HYDERABAD SUNDAY JUNE 20, 2021 `12.00 PAGES 24 LATE CITY EDITION HARDLINE CLERIC ELECTED IRAN’S NEXT PRESIDENT Ebrahim Raisi was on Saturday declared the winner of Iran’s presidential election that saw a record low voter turnout A HARSH CRITIC OF AMERICAN POLICIES Raisi, who won 62% of the votes, is from the ultraconservative camp that deeply distrusts the US, and has criticised outgoing leader Hassan Rouhani after Washington pulled out of the nuclear deal. Raisi has backed the ongoing talks to save the deal. However, analysts say his hardline stance would make it tough for the US to extract any major concessions from Iran ■ 48.8% COMES TO POWER AT A TOUGH TIME ■ ■ Raisi was a member of the “Death Commission” that secretly executed thousands of opposition prisoners in 1988 He comes to power at a time when Iran is battling job losses and a spiralling inflation, both of which have sparked discontent He is seen as a possible successor to Iran’s supreme leader | P9 WAS THE VOTER TURNOUT IN THE ELECTION HELD ON FRIDAY 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 Cabinet lifts all restrictions, allows educational institutes to reopen from July 1 TELANGANA UNLOCKED E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad THE lockdown in Telangana has been completely lifted with immediate effect, while all categories of educational institutions will be reopened from July 1. The State Cabinet, which held an emergency meeting under the chair manship of K Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday, took these decisions. Health officials informed the Cabinet that the number of Covid-19 cases had reduced considerably in the State and the positivity rate was currently very low. Thus, after imposing varying degrees of lockdown for a total of 38 days, it was decided to completely do away with it. All restrictions imposed during the lockdown will no longer be valid. KRISHNA WATER ROW: TS TO TAKE TOUGH STAND Upset with the attitude of the Andhra Pradesh and Central governments, the Telangana Cabinet on Saturday decided to proceed aggressively to utilise its share of water in the Krishna river by constructing a slew of projects | P4 It was noted that the number of Covid-19 cases were also on a decline across the country, especially in the States near Telangana. The officials submitted a report to the Cabinet which stated that the pandemic was brought under control very quickly in the State, when compared to other States. It was also decided to reopen all categories of educational institu- tions from July 1 and to allow offline classes. The Cabinet directed the Education Department to prepare guidelines regarding attendance for students and on continuation of online classes. The Cabinet also sought support and cooperation from people on its decision which, it said, was taken for the benefit of the public. It was made clear that easing restrictions should not lead to negligent behaviour. A GO issued on Saturday by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar stated that people not wearing a mask would be fined `1,000. It has been decided to allow all activities permitted prior to the imposition of the lockdown, in suppression of all earlier orders related to the lockdown, with immediate effect, stated the GO. J&K statehood buzz as Modi calls all-party meeting on 24th EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Srinagar / New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi will chair an all-party meeting with at least 14 politicians from Jammu and Kashmir, including four former chief ministers and four deputy CMs, in the national capital on June 24, triggering speculation that restoration of statehood is on the cards. The move comes weeks before the second anniversary of scrapping of J&K’s special status and its bifurcation into two Union Territories. According to sources, the meeting’s agenda also includes delimitation process and elections. According to sources in Srinagar, PDP chief and former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti was the first to receive the invitation. She has convened a meeting of the party’s Political Affairs Committee in Srinagar on Sunday to decide whether to participate. As a goodwill gesture, the government on Saturday released Mehbooba’s uncle Sartaj Madni, who was under detention for nearly six months. Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad are the other three former CMs invited. Union Home minister Amit Shah will also attend the meeting, the first such exercise since J&K’s special status was abrogated. Political commentator Noor Mohammad Baba said the Centre is under pressure to soften its Kashmir policy. “Kashmir is being watched. The UN agencies are also keeping an eye on the situation,” he said. A few of the 161 cadets, who got commissioned at the Air Force Academy, Dundigal, participate in the Combined Graduation Parade (CGP) on Saturday | S SENBAGAPANDIYAN MiG-21s not flying coffins but will be phased out: IAF chief situation in Eastern Ladakh on the Indo-China border. FOLLOWING the crash of the third On being asked by Express about MiG-21 Bison aircraft this year at the phasing out of MiG-21 Bison airMoga, Punjab, which resulted in the craft, Bhadauria said, “Every accideath of an Indian Air Force (IAF) dent is unfortunate and we have takpilot, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air en a lot of preventive steps to curb Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on them. Coming to MiG-21, every plane Saturday said that a plan was in place has its life, but it is not that towards to phase out the ageing fleet the end of its life, it beof the aircraft and substicomes accident-prone just tute them with moder n because of its age. There is fighter jets. However, he a training and maintenance added that these MiG-21s Every plane has its methodology However, I am . life, but it is not were not ‘flying