DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2022, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 20 PAGES `7.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 USED SMOKESCREEN OF ALLEGED PEACEFUL POLITICAL MOVEMENT: COURT NIA court gives life term to Yasin Malik: his crimes meant to strike idea of India Court rejects NIA plea for death; says crime used foreign powers, terrorists Stadium is emptied, athletes told to leave so that IAS officer can walk with dog ANDREW AMSAN NEW DELHI, MAY 25 OVERTHEpastfewmonths,athletes and coaches at the Delhi government-run Thyagraj Stadiumhavebeencomplaining aboutbeingforcedtowraptraining earlier than usual, by 7 pm. Thereason,accordingtothem,is this: Delhi's Principal Secretary (Revenue) Sanjeev Khirwar walkshisdogatthefacilityabout half-an-hour later. “We used to train till 8-8.30 pm under lights earlier. But now, we are askedtoleavetheground by 7 pm so that the officer can walk his dog on the ground. Our trainingand practiceroutinehas been disrupted,” said a coach. When contacted, Khirwar, a 1994-batchIASofficer,described the allegation as “absolutely incorrect”. He accepted that he “sometimes” takes his pet for a walk at the facility but denied thatitdisruptedthepracticerou- tine of athletes. The Indian Express visited the stadium on three evenings over the past seven days and saw the stadium guards walking towards thetrackataround6.30pm,blowingwhistlesandensuringthatthe arena was cleared by 7 pm. Built for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the centrally located sporting complex is a multi-discipline facility that attracts national and state athletes, and footballers. Stadium administrator Ajit Chaudhary told The Indian Expressthattheofficialtimingin the evening is 4-6 pm but “consideringtheheat”theyallowathletes to train until 7 pm. Chaudhary, however, did not share any official order specifying the timing. He said he wasn’t awareof anygovernmentofficial using the facilities after 7 pm. “We have to close by 7 pm. You can find the government office timings anywhere. This CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ANAND MOHAN J NEW DELHI, MAY 25 STATING THAT his crimes “intended to strike at the heart of the idea of India” and were “committed with the assistance of foreign powers and designated terrorists”, an NIA court in DelhionWednesdayhandedlife term to Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik in a case relatedtoterrorismandsecessionist activities in 2016-17. Additional Sessions Judge Parveen Singh awarded two life sentences and varying jail terms, which will all run concurrently, and a fine of Rs 10,65,000 for of- BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY NEW DELHI, MAY 25 A DEEP learning crisis has set in duringtheCovidpandemic,with alargescaleCentralGovernment survey capturing a fall of up to ninepercentagepointsbetween 2017 and 2021 in the perform- In 2020, Covid 2nd major killer in seven states: RGI’s certified death data HARIKISHAN SHARMA NEW DELHI, MAY 25 THE COVID-19 disease claimed 1,60,618 deaths in 2020 and accountedfor8.9percentof thetotal 18.11 lakh medically certified deaths in the country, according to the Report on Medical Certification of Cause of Death2020 released by the Office of the Registrar General of India (RGI) on Wednesday. While Covid-19 was the fourthbiggestcauseof medically certified deaths nationally in 2020, it was the second biggest in seven states — Maharashtra (17.7percent),Manipur(15.7per cent), Uttar Pradesh (15 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (13.5 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (12 per cent), Punjab (11.9 per cent) and Jharkhand (7.6 per cent). The report’s medically certified Covid death figure of 1,60,618 in 2020 is higher than the officially declared Union Health Ministry’s Covid death count of 1,48,994 in 2020. Since the beginning of the pandemic tillMay25,2022,Indiaregistered 5,24,507Coviddeaths,asperthe Union Health Ministry data. Forpurposesof theReporton Medical Certification of Cause of Death-2020, a separate group Covid-19wasaddedfordatacollectionafterthepandemicbroke out in 2020. In the report, Covid deaths have been reported undertwosub-heads:oneinwhich the code ‘virus identified’ is assigned to a “disease diagnosis of COVID 19 confirmed by laboratory testing”; and the second in which the code ‘virus not identified’ is assigned to “a clinical or CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 anceof studentsinsubjectsrangingfrommathstosocialsciences. The dip has happened across subjects,andgrades,showstheresultsoftheNationalAchievement Survey (NAS), which had a sample size of 34 lakh students in classes III, V, VIII and X. Thesurveywascarriedoutin November 2021 across states Militants kill J&K TV artist, her 10-yr-old nephew is injured PAGE 11 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Separatist leader Yasin Malik at Patiala House court in Delhi after his sentencing on Wednesday. Prem Nath Pandey G23 unravels as Kapil Sibal quits Congress, gets SP support for a Rajya Sabha ticket Says he resigned on May 16; files for Rajya Sabha seat as Independent MANOJ C G & ASAD REHMAN NEW DELHI, LUCKNOW, MAY 25 THE FAULTLINES BEHIND ANDHRA DIST RENAMING ROW P 9 TWO MONTHS after he openly asked the Gandhis to step aside from leadership roles, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal announced his resignation from the party and filed his nomina- Across class, subject, Covid hits school scores SOURAV ROY BARMAN PAGE 16 ‘EVIDENCE SKETCHY’, HC GIVES PDP’S PARA BAIL IN TERROR CASE fences under the stringent antiterror law — Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) — and the IPC. Rejecting the National Investigation Agency’s plea for death penalty, the court said the case did not fall in the rarest of rare category. The NIA has accusedMalik,leaderof theJammu and Union Territories among students of 1.18 lakh schools in 720 districts from both rural and urban areas. NAS 2021 also found that as many as 24 per cent of the students surveyed did not have access to digital devices at home, 38 per cent said they faced difficultycarryingoutlearningactiv- ities at home during the pandemic, while 80 per cent said they learn better at school with the help of peers. “The objective of NAS 2021 is to evaluate children’s progress andlearningcompetenciesasan indicator of the efficiency of the education system, so as to take CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AMERICAN NIGHTMARE 19 KIDS SHOT DEAD IN TEXAS SCHOOL EXPRESS NETWORK tion for the Rajya Sabha as an Independent candidate supported by the Samajwadi Party (SP). The resignation of Sibal, one of the most trenchant critics of theGandhisinthelasttwoyears, may also cripple the G23, the ginger group of senior leaders who had sent a letter to party CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E E X P L A I NE D The IAS officer at Thyagraj stadium in Delhi. Abhinav Saha THE WORLD Sibal with SP chief Akhilesh in Lucknow. Vishal Srivastav FUTURE PLANS ARE TO UNITE OPP AGAINST BJP: SIBAL PAGE 6 ● 3rd exit in afortnight KAPIL SIBAL is the third leader to leave in a fortnight after Hardik Patel and Sunil Jakhar. It marks the disintegration of the G23, of which he was the pivot and the least willing to compromise. Amreen Bhat worked in local TV shows EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE SRINAGAR, MAY 25 A TELEVISION artist, identified as Amreen Bhat, was killed and her 10-year-old nephew injured when suspected militants barged into her house and opened fire, in Budgam district of central Kashmir on Wednesday evening. PolicesaidBhatworkedinlocal television shows. “At around 1955 hours, terrorists fired upon one lady Amreen Bhat D/O Khazir Mohd Bhat R/O Hushroo Chadoora at her home. She was shifted to hospital in injured condition 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.