kochi l Sunday l january 23, 2022 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l late city edition influential zen monk and peace activist passes away Thich Nhat Hanh, whose reach within Buddhism is seen as second only to the Dalai Lama, died at the age of 95 Nominated for nobel by martin luther king In the early 1960s, the Vietnamese monk travelled to the US, where he taught at Columbia and Princeton. In 1966, he met civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr and called him a ‘Bodhisattva’. The monk’s efforts to promote reconciliation between communist North Vietnam and the US-backed South impressed King and he nominated Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize. P9 ■ 100+books helped spread meditation in the west ■ Barred from home due to his call for peace, the monk spent more than three decades in France. During his stay in the West, Nhat Hanh set up meditation retreats around the world Allowed into Vietnam in 2005, ties again soured after he called for an end to the communist government’s control over religion written by the monk, most of them on meditation and finding inner peace 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 No Dileep arrest till Jan 27; HC orders quizzing for 3 days E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi THE Kerala High Court on Saturday directed actor Dileep and other accused persons in a case registered for allegedly conspiring to kill the police officers probing the actor abduction case to report before the crime branch for three consecutive days from Sunday, from 9am to 8pm, for interrogation. While passing an interim order on the anticipatory bail petitions of actor Dileep and others, Justice P Gopinath said “Dileep and others shall not be arrested till Thursday .” The court directed the prosecution to file a report on the interrogation and any other materials that may be collected by the prosecution in a sealed cover on Thursday . The petitioners should fully cooperate with the investigation. Any attempt to interfere in any manner whatsoever will be viewed seriously and will lead to the cancellation of the order of protection. “Please tell your clients that I’m very, very serious and that any violation of conditions will be dealt with seriously Don’t at. tempt anything unnecessarily and don’t even think about it,” the court cautioned the counsel of Dileep and others. Dileep’s counsel B Ramanpillai sought a directive not to Pulsar Suni, prime accused, returns after appearing before the CBI court in Kochi on Saturday | Express harass the actor during interrogation. “If they are harassed, you can come back and tell the court,” he said. During the hearing, the court also orally observed that the information collected by the prosecution so far may not indicate the commission of offences alleged. The crime was registered based on a complaint by the officer probing the abduction case following the revelation by director Balachandrakumar. The FIR stated that the accused persons assembled at the actor’s house on November 15, 2017 and conspired to kill the police officers connected ● More on P5 with the probe. Towering inferno kills six in Mumbai E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Mumbai The early morning calm at Tardeo in central Mumbai was shattered around 7am following a massive fire at an upscale 20-storey building that left six people dead and 29 injured on Saturday . Smoke billows from the 18th floor of Kamla Building on Saturday | PTI Fire brigade officials said a fault in the air-conditioning unit of a flat caused the blaze, which quickly engulfed the 18th floor of Kamala Building, perhaps due to the strong sea breeze. Thirteen fire engines and seven jumbo tankers had to be rushed to douse the fire. Residents of the building said they heard a loud sound followed by black smoke and recalled a frenzy among them to get to safety . “We heard a big noise and rushed outside. There was smoke coming out of some floors above us. We immediately rushed downstairs and came into the open area,” a resident said. Nanda Chavan, a relative of an injured person, said the hospitals asked them to deposit money first before admitting the victims. “They even asked for Covid-19 RT-PCR tests. That consumed a lot of time while admitting the injured people,” she added. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said he has asked for a report in the next 15 days. It was alleged that some additions and alterations were being carried out. RTI activist Anil Galgali claimed the BMC’s fire brigade department does not carry out fire audits of buildings. “I had sought fire audit reports on 1 January 2018, but they are yet to furnish the details,” he said. EC extends ban on road shows till Jan 31 Some curbs eased; physical meetings with 500-people cap allowed from Jan 28 for Phase 1 and Feb 1 for Phase 2 K u m a r V i k r a m @ New Delhi The Election Commission on Saturday extended the ban on physical rallies and road shows till January 31 but gave some relaxation for physical public meetings of political parties and contesting candidates for Phase 1 of the assembly elections from January 28 and Phase 2 from February 1. The commission also increased the limit of five persons for doorto-door campaigning to 10. The