CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 13 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 EUROPE’S ‘TIDAL WAVE’ KEJRIWAL UNVEILS AAP'S 10-POINT 'PUNJAB MODEL' 'TIRED OF BEING QUIET', BIDEN CHALLENGES SENATE ON VOTING P5 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with light rain. Temperature likely to be in the range of 25-17 degrees Celsius. TEMPERATURE Max: 21.4 °C(-4) Min: 17.5 °C(+3) SUN RISES SUN SETS 06:18 hrs 17:10 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 12:53 hrs 01:26 hrs Full moon on 18 January THUMBNAILS A healthcare worker inoculates a 'precautionary dose' at special vaccination camp, at Delhi Police Headquarters, in New Delhi on Wednesday. SNS India 70 ahead at Cape Town: India were 70 runs ahead with eight second innings wickets in hand at stumps on the second day in the final Test with South Africa on Wednesday. Virat Kohli (14) and Cheteshwar Pujara (9) were at the crease. Earlier, South Africa were bowled out for 210, conceding a lead of 13 runs. Jasprit Bumrah claimed five wickets and was well assisted by the other seam bowlers. (Earlier report on Page 12.) Inflation at 6-month high: India's retail inflam tion rose to a six-month high of 5.59 per cent in the month of December 2021 as compared to 4.59 per cent recorded in the same month of 2020, the government data showed on Wednesday. There has been a consistent rise in the inflationary pressure in the past six months. Meanwhile, factory output growth measured by the Index of Industrial Production dropped to nine-month low of 1.4 per cent in November 2021, the government data pg8 showed. he Supreme Court on Wednesday said retired top court judge Justice Indu Malhotra will head the committee to investigate Prime Minister Narendra Modi's security breach in Punjab last week. The apex court said any lapse regarding the breach in security of Prime Minister Narendra Modi could have led to “devastating and serious consequences”, and made it crystal clear that one-sided enquiries, either by state government or Centre, will not be sufficient to resolve questions associated with security considerations.The SC on Wednesday appointed a five-member panel to probe the alleged breach in PM's security during his recent visit to Punjab. The additional object is to avoid any human error, negligence or any wilful omission or commission which may hamper and/or expose the safety and security of the executive head of the nation while he is travelling in a particular state. Any lapse in this regard can lead to devastating and serious consequences," the court added. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana and comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said a panel headed by former top court judge will inquire into causes of the security breach, persons responsible for the breach, and also measures to be taken in future to prevent security breach of the Prime Minister and other constitu- T The committee will inquire into what caused the breach, who was responsible and what safeguards are needed to prevent Indu Malhotra such lapses in future, and submit its report at the earliest. tional functionaries. The other members on the court-appointed committee are Director General, or his nominee not below the rank of Inspector General of Police, of the National Investigation Agency, Director General of Police, Union Territory of Chandigarh, Additional Director General of Police, Security, Punjab, and the Registrar General, Punjab and Haryana High Court as member-cum-coordinator. “A judicially trained independent mind, duly assisted by officers who are well acquainted with the security considerations and the Registrar General of the High Court who has seized the record pursuant to our earlier order, would be best placed to effectively visit all issues and submit a comprehensive report for the consideration of this Court," it said. The bench emphasised that such questions cannot be left open for one-sided inquiries. Both the state government and the Central government had formed their committees to inquire into the matter. The top court had asked both the Centre and Punjab government SC seeks U’khand govt response on ‘Dharam Sansad hate speeches’ NEW DELHI, 12 JANUARY The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Uttarakhand government on a petition by journalist Qurban Ali and former Patna High Court judge Anjana Prakash, seeking action against those who made hate speeches against the Muslim community at Dharam Sansad in Haridwar. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana and comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli allowed the petitioners to approach local authorities with their plea to stop a proposed Dharam Sansad scheduled at Aligarh on January 23. Senior advo- I&B ministry Twitter account hacked, restored later NEW DELHI, 12 JANUARY The Twitter account of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting was compromised onWednesday. The account, however, was restored later on. The hacker renamed the account as Elon Musk and tweeted a great job. The account was restored and posts made by hackers were deleted. "The account @Mib_india has been restored. This is for the information of all the followers,” the ministry tweeted.Last month Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter account was compromised for a brief period and a post claiming that India had officially adopted bitcoin as legal tender was tweeted from it. P12 Security breach: Former After Maurya, another UP minister quits Yogi cabinet SC judge to head probe More Cong, STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 JANUARY Min. 70% STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE P10 No one-sided inquiry: SC appoints 5-member panel to probe the matter RAINFALL: 6.2 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.97% P6 KOHLI COMPLETES 100 CATCHES cate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the petitioners, contended that Dharam Sansad is going to organise another congregation at Aligarh and some direction should be passed to restrain them from making hate speeches, while the top court is seized of the matter. Sibal emphasized that various Dharam Sansad are scheduled in states, which are going to polls soon. Citing hate speeches, he said it is contrary to the ethos and values of this country and pressed for preventive steps to stop