thrissur l Sunday l september 05, 2021 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l city edition Farmers’ show of strength in muzzafarnagar today Organisers claimed thousands were trickling into the town for Mahapanchayat to up the ante against the Centre’s agri laws september 8 deadline to withdraw cases mobilising support against govt The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), which is speaheading the protests, said their biggest-ever mahapanchayat in nine months aims to show to the Yogi-Modi combine the agitation has the support of “all castes, religions, states and classes”. They would press the state to withdraw cases against farmers by September 8, failing which they will ramp up their protests P8 ■ ■ The SKM’s choice of venue indicates it plans to mobilise support against the current dispensation in Western UP ahead of election SKM is likely to announce its ‘Mission UP’ during the meet. The police have shored up security by deploying six companies of PAC and two companies of RAF, besides videographing the event 500 Langars arranged to ensure steady food supply for farmers 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 Infighting delays new Taliban govt Announcement next week, says spokesman; ISI chief rushes to Kabul to lobby for the Haqqanis; Taliban reasonable in addressing India’s concerns, says foreign secy Shringla EXPRESS N EWS SERVICE THE Taliban have yet again postponed the for mal announcement of their government reportedly due to infighting among various factions within the militia over powersharing, especially between the Baradar camp and the Haqqani Network. While Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar, chairman of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, is widely believed to be face of the new government with Hibatullah Akhundzada being the titular head, the ISI-sponsored Haqqani Network, whose troops control Kabul, is eyeing an important role in the yet-to-be formed government. “The announcement about the new government and Cabinet members will be made next week,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said on Saturday, without divulging more details. This is the second time that the Taliban have delayed the formation of the new government in Kabul since they seized Kabul on August 15. In a surprise move, ISI chief Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed reached Kabul on Saturday reportedly to lobby for A Taliban fighter walks past a group of people sitting outside a bank waiting to withdraw their money, at Shar-e-Naw neighbourhood in Kabul on Saturday | AFP PM Modi plans to visit US later this month New Delhi: Amid the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to visit the US during September 22-27, sources said. This will be Modi’s first US trip after President Joe Biden assumed office. The two have previously met virtually at the Quad summit in March, G7 summit in June and climate change summit in April the Haqqanis. The ISI chief ’s trip is the first high-level visit by a Pak official since the Taliban took over Kabul. Earlier in Backroom story of shuttlers’ success FIROZ MIRZA @ Chennai S OON after claiming the historic gold in the men’s singles SL3 category in the Tokyo Paralympics, India’s para shuttler Pramod Bhagat dropped his racquet and jumped into the arms of coach Gaurav Khanna. “We are like a family We have been train. ing together for years. He is like my father, big brother and friend and I wanted to celebrate the moment with him,” Bhagat later said. Manoj Sarkar, the bronze medallist in the category, too echoed in same lines: “It was Gaurav sir who made me aware of the para games.” These words encapsulate Khanna’s contribution to Indian para badminton. Khanna went scouting for talent. Players like Manoj didn’t even know that badminton competitions are being held for para athletes. But Khanna had the vision to scout players, invest on disabled-friendly courts and training facilities. Seeing the ordeal of para-shuttlers on normal courts, the coach started building a complex in Lucknow. He went a step ahead during the lockdown last year when shuttlers were struggling to stay and train together. He bought a piece of land (2,500 square feet) and constructed a state-of-the-art accommodation-cum-recovery centre by raising a loan of more than `1 crore. When the national head coach was conferred with Dronacharya Award last year he invested his prize money of `10 lakh in the academy . “We used to rent flats in the locality so that the shuttlers can stay and train together. But those flats were not disabled-friendly. Lockdown made it more difficult. The facility has nine rooms and one big hall. And it’s disabledfriendly It has a gym, steam bath, . sauna bath, hydrotherapy jacuzzi , pool and massage centre too,” coach Khanna said. The academy named the Gaurav Khanna Excellia Badminton Academy was opened in December 2019 while the accommodation-cum-recovery centre named Drona Paralympic House became operational seven months later. It has four courts for para shuttlers. Medal rush for India India won 4 more paralympic medals on Saturday, taking their tally to 17. A look at the medallists... Pramod Bhagat (badminton, men’s singles SL3) Gold World No 1 in this category who won a hatful of medals coming into the Games. Was the favourite and lived upto the billing. First time that the sport is at the Games. Manoj Sarkar (badminton, men’s singles SL3) Bronze A worlds silver medallist from 2017. Took to the sport at a young age and used to hold his own against ablebodied athletes. Was struck by polio when he was an adoloscent Singhraj Adhana (shooting, mixed 50m pistol SH1) Silver Got into the sport well into his 30s. This is his second medal in a single Paralympics, having won a bronze in the P1 men’s 10m air pistol Sh1 discipline. 