CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 04 JANUARY 2022 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR IMRAN’S EX-WIFE ESCAPES GUN ATTACK FOOD, NOT NUKES P6 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature most likely to be around 24 °C and 13 °C respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min. 43% Max: 23.8 °C(-1) SUN RISES 06:17 hrs MOON RISES 07:47 hrs Moon quarter on Min: 13.5 °C(N) SUN SETS 17:05 hrs MOON SETS 18:50 hrs 09 January Chakka jam (road blockade) called by BJP Delhi as part of a protest against the AAP government’s new excise policy,in the capital on Monday. SNS Local train timings: In view of problems likely to be faced by passengers, the West Bengal government today extended the local train services’ timing from 7 p.m to 10 p.m. In view of the rising Covid cases, the state government had announced on Sunday that local trains would ply till 7 pm. However, modifying the earlier order, the government today announced that the last trains would leave their starting stations at 10 p.m. RBI sets limits for digital offline transactions: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in a bid to push digital transactions in rural and semiurban areas, issued a framework allowing small payments in offline mode up to Rs 200 per transaction. An offline digital payment is a digital transaction which does not require internet or telecom connectivity. Transactions are subject to a limit of Rs 200 per transaction and an overall limit of Rs 2,000 for all transactions, the RBI stated, adding that offline payments can only be done in face-to-face mode. P12 40 lakh teenagers get Nearly four-fold jump in Covid cases in a week Covid jab on first day STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 3 JANUARY he vaccination for children aged between 15 and 18 began amid a surge in Covid-19 infections on Monday. Over 40 lakh persons between 15-18 age group received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine on the first day of the vaccination drive for children, till 8 p.m, according to Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya. Around 7.5 crore children of this age bracket will be vaccinated across the nation under the drive. Only those born in or before 2007 are eligible for the vaccination. As of now, only Bharat Biotech's indigenouslymade Covaxin will be available for vaccinating this age bracket. According to the health ministry, all T NEW DELHI, 3 JANUARY A health worker administers a dose of Covid-19 vaccine to a teenager in New Delhi on Monday as vaccination for the 15-18 age group began across India. SUBRATA DUTTA states and Union territories will get additional doses of vaccines for administering to this population category. Only Covaxin will be administered to teens, it added. According to CoWIN dashboard, 37,84,212 people in the15-17 age group were administered COVID19 vaccine on Monday and 49,07,874 (in this age group) have registered for the vac- cine so far. Mr Mandaviya visited the vaccination centre set up for administering the jab to teenagers at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in the morning and enquired about the process. On December 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the vaccination for the 15-18 age group will begin from January 3. The vaccination process of third precautionary dose of vaccine for health workers, frontline workers and vulnerable senior citizens will begin from January 10. Earlier, the health minister had tweeted: "Great to see that our young friends all over the country are uploading their pictures of getting vaccinated, inspiring people all over India". In another tweet, he urged this age bracket to get vaccinated at the earliest and further strengthen the world's largest vaccination drive. With the drive starting mostly from schools, many principals and other officials said they received a positive response from students and their families. Some students referred to restrictions on travelling and said they did not want to miss out on activities because they are not vaccinated. ECI asks poll-bound states to push vax drive INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 3 JANUARY The Election Commission of India (ECI) has written to the chief secretaries of the five poll-bound states to ramp up vaccination drive, sources said here on Monday. The sources quoting officials said that the ECI has also expressed concern over the low percentage of inoculation of the first dose of vaccine in the state of Manipur and asked the government to speed up the vaccination drive there. The State of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur will be going for assembly polls soon and the schedule of the election is likely to be announced this month only. On behest of the Election Commission, the Central government on December 27 last year advised all poll bound states to ramp up Covid vaccination for the eligible population at the earliest. The government also advised the concerned states to increase testing to arrest the exponential rise in coronavirus cases and its new variant Omicron. The Union Home Ministry has extended the Covid-19 protocol and heath measures till January 31 throughout the country by order issued on December 27. The Union Health Ministry has also issued directions to poll bound states for strict enforcement of Covid behaviour and to notify the new containment zones if the cases have been reported in a particular area or locations. All five poll-bound states have stated their latest vaccination updates in the last meeting on December 27 with the Union Health Ministry and the ECI officials, wherein Uttarakhand and Goa have reported vaccination coverage for the first and second dose higher than the national average, while Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur have reported that Covid-19 vaccination coverage numbers are below the national average. India registered a furthr surge in Covid-19 infections with 33,750 new Covid-19 cases recorded in the last 24 hours, 22 per cent higher than yesterday, while 123 people died due to the virus in a day. The country’s active case count stands at 1,45,582. The country recorded nearly 1.3 lakh fresh cases during the week of 27 December to 2 January ~ a 12-week high ~ as compared with the previous week’s tally of 46,073, which was the lowest since the middle of May 2020. The fatalities in the last 24 hours pushed the nationwide death toll to 4,81,893. Meanwhile, the nationwide Omicron infection tally reported from 23 states increased to 1,700 with Maharashtra reporting the most number of infections, the ministry said. Large cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata have a combined 75 per cent share of infections of the Omicron WEST BENGAL registered 6,078 fresh Covid cases on Monday, a marginal fall from Sunday’s figure, with 13 deaths. Kolkata saw 2801 cases and 4 deaths. The positivity rate rose to 19.59 per cent in the last 24 hours. 