KOCHI l THURSDAY l AUGUST 06, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l LATE CITY EDITION INDIA’S TOTAL COVID CASES INCH CLOSER TO 20 LAKH With 52,509 fresh positive cases in a day, India’s total Covid-19 case count raced past 19 lakh on Wednesday HOWEVER, ONLY 5.86 LAKH ACTIVE CASES While the total confirmed Covid-19 cases in India stood at 19.08 lakh, active cases were only a fraction of them — 5.86 lakh. As many as 51,706 patients recovered from the infection on Wednesday, taking the total number of recoveries to 12.82 lakh or 67.19% of all cases. The day’s record number of recoveries pushed the total active cases down by 54 ■ 1.87 cr SHARP RISE IN TESTS PER MILLION ■ ■ With 857 deaths since Tuesday morning, the total number of deaths reached 39,795. India’s fatality rate stands at 2.09% India’s tests per million have seen a sharp increase to 15,568 With more than 6.19 lakh tests conducted on Tuesday, India’s cumulative testing stood at 2.14 crore as on date TOTAL CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES WORLDWIDE AS ON WEDNESDAY CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI OUR DREAM FULFILLED: BHAGWAT With the construction of this temple, not only is history being made, but it is being repeated. Narendra Modi, PM If Congress had a concrete stand on secularism, India would not have come to this state Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs Bhoomi Puja at Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir in Ayodhya on Wednesday | PIB Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala CM Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat said a struggle of decades has met its moment of glory, referring to the ‘bhoomi puja’ ceremony. “The then RSS chief Balasaheb Deoras had told us that be prepared for a struggle of 20 to 30 years for realising this dream,” he said AYODHYA CAPS A GOLDEN JOURNEY The Bhoomi Puja at Ayodhya marked an epochal moment in the golden journey of the BJP. The party rode an emotive wave in the early 1990s on the back of the Ram temple movement to expand its base. Observers say the BJP was able to win over some of the Congress party’s base through the movement CONGRESS STANCE CAUSES WORRY Muslim leaders in the Congress seemed to be at unease as the party welcomed the ceremony. They wonder why there has been no mention of the construction of a mosque, and why the Congress has not questioned the Centre over this | P7 Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays the first brick for the shrine in Ayodhya; says the modern temple will be a reflection of India’s culture and will inspire future generations; praises kar sevaks but stops short of mentioning Advani, Joshi, Singhal Social harmony at core of Ram’s ethos: PM N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday laid the first brick of the grand Ram temple in Ayodhya, ending the centuries-long wait of millions of devotees. Leading the Bhumi Puja (foundation stone-laying ceremony), Modi extended gratitude to those who struggled to make the temple a reality . Over 175 VVIPs and guests including RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat were witness to the historic moment at the Ram Janmabhoomi Sthal at Ayodhya, while people across the country watched the event on TV . Addressing them, Modi said, “India is creating a golden chapter in Ayodhya and a wait of centuries ends today Many are hardly able . to believe they are witnessing this day in their lifetime.” He said the modern Ram temple will be a reflection of the culture, eternal faith, national spirit and collective will power of Indians and it would inspire the generations to come. Praising the sacrifices of scores of Ram devotees in the course of the temple movement, Modi said, “The movement for Ram temple had dedication, struggle and resolve. I bow to those people whose sacrifice has made this possible.” H o w e v e r, t h e P M stopped short of mentioning the names of the likes of L K Advani, M M Joshi and Ashok Singhal who had played a pivotal role in the temple movement in the 1990s. Modi talked about how the construction of a modern temple would catapult the town into one of the most happening destina- tions of religious tourism, adding that social harmony was the core priciple of Lord Ram’s governance. “Lord Ram always stuck to the truth, and established social harmony as the cornerstone of his rule. He loved his subjects equally, but had a special kindness for the poor and the needy There is . no aspect of life where Shree Ram doesn’t serve as an inspiration,” Modi said. Why Modi chanted ‘Siyavar Ram’ instead of Jai Shree Ram? Of late, saffron fringe groups have been using ‘Jai Shree Ram’ as a war cry to showcase their emboldened demeanor. The Prime Minister did not want to be seen as promoting it on the auspicious day He also lauded the dignity and restraint with which fellow countrymen responded, respecting the feelings of everyone, when the judgement was passed by the Supreme Court last year. “Similar dignity and restraint is visible today also,” said the PM. Modi is also the first PM to offer prayers at the Ram Janmabhoomi. He had earlier visited the temple town with Advani in 1991 — a year before the demolition of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992. However, since 2014, he has been maintaining a safe distance from Ayodhya and the issue of Ram temple. In his address laced with emotions and sentiments, the PM promised a grand and divine temple saying the victory chant of today was not only echoing in Ayodhya but it could be heard by all Indians and Ram devotees across the globe. For the first time speaking vociferously for the temple in Ayodhya after taking over as PM, Modi