TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 14 SEPTEMBER 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P9 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. Light rain/thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 34 and 25 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 003.5 Mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 97% Min: 73% Max: 33.4°C (0) SUN RISES 06:06 hrs MOON RISES 13:39 hrs P3 Min: 26.5°C (+1) SUN SETS 18:27 hrs MOON SETS 00:01 hrs SC reserves order on pleas seeking probe into Pegasus snooping row SNS & PTI able to the apex court. SC TO PASS INTERIM ORDER THUMBNAILS An overcast sky over river Ganga. In Kolkata on IANS Monday. Retail inflation eases to 5.3 pc in Aug: Subdued prices of food items like vegetables pulled down retail inflation for the third month in a row to 5.3 per cent in August, within the RBI's comfort zone. While the Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based retail inflation declined to 5.3 per cent in August from 6.69 per cent in the same month a year ago, food inflation dipped at a much faster pace to 3.11 per cent from 9.05 (P8) per cent in August 2020. SC Collegium okays 3 judges for Gauhati HC: The Supreme Court Collegium has approved a proposal for appointment of three additional judges as permanent judges in the Gauhati High Court. Headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, the Collegium approved the proposals at a meeting held on 9 September which were uploaded on the apex court website on Monday. Pak Intelligence Operative's aide held in Ludhiana: A Ludhiana man working for a female Pakistan Intelligence Operative to honey trap defence personnel for her was arrested on Monday, said police. Ludhiana Police Commissioner Naunihal Singh said Jaswinder Singh of village Uchi Daud was arrested on secret inputs provided by Air Force Intelligence Unit, Jodhpur. During the investigation, Jaswinder was found in active contact with the PIO who had introduced herself as Jasleen Brar from Bathinda. � Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the top court bench that the government does not wish to file a detailed affidavit in the matter as the issue whether particular software is used or not by the government is not a matter for public discussion T he Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday that it does not wish to file a detailed affidavit on a batch of petitions seeking independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping row, while the top court said it would pass an interim order on the issue. The Centre has refused to file a detailed affidavit clarifying whether Pegasus spyware was used or not. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, that if the government re-thinks about filing a detailed affidavit in the case, he can mention the matter before it. The top court bench told the Centre that beating around the bush would not take the issue anywhere. “We are reserving order. We will pass some interim order. It will take two-three days. If you have some re- You (Solicitor General) have repeatedly been saying that the Government does not want to file an affidavit. Mr Mehta, you have been beating around the bush and that is not the question here SUPREME COURT BENCH HEADED BY CJ N V RAMANA thinking on this, you can mention the matter before us,” the bench, also comprising justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, told the law officer. “You (Solicitor General) have repeatedly been saying that the Government does not want to file an affidavit. We also do not want any security issues to be put before us. You say that a committee will be formed and the report will be submitted...We have to look into the whole issue and pass an interim order,” the bench said, adding, “Mr Mehta, you have been beating around the bush and that is not the question here". During the hearing, Mehta told the bench that the government does not wish to file a detailed affidavit in the matter as the issue whether particular software is used or not by the government is not a matter for public discussion and making this a part of an affidavit will not be in national interest. He said the government has “nothing to hide” and that is why the Centre has on its own said that it will constitute a committee of domain experts who will look into these allegations. Mehta said that report of the committee of domain experts will be made avail- The top court told Mehta that it had already made clear that it did not want the government to disclose anything which compromises national security. On 7 September, the apex court had granted more time to the Centre to decide on filing a further response on the petitions after Mehta had said that due to some difficulties he could not meet the officials concerned to take a decision on the filing of the second affidavit. The Centre had earlier filed a limited affidavit in the top court saying the pleas seeking an independent probe into the Pegasus snooping allegations are based on “conjectures and surmises or on other unsubstantiated media reports or incomplete or uncorroborated material”. The pleas are related to reports of alleged snooping by government agencies on eminent citizens, politicians and scribes by using Israeli firm NSO’s spyware Pegasus. Tamil Nadu tables anti-NEET Bill CHANGE OF GUARD STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE CHENNAI, 13 SEPTEMBER New Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel takes oath on Monday. � TWITTER (SEE P5) The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday adopted a Bill to dispense with the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) and provide for admission to medical courses based on Class XII marks to ensure social justice, as the death by suicide of a medical aspirant fearing outcome of the test echoed in the House with the opposition AIADMK targeting the government over (See P4) the incident. 