Samyukt Kisan Morcha leader Darshan Pal (L) and others at a press conference near Singhu border in New Delhi on Saturday | Pti tirunelveli l sunday l november 28, 2021 l `12.00 l PAGES 26 l CITY EDITION Tractor march postponed, but protests to continue Farmers postpone Monday’s Parliament march, but agitation will continue till demands, including the one on MSP, are met Unions list pending demands for Centre Stubble burning to be decriminalised The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which is heading the stir against the three farm bills, has said it welcomes Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to repeal the bills and is urging fulfillment of six other demands, including a statutory guarantee of Minimum Support Price, withdrawal of the draft Electricity Amendment Bill and suspension of Union Minister Ajay Mishra ■ ■ Earlier on Saturday, the Union agriculture minister said stubble burning has been decriminalised as per the farmers’ demand SKM, an umbrella body of farm unions, also said Modi should direct states and Railways to withdraw cases against protesting farmers. Parliament’s winter session begins on Monday | P9 Dec 4 Next meeting of SKM to decide farmers’ course of action 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 TMC may skip Congress-led meet as it jostles for chief Oppn role E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kolkata In another bid to project itself as the main anti-BJP party the , Trinamool Congress is likely to skip the meeting of opposition parties convened by the Congress on Monday for a joint strategy during the winter Parliament session, party sources said on Saturday . “The Trinamool is not interested in coordinating with the Congress but the party has no problem in coordinating with other opposition parties,” a party leader said. “In such a situation, the Trinamool will lead the alliance. The recent defection from the Congress to our party shows we are the main opposition against the Bharatiya Janta Party .” The final decision on boycotting the meeting would be taken by party supremo Mamata Banerjee, and it could arrive at a time when the rift between the Trinamool Congress and the grand old party is growing. The Trinamool Congress recently poached Cong ress le gislators in Tripura, Meghalaya and Goa and is portraying itself as the main party confronting the BJP. “The thumping victory in the recent Assembly elections proved that the Trina- E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Chennai PM seeks review of plans to resume regular flights, urges states to ramp up vaccination ministry would continue to have restrictions on the number Concerned over the new of weekly flights with India. Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529 found The meeting came in the in South Africa that has been backdrop of suspected Omidesignated as a ‘variant of con- cron cases being reported in cer n’ by the World Belgium, Israel, GerHealth Organization many the Netherlands, , and named Omicron, Czech Republic and the Prime Minister NarenUK. There have been 77 dra Modi on Saturday fully confirmed cases asked officials to reof the Omicron variant view plans for easing in South Africa, four of international travel cases in Botswana and restrictions in India. one in Hong Kong. At a comprehensive Two South The UK, the US, the Africans meeting to review the EU, Australia, Brazil, public health prepared- test +ve in Turkey, Canada, the B’luru ness in the backdrop of United Arab Emirates, Omicron, which is posEgypt, Sri Lanka, Two South sibly more transmissi- Africans have Oman and Thailand, ble than the highly in- tested positive among others have alfectious Delta variant, for Covid-19 in ready banned travel the PM highlighted the from certain African Bengaluru. need for monitoring all Both have been countries. international arrivals, In Saturday’s meetquarantined their testing as per ing, the PM stressed and their guidelines with a spe- samples have the need to increase the cific focus on countries second dose coverage been sent for identified as ‘at risk.’ and also asked states to further tests, The meeting was ensure that all those officials said held a day after the civwho have got the first il aviation ministry said regu- dose are given the second dose lar international passenger on time. He also directed offiflights would resume operation cials to work closely with state from December 15 with certain governments so that there is exceptions. Countries marked proper awareness at the state as ‘at risk’ by the Union health and district level. P9, 11, 14 Jab-o-meter Take your shot Nov 26 65,23,396 doses Nov 27 73,74,792 doses Total: 121,84,12,797 NATIONWIDE nov 26 nov 27 tamil nadu nov 26 nov 27 Fresh cases 10,549 8,318 Recoveries 9,868 10,967 Deaths 488 465 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 746 759 11 740 765 11 express read Maharashtra tightens inter-state travel rules Drugmakers race to test vaccines against variant Mumbai: As fears over the new Omicron variant mount, the Maharashtra government on Saturday said domestic travellers to the state must either be fully vaccinated or have a negative RT-PCR report. Arrivals from foreign countries will need to follow the Union government’s directions for entry | P9 The pharma majors who made vaccines for the novel coronavirus are racing to get their hands on the Omicron strain. Johnson & Johnson is already testing its shot against the strain, while AstraZeneca — which helped design Covishield — is conducting vaccine research in the African nations Botswana and Eswatini Personnel from Fire and Rescue Services Department on duty at Mudichur in Tambaram on Saturday | Ashwin Prasath Mega monsoons Here are the four times Chennai recorded more than 1,000 mm of rain in a month Nov 1918 Oct 2005 Nov 2015 Nov 2021 Source: IMD 1,088 mm 1,078 mm 1,049 mm 1,003 mm* (*till 7.30 pm, Nov 27) Reports suggest Chennai got more than 1,000 