CMYK FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 11 JUNE 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 MYANMAR JUNTA HITS SUU KYI WITH GRAFT CHARGES CHINA PASSES NEW LAW TO COUNTER FOREIGN SANCTIONS P9 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. One or two spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 32-27 degrees Celsius. P9 P5 With Bihar figures added to tally after recount, India logs highest 1-day spike of 6,148 deaths STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE PATNA/KOLKATA/NEW DELHI, 10 JUNE Max.92% he Covid-19 death toll in Bihar jumped by as much as 72 per cent with the state government, following a recount, reporting an additional 3,971 deaths from the infection since the pandemic began. With the figures from Bihar added to the tally, India on Thursday reported its highest single-day spike of 6,148 deaths, even as the Nitish Kumar government came under fire for “hiding” the actual deaths from Covid-19 for months. The Bihar government announced yesterday that a total of 9,429 people had died of Covid-19 till 9 June, instead of 5,458. The revision of casualty figures has seen the death toll ris- Min. 66% Max: 32.7 °C(-2) Min: 27.7 °C(+1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 04:51 hrs 18:20 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 04:32 hrs 18:21 hrs Moon first quarter on 18 June THUMBNAILS Devotees gather at the banks of the Ganga on the occasion of ‘Vat Purnima’, at Har Ki Pauri ghat in Haridwar on Thursday. IANS Asian Games gold winner former boxer dies: Asian Games gold medal-winning former boxer Dingko Singh, who inspired a generation of Indian pugilists with his swashbuckling ring craft and flamboyant personality, died on Thursday after a long battle with liver cancer. He was 42 and had been fighting the disease since 2017. Dingko's gold in the Bangkok Asiad was the first in 16 years for Indian boxing after Kaur Singh's top finish at the regional showpiece's 1982 edition. “We lost a legend,” Olympic-bound boxer Vikas Krishan said. (P12) Choksi's legal team approaches London Police: The legal team of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi in London has approached the Metropolitan Police under the “universal jurisdiction” provision to investigate his alleged kidnapping from Antigua and Barbuda to neighbouring Dominica, lawyer Michael Polak said. Mehul Choksi's lawyers claimed last week that the businessman can't be arrested by the Dominican police as he is not a 'prohibited immigrant'. Choksi was declared a prohibited immigrant on 25 May by a notice from Dominica's authorities. P12 Bihar Covid toll jumps by 72 pc Mumbai building collapses; 11 killed RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE HARD QUARANTINE OVER, INTENSE TRAINING STARTS ‘JITIN SWITCH JUST A CATCH FOR UTTAR PRADESH ELECTIONS’ T 2,91,83,121 11,67,952 People stand in a queue to collect food distributed by volunteers outside a city hospital, during Covid-induced lockdown in Kolkata on Thursday. IANS ing by 72.84 per cent, causing accusing fingers to be raised over the handling of the Covid situation in the state. Opposition parties said this would never have come to light had Patna High Court not directed the state government to submit the correct figures of Covid-19 victims after proper verifications at various levels. Last month, the court had slammed the government for discrep- ancies in Covid deaths reported from Buxur district when dozens of bodies were found floating in the Ganga, and directed it to submit details about deaths from the virus during the second wave after proper verification. According to the breakup given by the state health department, Patna registered 2,303 deaths, the highest, followed by Muzaffarpur (609) and Begusarai (316). 94,052 1,51,367 3,59,676 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. THURSDAY 10 JUNE 2021 Slamming the state government over the jump in casualty figures, Bihar Opposition leader and RJD legislator Tejashwi Yadav said, “Right from the beginning, we had been saying that the Nitish Kumar government was hiding deaths. Now, it stands exposed.” The country, meanwhile, added 94,052 new Covid-19 cases in a 24hour period as of Thursday morning, pushing the total tally of confirmed cases to 2,91,83,121, while the additional deaths reported pushed the toll to 3,59,676. Active cases fell to 11,67,952. Bengal numbers: West Bengal today registered 5,274 fresh Covid-19 cases and 87 deaths, with Kolkata reporting 485 cases and 24 deaths while North 24Parganas recorded 966 fresh cases and 24 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total Covid case count is 14,48,104 and death toll is 16,642 in the state till now while there are 14,719 active cases. GST Council to meet on 12 June to discuss tax cut on Covid items Vax wastage: J’khand tops; negative in Kerala, Bengal PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 10 JUNE NEW DELHI, 10 JUNE The all-powerful GST Council, chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, will meet on 12 June to decide on GST rate cut for Covid essentials and black fungus medicine, according to officials. In the previous meeting on 28 May, the Council, which has state ministers as members, a Group of Ministers (GoM) was set up to recommend tax relief on Covid essentials, including PPE kits, masks and vaccines, to the GST coun- cil. The GoM submitted its report on 7 June. Officials said the GST Council would be meeting on 12 June, to discuss the GoM report as well as consider tax rate cuts for black fungus medicine. Some state Finance Ministers in the GoM are understood to have pitched for a rate cut on Covid essentials. Uttar Pradesh finance minister Suresh Kumar Khanna, who is also a member of the GoM, on Wednesday said the state is in favour of cutting taxes on Covid essentials to facilitate patients, but will accept the decision of the GST council on tax rates. The GoM on GST cuts on Covid relief items was mandated to examine whether a GST rate cut or exemption is required for medical-grade oxygen, pulse oximeters, hand sanitizers, oxygen therapy equipment like concentrators, ventilators, PPE kits, N-95 and surgical masks and temperature checking equipment. Besides, the panel also looked into Covid vaccines, drugs, and medicines for Covid treatment and testing kits for Covid detection. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Kerala and West Bengal recorded negative wastage of Covid-19 vaccines in May, saving 1.10 lakh and 1.61 lakh doses respectively, while Jharkhand reported the maximum wastage of 33.95 per cent, according to Central government data. While Kerala reported -6.37 per cent vaccine wastage, West Bengal recorded -5.48 per cent. Chhattisgarh reported 15.79 per cent vaccine wastage while Madhya Pradesh reported 7.35 per cent. Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra reported 7.08 per cent, 3.95 per cent, 3.91 per cent, 3.78 and 3.63 per cent and 3.59 per cent respectively. The data showed that a total of 790.6 lakh vaccines were supplied to states and UTs in May out of which total vaccinations were 610.6 lakh while 658.6 lakh shots were utilised and the closing balance was 212.7 lakh. The vaccination in May was less as compared to April in which a total of 898.7 lakh vaccinations were done, 902.2 lakh doses were utilised and the closing balance was 80.8 lakh. Rescue operation underway after a single-storey house collapsed on another structure in Malwani area. AGENCIES Two floors of a three- storey residential building collapsed on an adjoining single-storey house Eight children among 11 killed Contractor arrested on homicide charge PRESS TRUST OF INDIA MUMBAI, 10 JUNE At least 11 people, including eight children, were killed and seven others injured after two floors of a three-storey residential building collapsed on an adjoining single-storey house in Malwani in suburban Mumbai, officials said on Thursday. The incident took place around 11.15 p.m. on Wednesday, when Mumbai experienced heavy rains throughout the day, at the New Collector Compound on Abdul Hamid Road in the Malwani area of suburban Malad, the officials said. The ill-fated building was constructed illegally and had suffered damage in cyclone Tauktae, which passed close to the Mumbai coast last month, police said, adding its contractor Yogi meets Shah, likely to meet Modi Facilitate two-way travel, MEA urges China PRESS TRUST OF INDIA STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 10 JUNE Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday met senior BJP leader and Union minister Amit Shah here, and is also likely to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit, sources said. Adityanath’s visit to the national capital to meet the BJP top brass, including its president J P Nadda, comes close on the heels of the party holding a series of review meetings in Lucknow, which had fuelled speculation that there could a ministerial reshuffle in the state government. “Met respected Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi as a courtesy and received his guidance. Heartfelt thanks to the respect- Yogi Adityanath leaves after meeting with Amit Shah, in New Delhi on Thursday ed home minister for his time,” Adityanath tweeted in Hindi along with a photo that shows him presenting to Shah a copy of the report ‘Solution of Migrant Crisis’. Apna Dal (S) leader Anupriya Patel, a BJP ally from Uttar Pradesh who was a minister in the first Modi-led government, also met Shah, in an indication that the saffron party is reaching out to its partners as it works to bolster its position in the state which will go to the Assembly polls early next year. The development comes a day after Jitin Prasada quit the Congress