CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 16 NOVEMBER 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 SUU KYI AGAIN ANOTHER BLOW FOR MEHBOOBA P5 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature most likely to be around 32 °C and 21 °C respectively. Max.87% TEMPERATURE P6 P10 India’s Covid-19 caseload crosses 88-lakh mark Min. 37% Max: 31.9°C (+2) Min: 20.6°C (+1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:50 hrs 16:53 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 17:08 hrs 05:39 hrs Next moon quarter on 22 November PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 15 NOVEMBER Ahmed Patel in ICU: Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, who tested positive for COVID19 a few weeks ago, has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Medanta Hospital, Gurgaon for further treatment, his family said on Sunday. They said Patel's condition is stable and he continues to be under medical observation. Patel, 71, had announced on Twitter on October 1 that he contracted the coronavirus. Gilgit-Baltistan elections: Voters cast their balB lots on Sunday in Gilgit-Baltistan in northern Pakistan amidst tight security in the third legislative assembly election, believed to be the most hotly contested polls the region has ever seen. India has slammed Pakistan for its decision to hold elections in Gilgit-Baltistan and said any action to alter the status of the militarily-occupied region has no legal basis. Authorities said the polling was peaceful. Counting of votes has started and complete P9 results are expected on Monday. cinema legend, is dead NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, 15 NOVEMBER THUMBNAILS Devotees immerse an Idol of Goddess Kali in River Ganga in Kolkata, on Sunday. IANS P12 Centre intervenes to Soumitra Chatterjee, curb Delhi Covid spurt Bengal icon and 300 additional ICU beds, more daily tests, house-to-house survey planned RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY HAMILTON WINS SEVENTH TITLE BIDEN’S AGENDA FACES A DIVIDED CONGRESS With Delhi reeling from a fresh spike in Covid-19 cases, the Centre on Sunday announced a slew of steps including making available 300 additional ICU beds, double the number of daily RT-PCR tests and a house-to-house survey in the entire national capital. Union home minister Amit Shah also said some of the hospitals under the municipal corporations of Delhi will be converted into dedicated Covid hospitals. Doctors and paramedics of paramilitary forces will be flown in to be deployed in the national capital to deal with the shortage of manpower. The decisions were taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Shah and attended by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan among others. It was the second major intervention by Shah since June when he had stepped in and announced several steps to check the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the national capital after criticism in different quar- ters of the Delhi government’s handling of the crisis. Sunday's meeting was convened in the wake of the rising number of cases, which is being called the 'third wave' of Covid-19, in Delhi. In a series of tweets in Hindi, Shah said daily RTPCR tests in Delhi will be doubled and the capacity of the testing laboratories will be enhanced. He said mobile testing vans of the Union Health Ministry and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will be deployed in the areas where the Covid-19 threat is high. Currently, around 18,000 to 19,000 RT-PCR tests are conducted daily in Delhi. Shah said the meeting resolved to enhance the capacity of Delhi's hospitals and in this direction, 300 ICU beds will be made available at the DRDO Covid hospital (Dhaula Kuan) in addition to the existing 250 ICU beds. The home minister said to increase the number of oxygen beds, the 10,000-bedded Chhatarpur Covid care centre will be strengthened and some of the hospitals of the municipal corporations of Delhi will be converted into dedicated Covid hospitals. India's Covid-19 caseload has gone past the 88-lakh mark, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease has crossed 82 lakh, according to Union health ministry data updated on Sunday. The total number of coronavirus cases mounted to 88,14,579 with 41,100 of these reported in a day, while the death toll climbed to 1,29,635 with 447 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed. There are 4,79,216 active cases of the infection in the country as on date. The total number of recoveries has surged to 82,05,728, pushing the national recovery rate to 93.09 per cent, while the Covid-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.47 per cent. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 12,48,36,819 samples were tested for Covid19 up to November 14. West Bengal recorded 3,053 fresh Covid cases and 51 deaths taking the total case count and death toll After the meeting, Delhi chief minister Kejriwal, however, said around 750 ICU beds will be arranged at the DRDO centre and daily testing will be scaled up to 1-1.25 lakh in coming the days. House-to-house survey 88,14,579 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 15 NOVEMBER 4,79,216 41,100 42,156 1,29,635 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 15 NOV 2020 to 4,31,551 and 7,661 respectively. Active cases sharply declined to 29,314. Kolkata registered 713 fresh Covid cases and 18 deaths while North 24-Parganas recorded 701 cases and 11 deaths. With 4,480 Covid patients being discharged in a single day, a total of 3,94,576 patients have recovered in the state PTI/SNS till now. in the entire Delhi will be conducted by the teams of AIIMS, Delhi government and municipal corporations of Delhi and all the symptomatic persons found in the survey would be tested and provided the necessary treatment. Soumitra Chatterjee, one of Bengal’s most celebrated actors, died today after a weeks-long battle with Covid-19 related ailments. He was 85. Chatterjee is survived by his wife Deepa, daughter Poulomi and son Sougata. The actor was admitted to a city hospital on 6 October, a day after he tested positive for Covid-19. He was initially said to be stable but his health deteriorated in the last week of October. He was put on life support yesterday after his condition became very critical. Chatterjee breathed his last at 12.15 p.m. The news of the thespian’s death sent a shockwave through the nation, with condolences pouring in from President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, BJP chief JP Nadda, Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren and many others. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee wrote on social media, “International, Indian and Bengali cinema has lost a giant. The film world in Bengal has been MAMATA BANERJEE WEST BENGAL CHIEF MINISTER orphaned.” Later, she rushed to the hospital where Chatterjee had been fighting for his life for over a month. She was among the thousands who bade a tearful adieu to Chatterjee, walking with her ministerial colleagues and a host of film personalities as the flower bedecked hearse carried his mortal remains to the Keorotala Crematorium where he was given a funeral with full state honours. The last of the greats of the golden era of Bengali cinema, Chatterjee made his acting debut in the Satyajit Ray-directed Apur Sansar in 1959. That was the start of a decades-long collaboration with the director that resulted in such cinemat- Trump finally admits Biden ‘won’, but insists vote rigged Nitish to return as CM again but without Sushil Modi as his deputy THE INDEPENDENT PRESS TRUST OF INDIA WASHINGTON, 15 NOVEMBER President Donald Trump has finally admitted to losing the election ~ while continuing to spread outright lies and misinformation about false allegations of mass voter fraud. After days of refusing to concede to President-elect Joe Biden, the president wrote in a tweet on Sunday morning: “He won because the Election was Rigged.” The president has continued to post statements on social media that were false and flagged by platforms like Twitter and Facebook for containing misleading information about the election. Mr Trump falsely claimed in all-caps there were “NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS” allowed in the polling places, which is not true and can be easily disputed by the witness statements and video evidence of polling place observers watching the vote count all across the country. Before Sunday, the president repeatedly refused to accept the fact he lost the election, even as a wave of legal challenges he filed against the electoral process were failing in key states like Arizona and Pennsylvania, and the law firms representing his campaign pulled out of their cases. In a follow-up tweet, Mr Trump alleged Democrats “succeeded plenty” in the election due to voter fraud while adding: “Mail-in elections are a sick joke!” However, a vast pool of research and analysis has shown mail-in voting to be a safe and effective way to cast ballots in an election without fear of rigging or cheating. Virtually all of Mr Trump’s claims about voter fraud have been consistently debunked: his campaign falsely said a dead voter cast a ballot when an elderly woman confirmed she was alive and had voted against Mr Trump; it also falsely said military families were casting illegal ballots when they were not; and it also falsely said that Mr Trump could only lose the election if there was mass voter fraud. PATNA, 15 NOVEMBER The NDA on Sunday chose JD(U) president Nitish Kumar for another term as the chief minister of Bihar even as suspense hung over the fate of his most trusted man in the BJP Sushil Kumar Modi who has served as his deputy for much of his tenure so far. Kumar’s name was announced at 1, Anney Marg, the chief minister’s official residence, by defence minister Rajnath Singh who had been sent from Delhi as the “observer” for the BJP, which has returned with the highest number of seats in the NDA in the assembly elections. “Nitish Kumar was unanimously elected as the NDA legislature party leader. Our MLAs Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi were respectively elected as the leader and deputy leader of the BJP legislature party”, Singh told reporters later. Kumar, who met Governor Phagu Chauhan along with leaders like BJP state president Sanjay Jaiswal to stake claim for the formation of a new government, said the swearing in would take place “tomorrow, between 4 and 4.30 P .M.” and curtly replied “it will be decided in due course” when asked who were likely to take oath as members of his state cabinet. Rajnath Singh, a former BJP national president, who was accompanied by Sushil Kumar Modi for most part of his day-long visit, however ducked queries about who would be the new Deputy CM. “You will come to know about it at an appropriate time”, said Singh even as Modi himself dropped ample hints about the happenings within the party. The senior BJP leader, who is an avid user of social media , had his designation as Deputy CM dropped from his Twitter handle. He also congratulated Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi and came out with a cryptic tweet about his own future in the BJP . “Few might have got from the BJP and the RSS as much as I did in my 40 years of political career. I will fulfill whatever responsibility that comes my way in future. Nobody can, after, all, snatch away from me the post of a party worker”, Modi said in the tweet. 