SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 08 MAY 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 P4 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Rain/thundershower in some areas. Temperature likely to be in the range of 36-26 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 88% TEMPERATURE P10 THUMBNAILS A constable carries her six-month-old daughter during her duty near Hazratganj crossing in ANI Lucknow on Saturday. Delhi court issues bailable warrant against Rujira Banerjee in coal scam case: A court here on Saturday issued a bailable warrant against Rujira Banerjee, the wife of Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee, after she failed to join an Enforcement Directorate investigation despite summons issued by the central agency in a money laundering case related to an alleged coal scam in West Bengal. Within 48 hours, Centre notifies appointment of two judges to SC: The Centre has notified the appointment of Gauhati High Court Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Gujarat High Court judge Justice Jamshed Burjor Pardiwala as judges to the apex court, two days after the Supreme Court Collegium recommended their appointment. SNS SNS & AGENCIES oting that the Chinese presence has increased in the Northern sector in the recent past, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today expressed the government's firm resolve to develop infrastructure in the border areas as part of a comprehensive defence strategy, ''Due to their (Chinese) proficiency in construction in mountainous areas, they manage to reach different places very quickly,'' he pointed out while addressing all ranks of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on the occasion of the 63rd Raising Day of the organisation. His comments came amid the ongoing military stand-off between India and China in eastern Ladakh. Rajnath called upon the BRO to further enhance its capability through optimum use of technology and strive to strengthen the infrastructure of the border areas at a faster pace. The government, he said, was making all efforts to provide the required support to the BRO to develop border areas. The minister developing border areas would bolster the security apparatus of the country and bring a positive change in the lives of people residing in remote areas. He stated that people's participation was also a key part of the defence strategy. “The more empowered the people of border areas become, the more aware and concerned they will be about the security of those areas. Citizens are the greatest power of a nation. Therefore, with changing times, we are commit- As Delhi BJP workers staged a protest outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence, Delhi BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga on Saturday claimed that the Punjab police had barged into his home in large numbers yesterday and arrested him "as they do it with a terrorist". Notably, Bagga reached his residence in Delhi on the intervening nights of Friday and Saturday after Delhi police brought him back from Haryana where he was en route to Mohali after he was arrested by Punjab Police. Bagga was picked up from his residence in Janakpuri area on Friday, a month after he was booked for his alleged remarks against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the latter's views on the movie "The Kashmir Files". Talking to a news agency on Saturday, Bagga narrated the entire episode of his arrest. "I was not shown any warrant. When nearly eight people picked me up, I told them to let me tie my turban. They did not give me the chance to wear the turban and slippers. I was thrown into the vehicle. I was kidnapped by the Punjab police. The local police were also not informed. Nearly 50 policemen came as they do it with a terrorist," he said. "Nearly 10 police vehicles had come which could be seen in the CCTV footage. It is an attempt to give a message that whosoever speaks against Arvind Kejriwal would be the biggest terrorist and not spared," said Bagga. Earlier in April, Bagga had claimed that the Punjab police officials reached his home while he was in Lucknow to arrest him without informing the Delhi police. In a relief of sorts, Maharashtra has not recorded a single case of the Omicron variant, for the past two months, though Covid-19 infections are again rising gradually, health officials said. On March 6, the state had reported the last 61 Omicron cases - nearly three months after the first one was confirmed on December 4, 2021. The first victim was a 33-year-old marine engineer of Thane, who came to Mumbai on November 23 N SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 7 MAY ted to moving forward with the development of our border areas. It is our top priority to provide maximum facilities to those who work round-theclock for our security,” he said. Rajnath lauded the BRO for opening new doors of security and prosperity not just in the areas where it was undertaking a project but for the entire country. Underlining the importance of roads, bridges and tunnels in the progress of a nation, he said the projects completed by the BRO have enhanced the operational preparedness of the armed forces and improved the socio-economic conditions of the people living in far-flung areas. “Infrastructure development in border areas is an indicator of the government’s unwavering commitment to building a strong, secure and selfreliant ‘New India’ as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he added. Rajnath highlighted that border areas have emerged as new centres of development and the regions like the North-East were not only developing themselves but have also