YK MYK WEATHER TODAY MAX 31 C MIN 27 C DEATH HAPPENED WITHOUT OXYGEN BUT NOT REPORTED DUE TO DESIGN OPINION Rainfall may occur. Rs. 3 KOLKATA FRIDAY, 23 JULY, 2021 PG-8, YEAR—8, ISSUE—68 (RNI NO:WBENG / 2014 / 56803) AT A GLANCE EX-MUMBAI POLICE COMMISSIONER BOOKED IN EXTORTION CASE MUMBAI: A case of extortion has been registered against former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh at Marine Drive Police Station here, Mumbai Police said. The complainant is a businessman. A total of 8 people,including six police personnel have been named in the FIR. CHINA FLOODS RING ALARM BELLS FOR DAMS IN FRAGILE HIMALAYAS NATION Morning India Murshidabad girl tops Bengal class 12 board exams MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: A girl from Murshidabad district topped the class 12 board examinations conducted by the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education (WBCHSE), while over 97 per cent of the 8.19 lakh candidates passed the exams, the results of which were announced on Thursday. The examinations were not held this year due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic and marks were awarded based on a student's previous academic performance. Eighty-six candidates were among the top 10, and the chart was topped by a girl from the minority community who hails from Murshidabad district and secured 499 marks out of 500, council president Mahua Das told reporters. The council, however, didn't identify the topper as no merit list was officially announced this year. Of the 8,19,202 candidates who were slated to appear for this year's class 12 board exams, 97.69 per cent have passed, Das said, adding that the pass percentage was 97.70 each among boys and girls. "A total of 3,19,327 examinees got first division marks or more than 60 per cent. This is a bit lower than last year," she said. Das said that 9,013 candidates got the O grade (90-100 per cent marks) as compared to 30,220 last year. Similarly, 49,370 students got the A plus grade (80-90 per cent marks) as against 84,746 last year. "Though the number of students getting the O and A plus grades is significantly lower as compared to last year, the number of B plus grade (60-69 per cent) recipients has increased to 1,65,186 from 1,10,265 last year," she said. he number of students getting A grade (70-79 per cent) has slightly dipped to 95,758 from 96,825 last year, Das said. A total of 99.28 per cent of the students in the Science stream passed the examinations, while the pass percent- age was 99.08 per cent for Commerce, and 97.39 per cent for Arts candidates. Candidates can access their results by entering their registration numbers on the designated nine websites, she said, adding that marksheets will be distributed to the schools from 52 camp offices of the council from July 23 onwards. Das said that some schools had sent last year's class 11 results a year later in June, 2021 and there were many inconsistencies, while marks awarded by some institutions were unusually high. "We could have withheld these results but considering the future of the students, our experts evaluated the answer sheets of class 11 final exams and awarded the marks," she said. If any school or candidate is unhappy with the result, the head of the institution will have to approach the local office of the council. As the class 12 board examinations were not held this year due to the pandemic, an evaluation method was worked out wherein the highest marks secured by a candidate in four of the seven subjects in the 2019 class 10 examinations were given weightage along with his/her marks in class 11 annual test. The total marks secured by a candidate in the class 12 projects and practical were also added to the weightage. CORONA METER Farmers begin ‘Kisan Sansad’ at Jantar Mantar INDIA NEW DELHI: A group of 200 farmers reached the Jantar Mantar amid multi-layer security on Thursday to launch their agitation against the three Central farms laws in the heart of the national capital. On Wednesday, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal gave permission to the Jantar Mantar demon- TOTAL CASES: 31,257,720 TOTAL DEATHS: 419,021 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 192,991,042 TOTAL DEATHS: 4,145,878 stration on the condition that a maximum of 200 protesters will be allowed till August 9 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. On the first day of the 'Kisan Sansad', the protesting farmers held discussions on the Mandi Act, rollback of the three farm laws, besides demanding that MPs should discuss the farmers' issues during the ongoing Monsoon Session of the Parliament. The Kisan Sansad was divided into three sessions with each having a separate topic. Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said, "Today we have issued a whip to all the MPs to raise the issue of farm laws in the Parliament. If they don't raise our issues, the farmers will protest against them in their respective parliamentary constitutes." He said the farmers have gathered at the Jantar Mantar to run a parallel 'Sansad', because the farm issues are not being discussed in the Parliament. Several non-BJP MPs, especially from the southern part of the counrtry, came to show their solidarity with the agitating farmers, echoing their demand to repeal the three farm laws. "We have come here to make our voice more strong. The people of this country are aware of what the farmers have gone through in the past few months," Tikait added. IT raids at media group Dainik Bhaskar’s premises across country NEW DELHI: The Income Tax Department has conducted searches at offices of media entity Dainik Bhaskar in several locations across the country over alleged tax evasion. According to people in the know, raids have been conducted at Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur and Ahmedabad premises of the Dainik Bhaskar group. Search operations also took place at the residences and offices of the promoters of the group and a few other employees. According to sources, I-T department raids follow information of tax evasion and alleged cases of related party transactions and instances of round tripping of funds. The department may have also laid its hand on a paper trail of bogus payments made to show expenditure in books of company. Sources said that instances of investment from dubious companies and transaction with shell companies whose names have been mentioned in Paradise papers have also been found. It may be noted that names of some people from Bhaskar group were also mentioned in Panama paper leak. Further, raids were also conducted in the office of Bharat Samachar, an Uttar Pradesh-based news channel. Search operations were conducted at its Lucknow office and the editor's residence. Sources said the raids were based on "evidence of tax fraud" by the channel. TMC MP snatches Pegasus statement Mamata slams IT raids at from minister, tears it in Rajya