TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 15 JUNE 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P10 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. Lght to moderate rain/thundershowers accompanied with gusty winds. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 34 and 25 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 81% Min: 25.5°C (-3) SUN SETS 19:21 hrs MOON SETS 23:21 hrs THUMBNAILS A devotee takes a holy dip in the Sarover at Gurudwara Dukhniwaran Sahib on the Martyrdom IANS Day of Guru Arjan Dev, in Patiala. WPI inflation hits all-time high: The wholesale t price-based inflation accelerated to a record 12.94 per cent in May, on account of rising prices of crude oil, manufactured goods and a low base of last year. In April 2021, WPI inflation hit double digit at 10.49 per cent. Retail inflation also rose to 6.3 per cent in May, breaching the RBI's comfort level, on the back of costlier food items. The Consumer Price Index based (P8) inflation stood at 4.23 per cent in April. I India’s overall tally of Covid-19 cases now stands at 2,95,10,410. The active cases have come down below 10 lakh. The country has 9,73,158 active cases presently and has witnessed 3,74,305 deaths so far. According to the Health Ministry, a total of 1,19,501 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours, taking the total discharge to 2,81,62,947 till date. The Health Ministry said that a total of 25,48,49,301 people have been vaccinated so far in the country, including 14,99,771 who were administered vaccines in the last 24 hours. Delhi logs 131 cases, 16 deaths: The national capital today reported 131 fresh coronavirus infections — the lowest since 22 February — and 16 KOLKATA, 14 JUNE 2,95,10,410 9,73,158 70,421 1,19,501 3,74,305 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 14 JUNE 2021 Covid-linked fatalities while the positivity rate dropped to 0.22 per cent, according to the Delhi government’s latest health (See Page 2) bulletin. Delta plus: New Covid variant identified TRAFFIC SNARLS NEW DELHI, 14 JUNE Bengal post-poll violence survivors move SC: p Alleging horrific gang-rape by TMC workers, a 60-year-old woman and a 17-year-old minor girl from West Bengal have moved the Supreme Court for an SIT probe into all incidents of postpoll violence.The applications were filed in a pending case by Biswajit Sarkar, the brother of deceased Bengal BJP worker Abhijit Sarkar, allegedly murdered in postpoll violence. Filmmaker moves Kerala HC for bail: Filmmaker Aisha Sultana, who has been booked by the Lakshadweep police on charges of sedition for allegedly accusing the Central government of using 'Covid-19 as a bioweapon' against the people of Lakshadweep, has approached the Kerala High Court seeking anticipatory bail. (P4) STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE COVAXIN TRIAL ON KIDS The recruitment for the clinical trial of the country’s first indigenously-developed Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, among children in the age group of 6-12 years will begin at the AIIMS in New Delhi from Tuesday. This will be followed by the clinical trial of children in the age-group of 2-6 years. The enrolment of children volunteers aged 12-18 years at the AIIMS has been completed and they have been given the first dose of Covaxin. “The recruitment process for the clinical trial of Covaxin among children in the age group of 6-12 years will begin from Tuesday,” Dr PTI Sanjay Rai, AIIMS, said. Heavy traffic jam at ITO in New Delhi on Monday as the Covid-19 lockdow was eased in SNS the national capital after a period of almost two months. P12 WB extends virus curbs till 30 June with few relaxations Country logs 70,421 new Covid-19 cases, lowest in 74 days; 3,921 deaths ndia’s Covid cases continued a decline at 70,421 new Covid cases, lowest since 31 March and 3,921 deaths due to the virus in the last 24 hours, according to data released by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Monday. India’s active caseload declines below 10 Lakh mark after 66 days. Meanwhile, daily recoveries continue to outnumber the daily new cases for more than a month, the Ministry data showed. Recovery Rate increases to 95.43 per cent and daily Positivity Rate stands at 4.72per cent, less than 10per cent positivity for 3 weeks. This is the seventh consecutive day when India has reported less than one lakh Covid cases. On 13 June, India recorded 80,834 cases. INDIA AIM FOR FULL POINTS AGAINST AFGHANISTAN P4 India’s active count below 10 lakh mark NEW DELHI, 14 JUNE TEMPERATURE Max: 38.6°C (-1) SUN RISES 05:23 hrs MOON RISES 10:27 hrs P9 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Min: 39% OPS ELECTED DEPUTY LEGISLATURE PARTY LEADER OF AIADMK