kollam l tuesday l September 14, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Retail inflation eases to 5.3% in Aug as food prices soften Subdued prices of food items like vegetables pulled down retail inflation for the third month in a row, within RBI’s comfort zone Vegetable prices contract 11.7% in August Record kharif production likely: govt Consumer Price Index-based retail inflation was 5.59% in July and 6.69% in August 2020. According to data released by National Statistics Office on Monday, food inflation decelerated to 3.11% in August from 4% in July as vegetable prices contracted 11.68% during the month. RBI primarily considers retail inflation to decide the monetary policy every two months ■ ■ The Centre expects foodgrain production to touch a new record of over 150 million tonnes in 2021-22 crop year (July-June) “We have received good rains so far this year... foodgrain production will definitely be much higher than last year’s Kharif season,” Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal said on Monday 5.7% RBI’s projection of retail inflation during 2021-22 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 Museums open, decision on dine-in today 50% capacity in restaurants likely; state govt offices back to six-day week pattern; punching system reinstated E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram WITH Covid showing signs of further decline, the state government has announced more relaxations. All state government offices will be back to six-day week working pattern from this week. Since the imposition of lockdown in the first week of May the government offices have , remained shut on Saturdays and Sundays. While museums will be open, a decision on dine-in at restaurants will be taken today . The punching system for government employees to ensure More relaxations likely Cinema halls shall wait WIPR scale for lockdown in panchayats and urban wards is likely to be revised to 10 soon as the cases are declining. Though there is huge pressure on the government to open cinema theatres, a source said they will have to wait. seven-hour working a day has also been brought back. Punching will resume by swiping of ID cards while biometric punching will remain suspended. The museum and zoo department announced the opening of museums in the state for visitors from Tuesday. A decision on opening zoos will be taken after Tuesday’s Covid review meeting to be chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Morning and evening walkers will be allowed on the museum and zoo campus in Thiruvananthapuram from Tuesday Entry . to museums will be based on Covid protocol. The long-pending demand of hoteliers to allow dine-in facility in restaurants may also be permitted soon as Tuesday’s Covid review meeting is learnt to have placed the topic for discussion on agenda. The proposal is to allow 50% occupancy at a time. Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association leaders had requested the CM to allow dine-in facility and he promised them a positive decision. Proposals to allow functions in auditorium and increasing the number of guests for weddings from 20 to 50 or 100 are also under the consideration of the government. @T’Puram/Kottayam HERE’RE OUR CREDENTIALS Sportspersons protest with their medals in front of the Secretariat on Monday. The state government had promised jobs to 54 sportspersons, but it was not fulfilled due to alleged red-tapism in the finance department. Of the 250 vacancies, 196 sportspersons including Olympian P R Sreejesh, have been given appointment | B P Deepu League ousts MSF nat’l VP Fathima for ‘indiscipline’ E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kozhikode The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) national leadership has removed Fathima Thehliya from the post of national vice-president of the Muslim Students Federation (MSF) for ‘grave indiscipline.’ IUML national president K M Khader Mohideen said in a press release that the action was taken as per the par ty state committee’s recommendation. Fathima had raised voice in support of the 10 former leaders of Haritha girls’ collective, who had lodged a complaint against MSF state president P K Navas. Police had arrested him on the complaint and released on bail. The IUML had dissolved Haritha’s 10-member state committee and reconstituted it with new members on Sunday . Fathima had protested against the way the new committee was constituted. She had told a TV channel that dissolving the old committee and suddenly forming a new one ‘is a slap on the face of the girls who are waiting for justice.’ Fathima said she has difference of opinion on certain issues and that she would raise it in the party “I was not con. sulted before announcing the new committee. I don’t know the case of the other girls,” she ● More on P4 said. express read Cong leader & ex-Union min Fernandes no more Mangaluru: Veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister Oscar Fernandes, an MP, died at a private hospital in Mangaluru on Monday afternoon, family sources said. He was 80 and is survived by his wife and two children. Fernandes was hospitalised in July after suffering a fall. LDF and SDPI join hands in Erattupetta Kottayam: Nearly 10 months after coming to power, UDF lost the reins in Erattupetta municipality after LDF and SDPI joined hands to pull down the ruling council. With the support of SDPI and a Congress councillor, who turned hostile, LDF succeeded in getting its no-trust motion passed. Riza Bava, who brought John Honai and other villains alive, passes away E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Kochi MALAYALAM actor and dubbing artist Riza Bava, who is most remembered for his role as John Honai in 1990 Siddique-Lal blockbuster ‘n Harihar Nagar, died in Kochi on Monday He was 60. . The actor has been undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kochi for kidney-related infection for some time now. He died following a stroke in the afternoon, according to hospital authorities. There would not be any public homage as the samples collected from the actor’s body tested positive for Covid. Riza Bava began his acting career as a theatre artist, before entering film world in 1984 through Vishupakshi. But the movie could not be released. He made his debut in Shaji Kailas-directed Dr Pasupathy in 1990, a comedy-drama film where he played the hero opposite to Paravathy Jayaram. The popularity of his villainous role later in the year as ‘John Honai’ led to him being cast as a villain or anti-hero character in the following years. Riza Bava acted in nearly 140 movies. He also carved a niche as a dubbing artist, giving voice to the characters played mostly by Tamil actor Thalaivasal Vi- jay in Malayalam. In 2010, he won the state award for dubbing artist in the film Karmayogi. Perhaps his most notable performance as a dubbing artist came in the critically acclaimed 2011 film Pranayam, directed by Blessy In the film, . he gave voice to Anupam Kher’s character which was as prominent as that of Mohanlal and Jayaprada. Following a decline in acting offers in films, Riza Bava switched to small screen, mainly acting in several Malayalam TV serials. A native of Mundamveli in Kochi, his final rites will be held on Tuesday at Chembittapally Juma Masjid, Kochangadi. He is survived by wife Jameela, daughter Ferooza, son-in-law Sahal (businessman) and grandson Adam JorP5 dan. On a day the Nair Service Society extended support to Pala Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt on his ‘love jihad’ and ‘narcotic jihad’ remarks, the Congress and BJP recalibrated their positions on Monday goading , the ruling LDF to declare its opinion on the matter in clear terms. While senior BJP leaders paid the bishop a solidarity visit and said the concerns raised would be brought to the notice of the Centre, the Congress adopted a more nuanced approach than its severe criticism of the bishop in the last two days. Opposition leader V D Satheesan and party state president K Sudhakaran called for the immediate in- will be placed before your lordships,” Mehta added. With the Centre again refusBut the bench said Mehta ing to file a detailed affidavit on was beating around the bush. whether or not it used the “We just wanted you to clarify Pegasus software to snoop on whether their (civil society) journalists and members of privacy was violated or not. the civil society, the SuWhether surveillance, if preme Court on Monday done at all, was after said it will pass its inlawful permission. Was terim order on a batch the interception done of petitions in a twoby any agency unlawthree days. fully? Should the govSolicitor General ernment not be conTushar Mehta said the cerned if any ‘outside Sibal’s Centre did not want agency’ had violated counter matters of national inour citizens’ privacy?” “My friend terest to be part of it asked. Mehta re(Mehta) says public discourse or jusponded saying that making that dicial debate through he had have already statement on an affidavit. “Existfiled an affidavit sayoath itself is ence of whether a paring there was no unaudetrimental to ticular software was thorised interception. used or not cannot be- national security. Pointing out that it I am sorry, it is come part of an affidahad given fair oppordetrimental to vit or subject of public tunity to the Centre to the process of d i s c o u r s e. Ta r g e t make its statement, justice,” Kapil groups, terror groups the CJI said, “Now we Sibal said should not know what have to look into the software is being whole issue and deused,” Mehta told the bench led cide something.” by Chief Justice of India N V The court then reserved its Ramana. interim orders. “We will set up a committee Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, of domain experts. The peti- appearing for journalists N tioners who say their numbers Ram and Sashi Kumar, who are were put under interception among the petitioners, said the can be considered by the com- government cannot tell the SC mittee. The committee report to ‘shut your eyes’. K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi NATIONWIDE sep 12 sep 13 28,591 34,848 338 27,254 37,687 219 statewide sep 12 sep 13 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 20,240 29,710 67 15,058 28,439 99 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths parties recalibrate stance on bishop’s jihad remarks E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Govt again cites security to duck full affidavit, SC order on Pegasus soon tervention of the LDF government to keep communal har mony intact in the state. The intervention of t o p C o n g re s s l e a d e r s came