FRIDAY Facebook has banned the lone BJP MLA from Telangana from its platform and Instagram on charges of hate speech 04 SEPTEMBER, 2020 morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard PM twitter.com/TheMornStandard instagram.com/themorningstandard FB RESPONDS TO CONG CHARGES MODI’S PERSONAL WEBSITE’S Responding to concerns raised by the TWITTER ACCOUNT HACKED, opposition Congress, Facebook said it has taken the party’s allegation of bias very RESTORED LATER RICE SCAM EOW TAKES OVER PROBE IN MP seriously and will ensure it remains nonpartisan. The social media giant added it denounces hate and bigotry in all forms. Earlier, the Congress had accused Facebook of being soft on members of the ruling BJP while applying its hate-speech rules | P7 Over 4,700 MT of rice found sub-standard PAGE 8 FACEBOOK SAYS IT’S NEUTRAL, BANS BJP MLA RAJA SINGH A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 Relief to industry ‘LAC hostility can be handled in suitable ways’ as SC bars NPA tag till further orders M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi Bank accounts not declared NPA as on Aug 31 to remain so for now; Sitharaman directs lenders to roll out resolution plan by Sept 15 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi ‘Covid impact not same for all sectors’ THE Supreme Court on Thursday said standard accounts that have not been declared nonperforming assets as on August 31, shall not be made NPAs till further orders. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan passed the interim order after hearing various stakeholders on a batch of petitions seeking interest waiver on loan moratorium granted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The court will continue hearing the case on September 10. While arguing whether banks should charge interest on moratorium period, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court, “The idea of the moratorium was to defer repayment to ease the burden caused by Covid and lockdown so that business can manage working capital. The idea was not to waive off interest. The effort is that those who are affected by Covid and facing distress get the benefit and those who are defaulters are not able to take benefit.” Mehta informed the bench an expert committee will come up with sector-specific guidelines on September 6 to ease stress caused by the pandemic. However, the bench said, “Question is about the demands of compound interest in the meantime. Moratorium and penal interest cannot go together. RBI will have to clarify .” Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Indian Banks’ Association, said, “Common man’s problems are different from those of corporates. Individual and industrial problems need to be addressed differently .” Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday asked bankers to roll out the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told SC the Covid impact has been good on pharma and IT sectors while it has been bad for others. Moratorium offers to defer repayment so that business can manage working capital. “The idea was not to waive interest,” he added loan restructuring framework by September 15. She also told banks to extend all possible support to MSMEs. Sitharaman met the heads of scheduled commercial banks and non-banking financial institutions afte the moratorium for loans got over on August 31. “The meeting was held to review the preparedness for implementation of the loans resolution framework for Covid-19 related stress. The minister also sought to allay the concerns of banks about NPAs and restructuring,” a person privy to the meeting told TNIE. “During her interaction, the finance minister focused on lenders immediately putting in place a board-approved policy for resolution, identifying eligible borrowers, and reaching out to them. Quick implementation of a sustained resolution plan by lenders for the revival of every viable business,” the finance ministry stated. Sitharaman added that after the finalisation of the resolution scheme, banks must conduct a media campaign to create awareness about it. The finance minister also advised the lenders that Covid-19 related distress must not impact the lenders’ assessment of their creditworthiness. AMID fresh inputs on the Chinese Army strengthening its deployment on the southern bank of the Pangong Tso, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Thursday said the Indian armed forces are well placed to handle the aggression in “best suitable ways”. “Of late, India has been seeing some aggressive actions by China but we are capable of handling these in the best suitable ways,” Gen Rawat said while speaking at the third annual leadership summit of the US-India strategic partnership forum. The day also saw Army Chief General M M Naravane visiting Ladakh to review operational preparedness in the region. He was briefed by the Army Commander of the Northern Com- D E L H I COV I D WAT C H An IAF Chinook helicopter flies in Leh on Thursday amid India-China tensions | PTI mand and the Corps Commander of the formation that is dealing with the stand-off in east Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control. He also visited forward positions. The Army Chief ’s visit came a day after Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria flew to the Eastern Air Command, which is tasked with defending India’s east, including the northern borders of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. The Air Chief, too, visited frontline air bases. Gen Bipin Rawat As for the situation on the ground at the recent pressure points in Ladakh, a senior officer said, “We have observed Authors of book on Delhi riots file complaint against publisher, others EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi STATUS OF CASES Today Recovered Death Active