YK MYK WEATHER TODAY MAX 34 C MIN 27 C TEJASWI, CHIRAG FACING BIGGEST POLITICAL CHALLENGES IN POLLS OPINION Rainfall may occur. SCHOOLS IN PAK TEACH HATRED AGAINST HINDUS: ACTIVIST TOLD UN WORLD Morning India Rs. 3 KOLKATA THURSDAY, 15 OCT, 2020 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—153 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) Mamata virtually inaugurates 69 Pujas in South and North Bengal KOLKATA: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday inaugurated 69 popular community Duga Puja in several districts in both South and North Bengal through virtual mode from Nabanna, thereby setting a new trend in the current normal situation in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic. For the first time in the history of Durga Puja inauguration in the state by the Chief minister, the state government organised a mass and simultaneous inauguration programme of several community Durga Pujas at the district level this afternoon from state Secretariat Nabanna , where Mamata Photo : Awadhesh Kumar Choudhary Banerjee chanting the verses from the holy scripts and holding the 'Mangal Ghat' (the pious earthen bowl) as a symbolic gesture, performed the simultaneous opening of various club level Durga puja festival in several districts. AT A GLANCE ‘CHAKKA JAM’ FOR SARNA CODE TODAY RANCHI: Various tribal bodies will observe 'Chakka Jam' strike in five states tomorrow to press for their demand of a separate code for the Sarna religion in the census form. The five states include Bihar, Assam, West Bengal and Odisha besides Jharkhand. Tribal bodies observing the strike include Kendriya Sarna Samiti (KSS), Akhil Bhartiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad (ABAVP), and Adivasi Sengal Abhiyan (ASA) besides others. The organizations have made all the emergency services free from the strike. On the eve of the strike, heads of all the organizations held a press conference and justified the strike for the Sarna Code in order to protect the identity of tribals. “In absence of a separate code for Sarnas, tribals are counted as Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, and Christian or others not and thus there is a problem of identity crisis and risk of religious conversion on national level. If the separate code for Sarna religion is not provided in the census form in 2021 then the end of tribalism is sure,” KSS president Fulchand Tirkey said. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 7,250,357 TOTAL DEATH: 110,706 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 38,456,930 TOTAL DEATH: 1,092,331 Holding a list of those clubs whose puja she would inaugurate in one go, the Chief minister beginning with Birbhum district, went to Bankura, Burdwan, North Dinajpur, Malda, Murshidabad, Kalimpong and Nadia district one after another and formally inaugurated their pujas amid huge enthusiasm from the concerned club members and others. After covering the programme in each of these districts, state Information and Cultural Affairs minister Indranil Sen and his team sang a puja welcome song, specially prepared for the occasion. Describing this virtual inauguration as a unique idea in the state for the first time in its long history because of the present pandemic situation, the Chief minister also promised several clubs including the only such club in Kalimpong district to personally visit them soon. We shall do a similar simultaneous inauguration of Now wholesale prices jump up in Sep, WPI rises to 1.32% NEW DELHI: High prices of food products, primary articles and manufactured goods accelerated India's September wholesale inflation. The annual rate of inflation, based on wholesale prices, rose to 1.32 per cent in September from 0.16 per cent in August, and from (-) 0.25 per cent in July. On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) data furnished by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has risen by only 0.33 per cent as against the corresponding period of the previous year. "The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 1.32 per cent (provisional) for the month of September 2020 (over September 2019) as compared to 0.33 per cent during the corresponding month of the previous year," the ministry said in its review of 'Index Numbers of Wholesale Price in India' for September. On a sequential basis, the expenses on primary arti- cles, which constitute 22.62 per cent of the WPI's total weightage, increased 5.10 per cent from 1.60 per cent in August 2020. The prices of food items remained at elevated levels with a rise of 6.92 per cent from 4.07 per cent reported for August. On commodity and subsegment basis, potato prices increased by 107.63 per cent in September against 82.93 per cent during August. Overall, vegetable prices in September rose 36.54 per cent against a rise of 7.03 per cent in August. Similarly, pulses became dearer by 12.53 per cent last month from 9.86 per cent in August. On a YoY basis, expenses on food items increased at a faster rate of 8.17 per cent from 7.54 per cent in the corresponding period of last year. The sub-segment of vegetable prices in September rose 36.54 per cent against the decline of 19.3 per cent in the same month a year ago. cation of 105.153 hectares of non-nationalized and abandoned coal mining area in Jharkhand's Giridih district in favor of Castron Technologies Limited by 14th Screening