KOTTAYAM l THURSDAY l JUNE 18, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION WHY NOT CANCEL PENDING BOARD EXAMS, SC ASKS CBSE The top court directs the board to decide if students could be assessed on the basis of performance in internal exams EXAMS IN JULY COULD PUT LIVES AT RISK The court was hearing a plea filed by parents of children who have been affected by the postponement of exams due to Covid-19. The Board had, last month, announced that it will hold the exams between July 1 and 15. But, citing the AIIMS data, the petitioners argued that the pandemic would be at its peak in July and holding the exams then would be risky June 23 DECISION SOON, ASSURES BOARD ■ The petitioners accused the board of discrimination as it cancelled the pending exams in about 250 schools abroad and decided to assess the students there on the basis of past exams ■ The CBSE informed the court that in light of safety concerns, it’ll soon take an appropriate decision on the remaining 29 exams IS WHEN THE CBSE WILL INFORM THE COURT OF ITS DECISION 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 LOC CLASH IN GALWAN VALLEY JAMMU & KASHMIR LAC LADAKH Kerala says Covid test must for all returning expats E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram Mortal remains of Colonel Santhosh Babu being kept for public viewing in Hyderabad on Wednesday | EXPRESS Tents and surveillance post set up by PLA on a mountain trail on the Indian side of LAC triggered violence The Indian side led by Col B Santosh Babu strongly objected to them and tried to remove the tents The spot where 20 Indian soldiers were killed in clashes with Chinese troops on Monday night The basic objection was there could be no structure as June 6 pact described the area as buffer zone A small group of Chinese troops reacted angrily but soon retreated to their side of the LAC They returned soon after with more troops in full riot gear and attacked the Indian soldiers By then, more Indian soldiers had come in and were attempting to clear the Chinese encroachment As both sides clashed, a portion of the road caved in. Some Indian and Chinese soldiers fell into Galwan river Initially, a few Indians were captured by the Chinese, but were released later. India lost 20 soldiers PM says India can give fitting response; forces on full alert Modi calls all-party meet on Friday to discuss situation emerging from the attack on jawans on the LAC in Ladakh; Jaishankar talks to his Chinese counterpart, warns bilateral ties could take a hit; ‘Stand with India,’ says Trump China failed to honour Galwan buffer zone pact P U S H K A R B A N A K A R & M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi A day after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the Galwan Valley along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) following a violent stand-off with Chinese troops, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday paid homage to them and said India wants peace but will give a befitting reply if provoked. Hours later, leaves sanctioned to all armed forces personnel were cancelled and all three services put on high alert. And US President Donald Trump announced his support through a cryptic tweet: “Stand with India.” “I would like to assure the nation that the sacrifice of our jawans will not be in vain. For us, the sovereignty of the country is most important. India wants peace but it is capable to give a befitting reply if instigated,” Modi said. He also called an all-party meeting on Friday evening to discuss the situation at the border. Speaking on the stand-off for the first time while interacting with chief ministers, Modi said India never provokes anyone. “But whenever needed, we have demonstrated our strength, proving our capabilities in protecting and defending the integrity and sovereignty of the country. Sacrifice and endurance are part of our national character. At the same time, bravery and valour are equally part of it,” Modi said. Earlier in the day, Chinese Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday stands with folded hands honouring the sacrifices made by Indian soldiers on the border with China | PTI Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said his country does not want more conflicts with India. “From our side we do not want more clashes with India,” he said. Lijian’s remarks came hours before External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. According to a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs, Jaishnakar registered India’s protest against the standoff and warned that bilateral ties could take a hit. “The need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its actions and take corrective steps. The two sides should scrupulously and sincerely implement the understanding that was reached by the Senior Commanders on 6th