CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 15 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 P6 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Fog / Mist in the morning. Temperature most likely to be in the range of 30-20 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 98% TEMPERATURE Min. 43% ‘WON’T LET GOVT SIT IN PEACE TILL DEMANDS MET’ RUSSIA MOVES TO DOUSE PRO-NAVALNY STIR GAMES MEN PLAY P10 THUMBNAILS Protesting farmers at the Ghazipur border take out a candle march to remember the soldiers martyred in the Pulwama terror attack. SNS Ashwin record: Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday surpassed Harbhajan Singh to become the second highest wickettaker in Tests played in India. Ashwin got past Harbhajan, who took 265 wickets in India at an average of 28.76, by dismissing Ben Stokes with a perfect off-spinner on the second day of the second Test against England in Chennai. Ashwin's 266 wickets at home has come at an average of 22.67. Spin legend Anil Kumble is the leading wicket-taker in Tests in India with P12 350 scalps at an average of 24.88. Kurnool mishap: Tragedy struck a group of pilgrims on their way to Ajmer Dargah as 14 of them, including eight women and a child, were killed and four injured in a road mishap in Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh early on Sunday, police said. The accident occurred when a mini-bus in which the victims, all relatives and hailing from Madanapalle in Chittoor district of the state, were travelling collided with a lorry at Madapuram around 4 a.m. Donald Trump acquitted in 2nd impeachment trial NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, 14 FEBRUARY The Union health ministry has issued new 'SOPs to contain spread of Covid-19 in offices' and according to these, if one or two cases are reported, the disinfection procedure will be limited to the areas occupied and visited by the patient in the last 48 hours. Work can resume after disinfection has been completed as per laid down protocols, the standard operating procedures (SOPs), stated. If a larger number of cases are reported at workplace, the whole block or building should be disinfected before work is resumed, the ministry said. Officers and staff residing in containment zones should inform the same to their Five bodies recovered from Tapovan tunnel WASHINGTON, 14 FEBRUARY onald Trump was acquitted of inciting the horrific attack on the U.S. Capitol, concluding a historic impeachment trial that spared him the firstever conviction of a current or former US president. Barely a month since the deadly 6 January riot that stunned the world, the US Senate convened for a rare weekend session to deliver its Saturday verdict, voting while armed National Guard troops guarded the iconic building. The quick trial, the nation’s first of a former president, showed in raw and emotional detail how perilously close the invaders had come to destroying the nation’s deep tradition of a peaceful transfer of presidential power after Trump had refused to concede the election. Rallying outside theWhite House, he unleashed a mob of supporters to “fight like hell” for him at the Capitol just as Congress was certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s victory. As hundreds stormed the building, some engaging in bloody combat with police, lawmakers fled for their lives. Five people died. Seven Republicans joined all 50 Democrats to convict, but it fell short of the twothird threshold needed. The outcome after the uprising leaves unresolved the nation’s wrenching divisions over Trump’s brand of politics that led to the mo- D DEHRADUN, 14 FEBRUARY Voting to find Trump guilty were Republican Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania. st violent domestic attack on one of America’s three branches of government. Trump, unrepentant, welcomed his second impeachment acquittal and said his movement “has only just begun.” He slammed the trial as “yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country.” Though he was acquitted of the sole charge of incitement of insurrection, it was the largest number of senators to ever vote to find a president of their own party guilty of an impeachment count of high crimes and misdemeanors. Voting to find Trump guilty were GOP Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania. Republican leader Mitch McConnell voted to acquit, but condemned Trump as “practically and morally responsible” for the insurrection. He contended Trump could not be convicted because he was gone from the White House. In a statement issued several hours after the verdict, Biden highlighted the bipartisan nature of the vote to convict as well as McConnell’s strong criticism of Trump. Biden said everyone, especially the nation’s leaders, have a duty “to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.” “That is how we end this uncivil war and heal the very soul of our nation. That is the task ahead. And it’s a task we must undertake together,” said Biden, who had hardly weighed in on the proceedings during the week. More on Page 10 supervisory officer and not attend office till the containment zone is denotified. Such staff should be permitted to work from home, the new SOPs stated. Offices in containment zones shall remain closed except for medical and essential services and only those outside will be allowed to open up, the document said. The SOPs stated that only asymptomatic staff or visitors shall be allowed entry, individuals must maintain a minimum distance of six feet in common places as far as feasible, and use face covers or masks at all times. Meetings, as far as possible, should be done through video conferencing