coffins’ and not saying age doesn’t make that towards the in fact, every plane at the a difference. At present, end of its life it academy was ‘fit to fly’. one of the concerns is why The IAF chief said that becomes accident- we don’t stop flying the MiG by 2022, except for one or prone just because 21s immediately But that is . of its age... two aircraft, the induction not the answer, as every However, I am not of 36 Rafale fighter jets saying age doesn’t fleet will come to this stage would be completed. “It (inat some or the other time.” make a difference diction process) is absoluteThe Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, ly on target. Minor delays added, “For any old fleet of Air Chief Marshal might happen because of aircraft, we have to spend a the pandemic,” he said. lot of time and energy on Bhadauria was speaking at the maintenance and safety mitigation Combined Graduation Parade (CGP) method. For the current squadron of of the Air Force Academy at Dundi- MiG 21s, there is a plan to phase them gal, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, to out in two-three years. There is an mark the successful completion of induction plan for other aircraft too. pre-commissioning training of flight However, we must not take this to cadets of the Indian Air Force. The mean that just because a plane is vinIAF chief also briefed the media on tage, it becomes accident-prone. Evethe induction timeline of Rafale ry aircraft being flown by the Air P3 fighter jets into the Air Force and the Force is fly-worthy .” E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad TRIBUTE TO THE LEGEND Name sports awards after Milkha Singh ASHOK KUMAR I KNEW the legendary Milkha Singh personally because of my father, Major Dhyan Chand. Every time we met, he would enquire about his health. We had a practice camp in Chandigarh before the 1975 World Cup, which we won. Being an official of the Punjab Sports Department, Milkha sir would often visit us. He was a man of few words, but always ensured we got the best of facilities. One day he invited a few senior players for lunch. I was one of them. Given his keen eye on dining table etiquettes, we all had to use forks and knives. Most of us were not habituated to this, especially me. I somehow managed, without getting noticed. He accompanied us to a couple of felicitation functions after we won the World Cup. He was with the team in Mumbai when we were feted. Age difference and his seniority meant we interacted formally on most occasions. Most of our conversations centred on my father, who used to address him as ‘Milkhe’. I lost my eldest brother Brijmohan Singh a couple of months ago. The demise of Milkha sir saddens me again. He and Balbir Singh Sr were the pillars of Indian sports after Independence. Unfortunately we lost both in a , short span of time. It’s time we gave them the recognition they deserve. We should name national sports awards after them. These legends inspired generations of athletes in the country and we must pay them back. Tributes pour in after legends die, but we should honour them during their lifetime. I am not complaining, but this will improve the sports culture in our country If athletes start . getting recognition, more will start pursuing sports as a career. I can only say he will keep inspiring Indian athletes for many years to come. Ashok Kumar former India hockey , captain and World Cup winner , spoke to Firoz Mirza 3RD WAVE IN 6 WEEKS IF COVID-19 NORMS IGNORED: AIIMS CHIEF E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi WITH gradual unlocking underway in many states, a third wave is inevitable in the next six to eight weeks if Covid-appropriate behaviour is not strictly followed, AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria warned on Saturday . Authorities should keep in mind human behaviour while unlocking, he said, adding that it should be done in a graded manner. “As we have started unlocking, there is again a lack of Covid-appropriate behaviour. We don’t seem to have learnt from what happened between the first and the second wave. Again crowds are building up... people are gathering,” Dr Guleria said, warning that it’s just a matter of time before Covid cases shoot up again. “It all depends on how we go ahead in terms of Covid-appropriate behaviour and preventing crowds,” he added. With the main challenge being vaccination, the increase in the gap of dosage in Covishield “may not be bad”, he said in an interview to a news channel. He said the country will require mini-lockdowns in areas that witness a spike in cases and positivity rate beyond 5%. He emphasised that people would be vulnerable unless they are vaccinated. The focus should on ‘testing, tracking, and treating’ in hotspots, he added. Emphasising the need to be careful as the virus is mutating, he said, “When there is a huge increase in the number of cases, shortage of (hospital) beds follows. The strategy should be multi-pronged—we have to make sure fresh cases don’t rise. Any healthcare system globally will tend to collapse with the unprecedented rise in the infections.” On whether India needs to rethink the gap between two doses of Covishied, he said, “Nothing is written in stone. We will have to look at new strategies. But we need to have strong data to take that decision.” NATIONWIDE JUNE 18 JUNE 19 Fresh cases 62,480 60,753 Recoveries 88,977 97,743 1,587 1,647 Deaths JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT June 18 29,84,172 doses June 19 33,00,085 doses TOTAL DOSES: 27,23,88,783 WITH THIS ISSUE AT HOME WITH COVID PLUS 12 PAGES 3 HOSPS FOR HYD CABINET GIVES NOD FOR 3 SUPER SPECIALITY HOSPS The Telangana State Cabinet, on Saturday, gave the nod to set up three new super speciality hospitals in Hyderabad and to upgrade TIMS, Gachibowli, into a super specialty facility | P2
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