BHUBANESWAR l thursday l december 17, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l JEYPORE EDITION Ahead of 2021 assembly war, ldf wins local body battle Cong loses shine, bjp set to improve tally With counting still going on, the LDF was leading in 514 of the total of 941 grama panchayats, 3 corporations and 10 district panchayats. Congressled United Democratic Front was in the 2nd spot, leading in 375 grama panchayats, 3 corporations and 4 district panchayats. BJP was ahead in 23 panchayats and 2 municipalities against 14 and 1, respectively, in 2015 The ruling CPM-led Left Democratic Front in Kerala on Wednesday appeared to make a clean sweep of the local body elections Befitting reply to Centre, says Vijayan ■ ■ In the last local body elections, the Congress had won 365 panchayats, 41 municipalities and two corporations Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who has come under a shadow of doubt following the gold smuggling case, said the results are the people’s reply to the central agencies trying to “wreck the state” Apr-May 2021 When elections to the Kerala Assembly are expected to be held 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 SC panel in the works to seek stir’s solution India to name ‘trusted’ telecom sources, may blacklist Chinese firms E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Fears matters could snowball; impleads 8 farmer unions; extensive hearing today E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi With the deadlock persisting on the farmers’ protest against three contentious farm sector laws, the Supreme Court on Wednesday indicated its intention to set up a committee of all stakeholders to open talks, adding the issue could soon snowball into a national one if not quickly resolved. “This is what we propose to do tentatively. We will form a committee to resolve this dispute,” the bench told solicitor general Tushar Mehta while hearing three petitions related to the protests. “This panel will comprise members from BKU or any other farmer association that are protesting, government representatives and other farmers groups,” the CJI said while issuing notice to the Centre on the three petitions. As per the order, eight farmer organisations have been included in the case: Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rakesh Tikait), BKU (Sidhupur), BKU (Rajewal), BKU (Lakhowal), Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, BKU (Dakaunda), BKU (Doaba) and Kul Hind Kisan Federation. Mehta told the bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde that the government is keen on engaging with the farmers, but it can happen only when the other side is open to discuss the laws, clause by clause. Instead, “they come with just one demand of taking back the law,” Mehta rued. At this, CJI Bobde observed, “Your negotiations have not worked apparently Mehta claimed the .” agitation had been taken over by vested interests. “Whenever they came to meet our ministers, they carried placards with ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Also, when the ministers spoke to them they turned around in their seats to show their back to the Central ministers,” he said. Delhi government counsel Rahul Mehra batted for the farmers saying they were compelled to protest in winter. “The Centre must do something to resolve their problems,” he added. The case will be heard at P7 length on Thursday . New CJs for Madras, J&K and Gauhati HCs E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Supreme Court collegium’s decision to shake-up the higher judiciary, as reported in these columns, including the transfers of chief justices of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, was formally uploaded in its website on Wednesday . In all, 14 judicial officers were part of the recommended shuffle: promotion of five judges as chief justices; transfer of four chief justices to various high courts; and transfer of five judges. Apart from the elevation of Justice Dr S Muralidhar as Chief Justice of Orissa High Court and Delhi High Court judge Hima Kohli as Chief Justice of Telangana High Court, the collegium approved proposals to promote Calcutta High Court judge Sanjib Banerjee as Chief Justice of Madras High Court, Allahabad High Court judge Pankaj Mithal as Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand High Court judge Sudhanshu Dhulia as Gauhati High Court Chief Justice. The judges whose transfers have been approved include Justice Sanjay Yadav, presently serving as the acting Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. His name has been recommended for transfer to the Allahabad High Court. Justice Rajesh Bindal, who is currently the acting Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, has Farmers shout slogans against the new farm sector laws, at the Singhu border in New Delhi on Wednesday | Shekhar Yadav Wary unions want to wait and watch H a r p r ee t B a j w a @ Chandigarh Protesting farm unions on Wednesday reacted cautiously to the Supreme Court’s proposal to set up a committee to resolve the deadlock over the three contentious farm laws. While some said they will decide on the court’s suggestion only after