eye THE SUNDAY EXPRESS MAGAZINE BIG CITY BLUES KOLKATA,LATECITY DECEMBER5,2021 What is it about M Mukundan’s fiction that made him a cult figure? 14PAGES,`5.00 (EX-KOLKATA `7, `12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ‘Stars aligned for me in Mumbai’ In city of his birth, Ajaz Patel scalps 10/10, only third in Test history MUMBAI, DECEMBER 4 Two more cases of Omicron, both mild, not fully vaccinated SOHINI GHOSH & RUPSA CHAKRABORTY WHEN ANIL Kumble took all 10 wicketsinaninningsintheDelhi Test against Pakistan in 1999, Ajaz Patel was 10 years old. That may or may not have been propitious, but on a day the Mumbai-bornNewZealandleftarm spinner became the first man since Kumble, and only the third since England’s Jim Laker in 1956, to achieve the magical mark at Wankhede Stadium, it was hard not to look at such happy statistical quirks. On Saturday morning, the air of expectation kept building at Wankhede as Ajaz’s wicket tally kept getting tantalisingly closer to double digits. When Jayant Yadav swung him straight to long-off tobecomehisninthvictim, the tenth suddenly seemed almost inevitable with four balls to go in Ajaz’s 48th over. And as Mohammed Siraj mishit the fifth ball of the over highintheair,theroaracrossthe ground told you that fans AHMEDABAD, MUMBAI, DECEMBER 4 TWO MORE cases of Omicron were reported in the country on Saturday,oneeachfromGujarat’s Jamnagar and Mumbai, taking the total to four. Both have mild symptomsof Covid.Thefirsttwo cases of Omicron were reported from Bengaluru, of whom one flew out of the country. One of those declared positive for the Omicron variant on Saturday is a 33-year-old who travelled to India from Cape Town in South Africa, arriving in Mumbai on November 24, via Dubai and Delhi. He is the first patient with the Omicron vari- ant in Maharashtra. The second Omicron patient is a 72-year-old NRIwhoflewinfromZimbabwe onNovember28,andisGujarat’s first case. While the 33-year-old has not taken any vaccination, the 72-year-old received only one dose of Sinovac, a vaccine developed in China. Originally natives of Jamnagar, the 72-year-old flew and his wife were tested on arrival and their positive reports came on November 30. While theresultof genomesequencing of the man’s sample from NIV Pune is awaited, said Dr S S Chatterjee, the nodal officer for Covid in Jamnagar, the Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre to which the sample was sent CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Govt flags rise in 30 dists; 2 doses to 50% beneficiaries Ajaz Patel celebrates the wicket of Mohammed Siraj during the second Test match between India and New Zealand at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Saturday. PTI SKM forms 5-member panel, Tikait says Govt headed towards a pact Shah: BJP may tie up with Amarinder, former Akali leader Dhindsa A key protective tool KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 4 HALF OF the eligible population in the country is now fully vaccinated,withover1.03croresbeing administered on Saturday. Around 21.38 crore unutilised doses are still available with states. More than 10 lakh vaccination doses were administered Saturday in Bihar (15.33 lakh), Tamil Nadu (14.84 lakh), Rajasthan (10.8 lakh) and Uttar Pradesh (10.24 lakh), amidst the government’s push for vaccination in the light of the new Omicron variant. In total, 85% of the eligible adult population has now re- Relief for Bengal, cyclone to weaken CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INDIA BOWL OUT NZ FOR 62, TAKE 332-RUN LEAD PAGE 14 CONTACTS OF MUMBAI CASE NEGATIVE Mumbai33-yr-oldcamefromCapeTown; 72-yr-oldinJamnagarfromZimbabwe ABHISHEK PUROHIT PAGES 10,11,12 WITH THE emergence of the new variant of concern, vaccination is a key tool. While the efficacy of the vaccines against Omicron is still being scientifically examined, it is significant that half of India’s population has a certain level of protection against a severe form of Covid. ceived the first dose, while 50.35% are fully vaccinated. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NETWORK EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, DECEMBER 4 WITH CYCLONE Jawad likely to weaken into a deep depression, coastal districts in West Bengal heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday even as the government agencies continued with theirrescueandrelief operations. The Indian Meteorological CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 JOURNALIST VINOD DUA DIES AT 67 KolkatareceivedlightranfallonSaturday. Partha Paul PAGE 5 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, CHANDIGARH, DECEMBER 4 SUNDAY STORY SKM leaders at the Singhu border on Saturday. Gajendra Yadav PAGE 6 PAVNEET SINGH CHADHA GURGAON, DECEMBER 4 TRENDING: #Parag Agrawal THE SAMYUKT Kisan Morcha, spearheading the farmer protests at the borders of Delhi for more than a year now, has formed a five-member committeewhichwilldiscussthe“pending demands” with the Central governmentfollowingtherepeal of the three farms laws. TheSKMsaiditunanimously decided at its meeting Saturday that the farm agitation will continue until formal and satisfactoryresponsesarereceivedfrom the Centre. BKUleaderRakeshTikaittold mediapersonsthat thecommitteewasa“medium”tohaveadialogue with the government. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THEBJPmaygointoPunjabelections in alliance with the parties of Amarinder Singh and former Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said here Saturday. “We are talking to Captain (Amarinder Singh) saab as well as Dhindsa saab. It is possible we will have an alliance,” Shah said at the HT Summit. While Amarinder has been talking about such an alliance, this is the first indication from the BJP side of a tie-up. Earlier the BJP refused to say anything, and in fact asserted repeatedly that it would contest all the 117 seats in the state. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Hillary Clinton raised chopper deal with Govt, Russians pushed India too far: accused Michel RITU SARIN NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 4 IN APRIL 2019, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a charge sheet on British arms agent Christian Michel’s alleged role in the AgustaWestland case -- and his statements during custodial interrogation. The chargesheet deals mostly with tranches totalling Euro 42 million allegedly paid by AgustaWestland to Michel and his dispatches alluding to alleged political pay-offs. But the complete set of cus- todial statements, accessed by The Indian Express, reveals much more -- from what Michel claimswasaninterventionbyUS Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to purported discussions in the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). On Saturday, The Indian Express reported that Michel claimedtohavelobbiedwiththe then UPA Government when, as he describes it, the deal was “on theedgeof thecliff”beforeitwas sealed in 2010. Saturday also marked three years since Michel was extradited from Dubai. MIDDLEMAN SPEAKS AN EXPRESS SERIES PART -2 In dispatches to AgustaWestlandaboutlast-ditch efforts made to nix the deal by competitors, mainly US aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky and the Russians, Michel writes about howClintonpurportedlytookup the VVIP chopper deal with then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, leading to a hectic round of lobbying and damage control. The first reference to this comes in a dispatch dated December 4, 2008: “Last week, Sikorsky sent a letter to the Secretary stating that AgustaWestland had been shown undue favoritism and financial compliances have been overlooked. The letter threatened legal action. In short, he (the Sikorsky official) accused CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘No change if we got a few days more’: How a Bihar POCSO court tried rape in one day PAGE 1 ANCHOR SANTOSH SINGH PATNA, DECEMBER 4 NO ONE has visited Dilip Kumar Yadav, 30, in the two months since he was sentenced to “life till his last breath” for the rape of an eight-year-old. The convic- tion, on October 4, by a POCSO court is now being called by the Bihar government as “the shortesttrialinthecountry”underthe Act – lasting one day. Defence counsel Vinit Prakash, appointed by the government after no one from Yadav's side came forward, says: "I met Dilip twice in jail. He said when his family is not supporting him, he should be left to his fate. Yet, I tried my best to de- NCRB ON POCSO CASES Cases Conviction rate Bihar All-India 2017 1,356 49.3% 33.2% 2018 2,094 71.2% 34.2% 2019 1,540 67.7% 34.9% fend him.” Yadav was convicted for rapingthechild,astudentof Class2, on July 22. The FIR was lodged a day later. Yadav was arrested withinaweek.OnSeptember18, a local women’s police station submitted a chargesheet saying police had enough “corroborative”evidence,includingmedical reportprovingthegirlwasraped and her testimony identifying CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Kolkata
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