Committee of the Ministry of Coal in 1999. Besides Ray, who was Minister during Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, two former senior officials of the Ministry of Coal -- Pradip Kumar Banerjee, the then Additional Secretary and Nitya Nand Gautam, former advisor (Projects), and for every pandal hopper was a must and all of them must maintain a safe physical distance both in and outside the pandals. She also praised the artwork in several pandals and the idols of the goddess Durga in every district. Covid death toll in Bengal touches 5808 with highest 64 deaths Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman participated in G20 Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday. ANI ‘Common man’s Diwali in your hands’: SC seeks speedy interest waiver NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday told the Centre that the common man's Diwali is in the government's hands, as it sought implementation of the decision to waive interest-oninterest for loans up to Rs 2 crore for eight categories. The top court gave time till November 2 to the Centre to update it on the issuance of circulars in this matter. A bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Justices M.R. Shah and R. Subhash Reddy told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, that it does not require one month time to implement its decision on waiver of interest on interest on loans up to Rs 2 crore. "This is not fair on the part of the government," said Justice Bhushan, noting that the top court has given enough time to the government to act in the matter. "When you have decided, then why it is taking time," he asked. The bench insisted that the Centre should issue necessary orders based on its decision so that the common man can receive the benefits. Justice Shah told Mehta that the government should see the plight of the common man, as they know that Centre has taken a decision in their favour. "But they want some concrete result," he added. Mehta said the government has considered the plight of the common man and it does not gain anything by delaying its decision unnecessarily, but there are certain formalities. J’khand coal scam: Order on former Minister Ray’s sentence on Oct 26 NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Wednesday reserved the order for October 26 on sentencing of former Minister of State (MoS) for Coal Dilip Ray, and five others in a coal block allocation case. On October 6, Special Judge Bharat Parashar of Rouse Avenue Court had convicted them in the case, noting that they conspired together beyond shadows of all reasonable doubts to procure allocation of the coal block. The case pertains to allo- several more district level community pujas tomorrow also, the CM said and urged everybody to celebrate the festival with utmost precaution in the wake of the current pandemic. She also urged all puja organisers to ensure that wearing a mask KOLKATA: As altogether 5808 people including the highest 64 during the last 24 hours have lost their lives in West Bengal due to Covid-19 pandemic till today since March, and another altogether 3677 people got affected in one day today, the overall pandemic scenario in the state looked grim causing huge concern for all about the future. The latest Medical Bulletin issued by the state Health Department informed here tonight that despite all out efforts by the doctors, nurses and other Frontline Warriors, the total number of deaths crossed 5800 mark to reach the figure of 5808 with maximum 64 casualties during the last 24 hours only. At the same time a record number of 3677 more people were affected in one day today by the disease and admitted to hospitals for treatment, the bulletin said adding as a result the absolute number of those affected by Corona virus in Bengal crossed a record figure of over 3 lakhs for the first time to touch 3,05,697 up from 3,02,020 yesterday Among today's 64 new casualties, 30 were the residents of Kolkata and 26 belonged to North 24 Parganas and Howrah, while the rest were from other districts of South and North Bengal, the Bulletin said. Of the record number of 3,677 fresh Covid cases in one day in the state, the max- imum 2538 were from Kolkata alone, followed by those from other districts, the bulletin said. Meanwhile, the total number of Active and serious Corona cases in different hospitals suddenly jumped to as high as 517 today from 384 yesterday to take their total number to exactly 31,505 from 30,988 barely 24 hours ago. In this present grim situation the only positive indication was the rapid increase in the number of daily Covid-19 tests in the state at one point of time. But after a few days of ups and down, it has now come down to the range of 42,000 per day from around as high as 47,000 at one point of time. With the daily tests reaching the figure of 42,549 tonight compared to 42,237 yesterday, the total number of tests now touched the astounding figure of over 3.8 million to 38,18,442 tonight from 37,75,893 yesterday, the Bulletin said But in spite of that, the rate of recovery of Covid-19 patients in West Bengal during the day marginally reduced to 87.79 per cent from 87.84 percent yesterday, compared to the national average of around 86 per cent. Altogether 3,096 people were discharged from different hospitals and safely returned home today, the Bulletin said adding so far altogether 2,68,384 