300c. 260c. Sunrise: 06:14 am Sunset: 07:15 pm ONLY 22% BUYERS HAPPY WITH RERA GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL SYSTEM WELFARE, NOT LAW, KEY TO ROOTING OUT BEGGING YOU CANNOT HAVE EXPECTATIONS... YOU WORK BECAUSE YOU LIKE TO: ADARSH GOURAV A disease-free body, quiver-free breath, stress-free mind, inhibition-free intellect, obsession-free memory, ego that includes all, and soul which is free from sorrow is the birthright of every human being Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji Vol. 65 No. 74 | THURSDAY | JULY 29, 2021 | 16 Pages | ` 4 | EDITIONS: MUMBAI*, Pune, Indore, Bhopal, E-Paper BETWEEN THE LINES NIA TAKES OVER QAEDA ARRESTS FPJ BUREAU /LUCKNOW: The case of Al Qaeda operatives who were nabbed in Lucknow has been handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for further probe. The ATS had arrested few suspected terrorists from Lucknow and Kanpur last week. The arrested terrorists were allegedly associated with Al Qaeda and their handlers were based in Peshawar. A huge cache of arms and explosive had been recovered from their hideout in Lucknow. During investigation it was found that the arrested terrorists were getting funds from abroad and had their aides in various parts of country. PARA FORCE SOON AT MIZO-ASSAM BORDER The Centre on Wednesday held a meeting with Assam and Mizo chief secretaries and DGPs (Director General of Police) -- following violence along their border. Both Assam and Mizoram have agreed on the deployment of paramilitary forces in disturbed border areas along the National Highway 306, Assam chief secretary said after the meeting. RS MP TO BE QUIZZED: A team of Assam Police is going to Delhi to question Mizoram's Rajya Sabha MP K Vanlalvena on what they alleged is a deliberate, unprovoked attack by the Mizoram Police near the border. The MP had issued a public death threat to the Assam Police. Standing outside the Parliament House, Vanlalvena told reporters: "More than 200 policemen entered out territory and they pushed back our policemen from our own posts and they gave firing orders first, before we fired. They are lucky that we didn't kill them all. If they come again, we shall kill them all." CLOUDBURST AT AMARNATH CAVE A massive volume of water rushed down from the mountains near the holy cave of Amarnath in Jammu and Kashmir after a cloudburst on Wednesday, videos show. Officials have asked people at public areas at the base of the holy cave to move to higher ground for safety. No casualties have been reported. The 56-day Amarnath Yatra was scheduled to start simultaneously on the only two routes from June 28 and end on Raksha Bandhan, August 22. ETIHAD FLIGHTS STOP FROM INDIA TO UAE Etihad Airways has stopped flights from India to the UAE till further notice, a spokesperson of the airline said. The move came after the UAE government banned flights from India amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "Following the latest UAE government directives, passenger travel from India to the UAE and Etihad's network has been suspended until further notice. Etihad will not be permitted to carry passengers from India. However, UAE nationals, diplomatic missions, official delegations and Golden residence holders are exempted from the UAE entry restriction. These passengers will be subject to acceptance and quarantine conditions," the spokesperson said. "Guests who have purchased their tickets through a travel agent are advised to contact the agency from which they purchased their ticket for assistance. This is an evolving situation, and we will update guests as more information becomes available. Etihad regrets any inconvenience caused to its guests by these temporary restrictions," the airline said. EDIT PETROL Agony & ecstasy in Kerala’s fight NATIONAL SEROSURVEY AT LEAST two-thirds of the population surveyed in 11 states were found to have developed coronavirus antibodies, according to the findings of a serosurvey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research between June 14 and July 6. Madhya Pradesh leads the chart with 79 per cent seroprevalence, while Kerala is at the bottom with 44.4 per cent. Seroprevalence in Assam is 50.3 per cent and in Maharashtra it is 58 per cent. It was found to be 76.2 per cent in the surveyed population in Rajasthan, 75.9 per cent in Bihar, 75.3 per cent in Gujarat, 74.6 per cent in Chhattisgarh, 73.1 per cent in Uttarakhand, 71 per cent in Uttar Pradesh, 70.2 per cent in Andhra Pradesh, 69.8 per cent in Karnataka, 69.2 in Tamil Nadu and 68.1 per cent in Odisha. 