SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 14 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 ERDOGAN OPPOSES LETTING FINLAND, SWEDEN JOIN NATO ‘RAPID TRANSIT WILL TRANSFORM LIVES’ P7 WEATHER MAINLY CLEAR SKY. HEATWAVE CONDITIONS AT MANY PLACES WITH SEVERE HEATWAVE CONDITIONS AT ISOLATED PLACES. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 44 AND 28 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. P10 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 MAY Max: 42.5°C (+3) SUN RISES 05:31 hrs MOON RISES 17:12 hrs Min: 28.1°C (+3) SUN SETS 19:04 hrs MOON SETS 04:44 hrs THUMBNAILS All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation organised a demonstration against the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Palestine in the Capital on Friday. SUBRATA DUTTA C ongress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday attacked the BJP-led NDA government over its slogan 'Maximum Governance, Minimum Government', saying the slogan was being misused for “viciously targeting and brutalising the minorities" of the country. “By now it has become abundantly and painfully clear what PM Modi and his colleagues really mean by their slogan 'Maximum governance, minimum government'. It means keeping the country in a permanent state of polarisation, compelling people to live in a constant state of fear and insecuri- Notice to Centre, J&K on plea challenging recent delimitation exercise : Supreme Court today in its order sought a detailed response from Centre & Jammu and Kashmir Administration on a petition challenging the proposed delimitation exercise of the Union Territory, which recommended increasing assembly seats from 83 to 90. The Supreme Court refused to stay on the ongoing process of delimitation commission of the UT. SC refuses to pass order on plea seeking stay on survey of Gyanvapi mosque: The Supreme Court today refused to pass any order to a mentioning by Committee of management of the Anjuman-e-intezamia masjid seeking stay on Survey of the Kashi Vishwan- ath temple~Gyanvapi masjid complex ordered by the Varanasi court.A bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the CJI Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, said, we could not pass any order today. The SC however, said, "it will look all the papers and see into the matter." (P5) Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi addresses the 'Nav Sankalp Chintan Shivir - 2022', in Udaipur on Friday. ANI ty, viciously targeting victimizing and often brutalizing minorities who're an integral part of our society and equal citizen of our republic,” the Congress president said in her opening remarks while addressing a three-day 'Nav Sankalp Chintan Shivir' in Udaipur. About 'Nav Sankalp Chintan Shivir', the Congress president said, " It gives us an opportunity to discuss amongst us the numerous challenges that the country is facing as a result of the policies of the BJP, RSS and its affiliates.” Launching an attack on the BJP, she said the BJP wants to keep people in a “perpetual state of frenzy” by provoking and instigating”. Urging members of the party to combat BJP's divisiveness, the Congress president said, “Most Indians want to live in an atmosphere of peace, amity and harmony. BJP, its cohorts and surrogates want to keep people in a perpetual state of frenzy. They constantly provoke, instigate, and inflame.” “We've to combat this virus of divisiveness that's being maliciously spread,” P12 SIT to probe killing of Kashmiri Pandit, govt job for wife: J&K govt she said while addressing the Chintan Shivir to discuss 'communal polarization', farmers' issues and strengthening the party for the upcoming elections. Talking about the Shivir, Gandhi said it is also about "aatmachintan" (introspection) on the issues pertaining to the party. "It is also an occasion to deliberate on the many challenges ahead of us. It is both 'Chintan' about national issues and meaningful 'aatmachintan' about our party organisation," she said. She also hit out at BJP and RSS stating that the country is facing numerous "challenges due to their policies" and the Shivir gives the grand-old party an opportunity to discuss those challenges. Cong promises big changes after ‘Chintan Shivir’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 MAY Senior Congress party leader Ajay Maken on Friday said there is complete unanimity in the party on the one family, one ticket rule, and said the Congress is set to usher in big organisational changes after the party's three-day Chintan Shivir'or brainstorming session. The three-day long 'Nav Sankalp Chintan Shivir' of the Congress party commenced in Udaipur in Rajasthan today. Addressing a press conference in Udaipur ahead of the Chintan Shivir, the Congress Gen- Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi with Anand Sharma and Ghulam Nabi Azad in Udaipur on Friday. ANI eral secretary said the aim of the Shivir is to transform the way Congress functions as an organisation. “We are going to make some big changes in the organisation,” he said. He said that at least 5 years of work experience will be required for anyone who wants to contest on Congress' party ticket. “There's almost complete unanimity among panel members on the proposal that to ensure that party leaders don't give tickets to their kin or relatives without any work in the party, at least 5 years of prior work in the party will be required,” he said.