SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 17 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 ‘LINKING OF RIVERS WILL BE DISASTROUS’ THOSE SCARED OF BJP ARE WELCOME IN CONGRESS: RAHUL OLI FACTION TO VOTE AGAINST NEWLY-FORMED DEUBA GOVT IN NEPAL P7 P5 P11 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with very light rain/ thundershowers towards evening/night. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 37 and 28 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 92% Right to life paramount, all other sentiments subservient to it: Top court STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 16 JULY Min: 55% TEMPERATURE Max: 37.8°C (+3) SUN RISES 05:35 hrs MOON RISES 12:23 hrs Reconsider Kanwar Yatra: SC to UP govt Min: 27.0°C (0) SUN SETS 19:20 hrs MOON SETS 00:15 hrs THUMBNAILS Villagers travel in a boat towards a safer place from a flood-affected area, in Gopalganj AGENCIES district of Bihar on Friday. Govt notifies Krishna, Godavari mgmt boards: Seven years after the bifurcation of the unified state of Andhra Pradesh and formation of Telangana, the Union Ministry of Water Resources has issued a notification bringing the various projects across rivers Krishna and Godavari in the two states under the respective boards which will have complete control over the operations and maintenance of the common reservoirs shared between the two states. (P4) ED attaches assets of Deshmukh, wife: The Enforcement Directorate on Friday said it has attached assets worth Rs 4.20 crore in connection with its money laundering probe in an extortion-cum-bribery case against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh and his family. Flight instructor dead in plane crash: A flight instructor was killed and a student injured when their training aircraft crashed in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra on Friday. The two-seater plane of the Academy of Aviation Shirpur in Dhule district had taken off from the institute's airstrip around 3 p.m. and crashed at 3.45 p.m. NEW DELHI, 16 JULY The government may consider a discussions on the country’s Covid management and price rise in the upcoming Monsoon Session to ensure smooth functioning of both Houses of parliament, sources said here Friday. Opposition is expected to raise these issues in the session beginning July 19. It will be the first session Banks consortium gets `792 cr in Mallya loan default case PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 16 JULY The State Bank of India-led consortium that lent loans to fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya on Friday received Rs 792.11 crore in its accounts after some shares, earlier attached under the antimoney laundering law, were sold, the Enforcement Directorate said. With this, the ED claimed that the banks and the government exchequer have realised 58 per cent out of the total fraud perpetrated in two of the country’s biggest criminal bank loan heist cases. Apart from the Mallya case, the other case pertains to over Rs 13,500 crore alleged bank loan cheating in the Brady House (Mumbai) which has a pride of place in the Fundamental Rights chapter of our Constitution. The health of the citizenry of India and their right to life are paramount. All other sentiments, al beit religious, are subservient to this most basic fundamental right,” said the bench, in its order. The bench told senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, who was representing the UP government, “given Covid pandemic and the fear of third wave, which looms over all Indians”, whether the authority will reconsider allowing the yatra at all for compelling religious reasons. Justice Nariman added: “State of UP cannot go ahead with it. 100 percent”. Vaidyanathan stated that the State Disaster Management Authority has deliberated upon this, and stated that for compelling religious reasons if someone wants to undertake the yatra, they should seek permission, have negative RT-PCR report and also be fully vaccinated. Justice Nariman said: "We can give you one more opportunity to consider holding yatra physically at all. This or else we pass an order." Justice Nariman added, "We are all Indians and this suo motu has been taken up as Article 21 applies to all of us. Either you reconsider to have it at all or we deliver the order". The top court has scheduled the matter for further hearing on Monday. On 14 July, the Supreme Court took suo moto cognizance of the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to allow Kanwar Yatra amid the ongoing Covid pandemic. Monsoon Session: Govt may debate Covid, price rise PRESS TRUST OF INDIA branch of the Punjab National Bank that is alleged to have been orchestrated by diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi. “Today, SBI-led consortium has realised Rs 792.11 crore by sale of shares in Kingfisher Airlines or the Vijay Mallya case. These shares were handed over by the Enforcement Directorate to the consortium,” the central probe agency said. These shares were earlier attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) by the ED as part of its criminal investigation into the case. Last month too, the banks consortium had realised more than Rs 7,181 crore in the Mallya case after a similar sale of attached shares. P12 PM asks states with rising Covid nos to take proactive steps to prevent third wave UP govt talking to kanwar sanghs : Hours after a nudge from the Supreme Court, the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday said it is talking with "kanwar sanghs" to take a “right decision” on the annual yatra and reminded that the organisations “themselves” decided to cancel it last year. I n view of the fear of a third Covid wave, the Supreme Court on Friday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to reconsider its decision to allow a physical Kanwar Yatra. “The right to life is paramount” the apex court said and asked the government to reconsider its position on even a symbolic annual ritual that annually registers a heavy movement of pilgrims across states in the northern belt. A bench of Justices R.F. Nariman and B.R. Gavai insisted that authorities should reconsider whether to hold physical Kanwar Yatra at all, otherwise the court will pass order in the matter. “We are of the view that this is a matter which concerns everyone of us as citizens of India, and goes to the very heart of Article 21 of the Constitution of India, T20 WC: INDIA-PAK CLASH ON THE CARDS of parliament after the outbreak of the devastating second wave of Covid. The government has started doing its homework to