people, up from 2,65,288 people yesterday, were able to return home after recovery. NIA CHARGESHEET: STAN WORRIED OVER DISRUPTION IN INT'L LINKS AFTER ARRESTS Castron Technologies Limited, its director Mahendra Kumar Agarwalla and Castron Mining Limited have also been found guilty. NEW DELHI: Arrested tribal activist Stan Swamy was worried over the arrest of prominent faces like Rona Wilson, Varavara Rao and G.N. Saibaba, which caused major disruption in communication with international Maoist organisations, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) claimed in its charge sheet filed in the Bhima Koregaon case last week. In the 10,000 page charge sheet filed by the NIA in a Special NIA court in Mumbai, the agency alleged that Swamy had urged the cadres of his party to stop the BJP/RSS from making inroads into the tribal masses and lower middle class. PG 2 Artist gives finishing touches to an idol of Goddess Durga at the Kumartuli workshop ahead of Durga Puja festival in Kolkata . Prabir Bhattacharya UNHRC draws world-wide flak over election of China & Pak as members While China won a seat by a smal margin, Saudi Arabia was defeated in polls to the premier global body NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON: While rebuking the UN Human Rights Council over the election of China, Russia and Cuba as its members, the US on Wednesday said its stand to withdraw from the council two years ago, has been vindicated. "The election of China, Russia, and Cuba to the UN Human Rights Council validates the US' decision to withdraw from the Council in 2018 and use other venues to protect and promote universal human rights. At UNGA this year, we did just that," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted. The US' commitment to human rights, he said, is far more than just words. "We have identified and punished human rights abusers in Xinjiang, Myanmar, Iran and elsewhere, and call for all nations to take this moment to recommit to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)." While China won a seat at the UNHRC by a smal margin on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia was defeated in the elections to the premier global body for human rights. Pakistan, however, was reelected to the UNHRC. China's got elected to the UNHRC despite the fact that the UN experts earlier this year called on the international community to take collective and decisive action to ensure that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime ends violations of its international obligations and human rights of its citizens. In a statement issued by the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR), the experts, who are part of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, had said that it is time for renewed attention on the human rights situation in China, particularly in light of the moves against the people of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), minorities of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, the Tibet Autonomous Region, and human rights defenders across the country. They had urged the UNHRC to act with a sense of urgency to take all appropriate measures to monitor Chinese human rights practices. In a strong reaction to the election of Russia, China, Pakistan and Cuba, the countries known for their abysmal record on human rights violations, many people on social media lashed out at the UNHRC. Hillel Neuer, an international lawyer on human rights and executive director of United Nations Watch based in Geneva condemned the election of the four countries. "Today is a black day for human rights--UN's newest world judges on human rights include: Pakistan--persecutes Christians, Hindus, Ahmadis. China--herded one million Uyghurs into camps. Russia-poisons dissidents. Cuba--police state. The inmates are running the asylum." India's top foreign policy expert Brahma Chellany tweeted,"China, despite incarcerating more than a million Muslims, unleashing harsh repression in Tibet and killing detainees to harvest their organs for transplant, wins a UN Human Rights Council seat. It secures 30 votes less than its proxy, Pakistan. The Council is becoming irrelevant." Apart from dozens of journalists and activists who expressed outrage, social media influencers like Surendra Poonia questioned the UNHRC too. "How come your organization is not able to see atrocities on minorities in Pakistan and torture camps in China where Uyghur Muslims are tortured? It is like a brutal killer getting awarded for non-violence," he tweeted. In a scathing commentary, Pakistan's own human rights commission earlier this year had expressed deep concerns about the state of human rights of ethnic minorities in the country. In its annual report, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said, "The year 2019 will be remembered for the systematic curbing of political dissent by various means, constraints to the freedom of the mainstream media, digital surveillance, and the over-regulation of social media spaces." Curbs on freedom of opinion and expression continued to escalate, the commission said pointing out that it had become "more difficult to speak or write openly -- if at all -- on 'sensitive' issues such as enforced disappearances, or to criticise state policy or security agencies in these areas" for journalists in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular.