BHUBANESWAR l sunday l november 29, 2020 l `8.00 l PAGES 24 l LATE CITY EDITION navy deploys marine commandos in ladakh The Marine Commandos (MARCOS) have been deployed at Pangong lake area in eastern Ladakh amid tensions with China to enhance Integration of three services Air Force’s Garud operatives and Army’s Para Special Forces have been in eastern Ladakh since the June clash in the Galwan Valley. With the deployment of MARCOS, the government hopes to enhance the integration of the three services, according to reports. Besides, the Marine Commandos will also get exposure to extreme cold weather conditions File photo of Indian Navy’s MARCOS conducting a drill in the Arabian Sea MARCOS will conduct ops in pangong lake India has boosted its special force presence along the Line of Actual Control since the June 15 clash ■ In August, India used special forces to take control of a key piece of strategic land near Pangong lake’s southern bank ■ The MARCOS is expected to conduct operations in Pangong lake ■ has conducted operations in Kashmir’s Jhelum lake in the past 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 Shah steps in to quell farmers’ ire Says Centre ready to hold early talks as soon as they vacate roads and move to the designated protest site in Burari H a r p r eet B a j w a , G AYAT HRI MA N I & N a m i ta B a j pa i @ Chandigarh/New Delhi/Lucknow Prime Minister Narendra Modi tours Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad | PIB Modi takes 3-city tour to review vaccine progress hand, has partnered with AstraZeneca-Oxford University to scale up the production of Prime Minister Narendra Covishield, which is also beModi on Saturday undertook ing tested on 1,600 volunteers a whirlwind trip to Ahmeda- in India. bad, Hyderabad and Pune for “The PM’s visit serves as a reviewing the Covid vaccine great inspiration to our team,” development and manufactur- Bharat Biotech said. ing process by Zydus Cadila, Zydus Cadila, which is testBharat Biotech and Serum In- ing a DNA-based vaccine, said stitute of India. it is committed to the At each of the three Atmanirbhar Bharat facilities, the PM Mission and to prospent over an hour vide the nation safe each, took a tour of The Centre wants and efficacious vacthe facilities, met top the 300 to 400 cines, therapeutics executives and inter- million doses (of and diagnostics for acted with scientists Oxford vaccine) by fighting Covid. Following the PM’s to understand the tri- June-July. We are working on that visit, SII CEO Adar al status, issues and timeline. We are Poonawala said in a ch a l l e n g e s b e i n g working on virtual press conferf aced in vaccine delivery and development. distribution of the ence that his company will apply to the He also asked scisystem country’s drug reguentists for their opinAdar Poonawala, lator for emergency ion on how the counCEO, Serum Institute use authorisation of try could further of India Covishield in the next improve its regulatotwo weeks. Interim ry process and sought their suggestions to improve analysis of the vaccine, from t h e p ro c e s s o f va c c i n e its late-stage trial in Brazil and the UK, showed that its averdistribution. While the indigenously de- age efficacy in two different veloped vaccine Covaxin by dosing regimens was 70.4%. Poonawala said that the OxBharat Biotech, in collaboration with ICMR, is undergo- ford vaccine will first be used ing phase 3 testing, another in India and African countries. developed by Zydus Cadila is “The vaccine will be affordanow in the second stage of hu- ble and accessible to everyman trials. SII, on the other one,” he said. E x p r e s s ne w s s e r v i c e @ New Delhi/Hyderabad/Mumbai Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the government will hold talks with the agitating farmers before December 3 if they vacate the roads and national highways and move to the Nirankari ground in Burari, north Delhi. Earlier, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had invited protesting farmers for talks on December 3. “If farmers’ unions want to hold discussions before December 3, then I want to assure you all that as soon as you shift your protest to the structured place, the government will hold talks to address your concerns the very next day Shah ,” said in a video message on Saturday . Shah added the government had made all the arrangements for the farmers at the designated ground for their protest, including water, toilet and medical facilities. However, the farmers turned down Shah’s offer with BKU (Ekta-Ug rahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan saying the protest will continue “till our demands are met”. BKU (Rajewal Group) general secretary Omkar Singh said the home minister’s offer would be discussed in the Sunday meeting of 30 farm unions. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, meanwhile, urged the farmers to heed to Shah’s appeal, saying it was in the best interest of the farming community and the nation at large. “Shah’s offer to advance talks with farmers from December 3, and his statement reflecting the Centre’s willingness to listen to the farmers was a welcome step,” he said. Earlier in the day the agitat, ing Punjab and Haryana farmers said they were contemplating sealing the borders of Delhi and staying put at the Singhu and Tikri borders. “It is just a plan. The final decision will be taken in meetings of all leaders, which are being held on a regular basis. As of now we are at the Singhu and Tikri borders of Delhi,” a farm leader said, adding, “In a few days, the entire Punjab and Haryana will join us.” On Saturday, traffic movement on both the national highways continued to be disrupted. Farmers from Uttar Pradesh also closed in on Delhi, with hundreds of them reaching the Ghazipur border with their vehicles on Saturday afternoon. Suspecting a long standoff at the borders, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee has started providing langar to the agitating farmers. “This is an agitation of farmers and not by any political party said Manjinder Singh Sirsa, ,” P7 DSGMC president. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar PROBLEMS mounted for Agriculture Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo with the Opposit i o n BJP and Co ng res s insisting on his resignation over alleged role in protecting the main accused in Nayagarh minor girl murder case. They were not satisfied with State government’s announcement of a court monitored SIT probe into the incident. The Opposition members disrupted the proceedings of the Assembly for the third consecutive day on Saturday H a r p r eet B a j w a @ Chandigarh Navdeep Singh, a young farmer from Ambala who flung himself from his moving tractor trolley towards a police vehicle to turn off water cannon, has been booked by the Haryana Police on charges of attempt to murder, rioting and violation of Coivd-19 norms. The incident happened near the grain market at Ambala Farmers from Punjab and Haryana shouting slogans against the Centre during their Delhi Chalo march at Singhu Border in New Delhi on Saturday | Shekhar Yadav Cantt on NH-44 on November 25 during the farmers’ march towards Delhi. Navdeep leaped from his tractor, turned the water cannon tap off and jumped back in no time. The Haryana Police have booked Singh as well as Bharatiya Kisan Union Haryana president Gurnam Singh Chaduni for allegedly breaking police barricades and trying to run the police personnel over. Navdeep said the farmers have the rights to organise peaceful protests. “I have no issues with the police; they did their job and we are doing ours,” he added. The Haryana Police on Friday registered two cases against unidentified protesters on charges of rioting, obstructing public servants from performing duty assault, and violation , of Covid-19 norms. Ready for the long haul The farmers have come well prepared to stay on the road for a long time. They have food and essentials for six months They have also brought with them warm blankets to ward of winter blues, mattresses and pillows A leader said 6,000 protesters are at Singhu border, adding, “In a few days, the entire Punjab and Haryana will join us” Art 370 weighs heavily in 1st J&K poll since bifurcation F aya z W a n i @ Srinagar People stand in a queue to cast their votes in Srinagar on Saturday | PTI Braving winter chill and the Covid-19 threat, 51.7% voters in Jammu and Kashmir cast their vote in the first phase of the eight-phase District Development Council elections, the first electoral exercise in J&K after the dilution of Article 370 of the Constitution last year. The turnout was an improvement from the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, when 45% voters exercised their franchise. The im- Problems mount for Arun Sahoo as Oppn stick to resignation demand demanding the resignation of the minister from the Cabinet. The BJP even pressed for a CBI investigation. The issue was raised by Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra as soon as the House assembled for the day. The Congress leader drew the Speaker’s attention and said that in his statement to the House on Thursday, Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra had not replied on the role of the minister in protecting the main accused as alleged by the parents of the victim. Parliamentary Affairs Minister BK Arukha announced that a notification in regard to the SIT formation will soon be issued by the Home Department. “The SIT will be a court monitored probe,” Arukha informed the House. However, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister’s announcement did not satisfy the Opposition members who continued to stage demonstrations in the well of the House. Unable to run the proceedings, Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro adjourned the House till 3 CONTINUED ON: P5 pm. Haryana police book youth who switched off water cannon on attempt to murder charges IGP Arun Bothra to head SIT formed by government E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar The State government on Saturday formed a five-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Inspector