MADURAI WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 04, 2019 `6.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION PARLIAMENT APPROVES SPG (AMENDMENT) BILL 2019 ‘SPECIAL SECURITY NOT A STATUS SYMBOL’ Home Minister Amit Shah rejected accusations that the government is pursuing political vendetta and reiterated that the decision to exclude the Gandhi family from the elite security cover was based on a revised threat Elite protection now only for the PM and ex-PMs for a limited assessment. “Security cover must not be treated as a status symbol,” Shah period as Rajya Sabha too passes the Bill to amend SPG Act said, adding his party is concerned about the security of all Indians | P11 55 HOW GANDHIS CAME UNDER SPG COVER ■ ■ Following Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in May 1991, the SPG Act 1988 was amended to provide SPG-level security to former PMs and their family members for 10 years after demitting office In 1999, it was decided to extend the special cover beyond the 10-year period in cases where threat level justified such security PERSONNEL ASSIGNED TO THOSE WITH Z+ COVER, LIKE THE GANDHIS 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 EXPRESS READ Five arrested for raping minor girl The Chennai police arrested five men who allegedly raped a Class 10 girl on different occasions and remanded them under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act on Tuesday. Navy forced Chinese ship to retreat New Delhi: Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh on Tuesday revealed that a Chinese naval ship was driven away from India’s EEZ in the Andaman sea in September. The ship is suspected of spying. ` GLITCH DOWNS HDFC BANK NET BANKING Thousands of customers were unable to pay their credit card dues, EMIs, and rents as HDFC’s net banking services and app remained down until Tue evening PAGE 13 STUDENTS BACK TO SCHOOL In recent days, Kashmiri students have returned to their classrooms. However, they have been asked to come in casual clothes for security reasons SHOPS STAY OPEN LONGER Shops opened in J&K on Tuesday morning and markets remained open well past noon. Until last week, shops downed their shutters much before noon BACK TO NORMAL? Centre starts pulling out troops from J&K Improvement in ground situation, claim security officials; de-induction in phases most wholly’ been withdrawn from the Jammu region, except THE Centre on Tuesday sig- from Poonch and some critical nalled the pullout of ‘additional junctions, where presence of troops’ inducted in militancy- troops to ensure basic security hit Jammu and Kashmir for se- remains an imperative still, ofcurity duties beginning July ficials said, adding that the malast week, just before the abro- jority of units pulled back were gation of Article 370 which en- drawn from the Border Securisured the state’s special status. ty Force and the Central ReThe decision to de-induct ad- serve Police Force. ditional troops was takThe Centre had canSouth en after due assessment celled the Amarnath Kashmir and “considerable imYatra on August 3 and p r o ve m e n t i n t h e asked pilgrims to leave Troops ground situation in the the state before rushing stationed in Valley”, a top security in about 50,000-70,000 disturbed official said. additional paramilidistricts of He said 20 of the 300 tary forces to the Valley Anantnag, companies of paramiliahead of the scrapping Kulgam, tary forces which were of J&K Special status Shopian and inducted had already Pulwama will and bifurcation of the left the Kashmir Valley see continued State into two UTs. from areas in Baramu- deployment of The additional la and Bandipora, bestrength was to bolster troops sides Srinagar. The the forces already stapullout will continue in a tioned in the state and pre-empt phased manner, he said but possible outbreak of violence. gave no timeline by when the “We are keeping a close full withdrawal would be watch on the situation. The deachieved. He, however, added induction is also directly linked the additional troops inducted to the situation. If the authori“would not leave in one go”, but ties feel that de-induction of be de-inducted in phases as per troops won’t impact the ground periodic assessments of the situation, then more troops will ground situation. be sent back,” said a CRPF Paramilitary forces have ‘al- spokesperson. F AYA Z W A N I @ Srinagar Chennai techie over the moon after spotting lander S V K R I S H N A C H A I TA N YA @ Chennai BELIEVE it or not, this Chennai techie with rudimentary knowledge about space exploration has solved the mystery behind the missing Chandrayaan-2 Vikram lander, leaving ISRO and NASA scientists dumbstruck. Meet Shanmuga Subramanian (33), an IT architect and rookie space enthusiast, who became a sensation by helping NASA locate the Vikram lander. It had gone incommunicado minutes before attempting a softlanding on the moon on September 7. Since then, both ISRO and NASA were frantically searching for it, deploying the most sophisticated satellites and image processing