DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2021, JAIPUR, LATE CITY, 12 PAGES `5.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 RETIRED MAJ GENERAL, SHOURIE CHALLENGE IPC SECTION 124A SPORT Seditionlawcolonial,isitstillneeded… concernedovermisuse:SupremeCourt COVID SCARE FOR TEAM INDIA: RISHABH PANT AMONG TWO POSITIVE PAGE 11 CJIcomparespowerof lawtocarpenter whosawsoff forestinsteadof tree ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, JULY 15 EXPLAINED SIMPLY PUT INDIA’SAFGHAN INVESTMENT PAGE 10 EXPRESSING CONCERN over the “misuse” of the sedition law and “no accountability of executive agencies”, the Supreme Court sought to know Thursday if this “colonial law” is still needed 75 years after Independence. Hearing a petition by Major General(retired)SGVombatkere BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY who has challenged Section 124Aof theIPCwhichdealswith the offence of sedition, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana turned to Attorney General K K Venugopal: “It’s a colonial law. It was meant to suppress the freedom movement. The same law wasusedbytheBritishtosilence Mahatma Gandhi, Tilak etc. Still, is it necessary after 75 years of independence?”. Protesting farmers held for sedition in Sirsa raids SUKHBIR SIWACH CHANDIGARH, JULY 15 INVOKING SEDITION charge for the first time against farmers protestingoverthenewfarmlaws for the past eight months, the HaryanaPoliceThursdayarrested five of them in pre-dawn raids. Farmer leaders say they had come to know on July 13 that CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 around a hundred of them had been slapped with sedition charges over a protest against Haryana Assembly Deputy SpeakerRanbirSinghGangwain Sirsa on July 11, that had turned violent. Only two people were named in the FIR, Haryana Kisan Manch leader Prahlad Singh Bharukhera and 70-year-old Harcharan Singh Panjuana, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Sidhu likely to be Punjab PCC chief; camps huddle, CM is unhappy DEHRADUN, JULY 15 NEW DELHI, CHANDIGARH, JULY 15 CM Amarinder Singh; Navjot Singh Sidhu CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE LAST MILE Health workers being escorted by Army personnel for door-to-door vaccination against Covid-19, near the LoC in Jammu. PTI China ready for ‘mutually acceptable’ solution on ‘emergency’ issues: Wang SHUBHAJIT ROY & DEEPTIMAN TIWARY NEW DELHI, JULY 15 A DAY after External Affairs MinisterSJaishankarconveyedto hisChinesecounterpartthatprolongationoftheexistingsituation in eastern Ladakh was impacting bilateral ties in a “negative manner”,theChineseForeignMinistry said that Foreign Minister and ‘Rajputs-had-to-retreat’ plaques out, ASI says new ones based on facts DEEP MUKHERJEE JAIPUR, JULY 15 THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL Survey of India (ASI) has removed plaques in Rajsamand district’s Rakta Talai that said Rajputs forces had to retreat during Maharana Pratap’s battle with Mughal emperor Akbar in 1576. A section of residents and people from the Rajput community had claimed the plaques contained “historically wrong” information, following which politicians such as Rajsamand PAGE 1 ANCHOR An old plaque in Rakta Talai BJP MP Diya Kumari had also raised the matter. Bipin Chandra Negi, ASI Jodhpur circle superintendent, told The Indian Express on Thursday that the plaques have been removed. He said the fresh plaqueswillbebasedon“proven historical facts”. “We have removed the plaques. We will replace them with new plaques, where the text will be based on provenhistoricalfactswhichwill be standard basic information,” said Negi. “The state government had CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 StateCouncillorWangYihadsaid China was ready to seek a mutually acceptable solution to issues that require an “emergency response” through negotiation and consultation. According to the statement posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website on Thursday, Wangalsosaidthatthetwosides “must place the border issue in anappropriateposition”inbilateral relations, expand the posi- tive momentum of bilateral cooperation,and create favourable conditions for resolving differences through negotiation. This divergence of approach has persisted for the last 14 monthsasNewDelhiandBeijing have reiterated their stated positions. TheChineseForeignMinistry saidthat“Jaishankaragreedwith Wang Yi's general assessment of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E EXPLAINED kahakoibhifaisla...aapjokahrahe hain iske chaaron taraf hi