FRIDAY 14 JANUARY, 2022 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard FINAL TEST DESPITE PANT TON, INDIA STRUGGLE South Africa well placed to deny the visitors unprecedented success PAGE 11 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 NO BREAKTHROUGH IN 14TH INDIA-CHINA BORDER TALKS PAGES 12 The Corps Commander-level meeting was held at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Chinese side on Wednesday Covid strategies should save livelihood: PM At review meeting with chief ministers, Modi suggests local containment, steps that insulate the economy EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi ADVISING heightened alert to avoid panic situations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his first meeting with chief ministers since the outbreak of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, suggested adopting local containment strategies that have the least impact on livelihood and the economy . He also urged them to be prepared for future variants of the virus as it mutates very fast. “The earlier confusion about Omicron is slowly getting cleared now. The Omicron variant is infecting the general public many times faster than the earlier variants. We have to be alert, be careful, but we also have to take care that there is no panic situation,” Modi said, whose closing remarks were broadcast on social media. Stressing that the Centre and states are dealing with the pandemic for two years now, Modi urged chief ministers to stick the past practices and work collectively “The way the Central . and state governments had JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT January 12 66,77,685 doses January 13 63,92,572 doses TOTAL DOSES: 1,55,28,76,434 adopted a pre-emptive, proactive and collective approach, the same is the mantra of victory this time as well. The more we can limit the corona infection, the less the problem will be,” he said. Underscoring the point that economic activities should not be disrupted, Modi sought to nudge chief ministers to avoid lockdown situations. While Delhi has imposed weekend curfew, other states, too, have announced various restrictions, including night curfew. “While making any strategy, it is very important to keep in mind that there should be minimum damage to the livelihood of the common people. Economic activities and momentum of the economy should be maintained. So, it will be better to focus more on local containment,” he said, while stressing that thrust should be on providing maximum treatment in home isolation. Vaccination, he said, is the only counter to the pandemic, adding the first dose has been administered to about 92% of the adult population. FACTOIDS 2,47,417 13.11% 10.80% Record Covid cases but worst may soon be over Daily positivity rate Weekly Positivity Rate HEALTH INFRA EXPANDED E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Utilising the `23,000 crore package sanctioned by the Centre earlier to revamp health infra, over 800 paediatric units, 1.5 lakh new ICU and HDU beds, more than 5,000 special ambulances and over 950 liquid medical oxygen storage tank capacity have been added across the country so far JAN 12 With the dialogue failing to move forward, both sides decided to hold the next round of the commanders’ talks at the earliest possible date. “The two sides agreed to stay in close contact and maintain dialogue via military and diplomatic channels and work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest,” said a joint statement issued on Thursday 50,000-60,000 New cases in the country as on Thursday morning DELHI STAGE SET FOR NEXT ROUND OF TALKS NATIONWIDE JAN 12 JAN 13 Fresh cases 1,94,720 2,47,417 Fresh cases 27,561 JAN 13 28,867 Recoveries Deaths 60,405 442 84,825 380 Recoveries Deaths 14,957 40 22,121 31 THE national capital on Thursday reported 28,867 fresh cases of Covid-19, the highest singleday surge since the pandemic began. Compared to the previous day’s tally however, the in, crease in the number of cases was only 1.04%. The positivity rate jumped to 29,21%, highest since May 3 last year. This means one out of every three persons tested is turning out to be positive. However, indications are that the worst may soon be over. Delhi’s health minister Satyendra Jain reiterated that the number of patients admitted in hospitals had stabilised and hoped READY BJP FINALISES UP FIRST LIST, PACT WITH ALLIES that Delhi will see the Covid peak in two-three days. According to Dr Jug al Kishore, head of Community Medicine department at Safdarjung Hospital, the cases are expected to peak between January 15 to January 20. “Stable means the speed of rise as it was in the beginning is not there anymore. The everyday jump which we were witnessing earlier has slowed down, which shows we are very close to the peak,” said Dr Kishore. “The faster the infection reaches everyone in Delhi, the faster the saturation will happen and the peak will come.” CONTINUED ON P4 Party finalised over 170 candidates for the first three