CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 30 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 FLOYD ARREST VIDEO MAY APPEAR EARLY AT EX-COP’S TRIAL BIHAR’S SICK PARADE P10 WEATHER Hot and discomfort weather very likely. Temperature likely to be in the range of 37-25 degrees Celsius. ‘HAD WARNED THAT WAZE COULD CREATE PROBLEMS’ P6 P5 Recording steady surge for 19th day, active caseload tops half million mark Max.90% SNS & PTI Min. 38% Max: 36.5°C (2) Min: 25.8°C (2) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:32 hrs 17:51 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 18:33 hrs 05:58 hrs Next moon quarter on 04 April THUMBNAILS Youngsters play with colours on the occasion of Holi, in Patiala, Monday. AGENCIES Mehbooba's passport application rejected: Former chief minister and president of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mehbooba Mufti was denied passport by the authorities on Monday. A communication addressed to Mehbooba by the passport officer has informed her that the J&K CID, which is the nodal agency for verification of applicant's antecedents, has opposed grant of passport to her. She has been informed that she can appeal to the competent authority in the External Affairs Ministry P5 in case she wants to file her grievance. UN investigator Callamard is Amnesty chief: Agnes Callamard, who led a United Nations' investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has been appointed the new leader of Amnesty International. The international human rights group said Callamard's four-year term as secretary-general begins on Monday. Callamard, a French human rights expert, has previously led free-speech organisation Article 19 and directs the Global Freedom of Expression Project at Columbia University. Raja apologises to EPS; booked for offensive comments NEW DELHI, 29 MARCH ight states including Maharashtra, Karnataka and Punjab have reported a high number of daily Covid-19 cases and account for 84.5 per cent of the 68,020 fresh cases recorded in the country in a day, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday. India saw 68,020 new coronavirus cases in a span of 24 hours, the highest single-day rise so far this year, taking the country’s Covid-19 tally to above 1.20 crore. Registering a steady increase for the 19th day in a row, the active cases have increased to 5,21,808, which comprise 4.33 per cent of the total infections, while the recovery rate has further dropped to 94.32 per cent, the data stated. A net rise of 35,498 cases has been recorded in the total active caseload in a day, the Ministry said. On the other hand, the total vaccination coverage in India has crossed 6 crore, it said. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily rise of 40,414 Covid-19 cases, followed by 3,082 in Karnataka, 2,870 in Punjab, 2,276 in Madhya Pradesh, 2,270 in Gujarat, 2,216 in Kerala, 2,194 in Tamil Nadu and 2,153 in Chhattisgarh, the ministry said. These eight states account for 84.5 per cent of the 68,020 new Covid-19 cases reported in a day in the country, it said. Five states~ Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Kar- E KOLKATA, 29 MARCH DMK MP A Raja on Monday apologised for hurting the sentiments of Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in a campaign speech. Meanwhile, Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Chennai City Police booked Raja under three sections that include 294 (b) (causing nuisance in public places), 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot) of the IPC. Raja in a statement released on Monday insisted that his 40-minute speech was cut short and misrepresented for political motives, He added that he was deeply apologetic for hurting the chief minister’s sentiments. Raja was criticised by several people for being sexist and derogatory when he compared the chief minister with M K Stalin. A Raja said, “Some people have taken a few words from my comparison of Stalin and Palaniswami in public life, and have represented it falsely with a deliberate political agenda. “I request you all to watch the entire 40minute speech before making any conclusions,”he said. Meanwhile, Palaniswami got emotional during a rally about this statement, and said, “If a CM is disrespected in this way, then imagine the things that will happen to a common man if such people come to power.” SNS 1,20,39,664 5,21,808 68,020 32,231 1,61,843 A health worker collects swab sample testing for Covid-19 at India Gate in New Delhi. FILE PHOTO Maharashtra has reported the highest daily rise of 40,414 Covid-19 cases, followed by 3,082 in Karnataka, 2,870 in Punjab, 2,276 in Madhya Pradesh, 2,270 in Gujarat, 2,216 in Kerala, 2,194 in Tamil Nadu and 2,153 in Chhattisgarh nataka and Chhattisgarh - cumulatively account for 80.17 per cent of the total active cases in the country, it added. Seventeen states and union territories have lower cases per million than the national average (8,724) while19 states and UTs have higher cases per million than the national average, according to the ministry. Ten states~ Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Haryana and BJP worker’s mother succumbs to injuries inflicted in ‘TMC attack’ SNS & PTI CHENNAI, 29 MARCH P12 8 states account for Animals likely source of Covid: WHO report 84.5 p.c. of new cases RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE WE’RE BEING PUT THROUGH THE WRINGER: KOHLI The BJP on Monday claimed that an 85-year-old woman, a party worker’s mother, succumbed to her injuries sustained during an attack by Trinamul Congress supporters in Nimta area of West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district last month. BJP workers staged a protest in front of Nimta police station and burnt tyres on M B Road, even as the TMC claimed that its activists were not involved in any attack and she might have died due to age-related ailments. Expressing grief over the woman’s death, Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted, “Anguished over the demise of Bengal’s daughter Shova Majumdar ji, who was brutally beaten by TMC goons.” “The pain & wounds of her family will haunt Mamata didi for long. Bengal will fight for a violence-free tomorrow, Bengal will fight for a safer state for our sisters & mothers,” Shah added. Dismissing the allegations, TMC MP Sougata Roy said, “The incident has no relation with politics and the BJP is unnecessarily trying to cash on a death. Any death is unfortunate and tragic. TMC men were not involved in any attack. She might have died due to old age-related ailments,” he added. Details on Page 3 Seventeen states and union territories have lower cases per million than the national average (8,724) UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 29 MARCH 2021 Ten states~ Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Haryana and Rajasthan~are displaying an upward trajectory in the daily new cases Rajasthan~are displaying an upward trajectory in the daily new cases, the ministry said. According to the ministry, the total vaccination coverage in India has crossed 6 crore. More than 6.05 crore vaccine doses have been administered through 9,92,483 sessions. India's cumulative recoveries stand at 1,13,55,993 with32,231 recoveries being registered in a day. Maharashtra has reported the maximum number of single-day recoveries with 17,874 newly The total vaccination coverage has crossed 6 crore since the drive began recovered cases. Besides,291 deaths were reported in a day in India. WB logs 639 new cases: West Bengal registered 639 fresh cases and 1 death today. Yesterday, 827 singleday Covid cases and 2 deaths were recorded in the state. The total Covid case count is 5,85,305 and death toll is 10,325 in the state till now while there are 5,152 active cases. Kolkata recorded 225 cases and one death in the last 24 hours. BENGALURU, 29 MARCH In yet other twist to the sex scandal allegedly involving former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, an unauthenticated letter said to have been written by the woman in the purported video to the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court requesting to personally supervise the investigation, has surfaced. In a three-page letter dated 28 March, the woman has requested the court to take note of the threat she is facing in this matter and to take up the case and direct the state government to provide her protection and render her justice. She has alleged that the SIT, which is probing the case, is completely acting to the tunes A joint WHO-China study on the origins of Covid-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is extremely unlikely, according to a draft copy obtained by The AP . However, that may not completely lay to rest a notion that was brought into the mainstream by former US president Donald Trump and others, and which gained oxygen as Chinese secrecy and the inability to pinpoint a natural source raised suspicion. The findings offer little new insight into how the virus began to spread around the globe and many questions remain unanswered, though that was as expected. But the report did provide more detail on the reasoning behind the researchers’ conclusions. The team proposed further research except the lab leak hypothesis. The report’s release has been repeatedly delayed, raising questions about whether the Chinese side was trying to skew the conclusions to prevent blame for the pandemic falling on China. A World Health Organisation official said late last week that he expected it would be ready for release in the next few days. The AP received a copy on Monday from a Geneva-based diplomat from a WHO-member country. It wasn’t clear whether the report might still be changed prior to release, though the diplomat said The researchers listed four scenarios in order of likelihood for the emergence of the coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. Topping the list was transmission from bats through another animal, which they said was likely to very likely. They evaluated direct spread from bats to humans as likely, and said that spread through cold-chain food products was possible but not likely it was the final version. A second diplomat confirmed getting the report too. Both refused to be identified because they were not authorised to release it ahead of publication. The researchers listed four scenarios in order of likelihood for the emergence of the coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. Topping the list was transmission from bats through another animal, which they said was likely to very likely. They evaluated direct spread from bats to humans as likely, and said that spread through coldchain food