BELAGAVI WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 28, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 LATE CITY EDITION KERALA FIRST STATE TO FIX FLOOR PRICE FOR VEGETABLES Sixteen vegetables will have ﬂoor price that would be 20% above their production cost, with effect from November 1 NO PAIN FOR FARMERS EVEN IF MARKET CRASHES PRICE TO BE REVISED ON A REGULAR BASIS Even if the market price went below this, the produce would be procured at the floor price from farmers, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday. The vegetables would be graded as per the quality and the floor price fixed accordingly, he said. “Farmers across the country are not satisfied... but for the last four-and-half years, we have supported them,” he added The 16 vegetables include potato, tomato, beans, tapioca, lady’s finger, bitter gourd, carrot, beetroot, banana among others ■ Farmers with a maximum of 15 acres of vegetable cultivation per season will be eligible for the scheme. The state government will revise the floor price on a regular basis, the chief minister said ■ 15L tonnes KERALA’S ANNUAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION, ACCORDING TO STATE GOVT 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 Five accords, including the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement, at 2+2 dialogue indicate US solidarity against Chinese aggression Sharp message to Beijing from India-US pacts P U S H K A R B A N A K A R & M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi INDIA and the US on Tuesday signed five pacts, including the long-negotiated Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) on geospatial data during the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue at a time when New Delhi and Beijing are engaged in a stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. BECA will give India access to accurate US satellite data, which will help in navigation and pinpoint accuracy for weapons. “We are happy that we’ve completed the BECA, which will open new avenues in the information sharing. We are eager to discuss further issues with US,” Singh said. Experts say BECA will usher in a new era in ties, especially in defence cooperation. “IndiaUS are looking at geo-spatial intelligence and greater cooperation in all fields. Further, a EXPRESS READ Implement waiver by Nov 5, RBI tells lenders Mumbai: The Reserve Bank on Tuesday asked all lending institutions, including NBFCs, to ensure that the scheme of waiver of interest on interest for loans up to D2 crore for the six-month moratorium period is implemented by November 5, as decided by the government. Nitish fires ‘8-9 kids’ jibe; Tejashwi responds Patna: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar fired another salvo at RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, though without naming him, saying no development can be expected from people producing ‘8-9 kids’ for a son, inviting a strong retort from Tejashwi Yadav who said P8 the JD(U) boss is tired. fair amount of congruence has been achieved in terms of the idea of an inclusive Indo-Pacific. The wider Indo-Pacific sweep includes freedom of navigation, use of global commons and the sea lanes of communication,” Major General (Retd) S B Asthana said. Kriti Upadhyaya of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies said that signing of BECA in the backdrop of the India-China tensions definitely sends a message to China that the US stands by India in improving its defences against China. Discussions in the meeting involving US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defence Mark Esper, External Affairs Minister S Jaishnakar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh focused around a plethora of regional and global issues, including coronavirus, trade, free and fair Indo-Pacific and enP7 hancing bilateral ties. S A N A S H A K I L A N D F AYA Z W A N I @ New Delhi/Srinagar Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addresses the media after the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (R), US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (2L) and US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper (L) look on, at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Tuesday | PTI Rajnath raps ‘reckless China’ P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi WHILE US belligerence against China was on expected lines, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh sharp rebuke of the neighbour for its “reckless aggression on our northern borders”, in his opening address at the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue on Tuesday, became one of the day’s talking points. “Excellencies, in the area of defense we are challenged by reckless aggression on our northern borders,” a State Department release quoted Singh as saying. However, a statement issued by the Ministry of Defence made no such mention. Predictably visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was , more upfront while slamming China. “We paid our respect to the soldiers who laid down their lives in the Galwan Valley recently The US will stand with India in its efforts to defend its . sovereignty and its liberty... Our nations are committed to working together into expanding our partnerships across many fronts,” Pompeo said after the talks. Pompeo said a robust discussion has been set off about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) due to the pandemic ‘that came from Wuhan’. “Our leaders and our citizens see with increasing clarity that the CCP is no friend to democracy the rule , of law, transparency nor the freedom of navigation, the foundation of a free and open and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” he said. CONTINUED ON: P7 SC directs Allahabad HC to monitor CBI’s Hathras probe E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Allahabad High Court to monitor the CBI probe into the alleged Hathras gangrape and murder case. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde asked the CBI to submit its status report to the high court, which shall look into all the aspects of the case, including providing security to the victim’s family . The court, while hearing a batch of petitions seeking an independent probe into the case, said the plea to transfer the case out of Uttar Pradesh has been left open. The petitions sought an independent probe and for the case to be transferred out of Uttar Pradesh, preferably to Delhi. The petitioners argued a fair trial TNIE TWEETS, 2 CHILD MARRIAGES STOPPED A S H W I N I M S R I PA D @ Bengaluru WHILE the economic impact of the Covid-induced lockdown and its after-effect has been well documented by now, what has perhaps been ignored is the social implication. Cash-strapped families in rural areas are getting their underage girl children married, and between March and September this year, over 150 cases of child marriage have been registered in Karnataka. Officials say this may just be the tip of the iceberg and with schools remaining closed, there may be no way to keep track of the status of girl children. In recent cases, two child marriages — one in a remote village in HD Kote taluk in Karnataka and another at Madanpalle in Andhra Pradesh — were stopped in a matter of just three days after The New Indian Express tipped off the police and the Department of Women and Child Development. On October 25, this reporter was alerted by a member of an NGO about the marriage Floodgates now opened for anyone to buy land in Jammu & Kashmir of a 17-year-old girl hailing from Sidlaghatta in Chikkaballapur district, scheduled to be held at Madanpalle in Andhra Pradesh the very next morning. The reporter tweeted, tagging the Hyderabad police around 5 pm, who, in turn, tagged the Andhra police handle. The latter then tagged the Chittoor police handle. Calls were also made to three police stations in Madanpalle as there was very little time. By 7 pm Sunday the Chittoor , police reached the spot and counselled the parents of the bride and groom. They registered a case against the parents of both the bride and groom under the Prevention of Child Marriage Act and also took an undertaking from both parties. Back in Karnataka, U m a M a h a d eva n , Principal Secretary to the Panchayat Raj department, directed the Chikkaballapur deputy commissioner and other officials to ensure that the girl’s wedding is not held before she attains 18 years of age. CONTINUED ON: P5 was not possible in UP . Another prayer was made to ensure adequate witness protection for the victim’s family . Solicitor General Tushar Mehta also told the apex court that a three-fold protection mechanism was in place for the family and witnesses. Accepting Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s suggestion, the top court asked the Allahabad High Court to remove the name of the victim from its orders. The UP government had already recommended a CBI probe into the case even though it continues to deny the woman was raped. The CBI officially took over the case on October 10. The agency will probe all aspects of the alleged gangrape and murder of a 20-yearold Dalit woman in UP’s Hathras disP8 trict on September 14. NATIONAL SECURITY Centre designates IM founders, 16 others as terrorists B A L A C H A U H A N @ Bengaluru THE two fugitive founders of the now banned terrorist organisation Indian Mujahideen (IM) — Riyaz Ismail Shahbandari alias Riyaz Bhatkal and Mohammed Iqbal Shahbandari alias Iqbal Bhatkal — from Karnataka have been designated as terrorists under the amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967, by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The list, which was issued on Tuesday, has designated 18 individuals as terrorists. All of them are said to be based out of Pakistan. The counter-terrorism law was amended in August last year to designate individuals as terrorists. Prior to the amendment, only organisations could be designated as terrorist outfits. Riyaz and Iqbal are said to be living in Pakistan under the alleged patronage of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Riyaz is allegedly involved in several terrorist attacks in India — from the Chinnaswamy Stadium blast in Bengaluru, German Bakery blast in Pune, Jama Masjid blast in Delhi and Sheetalaghat blast in Varanasi in 2010 to the Zaveri Bazaar serial blasts in P7 Mumbai in 2011. IN a move that can have longterm political and economic implications for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre on Tuesday notified several laws, including major amendments to the Jammu and Kashmir Land Revenue Act to allow any Indian citizen to buy land in the Union Territory . Agricultural land will be an exception to the law as it can only be transferred or sold to an agriculturist in J&K. However, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs can authorise an agriculturist to ‘alienate’ the land to a non-agriculturist for sale, gift or exchange. The new amendment implies domiciles of J&K would now effectively get protection only in government jobs. The Union government had earlier hinted that some protection on land-rights on the lines of Himachal Pradesh will be granted to domiciles of J&K. Before the reading down of Article 370 and Article 35-A last year, non-residents could not buy any immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir. But the new order titled the ‘Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020’ changed this status. The order issued by the Union home ministry evoked sharp reactions from J&K political parties, ranging from ‘unacceptable’ to ‘betrayal’. Several regional parties, under the umbrella of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, vowed to fight “on all fronts” against it. The MHA has also amended the domicile law declaring the “spouse of a domicile shall also be deemed to be a domicile”. This earlier pertained to children of central government officials posted in J&K for 10 years who are also eligible as CONTINUED ON: P7 domiciles. Under-fire FB official Ankhi Das calls it quits EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi CONTROVERSIAL India policy head of Facebook, Ankhi Das, who had opposed blocking of rightwing hate content on its platform, put in her papers on Tuesday . She was outed by US media reports that criticised Facebook for its skew in regulating hate content. The resignation to pursue her interest in ‘public service’ also came close on the heels of her grilling by a parliamentary panel on data protection. She had joined Facebook in 2011. “Ankhi has decided to step down from her role in Facebook to pursue her interest in public service. Ankhi was one of our earliest employees in India and played an instrumental role in the growth of the company and its services over the last 9 years,” stated Ajit Mohan, VP and MD, India. In August last, articles in the Wall Street Journal had said Das had intervened in internal review of the communal posts of BJP’s Telangana MLA T Raja Singh. Das, the reports said, had argued that penalising BJP workers’ posts would hurt the company’s business prospects in India. The reports soon lit a political fire with the Congress alleging a nexus between Facebook and the BJP .
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