CMYK MAY 26 THURSDAY 36 Precipition: 30% Humidity: 65% 36 Morning India Shailja Mehta, Andarib Elias, deputy high commissioner of Bangladesh along with other dignitaries were present at Indo-Bangla business seminar in Kolkata, on Wednesday. 28 46 held for violence, additional forces rushed to Andhra town PG 3 Wind: 14 KM/H Rs. 3 KOLKATA THURSDAY, 26 MAY, 2022 PG-12, YEAR—8, ISSUE—361 (RNI NO.: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) PG 5 Sibbal sought TMC’s support: CM MI News Service, Kolkata: Yasin Malik sentenced to life in terror funding case West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met with East Bengal club officials and Emami Group officials at Nabanna in Howrah, on Wednesday. MI News Service, New Delhi: Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik, who has been convicted in connection with a 2017 terror funding case, was sentenced to life on Wednesday by a special NIA court here. Special Judge Praveen Singh pronounced the verdict under relevant sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act which will be concurrent and it will run till life. The quantum of punishment for the offences in the terror funding case, was pronounced amid tight security at the Patiala House Courts. During the course of the hearing, Malik said: "I will not beg for anything. The case is before this court and I leave it on the court to decide it." "If I have been involved in any terrorist activity or violence in 28 years, if Indian Intelligence proves this, then I will also retire from politics. I will accept the hanging... with seven Prime Ministers, I have worked," he told the court. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) told the court during the hearing that the accused is re- Texas shooting: 21 dead, including 19 kids in primary school attack MI News Service, Washington: Nineteen young children and two adults have died in an alleged shooting at a primary school in south Texas. The 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in the city of Uvalde before he was killed by law enforcement, officials said. Investigators say the suspect was armed with a handgun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and high-capacity magazines. The teenager is suspected of shooting his grandmother at the start of the rampage, the BBC news reported. Local media report say that he may have been a high school student in the area. Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Chief of Police, Pete Arredondo said the shooting began at 11:32 a.m. on Tuesday, and that the investigators believe the attacker "did act alone during this heinous crime". Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the shooter, whom he named as Salvador Ramos, abandoned a vehicle before entering the school to "horrifically, incomprehensibly" open fire. One of the adults killed was a teacher, who has been named in US media as Eva Mireles. Her page on the school district's website said she has a daughter in college and loved running and hiking. Just under 500 people are enrolled in the predominantly Hispanic school nearly 85 miles (135km) west of the city of San Antonio. Robb Elementary teaches second, third and fourth grade students, aged between seven to 10-years-old. The Associated Press news agency reports that a US Border Patrol official who was nearby when the shooting began rushed into the school and shot and killed the gunman, who was behind a barricade. Border Patrol is a federal agency that guards US ports of entry. Uvalde, which is fewer than 80 miles from the border with Mexico, is home to a Border Patrol station. Two border agents were reportedly shot in an exchange with the gunman. One agent was shot in the head, officials say, adding that both were now in a stable condition in hospital. According to CBS News, the attacker was wearing body armour as he carried out the attack. Another 18-year-old who is suspected of attacking a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, on May 14 was also wearing body armour and carrying a semi-automatic rifle -both of which are commercially available in the US. The Uvalde Memorial Hospital posted on Facebook earlier that 13 children had been taken to hospital "via ambulances or buses". A 66-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl were in a critical condition at a hospital in San Antonio, University Health hospital ofCMYK ficials say. Just a few blocks from the Robb Elementary school, a small vigil was held for the victims and survivors of the attack. Karla Bohman's voice cracked as she told the group about a family friend whose young daughter, a student at the school, was among those still unaccounted for. "They don't know if she's in surgery or one of the fatalities, but they know she's a victim of some sort because she's missing," Bohman cried. "I can't believe this." Cheryl Juhasz, a lifelong resident of Uvalde, quietly wept during the prayer. "You can't comprehend evil like this. No matter where it happens, but it's harder when it happens at home." In a speech from the White House, US President Joe Biden said he was "sick and tired" of responding to mass shootings, as he called for gun control. "How many scores of little children who witnessed what happened -- see their friends die, as if they're in a battlefield, for God's sake," he said. "They'll live with it the rest of their lives." He ordered that flags at the White House and other US federal buildings be flown at half-mast in honour of the victims in Uvalde. The last day of classes for students in the school district was scheduled for Thursday. But all classes and activities have now been cancelled for the remainder of the year. School shootings have become