THURSDAY POWERFUL BLAST OUTSIDE HAFIZ SAEED’S HOUSE KILLS 3 24 Car bomb blast at checkpoint near Mumbai attack mastermind’s Lahore residence on Wednesday also injured 20 JUNE, 2021 ATTACKERS GOT TOO CLOSE TO HIS HOUSE epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard PUNJAB UPDATE CONGRESS PANEL SUMMONS SIDHU CM Amarinder given deadline to fulfil promises made before polls PAGE 7 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 Forty Delta Plus cases in 5 states; don’t panic: Govt A day after the Centre issued an alert after the detection of a Delta Plus variant of Covid-19 in three states, scientists associated with the government’s genomic surveillance project said it is a matter of concern but there is no reason to panic yet. The Union health ministry while issuing a statement on INSACOG’s report on the Delta variant with K417N mutation — also being called B.1.617.2.1 or AY.1 or Delta Plus — said this was first detected in India in a sample collected on April 5 in Maharashtra. AY.1 has been found in two more states, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, apart from Maharashtra, MP and Kerala. About 40 such cases have been detected so far. INSACOG is a consortium of labs for genomic and epidemiological surveillance of Covid-19. It has so far carried out whole genome sequencing in about 45,000 virus samples collected from across India. The government as well as scientists associated with the project said there is no evidence yet to suggest that this variant is more transmissible or increases disease severity But the . K417N mutation, which has previously been seen in the South African and Brazilian variants, has been known to evade immune response, raising worries against possible reduced effectiveness of existing vaccines. “The government has done a good thing by issuing an advisory said a scientist with CSIR,” Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology “But we are yet . to understand whether the effects of mutations are neutral, additive, or even bigger than the sum of individuals mutations because of small number of cases,” he added. An independent virologist said that in the wake of the new finding, the government should also reveal its future strategy. “In my view, a test like the one developed in the UK which is faster and cheaper than whole genome sequencing in detecting the mutation should be urgently considered and deployed here in order to understand the characteristics and progression FIRST CASE IN TN Chennai: A staff nurse in a cancer hospital in Chennai is the first known case of Delta Plus in Tamil Nadu, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said. The patient’s sample tested positive after genome sequencing at InSTEM, a lab in Bengaluru. The patient has since recovered and all contacts tested negative for Covid, he added. of this variant,” he said. Worldwide, 205 cases with AY.1 have been reported from nine countries. AY.1 was first reported by the Public Health England bulletin on June 11. A retrospective analysis of samples by INSACOG revealed the first occurrence of this lineage from a sample collected from Maharashtra in the early days of April. @ New Delhi AFTER facing difficulties and losing several members of its faculties and non-teaching staff to the Covid-19 second wave, Delhi University is preparing for the third. The varsity has decided to convert one of its campus hostels into a Covid Care Facility with 200 beds. It will also offer Covid care facilities in Jananki Devi Memorial and Hansraj College with 100 beds each. Further, to prevent fatalities in the third wave, vaccination drives are being organised Kes h av M a h av i dya l ay a n d Laxmibai College. “These facilities will need beds, medical equipment, oxygen, medicines and above all doctors and nurses. To meet these needs, the varsity is planning to sign up with pathological labs and organisations to strengthen the facilities,” said Vikas Gupta, DU registrar. @ New Delhi New Zealand players celebrate in Southampton on Wednesday after beating India in the World Test Championship final | AP Black Caps shine in whites EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW ZEALAND has a population of roughly three million. The player pool they have at their disposal is less than 100. The revenue New Zealand Cricket earns from the game is minuscule, nothing compared to the Indian cricket board. Yet, these disparities didn’t count for much as the Black Caps engineered a sensational eight-wicket win to claim the i n a u g u r a l Wo r l d T e s t Championship. After a few gloomy days in Southampton’s Rose Bowl, the last day proved to be a beehive of action. Despite playing in better batting conditions than the previous days, India’s famed batting line-up cracked under pressure. The New Zea- land attack made hay when the sun shone, literally . A collapse was the last thing Virat Kohli and his team needed. But when the skipper walked back in the morning, it was always on the cards. After bowling India out for 170, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor steadied the ship and took the team home for only their second ICC title (they had won the Champions Trophy in 2000, beating India in the final). For a side that had to wait 26 years for a Test match win — the longest for any nation in history — the World Test Championship title was made possible by an ecelctic bunch of cricketers. They are considered as the best team to take the field for their country Not . even their team of the 1980s Dilraj Kaur in happier days | EXPRESS comprising Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe has been this competitive. For