SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 04 OCTOBER 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd Pages 12 | `5 |LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P6 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 36 and 20 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 91% P7 Rahul, Priyanka meet Hathras victim's family UP govt’s SIT completes preliminary probe, media allowed into village Min: 34% Min: 20.3°C (-1) SUN SETS 18:03 hrs MOON SETS 09:01 hrs THUMBNAILS US President Donald Trump (C) walks off Marine One while arriving at Walter Reed MedAFP ical Center in Maryland on Saturday. Trump condition: President Donald Trump went through a “very concerning” period Friday and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care as he battles the coronavirus at a military hospital, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Saturday. The comments came after it was revealed that Trump was administered supplemental oxygen Friday morning at the White House before he was transported to the hospital, although staff insisted he had only mild symptoms. P10 Kashmir fake encounter victims: The bodies of three cousins belonging to Rajouri in Jammu who were killed in a “fake encounter” in south Kashmir’s Shopian were exhumed after more than two months from a graveyard on Saturday and handed over to their families. The three men killed in an encounter at Amshipura in July were described as unidentified terrorists and their bodies were buried in a graveyard in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The police last week said the DNA samples of the three victims matched with their family P5 members. UP govt seeks CBI probe into Hathras case LUCKNOW/HATHRAS, 3 OCTOBER Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday evening met the family of the Hathras victim, declaring they will fight for justice to the Dalit woman who died after being allegedly gangraped. We will fight against injustice, and fight till justice is done, Priyanka Gandhi told reporters after the meeting that lasted about 45 minutes. Rahul Gandhi said no power can stifle the voice of the family. Uttar Pradesh authorities had scuttled an earlier attempt by the two leaders to travel to Hathras, detaining them and several party workers in Greater Noida outside Delhi on Thursday. On Saturday, the Congress staged another demonstration at the Delhi-Noida border, where Congress workers scuffled with police and were allegedly lathicharged. When a delegation of Congress MPs and other LUCKNOW, 3 OCTOBER Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at DND in the Capital on DEEPAK the way to Hathras in UP on Saturday. leaders reached the barricades, the Noida police said they will allow only five party representatives to meet the family at their village in Hathras, about 150 km away. The 19-year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped on September 14 in an assault by four men that left her critically injured. She died at a Delhi hospital last Tuesday. Villagers gathered outside as the Congress leaders entered the family's home. Some were seen on the rooftops nearby, waiting to catch a glimpse of the Mamata Banerjee leading a TMC-organised rally protestSNS ing against UP rape case in Kolkata on Saturday. BUTTLER WANTS TO MAKE THE DESERT BOOM P10 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA TEMPERATURE Max: 36.1°C (+2) SUN RISES 06:16 hrs MOON RISES 19:40 hrs BORIS UPBEAT ON E.U. TRADE DEAL BEFORE KEY TALKS NAWAZ LAUNCHES A CRAFTY ASSAULT THE GINSBURG SPIRIT Congress leaders. UP Congress leaders Pradeep Mathur told PTI that K C Venugopal, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and MukulWasnik accompanied the Gandhis on the visit. There was heavy security presence outside the family home. Earlier, Rahul and Priyanka were allowed to proceed towards Hathras following a massive show of party strength and some scuffles at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border. While high drama unfolded in the national capital and the case continued to find wide resonance, a Hathras administration official said the Special Investigation Team had completed its preliminary probe into the death and alleged gangrape of the 19-year-old woman. Ending a two-day standoff, the administration removed barricades outside her village to allow the media to meet her family. But scores of police personnel in riot gear lined up at the Delhi-Noida Direct flyway to prevent the Congress convoy from moving Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday recommended a CBI probe into the death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman who was allegedly gangraped in Hathras, officials said. The development comes within hours of Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi and Director General of Police H C Awasthi meeting the victim's family at her home. The chief minister has ordered that a probe should be done by the CBI into the complete Hathras case, the chief minister's office tweeted. Reacting to the announcement, the family members of the victim said they want a Supreme Court-moniPTI tored inquiry. to Hathras, about 180 km away. Eventually, as swarms of Congress workers and others jostled with each other amid loud honking, slogans and Congress flags fluttering in the air, the Gautam Buddh Nagar Police finally allowed five people, including Rahul Gandhi, to go to Hathras. Congress workers, some of whom described what happened as brutal repression, claimed police used batons to disperse the (SEE INSIDE PAGES) crowd. P12 India's defence interests compromised by previous govts: Modi ARCHANA PHULL MANALI, 3 OCTOBER Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the majestic Atal Tunnel, beneath Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district, would serve as a lifeline for Leh-Ladakh and would give new strength to India’s border infrastructure. Addressing a function after inaugurating the allweather Atal tunnel from its South portal towards Manali, the Prime Minister said the tunnel, which connects Manali with Lahaul valley of HP en route to Leh and is the longest in the world at this altitude (10,000 