BHUBANESWAR l monday l april 05, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l JEYPORE EDITION facebook data leak leaves 53 crore users vulnerable Hackers posted user data, including phone numbers, biodata, locations, date of birth and some email IDs for free on a forum 61 lakh indians vulnerable to cyberattack The leak, found by cyber intelligence firm Hudson Rock, has compromised the privacy and cyber security of 61 lakh Indians as well. The hackers siphoned off user data from 106 countries. The worst hit was the US with 3.2 crore breaches, followed by UK with 1.1 crore. Cybercriminals now have access to the data, which can be used to scam or impersonate users online ■ 87 million Facebook claims it’s old data ■ Facebook tried to downplay the situation with a spokesperson claiming the data in question is old and was first brought to its notice in 2019. It claimed that the issue was ‘fixed’ in August ’19 But Facebook remained tightlipped on what the ‘fix’ was. It was also silent on the ready availability of user data for hackers users’ data obtained by Cambridge analytica without their consent in 2013 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 Campaign plan on Covid protocol; BJP MLAs call off dharna, Modi seeks people’s participation urge Guv to return Bills ODISHA TALLY 471 New cases 3,42,695 2,785 Total cases Active cases 3,37,935 1,922 Recovered Deaths 5,818 4,174 4,617 4,563 3,108 04 Apr 4,373 03 Apr 02 Apr 4,234 4,991 01 Apr 31 Mar 4,225 04 Apr 03 Apr 02 Apr 01 Apr 2,792 2,975 31 Mar 29 Mar 3,082 The State reported 471 new cases from 27 districts and one death in last 24 hours. The surge continued in districts bordering Chhattisgarh as Sundargarh recorded the highest 85 cases followed by Kalahandi (50), Nuapada (42), Khurda (40), Balangir (36), Sambalpur (27), Jharsuguda (23), Cuttack (22) and Nabarangpur (17). A 29-year-old woman from Khurda, who was also suffering from sickle cell disease with sickling crisis and hypothyroid disease, succumbed taking the death toll to 1,922. Active cases now stand at 2,785. 30 Mar Gujarat 49,447 04 Apr 471 new cases, one death in State No mask needed in Assam, claims Sarma A day after Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed that since there is no Covid in the state, no one needs to wear a mask, Assam’s health department made virus testing mandatory for incoming air and train passengers from Mumbai and Bengaluru. Assam’s figures are indeed low — just 68 new cases on Sunday. But Sarma’s casual attitude was off-putting cases in the country in the last 14 days and 47% of deaths in the country during the same period. Punjab has contributed 4.5% of the total number of cases in the country in the last 14 days, besides 16.3% of the total number of deaths,” said a statement. The focus of the government is in line with its strategy in June-September last, which included ramping up healthcare infrastructure, availability of oxygen, ventilators, logistics and adopting clinical management protocols in hospitals along with in-home care. Modi specifically laid stress on reducing fatalities. On vaccination, the government plans to share its daily analysis of performance with all states. Night & weekend curfew in Maha to cushion economy S u dh i r S u r ya w a n sh i @ Mumbai Karnataka 30 Mar 2,839 2,815 Madhya Pradesh 47,913 03 Apr 43,183 02 Apr 39,544 01 Apr 27,918 31 Mar 31,643 30 Mar 40,414 Maharashtra 29 Mar chhattisgarh 29 Mar 3,446 3,187 Tamil Nadu Delhi Uttar Pradesh 4,373 3,567 Karnataka Maharashtra 5,818 81% of new cases in 8 states Cases in last 24 hrs Chhattisgarh 49,447 On a day India reported 93,249 new Covid-19 cases and 513 deaths, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went into a huddle with top experts to chart out an action plan to curb the exponential infection growth. Taking a grim view of the high case load and deaths in Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh, Modi directed that central teams comprising public health specialists and clinicians be sent to the these states to address the crisis. The high level meeting called by the prime minister was given a detailed presentation, which stated that 10 states are contributing more than 91% of cases and deaths due to Covid-19. The experts attributed the rising trend line to lapses in Covid-19 protocol compliance, pandemic fatigue and lack of effective implementation of containment measures at the field level. Modi sought the rollout of a five-fold strategy of “Testing, Tracing, Treatment, Covid-appropriate behaviour and Vaccination” with a special campaign for 100% mask usage, personal hygiene and sanitation at public places/workplaces and health facilities for seven days from April 6-14. He also emphasised on community awareness and its involvement in containing the infection. “As of date, Maharashtra has contributed 57% of total 1,423 @ New Delhi 2,153 E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e Reeling under the burden of daily case surge, the Maharashtra government on Sunday introduced a raft of strict measures like weekend and night curfews, but stopped short of a complete lockdown. The new measures include a weekend curfew, starting 8 pm Friday to 7 am Monday; and strict night restrictions between 8 pm and 7 am, starting Monday (April 5). Only essential services would be allowed to operate unhindered till April 30, after which the restrictions could be eased based on an assessment of the outcome of the measures. The decision was taken at an ur- gent cabinet meeting, during which Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray proposed a complete lockdown, an idea his colleagues opposed, pointing out its economic fallout. Based on the inputs, Thackeray also decided to impose restrictions on gatherings by promulgating CrPC section 144, but made exemptions for commercial establishments and industries. NCP minister Nawab Malik said that the decision was unanimous, and would be in force between April 5 and April 30. “The decision is aimed at saving lives with minimal impact on economy. We also consulted the BJP and MNS before making this announcement,” Malik said. @ Bhubaneswar After staging a night-long dharna near Mahatma Gandhi statue on the Assembly premises in protest against suspension of three BJP MLAs from the House after the alleged shoe hurling incident and the hurried passage of the Odisha Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill, the party legislators called off the agitation on Sunday following a request by Odisha co-incharge and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Pal Singh Tomar. The saffron party legislators met Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal in the evening and requested him not to give his assent to the Bills passed in the Assembly in a hurry without allowing the Opposition members to participate in a discussion. “We requested the Governor to return the six Bills passed on Saturday in the Assembly without any discussion with a direction to the Speaker for tabling the Bills again in the House for discussion and passing,” Leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik said after the meeting. Holding Speaker SN Patro responsible for the unpleasant situation in the House that saw hurling of slippers and microphones at the his podium, Naik said such an incident would not have occurred had he allowed the Opposition to present their Hemant Kumar Rout @ Bhubaneswar Mutated SARS-CoV-2 strains flagged as ‘variant of concern’ by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) could be fuelling a rapid surge in Covid-19 cases in Odisha, which has started reporting close to 500 new cases daily . Sources said three samples each from the State have recently been found carrying highly infectious UK strain and the double mutant detected for the first time in Maharashtra, the epicentre of coronavirus resurgence in the country . Of over 300 samples sequenced in March, three samples were found positive for the UK (B.1.1.7) strain and three more with the E484Q and L452R mutations which confer immune escape and increased in- fectiousness. In December last year, three samples were found to be carrying the UK strain and one with the double mutation apart from the five samples that were detected with the N440K variant that is associated with immune escape. A recent study by Hyderabadbased Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CSIRCCMB) had claimed that the N440K variant and a few other variants are spreading faster in some states leading to possible mutation in new variants. Claiming that the identified strains are highly infectious, health experts urged the State government to be continuously vigilant and ensure total enforcement of Covid norms along with strict containment measures to check cluster outbreaks. “Some of the new variants are immune-escaping. They can cause reinfection as human immune systems cannot identify them from previous affliction because of the changes in their protein structure. The only measure we can take to protect ourselves is Covid appropriate behaviour with the use of mask, sanitisation and social distancing,” they said. A health official said the persons detected with the UK strains and double mutation have recovered after treatment and their proper contact tracing and testing have been conducted. “There is no cause of worry,” he said denying to divulge any detail on the samples. The samples were sequenced by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics comprising 10 national laboratories. The NCDC is expected to make a detailed presentation soon on the genomic study of the samples sequenced from across the country last month. Sana Shakil/Ejaz Kaiser @ New Delhi/Raipur CRPF personnel carrying the coffin of a fallen jawan in Chhattisgarh on Sunday | PTI tack. The modus operandi of Saturday’s encounter appears to be similar to Burkapal or Dantewada (2010) attacks, wherein the armed Maoists iso- lated and attacked a party of soldiers returning from an area domination exercise. Armed forces repeatedly falling prey to this tactic — attacked when they have been in the field for over 24 hours and at their vulnerable worst due to exhaustion — raises questions on the lessons learnt by the security forces from their past brushes with the Maoists. “Our aggressive anti-Maoist operations will continue with renewed strategy. As per our information the Maoists have suffered heavy casualties. Our sources revealed that they carried their dead in four tractors,” said Director General (anti-Maoist operation) Ashok Juneja. The exact casualty on Maoist side could not be confirmed. COntinued on: P8 opinions. “The Speaker stifled the Opposition voice at the behest of leader of the House Naveen Patnaik by not allowing them to speak while passing the Bill. Even the Leader of Opposition was not given an opportunity to speak. This is undemocratic and unconstitutional,” he said. “He (Patro) seemed to be acting under pressure from the ruling benches,” Naik alleged. Questioning the impartiality of the Speaker in Assembly, Opposition