US First Lady Jill Biden (second left) and Olena Zelenska, spouse of Ukrainian’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, at a school in Ukraine | AP BENGALURU MONDAY MAY 9, 2022 `9.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION 60 FEARED KILLED AS RUSSIA STRIKES SCHOOL IN UKRAINE The school in east Ukraine’s Lugansk region was sheltering about 90 civilians when it was hit by an air strike on Saturday BUILDING FULLY DESTROYED: LOCAL LEADER 11 MISSING AFTER ATTACK ON HOUSE The attack completely destroyed the school in the village of Bilohorivka, Lugansk regional governor Sergii Gaidai wrote on Telegram. Thirty people have been rescued by emergency personnel. However, some 60 people still trapped beneath the debris “are probably dead”, Gaidai wrote. Meanwhile, Russian shelling killed two boys in a nearby town | P9 ■ Rescue workers were also looking for survivors beneath the rubble of a house in Shepilivka, a village not far from the school. The house was sheltering about 11 civilians when it was hit by a missile ■ Russian attacks have intensified ahead of the May 9 Victory Day — the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany 1st Lady JILL BIDEN MADE A SURPRISE VISIT TO UKRAINE ON SUNDAY 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 Retiring judge may get to chair Central water body S H A H I D F A R I D I @ New Delhi People loot a truck transporting cooking gas cylinders in Colombo on Sunday, after waiting in queue overnight for fresh refills | AFP Top oppn party turns down offer to lead SL govt Mahinda booed during his first public outing since protests began; people loot LPG truck EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE SRI Lanka continued to remain in flux on Sunday with the most powerful Opposition party rejecting embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s offer to head an interim government. In other words, the president was prepared to sacrifice elder brother Mahinda, the current premier, to save his chair. “Our leader Sajith Premadasa refused to accept the president’s offer,” Tissa Attanayake, the national organiser for Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) revealed. The offer came amid a fresh round of Emergency Gotabaya clamped since Friday midnight as peaceful protests by students kept snowballing and a strike by trade unions brought the entire nation to a virtual standstill. The SJB, however, said it was willing to support a proposal suggested by the nation’s bar association to form an interim government for 18 months that would set in motion the process of abolishing the presidential system of governance. Apparently Gotabaya had called up Premadasa over the phone to tap him on leading the interim government but without yielding on his presidential powers. Both the powerful Buddhist clergy and the breakaway group from the ruling coalition have demanded the formation of an interim government. Meanwhile, Mahinda Rajapaksa got a sense of the intensity of anger on the streets against his ruling family on Sunday during his first public outing since nationwide protests erupted, as he booed and jeered, AFP reported. Mahinda was visiting one of the holiest of Buddhist temples in Anuradhapura, 200 km north of Colombo. Dozens of people carried handwritten placards and chanted slogans demanding that ‘thieves’ be banned from the sacred city. “We will worship you if you stand down (as prime minister) and leave,” one man shouted. The police had to move in to clear the road for Rajapaksa’s convoy of six vehicles. In Colombo, a truck transporting cooking gas was looted by people waiting in an overnight queue for refills. The outnumbered police watched helplessly as men clambered onto the truck and got away with 84 cylinders of liquid petroleum gas, officials said. THE Union government is likely to appoint Supreme Court judge Vineet Saran, who is retiring on May 10, as the next chairman of the Central Water Commission (CWC). He is already chairman of the Ravi Beas water tribunal that is dealing with the knotty SutlejYamuna link canal project. The term of the present CWC chairman, Dr R K Gupta, is coming to an end soon and Jus- tice Saran will take over from him, according to highly placed sources. The CWC is primarily responsible for the control, conservation and utilisation of water throughout the country and , works for the resolution of disputes over sharing of water between states. Resolving inter-state water disputes is one of the critical functions of the CWC. All major river basins are of interstate nature. When one state builds a dam on an inter-state Khalistan flags at Himachal House wall CM meets DCs, pushes for H A R P R E E T BA J WA @ Chandigarh Mischief was clearly afoot in Himachal Pradesh as Khalistan flags were found tied to the main gate and the boundary wall of the state’s Legislative Assembly complex in Dharamshala on Sunday The state will . go to polls later this year. The harried police removed the flags and registered a case. There were no security guards or CCTV cameras near the gate, which ought to have encouraged miscreants to put up the flags, sources said. The police had earlier written to the Assembly Secretariat requesting that CCTV cameras be installed in the outer periphery of the Khalistan flags on the main gate of the Himachal Assembly | PTI complex, but no action was taken, sources said. A shocked Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur condemned the incident, cowardly. “Since the winter session of the Assembly alone is held there, tight security cover is required during that time alone,” he tweeted. Last year, the police found pro-Khalistan graffiti on boulders and parapets on the roads connecting Anandpur Sahib Aasha attends sister’s wedding virtually S H I L PA P @ Bengaluru THE family of acid attack victim Aasha (name changed) completed her sister’s wedding on Sunday The event, which was supposed to be a hap. py occasion, turned into a mere ritual, as the bride’s sister Aasha is lying in ICU