MONDAY LA NINA BLAMED FOR ABNORMAL CHILL 30 NOVEMBER, 2020 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard Expect harsher winter in the north, warns Met dept POLL BUGLE DIDI TO LAUNCH TMC CAMPAIGN There is also a higher chance of cold wave this winter, the IMD said on Sunday DELHI TO SEE COLDEST NOVEMBER IN 10 YRS Mamata to launch campaign in Midnapore on Dec 7, to project herself as TMC face A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 8 LIBERAL INVOKING OF SEDITION LAW IN BJP-RULED STATES SANA SHAKIL/RITWIKA MITRA @ New Delhi WHEN the Bombay High Court last week berated the Mumbai Police for slapping sedition charges against actor Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli, asking “if anybody doesn’t fall within the line of the government, will that be sedition,” it was only underlining the increasing trend of governments to misuse this colonial law. Data maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau, which started collating sedition numbers since 2014, shows that while there were 47 cases registered under Section 124A of the IPC (sedition) that year, it jumped to 93 in 2019, an increase of 98%. While 27 states or Union Territories had not registered a single sedition case in 2014, that number fell to 19 last year, indicating more state governments were willing to charge people under the stringent law. An analysis by this newspaper showed that BJP state governments invoked the law more than non-BJP ones. This is best illustrated by the experience in Karnataka, Assam and Jammu and Kashmir. The first two have BJP regimes while J&K is under Central rule. In all the three, there was a spike in sedition cases after they came under BJP rule. In 2019, Karnataka saw the maximum sedition cases ( 22), followed by Assam (17) and J&K (11). Under Congress rule in Karnataka, two cases were filed in 2018; three each in 2015 and 2016; and none in 2014 and 2017. Assam recorded 17 sedition cases each in two consecutive years of 2018 and 2019 — slightly lower than 2017 when it recorded 19 cases — the highest in the country for that CONTINUED ON P8 year. NUMBERS SAY IT ALL 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Jammu & Kashmir 0101 12 11 Punjab 01 0 000 Himachal Pradesh 101 501 Uttar Pradesh 006 1 0 10 Bihar 16 9 0 0 17 0 Haryana 0 3 12 13 1 2 Arunachal Pradesh 000 000 Assam 100 19 17 17 Nagaland Tripura 0 0 00 00 00 08 00 Delhi 002 011 Rajasthan 01 1 1 04 NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 Manipur 01 00 4 1 Madhya Pradesh 002 111 Maharashtra 010 002 Goa 8.33% 0 0 0 Karnataka 0 3 3 0 2 22 Kerala 53394 West Bengal 24 1 1 04 Jharkhand 18 0 0 1 18 3 Odisha 201 302 Chhattisgarh 1 0 0 0 3 1 Telangana 0 1 2 0 0 1 Andhra Pradesh 1 0 1 0 1 0 Tamil Nadu 0 0 0 3 1 4 SOME PROMINENT CASES 2014: 60 Kashmiri students in UP charged with sedition for cheering Pakistan in a cricket match; charges dropped later 2014: Seven booked for sedition in Kerala for not standing up during national anthem 2016: JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar charged with sedition for allegedly raising anti-national slogans 2018: Activist Sudha Bhardwaj and others booked under various charges, including sedition and supporting Maoists; continue to be in jail 2020: Sedition charge slapped on Keralite journalist Siddique Kappan, who was on his way to Hathras to cover the Dalit gang-rape and murder case Source: NCRB 2014-2019 2012: Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi booked for allegedly mocking national emblem in his cartoon; charges dropped after nationwide outrage ALLEGATIONS of serious sideeffects caused by the OxfordAstraZeneca Covid vaccine candidate by a clinical trial participant in Chennai are being probed by the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) and the ethics panel at the institute where the trial was conducted. However, the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), which is mass-producing the vaccine, rejected the charges as “malicious and misconceived” and threatened to sue the complainant for `100 crore in damages. The 40-year-old man had volunteered for the Covishield vaccine human trial and was hospitalised days after being administered the shot in October for severe neurological issues and impairment of cognitive functions. He later sought `5 crore compensation in a legal notice sent to SII, DGCI, ICMR, Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) and others, apart from seeking a halt to the trial. The vaccine major, however, Delhi is set to record its coldest Nov in 10 years. Average minimum temperature was 100 Celsius, down from 120 Celsius Farmer unions assert the offer came with strings; decide to block three more entry points into Delhi to choke capital H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh REFUSING to accept Union home minister Amit Shah’s offer to re-locate to the Burari grounds in north Delhi to begin the talks process, Punjab farmers on Sunday continued to stay put on the Delhi border, attacking the proposal for having pre-conditions. While the far mers have parked themselves on the Singhu and Tikri borders, they decided to block three more entry points into Delhi —Ballabgarh, Daruhera and Hapur. Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla wrote to the 32 protesting farmers’ unions on Saturday citing the winter chill and the fear of a Covid spike because of the massing, to persuade them to shift to Burari. Once they re-locate, a team of Union ministers would be ready to talk with them at Vigyan Bhavan, he wrote, but it failed to get traction. Shah’s offer was unanimously rejected at a meeting of all 32 Punjab farmers unions at the Singhu border. “We are ready for talks, but the Union government should not impose any pre-condition,” the leaders said and likened the Burari ground to an open jail. “Instead of going to the ‘open jail’ in Burari, we have decided to lay siege to Delhi by blocking all five main entry Those who are still defending the black farm laws, what solution will they find in favour of farmers… Now there will be KisaanKiBaat Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader Senior ministers discuss protests with Nadda Union Ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and Narendra Singh Tomar held talks over the farmers’ protest with BJP chief J P Nadda at his house in New Delhi on Sunday evening. Earlier in Hyderabad, Shah reiterated that the farm laws were for the welfare of farmers. “Whoever wants to oppose it politically let them do it,” he said, but denied calling the protests political. Haryana Khaps to join agitating farmers Singhu Border Hapur Tikri Border DELHI Daruhera Ballabgarh Farmers blocking the Singhu border in Delhi on Sunday | PARVEEN NEGI points. As we have ration of four months, we are prepared for a long haul,” they said. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot sought to add pressure by writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to reconsider the three new farm laws against which farmers are staging protests. Shah hardsells IT hub tag, vows facelift of Hyderabad UNION Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday exuded confidence that the BJP would not only capture Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and the position of Mayor but also win the 2023 Assembly elections. “This time, the BJP is not contesting election to just increase its vote share or to strengthen the party’s base but for logging in an outright victory in both GHMC and the next Assembly elections,” Shah told the media. Hyderabad could become a global IT hub if right infrastructure is developed and the Central schemes for urban development are implemented properly by the GHMC, he said. While blaming the TRS and AIMIM for the poor functioning of GHMC, he promised that when the BJP comes to power in the corporation, it will ensure that Hyderabad would attain the status of a global IT hub. Referring to the recent floods in Hyderabad, Shah blamed the AIMIM for encouraging encroachment of storm water drains and water bodies in the city and accused the said the volunteer was “falsely laying the blame for his medical problems on the vaccine. “While the SII is sympathetic with the volunteer’s me d ic al c on d it ion , there is absolutely no correlation with the vaccine trial and the medical condition of the volunteer,” it said. The SII statement added that the volunteer was specifically informed by the medical team that the complications he While the SII is sympathetic with the volunteer’s medical condition, there is absolutely no correlation with the vaccine trial and the medical condition of the volunteer — Serum Institute of India (SII) In Hyderabad, Shah sought to reach out to the farmers, saying their agitation was apolitical. Later, he as well as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar got into a huddle at BJP president J P Nadda’s house in Delhi to P7 discuss the tangle. TESTING STATUS 29,839 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted 62,37,395 Total tests done so far 3,28,283 DELHI COVID WATCH Union Home Minister Amit Shah holds a roadshow in Hyderabad’s Warasiguda on Sunday as part of BJP’s campaigning for the December 1 Greater Hyderabad Municipal Cooperation election | S SENBAGAPANDIYAN TRS government of not taking up desiltation of stormwater drains since six months, resulting in flooding. Shah also promised that all encroachments will be removed once BJP Mayor comes to power in the civic body . Pointing out that the area in front of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s residence also was flooded during the recent rains, he wanted to know why Rao or AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi were not seen among people during the floods. On the accusation that the Central government did not provide financial assistance to the flood-hit Hyderabad, Shah took a potshot at the Chief Minister saying, “as he does not go to the Secretariat, it is natural that he does not know that the Centre had released