FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 18 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 SULTANA GETS INTERIM PROTECTION FROM ARREST CHOKSI PLANNED ESCAPE, CONCEALED EVIDENCE: CBI P4 THEMES AND VARIATIONS P4 P6 KOHLI EYES LEGACY P12 Student activists walk out of Tihar Class XII boards: SC clears assessment schemes RAINFALL: 001.0 Mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Max: 80% Min: 52% NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE Min: 26.2°C (-2) SUN SETS 19:22 hrs MOON SETS 01:06 hrs S The Supreme Court on Thursday gave in-principle go-ahead to the schemes submitted by the Central board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) to assess the final marks of Class XII students whose Board exams were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The CBSE has divided the marks’ assessment process into two components, theory and practical. The scheme submitted by CBSE will assess students based on their performance not just in Class XII but also in Class X and Class XI. The CBSE said it will evaluate Class XII students for theory based on 30 per cent mars in best three subjects in Class X, 30 per cent weightage to Class XI performance and 40 per cent to Class XII pre-boards performance. The assessment for Class XII will be based on unit tests, mid-term exam and pre-boards results. It said the marks obtained by the students in practical and internal assessment on actual basis as uploaded by schools on CBSE Portal will be also considered in deciding final results. WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with possibility of very light rain/thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 38 and 27 degrees Celsius respectively. TEMPERATURE Max: 34.2°C (-5) SUN RISES 05:24 hrs MOON RISES 12:27 hrs THUMBNAILS A health worker collects swab sample from a child for Covid-19 testing on a footpath at SNS Azadpur in the Capital on Thursday. Farmers scheme: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday rolled out the enhanced financial aid for farmers under the Krishak Bandhu scheme following which Rs 290 crore was released to 9,78,531 farmers of the state through direct bank transfer. Financial assistance to farmers holding one acre or more land has been increased from Rs 5,000 to 10,000 and for those with less than one acre it has been raised from Rs 2,000 to 4,000. Nadella Microsoft chairman: Microsoft's India-born CEO Satya Nadella has been appointed as the technology giant's new chairman, an additional role in which he will lead the work to set the agenda for the board. Nadella, 53, succeeds John W Thompson as the third chairman of Microsoft. Thompson was named lead independent director of Microsoft Corp’s board. Mamata files election petition: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has filed an election petition against Suvendu Adhikari before Calcutta High Court and the matter is listed for hearing before a single bench on Friday. The Election Commission had declared Adhikari the winner and the Trinamul Congress supremo the runner-up in the election for Nandigram constituency in the recently held state Assembly elections. Ex-cop arrested in Antilla bomb scare case: The c National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday arrested former 'encounter specialist' police officer Pradeep Sharma in the case of Antilia bomb scare and Mansukh Hian murder, claiming that Hiran was killed at Sharma and Sachin Waze's behest as part of a “larger conspiracy”. It also arrested two others, who allegedly killed Hiran, a Thane businessman. tudent activists Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha walked out of Tihar Jail here on Thursday evening after they were granted bail in the northeast Delhi riots conspiracy case, and vowed to continue their struggle. The release of the trio, arrested in May last year under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), came after a lower court order. Their friends and family members had gathered outside the jail before their release. JNU students Narwal and Kalita thanked their friends and well-wishers, many of whom gathered outside the jail, for supporting them during their year-long stay behind bars. As soon as the Pinjra Tod activist-duo walked out of Tihar, they were greeted with slogans of 'Lal Salaam', 'Natasha Zindabad', 'Devangana Zindabad'. Tanha walked out of a separate jail gate. The Jamia Millia Islamia student was wearing a mask, which read 'No CAA, No NRC, No NPR'. Tanha said he had kept hope that he would be released one day and assert- NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE SC to hear Delhi Police plea today NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha outside Tihar prison after their release on Thursday. AGENCIES ed that the fight against the CAA, NRC and the NPR would continue. “We have received tremendous support inside jail and we will continue our struggle,” Narwal, an activist of women collective Pinjra Tod, told reporters. While stating that the matter is still sub-judice, Kalita said, “... we would like to thank the Delhi High Court for upholding what we believe in. Any such protest that we have done is not terrorism. It was a democratic protest, led by women.” On the delay in their release after the high court granted them bail, Kalita said it was unbelievable because they had secured bail twothree days ago. “...still we were inside jail. I almost kept expecting that some police officers will come and arrest me,” she added. According to a senior jail official, Kalita and Narwal were released around 7 in the evening, and Tanha was let out half an hour later. Director General (Delhi Prisons) Sandeep Goel said their release got pushed by two days over delays in verifying their addresses and sureties. In its order for the immediate release of the trio, the Delhi court said the delay in the verification process by the police could not be a plausible reason for the accused to be kept imprisoned. After securing bail from the high court, the activists had moved the trial court, seeking immediate release from prison. When the trial court deferred the order on their plea for Thursday, they moved Delhi High The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Friday the appeals of Delhi Police challenging the Delhi High Court verdicts granting bail to three student activists in a case related to the last year's communal violence in north-east Delhi during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). A bench of the court will hear three appeals filed by Delhi police which said that the High Court's findings are perverse and contrary to record and appeared to be based more on the social media narrative. PTI Court, which ordered the lower court to proceed with the issue with “promptitude and expedition”. The three student activists were arrested in May 2020 and are accused of being the “masterminds” of the February 2020 violence, which left 53 people dead and more than 200 injured. Heavy rain batters Bengal, more on way SNS & PTI KOLKATA, 17 JUNE Several low-lying areas and thoroughfares in the city and its outskirts were inundated on Thursday as heavy rain continued to lash parts of Bengal, with the Met department predicting more downpour over the next three days under the influence of a vigorous southwest monsoon and a cyclonic circulation. Incessant showers in south Bengal have increased water levels in many rivers, including Ajoy, Darakeswar, Brahmani, Shilabati, Subarnarekha and Kangsabati, raising fears of a flood-like situation in the adjoining areas. According to the meteorological department, Kolkata recorded 144 mm rainfall in 24 hours till 8.30 a.m on Thursday, as heavy spells battered the city all A waterlogged street due to heavy rainfall in North Kolkata on Thursday. BHASKAR MALLICK night. Areas in South Kolkata such as Kalighat, Southern Avenue, Lake Gardens, Golf Green, Jadavpur received about 179 mm rainfall, flooding most of these areas. North Kolkata too received heavy showers at night that caused water-logging at Baghbazar, Sukia Street, Amherst Street, and Central Avenue among others. Rainfall in areas like Ultadanga was 84 mm, Maniktala 77 mm and Belgachia 82 mm. People had a difficult time wading through kneedeep water to reach their destinations. Traffic came to a halt in some areas as vehicles moved slowly through flooded thoroughfares. State transport minister Firhad Hakim, who is also the chief of Kolkata Municipal Corporation's board of administrators, visited several areas in the city to take stock of the situation. India asks Pak to comply with ‘Literary Naxals’: Guj ICJ judgment in Jadhav case writers flay Akademi STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE The MEA said the Bill invites Pakistani courts to decide whether any prejudice has been caused to Jadhav on account of the failure to provide consular access to him, which violates basic tenets of international law NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE India today asked Pakistan to address the shortcomings in the Review and Reconsideration Bill 2020 passed by its National Assembly which Islamabad claims will allow Indian prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav to appeal his conviction in a Pakistani court. “We call upon Pakistan to take appropriate steps to address the shortcomings in the bill and to comply with the judgment of the ICJ (International Court of Justice) in letter and spirit,'' Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing. He noted that the bill codifies into law the earlier ordinance with all its shortcomings. “It does not create a machinery to facilitate effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav’s case, as mandated by the judgment of the ICJ”. The spokesperson recalled STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Narwal, Kalita, Tanha freed after court orders their immediate release that the ICJ had ruled that Pakistan was in breach of its international obligations because of its failure to provide consular access to the Indian prisoner, who is on death row on charges of arson and terrorism.He said the ordinance, now the Bill, invites municipal courts in Pakistan to decide whether or not any prejudice has been caused to Jadhav on account of the failure to provide consular access to him. “This is clearly a breach of the basic tenet that municipal courts cannot be the arbiter of whether a state has fulfilled its obligations in international law. Not only this, it further invites the municipal court to sit in appeal, as it were, over the judgment of the ICJ,” he added. On the Pakistan Foreign Minister writing to the UN Security Council and the Secretary General on Jammu and Kashmir, Bagchi asserted that J & K was, is and would remain an integral part of India. No amount of questioning could change the reality and crossborder terrorism was not acceptable to India at any cost, he added. AHMEDABAD, 17 JUNE Over 125 writers, poets, academics, rights activists and cultural personalities in Gujarat have condemned the state Sahitya Akademi’s veiled attempt to dictate terms to people engaged in literary creation. The provocation for a strongly worded statement by the eminent literary and cultural activists is Gujarat Sahitya Akademi’s journal describing a poem by Parul Khakkar as a ‘poem for anarchy’ and its admirers as ‘literary Naxals’. An editorial in the June 2021 issue of the Akademi’s journal Shabdsrushti has commented that Parul Khakkar’s poem ‘Shav Vahini Ganga’ is “not a poem, it is misuse of a poem for anarchy”. The editorial had also described those praising and making the poem viral as ‘literary Naxals’. The writers and activists said that such insinuations attempt to issue “an indirect threat to Gujarati writers, indicating in an authoritative voice what they should write and what they should not write”. “This is akin to beating the pen with the hammer, a death knell for the right to freedom of expression of Gujarati writers”, said the statement. “The accusation that this poem has encouraged anti national “literary Naxals” and destructive elements that are trying to create anarchy in the country and are involved in anti-national activities by shooting off the poet’s shoulder is extremely shocking.” Such accusations seem to create an atmosphere of incitement against writers who engage in creative activity in a democratic manner, observed the personalities that include danseuse Mallika Sarabhai, Navnirman Andolan leader Manishi Jani, academicians Ghanshyam Shah, Prakash Shah and many others. The statement also regretted that an autonomous institution like Gujarat Sahitya Akademi has been turned into a government body. Irked by what he said was, “unfinished drainage projects that were taken up years back to solve waterlogging woes”, Hakim served an ultimatum to agencies handling drainage projects to complete all work by September. According to weather officials, a strong moisture incursion from the Bay of Bengal is causing widespread rainfall activity in most of the districts of the state. The weatherman has forecast an overcast sky with spells of heavy rain in Kolkata till Saturday. Canning in South 24Parganas district registered maximum rainfall in Bengal during the 24-hour period at 178.6 mm, while Bankura received 133.2 mm, the Met department said. Moderate to heavy showers were also recorded in several places in north Bengal. ASSESSMENT FORMULA The CBSE said it will evaluate class 12 students for theory based on 30 per cent marks from class X board, 30 per cent from class XI and 40 per cent from marks based on the performance in unit, mid-term and pre-board tests. Marks obtained by class XII students in practical and internal assessment would also be considered. The Council for the Indian School Certificate Exam- ination (CISCE) said that it would consider the performance of students for last six classes in finalising the final board results. The court, while prima facie accepting the boards’ assessment schemes, said the schemes must incorporate the provisions for dispute resolution in case students want correction of final result declared. The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) said, however, that it would consider the performance of students for last six classes, unlike the CBSE, in finalising the final board results. Both the boards said they would declare the results on or before July 31. A special vacation bench of justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari rejected the plea of senior advocate Vikas Singh that there should be a relook of the decisions of CBSE and CISCE to cancel class 12 board exams in view of the fact that tests like Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) would be conducted in physical manner. In the hearing con- ducted through video conferencing, the top court said prima facie, it has no reservation to accept the assessment schemes and the boards can proceed on the same. However, it said the scheme must incorporate two aspects, the first being providing for a Dispute Resolution mechanism, in case students apply for correction of the final result declared by the concerned Boards, the other being the time-line to be specified for declaration of the result and the date before which the optional examination will be conducted. The bench was hearing pleas seeking directions to cancel the class XII exams of the CBSE and CISCE amid the pandemic situation. Twitter India MD was quizzed by cops PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari was questioned by the Delhi Police last month in connection with its probe into the 'Covid toolkit' case, officials said Thursday. They did not divulge further details, but said he was also questioned about the company's policy behind flagging tweets by users as “manipulated media”. This came after Twitter labelled as “manipulated media” a tweet by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra on a Covid toolkit', attributed to the Congress, on how to target the Modi government over its handling of the coronavirus crisis. A senior police officer said Thursday that a Delhi Police's Special Cell team, which is probing the matter, was sent to Bengaluru on May 31 where Maheshwari was questioned. The row over the purported toolkit' escalated after the Delhi Police's Special Cell 'visited” two Twitter India offices on May 24 and served a notice, asking it to share information based on which it had classified Patra's tweet as “manipulated media”. The police action drew sharp criticism from the opposition Congress and Left which had accused the government of trying to stifle free speech and indulge in intimidation. Protesting the Delhi Police “visit” to its offices, Twitter had said it was concerned about its employees and the potential threat to freedom of expression. 67,208 fresh Covid-19 cases, 1 2,542 deaths across India STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE India on Thursday recorded 67,208 new cases of Covid and 2,330 fatalities in the last 24 hours, according to data released by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry. India's overall tally of Covid19 cases now stands at 2,97,00,313. Active cases have come down below 10 lakh. India has also been witnessing a continuous fall in the active caseload. The country’s active caseload today stands at 8,26,740. This is lowest in 71 days. A net decline of 38,692 cases is witnessed in the last 24 hours and active cases are now only 2.78 per cent of the country's total positive cases. According to the Health Ministry, a total of 1,03,570 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours, taking the total discharge to 2,84,91,670 till date. As more people are recovering from Covid-19 infection, India’s Daily Recov- eries continue to outnumber the Daily New Cases for 35 consecutive days now. Over 36 thousand (36,362) more recoveries were reported during the last 24 hours. The Health Ministry said that a total of 26,55,19,251 people have been vaccinated so far in the country, including 34,63,961 who were administered vaccines in the last 24 hours. Vaccine passports India on Thursday said the ongoing global debate on 'vaccine passports' for international travel needs to be linked to the issue of vaccine equity as many developing countries have not been able to vaccinate a large percentage of their population against Covid-19. Delhi’s positivity rate 0.2 pc: The national capital today reported 158 fresh coronavirus infections and 10 Covid-linked deaths while the positivity rate dipped to 0.20 per cent, according to the Delhi government’s latest health bulletin. The 2,97,00,313 8,26,740 67,208 1,03,570 3,81,903 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. THURSDAY 17 JUNE 2021 fresh Covid cases were detected out of a total of 77,542 tests, including 55,564 RT-PCR and 21,978 rapid antigen tests, the health bulletin stated. (SEE P2)
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