03122020-TT-01.qxd 12/2/2020 11:01 PM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.140 no.334 | 28 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 haryana US AG CONTRADICTS TRUMP, SAYS NO POLL FRAUD WORLD /thetribunechd UK’S OXFORD UNION CANCELS MAMATA EVENT BACK PAGE CHINA’S ANT GROUP MULLS EXITING PAYTM BUSINESS /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com thursday, december 3,2020 Call special session to roll back laws: Farmers Farmers plan to seal all Delhi entry points Ravinder Saini Tribune News Service RSS affiliate for ‘assurance on price’I Tomar meets Shah Vibha Sharma Tribune News Service New Delhi, December 2 The farmers on Wednesday hardened their stand, demanding a special Parliament session to roll back the contentious farm laws and warning of a countrywide protest on December 5. Their representatives are to meet Union Ministers regarding their demands on Thursday. Meanwhile, Sangh-affiliate Swadesh Jagran Manch said the farmers needed an “assurance on price, an alternative ATM mechanism,” if middlemen/arhtiyas were to be removed, and a “better dispute redressal system”. Manch’s Ashwani Mahajan said while the intentions of the government could not be questioned, “any good thing has the scope for further improvement”. “Earlier, the arhtiyas would form cartels, now big players can do the same. Farmers need an assurance on MSP , either through amendments in the existing Acts or a new law,” he said. On the government stand that the support price was never a part of the legal system, he said: “It must be made obligatory for buyers to pay the floor price. FASTEST ODI 12,000 India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday became the fastest cricketer to score 12,000 ODI runs, breaking a record held by Sachin Tendulkar ODI STATS KOHLI RUNS 12,040 MATCHES 251 INNINGS 242 100S 43 50S 59 AVG 60 SACHIN 18,426 463 300 49 96 44.83 US court blocks 2 H-1B regulations proposed by Trump Washington, December 2 In a huge relief to tens of thousands of Indian professionals and top American IT firms, a US court has blocked two H-1B regulations proposed by the Trump administration to restrict the ability of US firms to hire foreign staff. H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows US firms to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Most of the nearly 6 lakh H-1B visa holders are from India and China. Trump’s recent policy required employers to pay foreign workers on H-1B visas significantly higher wages. The court also set aside another policy that narrowed the eligibility of H-1B valued by US tech firms and other employers. — PTI Santokh Singh, 70, a farmer who was hit by a tear gas shell, at Singhu border on Wednesday CAPT TO MEET SHAH AHEAD OF TALKS TODAY The Centre and Pb Govt are expected to work on a solution, with Capt Amarinder Singh set to meet Home Minister Amit Shah at his Delhi residence on Thursday, ahead of the Centre’s meeting with farmers. Some Cong leaders are wary of the turn the stir could take if prolonged. Sources said Capt might even attend the meeting with farmers to help break stalemate. TNS The government can fix the floor price of crops, making a legal provision for it.” Agriculture Minister Tomar, who apprised Home Minister Amit Shah of the “inconclusive” Tuesday meeting, said he was hopeful of a breakthrough. The ministers are believed to have discussed ways to dispel the farmers’ misgivings. Sources indicated that an official group of ministers/committee could strike a “middle path”. The farm unions accused the government of trying to divide the farmers. “The BKU (Tikait) and all other unions across the country are with us,” Krantikari Kisan Union head Darshan Pal claimed, threatening to choke all Delhi roads if their demands were not met. “It’s do or die for us,” stressed Gurnam Singh Charuni. “There have been protests in other countries as well. The government should ensure the country does not get a bad name,” cautioned Shiv Kumar ‘Kakkaji’. Besides Singhu and Tikri, the farmers on Wednesday also gathered at the Chilla border between Delhi and Noida. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal claimed the Centre was upset with him for not allowing stadiums to be used as temporary jails for the farmers even as he accused Captain for speaking “BJP’s language”. In Q4, expect positive growth: Niti vice-chief New Delhi, December 2 The Indian economy is coming out of the pandemicinduced de-growth and the GDP growth will enter the positive territory in the fourth quarter of this fiscal, Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Wednesday. “The second quarter GDP figure (contraction of 7.5 per cent) reflects that the economy is coming out of this pandemic-induced de-growth phase and my expectation is that in the third quarter, we will achieve the same level of economic activity as the year-ago period. “And the fourth quarter will show a small but positive growth over the previous year because the government has... ushered in many structural reforms and some more are in the pipeline,” he said. Stating that all those reforms will provide a very strong foundation for accelerating the economic growth in the fiscal year 2021-22 and beyond, Kumar said, “We have now shrugged off the negative impact of the pan- AGRI LAWS PRO-FARMER ❝ The three farm laws were clearly intended to improve farmers’ ability to increase their income…the present agitation is most likely a result of miscommunication and some misunderstanding, which need to be removed Rajiv Kumar, NITI AAYOG VICE-CHAIRMAN demic and are moving towards a sustained high growth trajectory in the coming years.” About India’s growth figure in the current fiscal year, he said it will be better than negative 9 or 10 per cent, as has been forecast by many, including the RBI. — PTI Farmers protest at Singhu border during their ‘Delhi Chalo’ agitation against the farm laws. MANAS RANJAN BHUI ANOTHER FARMER DIES AT TIKRI-B’GARH BORDER DELHI BAR COUNCIL BACKS FARMERS JJP MLAs FOR MORE PROACTIVE ROLE Jhajjar: Gurjant Singh (72) of Bachaona village in Mansa died on Wednesday while protesting at Tikri-Bahadurgarh border — the third such death at the border. Sources said Gurjant was taken to the Civil Hospital, Bahadurgarh, after he complained of abdomen pain. Doctors there referred him to PGIMS-Rohtak but he died on the way. New Delhi: The Bar Council of Delhi on Wednesday came out in support of the farmers and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to repeal the three agriculture laws and to give an audience to them to arrive at an amicable solution. It also said there was a need to introduce a legislation for the welfare of farmers. TNS Chandigarh: Even as JJP chief Ajay Chautala has sought a written guarantee from the Centre on the MSP, a section of MLAs want a more proactive role in the farmers’ stir. At least two — Jogi Ram Sihag (Barwala) and Ram Karan Kala (Shahbad) — have publicly expressed solidarity with the farmers and condemned “atrocities” by Haryana cops. Jhajjar, December 2 Agitating farmers camping at the Tikri-Bahadurgarh border have chalked out plans to seal all nearby entry points to Delhi. “After talking to local people, we have identified various roads being used by commuters as alternative routes for going to Delhi from Jhajjar, Rohtak and surrounding areas. We plan to block all these routes as and when our committee asks us to do so. We have done our groundwork,” a farmer said. The routes identified by farmers include Bahadurgarh-Jharoda-Najafgarh road, Badli-Dhansa road, Jargadpur chowk-Mundela road, Balor-Kair road, GubahanBakargarh road, DevarkhanaGalibpur road, BadshaGalibpur road and LuksarMundela road. The farmers maintained they were also contemplating getting support of residents of villages concerned so that the strategy could be executed effectively, if the government doesn’t accept their demand. “We are prepared to seal all entry points to Delhi to mount pressure on the Centre, but are waiting for directions from our top leaders in this respect. UK okays Pfizer vaccine for rollout Aditi Tandon COSTLY SHOTS Tribune News Service New Delhi, December 2 The UK on Wednesday became the first western country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine for mass rollout, beating the US and Europe in the global vaccine race and marking a landmark moment in the fight against Sars-Cov2 virus. UK regulator Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency granted a temporary authorisation for emergency use for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 messenger RNA vaccine (BNT162b2), which has been judged safe for rollout. The vaccine was found 95 COVID-19CASES INDIA ■ Pfizer vaccine cost is esti- mated at $40 per person (around ~3,000) ■ It will be too costly for a country as populated as India ■ It has storage challenges too as vaccine has to be stocked at -70°C MASS VACCINATION IN RUSSIA FROM NEXT WEEK per cent effective even in elders at the end of final analysis from phase-3 results. “This constitutes the first emergency use authorisation following a worldwide phase3 trial of a vaccine to help COUNT 94, 99,413 TOTAL RECOVERED DEATHS RECOVERED 89,32,647 FRESH FATALITIES 501 TOTAL DEATHS 1,38,122 WORLD 6,44,17,268 4,46,67,889 14,91,289 fight the pandemic,” US pharma giant Pfizer and BioNTech said today, adding they were anticipating further regulatory decisions across the globe in the coming days and weeks. The path-breaking development on Pfizer vaccine, however, may not help India anytime soon. Government sources here said they had conducted at least two rounds of talks with Pfizer starting as early as August, but no breakthrough could be achieved for two reasons. “Pfizer is not negotiating the vaccine price nor is it keen on bridging studies on the vaccine in India. In the absence of efficacy testing on Indians, it is not possible to roll the vaccine out here. Pfizer has not asked for any trials in India yet,” a government source said. Tribune News Service Shimla, December 2 Notwithstanding tall claims made by the state government, Covid wards in Himachal Pradesh are facing shortage of anti-viral injections and oxygen supply. The sight of dead bodies being wrapped up right in front of other patients in the ward leaves many of them demoralised. The experience of Covid patients, who received treatment at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital and Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) here, is in sharp contrast to the claims made by Chief Minister Jai Ram PATIENTS’ FEEDBACK ■ There’s shortage of anti-viral injections and oxygen supply ■ Food served on stretchers used for carrying patients and bodies ■ Staff wrapped up bodies in front of other patients in the ward Thakur, his ministers and bureaucrats. Feedback was obtained from patients who remained admitted to these Two more dharna sites finalised on Bahadurgarh bypass Till then, we will continue to camp at the border and raise slogans against the Centre,” said Purushottam Singh Gill, a leader of BKU (Lakhowal). Another farmer leader said two more dharna spots had been finalised on the Bahadurgarh bypass to step up the agitation against farm laws. Meanwhile, All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) activists, led by its vice-president Inderjit Singh, took out a march from Bahadurgarh (Sector 9) bypass to Tikri border. Covid relief: Pb bus operators get tax exemption CHANDIGARH: Benefitting nearly 8,000 private bus operators, including those operating buses for educational institutions on state carriage permits, the Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday allowed 100 per cent exemption to them from the Motor Vehicle Tax till December 31, effective from March 23. The decision taken due to Covid-19 also included extending an amnesty scheme on deferring the payment of tax arrears till March 31, 2021. INSIDE Top honey brands adulterated with sugar syrup: CSE New Delhi, December 2 Honey sold by several major brands in the country has been found adulterated with sugar syrup, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) claimed on Wednesday. The CSE selected 13 top as well as smaller brands of processed and raw honey being sold to check their purity. It was found that 77 per JUST THREE OF 13 BRANDS PASS SAFETY TEST ■ 77% of the samples found adulterated with sugar syrup ■ 5 of the 22 samples clear all the safety tests ■ Leading brands Dabur, Patanjali, Baidyanath, Zandu, Hitkari and Apis Himalaya fail the NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) test, as per the CSE ■ Only 3 of 13 brands — Saffola, Markfed Sohna and Nature’s Nectar — pass all tests cent of the samples were adulterated with sugar syrup. Of the 22 samples checked, only five passed all tests. The CSE investigation has claimed that “nefarious adulteration business of honey designed to bypass purity tests” could have “massive implications on our health during Covid-19 times”. continued on back page All’s not well in HP Covid wards Varsity students join stir at Kundli Bhanu P Lohumi Protesters at Tikri border. wards between October 18 and November 29. Some patients said food was served to them on the stretchers that were otherwise used for carrying patients and dead bodies. The authorities arranged food trolleys only after they objected to that practice. “The hospital staff wrapped up dead bodies in front of other patients in the ward, instead of taking these to a separate room,” said Kishore Sharma who remained admitted to the IGMC Covid ward. “The hospital ran short of anti-viral injection on the third day. continued on back page Karam Prakash Tribune News Service Patiala, December 2 Students from Panjab University and Punjabi University have joined the farmers’ stir at the Kundli border in large numbers with the girls taking centre stage. Besides motivational speeches, they render revolutionary songs and perform plays to educate the public on the farmers’ issues, drawing huge crowds. Coming together under the banner Naujwan Kisan Ekta, the students have also started langar service at the Kundli protest site. Speaking to The Tribune over the phone, Panjab University’s Today’s issue consists of 28 pages, including Ten-pages Aditional pullout. Students sing revolutionary songs at a protest in Kundli Varinder Singh said, “We are here to express solidarity with the farmers as despite a peaceful protest for the past two months, they have been ignored by the Modi government.” Raman, studying in PU’s Law Department, called it a fight to “save our farmers.” Arsh Singh, who is pursuing Masters in Punjabi, pointed out that the protest had now become a mass movement. Kanupriya, a former president of the Panjab University Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC), pledged support for the farmers “till the very end.” Gagan, who is doing LLM, said, “We are spreading awareness in nearby villages on the ‘dangers’ that the recent three agriculture laws pose to the farming community.” Justice Karnan held over ‘offensive’ remarks on judges Chennai, December 2 The Tamil Nadu Police on Wednesday arrested retired High Court Judge Justice CS Karnan for allegedly releasing on social media offensive videos and posts with objectionable comments and threats of sexual violence against judiciary officials and their family members. Had posted videos with threats of sexual violence Several lawyers had written against Justice Karnan to the Chief Justice of India after he allegedly released the videos. Justice Karnan was sentenced to six-month jail for contempt of court by the Supreme Court when he was a Calcutta HC Judge in 2017. He was arrested by the Kolkata Police following which he served his jail term. — IANS
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
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