Kottayam l saturday l january 15, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION VISA REVOKED once again DJOKOVIC FACES DEPORTATION World No 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic faces deportation again after Australia revoked his visa for a second time DECISION 3 DAYS BEFORE oz OPEN STARTS SERB STARES AT THREE-YEAR BAN It was the latest twist in the ongoing saga over whether the player would be allowed to compete in the Australian Open despite being unvaccinated for Covid. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said he used his ministerial discretion to cancel the 34-year-old Serb’s visa on public interest grounds just three days before play begins at the Australian Open ■ ■ Deportation from Australia can lead to a three-year ban on returning to the country, although that may be waived, depending on the circumstances Australia is currently facing a massive surge in virus cases driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant. 9 of the 20 Grand Slam titles won by Djokovic were at the Australian Open 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 Bishop Franco acquitted in nun rape case, probe team shocked Accused found not guilty, says judge in one-line verdict; bishop says judgment proved prayers have powers, breaks down in courtroom E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kottayam SWAMY SARANAM Devotees erupt in joy on witnessing Makarajyothi at Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple on Friday | Shaji Vettipuram More curbs in state; no offline sessions up to class 9 from Jan 21 EC likely to extend ban on rallies & road shows E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e In the wake of a sharp increase in Covid cases, the state government has decided to suspend the offline classes for school students up to Class 9 for two weeks from January 21. Their classes will continue in the online mode during the period. The government will decide on resuming offline classes when it reviews the situation i n t h e s e c o n d we e k o f February . These decisions were taken in a Covid review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday The . health experts predict the peak of third wave in the state to begin from the last week of this month. The state reported 16,338 new positive cases with a test positivity rate (TPR) of 24% on Friday The number of . active patients in the state crossed 76,500. The offline classes of Classes 10, 11 and 12 will continue in the present form. However, the CURBS & MEASURES Offline classes for students up to class 9 to be suspended for two weeks from January 21 No public function to be allowed in a district if TPR crosses 30 Malls to restrict entry More curbs if clusters develop Principals/headmasters to decide on closing education institutions if clusters are formed Sabarimala pilgrims to be asked to postpone visit from January 16 Work-from-home option for pregnant government employees principal or the headmaster is empowered to close down the institution for two weeks if there is a cluster formation there. The decision was taken after Covid clusters were reported in various higher educational institutions this week. The education department will issue detailed guidelines on ● More on P4 January 17. NATIONWIDE jan 13 Fresh cases 2,47,417 2,64,202 jan 14 Fresh cases stateWIDE jan 13 13,468 jan 14 16,338 Recoveries Deaths 84,825 1,09,345 380 315 Recoveries Deaths 3,252 21 3,848 20 @ New Delhi 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. H ow e ve r, t h e 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 p o l l s ch e d u l e fo r U t t a r Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur 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 . CM urges guv to stay as chancellor E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram GIVING indications about the end of the ongoing cold war between Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and the state gover nment over the alleged political interference in universities, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan spoke to Khan over phone twice and also wrote to him to resume his duties as chancellor. Pinarayi’s first phone call to the governor was on Thursday . He then sent a letter with the same request and later followed it up with a call on Friday before leaving for the US for treatment. Sources said the governor responded positively to Pinarayi’s request. Khan had softened his stance already when he told the media that he was satisfied with the response of the government to the issues that he had raised. The CM had written three letters to the governor explaining the government’s stance and requested him to resume his duties as chancellor. On December 8, Khan had written a strongly-worded letter to the CM expressing anguish over the alleged political interference in universities. He said he was ready to relinquish the chancellor’s post and asked the CM to take over the role. 