MCS/204/2020-22RNINO.MAHENG2002/21899 MYANMAR FORCES KILL MORE THAN 100 IN DEADLIEST DAY SINCE COUP MUMBAI,LATECITY MARCH28,2021 IRAN, CHINA SIGN 25-YR COOPERATION AGREEMENT 16 PAGES,`5.00 DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA PM Modi, Sheikh Hasina seal several pacts: Vaccines to trains, technology to nuclear power On Teesta, PM says committed to pact after talks with stakeholders SHUBHAJIT ROY DHAKA, MARCH 27 A DAY after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled his roadmap for a shared future withBangladesh,NewDelhiand Dhaka came up Saturday with a series of targeted, tangible steps to give a push to bilateral ties. Foreign Secretary Harsh VardhanShringla quoted Modi – he returned to New Delhi Saturday night – telling Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina that this visit had given “nayi urja, nayi gati(new energy, new pace) to the relationship. From developing a nuclear power plant to border haats; more consignments of Covid vaccines to a new train service; fromastart-upconclavethatwill bring together entrepreneurs from both countries to India’s participation in the first-ever air show in Bangladesh in 2022, from cooperation in space to artificial intelligence — a slew of outcomescoveringseveralareas werelistedinthejointstatement issued after the Mod-Hasina bilateral. According Hasina’s spokesperson Ihasanul Karim, the Bangladesh PM is learnt to haveraisedthe issue of watersharing of common rivers, including that of the Teesta River, when she said the decision of signingtheTeestawater-sharing treaty was taken jointly nine years ago and was still to be implemented. KarimquotedPrimeMinister Modi as replying: "We are committed to a reasonable solution to sharing of water of all the rivers." eye THE SUNDAY EXPRESS MAGAZINE PAGES 12, 13, 14 Young at 50 Tech to ideas, science to art: a new wave of Bangladeshi entrepreneurs tell the story of a nation on the move up, its turbulent past and a layered present CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Murder of democracy, says Rajasthan CM on Delhi ‘Govt’ Bill MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, MARCH 27 wishes its readers A Happy Holi. We are closed today. There will be no edition of the paper on Monday, March 29, 2021. WITH TODAY’S EDITION PUBLICLY LENDING his weight to the Aam Aadmi Party-led proteststhatthenewlawundermines its elected Delhi government, Rajasthan Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Ashok Gehlot Saturday said the passage of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi(Amendment)Bill,2021by Parliament last week was a “murderof democracy”andthat, in the future, the Narendra Modi government could bring such lawsinstateswhereitloseselectorally. Speaking to The Sunday Express, Gehlot also said that India’s image has taken a hit globally, and that people who matter are opting to make calls on WhatsApp or FaceTime because they fear their phones could be tapped by the Centre. In a series of tweets earlier in the day, he wrote, “The GNCTD Act passed by Modi government to curtail the rights of the Delhi government is murder of democracy. Abolishing the powerof anelectedgovernment isagainstthespiritof democracy. Earlier, the Supreme Court had clearly ruled that the elected government is the real head of Delhi.” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal responded tweeting: “Thank you for supporting the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PAGE 11 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM PM AT MUJIB MEMORIAL, MATUA CENTRE Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina at mausoleum of Mujibur Rahman. PTI THE WORLD Behind surge in Punjab, Maharashtra: Delay in getting to hospital KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, MARCH 27 ■ Occupancy rate of Covid-19 ventilatorbedshasbreachedthe 50%markinatleastfourdistricts of Maharashtra, triggering a surge in deaths ■ Most deaths in Punjab are being reported 48-72 hours after admissions, probably due to delay in hospitalisation ■Contact of positive cases is not beingisolatedtillthefinaltestreport, resulting in the spread of infection THESE ARE some of the red flags raised by the Centre on Saturday during the high-level meeting with 12 states and Union Territories reporting a surge in cases. On Saturday, Maharashtra continued to report the highest daily new cases at 36,902; followed by Punjab with 3,122. Alarmingly, in just the last 24 hours, Maharashtra reported the maximum casualties (112) in the country; followed by Punjab (59). Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a highlevel meeting with state health secretaries, municipal commissioners, and district collectors of 46 districts, the most affected in terms of rising cases and rising INSIDE STATE GOVT HIKES FINE FOR NOT WEARING MASK FROM RS 200 TO RS 500 PAGE 5 mortality. In the meeting, the Centre highlighted that 90 per cent of the Covid-19 deaths continue to be in the category of those aged above 45 years. Significantly, of the total 36 districts in Maharashtra, the most affected 25 account for 59.8percentof thetotalcasesreported in the country in the past one week. In the meeting, the Centrespelledoutamulti-prong strategy — on effective containment and contact tracing for at least14successivedays—forthe 46 districts, which together accountfor71percentof casesand 69percentof deathsthismonth. It also focussed critically on the alarming rate of deaths being reported in Punjab and Maharashtra, sources said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Payments from CM funds to family, party: ED probes diaries of Mehbooba aide RITU SARIN & NAVEED IQBAL Voters at a polling booth in Baghmundi, in West Bengal’s West Purulia, on Saturday. Partha Paul TMC-BJP khela begins, 80% turn out to vote in Bengal Phase 1; 77% in Assam SWEETYKUMARI& ABHISHEKSAHA KOLKATA,GUWAHATI, MARCH27 THE FIRST PHASE of polling in 30 Assembly constituencies spread acrossfivedistrictsinWestBengal on Saturday was marred by sporadic incidents of violence, complaints of rigging, and snags in Electronic Voting Machines. The staterecordedalmost80percent (79.79 per cent) voting. Assam,meanwhile,registered 76.89 per cent polling in the first phasecovering47ofthestate’sto- DECISION 2021 WESTBENGAL I ASSAM tal 126 Assembly constituencies. Thefirstphasewilldecidethefate of several political heavyweights including incumbent Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, state Congress chief Ripun Bora and jailed activist Akhil Gogoi. InWestBengal,fouroutoffive eligible voters cast their ballot in each of the five districts: Purba SUNDAY STORY PAGE 9 EPS vs Stalin One is an accidental CM, the other groomed in the ways of politics. As Tamil Nadu votes on April 6, in the first election without Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa, meet the two contenders for the top post Medinipur (82.51%), Jhargram (80.55%), Paschim Medinipur (80.12%), Bankura (79.9%) and Purulia (77.13%). Asmanyas191candidates,including21women,arecontesting inthefirstphase.Oftheelectorate size of 73.8 lakh, female voters number 36.27 lakh and male 37.52. Both the BJP and the Trinamoolarecontesting29seats each out of the total 30. “Apartfromsomesporadicincidents,thepollsin30constituencies were conducted peacefully. At least 10 people have been arrestedindifferentincidents,”said CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, SRINAGAR, MARCH 27 TWO HAND-WRITTEN diaries maintained by an aide of former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and recovered from his Srinagar residence during searches conducted on December 23, 2020, are the focus of an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate, sources told The Sunday Express. The former Chief Minister and president of the Peoples Democratic Party was questioned by the agency two days ago.Officialssaidshewasshown copies of pages from a diary whichlistsallegedmonthly payments made out of the CM’s discretionary funds to several individuals including her relatives; as payment for party activities and to meet “personal” expenses. The fund, according to officials familiar with the on-going ‘Not gospel truth… funds not audited but I kept accounts’ probe into the alleged money laundering case, was to the tune of Rs 1 crore a month of which roughly a third was used as payments to state government agencies. Afterascrutinyof 23bankaccounts and questioning and searching several key persons, the agency has made out a case of alleged ‘’diversion” of between Rs 7-8 crore from the Government fund for “personal and political purposes.” A scrutiny of the entries, officials said, shows monthly outflows to the former Chief Minister herself as well as payment to destitute homes. For May/June and November 2017, there are payments listed towards organizinga wazwan in CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SUNRISE HOSPITAL FIRE IE 100 2021 THE LIST OF MOST POWERFUL INDIANS THE CITY NO OUTLET IN MALL, SMOKE ROSE TO THIRD FLOOR, ENTERED HOSPITAL CLOSE TO ICU PAGE 3 Owner of mall, directors of firm that owns Hospital’s application for OC turned down thrice earlier, hospital booked for culpable homicide granted last year due to ‘exceptional circumstances’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, MARCH 27 MUMBAI POLICE on Saturday registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the owner of Dreams Mall and directors of Privilege Healthcare Services Private Limited, which owns Sunrise Hospital. Ten patients, who were be- ing treated for Covid-19 at Sunrise Hospital, were killed after a fire broke out in Dreams Mall in Bhandup West in Mumbai. The hospital, located on the third floor of the mall, started operations in October 2020. Directors of HDIL Dreams Mall Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan, Nikita Trehan, Sarang Wadhawan and Deepak Shirke, along with directors of Privilege Healthcare Services Private Limited, Amitsingh Trehan, Nikita Trehan and Sweetie Jain, have been booked by the Bhandup police. Policesaidthatthefire,which broke out in the early hours of Friday,startedonthefirstfloorof the mall and soon spread across it. As many as 78 patients were admitted in the hospital at the time of fire, said police. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 LAXMAN SINGH MUMBAI, MARCH 27 THE BRIHANMUMBAI Municipal Corporation (BMC), which had granted a provisional occupational certificate (OC) to Sunrise Hospital in April last year, citing Covid-19 pandemic and 'exceptional circumstances', had rejected a similar proposal bythehospitalthreetimesinthe At the mall site, the day after the fire. Deepak Joshi last10years.Theproposals were rejected in view of theviolations noticed by the BMC in Dreams Malls, where the hospital was to be set up on the third floor. Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), a real estate developer, which had builtDreamsMallinMarch2011, had received approval from the BMCtoconstructthehospitalon the third floor of the mall. The hospital construction was com- pleted in 2013. In 2011 and 2016, the HDIL had sought an occupational certificate for the hospital. Dr Nikita Trehan of M/s Privilege Health Care Services Private Limited, whichisnowrunningthehospital, had approached the BMC twice, in 2018 and 2019, for a similar approval. All of the representations were made before then municipal commissioners. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BJP leader is assaulted by protesters in Punjab, farmer leaders booked PAGE 1 ANCHOR RAAKHI JAGGA LUDHIANA, MARCH 27 AS THE farmer protests in Delhi entered the fourth month on Friday, BJP representatives in Punjabwereatthereceivingend, with at least two leaders gheraoed and one of them assaulted on Saturday. While BJP state vice-president Parveen Bansal was gheraoed allegedly by farmers in Barnala, forcing him to stay inside the circuit house for some time, the party's Abohar MLA Arun Narang was roughed up and his clothes ripped off by protesters carrying flags of farmer unions at Malout in Muktsar district. MLA Narang had gone to the BJPofficeinMaloutaround11am on Saturday to address a press conferenceontheCongressgovernment's performance in Punjab when protesters, who hadbeensittingonadharna,surroundedhiscarandpouredblack oil on the vehicle. As Narang stepped out of his car, a scuffle broke out and his kurta-pyjama was ripped. Police and BJP supporters formed a safety ring around Narang and, amid a din of abuses and anti-BJP slogans, escorted him to a nearby shop. Narang was holed up in the shop for about two hours while protesters stood outside shouting slogans. Narang was later taken to the Civil Hospital in Abohar, 31 km away, and, after a preliminary check-up, his supporters es- Abohar MLA Arun Narang was roughed up and his clothes ripped off corted him to his home in Abohar. Talking to The Indian Express, Narang said, "We will abide by the decision of the party high command... this matter will not end here." When asked if he would issue a statement, he said: "What is the need for a statement when everything is out in the public domain? When an MLA is not secure, what can we say about the common man’s security." Videos of the incident show BKU(Sidhupur)memberNirmal Singh Jasseana speaking into a microphone, and protesters carrying flags of BKU (Dakaunda). Police have filed an FIR on charges on attempt to murder and rioting, among others, againstsevenpersons,including JasseanaandBKUSidhupurpresident Sukhdev Singh Burabujar, besides 200 unidentified persons. While the BJP termed the incident a "murderous attack" on its MLA, the Opposition ShiromaniAkaliDalsaiditwould serve to weaken the farmers' protest. PunjabCMAmarinderSingh, meanwhile,warnedof "strictactionagainstanyonetryingtodisruptpeace"inthestatebytaking the law into their hands. Even as he urged the farmers to notindulge inactsof violence, theCMcalleduponPMNarendra Modi to urgently resolve the crisistriggeredbythecontroversial farm laws. BJP leaders also accused the protestersofransackingtheparty office in Malout. DineshKumar,organisational secretary of the Punjab BJP, said: "While Narang had taken refuge inthenearbyshop,afewprotest- ers went to first floor of the BJP office and broke chairs, took awaysomepartyflagsandburnt them on the road in front of the building... This was a murderous attack on our MLA, we are going to meet the Governor of Punjab and DGP, Punjab, as this is a law andorderissue...ourleaderscan't even move freely." He also alleged that the protesters were not farmers "but workers of political parties, including Congress, AAP and SAD. This is a complete failure of the state government". CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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