mm of rain in November 1985 as well, but there is no clarity on the quantum of rainfall Mother loses custody battle to sister-in-law E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Chennai As two sisters-in-law engaged in an emotional battle for custody of a child, the Madras High Court recently ruled that the girl should be handed to her adoptive mother. The biological mother will get unrestricted access to the 10-year-old on the weekends though. The girl’s biological parents — Sivakumar and Saranya — gave her up for adoption in 2012 to Sivakumar’s sister Sathya, as she and her husband Ramesh were childless. However, when Ramesh died of an illness in 2019, they demanded the girl back. Sathya refused, and as the tussle continued, Saranya lodged a complaint with the Salem Commissioner of Police on October 27. The complaint was forwarded to the All Women Police Station in Ammapet, who informed the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of the dispute. The CWC issued a reception order and handed the girl to the Reception Home. On October 29, Saranya and Sathya filed separate habeas corpus petitions before the Madras High Court, and Sathya later approached the Supreme Court for issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. The apex court on November 13 ordered the parties to appear before the Madras High Court. A division bench, comprising Justices PN Prakash and R Hemalatha, took up the matter on November 23, and referred it to the mediation and conciliation centre. Continued on: P4 W I T H T H I S I SSU E Metaverse is Coming PLUS 12 PAGES mind games Soldiers may be taught to beat China in talks M aya n k S i n g h @ New Delhi The Army is working on honing negotiation skills of the soldiers mandated to communicate and hold bilateral talks with the Chinese troops as interactions between the soldiers of the two countries increase. According to a source, “The training on negotiation techniques is in its conceptual stage, keeping in mind the way talks have been taking place at different command levels.” The need for more training arose after the Chinese side either stretched the meeting for long hours “to wear out the other side during the talks” image as the only anti-BJP political party But the Congress . is trying to portray itself as the main face of anti-BJP forces by convening the meeting, which we do not agree with,” the leader added. During her recent visit to Delhi, Banerjee did not meet interim Congress president So- nia Gandhi, but instead met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stoking speculation. In October, Banerjee said the Congress had miserably failed to put up a fight against the BJP and the people of India have put the onus on the TMC to create a ‘’new India’’ by ousting the saffron camp. Chennai rainfall among highest in last 200 years Int’l travel curbs may continue as Omicron spreads K u m a r V i k r a m @ New Delhi mool is the main political party that decimated the BJP in Bengal despite the saffron camp’s aggressive campaign,” a senior Trinamool leader said. “We are now busy spreading our footprint in national politics and building an or behaved erratically raising voices , to play mind games with Indians. The whole gamut of responses along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has been under review since the military standoff of May 2020. The Army has also formalised a course on Tibetan language and culture to “amalgamate its troops well with the people of Tibet.” The course run by the Army in association with the Central Institute of Himalayan Culture Studies and Namgyal Institute of Tibetology Sik, kim, aims to make soldiers under- stand cultural nuances and teach them with the language so that they can mix with the Tibetan population living on the Indian side of the LAC. This will wean the people away from the Chinese propaganda, the source said. There are people from the same tribes living on both sides of the LAC. The frequency of meetings, talks and hotline communication has increased between the two sides. As per the old agreements, nine Border Personnel Meetings are held between the two countries every year on ceremonial occasions. As clouds continued to unload over Chennai on Saturday, the city crossed the 1,000-mm mark in terms of rainfall received this month. This has happened only three times before in the last 200 years (see table). With three days to go before the month ends, another record could well be broken. Senior corporation officials said considering the magnitude of the rains, the impact has largely been mitigated though several areas are waterlogged. But residents complained that many parts of the city including , parts of T Nagar, such as Usman Road, are severely inundated. The Narayana Puram lake in Velachery overflowed onto the roads, and the Semmenchery Lake engulfed the OMR. Chandramouli, who works at a private firm in T Nagar, said he was asked to shift out of his hostel in KK Nagar due to waterlogging. “We are moving to relatives’ houses and taking along those who don’t have relatives in the city Cabs and autos . don’t come here, so we have to walk to catch a bus,” he said. In Velachery, residents of AGS Colony are surrounded by three-ft-deep water, and senior citizens are being shifted out, said M Sudha, joint secretary of the AGS Colony Residents Welfare Association. “Even in case of an emergency, we can’t step out because it’s not just rainwater, but sewage too. We can’t even sit in our living rooms because of the smell,” Sudha said. S Gunasekaran, another resident, said the single disposal point at Veerangal Odai is insufficient to drain out water. The flooding has also impacted livelihoods. Sekaran K, a vendor at Marina Beach, said water has entered many stalls and damaged goods. “We already lost our business because of the rains, and can’t afford to have our goods damaged now,” he said.
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