KOCHI l saturday l February 13, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l LATE city EDITION Retail inflation down to 4.06% in January The dip from 4.59% in Dec, 2020, attributed to declining veggie prices in the National Statistical Office data released on Friday at 1.89%, food basket price rise down, too Industrial production up 1% in Dec Meat, fish, egg and milk experienced an uptick in price, but it was more than adequately offset by the decrease in the rates of vegetable and confectionary. The overall rate of price rise in the food basket was 1.89% in January, down from 3.41% in December, 2020. Retail inflation has cooled down significantly owing largely to moderation in food inflation ■ Indicating continuing recovery, industrial production entered positive territory after a month. The manufacturing sector posted a growth of 1.6% but mining output declined by 4.8% ■ Power generation grew by a healthy 5.1%, taking the overall growth of eight core sectors of the economy to 1% 4.9% Growth in consumer durables compared to -5.6% in 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 Norm will be applicable irrespective of whether a leader contested consecutively or not in previous polls Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala says UDF will give Pala seat to NCP leader Mani C Kappan CPI for 3-term norm; 3 mins, 3 MLAs to exit Kappan may switch sides, NCP to stay in Left camp office-bearers should quit their posts if they are allowed to enENSURING opportunity for a ter the poll fray . new generation of leaders, the The three-term norm will be CPI has decided not to field applicable ir respective of those who have contested three whether a leader contested contimes to the assembly in the secutively or not. coming elections. The party’s Currently the party has 19 state council decided MLAs in the assemnot to give exempbly Of them, six have . BIG 6 TO tion to anyone. completed three term MISS OUT As per that, a host and six have completMINISTERS of senior leaders ined two. Some of the 1. V S Sunil Kumar cluding six sitting sitting MLAs who (Thrissur) MLAs — of whom have contested twice three ministers — might be fielded 2. P Thilothaman will not be able to again. Senior leader (Cherthala) contest. CPI state P S Supal, who had to secretary Kanam Ra- 3. K Raju (Punalur) face the disciplinary jendran said the paraction recently, could MLAs ty wants to ensure a also be in the fray . 4. C Divakaran generational shift in Kanam and assist(Nedumangad) the selection procant secretaries K Praess. “T hose who kash Babu and Sathy5. Mullakkara want to raise coman Mokeri will not Ratnakaran plaints can do so, but figure in the list. A (Chadayamangalam) exemption will not host of other senior be given,” he said. leaders including K E 6. E S Bijimol Ministers V S SuIsmayil, C N Jaya(Peermade) nil Kumar (Thrisdevan and K P Rajensur), P Thilothaman (Cherthala) dran will not be in the fray eiand K Raju (Punalur) and sit- ther. Of the three women MLAs, ting MLAs C Divakaran (Nedu- Geetha Gopi and C K Asha may mangad), Mullakkara Ratnaka- get another chance. The party ran (Chadayamangalam) and E is likely to field at least three S Bijimol (Peermade) will not be woman candidates this time. able to contest. The Minister E Chandrasekharan, council also decid- who had contested twice, may ed that the party try his luck again. ● More on P4 NATIONALIST Congress Party (NCP) leader Mani C Kappan has decided that he will contest from the Pala assembly seat whatever happens, giving a clear indication that he may finally leave LDF even as his party remains in the ruling front. Kappan and party state president T P Peethambaran, who have been camping in New Delhi for the past three days, seem to have got the message from NCP supremo Sharad Pawar to remain with the Left front. Pawar, who is trying to build a nationwide coalition of non-Congress opposition parties to take on the BJP, would want to ensure that NCP’s Kerala unit remains with the CPM-led LDF in the state, according to sources. Meanwhile, the Congress-led UDF is ready to welcome Kappan into the fold. “We will welcome him if he comes alone or as a group,” Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said. Kappan contesting from Pala on the Congress symbol cannot be ruled out, given that he suddenly stands isolated on the contentious issue of Pala seat. “I am waiting for a clear response from my party leadership. Come what may, I’ll contest in Pala,” Kappan said in New Delhi. His criticism of the LDF for not committing the Pala seat, which he had won in 2019 after the death of KC(M) supremo K M Mani, has not gone down well with the senior ● More on P4 CPM leaders. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kottayam E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram Those who want to raise complaints can do so, but exemption will not be given, We go by the influence of the party and the Left front among the masses — Kanam Rajendran, CPI state secy KSU workers jostle with the police while trying to jump the barricades in front of the Secretariat, during a protest against the alleged backdoor appointments by the LDF government, on Friday | B P Deepu FRONTS MAKE MOVES LDF UDF Left must give way Left begins seat-sharing talks. CPM says allies will have to compromise to accommodate KC(M) and LJD 1 Jose K Mani faction may get around 9 seats 2 Pinarayi Vijayan and D 3 Raja to inaugurate LDF’s yatras this weekend 1 Decision on Irikkur MLA K C Joseph later Mani C Kappan to join UDF when Aishwarya Kerala Yatra reaches Pala 2 In addition to the 24 seats it contested in 2016, Muslim League demands six more 3 BJP to give chance to women, Dalits BJP begins process of shortlisting candidates. District committees to vet them 2 Election committee to comprise core group members. Women, Dalits to get chance 3 BJP 1 Vijay Yatra led by K Surendran to commence on February 21. In-charges appointed I n t er v ie w CPM is TRYING TO DIVIDE communities Ramesh Chennithala Opposition Leader Upstream lake formed by rubble on Rishiganga river adds to concern The Opposition Leader told Special Correspondent Manoj Viswanathan that the CPM was trying to divide society for political gains but the people of Kerala cannot be deceived by such deplorable tactics. P4 Resignation drama on RS floor by TMC member Trivedi E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The new lake formed upstream of the Rishiganga that is adding to the rescuers’ worry | Special arrangement Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi on Friday created a flutter by announcing his decision to prematurely end his Rajya Sabha membership on the floor of the House. He attributed rampant violence in West Bengal and suffocation in the party that is ‘no longer under Mamata Banerjee’s control’ as reasons for his decision to resign, leaving the party managers flustered. Soon after getting up to speak during the debate on the Budget, Trivedi said: “There are limitations here. My party has sent me here, so I am grateful. But now I can’t take what is happening any more. I am feeling suffocated. That’s why I want to resign from here. I want to work for my Bengal,” the former railway minister said. The BJP was quick to welcome him, if he wanted to make the switch. Criticising the violence, Trivedi said: “I am from the land of Subhas Chandra Bose. My soul is saying I sit here and say nothing, what is the point?” ISRO top brass bent rules to hire Sivan’s son? N i r a d Mu d u r & B a l a C h a u h a n @Bengaluru The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has registered a complaint against Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman and Secretary, Dr K Sivan, over allegations of irregularities in the recruitment of his son to ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) in Valiamala, Trivandrum. The complaint lodged on Jan- uary 25 also named LPSC Director Dr V Narayanan, and alleged that the recruitment of Dr Sivan’s son Sidharth S was not just a conflict of interest, but also a case of “favouritism and conspiracy”. Dr Narayanan, the complaint alleged, was in a hurry to recruit Sidharth before his anticipated transfer to Vikram Sarab- hai Space Centre (VSSC) came through. The process of general recruitment through ISRO’s Central Recruitment Board (ICRB), comprising a screening, written test and interview, was not followed, as Sidharth had appeared only for an interview, the complainant claimed. The allegation w a s t h at t h e qualifications for the post advertised in November 2020 (number 738 of Scientist Engineer ‘SC’, Level 10) were tailor-made for Sidharth. Dr Sivan refused comment, but his office in Bengaluru told this newspaper that due process was followed in Sidharth’s recruitment. “Being an MTech, Sidharth’s application was screened by a competent committee, after which he attended the interview,” the ISRO Chairman’s office said. MAYA N K SI N G H @ New Delhi Full bilateral military disengagement in the Pangong lake area in Eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) could take more time than thought, as the wary Indian Army is using multiple modes to verify China’s reciprocal withdrawal of troops and equipment. “We are not taking any chances this time. Additional verification mechanisms have been introduced. Apart from satellite and drone images, videography of the disengagement is also being done,” a senior Army officer said. The distrust stems from the problems the Chinese side had created both at Galwan and Hot Spring-Gogra in June last. Indian soldiers on their verification mission found partial disengagement in both sites, which snowballed into the major Galwan violence. “We have differences in perception about the position of the LAC on the north bank of the Pangong lake. But on the ground, there is no confusion about it in the south bank.” Chinese troops coming to Finger 4 were actually present inside our claim line, but in the south bank, both sides are sitting in areas of their claim Welcome step: US “We’re closely following reports of initial troop disengagement. We welcome the ongoing efforts to de-escalate,” a US State Department spokesperson said lines. As per the agreements, Chinese troops will relocate to the east of Finger 8 and the Indian Army will be based at Dhan Singh Thapa post close to Finger 4 on the north bank of the lake. As of now, withdrawal of armoured vehicles has been completed from around five locations. “The tanks were as close as 50 metres apart at some points. Now they have moved back to their administrative bases into the rear,” another Army officer said. Meanwhile, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that the agreement to disengage at Pangong was reached after several round of talks. “The two sides have also agreed to convene 10th round of senior commanders meeting within 48 hours after complete