techniques. COMPARED IMAGES FOR 7-8 HOURS A DAY Shanmuga Subramanian downloaded NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera images upto last 9 years. Comparing the images for 7 to 8 hours a day, he finally found a white speck on October 3, that was not found in earlier images. Will drop cases against Koregaon activists: Uddhav In a chat with Express at his house in Adyar, Subramanian opens his laptop which contains downloaded images of moon’s surface captured by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) and explains how he made the discovery . “First, what we knew is the ISRO’s intended landing site of Vikram lander. So, I decided to look for possible crash landing signs within 4 sq.km. NASA’s LROC first flyby over the landing site was on September 17 and the US space agency released a mosaic image of the site on September 26. I downloaded it along with previous LROC images upto last nine years. Then, I began com- REVENUE SHORTFALL GOVT LOOKS TO TAX GST-EXEMPT ITEMS A B H I J I T M U LY E @ Mumbai A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi MAHARASHTRA Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said his government will withdraw all wrongful cases filed in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence. This comes soon after a senior NCP MLA Prakash Gajbhiye handed a letter to Thackeray on Tuesday demanding that “false cases” filed against Dalit activists and students in the case be withdrawn. “We are of opinion that all wrongful cases should be withdrawn. The previous government too had initiated the process of withdrawing cases in Bhima Koregaon violence, except those involve serious criminal offences,” Thackeray told reporters in Mumbai. Several youngsters, including students and activists, were implicated in riot cases filed after the violence at the war memorial of Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018. WITH GST collections falling short of targets and compensation cess to states worth about `40,000 crore remaining unpaid, the government is looking at ways to bring GSTexempt items under tax net. According to sources, the GST Council meeting later this month is likely to discuss ways to improve revenue and identify GSTexempt items that can be taxed. The next GST Council meeting will be closely watched as it is expected to take some drastic steps to boost revenue. While the GST Council’s remit is to review tax and cess rates, its focus so far has been on rationalising GST by reducing levies on many items or taking them out of the list of taxable items. “The total collection has im- proved slightly but it is still below target. With falling revenue, a review of items under exemption and cess imposed by states is required,” a finance ministry official said. If GST collections remain low, it will hit both the Centre and states. The Centre has already written to states seeking suggestions on rates and on exemption list for the next GST Council meeting. Food, fertiliser, certain medicines and farm tools are among the items that are currently exempt from GST. GST revenues grew 6% in N ove m b e r a f t e r s eve r a l months of poor collections. Total collections are still far below the estimate and officials say the mop-up has to grow over 20% each month to meet Budget targets. As of now, the shortfall is pegged at `50,000 crore. SAT asks NSDL to halt further transfer of Karvy client stocks E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad/Mumbai Pressure from lenders ICICI’s counsel argued that NSDL and Sebi must indemnify the bank against any loss on account of the transfer of pledged shares. HDFC’s counsel said NSDL transferred shares worth `400 crore and unilaterally settled the accounts THE Securities Appellate Tribunal in an interim order on Tuesday asked the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) to halt transfer of any more shares to clients of Hyderabad-based Karvy Broking. On Monday NSDL had transferred securities worth `2,014 crore to , 82,599 clients of Karvy while it hoped to transfer the remaining after , customers clear dues with Karvy While NSDL’s actions brought re. lief to clients who had accounts with Karvy Stock Broking, experts said the action of releasing the shares would have larger repercussion across the board for lenders in the segment. Given the large number of investors whose shares have been illegally pledged by Karvy to take bank loans, experts said the ruling favouring banks and neglecting investors is likely to be challenged. The interim stay came after three more lenders — ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank and HDFC Bank — knocked the doors of SAT claiming ownership of the securities Karvy had pledged with them. The banks join NBFC Bajaj Finance, which called in Karvy’s loans last month. It also reserved orders against fresh petitions filed by the banks for Wednesday SAT directed markets regulator Sebi to hear the lender’s . views by December 4, and pass an order by December 10. According to NSE’s preliminary probe, Karvy took loans to