kochi l tuesday l june 22, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION Amarnath pilgrimage to be symbolic this year as well The J&K administration said the holy annual yatra will stay symbolic for the second successive year due to the pandemic decision based on pandemic situation rituals to continue unhindered In the normal course, the 56-day yatra to the 3,880-metre-high Himalayan cave shrine was scheduled to start from Pahalgam and Baltal on June 28. But Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board decided to keep the yatra symbolic to save lives considering Covid’s unpredictability. However, live telecast of the aartis will happen, he said ■ ■ Rituals would continue unhindered and arrangements have been made for Lord Shiva’s mace to be taken to the cave on August 22 when the yatra ends, coinciding with Raksha Bandhan The yatra came up for discussion at a meeting Union home minister Amit Shah called last Friday on the J&K situation 30 minutes Duration of the live streaming of the aarti 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 Flash sales bar in basket of proposals to turn heat on e-comm biggies B i s m a h M a l i k @ Bengaluru AFter making defiant social media giants fall in line, the Centre seems all set to go after e-commerce biggies such as Amazon and Flipkart by proposing to make the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 more stringent. On Monday, the ministry issued a notification seeking suggestions from stakeholders on amending the Rules. Among the major changes mooted by the ministry are appointing a Chief Compliance Officer and a Resident Grievance Officer. Also on the table are compliance with government requests on information sharing, registering with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), prohibition of ‘flash sales’ offering deep discounts, and banning misleading ads. E-commerce firms must now also register with the DPIIT within a prescribed period and also display the registration numbers. In case of any impor ted goods, the country of origin will have to be displayed along with name of the seller to ensure the ranking mechanisms don’t discrimi- nate against domestic sellers. The chief compliance officer shall ensure implementation of the rules, while the resident grievance officer will redress user complaints. Besides, e-tailers shall provide information sought by government agencies for investigations, verification of identities or cyber security activities within 72 hours. The government has given stakeholders 15 days time to E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kozhikode Five persons died on the spot after an SUV in which they were suspectedly chasing a gang that came to receive gold worth `1 crore, smuggled in by a passenger from the UAE to the Karipur airport, collided with a cement-laden lorry near Ramanattukara in the early hours of Monday The incident . took place at Pulinjod curve near Vaidyarangady around 4.45am. All deceased are from Palakkad district. According to the police, they are Muhammad Nasar, 28, of Koppam; Subair, 36, and Assainar, 25, of Nellaya near Cherpulassery; and Muhammed Shaheer, 26, and Thahir, 23, of Chemm a n k u z h i n e a r Cherpulassery . According to Feroke police, at least four other vehicles were on the accident spot and eight youths who were travelling in a car were being quizzed. Police suspect that a gold smuggling gang in three vehicles was being chased by another gang in two separate vehicles. The second gang wanted to snatch the gold when their SUV collided with the lorry . The police said the first gang waited outside the airport to receive the smuggled gold from the passenger, who arrived around 2.30am from Dubai on Sunday but was caught by the customs officials who seized Pawar to host Oppn meet today to take on the BJP E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi/Mumbai 4.45am Time of the accident 8 youths being quizzed The mangled remains of the SUV at the accident site near Ramanattukara in Kozhikode on Monday | Express SUV collides with cementladen lorry near Ramanattukara All deceased were from Palakkad district According to Feroke police, at least four other vehicles were on the accident spot We suspect it could be the result of a gold smuggling attempt or quotation given to the gang A V George, Kozhikode City Commissioner 1 gold smuggler, 2 gangs in 5 vehicles & a chase | P4 2.33kg of gold from him. Not knowing this, the other gang in a car and SUV chased the other vehicles believing that the passenger and the smuggled gold were inside one of those three vehicles. The chase could have resulted in the accident. Among the deceased, Muhammad Nasar and Thahir had cases registered against them in Palakkad including for kidnapping. Kozhikode City Police Commissioner A V George said the police are yet to ascertain the number of people involved and how so many of them could speed to the spot despite the traffic curbs in view of Covid. “The Medical College assistant commissioner is probing the case. We suspect it