KOttayam l Wednesday l november 04, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l city EDITION October exports, imports dip, trade deficit narrows After recording positive growth in September, India’s exports fell 5.4% to $24.82 billion in October, latest data showed Petroleum, Gems, leather shipments down PM Modi to chair global investor meet Lower shipments in petroleum products (down 53.30%) and India’s mainstays gems & jewellery (down 21.27%), and leather (down 16.69%) saw exports falling in the festive month. Imports also fell 11.56% to $33.6 billion, leading to trade deficit narrowing to $8.78 billion. Sectors which grew include rice, oil meals, iron ore, oil seeds, carpet, pharma and spices ■ ■ PM Narendra Modi will on Thursday chair a virtual global investor roundtable, which will be attended by leading global investors It will be an exclusive dialogue between global institutional investors, Indian business leaders and the highest decision makers from the Indian govt and financial market regulators P10 Stimulus Package will be unveiled soon, said Tarun Bajaj, Secretary - DEA 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 Trump or Biden? Florida may offer the earliest clue Bineesh used benamis to manage illegal assets: ED Report in court points to disparity in cash deposits and I-T returns, says huge amounts of money nothing but proceeds of drug deals After around 100 million cast their ballot early, voters queued up to decide who will be their next president amid Covid worries and fears of violence if Trump loses but refuses to concede defeat. A look at the race to 270 electoral college votes for outright victory Expect delay P R a m d a s @ Kochi Security fencing put up around White House in Washington on Tuesday | AP Markets buoyant First polls close at 4.30 am IST on Tuesday, but the last one will be open toll 11.30 am on Wednesday, so the final results will be delayed No uniform rule on how and when to count postal ballots. Also, states differ in postal ballot deadlines. Georgia, for instance, will count ballots received on or before November 3, but others like Ohio will accept late ballots if they have the November 3 postmark White House ‘lockdown’ US stocks led the rally in global equity markets as optimism of Biden’s victory surged and hopes for fresh stimulus. Dow Jones up; major S&P indexes stay north Amid concern over possible violence, with some even fearing a civil war, a fence was erected around the White House complex, the Ellipse and Lafayette Square T h e F lo r i da facto r Of all the swing states, Florida is the largest with 29 electoral college votes. Its result will be declared early as the state has been counting the mail-in ballots as they arrive, unlike others that begin the counting process today. If Trump loses Florida, analysts say it will be very tough for him to pull off a win | P11 Nitish rule ended anarchy, says Modi Both Tejashwi & I are the future: Rahul Under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Bihar had left behind the darkness of insecurity and anarchy of the RJD rule, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. “Roads and markets today bustle with people even late at night.” “NDA has plundered Bihar and lied to the people. Modi and Nitish are a spent force have not done anything for the state. But our alliance will deliver. Tejashwi ji and me are the future,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said ‘Parivartan’ looks certain, but it may mean more than Nitish or Tejashwi in Bihar Mukesh Ranjan @ Bhagalpur/Kishenganj/Khagaria if random voices of voters were to be taken as an indication of what might come on November 10, when votes for the Bihar polls are counted, then the state will see a parivartan (change). At many villages and towns, especially in the poorest districts, there is a sense of despair and even anger. On the face of it, this could be interpreted as a sign that the 15-year rule of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is coming to an end and that his challenger, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav, is going to win hands down. Yet, the mood of the people is not as black and white as it may seem, rather there is a lot of grey So while there is a cry for . change, the voters don’t want the RJD. The voters are agreed that Nitish has brought development, but are angry with him that he has failed on employment, migrants and bureaucratic corruption. In other words, the Nitish and Tejashwi seem to be their own biggest enemy Rudra Ku. mar, a final year graduation National Guard troops have been put on standby Voters stand in queues patiently awaiting their turn to cast their votes during the second phase of Bihar Assembly elections in Patna on Tuesday | pti BIHAR 2020 53.51% student at Zero Mile in Naugachia village of Bhagalpur district, said being a Yadav, he would vote for the RJD candidate from his Gopalpur seat but praised both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nitish. “I want the RJD to win from my seat but an NDA government must be formed in Bihar,” he said. Explaining the contradiction, Kumar said: “If Tejashwi Yadav comes to power, there will be jungle raj in Bihar Turnout in Phase II