CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 18 JUNE 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 ‘CITIZENS’ SAFETY THE TOP PRIORITY’ REMEMBERING RAY P6 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Rain or thundersho wer likely to occur. Temperature likely to be in the range of 33-26 degrees Celsius. TEMPERATURE Max: 33.4°C (0) Min: 29.1°C (+2) SUN RISES SUN SETS 04:52 hrs 18:23 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 21:34 hrs 07:36 hrs Full moon on 28 June THUMBNAILS Devotees offer Friday prayers, at Jama Masjid, in New Delhi on Friday. ANI UK govt approves extradition of Assange to US: The British government has ordered the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face spying charges. Wik- iLeaks said it would appeal.Home secretary Priti Patel signed the extradition order on Friday, her department said. It follows a British court ruling in April that Assange could be sent to the US over WikiLeaks’ publication of a huge trove of classified documents more than a decade ago. Pg10 SIT by CBI officers to probe all anomalies in teacher recruitments: The Calcutta HC on Friday authorized its constituted Special Investigation Team to take over all probes in the alleged anomaly in recruitment of teachers and employees, be it in the Group C, D, primary, upper primary, Class IX, X and XI and XII. The SIT will co- mprise officers from the CBI. The HC also said that the SIT would function under the supervision of CBI joint director N Venugopal. Rajiv Mis- hra, the head of its anti-corruption wing in Kolk- ata, Pg3 would monitor its day-to-day functioning. China launches high-tech aircraft carrier: Beit jing launched a new-generation aircraft carrier on Friday, the first such ship to be both designed and built in China, in a milestone as it seeks to extend the range and power of its navy.The Ty- pe 003 carrier christened Fujian left its drydock at a shipyard outside Shanghai in the morning and tied up at a nearby pier, Pg11 state media reports said. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE Congress President Sonia Gandhi is being treated for a fungal infection along with other post-Covid symptoms at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi, according to Jairam Ramesh, Congress general secretary . In a press release here, Ramesh said Sonia had been admitted to the hospital on 12 June when she developed profuse bleeding from the nose following the Covid infection. A fungal infection in her lower respiratory tract was also detected upon admission for which she was now being treated. P10 Agnipath stir spreads, 1 killed, trains torched P12 Agnipath ‘golden opportunity’ for youth to join forces: Rajnath Training of 1st Agniveers will begin in Dec: Army chief SNS/AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE Min. 62% Sonia being treated for fungal infection P7 Protests against the tour-of-duty scheme have spread to at least 10 states RAINFALL: 2.0 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.89% ‘PANT NOT A CERTAINTY IN INDIAN T20I SIDE’ UKRAINE GIVEN POSSIBLE PATH TO EU THE RAGE ne person was killed in Secunderabad today as violent protests intensified across the nation over the Central government’s recently announced 'Agnipath' scheme for recruitment in the armed forces. Protesters damaged public property, burnt trains and blocked traffic at several places in Bihar, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and other states. The protests against the scheme have spread across at least 10 states, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Jharkhand. These states reported violent incidents in which public property was destroyed by the agitators. They resorted to stone-pelting and setting trains and public property on fire. Violent protests at Secunderabad Railway Station against the Agnipath scheme left one protester dead, 13 wounded after they went on a rampage, breaking stalls and other railway properties and setting fire to four stationary coaches and damaging locomotives. The violence caught both railway police and the state police unaware as they struggled to bring the situation under control in the midst of heavy stone pelting and arson on railway tracks and prompting the state BJP to blame the TRS for failing to control the protest. Agitators also disrupted rail and road traffic in Patna. The protesters also set the Bhagalpur-New Delhi Vikramshila Express and Jammu Tawi-Guwa- public property, burnt trains and blocked traffic at several places in Bihar, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and other states Several organisations have given a 72-hour ultimatum to the Modi government to withdraw the Agnipath scheme or else they will intensify the agitation and call for Bharat Bandh Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann has also criticised the Agnipath scheme, saying it would be a blow to the Punjabi youth who want to serve the motherland