hoga. Abi kai logistic ends hain jinko jo hai jodna hai,” Rawat told reporters after meeting Gandhi. He will now travel to Chandigarh on Friday to meet the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister’s media advisor Raveen Thukral, meanwhile, tweeted that “media reports of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh resigning are humbug.Hehasneitherquit nor offered to do so. He’ll lead the Congress in Punjab to victory in 2022 Assembly polls as he did in 2017. Urge media to stop speculating and spreading misinformation.” A spokesperson for Amarinder said the CM had already said that he would be upset if Sidhu was made the PPCC chief, and had conveyed to the party that it would be a disastrousstep.Thedecisionwasthen Uttarakhand to watch roads, trains, borders as UP going ahead with kanwar yatra LALMANI VERMA MANOJ C G & KANCHAN VASDEV ANINDICATION bytheCongress high command that it is set to appoint Navjot Singh Sidhu, one of the main detractors of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, president of the Punjab Congress, roiled the party in the electionbound state on Thursday. Sources close to Amarinder said he was unhappy, and had conveyed to the high command that he would not go into the Assembly elections with Sidhu as PCC chief. Byevening,clarificationsand denialswereissuedbybothAICC general secretary in charge of PunjabHarishRawatandtheCM — it was, however, clear that the tussle in the state Congress had onlyworsened,andtensionshad escalated. Rawat rushed to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi around 7.30 pm, and subsequently claimed he had never said that Sidhu was being appointed PCC president. Sources, however, said that Rawat’sofficehadevenprepared a statement announcing Sidhu’s appointment “Mujhse question kiya gaya ki kyawoh(Sidhu)honge,toh maine Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Maternal and Child Health Wing, Banaras Hindu University, in Varanasi on Thursday. Praising the UP government, he said the way it controlled the second Covid-19 wave was ‘unprecedented’. PTI Divergence ● ofapproach THE DIVERGENCE in approaches — India wants full restoration of status quo while China wants to put the border issue in an ‘appropriate’ position and get on with other things — has persisted for the last 14 months as New Delhi and Beijing have reiterated their stated positions. WITH NEIGHBOURING Uttar Pradesh among others saying it will not stop the kanwar yatra, a cautiousUttarakhandisdrafting a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to handle pilgrims who mightenterthestatedespitethe governmentsuspendingtheprocession within its boundaries. DGP Ashok Kumar, who held ameetingwithpoliceofficerson the issue Thursday, said forces willbedeployedonUttarakhand borders,forwhichassessmentof the number of police personnel required had been done, and kanwarenforcementteamsconstituted in every district. The yatra begins around the last week of July. Any kanwariya spotted anywhere would be "respectfully" taken off the road and dropped back to the state borders, the officersaid.If foundnearoneof the holy sites, a kanwariya would be takentothenearesttempletoofferprayers,andthendroppedon the border. To ensure kanwariyas don't arrive by trains, these will be halted before Haridwar and Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami with Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in New Delhi, Thursday. PTI checked, with the pilgrims deboardedand takentothenearby border,saidDIG(LawandOrder) Nilesh Anand Bharne. Separately, each district will drawupitsownSOPforenforcement of the ban on the yatra, such as keeping shops that sell items connected to it shut. Also among proposals on the table is putting any kanwariya entering Haridwar under quarantine for 14 days, after which they would be sent back. Kumar said the Haridwar district police chief will speak to the District Magistrate on this. Uttarakhand receives the bulk of the kanwar yatra CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WORLD CHINA SHOULD PROVIDE RAW DATA ON PANDEMIC’S ORIGIN: WHO CHIEF HEADSCARVES CAN BE BANNED AT WORK: EU COURT PAGE 8 POST-POLL VIOLENCE IN WEST BENGAL INSIDE NHRC says ‘law of ruler’, names TMC leaders; minister threatens legal action APURVA VISHWANATH & SANTANU CHOWDHURY WILL REMAIN IN MP: KAMAL NATH AFTER BUZZ OVER MEETING WITH SONIA GANDHI RAJASTHAN MINISTER BLAMES BJP FOR RISE IN POPULATION PAGES 3, 5 NEW DELHI, KOLKATA, JULY 15 SAYING WEST Bengal has “law of ruler” rather than "rule of law", a committee of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has