SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 22 MAY 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR BBC FACES QUESTIONS OF INTEGRITY AFTER DIANA REPORT ‘MINING BAN HURTS KARNATAKA’ P7 RAINFALL: 3.0 MM RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 100% TEMPERATURE Min: 19.4°C (-7) SUN SETS 19:09 hrs MOON SETS 03:08 hrs THUMBNAILS A newly-married couple cross the Hooghly on a boat during Covid-induced lockdown, in AGENCIES Nadia district in Bengal on Friday. SC upholds Centre's notification under IBC: The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the validity of the Centre's notification allowing banks to proceed against personal guarantors for recovery of loans given to a company under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). The top court bench held that approval of resolution plan under the IBC does not discharge personal guarantors of their liability towards the banks. P8 MiG-21 aircraft crashes in Punjab; pilot killed: 2 An Indian Air Force pilot Sqn Ldr Abhinav Choudharywas killed after a MiG-21 Bison aircraft crashed in Punjab's Moga district late Thursday night, officials said on Friday. The aircraft was on a routine sortie from Suratgarh when it crashed near a village in Moga. HC quashes GST on oxygen concentrators: Delhi High Court Friday held as”unconstitutional, the imposition of Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) by the Centre on import of oxygen concentrators by individuals for personal use. A 1 May notification of the finance ministry had imposed a IGST of 12 per cent on such items. P2 Chipko pioneer Bahuguna dies of Covid-19 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA JERUSALEM, 21 MAY srael and the Palestinian militant group Hamas have agreed to a ceasefire, bringing to an end 11 days of bombardment, the heaviest flare-up since the 2014 Gaza War, that has left over 240 people dead and threatened to destabilise the volatile region. The ceasefire, which followed mounting pressure from the US, Egypt and other international brokers to halt the violence, came into effect on Friday. The Israeli Security Cabinet voted to accept the ceasefire late Thursday as the Israeli south and Gaza remain inflamed. The Security Cabinet unanimously agreed to a “mutual and unconditional” cessation of hostilities, according to a statement Renowned environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna, who pioneered the Chipko movement, died of Covid at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rishikesh on Friday. He was 94. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. Bahuguna was cremated with full state honours at the Poornanand Ghat on the banks of the Ganga in Rishikesh. Known for his pioneering role in the Chipko movement, during which activists hugged trees to save them from being felled, Bahuguna had been undergoing treatment for Covid at AIIMS-Rishikesh since 8 May. Bahuguna’s condition had turned critical last night with his oxygen level dropping drastically. He breathed his last at 12.05 p.m. PM Narendra Modi condoled Bahuguna’s death. “Passing away of Shri Sunderlal Bahuguna Ji is a monumental loss for our nation. He manifested our centuries-old ethos of living in harmony with nature,” he tweeted. Chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat described it as a big loss not just for Uttarakhand and India but for the entire world. “It was he who made the Chipko movement a movement of the masses,” Rawat said. PTI SEE ALSO ON P 5 P12 from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Office. The political leadership emphasised that reality on the ground is what will determine if the campaign continues or not, the statement said. Netanyahu did however inform the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) to prepare for a scenario in which Hamas did not respond to Egypt’s ceasefire offer. Celebratory demonstrations took place in the Gaza Strip and West Bank as well, following the ceasefire. Fireworks, singing, and parades down the streets could be seen in uploaded videos on social media. Both Israel and Hamas have claimed victory in the conflict that has left over 240 people, including an Indian caregiver in Israel, dead. Soumya Santosh, 30, was killed in a rocket attack by Palestinian militants Palestinians on a horse cart loaded with belongings, pass by destroyed homes, to which they returned following a ceasefire, in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip on Friday. AP from Gaza. Santosh, who hailed from Kerala’s Idukki district, worked as a caregiver attending to an old woman at a house in the southern Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi thanked US President Joe Biden for his role in the success of the Egyptian brokered ceasefire between Both Israel and Hamas have claimed victory in the conflict that has left over 240 people, including an Indian caregiver in Israel, dead Israel and Hamas. He added that both see the urgency in managing the conflict