CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 13 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 NAVALNY ROW: RUSSIA SAYS READY FOR SPLIT WITH EU MORI GONE BUT GENDER ISSUES REMAIN P12 Partly cloudy sky. Fog/mist in the morning. Temperature most likely to be in the range of 30-18 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE P11 P7 KOHLI’S INDIA SEEK REDEMPTION P12 Defence Ministry refutes Rahul Gandhi’s claims of India ceding areas at Pangong to China as ‘categorically false’ Dinesh Trivedi resigns from Rajya Sabha STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 12 FEBRUARY ‘India hasn’t yielded any territory’ WEATHER Max. 99% TMC AND BJP ARE EVIL FORCES: ADHIR Min. 34% Max: 30.1°C (N) Min: 18.1°C (1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 06:10 hrs 17:31 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 06:39 hrs 18:05 hrs Next moon quarter on 20 February THUMBNAILS NEW DELHI, 12 FEBRUARY eacting sharply to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s claim that India has surrendered its land to China in eastern Ladakh, the government today asserted that the country has not conceded any territory to the neighbouring country as a result of the agreement on disengagement at the North and South Banks of the Pangong Tso Lake. In a statement, the Defence Ministry refuted as “categorically false” Gandhi’s claim that Indian territory was up to Finger 4. “The Indian territory R is as depicted by the map of India and includes more than 43,000 sq km currently under illegal occupation of China since 1962. Even the Line of Actual Control (LAC), as per the Indian perception, is at Finger 8, not at Finger 4. That is why India has persistently maintained the right to patrol up to Finger 8, including in the current understanding with China,” it added. At a Press conference earlier, Mr Gandhi had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “ceding” Indian territory to China, saying why Indian troops are moving back from Indian territory of Finger 4 to Finger 3. Finger-4 is our territory, that is where our post used to be. So, now we have moved from Finger-4 to finger-3. Why has Prime Minister Modi given up Indian Territory to the Chinese? Rather than conceding any land, India has enforced observance and respect for LAC and prevented any unilateral change in the status quo. RAHUL GANDHI DEFENCE MINISTRY “Finger-4 is our territory, that is where our post used to be. So, now we have moved from finger-4 to finger-3. Why has Prime Minister Modi given up Indian Territory to the Chinese? This is the question that needs to be answered by him and by the Defence Minister,” Gandhi said. The mountain spurs in the region are referred to as Fingers. The Ministry said permanent posts of both sides at the north bank of Pangong Tso were long-standing and well-established. On the Indian side, it was Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3 and on the Chinese side, east of Finger 8. The current agreement provided for cessation of forward deployment by both sides and continued deployment at these permanent posts. The statement said rather than conceding any land, India has enforced observance and respect for LAC and prevented any unilateral change in the status quo. The Ministry said the factual position on the agreement has already been clearly communicated by defence minister Rajnath Singh in his statements in both Houses of Parliament yesterday. However, there were still some misinformed and misleading comments being amplified in the media and on social media regarding the disengagement under way at Pangong Tso. It said the effective safeguarding of India’s national interest and territory in Eastern Ladakh has taken place because the government has faith in the armed forces. “Those who doubt the achievements made possible by the sacrifices of our military personnel are disrespecting them,” it added. Last year, the Chinese military built several bunkers in the areas between Finger 4 and 8 and had blocked all Indian patrols beyond Finger 4. In the nine rounds of military talks, India insisted on withdrawal of Chinese troops from Finger 4 to Finger 8 on the North bank of Pangong Lake. FM defends Budget against Opp charge Debris forms lake in Rishiganga river Schools reopened for classes 9 to 12 in Bengal in line with Covid safety rules. At Jogesh Chandra Girls’ School, Howrah on Friday. SNS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE RAJU GUSAIN 13 dead in blast at Tamil Nadu cracker unit: Thirteen people died and over 20 seriously injured in an explosion at a firecracker unit in Achankulam village in Virudunagar district on Friday. Of the 13, nine bodies were recovered from the spot and two people died at the Sattur Government Hospital. An officer of the Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue services department said it took over three hours to put out the fire. The blaze started in the afternoon at the Mariyammal firework unit. PM Narendra Modi and the Tamil Nadu chief minister condoled the deaths and announced compensation. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman today strongly rejected the Opposition’s charge that the 202122 Budget was for the rich, asserting that it aimed for “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (selfreliant India), and provided stimulus for infrastructure, while continuing with In an unexpected move, Trinamul Congress Rajya Sabha MP Dinesh Trivedi today declared that he would step down as a Member of Parliament as he was feeling suffocated. Mr Trivedi, who is representing Bengal in the Rajya Sabha for the third time and was a former railway minister, announced his resignation in the house during a debate on the Union Budget, saying he cannot speak about the violence in his state. “I was feeling suffocated as I was sitting idle here and people are suffering in Bengal. So I decided to tender my resigSNS nation,” he said. Details on Page 3 NEW DELHI, 12 FEBRUARY reforms. Replying to the Rajya Sabha debate on the Budget, she said in spite of whatever the government did to help the poor and the needy, it had become a habit for some in the Opposition to constantly allege and create a “false narrative” that the “Government works only for the cronies.” Economies suffered all over the world because of the pandemic, the finance minister said. The Budget had provided greater allocations for health and defence, and the MGNREGA had been taken out of the mess it was during the UPA tenure, and provided much more funds during the Covid period, she said. Taking on former finance minister P Chidambaram for his charge that “numbers” in the Budget were suspect, Sitharaman said it was during the UPA government’s tenure that Budget documents had “numbers” which were suspect and fudged and said that public sector units were given special bonds in place of subsidy. For Departments of Health, Ayush and Health Research, the allocations were substantially higher, she said. CMYK DEHRADUN, 12 FEB A new glacial lake has formed in the upstream of the Rishiganga river in the flash-flood-affected area in district Chamoli in Uttarakhand. According to the Central Water Commission, the lake is 350 metres in length, with a height of 60 metres and slope of 10 degrees. Debris flowing from the landslide triggered by a snow aval- anche has blocked the river to form the lake. This has forced the Chamoli administration to take fresh precautions. A team of scientists and experts of DRDO’s Defence GeoInformatics Research Establishment will go to the lake site on Saturday to take stock of the situation. The lake, if it breaches, can cause further damage in the valley, said authorities. Meanwhile, rescue teams battled on for a sixth day to get to some 25-35 people trapped in a sludge-choked tunnel at the Tapovan project. The rescue teams have successfully punctured the safety tunnel, while the bodies of two more victims were recovered today. 1,08,80,603 1,35,926 9,309 15,858 1,55,447 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2021
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