eye THE SUNDAY EXPRESS MAGAZINE ONE FOR THE ROAD Film director-writer duo Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti on a decade of their landmark road film, and the fate of road movies in a post-pandemic world KOLKATA,LATECITY JULY25,2021 PAGES 12, 13, 14 16PAGES,`5.00 (EX-KOLKATA `7, `12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM Mirabai lifts spirits WEST BENGAL STATE BJP CHIEF SLAMS TMC GOVT OVER ‘RISING UNEMPLOYMENT’ PAGE 3 Blinken visit to lay ground for Quad meet, US says will raise human rights issue PLANNING FOR NEXT SURGE SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, JULY 24 INHISfirstvisittoIndiaastheUS Secretary of State next week, Antony J Blinken will lay the groundwork for the first inpersonQuadleaders’meetingas well as the India-US 2+2 meeting to be held later this year. Besides discussing Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific and Covid-related cooperation, Blinken will also raise the issues of human rights and democracy. This was spelt out by the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs in the US administration, Dean Thompson, at a briefing on Saturday morning. Responding to a question, Thompson said that Blinken will raise issues of human rights and democracy with Indian officials duringhisfirstvisittoNewDelhi as the two nations have more values in common on those fronts than otherwise. “With respect to the human rights and democracy question, yes, you're right; I will tell you that we will raise it, and we will continue that conversation, because we firmly believe that we WeightlifterMirabaiChanuafterwinningthesilverinthe49-kgcategory.ThegoldwenttoChina’sHouZhihui,thebronzetoIndonesia’sAisahWindyCantika. PTI Weightlifter puts behind Hauling firewood to carrying weight Rio blow, opens India of a nation: Mother recalls journey account with silver NITIN SHARMA EXPRESSAT OLYMPICS MIHIR VASAVDA TOKYO, JULY 24 ATFIRST,MirabaiChanuthought it was a dream. “I forgot where I was standing,” she laughs. The piercing voice of the emcee jolted her back to reality. “I thought, ‘oh, that’s an Olympic podium!’” The 10 seconds that followed — when she flashed a big, wide smile, waved to an empty auditorium and stepped CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Ex-bureaucrat Jawhar Sircar is Trinamool’s Rajya Sabha candidate KOLKATA, JULY 24 SUNDAY STORY PAGE 8 Jawhar Sircar Upper House of the Parliament. Mr. Sircar spent nearly 42 years in public service & was also the formerCEOof PrasarBharati.His invaluablecontributiontopublic service shall help us serve our country even better!”, the TMC said in a statement on Twitter. The Rajya Sabha by-poll was necessitated after Trivedi, a CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PAGE 1 ANCHOR NEW DELHI, JULY 24 With tourists has come the fear of Covid. How Mussoorie, dependent on tourism but now wary of it, is finding the middle ground MORE REPORTS PAGES 15,16 CHANDIGARH, IMPHAL, JULY 24 IN NONGPOK Sekmai, a village in the eastern corner of Imphal Valley, 60-year-old Saikhom Tombi Devi recalls the days when Mirabai Chanu, her youngest daughter, would collect firewood and carry it on her head to their leased half-acre paddy field. On Saturday, carrying the weight of a nation on her shoulders, the 26-year-old became India’s first medallist at Tokyo 2020, her silver opening the country’s account on Day 1 of the Games. “My heart was racing and Mirabai Chanu’s father (standing left) celebrates with other family members and friends in Imphal on Saturday. ANI tears welled up in my eyes as I watched my daughter on TV, making the final lift. I thought I wouldpassout,”Tombisaid,surrounded by ecstatic family CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 HARIKISHAN SHARMA NEW DELHI, JULY 24 ASKINGTHEgovernmenttoprepare itself for a level of 4-5 lakh cases per day in the next surge, the empowered group of officers,taskedwithformulatingthe nation’s Covid emergency strategy,hassaidthatallstepsshould be taken to ensure that the daily count doesn't cross 50,000, The Sunday Express has learnt. Thisissignificantasthisguidance, effectively, sets a new benchmark for the overall system to go on alert, sources said, an element missing in the runup to the brutal second wave. Significantly, as vaccination rolls out, the group has put on record that the pandemic level be kept at a level of 50,000 per E Sets new benchmark ● for red alert IN THE first wave, India hit the 50,000-mark on July 25 last year. That wave peaked at 98,000 on September 16 and fell below 50,000 on November 6. The second wave breached the 50,000 mark on March 24, 2021. Between November and March was when the Covid ball was dropped and the guard lowered. day by “non-pharmacological” interventions that include Covid-appropriate behaviour — CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 After raids, I-T alleges ‘She screamed saying a big part of the hill tax evasion on Rs 700 cr, had crashed. Then phone got disconnected’ funds diversion by Dainik Bhaskar Group VALLABH OZARKAR Sangli, Kolhapur, Mumbai suburbs,PuneandThaneamongthe worst-hit. A government statement said 59 people are still missing, with 38 injured. Rescue teams have evacuated 90,000 peoplesofarandsixrelief camps have been opened in Ratnagiri. Chiplun and Khed towns in Ratnagiri are completely inundated due to discharge from the Koyna and Koltewadi dams. The cellphone network is down and manyareasarestillwithoutelectricity. However, water levels have started receding. RELATIVES LOOKING for their loved ones made a beeline for Taliye village in Mahad, Raigad district,Saturday,breakingdown as they sorted through what remains