COIMBATORE WEDNESDAY MARCH 7, 2018 `4.00 PAGES 22 LATE CITY EDITION LANKA DECLARES EMERGENCY AFTER COMMUNAL VIOLENCE Sri Lanka declared a 10-day state of emergency to quell communal violence between majority Sinhala Buddhists and minority Muslims CLASHES LEAVE TWO DEAD GOVT SET TO CLAMP DOWN ON VIOLENCE Violence in the country’s scenic Kandy district left two persons dead and several mosques and houses damaged. The clashes were triggered by the death of a Sinhalese man at the hands of a mob last week. This is the first time since August 2011 that a state of emergency has been in force in Sri Lanka ■ ■ ■ President Maithripala Sirisena said stern action would be taken against anyone who spreads violence in the country The state of emergency allows the deployment of troops on the street to search and arrest people without a warrant Heavily-armed commandos were deployed in Kandy P13 10 mosques 75 SHOPS AND 32 HOUSES OF MUSLIMS REPORTEDLY DAMAGED 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 Axis Bank sends team as Sharma gets summons In response to summons by the SFIO, Axis Bank sent a team led by deputy managing director V Srinivasan and executives from the trade and transactions department to the SFIO office in Mumbai. In a filing to the NSE, the bank said it has `200 crore exposure to Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Group firms Shikha Sharma North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (right) shakes hands with South Korean National Security Director Chung Eui-yong OK to put nukes on US talks table, says dictator Kim ICICI Bank has 1,000 crore exposure in toxic Gitanjali Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO of ICICI Bank, was summoned by the SFIO to explain its exposure to Gitanjali Gems. ICICI Bank reportedly lent `1,000 cr to the firm. ICICI Bank was the lead banker in the working capital loan extended to Gitanjali by a consortium of 31 banks, which together lent about `5,300 cr to the firm PNB SCAM 31 bank head honchos issued summons over $2 b Niravgate Consortium led by ICICI Bank had lent `5,300-cr working capital to Gitanjali group; Modi’s firms borrowed about `4,000 cr; PNB exposure over `1,700 cr EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE IN a stunning chance in position, North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un is reported to have told a visiting South Korean delegation that he was open to peace talks with the US and could consider giving up his nuclear arsenal in exchang e for security guarantees. Till now, North Korea had not been willing to put its nukes on the talks table. The delegation led by South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s national security director Chung Eui-yong was told that North had “no reason” to hold on to its nuclear weapons “if military threats towards the North are cleared and the security of its regime is guaranteed”. US President Donald Trump reacted quickly saying “possible progress” had been made. “Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea,” Trump tweeted in his first response to the overture. “For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned.” “The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the US is ready to go hard in either direction!” he tweeted. The two sides also decided on a summit meeting on the fortified border village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone. The meeting between Kim and Moon slated for late April would be the third ever inter-Korean summit since the end of the 1950-53 Korean conflict. Chung said the two sides would establish a leaderto-leader hotline as well. P13 Possible progress: Trump Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea. For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned. The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the US is ready to go hard in either direction, said Trump E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi/Mumbai AS part of the ongoing investigation into the $2-billion Punjab National Bank fraud case, 31 bank chiefs were issued summons separately by investigators trying to deconstruct the scam. At least two agencies – the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Serious Fraud and Investigation Office (SFIO) – sought explanation from bank chiefs including Chanda Kochhar of ICICI Bank and Shikha Sharma of Axis Bank on loans given to Gitanjali Gems Ltd and regarding letters of understanding (LoUs) extended to Nirav Modi’s firms. Last month, the authorities had interrogated the PNB management, including former chairperson Usha Ananthasubramanian. While Kochhar and Sharma did not appear in person before the SFIO, both banks sent their representatives. When contacted, neither ICICI Bank nor Axis Bank was willing to comment. However, in a note to the NSE, the former said: “To provide assistance to the investigating authorities, representatives of ICICI Bank continue to engage actively and provide requisite inputs.” For its part, Axis Bank said it has `200 crore exposure to the Modi and Gitanjali groups. The bank sent a team led