AFP CHENNAI THURSDAY JULY 02, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 VELLORE EDITION HONG KONG ARRESTS 9 UNDER CHINA’S NEW DRACONIAN LAW Most of them were arrested for possessing items advocating Hong Kong’s independence from mainland China THOUSANDS DEFY BAN ON GATHERINGS U.S. THREATENS COUNTERMEASURES The arrests come as thousands took to the streets on Wednesday, ignoring a ban on large gatherings, to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of Britain’s handover of Hong Kong to China. Over 300 people were arrested—nine of them under the new law—amid clashes that saw police use rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse pro-democracy protesters | P9 ■ ■ Responding to the development, US top diplomat Mike Pompeo warned China that Washington will not stand idly by as Hong Kong gets swallowed into Beijing’s “authoritarian maw” The new security law makes anti-China dissent punishable and is part of efforts by Beijing to take full control of the city-state 10 years IS THE MINIMUM JAIL TERM FOR MAJOR OFFENCES UNDER THE NEW LAW 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 Talks complex, no quick-fix solutions A TAMIL NADU COVID-19 STORY 94,882 60,533 cases have been recorded so far in the State Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Army chief General M M Naravane to visit Ladakh on Friday, meet jawans cases have been recorded so far in Chennai alone. The city saw 2,182 new cases on Wednesday M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi According to the Directorate of Public Health, among those who died on Wednesday, eight did not have comorbidities FRESH CASES DISCHARGED DEATHS THE disengagement of Indian and Chinese troops in Eastern Ladakh is a “complex” process, government sources said — indicating the difficulties in easing the stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) — even as they announced that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Army chief Gen M M Naravane will visit Ladakh on Friday . The third meeting of the Corps Commanders of India and China on Tuesday did not lead to any immediate change on the standoff situation but both sides agreed to meet in future to restore peace and tranquility on the border. Sources said the “process of disengagement along the LAC is complex. More meetings are expected both at the military and at the diplomatic level in future to arrive at mutually agreeable solution and to ensure peace and tranquility along the LAC as per bilateral agreements and protocols.” Both sides, sources said, TOLL 3,882 2,852 63 1,264 COVID COUNT Thick smoke emerging out of the boiler blast from Neyveli Lignite Corporation’s Unit-V of thermal power plant in Cuddalore on Wednesday | SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT 6 killed, 16 hurt in NLC boiler blast N I R U PA S A M PAT H @ Cuddalore SIX workers died and 16 others sustained critical burn injuries in a boiler blast at NLCIL’s Unit-V of the second thermal plant on Wednesday morning. This is the second fatal accident at the plant in the past two months. The deceased were identified as Selamarasan (25), Arun Kumar (25), Padmanabhan (30), Ramanathan (42), Nagaraj (30), Venkatesa Perumal (37). Following the mishap, NLCIL management suspended A Godhandam, chief general manager, and the unit head of the second thermal plant, for alleged lapses and for allowing the workers to restart the unit despite noticing issues with it on Tuesday night. According to NLCIL sources, the boiler was non-operational the previous night. However, about 23 workers, including one executive, two supervisors, and three nonexecutive employees tried to restart the boiler on Wednesday morning at about 9.45 am. At this point, a fire from the boiler broke out leading to the blast. At least six workers died on the spot. The rest rushed down a 32-metre high staircase as the lift was stuck. Of the 23 workers, only one SIX BOOKED FOR MURDER CB-CID ARRESTS PRIME SUSPECT IN SATHANKULAM EPS grants solatium Expressing grief, CM Edappadi K Palaniswami granted a solatium of `3 lakh each to the bereaved families, `1 lakh each to those who suffered serious injuries and `50,000 for those with minor injuries AS the clamour grows seeking justice for the victims of the Sathankulam custodial torture, CB-CID sleuths arrested prime suspect, sub inspector Raghu Ganesh, on Wednesday , hours after officially taking over the case. CB-CID sources said the SI is among six people — four Sathankulam police personnel and two Friends of Police volunteers — booked for murder. On Tuesday the Madurai , Bench of Madras High Court had said that there was prima facie evidence to frame murder Collector charges in the case. The assures court had also handed over protection the investigation to the CB- Thoothukudi CID, until the CBI took on collector the probe. assured full On Wednesday morning, protection