kochi l wednesday l October 14, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION ‘Military talks positive’, India-China jt statement Both sides agreed not to turn differences into disputes, a joint statement by the two armies said on Tuesday Both sides agree to continue talks The two sides deliberated on ways to disengage from various friction points in eastern Ladakh during the marathon talks in Chushul on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control on Monday. India and Chinese troops are locked in a stand-off in eastern Ladakh for over five months now. Both sides also agreed to continue talks through military and diplomatic channels ■ 12 hours China opposes development in ladakh ■ Reacting to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurating 44 new bridges in border areas, China said India’s infrastructure push is the root cause of problems between the two countries “China does not recognise Ladakh UT and Arunachal Pradesh,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said | P7 Duration of the seventh corps commander-level meeting on Monday 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 HC’s stinker on denial of Centre allows 20 states to raise `68,825 crore dignity in death to victim An u r a d h a S h u k l a @ New Delhi Asks why Hathras DM has not been transferred yet; directs UP govt to draw up a draft policy on dealing with such situations in future N a m i ta B a j pa i @ Lucknow Coming down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh government over the hurried cremation of an alleged gang-rape and murder victim in Hathras in the dead of night, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court called it an infringement of human rights of the victim and her family . In its 11-page order a day after hearing the victim’s family and senior officials - after taking suo motu cognisance of the matter - a division bench comprising Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Rajan Roy directed the state authorities to draw up a draft policy to deal with such situations is future. “The facts and circumstances, as of now, ex facie, reveal that the decision to cremate the victim in the night without handing over the body to the family members or their consent though in the name of law and order situation, is prima facie an infringement upon the human rights of the victim and her family “ it said. , “We do not at this stage find any good reason... as to why they could not hand over the body to the family members for some time, say for even half an hour, to enable Sharp posers Hathras SP was transferred but not the DM. Why different yardsticks for two district officers? Why did Prashant Kumar, ADG (Law and Order), Lucknow, cite the FCL lab report to make the no-rape claim when he was not directly connected with the probe, which is still pending? Isn’t the police aware of the amendments to the definition of rape in 2013, which says mere absence of semen is not conclusive evidence in rape cases them to perform their rituals at home and thereafter to cremate it either in the night or next day .” The court said that the victim was, at least, entitled to a decent cremation. “Cremation is one of the ‘Sanskars’ i.e., antim sanskar recognized as an important ritual which could not have been compromised taking shelter of law & order situation,” the court said. The question, the court said, was whether the hasty cremation — in the wee hours without showing her face to the family and not allowing them to undertake the necessary rituals — amounts to gross violation of fundamental/human rights. “If so, who is responsible for the same so as to fix their accountability and liability and how the family of the victim be compensated for it,” the order said. The bench took Prashant Kumar, ADG (Law and Order) to task over his claim that the rape was not proved, as the FSL report did not show any traces of semen on her body It . said no officer, who is not directly connected with the investigation, should make any statement in public on the offence based on evidence collected as it can lead to unnecessary speculation and confusion amongst the masses. “No one should indulge in character assassination of the victim just as the accused should not be pronounced guilty before a fair trial,” the order read, adding the probe agency and the courts should be allowed to determine P7 them. CBI probe on but LIFE CEO spared for 2 months Report flags Covid concerns ahead of Sabarimala season E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e P R a m d a s @Kochi @Kochi/T’Puram In a timely relief for the LDF government, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday stayed for two months all further investigation proceedings against the LIFE Mission CEO based on the FIR registered by CBI in the Wa d a k k a n ch e r y h o u s i n g project case. However, the court rejected the plea of Unitac Builders managing director Santhosh Eappen, who is the first accused, seeking an interim order staying the probe against him. The CBI had filed an FIR under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and Section 35 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, on a complaint by Wadakkanchery Congress MLA Anil Akkara, listing Eappen, Sane Ventures and unknown officials of LIFE Mission as the first, second and third accused, respectively . Reacting to the development, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the High Court decision is a setback to those who deliberately unleashed a smear campaign against the state government. The attempt to discredit and destroy the project is a move against the people, he said. While passing the interim order, Justice V G Arun made it clear that there was no reason to stop the investigation. At the same time, the provisions of FCRA and the materials on record do not justify the implication of LIFE Mission, the judge said. As a result, there will be an interim stay on all further proceedings against the petitioner — chief executive officer of LIFE Mission — for a period of two months, the judge ● More on P4 said. Swapna gets bail in ED case | P4 Expressing concern over the current situation in which Covid cases are peaking in Kerala, the Sabarimala Special Commissioner has submitted a report before the Kerala High Court detailing the challenges involved in conducting the pilgrimage during the Mandala-Makaravilakku season. The commissioner raised the question as to what could be done if the thantri, melsanthi and devaswom staff contract the virus. A meeting of seers and leaders of Hindu organisations on Saturday had raised the same concern and pointed out that the temple rituals would be affected if the thantri and melsanthi test positive. The report also suggested to keep in mind the feasibility of setting up emergency medical centres along the route to the hill shrine and said it would be very difficult for the medical staff to wear PPE kits for long hours in the terrain and for the administration to arrange ac- A day after the GST Council meeting failed to arrive at a consensus on how to bridge the GST revenue shortfall, the Centre on Tuesday allowed 20 states to raise `68,825 crore through open market borrowings. These states had agreed with the first option given by the Centre to borrow money under a special RBI window. The 20 states are: Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odi- What could be done if the devaswom staff turn positive? 2 If a pilgrim is symptomatic and tests positive during screening at Nilakkal, where can that person be admitted? Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac said nine states will jointly approach the SC if the Centre insists that states borrow up to D1.1 lakh crore as compensation on account of GST implementation. P4 sha, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. “Additional borrowing permission has been granted at the rate of 0.50% of the Gross State Domestic Product to those States that have opted for Option 1,” a statement from the finance ministry read. At the press meet on Monday after the inconclusive GST Council meeting, Finance Min- hidden agenda The 50th Kerala State Film Awards were announced by Cultural Affairs Minister A K Balan on Tuesday. ‘Vasanthi’, an experimental film, was adjudged the best film, while Suraj Venjaramoodu and Kani Kusruti won the best actor awards E x p r e s s ne w s s e r v i c e @ New Delhi Expressing concern over the unbridled commentary by the electronic media on sub-judice matters, Attorney General K K Venugopal said on Tuesday this is being done to influence judges and public perception. “Today when I watch TV I , , see comments about the bail application based on statements made to police. Channels play conversations when a bail plea is coming up, causing damage to the accused,” the AG told a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar, which had assembled to hear a contempt petition against advocate Prashant Bhushan. The charges pertain to Bhushan’s interview to Tehelka magazine in 2009 in which he said half of India’s CJIs till then were corrupt. Venugopal also cited the Rafale case, pointing out how articles appeared in some papers on the same day the court was to hear petitions against the deal. “This (media trial) issue needs to be addressed as well,” the AG said. PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti released Best film Best actor (male) Best actor (female) Best director Vasanthi Suraj Venjaramoodu Kani Kusruti Lijo Jose Pellissery (Shinos Rahman and Sajas Rahman) Second best film Kenjira Best character actor (Male) - Fahadh Faasil (Kumbalangi Nights) Best character actor (Female) - Swasika Vijay (Vasanthi) (Android Kunjappan, Vikruthi) (Biriyani) (Jallikettu) Best screenplay - Rahman Brothers (Vasanthi) Jury Mention Best music director- Sushin Shyam (Kumbalangi Nights) (Actors) Nivin Pauly (Moothon), Anna Ben (Helen) Priyamvada Krishnan (Thottappan) Best music director (Background score) Ajimal Hasbullah (Vrithakruthiyilulla Chathuram) Best playback singer (male) - Najim Arshad Best playback singer (female) - Madhusree Narayan Best cinematography - Pratap V Nair (Idam, Kenjira) Awards go out of the box office S h i b u B S @ Kochi Ever since the Kerala State Film Awards were instituted more than 50 years ago, there have been very few editions where the jury’s choice of winners did not court controversy . This year, though, it was like a breath of fresh year as the judging committee’s decisions were widely welcomed by the industry and the public. What is most heartening is a discernible change in the manner in which the jury went about its task in choosing the winners, especially the award for the Best Actor which had in the past often set off a torrent of criticism. Cultural