SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 17 OCTOBER 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 ANOTHER TAMIL STAR MAKES POLITICAL MOVE CONVULSIONS IN CHINA P6 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. One or two spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 32-25 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 026.6 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.97% TEMPERATURE P7 THUMBNAILS Also says he needs clarity at the level of ideology from party leaders Congress leader Rahul Gandhi leaves the AICC headquarters in New Delhi on Saturday. ANI NEW DELHI , 16 OCTOBER ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI, 16 OCTOBER C Former AIADMK leader VK Sasikala pays homage at the mausoleum of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa, at Marina Beach, in Chennai on Saturday ANI Petrol and diesel price on Saturday was hiked again by 35 paise a litre: With this hike, petrol is now at Rs 100-a-litre mark or more in all state capitals, while diesel has touched the 100-level in a dozen states. Diesel is nearing Rs 100-a-litre mark in Goal and Bengaluru. The price of petrol in Delhi rose to its highest-ever level of Rs 105.49 a litre and Rs 111.43 per litre in Mumbai, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers. This is the third straight day PG8 of 35 paise per litre hike in fuel prices. ED issues fresh summons to actor Jacqueline Fernandez: The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday issued fresh summons to Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez to appear before its Delhi office on Monday for questioning in connection with the Rs 200-crore money laundering case. ED issued a fresh summon to Jacqueline after the actor skipped interrogation in the case linked to conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar. The actress was unable to present herself before the ED officials on Saturday citing personal unavoidable reasons. Central govt asks states to ensure edible oil prices cut VIJAY THAKUR During the Congress Working Committee meeting in the Capital on Saturday. SNS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 16 OCTOBER Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday asserted that she is a full-time, hands-on party president, and that party leaders need not speak to her through the media, in a message clearly aimed at the section of party leaders who have been seeking organisational overhaul in the Congress. The Congress Working Committee , meeting on Saturday under the chairmanship of Gandhi, also flayed the Narendra Modi-led government over its alleged failures on economic, foreign policy and other fronts. “I have always appreciated frankness. There is no need to speak to me through the media. So let us all have a free and honest discussion. But what should get communicated outside the four walls of this room is the collective decision of the CWC,” she said. Seeking to underlined her role as a full time and hands on Congress p resident in the last two years, Sonia Gandhi appreciated the efforts of young party leadership in taking the party policies and programmes to the people. The meeting which came amid the current pandemic, saw the party's top leadership brainstorming on organisational matters and discussing the party's game plan for the early next year's assembly elections mainly in the electorally crucial state of Uttar Pradesh. In an attempt to assert the Congress role as a responsible Opposition party, Sonia Gandhi said whether it was farmers' agitation, provision of Covid relief, price rise, alleged atrocities on Dalits, adivasis and minorities, destruction of the PSUs, "Never have we let issues of public importance go unaddresseds." Gandhi) will become (the party president) or not is up to him. Everybody is of the opinion that Rahul Gandhi should become the party president,” she said. Rain wreaks havoc in Kerala,6 dead, many reported missing STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, 16 OCTOBER RAIN WOES NEW DELHI, 16 OCTOBER The Centre has asked all oil producing states to ensure that the benefits of recent tax cut on edible oil ‘must’ be passed on to the end consumers especially during the ensuing festival season. Centre is hopeful that it would not only bring down the food inflation, but would also reduce the prices of edible oils by Rs 15 to 20 per kg. In a strong worded letter written to the main oil producing states including Rajasthn, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the Ministry of food and Public Distribution has expressed its displeasure that the benefit of duty cut on edible oil has not percolated down to the end consumers. The Ministry told all the states to take appropriate and immediate