recurring emergencies in the US, with 26 recorded in 2021, according to EdWeek, an education trade publication. Active shooter lockdown drills are a common part of the school curriculum, from primary to high school. The 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut was the deadliest such attack. Twenty of the 26 victims were between the age of five and six. Speaking on the floor of the US Senate in Washington DC on Tuesday, Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy begged his colleagues to pass gun control legislation. "These kids weren't unlucky," he said. "This only happens in this country. Nowhere else, nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking that they might be shot that day." But Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican, rejected the calls for gun control. He said restricting the rights of "law-abiding citizens... doesn't work. It's not effective. It doesn't prevent crime." Guns overtook car crashes to become the leading cause of death for US children and teenagers in 2020, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in April 2022. On Monday, an FBI report found that "active shooter" rampage attacks have doubled since the coronavirus began in 2020. sponsible for the Kashmiri Pandits' exodus from the Valley. The Central probe agency also argued for the death sentence for Malik. On the other hand, the amicus curiae sought life imprisonment as a minimum punishment in the case. Malik had pleaded guilty in the matter earlier. In the previous hearing, he told the court that he was not contesting the charges levelled against him, including section 16 (terrorist act), 17 (raising funds for the terrorist act), 18 (conspiracy to commit terrorist act), and 20 (being member of a terrorist gang or organisation) of the UAPA and sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 124-A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code. East Bengal stays in ISL followingKolkata: intervention CM's MI News Service, Complications were created with the East Bengal ISL game. Once again it was cut with the intervention of the Chief Minister. El Emami Group as the new investor. East Bengal's ISL game was tangled. The Imami group tied the knot with the redheads. On Wednesday, Navanne Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seated the club chief and representatives of the Emami group on both sides and announced the new agreement. East Bengal is finally relieved with investors. With the mediation of the Chief Minister, the Emami group is associated with the century old club. As a result, there was no doubt about East Bengal's ISL game in the upcoming season. It was not Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party (SP) but senior Congress leader Kapil Sibbal who first sought refuge in the Rajya Sabha seat from Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee. Sibbal's plea was also conveyed to Trinamool All India General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee. But both said Sibbal would have to join the TMC directly. But Sibbal did not want that from the beginning. He wanted grassroots support for the Rajya Sabha seat. Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee said today just after resignation of Kapil Sibbal from the party. As a result, the discus- sion did not go ahead. According to SP sources, Sibal contacted Akhilesh directly as a result of negotiations with the Trinamool. The SP has a role to play in the Rajya Sabha polls as it won more seats in Uttar Pradesh than in the last assembly polls. They intend to support Sibal. For that, the veteran Congress leader does not have to join the SP. Similarly, on Wednesday, in the presence of Akhilesh, Sibbal submitted his nomination to the Rajya Sabha in support of the SP. Incidentally, Sibbal's talks with the TMC started a few months ago. Sibal told a Rajya Sabha MP from Mamata's party that his term as a Congress MP in the Rajya Sabha was coming to an end. But he no longer wanted to stand on a Congress ticket. Will the TMC support him? According to party sources, TMC had no objection. Because, the party leaders thought that Sibal would join the Trinamool and become a candidate for Rajya Sabha on their ticket. But Sibal said he is not keen on joining the team directly. He wants to nominate independents in support of TMC. According to Trinamool sources, MamataAbhishek did not approve it. They both deal with their confidence as they choose to embark on their play activities. 6 killed as tourist bus from State overturns in Kalinga ghat of Odisha MI News Service, Bhubaneswar/Kolkata: At least six tourists from West Bengal were killed and more than 40 injured when the bus, in which they were travelling, met with an accident on Kalinga ghat in Odisha's Ganjam district, police said on Wednesday. The bus was heading towards Visakhapatnam after the tourists from Udaynarayanpur area in Howrah district of West Bengal visited Daringbadi in Kandhamal district. Over 70 persons were onboard in the bus. The bus driver claimed that the mishap occurred late on Tuesday night due to brake failure. "We left Daringbadi at around 7.30 p.m. and had our dinner before the Kalinga ghat. While coming down from the ghat, suddenly the brake failed and I alerted the passengers. After hitting several electric poles, the bus overturned," said the diver, who also sustained injury in the accident. Soon after receiving the information, local police teams and fire service personnel rushed to the spot and started the rescue operation. The rescue operation continued till Wednesday morning, the police said. As per latest report, the deceased were indentified as -- Supriya Denre, Sanjeet Patra, Rima Denre, Mausumi Denra, Barnali Manna and Swapan Gushait. The injured were admitted to a local hospital at Bhanjanagar for treatment. Among them, 15 were shifted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur due to their critical health condition. "The patients have been admitted in surgery and orthopaedic departments. Excluding one woman who got head injury, the health condition of others is stable till now. A dedicated team of doctors are treating the patients," said an official of MKCG Medical College. Meanwhile, State Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said he has ordered a probe into the bus mishap. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik mourned the deaths and prayed for the recovery of injured tourists. "We have seen in the past also that buses from other states met with accidents in the Kalinga ghat as the drivers don't have experience driving buses in such a long ghat area. So, we will issue an advisory to buses coming from other states to choose alternative routes," Behera said. Centre restricts sugar exports to 10 LMT from June 1 'to make prices of sugar stable' MI News Service, New Delhi: The global shortage of sugar has triggered the demand, hence Indian government has taken a precautionary step by putting a cap on the export of sugar to 100 lakh metric tonnes (LMT), the idea behind the sugar export restriction is to make prices of sugar stable, said Sudhanshu Pandey, Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution. Pandey, while addressing a press conference here, said, "The government wants to ensure enough sugar stock availability in India, especially during sugar lean season of October and November which is the festival season in India. The global situation reflects a shortage of sugar, this may trigger the demand globally and so as to safeguard domestic availability and interests the step has been taken by the government." The government of India on late Tuesday issued an order to maintain domestic availability and price stability of sugar in the country during sugar season 2021-22 (October-September). Central government to regulate sugar exports w.e.f June 1, 2022, till further orders. the government will allow sugar exports up to 100 LMT. "Our first priority is to ensure sufficient availability of sugar for consumption at a reasonable rate, thereafter maximum sugar to be diverted to ethanol. Closing stocks should be approximately 60 LMT if any are to be exported. This Year India has produced 355 LMT of sugar, the highest in the world. India is the second-largest exporter of sugar. Total export should be about 100 LMT in the current sugar season 2021-22," he said. "Current exports of 90 LMT have been contracted of which 82 have already been lifted, remaining 10 LMT can be exported. Average monthly consumption in India is around 23 LMT, and sufficient domestic stock available is around 62 LMT. The average retail price of sugar in India is around Rs 3744/kg. Sugar exports are to be at an all-time high, despite a cap on exports. Export has gone from 0.47 LMT to 100 LMT in the last five years which is more than 200 times," Pandey added. Secretary said that the Industry indicates that sugar exports would hardly reach a 100 LMT figure, but still the government imposed a cap on exports as a Precautionary measure. "From June 1, all mills will apply to DoFPD for exports. For monitoring of exports, sugar mills will submit online information about dispatches for export. The data will provide the basis for determining the quantity for issuance of Export Release Orders. No approvals required for exports upto 31 May 2022," he said. "DoFPD will release Export Release Orders (EROs) on receiving applications from sugar mills and exporters. Procedure for application of ERO by Sugar Mills and Exporters have been issued on 24.05.2022 by the Directorate of Sugar, DoFPD. Sugar mills will apply for ERO for dispatch of sugar from mills for export. Exporters will apply for the export of sugar out of the country. Both need to apply online through National Single Window System (NSWS)," Pandey added. Pre-monsoon survey at Anamalai Tiger Reserve with M-STrIPES MI News Service, Chennai: The pre-monsoon survey of animals, both carnivorous and herbivorous, at Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) is done with the M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tiger-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) app developed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). The eightday survey commenced on May 24 and will conclude on May 31. It is conducted based on the protocols of NTCA. Other than assessing the carnivore and herbivore population in ATR, the quality of their habitats will also be assessed, sources in the forest department of Pollachi division told IANS. An orientation session was held at the Advanced Wildlife Management Institute, Anakatty, for the forest department staff participating in the survey. The presence of fireflies in ATR has been a matter of interest and a brief about the firefly population and their habitats was given to the staff by firefly expert Sriram Murali. Around 250 forest department staff will participate in the exercise which would be conducted in 32 areas under four forest ranges, namely Ullandy, Pollachi, Valparai, and Manambolly. ATR officials told IANS that there are 62 transect lines covering 11 different types of forests and four to five persons will carry out the survey on each line. Direct sighting of animals would be done and indirect sighting of the animals using their pugmarks, identification of dung, scat, scratch marks on trees, etc. will be conducted. The survey will also include amphibians, reptiles, and insects.