SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 20 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 HARD-LINE JUDICIARY HEAD WINS IRAN PRESIDENCY A LEADER THE WORLD MUST CHERISH P7 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with light rain/ thundershowers accompanied with gusty winds. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 37 and 26 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 81% TEMPERATURE Max: 35.1°C (-4) SUN RISES 05:24 hrs MOON RISES 14:33 hrs Min: 25.3°C (-3) SUN SETS 19:22 hrs MOON SETS 02:17 hrs THUMBNAILS UP CM Yogi Adityanath during an election rally in support of the party candidate Umesh Rai AGENCIES in Howrah district on Saturday. HC grants bail to Saradha scam accused: The Calcutta High Court on Saturday granted bail to Debjani Mukherjee, an accused in the multicrore Saradha chit fund scam, in one of the several criminal cases against her. A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Arijit Banerjee ordered bail to Mukherjee on furnishing a bond of Rs 2 lakh with two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each, one of whom must be local. Mukherjee will, however, continue to remain behind bars since she is yet to obtain bail in cases pending against P5 her in other states. SP worker arrested in Ghaziabad case: A Samajwadi Party worker was arrested on Saturday for allegedly instigating an elderly Muslim man to claim in a video that he was beaten up by four youths who also chopped his beard and asked him to chant Jai Shri Ram in Loni area of Ghaziabad. Ummaid Pehelwan Idrisi, who was absconding since Wednesday was nabbed from Delhi on Saturday, a P2 Ghaziabad police official said. NEW DELHI, 19 JUNE The Indian athletes and officials travelling for the Tokyo Olympics have been asked by the Japanese government to undergo daily Covid-19 tests for a week prior to their departure and not interact with anyone from another country for three days on arrival, strictures that have left the IOA fuming. Stricter regulations have been put in place for all travellers~ including athletes, coaches and support staff ~ who have resided in 11 countries, including India, where Covid-19 variants have been identified, within 14 days of their arrival in Tokyo. “The unfair and discriminatory” rules have drawn sharp criticism from the Indi- P4 The all-party meet expected to set road map for assembly polls in 2 UTs NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR, 19 JUNE I nvitations were sent out on Saturday to 14 political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, including four former chief ministers, for participation in a high-level meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on 24 June, which is expected to set the road map for holding assembly elections there. These leaders of eight political parties~the National Conference (NC), PDP, BJP Congress, Jammu and , Kashmir Apni Party, CPI(M), People’s Conference, and the Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party ~ were telephonically invited by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla for participation in the meeting to be held at the Prime Minister’s residence at 3 p.m. on Thursday. This will be the prime minister’s first interaction with all the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir since August 5, 2019 when the Centre abrogated special the state’s status and bifurcated it into union territories. The erstwhile state has been under the Centre's rule since November 2018. The move is being seen as an olive branch to the alienated Kashmiri leaders most of whom were put under detention for more than a year after J&K’s special status was scrapped and the state split into two an Olympic Association, which has written to the games organising committee requesting it to ensure that mechanisms to prevent Covid19 do not have any “adverse and detrimental impact” on performance of athletes. India’s Covid-19 situation has improved considerably after a catastrophic second wave with daily cases declining from more than 3 lakh a few weeks back to just over 60,000 right now. India has been clubbed in group 1 alongside Afghanistan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. “Before you travel:You must be tested every day, for seven days, prior to your departure to Japan,” the advisory stated for the Group 1 countries. Details on Page 12 HIGH STAKES The leaders of eight political parties ~ the National Conference (NC), PDP, BJP, Congress, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, CPI(M), People’s Conference, and the Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party ~ were telephonically invited union territories. Officials said the Centre is keen on holding Assembly elections in the union territory as early as possible, likely to be held either in December or March next year after the Delimitation Commission headed by Justice (retd) Ranjana Desai completes its task of redrawing constituencies in the next few months. The Commission was granted one year’s extension in March this year. All the leaders have been asked to come along with a Covid-19 negative certificate, the officials said. Among those invited are four former chief ministers ~ Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti. When contacted, Omar Abdullah confirmed having received the invite and said that he would go by the directions of his party. Sources in the NC said that the senior Abdullah will be consulting party leaders about participation in This will be the prime minister’s first interaction with all the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories the meeting. The PDP chief, when contacted, said that she would be holding an inner-party discussion on Sunday to decide the future course of action. Four former deputy chief ministers of the erstwhile state~ Congress leader Tara Chand, People's Conference leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig, and BJP leaders Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta ~ too have been invited to the meet. In addition, CPI(M) leader Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) chief Altaf Bukhari, Sajjad Lone of the People's Conference, J-K Congress head G A Mir, BJP’s