for K Shankar, inspector gen- the woman eral of the CB-CID, visited head constable, the Sathankulam police sta- who is a key tion, residence of the vic- witness. He has tims, and their shops. The sanctioned a sleuths spoke to the victims’ month leave for family members, friends the woman and owners of shops adjacent to theirs. Meanwhile, Thoothukudi collector assured full protection for the woman head constable who is a key witness in the case. Assuring protection for her entire family, Sandeep Nanduri said, “I have sanctioned one month leave for her and have given her my contact number to call if anybody disturbs her.” Speaking to Express, the policewoman said she had spoken up believing that her identity would not be revealed. “I wanted to be honest in my duty and that is why I spoke up.” , man escaped without injuries. Aside from the six killed, 16 others sustained over 40 per cent burns were rushed to Apollo Hospital in Chennai. It may be recalled that on May 7, five workers were killed and three others injured in a similar blast at the thermal plant. Twenty-four states cumulatively raised `1.67 lakh crore through market borrowings in the current fiscal from April 7 to June 30, which is double the amount in the corresponding period a year ago (`0.82 lakh crore) | P10 28,000 25,500 15,000 16,000 12,461 12,430 10,000 Numbers in 8,580 Amount 9.000 raised (in ` cr) 7,000 BSNL notifies tender scrub to dial out Chinese participation BSNL issued a notice on Wednesday cancelling its 4G network upgradation tender for which it had earlier proposed Chinese equipment major ZTE and Finnish communication giant Nokia as vendors. The action follows the Department of Telecom’s decision to exclude all Chinese equipment firms from participating in tenders of state-run telcos following the face-off on the Ladakh border | P10 Modi exits Weibo; highways projects, MSMEs to be purged of Chinese firms EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi TWO days after the government banned 59 Chinese apps, Prime Minister Narendra Modi exited social networking platform Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. Modi had joined it in 2015. All 115 messages Modi had posted thus far were manually removed over the last two days. BJP leaders saw in it a powerful personal message to China to stop messing around. Also, US Secret a r y o f S t at e M i ke Pompeo applauded the app ban, saying promoting clean apps will boost national se- TOP TEN Source: Care Ratings curity and integrity . Another similar emphatic message came from Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari, who said India will not allow Chinese companies to be part of highway projects, including through joint ventures. “We will not give permission to joint ventures that have Chinese partners for road construction. We have taken a firm stand that if they (Chinese companies) come via joint venture, we will not allow it,” he said and added that the Centre will ensure that Even if we have to go for foreign joint venture in the areas of technology, consultancy or design, we will not allow Chinese firms - Nitin Gadkari, Union road transport and highways minister N D H A M O T H A R A N @ Coimbatore Mujibhur Rahman helping his customer put on a mask before starting off their ride | EXPRESS HOP(E) IN THIS AUTO “We are all struggling to run our families. But this too is important. I offer kabasura kudineer and masks to my patrons. It costs some money, but that is alright,” says Mujibur Rahman. A passenger, happy with the initiative says, it shows how much he cares for his customers ANXIETY over a deadly virus and the escalating fuel prices have dealt a body blow to autorickshaw drivers across the State. But two autorickshaw drivers in Mettupalayam are masking the fear over the uncertainty by serving large dollops of humanity. Quite literally . M Abdul Rahman plies his auto in Shankar Nagar while S Mujibur Rahman’s haunt is the auto stand at Taluk Office. If you happen to hire their auto, there is a long list of to-dos you have to cross out. Abdul Rahman was worried that people were not following the government guidelines, risking not only their lives, but also those of others. “This may result in many EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi CONGRESS leader Priyanka Gandhi was on Wednesday asked to vacate a government bungalow in Delhi’s ultra-posh Lutyens’ area, where she had been living since 1997, as the Centre cancelled the property’s allotment to her. A notice issued by the Union housing and urban affairs ministry says, she has time till August 1 to vacate the 35 Lodhi Estate residence. “Any stay beyond 1.08.2020 will attract damage charges or penal rent.” The notice comes six months after the government amended the S p e c i a l P ro t e c t i o n Group Act 1988, restricting the top-level SPG security cover to the sitting prime minister