DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2020, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES `6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 AT 4.2%, GDP GROWTH IN FY20 LOWEST IN 11 YEARS Going forward, government spending holds key to any tangible recovery AANCHAL MAGAZINE NEW DELHI, MAY 29 INDIA’SQUARTERLYgrowthrate plummeted to its lowest in the currentseriesat3.1 percentinthe January-March period of 201920, led by a sharp contraction in themanufacturingandconstruction sectors, even as fresh data provided clear indications of a further slide in estimates during the April-June quarter. The March quarter estimates dragged the overall GDP growth ratefor2019-20toan11-yearlow of4.2percent,theprovisionalestimate released by National Statistical Office (NSO) on Friday showed. The growth numbers, accounting for only one week of lockdown to slow the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in March, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPLAINED: SLOWING GROWTH E X P L A I NE D Early warning: Growth slows to 3.1 per cent in Q4 which had just one week of lockdown E Spending key to ● recovery THE NSO has said there willberevisionstogrowth numbers since complete data collection was not possible. With growth in private consumption expenditureflounderingdue to lockdown and investment impacted due to weak demand, government expenditure will be critical. PAGE 14 Many have suffered… future of 130 crore won’t be dictated by adversity: PM Modi EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MAY 29 ACKNOWLEDGING THE “tremendoussuffering”facedby the poor and vulnerable during the lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday reiterated the need “to take care to ensure that inconveniences that we are facingdonotturnintodisasters”. Advising citizens to follow rules and guidelines with pa- tience,hesaid:“Wemustalways remember that the present and future of 130 crore will never be dictated by an adversity.” In a letter to the nation (The Ideas Page, Page 11) that also marked the first year of his second term, Modi wrote: “In a crisis of this magnitude, it can certainlynotbeclaimedthatnoone suffered any inconvenience or discomfort. Our labourers, migrant workers, artisans and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Workers disinfect an ambulance in Delhi, Friday. Amit Mehra THE IDEAS PAGE YOU, THE PEOPLE BY PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI PAGE 11 In Delhi, Covid hotel-hospitals for treatment, isolation ASTHA SAXENA NEW DELHI, MAY 29 Lockdown 5.0 may be relaxed further: States to decide on malls, restaurants DIGITAL BANKING IS SAFE BANKING DEEPTIMAN TIWARI, LIZ MATHEW, ABANTIKA GHOSH NEW DELHI, MAY 29 Trump says he spoke to Modi about China; no recent contact: Indian officials SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, MAY 29 HOURS AFTER United States PresidentDonaldTrumpclaimed that he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the situation on the India-China border,sourcesinNewDelhisaid there has been “no recent contact” between the two leaders, who had last spoken almost two months ago, on April 4. On Friday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told US Defence Secretary Mark T Esper that New Delhi would resolve its differences with Beijingbilaterally. ‘Modi not Just before 2 in good am on Friday mood on India time, China’ Trump, who was responding to questions at the White House, claimed he had spoken to Modi, who, he said, was “not in a good mood about what’s going on with China”. “They have a big conflict going with India and China. Two countries with 1.4 billion people [each]. Two countries with very powerful militaries. And India is nothappy,andprobablyChinais CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INSIDE AJIT JOGI, FORMER CHHATTISGARH CM , DIES AT 74 PAGE 9 PAGE 1 ANCHOR Migrants spending the night at the transport bus stand near Pune railway station, waiting for trains to take them out of Maharashtra. Around 700 Shramik Special trains have left the state so far. Arul Horizon For four days, migrant’s Rlys’ treatment of migrants body lay unattended on borders on barbarism, violation of rights: NHRC Shramik Special train DEEPTIMAN TIWARY ASAD REHMAN NEW DELHI, MAY 29 LUCKNOW, MAY 29 INYETanothercaseof adeathon a ‘Shramik Special’, the body of a migrant worker lay unattended insideatrainforfourdays,before it was finally found when the train was being cleaned at the Jhansi railway yard on May 27. Mohan Lal Sharma (37), who worked as a driver with a chipsmaking factory in Navi Mumbai, was a resident of Basti district in Uttar Pradesh. On May 21, he left MumbaiinaprivatebusforJhansi. Mohan Lal Sharma worked as a driver in Mumbai. Express While it is not clear when Sharma reached