MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 09 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 BEHAVIOUR OF COPs SHOULD BE COURTEOUS AND FRIENDLY: VP P4 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Temperature likely to be in the range of 32-27 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 1.3 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 89% TEMPERATURE P9 Dozens feared killed as Ukraine school bombed ASSOCIATED PRESS Max: 35.3 °C (N) Min: 27.2 °C(+1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 04:59 hrs 18:06 hrs MOON SETS MOON RISES 00:25 hrs 11:37 hrs Full moon on 16 May THUMBNAILS An eagle sitting on a lamp post, in the Capital SUBRATA DUTTA on Sunday. Foreign Correspondent's Club gets eviction notice: After the Indian Women Press Corps (IWPC), the Foreign Correspondents' Club (FCC) too has been served an eviction notice. The club has been asked to vacate the bungalow in New Delhi allotted to them by July 31. The FCC was recently at the centre of a controversy for refusing to host an event connected to 'The Kashmir Files' director Vivek Agnihotri. The notice is dated May 4, which is the same as the one issued to the IWPC. ZAPORIZHZHIA, 8 MAY ozens of Ukrainians were feared dead Sunday after a Russian bomb destroyed a school sheltering about 90 people in the basement as Moscow’s invading forces kept up their barrage of cities, towns and villages in eastern and southern Ukraine. The governor of Luhansk province, one of two areas that make up the eastern industrial heartland known as the Donbas, said the school in the village of Bilohorivka caught fire after Saturday’s bombing. Emergency crews found two bodies and rescued 30 people, he said. “Most likely, all 60 people who remain under the rubble are now dead,” Gov. Serhiy Haidai wrote on the Telegram messaging app. Russian shelling also killed two boys, ages 11 and 14, in the nearby town of Pryvillia, he said. Since failing to capture Ukraine’s capital, Russia has focused its offensive in the Donbas, where Moscowbacked separatists have been fighting since 2014 and occupy some territory. The largest European conflict since World War II has developed into a punishing war of attrition due to the Ukrainian military’s unexpectedly effective defense. To demonstrate success, the Russian military worked to complete its conquest of the besieged port city of Mariupol, which has been under relentless assault since the start of the war, in time for Victory Day cele- D Children on top of a destroyed Russian tank, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine on Sunday. AP brations on Monday. A sprawling seaside steel mill is the only part of the city not under Russian control. All the remaining women, children and older civilians who had been sheltering with Ukrainian fighters in the Azovstal plant were evacuated Saturday. The troops still inside have refused to surrender; hundreds are believed to be wounded. After rescuers evacuated the last civilians Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address that the focus would turn to extracting the wounded and medics. Zelenskyy said in his nightly address that work would also continue Sunday on securing humanitarian corridors for residents of Mariupol and surrounding towns to leave. The Ukrainian government has been reaching out FULL STORY ON PAGE 5 to international organizations to try to secure safe passage for the estimated 2,000 fighters remaining in the plant’s underground tunnels and bunkers. Zelenskyy acknowledged the difficulty, but said: “We are not losing hope, we are not stopping. Every day we are looking for some diplomatic option that might work.” The Ukrainian leader was expected to hold online talks Sunday with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden and leaders from other Group of Seven countries. The meeting is partly meant to display unity amongWestern allies onVictory in Europe Day, which marks Nazi Germany’s 1945 surrender. Elsewhere on Ukraine’s coast, explosions echoed again Sunday across the major Black Sea port of Odesa, which Russia struck with six cruise missiles on Saturday. Authorities offered no immediate damage reports. The Odesa city council said four of the missiles launched Saturday hit a furniture company, with the shock waves and debris badly damaging high-rise apartment buildings. The other two hit the Odesa airport, where a previous Russian attack destroyed the runway. Ukrainian leaders warned that attacks would only worsen in the lead-up to Victory Day, the May 9 holiday when Russia celebrates Nazi Germany’s defeat in 1945 with military parades. Russian President Vladimir Putin is believed to want to proclaim some kind of triumph in Ukraine when he addresses the troops on Red Square on Monday. (See also Page 10) P12 IAF’s `35,000 cr plan to upgrade Su-30 fighter fleet put on hold SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 8 MAY Amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the Indian Air Force's plans to upgrade the fleet of its Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft has been put on the backburner for now. The deal for the 12 most advanced Su-30MKI aircraft worth over Rs 20,000 crore would also be delayed slightly as the stakeholders will now have to add more Made-in-India content in the planes as per the current policy of the government to promote Indian defence products over imports, government sources said. The Indian Air Force was planning to