KOLLAM l saturday l june 12, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION `2,790-cr dodgy transactions put heat on Crypto biggie The ED is probing if Mumbai-headquartered WazirX, India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has violated FEMA norms Chinese nationals laundered money: e.d. In compliance with all laws: WazirX The showcause notice issued by the central probe agency under various sections of FEMA names the exchange and directors Nischal Shetty and Sameer Hanuman Mhatre. The ED issued a statement saying that it stumbled upon the transactions of the exchange during an ongoing money laundering probe into “Chinese-owned” illegal online betting applications ■ ■ ED said Chinese nationals laundered crime proceeds worth I57 cr by converting INR deposits into cryptocurrency and transferring them to Cayman Islands-registered Binance, WazirX’s parent firm However, WazirX’s promoters flatly denied any wrongdoing and claimed they are “in compliance with all applicable laws” | P10 Binance The global cryptocurrency exchange acquired wazirx in 2019 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 Mukul Roy back in Trinamool camp Pinarayi 2.0 unveils 100-day action plan P r a n a b M o n d a l @ Kolkata E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram the BJP which is still smart, ing from the poor show in the recently held Assembly election in West Bengal, on Friday received another jolt as its national vice-president Mukul Roy and his son Subhrangshu deserted the saffron party to rejoin the Trinamool Congress. Roy met West Bengal chief minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek, the party’s national general secretary, at the party’s headquarters Trinamool Bhavan. “Mukul is an old member of the TMC family and old is gold. The BJP had threatened and tortured him using central agencies. After coming back to the TMC, mental peace has returned to him. No one in Bengal can survive in the BJP . Mukul’s return is a reflection of the BJP’s intra-party oppression,’’ said Mamata. Roy was TMC’s national secretary and the second-in-command when he switched over to the BJP in 2017 after he was interrogated by the CBI and the ED in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam and the Narada sting operation Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday announced a 100-day action plan as part of implementing the LDF’s election manifesto and revitalising the state’s economy battered by the Covid spread and subsequent lockdown. Projects to the tune of `2,464.92 crore would be implemented under the Public Works Department, Rebuild Kerala Initiative and Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) as part of the 100-day programme, from June 11 to September 19, the chief minister said. The Kerala Development and Innovation Strategy Council has been directed to draft the guidelines case. Roy’s return to the TMC was not entirely unexpected. Mamata’s soft stance on Roy during the election campaign had triggered speculation. While addressing a rally in Nandig ram, from where Mamata contested and lost to Suvendu Adhikari, she said Roy was much better than Suvendu. Roy too, refrained from , launching a frontal attack against the TMC. Endorsing the speculations, Mamata said, “Many others attacked the TMC and showed their cheap mentality, but Mukul was not like them.’’ After he was welcomed back to the TMC fold, Roy said, “I am happy to be in my old place. I could not continue in the BJP so I decided to join the , TMC.” Covaxin’s emergency approval push in US fails S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi C ova x in manuf acturer Bharat Biotech, which is already drawing flak in India for the unusual delay in releasing its final phase 3 clinical trial results, got a fresh jolt as the US drug regulator declined emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the vaccine in its country . Indian authorities, however, claimed the US decision will have no bearing on the nation’s Covid vaccination drive, of which Covaxin — apart from Covishield — is a key element. The USFDA advised Bharat Biotech’s US partner Ocugen to take the biological license applications — or full approval — route instead for the approval. Putting it in context, Bharat Biotech said the USFDA has already stopped issuing EUAs, since the country now has good herd immunity and a significant percentage of its population is vaccinated. “Our US partner, Ocugen, has received a recommendation from the FDA to pursue a Biologics License Applications path for Covaxin,” the firm said. It added that for standard approval, data from an additional clinical trial will be required, extending the company’s timelines. Continued on: P8 10,000 deaths added to Maha tally | P7 Major projects Mukul Roy with TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee in Kolkata on Friday | PTI Govt will implement projects worth D2,464 cr, create 77,350 job opportunities, says CM J1,519.57 cr worth projects to be executed by Works Dept 12,000 title deeds to be distributed Organic farming in 25,000 hectares express read DFO reinstated in investigation team Kalpetta: Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) (Flying Squad, Kozhikode) P Dhanesh Kumar, who had reported the illegal Muttil tree felling and was removed from the team formed to probe such incidents on Thursday, was reinstated in the team by Friday evening. P4 Elderly couple killed in Wayanad Kalpetta: An elderly couple died after being attacked by unidentified masked persons at their house at Nelliyambam in Wayanad on Thursday night. While Keshavan Nair, 75, a retired teacher, died on the spot, his wife Padmavathi Keshavan, 70, died at a hospital on Friday morning. P5 Booked for sedition, Filmmaker Aisha summoned for quizzing B of IPC against Aisha based on a complaint filed by BJP The Kavaratti police in Lakshadweep state president Lakshadweep, which C Abdul Khader Haji. registered a sedition According to the case against filmmakcomplaint, Aisha, er Aisha Sulthana, while participating in served her a notice on a media discussion on Friday to appear for June 7, made a serious interrogation on June allegation that the Un20. Aisha Sulthana ion government has The police had on used a ‘biological weapThursday registered a case on’ against the people of Lakunder Sections 124 A and 153 shadweep, while referring to E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi for a scheme to create 20 lakh employment opportunities. The Local Self-Government Department has also been directed to prepare a draft of the project to provide employment to five among every 1,000 people at the local body level.Further, the state government would create 77,350 direct and indirect job opportunities in 100 days. The progress of the implementation of the projects announced as part of the action plan would be revealed upon completion of 100 days. The Rebuild Kerala Initiative has been sanctioned a