22052021-TT-01.qxd 5/21/2021 11:25 PM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.140 | 14 pages | ~6.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 haryana BIDEN SIGNS ANTI-ASIAN HATE CRIME BILL WORLD /thetribunechd HAMAS CLAIMS VICTORY POST TRUCE BACK PAGE /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com RBI okays transfer of ~99Kcr surplus to govt Mumbai, May 21 The Reserve Bank on Friday decided to transfer Rs 99,122 crore as surplus to the exchequer, a move that will help the government to channelise more resources to combat the second wave of pandemic. The decision to transfer the surplus amount for the accounting period of nine months ended March 31, 2021, was taken at a meeting of the central board of the RBI, held through video-conferencing, under the chairmanship of Governor Shaktikanta Das. The surplus is commonly called ‘dividend’. The accounting year of the RBI is truncated as it has aligned its July-June accounting year with the government’s April-March fiscal year. The RBI had fol- Shaktikanta Das Move expected to help channelise resources to combat pandemic lowed a July-June financial year since 1940, when it moved away from a JanuaryDecember financial year. The RBI also decided to maintain a Contingency Risk Buffer at 5.50 per cent in line with recommendations of the Jalan committee report. — PTI Green crusader Bahuguna succumbs to Covid at 94 New Delhi, May 21 Renowned environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna, who pioneered the Chipko movement of the seventies that saw people hugging and holding on to trees to prevent their felling by forest contractors, died of Covid today. He was 94. Bahuguna breathed his last at the AIIMS in Rishikesh where he was admitted after testing positive for the virus. He had been critical since last night after his oxygen level dropped drastically. Born in Tehri (Uttarakhand) on January 9, 1927, the green crusader fought for the cause of environment throughout his life and inspired many to join his movement. Referred to as the gentle warrior, Bahuguna’s Chipko movement led to the enactment of a law banning the felling of trees in eco-sensitive forest belts. He started social activism quite early in life with movements against untouchability Continued on page 11 edit: Bahuguna’s legacy 13 Naxals killed in M’rashtra encounter MUMBAI: At least 13 Naxals, including seven women cadres, were killed in an encounter with the police in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra early on Friday. — PTI Haryana IGP seeks FIR against DGP AMBALA: Y Puran Kumar, posted as IGP (Home Guards), has reportedly sought an FIR against DGP Manoj Yadava under the SC/ST Act here. Sources say the IGP had on May 19 sent a complaint to the SSP’s office for legal opinion. Recently, the IGP had moved the HC, alleging he was being targeted by the DGP — TNS . 1st Drona awardee boxing coach dies DELHI: India's first Dronacharya awardee coach in boxing, OP Bhardwaj, died on Friday after battling prolonged illness and agerelated issues here. INSIDE India, Pfizer at loggerheads over demand for vaccine indemnity 11 more bodies found, barge captain booked New Delhi/New York, May 21 Pfizer and the Indian Government are at loggerheads over a demand by the US drug manufacturer for legal protection from any claims linked to the use of its Covid vaccine in one of the world’s biggest markets, two sources said. India has not given any manufacturer of a Covid vaccine indemnity against the costs of compensation for any severe side-effects, which is a condition Pfizer has obtained in many countries where its shots have already been widely rolled out, including Britain and the US. “The whole problem with Pfizer is the indemnity bond. Why should we sign it?” said an Indian Government source with direct knowledge of the Tribune News Service Jaishankar’s US visit from May 24, vax supply on agenda STICKING POINTS ■ Pfizer has obtained indemnity in several countries, including Britain and the US ■ India hasn’t given any vaccine maker indemnity against costs of compensation for side-effects ■ Govt may not be able to question Pfizer in case of any seri- Sandeep Dikshit Tribune News Service ous side-effect, say sources ■ Other issue being discussed is India’s insistence on a local trial for vaccine approval Resume