KANNUR l friday l april 09, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION court allows ASI survey at kashi Gyanvapi Mosque A local court on Thursday directed the ASI to form a five-member panel, including two minority representatives, for the study Terms of reference for the panel The prime focus of the committee would be to find whether there is a “superimposition, alteration or addition or structural overlapping with/over any other religious structure” at the site. The order was passed on a plea, claiming the mosque stands at the site of an ancient Kashi Vishwanath Temple, which was razed by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1664 | P7 2,050 Stirring up a hornet’s nest? ■ The court ordered the ASI to bear the entire cost of survey and barred the panel from briefing the media on its findings. The ASI has also been told to make alternative arrangements for Namaz ■ What purpose would it serve if the panel were to establish superimposition? Would it reignite communal passions? the age of the ancient temple built by king vikramaditya, as per petitioners 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 National lockdown ruled out, says Modi Suggests micro-containment zones; raps vax politics bility of vaccines, Modi said he didn’t want to get into vaccine politics. “Last Disapproving political blame game year we succeeded in coming off from over vaccine availability and rejecting the peak of the Covid-19 cases without rumours of lockdown, Prime Minister vaccines by banking on proactive testNarendra Modi urged chief ministers ing and treatment of the patients, beon Thursday to focus on testing, track- sides larger people’s participation in ing and treating, besides suggesting following the protocol of wearing micro-containment zones as the strat- masks and personal hygiene. Now, egy to deal with the rising Covid-19 some of the states seem to have forgotcases. Amid widespread rumours on a ten testing as a means of containing fresh lockdown, Modi said states the pandemic and are only talking should work on local micro-contain- about vaccines,” he observed. ment zones instead and proactively Modi also called for political unity test all asymptomatic in tackling the pandemic National scene cases. by suggesting that Gover“Lockdown as a strategy ■ Fresh cases ■ Recoveries nors in states can call allworked last year when ■ Deaths party meetings to arrive at enough facilities and actionable agendas to means to contain the Covwork on. He also urged id-19 cases weren’t availastates to host a Tika Utsav ble. Now, we have much (vaccine festival) during better health infrastrucApril 11-14 to coincide ture, including testing with the birth anniversalabs, and also the vaccines ries of Jyotiba Phule and along with experiences,” Bhim Rao Ambedkar. he said and advised that Punjab Chief Minister the night curfews be called Amarinder Singh sought “Corona curfews” for betflexibility in the vaccine ter awareness of the peoprotocol, saying people beple to follow the Covid-19 low the age of 45 with kidprotocols. ney and liver diseases In the backdrop of the should get the jab. Delhi Maharashtra government Chief Minister Arvind Keand the Centre entering in jriwal suggested camps be April 7 April 8 a slugfest over the availaheld for the vax drive. 685 630 Sandeep Nair’s statements reveal shocking facts: Govt to HC E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kochi The state government on Thursday told the High Court that the statement of Sandeep Nair, one of the accused in the gold and dollar smuggling cases, reveals “shocking” facts about the criminal acts of the suspects in the case registered against officers of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The government said the investigation conducted so far based on the FIR registered on Sandeep’s complaint revealed heinous offences of attempting to fabricate false evidence against representatives of the state’s political executive at the instance of ED officials. The state made the submission in response to the petitions filed by P Radhakrishnan, deputy director of ED-Kochi seeking to quash the FIRs registered by the crime branch. The Crime Branch had registered two FIRs, one based on the audio clip of Sandeep’s co-accused Swapna Suresh, in which she said that she was forced to make statements against CM Pinarayi Vijayan, and the second based on Sandeep’s complaint. At Thursday’s hearing, SC lawyer Harin P Raval, who represents the state, said the probe under Prevention of Money Laundering Act by ED does not give it a licence to frame evidence and involve persons having no connec● More on P5 tion to case. Today’s match RCB vs MI 7.00 pm | Chepauk Final is on May 30 No of venues 6 Ahmedabad, Chennai Kolkata Delhi Bengaluru Mumbai As Covid surges, next 3 weeks crucial, says govt E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday. The chief minister was shifted to Kozhikode Medical College Hospital from his house in Kannur. Chandy has been admitted to Ananthapuri Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram The fears of a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the state after the elections are coming true with the state reporting 4,353 new patients on Thursday, an increase of more than 800 in 24 hours. The situation has warranted the health department to up the vigil and it warned that the next three weeks would be crucial. In a bid to contain the spread of infection, the department