MCS/204/2020-22RNINO.MAHENG2002/21899 eye MUMBAI, LATECITY SEPTEMBER20,2020 18PAGES,`5.00 DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA Month before standoff, China blocked 5 patrol points in Depsang PP10 RakiNala BURTSE BOTTLENECK (Y-junction) 11 11A 12 Limitof Patrolling 13 JivanNala DHARTI NIRUPAMASUBRAMANIAN &KRISHNKAUSHIK MUMBAI, NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 19 DEFENCE MINISTER Rajnath Singh, making a statement in Rajya Sabha Thursday on the situation along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, said “patrolling patterns are traditional and well-defined… no force on earth can stop our soldiers from patrolling” and “there will be no changeinthepatrollingpattern”. But the situation on the ground, especially in the Depsang Plains in the far north of Ladakh, is very different. Because more than a month before the standoff began in May on the north bank of Pangong TsowhereIndiansoldiersarenot being allowed to move beyond Finger 4 to the LAC point at Finger 8, Chinese troops cut off Indianaccesstofive“traditional” Ladakh DepsangPlains DBO HotSprings Galwan Darbuk Leh Pangong Chushul Tso INDIA LAC patrolling points (PPs) in the Depsang Plains. Confirming this, a top source in the government told The SundayExpressearlierthisweekthat the Chinese blocked access to PPs 10, 11, 11A, 12 and 13 in March-April this year. Located east of the strategic Sub-Sector North road or the Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie (DSDBO) road, the five PPs are close to the LAC, but not at the LAC itself – in short, they are located well inside the line that marksIndianterritory.Whilethe government source played down the extent of the area where Indian troops are being deniedaccess,estimatingittobe around50sqkmorthereabouts, a former member of the China Study Group, the government’s mainadvisorybodythatalsodecidesonthelocationof thesepatrolling points, said “it is a material change” due to the “tactical CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Cut House short but don’t use Covid to duck debate, push Bills: Opp Debate slowdown, pandemic: Cong; TMC for discussion on GST payment LIZ MATHEW & MANOJ CG Under the Covid shadow, the IPL opened to empty stands at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, on Saturday. Chennai Super Kings defeated Mumbai Indians by 5 wickets. BCCI Social distancing, digital cheerleaders, canned applause, few lapses: IPL is on SRIRAM VEERA MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 19 IT WAS befitting that the first IPL game in the pandemic age was kickstarted by a cricketer who has just recovered from Covid19. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) pacer Deepak Chahar, who bowled the first ball this season, had tested positive for the novel coronavirus within days of landingintheUAEearlierthismonth. Near the end of the Mumbai Indiansinnings,Chaharwasseen cramping. Australian commentatorDeanJonessaidthephysios will have to monitor the player. The heat at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi was taking a toll on the players, playing the IPL in front of empty stands. At the end of the match, which it lost to CSK by five wickets, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma said, "We are used SUNDAY STORY PAGE 12 BUBBLE GAME CSK OLD HANDS START IN STYLE SPORTS, PAGE 18 to people cheering for us but we knew that this was on the cards. Anyway, this is the new normal andIhopethingsgetbettersoon." TheCovidshadowenveloped the tournament starter in other ways as well. CSK’s England allrounder Sam Curran wore a headband to hold back floppy hair. The England cricket board SWEETY KUMARI & SHAJU PHILIP THE DELHI Police claimed on Saturday that Rajeev Sharma, a 61-year-old strategic affairs analyst and author whose arrest was announced by the Special Cell a day earlier, had passed on informationsuchasdeployment of Indian troops on the border to Chinese intelligence officers. Italsosaidithadarrestedtwo more in connection with the Official Secrets Act (OSA) case, a 30-year-oldChinesewomanand her “Nepalese accomplice”, for ` 86 per kilo ` 114 per kilo ` 140 per kilo ` 72 per Dozen WORLD Rajeev Sharma allegedly “supplying him (Sharma) huge amounts of money routed through hawalachannels for conveying sensitive information to Chinese intelligence”.Thepoliceclaimed shell companies had been set up overseas to route money to Sharma. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, KOLKATA, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, SEPTEMBER 19 THE NATIONAL Investigation Agency (NIA) Saturday claimed to have foiled plans for terror strikes in various parts of the country with the arrest of nine alleged al-Qaeda operatives reportedly acting at the behest of handlers from Pakistan. The agency arrested the nine in early morning raids at Murshidabad in West Bengal and Ernakulam in Kerala, and Firms with up to 300 workers can hire and fire without Govt nod: Bill in Lok Sabha AANCHAL MAGAZINE NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 19 THE GOVERNMENT has proposed to introduce more conditions restricting the rights of workers to strike, alongside an increase in the threshold relating to layoffs and retrenchment in industrial establishments with 300 workers, from 100 workers or more at present — steps that are likely to provide more flexibility to employers for hiring and firing workers without government permission. These changes have been proposed in The Industrial CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AbuSufiyan,MurshidHassan andMosaref Hossenwere amongthosearrested. PTI claimedtohaverecoveredcountrymade pistols, a rudimentary body armour, batteries, switches, firecrackers, literature on home-made IEDs and other “incriminating material” from them,apartfromamapmarking out vital installations in Delhi E EXPLAINED NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 19 Six months ago, India enforced its first lockdown. What do you remember of the last normal day before the pandemic turned lives upside down? PAGES 15, 16, 17 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM has advised their bowlers to wear headbands in the training sessions to avoid flicking sweat onto the ball. Though the International Cricket Council has allowed sweat on the ball, England and Curran were not taking any chances. "I have got used to being in a biobubble with the England team but you see big crowds in the IPL, so it was different,"saidCuaron,wholanded with other English players in the UAE this week after taking part in the series against Australia. The IPL in the time of pandemic also threw up digital cheerleaders. To mask the absence of crowd in the stands, a longdigitalsignboardspreadout like an arc, square of the pitch. It showed visuals of cheergirls dancing after a four or a six was hit. Broadcasters also added cannedscreamsof joyandagony CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 19 DEEPENING CONCERNS over Covid in the premises of Parliament forced political leaders in Lok Sabha to agree on cutting short the monsoon session buttherewasdisagreementover what the unfinished business was and how to address it. While the Government is insistent on pushing a slew of Bills, theOppositionispressingfordebates on crucial issues. This emerged at a meeting of theBusinessAdvisoryCommittee of Lok Sabha convened by Speaker Om Birla Saturday. The monsoon session thatbeganSeptember15--withseveral firsts and unprecedented protocolsforCovidspread--was scheduled to end on October 1. In the BAC meeting, the governmentinsistedthatitwantsto clear all the Bills it has listed. The Congressassertedthatitwanted detailed discussions on crucial issues including the pandemic, economic slowdown and National Education Policy. The Trinamool Congress said it wantedtodiscussthestalledGST compensation. With more than 30 MPs including Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Prahlad Pateland IN PARLIAMENT Dilutes rightsof ● workers WORKERS IN small establishments (with up to 300 workers) will have their rights watered down with no protection of trade unions, labour laws. Moreover, there's a provision that makes a legal strike well-nigh impossible. which were reportedly among their targets. Sources said the nine had been under surveillance for a fewmonthsandthearrestswere made based on inputs that they were preparing for an attack. An FIRwasregisteredonSeptember 11. All nine belong to Murshidabad district. Seven are either daily wage labourers or in menialjobs,whiletwoaredoing their graduation at a Murshidabad college. Perumbavoor in Ernakulam, from where two of the men were held, is a major migrant hub in Kerala. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE CITY SARDAR TARA SINGH PASSES AWAY AT 82 PAGE 3 SANDEEP ASHAR MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 19 REFLECTING A tepid recovery in the overall economy amid the easing of lockdown restrictions and a new flare-up of Covid-19 cases, Maharashtra’s monthly collectionsintaxesandleviesfell by 19 per cent to Rs 15,470 crore in August as against Rs 19,334 crore collected a month earlier. Official statistics further show that amid further reopening of the virus-hit economy, state’s own tax and non-tax revenue plunged from Rs 12,218 crore in July to Rs 10,891 crore last month, which is a near 12 per cent decline. Worsening matters further, August also saw a50percentdropingrant-in-aid receipts from the Centre -- from Rs 4,542 crore in July to Rs 2,277 crore in August. With the sharp surge of reportedCovid-19casesovershadowing efforts to rev up the economy, tax collections in August dropped to Rs 10,710 crore from Rs 11,840 crore a month earlier. The downward slide was even sharper in the non-tax revenue segment. In June and July, officials had collected Rs 310 crore and Rs 378 crore respectively in Tomar stresses MSP, farm Bills set for RS today amid logjam MANOJ C G & HARIKISHAN SHARMA NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 19 FARO0Q: CAN HOLD TALKS WITH CHINA, WHY NOT WITH PAK PAGE 9 several Parliament staff testing positiveoverthelastweek,there hasbeenapalpablesenseof concern and apprehension in Parliament over the spread of Covid. The Indian Expresson Friday hadreportedthattheapprehensions over Covid could prompt an early winding up of the session. Parties like the TMC and the DMK argued the session should be cut short in view of the fact that over 30 MPs have tested positive over the last week. Sources said the Congress, too, left the decision to the Government and Speaker but its leaderAdhirRanjanChowdhury said the Government can’t use this as an alibi for passing Bills CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 2 more held in OSA case, NIA arrests nine in Bengal & Kerala, Maharashtra’s revenue falls 19% in August amid police say information on claims al-Qaeda attacks foiled reopenings, case surge troops given to Chinese DEEPTIMAN TIWARY, JIGNASA SINHA A Life More Ordinary BUSINESS ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING Indian access to PPs inside LAC cut off in April, Chinese still at Bottleneck DSDBO THE SUNDAY EXPRESS MAGAZINE non-taxrevenues.ButinAugust, these dropped to Rs 181 