wednesDAY formality complete 17 Needing seven wickets to win, India posted a massive 317-run win against England in the second Test on Day Four February, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in home truth facebook.com/TheMorningStandard Virat Kohli is already India’s most successful Test captain ever and the win in Chennai was his 21st at home. As of now, this is a jointhome record with MS Dhoni twitter.com/TheMornStandard damage control BJP BRASS in Huddle over stir Leaders from states affected by farmers’ protest meet to minimise political losses Page 7 India team celebrates after winning the second Test in Chennai. Teams now head to Ahmedabad with the four-Test series level 1-1 | BCCI | P11 patel raP A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS l New Delhi l J8.00 l PAGES 12 Left-arm spinner Axar Patel had a memorable debut. He picked up five wickets, including that of Joe Root, in the second innings. He is the ninth Indian to take five wickets on debut local touch R Ashwin, who was declared the Man of the Match, dedicated the victory to his home crowd (Chennai). “I’m speechless. I’ve played four Tests here and this is the most special.” Advance bail to activist Early warning of fresh Corona wave? Capital’s daily as Delhi Police Zoom in count lowest S U M i S UKANYA D u t ta @ New Delhi HC relief for Pune activist; Disha Ravi allowed to speak with family G ayat h r i M a n i & S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i @ New Delhi/Mumbai ‘Tarnishing India’s image’ Two of the three activists named in the farmer protest toolkit FIR got relief from courts even as Delhi Police ramps up efforts to build its case against them. Environment activist Shantanu Muluk was granted anticipatory bail by the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court on Tuesday for 10 days while the main bench of the HC reserved its order on a similar bail plea by lawyer-activist Nitika Jacob for Wednesday . On the other hand, a Delhi court allowed Bengaluru’s student-activist Disha Ravi to speak with family members over phone for 15 minutes and meet with her lawyer for 30 minutes every day while in police custody . Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma also allowed her to get warm clothes, masks and books and ordered the Delhi Police to provide copies of the FIR, the arrest memo and the remand paper which was placed to seek her custodial interrogation. The 21-yearold climate activist, picked up from her home on Saturday, was remanded in five-day police custody the next day . Delhi Police has, meanwhile, written to Zoom app to provide details of the contents, locations and the people who attended the January 11 virtual meeting organised by pro-Khalistani group Poetic Justice Foundation. According to Joint Commissioner (Cyber Cell) Prem Nath, about 60-70 people, including Disha, Jacob and Muluk — whom he identified as creators and editors of the toolkit — attended the meeting. Canadabased Khalistani supporter MO Dhaliwal and Anita Lal, cofounders of PJF, also attended the meeting where the modalities of creating the toolkit document were chalked out. “Delhi Police has written to Zoom for details. Once we get the details, the investigation will continue further,” said the officer. P4 Asked how the police will bring those based in Canada under investigation, the Joint CP said, “police will use whatever power it has to make them join the probe.” The aim of the toolkit creators was to tarnish the image of India. AISA members protest against the action taken against Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk | Shekhar yadav Not a word of violence in toolkit: Nikita’s lawyer S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i @ Mumbai Order on Mumbai-based lawyer-activist Nikita Jacob’s plea for transit anticipatory bail will be pronounced on Wednesday even as Shantanu Muluk has already got court relief. The temporary 10-day bail g ranted by Justice Vibha Kankanwadi of Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court to Muluk, who hails from Maharashtra and is based in Delhi, will enable him to apply for protection before the appropriate court in Delhi. Arguing for bail, Jacob’s lawyer Mihir Desai told a single-judge bench of Justice P D Naik that the toolkit only spoke of support to the protesting farmers and did not talk about any violence or taking over the Red Fort. Desai submitted that serious charges of sedition have been invoked against a person like Jacob who is only a young environmental enthusiast. “The tool kit only says you should support the farmers. There is FRESH START Out on bail, Raj officer jailed in bribery case gets married to judge ley Chawal’ was held while the ‘Baan Sankdi’ ritual was held Of thousands of marriages on on February 12. On Valentine’s Basant Panchami day on Tues- Day the ‘Lagan-Teeka’ ceremo, day there was one that sparked ny was held. Finally on Febru, , huge public interest in Rajas- ary 16, the couple was married than: the wedding of in full splendour in suspended state adDausa district. ministrative service Meena has to surofficer Pinky Meena, render in court on Febwho has been in jail ruary 21. She was arfor past one month for rested