MADURAI THURSDAY JUNE 18, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 LATE 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 Nationwide lockdown ruled out, says Modi LADAKH have recovered from the infection is high and is increasing rapidly Therefore, those who . PRIME Minister Narendra contracts Covid-19 need not Modi on Wednesay advised panic, he added. chief ministers to prepare for Fifteen chief ministers, inthe next phase of unlocking cluding those of Tamil Nadu, the country, dispelling ru- Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, mours of a fresh round of na- Maharashtra and Bihar took tionwide lockdown in the part in Wednesday’s virtual wake of the Covid pandemic. discussion. The PM stressed He also sought their help is the need to ramp up testing. addressing emotional The chief ministers CMs brief challenges associated were urged to utilise with the outbreak, in- PM on steps the existing testing taken cluding stigma. capacity to the maxiModi clearly said mum while working The chief there would be no on expanding them. ministers more fresh nation- highlighted the Union Minister for wide lockdown while steps taking to Home Affairs Amit asking the chief minShah, in his brief reboost testing, isters to speed up ecomarks said that battle encourage the nomic activities. “We against the pandemic use of masks, now need to think and provide job is still not over and about Unlock Phase II opportunities to utmost precaution and how to minimise must be taken. migrants who all possibilities of As many as 15 chief have returned harm to our people,” ministers, which inthe PM said. He urged the cluded Nitish Kumar, Yogi states to take steps to boost in- Adityanath, Uddhav Thackfrastructure and construc- eray took part in the delibera, tion-related activities. tions. They sought to draw the Dwelling on the emotional Centre’s attention towards foaspect, he said: “We have to cusing on expeditious beefing find ways by which we can up of key health infrastrucpull our citizens out of the ture, including the availabilistigma born out of the fear of ty of ventilators. Union Home the virus.” He underlined that Minister Amit Shah, too, the number of people who made a brief address. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi 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 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 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. 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 . FAKING DOCUMENT Hey presto! Chennai trio pulls e-Pass out of thin air A Z E E F A F AT H I M A @ Virudhunagar NOW, being tech savvy is not a crime. So, why did three persons from Chennai cool their heels behind the bars, you may ask. Well, for starters they sneaked past the policemen to reach Virudhunagar. And, that is where the story began. Suresh Babu (44), Natarajan (53), and Shanmugam (42) from Chennai reached the Alagapuri checkpoint in the district on Wednesday . However, their forward journey was scuttled by the men in khaki, who demanded an epass. As the trio did not have one, they were turned back. However, the trio proved that it was not the one to accept defeat. They returned to the checkpoint hours later, but this time, armed with an e-pass. How did they get hold of one at such short notice, you may wonder. And, that was precisely the doubt of the policemen manning the checkpoint. Their suspicion aroused, the policemen scrutinized the document, and that is when their bluff was called. The trio had forged a document using a PDF editor on their mobile phone to pull a fast one on the policemen. But, their language was seemingly not up to the scratch. Not only had the trio spelt Srivilliputhur wrong, it was also ignorant of the fact that Srivilliputhur did not have a COPS CALL THEIR BLUFF For starters, the trio’s pass was issued by Srivilliputhur’s collector. For the uninitiated, there is no Srivilliputhur collector. Moreover, the trio had misspelt Srivilliputhur ‘district collector’. The pass should have been issued by the Virudhunagar collector. Well, the men in khaki still took the trouble of scanning the QR code on the e-pass to corroborate what they already knew: The e-pass was fake. The three persons were arrested and a case under Section 270 of the Indian Penal Code was registered against them. They were later released on own bail. Being tech savvy is indeed not a crime, but shady use of technology is. EPS’ THREE-PRONGED DEMAND E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai IN a bid to efficiently tackle the pandemic, CM Edappadi K Palaniswami, in a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, reiterated his earlier demands for sanction of funds and sought approval for externally-aided projects to revive the economy. His three-pronged demand covered three concerns: health, foodgrain distribution and small and medium industries. He demanded an ad-hoc grant of `1,000 crore from National Disaster Relief Fund and release of a second tranche of funds under the National Health Mission. He requested the Centre to allocate more foodgrains and enable the state to provide free pulses for all card holders. His third part of the demand included speeding up GST compensation for March and issuing instructions to SIDBI to provide at least `1,000-cr refinance facility to Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation Limited. TAMIL NADU COVID-19 BATTLE Ranipet 68 Tirupattur 1 Krishnagiri 3 Dharmapuri 9 Salem 16 Tiruchy 8 Nilgiris 5 Coimbarore 2 Karur 8 Dindigul 15 Theni 3 Madurai 27 Virudhunagar 2 Tenkasi 5 Kanniyakumari 7 Tiruvallur 90 Kancheepuram 61 Chennai 1,276 Chengalpattu 162 Tiruvannamalai 47 Villupuram 18 Kallakurichi 16 Cuddalore 63 Namakkal 2 Nagapattinam 13 Tiruvarur 15 Thanjavur 12 Pudukkottai 9 Ramanathapuram 50 Vellore 15 Sivaganga 12 Thoothukudi 43 Tirunelveli 11 Lockdown norms relaxed TN govt has relaxed a few norms for the lockdown. Taxis ferrying passengers to and from airport and railway stations allowed. Banks can function from June 20 to June 26 | P4 STAFFER AT CM’S OFFICE DIES OF COVID A 56-year-old ‘senior private secretary’ in the office of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami died of Covid on Tuesday night. He had been hospitalised for over a week. Palaniswami called up his son on Wednesday and condoled the death. The CM also announced a government job to one of their family members, based on educational qualification. Deputy CM O Panneerselvam also condoled the death. 2,174 fresh cases, 48 deaths in TN EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai TN reported the highest-ever single-day spike of over 2,000 cases and 48 deaths on Wednesday, taking the tally to 50,193 and toll to 576. Chennai’s whopping 1,276 cases that once again topped the district table pushed the Statewide tally to 2,174. The city recorded 40 of the 48 deaths, taking its share of toll to 461. This included a 56-year-old staffer at the office of CM Edappadi K Palaniswami, who died on Tuesday night. The State police force also lost its first officer to Covid, as a city-based inspector succumbed at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. He was conducting awareness campaigns and was admitted on June 5. Giving details of the deceased, a bulletin said 10 of them had no co-morbid conditions and 41 persons were above 50 years. Ten of them died in private hospitals. The death of a 41-year-old man from Chennai, which Express reported was missing on the bulletin, has now been added.
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