KANNUR l wednesday l february 10, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l city EDITION w.h.o. probe into origins of coronavirus a dud transmission from intermediary species WHO’s foreign expert Ben Embarek feels human transmission happened through an intermediary species, but identifying the actual host would require a detailed probe. Comprising experts from 10 countries, the mission landed in China on Jan 14 after being earlier stonewalled by Beijing, which had provoked the WHO’s China-friendly chief to issue a rare public rebuke Leak of virus from the Wuhan lab unlikely, claims team, inconclusive on the origin and human transmission; aligns itself with China’s line strict chinese monitoring ■ The run-up to the probe was marked by the US and China trading charges. China relented to host the team amid increasing global pressure, but kept the probe’s progress under strict monitoring ■ Incidentally, the Wuhan whistleblower Dr Li Wenliang’s first death anniversary was commemorated earlier this week 2.3 mn deaths caused across the globe by the virus since december 2019 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 Rauf, Kappan raised funds for CAA stir, Delhi riots: ED TOBY ANTONY @ Kochi Rauf Sherif Sidhique Kappan Agency wants Rauf to be shifted to Lucknow ED has filed a petition at the PMLA court in Kochi to transfer Rauf to the Lucknow PMLA court’s custody as the chargesheet is filed there. Rauf is currently lodged at the Ernakulam Sub Jail. The Enforcement Directorate has filed a chargesheet against Campus Front of India leader Rauf Sherif, Malayali journalist Sidhique Kappan and three others at a Special Court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases in Lucknow. In the chargesheet, ED claimed that Rauf and other Popular Front of India (PFI) and Campus Front (CFI) members collected funds overseas which were allegedly used for anti-CAA protests and Delhi riots. The chargesheet named Athikur Rahman, Masud Alam and Mohammad Alam, be- sides Rauf and Kappan. The central agency is probing the money laundering aspect behind the case registered by the Uttar Pradesh police against Kappan and three others for alleged attempt to disrupt social and communal harmony after the Hathras gang-rape incident. ED had arrested Rauf last December from the Thiruvananthapuram airport while Kappan was arrested by the UP police en route to Hathras from Delhi in October. The chargesheet said Rauf, a The fraudulent remittance of funds in the manner was in furtherance of a larger conspiracy to utilise the proceeds of crime in funding anti-CAA protests and Delhi riots — ED chargesheet Race against time Rescuers trying to reach 37 workers trapped deep within the tunnel; 32 bodies found so far at various places Rescue effort Over 100 personnel from ITBP, SDRF and NDRF part of the rescue team. In all, over 800 personnel are on the site. 700 personnel are on standby Two excavator/JCB machines have excavated over 6,700 tonnes of slush from the tunnel. They have reached 130 m into the 30 ft high, 25 ft wide tunnel. But muck removal is taking time, reducing the cleared part to 90 m An aerial view of the Tapovan barrage two days after the flash floods and a recovered body | Shekhar Yadav A drone is being used to look inside the tunnel to find possible entry points through the slush/muck Rahul to hold roadshow in state, Priyanka to campaign C y n t h i a C h a n d r a n @ T’Puram CONGRESS leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi will kickstart the UDF’s poll campaigning in the state capital on February 23, coinciding with the culmination of the Aishwarya Kerala Yatra. Though the yatra, led by Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala, was scheduled to conclude on February 22, it has been extended by a day because of Rahul’s inconvenience. During the event, Rahul will also launch the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) scheme, which was proposed during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Rahul is also expected to hold a roadshow from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram after the poll dates are announced. “In all likelihood, Rahul Gandhi is expected to hold a roadshow in his car on the lines of his Tamil Nadu event. Priyanka Gandhi will also be a star campaigner,” KPCC general secretary K P Anil Kumar told ● More on P4 TNIE. In all likelihood, Rahul Gandhi is expected to hold a roadshow in his car on the lines of his Tamil Nadu event. Priyanka Gandhi will also be a star campaigner K P Anil Kumar, KPCC gen secy Don’t use Sabarimala as poll plank: NSS to political parties E X P R E S S NE W S S E R V I C E @ Kottayam Lashing out at attempts to use the Sabarimala issue as a poll plank to woo devotees, Nair Service Society general secretary G Sukumaran Nair said he expects a more responsible and sincere effort from political parties to protect the right to practice religion and to live according to one’s belief. “Around 95 per cent of the people in Kerala are believers of one faith or another. It is not Hindus alone who believe in Lord Ayyappa. The sentiments of Ayyappa devotees have been hurt and I want all political parties to come together to protect our rights. What is happening at Sabarimala today can happen to any other religion to- morrow. So I want a more responsible approach from political parties to address the woes of devotees and to ensure that such incidents don’t repeat,” he told TNIE on Tuesday . Earlier in the day, a statement issued in that regard had led to speculations on the