SUU KYI ON TRIAL: CHARGES BOGUS, SAY CRITICS READY TO TALK CHINA, RUSSIA AND SOOTHE ALLIES: BIDEN The highly transmissible Delta variant of SARS-CoV2 has mutated further to form the Delta plus or AY.1 variant but there is no immediate cause for concern in India as its incidence in the country is still low, scientists here said. In its latest report on coronavirus variants, updated till last Friday, the health agency said Delta plus was present in six genomes from India as of 7 June. PTI West Bengal government today extended the ongoing Covid related restrictions till 6 p.m on 30 June but announced some relaxations in the functioning of offices, restaurants and shopping malls, which are currently closed. “We are giving some relaxations instead of going ahead with a complete closure so that trade and business do not suffer. We have vaccinated around two crore of the people of our state. Special attention is being given to the super spreaders. During elections our Covid positivity rate was 22 per cent which rose to 32 per cent on the last date of polls. The figure has now dipped to six per cent. So our state is much safer now,” said chief minister Mamata Banerjee at a Press conference in Nabanna this afternoon. The restrictions that were enforced till 15 June have now been extended for another 15 days. Public transport facilities and intra-state local trains, buses, metros and inland water transport facilities will continue to remain suspended but the regular staff special trains will continue to ply. Emergency services have been exempted from the purview of the restrictions. All government offices would operate with 25 per cent strength. Similarly, the private and corporate offices have been allowed to remain open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with 25 per cent staff strength. The employers would have to arrange for transportation of the employees and collect necessary e-passes from the Kolkata Police or respective PERMITS AND RESTRICTIONS Public transport, local trains will continue to remain suspended. Government offices would operate with 25 per cent strength Private offices allowed to remain open from 10 to 4 p.m. with 25 per cent staff strength. Parks will be open from 6 to 9 a.m. but only those with two dose-vaccinations will be allowed Retail shops, bazaars, will remain open from 7 to 11 a.m. instead of 7 to 10 am. All other kinds of shops to remain open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Restaurants, bars and hotels will be allowed to remain open with 50 per cent seating capacity from 12 p.m. to 8 pm Banks will remain open from 10 to 2 pm All educational institutions will remain closed. We have vaccinated around two crore in Bengal. During elections our Covid positivity rate was 22 per cent which rose to 32 per cent on the last date of polls. The figure has now dipped to six per cent. So our state is much safer now West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee at a Press conference at Nabanna in Kolkata on Monday . IANS district administration. All production units, IT and ITES offices have been allowed to function with 50 per cent strength. Retail shops, bazaars, haats, vendors of vegetables, fruits, fish, groceries, milk, meat and egg will remain open from 7 to 11 a.m. instead of 7 to 10 am. All other kinds of shops will be allowed to remain open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Restaurants, bars and hotels will be allowed to remain open with 50 per cent seating capacity from 12 p.m. to 8 pm. Retail outlets in shopping complexes can function with 25 per cent workforce from 11 to 6 pm. However, only 30 per cent people would be allowed entry in the shopping complexes at a time. Tea gardens can function with 25 per cent of the total strength. Games and sports will be allowed at sta- diums and sports clubs without spectators. Indoor and outdoor shootings for television are permitted with 50 people per unit at a time. Beauty parlours, spas, swimming pools and gyms will continue to remain closed. Gatherings of a maximum of 50 will be allowed at marriage ceremonies and 30 at funerals. Banks will remain open from 10 to 2 pm. ATMs and petrol pumps will remain open. All outdoor activities to remain prohibited from 9 pm to 5 am. The CM said food officials have been directed to ensure that people receive their allotted foodgrains and the ‘Duare Ration’ scheme would be started very soon. Exams: The evaluation process for Madhyamik and HS examinations would be announced by the respective boards within one or two days. AAP throws its hat into Gujarat poll ring; to contest all 182 seats in 2022 Congress: Big scam by Ram temple trust ‘India on course to achieve land degradation neutrality’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 