prepare the ground for smooth functioning of the Houses with newlyappointed Leader of House in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal meeting several prominent Opposition leaders including former Prime Minister and Congress veteran Manmohan Singh and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. Sources said it has also been suggested that the ministers of state, especially the newlyappointed ones, spend more time in Rajya Sabha to get equipped with parliamentary procedures, rules and presentation of speeches. They can go to Lok Sabha when there is any roster duty or their respective legislative business is listed, they said. Talking about the leg- islative business for the session, the sources said, around 17 new Bills are listed, while four are pending in Lok Sabha and three in Rajya Sabha. Three of the Bills seek to replace corresponding ordinances issued recently. An ordinance has to be laid before both Houses of parliament and shall cease to operate at the expiration of six weeks or 42 days from the reassembly of Parliament. Peeved SC to set up secure channel for transmission of bail orders PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 16 JULY Exasperated over reports on delay in implementation of bail orders, the Supreme Court Friday said it would set up a “secure, credible and authentic channel” for transmission of the orders for execution, saying in the digital age, “we are still looking at the skies for the pigeons to communicate the orders”. The Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana-led bench was irked over the increasing number of reports regarding delay in implementation of the orders passed by the top court and has recently taken suo motu cognizance of news reports of delay by Uttar Pradesh authorities in releasing 13 In the digital age, we are still looking at the skies for the pigeons to communicate the orders SUPREME COURT prisoners who were granted bail by it on July 8. The convicts, who were juveniles at the time of offence were lodged in Agra Central jail for periods ranging from around 14 to 22 years in a murder case. Soon after taking up the suo motu case, the special bench, also comprising justices L Nageswara Rao and A S Bopanna, sought a proposal from the Secretary General of the apex court within two weeks on implementing a scheme aimed at revolutionizing transmis- sion of court Orders to all concerned in a “fast and secure manner”. "I am directing Secretary General of the Supreme Court to place report in two weeks time so we'll try to implement the scheme in a month," the CJI observed. In a hearing conducted through video-conferencing, the bench also directed all the states to respond on availability of internet connection in jails across nation as without this facility transmission of such orders to prisons will not be possible. As soon as the bench took up the case, it referred to the delay in release of 13 prisoners from Agra jail despite the apex court granting bail to them saying “this is the situation and this is too much”. 3,10,26,829 4,30,422 38,949 Beneficiaries wait in a queue to receive Covid-19 vaccine dose, at Birsa Munda Football stadium in Ranchi. IANS SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 16 JULY Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that rising Covid-19 cases in some states are a matter of concern, as he asked them to take proactive measures to head off a third wave. In a video interaction with chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Maharashtra and Kerala, where many districts have been reporting a high number of cases, PM said the country stands at a point in its battle with the pandemic where there are apprehensions about a third wave. These states have accounted for 80 per cent of new Covid-19 cases last week and 84 per cent of deaths, he noted, specifically mentioning the situation in Kerala and Maharashtra as a matter of grave concern. India reported 38,949 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, while 542 deaths due to the virus were recorded ~ among the least daily fatalities since April. Kerala accounted for 13,773 new cases and 87 deaths, while Maharashtra saw 8,010 ‘Next 100 days crucial’: V K Paul Niti Aayog member (health) VK Paul on Friday said the warning about the third wave of the Covid19 pandemic which the World Health Organization has recently issued is for the global situation. “At least 50 per cent of our vulnerable population is vaccinated. So we are still vulnerable. But the situation as of now is under control and we will have to maintain this situation,” Dr Paul said adding that the next 100 days will be crucial to understand whether the 3rd wave has arrived in India or not. AGENCIES new cases and 170 deaths. “It’s very important that states with a rising number of cases take proactive measures to rule out any possibility of a third wave," Modi said. Emphasising the need to prevent crowds from gathering at public places, Modi said there is a need to be alert and strict in this regard. He said funds are being made available to all states 26 Jan violence: AAP govt says no to police bid for lawyer panel SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 16 JULY The AAP government on Friday rejected the Delhi Police’s proposal to set up a panel of public prosecutors to argue cases related to violence during a tractor rally by farmers on 26 January, setting the stage for a fresh round of confrontation with the Centre and the L-G office. Sources, however, said Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal is likely to invoke the special powers granted to him under the Constitution and approve the panel of lawyers chosen by the Delhi Police. Addressing an online press conference, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the appointment of lawyers comes completely under the purview of the Delhi government and that the L-G can only use his veto power in rarest of the rare cases. He also alleged that the lieutenant governor has been using the veto power even in routine matters, terming it as a “murder of democracy”. Chief minister Arvind Kerjiwal said it is the duty of every citizen of India to support farmers and that the Delhi government has not done any favour to them. “A farmer is not a criminal or a terrorist, but our annadata,” he tweeted. Sisodai also claimed that it is very unfortunate that the BJP-led Central government has been interfering in the functioning of the AAP dispensation through the L-G. Details on Page 2 Nine dead as 40 villagers fall into well in MP EAM hits out at Pak, China on regional