DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ● REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2021, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 GOVT RELEASES STATEMENT ON ‘MYTHS & FACTS’ ON VACCINATION FACE-OFF WITH GOVT ESCALATES Some Pfizer doses could come in Police visit intimidation, recent events threat July, no call on indemnity: Govt to free speech: Twitter Choksi held ‘fleeing’, lawyer says not citizen, can’t be sent to India KHUSHBOO NARAYAN MUMBAI, MAY 27 A DAY after fugitive diamond trader Mehul Choksi was arrested in the island nation of Dominica, Gaston Browne, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, said he had requested Dominica to repatriate Choksi to India directly. However, Choksi's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said his client was no longer an Indian citizen and, under the existing laws, cannot be repatriated to India. A statement by the Dominican government also indicated that Choksi might be sent back to Antigua. In an interview to news agency ANI, Browne said, "The Dominicangovernmentiscooperating with the Antiguan and Indian governments. We have requested Dominican law enforcement agencies to not return him to Antigua, where he has legal Mehul Choksi andconstitutional rights as a citizen. We specifically requestedthemtohaveIndianlaw enforcement agencies make necessary arrangements to have him returned directly to India." Dominica's Ministry of National Security and Home Affairsissuedastatementsaying Choksihadbeendetainedfor"illegal entry", and that it was in touchwithAntiguaandBarbuda authorities to ascertain Choksi's citizenship status. "Once the informationisprovidedbyAntigua authorities, possible arrangements will be made for Mr Mehul Choksi to be repatriated to Antigua," said the statement. WayneMarsh,Choksi'sattorney in Dominica, said the businessman told him he had been abducted by "an Indian and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Says talks around cold chain as vaccine requires ultra-low temp ‘Responsibility of elected officials, civil society to safeguard interests of public’ KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, MAY 27 THE HEAD of the country’s Covid-19TaskForceonThursday saidthatPfizerhasindicatedthat it would be able to make available a “certain amount” of its mRNACovid-19vaccinetoIndia, “possibly starting in July”. However, the government is still examining the American pharma giant's request for indemnityagainstthecostof compensation for any severe side effects, Dr V K Paul said. The ongoing discussions with Pfizer are also taking place around issues related to the cold chain, as the vaccine — developed by Pfizer along with the German biotechnology company BioNTech — requires ultralow temperatures during transport and storage, he said. “Yes, we are engaged with Pfizer because they have indicated availability of a certain amount and volume of vaccines in the coming months, possibly starting in July. “We are looking at what Pfizer’s expectations from the government are, and they are lookingatwhatourexpectations fromthemare.Thatistheprocess in which it will move because theyhavetocomeintoIndia;they havetoapplyforlicensure,thatis CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AASHISH ARYAN NEW DELHI, MAY 27 At the Vishnudas Bhave Auditorium in Vashi, Thursday. The auditorium has been converted into a Covid-19 jumbo vaccination centre. Amit Chakravarty MAHARASHTRA, MUMBAI GLOBAL CALL Firms line up to bid but vaccine makers say have no agents Romanian firm claims to supply Pfizer, withdraws bid TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA, LAXMAN SINGH & KHUSHBOO NARAYAN MUMBAI, MAY 27 A ROMANIAN firm that said it would provide Pfizer Covid vaccines to Mumbai but then with- drew its bid after Pfizer said it had no authorised agents; firms linked with food products, apparel, consultancy, rather than vaccines; one that’s been associated with media and film-making — a motley crew of companies have responded to global Expressions of Interest by Maharashtra and the Maharashtra lockdown to be extended, some relaxation likely YOGESH NAIK MUMBAI, MAY 27 THE LOCKDOWN to contain the second wave of Covid-19 will continuebeyondJune1,butthere mayberelaxationsintherestric- tions.Anextensivediscussionon this was conducted in the cabinetmeetingheldonWednesday. In framing the guidelines for the next phase of the lockdown that will be announced later this week, the state government will also take into consideration Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla's instructions to all chief secretariesthatthoughthereisa drop in fresh cases, the number of active cases is still very high and any relaxation must be consideredatanappropriatetimein CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Tejpal verdict astonishing, erroneous, says Goa, seeks early appeal hearing HC asks trial court to redact references to victim’s identity MAYURA JANWALKAR PANAJI, MAY 27 APPEALINGAGAINSTtheacquittalof TarunTejpal,formereditorin-chief of Tehelka, who had beenchargedwithsexualassault of histhencolleagueinaGoahotelin2013,thestategovernment Thursday pushed for its early hearing, saying “we owe itto our girls” and that the acquittal order is “erroneous in law” and “unsustainable”. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the state We owe it to our girls, Goa tells HC government, told a vacation benchof theBombayHighCourt in Goa that the way the trial court had dealt with the case of sexual assault made it seem like “any person who is a victim of sexual assault has to exhibit her trauma” and unless she did that, she could not be believed. JusticeSC Guptedirectedthe sessions court that acquitted Tejpal to redact from its judgment references that may reveal the identity of the victim includingheremailaddressandnames of her family members. “I am sorry the High Court has to do this. The trial court should have done it. The court should have been sensitive,” Mehta said. Callingthesessionscourtjudgment “very astonishing”, he said thecaseagainstTejpalwasthatof sexual abuse and the system CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 His student dies of Covid, St Stephen’s principal’s lament: ‘blind leaders immune’ PAGE 1 ANCHOR ARANYA SHANKAR NEW DELHI, MAY 27 SATYAMJHAhadpackedinallhe could into his 19-year-old world — a first-year BA (Hons) History studentofStStephen’sCollege,he wasamemberofthecollege'sdebating society; editor of the History department’s journal Tarikh; a council member of the college’sGandhiAmbedkarStudy Circle; and part of the organising committee of the college's Students’FederationofIndiaunit. On May 25, Jha — a “brilliant student” with “immense poten- Satyam was part of college Gandhi-Ambedkar Circle tial”,ashisteachersdescribedhim —diedofCovidataprivatehospitalinKota,Rajasthan,adeaththat moved his principal John Varghese to pen an anguished note on the college website. “The second wave of the pandemic has been heartless in its ruthless rampaging through our country exposing our hollow claimsofbeingprepared,ofbeing one of the largest producers of pharmaceutical products in the world,of evenbeingacivilization that places value on the higher thingsinlife.Butiflifeitselfisgone, thenwitheralltheseclaims?They are merely a futile breath of air. A mere posturing, signifying nothing,” he wrote. “Theclaimsof belligerentand blindleaderswhoareimmuneto thesufferinganddeathsofsimple people also show that we are veeringoffdangerouslytobecoming a cruel and insensitive race. Howdoallthoseclaimsof power andimportancematterbeforethe death of a loved one? Nothing,” Varghese wrote. Jhadiedwithoutbeingableto step into the campus he worked so hard to get into. With the pandemicshuttingdowninstitutions, he had been attending classes fromKota,wherehiselderbrother Shubhamhadbeenpreparingfor his MBBS. Their mother too had moved in with them. “AroundMay8,Satyamdeveloped some low-grade fever. When he started getting breathless, we finally admitted him to NMCH(thegovernment-runNew Medical College Hospital) late on May 18,” said Shubham. Ashisconditionworsened,the family shifted him to the private CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for 5 crore and 1 crore vaccines respectively. This comes as several states float global tenders and, at the same time, underline that the Centre should procure the vaccines rather than make them compete in the global market. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 A DAY after Facebook-owned WhatsAppapproachedthecourt to challenge the traceability provision in the new IT Rules, another US social media giant TwittertermedtheDelhiPolice's visittoitsofficesas“intimidation tactics” — and said it was concerned for its employees in India andbya"potentialthreat"tofree speech of Twitter users. “Right now, we are concerned by recent events regarding our employees in India and the potential threat to freedom of expression for the people we serve. We, alongside many in civil society in India and around the world, have concerns with regards to the use of intimidation tactics by the police in response to enforcement of our global Terms of Service, as well aswithcoreelementsof thenew IT Rules. We plan to advocate for changes to elements of these regulations that inhibit free, open public conversation,” a Twitter spokesperson said. “We will continue our constructivedialoguewiththeIndian Governmentandbelieveitiscritical to adopt a collaborative CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Govt, police: ‘Bid to dictate terms to largest democracy’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MAY 27 REACTING SHARPLY to a statement from Twitter about a “potential threat to freedom of expression” for its users in India, and “intimidation” by Delhi Police, the Union IT Ministry accused the social media platform of “scuttlingfreespeech”withits “opaque policies” that result in accounts being suspended and tweets“deleted arbitrarily without response”. “Twitter’s statement is an attempt to dictate its terms to the world’s largest democracy. Twitter refuses to comply with those very regulations in the Intermediary Guidelines on the basisof whichitisclaimingasafe harbour protection from any criminal liability in India,” the Government said. The Delhi Police described Twitter's statement as “mendacious” and “designed to impede a lawful inquiry” into the Congresscomplaintagainstallegations levelled by BJP leaders of a “toolkit” plot to malign the Prime Minister and Government. On Sunday, police visited Twitter's offices in Delhi and Fault lines getdeeper THE LATEST exchange sharpens the fault lines between Government and big tech companies. While privacy and security are the main sticking points, the issue between the lines is of control. What the court does in the WhatsApp case could shape the next steps in policy. Gurgaon to serve notice asking the company's top executives to reveal information that led them to label tweets alleging the “toolkit” plot as “manipulated media”. The IT Ministry condemned CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONG ASKS DELHI POLICE TO STOP PROBE PAGE 2
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