TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 27 DECEMBER 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 RUSSIA SAYS IT SHOT DOWN UKRAINIAN DRONE NEAR AIRBASE PRACHANDA TAKES OATH AS NEPAL PM ‘DECLARE DISPUTED BORDER AREAS AS UNION TERRITORY’ P5 WEATHER MAINLY CLEAR SKY. MODERATE TO DENSE FOG IN THE MORNING. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 17 AND 06 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. RAINFALL: Nil. RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 100% Min: 72% TEMPERATURE Max: 15.6°C (-6) SUN RISES 07:13 hrs MOON RISES 11:24 hrs Min: 5.0°C (-3) SUN SETS 17:32 hrs MOON SETS 22:01 hrs THUMBNAILS External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar interacts with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres during a 'millet lunch' organised by him for the UNSC members, in New York on Thursday. ANI Sitharaman admitted to AIIMS with mild fever: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been admitted to AIIMS with symptoms of viral fever and is recovering, sources aware of the developments said. Earlier on Monday afternoon, Sitharaman was admitted to AIIMS' private ward. She is scheduled to present the Union Budget for 2023-24 likely on February 1, 2023. P9 P12 Need to restore long-lost legacy: PM The PM pointed out that the thousand-year-old history of the world was filled with chapters of gruesome cruelty STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 DECEMBER E mphasising the need to go beyond narrow interpretation of the past in order to move forward, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today declared that the country had taken the pledge of removing all traces of slave mentality in the ''Azadi ka Amrit Kaal''. Any country with such a glorious history must be full of self-confidence and self-respect, he said but lamented that concocted narratives were taught and a sense of inferiority created in the country. The new India, he said, was correcting the mistakes of the bygone decades by restoring its long-lost legacy. ''The values of a nation can be preserved only when the present generation has clarity about the history of the land,'' he added. The PM was participating in a historic programme marking the first ‘Veer Bal Diwas’ at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here. On 9 January, the day of Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Gobind Singh, the PM had announced that 26 December would be observed as ‘Veer Bal Diwas’, to mark the martyrdom of sons of the tenth Sikh Guru--Sahibzadas Baba Zorawar Singh Ji and Baba Fateh Singh Ji. Addressing a gathering on the occasion, Modi observed that ''Veer Bal Diwas'' would remind the people that age did not mat- ter when it came to extreme valour and sacrifice. ''Veer Bal Diwas will remind us of the immense contribution of ten Sikh gurus and the sacrifice of the Sikh tradition for protecting the honour of the nation. Veer Bal Diwas will tell us what India is and what is its identity and every year, Veer Bal Diwas will inspire us to recognise our past and make our future. This will also remind everyone about the strength of our young generation”, he added. The PM pointed out that the thousand-yearold history of the world was filled with chapters of gruesome cruelty. ''Wherever we come across the violent faces of cruelty, it is the character of our heroes that overshines them throughout the pages of history,'' he said. He recalled that whatever happened in the wars of Chamkaur and Sirhind could never be forgotten. He further added that these incidents occurred only three centuries ago on the soil of this land. “On one hand there was the mighty Mughal Sultanate blinded by religious fanaticism, while on the other hand there were our Gurus gleaming in the knowledge and living by the ancient principles of India.” The PM continued, “On one hand there were heights of terror and religious fanaticism, while on the other hand, there was the pinnacle of spirituality and kindness to see God in ICICI Bank-Videocon case: CBI gets three-day custody of Venugopal Dhoot , Chanda & Deepak Kochhar SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 26 DECEMBER The CBI on Monday got threeday custody of former managing director and CEO of the ICICI bank Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon Group Chairman Venugopal Dhoot, a coaccused in the ICICI Bank money laundering case. Deepak Kochhar's advocate Vikram Chaudhary said, "In the remand, it is said that Deepak Kochhar was not cooperating in the investigation but nothing is explained about how and why." His advocate further said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has already conducted an investigation. He said the investigation went on for six months but the CBI arrested Deepak Kochhar after he got bail. Chaudhary further alleged that Deepak Kochhar was arrested in an inhumane manner and the agency needs to explain his arrest. P10 ROHIT, RAHUL LIKELY TO MISS HOME SERIES AGAINST SRI LANKA "Deepak Kochhar got bail in the ED case. The agency approached the Supreme Court challenging my client's bail but it refused to intervene. My client was arrested in an inhumane manner at a time when his son's marriage has been fixed. This is illegal.The arrest of Deepak Kochhar needs to be explained. It was not a routine arrest," said Chaudhary. Chaudhary added that the arrest could not be made on the allegations alone. "It is a 2017 case. If they think that my client committed a crime, why did they not arrest him for 5 years? This is blatant misuse of power and a violation of my client's fundamental rights," said Chaudhary. The case is related to alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in the sanction of a Rs 