KOZHIKODE z SATURDAY z OCTOBER 13, 2018 z `7.00 z PAGES PANEL OF LEGAL EXPERTS TO PROBE #METOO COMPLAINTS Union minister Maneka Gandhi proposed a committee of senior judicial & legal persons to look into allegations of sex harassment z CITY EDITION ‘I BELIEVE EVERY SINGLE COMPLAINANT’ 10 SAJID, NANA OUT OF HOUSEFULL 4 “I believe in all of them. I believe in the pain and trauma behind every single complainant,” Gandhi said, adding that the panel would examine the legal and institutional framework to handle complaints. “These cases have been elephants in the room... The question is how can they prove these after all these years” ■ Filmmaker Sajid Khan, who is accused of sexual harassment, has stepped out of his upcoming film Housefull 4 sister, Farah Khan, said he has a lot to atone for, if guilty Actor Nana Patekar, also an accused, stepped down from Housefull 4; actor Akshay Kumar cancelled the film’s shooting ■ His ■ WOMEN ACCUSED MINISTER & FORMER JOURNALIST MJ AKBAR OF HARASSMENT 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 US glare on India’s Managing women pilgrims oil imports from at 18 holy steps tough: Police Iran, Russia deal A J AY K A N T H @T’Puram US State Department says it is keeping a close tab on some of New Delhi’s recent decisions EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Sanctions Act Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA is a US federal law that has imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia. Only the President has the power to grant a waiver The president was also asked about CAATSA and possible imposition of those sanctions. And he said, you know, India is going to find out Heather Nauert, State Department spokesperson A day after US President Donald Trump made a loaded comment that India would soon know if it would face the heat of US sanctions, the State Department said on Friday that it was keeping a close tab on some of New Delhi’s recent decisions that run afoul of Washington’s interests. The US is “very carefully” reviewing India’s decision to continue buying Iranian oil and purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said. The comments also come in the backdrop of Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s announcement early this week that two state-owned refiners will buy import crude oil from Iran in November. According to the US diktat, countries that buy oil from Iran should bring down their import to zero by November 4. Lest, punitive measures under a US domestic law called Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) will kick in. In Russia’s case, the law targets Russian oil and gas industry, defence and security sector, and financial institutions. The Trump administration has given a strong message to all countries that the US is committed to re-enforcing all of its sanctions. Under CAATSA, only the President has the power to revoke any punitive measure against a particular country . Meanwhile, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook will be visiting India this week for crucial talks ahead of the November 4 deadline. Of the 220.4 million tonnes of crude oil imported by India in 2017-18, nearly 9.4 per cent was from Iran. While India has taken a stand to ignore the US threat and continue buying fuel from Iran, it may run into problems ranging from payment mechanism to logistical issues as the dynamics will change dramatically once sanctions kick in. MANAGING women pilgrims through the 18 holy steps at Sannidhanam in Sabarimala will be a herculean task as an assessment made by the Kerala Police points out if the flow of women pilgrims increases, crowd management at Sabarimala will go haywire. According to the assessment which was discussed in detail at the high power committee meeting, regulating the flow of pilgrims through the 18 steps was the core factor in crowd management during the pilgrim season. For proper crowd control, at least 75 pil- grims should pass through the holy steps per minute and the flow should be steady when the sanctum sanctorum is open to prevent long queues during the peak pilgrimage days. Usually , policemen are deployed in different shifts on either side of the holy steps to help the pilgrims ascend the steep steps. “If more women pilgrims arrive, then the flow will become slow delaying the movement of the crowd,” a police officer told Express. “ Above all, it will not be a viable option to deploy women police personnel on the side of the holy steps to physically guide the women pilgrims to help them ascend ● More on P6 the steps. Abolishing Devaswom Boards: Notice issued New Delhi: The Supreme Court agreed to examine the plea by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and T G Mohan Das to abolish Devaswom Boards in Kerala. Notices were issued to the government and Travancore and Cochin Devaswom Boards. CPM decides to hold micro-level campaigns T’Puram: The CPM is all set to politically defend the attack on the Left government in the Sabarimala women’s entry issue. The party’s decision comes in the wake of