“One family, one ticket' proposal (is) being SC refuses to postpone NEET-PG exam Pb Police identifies Lakhbir Singh Landa as key conspirator in Mohali blast case NEW DELHI, 13 MAY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE CHANDIGARH, 13 MAY The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the petition seeking a direction to postpone National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Postgraduate Examination for the academic year 2022-23. The examination is due to commence on 21 May. "Our country is coming out of pandemic and the need is to streamline medical academic session. The delay in academic years, especially relating to patient care, would have cascading effects. It is a policy decision to hold examinations on 21 May, in which this court would not interfere,” the bench of the Supreme Court today said in its order. The Apex Court, headed by Justice Dr Dhananjaya Yashwant Chandrachud said that the request to postpone NEET PG 2022 cannot be entertained, after noting that the need of patient care is paramount and passing an order postponing the examination would affect the schedule of student preparing for the examination. The Apex Court during the course of the hearing noted that around 2 lakh 6 thousands doctors have registered for the examination and postponing of the NEETPG will prejudice these doctors career and would create chaos and uncertainty. It would also lead to deficiency of doctors in hospitals. The Apex court in its order also observed that these are matter which pertain to policy domain and unless the decision is taken by the authorities without no application of mind there is no need to consider the same.SNS ‘UMRAN NEEDS MORE TIME TO MATURE’ Cop shot dead in Pulwama, LeT terrorists killed Cong chief says BJP wants to keep people in a ‘perpetual state of frenzy’ Max: 69% TEMPERATURE P11 Sonia slams Centre for brutalising minorities RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min: 29% UAE’S LONG-AILING RULER SHEIKH KHALIFA BIN ZAYED DIES Punjab Police on Friday claimed to have cracked the Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) attack case on intelligence wing headquarters (HQ) of Punjab Police at Mohali. Addressing a Press conference, Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab VK Bhawra said Canada-based gangster Lakhbir Singh alias Landa has emerged as the key handler, who provided RPG, AK-47 and local network of criminals for logistic support to carry out the terror attack at Punjab Police Intelligence Headquarters in Mohali on Monday evening. Landa (33), who is native of Tarn Taran and fled to Canada in 2017 is a close aide of Pakistan-based wanted Canada-based gangster Lakhbir Singh has emerged as the key handler, who provided RPG, AK-47 and local network of criminals for logistic support to carry out the attack gangster Harvinder Singh alias Rinda and had joined hands with Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), the DGP said. Bhawra said six persons have been arrested for their involvement in planning and providing the local logistic support to the attackers. Those arrested have been identified as Nishan Singh of village Kulla in Bhikhiwind, Tarn Taran, Jagdeep Singh Kang of Wave Estate in Sector 85, SAS Nagar, Kanwarjit Singh alias Kanwar Bath (40) of Gumtala in Amritsar, Baljin- der Singh alias Rambo (41) of Patti, Tarn Taran, Baljit Kaur alias Sukhi (50) of Kot Khalsa, Amritsar and Anant Deep Singh alias Sonu (32) of Guru Nanak Colony, Amritsar. The DGP said two cars including SUV Toyota Fortuner and Hatchback Maruti Swift has also been recovered from their possession. Earlier, the sleeve of the RPG was also recovered.Nishan was arrested by the Faridkot police on 11 May in Arms Act case and he is on police remand till 16 May. The DGP said Landa took the help of Nishan and his other accomplice identified as Charat Singh for carrying out RPG attack at the intelligence HQs and being a local resident, Jagdeep helped Charat in conducting recce of the intelligence office. discussed; the exception only if another family member working for at least 5 years in the party," he added. The Congress leader said there is a proposal to give 50 per cent representation to those below the age of 50 at all levels from top to bottom, including in the CWC. “Any person who is holding a post for 5 years should have to step down, and there should be a cooling period of at least 3 years for that person to come back in the same post.For more than 5 years a person should not be on the same post,”he said. JAMMU, 13 MAY Police personnel stop Kashmiri Pandits during a protest against killing of a Kashmiri Pandit in Budgam on Friday. ANI STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 13 MAY