phases in Uttar Pradesh; Congress first list has 40 per cent women; SP-RLD also announce candidates for 29 seats | P8 TROOPS TO REMAIN IN FRICTION POINTS Incidentally, Army Chief General M M Naravane had said on Wednesday that India was hopeful of resolving issues related to disengagement at Patrolling Point 15 (Hot Springs) in Ladakh in the latest talks. The 13th round of Corps Commander-level talks held on October 10, 2021 had also ended in a stalemate for the two sides | P9 TROOPS EACH SIDE HAS DEPLOYED ALONG THE LINE OF ACTUAL CONTROL IN LADAKH 14TH ROUND OF LAC TALKS END IN STALEMATE M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi THE stalemate that marked the 13th round of India-China Corps Commander level talks in October persisted in the 14th round of dialogues held at Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Chinese side on January 12. This meeting, too, was inconclusive. Without mentioning anything about the Hot Springs (Patrolling Point 15) stand-off, the Indian and Chinese sides issued a joint statement on Thursday. “The two sides also agreed to consolidate on the previous outcomes and make effective efforts to maintain the security and stability on the ground in the Western Sector, including during winter,” said the statement. The two sides agreed to stay in close contact and maintain dialogue via military and diplomatic channels and work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest. In this context, it was also agreed that the next round of the India-China Corps Commander level talks should be held as soon as possible. The two sides had a frank and in-depth exchange of views for the resolution of relevant issues along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector. They agreed that both sides should follow the guidance provided by the state leaders and work for a resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest. Meanwhile, China on Thursday reacted t o I n d i a n A r my Chief General MM Naravane’s comments made a day earlier that Indian troops will remain in the LAC for as long as required and that China mobilising troops and resources in eastern Ladakh was causing all the problems. China said it hopes “relevant people” from the Indian side will refrain from making “unconstructive comments.” Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC. Day after SC glare, hate speech accused arrested V I N E E T U PA D H YAY @ Dehradun Rescue operation underway after Bikaner Express got derailed at Mainaguri in Jalpaiguri on Thursday | PTI Six dead as Guwahati-bound train derails in West Bengal E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Kolkata / New Delhi / Guwahati Spoke to Railways Minister Shri @ AshwiniVaishnaw and took stock of the situation in the wake of the train accident in Bengal. My thoughts are with the bereaved families Narendra Modi, PM RLYS ANNOUNCES `5 L COMPENSATION Accident happened around 5 pm when the train was running at 40 km per hour 12 coaches in all derailed, four of which were badly damaged after falling into a ditch Gas cutters used to access, rescue passengers trapped inside the derailed coaches 51 ambulances sent to the spot, hospitals in Jalpaiguri receive the injured Around 1,150 passengers were on the train at the time of the accident Rlys announces relief of `5 lakh for the victims’ families and `1 lakh for the seriously injured AT least six persons were killed and dozens injured after Guwahati-bound Bikaner Express via Patna was on Thursday derailed and four of its coaches rolled into a ditch beside the railway tracks at Maynaguri in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district, around 680 km from Kolkata. Jalpaiguri District Magistrate Moumita Godara Basu said around 45 passengers were injured in the accident. Sources said the casualties might go up as the condition of 15 injured was critical. The Railways has ordered a high-level inquirty into the accident. Railway Minister Aishwini Vaishnaw, Railway Board Chairman V.K. Tripathi and other senior officials left Delhi to reach the accident spot. National Disaster Response Force personnel rushed to the spot to rescue the passengers. The railway authorities announced compensation of `5 lakh each for the victims’ families, `1 lakh for seriously injured and `25,000 for those who received minor injuries. According to sources, the train was not at high speed when the accident happened. “After Siliguri, there is speed restriction as the railway tracks pass through elephant corridors in Dooars forest,” said an official. A senior technical officer with the Indian Railways in Delhi said derailment of such grave magnitude generally occurs when tracks are defective or not maintained properly . One of the rescue team members who reached the site after 30 minuets of derailment said the locals had already started the rescue operation. “It was like a thunderbolt. We all fell on each other. There were cries all over,” said Manua Das, who was rescued by locals. Another passenger who escaped