around `500 crore under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to Telangana to deal with Hyderabad floods. The BJP wants to rid Telangana of its dynastic politics, he said, targeting both the TRS and the AIMIM. suffered were independent of the vaccine trial he underwent, but “he still chose to go public and malign the reputation of the company”. “It is evident that the intention behind the spreading of such malicious information is an oblique pecuniary motive.” Sources said the case was probed by the investigators at the Sri Ramchandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, Chennai, but it was concluded that the volunteer’s medical condition was not related to the administration of the vaccine. A senior ICMR official, too, said that a preliminary assessment had not indicated any causal link between the adverse events alleged by the volunteer and the Covishield vaccine. A report by the CDSCO is awaited as a probe is still underway . In India, Covishield is being tested in 1,600 volunteers as part of a multi-country phase III trial. The vaccine’s global trial was halted for a brief period last month after a volunteer in the UK reported an adverse event, but was restarted after researchers found that the sudden onset of illness was not related to the vaccine. Many ‘khaps’ in Haryana decided to join the agitating farmers and their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march. The decision was taken at a meeting of the chiefs of 30 ‘khaps’ (caste councils) in Rohtak, independent MLA Sombir Sangwan, who also heads the Sangwan Khap, said. Delhi’s Palam Khap also took part in the meeting. All ‘khaps’ at the meeting unanimously decided to extend support to the farmers. STATUS OF CASES Today Cumulative RECOVERED 6,325 5,22,491 DEATH 68 9,066 ACTIVE CASES -38,181 TOTAL +VE CASES 4,906 5,66,648 PATIENT MANAGEMENT Total beds Occupied Vacant HOSPITAL 18,661 8,243 10,418 CARE CENTRE 7,942 465 7,308* HEALTH CENTRE 562 140 422 21,337 HOME ISOLATION *169 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights Tests per million SII to seek `100 cr damages for ‘malicious’ side-effect claim E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Temperatures in several parts of north India, including J&K and Rajasthan, were below the normal on Sunday FARMERS REJECT GOVT PROPOSAL V N I L E S H @ Hyderabad Gujarat 020 00 “Below normal minimum temperatures are likely over most subdivisions of north, northwest, central and few subdivisions over east India,” the IMD said in its forecast. It blamed it on the prevailing moderate La Nina conditions. La Nina happens when the surface water in the equatorial Pacific Ocean cools. This leads to a drop in global temperature Source: Delhi health bulletin | November 29 First case under UP’s new anti-conversion law registered in Bareilly N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow POLICE in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district registered the first case under the state’s new anti-conversation law on Saturday, just hours after it was promulgated. UP’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said the case was registered on a complaint filed by a resident of Sharifnagar village under Devarniyan police station, against a man who allegedly tried to force his daughter to convert to Islam and marry him. The accused, the complainant alleged, was trying to “coerce, coax and allure” his daughter to convert and marry him. The accused is absconding. Four police teams were trying to trace the accused, a senior police officer said. The complainant claimed that his daughter and Ahmed studied together till Class 12. After completing school, the girl took admission at a local college but the accused continued to stalk her. The girl RELIEF COVID POSITIVITY RATE LESS THAN HALF SINCE NOV 7 used to frequently complain about the man. Initially, she tried to avoid him fearing disrepute. But when she consistently refused his advances, he threatened abduction. The harassment did not stop even after her marriage in June. Things got ugly when the man visited the girl’s house on Saturday. He pressed her family to bring her back from her in-laws’ house. When they refused, he threatened to kill them. “He was not listening to us, and was mounting pressure on me and my family through abuses and death threats to fulfill his desire,” the girl’s father alleged. On Saturday night, the father approached the police. A case was registered under relevant sections of IPC and the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020. Violation of the code is punishable by a jail term of up to five years and a fine of `15,000. If the victim is a minor, or someone from SC or ST, the jail sentence could stretch up to 10 years. Health Minister Satyendar Jain says positivity rate is down to 7.24% from 15.26% in Delhi, asserts that it is a sign of relief as the number suggests the Coronavirus outbreak is on decline once again | P4
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