SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 07 FEBRUARY 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 | `5.00 |LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR TATA ASKS PEOPLE TO STOP BHARAT RATNA CAMPAIGN THE UNFINISHED JOURNEY OF SHEIKH MUJIB P7 P8 P4 P11 Chakka jam hits Punjab, Haryana, Raj WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with light rain towards late night/morning. Temperature to be in the range of 28-16 degrees Celsius. Max. 98 % Min. 36 % TEMPERATURE Scores of people detained in several states; farmer leader Rakesh Tikait declares protest on Delhi’s outskirts will continue till 2 Oct PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Min: 15.2°C (-1) SUN SETS 17:28 hrs MOON SETS 13:09 hrs February THUMBNAILS President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurates a museum at the erstwhile ancestral house of former Chief of Army Staff General Thimayya, at Madikeri, Karnataka on Saturday. PIB Bengal govt effects police reshuffle: The West Bengal government on Saturday appointed Soumen Mitra as the new commissioner of Kolkata Police, and transferred incumbent Anuj Sharma as additional director general of the state CID before the state assembly polls. Jawed Shamim will be the new additional director general, law and order, of the West Bengal Police, taking over from Gyanwant Singh, the state P3 government said in an order. armers in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan blocked highways with tractortrolleys and squatted on key roads on Saturday, while scattered protests were held in other states during a three-hour ‘chakka jam’ called by agitating farmer unions which are demanding scrapping of the Centre’s new agri laws. Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait declared that their protest on Delhi’s outskirts will continue till 2 October and farmers will return home only after the government repeals the contentious legislations and makes a law ensuring legal guarantee for the minimum support price (MSP). “There will be no compromise on this,” he said and asserted that the agitation was for the whole country and not one state. No untoward incident was reported in any part of the country during Saturday’s protests though scores of people were detained in several states, including 50 F First women team inducted into CRPF's CoBRA: A maiden contingent of 34 CRPF women personnel was on Saturday inducted into its specialised jungle warfare commando force CoBRA, which will soon be deployed in the anti-Naxal operations grid of the country. The Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) was raised under the CRPF in2009 for undertaking intelligence-based jungle warfare operations. It has been an all-male affair for this unit till now. FinMin permits 4 states to borrow addl `5k cr: The Finance Ministry has granted permission to four states of Assam, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to borrow an additional Rs 5,034 crore for undertaking ease of doing business reforms. The ministry said these four more states have undertaken 'Ease of Doing Business' reforms stipulated by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA With 56 lakh people inoculated against Covid-19 till now, the Centre has urged states and Union territories to exponentially increase the pace of vaccination and ensure the inoculation of all healthcare workers at least once before 20 February. Of the 56,36,868 beneficiaries vaccinated so far, additional secretary in the Union health ministry Manohar Agnani said 52,66,175 are healthcare workers and 3,70,693 are frontline workers whose vaccination started on 2 February. ‘Hackers leaked data of Army personnel using Airtel network’ NEW DELHI, 6 FEBRUARY A hacker group has allegedly leaked data of Army personnel using Bharti Airtel network in Jammu and Kashmir; however, the company has denied any breach in its system. The group, with the name of Red Rabbit Team, hacked some Indian websites and posted the data on the web pages of those portals. The hackers shared some links of those web pages on Twitter in a comment over a tweet of cyber security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia and tagged several media organisations. The query sent to the Indian Army did not elicit any reply but an Army official said “We are not aware of any such information but it appears to be malicious intent of some inimical elements”. Bharti Airtel spokesperson denied any breach of its server. “We can confirm there is no hack or breach of any Airtel system as claimed by this group. Multiple stakeholders outside of Airtel have access to some data as per regulatory requirements. We have apprised all the relevant authorities of the matter to, therefore, investigate this and take appropriate action.” “This group has been in touch with our security team for over 15 months now and has made varying claims in Standing in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India. Read about who they are and why they’re protesting