and large physical gatherings continue to remain prohibited, the SOPs stated. Meanwhile, India's tally of Covid-19 cases surpassed 1.09 crore with12,194 new infections, while fresh fatalities were recorded below100 for the eighth time this month, according to the Union Health Ministry data. India's total Covid-19 active caseload currently stands at 1,36,571 comprising just 1.25 per cent of the total infections. A total 12,143 daily new cases were registered in a span of 24 hours, according to the Union health ministry. A total of 1,06,00,625 people have recovered so far with 11,395 patients getting discharged in a day. No fresh death from Covid19 was recorded on Saturday in Delhi, the second time in February when the singleday fatality count was zero, according to data shared by the city health department. Abdullahs under ‘house arrest’ on Pulwama anniversary Search and rescue teams began retrieving bodies from the flash flood-hit Tapovan tunnel in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district. After failing to make much headway and progressing just 80 metres inside the tunnel for many days, the team was successful in getting to 130 metres by Sunday morning. Five bodies were recovered from the debris inside the Tapovan tunnel. Thirty to thirtyfive workers are believed trapped inside and rescue work has been going on there since 7 February. Uttarakhand Police DGP Ashok Kumar said, “We have recovered five bodies from Tapovan tunnel, six other from Reni village and one from Ruderprayag. So far we have recovered fifty bodies.” ITBP NDRF SDRF and , , other agencies were struggling to clear slush and debris to reach a junction point inside the tunnel. The target is to reach 180 metres point to search other small tunnels linked to the main tunnel. A major search operation was also launched on Sunday at the Rishiganga power project site, where the flash flood had swept away the connectSNS ing road. Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, his father and sitting MP Farooq Abdullah and their other family members were on Sunday put under "house arrest" by the authorities in Srinagar. Omar Abdullah in a series of tweets said that he and his family, including his father Farooq, have been put under house arrest by authorities. On the second anniversary of the Pulwama attack, Omar said that they have been "locked up" at their house without any explanation. In a Twitter thread, the former chief minister said, "Chalo, your new model of democracy means that we are kept in our homes without explanation but on top of that the staff that works in the house aren't being allowed in and then you are surprised that I'm still angry & bitter," adding "This is the 'naya/new J&K' after Aug 2019. We get locked up in our homes with no explanation. It's bad enough they've locked my father (a sitting MP) & me in our home, they've locked my sister & her kids in their home as well." He also posted photographs showing police vehicles outside the gates of his residence in the Gupkar area of the city. Responding to his tweet, police said the movement of protected persons and VIPs was discouraged due to adverse inputs on the second anniversary of the Pul- CHENNAI, 14 FEBRUARY Setting the stage for a positive campaign for the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, likely in April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday latched on to Tamil culture and justice for people and backed the aspirations of Sri Lankan Tamils. Signalling a united fight against the background of belligerence of expelled AIADMK leaders T T V Dhinakaran and his aunt V K Sasikala, Modi gestured to Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on the dias to join and lift hands with him. All smiles, the three leaders quickly interlocked their hands amid applause and the unmistakable political subtext of the event that saw the launch of completed infra projects and laying the foundation for new initiatives was not lost on anyone. “It is our honour to work towards preserving and celebrating the culture of Tamil Nadu. The culture of Tamil Nadu is popular globally,” said Modi,who had quoted from Tamil texts, including classic 'Thirukkural' several times in the past during different occasions. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had during his recent campaign in Tamil Nadu accused the BJP and Modi of showing 'no respect' to Tamil culture. While AIADMK and BJP have already announced that they would fight the assembly elections together, Sasikala's camp, steered by A police vehicle allegedly blocking the gate of Omar Abdullah’s residence in Srinagar, tweeted by Abdullah. wama attack. However, Omar asked the police to “please tell me under which law you have detained me in my home today”. “You can advise me not to leave my house but you can't force me to stay in using security as an excuse,” he said. The J&K Police tweeted two documents to counter Omar on the authorities preventing his movement. But these were marked to the BSF CRPF Army, police, , , security wing and Airforce authorities. One of these signals dated 13-02-2021 addressed to the SSP (Security) Srinagar and Dy. Director SSG, Srinagar read; "With reference to your communication regarding the visit of Ex CM J&K Sh Omar Abdullah, no VIP movement is to be allowed tomorrow in view of an imminent threat"…. The National Conference condemned the “arbitrary detention” of the party leaders and their family. The party demanded immediate lifting of these "uncalled for and unlawful measures", the NC IED attack thwarted, say J-K cops JAMMU, 14 FEBRUARY. On the second anniversary of the Pulwama terror attack, J&K police on Sunday thwarted a major terror strike in Jammu and recovered a seven kg improvised explosive device (IED) near the inter-state Jammu bus stand. Three persons, identified as Sohail, a nursing student from Chandigarh, and Qazi, have been detained in this connection, said J&K DGP Dil, SNS bag Singh. tweeted. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti had on Saturday claimed that she was placed under house arrest and not allowed to visit to the family of Athar Mushtaq - one of three alleged terrorists killed in an encounter in Parimpora locality in Srinagar in December. 22-yr-old held for sharing farmer protest ‘toolkit’ WAR HORSE NEW DELHI, 14 FEBRUARY 1,09,04,940 1,37,567 12,194 11,395 1,55,642 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 08.00 A.M. SUNDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2021 Prime Minister Narendra Modi hands over Main Battle Tank Arjun 1A (MK-1A) to the Army in Chennai on Sunday. IANS PM Modi forges ahead with Tamil culture pitch PRESS TRUST OF INDIA P12 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 14 FEBRUARY. ASSOCIATED PRESS Covid-19: Govt issues fresh SOPs for offices PTI & SNS P4 US Senate votes 57-43 to convict, falls short of 2/3rd Max: 29.2°C (N) Min: 19.6°C (+2) SUN RISES SUN SETS 06:17 hrs 17:22 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 16:57 hrs 05:54 hrs Next moon quarter on 20 February SERENA SURVIVES SABALENKA SCARE Dhinakaran, have been staking claim to the party and harping on its retrieval. Quoting verses of Tamil poet of yore, 'Avvaiyar', Modi said it was also an inspiration to the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' (Self-reliant India) goals. The popular lines underscore that water is the basic element that could lead to the nation's prosperity. Stressing water conservation, the PM urged the people to do work towards that goal and underlined that it was not only a national issue, but also had global implications. “Always remember the mantra of per drop more crop, this will help future generations.” Laying the foundation stone for modernisation of 636 kilometres long Grand Anicut Canal System in Tamil Nadu's Cauvery delta region, he said the Anicut “is a living testimony to our glorious past.” The plan would have a big impact and improve irrigation facilities for 2.27 lakh acres in the delta region and Thanjavur and Pudukottai districts shall gain specially, he said. “I want to appreciate the farmers of Tamil Nadu for record food grain production and good use of water resources.” Hailing Tamil as the oldest language in the world, he quoted nationalist Tamil poet Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathi's famous lines that stressed on manufacturing domestically. Modi said the nation was inspired by the vision of the freedom fighter and has undertaken a massive effort to become self-reliant in the defence sector. One of the two defence corridors is in Tamil Nadu and it has already received invest- CMYK ment commitments exceeding Rs 8,100 crore, he noted. “Today, I am proud to dedicate to the country one more warrior to protect our frontiers. I am proud to hand over the indigenously designed and manufactured Main Battle Tank Arjun Mark 1A. It also uses indigenous ammunition.” Tamil Nadu, already a leading automobile manufacturing hub, has now evolved as the 'Tank manufacturing hub' of the nation. “A tank made in Tamil Nadu will be used in our northern borders to keep the nation safe. This showcases India's united spirit Bharat's Ekta Darshan.” Modi said the Centre has accepted the Devendrakula Vellalar community's demand to be listed only by their collective, traditional name of 'Devendrakula Vellalar (DVR)' and not by the names of seven sub-sects. A 22-year-old climate activist has been arrested from Bengaluru for allegedly sharing with Greta Thunberg the “toolkit” related to the farmer's protest against the Centre's three agri laws, police said on Sunday. Delhi Police claimed that Disha Ravi, who was arrested by a Cyber Cell team on Saturday, was an editor of the “toolkit Google doc” and “key conspirator” in the document's formulation and dissemination. Police alleged that Ravi and others “collaborated with pro-Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation to spread disaffection against the PTI Indian State.” FASTag mandatory from midnight tonight PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 14 FEBRUARY The government on Sunday said it has made FASTags mandatory from February 15 midnight and any vehicle not fitted with it will be charged double the toll at electronic toll plazas across the country. The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways in a statement said it has decided that all lanes in the fee plazas on National Highways shall be declared as 'FASTag lane of the fee plaza' from midnight of 15th/16th February 2021. “Therefore, as per NH Fee Rules 2008, any vehicle not fitted with FASTag or vehicle without valid, functional FASTag entering into the FASTag lane of the fee plaza shall pay a fee equivalent to two times of the fee applicable to that category,” the statement said. The ministry has clarified that this has been done to further promote fee payment through digital mode, reduce waiting time and fuel consumption, and provide for a seamless passage through the fee plazas. The ministry had mandated fitment of FASTag in M&N categories of motor vehicles with effect from January 1, 2021. Category M' stands for a motor vehicle with at least four wheels used for carrying passengers. And Category N' stands for a motor vehicle with at least four wheels used for carrying goods, which may also carry persons in addition to goods.
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