kozhikode l monday l january 10, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Evidence of water on moon found on-site for first time Prior discoveries of water have been based only on samples returned to Earth or data gathered by instruments from afar Lunar surface Much drier than the earth Chandrayaan-1 was the first to find it A device on-board China’s Chang’e 5 probe analysed the mineralogical composition of a patch of soil and a rock, and detected water on the spot. The analysis revealed that the lunar soil at the landing site contains less than 120 parts-per-million (ppm) water or 120 grams water per tonne while the rock carries 180 ppm, much drier than that on Earth ■ Scientists believe it was the solar wind that contributed to the humidity of lunar soil as it brought hydrogen that makes up water ■ In 2018, data gathered by NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper on India’s first lunar probe, Chandrayaan-1, conclusively established that there exists water ice on the Moon’s surface | P12 1,731 grams worth of samples brought back to the earth by the probe CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Modi takes stock Plantation Corp diversifies aimlessly, lands in morass STUNTED GROWTH amid big clusters Ge o r g e P o i k ay i l @ Kasaragod Close to 400 Parliament employees infected E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi With humongous clusters of close to 400 Parliament employees and 150 Supreme Court registry officials and staff members testing positive for Covid, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meet on Sunday and stressed the need to take area specific measures, besides accelerating vaccination of the adolescent age group. Modi will soon resume regular interactions with chief ministers for specific interventions to manage the pandemic, as he did during the second wave last year. “PM said that a meeting with CMs be convened to discuss state-specific scenarios, best practices and the public health response,” the PMO said in a statement after the meeting, which was also attended by Union ministers Amit Shah and Mansukh Mandaviya and top health experts. The interactions with chief ministers will likely be with high incidence states. In Parliament, 65 staffers of Rajya Sabha Secretariat, 200 of NATIONWIDE jan 08 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Lok Sabha Secretariat and 133 of allied services tested positive between January 4-8, sources said. As for the Supreme Court, a few judges, too, have been found infected. Meanwhile, the Centre will start administering booster doses to healthcare and frontline workers, and comorbid people in the 60-plus age group from Monday Since the model . code of conduct is now in place in five poll-bound states, Modi’s photo will be filtered out of vaccination certificates issued there. At the meeting with Modi, a detailed presentation was made on the status of Covid-19 in India, including areas of concerns with respect to states and districts with high positivity rates, the statement said. Delhi’s positivity rate on Sunday climbed to 23.53% with 17 Covid deaths and 22,751 new cases in a day . The Rajasthan government tightened its restrictions, ordering closure of schools in urban areas and other measures, including announcing Sunday curfew like in Tamil Nadu. jan 09 stateWIDE jan 08 jan 09 1,41,986 1,59,632 40,895 40,863 285 327 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 5,944 2,463 33 6,238 2,390 30 A group of workers affiliated with the CPM and the Congress have given up their work and were sitting in protest in front of the office of the Plantation Corporation of Kerala (PCK) at Cheemeni in Kasaragod district for the third day on Sunday . Their demand: Bring back a Kasaragod dwarf cow and two calves that were shifted to PCK’s ‘hi-tech’ dairy farm in Ukkinadka in Badiadka panchayat. The Plantation Corporation of Kerala — which has been in the red for the past seven years — thought it was not prudent to employ a worker with all benefits to take care of just one cow. But the workers in Cheemeni There was a time when PCK had a fixed deposit of J175 crore. Today, we are running on an overdraft of J16 crore from Canara Bank J Sajeev, MD From having a fixed deposit of J175 crore, PCK is now running on a J16crore overdraft from Canara Bank It has a liability of J255 crore In seven years in the red, PCK’s loss went up to J26 crore in FY2020 The last time it reported profit was in FY2014 — J28 crore It ventured into several new businesses and burned crores of public money would not have any of it. They blocked the move and on Friday the Plantation Corporation retaliated by suspending four workers. It then shifted the dwarf and its calves to the Uk- THE sensational actor assault case has taken a new turn with the Crime Branch lodging a fresh case against actor Dileep and five others based on the statement of film director P Balachandrakumar that the former had allegedly conspired to kill the officers who probed the abduction and rape of an actress inside a moving car in Kochi in 2017. Dileep is the eighth accused in the case, the trial of which is under way at the Ernakulam Additional Spe- cial Sessions Court. The new FIR is against Dileep, his brother Anoop, brother-in-law Suraj, Appu, Baiju Chengamanadu and another identifiable person. They have been charged under sections 116 (abetment of offence punishable with imprisonment), 118 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (criminal act done by several people) of IPC. As per the FIR lodged by the kinadka far m with police protection. What is currently happening at Cheemeni is just a primer of the problems facing PCK, whose main income comes Veer Baal Diwas to honour Sikh icons E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi A day after the model code of conduct for polls came into force in five poll-bound states, including Punjab, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced that December 26 shall be observed as Veer Baal Diwas to mark the martyrdom of Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh. He made the announcement in a series of tweets while paying tribute to Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru, on his birth anniversary Zorawar . Inclusive, harmonious “The martyrs envisioned a world that is inclusive and harmonious. It is the need of the hour for more people to know about them,” Modi said Singh (9) and Fateh Singh (7) have a hallowed place in Sikh lore as they let themselves be bricked alive by Aurangzeb’s army so as to protect their faith. Modi’s gesture brought muscular nationalism to the centrestage of the Assembly polls. Not surprisingly, BJP’s ally and former Punjab chief min- Case against Dileep for threatening police E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi It is not maintaining its core business of rubber plantation or its factories