NEW DELHI 11 april 2021 SUNDAY `12 PAGES 24 facebook/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard India’s New Power Trip Shooting for the Moon https://epaper.morningstandard.in PLUS: 12 PAGES Into the Mind of the Sound MAGAZINE Midsummer Dreams for Men Exclusive Voices Prabhu Chawla TJS George Shankkar Aiyar Ravi Shankar Traveller of the Dark Side Creating Lasting Impressions Anand Neelakantan S Vaidhyasubramaniam Anuja Chandramouli Sathya Saran The Queen Holds the Reign sadhguru speaks Involvement is the Essence of Life Lockdown spectre: Nightmare revisited for uprooted labourers Mukesh Ranjan, Anuraag Si n g h & R a j e s h K u m a r T h a k u r @ Ranchi/Bhopal/Patna A man injured in clashes during the fourth phase of Bengal elections in Cooch Behar is brought to a hospital on Saturday | pTI Five killed, 4 in CISF firing, on bloody Bengal poll day Jawans opened fire after villagers attacked them, as per initial report Pranab Mondal @ North Dinajpur (West Bengal) Violence erupted in the fourth phase of election in West Bengal on Saturday, leaving five persons dead, four of them in Sitalkuchi, Cooch Behar, after central forces opened fire on them. The fifth person, a firsttime voter, was shot dead allegedly by a Trinamool Congress supporter in the same area. In a preliminary report, the police said Central Industrial Security Force personnel opened fire after a group of 200odd villagers allegedly attacked them and tried to snatch their weapons. The incident took place a day after the Election Commission served a notice on chief minister Mamata Banerjee for her statement against the central force deployed on election duty in the state. In a rally Mamata , had asked women electorates to gherao central force personnel, accusing the troops of working at the behest of the BJP. Cooch Behar superintendent fight Bharatpur Teen trains girls self-defence Personal experience led her to first believe in herself and then teach others to defend themselves against eve-teasers, molesters | P5 76.16% voter turnout till 6.30 pm of police Debasish Dhar said the mob attacked the CISF personnel after a rumour that a child was beaten up by the central force personnel in the area. According to police sources, around 9.35 am a Quick Reaction Team of the CISF led by coy commander inspector E. Sunil Kumar was attacked by a mob of 50-odd locals in front of booth No 126 when they were patrolling the area along with local police personnel to clear u n l aw f u l a s s e m b l y o f villagers. “The villagers scuffled with the central force personnel in which a child fell down. The mob turned violent and started damaging the vehicles. In self- defence, the CISF personnel fired six rounds in the air to disperse the attackers. An SOS was sent and additional CISF personnel arrived at the spot,” a police officer said. Shortly after the mob was dispersed, a 200-strong group gathered and accused the CISF of beating the child. They started beating a home guard and a Asha worker who were on duty at the booth, the police said. “The CISF personnel tried to pacify the attackers who entered the booth and started assaulting the polling personnel. A section of the miscreants tried to snatch the rifles from the CISF. The troops again fired two rounds in the air but the attackers did not pay any heed to the warning,” the police officer said. “The mob started advancing aggressively towards the CISF personnel who sensed imminent danger to their lives. They fired seven more rounds towards the advancing mob. Other than the deceased, three others were also injured in the Continued on P8 firing.” The worst nightmare has come true for a host of migrant labourers from Bihar, J h a rk h a n d a n d U t t a r Pradesh. Jobless following the nationwide lockdown last year, they had just about started putting things together when the second wave of Covid-19 erupted. Hailing from villages in these states, they have been forced to rush back after employers told them they were shutting operations once again. Most of them had gone back to their workplaces in Maharashtra, Gujarat and the National Capital Region or found something new, after the situation started looking better towards the end of 2020. Several of them are under pressure to repay loans taken to survive last year’s ordeals. Hoping that things were falling in place after having worked for a few months, they are back staring at uncertainty . Mohammed Feroz is from Siwan and Aditya Kumar Patna railway station packed with migrants arriving from other states | PTI from Buxar in Bihar. They barely had time to catch trains from Mumbai and Delhi, respectively, after being told by their employers that another lockdown is on the cards. “I didn’t even have time to go to my shared accommodation. Headed straight for the station and luckily I got a ticket to Patna,” says Feroz, who had gone back to the barber shop he used to work in after being recalled by his employer last October. The 35-year-old with More curbs soon in Delhi, says Kejriwal Express News Service @ New Delhi No headway on further LAC disengagement M AYANK S I NGH @ New Delhi There was no headway on disengagement in the 11th round of talks between the Corps Commanders of India and China, who met at the ChushulMoldo border meeting point on Friday Without getting into de. tails, both sides reiterated that the way to de-escalate is disengagement along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. “The two sides agreed on the need to resolve outstanding issues in an expeditious manner in accordance with the existing agreements and protocols,” the Ministry of Defence stated. “In this context it was highlighted that completion of disengagement in other areas would pave the way for the two sides to consider de-escalation of forces and ensure full restoration of peace and tranquility .” For defence analysts, this is a typically Chinese move to buy time. Major General SB Asthana (Retd) said: “As it was visualised after the disengagement of Pangong Tso, Chinese will be reluctant to disengage further because of shortage of leverages with India after having got down from Kailash Range heights.” He said China will express its willingness to talk, but not to anything on the ground. five dependents had borrowed `2,500 when he went back to Mumbai. Finding a