CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 05 APRIL 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12+4 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR CENTRE SPREADING LIES ABOUT PUNJAB FARMERS: CAPTAIN WINNING KERALA SIGNIFICANT FOR RAHUL GANDHI P4 WEATHER Humid and discomfort weather is very likely. Temperature likely to be in the range of 36-24 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.89% TEMPERATURE Max: 36.9°C (2) SUN RISES 05:26 hrs MOON RISES --:-- hrs New moon on 12 P10 P12 Alarming spurt: Modi Amidst Covid resurge, Maha opts for weekend reviews Covid control lockdown, strict norms SNS & PTI Min: 26.5°C (2) SUN SETS 17:53 hrs MOON SETS 10:53 hrs April THUMBNAILS Devotees pull the wooden chariot of Lord Rangnath from Rangji Temple during annual 'Rath ka Mela', in Vrindavan on Sunday. AGENCIES 44 dead in Indonesia landslides: Landslides and flash floods from torrential rains in eastern Indonesia killed at least 44 people and displaced thousands, a disaster relief agency said Sunday. Several others were still missing. Mud tumbled down onto dozens of houses in Lamenele village from the surrounding hills shortly after midnight on Flores Island in East Nusa Tenggara province. Rescuers recovered P9 38 bodies and five injured. Soumitra wife dies: Deepa Chatterjee, the wife of legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee, died at a city hospital on Sunday, her family said. “Maa breathed her last around 2:55 am. She died of kidney failure,” daughter Poulomi Bose said. Deepa, 83, was admitted to hospital on 31 March. Soumitra Chatterjee, a multiple award-winning actor, died in November last year following a long battle with various ailments after testing positive for Covid-19. Deepa, a badminton champion who had also acted in films like Durga and Bilombito Loy. NEW DELHI, 4 APRIL rime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday reviewed the Covid-19 situation and vaccination exercise in the country amidst an “alarming rate of growth” in infections and deaths, with 10 states contributing to more than 91 percent of them. India on Sunday recorded 93,249 new coronavirus infections, the highest single-day rise so far this year, which took the total Covid19 cases to1,24,85,509, according to Union health ministry data. This is the biggest daily rise in cases since September 19, when 93,337 fresh infections were recorded. The death toll climbed to 1,64,623 on Sunday with 513 new fatalities, the ministry data updated at 8 a.m. showed. Registering a steady increase for the 25th straight day, the number of active cases surged to 6,91,597, accounting for 5.54per cent of the total infections. The recovery rate further dropped to 93.14 per cent, the data stated. Modi said the five-fold strategy of testing, tracing, treatment, Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccination if implemented with utmost seriousness and commitment would be effective in curbing the pandemic’s spread, according to an official statement. The reasons for the sharp rise in cases could be mainly attributed to the severe decline in compliance of Covid-appropriate behaviour, especially in the use ‘COMMUNITY AWARENESS IS KEY’ P Punjab, Maha worst-hit in second wave 1,24,85,509 NEW DELHI, 4 APRIL 6,91,597 93,249 Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs a high-level meeting to review Covid-related issues and vaccination. In New Delhi on Sunday. PIB 10 states contributing to more than 91 percent of cases and deaths due to Covid Modi directs five-fold strategy of testing, tracing, treatment, Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccination if implemented with utmost seriousness and commitment would be effective in curbing the pandemic’s spread The reasons for the sharp rise in cases could be mainly attributed to the severe decline in compliance of Covid-appropriate behaviour Modi directed that Central teams consisting of public health specialists and clinicians be sent to Maharashtra in view of its high caseload and deaths, and to Punjab and Chhattisgarh of masks and social distancing, pandemic fatigue and lack of effective implementation of containment measures at the field level, it said. It was noted in the meeting that vaccine manufacturers are ramping up their production capacity and are also in discussion with other domestic and offshore companies to augment the same. Noting that the situation in Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh is of serious concern, a presentation in the meeting highlighted that the western state has contributed 57 percent of the total cases and 47 percent of deaths in the coun- try in the last 14 days. The 10 high burden states and UTs are contributing 91.4 percent of the total cases and 90.9 percent of the total deaths in the country. Modi directed that Central teams consisting of public health specialists and clinicians be sent to Maharashtra in view of its high caseload and deaths, and to Punjab and Chhattisgarh, the statement said. For sustainable Covid19 management, awareness of the community and its involvement is paramount, Modi said, adding that and there is a need to continue ‘Jan Bhagidari’ and ‘Jan Andolan’. People queue up as they wait for their turn to undergo a mandatory Covid-19 test before entering the Gateway of India. In Mumbai on Sunday. AGENCIES 60,048 SNS & AGENCIES 1,64,623 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 04 APRIL 2021 A special campaign for Covid-appropriate behaviour with emphasis on 100 percent mask usage, personal hygiene and sanitation at public places, workplaces and health facilities will be organised between 6-14 April. India has carried out 7,59,79,651 Covid vaccinations till now. “It was highlighted that all efforts are underway to secure adequate quantities of vaccines to meet the rising domestic requirements as well as to meet the needs of other countries,” it said. Bengal numbers:Bengal logged 1,957 fresh Covid cases and 4 deaths. Total Covid count is 5,93,615 and death toll is 10,344 till now