CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 19 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 WHO’S TO BLAME? DEUBA WINS NEPAL TRUST VOTE P9 Generally cloudy sky with few spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 36-28 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE P6 P5 P12 Rain fury claims 30 lives in Mumbai WEATHER Max. 89% BIG TENNIS PLAYERS INCLUDED IN REVISED OLYMPIC LIST UP POLLS: CONGRESS OPEN-MINDED ABOUT FORGING ALLIANCE Min. 55% Max: 36.1 °C (3) Min: 28.9 °C(2) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:02 hrs 18:23 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 12:34 hrs --:-- hrs Full moon on 24 July THUMBNAILS Visitors at Hawa Mahal in Jaipur on Sunday. IANS After U'khand, UP, Delhi cancels Kanwar Yatra: The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Sunday prohibited the annual Kanwar Yatra in the city to prevent the spread of Covid-19. "No celebrations, processions, gatherings, etc. shall be allowed during forthcoming Kanwar Yatra-2021 starting from July 25 in NCT of Delhi," stated an order issued by DDMA. Incessant heavy downpour overnight during a major thunderstorm pummels Mumbai; PM Modi, Maha CM announce ex-gratia PRESS TRUST OF INDIA hirty people died in rain-related incidents as incessant heavy downpour overnight during a major thunderstorm pummeled Mumbai, causing severe water logging and traffic disruptions in the financial capital on Sunday, officials said. Thunderstorms have already been observed on the following five days of July: On 9, 11, 12, 16 and 17. The Western Railway and Central Railway briefly suspended suburban train services after the heavy rains, and many long distance trains were terminated or regulated at various stations, officials said. Nineteen people died as a compound wall came crashing down on some houses located on a hillock after a landslide, a fire official said. The retaining wall T Titane wins Cannes Palme d'or: Julia Ducournau, the 37-year-old French director of Titane, a freaky and provocative body-horror drama has become the first female director in 28 years to win the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'or. The awards of the 74th Cannes Film Festival were decided by a jury chaired by Spike Lee. The Grand Prix, regarded as the festival's runnersup prize, was shared by two films – Iranian Asghar Farhadi's A Hero and Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen's Compartment No. 6. Covid scare at Olympics: Three test positive, 2 staying at Village Indian rowing team practice at the Olympic village, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics TOKYO, 18 JULY Two South African soccer players have become the first athletes inside the Olympic Village to test positive for Covid, with the Tokyo Games opening on Friday, the development adding to the scepticism around the troubled event which opens on 23 July. Organizers confirmed the positive tests on Sunday but didn’t identify the athletes other than to say they were non-Japanese. The South African soccer squad had been quarantined and was waiting for the results of further tests conducted on players and backroom staff on Sunday, team manager Mxolisi Sibam said in a statement. South Africa is due to play Japan in its first game of the men’s soccer competition on Thursday at Tokyo Stadium. Organizers also said Sunday that another athlete had tested positive but this person was not residing in the Olympic Village. This athlete was also identified as “nonJapanese.” Also on Sunday, the first International Olympic Committee member was reported as positive. He recorded a positive test on Saturday upon entering a Tokyo airport. The first batch of Indian athletes for the Games arrived AP here this morning. Firemen and rescue workers after a landslide in Vikroli area on Sunday of the Bharatnagar locality in Mumbai’s Mahul area collapsed at 1 a.m., the official said. Seven people were injured and taken to nearby Rajawadi hospital, he added. A civic activist said this is among the 257 hutments that have come up on hillocks in the city. In the last 29 years, 290 people in such localities have been killed in landslides and collapses during monsoon, Commuters wade through a waterlogged street as heavy rain continues at Santacruz-Chembur Link Road he added. Ten hutment dwellers died as six shanties collapsed after a landslide in Mumbai’s Vikhroli suburb at 2.30 am, a civic official said. Two persons were injured and were sent to a nearby hospital, he added. A 16-year-old boy died after a forest department compound wall collapsed in suburban Bhandup, an official said. Prime Minister Naren- dra Modi expressed anguish at the loss of lives caused by wall collapse incidents in Mumbai. His office also announced Rs two lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. A sum of Rs 50,000 would be given to the injured. “Saddened by the loss of lives due to wall collapses in Chembur and Vikhroli in Mumbai recorded over 250 mm of rain in just three hours (between midnight and 3am), touching 305 mm by 7 am Height of the monster thunderstorm is approximately nearly 18 km, or twice that of Mt Everest Mumbai. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. Praying that those who are injured have a speedy recovery," Modi said President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed grief over the rain-related deaths in Mumbai. Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray expressing grief over the incident announced an exgratia of Rs 5 lakh for the kin of each of the victims. Mumbai recorded over 250 mm of rain in just three hours (between midnight and 3am), touching 305 mm by 7 am on Sunday, a meteorologist said. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said Mumbai was placed under a red alert, “indicating heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy rainfall at isolated locations” for the rest of the day. Images from a doppler radar showed that the thunderstorm had a cloud top height of nearly 18 km (around 60,000 feet), the IMD said. “To put in other words, the height/vertical extent of this monster thunderstorm is approximately twice that of Mount Everest!,” tweeted meteorologist Akshay Deoras. “Such thunderstorms are definitely uncommon for Mumbai or the west coast during an active phase of the monsoon and in a month like July. The cloud top height of this monster thunderstorm is definitely comparable to the one that produced rains on 26 July 2005,” he said. Minister of state for Railways Raosaheb Danve said he will travel by a local train from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai to Kalyan in Thane district to review monsoon-related works carried out by the railways. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation asked citizens to boil water before drinking as heavy rains over the last two days had led to flooding in the water purification complex at Bhandup. The flooding has affected electrical equipment that control the pumping and filtration processes there, one of the major sites of water supply to the country’s financial capital, he said. Stormy Monsoon session of Parliament on the cards Govt ready for healthy discussion in Parl: PM DEEPAK RAZDAN NEW DELHI, 18 JULY ED searches 2 homes of Anil Deshmukh: The The Enforcement Directorate conducted searches at two residences of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh in Nagpur district on Sunday as part of a probe into a money laundering case, a police official said. MUMBAI ON RED ALERT MUMBAI, 18 JULY Parliament’s monsoon session beginning tomorrow will be stormy as the Opposition is set to corner the Government on Covid “mis-management”, fuel price-rise, economic slump, farmers’ agitation and the Jammu and Kashmir situation. The Government’s priorities, on the other hand, will be to seek Parliamentary approval for 29 Bills, including six to replace Ordinances, besides two additional expenditure Bills, during the 19 sittings of the session spread over Opposition is set to corner the Govt on Covid “mis-management’, fuel price-rise, economic slump, farmers’ agitation and the J&K situation while the latter will seek Parliamentary approval for 29 Bills four weeks. After a meeting of leaders of all Parliamentary parties, attended by PM Narendra Modi, today, the Government expressed readiness to discuss all issues proposed by the Opposition. The Opposition, while raising the issues, plans to convey strong public anger on them. Victories of the TMC, DMK and the CPI (M)-led LDF in the recent Assem- Withdraw order easing curbs ahead of Bakrid: IMA to Kerala PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 18 JULY The Indian Medical Association on Sunday asked the Kerala government to withdraw its decision to ease Covid-19 restrictions ahead of Bakrid, terming it “unwarranted and inappropriate” at a time of a medical emergency. The apex doctors’ organisation said it would knock the doors of the Supreme Court if the Kerala government does not enforce Covid-appropriate behaviour to curtail the rising menace of the virus by withdrawing this decision. The IMA issued a statement here, saying while many northern states have stopped traditional and popular pilgrimage yatras in view of the pandemic, it is unfortunate that Kerala took a decision which will pave the way for mass gatherings. State Health MinisterVeena Georgetold the media that areas with test positivity rate (TPR) of more than 10 per cent were inspected during the day and it was found that there were numerous clusters of infection due to celebrations like weddings, change of residence and other events. Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday said that in view of Bakrid on 21 July in the state, textiles, footwear shops, jewellery, shops selling home and electronic appliances shall be allowed to open on July 18, 19 and 20 from 7 am to 8 pm in category A, B and C areas bly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, respectively, will embolden the Opposition on the timing and manner of the debates. The Opposition is keen to raise the issue of Covid vaccination “shortages,” Centre-State relations, as also the Government’s stand towards Afghanistan in the wake of the US withdrawal, and continuing tension in Indo-Chi- NEW DELHI, 18 JULY After much speculations and intra-party squabbling in Punjab, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday appointed Navjot Singh Sidhu as the new president of the party’s Punjab unit, notwithstanding the opposition from chief minister Amarinder Singh. Gandhi also appointed four working presidents to assist Sidhu in the run-up to the next assembly elections. The new working presidents are Sangat Singh Gilzian, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, Pawan Goel and Kuljit Singh Nagra. “Congress president has appointed Navjot Singh Sidhu as the president of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee with immediate effect,” according to a party statement. “The party appreciates the contributions of outgoing PCC president Sunil Jakhar,”the statement said. Nagra, who was in-charge of party affairs in Sikkim, Nagaland and Tripura, has been relieved of his present responsibilities. The announcement of Sidhu’s elevation came after handy for the Opposition on the Covid issue. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, however, said the Government was ready for all discussions “under the rules,” and, seeking cooperation of the parties in the smooth running of the Houses, he called for “structured debates”. Joshi said the Government accepted debates for which notices were duly given to the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairman, and they were included in the agenda by the respective Business Advisory Committees. India adds 41K new cases, 518 deaths STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 18 JULY India added more than 41,157 new cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total infection to 3.11 crores, while the death toll climbed to 4,13,609 with 518 more fatalities. According to the Union Health Ministry, the active cases have declined to 4.22 lakhs, comprising 1.36 per cent of the total infections with a recovery rate of 97.31 per cent. The fatality rate has reached 1.33 per cent, revealed the Health Ministry data. The 518 new fatalities included 124 deaths from Maharashtra and 114 from Kerala, the ministry said. The ministry said 40.49 crore anti-Covid vaccine doses have already been administered under the After power tussle with Amarinder, Sidhu appointed Punjab Cong chief PRESS TRUST OF INDIA nese relations. The French inquiry into the Rafale deal with India will also prove a tricky issue for the Government. Treasury benches may try to question the TMC on the violence in West Bengal after the recent Assembly elections. The timely cancellation of the Kanwar Yatras by the BJP’s UP government due to Covid fears will save the government from some embarrassment. However, the sudden dropping of Health Minister Harsh Vardhan from the Cabinet and his replacement by Mansukh Mandaviya will prove days of speculation and amid strong opposition from the chief minister. Anticipating Sidhu's elevation earlier, 11 MLAs earlier today came out in support of Chief Minister Singh whom they called the “tallest leader of masses” and appealed to the party high command not to let him down. Sidhu was earlier in the Amarinder Singh’s cabinet but resigned after his portfolio was changed in 2019. Sidhu has been critical of Amarinder Singh over many issues including his handling of 2015 sacrilege incidents and subsequent firings. The Congress had been making efforts to resolve the infighting as the state will go to polls next year. Earlier report on Pg 5 nationwide vaccination drive. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.13 per cent and the weekly positivity rate stands at 2.08 per cent~ a slight increase during the past one week. Among the states, Kerala reported 13,956 new cases and 81 deaths on Sunday a day after reporting 16,148 fresh cases. Maharashtra saw 9,000 new cases and 180 fatalities, while Delhi reported just 51 new cases with no deaths. Even as Karnataka logged 1,708 fresh infections and 36 deaths, the state government today further relaxed the Covid related lockdown norms, allowing cinema halls to open and giving the nod to higher educational institutions to reopen by 26 July. Bengal cases:West Bengal today registered 801 fresh 3,11,06,065 4,22,660 41,157 42,004 4,13,609 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 18 JULY 2021 Covid cases