products was possible but not likely. Bats are known to carry coronaviruses and, in fact, the closest relative of the virus that causes Covid-19 has been found in bats. However, the report says that the evolutionary distance between these bat viruses and SARS-CoV-2 is estimated to be several decades, suggesting a missing link. WHO conclusions: The WHO team’s mission to Wuhan included a stop at the virology institute, where they met Chinese scientists including Dr Shi. The team's leader Dr Peter Ben Embarek said at the end of the mission that the lableak theory was "extremely unlikely" and "not in the hypotheses that we will suggest for future studies". The mission found nothing to overturn the general consensus within the scientific community that the pathogen appeared to be of natural origin. Doubts persist: But questions about the lab persist, with critics noting that the WHO team’s investigative hands may have been tied by strict parameters set by its Chinese hosts. Team members spent only four hours at the virology institute, just an hour at the wet market, and several days inside their hotel without venturing out into the city. Dr Embarek voiced "frustration" at lack of access to raw data while in China. TMC candidate for Nandigram Assembly constituency Mamata Banerjee during a campaign at Nandigram in East Midnapur on Monday; (right) BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari at a roadshow in Nandigram on the same day. SNS (Report on Page 3) WOMAN WRITES TO K’TAKA HC CJ In a three-page letter dated 28 March, the woman in the purported video involving former Karnataka minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, requested the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court to personally supervise the investigation. She has alleged that the SIT is completely acting to the tunes of Jarkiholi Claiming to be a rape victim, the woman had filed a complaint against Ramesh Jarkiholi at the Cubbon Park Police Station of Jarkiholi and that the government is also protecting him, and hence she has not gained confidence in the investigation agency. Claiming to be a rape victim, having filed a complaint against Ramesh Jarkiholi at the Cubbon Park Police Station, where FIR has been registered, the woman said, “Jarkiholi is highly influential person and has already threatened me in public, of going to any extent to clear my charges against him.” “I have already expressed my apprehension that there is a threat to myself and my parents from Ramesh Jarkiholi, who is a highly influential person...I have requested the Special Investigation Team seeking protection for myself and my parents,” she said. The woman alleged that BEIJING, 29 MARCH MOTHER OF ALL BATTLES Sex scandal: Woman’s letter sparks uproar SNS & PTI ASSOCIATED PRESS despite her apprehension, the SIT has not given any protection to her and parents so far. Ramesh Jarkiholi is having criminal antecedents, and has already started destroying evidence regarding offences in every possible way, she added. The woman has so far released a series of video statements from undisclosed locations accusing Jarkiholi of cheating her, fearing threat to her life, and seeking protection for her and family members. Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah terming the woman's letter to the High Court Chief Justice about threat to her life, as “distressing and terrifying”, asked Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, “Is your govt working in Karnataka?” See Page 4 CMYK FM: China ‘happy’ over Pak-India peace moves Pawar unwell; to be admitted for surgery SNS & PTI MUMBAI, 29 MARCH BEIJING, 29 MARCH China said on Monday that it was “happy” over the recent “active interactions” between Pakistan and India, indicating that it would like to work with Islamabad to inject “more positive energy” into regional peace, stability and development. The militaries of India and Pakistan announced on 25 February they have agreed to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and other sectors. Weeks later, both Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and powerful Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa made peace overtures towards New Delhi saying it was time for the two neighbours to “bury the past and move forward”. We are happy about the active interactions between Pakistan and India,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here in response to a question. Zhao was responding to a question on Pakistan President Arif Alvi’s remark that China is his country’s “closest friend during his speech at the Pakistan Day parade on 25 March. He also referred to the recent rapprochement between India and Pakistan to dial down the tensions between the two countries. Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar is ill and will undergo a surgery later this week, a top party official said here on Monday. According to National Spokesperson and Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik, Pawar, 80, complained of abdominal pains last night and was rushed to the Breach Candy Hospital for a checkup. Upon diagnosis it has emerged that he has some problem afflicting the gallbladder. He has been on a blood thinner medication, said Malik. Pawar will be admitted to the hospital on Wednesday, he added. IANS
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