12 Medals won by India in Paralympics before Tokyo (participated in 11 editions) 17 Medals won by India in Tokyo. They are placed 26th on medal table (event ends on Sunday) Manish Narwal (shooting, mixed 50m pistol SH1) Gold Has the world record in this category. Was on the verge of elimination but showed admirable cojones to claw his way back to win. Has a congenital impairment in right hand. the day, Pak Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa met British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and told him that Pakistan would assist in the formation of an inclusive administration in Afghanistan. According to Khalil Haqqani, one of the Taliban leaders negotiating with different groups over power-sharing, the bid to make the new government broad-based and acceptable to the international community is causing the delay . “The Taliban can form a government of their own but they are now focusing to have an administration in which all parties, groups and sections of the society have proper representation,” he said Meanwhile, India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla expressed hope that the Taliban would be ‘reasonable’ while addressing India’s concerns. “Our engagement with the Taliban has been limited. It’s not that we have had a robust conversation. But for whatever conversation we’ve had so far... the Taliban seem to indicate that they will be reasonable in the way they handle this,” the foreign secretary said. On Tuesday, the Indian envoy to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, had held talks with a senior Taliban P9 leader in Doha. EXPRESS READ L’dweep eco-tourism devpt plan gets hoteliers’ thumbs-up Kochi: Amid the protests by various political parties against the reforms introduced by administrator Prabhu Khoda Patel, the Lakshadweep administration has some good news. Its plan to transform the archipelago into a global tourism destination got a big boost with leading hospitality groups’ responding overwhelmingly to the Investors’ Conference in New Delhi. P2 4 women among 8 new judges bound for Kerala High Court Kochi: The Kerala High Court will get eight more judges of whom four will be women. The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the names of four lawyers and four judicial officers for elevation. Eight women judges will be the highest in terms of female representation on the bench in the history of Kerala HC. The number of judges will go up from 37 to 45, against sanctioned strength of 47. List on P5 ‘War against India’ charge on eight held for conversion Lucknow: A special Lucknow court on Thursday invoked “waging war against India” charges on eight persons arrested by the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the UP Police for illegal conversions. On June 21, the ATS had nabbed two clerics — Mohammad Umar Gautam and Mufti Qazi Jahageer Qasmi — from Delhi and claimed to have busted a huge conversion racket. Poll rout: BJP panels cite 35-seat claim by Surendran key reason E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram Five committees, tasked by the state BJP to study the reasons for the party’s rout in the recent assembly elections, have reportedly pointed out that the actions of the top leadership and the statements of a few senior leaders in the run-up to the polls were among the factors that contributed to the defeat.The committees received the feedback that state president K Surendran’s controversial statement that the BJP would come to power even if it won 35 seats proved counterproductive for the party in many pockets. His statement gave credence to the CPM’s argument that there was a secret pact between the BJP and the Congress. The LDF played the factor to its advantage in areas dominated by minority communities, the committees reportedly concluded. Surendran contesting from two seats weakened the campaign in both constituencies, the committees were told. ● More on P4 CM arms police with wider powers in new Covid-control regime EC exception to Didi, announces Bhowanipore bypoll; BJP sore during the press conference after the meeting. Pinarayi also warned of tough action against home quarantine violations. Those who violate rules will be booked, fined and shifted to institutional quarantine centres by the police, he said. The violators have to bear the expense of the shifting too. The CM defended the police for their yeoman service. “Our police have transformed into a force that can be banked at any hour of crisis. Their record in keeping law and order and communal harmony is commendable. Police have lost 11 personnel due to Covid. Seven of them are undergoing treatment in ICUs. Their work is satisfactory. If there are isolated incidents, the government will deal with them sternly,” the CM said when asked about the allegations of ● More on P5 police atrocities. In a major relief to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Election Commission on Saturday announced bypolls to Bhowanipore Assembly seat on September 30. The TMC MLA from Bhowanipore had vacated his seat to enable Mamata to contest and get elected from there before the November 5 deadl i n e, w i t h i n which she was constitutionally required to become an MLA for retaining her post. However, given the second wave of the pandemic, there was speculation whether the bypoll dates would be announced before November 5. The commission also announced polls to two West Bengal Assembly seats — Samsherganj and Jangipur — where elections could not be held earlier this year. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram THE idea of strengthening ward-level jagratha samithis and neighbourhood vigilance team with the support of locals to monitor people under quarantine — mooted by CM Pinarayi Vijayan in the meeting of local body representatives on Friday — shaped up as a new project to provide police wider powers to monitor those under quarantine. During the Covid review meeting on Saturday it was decided that , the local police should assess the facilities at a Covid patient’s home and decide whether he/she needs to be shifted to a first-line treatment centre. Motorcycle patrol teams will visit the patient’s houses. Police will also take steps to supply essentials to Covid patients who face difficulty in buying them. They will also encourage home delivery by shops, the CM said NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths sep 03 sep 04 statewide sep 03 sep 04 45,352 34,791 366 42,618 36,385 330 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 29,322 22,938 131 29,682 25,910 142 P r ana b M o n d a l @ Kolkata WITH THIS ISSUE An Elusive Balance PLUS 12 PAGES
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