CHENNAI WEDNESDAY JULY 01, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION CORE SECTOR CONTRACTION SLOWS, ECONOMY LIMPS ON India’s core infrastructure sectors contracted by a combined 23.4% in May, lower than the record 37% decline in April FERTILISER SECTOR EXPANDS EXTERNAL DEBT GROWS BY $15.4 BN Sectoral output for coal (-14%), natural gas (-16.8%), refinery products (-21.3%), steel (-48.4%), cement (-22.2%) and electricity (-15.6%) declined year-over-year in May. The fertiliser sector alone registered growth during the month, by 7.5%. These eight core infrastructure industries account for 40.27% of the Index of Industrial Production | P10 ■ ■ India’s external debt was $558.5 billion at the end of March, up by $15.4 billion from a year ago, the RBI said on Tuesday The lion’s share of the debt was still commercial borrowings (39.4%), trailed by non-resident deposits (23.4%) and shortterm trade credit (18.2%) 58.6% INDIA’S FISCAL DEFICIT IN APRIL-MAY, UP FROM 52% A YEAR AGO 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 CCTV clip missing but constable turns whistle blower J A G A D E E S W A R I PA N D I A N @ Madurai IN a fresh twist to the Sathankulam case, the judicial magistrate has submitted in his report to the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court that CCTV visuals of the ‘interrogation’ of the father-son duo, who later died in custody, were erased despite there being ample space in the hard disk. The case has now been trans- ferred to the CB-CID till the CBI takes over to ensure there is no tampering of evidences. In his report, the Kovilpatti judicial magistrate said that though the hard disks of the cameras installed at the police station had 1TB storage capacity , the data was being erased automatically . “Specifically, the footage after the day of the incident was miss- ing,” said the report. The judicial magistrate’s report said a woman constable, who was an eye witness to the incident, was initially terrified to reveal the truth but then confirmed that the victims were “repeatedly thrashed by the policemen for the entire night”. The report added that blood stains were visible on the lathis and table inside the station. New Superintendent of Police takes charge Chennai: Thoothukudi Superintendent of Police Arun Balagopalan was transferred without a new posting. Villupuram SP S Jeyakumar has replaced him Hearing the suo motu petition, the bench comprising justices PN Prakash and B Pugalendhi said the injuries found on the bodies of the deceased and the averments in the judicial magistrate’s report — especially the statement of the woman constable — were enough to alter the case to include Section 302 (for murder) against the Sathankulam policemen. The district collector has been ordered by the court to provide protection to the MORE ON PAGE: 4 constable. Top representatives of the 59 banned mobile apps to get a hearing before the final order is passed Un-appy China calls Indian ban unfair, discriminatory P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi TIME’S UP Some of TikTok’s India content creators record a video in Allahabad even as the app becomes inaccessible. Influencers are seeking a switch to Instagram or YouTube | AFP DRASTIC ACTION ORDER OUT TO BLOCK THEM, REPORT FULL COMPLIANCE J O N AT H A N A N A N D A @ New Delhi A “multi-level blocking of access” to the 59 Chinese apps banned on Monday has already been initiated by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity), government sources confirmed. In fact, industry sources said that the DoT issued late-night orders on Tuesday directing telcos and internet service providers (ISPs) to block all 59 apps on their networks immediately and submit compliance reports. Meanwhile, top representatives of these mobile apps will also be allowed a hearing within 48 hours, where they will be given an opportunity to offer any clarifications before a final order is passed. The list of apps to be blocked include highly popular ones such as TikTok, Helo and Clash of Kings. In the normal course, the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 requires that an enquiry be conducted by a high-level panel before access is blocked. However, this ban invokes certain emergency provisions. Under these, concerned departments need not wait until the enquiry is over to begin blocking procedures. “Directions to begin the multi-level blocking process has already begun. First, they will be removed from the App Stores. Then, internet access will be blocked through orders issued to ISPs,” said a senior government official. P10 CAIT SEEKS PROBE INTO INVESTMENTS Traders’ body the Confederation of All India Traders (Cait) on Tuesday called for an investigation into the investments made by Chinese firms in Indian start-ups to ensure user data is not transferred out of the country. For instance, digital payment app Paytm has over 40% Chinese stake (Alibaba). Chinese stakes are also high in MakeMyTrip (42.5%), BigBasket (25%) and Zomato (23%). Covid-19 battle in Tamil Nadu 3,943 FRESH CASES Number of patients discharged 2,325 246 Madurai recorded the second highest number of cases Total number of persons tested