24052021-TT-01.qxd 23-05-2021 22:43 Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.142 | 20 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 himachal pradesh UK TO INTRODUCE DIGITAL VISA SYSTEM WORLD /thetribunechd INNOVATION IS THE KEY TO TACKLING AGRARIAN CRISIS INFOCUS TURNCOATS QUEUE UP TO RETURN TO TMC BACK PAGE /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com monday | 24 may 2021 curbs extended by Another face-off: Punjab, Hry farmers Delhiunlock, if case decline continues, 1 wk Gradual says CM head to Delhi border to mark ‘black day’ Tribune News Service 12 Oppn parties back May 26 protest | Talks only if unions offer alternative: Tomar Protest in Hisar today, security up Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 23 With the Union Agriculture Ministry showing reluctance in resuming talks with protesting farmers unless they propose a solution other than the repeal of the three farm laws, the stage is set for another face-off between the government and farmers. Even as farmers’ union leader Gurnam Singh Charuni said there was no question of going back on demands, the government appears to be in no mood to concede to unions’ demand for resumption of talks. While Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has reiterated his earlier stance on the issue, official sources said at a time the country is Farmers in large numbers on way to Singhu border to join the May 26 protest, in Karnal on Sunday. passing through such a bad phase, the demand of unions is unjustified. Besides, the success of the rabi marketing season in Punjab and Haryana is a proof of the Centre’s intention and commitment towards farmers, they said. Tomar said the unions neither accepted the offer to put off the laws for 18 months continued on page 7 Hisar, May 23 Ahead of the proposed demonstration by farmers here on Monday, the city has been turned into a fortress with multi-tier barricading in place. Right from the entry points up to the mini secretariat, the cops have put up barricades, barbed wires and boulders to restrain the farmers. Sources said 50 police companies have been deployed the city where farmers in large numbers are expected to arrive on Monday for a dharna outside the commissioner’s office against an alleged incident of lathicharge on them. Farmers alleged the government was targeting them. — TNS ‘PROJECT MADAD’ New Delhi, May 23 Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today extended the Delhi lockdown till 5 am on May 31, saying a gradual unlock process could start if the number of cases went down. “I consulted several people and the general opinion was in favour of lockdown extension for one more week. The Delhi Government has decided that the lockdown will be extended till 5 am on May 31,” he said in an online address as Delhi’s daily caseload came down to 1,600 from a peak of 28,000 in late April. The positivity rate has declined to 2.5 per cent over the A group of doctors from the diaspora in the US have launched ‘Project Madad’ to provide time-sensitive information to health workers in rural areas on treating patients. NOTE OF CAUTION FRESH CASES 2.40 LAKH ACTIVE CASES: 28,05,399 DEATHS IN 24 HRS 3,741 TOTAL DEATHS: 2,99,266 In Pb, handsome donations to sustain stir Sukhmeet Bhasin Tribune News Service Bathinda, May 23 After harvesting and selling their rabi crop, farmers are donating generously to their unions in the Malwa region. They have donated over Rs 50 lakh to the BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) in Mansa district alone. BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) district president Ram Singh Bhainibagha claimed their union spent over Rs 25 crore VILLAGE-WISE CONTRIBUTIONS BACHHUANA BHAINIBAGHA KISHANGARH JOGA BAHADURPUR ~12 LAKH ~11 LAKH ~7 LAKH ~6.5 LAKH ~6 LAKH in the past 11 months since the farmers’ protest began. He said the union collected funds from farmers every six months and the collection AKALIA VERAHE RAR JAWAHARKE FARWAHI ~6 LAKH ~5.5 LAKH ~4.5 LAKH ~4 LAKH ~3 LAKH this time had been several times more than earlier collections. “My fellow villagers from Bhainibagha have collected Rs 11 lakh this time, while Bachhuana villagers have collected Rs 12 lakh. The collection from Kishangarh village is Rs 7 lakh, Joga village Rs 6.5 lakh, Bahadurpur village Rs 6 lakh, Akalia village Rs 6 lakh, Verahe village Rs 5.5 lakh, Rar village Rs 4.5 lakh, Jawaharke village Rs 4 lakh and Farwahi village Rs 3 lakh,” he said. “Farmers from other villages have also given continued on page 7 unions ❝ Farmers’irresponsibly shouldn’t act and jeopardise the lives of their own people. There is no scope for any laxity. Rallies or dharnas of any kind are totally unacceptable Capt Amarinder Singh, PUNJAB CM Hry extends lockdown; eases curbs for shops No direct Moderna supply for Punjab Chandigarh, May 23 The Haryana Government today extended the lockdown for another week till May 31 with major relaxations for shops. An order issued by Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan said, “While the lockdown has been extended, certain relaxations