SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 29 AUGUST 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 WAS JINNAH SECULAR? RFK ASSASSIN WINS PAROLE P10 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Thundershower likely to occur. Temperature most likely to be in the range of 32-27 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 9.8 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 97 % TEMPERATURE P6 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE PRESS TRUST OF INDIA WASHINGTON, 28 AUGUST THUMBNAILS Taliban commando fighters stand guard in Lashkar Gah, Helmand province in SW Afghanistan on Saturday. AP ASSOCIATED PRESS KABUL, 28 AUGUST Four booked in Delhi Cantt rape-murder case: m The Delhi police filed a charge sheet in a court on Saturday against a crematorium priest, and its employee, claiming there was sufficient evidence against them for alleged rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl in Delhi Cantonment area earlier August. All the accused are currently in judicial custody. PM inaugurates renovated Jallianwala Bagh memorial complex: PM Narendra Modi said on Saturday that events of the past "teach us and give us direction to move forward", as he dedicated to the nation the renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh memorial. TOKYO, 28 AUGUST Bhavinaben Patel continued to script history as she became the first Indian to enter the final of a table tennis event in the Paralympics with a hardfought 3-2 win over China’s Miao Zhang in a class 4 semifinal here on Saturday. The 34-year-old Patel, who had surprised even the Indian camp in this Paralympics with her sensational show, stunned her world no. 3 Chinese opponent 7-11 11-7 114 9-11 11-8 in the semifinal showdown that lasted 34 minutes. She will take on world number one Chinese paddler Ying Zhou in the summit clash on Sunday. Daughter of Hasmukhbhai Patel, a shopkeeper at Sundhiya village in Gujarat’s Mehsana district, she was not considered a bright medal prospect coming into the Games but she has made her maiden Paralympics a memorable one. “When I came here, I just thought that I would give my 100 per cent without thinking of anything. If you give 100 per cent, the medal will come, that was what I thought,” said Patel, who was diagnosed with polio when she was 12. Patel, who plays in a wheelchair, lost the opening game in a tight contest. But, she made a strong recovery, claiming the PTI next two games. NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST US airstrike targets ISIS-K ‘planner’ in Afghanistan Max: 33.2 °C(1) Min: 26.4 °C(N) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:18 hrs 17:58 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 21:46 hrs 10:10 hrs Next moon quarter on 30 August 'BH' registration series for personal vehicles: To ensure seamless transfer of personal vehicles across states, the road transport ministry has come up with a new registration mark for new vehicles - Bharat Series (BH-series). the government has notified a new vehicle registration regime that will free vehicle owners from reregistration process when they shift from one (P8) state/union territory to another. P12 ‘Curb festival gatherings’: Kabul airport sealed MHA cautions states, UTs off; airlift winds down Min. 67 % Paralympics: Bhavina Patel storms into table tennis final P7 Taliban deploy extra forces around airport to prevent large crowds Around 4,000 umbrella grass species planted on floating rafters to help to clean the water body at the newly-installed floating Wetland on Sanjay Van Lake, in the capital. SNS CHASTENED OSAKA WILL TOE PARTY LINE ALL RIGHT CONGRESS MUST PUT HOUSE IN ORDER he Taliban deployed extra forces around Kabul’s airport on Saturday to prevent large crowds from gathering after a devastating suicide attack two days earlier, as the massive US-led airlift wound down ahead of an 31 August deadline. New layers of checkpoints sprang up on roads leading to the airport, some manned by uniformed Taliban fighters with Humvees and night-vision goggles captured from Afghan security forces. Areas where large crowds of people have gathered over the past two weeks in hopes of fleeing the country following the Taliban takeover were largely empty. A suicide attack on Thursday by an Islamic State affiliate killed 169 Afghans and 13 US service members, and there are concerns that the group, which is far more radical than the Taliban, could strike again. Many Western nations have completed T their evacuation operations ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for the withdrawal of all US forces. An Afghan who had worked as a translator for the US military said he was with a group of people with permission to leave who tried to reach the airport late Friday. After passing through three checkpoints they were stopped at a fourth. An argument ensued, and the Taliban said they had been told by the Americans to only let US passportholders through. “I am so hopeless for my future," the man said after returning to Kabul, speaking on condition of anonymity