TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 10 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 KALYAN FACES UPHILL TASK IN FORGING GRAND ALLIANCE AGAINST JAGAN P4 WEATHER MAINLY CLEAR SKY. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 41 AND 28 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. ‘3 JAN SURAKSHA SCHEMES TO COVER COMMON MAN’ ‘HEALTH MUST BE MADE ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE’ P5 MAN CITY GOES THREE CLEAR IN EPL P12 P8 Will re-consider sedition Sri Lankan PM resigns law: Centre to Apex court as protests intensify RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Prime Minister Narendra Modi feels the need to shed colonial baggage ASSOCIATED PRESS Max: 69% STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE An official says Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has resigned following weeks of protests demanding that he and his brother, the president, step down over the country’s worst economic crisis in decades. An aide to the prime minister, Wijayananda Herath, confirmed that Rajapaksa submitted a letter of resignation to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. There was no immediate official confirmation from the president’s office. The resignation follows attacks by Rajapaksa supporters on peaceful protesters demanding that the brothers leave office. The resignation of the prime minister means that the entire Cabinet is dissolved, paving the way for a new government. Sri Lanka is near bankruptcy and has suspended repayments of its foreign loans. A severe foreign currency shortage has resulted in acute shortages of imported essentials such as fuel, cooking gas and medicine. Authorities deployed armed troops in the capital Colombo on Monday hours after government supporters attacked protesters who have been camped outside the offices of the country’s president and prime minster, as trade unions began a “Week of Protests” demanding the government change and its president to step down over the country’s worst economic crisis in memory. The Indian Ocean island nation is on the brink of bankruptcy and has sus- Min:36% TEMPERATURE Max: 40.0°C (+1) SUN RISES 05:34 hrs MOON RISES 13:11 hrs Min: 27.6°C (+3) SUN SETS 19:02 hrs MOON SETS 02:36 hrs THUMBNAILS A man near Yamuna river where foam appeared due to pollution in the Capital SUBRATA DUTTA on Monday. Dawood Ibrahim's close aide detained by NIA: Six persons including Salim Fruit were detained by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from different areas of Mumbai for interrogation in connection with the raids conducted against associates of Pakistan-based gangster Dawood Ibrahim and a few hawala operators. Indian Coast Guard airlifts 11 fishermen stranded in Bay of Bengal: Indian Coast Guard has successfully airlifted 11 fishermen stranded in Bay of Bengal near Pati Sonapur beach of Odisha's Ganjam district amid rough weather conditions due to approaching cyclone Asani, officials said on Monday. The 11 fishermen, coming from Vizag of Andhra Pradesh in a boat, got stuck close to Pati Sonapur beach in Ganjam district. They couldn't negotiate the waves as their boat malfunctioned in the sea near the Pati Sonapur beach, said Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P.K. Jena. Allahabad HC denies bail to 4 accused in Lakhimpur case AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 9 MAY The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Monday denied bail to the four prime accused in the October 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence case. He bench of Justice D.K Singh, while rejecting bail of Ankit Das, Lavkush, Sumit Jaiswal and Shishupal, observed that the incident might not have occurred if the Union Minister of State for Home did not make alleged utterances threatening farmers to chase them out of the district. The court said political persons should not make irresponsible statements because they are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with their status and the dignity of the high office they hold. It also emphasised that lawmakers cannot be seen as lawbreakers, and it is difficult to believe that the Deputy Chief Minister of the state was unaware that provisions of Section 144 Cr.P.C. were clamped and any assembly or gathering was prohibited. Notably, the court praised the Special Investigation Team for conducting a free, fair, impartial, and scientific investigation into the crime. The bench noted that the charge sheet revealed overwhelming evidence against the accused-applicant and coaccused for the commission of the heinous, diabolic, brutal, barbaric, depraved, gruesome, and inhumane crime. NEW DELHI, 9 MAY T he Centre today filed its affidavit before the Supreme Court and stated that it wanted to re-examine and re-consider the provisions of Section 124A (Sedition law) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The