CHENNAI FRIDAY FEBRUARY 26, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 32 LATE CITY EDITION U.K. COURT RULES NIRAV MODI CAN BE EXTRADITED TO INDIA The fugitive diamantaire will now have to face trial in India in the `14,000-crore Punjab National Bank scam case BRITISH HOME SECRETARY TO SIGN THE ORDER 14-DAY WINDOW TO CHALLENGE DECISION District Judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Sam Goozee, will send his findings to the Secretary of State for Home Affairs, Priti Patel, who is authorised to order an extradition under the India-UK Extradition Treaty. She has two months to make that decision. The Home Secretary’s order rarely goes against the court’s conclusions | P9 ■ ■ ■ Nirav Modi has 14 days to approach the High Court and seek leave to appeal after the Home Secretary has made her decision known Any appeal, if granted, will be heard at the Administrative Division of the High Court in London Nirav Modi is currently lodged at Wandsworth Prison Barrack #12 IF EXTRADITED, HE WILL BE LODGED IN MUMBAI’S ARTHUR ROAD PRISON 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 Guns fall silent on LoC as both sides agree to strictly enforce truce M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi GUNS fell silent on the Line of Control and the International Border India shares with Pakistan on Wednesday-Thursday midnight in a surprising deescalation of tensions after both sides agreed to strictly observe all bilateral ceasefire agreements and protocols. The truce came about two weeks after China announced disengagement of troops in the Pangong lake in Ladakh from stand-off positions and both sides pulled back their troops. In the space of a fortnight, both the volatile China and Pakistan frontiers have become tranquil, indicating hectic back channel diplomacy giv, ing peace an unexpected booster shot in the often troubled neighbourhood. “Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, Govt tightens grip on social media content understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors with effect from midnight 24/25 February 2021,” both countries stated in a joint statement. Indian Army officials attributed the truce to the realisation on both sides of collateral damage as innocent civilian lives were needlessly lost in the cross-border firing. “One of the aims is to safeguard the lives of innocent civilians as we are bound to retaliate to ceasefire violations,” said a senior Army officer. This agreement will be a big relief for the people living on the border and their cattle. The Union home ministry has built community bunkers in the villages along the LoC to safeguard the lives of civilians caught in the border crossfire. As many as 70 civilians on the Indian side of the LoC were killed in the cross-border firing between 2018 and 2020 while 341 others were were injured during the same period. However, there won’t be any let up in the deployment of forces. The decision to strictly en- NO LET UP IN TAKING ON TERRORISTS The truce will not stop the Army’s fight against infiltrating terrorists. “The operational posture won’t change and we will follow the policy of zero tolerance to any action from the other side,” an officer said The Centre on Thursday announced sweeping regulations for social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, online streaming or over-thetop (OTT) services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram to protect users’ interest and curb fake news and other harmful content. The rules make social media firms responsible for the content on their platforms. They will have to deploy automated tools to remove objectionable data. In the case of a government or court order, they must take down the flagged item within 36 hours. The regulations require messaging platforms to enable the ‘traceability’ feature so that senders of mischievous messages could be indentified. But this might compromise end-to-end encryption. If a social media platform decides on its own to remove a user’s content, it must inform the customer in advance and state the reasons. Notably digital news media , publishers will now have to follow Press Council of India’s norms of journalistic conduct and adhere to the programme code under the Cable TV Networks Regulation Act. This, according to the government, will provide a level-playing field to all media platforms. The new laws, called Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, came into effect from Thursday However, social me. dia platforms will be given an additional window of three months to come under the purview of the new regime. According to the government, these rules will establish a “soft-touch self-regulatory architecture and a Code of Ethics and three-tier grievance redressal mechanism” for news publishers, OTT platforms and digital media. The grievance redressal mechanism stipulates that publishers must address complaints within 15 days. The