CMYK FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 31 DECEMBER 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 BADAL CHALLENGES CONG TO NAME PUNJAB CM CANDIDATE KALICHARAN MAHARAJ ARRESTED FROM MP P4 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with mist/fog in the morning.Temperature likely to be in the range of 25-15 degrees Celsius. P5 P10 Bengal govt suspends UK flights from 3 Jan RAINFALL: 1.7 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY CM says restrictions cannot be imposed all across the state as it may impact economy Max.96% STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA 30 DECEMBER TEMPERATURE Max: 22.6 °C(-3) SUN RISES 06:15 hrs MOON RISES 02:15 hrs New moon on 03 Min. 68% Min: 16.6 °C(+3) SUN SETS 17:02 hrs MOON SETS 13:45 hrs January THUMBNAILS Indian players celebrate as they beat South Africa by 113 runs on the 5th day of the first Test cricket match between South Africa and India, at SuperSport Park, in Centurion on Thursday. ANI Two Pak terrorists killed in J&K: Two Pakistanis were among six terrorists killed on Thursday in two separate overnight encounters with security forces in the south Kashmir. An Army soldier was martyred and two soldiers and a policeman wounded during the encounters in Anantnag and Kulgam districts.IGP (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar has described killing of six terrorists of the Jaish-e-Mohammad as a major success.Four among the killed terrorists have been identified so far. China renames 15 places of AP in its map: Two days ahead of China implementing new border law, the Chinese government renamed 15 places of Arunachal Pradesh in its map.China's Ministry of Civil Affairs issued a statement stating that they have 'standardised' names for 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh, to be used on Chinese maps. This is the second time China has renamed the names of the places of Arunachal Pradesh. Way back in 2017, China had changed the names of six places. Centre okays addl assistance to six states under NDRF STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 30 DECEMBER The high-level committee, under the chairmanship of Union home minister Amit Shah, has approved additional central assistance to the tune of Rs 3063.21 crore under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), to six states, which were affected by floods, landslides and cyclones during 2021. The additional assistance approved includes for Cyclone ‘Tauktae’ Rs.1133.35 crore to Gujarat; for Cyclone ‘Yaas’Rs.586.59 crore to West Bengal; and for floods and/landslides during the South West Monsoon, 2021, Rs.51.53 crore to Assam, Rs. 504.06 Crore to Karnataka, Rs. 600.50 crore to Madhya Pradesh and Rs. 187.18 crore to Uttarakhand. This additional assistance is over and above the funds released by the Centre to the states in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), already placed at the disposal of the states. During the financial year 2021-22, the central government has released Rs. 17,747.20 crore to 28 states in their SDRF. Further Rs. 3,543.54 crore has been released to 7 states from NDRF. In the aftermath of Cyclone ‘Taukte’ and ‘Yaas’, Rs. 1,000 crore was released in advance from NDRF to Gujarat on 20 May and Rs. 300 crore to West Bengal on 29 May, During the year 2021-22, the central government had deputed 22 inter-ministerial central teams immediately after natural calamities, without waiting for the receipt of a memorandum from the affected states. he West Bengal government on Thursday announced a ban on all international flights coming from the United Kingdom to Kolkata, starting from 3 January, following a sudden rise in the number of Covid cases in the state. The suspension order will remain in effect until further orders, the government said. Banerjee today urged the Centre to impose restrictions on international flights coming from countries where Omicron cases are high. Banerjee said that cases in Kolkata were rising as it was a transit point for people travelling on trains and flights. “Let’s see what the Civil Aviation does about it. Most omicron cases are being detected among people coming on flights from the UK. It’s a fact that the omicron carriers are coming via international flights. The Centre must decide on imposing restrictions on flights from countries where omicron cases are high. This should be done in the public interest,” she said prior to boarding the helicopter to Kolkata after her three-day trip to Sagar Island to take stock of the preparations. Passengers coming from other non-at-risk countries by international flights to West Bengal will have to mandatorily undergo a test on arrival at their cost. “Flights, which is an atrisk country as notified by MOHFW, Government of India, will not be allowed in ‘SHAMI AMONG TOP 3 SEAMERS IN THE WORLD’ GHISLAINE MAXWELL CONVICTED IN EPSTEIN CASE STRICT VIGILANCE T Chief minister Mamata Banerjee at Sagar Island in South 24-Parganas on Thursday. SNS All passengers coming from other non at-risk countries by international flights to Bengal will have to mandatorily undergo a test on arrival at their cost. All passengers have to mandatorily pre-book the test before