05012021-TT-01.qxd 1/4/2021 11:24 PM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.5 | 14 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 haryana TRUMP DIALLED POLL OFFICIAL TO REVERSE RESULT: REPORT WORLD /thetribunechd SENSEX ENDS ABOVE 48,000 FOR THE FIRST TIME BUSINESS JAISHANKAR ON 3-DAY VISIT TO SRI LANKA BACK PAGE /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com tuesday | 5 january 2021 No outcome, next meeting on January 8 Farm unions firm on repeal of laws, MSP guarantee | Tomar proposes clause-wise talks Reliance moves HC over damage to infra Vibha Sharma Tribune News Service Parleys end on bitter note, but govt positive Tribune News Service New Delhi, January 4 The seventh round of talks between farmers’ leaders and union ministers ended inconclusively on Monday as the former stuck to their demand for repeal of the three farm laws and legal guarantee on MSP . Jagmohan Singh Patiala of BKU (Dakaunda) said: “We told the government that there is no alternative. The ministers said they would hold consultations and get back. The next meeting is on January 8. The pressure is on the government as the agitation is now a people’s movement.” With the government also remaining firm on its stance, the farm unions will meet on Tuesday to discuss the next course of action. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government, which was aware of the farmers’ concerns, had offered clausewise discussion on the Acts. “The meeting was held in good atmosphere, but since the farmers remained adamant on their demands, we could not arrive at any conclusion,” he said, hoping that the “issue will be resolved soon”. “The date of the next meeting was decided unani- Benami assets: I-T officials record Vadra’s statement New Delhi, January 4 Income Tax (I-T) Department officials today visited residence of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and recorded his statement in connection with a probe against him under the benami assets law, as he allegedly possesses some undisclosed assets in the UK. Officials said, Vadra was initially asked to join the investigation at their office, but he expressed his inability to come there due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Therefore, a team of I-T officials visited Vadra’s premises in the Sukhdev Vihar area here and recorded his statement under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, they added. — TNS IN BRIEF Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service Farm union leaders outside Vigyan Bhawan after the meeting in New Delhi on Monday. PTI SC TO TREAT LETTER BY PU PUPILS AS PIL TWO MORE PUNJAB FARMERS DEAD PB COPS TO JUNK FIR IN DUNG DUMP CASE The Supreme Court has converted into a PIL a letter written by 35 students of Panjab University’s Centre for Human Rights and Duties to Chief Justice of India, highlighting the alleged violation of human rights of farmers. Farmer Gurcharn Singh from Bakhopir in Sangrur died at his house on his return from Delhi. He was a member of BKU (Dakaunda). Gurdarshan Singh (43) of Roorkee village in Fatehgarh Sahib died of an illness during the agitation. The Hoshiarpur police have decided to cancel the FIR against some youths for dumping cow dung outside the residence of BJP leader Tikshan Sud. The decision was taken at a meeting between the SSP and local farm leaders. mind the best interests of the farmers,” he said. BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said: “They (Tomar, Piyush Goyal and Som Prakash) kept listing out benefits of the new Acts. But we are not going home till the laws are repealed.” During the break, the union leaders had their own food, arranged from langar, as they have been doing for the last few times. And unlike the last round of talks, the ministers did not join them and were seen having their own discussion separately. Sources say mously,” Tomar said in response to accusations of farmers’ “lack of trust” in the government and its own “lack of interest” in resolving the issue. “It is an important issue involving the entire country. The laws have been made keeping in LONDON: A British judge on Monday rejected the US’ request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face espionage charge on mental health grounds, saying it would be “oppressive”. The court said Assange was likely to commit suicide, if extradited. — PTI Tribune News Service Chandigarh, January 4 Food, Civil Supply and Consumer Affairs Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu today said the state saw a record foodgrain procurement last year despite the lockdown. While 127.11 metric tonnes (MT) of wheat was procured in the rabi season, 202.78 MT of paddy was purchased in the kharif season. Taking precautions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the state had set up nearly 4,400 additional temporary purchase centres in the two procurement seasons. Speaking at a press confer- Won’t allow traders from other states to sell wheat in state: Minister Ashu 4,400 ADDITIONAL CENTRES 127.11 MT WHEAT PROCURED 202.78 MT PADDY PURCHASED The state had set up nearly 4,400 additional temporary purchase centres in the 2 procurement seasons ence, Ashu said Punjab would not allow traders from other states to sell wheat in the mandis here. He said the non-negotiable and nothing that it said or did would make a difference to the tenor of talks. “The positive sign is