WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 16 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 P6 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with light rain/thundershowers accompanied with gusty winds. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 36 and 26 degrees Celsius respectively. Min: 44% TEMPERATURE Max: 38.7°C (-1) SUN RISES 05:24 hrs MOON RISES 11:27 hrs P7 P12 P9 India witnesses 85 pc decline Delhi riots: HC bail nod for JNU, in new Covid-19 cases: Govt Jamia students 2,95,70,881 SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 15 JUNE RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 81% ARGENTINA HOLD SUU KYI CONFRONTED WITH SEDITION CHARGES CHILE AT COPA AMERICA OLYMPICS SHORN OF GLORY CHANGE IN ISRAEL Min: 27.2°C (-1) SUN SETS 19:21 hrs MOON SETS 23:57 hrs THUMBNAILS Commuters wait in a long queue to avail the Metro at Gate-1, Barakhamba Metro Station, in SUBRATATA DUTTA the Capital on Tuesday. Governor’s letter: In his latest tussle with the Bengal government, state Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has written to chief minister Mamata Banerjee saying the state witnessed the worst form of post-poll violence while the state home department said that the letter was inconsistent with facts, and clarified that all the incidents had occurred when the law and order was under the Election Commission of India. The Governor is embarking on a four day trip to New Delhi, where he is expected to meet with Union home minister Amit Shah. Covaxin price: Bharat Biotech the maker of indigenous Covid-19 vaccine said on Tuesday that its low supply price to the central government of Rs 150 per dose is not a sustainable one in the long run. Hence a higher price in private markets is required to offset part of the costs, it said in a statement. The Centre's supplying price is pushing the pricing structure for the private sector upward, the firm said, justifying the higher prices for private players. Govt blurred line between protest, act of terror: Court PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 15 JUNE I n its anxiety to suppress dissent the State has blurred the line between right to protest and terrorist activity and if such a mindset gains traction, it would be a “sad day for democracy”, Delhi High Court said on Tuesday while granting bail to three students from JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) in a north-east Delhi riots case. Terming as “somewhat vague” the definition of 'terrorist act' under the stringent UAPA laws and warning against its use in a “cavalier manner”, the high court set aside the trial court orders denying bail to JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita and JMI's Asif Iqbal Tanha, allowing their appeals and admitting them to regular bail. “We are of the view that the foundations of our nation stand on surer footing than to be likely to be shaken by a protest, however vicious, organised by a tribe of college students or other persons, operating as a coordination committee from the confines of a University situate in the heart of Delhi,” a bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup Jairam Bhambhani said. In three separate judgements of 113, 83 and 72 pages, the high court said that although the definition of terrorist act' in section 15 of the stringent Unlaw- ‘CAVALIER APPLICATION’ The court said that although the definition of terrorist act' under the UAPA is wide and somewhat vague, it must partake the essential character of terrorism and the ‘phrase terrorist act' cannot be permitted to be applied in a cavalier manner to criminal acts that squarely fall under the IPC The court said that no offence under Sections 15 (terrorist act), 17 (punishment for raising funds for terrorist act) or 18 (punishment for conspiracy) of the UAPA is prima facie made out against the three accused in the case based on the charge sheet and the material collected by the prosecution. We are of the view that the foundations of our nation stand on surer footing than to be likely to be shaken by a protest, however vicious, organised by a tribe of college students or other persons DELHI HIGH COURT ful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) is wide and somewhat vague, it must partake the essential character of terrorism and the phrase terrorist act' cannot be permitted to be applied in a cavalier manner to criminal acts that squarely fall under the IPC. We are constrained to express, that it seems, that in its anxiety to suppress dissent, in the mind of the State, the line between the constitutionally guaranteed right to protest and terrorist activity seems to be getting somewhat blurred. If this mindset gains traction, it would be a sad day for democracy” which would be in peril, the bench said, adding there was nothing to show the possible com- mission of a terrorist act. The court directed Pinjra Tod activists Narwal and Kalita and Tanha, who were arrested in May last year in connection with alleged larger conspiracy in the riots, to surrender their passports and not to offer any inducement to prosecution witnesses or tamper with the evidence in the case. They shall not indulge in any unlawful activities and shall reside at the address as mentioned in records, the court said. Kalita, Narwal and Tanha are accused in four, three and two cases respectively relating to communal riots that broke out on February 24 last year and will be released from jail now as they have already secured bail in other matters. India has witnessed a continued reduction in daily Covid-19 cases, by up to 85 per cent since the highest daily tally registered on May 7, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday. “We are witnessing a continued reduction in daily cases after 75 days which indicates an overall decline in infection rate," Joint Secretary, Health, Lav Agarwal, said. In the last 24 hours, India reported 60,461 new cases, while on May 7, daily cases were at 4.14 lakh. The number came down to 2.67 lakh on May 19 and dropped below the 2 lakh mark subsequently. Agarwal said that the number of districts reporting more than 100 daily cases has fallen from 531 as recorded in the week ending May 4 to 165 in the