intention of the NSS leadership. But Sukumaran Nair clarified there was no change in the political stand of the organisation. “We don’t support any front and will continue our stand of equidistance,” he said. The NSS statement said the implementation of the verdict by the five-member Supreme Court bench would adversely affect the centuries-old rituals and practices of various temples across the state. ● More on P4 native of Anchal, was involved in conspiracy along with PFI and CFI members settled overseas to fraudulently remit funds raised through bogus transactions to acquire the proceeds of crime. “Rauf and his PFI/CFI associates also received and possessed the said proceeds of crime in their bank accounts as well as in the form of cash. The fraudulent remittance of funds in the manner was in furtherance of a larger conspiracy to utilise the proceeds of crime in funding anti-CAA The sentiments of Ayyappa devotees have been hurt and I want all political parties to come together to protect our rights. What is happening at Sabarimala today can happen to any other religion tomorrow. G Sukumaran Nair, NSS gen secy V i n e e t U pa d h yay @ Dehradun With the toll in the Uttarakhand disaster climbing to 32, rescue workers raced against time on Tuesday to save the 37 workers trapped deep inside the Tapovan tunnel since Sunday’s flash floods that choked it with loads of slush. The 37 are part of the 174 others who are still missing. Officials from the Army Medical Corps (AMC) said the trapped workers are not just without food and water, night time temperature within the tunnel could go down to as low as 20C. “They don’t have food, water and additional amenities to shield themselves from the cold. Time indeed is running out for them,” an AMC official agreed.” But officials associated with the project said workers have enough clothing to give them some protection from the freezing temperature. Rakesh Dimri, an official from NTPC said, “The workers have warm clothes, boots, helmet with headlight, a torch, a rope, a knife and other items. I hope they will be rescued.” The key to survival is the availabliity of air vents, said medical experts. Dr Vipul Kandwal, a medical practitioner in Dehradun, said, “If they are not drowned, air passage would act as a lifesaver. The problem with sludge is it blocks almost everything, including oxygen.” Dr Adarsh Singh concurred. “Time is not on their side, as a human can survive without food or water or both for a week or so under such conditions.” However, they do not rule out the possibility of a miracle. “We have witnessed miracles and I am certain that our forces will save all those men. Whole nation’s prayers and wishes are with them,” said Dr Singh. Meanwhile, officials have deployed heli-bound Laser and Electromagnetic Pulse Imager to look for air pockets in the 1.9 km long tunnel network at the hydropower project site. protests and Delhi riots, and more specifically in the purported visit of PFI/CFI members by putting to use proceeds of crime for disturbing communal harmony, instigating riots and spreading terror,” the chargesheet stated. The chargesheet also said that Athikur, Masud, Kappan and Alam were travelling to Hathras to utilise the proceeds of crime and that they have committed offences of money laundering. Interestingly the ED finding is that , the Rs 5,000 transferred to the account of Athikur’s account by Ahamed Shibili, an associate of Rauf, is part of the proceeds of crime. Proud to be Hindustani Muslim, says Azad after PM’s teary farewell speech Ex p r e ss N e ws S e rv i c e @ New Delhi An emotional Prime Minister Narendra Modi bade a tearful farewell to Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, whose close to three-decade career as an MP ends on February 15. Azad signed off with a poignant speech that drew parallel between the lives of Muslims in India and Pakistan, and said he prided himself in being a Hindustani Muslim. Asserting that India was untainted by the evil practices prevalent in countries ‘Main instigator’ of Red Fort riots Deep Sidhu arrested like Pakistan, Azad said, “If any Muslim in the world should be proud, it should be the Hindustani Muslims. I am among those who have never been to Pakistan, but when I read about the evils that exist in Pakistani society, I think Hindustani Muslims should be proud.” M e a n wh i l e, i n a speech interspersed by many breaks to soothe his choked voice, Modi called Azad his true friend. “His work will inspire generations of MPs to come. Posts come, high offices come, power comes, but one Ex p r e ss N e ws S e rv i c e @ New Delhi A special team of the Delhi Police nabbed Punjabi film actor-activist Deep Sidhu from his hideout in Haryana’s Kar nal on Monday night. Sidhu carried a reward of `1 lakh after being named one of the main con- must learn from Ghulam Nabi Azadji how to handle these,” teary-eyed Modi said. Recalling the 2007 terror attack in Kashmir, where a grenade was lobbed at a bus carrying Gujrat pilg rims, Modi said, “Nabiji was constantly following up. He sounded concerned like those stuck there were his own family Nabiji was . the first person to call me. During that call, he could not stop crying,” Modi said. spirators in the Red Fort violence during the tractor rally on Republic Day . A team of the southwestern range of Special Cell led by DCP Sanjeev Yadav made the arrest around 10.30 pm in Karnal, where he had been hiding for the past 15 days. However, he kept releasing provocative videos.
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