KOTTAYAM l SUNDAY l SEPTEMBER 20, 2020 l `8.00 l PAGES 24 l CITY EDITION 66% OF FOOD GRAINS MEANT FOR MIGRANTS NEVER DISTRIBUTED The Centre says only 34% of food grains allocated to stranded migrants could be distributed till August 31 2.67 LAKH MT OF FOOD GRAINS GIVEN AWAY STATES IDENTIFIED 2.8 CR BENEFICIARIES In May, the Centre had allocated eight lakh tonnes of food grains under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat package for migrant workers stranded due to the lockdown. However, till August 31, only about 2.67 lakh metric tonnes of grains were distributed. In the meantime, there were many reports of stranded migrant workers dying of starvation | P7 ■ ■ ■ In the absence of data on stranded migrants, the govt put the number of estimated beneficiaries at 8 cr (10% of 80 cr migrants) Later, the state governments put the number of stranded migrants who could benefit from the scheme at 2.8 crore Until August 31, grains were distributed to about 2.67 lakh people 5 kg OF FOOD GRAINS PER MIGRANT PER MONTH UNDER THE PACKAGE 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 Mutant form of virus a threat: CM Members of various farmers’ organisations stage a protest against the Central government over agriculture-related ordinances, in Patiala on Saturday | PTI Protests mount as Rajya Sabha to take up farm bills today E X P R ESS N E WS S E RV I C E @ New Delhi THE Rajya Sabha is set to witness noisy scenes on Sunday as three contentious farm bills will come up for discussion and voting. While the Centre is reaching out to regional parties to muster support, the Opposition wants the bills referred to a select committee for further deliberation. The farm bills in question are Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill; and, Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill. While the Centre hopes the bills will sail through, it is going to be a numbers game as some regional parties have not indicated which way they will vote. Plus, around two dozen Rajya Sabha members are absent on health grounds, which will bring down the strength of the House. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has issued a whip to its MPs to be present on Sunday In . the House of 245 with two vacancies, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has 111 while the Opposition has around 100. The Biju Janata Dal, YSR Congress, and the AIADMK have previously supported the Centre and are expected to extend support this time too but NDA ally Shiromani Akali Dal has announced it will vote against the bills. Considering the far-reaching impact of the proposed laws on the farming community the Op, position wants the bills to be discussed threadbare and states’ inputs also be taken into account, as agriculture is a state subject. Congress leader K C Venugopal has submitted a notice to the RS secretariat to refer the bill to the select committee. A few other MPs have also given similar notices. The Congress has appealed to other opposition parties to vote against the bill. NUMBERS GAME A look at which way various parties are expected to vote 245 2 Total strength of RS Vacancies POLITICAL PARTIES OPPOSING THE BILLS Congress 40 Trinamool Congress 9 Telangana Rashtra Samithi 7 Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 7 Shiv Sena 3 Rashtriya Janata Dal 5 Shiromani Akali Dal 3 Samajwadi Party 8 Aam Aadmi Party 3 Bahujan Samaj Party 4 Left parties 6 Jharkhand Mukti Morcha 1 Nationalist Congress Party 4 Total 100 PARTIES IN SUPPORT Bharatiya Janata Party 86 Biju Janata Dal 9 Yuvajana Sramika Rythu 6 Congress Party Telugu Desam Party 1 All India Anna Dravida 9 Munnetra Kazhagam Total 111 Status of some smaller parties having a dozen MPs not known 14 On leave due to ill health 8 Rajya Sabha MPs tested positive HIRE-AND-FIRE NORMS FOR COS WITH LESS THAN 300 WORKERS New Delhi: The Central government on Saturday introduced three legislative proposals of the labour ministry in the Lok Sabha, allowing companies with up to 300 workers to adopt the controversial hire-and-fire policy. Earlier, only companies with less than 100 employees were allowed to do retrench workers without government permission. P7 T’Puram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan warned a heavy price will have to be paid if the guard is lowered against the pandemic as reports indicate the mutant form of SARS-CoV-2 virus is in circulation in the state, which is more infectious. The state recorded 4,644 fresh cases. P4 Red alert in four districts today Kochi: IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rain across the state under the influence of a low-pressure area developing over Northeast Bay of Bengal and issued a red alert in Idukki, Malappuram, Kannur and Kasaragod for Sunday. An orange alert has been sounded in six districts. P5 Salary cut: Govt to offer benefits T’Puram: The state government is considering relief measures to help its employees join the salary deferment-cum-investment plan. The options before the government are to put off employees’ statutory or other payments to government. P5 NIA busts Al-Qaeda module, nabs 3 in Kochi, 6 more at Murshidabad Arrests in Kerala following the agency’s covert hour-long op at two places in Ernakulam E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi IN A covert operation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested three West Bengal natives, who were associated with a module of Al-Qaeda that planned terror strikes in New Delhi, from different parts of Ernakulam district early Saturday morning. Mosaraf Husan, Iyakub Biswas and Murshid Hasan were arrested during an hour-long operation which started at 2am. In a simultaneous operation in Murshidabad, West Bengal, six other members of the AlQaeda-affiliated group were