crore. The downward slide comes atatimewhenMaharashtra,the worst-hit Indian state by the coronaviruspandemic,isscrambling to raise funds to fight the scourge. The state has so far reported 11,88,015 virus cases and 32,216 deaths. It has also ended a two-month phase when the virus-hit economy had witnessed an upswing, dashing hopes of an early revival of the economy after the easing of the lockdowncurbs.State’searnings in June were Rs 19,344 crore as against Rs 10,584 crore in May and Rs 11,894 in April. Even as state’s finance managers are banking on collections from major taxes, including GST, excise and stamps and registrations, to go up further in the coming months with more reopenings and economic revival measures set to be announced, officials admitted that the earnings were nowhere near last year’s collections or the budgeted estimates for 2020-21 and admitted the state is bracing for a huge budget hole. Consider this. By August end in 2019, the state had already reported earnings totalling Rs 1.16 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AMIDPROTESTagainstthethree farm Bills which are expected to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha Sunday, Union Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar Saturday tried to allay farmers’ apprehensions by underlining that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime will continue as before. TheMSPforrabicropswillbe announced in the coming week and Tomar said procurement will continue at the MSP. The new provisions under the proposed law stipulate payment within three days of selling the produce, he said. While MSP for rabi is usually announced mid-October ahead of sowing, the Minister's statement assumes significance in view of the ongoing protests against the Bills: The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (PromotionandFacilitation) Bill, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Ravi Pujari’s custody eludes Mumbai Police 18 months after extradition MOHAMED THAVER MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 19 MORE THAN a year and a half after gangster Ravi Pujari was extradited to India, the Mumbai Police is yet to get his custody from its counterpart in Karnataka. The latest impediment for theMumbaiPolicecrimebranch hasbeenapetitionfiledbyPujari before the Karnataka High Court seeking that he be transferred to Mumbai and Kerala police custody only after the trials in the major cases against him in Karnataka are complete. The Mumbai Police is likely to oppose this before the Karnataka HC during the next hearing in the matter. A senior crime branch officer said, “Pujari has approached the Bengaluru bench of the Karnataka High Court seeking thattheMumbaiorKeralapolice should not be given his custody tillthetimethetrialsagainsthim are underway in Karnataka.” Pujari’s lawyer Dilraj Sequeira told The Sunday Express, “We had filed the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INS Viraat, world’s oldest aircraft carrier, sets sail the last time PAGE 1 ANCHOR EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 19 U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE GINSBURG DIES, UPENDING PRESIDENTIAL RACE CDC REVERSES GUIDELINES ON TESTING PEOPLE WHO WERE EXPOSED PAGE 14 ENDING A nearly six-decade service across two Navies, INS Viraat, the world's oldest aircraft carrier, set sail for the final time on Saturday. After efforts by Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra governments to convert the Viraat into a maritime museum failed, the vessel wasboundfortheship-breaking yard in Alang, Gujarat, where it will cease to exist within a year. The Defence PRO Mumbai tweeted, “#Viraat Callsign “Romeo Two Two” – End of an era, a glorious chapter in the historyof @indiannavy.Shedeparts #Mumbai today for her final journey. Old ships never die, their spirit lives on.” The decommissioned aircraft carrier was auctioned off last month by the Metal Scrap Trade Corporation and purchased by scrapping and recycling firm Shree Ram Group for Rs 38.54 crore. The process is expected to take between nine and 12 months.SoonafterthevesseldepartedMumbaiat11.30am,both common citizens and retired Indian Navy officers expressed anguish at the fact that the ves- The vessel is bound for the ship-breaking yard in Alang. Ganesh Shirsekar ANOTHERPHOTO,P3 sel could not be preserved. In 2014, INS Vikrant, India's first aircraft carrier, was sold to a scrapping firm in Darukhana. Metal from its hull was purchasedbyBajajAutomobilesand used to manufacture a muchpublicised range of motorbikes. The government had purchased the Viraat from the UK in 1987. HMS Hermes, as the vessel was then known, was commissioned into UK's Royal Navy in 1959,servedduringtheFalklands Warin1982,andwasdecommissioned two years later. CommanderRPGupta(retd), who was part of the Viraat's commissioning crew, compared the year spent bringing the vessel to life with giving birth to a child. The crew spent the year in Plymouth port, refitting and modifying and adding air-tosurface missiles to the vessel. “The crew went to the UK in batches. I went there in late May 1986. Though other members of the crew were already at work, the first day you go inside the vessel like an alien,” he recalled. The young Gunnery Officer and his colleagues had to adjust not only continental food and sunsets at 3 pm but also the novel experience of contract workers at the privatised port. “We worked day and night. The bondof thecommissioningcrew lasts throughout your life. Those are not bonds that break even CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.