CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 15 JULY 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 EUROPEAN UNION UNVEILS TOUGH CLIMATE RULES MYANMAR: USA URGES ASEAN TO PRESS FOR RETURN OF DEMOCRACY P9 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Rain or thundershower very likely. Temperature likely to be in the range of 33-28 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 0.3 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.90% TEMPERATURE P10 Court cites ‘disparate political voices’, seeks response from Centre, UP THUMBNAILS Brazilian police uses tear gas on demonstrators during a protest calling for the resignation of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is fighting corruption charges relating to the purchase of vaccines to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, AP he Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of “disturbing” reports on the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to allow 'Kanwar Yatra' amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and sought responses from the state as well as the Centre “given the disparate political voices” on the matter. A bench headed by Justice R F Nariman referred to the statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that not even a bit of compromise can be made on Covid-19 containment and said citizens were perplexed about the happenings in view of the fact that as the UP government has allowed the religious 'yatra' commencing from July 25. T Central DA hiked: The Central government has increased the rate of Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief after one and a half years from 17 per cent to 28 per cent, benefiting nearly 1.14 crore employees and pensioners. Mamata election petition: Calcutta High Court on Wednesday admitted chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s election petition against the BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari’s victory from Nandigram in the Assembly polls, while Adhikari has moved the Supreme Court seeking trans(P3) fer of the case outside West Bengal. Bar on Mastercard: The Reserve Bank on Wednesday barred Mastercard Asia Pacific from onboarding new credit, debit and prepaid card customers with effect from July 22 as it failed to comply with data storage norms. KOLKATA, 14 JULY In a rerun of the 2015 Robinson Street skeleton case in Kolkata, a woman and her daughter were found living with the decomposed corpse of her 78-year-old husband in the northern part of the city, police said on Wednesday. The incident came to light after stench began emanating from their house in Bagbazar area. After their neighbours alerted the police, the law enforcers conducted a check late on Tuesday night, to find the two women living with the decomposed corpse of 78year-old Digvijay Ghosh, an officer of Shyampukur police station said. “The man must have died at least a monthand-half ago. The body has been fully decomposed, exposing the skeleton,” he said, adding that Ghosh was ill. “The cause of the death is not yet clear. We have sent the body for post-mortem examination. We are questioning the deceased's wife and daughter,” the officer said, adding they are also trying to ascertain whether the two women were depressed. The two women, who initially resisted police's attempt to enter the house, were found leading a normal life, having food and doing all daily chores in the same room where the body was lying on the bed. “The doors and windows were shut and nobody was allowed to enter the house. The deceased's daughter was not living with her husband and was staying in her maternal house for the last couple of years. We are investigating the PTI incident,” he said. It issued notices to the Centre and the state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand while posting the matter for hearing on Friday. The bench, also comprising Justice B R Gavai, said that it was a little disturbed to read that UP has chosen to continue with the Kanwar yatra, while Uttarakhand with its hindsight of experience, has decided against it. The court took suo motu of a news paper report and issued notice to the Union of India and the States of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to file their early response. Given the disparate political voices, all speaking at the same time, it is important that the relevant Secretary, Union of India, respond to this news report. Given the fact that this Yatra is to take off from July 25, 2021, it is necessary to fix a short time period for this case, the bench said. The Yogi Adityanath government on Tuesday allowed the yatra from July 25 despite concerns raised in various quarters over the risk posed by such events in triggering a possible third wave of Covid-19. The UP Chief Minister has urged however that only a minimum number of people should participate in the annual Kanwar Yatra and directed strict implementation of the Covid-19 protocol. Every year, tens of thousands of “Kanwariyas” (devotees of Lord Shiva) from northern states travel on foot or by other means to collect water from River Ganga at Haridwar to offer at Shiva temples in their areas. The Uttarakhand government, on the other hand, has cancelled the 'Kanwar Yatra' in view of a possible third Covid wave. Crack down on norms violation: Centre STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 14 JULY Robinson Street rerun: Woman, daughter found living with husband’s corpse The bench said that it was a little disturbed to read that UP has chosen to continue with the Kanwar Yatra, while Uttarakhand with its hindsight of experience, has decided against it NEW DELHI, 14 JULY Max: 32.5°C (N) Min: 27.3°C (1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:00 hrs 18:24 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 09:39 hrs 22:19 hrs Next moon quarter on 17 July P6 P12 SC questions UP govt’s Bengal Covid curbs to push for Kanwar Yatra stay till 30 July; Metros PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Min. 66% BACH MEETS SUGA AS