YK MYK GOVERNMENT HAS LITTLE CONCERN FOR POOR AT THIS PERIOD OF VIRUS OPINION Rs. 3 KOLKATA MONDAY, 12 APRIL, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—324 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) WEATHER TODAY MAX 36 C MIN 26 C Sky will be partly cloudy. AT A GLANCE Mamata videocalls victims’ families SILIGURI: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee spoke to the families of the people killed in a firing incident in Cooch Behar during the fourth phase of polling on Saturday over a video call and assured them help. The Chief Minister held a press conference in Siliguri during which she talked with the family members of the deceased through video calling. "When the election is already over, why cannot I go there? I cannot go there but I can talk to them through video calling," she told before dialling them. Briefing media persons, Mamata said: "They are killing people using Central forces and giving clean chit thereafter. This is genocide. I could not meet the families. I will meet them on April 14. I cannot be stopped." "They have fired directly at the chest or the neck. Why CISF has been deployed to control the public? They are not trained for that. CISF is trained specially for industrial security. Now to suppress the fact, they are stopping us to visit there. They ordered this 72-hours rule just to stop me from meeting those families. This is unprecedented," she alleged. "I respect the Election Commission. But they are changing the rules. This is now the BJP Code of Conduct. The system cannot be changed with the interest of a party. The institution will continue forever and the system is to be maintained. There are three key institutions that help prevailing democracy Election Commission, judiciary and media. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,34,35,533 TOTAL DEATH: 1,69,569 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 136,241,302 TOTAL DEATH: 2,941,838 IRANIAN PARLIAMENT FILES CHARGES AGAINST PRESIDENT WORLD Morning India INDIA TO HAVE 5 MORE COVID VACCINES BY OCT Sputnik expected to get emergency use nod in 10 days NEW DELHI: As more and more states flag shortage of COVID-19 vaccine doses, the Central government has pressed the accelerator to scale up vaccine production manifold. Top government sources told ANI that by end of the third quarter of this year, India will be getting vaccines from five additional manufacturers. India currently manufactures Covishield and Covaxin. Explaining the new strategy to manufacture additional vaccine doses, a source said "India currently has 2 COVID19 vaccines being manufactured locally: Covishield and Covaxin, and we can expect five more vaccines by Q3 2021. These vaccines are COVID SPIKE: INDIA PROHIBITS EXPORTS OF REMDESIVIR NEW DELHI: In wake of the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, India on Sunday prohibited the exports of remdesivir injections and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) till the situation improves. The decision was taken considering a sudden spike in demand for remdesivir, which is used in treatment of Covid-19 patients, a Health and Family Welfare Ministry statement said. Noting India has 11.08 lakh active Covid cases as on Sunday amid an increasing trend, the Ministry said: "There is a potential of further increase in demand of injection remdesivir and remdesivir active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) in the coming days." "In light of the above increasing Covid cases, Government of India has prohibited the exports of injection remdesivir and remdesivir active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) till the situation improves." PG 5 Govt may hike FDI limit in pension sector Bill likely in monsoon session NEW DELHI: The government may hike foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in the pension sector to 74 per cent and a Bill in this regard is expected to come in the next Parliament session, according to sources. Last month, Parliament approved a Bill to increase FDI limit in the insurance sector from 49 per cent to 74 per cent. The Insurance Act, 1938 was last amended in 2015 which raised FDI limit to 49 per cent, resulting in foreign capital inflow of Rs 26,000 crore in the last 5 years. Amendment to Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Act, 2013 seeking to raise FDI limit in the pension sector may come in the monsoon session or winter session depending on various approvals, sources said. Currently, the FDI in the pension fund is capped at 49 per cent. Besides, sources said, the amendment Bill may contain separation of NPS Trust from the PFRDA. The powers, functions and duties of the NPS Trust, which are currently laid down under the PFRDA (National Pension System Trust) Regulations 2015, may come under a charitable trust or the Companies Act, they said. The intent behind this is to keep NPS Trust separate from the pension regulator and managed competent board of 15 members. Out of this, the majority of members are likely to be from the government as they, including states, are the biggest contributor