3,49,22,882 variant, said Dr NK Arora, head of the country’s vaccine task force. Delhi has reported 4,099 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours taking the positivity rate in the national capital to 6.46 per cent. Mumbai saw 8,086 fresh coronavirus cases, a marginal rise from yesterday. The health ministry, meanwhile, clarified that reports claiming that expired Covid vaccines are being given to children in the 15-to-18 age group are false and misleading. The government said the reports used "incomplete information". "The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) on 25th October 2021, in response to M/s Bharat Biotech International Limited's letter no: BBIL/RA/21/567 has 1,45,582 33,750 10,846 4,81,770 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 03 JANUARY 2022 approved the extension of shelf life of Covaxin (Whole Virion, Inactivated Coronavirus Vaccine) from 9 months to 12 months. Similarly, the shelf life of Covishield has been extended by the National Regulator from 6 months to 9 months on 22nd February 2021," the government said in a statement. COLD COMFORT Homeless people stand in a queue to take refuge at the Night shelter, at Kashmiri Gate, in Delhi on Monday. ANI Wanted LeT terrorist who slit throats of a dozen civilians killed China maintaining 60K troops opposite Ladakh STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE More than 20 months into the military standoff, China has deployed around 60,000 troops opposite Indian territory in Ladakh and continuing to build infrastructure for the faster movement of its forces to the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The Chinese numbers had surged significantly during the summer season as they brought in a large number of troops for summer training. They have now gone back to their rear locations. However, they are still maintaining around 60,000 troops in the areas opposite Ladakh, government sources told ANI. The threat perception is there as they continue to build infrastructure across the LAC. New roads are being built NEW DELHI, 3 JANUARY JAMMU, 3 JANUARY President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday appointed four new judges in the Calcutta and Bombay High Courts while extending the tenure of one additional judge of the latter high court by one year. While Calcutta High Court's Additional Judge Aniruddha Roy and Bombay High Court's Additional Judges Madhav Jayajirao Jamdar, Amit Bhalchandra Borkar, and Shrikant Dattatray Kulkarni have been elevated as full judges, the term of Bombay High Court's Additional Judge, Abhay Ahuja, has been extended by one year, with effect from IANS March 4, 2022. A top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Salim Parray, who was involved in slitting throat of about a dozen innocent persons, was on Monday killed alon gwith a Pakistani terrorist in Srinagar. Parray was a most wanted terrorist who was active in Kashmir since 2016, said IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar. A Pakistani terrorist identified as Hafiz managed to escape from the encounter spot but was again spotted at Gasu near Shalimar where he was gunned down in an encounter. He was involved in killing of 2 policemen in Bandipora and thereafter he shifted to Harwan area of Srinagar, said the IGP. Meanwhile, alert BSF troops recovered a huge quantity of arms, ammunition and narcotics from the international border with Pakistan in Arnia sector and thwarted a major smuggling bid for terrorists before the Republic Day on 26 January. The seizure include 3 AK -47 rifles with 5 magazines, 4 pistols with 7 magazines, 10 ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI, 3 JANUARY rounds of 5.56 mm ammunition, 7 rounds of 9 mm ball, 4 rounds of 7.62 mm and 5 packets of heroin. There were intelligence inputs about Pak based terrorists attempts to smuggle weapons and drugs into Indian territory. Accordingly the BSF troops were kept on high alert and the area between fencing and IB was regularly patrolled. Today in the morning, during the zero line checking, the BSF party recovered a bag near the International Border containing arms and ammunition which was to be smuggled into Indian side. The BSF has also killed a Pak intruder at the border in Arnia Sector in the night. PM’s bonanza for poll-bound Punjab STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 3 JANUARY Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of various development projects in the road connectivity and healthcare infrastructure sectors worth over Rs 42,750 crore in Punjab during his day-long visit to the state on Wednesday. According to a PMO note here, the Prime Minister among other things will lay the foundation stone of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway which will halve the travel time for Delhi to Amritsar and Delhi to Katra. Modi will lay the foundation stone of development projects in line with his "vision to enhance accessibility to major religious centres, key Sikh religious sites" and for improved connectivity. This will PAK ALL-ROUNDER HAFEEZ RETIRES FROM INT'L CRICKET P5 INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE THUMBNAILS 5 judges, add’l judges appointed in Calcutta, Bombay HCs P9 Around 7.5 crore children of 15-18 age bracket to be vaccinated Max. 94% TEMPERATURE SIDHU MAKES SLEW OF PROMISES FOR PUNJAB WOMEN also make reaching Vaishno Devi easier. Four lane upgradation of Amritsar – Una section will also be done. He will also