DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE THE EDITORIAL PAGE CHINA&DELHI’S MAKE-BELIEVE BY C RAJA MOHAN PAGE 8 EXPLAINED SECOND MEETING AT MOLDO-CHUSHUL BORDER POINT Corps Commanders talk well into the night, Army chief reviews situation Indiapressing for returntolocations beforebuild-up SIMPLY PUT IN INDIA-CHINA, THERUSSIAROLE PAGE 11 SC clears Puri Rath Yatra, but with no crowds, with distancing In Puri on Monday, ahead of the Rath Yatra. PTI ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, JUNE 22 THE RATH Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Puri will go ahead as scheduled from Tuesday, but no congregation will be allowed and steps will be takento ensure that health and safety are not compromised. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde on Monday partially modified its June 18 order, by which it had restrainedtempleauthoritiesinPuri andelsewhereinOdishafromtaking out Rath Yatras this year. Thecourthad cited the“danger” to public health that the Yatra could pose in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, as lakhsof devoteestakepartinthe annual religious spectacle. In its revised order on Monday, the court directed that allpointsof entryintoPuri—airports, railway stations, bus stands, etc. — should be closed for the duration of the festival. The bench, also comprising JusticesDineshMaheshwariand A S Bopanna, asked the Odisha government to impose a curfew starting 8 pm on Monday “in the City of Puri on all the days and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WORLD GLOBAL COVID CASES TOP 9 MILLION, U.S. EXPECTS SURGE IN AUTUMN BRITAIN REELS FROM TERROR-LINKED STABBING PAGE 12 PAGE 1 ANCHOR `6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, JUNE 22 SUSHANT SINGH & KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, JUNE 22 THE MEETING between XIV Corps Commander Lt General Harinder Singh and his Chinese counterpart to reduce tensions on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh continued for more than ten hours Monday in search of a breakthrough. This was the second meeting between the two senior commanders after the understanding they reached at their meeting on June 6 could not be implemented following the Galwan Valley clashes between the two sides on June 15 that left 20 Indian personnel dead. Like the first meeting, the meetingMondaywasheldatthe Border Personnel Meeting Point at Moldo on the Chinese side of the LAC, opposite Chushul. An official told The Indian Express that the agenda of the meeting was to build on decisions agreed upon in the previous meeting of the two Corps Commanders. Aswiththepreviousmeeting, the agenda centered around the restoration of status quo ante on the LAC as of April, which means disengagementandde-escalation by both sides along the border. The process decided during the previous meeting for disengagement had started from Covid deaths the key metric, govt to track ambulance response, waiting time for bed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh arrives in Moscow for a three-day visit on Monday. Defence Ministry BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Rajnath reaches Moscow, Jaishankar and Wang Yi meet today at RIC talks SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, JUNE 22 A DAY after his meeting with the military brass on the situation along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reached Moscow Monday night to start a threeday visit. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, meanwhile, will be participating in a virtual meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China (RIC) Tuesday. This will be Jaishankar’s first face-to-face meeting with Chinese counterpart Wangi Yi after the Galwan Valley incident inwhich20IndianArmyperson- nel, including the Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar, were killed in violent clashes with Chinese troops on the night of June 15. As he set out from Delhi, Rajnath Singh, in a Twitter post, said: “Leaving for Moscow on a three-dayvisit.ThevisittoRussia will give me an opportunity to hold talks on ways to further CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BEYOND TESTING and isolation, fatality mitigation has emerged asanewfocusareaof thegovernment's Covid containment plan, ashighlightedbytheCentreduring meetings with representatives of states last week. A top government functionary told The Indian Express that to keep the fatality rate under control, there have been deliberations with states on three sub-aspects of the clinical management of patients: the time taken for patients to reach the hospital and the call refusal rate of ambulances;the averagetime thepositivepatientspendsinthe triageareabeforebeingassigned a bed; and the response of the hospitals in providing non-invasive oxygen to patients. These ‘sub-aspects’, sources said, often makethedifferencebetweenlife and death for serious patients. In the June 11 meeting with health secretaries of states, E E X P L A I NE D TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2020, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 14 PAGES Focus on clinical ● management IN THE Centre's deliberations with states, fatality mitigation has been a key focus area. Epidemiologists and experts have also been saying that deaths, not rising numbers, is a key metric to understand the effectiveness of Covid containment plans. The government's focus on clinical management of patients is a step in that direction. CabinetSecretaryRajivGaubahad highlightedthat82percentofthe deaths were from five states — Maharashtra,Delhi,Gujarat,West Bengal,andMadhyaPradesh;and that 65 districts have a case fatality rate higher than 5 per cent, much higher than the national case fatality rate of 3.22%. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 TRACKING INDIA’S COVID CURVE LOCKDOWN DAY CASES: RECOVERED:2,37,195 | DEATHS:13,254 90 4,25,282 TESTS:69,50,493 | DOUBLINGRATE:20.10 TOTAL CASES KEYSTATES TOWATCH SURGEIN 24HRS 7-DAYAVG. DOUBLING GROWTH* RATE ** P7 RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, JUNE 22 STRESSING THAT the Election Commission(EC)willgothe“extra mile” to ensure that the pandemic does not affect voter turnout in the Bihar polls later thisyear,ElectionCommissioner Sushil Chandra told The Indian Express that Covid patients will be allowed to vote through postal ballots. In a strong indication that the Bihar polls are likely to be held on time, Chandra said the Law MinistryhasacceptedtheEC'sproposal on this issue, following which a new category of “Covid19suspectoraffectedpersons”has beenaddedunderRule27Aofthe Conductof ElectionRules,1961. To be eligible under the new category, the voter should have tested positive in a government healthcare facility or one designated by the government as a Covid hospital. Voters under “home quarantine or institutional quarantine” can also avail the postal ballot option, he said. "There will be an SOP for the Covid-positivevotertonotifythe Returning Officer...Once the application is accepted, the voter KAUNAIN SHERIFF M & MAHENDER SINGH MANRAL NEW DELHI, JUNE 22 THE EXPRESS INTERVIEW ‘EC WILL ALSO GO TO COURT OVER FALSE AFFIDAVIT COMPLAINTS’ SUSHIL CHANDRA ELECTION COMMISSIONER will not be allowed to vote at his or her polling booth. This facility will be extended to all future elections, including bye-elections," Chandra said. Asked about voters in containment zones who are not infected, Chandra said the panel has sought inputs from the state Chief Electoral Officer (in Bihar), and is considering a few options, including advance voting. "We don't want the turnout togodown...Wewillgotheextra CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE DELHI Police investigation into one of the first killings in the February communal riots in Northeast Delhi has concluded that the victim, 18-year-old Amaan,succumbedtobulletsfired bya“violentcrowd”atpolicethat ricocheted off the Metro line pillars,accordingtocourtdocuments Amaan, 18, was killed in the violence on February 25. File reviewed by The Indian Express. Amaan died on February 25 near the anti-CAA protest site outside theJaffrabadMetrostation. Police arrested 10 men in the case between March 5 and April 13, and named them as accused in the chargesheet filed under IPC section 302 (murder): Mohd Shahid (37), Mohd Shahrukh (24), Mohd Gulfam (23), Mohd Gufran(23),Aqeel(26),Mehfooz Raja (30), Mohd Azad (39), RifaqatAli(39),MohdFaizan(19) and Salman (26). Court records show that police fired 108 bullets that day at CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Father-in-law acquitted, five get life term in Tamil Nadu Dalit killing case ARUN JANARDHANAN CHENNAI, JUNE 22 SETTINGASIDEatrialcourtorder that had awarded the death sentence to B Chinnaswamy, the main accused in the Udumalpet honourkillingcaseofMarch2016, the Madras High Court on Monday acquitted him of all charges.Thecourtalsocommuted to life the death sentence against five other convicts in the case. Chinnaswamy was accused Victim Shankar, wife Kausalya: HC set aside trial court order of hiring a gang who hacked his son-in-lawVShankar,then22,at the Udumalpet market in broad daylight. The murder, captured on CCTV cameras, had led to Shankar'swifeKausalyafighting the case against her parents, ChinnaswamyandAnnalakshmi. WhileChinnaswamy,adriver and a local money lender from the temple town of Palani, belongedtotheThevarcommunity, anOtherBackwardClassthatenjoys political and social clout in the state, Shankar was a Dalit. In December 2017, the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 1,32,075 3,870 2.92% ■ Gujarat Bihar on its mind, EC ONE OF THE FIRST KILLINGS IN DELHI RIOTS Bullets fired by violent crowd hit to allow postal ballots Metro pillar, struck victim: police for Covid-affected ** 27,317 580 2.12% 34 ■ Delhi 59,746 3,000 5.46% 13.19 ■ Tamil Nadu 59,377 2,532 4.15% 17.34 7,665 162 2.44% 29.51 13,945 414 3.33% 21.62 ■ Maharashtra ■ Bihar ■ West Bengal * Compounded Daily Growth Rate over