KOCHI l FRIDAY l SEPTEMBER 04, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE CITY EDITION FACEBOOK SAYS IT’S NEUTRAL, BANS BJP MLA RAJA SINGH Facebook has banned the lone BJP MLA from Telangana from its platform and Instagram on charges of hate speech FB RESPONDS TO CONGRESS’ CHARGES PAGES LINKED TO SINGH TO BE REMOVED Responding to concerns raised by the Opposition Congress, Facebook said it has taken the party’s allegation of bias very seriously and will ensure it remains non-partisan. The social media giant added it denounces hate and bigotry in all forms. Earlier, the Congress had accused Facebook of being soft on members of the ruling BJP while applying its hate-speech rules | P9 ■ ■ “We have banned Raja Singh from Facebook for violating our policy prohibiting those that promote or engage in violence and hate from having a presence on our platform,” Facebook said Singh won’t be allowed on its platform or on Instagram. Pages, groups & accounts set up to respresent him will be removed | P7 PM MODI’S PERSONAL WEBSITE’S TWITTER ACCOUNT HACKED, RESTORED LATER 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 Relief to industry as SC bars NPA tag till further orders Bank accounts not declared NPA as on Aug 31 to remain so for now; Sitharaman directs lenders to roll out resolution plan by Sept 15 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Thursday said standard accounts that have not been declared nonperforming assets as on August 31, shall not be made NPAs till further orders. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan passed the interim order after hearing various stakeholders on a batch of petitions seeking interest waiver on loan moratorium granted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The court will continue hearing the case on September 10. While arguing whether banks should charge interest on moratorium period, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court, “The idea of the moratorium was to defer repayment to ease the burden caused by Covid and lockdown so that business can manage working capital. The idea was not to waive off interest. The effort is that those who are affected by Covid and facing distress get the benefit and those who are defaulters are not able to take benefit.” Mehta informed the bench an expert committee will come up with sector-specific guidelines on September 6 to ease stress caused by the pandemic. However, the bench said, “Question is about the demands of compound interest in the meantime. Moratorium and penal interest cannot go together. RBI will have to clarify .” Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Indian Banks’ Association, said, “Common man’s problems are different from those of corporates. Individual and industrial problems need to be addressed differently .” Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday asked bankers to roll out the ‘Covid impact not same for all sectors’ BJP alleges imposter forged CM’s signature when he was in US EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram CHIEF Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office, which has been facing criticism after his principal secretary M Sivasankar’s links with gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh, found itself in the centre of another controversy on Thursday Cit. ing files signed by the chief minister on September 9, 2018, when he was away for medical treatment in the US from September 2 to 23, the BJP alleged that outsiders were ruling the state by forging the CM’s signature. Pinarayi dismissed the allegations saying “it’s my signature” and it was digitally signed. He added “the BJP came up with the allegation to create a smokescreen on things it was not aware of ”. BJP state spokesperson Sandeep Warrier, who raised the alle g ation, said the file pertaining to the Malayalam Language Day celebrations was signed by Pinarayi’s CM dismisses allegation Pinarayi Vijayan dismissed the allegations saying “it’s my signature” and it was digitally signed. He added “the BJP came up with the allegation to create a smokescreen over things it was not aware of”. imposter. Warrier said the incident showed the CMO was controlled by Sivasankar or Swapna. While Warrier demanded Pinarayi’s resignation, BJP ‘Capable of handling Chinese aggression in best suitable ways’ Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told SC the Covid impact has been good on pharma and IT sectors while it has been bad for others. Moratorium offers to defer repayment so that business can manage working capital. “The idea was not to waive interest,” he added loan restructuring framework by September 15. She also told banks to extend all possible support to MSMEs. Sitharaman met the heads of scheduled commercial banks and non-banking financial institutions afte the moratorium for loans got over on August 31. “The meeting was held to review the preparedness for implementation of the loans resolution framework for Covid-19 related stress. The minister also sought to allay the concerns of banks about NPAs and restructuring,” a person privy to the meeting told TNIE. “During her interaction, the finance minister focused on lenders immediately putting in place a board-approved policy for resolution, identifying eligible borrowers, and reaching