have been given.” Now, standalone shops will remain open, except when the night curfew is in place. Other shops will open from 7 am to 12 noon on an odd-even basis. While odd number shops will open on odd days, Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 23 Claiming a broad consensus had been reached among states about conducting Class 12 board exams, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ today said an “informed, collaborative” decision will be taken by June 1. However, states like Maharashtra said at a high-level meeting on Sunday that “non-examination route” for Class 12 students should be actively examined and Delhi and Kerala governments suggested vaccinating students before the exams. Sources said the CBSE had proposed conducting exams between July 15 and August 26 and the result to be declared in September. It also proposed two options: conducting regular exams for 19 major subjects at noti- CBSE PUTS FORTH TWO OPTIONS ■ OPTION I: Regular exams for 19 major subjects at notified centres; for minor subjects, assessment can be based on performance in major subjects ■ OPTION II:Shorter-duration exams at schools where students are enrolled; if a student is unable to take exam due to Covid, he/she will get a second chance ■ Delhi Government not in favour of either of the options explored by CBSE; says exams without vaccinating all students will prove to be a big mistake fied centres or conducting shorter duration exams at respective schools where students were enrolled. Sources claimed majority states were in favour of the second option while some wanted a mix of both options. ■ Maharashtra wants ‘non- examination route’ for students be actively examined ■ Punjab Education Minister suggests holding exams for only 3 elective subjects Pokhriyal said the states had been told to send detailed suggestions on the conduct of exams by May 25. He was speaking at a national consultation on the conduct of Class 12 and professional courses’ continued on page 7 YAAS TURNING ‘VERY SEVERE’ CYCLONIC STORM New Delhi, May 23 Four more bodies were found near the spot where barge P305 had sank on the intervening night of May 17 and 18 as cyclone Tauktae ravaged past India’s west coast. Seventy bodies have been recovered so far while five persons are still missing. The Navy said, “Diving at (the location) of the sunken Cyclone Yaas will cross the north Odisha-West Bengal coast between Paradip and Sagar islands by May 26 evening as a “very severe” cyclonic storm, the IMD said on Sunday. BACK PAGE barge has been completed by specialised teams on board INS Makar and no bodies have been found on it.” Search and rescue operations using ships, helicopters and aircraft will continue in the area to locate the remain- ODD-EVEN BASIS ■ Standalone shops to open, except during night curfew ■ Other shops to open from 7 am till 12 noon on odd-even basis ■ Shopping malls to remain shut even number shops will open on even days, the order said, adding that shopping malls would remain shut. A cap of 11 persons has been enforced for weddings and funerals. ing crew of the vessel, the Navy said. Off the 261 persons on the barge, 186 have been rescued in batches. The sunken barge was deployed at the Heera oil rig part of the Bombay High oil rigs, 70 km south-west of Mumbai. Yesterday, the Navy launched underwater search for the wreckage of barge P305 and tug-boat “Varaprada”. Specialised diving teams had sailed out from Mumbai. Varaprada, missing since May 17, had 13 persons on board. Two of them were rescued, while 11 are still missing. A simultaneous search is on. The INS Makar has now been tasked to locate the wreckage of Varaprada. Retract comments, can weaken Covid fight: Vardhan to Ramdev New Delhi, May 23 Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday wrote to yoga practitioner Ramdev asking him to withdraw his “highly objectionable and unfortunate” statements against modern medicine and doctors amid raging pandemic. In a letter to Ramdev, Vardhan said his remarks about you ❝ I hope and will seriously introspect retract your unfortunate statements (against allopathic drugs). Harsh Vardhan, HEALTH MINISTER Sushil Kumar in police custody in New Delhi on Sunday. TRIBUNE PHOTO Wrestler Sushil Kumar 40% positivity in Kangra’s remote Chotta Bhangal belt in 6-day police custody Tribune News Service Lalit Mohan Tribune News Service Dharamsala, May 23 Covid has been affecting the remotest of areas in Himachal Pradesh, with tribal Chotta Bhangal region in the higher reaches of Kangra district reporting an alarming 40 per cent positivity rate. Of the 90 samples collected from the area, 37 have tested positive, a development that has the local administration worried. Nestled near the Dhauladhar range in the Himalayas, Chotta Bhangal has poor road connectivity and people from various habitats mostly have to walk a lot to reach the main road. Kangra Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Prajapati said though infections had been controlled in urban areas, instances like Chotta Bhangal were a cause for concern. “Efforts are