WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 14 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 P4 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with light to moderate rain/ thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 33 and 24 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 028.1 Mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 100% Min: 69% TEMPERATURE Max: 30.9°C (-5) SUN RISES 05:34 hrs MOON RISES 10:22 hrs Min: 23.5°C (-4) SUN SETS 19:21 hrs MOON SETS 22:34 hrs THUMBNAILS Monsoon arrived in the Capital as several parts received rainfall on Tuesday. SUBRATA DUTTA (P2) U'khand govt cancels Kanwar yatra: The Uttarakhand government on Tuesday cancelled the Kanwar Yatra in view of the looming threat of a third wave of COVID-19. “We decided to cancel the yatra, according topmost priority to human life in view of the threat of a possible third wave, the surfacing of the Delta Plus variant of the virus and its impact across the country and abroad,” Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said. Modi pep talk for India's Olympic athletes: Combining jocularity with sincerity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday engaged in a lighthearted interaction with India's Olympicbound athletes, donning the role of an interviewer to get insights into their journeys. PM promised to have ice cream with PV Sindhu after she returned from Tokyo. Modi sought to make the athletes feel at ease before they P 12 leave for the Tokyo Games. S-W Monsoon covers country after delay of five days: IMD NEW DELHI, 13 JULY P8 PM stresses on micro containment Covid protocol for northeast SNS & PTI If we remain cautious and take precautions we will be able to prevent the third wave...there should be no compromise in this NEW DELHI, 13 JULY D uring an interaction with chief ministers of eight northeast states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today emphasised that there should be no compromise on caution and precaution to thwart the third wave of pandemic. Modi was perturbed by people crowding at hill stations and markets without masks and violating social distancing norms, as he urged all to prevent complacency. “If we remain cautious and take precautions we will be able to prevent the third wave...there should be no compromise in this,” he said, while also stressing that the vaccination drive needs to be continuously ramped up. During the interaction, he said that the Covid-19 scenario in some districts of the northeast was worrisome, urging CMs to expeditiously act and check spread of the virus. The PM also called for greater emphasis on micro-containment zones. Experts are studying the mutations and their impact, he said. “It is true that tourism, trade and business have been greatly affected due to the coronavirus. But today I will say with great NARENDRA MODI PRIME MINISTER PM said the Covid19 scenario in some districts of the northeast was worrisome, urging CMs to expeditiously act and check spread of the virus wave of coronavirus” Referring to the recent Cabinet approval of a Rs 23,000 cr package, PM said it will expedite testing, diagnostics & genome sequencing in the N-E Modi urged people to shun the argument that they “want to enjoy before third Modi underlined the need to establish temporary hospitals emphasis that having huge crowds in hill stations, markets without masks and not following Covid protocols is a matter of concern and is not right,” Modi said. The Prime Minister urged people to shun the argument that they “want to enjoy before the third wave of coronavirus”. “Kai baar hum ye tark sunte hain aur kuch log toh bada sina taan ke bolte hain 'arey bhai teesri leher aane se pehle hum enjoy karna chahte hain'. Ye baat logon ko samjhana zaroori hai ki teesri leher apne aap nahi aayegi (Many times we hear the argument and some say it with great assertion that ‘we want to enjoy before the third wave comes’. It is important to make people understand that the third wave will not come on its own),” Modi said. Experts are persistently warning against negligence as that can lead to a massive surge, he said, adding that the key objective is to prevent the third wave and advocated preventing avoidable gathering. The virtual meeting was attended by CMs of Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, as also by Union home minister Amit Shah and Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya, among others. The CMs thanked the PM’s timely action in handling the pandemic and appreciated his special care and concern for the northeast. Referring to the recent Cabinet approval of a Rs 23,000 crore package, PM said that it will expedite testing, diagnostics and genome sequencing in the northeast. Modi said northeast has got about 150 oxygen plants and stressed on need for rapidly increasing the number of beds, oxygen facilities and paediatric care infrastructure. Modi underlined the need to establish temporary hospitals due to the geographical situation of the northeast while he called for trained manpower for oxygen plants, ICU wards and new machines reaching block level hospitals. He