NEW DELHI 21 JUNE 2020 SUNDAY `9 PAGES 24 facebook/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard instagram.com/themorningstandard Kitchen Kids ASK PRABHU www.thesundaystandard.com/www.morningstandard.in PLUS: 12 PAGES MAGAZINE A Dark New World EXCLUSIVE VOICES Post your questions on website www.newindianexpress.com, and Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director, The New Indian Express, will answer them. A Martial Leap of Faith Prabhu Chawla TJS George G Madhavan Nair VS Ravi Anirban Ganguly Anand Neelakantan Ravi Shankar Neil McCallum Scent and Sensibility Divine Plates to Mortal Mouths AMMA SPEAKS Starry Starry Night Offer Your Mind to God GOVT REJECTS LADAKH BARBS AS MISCHIEVOUS Bid to transgress LAC foiled, says govt Attempt to lower morale of armed forces, claims PMO MANISH ANAND, PUSHKAR B A N A K A R & M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi SEEKING to put a lid over the controversy sparked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement at the all-party meeting, the Prime Minister’s Office on Saturday said “attempts are being made in some quarters to give a mischievous interpretation” to his remarks. At the meeting on Friday, Modi said “neither is anyone inside our territory nor is any of our post captured,” adding that “20 of our brave soldiers made the supreme sacrifice for the nation in Ladakh.” This was interpreted in many circles, political and otherwise, that Modi was denying any transgression and that he had ceded India’s land to the Chinese by recognizing the status quo as it is widely believed that Chinese troops are still occupying Indian territory . “What is Indian territory is clear from the map of India. This Government is strongly and resolutely committed to that,” the PMO stated. Maintaining India’s position that it was the Chinese who had crossed the line of actual control, the PMO said there was an “attempted transgression” in PAVING CAREER FOR BRIGHT MINDS Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the all-party meeting on Friday | PTI At a time when our brave soldiers are defending our borders, it is unfortunate that an unnecessary controversy is being created to lower their morale — Prime Minister’s Office the Galwan Valley by the Chinese in order to erect structures on June 15. This was foiled by the Indian ar my, which also gave a “befitting lesson” to the Chinese troops. “As regards transgression of LAC, it was clearly stated that the violence on June 15 arose because Chinese side was seeking to erect structures just across the LAC and refused to desist from such actions,” the PMO stated. IAS officer Ranjit Kumar Singh trains poor civil service exam aspirants for free; at least 200 of his students are working as police officers | P5 New beds put up inside a banquet hall opposite LNJP Hospital | PTI U-TURN L-G takes back order on institutional quarantine “There are more than 10,000 people under home LIEUTENANT Gover nor isolation currently and Anil Baijal on Saturday there are only 6,000 beds at withdrew his order mandat- quarantine centers, so ing compulsory quarantine where are we going to acfor all Covid-19 cases in Del- commodate all the people?” hi after staunch opposition Deputy Chief Minister Manfrom the state government. ish Sisodia said. The Arvind Kejriwal-led After another meeting in AAP government the evening, the had opposed the L-G withdrew the move, saying that order making the its workforce was quarantine optionOnly those cases already stretched al. “Only those in the city On Sat- which don’t require Covid positive cas. urday morning, it hospitalisation on es which do not reasked the L-G to re- clinical assessment quire hospitalisa& don’t have consider his deci- adequate facilities tion on clinical sion during a meet- for home isolation assessment and do ing of the State not have adequate would be required Disaster Managefacilities for home to undergo institutional ment Authority . isolation would be isolation According to the required to underAAP government, go institutional Anil Baijal, if home isolation isolation,” the L-G Delhi L-G was completely tweeted. ended, then Delhi The Delhi govwould need around 1 lakh ernment has set up a SOP for beds by the end of June. Ear- home isolation. “ the L-G’s All lier, the same number of fears were resolved in the beds was estimated to be SDMA meeting and now the needed at the end of July system of home isolation when there will be more will continue. We thank him than five lakh cases. for this,” Sisodia tweeted. S I D D H A N TA M I S H R A @ New Delhi But the Chinese designs were nixed because of the “sacrifices of the soldiers,” it said. The statement said the PM’s “observations that there was no Chinese presence on our side of the LAC pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces.” “The sacrifices of the soldiers of the 16 Bihar Regiment foiled the attempt of the Chinese side to erect structures and also cleared the attempted transgression at this point of the LAC on that day,” the PMO stated. Reacting to the clarification, the opposition parties took a dig at the government. “The PMO’s statement is clearly a lame attempt to obfuscate the truth. First of all, the PMO and