CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 02 SEPTEMBER 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 YOGI ORDERS INQUIRY INTO SUPERTECH TWIN TOWERS CASE JP OMITTED FROM SYLLABUS IN VARSITY NAMED AFTER HIM P4 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain likely. Temperature likely to be in the range of 35-28 degrees Celsius. P5 P10 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Students returned to classrooms to face a new reality of masks & distanced camaraderie Max.95% Min. 57% SNS/PTI Max:35.0 °C(+3) Min: 26.7 °C(0) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:19 hrs 17:53 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 00:36 hrs 13:45 hrs New moon on 7 September THUMBNAILS Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a press conference over rise in prices of essential commodities including domestic cooking gas, at AICC office, in the Capital on Wednesday. SNS LPG price hiked by Rs 25 per cylinder: The prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cooking gas cylinders across all categories including subsidised gas on Wednesday were hiked by Rs 25 per cylinder -- the third straight increase in rates in less than two months. Subsidised as well as non-subsidised LPG now costs Rs 884.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder in Delhi, according to a price notification of oil companies. This is the third straight increase in prices in PTI less than two months. J B Mohapatra appointed CBDT chairman: Senior bureaucrat J B Mohapatra has been appointed the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the Personnel Ministry said in an order Wednesday. Mohapatra, a 1985-batch IRS (Income Tax) officer, is currently the member in the board that frames the policy for the Income Tax department. He has been holding the additional charge of CBDT PTI chairman since 31 May. FIR against Deshmukh’s lawyer NEW DELHI, 1 SEPTEMBER NEW DELHI, 1 SEPTEMBER ith trepidation and some excitement too, thousands of students returned to their classrooms to face a new Covid reality of masks and socially distanced camaraderie as schools in several states reopened on Wednesday. Fifty per cent attendance, no shared tiffin or even stationery, staggered lunch hours and parental consent were some of the dos and don'ts for schools in several parts of the country, including Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, that opened their doors amid concerns that students had not been vaccinated and neither had all the staff. Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan held a meeting with senior ministry officials to assess the situation and to take stock of the roadmap for vaccinating teaching and non-teaching staff by September. While some schools opened for the first time since the pandemic last year, others restarted physical classrooms after the devastating second Covid wave. Now, with many states reporting a dip in numbers, it seemed time to get back on the school track, albeit in a hybrid online-offline format that would enable at least half the children to continue classes from home. The return to a semblance of normalcy in the national capital began on a rain-drenched note with Bengal govt thinking about vaccinating kids : Mamata NEW CHALLENGES W PANAGARH ,1 SEPTEMBER 50% attendance, no shared tiffin or even stationery, staggered lunch hours and parental consent were some of the dos and don'ts for schools Delhi, Rajasthan, MP and Tamil Nadu opened schools amid concerns that students had not been vaccinated and neither had all the staff. students of Classes 9-12 trooping into classes, ‘raincoated', carrying umbrellas and all masked up. “After 17 months schools have reopened and students will again sit and study in classrooms and have fun with their friends…," Delhi Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said on Twitter. Following a marked improvement in the Covid situation in the national Capital~the Delhi government had announced that schools for Classes 9 to 12, colleges and coaching institutions would reopen from 1 September. Mount Carmel School in Dwarka, for instance, does not plan to reopen for at least a month as its entire staff is not completely vaccinated. A school in Uttar Pradesh, where students of Classes 1-5 returned for the first since the lockdown in March last year, used balloons to say welcome back. Classes from 9 to 12 in Uttar Pradesh had resumed on 16 August, and Classes 6 to 8 on 24 August. In Tamil Nadu, offline teaching for Classes 9 to 12 resumed with strict protocol in place. Physical classes in colleges also began. In Rajasthan, too, government and private schools reopened for Classes 9 to 12 after the second wave. The turnout on the first day was low as online classes are also being held simultaneously. With cases falling significantly in Madhya Pradesh, physical school for Classes 6 to 12 started with a 50 per cent cap on attendance. The state government had earlier reopened schools for Classes 9 to 12 in the last week of July with classes on specific days a week. Schools reopened in Telangana today though attendance remained low as parents and guardians remained cautious about sending their little ones to school in the middle of a pandemic. Health department officials who had given the green signal for educational institutions to reopen said there might Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said the government is thinking whether children will be required to be vaccinated in view of the Covid third wave and assured that everyone in the state will be given their jabs. If required the government will carry out inoculation programmes for children similar to the pulse polio drive, she said. “Keeping the third wave in mind, we are now thinking whether children will be required to be vaccinated or not. If required, the government will initiate inoculation programme similar to the pulse polio drive,”she said while laying the foundation stone of Dhunseri Poly Films PTI plant. be sporadic cases of Covid after students start attending schools but pointed out that severity of Covid among children was quite less. It was mostly government schools which functioned full-fledged, even offering mid day meal to the children. Chhattisgarh government on Wednesday issued an order permitting private and government schools to reopen for Classes 6, 7, 9 and 11 with 50 per cent