NEW DELHI 12 DECEMBER 2021 SUNDAY `12 PAGES 24 facebook/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard https://epaper.morningstandard.in An American Gastroplomat PLUS: 12 PAGES MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE VOICES The Body Shop Punjab govt moves SC over BSF jurisdiction E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE row over the Centre’s decision to extend the BSF jurisdiction to a 50 km belt along the international borders in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam has reached Supreme Court with the Charanjit Singh Channi government challenging the move. Punjab is the first state to challenge the Centre’s decision. Filed under Article 131 of the Constitution, the suit was listed before the Registrar, who issued a notice to the Centre through the Attorney General. The next hearing would be after four weeks. Under Article 131, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction to deal with any dispute between the Centre and a state, the Centre and a state on one side and another state on the other side, and between two or more states. The plea said the effect of the notification dated October 11, 2021, is that “it amounts to encroachment upon the powers and the role of the plaintiffstate of Punjab by the Centre, inasmuch as more than 80 per cent of the border districts, all the major towns and cities including all the district headquarters of Punjab fall within a 50 km area from the Indo-Pakistan border”. Earlier, the BSF’s jurisdiction was a 15 km belt along the border. In the area under their jurisdiction, BSF officers have powers of arrest, search and seize on par with the police. In Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya, the BSF’s jurisdiction has been curtailed by 20 km while in Gujarat, it has been curtained by 30 km. There has been no change in Rajasthan. Chutzpah under My Rida CRYPTO BILL NOWHERE Prabhu Chawla TJS George Shankkar Aiyar Pushpesh Pant DELHI’S second case of Omicron is a 35-year-old man having a travel history to Zimbabwe and South Africa, officials said on Saturday . The patient has been admitted to the Lok Nayak Hospital, which is designated for all Covid-positive international travellers who are put up at a dedicated ward for isolation and treatment. Currently the hospi, tal has 35 patients. According to officials in the health department, the patient SADHGURU SPEAKS Cut to the Hometown Two killed on way back The bill to regulate and monitor crypto-currency, which set a buzz during the legislative business of the government, does not seem to be on the priority list for now Signs of govt going slow on legislative biz The Lok Sabha has so far passed six legislative proposals out of a total 29 M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi HAVING burnt its fingers with hurried legislations on the farm laws, the government appears to be going slow on fresh bills with just nine days left for the ongoing winter session of Parliament. The crypto-currency bill, which set a buzz during the legislative business of the government, does not seem to be on the priority list while the NDA floor managers remain at loggerheads with Opposition leaders in the Rajya Sabha over the suspension of 13 MPs. The legislative business agenda for the next week has five bills slated for introductions and passage after discussions. The government had unveiled plans to seek parliamentary nod for a total of 29 bills, including three that had been previously introduced in the lower house. The crypto-currency bill isn’t on the legislative agenda for this week with the Lok Sabha bulletin showing five legislative proposals to be taken up for introduction and passage. These include the Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill, the Mediation Bill, the National Anti-Doping Bill, and the Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accounts and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill. While union minister for information and broadcasting Anurag Thakur was evasive on the status of the crypto-currency bill during cabinet briefings, it is learnt that it still remains at the drafting and inter-ministerial consultation stage. The Lok Sabha has so far passed six legislative proposals out of a total 29 after the passage of the Farm Repeal Bill gave a stormy start to the winter session of Parliament. While the Lok Sabha broke the gridlock to resume normal functioning soon, the ruckus in Rajya Sabha continues with Opposition MPs pressing for revocation of the suspension of 13 MPs and the government adamant on an apology from them. Besides passing the six bills that were less contentious, the Lok Sabha has held marathon short duration discussions on the situation arising out of the pandemic and climate change. But the legislative hurriedness, which had been seen in previous parliament sessions, seems clearly missing in the ongoing session. has mild symptoms of Covid such as weakness. “He returned to India from Zimbabwe and had even travelled to South Africa. The patient is fully vaccinated. He is a resident of Ranchi and had travelled from Tanzania to Doha