DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 PLA TROOPS TO RETURN EAST OF FINGER 8, INDIANS NEAR FINGER 3 Pangongdisengagementcommences,Rajnath saysnexttalkswillfocusonotherfrictionpoints INDIA Finger1 Finger8 Finger2 Finger3 Ladakh Finger4 Flagged Twitter... double standards on Red Fort, Capitol Hill, he tells RS Finger7 Finger6 Finger5 Standoffsite Chinesehave PANGONG comein8km TSO EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 11 LAC (INDIA) Tanks start disengaging south of lake, north bank stretch no-go zone for now Tanks disengaging from the Pangong Tso area in Ladakh, after a nine-month India-China standoff. ANI KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 11 Fresh scare, officials say can’t give time frame on rescue LALMANI VERMA TAPOVAN, JOSHIMATH, FEBRUARY 11 THERE WAS fresh scare at the Rishi Ganga and Dhauli Ganga rivers, the sites of Sunday's flash flood disaster in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district, following a rise intheirwaterlevelsonThursday — leading to a temporary halt in rescue operations. Evenasthetollclimbedto36, withtwomorebodiesrecovered, more than 160 people are still missing, and the authorities admitted that they could give no time frame on when they would be able to reach 34 of them believed to be stuck inside a tunnel at NTPC's hydro power project site in Tapovan area of Chamoli district. On Thursday, a fresh attempt to reach the trapped men by drillingintoanundergroundtunnel, located 12 metres below the tunnelwheretheauthoritieshad beenlooking,failed.Government officialsandNTPCauthoritiesrevealed this at a joint press briefing on the situation. Asked how long the rescue operations could take, Garhwal Divisional Commissioner RavinathRamansaidtheycouldn't say anything. “It depends on CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PAGE 1 ANCHOR THE EDITORIAL PAGE ATHAW, NOT PEACE Rajnath Singh at Parliament on Thursday. PTI IN PARLIAMENT RAHUL: COUNTRY RUN BY4 PEOPLE... HUM DO,HUMARE DO BY SYED ATA HASNAIN PAGE 10 EXPLAINED SIMPLY PUT DISENGAGEMENT: WHATITENTAILS PAGE 12 PAGE 5 that China and India have reached an agreement under which “both sides will cease their forward deployments in a CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 GOVT & POLITICS GOVT COMPROMISING NATIONALSECURITY: CONG PAGE 7 Delhi cautious, points to work in progress; military, diplomatic moves shaped result RAVISH TIWARI, SHUBHAJIT ROY & DEEPTIMAN TIWARY NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 11 WHILE THE start of the disengagement process at Pangong Tso is a significant breakthrough in the nine-month military standoff with China, New Delhi wantstoavoidanychestthumping,itstonemeasuredasittreads carefully to achieve its objective of returning to the pre-standoff situation on the ground. “This is a work in progress. Chest thumping is not desirable A N E X P R E S S I N V E S T I G A T I O N - P A R T II 0000000000 is also the cellphone number of those tested for Covid in Bihar Zeroes, blank columns and wrong numbers: How contact mismatch makes it tough to track those tested TESTING SANTOSH SINGH GAPS JAMUI, SHEIKHPURA, PATNA, FEBRUARY 11 TEN ZEROES in a sequence don't adduptoanything.Indatabases, they are used to denote missing entries.Butinlistsof thosetested forCovidindistrictsof Bihar,they keep popping up against names. Consider: ■ In Jamui's Barhat Primary Health Centre,0000000000 has been entered in records as the “mobile number” of 28 of 48 people who were shown as tested for Covid on January 16. ■ It is the number for 46 of 83 people tested on January 25. ■ The same set of zeroes has been used for 73 of 150 entries onJanuary16atJamuiSadar,another PHC in the district. An investigation by The Indian Express of 885 entries for Covid tests in January from six PHCs in Jamui, Sheikhpura and Patna has found that this is just one of the several ways in which mobile numbers — a key tool to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Cellphone numbers missing in Sheikhpura PHC records BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY TOMORROW Rezang La will remain at their currentpositionsuntildisengagementhappenstothesatisfaction of NewDelhi.ThesearekeypositionsoccupiedbyIndianforcesin August last year to counter the Chinese build-up along the LAC. On Saturday, the two sides will verify the progress claimed by each side, following which the next course of action will be decided. “The agreement is to simultaneously withdraw a fixed portion of artillery and troops from specific points. This will be verified after each side confirms the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NewsClick raids: Under ED scanner, Rs 30.51-cr foreign ‘remittances’ RITU SARIN & KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 11 THERAIDSontheofficeof online news platform NewsClick and residences of its directors by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which continued for the third straightday Thursday,arelinked to foreign remittances allegedly totalling Rs 30.51 crore, The Indian Express has learnt. This includes a remittance