because of security concerns. “If the evacuation is over, what will happen to us?” On Saturday, the Taliban fired warning shots and deployed some kind of coloured smoke on a road leading to the airport, sending dozens of people scattering, according to a video circulating online. More than 100,000 people have been safely evacuated through the Kabul air- The Union home ministry has extended its nationwide Covid-19 containment measures till 30 September and asked all states and Union territories to ensure that there are no large gatherings in the upcoming festival season. In a letter to chief secretaries of states and UTs, Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla said the overall situation at the national level now appears to be largely stable, except for the “localised” spread of the virus in a few states. But, he said, the total number of active cases and high case positivity in some districts continues to remain a matter of concern. He asked the states with high positivity rates to take proactive containment measures to arrest the spike. “It is important to identify The US military has said that it carried out a drone strike in Afghanistan, killing an Islamic State “planner”, a day after President Joe Biden promised to retaliate for the twin blasts at the Kabul airport that killed 169 Afghans and 13 American soldiers. The Islamic State’s Afghanistan affiliate, dubbed Islamic State Khorasan or ISIS-K, had claimed responsibility for the attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Thursday. “US military forces conducted an over-thehorizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner. The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangahar province of Afghanistan,” Capt Bill Urban, spokesperson of US Central Command, said on Friday. “Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties,” Urban added. The airstrike came a day after Biden vowed to “hunt” down the terrorists and make them “pay” for the Kabul airport attack and ordered his commanders to develop plans to strike back at them. Meanwhile, the national security team of President Biden has told him that another terror attack is “likely” in Kabul and that the next few days of this evacuation mission will be the “most dangerous” period to date, said a White House official. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 28 AUGUST port, according to the US, but thousands more are struggling to leave and may not make it out by Tuesday. In Kabul itself, hundreds of protesters, including many civil servants, gathered outside a bank while countless more lined up at cash machines. The economic crisis, which predates the Taliban takeover earlier this month, could give Western nations leverage as they urge Afghanistan’s new rulers to form a moderate, inclusive government and allow people to leave after 31 August. Afghanistan is heavily dependent on international aid, which covered around 75% of the toppled Western-backed government’s budget. The Taliban have said they want good relations with the global community and have promised a more moderate form of Islamic rule than when they last governed the country, but many are deeply skeptical. More on Pages 10,11 The West Bengal government today announced reopening of coaching centres for competitive exams with 50 per cent capacity at a time from 1 September. However, no permission has been given to universities, colleges and schools to start functioning. The existing restrictions have been extended across the state till 15 September. A notification in this regard was issued by state chief secretary HK Dwivedi this evening. Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla asked states to ensure areas having no virus or low virus transmission adequately protected by progressively ramping up testing and other measures like ILI/SARI surveillance, market surveillance warning signs of potential surges early on and to take appropriate measures to curb the spread. This would require a localised approach,” he said. Bhalla asked states to avoid large gatherings during the upcoming festive season, and if needed, impose local restrictions to curb gatherings. Expressing concern over deviations from the laiddown guidelines, he wrote: “Weekly Enforcement Data received from States/UTs regarding wearing face mask in public, maintaining social distancing norms, imposition of fines etc indi- cates a downward trend in enforcement. States/UTs are requested to augment their enforcement efforts for effectively checking transmission of the disease.” “Further, it must be ensured that areas having no virus or low virus transmission are adequately protected by progressively ramping up testing and other measures like ILI/SARI surveillance, market surveillance etc. with strict enforcement of Covid Appropriate Behaviour,” the Home Secretary said. According to the Union health ministry’s morning bulletin, 46,759 people testing positive for Covid-19 in a span of 24 hours in the country, while the active caseload registered an increase for a fourth straight day. Kerala, which added over 30,000 new cases for a fourth day, decided to reimpose night curfew from 30 August from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Coaching centres can open in Bengal Night restrictions on all movement will continue to remain in place from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Permission has recently been given to hold outdoor government programmes and to all shops and restaurants to remain open till 10.30 pm. Stadiums and swimming pools are currently allowed to open with 50 per cent capacity, as are cinema halls, auditoriums, sadans, manchas and open air theatres. Bengal added 661 fresh Covid cases and 7 deaths, with Kolkata seeing 109 cases and 3 deaths. 