on January 15 allegedly demanding a when she was allegedbribe of `10 lakh from ly taking a bribe of `10 a highway company. lakh from a construcThe officer got martion contractor under Graft ried to a Rajasthan Juthe Bharat Mata charges dicial Service official. project for laying Pinky was Posted as Bandikui down the Delhi-Mumarrested on SDM till mid-January , bai Express Highway . Meena had got bail January 15 when The Rajasthan Anti she was from the Rajasthan Corruption Bureau High Court. In her bail allegedly taking conducted the action a bribe of `10 petition, she cited her on the basis of a comlakh from a marriage as the reaplaint which they had construction son for seeking bail. received against her. contractor The government lawSince mid-January, yer opposed her plea Meena has been a prisclaiming that the investigation oner at the Central Jail in may get affected as Meena was Jaipur’s Ghatgate area. Her getting married to a judge. regular bail plea will come up The marriage rituals were for hearing a day after she organised at Meena’s house. On surrenders in court on FebruFebruary 11, the ritual of ‘Pee- ary 21. R a j e s h As n a n i @ Jaipur not a word of violence. Section 124A of the IPC cannot be invoked as per Kedarnath judgment,” he contended. “She’s a lawyer practising in this court, she knows her duties,” the lawyer said and denied that Jacob had any links with Khalistani groups. “When these campaigns take place, you take the support of various people. The name ‘Poetic Justice Foundation’ doesn’t suggest someone is talking about Khalistan.” Appearing on behalf of Delhi Police, advocate Hiten Venegoankar said Jacob would not be arrested till the pronouncement of order. Opposing the bail plea, however, he claimed the toolkit was created and authored by Disha and Jacob along with many others who are part of the Khalistan movement. He also contended that the HC does not have the powers to grant any relief when the matter pertains to another state. Jacob, instead of cooperating, absconded from her residence, he alleged. It may be too early to say if India is heading towards a fresh wave of Covid-19, but some states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Haryana are parhaps s h ow i n g e a rly s i g n s o f a resurgence. Overall for the country, too, beginning February 6, there have been quite a few days when the active cases have gone up, as compared to the previous day after staying flat , for weeks. In Maharashtra that had a heavy case load, the graph started flattening last month. But on February 14, it recorded 4,092 new cases, the highest since January 6 when 4,382 new cases were reported. In Mumbai, the number of daily cases has started climbing over the last few days, especially since local trains started rolling again, prompting the mayor and the state government to warn on Tuesday of another lockdown if the Covid-19 norms are not observed. Haryana, which had less than 100 new cases for quite some time now, has started registering over 100 new cases almost every day since February 11. Ditto Gujarat. India now has 1, 34,033 active cases and on February 6, this number went upwards for the first time in a month. Over the last 10 days, there have been six days when the active cases in nine months E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi A sanitation worker is vaccinated at Hindu Rao hospital on Tuesday | Shekhar yadav Nationwide cases 9,121 new cases were reported in a day, while the death toll increased to 1,55,813 with 81 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. have risen, the highest 2,111 registered on February 14. Public health researcher Oommen C Kurian said he is not sure whether the rising numbers in some states can be called a resurgence, but did agree that there have been many days in the last week or so when the active cases have gone up. “This is a clear departure from past trends and a cause for concer n,” he reckoned. Not all experts, however, are worried and opine that a second wave in the country may be unlikely. They attributed the trend to life returning to normal with increasing population movements. “Deaths should concern us more than cases, as with approaching fall in cases, false positives become an issue,” said epidemiologist Amitav Banerjee. He said as businesses open, there could be a spike among young, relatively healthy people which may have less serious impact. If more people without comorbidities start succumbing, presence of a more virulent strain can be suspected. “The closed communities would reach herd immunity faster but in current scenario herd immunity develops in installments.” In a new twist to the grave political crisis staring at Puducherry, Kiran Bedi was on Tuesday removed as Lt Governor of the Union Territory . Tamilisai Soundararajan, Governor of Telangana, had been directed to additionally discharge the functions of the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry The late evening de. velopment comes on a day CONTINUED ON P4 Express read Lok Sabha MP gets threatening letter, case registered Scale back Chinese troops disengage from the banks of Pangong lake area in Eastern Ladakh | pic courtesy: ARMY Kiran Bedi no longer Puducherry Lt-Governor D e b j a n i D u t ta @ Puducherry For the third time, new Covid-19 cases have fallen below the 100-mark in Delhi since the beginning of the year. According to the Delhi government’s daily health bulletin, 94 new cases were registered in the past 24 hours, the lowest this year and also in over nine months. The last time the national capital saw cases below 100 was on January 27 when 96 new patients were found positive. There has been only one death owing to the virus in the 24-hour span, taking the death toll in the city to 10,894. The p o s i t iv i t y r a t e w a s . 