kOCHI l wednesday l August 17, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE city EDITION India Now has unescorted access to the Pentagon The Pentagon, headquarters of the US Department of Defence, is considered one of the most difficult places to get access trust factor major reason for access It’s really a big deal, says US AF secy Speaking at a reception hosted by India’s Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu at India House to celebrate 75th Independence Day, US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said, “As of today, the Indian defence attaché team has unescorted access in the Pentagon, which is commencement with our close relationship with India’s status as a major defence partner.” ■ ■ Ordinary American citizens can’t access the building without high-level security clearances. According to Kendall, he himself doesn’t have unescorted access to the Pentagon Kendall said US conducts joint exercises with India more than any other country because of the evolving relationship 95km From LAC is Auli, where the next Indo-Us jt excericse will be held 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 Remission given in Bilkis case against Shah fiat E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Mourners at the house of Sunil Kumar on Tuesday | Zahoor Punjabi Kashmiri Pandit shot dead, bro injured in Valley F aya z W a n i @ Srinagar In yet another targeted attack, terrorists on Tuesday shot dead a Kashmiri Pandit and injured his brother in Shopian district of J&K. After the latest incident, an influential Pandit group urged all Pandits to leave the Valley . A police official said terrorists fired on two Pandit brothers Sunil Kumar and Pritambhar Kumar a.k.a Pintu in an apple orchard in Chotipora area of Shopian in south Kashmir. Both sustained multiple bullet injuries and were taken to a nearby hospital, where Sunil was declared brought dead. The injured Pintu was taken to the army hospital in Srinagar for treatment. Families of both the brothers had not migrated from Valley despite the eruption of militancy in 1989. This was the second targeted killing of a Pandit in the last three months in the Valley. A pall of gloom descended on the family when the body of Sunil was brought home. Besides the family members, their local Muslim neighbours mourned the death. Kashmir Pandit Sangarsh Samiti (KPSS) president Sanjay Tickoo said terrorists have made it clear that they are going to kill all Pandits in the Valley He appealed to them to leave . Kashmir for their own safety . “Pained beyond words on despicable terror attack,” Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said. E X P RESS READ CPM man’s murder: All eight accused nabbed Palakkad: The police on Tuesday took into custody all eight persons accused in the murder of CPM Marutharode local committee member Shajahan. Their arrests will be recorded on Wednesday. Three of them were nabbed from Pollachi in Tamil Nadu. The FIR said eight BJP workers are involved in the crime, but BJP denied any role. P5 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express The Gujarat government’s decision to release 11 convicts serving time for the rape and murder of Bilkis Bano during the 2002 riots in the state, flies in the face of the Union home ministry’s explicit directive that “special remission is NOT to be granted” to those facing “sentence of life imprisonment” and “rape”. The 11, serving life term for raping Bilkis Bano before murdering her and her entire family, were allowed to walk free from the Godhra sub-jail on August 15 after a state government commit- tee approved their application for remission of the sentence. A home ministry notification issued on June 10, 2022 said “as part of the celebrations (Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav), it is proposed to give special remission to certain categories of prisoners and release them in three phases – 15th August 2022, 26th January 2023 and again on 15th August 2023.” While eight different categories of convicts qualify for remission, “special remission is NOT to be granted” to a longer list of 12 categories of convicts. The no-go list includes death row Bill to curtail guv role in VC posting gets cabinet nod Proposes reconstitution of search panel in a way that gives govt upper hand in selection representative each of the chancellor, the UGC and the Apparently opening a new varsity. It submits a panel of front in its tussle with the Raj names jointly or separately to Bhawan, the cabinet on Tues- the chancellor who will then day approved a bill seeking to make the final selection. curtail the governor’s role in As per the proposed bill, the the appointment of vice-chan- committee will also have a repcellors in state universities. resentative of the government The bill proposes reconstitu- and the vice chairperson of the tion of the search-cum-seKerala State Higher