HYDERABAD TUESDAY DECEMBER 7, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 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 Porsche driver mows down two; 3 more killed in separate mishaps P I N T O D E E PA K @ Hyderabad UNBRIDLED driving under the influence of alcohol claimed the lives of five persons, including a couple, in four separate accidents in Hyderabad between Sunday night and Monday afternoon. The four mishaps took place at Banjara Hills, Narsingi and Madhapur. In the early hours of Monday, businessman Ranjith Goud, who was travelling along with his friend Sai Soman in a Porsche Cayenne, fatally knocked down two persons at Banjara Hills Road The mangled Porsche Cayenne that fatally knocked down two persons at Banjara Hills CEO fires 900 Better.com staff via Zoom call S A 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. 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. According to public health spe- DRUNKEN to the offence respectively. “They were arrested and sent to judicial custody,” said M Sudarshan, ACP of Banjara Hills. At Narsingi, Durgam Raju, a milk vendor, and his wife Durgam Mounika of Kokapet village were returning home on their scooter after depositing money in a bank when they met their death on Monday afternoon. They were driving on the wrong side of the road, towards Kokapet, when a speeding Toyota Qualis hit their scooter CONTINUED ON P3 head on. On wrong side of the road At Narsingi, a couple was riding on a scooter on the wrong side of the road when a drunk driver crashed his car into them Terror, trade dominate summit We perceive India as a great power, a friendly nation and a time-tested friend - Vladimir Putin Detailed discussion on Afghan situation and cross-border terror; enhanced cooperation in military, oil & gas, petrochem and space M AYA N K S I N G H @ 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 S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi No 2. Goud and his friend Sai turning home after their duty were in an inebriated condition hours when the mishap took when the accident occurred. place. The two victims, Ayodhya The victims, who were hit by Rai and Debendra Kumar Das, the Porsche that was travelling working in a corporate hospi- at a high speed from Nagarjuna tal, died on the spot. Circle to KBR Park, Ranjith Goud recorded were first flung into 70 mg/dl in the breath the air before they analyser test. The car on RAMPAGE landedthud the road was registered in the with a and died name of ELV Projects instantaneously . Private Limited where Ranjith The police said that Ranjith Goud works as a director. and Sai Mohan, who were reAccording to police, Ayodhya turning home from a pub at Rai, 29, and Debendra Kumar Banjara Hills, were booked for Das, 26, of Uttar Pradesh and culpable homicide not amountOdisha respectively, were re- ing to murder and for abetment cialists, the spike in cases is the result of increased testing involving those who are seen a s y m p t o m at i c o r m i l 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. 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. NO OMICRON CASES IN TELANGANA EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad IN a huge relief, none of the 13 international travellers who had tested positive for Coronavirus at the RGI Airport are infected with the Omicron variant. The State officials previously informed that one British national tested positive for Covid-19 on December 1 but on Monday they JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT NATIONWIDE DEC 05 DEC 06 TELANGANA DEC 05 DEC 06 Fresh cases 8,895 8,306 Fresh cases Dec 05 24,55,911 doses 6,918 8,834 Recoveries Dec 06 71,91,939 doses Recoveries 2,796 211 Deaths TOTAL: 128,66,56,967 Deaths confirmed that the person is not infected with Omicron. M e a n wh i l e, t h e S t at e screened 535 passengers and none of them tested positive for Covid-19. A total of 1,805 passengers have so far been 156 147 1 195 171 1 screened for the virus at the airport. State Health Minister T Harish Rao urged the citizens not to be negligent and to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour, and also to take their vaccines on time. 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 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, Nagaland CM INSIDE 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. JAMUNA PRICEES SHOOT UP `100 HATCHERIES ENCROACHED 70.33 ACRES OF `100 TOMATO TOMATO PRICEES SHOOT UP ASSIGNED LAND: MEDAK COLLECTOR STO S | P2 | P4 DUEEGE TO S | P2 DUEEGE HARISH ON FAST TRACK Germany’s LiteAuto GmbH to invest `1.5K cr in TS EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad IN a major push to Telangana’s industrial-friendly policies, Liteauto GmbH, a Germany-based company decided to invest `1,500 crore in the State in order to establish a design and manufacturing facility Munich. headquartered Liteauto GmbH entered into an agreement with the Government of Telangana during a formal signing ceremony held as part of the German Investors’ Summit, here on Monday The state-of-the-art . manufacturing facility to be de, veloped in 100 acres, will create more than 9,000 direct jobs and 18,000 indirect jobs. T h e c o m p a n y, w h i c h launched its 100 per cent owned subsidiary Lite Auto Components Pvt Ltd in Hyderabad, specialises in the design and manufacture of light-weight magnesium alloy components for the automotive, e-vehicle and broader global mobility market. The facility will manufacture magnesium products for cars, commercial vehicles and two wheelers in both ICE and EV segments. The MoU was signed in the presence of IT & Industries Minister KT Rama Rao, Ger- man Ambassador to India Walter J Lindner and State Principal Secretary (IT, Industries & Commerce) Jayesh Ranjan. Speaking during the signing ceremony, Rama Rao said that the State has a large land bank of around 200,000 acres for industrial development. “Many companies are looking at Tel- angana as it has industrialfriendly policies. No other State has a policy like TS-iPASS which provides certification to industries within 15 days.” Stating that 17,500 clearances were given through TS-iPASS so far, he said: “The State government not only promises but also delivers. The current ecosystem in Hyderabad is very conducive with a large number of defence labs, aerospace entrepreneurs, research labs and offers multiple opportunities to collaborate with the State.” Over the first five years of its full-scale operation, Liteauto plans to manufacture approxi- mately 30,000 tonnes of proprietary magnesium alloy-based precision automotive components both for the Indian market and for export to major int e r n at i o n a l a u t o m o t ive manufacturers. Liteauto’s CEO Christopher McGinty said: “Major global automotive manufacturers have increasingly recognised Liteauto’s capability to help them meet their greenhouse challenges. The company’s management would like to thank the Government of Telangana for its fruitful cooperation and tangible support,” he added.
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