classified as FDI of Rs 9.59 crore from April 2018, and another of Rs 20.92 crore, which has been shown as receipts for "export of services",seniorEDofficialssaid. The FDI, they said, has been shown as subscription of shares of PPK NewsclickStudioatapremium from a defunct company called Worldwide Media Holdings LLC, Delaware. Also under scrutiny are alleged remittances from a clutch of entities: Justice & Education Fund Inc; Tricontinental Ltd Inc, USA; G Span LLC, USA; and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AMID THE face-off between the government and microblogging platformTwitter,Informationand TechnologyMinisterRaviShankar Prasad Thursday accused social mediaplatformsof “doublestandards”intheirapproachtorecent events at the US Capitol Hill and the Red Fort on Republic Day. While replying to questions in the Rajya Sabha, Prasad said, “WehaveflaggedTwitterandare in dialogue with them. Why is it that when the police have to act in US Capitol Hill they stand in support,butwhensimilaraction is taken at Red Fort, they oppose it? Freedom of speech is there, butwithreasonablerestrictions. Why the double standards?” Theminister was referring to the recent government emergency order to Twitter to block over 1,300 handles for allegedly spreading misinformation and provocative content in the after- Ravi Shankar Prasad in Rajya Sabha on Thursday. ANI math of the violence witnessed during the tractor march carried out by the protesting farmers in Delhi on January 26. WhileTwitterhassuspended more than 500 accounts, it has not acted against accounts of news media entities, journalists, activists and politicians on the ground that it “would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law”. Reacting to Twitter’s stance, Prasad said in Parliament, “When you become a platform, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘Better communication’ with Govt: Twitter to ‘restructure’ India team AASHISH ARYAN NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 11 TWITTER HAS extended a commitment to “restructure” its India team and assign more senior executives to its local offices so that it can better handle legal compliance-related issues, senior government officials told The Indian Express. Executives from Twitter agreed to some structural changes at a meeting with officials from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY)Wednesday, sources said. The ministry pushedforthesechangesaspart of its effort to “better manage communications” between the Government of India and the global team of Twitter. Asked specifically whether Twitter had agreed to the said Bihar to probe, Jharkhand calls for data check SANTOSH SINGH SHUBHAJIT ROY THE BIHAR government Thursday ordered an inquiry into the findings of the investigation by The Indian Express, which tracked 885 entries in Covid testing records from three districts and found several cases of fudged mobile numbers, fake names and dodgy details. The Opposition RJD said it will raise the issue in Parliament Friday. Health Minister Mangal Pandey said "legal action will be taken against those found CANADIANPRIMEMinisterJustin Trudeau has said that he held a "gooddiscussion"withhisIndian counterpart Narendra Modi on manyimportantissues,including on the “two nations' commitmenttodemocraticprinciples,recentprotests,andtheimportance of resolving issues through dialogue”, a statement from the Canadian government said. This reference to “recent protests” was not part of the Indian government's readout of the telephoneconversation held structural changes in its top management in India, a spokesperson told The Indian Express that the company had “no comment to share”. On Wednesday, Twitter's vice-president of global public policy Monique Meche and the platform's deputygeneralcounsel and vice-president, legal, Jim Baker, had met senior officials of the IT Ministry to explain why themicro-bloggingplatformhad not blocked certain content despite the government's notices on the same. While multiple concerns have been raised by the government on Twitter’s “failure” to comply with its orders, officials indicated that the most “objectionable” from their perspective was the social media company’s lackof willingnesstoactonmultiple posts that used the word CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Day after, Trudeau office says he spoke to Modi on ‘recent protests’ PATNA, FEBRUARY 11 THE TESTING PROCESS, THE KIT AND THE GAPS in these situations. This is just one step towards the April 2020 situation. One has to tread cautiously as there are several unresolved issues,” a government source said. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's measured tone in Parliament Thursday underscoredtheneedtoavoidanykind of chest thumping from the ruling establishment pending the resolution of unresolved issues. While armoured units south ofPangongTsohavestartedmovingout,sourcessaidtherehasalso beensomethinningoftroopsbut personnel at Rechin La and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 11 E E X P L A I NE D CHINESE AND Indian armoured units have started disengaging south of Pangong Tso as a first step towards resolving the ninemonth military standoff along theLineof ActualControlineastern Ladakh. As part of the process, Chinese troops will pull back from Finger 4 to east of Finger 8 on the Pangong north bank — they had come in 8 km west of Finger 8 which India says marks theLAC.Indiantroopswillbestationed at Dhan Singh Thapa Post nearFinger3.Forthetimebeing, the stretch separating them will be a no-patrolling zone. Confirming the start of the process on the north and south banks of Pangong Tso, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told both Houses of Parliament Thursday Social media platforms must respect law of land: Prasad Eye on Sikh ● voters CANADIAN PM Justin Trudeau has a large and influential Sikh diaspora as a political constituency — his comments on farmers' protests in December stem from that. His reiteration of this, regarding the phone call he had with Modi, is aimed at consolidating the constituency. between Prime Minister Modi and Trudeau on Wednesday. "I had a good discussionwith Prime Minister @NarendraModi on many important issues, and we've agreed to stay in touch," Trudeau tweeted. "TheleadersdiscussedCanada andIndia'scommitmenttodemocraticprinciples,recentprotests, and the importance of resolving issues through dialogue," the Canadian Prime Minister's office said in a statement, in an apparentreferencetotheongoingagitation by farmers in India. In his tweet on Wednesday about the conversation, Modi CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE INDIAN EXPRESS THINC MIGRATION TODAY The first of a series of eight webinars on internal migration, the IE Thinc Migration will see a keynote address by Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, followed by a panel discussion by experts PAGE 7 Phoolan Devi, Nirbhay Gujjar: In Chambal, a police museum on dacoits IRAM SIDDIQUE BHOPAL, FEBRUARY 11 THE GUN used by Phoolan Devi, a tape recorder that belonged to Nirbhay Gujjar, letters with ransom demands,chains used to tie captives — and stills from the making of Chambal ke Daaku, a Bollywood movie. There will be all of these and more at a museum that is coming up at Bhind in Madhya Pradesh’sChambalbelt,oncethe home of some of the country’s most dreaded dacoits. But what’s really unique about this venture is the force behind it — Bhind Police. Accordingto Bhind SP Manoj Kumar Singh, the idea is not to eulogise those who once held sway over Chambal but to place their crimes in perspective and “highlightthesacrificesmadeby the police” to rein them in. “There will be at least 2,000 digitised police records and material compiledoverthe pastfive decades chronicling the crimes of murder, loot and kidnapping carried out by these bandits. The Chambal region became infamousinthecountryduetothese deeds,” said Singh. The museum, which will be set up in four rooms at the Bhind Police headquarters, will also house “images of the 28 policemen who were martyred in fights with dacoits, 30 who won gallantry awards and several others who were given out-ofturn promotions”, the SP said. “The dacoits identify themselves as baaghis (rebels) and movies have painted them as Robin Hoods who picked up arms after being victimised by the system. But my aim is to highlight that the crimes they committed had a huge impact on society here, especially the A still from the making of the film Chambal ke Daaku will be among items on display. Express youth,” he said. With over Rs 3 lakh collected through donations from 26 police stations under Singh’s charge, the museum is being set up with soft lights over exhibits andfourSmartTVsthatwillplay videos narrating stories of kidnappings, with families of victims explaining how their lives were scarred. According to Bhind Police records, around 98 per cent of kidnappings in the region by dacoits took place in rural areas where the main source of income was farming. “Theransom was often around Rs 2-3 lakh. To cough up the ransom in the 1970s,avillagerhadnootheroptionbuttosellthefarmlandthat he held, which took him back by at least three generations. We willtrytocapturetheseintheaudio-visual displays,” said Singh. Recordsshowthattheregion was first exposed to guns when several from the Chambal belt were sent to fight alongside the British in World War-I. Upon theirreturn,withpovertyandno jobs,manyretainedtheirgunsto lootthelocalpopulationfortheir dailyneeds.Theywerehelpedby the unique terrain, with soil erosion creating maze-like ravines that became ideal hideouts. “Lack of livelihood due to barren land, a rigid caste set-up andsystemicfailureforcedlocals to take up arms. Owing to soil erosion, land in this belt easily turns infertile, depriving people of their agricultural land and pushing them further into poverty,” said Dev Shrimali, a journalist from Bhind who has covered the region for close to five decades. “Many of the dacoits surrenderedontheinitiativesof leaders like J P Narayan, Vinoba Bhave and others. By the early 1990s, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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