3,26,49,947 3,59,775 46,759 31,374 4,37,370 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 28 AUGUST 2021 ED summons Abhishek Banerjee, wife in money laundering case CU prof booked for ‘threatening to kill Mamata’ Covaxin single dose for Covid infected equivalent to two doses for unaffected STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 28 AUGUST PRESS TRUST OF INDIA KOLKATA, 28 AUGUST The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the money trail in coal pilferage and cattle smuggling cases in the state has summoned TMC MP and the party’s All India general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and his wife for questioning in Delhi. While Rujira Narula Banerjee, wife of Mr Banerjee, has been summoned by the central agency on 1 September, Abhishek has been asked to appear before the investigating officer of the case on 3 September. Both of them had been asked to depose before the agency in Delhi, armed with all relevant documents relating to their bank accounts. The ED move raised the hackles of the TMC with its chairperson, and Mr Banerjee’s aunt, Miss Mamata Banerjee, lashing out at the Centre and the BJP saying that , if they think they would stymie the TMC by using central agencies against leaders like Abhishek because they are unable to deal with him politically, they are mistaken. In a virtual address to mark the foundation day of the Trinamul Chhatra Parishad, she said, “Fight Abhishek politically. If you show us ED, I too have lots of information at my disposal to disclose. If nothing comes out, we too will move court. I have never before seen such vindictive politics. Why is only the Trinamul Congress being singled out? Coal is the Centre’s subject, the state has nothing to do with it. Why was the CBI taking along BJP leaders while going for investigation,” she questioned. The CBI earlier this February had set up an eight member team to quiz Rujira at her residence in Kolkata in connection with the case. Some IPS officers and a lawyer linked to Mr Banerjee have also been summoned by the ED, according to agency reports. This case, registered under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), was filed by the ED after a November 2020 FIR of the CBI that alleged a multi-crore coal pilferage scam related to Eastern Coalfields Ltd. mines in the state’s Kunustoria and Kajora areas in and around Asansol. NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST A case was lodged against a professor of Calcutta University for allegedly threatening on social media to kill chief minister Mamata Banerjee, police said on Saturday. The case was registered against Arindam Bhattacharya, a professor of the Zoology Department, by the Hare Street police station on the basis of a complaint filed by PhD scholar Tamal Dutta, a senior police officer said. Bhattacharya was booked under IPC sections 505 (1B), 506 and 120B. He said, “I didn’t make any comments against the CM. The complainant is a TMC supporter. I am waiting for the police to take steps and only after that I will seek legal advice.” PTI A single dose of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin in previously Covid-19-infected individuals elicits a similar antibody response as obtained with two doses of the vaccine in those without a previous history of the disease, according to an ICMR study. The study was published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research on Saturday. “If our preliminary findings are confirmed in large population studies, a single dose of BBV152 vaccine may be recommended to previously confirmed SARS-CoV2 infected individuals so that the naive individuals could attain the larger benefit of a limited vaccine supply,” it said. Jan Dhan accounts swell with ` 1.46 L crore total deposits PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST Bank accounts under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY) have increased to 43 crore with total deposits over Rs 1.46 lakh crore, the finance ministry on Saturday said as the government’s flagship financial inclusion scheme completes seven years of implementation. The PMJDY was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address on 15 August, 2014 and was launched on 28 August to foster financial inclusion. This national mission was launched to ensure people have access to financial services, namely, banking, remittance, credit, insurance, pen- The