below. Security was tightened and barricade set up while left-wing activists protest at Shaheed Park; (right) farmers protest over Centre’s farm laws at Singhu border. SUBRATA DUTTA at Shaheedi Park in the national capital which was brought under a thick security blanket in light of the violence during the tractor parade on 26 January. Protesters were also held briefly by police as they stalled traffic in parts of Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The Congress and Left parties too joined the protests in some states in support of the ‘chakka jam’ called by the agitating farmer unions. While Delhi along with Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand was kept out of Saturday’s road blockade from 12 noon till 3 p.m by agitating farmer unions, authorities suspended internet at the protest sites of Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri as well as adjoining areas for 24 hours till Saturday night and closed entry and exit facilities at 10 prominent Delhi Metro stations for few hours. Singhu border looked crowded than before as more tractors and farmers made their way to the protest sites, while drone cameras, multilayered barricades, nail-studded roads and barbed wires were in place as part of precautionary measures by the police. Security forces, including anti-riot police, were deployed at important junctions across the national capital, including Red Fort and ITO, which had witnessed violence on 26 January. Thelma & Louise star Susan Sarandon is the latest international celebrity to back the protest. The 74-year-old actor took to Twitter and shared a news report by The New York Times, headlined, “Why Are Farmers Protesting in India?” The police also monitored content on social media, officials said. At the Ghazipur protest site, Tikait, the 51-year-old Bharatiya Kisan Union leader, said, “This movement will continue for a year. It’s an open offer and proposal to the government. A law on MSP will have to be made. Without that, we won’t go back home. “Three laws will have to be taken back. Both these Vaccinate all health-care workers by 20 Feb, states told NEW DELHI, 6 FEBRUARY PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Hollywood veteran now backs farmers NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH, 6 FEBRUARY RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 28.0°C (N) SUN RISES 06:13 hrs MOON RISES 02:06 hrs New moon on 12 STOKES LEADS PRAISE OF ROOT MODI HAILS JUDICIARY We can confirm there is no hack or breach of any Airtel system as claimed by this group. Multiple stakeholders outside of Airtel have access to some data as per regulatory requirements. We have apprised all the relevant authorities of the matter to, therefore, investigate this and take appropriate action BHARTI AIRTEL addition to posting inaccurate data from one specific region,” the spokesperson said. The links shared by the hacker were initially accessible with mobile number, name and address of subscribers but stopped working after sometime. Red Rabbit Team in a message claimed that it has access to pan-India data of Bharti Airtel through a shell uploaded on the company’s server and will leak more data soon. Rajaharia said that hackers have failed to show any credible evidence of possessing pan-India data of Bharti Airtel. “The hacker group failed to show evidence that they have a whole India database. Their claim of shell upload may be also fake. The video of SDR portal seems real but only a short portion of data may leak via this,” he said. INOCULATION LOWDOWN A total 2,20,019 beneficiaries were vaccinated on Saturday. There are no cases of serious or severe AEFI or death attributable to vaccination till date. Of the 56,36,868 beneficiaries vaccinated so far, 52,66,175 are healthcare workers and 3,70,693 are frontline workers whose vaccination started on 2 February. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that India has so far supplied Covid-19 vaccine to 15 countries and another 25 nations are in the queue On Saturday, Agnani said, a total 2,20,019 beneficiaries were vaccinated. He said there was no case of serious or severe AEFI or death attributable to vaccination till date. “No new case of hospitalization or death reported in the past 24 hours,” he added. Agnani said 13 states and UTs, including Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, have vaccination coverage of 60 per cent among health care workers while 12 states and UTs, including Delhi, Punjab and Assam, have less than 40 per cent vaccination coverage among HCWs. He said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Saturday reviewed the performance of vaccination drives with all states and UTs. “He advised states/UTs to improve coverage, beneficiary turn out per session and minimize vaccine wastage,” Agnani said. He said states and UTs have been asked to complete the first dose administration to all health care workers by 20 February and mop-up rounds by 25 February. Bhushan also asked the states/UTs to ensure that beneficiaries of the inaugural vaccination day on 16 January should start getting a second dose on 13 February. “Every state/UT must schedule all healthcare workers for vaccination at least once before 20 February, 2021 and immediately thereafter organise mop-up rounds for them. Similarly, all frontline workers must be scheduled for vaccination at least once before March 6, 2021 and immediately thereafter organise mop-up rounds for them,” the ministry said in a statement. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, meanwhile, said that India has so far supplied Covid-19 vaccine to 15 countries and another 25 nations are in the queue at different levels for the jab. 9 rounds of talks between India, China so far PRESS TRUST OF INDIA AMARAVATI(AP), 6 FEBRUARY External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said senior military commanders of India and China have held nine rounds of talks on the process of disengagement of troops in eastern Ladakh and the parleys will continue in future also. Addressing reporters in Vijayawada, he said so far there was no “visible expression” of the talks on the ground. “The disengagement talks, because it is a very complicated issue, because it depends on troops, you have to know the geography (like) which position and what is happening, The disengagement talks, because it is a very complicated issue, because it depends on troops, you have to know the geography (like) which position and what is happening, this is being done by the military commanders S JAISHANKAR - EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER this is being done by the military commanders,” he said. The minister was replying to a query on whether there would be any ministerial level talks between both the countries on skirmishes between troops of the Asian giants. China and India are locked in a military standoff in eastern Ladakh since 5 May last. The two countries have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks to resolve the face-off, but no significant headway has been made so far. “So, military commanders have held nine rounds of meetings so far. We believe some progress has been made, but it is not, in a kind of situation where there is a visible expression of that on the ground,” he said. Referring to the parleys he and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held with their respective chinese counterparts last year in Moscow, Jaishanakar said it was agreed that there should be disengagement in some points. “Right now the military commanders are talking and they will continue to talk,” he said. On the recent Union Budget, he said there has been a significant additional outlay for the Defence, both in the financial year as well as capital expenditure. The minister said there is an 18 per cent increase in the capital expenditure which, according to him, is the highest during the past 15 years. demands have to be met and there will not be any compromise on that. There cannot be a bigger movement. We cannot quit the protest.” Raising slogans against the Centre, farmers squatted in the middle of roads with posters, flags and banners in Punjab and Haryana, blocking several highways, including the ChandigarhZirakpur, AmritsarPathankot, Tarn TaranKapurthala, FerozepurFazilka, Muktsar-Kotkapura, Bathinda-Chandigarh, Ludhiana-Jalandhar, Panchkula-Pinjore and AmbalaChandigarh highway, leading to traffic snarls. Women also took part in the stir in a sizeable number at several places. “We don’t want to create any inconvenience for the people. Security forces have been blocking ~ our and their passage~ for so many days, we expect the ‘aam aadmi’ to co-operate with us for some hours at least,” said Ajit Ahluwalia (29) from Haryana’s Hisar. In Rajasthan, farmers at many places including Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Dholpur and Jha- lawar stalled traffic on the highways and main roads and held demonstrations, police said. Farmers in Uttar Pradesh handed over a memorandum to respective district authorities, demanding the withdrawal of the laws. Several farmer groups and the Congress held a protest in Mumbai. ‘Rasta roko’ protests were held in Karad and Kolhapur cities in Maharashtra. At least 40 protesters, including senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan’s wife Satvasheela Chavan, were detained for holding a protest on a busy road at Kolhapur Naka in Karad in western Maharashtra this afternoon, a police official said. In Telangana, police said several people were taken into preventive custody as leaders of Opposition parties joined the farmers in ‘raasta roko’ protests on various. Farmers blocked highways in different parts of Karnataka to show their solidarity. A few pro-Kannada organisations too came in support of the agitators. Protests were also held in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu. Less than 100 daily fatalities for 2nd time in week SNS & PTI NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, 6 FEBRUARY The number of active Covid19 