of the more than 50 houses either buried under a hillock or washed away. In one of theworsttragediesof therainfall lashing the state for the past threedays,thevillagelostatleast 42 people, with 39 still missing as of Saturday evening. Six of the injured are in hospital. The toll across the state climbed to 112, with Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 A rescue worker with an infant in Kolhapur, Saturday. Express ANOTHER REPORT PAGE 4 ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU NEW DELHI, JULY 24 TWO days after its nationwide raids on the Dainik Bhaskar Group, the Income Tax department Saturday alleged that the conglomerate had evaded taxes on income to the tune of Rs 700 crore over six years, indulged in cyclical trading of Rs 2,200 crore, violatedstockmarketrulesandset upseveralcompaniestobook"bogus expenses" and siphon funds. The department did not name Dainik Bhaskar but officials in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) confirmed the details related to the DB Group in the statement which referred to a "Rs 6,000-crore prominentgroup"withinterests in media, real estate, textiles and power. The CBDT said the "voluminous material found during the searchoperationsisbeingexamined”. The I-T department had conducted searches Thursday at the offices of the Dainik Bhaskar Group covering 20 residential and12businesspremisesspread over nine cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bhopal, Indore, Noida and Ahmedabad. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 When love of all kinds finds home in a Delhi safe house SOURAV ROY BARMAN BROKEN BACK MOUNTAIN CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 & JIMMY LEIVON MAHAD (RAIGAD), JULY 24 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE THE TRINAMOOL Congress Saturday nominated Jawhar Sircar, the former Prasar Bharati CEO, as its candidate for the Rajya Sabha seat vacated by former member Dinesh Trivedi. The nomination of the retired bureaucrat, known for his outspokenviewsagainsttheBJPled Union government, comes amid Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s attempt to carve a larger national role in politics. “We are delighted to nominate Mr.@jawharsircar in the on the podium — are a blur for Chanu.“ThenextthingIsawwas a silver medal hanging around my neck.” In her uncontrollable excitement,Chanumakesitsoundlike it was all accidental and easy. It was anything but that. It is not often in Indian sport that an athlete delivers exactly what is expected of her. Rarer even, that such performance is delivered on the big stage. And never before has it led to a medal on the first day of an Olympics. Bereadyfor4-5lakhcases/day...comes with‘untoldcost’:empoweredgroup EXPLAINED US Secy of State Antony J Blinken to arrive in India on July 27 Don’t let daily count go above 50,000: Covid group to Govt THEY DARED to love. "We were working at a thread manufacturing unit. There were many male workers, but I felt attracted towards her. Soon, we fell in love. But the troublehadjustbegun,"shesays. As the two came out, and expressed their desire to live with each other, their families expressed bewilderment. The refrain,the18-year-old,whodoesn't want to reveal her identity, says, was "How dare you love?" On Saturday, the two from Punjab became the first LGBTQ couple to take shelter at a ‘safe house’ managed by the Delhi government's Social Welfare Department. The Delhi High Court had directed police on Friday to shift the LGBTQ couple to the facility. "I was born a female but raised like a male child. When it came to choosing my partner though, they expected me to stick to the conventional gender role. I had no option but to move out," says the other partner, who identifies as a trans man. From social censure to wrath of own families, from criminal cases to physical attacks, the two-storey safe house has provided shelter to 10 couples from across the country — Delhi (2), Gujarat (1), Bengal (1), Uttar Pradesh(2),MadhyaPradesh(2), Bihar (1), Rajasthan (1), Punjab (1) — since it opened in September 2020. Four are currently still there, and three of them spoke to The Sunday Express. "Our families called us mad, took our phones away. We decided to come to Delhi and seek help from a foundation that works for trans men. They referred us to NGO Dhanak," says the 18-year-old. While she stud- PoojaandFarooq,fromRajasthan,gotmarriedonJune9. Express ied up to Class 12, her partner dropped out after Class 10. The couple come from a humble background, says Asif Iqbal, the co-founder of Dhanak for Humanity, the non-profit which works as a support group for interfaith, inter-caste and LGBTQ couples. After they came to Delhi on July 2, Dhanak initially put them up in a rented accommodation. Butfamilymembersfoundthem there and attacked them. Subsequently,theyfiledapetition to be moved to the safe house. The facility was started followingaSupremeCourtorderin March 2018 directing states and Unionterritoriestoprovideshel- ter to couples facing threats due to their relationship. Iqbal says Delhi and Haryana were among the very few states to have followed through. Among those housed in the facility are an inter-faith couple from West Bengal's West Midnaporedistrict.The21-yearold, a Muslim, says he first met the 20-year-old at college in 2019, and for him, it was love at firstsight."Jodioamikintudekhini (Ihadnotevennoticedhim),"the 20-year-old, whose father sells spices, laughs. The friendship soon blossomed into love. The 20-year-old says she fended off pressure from her CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Kolkata
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