per day for Bengal KOLKATA, 17 SEPTEMBER More than 3,000 people were detected Covid-19 positive in a single day yet again, with the state recording 3,197 fresh cases and 60 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total case count and death toll to 2,15,580 and 4,183 respectively. Kolkata today recorded a huge spike in terms of the number of deaths due to Covid, registering 22 deaths and 475 fresh cases. North 24-Parganas recorded the highest number of cases in the state today with 507 fresh Covid cases and 18 deaths. Currently, there are 24,336 active Covid cases with 2,948 Covid patients being discharged from hospitals today. Till now 1,87,061 patients have recovered in the state, registering a discharge rate of 86.77 per cent. The rate of positivity is 8.12 per cent and samples of 45,536 people were tested in a single day. The rate of Covid bed occupancy is 33.39 per cent while 8481 out of 12675 beds in Covid-designated government hospitals and 774 out of 2722 Covid beds in private hospitals are vacant. At present, 2,485 people are in government quarantine centres, while 74,814 are in home quarantine and 1,695 are in safe SNS homes. Regulate digital media first: Centre to top court PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 17 SEPTEMBER The Centre has said that if the Supreme Court decides on the issue of media regulation then such an exercise should be undertaken with the digital media first as it has faster reach and information has the potential to go viral due to applications like WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook. The government told the apex court that sufficient framework and judicial pronouncements exist for the electronic and the print media. Considering the serious impact and the potential, it is desirable that if this court decides to undertake the exercise, it should first be undertaken with regard to digital media than electronic media and print media, said the counter affidavit, filed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The affidavit was filed in a pending matter in which the top court is hearing a petition against Sudarshan TV’s Bindas Bolprogramme whose promo had claimed that channel would show the ‘big expose on conspiracy to infiltrate Muslims in government service'. The Supreme Court on Thursday set the hearing for the petition on Friday.
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