2 children die as building collapses in North Delhis Sabzi Mandi area SNS & PTI Probe ordered; civic body to reassess dangerous buildings NEW DELHI, 13 SEPTEMBER A four-storeyed building in north Delhi's congested Sabzi Mandia area collapsed on Monday, killing two brothers who were passing by with their mother and were trapped under the debris, officials said. The two children were aged seven and 12, the police said, adding that a case has been registered against a man named Mohak Arora who had undertaken the renovation work on the ground floor of the building. The police said 72-year-old Ramji Das, who was also trapped under the debris and suffered a head injury, was rescued and PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Hours after the collapse of an old four-storeyed building in Sabzi Mandi in north Delhi, the area's civic body on Monday ordered a probe into the incident and decided to reassess condition of all dangerous buildings across its six zones. About 700 buildings located in areas under the jurisdiction of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation were declared as dangerous structures in a premonsoon survey by it, senior officials said. And, 20 structures were in total declared as dangerous in the Malka Ganj ward, where the building that collapsed on Monday was located, the civic body said. Promoted by the incident, the Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Goel on Monday ordered a probe into it and sought a report on it in seven days. “An inquiry has been ordered by the Commissioner, NDMC of danger, they said. The ground floor of the building, believed to be 75- years-old, was being used for commercial purpose while the rest was residential. A car NEW DELHI, 13 SEPTEMBER During a rescue operation after the collapse of a building in the SNS Capital on Monday. rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. He is stated to be out CRICKET WILL SEE A LOT MORE DEPENDENCE ON TECHNOLOGY, SAYS KUMBLE P12 P8 Centre to SC: Will not file Pegasus affidavit NEW DELHI, 13 SEPTEMBER TEMPERATURE OLA E-SCOOTER FACTORY TO BE LARGEST ALL-WOMEN PLANT PROTEST AGAINST CENTRE, NOT IN PUNJAB: CAPT TO FARMER UNIONS TALIBAN GOVTS DEPUTY PM TRASHES NEWS OF HIS DEATH into this unfortunate incident to be conducted by the Building Department (HQ), and directed for submission of report within seven days. Further, necessary action against delinquent official, if any, will be taken after receipt of the report,” the NDMC said in a statement. The commissioner said a fresh assessment of all the dangerous buildings identified in the last survey across the six zones of the NDMC will be conducted. parked nearby was severely damaged as the debris from the (P 2) building fell on it. 27K new cases; 4.7 percent dip in daily Covid infections STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 SEPTEMBER India on Monday witnessed a significant decline in daily new cases of Covid19 infections for the last consecutive two days, according to the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry data. India reported less than 30,000 new infections, 291 deaths in 24 hours. A single-day rise of 27,254 coronavirus infections pushed the overall tally to 33,264,175. “Of 27,254 new Covid19 cases and 219 deaths reported in the last 24 hours in India, Kerala recorded 20,240 Covid-19 cases and 67 deaths,'' the Health Ministry said. In last 24 hours, during this period, active cases of Covid infections also declined by nearly 10,652 and now stand at 3,74,269. The total toll, ie Covidrelated deaths mount to SLIGHT DECLINE � Of 27,254 new Covid19 cases and 219 deaths reported in the last 24 hours in India, Kerala recorded 20,240 cases and 67 deaths � In the last 24 hours, active cases of Covid infections also declined by nearly 10,652 3,74,269 27,254 44,28,74 with 219 daily fatalities added on Monday, according to the data. “The Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.51 per cent,” the health ministry said. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.26% per cent. It has been less than 3 per cent for the past 14 days. The top five states that have registered the maximum number of cases in the past 24 hours are Kerala at 20,240 new Covid cases. Kerala is followed by Tamil Nadu with 1,608 cases, Andhra Pradesh Covid vaccination drive in full throttle: India crosses 75-crore mark � So far, all adult people in six states and UTs~ Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Ladakh and Lakshadweep~ have received at least one dose 3,32,64,175 37,687 4,42,874 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2021 with 1,190 cases, Karnataka with 803 cases and West Bengal. Delhi logs 17 fresh cases: The national capital recorded 17 new Covid cases, while the positivity rate stood at 0.04 percent, according to data shared by the Delhi health depart(P 2) ment on Monday. Veteran Cong leader Oscar Fernandes passes away Congratulations India! In the 75th year of independence, the country has crossed the figure of 75 crore vaccinations. MANSUKH MANDAVIYA UNION HEALTH MINISTER PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 13 SEPTEMBER India has crossed the landmark of administering 75 crore Covid vaccine doses, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said Monday. He said the country’s vaccination drive continues to create new dimensions under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and with his mantra of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Prayas (together with everybody, with everybody’s efforts”. “Congratulations India! In the 75th year of independence, the country has crossed the figure of 75 crore vaccinations,” the health minister tweeted with hashtags #SabkoVaccineMuftVaccine and #AazadiKaAmritMahotsav. So far, all adult people in six states and union territories~ Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Ladakh and MANGALURU, 13 SEPTEMBER Veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister Oscar Fernandes MP died at a private hospital here on Monday afternoon, family sources said. He was 80 and is survived by his wife and two children. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish over the death of the veteran Congress leader. “Saddened by the death of Rajya Sabha MP Shri Oscar Fernandes ji. In this sad hour, my thoughts and prayers are with his family and well wishers,” the Prime Minister said. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, while offering his condolences, said his death was a personal loss for him. “It is a personal loss for me. He was a guide and mentor to many of us in the Congress party,” he tweeted. Fernandes was hospitalised in July after suffering a fall at his house while doing his regular exercise. In his five decade long political career, Fernandes represented Udupi constituency in the Lok Sabha five times and was elected to the Rajya Sabha four PTI times. Lakshadweep~ have received at least one dose of the vaccine. India took 85 days to touch the 10crore vaccination mark, 45 more days to cross the 20crore mark and 29 more days to reach 30 crore, Mandaviya said. The country took 24 days to reach 40 crore from 30 crore doses and then 20 more days to cross the 50-crore vaccination mark on August 6. It took 19 more days to go past the 60-crore mark and took only 13 days to reach 70 crore from 60 crore on Sep 7. The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16. WHO approval for Covaxin this week: The World Health Organization (WHO) is likely to grant approval to India’s indigenously manufactured Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, for an emergency use listing (EUL), this week, sources said on Monday. Industrial parks: Bengal govt to tweak policy India offer to play two Medvedev ends Djokers dream of calendar Slam additional matches STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 13 SEPTEMBER NEW DELHI, 13 SEPTEMBER The Mamata Banerjee Cabinet today approved amendment of the existing policy for setting up private industrial parks to facilitate private investors who are keen to invest in plots in the city and adjoining areas. The West Bengal government will amend the private industrial park policy that was introduced in 2014 for developing private industrial parks in and around Kolkata. The minimum area for developing private industrial parks in Kolkata, KMDA area, Howrah and North and South 24 Parganas has been relaxed from 20 to 5 acre. The Board of Control for Cricket in India has offered to play two extra Twenty20 Internationals in England next year following the lastminute cancellation of the fifth Test in Manchester owing to Covid-19 concerns. According to a Daily Mail report, “However, the offer~ designed to ease a potential shortfall of 40 million pounds in English cricket’s already stretched budget~ would be instead of, not as well as, the rescheduled Test. The offer of a rescheduled Test still stands.” The Old Trafford Test was cancelled on Friday barely two hours before its scheduled start as the tourists, who were leading the series 2-1, ASSOCIATED PRESS failed to field a side after their physiotherapist tested positive for Covid-19. “The players refused to play but you can’t blame them,” BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly said, denying the cancellation had anything to do with the IPL. It is an argument many people in the industry will not accept. The whole thing may depend on whether the various broadcasters, who paid 25 million pounds for the rights to the Old Trafford Test, would be willing to settle for two evenings’ cricket rather than five full days. India will be back in England next summer for three T20 and three One-Day Internationals, all squeezed into the first fortnight in July. NEW YORK, 13 SEPTEMBER A game from the end of his bid for what would have been the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men’s tennis since 1969, Novak Djokovic covered his face with a towel, hiding his tears during a changeover. For 27 Grand Slam matches in 2021, on hard courts, clay courts and grass, Djokovic could not be deterred, could not be beaten. Needing one more victory, in the US Open final on Sunday against Daniil Medvedev, to complete a season sweep of major titles and to claim the record 21st of his career, Djokovic could not come through. Outplayed by someone using a similar style to his own, Djokovic came up just short of those two historic mile- Relief. I was glad it was over, because the buildup for this tournament, and everything that mentally, emotionally, I had to deal with throughout the tournament in the last couple of weeks, was just a lot NOVAK DJOKOVIC stones, losing 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to first-time major champion Medvedev at Arthur Ashe Stadium. What was in Djokovic’s thoughts as he sat there on the sideline, knowing full well that his quest was moments from its conclusion? “Relief. I was glad it was over, because the buildup for this tournament, and everything that mentally, emotionally, I had to deal with throughout the tournament in the last couple of weeks, was just a lot. It was a lot to handle,” Djokovic said at his news conference. “I was just glad that, finally, the run is over. At the same time, I felt sadness, disap- pointment and also gratitude for the crowd and for that special moment that they've created for me on the court.” He won the Australian Open in February, beating Medvedev in the final in straight sets, the French Open in June and Wimbledon in July, pulling even with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slam titles, the most for a man in the history of a sport that dates to the 1800s. The last man to complete a true Grand Slam in a single season remains Rod Laver, who did it twice in 1962 and 1969. The last woman to accomplish the feat was Steffi Graf in 1988. “I do feel sorry for Novak, because I cannot imagine what he feels,” said Medvedev, a 25-year-old from Russia who had been 0-2 in major finals. “Knowing that I managed to stop him, it definitely makes it sweeter, and brings me confidence for what is to come.” Djokovic, a 34-year-old from Serbia, simply was far from his best on this particular day. “I know I could have, and should have, done better,” he said. (See also Pg 12)
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