boarding to reduce waiting time on arrival, which the airlines must ensure prior to allowing the boarding The airport authorities may be asked to augment the holding capacity of the arrival lounge on the international side and also increase the number of testing counters the State and any NOCs which have been issued stand withdrawn……..Allpassengers coming from nonrisk countries will have to mandatorily undergo Covid test on arrival (Airline to select 10 percent of the total passengers for RTPCR test and the remaining 90per cent to undergo RAT test on arrival),” read the state government’s letter to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The state government said that all passengers have to mandatorily prebook the test before boarding to reduce waiting time on arrival, which the airlines must ensure prior to allowing the boarding. Accordingly, the airport authorities may be asked to augment the holding capacity of the arrival lounge on the international side and also increase the number of testing counters so as to reduce the waiting time for the passengers at the airport. The state government said that the airlines may be requested to evenly space out the flight arrivals in Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata in consultation with the Airport Director and the state nodal officer so as to reduce waiting time. Stating that no restrictions would be imposed on Gangasagar Mela, Banerjee hit out at the Centre over holding the annual event saying “they should think about Kumbh Mela” and questioned “were restrictions imposed during Kumbh Mela?” “They (Centre) are only worried about Gangasagar, they should think of Kumbh Mela. We can’t stop people coming to Gangasagar Mela from UP Bihar and other , parts of the country. Those who come here will follow Covid protocols,” she said. The Gangasagar Mela would be held from 8 to 16 January and the state administration expects a footfall of 25 to 3 lakh this year. Drones and CCTVs have been deployed on the mela grounds for crowd management and monitoring social distancing norms. Banerjee today clarified that restrictions cannot be imposed all across the state as it may impact the economy as it was since the onset of the pandemic. She said that the administration was closely reviewing the situation and restrictions would be imposed in areas recording higher cases. “We have to look after the safety and security of the people. We will soon make a decision. We will target places where the cases are going up.We cannot impose restrictions everywhere because that may affect the economy as it has in the last two years,” she said.With a sharp rise in cases in the city and adjoining areas, she has asked officials to identify containment zones in the city . Cases in the state doubled in the last 24 hours with Bengal on Thursday registering 2128 fresh cases and 12 deaths compared to 1089 cases recorded yesterday. In Kolkata, cases spiked from 540 to 1090 in a single day and 4 deaths. North 24 Parganas recorded 315 cases compared to 145 cases yesterday and 2 deaths in the last 24 hours. P12 Centre writes to 8 states, UTs to gear up amid surge STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 30 DECEMBER The Centre on Thursday wrote letters to eight states and union territories (UTs) over the rise in number of new Covid cases. The letter has been addressed to those states reporting increased numbers of Covid and Omicron variant cases. The letter has been written to the health secretaries of Haryana, Delhi, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan directed these states to take measures as there has been an increase in Covid cases and lessening of doubling time. These states have been told to enhance test- 3,48,22,040 82,402 13,154 7,486 4,80,860 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. THURSDAY 30 DECEMBER 2021 ing, strengthen hospitallevel preparedness, increase pace and coverage of vaccination. The Center has also directed the states to enhance the testing in a focused manner with maintaining the ratio between RT-PCR and Rapid ‘90 pc of adult population vaccinated with 1st dose’ ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI , 30 DECEMBER Approximately 90 per cent of the adult population in India has been vaccinated against Covid with the first dose, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday. Briefing media persons, Luv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry said, “Approximately 90 per cent of the adult population in India has been vaccinated against Covid with the first dose. On average, India reported more than 8,000 cases per day last week. Overall case positivity rate stands at 0.92 per cent. From 26 December onwards, the country has been reporting 10,000 daily cases.” “The weekly positivity rate of more than 10 per cent is being noted in eight districts including six districts of Mizoram, one from Arunachal Pradesh and Kolkata in Bengal.” “The weekly case positivity rate is between 510 per cent in 14 districts of the country. There are 961 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus in India, out of which 320 patients have recovered,” he added. Antigen Test (RAT). The states have been advised