TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 13 JULY 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. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 33 and 25 degrees Celsius respectively. Max: 83% P7 Over 70 killed in lightning strikes SNS & PTI Min: 51% LUCKNOW/JAIPUR, 12 JULY TEMPERATURE Max: 37.7°C (+2) SUN RISES 05:33 hrs MOON RISES 09:22 hrs P4 UP, Rajasthan, MP bear brunt; PM offers condolences RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min: 27.0°C (0) SUN SETS 19:22 hrs MOON SETS 21:59 hrs A THUMBNAILS Dark clouds hover over the Golden Temple in AGENCIES Amritsar on Monday. Monsoon reaches Jaisalmer, eludes Delhi: Southwest Monsoon rains reached the desert district of Jaisalmer and Ganganagar, its last outposts, on Monday, but gave Delhi and parts of Haryana a miss. It rained in the periphery of Delhi~Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh and Karnal in Haryana -- but clouds hovered over New Delhi, without giving any relief from the heat. (P5) NEET exam postponed to 12 September: Medical entrance exam NEET, scheduled for 1 August, will now be conducted on 12 September, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced on Monday. “The NEET-UG 2021, will be held on 12th September across the country following Covid-19 protocols. The application process will begin from 5 pm tomorrow through the NTA website,” Pradhan tweeted. Sensex, Nifty erase gains to end flat: Equity benchmarks the Sensex and the Nifty on Monday slipped from the day's highs in the closing hours to end flat as profit-booking in mainly IT and metals shares outweighed hectic buying in banking counters. (P8) t least 41 people were killed in eleven districts of Uttar Pradesh, after being struck by lightning, thunder and rain. According to reports, the deaths occured on Sunday evening. Fourteen people died in Prayagraj, five in Kanpur Dehat, three each in Firozabad and Kaushambhi and two each in Unnao and Chitrakoot after lightning struck them. PM Modi expressed pain at the loss of lives in various parts of the country due to lightning and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased. Taking cognisance of the incidents, chief minister Yogi Adityanath expressed his grief and directed the district administrations to provide adequate compensation to the tragedy struck families. According to the government spokesman, deaths were also reported from Kanpur, Pratapgarh, Agra, Varanasi and Rae Bareli. In Kaushambhi, the deceased have been identified as Rukma,12, Moorat Dhwaj, 50, Ramchandra, 32, and Mayank Singh,15. In Firozabad, Hemraj, 50, and Ram Sevak, 40, were standing under a Neem tree, when they were hit by lightning, killing them on the spot. Amar Singh, 60, of Shikohabad area was also killed by lightning, Similar incidents have been reported from Ghazipur and Ballia. Lightning kills selfie-takers In Rajasthan, a visit to Amer Fort near Jaipur turned fatal for 11 as lightning struck them while they were taking selfies on top of a watch tower in front of the 12th century SDRF team during search op work monument. after lightning strike at Watch Tower near Amer Fort on Monday The lightning ~ captured on mobile cameras ~ was so powerful that dozens of people panicked and jumped off the watch tower. Twenty-three people, including 12 in Jaipur, were killed and 27 injured in incidents of lightning strikes in Rajasthan, officials said on Monday. Besides Jaipur, the deaths were reported from six other six districts~ Kota, Jhalawar, Baran, Dholpur, Sawai Madhopur and Tonk ~ according to the Disaster Management and Relief department. In a major tragedy in Jaipur, 12 people, mostly youngsters, were killed and 11 injured in an incident of lightning strike at the iconic watch tower near the Amber Fort, officials said. Some of them were taking “selfies” on the watch tower, while the others were on the hill nearby, they said, adding that those on the tower fell on the ground when the lightning struck late on Sunday evening. “Twenty-three people, including seven children, were killed in lightning strikes in seven districts of the state on Sunday and 27 were injured,” Anand Kumar, Principal Secretary, DJOKOVIC UNDECIDED ABOUT OLYMPICS PARTICIPATION BEIJING STRUGGLES TO OVERHAUL ITS IMAGE RAJINI SAYS NO TO POLITICS ENGLAND TO LIFT ALL COVID RESTRICTIONS Disaster Management and Relief department, said. He said the state government has released Rs 1.65 crore to the district collectors concerned for ex-gratia assistance to the dependents of the deceased and the treatment of the injured. According to the department, 16 livestock animals, including 11 goats, also died in lightning strikes and the figure is likely to rise. Kumar said Rs 80 lakh for Jaipur, Rs 25 lakh for Kota, Rs 20 lakh for Dholpur and Rs 10 lakh each for Sawai Madhopur, Tonk, Baran and Jhalawar have been released. Besides PM Narendra Modi, Governor Kalraj Mishra, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot have expressed grief over the incidents of lightning strikes