and joined the saffron party. BJP MLC A K Sharma, a former IAS officer who is seen as a trusted hand of Modi, is also in Delhi meeting party leaders and allies. Though there is no official word on whether there will be Cabinet expansion in Uttar Pradesh, sources said Prasada, who comes from a noted Brahmin family of the state with political heft, and Sharma may be accommodated in such an eventuality. Senior BJP leader Radha Mohan Singh, in-charge of the party’s affairs in Uttar Pradesh, had also visited the state. NEW DELHI, 10 JUNE India today asked China to allow an early resumption of travel by Indian citizens to that country keeping in view the fact that Chinese nationals were able to travel to India. “We have been in touch with the Chinese side in order to seek an early resumption of travel by Indian citizens to China, especially for those who work or study there. While we recognise the need to ensure safety and strictly follow Covid-related protocols, essential two-way travel should be facilitated,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing. He noted that currently, persons from China, including Chinese nationals, were Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi noted that currently, persons from China, including Chinese nationals, were able to travel to India despite the absence of direct connectivity. However, for Indian nationals, travel to China has not been possible since last November as the Chinese side had suspended existing visas. able to travel to India despite the absence of direct connectivity. However, for Indian nationals, travel to China has not been possible since last November as the Chinese side had suspended existing visas. Bagchi also pointed out that in March this year, the Chi- MEA declines to deny reports of being in touch with Taliban factions The ministry of external affairs declined to deny or confirm reports that it was in talks with those factions of the Taliban which were outside the spheres of the influence of Pakistan and Iran, saying it was in touch with various stakeholders in Afghanistan. “Our relations with Afghanistan are historical and multi-faceted. We have been engaging with Afghans across ethnicities. As a friendly neighbour, we are concerned about peace and security in Afghanistan and the region. We support all peace initiatives and have been engaged with several stakeholders including regional countries,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperSNS son Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing. nese Embassy issued a notification about facilitating visas for those taking Chinesemade vaccines. “It is understood that several Indian nationals have applied for Chinese visas after getting vaccinated in that manner but are yet to be issued visas. Since these Indian nationals have apparently met the requirements laid down by the Chinese side, we hope that the Chinese Embassy would be able to issue them visas soon,” he added. It’s the final pack-up for poet-director Buddhadeb Dasgupta Poetess gets ‘Naxal’ tag after lament on Ganga PRESS TRUST OF INDIA KOLKATA, 10 JUNE Eminent film director and poet Buddhadeb Dasgupta, who had been battling kidney ailments for quite some time, died at his residence here early on Thursday following a cardiac arrest, family members said. He was 77. The national award-winning director is survived by his wife, and two daughters from a previous marriage. Dasgupta, hailed for his allegorical tales, often indulged in incisive examination of complex human characters, who brought to the fore poignant questions. His political ideologies were well reflected in his cinema. He has also published several works of poetry over the years, including Govir Araley, Chhaata Kahini, RoboterGaan and Bhomboler Ascharya Kahi- 1944-2021 ni O Ananya Kabita. Tributes have poured in from across the country for the ace director, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing anguish over his death. “Anguished by the demise of Shri Buddhadeb Dasgupta. His diverse works struck a chord with all sections of society. He was also an eminent thinker and poet. My thoughts are with his family and several admirers in this time of grief. Om Shanti,” Modi tweeted. Extending her condolences, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “Saddened at the passing away of eminent filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta. Through his works, he infused lyricism into the language of cinema. His death comes as a great loss for the film fraternity.” Dasgupta was found motionless by his wife, Sohini, at his residence in Kalikapur area of the city at 6 a.m., according to the family members. He suffered cardiac arrest in his sleep, they added. Mourning his demise, filmmaker Goutam Ghose said, “Buddha da continued to make films, write articles and stay active, despite his failing health. He had directed