feet), is an example of worldclass border connectivity. Modi said there have been demands to improve border infrastructure in the entire country. However, for decades, the projects of strategic importance were delayed deliberately. “These projects could either not come to the planning stage or got stuck in files,” he said. “They compromised on security concerns of the country, whether it was about procurement of modern fighter planes, procurement of ammunition, modern rifles, bulletproof jackets, winter equipment or anything else,” he added. Modi said one of the top priorities of his government is to strengthen the country’s international border on all sides, along with taking care of the needs of the security forces. In the last six years the border infrastructure ~ be it roads, bridges or tunnels ~ is being developed with full impetus and great speed, he said. “The previous gov- ernment had no will to do so,” he said. Praising the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for completing the challenging task of constructing the tunnel in tough terrain, Modi said the Atal tunnel is going to be a lifeline for a large part of Himachal Pradesh as well as the new Union Territory of Ladakh and would reduce the distance between Manali and Keylong by 3-4 hours. He added that tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh will be connected with the rest of the country and would witness speedier economic progress. The Prime Minister said that such border connectivity projects will also aid the security forces in ensuring regular supplies to them and also in their patrolling. Modi noted that former India’s Covid-19 tally over 64 lakh Loan moratorium: Govt agrees to STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 3 OCTOBER With a spike of 79,476 fresh cases, India's Covid-19 tally surged past 64 lakh on Saturday, health ministry data showed. India's tally mounted to 64,73,544 cases, with 1,00,842 deaths, as of Saturday morning, the health ministry data indicated. Apart from 79,476 fresh coronavirus cases, 1,069 deaths were added to the tally in the last 24 hours, Exactly a month ago, India had recorded 67,376 deaths. Out of the total cases, 9,44,996 are currently active, 54,27,706 have been discharged.While the recovery rate stands at 83.84 per cent, the fatality rate has come down further to 1.56 per cent, the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. A PTI tally compiled on the basis of figures reported by states and Union territories, meanwhile, put the total number of cases at 65,38,865, and the total number of deaths at 1,01,715 as of 10 p.m. Saturday. Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state with a total of 14,16,513 cases, including 37,480 deaths, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. According to the data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted 11,32,675 sample tests in a single day on Friday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 7,78,50,403. Delhi cases: Delhi today logged 2,258 Covid cases, recording 34 fresh coronavirus fatalities. The number of tests conducted in the city to identify this relatively lower tally of Covid cases was however significantly lesser ~ at 39,306 ~ than the average nearly 60,000 tests per day being conducted now. This was the second consecutive day that the national capital reported less than 3,000 new cases. Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee laid the foundation of the approach road for this tunnel in 2002. He said after the Vajpayee government, the work was so neglected that till 2013-14, only 300 metres of tunnel was built each year. “If the construction of the tunnel had continued at the earlier pace, it would have completed in 2040,” he said. He said his government had fast tracked the project and the construction went on at a speed of 1400 metres each year. He said the project could be completed in 6 years. Modi said in 2005, the estimated cost for the construction of the tunnel was about Rs 900 crore. But due to continuous delays, today it has been completed after spending more than 3 times i.e. 3200 crore rupees. SEE ALSO PAGE 4 waive compound interest for 6 mths PRESS TRUST OF INDIA 64,73,544 9,44,996 79,476 75,628 1,00,842 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 03 OCTOBER 2020 The cumulative Covid case count rose to 2,87,930 while the coronavirus death toll (SEE P2) mounted to 5,472. Sushant’s death case of suicide: AIIMS board NEW DELHI, 3 OCTOBER NEW DELHI, 3 OCTOBER In a relief to individual borrowers and medium and small industries, the Centre has agreed in the Supreme Court to waive compound interest (interest on interest) charged on loans of up to Rs 2 crores for a six-month moratorium period announced due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It said the government will seek due authorisation from Parliament for making appropriate grants in this regard and the endeavour shall be over and above the support of Rs 3.7 lakh crore to MSMEs, Rs 70,000 crore for home loans etc. already extended through the Garib Kalyan and Aatma Nirbhar packages announced by government earlier. In an affidavit filed by the Union finance ministry, it said that the relief to all bor- The relief to borrowers in respect of compounding of interest during the moratorium period would be admissible to the categories specified irrespective of whether the borrowers had availed the moratorium or not rowers in respect of compounding of interest during the period of moratorium would be admissible to the categories specified irrespective of whether the borrowers had availed the moratorium or not. The government, therefore, has decided that the relief on waiver of compound interest during the six-month moratorium period shall be limited to the most vulnerable category of borrowers. This cat- egory of borrowers, in whose case, the compounding of interest will be waived, would be MSME loans and personal loans of up to Rs 2 crore, it said. The loans were categorised into eight categories by the government including MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), education, housing, consumer durable, credit card dues, auto, personal, and