talks, farm unions write to PM Modi Black fungus: Experts flag role ofindustrialO2 Come up with preventive measures: HC Sonepat, May 21 The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), spearheading the movement against Centre’s three farm laws, today wrote to PM Narendra Modi for resumption of talks. Thousands of farmers have been protesting at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders since November last year. The talks were halted on January 24. “Any democratic government would have repealed the three laws that have been rejected by the farmers in whose name these were enacted and seized the opportunity to provide legal guarantee to the MSP the onus of resum... ing a sincere dialogue lies with you,” the letter read. INSIDE Aditi Tandon Saurabh Malik 2.59 LAKH DRDO has developed a Covid antibody detection kit that offers results in 75 minutes. Expected to cost ~75 per test, the kit will be commercially launched in June. MiG crashes in Moga, pilot dead Mangled remains of the IAF MiG-21 fighter jet that crashed in Moga district on Thursday night, killing the pilot. INSIDE Bhartesh Singh Thakur Tribune News Service Court acquits scribe Tejpal in rape case Panaji, May 21 A Sessions Court in Goa on Friday acquitted journalist Tarun Tejpal of sexually assaulting a former female colleague. Tejpal, former Tehelka editor-inchief, was accused of sexually assaulting the colleague inside the elevator of a luxury hotel in Goa in 2013. “The court has acquitted Tejpal. A detailed order will be made available later,” advocate Suhas Velip, who represented Tejpal in the court, told reporters. — PTI Chandigarh, May 21 The percentage of Covid patients having no comorbidities, who died in Haryana since April 1, rose from 11.9 to 27.7. In some districts like Bhiwani, Jhajjar, and Sirsa, the percentage was more than 50. As per the official data, since the outbreak of the pandemic till March 31 this year, 375 people died in the state who didn’t have any comorbidities, while there were 2,780 victims who had comorbidities. The share of victims with no serious health issues was 11.9 per cent. From April 1 till May 20 this year, 4,050 patients died in the ACTIVE CASES: 30,27,925 DEATHS IN 24 HRS 4,209 TOTAL DEATHS: 2,91,331 %AGE OF DEATHS NOT RELATED TO COMORBIDITIES District April 1-May 20 March ’20-March ’21 Bhiwani Jhajjar Sirsa Rewari Gurugram Kurukshetra Nuh state. Of them, 1,121 (27.7 per cent) didn’t have comorbidities. “We will analyse the data. In most cases, patients are reporting late at hospitals. Sometimes they are not even aware of their comorbidities,” said Dr Sapna Gahlawat, 69.8 52.1 51.8 48.3 47.7 47 46.3 11 4.9 13.7 26.3 18.7 0.7 33.3 CMO, Bhiwani. Dr Dhruv Chaudhary, state nodal officer for Covid, said, “Comorbidities are usually present in the older population. This time, the younger population was affected the most by mutant variants.” Gang selling fake test reports busted, 2 held In Lahaul-Spiti, tourists snap up 50% vax slots Balwant Garg Pratibha Chauhan Tribune News Service Faridkot, May 21 The police have arrested two persons, the owners of a private lab and a chemist shop situated near Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital here, on the charge of selling fake RT-PCR test reports. Acting on a tip-off, the cops sent a decoy customer to Avinash Kumar (chemist) and Sukhjinder Singh (lab owner) for a Covid-positive report. CIA staff in-charge Amritpal Singh said the accused demanded Rs 8,000, but the deal was struck for Rs 5,000. PRISONERS, TRAVELLERS AMONG CUSTOMERS ■ Those flying abroad or trav- elling to other states were their customers ■ Prisoners wanting to delay return to jail through Covid positive reports also approached them ■ The accused charged ~5,000 to ~8,000; they didn’t collect any sample for giving the report The accused didn’t collect any sample and promised to deliver the report, the police claimed. Continued on page 11 Tribune News Service Shimla, May 21 Eighty per cent of the Covid vaccines will now be administered to residents of the tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti through draw of lots as on the first day, 50 per cent of the shots were taken by tourists from Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan, visiting Manali. Owing to poor connectivity, the locals are