loan of `5,898 crore by foreign financial institutions. With the state’s share, the total fund available under the initiative would come to around `8,425 crore. ● More on P4 the spread of Covid on the island. A film professional, Aisha has been at the forefront of the campaign against the reforms introduced by the Lakshadweep administration, which includes a ban on beef and beef products. The activists in Lakshadweep have extended support to Aisha Sulthana after news spread about the sedition case ● More on P4 against her. Road and bridge projects worth L200.10 crore under KIIFB to be inaugurated The government has imposed complete lockdown in the state on Saturday and Sunday, with stringent restrictions Construction work can be carried out complying strictly with social distancing norms. However, such activities should be reported to the nearest police station in advance. Other than those selling essential items, no other shops will be allowed to function statewide Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths WHEN 104-year-old Janakiyamma of Annur was brought to Pariyaram Medical College Hospital (MCH) on May 31 with low blood oxygen saturation levels, the hospital authorities had little hope that she would recover considering her age. The centenarian, however, went on to survive Covid-19, becoming the third person in the state above june 10 june 11 14,424 14,233 17,994 15,355 194 june 10 173 june 11 94,052 91,702 1,51,367 1,34,580 6,148 3,403 Indicating that the ongoing lockdown will continue till the spread of Covid declines further, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said the aim of the government was to bring the test positivity rate (TPR) below 10% as early as possible. “The government is trying to increase the interval between the second and third wave of Covid. If the next wave occurs fast and reaches its peak, the fatalities will go up. Hence, easing of restrictions need to be carried out very carefully the chief minister said. ,” Pinarayi said the average TPR of the past three days has narrowly come down to 13,9%. However, the number of new cases has increased in Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Ernakulam, Kannur and Kasaragod and TPR in these districts was coming down only at a slow pace. He said the state was able to bring down the number of fatalities due to effective implementation of the lockdown and the people’s cooperation towards the restrictions. However, the overall Covid situation does not offer much re● More on P4 lief, he added. The government is trying to increase the interval between second and third waves of Covid. If the next wave occurs fast and reaches its peak, the fatalities will go up. Hence, easing of restrictions need to be carried out very carefully Pinarayi Vijayan Now, buzz on Cabinet expansion at Centre too M A N ISH A N A N D @ New Delhi The BJP’s attempts to energise its organisation and governments at the Centre and Lucknow gained pace on Friday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding extensive discussions with Union home minister Amit Shah and party chief J P Nadda. They got into a huddle after UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met Modi and Nadda separately, amid indications that the party brass will take full command of the poll prepara- tions in the battleground state. The much delayed Cabinet expansion at the Centre, filling of vacancies in the BJP Parliam e n t a r y Board and organisational issues in the specific cont e x t o f U P, were learnt to be on the meeting a g enda. The BJP’s attempt to make course corrections by wooing smaller parties that were previously allies but drifted away K’taka HC allows competition panel probe into e-tailers B i s m a h M a l i k @ Bengaluru IN a major win for small retailers, who have been alleging that foreign firms are violating the Competition Act and Foreign Direct Investment Act, the Karnataka High Court on Friday allowed the Competition Commis- ED lens on sion of India (CCI) to Amazon probe the anti-competi- Enforcement tive practices by e-com- Directorate is merce giants Amazon and investigating Flipkart. The HC dis- allegations of missed the e-tailers’ peti- FEMA violations tions seeking quashing of by Amazon a probe ordered by the after the Union CCI last January based on commerce a complaint by the Delhi ministry asked Vyapar Mahasangh. The the agency to e-comm giants are ac- take necessary cused of making special action agreements with select sellers, having stakes in Indian companies selling on their platforms, and deep discounting. Earlier, the CCI had approached the Supreme Court, which told the Karnataka HC to decide on the matter in six weeks. At 104, Janakiyamma swats virus, leaves docs pop-eyed 100 years of age to defeat the virus. Earlier, a 110-year-old woman from Malappuram and a 105-yearold woman from Anchal, Kollam, too had survived the disease. For the record, however, Janakiyamma is the oldest person in the district to survive the virus attack. She was discharged from the hospital around 10.30am on Friday . According to the health department, she is the oldest person to survive the disease in the fero- E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram Only home delivery will be allowed from hotels and restaurants on these days. Takeaway and parcel services will not be allowed. third centenarian to recover E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kannur ‘Lockdown to continue till situation improves’ total shutdown for two days Jaanakiyamma thanks doctors as she gets discharged from Pariyaram Medical College Hospital on Friday cious second wave of Covid-19. “All of this looks like a miracle to us as we didn’t have much hope about her recovery because of her age,” said Dr K Sudheep, superintendent, Pariyaram MCH. “People above the age of 65 are considered to be in the high-risk category. However, we decided to give her our best as four people a b o ve t h e a g e o f 9 0 h a d recovered from the disease here,” ● More on P4 he said. due to differences with Adityanath, could be reflected in the Cabinet expansions both at the Centre and UP sources said. , While the Prime Minist e r ’s O f f i c e completed its perfor mance appraisal of the Union ministers early last year, the expected shake-up in the team was put off primarily because of the Covid challenge, said sources. They added that the BJP is now keen to give visibility to NDA allies. The list of the Union Cabinet hopefuls has grown, with former Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal joining the likes of Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sushil Kumar Modi, besides NDA ally JD (U). And the Parliamentary Board has four vacancies. A common theme emerging out of consultations between RSS and BJP leaders recently is the need for an image makeover of the government at the Centre with the induction of new faces.
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