MONDAY ARMY CHIEF GENERAL NARAVANE TO VISIT NEPAL FROM NOV 4-6 OCTOBER, 2020 It is the first high-level visit from India to Kathmandu since the ties came under strain after Nepal came up with a new political map in May 26 epaper.morningstandard.in $3.21 bn facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard was the value of bilateral trade in Nepalese fiscal 2009-10 CAPITAL TALES COVID DAMPENS FESTIVE SPIRIT STRATEGIC, OLD TIES Shopkeepers lament that the festive sales have nearly halved compared to the past A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 5 NEW DELHI Inaugurates road link in Sikkim The Defence Minister inaugurated a 19.85-km alternate road alignment on the National Highway-310 in Sikkim, which serves as an important link to bolster defence preparedness in the Nathu La Sector. The alignment was necessitated after the earlier one suffered extensive damage due to sinking and other natural hazards in the region. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inspects a weapon at the Sukna Army Camp on Sunday | PTI Ready for peace, but will not yield an inch: Rajnath J8.00 PAGES 12 Kathmandu is important for New Delhi as the ties go beyond merely borders. The two neighbours share a close bond often hailed as the age-old ‘Roti-Beti’ relationship. Biden slams Trump’s filthy air diatribe E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has lashed out at President Donald Trump over his comments referring to India’s air as filthy and said he and his running mate Kamala Harris deeply valued the USIndia friendship. “President Trump called India ‘filthy’. It’s not how you talk about friends, and it’s not how you solve global challenges like climate change. @KamalaHarris and I deeply value our partnership and will put respect back at the centre of our foreign policy,” Biden tweeted as he retweeted his op-ed in the ethnic India West weekly . “The Obama-Biden years were some of the best we’ve ever had between our two countries. A Biden-Harris administration will build on that great progress and do even more. We can and should be natural allies,” Biden wrote. “That’s why if elected President, I will continue what I have long called for: The US and India will stand together against terrorism in all its forms and work together to promote a region of peace and stability where neither China nor any other country threatens its neighbours.” During the second presidential debate, Trump, while defending his decision to walk out of the Paris Accord of 2017, appeared to blame India, China and Russia for climate change. “Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia. Look at India. The air is filthy I walked out of . the Paris Accord as we had to take out trillions of dollars and we were treated very unfairly,” he said. Trump’s comments came days ahead of the visit of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to Delhi. Both Trump and Biden have been reaching out to the Indian-American community ahead of the presidential elections. In a bid to woo the diaspora vot- Three cops suspended as auto driver dies in custody Sets the tone for army commanders’ conference beginning today MAYANK SINGH & PRANAB MONDAL @ New Delhi/Kolkata DEFENCE Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday asserted that Indian jawans would never forsake even an inch of the country’s land while calling for an end to the tense standoff along the Line Actual of Control (LAC) with China. “We want an end to the border tension with China. We want to restore peace. This is our objective. But at times, some nefarious incidents keep happening. But Indian soldiers will not allow even an inch of the country to be taken away by anyone under any circumstance,’’ Singh said after performing Shastra Puja at the Sukna-based headquarters of the Army’s 33 Corps in Bengal on the occasion of Dussehra. Indian and Chinese militaries are in a standoff position all along the LAC in Ladakh since May . Singh’s statement set the tone for his meeting with army commanders, who will attend a biannual conference in Delhi on Monday for the first time after the clashes in Galwan Valley in June. The Defence minister and the top Indian military brass will be attending the Army Commanders’ Conference, an apex level biannual event, in New Delhi. The four-day conference will see army commanders formulate important policy decisions. The first day will be spent deliberating on matters relate d t o H u m a n Re s o u r c e Management. “A major portion of the deliberations will be to assess the situation along the Line of Actual Control and the operational deployments in the Eastern Ladakh,” said a senior Army officer. We want an end to the border tension with China. We want to restore peace. This is our objective. ... Indian soldiers will not allow even an inch of the country to be taken away Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi END OF EVIL People look on as an effigy of demon king Ravana burns during Dussehra in New Delhi on Sunday | PARVEEN NEGI Keep vocal for local Among top 10 states, Bengal yet to hit Covid peak in mind during festival E PRESS MAPS X Pandemic peak in 10 worst affected states shopping, says Modi R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi local’ resolve in their mind and give priority to local prodPRIME Minister Narendra ucts while shopping for festiModi on Sunday said people vals. Emphasising that the need to keep health guidelines world is taking note of India’s in mind while celebrating fes- products, he talked about the tivals during the Covid-19 popularity of Khadi masks times. Wishing people on that have become popular Dussehra and other upcom- during Covid-19 times. ing festivals during his Modi also made a strong monthly radio address Mann pitch for unity in the country ki Baat, Modi said, while remembering “Today all of you are , Sardar Patel, whose carrying on with imbirth anniversary mense patience, celewill be marked on Ocbrating the festival tober 31. “Unity is World is with restraint and p o w e r, u n i t y i s becoming a fan hence, in our ongoing strength, unity is of our local fight, our victory too progress, unity is emproducts like is assured.” powerment, united Khadi. It is not He also appealed to we will scale new only nature friendly fabric the people to rememheights,” the Prime but also ber the sacrifice and Minister said. becoming a service of soldiers, “There have also fashion who dutifully guard been forces which statement our borders while we continuously try to celebrate the festivals sow the seeds of susNarendra Modi, Prime Minister at our homes. “We picion in our minds, have to light a diya and try to divide the (lamp) at home in honcountry The country . our of these brave sons and has given a befitting reply to daughters of Mother India. I these ill-intentions every would also like to assure our time,”he asserted. brave soldiers that despite they Modi exhorted people to being away at the borders, the constantly try and bring out entire country is with them, through their creativity the wishing well for them.” beautiful colours of ‘Ek The PM also appealed to the Bharat-Shrestha Bharat’ even people to keep the ‘vocal for in the smallest of tasks. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi TESTING STATUS 14,627 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted 43,64,408 Total tests done so far 2,29,705 Tests per million DELHI COVID WATCH STATUS OF CASES Today Cumulative RECOVERED 3,826 3,23,654 DEATH 33 6,258 ACTIVE CASES -26,744 TOTAL +VE CASES 4,136 3,56,656 PATIENT MANAGEMENT Total beds Occupied Vacant HOSPITAL 15,756 5,283 10,473 CARE CENTRE 7,887 899 6397* HEALTH CENTRE 527 311 216 16,115 HOME ISOLATION *591 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights Source: Delhi health bulletin | October 25 Punjab Sep 19 22,399 4,072 630 Gujarat Oct 4 16,735 3,670 3,062 MP Sep 23 22,811 2,842 804 ers, Biden recalled his Diwali reception at the vice-president’s residence in 2016. “Here I was, an Irish Catholic Vice President, opening my home for a holiday traditionally observed by Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains, and that night joined by Muslims, Christians and Indian-Americans of various backgrounds representing the diversity of the diaspora. In the shadow of a devastating and dark election, we gathered together for the festival of lights and new beginnings,” he wrote. “The truth is, President Trump doesn’t share our values. As a result, today’s America doesn’t feel like the America of our dreams.” Delhi Sep 18 32,250 6,163 895 UP Sep 17 68,235 6,790 4,571 West Bengal (yet to peak) Oct 22 36,064 6,308 9,028 Maharashtra Sep 17 3,02,136 42,831 29,367 Andhra Pradesh Sep 2 1,03,076 6,524 2,915 Karnataka Oct 10 1,21,536 10,770 26,368 Tamil Nadu July 30 57,959 10,825 1,675 Peaking date Active cases (on peak day) Deaths (Total) Projected cases in Dec (Data as on Oct 23, 2020) Active cases set to fall Active cases may fall below 1,000 for Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab by the end of December. (Source: National Supermodel for Covid-19 by the Department of Science and Technology) THE Covid-19 pandemic is yet to peak in West Bengal, Delhi peaked twice in a span of 20 days while Tamil Nadu bucked the trend of cases not declining for a long time after peaking in July-end. These are some of the statewise findings of a research conducted by a committee of the Department of Science and Technology to study Covid-19’s progression. The committee came to the conclusion that the disease in India had peaked last month itself. A majority among the top 10 worst Covid-19 affected states in the country saw the pandemic peak in mid-September or early