thrissur l saturday l September 04, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Crushed by Covid, Japan PM hangs up his boots Decision to hold Olympics proved costly After a turbulent term of less than one year, Yoshihide Suga said he will not contest his party’s forthcoming leadership election MANY contenders FOR THE TOP POST The announcement came as his approval ratings dropped to an all-time low due to his failure to control the pandemic. His decision to host the Olympics amid the pandemic was also unpopular. “Working on Covid countermeasures and election activities requires tremendous energy, so I decided I cannot work on both and should choose one of them,” Suga said ■ ■ Two ex-ministers in Shinzo Abe’s government – Fumio Kishida and Sanae Takaichi – have emerged as potential candidates. Current Vaccinations Minister Taro Kono is also in the fray Suga took over as the Prime Minister of Japan after Abe resigned due to health reasons in September 2020 Sept 29 When The ruling L.D.P. will hold an election to pick its president 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 Three more medals for India Harvinder Singh Recurve archer Harvinder Singh gave India its first Paralympic medal in archery after beating Korea’s Kim Min Su 6-5 in the bronze medal match. When Harvinder was just 18 months old, he had dengue. A local doctor administered him an injection that had an adverse effect on his legs. It was an excellent day for India at the Tokyo Paralympics as three of the country’s athletes won medals on Friday to take the overall tally to 13. A look at the stars of the day... Avani Lekhara Having already won gold in the 10m air rifle SH1 event, Avani Lekhara added to her glittering tally with a bronze in the women’s 50m air rifle 3 positions SH1 event. She has become the first Indian woman to win multiple medals from a Paralympic Games. Avani has been wheelchair-bound since a road accident in 2012. Praveen Kumar Praveen Kumar recorded a jump of 2.07m to win a silver medal in the men’s high jump T64 category. The 18-year-old, whose one leg was short since birth, has broken the Asian record with his medal-winning jump. Dissenting is Farmers’ body a democratic sees plot in poll right, says HC campaigning 2020 dELHI RIOTS E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ New Delhi THE Delhi High Court on Friday held that expressing dissent is one of the fundamental rights in a democracy and the sole act of protesting should not be employed as a weapon to justify the incarceration of those exercising the right. The court made the observation while granting bail to five persons who were arrested for being part of an anti-CAA protest in February 2020, during which Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal allegedly sustained fatal injuries. While granting bail to accused Mohd Arif, Shadab Ahmad, Furkan, Suvaleen and Tabassum, Justice Subramonium Prasad said every member of the unlawful assembly cannot be booked under murder charges. “The applicability of Section 149 IPC, specifically read with Section 302, cannot be done on the basis of vague evidence and general allegations. When there is a crowd involved, at the juncture of grant or denial of bail, the court must hesitate before arriving at the conclusion that every member of the unlawful assembly inhabits a common intention to accomplish the unlawful common object,” the court said. Justice Prasad said there cannot be an umbrella assumption of guilt on behalf of every accused by the court and the decision must be taken based on careful consideration of the facts and circumstances. “It is the Constitutional duty of the Court to ensure that there is no arbitrary deprivation of personal liberty in the face of excess of State power. Bail is the rule and jail is the exception, and Courts must exercise their jurisdiction to uphold the tenets of personal liberty...,” the order said. Samyukt Kisan Morcha urges Punjab parties to refrain from going into election mode mission of India announces the poll dates. But this time some An umbrella body of farmers political parties have already agitating against the farm sec- got in election mode, which is tor reform laws since months, unusual. We see it as an antion Friday urged all political farmer conspiracy to distract parties in Punjab to refrain and divert attention from our from election campaigning for struggle. We are asking politinow if they truly support their cal parties to desist from their struggle. election campaigning, if they The call came after truly support the 17 leaders 32 farmers unions of farmers’ struggle.” booked Punjab that are part On Thursday farm, of the Samyukt Kisan ers had clashed with A case was Morcha (SKM), held a registered against the Punjab Police in meeting at the SingMoga, resulting in in17 farmer leaders hu border on Delhi’s and 200 others for juries on both sides, gates. The meeting a violent protest in during an election was inconclusive as Moga. “The farmers campaign tour of Shithe Punjab govern- had pelted stones romani Akali Dal ment is yet to act on at the police. They president Sukhbir the morcha’s demand were booked under Singh Badal. BKU to withdraw cases IPC and Prevention (Rajewal) leader Omregistered against kar Singh said the of Damage to farmers. A final decimeeting war ned Public Property sion on their stand on Act,’’ said a police Badal not use derogathe forthcoming electory words against official tions will be taken at farmers and suspend a morcha meeting on his rallies. September 8 (Wednesday) after As if on cue, the Shiromani a mahapanchayat at Muzaffar- Aklai Dal announced a