facing problem in logging onto the CoWin portal for getting their names registered for vaccination in the 18-44 age group. Taking advantage, New Delhi, May 21 Rescue teams have so far recovered 60 bodies from the Arabian Sea near the spot where the barge ‘P305’ sunk on the intervening night of May 17 and 18 as Cyclone Tauktae ravaged past the country’s west coast. Eleven bodies were recovered in the past 24 hours by the Navy and Coast Guard. Fifteen persons, who were on the barge, are still missing. The police have registered an FIR against barge captain Rakesh Ballav and some others under Sections 304 (2) (culpable homicide), 338 (causing grievous hurt) and 34 (common intention) on a complaint filed by Rahman Hussain Shaikh, chief lenges in a court of law, the Union Government will be responsible for everything, Continued on page 11 FRESH CASES DRDO’S ANTIBODY KIT OUT matter. “If something happens, a patient dies, we will not be able to question them (Pfizer). If somebody chal- Ajay Banerjee New Delhi, May 21 External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will visit the US from May 24 to 28 to discuss procurement of American vaccines as well as regional issues such as the unfinished disengagement on the border with China and the trajectory of peace talks in Afghanistan. In a two-city trip, Jaishankar will meet UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York. In Washington, he will hold discussions with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as Continued on page 11 In Haryana, 28% victims had no serious health issues, shows data Indian-origin Anvee is Oxford union prez LONDON: Anvee Bhutani, an Indian-origin student from Magdalen College at the University of Oxford, has won the byelection to the post of president of the Oxford Student Union. — PTI saturday | 22 may 2021 Sunderlal Bahuguna IN BRIEF NEW SC ALLOWS BANKS TO INVOKE PERSONAL GUARANTEES OF DEFAULTERS BUSINESS POOR CONNECTIVITY BUGS RESIDENTS ■ Local residents are facing problems in logging onto the CoWin portal due to connectivity issues ■ Taking advantage, tourists took slots for almost 50 per cent of the vaccines ■ The administration has decided to allot 80 per cent of slots to locals through draw of lots tourists took slots for almost 50 per cent of the vaccines that were administered on May 17. Continued on page 11 Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 21 With Covid-induced mucormycosis spreading faster across all states, experts have asked the government to determine the possible role of industrial oxygen in the infection. Dr Uma Kumar, rheumatology head, AIIMS, New Delhi, said doctors had been using steroids routinely in rheumatology patients, but they had never seen such high cases of mucormycosis. “Is this Covid playing with the immunity to invite mucormycosis or is it due to the use of industrial oxygen?” Kumar said, urging the OVER 1,100 PATIENTS IN FOUR GUJARAT CITIES More than 1,100 mucormycosis patients, who had recovered from Covid, are undergoing treatment at government hospitals in 4 Gujarat cities. 300 MUCORMYCOSIS CASES IN PUNE DISTRICT ICMR to look into the issue. Experts say unhygienic delivery of oxygen to Covid patients could be a potential cause of black fungus infection. The recent shortage of medical oxygen led to industrial oxygen diversion to hospitals, but questions around Continued on page 11 A family member shows victim’s picture outside a Mumbai mortuary. PTI engineer of the barge who is among the survivors. Navy spokesperson Vivek Madhwal said a survey ship would carry out an underwater search at the site to locate the wreckage of the barge. Also, it will search for the wreckage of a tug-boat ‘ Varaprada’. Tribune News Service Chandigarh, May 21 Taking cognisance of the increasing number of black fungal infections, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to come up with possible preventive measures. “In case any such steps are possible, the same be taken immediately,” the Bench directed. As the matter came up for resumed hearing, the Bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh made it clear that its worry travelled beyond ordering medicines for treating black fungus. Continued on page 11
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.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).