Centre said it would re-examine and re-consider the sedition law, in the spirit of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and the vision of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. "We decided to re-examine & reconsider the provisions of Section 124-A IPC," the Centre said and urged it to "await the exercise...to be undertaken by the GOI before an appropriate forum where such reconsideration is constitutionally permitted. The Government of India has filed the affidavit in response to the Sedition matter stating that there is a divergence of views expressed in the public domain by the various jurists, academicians, intellectuals and citizens in general. The Centre submitted that the Prime Minister of India has been cognizant of various views expressed on the subject and has also expressed his views on various forums. "The PM believes that at a time when our nation is marking 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' we need to, as a nation, work even harder to shed colonial baggage that has passed its utility, which includes outdated colonial laws and practices," the Centre said. It submitted that the Govt has scrapped over 1500 outdated laws since 2014-15 and has also ended over 25000 compliance burdens which were causing unnecessary hurdles to people of our country. Various offences which were causing mindless hindrances to people have been decriminalised. The Govt submitted that being fully cognizant of various views being expressed on the subject the govt has decided to reexamine and re-consider the provisions of Section 124A of IPC and had asked the court to not invest time in examining the validity of the law and await the exercise of reconsideration. It is to be noted that on May 7, the Central Government had filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court in the batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of sedition law stating 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 the 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 the 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 a binding precedent requiring Shaheen Bagh demolition drive : SC refuses to entertain pleas NEW DELHI, 9 MAY The Supreme Court today refused to entertain the plea filed by CPI(M) against the demolition drive going on in Shaheen Bagh area. The top court expressed unhappiness on a political party approaching the Supreme Court with the matter and dismissed the matter as withdrawn and granted the petitioners liberty to approach the High Court with the issue. The two-judge bench of the Apex Court, head- ed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice B. R. Gavai heard Senior Advocate, P. Surendranath appearing for the petitioner. The bench raising a question on locus of CPI(M) and asked "Why is this CPI(M) party filing the petition. We can understand if someone aggrieved files the petition." The bench advised Sr. Adv. Surendranath to go before the High Court stating that, "This is not (SEE P 2) the platform". no reference. The petitioners in the case had challenged the constitutional validity of the Sedition law are, The 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. Section 124-A (Sedition law) of the IPC deals with any speech that brings or brings 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. DGCA to probe boarding row at Ranchi involving child with special needs: Scindia SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 9 MAY The Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has ordered a probe in a boarding row at the Ranchi Airport wherein the IndiGo Airlines debarred a child with special needs and his family citing inconvenience to the other passengers on Saturday. Taking a serious view on the incident, the Minister assured a probe into the matter. Stating that 'there is zero tolerance towards such behaviour', Scindia said in a Twitter message on Monday, "No human being should have to go through this! Investigating the matter by myself, post which appropriate action will be taken." The incident happened at the Ranchi's Birsa Munda Airport and a video clip of the showdown went viral. Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief has sought a report from IndiGo on the matter. "The DGCA is probing this incident and it will take appropriate action," the officials aware of this development said. Explaining the sit- uation, the IndiGo airlines said that the child was in a 'state of panic' and they could not fly him and his parents until he calmed down. Reports also suggest that IndiGo's ground staff implied that the child with special needs was 'unfit to fly' and made inappropriate comparisons to the child as similar to the drunk passengers unfit to travel. "The airline made the family comfortable by providing them with a hotel stay, the family flew on Sunday morning to their destination. IndiGo prides itself on being an inclusive