eye THE SUNDAY EXPRESS MAGAZINE CHANGE BEGINS AT THE DOOR NEWDELHI,LATECITY JANUARY31,2021 As home spaces turn multifunctional, a look at the evolution of the drawing room 20PAGES,`6.00 (`8 BIHAR &RAIPUR, ` 12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA PAGES 15, 16, 17 BUDGET TO BE TABLED TOMORROW PM at all-party meet: Offer to pause farm laws still on table, Agri Minister just phone call away Catch Red Fort culprits, if innocent framed, stir will grow: Azad NEW DELHI, JANUARY 30 President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at Rajghat on Saturday. PTI WITH THE Budget session of Parliament getting under way, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday chaired an all-party meeting where he said the Government’s offer to keep the implementation of the three farm laws on hold for 18 months is still on the table. And that Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar is just a phone call away for taking forward talks with protesting farmer unions. law will take its own course.” Condemning the Red Fort incident, Azad said the culprits should be punished but “it seems that the Government instead of catching the real culprits, is trying to implicate the farmer leaders.” “I don’t think that any sensible farmer leader was party to that incident at the Red Fort,” he reportedly said. “There were some lumpen elements who haddoneitandthoselumpenelements should be caught and punished severely. All of us, who CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 5 identified at Red Fort have criminal records in Punjab: probe SUNDAY STORY PAGE 7 Protesting farmers and their supporters at the Ghazipur border on Saturday. Amit Mehra EXPRESS NETWORK FACING INTERNET CURBS, KHAPS TURN TO TEMPLE LOUDSPEAKERS IN HARYANA AFTER DECADES, TIKAITS OF WEST U.P. TAKE CENTRESTAGE IN CAPITAL AGAIN PAGE 6 MOREREPORTS,PAGE4 Roads blocked but Ghazipur numbers swell, many show up with rations, water JIGNASA SINHA NEW DELHI, JANUARY 30 A DAY after they attended the Muzaffarnagar mahapanchayat to rally behind BKU leader RakeshTikait,hundredsof farmersfromvillagesinUttarPradesh and Haryana showed up at the GhazipurprotestsiteSaturday— Tikait video effect: Govt snaps internet at all three protest sites on tractors and trucks loaded with rations and water bottles. Subodh Kumar, a farmer from Khanjarpur who came to the Delhi-UP border with three friends, bought tarps and wires along the way and set up a tent near the flyover at the border. “We are here to stay. My wife and children are taking care of the farm now. She also wept whenshesawTikaitweepingon TV. Police can't arrest him, he didn't do anything wrong. I have some vegetables and rice with me… I will cook or donate it at the langar. We will also help farmers with the seva by cleaning roads,” he said. With the numbers swelling at the border, BKU and Rashtriya CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SHORTLY AFTER a video of a weeping Rakesh Tikait went viral on social media galvanising more farmers from Haryana and western UP to join the protests, the Ministry of Home Affairs Saturday extended the suspension of the internet in the capital’s border areas to include all protest sites: Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri and their adjoining localities. The ban, ostensibly to "maintainpublicsafetyandavertemergency," will be until 11 pm on January 31. On January 26, internet services here had been suspendedfrom12noontomidnight. Telecom service providers areboundbytheirlicenceagreements to comply with such government orders. The January 26 ban had been extended until January 27. Following this, the internet speed had been significantly reduced in these areas. But after the Ghazipur tension and the factthatfarmers’rankshaveonly swelled after Tikait’s outburst, the net has been suspended again, sources said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Chirag invited for NDA TURF WAR ESCALATES IN BENGAL meet, skips citing ‘health’ Day after quitting TMC, ex-minister flies to Delhi with rebels to join BJP after JD(U) protests EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE LIZ MATHEW & HARIKISHAN SHARMA NEW DELHI, JANUARY 30 A to Z of what to expect Monday BKU leader Rakesh Tikait’s emotional appeal went viral on social media. ANI file NEW DELHI, JANUARY 30 NEW DELHI, JANUARY 30 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 DAY AFTER BLAST NEAR EMBASSY SUKRITA BARUAH & DEEPTIMAN TIWARY MAHENDER SINGH MANRAL INITIAL INVESTIGATION by the Delhi Police into the vandalism at Red Fort by a section of