Kochi l thursday l july 29, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION India women bring some smiles in Tokyo gloom Shuttler P V Sindhu, archer Deepika Kumar and boxer Pooja Rani into next round as India endured another mixed day Kento Momota cheers... and jeers as more indians exit Momota shocked, Biles pulls out again Sindhu outwitted Hong Kong’s NY Cheung 21-9 21-16 to top her group and make the last-16. Debutant boxer Pooja out-punched Algeria's Ichrak Chaib 5-0 to progress into the last-eight. Deepika stayed afloat to make the last-16 but archers — Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav — suffered loss. Even B Sai Praneeth exited after losing to Mark Caljouw of Netherlands Japan’s No 1 shuttler Kento Momota shocked by Heo Kwang Hee in last Group match, exits Olympics Gymnast Simone Biles pulled out of a second event to protect her mental health India’s women’s hockey team lost 1-4 to Great Britain, quarterfinal prospects dented 12th Arjun, Arvind produced best ever Olympic performance | P11, 12 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 Snoopgate strengthens Opposition unity index R i c ha S har m a @ New Delhi Amid West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee chanting the coalition mantra during her ongoing visit to Delhi, the index of Opposition unity in Parliament is getting stronger with daily joint strategy meetings and back channel talks to corner the Centre over the Pegasus snoopgate. Given the scale of its footprint, it’s Pegasus that has catalysed unity within the Opposition, with leaders across the spectrum resolving to fight together against the government in Parliament. They are not stalling debate; instead they are pressing for a discussion on the matter in the presence of the prime minister or the home minister. They also want a judicial probe by a Supreme Court-monitored committee. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who generally skips Opposition meetings, has been present at joint strategy sessions in Parliament this time around. Also, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has otherwise not been part of the strategy meetings, is on the same Opposition page on Pegasus. Another element of the strategy is all like-minded parties giving adjournment motions on the issue in both Houses. The floor leaders of the Opposition parties have been meeting almost every day to synchronise their approach. On Wednesday, floor leaders of Democracy is a work in progress, says US on rights SC deals state govt a blow in ruckus case; Sivankutty, Jaleel & 4 others to face trial Apex court dismisses state’s appeal, divests legislators of ‘privilege’ to destroy assembly, parliament property Mamata ambiguous Choosing to be cagey about being the face of a united Opposition, Mamata told reporters: “You are asking me the name of the child even before it is born.” Modi government can be defeated. “If Bengal could do it, so can the other states.” THE IGNOMINIOUS INCIDENT March 13, 2015 The case pertains to the damage to public property, especially on the speaker’s dais, by LDF MLAs to prevent the budget presentation by K M Mani 14 Opposition parties met in the office of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge in Parliament. “Sitting with the entire opposition is extremely humbling. Amazing experience, wisdom and insight in everyone present,” Rahul tweeted after the meeting. The 14 parties are the Congress, DMK, Samajwadi Party, CPM, CPI, National Conference, Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena, Rashtriya Janata Dal, AAP IUML, , RSP, KCM and VCK. The Trinamool Congress had to skip it because it happened at the same time Mamata had scheduled her meeting with party MPs. Mamata had a busy second day in the Capital, meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi and AAP founder Arvind Kejriwal to drum up support for Opposition unity. Elamaram Kareem, CPM floor leader in Rajya Sabha, said the Opposition has taken a united stand on various issues. 87.94% V Sivankutty is stopped by the watch & ward staff as he climbs atop a chair to make his way to finance minister K M Mani’s seat in this photo taken on March 13, 2015 | Express in muttil tree felling case A day after the High Court rap, the police arrested five persons including Augustine brothers Anto, Josekutty and Roji. P5 achieve success in plus-two exams Even though many major boards across the country cancelled examinations, the state went ahead and conducted the plus-two exams. M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi The ongoing stand-off in Parliament cast its shadow on the Standing Committee on Information and Technology on Wednesday, with BJP MPs executing a well scripted strategy to deny any opportunity to the Shashi Tharoor-led panel to take up discussion on the raging Pegasus issue. They also shielded absentee officials from being hauled up for contempt by ensuring the meeting could not be convened because of lack of quorum. While the meeting’s details are stated to be confidential, two panel members, BJP’s Nishikant Dubey and Trinamool’s Mahua Maitra, fought it out E X PR E SS R E AD Plan to slash 25% vax quota for private hosps Sai Veena S, a student of Government HSS Avala, Kozhikode, who got A+ in all subjects, shares her joy with classmates during a video call on Wednesday | T P Sooraj | P5 HIGHER SECONDARY Overall pass percentage 87.94 (85.13 in 2020) 3,73,788 Dist with highest number of A+ holders in all subjects: Malappuram (6,707) 3,28,702 passed No. of schools with 100% pass 136 (11 govt, 36 aided, 79 unaided and 10 special schools) 48,383 US Secretary of State Antony Blinken with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on Wednesday When minister V Sivankutty appears at the CJM Court to be tried as an accused in a criminal case, it will be a spectacle rarely witnessed in state’s politics. To avoid the awkwardness of facing trial while in office, ministers from both fronts used to quit whenever courts pointed fingers of suspicion at them, reports B Sreejan. P4 Open school pass 53% (43.64 in 2020) appeared students got A+ in all subjects (18,510 in 2020) VHSE Success rate Modular scheme (regular) 80.36% Modular scheme (private) 40.17% NSQF stream (regular) 77.09% Grading scheme (private) 56.45% No of A+ holders in all subjects 239 The success rate is 2.81% more than last year. The exam was conducted in the midst of the pandemic — V Sivankutty, General Education Minister New Delhi: In a major revision of the Covid vaccination policy, the Centre is contemplating lowering the 25 per