organisation, be it for employees or customers; and over 75K specially-abled passengers fly with IndiGo every month," IndiGo said in a statement. Govt MP found dead amid violent protests COLOMBO, 9 MAY COLOMBO, 9 MAY pended payments on its foreign loans. Its economic woes have brought on a political crisis, with the government facing widespread protests and a noconfidence motion in Parliament. Supporters of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa rallied inside his office earlier Monday, urging him to ignore the protesters’ demand to step down and requesting he remain in office. After the meeting, they went to the front of the office where protesters have been demonstrating for several days. Local television channel Sirasa showed pro-government supporters attacking protesters with clubs and iron bars, demolishing and later burning down their tents. After the attack, hundreds of armed soldiers were deployed in Colombo as the protesters made accusations on Sirasa TV that police did not interfere to prevent the attack, despite using tear gas and water cannons on protesters as recently as Friday. Sirasa TV showed government lawmaker Sanath Nishantha was among the government supporters who attacked the protesters. At the main hospital in the capital Colombo, 23 wounded people have been admitted and their condi- Amid the anti-government protests across the islands nation, a government MP was found dead with gunshot injuries after he fled the spot when his vehicle was blocked by the protesters on whom he allegedly opened fire. Unconfirmed reports claimed that the MP -Amarakeerthi Athukorala -- took his own life while hiding in a building in Nittambuwa town, around 40 km from Colombo. A CCTV footage, which captured the MP running along the pavement with his bodyguard armed with a pistol, went viral on social media. One of the two protesters, who were allegedly shot at by the MP, is in a critical condition. Violence erupted across the country on Monday afternoon as goons supporting resigned Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa attacked the peaceful protesters who had occupied two locations, namely entrances to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office and Mahinda's residence in Colombo. IANS tion is not critical, an official said on condition of anonymity as she is not authorized to speak to the media. The attack came as protesters marked their 31st day outside the president’s and prime minister’s offices. Ahead of Chintan Shivir, Sonia harps on unity STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 9 MAY At a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), party president Sonia Gandhi today sought to lift the morale of her party workers in the wake of its drubbing in the recent Assembly elections, saying only selfless work, discipline, and a sense of consistent collective purpose would enable the party to demonstrate its tenacity and resilience. “I seek your full cooperation in ensuring that the single overriding message of unity, cohesion, determination and commitment to our party’s accelerated revival goes forth loud and clear from Udaipur,” she said. This was a clear signal to party leaders who have Congress president Sonia Gandhi chairs the CWC meeting, at the AICC headquarters, in the Capital on Monday. SUBRATA DUTTA been speaking out of turn. The CWC, the highest policymaking body of the party, met this afternoon to finalise the agenda for the party's threeday 'Chintan Shivir' to be held in Udaipur later this week. The meeting, presided over by Sonia Gandhi, was attended by senior leaders Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhuri, Mallikarjun Kharge, K C Venugopal, P Chidambaram, Ambika Soni and Randeep Singh Surjewala, among others. The meeting is understood to have discussed the issues that are likely to come up at the Udaipur brain-storming session. It also is learnt to have briefly discussed the reasons for the party's rout in the recent Assembly elections in five states. The party had constituted six coordination panels for drafting papers and leading discussions on social justice, economy, farmers and youth, besides political and organisational issues. Their reports will also be discussed at the 'Chintan Shivir'. Meanwhile, to attract young talent to the party, a Congress sub-group has recommended giving only one ticket per family so that big leaders do not corner party tickets and deny an opportunity to genuine hard workers. The party had flouted this rule in Goa and Uttarakhand in the recent Assembly polls and paid a heavy price. Welcome trend: Gen-next prefer tying the knot without dowry India reports 3207 fresh MANOJ CHAURASIA PATNA, 9 MAY There seems to be a new kind of social revolution silently taking place in the hinterland of Bihar. Call it the impact of the sustained campaigns or the sheer impulse to change the old social order, the gen-next in the state