these people from making statements against a particular community. On Monday, the top court had agreed to hear the petition, which sought an inde- pendent, impartial and credible probe into the matter by an SIT. The plea, filed through advocate Sumita Hazarika, said: "Hate speeches consisted of open calls for genocide of Muslims in order to achieve ethnic cleansing. It is pertinent to note that the said speeches are not mere hate speeches but amount to an open call for murder of an entire community. The said speeches thus, pose a grave threat not just to the unity and integrity of our country but also endanger the lives of millions of Muslim citizens." According to the plea, the hate speeches were made between December 17-19, last year. to not move ahead with their respective inquiries into the matter. Deprecating the blame game between the state government and the Centre, for pinning the responsibility of the lapse in PM's security, the court said: "War of words between them is no solution. It may rather impair the need of a robust mechanism to respond at such a critical juncture." Advocate General D.S. Patwalia, representing the Punjab government, had submitted that the Ministry of Home Affairs, in a way, already held the officers of Punjab government 'guilty' of the alleged negligence and/or breach of security of the PM. He maintained that none of the agencies of the state government had committed a dereliction of their responsibility for the security and safety of the PM, yet there is a smear campaign to discredit the government. The Punjab government had constituted a committee - comprising a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Principal Secretary, Home Affairs and Justice -- to carry out a thorough probe into the lapses that occurred during the Firozpur visit of the PM. Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing the petitioner Lawyers Voice NGO, however, said the constitution of an enquiry committee by the state government was nothing but an abortive attempt to become a judge in its own cause. The top court studied the provisions of the Special Protection Group Act, 1988, along with the relevant contents of the 'Blue Book'. It said: "The Blue Book contains an unambiguous and detailed procedure to be observed by the State Authorities and the Special Protection Group to ensure full safety and security of the Prime Minister while he is touring a state." The bench said it finds merit in Singh's that not only are the officer(s)/authority responsible for the above stated lapse liable to be identified, but there is also a greater urgency to evolve new measures that may ensure there is no recurrence of such lapses in the future. Earlier during the hearing, the bench had said: "We are taking the PM's security breach very seriously." It added that it will ask the committee to submit its report to it within a short span. The top court order came on a petition by NGO Lawyer's Voice, which was represented by senior advocate Maninder Singh. The petitioner had emphasised on the importance of protection to the PM of the country and cited previous top court ruling that looked at the SPG Act. ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL SP MLAs join BJP flock LUCKNOW, 12 JANUARY With just weeks ahead of the commencement of Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Cabinet minister in the Yogi Adityanath government Dara Singh Chauhan on Wednesday resigned from his position citing neglect of Dalits, farmers, and the state of unemployment by the government. However, Singh has not declared his future course of action and said that he would consult the people of his community before deciding to join any party. This comes a day after cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya resigned from his position in the government after which three MLAs followed suit and resigned from the party. Speaking to ANI after his resignation, Singh said, "The Dalits and backward people because of whom the BJP came to power in 2017 were neglected during the tenure of the government. They were not respected and they did UP minister Dara Singh Chauhan interacting with media after resigning from the cabinet, at his official residence in Lucknow on Wednesday. ANI not get any justice. I, therefore, resigned from the government." Talking about the future course of action, he said that he would consult the people of his community and then decide which party to go with. In his letter to the governor, Singh said in Hindi, "Due to the neglect of the state government towards the backward section of the society, Dalits, farmers and unemployed youth of the state and the neglect of reservation of the Dalits and backward class in the society, I have been hurt and I resign from the cabinet.” NEW DELHI, 12 JANUARY Congress MLA Naresh Saini and SP MLA Hari Om Yadav on Wednesday joined the BJP a day after , Swami Prasad Maurya resigned from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet. Along with them, another SP leader and former MLA Dharampal Singh also joined the saffron party. Uttar Pradesh BJP incharge Swatantra Dev Singh, state deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma and the party's national media head Anil Baluni welcomed the Congress and SP leaders to the party fold. IANS FESTIVE MOOD A child looks around as kites displayed for sale on the eve of Lohri, in Amritsar on Wednesday. ANI Youth driving world’s largest vaccination drive in India:PM Covid surge: Houses likely to function in shifts during Budget session of Parliament STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Amid spike in Covid cases in Delhi and over 400 Parliament staff members tested positive for Covid, the government has been forced to consider functioning of both Houses (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha) in shifts for upcoming Budget session of Parliament. Parliament’s Budget Session may curtail sittings, and the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may hold sittings in shifts, if the current wave of Covid and Omicron continues unabated. Parliamentary officials have begun reviewing arrangements for a smooth functioning of the two Houses during the session, beginning end of January. Already 500 employees of Parliament have tested positive during examination for Omicron and Covid in the past few days. Although the infections are generally stated