PMJDY was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address on 15 August 2014 and was launched on 28 August to foster financial inclusion and ensure people have access to financial services. Bank accounts under PMJDY have increased to 43 crore. Of this, 55.47 per cent account holders are women Today we mark seven years of #PMJanDhan, an initiative that has forever transformed India’s development trajectory. It has ensured financial inclusion and a life of dignity as well as empowerment for countless Indians. NARENDRA MODI sion in an affordable manner. As on 18 August, 2021, the number of total PMJDY accounts stood at 43.04 crore. Of this, 55.47 per cent (23.87 crore) Jan-Dhan account holders are women and 66.69 per cent (28.70 crore) holders are in rural and semi-urban areas, the finance ministry said in a statement. During the first year of the scheme, 17.90 crore PMJDY accounts were opened. Out of total 43.04 crore PMJDY accounts, 36.86 crore or 85.6 per cent are operative, and the average deposit per account is Rs 3,398, as per the statement. Increase in average deposit is another indication of increased usage of accounts and inculcation of saving habit among account holders, it said. Total RuPay cards issued to PMJDY account holders rose to 31.23 crore. For account opened after August 28, 2018, the free accidental insurance cover on RuPay cards increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. The Prime Minister tweeted, “Today we mark seven years of #PMJanDhan, an initiative that has forever transformed India’s development trajectory. It has ensured financial inclusion and a life of dignity as well as empowerment for countless Indians. Jan Dhan Yojana has also helped further transparency.” Appreciating the untiring efforts of all those who have worked to make PMJDY a success, he said, their efforts have ensured the people lead a better quality of life. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while underlining the importance of the scheme, said the journey of PMJDY led interventions undertaken over a short span of 7 years has in effect, produced both transformational as well as directional change, thereby making the financial inclusion ecosystem capable of delivering financial services to the poorest of the poor. “The underlying pillars of PMJDY, namely, Banking the Unbanked, Securing the Unsecured and Funding the Unfunded has made it possible to adopt multi-stakeholders’ collaborative approach while leveraging technology," she said. A single dose of BBV152 vaccine may be recommended to previously confirmed SARSCoV-2 infected individuals so that the individuals could attain the larger benefit of a limited vaccine supply” ICMR STUDY India’s first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin, alias BBV152, was approved by the government for emergency use in January. Two doses are given with a gap of four to six weeks. The study was undertaken to examine SARS-CoV2–specific antibody responses after day zero (baseline, before vaccination), day 28 plus/minus two days postfirst dose (month 1) and day 56 plus/minus two days postfirst dose (month 2) of BBV152. The antibody response of individuals with confirmed pre-vaccination SARSCoV-2 infection was compared with those individuals without prior evidence of infection. Blood samples were collected from 114 healthcare professionals and frontline workers who received Covaxin in Chennai from February to May 2021. “Overall, good vaccineinduced antibody responses were seen in prior SARSCoV-2–infected ones, except in two, who received a single dose of BBV152 that was similar to antibody responses seen after a two-dose vaccination on infection-naive individuals,” it stated. Mysuru gang-rape case: 5 labourers from TN arrested PRESS TRUST OF INDIA MYSURU, 28 AUGUST Five labourers allegedly involved in the rape of a college student near Mysuru earlier this week have been arrested, Karnataka DG and IGP Praveen Sood said on Saturday. The five, who frequented Mysuru often, are from the “labour class” doing jobs like wiring, carpentry and driving, he said, adding, they hailed from Tirupur in Tamil Nadu. “As per preliminary interrogation, one of them is a juvenile~ a 17-year-old~ subject to confirmation”, he said. The sixth one is absconding. They accosted the college student and her male friend near the Chamundi foothills on the outskirts of Mysuru on 24 August and tried to rob them. When they did not succeed, they allegedly assaulted him and raped her, police sources said. “It’s a case of robbery first”, Sood said, adding, the culprits also demanded Rs three lakh. However, he said there was no blackmail angle yet. "Before going back (home to Tamil Nadu), they had the habit of drinking (alcohol) and partying. They were there on that day (August 24). What happened thereafter all of you know", Sood said. There is information that some of the accused had “criminal background” and were involved in cases in Tamil Nadu but it needed to be verified, according to him.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.