the government need to clearly state their position. Is Galwan Valley not part of Indian territory?” the Congress asked. CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said “Modi should first make up his mind and then speak unless his attempt was to mislead all the political parties and weaken our position in diplomatic talks.” But many experts did not agree with the Opposition. BR Deepak, a sinologist and chairperson of the Centre for Chinese and South Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University said “the clarification issued was a strongly-worded one. It is a sign that India will stand up to the Chinese and also a sign that both sides do not want to escalate things.” Lt Gen V K Chaturvedi (retired) appeared to concur. “In all such cases when the person at that position is speaking then every aspect is well studied and only then is it articulated for wider consumption.” Cong says move to obfuscate the truth NEW IAF OFFICERS GET DIRECT POSTINGS In a departure from the convention on Saturday, newly commissioned IAF officers were sent directly to their places of posting. “It is going to add to the working hands of the force which is on alert after the LAC standoff,” an officer said. A total of 123 flight cadets, 61 officers joined the flying branch with 62 being inducted into IAF’s ground duty branches. “These officers are at the peak of their morale and fitness. They would be ably supporting in the situation.” The Army also has sent its 333 newly commissioned officers from IMA directly to their places of posting on June 13 IAF chief RKS Bhadauria at the passing out parade in Hyderabad on Saturday | S SENBAGAPANDIYAN Position with regard to Galwan Valley area has been historically clear: India P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi INDIA on Saturday issued a point-bypoint rebuttal to the Chinese claim made earlier in the day on the Galwan Valley rejecting allegations that it was , the Indian side that triggered the violent face-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on June 15. “The position with regard to the Galwan Valley area has been historically clear. Attempts by the Chinese side to now advance exaggerated and untenable claims with regard to Line of Actual Control (LAC) there are not acceptable. They are not in accordance with China’s own position in the past,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said. In a series of tweets in the morning, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian had claimed that the Galwan Valley is located on the Chinese side of the LAC in the Western section of the Sino-Indian boundary . “For many years, the Chinese border troops have been patrolling and on duty in this region,” he claimed. Zhao accused Indian troops of unilaterally and continuously built roads, bridges and other facilities at the LAC in Galwan Valley “China lodged rep. resentations and protests on multiple occasions but India went even further to cross the LAC and made provocations,” he argued. CONTINUED ON P7 Govt may scrap CBSE exams, defer NEET, JEE E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi AMID growing clamour that the remaining Central Board of Secondary Education examinations be cancelled and dates for crucial competitive tests for engineering and medical colleges across the country be postponed, the Union Human Resources Development Ministry is having a rethink and may announce the cancellation of the CBSE examinations early next week. The ministry had announced last month that the remaining CBSE Class X and XII board examinations will be held between July 1 and 15. It had also said that the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) will be held in July 18-23 and the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test on July 26. Sources in the ministry told the newspaper that after inter nal discussions, consultations have started with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Health Ministry on the manner and dates for these examinations again. “Many states are not in favour of conducting the CBSE examinations at all and have suggested that marking in the remaining papers be done on the basis of averaging of other papers and internal assessment done in schools earlier as calling students to examination centres amid rising number of Covid-19 cases can be very risky,” an official said. “In such a scenario, the ministry too feels that the board examinations be cancelled and a final decision is likely to be announced by Monday he added. ,” Officials also said Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ had met Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday to BEYOND REFORM Out on parole for Covid pandemic, petty criminals back in business G AYAT H R I M A N I @ New Delhi THE ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has come as a boon to P. Silva, a petty criminal with a history of snatching, robbery and car theft. On April 21, the Tihar Jail authorities, concerned over the overcrowding in the jail premises, released him on parole. But instead of taking the opportunity to reform and leave the crime world, he went back straight into it. The 22 year old joined the thak-thak gang and was