CHENNAI MONDAY MAY 13, 2019 `5.00 PAGES 38 LATE CITY EDITION CATHOLICS HOLD FIRST MASS AFTER EASTER TERROR ATTACKS Thousands attended the first Sunday mass since the April 21 suicide bombings at churches and hotels in which 253 died ARMED TROOPS GUARD LANKAN CHURCHES ■ 7.6% CURFEW IN CHRISTIAN-MAJORITY TOWN Security forces armed with assault rifles patrolled streets leading to the churches in Sri Lanka and stood guard outside. Everyone was body searched for explosives and parking was banned near the places of worship. Colombo’s archbishop had conducted private Sunday services in the past two weeks, which were broadcast live on national television ■ A Muslim cleric from Vavuniya, who had aired extremist views on social media, has been arrested at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport after his arrival from Mecca Curfew was imposed in Chilaw, a Catholic-majority town, after mobs attacked a mosque and Muslim-owned businesses | P13 OF LANKA’S 21 MN PEOPLE ARE CHRISTIANS; 10% ARE MUSLIMS 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 Different strokes on Modi’s cloud cover line over Balakot air strikes M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi revealing how he gave the go ahead to the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the Balakot strike deep within Pakistan on February 26 amid concerns of bad weather, has generated an animated debate. “The weather was not good on the day of the air strike. A thought crept up that perhaps the day of strike could be changed. However, I suggested that the cloud cover could actually help our planes escape radar detection,” he said in a TV interview on Saturday . While political opponents called it ridiculous, IAF officers affirmed the worry of the weather affecting the final outcome. A senior IAF officer, on condition of anonymity, said the problem was not with the Mirages reaching close to the target; it was with the penetrator version of Spice-2000 stand-off glide bomb released much before impact. “Clouds over the t a r g e t wo u l d h ave caused issues with the bomb sensors, which match the pictures and data fed into it with what it sees on the spot. Any mismatch would lead to problems.” Remember, one of the six Mirages on the Pakistan raid couldn’t release its bomb because of bad weather, the officer added and cited the examples of IAF Exercise Iron First in 2016 when a missile fired by an LCA had not hit PAK RADAR DOESN’T PENETRATE CLOUDS? NC leader Omar Abdullah tweeted: “Pak radar doesn’t penetrate clouds. This is an important piece of tactical information that will be critical when planning future air strikes.” the target due to bad weather. Another senior of ficer agreed with the PM’s view that “there was a possibility of secrecy of the operation getting compromised if the attack was postponed.” The Opposition took a swipe at the PM with CPM approaching the Election Commission alleging Modi had revealed “operational details of a sensitive military mission” to influence voters. Rejecting the charge, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said, “The prime minister did not reveal anything (about the Balakot strike) he was not supposed to reveal.” In the interview, Modi said he used his “raw wisdom” to dispel doubts of experts who wanted the air strike deferred. Violence again in Bengal polls BJP candidate in West Bengal attacked twice during penultimate phase of Lok Sabha elections as state again sees very high turnout, 80.16% this time Mumbai Indians players celebrate with the Indian Premier League trophy in Hyderabad on Sunday | VINAY MADAPU HYDERABAD BLUES FOR CHENNAI! Chasing 150 to win, Shane Watson’s Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by 1 run in the final on Sunday to win their 59-ball 80 kept Chennai in the hunt till the end. In the last over they needed 9 runs. But Lasith Malinga dismissed Shardul Thakur off the last delivery 4th IPL, the most for any team MUMBAI INDIANS AND CHENNAI SUPER KINGS MET FOUR TIMES THIS SEASON. THE TEAM LED BY ROHIT SHARMA TRUMPED MS DHONI & CO ON ALL FOUR OCCASIONS | P16 EXPRESS READ KCR arrives in TN, to meet Stalin today Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao arrived in Tiruchy on Sunday and is set to meet DMK chief M K Stalin in Chennai on Monday. But there was no clarity from DMK on Stalin’s Monday schedule | P8 JUMBO OPENING FOR THRISSUR POORAM Tusker Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran pushed open Sree Vadakkumnatha temple’s southern entrance on Sunday, opening the famed Thrissur Pooram | P8 WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 38 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID), 4 OF CITY EXPRESS FIVE Rohit Sharma is the first player to win the title as many times — 4 with Mumbai and 1 with the now defunct Deccan Chargers A20 cr Prize money received by Mumbai Indians. Chennai Super Kings bagged L12.5 cr VEDANTA GETS FIRST