CMYK FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 09 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 ‘READY TO EXTEND PRESENCE IN AFGHANISTAN’ ANOTHER 15 YEARS.. GEN NARAVANE ON 5-DAY VISIT TO BANGLADESH P6 P5 P10 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Thundershower with gusty winds likely. Temperature to be in the range of 35-26 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.87% TEMPERATURE Max: 33.7°C (-2) SUN RISES 05:23 hrs MOON RISES 03:17 hrs New moon on 12 PM to CMs: Focus on micro containment zone, testing SNS & AGENCIES Min: 26.3°C (1) SUN SETS 17:54 hrs MOON SETS 14:46 hrs April THUMBNAILS Tulips in full bloom at Asia's largest tulip garden along the banks of Dal Lake, in Srinagar. AGENCIES SC rules on Rohingyas detained in Jammu: The Supreme Court on Thursday said Rohingyas detained in Jammu shall not be deported to Myanmar without following the prescribed process. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde passed the order on a plea seeking immediate release of detained Rohingya refugees in Jammu and a direction to restrain the Centre from deporting them to Myanmar. The Centre had earlier opposed the plea saying that the country cannot be the capital for illegal immigrants. India hopes for consensus on disengagement: Ahead of the 11th round of talks between senior commanders of the two countries on the military stand-off in Eastern Ladakh, India on Thursday hoped the two countries would be able to arrive at a consensus on disengagement at other friction points at the LAC. ''We would like to see disengagement in remaining areas in Eastern Ladakh,'' MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said. Tomorrow's talks will focus on friction points in Gogra, Hot Springs and Depsang plains in Ladakh. The talks will begin at 1000 hours at Chushul in E. Ladakh. NEW DELHI, 8 APRIL rime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on the need for creating microcontainment zones and extensive testing as a means to combat the second wave of Coronavirus, which pushed up the daily surge figures to 1.26 lakh in 24 hours. The state governments, he said, should not cut corners when it comes to this, he said. “Our emphasis should be on micro-containment zone, we have to keep the maximum focus on it,” he said at a meeting of chief ministers called this evening to review the Covid situation in the country. Today the country logged its highest ever 24-hour surge figure of 1.26 lakh. “The world has also accepted the night curfew. Curfew makes people remember that they are living in the age of Corona. It is good that we promote night curfew as ‘Corona Curfew’. This will not affect work too much,” the Prime Minister said. Setting a target of 70 per cent RT-PCR tests for the states, PM Modi said this is the only way to identify and fight the virus. “Proactive testing is very important... Now more cases are asymptomatic. People feel that they have some mild pulmonary disease and then they infect the whole family,” he said, adding, “Testing and tracing is the most important thing right now and we have to bring the positivity rate below 5 per cent”. CRPF commando Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, who was held captive by the Maoists in Chhattisgarh for over 100 hours after the 3 April gun battle, was released on Friday evening, the CRPF said. Manhas, a constable of the 210th CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), an elite wing of the CRPF was , safely handed over to the state police and to Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). “Our CoBRA commando Rakeshwar Singh Manhas has reached our camp safely. He is being sent for medical examination,” CRPF’s IG, Operations, C.G. Arora Modi gets second Covid jab P Abducted CoBRA commando released by Maoists: CRPF RAIPUR, 8 APRIL P12 Modi suggests 'Tika Utsav' from 11-14 April to combat 2nd wave; India logs 1.26L new cases Min. 58% INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE MBAPPE DOUBLE STRIKE GUMS IT UP FOR BAYERN said. Manhas is physically fine, he added. The trooper had gone missing during the gun battle with over 300 PLGAs ultras in Bijapur district on 3 April in which 22 personnel were killed and 31 injured. Over 1,000 security personnel of the CRPF and Chhattisgarh’s District Reserve Guard and Special Task Force took part in the operation. The gun battle took place on Saturday noon near Tekulgudem village under Tarrem police station. The Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of the outlawed CPI-Maoist on Tuesday announced Manhas was “safe” in their custody and sought an interlocutor appointed to for his release. 