CHENNAI SATURDAY JANUARY 25, 2020 `5.00 PAGES 26 LATE CITY EDITION BIGGER LOCKDOWN China quarantined 13 cities, home to CHINA WUHAN 41 million people, around Wuhan to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus MUMBAI QUARANTINE Three Indians who returned from China are under observation at a Mumbai hospital. Another one was reported in Hyderabad KERALA SURVEILLANCE 80 people back from China are under surveillance. Seven with mild symptoms are being treated while the rest are under home surveillance LARGER FOOTPRINT While Nepal joined the infection map with at least one patient testing positive, the US reported its second confirmed case of Wuhan virus 26 PATIENT SURGE Unable to cope with surging patient inflow, hospitals in China are allegedly sending back people, even those with symptoms 880 177 infected across China of them in serious condition FORTY Military medical officers have been deployed to a Wuhan hospital HAVE SUCCUMBED SO FAR TO CORONAVIRUS, ALL OF THEM IN CHINA No masks, running out of food, Indian medicos’ Chinese nightmare S O W M YA M A N I @ Tiruchy STUDENTS from Tamil Nadu pursuing medicine from the Wuhan University in China are too scared to leave their rooms. They have been staying indoors for the past two days, fearing the coronavirus. Reports say close to 900 have contracted the virus, of which at least 26 have succumbed. While most of the cases are being reported from Wuhan in Hubei Province, the World Health Organization is seized on the matter. In India, at least 10 incoming passengers have been put under observation. Speaking to Express, a handful of Tamil students at the University said the Chinese government had imposed a complete shutdown in Wuhan, as a result of which food and mask prices have skyrocketed. The students said they were in dire need of food and basic amenities, and wanted to be moved out to another city till the outbreak is contained. “While some of them are staying in the University hostel, rest of us are in rented rooms with no help available,” said P Manishankar, a final year stu- dent from Pudukkottai. “I have not been able to get a protective mask owing to heavy demand,” said Manishankar. “All students are scared of leaving their rooms, as the threat looms large.” Manishankar said the Indian Embassy had called them and given the hotline numbers. “But even getting out to buy masks could be risky as the virus spreads through human contact,” said the medical student. “We have enough food to last us for 4-5 days. We don’t know what will happen after that. There is no news on how long the shutdown will last,” Manishankar added. He said that the first time he stepped out of his house to buy a mask, he found the medical shop closed. The next time he stepped out, the shop was P5, 9 extremely crowded. 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 Tried to stop sand mafia, killed using earth mover EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE EC to draft norms on cleaning up politics Expect data bill passage in budget session MUST CREATE MIRROR SITES IN INDIA The data protection bill was introduced in LS on December 11. It provides for allowing transfer of sensitive personal data outside India with the consent of the individual, provided mirror sites are set up in India Poll panel gets a week from SC to draw up framework to stop criminalisation of politics in national interest @ T’puram A 35-year-old man, who tried to stop illegal sand mining in his property, was on Friday bludgeoned to death with the arm of an earth mover, allegedly by members of Kerala sand mafia in Kattakada near Thiruvananthapuram. Local police have registered a case against six men. One of them surrendered on Friday, but the rest are absconding. According to the police, the six men reached Sangeeth Balan’s property around 12.30 am with heavy equipment and trucks and started mining. His wife, who was at home along with their two children, alerted Sangeeth, who was at his hatchery unit about 30 km from the scene. After Sangeeth rushed to the spot and tried to stop the mining, the gang knocked him down with the arm of an earth mover. Neighbours took him to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. His body will be handed over to relatives on Saturday after post-mortem at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital. “We’ve seized the vehicle used for the crime,” the police said. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Friday asked the Election Commission (EC) to draft a framework to stop criminalisation of politics in national interest, as the poll panel said the apex court’s directions in 2018 to candidates to declare their criminal antecedents in the media had not made much impact. A bench of justices R F Nariman and S Ravindra Bhat gave the poll panel a week to draw up the framework and directed BJP leader and petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay and the EC to sit together and come up with suggestions to help curb criminalisation of politics. Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the EC, said the poll panel has taken several steps to stop criminalisation of politics. He suggested that political parties should be made accountable for giving tickets to candidates with criminal history . In September 2018, a fivejudge Constitution bench had said that all candidates will have to declare their criminal antecedents to the EC before contesting polls and called for wider publicity through print and electronic media about candidates with criminal background so as help voters make informed decisions. The court had said measures to weed out criminal elements from politics, if implemented in their true spirit, would strengthen democracy . In his petition, Upadhyay sought to blame the EC for the lapses. He argued that the poll panel had issued directions to political parties and candidates for publication of criminal antecedents without amending the Election Symbol Order and the Model Code of Conduct, which was why they lacked legal bite. He also said that the EC neither published a list of leading newspapers-news channels for the purpose nor clarified the timing for declaration of criminal antecedents by candidates. As a result, candidates went about publishing the information in downmarket newspapers and getting them telecast at odd hours. MPs with criminal record At present, 46% members of Parliament have criminal antecedents. As such, it cannot be assumed that a law will be passed in this regard, the petitioner said U.S. READY TO LIVE WITH IT The bill allows non-sensitive data to be stored abroad. India will define what is sensitive and what is not While the US is unhappy with mirror image storing, it are willing to live with it as data can be kept in servers in the US STATUE DAMAGED BY MISCREANTS Tension prevailed at Chengalpattu on Friday as an unidentified gang had damaged a statue of Periyar the previous night. Personnel from Salavakkam police station rushed to the spot and the statue was repaired by evening | P3 @ New Delhi THE Centre wants to pass the Personal Data Protection Bill, which will allow data to be stored abroad with consent and with mirror images in India, in the forthcoming budget session of Parliament. A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to which the bill has been referred, put out a notification on Thursday seeking people’s views. Based on public hearings, the JPC will report back to Parliament with its recommendations. “We hope those (recommendations) will be ready before the end of the extended budget session and the bill will be passed in the second sitting of the budget session itself,” officials said. Americans have been dead against India forcing US-based firms like Google, Facebook TNPSC debars 99 candidates for lifetime Election Commission EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai THE BIG FIGHT PAWAR SECURITY OFF. SNOOP PROBE BEGINS. NIA STEPS IN THE political temperature in Maharashtra shot up on Friday as the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) criticised the Centre for withdrawing ‘Y’ category security cover to party chief Sharad Pawar in New Delhi. Parallelly , the state government launched a probe into allegations of phone tapping by the erstwhile BJP government led by Devendra Fadnavis. And the Centre wrested back control over the Bhima Koregaon case, as it transferred it to the National Investigation Agency from the state police. Security personnel deployed at Pawar’s Delhi residence stopped reporting for work since January 20, the NCP claimed, adding the withdrawal happened without prior intimation. Pawar is a ‘Z+’ category protectee in Maharashtra and a Rajya Sabha member. “The Centre withdrew Sharad Pawar’s security out of jealousy but such moves will scare no one,” Maha Vikas Aghadi minister and NCP spokesman Nawab Malik said, even as his colleague Jitendra Awhad warned of a full scale probe into snooping, a charge Fadnavis was quick to reject. “Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray, Digvijay Singh and Sanjay Raut’s phones were tapped by BJP misusing Pegasus spyware bought from Israel,” Awhad alleged. With Home Minister Anil Deshmukh ordering the probe, Awhad added, “Officers were sent to Israel. The ‘why’ needs to be investigated.” As for Bhima Koregaon case, Pawar’s push for a probe into the alleged phone tapping of activists made the Centre anxious. P11 WAVIN’ FLAG School students participate in a full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade at the Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu on Friday | PTI EXPRESS READ High Court declares Nadigar Sangam elections null and void Koregaon case out of Maha grip With the Maharashtra govt deciding to launch a fresh probe into the Bhima Koregaon case, the Centre wrested it back, handing it over to the National Investigation Agency | P11 Chennai: Madras High Court on Friday declared the Nadigar Sangam elections in June last year null and void. It upheld the appointment of B Gokuldoss, retired judge, as election officer to conduct the election in three months.Justice K Kalyanasundaram said the court has no hesitation to hold that the decisions taken by the executive committee of the petitioner association in the meetings held after the expiry of its tenure in Oct 2018 is invalid | P3 Lucknow varsity mulls adding CAA to syllabus Lucknow: Lucknow University’s Political Science department has proposed including