KOCHI l SATURDAY l DECEMBER 07, 2019 l `7.00 l PAGES 20 l LATE CITY EDITION WILL SHUT VODAFONE-IDEA IF GOVT DOESN’T HELP: BIRLA The billionaire chairman of India’s 3rd largest telco on Friday wondered why can’t the govt offer relief on K53,038 cr dues TELCOS WANT INTEREST, PENALTY WAIVER ‘GOVT CAN’T IGNORE CRUCIAL SECTOR’ Telecom players together have to pay nearly D1.5 lakh crore towards licence fee and spectrum usage charges for the past 14 years. Airtel and Vodafone have requested the government to waive off interest and penalty, which will halve the dues. They have also filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against its ruling on adjusted gross revenue | P13 ■ ■ “It does not make sense to throw good money after bad. That would be end of story for us. We will shut shop,” Kumar Mangalam Birla said at an event in Delhi on Friday Birla said telecom is too crucial a sector for the govt to ignore. “The whole digital India programme rests on this,” he noted A1.47 lakh cr AIRTEL, VODAFONE-IDEA AND OTHER TELCOS OWE THIS MUCH TO THE GOVT 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 Guns settle Hyderabad vet rape-murder case for good Nothing left to solve, no lengthy trial to prepare for as four accused shot in pre-dawn ‘encounter’ P I N T O D E E PA K @ Hyderabad NINE days after the spine-chilling rape and murder of 27-year-old veterinarian at a toll plaza near Shamshabad, all four accused in the case died in an “encounter” with the police in the early hours of Friday at Chatanpally about 55 , km from here. Their date with death was on an agricultural field right next to where they set fire to the body of veterinarian Disha on the intervening night of November 27-28. Her charred body was found under a bridge at Chatanpally on the Hyderabad-Bengaluru National Highway No 44. The stretch of agriculture land, where the accused Mohd Pasha alias Areef, Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen and Chintakunta Chennakesavalu were killed, lies around 300 metres from the place where the victim’s body was found. When the media reached the spot, it found 9 mm pistols in the right hands of two of the accused, Areef and Chennakesavalu. These pistols are generally carried by sub inspectors. Mohd Pasha Shiva After the news broke, Disha’s father said: “I am happy that justice has been served. I am satisfied with the action the police have taken.” Telangana erupted in celebrations. People began lauding Cyberabad Police Commissioner V C Sajjanar for serving “timely justice”. Jubilant rallies, festoons, and banners appeared almost instantly on the streets. A huge crowd collected at the Chatanpal- Naveen Chennakesavalu ly bridge, greeting Sajjanar, shouting slogans and showering petals on him from the bridge. Several celebrities, including Telugu filmstars such as Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna Akkineni and Jr NTR felt justice had been served. Sajjanar is no stranger to encounters. Under his watch as Superintendent of Police, Warangal in 2008, three youth accused of throwing acid at two girls were shot dead in a similar “encoun- Onion price up, hotels may down shutters T O B Y A N T O N Y @ Kochi WITH prices of vegetables, mainly onions, scaling new heights, the hoteliers in the state have threatened to down the shutters saying operational costs in small and medium hotels have risen as high as 70 per Who says air pollution kills, asks Javadekar EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi A Health Ministry study published in Lancet in 2018 said India’s average life expectancy would have increased 1.7 years if air pollution was low, but Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar appeared to dismiss such a suggestion. Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha on Friday he said no Indi, an study shows pollution shortens lifespan. “Let us not create a fear psyc h o s i s among people. Indian studies have not shown a correlation between shortening of life and pollution,” the minister said, adding the government has been taking pro-active steps to curb pollution. He seems to have missed the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 published in Lancet in December 2018 on the impact of air pollution on deaths, disease burden and life expectancy across India. The study established a linkage between pollution and lifespan. CONTINUED ON P9 20 PAGES, INCLUDING 4 PAGES OF KOCHI EXPRESS cent per day due to the high input costs. Kerala Hotel and Restaurants Association (KHRA), the umbrella body of hotels, said the price of food products cannot be increased as the ongoing economic slowdown has already impacted people’s spending habits, especially outdoor dining. Worsening the situation, the prices of grains, cereals and all essential goods have also skyrocketed with no preventive measures adopted by the governments in Centre and state yet, said KHRA general secretary ● More on P5 J Jayapal. The cordoned off ‘encounter’ site at Chatanpally, where the four accused (inset) were killed on Friday | VINAY MADAPU ter” at Mamonoor on the outskirts of Warangal. Of the two girls, one died. Then too, Sajjanar’s “heroism” was celebrated. However, the National Commission for Human Rights took a dim view of the “encounter killings” and sent a team to ascertain facts. And the National Commission for Women said though the punishment was justified, it should have come from a court of law and not P6 the police. DISTURBING QUESTIONS Why were the accused taken to Chatanpally? Police claim they took them there to recover Disha’s mobile phone, power bank and wristwatch But why before dawn? Couldn’t they have been taken anytime during the day? They were taken before daybreak to protect them from the mounting public wrath, the police want you to believe How did they die? Two of the accused snatched weapons from the police and began shooting forcing cops to retaliate with gunfire, claims Sajjanar Unnao girl breathes last New Delhi: The rape victim from Unnao, airlifted to Delhi and admitted to the Safdarjung Hospital here after she was set on fire allegedly by five persons, died on Friday night, hospital sources said. Pay fine in time; MVD plans to blacklist your vehicle, deny services A N I L K U M A R T @ Kochi NON-PAYMENT of fines imposed for a traffic violation will land a vehicle owner in trouble with the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) planning to ‘blacklist’ the erring vehicles. Once the department starts implementing the rule strictly, the vehicle owner will be denied service from all regional transport offices across the nation. Key services including ownership transfer, registration renewal, address change in the registration certificate, issuing of pollution certificate will be denied. The blacklisting, which will be done through the recently launched Vahan software, comes after the government suffered huge revenue loss due to non-payment of fines. “People are not at all bothered about the memos or check report which they receive in their registered address. They know they’ve to take their vehicle to the MVD only for the next RC renewal. As per the department’s rule, private vehicles have to undergo compulsory fitness test only 15 FINE LINES Total offences detected up to 30.11.19 21.95L Total violators H98.25 cr Total amount H54.75 cr Fine collected H43.50 cr Balance to be collected Total offences in November alone 2.99L Total violators H17.21 cr Total amount H12 cr Fine collected H5.21 cr Balance to be collected years after purchasing the vehicle. Vehicles which haven’t paid arrears have been receiving service from the department. But by blacklisting the vehicles, the owners will be denied service across the nation until they clear their arrears. Even for getting a pollution certificate, the violators will be forced to clear the amount,” said Joint Transport Commissioner Rajeev Puthal● More on P6 ath. US faults India’s response to cyber attack on N-plant M AYA N K S I N G H & P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi US State Department officials are on a hush-hush visit to India in connection with the recent cyber attack on the Kudankulam nuclear plant, which has been traced t o N o r t h Ko r e a , sources said. Sources said the US officials expressed concern over India’s bid to play down the incident. The US feels New Delhi should have raised the issue at the global level to expose North Korea’s intentions. “US State Department officials are in India and had a meeting with select offi- cials of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. They expressed unhappiness at the way India handled the cyber attack,” a source told this newspaper. Neither the MEA nor the US embassy in New Delhi confirmed the visit.
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07122019 of The New Indian Express-Kochi
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