eye THE SUNDAY EXPRESS MAGAZINE A HOT BOWL OF COMFORT NEWDELHI,LATECITY 10JANUARY,2021 In times such as these, what makes certain kinds of food more appealing than others? 20PAGES,`6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, ` 12 SRINAGAR) DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM PAGES 16, 17, 18 DATE DECIDED AFTER PM MEETING January 16 is Vaccination Day One, 3 crore health staff are first in line Then over-50 and under-50 with co-morbidities; names to be taken from voter lists KAUNAIN SHERIFF M Relatives with their newborns after the fire at Bhandara District General Hospital. PTI NEW DELHI, JANUARY 9 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Mothers on floors above, 10 babies killed in hospital fire 7 rescued; dead between the ages of 3 days and 2 months VIVEK DESHPANDE Trucks enter the Serum Institute of India premises in Pune on Saturday morning. Pavan Khengre BHANDARA (MAHARASHTRA), JANUARY 9 Power to Rail, Defence Covaxin volunteer dies to Education — all gears in Bhopal, firm says no move for the rollout link to vaccine, placebo PRABHA RAGHAVAN, PRANAV MUKUL & ANIL SASI NEW DELHI, JANUARY 9 AS MANY as 20 Ministries, from Power to Railways, Defence and Labour to Civil Aviation and over two dozen state-level departments,frompolicetoeducation: an unprecedented official machinery is being cranked up for the Centre’s Covid-19 vaccine distribution effort. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Chief Ministers Monday to discuss the rollout, this pan-government mobilisation is comparable to the preparationaheadof ageneralelection. The Union Power Ministry hasbeeninstructedtocoordinate withstatediscomstoensureuninterrupted electricity supply at vaccine storage points and sessionsites.TheRailways,whichis SUNDAY STORY PAGE 13 Needle in the haystack to conduct vaccination sessions at its hospitals, dispensaries and other premises, will do “vaccine branding” on railway tickets while the Labour Ministry will conduct vaccination sessions CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 IRAM SIDDIQUE BHOPAL, JANUARY 9 A 45-YEAR-OLD daily-wage worker, who participated in the Phase 3 trial for Bharat BiotechICMR’s Covaxin in Bhopal at the People’s Medical College and Hospital,diedDecember21,nine days after he got the first jab, according to hospital records. The postmortem report of Deepak Marawi, a father of three,suspected“poisoning”asa cause. Bharat Biotech, in a statement, said that the “serious adverse reaction” had been “thoroughly investigated” and was found “not related to vaccine or placebo”. A state government panel,too,ruledoutany“lapses.” Bharat Biotech said it couldn’t confirm if Marawi received the vaccine or the placebo since it was a double-blind study. It added that the volunteer, at the Marawi, 45, was father of three and a daily wager. Iram Siddique time of enrolment, “had fulfilled all the inclusion and exclusion criteria” and was reported to be healthy in all the “site follow up calls post seven days of dosing.” “Thereareseveralfactorsthat CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Chinese soldier crosses SC hearing tomorrow: Punjab LAC south of Pangong ready to challenge farm laws Tso, in Army custody KANCHAN VASDEV & KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, JANUARY 9 A CHINESE soldier, who had crossed the Line of Actual Control south of Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh, was apprehended by the Indian Army in the early hours of Friday. In a statement Saturday, the Army said the “PLA soldier had transgressed across the LAC and wastakenintocustodybyIndian troops” deployed in the area. “Troops from either side are deployed along the LAC since friction erupted last year due to unprecedentedmobilisationand forward concentration by Chinese troops. The PLA soldier is being dealt with as per laid down procedures, and the circumstancesunderwhichhehad crossed the LAC are being inves- tigated. Further details are awaited,” the Army said. South Pangong Tso is one of the areas where only a few hundred metres separate troops of the two countries. In August last year, Indian troops surprised the Chinese by occupying dominating heights on the south bank of Pangong Tso, and in the larger Chushul sub-sector. Indian troops positioned themselves on Gurung Hill, Magar Hill, Mukhpari, Rechin La and Rezang La. They now have direct view of China’s Moldo Garrison, and the strategic Spanggur Gap, which can be used to launch offensives — as the Chinese did in 1962. Indiantroopsalsoreadjusted theirpositionsonthenorthbank of the Pangong lake, occupying CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ANANTHAKRISHNAN G CHANDIGARH, NEW DELHI, JANUARY 