week ending June 13. Currently, there are 20 states and UTs where active cases are less than 5,000 and a drastic reduction is being noted in almost all states, he said. Delta plus variant NITI Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul said a new 9,13,378 60,471 1,17,525 3,77,031 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. TUESDAY 15 JUNE 2021 mutation of the SARS-CoV2 virus has been detected called Delta plus variant, but but asserted that it is not yet a ‘variant of concern' in the country. He said the variant has been there since March in Europe, This was brought into the public domain just a few days ago, he said. “This is a variant of interest that has not yet been classified as a variant of concern. A variant of concern is in which we have understood that there are adverse consequences to humanity by increase in transmissibility and severity. This is not known yet about the Delta plus variant,” Paul said. On the Novavax vaccine, he said its efficacy data is promising and the data available in public domain also indicates that it is safe and highly effective. The preparatory work for its production in India has been accomplished by the Serum Institute and it is also conducting a bridging trial, which is in advanced stages of completion, he said. Delhi sees 228 cases, 12 deaths: Delhi today reported 228 fresh coronavirus infections and 12 Covidlinked fatalities while the positivity rate stood at 0.32 per cent, according to the Delhi government’s latest (SEE P 2) health bulletin. Govt confirms first death linked to Covid jab PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 15 JUNE A government panel studying Covid-19 vaccine side effects has confirmed the first death due to anaphylaxis following vaccination. The causality assessment of 31 reported Serious Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) cases following Covid-19 vaccination was carried out by the panel. According to a report by the National AEFI Committee, a 68-year-old man died due to anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) after being vaccinated on March 8, 2021. “It is the first death linked to Covid-19 vaccination due to anaphylaxis. It re-emphasises the need to wait for 30 minutes at the inoculation centre after receiving the jab. Most of the anaphylactic reactions occur during this period and prompt treatment prevents deaths, Dr NK Arora, chairperson, National AEFI committee, told PTI. The Committee examined five such cases that took place on February 5, eight cases on March 9 and 18 cases on March 31. As per data in the first week of April, the reporting rate is 2.7 deaths per million vaccine doses administered and 4.8 hospitalisations per million vaccine doses administered, the report stated. The panel also cautioned that mere reporting of deaths and hospitalisations as serious adverse events does not automatically imply that the events were caused due to vaccines. Row brewing over detention SC closes criminal case Tit-for-tat in LJP tussle f t of social activist in Kashmir against Italian marines PRESS TRUST OF INDIA STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 15 JUNE The jailing of an elderly man in Kashmir for speaking his mind and telling the Lt. Governor’s advisor Baseer Khan in a public durbar that people have more expectations from local officers than those who have come from other states has snowballed into a major controversy, with parties demanding action under law against the erring officer for misuse of their authority. Sajad Ahmad Sofi, who is a resident of Safapora in Ganderbal district on 10 June attended a public durbar hosted by Khan whom he is reported to have told that peo- PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha had initiated public durbars across J&K to reach out to the people and listen to their grievances in the absence of the political system. ple could have expectations from local officers like him and also seek answers from them. On the other hand, what could be expected from officers who belong to other states, he is supposed to have said. The deputy commissioner of Ganderbal, Krittika Jyotsna, who is an IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, is said to have taken exception to Sofi’s remarks. Sofi was detained under Section 153 IPC that deals with promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc. Later, other sections were added. Slamming the detention of Sofi, CPI-M leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami wondered if a man says he has more expectations from local officers, does it warrant his detention? Police did not release Sofi even when the court granted him interim bail as he has been reportedly booked additionally under sections 107 and 151 of the IPC. “This is a brazen misuse of power and authority,” Tarigami said. Twitter appoints interim Chief Compliance Officer for India PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 15 JUNE Twitter on Tuesday said it has appointed an interim Chief Compliance Officer and the details of the official will be shared with the IT Ministry directly soon. The Government had issued a notice to Twitter giving it one last chance to “immediately” comply with the new IT rules and warned that failure to adhere to the norms will lead to the platform losing exemption from liability under the IT Act. Following this, Twitter had assured the Indian government last week that it is in advanced stages of finalising the appointment of chief compliance officer as required under the new IT rules, and that it will Twitter has been facing heat over the delay in complying with the IT rules that mandate large digital platforms to undertake greater due diligence, and make them more accountable and responsible for the content that is hosted submit additional details within a week. A Twitter spokesperson on Tuesday said the company continues to make every effort to comply with the new guidelines, and is keeping the IT Min- istry apprised of progress at every step of the process. An interim Chief Compliance Officer has been retained and details will be shared with the Ministry directly soon, the spokesperson added. The move by Twitter assumes significance as the microblogging platform