cases Positive cases Cumulative 1,528 19 -2,737 1,60,114 4,500 17,692 1,82,306 COVID PATIENT MANAGEMENT Total beds Occupied Vacant Hospital 14,140 4,477 9,663 Care centre 10,143 963 6,175* health centre 601 380 221 HOME ISOLATION : 9,135 *3,005 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and bubble flights TESTING STATUS 8,322 24,512 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted Rapid antigen test conducted in city 16,69,352 87,861 Total tests done so far Tests per million Containment zones as on date: 922 Calls received in control room: 188 Total number of calls dispatched to ambulances: 1,332 Total number of calls refused : Nil Source: Delhi health bulletin | Data for Sept. 03 THE authors of the book ‘Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story’ filed a complaint of cheating against Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt Ltd, two news portals and some others on Thursday . The complaint was filed under Sections 403, 405, 406, 409, 415, 420, 425, 426 of IPC for criminal breach of trust, cheating, mischief and misappropriation of property It al. leged that the publisher “deliberately, willfully with dishonest intentions expunged the work, effort and skill” of the author. The complaint names news portals The Quint and Newslaundry, academic Nandini Sundar, authors Aatish Taseer, William Dalrymple, Meena Kandasamy, journalist Arfa Khanum Sherwani and activist Saket Gokhale, apart from the publisher of the book. One of the authors and main complainant, Monika Arora, later took to Twitter saying Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava had assured Book saw light of day After Bloomsbury Publishing India announced withdrawing the book, Garuda Prakashan had stepped in to publish it. Gardua claims itself to be “a platform where stories that bring forth the perspective and narrative of the Indian civilisation can be told”. “strict action”. Bloomsbury had withdrawn the book recently after a controversy erupted over its online launch as the authors had invited as ‘guest of honour’ BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who had allegedly has played a role in inciting violence through his speech in northeast Delhi a g ainst anti-Citiz enship Amendment Act protesters. The riots broke out a day after his speech. The complaint accused Sundar and the news portals of illegally accessing a PDF version of the book. It alleged that those named engaged in a “venomous campaign” on so- cial media “to kill the book by pressurising, intimidating, bullying and blackmailing the publisher”. After details of the complaint emerged, Kandasamy tweeted, “We will not allow literature and publishing to platform hate.” Calling the complaint “a joke”, Gokhale said, “This is an attempt at intimidation by BJP-linked authors using Central agencies bcoz we spoke against their vile book full of lies & minority-blaming on the Delhi Pogrom.” He said he would file a complaint with the Maharashtra Police on the contents of the book. India best global investment destination, says PM MODI’S SECURITY UP P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday sought to woo global investors saying India has become a leading attraction for investments. Modi said all initiatives of his government have been taken keeping in mind the best global practices. “India is becoming one of leading attractions for FDI. The world believes in us. This year, when there is a drop in foreign investments across the world, we received $20 billion foreign funds,” he said in his keynote address at the 3rd Annual Leadership Summit of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum. Noting that ease of living is as important as ease of doing busi- ‘Covid hasn’t dented people’s aspiration’ Noting that the pandemic has not affected people’s aspiration, Modi said India was among the first to advocate use of masks and social distancing. New health infra in a record time helped to boost recovery rate, he added. ness for his government, Modi said India has an aspirational population that has decided to take the country to new heights. “The pandemic has tested our resilience, our economic and health systems, but India is committed to democracy and diversity he said. ,” Spelling out what the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign means to India, Modi said it ensures local with global. “Over 1.3 billion people have embarked to make Atmanirbhar Bharat. Despite our local needs, we did not shy away from our global responsibilities. A self-reliant In- dia will ensure a better world. The road ahead is full of opportunities,” he said. The PM’s address assumes significance as it comes soon after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s participation in the summit and weeks after cochairmen of the India caucus of the US Congress wrote to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging him to expedite Indo-US mini trade deal. “India presents opportunities of a young, diverse, and rules based economy but the persistent issues that matter to investors also loom large namely timely judicial recourse, policy stability, and supporting infrastructure,” said Kriti Upadhyay , Research Associate at the USbased CSIS Wadhwani Chair. AFTER THREAT EMAIL EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE security of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been enhanced following an email that issued a direct threat to him, stating “Kill Narendra Modi”. The National Investigation Agency, which received the email, has roped in the MultiAgency Coordination Centre (MAC), which has senior representatives from Research and Analysis Wing, Intelligence Bureau and the Defence Intelligence Agency to investi, gate the matter. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs is treating the matter “seriously” and has asked the Special Protection Group (SPG), which is responsible for the protection of Prime Minister Modi, to remain on high alert, according to sources in the security establishment. The email dated August 8 was received from the ‘email@example.com’ id, the sources said. The NIA chose not do any inquiry/ verification on its own as it thought it best to pass it on to the apex intelligence assessment body sources said. , Sources in the security establishment say that the origin of the e-mail has being tracked to a location outside India. Don’t need your oximeters, stay out of Punjab: Amarinder tells Kejriwal H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh PUNJAB CM Amarinder Singh on Thursday warned his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal against trying to exploit the Covid-19 crisis to instigate people in Punjab’s villages and advised him to instead focus on managing the pandemic in the national capital. The blunt missive came a day after Kejriwal asked his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers to travel across Punjab with an oximeter to measure oxygen levels in the blood and identify potential Covid-19 patients. “We don’t need your oximeters. We just need you to rein in your workers in Punjab, where they are trying to incite my people into not going to hospitals to get tested and treated for Covid,” Amarinder said. Kejriwal’s call to party workers raised the hackles of the Punjab government that is worried about attacks on health workers in rural areas by people resisting COVID-19 testing following circulation of fake news and provocative videos. At least one such fake video was found to have originated in a foreign country, most likely Pakistan, and circulated by an AAP worker who has now been arrested by Punjab Police. Amrinder Singh, 31, a resident of Mishriwala village of Ferozepur, has been booked under IT Act, 54 DMA and 153 IPC for circulation of false and misleading posts on social media platforms and provoking people not to cooperate with health authorities. Singh was an aspirant f o r a t i c ke t f r o m Ferozepur seat in the Assembly polls. He is being questioned to ascertain who instigated him to circulate the outrageous post of a body to mislead the people into believing that organs of deceased patients were being removed. “Such rumours are provoking a section of the community to resist proper medical care which needs to be provided to all Covid affected citizens, which is a clear case of a deadly criminal conspiracy against the people of the state,” said Rumours are provoking a section of the community to resist proper medical care which needs to be provided to all Covid-hit citizens Amarinder Singh, Punjab CM Amarinder. There were enough indications of a massive plot by elements inimical to the interests of Punjab, he added. Amarinder said Kejriwal’s announcement in the midst of such dangerous rumour mongering raised serious questions on the AAP’s role in the conspiracy to undermine the Punjab government’s efforts to contain the pandemic. He warned the Delhi CM against playing into the hands of anti-India forces who are trying to use the pandemic to foment fresh trouble in the state. that Chinese Army is beefing up its deployments in the Chushul Sector.” They are accompanied by armoured, artillery and engineers too, he added. This happened immediately after the Indian Army’s tactical rearrangement of its deployments on the heights in the Chushul Sector and repositioning its troops on ridges around Finger 4 in the north bank of Pangong Tso on August 30. The redeployments have enabled the Army to have a deeper visual observation of the activity in Chushul on the Chinese side from its side of the LAC. Amid the heightened activity , India and Russia finalised a major deal to manufacture AK-47 203 rifles in India during Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s ongoing visit to Moscow. P7 CHEERS Bars to serve liquor from Sept 9, strict rules in place EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Delhi government on Thursday issued a directive to open bars to serve liquor on a trial basis from September 9. Approving the proposal of the Delhi government, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal gave the green light to allow opening of bars and pubs in the national capital. The excise department in the past gave permission to serve liquor in hotel rooms after Unlock-4 guidelines were issued last month. As per the direction, bars will be open on a trial basis from September 9 to the month-end, entry will be allowed with face masks and only half of the seating capacity would be permitted inside. Bars and pubs falling in a containment zone will remain closed. For others, the owners will have to ensure arrangements for mandatory hand hygiene and thermal screening at the entrance. The owners will have to create awareness among customers by putting up posters inside their premises, says the government directive. Violators of the SOPs will be liable for action such as cancellation of the excise licence and prosecution proceedings against the manager of an establishment. “We welcome it. This will help in generating more employment. Bartenders and other support staff will get their livelihood back now. This will also help the government to generate more excise revenue to meet public expenses. It also gives a reason for our customers to come and have a more relaxed experience with their favourite drink on the table along with their favourite food,” said Amit Bagga, cofounder of restaurant ‘Daryaganj’. HOPE WIDELY USED STEROIDS FIGHT COVID INFECTION WHO issues new treatment guidelines, recommending steroids to treat severely and critically-ill patients, but cautioned against its use in mild cases | P7
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