MONDAY 20 MARCH 2023 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC www.thestatesman.com KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ‘PM HAS CHANGED INDIA'S POLITICAL CULTURE’ BBC BUCKLES P6 WEATHER GENERALLY CLOUDY SKY. THUNDERSTORM WITH LIGHT TO MODERATE RAIN ACCOMPANIED WITH GUSTY WINDS AND HAILSTORM AT ISOLATED PLACES. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 26 AND 16 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. RAINFALL: 000.8mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.96% TEMPERATURE Max: 28.0°C (-3) SUN RISES 06:24 hrs MOON RISES 06:15 hrs P5 P10 Sexual assault remarks: Delhi police meet Rahul P12 Modi, Japan’s Kishida to meet, China’s aggressive behaviour to figure in talks Congress says ‘unprecedented action’ part of govt’s diversionary tactics The partnership between the two countries covers a whole range of issues like defence and security, trade and investment, science and technology, education, healthcare, and critical and emerging technologies STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 19 MARCH Min. 63% Min: 15.4°C (-1) SUN SETS 18:32 hrs MOON SETS 17:08 hrs Delhi Police team on Sunday met Congress MP Rahul Gandhi at his residence in connection with a notice served to him to seek information on the alleged sexual harassment victims that he mentioned in his speech during the Bharat Jodo Yatra.The Congress party slammed the police action, calling it “cheap theatrics” and alleged it was part of the government’s tactics to divert attention from the Adani Group issue. Mr Gandhi is reported to have sent a four-page reply to Delhi police later in the day regarding their query in connection with the remarks he made in Srinagar during his Bharat Jodo Yatra about his interactions with some survivors of sexual assault. Mr Gandhi’s reply is said to have highlighted 10 points. Sources also said that in his response, Mr Gandhi termed the police action "unprecedented" and asked whether this had anything to do with his position taken both inside and outside Parliament on the Adani issue.According to the sources, Mr Gandhi also asked what was the urgency on the part of Delhi Police in making two visits in as many days after an initial gap of 45 days after he made his speech in Srinagar.Earlier today, police had said that Mr Gand- A THUMBNAILS Hindu Jagrat Manch supporters take part in a ANI Bhagwa Yatra, in Bhopal on Sunday. Amidst disruptions, govt may initiate process for passage of Budget: With the whole of last week's parliamentary proceedings having been washed out without transacting any business, owing to disruptions by Treasury benches and Ppposition members, the government only has two weeks to get the Union Budget for 20232024 passed in Parliament.As per norms, the Union Budget needs to be passed in both Houses of Parliament before the end of financial year, i.e. prior to 31 March 2023. Therefore, in the forthcoming week starting from Monday, the government is expected to try to get the process of Budget clearance started. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 19 MARCH Congress leader Rahul Gandhi leaves his residence on Sunday after a team of Delhi police met him to seek SNS information about the 'sexual assault' victims Gandhi had mentioned in remarks in Srinagar. hi has said he needed some time and would give the information which they asked for. The Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Sagar Preet Hooda, who led the team that met Mr Gandhi, said: “We held a meeting with Rahul Gandhi. He said he needs some time and will give us the information which we've asked for. Today we've served a notice which has been accepted by his office and if questioning needs to be done then we will do it.” “Rahul Gandhi said it was a long yatra and he met many people and needs time to compile it. He has assured us that he will give the information soon and we will begin our proceedings as soon as we receive the information," Mr Hooda added. The police team, headed by Mr Hooda, had arrived at the residence of Rahul Gandhi on Sunday morning to seek information on the alleged sexual harass- ment survivors that he mentioned in his speech during the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Meanwhile, the Congress has hit out at Delhi Police after the police team visited Rahul Gandhi's residence.The Congress said that “without direction of the government, the police could not take such an action”. Addressing a press briefing, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said, "Delhi Police went to Rahul Gandhi's residence despite the fact that he had said he will give answer in 8-10 days. It is impossible to believe that without thedirection of the ruling government, the Delhi Police can take such action.” “Without the government's order, it is not possible that police could show such audacity to enter the house of a national leader without any reason. Rahul Gandhi said that he has received the notice and he will reply to it but still, the police went to his house," he said. The Rajasthan Chief Minister said that this was happening for the first time in the country's history of 75 years that a politician has been questioned on the basis of such a case. "I strongly condemn it," he said.Earlier, talking to the media after visiting Rahul Gandhi's residence, the Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) said: “We've come here to talk to him. Rahul Gandhi gave a statement in Srinagar on January 30 that during the Yatra he met several women and they told him that they had been raped. We're trying to get details from him so that justice can be given to victims.” “It is important for us to know whether there was any woman of Delhi who conveyed her message to Rahul Gandhi, this is a serious matter. There might be a possibility of the involvement of minor victims also,” Mr Hooda added. Khalistan preacher remains fugitive, 34 more arrested STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE CHANDIGARH, 19 MARCH Khalistani preacher Amritpal Singh remained a fugitive on Sunday even as Punjab Police continued its crackdown on his supporters wanted on criminal charges.An official