to the corpus. The PFRDA was established for promoting and ensuring the orderly growth of the pension sector with sufficient powers over pen- GLOBAL MANUFACTURING ACTIVITY EXPANDS IN MARCH: INDEX BEIJING: The global manufacturing sector expanded at a faster pace last month, according to an index published by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP). The global manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) stood at 57.8 in March, up by 2.2 percentage points from the previous month, according to the CFLP, Xinhua reported on Sunday. The reading, which marks the second monthly increase, remains in the expansion zone for the ninth consecutive month and indicates further economic recovery worldwide, it said in a statement. The federation attributed the faster growth to market confidence boosted by Covid-19 vaccines. sion funds, the central recordkeeping agency and other intermediaries. It also safeguards the interest of members. The National Pension System (NPS) was introduced by the Government of India to replace the defined benefit pension system. NPS was made mandatory for all new recruits to the central government service from January 1, 2004, (except the armed forces in the first stage) and has also been rolled out for all citizens with effect from May 1, 2009, on voluntary basis. KOLKATA: After the Election Commission (EC) barred entry of political leaders in Cooch Behar for the next 72 hours, following the violence that took the lives of four on Saturday during polling, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee mocked the poll panel saying it should rename Model Code of Conduct as "Modi Code of Conduct". "EC should rename MCC as Modi Code of Conduct! BJP can use all its might but NOTHING in this world can stop me from being with my people and sharing their pain. They can restrict me from visiting my brothers and sisters in Cooch Behar for 3 days but I WILL be there on the 4th day!" Banerjee tweeted. Mamata Banerjee had initially decided to a protest rally in Cooch Behar on Sunday against the firing incident and to visit the homes of the deceased. The Election Commission (EC) on Saturday gave directions that no political leader from any party should be allowed to enter the geographical boundaries of Cooch Behar district for the next 72 hours where four persons were killed in poll violence on Saturday during the fourth round of polling in West Bengal. "In Cooch Behar district comprising of 9 ACs where voting shall be over by today, no political leader from any national, state or other party should be allowed to enter the geographical boundaries of the district for the next 72 hours. This comes into force with immediate effect," the poll panel said in its order. The poll panel said that based on the interim report from the two observers at 12.36 pm "confirming the incident of attack on the polling station by a mob in which CISF opened firing in which four people died and Fund (RDIF) has tied up with a host of Indian pharmaceutical players such as Hyderabad based Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Hetero Biopharma, Gland Pharma, Stelis Biopharma and Vichrow Biotech for the production of vaccine doses. With a production capacity of 850 million doses in the country, Sputnik V will provide a major shot in the arm in the fight against COVID-19. When asked from a toplevel source when will the vaccines be available for use, he said, "Sputnik is expected to be available latest by June, if all goes well Johnson and Johnson ( Bio E) will be available by August, Cadilla Zydus will also be available by OUT OF ALMOST 20 COVID-19 VACCINES IN VARIOUS CLINICAL AND PRE-CLINICAL STAGES, SPUTNIK V VACCINE WILL GET THE NOD FIRST. IT IS EXPECTED THAT SPUTNIK IS LIKELY TO GET THE EUA WITHIN THE NEXT TEN DAYS. August, Novavex (Serum) by September and Nasal Vaccine (Bharat) by October." The Government is making all efforts to accelerate the progress without cutting any corners in research, development, and clinical trial stages, the source added. The government is taking all steps to augment vaccine production and availability in India. A decision has been taken at the highest level to ensure all steps are taken to help domestic manufacturers to scale up vaccine production manifold. "The Government of India is determined to ensure India remains the pharmacy of the world and Indians have equitable access to the highest quality vaccines in the world. We encourage all COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to come to India, as the Central Government is ready to provide manufacturing assistance.” Cooch Behar killings were 'genocide', says Mamata Will give reply of bullets with ballots, says Mamata MI NEWS SERVICE SILIGURI: Terming the killing of four TMC workers by Central forces in Cooch Behar during the fourth phase of polling on Saturday as “genocide”, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called the Prime Minister and Home Minister of the country 'incompetent'. Addressing the mediapersons, Mamata alleged: "It is genocide. We have decided to observe today as a Black