by joining the Army Concerned over the massive nationwide protests against the “Agnipath” scheme, defence minister Rajnath Singh today sought to douse the fire, saying the scheme was a golden opportunity for the Indian youth to join the armed forces and serve the motherland. In a statement, Rajnath said that many youths did not get the opportunity to join the armed forces, as the recruitment process could not take place for the last two years. Keeping in mind the future of the youth, he said the government, on the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, last night increased the age limit for the recruitment of “Agniveers” from 21 years to 23 years for the recruitment cycle of 2022. “The relaxation of age indicates that the government cares for our youth. (The) Department of Military Affairs, Ministry of Defence and the Services are committed to commencing the recruitment process at the earliest. We invite the youth to join the armed forces and serve the Nation through Agnipath,” the minister added. “Agnipath is a golden O ‘Social media under radar’ Protesters damaged hati Express trains on fire. Over 200 trains have been affected due to the protests so far. Around 35 trains have been cancelled while 13 short-terminated since the protests erupted on Wednesday. The worst hit was the East Central Railways which covers Bihar, Jharkhand and parts of Uttar Pradesh, the states which have witnessed widespread protests. Angry mobs targeted trains and railway property at Ballia, Varanasi, Mathura and Agra in UP and in several districts in Bihar. The youth pelted stones and damaged public properties at various places. In Lakhisarai, the agitating students set the Bhagalpur-New Delhi Vikramshila Express on fire as soon as the train arrived at the platform. The agitated youths asked the passengers to come out of the trains and then set the train afire. Besides, in Begusarai, the agitated students set the Lakhminia railway station on fire. “They burnt down the ticket booking counter NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE Rapid Action Force personnel stand guard in wake of protests against the Agnipath Recruitment Scheme, in Hyderabad on Friday. ANI and the waiting area. The office properties and documents were completely gutted in the fire. In Bhojpur, the agitated students set the Bihiya railway station on fire,” said the eyewitness. In Samastipur, the agitators set two coaches of the Jammu Tawi-Guwahati Express on fire in the Mohiuddinnagar railway station located on the Hajipur-Barauni railway section. Several organisations have given a 72-hour ultimatum to the Modi government to withdraw the Agnipath scheme or else they will intensify the agitation and call for Bharat Bandh. In Khagaria, the agitated mob stopped the Purnea-Ranchi Kosi Express at the Mansi railway station and demanded the rollback of the Agnipath scheme. A concerned railways minister AshwiniVaishnaw urged the youth not to destroy trains. “I appeal to the youth to not indulge in violent protests and not damage the property of the Railways.” Intelligence Agencies are keeping a close watch on social media, especially WhatsApp groups that are spreading misinformation and provoking students on the Agnipath recruitment scheme. They have also asked state police to keep watch on anti-social elements joining the protest to target police and public property. A senior official said that the staff working on the ground have been instructed to keep watch on social media accounts of coaching institutes for defence exam preparation and approach local police to talk to owners of these institutes and make them appeal to students to maintain peace and clarify their doubts on Agnipath recruitment scheme. He added that they are in coordination with local police to identify anti-social elements joining the protest to create violence. The worst-hit railways include East Central Railways ~ which covers Bihar, Jharkhand and parts of UP , the states which have witnessed widespread protests ~ have also decided to "monitor" the operations of eight trains due to the agitations. Meanwhile, BJP MP Varun Gandhi tweeted that even though the government gets an opportunity to work for five years, why do the country’s youth get just four years of service. (See Pg 4) Prez polls: Opp parties to meet on 21 June The Opposition parties will meet on June 21 to discuss the candidate for the Presidential election. The meeting will be chaired by NCP chief Sharad Pawar INDO ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE The opposition parties will meet on June 21 to discuss the candidate for the Presidential election. The meeting will be chaired by NCP chief Sharad Pawar. Sources say that 17 parties will attend the meeting. The parties have to arrive at a consensus on the candidate's name after Sharad Pawar declined to contest. The opposition parties had 15 file nomination papers for poll STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Till today, 15 persons have filed their nominations in the Presidential Election 2022 since the process began on 15th June.There were 11 nominations on 15th June, three on 16th June and one today. Sanjay Savji Deshpande, a resident of Mumbai’s Amar Nagar, filed his nomination paper today. A copy of his nomination paper was displayed on the Notice Board of the Returning Officer for the election, Mr P C Mody, who is the Secretary-General of the Rajya Sabha. Deshpande is a registered voter in the 28 Mumbai North East Lok Sabha constituency. Sources said most of the nominations so far do not have the required signatures of proposers, and they appear to be non-serious candidates. The nominations will continue till 29th June and their scrutiny on 30th June is likely to eliminate the non-serious candidates. The nominations will remain open on Saturday tomorrow.The last date for the withdrawal of candidatures is 2nd July and 18th July is the date on which a poll shall, if necessary, be taken. on Wednesday decided to field a joint candidate in the Pres- idential polls next month. The meeting of opposition NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE leaders, called by Trinamul Congress supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, was held here for building a consensus on a joint opposition candidate. In the meeting, a resolution was passed to field a common candidate. “In the forthcoming Presidential election which is being held on the 75th anniversary of India's Independence, we have decided to field a common candidate who can truly serve as custodian of the Constitution and stop the Modi government from doing further damage to Indian democracy and India's social fabric,” it said. Banerjee said all important political parties sent their representatives and several senior leaders attended the meeting. NEW DELHI , 17 JUNE opportunity for the youth to join the defence services and serve the country. As the recruitment was stalled for the last two years, many were deprived of the opportunity to join the army,” Singh tweeted. The three chiefs of Indian Defence Services, meanwhile, hailed the decision of the government to approve the Agnipath Scheme. “The Government has announced Agnipath scheme under which youth will be able to join armed forces. The age criteria will be 17.5 to 21 years. Happy to announce that for the first recruitment, the upper age limit has been revised to 23 years. It will benefit the youth. Air Force recruitment will begin on June 24,” the Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said in a virtual address on Friday. Indian Army chief General Manoj Pande told news agency ANI that the training of first Agniveers will begin this December. As the Central government is yet to announce the official date of commencement of the Agnipath scheme, Indian Army chief General Manoj Pande on Friday said that the training of first Agniveers will begin in December 2022 and the active service will commence in the middle of 2023. In an exclusive conversation with ANI today, the Indian Army chief said, "Recruitment process is going to begin soon. Within the next two days, a notification will be issued on the official website. After that our Army recruitment organisations will declare a detailed schedule of registration and rally...” “As far as the question of Agniveers going to recruitment training centres is concerned, the training of first Agniveers will begin this December (in 2022) at the centres. The active service will commence in the middle of 2023," he (SEE PG 5) added. IANS THE BURNING ISSUE Smoke and flames billow out of a train after it was set on fire by protesters during a demonstration against the Agnipath Recruitment Scheme for the Armed Forces, at Danapur Railway Station, in Danapur on Friday. ANI CBI conducts raids at house of Gehlot’s kin NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE The Central Bureau of Investigation conducted searches at multiple locations, including the premises of Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot's brother place in Jodhpur in connection with a “fresh case involving alleged fertiliser scam, said a CBI official. On Friday , the CBI team arrived at Agrasen Gehlot’s premises for the searches. He was accused of exporting a large amount of Muriate of Potash to foreign countries that were meant for Indian farmers at a subsidised rate betwe- en the years 2007 and 2009 when the UPA government was in ANI power. ‘Strong possibility of poll in J&K by ’22 end’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 17 JUNE Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said there is a strong possibility of the electoral process commencing in Jammu and Kashmir by the end of this year.Rajnath Singh was speaking here at the function to commemorate 200 years of coronation of the first Dogra ruler Gulab Singh. Rajnath Singh said; "Recently, the delimitation exercise concluded in J&K. Now, Jammu will have 43 seats and Kashmir will have 47 seats in the 90-memberVidhan Sabha. There's a strong possibility that the electoral process will commence by the end of this year in J&K”, he added. He said the Modi government on 5 August 2019 abrogated Article 370 that was a source of encouraging separatism in J&K. Certain elements were trying to create hatred among communities. He said that the recent targeted killings in J&Kwere part of Pakistan's conspiracy. He said Pakistan is sowing seeds of hatred in J&K. Referring to fear triggered among minorities due to targeted killings in the valley, he said, “We won't let forceful migration happen of any person from any religion or sect”.Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha, Union minister Dr. Jitendra Singh and senior parliamentarian Dr. Karan Singh were among those present in the function. India achieved 100 pc success at WTO conference: Goyal ‘Covaxin safe for 2-18 yrs age group’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 17 JUNE India has been able to secure a favourable outcome at the WTO after many years despite a strong global campaign against Indian farmers and fishermen, said Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal at the conclusion of the 12th WTO ministerial conference in Geneva today. Goyal said the Indian delegation, guided constantly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been 100 per cent successful in portraying before the world the priority issues for India and the developing world. He said the Indian delegation leveraged India’s strong relationship with the world which the PM has nurtured over the last few years. “Few countries attempted to create a false campaign, initially on Sunday and Monday, that India is obstinate due to which no progress is being made. The real situation has emerged before us all, the issues raised by India, on which the Prime Minister had asked us to focus upon, now the whole world acknowledges that was the correct agenda and ultimately India played a vital role in arriving at all solutions,” he said. Stating that it was a proud Union minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal meets South African Trade and Industry minister Ebrahim Patel in Geneva. ANI day for 135 crore Indians at the WTO, Goyal said India took the lead and was at the centre of the conference. “It turned the tide of negotiations from full failure, gloom and doom to optimism, enthusiasm and consensus-based decision. India’s efforts to bring members to a table to discuss issues irrespective of the existing geopolitical order has ensured that the world order is not broken,” he said. Admitting that India and the developing countries accepted certain compromising decisions when the WTO was established 30 years ago and during the Uruguay Round of negotiations, Goyal said India today bated on the front foot rather than being fearful on various issues, be it environment, startups, MSMEs or gender equality. This was a result of the confidence of “New India”. India was able to build consensus and get a WinWin outcome for the world, he said. “Today as we return to India there is no issue on which we have to be the least concerned, whether it is related to agriculture such as MSP , reinforcing the relevance of the Public Stockholding Programme towards fulfilling the National Food Safety Programme or PM Garib Kalyan Scheme, TRIPS Waiver, eCommerce moratorium, response to Covid and fisheries,” said Goyal. CMYK ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL HYDERABAD ,17 JUNE Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) on Thursday announced that Covaxin, its whole-virion inactivated Covid vaccine has proven to be safe, well-tolerated, and highly immunogenic in paediatric subjects in phase II/III study, said a press release. The study has been accepted and published in Lancet Infectious Diseases, a peerreviewed high-impact factor journal, added the statement. Bharat Biotech had conducted phase II/III, openlabel, and multicentre studies to evaluate the safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of COVAXIN in healthy children and adolescents in the 2-18 years of age group. The clinical trial conducted in the pediatric population between June 2021 to September 2021 has shown safety, less reactogenic, and robust immunogenicity. Caseload crosses 10,000 mark for 2nd day in a row: Crossing the 10,000 mark for the second day in a row, India reported 12,847 fresh infections and 14 deaths 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 63,063 with active FACT FILE TOTAL CASES 4,32,70,577 ACTIVE CASES 63,063 NEW CASES 12,847 NEW RECOVERIES 7,985 TOTAL DEATHS 5,24,817 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 17 JUNE 2022 Bengal recorded 295 cases and zero deaths cases now constituting 0.15per cent of the country’s total positive cases.
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