DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3, 2021, KOLKATA, LATE CITY, 12 PAGES SINCE 1932 `5.00/EX-KOLKATA `6.00 (`12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM 50 LAKH REGISTERED, 4.34 LAKH GET SHOTS IN TWO DAYS Centre extends reach of vaccination: longer sessions, all private hospitals can be roped in Govttakesnoteof overcrowding,ICMRchief clarifiesthatbothvaccinessafetobeadministeredforthoseonbloodthinners KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, MARCH 2 WITH OVER 50 lakh beneficiaries registering for Covid-19 vaccination since the second phase of theinoculationdrivebeganon Monday,andwithovercrowding being reported in several parts of the country, the Centre on Tuesday directed states to enlist all private hospitals, including those that are not empanelled undergovernmenthealthinsurance schemes, for the vaccination exercise. The Centre has also said that hospitals can, in consultation with state governments, extend their vaccination sessions, and that it is not mandatory to limit the session to 5 pm. Besides, states and hospitals have been told “to open the vaccination slots for 15 days to a month”. Currently,beneficiariesapplying on the Co-WIN portal can only find slots for a week. In the first two days of the A long queue for vaccination at the BKC Covid centre in Mumbai Tuesday. Ganesh Shirsekar second phase of the vaccination drive that began Monday -- for those above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with asso- NIA takes over probe into attack on Bengal minister DEEPTIMANTIWARY Hossain was at Nimtita station when blast took place. NEWDELHI,MARCH2 THE BOMB attack on West Bengal minister Jakir Hossain will now be probed by the NIA after the Centre took over the case under the NIA Act without seeking the state government’s consent, sources said. TheTrinamoolCongressMLA andstatelabourministerwasinjured along with 21 others when a bomb exploded at Murshidabad’s Nimtita Railway Station on February 17. He was waitingatPlatformNo.2toboard atraintoKolkata,whentheIEDis suspectedtohavebeentriggered. The NIA has registered a case based on the FIR filed by the BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Azimganj Government Railway Police under Sections 326 (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means),307(attempttomurder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) apart from sections of the Explosive Substances Act. TheGRPcomesunderoperational control of state governments. The NIA has not invoked the Unlawful Activities Prevention CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BENGALURU, MARCH 2 Imphal dist admin takes back notice to site after Centre rap JIMMY LEIVON Government Health Scheme (CGHS), and State Health Insurance were designated as vaccination centres. The direction to states to further ramp up coverage and enlistallprivatehospitalswascommunicated to states at a Battlelines in Nandigram between communities, Adhikari vs Mamata battle for Bengal. Mamata has upped the stakes by declaring her candidaNANDIGRAM, MARCH 2 ture from the seat, thus pitting NANDIGRAM IN Purbo herself directly against Suvendu Medinipur district once cata- Adhikari, one of the BJP's biggest from the pulted Mamata Banerjee to acquisitions power. Fourteen years later, Trinamool. Adhikari was not just the face of the Nandigramdefinesher Trinamool in battle to return to Nandigram, he was power for the third also the face of the time.However,therein party's land protest on endsthesimilarity.The the ground. land acquisition agitaMamata looms tion of 2007 is old DECISION over Nandigram in news, Nandigram is 2021 graffiti, cutouts and now reverberating hoardings declaring with the sharp polariWEST CONTINUED ON sation that marks the BENGAL PAGE 2 bitter Trinamool-BJP RAVIK BHATTACHARYA THE RULING BJP in Karnataka found itself mired in a controversy Tuesday with a video CD allegedly featuring Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi and a young unidentified woman, and audio conversations between the two, being played on television channels. A social activist, Dinesh Kalahalli, who claimed he was authorisedbythewoman’sfamily, later filed a complaint with the Cubbon Park police in Bengaluru alleging that the woman in the video clips was enticed by the minister with the offer of a government job. The police are yet to register a formal case and are verifying the legitimacy of the complaint, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) M N Anucheth said. Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappaheldameetingwith party colleagues, and sources in the government said a decision onseekingJarkiholi’sresignation will be taken after hearing him out. “Party leaders will decide on theissue,”saidPrimaryEducation Minister Suresh Kumar. While BJP leaders have not reacted on the issue, Jarkiholihimself remained incommunicado. His phone was switched off. Jarkiholi,60,isapowerfulminister from the Belagavi region of north Karnataka in the Yediyurappa-ledBJPgovernment. A bitter personal feud with current state Congress President D K Shivakumar — both were associates earlier — over control of the Belagavi region is believed to be the reason behind the collapse of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Priyanka Vadra campaigning for Assam polls in the Sadhuru tea garden, Biswanath, Tuesday. PTI REPORTPAGE5 PARIMAL DABHI AHMEDABAD, MARCH 2 Mamata hoardings dominate Nandigram. Partha Paul AMIL BHATNAGAR & AVANEESH MISHRA HATHRAS, LUCKNOW, MARCH 2 A 50-YEAR-OLD man was shot dead in Hathras Monday, allegedly by a man accused of molesting his daughter two years ago. Police said the accused, Gaurav Sharma, had allegedly molestedthevictim'sdaughterin 2018, following which a rivalry ensuedbetweenthetwofamilies. On Monday evening, the accused, along with five others, opened fire at her father inside theirvillageinHathrasdistrict,police said. The man was rushed to thenearesthospitalwherehewas declaredbroughtdead,theysaid. The murder triggered a political firestorm in Uttar Pradesh with leaders of the ruling BJP claiming that the accused is a Samajwadi Party leader. The SP, however, denied the claim and criticised the government for the law and order situation in BJP sweeps Gujarat local bodies, Cong loses even bastions CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Fresh trouble for BSY BJP vs SP as man on bail in case of govt, Jarkiholi caught molestation kills victim’s father in a sex CD scandal EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW RULES FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ciated co-morbidities -- around 10,000privatehospitalsempanelled under Ayushman Bharat, 600 under the Central high-level meeting on Tuesday chaired by Union Health SecretaryRajeshBhushan,along with Dr Ram S Sharma, chairman of the Empowered Group on Vaccine Administration. “Private hospitals not empanelled under the above mentionedthreecategorieshavealso been permitted to operate as COVID Vaccination Centers (CVCs)... States/UTs can proactively make efforts to use these private hospitals as CVCs,” the Health Ministry said. States have been directed to ensure that all private hospitals that will operate as vaccination centres must have “an adequate numberof vaccinators,adequate space for observation of the vaccinated, adequate cold chain arrangement and adequate arrangement for the management of Adverse Events Following Immunisation”. On extending the time limit for the sessions, Bhushan, in the weeklybriefingearlierintheday, DAYS AFTER its impressive win in elections to six municipal corporations in Gujarat, the BJP Tuesday swept the elections to district panchayats, taluka panchayatsandmunicipalities,routing the Congress. Such was the mandate for the BJP – it claimed victory in all 31 district panchayats, around 200 of 231 taluka panchayats and 75 of 81 municipalities which went to polls -- that the Congress, which had made significantgainsin2015whenelections to these local bodies were held in the backdrop of the Patidar quota agitation, was washed out even in its bastions. Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) chief Amit Chavda and Leader of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 For Congress, 2022 worry The BJP landslide in the Gujarat local body polls has set off alarm bells in the Congress given that Assembly elections are due next year. The gains that the Congress made following the quota agitation led by Hardik Patel have evaporated and there is erosion of its support base. The resignations by state Congress leaders leaves the party little time to get its act in order. PhD thesis: Swamy raises objection, Govt asks for a copy, IIM-A pushes back Swamy asks why ‘upper caste’ tag for BJP; Director says no role for Ministry Spot where the 50-yr-old was shot in Hathras. Gajendra Yadav the state. “Police teams including senior officials reached the spot and foundtheinjuredvictim.Hedied while on his way to hospital. It was found during investigation that the accused and victim had an argument, which escalated. The victim's family had accused Gaurav of molestation in 2018 for which he was in jail for a monthandlaterreleasedonbail. One accused has been arrested and others will be caught soon," said Vineet Jaiswal, SP Hathras. According to police, the accused along with his wife and