CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 24 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 IRAN IMPOSES CURBS ON UN NUKE INSPECTIONS WIFE OF DRUG KINGPIN 'EL CHAPO' ARRESTED P10 WEATHER Mainly clear sky with fog/mist in the morning. Maximum and minimum temperatures likely to be around 32 °C and 20 °C respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 93 % TEMPERATURE Min. 35 % Max: 32.1 °C (+2) Min: 18.6 °C (0) SUN RISES SUN SETS 06:03 hrs 17:38 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 13:44 hrs 02:48 hrs Full moon on 27 February THUMBNAILS Protesting farmers observe ‘Pagdi Sambhal Jatta day’ in memory of Sardar Ajit Singh on his birth anniversary, at Ghazipur border, in the Capital on Tuesday. SNS Six killed in Karnataka blast: Six people were killed when the gelatin sticks they were trying to dispose of clandestinely exploded accidentally at a stone quarry site in a village in Chikkaballapur in Karnataka on Tuesday, police said. The government has ordered a CID probe into the blast. Police said preliminary investigation indicated use of petroleum gel and Ammonium Nitrate in the quarry that was operating clandestinely and was closed a few PG 4 days ago following raids. JAISHANKAR CALLS FOR REFORMS TO DEAL WITH TERROR P9 P5 Coal case: CBI quizzes Abhishek’s wife Mamata visits nephew’s residence ahead of CBI examination STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 23 FEBRUARY The CBI today interrogated Rujira Banerjee Narula, wife of Trinamul Congress MP and chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, for over an hour in connection with the coal smuggling scam. An eight-member team led by an officer in the rank of superintendent of police, today interrogated Rujira at her residence at Harish Chatterjee Street in connection with the alleged beneficiaries of the money trail in the coal mining scam that the agency suspected was stashed in many overseas accounts. Sources in the CBI said the interrogation which lasted for one and half hours, mainly revolved around her accounts in Thailand. Rujira was found to be not “forthcoming” in her reply and skirted many queries on the pretext of “beyond her knowledge”, sources said. It was learnt that the CBI was in constant touch with the higher officials at Kolkata's Nizam Palace and briefed the entire interrogation Chief minister Mamata Banerjee leaves Abhishek Banerjee’s house in Kolkata on Tuesday. SNS details to the office over the telephone from Abhishek’s Banerjee's residence. The CBI was learnt to have been armed with an eight-page questionnaire and quizzed Rujira regarding her several passports and on whether she holds any post in any company based in Thailand and the alleged dubious transactions that had taken place in her account based in that country. The alleged channelisation of a large chunk of money into her Bangkok account was learnt to have raised eyebrows of the CBI sleuths, who following the interrogation of suspects in the coal and cattle smuggling scams have come across certain leads of an existence of a businessman based in UAE, who had helped the alleged masterminds in coal mining scam to stash their ill-gotten money through a web of overseas accounts in foreign countries. The statement given by Rujira Banerjee was recorded and would now CMYK be tallied with that of Menoka Gambhir, her sister, who was quizzed yesterday. Following in-depth analysis and evaluation of the statement recorded, the next course of action would be decided. Earlier today a high drama preceded the CBI team’s examination of Rujira as chief minister Mamata Banerjee went to her nephew Abhishek Banerjee’s ‘Shantiniketan’ residence and spent about nine minutes there before leaving for Nabanna. The CBI team came just three minutes after the chief minister had left the premises. BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya called Miss Banerjee’s presence at the residence of her nephew Abhishek Banerjee ‘unwarranted’ and said that being a chief of state she should not indulge in such acts. “I want to ask Miss Banerjee two questions regarding her visit to her nephew’s home before the CBI team. Was she driven by family sentiment or intended to create mental pressure on the CBI investigative team,” he said. ROOT TO MATES: BEWARE OF INDIAN SPIN P12 India sees steady decline in daily deaths Disha Ravi gets bail in toolkit case SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 23 FEBRUARY NEW DELHI, 23 FEBRUARY India reported 78 new Covid19 fatalities on Tuesday, the health ministry said, as it underlined that a steady decline is being observed in the number of daily new deaths. The country’s tally of active cases fell below the 1.5lakh mark on Tuesday and was pegged at 1,47,306, comprising1.34 per cent of the total caseload, the Union Health Ministry said, highlighting 21 states and UTs have not reported fresh fatalities in a 24-hour-period. A total of10,584 new infections and 13,255 recoveries were recorded in a span of 24 hours, leading to a net decline of 2,749 cases in the total active caseload, it said. India's daily positivity rate remains below three per cent, the ministry noted. It added that 21 states and union territories have not reported any fresh Covid-19 deaths in a span of 24 hours. Till 8 a.m. on Tuesday, the vaccination coverage stood at 1,17,45,552 through 2,44,877 sessions, as per the ministry's provisional report. The second dose of Covid vaccination started on February 13 for those beneficiaries who have completed 28 days after the receipt of the first dose. Inoculation of frontline workers started on February 2. 1,10,16,434 1,47,306 10,584 13,255 1,56,463 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. TUESDAY 23 FEB 2021 Bengal logs 189 fresh cases: West Bengal today registered 189 fresh Covid cases and two deaths due to infection. The total Covid case count is 5,74,099 and death toll is 10,253 in the state till now while there are 3,399 active cases. Kolkata recorded 63 cases while North 24 Parganas recorded 59 cases. In the last 24 hours, 228 patients were discharged from hospitals taking the number of recovered patients to 5,60,447 and discharge rate to 97.62 per cent. A Delhi court on Tuesday granted bail to climate activist Disha Ravi in the toolkit case, considering the “scanty and sketchy evidence on record”. “Considering the scanty and sketchy evidence on record, I do not find any palpable reason to breach the rule of bail for a 22-yearold girl who has absolutely no criminal antecedents,” Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana noted. Ravi has been directed to not leave the country, and cooperate with the ongoing investigation as a condition for grant of bail. She faces charges of conspiracy and sedition in the ‘Toolkit’ conspiracy case related to the farmers’ agitation and was arrested from Bengaluru on February 13. The Delhi Police have contended that the Google document tweeted by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to back the farmers’ protest and then deleted, was created by Ravi and two other activists ~ Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk. Meanwhile, Shantanu Muluk, who is accused along with Disha Ravi in the “toolkit” case, on Tuesday moved a Delhi court seeking anticipatoSNS & AGENCIES ry bail.
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