action to ensure that the prices of oil are brought down to commensurate levels in line with the import duty reductions. It directed all states to ensure that full benefit of duty reduction made by the Centre is passed on to the consumers in order to provide immediate relief from the prevailing high prices of Edible Oils. The Centre has been slashing custom duty on crude and refined edible oil for the past one year to stabilize edible oil prices, the Ministry said. Similarly, the basic duty on refined Palmolein Oil, refined Soyabean and refined Sunflower Oil has been slashed to 17.5per cent from the current 32.5per cent from 14 October . As many as 6 people have died and 17 people are feared missing as rains intensified and lashed several parts of Kerala since Friday night. Rains continue to lash in many part of the state at the time of writing. Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts are witnessing heavy rains that have brought back memories of the heavy showers during the 2018 floods. In Kottayam, at least 13 persons were reported missing following a landslide in Koottickal panchayat. Three bodies have been recovered so far. The Kanjirappally-Erattupetta road was flooded. Several houses in the area have been flooded. In Pathanamthitta a red alert has been declared in the Anathode dam and its catch- On the state government's request, the Army and Air Force have stepped in. Helicopters are on standby and all bases under Southern Air Command are on high alert. The heavy rains triggered a landslide at Kokkayar in Idukki. ment areas. Several low-lying areas in the district were inundated.The water level in Pampa, Achankovil and Manimala in Pathnamtthitta district rose. Authorities said bathing in Pampa would not be allowed as rain continues The heavy rains triggered a landslide at Kokkayar in Idukki. As per the reports, seven people went missing in the landslide. The district administrations of Thiruvananthapuram and Pathanamthitta have warned of raising the shutters of various dams.In Thiruvananthapuram, the district collector has asked people to limit their travels for emergency purposes. Four shutters of the Neyyar dam have been raised by 240 cm. Water-logging were reported from several parts in Thiruvananthapuram. The heavy rains and strong winds that had lashed the Central Kerala on Friday evening have left a trail of destruction across the region, inundating houses,damaging crops and knocking out power cables. Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki and Thrissur are on red alert for extremely heavy rainfall, the India Meteorological Department said on Saturday. P12 Singhu row: 15 Dalit community organisations meet NCSC head ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI, 16 OCTOBER Congress to elect new party chief in Sept ’22 Am full-time, hands-on party president: Sonia ongress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said he "will consider" becoming party chief again as senior leaders urged him to take the mantle at the meeting of Congress Working Committee, according to sources. “I will consider,” Rahul Gandhi is learnt to have said at the meeting at the request of senior leaders who urged him to become the party chief again.Sources said Rahul Gandhi also said he needs clarity at the level of ideology from party leaders.Some leaders said that till the polls, he should be made the working president, the sources added. In a reference to the recent rebellion of the G-23 leaders who questioned the Congress leadership in the aftermath of the Punjab crisis, Sonia Gandhi at the CWC meeting said she is a full-time and hands-on Congress president.Senior party leader Ambika Soni said after the meeting that everyone in the party is of the opinion that party Rahul Gandhi should become the party president. “Everybody agreed unanimously, whether he (Rahul BCCI WANTS DRAVID TO BE INDIA’S CHIEF COACH P10 Will consider becoming party chief again: Rahul Min. 63% Max: 33.3 °C(+1) Min: 24.1 °C(-1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:33 hrs 17:10 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 14:52 hrs 1:29 hrs Full Moon on 20 October UK AUTHORITIES CALL FATAL STABBING OF MP TERRORIST ACT The Congress on Saturday announced that elections to elect a new party chief will be held next year between 21 August and 20 September. The announcement was made by party general secretary KC Venugopal after a meeting of the Congress Working Committee.”Election of the AICC president will be held between 21 August 2022, and 20 September 2022,” Venugopal said. He also said that the party is going for a massive training programme from top to bottom. “Workers and leaders at all levels will be trained in party ideologies, policies, expectations of workers,grassroots