SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 21 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’S NOMINEE TO HEAD BUDGET OFFICE FACES CHALLENGES FM ASKS PRIVATE SECTOR TO UNLEASH ‘ANIMAL SPIRITS’ P10 WEATHER Fog/mist in the morning, later mainly clear sky. Temperature likely to be in the range of 29-19 degrees Celsius. P8 P6 Toolkit: Police allege Disha deleted proof RAINFALL: TRACES RELATIVE HUMIDITY If highlighting farmers protest globally is sedition, I’m better off in jail: Ravi Max. 86 % PRESS TRUST OF INDIA TEMPERATURE Min. 39 % Max: 27.4°C (-3) Min: 21.1°C (2) SUN RISES SUN SETS 06:05 hrs 17:36 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 11:20 hrs 00:07 hrs Full moon on 27 February THUMBNAILS Central force personnel arrive in Bengal ahead (P3) of Assembly polls at Kolkata station. SNS Hoshangabad to be renamed as Narmadapuram: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced that Hoshangabad city in the state would be renamed as Narmadapuram and a proposal to that effect would be sent to the Centre. He made the announcement during the Narmada Jayanti programme held in Hoshangabad on Friday. The state government will not allow “cement-concrete structures” to be built along the Narmada river, he said, adding that sewage treatment plants are also being constructed in the cities located on its banks. NEW DELHI, 20 FEBRUARY here is no evidence to show that the toolkit on farmers’ protest is responsible for the violence on 26 January, activist Disha Ravi’s counsel told a Delhi court which reserved for Tuesday its order on her bail plea. “If highlighting farmers’ protest globally is sedition, I’m better in jail,” Ravi said through her counsel on Saturday. Ravi’s counsel was submitting arguments after the Delhi Police opposed her bail plea, alleging she was preparing the toolkit with those advocating Khalistan and was part of a global conspiracy to defame India and create unrest in the country in the garb of farmers’ protest. “This was not just a toolkit. The real plan was to defame India and create unrest here,” the police said before Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana. It alleged that Ravi deleted WhatsApp chats, emails and other evidence and was aware of legal actions she could face. Why did Disha Ravi cover T THUNBERG TWEETS BACKING DISHA RAVI Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg has extended her support to Disha Ravi, the 22-yearold environmental activist who has been charged with sedition for allegedly edit- ing an advocacy toolkit on the farmers’ protest, and sharing it with Thunberg. Ms. Thunberg tweeted on Friday, using the hashtag #StandWithDishaRavi. Her first public expression of support comes almost a week after Ms. Ravi’s arrest. Freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest and assembly are non-negotiable human rights GRETA THUNBERG her track and delete evidence if she did not commit wrong, the police said, alleging that his shows her guilty mind and sinister design. Ravi “was part of the Indian chapter of the global conspiracy to defame India and create unrest in the garb of farmers’ protest,” it alleged, adding she was in touch and preparing and sharing toolkit with those advocating Khalistan. “It shows there was a sinister design behind this toolkit,” the police told the court. However, Ravi’s lawyer rejected the allegations. “There is no evidence to link me with Sikhs For Justice, a banned organisation. And even if I (Ravi) meet someone, there is no symbol on him that he is a secessionist,” the defence counsel said. “The Delhi police gave permission for the farmers’ march, which they’re claiming that I (Ravi) asked people to join, so how did I become seditious,” the lawyer said in court. There’s nobody arrested in connection with violence at Red Fort who says he was inspired for same because of the toolkit, Ravi’s counsel claimed, adding there is no evidence to show that the toolkit is responsible for violence during farmers’ march. The counsel also questioned the contents of the FIR and asserted that people can have a different WHY ENGLAND PACEMEN ARE TICKLED PINK INSECURE GOVERNORSHIP point of view on a subject. “There is an allegation in FIR that Yoga and Chai are being targeted. Is it an offence? We are now reducing the bar that somebody can’t have a point of view different,” Ravi’s lawyer said. “The talk about alleged genocide in Kashmir has been going on for years. How talking about it suddenly becomes sedition,” the lawyer said. A trial court had on Friday sent Ravi to judicial custody for three days after her five-day police custody expired. The Delhi high court on Friday heard Ravi’s plea to restrain police from leaking to the media any probe material concerning the FIR lodged against her. Police release photos of 20 more involved in R-Day violence: The Delhi Police on Saturday released the photographs of 20 people who were allegedly involved in the violence that broke out at the Red Fort on Republic Day during the farmers’ tractor parade, officials said. “We have released the pictures and the process of identification has been started,” a police officer said. P12 Upsurge in Covid cases in 5 states; Centre cautions India, China discuss disengagement at other LAC friction points SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 20 FEBRUARY NEW DELHI, 20 FEBRUARY Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have recorded an “upsurge” in daily new cases of Covid19, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday, stressing on the need to adhere to Covid-relevant safety measures. Daily Covid-19 cases in the country also climbed to about 14,000 after nearly 22 days, taking India’s tally to 1,09,77,387. The upswing comes after a low in virus numbers that started around November-December. Kerala continues to report a high number of daily new cases and in the past week. Maharashtra has exhibited a spike in daily new cases, accounting for the highest among daily new cases in the country on Saturday. Similar to Maharashtra, the ministry said Punjab has also shown a sudden spike in the number with 383 fresh cases recorded in the last 24 hours. The Ministry said 18 states/UTs have not reported any Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours. 1,09,77,387 1,43,127 13,993 10,307 1,56,212 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 20 FEBRUARY 2021 A total of 1.08 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered till now with 1.86 lakh jabs given on Saturday, the Health Ministry said. 193 cases, 4 deaths in Bengal: Bengal logged 193 fresh Covid cases and 4 deaths due to Covid, taking the state’s case count to 5,73,580 and toll to 10,246 while there are 3,579 active cases. India and China today held the 10th round of military talks to de-escalate tension at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), a day after completing the first round of disengagement at the Pangong Tso Lake in Eastern Ladakh. The talks, held at Moldo on the Chinese side, were led by Lt Gen P G K Menon, Commander of 14 Corps based in Leh, on the Indian side. The Indian delegation also included Naveen Srivastav, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the External Affairs Ministry. The military commanders of the two countries are believed to have discussed disengagement at other friction points like Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang plains. The Indian side is learnt to have insisted that the status quo ante that existed in April-May last year must be restored in the larger interest of peace and tranquillity in border areas. The representatives of the two sides also reviewed the first phase of disengagement at northern and southern banks of the Pangong Tso Lake as part of an agreement reached SNS between them. Details on Page 4
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