six-day nagar in Uttar Pradesh on Sep- pause for Badal’s 100-day tour tember 5 (Monday). of 100 Assembly constituenA farmer leader who attend- cies, so as to facilitate a diaed Friday’s meeting, said: “Gen- logue with farmer organisaerally election campaigns start tions. The poll campaign will a couple of months before the resume on September 11 from polls after the Election Com- Amloh, Badal announced. H a r p r ee t B a j w a @ Chandigarh express read G Sudhakaran may face party action T’Puram: Senior CPM leader and former minister G Sudhakaran is likely to face party disciplinary action, as a commission appointed by the party is learnt to have found lapses on his part in the assembly election campaign at Ambalappuzha constituency. If the party decides to take action, it would be after a long time that the CPM is taking action against such a senior leader. Make persons flouting home quarantine rules pay, CM Pinarayi asks local bodies E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram The state government has sought active cooperation from local self-government institutions to strengthen the home quarantine system and make it foolproof so that rising Covid cases can be brought under control in two weeks’ time. Addressing the representatives of local bodies during an online review meeting on Covid management on Friday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed to impose fines on people flouting quarantine norms and shift them to institutional quarantine where expenses need to be borne by them. Soon after the meeting, the disaster management authority issued an order directing local bodies to monitor and suppor t people in home quarantine. Covid surge Apex court stays Plus-I examinations in state E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @New Delhi The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the decision of the Kerala government to hold offline exams for Plus One from September 6 amid the Covid surge. The court stayed the conduct of exams for a week, noting that there is an alarming situation in the state owing to Covid. “Covid cases in Kerala are about 70% of those reported in the country daily Children . of this age cannot be exposed to this risk,” observed a bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, Hrishikesh Roy and C T Ravikumar. The b e n c h passed the order on an appeal f i l e d by a dvo c a t e Rasoolshan A challenging a decision of the High Court refusing to interfere with the decision to hold of fline exams. “Prima facie, we find merit in the submission made by petitioner that the state government has not seriously considered the prevailing situation before proposing the conduct of physical exam in September this year. As we couldn’t get satisfactory response from state’s counsel in this regard, we grant interim relief staying offline exam till next date of hearing on September 13,” the bench ● More on P5 said. ‘ b e r e s p ec t f u l’ No ‘eda-poda’: Court asks police to be polite E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kochi Coming down heavily on the police for the use of disrespectful Malayalam words like ‘eda’ and ‘poda’ while addressing the public, the Kerala High Court on Friday observed that the police should interact with people politely . Considering a case regarding police excess in Cherppu, Thrissur, Justice Devan Ramachandran directed the Director General of Police to issue a circular instructing his subor- dinates not to use such words while dealing with the public. The petitioners alleged that the police misbehaved with them during checking as part of the implementation of Covid restrictions. The High Court observation comes amid a slew of incidents of police misbehaviour that had triggered public outcry and criticisms from various quarters. The court also sought a report from the DGP on the steps taken to implement the ban on ‘nokkukooli, the alleged organised extortion by labour unions. While considering another petition against ‘nokkukooli’, the court said complaints relating t o t h e d e m a n d fo r ‘nokkukooli’ (gawking charges) have been coming before it on a regular basis. This was surprising as the government had already issued an order banning such demands from any trade union, the HC observed. The court said that, prima facie, it means the government order has not been effectively implemented by the competent authorities. Hence, the court directed the government pleader to obtain the necessary instruction from the state police chief, as to why this order has not been implemented, if it has not been, and as to the steps taken by the police authorities at various levels to do so. The court impleaded, suo motu, the DGP as an additional respondent and issued notice to him. On Friday the state reported , 29,322 new Covid cases with a TPR of 17.91% on Friday . “There is an urgent need to reactivate the ward-level ‘jagratha samithis’ (monitoring committees) which have become inactive after commendable work during the first wave. Now that the positive cases have gone up, we need monitoring at the ward level. If there are 32,000 cases, the infected will be in 32,000 houses. Only local bodies can ensure their home quarantine,” said Pinarayi. “It is natural to have lethargy creeping in after a long period of Covid management. But we can considerably control the infection with active intervention in two weeks’ time,” he said. The neighbour- hood monitoring committees that consist of government officials, rapid response teams, volunteers and residents associations will be constituted for effective monitoring of quara n t i n e p r o c e d u r e. “People