YK MYK OVER 240 CORONA VIRUS VARIANTS HAVE SURFACED IN THE COUNTRY MEHBOOBA MUFTI RE-ELECTED PDP PRESIDENT OPINION NATION Morning India Rs. 5 RANCHI TUESDAY, 23 FEB, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—10, ISSUE—289 (RNI NO: JHAENG / 2012 / 44137) WEATHER TODAY MAX 28 C MIN 14 C Sky will be clear. AT A GLANCE PM HINTS EC TO GIVE POLL DATES IN MARCH FIRST WEEK GUWAHATI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hinted that the dates for Assembly elections in Assam and other states are expected to be announced by the Election Commission in the first week of March. While addressing a massive public gathering at Silapathar in eastern Assam's Dhemaji district, Modi said, "Last time (2016), Assembly poll date for Assam was announced on March 4, this time also dates are expected to be announced in the first week of March. However, this is the work of the Election Commission." MUTANT COVID: DIAL REVAMPS 'AIR SUVIDHA' PORTAL NEW DELHI: GMR Group-led consortium Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) on Monday launched a revamped 'Air Suvidha' portal along with a new RT-PCR test package for arriving international passengers. The firm manages and operates the national capital's IGI Airport. Accordingly, the development comes after the Centre issued new guidelines for passengers travelling to India. The company had launched Air Suvidha, the first-of-its-kind portal, in August last year, where India-bound international passengers could fill the mandatory self-declaration form and also apply online for exemption from mandatory institutional quarantine process. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,10,05,962 TOTAL DEATH: 156,424 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 112,036,858 TOTAL DEATH: 2,479,412 WB made up its mind for ‘poriborton’: PM HOOGHLY: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asserted that poll-bound West Bengal has made up its mind for 'poriborton' (change). During his second visit to the state this month, Prime Minister is scheduled to inaugurate the extension of Metro Railway from Noapara to Dakshineswar and flag off the first service on this 4.1 km stretch constructed at a cost of Rs 464 crore. While addressing a public meeting in Hooghly, Prime Minister said, "Today, Bengal is taking a big step to prove its resolve for fast development. Last time I came here to give you the gift of gas connectivity and infrastructure projects. Today, important works to strengthen rail and metro connectivity are going to be inaugurated," PM Modi said. "Modern highways, railways, airways, infrastructure of many countries helped those nations to become modern, where it became a major cause for positive change. Our country should have done the same thing decades ago. But it did not happen," he added. Addressing the huge crowd at the meeting, PM Modi said, "This enthusiasm and energy by all of you is sending a message from Kolkata to Delhi. Now West PM Narendra Modi addresses at the inauguration of several Railway projects, in Hooghly on Monday. Bengal has made up its mind for 'poriborton' (change)." "This year 'rail and metro' connectivity is Centre's priority. Such work should have been done decades back and now, we should not delay any projects, from broadening of rail lines to electrification work, money being invested in infrastructure projects," he added. On February 7, he visited Haldia and dedicated to the nation the LPG import terminal built by BPCL. He also dedicated to the nation Dobhi-Durgapur Natural Gas Pipeline section of the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga project. In West Bengal, the Prime Minister will inaugurate the extension of Metro Railway from Noapara to Dakshineswar, and flag off the first service on this stretch. This 4.1 km extension has been constructed at a cost of Rs 464 crore, fully funded by the central government. It will decongest road traffic and improve urban mobility. This extension will ease out access to the two worldfamous Kali temples at Kalighat and Dakshineswar, for lakhs of tourists and devotees. The two newly built stations namely Baranagar and Dakshineswar have modern LS member Mohan Pathalgadi movement Delkar found dead reaches close to HC in Mumbai hotel RAJ KUMAR MUMBAI: In an apparent case of suicide, Mohan S. Delkar, the Independent MP from the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli, was found hanging in a Mumbai hotel room on Monday morning, shocking political circles. Police prima facie suspect tribal farmer and Bharatiya Navshakti Party leader Delkar, 58, committed suicide as a detailed suicide note running into several pages, has been recovered from the scene, said an official. The body of Delkar, who is believed to have reached Mumbai on Sunday night by road, was found by his driver this afternoon when he attempted to enter his room but failed, and then informed the hotel staff. Police have registered an accidental death report and investigating how and why he arrived in Mumbai, checked into the Hotel Sea Green, an Arabian Sea-facing hotel on Marine Drive where his body was recovered this afternoon, who had gone to meet or may have interacted with him, and the motives behind the stunning suicide and other details. "The Marine Drive Police team is at the spot. A suicide note has also been recovered Investigation is being carried out. Prima facie, it's a case of hanging, but the exact cause of death will be known only after the post-mortem is conducted," Mumbai Police's spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner of Police S. Chaitanya told IANS. The suicide note, reportedly penned in Gujarati, is believed to contain certain clues behind Delkar resorting to the extreme measure, police sources said. In his last speech in