Ravidner Raina, and Panthers Party leader Bhim Singh have been invited to the meeting. The Congress and the CPI(M) too have said they will take a call on attending the meeting after deliberations within their respective parties. BJP Jammu and Kashmir unit president Raina said he is confident that all the leaders invited to the meeting will attend the “important” deliberation. The meeting convened by the prime minister is in accordance with the wishes of heads of various political parties who have been seeking time from him and demanding such a meeting for a long time, he added. The meeting~ the first such exercise since the Centre announced the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status and its bifurcation into union territories in August 2019~ is likely to be attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other central leaders. The meeting is a result of back-channel talks that were being held with all the political parties from the union territory to decide on the next course of actions, including holding assembly elections as well as restoring statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. The Union Home Minister, while tabling the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 in Parliament, gave an assurance that the Centre would grant full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir at an appropriate time. The talks come seven months after the District Development Council elections in the Union Territory. In the District development Council elections last year, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) surged way ahead of the BJP and its allies by bagging 110 seats out of 280 with the Nc emerging stronger with 67 seats within the alliance. India abstains from voting on UNGA resolution on Myanmar PRESS TRUST OF INDIA UNITED NATIONS, 19 JUNE India has abstained on a UN General Assembly resolution on Myanmar, saying its views have not been reflected in the draft and New Delhi does not believe the resolution, tabled hastily, is conducive to “aiding our joint efforts towards strengthening democratic process in the country. The UN General Assembly adopted the draft resolution The situation in Myanmar' on Friday with 119 Member States voting in favour, including Myanmar while 36 nations abstained, including Myanmar's neighbours - India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Laos, Nepal and Thailand. ‘This resolution was tabled in the UN General Assembly hastily without adequate consultations with neighbours and regional countries’ Russia also abstained. Belarus was the sole country voting against it. This resolution was tabled in the UN General Assembly in a hasty manner without adequate consultations with neighbours and regional countries. This is not only unhelpful but may also prove counter-productive to the efforts of the ASEAN to find a solution to the current situation in Myanmar, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said. In the explanation of the vote in the General Assembly hall, Tirumurti said as Myanmar’s immediate neighbour and close friend of its people, India is cognizant of the serious impact of political instability and the potential of its spillover beyond Myanmar’s borders. India has been calling for greater engagement with the objective of peacefully resolving all issues. We already have such an ongoing initiative under the aegis of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). It is important that we extend support to the ASEAN efforts,” Tirumurti said. Colossal sportsperson, who captured India’s imagination PM NARENDRA MODI In this 1961, file photo, Milkha Singh, the famed middle-distance runner, starts the 400 metres race in Warsaw, Poland. (inset) Cremation of legend. SNS & PTI NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH, 19 JUNE “We may not have seen you compete, but every time we ran fast as kids, we ran ‘like Milkha Singh’,” India’s football captain Sunil Chhetri summed up what ‘The Flying Sikh’ meant to the nation, which mourned the end of an era following the nonagenarian sprint icon’s death. Milkha died at Chandigarh’s PGIMER hospital on Friday night, less than a week after he lost his wife Nirmal Kaur, a former national volleyball captain, to the same ailment. He was 91 and is survived by his golfer son Jeev Milkha Singh and three daughters. The legendary sprinter was cremated with full state honours in Chandigarh on Saturday. Milkha was bid a tearful adieu in the presence of his family members and several dignitaries, including Union sports minister Kiren NEW DELHI, 19 JUNE The Centre on Saturday asked states and Union territories to step up vaccination and open up activities in a “carefully calibrated” manner, as it expressed concern about crowding in markets and other places following the easing of curbs and an expert warned that the third wave can hit India in six to eight weeks if Covid-appropriate behaviour is not followed. States and UTs have also been urged to ensure the “extremely important” five-fold strategy of Covid-appropriate behaviour, test-track-treat and vaccination is followed to prevent a relapse. In the wake of reports of attacks on health professionals and establishments treating Covid-19 patients, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla today asked States to register institutional FIRs against the assaulters and fast track such cases. In a communication to Chief Secretaries of States and Union Territories, the Home Secretary said the States “may also like to invoke provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Amendment Act, 2020, where applicable.” He told the Chief Secretaries “You will agree that any incident of threat or assault on doctors or healthcare professionals may dampen their morale and create a sense of insecurity amongst them. This may adversely affect the healthcare response system.” Bhalla wrote another letter to states on the resumption of crowds at public places and said the local authorities must ensure that removal of lockdown restrictions is accompanied by adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour, along with the strategy of test-track-treat and vaccination. He said the States were given