DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES SINCE 1932 `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM MEETS NORTHEAST CMs People ask what about third wave, it’s up to us to stop it, can’t compromise even a bit: PM Sputnik too in Serum stable, plans 300 million doses a year Says containment at micro level, more vaccination, trained staff key KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, JULY 13 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY PRABHA RAGHAVAN & ANURADHA MASCARENHAS NEW DELHI, PUNE, JULY 13 Police try to regulate the queue for Covid-19 vaccination at Bhartia Hospital in Fatehpur, Rajasthan, Tuesday. PTI Kanwar yatra: Uttarakhand finally calls it off, UP says on with curbs LALMANI VERMA & AVANEESH MISHRA DEHRADUN, LUCKNOW, JULY 13 AMID FEARS of a possible third wave of Covid-19, the Uttarakhand government on Tuesday suspended the kanwar yatraevenasneighbouringUttar Pradesh is pressing ahead with the annual ritual that sees a heavy movement of pilgrims acrossstatesinthenorthernbelt. AtameetingonTuesdaywith topofficialsof theadministration and police, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami discussed apprehensionsof apossiblethird wave of Covid-19, the recent detection of the Delta Plus variant in the state, and the experience of other countries that have witnessed a resurgence of Covid cases. Sources said the govern- mentalsosoughttheview of experts before arriving at the decision to cancel the yatra. Speakingtoreporters,Dhami said, “We decided to cancel the yatra, according topmost prioritytohumanlife...Alotof discussionswereheldontheissueover the last few days. Our officials held talks with neighbouring states. The outcome of this exercise is that in view of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, JULY 13 DESCRIBING THE situation in Afghanistanas“difficult,direand problematic”,FaridMamundzay, the country’s ambassador to India, has said Delhi should convey to the Taliban that if they cut ties with “regional terrorist groups” and give up violence to LIZ MATHEW NEW DELHI, JULY 13 MORE THAN 90 DEAD IN FIRE AT CORONA WARD IN IRAQ SHER SINGH DEUBA IS NEW NEPAL PM PAGE 10 GOVT & POLITICS SIDHU STIRS WATERS WITHAAP REMARK, KISHOR MEETS THE GANDHIS PAGE 5 PAGE 1 ANCHOR Overto Uttar ● Pradesh UTTARAKHAND’s decision to cancel the kanwar yatra comes after the state was criticised for hosting over 36 lakh people for the Kumbh Mela, just before the second Covid wave. UP's decision to go ahead with the yatra will be watched closely amid concerns regarding a third wave. COVISHIELD-MAKER Serum Institute of India (SII) has added yet another brand to its growing portfolio of Covid-19 vaccines, unveiling plans on Tuesday to manufacture Russia’s Sputnik V over the next two months. SII’saddition toagrowinglist of Indian partners for Sputnik V would enable the country to churn out over a billion doses of the Russian vaccine every year. It is also likely to help improve supply of the vaccine in India, where a soft launch has already taken place through vials imported from Russia but doses from most domestic manufacturers are still awaited. SII, through its partnership with the Russian Direct InvestmentFund (RDIF),intends to produce over 300 million doses of Sputnik V per year, said Russia’s sovereign wealth fund in a statement. This takes India’s annual production capacity of this vaccine to nearly 1.2 billion doses a year. The Pune-headquartered vaccine maker has already received samples of the cell and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Cabinet committees Situation dire, India must tell rejigged: Mandaviya, Taliban join mainstream, support Sonowal, Irani part only then, says Afghan envoy of key panel, no allies SHUBHAJIT ROY WORLD E E X P L A I NE D TAKING SERIOUS note of the rampant violation of coronavirus norms reported from hill stations and markets over the last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned Tuesday that a “third wave will not come on its own” and that the key to prevent another surge is not predicting when it will come but adhering strictly to safety protocols. Modi’s remarks came during his interaction with Chief Ministersof Northeasternstates. “It is true that tourism and business have been greatly affected due to corona. But today, I will say very strongly that it is a matter of grave concern to see people without masks in the market and not following the protocol in hill stations. This is not right,” he said. Referring to the “argument” that people “want to enjoy before the third wave arrives”, the PrimeMinistersaid:“Itisimportant to make people understand thatthethirdwavewillnotcome on its own. Sometimes people ask the question, ‘What are the preparations for the third wave? What will you do for the third wave?.’ Today, the question should be in our mind on how to stop the third wave from coming. How to execute our protocols efficiently. