SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 05 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 THAILAND PM SURVIVES NO CONFIDENCE VOTE ‘EXPECT TO HAVE REAL, INCLUSIVE GOVT IN AFGHANISTAN’ P10 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Thundershower likely to occur. Temperature most likely to be in the range of 34-27 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 0.5 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 95 % TEMPERATURE Max: 33.9 °C(+2) Min: 27.2 °C(+1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:20 hrs 17:51 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 02:26 hrs 16:15 hrs New moon on 7 September THUMBNAILS New Delhi’s Commissioner of Police Rakesh Asthana takes Guard of Honour during a Passing Out Parade at the Parade Ground, PTC, in the Capital on Saturday. SNS FIR over draping of Geelani's body in Pak flag: Police has registered an FIR against some relatives of hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for draping his body in a Pakistani flag after his death on Wednesday, officials said. A FIR has been registered by the Budgam police but no arrest made so far, they said Saturday. The separatist leader died Wednesday night at his Hyderpora residence after prolonged illness. Cong seeks SC probe into JEE exam paper leak: The Congress on Saturday demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the alleged manipulation of JEE Mains examination after the CBI arrested seven persons in this connection. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the nation owes the hard-working students a fair JEE exam, but the government "is better at providing cover-ups". Philippines lifts travel ban on India:The Philippines on Saturday decided to welcome travellers from India and nine other countries from 6 September. The announcement came even as the country recorded its second highest number of Covid cases with 20,310 infections on Friday, pushing the national tally to 2.04 million. Members from different Karbi groups wait outside North Block in New Delhi STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 4 SEPTEMBER The Centre today signed a tripartite Karbi Peace Agreement that will curb Karbi violence in Assam, while maintaining the State’s territorial integrity, giving greater autonomy to the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC), and protecting the Karbi identity. The agreement was signed in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The Central government said it will fulfill all conditions in the agreement within the designated time frame, thereby paving the way for long-lasting peace and development in the Karbi Anglong region. Under the agreement, over 1,000 armed cadres have abjured violence and joined the mainstream of society. A Special Development Package of Rs 1,000 crore over five years will be given by the Centre, and the Assam Government will undertake specific projects for the development of the Karbi areas. Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma; Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal; MoS for Home Affairs Nityanad Rai; and KAAC Chief Executive Member Tuliram Ronghang were present at the signing of the agreement. (See P4) P11 P5 SPANISH TEENAGER GIVES TSITSIPAS THE BUM’S RUSH P12 Bhabanipur bypoll, poll in Shooter Narwal, shuttler Bhagat two other seats on 30 Sept scoop a gold each Decision taken in view of “constitutional exigency” and special request by state govt: EC Min. 70 % Centre signs Karbi peace deal to curb violence SHAH: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION CRUCIAL, GOOD POLICING MUST STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA/NEW DELHI, 4 SEPTEMBER he by-election in Bhabanipur Assembly constituency, from where state chief minister Mamata Banerjee is expected to contest, would be held on 30 September, along with elections to Samserganj and Jangipur seats where polls were kept in abeyance following the deaths of candidates, the Election Commission of India announced on Saturday. Election in Pipli Assembly seat in Odisha, where polling was similarly deferred, would be held on the same day. The Commission would issue Gazette notification for the election on 6 September, and counting of votes would take place on 3 October, said a senior officer of the Commission. The last date for filing of nomination is 13 September, while the T date for withdrawal of nominations had been scheduled on 16 September, the EC said. Earlier, the deferred elections and by-election were scheduled for 16 May, but they were postponed due to increasing cases of Covid-19 during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Election Commission, the decision to hold the by-election in Bhabanipur was taken on the request of the Bengal chief secretary, who assured the Commission that Covid is fully under control in the state. The chief secretary further said that since the chief minister was not a member of the Assembly, byelection should be held immediately to avoid any constitutional crisis and ‘vacuum in the top executive posts in the government’. Under Article 164 (4) of the Constitution of India, a minister or chief minis- ter will cease to be a minister if he is not a member of the Assembly for a period of six consecutive months. The commission, however, has decided not to hold by-elections in 31 other Assembly constituencies and three Parliamentary constituencies of other states which are vacant. The Commission had called a virtual meeting with the chief secretaries of the States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Adviser of UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu in this connection, and most of the Chief Secretaries had suggested not to hold elections before the festive season and also brought up constraints related to flood situations. The Odisha chief secretary told the EC that the Covid situation is under control and poll can be held in Pipli. Bhabanipur is one of five Assembly constituencies where by-polls were due. The other four Assembly constituencies where by-polls are due are Khardha, Gosaba, Shantipur and Dinhata. TMC candidate Sovandeb Chatterjee had earlier won from Bhabanipur seat during the Assembly polls but gave up the seat to pave the way for chief minister Mamata Banerjee to contest from the seat after having lost at Nandigram to BJP nominee Suvendu Adhikari in a cliff-hanger in the polls. Meanwhile, with the announcement of the poll dates, the EC has also issued strict Covid guidelines for conducting the polls, according to which, pre and post nomination procession and public meetings are prohibited. It has also made it clear that no roadshow would be allowed and imposed a blanket ban on bike and cycle rallies. Centre asks N-E, J&K to vaccinate 60+ group SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 4 SEPTEMBER The Centre on Saturday asked eight northeastern states, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir to focus on the second dose vaccination of the 60plus population, saying the coverage in some of these states was “unsatisfactory”. The vulnerability of people aged above 60 to Covid-19 makes this exercise of prime importance, the Centre said. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a review meeting with representatives from Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand and the northeastern states~ Arunachal Prad-esh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The states and union territories were also asked to quickly saturate the first dose coverage among the 18-plus population. The Health Ministry, in a statement, said that the attention of the states was brought to the fact that the administration of the first dose has progressively outpaced the administration of second dose. Meanwhile, India added 42,618 new Covid cases in last 24 hours making its total Coronavirus infection count to 3,29,45,907 even as 36,385 recoveries were registered in the same period, taking total recoveries to 3,21,00,001 and current daily positivity rate at 2.50 percent, according to Union Health Ministry data released on Saturday. A total of 330 fatalities in the same period pushed the death toll to 4,40,225. Bengal:West Bengal today registered 700 fresh Covid cases and 8 deaths with Kolkata recording 129 cases and 1 death. 3,29,45,907 4,05,681 42,618 36,385 4,40,225 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 04 SEPTEMBER 2021 India now have four gold, seven silver and six bronze medals to be placed 26th on the penultimate day of the Tokyo Paralympic Games PRESS TRUST OF INDIA TOKYO, 4 SEPTEMBER Shooter Manish Narwal smashed a Games record while shuttler Pramod Bhagat yet again asserted his supremacy with his goldwinning performance as India’s tally swelled to 17 after a four-medal show on a memorable penultimate day at the Tokyo Paralympics, here on Saturday. The 19-year-old Narwal shot a total of 218.2, a Paralympic record, for gold in P4 Mixed 50m Pistol SH1 event while Bhagat humbled UK’s Daniel Bethell in the men’s singles SL3 class final for a historic yellow metal. India now have four gold, seven silver and six bronze medals to be placed 26th with one day left in the Games. India had won just four medals in the last edition in Rio while the total count from the 1972 edition when the country competed for the first time till these Tokyo Games was 12. More medals are in store for India on the final day on with shuttlers Suhas Yathiraj and Krishna Nagar sailing into the men’s singles finals of SL4 class and SH6 class respec- tively. Tarun Dhillon stayed in contention for a bronze after losing his semifinals while the duo of Bhagat and Palak Kohli will also feature in the third-place play-off in the mixed SL3-SL5 class. Narwal smashed the Paralympic record to clinch India’s third gold of the current edition of the Games while compatriot Singhraj Adana bagged the silver to make it a sensational one-two finish for the country. Narwal, who holds the world record in the category, claimed the yellow metal in P4 Mixed 50m Pistol SH1 event in his debut Games. “I’m very happy,” said Narwal who hails from Ballabhgarh in Haryana. With badminton making its debut at the Paralympics this year, world champion and pre-tournament favourite Bhagat became the first Indian to win a gold medal in the sport while Manoj Sarkar bagged a bronze after defeating Japan’s Daisuke Fujihara in the third place play-off. The top seeded Bhagat, also Asian champion prevailed over second seeded Bethell in a thrilling final that lasted 45 minutes. See also Page 12 ISI chief rushes to Kabul amid delay in govt formation PM Modi may visit US in late Sept PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Taliban indicated they’d be reasonable: FS ISLAMABAD, 4 SEPTEMBER In a surprise move, Pakistan’s powerful intelligence chief Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed on Saturday dashed to Kabul, according to media reports here, amidst the Taliban struggling to finalise and install an inclusive government in Afghanistan that would be acceptable to the international community. The Taliban have postponed the formation of a new government in Afghanistan for next week, their spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said on Saturday. A delegation of senior Pakistani officials led by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lieutenant General Hameed arrived in Kabul In the limited engagement that India has had with the Taliban, the new Afghan rulers have indicated that they would be reasonable in addressing New Delhi’s concerns, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said. to conduct discussions with the incoming Taliban government, the Pakistan Observer reported. The ISI chief is expected to meet top Taliban leaders and commanders. “Issues relating to Pak-Afghan security, economy, and other matters will be taken up with the Taliban leadership,” the report said, quoting sources. According to the Express Tribune, Hameed will also meet Pakistan’s envoy in Govt revises NLEM, slashes prices of 39 common drugs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 4 SEPTEMBER In a bid to lower prices of essential drugs, the Central government has revised the ‘National List of Essential Medicines’ (NLEM) and slashed the prices of 39 commonly used drugs. The prices were slashed for the anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, antiviral, antibacterial, antiretroviral, anti-TB drugs, and also for some that are used in Covid treatment. The experts working on the NLEM list have deleted 16 odd drugs from the list. The commonly used drugs, which were brought under the price cap includes Teneligliptin ~ an anti diabetes drug, popular anti-TB drugs, Ivermectin~ used in Covid treat- ment, Rotavirus vaccine. The government had begun an exercise for the revision of the NLEM, which was notified in 2015 and implemented in 2016. It is a departure from the present practice, where all essential medicines automatically go under price control. The Standing National Committee on Medicines was tasked with preparing the list of which medicines