Day. The forces fired on them directly. The CISF is trained to provide security to industries and not to control a mob. I could not sleep last night but the Prime Minister was eating sweets. Such an incompetent Government, incompetent Prime Minister, incompetent Home Minister." "I could not meet the families. I will meet them on April 14. I cannot be stopped. I respect the Election Commission. But they are changing the rules. This is now the BJP Code of Conduct. Mamata provoked people to attack Central forces, says Amit Shah North 24-Parganas: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday blamed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the violence which led to the killing of four people in Cooch Behar during voting in the fourth phase of Assembly polls in the State on Saturday. He said that Mamata's appeal to the people to target security forces provoked the clash and attack on the Central forces. Addressing an election rally at Basirhat Dakshin Assembly constituency of North 24Parganas district, the former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president said: "An unfortunate incident has taken place during the fourth phase of polling, where some youngsters have attacked a pooling booth under Didi's misguidance, they tried to snatched CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) personnel's weapon, in the circumstances, the CISF personnel. Rename it 'Modi Code of Conduct': Mamata tells EC MI NEWS SERVICE Sputnik V vaccine (in collaboration with Dr. Reddy's), Johnson & Johnson vaccine (in collaboration with Biological E), Novavax vaccine (in collaboration with Serum India), Zydus Cadila's vaccine, and Bharat Biotech's Intranasal Vaccine. Safety and efficacy are the Union government's primary concerns while granting emergency use authorisation (EUA) to any COVID-19 vaccine in the country." Out of almost 20 COVID-19 vaccines in various clinical and pre-clinical stages, Sputnik V vaccine will get the nod first. It is expected that Sputnik is likely to get the EUA within the next ten days. Russian Direct Investment four got injured", it had ordered adjournment of the poll. The incident was reported from polling station number 126 of Sitalkuchi assembly constituency. The order of the EC said that joint report of two Special Observers was received at 5.12 pm and they stated that "recourse to open fire by the CISF personnel became absolutely necessary in order to save the lives of the voters lined up at the polling booth, those of other polling personnel and their own lives as the mob had attempted to snatch their weapons". Mamata Banerjee said that people will give reply of the bullets with ballots. Addressing a public meeting in Ambari, Mamata said: "They (BJP-ruled Centre) know they have lost in four phases (of the Assembly polls) so now they are using guns. We will reply of these bullets with ballots." "I am a Royal Bengal Tiger. They did not let me go to Cooch Behar. I talked to the families of the deceased in the firing incident over a video call sitting in Siliguri. They cannot stop me," added the Chief Minister. The system cannot be changed with the interest of a party. The institution will continue forever and the system is to be maintained. Everybody wants a free and fair election," added the TMC chief. The Chief Minister had said that she would hold a protest rally in Cooch Behar on Sunday against the firing incident and visit the homes of the deceased. However, the Election Commission (EC), late on Saturday, gave directions that no political leader from any party should be allowed to enter the geographical boundaries of Cooch Behar district for the next 72 hours where four persons were killed in poll violence on Saturday during the fourth round of polling in West Bengal. "In Cooch Behar district comprising of 9 ACs where voting shall be over by today, no political leader from any national, state or other party should be allowed to enter the geographical boundaries of the district for the next 72 hours. This comes into force with immediate effect," the poll panel said in its order. The poll panel said that based on the interim report from the two observers at 12.36 pm "confirming the incident of attack on the polling station by a mob in which CISF opened firing in which four people died and four got injured", it had ordered adjournment of the poll. The incident was reported from polling station number 126 of Sitalkuchi assembly constituency. Trinamool Congress has alleged that Central forces opened fire twice at polling booths in Cooch Behar where people are casting their votes, killing four party workers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his sadness over the incident. He urged EC to strongly deal with those responsible for what happened in Cooch Behar. Will resign if people want, says Amit Shah MI NEWS SERVICE BASIRHAT: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that he is ready to resign from his post only if the people of West Bengal ask him to do so. The senior BJP leader, however, asserted that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will