DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA SOPs SOON FOR PUBLIC PLACES, OFFICES Full lockdown unlikely in Maharashtra yet, tight restrictions first ` 120 per kilo ` 148 per kilo PAWAR SURGERY TOMORROW PAGE 3 Ex-CM Mehbooba denied passport: ‘detrimental to security of India’ Lockdown only if curbs fail: Relief & Rehab Secy TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA MUMBAI, MARCH 29 Mother’spleaalsorejected;Muftisays being‘punished’for‘nottoeing(govt)line’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE SRINAGAR, MARCH 29 AUTHORITIES IN Jammu and Kashmir on Monday declined to provide clearance for a fresh passport to former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti citing section 6(c) of the Passport Act, 1967, which states “that the departure of the applicant from Indiamay,orislikelyto,bedetrimental to the security of India.” On March 3, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti had petitioned the J&K High Court seeking issuanceof a passport,statingthat more than two months had `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 CITY ` 56 per Dozen REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, MARCH 30, 2021, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 12 PAGES ` 184 per kilo ● Had filed a plea in J&K High Court passed since she applied for her passport and the police is yet to file its verification report, delayingtheprocessof issuanceof the passport. The Regional Passport Officer in Srinagar, submitted this response before the court in a hearing of the case on Monday. While denying the issuance of passport,theregionalpassport AFLOAT, FINALLY Ever Given, the container ship which was wedged diagonally in the Suez Canal in Egypt since March 23, was freed on Monday. Reuters REPORT,PAGE10 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MONTH AFTER ‘ATTACK BY TMC’ AMID RISING Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, the state governmentislikelytoreleaseastandard operating procedure (SOP) by April 1 specifying more curbs on publicmovement,withoutimplementing a full lockdown yet. The state has recorded close to six lakh cases this month and registered over 2,100 deaths. Over the last two weeks, Maharashtra has recorded a 32.21percentriseinCovidcases. OnMonday,thestatesaw31,643 new cases and 102 deaths, taking the active case load to 3.36 lakh. Mumbai recorded 5,890 new cases on Monday, Pune 4,972 and Nagpur 3,243 cases. State officials said that for now, local trains will continue to run and economic activities will have minimal impact, but restaurants, malls, public places, private offices and pubs are set to witness strict protocols to reduceovercrowding.Officialssaid In Pune on Monday night. Night curfew has been imposed in the state to check the spread of Covid-19. Arul Horizon PAGE4 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY offices will be asked to ensure lessthan50percentattendance. On Sunday, Chief Minister UddhavThackeray, whiledirecting the Relief and Rehabilitation departmenttoformulateanSOP for a possible lockdown, had expressedconcernsovereconomic lossesif anotherlockdownisimplemented. A second meeting is slated for Tuesday. Aseem Gupta, secretary, Relief andRehabilitationdepartment,saidtheyplantoannounce somemeasurestoreducemovement for a few days. “If the desired outcome of reduction in CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Councillor, cop killed BJP worker’s 82-year-old mother To underline Covid message, Shivraj as militants barge into dies; Mamata, Shah trade charges hits the street with white paint, mask Sopore municipal office BASHAARAT MASOOD SRINAGAR, MARCH 29 IN THE second major attack in the Kashmir Valley in less than a week, militants barged into the municipal council office in Sopore and opened fire, killing a councillor and a policeman while leavinganothercouncillor critically injured. According to local officials, over a dozen councillors had a “narrowescape”astheattackoccurred after they had assembled for a meeting on Monday afternoon. The Sopore Municipal Council (SMC) office is located insideaprivatebuildingthatalso houses several shops and polyclinics. Sopore SSP Sudhanshu Verma said two militants were involved in the attack. IGP (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar,who visited Sopore after the attack, said the attackers belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and that one of them was a foreigner. “Preliminary investigations revealthatterroristshadfiredindiscriminately... resulting in injuries to two municipal councillors and a police personnel,” J-K Police said in an official