vijayawada l tuesday l december 7, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION with series win over kiwis, India Reclaim top ranking Dominating show continues at home 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 Virat Kohli & Co are No 1 ranked Test team after beating world champions New Zealand by 372 runs at Wankhede Stadium Ashwin chases Murali, Kumble record ■ ■ 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 13 missing in Cheyyeru deluge yet to be traced even after 17 days S Na g a r a j a Ra o @ Kadapa Even 17 days after the Cheyyeru deluge that left a trail of devastation in Rajampet mandal, the bodies of 13 missing people are yet to be traced. In flash floods of Cheyyeru following breach to the Annamayya project bund on November 19, a total of 37 people of downstream villages went CEO fires 900 Better.com staff via Zoom call We perceive India as a great power, a friendly nation and a time-tested friend - Vladimir Putin @ New Delhi 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 cases of Omicron, a 37-year-old 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 Family members search for Sk Sabzar Basha, a shepherd, who drowned in Cheyyeru four days ago | Express went to Kuwait for work. On that fateful day, he was reported to have gone to a temple on the Cheyyeru bank. His daughter Deepa, who lives with her husband in Chityal, rushed to her maternal house after the Cheyyeru deluge. Shocked on knowing that her father went missing, she searched for him everywhere and lodged a complaint with Mannuru police. She is still hopeful of finding her father alive. There are several people like Deepa, who are making frantic search all along the course of Cheyyeru for their dear ones. Some villagers are complaining that there has been no proper response from revenue and police officials to their queries about the missing persons. P4 Detailed discussion on Afghan situation and cross-border terror; enhanced cooperation in military, oil & gas, petrochem and space M AYA NK S I NGH @ New Delhi 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 Don’t panic, no third wave yet, say experts SU M I SUK A NYA D U T TA people of villages located downstream of Cheyyeru to know if any bodies are found along the river course. Jada Nagaraju (50) of Mandapalle went missing on November 19. His wife Rajamma Terror, trade dominate summit Sami 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. missing. The bodies of only 24 victims could be traced so far. Search is still going on for the remaining 13 victims. Family members of the missing people, who lost the hope of seeing their dear ones alive, are anxious to get the bodies. They are searching for the bodies in bushes along the Cheyyeru river and in debris left by the flash floods. They are also contacting 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 5 dec 6 statewide dec 5 dec 6 Fresh cases 8,895 8,306 Recoveries 6,918 8,834 Deaths 2,796 211 Fresh cases 154 Recoveries 177 Deaths 4 Samples tested 30,979 122 213 1 18,788 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 P7 the pandemic began. don’t spare sellers of spurious farm inputs: CM to officials E x p r e s s N e w s S e r vi c e @ Vijayawada Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed officials to act tough against those who are selling spurious seeds, fertilisers and pesticides to farmers. The existing laws will be amended or an ordinance will be brought if needed to send unscrupulous traders to jail for two years, he added. Taking stock of crop status and other aspects related to agriculture at an official meeting on Monday the Chief , Minister said, “The very objective of Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBKs) is to ensure supply of quality seeds, fertilisers and pesticides to farm- ers. If anyone tries to defeat the objective, stringent action will be taken. If employees are found guilty, they will be sacked, besides initiating legal action against them.” The officials should create awareness among farmers on cultivation of alternative crops instead of paddy under borewells. Cultivation of millets should be promoted in a big way in the State. A millets board should be constituted for the purpose. Farmers should be encouraged to take up cultivation of millets as an alternative crop by providing them incentives, he asserted. Emphasising the need to promote organic and natural farming, Jagan said an RBK should be taken as a unit for the purpose. All the necessary equipment for organic far ming should be made available to farmers in Custom Hiring Centres, he said. The officials informed the Chief Minister that 45,35,102 farmers have registered 1.12 crore acres of crop under ecropping. The Palavelluva programme has benefited 1,77,364 women in the State, they said. 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 a n ta M a z u mda 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, Nagaland 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 angered the locals and 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 P7 injuries,” the report added. express read Centre to fund only PIP irrigation component Vijayawada: In a written reply to YSRC MP V Viajaysai Reddy’s query over Polavaram funding in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti Bishweswar Tudu stated that the Centre will fund only the irrigation component of the Polavaram Project (PIP) | P4 14 students with viral fevers hospitalised Vijayawada: Fourteen students of a school in Machilipatnam of Krishna district were hospitalised on Saturday and Sunday as they were reportedly suffering from viral fevers. Their blood samples, which were collected at a medical camp held in the school, tested negative for Covid, dengue | P3 disputed villages Odisha tries to woo Kotia tribals with welfare schemes s r e e n u b A BU PAT I V A D A @ Vizianagaram At a time when tribals of disputed Kotia villages are inclining towards Andhra Pradesh, at t r a c t e d by i t s we l f a re schemes, the Odisha government has intensified its efforts to win their confidence by implementing similar schemes. As per the Supreme Court’s directive, AP and Odisha can- not take up any permanent constructions in the disputed Kotia villages, but they can implement schemes for the uplift of tribals. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy recently held a meeting with his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik to resolve various interstate issues, including the Kotia dispute. It was decided to set up a high-level committee to resolve all the interstate issues. The Kotia tribals had adopted a resolution expressing their interest to be part of AP and submitted a copy of it to Vizianagaram Collector A Suryakumari. They even sought protection from alleged intimidation P4 of Odisha officials. Odisha officials distribute rice to tribals at Pattuchennu village in the disputed Kotia region | EXPRESS
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