and conveyed their condolences to the families of the deceased. Six people, including two minors, were killed and 11 others injured in separate incidents of lightning in parts of Madhya Pradesh, officials said on Monday. P12 Control mass gatherings, tourist travel can wait, IMA urges states SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 12 JULY The IMA expressed concern on Monday over governments and people being complacent and engaging in mass gatherings without following Covid-19 protocols, saying these events are potential super spreaders for a third wave of the pandemic. Stressing that tourist bonanza, pilgrimage travel, religious fervour are needed,butcanwaitforafewmore months, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), in a statement, said global evidence and the history of any pandemic suggest that“the third wave is inevitable and imminent”.“However, it is painful tonotethatinthiscrucialtime, Opening up these rituals and enabling people without vaccination to go scot-free in these mass gatherings are potential super spreaders for the Covid third wave INDIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION when everyone needs to work for the mitigation of the third wave, in many parts of the country, both governments and the public are complacent and engaged in mass gatherings without following Covid protocols. Tourist bonanza, pilgrimage travel, religious fervour, all are needed, but can wait for a few more months.“Opening up these rituals and enabling people without vaccination to go scot-free in these mass gatherings are potential super spreaders for the Covid third wave,” the IMA said.The statement by the doctors’ comes on a day when the annual Rath Yatra began in Puri and amid talks of allowing the “Kanwar Yatra” in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Meanwhile, with 37,154 new coronavirus infections, India’s total tally of Covid-19 cases rose to 3,08,74,376. Delhi logs 45 cases: The national capital today recorded 45 fresh coronavirus cases — the lowest single-day rise in more than a year — and 3 Covid-linked deaths while thepositivityratestoodat0.08 per cent, the Delhi government’s latest health bulletin (SEE P2) stated. Nepal SC orders prez to appoint Congress leader Deuba as PM KATHMANDU, 12 JULY In a landmark verdict, Nepal’s Supreme Court on Monday directed President Bidya Devi Bhandari to appoint Nepali Congress chief Sher Bahadur Deuba as Prime Minister by Tuesday and reinstated the House of Representatives for a second time in five months. A five-member Constitutional Bench led by Chief Justice Shumsher Rana issued the verdict stating that President Bhandari’s decision to dissolve the lower house upon a recommendation of PM K P Sharma Oli was an unconstitutional act, delivering a major blow to the Communist leader who was preparing for snap polls.PTI Details on Pg 9 should ban marriages if it wants to stabilise rising population. “It is an electoral propaganda. They (BJP) look at everything from a political angle. They just want to win elections and don’t take any decision in the interest of the people. Since Assembly election is coming, they are concerned about it,” Barq said. Congress leader Salman Khurshid said, “before mak- NEW DELHI, 12 JULY Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with the chief ministers of eight northeastern states on Tuesday to discuss the Covid situation amid concerns over the coronavirus numbers in the region. Official sources said Modi will interact with the chief ministers of Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram via video conferencing. While most parts of the country have seen a steady decline in the Covid numbers, the northeast region has been a cause of concern with the number of cases either rising or not falling in line with the nationwide trend, experts PTI have noted. A decline in average daily vaccination against the coronavirus has been seen since 21 June, when the new phase of universalisation of Covid19 vaccination commenced, government data showed. According to data available on the CoWIN platform, an average of 61.14 lakh doses of Covid19 vaccine were administered daily in the week from June 21-27 which dropped to 41.92 lakh doses daily in the subsequent week from June 28-July 4. In the week from July 5 to July 11, the daily average vaccine STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla during an inspection ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament. SUBRATA DUTTA The Monsoon session will have 19 sittings from 19 July to 13 August. While 280 members will sit in the Lok Sabha chamber, 259 others will sit in the visitors galleries As many as 441 members of the House have taken at least one Covid vaccination, and 311 have taken their second one also sion and dialogue, he said. The coming session will have 19 sittings from 19 July to 13 August. The House will follow its normal working hours from 11 am. While 280 members will sit in the Lok Sabha chamber, 259 others will sit in the galleries, which