should be available. The committee headed by Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR, send the list to a second committee comprising senior officials from NITI Aayog, Health Secretary and Secretary of Pharmaceuticals, which decides on which drugs are to be put under the price cap. Kabul to discuss the matter of repatriation and transit through Pakistan of foreign nationals and Afghans fleeing Taliban rule. Border management is another important issue that will come under discussion during the visit of Hameed, it said. Pakistan was often accused by the Afghanistan government of giving the Taliban military aid, a charge “Obviously, like us, they’re also watching carefully and we have to watch Pakistan’s actions with a fine tooth comb,” he told a group of Indian reporters at the end of his three-day official visit PTI to Washington DC. denied by Islamabad. The insurgent group was expected to announce on Saturday the formation of the new government in Kabul, likely to be led by the outfit’s co-founder Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar. This is the second time that the Taliban have delayed the formation of the new government in Kabul since they seized Kabul on 15 August. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 4 SEPTEMBER A visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US later this month is likely to depend on the finality over hosting of the first in-person summit of the Quad leaders by the Biden administration, people familiar with the development said on Saturday. The tentative schedule explored for the visit was between 22-27 September and the preparations were focused on three segments ~Modi’s address at the UN General Assembly in New York, participation at the proposed Quad summit in Washington and a bilateral meeting with President Joe Biden, they said. However, the sudden decision by Japanese Prime Min- The tentative schedule explored for the visit was between 22-27 September and the preparations were focused on three segments ~Modi’s address at the UN General Assembly in New York, participation at the proposed Quad summit in Washington and a bilateral meeting with President Joe Biden ister Yoshihide Suga to step down by the end of September triggered uncertainty over the US hosting of the in-person Quad summit as Tokyo is learnt to have requested for a hybrid format for the talks. The people cited above said there was no final decision yet on the proposed visit to the US by Modi in view of the uncertainty over the hold- ing of the Quad summit among the leaders of the US, India, Japan and Australia in Washington. The Afghan crisis as well as developments in the IndoPacific region could be the major focus areas for discussion between the two sides. India & US 2+2 dialogue to be held in Nov: The fourth annual 2+2 dialogue between India and the US would be held in November this year in Washington, according to Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla. Shringla, who arrived here on a three-day visit on Wednesday following his successful trip to New York, said: “We used this opportunity to have the 2+2 inter-sessional meeting at the joint secretary level. Trying to fill up vacancies in higher judiciary urgently: CJI PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 4 SEPTEMBER Terming the huge vacancies of judges as one of the “difficult challenges”, Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana on Saturday expressed hope that the government will ensure swift clearance of names recommended by the Collegium for appointment to high courts as it did for the apex court. The CJI’s statement comes a day after, in an unprecedented decision, the Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice Ramana recommended as many as 68 names in one go for appointment as judges in 12 high courts, including in Allahabad, Rajasthan and Calcutta, that are facing a severe crunch of judges. The CJI also said a comprehensive proposal for cre- CJI Ramana said a comprehensive proposal for creating the National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation is under preparation and will be sent to the government soon. The Supreme Court Collegium headed by the CJI on Friday recommended as many as 68 names in one go for appointment as judges in 12 high courts. ating the National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation is under preparation and will be sent to the government soon. “The judicial system is facing difficult challenges like that of deficient infrastructure, shortage of administrative staff and huge vacancies of judges,” the CJI said at a function organised by the Bar Council of India (BCI) to felicitate him. On the appoint- ments to the higher judiciary, the CJI thanked the Prime Minister and the Union Law Minister, who was present at the event, for the clearance to the nine names, recommended by the Collegium for appointment as judges to the apex court, at a “jet speed”. “I must thank the prime minister and law minister and the Government of India for clearing the names,” he said. The CJI said that it has been his endeavour to address the issue of vacancies in the higher judiciary on an "urgent basis" and noted that due to the collective efforts, the vacancy in the top court is now reduced to just one. “Similarly, after I took over, the Collegium has recommended, if I am not wrong, 82 names to various high courts. "I hope the government will ensure that the names are cleared at the earliest just the way the nine names were cleared for the apex court. It is an ongoing process. We hope to live up to the herculean challenge of filling nearly 41 percent vacancies existing in all the high courts,” he said. The CJI said in another month, he expects that 90 per cent of vacancies will be filled. He said he wanted to place on record his sincere thanks to his colleagues in the Collegium ~Justices U U Lalit, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao ~ for becoming active and constructive partners in this endeavour. The CJI also expressed concern over the low representation of women in the judicial system. Among those who attended the event were several sitting judges of the apex court, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, and office bearers and members of several bar bodies from across the country. On the issue of judicial infrastructure, Justice Ramana said he has prepared a report collecting information from every part of the country and he would send it to the law minister very soon.
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