Sabha Dainik Bhaskar premises MI NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI: A Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP snatched papers from Communications and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday and tore those as the minister was about to make a statement on the alleged snooping row using Israeli spyware Pegasus. TMC, Congress and other opposition party members, who had earlier forced two adjournments of the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha, rushed into the well of the House as Vaishnaw was called to make a statement on the issue. TMC MP Shantanu Sen snatched the papers from the hands of the minister, tore and flung those in the air. This stopped the minister in his steps from making the statement and he said he was laying a copy of it on the table of the House. Deputy Chairman Harivansh asked the members to desist from unparliamentary behaviour, before adjourning the proceedings of the House for the day. "Please do not adhere to this unparliamentary practice," Harivansh said, adding that the report that all MPs want to hear has now been laid on the table of the House and it can be discussed. He Congress workers protest over Pegasus Spyware issue at Kolkata's Raj Bhavan on Thursday. Prabir Bhattacharya called the minister to read his statement and Vaishnaw read out a few sentences before the ruckus drowned his voice and he said he was laying the statement on the table of the House. "You do not want a discussion on an issue you have been agitated about...this is undemocratic," the deputy chairman remarked. He said the minister has laid the statement on the table of the House and asked if the MPs want to ask him any questions on that. But the opposition MPs continued to raise slogans against the alleged snooping controversy. In the ruckus, the deputy chairman sought laying of the parliamentary committee reports that could not be laid at the scheduled hour in the morning due to opposition protests. Soon after, he adjourned the proceedings for the day. The statement that the minister laid on the table of the House was similar to the one he had made on July 19, a day after reports appeared of journalists, political rivals and critics of the government being targeted through surveillance using Israeli company NSO Group's Pegasus spyware. In the statement, Vaishnaw, whose phone number was among those listed as compromised by Washington Post, called the reports an "attempt to malign the Indian democracy and its well-established institutions". "A highly sensational story was published by a web portal last night. Many over-thetop allegations made around this story," he said. "The press reports appeared a day before the monsoon session of Parliament. This can't be a coincidence." "In the past, similar claims were made regarding the use of Pegasus.... Those claims had no factual basis and were categorically denied by all parties," he added. Amid the ruckus, Vaishnaw implored all members of the House to "examine the issue on facts and logic". The phone numbers of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, former election commissioner Ashok Lavasa and others were said to be the potential targets of surveillance using the Pegasus spyware, which allows clients to infiltrate phones and monitor text messages, camera feeds and microphones. India at Tokyo Olympics: Huge expectations, high aspirations MUMBAI: The 127-member Indian contingent will enter the Tokyo Olympic Games with soaring expectations of returning with their best medal haul ever even as the pandemic plays havoc with their preparations and mental health. The Games are being held in an environment of fear with athletes having to constantly monitor their health and also focus on the task at hand as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the Games Village. Amid the negativity of a majority of the Japanese citizens giving the thumbs down to the Games and no spectators being allowed at the venues, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government are going ahead with the quadrennial showpiece, knowing their decision is not being respected by the country. But for the athletes, who have trained hard for five years, the thoughts of the pandemic would be set aside as they concentrate on the task at hand, which is to give it their best show and win medals for their respective countries. With India sending a record number of athletes to the Games, the expectations are huge this time around. Over the years, the country has had a dismal record at the quadrennial showpiece, as proved by a haul of 28 medals -- nine gold, seven silver, and 12 bronze medals in over 100 years of participation in the mega event. MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday took umbrage at the Income Tax raids agaist media group Dainik Bhaskar for alleged tax evasion, terming the act as a "brutal attempt" to stifle democracy and suppress voices that bring out the truth. Banerjee said the raids were the fallout of reporting about the "mishandling" of the COVID-19 situation in the country. "The attack on journalists and media houses is yet another BRUTAL attempt to stifle democracy. #DainikBhaskar bravely reported the way @narendramodi ji mishandled the entire #COVID crisis and led FINALLY, AMARINDER AGREES TO ATTEND SIDHU'S 'CORONATION' CHANDIGARH: Just a day ahead of his 'coronation', Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday extended an invite to all lawmakers for tea on Friday and then attend the ceremony of the new state Congress team taking charge led by Navjot Singh Sidhu. "Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh has invited all Punjab Congress MLAs, MPs and senior party functionaries at Punjab Bhawan for tea at 10 a.m. on Friday. They will all then go to Punjab Congress Bhawan together from there for the installation of the new PPCC team," Chief Minister's Media Advisor Raveen Thukral informed in a tweet. Sidhu sent an invite, signed by some 62 legislators, through working presidents, Kuljit Singh Nagra and Sangat Singh Gilzian, to the 'sulking' Chief Minister to attend the swearing-in ceremony. the country to its most horrifying days amid a raging pandemic," she tweeted. "I strongly condemn this vindictive act that aims to suppress voices that bring out the TRUTH. It's a grave violation that undermines the very principles of democracy. Urging everyone in the Media to stay strong. Together we shall never let the autocratic forces succeed!" the Trinamool Congress supremo added. The Income Tax Department on Thursday also conducted raids against Uttar Pradeshbased Hindi news channel Bharat Samachar on charges of tax evasion, official sources said. The searches in case of Dainik Bhaskar, which brings out newspaper editions in Hindi and Gujarati, are being conducted in Bhopal, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Noida and some other locations in the country.