CMYK FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 19 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 BIDEN ADMIN TO INTRODUCE US CITIZENSHIP ACT UGANDA: CRISIS AT THE HELM P10 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temperature most likely to be around 31 °C and 19 °C respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.96% TEMPERATURE Min. 39% Max: 31.0°C (1) Min: 17.1°C (-1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 06:06 hrs 17:35 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 10:05 hrs 23:15 hrs Next moon quarter on 20 February THUMBNAILS Union home minister Amit Shah and others having lunch at the house of a villager at Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas on Thursday. SNS (P3) Puducherry Guv directs CM to prove majority: The Congress government in the Union Territory will have to prove its majority in the Assembly on 22 February with Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Thursday ordering the floor test, hours after assuming charge vowing to function in accordance with the Constitution. The development came days after a ruling party MLA resigned, becoming the fourth to quit the Assembly since last month, bringing down the numbers of the Congress-DMK alliance to 14 in the 33-member House. HONG KONG ACTIVIST DENIED BAIL AGAIN P6 P9 Maha districts face stricter Covid curbs More than 5,000 new Covid-19 cases in the state after a gap of 75 days SNS & PTI MUMBAI/KOLKATA, 18 FEBRUARY n a day that the state of Maharashtra reported over 5,400 new Covid-19 cases, the state administration announced a ten-day lockdown in Yavatmal district in the Vidarbha region, while a weekend lockdown was announced in neighbouring Amravati district. After a gap of 75 days, Maharashtra on Thursday reported more than 5,000 new Covid-19 cases, a sizable number of them coming from Akola and Nagpur divisions. The state recorded 5,427 new cases on Thursday, the highest one-day count this year, along with 38 fatalities. It had reported 4,787 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday. The state had reported 5,229 infections on 4 December, which had been followed by a gradual drop in cases. But since last week, the state is reporting increase in the daily numbers of infections, setting alarm bells ringing. With the spurt in cases, the administration in Yavat- O NEW DELHI, 18 FEBRUARY Addressing a meeting of experts and health officials from neighbouring countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today suggested creating a special visa scheme for doctors and nurses within the region so that they can travel quickly during health emergencies, on the request of the receiving country. Apart from India, representatives of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Seychelles and Sri Lanka attended the meeting on mal district ordered a tenday lockdown from Thursday night, including curbs on gatherings and the closure of schools, while a weekend lockdown was announced in Amravati district from 8 p.m. on Saturday to 7 a.m. on Monday, a period during which markets and other establishments will remain shut, but essential services will “Covid-19 Management: Experience, Good Practices and Way Forward”. Modi lauded the way the health systems of the countries cooperated during the pandemic and for meeting the challenge in the most densely populated region with coordinated response. The Prime Minister recalled the creation of the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund to meet the immediate costs of fighting the pandemic and sharing of resources such as medicines, PPE, and testing equipment. SNS 1,09,50,201 1,37,342 12,881 11,987 1,56,014 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 08.00 A.M. THURSDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2021 Details on Page 4 remain unaffected. State chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had on Tuesday warned that if Covid-19 norms are not followed, people should be prepared for a fresh round of strict lockdown. The country's tally of Covid-19 cases, meanwhile, reached 1,09,50,201 as of 8 a.m. on Thursday, with 12,881 new infections CMYK being reported in the previous 24 hours, while recoveries have reached 1,06,56,845, according to the Union health ministry. Bengal: West Bengal today registered 181 fresh Covid cases and 2 deaths due to infection. The state’s total Covid case count is 5,73,193 while the death toll stands at 10,239. There are 3,672 active cases. P12 Disha Toolkit row: Delhi Police deny any leak to media PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 18 FEBRUARY PM suggests special visa scheme for health workers HAALAND IN LIMELIGHT, ONCE AGAIN Delhi Police on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that it has not leaked any material to the media in relation to its probe in the FIR against climate activist Disha Ravi for her alleged involvement in sharing a toolkit backing the ongoing farmers’ protest. The court was hearing Ravi’s plea to restrain police from leaking to the media any probe material in relation to the FIR lodged against her. The submission was made before Justice Prathiba M Singh by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the police. The court asked the police to file an affidavit containing its submission that it has not leaked any material relating to the investigation to the media. The court said it will hear the matter on Friday. The petition has also sought to restrain the media from publishing the content or extract of any private chats, including those on WhatsApp, between her and third parties. Ravi said she is “severely aggrieved and Farmers stage nationwide ‘rail roko’; railways says little impact Restraint plea The Delhi High Court was hearing climate activist Disha Ravi’s plea to restraint police from leaking to the media any probe material. Ravi said she is “severely aggrieved and prejudiced by the media trial surrounding her arrest and the ongoing investigation, where she is being viscerally attacked by the (police) and several media houses” prejudiced by the media trial surrounding her arrest and the ongoing investigation, where she is being viscerally attacked by the respondent 1 (police) and several media houses”. She claimed that her arrest from Bengaluru on 13 February by a Cyber Cell team of Delhi Police was “wholly unlawfully and without basis”. “The illegal actions on part of the respondents has irrevocably violated the petitioner’s fundamental right to privacy, right to reputation and the effect of the administration of justice and right to fair trial,” the petition has said. NEW DELHI, 18 FEBRUARY Agitating farmer groups on Thursday held a four-hour nationwide ‘rail roko’ agitation with the railways saying there was negligible impact on services though some trains were stopped by officials at stations as a precautionary measure. In Punjab and Haryana, farmers at several places squatted on railway tracks which led to disruption in normal movement of trains on some routes. Protests were also staged at some places in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. However, in many states, it was a low-key affair. The All India Kisan Sabha claimed the agitation received ‘massive response across the country’. It further claimed that some activists were arrested in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka and Telangana. “The massive success of the rail roko struggle is a warning to the Modi government. The farmers across India have expressed their determination to continue the struggle till the demands are PTI met ,” it said. Reports on Page 5
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.