become a gateway for the all-around progress of the country. Centre stoutly defends sedition law in SC The Central Government today has filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court in the batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of sedition law and stated that the sedition law needed no reconsideration. Filing the affidavit before the Supreme Court, the Central government had said that the judgement in Kedar Nath Singh against State of Bihar is a good law and needs no reconsideration. "We have gone through the entire case. Our reply is this. This judgement in Kedar Nath Singh against State of Bihar is a good law and needs no reconsideration," the Centre stayed in its affidavit filed before the Supreme Court. The affidavit further stated that the judgement must be treated as binding precedent requiring no reference. "A holistic reading of Kedar Nath Singh clearly reveals that the Constitution Bench considered constitutional validity of Section 124-A from perspective of all constitutional principles including test of Article 14, 19, 21 contained in Part III,” the affidavit, further stated, filed before the Supreme Court. The Central government in its affidavit further stated that individual instances of mis- Baghel: Ready to talk with Naxals if they express faith in Constitution AGENCIES use not ground to reconsider Kedar Nath Singh. “No reference, therefore, would be necessary nor can three Judge Bench once again examine constitutional validity of very same provision,” the Centre told the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had asked the Centre in its last hear- ing to make its stand clear in the batch of petitions filed before to challenging the constitutional validity of sedition law falls under 124-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The petitioners in the case challenging the constitutional validity of the Sedition law are: Editors Guild of India (EGI), former Major-General S G Vombatkere, Trinamool Congress (TMC) Member of Parliament- Mahua Moitra, Anil Chamadia, journalist, Patricia Mukhim and many others. The section 124-A (Sedition law) of the IPC deals with any speech that brings or to bring into hatred or contempt or disaffection towards the government established by law in India a criminal offence punishable with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Former Union minister of Information Technology (IT) and veteran journalist, Arun Shourie also moved the Supreme Court in the issue and filed a petition before it and said that sedition law is violative of Articles 14 and 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. India on Saturday reported 3,805 new Covid cases, a considerable rise against the 3,545 infections registered the previous day, the Union Health Ministry said. In the same period, there were 22 additional Covid fatalities, taking the nationwide death toll to 5,24,024. The active caseload also increased to 20,303 cases, accounting for 0.05 per cent of the country's total positive cases. The recovery of 3,168 patients in the last 24 hours took the cumulative tally to 4,25,54,416. Consequently, India's FACT FILE TOTAL CASES 4,30,98,743 ACTIVE CASES 20,303 NEW CASES 3,805 NEW RECOVERIES 3,168 TOTAL DEATHS 5,24,024 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 07 MAY 2022 Bengal recorded 39 fresh cases and no deaths STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 7 MAY Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked people to participate in the Logo Design Contest for India’s forthcoming G20 Presidency. Responding to a tweet by the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the PM tweeted: "A special competition that celebrates the creativity of our youth. Do take part in this contest!" India will hold the Presidency of the G20 from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023. It will host the G20 Summit in 2023. The G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation that plays an important role in global economic governance. With the G20 Presidency, New Delhi will set the agenda for the meeting. The MEA earlier today announced the launch of a logo design competition, asking for ideas that "uniquely rep- resent Indian G20". Taking to Twitter, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted: "Delighted to announce the launch of a Logo Design Contest for India's forthcoming G20 Presidency. Share with us your idea of what represents a uniquely Indian G20. We are open for entries till 07 June 2022." The G20 Presidency undertakes a wide range of activities to help members discuss and coordinate policy on matters of common interest. The G20 comprises key advanced and emerging economies. The members of the G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Starting in 1999 with a meeting of the finance ministers and the central bank governors, the G20 has evolved into an annual summit involving the heads of states and governments. This year the G20 summit will be held on 15-16 November in Bali under Indonesia's presidency. The PM on Saturday also offered his condolences to the families of the deceased in the Indore fire and Mathura expressway car accident, and wished the injured a quick recovery. Bengal CM very close to me: Sourav after hosting Shah STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 7 MAY Party of India (Maoists) has expressed willingness to hold peace talks with the Baghel-led dispensation, but also set several conditions, including the release of their jailed leaders and withdrawal of security forces from strife-torn areas. However, a state minister said talks would be held, if any, only unconditionally. In a statement purportedly