attendance from Thursday, an official said. NEW DELHI, 1 SEPTEMBER India on Wednesday morning reported 41,965 new Covid cases in the last 24 hours, with the state of Kerala accounting for over three-fourth of the fresh infections, spurring calls for stricter containment measures and strategic lockdowns to bring down the number of cases. There were 460 deaths due to Covid in the same period, while on Tuesday 350 deaths were recorded. Cumulative deaths due to the coronavirus had risen to 4,39,020 till Wednesday morning. In the last 24 hours, the number of active cases in India increased by 7,541 to stand at 3,78, 181. Of the 41,965 new cases reported by the Union health ministry, Kerala accounted for as many as 30,203. And in the evening on Wednesday, the state health department had reported 32,803 addition- al cases logged during the day, along with 173 deaths. The high Covid test positivity rate in Kerala, over 20 per cent in some districts, indicated intense virus circulation, noted government sources in New Delhi. There is hesitancy to impose lockdown and strategic containment measures for reducing transmission intensity even as the state is contributing over three-fourth of new daily Covid cases in the country, the sources said. While over 85 per cent of the patients in the state, are in home isolation, in several areas, home isolation guidelines are not being followed properly, which is leading to the spread of infection the sources pointed out. According to experts, if Kerala adopts strict containment measures, the cases can come down substantially within two weeks, the source stated. 3,28,10,845 3,78,181 41,965 33,964 4,39,020 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. WEDNESDAY 01 SEPT 2021 Bengal cases:Bengal on Wednesday registered 679 fresh cases and 12 deaths, of which Kolkata accounted for 106 cases and a single death. The total case count is 15,49,283 and death toll is 18,459 in the state till now. CAPITAL CHAOS Vehicle make their way through the waterlogged road after heavy rain near Jungpura, in the Capital on Wednesday. SUBRATA DUTTA Bengal moves SC against Calcutta HC ‘Air pollution cutting 480 mn lives short by 9yrs in N India’ order for CBI probe into post-poll fury PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 1 SEPTEMBER PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 1 SEPTEMBER The CBI has registered an FIR against the lawyer of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh for allegedly trying to influence the Bombay High-Court directed preliminary enquiry into corruption allegations against the leader, officials said Wednesday. The CBI Wednesday also questioned lawyer Anand Daga for allegedly trying to pay "illegal gratification" a sub-inspector-rank officer of the agency to "subvert the preliminary enquiry", they said, A report of preliminary enquiry purportedly giving clean chit to Deshmukh was leaked Saturday night. The CBI started a probe into the leakage which has so far revealed that Deshmukh's team allegedly tried to influence the conduct of PE against him by paying illegal gratification to a subinspector ranked officer of the agency, the officials said. The central agency Wednesday examined Deshmukh's son-in-law Gaurav Chaturvedi and lawyer Anand Daga in over its probe after which an FIR was registered, they said. The CBI did not find Chaturvedi's involvement so far and he was allowed to go, they said. “Attempt of Anil Deshmukh's team were in contempt of Bombay HC which had directed that all concerned should fully cooperate with the CBI while conducting the PE. In this case it has appeared that Deshmukh's team tried to subvert the PE," an official said."They could not influence people at higher level," PTI he said. P12 Schools re-open amid 41,965 new Covid cases, over 3/4th from Kerala strict Covid measures RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE MBAPPE STAYS IN PARIS AS CLUB PLAY HARDBALL UK IN TALKS WITH TALIBAN FOR FURTHER EVACUATIONS The West Bengal government Wednesday moved the Supreme Court challenging the Calcutta High Court order directing the court-monitored CBI investigation into all heinous cases like rape and murder during the post poll violence in the state after accepting the recommendations of an NHRC panel. The state government in its special leave petition alleged that it did not expect fair and just investigation by the central agency which is busy foisting cases against the functionaries of ruling Trinamul Congress Party. Earlier, lawyer Anindya The state government in its special leave petition alleged that it did not expect fair and just investigation by the central agency which is busy foisting cases against functionaries of the ruling TMC. Sundar Das, one of the PIL petitioners on whose plea the High Court August 19 verdict had come, had filed a caveat in the apex court urging that no order be passed without hearing him if the state or other litigant move appeals. As regards other criminal cases related to post-poll violence, the high court had directed that they be investigated by a SIT under the monitoring of the court. The high court bench, which also com- prised justices I P Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen and Subrata Talukdar, had observed that there were "definite and proved" allegations that complaints of the victims of violence in the aftermath of the Bengal assembly polls were not even registered. Ordering setting up of an SIT to probe all other cases, it had said that it will include Suman Bala Sahoo, Soumen Mitra and Ranveer Kumar, all IPS officers of the Bengal cadre. “All the cases where, as per the report of the Committee, the allegations are about murder of a person and crime against women regarding rape/attempt to rape, shall be referred to CBI for investigation,” it had said. India’s air pollution levels have expanded geographically over time and increased so much in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh that an average person is now losing an additional 2.5 to 2.9 years of life expectancy, according to a new report. India is the most polluted country in the world, with more than 480 million people or about 40 per cent of its population living in the IndoGangetic plains in the north where pollution levels regularly exceed those found anywhere else in the world by an order of magnitude, stated the University of