www.freepressjournal.in | twitter.com/fpjindia Reg. No. Mcs/048/2018-20; RNI No. 1541/1957 I M.p.c.s office Mumbai-400001 JACK MA'S 'DISAPPEARANCE' MAY HIT INDIAN COMPANIES IN LONG RUN Pg 13 FARMERS INSTIGATED TO BE UNREASONABLE KAJOL: WE NEED TO LIVE ON OUR OWN TERMS Pg 20 270c. 210c. Sunrise: 07:13 am Sunset: 06:15 pm Vol. 64 No. 212 | TUESDAY | JANUARY 5, 2021 | 15 Pages | EDITIONS: Mumbai*, Pune, Indore, Bhopal, E-Paper EDIT 5 MUTANT CASES IN CITY JIbbeR-JAbbeR 8 Uk returnees to state, 5 from Mumbai, test +ve for new corona strain; CM urges Centre to segregate international arrivals in other states A s many as eight returnees to Maharashtra from the UK were found infected with the new Covid-19 variant detected in that country last week. Of these, five are from Mumbai and there is one each from Pune, Thane and Mira-Bhayandar. Health officials said the treatment protocol for them is different and they have been isolated from the other Covid-19 patients. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the contact tracing of these patients was under way "Asymptomatic patients have . been advised a strict, 14-day quarantine while those with compromised immunity such as (people with) diabetes and , beTWeen The lIneS 6 neW VARIAnT CASeS In keRAlA T SWAPNIL MISHRA & SANJAY JOG / Mumbai he super-spreader strain of coronavirus has been detected in Kerala, too; six persons who had arrived in the state from UK or elsewhere have tested positive for the mutant. The patients include 2 members of a family each in Kozhikode and Alappuzha and one person each in Kannur and Kottayam. The presence of the more virulent strain of Covid-19 was confirmed when samples collected from suspected cases were analysed at the National Virology Institute, Pune. All the patients are under treatment in various hospitals and those who have been in contact are being closely observed, Health Minister K K Shylaja announced at a night press conference. CASES IN RAJASTHAN: Three members of a family in Sriganganagar district of Rajasthan have also tested positive for the new Coivd-19 strain, after which health officials isolated the family and carried out contact tracing to contain spread of the virus. The family – husband, wife and their five-year-old son -had returned from UK to Hakmabad village in Sadulshahr block of Sriganganagar district on December 18. – Our Correspondent dAdA lIkelY To be oUT on Wed T wo days after being hospitalized after a ‘minor cardiac arrest’, the former Indian captain and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly is likely to get discharged on Wednesday. “Cardiac surgeon Devi Shetty will pay a visit on Tuesday to see Sourav Ganguly at the hospital. We had sought consultation with Shetty through video-conferencing on Monday. So, if not tomorrow, hopefully, he will be released the day after tomorrow, which is Wednesday,” said Dr. Rupali Basu. Basu also added that after medical consultation it has been decided that Ganguly is stable and doesn’t need immediate angioplasty. “Dada is stable and without any chest pain and is on optimal medical management. Treating doctors will be keeping a constant vigil on his health situation and taking appropriate measures at home once discharged. He has been advised to take rest at home,” said Basu. OUR CORRESPONDENT/Kolkata Pg 12 high blood pressure, among others, 21 days of quarantine,” he said. Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said two of the five who had tested positive last week with the new corona strain, had now tested negative and are quarantined at Seven Hills Hospital, Marol. “All five passengers tested positive for corona last week, following which they were isolated in separate wards prepared for them. We sent their samples to the National Institute of Virology to check for the new strain of SARS-CoV-2, for which we received the results today (Monday). However, the reports of two passengers are negative now, while the other three are still positive but stable,” he said. The BMC is also planning to construct jumbo facilities for the UK returnees who cannot afford to quarantine in hotels. CONTD. ON P11 no quarantine can hold the khans ARbAAz, SohAIl SkIp noRMS, ARe booked PRIYANKA NAVALKAR & DIPTI SINGH Mumbai The BMC filed an FIR against Bollywood actors Arbaaz Khan, Sohail Khan and his son Nirvaan on Monday for , skipping the mandatory institutional quarantine after returning from the UAE. According to the BMC, the trio allegedly misled the teams at the airport by telling them they were going to a hotel to quarantine themselves but instead, headed home. Following the lodging of an FIR by the Medical Officer of Health, H-West ward, the Khar Police have booked the three for violating the Covid19 quarantine norms on I-T sleuths quiz Vadra at home in benami deal their return from the UAE on December 25. The complainant and Medical Officer of Health H-West ward Dr Sanjay Funde confirmed that the trio have since been shifted to the Taj Lands End hotel, where they will have to complete their quarantine. Mumbai Police spokesper- Bharat Biotech vaccine gets caught in an unsavoury controversy over the absence of efficacy data WAR oF WoRdS A FPJ NEWS SERVICE / Hyderabad Public interest concern that there was perhaps a scramble to rush the ‘Made in India’ vaccines, in the absence of efficacy data, has resulted in Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech going on the offensive. Biotech's chairman was at pains to underscore that his company had carried out "200 per cent honest clinical trials;" that his firm has a track record of producing safe and efficacious vaccines; and that they have conducted clinical trials in more than 12 countries, including in the UK. PM Modi had hailed the clearance accorded to the two vaccines as a defining moment, pointing out that Covaxin was a shining example of his ambitious Atamnirbhar (self-reliance) India campaign. He had explained that Covaxin had been approved for restricted use in "public interest as an abundant precaution, to have more options for vaccinations, especially in case of infection by mutant strains". However, the All India Drug Action Network upped the ante by declaring that it was "baffled to understand the scientific logic" to approve "an incompletely studied vaccine". CONTD. ON P11 vaccine slugfest has ensued, even before the two Indian candidates have hit the shelves. It was ignited by Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla’s indiscreet remark that vaccines other than that of Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca were "just as safe as water". Bharat Biotech’s CEO Krishna Ella took instant offence and without naming the Serum Institute or Covishield, questioned its authorisation in absence of phase 3 data from Indian trials. “They don’t have any immunogenicity data - why were they given the license? They have been given license based on UK data. Where is their Indian data?” Dr Ella questioned. “India can innovate; it’s not a copycat country. We don’t deserve a backlash beause we are an Indian company. In India, we do everything systematically and yet we get the bashing from the news media. A company has branded our vaccine as water. It hurts as a scientist and we don’t deserve that. Why is nobody questioning the UK trials? Because, Indian trials are easy to be bashed,” Dr Ella said. vaccinated in then self behind Infiniti Mall Mumbai daily PRIYANKA NAVALKAR Mumbai SWAPNIL MISHRA Mumbai Gearing up for the vaccination drive which is likely to be rolled out next week, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is now planning to set up 75 centres across the city where it , plans to inoculate 50,000 people per day Health officials . said all the preparations related to the mass vaccination drive were in the final stage and currently they were se, lecting new vaccine centres and the process would be completed this week. There will be eight civic hospitals -- King Edward Memorial, BYL Nair, Cooper, Sion, the Bhabha hospitals at Kurla and Bandra, Rajawadi and the Jogeshwari trauma centre -- that will be utilised to administer the vaccine to healthcare workers in 15 days, after the vaccine arrives. Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said every ward would have two to four Covid-19 vaccine centres, for which they have planned to start preparations this week. “We have eight covid-19 vaccines centres, and are now preparing to set up 67 more vaccines centres. All these centres will be at dispensaries, paediatric, peripheral and maternity hospitals. We have planned to Eight civic hospitals to administer vaccine to healthcare workers in 15 days after it arrives A 27-year-old jilted lover allegedly killed a 22-year-old woman and then shot himself in the middle of the street at Goregaon west, on Monday night. Police sources said the incident occurred around 9.30pm, near Infiniti Mall. Police rushed to the spot and took the bodies to a nearby hospital, where both persons were declared brought dead. According to police sources, the case is suspected to be one of a love affair gone wrong. After shots were fired in a bylane off the New Link Road, there was chaos in the neighbourhood. A resident alerted the police control room by dialling 100. When police reached the spot, the man, identified as Rahul Yadav and the woman, were both were lying in a pool of blood. Police also recovered a coun- try-made revolver from the spot. Bangur Nagar Police said they were probing the matter to ascertain the sequence of events. Sources, however, claimed that the woman, Nidhi Mishra, a resident of Malad east, had been the shooter's girlfriend and had recently had got engaged to another person, which had left Yadav heartbroken. Yadav was a resident of Laljipada and was unemployed. CONTD. ON P11 Farmers talks’ with govt hit a dead end OUR BUREAU New Delhi vaccinate 50,000 people per day he said. ,” Kakani had also taken stock of the preparations at the eight centres in the city He . said that the BMC was ready to roll out the vaccination programme within 24 hours of the vaccine’s availability . Meanwhile, the BMC has identified close to 50 lakh people to be vaccinated in all three phases. The civic body is in the process of uploading details on the Co-WIN application. These individuals are healthcare workers, frontline workers and senior citizens. Senior civic officials said that uploading details on the CoWIN app would make the process easier. CONTD. ON P11 The seventh round of talks between the Centre and the agitating farmers hit a dead end at the Vigyan Bhawan here on Monday with neither side showing any inclination to back down from their respective stand. The Centre refused to repeal the three farm laws claiming that they were brought for the betterment of the farmers and majority of them across the country were supporting the reforms; as such, the government cannot withdraw them just because a minority of farmers from one region want it. The farmers pressing for rollback are mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh and they should know that three nale of Africa's Business Heroes, a reality TV show created by his own philanthropic organisation. However, he dropped out of the appearance and the show's broadcast was postponed, reported Hollywood Reporter. Formerly known for his government connections and rare outspokenness, Jack Ma’s trouble with the Chinese government began when he gave a speech criticising China's regulators and state-owned banks for their 'backwardness'. His remarks are said to have infuriated Beijing's party brass, leading to Chinese President Xi Jinping to personally order a halt to the offering by Alibaba's financial affiliate company Ant Financial, , which was set to raise USD 34 billion in the biggest stock-market debut in history reported Holly, wood Reporter. CONTD. ON P11 states do not constitute India, said an official assisting the ministers. Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar "clearly said that the laws will not be repealed. He even told us to approach the Supreme Court for repeal of the laws," said Sarwan Singh Pandher of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, who at- tended the meet. "We urge the youth of Punjab to prepare for a long haul. We will take out a big procession on Republic Day he added, re," ports NDTV The meeting . started with a homage to those who have died on the Delhi borders in the course of the movement that entered its 39th day on Monday . CONTD. ON P11 Reliance Jio moves court on vandalism OUR BUREAU New Delhi/Mumbai Reliance Industries, through its subsidiary Jio Infocomm, , has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking urgent intervention of the government to bring a complete stop to illegal acts of vandalism by miscreants, which have targeted its mobile towers in Punjab. According to a statement put out by the company tak, ing advantage of the ongoing farmers' agitation, these vested interests have launched an incessant and malicious vilification campaign against Reliance, which has absolutely no basis in truth. In this context, Mukesh Ambani's company also clarified that it is not in the business of corporate or contract farming and has absolutely no plans to enter this business. khul Ja Sim Sim: Alibaba founder lost in the cave? PIC: BL SONI Varsha Raut quizzed for 3 hours: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday, in connection with a money laundering case. She was expected to go to the agency office on Tuesday but to forestall a show of strength by Shiv Sainiks who would have gathered there otherwise, she did so one day before. She reached the ED office in Ballard Estate at noon and left after being questioned for around three-and-a-half hours. Varsha Raut was summoned by the agency Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is said to have intervened and foiled the attempts of a section of Shiv Sainiks to throng the ED office when Varsha Raut appeared. — Sanjay Jog & Pratik Salunke Master Choa Kok Sui 50,000 to be Jilted lover shoots woman, FROM OUR BUREAU New Delhi The Income Tax Department sleuths on Monday interrogated Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka's husband, at his residence about an alleged benami property purchased in London. He has, however, denied that he possesses any assets outside India and denied the ownership of the property cited by the IT Department and the Enforcement Directorate at No 12, Bryanston Square, London. The IT sleuths recorded his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), accusing him of money laundering in the purchase of the property He . had also given a statement to the Enforcement Directorate denying the charge. Vadra, who is a businessman by profession, had earlier skipped the IT summons to appear before it, citing the Coronavirus pandemic, the sources said. BJP spokesman Gaurav Bhatia said this was an old case of Vadra's land deal involving the black money generated during the previous UPA regime. "The kind of corruption that took place under the Congress government is being probed now, showing that no one is above law. Robert Vadra has to answer as a citizen and not evade the questions being asked by the income tax officials," he said. CONTD. ON P11 son and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) S Chaitanya said that the trio had been booked under section 188 Indian Penal Code (IPC) (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and section 3 of Epidemic Diseases Act. Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, provides penalties for disobeying any regulation or order made under the Act. These are according to Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant). DCP S Chaitanya said that the complaint was lodged by the civic health officer on Monday evening. In the First Information Report (FIR), the complainant stated that it was brought to his notice that actors Sohail, Arbaaz and Sohail's son Nirvaan had skipped the institutional quarantine and had gone to their homes, following which Dr Funde, led a team to Sohail Khan's residence to verify . CONTD. ON P11 Compassion is seeing other people without losing your Inner Calmness. LAST WORD C ANI Beijing hinese billionaire and Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma is suspected to be missing following his mysterious disappearance from the public eye for over two months after Beijing's aggressive crackdown on his business empire. The country's third-richest man was slated to appear as a star judge on the season fi- MISSInG MA • Chinese tech billionaire Jack Ma has not been seen in public for two months • He had criticised Chinese regulators and State-owned banks in October, calling them ‘pawnshops’ • He had called for reform of a system that 'stifled business innovation' and likened global banking regulations to an 'old people's club'. • In November, officials in Beijing suspended the blockbuster $37billion initial public offering of his Ant Group on the direct order of President Xi • Ma was advised to remain in China and an anti-monopoly investigation was launched into his Alibaba Group Holding on Christmas Eve • Ma then mysteriously disappeared from his TV reality show just before the November final But weeks before the final, Ma tweeted that he 'couldn't wait' to meet the contestants.