DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 20 PAGES `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 32 BODIES FOUND SO FAR, OVER 170 STILL MISSING No headway in tunnel, officials deploy drones, laser imaging Deep Sidhu in custody of Delhi Police Tuesday. Tashi Tobgyal RED FORT VANDALISM Police arrest ‘instigator’ Deep Sidhu, say friend in US helped post videos MAHENDER SINGH MANRAL & ANAND MOHAN J NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 9 TWO WEEKS after the vandalism at Red Fort on Republic Day, the Delhi Police Special Cell arrested Punjabi actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu, named as one of the key conspirators in an FIR related to the incident, from Karnal in Haryana. Arrested Monday night by personnel of the Special Cell southwesternrange,41-year-old Sandeep Singh Sidhu alias Deep Sidhu was sent to police custody for seven days by a Tis Hazari court in Delhi though police had sought his custody for 10 days. Police sources said a woman, who is a leading actor in Punjabi films,maybecalledforquestioning since their investigation showed that he had called her forhelpandhadusedhermobile phone to get in touch with friends. Inthepoliceremandapplication, the investigation officer stated: “The accused on January 26 instigated and provoked the rioters’ mob at Red Fort. It is submitted that several policemen and civilians were injured CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘Safety of staff priority’, Twitter seeks formal dialogue with govt NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 9 DAYS AFTER the Centre asked Twitter to “suspend or block” nearly 1,200 accounts, citing “misinformationandprovocative content” on the farmers’ protest, Twitter said on Tuesday that it had“reachedout”toInformation Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for a “formal dialogue” on the issue. Sources said senior Twitter executives are scheduled to meet Prasad and senior IT ministryofficialsthisweektoexplain their stand on non-removal of some content and the decision CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E E X P L A I NE D AASHISH ARYAN ● Process willbelong TWITTER’S EFFORT to reach out to the Centre could be the start of a long negotiation process. Twitter had cited freedom of speech to restore some accounts linked to farmers’ protest. The government responded that the platform is an “intermediary bound by the orders of the Government” and cannot “assume the role of a court”. LALMANI VERMA TAPOVAN (CHAMOLI), FBRUARY 9 WITHMOREthantwodayssince the flash flood struck Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, hopes of findinganymoresurvivorsatthe Tapovan and Rishi Ganga power project sites dimmed as rescue agencies recovered six more bodies on Tuesday. So far, 32 bodies have been recovered in the region, with over 170 people still missing. DIGGarhwalNeeruGargsaid that of the six bodies recovered on Tuesday, four were from the RishiGangapowerprojectsiteat Raini village, one was from Chamoli and another from Nandprayag. Two of the bodies are of police personnel who were deployed at the power plant, she said. At the Tapovan tunnel, the centre of the rescue operations where 35 people are feared trapped, there has been no breakthrough so far, despite excavators working round the clock to remove the slush in the 1.9-km tunnel. Rescue agencies are now deploying advanced technologies such as a helicopter carrying a laser with electromagnetic pulse imager for an aerial survey over the tunnel, EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 9 THEENFORCEMENT Directorate conducted searches Tuesday at the office premises of news portal NewsClick and residences of its editors. APURVA VISHWANATH NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 9 DOES THE religion or gender of a judge in a lower court play a role in their orders? A study by the Development Data Lab, a US-based research organisation, has found scant evidenceof anysystemicgender or religious bias in district and subordinate courts across the country. “In both of these specifications, we find a robust null estimate of in-group bias among Indianjudges.Judgesof different genders do not treat defendants CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY FA G S A R M G MUNAWAR CASE CO-ACCUSED DENIED BAIL PAGE 12 MALLICA JOSHI JOSHIMATH, FEBRUARY 9 An unidentified body recovered from the Rishi Ganga plant site near Raini village in Chamoli Tuesday. Gajendra Yadav andacameradronetobesentinside the tunnel. According to officials at the site, the Hyderabad-based National Geophysical Research Institute has sent the laser imager, a hexagonal device which is suspended from a helicopter CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ED searches premises of NewsClick news portal No gender, religion bias in orders by dist courts, finds study INSIDE Raini counts its dead, no road link for 13 villages to China border Drone enters 120 metres in, images fail to detect any human presence P H D F UG T D K A F N I I F JY C G U D ED officials said the searches, spread across Delhi and Ghaziabad, were being conductedinconnectionwithacase of alleged money laundering. Separate ED teams launched search operations at the portal’s office at Saidulajab in South CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 FAMILY LOOKS FOR OFFICER AT RISHI GANGA POWER SITE 100 MISSING, ARMY FORCED TO CALL OFF SEARCH PAGE 9 AS DEBRIS and slush were cleared from the Rishi Ganga power plant site near Raini village, which bore the brunt of the flash flood in Uttarakhand’s Chamolidistrict,fourbodiesand theremainsof afifthwererecovered Tuesday. It was a grim reminder of the deluge that destroyed the plant two days ago. The area where a water tank andaresidentialblockstoodwas completely flattened, and a suspension bridge washed away, leaving 13 villages till the China borderinaccessiblebyroad.And, fears that another flash flood could hit the area continued to keep residents on tenterhooks. Through Monday night, national and state disaster relief forces and Border Road Organisation (BRO) personnel worked to clear a 100-metre path from the gate of Raini, the home of the Chipko movement in the 1970s, to where the plant was located. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Amid standoff, PM bids Azad a tearful farewell: Door always open for you SHUBHAJIT ROY & DIPANKAR GHOSE NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 9 AMID THE Government-Opposition standoff in Parliament over the farm laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday bid a tearful farewell to Leaderof OppositionintheRajya SabhaGhulamNabiAzadwhose term ends next week. Modi broke down several times during his 13-minute speech,asherecalledhiscloseassociation with Azad. “At a personal level, I would request him to not consider that he is not in the House. My door is always open for all of you... I will always expect, and value, your views,” Modi said. “I will not let you retire,”hetoldtheCongressveteran. Azad also turned emotional during his response. He said the BJP has always been part of “na- During farewell for RS MP Ghulam Nabi Azad. ANI tionalist politics”, and he felt “proud” that he was a CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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