messaging, election management, failure of the present government and countering propaganda,” he said. The membership campaign begin from 1 November till 31 March next year. The elections for the block committees will begin from 1 April, 2022. Sonia Gandhi is the interim chief of the party. She agreed to be interim chief months after Rahul Gandhi stepped down over the party's debacle in 2019 polls.Members of G23 have been pressing for elections to elect a new party chief and also for ANI CWC. Fifteen organisations of Dalit community on Saturday met Vijay Sampla, Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), and handed over written complaints demanding strict action against those responsible for the brutal murder of a man whose mutilated body was found hanging on Friday at the site of farmers' protest near Singhu border. Sampla said they are expecting a report from the Haryana government over the incident and will decide the next course of action. “Today various organizations of Dalit community met me and have given written complaints against the Singhu border incident. All want that strict action should be taken for the brutal murder of Lakhbir Singh at Singhu border,” Sampla Singhu border killing accused sent to 7 days police custody: The accused in the Singhu border incident where a mutilated body was found hanging on Friday at the site of farmers' protest, has been sent to seven days police custody by the court on Saturday. The accused has been identified by the police as Sarvajeet Singh who was earlier detained from Sonipat on Friday. Another Nihang Sikh surrenders: The second accused, a Nihang Sikh identified as Parminder Singh, in the Singhu border lynching incident, on Saturday surrendered at a gurdwara before the police in Jandiala Guru in Amritsar district in Punjab amidst the presence of a huge number of sympathisers. said. “We have already sent a notice to DGP Haryana and chief secre- tary to take strict action and have also asked for return report. We are expecting a report by this evening and then we will decide what action needs to be taken. If needed, I will also go there. I am planning to go to his home town Tarn Taran in Punjab,” he added. He alleged that farmer leaders had “washed off their hands” of the entire incident “ but “it's not correct”. National Schedule Caste Alliance, Bhartiya Baudh Sangh, Ravidas Vishawa Mahapeeth (Delhi), Valmiki Maha Panchayat were among the organisations that met the NCSC chairman. Bhartiya Baudh Sangh president Bhante Sanghpriya Rahul said they were distressed over the incident.An FIR has been registered in the case. The police said Lakhbir Singh (36), worked as a labourer and had no criminal record or affiliation with any political party. WITH A HEAVY HEART A Goddess Durga idol being immersed in Ganga in Kolkata on Saturday. DEEPRO BISWAS Wanted LeT man, 2 civilians killed in J-K STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 16 OCTOBER One of the most wanted Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Umar Mushtaq Khandey, who had some time back shot two policemen, was among two terrorists killed on Saturday in an encounter with security forces in the Drangbal area of south Kashmir’s Pampore. Two civilians from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were also shot dead by terrorists in the Valley. A joint team of the Army, CRPF and J&K Police cordoned the area in wee hours after receiving inputs about the presence of terrorists in the village. An ‘A++ categorised’ terrorist Khandey was listed among the top ten most wanted terrorists. IGP(Kashmir)Vijay Kumar said Khander had killed two policemen Mohammad Yousuf and Suhail Ahmad Security personnel inspect an area near an encounter site, in Pampore on Saturday. ANI while they were having tea. The two neutralized terrorists were involved in several other crimes. “We are committed to hunt down these terrorists who try to create fear among masses and spread mischief and tumult in the valley. Such elements and their names should be excised from the society”, said the IGP . Bihar resident Arvind Kumar, who was a street vendor, was shot dead in the downtown Eidgah area of Srinagar. Separately, a car- penter from UP, Sageer Ahmad, was shot dead by terrorists in Pulwama.Meanwhile heavily armed terrorists abducted a civilian Shakeel Ahmad Sofi from Niloora village in Pulwama district. Shakeel is brother of a terrorist who was recently arrested from the village. On the other hand, Para Special Forces of the Army have joined the counter terrorists operation in the Poonch district that entered sixth day on Saturday with the martyrdom of nine soldiers so far but not a single casualty of terrorists. The encounter that started on 10 October near the Dera-ki-Gali