the UDF and BJP cashing in on it to corner the government. P6 EXPRESS READ Left Front gains upper hand in local body by-elections PF pension: Employees get a breather from High Court T’Puram: The LDF won 13 seats while the UDF settled for six and BJP one in the byelection to the local body wards. Poll was held to 16 grama panchayat wards in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Kozhikode and Kannur; one block panchayat ward each in Malappuram and Kannur and one municipality ward each in Wayanad and Kannur. Kochi: In a major relief for thousands of retired employees, who have been deprived of the option to avail higher pension by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation, the High Court set aside its orders declining to grant opportunities to the employees to exercise a joint option to remit contributions to the scheme on the basis of actual salaries drawn by them. CCTV visuals show three persons walking near the ATM counter in Kottayam and leaving in a pick-up van | EXPRESS 3 districts in 5 hours: Gang robs 5 ATMs, loots `32.6 L EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE visuals showed the gang stealing the parked vehicle from Parappallil service station at 11.45 pm AN overnight ATM robbery cov- on Thursday . ering the state’s three districts in “From the modus operandi a span of just five hours on early adopted to rob at Irumbanam and Friday morning saw Koratty, we strongly `32.60 lakh looted from suspect these cases the machines of SBI are interlinked. Two and South Indian Bank, unidentified persons catching the police on entered the ATMs member gang did the wrong foot. and sprayed paint the robbery A three-member over the CCTV camgang was on a rampage, era. They cut the marobbing `22 lakh and `10 lakh chines using gas-cutter type mafrom ATMs at Irumbanam (near chine. We’ve received the accused Kochi) and Koratty (near Thris- persons’ images. We’ve launched sur) respectively while failing in a manhunt and they’ll be in our their loot attempts in Kalam- net soon. We suspect inter-state massery and Kottayam, from group behind the incident,” said where the gang robbed a Bolero Kochi City Police Assistant Compick-up van (KL5 AA 4458). CCTV missioner P P Shams. ● More on P4 @ Kottayam/Kochi/Thrissur 3 Miraculous escape for 130 as flight hits runway wall Brewery row sees a new twist in tale EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram BEFORE MONTH END Illegal flex boards in Wayanad to be removed EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Kalpetta IN an attempt to make Wayanad plastic-free, the district administration has decided to remove all illegally-placed flex boards by the end of this month with the help of local self-governing bodies. A meeting held at the district collectorate to discuss the future plans of ‘Plastic-free Wayanad’ project on Friday took the decision. A special samithi will be formed in all the wards before October 31. The samithi will intervene in issues related to plastic waste. At the district level, it will be headed by the district panchayat president while collector will be its convener. District Collector A R Ajayakumar said the samithi must ensure that people are not discharging contaminated water into drainage from their homes, institutions or enterprises. Ajayakumar also warned that anybody caught flouting these norms will be punished as per the Panchayati Raj Act. The same applies to those who litter and dump waste at public spaces. The district administration, in association with the Kudumbashree Mission, is planning to introduce alternative products to replace plastic carry bags. District Panchayat President K B Naseema, Kalpetta Municipality Chairperson Sanitha Jagadeesh and other elected members and officers attended the meeting. From the REGION J O S E K J O S E P H @ Tiruchy A PRESS release, which allegedly had its origins in the Excise Department, has become the latest headache for it. After the Opposition slapped a breach of privilege notice on her, Additional Chief Secretary (Taxes) Asha Thomas has written to the Home Secretary demanding an investigation. The press release contained replies to the allegations levelled by Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on the brewery allocation scandal. Thomas Asha Thomas wants to know whether the Excise Department had issued any press release without her knowledge and, if it indeed were the case, who had sent such a statement. Deputy Secretary (Taxes) has been assigned the job to conduct a departmental inquiry . Chennithala asked how can government officers reply to charges levelled by the Opposition leader, who holds a Cabinet rank. LITTLE PRINCESS A child holds the Chekutty doll, which symbolises flood-survived Kerala, at a workshop held at Gandhi Griham in Kozhikode on Friday | T P SOORAJ Inflation up, but in line with RBI projection EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Mumbai IT’s a sigh of relief for India’s monetary policymakers. Latest data suggest headline inflation continues to be an obedient