slammed the Mamata Banerjee government, accusing it of subjecting "thousands of its citizens... to murder, rape, displacement and intimidation, etc. in the last couple of months" fol- lowing the Assembly results, and recommended deployment of Central forces in the state. In its final report on the allegedpost-pollviolence,submitted to the Calcutta High Court on July13,theNHRChassaidthatthe seriousincidentsshouldbeinvestigated by the CBI and tried outsidethestate,infast-trackcourts. It also called for a court-monitored Special Investigation Team tofollowupontheinvestigations. Naming 123 political leaders among accused and suspects, including an election agent of the Chief Minister and several Trinamool leaders, and calling them “notorious criminals/goons”,theNHRCsaysvery"few"arrestshavebeenmade"incontrast to the large-scale violence". In a sharp reaction, Banerjee accused the BJP of using "impartial agencies" to hatch a conspiracy against her government. "Becauseofpoliticalvendetta,the BJPismisusingsomeinstitutions to malign the image of Bengal. Theycannotdigesttheirelectoral defeat in West Bengal," she said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘POLITICAL VENDETTA’ “The NHRC should have respected the court... it should have submitted its findings to the court first... BJP misusing some institutions because of political vendetta,” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said. 23 shot at, 5 dead in Sarma’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy: ‘Take extreme action’ TORA AGARWALA GUWAHATI, JULY 15 INCIDENTS RANGING from Assam'snortheasttiptoitswest, and a script that is common -- of apprehended criminals "trying to escape" from custody the same day as they were arrested, "attempting tosnatchweapons" and police opening fire. SinceChief MinisterHimanta Biswa Sarma took over on May 10, at least 23 people have been shot at while in police custody, with five dead. They had been held for crimes such as cattlesmuggling, rape, murder, drug- peddling, dacoity. This is apart fromdeathsof 10militantsinencountersinthepasttwomonths. As the Opposition raises alarm over the "trigger happy" government and the Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) takes up the matter suo motu, Sarma has said he stands by the new approach. On Wednesday and Thursday, he told the Assembly his government would continue its “zero tolerance policy” on criminals, and that he was ready to face “anykindof criticism”."Myclear instruction (to police) is do not break the law, but within the law... you take extreme action, JOYNAL ABEDIN JEHARUL ISLAM TAPANBURAGOHAIN AKHTAR RAJA KHAN shot dead in Nagaon on July 11 shot in the leg in Baksa on July 9 shot in the leg in Sadiya on July 9 and the Assam government is going to protect you." Days earlier, at a conference attended by police officers, the CM had said there was nothing wrong in police firing being "a shot in the leg in Dibrugarh on July 7 pattern",if someonewas“trying toflee”.“Policecannotshoothim in the chest, but shooting at the leg is the law.” He told the Assembly Thursdaythat"504personshave been arrested in the last two months for alleged involvement in cattle-smuggling and only four were injured in police firing";andthatpolicehadensured the accused "the best possible treatment". Oncriticism,theCM said, "Sympathy is important, but misplaced sympathy is very, very dangerous." OnJuly7,theAHRCaskedthe state government to institute an inquiry into the circumstances that led to the death and injuries in police firings. AHRC member NabaKamalBoratoldTheIndian Jaipur Express,"Aspernewsreports,all of them were in custody and in handcuffs…soweneedtoknow what happened." The Sarma government has, meanwhile,also declared a 'War on Drugs', as part of which 1,897 people have beenarrestedin the last two months. Increasingly, police are deploying rarely used provisions under which a habitual drug crime offender can be put in detention without trial. At least 15 people have been arrested under it in the past six months. The Indian Express tracked down families of five of the accused fired upon between May and now. One of them is dead. A magisterial inquiry is on into all the five deaths. JOYNAL ABEDIN, 47, NAGAON;SHOTONJULY11 CHARGE: Dacoity, armed robbery STATUS: Dead POLICE VERSION At around 2 am on July 11, the Nagaon police went to Abedin's house to apprehend him claiming a tip-off that an armed gang led by him was planning a dacoityintheDhingarea.“Ourpersonnel cordoned the house and 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.