FREE PRESS - VOL. 11 NO. 198 | BHOPAL | FRIDAY | DECEMBER 31, 2021 | PAGES 14 Regd. No. Indore MP/ICD 216/2021-2023; EDITIONS: INDORE, BHOPAL, UJJAIN, MUMBAI, PUNE WWW.FREEPRESSJOURNAL.IN FOR 24X7 UPDATES 3 EDIT GOVERNOR-CM FIGHT CAN’T BE AT STATE’S COST Pg- 8 4 News Brief CDS chopper crash: Report likely today The tri-Services inquiry team formed to probe the December 8 chopper crash in which 14 people including Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 12 others lost their lives, is expected to submit their report to the government by December 31. The probe team is headed by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh and includes two Brigadier-rank officers from the Army and Navy. Khaps oppose raising of marriage age of girls Heads of several Khaps held a meeting here demanding fulfilment of promises made to agitating farmers in Delhi, and also opposed the Centre's decision to raise the legal age of marriage for women. The meeting was held on Wednesday in which several Khap heads participated, including Battisa Khap head Choudhary Vinay Kumar, Budyan Khap head Sachin Jawla, Benival Khap head Amit Benival and Upendra Choudhary of Dandhu Khap. 4.1-magnitude quake hits Pithoragarh An earthquake of 4.1 magnitude struck Pithoragarh district postmidnight on Thursday but no damage has been reported. The earthquake that occurred at 12.39 am had its epicentre at a depth of 10 km in Askot, District Disaster Management Officer Bhupendra Mahar said. "No damage has been reported so far as the earthquake was of mild intensity," Mahar said. U-19 Asia Cup: India in final Riding on Shaik Rasheed fantastic knock (90 not out), India thrashed Bangladesh by 103 runs in the semifinal to set up a final clash with Sri Lanka in the Under-19 Asia Cup on Thursday Onakkoor gets Sahitya Akademi award Multifaceted personality George Onakkoor was on Thursday awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award 2021 for his heart-rending autobiography "Hryudyarangangal". Retiring as Professor of Malayalam at the prestigious Mar Ivanios College Onakkoor, 80, is known for his novels, short stories, film scripts and also a travelogue. He was also a former Director of Kerala State Institute of Children's Literature, the State Institute of Encyclopaedic Publications. 3 8 Players celebrate after winning the first Test cricket match between South Africa and India at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Thursday OUR STAFF REPORTER Bhopal/Chhatarpur NEW DELHI: A High-Level Committee chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah has approved Rs 3,063.21 crore of additional central assistance to six states under the National Disaster Response Fund. The six states that will get additional money from the union government are Assam, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. They were affected by floods, landslides and cyclones during 2021.For cyclone 'Tauktae' Gujarat will get additional of assistance central Rs.1,133.35 crore. West Bengal will get Rs.586.59 crore for cyclone 'Yaas'. For floods/landslides during the southwest monsoon, Rs.51.53 crore assistance has been extended to Assam, Rs 504.06 crore to Karnataka, Rs.600.50 crore to and Pradesh Madhya Rs.187.18 crore to Uttarakhand."This additional assistance is over and above the funds released by the Centre to the states in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), already placed at the disposal of the states. During the financial year 2021-22, the Central Government has released Rs 17,747.20 crore to 28 . states in their SDRF Further Rs. 3,543.54 crore has been released to seven states from ," NDRF Home Ministry said in a statement.In the aftermath of Cyclone 'Taukte' and 'Yaas', Rs 1,000 crore was released in advance from NDRF to Gujarat on May 20 and Rs 300 crore to West Bengal on May 29. Raipur Police arrests Kalicharan Maharaj for his alleged inflammatory speech derogating Mahatma Gandhi in Khajuraho on Thursday The arrest, however, led to a confrontation between Madhya BJP-ruled Pradesh and Congress- ruled Chhattisgarh (CG) with MP home minister Narottam Mishra calling Chhattisgarh police action as a gross violation of federal structure's provisions of the country and CG chief minister Bhupesh Baghel asking the home minister if he was not happy over the arrest. In Gwalior, a group of Hindu Mahasabha activists burnt an effigy of Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel to lodge their protest against the arrest. Kalicharan had reportedly said in his speech during a 'Dharm sansad' on Sunday, "Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi destroyed the country . CONTD. ON P6 COMMISSIONER-COLLECTOR CONFERENCE Zero tolerance on corruption, take action against corrupt: CM CM, MINISTERS, MLAs to visit anganwadis on Jan 8, employment day from Jan 12 OUR STAFF REPORTER / Bhopal displeasure Expressing over incident