release, addingthatoneofthecouncillors CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 thefactssurroundingthealleged attack on Subha on February 26 KOLKATA, MARCH 29 have been shrouded in a fog of charges and counter-charges. SUBHAMAJUMDAR,an82-yearWhile Subha's son, Gopal old woman who was thrashed Majumdar, had alleged that she allegedly by Trinamool was beaten by workers in Nimta, in Trinamool supporters, West Bengal's North 24 the Trinamool had deParaganas district, nied this, and sugaboutamonthago,died gested that Subha was, Monday morning. in fact, assaulted by her DECISION own sons — Gopal, 45, Subha, who had 2021 been admitted to a priand his elder brother WEST vate hospital for over a Asim, 56. BENGAL month since the inciOnMonday,asnews dent, died days after she of her death spread, BJP was discharged on March 24. supporters gathered outside the In the midst of a highly localpolicestationanddemanded charged poll season in Bengal, action against the culprits. SWEETY KUMARI Condoling Subha's death, UnionHomeMinisterAmitShah tweeted, “Anguished over the demise of Bengal’s daughter Shova Majumdar ji, who was brutally beaten by TMC goons. The pain & wounds of her family will haunt Mamata didi for long. Bengal will fight for a violence-freetomorrow,Bengalwill fight for a safer state for our sisters & mothers.” BJP president J P Nadda tweeted, "May Nimta's mother Shobha Majumdar rest is peace. She had to sacrifice her life for her son Gopal Majumdar being in the BJP. BJP will always remember her sacrifice. She was IRAM SIDDIQUE BHOPAL, MARCH 29 THEBUSTLINGNewMarketarea of Bhopal had an unusual visitor last week — Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. What he brought along was unusual, too — not a shopping bag, but white paint and masks. Chouhan's appearance was part of a move to promote the ‘Mera Mask, Meri Suraksha’ initiative to combat the spurt of Covid cases in Madhya Pradesh. On March 23, the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan during his campaign to fight Covid-19 spurt. Express launched the statewide campaignbyvisitingcrowdedplaces, distributing masks to people, and using the paint to draw distancing circles outside shops. OnSaturday,heaskedpeople to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and celebrate festivals with their families inside their homes. He also assured that the Covid-affected among marginalisedsectionswillbetreatedfree of cost in government hospitals. In the throes of a second wave, the positivity ratio of the state has touched 9.9 per cent CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Two months after coup, In halls, safehouses, Myanmar nationals pray India, Pak at Afghan India attends military India does not send them back: ‘will be killed’ meet today; no bilateral parade in Myanmar talks on cards so far BORDERLINE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MARCH 29 INDIAWASamongeightnations thatattended an annual military parade in Myanmar's capital Naypitaw on March 27 — nearly two months after the military staged a coup to depose the Aung San Suu Kyi government and launched a deadly crackdown against protesters demanding the return of democratic rule. Russia, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos and Thailandalsosentrepresentatives to Myanmar to be part of the pa- PAGE 1 ANCHOR rade to mark Tatmadaw Day on Saturday, media reports said. A senior official in South BlocktoldTheIndianExpressthat “since diplomatic relations between both the countries continue, diplomatic commitments are also continuing”. The Myanmar military's crackdown, including firing at protesters and using tear gas, is estimated to have led to nearly 500 deaths and drawn condemnation from across the world. It has also led to a refugee influx into neighbouring Mizoram, mostly by policemen who have fled the crackdown. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AN EXPRESS SERIES SHUBHAJIT ROY PART - 1 Thepeoples havea bond KRISHN KAUSHIK SIAHA, AIZAWL (MIZORAM), MARCH 29 IN A nondescript community hall in a nondescript village along the India-Myanmar Border, Kawg Heht Kyaw clings to his mother. The nine-monthold is the youngest person in the room. His mother, Nuzel, 22, who is the second youngest, keeps ruffling his hair, kissing him, thankful they are together. Her voice barely a whisper, Protesters in Sagaing region of Myanmar on Monday. Reuters Nuzel says, “If democracy is reinstated in Myanmar and Suu Kyi is released, we will definitely gohome.If not,wedon’tfeelsafe CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INSIDE MYANMAR’S ARMY: ‘THEY SEE PROTESTERS AS CRIMINALS’ PAGE 10 THE BORDER is porous