positive till date Deaths: 60 Toll: 1,201 90,167 CHINA on Tuesday reacted sharply to India’s decision to ban 59 Chinese apps and said it was “seriously concerned” about the Indian government’s decision. “China is strongly concerned, and we are verifying the situation. India has a responsibility to uphold the rights of Chinese businesses,” foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said. Zhao’s comments were followed by a statement the Chinese embassy in New Delhi issued in the evening, which called the ban selective and discriminatory Spokesperson Ji Rong . said India’s move “selectively and discriminatorily aims at Chinese apps on far-fetched and ambiguous grounds.” “It runs against fair and transparent procedure requirements, abuses national security exceptions, and suspects of violating the WTO rules. It also goes against the general trend of international trade and e-commerce, and is not conducive to consumer interests and the market competition in India,” Ji said in the statement. Meanwhile, Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, Global Times, warned India of a 30% dip in bilateral trade due to the LAC stand-off and Covid, and dismissed the app ban as nonsensical, in two separate articles. “While offering a lacklustre explanation for the nonsensical move, the Indian government has actually made its political crackdown on Chinese companies open and blatant,” an article in the publication said. The article went on to argue that it wwould be difficult for India to turn its nationalistic rhetoric into action. “There are no available and affordable alternatives to Chinesemade products such as smartphones, chemicals, automotive components and many other items,” it claimed. Criticising the ban, Ji said the Troop build-up continues on both sides M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi ALTHOUGH Corps Commanders of India and China met on Tuesday to discuss ways to minimise tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, additional troop mobilisation in the area continued. An officer aware of the matter said, “They have deployed troops all along Ladakh and it is part of the agenda points between the two Corps Commanders.” The Indian delegation led by 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh and China represented by South Xinjiang Military Division Corps Commander Major General Lin Liu met for the third time to thrash out details for de-escalation on the ground. Marathon meeting The third Corps Commanderlevel meeting that began at 10.30 am on Tuesday went on way past 9.45 pm. Their previous meeting on June 22 lasted about 11 hours. It had started at 11.30 am However, both sides continued to raise their troop strength. “Concentration and mobilisation of troops hasn’t shown any sign of abating,” said another source and predicted the stand-of f stretching ‘well into the winter’. Terming it precautionary deployment, Lt Gen (Retd) D S Hooda, former chief of the Northern Command, said it is not a prepara- WE would all have furnished fake details about ourselves to someone at some point in life. The possible reasons for this completely momentary perception-based forgery could be to avoid a potential spammer or a ‘fill-this-to-get-a-gift-voucher’ scheme. But, when we are collec- tively grappling with the universal invisible enemy called Coronavirus, the falsification of data about oneself could potentially hamper the battle we are fighting. In a case that explains the prelude, a number of people in Tiruchy reporting for swab samples have given fake addresses, fearing isola- WITH full economic normalcy nowhere in sight, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the extension of the free food grains programme till November. By November, the scheme would have run for eight months at a cost of `1.50 lakh crore and covered 80 crore people. The PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana provides 5 kg wheat/rice and 1 kg chana (chickpea) per month to each family free of cost. In his address to the nation, Modi also said the country is moving in the direction of “one nation, one ration card”. Curiously, the announcement came on a day when data released by the Controller General of Accounts showed an 8% drop in the government’s major subsidy bill as of May when compared , to the same time last year. The big plunge was in food (11%) and petroleWorry over um (18%) subsidy. flouting Acknowledging the agrarian season norms and the onset of festivals, Modi reasoned that the expenditure of the peo“Ever since ple would also go up in the coming Unlock-1, months. “Keeping in mind that rethere is quirement as well as expenditure inincreasing crease during this time, the governnegligence in ment has decided to extend PM Garib personal and Kalyan Ann Yojana till Deepawali and social Chhath Puja. The scheme will continue behaviour... to remain applicable from July till the Those not end of November,” he said. following Chhath Puja is widely celebrated in rules need to be stopped & Bihar and the adjoining districts in Utcautioned, be tar Pradesh. If the Bihar Assembly elections is held on time, it would see it a village multiple phases of polling