of Bihar polls till 5 pm. Figure likely to go up. Total 53.79% polling in two phases so far as against 55.35% in 2015 once again.” Tejashwi rallies are drawing huge crowds where the mood is of parivartan, but his party’s record of lawlessness haunts him. And if a taste of things under his possible regime was needed, it came on Tuesday, hours after voting in a constituency of Patna. Kavindra Mahato, 45, and his family were allegedly thrashed by RJD goons for not voting for their party P10 . Vienna shocker Four dead, 17 wounded in suspected terror attack E x pr e s s N e w s S e rv i c e At least four people were killed in Vienna and 17 were wounded, some of them critically, when gunmen fired upon people at random in the Austrian capital on Monday night. One of the assailants, identified as 20-year-old ISIS sympathiser Kujtim Fejzulai, was shot dead by police. He was reportedly wearing a fake suicide vest. Police said they were searching for at least one more shooter still at large. The shooting happened in the heart of Vienna hours before a coronavirus lockdown started, Austrian authorities said on Tuesday . Of the four killed, two were women, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said, terming it an Islamist terror attack. “It was an attack out of hatred — hatred for our fundamental values, hatred for our way of life, hatred for our democracy in which all people have equal rights and dignity he added. ,” Authorities said of the 17 injured, seven were in lifethreatening condition. According to reports, the attacker who was shot dead was released from jail last year after spending 22 months of incarceration for trying to travel to Syria to join the ISIS. The attack drew widespread condemnation from global leaders, including from French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country experienced three terror attacks in recent weeks, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. f l o o d, w o m e n ’ s e n t ry, l o c k d o w n Coffers empty, tough pilgrimage season awaits Devaswom Board Ma n o j V i s w a n at h a n @Kochi traders refuse to join tender process The temple’s 1 plummeted torevenue which had D180 crore in 2018-19 following protests against women’s entry, dropped to near zero after the lockdown With restrictions in place, traders have refused to participate in the tendering of shops this season 2 The temple received less than 3 C 1,000 as offerings in October With less than a fortnight left for the opening of the Sabarimala pilgrim season, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) is searching ways to revive its sagging finances as 7 months of lockdown has landed the board in crisis. The TDB used to raise revenue for the administration of its 1,248 temples from the twomonth-long annual pilgrimage season, but its coffers are emp- ty due to the steep decline in income caused by the protests against women entry, floods and the lockdown. The temple revenue which plummeted to `180 crore in 2018-19 following protests against women’s entry had grown to `263 crore in 201920. However, the seven-monthlong lockdown has ruined the finances of the board as income dropped to near-zero. As the government has decided to conduct the pilgrimage adhering to Covid protocol, only 1,000 pilgrims will be allowed at the hill shrine on weekdays while 2,000 people will be allowed on weekends. The temple used to receive 50,000 to 80,000 pilgrims a day during the season. With restrictions in place, traders have refused to participate in the tendering of shops. The board used to get an assured income of `150 crore from auctioning. The temple received less than `1,000 as offerings box income ● More on P6 last month. Loan default case adds to his worries THE Enforcement Directorate probing the money trail in the Bengaluru drug trafficking case has claimed that the modus operandi of Bineesh Kodiyeri has been to create many P R a m d a s @ Kochi “benamidars” and transfer assets in their names to avoid detection. There’s more trouble for Bineesh Kodiyeri. An ED report filed in a Bengaluru court and Currently in Enforcement Directorate’s cusaccessed by TNIE said huge amounts of cash tody in Bengaluru on charges of funding a were deposited in his bank accounts since drug cartel, CPM state secretary’s son has 2012, and there was disparity in the income been named in a `30.74-lakh loan default tax returns (ITR) filed and cash deposited in case. the accounts. In 2018-19, for instance, Punjab National Bank (PNB) has a total of Rs 54.89 lakh was deposited press in his accounts while the declared clusive filed a case against Bineesh and his two partners -- Anand Padmanabincome as per his ITR was Rs 13.20 han of Kudappanakkunnu and Arun lakh. The ED said such huge cash S of Muttada -- for defaulting on the deposits are nothing but proceeds of repayment of the loan. They had takcrime generated through narcotics en the amount from the bank’s Kabusiness. zhakkoottam branch to finance Old Moreover, while questioning, Cof fee House, a T hir uvananBineesh also revealed the names of thapuram-based multi-cuisine restwo benami companies --Rianha taurant. They had obtained the monEvent Management Pvt Ltd regisey by mortgaging the property of