and many people in Mizoram have family and friends in Myanmar. There is a cultural and ethnic connect, because of which fleeing Myanmar nationals have been given shelter by villagers in Mizoram. The state has refused to push back those who have entered. NEW DELHI, MARCH 29 FOREIGN MINISTERS of India and Pakistan will participate in a key meeting on Afghanistan, to beheldinDushanbeonTuesday, along with about 30 countries and a dozen regional and international organisations. On Monday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar reached Tajikistan’scapitalforthemeeting. Sources, however, said no bilateral meeting has been scheduled so far between the two foreign ministers. But since Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmoud Qureshi will be in the same meeting room — and given the thaw in relations with last month's recommitment to the 2003ceasefire— sourcesdidnot rule out a meeting. This will be the first time since the decision to adhere to theceasefirethatthetwoforeign ministerswillcomeface-to-face. On Sunday, Qureshi had said thatnomeetinginTajikistanhad so far been “finalised or requested” with his Indian counterpart. A few days ago, Jaishankar too said no meeting had been CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Doon, London, Maoism, Tihar: pieces of his ‘fractured freedom’ UMA VISHNU NEW DELHI, MARCH 29 SOME TIME in 1968, a young man landed in London from Mumbai.Nothingabouttheman or his trajectory thus far had been remarkable. Kobad Ghandy, graduate of Doon School and Mumbai’s St Xavier’s College, son of a senior pharma executive, scion of a family that ownedabungalowinPanchgani, was in London to study chartered accountancy. Until one day, he decided to give it all up and come back to India to join the "movement". It's this unusual arc that spans Fractured Freedom, Ghandy's just released memoir (RoliBooks).Ittrackshissingular journey: from privilege in Mumbai and London of the 1970s, the New Left at its peak, Tariq Ali’s rallies against the VietnamWar,tohislifeandwork in some of the poorest slums of Maharashtra with wife Anuradha, until his arrest in September 2009 on charges of being a Politburo member of the banned CPI(Maoist). Accused of plotting to carry out terror attacks, Ghandy spent a decade in jails across the countryandwasreleasedonbailfrom Surat jail in October 2019. Ten cases are pending against him and the Delhi Police has challenged his acquittal in a UAPA case. Speaking to The Indian Express from Mumbai, where he has been living with his younger sister Mahrouk'sfamily sincehis release,Ghandy,74,saystheidea of a memoir was to "provide a background to the larger question of why Communism has received a setback in India and worldwide". And to introduce the conceptsof "happiness,freedom and value systems" as key to any future project for "radical change". Kobad Ghandy, 74, now lives in Mumbai. Ganesh Shirsekar For Ghandy, the discovery of what he could do in India came from the book India Today by R P Dutt, a former general secretary of the British Communist Party. This history of the Indian freedom struggle "confirmed my Marxist orientation", he writes. "I then joined one of the Maoist circles in London." In May 1972, Ghandy came back to India and over the followingdecades,workedwithhis wife Anuradha to organise slum dwellers, beedi and factory workers. For 12 years, they lived in Indora, Maharashtra's biggest Dalit basti," a dreaded place that middle-classpeoplewerescared to go to... after dark..." Around this time, the Dalit Panther movement was picking up and Anuradha and Ghandy, who held classes on Ambedkar andMarxismfortheslumyouth, confronted the question of caste and class. Though the idea was anathema to Communist parties, which believed economic progress would eventually render caste irrelevant, the couple persisted. "Even now, the Left doesn't fully accept caste as part of the class struggle. Can we have any form of democratisation in India with the hierarchy, divisions, and oppression of caste?" Ghandy asks, talking about how the Left's dogmaticapproachtomostissues has made them less accepting of others and, in turn, less relevant. "The Left needs to see what's wrong with the movement that produces these trends, so that in the future they can do a better job. But I don't see that happening immediately," he says. A moving section in the book is his relationship with wife and fellow traveller Anuradha, who diedatage54of malaria,daysafter she returned from the forests of Jharkhand. It was in 1972, soon after CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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