called for aggressive testing along with random testing. Modi will interact with CMs of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Maharashtra and Kerala on 16 July to discuss the Covid-19 situation in these states. These are among the states where the infection numbers have seen an increase in several districts or have not in general seen a dip, unlike most other states. Smriti, Scindia, Sonowal part of panel on pol affairs after govt rejigs Cabinet Committees PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Days after a major reshuffle of the Narendra Modi Cabinet, the government reconstituted the powerful Cabinet Committees, bringing in Union ministers Smriti Irani, Bhupender Yadav and Sarbananda Sonowal as the new members of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs headed by the Prime Minister. Union ministers Arjun Munda, Virendra Kumar, Kiren Rijiju and Anurag Thakur have been included in the rejigged Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, a notification issued by the Cabinet Secretariat read. However, the Cabinet Committee on Security and the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet stand unchanged. HC orders activist to remove tweets against Lakshmi Puri PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 13 JULY The Delhi High Court Tuesday directed activist Saket Gokhale to immediately delete alleged defamatory tweets against Lakshmi Murdeshwar Puri and restrained him from posting “scandalous” tweets against her and her husband, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. In an interim order, Justice C Hari Shankar also said if Gokhale fails to comply with the directions within 24 hours of the order, Twitter shall take down the tweets. The court asked Puri, a former Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations, to also implead Twitter as a party to the proceedings. Gokhale, in his tweets on 13 and 26 made reference to certain property purchased by Puri in Switzerland and also referred to her husband. The court passed the order on a defamation suit filed by Puri seeking Rs 5 crore damages from Gokhale and a direction that he deletes the tweets. The defendant is restrained, pending further orders of this court, from posting any defamatory, scandalous, or factually incorrect tweets on his Twitter account against the plaintiff or her husband, the court order read. Gokhale was asked to file his written statement within four weeks. Shankar Prasad were also part of this committee. The members of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs are: Singh, Shah, Sitharaman, Tomar, Arjun Munda, Pralhad Joshi, Virendra Kumar, Kiren Rijiju and Thakur. Union Ministers of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal and V Muraleedharan are special invitees to the committe. Earlier, Prasad and Prakash Javadekar were also part of it. The Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth comprises Modi, Singh, Shah, Gadkari, Nirmala, Goyal, Narayan Rane, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Ashwini Vaishnaw. Rane, Scindia and Vaishnaw are new members. The members of the Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development are: Modi, Singh, Shah, Sitharaman, Tomar, Goyal, Pradhan, Vaishnaw, Hardeep Singh Puri and Yadav. The special invitees in this committee are: Nitin Gadkari, RCP Singh and G Kishan Reddy. Vaishnaw and Yadav are new members while Singh and Reddy are new special invitees. Earlier, former union ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Santosh Kumar Gangwar and union minister Mahendra Nath Pandey were members of this committee while Irani and Prahalad Singh Patel were special invitees. The members of the Cabinet Committee on Accommodation are Shah, Gadkari, Sitharaman, Goyal and Hardeep Singh Puri while Jitendra Singh is a special invitee. Earlier, Puri was a special invitee. P12 India records 2,020 daily deaths as MP revises data India’s first Covid patient reinfected PRESS TRUST OF INDIA THRISSUR, 13 JULY A woman medico, who was India’s first Covid-19 case, has tested positive again for the virus, health authorities said here on Tuesday. “She is reinfected with Covid-19. Her RT-PCR is positive, antigen is negative. She is asymptomatic,” Thrissur DMO Dr K J Reena said. Her samples were tested as she was prepared to go to New Delhi for study purposes. Then the RT-PCRresult turned out to be positive, she said. The woman is presently at home and “she is OK,” the doctor said. It was on 30 January 2020 that the third year medical student from Wuhan university tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the country’s first Covid-19 patient, days after she had returned home following semester holidays. After nearly three weeks of treatment at the Thrissur Medical College Hospital, she had tested negative twice for the virus, confirming her recovery, and was discharged on 20 February 2020. SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 13 JULY India’s Covid-19 death toll climbed to 4,10,784 with 2,020 new deaths recorded after Madhya Pradesh reconciled its fatality data, while 31,443 new