kollam l Sunday l march 28, 2021 l `8.00 l PAGES 30 l city edition over 90 killed in Myanmar in bloodiest day of protest The reprisal, coinciding with the 76th Armed Forces Day, came barely 24 hours after media warned that agitators could be shot in the head junta reiterates promise to hold election militia kills nine in retaliatory strike Touted as a flashpoint, the Armed Forces Day event saw junta leader Min Aung Hlaing calling the protests as acts of ‘terrorism’. In his speech, Hlaing reiterated a promise to hold elections, without giving any time-frame. Eight countries — Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand — sent representatives to the event, while Russia sent a minister ■ ■ The Karen National Union, an ethnic armed group, said it had overrun an army post near the Thai border, killing 10 people, including a lieutenant colonel, and losing one of its fighters Skirmishes took place in Sagaing, Yangon, Mandalay and Lashio. A one-year-old baby was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet | P11 269 estimated number of Protesters killed so far in the military crackdown 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 What Swapna told ED: Speaker used to call me to flat with dirty intentions Gokulam 1st Kerala club to clinch I-League title P R a m d a s @ Kochi Kozhikode-based side pips Churchill Brothers on head-to-head record, qualifies for tier-two continental club championship He (Speaker) had called me to the flat in Marutham apartment and told me that it was his hideout. I went there along with Sarith to meet him. As I didn’t agree to his ‘personal interests’, the role offered to me in the Middle East college was also cancelled Players of Gokulam Kerala FC are all joy as they celebrate with the trophy after winning the I-League MA R T I N J O S E P H @ Kochi Right from its inception in 2017, Gokulam Kerala FC have continued to scale new heights. W h i l e m a ny cl u b s h ave emerged and disappeared with varying degrees of success, the-Kozhikode based outfit has achieved a first for the footballcrazy state -- win the I-League. If it was the Durand Cup win in 2019, the Indian Women’s League triumph caught national attention in 2020. But the club had bigger ambitions. And they delivered on Saturday in Kolkata. On the final day, the Malabarians beat Manipuri club Tiddim Road Athletic Union FC 4-1 after being a goal down in the first half. They have qualified to play in the AFC Cup, against top Asian sides, another feather in Gokulam’s cap. “Our goal was Gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh has told the Enforcement Directorate that Speaker Sreeramakrishnan tried to cozy up to her with “dirty” intentions, according to a document submitted by the agency in the Kerala high court. She said Sreeramakrishnan used to call her to a flat at Pettah in Thiruvananthapuram, which according to her belonged to him but was in the name of someone else, and told her about its real ownership to make her feel safe. The deposition was submitted as an additional document, a copy of which is with TNIE, as part of the petition filed by the ED with the court seeking to quash the state Crime Branch case registered to to provide the fans the success they deserved. The I-League is one of the biggest trophies on offer in Indian football. We hope the win gives a boost to the sport in the region,” said Gokulam Kerala FC technical director Bino George. Gokulam pipped Goan side Churchill Brothers, thanks to a better head-to-head record after both teams finished on 29 P13 points. express read India reports highest single day spike this year Modi: India, B’desh want stability, love and peace 58-year-old hacked to death in Chalakkudy New Delhi: India saw 62,258 new Covid cases in a day on Saturday, the highest single day rise so far this year, taking the nationwide tally to 1,19,08,910. The active cases have increased to 4,52,647. Dhaka: India and Bangladesh want stability, love and peace instead of instability, terror and unrest in the world, PM Narendra Modi said on Saturday. He was speaking to the Matua community members. Thrissur: A man was hacked to death in Chalakudy on Saturday. The deceased, Kalathingal Davis, 58, was a CPM worker. Police suspect a dispute between neighbours over parking led to the murder. Swapna Suresh Interview ‘Even communists don’t want LDF govt to continue’ T’Puram: Veteran Congress leader A K Antony has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, both keen to see a Congress-mukt Bharat, will ask the BJP cadre to vote for the Left at the fag end of campaigning to prevent the Congress from coming to power in Kerala. In a freewheeling interview to TNIE, the 80-yearold says even communists don’t want the incumbent government to continue in power. “My