DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE THE EDITORIAL PAGE RESHUFFLE: FIRE &FIREWALL BY NEERJA CHOWDHURY PAGE 10 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY FLAGS PLATFORM’S DIFFERENT STANDS IN DIFFERENT JURISDICTIONS Delhi can’t afford riots like in Feb 2020, Facebook role must be looked into: SC Twitter case: Govt can proceed under new IT rules, says Delhi HC Free speech, but also platform for disruptive voices, ideologies: Bench ANANTHAKRISHNAN G Law of land supreme: new IT minister NEW DELHI, JULY 8 Congress face in Himachal, six-time CM Virbhadra Singh dies at 87 MANRAJ GREWAL SHARMA & MANOJ CG CHANDIGARH, NEW DELHI, JULY 8 VIRBHADRASINGH,thelongestserving chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, passed away in Shimla after prolonged illness early on Thursday. The six-time chief minister and nine-time member of the LegislativeAssemblyofHimachal Pradesh dominated the political landscape of thestateforalmost 50 years. Singh, popularly known as RajaSahib,was 87. In Singh’s passing, the Virbhadra Congress has Singh lost its tallest leader in Himachal Pradesh months before the Assemblyelections.Althoughhis poorhealthhadkeptSinghaway fromactivepoliticsforsometime, hisdeathisasetbackfortheparty, whichdoesnothaveastrongsecond line of leaders in the state. Singh joined the Congress at theageof 26 in 1961.Ayearlater, he entered Parliament from the Mahasu constituency in undivided Punjab, becoming the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 UNDERLININGTHAT“thecapital of the country can ill-afford any repetition” of an occurrence like the February 2020 riots, the Supreme Court Thursday came down heavily on social media platformFacebook,sayingitsrole “in this context must be looked into by the powers that be” and this was why it had been summoned by the Delhi Assembly. Thebenchof JusticesSKKaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and SOFI AHSAN & AASHISH ARYAN NEW DELHI, JULY 8 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 New Cabinet Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw (Electronics and Information Technology, Railways, Communications) in New Delhi on Thursday. ANI MOREREPORTS,PAGE7 RELATED REPORT PAGE 4 India hits back: Charge baseless, world knows Pak’s record on terror SHUBHAJIT ROY Three died in bomb blast outside Hafiz Saeed’s house in Lahore NEW DELHI, JULY 8 FOUR DAYS after Pakistan made serious allegations against India, terming the June 23 bomb blast near the home of Jamaat-udDawachief HafizSaeedas“Indiasponsoredterrorism”,NewDelhi broke its silence on Thursday — the official spokesperson of the MinistryofExternalAffairs(MEA) rejected Islamabad's accusation as “baseless propaganda”. The international community knows Pakistan's record on terrorism, spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at the weekly media briefing. “It is not new for Pakistan to engage in baseless propaganda against India. Pakistan would do welltoexpendthesameeffortin setting its own house in order and taking credible and verifiable action against terrorism emanating from its soil and terrorists who have found safe sanctuaries there,” he said. “The international community is well aware of Pakistan's credentialswhenitcomestoterrorism. This is acknowledged by none other than its own leadership, which continues to glorify terrorists like Osama bin Laden as ‘martyrs’,” Bagchi said. India's strong rejection of Pakistan's claims notwithstanding, the four-day delay in respondingtotheallegationsisunusual. India normally reacts to provocative Pakistani statements within a day. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 2 Armymen, six militants killed in J&K encounters ARUN SHARMA & BASHAARAT MASOOD JAMMU, SRINAGAR, JULY 8 TWO ARMY personnel, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), lost their lives and six militants were killed in separate gunbattles in Jammu's Rajouri and Kashmir's Pulwama and Kulgam, officials said. Meanwhile, a shutdown was observedThursdayinpartsofthe Valleytomarkthefifthyearsince militant commander Burhan Waniwaskilledbysecurityforces. In Rajouri, sources told The Indian Express that Naib Subedar SreejithMandSepoyMaruprolu Jaswanth Reddy were killed in a CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 HURRIYAT CALLS FOR DIALOGUE PAGE 8 Kerala paradox: large vaccine footprint, but new infections raise India’s Covid caseload AMITABH SINHA & SHAJU PHILIP PUNE,THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JULY8 AS THE national Covid-19 curve trends downward, Kerala continues to be the outlier. Over the last two days, the state has reported a significant rise in newinfections, which has led to an increase in active cases at the national level for the first time in two months. Kerala has been discovering between 11,000 and 13,000 cases every day for almost a KERALA’S CONTRIBUTION TO DAILY COUNT OF CASES IN INDIA 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 48.78% 29.38% Feb8 2.83% Apr7 26.16% Jan1 Jul7 Mar1 month now. During this same period, the daily count in the country has halved — from more than 80,000 May1 Jul1 adaytoabout40,000aday.Nearly every major state other than Kerala has reported a significant decline in the daily case count. INSIDE CABINET CLEARS