NOD TO DRILL IN TN S V K R I S H N A C H A I TA N YA @ Chennai AFTER giving nod to the Oil and Natural Gas Commission, the Union Environment Ministry has accorded preliminary clearance to Vedanta Limited to drill 274 hydrocarbon exploratory wells, both offshore and onshore, in Tamil Nadu. Cairn Oil & Gas, a Vedanta vertical, had submitted two separate applications seeking Terms of Reference (ToR) for conducting Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) studies. Approval for drilling 158 wells in the Cauvery block — covering an area of 2,574 sq km consisting of 142 sq km of Nagapattinam, 39 sq km of Karaikal and 2,393 sq km of sea portion of the Bay of Bengal — was given on Sunday . Permission to drill 116 wells in a block covering an area of 1,794 sq.km (139 sq km of Viluppuram, 2sq km of Puducherry and 1,654 sq km of sea portion of Bay of Bengal) was given on May 10. In the official communication to Vedanta, the ministry issued Standard ToR under EIA Notification 2006, but there were no specific conditions mentioned. Also, there is no word on Vedanta’s request for exemption from holding public hearing, a statutory requirement under EIA Notification, 2006. A whopping `13,538 crore is likely to be invested by Vedanta, which was allotted two hydrocarbon blocks in TN as part of Open Acreage Licensing Policy last year. Total command area to carry out necessary studies would P7 be 4.37 lakh hectares. OBSERVERS FROM 18 NATIONS IN DELHI Polling officials and lawmakers from over 18 countries witnessed the election process and the use of Electronic Voting Machines in the national capital on Sunday. DELHI-NCR UTTAR PRADESH turnout in the capital’s seven LS seats, down from 65% in 2014 participation as 14 seats went to polls in India’s most populous state 60% 54% DIGVIJAYA FAILS TO VOTE Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who is taking on BJP’s Sadhvi Pragya in Bhopal, stayed in the city on Sunday and failed to cast his vote in Rajgarh, which is 140 km from the state capital. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Congress boss Rahul Gandhi and ex-prez Pranab Mukherjee voted in Delhi on Sunday | EXPRESS/PTI EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi OVER 63 per cent voter turnout was recorded in 59 seats in six states and the capital in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha polls on Sunday West Bengal again . witnessed sporadic violence with BJP candidate Bharati Ghosh, a former IPS officer, allegedly attacked twice by goons when she visited polling stations in Ghatal constituency . Ghosh, who was once a trusted lieutenant of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was first attacked when she tried to take a party polling agent into an election booth. She later took refuge inside a temple in the area as mobs pelted stones, reports said. She was then taken to a police station to protect her from the wrath of Trinamool goons. The EC has sought a report from the local district magistrate about the incidents of violence. Meanwhile, Mamata claimed that activists of the BJP and RSS had entered Bengal sporting the uniform of security forces to influence voters. “On the pretext of deploying central forces in Bengal, the BJP is forcefully pushing BJP and RSS activists here,” she said. She alleged that a Trinamool worker was injured in firing by central forces in charge of the security of Ghosh. Polling was held for 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 10 seats in Haryana, eights constituencies each in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, seven seats in Delhi and four in Jharkhand. In UP’s Badohi, a BJP MLA was accused of beating up a presiding officer. A few incidents of malfunctioning of EVMs were reported from various booths, officials said. Some of the key candidates More money in Pakistan’s begging bowl as IMF agrees to offer $6 bn er to Imran on finance, revenue and economic affairs, said that foreign loans had exceeded $90 billion, with exports registering a negative growth in the past five years. The country’s 22nd IMF b a i l o u t co m e s a f t e r months of negotiations. Pakistan approached the IMF in August 2018 for money after Imran’s government took over. The latest round of talks started on April 29. The marathon session went on till Sunday after Imran objected to some IMF conditions. Imran had earlier sacked his close aide and finance minis- EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE PAKISTAN on Sunday reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a $6 billion bailout package for its debt-ridden economy, a measure Prime Minister Imran Khan had bitterly opposed before taking office. Combating terror financing is part of the reform framework for the rescue package that is spread over three years. The IMF confirmed the bailout in a press release. Clinched at the staff level, the pact awaits formal approval by its board of directors in Washington. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, advis- ter Asad Umar in April amid discussions with the IMF. The minister was supposedly against the bailout. China, whose loans to Pakistan as part of CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) have come under scrutiny, then praised the sacked finance minister as a “man of integrity”. The US has warned that it will be watching closely to ensure Pakistan does not use IMF money to repay debts to China. Pakistan recently secured $6 billion in funding from Saudi Arabia and $3 billion from the UAE. $ NALLAKANNU EVICTION TN govt says policy to give rental houses to leaders in offing EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai IN the wake of severe criticism from opposition parties and activists over the eviction of 94-year-old CPI leader R Nallakannu and the issuance of eviction notice to the family of late minister Kakkan from the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) quarters in T Nagar, the state government said a policy, based on a High Court order, was being drawn up to allocate rental houses to leaders who have contributed to society and so both would be given houses soon. Official sources said about 119 houses, built at CIT Colony by City Improvement Trust in 1953, had been allocated to public for rent. As the houses were ruined by 2004-05, the government decided to demolish them and build new houses under an integrated scheme. Nallakannu was allocated a flat in the CIT Colony quarters in 2007 and he repaired the windows, doors and walls at his own expense and lived there. In 2011, the government issued a notification to demolish 119 houses and tenants were served a notice to vacate. After hearing multiple cases filed by the occupants against the government move, on July 5, 2014, the Madras HC set a three-month deadline for occupants to vacate the houses. The review petition filed by the tenants was dismissed in the HC on March 31, 2015. Supreme Court on April 27, 2015 ordered status quo but dismissed all petitions on February 5. Subsequently, 96 tenants out of 119 handed over the houses. KAKKAN FAMILY STILL STAYS AT HOUSE Nallakannu vacated the house but Kakkan’s family still stays in the house. “Based on HC order, a policy to allocate rental houses to leaders who have contributed to society is being prepared. Soon both of them will be given rental houses,” said sources. Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam spoke to Nallakannu on Saturday and assured help. in the fray in this phase were Maneka Gandhi, Varun Gandhi, Gautam Gambhir, Meenakshi Lekhi and Sadhvi Pragya (all from BJP), Congress’s Digvijaya Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sheila Dikshit, and SP’s Akhilesh Yadav. Polling has now ended in 483 of the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies. The final phase of polling will be held on May 19 and the results for all the 543 seats will be declared together on LOK SABHA May 23. ELECTION 2019 The EC officials on Sunday said that voter turnout this year till Phase V was 67.4 per cent, compared to 66.06 per cent in 2014. The poll officials added that this time people would be able to get real-time information of counting of votes on May 23 as the technology has been improved. Training of officials and capacity building are underway they said. , NBFC bomb ticking: Corp Affairs Secy EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi AMONG the host of stressed assets already crippling the economy, add a clutch of large non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) because of their misadventures, cautions Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas. In an interview to PTI, Srinivas warns an NBFC crisis is imminent. “There is an imminent crisis in the NBFC sector. There is a credit squeeze, over-leveraging, excessive concentration, massive mismatch between assets and liabilities, coupled with some misadventures by some very large entities, which is a perfect recipe for disaster,” Srinivas says. On the flip side, responsible NBFCs are managing their risk well and are not in trouble, Srinivas points out, adding corporate governance in India is being put to test. “It is a defining moment. The way things are moving, in the medium to long term it will be for the good. In the short term, there can be turbulence,” he says. “If you are responsible, you manage the risks.” `
Express Publications (Madurai) Limited publishes the prestigious English language newspaper The New Indian Express from 21 centres in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Orissa.
Express Publications (Madurai) Ltd. also publishes the Tamil daily Dinamani, Cinema Express (Tamil) and Malayalam Vaarika (Malayalam). Through a sister company, Kannada Prabha Publications Ltd., it publishes the Kannada daily Kannada Prabha.
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