MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 30 NOVEMBER 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR BJP TRYING TO MUZZLE DISSENT: MEHBOOBA AMIT SHAH ACCUSES OWAISI OF DEFENDING INFILTRATORS WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Mist/shallow fog in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 26 and 07 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 95% Protesting farmers won't accept ‘conditional talks’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA TEMPERATURE Min: 7.0°C (-3) SUN SETS 17:24 hrs MOON SETS 07:35 hrs THUMBNAILS Members of the Kolkata Sikh Sangat rally in support of the farmers’ agitation taking place SNS in Delhi. In Kolkata on Sunday. Chinese defence minister: China's Defence Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe on Sunday met Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and held talks with Army chief Gen. Purna Chandra Thapa on ways to resume military cooperation and training impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gen. Wei, who is also a State Councillor, held bilateral talks with Nepal Army chief Gen. Thapa at the army headquarters in Kathmandu during a day-long “working visit” to Nepal. NEW DELHI, 29 NOVEMBER R ejecting the Centre's offer to hold talks once they move to the Burari ground, the farmers who are protesting at Delhi's borders for four days against the new farm laws on Sunday said they will not accept any conditional dialogue and threatened to block all five entry points to the national capital. A meeting of over 30 farmer groups was held to discuss Union Minister Amit Shah's offer for talks before the scheduled date of December 3 once they move to Burari in the city, but the thousands of protesters refused to budge and prepared for spending another night in the cold at the Singhu and Tikri border points. Their representatives said Shah's condition that they shift the protest is not acceptable and claimed Burari ground is an “open jail”. Opposition parties too Crashed Mig-29: Search and rescue teams of 2 the Indian Navy located the turbo charger, fuel tank and some other parts of the MiG-29K fighter aircraft that had crashed into the Arabian Sea, but one of the two pilots remained untraceable, officials said on Sunday. The Navy has deployed nine warships and 14 aircraft as part of the search and rescue mission to trade the missing pilot, they said. The MiG29K jet crashed into the sea on Thursday evening after taking off from INS Vikramaditya. Farmers sitting on dharna at Delhi’s border Ghazipur on SNS Sunday. pressed the government to initiate an unconditional dialogue with the farmers. “The condition laid down by Home Minister Amit Shah is not acceptable to us. We will not hold any conditional talks. We reject the government's offer. The blockade will not end. We will block all five entry point to Delhi,” Surjeet S Phul, Bhartiya Kisan Union's Punjab president, told reporters. “The condition put for talks is an insult to farmers. We will never go to Burari. It is not a park but an open jail,” he added. Gurnam Singh Chadhoni, Haryana unit president for the Bhartiya Kisan Union, said they were ready to talk “but will not accept any condition now”. Farmers who had reached Nirankarai Samagam Ground in Burari on Saturday also continued their protest there. Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla in a letter to 32 farmers organisa- UP registers first case under anti-conversion law in Bareilly PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Australia crush India in 2nd ODI: Australia buried India under an avalanche of runs for a 51-run drubbing in the second ODI and an unassailable 2-0 series lead after Steve Smith produced another master-class in the form of a 64-ball 104 in Sydney on Sunday. Batting first, Australia rode on five fifty-plus scores including Smith's blazing knock, to post an imposing 389 for four against a sluggish India. This was the Australian's fifth century against India in the 50-over format and second on the P12 trot after his ton in the series-opener. LUCKNOW, 29 NOVEMBER Uttar Pradesh has registered its first case under the new anti-conversion law in Bareilly district based on a complaint from the father of a young woman. The case was registered at the Devarniyan police station in Bareilly district on Saturday, officials said. In a statement issued here on Sunday, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said a case was registered by Tikaram, a resident of Sharif Nagar village under Devarniyan police station (in Bareilly), who accused a man ~ Uvaish Ahmed ~of the same village of trying to convert his daughter through “allurement” PM defends agri sector reforms STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 29 NOVEMBER On Saturday, UP Governor Anandiben Patel gave assent to an ordinance against forcible or fraudulent religious conversions that provides for imprisonment up to 10 years (bahla-phuslaakar). The case was registered against Uvaish Ahmed under the IPC and the new anti-conversion law. Senior Superintendent of Police Rohit Singh Sajwan said four police teams have been formed to arrest the accused. According to the complaint, Tikaram's daughter and Ahmed studied togeth- er in class 12. Three years ago, the accused started exerting pressure on her to undergo religious conversion and perform 'nikaah' (marriage). But when the woman opposed, he threatened to kidnap her, Tikaram alleged. Tikaram got his daughter married to someone else in June this year. However, Ahmed continued to harass her family members, the complaint said. Ahmed went to Tikaram's house on Saturday and asked him to bring his daughter back from her in-laws' house. Threatening her family, the