THURSDAY 14 SEPTEMBER 2023 www.thestatesman.com twitter.com/thestatesman facebook.com/thestatesman INDIA’S NATIONAL NEWSPAPER SINCE 1818 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR CHANDRABABU NAIDU GETS A BIT OF RELIEF FROM HC KIM VOWS FULL SUPPORT TO RUSSIA P9 SENSEX 67,466.99245.86 WEATHER GENERALLY CLOUDY SKY.LIGHT RAIN/THUNDERSHOWERS. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 35 AND 26 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE Max: 36.1°C (+2) SUN RISES 06:06 hrs MOON RISES 06:07 hrs P4 NIFTY 20,070.0076.80 Min: 25.7 °C (+1) SUN SETS 18:28 hrs MOON SETS 18:19 hrs THUMBNAILS A three-wheeler wades through a flooded street at Super Market after heavy monsoon rain in Dimapur, Nagaland on Wednesday. ANI Police officer killed, two Village Defence Volunteers injured by armed attackers in Manipur: A police sub-inspector was killed and two Village Defence Volunteers (VDV) injured by unidentified armed attackers at Chingphei in Manipur’s Churachandpur district. The police sub-inspector was shot in the head and succumbed to his injuries at the Churachandpur district hospital while two VDVs sustained bullet injuries and are undergoing treatment. ` vs $ 82.9506 PAISE GOLD 60,535.00 Frame guidelines on police media briefings: SC to govt Supreme Court cracks down on media trials, biased reporting F or a “fair and unbiased” media coverage of criminal cases under investigation and noting the sweeping changes in media reporting that have taken place over a decade, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Central government to prepare a new manual to lay down guidelines as to how police officers should brief media about the cases under investigation. Heading a Bench also comprising Justices Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha and Manoj Misra, Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud asked the Union Home Ministry to prepare a manual on media briefings by police, particularly in sensitive cases, protecting the sanctity of the investigation and the rights of both the accused and the victim. Stating that “biased reporting also gives rise to public suspicion that the person has committed an offence. The media reports can also violate the privacy of victims,” the Bench said that biased reporting would harm the reputations of both the accused and the Supreme Court orders new manual for unbiased media coverage guidelines. Concerns over biased reporting and privacy rights in criminal cases. Balance between free speech and fair investigation emphasized by court. victims and it has the potential of derailing the investigation. The Bench pointed to the need to maintain the “delicate balance” between the fundamental right to free speech and expression, the rights of the accused to a fair investigation, and the privacy of victims. The court appointed senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter. Noting the sweeping changes that have taken place since the existing manual was framed more Airbus delivers first C295 to IAF STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 SEPTEMBER Airbus Defence and Space has officially handed over in flyaway condition the first of 56 C295 aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) to begin replacing its ageing Avros-748 fleet. The C295, in transport configuration and with an indigenous electronic warfare suite, took off from Seville airfield in Spain with Indian Air Force chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on board on Wednesday. Group Captain PS Negi is flying the aircraft which will have stopovers at Malta, Egypt and Bahrain before landing at Vadodara air base in Gujarat. “It was only two years ago that we signed this contract with India, the largest order P6 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 SEPTEMBER Max.93% Min. 63 % in the history of the C295,” said Jean-Brice Dumont, Airbus’ Head of Military Air Systems, in a delivery ceremony held in Seville in the presence of India’s Ambassador to Spain Dinesh K. Patnaik and Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari. The IAF chief said: “It is a major milestone not only for IAF but for the whole country. This is for two reasons first, for IAF it improves our tactical airlift capabilities. For a nation, it marks the beginning of a new era.” The first 16 C295s of the 56 aircraft on order will be assembled at the San Pablo Sur site in Seville, Spain, with the second aircraft due to be delivered in May 2024 and the next 14 rolled out at a rate of one per month until August 2025. To boost self-reliance in the defence-manufacturing sector in India, the remaining 40 C295s of the IAF order will be manufactured and assembled ~ in partnership with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) ~ at a Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Vadodara in Gujarat. The production of components of these aircraft has already started in the Main Constituent Assembly (MCA) facility in Hyderabad. These parts will be shipped to the Vadovara FAL, which is expected to be operational by November 2024. than a decade ago, Mr Sankaranarayanan said: “We cannot restrain the media from reporting, but the sources can be restrained because the source is the State. Even in the Aarushi case, so many versions were given to the media.” Ordering the preparation of a fresh updated manual relating to briefing to media by police of the criminal cases under investigation, the Bench said that the existing manual was over a decade old and media coverage of criminal cases has revolved since then. It noted that both print and electronic media played an important role in such cases as it involved several layers of public interest, including the public's right to know during an investigation, the potential impact of police disclosure on the investigation process, the rights of the accused, and the overall administration of justice. The court gave the Union Home Ministry three months’ time to prepare the handbook of the manual. The Bench asked the Union Home Ministry, while preparing the manual on police briefing of media, to take inputs from the chiefs of state and Union Territories police forces, and the National Human Rights Commission. Posting the matter for hearing after four months in January 2024, the Bench cautioned that the police briefing should guard against media trial of the cases, predetermining the guilt of the accused. The top court direction for preparing a new manual to govern media briefing by the police of the cases under investigation, came on a public interest plea by NGO People’s Union for Civil Liberties seeking framing of guidelines for the reporting of criminal cases and encounter killings. BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 91.410.08 Colonel, Major, DSP killed in Anantnag encounter STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 13 SEPTEMBER The commanding officer (CO) of a Rashtriya Rifles (RR) unit and a Major of the Army as well as a DSP of J&K Police were killed on Wednesday in an encounter with terrorists in South Kashmir's Kokernag in Anantnag district. Official confirmation of the casualties was awaited from the Army and Police. The Srinagar-based Chinar Corps said in the morning that two Army and a J&K Police personnel were injured. However, sources confirmed these casualties. Army helicopters were rushed to evacuate the critically injured officers to the Srinagar based military hospital. In another encounter in Jammu's Rajouri district, an rifleman of 63 RR, Ravi Kumar was killed on Tuesday evening. Two Pakistani terrorists have been killed and three other Army soldiers and a police PSO have been injured in the encounter. Meanwhile, GOC 15 Corps, Lt. General Rajiv Ghai, DGP Dilbagh Singh, ADGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar along with other senior officers flew to the gunfight spot in Kokernag to personally monitor the ongo(P5) ing operation. NEW DELHI, 13 SEPTEMBER Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president J P Nadda and senior party leaders on Wednesday evening attended the party’s Central Election Committee meeting at BJP headquarters to discuss Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Assembly elections. This was the Prime Minister’s first visit to the party headquarter after the completion of the G20 summit under India’s Presidency in Delhi. Mr Modi received a rousing reception at the party office, and his car was covered by a shower of flower-petals as he arrived at the party office. Mr Modi was welcomed with a scarf and a bouquet by Mr Nadda, after KULLU, 13 SEPTEMBER ali Taxi Operators Union ~ are contributing physically in order to build the 180-metre-long crate wall by themselves on the Manali bypass, just about 500 metres from the town. Most of the volunteers are white-collar men doing a blue-collar job. The brain behind this volunteer movement is Budhi Prakash Thakur, president of HP Travel Agents Association, who is also a hotelier, entrepreneur and an innovator who started Himalayan Bulls, an air service from Chandigarh to Manali on his own in 2014. Budhi Prakash says: “If we do not contribute, on its own it will take anything SILVER 73,500 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE CHANDNI S CHANDEL to blocked national highway,” says Anil Kant, a Kullu-based hotelier. “People are voluntarily doing manual labour and others are delivering food, water, and cold drinks to ensure work doesn’t stop. They offered their services when it came to light that the NHAI had only 2-3 labourers to do labour work. The very first day we were just about five people, now we are more than 50, ”says Raj Kumar Dogra, President of Manali Taxi Operator Union. Right now the volunteers ~ Hamta Prayavaran Samiti, Mahila mandals, HP Travel Agents Association, and Man- P12 Govt convenes all party meet on Parl session on Sunday STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 SEPTEMBER Ahead of the five-day Parliament Session from 18th September, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has called a meeting with floor leaders of political parties on Sunday, 17 September, in Parliament House. The Session of the Parliament is scheduled to be held from 18 September to 22 September, 2023, a government release said, as per reports. The Monsoon session of Parliament, which concluded on 11 August, was held in the old Parliament building. The announcement of the Spe- The Opposition criticised the BJP-led central government for calling a special session of Parliament without disclosing the agenda. cial Session came as a surprise in political circles with the parties gearing up for Assembly polls in five states later this year. Meanwhile, the first meeting of the Coordination Committee of INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) took place on Wednesday at NCP chief Sharad Pawar's residence. PM attends party election committee meet on MP, Chhattisgarh alighting from his car. Before proceeding further, Mr Modi waved backed to the party workers. Senior Ministers including Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, as also Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Manali hoteliers, taxi union, and mahila mandal join forces for highway repair Kullu and Manali is not bustling with tourists for the past 45 days. No tourism means no money and that means that the livelihood of the people ~ hoteliers, homestay owners, transporters, farmers, etc is at stake. After all, the national highway that connects the twin towns of Kullu and Manali to the rest of India is disconnected at various places due to recent landslides after the monsoon mayhem. Locals say complete repair and renovation will take at least five years, such was the destruction. But these very stakeholders ~ hoteliers, taxi union operators, travel agent associations, mahila mandals have come together to pick up the pieces. They have been organising a ‘shramdaan’, voluntarily offering manual labour services to the NHAI and state administration to put back a crate wall (a kind of retaining