quoted a couplet from Ramcharitmanas: “Ram Kaj kinhe binu, mohi kahan vishram (How can I rest without doing the service of Lord Ram),” summing up the mood of his 20-minute speech. The PM also used the occasion to send out a strong message to hostile forces including China and Pakistan by reciting a couplet from Ramcharitmanas: “Bhaya bin hoye na preet...” (without fear there can’t be love). He claimed the development in Ayodhya would make the country stronger and an emphatic voice which could not be ignored. Referring to the struggle of decades to see the present day, Modi said that Ram Lalla (infant Lord Ram) who has been living in tents for years would finally get a temple of his own now. MCOCA-like law to be Muslim League resolution goes soft on Priyanka enacted in state to deal with crime syndicates V I S H N U P R A S A D K P @ Malappuram A J AY K A N T H @ Kochi TO counter increasing organised criminal activities like drug trafficking, smuggling, looting and extortion, the Kerala government has decided to introduce a stringent law on the lines of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) 1999, to give the police special powers to deal with the criminals involved. Senior Home Department officials told TNIE that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has STRENGTHENING given his approval for framing a new STATE POLICE law to deal with the organised crime Draft being syndicates that have been gaining a fine-tuned by foothold in the state in the past few Law years. “A core committee of officials that Department included the top brass of police and The chief intelligence has convinced the chief minister is minister about the need to have a learnt to have stringent law to deal with organised given his crimes,” said a senior Home Departapproval for ment officer. framing the A draft of the new legislation has new law been prepared and the Law Department is fine-tuning it before presenting it for final approval. “Only after a detailed scrutiny and several rounds of discussion with the stakeholders, the draft will be presented for approval,” added the officer. ● More on P6 EXPRESS READ Murmu resigns as Jammu & Kashmir Lt Governor New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor G C Murmu resigned on Wednesday, officials said. His resignation came on the day the Union Territory marked the first anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370. Murmu is likely to be given a new assignment at the Centre. SC dismisses Franco’s discharge plea in rape case Kottayam: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the special leave petition filed by Latin Catholic Jalandhar diocese bishop Franco Mulakkal challenging the Kerala High Court order which rejected his discharge petition in a rape case lodged against him by a nun. P6 18 PAGES, INCLUDING 4 PAGES OF KOCHI EXPRESS HINTING that the soft Hindutva line of Congress leaders will not be accepted, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) national committee meeting held here on Wednesday passed a resolution opposing the statement of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi that the Bhoomi Pooja ceremony for Ram temple at Ayodhya would become a celebration of national unity . Given the sensitive equation in state politics between the Congress and IUML, the two leading partners in the United Democratic Front (UDF), the League trod a cautious line and did not make any further comments to strain the relationship. Political analysts, however, said the IUML’s move to pass the resolu- tion was aimed at reassuring its core Muslim voters whose sentiments may have been hurt after Priyanka’s statement. “We express our disagreement on the statement issued by Priyanka Gandhi on the construction of the temple in Ayodhya. Her statement is very much out of place,” said the two-line resolution released after senior League leaders met at Panakkad. ● More on P5 Gold prices touch all-time high of `55K E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi GOLD prices hit an all-time high of `55,390 per 10 gram on Wednesday as a weak dollar and falling bond yields polished its safe-haven appeal. On the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited, the gold futures hit a record of `55,390 per 10 gram after it rose 1.35%. Silver futures, too, surged 4.3% to `72,850 per kg. In the previous session, gold futures on MCX rallied about `900 or 1.7%, hitting `54,612 at intraday high, while silver surged `4,200 or 6.4%. “Investors continue to remain buyers in safe-haven gold as they expect the metal will hold its value better than other assets as fallout from Covid-19 cripples the global economy,” said Sriram Iyer, senior research analyst at Reliance Securities. Expectations of more stimulus also boosted the safe-haven demand of non-yielding gold. Many experts think gold will rally further towards `65,000 level over the next 12-15 months. “An aggressive stance of central banks to push unprecedented amounts of liquidity and keeping interest rates lower provide a convincing fundamental backdrop for continuation up-trend in both precious metals,” said Kishore Narne, Head - Commodity & Currency Motilal , Oswal Financial Services. DAILY COUNT: RECOVERIES OUTNUMBER NEW CASES Kerala reported 1,195 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday while 1,234 recovered from the disease Minimum salary of medical officers and specialists to be increased from E40k to E50k.The monthly salary of staff nurse, jr health inspector, pharmacist and technician to go up to E20,000 C50crmore to be from sanctioned the CM’s distress relief fund to NORKA-Roots for helping returning Keralites. P2
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