DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ● REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2020, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 7-HOUR MEET; RAHUL QUESTIONS TIMING, ANTONY CALLS IT ‘CRUEL’ Rallying behind Sonia and Rahul, CWC slams both letter and its spirit Resolutionsays Soniatostaychief untilAICCmeets; takesnoteof letter by‘certainleaders’ A five-storey building collapsed at Mahad in Raigad district on Monday evening. PTI One dead as building collapses in Mahad, over 70 feared trapped MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, AUGUST 24 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Under fire, dissenters stand firm, later dial down to wait and watch MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, AUGUST 24 STANDING FIRM in the face of sharp attacks at the Congress Working Committee meeting Monday, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Mukul Wasnik andJitinPrasada—thefourCWC members who were among the 23 leaders to sign the unprecedented letter written to party president Sonia Gandhi — argued forcefully that the issues raised by them need discussion and redressal, The Indian Express has learnt. Soon after the meeting, at least nine of the signatories, including Sharma, Kapil Sibal, Manish Tewari and Shashi Tharoor,metatAzad’sresidence. Tharoor arrives at Azad’s residence after CWC. ANI Sharma told The Indian Express that “the co-signatories were keen to know about the deliberations” and that “everybody is satisfied”. “It was a free and frank discussion (in the CWC). The document (letter) was not available for all CWC members. There were a lot of misreadings and HK experts Military option on table if find case of LAC talks fail: Gen Rawat re-infection, EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, AUGUST 24 in 4 months APOORVA MANDAVILLI NEW YORK, AUGUST 24 RESEARCHERS IN Hong Kong have reported the first confirmed case of reinfection with the novel coronavirus. “An apparently young and healthy patient had a second case of Covid-19 infection which was diagnosed 4.5 months after the first episode,” University of Hong Kong researchers said in a statement on Monday. The report is of concern because it suggests that immunity to the coronavirus may last only a few months in some people. And it has implications for vaccines being developed for the virus. The 33-year-old man had only mild symptoms the first time,andnosymptomsthistime CONTINUEDONPAGE2 KARNATAKA LIFTS ALL TRAVEL CURBS PAGE 9 INDIA SWITZERLAND A RED initiative appears in today’s edition of The Indian Express. These pages are an initiative of the marketing solutions team of The Indian Express Group and contain content paid for by advertisers. These pages should be read as an advertisement. MAYURA JANWALKAR & SADAF MODAK At the CWC virtual meeting in New Delhi on Monday. ANI WITHDIPLOMATICandmilitary talks on resolving the military standoff between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh not making much headway, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat Monday said India has “military options” available, but thesewillbeusedonlyif talksfail. This is the first time that a senior military officer has spoken publicly on the “transgressionsbytheChinese”andtheoptionof militaryforcetodealwith the border crisis in Ladakh. General Rawat told the ANI news agency that “the military options to deal with transgressions by the Chinese army in Ladakhareon,butitwillbeexer- Chief of DefenceStaff cised only if the talks at the military and diplomatic levels fail”. His statement comes even as thegovernmentpreparesforanother round of military talks with China to try and break the stalemate over disengagement of troops in Pangong Tso and the Gogra Post area. Last Saturday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting with NSA Ajit Doval, CONTINUEDONPAGE2 An apology will be contempt of my conscience: Bhushan to SC ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, AUGUST 24 ADVOCATEPRASHANTBhushan, who has been convicted by the SupremeCourtinacriminalcontempt of court case over two tweetspostedinJune,andtoldto tenderanunconditionalapology byMonday,hasdeclinedtodoso. He said the tweets “represented” a “bonafide belief that I continue to hold” and “an apol- The case comes up before SC today ogy for expression of these beliefs, conditional or unconditional, would be insincere” and “contempt of my conscience”. Inasupplementarystatement CONTINUEDONPAGE2 misinterpretations, which led to some uncharitable comments made against us. I demanded that it should be made available to everyone and released to the publicsothatpeopleknowwhat the issues are,” Sharma said. Referring to the CWC emeeting, he said: “Azad, Wasnik and I put forth our views. The Congresspresident’s concluding statement was most gracious, giving a clear message of reconciliation,sayinglet whateverhas happened be behind us and let’s beunitedandmoveforward.She said even if I was hurt by a leak of some excerpts, these are my valued colleagues. We respect her and this has brought it to a very amicable closure.” Another signatory said: “We need to wait and watch how this pans out.” TABLIGHI