CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 31 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 KHATTAR BLAMES PUNJAB GOVT FOR FARMERS’ STIR WHITE HOUSE: US HAS CAPACITY TO EVACUATE REMAINING AMERICANS P10 P5 ASSOCIATED PRESS Generally cloudy sky with few spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 32-27 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 15.2 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE P4 P12 IS rockets target Kabul airport but US flights continue WEATHER Max. 95% ‘ASHWIN COULD BE PLAYING IN FOURTH TEST’ NITISH KUMAR PUTS HIMSELF IN PM RACE ONCE AGAIN Min. 77% Max: 32.4 °C (N) Min: 27.1 °C (+1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:19 hrs 17:56 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 23:03 hrs 11:59 hrs New moon on 7 September THUMBNAILS Janmashtami celebration at ISKCON Temple in Kolkata on Monday. DEEPRO BISWAS Sensex skyrockets 765 points: The Sensex surged 765 points while the Nifty cruised past the 16,900-level on Monday as equity benchmarks maintained their record-setting spree on all-round buying amid global cues. (P8) UP dist reports 40 dengue deaths in a week: Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath on Monday visited some dengue patients in Faizabad district where around 40 people, mostly children, have died in a week, and said teams will be formed to ascertain the cause of the deaths. KABUL, 30 AUGUST Rocket fire apparently targeting Kabul’s international airport struck a nearby neighbourhood on Monday, the eve of the deadline for American troops to withdraw from the country’s longest war after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. It wasn’t immediately clear if anyone was hurt. The Islamic State group’s affiliate in Afghanistan has claimed responsibility for Monday’s rocket attack in Kabul, saying it fired at least six Katyusha rockets at the airport in the Afghan capital. The rockets did not halt the steady stream of U.S. military C-17 cargo jets taking off and landing at Hamid Karzai International Airport in the Afghan capital. Last week, the Islamic State group launched a devastating suicide bomb- KOLKATA, 30 AUGUST Eminent Bengali writer Buddhadeb Guha, author of many notable works such as Madhukari (Honey Gatherer), has died. He was 85. Guha died of postCovid complications at a private hospital here at 11.25 p.m. on Sunday after a massive cardiac arrest, family members said. The writer, whose works of fiction reflected his closeness to nature and forests of eastern India, had been hospitalised earlier this month after complaining of breathlessness and urinary infection. PM Modi tweeted, “Shri Buddhadeb Guha’s writings were multifaceted and displayed great sensitivity to the environment. His works were enjoyed across generations, particularly among youngsters. His passing away is a big loss to the literary world. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.” See Pg 3 I&B Ministry celebrates ‘Iconic week’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 30 AUGUST ‘Iconic Week’- the week-long celebration of Information and Broadcasting ended yesterday. The celebrations which began on 23 August saw an enthusiastic participation by all Media Units of the Ministry. It was centred on the idea of Jan-bhagidari, i.e. participation of people. The objective of this was to make Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav a peoples’ movement instead of it being a Government led programme. Inauguration of virtual photo exhibition, screening of popular Hindi language patriotic films, webinars, folk recitals, airing of special episodes on freedom fighters was carried out to celebrate the contribution and sacrifices of freedom fighters in Indian independence struggle. The Islamic State group and other militants routinely mount such tubes into vehicles and quietly transport them undetected close to a target. “I was inside the house with my children and other family members, sudden- ly there were some blasts,” said Jaiuddin Khan, who lives nearby. “We jumped into the house compound and lay on the ground.” The rockets landed across town in Kabul’s Salim Karwan neighborhood, striking residential apart- PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 30 AUGUST New Covid variant has more mutations than other VOCs 3rd wave peak between Oct-Nov; intensity to be 1/4 of second wave NEW DELHI, 30 AUGUST PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Locals view a vehicle damaged by a rocket attack in Kabul on Monday. AP ment blocks, witnesses said. That neighborhood is some 3 kilometers from the airport. InWashington, theWhite House issued a statement saying officials briefed President Joe Biden on “the rocket attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport” in Kabul, apparently referring to the vehiclebased rocket launch that morning. “The president was informed that operations continue uninterrupted at HKIA, and has reconfirmed his order that commanders redouble their efforts to prioritize doing whatever is necessary to protect our forces on the ground,” the statement said, using an acronym for Kabul’s airport. The US military did not respond to requests for comment. After the rocket fire, planes continued to land and taxi across to the northern military side of the airport. Planes took off roughly every 20 minutes at one point Monday morning. The airport had been one of the few ways out for foreigners and Afghans fleeing the Taliban takeover. However, coalition nations have halted their evacuations in recent days, leaving the U.S. military largely alone at the base with some remaining allied Afghan forces providing security. The U.S. State Department released a statement Sunday signed by around 100 countries, as well as NATO and the European Union, saying they had received “assurances” from the Taliban that people with travel documents would still be able to leave the country. The Taliban have said they will allow normal travel after the U.S. withdrawal is completed on Tuesday and they assume control of the airport. However, it remains unclear how the militants will run the airport and which commercial carriers will begin flying into the field given the ongoing security concerns there. More on Pages 9,10 C.1.2 variant can Survival of Covid orphans