to be mild, the employees are in self-isolation. “Now the youth is coming forward to make the world’s largest vaccine drive a success. We have already vaccinated 2 crore children between 15-18 years of age,” he said. The Prime Minister said as a result of active participation of youth in the vaccination drive already 2 crore children in the age cat- NEW DELHI, 12 JANUARY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 JANUARY Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said youth in the age group of 15-18 years were coming forward for the Covid-19 jab, driving the world’s largest vaccination initiative in India. Modi’s remark came after he virtually inaugurated the Technology Centre of the MSME Ministry and Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Manimandapam in Puducherry. egory of 15-18 years had received the jab. About 2,82,74,847 doses of vaccine have been administered since 3 January, a central government note said. India recorded 1,94,720 fresh daily cases, a rise of around 26,000 from the previous day. A total of 442 deaths were also reported in the same time, said the Union Ministry of health and family welfare. The Omicron infection tally has reached 4,868 across the nation. PM to meet CMs:Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to hold a meeting with chief ministers over the Covid situation on Thursday as the number of virus infections sees a surge due to its Omicron. Reviewing the Covid situation at a high-level meeting on Sunday, Modi had called for ensuring adequate health 3,60,70,233 9,55,319 1,94,443 60,405 4,84,655 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. WEDNESDAY 12 JANUARY 2022 Bengal registered 22,155 fresh cases and 23 deaths infrastructure at the district level and accelerating the vaccination drive for adolescents in mission mode. ‘We will continue to deal with Chinese PLA in firm, resolute manner’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 JANUARY The Indian Army continues to deal with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China in a firm and resolute manner in Eastern Ladakh and necessary safeguards are in place to deal with any contingency, Chief of the Army Staff, Gen. M M Naravane (in pic) said. Addressing a press conference ahead of the Army Day, he said the situation along the LAC was stable and under control but the “threat by no means has reduced”. “We have continued to maintain the highest levels of operational preparedness while at the same time engaging with the Chinese PLA through dialogue,” he said. He also said that the Indian Army was more than adequately prepared to deal with any mili- tary ramifications of China’s new land boundary law. The Army chief said the response by his forces to Chinese attempts to unilaterally change the status quo was very robust. “We are much better prepared to meet any challenge that is thrown up at us,” he said. Asked how prepared the Indian Army was in the event of a war with China, he said; “War or conflict is always an instrument of last resort. But if resorted to, we will come out victorious.” As many as 350-400 terrorists are present at the launchpads and training camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Manoj Mukund Naravane, said on Wednesday.Addressing Indian Army's annual press conference, the COAS said that the threat at the Line of Control (LoC) from Pakistan has not receded by any means. “The threat cannot be ignored," said the army chief. Along the LoC with Pakistan, after a heightened situation for a prolonged period, the DGMOs' understanding in February last year was aimed at achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace, he said. “Resultantly, the situation has witnessed marked improvement," said the officer, but with a caution."How- ever, increase in concentration of terrorists in launch pads across the LC and repeated infiltration attempts have once again exposed their (Pakistan's) nefarious intents," the Indian Army chief said. “We, on our part, have resolved to show ‘Zero Tolerance' to terror, and commit ourselves to extract dire costs, should that be forced upon us," he said. In Jammu and Kashmir, the ‘Whole of Government' approach has led to progressive improvement in the security situation, he said.Efforts to give an indigenous hue to terrorism, by setting up a facade of proxy terror ‘Tanzeems', have failed miserably, he said, adding that inimical elements have reenergised their attempts at disrupting peace in the Valley by targeting minorities and nonlocals. ANI CMYK LAC row: India, China hold military talks STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 JANUARY India and China today held the 14th round of corps commander level talks to resolve the military stand-off at Eastern Ladakh that has taken ties between the two nations to a new low in the past two year. India is believed to have demanded disengagement and eventual de-escalation at the remaining friction points like Hot Spring, Depsang Plains and Demochok while the Chinese side continued to blame India for the current tensions in the area. The talks were led by Lt Gen Anindya Sengupta, the new commander of the Lehbased Fire & Fury Corps on the Indian side while the Chinese team was headed by Maj Gen Yang Lin, commander of the South Xinjiang Military District. The talks, which took place at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point on the Chinese side of the border, were held a day after the United States expressed concern over China’s continued attempts to intimidate its neighbours.At his annual press conference, Chief of the Army Staff, Gen M M Naravane said India was hopeful of peacefully resolving all issues pertaining to the stand-off with China. He was of the view that it would be unreasonable to expect that the two countries would be able to settle the stand-off in a short span of time as the issues involved were complicated. Meanwhile, government sources in New Delhi said, “we are hopeful of progress in the talks. Our stand is very clear that there must be disengagement first at all friction points that came up since May 2020, and then eventual de-escalation, which means that things go back to what they were in April 2020 (when the stand-off began).” Sources said tensions between India and China will continue irrespective of whether today's talks move forward.
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