9,10,319 1,26,789 Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine, at AIIMS in New Delhi on Thursday NEW DELHI, 8 APRIL Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday received the second dose of Covid19 vaccine here at the city's premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), giving a message to the people that "vaccination is among the few ways we have, to defeat the virus". The Prime Minister also advised the citizens through a Twitter message: "If you are eligible for the vaccine, get your shot soon. Register on CoWin.gov.in." “Got my second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at AIIMS today (Thursday). Vaccine is among the few ways we have, to defeat the virus,” Modi tweeted. He also posted a photograph while taking the second jab. The Prime Minister has taken Covaxin, India's homegrown vaccine developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech. He was the first beneficiary on 1 March as the second phase of nationwide vaccination IANS began. India’s total Covid tally is over 1.29 crore, making it the third worst-hit after the USA and Brazil, said the Union health ministry. Ten states including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala and Punjab have shown a steep rise in the daily Covid-19 cases accounting for 84.21 per centof the new cases. Bengal cases: Bengal registered 2,783 fresh Covid cases and 7 deaths in a single day. The total Covid case count is 6,02,807 and death toll is 10,370 in the state till now while there are 16,109 active cases. Kolkata recorded 716 cases and 3 deaths in the last 24 hours. Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee did not attend the virtual meeting with Prime Minister Modi. Banerjeee said will be busy 59,258 1,66,862 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. THURSDAY 08 APRIL 2021 campaigning for the ongoing Assembly elections in the state, the sources said. Kerala CM tests Covid positive: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has tested positive for Covid19 on Thursday. The chief minister was confirmed with Covid while he was staying in quarantine at his residence in in his native village in Kannur. NZ suspends travel from India: New Zealand has for the first time imposed a temporary ban on travellers coming from India, including its citizens, from 11 to 28 April due to a surge in Covid cases among visitors to this country, PM Jacinda Ardern said. The restriction comes after NZ recorded 23 new positive coronavirus cases in managed isolation, of which 17 came from India. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA MUMBAI, 8 APRIL Night curfew imposed in Ghaziabad 1,29,28,574 Why Maha getting fewer doses of Covid vaccine, asks Tope NOIDA/GHAZIABAD, 8 APR Amidst surge in Covid-19 cases, night curfew has been imposed in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad neighbouring Delhi, the two district authorities’ orders said on Thursday. The restrictions will be in force from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. till 17 April from Thursday night. 60-hr lockdown in urban MP BHOPAL, 8 APRIL The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to put all urban areas under lockdown from 6 p.m. on Friday evening to 6 a.m. on Monday morning. The lockdown has already been clamped in 13 districts of the state on Sundays. Night curfew in B’luru, 6 other K’taka cities BENGALURU, 8 APRIL Bengaluru and six other Karnataka cities will enforce a night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am starting Saturday, the government announced. The curfew, that will be place till 20 April, will also be imposed in Mysuru and other cities. Maharashtra Health minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday sought to know why the state was getting fewer number of Covid-19 vaccine doses as compared to other states, including Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, even as it is leading the vaccination drive and has the highest number of active cases in the country. His statement comes a day after Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan saidthat the “lackadaisical attitude” of the Maharashtra government had singularly bogged down the entire country’s efforts to fight the virus. In a Facebook live, Tope reiterated that Maharashtra requires 40 lakh vaccine doses per week, and made it clear that the vaccination drive was not an issue of conflict between the Centre and the state. He said the state on Thursday received 7.5 lakh doses. “Today, after I spoke to the Union health minister,I was told that we will get 17.5 lakh doses after 15 April” Tope said. He said that while Maharashtra received 7.5 lakh doses, Uttar Pradesh was given 48 lakh doses, Madhya Pradesh 40 lakh, Gujarat 30 lakh and Haryana 24 lakh doses. “Why is Maharashtra getting only 7.5 lakh doses?” he asked. He said that the state accounts for 55 per cent of the total number of active cases in the country and the vaccination supply should be as per the need. “This is what we expect. The state and the Centreneed