bhubaneswar l tuesday l march 16, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l 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 ‘i can’t breathe’ is song of the year 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 ■ ■ 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) BTS The popular korean boy band lost to lady gaga and Ariana Grande | P9 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 Chandrababu faces FIR heat in land scam tains to alienation of “assigned lands”, which form part of the aggregated 25,000-30,000 acres. ara Chandrababu Naidu is in the dock. According to the investigations done thus far The three-time chief minister has been by the AP government agencies, approximatelinked to what has now come to be known ly 500 acres of assigned land had been puras the ‘Amaravati land scam’, which in- chased by different persons after the anvolved aggregation of thousands of acres for nouncement of the capital city The crux of the . the proposed capital of the divided state of charge in this case is that the AP government later issued a GO granting oneAndhra Pradesh. time exemption allowing alienaThe Crime Investigation Departpress tion of such lands purchased by ment (CID) of Andhra Pradesh is clusive non-assignees for the capital learnt to have registered an FIR project. Thus, they would stand against Naidu for various procedural irregularities with regard to Expanding scope to gain from the model prepared decisions taken in relation to the tied to more probe by the Naidu government under which 1,450-1,500 sq yards of decapital city project. As chief minWhether the scope of veloped commercial and resiister of Andhra Pradesh, Naidu the FIR against Naidu dential plots would be given for held dual capacity as he was also will be enlarged to every acre surrendered. The “rethe Chairman of the AP Capital invoke provisions of the turnable plots” have also been Region Development Authority . The case, which throws up a Prevention of Corruption allotted to those who purchased Act will depend on and surrendered the assigned completely new angle in the Amafurther investigation lands, primarily given to SCs ravati land scam, has been regisand STs. tered under Section 120 B (conspirIt is understood that even a formal sanction acy) and Sections 166, 167 and 217 of the IPC, read with Prohibition of Assigned Lands Al- of the Cabinet has not been obtained before ienation Act of 1977 and the SC/ST Prevention the GO in question was issued. File notings of Atrocities Act. A former minister in Naidu’s by bureaucrats that such a decision would be Cabinet, P Narayana, has also been named in in contravention of law were reportedly igthe FIR and summons to appear before the CID nored. “It is possible that those in power take have been issued to both. Naidu served two certain decisions with bonafide intentions, terms as chief minister of the undivided And- even if they are proved wrong. But, in this hra Pradesh and the third as CM of the divided case, the end beneficiary is known prior to grant of exemption. Hence, the conspiracy,” a AP after bifurcation from 2014 to 2019. continued on: P5 One of the major charges against Naidu per- source explained. G S Vasu N RS flags British racism, govt says will take it up E x p r ess Ne 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 Indianorigin Rashmi Samant, who was forced to resign as president of 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 farmers agitation in India and criticised the alleged violation of human rights of protesters. The Centre hit back sharply, calling it an “unwarranted and tendentious” debate. The matter was raised by BJP MP 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,” the MP 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 a large diaspora,” he said. Delhi court hands death sentence to Batla House encounter convict Ariz 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 any 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 also Fits rarest of rare yardstick bers of the raiding team were not even carrying arms. “It is obvious that convict Ariz Khan along The court put the case in the “rarest with his accomplices fired at poof rare” category while agreeing lice officials without being chalwith Additional Prosecutor A T lenged, instinctively the judge ...” Ansari that this was not just any said, in the 22-page verdict. Arkilling but a murder of a law iz’s lawyer M S Khan had openforcement officer who was a posed capital punishment saying defender of justice the incident was not premeditated. imposed a total fine of `11 “Deadly weapons like lakh on Ariz, of which `10 AK-47 and two pistols lakh was ordered to be givwere retrieved from the en to the family of Sharflat where the shootout ma, who was posthumoustook place.... Considering ly awarded the Ashok the nature of devastation Chakra and many gallantthese weapons can cause, Ariz Khan ry awards. it will be safe to conclude Judge Yadav also sought that there was were kept to put an end to the allegations of in the flat with a view to indulge the September 2008 police opera- in terrorist and anti-social activition being a fake encounter. He ties,” the court ruled. held that police officials had no The case will now go to the Delintention to kill the occupants of hi High Court for confirmation the flat, stating that some mem- of the capital punishment. WPI inflation soars, dims hopes of rate cut by RBI E x p r ess n e w s se r v i c e @ New Delhi 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. continued on: P5
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