at stake: SC be more harmful, evade vax: Study Taxpayers told to send online refund response: The Income Tax Department has urged taxpayers to quickly send an online response so that their pending refunds for AY 2020-21 can be processed.Till date, 93 per cent of the refund claims in ITRs filed for AY 20-21 have "already" been processed. Noted Bengali writer Buddhadeb Guha dies at 85; tributes pour in ing at one of the airport gates that killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 US service members. The airport repeatedly has been a scene of chaos in the two weeks since the Taliban blitz across Afghanistan that took control of the country, nearly 20 years after the initial U.S. invasion that followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But since the suicide bombing, the Taliban have tightened their security cordon around the airfield, with their fighters seen just up to the last fencing separating them from the runway. In the capital’s Chahre-Shaheed neighbourhood, a crowd quickly gathered around the remains of a four-door sedan used by the attackers, which had what appeared to be six homemade rocket tubes mounted where the backseat should be. NEW DELHI, 30 AUGUST new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which cause Covid-19, has been detected in South Africa and many other countries globally which could be more transmissible and evade protection provided by vaccines, according to study. Scientists from National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) in South Africa said the potential variant of interest, C.1.2, was first detected in the country in May this year. C.1.2 has since been found in China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, England, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland as of 13 August. According to the yet-tobe peer-reviewed study posted on the preprint A India may see a third wave of Covid-19 peaking between October and November if a more virulent mutant than the existing ones emerge by September, but its intensity is expected to be much lower than the second wave, a scientist involved in the mathematical modelling of the pandemic said on Monday. Manindra Agrawal, an IIT-Kanpur scientist who is part of the three-member team of experts that have been tasked with predicting any surge in infections, said if no new virulent emerges, then the situation is unlikely to change. If the third wave peaks, the country may see only 1 lakh daily cases as against more than 4 lakh when the deadly second wave was at its peak in May. The second wave killed thousands and infected several PTI lakh. repository MedRxiv on 24 August, C.1.2 has mutated substantially compared to C.1, one of the lineages which dominated the SARSCoV-2 infections in the first wave in South Africa. The new variant has more mutations than other variants of concern (VOCs) or variants of interest (VOIs) detected worldwide so far, the researchers said. They said that the number of available sequences of C.1.2 may be an underrepresentation of the spread and frequency of the variant in South Africa and around the world. “This is similar to the increases seen with the Beta and Delta variants in the country during early detection,” the authors of the study said. According to the study, C.1.2 lineage has a mutation rate of about 41.8 mutations per year, which is about twice as fast as the current global mutation rate of the other variants. Virologist Upasana Ray noted that the variant is a result of numerous mutations accumulated in C.1.2 line in the spike protein which makes it a lot different than the original virus that was identified in Wuhan, China in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated many lives and it is “heart wrenching” that the survival of children who lost either or both parents during the pandemic is at stake, the Supreme Court said, but expressed satisfaction over schemes announced by the Centre and states to provide succour to them. The apex court said that “satisfactory progress” has been made by the Executive in identifying children who have either become orphans or have lost one of their parents during the Covid-19 pandemic. The top court noted in its order that over one lakh children have lost either or both parents during the pandemic. The apex court said “satisfactory progress” has been made by the Executive in identifying children who have either become orphans or have lost one of their parents during the pandemic “We are glad that the UoI (Union of India) and the state governments/Union Territories have announced schemes to provide succour to the children in need. We have no doubt that the authorities concerned would leave no stone unturned to attend to the immediate basic needs of the crestfallen children,” said a bench of justices L Nageswara Rao and Aniruddha Bose. The top court, which was hearing a suo motu matter on ‘Contagion of Covid-19 on children protection homes’, noted in its order that over one lakh children have lost either or both parents during the pandemic. “The catastrophe caused by the cataclysmic Covid19 has devastated many lives, especially children at a tender age who have lost their parents,” the 42K cases, 380 deaths in 24 hrs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 30 AUGUST India on Monday recorded 42,909 new Covid-19 cases, 380 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing the overall caseload to 3,27,37,939 and total death toll to 4,38,210, Union Health Ministry data showed. The country also recorded 34,763 recoveries in the last 24 hours, taking total recoveries to 3,19,23,405 and the Covid recovery rate currently stands at 97.51 percent. At 3,76,324. the active cases in the country increased by 7,766 cases in a span of 24 hours. India’s weekly positivity rate was recorded at 2.41 percent, less than 3 percent for the last 65 days. Additionally, the weekly cases are at an 8-week high and over 66 percent were recorded from Kerala. The daily positivity rate was registered at 3.02 percent. The ministry said that 14,19,990 Covid-19 tests were conducted on Sunday, taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far in the country to 52,01,46,525. Bengal:West Bengal today registered 510 fresh Covid cases and 11 deaths. Kolkata recorded 81 cases and 2 deaths