Educalection committee to tion Council. With three choose the VC in such of the five members in a manner that the govthe panel likely to adopt ernment gets the upa p r o - g o ve r n m e n t per hand in the selecstance, the UGC nomition process, reducing nee and the nominee the governor’s role to of the chancellor CPI mins merely giving assent would be reduced to oppose to the decision. mere spectators. Lokayukta The proposed bill is amendment “The right of the likely to be tabled in s e a rch c o m m i t t e e Ministers from the coming assembly members to suggest CPI reiterated session. Earlier, a govse parate panel of the party’s er nment-appointed names to the chancelcommission, chaired opposition to the lor will be done away Lokayukta Act by former VC of Nawith,” said a source. amendment at tional University of However, it remains to the cabinet Advanced Legal Studbe seen if the goveries N K Jayakumar, meet. However, nor would give his ashad made recommen- the bill to replace sent to a legislation the ordinance dations to ensure that that curtails his powwas passed by the governor, as chane r s i n u n ive r s i t y cellor, does not play an the cabinet. P4 affairs. overarching role in Governor Arif Mostate universities. TNIE had re- hammed Khan refused to join ported the commission’s rec- issue when asked about the ommendations on August 10. government move. “As long as Sources said the bill proposes the powers are with me, I will to amend university rules to in- not allow any violation of the crease the number of members law,” Khan told reporters. He in the search-cum-selection reminded that a bill becomes a committee from three to five. law only after the governor ● More on P4 Currently the committee has a signs it. , E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram husbands, Beware! Taunting wife over looks, comparing her with others mental cruelty: HC E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kochi The Kerala High Court on Tuesday said a husband’s repeated taunts that his wife does not meet his expectations and his act of comparing her with other women would certainly amount to mental cruelty. A woman could not be expected to put up with such behaviour, the court said while dissolving the marriage of a couple, who had filed for divorce 13 years ago, on the ground of cruelty The hus. band had filed an appeal against the family court order that had granted divorce to the couple. In her petition, the woman alleged that her husband did not find her physically attractive and that she was an object of aversion to him right from the time they got married in 2009. She alleged that her husband always felt – and told her too – that she fell short of his expectations of a wife as ‘she was not as cute as some other women he had met’. They stayed together for hardly a month after marriage. Disposing of the husband’s plea, the court said it was difficult to provide a comprehensive definition of cruelty, as it changes as per the advancement of social concepts and standards of living. “Continuous ill-treatment, cessation of marital intercourse, a husband’s indifference and his assertion that the wife is unchaste, are all factors that would lead to mental or legal cruelty said the court. ,” It said in physical cruelty, there could be direct evidence, but not in the case of mental cruelty “To constitute cruelty, . the conduct complained of should be grave and weighty to conclude that a spouse could not be expected to live with the partner. Mental cruelty may consist of verbal abuse and insults by using filthy language, leading to constant disturbance of the other person’s peace,” said the court. convicts or cases where death has been commuted to life, those sentenced for life, convicts serving time for acts of terror, dowry death, counterfeiting currency, rape, human trafficking, sexually abusing children, money laundering, corruption etc. Speaking to this newspaper, Supreme Court senior advocate Rebecca Mammen John said, “this power (of remission) must be exercised consistently. What we have today is a situation where there is no consistency in its application, leaving a large majority of convicts to suffer very long periods of incarceration while a select few get away with shorter periods.” Not all qualify for relief While eight different categories of convicts qualify for remission, “special remission is NOT to be granted” to a longer list of 12 categories of convicts. The no-go list includes death row convicts or cases where death has been commuted to life. Gujarat’s justification Gujarat Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Raj Kumar said the remission application was considered as the convicts had completed 14 years in jail, besides other factors such as “age, nature of the crime, behaviour in prison and so on” FIFA shows red card to AIFF, U-17 World Cup off for now In d r a nee l d a s @ Chennai