the tune of `600 crore by pledging securities worth `2,300 crore of 95,000 clients with lenders. INCREASED INFLOW Water flowing at Agasthiyar falls in Tirunelveli on Tuesday following a discharge from Papanasam Karaiyar dam | V KARTHIKALAGU Dope alarm in Indian sports ahead of Olympics To be on the safer side, authorities have decided to conduct 300 dope tests in the Khelo India meet to be held in Guwahati in January. It is an event for junior athletes I N D R A N E E L D A S @ New Delhi WITH around eight months to go for the Tokyo Olympics and Indian hopes soaring with a string of impressive performances in various World Championhips this year, there comes some bad news. The number of cases of doping involving Indians continues to be alarming. In the past 11 months, there have been 156 failed dope tests. In a list compiled by the Nation- al Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) in possession of this newspaper, bodybuilders are the prime offenders with 60 positive tests. That’s not an Olympic event, one can say The wor. rying part is, even track and field and weightlifting athletes feature near the top of the list. Other than 26 weightlifters, there are 20 athletes whose urine samples contain traces of illegal performance-enhanc- METTUPALAYAM Day after tragedy, man who raised the wall arrested EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Coimbatore A day after 17 people were crushed to death following a wall collapse at Nadur near Mettupalayam, businessman Sivasubramanian (60), who had raised the wall around his property was ar, rested by the Coimbatore district police on Tuesday, even as TN Chief Minister increased the compensation for the next of kin of those killed to `10 lakh. According to sources, Sivasubramanian, who went absconding after the incident, called the police after the department picked up his two sons on Monday Initially he refused to reveal . , where he was. However, when the police said a case will be filed against his sons, he shared the details of his whereabouts. Police altered the case against Sivasubramanian to Section 304 (ii) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC from 304 (A) and Section 4 of the TNPPDL Act. He was taken to the Madukkarai judicial magistrate on Tuesday and remanded to judicial custody for 15 days. Police will consider including charges under SC/ST Act, sources said. CM’s promises NEEDLE MENACE 300 tests to be done at Khelo India paring manually pixel by pixel, to , locate any noticeable difference. I spent seven to eight hours every day for four days, and finally on October 3, I found a tiny little white speck that was not found in earlier images. For me, that was the piece of Vikram lander. You may call it a hunch, but NASA on Tuesday credited me for the discovery he says. ,” On why ISRO and NASA were unable to see what he found with his naked eyes, Subramanian says, “Being an amateur, I was excited with every new element found. There were several false positives. But, I finally found what I was looking for.” However, a few ISRO scientists are quesP5 tioning the claim. ing subsatnces. Even a relatively dope-free sport like shooting has two offenders in 2019. The NADA will up its ante on anti-doping measures before the Olympics. Its director-general, Navin Agarwal, felt the number of samples collected ahead of the Olympics will be substantial. For the record, 3,814 samples have been collected in 2019 so far. “We have increased our detection rate and all Olympic-bound athletes will be continuously monitored,” Agarwal said. When woman boxer Neeraj Phogat was caught for the drug Ligandrol on Monday, it was thought to be the first instance in India of this drug being used. It emerged on Tuesday that three lifters were guilty of using it in 2019. They got hefty bans, but it shows that Indians are not averse to exploring new avenues in doping. The CM, who met the family members of the deceased on T u e s d ay, a n nounced an additional `6 lakh compensation from the CM’s p u bl i c re l i e f fund, apart from the `4 lakh announced under the disaster relief fund. He later told reporters that houses will be constructed for those who had lost their homes and government jobs provided to kin of victims, based on their P5 qualifications. Thieves rob farmer of 350 kg of shallots worth `42,000 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Perambalur A small onion farmer in Kuthanur village in Perambalur was reduced to tears after thieves made off with 350 kg of “precious shallots” worth ` 42,000. K Muthukrishnan (40) had ploughed his three-acre land for shallot cultivation and bought seeds from Chathiram- ani village. “Last week, I purchased 1,000 kg of shallots at a cost of `1 lakh. It has been raining for the past few days and I have been waiting to sow. I kept the shallots in sacks in my field and covered them. This morning, I found six bags stolen. The remaining bags were open and the shallots scattered all over,” he said. A complaint was lodged.
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.