DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE FRIDAY, APRIL 2, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES Banerjee was held up for RAVIK BHATTACHARYA, morethantwohoursinapolling ATRI MITRA & booth in Nandigram where supAMITAVA CHAKRABORTY portersof therulingTMCandBJP NANDIGRAM, APRIL 1 nearly came to blows. Her security guards formed a TENSIONS RAN high cordonasshewaitedin and charges flew thick awheelchair.Shecould and fast in Nandigram, move out only after a the constituency of largecontingentof cenWest Bengal Chief tral forces and police Minister Mamata DECISION personnel reached Banerjee,onpollingday the site. 2021 Thursday as more than She later criticised WEST 80 per cent of 76 lakh the Election BENGAL votes in 30 constituenCommission and alcies were cast by 5 pm in legedthattheBJPhadterthe second phase of Assembly rorisedvoters.Sheevencalledup elections in the state. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Pandemic sent migrants home, record 11 crore turned to rural job scheme HARIKISHAN SHARMA NEW DELHI, APRIL 1 AS TENS of thousands of migrants returned to their villages following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown that followed last year, the Mahatma Gandhi BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY NEW DELHI, HYDERABAD, APRIL 1 THE NATIONAL Investigation Agency (NIA) has conducted searches at 31 locations across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana BACKWARD CLASSES PANEL CALLS FOR OBC COUNT IN CENSUS PAGE 7 Two held for role in forcing nuns off train ASAD REHMAN LUCKNOW, APRIL 1 TWO PERSONS have been detainedfortheirallegedroleinthe March 19 incident at the Jhansi railway station, where four Christian women, including two nuns, were verbally harassed and forced off a train after being falsely accused of engaging in forced religious conversion. Thetwoheldhavebeenidentified as Anchal Arjariya and PurgeshAmariya.Arjariya'ssocial mediaprofiledescribeshimasan office-bearer of VHP and Hindu Jagran Manch, and a member of the Gau Raksha Samiti. Jhansi District Magistrate Andra Vamsi said that a case has been lodged at the GRP police station in Jhansi. “The two persons were held under CrPC provisions for breach of peace. The two persons were detained based on video evidence against them in connection with the March 19 incident,"saidthe DM. TheDMsaidthat“theDistrict Administration and police took stringentactionagainstthoseinvolved... (and) proceedings againstothersinvolvedareinthe pipeline”. Jhansi GRP SHO, Sunil Kumar Singh, said the two “have been brought for questioning”. He said they were not travelling on the train with the nuns but played a role in the incident. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Data available on April 1 show that 11.17 croreindividuals availed the scheme in 2020-21, up41.75percentfrom7.88crore in 2019-20. The total number of people, who availed the scheme, had been in the range of 6.21-7.88 crore between 2013-14 and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NIA searches homes of activists, lawyers in Andhra, Telangana over ‘Maoist plot’ DEEPTIMAN TIWARY & SREENIVAS JANYALA EXPRESS NETWORK National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) emerged as a safety net for labourers in rural areas. Over 11 crore people worked under the scheme during the financial year 2020-21 — the first time since its inception in 200607 that the MGNREGS numbers crossedthe11-croremarkinayear. in connection with a case of an alleged Maoist conspiracy against the police and the government.ThisfollowsanFIRregistered last month, naming 64 individualsincludingjournalists, lawyers and civil rights activists. The searches, which began Wednesdayeveningandcontinued Thursday, were spread across eight districts of Andhra Pradesh — Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Prakasam, Srikakulam, Kurnool, Krishna, East Godavari and Kadapa — and four districts of Telangana — Ranga Reddy, Hyderabad, Medchal-Malkajgiri and Medak. The NIA said the searches CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 DAY AFTER, RATE REVERSAL Overnight‘oversight’: Centrerollsbackdeep ratecutinsmallsavings Rate reset process laid out in Feb 2016 order of ministry’s Budget Division SUNNY VERMA & AANCHAL MAGAZINE NEW DELHI, APRIL 1 IN OVERTURNING an order resetting interest rates on small savings schemes issued Wednesday evening within about 12 hours, Union Finance MinisterNirmalaSitharamanset aside a process that was put in place five years ago, in 2016, by the NDA government itself. While the ‘Office Memorandum’ regarding revisionof ratesissuedbytheBudget Division in the Department of Economic Affairs was uploaded on the finance ministry website on Wednesday evening, Sitharaman tweeted at 7.54 am, Thursday,thatthe“ordersissued byoversightshallbewithdrawn”. E E X P L A I NE D Nandigram boils over: Mamata cries foul, BJP rival says she’s losing, EC seeks report Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram on Thursday. Partha Paul `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 ● Polleffect on reforms THE OVERNIGHT change reveals that the government is willing to put off reforms for political considerations. It also raises the prospect of the bureaucracy turning more risk-averse, even if it were to follow normal procedure while taking administrative decisions. The Ministry had on Wednesday cut interest rates on various small savings schemes sharply by 40-110 basis points. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Why order would have hit Bengal hardest SUNNY VERMA & AANCHAL MAGAZINE NEW DELHI, APRIL 1 WHILEFINANCEMinisterNirmala Sitharaman Thursday morning describedtheorderrevisinginterestratesforsmallsavingsschemes issuedjustabout12hoursbackas an“oversight”,thepoliticalimperative could not be missed: West Bengal,whichismidwaythrough Assembly elections, accounts for thehighestcollectionsfromsmall savingsschemes. The Finance Ministry had Wednesday evening slashed interest rates on small savings by 40-110 basis points for AprilJune 2021. These schemes are CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Third dose of Covaxin gets nod for trials, six months after 2nd shot PRABHA RAGHAVAN & PRANAV MUKUL NEW DELHI, APRIL 1 AN EXPERT panel of the country's top drug regulator has allowed Bharat Biotech to administer a third dose of Covaxin to some of the volunteers in its ongoing clinical trials of the Covid vaccine. The approval, a result of the Hyderabad-based vaccine maker’s proposalto use an additional booster dose, would allow it to test the ability of Covaxin to prompt an immune response that could last a few years, The Indian Express has learnt. In response to the proposal, the regulator’s Subject Expert Committee(SEC)recommended that the booster dose study be conducted in phase 2 clinical trial participants who received two shots of Covaxin containing 6mcg of the killed SARS-CoV-2 virus. The booster dose is to be given six months after the participants had received their second dose in the trial, which CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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