decision to extend the ban was taken following a review meeting that the EC had with the Union health secretary and chief secretaries, chief electoral officers and the health secretaries of the five poll-bound states. After taking into consideration the inputs and ground reports from these officers, the commission deliberated on requirements of the campaign period for Phases 1 and 2 where the candidate lists will be finalised on January 27 and January 31, respectively . The commission decided to allow physical public meetings in designated open spaces with a maximum of 500 persons or 50% of the capacity of the ground or the prescribed limit set by state disaster management authorities, whichever is fewer. The EC has also allowed video vans for publicity with the usual Covid restrictions at designated open spaces. Political parties and contesting candidates shall ensure compliance with Covid-appropriate behaviour and guidelines and the model code of conduct on all occasions during the activities connected with elections, the poll panel said. It shall be the responsibility of the concerned officer to identify and notify the desig- State govt asks private hospitals to allocate 50% of beds to Covid care E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram WITH Covid surging in the state, Health Minister Veena George on Saturday asked all private hospitals to reserve 50% of inpatient beds for Covid patients. The move is aimed at avoiding frantic search for beds in case of emergency A similar . arrangement was made when the second wave peaked last year. The decision was taken at a meeting of the rapid response team where the increase in demand for Covid beds in the last two days came up for discussion. The state re por ted 45,136 new cases, with TPR touching 44.8%. The number of patients went up to 2.47 lakh, though only 3% of them has sought hospital care. Among the new patients, only 1,134 were admitted to hospitals. Meanwhile, lockdown-like curbs will be in force in the state on Sunday. Travel for unavoidable purposes will be allowed and shops selling essential com- modities will be permitted. Only takeaway services will be allowed at restaurants. “During the last two waves, private hospitals extended wholehearted cooperation in the fight against the pandemic. We expect the same this time, too,” said Veena. All private hospitals have also been directed to update the district medical officer concerned on the number of beds, ICUs and ventilators available on a daily basis. Action, under Epidemics Act, will be taken against defaulters. The proposal evoked mixed response. Kerala Private Hospital Association state treasurer Dr E K Ramachandran said most private hospitals have already started allocating beds to Covid patients. “It may be difficult for small hospitals to earmark separate beds without affecting non-Covid patients, especially pregnant women. The government should hold discussion with hospital managements,” he said. CPM Alappuzha dist meet postponed Alappuzha: A day after the Kerala High Court pulled up the CPM for organising the district conference in Kasaragod ignoring the rapid spread of Covid, the party on Saturday postponed Alappuzha district meet. The conference was scheduled to be held at Kanichukulangara near Cherthala from January 28 to 30. The High Court had issued an order banning gatherings of more than 50 people as part of Covid restrictions. OPPN’S CRITICISM Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan has said the state government has lost control over the containment of Covid spread. “By making the health department a mere scarecrow, the expert committee, health secretary and NRHM director had hijacked all the matters,” alleged Satheesan while speaking to mediapersons here. stateWIDE Jan 21 Jan 22 Fresh cases 41,668 45,136 Recoveries Deaths 17,053 21,324 33 70 b a t t l e g r o u n d u . p. A day after hinting that she is the party’s CM face in UP, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra makes a U-turn. “I said that in irritation because you all were asking the same question again and again” Akhilesh Yadav makes official decision to contest from family stronghold of Karhal, promises 22 lakh IT jobs for youth Amit Shah begins door-to-door campaigning from Kairana, where there was an alleged exodus of Hindus before 2017. Meanwhile, the JD(U) decides to go solo in UP Devil in the details With the BCCI closing the registration for IPL 2022, a look at some of the key points about the upcoming mega auction 33 A72 cr Retained /drafted With the existing eight teams retaining 27 players, and the two new teams drafting three each, as many as 1,214 players have expressed an interest in taking part in the auctions Punjab Kings is the team to retain the least number of players, two, and will go into the auction with C72 crore in their purse nated spaces in advance for the aforesaid purposes, the commission added. The poll panel also reviewed the vaccination status and action plan for expeditiously completing inoculation for first, second and booster doses for eligible persons among polling personnel. CEC Sushil Chandra along with Election Commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey, accompanied by the secretary general and concerned deputy election