farm protesters who veered off the designated route on Republic Day has indicated that at least fiveof thoseidentifiedhavecriminal records in Punjab and were picked up by state police earlier, sources told The Sunday Express. Raids are on to arrest them, sources said. An estimated 1,000 people, on30-40tractorsandaround150 motorcycles and cars, had forcibly entered Red Fort premises, where they chased and assaulted policemen, looted their anti-riotgear,heldsomehostage inside a public toilet and vandalised the ticket counter, accordingtoanFIRbasedonacomplaint by SHO (Kotwali) Rituraj. Sources said that after scanning footage from several CCTV An investigation team at the blast site near the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi on Saturday. Praveen Khanna PUTTINGTHErulingBJPinaspot, its Bihar ally Janata Dal (United) objectedtoitsmovetoinviteLok JanshaktiParty(LJP)toSaturday's NDA meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sources said that on Friday, the BJP had to request LJP president Chirag Paswan, son of the late Ram Vilas Paswan, not to attend the meeting after JD(U) made it clear it would stay away if Paswan was present. OnJanuary20,Parliamentary AffairsMinisterPralhadJoshisent alettertoPaswanrequestinghim toattendtheNDAmeetingtodiscuss “important issues and business for the ensuing Budget session of the Parliament.” OnSaturday,afterheskipped the meeting, Paswan told CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INTENSIFYING THE turf war between the ruling TMC and the BJP ahead of the assembly elections in West Bengal, former state minister Rajib Banerjee, who quit the TMC Friday, reached Delhi along with some rebelMLAsandleadersonaspecial flight Saturday. They met UnionHomeMinisterAmitShah and will be formally inducted into the party at a Howrah event Sunday. MLAs Prabir Ghosal and NEW DELHI, JANUARY 30 A DAY after a low intensity explosion took place near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, Israel’s ambassador Ron Malka said Indian and Israeli agencies were working together “to find out what happened, who is standing behind this”. The Sunday Express has learned that investigators have found clues which point to a sophisticated attempt at launching a coordinated international attack with the aim of sending a message. Sourcesinthesecurityestablishmentsaidpreliminaryforensic examination of the site and the bomb have revealed that the explosive used was PETN. A militarygradeexplosive,PETNisnot easily available and has been used in the past by groups such as Al Qaeda for making bombs. Investigatorshavealsofound remains of a “Hi-Watt” 9 volt battery “for transistor radios” from the blast site. Such batteries, sources said, have been used earlier in bombs assembled by theIndianMujahideenandeven CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Baishali Dalmiya, former Howrah Mayor Rathin Chakraborty, former TMC MLA Parthasarathi Chattopadhyay and actor Rudranil Ghosh CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE EXPRESS INTERVIEW RON MALKA ISRAEL’S AMBASSADOR E ● 29 years & road ahead THE INCIDENT comes at a time when India and Israel are marking 29 years of formal ties, and are looking to strengthen ties further. While the 2012 attack on an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi had pointed to an Iranian hand, this probe too will look at every possibility. India’s ties with Iran are also strategic given that Chabahar grants it access to Afghanistan and Central Asia. POCSO verdict: SC collegium set to withhold promotion of Bombay HC judge JusticeGanediwalafacesextended probationforhertakeonsexualassault NEW DELHI, JANUARY 30 After meeting Amit Shah in New Delhi, Saturday. Amit Mehra P5 DEEPTIMAN TIWARY & SHUBHAJIT ROY APURVA VISHWANATH & ANANTHAKRISHNAN G KOLKATA, NEW DELHI, JANUARY 30 ‘Unwell, in self-isolation’ Bomb used military grade explosive; Israel envoy says probing with India E X P L A I NE D MANOJ C G & LIZ MATHEW This assurance came after almost the entire Opposition, which had boycotted the President’s address yesterday, raised the farm protests issue. Many, including the Congress, demandedtherepealof thelaws and a discussion in Parliament. Leaderof OppositioninRajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad flagged FIRs being filed against farm union leaders in connection with the Republic Day violenceinDelhi.LeaderslikeCPM’s Elamaram Kareem, too, raised theFIRissue.TowhichthePrime Minister reportedly said: “The THE SUPREME Court Collegium issettowithdrawitsrecommendation to appoint additional