cases in India fell below the 1.5 lakh mark as of Saturday morning, even as the country added another 11,713 cases in the previous 24 hours, taking the total coronavirus infection tally to 1,08,14,304, according to Union Health Ministry data. The number of daily fatalities linked to the coronavirus also fell below 100 for the second time this week, with just 95 such deaths recorded in the last 24 hours. The country had reported 94 fatalities, the lowest in nine months, on 2 February. The last time the country reported less than 100 Covid-19 linked deaths was on 5 May last year. At its peak, more than 1,000 deaths were being reported every day. As many as 1,05,10,796 people have recuperated so far pushing the national recovery rate to 97.19 per cent on Saturday, according to the ministry's data. There are currently 1,48,590 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country, which account for 1.37 per cent of the total caseload, according to the data updated at 8 a.m. Saturday. The death toll has climbed to 1,54,918 with the coronavirus claiming 95 lives in 1,08,14,304 1,48,590 11,713 14,488 1,54,918 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 06 FEBRUARY 2021 the country. The Covid-19 case fatality rate stood at 1.43 per cent. India also crossed a landmark figure of 20 crore tests for Covid-19 with 7.40 lakh tests conducted on Friday alone with the cumulative positivity rate pegged at 5.39 per cent. Bengal: West Bengal today registered 197 fresh Covid cases while the state reported just one death linked to the infection. The state's total Covid case count stood at 5,71,178, with the death toll at 10,202 till now. Andhra Pradesh SEC orders minister confined to home STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE HYDERABAD, 6 FEBRUARY Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner N Ramesh Kumar directed the state director general of police to confine the state Panchayat Raj and rural development minister P Ramachandra Reddy in his residence till 21 February, when the Gram Panchayat polls in the state will end, after the YSRCP minister warned officials that they will be blacklisted for following the orders of the SEC. Invoking his plenary powers, the SEC directed the state DGP to confine the minister to his residential premises till the completion of elections to the Gram Panchayats across the state. Mr Kumar also directed that the minister is to be denied any access to the media in order to prevent any utterances that are inciting in nature and will have an adverse impact on the ongoing elections to the local bodies as well as on general law and order situation in the district of Chittoor and elsewhere. The Panchayat minister had urged returning officers to declare the results of the unanimously elected Panchayats ignoring the SEC’s orders and even warned that officials who favour the SEC will be taken to task and blacklisted for as long as the YSRCP Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj and rural development minister P Ramachandra Reddy had urged returning officers to declare the results of the unanimously elected Panchayats ignoring the SEC’s orders and even warned that officials who favour the SEC will be taken to task and blacklisted for as long as the YSRCP government was in power government was in power. Ramesh Kumar is slated to retire on 31 March this year. The minister’s statement came after the SEC asked collectors of Guntur and Chittoor to withhold results of unanimously elected Panchayats. The commission said the orders were being given in order to fulfil its mandate of holding free and fair elections and to insulate the district collectors and returning officers in the state from fear psychosis emanating due to threats and warnings issued through the media. The orders will come into effect immediately and continue till 21 February. “These restrictions imposed are entirely preventive in nature while denying access to the media and by imposing reasonable limited restrictions,” said the commissioner in his order and added it will not prevent the minister from accessing medical aid or meeting other exigencies and that Reddy can discharge his responsibilities as a minister. Reacting to the SEC's order, Mr Reddy said he just watched the news in TV channels and if the DGP has to implement the order, he can do it. “I am not opposing it. I am only saying that these kinds of gag orders issued by the SEC in connivance with TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu indicate that the SEC has gone mad. People will certainly teach them lessons for this,” Mr Reddy told reporters. YSRCP MLA and party spokesperson Ambati Rambabu said that the SEC has stepped out of his purview in ordering a senior minister confined to his house. He said that Kumar confined Reddy only because he was active in Chittoor from where TDP Chief Chandrababu hails. He reaffirmed that strict action will be taken against those who act illegally out of fear of SEC.
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