Jhansi, officials said he boarded a ‘Shramik Special’ train from Jhansi to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SAYING THAT the treatment of migrantworkers“bytheRailway authorities borders around barbarism”, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Railway Board chairman, Union home secretary and chief secretariesof Bihar and Gujarat. It has asked them to submit a report, within four weeks, on the steps taken to ensure basic facilities to migrants. The NHRC, which issued the Cricket matches fixed, like movie directed by someone else: Bookie MAHENDER SINGH MANRAL NEW DELHI, MAY 29 IN HIS disclosure statement to theDelhiPolice,SanjeevChawla, the prime accused in the 2000 HansieCronjematch-fixingcase, hassaidthat“nocricketmatchis fairlyplayed”and“...allthecricket matches which people see are fixed”. He also pointed to the involvement of “a very big syndicate/underworld mafia” that in- Sanjeev Chawla is out on bail fluences all cricket games that, according to him, were like “movieswhicharealreadybeing directed by someone”. In the statement, which is part of a supplementary chargesheet submitted to the court but doesn’t have the accused’s signature, Chawla revealed before the police that the syndicate had on its target the case’s investigation officer DCP (Crime Branch) Dr G Ram Gopal Naik and that his life was under threat. The New Delhi-born and London-based alleged bookmaker, while confessing that he wasinvolvedinmatch-fixingfor many years, said he could not givemoredetailssince“averybig CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 notices on Thursday, said it was taking suo motu cognizance of media reports on trains taking days to reach their destination and how “manymigrant labourers lost (their) lives during the journey by train due to longer duration and no arrangements for drinking water and food etc.” It said the government had failedto“protectthelivesof poor migrants on board trains”. “It is a matter of concern... they are being subjected to such treatment bytheRailwayauthorities,which borders around barbarism. The poorlabourerscannotbetreated THENEXTphaseof lockdown,to kickstart from Monday, is likely toprunethelistof prohibitedactivities further and allow states todecideonopeningof mallsand multiplexes, places of worship, and dine-in restaurants, The Indian Express has learnt. The government may also consider relaxing night curfew hoursbasedonsuggestionsfrom health experts. “It (decision to impose curfew from 7 pm to 7 am) is not exactly based on technical considerations of health. There is no harm if it is extended at least to 9 pm,” said an official. However, based on suggestions from various states, strict CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY THE DELHI government on Friday roped in hotels for treatment as well as isolation of Covid-19patients.Fortreatment, thegovernmenthastiedupwith fivehotelsthatwillbeconverted into “extended Covid hospitals”, augmenting the bed capacity by 1,000 beds. The capital reported 1,106 cases on Friday — the second straight day when the Covid count breached the 1,000 mark. Thenumberof deathsroseby82, including 13 over the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 398. Threemoregovernmenthospitals have also been designated to treat Covid patients — Deep ChandBandhu,SatyawatiHarish ChandraandGTB,whichwillbol- LOCKDOWN DAY 66 1,65,799 RECOVERED: 71,105 | DEATHS:4,706 TESTS:34,83,838 | DOUBLINGRATE:14.63** TOTAL CASES SURGEIN 24HRS 7-DAYAVG. DOUBLING GROWTH* RATE** ■ Maharashtra 59,546 2,598 5.24% 13.74 ■ Gujarat 15,572 377 2.71% 26.53 KEYSTATES TOWATCH ■ Kerala 1,088 85 6.72% 10.71 ■ Tamil Nadu 19,372 797 4.78% 15.05 3,185 149 6.97% 10.33 ■ West Bengal 4,536 344 5.12% 14.05 * Compounded Daily Growth Rate over last 7 days ** Calculated over 7-day growth CONCERN CAUTION A GLIMMER DELHI: Over 1,000 new cases reported on Thursday, 82 new deaths reported on Friday HARYANA: Surge in last few days. Current growth faster than national average PUNJAB: Current growth rate below one per cent, doubling time more than 80 days Based on daily data by Centre, ICMR, state governments Tushar Mehta’s ‘parallel’ govt: 19 HCs, their orders on Covid distress NEW DELHI, MAY 29 PAGE 15 CASES: ■ Bihar APURVA VISHWANATH TRUMP, TWITTER WAR ESCALATES SINGAPORE TO SET ‘TRAVEL BUBBLES’ WITH SOME COUNTRIES CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 TRACKING INDIA’S COVID CURVE CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WORLD ster bed capacity by 900. The five hotels — Hotel Crowne Plaza (Okhla), Hotel Suryaa (New Friends Colony), HotelSiddharth(RajendraPlace), Hotel Jivitesh (Pusa Road) and Hotel Sheraton (Saket) — will be attached with private hospitals and function as makeshift medical facilities to treat