KOCHI l thursday l april 08, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE city EDITION 2 judokas test Covid +ve, team out of oly qualifier The Bhopal hospital has created a SAI ward to admit infected athletes uncertain days ahead for squad A day after one judoka contracted Covid-19, a second athlete also returned a positive test on Wednesday. As a result, all members are in isolation. The Judo Federation of India (JFI) have dialled Indian Embassy, seeking their help in flying those who tested negative back to India. Since they were not allowed to compete, India decided to pull out of the competition | P11 Entire 19-member judo contingent for Asia-Oceania meet in Bishkek has been quarantined. Other sports too not spared SAI Bhopal inundated with cases ■ As many as 36 people, including 24 athletes at SAI’s Bhopal facility, test positive across two rounds of testing. Interestingly, few of the judokas in Bishkek were training in Bhopal ■ In the IPL, RCB’s Daniel Sams tested positive. ISL side Bengaluru FC also reported three positive Covid-19 tests 1 week new SAI SOP says national campers to be tested once every week 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 Bloodshed, violence return to Kannur Muslim League supporter dies in CPM gang’s attack, brother suffers injuries; cops arrest 1, identify 11 others E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kannur VIOLENCE erupted in Kannur on Wednesday after a Muslim League supporter was allegedly killed by CPM men at Pullukkara near Koothuparamba on Tuesday night, evoking scary memories from the notso-distant past in the political history of the district. The deceased is Mansoor, 21, son of Musthafa. A gang of 20 CPM workers hacked and hurled bombs at Mansoor and his brother Muhasin — a League member. He too was seriously injured in the attack and was admitted to a private hospital in Kozhikode. Chokli police have arrested CPM worker Shinos in connection with the murder. On Wednesday, an agitated group of people returning from the burial of Mansoor, vandalised CPM’s branch and local committee offices and shops of party sympathisers in Peringathur town. CPM branch committee office at Keezhmadam too was attacked. The police deployed a big number of officers to bring the situation under control. Mansoor was hacked around 8pm on Tuesday The attackers . barged into the house of Musthafa, dragged Muhasin out and started attacking him. As Mansoor tried to stop them, the assailants attacked him as well. To scare away the people who tried to intervene, the assailants hurled bombs. Autopsy report said Mansoor died due to bleeding from injuries caused by the bomb attack. “The assailants dragged my son out of our house and killed him in front of my eyes,” said Musthafa. “Our area is not known for political violence. There were no serious incidents to lead to such a cruel act,” he said. It is said the incident was the continuation of a minor clash between the workers of IUML and CPM in connection with polling. Terming the murder unfortunate, CPM district secretary M V Jayarajan said IUML workers triggered the incident as they beat up a polling agent and another CPM activist when they brought a senior citizen to a booth at Mukkile Peedika for voting. “That was the beginning,” Jayarajan told reporters in Kannur. Congress state chief Mullappally Ramachandran said the attackwas a planned one. The murder happened at a time when the chief minister was camping in Kannur. Pinarayi Vijayan should ● More on P4 answer In retaliation, mob vandalises CPM offices, shops of party sympathisers; UDF alleges murder was planned 2 BJP men attacked in Kasaragod post polling People gather in front of the CPM local committee office at Peringathur which was set on fire allegedly by Muslim League workers. (Inset) Mansoor | Express 8pm on Tuesday: Attackers barge into the house of Mansoor at Pullukkara Mansoor’s brother too suffered injuries in the attack. He is recovering in hospital To add to the CPM’s embarrassment, Jain Raj, son of P Jayarajan, wrote “Irannu vangunnath seelamayipoyi” (begging for it has become a habit) in a Facebook post The assailants dragged my son out of our house and killed him in front of my eyes — Musthafa, Mansoor’s father IUML workers triggered the incident as they beat up a polling agent and another CPM activist when they brought a senior citizen to a booth for voting M V Jayarajan, CPM Kannur dist secretary The murder happened at a time when the chief minister was camping in Kannur. Pinarayi Vijayan should answer — Mullappally Ramachandran, Congress state president Kasaragod: Two BJP workers were assaulted in different places in Kasaragod after polling got over on Tuesday. Yuva Morcha district vicepresident Sreejith was hacked at Baliyadukam in Parkalai in Kodom Bellur panchayat. He was on his way home after election when he was assaulted around 10.30pm. In another incident, suspected CPM workers broke the hand of BJP worker Thejendra, 34, with an iron rod at Sheni. DYFI man injured after bomb explodes in hand Kollam: A DYFI activist was injured after a country bomb exploded in his hands at Kadakkal here on Tuesday night. The