from rubber and cashew plantations. PCK — headquartered in Kottayam and run under the Agriculture department — has been reporting losses since 2015-2016. But its decline started much before that. In 20132014, it reported a profit of `27.97 crore. The next year, its profit plunged by a third to `8.26 crore. In 2015-2016, it reported a loss of `14.25 crore. The loss widened to `26.16 crore at the end of March 2020, according to the company’s provisional balance sheet. Its liability is a staggering `255 crore. “There was a time when PCK had a fixed deposit of `175 crore. Today we are running on , an overdraft of `16 crore from Canara Bank,” said Managing Director J Sajeev. Conspiracy hatched: fir As per the FIR lodged by the Crime Branch, Dileep hatched a conspiracy at Padmasarovaram — the residence of Dileep in Aluva — to endanger the lives of investigating officers on November 15, 2011 Crime Branch, the accused nursed a grudge towards Baiju Paulose, the investigation officer, for arresting him in the case and initiating legal action. The accused hatched a conspiracy at Padmasarovaram --- the residence of Dileep at Kotta- rakadavu in Aluva --- to endanger the lives of the officers on November 15, 2011. “You the five officers are going to suffer...Sojan, Sudarshan, Sandhya, Baiju Pauolose and you,” Balachandrakumar witnessed Dileep as saying looking at the video in which the then Rural SP A V George was speaking to mediapersons about the case. Sojan, Sudarshan and Sandhya were the top Crime Branch officers who were part of the probe team while Baiju Paulose was the investigation officer. The courage portrayed by Sahibzades under enormous oppression is unparalleled and everyone across the globe must know about their supreme sacrifice. Captain Amarinder Singh ister Captain Amarinder Singh welcomed it. “The courage portrayed by Sahibzades under enormous oppression is unparalleled and everyone across the globe must know about their supreme sacrifice. This is a commendable step in that direction,” he tweeted. Indian Council for Cultural Relations president Vinay Sa- Yechury refuses to rule out CPM alliance with Congress E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e s @ Hyderabad DESPITE Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other Kerala leaders of the CPM stating categorically that the party would not have any ties with the Congress, general secretary Sitaram Yechury did not rule that out entirely . Addressing the media here after CPM’s three-day Central Committee meeting concluded here on Sunday, Yechury said leopard cubs Surprise guests leave Palakkad villagers in a spot of bother E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Palakkad Residents of Ummini in Akkathethara panchayat near Dhoni in Palakkad district had a scary surprise as two leopard cubs were found in an unoccupied house on Sunday The . dilapidated tiled house is located in a large compound and has been lying vacant for more than 15 years. “Once in a while, I used to come and check the compound and house. When I came to see the house around noon after a gap of three months, a sound was heard from inside. I thought that a dog had given birth and I knocked on the window to scare the dog and pups away Then I looked inside . through the window and saw a leopard running out of a room which sent shivers down my spine,” said Ponnan who has been de- hasrabuddhe, too, hailed it, saying the decision is in the spirit that history is a part of our collective identity . In his series of tweets, Modi said Veer Baal Diwas will be observed on the same day Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh attained martyrdom after being sealed alive in a wall. “These two greats preferred death instead of deviating from the noble principles of Dharma. The bravery and ideals of Mata Gujri, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and the four Sahibzades give strength to millions of people. They never bowed to injustice,” the prime minister added. puted by the owner to oversee the property . “When I told the local residents that I saw a leopard, no one believed me. They said leopards are only in Dhoni hills or in Cheekuzhi area. It is only after they saw the two cubs they believed me,” said Ponnan. The house belongs to Madhavan but is staying elsewhere. Abraham who lives next door said that he found Ponnan gasping for breath and running from the house. “He told me that he saw a leopard. We, the re s i d e n t s, we re ve r y scared,” he said. Forest officials were informed and members of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) arrived and took the cubs first to the Divisional Forest Officer’s office and later to the veterinary hospital to examine their health. The forest personnel said that the cubs were only three days old. that at the state-level, Congress had aligned with Shiv Sena and NCP in Maharashtra and pointed out that in Assam, CPM and Congress did have a pre-poll alliance. He made it clear that the party would form alliances with like-minded parties which are strong enough to defeat BJP in states like RJD in Bihar and SP in Uttar Pradesh. Yechury said that this was on account of people’s varying perception of political parties in different states. PCK’s only achievement now is it pays salaries to all its employees on time. “The income we get goes into paying the interest on the overdraft,” said Sajeev. When the rubber prices crashed, PCK decided to diversify into other verticals such as dairy farm, quail farm, carbonated cashew fruit drink, passion fruit squash and rambutan cultivation. Except for the rambutan plantation, all the businesses are bleeding the company . “I don’t think the price crash of rubber led to the crisis in PCK. Individuals with just 100 rubber trees are doing good. It is bad management that is drowning PCK,” said an official in the headquarters, who did not want to be identified.as given a quiet burial. ● More on P2 Now police go after Sulli Deals, nab its creator E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ Bhopal/New Delhi IN the first arrest of people behind the Sulli Deals hate app, the Delhi Police nabbed its alleged creator in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. According to Deputy Commisioner of Police (IFSO) KPS Malhotra, the accused, Aumkareshwar Thakur (26), a BCA graduate, admitted that he was a member of a group on Twitter where the idea to defame and troll Muslim women had been shared. He was arrested on Saturday . On the app, hundreds of Muslim women were listed ‘for auction’, with photographs sourced without permission and doctored last year. “He had developed the code on GitHub. The photos of the Muslim women were uploaded by the group members,” the officer said. The Delhi Police said further analysis of gadgets is underway to find the codes/images related to the app.
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