judge of the Bombay High Court Justice Pushpa V Ganediwala as a permanent judge of the court after a close scrutiny of two of her recent verdicts for their controversial interpretation of sexual assault under the Protection of ChildrenfromSexualOffences Act, 2012 (POCSO) Act. Sources told The Sunday Express that the collegium is weighing its options to either sendthejudgebacktothedistrict judiciaryfromwhereshewaselevated in February 2019 or extendherprobationbyacoupleof years— andaddedthatitismore likely to take the latter option. In the past, the Supreme Court’s unique in-house mechanism of appointing judges has made indirect interventions — from tacit requests for resignations to ensuring alternative quasi-judicial appointments — while handling concerns on the conduct of non-permanent high court judges. It is learnt that by breaking CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In bamboo clone crash barriers, a cost-effective road safety solution Nagpur-based VNIT experts work on design, Gadkari says let farmers make money from Beema bamboo AVISHEK G DASTIDAR NEW DELHI, JANUARY 30 WHAT COULD be aninexpensive yet effective alternative to steel barriers to help reduce accident deaths on highways? Maybe bamboo and coir. CrashbarriersmadeofBeema bambooandcoirarebeingdevelopedasalow-costsolutionasthe Centrelooksforinnovative,newer waystobring downfatalitiesand mishaps on roads. ExpertsfromtheVisvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT), Nagpur, are working on the design using Beema bamboo — the local product of mainly Karnataka and adjoining areas. “We have recently given the task to VNIT to work on it. I want farmerstogrowtheBeemabamboo, and the road sector will use it. Right now they cost around Rs4,000perton.Therewillbefive feet fencing of the bamboo installed deep into concrete slabs and held together by strong coir ropes. That is the basic design,” Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, told The Sunday Express. “Iamafarmermyself.Myidea isthatifwearetoinstallcrashbarriers worth Rs 25,000 crore per year in highway projects, let that money go to the country’s farmers. So I have asked the experts to prepare this,” he said. Alongwithawarenessandenforcement,hesaidroaddesign,including installation of crash barriers, are established practices to enhance road safety. But will such structures be durable and weather-proof? “Of course. Go to the North-East and you will see how strong bamboo structures withstand extreme Bamboo Built-Up Support Bamboo Built-Up Rafter CRASH BARRIER MADE OF BEEMA BAMBOOS Conceptual sketch by Dept of Applied Mechanics, VNIT rainfall and everything,” he said. Crash barriers are typically meant to prevent vehicles from going off highways and should there be an accident, the barrier willcushiontheimpactandminimise the chance of fatality to the extent possible. Sources said conventional crash barriers made of metal and alloy may cost around Rs 2,000 per metre. The bamboo barrier is likely to cost a fraction of that. Around 5 per cent of the cost of the entire bouquet of work involved in making India’s highways go into road furniture. “We will use jute, coir and suchmaterial,notplastic.Thatwill benefitfarmers.Wewillusethem in all access-control highways, so thathumansandanimalscannot stray into highways, and lives are saved,” Gadkari said, adding that hewillalsoappealtoIITsandother engineeringinstitutestocomeup with such low-cost solutions using natural, indigenous materials that farmers can grow. Beema or Bheema bamboo is a type of bamboo engineered to beastronger,fast-growingandtall clone of the traditional bamboo foundintheIndiansubcontinent, especiallytheNorth-East.ThisvarietygrowswellinsouthernIndia. In the current iteration of the designoftheBeemacrashbarrier being developed, the cost is estimatedtobeone-thirdof conventional metal barriers, VNIT director Pramod Padole said. “Our departments of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics are working on this. Wewillbetestinghowmuchload the structure can take, and other variables of the proposed design usingcomputersimulation.Once thatissettled,wewillgoforactual installation on highways for onsite testing,” Padole said. Around 1.5 lakh people die every year in close to 5 lakh road accidents in India. Over a third of those accidents happen on the highways. Currently, India is engaged in aprojectto removeaccident-prone“blackspots”andrectifyroaddesignsonhighwayswith loanstothetuneofRs14,000crore fromtheAsianDevelopmentBank andWorldBank.
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