TIRUNELVELI SATURDAY AUGUST 6, 2022 `9.00 PAGES 14 CITY EDITION PDP, CONG SEEK ROLLBACK ON 3RD ANNIV OF HOLLOWING 370 The two parties held protest marches on Friday to mark the third anniversary of the repeal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status 88% DROP IN LAW & ORDER INCIDENTS: POLICE Law and order incidents dropped 88% in three years since the revocation of the erstwhile state’s special status compared to the preceding three years, police said. From August 5, 2016 to August 4, 2019, the Valley witnessed 3,686 law and order incidents, which came down to 438 since August 5, 2019 when the Centre bifurcated it into two Union territories ■ 930 SOLVE KASHMIR DISPUTE VIA TALKS: CHINA ■ While Pakistan is reportedly using its embassies in West Asia and Europe to keep the Kashmir issue alive, China said New Delhi and Islamabad should resolve disputes through dialogue “This is an issue leftover from history,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying | P10 TERROR INCIDENTS DURING 2016-2019. THIS DROPPED TO 617 IN THE NEXT 3 YRS 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 RBI signals end of cheap loans era No immunity in criminal cases: Naidu MPs have no immunity from arrest in criminal cases during Parliament session, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday Their ministers cannot see the price rise, so we wanted to walk to PM’s house and show him the high inflation, show him the gas cylinder the price of which is sky high Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Loans to cost more as central bank goes for an aggressive 50-basis point hike in repo rate M O N I K A YA D A V @ New Delhi Priyanka Gandhi Vadra crossing police barricades during a protest march, in New Delhi on Friday | SHEKHAR YADAV GANDHIS AMONG 300+ DETAINED AFTER PROTEST marched towards Rashtrapati @ New Delhi Bhavan from Parliament House. They were stopped at CONGRESS leaders Rahul Vijay Chowk by the police in Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi view of the security protocol. Vadra led a strong nationwide The leaders then sat in protest protest from the front against at Vijay Chowk. price rise, GST on essential Priyanka and other senior items and unemployment, leaders, including Rajasthan with the latter catching the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, eye as she climbed were stopped outside over barricades and Congress headquarsat on the road outters at 24, Akbar side the AICC office. Road while they were Both were among the marching towards 300-plus who were dethe Prime Minister’s tained by the police residence. After Priyfor over six hours. anka squatted on the Rahul set the ball road, she was pulled rolling by tearing Standing for into the police van into the government, democracy and detained along saying the country is with others. witnessing is “death “The more I raise “The government of democracy”. “The people’s issues, thinks it can silence government wants the more I will be us. It thinks that by under attack that people’s issues showing us this force, from the should not be raised it can make us quietand is working for government but I ly sit in buses but we the benefit of 4-5 big will continue to have a purpose,” Pristand for businessmen. All inyanka told democracy,” stitutions in the reporters. Rahul Gandhi country are under The detained leadtold the media the control of the ers were taken to BJP and RSS. Despite Kingsway Camp in all this, the Opposition is mak- GTB Nagar and were later reing efforts to fight against the leased. The area around the government,” he said. Congress HQ was cordoned Dressed in black as a mark off since Wednesday and a of protest, Congress MPs large police force deployed. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE LOANS are all set to become more expensive with the Reserve Bank of India on Friday increasing the repo rate (at which it lends money to commercial banks) by 0.5% to 5.4% with immediate effect. Home and car loans, which are linked to repo rates, will feel the pinch immediately as the transmission of RBI rate action is instant in such cases. The interest rates are already around 7.55% for borrowers with high credit scores. With the latest hike, it could go past 8%. That will be a substantial increase considering that in @ New Delhi FOR the second consecutive day, harried students and parents had a tough time when many CUET-UG centres cancelled exams due to technical glitches. In a late night statement, the National Testing Agency (NTA) said examinations scheduled for the first shift have been postponed at 20 centres, while at 30 centres the second shift exam has been similarly put off. The NTA took the decision following reports from observers /city coordinators. Anxious students through the day posted about their concerns on social media on day two of the Central University Entrance Test undergraduate (CUET-UG) exams. Students in Noida were the worst affected, with the NTA cancelling the exam there. Many took to social media to share the notice NTA put up in BANKS CAN’T RELY ON RBI MONEY FOREVER: DAS RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Friday that banks cannot “perennially” rely on the central bank’s money to support credit offtake and they need to mobilise more deposits to aid credit growth C S H I V A K U M A R @ Chennai THE Enforcement Directorate on