accused said the woman will have to undergo religious conversion and marry him, according to the complaint. tions sent on Saturday cited the cold conditions and the Covid-19 outbreak and said the farmers should move to the Burari ground where adequate facilities have been made for them. “As soon as you shift to the ground at Burari, the very next day a high-level committee of Union ministers will hold talks at Vigyan Bhavan with the representatives of all farmers unions, with whom dialogue had taken place earlier,” he said in the letter. Union Home Minister Amit Shah had on Saturday said that a delegation of the farmers has been invited for a discussion on December 3 but as some of their unions have demanded that talks should be held immediately, the central government is ready to do so as soon as the protesters shift to the ground in Burari. The central government has reached out to the farmers underscoring its willingness to hold talks with them. It has also asserted that concerns expressed by some farm bodies about the new laws are misplaced, asserting that existing support measures like the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and state-run 'mandis' will remain in place. Farmer leaders claimed that more protesters will join them from Haryana and Punjab. Several Khaps or caste councils from Haryana have extended support to the farmers' ongoing protest and will march towards the national capital, Independent MLA from Haryana's Dadri constituency Sombir Sangwan, who also heads the 'Sangwan Khap', told PTI over phone. A war of words has also broken out between Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh and Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar over the movement of protesting farmers to Delhi. Khattar said on Sunday he would hold Amarinder Singh responsible if farmers' gathering on the state's borders with Delhi leads to an aggravation of the Covid-19 situation in the state. In his monthly 'Maan Ki Baat' broadcast to the nation over All India Radio, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said recent reforms in the agricultural sector initiated by his government had opened new doors of opportunities for farmers in the country. "The agricultural reforms in the past few days have also now opened new doors of possibilities for our farmers. The demands that have been made by farmers for years, that every political party, at some point or the other made the promise to fulfill, those demands have been met. After a lot of deliberation, the Parliament of India gave a legal form to the agricultural reforms," Modi said. Speaking about the 'new dimensions being added to agriculture and allied activities’, Modi said one of the agricultural reforms entailed that farmers dues have to be cleared within three days of procurement. In this context he gave the example of one corn farmer from Maharashtra- Jitendra Bhoiji- who benefited from the new law. "These reforms have not only served to unshackle our farmers but also given them new rights and opportunities. In just a short span of time, these new rights have begun to ameliorate the woes of our farmers," Modi said. Modi also shared the ‘good news’ of the return of one of the country's stolen heritage - a statue of Hindu goddess Annapoorna. “A very old idol of Devi Annapurna is returning to India from Canada. This idol was stolen from a temple of Varanasi and smuggled out of the country around 100 years ago somewhere around 1913. I express my gratitude to the Government of Canada and to all those ... who made this propitious deed possible,” Modi said. FASTER, FURTHER Participants take part in the Delhi Airtel Half Marathon 2020 on Sunday. DEEPAK (P12) PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 29 NOVEMBER Vaccine trial participant alleges adverse side-effects, SII denies e India’s Covid-19 tally nears 94 lakh PRESS TRUST OF INDIA North India likely to see harsher winter: IMD North India is likely to expect a harsher winter and the possibility of cold waves occurring could be more this season, India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said on Sunday. The IMD, in its winter forecast for December to February, said below normal minimum temperatures are likely over north and central India. “The winter is likely to be harsher in north India this season. The probability of occurrence of cold waves is more,” Mohapatra said. He added that the night temperatures in north India are likely to be below normal, while the day temperatures are expected to be above normal. The west coast and south India are likely to witness above normal minimum temperatures. “During the upcoming winter season (December to February), below normal minimum temperatures are likely over most subdivisions of north, northwest, central and few subdivisions over east India,” the IMD said. Scores of people die every year due to cold waves that sweep across the north Indian plains. P12 Farmer groups decide not to move to Burari ground, threaten to blockade Delhi borders Min: 40% Max: 26.4°C (+1) SUN RISES 06:57 hrs MOON RISES 17: 28 hrs P7 P5 P4 ZIDANE CONTINUES TO LOOK FOR ANSWERS MEMORIES OF A VERY SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP SNS & PTI NEW DELHI/CHENNAI, 29 NOVEMBER In a webinar last month, Mohapatra had hinted that winter could be more severe this season due to the prevailing La Nina, a phenomenon associated with the cooling of Pacific waters and an antithesis to El Nino. “Currently, Sea Surface Temperatures are below normal over central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean and moderate La Nia conditions are prevailing over the equatorial Pacific Ocean. “The latest forecast indicates that the moderate La Nia conditions are likely