FRIDAY MAD NIGHT IN GROUP F COMPLETES FIRST STAGE RIDE 25 Last day’s action in Group of Death saw wild swings, a dubious penalty call, a Ronaldo record as well as setting up a historic clash in the prequarters JUNE, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in GERMANY BATTLE, RONALDO EQUALS MARK facebook.com/TheMorningStandard After failing to advance past the group stage in 2018 World Cup, Germany trailed twice before scoring an 84th minute equaliser to progress. Portugal rode on two penalties from Ronaldo to draw against France twitter.com/TheMornStandard CALCUTTA HC JUSTICE SAYS IT’S MEDIA TRIAL Reserves order on Mamata Banerjee’s plea to recuse himself from hearing PAGE 8 RESTART A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 First of the last 16 clashes, on Saturday, sees Wales play Denmark PAGES 12 LAST-16 GAMES June 26 : June 27 : June 27 : June 28 : June 28 : June 29 : June 29 : June 30 : Denmark vs Wales | 9.30 pm Italy vs Austria | 12.30 am Netherlands vs Czech Republic | 9.30 pm Belgium vs Portugal | 12.30 am Croatia vs Spain | 9.30 pm France vs Switzerland | 12.30 am England vs Germany | 9.30 pm Sweden vs Ukraine | 12.30 am PM sets tone to bridge J&K gulf Twitter India chief gets HC relief from UP cop summons SANA SHAKIL & MANISH ANAND YAT H I R A J U @ Bengaluru Calls for physical and emotional outreach; all 14 leaders ask for restoration of statehood @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said he was working towards removing “Dilli ki duri and Dil ki duri” (distance between between J&K and Delhi and distance between hearts), in a meeting he chaired with 14 leaders of eight parties from the state. “Our priority is to strengthen grassroots democracy in J&K. Delimitation has to happen at a quick pace so that polls can happen and J&K gets an elected government that gives strength to J&K’s development trajectory the Prime Minister ,” tweeted after the talks at his residence, which lasted over three hours. The meeting came nearly two years after Article 370 was hollowed out and J&K was broken up into two Union Territories. Restoration of statehood, holding the delimitation process, conducting Assembly elections to restore democracy, release of political detainees, rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in J&K, ceasefire agreement with Pakistan, Article 370 and protection of land rights were among the key issues that came up for discussion. While Modi heard all political leaders individually and expressed the Central govern- Status check IN a huge relief for Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari, the Karnatka High Court on Thursday restrained Uttar Pradesh Police from initiating coercive action against him. Maheshwari was summoned by Ghaziabad Police in connection with a viral video. However, the court said the police can question him virtually . Justice G Narendar passed the interim order after hearing a plea filed by Maheshwari, a resident of Bengaluru, while adjourning it to June 29. NATIONWIDE PM Narendra Modi greets National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and others from J&K at the meeting on Thursday | PTI ment’s willingness to fulfil most demands raised by them, he was silent when Article 370 was raised by National Conference leaders Farooq and Omar Abdullah, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and CPM leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, sources said. The eight parties that were represented included the National Conference, the PDP the , BJP and the Congress. Union home minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Lt Governor Manoj Sinha participated. Restoration of statehood was raised by all 14 leaders. Shah said the government is committed to restoring it, but that would happen after the delimitation process and holding of elections is over. Modi sought cooperation from all parties irrespective of political differences to expedite the process. After the talks, Farooq Abdullah emphasised on the importance of building trust in J&K, saying that restoration of full statehood will be the first trust-building exercise from New Delhi’s side. His son Omar said Prime Minister Modi had been told about their opposition to what was done on August 5, 2019, when the decision to revoke J&K’s special status and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories was announced in Parliament. He added that it was the duty of the Centre to restore the broken trust of the people and said that delimitation is not necessary . CONTINUED ON P8 JUNE 23 JUNE 24 Fresh cases Recovery Active cases 50,848 68,817 1,358 JAB-O-METER June 23 63,26,649 doses TAKE YOUR SHOT 54,069 68,885 1,321 June 24 54,07,060 doses TOTAL DOSES: 30,72,46,600 JUNE 23 JUNE 24 DELHI Positive cases 111 109 Recovery 702 131 Active cases 1,797 1,767 Deaths 07 08 Containment zones 4,340 2,277 Tests 76,185 77,382 Positivity rate 0.15% 0.14% Rewards were announced for info on accused EXPRESS READ The low-intensity blast had taken place near the Israel embassy located at APJ Abdul Kalam Road on January 29 at around 5 pm. A few cars parked outside the embassy were slightly damaged. The case was handed over to the National Investigation