TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 21 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 CONG PROTESTS RAHUL’S GRILLING P5 WEATHER PARTLY CLOUDY SKY. VERY LIGHT RAIN/ THUNDERSHOWERS. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 31 AND 27 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 88% P5 Min: 27°C SUN SETS 18:23 hrs MOON SETS 11:44 hrs P12 Army issues notification for Agniveer recruitment Agnipath: ‘Bharat Bandh' disrupts life SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 20 JUNE NEW DELHI, 20 JUNE he ''Bharat Bandh'', called by various organisations to protest the Agnipath schemeforrecruitmentinthe armed forces, disrupted life with minor incidents of violence being reported from some areas. In Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, police were deployed at key locationstopreventanyuntoward incidents. Inviewoftheprotests,over 529 trains were cancelled and internetservicesremainedsuspended in various districts of Bihar. Outofthese529trains,181 were mail/express trains and 348 were passenger trains. Apartfromthese,theRailways also partially cancelled 4 Mail Express and 6 passenger trains.AccordingtotheNorthernRailways,71Delhi-bound commuter trains (including return services) and 18 Eastbound train services scheduled from different northernrailwayterminalswerecancelled. Train services of the Western Railway zone were affected Sunday as well. Besides, security was also tightened at various locations in the Howrah district of West Bengal. “Police force has been deployed at multiple locations.We are ready to tackleanykindofsituationthat may arise. We also urge the T Lakshman Temple is covered in a blanket of snow after a fresh snowfall, in the Chamoli ANI district of Uttarakhand on Monday. Passengers rescued from cable car in Himachal: Eleven people, including two senior citizens, were stranded mid-air in a cable car for around six hours before being rescued at the famed Timber Trail private resort in the state's Solan district. They were rescued by deploying another cable car P3 trolly. Covid virus likely leaked from Wuhan lab, says WHO chief: Just days after saying that the Covid lab leak theory needs "further investigations", the World Health Organisation (WHO) chief has privately confided to a senior European politician that the pandemic originated from China's infamous Wuhan lab, according to a report. Sashastra Seema Bal and police personnel patrol outside Patna railway station ANI on Monday. youth to not get involved in any untoward activity,” Anupam Singh, DCP North, Howrah told reporters In Jharkhand, schools were ordered to remain shut andtheongoingexaminations of classes 9 and 11 have been postponed. Major traffic jams were reported en route to Noida, where Section 144 has been imposed, and Gurgaon at Delhi’sbordersamidincreased security checks by the police. Securitypersonnelhavebeen deployed at various locations in Ranchi amid protests against the Army recruitment scheme With the Uttar Pradesh police conducting security checks at the border, heavy traffic was reported on the Delhi-Noida link road at the Chilla border. Security was beefed up with additional forces and barbed wires at the Vijaywada railway station on Monday amid calls for Bharat Bandh. Forces have been deployed at key locations across the Vijaywada city in Andhra Pradesh. With police forces on alert amid calls for Bharat Bandh, a major traffic snarl was reported at the Sarhaul border on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway.Passengers were left stranded at the Gorakhpur Railway Station in Uttar Pradesh after trains were cancelled amid calls for a Bharat Presidential election: Gopalkrishna Gandhi declines offer to be opposition candidate SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 20 JUNE leaders of the Opposition have done him the honour of thinking of him for the Opposition's candidature in the upcoming elections for the presidency. "I am most grateful to them. But having considered the matter deeply I see that the Opposition's candidate should be one who will generate a national consensus and a national atmosphere besides Opposition unity. I feel there will be others who will do this far better than I," he said. "And so I have requested the leaders to give the opportunity to such a person. May India get a President worthy of the office presaged by Rajaji as the last Governor General and inaugurated by Dr Rajendra Prasad as our first President," Gandhi said. The 77-year-old former bureaucrat had also served as India's High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka. He is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and C Rajagopalachari.Gandhi was the consensus Opposition candidate for the post of Vice President of India in 2017 but had lost to M Venkaiah Naidu in the election. Gandhi's statement came two days after former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Abdullah withdrew his name as the potential joint opposition candidate for the upcoming presidential elec- Two main shooters involved in Moosewala’s murder arrested INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 20 JUNE In a major breakthrough, the Special Cell of Delhi Police on Monday arrested two main shooters and their one facilitator who were involved in the killing of Punjabi singer Shubhdeep Singh, popularly known as Sidhu Moosewala. "Of the two shooters, one is the head of the module," a senior Delhi Police official said. The accused were identified as Priyavrat alias Fauji (26), a resident of Sonipat in Haryana and Kashish alias Kuldeep (24). Senior official said that the accused Priyavrat, who was the head of 'Bolero Module' of the gangsters, led the team of shooters and was in direct touch with Goldy Brar at the time of incident." He was the P6 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE THUMBNAILS Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi on Monday declined the Opposition leaders' request to contest the upcoming presidential election, the third person to do so after Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar and Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah also gave the offer a pass. The development makes it tricky for the Opposition to put up a joint consensus candidate in the presidential polls to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance nominee. The next meeting of major Opposition parties to deliberate on a consensus candidate for the presidential election is likely to be held on Tuesday here. In a statement, Gandhi said several esteemed VERSTAPPEN WINS CANADIAN F1 GP In Bihar, W B, AP and Kerala, police deployed at key locations to prevent untoward incidents Min: 82% TEMPERATURE Max: 31°C SUN RISES 04:53 hrs MOON RISES 00:59 hrs MAJOR MILESTONE ‘COVID HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR BEST TECH IN HEALTH SECTOR’ main shooter and executioner of murder and can be seen in CCTV footage of petrol pump Fatehgarh before the incident," the official said. Accused Priyavrat was previously found involved in two murder cases and was arrested in 2015 in one murder case of Sonipat and wanted in another murder case of Sonipat in 2021. Kuldeep, the second accused shooter, was also seen in CCTV footage of petrol pump Fatehgarh before the incident," the official said. The third arrestee was identified as Keshav Kumar (29), a resident of Bhatinda, Punjab. "Accused Keshav acted as a facilitator and received the shooters just after the shootout in an Alto car," said the official. Accused Keshav accompanied the shooters till Mansa on the day of incident, during reconnaissance and also during the previous attempts. Apart from arresting the two accused shooters, the police have also recovered a huge number of arms and explosives. Moosewala, 28, one of the most famous Punjabi language singers of the current times, was shot dead on May 29 while he was travelling in a car and around 8 assailants fired over 30 shots at Jawaharke village of the Mansa district in Punjab. tions, saying he has a "lot more active politics" ahead of him, and that he wanted to contribute in navigating the Union Territory through the current "critical juncture". Leaders of several Opposition parties last Wednesday urged NCP supremo Sharad Pawar to be the joint opposition candidate for the presidential elections, but the veteran leader had turned down the offer at the meeting convened by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here. After Pawar had declined the offer, Banerjee later suggested the names of Abdullah and Gandhi as possible Opposition candidates. As many as 17 Opposition parties had attended the opposition meeting to build a consensus on fielding a joint candidate against the BJPled NDA. over 529 trains were cancelled and internet services remained suspended in various districts of Bihar. Out of these 529 trains, 181 were mail/express trains and 348 were passenger against trains Bandh on Monday. Protests erupted in variousstatesincludingDelhi,Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana,Odisha,WestBengal,MadhyaPradesh,Punjab, Jharkhand and Assam after the Agnipath scheme was announced on June 14. All coachinginstituteshavebeen shut down by the administration in Haryana's Mahendragarh and Jhajjar. TakingtoTwitter,Congress General Secretary in-charge Communications Jairam Ramesh said on Sunday, “Tomorrow lakhs of Congressworkersacrossthecountry will continue peaceful protests against the antiyouth Agnipath scheme and Maha shocker: 9 members of 2 brothers' families commit suicide Modi government’s vendetta politics targeting its MP Rahul Gandhi.” Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai also joined the protest. “A joint movement will be organized at Jantar Mantar in Delhi at 11 am on June 20 againsttheAgnipathscheme,” Rai had said in a tweet. Meanwhile,theCongressleadersmet President Ram Nath Kovind. They told him about the mistreatmentofMPsbypolicefor protesting against various burning issues. Amid the ongoing protests against the Agnipath, Uttarakhand Chief MinisterPushkarSinghDhami has said youth are being misguided. India registers 12,781 new Covid-19 cases, 18 deaths SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 20 JUNE SANGLI, 20 JUNE Inachillingincident,atleastnine members of two brothers' families allegedly consumed poison and ended their lives in Mhaisal village near Miraj, police said here on Monday. Among the victims are a veterinarian and his brother, a schoolteacher,theirspousesand children, whose 9 bodies were recovered from their respective homes. The motives behind the drastic step, whether it was planned or spontaneous or thekindoftoxicsubstancesthey have consumed are not known immediately, and more details are awaited. The news of the alleged mass-suicide spread like wildfire with scores of shocked people rushing to the homes in Ambika Nagar area of the IANS village. Amid widespread anger and protest over Centre's Agnipath scheme, the Indian Army on Monday issued notification for the first round of recruitment through the scheme. As per the notification, the registration for the recruitment rallies will start from July. "The registrations will be opened from July onwards by the respective Army Recruitment Offices (ARO) for Agniveer General Duty, Agniveer Technical, Agniveer Technical (aviation/ammunition examiner), Agniveer clerk/store keeper technical, Agniveer tradesman (10th pass) and Agniveer Tradesman (8th pass) as per the ARO rally schedule", the Army notification reads.The notification released by the Indian Army broadly outlines terms and conditions of service, eligibility, discharge and other important information related to the scheme. "Agniveers enrolled under the scheme will not be eligible for any kind of Pension and Gratuity", said the notification issued on Monday. The service of the 'Agniveers' will commence from the date of enrolment. They would form a distinct rank in the Army, different from other existing ranks, it said further. The personnel enrolled under this scheme will be required to undergo periodical medical checkups along with physical/written/field tests as per orders, said the notification. The notification has