disengagement in the Pangong lake area, to address the remaining issues,” Srivastava said. earthquake rattles people in Punjab and delhi The epicenter of the 6.3 quake was at Tajikistan. It happened at 10.31 pm. No loss of life so far EXPRESS READ inner voice V i nee t U pa d h yay @ Tapovan (Uttarakhand) Amid ongoing rescue efforts at the Tapovan tunnel, the detection of a new lake formed by boulders that rolled on to the Rishiganga and blocked it about 8 km upstream from Raini village, added to the worry as it could cause more havoc than Sunday flash floods if it were to burst. However, scientists said water from the lake started draining on Friday, reducing the chances of a calamity . Y P Sundariyal, head of the department of geology at the Hemvanti Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University said, “The lake is around 250-300 metres long, 80-100 , metres wide and about 25-30 metres deep. As the volume of water is huge, hypothetically if it bursts, it could cause more damages than earlier. But since the water is slowly draining, it will not burst. Authorities should drain it without trying to burst it, using skilled manpower.” A similar but bigger lake was formed in 1998 in the Mandakini river in Madmeshwar valley, which safely drained. “There was panic but the lake drained and the danger was averted. We hope it will happen at this lake too,” he added. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said, “We need not panic but must stay alert.” A team of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, scientists from DRDO and the Uttarakhand Space Application Centre conducted and aerial survey but could not reach it by land. All Cong MLAs in fray Full disengagement at Pangong to take more time than thought Customs commissioner attacked in Malappuram ONV memorial award for Satchidanandan TN cracker unit blast: 17 dead, several hurt Malappuram: The Kondotty police on Friday registered a case in the attack on Customs Commissioner (Preventive) Sumit Kumar at Edavannappara here by an unidentified gang a day earlier. The incident took place on Thursday afternoon when Kumar was travelling in his official car from Kalpetta to Kozhikode. P7 T’Puram: Noted poet K Satchidanandan has been chosen for this year’s ONV award, instituted in memory of the late poet O N V Kurup, by the University of Kerala. The award which carries a purse of I1 lakh and a plaque will be presented to him in T’Puram. Virudhunagar: At least 17 people were killed and several others injured in a major fire that broke out in a fireworks factory at Vembakottai in TN on Friday. The deceased include a pregnant woman and a college student. P7 18 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express 27 MALAYALI STUDENTS Vithura case: 10-year RI for HELD IN 2 RAGGING main accused CASES IN M’LURU ging in the private college,” said an officer. The victim from Kasaragod Mangaluru police arrested was staying in a private pay27 students from Kerala in two ing guest (PG) accommodaseparate cases of ragging in tion. He told the police four the city in the past 20 days. On other juniors in the PG accomJanuary 22, Mangaluru City modation were being ragged Police arrested nine senior by the seniors when he joined students of Srinivas there. Based on his College of Pharmacy, complaint, police arPolice for ragging a junior parading rested the nine accused student from and charged them with Activist Vidya relevant sections of Kasaragod. Dinker Mangaluru city comthe Indian Penal Code missioner N Shashi slammed the and the Karnataka Edpolice for Kumar said the junior ucation Act. student, a minor, dis- parading the On Wednesday, Ullal accused in continued his educaPolice in Mangaluru both the tion because of the arrested 18 secondinstances mental harassment year students for ragfrom the seniors. The before media ging five juniors of Kanine seniors assaulted nachur Institute of him and asked him to shave Medical Sciences, Deralakatte. his mustache and tonsure his The seniors made the juniors head. tonsure their heads and shave The incident came to light their mustaches, according to when the victim returned the complaint filed by Martin home in Kasaragod and re- George, a canteen officer of fused to go to college. “The par- the institute. Of the arrested, ents approached the police and 17 students are aged 19 years during the investigation, we and one of them is 20 years, ● More on P7 came to know about the rag- said police. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kasaragod E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kottayam A SPECIAL court here sentenced Suresh (Shamsudeen Muhammad Shajahan, 52), the main accused in the Vithura sexual abuse case, to multiple jail terms, the maximum of which is 10 years rigorous imprisonment (RI). The sentences will run concurrently. The quantum of punishment also includes a penalty of `1.09 lakh, which is to be paid to the victim. Suresh was sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment under IPC 372 (selling a minor for purposes of prostitution) and was asked to pay a penalty of `1 lakh. Under IPC 344 (kidnapping, wrongful confinement for ten or more days), he was given two years RI and slapped with a penalty of `5,000. For operating a brothel, he was sentenced to 12 years RI under two sections of the Immoral Trafficking Act and ● More on P4 fined `4,000.
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