has been facing heat over delay in complying with the IT rules that mandate large digital platforms to undertake greater due diligence, and make them more accountable and responsible for the content that is hosted. As per the rules, significant social media intermediaries ~ those with over 50 lakh users ~ are required to appoint a grievance officer, a nodal officer and a chief compliance officer. These personnel have to be residents in India. NEW DELHI, 15 JUNE The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the closure of criminal proceedings in India against two Italian marines, accused of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast in February 2012, and asked Kerala High Court to oversee the apportionment of Rs 10 crore compensation to the heirs of the victim. A vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and M R Shah quashed the FIR and proceedings emanating from the case against the two Italian marines. The bench said that as per the international arbitral award accepted by India, Italy shall resume fur- NEW DELHI, 15 JUNE ther investigation in the case against the marines ~ Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Girone. The top court termed the Rs 10 crore compensation paid by Italy over and above the payment already made as reasonable and adequate. It said that out of the Rs 10 crore compensation, Rs 4 crore each shall be deposited in the name of heirs of two deceased Kerala fishermen and Rs 2 crore shall be given to owner of boat. The top court said that Rs 10 crore deposited in apex court's registry shall be transferred to Kerala High Court, which will make a fixed deposit of Rs 4 crore each in the name of the heirs of the two deceased fishermen. The two LJP factions headed by Chirag Paswan and Pashupati Kumar Paras moved swiftly on Tuesday to take control of the party as a national executive meeting of the organisation expelled five MPs while the Paras-led group removed Paswan as its president. In his first reaction after his paternal uncle Paras ousted him as the leader of the party in Lok Sabha with the support of the five MPs, Paswan likened the organisation to a mother who should not be betrayed. He also shared on Twitter a letter he had written to him on March 29 that highlighted Paras' alleged indifference to the party's agenda and conduct against its interests, and had urged him to fulfil his responsibilities to it and their family following the death of LJP founder Ram Vilas Paswan. While five of its six Lok Sabha MPs have sided with Paras, the group headed by Chirag called a virtual meeting of the party's national executive in which 41 of 76 members were present, its Bihar unit working president Raju Tiwari said. It was unanimously decided to expel the five MPs from the LJP for their “anti-party” activities, he said. The group led by his paternal uncle claimed that a decision to remove Chirag, MP from Jamui, as party president was taken in an emergency meeting of the national executive in line with the principal of “one man, one post”. Paras also termed as “laughable” the decision of the national executive meeting headed by Chirag Paswan to expel him and four other MPs from the party after the Lok Sabha Speaker recognised him as its leader in the House. Nation pays homage to Galwan Valley martyrs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 15 JUNE The nation today paid homage to the 20 Indian troops who laid down their lives in a bloody clash with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China at the Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh. It was on this day last year that the the incident, the worst violence on the India-China border since 1967 took place. Chief of the Army Staff, Gen M M Naravane and all ranks of the Indian Army paid homage to the soldiers who died defending India’s borders. “Their valour will be eternally etched in the memory of the nation” the Indian Army tweeted. A remembrance ceremony was also held at Leh where Maj Gen Akash Kaushik, officiating chief of the Fire and Fury Corps, laid a wreath at the War Memorial and paid homage to the bravehearts. Congress President Sonia Gandhi said her party joins a grateful nation in remembrance of the supreme sacrifice of the soldiers. ''We've repeatedly sought details of the episode in the light of the Prime Minister’s statement and details of what progress has been made towards restoring the status quo ante prior to April 2020. The disengagement agreement with China appears to have worked entirely to India’s disadvantage,'' she said. The violent clash about which China is yet to provide any credible explanation changed the dynamics of Sino-Indian relations for a long time to come. China's aggression against India in Eastern Ladakh started in April-May last year at a time when the world was fighting Covid-19, shocking the entire global community. While India acknowledged on 15 June itself that it had lost 20 of its soldiers in the Galwan Valley clash, China admitted only in February this year that eight of its troops too died in the incident. In public statements made by it during the last one year, China has clearly blamed the Indian side for the Galwan Valley clash while making little or no mention of its own actions in the incident or elsewhere in Eastern Ladakh and portrayed Beijing not as the aggressor, but as the defender of its sovereignty. The two countries have held umpteen rounds of talks both at the diplomatic and the military level to end the military stand-off in Eastern Ladakh but the negotiations have so far only resulted in the completion of disengagement at the Pangong Tso Lake in February. The situation at other friction points remains tense. India has repeatedly stated that relations between the two countries could never become normal unless peace and tranquility was restored in the border areas. ''We have repeatedly stressed that completion of disengagement in other areas would pave the way for the two sides to consider de-escalation of forces and ensure full restoration of peace and tranquility and enable progress in bilateral relations," Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated last week.
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