cent vaccine quota earmarked for private hospitals, sources told TNIE. The move comes in the wake of several states, including Tamil Nadu and Odisha, asking the Centre to cut the private sector’s quota to 10%, arguing its participation in the inoculation drive has been poor. Under the existing policy, vaccines are split between government and private hospitals in a 75:25 ratio. P7 NATIONWIDE july 27 july 28 Fresh cases 26,689 43,654 Recoveries 42,363 41,678 Deaths 415 640 Statewide july 27 july 28 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 22,129 22,056 13,415 17,761 156 131 Jab-ometer Take your shot July 27 36,87,239 doses July 28 39,42,457 doses Total doses: 45,02,55,460 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express Grand plans Lisie takes over PVS, eyes Metro tieup for trauma unit A nu j a S usan Var g hese @ Kochi THE erstwhile PVS Hospital in Kochi is poised to get a fresh lease of life under a new management, with Lisie Hospital taking over its reins on Tuesday . Grand plans are afoot to transform the hospital into an asset in medical care for Kochi, with stateof-the-art facilities in trauma care and a separate mother and child wing. Due to its close proximity to the Kochi Metro station, commuting to the hospital would be easy The state government on Wednesday paid a heavy price for ignoring warnings from the law department and initiating a legal battle to withdraw criminal cases registered against two current and four former LDF MLAs accused in the assembly ruckus case of 2015. The Supreme Court dismissed the state’s appeal and upheld the Thiruvananthapuram chief judicial magistrate court’s order to go ahead with prosecution proceedings, which was earlier approved by the Kerala High Court. As a result, the six accused, including General Education Minister V Sivankutty and sitting MLA K T Jaleel, will have to face prosecution for charges levelled against them under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act of 1984. The SC order is historic as it has set a guideline to deal with similar cases of acts of violence happening inside assemblies and Parliament. The court has drawn the line between a legislator’s privilege and the act of violence he/she commits. The SC bench, comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah, observed that there has been a growing recognition and consensus both in the apex court and in Parliament that acts of destruction of public and private property in the name of protests should not be tolerated. “Privileges and immunities are not gateways to claim exemptions from the general law of the land. To claim an exemption from the application of criminal law would be to betray the trust put in the character of elected representatives as the makers and enactors of the law. Acts of vandalism cannot be said to be manifestations of the freedom of speech and be termed as proceedings of the assembly,” the ● More on P4 order said. 5 nabbed BJP blocks Parl panel meet on Pegasus P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi IN what appears to be a softening of the US’ stand on human rights issues in India, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said every democracy is a work in progress. “Both our democracies are works in progress... sometimes that process is painful. Sometimes it’s ugly. But, the strength of democracy is to embrace it. One of the elements Americans admire the most is fundamental freedom and human rights. That’s how we define India. India’s democracy is powered by free-thinking citizens,” Blinken said after his meeting with External Affairs Minister. In his response, Jaishankar said the quest for a perfect democracy applies to the US as much as it does to India. “There is a moral obligation to right historical wrongs and our policies fall in that cate gory. Don’t equate freedoms with non-governance or lack of governance,” he added. The FIR alleges that legislators E P Jayarajan, K T Jaleel, V Sivankutty, K Ajith, C K Sadasivan and K Kunjahammed destroyed public property worth I2.20 lakh Sivankutty’s decision unprecedented? E x press N e w s S er v i c e @ New Delhi/T’Puram for patients and for even those who need to be rushed in for trauma care. “A lot of work, including renovation, electrical and plumbing work, has to be done. We are planning to begin work this week itself. Planning is only in its initial stages and we are expecting final clarity by October. The official launch is expected by February 2022,” said Lisie Hospital director Fr Paul Karedan. Trauma care being a critical requirement for the residents of Kochi, the hospital management is in PVS Hospital functioned as a Covid centre under the Ernakulam district administration. talks with Kochi Metro Rail Limited for setting up a provision to transport critical care patients, from even as far as Tripunithura, in a very short span of time. “Talks are on with KMRL officials towards setting up an efficient facility for trauma patients or anyone requiring immediate hospital assistance to arrive in the metro within 20 minutes at the hospital. Once the metro is extended, patients would be able to reach the hospital quickly even from the airport,” said Fr Karedan. ● More on P4 on Twitter over verbal abuse. Dubey accused Moitra of abusing him at the venue of the meeting. “By hurling the Bihari gunda (goon) abuse, Mahua Moitra has abused the people from North India and the Hindi speaking belt,” tweeted Dubey. Moitra wondered what the fuss about was all about, when the meeting didn’t take place due to lack of quorum. According to Parliament staffers, perhaps for the first time in the history of Standing Committee meetings, none of the summoned officials from the ministries of home and electronics and information technology turned up for the meeting. If an official is busy he/ , she is represented by the next in hier- archy When contacted, home ministry . officers refused to reveal the reason behind their no-show. “Had the meeting taken place, the panel could have issued contempt notices to the absentee officials. This was thwarted by BJP MPs, who refused to sign the attendance register, which is necessary to establish quorum. They also ensured that other members were not called in from the Opposition to get around the quorum issue by staying put at the venue until a frustrated Tharoor called it off,” sources said. Trinamool MPs allegedly shouted at the BJP , saying “Gundaraj hai kya, dadagiri hai kya?” BJP MPs, sources said, apprehended the panel could have issued directions on Pegasus.
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