receiving it in writing and taking legal advice, others claimed the new panel was meaningless since they had already rejected the Centre’s proposal to amend the three laws. Harinder Singh Lakhowal, General Secretary of BKU (La- khowal) and Omka General Secretary of BKU (Rajewal) said, “After discussion among farmer leaders today it was de, cided that once we get any notice from the court, we will take legal advice and decide as to what to do.” Forming a new committee at this stage may not work, according to Sukhdev Singh, Punjab General Secretary of Bhart i ya K i s a n U n i o n ( E k t a Ugrahan). “The government should have formed a committee of farmers and others before enacting the new agriculture laws,” he said. Agitation figured in talks, says Rabb New Delhi: Visiting British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Wednesday said he had discussed the ongoing farmers’ protests at Delhi’s borders with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during their interaction. India, he said, had a “vibrant heritage of peaceful protests”, and the United Kingdom respects it | P7 Promotions Name of judge Present HC HC where appointed as CJ Dr S Muralidhar Punjab & Haryana Orissa Hima Kohli Delhi Telangana Sanjib Banerjee Calcutta Madras Pankaj Mithal Allahabad Jammu & Kashmir Sudhanshu Dhulia Uttarakhand Gauhati Transfer of Chief Justices Name High Court from High Court to R S Chauhan J K Maheshwari Mohammad Rafiq A K Goswami Sudhanshu Dhulia Telangana Andhra Pradesh Orissa Sikkim Uttarakhand Uttarakhand Sikkim Madhya Pradesh Andhra Pradesh Gauhati Transfer of judges Name High Court from High Court to Sanjay Yadav Madhya Pradesh Allahabad Rajesh Bindal J&K Calcutta Vineet Kothar Madras Gujarat Joymalya Bagchi Calcutta Andhra Pradesh Satish Chandra Sharma Madhya Pradesh Karnataka been proposed for a transfer to the Calcutta High Court. The other transfers of judges are Madras High Court judge Vineet Kothari to the Gujarat High Court; Calcutta High Court judge Joymalya Bagchi to the Andhra Pradesh High Court; and Madhya Pradesh High Court judge Satish Chandra Sharma to the Karnataka High Court. Sanction 14.94 lakh PMAY watchlist houses, Naveen urges PM India onmanipulation for currency E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sanction 14.94 lakh special houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) for providing shelter security to all eligible households in the State. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Patnaik said the State government has identified, geotagged and Aadhaar-seeded 7.87 lakh houses damaged in 14 districts hit by cyclone Fani in May last year. “These beneficiaries may be brought into permanent wait list (PWL) of PMAY-G and considered for sanction of special houses. This will not only provide relief to the affected families but also ensure safe hous- Safe housing for all 7.87 lakh houses damaged in 14 districts hit by cyclone Fani Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav, who is also a member Sankyukt Kisan Morcha, said the SC can decide only the constitutionality of the farm laws but it is not for the judiciary to decide on the desirability of these laws. “SC monitored negotiation would be a wrong path,” he noted. Meanwhile, a 65-year-old religious leader Baba Ram Singh shot himself dead at the Singhu border. He reportedly left behind a suicide note in Punjabi saying he took this extreme step as he could no longer see the struggles of the farmers. The US on Wednesday added India along with Taiwan and Thailand to the “monitoring list” of currency manipulating countries that includes major trading partners like China | P9 After taking a slew of steps against Chinese mobile apps, India will soon come out with a list of ‘trusted sources’, only from whom telecom equipment can be purchased by service providers. Senior officials said the move is aimed at building indigenous capacity in the manufacturing of the telecom equipment, and cut down on the dependency on imports. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday decided that a panel headed by the deputy national security advisor will prepare the ‘trusted sources’ list, which seeks to secure India’s communication network. The panel will also prepare a ‘negative list’ of companies, whose products will not be allowed in the country. The black list is likely to contain Chinese firms. The National Security Directive on Telecommunication Sector, cleared by the CCA, directs all service providers to mandatorily source equipment from “trusted sources”. However, it will not affect equipment that have already been deployed. “The CCS has approved the directive in line with the needs of the national security , and accordingly the National Security Directive on Telecommunication Sector has been given the nod,” said Union law and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The panel will comprise members from relevant de- Next round of spectrum sale The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal for the auction of 2,251.25 megahertz of spectrum worth `3.92 lakh crore. The sale will be held in March 2021 | P10 partments, ministries, besides two from the industry and