of corruption in Raisen that came to light after arrest of a subdivisional magistrate and two staffers of his office on Wednesday, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan warned officials that corruption would not be tolerated in any way in the state, as per officials. CM asked the divisional commissioners and district collectors to keep watch on their subordinates and take stern action in case of any corruption. There should be immediate response to complaints. People’s grievances should be addressed with sensitivity Don’t be . indifferent. Do good to others. CM was addressing the commissioners and the collectors across the state through a video conferenc. ing on Thursday , Notably Lokayukta police arrested the sub divisional magistrate (SDM) Manish Kumar Jain, a staffer in his office Deepak Shrivastava and a computer operator FIVE-DAY MANDU UTSAV BEGINS Artist performs on opening day of five-day Mandu Utsav at historic Mandu town of Dhar on Thursday PIX: ANAND SHIVRE Ram Narayan Ahirwar posted at Gairatganj town in Raisen district while they took a bribe of Rs 45,000 from a contractor. According to police, the SDM and his staff had demanded Rs 1 lakh from the complainant Tanveer Patel for granting permission to set up a stone crushing machine at Agaria village. During the conference the CM asked collector Raisen and all other collectors to sack those from service who take a bribe. CONTD. ON P6 AFSPA extended for six months in Nagaland, declared 'disturbed area' NEW DELHI: Days after forming a committee to review the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland, the Centre on Thursday extended it in the entire state till June 30 next year, declaring the entire state as 'disturbed area'. According to the Gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA): "Whereas the Central Government is of the opinion that the entire area comprising the whole of the state of Nagaland is in such a disturbed and dangerous condition that use of armed forces in aid of Civil is . necessary CONTD. ON P6 ... ‘You are enabling sexual harassment’ FRENCH CAR MAKER PULLS OFF ADVERTISEMENT AFTER UPROAR... CAIRO French car manufacturer Citroen withdrew Thursday an advertisement featuring Egyptian singer Amr Diab after it sparked widespread accusations of promoting the harassment of women. In the ad posted on Egyptian social media in early December, the 60-year-old pop star uses a camera in- car's the in stalled rearview mirror to secretly take a picture of a woman crossing in front of the vehicle. The woman clearly does not give her consent to the photograph, but Diab is shown smiling at the image as it pops up on his phone. He then invites the woman to join him in the car. The advert was slammed 18.50c. 12.60c Sunrise : 07.07 Sunset : 05.52 SUDDEN SURGE, COVID: CENTRE WRITES TO EIGHT STATES TAKE PROACTIVE ACTION NEW DELHI MP HOME MINISTER says grosss violation of federal structure; C’garh CM asks ‘Aren’t you happy’ Centre okays Rs 3,063-cr additional assistance to six states affected by cyclones, floods, landslides WEATHER MAHARASHTRA, WB AND DELHI emerging as states/UTs of concern Kalicharan held in Khajuraho by Raipur cops Absconding after making derogatory remarks against Mahatma Gandhi on December 26, self-styled Hindu leader Kalicharan Abhijit aka Maharaj Dhananjay Sarag,48, was arrested by Chhattisgarh police team from a house in in Khajuraho Chhatarpur district in the wee hours of Thursday . Later, in the evening, he was produced in a court at Raipur while his followers raised the slogan of 'Jai Shri Ram', as per officials. Quality at Value IT’S A SUPER SPECIAL YEAR SAYS RAHUL Pg-12 SHAMI, BUMRAH HELP INDIA BREACH CENTURIAN FORTRESS, GO ONE UP Test defeats for South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion, where they played 27 Test matches and won 21. Their previous two Test losses at this ground came against England in 2000 and against Australia in 2014. Number of Test wins for India in South Africa, including the latest victory in Centurion. Two of those wins came in Johannesburg, in 2006 and 2018, and the other in Durban in 2010. Instances of South Africa being bowled out under 200 in both innings of a home Test since their readmission. The other two instances came in Johannesburg - against Australia in 2002 and India in 2018. Before this match, South Africa were never bundled out under 200 in a Test innings in Centurion. Test wins as captain for Virat Kohli against South Africa, the joint-most for any captain against them. Ricky Ponting also won eight (out of 12) Tests as captain against South Africa. `3 RNI No. mpeng/2010/35815 on social media in a country where some 90 percent of women aged between 18 and 39 reported having been harassed in 2019, according to a survey by the Arab Barometer research network. "Taking a picture of a woman without her consent is creepy," women's rights activist