THIRUVANANTHAPURAM l tuesday l December 07, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION with series win over kiwis, India Reclaim top ranking Virat Kohli & Co are No 1 ranked Test team after beating world champions New Zealand by 372 runs at Wankhede Stadium Dominating show continues at home Ashwin chases Murali, Kumble record India’s victory margin is their highest in Tests in terms of runs. The win against New Zealand is their 14th straight series win at home, with their last defeat dating back to 2012 against England. Since 2013, India have lost only two Test matches at home. New Zealand, meanwhile, are without a Test win in India since 1988 | p11 ■ ■ Nine Man-of-the-Series awards for R Ashwin in Tests put him on level with South African great Jacques Kallis. Only Muttiah Muralitharan (11 awards) is ahead of Ashwin now Ashwin now has 300 Test wickets at home, the second Indian to achieve the feat. Anil Kumble, with 350 wickets leads the list 14/225 Ajaz patel’s match figures are the best by a player in a losing side 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 Khaki favours khaki: HC on clean chit to cop who harassed girl E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @ Kochi “KHAKI always favours khaki,” the High Court observed on Monday after going through a report filed by the state police chief (SPC) in response to a petition seeking stringent action against a former Pink Police officer, who humiliated an eight-year-old and her father in public at Attingal, accusing them of theft. We perceive India as a great power, a friendly nation and a time-tested friend - Vladimir Putin Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin before their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Monday | Shekhar Yadav Nine govt-to-govt pacts in basket of 28 Four agreements in defence sector signed In all, 28 agreements signed, including nine government-togovernment pacts. The G2G pacts include developing a roadmap for science, technology and innovation; IPR rights; military-technical ties from 2021 to 2031; earth sciences and geological study of subsoil; amendment to recognise seafarer’s identity documents; cultural exchange; peaceful use of outer space plus building and operating space launch vehicles and setting up ground-based space infrastructure India and Russia concluded four major defence equipment deals, including on procuring 6,01,427 AK-203 assault rifles through Indo-Russia Rifles Prt Ltd. The rifles will be manufactured at a cost of around `5,000 crore. The agreements were signed at the 20th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation. Another pact was on amending the agreement on cooperation in the field of manufacturing of the Kalashnikov series of small arms that was originally sealed in February 2019 wHILE rising Covid cases in 50 districts of nine states have set alarm bells ringing in the backdrop of Omicron scare, experts say fears of a third wave of the pandemic may be unfounded at this stage. So far, a total of 23 Omicron infections have been confirmed in the country with Maharashtra reporting two more cases on Monday “Two more cas. es of Omicron, a 37-yearold South Africa returnee man and his 36-year-old US returnee friend, have been confirmed,” the state government said. Notably, neither of the two patients displayed any Covid symptom. And, both had taken Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine. Over the past 10 days, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, Odisha and Mizoram have reported a notable uptick in active Covid cases, prompting the Union health ministry to shoot off letters asking these states to step up surveillance and disease containment measures. Jab-o-meter Take your shot Dec 05 24,55,911 doses Dec 06 71,91,939 doses Total: 128,66,56,967 According to public health specialists, the spike in cases is the result of increased testing involving those who are seen as ymptomatic or m il d ly symptomatic. Health economist Rijo M John, who has been studying Covid numbers since the beginning of the pandemic, said: “There is absolutely no sign of cases going up at the national level at the moment… We would not see a third wave as bad as the second in India.” Epidemiologist and health systems expert Dr Chandrakant Lahariya said he is not worried about the spread of Omicron pushing the wave of infections in the country “Based on available . information on the variant so far-we do not panic yet as in our kind of setting, any big third wave is now highly unlikely he opined. ,” “We need to understand that the number of infections in some districts and even the test positivity rate to some extent are bound to rise due to targeted testing and testing of even the asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic people,” Lahariya added. NATIONWIDE dec 05 dec 06 statewide dec 05 dec 06 Fresh cases 8,895 8,306 Fresh cases Recoveries 6,918 8,834 Recoveries Deaths 2,796 211 Deaths 4,450 4,606 23 3,277 5,833 30 CROSS-border terrorism, the unfolding situation in Afghanistan and military cooperation apart from trade figured in the summit talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir here on Monday . India and Russia inked as many as 28 agreements during Putin’s visit. “President Putin’s visit was short but highly productive and substantive. There were excellent discussions between the two leaders. Twentyeight agreements/MoUs were concluded during this visit. These agreements include those between government-togovernment and business-tobusiness,” said foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla. Briefing media after the summit talks, Shringla said bilateral trade and investment figured prominently in