Tope and Urojahaj even when he was unwell.” Ghosh, who played the role of an investigative reporter in Dasgupta’s Grihajuddha, recalled that he had a “wonderful time” working with the auteur. Actor-director Aparna Sen said Dasgupta’s films were “soaked in surrealism”. With his poetry, he had created a new idiom in filmmaking, she said. “I am sad that I won’t be able to bid a final farewell to Buddhadeb da at the crematorium, like I did in case of Mrinal da. It is upsetting that we cannot give due recognition to a director of his calibre due to this Covid pandemic and the lockdown,” Sen said. Born in 1944 in Purulia district, Dasgupta began his career as a lecturer in a college before taking a plunge into filmmaking in the 70s, after having enrolled his name as a member of the Calcutta Film Society. He made his first feature film Dooratwa in 1978, leaving his mark as a poet-lyricistdirector. Prior to that, he had made a short Samayer Kache. Dasgupta ~ who bagged 12 national awards in his lifetime ~ was liberal in his views, having criticized several political activities in the recent times. CMYK STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE AHMEDABAD, 10 JUNE A poetess, who expressed her anguish over the corpses of Covid-19 victims being dumped in the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has been labelled with the tag ‘literary Naxal’ in an editorial in a journal of the Gujarat Sahitya Akademi. The poem, Shav Vahini Ganga which attracted the criticism from the Gujarat Sahitya Akademi, was written last month in Gujarati by Parul Khakkar but has since gone viral in Hindi, English and many other languages. She has now gone incommunicado after being trolled on social media platforms by people describing themselves as ‘cultural nationalists’. Shav Vahini Ganga (Ganga, the carrier of corpses) is a direct critique of the holy river being made to carry dead bodies and ends with the line ‘emperor has no clothes’ (in English translation). Taking offence at such expressions, the editorial in Gujarat Sahitya Akademi’s house journal Shabdashrishti has described the poem as “pointless angst”. The editorial, by Gujarat Sahitya Akademi’s chairman Vishnu Pandya, says the poem is being used by ‘literary Naxals’ who want to spread chaos and create anarchy in India. Pandya, a former journalist and writer, was awarded Padmasree and appointed chairman of the Akademi after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister in 2014. has been arrested on culpable homicide charge. The Maharashtra government announced an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh each to the kin of those who lost their lives in the house collapse, while the Centre will give an additional Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia to them. While earlier civic officials said a single-storey house had collapsed, they later clarified it was a threestorey building. Fire brigade and other agencies immediately rushed to the spot and started a search and rescue operation, an official from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said. Eight children and three adults died, he said, adding that most of the deceased were from two families. Seven others were injured and the condition of one of them was critical. People rescued from under the debris were taken to nearby hospitals. According to civic officials, some people might still be trapped under the rubble and the search perations were on. PM to attend G-7 Summit on 12-13 June in virtual mode Modi was scheduled to visit the UK to attend the summit. He, however, decided last month against going in view of the second Covid-19 wave in India NEW DELHI, 10 JUNE At the invitation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the outreach sessions of the G-7 Summit on 12-13 June in virtual format, it was officially announced here today. Earlier, Modi was scheduled to visit the United Kingdom to attend the summit. He, however, decided last month against going in view of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic in India. The UK currently holds the presidency of the G-7 and has invited India, along with Australia, South Korea and South Africa, as guest countries for the summit. The meeting will be held in hybrid mode. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, the theme for the summit is ‘Build Back Better’ and the UK has outlined four priority areas for its presidency. These are~leading the global recovery from the Covid while strengthening resilience against future pandemics; promoting future prosperity by championing free and fair trade; tackling climate change and preserving biodiversity; and championing shared values and open societies. The leaders are expected to exchange views on global recovery from the pandemic with a focus on health and cliSNS mate change.
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.