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 DAYS AFTER expanding the cabinet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reconstituted the cabinet committees, trimming the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and bringinginfivenewmembersas part of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA). Crucial ministries, including Rural Development, Railways, and Petroleum and Natural Gas, which were represented in the earlier CCEA, have been left out this time. WhileUnionministersSmriti Irani, Bhupender Yadav, Sarbananda Sonowal, Giriraj Singh and Mansukh Mandaviya have been brought in as new members of the CCPA, there are no representatives from the alliance partners. In the past, the CCPA included Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), Harsimrat Kaur Badal (SAD) and Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena). Both the SAD and Shiv Sena left the NDA last year. The other ministers who re- Sonowal, inducted in CCPA, with Om Birla Tuesday. PTI UV TECH TO TACKLE COVID IN HOUSE: MINISTER PAGE 6 mainpartof theCCPAheadedby Prime Minister Narendra Modi are: Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal and Pralhad Joshi. The CCEA, which had 12 members earlier, now has nine: Modi, Rajnath Singh (Defence), CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 becomepartof the“mainstream society”, it will continue to support and assist Afghanistan politically and diplomatically. In an exclusive interview to The Indian Express, Mamundzay said Indian development projects — roads, schools, dams among others — are “at risk” if the security situation deteriorates further. The exit of US troops has had the Taliban over- running large swathes in Afghanistan, especially in the northern provinces which were never under their control. India has committed about USD3 billiontowardsprojectsin all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. “Taliban are Afghans. Today or tomorrow, they will talk to us. They will talk to the Afghan people and Afghan government. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Anti-terror laws not to quell dissent; SC role counter-majoritarian: Justice Chandrachud Says Constitution guide, challenges from pandemic to rise of intolerance EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, JULY 13 SUPREME COURT Judge Justice D Y Chandrachud has said that “criminallaw,includinganti-terror legislation, should not be misused for quelling dissent or for the harassment of citizens”. Stating that the Supreme Court “plays the role of a counter-majoritarian institution”, he said it is the Court’s “duty to protect the rights of socio-economic minorities”. Justice Chandrachud made thesecommentswhilespeaking on ‘Role of the Supreme Court in protectingfundamentalrightsin challenging times’ at a virtual conference hosted by the American Bar Association with the Society of Indian Law Firms and Chartered Institute of Arbitrators on Monday evening. Referring to the Supreme Court’sinterventionsamidstthe pandemic,hesaidthecongestion in prisons was among the issues taken up. “While it is important thatprisonsarede-congestedbecausetheyarehighlysusceptible to becoming hotspots for the virus, it is equally important to examine why prisons are congestedinthefirstplace.Thecriminallaw,includinganti-terrorlegislation, should not be misused forquellingdissentorfortheharassment of citizens,” he said. “AsInotedinArnab Goswami v. The State of Maharashtra & Ors, ‘Our courts must ensure that they continue to remain the first lineof defenceagainstthedeprivation of liberty of citizens. Deprivation of liberty even for a single day is one too many. We P6 THE EXPRESS INTERVIEW ‘NOT YET ASKED INDIA OFFICIALLY FOR ANY MILITARY ASSISTANCE’ FARID MAMUNDZAY AFGHAN AMBASSADOR TO INDIA NIA opposes plea of Elgar accused: We are fighting Naxal plague, bid to thwart probe OMKAR GOKHALE MUMBAI, JULY 13 OPPOSING A plea by Elgar Parishad case accused Surendra Gadling and Sudhir Dhawale who have challenged the transfer of the probe to the NIA, the central agency has told the Bombay High Court that it is an attempt to “thwart” the investigation, and that the “Naxal plaguehascauseddestructionat many levels”. The NIA response is part of an affidavit which was served Accused in Elgar Parishad case being brought to court. File on the petitioners about two months ago, advocate Satish B Talekar, representing Gadling and Dhawale, told the bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar Tuesday. He said the Centre and Maharashtra government were yet to file their responses. Advocate Sandesh Patil, appearing for NIA, said he was not aware of theaffidavitfiledbythe agency.