the talks. “This year, we’ve noticed an encouraging trend of growth in our trades compared to last year. Both sides are looking forward to continued increase in trade and investment trajectory he added. ,” During the talks, Modi and Putin decided to continue close consultation and coordination on Afghanistan. According to the joint statement released late in the evening, Modi and Putin emphasised that Afghanistan’s territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing terrorist groups such as the LeT, ISIS and Al-Qaeda. The part condemning cross-border movement of terrorists is seen as a clear reference to Pakistan. Indo-Russian cooperation in the strategic area of energy was discussed in detail. “We have expressed our interest in further investments in the oil & gas sector, and in petrochemicals,” Shringla said. Putin said Russia’s cooperation with India in the military and technical spheres is unique. “By that I mean we develop technologies together as well as produce in India.” he said. On terrorism and Afghanistan, Putin said, “We continue to cooperate jointly on global agenda… our positions are similar. Naturally, we are concerned about everything that has got to do with terrorism. I mean fight against terrorism, drug trafficking, organised crime etc. We are concerned about the developments and situation in Afghanistan.” Putin laid stress on boosting economic cooperation while giving his opening remarks during the meeting between the two leaders. This was Putin’s second visit abroad since P11 the pandemic began. ‘’If it was your daughter would you do this? That is what I’m asking the government. The government has to treat the child as its daughter and take care of her. No doubt the officer acted in a manner wholly unbecoming of an officer and a human being. However, the state has to answer what it proposes to do to protect the child,’’ the ● More on P4 judge said. GOVT CAN’T APPOINT MLA’s SON IN SERVICE, it CRIPPLes EQUALITY: HC E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @ Kochi IF permission is granted to create a supernumerary post and give an appointment to the dependent of an MLA, then it would give a free hand to the government to make similar appointments to children of persons holding various posts right from the panchayat president, the Kerala High Court observed on Monday If that happens, it would . be nothing but absolutely crippling equality and equal protection of laws, making the qualified candidates wait outside to get a government job, the court observed. The court issued the order while directing the government to terminate R Prasanth — son of former CPM MLA Prasanth is individually put on a higher pedestal, violating law and overlooking and flouting the rules made for employment on compassionate grounds Kerala High Court the late K K Ramachandran Nair — from government service. The order came on a petition seeking to quash the order appointing Prasanth as assistant engineer (electronics) in the public works department after creating a supernumerary post. The court observed that any person who wants to secure a government job will have to prepare earnestly, participate in a written test and interview or such other procedures. Prasanth has been appointed to the state service on the sole consideration that he is the son of an MLA and his family requires employment on compassionate grounds. Thus, he is individually put on a higher pedestal, violating law and overlooking and flouting the rules made for that purpose. The court said the state has prescribed guidelines to improve the financial hardship of the kith and kin of the government servants or employees who died in harness and has set apart a percentage of the vacancies in various departments. But the government can’t extend the same to the relatives of MLAs or any other person of their choice, observed the court. People attend a mass funeral of civilians killed by the Army in a case of mistaken identity, in Mon district of Nagaland on Monday | PTI Army tried to hide bodies: Naga govt P r a s an ta Ma z u m d a r @ Guwahati ‘Mistaken identity’ Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday admitted in Parliament that the Nagaland firing was a case of mistaken identity and expressed regret over the civilian killings Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act gives unbridled powers to security forces. They can visit your house, frisk and arrest people without a warrant. While doing this, if they kill someone, there will be no case. This has to go Neiphiu Rio, CM Special forces of the Army not only shot dead civilians in a case of mistaken identity in Nagaland’s Mon on Saturday they also tried to hide the , bodies under tarpaulin, a report by the state’s Director General of Police T John Longkumer and Commissioner Rovilatuo Mor revealed. A parallel first information report filed on the incident by the police was equally damning. Claiming that the Army did not inform them of the operation against insurgents, it alleged that “it is obvious that the intention of (the) security forces is to murder and injure civilians.” The report of the DGP and the Commissioner said the unarmed civilians were “ambushed and killed by security forces (reportedly 21 Para based in Assam) at random, apparently without any attempt for identification.” Six civilians were killed on the spot and two critically injured. What followed was a cover up attempt by hiding the bodies and possibly taking them to the Army camp. “On hearing the gunshots, the villagers went to the spot being apprehensive that the individuals did not return home from work…They found the pickup truck and the special forces personnel trying to hide the dead bodies...by