The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday evening constituted a special investigative team (SIT) to probe all the aspects of the despicable terror attack in which a Kashmiri Pandit government employee Rahul Bhat was shot dead by two terrorists in Budgam on Thursday.Sharing the information on twitter, Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha said the SHO of the concerned police station has also been attached in the police lines. The LG said the J&K administration will provide a government job to Rahul Bhat’s wife in Jammu and financial assistance to the family. The government will bear educational expenses of his daughter. The Police on Friday resorted to lathi charge and firing tear gas shells to disperse Kashmiri Pandit community members marching towards Srinagar airport to protest the killing of a government employee Rahut Bhat (35) by terrorists in Budgam on Thursday. Kashmiri Pandits also India reports 2841 cases in last 24 hrs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 MAY Four charred to death after bus carrying pilgrims catches fire in J&K STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 13 MAY Atleast four persons were charred to death and 24 others received burn injuries on Friday when a bus carrying Vaishnodevi pilgrims suddenly caught fire near Katra that is the base camp of the cave shrine in the Reasi district of Jammu. According to Additional DGP Jammu, Mukesh Singh, the bus JK14-1831 was on its way to Jammu from Katra when it caught fire after travelling about 1 km. Meanwhile, the LG also announced ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh each to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the unfortunate bus incident in Katra. Rs. 1 Lakh would be given to those seriously injured. India reported 2841 fresh infections in the last 24 hours, stated the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday. With this, India’s active caseload now stands at 18,604 with active cases now constituting 0.04% of the country's total positive cases. As per the data shared by the ministry, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.74per cent with 3295 patients having recovered in the last 24 hours taking the cumulative tally of recovered patients to 4,25,73,460. While the weekly positivity rate in the country currently stands at 0.69 percent, the daily positivity rate stands at 0.58 percent, as per the data. Besides, the health ministry stated that the last 24 hours saw a total of 4,86,628 tests being conducted taking the cumu- Musk puts Twitterdeal ‘on hold’, says committed to acquisition AGENCIES DETROIT/NEW DELHI, 13 MAY Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Friday that his plan to buy Twitter is “temporarily on hold,” raising fresh doubts about whether he’ll proceed with the $44 billion acquisition. He later said that he is still committed to the $44 billion acquisition. Twitter's share price plunged on the news of the deal being put on hold. Musk tweeted that he wanted to pinpoint the number of spam and fake accounts on the social media platform. Musk has been vocal about his desire to clean up Twitter’s problem with “spam bots” that mimic real people and appeared to question whether the company was underre- porting them. Twitter has disclosed in regulatory filings that false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5 per cent of its monetisable daily active users during the first quarter, though it said that its estimates for the last two years may be low. Some analysts believe that Musk could be raising the issue as a reason to back out of the deal. “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk tweeted Friday morning. He later tweeted that he’s “still committed to acquisition.” Musk’s followers blasted the tweet, saying he has disturbed the platform, “pushing senior staff to resign and through doubts on its users”. “If Twitter collapses, it is on you,” said one follower. Stock in both Twitter and Tesla swung sharply in opposite directions Friday, with Twitter’s stock falling more than 9% and shares of Tesla, which Musk had proposed using to help fund the Twit- ter deal, falling nearly 6%. Serious questions now linger on the future of the platform that is battling multiple issues ~ from employee exodus to users leaving amid Musk’s 'free speech' call that is expected to drive hate speech and abusive content. Amidst this, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal sacked a couple of key executives in a bid to "take the team in a different direction". Agrawal, who himself faces sacking once Musk takes over, fired consumer product leader Kayvon Beykpour and head of revenue product Bruce Falck. In addition, Agrawal said that effective this week, Twitter is pausing most hiring and backfills, except for business critical roles. protested in Jammu during cremation of Rahul this morning when they raised slogans against the Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha and BJP for having “failed” to protect the employees of the minority community working in the valley. They also grilled the J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina who was present at the cremation. ADGP Mukesh Singh, divisional commissioner Ramesh Kumar and deputy commissioner Avny Lavasa were present at the cremation. Police using force against the protestors has widely been criticized. A group of Kashmiri Pandits threatened to submit mass resignation of employees working in Kashmir as they were feeling insecure. NC leader Omar Abdullah while criticizing police action, tweeted: “It’s shameful that legitimate & justified protests are met with a heavyhanded response. This is not new for the people of Kashmir because when all the administration has is a hammer every problem resembles a nail. If the LG’s Govt can’t protect KPs they have a right to protest, Kashmir is far Tesla India entry on hold FACT FILE TOTAL CASES 4,31,16,254 ACTIVE CASES 18,604 NEW CASES 2,841 NEW RECOVERIES 3,295 TOTAL DEATHS 5,24,190 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 13 MAY 2022 lative tests to over 84.29 crore.Under the National vaccination drive, 190.99 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far. As per the data, Covid vaccination for the age group 12-14 years was started on 16 March 2022. So far, more than 3.12 crore adolescents have been administered the first dose of thevaccine. SNS from normal today”. PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti said; “In view of targeted killings, I appeal to people of J&K to stand together in these turbulent times so that GOI doesn’t use this tragic incident to further malign muslims across the country. Wanted to visit Budgam to express my solidarity with Kashmiri pandits protesting against GOIs failure to protect them. Have been put under house arrest as the fact that Kashmiri muslims & pandits empathise with each other’s pain doesn’t fit into their vicious communal narrative”. 20 killed, many injured in Mundka inferno SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 13 MAY As many as 20 died while 50 to 60 people were rescued after a massive fire broke out in a building near Mundka metro station on Friday evening, the police said. "A total of 20 bodies were recovered from the 3-storey commercial building which had caught fire this evening near Delhi's Mundka metro station. The third floor is yet to be searched," Atul Garg, Delhi Fire Director said. Speaking to the media, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Outer district Sameer Sharma said, about 15 fire tenders are at the spot. The rescue operation is continuing. "Rescue operation on. Police force deployed with the area being cordoned off. About 15 fire tenders are at the spot, and more coming in. Fire on two floors. About 50-60 people were rescued," Sharma said. So far 10 people have been injured in the fire, said Delhi Police. (See p2) Indian Embassy to resume ops in Kyiv STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 MAY NEW DELHI, 13 MAY Tesla Inc has put on hold plans to sell electric cars in India after failing to secure lower import taxes, according to agency reports. The decision caps more than a year of deadlocked talks with government representatives as Tesla sought to first test demand by selling electric vehicles imported from production hubs in the US and China, at lower tariffs. With PMNarendra Modi’s government not offering concessions, Tesla put on hold the plans to import cars into India, the report said. ANI Within 24 hours of killing of a Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Bhat in Budgam, terrorists on Friday shot dead a Kashmiri Muslim policeman Reyaz Ahmad Thokar at his residence in Pulwama district of south Kashmir. Police said that Constable Reyaz Ahmad was fired upon by terrorists at his residence in Gudroo (Pulwama). The injured cop was rushed to the 92 Base Military Hospital where he succumbed to injuries. Meanwhile, security forces killed two Pakistani terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) who had recently infiltrated through the LoC. They were tracked at Brar where the encounter broke out. India today decided to move its embassy in Ukraine back to the war-torn country after nearly two months. “The Indian Embassy in Ukraine, which was temporarily operating out of Warsaw (Poland), would be resuming its operation in Kyiv w.e.f. 17 May 2022. The Embassy was temporarily relocated to Warsaw on 13 March 2022,'' the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said today.The embassy was moved out of Kyiv after Russian forces stepped up their attacks on Ukrainian cities. Foreign diplomats are slowly returning to the Ukraine capital and reopening their embassies in a vote of confidence that the worst of Russia’s assault against the Ukrainian city may be over— for now at least. At least 17 countries have sent their diplomats back to Kyiv, mostly European Union and NATO members that are supporting Ukraine in fighting off the Russian invasion. Among the countries sending their diplomats back to Kyiv to reopen their embassies are France, Italy, Turkey, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Belgium, and Austria.
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