BELAGAVI THURSDAY OCTOBER 01, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 LATE CITY EDITION DONALD TRUMP, JOE BIDEN CLASH IN BITTER PREZ DEBATE The first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday was marked by angry interruptions and bitter accusations LOW POINTS: ‘SHUT UP’, ‘CLOWN’, ‘RACIST’, ‘LIAR’ Moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, the debate saw 74-year-old Trump and his 77-year-old rival trade barbs about each other’s families. At one point, Biden lost his cool and shouted, “Will you shut up, man? This is so unpresidential,” calling him a liar, clown and racist. Trump returned the favour, saying Biden was so dumb that he graduated last in his class | P9 ■ Oct 15 SPARKS FLY OVER COVID MANAGEMENT ■ Biden accused Trump of having “no plan” to fight Covid-19, which has killed over 2 lakh Americans. Trump said everything is transparent in the US, while China and Russia hide actual data He said he wears mask “when needed” and mocked Biden for wearing it even when the occasion does not warrant doing so DATE OF 2ND PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE, FOLLOWED BY A 3RD ON OCTOBER 22 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 ADVANI, OTHERS ACQUITTED IN BABRI CASE Trial court finds no plot to demolish structure, claims it was spontaneous; blames anti-social elements; criticises CBI N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow A attempt to unravel the conspiracy to demolish the Babri masjid flew out of the window on Wednesday as a special CBI , court acquitted all 32 accused, including BJP biggies L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharti, due to lack of conclusive evidence. Rejecting the criminal conspiracy theory, the court observed that the demolition of the 16th century mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 was spontaneous and not pre-planned. Reading out the operative portion of the 2,300-page judgment in five minutes, special judge S K Yadav observed that the CBI had failed to produce conclusive and enough corroborative evidence against any of the accused to prove their complicity in the demolition. Implicating the CBI further, the judge held that the role of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, too, could not be proved by the evidence produced by the prosecution. “Even VHP leader late Ashok Singhal was trying to stop kar CBI failed to follow basic norms for presenting proof SIGH OF RELIEF FOR SAFFRON LEADERSHIP Leaders of the saffron fraternity, including (from left) L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sakshi Maharaj, Sadhvi Ritambhara and Vinay Katiyar break into smiles after their acquittal by the trial court. The Opposition, however, called the verdict obnoxious, with the Congress saying it ran counter to the constitutional spirit sevaks from demolishing the disputed structure because idol of Lord Ram was also inside it,” the judge said. He held that the CBI could not establish the role of any of the accused with supporting evidence during the proceedings. Judge Yadav said media reports and newspaper clippings produced by the prosecution could not be accepted as pieces of evidence as their original sources were not produced and proved. He said photos related to the incident produced by the prosecution, too, could not be relied upon as their negatives were not submitted, which was mandatory The judge also observed . that none of the locals of Ayod- hya testified against any of the accused to prove that they incited the mob to demolish the structure at the disputed site. “A n t i - s o c i a l e l e m e n t s brought down the structure. The accused leaders tried to stop these people,” said the special judge. Pointing out that audio and video cassettes produced in the court by the prosecution were not sealed and even the videos were not clear, the verdict said they seemed to be fabricated and tampered with. The court observed that till noon everything was fine in Ayodhya on that fateful day. Then some anti-social elements started brick-batting from behind the Babri structure. MORE REPORTS ON: P7 BSY, BJP leaders hail verdict; K’taka Congress seeks review E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bengaluru CHIEF Minister B S Yediyurappa and other BJP state leaders hailed the CBI Special Court’s verdict in the Babri Masjid demolition case on Wednesday as a triumph of truth and justice. “Truth has emerged victorious. I was also part of the movement and I am personally very happy with the verdict. Many people were waiting for it with bated breath. This is the latest example to prove that fighters will always emerge triumphant,” said Yediyurappa soon after the verdict. He credited L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and other BJP and Last rites of gang-rape victim at dead of night. What’s happening in UP? N A M I TA B A J PA I & S O M R I TA G H O S H @ Lucknow / New Delhi THE horrific gang-rape and murder of a Dalit girl in UP’s Hathras district turned into a massive controversy over the “forced” last rites of the victim early Wednesday amid police claims to the contrary. Facing massive public outrage and opposition criticism over the brutal rape and the police’s high-handedness, the Yogi Adityanath government ordered an SIT probe and later met the family . Following the 19-year-old’s death on Tuesday her younger brother and fa, ther were made to wait for hours before they could head back to their village Boolgarhi in Hathras late at night. It was around 1 am when the police along with the body and the family reached the village. However, the police didn’t take the body to the house, her family and village sources said. The family, including the mother, elder brother and father, said they Cinema theatres can open from October 15 The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday issued new guidelines for re-opening activities WHAT IS ALLOWED Cinemas/ theatres/ multiplexes with up to 50% seating capacity Business to Business exhibitions Swimming pools for training of sportspersons Entertainment parks and similar places (For these, detailed guidelines will be issued by the