BHUBANESWAR l monday l march 15, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l late CITY EDITION bhavani 1st indian fencer to qualify for olympics Bhavani Devi took up the sport as a means to escape from the grind of studies. The Chennai woman qualifies on her rankings improves world ranking, goes to tokyo The 27-year-old sabre fencer secured a spot in the World Cup in Hungary after the hosts lost in the quarterfinals of the team event to South Korea. With South Korea qualifying as a team, two individual spots opened up for the Asia and Oceania regions based on World Rankings through which Bhavani managed to make it. She currently holds the 42nd rank ■ 42nd hard work and determination ■ ■ She reached round of 16 at Fencing World Championships in 2019, her best effort so far, where she virtually sealed her spot Not pursuing a well-known sport, she struggled with her finances early on. Tamil Nadu government and family support her She is trained by Italian coach Nicola Zanotti P11 World ranking she occupies to be eligible for Asia slot 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 Naveen warns people not to lower guard against Covid Cites the resurgence of virus in states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Chhattisgarh; reminds people of hardship caused by lockdowns E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar As the second wave of coronavirus pandemic is forcing states like Maharashtra to impose fresh lockdowns and restrictions on movement of people, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday urged the people of Odisha not to drop their guard against the lurking danger. In his address to the people, the Chief Minister asserted a zero infection target and called upon people to adhere to the Covid-19 protocols to prevent a lockdown-like situation here. The situation is disturbing in several states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Punjab with resurgence of the pandemic. Fresh containment measures like lockdown are back in some affected areas of Maharashtra while others are contemplating similar tough action, he said. “Though the daily Covid count in Odisha is less than 100, zero infection is our target. I had told you earlier and repeating once again that the time has not arrived to take satisfac- INSIDE Nobody wants to return to the lockdown phase and the only way out is to be careful about the Covid guidelines - wearing mask properly, social distancing and frequent hand washing Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister tion on what we achieved. There is no ground for complacency as the danger has not disappeared completely ,” the CM said. Recalling the hardship faced by the people during lockdowns, the Chief Minister said the memories of the difficult times are still fresh in the a learning experience: Pradipta P2 Selling PSU banks to corporates a ‘colossal mistake’, says Raghuram E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Lending indirect support to the two-day strike called by a section of public-sector bank employees over the Centre’s plan to privatise two PSU banks, former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on Sunday said the government’s move would be utterly foolish. “I think it would be a colossal mistake to sell the banks to industrial houses,” Rajan said in an interview to news agency PTI. According to Rajan, currently a Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, it will also not be politically feasible to sell any decent-sized bank to foreign banks. WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST He feels some Indian private banks may be in a position to acquire inefficient PSU banks and turn them around, too. But the question is whether they have the appetite, he said. According to bank unions, over 10 lakh employees will take part in the strike on Monday and Tuesday The protest could . cripple branch operations such as deposits and withd r aw a l a t b r a n c h e s, cheque clearance and loan approvals. Most PSU banks, including SBI, have alerted customers about possible disruption in operations. ATM and internet banking services are unlikely to be hit. YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) minds of all. The lockdown restrictions had adversely impacted the economy social life and education of , children. All walks of life came to a standstill, he added. “Normalcy returned only due to your cooperation and sacrifice of frontline warriors. Certainly nobody , wants to return to the lockdown phase and the only way out is to be careful about the Covid guidelines wearing mask properly, social distancing and frequent hand washing,” he said. Meanwhile, all district administrations have been directed to strictly enforce the Covid norms to avoid any further spread of the virus. “Even as the vaccination is going on smoothly in the State, I seek your cooperation to make it a great success,” he said. The State has lost many frontline warriors and those who have lost their near and dear ones are still in grief. To remain alert and strictly follow the Covid guidelines will be the best tribute to these warriors, the CM said. “I have full faith in you and I am sure that you will keep my request. United, we will defeat coronavirus,” Patnaik said. 18 more protesters killed in Myanmar E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e AT least 18 protesters were killed in Myanmar on Sunday in one of the most violent crackdowns by security forces against dissent since last month’s military coup, news agency AFP reported. More than 95 protesters have been gunned down by the soldiers so far. In Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar township, police and soldiers faced off against protesters wielding sticks and knives as they hid behind makeshift barricades, fleeing after forces opened fire. Protesters — using cut-out trash cans as shields — managed to retrieve the injured, but