and former PMs for a period of five years after they demit office. The type VI bungalow was al- lotted to Priyanka in 1997 as she was under SPG cover, which mandate suitable government accommodation for protectees. Since her security cover has been downgraded from SPG to Zplus, she is no longer eligible to receive a gover nment bungalow. While party sources said she will vacate the property, they assailed the Centre for what they called vindictive politics. Cong slams ‘vendetta politics’ The Congress on Wednesday charged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP CM Yogi Adityanath are upset with Priyanka for criticising their “anti-people” policies others contracting the virus for no fault of theirs. Hence, I have taken some preventive measure,” he says. So, what are the preventive measures? The first is washing your hands using a hand sanitizer provided free on board. Then there is a 20-litre tapped water canister to lather your hands for good measure. Sitting comfortably? Here’s a s m a l l d o s e o f k ab a s u r a kudineer, courtesy Abdul Rahman’s own kitchen. Now, if you have forgotten your mask at home, worry not. Abdul Rahman has got you covered on that front as well, as he furnishes a fresh mask every time this occurs. “I prepare the kabasura concoction at my home. I buy a bundle of masks for `250 and offer it to the riders.” he says. Kodumanal excavation brings beads EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Erode OVER AND OUT Priyanka to lose posh Lutyens’ bungalow Chinese investors are not included in sectors like MSME. Gadkari also holds the MSME portfolio. He said rebidding would happen in projects that have Chinese participation. “We have taken a decision to relax norms for our companies to ensure that they qualify in bidding in large projects,” he informed. On stopping of consignments from China at Indian ports, the minister said it is not arbitrary . The government is initiating path-breaking reforms to help MSMEs to make the country self-reliant, he added. Two auto rickshaw drivers in Kovai go the ‘extra mile’ to assure people safe journey E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Thoothukudi / Madurai State borrowings balloon Tamil Nadu Maharashtra Andhra Pradesh Rajasthan Telangana Kerala West Bengal Gujarat Haryana Karnataka agreed to strive for speedy resolution of the stand-off. The meeting “was long and held in a businesslike manner keeping in view the Covid-19 protocols. The discussions reflected the commitment of both sides to reduce the tensions along the LAC.” The Corps Commanders had earlier met on June 6 and 22 and agreed on a phase wise de-escalation, which was seen as long drawn, stretching up to winter. In Ladakh, Rajnath Singh is expected to meet commanders and jawans and visit the Leh hospital, sources said. This will be the first visit by a political leader to Ladakh after the situation became tense. The LAC situation got aggravated when Chinese and Indian troops clashed at Finger-4 on the intervening night of May 5 and 6 along the northern flank of the Pangong Tso. Chinese troops began their stand-off there and gradually expanded it to Gogra Post in Hot Spring sector, Patrolling Points 14 and 15 in Galwan Valley and at Y-Junction of Depsang Bulge. JACKED UP Monkeys sharing a slice of jackfruit on a sunny afternoon in Tiruparankundram Temple near Madurai on Wednesday | KK SUNDAR EXPRESS READ Covid-19 defers local body polls; Special officers’ term extended Chennai: As Urban Local Body (ULB) polls cannot be conducted now in the State, owing to the pandemic crisis, TN government has promulgated two Ordinances to extend the term of Special Officers for municipal corporations, town panchayats, district panchayats, panchayat unions, and village panchayats in nine districts for six more months, till December 31. AIADMK to expand IT wing to grassroots level Chennai: As Assembly elections in the State are just 10 months away, the AIADMK on Wednesday, announced that the Information Technology (IT) wing of the party would be expanded to the grassroots by appointing functionaries at all levels AROUND 80 carnelian beads were excavated at the Kodumanal archaeological site near Chennimalai in Perundurai taluk earlier this week. The site, located near the Noyyal river, was once known as a trade city which , attracted merchants from several countries. In Sangam literature, it has been mentioned that semi-precious stones such as crystal beads were produced here. One of the archaeologists, Subramani, told Express that these carnelian beads could be 2,300 years old. He said, “These beads are found in Gujarat and it is believed that there was a trade relationship established between Kodumanal and Gujarat. However, these beads are produced here in the trade centre with raw materials procured from Gujarat.”
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