DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA SINCE 1932 AN EXPRESS INVESTIGATION Untold story of lockdown: sharp surge in child trafficking Despite curbs, spike in interventions after distress calls; state governments scramble to cope, many in Covid hotspots yet to set up monitoring systems FELUDA TEST SOON: MINISTER First in line for Covid vaccine: those at high risk, exposure Avoid big gatherings, ostentatious festival celebrations: Harsh Vardhan COVID ABUSE - 1 DIPANKAR GHOSE KAUNAIN SHERIFF M ASTHEpandemicstruck,andthe government imposed a nationwide lockdown, the country woke up to countless images of migrant workers returning to their villageswith their children, on cycles, buses, lorries and trains, many walking hundreds of kilometres. But as the economicdistressbegantosinkin,a more sinister movement of children gathered pace — of those being taken away from their homes for illegal labour, trafficking and forced marriages. The crisis led to a spike in “interventions”whereofficialsoraid workerssteppedintorescuechildrenindistress,andexposedanillequipped government apparatus with too many holes to stem the flow,letalonepreventit,aninvestigationofChildlinedataobtained byTheIndianExpresshasfound. Consider some of the key findings: ■BetweenMarchandAugust, officials manning 1098, the nationalchildlinefordistresscallsset upbytheMinistryforWomenand Child Development, tracked 1.92 lakhinterventionsontheground. LAYINGOUTthesequenceof distribution of Covid vaccines that are expected to be available in India, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said Sunday that the first priority will be for those facing occupational hazards fromthevirusandexposurerisk, indicating that healthcare professionals at the frontline would be among the early recipients. The Minister said that the much-awaited Feluda paper strip test is likely to roll out “within the next few weeks”. The test, which uses gene editing technology to detect the virusinlessthan30minutes,has NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 11 DECISION 2020: BIHAR NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 11 SOS AT 1098 27 lakh DISTRESS CALLS 1.92 lakh INTERVENTIONS MARCH-AUGUST 10,000-plus CASES OF CHILD MARRIAGE Source: Data logged by national childline 1098 A 1098 Childline booth at the New Delhi railway station on Sunday. Trains serve as vital transport lines in child trafficking. The lockdown should have brought the numbers down but movement was diverted to inter-state buses. Gajendra Yadav During the same period last year, thenumberwas1.70lakh. ■ In those six months, the childline received 27 lakh distress calls. Officials who logged 36 lakh calls in the same period last year are alarmed because they had expected the numbers tofallsharplythisyearduetothe nationwidecurbsonmovement. ■Between April and August, officials tracked over 10,000 cases of child marriage. ■And,althoughgovernment Uddhav asserts himself, junks Aarey Metro shed BJP lashes out, Fadnavis underlines huge cost escalation, ‘indefinite’ delay WHAT SEEMANCHAL VOTERS WANT PAGE 10 FULL COVERAGE, VISIT WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM CONTINUEDONPAGE2 PART II: CRACKS IN SYSTEM: WHY STATES NEED TO WAKE UP Hathras case: CBI takes over probe, registers FIR NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 11 MUMBAI, OCTOBER 11 REVERSING THE decision of the previous BJP-led government, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday announced the scrapping of the construction of the ColabaBandra-Seepz Metro car shed in Mumbai’s Aarey Milk Colony. The decision, communicated during an online address, came daysaftertheMahaVikasAghadi coalition government withdrew cases against students and activistswhohadprotestedtheprevious regime’s overnight felling of trees at Aarey — one of the last guidelines mandate at least 50 per cent police districts in each state to have Anti-Human Trafficking Units, several key states, including UP and Maharashtra,havefallenfarshort. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE SANDEEP ASHAR WHY THIS ELECTION MATTERS, AND TO WHOM HASHTAG POLITICS: JDU’S TECH REVAMP At Aarey Milk Colony in Mumbai. File vestiges of green space remaininginMumbai—afewweeksbefore the Assembly elections last October. The Shiv Sena, then a partner CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AWEEKaftertheUPgovernment saiditwouldhandovertheprobe into the alleged gangrape and death of the 19-year-old Dalit womaninHathrastotheCBI,followingoutrageoverthestatepolice’shandlingof theincidentand hurriedcremationof thevictim's body, the central agency Sunday formally took over the case. The agency registered an FIR under sections of the IPC dealing with gangrape and murder, and thoseundertheSC/ST(Prevention of Atrocities) Act. CBI spokesperson R K Gaur said that a team has CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Climate change driving butterflies, moths higher up Himalayas: study EXPERT PAGE 1 ANCHOR WHAT’SATSTAKEONNOV3 EXPLAINS Amitabh Mattoo From The Indian Express panel of specialists, exclusive insight Part 1 of special 3-part series on US Presidential Election, 2020 EXPLAINED PAGE 11 ESHA ROY NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 11 RISING AVERAGE temperatures in the Himalayan region have driven several dozen species of butterfly and moth to habitats higher up the mountains, a new studycommissionedbythegovernment has found. The findings of the study will beusedasabaselineindicatorto track the impact of climate change on animal species over thecomingdecade,officialssaid. TheHimalayasarehometomore than 35 per cent of Lepidoptera `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM At least 66 species have been found 1,000 m higher than their previously recorded mean habitat altitudes. Photos: ZSI — the order of insects that includes butterflies and moths – species found in India. The survey, funded by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and carried out by the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), identified at least 49 speciesof mothand17speciesof butterfly that have shown “con- siderable new upward altitude records”, with a difference of morethan1,000metresbetween their current and previously recordedmeanhabitataltitudes. Seven species in particular have started to inhabit altitudes more than 2,000 metres higher thanthepreviousmean,officials CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SUKHBIR BADAL SAD PRESIDENT PAGE 12 been developed by the New Delhi-based CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB). Harsh Vardhan also warned against large congregations for the festivals that are coming up. “NoreligionorGodsaysthatyou have to celebrate in an ostentatious way, that you have to visit pandals and temples and mosques to pray... there is no needtocongregateinlargenumbers to prove your faith or your religion. If we do this, we may be heading for big trouble,” he said. Responding to a question during his weekly social media interaction on whether the government will ignore the elderly and prioritise the young and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Jagan letter against SC judge comes as he faces rising legal heat ANANTHAKRISHNAN G & SREENIVAS JANYALA BUSINESS AS USUAL NEW DELHI, HYDERABAD, OCTOBER 11 BY UNNY ANDHRA PRADESH Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’sletterallegingimpropriety by Justice N V Ramana, a sitting judge of the Supreme Court and next in line to be Chief Justice, comes when a bench headed by the judge is hearing a petition seeking fast-tracking of pending criminal cases against CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Property cards launched; will end disputes, says PM EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, LUCKNOW, OCTOBER 11 HITTING OUT at the Opposition for its protests against his government's farm reforms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday launched the Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology, or Svamitva, a new CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E E X P L A I NE D JOURNALISM OF COURAGE MONDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2020, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES Howthe ● cardworks TO BEGIN with, over 1 lakh beneficiaries will be able to download these cards through an SMS. This will be followed by the distribution of cards.
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