come on a day when several groups called 'Bharat Bandh'. The national capital also witnessed traffic jams as the police tightened security across the city and its bordering areas. The three service chiefs are set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow to brief him on the 'Agnipath' recruitment scheme. The scheme, since its announcement on June 14, has run into rough weather.The youth selected under the new scheme will be known as Agniveers. The Prime Minister, stopping short of mentioning the scheme or the protests, on Sunday said," "It is our country's misfortune that many good things brought with good intentions get trapped in political colours. Media also gets dragged into it due to its TRP compulsions." A day later in Bengaluru, PM Modi again said some decisions "may look unfair" at first, but will help in nation-building later. Several opposition parties, including the Congress, have dubbed "Agnipath" the latest blunder of the government, part of a series that includes demonetisation and the farm laws. Many critics have predicted a rollback. The military has declared that this was a long-awaited change in tune with the global trend that is increasingly focussed on the use of cutting-edge technology in warfare and a younger age profile for soldiers. The government has ruled out a rollback. India reported 12,781 new COVID-19 cases and 18 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Monday. India on Sunday reported 12,899 fresh COVID-19 cases and 15 fatalities. Active cases in the country stand at 76,700 with a daily positivity rate of 4.32 per cent. Cumulatively, India's COVID infection count has surged to 42,707,900 since March 2020 when the pandemic emerged in the country. Of the fresh cases, Delhi reported 5542 fresh cases, Maharashtra reported 23746, Tamil Nadu reported 3522 and Uttar Pradesh reported 2540 new cases, according to Ministry. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Mon- day informed that more than 193.53 crore vaccine doses have been provided to States and Union Territories so far under the nationwide COVID19 vaccination drive. The government data further said that more than 12.75 crore balance and unutilized vaccine doses are still available with States and Union Territories. "More than 193.53 crores (1,93,53,58,865) vaccine doses have been provided to States, UTs so far through Government of India (free of cost channel) and through direct state procurement category. More than 12.75 crores (12,75,03,205) balance and unutilized COVID vaccine doses are still available with the States, UTs to be administered," the government data read. The Central Government is committed to accelerating the pace and expanding the FACT FILE TOTAL CASES 4,30,29,044 ACTIVE CASES 12,597 NEW CASES 913 NEW RECOVERIES 1,316 TOTAL DEATHS 5,21,396 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 20 JUNE 2022 Bengal logs 224 cases and one death. scope of COVID-19 vaccination throughout the country. The nationwide COVID-19 vaccination started on January 16, 2021. Bengal Assembly passes resolution condemning Nupur Sharma STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA 20 JUNE The West Bengal Assembly today passed a resolution condemning BJP leader Nupur Sharma’s remark on the Prophet Muhammad while chief minister Mamata Banerjee went ballistic over the Centre’s contentious“Agnipath army recruitment scheme”, which she said was aimed at producing “BJP party cadres” ahead of the 2024 Parliamentary elections. The BJP leaders staged a walkout when the state government passed the resolution. Miss Banerjee told the Assembly: "We took action when there was violence in the state. But how come this lady (Nupur Sharma) is still not arrested? I know she will not be arrested. She has sought time from Kolkata Police for four weeks. She was to appear before the police today." Alleging that the BJP practices politics of provocation and hatred, Miss Banerjee said that the BJP-led central government was not addressing the main issue of employment and was trying to create party cadre through Agnipath. “Agnipath is actually a project to create BJP cadres. They will help to steal votes. Guard the party office. The BJP has actually given this lollipop of four years to create goons." On 14 June, the Centre announced the Agnipath scheme of recruiting youth in the Army on contract basis for four years. Miss Banerjee further said that the Agnipath scheme was not introduced by the Army but the Ministry of Home affairs ( MHA) of the Union government, which would demobilize army aspirants after four years of service and no one knows what would be in store for them except getting license to use a gun . “The roll out of the Agnipath Scheme was not announced by the Army but by the Ministry of Home affairs. It is nothing but a ploy to produce the BJP cadres with an eye on the 2024 Parliamentary elections. Nobody knows what would be the fate of those being inducted into the Agnipath scheme after four years of service except getting the license to use guns. This is nothing but a slight to the Army. You are insulting the exuberance of the youth of the country and toying with fire in the name of providing them job in the army”, she said.Miss Banerjee, who had earlier questioned the surveillance of central forces during polling in the state today said: "They will loot the BJP's votes. The party will guard the office.’’ On Sunday, BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya had said that those who come out as 'Agniveers' will be appointed as guards of the BJP office later. Speaking at a BJP office in Indore, Kailash Vijayvargiya said, "If I have to keep security guards in the BJP office, I will give priority to agniveers." Miss Banerjee’s comments came a day after Janata Dal Secular leader HD Kumaraswamy alleged that the Agnipath scheme is a plan to bring the army under the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.Despite protests, the Centre has already made it clear that there will be no rollback of the Agnipath recruitment scheme.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.