THURSDAY Ten locations in the Kashmir Valley and one in Bengaluru were raided in connection with a case related to NGOs diverting funds 29 NIA SEARCHES NGOs IN SRINAGAR, B’LURU IN TERROR FUNDING CASE OCTOBER, 2020 Money diverted to fund terror? epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard NGOs being probed for possible diversion of funds meant for charitable activities to ‘secessionist and separatist activities’ in Valley twitter.com/TheMornStandard LAC STANDOFF RAJNATH STANDS FIRM India will not drawdown its forces along the borders in eastern Ladakh, he asserts A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 7 NEW DELHI PAGES 12 J8.00 Incriminating documents, electronic devices were seized by NIA Newspaper The office of a trust owned by Greater Kashmir raided | P8 NO VACCINE SWING IN BIHAR? BJP’s promise to provide Covid shots for free doesn’t appear to cut ice with the voters “When the government could not make proper arrangements @ Patna/New Delhi/Muzaffarpur for Covid-19 patients, it is foolish to believe such false promWAITING to meet the doctor at ises,” said Saroj Kumar Thakur, a nursing home in Muzaffar- 35, who runs a salon in Patna. pur, Rupesh Kumar Sinha, 44, a Why the voters are not deepmedical representative with a ly impressed by the free vacpharmaceutical company, said cine promise lies perhaps in the Covid-19 pandemic and the the Covid numbers. Despite bethreat it poses was not even a ing the third-most populated talking point among the people, state with a creaking public leave alone an election issue. health infrastructure, Bihar “I am in the field of has done well on the virus health and I have seen pafront, making it a nonEAR tients suffering from issue and hardly a mass TO THE coronavirus. People are concern. GROUND a bit scared but not overWhile the national ly worried,” he said, discase fatality rate is 1.5%, missing the suggestion Bihar’s is a mere 0.499%, that the Bharatiya Janata Parone of the lowest in the county’s promise to provide the Cov- try The disease’s incidence per . id vaccine free to Bihar was a million in India is 5,790.1 but in game changer. Bihar it is 1,572.5, the lowest in From Muzaffarpur and Saran the country . to Samastipur and Patna, the On total deaths and active BJP’s populist promise grabbed cases also the state has not done media headlines and was a hot badly The highest death count . topic of debate in drawing is in Maharashtra at 38,717, folrooms last week, but for the vot- lowed by Andhra Pradesh, ers in the dust bowls of Bihar, 9,917, and Karnataka, 9,461. BiCovid and the vaccine are hard- har’s is only 925, one of the lowly issues to be animated about. est among the populous states. FACTFILE RAJESH KUMAR THAKUR, SANA SHAKIL & MUKESH RANJAN BIHAR 2020 VOTER TURNOUT 53.54% ONION PRICES 50% TO STAY NORTH Women voters 1% DROP E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Mumbai/Bengaluru THERE is little buzz in Nashik’s Lasalgaon, though it is Asia’s largest onion market. For, the mandi is shut as traders are protesting against Income Tax raids on 14 of them as also the ‘mindless’ stock limit imposed by the Central government. Activity at Lasalgaon matters as a whopping 35% of India’s onion supply chain is sourced from that mandi. Sulking traders are adding to the stress the kitchen staple is already facing because of heavy rains damaging the standing crop, pushing the average retail price across the country to around `90 per kg (see box). Retail prices in Telangana are particularly swollen (Hyderabad `130-150; Warangal `100-120; Karimnagar `100) as supplies from Maharashtra are just a trickle. Caught between the government and the trading community is the aam aadmi, who is being forced to reduce his onion intake. “Many people have stopped buying the king of the kitchen for now,” revealed vegetable trader Pritam Das in Jaipur. Till about a few days ago when Lasalgaon was a beehive of activity onion arrivals were , in the range of 70,000 to 75,000 tonnes per day as against the normal of 1.25 lakh to 1.50 lakh tonnes. In other words, a drop of 40-50%, informed Nanasaheb Patil, an onion growing farmer leader in Nasik. “Lasalgaon gets ample supplies in August from states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana after harvest. But this year, the standing crop in all the three states was damaged by the rains. In the first week of October, onions normally start arriving into the mandi from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. But floods in parts of Maharashtra damaged both the old stock and fresh crops. As a result, new arrivals have been delayed by 40-60 days,” Patil shared. In Karnataka, extended monsoon in Chitradurga, Ballari, Gadag, Dharwad, Haveri and Chikkamagaluru districts contributed to the super spike in prices. “Although normally there is spike in onion prices in NovemberDecember because the March stocks tend to get exhausted and the October harvest cannot be dried and stored for long, this year’s rise is because around 70,000 hectares in Karnataka got affected by the monsoon,” said B N Prasad, managing