between the parties through diplomacy. Biden hailed the cease- fire, saying both Palestinians and Israelis deserve to live safely. I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy, Biden said on Thursday. We remain committed to working with the United Nations and other international stakeholders to provide rapid humanitarian assistance and to marshal international support for the people of Gaza and the Gazan reconstruction efforts, he said. Biden told reporters that he spoke with Egyptian President Al-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Fighting began in Gaza on 10 May after weeks of rising Israeli-Palestinian tension in East Jerusalem that culminated in clashes at a holy site revered by both Narada: HC orders house arrest of four, forms larger bench STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 21 MAY Cabinet ministers Subrata Mukherjee and Firhad Hakim, Kamarhati MLA Madan Mitra and former Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee, arrested by the CBI in the Narada sting operation case, will be released from judicial custody and placed under house arrest after a difference of opinion arose in the Division Bench of acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Arijit Banerjee of Calcutta High Court today on the issue of recalling the stay on bail to the four accused. The court also reject- NO RELIEF YET Of the quartet, Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra and Sovan Chatterjee are undergoing treatment at SSKM hospital, while Firhad Hakim is in Presidency correctional home. The leaders, especially Mr Hakim, who is the chairman of the board of administrators of Kolkata Munic- ipal Corporation, were allowed by the court to hold virtual meetings with officials in connection with the Covid-19 situation in the city. A five-member Bench, headed by acting Chief Justice Bindal, was formed to hear the bail hearing for the four accused at 11.00 a.m. on Monday. ed the CBI plea for transferring the trial to another state while the rest of the matter will next be heard by a larger Bench. The leaders, especially Mr Hakim, who is the chairman of the board of administrators of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, were allowed by the court to hold virtual meetings with officials in connection with the Covid-19 situation in the city. Mr Hakim can also PRESS TRUST OF INDIA The death toll on barge P305 that sank in the Arabian Sea during Cyclone Tauktae five days ago rose to 60 on Friday with the recovery of 11 more bodies even as the Navy and the Coast Guard continued the search for the 15 personnel missing from the barge and 11 from anchor boat Varaprada. Hopes of finding more survivors have receded, an official said. Mumbai Police, meanwhile, have registered an FIR against the captain of barge P-305 and some other persons, under penal code provisions relating to culpable homicide, and harm caused due to negligence or a rash act, in connection with the tragedy. issue instructions in a virtual mode but cannot meet anyone physically, it was directed. A five-member Bench, headed by acting Chief Justice Bindal, was subsequently formed to hear the matter relating to bail for the four accused at 11.00 a.m. on Monday. The other judges of the larger Bench are Justices Indra Prasanna Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen and Arijit Banerjee. Earlier during the day, Justice Banerjee voiced his opinion about granting interim bail while acting Chief Justice Bindal, taking the health condition of the four leaders into con- SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 21 MAY The case was registered at the Yellow Gate police station, Mumbai, on the basis of a complaint lodged by Rahman Hussain Shaikh, the chief engineer of the barge who was among the survivors in the incident. Rakesh Ballav, the captain of the barge, and others have been named in the FIR. Mumbai police have already announced they will conduct a probe as to why the ill-fated barge remained in the turbulent area despite warnings about the cyclone. Of the 261 personnel who were on barge P305, deployed by construction company Afcons, which sank on Monday, 186 have been recovered so far. Of the 13 persons on Varaprada, two have been rescued while the search for the remaining 11 is on. NEW DELHI, 21 MAY The government has objected to Twitter using the ‘manipulated media’ tag for tweets on an alleged Congress toolkit used to target the Centre over its Covid-19 handling, sources said. The government has asked Twitter to remove the ‘manipulated media’ tag as the matter is pending before law enforcement agencies, and made it clear that the social media platform cannot pass judgment when the issue is under investigation. Twitter had labelled as “manipulated media” a tweet of BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra on the alleged toolkit prepared by the Congress to target the Modi government. Twitter says it “may label House arrest means an arrest of sorts, appearing