COIMBATORE THURSDAY FEBRUARY 27, 2020 `5.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION TENNIS - I’M SAYING GOODBYE: SHARAPOVA’S CURTAIN CALL Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova bids adieu to tennis at the age of 32, after years of dealing with injuries 373 FROM CHAMP TO DOPE CONTROVERSY RETIREMENT AFTER YEARS OF INJURIES Her announcement came in an article for Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines. “Tennis - I’m saying goodbye,” Sharapova said. “After 28 years and five Grand Slam titles, though, I’m ready to scale another mountain to compete on a different type of terrain.” Sharapova has hardly played in the past year because of long-standing shoulder problems. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Rose to fame as a 17-year-old when she won Wimbledon in 2004 Became World No 1 at 18 in 2005 and won the 2006 US Open 2007 marked the start of fitness troubles that would haunt her Completed collection of all four Slams at the 2012 French Open In 2016, she failed a dope test for Meldonium & got banned CURRENT WORLD RANKING AFTER HER AUSTRALIAN OPEN FIRST ROUND LOSS 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 Photos: SHEKHAR YADAV `1 CR RELIEF FOR HEAD CONSTABLE’S FAMILY The state government will give a compensation of `1 crore to the family of head constable Ratan Lal who was killed in the northeast Delhi violence a couple of days ago, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced. He had visited Lal’s family on Tuesday USMANPUR GOKULPURI SHIV VIHAR An Intelligence Bureau staffer was found dead in a drain in riothit Chand Bagh area where he lived. He had been missing since Tuesday and could have been killed in stone pelting, officials said. On Tuesday, mobs roamed the area and indulged in violence CHAND BAGH Sanity gets a chance as Doval plays peacemaker; toll climbs Peace and harmony are central to our ethos. I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times 27 killed so far, over 200 injured; stray incidents of arson reported in a few areas E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi CLASS XII CBSE BOARD EXAM POSTPONED The CBSE put off Thursday’s Class XII Board exam for students living in parts of east and northeast Delhi. “Considering request of Delhi government and to avoid inconvenience to students, staff and parents, the board has decided to postpone the exam for Class XII in northeast part of Delhi,” CBSE secretary Anurag Tripathi said AFTER three days of riots in at least 10 localities of northeast Delhi, Wednesday remained largely peaceful though the calm was broken late evening with some stray incidents of arson. Although the Delhi Police and security forces kept a hawk’s eye, tension simmered in all the violence-hit areas. At least 27 people have been reported killed and over 200 others injured in the communal riots that took place after proand anti-citizenship law protestors clashed in Maujpur-Babarpur area on Sunday evening. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to appeal for peace. “Peace and harmony are central to our ethos. I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times. It is important that there is calm and normalcy is restored at the earliest,” he tweeted. Modi reviewed the situation extensively and assured that police and other agencies are working on the ground to ensure peace and normalcy . He also deputed National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Kumar Doval to visit the riot-hit areas, which helped restore a semblance of normalcy “We must keep . harmony intact. We should remain united. This is our country Things have hap. pened. We should think about the fu- ture,” Doval advised people on both sides while giving them a patient hearing. Later, Doval held a meeting with the top brass of the Delhi Police at the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (northeast) in Seelampur and reviewed the scale of deployments and patrol routines in the affected areas. Doval also shared his assessment with the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by the prime minister. Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar are also part of the CCS. Signs of large-scale damage of shops, vehicles and homes were evident on the deserted roads of Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Mustafabad and neighbouring localities in the trans-Yamuna area. A curfew-like situation in the area left people without essentials for the last three days in many interior localities. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited North East Delhi’s Seelampur area and met senior police officials. He said some anti-social elements have done damage to both Hindus and Muslims, adding that a modern and developed Delhi of the 21st century cannot not be built on the mound of dead bodies. For their part, the police said the situation is under control and senior officP9 ers are leading regular patrols. CM to consider resolution against NRC E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Tiruchy Indian aid reaches Wuhan; cases outside China up EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi AS the number of fresh coronavirus cases outside China surpassed that in mainland, Beijing on Wednesday allowed New Delhi to send an IAF aircraft to Wuhan with relief materials and to evacuate Indians still stuck there. Exter nal Af fairs Minister S Jaishankar, tweeted, “Consignment (15 tonnes) of Indian medical relief lands in Wuhan. Strong expression of our solidarity with the Chinese people at this difficult time.” The C-17 military aircraft will bring back over 80 Indians and around 40 citizens from neighbouring countries, government sources said. Global credit rating agency Moody’s research arm on Wednesday warned of a global recession. Zandi said the virus “is battering the global economy in numerous ways”, adding that COVID-19 comes on top of a series of events which have hit global business ranging from trade wars to Brexit. Global markets also went into a tailspin on Wednesday on fears that coronavirus could hit global growth. Meanwhile, the outbreak has prompted six countries, including China, t o w i t h d r aw f ro m n e x t month’s shooting World Cup in India, the National Rifles Association of India said on Wednesday .Apart from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, North Korea and Turkmenistan will not participate in the P11 event. THE State government will consider adopting a resolution against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the Assembly, said Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday much to the surprise of political observ, ers. The statement comes on the heels of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar adopting a similar resolution in their State Assembly on Tuesday Nitish . was the first ally of the BJP to do so. Addressing reporters at Mukkombu in Tiruchy, Palaniswami said the Centre had clarified that three additional details that had been included in the National Population Register — mother tongue, parents’ birthplace, and documents like Aadhaar or Voter ID — are optional and not mandatory “So people need not worry . about the NPR,” added the CM. Palaniswami said his government was considering withdrawing cases slapped on people who protested against hydrocarbon projects. After inspecting the construction works at Kollidam barrage, he said the project would be completed by January 2021, way ahead of the original P5 deadline of March 2021. IB STAFFER FOUND DEAD IN CHAND BAGH AREA NARENDRA MODI, PRIME MINISTER The post-riot scene at (from top-left) Usmanpur, Gokulpuri, Shiv Vihar and Chand Bagh; and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval (above) visiting the affected areas to assess the situation, on Wednesday | PTI Police hauled over the coals by the Delhi HC, Supreme Court K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi THE Delhi Police was on Wednesday hauled over the coals in the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court for lax action that led to the snowballing of riots in northeast Delhi. The high court was caustic in its observation over the failure to file First Information Reports (FIRs) against people accused of making hate speech and inciting mobs. Audio clips of BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s remarks in northeast Delhi hours before the violence broke out as also those of members of Parliament Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma were played in the courtroom. The court was hearing a plea filed by retired bureaucrat Harsh Mander. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for Delhi Police, sought postponement of the matter by a day so as to make the Centre a party to this case. But Justice Muralidhar shot back, “Isn’t lodging of FIRs an urgent matter? The situation out there is very unpleasant.” While giving the police time till Thursday to decide whether or not they want to file the FIRs, the court said: “We can’t let another 1984 happen in this city , not under the watch of this court.” Meanwhile, the case will now be heard by a bench headed by Delhi High Court Chief Justice D N Patel. Justice Muralidhar had heard it on Wednesday as the CJ was travelling. In the Supreme Court, Justice K M Joseph said: “The problem is lack of professionalisation of police and their lack of independence.” 