SAMBALPUR l Saturday l december 12, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION pfizer vaccine all set to get u.s. Emergency use approval An expert panel of the US Food and Drug Administration has said the shot’s potential benefits seem to outweigh its risks Formal nod by f.d.a. Expected next week DAILY COVID DEATHS IN u.s. CROSS 3,000 “There is a clear benefit, and all we have on the other side is theoretical risks,” said committee member Paul Offit. The drug now needs to be formally approved by the FDA. While the drug regulator is not necessarily mandated to accept the recommendations of the panel, it is expected to do so next week as the administration gears to ship millions of doses ■ ■ The move to accelerate the Covid vaccine rollout comes in the backdrop of the daily Covid deaths in the US crossing 3,000 The US’ daily Covid toll is greater than that of the September 11, 2001 attacks (2,996 killed) and the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, in which 2,403 people were killed | P9 3,00,363 Americans have so far died of Covid, according to worldometer CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI farm laws Beware of vested interests, govt advises farmers Agitators to block Delhi-Jaipur highway, ensure toll-free travel across India today Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait with farmers at a protest rally, at Delhi-Meerut Expressway, in Delhi on Friday | PTI E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi/Chandigarh Ahead of the farmers scaling up their agitation against the three contentious farm sector reform laws, the government on Friday sought to alert them about vested interests trying to appropriate their platform for anti-national activities. The advisory came from Union ag riculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who made a fresh appeal to resolve the stand-off through dialogue. Tagging a news report about posters coming up at at the Tikri border protest site demanding the release of some activists arrested under various charges, Tomar tweeted, “Anti-social elements are conspiring to spoil the atmosphere of the peasant movement under the guise of farmers.” As for the farmer unions, they sought to put the headline-grabbing nationwide rail roko agitation in abeyance a express read 1.63 lakh GST registrations cancelled New Delhi: Tax officers have cancelled GST registrations of over 1.63 lakh entities in October and November for non-filing of returns, news agency PTI reports quoting sources. Also, 1,430 cases have been booked against more than 4,586 fake GSTIN entities across the country, it added Air fare of 74% passengers refunded New Delhi: All airlines have refunded `3,200 crore to 74.3% passengers whose flights were cancelled due to the lockdown this year, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Friday. “2,06,119 credit shells worth `219 crore created by airlines with consent of passengers,” the ministry tweeted Purandeswari gives ‘women’ mantra to fight BJD Bhubaneswar: Renewing efforts towards achieving the ‘Mission 120 in Odisha’ target in the next elections, the BJP has now set its eyes on the powerful woman votebank | P3 Protesters booked Challenging laws in SC The Delhi Police registered a case against farmers sitting on the Singhu border on December 7 for not following social distancing and various other sections The Bharatiya Kisan Union Bhanu moved the Supreme Court seeking to intervene in a pending plea challenging the validity the three farm sector reform laws day after making the threat, but said there was no rethink on plans to block the DelhiJaipur highway and making all toll plazas free for commuters across the country on Saturday . In Punjab, far mer leaders intend to hold protests outside BJP’s offices and those of Deputy Commissioners. The Congress, too, will stage a demonstration at the Shambu border abutting Punjab and Haryana simultaneously . Bharatiya Kisan Union, Punjab (Rajewal) president Balbir Singh Rajewal said, “As of now there is no plan to stop trains across the country The .” idea behind the rethink is to not inconvenience the public at l a r g e a n d l o s e t h e i r sympathy . Tomar continued playing the waiting game, saying “Our proposal is with the farmers. They discussed it but we have not received any official reply yet.” But Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait said it was for the government to take the initiative. “They should tell us when and where they want to meet, as they did earlier. If they invite us, we will discuss it internally and take a P7 decision,” Tikait said. Sloppy Sonia and autocratic Modi in Dada’s mann ki baat E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi employed a rather autocratic style of functioning, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was pre-occupied with saving the coalition government, which took a toll on governance, and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was unable to handle party affairs, late President Pranab Mukherjee has written in the fourth volume of his autobiography to be released in January 2021. Pranab, who wrapped up work on the memoir days before his passed away on August 31, feels “the party’s leadership lost political focus after my elevation as President.” “While Dr Singh was preoccupied with saving the coalition, which took a toll on governance, Modi seemed to have employed a rather autocratic style of governance during his first term, as seen by the bitter relationship among the government, the legislature, and the judiciary. Only time will tell if there is a better understanding of such matters in the second term of this government,” Pranab writes. Critiquing Sonia’s leadership, he says: “While Sonia Gandhi was unable to handle the affairs of the party, Dr Singh’s prolonged absence from the House put an end to any personal contact with other MPs.” korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk dies of Covid-19 complications Maverick South Korean director Kim Ki-duk, who won the top award at the Venice Film Festival in 2012 died of Covid-19 complications in Latvia on Friday. Kim won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival with his 2012 film Pieta, a brutal motherand-son tale of revenge and redemption | P9 D-brothers’ walls leak guns and bullets E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Cuttack Commissionerate police on Friday recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition including 16 sophisticated pistols and over 1,095 rounds of bullets from the house of gangster brothers Sushant and Sushil Dhal Samanta at CDA here. Notorious as D-brothers, the gangsters are in jail since 2016. The recovery of the arms and ammunition lends credence to the allegations that they continue to be active in running their crime syndicate from behind bars. The seized arms and ammunition include 13 numbers of 9mm pistols, three 7.65mm pistols, 1,095 live bullets of different types, 24 magazines along with 16 mobile phones and four bikes. Police have also arrested eight persons in connection with the illegal arms supply racket which is also a part of the crime network of the gangINDEX OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION 3.62% (0.5%, 6.6%) Oct 2020 128.5 124.0 Oct 2019 (Figures in brackets are growth over September 2020 and October 2019, respectively) RECOVERING LOST GROUND Mining Manufacturing Electricity General 98.0 (87.6, 99.5) 130.7 (125.7, 126.3) 162.2 (166.4, 145.8) 128.5 (123.5, 124) (Figures in brackets are indices for September 2020 and October 2019, respectively) Source: Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation India’s factory output grows 3.6% in October E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Signalling what appears to be a sustained recovery, India’s industrial production rose to an eight-month high of 3.6% in October on the back of recovery in manufacturing, consumer goods and power sectors. The IIP had contracted by 6.6 per cent in October 2019. However, experts say 3.6% growth is not so impressive considering festive season and the low base last year. “Coming on the base of a 6.6% contraction in October 2019, the 3.6% growth in the IIP in October 2020 is decidedly modest, and suggests that caution in the interpretation of the strength of the economic recovery is still war ranted,” Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA said. According to data by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the manufacturing sector, which has a weightage of 77.6% in the IIP, recorded 3.5% in October. In the year-ago period, the sector had a contraction of 5.7%. The consumer durables segment, which includes white goods, posted an impressive growth of 17.6% in October whereas it was a contraction of 18.9% in the same period a year ago. Police display the arms and ammo seized from D-brothers house on Friday | Express ster siblings. Briefing mediapersons, Commissioner of Police, Sudhanshu Sarangi said, a raid was conducted basing on the information shared by an arms peddler Prakash Behera, who was arrested by a special team of Choudwar Police on Thursday . Prakash of Sheikh Bazaar was earlier arrested for his links with D-brothers in 2016. Out on bail, he had again got involved in supplying arms to local gangs and criminals in the city . Acting on a tip off, Choudwar police nabbed Prakash near Birupa Barrage and recovered two pistols from his possession. During interrogation, Prakash revealed that he was to sell the weapon to one Sarat Sethi alias Budhia of Deula Sahi area of the city. Sarat was then apprehended who disclosed that Prakash was supplying him arms and ammunitions for the last five years under instructions of the brothers. Prakash also revealed that he had supplied fire arms and ammunition to gang members in Jagatsinghpur and other parts of Cuttack district. He also disclosed that the arms and ammunition were kept in a wooden cell concealed within the wall of the house of Dhal Samantas. Acting on his information, the special team of police broke open wooden secret chambers concealed beneath the staircase and also behind the interior designs in the house to recover the guns, bullets and other CONTINUED ON: P5 weapons. MHA summons top WB babus, Didi says don’t go P r o n a b M o n d a l @ Kolkata in what could escalate the tension between the BJP-led Union government and the TMC regime in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday ordered her chief secretary and police chief to ignore the summons by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla had asked West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay and Director General of Police Virendra to be present themselves on December 14 to explain the law and order situation in the state in the wake of the attack on BJP national president J P Nadda’s convoy on Thursday . Bandopadhyay wrote to Bhalla saying he was “directed” to request the MHA to dispense with the presence of the state officials in the meeting. The top bureaucrat added the state government is addressing the issue with “utmost se- Guv sends reports to centre Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said on Friday he has sent a detailed report to the Centre. Castigating Mamata, he said, “The law and order situation in the state has been worsening with each passing day. Despite cautioning the chief minister and the administration nothing has happened.” riousness” and listed the security arrangements made for Nadda’s visit. “The West Bengal police had provided a bullet proof car and a pilot to Shri J P Nadda, which was in addition to the escort he is entitled as a Z-category protectee. The DIG (Police) of the range was there to personally supervise arrangements. While 4 additional SPs, 8 DySPs, 14 Inspectors, 70 SIs/ASIs, 40 RAF personnel, 259 constables and 350 numbers of auxillary forces were deployed on the route and at the venue at Diamond H a r b o u r, ’ ’ wrote Bandopadhyay . Corroborating Mamata’s allegation of too many vehicles in the convoy, Bandopadhyay, said, “The tagging of many vehicles to the protectee convoys made the situation unwieldy, because typically security au, thorities are to handle protectee convoy of a few vehicles only and not with/in the pres, ence of so many other vehicles which got tagged to the convoy travelling together.’’ He added three FIRs have been registered in connection with Thursday’s violence. P8 Lokayukta directs Vigilance probe into corruption charges against MLA E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar THE Odisha Lokayukta on Friday accepted the recommendation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and asked the State Vigilance to conduct a preliminary inquiry into corruption charges against Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahy. It has sought the inquiry report within two months. A summon notice against Panigrahy will be issued by the Lokayukta soon. The Chief Minister had referred corruption allegations against him to the Lokayukta for investigation on December 7. This was the first corruption case of a public servant referred to the Lokayukta for investigation af- Pradeep moves High Court for bail Cuttack: Pradeep Panigrahy has moved the Orissa High Court for bail. Senior advocate Pitambar Acharya filed the bail plea on Thursday. A subordinate court had rejected his bail plea following his arrest on December 3 ter its formation. The DSP (Vigilance), Bhubaneswar, had lodged a formal complaint with the Lokayukta on December 9 in which serious allegation of corruption was made against Panigrahy . The Lokayukta order said that the complaint was based on a secret verification by the Vigilance cell and also supported by a number of documents. The complaint prima facie revealed that Panigrahy has amassed assets disproportionate to his known sources of income by resorting to corrupt practices. “We, therefore, by exercising powers conferred under section 20(1) of the Odisha Lokayukta Act, 2014, direct the Directorate of Vigilance, Odisha, Cuttack to conduct a preliminary inquiry against Panigrahy and submit report within two months,” the order said. Crime Branch police had arrested Panigrahy on December 3 in connection with the recruitment scam in which he allegedly collected money on behalf of Akash Pathak.
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