self-regulating body will be led by a retired judge or an eminent person and have not more than six members. However, cyber experts are not impressed. “The new rules can be interpreted to target websites/platforms. It may hamper right to free speech and expression,” said cyber P9 lawyer Ankur Raheja. OVER THE TOP Social media intermediaries to publish a monthly compliance report on complaints received, action taken, and content removed proactively Social media platforms must remove content depicting nudity, sexual acts or morphed images of women within 24 hours of receipt of complaints Code of Ethics for OTT platforms, online news and digital media entities A grievance officer should be appointed to deal with complaints OTT platforms to self-classify content into five age-based categories - U (Universal), U/A 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult) If a social media platform removes any content on its own, it must explain the reason to the user, who will have the opportunity to contest it OTT platforms must deploy age verification mechanisms for A-rated content and implement parental locks for U/A 13+ or higher EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Coimbatore PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday lauded Tamil Nadu for its economic performance, and for steering the industrial growth of the nation. He inaugurated a few mega power projects and laid the foundation for several other projects in the State. Modi’s visit assumes significance as it marks the official beginning of the BJP’s election campaign in the run-up to the State Assembly polls. Terming Coimbatore as a city of industries and innovation, Modi said the infrastructure projects launched at the event would benefit not just the city but the entire State. , The Prime Minister inaugurated a 1,000-MW Neyveli New Thermal Power Project and a 709-MW Solar Power Project of NLCIL. Modi also inaugurated the eight-lane Korampallam Bridge, and a Rail Over Bridge (ROB) at VO Chidambaranar Port, and the tenements constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) scheme. Stressing that ensuring dig- Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam greet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Coimbatore on Thursday MODI KICKS OFF BJP POLL CAMPAIGN IN PONDY Puducherry: Exhorting the people to reject “anti-development forces of Congress”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commenced BJP’s election campaign in Puducherry on Thursday. After launching a plethora of projects in healthcare, education, sports and marine sectors for the poll-bound Union Territory, Modi addressed a massive public rally. “The wind of change is palpable in Puducherry and the new government here will be the people’s government,” he said. Elaborating on the NDA’s development agenda, the PM said that his alliance will focus on enhancing the education infrastructure in Puducherry | P4 Blast at Sivakasi cracker unit kills 5 A Z E E F A F AT H I M A @ Virudhunagar JUST 13 days after the Achankulam fire accident, in which 23 people lost their lives, at least five persons, four of them women, were killed and 20 injured in a blast at Thankarajpandian Fireworks at Kalaiyarkurichi village in Sivakasi on Thursday . The owner of the unit, Thankaraj (52), has surrendered to the police. Only one of the deceased, Selvi (37) of Ellinaickenpatti, has been identified so far. A 75-year-old man with 100 per cent burn injuries is in a critical condition and is being treated at the Sivakasi GH. The sound of the blast and vibrations from it were felt even at Amathur village, about 10 km from the site. Although a preliminary probe is in progress to ascertain the cause, Sivakasi Sub Collector, C Dinesh Kumar, said solidified pellets could have triggered the fire causing the blast. This is the third accident at a cracker unit in the district in this month. MOTERA MELTDOWN Biggest cricket stadium, shortest game V E N K ATA K R I S H N A B @ Ahmedabad THE grandeur of the Narendra Modi Stadium will dwarf most things. For the last two days, focus has only been on the state of the art facilities. In less than two days the focus has shifted to the heart of the ground — the pitch. A strip with spin and unpredictability produced a match that ended in less than two days giving it the moniker — the shortest Test in post-War era. The wicket around the batsmen looked like a patch of dust where any spinner who could land the ball would get a wicket. No wonder Joe Root got five wickets giving bourly relations with Pakistan. We have always maintained that we are committed to addressing issues, if any, in a peaceful bilateral manner. On key issues, our position remains unchanged,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said. India has maintained that there can be no dialogue with Pakistan if cross-border terror does not end. (Inputs from Pushkar Banakar) TN STEERING INDIA’S