at St John’s Hospital. While her sister had agreed to go ahead with the marriage only if Aasha didn’t cry, the acid attack victim struggled hard to hold back her tears even as she attended the wedding reception virtually on a video call from the mobile phone of her cousin. As both Aasha and her family members could not control their emotions, the video call was stopped after the ceremony that was held between 7 pm and 9 pm. The family decided not to hurt Aasha further and avoided making a video call to her between 9 am and 9.30 am on Sunday when the muhurtham was fixed. As per Aasha’s wishes, the family members packed the wedding lunch and sent it to her. Aasha’s aunt, in whose house the accused Nagesh was staying on rent seven years ago, has been next to Aasha since April 28, Aasha’s uncle CONTINUED ON P2 Sundaresh said. CMO clears BBMP budget, ups it by Rs 377 crore HK Patil writes to Speaker on fairness of EVMs Faf, Hasaranga set up RCB victory against SRH Bengaluru: The CMO late on Saturday night approved the BBMP budget and increased the amount by Rs 377.50 crore. With an opening balance of Rs 5.58 crore, the BBMP on March 31 released a budget outlay of Rs 10,484.70 crore, and the government has okayed Rs 10,861.78 crore. P2 Bangalore: While there has been much complaining from many politicians about the fairness of EVMs, a senior Congress leader HK Patil has shot off a letter to the Speaker Kageri to have the matter intquired into. HK Patil has also pointed out that about 19 lakh EVMs are missing. P4 Mumbai: Faf Du Plessis (73 n.o) Wanindu Hasaranga (5/18) played an instrumental role as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 67 runs to go fourth on the points table on Sunday. RCB finished with 192/3. Sunrisers, in reply, were floored by Hasaranga and were all out for 125. P11 LIFE IN PRISON PART-1 IT’S FAR FROM ROSES TO BE A WOMAN, AND PREGNANT AT B’LURU CENTRAL JAIL C H E TA N A B E L A G E R E @Bengaluru of whom end up delivering premature children or children with low birth weight, while some suffer even miscarriage. The other issue is about how these women need vocational courses, training and industries to come in so they can earn money to feed their children and families outside the prison. law in the Allahabad High Court from 1980 till 2002 on the constitutional, civil and criminal sides, before being appointed as a permanent judge in the Allahabad High Court on February 14, 2002, where he served for 13 years. He was then transferred to the Karnataka High Court on February 16, 2015 from where he was promoted as the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court on February 26, 2016. He was elevated to the Supreme Court in August 2018. RUSH AHEAD OF POLLS EXPRESS READ All is not well with women prisoners in Bengaluru Central Prisons at Parappana Agrahara. In a structure that is designed for male prisoners, women get marginalised. Their needs and problems become secondary, even as the number of women prisoners is rising considerably. With at least 20 of them crammed in each barrack and lacking proper care, helpless women prisoners are crying for attention. In this two-part series, The New Indian Express highlights the apathy of incarcerated pregnant women, many river, it affects interests of the olution is only one of over a other basin states. This leads to dozen other important responinter-state differences with re- sibilities of the CWC. gard to use, distribuThe Union governtion and control of ment hopes to be able river water. India has to build rules and proseen as many as nine tocols with the help of major Inter-State RivJustice Saran’s legal er Water Disputes Triexpertise to avoid fubunals so far. Water is ture disputes. a contentious subject Justice Saran would Vineet Saran and CWC plays a critibring to the CWC 40 cal role in resolving disputes years of experience in dealing arising over it. with disputes and upholding However, water disputes res- the rule of law. He practised THE condition of women prisoners, who are pregnant, at the Bengaluru Central Prisons at Parappana Agrahara needs immediate attention. Adjusting in a cramped space with just two bed sheets and one pillow to sleep on the floor, with the same food every other day, and filled with despair, anxiety and tension, pregnancy behind bars is not a pleasant experience for women who have wronged. CONTINUED ON P5 We are building a new space to house around 1,000 prisoners. All activities are being chalked out for women prisoners. It will be ready in about a year. We are giving utmost care for women in our prisons. Except for space constraints there is no other problem. Alok Mohan, DG, Prisons and Naina Devi. In July last year, the Sikhs For Justice (SJF), a US-based secessionist outfit, had threatened the Himachal chief minister saying he will not be allowed to hoist the Tricolour on Independence Day. It turned out to be an empty threat. Last month, the SFJ leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannu had called for hoisting the Khalistani flag in Shimla. execution of budget works E N S @ Bengaluru With just around 10 months left for the Assembly elections and the clock ticking away the BJP government is , dashing to the finish line. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday called for a meeting of deputy commissioners of all districts and told them in no uncertain terms that they have to let go of their sarkari mindset and have to perform. Insiders said this is Bommai’s own “booster dose” to top bureaucrats as he was reviewing the progress of works announced in the state budget. He asked the DCs to work efficiently and in a timebound manner, and to avoid the dreaded “nale banni (come tomorrow)” at government offices. The government will support any initiative they take up to help the poor, Bommai said, adding, “Such projects will give you a sense of satisfaction and will change the perception of the people towards the government,” P4 he said.
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