HYDERABAD SATURDAY FEBRUARY 20, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION PHASE-1 OF DISENGAGEMENT AT PANGONG LAKE COMPLETE OTHER FRICTION POINTS TO BE DISCUSSED Senior military commanders will meet on the Chinese side of Chushul-Moldo Border for the 10th round of talks on Saturday CHINA FINALLY ADMITS GALWAN CASUALTY Both sides pulled back troops from the north and south banks of the lake in a four-step plan that comprised withdrawing armour, artillery and other heavy equipment, followed by infantry. During the Saturday’s meeting, other friction points, including Depsang, Hot Springs and Gogra, will be taken up. The process disengagement began on February 10 ■ ■ Admitting for the first time that it, too, had suffered casualties in last June’s conflict at Galwan, the China’s Central Military Commission honoured five soldiers, including four posthumously China’s figure is conservative. Russia recently put it at 45. India had lost 20 soldiers in the hand-to-hand fight at Galwan in 2020 48-hour DEADLINE SET TO CONVENE THE 10th ROUND AFTER DISENGAGEMENT 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 HC raps media sensationalism Cover toolkit case based on verified sources, says court; Disha custody extended E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi SURPRISE SHOWERS Two-wheeler riders take shelter under a flyover while other vehicles move slowly near Lumbini Park following unexpected rains in Hyderabad on Friday | VINAY MADAPU | P3 SOUTH BOUND Tikait likely to address farmers’ rally in Hyderabad EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad BHARATIYA Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait will address a farmers’ rally in Hyderabad in the first week of March, where he is expected to explain the need for repeal of the central farm laws. Tikait is understood to have accepted the invitation to visit Hyderabad when Congress MP and TPCC working president A Revanth Reddy called on him and explained the need for him to visit Hyderabad to create awareness among the farmers regarding the deleterious consequences of the farm laws to the agriculture sector. Revanth reportedly brought to his notice how he had been fighting against the Central farm laws and referred to his Rythu Bharosa Padayatra, which he spearheaded recently. Tikait promised to visit Hyderabad in the first week of March and address the rally to be jointly organised by all farmers associations. TPCC working president A Revanth Reddy speaks to BKU leader Rakesh Tikait in Delhi EXPRESS READ Terrorists gun down two cops in Valley Srinagar: A day after visiting foreign diplomats departed, terrorists gunned down two policemen in the city on Friday. Their firing at two unarmed policemen was caught on camera near Baghat Chowk. Both of them later died at the police hospital. Inspector General of Police blamed the Lashkar for the attack | P8 32 TEST +VE AFTER FUNERAL IN K’NAGAR VILLAGE Panic gripped Cheguruthi in Karimangar rural mandal as 32 persons, who attended a funeral three days ago, tested positive for Covid-19. The first person, who tested positive, went for a test after he lost his sense of smell | P5 ON a day a local court placed activist Disha Ravi in three-day judicial custody in connection with the toolkit case, the Delhi High Court on Friday underlined her right to privacy and told media houses not to sensationalise the coverage of the probe. The high court passed the directions on a plea filed by Disha regarding leak of probe details, and sensational coverage by media houses. Earlier, seeking more time to interrogate Disha, the Delhi Police told a court: “We have issued no- tices to several others to join the probe. We want to confront Disha and Shantanu. During the course of interrogation, Disha shifted the blame onto Nikita and Shantanu.” In the high court, Additional Solicitor General Suryaprakash V Raju strongly opposed Disha’s petition, saying the activist was defaming and vilifying the police. He claimed that the petition was a systematic attempt to blame the police and derail the investigation. However, the h igh court stated: “Right to privacy, the sovereignty and integrity of the country N’sagar bypoll: TRS may face the heat over pending projects V V B A L A K R I S H N A @ Hyderabad EVEN though the State government has sanctioned 13 lift irrigation schemes for Nalgonda with an estimated cost of over `3,000 crore, the ruling TRS is likely to face rough weather in the ensuing Nagarjunasagar bypoll for neglecting pending projects in the district. Instead of sanctioning `3,000 crore for the lift irrigation schemes, the government should have completed Srisailam Left Bank Canal (SLBC) tunnel and other projects, the opposition parties argue. Leaders of opposition parties have already started demanding completion of SLBC tunnel works, which were sanctioned back in 2007 by the then YS Rajasekhara Reddy government in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. If the SLBC is completed, 4,000 cusecs of water could be drawn on a daily basis from Krishna river and the Nakkalagandi and Pendlipakala reservoirs too will become functional, they point out. The State government has been spending `25,000 crore annually on ir- rigation projects. But allocations to SLBC tunnel are just around `4 crore for the last two years. The SLBC works were taken up with a tunnel boring machine, which could dig only 0.6 km length tunnel per month. Of the 43-km tunnel, which is considered the longest tunnel in irrigation sector in the world, around 33 km works have been completed so far. In the last two years, the works have slowed down due to lack of funds and Covid-19. “It will take another two years for the completion of the tunnel work,” Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had said in the Assembly three years ago. But since then, there has not been much progress in the works. Now, the Congress, CPM and other parties have begun raising the issue of nonallocation of funds to the project. The CPM leaders recently demanded `3,000 crore allocation and completion of works at the earliest. If the TRS neglects the pending projects, it would not get any mileage in the Nagarjunasagar bypoll for sanctioning the 13 new lift irrigation schemes, they contend. and the freedom of speech need to be balanced. The recent coverage definitely shows there is sensationalised reporting by the media. While press briefings are held generally, media cannot disseminate the information in such a sensationalised manner.” Upholding the journalistic ethics of not disclosing the source, the court directed media houses to base their coverage on verified sources. Disha had moved the high court seeking to restrain the police from leaking to the media any probe material in relation to the FIR lodged against her. LANDMARK UK VERDICT ON UBER DRIVERS AS STAFFERS, SPARKS HOPE Unilateral decisions Among the factors the court examined were Uber dictating the fare and the driver’s share, unilateral contract terms, and penalising them with star ratings and/or multiple rejection of rides A landmark verdict of the UK Supreme Court on Friday classifying ridehailing app Uber’s drivers as its employees and not self-employed, was widely welcomed by drivers’ unions in India, hoping it would help build their case for changing the oppressive work conditions back home. It ruled that the driver would have full protection as an employee from the moment the app is switched on and not from when the ride commences. A similar demand for the regularisation of Uber and Ola drivers is pending before the Industrial Tribunal in Kerala’s Thrissur. T R S Kumar, president of the All Kerala Online Taxi Driver Union, said online taxi drivers are upbeat about the UK verdict. “We were first in India to file a similar case. We hope the UK SC verdict would be helpful in our case as well. It will surely be a lesson to employers to treat online taxi drivers as regular employees with pension and other welfare schemes,” he said. P Anbazhagan, president of the Tamil Nadu Call Taxi Drivers and Owners Association, said that for the last seven days Ola and Uber have stopped deducting `50 trip cancellation fees from drivers. CONTINUED ON P4, SEE ALSO: P9 (Inputs from Toby Antony @Kochi; B Anbuselvan @Chennai; Bosky Khanna @Bengaluru; Sudarsan Moharana @Bhubaneswar , Donita Jose @Hyderabad)
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