cases were reported, lowest in 118 days, according to the Union health ministry data on Tuesday. India’s total caseload mounted to 3,09,05,819. The active cases have declined to 4,32,778. The number recoveries surged to 3,00,63,720. Under the Nationwide Vaccination Drive, 40,65,862 were administered vaccines in the last 24 hours.The 2,020 new fatalities include 1,481 from Madhya Pradesh. The government on Tuesday expressed concern over the “gross violations” of Covid-appropriate behaviour in several parts of the country and said this can nulli- 3,09,05,819 4,32,778 31,443 49,007 4,10,784 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. TUESDAY 13 JULY 2021 fy the gains made so far. Over 1,650 black fungus cases in Delhi: There were 952 active cases of black fungus in Delhi as on July 6, which was more than the count of active cases of Jaishankar may meet Wang Yi to discuss military stand-off STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 JULY The reconstituted Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs comprises Modi, and Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Narendra Singh Tomar, Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal, Pralhad Joshi, Sarbananda Sonowal, Giriraj Singh, Mansukh Mandaviya and Bhupender Yadav. Irani, Sonowal, Giriraj Singh, Mandaviya and Yadav are the additions while former ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Harsh Vardhan have been excluded. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has nine members: PM Modi, Singh, Shah, Gadkari, Sitharaman, Tomar, S Jaishankar, Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan, according to the notification. Earlier, former ministers D V Sadananda Gowda and Ravi ’83 WORLD CUP HERO YASHPAL SHARMA DIES P10 Crowds in hill stns, markets without masks worry Modi NEW DELHI, 13 JULY After advancing over DelhiNCR, the Southwest Monsoon covered the entire country on Tuesday after a delay of five days, IMD said. The Southwest Monsoon usually covers the entire country on July 8. It is also one of the usual instances when monsoon has covered the national capital in the end. The monsoon covered its last outposts-the desert town of Jaisalmer and Ganganagar in Rajasthan-on Monday but evaded Delhi. It covered Barmer, another desert district in Rajasthan some two weeks before its normal onset date. On Tuesday, several parts of the NCR received rainfall following which the IMD declared monsoon’s arrival in Delhi. In association with the continued prevalence of moist easterly winds from the Bay of Bengal in the lower levels since past four days, enhanced cloud cover and scattered to fairly widespread rainfall, the Southwest Monsoon has further advanced into Delhi, remaining parts of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan,” the IMD said. It hit Kerala on 3 June, two days after its normal date. However, its advancement over parts of west Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi and Punjab was halted due to unfavourable conditions. The IMD had predicted that the monsoon would cover Delhi and nearby parts by 15 June. On 5 July, it said that the monsoon would reach Delhi by 10 July. However, its forecast this time went haywire which was attributed to failure of PTI numerical models. DELTA VARIANT RIPS AROUND THE WORLD AT A SCORCHING PACE: WHO FM LAUNCHES BHIM-UPI SERVICES IN BHUTAN POPULATION LAW: NITISH FINDS HIMSELF ISOLATED India and China are in touch to explore the possibility of a bilateral meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Dushanbe in Tajikistan on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers’ meeting, official sources confirmed today. The SCO meeting is scheduled to be held in the next two days. Jaishankar reached Dushanbe this evening and soon held a meeting with his Afghan counterpart Haneef Atmar. “Began my Dushanbe visit by meeting with Afghan FM @MHaneefAtmar. Appreciate his update on recent developments. Looking forward to the meeting of the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan tomorrow,” he tweeted later. Sources said Jaishankar was expected to discuss with Yi ways to expedite disengagement and deescalation at Eastern Ladakh’s military stand-off for nearly 15 months. It is understood that the dates for the 12th round of senior military commanders’ meeting between the two countries will be finalised after the two foreign ministers speak on the way forward. The focus of their meeting will also be on the evolving situation in Afghanistan where the Taliban has made rapid advances in recent days, jeopardising even the security of neighbouring countries in South and Central Asia. The two foreign ministers had last met in September 2020 on the sidelines of the SCO meeting in Moscow and worked out a five-point plan for disengagement at Eastern Ladakh. Spat over illegal mining near historic KRS dam TYAGARAJ SHARMA BENGALURU, 13 JULY The century-old Krishna Raja Sagar dam, built across the Cauvery river in Mandya, has suddenly become the subject of a political controversy, hitting a new low. It all started with Sumalatha Ambareesh, Independent MP from