by deputy MD V Srinivasan and executives from the trade and transactions department to SFIO’s Mumbai office. The SFIO, which comes under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, plans to expand its investigation to all banks that had extended loans to Gitanjali Gems and its subsidiaries, a senior official with SFIO Delhi told Express. The assets declared by Gitanjali Gems while applying for loans will also be perused. Clarifying the need for summoning the bank chiefs, the official said there were discrepancies in the declarations made by the company to different banks. A consortium of 31 banks, led by ICICI Bank, had lent about `5,300 crore working capital to Mehul Choksi-led Gitanjali Gems, while Modi firms Stellar Diamonds, Solar Exports and Diamonds together borrowed about `4,000 crore, of which PNB’s exposure stands in excess of `1,700 crore. EXPRESS READ Three more days of CBI custody for Karti New Delhi: Karti Chidambaram, son of Congress leader P Chidambaram, was on Tuesday sent to three more days of CBI custody by a trial court in the INX Media bribery case and also failed to get the Supreme Court’s interim protection from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in a related money laundering case. Periyar statue damaged in Vellore Russian air crash in Syria kills 32 Vellore: On a day when senior BJP leader H Raja said that Periyar EV Ramasamy’s statues in TN would be pulled down, a Periyar statue was reportedly damaged, allegedly by two BJP members in Tirupattur late on Tuesday. Moscow: A Russian transport plane crashed on landing at Russia’s Hmeimim airbase in Syria, killing all 32 on board on Tuesday, the defence ministry said in a statement. The reason for the crash “could have been a technical fault”, the ministry added. SUMMER ARRIVES EARLY A man scoops out drinking water after digging a pit at Nattakudi, near Sivaganga on Tuesday | S BALA STATUE DOWN Country appalled as goons go after Lenin P R A S A N TA M A Z U M D A R @ Guwahati POST-POLL violence continued in Tripura on Tuesday with another Lenin statue being reportedly vandalised in Sabroom town, even as the police were on the lookout for two persons who allegedly instigated a mob to pull down a similar statue at Belonia town on Monday . For the Monday incident, visuals of which went viral on social media, the police arrested the driver of the excavator that was used to raze the statue. He was later released on bail. The incident occurred when a group of people took out a march to celebrate the recent vic- Chanda Kochhar tory of the BJP in the state Assembly elections. “We got the names of two persons. The driver said the duo had instigated the mob. We sent notices to them under relevant provisions of the law for appearance before the police. Investigation into the case is in progress,” Inspector General of Police, KV Sreejesh said. Narrating the incident, he said a group of people suddenly gathered at a town square, where except for the statue there was nothing to be protected, and carried out the act. “It was done in a planned manner. They came with a JCB, chanted slogans and pulled down the statue. By the time the police reached the spot, they had run away Later, the driver was arrested . and the JCB was brought to the police station,” Sreejesh added. The five-foot tall fibre glass statue was unveiled by the CPI-M’s politburo member Prakash Karat a few months ago. The incident triggered a political slugfest with both the BJP and the CPI(M) accusing each other of promoting violence. “Our people have not done this. Manik Sarkar is the caretaker chief minister and workers of his CPIM are attacking our people across the state. No CPI-M worker has been attacked by the BJP workers. On the contrary our people are admitted to hospi, tals,” BJP leader Sunil Deodhar said. MONEY ROUTED BACK FOR FRESH LOUs? While the SFIO is investigating the `12,363-crore fraud at PNB and whether funds were siphoned off by firms separately led by the Modi-Choksi duo violating the Companies Act, the ED is believed to have found evidence that Choksi and Modi diverted money to related companies and even routed it back to banks seeking re-issue of LoUs. The ED is also investigating the planned listing of Choksi’s Nakshtra World and Modi’s Firestar International GITANJALI GROUP VEEPEE ARRESTED The CBI on Tuesday arrested the Vice President (Banking Operations) of Gitanjali Group, Vipul Chitalia, in connection with the PNB loan fraud case. He was detained at the Mumbai airport and later arrested. A court in Mumbai granted police remand till March 17. P11 Splitsville stares at NDA as TDP ready to exit Vijayawada: The TDP’s exit from the NDA appears imminent with party president and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday hinting at a decision in a couple of days. Naidu, who held a three-hour meeting with party legislators at the Assembly Committee Hall, sought their opinion on the way forward after it became clear that the Centre had rejected the State’s demand for special category status.
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