upgrade 85 of their planes up to the latest standards in collaboration with the Russians and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The plan has been put on the backburner for now in view of the present situation, the sources said. The plan was to equip the Su-30 aircraft with more powerful radars and the latest electronic warfare capabilities to make it more powerful as per the latest standards, the sources said. The Su-30 MKIs form the mainstay of the Indian Air Force as 272 of them have been ordered by the IAF in different batches as every time shortage of fighter jets in service was highlighted, the Russian manufacturers would receive an order of 30 to 40 of these planes. The aircraft are supplied by the Russian manufacturers to the Hindus- tan Aeronautics Limited in semi and complete knocked-down kits and then they are assembled in the Nasik facility. The ongoing conflict in Russia and Ukraine has also resulted in delays in the supply of spares for the fighter aircraft fleet. Sources said even though the spares situation is manageable at the moment and expected to remain so in the near future as India had stocked them up in a considerable amount post the Uri surgical strikes and the ongoing China conflict. However, it is expected that the supply of these spares and other equipment may become an issue after a year or so and that is why, the force has gone on an indigo ration spree of its imported equipment. India logs 3,451 Covid cases, 40 deaths STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 8 MAY India reported 3451 fresh Covid cases and 40 deaths in the last 24 hours, stated the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday. With this, India’s active caseload now stands at 20,635 with active cases now constituting 0.05% of the country's total positive cases. As per the data shared by the ministry, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.74% with 3079 patients having recovered in the last 24 hours taking the cumulative tally of recovered patients to 4,25,57,495. While the weekly posi- tivity rate in the country currently stands at 0.83 percent, the daily positivity rate stands at 0.96 percent, as per the data. Besides, the health ministry stated, that the last 24 hours saw a total of 3,60,613 COVID-19 tests being conducted taking the cumulative tests to over 84.06 crore. Under the National vaccination drive, 190.20 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far. As per the data, COVID19 vaccination for the age group 12-14 years was started on 16 March 2022. So far, more than 3.04 Crore (3,04,48,722) adolescents have been administered the first dose of the COVID19 vaccine. FACT FILE TOTAL CASES 4,31,02,194 ACTIVE CASES 20,635 NEW CASES 3,451 NEW RECOVERIES 3,079 TOTAL DEATHS 5,24,064 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 00.08 A.M. SUNDAY 08 MAY 2022 West Bengal registered 51 fresh Covid cases and zero death in the last 24 hours. No religious event on roads: Yogi IMD warns cyclone Asani in Bay of SNS & AGENCIES JHANSI, 8 MAY NEW DELHI, 8 MAY The Central Government has issued revised comprehensive guidelines to curb the increasing road accidents in the country. The Regional Officer (RO) and Project Director (PD) have been given financial powers up to a maximum of Rs 50 crore. In order to fix the accountability, the said officers will have to send the periodic report to the headquarters mentioning the improvement of the highway network in their jurisdiction, details of the accident, deaths SNS and injuries. ALBA VOLLEY LEADS BARCA TO VICTORY P10 Russian bomb destroyed a school sheltering about 90 people Min. 47% New guidelines to curb road accidents in country HISTORIC WIN FOR SINN FEIN IN N IRELAND POLLS BEIJING LOYALIST JOHN LEE ELECTED AS HONG KONG'S NEXT LEADER Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has issued strict orders that no religious programme should be permitted on the roads. He said that all such events should take place inside the premises of religious places. The chief minister, who was on a visit to the Bundelkhand region on Sunday, also took a stern view of the recent rape case of a girl in a police station in Lalitpur. He directed the district magistrate and the superintendent of police to take strict action against the culprits. "Our government is committed to serving people through development and public welfare works. Any slackness will not be tolerated," he said, adding that strict measures should be taken to curb the activities of the mafia. Yogi Adityanath also directed the officials and employees at every level to reach their offices on time and hold 'jan sunwai' between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. every day. "A dialogue should be held with traders, Udyog Bandhu and banks at least once a month to look into the possibilities of generating employment opportunities in the region. All pending works related to pharma park in Lalitpur should be completed at the earliest," he said. He further said that Aarogya Melas should be held regularly while organic and natural farming be promoted in Bundelkhand. The chief minister also inspected a 500-bed under construction hospital block in the Jhansi Medical College. In Babina, he inspected an under-construction water treatment plant, where Jhansi Mayor Ramteerath Singhal informed him that there was a delay in the completion of the project. Bengal to be severe in next 24 hours SNS & AGENCIES BHUBANESWAR, 8 MAY