VILLUPURAM SATURDAY JANUARY 23, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 14 CITY EDITION SEBI PENALISES HDFC BANK FOR VIOLATING ITS ORDER Sebi has directed HDFC Bank to deposit `158.68 crore along with interest in an escrow account and pay `1 crore penalty LENDER INVOKED PLEDGED SHARES The action comes after a probe by the Securities and Exchange Board of India found the lender unilaterally invoked securities pledged by stock broking firm BRH Wealth Kreators to the extent of `158.68 crore. This violated an interim order by Sebi restraining BRH from accessing the securities market and buying or selling in securities, directly or indirectly ■ 2% TO SORT OUT OUTAGE ISSUE IN 3 MONTHS ■ Meanwhile, HDFC Bank has submitted a detailed plan of action to RBI to address repeated service disruption issues due to outage The action plan will take 10-12 weeks for implementation. Last month, RBI had temporarily barred the bank from launching new digital banking initiatives and issuing new credit cards | P12 BANK’S SHARES FELL `30.25 APIECE TO `1,443.65 ON THE B.S.E. ON FRIDAY 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 Sparks fly in CWC meet over leadership, but party shifts poll calendar to June R ICHA SHAR MA @ New Delhi THE Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Friday decided not to hold presidential elections in a hurry, despite the growing dissent among a section of senior leaders over the delay in addressing leadership issues and organisational polls. Election to the post of party president will now be held in June, said AICC general secretary K C Venugopal. According to sources, the decision to delay party polls was taken keeping in mind the upcoming assembly elections. The meeting witnessed heated moments with some leaders questioning the party’s reluctance to hold organisational polls. Several leaders, including those who wrote to interim party chief Sonia Gandhi about leadership vacuum, demanded organisational elections be held immediately but they were told that presidential elections will happen first. This group senior leaders like included Ghulam Nabi Azad, P Chidamabaram, Anand Sharma and Mukul Wasnik. However, another group comprising Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, and former defence minister A K Antony were of the view that presidential elections should happen after the assembly polls in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Pu- said the all of them are here because of the party to which Anand Sharma responded he has also worked for over 40 years for the party . In May, Sonia will complete two years as interim chief of the Congress after Rahul Gandhi decided to step down following the debacle in Lok SabP9 ha elections in 2019. Anti-govt social media posts a crime in Bihar `10-cr worth gold looted at gunpoint from finance firm RAJESH KU MAR THAKU R @ Patna EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Krishnagiri AS in a movie scene, a six-member gang looted gold jewellery worth over `10 crore at gunpoint from a finance company’s branch office in Hosur on Friday. The incident, which took place in broad daylight, has shocked the locals. According to the police, around 10.30 am, when the employees of Muthoot Finance were preparing to open their office in Bagalur Road, Hosur, a gang, wearing helmets and masks, forced its way in, carrying a pistol and knives. While two robbers held three staff members — Maruthi, Prashanth, and Rajendran — hostage, the rest forced others to open the lockers. They took 25kg of gold and `96,000 cash, packed them in bags, and fled the spot. Branch Manager Srinivasa Rao, who came to the office a little later, found the staff tied up, and alerted the police. A forensic team and a dog squad were also pressed into service. Superintendent of Police, Bandi Gangathar said, “From the CCTV footage and witness statements, we have inferred that the masked men were aged between 25 and 30. We have alerted checkpoints and begun vehicle checks on the border routes. At present, we have no suspects, and we speculate that the team could have been planning the robbery for long,” he added. The police have formed eight special teams to arrest the perpetrators. ducherry are over. Sources said there were heated exchanges between Azad, Anand Sharma and Gehlot over the demand for organisational elections. Gehlot reportedly said the BJP doesn’t talk about internal elections like in the Congress and that the first priority is to fight the state elections. He also Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar (R) and Piyush Goyal during talks with farmer unions, in New Delhi on Friday | PTI Best offer rejected, talks slip below freezing point Both sides meet for just 20-25 mins; no fresh date for dialogue set; govt asks unions to give final response to proposals today EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/Chandigarh AFTER protesting farmers rejected the government offer to keep the three farm laws in abeyance, differences between the two sides widened with the Centre saying it had nothing more to offer and blaming the farmers for the failed talks on Friday . No date was set for the next meeting, indicating there was no common ground. Sources said agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar expressed unhappiness at the farmers sharing with the media their decision to reject the government’s offer on Thursday . Tomar said the farmers did not have their own welfare in mind even as they were threatening to intensify their 2 Lankans linked to global drug cartel arrested in Chennai E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai/Bengaluru TWO Sri Lankan nationals, who allegedly played a key role in a multinational drug syndicate, were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Friday The arrested were identified as MMM Nawaz . and Mohamed Afnas, both of whom were living in a rented house in Chennai posing as job seekers, according to the NCB. Nawas has reportedly confessed that he had links with the erstwhile Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). He had come to India 10 years ago and has been living in Chennai since then. Afnas had infiltrated into India in 2018. He came to Chennai from Rameshwaram. Both have been living here without valid passports. The duo was traced