child, as it ought to be. September retail inflation inched up only a notch higher than August at 3.8 per cent, and 20 bps below the RBI’s 4 per cent medium-term target for the second straight month, perhaps justifying RBI Governor Urjit Patel’s decision not to hike policy rates last week. Food inflation eased, and is likely to stay course considering better agricultural production, and chances of upside risks through MSP is unlikely to play out as prices of fruits and vegetables are heading RITUAL ROLE Another barrier goes as transgender draws Durga’s eyes A I S H I K C H A N D A @ Kolkata SAYANTANI Ghosh, the first transgender to break social taboos in patriarchal Bengali society got to do it for the second time , on Friday A lawyer by training, . Sayantani got to draw the eyes on Durga idols, which till now was done only by male artisans. Called Chokkhu Daan in Bengali, drawing the eyes is one of the most auspicious events of the Durga Puja festivities. It is also the final step before the idol is ready for worship. Sayantani first drew the eyes of the Durga idol at Jodhpur Park Cultural Association on Mahalaya on Monday. She did it again at Howrah-based Torpedo Welfare Society on Tritiya on Friday . As a child, Sayantani used to be mocked at whenever she went to her neighbourhood Durga Puja of Sonarpur Recreation Club. She is now the club’s brand ambassador. “It is an enormous change that Sayantani Ghosh got to perform Chokkhu Daan, the ritual of painting the eyes of Durga idols. Till now it was done only by male artisans I got to witness in my lifetime. Our society is slowing changing for the better. My privilege of drawing the eyes of Lord Durga would instil hope in other transgenders and also make the society more accommodating of us,” she told TNIE. A lawyer at Alipore District Court, Sayantani also runs a dance school for transgenders in Gangasagar, where Ganga meets It is an enormous change that I got to witness in my lifetime. Our society is slowing changing for the better. My privilege of drawing the eyes of Lord Durga would instil hope in other transgenders Sayantani Ghosh the sea. The pilgrimage site also hosts the second largest human congregation in the world after Kumbh Mela, where lakhs of devotees take the holy dip during Makar Sankranti every year. “In many ways, Gangasagar is way ahead than Kolkata. There, transgenders put up dance perfor mances during Durga Puja every year,” she added. The Sonarpur Recreation Club initially faced a lot of criticism, but its members managed to convince everyone in the locality to make Sayantani the brand ambassador. south. So, policy rates could stay still even in December, according to Crisil. Even if food prices spike, RBI is unlikely to develop cold feet. Food and fuel account for 57 per cent of the CPI basket but they don’t have a direct influence on monetary policy . Core inflation that excludes fuel, food and electricity prices, remained sticky at 5.8 per cent. SALARY CHALLENGE: STATE LIKELY TO MOVE SC In all probability, the state government will move the Supreme Court against the stay slapped by the High Court on its Salary Challenge. The government sought legal opinion from Advocate General C P Sudhakaraprasad on Friday | P5 FOR more than three hours, the pilots of Air India Express flight IX-611 had no idea they knocked down part of the Tiruchy airport compound wall while taking off at 1:15 am on Friday With . 130 passengers on board, they headed for Dubai, and had no idea about the mishap until they reached Muscat airspace. But the passengers knew all wasn’t well. They had heated exchanges with the six crew members. The belly of the aircraft had suffering considerable damage, and the wall at the airport, along with the Instrument Landing System (ILS) — including five antennae, the monitor and control units - were damaged. A Very High Frequency (VHF) antenna also fell off the aircraft, airport director K Gunasekaran said. Eventually, airport officials informed the pilots about the accident and gave their counterparts in Dubai a heads-up too. They communicated that there was no major damage to the plane, but the officials at Dubai refused to let it land, saying it was too risky as a tyre had been slightly damaged. This sparked another round of anxiety on board, and after getting permission for an emergency landing at Mumbai, the passengers were told where they were headed. “The aircraft landed safely in Mumbai around 5:35 am and taxied on its own to the parking bay All 130 passengers . and six crew members on board alighted safely No one suffered . any injuries,” Air India said in a statement. However, the situation could have been much worse, as the Tiruchy airport’s 5-ft wall stands dangerously close to the the Tiruchy-Pudukkottai National Highway . “If a bus was there, the aircraft’s tyres would have smashed it too. Thank god there was no traffic on the road as it was midnight,” said Thangavelu, a local resident. 16 PAGES + 4 PAGES OF KOZHIKODE EXPRESS IN KOZHIKODE
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