DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA Mamata rallies parties against BJP, says leader closer to polls Opp MPs tear, throw papers inside House; BJP says ‘shame on democracy’ ‘Sonia keen on Opp unity... There will be many faces to fight Modi’ ` 165 per kilo ` 68 per Dozen UP caste tension: Youth beaten to death, 4 held EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE LUCKNOW, JULY 28 TENSIONPREVAILSatavillagein Prayagraj district following the death of a 22-year-old Yadav youth on Tuesday after he was allegedlybeatenupbyhisneighbours belonging to the Thakur community. Police said the Thakurs objected to a video put up by Sonu Yadavonhissocialmedia, which he refused to remove. There was an argument, during which he was assaulted with sticks and died at hospital. Four persons, Shishu Pal Singh, his sons Preetam Singh and Piyam Singh, and their relative Shyam Singh, have been arrested. Police said the role of two others, also Thakurs, is being probed. Thereis heavypolicedeployment in the village, Khuli Bari, which has a mixed population. On Wednesday, Sonu's CONTINUEDONPAGE4 LIZ MATHEW NEW DELHI, JULY 28 IN THEnationalcapitalafter two yearstomeetparties,andostensiblytorallythemforananti-BJP coalition ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, West Bengal Chief MinisterMamataBanerjee Wednesday indicated doors werealsoopenforpartieslikethe BJDandYSRCP,whichhavebeen onthefencewhenitcomestothe Narendra Modi government. Havinghanded theModi-led BJPitsmostcomprehensiveelectoral defeat, in the West Bengal Assembly elections earlier this year, Banerjee dodged the question of who would lead such an Opposition front, while acknowledging the Congress's importance in it. “When elections near, the Opposition parties will decide. The country will fight CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 LIZ MATHEW & HARIKISHAN SHARMA NEW DELHI, JULY 28 THE BJP Wednesday accused the Opposition of having “damaged the dignity and decorum of the temple of our democracy” after Congress and Left MPs, protesting over the farm laws and alleged Pegasus snooping, tore agenda papers and threw them towards the Chair of the Speaker and Treasury benches in the Lok Sabha. AsBJPMPsdemandedaction against them, Speaker Om Birla CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 Sonia and Rahul Gandhi see off Mamata Banerjee after her visit to Sonia’s 10 Janpath residence. West Bengal CMO Only 44% of Kerala’s population infected, shows serosurvey AMITABH SINHA & HARIKISHAN SHARMA PUNE, NEW DELHI, JULY 28 ONLY 44 per cent of Kerala’s population above the age of six years had so far been infected by the coronavirus, against the national average of over 67 per cent, according to the state-level serosurvey data released by the Government. This, in effect, means that a much larger proportion of the populationinthestateisstillsusceptibletothediseasecompared to many other states. Also, the number could, at least partially, explainwhyKeralaiscontinuing to reportahigh numberof cases. For the last two days, Kerala has reported over 22,000 infections, over 50 per cent of the national count. The state has been reporting the maximum number of cases in the country for several weeks now. This seeming dichotomy — very high reporting of cases for a prolonged period, as well as low disease prevalence — can be CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 Several red flags against Durg medical college, Baghel Bill has big budget plans GARGI VERMA RAIPUR, JULY 28 THE BHUPESH BAGHEL government Wednesday went ahead and tabled a Bill to acquire a private medical college in Durg — a move that has drawn controversybecauseof itslinkswithhis daughter’s in-laws — at double BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY the valuation. The valuation will be decided by a state-appointed Special Officer in six-twelve months. Called the Chhattisgarh Chandulal Chandrakar MemorialMedical College, Durg (Acquisition) Bill, 2021, it notes thatthedecisionwillcosttheexchequer Rs 140 crore a year. The Bill, piloted by TS Singh `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 SAYS BJD, YSCRP, JD(U) ALL WELCOME ` 133 per kilo REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE THURSDAY, JULY 29, 2021, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES ` 105 per kilo ● Baghel with students of the college, their parents Deo,MedicalEducationMinister, justifies paying double the valuationtotheownersof thecollege since it is a “compulsory acquisition”. The Statement of Object andReasons of the Bill, however, notes that the current owners had requested the state governmenttoacquirethecollegegiven their financial difficulties. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 BJP, OPP MPS CLASH IN IT PANEL MEET PAGE 9 WORLD CHINA HOSTS TALIBAN, CALLS THEM A ‘PIVOTAL MILITARY AND POLITICAL FORCE’ 3-YR TRAVEL BAN FOR SAUDIS WHO VISIT INDIA, OTHER COVID ‘RED LIST’ NATIONS PAGE 14 THE EDITORIAL PAGE CONFLICTAND COMMONSIN N.E. BY KHAM KHAN SUAN HAUSING PAGE 12 U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HOLDS TALKS IN DELHI Afghanistan has to be free from malign influence: India on Pak Jaishankar spells out redlines as Blinken says Taliban atrocities deeply disturbing SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, JULY 28 DESCRIBING THE atrocities being committed by the Taliban in theiradvanceacrossAfghanistan as“deeplytroubling”,visitingUS Secretary of State Antony J BlinkensaidWednesdaythatthis does not speak well of Taliban “intentions” and “taking over powerbyforce”cannotbeapath to international recognition. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who was listening when Blinken made these remarks, speltout India’s redlines: that the outcome in Afghanistan should not be “decided by force on the battlefield”; that there is “broad and deep consensus” on a negotiation that leads to peace and cessation of violence; and that there should be a political settlement. Sources said there was more common ground in this discussion on Afghanistan than before. Jaishankar said the independence and sovereignty of Prime Minister Modi with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in New Delhi on Wednesday. ANI Afghanistancanonlybeensured “if it is free from malign influences”--areferencetoPakistan’s involvement. “Regarding Afghanistan, it is essentialthatpeacenegotiations are taken seriously by all parties. Theworldwishestoseeanindependent, sovereign, democratic and stable Afghanistan at peace with itself and with its neighbours but its independence and sovereigntywillonlybeensured ifitisfreefrommaligninfluences. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 ON RIGHTS, INDIA: QUEST TO BE BETTER APPLIES TO ALL P10 This year may Cabinet seeks full damage see record IPO estimate to decide on relief fundraising of over Rs 1 package, allots land lakh crore for NDRF base at Mahad EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, JULY 28 WITH ASSESSMENT of damage in the 1,351 flood-hit villages across Konkan and western Maharashtra yet to be completed, the state Cabinet on Wednesdaydirectedtheadministration to prepare a complete estimate so that a relief package can be announced. The Cabinet, meanwhile, approvedtheallotment2.5hectare of land for setting up a permanent base of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) at Mahad in Raigad, one of the worst-affected areas following incessant rainfall in the last few days. The proposed NDRF base will come up on land owned by the state dairy development department. A demand had been raised that an NDRF team be permanently stationed in Raigad after the district witnessed a slew of flood-related incidents and house collapsesover thelastfew years.Duringtherecentflood,95 people died in the district following an increase in the water level and landslides. While the decision to set up the NDRF base will be taken by the Union government, the state has committed itself to allotting land for the same, said officials, adding that a State Disaster Response Force base could also be set up in the area. In the meeting held on Wednesday, the Cabinet assessed the damage caused by flood that had hit Konkan and western Maharashtra, claiming 213 lives so far. Eight persons are CONTINUEDONPAGE4 Mizoram SOS to Centre: Free NH supply route, rly link disrupted Trucks stranded at border, Mizoram asks Centre to intervene LAILAPUR (ASSAM), JULY 28 SEBI FINES RAJ KUNDRA, SHILPA SHETTY, VIAAN INDUSTRIES PAGE 15 PAGE 1 ANCHOR Security personnel at Lailapur Police outpost near the Assam-Mizoram border. Tora Agarwala IN HIS truck parked near the police outpost at Lailapur, the last Assam town on the border with Mizoram, Munazari Khan tries to take a nap in the sweltering heat. He has been on the road for a week now. He set out from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh on July 20, carrying in his truck a consignment of mattresses for delivery in Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram. JAISHANKAR SPELT out India’s position on the Afghanistan situation the day his China hosted a Taliban delegation. The Chinese overture comes at a time when the situation on the ground is changing rapidly in Afghanistan. MAHARASHTRA UNEASY CALM AFTER BORDER VIOLENCE TORA AGARWALA WhileChina hosts Taliban He has been at Lailapur since Monday when violence erupted atthiscontestedborderpointon National Highway 306, leaving sixAssamPolicepersonnelanda civiliandead,andseveralinjured. “It was stupid of us not to have checked if there was any troubleontheway…thatis why we are stuck here. I am losing Rs 8,000 a day,” said Khan who has been a trucker for 15 