director of Horticultural Producers’ Cooperative Marketing and CONTINUED ON P7 Processing Society). CU R R E N T R E TAIL PRI CE PE R KG J&K H 70-80 Punjab H 70-80 Madhya Pradesh H 70-80 Bengaluru H 114 Kerala H 50-80 54.75% around one percentage point higher Uttar Pradesh H 70-80 Bihar H 90-110 Assam H 70-80 West Bengal H 100 Odisha H 80 Chhattisgarh H 60 Vijayawada H 80-90 Hyderabad H 130-150 Tamil Nadu H 80-100 TOTAL CASES 1,90,740 11,420 ACTIVE CASES CASE FATALITY RATE As for active cases, the worst five states are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra and Tamil Nadu. With 11,420 active cases, Bihar’s numbers are one of the lowest among heavily populated states. The state is at the 11th position in terms of total cases, sev- THE Enforcement Directorate, which is probing the money laundering angle in the gold smuggling case, on Wednesday night formally arrested Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s former principal secretary M Sivasankar. He was detained soon after the Kerala High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea. The suspended IAS officer was undergoing treatment at a private Ayurveda hospital in Thiruvananthapuram when the ED officials picked him up. He was taken to Kochi by road and was questioned in length about his involvement in the gold smuggling case. The Customs department also interrogated him separately . While the ED is probing the money trail, the Customs is investigating the smuggling angle. The development has kicked off a political storm in the state with opposition parties holding protests across the state demanding Vijayan’s resignation over the matter. Sources said the questioning will continue on Thursday . PRESIDENT Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday suspended Delhi University vice-chanceller Yogesh Tyagi and ordered immediate inquiry against him following recommendation from the Union education ministry. Tyagi faces charges including grave misconduct, abuse of power, lack of commitment, administrative lapses and dereliction of duty . The education ministry had urged the President, who is visitor to the university, to allow an inquiry against the vice-chancellor after a dispute over appointments on some senior posts university last week. On Tuesday night, the President permitted the inquiry against the vice-chancellor who was accused of “misconduct” by the ministry . In a letter to the DU registrar, the ministry said that the vice- chancellor was suspended till the inquiry is completed since he can influence the investiga- TWITTER’s geotagging feature displaying Jammu and Kashmir as part of China is a criminal offence and an act of treason, the joint parliamentary committee looking into the Data Protection Bill told representatives of the social media giant on Wednesday . The JPC, chaired by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, asked the firm to get an explanation from its US-based parent in the form of an affidavit along with a written apology . The panel grilled Shagufta Kamran, senior manager, public policy, Twitter India; Ayushi Kapoor, legal counsel; Pallavi Walia, policy communications; and Manvinder Bali, corporate security, for about two hours. Sources said the Twitter executives apologised for the “technical issue” but the JPC members were not satisfied. The JPC also sought to know on what basis Twitter takes down content and blocks accounts. D E L H I EXPRESS READ The Central Information Commission has issued a show cause notice to the National Informatics Centre to explain why a penalty under RTI Act not be slapped on it for “obstruction of information and providing an evasive reply” on the Aarogya Setu app. Smriti Irani tests positive for Covid Union Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday said she has tested Covid positive. The women and child development and textiles minister asked the people who came in contact with her to get themselves tested for the disease at the earliest. STATUS OF CASES Today RTPCR/CBNAAT/ True Nat tests conducted today 5,665 894 324 10,100 6,496* 203 HOME ISOLATION : 16,822 Rapid antigen test conducted in city 45,16,600 2,37,715 (COVID-19) PATIENT MANAGEMENT 15,765 7,887 527 UTTARAKHAND Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Wednesday filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the Uttarakhand High court’s Tuesday order in which the State High Court had directed the CBI to register an FIR and conduct investigation ove r a l l e g e d c o r r u p t i o n charges against him. The high court verdict came on two separate petitions filed by journalists Umesh Sharma and Shiv Prasad Semwal seeking quashing of FIR lodged against them in July. While quashing the FIR, the high court had ordered a CBI probe into the allegations levelled against Rawat. Sharma accused Rawat, who was then Jharkhand in-charge of the BJP, of alleged money transfers to accounts of his relatives in 2016 to support an appointment of a person in that state to head the Gau Seva Ayog. Meanwhile, opposition Indian National Congress lashed out at the CM and the