and from there to Delhi on December 2. He stayed in Johannesburg, South Africa for a week,” said an official in health the department. When the results of the genome sequencing of ten samples arrived Saturday morning, the Ranchi resident was found to be infected with the Omicron variant of Covid. With this second Omicron case reported in Delhi, India’s total tally of infections of the new variant becomes 33 as of Saturday Of the total 33 cases . of the Omicron variant, 17 were reported from Maharashtra, nine in Rajasthan, three in Gujarat, two in Karnataka, and two in Delhi. Last Sunday, a 37-year-old fully vaccinated man who arrived in Delhi from Tanzania, became the first patient of Omicron in the national capital. Farmers cheer as they leave the protest site at Singhu border in New Delhi on Saturday | SHEKHAR YADAV I F R A H M U F T I @ New Delhi “ITT teri rakhdi hilake Dilliye’’ played on the tractors, kirtan in the background, a last cup of tea at the nearby langar and women in fulkari dupattas instead of shawls performed bhangra. This was the scene at 8 am in the sprawling Singhu Border on Saturday, where hundreds of farmers were getting ready to bid goodbye to return to their home after more than a year. There were mixed emotions, a feeling of separation, pride at winning the battle as well as a longing to meet their wives, children and grandchildren. Farmers at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders had assembled early in the morning at their respective entry points to leave together in a victory procession they called ‘Fateh march’. As planned, most farmers left their respective borders around 9:30 am, leaving the national highway that became their home desolate with only broken bamboo sticks, flags, stickers of the protests, dis- eral law enforcement agency that Wazid Hussein (37) had stolen some belongings of football legend Maradona from his Dubai residence,” Sivasagar Superintendent of Police Rakesh Roushan said. “We launched an operation last (Friday) night and managed to recover the watch from the culprit’s possession.” A case was earlier registered with the Dubai Police. It was still not clear if the watch was stolen before or after the death of Maradona, who passed away in November 2020. “The accused worked in Dubai since 2016. We do not know at what point in time he had carded blankets and utensils left behind. Some farmers had started leaving on Friday night itself to avoid a traffic jam in the morning. The convoy had reached the Shambhu border in Haryana around 11:30 am where a helicopter apparently hired by a kisan union member showered flower petals on the farmers. “The police officials at the check points in Haryana who had stopped us from entering Delhi welcomed and congratulated. The animosity between them and us ended on a happy note,” said Ramninder Singh. But there were some farmers who had not left Singhu, stating they would leave the border after making sure not an inch of waste material was left behind. A special task force of farmers who donned ‘swachch morcha’ jackets could be seen helping farmers to dismantle their handmade cottages and clean the surroundings. Harmandeep Singh, a 55-yearold farmer from Punjab who was putting back his beddings in the tractor, said “70% of the handmade cottages and shanties have been vacated as most farmers left this morning. In another three days, this area will be free and clean.” Amid the busy Saturday afternoon, when the remaining farmers were seen loading their luggage, beddings, folding beds, televisions, religious books, water filters and coffee making machines, there were some preparing a cozy bed in the tractors for their pet dogs and cats. Some farmers were also covering their horses with shawls and putting flowers on them before leaving. Gurdev Kaur, a 72-year-old from Punjab who was waiting for her husband’s tractor to leave, said: “The happiness is not about going back home. It is about that we came to win and we won. The happiness is not about going back home. It is about that we came to win and we won. What else can make us more proud? We’ll always remember the ones who lost lives —Gurdev Kaur, farmer’s wife Homecoming turned tragic for two Punjab farmers. Sukhdev Singh (40) and Ajaypreet Singh (32) were killed when the tractortrailer they were travelling in was hit by a truck near Dhandoor village in Haryana’s Hisar. Another farmer, Raghbir Singh was injured. “Two farmers were killed while another was seriously injured when the tractor-trailer they were riding was hit from behind by a truck,” a Hisar Police inspector said. He said five farmers were on the tractor-trailer when the incident took place. “While one died at the accident spot, another succumbed to his injuries during treatment at a hospital,’ the inspector said. Haryana Police has arrested the truck driver. It is not clear whether the farm unions will ask for compensations for the families of the deceased. What else can make us more proud? Also we will always remember the ones who lost their lives on this battle ground.” Another protest supporter, Joga Singh, 65, from Fathegarh Sahib, whose duty