CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 30 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 BREAK FARMERS’ HEADS: CHAUTALA VOWS ACTION AGAINST OFFICER AYODHYA EXISTS WHERE THERE IS RAM: PRESIDENT P4 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with few spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 32-26 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 3.4 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 95% TEMPERATURE P5 P9 US strike intercepts IS-K suicide bombers Strike came as the US winds down a historic airlift before 31 Aug deadline Min. 75% WAR-TORN Max: 32.2 °C (N) Min: 27.0 °C(1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:19 hrs 17:57 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 22:23 hrs 11:06 hrs Next moon quarter on 30 August THUMBNAILS ASSOCIATED PRESS KABUL, 29 AUGUST MoS for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur and MoS for Home Affairs Nisith Pramanik launch the Fit India Mobile Application, on the occasion of the National Sports Day, at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, on Sunday. SNS SC to resume of physical hearing from 1 Sept: The Supreme Court has issued fresh standard operating procedures to accord final hearing of cases in physical mode from 1 September, and will employ a hybrid option from Tuesday to Thursday amidst strict observance of Covid appropriate norms. The SOP said the courts would keep hearing miscellaneous cases through virtual mode on Mondays and Fridays. Suspension of international flights extended: The suspension of scheduled international passenger flights due to the coronavirus outbreak has been extended till 30 September, aviation regulator DGCA said on Sunday. "However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis," it added. ED summons Maharashtra minister Anil Parab: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab for questioning in the money laundering case registered against former state minister Anil Deshmukh and others, officials said on Sunday. Delhi riots case: Investigation standard very poor, says court ASJ Vinod Yadav said the police hardly bother about taking the investigation to a logical end after filing half-baked charge sheets, due to which the accused, who have been named in multiple cases, continue to languish in jails NEW DELHI, 29 AUGUST A court here has said that the standard of investigation in a large number of 2020 northeast Delhi riots cases is “very poor” and sought the intervention of the Delhi Police Commissioner. Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav made the observations while framing charges against one Ashraf Ali for allegedly attacking police officials with acid, glass bottles and bricks during the communal violence on 25 February, 2020. The ASJ said that in a majority of cases investigating officers (IOs) have not been appearing in court. Furthermore, ASJ Yadav said the police hardly bother about taking the investigation to a logical end after filing halfbaked charge sheets, due to which the accused, who have been named in multiple cases, continue to languish in jails. “This case is a glaring example, wherein victims are police personnel itself, yet the IO did not bother to collect the sample of acid and to have its chemical analysis. The IO has further not bothered to collect the opinion about the nature of injuries,” he noted in an order dated 28 PTI August. US airstrike on Sunday targeted a vehicle carrying “multiple suicide bombers” from Afghanistan’s Islamic State affiliate before they could target the ongoing American military evacuation at Kabul’s international airport, officials said. There were few initial details about the incident, as well as a rocket that struck a neighbourhood just northwest of the airport, killing a child. The two strikes initially appeared to be separate incidents, though information on both remained scarce. The strike came as the United States winds down a historic airlift that saw tens of thousands evacuated from Kabul’s international airport, the scene of much of the chaos that engulfed the Afghan capital since the Taliban took over two weeks ago. After an Islamic State affiliate’s suicide attack that killed over 180 people, the Taliban increased its security around the airfield as A Britain ended its evacuation flights Saturday. US military cargo planes continued their runs into the airport Sunday, ahead of a Tuesday deadline earlier set by President Joe Biden to withdraw all troops from America’s longest war. However, Afghans remaining behind in the country worry about the Taliban reverting to their earlier oppressive rule~ something fueled by the recent shooting death of a folk singer in the country by the insurgents. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid earlier said in a message to journalists that the US strike targeted a suicide bomber as he drove a vehicle loaded with explosives. Mujahid offered few other details. Two American military officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations, called the airstrike successful. They said the strike caused “significant secondary explosions” indicating the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material in the vehicle. The strike was the second by America since the DEFENDING CHAMP OSAKA IS HAPPY GOING INTO US OPEN ‘FOREIGNERS MUST ACCEPT NORMS OF SINGAPORE SOCIETY’ airport suicide bombing. On Saturday, a strike in Nangarhar province killed an Islamic State member believed to be involved in planning attacks against the United States in Kabul. The strike killed one person, spokesman Navy Capt William Urban said. The rocket attack meanwhile struck Kabul’s Khuwja Bughra neighborhood, said Rashid, the Kabul police chief who goes by one name. Videos obtained by in the aftermath of the attack showed smoke rising from building at the site around a kilometer (half a mile) from the airport. No group immediately claimed the attack, however militants have fired rockets in the past. Meanwhile, the family of a folk singer north of Kabul say the Taliban killed him. The valley had seen upheaval since the Taliban takeover, with some districts in the area coming under the control of militia fighters opposed to the Taliban rule. The Taliban say they have since retaken those areas, though neighboring Panjshir in the Hindu Kush mountains remains the Sunday’s drone strike was the second by the US since the twin blasts at the Kabul airport that killed 169 Afghans and 13 American soldiers. The rocket attack meanwhile struck Kabul's Khuwja Bughra neighbourhood On Saturday, the US military said that it carried out a drone strike in Afghanistan, killing two high-profile “planners and facilitators” of the Islamic State's Afghanistan affiliate, dubbed Islamic State Khorasan or ISIS-K, which had claimed responsibility for the attack at the Kabul airport on Thursday. only one of Afghanistan's 34 provinces not under its control. Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, said that the insurgents would investigate the incident, but had no other details on the killing. Meanwhile on Sunday, private banks across Afghanistan resumed their operations. However, they limited withdrawals to no more than the equivalent of $200 a day. While some complained of still being unable to access their money, government employees say they haven’t been paid over the last four months. The Afghani traded around 90.5 to $1, continuing its depreciation as billions of dollars in the country's reserves remain frozen overseas. More on Pages 9,10 P12 Changes in Afghanistan a challenge for India: Rajnath PRESS TRUST OF INDIA UDHAGAMANDALAM(TN), 29 AUGUST The changing power equation in Afghanistan is a challenge for India, prompting a rethink of strategy and the Quad initiative underscored it, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday. The Defence Ministry is seriously considering the formation of Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) as quick decision-making is a key aspect during war time, he said addressing the Defence Servicee and Staff College at nearby Wellington. “The changing equation in Afghanistan is a challenge for us...These situations have forced our country to rethink its strategy. We are changing our strategy and the formation of Quad underlines this strategy,” he said. Quad comprises India, the US, The Defence Ministry is considering the formation of Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) as quick decision-making is a key aspect during war time, Singh said. The IBGs would also increase the number of integrated fighting units, he said. Japan and Australia. The Taliban insurgents stormed Afghanistan days ago capturing all major cities in a matter of days, two weeks before the US was set to complete its troop withdrawal after a vexatious two-decade war and the Kabul airport attack has left dozens dead and many injured. On IBGs, the Minister said these groups would not only facilitate faster decision-making but also increase the number of integrated fighting units. A reform initiative, ‘Tour of Duty’ was being con- sidered by the government and it would be a game changing reform as it would help reduce the average age of military and make it more agile. Without naming Pakistan, Singh said “After losing two wars, one of our neighbouring countries has started resorting to proxy war, and terrorism has become an integral part of its state policy.” “If the ceasefire (between India and Pakistan) succeeds, it is because of our strength. The cross-border attacks in 2016 changed our reactionary mindset to a proactive mindset, which was declared in 2019. It was further strengthened by the Balakot strike,” he added. On the India-China border standoff, the Defence Minister lauded the Army for security forces once again proved that the nation is committed to face any enemy at any time and in any situation. SAVING GRACE In this 26 August 2021 image, marines assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), including Sgt. Nicole Gee calms an infant during an evacuation at Kabul International Airport. Sgt. Gee was among those killed in Thursday’s attack at the airport. AP Paralympics: India bag two silvers, 45,083 new Covid cases, 460 deaths in 24 hrs 1st Covaxin batch from new plant released bronze on hold in men’s discus STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 29 AUGUST ANKLESHWAR, 29 AUGUST INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE TOKYO, 29 AUGUST There could not have been a better tribute for hockey wizard Dhyan Chand as on his birth anniversary, celebrated as National Sports Day, India bagged two silver and one bronze medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games on Sunday. Paddler Bhavina Patel started what turned out to be a Super Sunday for India as she won a silver medal in the women’s singles Class 4 competition at the table tennis venue, capping off an incredible run during which she defeated the gold and silver medallist at the Rio Paralympics five years ago. In the evening at the main Olympic Stadium, high jumper Nishad Kumar added another silver to India’s tally in men’s high jump T47, clearing the bar at 2.06, equalling the Asian record. Nishad finished second behind Roderick Townsend of the United States, who set a world record by clearing 2 metres and 15 cm. Discus thrower Vinod Kumar added a bronze to the tally on the fifth day of competition at Tokyo 2020 by finishing third in the F52 event, hurling the disc to 19.91 metres for an Asian record. However, the result has been challenged by some other competitors, who have objected to his classification in the F52 category. The grounds of the protest are not clear. India, who had failed to win a single medal on the first four days, finished the day at 42nd position behind Georgia, who has three silver medals. India on Sunday reported a total of 45,083 new Covid-19 cases and 460 deaths in the last 24 hours, while the active caseload registered an increase for a fifth consecutive day, according to the Union health ministry’s data. The active caseload in the country stands at 3,68,558, registering a net increase of 8,783 cases over the previous day’s figure. The surge in daily Covid cases