chief whip Mohan Charan Majhi and senior member Jayanarayan Mishra said they are prepared to apologise to the people of the State if they are hurt by their behaviour. Asked if the hurling of shoes, dustbin and earphone at the Speaker is justified, Mishra said there was no option. “After all, we are all human beings and have emotions. When you feel that your legitimate rights are curtailed, you will obviously react,” he said. Leader of Congress Legislature Party Narasingha Mishra met the agitating BJP MLAs at dharna site, came down heavily on the State government. “I strongly condemn the manner in which the government passed the Bills without allowing the Opposition members to participate in the discussion. This is grossly undemocratic and unconstitutional,” he added. BJD demands unconditional apology E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar The BJD on Sunday demanded unconditional apology from the BJP legislators for throwing shoes and microphones at the Speaker’s podium in the Assembly . “The dharna by BJP MLAs after such behaviour is like Satan quoting the Bible. There seems to be no reform in their attitude even after spending the entire night near Mahatma Gandhi statue. They should apologise unconditionally for their violent behaviour in the House,” government Chief Whip Pramila Mallick said. She said the MLAs have lowered the image of Odisha in the entire country In the first phase . of the session, a party legislator attempted suicide inside the House by consuming sanitiser. Both the incidents will remain as a black mark in the history the Odisha Assembly BJD national . spokesperson Sasmit Patra condemned their conduct and said, “Does it mean that if members do not agree with Speaker’s decision, they will throw slippers at him. Odisha is a very peaceful State and people will reject such violent behaviour,” he said. Jordan prince under house arrest over conspiracy Jordanian government on Sunday accused the country’s former crown prince of conspiring with foreign elements in a “malicious plot” that threatened national security | P9 More UK variants, double mutant detected, spark concern in Odisha It was rerun of 2010 Dantewada attack; toll 22 A group of around 200 Maoists silently observed the movement of a team of CRPF and state police personnel for nearly a day before singling out a largely isolated detachment of 150 personnel for a full scale attack on Saturday at Bijapur in Chhattisgarh. As on Sunday, 22 personnel had died, 35 were injured and one missing, suspected to have been captured by the Maoists. Saturday’s encounter is the biggest blow to the security forces since April 2017’s Burkapal at- E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) T rain respite Light showers on Sunday evening brought much needed relief from heat in Bhubaneswar on Sunday | Express The strategist and the votebank his election is bipolar. I don’t see anything else at the micro or macro level.” That’s one of Mamata Banerjee’s key strategists airing his views, post two volatile phases of polling, with six more to go, a process that cumulatively promises to run a bleeding-edge scythe through We s t B e n g a l ’s p o l i t i c a l history . Bengal, particularly Kolkata, is of course teeming with election strategists, free-floating analysts and sundry dogooders. That’s natural for a state with that kind of heightened political consciousness. But our man stands out for various reasons. For one, no one can be more free-floating than him—in an election where the ‘outsider/insider’ binary has been quite pronounced, he’s an outsider on the inside, so to speak, having travelled across a few green fields, been on all sides, peddling his professional wares like a migrant labourer of strategic thought. And he has all the swagger of a newage visionary . It’s quite a crowded field, though. Some have come to save Bengal from cultural corruption, others have come to rescue it from petty corruption—cut money, tolabaaji (extortion), political rent-seeking of many shades, all that. It has some benefits. The hotel industry and the fab cafes haven’t West Bengal SANTWANA BHATTACHARYA seen such brisk business in the last 10 years of Didi’s rule. None of them will say koro na (don’t do it) to this moveable feast, corona or no corona. Among the migratory flocks, some of the busiest are those who make managing elections their raison d’etre. Like our man. Quite apolitical, they look at elections clinically, through the prism of personality cults, creation of catch- phrases and hashtags—all with bands of young, outsourced volunteers. “This election is about Mamata Banerjee,” claims one such strategist, “nothing else matters.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who’s thundering forth from more rally pulpits here in Bengal than he may have spoken on some other delicate occasions, pretty much confirms that in his own way. He doesn’t utter a line without mockingly invoking her, intoning the words “Arrey Didi....” The strategist obviously thinks he knows the best. But Mamata, being the Didi that she is, can’t be scripted to fit into any box—not even the one that’s labelled Banglar meye (daughter of Bengal). She’s too canny for that. In Cooch Behar, for instance, Mamata reminds voters: “This election is not about me. It is about saving Bengal.” Cooch Behar (nine seats) and Alipurduar (five seats), up north, nestled along the restive Chicken’s Neck, are going to polls on April 6. Continued on: P7
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