sambalpur l Saturday l january 15, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION VISA Visa revoked, Djokovic appeals against decision Immigration minister uses statutory discretion on public interest grounds, three days before Oz Open. Spectre of three-year ban Australia faces a massive Covid surge Deportation from Australia can lead to a three-year ban on returning to the country, although it may be waived, depending on the circumstances. Immigration minister Alex Hawke said he cancelled Novak Djokovic’s visa in public interest. Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed the decision in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. ■ On Friday, the nation reported 130,000 new cases, including nearly 35,000 in Victoria state, where Australian Open is played. ■ Djokovic’s lawyers had last week successfully challenged the decision after his visa was first cancelled | P11 9 Of Djokovic’s 20 Grand Slam titles have been won at Melbourne Park 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 EC may extend ban on rallies, road shows in view of rising Covid-19 cases e x p r e ss n e ws s e r v i c e @ New Delhi Former UP minister Swami Prasad Maurya (2nd from right) and others who joined the SP on Friday with party president Akhilesh Yadav | Pti Maurya & Co join Akhilesh, accuse Yogi govt of betraying backwards Two former ministers, five ex-MLAs of BJP join SP at a rally; FIR for Covid norm violation N a m i ta Ba j pa i @ Lucknow Accusing the Yogi Adityanath gover nment of running Uttar Pradesh in the last five years, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Friday taunted the BJP for losing “one wicket after the other” as he welcomed into the SP fold two ministers and five MLAs who recently quit the ruling party . At a huge gathering of party workers in Lucknow, Akhilesh as well as the new inductees alleged that the BJP dispensation had betrayed the farmers and the youth. Former minister Swami Prasad Maurya accused the ruling party of betraying backwards. The others who joined the SP included minister Dharam Singh Saini and MLAs Bhagwati Sagar, Vinay Shakya, Mukesh Verma, Brajesh Prajapati and Roshan Lal Verma. The police later lodged an FIR against SP leaders after hundreds of supporters, in defiance of the The BJP wickets are falling one after the other. Our ‘baba’ CM doesn’t know how to play cricket. Even if he knew, he has dropped the catch Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party chief No approval for rally: DM Lucknow DM said the ‘virtual rally’ was held without prior clearance. “A police team and magistrate were sent. Action will be taken based o, their report,” he said. Covid norms, turned up at the party office to attend the ‘virtual rally’. According to Lucknow Police Commissioner DK Thakur, the FIR was lodged against 2,500-odd SP leaders under various IPC Sections and relevant sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act. Thakur added that the police had got the event video-recorded before lodging the FIR. Amid Covid waves, Odisha has spent only 29 pc of health funds H e m a n t K u m a r Ro u t @ Bhubaneswar Despite wave after wave of Covid putting tremendous pressure on the health infrastructure and services and highlighting an urgent need for improvement, the State government has failed in timely utilisation of its own allocations for the Health and Family Welfare department in the budget 2021-22. The State government had made a provision of `1,898 crore for capital expenditure (capex) for the Health department this financial year which was to be used to develop health infrastructure and procure advanced medical equipment for hospitals across districts. Although as per the guidelines under the cash management system, around 60 per cent (pc) of the allocation should have been utilised by the third quarter of the fiscal, sources said that only `548 crore, which is around 29 pc of the allocation, has been spent till December 31. When the State is in the grip of the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic affecting healthcare services, the non utilisation of funds meant for improvement of peripheral health infrastructure has come as a shocker. The budgetary allocation for capital expenditure of the Health department was made despite the State economy contracting by 4.9 pc during the 202021 fiscal under the impact of Covid-19. Higher public spending was required for stepping up growth in Odisha. While the economists have expressed doubts over utilisation of the rest two-third of the capex allocation in the next three months, the slow pace of funds utilisation has left the Finance department disgruntled. It has asked the Health department to take all necessary measures to ensure full utilisation of the allocation to induce growth in the economy through employment generation. The dismal utilisation of funds sanctioned by the Ministry of Health under the Phase II of Emergency Covid Response Package (ECRP) to develop health infrastructure to tackle the third wave had also come under seCONTINUED ON: P5 vere criticism. While addressing the gathering, Akhilesh took a dig at CM Yogi Adityanath over his recent statement that the UP election was about ‘80 per cent positivity versus 20 per cent ne gativity’, saying that after Murya’s induction into the SP, 80 per cent support had shifted to his party and the remaining 20 per cent would also vote for SP as they were unhappy with the present dispensation. S P Maurya claimed that he was going to script the end of ‘Yogi sarkar’ on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti by joining the SP . He said it was the day of the amalgamation of ‘Samajwad’ (socialism) and ‘Ambedkarvaad’ (BR Ambedkar’s philosophy). Playing up the caste card, he said, “They had promised during the 2017 campaign that a backward --- either me or Keshav Maurya -- would be the CM, but they brought a sky lab from Gorakhpur and dropped him on the CM’s chair.” E x p r e s s r ea d Entry into clouds caused CDS copter crash: Air Force New Delhi: The Indian Air Force chopper crash — in which Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 13 others were killed last month — was caused by entry into clouds due to unexpected changes in weather conditions. The Indian Air Force on Friday said, “The accident was a result of entry into clouds due to unexpected change in weather conditions in the valley. This led to spatial disorientation of the pilot resulting in Controlled Flight into Terrain” | P7 8-seater vehicles to have 6 airbags, says Gadkari New Delhi: All private vehicles carrying up to eight persons will now have six airbags. Union Minister of Transport Nitin Gadkari has approved a draft gazette notification which will make six airbags compulsory. The move is aimed at enhanced passenger safety. It is likely to result into cost escalation of vehicles. The new regulation making side curtain airbags mandatory for new vehicles will ensure safety for the occupants in case of side impacts | P7 Bishop Franco acquitted in nun rape case E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @ Kottayam IN A MAJOR setback for the prosecution, Bishop Franco Mulakkal, former head of the Latin Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, was on Friday acquitted in the sensational nun rape case. Kottayam Additional District and Sessions Court 1 Judge I G Gopakumar pronounced the judgment in just one line in the courtroom: “The accused has been acquitted.” Later, on the e-court website, it was stated that the “accused is found not guilty” of wrongful confinement, rape on a woman incapable of giving consent, causing grievous bodily harm during rape, unnatural offence, assault or use of criminal force on any wom- Accused is found not guilty of wrongful confinement, rape on a woman incapable of giving consent, causing grievous bodily harm during rape, unnatural offence, assault or use of criminal force on any woman, intending to outrage her modesty and criminal intimidation Court an, intending to outrage her modesty and criminal intimidation. “He is acquitted and his sureties are discharged,” it said. The courtroom witnessed dramatic scenes as Bishop Franco’s brothers Philip and Chacko and supporters ran towards him and hugged him while he was coming out of the dock after hearing the judgment. The bishop left the court premises soon with a one-line response to the media: “Praise the Lord.” Later speaking to media persons at a retreat centre in Kalathipady near Kottayam town, the bishop said the judgment proved that prayers have powers. “I prayed that the verdict in God’s court be implemented in the court on earth. God has given me an opportunity to prove that God exists and what are His powers,” he said. “All those who loved and stood for the truth stood by him. Stones are thrown only at trees that bear fruits and I am proud of being one such CONTINUED ON: P5 tree,” he said. With fresh Covid-19 cases recording a steep rise every day, the Election Commission of India is likely to extend the ban on public rallies and road shows in five poll-bound states. The decision will be finalised at a meeting on Saturday. However, the broadcast/telecast time allotted to each party for campaigning on Doordarshan and All India Radio will be doubled. The ECI had banned the rallies, road shows and corner meetings till January 15 while announcing the assembly poll schedule on January 8. It had said that any decision on lifting or extending the ban would be taken after a review of Covid situation in the five states headed for assembly elections. The daily infections are seeing a spike every day with 2.64 cases recorded on Friday . The poll panel has also relaxed the norms for registration of political parties in the five states. Keeping in view difficulties caused by Covid-related restrictions, it has reduced the notice period for registration of new parties from 30 days to 7 days for those who published their public notice on or before January 8, 2022. In a statement, the EC explained that under the existing guidelines, a party seeking registration has to submit an application to it within 30 days following the date of its formation. The applicant is asked to publish the party’s proposed name in two national dailies and two local dailies on two days. Objections, if any, with regard to the proposed registration of the party have to be submitted within 30 days from the publication of the notice. However, the EC said it was appraised of delay in moving applications for registration because of the curbs and hence, the notice period had been reduced. For all parties, including those which have already published the public notice in less than 7 days prior to January 8, objection, if any can be submitted by , 5.30 PM on January 21, or by the end of the originally provided 30 days period, whichever is earlier, the EC said. close shave Major collision averted at Dubai airport e x p r e ss n e ws s e r v i c e @ New Delhi A collision between two India-bound Emirates planes was averted at Dubai airport on Sunday. India’s aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, has sought the probe report from the UAE authorities. Flight EK-524 to Hyderabad was scheduled for take-off at 9:45 pm while Dubai-Bengaluru flight was also scheduled to take off from the same runway. According to the Emirates flight schedule, there was a fiveminute gap between the departure time of both flights. Reports said that the Hyderabadbound plane was accelerating for take-off from runway 30R when the crew saw another aircraft coming in the same direction at high speed. Take-off was immediately instructed to be aborted by the ATC. The aircraft slowed down safely and cleared the runway via taxiway N4. Flight EK-568 to Bangalore, which was rolling for departure, was to take-off from the same runway --- 30R. After the ATC intervention, the Bengaluru-bound Emirates flight took off and the Hyderabad-bound flight went back to the taxi bay and departed a few minutes later. A probe was launched by the UAE’s Air Accident Investigation Sector. The DGCA has asked the UAE officials to share the report.
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.