consumption. It said that any individual/entity whose loan amount is more than Rs 2 crore will not be eligible for waiver of the compounding of interest.The affidavit was filed by the Centre in response to a batch of pleas in the court raising issues pertaining to validity of RBI's March 27 circular which allowed lending institutions to grant moratorium on payment of instalments of term loans falling due between March 1, 2020 and May 31 this year due to the pandem- ic. Later, the moratorium period was extended till August 31. Earlier, in the matter, the Centre had told the court that waiver of interest on deferred EMIs during moratorium period would be against the basic canons of finance and unfair to those who repaid loans as per schedule. The Centre in the fresh affidavit said that waiving compound interest would result in very substantial and significant financial burden and it is impossible for the banks to bear the burden without passing on the financial impact to the depositors or affecting their net worth adversely, which would not be in the larger national economic interest. It said that the only solution under the circumstances is that the government bears the burden resulting from waiver of compound interest. MORE ON PAGE 8 An AIIMS medical board has ruled out murder in the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, terming it “a case of hanging and death by suicide,” the institute's forensic chief Dr Sudhir Gupta said on Saturday. In its conclusive medicolegal opinion to the CBI, the six-member team dismissed the claims of “poisoning and strangling”, with Dr Gupta saying the panel did not find any trace of poison and drugs in the viscera. “It is a case of hanging and death by suicide.We have submitted our conclusive report to the Central Bureau of Investigation,” Dr Gupta, who is also the chairman of the forensic medical board, said. There was no injury on the body other than that of hanging. Also, there was no mark of struggle PTI and scuffle. DETAILS ON PAGE 5 Bihar polls: Grand Alliance announces seat-sharing formula, backs Tejashwi, VIP says it is quitting PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PATNA, 3 OCTOBER The opposition Grand Alliance in Bihar sought to steal a march over the ruling NDA on Saturday when it announced its seat-sharing formula as part of which the RJD, spearheading the coalition, will contest on 144 seats. The coalition members also endorsed RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav as its face, though a minor constituent of the multi-party formation announced a sudden exit alleging betrayal. At a press conference here, Yadav announced the number of seats assigned to the Congress, the CPI(ML), the CPI(M) and the CPI and disclosed that his party was getting the lion’s share of 144 seats. Among other allies, Congress has been given 70 seats,far more than it had contested in the 2015 assembly polls in alliance with the RJD and chief minister Nitish Kumars JD(U). The Congress will also be fielding its candidate in Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat where by-poll will be held on November 7. Among the Left parties, the CPI(ML) has been given 19 seats, followed by CPI (six) and four seats to CPI(M). Lalu Prasad's party will be accommodating its ally in adjoining Jharkhand, the JMM and Vikashheel Insaan Party (VIP), its coalition partner since the Lok Sabha polls last year, from its own quota of constituencies. Bihar has a 243-member Assembly. The RJD had won 81 seats in 2015 while Congress had bagged 27 seats. Yadav told media persons that the party will declare in another two to three days the seats it will be giving to the two parties from its quota. Former Bollywood set designer Mukesh Sahni, popularly known by the sobriquet “Son of Mallah”, fumed after other leaders had left the venue: “We have been stabbed in the back.” “It is hereby announced that my Vikassheel Insaan Party will not be a part of an alliance wherein the trust reposed by us has been betrayed and we have not been accorded due respect”. Earlier, it was reported in the media that the VIP, which claims support among fishermen community, will be getting around half-a-dozen seats. VIP sources later said the party may now explore “other options” like the front floated by Jan Adhikar Party chief Pappu Yadav along with Chan- drashekhar Azad Ravans Bhim Army. It is also speculated that RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha, who recently quit the Grand Alliance and joined hands with the BSP may arrive , at an understanding with Pappu Yadavs front to queer the pitch for the main players in the Bihar assembly polls. Prior to the dramatic turn of events, which was marked by VIP supporters venting their ire by vandalising flower vases and raising slogans against the RJD, leaders of the grand alliance which was supposed to have six constituents sought to present a picture of mutual trust and amity. Congress leader Avinash Pandey, while backing Tejashwi Yadav as the Chief Ministerial candidate, showered praises on the former Deputy CM for having taken on Narendra Modi-led BJP at a tender age in the assembly polls held five years ago. The grand old party has been assuaged with an offer of 70 seats, many more than 41 it had got five years ago. Pandey also remarked, “our respectable chief minister Nitish Kumar too was with us. But then the apharan (hijacking) of popular mandate took place and he ended up siding with those whom he had fought against in the polls. The JD(U) chief had made an abrupt exit from the Grand Alliance in 2017 which had followed Yadav’s name cropping up in a money laundering case. Kumar is seeking a fourth consecutive term in the upcoming elections, having been backed by the BJP’s top brass for leading the NDA at the hustings. He is, however, faced with a roadblock in form of rebellion from LJP chief Chirag Paswan. The piquant situation has also prevented the NDA from coming out with its own seatsharing formula, though less than a week is left before filing of nominations for the first of the three phases of elections comes to a close.
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.