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 givNuns to continue ing consent, causing fight for justice grievous bodily harm during rape, unnatural Shocked by the offence, assault or use of “unexpected” verdict criminal force on any acquitting Bishop woman, intending to outFranco Mulakkal in the rage her modesty and nun rape case, Sr Anupama, who led from criminal intimidation. “He is acquitted and his the front in the survivor’s battle, vowed sureties are discharged,” it said. to continue “the fight The courtroom witfor our sister till she nessed dramatic scenes gets justice” and said as Bishop Franco’s broththey would file an appeal in a higher court ers Philip and Chacko and supporters ran tochallenging Friday’s wards him and hugged verdict. P4 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 me. Stones are thrown only at trees that bear fruits and I am proud of being one such ● More on P4 tree,” he said. E X PRE S S REA D Can LuLu Mall charge parking fee, asks HC Kochi: The High Court on Friday directed the Kalamassery municipality to file an affidavit or statement explaining whether LuLu Mall in Kochi could collect fee for parking in the space earmarked as per the permit. South Africa wrap up series with 7-wkt win Cape Town: A South African team going through one of its toughest transition phase embarrassed a star-studded Indian team with a seven-wicket victory in the third Test on Friday to clinch the series 2-1. Dileep moves court, says probe officer has visuals Kochi: Following the police raid on the residences of Dileep and his brother Anoop, the film star has approached the court seeking a directive to the officer investigating the actor abduction and rape case to submit the assault visuals of the victim to the court. P2 Money & muscle power have won: Reactions galore E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @Kottayam Bishop Franco Mulakkal comes out of the Additional District and Sessions Court I in Kottayam after hearing the verdict | Vishnu Prathap judgment says There are exaggerations and embellishments in the statement of the victim Apart from the testimony of the survivor nun, there is no corroborative evidence to prove the prosecution case Police could not seize the mobile phone of the victim. It would’ve provided some input into alleged messages sent by the accused The in-fight... of the nuns, and desire for power, position, control over congregation is evident from the demand by the nun KEY DATES June 28, 2018: Kuravilangadu police register case against Bishop Franco Mulakkal September 21, 2018: Probe team led by the Vaikom DySP arrests the bishop September 16, 2020: Final trial commences in court behind closed doors January 10, 2022: Final trial ends Collision of India-bound flights averted in Dubai E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi A major collision between two India-bound Emirates planes was averted at Dubai airport on Sunday India’s avia. tion regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, has sought details of the investigation report from the UAE authorities. Flight EK-524 to Hyderabad was scheduled for take-off at 9:45 pm while Dubai-Bengaluru flight EK-568 was also scheduled to take off for its destination. According to the Emirates flight schedule, there was a five-minute gap between the departure times of both flights. Unfortunately the two aircraft , came on the same runway . Reports said that the Hyderabad-bound 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 rejected 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 Bengalurubound 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 aviation investigations body, Air Accident Investigation Sector. A DGCA official said the regulator has asked the UAE authorities to share the investigation report once it’s ready . The Emirates had put into service its Boeing-B777 aircraft for the said destinations. These aircraft have seating capacity ranging between 350 to 440, depending on the configuration of the plane. “Shocking”, “justice denied”, “extremely unfortunate” -- these were some of the reactions from the public and prominent personalities after the trial court acquitted Bishop Franco Mulakkal in the nun rape case. “Money and muscle power have won. We are distraught,” said Sr. Anupama, one of the nuns who acted as the spokesperson for the victim through the last 3-4 years, speaking to reporters outside her convent at Kuravilangad. “We can’t believe this verdict.” National Commission for Women chairperson Rekha Sharma expressed shock at the verdict. “Shocked at the judgment of Kerala Additional District and Sessions Court. The victim nun must go to the higher court. NCW is with her in this fight for justice,” she tweeted. While actor Rima Kallingal shared a photo of the nuns of Kuravilangadu with the hashtag ‘Avalkoppam’ (With her), Parvathy Thiruvothu wrote ‘ lA ways With Her’ on her Facebook page along with the photo ● More on P4 of the nuns. Maurya & Co: Yogi govt has betrayed youth and farmers N a m i ta B a j pa i @ Lucknow Accusing the Yogi Adityanath government of ruining 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.
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