was to give tea and prasad to the farmers every morning, said: “My heart is full. I and my son have been here since day one and our tea and prasad used to bring cheer to the farmers. I will miss each one of them.” Meanwhile, the Kisan Mazdoor Ekta hospital managed by the Life Care Foundation NGO at the Singhu Border was abuzz with patients even on the last day when most farmers had left. Gurjeet Singh, a project manager who brought medicines worth `2-3 lakh every month, said: “We have been receiving a lot of patients in the last days because farmers are dismantling their iron-made and bamboo-made cottages and shanties, during which they are getting hurt on their hands or feet. There are patients who are coming to get the dressing done, stitches done or some or P4 the other medicines.” Modi says difference between BJP & SP clear, Akhilesh responds in kind GIFT BIHAR SCHEME HELPS STUDENTS Scores of students are gaining from `4 lakh loan for technical, general and professional courses at nominal interest rates | P5 Maradona’s stolen watch recovered in Assam P R A S A N TA M A Z U M D A R @ Guwahati Higher Salary or a Job You Enjoy? FEELING OF SEPARATION, PRIDE & JOY AS FARMERS LEAVE SINGHU LOST & FOUND THE Assam Police recovered a heritage Hublot wrist watch of football legend Diego Maradona, which was stolen from his Dubai residence, and arrested the alleged thief in Sivasagar. The Assam police said it was a limited edition, speciallymade watch of the departed Argentine star. Maradona’s jersey number 10 and his signature are inscribed on it. The alleged thief, a resident of Sivasagar, was employed as a domestic help at Maradona’s Dubai residence. He fled to Assam in August this year. “The Dubai Police had shared information with an Indian fed- Motifs of Sand, Trees and Blood Sheila Kumar Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar Sharan Apparao Hetal Sonpal Delhi reports second Omicron case E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi ‘I Write to Calm Myself Down’ stolen it. It has to be established,” the SP said, adding that the watch costs `13-14 lakh. The accused told the police it was gifted to him by a Nigerian friend but the police doubt the version. “As per the information we have received, this is not true.” The next step would be based on how the Dubai Police want the case to be pursued. “If they want, we will have to deport him. If not, we will follow the due legal procedure here.” Roushan also said the police had received information that some other belongings of the football legend were also stolen. He said the police were investigating this. N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow TARGETING the Samajwadi Party once again during the inauguration of the Saryu Canal National Project in eastern UP’s Balrampur district on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the difference between the Yogi Adityanath government and the previous regime was clear to the people of UP. “Farq saaf hai (the difference is clear),” he said. He said the “previous government patronized the mafia and encroached upon properties whereas the Yogi government is getting rid of the mafia and bulldozing their illegal assets. The previous regime empowered the bahubalis (strongmen) while the Yogi government is empowering the downtrodden, deprived and tribals. So the people of UP say ‘Farq saaf hai.’” Taking on SP chief Akhilesh Yadav without naming him, the PM wondered why “someone” had not yet claimed credit for the Saryu Canal National Irrigation Project. “Some people keep claiming they had cut the ribbon of all the welfare schemes in the state. For the previous government, the priority was only to cut ribbons whereas we believe in completing the projects in time.” Responding to Modi, Yadav picked the PM’s “farq saaf hai” phrase to say that the “Sama- PM Narendra Modi is greeted by UP CM Yogi Adityanath in Balrampur district | PTI When I started from Delhi, I was waiting for someone to say that he had cut the ribbon of this project and started this scheme. This is the habit of some people —Narendra Modi, Prime Minister jwadi Party gave students laptops, the BJP rained lathis on the youth. Farq saaf hai. The Samajwadi Party gave metros and expressways, the BJP is selling dreams of Kyoto. Farq saaf hai.” “I am happy the government has not denied that there was work on the Saryu project between 2012 and 2017,” he added. The PM’s latest attack comes days after he took a dig at the SP’s red caps saying all that they were interested was in power in order to avail themselves of red beacon vehicles. The PM said the “double engine government” between the Centre and the state had ensured speedy implementation of welfare projects in the state. The continued attack on the SP while leaving out the rest, is an indication that the BJP views the SP as its main rival in the coming state elections. Referring to the irrigation project which was conceived in 1972, Modi said what previous governments could not do in five decades, the double engine government had accomplished in less than five years.
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