also independent experts. The directive has provisions to qualify telecom gears made by domestic players in the trusted category, while those that meet the criteria of the DoT’s “preferential market access scheme” will be certified as India trusted sources. Nayagarh minor girl was ‘raped’ before murder, finds SIT probe E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar In a fresh turn to the Nayagarh minor girl murder case, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) has reportedly found that the five-year-old girl was ‘raped’ before being brutally killed. While the Nayagarh police investigation had ruled out sexual assault angle in the murder based on the post mortem report, the fresh probe by the SIT has found semen stains on the frock belonging to the victim. The investigating team also found that a part of the clothing of the victim was missing. Earlier in the day, the SIT submitted its first status report before the Orissa High Court. The next hearing in the case is scheduled on December 24. The girl had gone missing from her house in Jadupur village of the district on July 14 and her skeletal remains were recovered from a bag in the backyard of the house on July 23. Though the parents had filed complaints and been run- ning from pillar to post seeking justice for their daughter, district police did not take effective action to solve the case. It was not before the hapless parents attempted self-immolation in front of the State Assembly last month and fuelled a Statewide outrage over the conduct of police that the government was moved to act. The issue also snowballed into a major political storm with Opposition demanding the resign a t i o n o f A g r i c u l - ture Minister Arun Sahoo over his role in giving protection to the accused. Chief Minister Naveen P a t n a i k o rdered an SIT probe on November 27. IGranked officer Arun Bothra was appointed as the head of the task force. During its in- INSIDE vestigation, the SIT recorded statements of more witnesses and even collected blood samples of at least 34 villagers. It also examined the post-mortem and forensics reports along with other documents. The development assumes significance as the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had also pointed at irregularities in the probe carried out by the local police. “Prima facie we found glaring gaps in the probe carried out by the district police into the murder of the minor g i rl , ” N C P C R Chairperson Priyank Kanoongo had said. The vict i m ’s f at h e r has been claiming that his daughter’s eyes were gouged out and kidneys were rem ove d a f t e r h e r murder. Parents unaware of daughter’s sexual assault before murder 6.07 lakh eligible households left out from the PWL FATAL ATTRACTION Earlier, the State had sought 5 lakh houses for Fani-hit families P3 13-year-old electrocuted while taking selfie atop train ing to rural families to withstand natural calamities in the cyclone-prone areas,” the letter said. Noting that 6.07 lakh eligible households have been left out from the PWL in 16 nonFani affected districts, the Chief Minister requested the PM to advise the Ministry of Rural Development to open window of Awaas+ mobile app to geo-tag these left out houses to accomplish the objective of ‘safe housCONTINUED ON: P5 ing for all’. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Clicking selfie atop a stationary train turned fatal for a 13-year-old boy at Paralakhemundi railway station in Gajapati district on Wednesday as he was electrocuted after coming in contact with a live overhead wire. The deceased, P Surya Kumar was a resident of Chandra Sahi under Paralakhemundi police limits. Train services on Naupada-Gunupur route were affected following the mishap, which also resulted in a coach catching fire. Sources said taking advantage of absence of the beat constable, three teenagers arrived at the Covid isolation coach to take selfies. While one climbed atop the coach, two others waited for their turn. “The teenager came in con- tact with the high voltage live wire when he was taking his selfie. He fell down from the coach, which also caught fire thereafter. Two of his friends who attempted to rescue him also sustained injuries. The three were immediately rushed to the nearby hospital where one succumbed to the injuries,” said the sources. East Coast Railway (ECoR) sources said the jute mat that covered the top of one of the isolation coaches caught fire in the incident. Fire tender personnel were immediately pressed into service and brought the fire under control. Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel rushed to the spot and further inquiry is on. ECoR Chief PRO Kaushalendra Kishore Khadanga said “They sneaked into the coach area when the beat constable was away from the spot. The condition of two others is stable and they are out of danger. ,” he said. Meanwhile, Divisional Railway Manager of Waltair, Chetan Srivastava has constituted a committee to probe into the incident. The isolation coaches were prepared for Covid-19 patients in the region. They were stationed at Paralakhemundi for the last few months.
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