out to them. Quick implementation of a sustained resolution plan by lenders for the revival of every viable business,” the finance ministry stated. Sitharaman added that after the finalisation of the resolution scheme, banks must conduct a media campaign to create awareness about it. The finance minister also advised the lenders that Covid-19 related distress must not impact the lenders’ assessment of their creditworthiness. M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi VIRTUAL TIGER An artist, painted as tiger, dances in front of a mobile phone camera during a virtual pulikali organised in Thrissur on Thursday. Nearly 50,000 watched the performance as Covid restrictions stopped the artists from performing in public | EXPRESS EXPRESS READ 4.5kg gold, L4.5L looted from Karuvatta bank ‘Bineesh Kodiyeri has links to gold smuggling’ No mask needed if you are alone in your car Alappuzha: Around 4.5kg of gold ornaments and H4.5 lakh were robbed from the Karuvatta Service Cooperative Bank near Alappuzha by breaking open its strong room. The incident came to light on Thursday when the employees reached the bank after a six-day Onam holiday break. The ornaments kept in the locker and those pledged by customers were looted. Forensic department has collected evidence, the police said. P5 Kozhikode: A day after Muslim Youth League state general secretary P K Firoz alleged that CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh Kodiyeri had links with Mohammed Anoop, who was held in the Bengaluru drug racket case, BJP on Thursday targeted Bineesh on the same. BJP state president K Surendran even alleged that Bineesh has links to both the drug racket and gold smuggling racket. P5 New Delhi: In what could put an end the hassle faced by many car drivers from police officers, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday clarified that there is no Central advisory to suggest that those riding the vehicle alone should wear masks failing which they would be penalised. | P7 16 PAGES, INCLUDING 4 PAGES OF KOCHI EXPRESS India best global investment destination, world believes in us: PM P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday sought to woo global investors saying India has become a leading attraction for investments. Modi said all initiatives of his government have been taken keeping in mind the best global practices. “India is becoming one of leading attractions for FDI. The world believes in us. This year, when there is a drop in foreign investments across the world, we received $20 billion foreign funds,” he said in his keynote address at the 3rd Annual Leadership Summit of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum. Noting that ease of living is as important as ease of doing busi- ness for his government, Modi said India has an aspirational population that has decided to take the country to new heights. “The pandemic has tested our resilience, our economic and health systems, but “The NIA has received certain emails from an email ID threatening some dignitaries/ agencies. The contents of the email are selfexplanatory... It is requested to take action as deemed appropriate,” the NIA wrote to MAC, the apex intel assessment body, and MHA Modi has been enhanced following an email that issued a direct threat to the PM, stating “Kill Narendra Modi”. The National Investigation Agency which re, ceived the email, has roped in the Multi-Agency Coordination Centre (MAC), which has senior representatives from R&AW, Intelligence Bureau and the Defence Intelligence Agencies, to investigate the matter. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs is treating the matter “seriously” and has asked the Special Protection Group, which is responsible for the protection of Modi, to remain on high alert, according to sources in the security establishment. The email dated August 8 was received from the ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ id. The NIA chose not to make any inquiry/ verification on its own as it thought it best to pass it on to the apex intelligence assessment body sources said. , India is committed to democracy and diversity he said. ,” Spelling out what the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign means to India, Modi said it ensures local with global. “Over 1.3 billion people have em- ‘Covid hasn’t dented people’s aspiration’ Noting that the pandemic has not affected people’s aspiration, Modi said India was among the first to advocate use of masks and social distancing MODI’S SECURITY UP AFTER THREAT EMAIL PROBE BY E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi APEX INTEL BODY THE security of Prime Minister Narendra state president K Surendran asked the CM to clarify who forged the signature. “Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was at Mayo Clinic in the US during this period and re- tur ned by the end of the month. It is not a digital signature either. Was it his former principal secretary Sivasankar or Swapna who forged Pinarayi’s signature? I’m wondering whether the CPM had deputed someone else or appointed consultancies to fake the chief minister’s signature,” said Sandeep. The BJP spokesperson said Pinarayi’s former private secretary M V Jayarajan was removed from office after this ● More on P4 incident. Onam