June. Troops of both sides should also abide by the bilateral agreements and protocols. Power bill: Relief unlikely, most will have to pay up C Y N T H I A C H A N D R A N @ T’Puram THE consumers who paid exorbitant amounts for the power they consumed during the lockdown period are unlikely to get any money back. While Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) said it would rework the tariff pattern to address the grievances, sources in the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC), which is supposed to approve any tariff change, said the issue is the Pangong Tso Lake. In his first comment after the stand-off began, the Army THE violence that erupted on Chief said, “I would like to asMonday in the Galwan region sure everyone that the situaat Patrolling Point 14 was tied tion along our border with Chito China failing to honour the na is under control,” adding agreement on June 6 that the both sides were disengaging in area would be a buffer zone. a phased manner. “We have A senior Army officer said, started from the north, from “The soldiers were attacked the area of the Galwan river, when the Local Commanding where a lot of disengagement Officer of the Galwan has taken place.” area had gone to conIndian officials conCondition firm the moving back now stable firmed a “limited miliof the Chinese troops tary disengagement” from the location on The condition of at three hotspots along four other the banks of the Galthe LAC — Galwan wan river.” The Chi- critically injured Valley Patrolling Point , soldiers has nese were expected to 15 and Hot Springs. dismantle their tents become stable. In its statement on Also, 18 more in the zone. the flare-up, the minisDuring the Corps jawans injured in try of external affairs, the attack are Commanders meeting said: “While there was getting on June 6, it was decidsome progress (on deed to create buffer treatment in Leh escalation), the Chizones to begin with nese side sought to and this was to be followed with erect a structure in Galwan a phase-wise withdrawal. Valley on our side of the LAC. Confirming the disengage- While this became a source of ment plan, Army Chief Gen- dispute, the Chinese side took eral M M Naravane had said on pre-meditated and planned acJune 13 that it will take place in tion that was directly responsia “phased manner” along the ble for the resulting violence contested Line of Actual Con- and casualties... It reflected an trol (LAC). The withdrawal intent to change the facts on agreement did not include the ground in violation of all our stand-off point at Finger 4 agreements to not change the along the Northern Flank of status quo.” M AYA N K S I N G H A N D P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi unique owing to the lockdown and the electricity board cannot pass the buck. “Changing the pattern of fixing tariffs is a long process. The current situation is an unprecedented one. It’s purely an inter nal matter of KSEB as no meter reading was done during the lockdown. The KSEB can’t just pass the buck to the KSERC. They should ideally take the average of the consumption for a period of six months,” a KSERC ex-mem● More on P4 ber told TNIE. They should strictly respect and observe the Line of Actual Control and should not take any unilateral action to alter it,” the statement read. The Chinese statement, however, accused the Indian troops of deviating from the June 6 agreement. “India must make sure similar incidents as that on Monday do not happen again. India must also not miscalculate the current situation, and not underestimate China’s determination to safeguard its sovereignty and territory the ,” Global Times, the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, quoted Yi as saying. The division commander meeting, which was initially suspended, took place after the foreign ministers’ telephone call but they were inconclusive. According to sources, the meeting was suspended due to deceptive actions of the Chinese army on Monday . DESPITE the outcry from various quarters, the state government on Wednesday decided to insist on Covid-negative certificate for the expatriates returning home via chartered flights and also Vande Bharat mission. The state cabinet gave the nod to the decision aimed at avoiding chances of infected people transmitting the virus to others on these flights. The state urged the Centre to direct embassies to make necessary arrangements to conduct Covid tests in countries where expatriates are facing difficulties in getting them done. For those who cannot afford the test, it should be done free of cost, the state demanded. Justifying the decision, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said: “The state had told the Centre as early as on May 5 that expatriates, even those coming via Vande Bharat flights, should be brought to the state