HYDERABAD SUNDAY APRIL 11, 2021 `12.00 PAGES 24 LATE CITY EDITION CHINA HITS ALIBABA WITH $2.78BN FINE FOR VIOLATIONS The Jack Ma-led conglomerate accepted the penalty, capping a strict crackdown for abusing its dominant position in market CRACKDOWN ON MONOPOLISTIC TENDENCIES The market regulators’ probe found that Alibaba had been prohibiting merchants using its platform from selling their wares on rival e-commerce sites. The probe said such a requirement harmed competition, innovation and the interests of sellers and buyers. Though hefty, the fine constitutes only around 4% of the firm’s 2019 global sales, totalling $70 billion $1 bn JACK MA BRUISED AFTER BRUSH WITH GOVT ■ Jack Ma’s companies have been on regulators’ radar after the billionaire struck a discordant note with Beijing in October last ■ His Ant Group’s planned $35 billion IPO was shelved earlier this year with the regulators demanding the firm to return to its roots of offering financial services. Other tech firms, too, were targeted THE PENALTY SLAPPED ON QUALCOMM IN 2015, WHICH WAS THE PREVIOUS HIGHEST 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 Active case tally crosses 10L-mark after 6 months EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi An injured man being rushed to a hospital after clashes with the paramilitary forces during the fourth phase of West Bengal Assembly Elections in Cooch Behar district on Saturday | PTI 4 DIE IN CISF FIRING IN BENGAL ON POLLING DAY Fired in self-defence, say forces: TMC blamed for fifth death Bar on politicos’ entry The Election Commission on Saturday put in place certain restrictions, including extending the ‘silence period’ from 48 hours to 72 hours, for the fifth phase of polling scheduled on April 17. The poll watchdog also barred the entry of politicians in Cooch Behar district for the next 72 hours to prevent any law and order flare-up. Meanwhile, Bengal CM and TMC boss Mamata Banerjee said that her party would protest by wearing black badges on Sunday. She said that she would visit the area after the silence period ended The villagers scuffled with the security personnel in which a child fell down. The mob turned violent. The CISF personnel fired six rounds in the air. An SOS was sent and additional CISF personnel arrived at the spot A police officer PRANAB MONDAL @ North Dinajpur (West Bengal) VIOLENCE erupted in the fourth phase of election in West Bengal on Saturday leav, ing five persons dead, four of them in Sitalkuchi, Cooch Behar, after central forces opened fire on them. The fifth person, a first-time voter, was shot dead allegedly by Trinamool Congress supporters in the same area. Other than the deceased, three others were also injured in the firing, police said. In an initial report, the police said CISF personnel opened fire after a group of 200-odd villagers allegedly attacked them and tried to snatch their weapons. The Election Commission of India has sought a detailed report. The commission suspended polling in that booth and said the date of repolling would be announced soon. Cooch Behar superintendent of police Debasish Dhar said the mob attacked the CISF personnel after a rumour that a child was beaten up by security personnel in the area. According to police sources, around 9.35 am a Quick Reaction Team of the CISF led by company commander inspector Sunil Kumar was attacked by a mob of 50-odd locals when they were patrolling along with local police personnel to clear unlawful assembly of villagers. “The villagers scuffled with the security personnel in which a child fell down. The mob turned violent. The CISF personnel fired six rounds in the air. An SOS was sent and additional CISF personnel arrived at the spot,” a police officer said. Soon, another 200-strong group gathered and accused the CISF of beating the child. They assaulted a home guard and an Asha worker who were on duty at the booth, the police said. “Some miscreants tried to snatch rifles from the CISF. The troops again fired two rounds in the air but the mob started advancing towards them. They then fired seven rounds towards the advancing mob,” said an CONTINUED ON: P8 official. INDIA on Saturday recorded the highest daily surge in Covid-19 cases at 1,45,384, taking the number of total cases to 1,32,05,0926. As many as 794 Covid deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, which is also one of the highest daily surges in recent times.With a sharp spike in infections, the number of active cases breached the 10TELANGANA APRIL 8 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths APRIL 9 2,478 363 5 2,909 584 6 State just a few hundred cases shy of new peak EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad THERE’S a drastic increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in Telangana with testing ramped up. This means that the State may sooner or later surpass its all-time peak of infections, which stood at 3,018 cases on August 25, 2020. On Friday the State record, ed 2,909 cases of Covid-19, just 200 cases shy of the highestever daily tally recorded. Telangana may soon join other States, including Maharashtra and Delhi, in breaking single-day records. Apart from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) region, which