while there are 10,153 active cases. Kolkata recorded 634 cases and 2 deaths in the last 24 hours. MUMBAI, 4 APRIL With Maharashtra in the grip of the second wave of Covid-19, the Maha Vikas Aghadi Government on Sunday announced a “weekend lockdown” across the state besides stringent weekdays norms to combat the sweeping pandemic. The decision was taken at an emergency Cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, after he held detailed discussions with all stakeholders over this weekend. The weekend curfew would commence on Fridays at 8 p.m. and end at 7 a.m. on Mondays. While public transport in Mumbai including local trains would continue to run as usual, emphasis will be given to Work From Home (WFH) to minimise crowds. The new rules and guidelines, which include a night curfew from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. and prohibitory orders during the day, will The new rules and guidelines, which include a night curfew from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. and prohibitory orders during the day, will take effect from 8 p.m. Monday night take effect from 8 p.m. on Monday night. Detailed guidelines will be issued shortly, said Mumbai guardian minister Aslam Shaikh. The situation would be reviewed again on 15 April after which the future course would be decided. Over the last two days, Thackeray held wide ranging consultations with a cross-section of society to get their views before toughening the norms. The total number of new cases per day in Maharashtra has touched 47,913 which is more than double its earlier peak and has has resulted in a huge strain on the state’s medical health resources. Maharashtra and Punjab are the two worst hit states in terms of their share in the total number of new cases and fatalities across the country in the last fortnight, according to official documents. The two states also top the charts among states or UTs that have crossed their everreported peaks for new cases and are followed by Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat in the top-five. The growth rate of last seven days for daily new cases till 23 March in Maharashtra was 3.6 per cent and in Punjab it was 3.2 per cent. Maharashtra has added 4,26,108 cases in last two weeks as on 31 March, while Punjab has added 35,754 cases in the same period. Maharashtra and Punjab together reported around 60 per cent of India’s fatalities. According to the Health ministry, 11 states~ Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Haryana have been categorised as “states of PTI grave concern”. China pitches for final settlement Maoist encounter: Bodies of 20 jawans recovered of border dispute through dialogue SNS & PTI RAIPUR, 4 APRIL STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 4 APRIL NEW DELHI, 4 APRIL he Election Commission of India today sent a letter to chief minister Mamata Banerjee giving her a timeline of peaceful polling at Nandigram constituency while refuting her allegations of violence and voter intimidation during the second phase of polls. The letter termed Miss Banerjee’s allegations “factually incorrect. The Commission cited the reports by special observers and officials to say that there was “no mention of either outsiders or guns and goons SNS capturing the booth”. Details on Page 3 P5 I AM NOT A POWER-HITTER: PUJARA As India records this year’s biggest single-day jump of 93,249 cases Min. 34% ‘No outsiders’: ECI on Didi’s claims about Nandi polling JORDANIAN PRINCE’S CRITICISM PUTS ALLIES IN A BIND China has strongly pitched for a final settlement of the boundary dispute with India through dialogue, saying the time has come to ensure that there were no more military stand-offs between the two countries along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Referring to the deadly clash between Indian and Chinese troops at the Galwan Valley on 15 June last year, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong admitted that every time such an incident occurred, the bilateral relationship was pushed back by years. These remarks were made by the Chinese envoy in a virtual dialogue Sun had with Sudheendra Kulkarni, media commentator and a close aide to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on Friday. The Chinese Embassy today released the text of the dialogue. Sun said the recent disengagement between Indian and Chinese troops at the Pangong Tso Lake was conducive to building trust and further easing the situation on the ground. “Against this backdrop, we should implement the consensus reached by the two leaders (of the two countries) and strictly abide by the existing agreements, step up dialogue and communication, and improve the border management and control mechanisms to further ease, stabilise and control the border situation, avoid relapse and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas,’’ he added. The lesson of last year’s border dispute (Galwan clash) was profound and such incident should not be repeated. “We should jointly run in the marathon of development for good results. We should encourage each other and give a helping hand when we encounter obstacles and challenges. The least we want to see China and India are in a boxing ring to fight with each other and undercut each other. That is not in the interests of either side,” he added. Police recovered bullet-riddled bodies of 20 jawans in the jungles of Chattisgarh Sunday, raising to 22 the number of security personnel killed in a fierce gunbattle with Naxals the previous day~ the biggest massacre in more than a year that also left 31 injured. Police had on Saturday said five security personnel were killed in the encounter and 18 were missing. Two of the five bodies were recovered on Saturday itself, they had said. The remaining three bodies and also the bodies of 17 of the 18 missing jawans were recovered on Sunday, police said, adding a search operation is underway to trace the missing jawan. The dead include eight from the District Reserve Guard (DRG), seven from the