in Surankot has stretched long with the terrorists shifting their hideout in the dense forest area. Five soldiers, including a JCO were killed in an ambush on the first day of the encounter. Two soldiers from Uttrakhand, 26year-old Rifleman Vikram Singh Negi and 27-year-old Rifleman Yogambar Singh were killed near the Nar Khas forest area on Thursday. The bodies of a Junior Commissioned Officer and another jawan who had been missing were found today, taking the Army toll to nine. Army helicopters and drones were trying to spot the Pakistani terrorists who are believed to have infiltrated through the LoC. The Army established contact with terrorists thrice but they managed to escape. The latest location of terrorists was at Bhata Dhurian village in Mendhar along the Rajouri-Poonch highway. The highway has been shut for civilian traffic. The continuing gunfight indicates that the terrorists were heavily armed and were carrying a good amount of ammunition. J&K DGP Dilbag Singh reviewed the security in a high-level meeting in Srinagar. India to touch 100 crore vaccination mark next week: Mandaviya INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 16 OCTOBER Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Saturday that India will achieve the target of 100 crore Covid vaccinations in the coming week. “We have administered over 37 lakh vaccines by this time today. We will achieve the target of 100 crore vaccinations in the coming week,” said Mandaviya. The minister made the remark after launching India's Covid vaccination anthem along with petroleum minister Hardeep Singh Puri . The audio-visual number produced and sung by noted singer Padma Shri Kailash Kher seeks to remove the false narrative and hesitancy surrounding Covid vaccination among the people. Mandaviya said the anthem is the result of the government's holistic approach to fight the pandemic, adding that the Petroleum Ministry came up with the idea of the anthem to remove vaccine hesitancy. He said the song will create awareness among the masses about the efficacy of vaccination. The minister said that over 74 per cent of the eligible population in India has received the first dose of the Covid vaccine, while the second shot has been administered to over 30 per cent of the eligible population. Puri said, “Because of health minister Mandaviya's tireless work under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we are going the achieve the tar- India logs 15,981 new cases, 166 deaths India reported 15,981 new cases, 5.7% lower than yesterday, and 166 deaths in the last 24 hours, Union Health Ministry said in New Delhi on Saturday.With 166 new fatalities in last one day the overall death toll mounted to 4,51,980, the Ministry said, adding that the single-day cases have remained less than 20,000 for the last eight days.With the recovery of 17,861 patients in the last 24 hours, the cumulative tally of recovered patients rose to 3,33,99,961.Consequently, India's recovery rate has also climbed to 98.08 per cent.The active caseload is presently 2,01,632, which is the lowest in 218 days.Delhi recorded zero death and 26 more cases on Friday, according to the official data. Bengal:Bengal registered 443 fresh cases and 10 deaths. The total case count is 15,79,906 and death toll is 18,963 in the state till now while there are 7,445 active cases. get of one billion vaccination within a few days. This is a great achievement and the journey is still on.” He said the vaccination programme has become a 'Jan Andolan' now in the country. 3,40,53,573 Beneficiaries at a vaccination centre in Mumbai. IMF commends India’s ‘swift, substantial’ response to Covid INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE UNITED NATIONS, 16 OCTOBER 2,01,632 15,981 17,861 4,51,980 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 16 OCTOBER 2021 The International Monetary Fund has commended Indian authorities' "swift and substantial" response to the pandemic and noted that there is the possibility of "a faster than expected recovery". "Directors commended the authorities' response to the pandemic which includes scaled-up support to vulnerable groups, monetary policy easing and liquidity provision, accommodative finan- cial sector and regulatory policies, and continued structural reforms,” the IMF said. “The authorities' economic response, which was swift and substantial, has included fiscal support, including scaled-up support to vulnerable groups, monetary policy easing, liquidity provision, and accommodative financial sector and regulatory policies. "Despite the pandemic, the authorities have continued to introduce structural reforms, including labour reforms and a privatisation plan," it added.
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