15% cut in pvt schools fees Won’t promulgate ordinance or issue GR but will release circular soon SANJAY JOG Mumbai Paying heed to the rising demand from parents in the current pandemic situation, the Maharashtra Cabinet on Wednesday has finally approved a 15 per cent cut in the fees charged by private school fees in the state for 2021-22. The state cabinet had given its go-ahead at its meeting on July 14 but on Wednesday the minutes , were confirmed. The government is expected to issue a circular in a day or two on 15 per cent reduction in fees charged by private schools. To avoid legal issues, the government will not promulgate an ordinance or government resolution. The cabinet decision was confirmed by School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad. However, the release issued by the Chief Minister’s Office on cabinet decisions did not include the one on the 15 per cent reduction in private school fees. A senior cabinet minister told The Free Press Journal, “The school education de- Once lauded for healthcare, Kerala is being singled out for the most Covid cases -accounting for over half of the total number of daily cases for the whole country. And the test positivity rate is stuck at over 10, showing no signs of a let-up. K RAVEENDRAN Thiruvananthapuram model. Today the state is be, ing singled out for the most Covid cases, accounting for over half of the total number of daily cases for the whole country And the test positivi. ty rate is stuck at over 10, showing no signs of a let-up. This is the story of agony and ecstasy about Kerala’s fight against the Covid pandemic, a state that has undisputedly the best healthcare system in the country and has distinguished itself in reigning in a number of deadly diseases in the past. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE Rahul (51) by her side during talks with Mamata at her 10 Janpath residence, dropping enough hints that she has already given the responsibili- ty to Rahul to unite the opposition parties and pointed out how Rahul took lead in mobilising leaders of various parties in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha only on Wednesday . "It was a very good meeting, positive meeting. To defeat the BJP everybody needs to , come together. Everyone will have to work together," Banerjee said after a 45minute interaction with Sonia Gandhi, with whom she has always had cordial ties. Mamata is in Delhi until Saturday but she dropped a , hint that the united opposition front may take time to shape up. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE A year ago, Kerala’s health minister K K Shylaja was being feted around the world for leading one of the most successful campaigns against Covid, dubbed the Kerala Mamata wants BJP vs rest FROM OUR BUREAU New Delhi The fiery West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee (66), on Wednesday made it clear, just before she called on Congress President Sonia Gandhi, that she is not at all interested in leading the opposition parties, but is here to unite them in a "BJP vs Rest" formulation, to get rid of Prime Minister Modi before he inflicts more damage on the nation. Sonia Gandhi (74) had son A 30-year-old woman was raped at a five-star hotel in Worli on Monday after the accused, identified as Avin Agarwal, allegedly spiked her drink. The Worli police, who have registered an offence under the relevant sections for rape and poisoning, are yet to make any ar- Motorists on the Sion-Panvel highway had a tough time on Wednesday morning after poor road conditions resulted in an accident involving multiple vehicles on the LP junction flyover along the Sion-Panvel highway caus, ing traffic to come to standstill for the next two hours, as the vehicles were towed away and the road was cleared. No major injuries were reported but a one-km long traffic jam ensued. According to police, a car going towards Mumbai from the Panvel side, rammed another moving in the same direction, around 9.45am. Both the cars then ended up hitting five other cars on the flyover. Police Inspector Jagdish Shelkar, Nerul traffic division, said it was one hour by the time the damaged vehicles were towed away and another half hour before the traffic flow was restored to normalcy He said that the . condition of the road on that particular stretch was not so good and it might have caused the pile-up. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE rest in the case. According to police, the incident occurred on Monday evening when the accused booked a hotel room at a five-star hotel in Worli to celebrate the woman’s birthday Her birthday was in the . second week of July but since the duo were both busy then, they decided to celebrate on Monday The . two had met on a dating app couple of months ago, said police. Inside the hotel, the accused initially ordered chocolate cake but called for another flavour after the woman said she did not like chocolate. Later, the couple had drinks together but the woman suspected hers was spiked because she began to feel drowsy afterwards, she alleged in her statement. In her statement to police, the woman said when she began to feel drowsy the ac, cused stripped and raped her but she was unable to resist as she was too drowsy to do so. She also said that, for almost a half hour, there was someone knocking at the door and she had insisted Agarwal open it but he wouldn't. When he finally opened the door, another woman entered and confronted her and said that he was her boyfriend. An argument ensued, after which the 30year-old booked a cab and went to Versova, where she lives. She narrated the incident to her roommate, who suggested contacting police. Accordingly the woman , called 100. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE missing its plea to withdraw the criminal case lodged against half a dozen Left MLAs for ruckus inside the House in 2015. The Kerala government's plea was that the Assembly was in session at the time of the vandalism and no crime can be registered "without the previous sanction" of the Speaker, who is the master of the House. A 2-judge bench of Justices Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Mukesh R Shah affirmed in a judgment reserved on July 15 that "right to free speech and privileges of lawmakers do not extend them immunity against criminal law" and "acts of vandalism do not serve public function or come under freedom of speech." Justice Chandrachud, who penned the ruling, said withdrawal of cases against the accused persons will be against public justice and policy noting that "vandalism , and destruction inside the House (Assembly) is not essential for exercising legislative functions." He underlined that the MLAs possess the privileges that are essential to exercise public functions. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE Sindhu, Deepika advance; women's hockey team loses FPJ NEWS SERVICE Tokyo Day One began well for Indians, but thereafter it has been a downward trend at Tokyo Olympics. On the fifth day however, women , bounced back to brighten up the medal prospects. So, badminton ace P V Sindhu and seasoned archer Deepika Kumari marched into the last-16 of their respective events; debutant boxer Pooja Rani (75kg) won her easy opening bout without a fuss to enter the lasteight stage. But almost everything did not go as per the Indian narrative. Women's hockey team stared at early elimination after failing to upstage defending champions Great Britain. There was some cheer in archery before things went haywire, to an extent. Threetime Olympian Tarundeep Rai defeated Oleksii Hunbin of Ukraine but lost to Itay Shanny of Israel in a shootoff in the second round. As Rai faded, a new star rose on the horizon in Pravin Jadhav, the son of a daily wage labourer in Maharashtra's Satara, who stunned world number two Galsan Bazarzhapov of Russia 6-0 before expectedly going down to world number one Brady Ellison of the USA in the second round. Deepika (archery) managed to stay on target in her clashes against Bhutan's Karma and American Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez to make the last-16, struggling in the windy conditions overall. Before that, Sindhu did her thing in the badminton court, outwitting Hong Kong's N Y Cheung 21-9 21-16 to top her group and make the last-16. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE Per litre DIESEL ` 97.45 Per litre www.freepressjournal.in twitter.com/fpjindia Reg. No. Mcs/048/2018-20; RNI No. 1541/1957 M.p.c.s office Mumbai-400001 CHINA SEEKS TALIBAN HELP BEIJING: China on Wednesday feted Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, praising the insurgent group as an "important military and political force" in Afghanistan and asked it to make a "clean break" with all terrorist groups, especially the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) - the Uyghur Muslim militant group from Xinjiang. Amid deepening concerns here over the regrouping of the ETIM, blamed by Beijing for all the violent attacks in its volatile Xinjiang province and elsewhere in the country, Foreign Minister Wang Yi met Mullah Baradar at Tianjin and sought to prevail on him to build a "positive image and establish a broad and inclusive political structure that suits Afghanistan's national realities". Most importantly for Beijing, with reports of the ETIM militants who fought till recently in the Syrian war along with the Islamic State (IS) regrouping in Afghanistan, Wang's emphasis was that the Taliban which is rapidly advancing in Afghanistan ahead of the complete withdrawal of the US forces should not allow the Uygur militants in the war-torn country. Vehicle pile-up on flyover, HC: No student can be traffic jam for two hours excluded from CET partment had received an opinion from the Advocate General, especially after the recent Supreme Court judgment in May in which it had , ordered the Rajasthan schools to collect 15 per cent reduced fees in 2020-21. The cabinet was divided over the school education department’s proposal to promulgate an ordinance to implement a 15 per cent cut in fees of private schools. However, a section of the ministers argued that it might set a precedent and land the government in trouble.” Further, he said, some ministers suggested that the government resolution could be issued but it could create legal issues. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE AMIT SRIVASTAVA Mumbai 30-yr-old raped in 5-star hotel, after being served spiked drink SACHIN GAAD Mumbai ` 107.83 No immunity to MLAs From acts of vandalism in Assembly FROM OUR BUREAU New Delhi The Supreme Court on Wednesday held that "there is no immunity/privilege that protects legislators from the criminal law," while dismissing a petition filed by the Left government of Kerala seeking to withdraw cases against prominent CPI(M) leaders for alleged vandalism in the Kerala Assembly in 2015. The current ruling party in the state was in the opposition at the time of the incident. The matter came in appeal against the Kerala Order dis- ICSE student's plea URVI MAHAJANI Mumbai Observing that no student should be excluded from appearing in the Common Entrance Test (CET) for admission to junior colleges, the Bombay high court has asked the Maharashtra government to come up with a solution for inclusion of students from all the boards – ICSE, CBSE and IGCSE – while setting the question paper for the CET. This year, the CET is being held under exceptional circumstances, as none of the boards could conduct Class X exams Asking the government to come up with a solution, a division bench of Justices RD Dhanuka and Riyaz Chagla said on Monday: “Otherwise, we will come up with a solution… we will not let you eliminate students from other boards…” The high court has asked the government to consider setting a common question paper for the CET, which W CET series on Pg 5 ith an entirely new entrance exam, the optional CET, slated to be conducted on August 21 for admission to Class 11 FYJC, The Free Press Journal (FPJ) brings you ‘CET Conundrum' -- a series of stories focussing on the apprehensions of students, challenges in preparation for the firstof-its-kind entrance exam amidst the lockdown, queries of students from different boards and competition for seats in junior colleges. would include questions from the syllabuses of all the other boards as well. The judges also said that the students could be given the option to answer questions of choice from the subjects they had opted for in the Class 10 examination. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE Two major reliefs to bank depositors FROM OUR BUREAU New Delhi Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announced two Cabinet decisions that will gladden bank depositors as they will get back their money from troubled banks in 90 days and their deposits will be insured up to a maximum of Rs 5 lakh. The increase in insurance from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh will cover 98.3% of all deposits, she said, addressing the press briefing along with Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurg Thakur. She said the Union Cabinet's decision to return investor's money in 90 days will also be applicable to banks currently under moratorium. "This clearance now, therefore, is going to give relief to all those institutions which have already come under moratorium. It is not going to be retrospective, but if your bank has already been declared under moratorium this will cover," she added. Sitharaman also drew up the map on how the depositors will get back their money in 90 days. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE He would always be beside a player, who has lost his/her match and would often encourage them to hit back. Anyone who thinks sunshine is happiness has never danced in the rain, so get back on the court and be a winner when you meet him/her next time, he would say These encourag. ing words have changed many youngsters' approach to the game, with several donning the national colour at different levels. Natekar, who was considered one of the most popular sportspersons of his time, had the distinction of playing multiple sports, including tennis and badminton. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE Badminton ballet dancer Natekar no more LAST WORD O JOE WILLIAMS Mumbai ne of the all-time greats of Indian badminton, Nandu Natekar, passed away in his hometown, Pune, on Wednesday morning. Natekar, who was on court often compared to a ballet dancer, was suffering from age-related ailments. The 88-year-old, who has over 100 national trophies in his showcase at home leaves behind son, Gaurav Natekar, and a daughter, Sangeeta Welingkar. "He passed away peacefully at home and we were with him. He had been ailing for the last three months," said Gaurav, a Davis Cupper.