MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 29 NOVEMBER 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR HIGH INFLATION? LOW POLLING? BLAME PANDEMIC A CAPITAL MESS P6 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Shallow fog in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 27 and 10 degrees Celsius respectively. P9 Omicron: Norms for int’l arrivals revised SNS & AGENCIES Min: 50% NEW DELHI, 28 NOVEMBER TEMPERATURE Max: 26.8°C (+1) SUN RISES 06:56 hrs MOON RISES 02:15 hrs P10 Min: 10.8°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:24 hrs MOON SETS 14:03 hrs THUMBNAILS Farmer protest leaders Rakesh Tikait, Yogendra Yadav, Darshan Pal Singh along with others raise hands during the Kisan Samagam, at Azad Maidan, in Mumbai on Sunday. ANI ED issues summons to Amazon India: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to Amazon India's management and Future Group promoter for questioning in a Foreign Exchange Management Act case. Amazon India's top management including its head Amit Agarwal was summoned by ED for next week. Sources said that they have been asked to join the probe on December 6. (P8) Facebook officials called before Parliamentary committee: Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT) has summoned representatives of Facebook on November 29 and will hear the views of representatives of Facebook India on the subject, with special emphasis on protecting citizens' rights and women's safety in digital social/ online news media platforms. The committee will also hear from officials of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on the same issues. 17 people dead in Nadia midnight road mishap PM, Mamata extend condolences T he Union Health Ministry on Sunday revised the guidelines for international arrivals in the wake of the appearance of the new Covid variant, Omicron, designated as a Variant of Concern by theWorld Health Organization (WHO). The new guidelines will be effective from 1 December. The Health Ministry, in a statement, said: "The existing guidelines have been revised in view of reporting of a new variant of SARS-CoV2 (B.1.1.529; named Omicron) which has been now classified as VOC by the WHO." The government said that international arrivals will now have to upload their 14day travel history and valid negative RT-PCR test reports on Air Suvidha portal before embarking on their journey to India. The RT-PCR test report should not be more than 72 hours old. Passengers travelling 3,45,72,523 1,05,691 8,774 9,481 4,68,554 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 28 NOVEMBER 2021 Do rigorous surveillance of passengers: Centre to states KOLKATA/NEW DELHI, 28 NOVEMBER INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 28 NOVEMBER The Centre on Sunday wrote to the states and UTs over the possible threat of new Covid variant B.1.1.529 which has been designated as the 'Variant of Concern' (VOC) by the World Health Organisation. The Centre has urged states and UTs to do rigorous surveillance of international passengers. “ln view of the possible threat that this VoC can pose to the nation, it is imperative that the intensive containment, active surveillance, increased coverage of vaccination and Covid Appropriate Behaviour must be enforced in the field in a very proactive manner to effectively manage this VoC", said the letter to the states and UTs. It is essential that the disease surveillance network in the country is geared up for rigorous follow up of all international travelers from all countries especially countries designated as “at risk”, it said. The letter said, there is already a reporting mechanism for obtaining past travel details of passengers coming through international flights. “This should be reviewed at your level and the protocol provided by this Ministry should be strictly ensured including testing on disem- barkation of international travelers coming from 'At Risk' countries and sending all positive samples for genome sequencing to INSACOG Labs in a prompt manner." The Centre also asked the states and UTs to enhance the Covid testing and strict monitoring of the hotspots. “ln all such hotspots saturation testing and sending of positive samples quickly for genome sequencing to designated INSACOG Labs must be ensured,” said the letter. from countries that are categorised as ‘at-risk’ will have to undergo testing on arrival. If the passengers test positive, their samples will be sent for genomic sequencing, and they will be sent to institutional quarantine. If they test negative, they will be asked to remain in home quarantine for seven days. The government has listed South Africa, China, the United Kingdom, European countries, Bangladesh, Brazil, Botswana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong, Singapore and Israel in the ‘At Risk’ segment. Travellers from nations other than the ‘at risk’ countries will be allowed to leave the airport but would be required to self-monitor their health for 14 days. The government also said that the decision on the effective date of resumption of scheduled commercial international passengers’ service from 15 December will be reviewed as per the evolv- ing global scenario in light of the new Covid variant.Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla chaired an urgent meeting this morning in this connection after Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday held a review meeting on the new Covid variant’. As many as 8,774 new Covid-19 cases and 621 deaths were recorded across India in the last 24 hours, while Bengal registered 715 fresh Covidcases and 12 deaths on Sunday. Grieving family members of the Nadia road accident victims at their Bagda residence on Sunday. SOUVIK DAS BISWABRATA GOSWAMI KRISHNAGAR, 28 NOVEMBER Seventeen persons including women and a minor were killed and seven others were injured after the vehicle in which they were travelling rammed into a stone-laden truck parked on the roadside at around 12.45 a.m. last night at Fulbari in Nadia. The victims, mostly residents of ParMadan Forest within Baghda police station limits of North 24Parganas, were travelling in a vehicle carrying the body of a deceased relative and were heading to Nabadwip in Nadia to perform the last rites. Of 17 people killed, there were 10 men, 6 women and a 5-year-old