has been driven by a recent spike in Kerala, which accounts for more than half of all the active Covid-19 cases in the country, followed closely by Maharashtra. After reporting over 30,000 cases for four consecutive days, Kerala on Sunday recorded 29,836 fresh infections, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya released the first commercial batch of Covaxin from the new plant of Bharat Biotech at Ankleshwar in Gujarat. The Minister said, “With the release of the first commercial batch of #Covaxin from Bharat Biotech’s plant at Ankleshwar, Gujarat, the supply of vaccine will reach every Indian,” Mandaviya has said. India’s vaccination coverage against coronavirus crossed 63 crore. Over 73 lakh doses were administered in the last 24 hours. Covovax trial: Recruitment of volunteers for the phase 2/3 clinical trial of Covovax vaccine among children aged 2 to 17 years began today at the Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research in New Delhi. PTI along with 75 deaths, while the state’s test positivity rate inched closer to 20 per cent ~ with 1,51,670 samples tested in a day, the TPR was found to be 19.67 per cent. For the country as a whole, with 17,55,327 tests for the coronavirus conducted on Saturday, the daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.57 per cent. The weekly test positivity rate stood at 2.28 per cent. Bengal cases: West Bengal today registered 650 fresh Covid cases and 6 deaths. Kolkata recorded 87 cases and 1 death. The total Covid Start-up culture now vibrant in India: PM Modi PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 29 AUGUST Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that the start-up culture has become very vibrant in India with youngsters in even smaller cities embracing it, and asserted that it is a sign of India’s bright future. In his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio broadcast, Modi also noted that space sector reforms in the country have caught the people’s imagination and expressed confidence that a large number of satellites in the coming days will be developed by youngsters from universities, labs and other sectors. The Prime Minister touched upon a host of topics, “Today, the startup culture is expanding even to smaller cities and I am seeing it as an indication of a bright future. Just a few days ago, toys in our country were being discussed. Within no time this caught the attention of our youth and they too resolutely decided to work towards positioning Indian toys in the world with a distinct identity” PM NARENDRA MODI including India’s rich spiritual tradition and the boost the sporting culture has received after the performance in the Tokyo Olympics, in the address and also paid glowing tributes to hockey legend Dhyan Chand, saying he conquered the world of hockey for the country. The National Sports Day is celebrated every year on 29 August to mark Dhyan Chand’s birthday. “Today, it is not that the youth is just watching sports. The youth is also looking at possibilities associated with sports...They now want to surpass conventional ways and adopt new disciplines,” he said. Similarly, young persons are moving away from family traditions, expressing the wish to launch or join a start-up and are willing to take risks. He said, “Today, the startup culture is expanding even to smaller cities and I am seeing it as an indication of a bright future. Just a few days ago, toys in our country were being discussed. Within no time this caught the attention of our youth and they too resolutely decided to work towards positioning Indian toys in the world with a distinct identity.” Noting that India won an Olympic medal in men’s hockey after over four decades, he said youths are now drawn towards sports and their parents are happy to back them. This itself is a great tribute to Dhyan Chand, Modi CMYK said. Asserting that the young population’s mindset has undergone a sweeping change, he said it is now keen on “new destinations and new goals by taking new paths and having new aspirations”. The momentum the sporting culture has received must be further advanced, he said. “Let us all countrymen strive to further this momentum as much as we can, contributing whatever we can. Let us transform the mantra of ‘Sabka Prayas’ (everyone’s effort) into reality,” he said. Modi said the Tokyo Olympics have created a major impact, and India's achievements may not be a lot compared to some countries but are enough to bolster the people's belief. 3,26,95,030 3,68,558 45,083 35,840 4,37,830 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 29 AUGUST 2021 case count in the state till now is 15,47,548 and death toll is 18,423, while there are 9,070 active cases. Facing flak, ICHR says other posters will have Nehru photo PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 29 AUGUST Facing flak from Opposition parties for excluding Jawaharlal Nehru from a poster celebrating the 75th year of independence, the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) said the controversy over the issue is “unnecessary” as other posters being released in the coming days will feature Nehru. “We are not trying to undermine anyone’s role in the movement,” a top ICHR official said, dismissing criticism on the issue, and added the poster was one of the many released as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. ICHR, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education, has been running a series of lectures and seminars on the theme of the Independence struggle under the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' celebration. “This is only one of the posters released as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. There will be several others and Nehru will be featured in them... controversy around this is unnecessary," the ICHR official said. Congress shared the screenshot of the ICHR poster on social media showing photographs of Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, B R Ambedkar among others while Nehru’s picture was missing.
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