SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 07 MARCH 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 | `5 |LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR BUS THAT BHANDARI AND OLI MISSED MARXIST WITHOUT DOGMA P6 PAKISTAN PM WINS TRUST VOTE P7 Partly cloudy sky. Mist in the morning. Possibility of very light rain/thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 34 and 15 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 90% Min: 38% Min: 15.0°C (+2) SUN SETS 18:25 hrs MOON SETS 12:32 hrs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, 6 MARCH THUMBNAILS Bowler Axar Patel (right) celebrates with teammates the dismissal of England batsman Ben Foakes during the third day of the 4th and last cricket Test match, at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday, as India thrashed (MATCH REPORT ON PAGE 12) England to set up a World Test Championship final with New Zealand. AGENCIES Farmers block a highway along Delhi-Haryana border to mark 100 days of their ongoing (P5) protests against Centre’s new agri laws. Active caseload on rise again SNS & PTI ‘Speed up vaccination’ NEW DELHI, 6 MARCH AIADMK seals poll pact with BJP: The ruling AIADMK has allotted 20 Assembly constituencies and the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat to its ally BJP for the 6 April Assembly elections, after several rounds of negotiations. Following up with the release of its first list of six candidates for the polls on Friday, the AIADMK firmed up the electoral agreement with the Saffron party late Friday. The pact was signed by O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami from the ruling party side and BJP’s national general secretary, C T P4 Ravi and state unit chief L Murugan. 415 companies Central forces for WB 1st phase: Voters of five districts of south Bengal will exercise their right to franchise across 10,288 polling booths in the first phase of elections on 27 March in the presence of 495 companies of central forces. In Purulia there are 3,127 polling booths, Jhargram has 1,307 booths, Bankura 1,338 booths, East Midnapore 2,437 booths and West Midnapore 2,089 booths. Voters will be able to cast their votes from 7 a.m. to 6.30 pm. The Election Commission has decided to deploy a total of 495 companies of CAPF in the first phase of elections. Apex Court to start hybrid-physical hearings from 15 March PTI NEW DELHI, 6 MARCH The Supreme Court, which is hearing cases through video-conferencing since March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will commence hybrid physical hearing from 15 March. The apex court has issued the standard operating procedure (SOP) for such hearings. The top court has been hearing cases through video-conferencing since March last year due to the pandemic and several bar bodies and lawyers have been demanding that physical hearings should resume immediately. “On an experimental basis, and as a pilot scheme, the final hearings/regular matters listed onTuesdays,Wednesdays andThursdays may be heard in the hybrid mode, as may be decided by the bench, considering the number of parties in a matter as well as the limited capacity of the courtrooms; all other matters, including those listed on Mondays and Fridays, shall continue to be heard through video/tele-conferencing mode,” said the SOP issued by the apex court. It said unless otherwise directed by a bench, the final hearings or regular matters where the number of lawyers for the parties is higher than the average working capacity of the courtrooms according to Covid-19 norms, that is 20 per courtroom at any given time, shall invariably be listed for hearing through the video or tele-conferencing mode. It said if the number of parties is higher than the specified number in a matter listed for hybrid hearing, then one advocate-on-record (AOR) and one arguing counsel per party would be allowed entry. “In any such matter as may be listed for hybrid hearing, all the counsels appearing for one party can appear either through physical presence or through video/tele-conferencing,” it said. The SOP said AORs may submit their preferencesforappearingbefore the court either physically or through the video or tele-conferencing mode within 24 hours or by 1 p.m. the next day after the publication of the weekly list of final hearings or regular matters. “If the advocate-on-record for a party does not opt for either physical or video/tele-conferencing modes, it shall be presumed that counsels for the party seek to appear through video/tele-conferencing and will be facilitated accordingly,” it said. P12 Former protest-site set for keenest electoral battle TEMPERATURE Max: 31.5°C (+3) SUN RISES 06:39 hrs MOON RISES 03:06 hrs P11 Mamata to take on Suvendu in Nandigram fight WINNING WAYS WEATHER DANANJAYA LEADS SPINNERS’ DRIVE FOR T20 VICTORY India’s Covid-19 tally rose to 1,11,92,088 with over 18,000 fresh cases being reported in a span of 24 hours in the country after 36 days, while active cases registered an increase for the fourth consecutive day on Saturday and were recorded at 1,80,304, according to the Union Health Ministry. The death toll reached 1,57,656 with 108 more fatalities, while a total of 18,327 new cases were registered in a day, the ministry’s data showed. On 29 January, 18,855 new infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours after which the daily rise in fresh cases remained below 18,000. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,08,54,128 which translates to a national Covid-19 recovery rate of 96.98 per cent, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.41 per cent. The Covid-19 active caseload has increased to 1,80,304 which now comprises 1.61 per cent of the total infections. Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have report- 1,11,92,088 1,80,304 18,327 14,234 1,57,656 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 06 MARCH 2021 ed a high number of Covid-19 daily new cases, cumulatively accounting for 82 per cent of the new cases reported in a span of 24 hours, the Ministry said. Delhi sees a surge: Delhi today recorded 321 new Covid-19 cases ~ its highest single-day count of coronavirus cases in nearly one-and-a-half months. This was the second consecutive day this month on which the NEW DELHI, 6 MARCH The Centre has asked states and UTs witnessing surge in new Covid-19 cases to continue with the strategy of “test, track and treat” that had yielded rich dividends at the height of the pandemic and accelerate vaccination for priority population. Expressing particular concern over the surge in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, the Centre asked the state to not let its guard down, while asserting that the surge could be due to lack of fear of the disease among people and pandemic fatigue.PTI daily count of Covid cases crossed the 300mark. The positivity rate rose to 0.60 per cent amid a sudden surge in cases. According to the Delhi government's latest health bulletin, the city recorded one more coronavirus-linked fatality, which took its Covid toll (SEE P2) to 10,919. Heavy rains, thaw-freeze could have led to U’khand tragedy SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 6 MARCH Heavy precipitation in the Chamoli region from February 4-6 and an overall rise in temperature in Uttarakhand in last four decades could have led to the rock collapse which triggered the deadly flash floods in the state last month, according to a study by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development. The report by Kathmandu-based ICIMOD, which was released on Friday, found that a crack had formed prior to the incident at the site where the rock detachment led to a rockslide from the Raunti peak. The rockslide brought along with it mounds of earth and snow which could have triggered the flash floods. With a straight slide line of 1.6 km, the kinetic energy during the fall generated enough heat to melt the ice. As the debris moved downstream in the BEHIND THE MISHAP The report by Kathmandu-based ICIMOD found that a crack had formed prior to the incident at the site where the rock detachment led to a rockslide from the Raunti peak. Rishiganga river, it pushed running river water ahead of it, including water from small ponding structures along the river path. So far 72 bodies and 30 human body parts have been recovered from different places in the avalanche-hit areas, out of which 41 bodies have been identified. As many as 132 persons are still missing. The resulting destabilisation of the rock due to the lack of ice cover (glacial debuttressing, stress-release fracturing) an increased freeze thaw cycle, in combination with a large snowfall event preceding the event of 7 February The ICIMOD is a regional organisation that works on different aspects in the Himalayan-Hindukush region. At the same headwall of the Raunthi peak, a large ice avalanche was previously released somewhere between 19 September and 9 October 2016, which deposited ice and more bedrock in the valley below, the report states. TURN TO PAGE 4 West Bengal chief minister and Trinamul Congress party chief Mamata Banerjee will be taking on former aide Suvendu Adhikari in what will be the most closely-watched electoral battle of the state Assembly elections, with the BJP deciding to field Mr Adhikari from his home turf of Nandigram. The BJP on Saturday released its first list of 57 can(TURN TO PAGE 4) didates. The BJP released its first list of 57 candidates for the Assembly elections. Former Indian cricketer Ashoke Dinda and ex-IPS officer Bharati Ghosh are among the party’s candidates
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