tered under Registrar of Companies Bineesh’s one Mini Pradeep of Thirumala in (ROC) in Ernakulam and Yoush account details the state capital. Events Management and Produc- Year Cash Declared Even though the Debt Recovery tions Private Limited registered in deposit Income Tribunal (DRT), which facilitates Bengaluru, the agency’s said in its the recovery of defaulted loan monreport filed while seeking extension 2012-13 D51.06L D6.72L ey from bank customers, had issued of his custody for interrogation. notice to the three, they did not ap“The current directors of the com- 2013-14 D65.66L D5.36L pear before it. Now, the DRT has panies are Mohammed Anoop, who 2014-15 D53.55L D5.35L posted the case to November 25 for has already accepted that he is workproducing the original documents ing for Bineesh Kodiyeri, and Rijesh 2015-16 D56.29L D49.78L relied upon by the bank for providRavindran. It is suspected that huge 2016-17 D1.18cr D25.38L ing the loan. money laundering has happened In its application filed with the through these two companies, man- 2017-18 D1.16 cr D16.29L DRT through advocate C Ajith Kuaged by Bineesh,” the application mar on May 28, 2020, PNB said filed by Rahul Sinha, ED Deputy Di- 2018-19 D54.89L D13.20L Bineesh stood as the guarantor for rector, said. The central agency said the loan. “Old Coffee House had obtained a it has sought details of the companies from loan worth `50 lakh from our Kazhakkoottam the ROC and is awaiting details. branch in May 2017. Subsequently the partners According to the agency, Abdul Latheef, an defaulted on the repayment,” the bank said. accused in the gold smuggling case, is also a “It is clear from the conduct of the partners benamidar of Bineesh and is associated with that they have no intention to clear the dues. his restaurant Old Coffee House in ThiruSufficient opportunity was granted to them vananthapuram. The agency believes Abdul to clear the loan liabilities. The outstanding Latheef was holding and managing the assets liability as on May 10, 2020, under the cash Bineesh had generated through illegal drugs credit and term loan accounts, stands at business. Another benamidar, Al Jassan Ab`10.51 lakh and `20.23 lakh, respectively,” the dul Jabbar, is suspected to be managing his ● More on P4 bank said. ultra luxury cars business, it said. ● More on P4 Police shoot down yet another Maoist. Cong cries foul, seeks probe A m i ya M e e t h a l @ Kapikkalam (Wayanad) THE police shot down Maoist leader Vel Murugan here on Tuesday morning, with the Tamil Nadu native becoming the eighth Maoist to lose life since the Left government took over. The 32-year-old was killed in a combined action by the Kerala Police and its Maoist combat force, Thunder Bolt, at Banasura Hill near the Meenmutti waterfalls at Padinjarathara in Wayanad. Another Maoist is said to be injured. Congress did not waste any time to cry foul, with Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala suspecting it to be a fake encounter and demanding an unbiased probe. “An unbiased probe has to be initiated into the Padinjarathara incident which saw one person getting killed,” said Chennithala. According to the police, a team of 15 TB commandos and police officers led by Mananthavady SI Biju Antony came across six Maoists 200 metre above the waterfalls in deep forest during a patrolling. “The incident took place around 9.15am. We’ve been combing the area for some time following the threat of a police station attack,” TB state chief Chaithra Teresa John told TNIE. Murugan belonged to Kabani Dalam? Murugan, 32, a native of Theni, Tamil Nadu, was a law student who discontinued studies. It is learnt that he was the second in command of Kabani Dalam of CPI Maoist Western Ghat Zone. Son of Sendu and Annammal, his brother Murugan is a lawyer at Madurai court. The police said there are many cases against Myrugan at eight police stations in Kannur, Kozhikode and Wayanad. Police say Maoists fired first, forcing the officers to retaliate resulting in Murugan’s death. Maoists ran scattered once the shootout began and they quickly retreated to the forest. Murugan’s body was found in the search held afterwards. According to the police, a 330 rifle and Maoist literature were seized. The police said Tamil Nadu anti-naxal wing Q Branch identified the body . Mediapersons were blocked down the hill at Kapikkalam, some four kilometres away from the spot. Though they protested, the police did not budge. P7 express read JC Daniel award for Hariharan T’Puram: Filmmaker Hariharan has been selected for the JC Daniel Award, the state government’s highest honour for contributions to Malayalam cinema. The award carries a purse of D5 lakh, a citation and a sculpture. P5 HC seeks view on speed limit boards Kochi: The High Court has sought the view of the government on a plea seeking a directive to establish signboards along all public roads showing speed limits for vehicles at each stretch. P5 Covid tally in state crosses 4.5L-mark Kerala’s overall Covid count rose to 4,51,130 with 6,862 more testing positive on Tuesday. A total of 8,802 recovered from the disease. The number of active cases now stands at 84,713. P2
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