COVID CASES SPIKE CRISIS STAVED OFF The Centre has taken a stern view of blatant violations of Covid norms in hill stations and market places and told states to re-impose restrictions and take action against defaulters. The direction comes in the wake of "blatant violations" of Covid norms in several parts of the country, especially in public transport and hill stations at a time when third wave of the deadly virus has already started in various countries and there is possibility that it will hit India if people fail in following appropriate safety measures spec- ified by the government. India reported 38,792 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, and 624 deaths due to the virus, according to the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry. The number is higher than Tuesday’s, which stood at 31,443 and was the least new Covid cases in 118 days. Kerala, which now has the country’s highest number of active cases, and whose numbers stubbornly refuse to fall, accounted for 14,539 of the new cases on Thursday, and logged an additional 15,637 new cases as of Wednesday evening. In a letter to chief secretaries of States and Union Territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla today said the violation of the Covid norms had led to an increase in R factor (reproduction number) in some states. Any increase in the R factor above 1.0 indicates spread of Covid-19, he said. Expressing concern over the situation, the Home Secretary said the violations were noticed especially in public transport and at hill stations. Massive crowds are thronging market places, violating norms of social distancing. It was important to make concerned authorities responsible for observance of Covid-appropriate behaviour in all crowded places, he said. After court prod, Centre asks states not to file cases under Sec 66A, IT Act STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 14 JULY The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today asked states and Union Territories (UTs) to direct all police stations under their jurisdiction not to register cases under the repealed Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The MHA told the States and UTs that they must sensitize law enforcement agencies for the compliance of the order issued by the Supreme Court on 24 March, 2015. It said if any case has been booked in states and UTs under Section 66A of the IT Act, 2000, such cases should be immediately withdrawn. The Supreme Court, in its Sec 66A of the Act had sought to criminalise the sending of offensive messages through a computer/other communication device. It was struck down by the Supreme Court in a March 2015 verdict judgment on 24 March, 2015 in the matter of Shreya Singhal vs Union of India, had struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. This made the provision “null and void” with effect from the date of the order, i.e. 24 March, 2015 and hence no action could be taken under this section, the MHA said.The advisory has followed reports of cases being filed under Section 66A in spite of the provision being struck down by the apex court. Section 66A of the Act had sought to criminalise the sending of offensive messages through a computer or other communication devices. Under this provision, any person who by means of such devices sends any information that is grossly offensive; false and meant for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will; meant to deceive or mislead the recipient about the origin of such messages, etc, could face imprisonment up to three years and fine. 3,09,46,074 4,29,946 38,792 41,000 4,11,408 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. WEDNESDAY 14 JULY 2021 NEW DELHI, 14 JULY Expressing serious concern over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan following the drawdown by US forces, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today said peace negotiations in earnest between warring factions was the only answer to the Afghan imbroglio. “The future of Afghanistan cannot be its past. A whole new generation has different expectations. We should not let them down,” he said addressing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers' contact group meeting on Afghanistan in the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe. 3The future of Afghanistan cannot be its past. A whole new generation has different expectations. We should not let them down S JAISHANKAR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER Jaishankar was of the view that an acceptable compromise that reflected the Doha process, the Moscow format and the Istanbul process on Afghanistan was essential. The external affairs minister observed that the whole world, the region and the Afghan people wanted an independent, neutral, unified, peaceful, democratic and pros- perous Afghanistan. He wanted the SCO to ensure that Afghanistan's neighbours were not threatened by terrorism, separatism and extremism. “The challenge is to act seriously and sincerely because there are forces at work with a very different agenda. The world is against seizure of power by violence and force. It will not legitimise such actions,” he added. Jaishankar said violence must end in Afghanistan and terrorist attacks against civilians and state representatives must also stop. The conflict should be settled through political dialogue by respecting the interests of all ethnic groups Earlier, Jaishankar called on SCO members, which includes STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA 14 JULY The West Bengal government today extended the existing Covid-related restrictions till 30 July but allowed Kolkata Metro to ply five days a week with 50 per cent capacity, though local trains will continue to remain suspended. “The State Executive Committee of West Bengal State Disaster Management Authority after a review of the current situation of the pandemic recommended further extension of certain restriction measures with graded and calibrated approach to relaxations,” said a notification