DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 14 PAGES `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 EXPRESS NETWORK RESPONSE TO TALIBAN IN ASSAM, CONG SAYS WILL SNAP TIES WITH AIUDF PAGE 5 OUTGOING ITBP CHIEF: CAN BE MORE HOSTILE ON CHINA BORDER IF NEEDED PAGE 6 BENGALI WRITER BUDDHADEB GUHA DIES AT 85 PAGE 6 Delhi schools, colleges open tomorrow: 50% class strength, staggered lunch breaks SUKRITA BARUAH NEW DELHI, AUGUST 30 ONLY 50 per cent students per class, staggered lunch breaks, mandatory thermal screening, alternate seating, a quarantine room — these are some of the guidelines that schools and colleges in Delhi will have to follow when they reopen on Wednesday. While schools for Classes IXXII, colleges and coaching institutions will reopen, it will not be compulsory for students to attend physical classes. Online learning will continue for those who opt out. Those who choose offlineclasseswillhavetogetthe permission of their parents/ guardians. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Monday issued the standard operating procedure (SOP) to be followed by institutes which decidetoopen.Theschedulehasto be staggered to avoid crowding in classrooms and outside; class size has to be limited to 50 per cent of the total strength. Apart from standard precautions on sanitisation, masks and physical distancing, institutes have also been directed to maintain a ‘quarantine room’ on campus in case a student or teacher displays symptoms. In case of a double-shift system, the institutes will have to maintain a gap of at least one hour between the two batches of students. Further, students, teachersandemployeeslivingin containment zones will not be permitted to the institutes. Meanwhile, several private schools in the city said they would not re-open on Wednesday, and would first gauge parents' response, assess how many students would opt for offline classes, and formulate CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CITY MOST PVT SCHOOLS PUT OFF REOPENING, CITE LOGISTICAL ISSUES, EXAMS PAGE 3 PAGE 1 ANCHOR Russia, China, Pak in new regional structure, India calibrates stand Russian reminder, statements on Putin calls amplify urgency of new reality RAKESH SINHA NEW DELHI, AUGUST 30 CALIBRATING ITS response to overtures Sunday by Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, New Delhi is keenly aware of the power structure emerging in the region. Officials told The Indian Express that much before the Taliban takeover, India was being reminded by Russia of the need to come to terms with the shifting sands in Afghanistan. China made its stand public when Foreign Minister Wang Yi met a Taliban delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Tianjin on July 28. “The Afghan Taliban,” Wang said, “is an important political and military force… expected to play an important role in the country’s peace, reconciliation and reconstruction process.” On August 11, four days before the fall of Kabul, the ExtendedTroikaonAfghanistan, comprising Russia, China, Pakistan and the US, met in Qatar’s capital Doha. That India would not find a placeatthistablewasmadeamply clear by Zamir Kabulov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy on Afghanistan. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY SHOPPING ONLINE Amid criticism, Govt relook at draft rules for e-commerce THE EDITORIAL PAGE TALIBAN ANDNEW REALPOLITIK BY C RAJA MOHAN PAGE 8 WORLD SEVEN CHILDREN AMONG 10 KILLED IN U.S. DRONE STRIKE, SAYS FAMILY WHITE HOUSE: WE CAN EVACUATE ALL AMERICANS PAGE 10 Unhappiness over definitions and ‘overreach’ by consumer affairs dept PRANAV MUKUL NEW DELHI, AUGUST 30 DAY BEFORE DEADLINE The United States said its missile defence system intercepted rockets fired from cars towards Kabul’s international airport on Monday. Aamaj News Agency via Reuters Anti-conversion law 13-year-old Dalit girl from Delhi in process, deterrent raped, killed; landlord’s kin held needed, says Khattar Father says called cops after accused pushed to cremate her JIGNASA SINHA NEW DELHI, AUGUST 30 Manohar Lal Khattar in Chandigarh on Monday. Kamlesh Singh EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE CHANDIGARH, AUGUST 30 HARYANA CHIEF Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Monday that a law to target the increasingincidentsof forcedreligious conversion was “in process”. “Law is enacted to create a deterrent for people when a wrong thing starts getting into their behaviour. Such incidents havestartedtakingplaceinafew places in Haryana,” Khattar said in response to questions at a press conference he addressed at Chandigarh Press Club on completion of 2,500 days of his government. “As long as there were only one-two incidents, there was no CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CM DIFFERS WITH DEPUTY, BACKS KARNAL OFFICER A DAY after Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala promised action against IAS officer Ayush Sinha for ordering police to “break the heads” of farmer protesters, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Monday that while Sinha may have chosen his words badly, “strictness had to be ensured; law and order had to be maintained”. REPORT,PAGE5 A 13-YEAR-OLD Dalit girl from West Delhi was allegedly raped and killed by a relative of her landlord, according to the victim's parents and an FIR registered by police. The relative has been arrested and police said theyareinvestigatingthealleged involvement of the landlord and his wife in the case. According to the girl's father, the accused claimed that the girl SPORT had died due to illness and pressured him to cremate the body, until neighboursintervenedand got him to call the police. The post-mortem report revealed that the girl, who had suffered severe injuries on her face and private parts, had been raped. Speaking to The Indian Express, the victim's father, who isadailywagelabourer,saidthat last month, on the recommendation of the landlord who “was like family”, he had allowed his daughter to go with the arrested accused Praveen to work at his home in Gurgaon. “The landlord’s wife told me that her brother had a younger daughter and my daughter can play with her and stay with the family for some time. She