BENGALURU TUESDAY MARCH 16, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 20 LATE CITY EDITION BEYONCE BREAKS RECORDS AS WOMEN RULE GRAMMYS 2021 Women artistes emerged big winners in the usually male dominated top categories at the 63rd Grammy Awards R&B SINGER H.E.R. MOST AWARDED FEMALE ARTISTE IN HISTORY With 28 Grammy wins in all, Beyonce broke the record of veteran singer Alison Krauss. She trails only classical conductor Sir George Solti, who still holds 31 Grammys. She was nominated in nine categories and won in four, including best rap song with Megan Thee Stallion for Savage remix, Best R&B performance for Black Parade and best music video for Brown Skin Girl ■ BTS ‘I CAN’T BREATHE’ IS SONG OF THE YEAR ■ R&B singer H.E.R. won song of the year for I Can’t Breathe, which quotes the last words of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died while being arrested by police in Minneapolis last year Canadian YouTuber Lilly Singh turned up on the red carpet wearing a mask displaying “I stand with Farmers” (pic far left) THE POPULAR KOREAN BOY BAND LOST TO LADY GAGA AND ARIANA GRANDE | P11 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 Completely new angle in the Amaravati land row as it pertains to deals after capital project was in place G S VASU Naidu pertains to alienation of “assigned lands”, which form part of the ARA Chandrababu Naidu is in aggregated 25,000-30,000 acres. Acthe dock. The three-time chief cording to the investigations done minister has been linked to what thus far by the AP government agenhas now come to be known as the cies, approximately 500 acres of as‘Amaravati land scam’, which in- signed land had been purchased by volved aggregation of thousands of different persons after the announceacres for the proposed ment of the capital city. capital of the divided state The crux of the charge in PRESS of Andhra Pradesh. CLUSIVE this case is that the AP The Crime Investigagovernment later issued a tion Department (CID) of GO granting one-time exAndhra Pradesh is learnt to have reg- emption allowing alienation of such istered an FIR against Naidu for vari- lands purchased by non-assignees for ous procedural irregularities with the capital project. Thus, they would regard to decisions taken in relation stand to gain from the model preto the capital city project. As chief pared by the Naidu government unminister of Andhra Pradesh, Naidu der which 1,450-1,500 sq yards of deheld dual capacity as he veloped commercial and was also the Chairman of Expanding scope residential plots would the AP Capital Region tied to more probe be given for every acre Development Authority . surrendered. The “reWhether the scope of The case, which throws turnable plots” have also the FIR against Naidu up a completely new anbeen allotted to those who will be enlarged to gle in the Amaravati land purchased and surrenscam, has been registered invoke provisions of the dered the assigned lands, under Section 120 B (con- Prevention of Corruption primarily given to SCs Act will depend on spiracy) and Sections 166, and STs. further investigation 167 and 217 of the IPC, It is understood that read with Prohibition of even a formal sanction of Assigned Lands Alienation Act of the Cabinet has not been obtained be1977 and the SC/ST Prevention of fore the GO in question was issued. Atrocities Act. A former minister in File notings by bureaucrats that such Naidu’s Cabinet, P Narayana, has a decision would be in contravention also been named in the FIR and sum- of law were reportedly ignored. “It is mons to appear before the CID have possible that those in power take cerbeen issued to both. Naidu served two tain decisions with bonafide intenterms as chief minister of the undi- tions, even if they are proved wrong. vided Andhra Pradesh and the third But, in this case, the end beneficiary as CM of the divided AP after bifurca- is known prior to grant of exemption. tion from 2014 to 2019. Hence, the conspiracy,” a source exCONTINUED ON: P7 One of the major charges against plained. N COUNTERPUNCH RS flags British racism, govt says it will take it up when required E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi DAYS after a tell-all interview of Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle and the controversy over Indian-origin Rashmi Samant, who was forced to resign as president of the Oxford University Students Union, the issue of racism in the UK figured in the Rajya Sabha on Monday . Just last week, the UK Parliament had debated the ongoing agitation against the new farm laws in India and criticised the alleged violation of human rights of protesters. The Centre hit back sharply calling it an “un, warranted and tendentious” debate. The matter of racism was raised by BJP member Ashwini Vaishnav. “She (Samant) was cyberbullied to the point that she had to resign and even the Hindu religious beliefs of her parents were publicly attacked by a faculty member,” Vaishnav said. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India would take it up with Britain. As a friend, India also has concerns about UK’s reputational impacts, he added. “We have strong ties with the UK, we will take up such matter with great candour when required. We will monitor such development very, very closely, we will raise it when required.... As the land of Mahatma Gandhi, we can never turn our eyes away from racism wherever it is, particularly so in a country where we have such a large diaspora,” he said. EXPRESS READ Panchamasalis end stir over quota demand Bengaluru: Panchamasali-Lingayat seers, who had intensified their stir for inclusion of the community under 2A category, called off their agitation on Monday after CM B S Yediyurappa assured them of appropriate action. P4 KARNATAKA COVID-19 BATTLE Total Deaths POS E ITIV CA SES Chandrababu faces FIR heat in land scam 9,61,204 Total Discharges 12,397 No lockdown, no change in status quo, says BSY Total Active Cases 8,860 9,39,928 ON MONDAY 932 429 Test Positive Discharged As Covid fears loom, film fest postponed The State Government on Monday issued a circular announcing that the 13th edition of Bengaluru International Film Festival will be postponed indefinitely, in light of the increase in Covid cases. The event was scheduled to be held from March 24-31. A core committee meeting was held, headed by Chief Secretary and Department of Information and Public Relations, where it was stated that with over 7,000 delegates