GROWTH: MODI New rules call for stricter monitoring, tools to trace sender of objectionable messages R I T W I K A M I T R A @ New Delhi force truce was taken by the Directors General of Military Operations on both sides, who agreed to address each other’s core issues and concer ns, which have the propensity to disturb peace. “India desires normal neigh- away just eight runs. And the England captain summed it up perfectly after the match, which India won by 10 wickets. “It is a real shame. It is a fantastic stadium and 60,000 people came to watch and I feel for them. They came here to see a James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Virat Kohli and instead they saw me taking wickets.” This was far from an ideal Test wicket. Seventeen wickets fell on Thursday It . was a turner from the first day and was turning blind on second. And with modern-day batsmen, especially the English, lacking skill to bat on turning wickets, the script is foretold. After the first Test in Chennai, there were talks about In- dia utilising its home advantage. But that they have opted for these kind of surfaces, especially after outplaying Australia there, was a surprise. Barring the 2015 series against South Africa, India have resorted to this kind of surface only once at home — against Australia in Pune 2017. The World Test Championships has been designed to bring new fans and to provide context to bilateral series. Also let spectators and players rejoice at the romance of the competition between bat and ball. Ironically this Test failed to do , just that. In this, it can be argued that it was loaded too much in favour of the ball. Tests are not meant to get over in two days. P15 A QUICK GLANCE AT THE MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS FROM TN’S SEAT OF POWER ON THURSDAY ASSEMBLY TIME ALL PASS Chennai: Students of Classes 9, 10, and 11 will be promoted without exams in the 2020-21 academic year, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced on Thursday. Detailed guidelines on this will be released soon, he said | P2 RETIREMENT AGE Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday increased the retirement age of its employees for the second time within a year. Now, the State government employees will retire at the age of 60 instead of at 59 | P4 LINGUISTIC BILL Chennai: Minister for Backward Classes and Minority Welfare S Valarmathi on Thursday introduced a Bill to include representatives of linguistic minorities in the TN Minorities Commission, increasing the number of members to 13 | P4 EXPRESS READ Puducherry placed under President’s rule Puducherry: Couple of months ahead of elections, Puducherry has been placed under the President’s rule. The Assembly has been placed under suspended animation till the constitution of the 15th Legislative Assembly following the elections | P4 WITH THIS ISSUE CHENNAI’S BEST WEEKEND GUIDE 32 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF INDULGE (TABLOID) nity to every individual is at the core of development, Modi said: “One of the basic ways of ensuring dignity is to provide shelter for everyone. The houses, constructed at `332 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, will be handed over to the homeless.” Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister Edappadi K Pa l a n i sw a m i , D e p u t y Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Union minister Pralhad Joshi were also present on the occasion. The Prime Minister also paid floral tributes to former Chief Ministers MGR and J Jayalalithaa during the event. “The 709 MW solar power project was developed indigenously and the cost of this project is over `3,000 crore. Another 1,000 MW thermal power project constructed at `7,800 crore will be hugely beneficial to Tamil Nadu and its neighbouring States,” he said. Modi added that over 65 per cent of the power generated from the plants will be given to Tamil Nadu. The Prime Minister also quoted a verse from Thirukkural, “…Uzhuthundu Vazhvare Vazhvar Matrorellam Thozhuthungu Pin Selbavar”, which roughly translates to ‘farmers lead the way and the rest follow them’. Speaking about the Lower Bhavani project, he said that it will irrigate over two lakh acres of land, benefitting farmers of several districts in Tamil Nadu. The Prime Minister, besides making a strong developmental pitch for the State, also launched a blistering attack against the Opposition parties, mainly the DMK and Congress, and accused them of misgovernance and corruption. Call it the evening hues or the many BJP flags that were put up at the premises, the Codissia Grounds in Coimbatore had a saffron shade to it as Modi waved his hands at the massive crowds that gathered there. While some turned up in clothes that matched the party’s colour, a few others took the next step and wore saffron face masks. ‘DMK PROMOTES STRONGMAN CULTURE’: P4
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