after mudslinging on social media platfor ms over the controversial ‘narcotic jihad’ remarks made by Bishop Kallarangatt worsened and they realised that both Christians and Muslims who are parties to the controversy form the traditional vote bank of UDF. Alleging that the state government was scared to intervene in the burning issue, Satheesan said social media is flooded with false campaigns launched from fake IDs of persons who want to create divide, grudge and mistrust among members of different reli● More on P4 gions. John Kerry says zero-emission target is for all Visiting US special presidential climate envoy said it is imperative that all parties commit to it, adding India and US are working towards speedier deployment of clean energy | P7 Congress vicharaks vs RSS pracharaks in UP R i c h a S h a r m a @ New Delhi IN a bid to connect with people on the ground ahead of the crucial Assembly elections, the Congress plans to deploy ‘vicharak’s on the lines of RSS ‘pracharaks’. These young activists, primarily members of the Congress’ grassroots front organization Seva Dal, will visit select constituencies and have meaningful talks with voters on pressing issues such as price rise, unemployment and farmer distress. The experiment will also mark an image makeover for the Seva Dal, whose role and responsibilities were tweaked after Rahul Gandhi became party chief in 2017, by actively engaging in election campaign and public outreach prog rammes in states where it has good presence. The organization has around 3.7 lakh active members in over 600 districts. It has around 450 members in UP . “It is vicharaks vs pracharaks. We are training our workforce to focus on people’s agen- da away from emotional and religious agenda of the RSS and other parties ahead of elections. Members of Seva Dal will work in tandem with state units to reach out to people and talk to them on pressing issues,” said Lalji Desai, chief organiser, Seva Dal. He says the team is young and dynamic with 80% of them below 45 years. They have been divided in three groups - Seva Dal young brigade, Seva Dal and Mahila Seva Dal. They have been trained in efficiently using social media tools to communicate with youths and working class. Congress Seva Dal, which was once seen more as a ceremonial organization, has zeroed in on 100 constituencies in UP where their members would be campaigning for the party. The selection was based on research by team members and work will start after the final go-ahead from Congress general secretary and incharge for UP Priyanka Gandhi and UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu. break point Emotionally spent Djokovic falls at final hurdle S w a r o o p S w a m i n at h a n @ Chennai CHASING invincibility is never easy Pressure, as most elite ath. letes maintain, is a privilege. But add expectation and history to the mix and it can turn heady. Especially in a world filled with unending news cycles, where the best can feel claustrophobic from all the attention. Novak Djokovic temporarily lifted the veil to allow mortals a peek into this world at the Tokyo Olympics. He arrived in Japan as the prohibitive favourite to win a fourth gong in his quest to complete a Golden Slam: winning four Majors as well as an Olympics gold. It’s hard. Only one player in history, Steffi Graf (1988), had done it. The Serb failed in this lofty quest, going down in the semifinal in Tokyo. In the bronze medal match, there was a spectacular implosion. At one point, he flung his racquet into the stands. On another occasion, he broke it so badly even the scrapyard wouldn’t have accepted its remains. On Sunday night, inside the sport’s biggest theatre — Arthur Ashe Stadium — the 34-year-old was chasing another piece of history. The Grand Slam, win- ning all four in a calendar year. Only five have done it ever. The narrative was set in stone even before the final. It would be the night of Djokovic’s coronation. Not just a Grand Slam but the night would also see him move past both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for sole lead of Russia’s Daniil Medvedev won his first Major defeating World No 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the US Open final Everything that mentally, emotionally I had to deal with throughout the tournament in the last couple of weeks was just a lot. It was a lot to handle — Djokovic Novak Djokovic breaks the racquet after losing a point to Daniil Medvedev | AP most Majors won by a male. There was logic behind that assertion. Coming into the final, the Djokovic-ian trait of coming back after losing the first set, winning the most important points in matches and outlasting opponents were all present. Even when he lost the first set to Daniil Medvedev, there was no cause for alarm. Ten minutes later, though, the pendulum shifted dramatically . The Serb lost five break point opportunities to let the Russian off the hook. There was also a code warning for racquet abuse in this period. Watching him, it was evident he wasn’t being himself. It seemed like he was emotionally spent. Something he agreed in the post match press conference. “I was glad it was over,” he said. “Mentally, emotionally I had to deal with throughout the tournament in the last couple of weeks was just a lot to handle.”
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