to unit- Union minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar alleged five lakh doses of the Covid19 vaccines were wasted in Maharashtra due to a lack of planning by the state government. Addressing a Press conference at BJP office here, Javadekar, who himself hails from Maharashtra, said he has taken all the information and 23 lakh doses of the vaccines are available with the Maharashtra government. His remarks came after Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday there was a shortage of the vaccines in the state. “I want to make it clear that the Maharashtra government has 23 lakh doses of the vaccines with it...which is a stock for five to six days. Now, to distribute in villages and districts is the responsibility of the state government,” Javadekar PTI said. edly save people from corornavirus,” he said. “We will maintain the (vaccination) level of six lakh (doses) per day. We will not go beyond that at this stage, but at least give us 40 lakh vaccines per week,” Tope added. He said that Maharashtra, which has a population of 12 crore, has received 1.04 crore doses so far. SC collegium headed by CJI Dassault rejects Bobde holds scheduled meet fresh charges STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 8 APRIL NEW DELHI, 8 APRIL The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain petitions by the Maharashtra government and former state Home minister Anil Deshmukh, challenging the Bombay High Court order directing a preliminary enquiry by the CBI into corruption allegations levelled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hemant Gupta said: “The nature of allegations is serious and the persons involved require investigations by independent agency. It is a matter of The nature of allegations is serious and the persons involved require investigations by independent agency. It is a matter of public confidence SUPREME COURT public confidence.” Upholding the Bombay High Court order, the top court dismissed the petitions filed by Maharashtra government and Deshmukh. “He (Deshmukh) did not resign when the state set up a Commission of Enquiry. He quit after High Court order. He was clinging to office,” it observed. During the hearing, the bench also remarked that former Mumbai Police Com- missioner, who made the allegations against him, was not Deshmukh’s enemy but instead, “was almost his right hand man”. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal argued that court has to stay on guard while ordering investigation against a constitutional authority, and there has to be some material on which allegations are made but in this case, it is only hearsay. He said due to these baseless allegations damage has been done to me (Deshmukh). Advocate A M Singhvi said the state government was not heard by the High Court on the aspect of the CBI probe and alleged that it was in violation of federal structure. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA The Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde is holding its scheduled meeting on Thursday to discuss possible candidates for appointment of judges in higher judiciary, sources said. The CJI, who would superannuate on 23 April, has been holding the collegium meeting to discuss appointment of judges in the top court and high courts. The 5-member collegium’s pre-scheduled meeting assumes significance in the wake of the fact that President Ram Nath Kovind has formally appointed senior SNS & PTI KOLKATA, 8 APRIL BJP leader Mithun Chakraborty during a roadshow in support of party candidate Babul Supriyo on Thursday. AGENCIES har and ten in Hooghly. Among those whose fate will be decided at the hustings are former Bengal Ranji captain Manoj Tiwary, TMC’s candidate from Shibpur, state education minister and sitting MLA from Behala Paschim Partha Chatterjee and Central minister Babul Supriyo of BJP has locked horns with state sports minister Arup Biswas for the Tollygunge seat. NEW DELHI, 8 APRIL SC ‘no’ to MVA, Deshmukh pleas to stop CBI probe; says charges serious most judge N V Ramana as the next CJI. As per the convention, since the President has issued warrants of appointment for the next CJI, the outgoing predecessor does not make any recommendations to the Centre for appointment of judges in high courts and the apex court. The collegium meeting was scheduled before the issuance of the notification appointing Justice Ramana as the CJI. The last collegium meeting had taken place in the third week of March, the sources said. Besides the CJI, the four others members to the collegium are justices N V Ramana, R F Nariman, U U Lalit and A M Khanwilkar. High-octane campaigning ends for fourth phase polling in Bengal Campaigning for the highdecibel fourth phase of polling, for 44 Assembly seats scheduled in five districts of West Bengal on 10 April, ended at 5 p.m. on Thursday. A