unhurt said, “It was as if a major earthquake occurred inside the train.” Bablu Das, a local youth, said he and his friends dragged out many injured from he ill-fated coaches. Railway sources said around 1,150 passengers were travelling in the train. Gas cutters were used to get access to the trapped people. CM Mamata Banerjee inquired about the casualties and damage in the middle of the Covid meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. THE Haridwar police arrested Jitendra Narayan Tyagi aka Wasim Rizvi in connection with the hate speech case on Thursday evening. This is the first arrest in the case and comes a day after the Supreme Court, while hearing a plea against the inflammatory speeches made at a Dharma Sansad in Haridwar last month, issued notice to the Uttarakhand government seeking re- EXPRESS FOLLOW-UP Delhi HC stays opaque Chess League tender S H A H I D FA R I D I @ New Delhi THE Delhi High Court has stayed the All India Chess Federation’s (AICF) tender to org anise the ‘Indian Chess League’, ‘Online Chess League’ and ‘Chess in School’ after a petition was filed charging the federation with refusal to clearly inform bidders about the nature of contract and the scope of work. A two-judge bench, comprising justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh, in its order on Wednesday that was uploaded a day later, said: “The petitioner is aggrieved by the clandestine manner in which the respondent Nos. 1 & 2 have sought to tender the services... (It) was wholly cryptic and no terms and conditions of tender were circulated to the prospective and interested bidders.” The order further said “despite the petitioner raising pertinent questions seeking information, there was no response”. CONTINUED ON P8 ply within 10-days. Tyagi was arrested from Narsan border area and produced in court which sent him to judicial custody, said Haridwar senior superintendent of police Yogendra Rawat. A seven-member team of the district police, after getting a tip-off, nabbed him while he was trying to cross to Uttar Pradesh, officials said. Tyagi, who was UP Shia Waqf Board chief before quitting and converting to Hinduism, was the first to be named in the FIR registered in the case. After Tyagi’s arrest, controversial seer and organiser of the Dharma Sansad Yati Narsinghanand Giri sat on a hunger strike at Srwananda Ghat in Haridwar. “Tyagi ji has been arrested with the motive of harassment. This is a message that no Muslim should ever convert to Hinduism. Whatever was said by him was also said by all other seers including me. But he is being singled out,” he said and added that he would not eat or drink anything until Tyagi was released. Earlier, there were rumours that Yati Narsinghanand had also been arrested but the state police headquarters issued a statement which did not mention any other person except Tyagi.So far, five people have been named in the FIR. OBC bleeding continues for BJP in UP as one more minister resigns N A M I TA BA J PA I @ Lucknow THE saga of defections of disgruntled ministers and MLAs in Uttar Pradesh just ahead of elections, after having enjoyed a full term of five years, continued on Thursday with minister Dharam Singh Saini quitting the Yogi Adityanath government and two MLAs — Mukesh Verma (Shikohabad) and Vinay Shakya (Bidhuna) — resigning from the BJP . While OBC leader Saini cited the BJP-led government’s alleged neglect of the backward class, the two MLAs also gave similar reasons. All three are expected to join the Samajwadi Party Just like Swami Prasad . Maurya and Dara Singh Chauhan, SP chief Akhikesh Yadav tweeted his picture with Saini also, calling him a crusader of social justice. With this, the number of leaders who have left the BJP has risen to 13. According to sources, BJP MLA from Dhaurahara Bala Prasad Awasthi is also planning to quit. Notably, most of the deserters had defected to the BJP Akhilesh Yadav welcomes D S Saini into the Samajwadi Party in Lucknow | PTI With the arrival of Dr Dharam Singh Saini ji, another warrior of social justice, our positive and progressive politics has received more enthusiasm and strength —Akhilesh Yadav, SP chief from the BSP in 2017 just before the polls. Saini won the 2002 and 2007 elections from Sarsawa in Saharanpur as a BSP candidate. He was shifted to Nakur in 2012 where he defeated Congress strongman Imran Masood. He won from Nakur again on a BJP ticket in 2017. While Saini was yet to announce his resignation from the BJP, he claimed to media persons that exits from the par- ty would continue till January 20. Before leaving for SP office to meet Akhilesh, Saini eturned his security cover and vacated the house allocated to him by the state government, giving enough hint about his plans to quit. On Tuesday he had denied , he had plans to quit the BJP . Saini’s exit came about a day after Naresh Saini the sitting Congress MLA from Behut, which is adjoining D S Saini’s Nakur seat, joined the BJP .
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