Affairs Minister A K Balan, who announced the state film awards on Tuesday, 3 What has to be done to said lately, there has been a clear shift in the manner in which the Best Actor awardees are chosen. “The list includes Ind r a n s, Vi n aya k a n , Soubin and Suraj. This is a good sign that the award jury is considering serious acting efforts rather than going behind popularity and stardom,” he said. Between 2010 and 2015, Best actor awards 2016- Vinayakan (Kammattipaadam) 2017- Indrans (Aalorukkam) 2018- Jayasurya (Njan Marykkutty, Captain) Soubin Shahir (Sudani From Nigeria) the Best Actor awards went to Salim Kumar, Dileep, Prithviraj, Fahadh Faasil, Lal, Nivin Pauly, Sudev Nair and Dulquer Salmaan. “But we cannot call it as a visible change or a paradigm shift from the era of stardom to ‘unconventional’ heroes. Post-2015, a lot of experimental movies were made in Malayalam. A lot of independent movies are also coming up. Usually, such movies cannot afford the luxury of casting superstars. The superstars as well as others who play ‘unconventional’ roles by breaking the stereotypes are also excellent actors. Hence, they are being rewarded,” said film critic C S ● More on P5 Venkateswaran. express read the infected pilgrim’s co-passengers, including their quarantining? commodation for the staff. The commissioner also asked if a pilgrim is symptomatic and tests positive during screening at Nilakkal, where that person can be ad● More on P2 mitted. Virtual queue booking full in two hours | P2 ister Nirmala Sitharaman had said, “Just because there is no consensus, it does not mean no decision can be taken.” Eight states are yet to exercise either of the two options mooted by the Centre. The finance ministry statement said, “Action on the special borrowing window is being taken separately”, which means the government is no mood to negotiate any further on the issue. The finance ministry had on May 17 provided additional borrowing limit of up to 2% of GSDP to the states. The final instalment of 0.5% (out of the 2% limit) was linked to carrying out three out of the four reforms stipulated by the Centre. However, to sweeten the deal, the Centre said it will waive the reform conditions in the final instalment in view of the Covid pandemic. Officials said states that haven’t opted any option mooted by the Centre will get their share from the cess. But, if there is shortfall, it will be carried over to the next year. WINNERS AND TAKERS AG goes after TV trial of pending court cases questions raised 1 thantri, melsanthi and Will move SC, says Isaac Akkitham hospitalised, condition critical Former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was released late Tuesday night after being in preventive detention for 14 months following abrogation of Article 370 last year | P7 Idukki dam water level rises, blue alert issued Indian economy to contract by 10.3%: IMF Palakkad: Jnanpith award winner and poet Akkitham Achuthan Namboodiri has been admitted to the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Thrissur after he developed uneasiness at his home in Kumaranelloor. The poet’s son Akkitham Narayanan told TNIE that his father was suffering from old-age ailments. Idukki: The district administration on Tuesday issued a blue alert to those living near Idukki reservoir after water level in the dam continued to rise after heavy rain in the catchment areas. Blue alert, the first warning issued prior to opening of the shutters, was sounded after water level touched 2,391.16 ft. Washington: The Indian economy, severely hit by Covid, is projected to contract by 10.3% this year, IMF said on Tuesday. However, India is likely to bounce back with an impressive 8.8% growth rate in 2021, it said. 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express social media attack covid case diary Trolled Tanishq chickens out, nixes interfaith advert TPR reaches all-time high, daily count crosses 3L-mark in state E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi High-end jewellery brand Tanishq on Tuesday withdrew an advertisement promoting interfaith marriage a day after it was severely trolled on social media. Tanishq said its decision was driven by the fact that the advert had drawn ‘diver- gent and severe reactions’. A section of the social media users alleged it was promoting ‘love jihad’ — a term used by hardline Hindutva groups to characterise Muslim men who allegedly entice Hindu girls to promote religious conversion. And their #BoycottTanishq hashtag was trending. Among those who trolled it was actor Kangana Ranaut, who alleged it promoted ‘love jihad’ and ‘sexism’. Released on October 9 to promote the jewellery line Ekatvam, the video documented how a Muslim family was preparing for the baby shower of their Hindu daughter-in-law. The idea was to celebrate the coming together of people from different walks of life and cel- ebrate the beauty of oneness, said Tanishq, which is part of the Titan group. Academics and activists condemned the withdrawal. Feminist historian Uma Chakravarti said, “This is typical of the market which may think something is trendy and acceptable but not standing up to its own philosophy continued on: p8 later.” 8,764 18.16% positive cases on Tuesday 48,253 samples tested Test Positivity Rate 95,407 active cases 3,03,896 confirmed cases
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