CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 23 MARCH 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 GILANI CHALLENGES RESULTS OF SENATE CHAIRMAN POLLS BIDEN AIMS TO PREVENT BORDER CROSSINGS P10 Hot and discomfort weather very likely. Temperature most likely to be in the range of 38-26 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE P9 BJP seeks ouster of Thackeray-led govt in wake of graft charges against HM OPP CENSURES SENA DEFENDS SNS & PTI Min. 28% NEW DELHI, 22 MARCH Max: 37.6°C (3) Min: 25.6°C (2) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:39 hrs 17:48 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 11:32 hrs 00:38 hrs Full moon on 29 March he BJP on Monday demanded resignation of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government headed by Uddhav Thackeray in the wake of former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh’s claim that the state’s Home Minister Anil Deshmukh set a Rs 100-crore collection target for the police every month, and sought a CBI inquiry into the allegation. Raising the issue during Zero Hour in Lok Sabha amidst protests by the Shiv Sena and the NCP, BJP member Manoj Kotak said that according to Singh’s letter to the chief minister, the state’s home minister had asked suspended Assistant Police Inspector (API) Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants in the metropolis every month. Kotak said the letter reflected that those who are in the government were using officials in collecting money but the chief minister so far has not uttered a single word on the issue. “It is a serious matter. The home minister should resign, the Maharashtra government should resign and there should be a CBI inquiry into the whole issue,” he said. BJP member Rakesh Singh said that the issue is so serious that it can’t be termed a state subject as it has a national implication. Singh said that the former police commissioner’s letter showed that the top functionaries of the Shiv T THUMBNAILS Tourists visit Solang Nala amidst fresh snowfall, in Manali district, on Monday. AGENCIES Four LeT militants killed in J&K encounter: The Four Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter with security forces on Monday in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Manihal area of the district around midnight, following information about the presence of militants there, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar said. He said the militants refused repeated offers of P5 surrender and opened fire at the forces. 7-year-old killed in Burdwan crude bomb blast: y o A seven-year-old boy was killed and another child injured in a crude bomb explosion in Burdwan city in West Bengal on Monday, police said. The incident happened around 11 a.m. in the city's Subhaspally area, they said. Sheikh Afroz (7) and Sheikh Ibrahim (9) were playing near their house when they hit a packet in which the crude bombs were kept, triggering the blast, Burdwan's inspector- incharge Pintu Saha said. The bomb squad has been informed about the incident and an P3 investigation has been initiated Raising the issue during Zero Hour in Lok Sabha amidst protests by the Shiv Sena and the NCP, BJP member Manoj Kotak said that according to former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh’s letter to the chief minister, the state’s home minister had asked suspended Assistant Police Inspector (API) Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants in the metropolis every month What is the fear. Is there any fear of spilling the beans about those who get cut. If Rs 100 crore collected from Mumbai alone, what would be the figure for the entire Maharashtra RAKESH SINGH BJP LOK SABHA MEMBER Sena-NCP-Congress government were involved in collecting huge amounts of money through illegal means. “The allegation against the state home minister was made by none other than the former police commissioner. What was the compulsion of the chief minister to defend an APIrank official, who was in suspension for 16 years, in a press conference,” he asked. Singh claimed that a senior politician from the state had changed his stand after telling that it was a serious matter and there should be an inquiry into it. “What is the fear. Is there any fear of spilling the beans about those who get cut. If Rs 100 crore collected from Mumbai alone, what would be the figure for the entire Maharashtra,” he asked. He demanded that the MVA government should immediately resign and there should be an impartial inquiry into it. Another BJP member Kapil Patil said that it was NEW DELHI, 22 MARCH A Bill that seeks to make it clear that the “government” in Delhi means the “Lieutenant Governor” was passed by Lok Sabha on Monday amidst strong opposition from the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party which said that the legislation is “unconstitutional”. Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 has become necessary as there have been ambiguity in certain issues related to the functioning of the Delhi government and several cases were also filed in courts. “Please do not say that it is a political Bill. It is being brought to end ambiguity in certain issues as Delhi is a Mujib conferred Gandhi Peace Prize for 2020 Please do not say that it is a political Bill. It is being brought to end ambiguity in certain issues as Delhi is a Union Territory. It will end certain confusion or technicality and enhance the efficiency of the administration UNION MINISTER OF STATE FOR HOME G KISHAN REDDY Union Territory. It will end certain confusion or technicality and enhance the efficiency of the administration,” he said. According to the Bill, the “government” in Delhi means the “Lieutenant Governor”. The Bill also makes it mandatory for the Delhi government to take the opinion of the L-G before any executive action. Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party has opposed the bill. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had even urged the central government to take back the Bill and said the AAP dispensation was ready to fall at strongly defended the MVA government and claimed that the BJP has been hatching a conspiracy to defame the Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP dispensation for the last 14 months so that a BJP government can be installed in Mumbai. It is not only in Maharashtra but across the country that the Central agencies are being used to destabilise the Opposition ruled government P12 RAVNEET SINGH BITTU CONGRESS LEADER IN LOK SABHA He claimed that the Central agencies were being used against Opposition-ruled states for one or the other pretext. made a UT with an assembly with “limited legislative powers”. “We did not do that. It was a Congress government which piloted the Act then,” he said. Reddy said the LG is an administrator so he has the right to know the day-to-day affairs. “We have not snatched any power from the Delhi government nor we have given any additional power to the LG,” he said. He strongly objected to some Opposition members’ reference that the “Modi government is dictatorial” and said the NDA government has not done anything wrong but just ended ambiguity on the Delhi government. Congress member Manish Tewari said the Bill is “unconstitutional” as it encroached upon the powers of the city government. “Why such things are happening in Opposition ruled states. It is not only in Maharashtra but across the country that the Central agencies are being used to destabilise the Opposition ruled government,” he alleged. Pawar rules out Maha home minister's exit: Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh’s corruption allegations against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh pertain to a period when he was hospitalised and hence the question of his resignation does not arise, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on Monday. “We got information that Deshmukh was hospitalised at that time in Nagpur. The allegation (by Singh) pertains to exactly the same period when he was in hospital. There is a hospital certificate,” Pawar told reporters in Delhi, his second media briefing over an issue which has caused a flutter in state politics. SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 22 MARCH The gap between two doses of the Covishield vaccine should be increased from 28 days to six-to-eight weeks for better results, the government has written to states and Union Territories. The instruction has gone out in the middle of round two of nationwide vaccinations, in which people above 60 and those over 45 with other illnesses are being inoculated. The revised interval applies only to Serum Institute of India’s Covishield - the vaccine developed by Oxford AstraZeneca~ and not to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, the centre said in its letter today. The current gap between two doses is 28 India adds nearly 47K Covid cases NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, 22 MARCH NEW DELHI, 22 MARCH Former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking direction for immediate “unbiased, uninfluenced, impartial and fair” CBI probe into alleged corrupt malpractices of Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. Singh, a 1988 batch IPS officer also sought quashing of the order transferring him from the post of Mumbai CP alleging it to be arbitrary and illegal. As an interim relief, Singh sought stay of the operation of his transfer order and direction to the state government, the Centre and the CBI to immediately take in its custody the CCTV footage from the residence of Deshmukh. The petitioner has invoked writ jurisdiction of this Court to seek unbiased, uninfluenced, impartial and fair investigation in the corrupt malpractices of Anil Deshmukh, the Home Minister of Government of Maharashtra, before the evidences are destroyed, he said in his plea. Deshmukh had been holding meetings in February, 2021 at his residence with police officers including Sachin Vaze of Crime Intelligence Unit, Mumbai and Sanjay Patil, ACP Social Service Branch, Mumbai, bypassing their seniors and had instructed them that he had a target to accumulate Rs 100 crore every month and Nearly 47K fresh Covid19 cases were reported from across the country in the last 24 hours, highest so far in the last four and half months, taking the total tally to 1,16,46,081 on Monday. According to the Health Ministry, six states including Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are exhibiting a steep rise in daily cases. With death of days, or between four and six weeks. "In view of the emerging scientific evidence, the interval between two doses of a specific Covid-19 vaccine, Covishield, has been revisited by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immu- Former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh, a 1988 batch IPS officer also sought quashing of the order transferring him from the post of Mumbai CP alleging it to be arbitrary and illegal. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 22 MARCH The Parliament today passed a Bill to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit in the insurance sector from 49 per cent to 74 per cent with the Lok Sabha approving the proposed law by a voice vote. Piloting the Bill, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said hiking the FDI limit in the insurance sector will help insurers raise additional funds and tide over the financial problems. Today, many of the insurance companies are hard pressed to maintain solvency ratio of 150 per cent as per the norms, she said while explaining the need for the amendment. The Insurance FM Sitharaman said the government will provide funds to public sector insurance companies but private players will have to raise capital on their own and the Bill provides them headroom to raise capital. (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed by Rajya Sabha last week.The Bill amends the Insurance Act, 1938. The minister said the government will provide funds to public sector insurance companies but the private players will have to raise capital on their own and the Bill provides them headroom to raise Oxford jabs effective against severe Covid: A large trial in the United States and two South American countries of the OxfordAstraZeneca vaccine has shown 79 per cent efficacy rate at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and 100 per cent effectiveness in stopping severe disease and hospitalisation, the biotech firm said on Monday. CMYK capital. Three out of the seven public sector insurers are below solvency margin but since they are in public sector, the government will infuse capital and their solvency margin will be taken care of, she said. Observing that insurers are facing solvency related issues, she said, “if growth capital is hard to come by, there will be a stress situation. In order that the stress situation is not left unattended, we need to raise the FDI limit.” “There is definitely a financial stress due to pandemic for raising money, especially for private sector insurance companies, which needs to maintain that solvency ratio,” she said. Solvency margin is the ratio of assets to liabilities. EC bans bike rallies in poll-going seats NEW DELHI, 22 MARCH 1,16,46,081 3,34,646 46,951 21,180 1,59,967 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 22 MARCH 2021 The petitioner has invoked writ jurisdiction of this Court to seek unbiased, uninfluenced, impartial and fair investigation in the corrupt malpractices of Anil Deshmukh, the Home Minister of Government of Maharashtra, before the evidences are destroyed, he said in his plea had directed to collect money from various establishments and other sources, Singh alleged. He said it is reliably learnt that on or about 2425 August , 2020, one Rashmi Shukla, Commissioner Intelligence, State Intelligence Department, had brought to the notice of the Director General of Police, who in turn brought it to the knowledge of the state’s Additional Chief Secretary Home Department, about corrupt malpractices in postings / transfers by Deshmukh based on telephonic interception. She was shunted out rather than taking any firm action against said Anil Deshmukh, he said. Deshmukh had been interfering in various investigations and was instructing the police officers to conduct the same in a particular manner as desired by him, Singh added. Such act of Deshmukh in abuse of the official position of the Home Minister, whether in calling and directly instructing the police officers of lower rank such as Vaze or Patil Parl passes Insurance Amendment Bill; FDI cap now hiked to 74 per cent nization (NTAGI) and subsequently by National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19,” the letter said. The Centre’s letter said it appeared that protection was enhanced if the second dose of Covishield was administered between six and eight weeks but not later than that. 212 more people in the last one day across India, the toll reached 1,59,967. The active caseload in country has mounted to 3,34,646. So far, 4.50 crore doses of corona vaccine have been administered in the country. Bengal cases: Bengal registered 368 fresh Covid cases and 2 deaths. The total Covid case count is 5,80,999 while there are 3,574 active cases. Kolkata recorded 128 cases and 1 death in the SNS last 24 hours. BEE IN MVA BONNET SNS & PTI Covishield 2nd dose gap to be increased up to 8 weeks NEW DELHI, 22 MARCH The Central government today conferred the prestigious Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2020 