JAMAAT Mumbai Police drops attempt to murder charges against 12 Indonesian nationals SADAF MODAK MUMBAI, AUGUST 24 THE BANDRA police has dropped charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and attempt to murder filed against 12 Indonesian nationals in connection to the Tablighi Jamaat gathering held in Delhi's Nizamuddin in March. One of these two charges undertheIndianPenalCode(IPC)attractsthemaximumpunishment oflifeimprisonment.The12men, who had tested negative for Covid-19, were initially booked under the two charges following allegations that they were responsible for spreading the virus and causing deaths. Inthechargesheetlikelytobe filedonTuesdaybeforethemetropolitan magistrate's court in Bandra,the12menwillcontinue to face other charges in connection to the violation of lockdown norms, visa conditions and sectionsoftheEpidemicDiseasesAct. A senior police officer told The Indian Express that since no evidence was found to substantiate the charges of culpable homicide not amounting to CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Migrants back, women’s share in NREGS dips to 8-year low PAGE 1 ANCHOR HARIKISHAN SHARMA NEW DELHI, AUGUST 24 AMID THE Covid outbreak, the share of women in total persondays of work generated under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) has dipped to an eight-year low of 52.46 per cent during the first fivemonthsof thisfinancialyear, according to official data. An analysis of data available on the NREGS portal till August 24 shows that the share of womenisthelowestsince201314 (52.82 per cent), from when the numbers are currently available. The data show a steady rise from 2013-14 to a high of 56.16 per cent in 2016 (see chart) — the latest number is a dip of 2.24 percentagepointsfrom lastyear. There are about 13.34 crore active NREGS workers of which 6.58 crore, or 49 per cent, are women. No official reason has been provided for the dip this year although sources pointed to the increased participation of men following the largescale return of migrant workers to their villages in the wake of economic distresscausedbythepandemic. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E E X P L A I NE D AFTER the seven-hour-long stormy meeting of its Working Committee on Monday, the Congress acknowledged the lettersenttopresidentSoniaGandhi by 23 senior leaders calling for sweeping changes in the party butneitherdiscusseditscontents nor gave any specific commitments on the way forward. Instead, most of those present at the meeting slammed the 23, questioned and criticised the intentandthetimingof theirletter even as they pledged loyalty to the Sonia-Rahul family and ● Allgive, sometake FOR THE 23 leaders, the key takeaway from the CWC is the acknowledgement of their letter and Sonia’s statement of no ill-will. But the CWC and party rallied behind the Gandhis, ensured that deadline for a change or a mechanism to address issues not put on record. At the CWC meeting earlier, thesignatoriesmade itclearthat they were not against Sonia or CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MUMBAI, AUGUST 24 AFIVE-STOREYresidentialbuilding collapsed in Mahad town of Raigad district, 170 km from Mumbai, on Monday evening, killingatleastoneperson.While 15 people, including seven who suffered injuries, were rescued till 10 pm, district officials estimate that at least 70 people are trapped under the debris. The top three floors of the structure, known as Tarique Garden, collapsed around 6.50 pm.Eyewitnessessaidthebuilding, which is estimated to be not more than 10 years old, began shaking with some residents managing to rush out before it collapsed. Localrescueteams,including police and fire brigade, were immediately pressed into service. Three National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams fromPuneweresettojoinrescue operations late at night. An official from NDRF said that visuals of thebuildingdenotethatitwas a“pancakecollapse”,atermused for a fall that occurs from the top Rescue operation in progress at the building collapse site on Monday. Express floors to the lower ones. According to the district administration, the building was home to over 40 families. While 25familieswererescued,atleast 15 still remained trapped. Hours before it collapsed, officials said, the building appeared to shake and some families were evacuated as a safety measure. Sajid Pore, who runs a printing press business, was at work when the building collapsed. He lived in the building with his family of seven. “My family was home. My mother and sister-inlawwererescuedintimebutsufferedinjuries,”hetoldTheIndian Express from Ansari hospital in Mahad,wherehismotherFarida Porehadtogetstitchesforahead injury.Sajidsaidhissister-in-law and her three-year-old son suffered minor injuries while being evacuated. “Naveed, a boy from the building was sitting in the parkinglot whenhe saw the building shake. He raised an alarm, following which many families were evacuated,” said Sajid. Naveed, too, had fractured his leg, he added. “There are 47 flats in the building.Thebuildingisnoteven old. Even100-year-old buildings CONTINUEDONPAGE2
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