clusters likely, CM calls for caution 1,553 test positive on Thursday 1,391 local contact 156 unknown sources of infection 1,950 recoveries Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has exhorted everyone to be more vigilant until a vaccine is available and practise caution as a social vaccine. P4 Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said coming 14 days are crucial as formation of Onam clusters is expected CM attributed dip in cases in recent days to fewer tests QR Code scanning to track people who visit shopping malls and other places to be set up People were reluctant to visit the testing centres because of Onam. Cases to go up once the collection and testing become normal As part of the celebrations, the markets and public spaces were bustling with people. Hence, chances of people coming into close contact were high. All these might result in an increase in cases. But to confirm the same, we may’ve to wait for at least 14 days — Chief Minister barked to make Atmanirbhar Bharat. Despite our local needs, we did not shy away from our global responsibilities. A selfreliant India will ensure a better world. The road ahead is full of opportunities,” he said. The Prime Minister’s address assumes significance as it comes soon after External Af fairs Minister S Jaishankar’s participation in the summit. AMID fresh inputs on the Chinese Army strengthening its deployment on the southern bank of the Pangong Tso lake, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Thursday said the Indian armed forces are well placed to handle the aggression in “best suitable ways”. “Of late, India has been seeing some aggressive actions by China but we are capable of handling these in the best suitable ways,” Gen Rawat said while speaking at the third annual leadership summit of the US-India strategic partnership forum. The day also saw Army Chief General M M Naravane visiting Ladakh to review operational preparedness in the region. He was briefed by the Army Commander of the Northern Command and the Corps Commander of the formation that is dealing with the stand-off in east Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control. He also visited forward positions. The Army Chief ’s visit came a day Bipin Rawat after Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria flew to the Eastern Air Command, which is tasked with defending India’s east, including the northern borders of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. The Air Chief, too, visited frontline air bases. As for the situation on the ground at the recent pressure points in Ladakh, a senior officer said, “We have observed that Chinese Army is beefing up its deployments in the Chushul Sector.” They are accompanied by armoured, artillery and engineers too, he added. This happened immediately after the Indian Army’s tactical rearrangement of its deployments on the heights in the Chushul Sector and repositioning its troops on ridges around Finger 4 in the north bank of Pangong Tso on August 30. The redeployments have enabled the Army to have a deeper visual observation of the activity in Chushul on the Chinese side from its side of the LAC. Amid the heightened activity India and Russia finalised a ma, jor deal to manufacture AK-47 203 rifles in India during Defence P9 Minister Rajnath Singh’s ongoing visit to Moscow. An IAF Chinook helicopter flies in the Ladakh region, in Leh on Thursday | PTI Kerala’s 1st open varsity, named after Guru, to come up in Kollam on Oct 2 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram KERALA has announced its first open university named after social reformer Sree Narayana Guru. To be set up in Kollam, the university will come into existence on October 2, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. The Left governm e n t ’s d e c i s i o n g a i n s political significance in view of the local body elections just a few weeks away . Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the decision to set up the university as a fitting memorial to the social reformer who has been a proponent of informal education, a day after the state The CPM decision to observe a protest day on September 2, the Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti, had invited sharp criticism from SNDP Yogam leader Vellappally Natesan The new decision would be a major political campaign for the Left in the coming polls observed Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti. The open university is being launched by linking the distance education systems in the four uni- versities in the state. People of all age-groups can study at the open university. Those who leave the course halfway , will be given diploma certificates based on whatever studies they complete. Classes by eminent experts and professors of national and international repute would be the speciality of the new university . The government is planning to use laboratories and other basic facilities of existing government and aided colleges for the new university ● More on P4 . Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti was celebrated on Wednesday. It is the desire of every Malayali to have suitable monuments for the Guru — Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister
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