October, except West Bengal. Active cases are expected to fall below 1,000 for three of these states by December-end, according to the national supermodel. The supermodel was proposed by a committee constituted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to evolve Covid-19 progression. According to predictions based on the supermodel, the active cases peaked around 10 lakh on September 18. However, it said that this number will start rising again if proper practices of masking, disinfecting, tracing, and quarantine are not followed and that these practices are adopted during the ongoing festive season. The analysis of Covid progression in the 10 worst affected states —Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, West Bengal, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat — show that the pandemic peaked between September 17 and October 10. Active cases may fall below 1,000 for Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab by December-end. In a shift from other states, West Bengal is yet to hit a peak as the Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the state. According to the model, West Bengal should have peaked by now and a fall should have started by October 4, but the actual numbers show CONTINUED ON P7 otherwise. A 52-year-old auto-rickshaw driver died in police custody on Sunday at the Lodhi Colony police station. An assistant sub-inspector, Vijay and , two constables, Rajender and Sandeep, were suspended in the matter. Victim Dharambir, a resident of Najafgarh, was had been called to the police station after the police learnt that the accused who stole the car from Block no. 23 in Lodhi Colony had come in an auto-rickshaw that belonged to him. “Dharmabir was asked to join the investigation and based on his disclosure, the police arrested Satish, who was driving the auto at the time of the incident, and Ghewar Ram Chowdhary,” said DCP (South), Atul Kumar Thakur. The role of Dharambir was being probed. ASI Vijay was questioning him in a room on the first floor of the police station. Vijay went to the washroom and when he returned, he found Dharambir lying on the floor in the courtyard of the complex, police said. He was rushed to AIIMS and his family was informed. He succumbed at the trauma centre. The deceased’s family members alleged that he was brutally assaulted in police custody “Two policemen . came to our house and showed us pictures of an auto. When my father confirmed it was ours, they took him to the police station. After sometime, he called up saying the police was demanding `50,000 and asked us to bring the money said ,” Saurav, Dharambir’s son. “He helped the police arrest the accused but they tortured him to death.” BIHAR POLLS MGNREGA crusader gets backing of rural folks, activists R A J E S H K U M A R T H A K U R @ Patna AMID the poll fever in Bihar, several activists, intellectuals and students from across the country, including JNU scholars, are these days camping in the nondescript Ratnauli village in Muzaffarpur district to campaign for someone. And no, he is not Kanhaiya Kumar, the former JNU Students’ Union president, who was the toast of activists and intellectuals during the 2019 general elections. The candidate is a Class 7 dropout electrician-turnedMGNREGA activist, Sanjay Sahni. He is in fray from Kurhani assembly seat in Muzaffarpur as an independent candidate. So, what’s it about 39-year-old Sahni that has drawn renowned social economist Jean Dreze and students from prestigious institutions towards his campaign? Well, it’s his exemplary work as a MGNREGA activist who has not only busted many anomalies and irregularities in its implementation but also helped hundreds of poor people find work under the scheme. It was a chance discovery of mismanagement and swindling of MGNREGA funds by elected representatives and district administration in his village that prompted Sahni to quit his electrician’s job in Delhi and re- Sanjay Sahni (in blue shirt) with volunteers of MNREGA Watch | EXPRESS I decided to contest because I thought it will be proper to raise voice against frauds happening in the implementation of MGNREGA works in the assembly — Sanjay Sahni, Independent candidate turn to Bihar in 2011. On digging deeper, he found large-scale loot of the funds. That’s when he decided to float MNREGA Watch to spread awareness among labourers and to scrutinise policy implementation. To begin with, Sahni targeted the spurious liquor business in the district, which had affected hundreds of families. This won him the trust of rural womenfolk who joined his collective as volunteers in large numbers. With their help, he started spreading awareness among people and raising voice against the irregularities in MGNREGA and other schemes, particularly the PDS. CONTINUED ON P8
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