has strengthened the ‘Back to Basics’ campaign. It has also decided to increase the number of tests. The voters and people who took part in electioneering should undergo Covid-19 tests if they develop symptoms such as fever, cough, cold and throat pain, it stated. “In the wake of severe spread in other states, we advise people not to forget SMS (SanitiseMask-Social distancing) which has been an effective primary step against Covid-19. Wearing a mask properly by covering your mouth and nose is the most crucial part in combating the disease. Stringent action will be taken against people not wearing masks in public,” said Health Minister K K Shailaja, in a statement. Vaccine shortage grips Maha, Odisha, AP E x p r e s s ne w s s e r v i c e 59,258 59,856 1,15,736 1,26,789 M A N IS H A N A N D @ New Delhi Cm, chandy test +ve Beneficiaries argue with officials outside a closed Covid-19 vaccination centre in Mumbai after the jab went out of stock on Thursday | PTI Shortage of Covid-19 vaccines has forced 60 vaccination centres across Maharashtra to shut — 27 in Mumbai alone. Satara, Sangali, Gondia and Panvel stopped vaccination on Thursday. The state had received 1.4 crore doses, of which just 9 lakh are left now. The Centre has announced 7.5 lakh more doses. In Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad, people were reportedly turned away by hospitals, citing unavailability of vaccines. Odisha has also reported acute shortage of doses. On Thursday alone, as many as 670 vaccination centres downed shutters due to the scarcity On . Wednesday, 692 centres were closed. However, the situation is fairly better in southern states except in Andhra where the vaccine stock will last only for the next two days. Other southern states have stock for over 10 days. continued on: P7 SSLC, Plus-Two exams begin Plus-II exams held in 2,004 centres 76,000 4.22 L students attended SSLC exams held in 2,947 centres students out of 4.46 lakh appeared on Day-One to take exams of optional subjects VHSE exams today 28,565 students to attend exams in 389 centres Another 59 to appear in private category Special arrangements made for Covid-positive students and those with symptoms Students give a thumbs-up to their anxious parents waiting outside the school before the start of the SSLC examinations at St Antony’s Higher Secondary School, Kacherippady, in Kochi on Thursday | A Sanesh EXPRESS READ Speaker fails to turn up for quizzing again Pregnant lady hurt in CPM-BJP clash Kochi: Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan failed to appear before the customs for interrogation for the second time in connection with the dollar smuggling case on Thursday. He informed customs officials that owing to his medical condition, he would appear for the interrogation later. The customs will soon issue a third notice. P5 T’Puram: A few persons, including a pregnant woman, were injured in a clash between CPM and BJP supporters at Perukavu near Malayinkeezhu under the Kattakada constituency on Wednesday. Police have taken 12 persons into custody based on the complaints from both parties. However, no arrest has been recorded. P4 Steps to demolish Kapico resort begin Alappuzha: The steps to demolish the Kapico resort constructed illegally at Nediyathuruth island in Panavally panchayat in Cherthala has begun. A team led by the district collector visited the island on Thursday to chalk out the plan for demolishing the buildings as per the SC direction. Mixed feelings: IPL’s here With Chennai gearing up to host the first match of the 14th edition of IPL, here’s a look at a few talking points... Unlike any other season Hosting a two-month tournament where there is going to be frequent travelling amid a pandemic will challenge every administration. BCCI pulled it off in UAE. Can they repeat it? Lacking buzz The IPL in India is akin to a festival. But that usual atmosphere is lacking. In 2020, the IPL acted as the great distraction. In 2021, it’s second in six months, can it have the same effect? Onfield matters For players, though, IPL is perhaps the most important tourney of year. Impress selectors and they could be in with a shout of representing their countries at the T20 World Cup in 6 months 15-member CB team to probe Mansoor murder E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kannur The investigation into the murder of Muslim League supporter Mansoor at Pullukkara near Panur on Tuesday night has been handed over to district Crime Branch (CB). Kannur City Police Commissioner R Ilango said a 15-member special team led by DySP K Ismail has been formed to probe the case. “The police have already identified 11 persons involved in the attack. But the assailants have absconded. Seven of the gang members who had attacked Mansoor are from the neighbourhood,” Ilango told reporters here on Thursday . “So far, one person — identified as Shinos, a DYFI member — has been arrested in connection with the murder,” he said. “As per the statement of Shinos — who has been remanded in judicial custody — the attack was carried out not with the intention to murder and the assailants’ target was Mansoor’s brother Muhasin,” he said. “However, the real motive would be known only after all the accused are nabbed,” he said. Earlier in the day, the UDF boycotted the peace meeting convened by the district collector to ease the tension prevailing in the area following Mansoor’s murder and the subsequent violence, where in several CPM