arrested. They are Najmus Sakib, Abu Sufiyan, Mainul Mondal, Leu Yean Ahmed, Al Mamun Kamal, Atitur Rehman, all residents of Murshidabad. In Kerala, the NIA, with the support of the state police, raided three houses — two at Mudikal near Perumbavoor and one at Pathalam near Kala m a s s e r y. M o s a r a f a n d Iyakub, who stayed at different rented facilities, were arrested from Mudikal. Murshid was arrested from a rented house near Pathalam. NIA also HC sets condition for granting accused bail: Don’t use social media E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi SETTING conditions like asking to surrender the passport or appear before an investigation officer while granting bail to an accused in a crime is fairly common. Time has changed. The Kerala High Court, while allowing bail to a rape accused, insisted that he should not use social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram till the investigation into the case gets over. “Heavens will not fall down if a condition is imposed in a bail order restraining the accused in a rape case from using social media, especially when it’s to protect the victim girl’s privacy,” the court observed while allowing the bail plea of 28-year-old Muhammed Shifas of Ernakulam. The court also observed that if a final report is filed against the petitioner in this case after investigation and the court concerned took cognizance, the condition will continue till the trial in the case is over. The investigating officer should intimate the condition imposed on the petitioner to the victim, the court ● More on P4 said. WITH THIS ISSUE INDIA’S MOST POWERFUL STAR PLUS 12 PAGES RESPECTFUL TRIBUTE The judge who let judgments do the talking JUSTICE RUMA PAL & DHVANI MEHTA IN India, we are not used to public outpourings of grief at the demise of judges. The passing of a judge is marked by respectful tributes, usually from the bar and bench, editorials celebrating the judge’s career, and perhaps a memorial lecture that attempts to preserve their legacy. We might wonder, then, at the overwhelming sadness with which the news of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death at the age of 87 has been met. This is partially explained by the fundamentally different nature of judicial appointments in the United States and the intensely political role in which judges are cast. Justice Ginsburg believed her very life to be a bulwark against the liberty-eroding machine of the Trump administration. Days before her death, she told her granddaughter that it was her fervent wish not to be replaced until a new President was installed. Apart from this, however, what is also being mourned is the loss of a feminist icon, an exemplary judge who demonstrated the power of incremental legal change, and one of the last bastions of collegiality in a hyper-polarised RU T H BA D E R G I N S B U RG MARCH 5, 1933 - SEPTEMBER 18, 2020 age. These are lessons that have resonance across the world today She continues . to be a wise teacher even in death, as her remarkable life gives us the opportunity to reflect on effective ways of protecting human rights. In her later years, Justice Ginsburg became something of an international cultural icon — the Internet abounds with RBG memes and Tumblrs, children want to dress up like her on Halloween, and she has even inspired an action figure (Wrath Hover Ginsbot) on The Cartoon Network. As they describe the phenomenon that is Justice Ginsburg, writers Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik, in their book, The Notorious RBG (another affectionate moniker inspired by the late rapper, Notorious B.I.G.), give us an insight into a life that stands out for its decency, integrity, and ultimately, fearlessness. CONTINUED ON: P9 Arresting people with terror links is common in the state. Such arrests are done after a lot of deliberations, the details of which may not be shared at this juncture. Even I am not in a position to know such details. They will be clarified in due course Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister Iyakub Biswas, Murshid Hasan and Mosaraf Husan being taken away by officers after producing them at the NIA Court in Kochi on Saturday | EXPRESS TERROR LINKS EXPRESS READ ● The NIA said the preliminary probe revealed the individuals were radicalised by Al-Qaeda terrorists on social media ● The trio was motivated to undertake attacks at multiple places and was actively indulging in fundraising, the agency said seized mobile phones, laptops and documents from the trio. The entire operation had started a month ago after the agency’s New Delhi-based intelligence wing, which is monitoring cyber activities, found that an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Pakistan was in ● A few members of the gang were planning to travel to New Delhi to procure arms and ammunition, the NIA added touch with some persons in India. After monitoring and tracking down their identity and locations, the NIA registered an FIR on September 11 in New Delhi. However, no details were released about the registration of such a case. ● More on P2 STATE TURNS HAVEN FOR TERROR GROUPS Kochi: The arrest of members of an Al Qaeda-affiliated group is not the first incident in which members of international terror groups were traced from the state. The state is turning out to be a haven for terrorist groups especially JMB which has roots in West Bengal and Assam. P2 KANAKAMALA CASE: ONE MORE ARRESTED Kochi: The NIA on Saturday held one more person in connection with the case registered against Ansar-ul-Khilafah Kerala, which was busted by security agencies at Kanakamala in Kannur in 2016. The arrested is Mohammad Polakkani, of Kannur, who has been working in Georgia. P4
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