joining in from other countries, it would be tough to follow Covid safety guidelines. A N U S H A R AV I @ Bengaluru CHIEF Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday laid all speculation over another lockdown or night curfews in Karnataka to rest, insisting that no decision has been taken. He said that the status quo will continue in Karnataka for another week and any decision will be arrived at only after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video-conference with Chief Ministers on March 17. With cases on the rise in Karnataka, the technical advisory committee on Covid-19 at a meeting on Monday informed the chief minister that the surge could be a precursor to the second wave of infections in the State and measures needed to be taken immediately to control its spread. “The technical committee emphasised that Covid preventive measures and safety protocols need to be followed. Masks and social distancing are mandatory Awareness among . people has worn off and if this continues, we will be compelled to take action. We will have to restart slapping fines on people for not wearing masks. For now, there will be no lockdown or night curfew or restriction of any kind, but people have to cooperate with the government,” Yediyurappa said, adding that his government will study the situation for another week and then take a decision on reviewing the interstate travel regulation. He said that along with the vaccination drive, tracing and tracking mechanisms will also be revived and shopkeepers, bus drivers and conductors etc with symptoms will be tested on priority. PRESS INTAKE Amit Shah, Mamata locked in war of words | P9 Security forces gun down 55 in Myanmar in past 48 hours | P12 Death penalty in Batla House encounter case S A N A S H A K I L @ New Delhi ARIZ Khan, convicted in the killing of a police officer in the 2008 Batla House encounter in Delhi, was sentenced to death on Monday by a Delhi court, which said it is the most appropriate punishment for ‘dreaded terrorists’ like him. “Nature of offence and manner of committing the crime caused extreme indignation to the society in this case,” Additional Sessions Judge Sandeev Yadav said, declaring that there was no doubt that Ariz and his accomplices fired at police officials “without provocation”. The encounter between the Delhi Police and a bunch of Indian Mujahideen members holed up in a flat in South Delhi had led to the death of Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, while two others sustained injuries. The court imposed a fine of `11 lakh on Ariz, of which `10 lakh was to be given to the family of Sharma, who was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra. Judge Yadav also sought to put an end to the allegations of the September 2008 police operation being a fake encounter. He held that police officials had no intention to kill the IM men, stating that some members of the raiding team were not even carrying arms. “It is obvious that Ariz and his accomplices fired at police without being challenged,” he said. Ariz’s lawyer M S Khan had opposed capital punishment, saying the incident was not premeditated. “Weapons like AK-47s and two pistols were retrieved from the flat. Considering the nature of devastation these weapons cause, it will be safe to conclude that they were kept in the flat to indulge in terrorist and anti-social activities,” the court ruled. The case will now go to the Delhi High Court for confirmation of the capital punishment. Buzz is... Bees being used to tackle jumbo menace P R A J N A G R @ Madikeri IT may seem incredulous, but this research project in Kodagu district looks at the possibility of controlling mighty wild elephants with tiny bees. At a time when there has been an increase in human-elephant conflicts in the state, the project, RE-HAB -- Reducing Elephant Human Attack by using Bees, aims to tackle the menace ecologically . Sponsored by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), the project was launched at the Ponnampet Forestry College in Kodagu on Monday . Three major elephant conflict spots have been chosen in the district, including two at Nagarahole Wildlife Reserve and one at Thora village in Virajpet, where ten beehive boxes have been placed on the fringes of the forest. Boxes have been kept at 8 feet distance and tied using a fence rope. KVIC Chairman Vinay Kumar Saxena said, “States with high elephant populations are spending crores of rupees to tackle the huP7 man-elephant conflict.” Wholesale inflation soars in Feb, dims rate cut hopes EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, DyCM C N Ashwath Narayan and Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar at the Covid review meeting, in Bengaluru on Monday | EXPRESS Electoral rolls will be used to trace elders In a meeting chaired by CM BS Yediyurappa, the Technical Advisory Committee suggested enhancing vaccination on a war-footing. The TAC also asked for inoculation to be carried out more effectively in seven districts, including Bengaluru Urban and Rural. “The committee has suggested starting vaccination drives at apartments in seven districts. We will use the electoral rolls to identify senior citizens and administer vaccines to them,” the CM said, adding, “Currently, on an average, only about 1.5 lakh people are getting the vaccine daily. We intend to increase CONTINUED ON: P3 that to 3 lakh per day.” P3 A sharp increase in fuel and food prices pushed the wholesale price index-based inflation to a 27-month high of 4.17% in February according commerce , ministry data released on Monday. The WPI inflation was 2.03% in January and 2.26% in February last year. The latest numbers, coming a week after another set of data showed February retail inflation shot up to 5.03%, may force the Reserve Bank of India to opt for a pause in policy rate in the next monetary policy review. Experts say the upward trend in inflation will continue for the next three months. “Inflation dynamics will rule out any further rate cuts, with a status quo expected through 2021,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist, ICRA Ratings. According to government data, food index in February 2021 rose to 3.31%, compared to a 0.26% contraction seen in the previous month. Petroleum product prices have reached historic highs as international crude prices have surged in recent months and due to high indirect taxes.
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