14 JUNE Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight declared that India was on track to achieve its national commitment of land degradation neutrality. “We are also working towards restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. This would contribute to India’s commitment to achieve an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent,” he said. Modi was delivering his keynote address at the UN “High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought” via video conference. The Prime Minister spoke at the opening segment in his capacity as the AHMEDABAD, 14JUNE The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday threw its hat into the election arena of Gujarat where the next Assembly polls are due in December 2022. AAP supremo and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was on a day’s visit to Gujarat where the party has won more than a dozen seats in the local self-government body elections held few months back. Addressing a Press conference here, Mr Kejriwal said that AAP would contest all the 182 Assembly seats in the elections next year as the people of Gujarat need an alternative from the last 75 AAP chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on a visit to Gujarat on Monday said the people of Gujarat need an alternative from the last 75 years of rule by Congress and BJP. years of rule by Congress and the BJP. Kejriwal said that the Congress in Gujarat is virtually in the pocket of the BJP~ probably an oblique reference to many Congressmen living off the sub-contracts managed from the big contracts handled by the ruling party leaders and their kin. Kejriwal said that every section of the people, including traders, are feeling scared of the present BJP government. He cited an example of an invitation extended to him by an organization of businessmen in Gujarat. “The invitation was withdrawn at the last moment due to immense pressure brought on the businessmen”, said the Delhi CM. Kejriwal said that the agenda for next year’s Assembly polls would be decided by the people of Gujarat. He also inducted into AAP veteran journalist Ishudan Gadhvi who recently quit his job as anchor of a local television channel to plunge into politics full-time. The Congress on Monday alleged corruption in purchase of land in Ayodhya by the Ram temple trust and demanded a Supreme Courtmonitored probe. The party also alleged that it was a “big scam” committed using funds collected from devotees and demamded answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Trust had purchased “12,080 square metres of land” at an inflated price of PTI Rs 18.5 crore. Details on Page 4 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 14 JUNE Asserting that land degradation affects over twothirds of the world today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a high-level UN dialogue said if left unchecked, it will erode the very foundations of our societies, economies, food security, health, safety and quality of life President of the 14th Session of the Conference of Parties of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Terming land as the fundamental building block for supporting all lives and livelihoods, he called for reduction of the tremendous pressure on land and its resources. The Prime Minister listed steps Uncle’s overnight coup leaves LJP boss Chirag in a fix MANOJ CHAURASIA PATNA, 14 JUNE Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) MP Chirag Paswan had never thought even in his wildest dreams that he would find himself alone and isolated one day in his own “bungalow”,~ the party’s election symbol. His uncle and parliamentarian Pashupati Kumar Paras, in a sudden coup, has hijacked the entire party and got himself elected as the LJP leader in the Lok Sabha as well as the party’s national president ~ the posts which Chirag enjoyed till yesterday. So, how did that happen? Was only Paras involved in this game or was this the result of the well-orchestrated coup planned at the level of chief minister Nitish Kumar? Those familiar with the LJP leader Chirag Paswan arrives to meet party leader Pashupati Kumar Paras at his house, in New Delhi on Monday. AGENCIES developments say Paras was just a pawn in the whole game. As such, three JD-U MPs close to the Bihar chief minister had been involved in the plan to show Chirag the right place since he fielded candidates against the JD-U in the recently-held Assembly polls, thus making the contest triangular. Such was its impact that the JD-U was relegated to third position in the State Assembly with only 43 seats to its kitty whereas the BJP with 74 seats emerged as the single-largest party in the NDA. Chirag’s LJP won just one seat. The LJP had fielded 135 