respective ministries later) SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES State / UT governments can take a decision after October 15 in a graded manner Police personnel inspect the area after a protest against the state government over the death of a 19-year-old woman who was brutally gang-raped two weeks ago, in UP’s Hathras district on Wednesday | PTI pleaded with the police to allow them to take their daughter home before cremating her. But the police “forced” them to finish the last rites immediately . “When my father reached Hathras, he was immediately taken to the cremation ground by the police,” the victim’s brother told the media. The body was cremated around 3 am by the police. The district police and administration refuted the allegations and police claimed that there was no pressure on the family and that the last rites were performed by the victim’s kin. Hathras Superintendent of Police (SP) Vikrant Veer denied any “urgency” by the police in cremation despite the fact that a cremation usually does not take place at night. He said the cremation was done as usual after the body reached Boolgarhi village. He said the situation was calm in the village with heavy police deployment. Hathras joint magistrate Prem Prakash Meena said the last rites were performed with the cooperation of the family. District magistrate Praveen Kumar Lakshakar said the claims made by the family were false. CONTINUED ON: P8 Students can’t visit schools, PU colleges till October 15 P E A R L M A R I A D ’ S O U Z A @ Bengaluru THE Karnataka government has decided not to allow students from schools and pre-university colleges to visit their institutes till October 15. The announcement came just hours before the Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) guidelines to states to consider reopening schools only after October 15. The MHA, in August, had permitted students of class 9 to 12 (outside containment zones) to visit their school and clarify doubts from September 21. The state had announced that students will not be allowed to visit schools till September-end. This was met with resentment by private schools who said the government had played foul by starting offline classes for government schools but prohibiting it for private schools. The Commissioner of Public Instruction said the matter was thoroughly analysed, and because of the spread of Covid, it was decided it would not be safe for students to visit schools. New Delhi: The CBI ought to hold itself responsible for failing to follow even basic norms while bringing evidence on record, which led to the acquittal of all 32 accused in the Babri masjid demolition case. Special Judge S K Yadav in his 2,300-page ruling said photocopies and not originals of the statements made by some accused persons were submitted, which cannot be relied on. Also, audio cassettes were tampered with and not sealed. Besides, negatives of photographs were not submitted. The MHA on Wednesday issued new guidelines on reopening of more activities outside containment zones. As for schools and coaching institutions, it has given state governments and Union Territories the flexibility to take a decision after October 15. The MHA has encouraged online and distance learning, but has also given leeway to students to attend schools (with the written consent of parents). Attendance, it said, must not be enforced. Meanwhile, states and UTs will be asked to prepare their own Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for reopening of institutions, based on the SOP that will be issued by the Department of School Education and Literacy Ministry of Education, and keeping , local requirements in mind. As for colleges, the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, has been given the freedom to decide on the timing of opening of higher education institutions in consultation with MHA and based on P5 the assessment of the situation. Sangh leaders’ relentless fight for the court’s verdict. A host of BJP leaders, from state party president Nalin Kumar Kateel to ministers to MLAs, welcomed the verdict. Veteran Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Mallikarjun Kharge said it is unfair to say the accused did not have a role to play despite the au, dio-visual evidence. Even as KPCC president D K Shivakumar refrained from making a comment, Congress Legislature Party chief and Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah called the verdict ‘unfortunate’. He insisted that the Centre and UP government should appeal before the Supreme Court. P4 Centre won’t breach borrowing target of `12L cr for 2020-21 E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi DESPITE the prospects of low revenue collection as a fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic and bleak divestment proceeds, the Centre on Wednesday said it will not breach the market borrowing target of `12 lakh crore for the current financial year (2020-21). Therefore, the government will borrow only `4.34 lakh crore in the second half of 2020-21 as planned. In the first half, the Centre had borrowed `7.66 lakh crore. Explaining the rationale for sticking to the original borrowing plan, Tarun Bajaj , secretary Depart, ment of Economic Affairs (DEA), said the government expects revenue collection to improve going forward. “We don’t envisage the need for a higher borrowing. However, we are keeping some space for states and the private sector. We expect states to come and borrow from the market to meet their expenses. Besides we expect the private sector to also borrow in Q3 and Q4,” said Bajaj. The DEA secretary added that the government is working on revising the divestment target, but he refused to divulge any further details on the same. The borrowing for the second half, which is 36% of the FY21 target, will be conducted in 16 weekly tranches of `27,000 crore that will conclude in January saving February and March for borrowing by , states. According to experts, the finance ministry might announce another borrowing around November, when a stimulus package is expected to be announced. 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