job, making ends meet and repaying the loan, Feroz has many questions and no answers. Kumar returned to Patna on Saturday. He thought life had taken a turn for the good, when the owner of the garment factory he worked in before last year’s lockdown called him back in January. “He had promised support during bad days, but didn’t do anything when I reminded him of it. It’s better to sell vegetables in Bihar than to go to other states where employers stop behaving normally once talk of lockdown starts,” says the 25-year-old. Sources of income are drying up for others as well. In Dhar district of MP, a group of auto-rickshaw drivers from Mumbai were spotted on their way to UP. “We’re returning home. There’s already a weekend lockdown and night curfew in Mumbai. We fear a complete lockdown soon. There is no business for us anymore,” says Jaan Mohammad. A resident of Farrukhabad district, his vehicle has a Maharashtra registration number. He and fellow auto-rickshaw drivers are ferrying some labourers too. Jaan expects this number to rise in the coming days. Some of them could have fought the situation instead of going back home, but memories of last year’s lockdown nipped such thoughts in the bud. Working in Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Delhi, Noida, Surat and other places, they were not willing to revisit thoCONTINUED ON P7 see days A deserted Marine Drive during the weekend lockdown in Mumbai on Saturday | AFP Decision on total closure today: Uddhav Mumbai: An all-party meeting called by Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray agreed with his proposal for 15-day total lockdown to control the explosive Covid-19 situation in the state, but deferred the final decision to Sunday. Uddhav said one person was infecting more than 25 people and there was no option but to impose complete lockdown as the restrictions announced so far were not breaking the infection chain. While allies NCP and Congress backed him, opposition BJP said financial aid to the poor should be ensured before announcing the measure. With the Covid-19 pandemic worsening, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said his government would soon be announcing more restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. “Lockdown is not an option, but we will be putting some restrictions in place to contain the spread of the virus. We will announce them in the coming few days,” Kejriwal said after visiting the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Hospital. The CM said Covid centres had been set up again and some had already started functioning. “We are currently in a comfortable position with reference to beds and ventilators. We will ensure that the people of Delhi stay safe, to the best of our abilities,” Kejriwal said. Talking about availability of vaccinations, he said he had written a letter to the PM asking permission to increase the number of vaccination centres and remove the age cap. “Within 2-3 months we can vaccinate the entire state. I cannot talk about the rest of the country, but according to the Delhi government’s level of preparation, if these three pre-conditions are met, we can assure you that Delhi Covid watch April 10 Positive cases April 9 7,897 8,521 Recovery 5,716 5,032 Active cases 28,773 26,631 Deaths 39 39 Containment zones 5,236 4,768 Tests 77,374 1,09,398 Positivity Rate 10.21% 7.79% NATIONWIDE April 10 April 9 Fresh cases 1,45,384 1,31,968 Recoveries 77,567 61,899 794 780 Deaths all Delhiites will be vaccinated within 2-3 months.” Considering the surge in Covid over the past few days, the CM said an aggressive vaccination campaign along with new measures would effectively contain the spread of the virus. “This is the fourth wave in Delhi. The last wave was in November after which the cases had become so few that the health system and agencies became lax. It is imperative that they gain their momentum again and begin to function in the same efficient manner.” P4 SAVIOURs Meet the social activists who helped free CRPF jawan without Maoist conditions EJA Z KA I SER @ Raipur When Dharampal Saini, 91, and Telam Boraiyya, 71, got a phone call from the police on April 5 seeking their help in securing the release of CRPF jawan, Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, they were unsure of how to react owing to their advanced age. But the next day when they came to know that the Maoists, who had taken the CoBRA commando captive on April 3 following a fierce encounter in the jungles of Bijapur in south Bastar, wanted some mediators to negotiate the release of Manhas, both readily agreed. “On April 5 I was contacted by the police. They said they want to involve me in a dialogue with the Maoists. I asked them the subject of negotiations. The next day I learnt about the Maoists’ demand through the media that they will only release the jawan to some mediators so I agreed,” said Saini, or Tauji as he is pop- Telam Boraiyya (turban), Dharampal Saini (5th from right) ensured the release | K Shankar ularly known. “On April 7 night I left Jagdalpur and had a night halt at the CRPF camp in Tarrem, Bijapur. On April 8 morning, I along with Boraiyya, our companions and the journalists left for the village where the janadalat was held,” Saini said. Boraiyya, too, was surprised when the police called. “The region is affected by left wing extremism and I never expected it. When the Avapalli sub-divisional police officer called I was astonished but he requested me to be part of the negotiating team,” he told this newspaper. Originally from Dhar in Madhya Pradesh, Saini was a follower of social activist Vinoba Bhave. He now heads Mata Rukmani Sewa Sansthan, an organization that works among girls in Bastar. The nonagenarian learnt about the plight of girls in Bastar and sought permission from Bhave to work for their educa- tion. He set up an ashram in the 1960s, when the literacy rate in Bastar was around one percent. The ashram now runs 37 schools in different villages of Bastar. Several girls who have passed out from Saini’s schools are not only placed in government and private jobs but have also excelled in sports at the national level. He was honoured with the Padma Shri for his outstanding achievements in continued on p8 1991.
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