Nirav’s bro in million-dollar fraud Nehal Modi, the younger brother of Nirav Modi, was on Saturday indicted in New York for fraudulently obtaining diamonds worth over $1.4 million Nehal told New York-based LLD Diamonds USA that he was pursuing a business relationship with Seatlle-based Costco Wholesale Corporation P9 CHENNAI MONDAY DECEMBER 21, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 32 LATE CITY EDITION He sought and obtained diamonds worth $2.6 million from LLD, saying he wanted to show them to Costco for a potential sale Nehal then pawned most of the diamonds to secure loans for personal use. The rest were sold to various retailers without LLD’s authorisation Though he paid back $1.2 million to LLD, a majority of the proceeds were spent for personal purposes 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 NEW CM TO BE FROM BENGAL: SHAH E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kolkata SEEKING to take the sting out of the ‘outsider’ barb frequently directed at the BJP by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Union home minister Amit Shah on Sunday asserted that the new chief minister after polls will certainly be someone from the state’s soil. “The change in people’s mind is clearly visible. Mamata Banerjee’s misrule will end in the upcoming elections and Bengal will get a new chief minister who is from West Bengal, not an outsider,’’ said Shah. “When you (Mamata) were in Congress and Indira and Rajiv Gandhi visited Bengal, did you call them outsiders?’’ he quipped. Without specifying any deadline for implementing the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Shah flagged the infiltration issue and said people will usher in change in the Assembly elections to stop it. “The people of Bengal are unhappy with the infiltrators. They will bring in change to stop infiltration from the neighbouring country Shah said at ,’’ the end of a huge roadshow in Bolpur town of Birbhum. He said after the Covid-19 pandemic subsides and the vaccination process is over, the Centre will begin discussions to implement the CAA. Impressed by the large turnThe Trinamool Congress can never stop infiltration as it believes in appeasement politics. Only BJP can stop it Amit Shah, Union home minister out, Shah said it was a reflection of the people’s love for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, adding he had never seen such a massive roadshow. “2021 will usher in change for the development of Bengal. All BJP-ruled states have started their journey on the path of development. You gave Congress three decades; communists over three decades; and Trinamool 10 years. Give the BJP a chance and within five years, we will make it Sonar Bangla,’’ CONTINUED ON: P7 he said. ‘THAPPU’ ARTISTES WRONGED Thappu artists at Sengulam Colony in Tiruchy are deprived of livelihood and music owing to the pandemic | P4 EXPRESS READ Alarmed EU nations ban flights from the UK RINGING IN THE YULETIDE SPIRIT Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam taking part in Christmas celebrations at Nandambakkam in Chennai on Sunday | ASHWIN PRASATH Berlin: Alarmed at the outbreak of a deadly Covid-19 variant in Britain, EU nations like Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Italy banned flights from the UK on Sunday | P7, 9 Chennai comes under Covid spotlight again O M J A S V I N M D @ Chennai IN the wake of new Covid-19 clusters in Chennai’s educational institutions, the city for , the first time since October end, is again recording a positive case growth. According to data from Chennai corporation, the city recorded a positive case growth of 0.5 per cent in the last seven days. This means, the number of new cases being reported have been higher than the number of peo- ple discharged. When the Covid-19 cases were at its peak around June this year, the city saw a case growth of eight per cent. However, subsequently the case growth , kept declining till the first week of December. While Chennai has been recording less than 400 cases continuously for almost a month now, officials said the recent spike is due to the clusters formed in the city’s HIMALAYAN RUMBLE Parliament dissolved, Nepal sets poll dates M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi PUSHED to the wall by rebellion within his party, Nepal Prime Minister K P Oli Sharma on Sunday recommended the dissolution of Parliament and snap polls. Soon, President Bidya Devi Bhandari complied and announced that the first phase of general elections will be held on April 30, followed by the second phase on May 10. According to sources, the immediate reason for the dissolution was an ordinance introduced by Oli this month on the Constitutional Council, which his rival OLI HAD NO within the party, Pushpa Kamal CHOICE Dahal ‘Prachanda’ said will weakOli has gradually en the country’s checks and ballost his majority in ances. The council, headed by the Parliament, and in prime minister has the leader of the party. So he opposition as one of the members. did not have It recommends appointments to many options, various constitutional bodies. said Dr Nihar R Among Oli’s strengths was solNayak, a fellow at id support from the Chinese enMP-IDSA voy He seems to have lost it now, . said sources in Nepal. “There are multiple reasons behind Oli recommending the dissolution of Parliament, but the main problem was his autocratic style as he took all decisions on his own,” said a Kathmandu-based journalist. WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 32 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID), 4 OF CITY EXPRESS educational institutions. “IITMadras and Anna University alone logged close to 200 cases this week. That’s why zones other than Adyar haven’t seen any such dramatic surge,” the official added. Presently, zone-13 (Adyar) has a very high case growth of 6.2 per cent, followed by zone-11 (Valasaravakkam) at 2.8 per cent. Kodambakkam, too, has seen a case growth of 2.5 per P2 cent. 210 TEST POSITIVE FROM 8,500 SAMPLES The city now has 3,022 active cases, which is 1.36 per cent, while on the other hand, 2,14,968 people have been discharged, which is close to 98 per cent Only eight zones of Chennai Corporation have case growth in the negative As many as 210 people have tested positive so far from 8,500 samples lifted from students Union home minister Amit Shah during a roadshow ahead of West Bengal polls, at Bolpur in Birbhum district on Sunday | PTI Centre sends talks invite, lets agitators decide date Unions to approach NDA partners to pressure BJP to repeal new farm laws; chalk out fresh plans for public participation in protests H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh HOURS after Union home minister Amit Shah indicated on Sunday that his colleague and Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar will meet representatives of protesting farmer unions in a day or two, the Centre sent a written invite for the next round of talks while asking them to choose a convenient date. In his letter, agriculture ministry joint secretary Vivek Aggarwal said, “I request those previously invited protesting union leaders to provide details of their remaining concerns and doubts and suggest a date as per convenience for next round of talks.” Earlier in the day farmer un, ions decided to approach allies of the ruling NDA asking them to pressure the BJP to repeal the three contentious farm laws to end the deadlock. Addressing the media in Bolpur town of West Bengal, Amit Shah said: “I am not exactly aware of the timing but Tomar is likely to meet the representatives of farmers tomorrow or the day after to discuss their demands.” Also, in a gesture loaded with symbolism, Prime M i n i s t e r N a re n d r a Modi made an unscheduled visit to the historic Gurdwara Rakabganj in Delhi to pay tribute to Guru Tegh Bahadur, a day after his death anniversary . Articulating the position of farmers after a meeting of all unions at Delhi’s border, Darshan Pal, president of the Krantikari Kisan Union, said, “We will approach NDA allies on December 26 and urge them to put pressure on the BJP to repeal the farm laws.’’ The farmer unions also decided to observe Kisan Diwas on December 23 as a day of fast, co-opting the public by urging them not to cook lunch that day so as to skip a meal in solidarity. And on December 27, when Modi’s Mann Ki Baat programme will be on, they intend to copy his Covid time strategy of urging people to beat thalis at home till his speech is over, this time to show antiBJP unity Also, Haryana will . be forced to be toll free from December 25 to 27, Pal said. Besides, farmers will begin a relay hunger strike from MonP7 day . FOREIGN DONATION GLARE ON PUNJAB UNION BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) leader Sukhdev Singh said, “We received an email from a Central agency through our bank seeking our registration details that allow us to receive donations from abroad.’’ He said it is part of the Centre’s pressure tactics to defeat the agitation
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