FRIDAY NOW, YOU CAN WIN MEDALS IN YOGASANA AT NATIONAL LEVEL 18 Groundwork over, competitions next DECEMBER, 2020 After granting it recognition last month, sports ministry has formally categorised yogasana as a competitive sport The initiative taken by sports and AYUSH ministries wants to encourage yoga, spread awareness about its benefits and help improve physical and mental well-being of the people. A National Yogasana Sport Federation of India was established for development of yoga as a competitive sport. An automated scoring system has been developed. epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard POWER TUSSLE MCD-AAP GOVT FIGHT INTENSIFIES Mayors of BJP-ruled civic bodies begin indefinite fast outside CM’s residence A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 4 NEW DELHI J8.00 FIRST NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PROPOSED FOR THE SPORT PAGES 12 Didi fumes as MHA transfers police officers in 2nd round P R A N A B M O N D A L @ Kolkata The top court refused to order the eviction of farmers from Delhi’s borders including those protesting at Singhu | SHEKHAR YADAV Farmers have right to protest but shouldn’t damage other lives: SC Suggests Centre to put farm laws on ice till talks are on, Solicitor General says not possible K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi ASKING the Centre whether it could put in abeyance its three farm sector reform laws till negotiations with the agitators are on, the Supreme Court on Thursday said farmers have a constitutional right to continue their protest as long as their dissent does not led to any kind of violence. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde asked Attorney General K K Venugopal whether the government could give an assurance to keep the implementation of the farm laws on hold. While Venugopal said he will have to seek instructions as he was not sure if this was a viable solution, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that it was not possible to put the implementation of the laws on hold. Refusing to order the eviction of farmers from Delhi’s borders, the court said: “A protest is constitutional as long as it does not cause violence or destroy life. It can continue while the committee we propose can hold deliberations. We are likely to propose names like P Sainath for the committee.” CJI Bobde added, “We are also Indian, we are familiar with the plight of farmers and are sympathetic to their cause. You (farmers) have to only alter the way the protest is going.” The court also said it recognised the fundamental rights of farmers to protest against the laws. “There is no question of balancing it, in the sense of curtailing it but it should not damage other’s lives,” the CJI told senior advocate Harish Salve, who on behalf of a Delhi resident, argued that the protests have led to price hike of essential commodities. P5&7 Unions to consult four top advocates Farmer unions said they will first consult four top Supreme Court lawyers — Prashant Bhushan, Colin Gonsalves, Dushyant Dave and H S Phoolka — before taking a call on the SC impleading them in the case and forming of an impartial committee to resolve the matter BJP braces to fight motivated campaign EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi WITH the government staying firm on the farm laws, Union ministers Amit Shah, Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal went into a huddle with the BJP national general secretaries at the party headquarters, with indications emerging that it is gearing up for the political challenge thrown up by the farmers protesting at the Capital’s doorstep. Minutes after the meeting concluded, Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, released a hardhitting letter addressed to the farmers, singling out “conspirators for fuelling anarchy”. The meeting also came in the midst of the outreach by BJP leaders across the country to explain their position on the contentious farm sector reform laws and the steps taken by the government for the benefits of the farmers. “There is clarity that certain elements who have consistently been at loggerheads with the Narendra Modi government are fanning the farmers’ protests for vested interests. The BJP will effectively respond to the motivated campaign,” said a senior BJP functionary . On the other front, the government released e-booklets on steps taken in the benefits of the Sikh community and the farmers. The booklet lists 19 major achievements of the government for the benefits of the Sikhs, including global celebrations of the 550th Prakash Parv of Guru Nanak and promoting his teachings. The Modi government ensured justice for the kith and kin of the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, it said. There is clarity that certain elements who have consistently been at loggerheads with the Narendra Modi government are fanning the farmers’ protests for vested interests — BJP functionary KEJRIWAL TEARS COPIES OF FARM ACTS IN HOUSE, OPPN SAYS DRAMA E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi DELHI Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday tore copies of the farm laws in Delhi Assembly, alleging that they had been brought in to ensure funding for the BJP . The BJP and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) slammed the act as “political stunt” in view of the upcoming Punjab assembly election. “These laws have not been made for the farmers but for electoral funding of the BJP. The farmers have understood this,” said Kejriwal while addressing the assembly . During the one-day special session, the Delhi government also passed a resolution rejecting the three laws and seeking their repeal. “I am a citizen of this country first, a chief minister later. This assembly rejects the three laws and appeals to the central government to meet the demands of farmers,” Kejriwal said. Questioning the hurry in passing the laws during Covid-19 pandemic, Kejriwal appealed to the Centre “not to become worse than Britishers”, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tears copies of farm laws in the Assembly | PTI before he went on to tear the copies of the legislations. “I am pained that I have to do this…but I cannot betray the farmers of my country who have been sleeping on the streets when the temperature is just 2 degree Celsius,” he said. The Delhi chief minister said that BJP members themselves did not know the benefits of these laws and only repeated what had been tutored to them by the senior leadership. “When asked about the benefit of the laws, every BJP leader says farmers can sell their produce anywhere in the country. It seems they have consumed opium. Where should farmers go to sell their crops at MSP? Farmers are getting less than MSP on selling paddy in UP and Bihar,” he claimed. AAP MLAs Somnath Bharti and Mohinder Goyal and the party’s Delhi in-charge and minister Gopal Rai also tore copies of the legislations. Lashing out at Kejriwal, Delhi BJP chief Adesh Kumar Gupta said he had converted constitutional dignity into a “gimmick” and that his opposition to the farm laws was just a “political stunt” to save his political ground in Punjab, where elections are due in 2022. Calling the Delhi CM a “dramebaaz”, SAD leader and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said Kejriwal was “shedding crocodile tears” to “wipe away the blot” of notifying the farm laws, but “the drama won’t help”. P5 IGNORING the Mamata Banerjee government’s objections, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday issued transfer orders of three IPS officers of Bengal cadre, who were responsible for BJP chief J P Nadda’s security during his visit to the eastern state last week. The three officers — Rajeev Mishra (IG, South Bengal), Praveen Tripathi (DIG, Presidency Range) and Bholanath Pandey (SP, Diamond Harbour) — have been transferred to Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Police Research Bureau, respectively. While Mishra and Tripathi have This move, particularly before the elections, is against the basic tenets of the federal structure. We wouldn’t allow this brazen attempt by the Centre to control the State machinery by proxy! Mamata Banerjee, Bengal CM been transferred to ITBP and SSB respectively for five years, Pandey was asked to serve in the Police Research Bureau for three years. In its order, the MHA said the West Bengal government and the Director General of Police had failed to adhere to the rules. It also quoted Section 6(1) of the All India Service officers rule that says “in case of any disagreement, the Central government’s decision shall prevail.” The Mamata Banerjee government has been maintaining it will not relieve the officers for central deputation. Reacting to Thursday’s transfer order, a furious Mamata termed it “completely unacceptable” and “a colourable exercise of power and blatant misuse of emergency provision of IPS Cadre Rule 1954”. Hitting out at the MHA, she tweeted, “This move, particularly before the elections, is against the basic tenets of the federal structure. We wouldn’t allow this brazen attempt by the Centre to control the State machinery by proxy!” P8 DELHI COVID WATCH STATUS OF CASES RECOVERED DEATH ACTIVE CASES TOTAL +VE Today 2,391 35 -1,363 Cumulative 5,90,977 10,182 12,198 6,13,357 PATIENT MANAGEMENT Total beds Occupied Vacant H OS P I TA L 18,815 3,464 15,351 CARE CENTRE 7,792 161 7,601 H E A LT H C E N T R E 562 42 520 *30 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights 24,842 HOME ISOLATION TESTING STATUS 49,102 41,252 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted Rapid antigen test conducted today 75,41,348 3,96,913 Total tests done so far Tests per million CONTAINMENT ZONES AS ON DATE: 6,376 Source: Delhi health bulletin | December 17 EXPRESS READ Communication satellite put into orbit India on Thursday successfully placed its 42nd communication satellite CMS-01 (formerly GSAT12R) in the geosynchronous transfer orbit in a textbook style. The new satellite with a life span of seven years will provide services in extended-C band of the frequency spectrum. The satellite will cover Indian