wrapping and loading them in another pickup truck, apparently with the intention of taking the dead bodies to their base camp.” Violence broke out when the villagers found the bodies hidden under a tarpaulin sheet, the report said. A mass funeral for the victims was slated for Sunday but put off by a day without any clear announcement, which resulted in an attack on an Assam Rifles camp in Mon. Army men firing blanks further enraged the mob. “After almost an hour into the melee, the second round of continuous firing by the Assam Rifles resulted in the mob running for safety and protection. After the firing ceased, one protestor…was confirmed dead on the spot and six others, including one IR personnel, sustained bullet injuries,” the report added. P7 express read Veena defends gag order, says won’t revise it Statewide raid by GST dept detects tax evasion T’Puram: Health Minister Veena George defended the controversial circular demanding district medical officers to take prior permission before talking to media, despite criticism that it was a gag order. She said it would not be reconsidered. P2 T’Puram: A statewide raid by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Department has detected irregularities including tax evasion in goods transportation through parcel agencies. The department’s intelligence wing collected a fine of H5.06 lakh. P4 16 pages, including 4 pages of THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Express shortage of supply Tomato price touches `100 per kg, drumstick hits `300 A m i ya M e e t h a l @ Kozhikode PRICES of vegetables continue to skyrocket due to floodlike situation in neighbouring states, especially Tamil Nadu. On Monday, a kilogram of drumstick commanded `300 in Kozhikode, registering a twofold increase. Tomato hit a century — `100 per kilogram. In Thiruvananthapuram also, tomato price touched three digits. The other major items whose prices jumped up include ladies finger, cabbage, beetroot. At the same time, there was a slight dip in the price of onion and potato while that of carrot remained steady . The arrival of vegetables from other states has gone down by half and there was also a slump in the sale of vegetables. Pricey stuff Vegetable retail price in Kozhikode, T’Puram, Kochi and Horticorp price on Dec 6 (per kg) Tomato K100 Drumstick K300* I120 I110 K120 I87 K300 --- Ladies finger K80 I50 K80 I73 Cabbage K50 I60 K60 I44 Onion K35 I40 K40 I34 Potato K25 I30 K40 I30** Cucumber K50 I90 K80 I53 **Munnar potato @ New Delhi It also asked the government what it proposes to do to alleviate the feelings of the minor girl and to restore her trust and belief in humanity and in the police force. She is a very young girl with an impressionable mind and she will carry the scars at this age throughout her life. The court asked the government to file a counter-affidavit detailing all those aspects. Detailed discussion on Afghan situation and cross-border terror; enhanced cooperation in military, oil & gas, petrochem and space M AYA N K SI N GH @ New Delhi Don’t panic, no third wave yet, say experts SUMI SUK A N YA DUTTA lent about it,” the court said. The SPC says the officer has been transferred to Kollam and she is asked to serve in a non-unifor med post. However, the report does not mention whether this was done by way of punishment though it says she was also asked to attend behavioural training, the court said. Terror, trade dominate summit Sa m i k s h a G o e l @ New Delhi Call it Worse.com if you will. The CEO of US-based firm Better.com, Vishal Garg, laid off 900 employees during a bizarre Zoom call, shocking the company’s staff ahead of the festive season. The sacked employees comprised about 9% of the digital mortgage lender. Reports said the lay-offs are mainly in India and the US, and that the Zoom call lasted just three minutes. “If you’re on this call, you are Vishal Garg part of the unlucky group being laid off. Your employment here is terminated effective immediately Garg said in the ,” one-way video call on December 1. An employee filmed the call and leaked it recently on social media. One of the laid-off workers told this newspaper that they felt cheated and devastated, as the call came out of the blue. Garg, an abrasive executive, had once called his employees “a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS” in a staff email. TechCrunch speculated that the lay-offs may have been a condition for Better.com’s backers — which include SoftBank — greenlighting a sooner-than-expected cash infusion of $750 million. 27, the SPC stated that no criminal action is required against the police officer with specific reference to section 75 of the JJ Act (mental or physical harassment of a juvenile). Then a question will arise whether any other provisions of law including under the IPC would be applicable. But the report is completely si- *Indore CEO fires 900 Better.com staff via Zoom call The SPC said in the report that no case or any other criminal action is required against the police officer regarding her actions. Justice Devan Ramachandran observed the report filed by the SPC was trying to create an opaque curtain, which he said was unfortunate. “After noticing the entire incident that happened on August “Nor mally 20 loads of ve getables used to reach Kozhikode city daily, but has gone down by half. Drumstick coming from Indore (Madhya Pradesh) cost `300 on Monday . The same from Tamil Nadu, costing `150 is out of stock now as fresh loads are not arriving,” said Satheesh Kumar K T, proprietor of S S Vegetables at Moonalingal in ● More on P4 Kozhikode.
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07-12-2021 of The New Indian Express-Thiruvananthapuram