to go for proactive contact tracing and isolation and quarantine of the contacts of positive cases, their testing and follow up. The states have also been told to speed up the Covid vaccination coverage along with enforcing the Covid Appropriate Behaviour. Omicron count spirals to 961: The count of Omicron variant cases in the country reached 961 with maximum cases reported from Delhi (263) and Maharashtra (252) even as 320 people have been discharged after recovery. Out of the total 263 Omicron cases detected in Delhi, 57 of them have been discharged. Gujarat with 97 Omicron cases is the third highest state in India. Covid vaccines prevent death, not infection spread: ICMR STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 30 DECEMBER As the numbers of Covid and Omicron infections surged across the country on Thursday, Indian Council of Medical Research Director General, Dr Balram Bhargava said all vaccines do not prevent infection transmission and are primarily diseasemodifying. “All vaccines, whether they are from India, Israel, US, Europe, are primarily diseasemodifying. They do not prevent infection. The precautionary dose is primarily to mitigate the severity of infection, hospitalization and death,” he said. Finance Ministry denies reports of J&K terror funding :Chargesheet filed against manipulation in perfume raid case Hurriyat leader for selling MBBS seats in Pak STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 30 DECEMBER Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) on Thursday refuted news reports appearing in a sections of the media that it had decided to treat the cash recovered from owner of perfume manufacturing unit M/s Odochem Industries Peeyush Jain as the turnover of the manufacturing unit and proposes to proceed accordingly. Seeking to ‘set the record straight’ in the wake of alleged speculative news reports, a Finance Ministry note here stated that some reports have even stated that after admitting his liability, Peeyush Jain has, with the approval of DGGI, deposited a total amount of Rs 52 crore as tax dues. It added, “Thus, it is made out as if the department has agreed with the deposition of Shri Peeyush Jain and finalised the tax liability accordingly." In the context of ongoing investigations by DGGI in the case of M/s Odochem Industries, Kannauj- a manufacturer of perfumery compounds - and its proprietor Peeyush Jain, wherein a total cash of Rs 197.49 crore, 23 kg of gold and offending goods of high value have been recovered so far from two premises, reports have appeared in certain sections of the media that DGGI has decided to treat the cash recovered as the turnover of the manufacturing unit and proposes to proceed accordingly, the Ministry note said.Some reports have even stated that after admitting his liability, Shri Peeyush Jain has, with the approval of DGGI,deposited a total amount of Rs 52 crore as tax dues. Thus, it is made out as if the department has agreed with the deposition of Shri Peeyush Jain and finalised the tax liability accordingly, the note further added. These reports are purely speculative and seek to undermine the integrity of the ongoing investigations which are being carried out in a most professional manner based on specific intelligence against the party,”according to the Ministry. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 30 DECEMBER The Special Investigation Agency (SIA) of Jammu and Kashmir Police on Thursday filed its first chargesheet against nine people, including a Hurriyat leader, in a case related to “selling” of MBBS seats in Pakistan to Kashmiri students and using the money to support and fund terrorism, police said. The case was registered by the Counter Intelligence Kashmir (CIK), a branch of the police’s CID, in July last year after receiving information through reliable sources that several unscrupulous people, including some Hurriy- As per investigation, on an average the cost of a seat ranged between 10 to 12 lakhs at leaders, were hand in glove with some educational consultancies and were “selling” Pakistan-based MBBS seats and seats in other professional courses in colleges and universities. Five accused have been arrested while three others were absconding. The CIK filed its charge sheet before a court against Mohammad Akbar Bhat alias Zaffar Akbar Bhat, the chairman of Salvation Movement, a constituent of hardline Hurriyat Confer- Cong hindered development in Uttarakhand: PM STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 30 DECEMBER Prime Minister Narendra Modi who on Thursday inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of 23 projects worth over Rs 17500 crore in Uttarakhand, said the strength of the people of the state would make this decade ‘the decade of Uttarakhand. He also slammed the previous governments for delaying projects in the state. He also charged the previous dispensations in the state with indulging in acts ‘nothing short of criminal’ by delaying projects for decades. In this context he named the Lakhwar project. “The Lakhwar project was first thought of in 1976. Today after 46 years, our government has laid the foundation stone for its work. This delay is nothing short of criminal. Deprivation and hassles of the past are now being converted into facilities and harmony,” Modi said adding, “Today, in Delhi and Dehradun governments are not driven by desire for power but by the spirit of service.”Modi earlier inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of 23 projects worth over Rs 17500 crore in Uttarakhand including the foundation stone of the Lakhwar Multipurpose Project. He also inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of Rs 8700 crore road sector projects. “These road projects would realise the PM's vision to improve connectivity in remote, rural and border areas. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra will also get improved connectivity,” a Prime Minister Office note here stated. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the stone-laying foundation of 23 development projects, in Haldwani on Thursday. ANI He also laid the foundation stone of AIIMS Rishikesh satellite centre at Udham Singh Nagar and Jagjivan Ram Government Medical College at Pithoragarh “in line with the Prime Minister’s endeavour to provide world- class medical facilities in all parts of the country. Among other things, Modi also laid the foundation stone of Aroma Park at Kashipur and Plastic Industrial Park at Sitarganj and multiple other initiatives in housing, sanitation and drinking water supply across the state during his visit to the State. He recalled his long association with Kumaon and thanked the people of the region for honouring him with the Uttarakhandi cap. Elaborating on why he thinks that this decade is the decade of Uttrakhand, Modi said the strength of the people will make this decade the decade of Uttarakhand. “Modern infrastructure growing in Uttarakhand, Char Dham project will make this decade the decade of Uttarakhand,” he said referring to the CMYK strides made by Uttrakhand in the fields of hydro power, Industry, tourism, natural agriculture and connectivity. Modi said in the absence of development and facilities, many migrated to other places from the region. The Prime Minister said the government was engaged in a mission from Gangotri to Gangasagar. With the construction of toilets, better sewerage system and modern water treatment facilities, the number of dirty drains falling into the Ganges is reducing rapidly. Similarly, Naintal Jheel is also being attended to. He said the Central Government has also set up India's largest optical telescope at Devasthal in Nainital. Modi further lamented that despite being a border state many defence-related needs were ignored. ence. During investigation, oral, documentary and technical evidence was collected and in analysis it surfaced that MBBS and other professional degrees-related seats were preferentially given to those students who were close family members or relatives of killed terrorists, police said. Evidence also came on record to show that money had been put into channels that ended up supporting ISI sponsored programmes and projects pertaining to terrorism and separatism, which included the unrest after the killing of Burhan Wani, the poster boy of banned Hizbul Mujahideen terror group, in 2016 and every effort was made to dis- turb peace and tranquillity post abrogation of article 35A and 370 of Indian Constitution. As per investigation, on an average the cost of a seat ranged between 10 to 12 lakhs and depending upon the political heft of a Hurriyat leader who intervenes, concessions were extended to the aspiring student and his family. On the basis of available evidence, a conservative estimate indicated that the money involved could be around Rs. 4 crore per annum, on the basis of the fact that allocation of seats for distribution by individual Hurriyat leaders where around 40 seats for MBBS programme every year. Chopper crash probe report likely to be submitted today ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI , 30 DECEMBER The tri-services inquiry team formed to probe the 8 December chopper crash in which 14 people including Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 12 others lost their lives, is expected to submit their report to the government by 31 December. The probe team is headed by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh and includes two Brigadier-rank officers from the Army and Navy. “The inquiry report is expected to be submitted to the government by 31 December . The detailed report has been prepared on the ground by the officials and thorough analysis of the data received from the black box,” government sources said. The sources said the initial investigations into the case suggested that the accident was sudden. The help of the original equipment manufacturers was also sought for the probe in which the country lost its seniormost military officer and longest-serving General. The Indian Air Force said the report was yet to be submitted. Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, and 12 other military officials were travelling in the ill-fated Mi17V5 helicopter which crashed minutes before landing the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington killing all passengers and crew on board on 8 December.
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