Friday searched several places linked to Dugar Group in Chennai in connection with a money laundering probe into a case of alleged irregularities in issuing visas to 263 Chinese nationals in 2011. ED officials, however, refused to give any details on how the group is linked to the alleged scam in which Congress MP Karti Chidambaram is among those booked. Some of the properties searched by the ED include Dugar Towers on Marshall’s Road, offices of Refex Industries Limited located in Bascon IT Futura Park in T Nagar, and Sasi Towers in Nungambakkam. A property linked to Ramesh Dugar, one of the directors of Dugar Group, on Sasi Towers B Block, and seventh floor of Dugar Towers, where the office of Dugar Finance and Investments Limited is located in which Ramesh Dugar is one of the directors, were among the properties searched by the ED. The seventh floor also has offices of Goodworth Properties M Sreeshankar cleared 8.08m to win silver in men’s long jump at the Commonwealth Games late on Thursday. In a tense final, he needed five jumps to tie with the gold-medallist. But he was pushed to 2nd on countback LEAP OF FAITH Wrestler Bajrang Punia wins gold in men’s 65kg category beating Canada’s Lachlan Maurice McNeil. Anshu Malik settled for silver in 57kg. front of the centre. The notice said, “It is regretted that due to technical/logistics reasons, the CUET (UG) exam scheduled at the centre on August 5 is postponed to August 12.” For students and parents already stressed out due to the exam and travelling long distances to the centre, it was worse as they had to brave the rain for two hours before being turned away as the exam was cancelled at the last minute. EXPRESS READ New judge to hear OPS’s suits in AIADMK case Chennai: Suits filed by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Paneerselvam against amendments made to the AIADMK bylaws have been transferred to Justice G Jayachandran of the Madras High Court late on Friday. Earlier in the day, Justice Krishnan Ramaswamy, who was hearing the case, referred the suits to Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari for posting it before another judge | P2 Couple on Kerala leg of their forever honeymoon HOW long is a honeymoon trip? It may range from a few days and a couple of weeks to maybe a month. But the answer could be ‘forever’, if you ask Ann and Mike Howard from New York. The couple, who got married in 2012, has been on honeymoon ever since — that’s 10 years and counting — visiting 64 countries and taking in everything the nations have to offer. And, no, they are not planning to stop anytime soon as travelling has become part of their lives. The couple travel on a shoestring budget – $34 per person per day (around `2,700). “We never plan anything... keep our itinerary flexible. That’s our mantra,” said Anne. So far, the duo has covered European as well as North and South American nations. For India, their 65th country, they chose to start from Kerala. “We flew in from Bhutan,” said Mike, 45, who met Anne, 40, in New Jersey while playing Private Limited. An employee told TNIE that the searches started around 10am. The entire seventh floor has been sealed, he said. Many employees, who were waiting outside, said they were denied entry into the office. The office of Dugar Housing is also located in Dugar Towers. Refex Industries Limited, in which Ramesh Dugar is a director, manufactures refrigerant and gas equipment. It is a listed public company incorporated in 2002. None of the directors, including Ramesh Dugar, could be reached for comment. The ED had initiated a probe in May and filed a case under the Prevention of Money LaunP7 dering Act (PMLA). BAJRANG WINS GOLD Historic silver medal 10+ YEARS A N U K U R U V I L L A @ Kochi home loans but the demand for housing is likely to remain robust. A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows the EMI on a `50-lakh loan with 20-year tenure will now increase by `1,518. On the positive side, those with fixed deposits in banks will gain as their rates will also go up albeit slowly At present, fixed . deposit rates of one-year tenure range from 5.6% to 6.3%. RBI has so far raised the repo rate by a total of 1.4% since May With the latest hike, it has . reversed the Covid-era cuts completely. The present repo rate at 5.25% is higher than the pre-Covid level of 5.15%. Justifying the hike, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said the regulator was forced to act as inflation remained at “unacceptably high levels”. RBI retained its inflation outlook for the current fiscal at 6.7%, while the regulator is mandated to keep it under 6%. Das said India’s economy is improving driven revival in urban demand. RBI pegs FY23 P12 GDP growth at 7.2%. TN RAINS TO SUBSIDE FROM AUG 7 The low pressure area forming over the Bay of Bengal will not intensify into a cyclonic storm and have any impact on the State Chinese visa scam case: ED searches properties linked to Chennai firms Tech glitches persist on CUET Day 2 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE the beginning of the year, home loan rates were just 6.65%. ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank have already raised their lending rates after the central bank increased the benchmark interest rate on Friday . Y Viswanatha Gowd, MD & CEO of LIC Housing Finance, said the repo rate hike will cause some fluctuation in the EMIs or the tenure on the Ann and Mike Howard | EXPRESS two-on-two volleyball. The couple, both vegetarians, said anyone planning a trip to India should start from Kerala. “Kerala serves as India’s gateway for tourists. It is also mellower than other places while being a melting pot of cultures from across the globe,” said Mike, who has co-authored with Anne two books, Ultimate Journeys for Two, which is a travel guide for couples, and Comfortably Wild: The Best Glamping Destinations in North America. A Twitter image posted by the PMO of Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in New Delhi on Friday Wild speculation after Didi meets PM, discusses dues RAJESH KUMAR THAKUR, PRONAB M O N D A L @ New Delhi/Kolkata TRINAMOOL head and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had a rather quiet meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for 45 minutes here on Friday sparking wild speculation of a possible rapprochement ahead of the next Lok Sabha elections. This was a different Didi Delhi got to see as there was no post-meeting briefing, no signalling of Opposition unity to fight the BJP Ironically it hap. , pened on a day when the Congress hit the streets raising propeople issues like price rise — the party Mamata had in the past faulted for sleeping at the wheel of Opposition leadership. Former Meghalaya governor Tathagata Roy set Twitter afire saying Kolkata was agog with apprehension of a ‘secret set- 2018 Kachanatham caste killings: 27 get life term V I G N E S H V @ Sivaganga FOUR years after the murder of three SC men at Kachanatham in Sivaganga, a special court in the district on Friday imposed life sentences on 27 persons belonging to a caste Hindu community The Special . Court for Exclusive Trial of Cases under SC/ST (POA) Act, which had found the persons guilty on Monday, refrained from awarding a death penalty to the convicts and said: “The brutal assault could not be viewed lightly With. out taking steps to reform the accused and bring them into the mainstream, taking 27 lives by hanging would be viewed as more horrible in a civilised society .” Sessions Judge (FAC) G Muthukumaran, who pronounced the judgment, said the court had taken into account various factors, including advanced age of some of the accused; gender; age of their school-going children, while imposing three life sentences, three three-year terms, three five-year terms, one seven-year term and a fine on them. The court added that the sentences would run concurrently . It recalled the words of Justice VR Krishna Iyer and said that except in an act committed against the safety and security of the nation or in a case involving rape, offenders in all other cases must be given an opportunity to reform in prison. The strength of the nation lies in living in unity and everyone shall avoid flaunting of their caste pride, the court said, adding that political organisations promoting caste feelings must be banned. The court ordered a fine amount of `13.28 lakh to be equally distributed among the legal heirs of the deceased — K Arumugam, A Shanmuganathan, V Chandrasekar and Dhanasekaran, who was injured in P7 the attack and later died. TRIAL OF FOUR ACCUSED PENDING A split case against four of the accused is still pending. While one of the accused — Sullan Karupaiah — is still absconding, three others are juveniles. Their trial will be held separately. ting’ between the two leaders. The CPI(M) and Congress echoed him, alleging Mamata’s underhand deal with the BJP . For the record, Trinamool sources said Mamata took up various Bengal-related issues like MNGREGA dues and GST and submitted a memorandum to the PM. The memorandum quantified the total Central dues at `1,00,968.44 crore. She is also understood to have taken up targeted raids on her party leaders by Central enforcement agencies. “Remember a recent Darjeeling meeting of Mamata with her Assam counterpart Himanta Sarma and former governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. Subsequently Dhankhar became the , NDA nominee for the vice-presidential elections and the Trinamool decided to abstain from voting,” political analyst Dr R K Verma said. 5.6 lakh of TN’s ‘poorest of poor’ own 2 cylinders? EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai ABOUT 30% of families holding the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) ration cards, issued to the poorest of poor, are found to possess two cylinders in the State, showed an analysis report by Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA). Following the report, the State civil supplies department recently commenced a field verification of 5.67 lakh such cards to check if the families own two cylinders. There are a total of 18.4 lakh AAY ration cards in Tamil Nadu. The TNeGA list was based on data on Aadhaar linked with ration cards and LPG connections. V Rajaraman, commissioner of Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection, said the verification is being conducted to ensure eligible beneficiaries are provided essentials under the AAY distribution scheme. “If found possessing two cylinders, we will check if the beneficiary fulfils the criteria prescribed for holding an AAY card. If not, then such cardholders will be replaced with eligible beneficiP4 aries,” he said.
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