15 Asia-Pacific nations sign world's biggest trade agreement sans India CHARMAINE NG SINGAPORE, 15 NOVEMBER The world's largest trade pact was inked on Sunday by ministers from 15 countries including Singapore, in a move likely to spur the region's economy as it battles its worst crisis in decades. Building on existing free trade deals among members, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will broaden and deepen economic linkages across the Asia-Pacific, ease trade in goods and services, facilitate the flow of foreign investments, and enhance protections in areas such as e-commerce and intellectual property. RCEP members account for 30 per cent of the world's economy and one-third of its population. They comprise all 10 Asean members and key partners Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. At a virtual leaders' summit chaired by Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Sunday, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong described the signing of the pact as a “major step forward for the world, at a time when multilateralism is losing ground, and global growth is slowing”. “It signals our collective commitment to maintaining open and connected supply chains, and to promoting freer trade and closer interdependence especially in the face of Covid-19 when countries are turning inwards and are under protectionist pressures,” he said. Mr Lee joined several leaders in expressing the hope that India will be able to sign on in future, so that "participation in the RCEP will fully reflect the emerging patterns of integration and regional cooperation in Asia". New Delhi pulled out of talks last November after seven years of negotiations following concerns over trade imbalances. Yesterday, RCEP leaders reiterated that the door remains open for India. Some have raised concerns that China stands to benefit the most as the group's largest economy, but ministers noted that the RCEP gives members' businesses greater access to the vast Chinese market. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the signing was a victory for multilateralism and free trade, adding: "Let people choose unity and cooperation in the face of challenges, rather than conflict and confrontation." The pact will enter into force once six Asean countries and three partners have ratified it. RCEP leaders say they will expedite their domestic processes to ratify the pact. It will eliminate tariffs for at least 92 per cent of goods, with additional preferential market access for exports. The flow of goods will also be faster. More companies will be able to provide services in the region, with foreign shareholding limits raised for at least 50 sub-sectors including professional services, telecommunications and financial services. Businesses will also find it easier to navigate and integrate into regional value chains. Asean secretary-general Lim Jock Hoi told The Straits Timesyesterday that the RCEP will ensure markets are kept open, and provide much needed certainty and stability for businesses as they cope with the Covid-19 crisis. CMYK THE STRAITS TIMES/ANN Negotiations with New Delhi once India gives written request to join NEW DELHI, 15 NOVEMBER The countries that have signed the RCEP agreement can start negotiations with India for joining the pact once New Delhi submits a written request stating its intention for the same, according to a declaration. On November 4 last year, India walked out of the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) as negotiations failed to address New Delhi's outstanding issues and concerns. The remaining 15 member countries have signed RCEP During the last journey of Soumitra Chatterjee in Kolkata on Sunday. SNS ‘Feluda' is no more. ‘Apu' said goodbye. Farewell, Soumitra (Da) Chatterjee. He has been a legend in his lifetime The film world in Bengal has been orphaned agreement and have stated that the pact would remain open to India. “The RCEP signatory states will commence negotiations with India at any time after the signing of RCEP agreement once India submits a request in writing of its intention to accede to RCEP agreement to the depositary of the RCEP agreement, taking into consideration the latest status of India's participation in RCEP negotiations and any new development thereafter,” according to the Ministers' Declaration on India's ParticiPTI pation in RCEP . ic gems as Charulata, Ghare Baire, Devi, Abhijan, Aranyer Din Ratri, Shakha Proshakha,Hirak Rajar Deshe and many others. It was Chatterjee who immortalised the much-loved ‘Feluda’, Ray's fictional sleuth featured in Sonar Kella and Joi Baba Felunath. Chatterjee was also worked with several other great Bengal directors of the era such as Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha and Tarun Majumdar. Chatterjee, one of Bengal’s most popular faces, was conferred several awards and honours in his lifetime including India's top film honour, Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Ratna and three National Awards. He was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 2006. In 1999, he became the first Indian film personality to be honoured with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France's highest award for artists. He was also conferred the Légion d’honneur, France's top civilian award, in 2018. (With PTI inputs) Obituary, Page 3 India rejects Pak charge of sponsoring terror attacks NEW DELHI, 15 NOVEMBER New Delhi today rejected Islamabad's claim linking India to terror attacks in Pakistan, saying this was yet another futile antiIndia propaganda exercise and an attempt to justify cross-border terrorism by the neighbouring country. “The so-called claims of ‘proof’ against India enjoy no credibility, are fabricated and represent figments of imagination. This desperate attempt will find few takers as the international community is aware of Pakistan’s tactics and proof of its terror sponsorship has been admitted by none other than its own leadership,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said reacting to the remarks made by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi at a press conference yesterday. The spokesperson said the press conference was a deliberate attempt on the part of the Pakistani establishment to shift focus from its internal political and economic failures. ''It also seeks to justify cross-border terrorism, including ceasefire violations and infiltration across the LoC and IB,'' he added. \To substantiate his charges against Islamabad, the spokesperson noted that the face of global terror, Osama Bin Laden was found in Pakistan; Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan glorified bin Laden as a ‘martyr’ from the floor of Pakistan’s Parliament; he also admitted the presence of 40,000 terrorists in Pakistan; and Pakistan's Science and Technology Minister recently proudly claimed the involvement and success of Pakistan in the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 Indian solSNS diers were martyred.
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