Rs 23,123-CR BOOSTER SHOT FOR HEALTH INFRA PAGE 7 STUDY SHOWS HOW DELTA VARIANT DODGES IMMUNE SYSTEM PAGE 12 Since June 15, Kerala has been the biggest contributor to thenationalcaseload.Forthelast CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 280 climbers, two medics, few resources: how ITBP doctor scaled Covid at Everest PAGE 1 ANCHOR NIHAL KOSHIE & MAHENDER SINGH MANRAL NEW DELHI, JULY 8 BETWEENTHElastweekof April andlateMay,asthefrigidMount Everest base camp turned into a hotspot for the novel coronavirus, a senior medical officer and deputy commander with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) found on his hands a Himalayan task. The Everest had just reopened after a gap of a year because of the pandemic and climbers from around the `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 Dr Tarun Rana at the Mt Everest base camp world, with their Sherpas, had crowded the camp waiting for a window to trek to the world's highest peak. One of just two qualified medicalpractitionersatthebase camp, Dr Tarun Rana would end up treating about 200 Covid cases, relying largely on a single 10-litremedicaloxygencylinder, some life-saving drugs and steroid injections, with oxygen having to be rationed and adverse conditions at the altitude of over5,600metresmakingany evacuations difficult. Rana was part of a Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) team planning to climb Mt Lhotse (8,516 metres), the fourth-highest peak in the world, as well as MtEverest(8,849m).Eventually, whileCovid-19andbadweather forced the team to abort the Everest plan, three of the climbers managed to scale Mt Lhotse. Rana found himself roped in to lend medical expertise even as he managed to climb CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE DELHI High Court Thursday said the Central Government can initiate action against Twitter in accordancewiththenewITrules incaseofnon-complianceevenas the micro-blogging site submittedatimelineontheappointment process of officers as mandated whilemaintainingthatitreserves the right to challenge the rules. The court's remarks came on a day when the new Union Minister for Electronics and WORLD Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, made his stand clear on the ongoing faceoff between the Government andTwitterovertheITrules,saying that whoever lived and worked in India would have to follow its rules — and that the “law of the land is supreme”. In the High Court, listing a plea alleging non-compliance of IT rules by Twitter on July 28, Justice Rekha Palli said: “It is made clear that since this court has only granted time to Twitter to file its affidavits to show compliance of the rules and there is CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 JAMMU, JULY 8 PAGE 12 Cairn gets ruling to freeze Indian assets in Paris Finance Ministry says trying to ascertain facts; Cairn for ‘amicable settlement’ ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU NEW DELHI, JULY 8 BRITAIN’S CAIRN Energy Plc has secured an order from a French court authorising the freezing of 20Indiangovernmentproperties in Paris valued at over 20 million euros,theLondon-basedFinancial Times reported Thursday. The newspaper said it has seen official documents confirming the freeze authorised by theFrenchcourt,andthatCairn’s asset freeze application in Paris is the first to succeed. In May, Cairn initiated a processtoseizeIndianassetsand brought a lawsuit in the US against Air India to enforce the $1.2-billion arbitration award it won last year against the Indian government in a longstanding tax dispute. Cairn, the FT report said, has identified $70bn of assets E The ‘alter ● ego’ issue APART FROM the Cairn legal challenge, the government is facing a similar lawsuit from investors of Devas Multimedia seeking to recover dues by attempting to seize Air India’s overseas assets. The Centre has assembled a team to challenge the premise in the two cases that Air India is an “alter ego” of the Government of India. around the world ranging from buildingstoAirIndiaaircraftthat it may try to seize if the Indian government refuses to pay. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In J&K, BJP objects to ‘lopsided’ 2011 Census alone for redrawing seats ARUN SHARMA HAITI POLICE BATTLE GUNMEN WHO KILLED PRESIDENT LEGAL ACTION OVER ARBITRATION AWARD E X P L A I NE D FRIDAY, JULY 9, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES IN ITS representation to the Delimitation Commission, which is in Jammu and Kashmir to elicit views of parties on the exercise, BJP delegations from Jammu province have opposed the redrawing of constituencies on the basis of the 2011 Census alone. One team demanded that electoral rolls be taken into account to determine the populations of the provinces. The Jammu and Kashmir ReorganisationAct,2019,framed by theModi governmentfollowingscrappingofthespecialstatus toJ&K,hadfixedthe2011Census as the basis of delimitation. Former minister and BJP UT general secretary Sunil Sharma said they were opposed to the use of the 2011 Census as a "lot of fudging" had been done in its figures."Aselectoralrollsareupdated every year, so on their CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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