spokesperson of Punjab Police said preventive arrests were made of persons attempting to disturb peace and law and order in the state. A fresh FIR has also been filed against Mr Singh and his associates in an illegal weapons case.The spokesperson said Waris Punjab De (WPD) chief Amritpal Singh remained a fugitive and efforts are being made to arrest him. Flag marches by district police and Paramilitary Forces (PMF) companies led personally by senior superintendents of police (SSPs) and commissioners of police (CPs) have been held all over the state AUSTRALIA ROUT INDIA BY 10 WICKETS IN 2ND ODI PUTIN VISITS RUSSIAN-OCCUPIED MARIUPOL IN UKRAINE Seven supporters of 'Waris Punjab De' chief Amritpal Singh brought to court after being arrested in Amritsar on Sunday.ANI to ensure there is no disruption of the peace, the spokesperson said, adding that the Peace Committee meetings in all districts have also been held and there is complete peace and harmony in the state. During the ongoing operations against WPD elements and persons attempting to dis- turb peace and harmony in the state, another 34 arrests were made throughout the state on Sunday.A total of 112 persons have been arrested so far. The police spokesperson said during the ongoing search operations, an abandoned Isuzu vehicle bearing registration number PB10FW 6797 was recovered from village Sali- na, within Mehatpur police station limits in Jalandhar Rural district.The said vehicle was used by fugitive Amritpal Singh while police were chasing. A .315 bore rifle along with 57 live cartridges, a sword and a walkie-talkie set has been recovered from the abandoned vehicle, the spokesperson said, adding that the vehicle is owned by Manpreet Singh of village Anokharwal, SBS Nagar, who has been arrested. Four aides of the absconding radical leader were taken to Dibrugarh in Assam for security reasons. Flag marches led by CPs and SSPs were jointly conducted all over the state by the Punjab Police and companies of Central Para Military Forces. Peace Committee meetings have been held jointly by the civil administration and Punjab Police in all the districts of the state while urging citizens to maintain peace and harmony.The government has extended the suspension of SMS and mobile internet services, except voice call, till Monday noon. The police spokesperson further said that strict action as per law will be taken if anyone is found spreading fake news, rumours and hate speech. "All citizens, media persons and social media platform intermediaries are requested to act in a responsible manner and to factcheck the authenticity of the content being shared by them on various social media, electronic media and print media platforms," he added. All mischievous elements attempting to disrupt peace and harmony in the state shall be dealt with strictly, he said adding Punjab Police is committed to maintain law & order and rule of law in the state. China’s aggressive behaviour against its neighbours is likely to figure prominently during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talks with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida in New Delhi tomorrow. Mr Kishida's muchanticipated visit that will last a little over 24 hours provides a great opportunity to the two nations to review the entire gamut of bilateral ties, particularly the threat from China. The partnership between the two countries covers a whole range of issues like defence and security, trade and investment, science and technology, education, healthcare, and critical and emerging technologies. The talks between the two prime ministers are also significant since India currently holds the presidency of G20 while Japan holds G7 presidency. India and Japan share a 'Special Strategic and Global Partnership'. Their ties were elevated to 'Global Partnership' in 2000, 'Strategic and Global Partnership' in 2006, and 'Special Strategic and Global Partnership' in 2014.Regular Annual Summits have been held between India and Japan since 2006, the last summit having taken place in March 2022. There are indications that Mr Kishida will unveil a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Plan for Peace”, with a special focus on the Global South, and seek India’s support for implementing it during his visit to New Delhi. One of the key objectives of the plan will be to counter China’s growing influence and assertiveness across the region and to give developing countries more options in the field of development and security.In a press briefing on Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that Japan was a "very important partner", and stressed that India looked forward to the exchange of views between the two Prime Ministers. “We look forward to the visit of the honourable Prime Minister of Japan. As you know, Japan is our very important partner. We have annual summits with them and this is part of that. They are also partners in plurilateral and multilateral constructs so we look forward to a rich discussion. We look forward to the exchange of views," he said. ON A RAINY DAY Children sit under umbrellas after rainfall in Gurugram on Saturday. ANI Excise case: Kavitha leaves for Delhi; ICMR issues revised ‘Security cover to Guj conman a suspense over appearance before ED Covid-19 guidelines mistake, not intelligence failure’ SNS & AGENCIES HYDERABAD, 19 MARCH Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao's daughter K Kavitha on Sunday left for Delhi amid uncertainty as to whether she would appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday in connection with the Delhi excise policy case. Accompanied by state minister and her brother K.T. Rama Rao and MP Santosh Kumar, she left for the national capital by a special flight from Begumpet Airport. It was not clear if Kavitha will personally appear before the ED or send her representative like she did on March 16.Hours before she was to appear before the ED officials in Delhi, she had written to the agency stating that she will not be personally joining the investigation.The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader had authorised BRS general secretary Soma Bharat Kumar to appear before the ED on her behalf. She stated that since she was not asked to appear in person, she was appearing through an authorised representative.Kavitha also wrote that since the petition filed by her in the Supreme Court is listed on 24 March, its outcome must be awaited before any further proceedings with respect to the summons issued by the ED. Kavitha, who is a member of Telangana Legislative Council, filed the petition in the Supreme Court challenging the ED summons in the case. She expressed the apprehensions that the ED might adopt highly coercive tactics and even resort to third degree measures in connection with their purported investigations. Kavitha had personal- ly appeared before ED on 11 March. She had taken exception to the ED calling her to the office and making her sit in the office till 8.30 p.m. despite her being a woman. She said though she furnished all relevant information and answered all queries, her phone was impounded. Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a caveat application in the Supreme Court on the Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha's plea challenging the summons issued by the probe agency against her in connection to Delhi excise policy case. A caveat application is filed by a litigant to ensure that no adverse order is passed against them without being heard. Kavitha, who is the daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, has approached the Supreme court saying that as per norms, a woman cannot be summoned for questioning before ED in office and her questioning should take place at her residence. SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI , 19 MARCH The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued revised guidelines for Covid-19 in the wake of the surge of cases in the past week across the country. “@ICMRDELHI COVID19 National Task Force, @aiims_newdelhi & Dte.GHS revised clinical guidance for management of adult #COVID19 patients. Guideline does not advice use of Lopinavir-ritonavir, HCQ, Ivermectin, Convalescent plasma, Molnupiravir, Favipiravir, Azithromycin, Doxycycline,” Dr Lokesh Sharma, Heath informatics researcher, ICMR tweeted.“Antibiotics should not be used unless there is clinical suspicion of bacterial infection. The possibility of coinfection of Covid with other endemic infections must be considered. Systemic corticosteroids are not indicated in mild disease," revised guidelines said.As per the revised Ccovid-19 guidelines, main- tain "Physical distancing, indoor mask use, hand hygiene, Symptomatic management (hydration, antipyretics, antitussive) Monitor temperature and oxygen saturation (by applying a SpO probe to fingers) Stay in contact with treating physician. “Seek immediate medical attention if difficulty breathing, High-grade fever/ severe cough, particularly if lasting for more than 5 days. A low threshold is to be kept for those with any of the high-risk features," guidelines discussed and prepared in January said. Additionally, in moderate or severe diseases at high risk of progression, the guidelines recommend, "Consider Remdesivir for up to 5 days (200 mg IV on day 1 followed by 100 mg IV OD for the next 4 days)".Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry wrote to the State governments of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka to follow a five-fold strategy of test, track, treat and vaccinations as these states witness a rise in Covid-19 cases. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 19 MARCH Speaking on the issue for the first time during the past fortnight after a conman from Gujarat posing as a senior officer in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) was arrested in Srinagar, the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Sunday said that providing a security cover and bullet proof vehicle to the conman was not an intelligence failure but a “mistake” which is being investigated. Action will be taken against everyone involved in providing perks and security cover to the conman, a police officer said. Kiran J Patel, a resident of Gujarat, posed as Additional Director (Strategy and Campaigns) in the Prime Minister’s Office, New Delhi. Asked whether providing security cover to conman was a security lapse and intelligence failure, the ADGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said: “It was not an intelligence failure but yes a mistake for sure The Opposition leadership in J&K are having a field day attacking the government on the issue which is being investigated.” He, however, said that any officer who ordered for providing security to the conman will be dealt with.“We don’t provide security cover to anyone on verbal communique or order,” Mr Kumar told reporters in Srinagar. He said that a team led by a senior IPS officer raided a hotel and arrested the conman from Gujarat and recovered fake visiting cards from him. “A proper FIR has been lodged and the conman was interrogated. At present he is behind the bars under judicial remand,” the ADGP said. The ADGP said the police are also taking help from Gujarat police. “Investigations are being conducted professionally. We are taking help from the Gujarat police also. No one will be spared,” he added.Patel had three cases registered against him in his home state of Gujarat. He said Patel was in police remand for 14 days during which "a rigorous interrogation was done and investigations were conducted". The episode has put the J&K administration in an embarrassing position as a result of which the authorities tried to suppress the news of the arrest of the “fraudster” for a few days before the incident came into the open when he was taken to the court. The opposition leadership in J&K are having a field day attacking the government on the issue. Former chief minister and National Conference vicepresident Omar Abdullah on Saturday termed the Jammu and Kashmir administration "incompetent" after the conman posing as a PMO official got the perks, and claimed it was fooled four times. Patel was on his third visit to the Kashmir Valley when he was nabbed by security officials on 3 March.
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