are now revolting against their parents seeking dowry from brides’ families and opting for dowry-less marriages, bringing pleasant changes on the social horizons. In the past one month itself, as many as four such weddings have taken place in various corners of Bihar. In a fresh incident, a youth from Jharkhand reached the house of his would-be bride in Rohtas district and entered into wedlock at a local temple after his parents broke the pre-scheduledweddingprogrammefornot paying enough dowry. The wedding of Pankaj Kumar Chaud- hary, a resident of Hussainabad blockinJharkhand,hadbeenfixed with Pratima Kumari, who hails from Rohtas district. However, themattergotstuckovertheissue of dowry and eventually the wedding got cancelled. Once the news reached the youth, he rushed to the residence of the girl and offered a dowry-less wedding which the girl’s parents agreed to. Instantly, the wedding was solemnised at a local temple on Sunday in the presence of local villagers. “I don’t want dowry but a worthy bride. So, I opted for dowry-less marriage,” the groom said. A similar incident took place at Karahgar village in the same district last week. The boy, Rakesh Gupta reached the house of the girl Soni Kumari, and tied the nuptial knot free-of-cost after the youth's step mother had nearlycancelledtheweddingover the issue of dowry. The wedding was solemnised at a temple with the local villagers playing bothbaratis(guestsfromgroom’s side) and saratis (wedding guests from bride’s side). Identical scenes were witnessed last month in Saran district, where the groom straightway reached the house of his fiancétomarrythegirlwhentheir wedding came on the brink of collapse due to inability by the bride's family to pay dowry. The wedding of Ravindra Kumar, a residentofGopalganjdistrict,was scheduled to be solemnized with Neha Kumari in November last year itself but the groom’s parents delayed the wedding for not meeting their dory demands. The news worried the boy, who subsequently rushed to the girl's homeandproposedtomarrythe girl which was instantly accepted.Theweddingwassolemnised on 23 April. Mittal Rajvanshi, another eligible bachelor, did the same in Nawada district around a month back when he rebelled against his parents to marry his sweetheart Sushmita Kumari withwhomhisweddinghadbeen fixed but dowry came in the way. Their love affairs began in 2016 but it was in 2021 that boy’s parents agreed for marriage with the girl. However, as the girl’s parents came with the marriage proposal,theboy’sparentsdemanded a motorbike as well as jewellery as dowry. Eventually, their marriage appeared to be in trouble but in themeantime,theyouthreached the girl’s house and entered into wedlock with her, without accepting any dowry. Social scientistsdescribethetrendasaresult of sustained campaigns against dowry, coupled with the increasing literacy rate in the society. “Marriage as an institution has, of late, undergone an enormous change in the society. The present generation now thinks they won’t be getting good brides if they look for attractive dowry,” explained prominent social scientist Prof Scahindra Narayan. Covid cases, 29 deaths STATESMANNEWSSERVICE NEW DELHI, 9 MAY India reported 3207 fresh Covid cases and 29 deaths in the last 24 hours, stated the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday. With this, India’s active caseload now stands at 20,403 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 3410 patients having recovered in the last 24 hours taking the cumulative tally of recovered patients to 4,25,60,905. While the weekly positivity rate in the country currently stands at 0.82 percent, the daily positivity rate stands at 0.95 percent, as per the data. Besides, the health ministry stated, that the last 24 hours saw a total of 3,36,776 COVID-19 tests being conducted taking the cumulative tests to over 84.10 Crore. Under the National vaccination drive, 190.34 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far. As per the data, COVID-19 vaccination for the age group 12-14 years was started on 16 March 2022. So far, more than 3.05 Crore (3,05,07,974) adolescents have been administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Similarly, the COVID19 precaution dose administration for the age group 18-59 years also started from 10 April 2022 onwards. More than 18.34 crore balance and unutilised Covid vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs to be administered. Besides, as per the ministry’s data, more than 193.53 crore vaccine doses have FACT FILE TOTAL CASES 4,31,05,401 ACTIVE CASES 20,403 NEW CASES 3,207 NEW RECOVERIES 3,410 TOTAL DEATHS 5,24,093 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 10.00 P.M. MONDAY 09 MAY 2022 been provided to States/UTs so far through Govt. of India (free of cost channel) and through the direct state procurement category.
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