the Lok Sabha, the MP had accused the UT officialdom of harassment, insults, deprived him of addressing the people of his constituency, attempts made to book him in fake cases, etc, during the Covid-19 pandemic, which blocked his efforts to arrange the necessary aid to his constituents. His body has been sent to Sir J. J. Hospital for the autopsy after which it is likely to be sent to his home in Silvassa, the capital of the UT. Top police brass including Joint Commissioner of Police Vishwas Nangre-Patil, Additional Commissioner of Police S. Chaudhary and others rushed to the spot to direct and supervise the probe. RANCHI: The Pathalgadi movement, which once created a furore in the rural hinterland, reached closer to the Jharkhand High Court doorstep, one of the high-security zones of the Jharkhand capital. Over 200 Pathalgadi supporters influenced by the provisions of PESA Act reached close to Jharkhand High Court to establish a plaque claiming the right of complete administration of the Scheduled Area of the state, including Ranchi, Lohardaga, Gumla, Latehar, Simdega, Saraikela-Kharsawan, Sahebganj, Dumka, Pakur and Jamtara. Notably, during the Pathalgadi movement, many villages saw people gathering from surrounding areas with bows and arrows to 'assert their rights'. In August 2017, it was claimed that a police officer was not allowed to leave a village by the villagers. In 2018, it was also claimed that former Khunti's MP Kariya Munda's bodyguards were abducted by Pathalgadi supporters, who in turn claimed that 'their people' were held by the police. This resulted in a crackdown leading to the death of a tribal, Birsa Munda named after the freedom fighter. Following this, cases were registered against several villagers. Having white, black and red flags in their hands they all were associated with Kurukh National Council BEIJING: China on Monday expressed its support for India in hosting this year’s BRICS summit and said it will work with New Delhi to strengthen the cooperation among the five-member grouping of emerging economies. India has assumed the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Chairmanship for 2021 and is set to hold this year’s summit. On February 19, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar launched India’s BRICS 2021 website at the BRICS Secretariat at Sushma Swaraj Bhawan in New Delhi. Asked about India assuming the BRICS Chairmanship this year, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing here that Beijing backs New Delhi in hosting the summit. and attempted to establish the plaque at Ambedkar Chowk hardly 10 metres away from Jharkhand High Court building under Doranda police station and headquarters of JAP-1. They were justifying their work saying the Constitution of India has given them the right to do so and no one including the legislature, executive, and judiciary can take back this right. They were citing Constitutional order 229 to justify their demands and the police had a tough time handling them. After an hour-long negotiation, police could manage to disperse, assuring them an opportunity to discuss the issue with the Governor on Tuesday. The majority of participants were from West Singhbhum, Gumla, Khunti and Simdega. A council member Dhaneshwar Toppo said that the President of India has given the right to the tribals to establish their rule in tribal areas under provisions of the Fifth Schedule. Apart from this, constitutional order- 229, which is superior to the legislature, executive and judiciary, also supports this."We have come to know our rights given under the Fifth schedule. If our right gets violated, we will turn up with more than 50,000 tribals in the Jharkhand capital," Toppo said. A locality resident said the crowd reached the roundabout at 1pm and stayed for more than 3 hours exposing the poor policing of the city, S.P (city) Saurabh Kumar, however, said: "Everything was peaceful. Agitators stayed hardly for 45 minutes reaching the spot at 1 pm." Asked regarding legal action in the matter, Kumar said no legal action was taken in the matter. Toolkit case: Disha Ravi sent to one-day police remand NEW DELHI: A Delhi Court on Monday granted one-day police remand to climate activist Disha Ravi, who was taken into custody by Delhi Police on February 13 from Bengaluru in connection with the 'toolkit' case as part of the police probe into violence on January 26 in the national capital during the tractor march called by farmers protesting against three new farm laws. Disha Ravi was produced before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Dr Pankaj Sharma's court at the end of her three days of judicial custody. Delhi Police sought fiveday remand in today's hearing at Patiala House Court. Public Prosecutor Advocate Vikas representing Delhi Police informed the court that, there are two other accused persons in this case -- Nikita and Shantanu -- who have joined the investigation. Recently, both of them have been granted protection from arrest by the Bombay High Court. "We need Disha's Police remand to confront her with other co-accused in the toolkit matter," Vikas said. Advocate Sidharth Aggarwal appearing for Disha Ravi opposed the Delhi Police remand application. FSL to find reasons for kerosene explosion RAJ KUMAR CHINA BACKS INDIA HOSTING THIS YEAR’S BRICS SUMMIT: OFFICIAL People carry away plaque in Ranchi on Monday. RANCHI: Police have sent the sample of kerosene to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) to ensure how it exploded and claimed four lives in Hazaribagh. Superintendent of police of the district, Karthik S informed Morning India saying an FIR was registered in this connection two days ago. "IOCL is saying that that explosion took place as the flashpoint of Kerosene supplied