without facilities for home quarantine should be shifted to domiciliary care centres and those with co-morbidities must be moved to Covid firstline treatment centres. Ward-level committees should take the lead in providing medicines, essential items and non-Covid care,” he said. The order issued by disaster management authority assigns the responsibility for ensuring fool-proof quarantine on health, police and revenue departments along with local ● More on P2 bodies. Jab-o-meter Take your shot September 2 64,70,901 doses September 3 51,88,894 doses Total doses: 67,65,00,301 NATIONWIDE sep 02 sep 03 Fresh cases 47,092 45,352 Recoveries Deaths 35,181 34,791 509 366 statewide sep 02 sep 03 Fresh cases 32,097 29,322 Recoveries Deaths 21,634 22,938 188 131 pay panel suggests five-day week for govt employees Other key suggestions E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram Give full pension to the family of the person who dies in harness The 11th Kerala Pay Revision Commission has recommended a slew of measures to the government to improve the standard of governance and efficiency of employees, including raising the retirement age to 57 years from 56 and introducing a five-day week work system. The final report handed over to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan by the panel headed by K Mohandas has suggested changing the working hours of gover nment employees from the current 10am5pm to 9.30am-5.30pm to facilitate the introduction of the five-day week. Annual holidays should be restricted to 12 and regionallevel holidays should be allowed only if the celebrations affect the normal lives of people in the region. Similarly it , has also suggested reducing the number of earned leaves to 30. Every department Ensure 20% of the reservation meant for OBC and SC-ST categories is given to economically weaker sections in these categories Ensure efficiency of employees and courteous behaviour with customers Make PSC recruitments efficient and at the earliest. Scale down the number of PSC members as part of financial austerity measures Revise the employees’ code of conduct taking note of the current social developments Stop appointments on compassionate grounds completely; instead, give cash compensation to the next of kin Chennithala blasts new state Cong leadership for slighting Chandy E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kottayam Even as the protests in the Congress over the appointment of new party district unit presidents began to subside, former Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Friday lashed out at the new leadership for “slighting” Oommen Chandy, dropping clear signs of his reluctance to bow to the new power axis led by K Sudhakaran, V D Satheesan and K C Venugopal. Speaking at a function organised as part of new DCC president Nattakom Suresh taking charge in Kottayam, Chennithala, who raised his voice for AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy, was making it clear that the ‘ ’ and A ‘I’ groups would jointly fight any move to finish them off. Notably, the outburst came a day after the entire Congress leadership openly threw its weight behind party state pres- ‘Congress will be a semi-cadre party’ Kozhikode: Opposition leader V D Satheesan on Friday said the Congress will become a more disciplined party with the adoption of a semicadre organisational set up. “All issues in party will be settled in a time-bound manner,” he said. P4 ident Sudhakaran in leading the party at a function held in Kannur. “I wouldn’t demand that party matters must be discussed with me as I am an ordinary member. However, Oommen Chandy is the AICC general secretary and Congress working committee member. He is not a district leader. He’s emotionally connected with the entire Congress workers in the state. Everyone is bound to discuss the organisational affairs with him,” he said. ● More on P4 should identify the works that can be carried out from home and award those to officials on a work-from-home basis with a proper rotational schedule. “The commission also aims to end the irregularities in the appointments in the aided (school and college) sector. Further, the recommendation to raise the retirement age has been made taking note of the increase in the lifespan of people. The commission has also taken note of the financial situation of the state government and digitising government services is one of the main priorities. By doing this, people can avail the government services from their houses,” said Mohandas. According to the panel, the appointment in government aided colleges and schools should be based on merit. A Kerala Recruitment Board for Private School and Colleges should be formed to make it a transpar● More on P4 ent process. Mystery fever: Toll crosses 100 in UP N a m i ta B a j pa i @ Lucknow With the toll of the mystery fever stalking Uttar Pradesh crossing 100 and its geographical footprint expanding, what was thought to be viral fever and/or dengue, got a new nomenclature: scrub typhus. While a visiting ICMR team did not find any trace of Covid, experts suspect the outbreak of the vector borne scrub typhus bacterial disease. During the last 24 hours, hundreds of patients with dengue and viral fever-like symptoms have thronged hospitals across Lucknow. The symptoms for the current outbreak include fever with cold, congestion and drop in platelet count. Firozabad district continues to be its epicentre with around 75 deaths, many of them children. Also, 17 deaths have been reported in Mathura, three in Mainpuri and two in Kasganj.
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