1,875 crore loan disbursed by ICICI Bank to the Videocon Group between 2009 and 2011. During its preliminary enquiry, the CBI found that six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore were sanctioned to the Videocon Group and companies associated with it between June 2009 and October 2011, in an alleged violation of the laid-down policies of ICICI Bank. The agency claimed the loans were declared nonperforming assets in 2012, causing a loss of Rs 1,730 crore to the bank. Ukraine Prez speaks to Modi STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 DECEMBER PM was participating in a historic programme marking the first ‘Veer Bal Diwas’ at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi. SUBRATA DUTTA every human being.'' In the midst of all this, the Mughals possessed an army of millions, while the Veer Sahebzades of Guru had their courage. They did not bow down to the Mughals even though they were alone. This was when the Mughals walled them in alive. It was their bravery that has been a source of inspiration for centuries, the PM said. He also highlighted the importance of the determination and bravery of Veer Sahibzade as they showed the tyranny of Aurangzeb and his people that the young generation was not ready to buckle under the cruelty and stood firm to protect the morale of the country. ''This establishes the role of the young gener- ation in the destiny of a nation,'' he added. The PM said today’s young generation was also taking India forward with the same determination. This made the role of Veer Bal Diwas every 26 December all the more important. Paying tribute to Sikh Guru Parampara. Modi said it was not just a tradition of spirituality and sacrifice but also a source of inspiration for the concept of 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha In a telephonic conversation with PM Modi this evening, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky told the Indian leader that he was counting on New Delhi on the implementation of his peace formula in the ongoing war with Russia, now that India held the G-20 presidency. ''I had a phone call with @PMOIndia Narendra Modi and wished (him) a successful G20 presidency. It was on this platform that I announced the peace formula and now I count on India's participation in its implementation. I also thanked (him) for humanitarian aid and support in the UN,'' Zelensky tweeted. A statement from the Indian side said Modi strongly reiterated his call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, and said that both sides should revert to dialogue and diplomacy to find a lasting solution to their differences. He also conveyed India's support for any peace efforts, and assured India's commitment to continue providing humanitarian assistance for the affected civilian population. Bharat’. The biggest example was the cosmopolitan and inclusive character of Sri Guru Granth Sahib where preachings and commentary of saints from all over India were included. The PM said, “Resolution of ‘Rastra Pratham’ (country first), was the unshakable resolve of Guru Gobind Singh Ji”. Modi corroborated the point by recounting the immense personal sacrifice of his family. “This tradition of ‘Nation First’ is a huge inspiration for us”, he stressed. Covid scare: Many foreign returnees test positive, masks made mandatory in K’taka STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 DECEMBER The Karnataka government on Monday made wearing of masks in public places compulsory while several states including West Bengal, Delhi, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have also ramped up the preparations to tackle the Covid-19 situation after over 20 foreign returnees arriving from highrisk countries were tested positive for the virus. As per the Centre's guidelines, two per cent of international passengers arriving at Indian airports are to be tested. Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya held a virtual meeting with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday on Covid19 preparedness, situation, and awareness. Two persons returning from abroad have tested positive for the Coronavirus infection at the Kolkata Airport, airport sources said on Monday. Both samples have been sent for genome sequencing. According to sources, one of the positive passengers came from Dubai on Saturday while another came from Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur. Patients are kept in quarantine in Beliaghata ID Hospital. Meanwhile, the West Bengal Health Department scheduled a virtual meeting with all hospitals in the State on Monday, to assess their preparedness in tackling Covid 19 in case of a possible fourth wave in the country. Speaking on Covid-19 pre- paredness, Debjyoti Dey, Assistant Superintendent of Maniktala ESI hospital, said that the hospital is ready to fight against Covid. "We have isolation wards ready for the Covid Positive patients," Dey said. "No one has yet been admitted. But our doctors and nursing staff are ready, we have already received some instructions from the health department and are working on it," he added. Meanwhile, the Karnata- ka Health department was concerned over the development of 12 passengers arriving from high-risk countries testing positive for Covid at the KempeGowda International Airport Bengaluru, sources confirmed on Monday. Accordingtoauthorities,a37year-old man, who arrived from China, had tested positive for Covid at Bengaluru. The other 11 passengers came from high-risk countries. Four of them have been quarantined in aprivatehospitalandtherestpassengers have been kept in home quarantine. The Karnataka government on Monday made wearing of masks in public places compulsory as a preventive method to tackle the evolving Covid situation in the state. Italsohasalsoreleasedguidelines for the New Year, limiting the celebration time. Meanwhile, four international travellers from Myanmar were tested positive for the Coronavirus infection at the Delhi airport. The Genome sequencing of their samples is being done, the sources said. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday virtually interacted with about 100 doctors from across the country and members of the Indian Medical Association. During the interaction, he said that while it is important to be on the alert and follow Covid Appropriate Behaviour including wearing of masks, it is equally important to prevent an infodemic and share only authentic and verified information on Covid-19. FACT FILE TOTAL CASES 4,46,77,302 ACTIVE CASES 3,428 NEW CASES 194 NEW RECOVERIES 190 TOTAL DEATHS 5,30,695 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 26 DEC 2022 Mercury dips further: North India in grip of severe cold wave SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 26 DECEMBER North India is in the grip of cold wave conditions as temperatures plummet making life difficult for the people. In the plains of North India, the lowest minimum temperature of 0.0 deg C was reported over Rajasthan's Churu, according to India Meteorological Department. The national capital New Delhi reeled under a cold wave and foggy conditions, causing disruption of normal life. Delhi on Sunday recorded a minimum temperature of 5.3 degrees celsius while most parts of northern India today witnessed temperatures in a range between 3 to 7 degrees Celsius, said India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday. Besides New Delhi, reports of shivering and foggy conditions came in from many other parts of North India. "Severe cold reported at most places over Punjab; Cold day at most locations with isolated severe cold day reported over Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi; cold day to severe cold day at isolated places over northwest Rajasthan and west Uttar Pradesh," read an IMD tweet. The district magistrate in Bihar's Patna said in a notice on Saturday that the schools will remain closed for students up to class 8 from today till year-end in view of cold wave conditions. Dense fog engulfed parts of Uttar Pradesh's Moradabad lowering visibility in many areas. As per IMD, "Moradabad will witness a minimum temperature of 7°C and a maximum temperature of 18°C while dense fog will continue to persist today." Fog and cold wave conditions prevailed in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad today. SUBRATA DUTTA Haridwar in UP too witnessed dense fog as the minimum temperature remained below 10 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, in Punjab's Amritsar, fog and cold wave conditions prevailed as the minimum temperature was recorded at 6.5 degrees Celcius today. In Haryana, thick fog shrouded the city of Ambala. Rajasthan is experiencing a particularly biting cold winter. "Today, cold wave to severe cold wave conditions prevailed at isolated pockets over Rajasthan," IMD tweeted. In Rajasthan's Mount Abu, the dip in temperature caused snowing. People in Mount Abu woke up to snow-covered grounds. The snow froze on the windows of the vehicles. The lowest minimum temperature of 0.0 deg C was reported over Rajasthan's Churu in the plains of North India. The cold wave has brought with it a blanket of fog over North India. IMD has predicted foggy conditions to continue for the whole week. According to the IMD, visibility across most of the northern states remained poor with Bhatinda in Punjab and Bikaner in Rajasthan recording "zero visibility". Not only in Bhatinda, but the visibility throughout Punjab also remained low, with Amritsar recording visibility of 25 metres. The visibility in the national capital was recorded at just 50 meters this morning. Haryana too recorded low visibility. While places like Ambala and Hissar recorded a low of 25m and 50m respectively, visibility in Chandigarh was 200 metres. According to IMD data, places like Sri Ganganagar and Churu in Rajasthan also recorded low visibility of 25 and 50 meters, respectively. Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal also recorded very low visibility on the day with the number dipping to 50 metres in Uttar Pradesh and Odisha, while North Bengal recorded visibility of 200 meters. In the last few days, several trains have been delayed and some got cancelled owing to a thick layer of fog. Even on Sunday, as many as 10 trains of the Northern Railway ran late due to prevailing fog. The Northern Railway on the same day had informed that 14 Delhibound trains were running late, due to dense fog in the national capital region. Often, flights also run delayed amid foggy conditions and poor visibility. In the wake of the same, India's leading airline and a Star Alliance member, Air India announced on Saturday about its "FogCare" initiative to mitigate the impact of disruptions due to fog on passengers. This initiative, which will initially be launched for flights departing from and arriving at IGI airport, New Delhi, aims to take care of unforeseen circumstances such as delays and cancellations of flights amid thick fog that engulfs northern India during the winter season. Under the new FogCare initiative, Air India will be taking proactive steps to isolate the impact of fog on flight operations, which usually takes place in the early mornings and late evenings, but often also cascades throughout the day. Notably, the Delhi Government has launched the Winter Action Plan for homeless people in the national capital in order to protect them from weather adversities.
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