1 7 per cent. Last week, the city had recorded zero deaths. As per sources, most of the positive cases are from the NCR cities. While the cases are witnessing a decline, medical experts are seeing a surge in post- Covid symptoms. Brain fog, causing impaired thinking and concentration, is one of the serious neurological impacts of Covid-19 virus, claimed experts when the Cong ress-led V Narayanasamy government lost its majority status following the resignation of yet another MLA, A John Kumar. A statement from Ajay Kumar Singh, Press Secretary to President, said, “The President has directed that Dr Kiran Bedi shall cease to hold the office of the Lt-Governor of Puducherry and has appointed Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, Governor of Telangana, to dis- charge the functions of the LtGovernor of Puducherry, in addition to her own duties, with effect from the date she assumes charge of her office, until regular arrangements for the office of Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry are made.” Bedi’s removal seem to have been on the cards after local BJP members expressed displeasure over her functioning, saying it was affecting them politically They had sent peti. tions to Home Minister Amit Shah and to BJP chief J P Nadda seeking her removal. Among other things, Bedi vigorously pursued making helmets mandatory and imposing hefty spot fines, DBT instead of free rice and clothing to the poor, and turned down the government’s proposal for 10 per cent reservation for government school students in admission to medical and engineering colleges. New Delhi: A case has been registered after Lok Sabha MP Navneet Ravi Rana lodged a complaint saying someone left her a threatening letter at her North Avenue flat, Delhi Police said on Tuesday. Rana, an Independent MP from Mahasrashtra’s Amravati, filed the complaint on Saturday, they said. Using abusive language, the letter threatened her of dire consequences for speaking in the Lok Sabha against the Shiv Sena, a senior police officer said. A case under relevant sections was registered on Sunday at the North Avenue police station. FARM ‘VESTED PARTIES are misguiding our farmers’ While those who have grabbed land of farmers do not want to see them flourish, the NDA govt is committed to making every citizen empowered, PM Modi says | P7 Bells ring as temple reopens in downtown Srinagar after 31 yrs F aya z W a n i @ Srinagar The Sheetal Nath Mandir in Kralakhud area of downtown Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, was re-opened after 31 years on Tuesday Temple bells rang as . Basant Panchmi puja and havan were performed, suspended since militancy erupted in the erstwhile state in 1990. Around 30 Kashmiri Pandits, both migrants and nonmigrants, attended the prayers. ‘Prasad’ was also distributed among the devotees. “We have formally re-opened the temple,” Upendra Handoo, the priest, said, recalling how the temple was closed in 1990. Handoo said Basant Panchmi puja in Srinagar used to be The Sheetal Nath Mandir in Srinagar had last seen rituals in 1990s | zahoor Punjabi Muslims living near the temple have always extended help to the shrine. This time also, they helped us in the arrangements signifying the Hindu-Muslim amity —Upendra Handoo, priest performed at the Sheetal Nath Mandir where hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits congregated before militancy began. “Fire crackers were burst and vendors would set up stalls in the area in run-up to the celebrations,” Handoo recalled. He said the day is very significant for the Kashmiri Pandits as the community starts the formal education of their newborns on this day . Handoo is also a trustee of Shri Sanathan Dharma Sheetal Nath Ashram Sabha which looks after the maintenance of the temple. He said Muslims living near the temple have always extended their help to the shrine management.“This time also, they helped us in the arrangements signifying the Hindu-Muslim amity .” He said reopening of the temple is a big confidencebuilding measure and would send out a message outside the Valley that Kashmir is safe. He said the Ashram Sabha members have urged the government to take more steps for the return of the Pandits to the Valley . The Pandits had migrated en masse from the Valley after militancy erupted. According to official figures, 219 Kashmiri Pandits have been killed in the militancy-related violence in J&K. Srinagar Mayor Junaid Mattu also visited the Sheetal Nath Mandir on Tuesday and interacted with the Mandir management officials and devotees.
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