girl. At least seven others who suffered injuries were immediately taken to the Saktinagar district hospital in Krishnagar for treatment. Police said 13 persons were pronounced brought dead while four persons died in the Saktinagar district hospital within a few hours after admission. Among the injured, five persons were referred to a Kalyani or Kolkata hospital, but two of them refused Winter session: Having tasted blood, Opp will be aggressive DEEPAK RAZDAN NEW DELHI, 28 NOVEMBER Having tasted blood on farm laws, the Opposition will continue its aggressive stance towards the government during the Winter Session of Parliament, beginning tomorrow, and pursue Pegasus, price-rise and Lakhimpur Kheri violence issues. The government assured an all-party meeting today that it was ready to discuss all issues permitted by the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairman, but the 25day session, with 19 sittings, will be still as stormy as the Monsoon session. The Opposition wanted the Pegasus issue discussed to know why were Opposition leaders, activists and jour- nalists targeted by the spyware. After the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, there was a strong demand for resignation of Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra. The Trinamul Congress, a major Opposition party in the Rajya Sabha, may not attend tomorrow’s meeting convened by Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House Mallikarjun Kharge, but the party is crying foul over the BJP’s sweep of Tripura civil polls, and said the Opposition will unite over common issues. Kharge said the Opposition wanted Prime Minister Naren- BJP sweeps Tripura civic body polls, Trinamul emerges strong INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE AGARTALA, 28 NOVEMBER The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday secured a clean sweep while the Trinamul Congress emerged as a strong political force in the Tripura civic elections for which polling was held on November 25. Amid allegations of pre-poll violence by the opposition parties, the ruling BJP had earlier won 112 seats uncontested in seven urban local bodies in Jirania, Ranir Bazar, Mohanpur, Bishalgarh in western Tripura, Santir Bazar and Udaipur in southern Tripura and Kamalpur in northern Tripura. Elections were held on Thursday in the 51-member Agartala Municipal Corpora- P12 Govt also to revisit decision on resumption of international flights RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 97% KIWIS FACE AN UPHILL TASK CAN WORLD POWERS CURB IRAN IN NEW NUCLEAR TALKS? tion (AMC) and 171 seats in seven Municipal Councils and six Nagar Panchayats. The BJP candidates won in all the 51 seats in the AMC and 165 seats in the seven Municipal Councils and six Nagar Panchayats. According to State Election Commission officials, the main opposition party CPI-M won three seats in three municipal bodies in Kailashahar, Ambassa and Panisagar while the Trinamul Congress won one seat in Ambassa Municipal council. The Trinamul Congress secured over 20 per cent votes and second position in 27 of the 51 seats in the politically important AMC which has put up a big challenge to both the ruling BJP and the key opposition CPI-M led Left parties. However, the Left parties and the TMC did not put up candidates in all the 334 seats in the civic elections to the AMC and 19 other urban local bodies alleging unprecedented political violence, attacks and intimidations. TMC's national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in a series of tweets described the party's performance in the Tripura civic poll as their big success ahead of the 2023 assembly elections in the BJPruled Tripura. He tweeted: "This is despite the fact that we commenced our activities barely 3 months ago and BJP in Tripura left no stone unturned to butcher democracy in Tripura. Congratulations to all the brave soldiers of AITC in Tripura for their exemplary courage." dra Modi to explain the Government stand on the three farm Bills which are being repealed after farmers agitation. He said from the Prime Minister’s statement that he could not explain the benefits of the three laws to some people, it seemed that the controversial laws could be enacted once again. The all party meeting was not attended by the Prime Minister. The Government’s view towards the session was explained by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Kharge said there were about 15 to 20 issues raised by the Opposition parties at the meeting. All parties demanded that the Government should bring a Bill on MSP as demand, ed by the agitating farmers. The Opposition wanted the Electricity Bill dropped as there was unrest over the issue in Punjab. Kharge said the Government claimed that only five lakh people died in the Covid pandemic, but his information was more than 52 lakh dead. All those who died should get compensation Rs 4 lakh each, he said. He said 700 farmers who died during the farmers’ movement on Delhi border or elsewhere should also get compensation. There should be a debate on the likely third wave of Covid, he said. There were other issues like Chinese intrusions and price-rise along with a steep increase in petrol and diesel prices, which the Opposition wanted discussed. The Government had listed about 30 Bills, but their taking up will be decided by the Business Advisory Committee, Kharge said. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi hoped there would be no disruption of proceedings. The Government had requested the Opposition for this and was assured of a positive response, he said. The government hoped the session will be more productive this time, he said. Thirty-one parties, and their 42 leaders participated in the meeting, and there were constructive discussions and suggestions. The Government stand was explained by the Defence Minister. AAP MP Sanjay Singh walked out of the all party meeting that he was not allowed to raise the issue of MSP Bill. to go elsewhere. The family members of the victims pointed fingers at the hospital authorities alleging that the victims were not examined for several hours as there were no doctors on night duty in the hospital. “The situation was so terrible that the victims were crying for drinking water, but there were no health workers to provide water to them. Only one doctor was attending in the surgical room, but all the patients were attended by the nurses only,” said Bapi Biswas, a relative of the Mohori family. Sources in West Bengal Police say the preliminary enquiry suggests that the driver of the vehicle did not spot the parked truck as he was probably under the influence of alcohol and was driving the vehicle at high speed. Meanwhile, the state government announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh to each family of the deceased and the Nadia district magistrate Shashank Sethi in presence of state ministers Jyotipriyo Mallick and Ujjal Biswas handed over cheques to three families in the premises of Saktinagar district hospi- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expressed grief over the loss of lives in the road accident in Nadia and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund to the next of kin of the accident victims. Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said that she was “heartbroken” over the incident. “I offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and pray for the speedy recovery of those who were injured. May God give them the strength to get past this difficult time. The Government of West Bengal will extend every necessary assistance and support to the kin of the victims. We are beside you in this sad hour,” Miss Banerjee tweeted. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar also expressed their shock over the mishap and extended condolences to the kin of the deceased. SNS tal. Other families were also given cheques by the district magistrate of North 24-Parganas, even as Mr Mallick escorted the bodies to Baghda as the family members sought to take the bodies to their homes from Saktinagar hospital. NDA leaders chalk out strategy to counter Opp ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL KOLKATA, 28 NOVEMBER National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders held a meeting on Sunday before the beginning of the winter session of Parliament on Monday and chalked out the strategy to pass the 36 bills listed for this session and counter Opposition in both Houses of Parliament. Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Culture, Arjun Ram Meghwal said, "Government is ready to discuss on all issues in the Parliament and the allies of NDA stand united." National People's Party's Agatha Sangma Lok Sabha MP from Meghalaya requested the government to repeal Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the upcoming session of Parliament. "On behalf of my party and people of North-east I requested the government to repeal the CAA in same sorts of sentiments. As of now they have not given any response but they have taken detailed note of what the NDA floor leaders said in the meeting," Sangma told media after the meeting. The NPP MP further claimed that many leaders want to repeal the CAA adding that she has the support of many. "I do not want to mention names of the leaders or any party but I know that many leaders want to repeal this law and they are supporting me," she said. Details on Page 4 India is becoming a job creator: PM Modi STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 28 NOVEMBER From job seekers, India is not becoming a nation of job creator, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Sunday in his ‘Man Ki Baat’ while applauding the recent surge in start ups in the country. “This is the turning point of India's growth story, where people are now not only dreaming of becoming job seekers but also becoming job creators. This will further strengthen India's stature on the global stage,” the Prime Minister said. “A few years back if someone used to say that he wants to do business or wants to start a new company, then, the elders of the family used to answer that – “Why don’t you want to do a job.There is security in the job, there is salary. The hassle is also less. But, if someone wants to start their own company today, then all the people around him are very excited and also fully supportive,” the Prime Minister said. “These days, all we hear about from every corner is about Start-up, Start-up, Startup. It is true, this is the era of start-up, and it is also true that in the world of start-up, India is leading in a way in the world today. Start-ups are getting record investment year after year. This sector is progressing very fast,” he said while appreciating the efforts made by the young generation. “The reach of start-ups has increased even in small towns of the country. These days the word 'Unicorn' is in vogue. 'Unicorn' is a start-up whose valuation is at least 1 Billion Dollars, that is more than about seven thousand crore rupees. Till 2015, there used to be hardly nine or ten Unicorns in the country,” he said. But today India is flying high even in the world of Unicorns, he added. “In just 10 months, a unicorn is being raised in India every 10 days. This is also a big thing because our youth have achieved this success in the midst of the corona pandemic. Today there are more than 70 Unicorns in India,” he said. There are more than 70 start-ups that have crossed the valuation of more than 1 billion. Friends, due to the success of Start-Ups, everyone has noticed them and the way they are getting support from investors from all over the country and abroad. Perhaps, just a few years ago no one could have imagined this happening, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister also asked people to be more cau- tious on the Covid-19 front. He warned, “Don't forget that Corona has not gone yet. It is the responsibility of all of us to take precautions”. He further appealed to safeguard the environment, hailed the community efforts in rejuvenating rivers, planting trees and preventing soil erosion. In his address, the Prime Minister also saluted the country's soldiers ahead of the Navy Day and National Flag Day to be celebrated next month. He also saluted the security forces ahead of the golden jubilee of the 1971 war. “In the next 2 days we will be stepping into the last month of the year 2021 in which we will be celebrating Navy Day and National Flag Day. I would like to salute the brave sons and mothers who have been involved in the defence sector," he said.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.