DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, APRIL 6, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES Weekend lockdowns don’t work, Centre told Maharashtra Covid-19: PM to meet CMs Thursday KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, APRIL 5 ON SUNDAY, Maharashtra imposed full lockdown on weekendsandfreshrestrictionstolast through April, but just two days before, it kept silent about any such plans during the high-level review meeting chaired by the Cabinet Secretary on Friday. Senior government officials told The Indian Express that the silence was probably explained by the fact that unlike in the initial phase, the Centre had made it clear to Maharashtra almost two weeks back that weekend lockdowns have limited impact on containing and suppressing the chain of transmission. “The Chief Secretary, Maharashtra, received the largest chunk of time during the Cabinet Secretary meeting. However, no one discussed any imposition of a weekend lockdown,”atopgovernmentsource who was part of the high-level meeting said. In fact, on March 15, when Maharashtra had reported 16,620 cases, accounting for 63.21 per cent of the daily new cases in the country, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had written to Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, pointing out that the state’s focusshouldbe on strictandeffective containment, not the imposition of a lockdown. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CAN’T HAVE FAIR PROBE WITH HIM AS HOME MINISTER: COURT Maharashtra:FacingflakfromHC, CBIprobe,AnilDeshmukhresigns Faithinpoliceatstakegivennatureof allegations,courtcan’t bemerespectator:HC;DilipWalse-PatilnewHomeMinister EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, APRIL 5 CAPPING DAYS of political tension within the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi coalitionfollowing allegations of corruption against him by former Police Commissioner of Mumbai Parambir Singh, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh Monday tendered his resignation to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Monday. This came hours after the Bombay High Court directed the Anil Deshmukh Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to carry out a “preliminary enquiry” into the allegations againsthim.Callingthecase“unprecedented,” the court asked the CBI to complete the probe “preferably within 15 days”, after which it said the CBI director was at liberty to take “further course of action.' The HC order comes after Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar held two press conferences last month defending Deshmukh, a member of his party. Deshmukh is the second ministerintheMVAgovernment to resign under a cloud — Shiv Sena’sSanjayRathodresignedas Forest Minister on February 28 after he was linked to the death of a 22-year-oldwomaninPune. State Minister of Labour and Excise Dilip Walse-Patil, a close confidant of Pawar who has CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS INVESTIGATION - PART ONE WEST BENGAL PHASE 3 31 OF 294 SEATS ■ 205 candidates in fray ■ 78.5 lakh voters; 10,871 polling booths ASSAM PHASE 3 94 out of 120 orders quashed: Allahabad High Court calls out abuse of NSA in Uttar Pradesh 40 OF 126 SEATS ■ 337 candidates in fray ■ 79.19 lakh voters; 11,401 polling booths KERALA 140 SEATS ■ 957 candidates in fray ■ 2.74 crore voters; 40,771 polling booths TAMIL NADU 234 SEATS ■ 3,998candidatesinfray ■ 6.28 crore voters; 88,937 polling booths PUDUCHERRY 30 SEATS ■ 324 candidates in fray ■ 10.04 lakh voters; 1,558 polling booths MORE REPORTS, PAGE 5 THE EDITORIAL PAGE DYSFUNCTIONIN BOND MARKET BY NEELKANTH MISHRA PAGE 8 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY TOTAL NSA ORDERS QUASHED BY HC 120 94 COWSLAUGHTER COMMUNALINCIDENTS POLITICALCASES OTHERS NSA DETENTIONS NSA DETENTIONS NSA DETENTIONS NSA DETENTIONS QUASHED 41 30 QUASHED 20 20 QUASHED 25 20 QUASHED 34 24 (Note: From Jan 2018 to Dec 2020) Copycat orders, no due process, reveal police & court records. The first of a series, on cow slaughter, the crime for which this draconian law was most invoked Detention despite bail: Why District Magistrates love the NSA KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, APRIL 5 POLICEFIRsthatcutandpastekey detailsacrossdifferentlocations; detention orders signed by District Magistrates that show “non-applicationofmind”;denial of dueprocesstotheaccused;repeateduseofthelawtoblockbail —incaseaftercase,theAllahabad High Court has red-flagged the waytheUPgovernmenthasused the draconian National Security Act (NSA) which gives the state powers to arrest without formal charge or trial. AninvestigationbyTheIndian Express of police and court records reveals a telling pattern. Between January 2018 and December 2020, the Allahabad High Court ruled in 120 habeas corpuspetitionschallengingpreventivedetentionundertheNSA. In 94 detentions, it quashed ordersof DMsinasmanyas32districts and ordered the release of the detainees. Cow slaughter, records show, is Category Number One when it comes to invoking NSA: it accounts for 41 cases, more than a thirdof thetotalthatreachedthe High Court. All the accused are from the minority community andweredetainedbytheDistrict MagistratebasedonFIRsalleging cow slaughter. In 30 of these cases — more than 70% — the High Court came down heavily on the UP administration: it quashed the NSA or- KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, APRIL 5 Detention orders issued in a ‘mechanical’ manner: Allahabad High Court. Ritesh Shukla NATIONALINSECURITYACT COW SLAUGHTER der and called for the release of the petitioner. Even in the remaining 11 cow-slaughtercaseswhereituphelddetention,exceptinone,the lower court and the High Court subsequently granted bail to the accusedmakingitclearthattheir judicial custody was not required. In each cow-slaughter case, KEY CASES, PAGE 6 TOMORROW: HOW NSA CAME INTO PLAY IN COMMUNAL TENSION records investigated by The IndianExpressshow,theDMsvirtually echo each other to state that the reason to invoke NSA wasthattheaccusedhadmoved forbailandtheirreleasewas“imminent.” And