CRPF's Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), six from the Special Task Force and one from the 'Bastariya' battalion of the CRPF Inspec,” tor General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P said. The missing jawan belongs to the CoBRA unit, he said. He said the anti-Naxal operation was launched based on the intelligence inputs about the presence of Maoists of PLGA (Peoples’ Liberation Guerilla Army) Battalion No. 1 led by Hidma, a Naxal commander involved in many deadly attacks on security forces. He said, “Security forces fought bravely and inflicted a heavy blow to the ultras during the face-off”. Another senior police official said the Naxals, around 400 in number, were strategically positioned on a hillock in front of Tekalguda village and around it. The security personnel came under heavy fire following which a few moved to the deserted village to take defensive positions where the Naxals lay in wait, the official said. See P5 TMC leaders condole death of CRPF jawans: The Trinamul Congress today criticized PM Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Shah for maintaining silence on the deaths of CRPF jawans in Chattisgarh due to the Maoist attack. TMC MPs Derek O’Brien, Nadimul Haque, and the party’s vice president Subrata Mukherjee expressed their grief. Campaign ends for phase three of Bengal polls: Mamata, Yogi face off SNS & PTI KOLKATA, 4 APRIL The dust settled on high voltage campaigning for phase three Bengal polls today. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday asserted that “goons sheltered by the Trinamul Congress” will be tracked and sent behind bars after the BJP forms government in West Bengal. He said the “murdered BJP karyakartas (workers)”, including Sudarshan Pramanik from Hooghly district, will get justice “after 28 days”, referring to 2 May, the day of the counting of votes polled in the eight-phase assembly elections. “TMC goons, listen carefully. After the counting of votes, we will teach you a lesson. Similar things happened in Uttar Pradesh four years back after we formed the government there. “We imprisoned the tormentors of people. In Bengal, we will punish those who are a part of the syndicate raj and demand cut money (commission),” Adityanath said. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday wondered whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “god or a superhuman” to make claims of a BJP triumph in the Assembly elections, six phases of which still remain. Senior BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, TMC minister Ashima Patra and former CPI(M) minister Kanti Ganguly are among the 205 candidates whose campaigns for the third phase of elections in 31 seats in West Bengal ended on Sunday evening. In this phase, elections will be held in parts of rural The third phase of elections will be held on 6 April for 31 seats in parts of rural Howrah, the Sunderban region, Diamond Harbour and Baruipur belts in the South 24 Parganas, and parts of the Hooghly district Howrah, the Sunderban region, the Diamond Harbour and Baruipur belts in the South 24 Parganas, and parts of the Hooghly district. The campaign ended at 5 p.m. with elections scheduled to be held on Tuesday. The BJP’s campaign was led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who addressed several public meetings in these three districts. Besides, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP president JP Nadda, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Union minister Smriti Irani held a slew of rallies and roadshows in the last few days in these areas. The Trinamul Congress’s charge was led by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, even as TMC MP and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee addressed a significant number of rallies. In his successive rallies, the Prime Minister attacked the TMC government over “appeasement politics”, while raking up the issue of groundlevel corruption, including the alleged irregularities in Amphan relief. On the other side, the chief minister took on the leaders who left her party to join the CMYK BJP ahead of the elections, urging people to vote against the “traitors”. She also attacked the BJP-led government at the Centre over rising fuel prices and the state of the economy. The Left-led alliance focussed more on street-corner meets, small gatherings and door-to-door visits in absence of a face to counter Modi and Banerjee at large rallies. However, ISF founder Abbas Siddiqui's public meetings saw mega gatherings in places such as Canning that have significant Muslim population. A total of 78,52,425 voters will decide the fate of 205 candidates in the 31 seats. Of them, 39,93,280 are males, 38,58,902 females and 243 third gender voters. The 16 seats in South 24 Parganas, going to the polls in this phase, are the most affected by cyclone Amphan that hit the state amid the lockdown last May. TN, Puducherry & Kerala gear up for 6 April: The high octane campaign for the 6 April Tamil Nadu Assembly elections ended on Sunday at 7 p.m, with the stage now set for the polling which will decide whether it will be a hattrick of terms for the AIADMK or the return of DMK after a decade in Opposition. Massive roadshows and long rallies, led by top national and state leaders on Sunday marked the finale of the weeks-long high-octane open campaigning for the 6 April Assembly polls in Kerala. Despite a ban imposed by the Election Commission on crowded culmination of poll campaigning because of the Covid-19, mass participation of party workers could be seen in the final events in most of the 140 constituencies. The usual din and bustle of electioneering were missing in most constituencies in Puducherry, hours before the curtains came down on poll campaign today. Puducherry and its outlying regions of Karaikal, Mahe andYanam go to polls on 6 April in a single phase. Meanwhile, campaigning for the third and final phase of polls in Assam ended today. See inside pages
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