Mandya, claiming last week that cracks had developed in the KRS due to illegal mining which was met with flak from the JD-S and the Congress for what they termed “was an unnecessary attempt to create panic.” Former chief minister and JD-S leader, HD Kumaraswamy, said, sarcastically, that the MP should sleep in front of the gates to prevent leaking. According to him, the Mandya constituency never had a Parliamentarian like her before as she was elected on the basis of sympathy, an obvious reference to her late husband and well known actor, Ambareesh. Several officials, he said, had carefully examined the dam and did not find any cracks. The Mandya MP was quick to retort, demanding an apology from Kumaraswamy for his “derogatory comment”, adding that it did not behove a former CM to speak like that. While for now, the two have paused from attacking each other, the fact remains that Kumaraswamy has not been able to digest the fact that Sumalatha defeated his son, Nikhil, in the Lok Sabha elec- tions in 2019. The former CM is now preparing for the 2024 polls and is keen that his actor son contests again. The hitch, of course, could come in the form of Sumalatha’s son, Abhishek, also an actor. The MP is not averse to the idea, hastening to admit that he has done his masters in politics. Meanwhile, Congress state unit president, DK Shivakumar, rubbished Sumalatha’s allegations about the cracks saying that when he was the irrigation minister in the coalition government under Kumaraswamy, he had not heard of any such concerns. He felt that it was imperative to refrain from creating panic. The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangh, a farmers’ associa- tion, on its part, thinks otherwise. Supporting Sumalatha, its representatives said that they had been voicing concern about illegal mining and quarrying in and around the reservoir for over a decade now. Such activities, they said, endangered the dam, that too within a 20-km radius of KRS, a concern which was shared by the Dalit Sangarsh Samiti as well. In a related development, Sumalatha is clear that the matter is serious and plans to raise the issue in Parliament. As a first step though, she submitted a memorandum to the state mines and geology minister, Murugesh Nirani, today, requesting him to visit the areas affected by illegal mining near the dam. SII to start production of Sputnik in Sept NEW DELHI, 13 JULY Serum Institute of India (SII) will start production of Sputnik vaccine at the company’s facilities in September, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Tuesday. As per the agreement between RDIF and SII, the parties intend to produce over 300 million doses of the vaccine in India per year. SII has already received cell and vector samples from the Gamaleya Center. With approval of DCGI, the cultivation process has begun, it added. India is the leading production hub for production of Sputnik vaccine, it added. RDIF is delighted to cooperate with SII, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. This strategic partnership is a major step to substantially increase our production capabilities demonstrating a perfect example of joining forces and expertise to save lives both in India and around the world, RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said. “We hope to make millions of doses in the coming months,” SII CEO Adar PTI Poonawalla said. Covid till that date, according to official data. The data also showed that till July 6, Delhi had recorde d ov e r 1 , 6 5 0 c a s e s mucormycosis (black fungus). Anti-terror law must not be used to muzzle dissent: SC judge STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 JULY The Supreme Court judge Justice DY Chandrachud said that criminal laws, including the anti-terror law, should not be misused for quelling dissent and courts must act as first line of defence against deprivation of liberty. Addressing Indo-US Joint Summer Conference on IndoUS legal ties, Justice Chandrachud emphasised that no law can be employed to harass citizens and take away their freedom. “Criminal law, including anti-terror legislation, should not be misused for quelling dissent or harassment to citizens,” he said He cited his judgment in Arnab Goswami case to emphasise that courts must ensure that they continue to remain the first line of defence against the deprivation of liberty of citizens and underscored that deprivation of liberty for even a single day is “one too many”. His remarks came amid outrage over the death of 84year-old activist Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, in the Elgar Parishad case last year. Swamy died last week in Mumbai while fighting for bail on health grounds. After spending 17 months behind the bars, Assam leader Akhil Gogoi, jailed under UAPA, was released. Recently, the Delhi High Court granted bail to student activists Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Asif Iqbal Tanha booked under the UAPA in connection with February 2020 Delhi riots, making strong observations regarding the indiscriminate invocation of UAPA.
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