a doctor said not all could be reached. “I can confirm 15 have died,” the doctor told AFP, adding that she had treated about 50 people with injuries and expects the death toll to climb. “I can’t talk much — injured people keep coming,” she said. With the situation escalating, the military imposed martial law in two townships in Yangon. Full coverage: P9 Blaze fallout Similipal fire takes a toll on tribal life S u k a n ta S a h u @ Baripada The wildfire in Similipal Biosphere Reserve has taken a heavy toll on the forest dwellers, especially the particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs) like Khadia, Mankadia, Lodha and many other communities. Over 800 members of Khadia, Mankadia and Lodha tribes live near Similipal Biosphere Reserve in Kaptipada and Udala blocks of Mayurbhanj district. They eke out a living by collecting minor forest produce from Similipal. However, the raging fire in the forests since the last 15 days has robbed them of their only source of sustenance. The tribal communities are settled in Damasahi and Uthanisahi Nedam under JS Jamudiha panchayat besides Naiksahi, Guthasahi, Badasinghariya, Ambadiha Colony, Khadikasul, Budhiaadar, Patshanipur, Tentala, Kasikundala and Baniadhar. They collect dry wood, sal leaves and branches, siali fibre, mahua flow- ers, jhuna, ants and roots of medicinal plants. While some minor forest produce is collected throughout the year, others are available seasonally . This practice has been continuing among the tribes since ages and has been their only source of income. Mangal Bhakta of Kasikundala village said the fire in Similipal forest has destroyed dry wood, ants and siali fibre. Besides, the smoke from the fire has disturbed the bees, thereby affecting collection of honey. “Our sources of income have been destroyed in the fire. The fire has become a regular phenomena in the last three to four years,” he lamented. Durga Singh of Hatikot village in Udala said hundreds of tribals are living in distress due to the forest fire. “The ration provided by the government and the work under MGNREGS is not enough for the poor forest dwellers to sustain their families,” he added. Gadadhar Das of Jana Jagruti Manch, a local NGO, said the wildfire has broken the economic backbone of many tribal communities. “The forests are set afire by some ignorant persons. But it directly affects the income of forest dwellers,” he added. Meanwhile, a fact finding team of BJP comprising 15 MLAs and Zilla Parishad president of Mayurbhanj visited Similipal on Sunday to take stock of the situation. They also interacted with the tribals and assured to take up the matter with the government. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during a rally to mark Nandigram Diwas, in Kolkata on Sunday | PTI I have faced a lot of attacks in my life but I have never surrendered before anyone. I will never bow my head. An injured tiger gets more dangerous.... My pain is not greater than the suffering of people as democracy is being trampled through dictatorship Mamata Banerjee EC rules out attack angle, suspends police officers E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Rejecting claims that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was attacked in Nandigram, the Election Commission on Sunday attributed the injury she sustained on her left foot on Wednesday to an accident. Nevertheless, the EC placed under suspension a few senior officers for lapses in the CM’s security, and appointed former DGP Intelligence Punjab Anil Kumar Sharma as a special police observer for the state. The poll panel ordered the suspension of Vivek Sahay, Director Security of the CM’s protection team. “The charges must be framed against him within a week for grossly failing in discharge of his primary duty as Director Security to protect the Z+ protectee,” the EC said. It also suspended Pravin Prakash, superintendent of police of Purba Medinipur for failing to provide adequate bandobast at Nandigram. The district magistrate and district election officer of Purba Medinipur, too, was axed. The decisions were based on the report of the chief secretary and the joint report by special general observer Ajay Nayak and special police observer Vivek Dube. BJP bazookas in fray from south bengal P r on a b M ond a l @ Kolkata The BJP is deploying heavy artillary to wrest south Bengal from the Trinamool Congress, if one were to go by the list of candidates for 63 seats in the third and fourth phases of the eight-phase West Bengal Assembly polls. For, it has fielded four BJP members of Parliament, four defectors and an equal number of actors, trying to whip up enthusiasm and possibly create a wave for the big fight. The party has already made deep inroads in north Bengal during the Lok Sabha polls. While Union minister and Asansol MP Babul Supriyo will contest from Tollygunge in Kolkata, Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta will enter the fray from Tarakeshwar. Dasgupta’s name is already doing the rounds as a possible chief ministerial candidate. Tarakeshwar is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site in Hooghly district and his candidature is significant in the backdrop of the BJP’s Hindutva rhetoric. Fielding Supriyo in Tollygunge is being seen as a smart move as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while announcing her party’s candidate list, had hinted she might contest from there besides Nandigram. Former minister in Mamata’s cabinet Rajib Banerjee has been fielded from his own constituency Domjur in Howrah and Trinamool defector Rabindranath Bhattacharya from Singur. Bhattacharya joined the BJP two days after Mamata denied him a ticket. But angry BJP supporters in Singur reportedly locked up visiting Madhya Pradesh health minister Prabhuram Chaudhary in a party office, demandP7 ing Bhattacharya’s axing from the list.
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