advisories on the subject on 27 April and 9 June also, which mentioned adequate security for health professionals. “In the present circumstances, it has become imperative that strict action be taken against those who assault healthcare professionals,” he said. “I would also like to reiterate that a close watch be kept on any objectionable content in social media which may exacerbate such situations,” he said. Bhalla said the Centre’s advisories had earlier asked the States to provide adequate security at healthcare facilities, especially at Covid19 designated hospitals along with controlled and restricted access to the premises. NEW DELHI, 19 JUNE With 60,753 new Covid cases being reported in a day, India's total tally rose to 2,98,23,546, while the number of active cases stand at 7,60,019, the lowest in 74 days, according to Union health ministry data updated on Saturday. The death toll climbed to 3,85,137 with 1,647 fresh fatalities and active cases comprise 2.55 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid19 recovery rate has improved to 96.16 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed. The daily positivity rate was recorded 2.98 per cent. It has been less than five per cent for 12 consecutive days, the ministry said, adding that the weekly positivity rate has declined to 3.58 per cent. Recoveries outnumbered daily cases for the 37th consecutive day and the number of people who have recuperated from the disease has increased to 2,86,78,390. The case fatality rate stands at 1.29 per cent, the data said. Cumulatively, 27,23,88,783 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far under the nationwide vaccination drive. Delhi cases: Delhi today reported 7 fresh deaths due to Covid-19 ~ its lowest since 1 April ~ and 135 new coronavirus cases while the positivity rate slipped further to 0.18 per cent, according to the Delhi government's latest health (SEE P2) bulletin. Rijiju, Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore. His son and ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh lit the funeral pyre. From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cricket superstars, the tributes that came pouring in. Modi described him as a “colossal sportsperson, who captured India’s imagination.” Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar said Milkha's legend will live on. “Rest in Peace our very own Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh ji. Your demise has left a deep void in every Indian's heart today, but you shall keep inspiring several generations to come,” Tendulkar tweeted. It was Chhetri perhaps, who best summed up the icon for a generation which didn't see him compete but grew up being inspired by his race for a better life which started as a 15-yearold during India's partition. “We may not have seen you compete, but every time we ran fast as kids, we ran 'like Milkha Singh'. SUNIL CHHETRI And for me, that will always be the legend you leave behind. You didn't just run, you inspired. Rest in peace, sir. #MilkhaSingh,” Chhetri tweeted. Hima, a 400m runner herself like Milkha, said the iconic sprinter had once told her that she was destined for big things. “After winning World Championship U20 title & medal in Asian Games, I still remember a call from #MilkhaSingh sir that 'Hima just keep on working hard, you have ample time and you can win a medal Gold medal for our country at a global level',” she recalled in a tweet. “I will try to fulfill your dream sir,” she promised. Meanwhile, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced a Milkha Singh Chair at Sports University Patiala, in memory. Olympic-bound star javelin throwers Neeraj Copra tweeted “We lost a Gem. He will always remain as an inspiration for every Indian. Rest in peace.” People carry rations distributed among the needy by Congress leaders on the occasion of Rahul SUBRATA DUTTA Gandhi’s birthday, in the Capital on Saturday. India records 60,753 fresh Covid-19 cases SNS & PTI “We may not have seen you compete, but every time we ran fast as kids, we ran like Milkha Singh” BIRTHDAY GIFT Centre cautions against 3rd wave as states open up STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE P12 Milkha Singh cremated with full state honours, nation mourns passing of legend 14 J&K leaders invited to meet chaired by PM Japan imposes stricter norms on Olympic-bound from India PRESS TRUST OF INDIA P11 PTI & SNS Min: 54% GILMOUR HELPS SCOTLAND HOLD OFF ENGLAND KERALA CONG CHIEF DENIES VIJAYAN’S CLAIM OF KIDNAP PLOT ‘Third wave in 6-8 weeks if Covid norms not followed’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 19 JUNE 2,98,23,546 7,60,019 60,753 97,743 3,85,137 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 19 JUNE 2021 If Covid-appropriate behaviour is not followed and crowding not prevented, the next wave of the viral infection can strike the country in the next six to eight weeks, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria warned on Saturday. Until a sizeable number of the population are vaccinated, Covid-appropriate behaviour needs to be followed aggressively, he said and stressed on the need for stricter surveillance and area-specific lockdowns in case of a significant surge. Guleria reiterated that till now, there is no evidence to suggest that children will be affected more in the next wave of the infection. Earlier, India’s epidemiologists had indicated that a third wave of Covid-19 is inevitable and is likely to start from September-October. India was hit by a brutal second wave of the Covid pandemic in April and May, claiming a massive number of lives daily, with shortage in oxygen supply at various hospitals adding to the woes. However, the number of cases have shown a downward trend and the positivity rate too has been shrinking in the last several days. From a daily case count of over 4 lakh, the number of new Covid-19 cases has been hovering around 60,000 in the last couple of days. “If Covid-appropriate behaviour is not followed, the third wave can happen in six to eight weeks. We need to work aggressively to prevent another large wave till vaccination kicks in,” Guleria said.
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