to continue at least till the end of winter season,” the IMD said. The IMD started issuing winter forecasts from 2016. This is probably the first time that the country's weather agency has said the winter will be severe. The previous year's forecast had predicted warmer winters. Mohapatra said parts of north India have recorded breaking low temperatures in October. A participant in the trials of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine in Chennai has sought a compensation of Rs 5 crore after allegedly suffering serious side effects from the shot, a claim which is being investigated by the Drugs Controller General of India and the institutional ethics committee at the trial site. A senior ICMR official said that apreliminary assessment has not indicated any causal link between the alleged adverse events shown by the volunteer and the 'Covishield' vaccine. The 40-year-old business consultant, who was a volunteer for the third phase of the vaccine trial conducted by Serum Institute of India (SII), has alleged he suffered a virtual neurological breakdown and impairment of cognitive functions, and has sent a legal notice to SII and others. However, the SII on Sunday rejected the charges as “malicious and misconceived” and said it will seek damages in excess of Rs 100 crore. The man was administered the shot at Chennai's Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (SRIHER), one of the trial sites on October 1. A law firm on his behalf has now sent a legal notice toDirector General of ICMR, CEO, Serum Institute of India Private Limited, Pune, Drugs Controller General of India, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, CEO, Astra Zeneca UK, Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator of Oxford Vaccine Trial andVice Chancellor of Sri Ramachandra Higher Education and Research. The man has sought a compensation of Rs 5 crore and that the testing, manufacturing and distribution of the vaccine be stopped immediately. SII has partnered with British-Swedish biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca for manufacturing the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine candidate. Dr Samiran Panda, who heads the Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases (ECD) division of the ICMR, said the causal link, if any, of the serious adverse events with the investigational product is objectively assessed in any clinical trial following a pre-defined scientific pathway and within a stipulated period. “Any hurried inquiry or inference is prone to be wrong. Both the institutional ethics committee and the DCGI are investigating the causal links, if any, between the adverse events and investigational product... A preliminary assessment has not indicated any causal link as yet,” Dr Panda said. According to the legal notice, the participant was administered the vaccine on October 1. Though there was no side effects for the first 10 days, he subsequently had episodes like severe headache and vomiting. Detailing the sequence of events since October 11 when he was admitted to the Ramachandra Hospital and as narrated by the man's wife, the notice said he showed behavioural changes. He could neither recognise anyone nor speak and was totally disoriented and was shifted to the ICU and was on October 26 “discharged at our (family's) request”, it said. Serum Institute of India said in a statement that the allegations in the notice are “malicious and misconceived” and the volunteer is falsely laying the blame for his medical problems on the Covid vaccine trial. “While the Serum Institute of India is sympathetic with the volunteer's medical condition, there is absolutely no correlation with the vaccine trial and the medical condition of the volunteer,” it said. “The claim is malicious because the volunteer was specifically informed by the medical team that the complications he suffered were independent of the vaccine trial he underwent. In-spite of specifically being made aware of the same, he still chose to go public and malign the reputation of the company,” Serum Institute said. NEW DELHI, 29 NOVEMBER India's Covid-19 caseload moved closer to the 94-lakh mark, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease crossed 88 lakh, taking the national recovery rate to 93.71 per cent, according to data the Union Health Ministry provided. The total coronavirus cases mounted to 93,92,919 with 41,810 new infections being reported in a day, while the death toll climbed to 1,36,696 with 496 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 a.m showed. The active Covid-19 caseload remained below 5 lakh for the 19th day. There are 4,53,956 active coronavirus infections in the country which comprise 4.83 per cent of the total caseload, the ministry stated. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease reached 88,02,267 pushing the national recovery rate to 93.71per cent, while the Covid19 case fatality rate stands at 1.46 per cent. According to the ICMR, over13.95 croresamples have been tested up to November 28 with12,83,449 samples being tested on Saturday. Delhi reports 4,906 new corona cases, 68 deaths: The national capital today 93,92,919 4,53,956 41,810 42,298 1,36,696 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2020 reported 4,906 positive cases of Covid-19, which took the cumulative count of such patients to 5,66,648, according to the Delhi government's latest health bulletin. The city recorded 68 fresh Covidlinked fatalities, which pushed its toll to 9,066. The death rate based on the last 10 days' figures was 1.83 per cent. The count of those who lost their lives owing to the coronavirus infection yesterday was 89. (SEE P2)
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