last 7 days CONCERN DELHI: Third straight day of 3,000-plus cases Sunday; has second highest case load CAUTION 24.64 ** Calculated over 7-day growth TELANGANA: 730 new cases on Sunday, almost 1,800 cases in last three days A GLIMMER SIKKIM: Following spike last week, eight cases on Sunday after zero cases for four days Based on daily data by Centre, ICMR, state governments Delhi to send oxygen support to those who fall ill in home isolation EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, JUNE 22 ASCOVIDcasescontinuetosurge in the Capital, with Delhi overtaking Tamil Nadu as the state withthesecondhighestcaseload inthecountryafterMaharashtra, the Delhi government on Monday said it would help patients under home isolation to monitor their oxygen saturation levelsandevensendoxygenconcentrators, if necessary. “The biggest issue we have seen is oxygen levels falling suddenly. Some patients require oxygen immediately. Those under home isolation will be given oximeters to monitor their lev- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday. ANI els… We will also give them a number they can call if the levels dip. A team will reach your house with a concentrator. The patient can be stabilised while beingshiftedtothehospital.This CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 As migrant workers leave, Kerala asks: Who will plug the gap? SHAJU PHILIP THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JUNE 22 SHAMEER V T, a labour contractor in Kozhikode, is a worried man.Justoverthreemonthsago, he was managing about 150 migrant workers, mostly from the Northeast, who were busy at building sites across the northern district. Today, he's left with “just six” — and they want a wage hike. “Business has become costly. Earlier, an unskilled worker was paidaboutRs700-800foraday's work. Now, they want Rs 1,000 since there are only a few left,’’ he says. TEST REP RTS FROM THE FIELD TRACKINGTHEVIRUS, LOCKDOWN Shameer'sstory,inanutshell, is Kerala's new migrant crisis. With at least 3 lakh workers leaving the state amid the Covid lockdown, the pillars that propped up its economy — from construction to manufacturing and farming — are crumbling. The only hope now, say stakeholders,is thatthe workers will return once the pandemic subsides. Or, as Labour Minister T P Ramakrishnan believes, Kerala's own migrants returning from the Middle East, could fill part of the gap — nearly 72,000 have returned so far, and over 1 lakhmoreare expected,many of themhavinglosttheirjobstothe pandemic distress. “All sectors are feeling the shortage as we ease restrictions. Afterthelockdown,3lakhworkers left for their home states... many are still going back. Over 5 lakh workers had left before the lockdown. Many are willing to return when normal train services resume, and employers are ready to offer quarantine facilities,’’ says Ramakrishnan, a senior CPM leader. Over 3 lakh migrants left during lockdown, state is looking at Gulf returnees. AP file “Now,ourhopeisthatatleast a section of expats returning from the Middle East will fill the vacuumforskilledand unskilled work. We are encouraging them to signupwiththeskillregistry,’’ he says. The construction industry is theworst-hit.“About90percent of unskilled work and 40 per cent of semi-skilled jobs is done by migrants. The crisis will become more severe,’’ warns George Thomas, general secretary, KeralaBuildersAssociation. For instance, a construction site in Thiruvananthapuram, which had employed 2,000 migrant workers, has only 300 left. UralungalLabourContractCo-operativeSociety,aleadingfirmengaged in government projects, had 4,000 workers. “Now we have 1,000. We have begun a recruitmentdriveforlocalworkers, including those who lost their jobs in the Middle East,’’ says Shaju S, the managing director. In central Kerala, the sawmill and plywood industry, which had turned Ernakulam district into a migrant hub, is tottering. “Manufacturing has come down to 40 per cent. Many units had employed workers from a particular state as a group. They have all gone back. Those remaining are demanding higher wages,’’saysAzeesPandiyarpilly, general secretary, Sawmill Owners and Plywood Manufacturers Association. Infarming,theclockisticking because most of the work happens in sync with the monsoon. In Palakkad, which is known as the state's granary, officials expect paddy cultivation to be se- verelyhit.“Mostof thericeplanting is done by migrants from Bengal and Tamil Nadu. Many haveleftwhileothersareaffected bythecurbsoninter-statemovement,” says a local official. Pineapple Growers Association president Baby John says that every June, the sector undertakes new planting on around 15,000 acres. “This time, it will not be more than 3,000 acres,’’ he says. All is not lost yet, says George Mathew, who works among migrants under the Progressive Labour Movement for Justice. “We have started getting calls from workers willing to return because of the better wages,’’ he says.
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