took her on July 17,” the father stated in the FIR. Speaking to this newspaper, he said that around 3 pm on August23,hereceivedacallfrom thelandlord,sayinghisdaughter had died of food poisoning. Four hours later, Praveen, the landlord’s wife and two others CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW PANAJI, AUGUST 30 PAGE 14 Rulesinlast stagesof notification THE DRAFT e-commerce rules were announced on June 21, and invited comments from stakeholders by July 6. However, multiple contradictions flagged by the industry had prompted the Consumer Affairs Department to extend the date to July 21. Stakeholder views have been received, and the department is in the final stages of notifying the rules governing the sector. by the industry, the “broad definition”of ‘relatedparty’hasbeen flagged—asone“thatcanpotentially include all entities such as those involved in logistics, any joint ventures, etc.”, thereby vastlyexpandingtheremitof the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Goa rammed through land ownership Bill despite objections by Revenue, Law, Finance MAYURA JANWALKAR INDIA WINS GOLD IN JAVELIN, SHOOTING AT PARALYMPICS FACING A pushback from not only the industry but also some sections of the government, the Departmentof ConsumerAffairs is learnt to be revisiting some provisions pertaining to definitions such as ‘related party’ and ‘e-commerceentity’proposedin the draft e-commerce rules it published in June, multiple sources involved in the exercise have told The Indian Express. Themostsignificantcriticism from within the government is related to the perception of “overreach” by the Consumer Affairs Department — venturing into areas where other departments such as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Ministry of Electronics & InformationTechnology(MeitY) are already working. Several contradictions in the draft rules that have triggered confusion among sectoral players have also been flagged, includingsomeprovisionsthatrun contrary to the rules governing the sector issued earlier by the DPIIT, officials said. Among the concerns raised IN THE crucial hours before the Goa Legislative Assembly passed thecontroversialGoaBhumiputra AdhikariniBill,2021,theRevenue Minister who introduced it, Jennifer Monserrate, raised eight issues that required scrutiny and asked for its introduction in the next session. Revenue Secretary Sanjay Kumar advised against haste, even warned of “unseen repercussions”. The Bill accords the status of E AN XPRESS RTI APPLICATION bhumiputra (son of the soil) to persons living for at least 30 years in Goa. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told the House itwouldallowthe“moolGoenkar (original Goans)” the right to stakeclaimtoownershipof their house on land measuring up to 250 square meters. Pushed by Sawant, the Bill was introduced on July 29. The day’s session spilled over to July 30, and,accordingto documents obtained by The Indian Express under RTI, at 2.12 am that day, Revenue Secretary Sanjay Kumaradvised“cautionashaste can lead us to some unseen repercussions” in his file noting. But then it was passed in the Assembly in the evening of July 30 amid a walkout by the Opposition after being introduced in the early hours. In the previous two days, the state’s departments of law and finance,alsoraisedred-flags,the RTI documents revealed. Among the eight points requiring detailed examination, Monserrate said, was the interest of owners who had rented out their houses that would not be protected if the Bill was passed in its present form. “Governmentservantsstayingin quarters will claim right to quarters while staying in the said quarters,” she wrote. She raised the issue of regularisationof propertiesupto250 sq m, “whether it will include CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Memorial to a massacre: Stark Jallianwala passage gets a mural makeover DIVYA A & KAMALDEEP BRAR NEW DELHI, AMRITSAR, AUGUST 30 JALLIANWALA BAGH a century ago, the historian Kim A Wagner wrote in his 2019 book of the same name, was a right trapezoid about 200 yards long and 150 yards wide, “entirely enclosed by the backs of houses and brick walls”, the main entrance to which was “a long narrow passage, wide enough for peopletopassinbothdirections, though not so wide as to accommodate vehicles”. From the time schoolchildren first learn about the massacre that took place at the Bagh on Baisakhi day, 1919, they are told about this lane — by blocking which the troops of Gen REH Dyercutoff escapeforthecrowd assembled inside, and mowed down hundreds at practically pointblank range. On Saturday, when Prime MinisterNarendraModiinaugurated the revamped Jallianwala Bagh,thenarrowlanewithstark brickwallshadtransformedinto something unrecognisable — a tunnelpartiallyclosedtothesky, complete with a new floor, and with the walls on either side Rana Simranjit Singh The passage leading to the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar as it was earlier (left) and after renovation crowded with a shiny mural of dozens of human figures, symbolising the common people whofelltoDyer'sbulletsthatday. “Devastated to hear that Jallianwala Bagh...has been revamped—whichmeansthatthe last traces of the event have effectively been erased,” Wagner posted on Twitter on Saturday. He called it a “part of the general Disneyfication of the old city of Amritsar”. Wagner's tweet set off a stormof outragefromhistorians, cultureaficionados,andordinary tourists who had visited Jallianwala Bagh before it was shut for renovation in 2019. British Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill tweeted: “Our history being erased. Why?” There was the other view as well. BJP MP Shwait Malik, who isalsoatrusteeof theJallianwala Bagh Trust, argued: “These sculptures in the lane will make visitors conscious of those who walked in on that day... Earlier, people walked this narrow lane without knowing its history, nowtheywillwalkwithhistory.” A senior official of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) told The Indian Express that the project was executed entirely by the Union Ministry of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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