reported 487 cases, and its sur rounding districts of Medchal-Malkajgiri (289) and Rangareddy(225), a bulk of cases were recorded in the districts sharing borders with Maharashtra — Nizamabad (202), Nirmal (131), Sangareddy (117) and Kamareddy (102). ESI scam: ED raids Nayini son-in-law’s house P I N T O D E E PA K @ Hyderabad IN a major development pertaining to the ESI (Employees State Insurance) scam unearthed in Telangana in 2019, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized unaccounted cash of `1.5 crore from the residence of V Srinivas Reddy son-in-law , of former Home and Labour Minister of Telangana, late Nayini Narsimha Reddy . The ED also seized `45 lakh from M Vinay Reddy the broth, er-in-law of Mukunda Reddy, who used to be the personal secretary of Nayini, and `1.15 crore from Burra Pramod Reddy a businessman. , It was found that the scam, which was pulled off by the Director of Insurance Medical BENAMI DEALS Cash seized from V Srinivas Reddy and others FRESH CASE REGISTERED The ED has initiated investigation into the ESI scam, and registered a fresh case based on the previous cases registered by the Telangana Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Services (IMS) Devika Rani and other officials in the ESI Department, had generated proceeds of crime valued up to `200 crore, the ED said. Previous investigations unravelled how Devika Rani had floated benami fir ms and claimed bills for `200 crore with- Previous investigations unravelled how Devika Rani had floated benami firms and claimed bills for `200 crore without actually supplying medicines to the ESI out actually supplying medicines to the ESI. It was learnt that she had floated eight benami firms to supply drugs to the ESI during the financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18 at exorbitant prices, by violating the medicine procurement protocol. Now, the ED has initiated in- vestigation into the scam, and registered a fresh case based on the previous cases registered by the Telangana Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). As a part of its investigation, the agency carried out searches at seven different locations in Hyderabad on Saturday . The ED conducted raids at the residential premises of Devika Rani, Srihari Babu, V Srinivas Reddy, Mukunda Reddy, M Vinay Reddy, Burra Pramod Reddy, and also the business premises of Omni Group. In addition to huge amounts of cash, jewellery worth `1 crore, blank cheques, property papers, lockers and other incriminating material were seized during the searches on Saturday . lakh mark again after six-anda-half months, while the toll went up to 1,68,436, as per Union health ministry’s data. For 31 days now, there has been a steady increase in Covid-19 cases. The total active cases in the country became 10,46,631, accounting for 7.93% of its total caseload, while the national recovery rate further dropped to 90.80% from Friday’s 91.22%. Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, UP, A neem tree spotted in the city ‘UGADI pachadi’ is a popular dish consumed in every Telugu household on Ugadi, or the Telugu New Year’s Day, which is just three days away Prepared . using raw mango, tamarind and jaggery, the recipe’s chief ingredient is quite special — flowers from the neem tree. Unfortunately for many Tel, ugus in Hyderabad, finding a neem teem, that too one bearing flowers, is an arduous task. Until a few years ago, neem Parasite menace The parasitic creeper Honey Suckle Mistletoe anchors itself onto the branches of neem trees and sucks water and nutrients directly from them, weakening the host — an evergreen tree species known for its medicinal properties — was available all over the city. But their numbers have consistently come down. Case in point is the Nimboli adda near Kachiguda in the city The locality which suppos. , edly got its name for being home to many neem trees, does not have more than a couple of young neem trees now. Flowerbearing trees are a rarity here. One reason behind the decline in the number of neem trees, apart from deforestation, is the infestation of a parasite creeper called loranthus or Honey Suckle Mistletoe, as per officials of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) dealing with urban biodiversity . The parasitic creeper anchors itself onto the branches of neem trees and sucks water NATION WIDE APRIL 9 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 1,31,968 61,899 780 APRIL 10 1,45,384 77,567 794 and Kerala cumulatively account for 72.23% of the country’s total active cases. Saturday’s 794 fatalities included 301 from Maharashtra, 91 from Chhattisgarh and 56 from Punjab. There were reports of vaccine shortage continuing in Maharasthra with many prominent private hospitals in Mumbai pausing inoculation. The state government is likely to take a decision on reintroducP7 ing lockdown on Sunday . EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad TELANGANA can only conduct about 27,000 RT-PCR tests in a day and a majority of those , — around 20,000 tests — are performed at private healthcare facilities, informed Health Minister Eatala Rajender while speaking to the media on Saturday . This means that the