connect four major national highways. Foundation stone of strategic Mukerian-Talwara Broad Gauge rail line will be laid. This will provide all-weather connectivity in the area. Besides, in a boost to health infrastructure and in accordance with the Prime Minister's endeavour to provide world class medical facilities in all parts of the country foundation stone of PGI Satel- lite Centre at Ferozepur and two medical colleges at Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur will also to be laid by PM Modi. Giving details of Modi's itinerary, the PMO said the Prime Minister will visit Ferozepur, on 5 January and at around 1 p.m. he will lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 42,750 crore. These projects include Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway; four laning of Amritsar – Una section; Mukerian Talwara New Broad Gauge railway line; PGI Satellite Centre at Ferozepur and two new medical colleges at Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur. The endeavour of the Prime Minister to improve connectivity all across the country has led to multiple national highway development initiatives being taken up in the state of Punjab. It has resulted in more than doubling the total length of National highways in the state from about 1700 kilometre in 2014 to more than 4100 kilometres in 2021. In continuation of such efforts the foundation stone of two major road corridors will be laid in Punjab. This will also be a step towards fulfilling the Prime Minister’s vision to enhance accessibility to major religious centres, the PMO noted. The 669 kilometre long Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway will be developed at a total cost of about Rs 39,500 crore. It will halve travel time from Delhi to Amritsar and Delhi to Katra. The Greenfield Expressway will connect key Sikh religious sites at Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib, Khadoor Sahib, Tarn Taran and the holy Hindu shrine of Vaishno Devi in Katra. An Indian Army boat patrols the Pangong Tso lake. FILE PHOTO opposite the Daulat Beg Oldie area and near the Pangong lake area, they said. Sources said the Indian side has also taken very strong steps to stop that any possible misadventure from the Chinese side. The Indian Army has brought in the forces of the counter-terrorism Rashtriya Rifles' Uniform Force into the Ladakh theatre even as the infrastructure build-up is contin- uing on the Indian side too. Sources said that the Indian Army is keeping all the mountain passes open to rush in troops if they are required at any of the friction points there. Sources said the Indian side is in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation with Chinese troops only at one or two locations as at most of the places, the two armies are separated by buffer zones. Both sides are also deploying a large number of surveillance drones over the buffer zones to keep an eye on the movement of each others' troops. Sources said the Chinese are finding the winter deployments very harsh as they are rotating troops at forward locations very fast. During their maiden deployment in the extreme winters in highaltitude locations, they were being rotated almost daily as they were suffering a lot of coldrelated injuries. On the Chinese aggression which started in April-May last year, the Defence Ministry in its Year-End review had stated that unilateral and provocative actions by the Chinese to change the status quo by force have been responded to adequately. Telangana BJP chief held for attacking cops SC asks govt to decide on extradition of woman IS volunteer from Afghanistan STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL HYDERABAD, 3 JANUARY NEW DELHI, 3 JANUARY Telangana BJP president and MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar was sent to 14 day long judicial custody today after he was arrested yesterday night from his Karimnagar camp office for assaulting police personnel and violating Disaster Management Act during a protest against a government order on transfer of teachers and employees. Karimnagar Police said several policemen were injured during the melee including an assistant commissioner of police and a circle inspector as police tried to arrest the BJP MP and his supporters after breaking the collapsible grille at his office while the latter tried to resist. The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Central government to decide the representation of a Kerala-based man seeking extradition of his daughter and minor granddaughter, presently detained in Afghanistan's jail. A Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai directed the Centre to decide the representation made by VJ Sebastian Francis within eight weeks. The court also granted liberty to Francis to approach the Kerala High Court if he is aggrieved with the decision taken by the Centre after the eight-week period. His daughter and grandaughter are said to be in Afghanistan's Pul-e-Charkhi jail. CMYK In an interview conducted by a news portal, the woman had repented her decision to join IS and said she wanted to return to India and face fair trial before courts here. The court's order came on a plea filed by Francis seeking the extradition of his daughter Sonia (who took the name Aisha after conversion to Islam), who had left India in 2016 to join the Islamic State terrorist organisation and her minor daughter Sara. The petition was filed in July 2021, before the take over of Afghanistan by the Taliban. Francis, a resident of Ernakulam district, said his daughter has been booked in India in a case by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and for other offences. A criminal case under the UAPA is pending trial here against her for joining the Islamic State group. The plea stated that during an interview conducted by a news portal, his daughter had repented her decision to join IS and wanted to return to India and face fair trial before courts here. Sonia had accompanied her husband to Afghanistan to propagate the IS ideology, however, her husband got killed by Afghan forces in 2019. After that Sonia and her daughter surrendered to Afghan forces, said the plea.
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