candidates primarily against the JD-U which sharply divided the NDA votes, dealing a severe blow to JD-U prospects. Although Nitish managed to secure his throne, he had lost much of his power. JD-U insiders say right since his party’s “embarrassing show” in the Assembly polls, Nitish was burning with the fire of humiliation and planning to teach a lesson to Chirag. Soon thereafter, the JDU engaged three leaders in the “mission split”. The team first targeted Paras who was running annoyed with Chirag since he was not getting the kind of prominence he got while Ram Vilas Paswan was alive. As such, Chirag had trimmed his uncle’s power first by removing him as the state LJP president and then as chief of the party’s Dalit Sena. Reports said Paras enjoyed good relations with Nitish since he served as a minister in his government prior to getting elected to the Lok Sabha and was in favour of his party contesting elections under his leadership but Chirag didn’t take any note of his advice and instead fielded candidates against the JD-U. Paras came in JD-U grip just after few meetings only, sources informed. In the second attempt, the JD-U team approached Prince Raj, another party MP and son of Chirag’s late uncle Ram Chandra Paswan. Prince, once considered very loyal to Chirag, was going angry right since his power was divided. Prince enjoyed the role as the state party president but recently Chirag divided his power and appointed Raju Tiwari as state’s executive president. The other two MPs~ Chandan Singh, a Bhumihar by caste and Veena Devi, a Rajput member~easily fell in line as one of the JD-U MPs played the upper caste card. The last MP Mehboob Ali Kaisar too didn’t take long time to move into the trap as he too was feeling cornered within the party right since Chirag had taken over the party. Prior to these moves, Nitish inducted LJP’s lone member in the Bihar Assembly and Bihar Legislative Council Raj Kumar and Nutan Singh respectively into JD-U, leaving the LJP totally unrepresented in both the Houses. More reports on Page 5 Modi congratulates new Israeli PM Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday congratulated Naftali Bennett on being sworn in as Israel’s new Prime Minister and said he looked forward to meeting the latter and deepening the strategic partnership between the nations. “Excellency Naftali Bennett, congratulations on becoming the Prime Minister of Israel. As we celebrate 30 years of the upgradation of diplomatic relations next year, I look forward to meeting you and deepening the strategic partnership between our two countries," he tweeted. He tweeted the same messages in Hebrew language too. Modi also conveyed his “profound gratitude” to Benjamin Netanyahu, whose long tenure as Israeli Prime (See also page 9) Minister ended yesterday. SNS taken by India to deal with the land degradation issue. Modi pointed out that in India, over the last ten years, around three million hectares of forest cover has been added. This has enhanced the combined forest cover to almost one-fourth of the country’s total area. The PM gave the example of the Banni region in Rann of Kutch in Gujarat to illustrate how restoration of land could start a virtuous cycle of good soil health, increased land productivity, food security and improved livelihoods. ‘73 per cent elderly faced abuse during second wave lockdown’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 14 JUNE About 73 per cent of the elderly population experienced increased abuse during the lockdown imposed amidst the second wave of Covid-19, according to a new report. The report by the Agewell Foundation, based on responses from 5,000 elderly, released ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day said 82 per cent of the respondents claimed that their life has been affected adversely due to the current Covid-19 situation. The report found among the 73 per cent, 61 per cent claimed that interpersonal relationships was the main factor responsible for fast increasing incidences of elder abuse in families. During the survey, it was found that 65 per cent elderly respondents were facing neglect in their life while approximately 58 per cent of the respondents said they are suffering abuse in their families and society. Himanshu Rath, Chairman, Agewell Foundation said though the Covid-19 situation and related lockdown rules and restrictions have affected almost every human being, older persons are the most vulnerable so far as the coronavirus threat and its impact is concerned. “There is an urgent need to sensitize people about the growing incidences of elder abuse. Older persons also need to be educated about support systems, legal provisions available to them,” he 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.