Chicago's Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) report. The study by the varsity's India is the most polluted country in the world, with more than 480 mn people or about 40 % of its population living in the IndoGangetic plains in the north where pollution levels regularly exceed those found anywhere else in the world by an order of magnitude, stated the University of Chicago's Air Quality Life Index report. Energy Policy Institute ascertains how much longer a person can live if they breathe clean air. Residents of northern India are on track to lose more than nine years of life expectancy if pollution levels of that of 2019 persist as the region experiences the most extreme levels of air pollution in the world, it said.In 2019, India's average particulate matter concentration was 70.3 microgram per cubic meter (µg/m3 ), the highest in the world and seven times the World Health Organisation's guideline of 10 µg/m3, the report said. It said that alarmingly India's high levels of air pollution have expanded geographically over time. “Compared to a couple of decades ago, particulate pollution is no longer a feature of the Indo-Gangetic plains alone. Pollution has increased so much in the states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. For example, the average person in those states is now losing an additional 2.5 to 2.9 years of life expectancy, relative to early 2000," the report said. For Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan, the AQLI data reveals that the average person would live 5.6 years longer if pollution were reduced to meet the WHO guidelines, it said. The benefits of clean air policy are even greater in the Indo-Gangetic plains, where 480 million people regularly breathe pollution levels that exceed those found in Europe and North America by an order of magnitude, the report said. Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan account for nearly a quarter of the global population and consistently rank among the top five most polluted countries in the world, it said. Narada row: Spl court Best decision for US: Biden defends Afghan departure summons 2 ministers Eminent persons urge govt to not allow any party PRESS TRUST OF INDIA STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 1 SEPTEMBER After the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the money trail in the Narada scam today filed chargesheets against five persons including three heavyweight leaders of the ruling Trinamul Congress and one IPS officer before a special CBI court at Bankshall court today. The five include state ministers Subrata Mukherjee, and Firhad Hakim, TMC MLA Madan Mitra, former Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee and IPS officer SMH Mirza. ED sources said that chargesheets against the five were filed under the Prevention of Money laundering Act.Taking cognizance of the chargesheet, the special court ordered issuance of summonses to the five named. While the summons against the three Trinamul Congress leaders, who are also the members of the Legislative Assembly, would be served through Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee and the summons against the remaining two would be sent to their respective addresses. All the five chargesheeted today were asked to depose before the agency at its CGO Complex at Salt Lake on 6 November. The ED said that investigations would also continue against the other leaders such as MPs Saugata Roy, Kakali Ghosh Dastidar, Prasun Banerjee and Suvendu Adhikari allegedly involved in the scandal. to use Afghan developments to polarise society WASHINGTON, 1 SEPTEMBER PRESS TRUST OF INDIA President Joe Biden vigorously defended the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of conflict, describing it as the “best” and the “right” decision for America which ended an era of major military deployments to rebuild other countries. In his address to the nation from the White House on Tuesday, Biden said there was no reason to continue in a war that was no longer in the service of the “vital national interest” of the American people. “My fellow Americans, the war in Afghanistan is now over,” NEW DELHI, 1 SEPTEMBER Families evacuated from Kabul walk through the terminal to board a bus after they arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport. AP Biden said. “I give you my word: With all of my heart, I believe this is the right decision, a wise decision, and the best decision for America,” he said. “I was not going to extend this forever war,” Biden declared from the White House. “And I was not going to extend a for- CMYK ever exit.”Biden's address to the nation came just 11 days before the 20th anniversary of the 11 September, 2001, terrorist attacks that precipitated the US intervention in Afghanistan. Biden said the real choice in Afghanistan was "between leaving Expressing concern over the situation in Afghanistan, a group of eminent persons, including former ministers K Natwar Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Mani Shankar Aiyar, on Wednesday urged the government to continue engaging with the Taliban and not allow any political party to use the developments in that country to communally polarise Indian society for electoral gains. In a statement, and escalating." “I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not extending a forever exit," he said. “We succeeded in what we set out to do in Afghanistan over a decade ago. And we the group, under the banner 'Indian friends of Afghanistan', said as the Afghans seek to embark on a path of peace, national reconciliation and national reconstruction, Indians stand in solidarity with them. The group said the people of India stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Afghanistan in these difficult times and asserted that the proud, patriotic and brave people of Afghanistan have defeated every invading army and continue to fight forces of extremism and terrorism. stayed for another decade. It was time to end this war,” he said. “This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. It's about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries."Biden has been widely criticised over the abrupt manner of the US withdrawal, which led to the unexpected collapse of the Afghan security forces US troops had trained and funded for years.
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