total 1,15,81,022 voters including 58,82,514 men, 56,98,218 women and 290 members of the third gender, will decide the fate of 373 candidates in Friday’s polling in constituencies spread over Howrah (Part II), South 24 Parganas (Part III), Hooghly (Part II) in south Bengal and in north Bengal’s Alipurduar and Coochbehar. The polling will be held between 7 a.m to 6.30 p.m in 15,940 polling stations.At stake are nine Assembly constituencies in Howrah, eleven in South 24 Parganas, five in Alipurduar, nine in Coochbe- MVA wasted 5 lakh doses: Javadekar Ratna Chatterjee, wife of former city mayor and fire minister Sovan Chatterjee, who left Mamata Banerjee’s TMC to join the BJP for a short period, is facing BJP’s actress- turned politician Payel Sarkar for the Behala Purbo seat. Former state forest minister, Rajib Banerjee, who moved to the BJP recently is contesting from Domjur while BJP MP and actress Locket Chatter- Anti-Romeo squads if BJP voted to power, says Yogi: Senior BJP leader Yogi Adityanath on Thursday said anti-Romeo squads will be formed in Bengal if the party is voted to power in the state. Bengal is not a safe place for women under TMC government, the UP CM, said addressing three poll rallies in Hooghly and Howrah districts . See P3 jee is contesting the polls from Chinsurah in Hooghly. The Sanyukta Morcha comprising Left front, Congress and ISF has fielded mostly young faces for the fourth phase of polling. CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty is one of the few seniors fielded by the Left for this phase of the elections. BJP’s star campaigners included PM Narendra Modi, Union Minister Amit Shah, EC can serve 10 showcause notices, says Mamata: Asserting that she would continue to raise her voice against any attempt to divide voters on communal lines, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said the EC may serve 10 showcause notices on her but she won’t change her stance. The poll panel had issued a notice to Banerjee for violating model code of conduct, after she allegedly urged the Muslim community to vote en block for the TMC. See P3 party president JP Nadda, Smriti Irani, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath besides, actor Mithun Chakraborty. The BJP leadership targeted the TMC government, its leader and chief minister Mamata Banerjee, her nephew Abhishek Banerjee accusing them of corruption and “appeasement politics” and claimed their “khela shesh hobe” (game will be over). CMYK Modi and Shah promised voters early implementation of Ayushman Bharat scheme, PM Kisan Samman Nidhi as well as implementation of the seventh pay commission scales for state government employees if voted to power in West Bengal. Banerjee, her nephew and party MP Abhishek were among star campaigners for the TMC who stepped up AT STAKE Nine Assembly constituencies in Howrah (Part II), eleven ACs South 24 Parganas (Part III), ten ACs Hooghly (Part II) in south Bengal and in north Bengal’s Alipurduar (five ACs) and Coochbehar (nine ACS) TOTAL 373 CANDIDATES 1,15,81,022 VOTERS their attack on the BJP-led Central government over recent hike in prices of gas, petrol, diesel, besides plans to disinvest in a large number of Central government run PSUs. Banerjee also accused Central police forces of harassing and intimidating voters in Bengal and urged voters to “gherao” them in case security men prevented them from voting. of wrongdoing in Rafale deal The assertion comes days after French publication Mediapart, citing an investigation by the country’s anti-corruption agency, reported that Dassault had paid about 1M Euros to an Indian middleman NEW DELHI, 8 APRIL French aerospace major Dassault Aviation on Thursday rejected fresh allegations of corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal with India, saying no violations were reported in the frame of the contract. The assertion by the manufacturer of the Rafale jets came days after French publication Mediapart, citing an investigation by the country’s anti-corruption agency, reported that Dassault Aviation had paid about one million Euros to an Indian middleman. “Numerous controls are carried out by official organisations, including the French Anti Corruption Agency. No violations were reported, notably in the frame of the contract with India for the acquisition of 36 Rafales,” a Dassault Aviation spokesperson said. The official said Dassault Aviation reiterated that it acts in strict compliance with the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Anti Bribery Convention and national laws. “Since the early 2000s, Dassault Aviation has implemented strict internal procedures to prevent corruption, guaranteeing the integrity, ethics and reputation of the company in its industrial and commercial ties,” the spokesperson said.PTI
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