State, which at present is conducting more than one lakh Covid-19 tests per day will not be able to , ensure that 70 per cent of the tests are RT-PCR, as recommended to the States by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Rajender, however, defended the low capacity of RT-PCR tests in government healthcare facilities, stating that Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) were 90 per cent accurate, gave quicker results and were more effective in containing the spread, as it takes more than a day for an RT-PCR test result. He added, “The Chief Minister has issued directions to increase RT-PCR testing capacity in the State. It will be done soon. However, RAT will be our primary mode of virus detection. RT-PCR tests need more equipment, personnel and time. EXPRESS READ Bihar cop killed by mob in Bengal Patna: A Bihar police official was allegedly beaten to death by a mob during a raid in West Bengal’s Uttar Dinajpur district in the early hours of Saturday. Ashwini Kumar was the SHO of Kishanganj police station | P8 WITH THIS ISSUE INDIA’S NEW POWER TRIP PLUS 12 PAGES Ugadi pachadi half-done as Hyd runs low on neem flowers @ Hyderabad The health ministry said that more than 70% of the deaths occurred due to co-morbidities. “Our figures are being reconciled with the ICMR,” the ministry said on its website. As many as 794 Covid deaths were reported in the past 24 hours in the country TS can only perform 27K RT-PCR tests a day, but Eatala says all’s well BITTER TRUTH S BACHAN JEET SINGH 70% died of comorbidities and nutrients directly from them, weakening the host. To protect the neem tree, control measures against the parasite are imperative. The creepers must be removed in the early stages of infestation, or they should be sawn off from the branches of its host. GHMC officials admit that the dwindling number of neem trees in the city is a cause of concern and they, along with the HMDA, are taking up plantation of neem saplings as part of the Telangana Ku Haritha Haram programme. As the second wave of Covid-19 grips Telangana, hundreds queue up outside a testing centre at Kondapur Area Hospital, in Hyderabad on Saturday | VINAY MADAPU RAT will be our primary mode of virus detection. RT-PCR tests need more equipment, personnel and time. Enhancement of the RT-PCR capacity cannot take place overnight during a pandemic Eatala Rajender, Telangana Health Minister Enhancement of the RT-PCR capacity cannot take place overnight during a pandemic.” He further said that with RAT, health authorities could take up extensive testing in the villages as well. State low on vaccine Highlighting that Telangana is left with only 5.66 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine, which would barely last three days, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar wrote a letter to the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Saturday, seeking the supply of at least 30 lakh vaccine doses for the next 15 days. The CS, in his letter, said that the State had ramped up the immunisation drive, and was vaccinating as many as 1.15 lakh persons in a day Soon, . it will be increased to 2 lakh per day he said. , Nightmare revisited for uprooted labourers MUKESH RANJAN, ANURAAG SINGH & RAJESH KUMAR T H A K U R @ Ranchi/Bhopal/Patna THE worst nightmare has come true for a host of migrant labourers from Bihar, Jharkhand and UP. Jobless following the nationwide lockdown last year, they had just about started piecing their lives together when the second wave erupted. They have been forced to rush back home after their employers told them they were shutting operations, once again. Most had gone back to their workplaces in Maharashtra, Gujarat and the National Capital Region or found something new, after the situation eased towards the end of 2020. Several of them are under pressure to repay loans taken to survive the last year’s ordeal. Hoping that things were falling into place after having worked for a few months, they are back to staring at uncertainty . Mohammed Feroz from Siwan and Aditya Kumar from Buxar in Bihar barely had time to catch trains from Mumbai and Delhi, respectively after being told by their , employers about another looming lockdown. “I didn’t even go to my accommodation but headed SHARMILA ALL SET TO GRAB POLITICAL SPACE IN TELANGANA? Labourers thronging a Mumbai station after news of a fresh lockdown | PTI straight for the station and luckily got a ticket,” says Feroz, who had gone back to the barber shop he used to work at. The 35-year-old with five dependents had borrowed `2,500 when he went back to Mumbai. Making ends meet, repaying the loan, Feroz has many questions and no answers. Kumar returned to Patna on Saturday. He thought life had taken a turn for good when the owner of the factory he worked at before lockdown recalled him in January “He . had promised support during bad days, but didn’t do anything. It’s better to sell vegetables in Bihar than to go to other states where employers stop behaving normally once talk of lockdown starts,” says P7 the 25-year-old. YS Sharmila’s party may be named ‘Telangana YSR Congress Party’ or ‘YSR Telangana Party’ | P4
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.