HC for sweeping reforms in IOA The Delhi High Court on Tuesday while bringing in sweeping reforms placed Indian Olympic Association in the hands of the Committee of Administrators. State Olympic Associations, an integral part of the IOA, have been stripped of their voting rights. Only Olympic discipline National Sports Federations will have voting rights. Now on, the sports code “must be made applicable to the IOA and to every constituent NSFs and to every state and district level association”. In a major setback to India, the international football federation (FIFA) banned All India Football Federation (AIFF) and has taken away the ri hts to host the FIFA g U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 in October. India was gearing up to ho t the World Cup am s id much fanfare and brouhaha. There were indications, but with less than two months remai ning for the event this decision came as a bombshell. FIFA was not amused when the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators gave voting rights to 36 emin e nt sportspersons despite it ha v ing reservations. After the A gust 3 SC order, where the u co urt gave permission to CoA to go ahead with the elections under the new provisi ns, the o FIFA had warned AIFF. The sports ministry scurried to court seeking a review, held numerous meetings with AIFF state units, CoA and other offi ials. On c Friday and Monday too ministry had meetings with FIFA to break the deadlock. The CoA agreed to hold the elections with the 36 state units and not with 36 eminent players. The SC will hear the case on Wednesday . But FIFA was piqued and la ter in a letter to the AIFF said the indefinite suspension will be lifted only when the order to set up CoA, installed by the SC, has been repealed. “The suspension will be lifted on e an c order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AI FF’s daily affairs,” the FIFA said. The Court put in place the CoA because the AI F was F in violation of the Sp ts Code. or Even former AIFF ch ef Prai ful Patel was rem . oved If the suspension is not revoked, India will lose the right to host the World Cup. “The suspension me s that the an FIFA U-17 Wo en’s World Cup m 2022, scheduled to take place in India cannot currently be held in India as pla n ed,” FIFA n said. However, FIFA has given some hope wh it said “FIFA en is in constant constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and is hopeful that a positive outcome to the case may still be achieved.” Thieves sell manhole lids to buy booze S h a n A S @T’Puram China’s surveillance ship Yuan Wang 5 arrives at Hambantota port on Tuesday | AFP China snubs Lankan politician who lobbied for ship to dock Y e s h i Se l i @ New Delhi When Chinese surveillance ship Yuan Wang 5 docked at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port on Tuesday after a lag following Indian objections, its Captain Zhang Hongwang snubbed Sarath Weerasekera, former Rear Admiral of the Sri Lankan Navy who is now a politician, by refusing to shake hands with him or let him inside the ship. Ironically, Weerasekera was the one who was instrumental in getting approval for the ship’s docking after Sri Lanka had asked China to delay its arrival. Colombo has allowed it to stay at the port till August 22. “While the Chinese say they were following Covid protocols, the fact is that basic courtesy was denied to a person who helped them dock at Hambantota,” sources said. Weerasekera was also amongst the first to announce that permission had been granted to China to dock the ship a few days ago, for which he received a lot of flak. But the Yuan Wang 5 is used for tracking and support of satellite and intercontinental ballistic missiles. “It is not a survey ship; as a politician he should have checked his facts before getting them permission to dock,’’ said sources. A day before Yuan Wang 5 docked, India gifted a Dornier 228 to Sri Lanka. This aircraft is used for maritime surveillance and will be maintained by India for some time. The two thieves removed several manhole covers in a way that made it tough for people to realise that the sewers were open. It was dangerous Mithun D, Pothencode SHO Not many would consider manhole covers valuable. However, for two thieves from Thiruvananthapuram, the covers made entirely of cast iron became the means to earn some quick bucks to buy their daily quota of liquor. In just a week, Aneesh, 33, of Poikamukku and Jayakumar, 39, of Venjaramoodu, stole around 20 manhole covers from main thouroughfares as well as pocket roads around the state capital and sold them to scrap dealers for a hefty total of `1 lakh, most of which they used to buy liquor. The duo was nabbed by the Pothencode police recently . The police said the thieves targeted the manhole covers due to the cast iron that is used ● More on P4 to make them.
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