18 FIRs registered, 106 people arrested so far, ACP (Crime) Mandeep Singh Randhawa informed. For people requiring assistance, the police also set up two helpline numbers — 01122829334 & 22829335. The police are scanning CCTV footage to identify the miscreants TESTY EXCHANGE IN SC Citing how policing is done elsewhere, SC judge K M Joseph said, “In UK, if someone makes an inflammatory remark, police will swing into action. They will not wait for orders from anyone. But here the police let the instigators get away.” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta countered, saying: “I must also inform this court that one of the policemen has lost his life by a private bullet. One of our DCPs is critical after he was lynched. He is on a ventilator. It is a completely different scenario when you are in the midst of a riot.” EXPRESS READ Centre notifies Delhi HC judge Muralidhar’s transfer New Delhi: The Union government on Wednesday night notified the transfer of Delhi High Court judge S Muralidhar to the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Last week, the HC Bar association had gone on a day’s token strike after the SC collegium recommended his transfer. India welcomes Pakistani pilgrims with open arms Jaipur: The annual Urs and the historic Sufi Dargah in Ajmer is all set to welcome Pakistani pilgrims after a gap of two years. Tight security arrangements have been made as 260 Pakistani pilgrims will start arriving at the Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Dargah from February 28 | P7 2 killed, 15 injured as bus collides with truck on NH Chennai: Two persons were killed and 15 injured after a bus hit a truck at Chengalpattu on Tuesday night. “When the bus carrying 40 passengers was near Madurantakam, the driver tried to overtake a loaded truck, and the left side hit the vehicle,” a police officer said. A FRESH SHOOT OF HOPE IN AGRARIAN LANDSCAPE S R E E M AT H I M @ Tirunelveli CAN organic farming not yield results as good as chemical farming? A group of 30-odd farmers are busting this myth in Tirunelveli. Using organic fertilizers and ageold methods, they have reaped a bumper harvest and received an award from the Chief Minister for getting the highest yield in the year 2018-19. The story began six years ago, when a few farmers near Panakudi decided that for the sake of better health, they must shift back to organic methods. It was not easy at first. Challenges were aplenty. But with sheer grit and persistence, they steadily increased the yield every year. Seventy-year-old S Krishnammal, who received the CM’s award earlier this month, says she grows paddy using just ‘panchakavyam’ as the fertilizer — made of curd, seeds, milk, peanut flour, sugarcane juice, coconut water and cow dung. “There was a time when we also used chemical fertilizers like S Krishnammal recently received an award from the Chief Minister | V KARTHIK ALAGU other far mers,” recalls Krishnammal. “It was our neighbour S Maheshwaran (49) who convinced us to go organic,” she says. The yields were nominal. Over the years, however, the harvest just kept getting better. “Now we get nearly 1,800 kg of rice from an acre every season, which is twice of what we got initially says Krishnammal. ,” Inspired, Krishnammal and Maheshwaran started an organic farmers’ association, helping fellow farmers procure native varieties of seeds and organic farming P5 products. WHAT’S COOKING This woman has her own gas reserve to beat LPG price hike B I J U E PA U L @ Alappuzha LPG prices may be rising, but Rathnamma, a resident of Arattuvazhi in Kerala’s Alappuzha district is not sweating over it, unlike her neighbours. She doesn’t have to, as she has her own gas reservoir in her compound. The methane gas that she has been using for cooking for the past nine years comes from her borewell she Rathnamma lighting the natural gas, supplied from her borewell | EXPRESS dug in 2011. “The workers kept digging, but even after reaching a depth of 75 ft, only dirty water came. So, we decided to stop the work. I asked the workers to close the well’s mouth using a PVC cap. When they lighted a match stick during work, we were shocked to find uninterrupted flame at the mouth,” Rathnamma said. Tension gave way to fun when the plumber brought quality pipes and connected the mouth with LPG stove. And it worked! “I made black coffee for all,” she recalled the day . Still, she found it tough to c o nv i n c e h e r h u s b a n d Rameshan. “He was worried if the gas would explode,” she said. “I sniffed in and around the stove, but there was no smell. I couldn’t sleep that night.” But nothing has happened. “Since then, I’ve been relying on the natural gas,” she said. Officials from the Geological Survey of India and ONGC carried out tests and confirmed the gas to be odourless methane. However, they could not identify any bulk gas deposit in the area. Experts said the gas supply would stop, but Rathnamma has been lucky for nearly a decade.
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