conviction is that the Left should not return to power as it is dangerous,” he said. FULL INTERVIEW ON P2 Bengal phase 1 79.9% * Total constituencies: 294 Polling percentage 30 constituencies* (5 districts — all seats in Purulia and Jhargram districts; parts of West Midnapore, Bankura, East Midnapore districts) 2016 results# ■ TMC: 27 | ■ Cong: 2 ■ Left Front: 1 in seats where polling was held on Saturday # Voters Torn between Dada and didi I f this is a war of ideas, and not a mere electoral mud-wrestling match of the usual sort, then Nandigram is the epicentre. It’s a place-name that has already seared itself into the pages of Indian political history. But that was a decade ago, when it was an outlier. In 2021, Nandigram offers a different picture — a small, sharp-focused microcosmic picture of West Bengal politics as it’s being played right now. The people of Nandigram are dividWest Bengal e d . A l o n g vo t i n g SANTWANA BHATTACHARYA @ Nandigram lines—which can be a euphemism for ‘along religious lines’. They are also pulled by contrasting loyalties: their allegiance to ‘Dada’ and ‘Didi’. The latter needs no explanation. Mamata Banerjee is Didi for not just Nandigram — which votes in the second phase of a long-drawn poll process — but for all of West Ben● More on P9 gal, even India to some extent. reform dynamics The second day of the ThinkEdu Conclave saw Principal Economic Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal speak about ego not coming in the way of fixing the flaws in reform policies. In another session, the higher education secretary said the Centre may alter the criteria to qualify for Institute of Eminence tag | P7 Chasing the Truth PLUS 12 PAGES edly has an investment. When the ED asked whether Sreeramakrishnan had any investment other than investigate whether Swap- in the Oman-based college, na was forced to give a Swapna replied as far as statement against Chief she knew, the flat at M i n i s t e r P i n a r a y i Marutham Apartment in Vijayan. Pettah too belonged to him, Swapna gave the state- but it was in the name of ment before the ED Deputy some other person. Director, Kochi, on The revelation December 16, 2020, comes at a time at Vanitha Jail in Atwhen the LDF govtakulangara, Thiruernment has been vananthapuram. trying hard to push “He told me about the central agenthe flat’s real ownercies probing the ship to convince me gold smug gling to feel safe as he used Sreeramakrishnan and related cases to call me there with on the back foot ussome personal dirty inten- ing various means. Sreerations,” she is quoted as say- makrishnan had always ing in the deposition. She maintained that the agensaid when she did not cies have been acting with agree, he refused to give an ulterior political mothe job he had offered her tive. Recently after it came , at Middle East College, out that Swapna had told Oman, in which he alleg- the agency that the Speak- press clusive er had planned to set up a branch of the Oman-based Middle East College in Sharjah, Sreeramakrishnan had dismissed the claims and said the statements were “factually wrong and absurd”. The CM too has been saying that the national agencies are targeting his government and hampering development in the state. According to the document, Swapna told the agency: “Sreeramakrishnan had called me to the flat in Marutham apartment and told me that it was his ‘hideout’. I went there along with Sarith (another accused in the gold smuggling case) to meet him. However, as I didn’t agree to his ‘personal interests’, the role offered to me in the Middle East college was also can● More on P7 celled.” Left & Oppn fight over free rice, govt for legal action against EC E x pre s s N e w s Ser v i c e @ T’Puram A DAY after the election commission ordered to stop distribution of subsidised rice during the festival season following the Opposition’s complaint, the state on Saturday witnessed a bitter war of words over the politics of free rice. The state government decided to pursue legal action against the poll panel and the Left attacked the Opposition for blocking food supply to the people. The UDF shot back saying it was the Left government that was playing politics with distribution of free rice. The Left wants to ensure kit distribution at any cost, having realised that it played a major role in its victory in the local body polls. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan demanded an apology from the Opposition leader for his letter to the election commission seeking to stop the distribution of food kits, food grains and welfare pension till the elections are over. The Opposition has been denying people their food and seems hell-bent on letting them starve, he ● More on P7 said.
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