injured, Vishnulal, had reached the house of BJP Kadakkal panchayat committee vice-president Rathiraj, with an aim to hurl the bomb. The windowpanes of the house were also shattered in the incident. Rathiraj was the BJP candidate in Vadakkevayal ward in the 2020 local body elections. The police have taken two DYFI activists into custody. covid surge Sparring match on vaccine politicalisation Sana S h a k i l @ New Delhi The Centre and the Opposition -ruled states clashed over vaccine availability on Wednesday when India recorded a day’s high of 1,15,736 fresh cases, crossing the 1-lakh mark for the second time in three days. The Union health ministry came down hard on Opposition-ruled states for playing “petty politics” over vaccination and stated that there is no dearth of vaccine stock, hours after Maharashtra, Delhi, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh said that they have sent SOS alerts to the Centre over Covid vaccine scarcity . “The lackadaisical attitude of the state governm e n t h a s s i n g u l a rly bogged down the entire country’s efforts to fight the virus,” Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said refer ring to the Thackeray-led Maharashtra government. He also criticised the Congress-led government in Chhattisgarh for being ‘perhaps the only government in the world where its leaders were inciting vaccine hesitancy’ and blamed its leaders for spreading “misinformation” and “panic” regarding vaccination. Vardhan blamed states for their alleged attempts to distract attention from failure to manage the pandemic and described the allegations of vaccine shortage as “baseless”. Vardhan said that the Centre has been transparently updating all the state governments about the demand-supply dynamics and the resultant jab strategy . GET the SHOT IN your OFFICE New scheme to allow vax at govt and private workplaces In districts, task force chaired by District Magistrate to identify workplace In cities, task force headed by Municipal Commissioner to identify workplace Beneficiary has to be 45+; CoWIN registration must Workplace management to designate senior staff as nodal officer to coordinate with authorities | P7 Cases up, state to enforce Covid protocol stringently E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram WITH the assembly polls out of the way, the state has decided to ensure strict compliance with Covid-19 protocol from Thursday The decision comes in the backdrop of a rise . in active cases, even as the SSLC and Plus-Two examinations begin from Thursday More than 8.6 lakh students are slated . to appear for the exams. Chief Secretary V P Joy convened a review meeting on Wednesday to assess the Covid situation and directed officials to strengthen vigil. The health department is preparing for a month-long campaign at the district- and local-body levels to tackle a second wave. P5 Conspiracy theories on cross-voting, vote trade fly thick & fast E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram A day after the state exercised its franchise, the three major political fronts are busy calculating all possible permutations and combinations to try and decipher the poll outcome. While the ruling and opposition fronts are confident of garnering a comfortable majority , the NDA predicts a hung assembly that will allow the third front a significant say. Meanwhile, conspiracy theories and tales of cross-voting and vote trade are also doing rounds. While the LDF expects to win around 85 seats, the UDF has laid claim to anything between 75 and 85. The BJP on the other , hand, hopes to secure at least seven seats this time. In the meantime, all three fronts have come up with their own versions of cross-voting in key constituencies. Continuing the Left’s tirade on BJP and UDF over an unholy nexus, CPM acting secretary A Vijayaraghavan alleged that issues faced by the saffron party, such as the rejection of its candidates’ nominations in some constituencies, showed CPM takes on NSS over Sabarimala row Should have about 100 eligible and willing employee beneficiaries Police personnel close the gates of Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Kochi, where electronic voting machines are kept | Arun Angela OVER TO EXAMS The inmates of Sree Chitra Poor Home in Thiruvananthapuram busy learning their lessons on Wednesday. Amid Covid-19 surge in the state, this year’s SSLC and HSE examinations will begin on Thursday and the VHSE exams on Friday. The exams were earlier scheduled from March 17 to 30, but were rescheduled to April due to the assembly polls | B P Deepu | P5 T’Puram: Criticising the NSS for trying to influence voters against the Left, CPM acting secretary A Vijayaraghavan said the NSS chief was making a political statement when he said devotees were angry at LDF over Sabarimala issue. P4 Dovish RBI opts for pause on rates, flags inflation risk Express News Service @ New Delhi The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday kept interest rates unchanged to support growth but remained cautious amid risks to the economy arising from the second wave of Covid infections and high inflation. Announcing the decision to keep the policy