were meant for visitors before the Covid-19 pandemic. As many as 441 members of the House have taken at least one Covid vaccination, and 311 have taken their second one also. Those who have not taken any vaccination for any reason will be required to take RT-PCR tests, the Speaker said. Birla said to make the Parliamentary debates meaningful, norms are being enforced to see that issues of public importance raised by MPs under Rule 377 will get response from the Government within a month. For the members’ Zero Hour submissions, a similar system is being developed. NEW DELHI, 12 JULY Puri Rath Yatra: Sea of humanity missing, not fervour STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE BHUBANESWAR, 12 JULY With the second wave of the pandemic yet to fully subside in Odisha, the sea of humanity that the world famous Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath attracts every year was conspicuous by its absence for the second year in a row, but not the spiritual fervour, passionate faith in divinity at the abode of Lord Jagannath. The annual ritual of Lord Jagannath and his divine siblings-Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra in the pilgrim town of Puri was again marked by devotee-less affair as the authorities of the 12th century Jagannath temple prohibited public participation for the pulling of the three chariots . The town was sealed with a combination of curfew and 144 CrPC. A multi-layer security ring was put in place to ensure smooth conduct of the festival while CCTV cameras were installed at various locations. Descending from the Ratna Sinhasana, the bejewelled throne, the three deities were taken out of the temple in an elaborate royal ritual called “Pahandi”. The deities moved forward step by step to the accompaniment of beating of ghantas and kahalis; and blowing of conch shells in rhythmic movement in their journey to the world outside. Ready to carry the deities for their annual nine-day sojourn to the Gundicha temple, about three km away down the Grand Road, the three majestic wooden chariots waited outside draped in Rituals being performed during the Ratha Yatra sans devotees amidst Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, in Puri on Monday. SNS layers of red, black, green and yellow cloth. The grand ceremony and pulling of the three majestic and colourful chariots on the “Bada Danda” commenced in the afternoon hours. As three chariots- Lord Balabhadras Taladwaja, Lord Jagannaths 4,08,764 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 12 JULY 2021 SNS & PTI An average of 61.14 lakh doses of Covid vaccine were administered daily in the week from 21-27 June which dropped to 41.92 lakh doses daily in the subsequent week from 28 June-4 July . doses number dipped to 34.32 lakh doses. Among states, however, a mixed trend has emerged. States such as Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh showed a decline in average daily vaccinations since the week from June 21-27 while a mixed trend in administration of daily doses of COVID-19 was seen in states and UTs like Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla today appealed to political parties not to disrupt proceedings of the House during its coming monsoon session for which elaborate arrangements are being made in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Interacting with the media after inspecting the arrangements, the Speaker said three of the current Lok Sabha’s five sessions have been already held during the pandemic. The sessions achieved record productivity of work compared with previous Lok Sabhas Birla said. He said there should be no need for members to rush to the well of the House or raise noise when they have opportunity to argue their case. The Government will reply. Parliament is a place for discus- Opposition parties have hit out at the Uttar Pradesh government over the proposed draft Bill on population control, with the Samajwadi Party terming it as an “poll propaganda. The remarks come a day after the Uttar Pradesh Population Policy 2021-2030 was unveiled by chief minister Yogi Adityanath to steady the growing population in the state and reduce maternal and infant deaths in a timebound manner. Terming the Bill as a part of the BJP’s “election propaganda” ahead of Assembly polls, SP MP from Sambhal, Shaqfiqur Rahman Barq said the state government 39,649 NEW DELHI, 12 JULY PRESS TRUST OF INDIA ing the law government should tell how many legitimate and illegitimate children its ministers have. “Politicians should declared how many children they have. I will also declare how many I have and then it should be discussed,” he told reporters on Sunday. Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Ram Govind Chowdury charged that the state government had failed on all fronts be it law and order or providing employment. Meanwhile, BJP MPs will introduce private members' bills on population control and uniform civil code in the upcoming Monsoon session of Parliament, according to information from the secretariats of both Houses. 