Jab-o-meter Take your shot September 3 51,88,894 doses September 4 62,25,922 doses Total doses: 68,37,29,058 NATIONWIDE sept 03 sept 04 Fresh cases 45,352 42,618 Recoveries Deaths 34,791 36,385 366 330 odisha sept 03 sePt 04 Fresh cases sambalpur 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 ■ 681 835 07 826 05 500 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 849 Recoveries Deaths ■ 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 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 ISI chief rushes to Kabul to lobby for the Haqqanis; Taliban reasonable in addressing India’s concerns, says foreign secy Shringla EX PRESS NEWS SERVIC E 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 ISIsponsored 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 for India India won 4 more paralympic medals on Saturday, taking their tally to 17. A look at the medallists... 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 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. 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 had so far... the Taliban seem to indicate that they will be reasonable in the way they handle this,” the foreign secretary S 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. 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. 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 FIROZ MIRZA @ Chennai Pramod Bhagat (badminton, men’s singles SL3) Gold Silver P r a n a b M o n d a l @ Kolkata said. On Tuesday the Indian en, voy to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, had held talks with a senior P9 Taliban leader in Doha. Backroom story of ‘War against shuttlers’ success India’ charge Medal rush Singhraj Adhana (shooting, mixed 50m pistol SH1) 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 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 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 training 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 disabled-friendly. 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 inaugurated in December 2019 while the accommodation-cumrecovery centre named Drona Paralympic House became operational seven months later. It has four courts including two mini-wooden courts for para shuttlers. on 8 held for conversion N a m i ta B a j pa i @ 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. Later, eight more were arrested for carrying out conversions under the banner of Islamic Dawah Centre. In its application, the ATS claimed it found the group was not just involved in illegal conversions, but also wanted to disrupt the population balance and create a rift among people. Accepting the ATS’ application, the court invoked Section 121-A and 123 of IPC against the eight persons. IPC Section 121 deals with waging or attempt to wage war against Government of India. WITH THIS ISSUE An Elusive Balance PLUS 12 PAGES historic feat Pramod shines bright with a Paralympic Gold Ta n m ay D a s @ Bhubaneswar Reigning world champion and Odisha’s very own Pramod Bhagat on Saturday created history by winning a gold medal in Men’s singles SL3 class at the Tokyo Paralympics. This year, badminton made its debut at the Paralympics. The first ever Indian to BJP sore as election panel Pipili bypoll on Sept 30, result grants exception to Didi, notifies Bhowanipore bypoll on October 3 win gold in badminmedal to his part o n , 3 3 - ye a r- o l d ents. He had lost Bhagat’s success his mother last has come as a crownyear. “I would like ing glory for Odisha to dedicate this to in a year of Olympic my parents and to achievements; the everyone who has Olympic bronze by supported me the Men’s hockey throughout. I am Pramod Bhagat team and stellar disglad I could make play by the women’s team India and Odisha proud,” being the other two. Bhagat told The New IndiBhagat dedicated the an Express from Tokyo. His historic feat at Tokyo, the best ever success for any sportsman from Odisha, has sent in a wave of jubilation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister Dhar mendra Pradhan and many more eminent persons took to Twitter to congratulate Bhagat. CONTINUED ON: P5 In a major relief to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Election Commission on Saturday announced bypolls to Bhowanip o re A s s e m bly s e at o n 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 deadline, within 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. The results of the byelection and the elections will be announced on October 3. Prefacing its decision on a special request from the West Bengal chief secretary, the commission said: “Consider- E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e campaign period The EC said since political parties had already availed of the canvassing period for the three seats from April 29 to May 3, campaigning will only be allowed from September 20 ing the constitutional exigency and special request from state of West Bengal, it (the commission) has decided to hold bye-election in 159-Bhowanipore AC.” The poll panel said the chief secretary assured that the Covid-19 situation in the state was fully under control before requesting for the bypoll citing ‘administrative exigencies and to avoid vacuum in the state’. The poll panel’s decision left the BJP’s Bengal unit bristling. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said: “Byelection is not being held in other states citing the pandemic. Is there no Covid in Bhowanipore?” The panel has decided not to hold bypolls to 31 Assembly and three Lok Sabha seats across the country, citing Covid-19. @ Bhubaneswar The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday announced bypoll to Pipili Assembly constituency on September 30. Counting of votes and declaration of result will be done on October 3. The bypoll was necessitated due to the demise of sitting MLA Pradeep Maharathy on October 4 last year due to Covid-19. Originally, the bypoll was scheduled on April 17 but had to be rescheduled to May 16 after Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj died due to Covid. However, it was later deferred owing to the second wave of the pandemic. While BJD has fielded Rudra Pratap Maharathy the BJP can, didate is Ashrit Patnaik. Congress has fielded Biswokehan Harichandan Mohapatra. Seven other candidates including independents are in the fray . Announcing the bypoll schedule, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) SK Lohani said model code of conduct has come into effect in Puri with immediate effect. However, as the political parties had already campaigned for the bypoll from April 29 to May 3, the campaign period has been curtailed to seven days this time from September 20. CONTINUED ON: P5
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