vijith hegde renjala KOCHI l friday l February 12, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l LATE city EDITION 9.15-second dash breaks bolt’s record, again Usain Bolt’s 9.58-second 100-metre dash record stood bettered this year, too, with a 23 year-old clocking 9.15 secs in a buffalo race Nishant shetty, srinivas gowda bettered elite club of four kambala jockeys Kambala jockey Vishwanath Devadiga (23) sprinted through a slushy track in Udupi, taking 0.36 seconds lesser than last year’s champion Nishant Shetty, whose dash had clocked 9.51 seconds. Earlier, Srinivas Gowda’s 9.55 seconds sprint had brought him social media fame, resulting in the Union sports minister offering a nationals trial, which he declined ■ While kambala and a 100-m sprint are markedly different, the former draws national attention owing to the endurance of the buffalo racers, who sprint 140-odd metres through multiple laps ■ Vishwanath joins the elite club of four racers who have bettered the much-vaunted Jamaican sprinter’s 100-m record set in 2009 3rd try Vishwanath managed to set the record after falling twice 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 Govt talks tough, says Twitter can’t overstep Indian law E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Making a new beginning Clockwise from left: Indian and Chinese officers interact on Thursday; and armoured vehicles start moving as part of disengagement in the Pangong Tsu | PTI Full Pangong pullback expected in two weeks A day after the Sino-Indian disengagement began from standoff positions in Eastern Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday confirmed the pull back in a “phased, coordinated and verified manner” in Parliament, and gave a sense of how the whole process is expected to unspool. While the Chinese Army will move back to the east of Finger 8, the Indian Army will fall back to Dhan Singh Thapa post, short of Finger 3 in the North bank area of the Pangong Lake. A similar disengagement began on the South Bank of the lake on Wednesday Full disen. gagement on both sides of the lake is expected in 10-15 days, a senior officer said. After the drawdown from Finger 4, Rajnath said, unless a decision is taken otherwise, the area in between will be a no-go zone for both sides. “It has also been agreed to have a temporary moratorium on military activities by both sides in the North Bank, including patrolling to the traditional areas. Patrolling will be resumed only when both sides reach an agreement in diplomatic and military talks that would be held subsequently .” A similar action would be taken in the South Bank area by both sides, he said. Given the sensitivities involved, local commanders of both sides are meeting twice a day to iron out the wrinkles. India is wary as a similar disen, gagement in the past was dishonoured by the Chinese side earlier in the hot spring area, although they had withdrawn from the Galwan Valley Within . 48 hours after this phase is over, Corps Commanders of both sides will meet to work on other positions of the stand-off. Structures built after April 2020 to be removed On the heights India occupied in Rechen La and Razang La on the Kailash Ranges and fortified its positions, Rajnath said structures raised by both sides will be removed. “These are mutual and reciprocal steps and any structures that had been built by both sides since April 2020 in both North and South Bank area will be removed and the landforms will be restored.” He said nothing has been conceded as part of the agreements @ Palakkad C elebrity t u s k e r Thechikottu Ramachandran, which at a towering 320cm is the tallest captive elephant in the country has been granted , permission to be paraded in festivals and poorams but under strict conditions. Fondly called Raman, the tusker commands a huge fan following. According to the conditions, it can be paraded at festivals in Thrissur and Palakkad districts. The elephant can be paraded at two festivals per week in Palakkad and Thrissur districts. Four mahouts should accompany the elephant, said the order of the Assistant Conservator of Forests (Social Forestry), Thrissur. The decision was taken on the basis of the recommendation of the Thrissur districtlevel monitoring committee constituted under the Kerala Captive Elephants Rules, ● More on P7 2012. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Information Technology Minister With a change in strategy failing to deliver, attempts to save 37 workers trapped in the Tapovan hydropower plant tunnel since Sunday following flash floods appeared to be a long shot, as no official or agency could say how much longer it would take to reach them. Ravinath Raman, commissioner of Garhwal division of Uttarakhand said, “At this point of time, no one can tell how much time the operation will take. This is a developing situation and unstable landscape. The response strategy keeps changing according to the developing situation.” Also, a meeting in Delhi discussed reports of a lake formation in Rishiganga in the higher reaches. “We will act as per instructions,” he said. The changed strategy to drill into the floor of the tunnel to reach a silt filtration tunnel underneath in the hope that the men were perhaps stuck there, had to be suspended as sludge and water gushed in when they reached a depth of six metres. Earlier in the day , there was high drama as water levels of the Rishiganga and the Dhauliganga suddenly rose, forcing rescuP9 ers to suspend operations for two hours. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday sought to spin a famous family planning slogan into a sharp one-liner to attack the government, calling it a Hum Do Hamare Do Sarkar (we two, ours two government), saying the country was run by just four persons. Without naming anyone, he claimed the contentious farm laws are meant to benefit big corporate entities alone. The BJP hit back, saying he was possibly referring to his dynasty’s Didi-Jija and two (sister, brother-in-law and family). Rahul had sought to link his charge of crony capitalism against the current dispensation with the ongoing farm agitation while participating in the debate on the Budget in the Lok Sabha. Rebutting the prime minister’s charge that the Opposition was not specifying what was wrong with the farm laws, he claimed the first one would destroy the mandis as anyone could purchase any amount of foodgrains; the second would result in hoarding; and the third would deprive the farmers of judicial remedy . Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala shakes hands with K V Thomas, who is appointed KPCC working president, at a reception given to the Aishwarya Kerala Yatra in Kochi on Thursday. Former CM Oommen Chandy and Benny Behanan, MP, are also seen | Albin Mathew The NSS moved the High Court seeking direction to government to publish the list of beneficiaries eligible for forward community reservation. P5 ‘Pinarayi govt regularising VS-term appointments’ E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi OPPOSITION Leader Ramesh Chennithala turned the screws further on the LDF government over the recruitment row saying the Pinarayi Vijayan regime, in its last days in office, is regularising the temporary appointments made by the previous V S Achuthanandan government. “Pinarayi’s claim that his government regularised the temporary appointments made during Oommen Chandy’s term is false. He is saying those who completed 10 years of temporary service will be regularised. But these persons are CPM members and they were appointed during the final year of the Achuthanandan government,” said Chennithala as the UDF’s Aishwarya Kerala Yatra entered Ernakulam district on Thursday . Chennithala said it was wrong on the part of the government to say those staging protests in front of the Secretariat did not figure in the rank list. “The Facebook posts of these EXPRESS READ EC team in state today to assess preparedness T’Puram: As part of assessing the preparedness for the upcoming assembly election, a team of top officials of the Election Commission (EC) will reach the state on Friday. The team will be led by CEC Sunil Arora and comrpise Sushil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar. P4 ED launches probe into dollar smuggling Kochi: After Customs, the ED has launched a probe into the source of $1.9 lakh smuggled out by former finance head of UAE Consulate in August 2019. The agency will probe it as part of the money laundering case behind the smuggling of gold using diplomatic baggage. P7 18 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express ACADEMY HEAD CM ties Vijayan to football in counter move E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Malappuram/T’Puram If they (political parties) are desperately keen on fielding me as candidate, they can send me to the Rajya Sabha like they did in the case of Sachin Tendulkar and actor Rekha — I M Vijayan ter to block over 1,100 handles and posts that allegedly spread misinformation about the farmer protest. These included accounts of journalists, activists, and politicians. Twitter partially complied, saying the demands were inconsistent with the Indian law. Meanwhile, Twitter’s desi competitor Koo came under attack from a French expert who claimed it was exposing user data. The app developer quickly rebutted the charge and said user data was very much safe. Rahul hurls ‘we two, ours two’ barb at Centre WANTS LIST OF ELIGIBLE IN FORWARD COMMUNITIES V i nee t U padh yay @ Tapovan (Uttarakhand) E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e We respect social media, it has empowered the common people. Social media has a big role in Digital India programme. However, if social media is misused, action will be taken NSS Gushing sludge & water stop tunnel floor boring Nod to parade Ramachandran, conditions apply had come down heavily on Twitter, saying social media platforms should not have different yardsticks to confront developments at, say, Capitol Hill and the Red Fort. After the Republic Day violence, the Centre had asked Twit- M A N IS H A N A N D @ New Delhi Rajnath says vacated space on the banks of the lake will be a no-go zone for both sides; disengagement elsewhere later M AYA N K SI N G H @ New Delhi A day after attacking microblogging platform Twitter for noncompliance, the Centre on Thursd ay w a r n e d s o c i a l m e d i a platforms of strict action if they fail to crackdown on inflammatory content. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Centre is committed to freedom of media, but it was equally concerned about the security and law and order in the country Naming . Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn, Prasad said: “We respect your good work. You bring FDI, but you have to respect the laws of the country .” On Wednesday, the ministry At time when speculation is rife about the UDF fielding football star I M Vijayan in the assembly elections, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday sprang a surprise by naming the former India captain as the director of the K e r a l a P o l i c e Fo o t b a l l Academy . While he is thrilled to take up the new role of helping groom future stars, the 51-yearold said he is more intent on completing his tenure with the Kerala Police, which he currently serves as Inspector of Police. In an interview to TNIE, he said in a lighter vein that he would prefer to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha like Sachin Tendulkar rather than enter the electoral battle on behalf of a political party . All three fronts have sent feelers to contest, he said. The state’s first government-run football academy is set to begin operations in April. It will function under the Kerala Police’s Malabar Special Police (MSP) battalion in Malappuram. Vijayan will be the first director of the academy which, in the long run, aims to develop a squad capable of competing in national tourna● More on P4 ments. persons who had criticised the government for appointing them despite figuring in the rank list are being discussed widely even now. So it shows the government’s double standard,” said Chennithala. “The CM should hold talks with the agitating rank-holders and try to end their protest. He is humiliating them just like PM Narendra Modi is doing with the far mers in Delhi,” said Chennithala. The UDF workers accorded reception to the yatra at Angamaly , Aluva, North Paravur and Kochi. Chandy inaugurated the valedictory meeting at Marine Drive. “The LDF government has forgotten the people. If they are propeople, they would have reduced the surplus tax imposed by the state government on fuel at a time when the price of petroleum products is sky-rocketing,” said Chandy. The UDF government had given up a revenue of Rs 617 crore by doing away with the surplus tax when prices were hiked,” he added. elsewhere Protest at Secretariat a farce: E P Jayarajan T’Puram: The strike being staged by candidates in front of the Secretariat is a farce and under the influence of some people who have vested interests, said Industries Minister E P Jayarajan. Chennithala welcomes NCP unit to UDF fold Amid the confusion, Ramesh Chennithala welcomed the NCP state unit, including Transport Minister A K Saseendran, to UDF. “We wish the entire state unit joins the UDF,” he said. P4 Rajya Sabha polls may not be held now T’Puram: With the Election Commission expected to issue notification for assembly elections within next two weeks, the Rajya Sabha election due on April 21 is unlikely to be held. Three Rajya Sabha seats will fall vacant with the end of tenures of Vayalar Ravi, Abdul Wahab and K K Ragesh. P4 VITHURA CASE After 25 yrs, 1st accused convicted of flesh trade E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kottayam THE Kottayam district additional sessions court on Thursday found Suresh, the first accused in the Vithura flesh trade case, guilty. The court pronounced its verdict in one of the 24 cases registered against him in connection with the rape and sale of a minor girl. The quantum of sentence will be declared on Friday . Suresh, a native of Kadakkal in Kollam, was accused of kidnapping, raping and forcing the victim into flesh trade by keeping her in illegal custody for several days. Considering the case, the court found the accused guilty under IPC 344 (wrongful confinement for 10 or more days), IPC 372 (selling minor for prostitution) and Section 31 and 51 (g) of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act. The court, meanwhile, acquitted him of the charges of forcing another per- Long wait ends October 1995 Suresh lures victim to his house Jubaira Manzil promising job July 1996 The flesh trade involving the minor girl comes to light when the victim landed in police custody along with one of the accused. Case registered December 2014 Suresh surrenders before the court after 18 years on the run June 2019 Crime Branch arrests Suresh, who had jumped bail, from Hyderabad February 2021 Court in Kottayam finds Suresh guilty son to rape the girl. The court’s procedures in 23 other related cases are yet to be completed. Suresh is the prime accused in all the cases and will stand trial in them. The trial, which began in 2019 but was delayed due to Covid-19, also witnessed the special public prosecutor verifying one of the witnesses from the US, through video-confer● More on P4 encing.
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