could be the result of a gold smuggling attempt or quotation given to the gang,” he said. The process to cobble together a united national front against the BJP at a time when the ruling party’s chips are down, picked up momentum on Monday with NCP chief Sharad Pawar calling a meeting of leaders of Opposition parties at his residence in Delhi on Tuesday. It will be co-chaired by Trinamool leader Yashwant Sinha. The process was said to be ideated by poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who met Pawar on Monday, their second meeting in as many weeks. For the record though, Kishor said he will not be present at Tuesday’s meeting, adding he does not believe any third or fourth front can successfully challenge the BJP . Tuesday’s meeting will be held under the banner of Rashtra Manch floated by Yashwant Sinha in 2018. Invites have been sent to leaders associated with the Manch, but informal invites have also gone to some other Opposition leaders. Those associated with Manch include Sanjay Singh (AAP), Manoj K Jha (RJD), Ghanshyam Tiwari (SP), Manish Tewari and Shatrughan Sinha (both Congress), Sharad Yadav and Arun Shourie. Kadakkavoor mother gets clean chit in Pocso case E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram THE police team that probed the Kadakkavoor Pocso case, in which a mother of four was accused of sexually abusing her minor son, has found the allegation baseless. In its report filed before the District Pocso Court, the police said they could not find any evidence to corroborate the charges against the 38-year-old. The report filed by Thiruvananthapuram Rural Crime Branch DySP A Pramod Kumar said the police carried out the probe scientifically to reach the conclusion. Statements of 12 people were recorded and a medical board was formed to screen the child’s behaviour and health, but the police failed to find any evidence to prove the allegation raised by the woman’s husband. Sources said the report mentioned the child gave a statement against his mother on his own and was not tutored by anyone as alleged by the woman’s family The child did so . after father caught him surfing porn on the phone. ● More on P4 The announcement comes at a time when the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has dragged the e-commerce giants to the Karnataka High Court seeking a probe into their business models. Welcoming the notification, CAIT general secre- CAn’t favour a select few sellers E-tailers and their related firms can’t engage in any direct sale of goods / services or collect information to benefit a few sellers on thier platforms tary Praveen Khandelwal termed it the first logical step to making e-commerce an evenplaying field. “The gross violation of FDI policy and other laws by the foreign funded ecommerce firms has forced thousands of (brick-n-mortar) shops to close,” he claimed. Amazon declined to comment but sources said Flipkart has appointed key officers to comply with the rules. Woman, who texted kin about dowry torture, found hanging Chase by 2 gangs for gold, 5 killed in car-lorry collision Gold-smuggling bid suspected, chase involving four more vehicles ends with accident at Ramanakattukara, 8 youths being quizzed convey their views. The changes seek to hold ecommerce firms operating in India accountable, said Archana Tewary partner, J Sagar As, sociates. But the changes are so wide-ranging it needs to be seen how it will pan out, she added. sea yoga Naval personnel onboard INS Airavat performing a posture to mark International Day of Yoga on Monday. The amphibious war vessel of the Indian Navy is currently deployed at Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam | PTI E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kollam A 23-YEAR-OLD woman, who had sent WhatsApp messages and pictures to her relatives even on Sunday describing the torture she suffered over dowry, was found dead at her husband’s house in Poruvazhi, Sooranad, here on Monday S V . Vismaya, a native of Kaithode in Kadakkal, was found hanging in the washroom. Though she was rushed to the nearby private hospital, doctors declared her brought dead. Vismaya’s husband, S Kirankumar, a motor vehicle inspector attached to the enforcement squad in Kollam, was taken into custody in the evening. The two got married on May 31 last year. Vismaya’s father and brother alleged Kirankumar murdered her. They said he had subjected her to torture over dowry. WhatsApp messages and pictures released by her relatives revealed the brutal torture faced by Vismaya. She was a final-year BAMS student S V Vismaya HUSBAND IN CUSTODY Vismaya’s husband S Kirankumar taken into custody on Monday evening FIR invokes various sections of Kerala Dowry Prohibition Act Kerala Women’s Commission initiates suo-motu proceedings at Mannam Memorial Cooperative Ayurveda Medical College, Pandalam. Vismaya’s body was cremated, after post-mortem examination, on the premises of her house on Monday night. CPM FOR CEASEFIRE, LEADERS FEEL CM WALKED INTO TRAP E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram Sensing that Congress state president K Sudhakaran has been making political gains with his war of words with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the CPM is now slipping into a ceasefire mode. Two days after the open fight with Sudhakaran, the CPM has decided to put an end to the verbal duel with him. A section of leaders in the LDF feel that the chief minister should not have walked into the trap set by Sudhakaran. Indicating that the CPM will not like to take it further, party secretary in charge A Vijayaraghavan on Monday said there’s no need for the party to come up with responses everyday. Sudhakaran’s remarks against the chief minister were unbecoming of the post he holds, said Vijayaraghavan. “The remarks that Sudhakaran made should not have come from a Congress state president. He did not treat the matter in a manner that’s becoming of a Congress chief. Several Congress leaders too endorsed his remarks. The CPM responded accordingly. There was a remark to which a response was made. And it’s over. There’s no reason to respond to Sudhakaran’s remarks everyday,” Vijayaraghavan told mediapersons after the LDF meet on Monday . Many senior Left leaders feel that Pinarayi should not have responded to Sudhakaran in the first place. The chief minister has now stopped responding to him. But by responding to him initially, the chief minister has given him undue prominence in the political spectrum, said a senior Left leader. “He shouldn’t have even started it. He just walked into the trap. Now it appears as if Sudhakaran and Pinarayi share an equal political stature. As the CM, he should be above such things, and should have left it to party leaders to tackle,” said a CPM source. The pictures released by relatives also showed torture injuries all over her face and hands. In the message passed on to a relative a few weeks ago, Vismaya said Kirankumar manhandled her demanding money as he did not like the car her family had given him as dowry . “He verbally abused my father also. While I tried to leave the room, he pulled me by my hair and assaulted me. When I fell, he kicked and stamped me on my face,” the message read. It is also learnt that Vismaya had sent a series of messages to her brother Vijith on Sunday night saying that Kirankumar had tortured her. “My daughter will never commit suicide. The car was purchased after taking a loan. That is why we could not give him the money he demanded later. We had already given him 100 sovereigns of gold and 1.2 acres of land as dowry,” Vismaya’s father Thrivikraman Nair told re● More on P4 porters. WEDNESDAY’S MATCHES Croatia vs 12.30am Scotland MONDAY’S RESULTS Ukraine lost to Austria 0-1 N Macedonia lost to Netherlands 0-3 Czech Rep 12.30am vs England Sweden vs Poland 9.30pm Slovakia vs Spain 9.30pm MONDAY’S RESULTS Venezuela drew with Ecuador 2-2 Colombia lost to Peru 1-2 e x p r e s s r ead Quarry blast leaves one dead, five injured Thrissur: One person died and five others were injured in a blast in a granite quarry at Attoor near Wadakkanchery on Monday. The deceased has been identified as Abdul Noushad, 45, brother of the owner of the quarry. P4 3 cases of Delta-plus variant found in state Kerala on Monday reported its first cases of ‘Delta-plus’ variant of Covid, which the WHO has categorised as a ‘Variant of Concern’. While one case was detected in Pathanamthitta, two were reported in Palakkad. P4 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express India records 62% jump in vaccination numbers in one day; 81 lakh get shots S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi India recorded a whopping 62% jump in vaccination numbers on Monday, jabbing nearly 81 lakh people against the 31lakh figure it achieved on Sunday. Monday also marked the beginning of the Centre taking charge of providing free shots to all adults in government hospitals across the country. It opened the walk-in window to all eligible beneficiaries. “Today’s record-breaking vaccination numbers are gladdening. The vaccine remains our strongest weapon to fight Covid-19. Congratulations to those who got vaccinated and kudos to all the front-line warriors working hard to ensure so many citizens got the vaccine. Well done India!” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As per its new policy, the Centre would procure 75% of vaccines and supply them to the states for free. Private hospitals, on the other hand, will continue procuring the remaining 25% vaccines and charging the beneficiaries. The vaccination drive has been ramped up by the increased availability of vaccines and streamlining of the supply chain. Besides, advance information on vaccine availability for June helped states plan effectively, the Centre claimed. NATIONWIDE june 20 june 21 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths statewide Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 58,419 87,619 1,576 39,074 76,440 1,103 june 20 june 21 11,647 12,459 112 7,449 13,596 94
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