offices were vandalised. UDF leaders alleged that the police have been acting in a discriminatory manner by arresting League workers in connection with the violence at Peringathur, but not arresting even a single person for Mansoor’s murder. Though UDF leaders, including DCC president Satheeshan Pacheni, UDF district convener P T Mathew, Muslim League district general secre- A day ahead of the 11th round of Sino-Indian Corps Commander-level talks, there was quiet optimism on the Indian side of some movement forward on further disengagement at friction points along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. A senior Army officer said, “We are hopeful of some positive outcome. The talks will begin at 10.30 am tomorrow.” UDF boycotts peace meeting convened by the district collector 1 They allege the meeting was only a farce to cover up the inefficiency of police 2 So far, one person — identified as Shinos, a DYFI member — has been arrested in the case 3 Police have identified 11 persons involved in the attack 4 No deliberate delay on the part of police in taking action, says Kannur City police commissioner 5 The assailants have absconded. Seven of the gang members who had attacked Mansoor are from the neighbourhood. The real motive behind the murder would be known only after all the accused are nabbed R Ilango, Kannur City Police Commissioner tary Abdul Karim Cheleri and state vice-president V K Abdul Khader Moulavi, reached the collectorate before 11am — the scheduled time for the meeting — they expressed their anger against the “onesided stance of the police” and boycotted the meeting. They said the meeting was only a farce to cover up the inefficiency of the police. “The police have failed miserably in ensuring justice to the family of Mansoor,” said Pacheni. “Even as 48 hours have passed since the attack, the police could not nab any person in connection with the murder. The only person nabbed was, in fact, handed over to the police by injured Muhasin (Mansoor’s brother). This is shameful,” said ● More on P4 Pacheni. Maoists release commando unconditionally E j a z K a i s e r @Raipur After five days in captivity, a CRPF personnel abducted by Maoists during Saturday’s Bijapur ambush was released unconditionally on Thursday The . rebels handed over the CoBRA commando, Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, to a team of four mediators during a jan-adalat (kangaroo court). While there was no official word on who appointed the mediators, Chhattisgarh CM congratulated the team for its success. Manhas was brought to the Basaguda CRPF camp on a bike by 6-7 local journalists, who had also reached the jan adalat site unaccompanied by mediators. Padma Shri awardee Dharampal Saini (87), who was one of the mediators, said the unharmed jawan had shown signs of stress. He was later taken to a hospital for a medical checkup. The mediators arrived at Bijapur on Wednesday night and left for Pamed, a Maoist stronghold around 450 km south of Raipur, on Thursday. A video clipping of the handing over showed Maoists untying the jawan’s hands in the presence of locals. He was given food, medicine and was not har med throughout the five days, the mediators said. The Maoists later appealed to the media to display the same alacrity they showed in this case when locals were detained by the police. CRPF personnel Rakeshwar Singh Manhas who was released on Thursday after a Maoist jan adalat at Pamed in Chhattisgarh | pti Know the mediators Besides Dharampal Saini, who is head of social organisation Mata Rukmani Sewa Sansthan, the other mediators included the president of Gondwana Samanvaya Samiti Gelam Boraiya, retired teacher Rudra Kare and Bijapur’s Murtunda woman sarpanch Sukhmati Hakka. All four have good social standing in Bastar Fresh India, China disengagement talks today M AYA N K SI N G H an d P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi UDF boycotts meet In Bejing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian refused to be drawn into committing that India’s demand of restoring status quo as of April 2020 would be on the talks table.” That is something for the two sides to discuss,” he said. April 2020 refers to the pre-incursion situation along the LAC. His Indian counterpart Arindam Bagchi said India would like disengagement in remaining areas of friction. “This will provide us the atmosphere of improving bilateral ties,” he said. The last round of talks Round 11 Indian Army’s 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen P G K Menon is scheduled to meet his Chinese counterpart Major General Lin Liu on Friday in Chushul, which is on the Indian side of the LAC was held on February 19 at Moldo on the Chinese side of the LAC, immediately after full disengagement from all friction points at Pangong Tso. Both sides had pulled back troops on both the north and south banks of the Pangong lake in a phased, coordinated and verified manner a few weeks ago. The standoff, however, continues at Depsang, Gogra, Hot Spring, and in Charding Ninglung Nallah track junction in Demchok sector. jumbo dies elephant lovers stage agitation alleging torture Tusker Ambalapuzha Vijayakrishnan, 51, owned by the TDB, died on Thursday. Meanwhile, a group of jumbo lovers protested alleging that the tusker underwent severe torture from its mahouts and that the Devaswom officials continuously paraded it in various temples | P5
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