India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday said that the cyclonic storm named 'Asani' is expected to further intensify in the next 24 hours. Earlier on Saturday, the department had predicted that a depression has formed over the southeast Bay of Bengal about 170km west of Car Nicobar and is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm by May 8. Speaking to ANI, Senior Scientist, Umashankar Das said, "The deep depression has intensified into a cyclonic storm named 'Asani'. It's moving at 16 kmph in a northwest direction. It is 970 km in the southeast direction from Visakhapatnam and 1,020 km in the southeast direction from Puri." "We are expecting it'll move in the northwest direction till May 10 evening. Possibly, it'll further intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours," he added. However, the scientist denied the possibility of landfall and said that it will recurve and move parallel to the Odisha coast. Das predicted rainfall by the evening of May 10 and said that yellow warning has been issued for three districts of Odisha. "Rainfall will commence on 10th May evening, a yellow warning for rainfall has been issued for three districts -- Gajpati, Ganjam, and Puri. On May 11, heavy rainfall warning was issued for five districts ~ Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Khurda, Cuttack and Ganjam," he said. (WB govt issues alert, Pg 3) Modi's Lumbini visit gets momentum Ahead of Shah’s Assam visit, NE AGENCIES KATHMANDU, 8 MAY Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to Nepal's Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, on the occasion of Buddha Purnima has gained momentum. Modi, at the invitation of UNESCO, is scheduled to visit Lumbini on May 16 to mark the 2566th birthday of Gautam Buddha. In 1997, Lumbini, one of the holiest places for Buddhists from all across the world, was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Currently, four helipads are under construction inside the Lumbini area, according to a report carried by Kantipur, the largest daily newspaper of Nepal. It is said that Modi will land in Lumbini from Kushinagar on board a helicopter. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba will also travel to Lumbini on May 16 and inaugurate the Gautam Buddha International Airport. After inaugurating the country's second international airport, Deuba will welcome Modi. The two leaders will offer prayers in the Maya Devi temple and will lay the foundation of a Buddhist Monastery to be financed by the government of India, the Kantipur report added. Through the International Buddhist Confederation which is under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the government of India is spending over Rs 1 billion for the construction of the Monastery. Modi will also visit the Ashoka Pillar and the Bodhi Vriksha - the tree under which Gautam Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment, according to media reports. Deuba and Modi are also scheduled to hold talks and address a function in Lumbini where Buddhists followers across the world will take part. After completing his fivehour long engagements in Lumbini, Modi will return to New Delhi via Kushinagar. After being elected as the Prime Minister for the first time in August 2014, Modi came to Nepal and announced visits to Lumbini, Janakpur and Muktinath. Although he visited the two Hindu pilgrimage sites of Muktinath and Janakpur, his plans to visit Lumbini were put off. Senior officials from Nepal and India are visiting Lumbini every day in order to take stock of the ground work as well as perpetrators of the high-level visit, security arrangements, logistics management among others.This is the fifth visit of Modi to Nepal and the first after he was re-elected in 2019. In April, Nepal's Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba visited India and met Modi besides signing some accords and agreements. parties warn of stir against CAA SNS & AGENCIES GUWAHATI, 8 MAY Ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah's three-day Assam visit, various organisations in the northeast have once again threatened to restart their agitations against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) if the Centre tried to implement it in the region. Shah, who is likely to arrive in Guwahati late on Sunday night, would attend at least eight different events on Monday and Tuesday, coinciding with completion of one year of the Bharatiya Janata Partyled second government in Assam, headed by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was sworn in on May 10 last year. The All Assam Students' Union, the Raijor Dal, a political party headed by Independent MLA Akhil Gogoi, the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad in Assam, and the the Khasi Students' Union (KSU) in Meghalaya announced to resume their agitations against the CAA after Shah on Thursday announced in West Bengal that the government would implement the CAA as soon as the Covid-19 pandemic ends. KSU President Lambokstar Marngar said in Shillong that any attempt to implement the CAA would provoke unrest in the hill state. "The Centre, instead, responding to the Meghalaya Assembly's unanimous resolution and demands of almost all political parties, should extend the Inner-Line Permit system, an 1873 regulation, in the entire Meghalaya to curb the entry of illegal immigrants," Marngar told the media.
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