BJP. State president of the party, Pritam Singh conduct- Curious case The FIR against Umesh Sharma was lodged for posting a video on Facebook alleging that a man from Jharkhand deposited money after demonetisation into the bank account of a couple who are allegedly related to Rawat. A retired professor, had lodged the FIR against Sharma in Dehradun. Eleventh position in total cases Total tests done so far Suspension first time in nearly 100 years It is for the first time in 98 years of Delhi University’s history that a vice-chancellor has been suspended. The move comes amid a power tussle in the central university featuring Tyagi and pro-Vice-Chancellor P C Joshi tion while in office. Pro-Vice-Chancellor P C Joshi will take over as vicechancellor for now. In the four-page letter issued on Wednesday, the ministry cited several irregular appointments, delay in filling up teaching posts in time bound manner, pending vigilance and sexual harassment against some office bearers and administrative negligence in handling ad-hoc teachers as lapses by Tyagi. It also said that the implementation of the government’s flagship Institute of Eminence scheme was slowed as the university delayed submitting the 15-year stra- tegic vision plan and the 5 years rolling implementation plan despite repeated reminders. Tyagi who had undergone an emergency surgery in July , has not taken leaves, nor duly informed the executive council even though he has been absent from the regular duties at the university, the ministry said in the letter. Tyagi is absent from the university since July 2 and his charge was given to Joshi on July 17. However, a controversy erupted last week when Tyagi removed Joshi as pro-VC and appointed Geeta Bhatt, the director of the Non-Collegiate Women’s Education Board of the university in his place. P5 , PANDEMIC Tests per million Calls received in control room: 321 Containment zones as on date 3,047 Total number of calls dispatched to ambulances: 1721 Total number of calls refused : NILL *497 BEDS OF CCC ARE OCCUPIED BY PERSONS UNDER QUARANTINE INCLUDING TRAVELLERS WHO CAME BY VANDE BHARAT MISSION AND BUBBLE FLIGHTS Source: Delhi health bulletin | Data for October 28 U’khand CM moves top court against HC order for CBI probe into graft charges V I N E E T U PA D H YAY @ Dehradun Seventeenth position in active cases W A T C H 17,284 43,287 Recovered 4,128 3,34,240 Death 40* 6,396 Active cases -29,378 Positive cases 5,673 3,70,014 *Includes one death of August, reported today Hospital Care centre Health centre C O V I D TESTING STATUS Cumulative Total beds Occupied Vacant 95.24% enteenth position in active cases and eleventh in recoveries. But perhaps more important than the Covid figures is the socio-economic profile of the people affected by the deadly disease, which has the potential to make the BJP’s promise CONTINUED ON P7 a dud. EXPRESS NEWS SERVI CE @ New Delhi @ New Delhi E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi CASE RECOVERY RATE Prez suspends Delhi University V-C for dereliction of duty, orders probe EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE PRESSURE ON PINARAYI AS ED ARRESTS EX-SECY 1,572.5 Voters patiently await their turn to cast votes for the first phase of Bihar Assembly elections at Bhabhua police station in Kaimur district on Wednesday | PTI JPC asks Twitter to apologise for Leh map goof-up M Sivasankar entering ED office in Kochi on Wednesday | A SANESH 0.499% Cases per mn PARLIAMENTARY Show cause notice over Aarogya Setu Uttarakhand H 65-70 Rajasthan H 60-80 In the 2015 Assembly elections, the voting percentage was Despite its poor health infra, Bihar has done well in fighting Covid ed a press conference in which he said that the CM should resign and the BJP does not care about people. “The CM talks about zero tolerance over corruption and now is the time when he should resign. The CM has no moral right to be in the office. We are trying to get appointment from honorable Governor to request her to ‘intervene’ in the matter,” said Pritam Singh. Senior Congress leader Harish Rawat said that the BJP government is neck deep in corruption. “The CM should resign from his office on moral grounds as the honorable court’s directions are very serious and explicit. If he fails to do so we will approach the Governor of the state requesting him to dismiss him.” SCHOOLS TO STAY CLOSED: SISODIA S CHOOLS will remain closed due to the ongoing Covid pandemic situation, said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. Incidentally, the national capital on Wednesday recorded over 5,600 Covid-19 cases for the first time. . The 5,673 fresh cases on Wednesday came out of the 60,571 tests conducted the previous day, with the government scaling up RT-PCR tests, whose count stood at 17,284. Delhi has seen a see-saw Covid battle, with the graph declining after the first peak in June and then going up in August-end, to dip again in mid-September. Experts said the Covid load will increase in the festive period as is the case in rest of India. P4
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.