during Ocpradhan or tober-November. The Nitish Kumar the PM,” government in the state has already Modi said claimed that more than 20 lakh migrants took special trains to return to their respective villages. Many of them could stay back due to the agrarian and festival season, and influence the state poll campaign as well. Nitish had sought extension of the free food grains scheme for a few more months. Modi also gave an account of the pro-poor measure taken by the government, which included transfer of `31,000 crore to almost 20 crore poor families, `18,000 crore to over nine crore farmers, besides `50,000 crore on providing rural jobs for returnee migrants. He also advised people to exercise caution to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, while asking local authorities to take measures to ensure people do wear masks. Man denied treatment, dies gasping for breath D E E PA K S AT H I S H @ Coimbatore P JAWAHAR tion, and worse, stigma. This has made contact tracing an arduous task for the medical staff. People who are in contact with Covid-19 patients and those who have symptoms have to undergo swab tests at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital in Tiruchy. Prior to testing, they tion for war. “There would be attempts to strengthen the defensive posture in other sectors, which would lead to corresponding deployment on both the sides,” said Lt Gen Hooda. The defence of Ladakh is under the 14 Corps of the Army which is part of the Northern Command. The deployments are seen as preparations so as to not get surprised by Chinese manoeuvers. During the several rounds of talks, India and China had identified 23 sensitive points across the 3,488 km-long LAC. Ladakh has several sensitive areas — from Trig heights, DBO and Depsang. The Galwan Valley Spangur Gap, , Pangong Tso and Demchok (Chushul and Chumar) are among the other sensitive areas. E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi HEARTLESS DOORSTEP SCREENING A volunteer taking temperatures of family members at Karunanidhi Nagar, Washermenpet in Chennai on Tuesday | People in Tiruchy ‘fake it’ to escape medical radar J AYA K U M A R M A D A L A @ Tiruchy apps had been operating strictly in accordance with Indian norms. “The ban would affect not only the employment of local Indian workers who supported the apps, but also the interests of Indian users and the employment and livelihoods of many creators and entrepreneurs,” the statement read. He hoped India would acknowledge the mutually beneficial nature of bilateral economic ties. “India must treat all investments and service providers equally and , create an open, fair and just business environment, while bearing in mind the fundamental interests of both sides and the overall interests of bilateral relations,” the statement read. Hu Xijin, editor of Global Times, was sarcastic. “Well, even if Chinese people want to boycott Indian products, they can’t really find many Indian goods. Indian friends, you need to have some things that are more important than nationalism,” he tweeted. India on Monday announced the ban on 59 Chinese apps. Free food grains scheme extended till Nov, says Modi have to provide their contact details, travel history and symptoms to hospital staff. However, it has been found out that over 40 per cent of those who came for the test have given fake addresses. It is to be noted that they do not need to provide any ID proof at this point. This is leading to a delay in isolating the patients P2 and tracing their contacts. Uncared for, a 67-year-old man died gasping for breath at a private hospital here, even as his family ran from pillar to post to get help. Sources said the deceased, identified as L Chinnaswamy, a retired Revenue Department staff from Bommanampalayam, succumbed to breathing issues outside the hospital near Kattu Vinayagar Kovil at Vadavalli on Tuesday morning. Chinnaswamy a heart pa, tient, was denied treatment by the hospital citing Covid fear, alleged Prem, his son. “They denied us entry even when we pleaded for help. The nurses said there was no doctor at the hospital,” Prem said, adding Chinnaswamy had a long coughing bout in the morning. A hospital official said he was unaware of the death of the man in front of the hospital. He added they had been providing only outpatient services since March, by not accepting new admissions or treating emergency cases due to Covid crisis. Deputy Director of Health Services G Ramesh Kumar, coming to know of the incident, said that he would issue a notice to the hospital concerned. AGGARWAL IS CHENNAI’S NEW CoP EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai IN a major shuffle, the Tamil Nadu government issued an order transferring 39 IPS officers late Tuesday night. Mahesh Kumar Agg arwal will take charge as police commissioner of Chennai city, while current Chennai commissioner A K Viswanathan, being transferred after three years, will replace Aggarwal as Additional Director General of Police, Operations. Chennai’s additional commissioner of police (Law & Order) Prem Anand Sinha will be Madurai’s new commissioner of police.
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