commissioners, participated in the review meeting. express read Assembly polls in JK after delimitation: Shah New Delhi: Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir will be held after the completion of the ongoing delimitation process and statehood will be restored once the situation becomes normal, Home Minister Amit Shah has said. “As far as the democratic process is concerned, the delimitation process has started. After its completion, we will hold the (assembly) polls,” Shah said. US asks kin of embassy staff in Kiev to evacuate Washington: The State Department on Saturday ordered evacuation of families of US embassy personnel in Ukraine as soon as Monday, according to reports. The US is expected to issued guidance next week encouraging American civilians to begin leaving Ukraine on commercial flights. 318 As many as 318 overseas players have registered for the auction, with the highest of 59 players from Australia, followed by South Africa (48) and West Indies (41). A maximum of 60 overseas players could get picked in the auction, with 10 already retained and drafted by the teams Big names David Warner, R Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Trent Boult and Pat Cummins are top draws Scientists flag concerns on Omicron sub-variant Paris: With more than 400 cases in Britain and the new sub-variant being detected in some 40 other countries, scientists are keeping a close watch on the latest version, dubbed BA.2. Though the subvariant spreads rapidly, experts say that it is too early to conclude that the sub-variant is more virulent | P12 SAIRAM BHAT, 84, PASSES AWAY Missing out Ben Stokes, Chris Gayle, Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes, Mitchell Starc and Sam Curran are among the overseas stars who have opted p11 out citing various reasons seeing red? Gopalan, 60, puts finishing touches to sculptures made out of clay brought from Hyderabad and Kolkata at Muttom in Kochi. With third wave of Covid bringing down his meagre income, the Chengamanad native is staring at a bleak future | A Sanesh WITH T H IS ISSU E He made houses for the homeless and created livelihood opportunities for the poor. To date, Bhat helped build 265 houses for the homeless. P5 Cryptoman Rises PLUS 12 PAGES Bitcoin crash gandhi’s favourite hymn Cryptos shed over $1 tn in market cap ‘Abide with me’ dropped from Beating Retreat U m a K a n n a n @ Benglauru Cryptocurrency prices, which have been falling ever since Russia’s central bank proposed a ban on crypto trading, touched a new low on Saturday with Bitcoin tumbling to $36,000 levels, a drop of over 17% from last week. In the past 24 hours alone, Bitcoin has shed over 8.5%. Ethereum, the second largest crypto, also dropped 12% in 24 hours. Other altcoins such as BNB, ADA and SOL too tanked. In all, the cryptocurrency market cap has shrunk a whopping $1.3 trillion. On Thursday, Russia’s central bank had called for a ban on cryptos citing threats of citizens’ well-being and also financial stability. The move created considerable concern among investors as Russia is one of the world’s largest crypto adopters. However, major players such as CoinDCX, India’s largest cryptocur- rency exchange, are unfazed as they believe the current meltdown won’t have a longterm impact on the crypto market. They point out the sector has weathered bans, restrictions and regulatory scrutiny in the past as well. Not just cryptos, most other markets are down this week, points out Sathvik Vishwanath, co-founder and CEO of Unocoin. He attributes the fall to the Covid pandemic, among other things. Bitcoin was trading at $35,486 on Saturday . E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The hymn Abide with me, which endeared itself to Mahatma Gandhi and has been a part of the Beating Retreat ceremony since 1950, will not be played this year. All the tunes in this year’s list are of Indian origin, according to a brochure released by the Ar my on Saturday . Abide with me has been replaced by the popular patriotic song Ae mere watan ke logon, written by Kavi Pradeep to commemorate the sacrifices made by Indian soldiers in the 1962 India-China war. In 2020 too, there were reports that the tune would be dropped but no such decision was taken. The soothing hymn was written by Henry Francis Lyte in 1861 and it was set to tune by William Henry Monk. The retreat tune will continue to be Sare jahan se accha. Twitterati react- ed sharply to the news. “Gandhiji’s favourite hymn dropped from Beating Retreat. There is no end to the hate,” said one. “New India, No Amar Jyothi, no Abide With Me during the Beating Re t re at . S i cko ’s B J P, ” C o n g r e s s leader Ajoy Kumar tweeted. The move to drop the hymn comes days after the decision to merge the Amar Jawan Jyoti flame at India Gate with the eternal flame of the National War Memorial. A total of 44 buglers, 16 trumpeters and 75 drummers from six bands of the Army, Navy, Air Force and central armed police forces will be performing at this year’s ceremony . Beating Retreat is a centuries-old military tradition of troops disengaging from battle at sunset. As soon as the buglers sounded the retreat, the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield.
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