arrested on June 9 for the looting a pilot of a private airline while he was on his way to the IGIA Airport near the IITDelhi flyover. Silva had earlier been arrested on March 2 by the Ambedkar Nagar police in connection with a snatching case, following which he was lodged in the Tihar Jail. Silva is not the only petty criminal to take advantage of getting parole because of the coronavirus and taking to crime again. According to the Delhi Police, the state government released about 2,500 prisoners, a mix of those involved in heinous crimes, repeated offenders and petty criminals. Of them, about 200 have been rearrested for small crimes in the past few weeks. The South East district police alone have arrested 13 persons out on parole till June 16. In Rohini district, 10 persons released on bail and parole have been arrested again for petty thefts. Another petty criminal is Sheikh Naushad, 28. He was rearrested by the Bhalaswa Dairy police in Outer North District under the Arms Act for robbery snatching and looting peo, ple on the road at gun point. The police recovered one country made pistol and some ammunition from his house. Naushad had been arrested in 2016 for robbery and dealing in stolen property He was freed . on parole in April because of the pandemic. After his release he got addicted to drugs and ganja and when his family refused to provide him money he , started robbery again. On Thursday another crimi, nal released in April was arrested for stealing 900 new mobile phones from Amazon delivery vehicles. His associates were new though, joining the world of crime owing to lack of money food and unemployment. , “We are keeping a close surveillance of the criminals released on parole due to Covid-19. During the lockdown we are also witnessing well-educated people involved in delivery of illicit liquor and petty thefts such as snatching, pickpocketing, robbery and auto lifting to meet their daily needs as many of them are unemployed,” said South East district DCP R P Meena. discuss these issues and another meeting with Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan is planned on Saturday evening. Maharashtra, Delhi and Odisha have earlier asked the Centre to consider cancelling the CBSE examinations and the Supreme Court, too, had asked the CBSE to take a decision in this regard by next week. Officials conceded that while cancelling the board examinations was a viable option seeing the pandemic situation in the country, the National Testing Agency the authority that con, ducts the NEET and JEE (Main) examinations, has not been able to decide on the en- trance tests. “Considering that these tests are extremely important for lakhs of students looking for careers in medicine and engineering, not holding the examinations is not an option. But the question is how to hold the exams while ensuring minimum risk to the candidates and teachers,” another official said. A proposal that has emerged is that the NEET be conducted in both online and offline modes in a staggered manner so that crowding is avoided at examination centres. “Nothing, however, is final yet and will be decided only over the next few days,” the official said. For first time, fresh virus cases crosses 14k-mark June, India has recorded more than 2 lakh infection cases THE Covid-19 case load in the with Maharashtra, Tamil country neared 4 lakh on Sat- Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat and Uturday morning with the num- tar Pradesh among the top five ber of fresh infections in 24 states that have seen the steephours crossing the 14,000 est rise in the pandemic curve. mark for the first time. The case fatality rate, A total of 14, 516 new cases which was 2.9 % till a few days were added, taking the tally back, is up at 3.3 % . of confirmed novel coronaviOf the 375 new deaths rerus cases to 3,95, 048. ported in the past 24 Also, in the 24hours, 42 were in Toll: No hour period, India's Maharashtra, 66 in change in death toll mounted Delhi, 41 in Tamil top three to 12,948 as 375 more Nadu, 27 in Gujarat, Of the total deaths were report23 in Uttar Pradesh, 12,948 Covid ed across the coun11 in West Bengal, 10 fatalities so far, try. Apart from the each in Rajasthan, deaths, the total con- Maharashtra sits Karnataka and Haratop with 5,893 firmed cases include yana, nine each in deaths followed 1,68,269 active paMP and Punjab. Six by Delhi 2,035, tients and 2,13,831 deaths were reportGujarat 1,618, others who are deed in Bihar, four Tamil Nadu 666 clared as “cured.” e a ch i n A n d h r a Sources in the UnPradesh and Jammu ion Ministry of Health and and Kashmir and three in Family Welfare said the sharp Telangana. rise in the daily cases were India is the world’s fourth the result of intensified test- worst-hit nation after the US, ing using antigen-based test- Brazil and Russia as per a ing kits along with RT-PCR global Covid dashboard maintests in the worst-affected tained by the Johns Hopkins states such as Delhi over the University, which also shows last few days. that India is at the eighth posiSince the beginning of tion in death toll so far. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi
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