“Theearlieradvocateappearing for NIA must have filed it.Iwillhavetocheck,andwould need a week’s time to put our CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘On vaccine, sought a policy bound by human rights’ must always be mindful of the deeper systemic implications of our decisions’,” he said. JusticeChandrachudsaidthe SC’s“interventionshavechanged thecourseof Indianhistory—be it in protecting civil and political liberties which cast a negative obligation on the State, or in directing the State to implement socio-economic rights as... obligations under the Constitution”. “While some have termed these interventions of the Indian Supreme Court as ‘judicial activism’ or ‘judicial overreach’, the Court plays the role of a countermajoritarian institution and it is itsdutytoprotecttherightsofsocio-economicminorities,”hesaid. “As the guardian of the Constitution,ithastoputabreak where executive or legislative actions infringe fundamental human rights,” said Justice Chandrachud. Touching on the concept of separation of powers, he said that while the “Judges of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 India Patient Zero gets Covid again, had not got vaccinated SHAJU PHILIP THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JULY 13 A 21-YEAR-OLD from Kerala's Thrissurdistrict,whowasIndia's first recorded case of Covid-19, has again tested positive for the virus. Sources in the health departmentsaid thewoman,amedical student at Wuhan University of China, has not got either of her vaccination shots. TheysaidherCovidstatuswas detectedaftershegotherRT-PCR test done on July 8, ahead of a scheduled visit to Delhi. Her test result came on July 9 and she has beeninhomeisolationsincethen, thesourcessaid,addingthatcondition is stable. The 21-year-old has no recent travel history. Sourcesinherfamilysaidshe isasymptomatic unlike last year, when shehad minorsymptoms. They said that over the last year andahalf,noneof herotherfamily members has tested positive for the virus. None of them has beenvaccinatedeither.Theysaid the 21-year-old — like other CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In PM’s Tokyo pep talk: Ice-cream for Sindhu and biopic on Vinesh SHASHANK NAIR NEW DELHI, JULY 13 ■ Will you be allowed to eat icecream after the Olympics? ■ Phogat family apni betiyon ko kaun si chakki ka atta khilati hai (What does the Phogat family feed its daughters)? ■ Does your passion for dancing act as a stress-buster for you? THESE WERE some of the questions that Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked India’stop athletes in a motivation and farewell session before they left fortheTokyoOlympicGamesset to begin on July 23. In a conversation with P V Sindhu, who famously had to lay off ice-cream in the run-up to silver at the Rio Olympics, Modi wondered if there was a similar restriction this time. “Thoda control karti hoon (I do control a little),” the shuttler replied. Modi assured: “Work hard and I have faith that you will again be successful this time. And after you succeed, when I meet all of you, I will also have ice-cream with you.” He asked Vinesh Phogat if a biopic on the wrestler could be expected in the near future. And apart from dancing, he wanted to know from Manika Batra abouttheinspirationbehindher Tricolour nail paint. The Delhibased paddler replied: “It is to keep the Indian flag close to me. When I am serving I see my left hand and the Indian flag, which inspires me.” What was supposed to be a meet-and-greet with the athletes had to be converted to a video call because of Covid restrictions. Also, many of the top athletes are currently in countries with less stringent Covid norms and better training PM Modi interacts with Indian contingent bound for the Olympics, Tuesday. PTI GAMES VILLAGE OPENS PAGE 16 conditions. “Don’t be bogged down by expectations, just give your best. The hopes of the country are attached to you,” Modi said. “When I see all of you together, I see some commonalities. Bold, confident and positive are some of the things I see in all of you. I see a common factor — discipline, dedication and determination.Iseecommitmentand competitiveness. These are the same qualities that ‘New India’ hasaswell.Allof youareareflection of ‘New India’,” he said. “We had a virtual conversation today. But I would have liked to host all athletes in Delhi and meet everyone in person. This is something I have always done and the occasion has always been a joyous one for me," he said. Three-time Olympian Achanta Sharath Kamal was called upon to speak on his past experiences at the Games. The table tennis ace said that while in previous competitions, sports took centre stage, these Olympics would be different — following health protocols and Covid rules would be just as important as performing well. Middleweight boxer Ashish Kumar told the Prime Minister about the period when he was in Spain and started showing symptoms of the virus but benefited from constant communication and a special space for training. Modi asked Mahavir Phogat — the patriarch of the Phogat wrestling clan and 53-kg freestyle wrestlerVinesh’suncle — what the family fed their daughters. The conversation then veered towards Mahavir’s vow and how Vinesh could help fulfill it: “Agar Olympic mein medal leke aoge toh mein CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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