for the petitioners, Avishek Manu Singhvi, Siddharth Luthra and Kalyan Bandopadhayay submitted. If Mr Hakim, who is in charge of combating Covid-19 in the city is put under house arrest, he cannot discharge his duty freely, Mr Bandopadhayay submitted. Meanwhile, Mr Mitra’s counsel, Niladri Bhattacharya, has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court so that if the CBI moves the Supreme Court challenging the high court’s house arrest order, the apex court will have to hear it with notice to Mitra. The Union home ministry has asked states and union territories to strengthen facilities for vulnerable groups, especially children, who have been orphaned in the second wave of the Covid pandemic in order to check human trafficking, a government statement said on Friday. The Centre said it is giving high priority to prevent and combat crime against women, children, senior citizens and scheduled castes/ scheduled tribes, and is putting in place institutional mechanisms for preventing and countering human trafficking. Meanwhile, the daily rise in coronavirus cases in India remained below 3 lakh for the fifth consecutive day with 2.59 lakh new cases record- The Union Health Ministry on Friday said license has been given to five more manufactures for production of Amphotericin-B, used in the treatment of black fungus, and they will start producing 1,11,000 vials of the drug per month from July. Efforts are being made to supplement the domestic availability of the anti-fungal drug through import, the ministry said. There has been a spurt in numbers of black fungus cases in various states. Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said there were 197 cases of black fungus in hospitals across Delhi till Wednesday night. Over 300 Mucormycosis cases were recorded in Pune. ed in a single day, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday. With a total of 2,59,551 fresh cases, India’s total tally of Covid-19 cases climbed to 2,60,31,991. The daily recoveries continued to outnumber the daily new cases for the eighth consecutive day, with 3,57,295 patients recuperating in a span of 24 hours. More than 20.61 lakh tests TWEET ROW The Ministry of Electronics and IT has written a strong communication to the global team of Twitter registering its objection to the ‘manipulated media’ tag on tweets made by some political leaders with reference to the toolkit allegedly created to undermine, derail and demean the efforts of the government against the Covid-19 pandemic. Tweets that include media (videos, audio, and images) that have been deceptively altered or fabricated.” Patra’s tweet, now labelled “manipulated media” had posted a document and said, “Friends look at the #CongressToolKit in extending help to the needy during the Pandemic! More of a PR exercise with the help of Friendly Journalists & Influencers than a soulful endeavour.Read for yourselves the agenda of the Congress”. The Opposition party has insisted that the toolkit documents flagged by the BJP are “fake” and has filed police complaint against its leaders. Investigation will determine the veracity of the content and not Twitter, the government has asserted while asking the microblogging platform not to interfere in the investigation process. In its communication to Twitter, the Ministry of Electronics and IT has stated that a complaint has already been made by one of the concerned parties before the local law enforcement agency questioning the veracity of the toolkit and the same is under investigation. While the local law enforcement agency is undertaking the investigation, Twitter has unilaterally drawn a conclusion in this matter and arbitrarily tagged it as ‘manipulated media’, government sources said. Such tagging by Twitter appears pre-judged, prejudiced and a deliberate attempt to colour the investigation by local law enforcement agency, the sources pointed out. for detection of Covid-19 were conducted in a span of 24 hours in the country, the highest-ever tests done in a single day, while the daily positivity rate has declined to 12.59 per cent, the Union health ministry said. Delhi’s positivity rate dips b e l o w 5 p c : Delhi today recorded 3,009 fresh coronavirus infections and 252 Covid-linked fatalities while Muslims and Jews. Hamas began firing rockets after warning Israel to withdraw from the site, triggering retaliatory airstrikes. Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said on Twitter that the Gaza offensive had yielded “unprecedented military gains”. Israel carried out hundreds of air and several ground strikes in Gaza, while Palestinian militants have fired more than 4,000 rockets at central and southern Israel since last Monday. Israeli airstrikes killed 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry there. At least 12 people in Israel, including two children, have been killed by Palestinian militant fire from Gaza, according to the IDF and Israel’s emergency service. MORE REPORTS ON PAGE 10 Shovandeb vacates Bhowanipore seat, paving way for Mamata to contest bypoll KOLKATA, 21 MAY the positivity rate dipped to 4.76 per cent. Shovandeb Chattopadhyay, the state agriculture minister, today resigned as Bhowanipore MLA, paving the way for state chief minister Mamata Banerjee to contest the bypoll from her old seat. Miss Banerjee, who lost in the Assembly election to Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram Assembly constituency by a small margin, needs to get reelected to the Assembly within six months to retain the chief minister’s post. While tendering his resignation to Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee at his chamber in the state Assembly, Mr Chattopadhyay said, “I’ve been thinking over the past few days that Mamata Banerjee should contest from Bhowanipore and I should tender my resignation so that after six months of her tenure as chief minister she can contest from her old seat.” He said there were no instructions from the party for him to vacate the seat “but I thought for the sake of Bengal, Mamata Banerjee should become chief minister.” A party insider said that Mr Chattopadhyay may be made a Rajya Sabha MP as Dinesh Trivedi who was made Rajya Sabha member in 2020 resigned this year and joined the BJP before the Assembly elections. However, Mr Chattopadhyay is yet to resign from the post of agriculture minister. As per the rules, he can be a minister for six months without contesting the election again. SNS SEE P 2 DETAILS ON PAGE 4 BLACK FUNGUS SCARE ‘Remove manipulated media tag from toolkit tweets’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA sideration, favoured their house arrest till the disposal of the matter. Of the quartet, Mr Mukherjee, Mr Mitra and Mr Chatterjee are undergoing treatment at SSKM hospital, while Mr Hakim is in Presidency correctional home. The house arrest order was opposed by both the counsel of the CBI and that of the four leaders. Opposing the order, the CBI counsel, solicitor general Tushar Mehta submitted that the petitioners should not be put under house arrest as they are influential persons, and should be in judicial custody. Protect kids orphaned due to Covid: Centre Barge tragedy toll 60, 26 still missing; police record FIR MUMBAI, 21 MAY DEHRADUN, 21 MAY P11 Ceasefire followed mounting pressure from the US, Egypt,other international brokers; at least 240 people died in the conflict I Min: 55% Max: 33.1°C (-7) SUN RISES 05:27 hrs MOON RISES 14:49 hrs P10 MESSI IS ALLOWED EARLY LEAVE, MAY NOT RETURN Israel, Hamas call truce after 11-day war d WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with possibility of light rain. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 37 and 24 degrees Celsius respectively. NEPAL PM, OPP ALLIANCE STAKE CLAIM TO FORM GOVT 2,60,31,991 30,27,925 2,59,551 3,57,295 2,91,331 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 21 MAY 2021 Sexual assault case: Tejpal acquitted PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PANAJI, 21 MAY Seven years after a woman colleague accused him of sexual assault in the elevator of a luxury hotel in Goa, journalist Tarun Tejpal was acquitted of all charges by a sessions court in the state on Friday. Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant, however, said his government would file an appeal against the acquittal in the High Court as it was confident that there was evidence against the journalist. While Tejpal, former editor-in-chief of the Tehelka magazine, said in a statement that he and his family had faced a “catastrophic fall-out” of “false allegations” for the past seven years and also faced the “boot of the state”, the complainant Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant said his government would file an appeal against the acquittal in the High Court as it was confident that there was evidence against the journalist. woman’s reaction was not available immediately. He faced trial under IPC sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (assault or criminal force with intent to outrage modesty), 354-A (sexual harassment), 354-B (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 376(2)(f) (person in a position of authority over women, committing rape) and 376(2)k) (rape by a person in a posi- tion of control). The alleged incident had taken place on 7 November, 2013. Tejpal stepped down as editor- in-chief of Tehelka in the wake of sexual assault allegations. Additional sessions judge Kshama Joshi acquitted Tejpal, who was present in the court along with his family members when the judgment was pronounced around 10.45 am on Friday. The court had earlier adjourned pronouncement of the verdict on three occasions citing various reasons. The past seven-and-a-half years have been traumatic for my family as we have dealt with the catastrophic fallout of these false allegations on every aspect of our personal, professional and public lives,” Tejpal said.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.