auntwerevisitingatempleclose to the house of the victim. The victim's daughters were also present at the temple and the two families got into an argument. Gaurav and the other CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, MARCH 2 ONE INCIDENT officially flagged inthegovernment'sjustification forabiggersayinthefunctioning of the IIMs last year was a case involving a PhD thesis at IIMAhmedabad in which the Institute's director, Erol D'Souza, had put his foot down. This was a dissertation with threeessaysonelectoraldemocracy approved for the award of PhD degree in a seminar chaired by D'Souza in March 2020. The Ministry of Education (MoE)hadaskedtheInstitutefor a copy of the thesis in April 2020 after Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy sent a letter to the Prime Minister alleging that the thesis said the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party were “ethnically constituted” parties. And that the BJP is a "a proHindu upper caste party." CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 IMPHAL, MARCH 2 A DAY after the district authorities in Imphal issued a notice to news website The Frontier Manipur,askingitto“furnishrelevant documents” showing “compliance” with the government’s new rules for digital media, the Centre informed the Manipur government on Tuesday that the implementation of the new Digital Media Ethics Code was not within the state’s purview. The notice was withdrawn by Tuesday evening. TheMarch1notice,signedby Naorem Praveen Singh, Deputy Commissioner,ImphalWest,was addressed to the “publisher/ intermediary”of “KhanasiNeinasi”, a weekly online discussion programme hosted on The Frontier Manipur’s Facebook page. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Unfinished room, wedding cards await missing BRO engineer PAGE 1 ANCHOR ASAD REHMAN BALRAMPUR (UP), MARCH 2 THERE IS an unfinished room on thefirstfloor.Thereare700wedding cards lying in a corner. There’s a father, a mother, a brother, and three sisters. All they want is closure — dead or alive. On June 22 last year, Subhan Ali, a 27-year-old Indian Engineering Services (IES) officer with the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), went missing after the vehicle in which he was travelling with a driver fell into the Drass river from the Zozila-Kargil-Leh road. His family in Uttar Pradesh’s Balrampur is still waiting to know what happened to him. They have been to the site of the accident twice. They have beentoldbyofficialsthatthedriver’s body was recovered a few kilometres from the spot. Last month, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh wrote to Amroha MP Kunwar Danish Ali, who is supporting the family, that a DNA test on “an unidentified body” recovered from the river Subhan Ali’s father and brother outside the family’s home in Balrampur. A room was being built for Ali. Asad Rehman on the other side of the border, five days after the accident, would take more time. But last week, they were informed that the test conducted by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Chandigarh, with coordination from Pakistani authorities,hadledtoanotherdead end. “It did not match their DNA. Thereportcameafewdaysago,” says Kargil SP Anayat Ali. “If we saw his body, we would at least know that he has left us. But till now, all our efforts have been futile,” says Subhan’s father Ramjan Ali (56), a tailor from Kauwapur village. “It has been eight months....” Subhan’s brother Sahban Ali struggles to speak, taking deep breaths before breaking down. “My mother cries all the time, and keeps asking about him. We have told her to stay busy teaching the Quran to children in the neighborhood,” he says. “Subhan was our everything. Hewassobright.Hewasthedistrict topper in the Class X and XII exams, and all he wanted to do was work for the country... He sent half his salary home every month,” says Sahban (33), who runs an IAS coaching centre in Delhi and is a lawyer at the Delhi High Court. Sabhanismarriedwithanin- fantsonwhousedtocallSubhan “papa”. “During our school days, Subhan and I realised how hard it was to get a proper education. We had to travel 15 km to school and it was difficult, considering that our father was a tailor at an export house in Delhi,” he says. “But Subhan did his B.Tech in Civil Engineering from Jamia MilliaIslamia.Andlater,bothofus boughtsomelandnearthevillage to open a school for underprivilegedchildrenfromthevillage,so otherswouldnothavetofightfor an education,” says Sahban. The family says Subhan had a “knack to crack competitive CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Kolkata
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