Reel Abdellatif wrote on Twitter. "You're enabling sexual ha- rassment." Another critic, Ahmed Tawfiikk, questioned how the company could have thought the advert had been a good idea. "How did this ever get approved in the first place?" he wrote, beneath the post on Instagram. "That's the real issue here. This shows that there's a whole TEAM of individuals who at no point along the way ever thought 'is this appropriate?', or 'is there nothing wrong with this?'" On Thursday, Citroen said it had removed the advert. "We have been made aware that a scene... had been perceived as inappropriate", Citroen wrote in a statement posted on their Instagram account. CONTD. ON P6 The Union health ministry has written to eight states and UTs to enhance testing, strengthen hospital preparedness, increase the pace and coverage of vaccination COVID-19 drive and ensure strict enforcement of restrictions to counter the spread of the infection. In the letter, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan asked Delhi, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Jharkhand to be vigilant in view of the recent increase in domestic travel and various events such as marriages, festive celebrations, and vacations having either recently con. cluded or underway With the onset of winter and increased pollution in some states, prevalence of ILI/SARI and respiratory distress symptoms should be closely monitored, he said in the letter dated December 29. The letter was issued as the country reported single-day rise of over 13,000 new COVID-19 cases after around 49 days and cases of Omicron variant increased to 961. CONTD. ON P6 DEFERRED UP POLLS: CEC DISPELS FEARS OUR BUREAU NEW DELHI Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra on Thursday dispelled fears of delayed Assembly polls in UP and told a press conference that all political parties want elections be conducted on time. The indication comes in the backdrop of a single-judge Bench of the Allahabad High Court urging the EC to postpone the elections in view of the surge in Covid cases. The CEC is on a 3-day visit to Lucknow to assess poll preparations. One of the takeaways from the interface was that polling will be extended by an hour and conclude at 6 PM. CONTD. ON P6 Immunity post Covid jab persists for 9 months or more: Govt The durability of immunity post COVID-19 vaccination persists for nine months or more and a precautionary dose of vaccine which will be administered to healthcare and frontline workers and citizens above 60 years with comorbidities is to mitigate the severity of infection, hospitalisation and death, the government said on Thursday. Decision on which vaccine to be given as precautionary dose expected soon There have been extensive deliberations on whether the precautionary (third) dose of Covid vaccine for healthcare and frontline workers and citizens above 60 years with comorbidities should be the same as the first two doses and a decision is expected soon, the government said on Thursday. Covaxin for children proven to be safe in paediatric subjects in study: Bharat Biotech Vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech on Thursday announced that BBV152 (Covaxin), its whole-virion inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate, has proven to be safe, well-tolerated, and immunogenic in paediatric subjects in phase II/III study. WB suspends direct flights from UK, at-risk countries from January 3 The West Bengal government said on Thursday it is suspending all direct flights from the UK and those emanating from other highrisk countries from January 3, amid growing scare over the rise in number of Covid cases of the omicron variant, an official said. State's Home Secretary B P Gopalika wrote to the Union civil aviation ministry informing about the state's decision 6 militants, army jawan killed in twin encounter SRINAGAR Six Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants, including two Pakistani nationals involved in the December 13 attack on a police bus on the outskirts of the city, were killed in twin encounters in south Kashmir that also left an Army jawan dead, officials said on Thursday . While three militants were killed in an overnight encounter in Anantnag, three others were killed in the gunfight which took place in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday evening, the officials said. Two jawans and a police personnel were injured during the Anantnag operation, they said. The encounters took place after the forces launched cordon and search operations in Nowgam Shahabad area in Anantnag district, and Mirhama area of Kulgam both in south Kashmir - after specific inputs about the presence of militants in these areas on Wednesday evening. "In the last about five days, security forces have carried out multiple operations across the valley resulting in 11 hardcore terrorists being neutralised, killed.