the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as a topic in its curriculum. “CAA may be made a part of the subject ‘Contemporary Issues in Indian Politics’. We will put it before the board as a proposal,” senior professor Shashi Shukla said | P11 2G internet, broadband to be restored in Valley today Srinagar: The 2G mobile internet and broadband services will be restored in the Kashmir Valley from Saturday, an official order said. Data services will be available on post-paid as well as pre-paid sim cards. Access shall be limited only to white-listed sites and social media will continue to remain out of bounds for the Valley’s residents LITTLE HELP FROM FRIENDS Skippers play big-ticket game, come in aid for late footballer’s family V I S H N U P R A S A D @ Chennai LAST month, the Indian football fraternity was shocked when former East Bengal and Mohun Bagan player Dhanarajan Radhakrishnan collapsed while playing a sevens football game in Kerala and passed away. Now his family is about to get a helping hand from two giants of Indian football. Two days ago, Gokulam Kerala FC announced that the entire gate receipts of their up- coming I-League game against Churchill Brothers will be handed over to Dhanarajan’s family. After that announcement, two of India’s best strikers are buying tickets in bulk. Club sources revealed that current India captain Sunil Chhetri and former captain IM Vijayan have bought a large number of tickets. It has been learnt that while Vijayan bought 250 tickets, Chhetri has bought 220. Both have asked that these be hand- ed to football academies and NGOs nearby. “I can’t count how many sevens matches I have played with him (Dhanarajan),” said Vijayan. “I went to his house as soon as I heard about him passing away When . I heard of this initiative, I wanted to do whatever I could for him. I’ve told the club to distribute those tickets to all the kids who want to watch the game. I’m happy that an ILeague club from Kerala has come up with such an initia- and Mastercard to keep mirror data storage facilities in India, as it involves extra costs and lets Indian agencies access the firms’ proprietary data. “We’ll also push for free flow of data across borders,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said last year in India’s context. However, officials said that talks with the US Commerce Department as well as other officials have led them to believe that while the Americans were unhappy with mirror image storing, “they are willing to live with it” as data could still be kept in servers in the US. The bill allows the Centre access to the data “in the interest of security public order, sover, eignty and integrity of India and friendly relations with foreign states” and to prevent any cognizable offences — provisions that activists say can be misused by the state. MALPRACTICE Given the situation and current composition of Parliament, we can assume that a law will not be passed to prohibit criminalisation of politics and disqualify those charged with serious criminal offences S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai PERIYAR J AYA N TA R O Y C H O W D H U R Y Nothing free for Sunday games The I-league football club has withdrawn all complimentary tickets, including free entry for women for the Sunday match. Tickets are priced between `60 and `200 From the files: Dhanarajan Radhakrishnan during a game tive.” More than 3,000 tickets have been sold so far for the match that takes place on Sunday The stadium has a capacity . of 40,000. If the club manages to sell out the stadium, they will have raised more than `15 lakh for Dhanarajan’s family . The 39-year-old defender had reportedly collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest, while playing in a sevens football in Perinthalmanna on December 29. He was taken to a nearby hospital but passed away there. TAMIL Nadu Public Services Commission (TNPSC), confirming the malpractice in its Group 4 examination conducted last year, said the candidates who cheated used a “special ink” that vanishes a few hours after writing. The Commission debarred these candidates from appearing for any TNPSC exam for lifetime. In a statement on Friday, TNPSC confirmed the malpractice by 99 candidates in the exam held on September 1, 2019. The Commission conducted an internal probe earlier this year after allegations cropped up that many candidates who took the exam at R a m e sw a r a m and Keelakarai had managed to secure top ranks. Rank list for the exam was released by TNPSC late in December. According to the Commission, 99 candidates chose to write the exam in Rameswaram and Keelakarai in Ramanathapuram district, based on the advice of certain agents. “Of these candidates, the agents allegedly altered the Optical Mark Recognition sheets of 52 and placed the answer sheet back into the bundles with help from other officials involved,” the statement said, adding that 39 of the 52 examinees found their names in the top 100 rank holders. TNPSC, however, said that no malpractice has happened in other centres. It also updated the rank list with new names, after removing the names of the 39 accused of P5 malpractice.
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