37,154 Worrying trend: Dip in average daily vaccination since 21 June Monsoon session: Over 300 MPs fully vaccinated The 40-page policy document mentions that “attempts would be made to ensure there is a population balance among various communities. Campaigns would be run in communities, groups, and areas where fertility rates arehigher.” 4,50,899 PM to interact with CMs of N-E states on Covid Opp flays UP govt over population draft Bill, calls it ‘poll propaganda’ LUCKNOW, 12 JULY 3,08,74,376 Nadighosh and Devi Subhadras Darpadalan, rolled on the grand road, spiritual fervour gripped the state as devotees glued to the television sets witnessed the majestic march of the deities in live telecast. In a precautionary measure, the servitors, only who tested negative for Covid19 and fully vaccinated were allowed to participate in pulling of the chariots. Like last year, the festival has been made a devotee-less affair . The Shankaracharya of Puri Govardhana Peeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati had a darshan of the deities on the chariots along with his seven disciples in view of restrictions. Since time immemorial, three deities are taken out in a chariot procession every year covering three km along the Grand Road connecting the Shree Jagannath Temple and Mausi Maa Temple. There was no breach of security and it was successfully conducted with servitors, police and fire brigade personnel. No VVIP including the Governor, CM, Ministers were at Puri to witness the event. To help members get background on important issues, the Parliament Library and Research wing will work round the clock. A meeting of the floor leaders of different parties will take place on 18 July and issues to be discussed will be decided at the Business Advisory Committee meetings, he said. An App is being developed which can provide live proceedings of the House, as also all information like questions and answers during a day. The Speaker said Parliamentary debates from the 10th to the 16th Lok Sabha were digitally available. Parliament will try to put every record of its debates, even council meets since 1854. Birla said the new building of Parliament is expected to be completed by October, 2022 and the winter session that year can be held in the new building in November, 2022. Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Jammu and Kashmir, according to CoWIN data. In the states of Assam and Tripura which recently reported a rise in fresh COVID-19 cases, a declining trend in administration of average daily vaccine doses can be seen. Even then the daily average vaccination remained higher than the previous phase of Covid-19 vaccination. On Monday, the Health Ministry said over 1.54 crore balance and unutilised vaccine doses are still available with the states, UTs and private hospitals to be administered. Dominica court grants medical bail to Choksi NEW DELHI, 12 JULY Fugitive jeweller Mehul Choksi, arrested and jailed in Dominica since 23 May for illegal entry, was today granted bail by a court there on medical grounds. He had gone missing from Antigua and Barbuda, where he had been living since 2018 following his escape from India. The 62-year-old diamantaire is wanted in India in connection with the ` 13,500crore Punjab National Bank fraud case. The bail was granted today strictly for medical treatment in neighbouring Antigua and Barbuda, of which he is a citizen now. The interim bail was granted till he’s certified fit to travel, after that he has to return to Dominica. PTI Senari massacre: SC to hear Bihar’s plea against acquittals PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 12 JULY The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear Bihar government’s appeal against the acquittal of 14 people by the Patna High Court in a twodecade old Senari massacre in which 34 people were killed allegedly by Maoist groups. A bench comprising Justices Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari issued notices to all those who were acquitted by the high court in the case. The Bihar government, through advocate Abhinav Mukerji, has challenged the 21 May high court order saying the testimonies of eye-witnesses were not considered. The case of the prosecution is supported by a total of 23 witnesses out of which 13 are eyewitnesses who lost their family in the carnage. None of the accused disputed the date, time, place and manner of occurrence but still stand acquitted on a misreading of the law and evidence. The findings of the HC are contrary to the evidence placed on record and the law declared by this Court on various principles of law. The high court had allowed the appeal of the accused, setting aside the trial court orders passed in November, 2016 by which they were convicted and awarded varying punishments for their roles in the carnage at Senari village. Total 34 were hacked to death on 19 March, 1999 by members of the outlawed Maoist Communist Centre.
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