General of Police Arun Bothra to probe the alleged murder of the five-yearold girl of Jadupur village in Nayagarh district. It also proposed that the probe by the SIT into the incident will be monitored by the Orissa High Court. The other members of the SIT are SP (Crime Branch) RK Dora, ASP (Crime Branch) RC Thamba, and inspectors Narendra Kumar Behera and Mamata Rani Panda. In a letter to the Registrar General of the High Court, Special Secretary to government in Home department Santosh Bala informed about the formation of the SIT and requested to place the matter before the Chief Justice for permission to monitor the investigation by a sitting judge. Earlier in the day, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha had announced in the Assembly that a gazette notification for the formation of the SIT will be issued very soon. The government had agreed for a probe by a SIT after statewide outrage over the incident. The parents of the child had attempted self immolation outside the Assembly accusing police of shielding the culprit as he was politically well-connected. The Opposition has been up in arms against the government on the issue, demanding a SIT probe and resignation of Agriculture Minister Arun Sahoo. provement was more marked in the Kashmir Valley, where the turnout was 40.65%. In the general elections it was 18.8%. Kupwara recorded a turnout of 50.74%, Bandipora 43.57%, Baramulla 32.51%, Ganderbal 48.62%, Srinag ar 33.76%, Budgam 56.96%, Pulwama 6.70%, Shopian 42.58%, Kulgam 34.35% and Anantnag 43.32%. The overwhelming sense across the Kashmir Valley was of a vote for development, peace, employment and against EXPRESS READ Furore over theft of decorative items Puri: The theft of thermocol insignias of sun and moon, used to decorate the deities during Nagarjuna Besha, has put the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) in a spot | P4 Woman attempts self-immolation Bhubaneswar: In yet another suicide bid outside the State Assembly, a woman along with her son allegedly attempted to set themselves ablaze near the high security zone on Saturday. The woman from Jagatsinghpur district’s Kujang block took the step accusing police inaction in the alleged murder of her elder son a year ago. She and her younger son attempted to pour kerosene on themselves | P3 WITH THIS ISSUE The Home Hub PLUS 12 PAGES the revocation of J&K’s special status. A voter said their vote was against the Bharatiya Janata Party. “We are voting against the BJP and we hope that the representatives and parties whom we vote in the DDC polls will be able to get back what was snatched from us on August 5 last year,” he said. A young graduate said their vote was against the revocation of Article 370. “Our jobs have been snatched after Article 370. We used to have SC/ST quota jobs in J&K. But after Article 370 revocation, the state subject law has been abolished. Now we have to compete at the allIndia level, which is not possible for us,” she said. Jave d A h m a d , a n o t h e r youngster, said not only development, they were also voting for peace. “Since last year, there is fear among the people and we want to get rid of this fear. We want development and jobs,” continued on: P8 he said. Bedazzled Vigilance in hunt for Abhay, son’s source of opulence E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar After two days of raid and unearthing sensational details about IFS officer Abhay Kant Pathak and his son Akash, the Odisha Vigilance has started to look into the source of the duo’s opulence. A key area of probe is the alleged fake recruitment being made by Akash for Tata Motors in Ganjam’s Gopalpur area. The anti-corruption agency has come across ‘letter of intent’ issued purportedly by Tata Motors to candidates after interviews in April. A list of 68 candidates, who had appeared for interviews and cleared, is under scrutiny of both Vigilance as well as the Crime Branch. Tata Motors had issued a clarification on Friday stating that Akash was not a bona fide employee of the company After . the company received an alert that ‘one Akash Kumar Pathak was impersonating as Managing Director (In Charge) of Passenger Vehicle division at CORRUPTION SHADOW Akash was slated to marry the daughter of a ruling party political leader from Gopalpur next month He graduated from a Bhubaneswar-based engineering college in 2017 and all his financial activities pertain to mostly last 2 years The father-son duo wanted to meet a senior officer at State Secretariat recently and sought entry pass for their bouncers too, the request for which was declined Pune’, it had lodged a complaint with Crime Branch. Vigilance sources confirmed the agency is also looking into this aspect while Crime Branch has already started its probe basing on Tata Motors’ complaint. “The root source of wealth and its investment are key areas of the probe. We are also looking at the recruitment angle to ascertain the truth,” said official CONTINUED ON: P5 sources.
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