being made to keep people in rural belts safe and encourage them to report infections early,” he said. Akshay Jasrotia, a social worker, said Chotta Bhangal had a population of about 12,000. A high infection rate was earlier reported in Chotta Testing mandatory for shepherds in tribal region LOCALS BLAME POWER PROJECT STAFF Claiming they hardly moved out of their area, Chotta Bhangal residents have blamed the labourers employed at local power projects for “bringing infection to their belt”. The authorities, however, have put the onus on weddings. Bhangal’s Landag, having a population of 5,000. “The villagers initially didn’t report Covid cases to the authorities, but their outlook changed after three persons succumbed to the virus,” he said. Jasrotia said an issue of con- cern was that shepherds were nowadays moving with their flock of sheep to Bara Bhangal valley, an area at a higher altitude and inaccessible by road. “In case the virus reaches Bara Bhangal, healthcare can be provided only though a helicopter,” he said, demanding the shepherds be tested before they moved higher into the mountains. Kangra Chief Medical Officer Dr GD Gupta said initially the entire staff of the Chotta Bhangal Primary Health Centre had tested positive. “The affected employees have been shifted. Two mobile teams have been deployed to control the situation,” he said. Dr Gupta said instructions had been issued that all shepherds be tested before they ventured into the mountains with their livestock. Chandigarh, May 23 Punjab’s efforts to float global tenders for direct procurement of vaccination for early inoculation in the state has hit a roadblock as the vaccine suppliers only deal with the Centre and not with the state government. Sharing the information, senior bureaucrat Vikas Garg, who has been appointed as the State Nodal Officer for Vaccination, said one of the Covid vaccine manufacturers, Moderna, refused to send vaccine directly to Punjab as according to their policy, they only deal with the Government of India and not with any state government or private parties. INSIDE IN BRIEF Plea seeks policy to protect rights of dead NEW DELHI: An NGO has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court raising the issue of alleged overcharging for cremations and seeking a direction to the Centre to consider a policy to protect the rights of the dead. — PTI AEC ex-chairman dead post Covid NEW DELHI: Former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Srikumar Banerjee died on Sunday due to a heart attack just a month after recovering from Covid-19. — TNS 8 militants killed in Assam encounter NEED TO INTROSPECT allopathic drugs and doctors could potentially weaken continued on page 7 Antonio Guterres, UN SECY-GEN government’s priority and the state was willing to procure continued on page 7 edit: fleecing patients Class 12 exam decision by June 1; Barge toll 70, search ops on for the missing Delhi, Kerala want pupils jabbed Tribune News Service with us, thriving and mutating. past 24 hours from 36 per cent at the peak of the second wave. The CM said vaccinating everybody in Delhi was his Tribune News Service ACT RESPONSIBLY, CAN’T JEOPARDISE LIVES, UNIONS TOLD ❝ The pandemic is still very much New Delhi, May 23 Two-time Olympic medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar, arrested late last night from Mundka in west Delhi, has been remanded in six-day police custody for investigation into his alleged involvement in the death of a 23year-old wrestler, Sagar Dhankar, earlier this month. Sushil had been on the run for nearly three weeks and a lookout notice had been issued against him, apart from a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh for information leading to his arrest. After questioning Sushil for around half-anhour on the court premises, the Delhi Police sought his custody for 12 days for further interrogation. Metropolitan Magistrate Divya Malhotra, however, granted police Sushil’s custody for six days. Sushil, along with co-accused Ajay, was nabbed by the Delhi Police’s special cell team in the early hours today. Earlier, it had been reported that he was arrested late on Sunday night “near Jalandhar”. According to the Delhi Police, Sushil and his associates allegedly continued on page 7 DIPHU: Eight Dimasa National Liberation Army militants were on Sunday killed in an encounter with security forces in Assam's West Karbi Anglong district, along the Nagaland border. BACK PAGE Two KTF activists nabbed in Moga Chandigarh, May 23 The police today claimed to have arrested two Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) activists allegedly involved in several heinous crimes over the past one year, including the murder of a dera follower and firing on a priest. The two were acting on the directions of KTF’s Canada-based chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The suspects, Lovepreet Singh, alias Ravi, and Ram Singh, alias Sonu, who were arrested last night in Moga were allegedly planning to kill another dera follower. INSIDE
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