while North 24 Parganas recorded 79 cases and 3 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total Covid case 3,27,37,939 3,76,324 42,909 34,763 4,38,210 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 30 AUGUST 2021 count is 15,48,058 and death toll is 18,434 in the state till now while there are 8,922 active cases. Shooter Avani Lekhara breaks glass ceiling at Paralympics PRESS TRUST OF INDIA TOKYO, 30 AUGUST Shooter Avani Lekhara scripted history on Monday as she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics, firing her way to the top of the podium in the R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event here. The 19-year-old from Jaipur, who sustained spinal cord injuries in a car accident in 2012, finished with a world record equalling total of 249.6, which is also a new Paralympic record. She is only the fourth Indian athlete to win a Paralympics gold after swimmer Murlikant Petkar (1972), javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia (2004 and 2016) and high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu (2016). “I can’t describe this feeling, I’m feeling like I’m on top of the world. It’s unexplainable,” an elated Lekhara said. Lekhara scripted history on Monday as she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics, firing her way to the top of the podium in the R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH The 19-year-old from Jaipur, who sustained spinal cord injuries in a car accident in 2012, finished with a world record equalling total of 249.6, which is also a new Paralympic record Hers is also the first shooting medal that India has logged in the showpiece. “I’m so happy I could be the one to contribute it. Hopefully there’s a lot of medals more to come,” Lekhara said. In the R-1 men’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event, Mahavir Swaroop Unhalkar missed out on a podium, fin- ishing fourth with a total of 203.9, while his compatriot Deepak was ousted in the qualification round after firing 592.6. Lekhara edged out 2016 Rio Games gold-medallist Cuiping Zhang of China who clinched the silver medal with a total of 248.9 at the Asaka Shooting Range. World number one and reigning world Golden glory for javelin thrower Sumit Antil Debutant Sumit Antil smashed his own world record multiple times for the F64 class gold, while veteran Devendra Jhajharia’s F46 category silver cemented his status of being India’s greatest para-athlete as javelin throwers led the country’s track-and-field medal rush at the Paralympics today. Another javelin thrower Sundar Singh Gurjar picked up bronze in Jhajharia’s event, while discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya’s F56 silver ensured India made its presence felt across the podium and through the day. See P12 campion Iryna Shchetnik of Ukraine took home the bronze with an effort of 227.5. “I was just saying one thing, that I have to take one shot at a time. There’s nothing else matters now, just take one shot at a time and just finish it. “I just think that I have to follow the process. Beyond that, I try not to think about the score or the medal tally," Lekhara said reflecting on her final. Lekhara had finished fourth in the last world championship in 2019 but won a silver in the para-shooting World Cup in Al Ain in March. Appearing in her maiden Paralympics, Lekhara, ranked fifth in the world, consistently shot 10s in both the competition stages. She was set to CMYK obliterate the world record but two 9.9s towards the end cost her the mark. In the qualification round, Lekhara had finished seventh with a total 621.7. Encouraged by her father to get involved in a sport, Lekhara initially tried both shooting and archery. She found that she enjoyed shooting more, and was also inspired by 2008 Beijing Olympics gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra after reading his book. She began shooting in 2015 at Jagatpura Sports Complex in Jaipur. An Assistant Conservator of Forests in Rajasthan, Lekhara made her debut for India in 2017 World Cup in Al Ain, UAE. Since 2017, the Indian government has supported Lekhara by including her in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme besides funding her training through the Annual Calendar for Training and Competition (ACTC). bench said. It said inquiries by Child Welfare Committee (CWCs), in accordance with provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, have to be expedited to identify those children who are in need of care and protection. Immediate steps also have to be taken to ensure that benefits of schemes reach the needy minors, the bench said. The apex court said all children have a constitutional right to free and compulsory elementary education and the State has a duty and obligation to facilitate education for children. 50 pc students per classroom, staggered lunch breaks: DDMA The Delhi Disaster Management Authority guidelines come after Delhi government on Friday announced that schools for classes 9 to 12, colleges and coaching institutions would reopen from 1 September, following a marked improvement in Covid situation NEW DELHI, 30 AUGUST Allowing only 50 per cent students per classroom, mandatory thermal screening, staggered lunch breaks, alternate seating arrangement and avoiding routine guest visits are among the guidelines announced by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) for reopening of schools and colleges from 1 September. The DDMA has said that students, teachers and nonteaching staff living in Covid containment zones will not be allowed to come to schools and colleges. Following a marked improvement in the Covid situation in the national capital, the Delhi government on Friday had announced that schools for classes 9 to 12, colleges and coaching institutions would reopen from 1 September. The Delhi government had clarified that no student would be forced to attend physical classes and the consent of parents would be mandatory. “Schools and colleges should prepare a timetable as per occupancy limit of classrooms following Covid norms. The institutions may stagger the schedule to avoid crowding in classrooms and at main entrance or exit,” read the DDMA guidelines notiPTI fied on Monday.
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