issued by Maoists and circulating on social media, the outlaws questioned the chief minister’s “double standards” saying that on the one hand he offers to hold talks, while on the other air strikeisallegedlybeingconducted (in Bastar). recovery rate stands at 98.74 per cent. Meanwhile, India's daily positivity rate stood at 0.78 per cent and the weekly positivity rate at 0.79 per cent. Also in the same 24hour period, a total of 4,87,544 tests were conducted across the country, increasing the overall to 84.03 crore. As of Saturday morning, India's Covid-19 vaccination coverage exceeded 190 crore, achieved via 2,35,96,683 sessions. Over 3.01 crore adolescents have been administered with a first dose of Covid-19 jab since the beginning of vaccination drive for this age bracket. after 11 days of treatment for Omicron. Since then, the state continued to notch regular incidence of Omicron cases with the final tally standing at 5,726, the highest in India. PM: Participate in logo design contest for G20 presidency RAIPUR, 7 MAY Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday said that the government is ready to hold dialogue provided Naxalites have faith in the Constitution. Interacting with media persons in Pratappur, Baghel said, "The schemes of the state government being run in the Naxalaffected areas are winning the hearts of the tribal population. Now they are demanding to build roads and open camps. With the effective implementation of state government policies, the Naxal activities are confined to a few pockets in Chhattisgarh." “Naxalites should express their faith in the Constitution of India, and then we are ready to talk with them on any platform," he emphasized. The outlawed Communist from South Africa via New Delhi, and tested positive on November 27, while his Omicron positive report came on December 4. He was admitted to a hospital in KalyanDombivali and discharged India logs 3,805 new Covid cases, 22 deaths NEW DELHI, 7 MAY NEW DELHI, 7 MAY MUMBAI, 7 MAY NEW DELHI, 7 MAY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE P12 ‘More Chinese presence Maha ‘conquers’ Omicron? No cases for past 60 days in northern sector’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Max: 35.7 °C (N) Min: 27.2 °C(+1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:00 hrs 18:06 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 10:42 hrs --:-- hrs Full moon on 16 May ‘WARNER HAD DISCIPLINARY ISSUES’ P11 Rajnath Singh calls for border development Min. 45% Was arrested like a ‘terrorist’: Bagga MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA LIKELY TO RESIGN MACRON INAUGURATED FOR SECOND 5-YEAR TERM ‘THOSE WHO FIGHT FOR PEOPLE WILL GET TICKETS’ The West Bengal chief minister is very close to me,” Sourav Ganguly, BCCI president and former Team India captain, said at a private function, with reference to Mamata Banerjee. The flamboyant former captain, who is credited for bringing in a transformation in Team India, has always been wooed by the political parties in the past. Sourav was also very close to the Left regime and was granted plots for his school in Salt Lake in the past, pointed out political observers. It is no secret that the BJP was planning to make the former India captain their chief ministerial face ahead of the last assembly polls. Sourav’s heart ailment put paid to the BJP’s plans then. Sourav’s statement, showing his proximity to the chief minister, is also being interpreted by political pundits as being a diplomatic one. They said that Dada’s statement is significant, especially coming within 16 hours of hosting a dinner for Union home minister Amit Shah and other senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders like Suvendu Adhikari, Swapan Dasgupta and Amit Malaviya at his Behala residence. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly was speaking at the inauguration of a private hospital on the EM Bypass. Transport minister Firhad Hakim was also present at the event when Sourav made the statement. “Dr Saroj Mondal was facing some problems while buy- ing the plot for his hospital. I met the chief minister, seeking her interventions so that Dr Mondal could get land as soon possible to start the project. She asked Bobbyda (Firhad Hakim) to look into the matter and solve the issue,” he said. “I know Firhad Hakim for the past 40 years. He always helps people whoever meets him in crisis,” he said, heaping praises on the minister. Dr Mondal, a professor in cardiology department at SSKM Hospital, has been treating Sourav since the latter underwent an angioplasty surgery under the former at a premier private hospital in the Alipore area, some 15 months ago. Dona Ganguly, while speaking to reporters, at the same event supported her husband. She said, “Of course, Didi is close to us. There is no question of politics in connection with hosting the dinner to the Union home minister on Friday.” And then she made a loaded statement, “I think Sourav would do better for people if he joins politics. But Sourav knows it better whether he would join politics.” Dona with her statement has once again fanned speculations about Dada’s political ambitions. The hospital would cater services to indoor patients within seven to ten days. “We have installed hi-tech latest edition of cath-lab and other medical devises in our hospital required for treatment of intervention cardiology and foetal medicine problems,” said Dr Mondal and his wife Dr Debosmita Mondal, a gynaecologist and foetal medicine expert. Dr Manotosh Panja, senior cardiologist and former director of cardiology department at SSKM, was also present in the programme.
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