only after conducting Covid-19 test.” Pinarayi said SpiceJet, to which the state gave approval to operate 300 chartered flights, has informed that only people tested ne gative for Covid will be brought to the state. Expatriate organisations which sought permission to bring NRKs have also been told to follow the SpiceJet ● More on P4 model, he said. TDB bars devotees at temples till June 30 T’Puram: The Travancore Devaswom Board has barred the entry of devotees to all its shrines from Thursday, until June 30. The decision comes in the wake of an increase in Covid-19 spread through local contact. TDB president N Vasu said that the board will meet towards the end of this month to discuss reopening. State to soon adopt rapid antigen testing T’Puram: The state will soon adopt a new testing strategy in the form of point-of-care rapid antigen detection test. CM Pinarayi Vijayan said the government has decided to consider the advice of the state expert committee on Covid-19 and appropriate action will be initiated. CM for continuing 3-pronged fight T’Puram: The state has decided to implement its three-pronged strategy of containing Covid-19 in a foolproof manner. The strategy consists of social distancing, wearing of facemasks, quarantine and reverse quarantine. 75 NEW CASES VS 90 RECOVERIES IN STATE Of the new patients, 53 came from abroad, 19 from other states and 3 were infected through local contacts. 75 1,351 2,697 cases reported on Wednesday people under cases have been confirmed so far treatment 1,324 recovered 20 DEATHS 277 Keralites have died in foreign countries so far, according to CM Pinarayi Vijayan Nationwide lockdown ruled out, says Modi E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi CMs brief PM on steps PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on taken Wednesay advised chief ministers to prepare for the next phase of unlocking the The chief country, dispelling rumours of a fresh ministers round of nationwide lockdown in the highlighted the wake of the Covid pandemic. He also steps taken to sought their help is addressing emotional boost testing, challenges associated with the outbreak, encourage the use of masks, including stigma. Modi clearly said there would be no and provide job more fresh nationwide lockdown while opportunities to asking the chief ministers to speed up eco- migrants who nomic activities. “We now need to think have returned about Unlock Phase II and how to minimise all possibilities of harm to our people,” the PM said. He urged the states to take steps to boost infrastructure and construction-related activities. Dwelling on the emotional aspect, he said: “We have to find ways by which we can pull our citizens out of the stigma born out of the fear of the virus.” EXPRESS READ FATE IS NEVER FAIR Tried to end life, killed in mishap on way to hosp EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Alappuzha A 32-YEAR-OLD woman, who attempted suicide due to family issues, died on her way to hospital after the ambulance carrying her collided with a truck on NH-66 near Aroor on Tuesday night. Ahalya Devi (Rakhi), wife of Binoy, Pulimootil house, Ambika Market, near Vaikom, and the mother of a five-year-old, had set herself ablaze after pouring kerosene over her body at her uncle’s house in Than- neermukkom. Though she was taken to a couple of private hospitals in Cherthala and later to the General Hospital in Kochi, they refused to admit her. Hence, relatives later took her to the Alapp u z h a G ove r n m e n t Medical College Hospital (MCH) in an ambulance. On their way, the vehicle collided with a truck carrying sand. Ah- alya was thrown out of the vehicle along with the stretcher in the impact of the collision and she suffered fatal injuries, the police said. Her father Maniyappan and uncle Dileep Kumar, who suffered injuries, were admitted to a private hospital. Ahalya’s body was handed over to relatives after the postmortem examination at the As per the initial inquiry, the woman who had suffered burn injuries sustained a serious head injury due to the collision and this may have caused her death — K J Jacob, Sub-Inspector, Aroor police station MCH. She has been staying with her mother at Veliyambra near Thanneermukkom for the past few months. Differences of opinion with husband prompted Ahalya to stay in her mother’s house, police said. Aroor police have registered a case under Section 304 A (causing death by negligence) of IPC. “As per the initial inquiry the woman who had suf, fered burn injuries sustained a serious head injury due to the collision and this may have caused her death,” said Aroor SI K J Jacob. 2.62 CRTO ELIGIBLE VOTE IN LOCAL BODY POLLS The final electoral roll published by the State Election Commission on Wednesday includes 14.87 lakh new voters. P5
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