mainland, Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands. TALKS CONGRESS CHIEF TO MEET DISSENTERS ON SATURDAY Congress’ old hand Kamal Nath fixes the meeting of dissenters, who will be led by party veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad, with Sonia Gandhi; Rahul is also likely to be present | P7 Farmers huddle inside blankets at Singhu as cold gripped Delhi | PARVEEN NEGI Season’s lowest in city at 3.5 deg C, no relief soon from winter chill weather forecasting agency, Palam and Safdarjung observDELHI and the National Capi- atories recorded the lowest tal Region continued to shiver, maximum of the season at 13.2 with the mercury dipping to degree Celsius and 15.2 degree its lowest this season so far on Celsius. Both ‘cold day’ and Thursday morning. A respite ‘cold wave’ conditions will from the chill is unlikely in persist for the next two-three the next few days. days. Delhi recorded a ‘cold day’ The IMD said the cold wave as the minimum temperature prevailing in entire north Indropped to 3.5 degree Celsius dia for the last three days will while the maximum continue till Decemwas recorded at 15.2 ber 18. Severe cold Cold winds degree Celsius, seven conditions are likely from hills notches below norin some pockets in Icy winds are mal and the lowest Delhi, Punjab and this December. A blowing towards Haryana and Chandithe northern ‘cold day’ is declared g arh in the next plains from the when the minimum 24 hours. snow-clad temperature is less “Cold wave condiwestern than 10 degree Celsitions in some pockets us and the maximum Himalayan range with severe cold wave is 4.4 degree Celsius of J&K, Himachal conditions in isolated Pradesh, and below normal. pockets over West RaA cold wave in Del- Uttarakhand are jasthan...cold wave resulting in hi has been declared, conditions in isolated mercury falling with icy winds from pockets over south to new lows the snow-covered Haryana, Delhi and western Himalayas West UP. Today, the bringing the minimum tem- Lowest Minimum Temperaperature down sharply. The ture of 0.5 degrees was recordSafdar jung Observatory, ed at Sikar,” the IMD tweeted. which provides representative Kuldeep Srivastava, chief data for the city, recorded a of IMD’s regional forecasting minimum temperature of 4.6 centre, said the Western Himadegree Celsius while Ayana- layas recorded widespread gar and Ridge weather sta- snowfall due to strong western tions recorded minimum of disturbances and now frosty 3.8 degree Celsius and 3.5 de- winds have been blowing togree Celsius, respectively . wards the plains, bringing the According to a private mercury down. E X P R ESS N E WS S E RV I C E @ New Delhi UNFOLDING HISTORY Culture ministry panel locates exact burial site of Mughal prince Dara Shikoh PA R V E Z S U LTA N @ New Delhi A seven-member committee set up by the Centre to identify the grave of ill-fated Mughal prince Dara Shikoh has located his ‘exact’ burial place inside Humayun’s Tomb. A member of the panel said it had ‘almost’ reached a conclusion that the final resting place of Dara Shikoh is be- tween the graves of Prince Daniyal and Prince Murad, Emperor Akbar’s sons. “After examining available evidence and research done by an engineer working with the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), Sanjeev Kumar Singh, the spot in question has almost been identified. It is between the graves of Prince Daniyal and Prince Murad. Till now, it was believed that Shikoh’s tomb was on a platform. Kumar has done extensive research to pinpoint the grave. We will soon present our final detailed report to the ministry said the member. ,” The panel headed by TJ Alone, Director (Monuments) at ASI was set up by the Culture Ministry in February and has submitted its preliminary report. On Thursday Union Culture , Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said that after submission of the final report, the controver- It is between the graves of Prince Daniyal and Prince Murad. Till now, it was believed that Shikoh’s tomb was on a platform. ... We will soon present our final detailed report to the ministry —Panel member sy related to Dara Shikoh’s grave would hopefully end. “In the next 7-10 days, the committee will hold its final meeting after which the gover nment may be able to announce which g r av e i s o f D a r a Shikoh,” said Patel. The minister was speaking at the unveiling ceremony of Abdur Rahim Khan-E-Kha- na’s mausoleum, which was restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in association with InterGlobe Foundation. Nearly 3,000 craftsmen were pressed into the service to restore the grandeur of Rahim’s tomb. Patel also announced that the under-construction museum at Humayun’s Tomb will also be named after Shikoh. “Some personalities are lost in the historical records. Dara Shikoh translated Upanishads. No religious leaders went to the western world. It was Dara Shikoh, who presented Upnishads to them,” he added. The eldest son of Shah Jahan, Shikoh was killed in 1659 by his brother Aurangzeb during the war of succession.
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