through PDS was low and this is due to some adulteration. On the other hand, suppliers are not ready to take responsibility saying IOCL is at fault. In this situation a thorough investigation has been started to assure what happened," Karthik said. Meanwhile, the Hazaribagh district administration has launched a drive creating awareness on nonuse of kerosene supplied to 38 PDS dealers from an army tanker, which led to a kerosene explosion in the Hazaribagh Sadar area. The district administration has also started the process of recollection of kerosene sup- ON SATURDAY TOO, INCIDENTS OF KEROSENE EXPLOSION OCCURRED UNDER THE MUFASSIL POLICE STATION AREA (HAZARIBAGH). IN THE INCIDENT, INDRADEV RANA'S WIFE SHANTI DEVI, SON PIYUSH AND DAUGHTER PAYAL SUFFERED BURN INJURIES. plied in the area by 38 PDS dealers. A victim of the kerosene explosion died at RIMS, Ranchi on Sunday. On Saturday too, incidents of kerosene explosion occurred under the Mufassil police station area. In the incident, Indradev Rana's wife Shanti Devi, son Piyush and daughter Payal suffered burn injuries. Three persons who suffered burn injuries were admitted a local hospital where their condition is said to be serious. The primary investigation suggested that kerosene which was supplied to 38 PDS dealers had 13 flashpoints, while kerosene should have 35 to 50 flashpoints. Flashpoint is an ignition point on which kerosene burns. India step into ‘unknown’ for pink ball Test AHMEDABAD: India step into the 'unknown' in the third Test of the four-Test series when they play against England on a fresh pitch of a new stadium in Motera, near Ahmedabad, in a day-night game from Wednesday. Although latest pictures of the pitch show that there is a layer of grass on it, India opening batsman Rohit Sharma said that the pitch won't be any different from the one in the second Test that supported spin bowlers. Since the reconstruction work on the Sardar Patel (Gujarat) Stadium in Motera was completed in February last year, no multi days matches have been played at the newly laid pitch -- partly due to Covid-enforced nationwide lockdown for almost all of the last year. The only official matches to be played on the virgin pitch were the seven T20 games of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this January. But it is the multi days matches that really assess pitches before it hosts five-day Test matches. That has not happened in Motera and, therefore, it is anybody's guess how the pitch will behave. Despite the pitch being said to be spinner-friendly, the pink ball is likely to help seam bowlers. It is MOTERA PITCH expected to do more, especially in the twilight period, when it becomes difficult for the batsmen to sight the ball against pace bowlers. England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has bowled very little in the series so far -- 12 overs in all and just two in the second Test -- says he could bowl more in different settings than the first two Tests played at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. "I think there may be more reason for me to bowl under lights in the next game if it will help the team," Stokes wrote in his column in UK-based Daily Mirror. "Generally, around the world whenever these pink ball games are played there is always a period when the ball starts doing a bit under lights and it brings the seamers right into the game." India have played just two Tests with the pink ball, with only one at home, and many of their batsmen have very little experience of batting in the twilight phase. Rohit Sharma, who missed passenger amenities and are also aesthetically designed and decorated with murals, photographs, sculptures and idols. Prime Minister Modi will also inaugurate the third line between Kalaikunda and Jhargram over a stretch of 30 km of the 132 km long Kharagpur-Adityapur Third Line Project of South Eastern Railway, which was sanctioned with an estimated cost of Rs 1,312 crore. He will dedicate to the nation the doubling of Azimganj to Khargraghat Road section, which is a part of the Howrah-BandelAzimganj section of Eastern the first Test in Australia at the Adelaide Oval, admitted on Sunday that he doesn't have any experience of playing in the twilight phase. "So far, I have only heard that it plays on a batsman's mind. I have played just one pink ball Test against Bangladesh but didn't get to bat at the twilight time when the sun was about to set. But I have to try and understand what exactly happens during that time," he told the media. "It's obviously challenging, the weather and light suddenly changing. You have to be extra cautious and focussed. All batters are aware of these challenges. We just need to be mindful of the situation and play accordingly," he added. ALSO SEE PG 7 RS 2.18 LAKH CR BUDGET FOR 'AATMANIRBHAR BIHAR' PATNA: Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Tar Kishore Prasad tabled the state Budget worth Rs 2,18,303 crore for 2021-22 in the Assembly here on Monday. Prasad said this Budget was prepared with the aim of achieving an "Aatmanirbhar Bihar". It has a provision for works under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's ambitious programme 'Saat Nishchay'. "We have allocated Rs 4,671 crore for this purpose. Besides this, we have allocated adequate funds for education, health, agriculture, and industries as well," Prasad said. Nitish also appreciated the Budget. He said it is a balanced Budget which addresses all sections of society and the aim of this Budget is to achieve growth. "We have maintained good growth since 2005 and a Budget like this will give momentum to develop the state further," Nitish said. "This Budget has been prepared with futuristic planning to create 20 lakh jobs between 2020 to 2025," Prasad said.