we are still engaged with farmers and have not hit the wall,” a government source said, adding that agitations could not be “indefinite or inconclusive and must seek to achieve a result”. the government has already relented on the proposed Electricity Amendment Bill and ordinance on stubble burning and this is all it is willing to do. “Given the kind of support the agitation has received, the matter seems to have moved out of the government’s hands for a resolution on a middle path,” says an analyst. As they have drawn elaborate plans for Lohri and Republic Day, it is clear that the farmers are in no hurry to move from the Delhi borders despite adverse weather. With the stalemate continuing through four hours today, the government proposed January 8 as the date for the next meeting, while farmer unions said they were not hopeful of any resolution. Won’t patch up with BJP even if farm laws repealed: SAD ❝ Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited ‘NO PLAN TO ENTER CONTRACT FARMING’ Reliance Jio has claimed that neither the petitionercompany, nor parent firm Reliance Industries Ltd and its affiliates have any plan to enter corporate or contract farming. work infrastructure and the centres and stores of the petitioner-company and its affiliates. Their counsel Aashish Chopra said some vested interests started a disinformation campaign, alleging the laws were passed to confer benefit on select corporates. The petitioner was in no manner connected with the laws. GOVT’S ARROGANCE COSTING FARMERS DEAR On one hand, the government is ❝farmers for talks and on the other,calling it is hurling teargas shells at them. Around 60 farmers have died. How can farmers trust this government? Priyanka Vadra, AICC LEADER department was preparing a strategy to curb the practice. “It is principled stand taken by the Legislature against the Central farm laws. We did the same thing with traders bringing paddy from outside to sell in mandis here,” he said even as the amendments to the Central laws passed in the Vidhan Sabha are yet to get the Governor’s approval. Setting the agenda for the implementation of scheme under the National Food Security Act for 2021, Ashu said the department planned to start sending customised SMSes to beneficiary families informing them about their entitlement so that they could draw ration on time. He said the inter-state portability of ration distribution had been implemented. Says efficacy data of Phase 3 trials for Covaxin by March Tribune News Service New Delhi, January 4 A day after the opposition Congress and a section of experts questioned the regulator’s nod for “still-undertrial” indigenous Covid-19 jab Covaxin, the Chairman of the vaccine producing firm Bharat Biotech said they did not deserve this backlash. “We have published in a lot of journals and were the first to identify the Zika virus. We were the first to file a global patent for Zika and Chikungunya vaccines. It is not right to say we are not transparent with data. COVID-19CASES INDIA COUNT Lalit Mohan & Rajiv Mahajan Dharamsala/Nurpur, Jan 4 Avian flu (H5N1) virus has killed migratory birds in the Pong wetland. The toll crossed 1,900-mark till this evening, whereas wildlife teams continued counting the dead birds. As per reports received by the district administration from the Regional Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory, Jalandhar, Veterinary College, Palampur, and National Institute of High Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD), Bhopal, avian flu (H5N1) has The Punjab Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation has sounded an alert in Harike Pattan, Keshopur Chhamb, Nangal, Rupnagar and other wetlands. INSIDE 170 MORE BIRDS FOUND DEAD IN R’STHAN Over 170 more bird deaths were reported in Rajasthan on Monday. In all, 425 deaths of crows, herons and other birds have been reported so far. PTI caused the death of aquatic birds in the lake. After the reports were received, the administration today declared the 1-km area from the lake as red zone to contain the spread of the virus in poultry birds and humans. Rakesh Prajapati, DC, Kangra, admitted that the birds’ death was caused by avian flu. The district authorities have banned the sale of poultry products in Dehra, Jawali, Fatehpur and Indora. The areas lie along the lake. Prajapati said, “If avian flu spreads, we may have to cull poultry birds too.” Kolkata, January 4 CPM legislator Ashok Bhattacharya has kicked up a storm saying BCCI President and former India captain Sourav Ganguly is under pressure to join politics. Ganguly recently suffered a mild heart attack following which he underwent angioplasty and is admitted to Woodlands Hospital. Even though Bhattacharya did not name any individual or party, Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh reacted to the 2ND ANGIOPLASTY BCCI President Sourav Ganguly will have to undergo another angioplasty in a “few days or weeks” but can be discharged from hospital for now as his condition is stable, said Rupali Basu, MD, Woodlands Hospital, Kolkata, on Monday. CPM leader’s remark. “Some people, whose minds are full of suspicion, see poli- TOTAL RECOVERED DEATHS The UK is the first to roll out Oxford vaccine. Dialysis patient Brian Pinker (82) received the first shot. REUTERS We do not deserve this backlash,” Bharat Biotech Chairman Krishna Ella said in a virtual press conference tics in everything. We only wish that Ganguly recovers quickly,” Ghosh said. There has been speculation about Ganguly joining the BJP ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections. Ganguly has, however, not made his intention clear about taking the political plunge yet. Bhattacharya, Ganguly’s close friend, said, “Some people want to use Ganguly politically. That probably exerted pressure on him. He is not a political element.” — TNS Kothi no. 793, Tikri border, his new address Ravinder Saini Tribune News Service KATHMANDU: Farmers sit under Metro pillar number 397 at Bahadurgarh. SUMIT THARAN Jhajjar, January 4 “My kothi no. is 793 at Tikri border,” Jarnail Singh, an elderly farmer from Abohar, tells his co-villager over the phone to find him there when he visits the protest site. Jarnail is putting up at Bahadurgarh-Mundka Metro pillar no. 793. Similarly, other protesters from Punjab and Haryana FARMERS RAISE TENTS UNDER METRO PILLARS ■ Thousands of farmers have parked at the protest site occupied a 15-km stretch along Rohtak-Delhi highway ■ Hundreds of vehicles, including tractor-trailers, are ■ The protesters putting up have made Metro pillars their new abode ever since the protest started on November 27 last year. They are calling their acquaintances to the under the Metro line have devised a novel way to earmark their location protest site by mentioning the pillar number. Pawandeep Singh of Fazilka district, who is putting up under pillar no. 794, said: “Given the Centre’s RECOVERED 99,46,867 FRESH FATALITIES 214 TOTAL DEATHS 1,49,649 1,03,40,469 Avian flu killed birds at Pong: Reports CPM MLA claims Ganguly under ALERT AT HARIKE, pressure to join politics, row erupts OTHER WETLANDS Prachanda in India for wife’s treatment Nepal’s former PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” is visiting Mumbai for the treatment of his ailing wife. Prachanda’s wife Sita Dahal is suffering from progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare brain disorder that has symptoms like those in Parkinson’s disease. — PTI New Delhi, January 4 Battle-hardened farmers on Monday wore off the government as they refused to participate in discussions on the minimum support price (MSP) until repeal of farm laws was brought to the table. By the end of the seventh round of talks, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar is learnt to have told the assembly of protesters, “So you will not agree to anything other than repeal?” As the meeting ended on a bitter note, it was clear to both sides that the battle of nerves was now all about who would blink first. The government got a clear hint today that the agitators treated “farm law repeal” as ‘RESPECT FARMERS’ We have immense regard and respect for the hard work of the farmers, instrumental in keeping the food chain going in the entire country. In Pb, record procurement amid lockdown Don’t deserve backlash: Biotech Tribune News Service UK court won’t allow Assange’s extradition NOT HOPEFUL OF ANY RESOLUTION: UNIONS Chandigarh, January 4 Facing disconnect of sorts following farmers’ protests against farm laws, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, claiming that neither the petitioner-company nor parent company Reliance Industries Limited and its affiliates had any plan, even in future, to enter corporate or contract farming. In its petition, yet to come up for hearing, the petitioner-company claimed they had immense regard for the hard work of the farmers and were committed to do everything to empower them in letter and spirit. Seeking the High Court’s intervention, the petitionercompany sought directions to the State of Punjab and other respondents to take action against efforts being made by vested interests and miscreants to completely sabotage and damage its net- adamant stance, we are ready for a long haul. We have made available all facilities required for our comfortable stay.” Pillar no. 813, where a number of youths from Haryana are staying, has become a famous hangout. “Besides food and beverages, hookah has also been made available. Farmers gather here every evening,” said Virender Hooda of Rohtak. WORLD 8,56,14,877 6,05,71,308 18,53,282 WORLD’S LARGEST INOCULATION DRIVE IS SET TO BEGIN IN INDIA: PM 38 PERSONS HAVE BEEN FOUND +VE WITH THE NEW UK VARIANT held today. Ella said Biotech was a global company and had made 16 vaccines. Continued on Page 11 UP mishap: 3 officials held, kin block NH Ghaziabad, January 4 Three civic officials were arrested on Monday in connection with the collapse of a crematorium roof that claimed 24 lives as tension gripped the area with families of the victims blocking the Delhi-Meerut highway by placing two bodies on the road to press for their demand for higher compensation. They lifted the blockade and agreed to cremate the bodies after hours of protest as officials agreed for Rs 10lakh compensation and a government job to each victim’s family, Superintendent of Police (Rural) Iraj Raja said. He said Muradnagar Nagar Palika Executive Officer Niharika Singh, Junior Engineer Chandra Pal and Supervisor Ashish were arrested this morning as they were involved in the tendering process for constructing the structure that collapsed on Sunday. Police teams are also conducting raids at possible hideouts of contractor Ajay Tyagi to arrest him, Raja said. — PTI
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