on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. An official statement said a jury committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chose Bangabandu for the prize because of his immense and unparalleled contribution in inspiring the liberation of Bangladesh, bringing stability to a nation born out of strife, laying the foundation for the close and fraternal ties between India and Bangladesh. The announcement comes ahead of Modi’s visit to Dhaka on 26-27 March to attend the birth centenary celebrations SNS of Mujibur Rahman. the Modi government’s feet for its withdrawal. Reddy said there has been cordial relations between the Central and Delhi governments since 1996 and all differences were resolved through discussions. However, since 2015, some issues have come up and cases were filed before the Delhi High Court, which also gave certain rulings. Reddy said the court had also ruled that the L-G should be informed on executive issues of the city government. He said when the GNCTD Act was enacted in 1991 by the then Congress government, Delhi has been Shiv Sena member Vinayak Raut not for the first that such a letter has been written by a senior police officer and even a DGP-rank officer had written a similar letter in the past. However, Shiv Sena member Vinayak Raut strongly defended the MVA government and claimed that the BJP has been hatching a conspiracy to defame the Shiv Sena-CongressNCP dispensation for the last 14 months so that a BJP government can be installed in Mumbai. “The issue is nothing but part of BJP’s big conspiracy,” he claimed. Raut alleged the former Mumbai police commissioner who wrote the sensational letter was the “most corrupt police officer”. The Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress are part of the MVA government in Maharashtra. Congress leader in Lok Sabha Ravneet Singh Bittu claimed that the central agencies were being used against opposition ruled states for one or the other pretext. LS passes Bill to clarify Delhi govt means L-G PRESS TRUST OF INDIA P5 ‘MVA should resign’: Mumbai ex-CP moves SC seeking CBI probe Maha drama rocks LS against HM Deshmukh WEATHER Max.87% FIRST EPISODE IN YET ANOTHER SERIALISED BATTLE ‘ARNAB, EX-BARC CEO EXCHANGED FRIENDLY CHATS’ The Election Commission on Monday banned ‘bike rallies’ 72 hours before the date of polling and on the polling day in all election-going constituencies amidst reports that “anti-social elements” use motor bikes to intimidate voters. In a directive issued to chief electoral officers of poll-bound West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry, the poll body pointed out that it has been brought to its notice that “in some places bikes are used by anti-social elements to intimidate the voters before the poll day and/or on poll day.” The EC also asked its chief electoral officers to inform all stakeholders, including candidates, political parties and poll observers, to ensure strict comPTI pliance of the directions. for his malicious intent of extorting smoney from establishments across Mumbai and from other sources or whether in interfering in the investigations & directing the same to be conducted in a particular manner, or whether indulging in corrupt malpractices in posting /transfers of officers, cannot be countenanced or justified in any democratic State, he said. Singh said that fair CBI investigation is thus warranted in each of such acts of Deshmukh in abuse of the official position of the Home Minister and added that he has brought the corrupt practices in the knowledge of the senior leaders and the chief minister of the state immediately. He said that thereafter, on 17 March, by a notification of the Maharashtra government he was transferred from the post of the Police Commissioner of Mumbai to the Home Guard department in an arbitrary and illegal manner without the completion of the minimum fixed tenure of two years. Ranaut, Dhanush, Manoj Bajpayee top winners at 67th National Film Awards Late actor Sushant Singh Raput-starrer Chhichhore adjudged the best Hindi film NEW DELHI, 22 MARCH Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut was named best actress for her roles in Manikarnika and Panga at the annou-ncement of the 67th National Film Awards on Monday. Manoj Bajpayee and Dhanush shared the best actor honour for their roles in Bhonsle and Asuran, respectively. Director Priyadarshan’s Malayalam film Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham was declared the best feature film and Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan was named best director for Hindi film Bahattar Hoorain by the National Film Award jury, headed by filmmaker N Chandra, who said they judged the movies “not as gods but as parents”. Late actor Sushant Singh Raput-starrer Chhichhore was adjudged the best Hindi film. The award for the best film on social issues went to Marathi film Anandi Gopal, the Nargis Dutt award for National Integration was given to Taj Mahal and the best popular providing wholesome entertainment was given to the Telugu film Maharshi. The Indira Gandhi award for first film went to Malayalam film Helen by Mathukutty PTI Xavier.
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