years. On Mondaynight,whenhereached Lailapurat11pm,helearntof the “mara-maari” earlier that evening. “It has been three days now and there’s no sign of any movement.” Khan is not alone. Other drivers too have been waiting, their trucks parked by the roadside. There’sanuneasycalmhereafter the firing and clashes. Central forces have been deployed to keep the peace between police personnel of the two states, and tempersareflaringontheground. Around 5 km from the border point, a group of local residents are protesting on the road, preventing people from passing through. “We have always had border CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 SANDEEP SINGH & GEORGE MATHEW NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI, JULY 28 WITH THE IPO momentum holding strong, calendar year 2021 is set to witness record fund raising through initial public offerings. As on date, India Inc has raised over Rs 42,000 crore though 28 IPOs in seven months till date. If the number of companies which have filed their issueswithSEBIorhaveshownintent to list is any indication, this could easily cross Rs 1 lakh crore byDecembershouldthesecondary market maintain its tempo. Besides companies in traditional businesses, the bumper listing of Zomato is set to trigger a host of IPOs from other new age companies including Paytm, PhonePe, MobiKwik, Grofers, CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 IT’S RAINING IPOs Year No. of Issue Issues Amount 2011 37 5,966.30 2012 11 6,835.30 2013 3 1,283.80 2014 5 1,200.90 2015 21 13,614.10 2016 26 26,493.80 2017 36 67,147.40 2018 24 30,959.10 2019 16 12,361.60 2020 15 26,612.60 2021* 28 42,015.00 *Till July 27, 2021 Rs. crore Source : PRIME Database Spotlight on mental health, Tokyo has a message for Olympians: It’s ok EXPRESSAT OLYMPICS MIHIR VASAVDA TOKYO, JULY 28 INDIA'S GUN-TOTING teens lookedsoshakenthattheycould barely utter a word after the team drew a blank on Tuesday. Some choked while talking, a few held back their tears, and all of them were visibly distraught. “They have fallen prey to the in- famous Olympics pressure,” National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh said. Hours later, two of the biggest names at the Tokyo Olympics had a simple message for athletes who succumb to pressure at this level: It’s okay. Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka were expected to leave a lasting impression on the Tokyo Olympics. And they did -- but just not in the way many would have imagined. This was the Games where Biles, the American gymnast, would confirm her greatest-of- all-time tag beyond doubt. She simply had to turn up. But when the moment came on Tuesday, Bilespulledoutof theteamcompetition, citing her state of mind. And then, she withdrew from Thursday’sindividualall-around competition, fearing it would be a risk to push through her dangerous routines while lacking confidence. Her decision came hours after tennis star Osaka, the face of the Tokyo Olympics, lost in the third round of the singles competition. The Japanese favourite, who lit the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony, US gymnast Simone Biles on Tuesday. She withdrew from the team finals, citing mental health concerns. Reuters also cited the mental toll of her profession as the reason for her early exit. Andjustlikethat,inthespace of six hours on Tuesday, Osaka and Biles drew attention away from the back-breaking competitionandputthespotlightonan issue that’s often pushed to the background -- an athlete’s mental well-being. “I put my mental health first because if you don’t, you’re not going to enjoy your sport and you’re not going to succeed as much as you want to,” Biles told a media conference, her response as graceful as her rota- tions on the gymnastics floor. “It’s okay sometimes to even sit out big competitions to focus on yourself because it shows how strong a competitor and person you really are.” The Olympics can be both wonderful and wretched. And the pressures are many. The athletes are expected to carry a country’s hopes and fears, and perform and win. Then, they are put under the knife, performances analysed to the minutest of degrees, and questioned or trolled. Biles and Osaka, however, have shown that athletes need not necessarily subscribe to this glamourised struggle. In 2019, an International Olympic Committee report said thatamongeliteathletes,including Olympians, the rate of anxiety and depression could be as high as 45 per cent. Behind the scenes in Tokyo, the sight of sportspersons overcomewithanxietyandperformance pressure are everywhere, as was evident with India’s young shooters competing in their first Olympics. But athletes are also opening up about the pressure and its CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
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