KOCHI l Wednesday l november 04, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l LATE 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 P12 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 P R a m d a s @ Kochi Security fencing put up around White House in Washington on Tuesday | AP Expect delay White House ‘lockdown’ 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 First polls close at 4.30am IST on Tuesday, but the last one will be open toll 11.30am 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 T h e F lo r i da facto r Markets buoyant US stocks led the rally in global equity markets amid optimism about Biden’s victory and hopes for fresh stimulus. Dow Jones up; major S&P indexes stay north Nitish rule ended anarchy, says Modi 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 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 agree that Nitish has brought development, but are angry with him that he has failed on employment, mig rants and bureaucratic corruption. In other words, the Nitish and Tejashwi seem to be their own biggest enemy Rudra Ku. mar, a final year graduation 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 National Guard troops have been put on standby turnout in Phase II of Bihar polls till 5pm. 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 C 180 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 in hundi in October With less than a fortnight left for the opening of the Sabarimala pilgrimage 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 annual season, but its coffers are empty due to the steep decline in income caused by the protests against women’s entry floods and lockdown. The , temple revenue which plummeted to `180 crore in 2018-19 following protests against women’s entry had grown to `263 crore in 2019-20. However, the seven-month lockdown has ruined the finances of the board as income dropped to nearzero. 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 and 2,000 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 last month. ● More on P6 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 An ED report filed in a Bengaluru court press and accessed by TNIE said huge amounts of clusive for Bineesh Kodiyeri. Currently in Enforcecash were deposited in his bank accounts ment Directorate’s custody in Bengaluru on since 2012, and there was disparity in the incharges of funding a drug cartel, CPM state seccome tax returns (ITR) filed and cash deposretary’s son has been named in a `30.74-lakh ited in the accounts. In 2018-19, for instance, loan default case. a total of `54.89 lakh was deposited in his acPunjab National Bank (PNB) has filed a case counts while the declared income as per his against Bineesh and his two partners ITR was `13.20 lakh. The ED said -- Anand Padmanabhan of Kudapsuch huge cash deposits are nothing panakkunnu and Arun S of Muttada but proceeds of crime generated -- for defaulting on the repayment of through narcotics business. the loan. They had taken the amount Moreover, while questioning, from the bank’s Kazhakkoottam Bineesh also revealed the names of branch to finance Old Coffee House, two benami companies — Rianha a Thiruvananthapuram-based mulEvent Management Pvt Ltd registi-cuisine restaurant. They had obtered in Ernakulam and Yoush Unaccounted tained the money by mortgaging the Events Management and Producmoney details property of one Mini Pradeep of tions Pvt Ltd registered in BengaluYear Cash Declared Thirumala in the state capital. ru — the agency said in its report deposit income Even though the Debt Recovery filed while seeking extension of his Tribunal (DRT), which facilitates custody for interrogation. 2012-13 D51.06L D6.72L the recovery of defaulted loan mon“The current directors of the ey from bank customers, had issued companies are Mohammed Anoop, 2013-14 D65.66L D5.36L notice to the three, they did not apwho has already accepted that he is 2014-15 D53.55L D5.35L pear before it. Now, the DRT has working for Bineesh, and Rijesh posted the case to November 25 for Ravindran. It is suspected that huge 2015-16 D56.29L D49.78L producing the original documents money laundering has happened relied upon by the bank for providthrough these two companies, man- 2016-17 D1.18cr D25.38L ing the loan. aged by Bineesh,” the application 2017-18 D1.16 cr D16.29L In its application filed with the filed by Rahul Sinha, ED Deputy DiDRT through advocate C Ajith Kurector, said. The central agency said 2018-19 D54.89L D13.20L it has sought details of the compa- As per ED report filed in B’luru court mar on May 28, 2020, PNB said Bineesh stood as the guarantor for nies from the under Registrar of the loan. “Old Coffee House had obtained a loan Companies and is awaiting details. worth `50 lakh from our Kazhakkoottam branch According to the agency, Abdul Latheef, an in May 2017. Subsequently the partners defaultaccused in the gold smuggling case, is also a ed on the repayment,” the bank said. benamidar of Bineesh and is associated with “It is clear from the conduct of the partners his restaurant Old Cof fee House in that they have no intention to clear the dues. Thiruvananthapuram. Sufficient opportunity was granted to them The agency believes Abdul Latheef was to clear the loan liabilities. The outstanding liholding and managing the assets Bineesh had ability as on May 10, 2020, under the cash credit generated through illegal drugs business. Ana n d t e r m l o a n a c c o u n t s, s t a n d s a t other benamidar, Al Jassan Abdul Jabbar, is `10.51 lakh and `20.23 lakh, respectively,” the suspected to be managing his ultra luxury ● More on P4 ● More on P4 bank said. cars business, it said. Police gun down yet another Maoist. Cong cries foul, seeks probe A m i ya M e e t h a l @ Kapikkalam (Wayanad) THE police gunned down Maoist leader Vel Murugan here on Tuesday morning, with the Tamil Nadu native becoming the eighth Maoist to lose life in the state 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, Thunderbolt, in Banasura Hill near the Meenmutti waterfalls at Padinjarathara in Wayanad. Another Maoist is said to be injured. The 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. The police said a team of 15 commandos and police officers led by Mananthavady SI Biju Antony came across six Maoists 200 metres above the waterfalls in deep forest during 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,” Thunderbolt 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 is a lawyer in Madurai. The police said there are many cases against Murugan 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 J C Daniel award for Hariharan T’Puram: Filmmaker Hariharan has been selected for the J C 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 T’Puram: Kerala’s overall Covid count rose to 4,51,130 with 6,862 more people testing positive on Tuesday. A total of 8,802 recovered. P2 18 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express
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