and 11 deaths, with Kolkata recording 92 cases and 1 death. PM Narendra Modi after an all-party meeting, a day before the monsoon session of Parliament. In the capital on Sunday STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 18 JULY Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday assured Opposition parties of meaningful discussions on various issues in the Monsoon session of Parliament, which is starting from Monday. Addressing an all party meeting, a day before the start of Monsoon Session of parliament, the Prime Minister urged Opposition leaders to raise issues concerning the people in an amicable manner, and asked them to give opportunity to the government to respond to them. The Prime Minister said that it is the responsibility of all political parties to create a conducive environment during the session. He said people’s representatives truly know the ground level situations, and hence their participation in the discussions enriches the decision making process. The PM called for healthy discussions in Parliament and sought cooperation of the leaders of all political parties. He also expressed his condolences for the loss of lives due to the Covid pandemic, said a senior officer of the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry. Leaders of 33 political parties including Congress participated in the meeting. From the Congress, Mallikarjun Kharge and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury~its leaders in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, respectively, were present. Floor leaders of all prominent Opposition parties, including Derek O’ Brien from the TMC, Tiruchi Siva of the DMK, Ram Gopal Yadav of the SP and Satish Mishra of BSP were also present. At the meet, the Opposition parties objected to the government’s offer of a joint address by the Prime Minister on the Covid situation to MPs of both the Houses on Tuesday in the Parliament House Annexe, alleging it was another way of bypassing parliamentary norms. At the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi announced that Modi will address MPs of both Houses on 20 July. 326 sedition cases, 6 convictions in 5 yrs PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 18 JULY A total of 326 cases were registered in the country under the controversial colonialera penal law on sedition between 2014 and 2019 in which just six persons were convicted. The Supreme Court last week observed that Section 124 (A) of the IPC ~ offence of sedition ~ has been enormously misused and asked the Centre why it was not repealing the provision used by the British to “silence” people like Mahatma Gandhi to suppress the freedom movement. According to the Union Home Ministry data, a total of 326 cases were registered under the sedition law between 2014 and 2019, with the highest 54 cases in Assam. Out of these cases, charge sheets CMYK SEC 124 (A) Among the 326 cases, 54 were filed in Assam, the highest among states. Out of these cases, charge sheets were filed in 141 cases while just six people were convicted for the controversial colonial-era penal law during the sixyear period, according to the Union Home Ministry were filed in 141 cases while just six people were convicted for the offence during the six-year period. The data of 2020 has not been compiled by the home ministry yet, officials said. In Assam, out of the 54 sedition cases registered, charge sheets were filed in 26 cases and trials were completed in 25 cases. However, there has not been a single conviction in the state in any of the cases between 2014 and 2019, the data says. Jharkhand has registered 40 cases under Section 124 (A) of IPC during the six years and one person has been convicted. In Haryana, 31 cases were registered under the sedition lawwith just one person been convicted. Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala have registered 25 cases each. However, no one was convicted in any of the three states in the 2014-2019 period. As many as 22 sedition cases were filed in Karnataka in which charge sheets were filed in 17 cases. However, no one was convicted. A total of 17 sedition cases were filed in Uttar Pradesh and eight in West Bengal between 2014 and 2019. While charge sheets were filed in eight cases in UP and five cases in West Bengal, no one was convicted in the two states. In Delhi, four sedition cases were registered between 2014 and 2019 but no charge sheet has been filed in any case. One each sedition case was filed in three states~ Maharashtra , Punjab and Uttarakhand . No case was filed in rest of the states and UTs. On 15 July, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana agreed to examine the pleas filed by the Editors Guild of India and a former major general challenging the Constitutionality of Section 124A in the IPC.
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