connectivity STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE The mishap occured when villagers tried to rescue a 14-year-old boy who had fallen into a 50-feet-deep well filled with 20 feet water in a village in MP BHOPAL, 16 JULY At least nine people died and several others were missing, and feared dead, after around 40 people fell into a well filled with 20 feet of water while trying to rescue a boy who had fallen into the well in a village in Vidisha district of Madhya Pradesh on Thursday night. The incident occurred in village Lal Pathar near Ganj Basoda town, around 110-km from Bhopal, at about 8 p.m. on Thursday and rescue operations were going on till Friday evening. According to police and district administration officials, a 14-year-old boy fell in the 50-feet-deep well, which was filled with at least 20 feet of water. Villagers rushed to the spot to rescue him. It was reported that almost People look on during the rescue operation. IANS 50 people climbed upon the well’s parapet wall and a slab kept upon it. The wall collapsed due to the weight of the people and about 40 people fell into the water. Police and district administration teams were rushed to the spot soon after the incident was reported. Incidentally, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his wife were also in Vidisha since Thursday morning for the marriage ceremony of their three adopted daughters. The CM coordinated rescue efforts from there and directed the concerned senior officers and district in-charge minister Vishwas Sarang to rush to the spot. SDRF and NDRF teams were called and a JCB machine was used to dig a hole at the side of the well to draw out its water. However, officials said that rescue operations got delayed as the night fell and also debris kept on falling into the well. The CM has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased. “The challenge we face is that politics, vested interests and instability can be impediments to the realisation of regional prosperity. Connectivity efforts should promote economic activity and not create debt burdens” NEW DELHI, 16 JULY External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today launched a veiled attack on Pakistan for “blocking connectivity” to Afghanistan and on China for its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) without taking into account the debt burdens it would create for the nations participating in the ambitious project. “A one-sided view of trade rights and obligations can never work. No serious connectivity can ever be a oneway street,” he said addressing the plenary session of “Central and South Asia: Connectivity” conference being held in Uzbekistan capital Tashkent. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and leaders from about 35 coun- EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER S JAISHANKAR IN A VEILED ATTACK ON PAKISTAN & CHINA tries are attending the meet. Jaishankar’s comments are significant since Pakistan has not granted to India transit rights through its territory to Afghanistan despite repeated pleas by both New Delhi and Kabul. He observed that economic growth today was universally driven by 3Cs: connectivity, commerce and contacts. All three need to come together to ensure regional cooperation and prosperity. “The challenge we face is that politics, vested interests and instability can be formidable impediments to its realisation,” he added. Referring to China’s BRI project, he said connectivity efforts must be based on economic viability and financial responsibility. They should promote economic activity and not create debt burdens. Connectivity must be consultative, transparent and participatory, he added. “Building connectivity is an act of trust and must, at the minimum, conform to international law. Respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity are the most basic principles of international ties.” He said India’s focus in the last few years has been to rebuild links that were diminished in the colonial period. “Our horizons extend from Vladivostok to the Gulf and East-Africa.” Jaishankar said that since 2016, India has taken practical steps to operationalise the Chabahar port in Iran. This has provided a secure, viable and unhindered access to the sea for Central Asian countries. “We have proposed to include the Chabahar port in the framework of INSTC (International North South Trade Corridor),” he said. 40,026 4,12,531 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 16 JULY 2021 for making available new intensive care unit beds, increasing testing capacity and for other needs. Noting that out of 332 PSA oxygen plants allocated to states represented in the meeting, 53 plants have been commissioned, he asked the chief ministers to expedite the completion of the plants. Modi had on Tuesday interacted with chief ministers of eight North-Eastern states, another region of concern. Manipur, which has been seeing a steady rise in infections, has imposed a total curfew across the state for ten days from 18 July in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. The state reported 1,128 new case on Friday. Delhi cases: Delhi today recorded 66 coronavirus cases and 1 Covid-linked fatality while the positivity rate dipped to 0.09 per cent, according to the Delhi government’s latest health bulletin Pulitzer-winning Indian photo scribe killed in Afghanistan KABUL, 16 JULY Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize winning Indian photojournalist who worked for Reuters news agency, was killed on Friday in Afghanistan while covering the fierce fighting between Afghan troops and the Taliban militants near a border crossing with Pakistan in Kandahar province. Siddiqui, in his early 40s, was on an assignment covering the clashes in the volatile Kandahar region, as the US withdraws its forces from Afghanistan ahead of the 31 August deadline set by President Joe Biden. Afghan special forces had been fighting to retake the main market area of Spin Boldak in Kandahar province when Siddiqui and a senior Afghan officer were killed in what they described as Taliban crossfire, an Afghan commander told Reuters. Siddique was embedded with Afghanitan special forces in Kandahar province when they came under attack on Friday morning. “Danish was an outstanding, Pulitzer prizewinning journalist, a devoted husband and father, and a much-loved colleague. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time,” Reuters President Michael Friedenberg and Editor-in-Chief AlessanPTI dra Galloni said. More on Page 11
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