rate at 4%, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said the central bank will do “whatever it takes” to support economic recovery . RBI also retained its FY22 GDP growth forecast of 10.5% with the warning that re-imposition of lockdown in some states could hurt the economy . “The recent surge in infections has imparted greater uncertainty to the outlook,” Das Chennai: A special court on Wednesday convicted actor couple Sarathkumar and Radhika in a cheque bounce case and sentenced them to one-year imprisonment. P5 EC notice to Mamata for ‘communal’ appeal New Delhi: Election Commission has issued a notice to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her appeal to Muslim voters not to allow their votes to get split among parties. RBI also committed to buy government bonds worth `1 lakh crore under ‘the secondary market government securities acquisition programme’ or GSap. While the RBI stance was on expected lines, experts say the focus was on supporting growth. Meanwhile, RBI has proposed to allow cash withdrawals from digital wallets such as Paytm and prepaid cards issued by non-bank entities. ‘file a statement’ E X P RESS READ Sarathkumar, Radhika get one-year jail term said. “Localised and regional lockdowns could dampen the recent improvement in demand conditions and del ay t h e r e t u r n o f normalcy,” he added. Inflation remained a concern, as RBI raised its inflation forecast for Q2 and Q3 by 0.2% and 0.1% to 5.2% and 4.4%, respectively. With this, RBI is projecting inflation at 5% in FY22. Why Rajya Sabha polls put off: HC to EC E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi THE High Court on Wednesday directed the Election Commission (EC) to file a statement explaining the reasons for postponing the elections to the three Rajya Sabha seats from the state which will become vacant on April 21. When the petition filed by the Kerala Legislative Assembly secretary and two others challenging the EC’s decision came up for hearing, the poll panel’s counsel Deepu Lal Mohan said There was a total lack of transparency in the Election Commission’s decision to postpone the Rajya Sabha elections — Petitioners there is no statutory mandate to conduct the biennial elections before the expiry of the members’ term. The counsel said it is solely within the panel’s domain to fix the date of election notification and schedule. The EC said it would announce and notify the elections before the expiry of the mem- bers’ term. The petition is merely based on apprehension, hence it is premature, the panel said. When Justice P V Asha asked why the elections were postponed, the counsel said the election notification has not come out and the commission had only released a press note. The petitioners contended that the EC had not stated the reasons or extraordinary circumstances for keeping the process in abeyance.The court adjourned the hearing in the case to April 9. the party was not approaching the polls seriously . “The BJP could not even ensure a triangular contest in several constituencies,” he said. At the same time, accusing the CPM of joining hands with PDP and with BJP in many pockets, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala claimed only the UDF was able to avoid such unholy alliances. “CPM workers have been unleashing violence across the state due to their fear of defeat,” he said. He also alleged widespread bogus voting in Taliparamba, where he demanded a re-election. Congress state president Mullappally Ramachandran expressed concern regarding the poll outcome in Manjeshwar, where BJP state president K Surendran contested. Alleging cross-voting, Mullappally said the information he had received from the grass-root workers in Manjeshwar was terrifying. “If Surendran manages to win there, CM Pinarayi Vijayan will be solely responsi● More on P4 ble,” he alleged. Edit: election narrative in Kerala skipped real issues | p6 UDF or LDF cannot form govt on its own: BJP Kasaragod: The poll results will show that neither LDF nor UDF will be able to govern the state on its own, said BJP state president K Surendran. Instead, the results will prove Kerala has a strong third alternative, he said. P4 GST not at all citizen friendly, says apex court E XPR ESS N E WS S E RVIC E @ New Delhi GOODS and Services Tax (GST) is not at all citizen friendly, according to the Supreme Court. The observation came when a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud was hearing a plea against the government’s powers of provisional attachment under the Himachal Pradesh GST Act. While reserving the order, the bench criticised the manner in which the indirect tax law was being enforced by authorities saying taxmen can’t assume that all businesses are fraudulent. “Parliament had aimed to give the GST a citizen-friendly tax structure. But, the purpose of the Act is lost by the manner of enforcement in our country it said. ,” Pulling up tax officers, the bench said, “Just because you have the account numbers, you can’t start attaching and even block the receivables.” 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express
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