CHENNAI TUESDAY MARCH 16, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 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 COUNTERPUNCH RS flags British racism, Centre says it will take it up with UK 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 “unwarranted 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. Chandrababu faces FIR heat in land scam E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai THE number of Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu continued to rise on Monday, with 835 more people testing positive, and four succumbing to the disease. Of the new cases, 317 are in Chennai alone. The city has 1,973 people undergoing treatment for Covid-19. Coimbatore, meanwhile, reported 70 new cases. In Thanjavur district, four more people linked to Ammapettai School tested positive, taking the number of infectees linked to the cluster to 62. Across Tamil Nadu, 8,60,562 people have tested positive, and 12,551 have succumbed so far. The State has a test positivity rate of 1.3 per cent. FILING his nomination from the Edappadi Assembly constituency for the seventh time, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday recounted how he got his foot in the door more t h a n 3 0 ye a r s a g o. “Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa gave me a chance to contest from here in 1989, and after that, she gave me many more chances. She made me an MLA, MP and minister.” “I fulfilled all my promises to the people of Edappadi. And if they want anything now, we will 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: P5 One of the major charges against plained. N S A N A S H A K I L @ New Delhi State records 835 new Covid cases, 4 deaths in a day E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Salem Completely new angle in the Amaravati land row as it pertains to deals after capital project was in place Delhi court hands death sentence to Batla House encounter convict Ariz 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 imposed a total fine of `11 lakh on Ariz, of which `10 lakh was ordered to be given to the family ‘Jaya gave me a chance...’: EPS files nomination Ariz Khan Fits rarest of rare yardstick The court put the case in the “rarest of rare” category while agreeing with Additional Prosecutor A T Ansari that this was not just any killing but a murder of a law enforcement officer who was a defender of justice of Sharma, who was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra and many gallantry awards. 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 occupants of the flat, stating that some members of the raiding team were not even carrying arms. “It is obvious that convict Ariz Khan along with his accomplices fired at police officials without being challenged, instinctively the judge said, in the 22-page ...” verdict. Ariz’s lawyer M S Khan had opposed capital punishment saying the incident was not premeditated. “Deadly weapons like AK-47 and two pistols were retrieved from the flat where the shootout took place.... Considering the nature of devastation these weapons can cause, it will be safe to conclude that there was were kept in the flat with a view 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. Wholesale inflation soars in Feb, dims hopes of a rate cut by RBI E X P R E S S N E W S S E 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. According to government data, food index in February 2021 rose to 3.31%, compared with 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 both at the Central and state government level. Meanwhile, exports rose 0.67% to $28 billion in February on a year-on, year basis while imports, too, went up by 6.96% to $40.54 billion, widening P10 trade deficit to $12.62 billion. 21 provide that too,” he added. Palaniswami contested from Edappadi in 1989, 1991, 1996, 2006, 2011 and 2016, and won four times — in 1989, 1991, 2011 and 2016.On Monday, he filed his nomination at the Edappadi tahsildar office around 1.20 pm, shortly after opening the AIADMK election office near the EdapDAYS padi bus stand. He went TO GO in alone and submitted his papers to returning officer of Edappadi Assembly constituency Dhanalingam. Speaking to the media later, he highlighted what the AIADMK did for the constituency CONTINUED ON P4 . TTV WITHDRAWS FROM CASE AGAINST AIADMK H A R I S H M U R A L I @ Chennai (From top) Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, DMK president MK Stalin, and MNM chief Kamal Haasan file their nomination papers for the upcoming Assembly elections, in Salem, Chennai and Coimbatore respectively on Monday | P JAWAHAR & U RAKESH KUMAR TTV Dhinakaran on Monday withdrew himself from a case filed, challenging the ruling AIADMK leadership. His counsel filed a petition at a city civil court, saying Dhinakaran was “abandoning” from the cases that challenge the decisions taken by AIADMK’s general council in September 2017. The court accepted the submissions and adjourned the plea to April 9. When the case came up before civil court judge ARV Ravi, Dhinakaran’s counsel said Dhinakaran has floated a new party and hence was abandoning the case. “The abandonment petition was moved in the City Civil and Sessions Court and accepted by the judge,” Dhinnakran’s counsel N Raja Senthoor Pandian said. No petition was filed on behalf of VK Sasikala.
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