Drugs, pistols & cell phones seized based on the informaby the NCB in November | EXPRESS tion received from the crew of a Sri Lankan fishing boat, Shenaya Duwa, that was detained by the Indian Coast Guard on November 26, 2020. The boat contained 95.875 kg of Heroin and 18.325 kg of Methamphetamine, according to the NCB. “The street value of these drugs in India might go up to `1,000 crore. However, the total value of the seized consignment might vary since it is being smuggled to several P3 countries,” said A Bruno, NCB, Chennai unit. stir. “The talks remained inconclusive as farmers’ welfare was not at the heart of the talks from the unions’ side. It’s sad,” he said. Tomar urged the farmers to reconsider the proposal as it was in the interest of farmers and the country, and threw the ball in their court. “The unions said they only want the repeal of the laws despite the Centre seeking alternative suggestions. We asked them to reconsider our proposal and convey their decision tomorrow,” he said. Threat to leaders At least three farmers leaders were allegedly threatened over the phone or through social media while one of them accused the police of damaging his car’s windscreen “The government has made it clear that the three laws will not be repealed and that it had made its best offer. They told us to reconsider their proposal,” Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said. The farmers said although they were at the venue for five hours, the two sides were face-to-face for less than an hour. “The meeting actually happened for only 20-25 minutes. The Centre kept saying we should accept their proposal,” said Shiv Kumar Kakkaji Sharma of the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh. With the talks deadlocked, farmers are now preparing for the tractor rally on Republic Day “We informed the po. lice that it is for the government to ensure the rally is peaceful,” Rajewal said. P9 IF you are in Bihar, an offensive social media post can land you in trouble. A circular issued by the Economic Offences Unit of Bihar Police to the principal secretaries and secretaries of various departments states any derogatory post against the state government, ministers, MPs, MLAs and bureaucrats will be treated as ‘punishable cyber offence’. The circular signed by ADG of EOU, N H Khan, adds that those found guilty will be treated in accordance with the law. It caused an uproar from the Opposition with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav hitting out at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and calling the decision an attack on freedom of speech. “I challenge the CM to arrest me under this new order. I say it again that Bihar police sells liquor, saves criminals and implicates the innocent,” he said. Kumar had recently spoken out against the misuse of social media platforms. The ruling NDA defended the move, saying restraining those trying to disrupt harmony had become necessary. “Healthy criticism is not treated under the IT Act as a punishable offence. Those who got scared by the legal order must stop making false posts and making unhealthy criticism through social media,” said BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand. “It has come to light that certain people and organisations have been sharing defamatory and offensive posts on social media against the government, respected ministers, MPs, legislators and government officers. This is totally against the law and falls under the category of cyber crimes,” read the circular issued by ADG Khan. Khan added this is not a new order. “It already exists to safeguard the dignity of anyone and any organisation from malicious and defamatory posts.” EXPRESS READ ‘Jaya’s residence will be opened to public soon’ TN asks people to avoid attending R-Day fete Chennai: Tamil Nadu Minister K Pandiarajan, announced on Friday that the Poes Garden residence of former CM J Jayalalithaa would be opened to public very soon. He added, over 15,000 books, read by her, would be displayed at the residence that is being converted to a memorial. The minister said that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami would announce the date of its opening soon. Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on Friday requested the public to avoid attending Republic Day celebrations at the Marina Beach in the city on January 26, citing the pandemic situation. Cultural events by school and college students have also been cancelled this year. An official release said that Governor Banwarilal Purohit will hoist the Tricolour at 8 am on the day at the Marina | P4 Govt to share probe info on deaths after jab to build trust S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi THE Centre has decided to make public the findings of probes into all serious adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) for Covid-19 from next week to build confidence around the vaccines, as they have received less than enthusiastic response from beneficiaries so far. Ever since the rollout of the vaccines a week ago, five deaths have been reported, but their AEFI reports tied them to comorbidities and not the vaccine. But the fatalities seem to have exacerbated the vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers. “It is an attempt to improve communication with the targeted groups and build trust,” said a health ministry official. A member in the ICMR’s ethics panel explained that as the rollout advances, particularly in those who are in their 70s and 80s, there could be more such deaths. “People need to understand that because there is a rigorous AEFI tracking mechanism, it will capture all of these deaths,” he said. “There is a background death rate in all age groups — a U-shaped curve, high between 0 to 1 years, then falls, the lowest in the 20 to 40 age group, then rises after 40, and sharply rises in older age groups. The AEFI plan will capture all these deaths among vaccine recipients,” he added. PM dispels fears Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he went by the decision of scientists on the vaccine rollout, adding it was not a political call, and obliquely referred to the controversy around the nod to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin | P9
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.