9 WITH TALKS between the Centre and farmer unions opposed to the new agriculture laws failing to make any headway, and the Supreme Court scheduled to hear Monday a clutch of petitions related to the matter, the Punjab government saidSaturday it hadfinalised petitions to challenge the newly enacted laws. Also Saturday, the Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations (CIFA) approached theSupremeCourt,seekingtobe heard against the challenge to the new laws. It said “farm reformsarebeneficialtoenableincreased income to farmers and growth of agriculture”. Punjab Chief Minister A dharna at Reliance Mall in Ludhiana. Gurmeet Singh Amarinder Singh said state Advocate General Atul Nanda had already prepared and finalisedpetitionstochallengethe three central Acts. “Since these Acts impact the lives and future of our farmers, all decisions will be taken carefullyandjudiciouslyatanopportune time,” the Chief Minister said in a statement. He said although matters related to agriculture are men- tioned in List II (State List) of the Constitution of India and fall under the exclusive domain of the state government, the Government of India had enacted the three farm laws under provisions related to agriculture marketing mentioned in List III (Concurrent List). Being a central legislation, the state government, he said, had limited options under Article 254 (2) of the Constitutionandithadexercised that with the Punjab assembly passing Bills to amend the central laws. As per the law of the land, any Bill passed by the state assembly, he said, are mandatorily required to be sent to the Governor who, after studying it, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ANOTHER FARMER KILLS HIMSELF PAGE 3 IT WAS the first child for tribal couple Geeta, 20, and Vishwanath Behere, 22, of Bhojapur village adjacent to Bhandara city near Nagpur, born a year-and-a-half after their marriage.Weighingonly830gm at birth, on November 10, their daughternevermadeithome,or got a name. She was among the 10 infants, aged between three days and two months, killed in a fire at the Bhandra District GeneralHospital'sSickNeonatal Care Unit (SNCU) around 1.30 am on Saturday. The seven remaining newborns in the unit, all girls, were rescued. Tears pouring, Geeta, who last saw her daughter on Friday evening, sat among relatives too dazed to speak, or to respond to efforts to console her. Vishwanath, who had just one glimpse of his daughter, at birth, saw her for the second time lyingdeadinthehospital,onrushingthereat4 am followinga call, with “two burn marks”. Breaking down, Vishwanath, who works as a labourer, says they were expecting her to return home in around a week. “She was born underweight at a private hospital, and had to be rushed straight to the District Hospital. She had been gaining weight and was 1.3 kg now. She was set for discharge on attaining1.5kg.”Vishwanathaddsthat they had even argued with the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WORLD INDONESIA JET WITH 62 GOES MISSING ON DOMESTIC FLIGHT MUTED, ISOLATED, TRUMP FACES IMPEACHMENT PAGE 12 INSIDE SEVEN STATES NOW REPORT BIRD FLU; DELHI SHUTS MARKET PAGES 4, 7 Charred remains of SNCU equipment after the fire. PTI Neonatal unit cleared without fire audit, appeal for equipment pending TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA MUMBAI, JANUARY 9 A RS 1.52 CRORE proposal to install a new fire safety system at the Bhandara District General Hospital, where 10 babies died in a blaze early Saturday morning, has been pending with the state government for seven months. Meanwhile, set up in 2015, the Sick Neonatal Care Unit (SNCU) where the babies died had had only one mock fire drill, back in 2016-17, as per a district official. Bhandara district authorities were also yet to get a fire audit done at the hospital, despite a CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E X P L A I NE D THE UNION Health Ministry announced Saturday that the nationwide vaccination of priority groups will begin January 16 to secure them against Covid-19, which has so far infected more than 1 crore people and killed nearly 1.5 lakh. Thisannouncementcameafter Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting to review the status of preparedness for the vaccination. “After the detailedreview,itwasdecidedthat in view of the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu, the Covid-19 vaccination will start from January 16, 2021,” the Ministry said. In the initial phase, priority will be given to an estimated 3 crore healthcare workers and frontline workers. This rollout date comes less than a week after the drug regulator granted accelerated approval for two vaccines — Oxford-AstraZeneca’sCovishield and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and the ICMR, the latter vaccine in a controlled “clinical trial mode”giventhatitsefficacydata is pending. Healthcare workers and frontline workers will be followedbythoseabove50yearsof age and those under-50 with comorbidities — these number around 27 crore, the Health Ministry said. More than 79 lakh potential vaccine recipients have already been registered on the flagship Co-WIN IT platform, which will providereal-timeinformationof vaccine stocks and will track individual recipients. E Latest hospital ● fire THE BHANDARA hospital fire is the latest in a series of such incidents, including at Covid centres in Gujarat. After every such incident, there are promises of action. Families who lost their newborns will hope that this time, it will go past lip-service. DRIVERS, GUARDS PITCH IN FOR RESCUE PAGE 11 Para gets bail, court says UAPA case not made out, ‘not a whisper on him’ ARUN SHARMA JAMMU, JANUARY 9 NEARLY ONE-AND-A-HALF monthafter hisarrestbytheNIA onchargesof allegedterrorlinks, PDP youth wing leader Waheed Ur Rehman Para was Saturday granted bail by Special Judge Sunit Gupta, holding that “offences, particularly falling under Unlawful Activities Act (UAPA), are not prima facie made out against the applicant/accused”. Highlighting various loopholesintheNIAcaseagainstPara, the judge said neither the original nor the supplementary chargesheet has a “reference of PDP youth wing leader was arrested on Nov 25 the present applicant”, and that he is even referred to as “suspected accused in the said case”. It also questioned the very basis of Para's arrest, on the “so-called disclosurestatement”of militant SyedNaveedMushtaqShahalias Naveed Baba, noting that its “legal value” was “seriously hit by Section 25 of the Evidence Act”, whichsaysthatsuchconfessional CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Gurgaon Police crime: scarred victim, jobless family, kids out of school PAGE 1 ANCHOR SUKRITA BARUAH GURGAON, JANUARY 9 OVER THREE years have passed since bus conductor Ashok Kumar, according to theCBI, was falsely implicated by the Gurgaon police in a schoolboy’s murder, but the scars — both physical and mental — are yet to heal. His family said that beaten up in police custody, he can no longer do any physical labour andhasbeenunabletofindajob. Recently, the CBI filed a supplementary chargesheet against four Gurgaon police officers for allegedly framing Kumar in the case. Thefamily--Kumar,hiswife, two children aged 12 and 9, and his elderly father — stay in Ghamroj village in Gurgaon. His mother died just days ago, on January 1. Kumar's younger sister Sunita said, “He has not worked since his arrest. He was beaten somuchthathecannolongerlift heavythingsordomanualwork. It gets especially bad in the winter... Locals help out and we four sisters send across whatever we can from time to time.” When The Sunday Express visited, Kumar was not at home, and the family said he had gone to Sohna to get painkiller injections as he had difficulty walking. “Disturbed” since the arrest, hehardlyinteractswithanyoutsider, the family added. Following his arrest, his wife Ashok Kumar after bail in the school murder case. Express file Mamta also lost her cleaning job at the village school, and has not worked since. For a while, the family depended on the earnings of Kumar's father Amirchand, who worked as a security guard at a school earning Rs 6,000 per month. However, Amirchand said, “That stopped when the school closed due to the lockdown. I worry day and night — I’m sitting at home without work, my only son has been sittingwithoutwork...Hisjobatthe private school was good — he had worked there for eight months and was getting paid Rs 6,000 per month.” Even as the family has lost jobs at various schools, the children ironically have not been able to attend classes throughout the past year. They are enrolled in the school where Amirchand worked, and while it has been holding online classes, they cannot afford the same. “We don’t have mobile phones needed for the online classes. We haven’t been able to pay fees since the lockdown ei- ther,” said Amirchand. Kumar was arrested after an eight-year-old boy of a prominent private school in Gurgaon was found with his throat slit near the school toilet on September 8, 2017. Kumar workedasabusconductoratthe school, and thepolice claimedto haverecoveredaknifefromhim, and said he had killed the child after attempting to sodomise him. Kumar was paraded before the media, and confessed to the crime, apparently under duress. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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