Agency on February 2. Rewards of `10 lakh each were announced for two Jaipur: A facility for genome sequencing has been started at the SMS Medical College in Jaipur for identifying Covid variants, the Rajasthan government announced on Thursday. Health Minister Raghu Sharma said that in view of Covid prevention, the genome sequencing facility has been made available in the state at a cost of `1 crore. “Genome sequencing will provide information about new variants of the virus,” said the health minister. Genome sequencing lab in Jaipur File photo from January 29, after the explosion in New Delhi | EXPRESS Delhi Police arrests four Kargil youths for IED explosion near Israel Embassy EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @New Delhi THE Delhi Police Special Cell has arrested four persons from Kargil, Ladakh, for the low-intensity IED blast that took place near the Israel Embassy on January 29. The Special Cell acted in a joint operation with a central intelligence agency and Kargil Police. The accused have been identified as Nazir Hussain (25), Zulfikar Ali Wazir (25), Aiaz Hussain (28) and Muzammil Hussain (25). T hey were brought to Delhi on Thursday for questioning. In a joint operation with a central intelligence agency and Kargil Police, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police apprehended the four in connection with a conspiracy to plan and exe- cute terror activities in Delhi, the police said. “The four persons have been detained for hatching a conspiracy to plan and execute terror activities in the national capital. All the accused are residents of village Thang, district Kargil, Ladakh,” said Delhi Police spokesperson DCP Chenmoy Biswal. “They have been taken on remand and brought to Delhi. Further investigation is going on, and details will be shared in All the accused are residents Kargil, Ladakh... They have been taken on remand and brought to Delhi. Further investigation is going on, and details will be shared in due course Chenmoy Biswal, Delhi Police due course,” said Biswal. A low-intensity IED blast had taken place near the embassy located at APJ Abdul Kalam Road on January 29 at around 5 pm. A few cars parked outside the embassy were slightly damaged. The case was handed over to the National Investigation Agency on February 2. The NIA had last week announced a reward of `10 lakh each for the identification of two persons captured in CCTV footage installed near the Israel Embassy area. The two individuals were seen when the explosive material was being planted outside the embassy. Both men with their faces covered were seen walking on the road and one of them wearing a jacket was spotted carrying a bag with him, the police had said. WORRY SOON AFTER SWIFT DECLINE, COVID CASES RISE AGAIN Experts reckon it is too early to confirm if this is a new trend nationwide, advocate caution and increased testing in parts of the country where numbers are on an upward curve | P7 The first FIR was filed against Twitter in UP after the social media platform likely lost the intermediary status due to noncompliance with the country’s new information technology rules and became liable for prosecution The Loni Border Police in UP had registered an FIR against Twitter Inc and Twitter India Communications Pvt Ltd (TCIPL) on June 15. The video showed an elderly man belonging to a minority community CBI books ex-Kerala DGP, 17 others for framing Narayanan former DySP KK Joshua are the other prominent names featured in the list of accused. THE CBI team probing the con- Sibi had then headed the spespiracy behind the 1994 ISRO cial team to probe the sensaespionage case has filed an FIR tional case that began with the in the Thiruvananthapuram arrest of two Maldivian womChief Judicial Magistrate en, who were accused of inCourt, listing 18 retired state dulging in honey-trapping to police officers and Intelligence leak sensitive information reBureau sleuths as accused. garding India’s space projects The CBI had initiated the to foreign agencies. probe on the instrucThe FIR listed 10 tion of the Supreme charges against the acCourt. It perused the cused, including IPC Justice D K Jain report sections pertaining to to reach a conclusion criminal conspiracy, that the case ought to fabrication of evibe investigated by the dence, kidnapping, torpremier agency to unture, etc. The case surearth if there was any faced in 1994 when conspiracy to frame Nambi Narayanan Narayanan was arrestformer ISRO scientist ed on charges of espioNambi Narayanan and others. nage, along with another senIn the FIR filed by the Delhi ior ISRO official, two Maldivian unit, for mer state Special women and a businessman. Branch inspector S Vijayan The case created a political and then Pettah station sub- storm in Kerala when faction inspector Thampi S Durgadutt fight in the Congress was at its have been listed the first and peak. Later, then Chief Minissecond accused, respectively. ter K Karunakaran had to quit Then city police commissioner office in 1995 after reports came V R Rajeevan, former DGP Sibi out that he was protecting his Mathews, former IB deputy di- close aide and senior police ofrector RB Sreekumar and ficer Raman Srivastava. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram Link passport number to vaccination certificate for smooth passage abroad cine certificate and the passport is same. Earlier this month, the Centre had anTHE government’s CoWin por- nounced new guidelines for tal is now enabling users to Covid-19 vaccination, stating link their vaccination that those travelling certificates to passports abroad for education, for use during travel. jobs, or as part of the “Now, you can upIndian contingent for VISA date your passport the Tokyo Olympic number in your vacciGames, will have to get nation certificate,” the their vaccination certifiofficial handle of Aarogya cates linked to passports. Setu app tweeted. Meanwhile, following up on The app also allows for a the Prime Minister’s proposal one-time name change to en- at the G7 meeting, the National sure that the name on the vac- Health Authority has proposed EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi to hold an event with partner countries to share India’s experience and expertise in the use of open source digital tools in contact tracing and vaccine management. “The National Health Authority proposes to organise an event with partner countries to share details of the indigenously developed CoWin App, which has been at the centre of our vaccination drive. We will provide updates once the details have been firmed up,” said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi. SHILLONG’S HERITAGE Outrage over felling of trees for mega road project in Scotland of India P R A S A N TA M A Z U M D A R @ Guwahati THERE is public outrage in picturesque Shillong after hundreds of pine trees, many over a century-old, were cut down for a mega road project. After photos and videos of the trees brought down went viral and triggered protests, the state gover nment has stopped felling the remaining trees. These vintage trees, considered Shillong’s heritage, stood by a road from Rilbong to Upper Shillong and added to the beauty of the hill station, a popular tourist destination. The road will be widened as a part of Shillong-Dawki mega four-lane project. The forest department said it had received orders to cut 4,447 trees. The Ministry of Environment and Forest had cleared the 71-km project worth `1,251cr. The department said it stopped cutting the trees following the intervention of Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, who asked the National Highway Infrastructure Devel- opment Corporation Ltd, which is implementing the project, to stop bringing down the trees. State Forest Minister James Sangma said the trees were felled on one side of the avenue plantation as it was “totally unavoidable” for the major road project. The forest department said as compensatory afforestation, it would plant 10 trees for each one felled. Locals were not impressed. “The trees were there when my grandparents were young. They were there when my par- ents and we grew up. Now, these friends of generations of people have been brought down, hurting our sentiments,” said Irene Kharkongor, a resident. Activist Agnes Kharshiing said it was disturbing to see hundreds of trees being felled. “We would like to know if the government had followed Indian Forest Act, Bio-Diversity Act and Meghalaya Forest Regulation Act. Who gave the land for the project and who is funding for the destruction of the trees?” asked Agnes. being assaulted in Ghaziabad, allegedly to incite communal tensions. Maheshwari moved the Karnataka HC challenging the summons issued by the UP police. He said he is neither the MD of TCIPL nor a board member. He claimed he is merely the revenue head, in charge of advertising and sales, but the designation of md was given as he is a senior employee. Maheshwari’s counsel C V Nagesh argued that his client neither uploaded the video nor had any control over its content in any manner. Trees felled by the side of a road connecting Rilbong with Upper Shillong | EXPRESS ROAD PROJECT In two years, Delhi to Kullu in seven hours H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh IN two years, Delhiites will be able to zip to Kullu in just seven hours, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday after dedicating four-lane Parwanoo-Solan section of National Highway-22 (New NH-05) to the country. The stretch, having a length of 39.14 km, was constructed at a cost of `1,303 crore and will significantly reduce the travel time to Shimla, giving a big boost to tourism in Himachal Pradesh. Gadkari inaugurated and laid foundation stones of road projects worth `6,155 crore for the state. The plan is to award road projects worth `15,000 crore to Himachal this year, he said. All these projects would be completed within stipulated deadline, he assured. The detailed project report for construction of 40-km Left Bank Road project at Manali would be prepared at the earliest, the minister said. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur urged him for double-laning of the road. Minister of State Gen (retd) V K Singh said road projects worth `2,000 crore had been completed in the state and work was in prog ress on projects worth `7,000 crore.
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