issued by state chief secretary HK Dwivedi. Metro services shall operate five days a week with 50 per cent seating capacity and shall remain suspended on Saturdays and Sundays. Regular sanitisation of metro rakes, wearing of masks and appropriate Covid compliant discipline by passengers shall be ensured by the Metro authorities and the local administration. Intra-state and local train movement will remain suspended except for staff special trains for movement of emergency and essential services personnel. With banking hours being extended by an hour, banks and financial institutions shall remain open for restricted hours between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This apart, all the existing restrictions will continue to remain in place. According to the noti- WHAT’S ON, WHAT’S NOT Regular Metro services five days a week (except Saturdays, Sundays) with 50 per cent seating capacity Banks and financial institutions to remain open between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All shops and markets, including retail shops in shopping malls, will remain open as per usual operational hours with 50 per cent workforce. Bars and restaurants allowed to remain open till 8 p.m. Public transport may operate with 50 per cent capacity. Educational institutions to stay closed. Private offices can remain open during normal working hours with 50 per cent strength All political, social, cultural, academic and entertainment related gatherings and congregations continue to be prohibited. Maximum 50 persons allowed at marriages, 20 at funerals. fication, movement of public transport including intra-state government and private buses, inland waterways transport, tram, local taxis, cabs and autorickshaws will be allowed with 50 per cent seating capacity at a time. All schools/ colleges/ universities/ polytechnics/ anganwadis and academic institutions shall continue to remain closed. Cinema halls, spas and swimming pools shall continue to remain closed. Restaurants and bars may remain open with 50 per cent capacity and will not be allowed to operate beyond 8 p.m. All shops and markets will remain open as per the usual operational hours as can retail shops in shopping malls with 50 per cent workforce and restricted entry of customers up to 50 per cent at a time. Gyms shall be allowed to remain open from 6 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. with 50 per cent capacity, provided the staff and customers have been vaccinated. Salons and beauty parlours can operate as per usual operation hours. The state on Wednesday 831 fresh Covid cases and 14 deaths. Trawler capsizes at sea, many feared dead RAIN RELIEF KOLKATA, 14 JULY A trawler with 13 fishermen on board capsized in the Bay of Bengal today, leaving several dead while some may be trapped under the vessel. Sources in the Indian Coast Guard confirmed that no survivors were found but dead bodies have been sighted. The exact number of fatalities is yet to be confirmed. The incident took place off Bakkhali. Sources said the fishing trawler had set sail on Monday with a total of 13 fishermen. With a sudden deterioration in the weather, they decided to return. A strong wave hit the vessel as they were approaching shore, SNS causing it to capsize. Details on Page 3 Mansoon Rain,in the capital on Wednesday. SUBRATA DUTTA EAM for end to violence, peaceful dialogue to resolve Afghan issue STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE to run on weekdays Pakistan, to act against terror groups in the region as he led the Indian delegation at the SCO foreign ministers' meeting. “Spoke at the FMM of SCO this morning at Dushanbe. Afghanistan, public health and economic recovery are pressing issues. Combating terrorism and extremism is the key purpose of SCO. Must stop terror financing and deter digital facilitation,'' Jaishankar tweeted. The meeting is being attended by the foreign ministers of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar also is attending it since his country is an observer at the SCO meetings. CMYK Unilateral change of LAC status quo unacceptable, Wang Yi told STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 14 JULY External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today firmly told his Chinese counterpartWang Yi that unilateral change of status quo at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was unacceptable to India and emphasised that full restoration of peace and tranquility in border areas was essential for the development of bilateral ties. The meeting between the two ministers took place in the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers' meeting. “Concluded a onehour bilateral meeting with State Councilor and FM Wang Yi of China on the sidelines of Dushanbe SCO Foreign Min- isters Meeting,” Jaishankar tweeted later. He said the discussions focused on the outstanding issues along the LAC in the Western Sector, adding the two ministers agreed on an early convening of a meeting between senior military commanders of the two countries to discuss disengagement in the remaining areas in Eastern Ladakh. Jaishankar told Wang that attempts to change the status quo last year disregarded commitments under the 1993 and 1996 agreements, thus affecting bilateral ties. An official statement said the two ministers agreed that the two countries would ensure stability on the ground and neither side would take any unilateral action that could increase tension. Army denies fresh clashes NEW DELHI, 14 JULY The Indian Army today denied media reports which claimed that Chinese troops have clashed with Indian troops in Eastern Ladakh again. The Army said the report has been published with ‘uncorroborated facts’ and was ‘riddled with inaccuracies and misinformation’. It said that ever since the disengagement agreement in February this year, neither side has tried to occupy the areas where the dis-engagement had taken place. There have been no clashes in Galwan or any other area, it said. SNS
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