that if the accused was out of jail, he would “again” indulge in “activities prejudicial to public order”. The Indian Express investigationidentifiedkeyredflagsraised by the courts while setting aside theNSAordersoncow-slaughter detentions. For each, an illustrative case is listed (see page 6): ■Inasmanyas11detentions, the court cited “non-application of mind” by the DM while passing the order. ■ In 13 detentions, the court said the detained person was CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 A CLOSE scrutiny of the orders by District Magistrates invoking the National Security Act shows why the draconian law is so readilyinvoked.For,theNSAempowers the state to detain a person without a formal charge and without trial. Under the NSA, a person is taken into custody to pre● venthimorher from acting in anymannerprejudicialto“thesecurity of the state” or for “maintenance of the public order.” It is an administrative order passed either by the Divisional Commissioner or the District Magistrate — and not detention ordered by police based on specific allegations or for a specific violation of the law. Even if a person is in police custody, the DM can slap NSA against him. Or, if a person has CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E EXPLAINED DECISION 2021 Hand pump buried in sand, temple without deity: Seven villages start vanishing from Odisha map PAGE 1 ANCHOR AISHWARYA MOHANTY SATABHAYA (KENDRAPARA), APRIL 5 THIS 17-KM stretch along the coastinOdisha'sKendraparadistrict, which was once home for nearly 700 families, now stands in solitude, a vast expanse covered in sand as far as the eye can see, peppered with palm trees and abandoned cattle. Close to the shore, there are some remnants of the past: a hand pump half-buriedinthesand,cattleleft unattended and an old temple without a deity. The temple was once a bustling weekend spot for many of those families. Today, it has only one regular visitor, Prafulla Lenka. This, in short, is the story of Satabhaya, a cluster of seven villages,whichhasalmostdisappeared from the map due to coastal erosion, taking with it a way of life and livelihood. The six-member family of Lenka was among the 571 that were rehabilitated by the district administration to a colony in Bagapatia, 12 km away, in 2018. Butthe40-year-oldstayedbackto lookafterhis20buffaloes,despite thelackofbasicfacilitieslikeelec- `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 ODISHA Kendrapara Bhubaneswar Satabhaya The submerged hand pump, and the village temple in the background. Aishwarya Mohanty tricity and clean drinking water. Orders have now been issued to rehabilitate118ofthe148families left behind. Officials say the other 30stillhavepaperworktosortout. “A plot of land, a house definitely means something to us, wehavewaited toolong,butour livelihoods and our houses have been taken away by the sea. This is the fourth time we will be shifting houses in the last four years,” says Babu Mallick, one of the beneficiaries. “Theadministrationwillprovide 10 decimals of land and Rs 1.5 lakh each for construction of houses under Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana to each family,” says Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Basant Kumar Rout. After the first wave of rehabilitationin2018—16yearsafter the foundation stone for the Bagapatia colony was laid by Chief MinisterNaveenPatnaik— those left behind spread out in CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NCP shybutHC forcedits hand THE SHIV Sena and Congress were eager to see Deshmukh go. But the NCP dug its heels in, opting for a probe by a retired judge. The HC’s order clearing a CBI probe forced the NCP’s hand. It also gave the party the justification to get Deshmukh out — and avoid further embarrassment. WORLD CYCLONE KILLS AT LEAST 113 IN EAST TIMOR, INDONESIA U.S. SEEKS TO BUILD ON SECRET PARTS OF TALIBAN DEAL PAGE 10 Home Minister Amit Shah pays tribute to the security personnel who died, in Jagdalpur on Monday. PTI Maoists suspected to have abducted CRPF man missing after attack GARGI VERMA & DIPANKAR GHOSE BIJAPUR, KOLKATA, APRIL 5 THE COBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) jawan who is missing after the ambush on the Sukma-Bijapur border on Saturday is allegedly beingheldcaptivebytheMaoists. In the aftermath of the ambushinTeklagudamonSaturday, bodies of 22 security personnel had been recovered. In a statementonSunday,BastarInspector Generalof PolicePSundarrajhad said that one constable, RakeshwarSinghManhas,of the eliteCoBRAunitof theCRPF,was missing. Manhas is originally a resident of Jammu. When asked if the CoBRA jawan was being held captive by the Maoists, Bijapur SP Kamlochan Kashyap told The Indian Express on Monday, “We have received information that he is alive and was taken by Rakeshwar Singh Manhas WORRIED FAMILY APPEALS TO GOVT PAGE 6 them (Maoists). We are investigating further,” he said. Sources told The Indian Express that immediately after security forces returned to the site of the ambush, and other bodies were recovered, it was clear thatManhas was notthere, and there was little evidence to suggest he had been killed. The security agencies, including the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Rs 4.40-CRORE PAID, SAYS FRENCH WEBSITE REPORT Arrested in Agusta case, middleman named in deal to make Rafale models Cong seeks probe; BJP says baseless, SC already rejected it JAY MAZOOMDAAR & KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, APRIL 5 DASSAULT AVIATION, the manufacturer of French combat jet Rafale, paid at least Euros 508,925 against an invoice for Euro 1 million raised by an Indian firm controlled by a middleman — Sushen Gupta — already under investigation in the AgustaWestland case, French online investigative journal Mediapart reported Monday. This alleged payment came to light during a scheduled audit of Dassault’s 2017 accounts by French anti-corruption agency AFA.WhileDassaultclaimedthe money was used to pay Defsys Solutions for manufacturing 50 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.