have to quit on May 2 as the Trinamool Congress will lose the ongoing Assembly elections. "Didi has been asking for my resignation. If the people of West Bengal demand that I put down my papers, I am ready to do so with my head bowed. But Mamata will have to quit the CM's post on May 2," Shah said, while addressing a rally in Basirhat in North 24-Parganas district. Training his guns on Banerjee, Shah alleged that she is opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act to appease illegal immigrants, who he claimed take benefits of welfare schemes but indulge in riots. "What is Didi's problem if Matuas get citizenship? Her problem is that illegal immigrants will be displeased. Such people don't have the right to rule the State any longer. Illegal immigrants take benefits of welfare schemes like free ration but indulge in riots," he said. Shah said that the BJP will completely stop illegal immigration from Bangladesh and withdraw a resolution passed in the Assembly against CAA after forming the Government in the State. He promised to introduce a “Chief Minister's Refugee Welfare Fund” to give annual assistance of Rs 10,000 to the beneficiaries. EC trying to suppress facts by barring entry of politicians in Cooch Behar: Mamata Dilip Ghosh demands ban on Mamata's campaign SILIGURI: Describing the incident of firing in Cooch Behar as "genocide", Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said the Election Commission has restricted the entry of politicians in the district for 72 hours as it seeks to "suppress facts". The TMC supremo, while addressing a press meet here, claimed that Central forces "sprayed bullets aiming at the torso of the victims" in Sitalkuchi area, when the fourth phase of polling was underway in the State. "There was genocide at Sitalkuchi. I would like to visit Sitalkuchi by April 14. The EC is trying to suppress facts by restricting entry in Cooch Behar. We have an incompetent Home Minister and an incompetent Central Government," Banerjee said. Four persons died on Saturday when CISF personnel opened fire allegedly after coming under attack from locals, who "attempted to snatch their rifles", the police had said."The CISF doesn't know how to handle situations. Since the first phase of elections, I had been saying that a section of the Central forces are committing atrocities on people. I had flagged the issue in Nandigram, but none paid attention to my words," she stated. The feisty TMC chief also spoke to the brother of one of the deceased over a video call, in the midst of the press meet, and promised all help to the bereaved family. The man, on his part, was heard saying that the jawans had opened fire on the voters. "He (one of the four killed in firing) was standing in a queue when the jawans opened fire. His wife is pregnant. They also have a three-year-old child. Our parents are shocked and devastated," the man told the CM. Banerjee asked a local TMC leader, who made arrangements for the video chat from Sitalkuchi, to send her a copy of the FIR filed in connection with the incident. "I will be addressing election meetings today, but with a heavy heart. The episode keeps haunting me," the CM said, adding that party workers will stage protests against the incident across the State. Taking to Twitter, Banerjee, in a jibe at the poll panel, also said that the "EC should rename MCC (Model Code of Conduct) as Modi Code of Conduct!" NORTH 24-PARGANAS: West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Dilip Ghosh on Sunday demanded a ban on incumbent Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's political campaign in the State for the ongoing Assembly elections, after the violent incident in Cooch Behar district where four people were shot dead by security personnel. "Mamata is responsible for the deaths in Sitalkuchi. She should be banned from the election campaign. If not, such incidents will keep happening," Ghosh said while speaking at a public meeting in Pragati Sangha in Baranagar. HARIDWAR ALL SET FOR SECOND ROYAL BATH OF MAHA KUMBH TODAY DEHRADUN: Haridwar is all set for the second royal bath of Maha Kumbh, which will be held on Monday under the COVID-19 protocols amid the alarming situation of coronavirus cases in Uttarakhand. Speaking to ANI, Inspector-general of Police, Haridwar Kumbh Mela, Sanjay Gunjyal said, this year the second and the third royal bath will be held with the interval of one day. "The first bath was held on March 11 on the occasion of Mahashivratri, while the second will be held on April 12 and on April 14, the third royal bath will be taken by the 13 Akhadas," the IG said on Sunday. The IG also informed that the processions of the 13 Akhadas will be carried through highways where no vehicular movement will be allowed. "There will be zero-zone on the highway and no movement of vehicles will be allowed in the route except the procession," he said. In Bramha Kund, common devotees will be allowed to take bath till 7 am but after that, no one will be allowed as the place will be reserved for the Akhadas. The royal bath continues till the evening.