wall) in place. “It is a long haul, but the idea is to help every stakeholder involved, be it hoteliers, taxi services operators or others who have lost business worth crores due TRUSTED MY PREPARATION JFK TWIST between two to four years for the government to repair these bottlenecks on the national highway. Though one-way traffic is open, it remains sluggish due to long traffic jams, Volvo buses are not plying and crop produce is rotting either on the field or in the trucks.” “It’s been two months and not a single Volvo has entered the state. The entire economy is dependent on tourism and the transportation of goods. Volvo buses are the lifeline which brings in throngs of tourists every day,” says Sunita Bodh, a social activist based in Manali. Another hotel owner Anju Rais says: “Without tourism Manali is dead. Tourism is the lifeline of Manali.” Not just tourism, but transportation of crops from Lahaul and the apple belt of Manali has either halted or moving at a snail’s pace because of broken roads. Anju tells how woeful the scenario is, “Each hotel has a staff strength of 20 to 25. They have to be paid their salaries but there is no revenue. The situation is even worse than during the Covid lockdown.” However, clarifying on behalf of the National Highway, Ashok Chauhan, Supervision consultant, NHAI, says, “Due to the heavy destruction on the highway, reconstruction will take time. Our labour force only gets to work between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m, in the night. In the daytime, one-way road is open for traffic. About four km stretch of road has vanished at 10 to 15 different locations.” He says there’s another dimension to the problem. The construction material is taking a long time to reach the affected sites due to long traffic jams. However, he ends on a positive note: “The double lane will be through by 15 October.” Chouhan presented him roses. Several Central Ministers and party leaders including Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis stood at the entrance to the party office to welcome Mr Modi. A large crowd of party workers had gathered outside the office complex and waved at the Prime Minister. There was an air of excitement as the Prime Minister came to the party office after the successful organisation of the G20 summit. The Union Cabinet earlier in the day adopted a resolution moved by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, putting on record people’s appreciation of the Prime Minister’s highly successful presidency of the G20 Summit. The G20 Summit’s successful organisation reflected the Prime Minister’s leadership and strong will power, Mr Thakur said. This was the talk around the world, not just in India. The New Delhi Declaration consensus showed India’s growing power, and Mr Modi’s leadership which led to so many unanimous decisions for welfare of the world, the Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said. The Prime Minister will visit Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh on Thursday, beginning with Bina in Madhya Pradesh, where he will lay the foundation stone of projects worth more than Rs 50,700 crore, including ‘Petrochemical Complex at Bina Refinery’ and 10 new industrial projects across the state. He will reach Raigarh, Chhattisgarh in the afternoon and dedicate to nation important rail sector projects. During the programme, the Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone of ‘critical care blocks’ in nine districts of Chhattisgarh and also distribute one Lakh sickle cell counselling cards. Cabinet approves 75 lakh more free Ujjwala LPG connections STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 SEPTEMBER The Government on Wednesday approved extension of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) for release of 75 lakh more free LPG connections for eligible beneficiaries over three years from 2023-24 to 2025-26. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The total financial implication of the extended scheme will be Rs 1650 crore. There will be a subsidy of Rs 2200 per connection for 14.2 kg single bottle connection; Rs 2200 per connection for 5 kg double bottle connection; and Rs 1300 per connection for 5 kg single bottle connection. Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur told newspersons that as per the existing modalities of Ujjwala 2.0, the first refill and stove will also be provided free of cost to Ujjwala beneficiar- ies. Recently, the government on the occasion of Raksha Bhandhan, reduced the price of a LPG cylinder for all consumers by Rs 200, brought down to Rs 900 from Rs 1100. The Ujjwala beneficiaries received an additional subsidy of Rs 200 per cylinder, Mr Thakur said. Under the PMUY, 9.60 lakh connections have been given so far, and the Cabinet decision on Wednesday will provide these free connections to 75 lakh more eligible beneficiaries. The decision has been taken on the basis of demand, Mr Thakur said. The PMUY extension will provide a targeted subsidy of Rs 200 per 14.2 kg LPG cylin- der, up to 12 refills per year. The continuation of the PMUY was required so that eligible poor households get their due benefit under the scheme. The deposit-free LPG connections to poor households provide access to clean cooking fuel and helps in addressing health problems caused by the use of traditional sources of cooking fuel such as firewood, coal and cow-dung. The LPG use will enhance productivity of women, raise quality of their life by removing drudgery associated with collection of wood and insure them against non-availability of cooking fuel, at times. Some eligible households still do not have LPG connections. This is due to multiple reasons – new households are formed every year as a result of rising population, marriages, migration, nuclearlisation of families, left-over households, extremely remote locations etc. There is a demand for 15 lakh PMUY connections as on 31 August, 2023. (See also Page 5)
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