India, this was an opportunity lost. Easily the best side , in the World Test Championship cycle, all they needed was one good session with the bat. Instead, from the moment Kyle Jamieson removed Kohli in the sixth over of the day and Cheteshwar Puajra two overs later, their fate was all but sealed as they could just manage a lead of 138. Conditions were in New Zealand’s favour but India might have given themselves a better chance by playing an extra batsman. Perhaps, they didn’t need two spinners. All that, though, is now footnotes as one of cricket’s most underrated P11 sides had the last laugh. U’khand HC calls Covid death audit a sham V I N E E T U PA D H YAY @ Dehradun THE Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the state government over the botched-up Covid death figures, terming it “totally vague, sham, misleading and not acceptable”. The division bench comprising Chief Justice R S Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma blamed the officials’ lacklustre attitude for the ‘bureacratic mess’. Dushyant Mainali, one of the petitioners, said, “In most cases, the cause of death is Gupta said focus will be on oxygen, the lack of which caused havoc in Delhi in the second wave. “The university will set up an oxygen plant that can fill in medical cylinders (5080 cylinders per day),” he said. The varsity has had talks with vendors and obtained quotes. “We will provide cylinders to DU members and also to those in the neighbourhood. This step will help other educational universities and institutions also,” said the regsitrar. posted as ‘cardiopulmonary arrest’ to which court raised questions.” Tearing apart the death audit submitted by the state health department, the bench said, “Whenever we ask about preparedness, you (health secretary) use terms like adequate, sufficient, tremendous efforts, etc. Sorry this is not a meeting , chaired by Hon’ble Chief Minister where you will project anything/something and that will be accepted. This is the High Court and if you will JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT and her brother soon after that, leaving the family on the verge of a financial precipice. Gurdeep Kaur, her mother, was an active participant in the movement for Uttarakhand’s statehood. “I had a job offer which I declined on the condition that the job will be provided to my daughter. There was an enabling provision, but nothing of the sort happened,” laments Gurdeep. The family tried many times to start afresh. They sold their house for the treatment of Dilraj’s brother and father. The family now lives in rented accommodation. Debts kept mounting and Gurdeep had to take up stitching. “I tried to do odd jobs, but paint a rosy picture and say ‘it’s Ramrajya and we are in heaven’, we will not believe because we rely on facts and evidences and we are aware of the ground reality of this hill state.” Visibly angry at the health department officials, the court remarked, “All these vague terms being used by you are bureaucratic cobweb and a cover-up to bureaucratic mess. We want bureaucracy of this state to work overnight on war footing and not to make decisions over- night instead of halting them.” The bench also stated that the affidavit by the health department is totally silent on the steps taken in compliance of the recommendations of the high powered committee of paediatric experts. After the health department officials tried to explain how the government is in the process of procurement, issuing tenders etc, the court dismissed these submissions as an ‘eyewash’. The court was hearing combined petitions regarding the Covid-19 situation in the state. June 22 52,12,628 doses June 23 63,26,649 doses TOTAL DOSES: 30,09,69,538 NATIONWIDE JUNE 22 JUNE 23 Fresh cases Recovery Active cases DELHI Positive cases Recovery Active cases Deaths Positivity rate 42,640 81,839 1,167 50,848 68,817 1,358 JUNE 22 JUNE 23 134 467 1,918 08 0.20% 111 702 1,797 07 0.15% International para shooter forced to sell biscuits KNOW Dilraj Kaur (38) in a rewind: as the first female para rifle shooter from India, she has in her 17-year career won 28 gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze medals, including the World Games of 2007 in Taiwan and 2015 in Bengaluru. Fast-forward to 2021: Dilraj and her mother sell biscuits and other eatables outside Gandhi Park, Dehradun. “We have lost almost everything — my father, brother, and my career, almost. But my family will never give up. We don’t mind selling things on the streets. We will do anything because no work is small,” says Dilraj. She lost her father in 2019 covery Tribunal on behalf of SBI-led consortium sold shares of United Breweries Limited. AFTER facing a lot of flak over The Dutch liquor company acfugitive businessmen Mehul quired 3.96 crore shares, or 15% Choksi, Nirav Modi and Vijay in United Breweries. Mallaya, the Centre on Tuesday According to ED, further remanaged to score a big political alisation of `800 Crore by sale point by announcing that `9,042 of shares is expected by 25 June. crore worth of attached Public-sector banks assets of the trio have have already recovered been transferred to the `1,357 crore by selling PSU banks defrauded the shares. by them. According to the anAccording to an Ennual report of United forcement Directorate Breweries, equity statement, Mallya, shares accounting for Modi and Choksi de16.15% held by a few Nirav Modi frauded PSU banks promoter companies causing a total loss of promoted by Mallya `22,586 crore to the constituting had been banks. So, `9,042 crore transferred to the deworks out around 40% mat account of ED, of the total loss suffered Mumbai . by the banks. The ED, acting on the So far, the ED has atFIRs by the Central Butached assets worth reau of Investigation, `18,170 crore of the has detected a number Vijay Mallaya three absconders. These of domestic and interinclude assets worth national transactions `969 crore located in foreign and assets stashed abroad. The countries. ED has also filed prosecution Of the `9,042 crore, `5824 complaints against all the three crore has been recovered by accused after completion of sale of shares of United Brew- m o n e y laundering eries to Heineken NV Debt Re- investigation. . EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE SILENT GUN V I N E E T U PA D H YAY @ Dehradun Impact of the blast shattered windows of several nearby houses. At least six of the injured are critical condition. Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Inam Ghani claimed that hostile intelligence agencies could be behind the blast PSU banks get back 40% dues from Nirav, Mallaya and Choksi DU hostel to become Covid care centre EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE SIX OTHERS CRITICAL, DEATH TOLL COULD GO UP RECOVERY Genome sequencing shows first occurrence in sample taken in Maharashtra on April 5 S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi There is no clarity yet on whether Saeed was at his residence at the time of the blast. But heavy security presence in the area led to conjecture of his possible presence. It was unclear whether the car, packed with explosives, was remotely detonated or if a suicide bomber was behind the blast. A preliminary probe found that over 30 kg of explosives were used couldn’t find my feet. The Covid pandemic and lockdown snatched from us whatever little we had,” says Dilraj. Her marriage failed because of her husband’s drug addiction. Dilraj’s saddest moment came in 2019. She was the chief guest at an event in Gurugram when she received the news of her brother’s demise. “I will never be able to forget those moments. My body went cold, my throat was dry and I froze for a while. I had to leave the event,” recalls Dilraj. She represented India in the International Paralympic Committee World Cup in 2015 and officiated in several selection committees as well as shooting competitions. Independent MLAs meet at Jaipur Circuit House on Wednesday evening | TWITTER Ind MLAs back Gehlot in tussle against Pilot R A J E S H A S N A N I @ Jaipur THE crucial meeting of a newly formed pressure group of Independent MLAs meant to neutralize the Sachin Pilot camp was held on Wednesday . Six former BSP MLAs, who were part of the group, stayed away apparently due to fear of disciplinary action from the Congress leadership. The 13 Independent MLAs met at Jaipur Circuit House and expressed faith in the Ashok Gehlot government. They also targeted the BJP, saying that if it tried to destabilize the government, they would provide an effective answer. On Sachin Pilot, these MLAs said he had never tasted defeat and was upset at being outwitted for the first time. Independent MLA Sanyam Lodha told the media the group had supported and strength- ened the Rajasthan government, both within and outside the Assembly On the proposed . Cabinet expansion and political appointments, Lodha said this was Gehlot’s prerogative. “When and how he wants to reshuffle the Cabinet is a right of the chief minister. Creating undue pressure or setting time limits is avoidable. It will not be in the interest of the people of the state to set such conditions. Our group fully authorizes Gehlot to take all such decisions as he deems fit.” He hinted at the pressure being built by the Pilot camp, which wants Cabinet expansion and political appointments at the earliest, with adequate representation for the Pilot loyalists. “There is no need to name anyone for exerting pressure. Everyone knows who is using pressure tactics,” added Lodha. SUO MOTU Andhra HC itself files 11 cases against Jagan Reddy EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Vijayawada THE Andhra Pradesh High Court has registered 11 suo motu revision petitions on the closure of cases, pertaining to certain comments made by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy when he was in the Opposition, by lower courts. Justice Kanneganti Lalitha, who heard the pleas on Wednesday refrained from issuing no, tices to police, original petitioners, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and others, who were made respondents, following strong objections from Advocate General Subramanyam Sriram. The unprecedented suo motu action was based on the recommendation of the high court’s administrative committee. When he was in the Opposition in 2016, YSRC chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy made certain comments against the then chief minister and TDP supremo Nara Chandrababu Naidu and the alleged Amaravati land scam. Subsequently, a few cases were booked against him in Anantapur, and Guntur districts. Police filed final reports reportedly in the absence of actionable evidence. The petitioners too reportedly informed the magistrate courts they had no objection to closure of the cases. Following this, the lower courts closed the cases. The court’s administrative committee found fault with it and took an ‘administrative’ decision to take up the issue suo motu. Advocate General Sriram argued that the HC cannot take up ‘administrative’ suo motu action using its powers under Sections 397, 401, 482 and 483 of the CrPC. He said it’s the first time in the history of judiciary that suo motu action was being taken based on an administrative decision.
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