patients. WhileSheratonwillberunby Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital at Saket, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital will operate Hotel Suryaa. Batra Hospital & Research Centre will operate Hotel Crowne Plaza, while Dr B L KapurMemorialHospitalandSir GangaRamCityHospitalwillrun Hotel Siddharth and Hotel Jivitesh respectively. “Beds in government hospitals are lying vacant, even ICUs and ventilators are available. APPEARING for the Centre in the SupremeCourtThursdayinaPIL on migrant distress, Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta slammed critics, questioning their motives and credentials. In the same vein, he criticised High Courtssayingthatsome“arerunning a parallel government”. Theapexcourthadtakensuo motu cognizance of the plight of THE EDITORIAL PAGE MR MEHTA’S LECTURE PAGE 10 strandedmigrantworkersacross the country. What Mehta called “running a parallel government” is a slew of directions from as many as 19 HighCourtstogovernments--at the state and the Centre. These rangefromstoppingcoerciveactionduringlockdowntoaddressing migrant distress to checking lacunae in testing strategies. Currently, PILs related to CovidarebeingheardintheHigh Courts of Allahabad, Andhra Pradesh,Bombay,Calcutta,Delhi, Gauhati, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madras, Manipur, Meghalaya,Patna,Orissa,Sikkim, Telangana and Uttarakhand. WhilesomeHighCourts,like CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘Now I will have to become a mother to these children all over again’ SANTOSH SINGH MARADANGI (KATIHAR), MAY 29 IN JUST a few seconds, the video clip became a powerful emblem for the trauma faced by lakhs of migrantworkersreturninghome to escape the lockdown distress. It showed a woman lying motionless on the ground at the Muzaffarpur railway station in Bihar, her son playing with the cloth covering her — unaware that his mother had died. Today,thatimagehasaname, a devastated family, a singleroom asbestos-roofed house in Katihar’s Maradangi village, and acloudofunansweredquestions. Caught in the swirl are Arveena Khatoon’s two sons — Armaan (4) and the child in the video, Rahmat (18 months) — and her stunned parents, ShairoonandVokaMir,alandless daily wager. Arveena’s husband had deserted her two years ago. “Now I have to become a mother all over again for these children,” says Shairoon. “Her death in front of my eyes keeps disturbing me,” says Mohammed Wazir, Arveena’s brother-in-law who accompaniedthe35-year-oldandherchildren on the train journey. The death has shaken the state, too. Bihar’s Social Welfare Department has assured Rs4,000permonthtoArveena’s parents for her two children, assistance under the MukhyamantriAwasYojanaand a one-time grant of Rs 20,000 from the CM’s family benefit scheme. The family has also got Rs 5 lakh from Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav. Butthedeathhasleftatrailof questions, too. Wazir claims Arveena died because she “did not get proper meals” on the Shramik Special Shairoon Khatoon with her grandchildren. Her daughter Arveena had died on a Shramik train. Santosh Singh they boarded from Ahmedabad on May 23. Her family says the body was handed over “without a post-mortem” and that “no sample was taken for a Covid test”. In its inquest report, the Railway Police describes it as a “natural death” on the train in Chhapra while citing witnesses toalsomention“foodpoisoning” as a probable cause. And the Katihar administration says there wasnopost-mortemdone because the family had conducted the burial “without informing” them. The answers are hard to find. Wazir had initially told re- portersthattherewas“nolackof food” on the train. Speaking to The Indian Express on Friday, he says: “I was not in my senses at that time, I did not know what I was speaking. We had the first meal in Ahmedabad on May 23 and the second only in Muzaffarpur on May 25.” Officials question the claim. Katihar District Magistrate Kanwal Tanuj says “the body was buried without the administration being informed”. Tanuj, however, assures that the “family will be allotted land to build a home”. For Shairoon and Mir, sitting together outside their home on government land, none of this has sunk in. “She was our third daughter and we had got her married to a man from UP’s Bareilly seven years ago through a broker. Her husband, Mohammed Islam, took her to Bareilly only twice and divorced her two years ago, when she was pregnant with Rahmat,” says Shairoon, 55. “Wehavenoagriculturalland and my husband cannot do any strenuous physical work... it was getting difficult to keep her with us. There is hardly any job for women here,” she says. ItwasthenthatWazir,whois CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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