chennai l tuesday l september 27, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 18 l late city EDITION Investors lose `13.30 lakh cr in four days of market crash Falling for the fourth straight day, the 30-share BSE Sensex on Monday tanked 953.70 points (1.64%) to settle at 57,145.22 Sensex falls 1,060 pts in intra-day trade Rupee sinks further, touches 81.67 per $ With this, the market capitalisation of BSE-listed firms tumbled as much as `13,30,753.42 crore in four sessions to reach `2,70,11,460.11 crore. During the day, the sensitive index plummeted 1,060.68 points or 1.82% to 57,038.24. Maruti, Tata Steel, ITC, Axis Bank, NTPC, Bajaj Finance, IndusInd Bank and Mahindra & Mahindra were the major laggards | P12 ■ ■ ■ The rupee plunged 58 paise to close at an all-time low of 81.67 (provisional) against the US dollar on Monday On Friday, the rupee had slumped 30 paise to close at 81.09 Monday’s is the fourth consecutive session of loss for the Indian currency, during which it has lost 193 paise against the greenback 4.31% In four days, the BSE benchmark slumped as much as 2,574.52 points 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 Azad floats party, to offer 50% seats to youth, women Quit as CM, Nath to tell Gehlot Else, he could be dropped as Gandhi family’s pick for Congress prez; may lose CM post later Faya z Wa n i @ Srinagar S h a h i d Fa r i d i a n d R a j e s h As n a n i @ New Delhi/Jaipur FORMER Congress leader and Ghulam Nabi Azad, who quit the grand old party a month ago, on Monday launched his own political outfit Democratic Azad Party (DAP). The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said his party will not be autocratic but democratic with independent ideology . He sought to downplay the allegations that his party will work for the BJP, saying his outfit will follow the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and J aw a h a r l a l Nehru. “Our policies will not be influenced by the politics of religion, caste or creed. We respect all religions, all regions and all parties,” he said. Azad said he had initially planned to float the party on September 23 but later decided to launch on 26th Monday, the first day of the Navratri. Fifty per cent tickets will be given to youth and women in the next Assembly polls, he said, adding Article 370 restoration won’t be an election issue. Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday decided to depute senior party leader Kamal Nath to persuade Ashok Gehlot to resign from the post of Rajasthan chief minister before filing his nomination papers for the post of the party’s national president. Sources said Kamal Nath has been asked to convey to Gehlot that if he does not resign, he would not be supported by the party high command for presidentship. They said if Gehlot does not heed to Kamal Nath’s message he may be asked not to file his nomination papers in the party election. Kamal Nath, who flew in here from Bhopal on Monday, met Sonia at her residence. There was no clear word on whether he will fly to Jaipur to convey her message. Top Congress leaders told this paper that Gehlot’s rebellion may not only cost him Congress presidentship but may also lead to his removal from the post of chief minister as he has refused to accept his for mer deputy Sachin Pilot as his successor. He has conveyed to party leadership that he would not accept either Pilot or anyone Key players in the rajasthan drama Ashok Gehlot CM. Tipped to be national president, but has angered Sonia Gandhi as he does not want Sachin Pilot to succeed him C P Joshi Gehlot loyalist. Calls Maken anti-Gehlot High command’s choice as the new chief minister of Rajasthan Mahesh Joshi & Mahendra Chaudhary Assembly Speaker. Gehlot wants him to be his successor as CM Shanti Dhariwal Sachin Pilot Cong chief whip Joshi and deputy chief whip, CM’s loyalists. Joshi in Sonia’s line of fire Rajendra Gudha One of the six BSPturned-Congress MLAs. On the fence Govind Singh Dotasra Pratap Singh Khachariyawas Jat leader and PCC chief, Gehlot’s man Gehlot loyalist. Was close to Pilot before 2018 Mallikarjun Sent to Jaipur by Sonia for the smooth succession Kharge and Ajay Maken at Sunday’s CLP meet; Gehlot loyalists boycotted it from his camp. He said Pilot and the MLAs who had walked out with him to form a government with the help of the BJP are not acceptable to a large number of Congress MLAs. Kamal Nath’s meeting with Gehlot is the party leadership’s last-ditch attempt to seek Gehlot’s compliance with its decision to hand over chief ministership to Pilot. Congress MLAs loyal to Gehlot had on Sunday refused to meet the party’s central observers Ajay M a ke n a n d M a l l i k a r j u n Kharge. The central observers were sent to get the MLAs to pass a resolution authorising the Congress president to choose the next chief minister. MLAs in the Gehlot camp re- fused to sign the resolution. The party leadership in Delhi feels the MLAs avoided the central observers on the direction of Gehlot. This is being seen as an open rebellion by Gehlot against the Gandhi family and the party’s central leadership. Congress leaders in Delhi said the party has started looking for an alternative candidate for the post of Congress president. There are four days left for the nominations to close for the party’s presidential election. Nominations for the presidential elections close on September 30. The Congress Legislature Party meeting, which was called on Sunday had to be can, celled as more than 90 MLAs loyal to Gehlot threatened to resign. Gehlot loyalists Shanti Dhariwal and Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi are being seen by the high command as the key players in the drama. Gehlot met Kharge in the hotel he was staying on Monday afternoon. Before leaving for Delhi, Kharge said, “Everyone will have to be on the same page with Congress president’s decision. There has to be unity and discipline in the party unit.” Dhariwal later alleged that Maken was part of a plot to unseat Gehlot as CM. P10 Six students score 100 percentile in CUET-PG Snowden now officially a E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ New Delhi President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a decree granting Russian citizenship to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden | P11 THE National Testing Agency on Monday announced the results of the much-awaited Common University Entrance Test (CUET)-PG, for which over six lakh candidates had registered. Six students scored 100 percentile — Nakul Kumar Vaish (BEd), Akash Patel (BEd), Sumit Joshi (Social Work), Neeraj Godara (Social Work), Mayank Kumar Mishra (General, MBA etc.) and Mohit (General, MBA etc.). However, unlike the CUET-UG exam results, officials clarified that ‘no normalisation of scores” was done for the postgraduate exams. “Universities will prepare the rank lists based on ‘raw marks’ and not NTA scores,” said University Grants Commission Chairman Prof M Jagadesh Kumar. He noted that the PG exam was held in a single sitting for most subjects, which was not the case in the UG exam conducted in different phases and shifts. So, scores had to be normalised to provide a level-playing field for all. When the CUET-UG results were announced on September 16, the UGC chairman had said admission to undergraduate courses in central universities would be through the ‘normalised’ marks and not percentile or raw marks. However, this ‘normalisation’ in CUET-UG had left several aspirants disappointed as they found their marks reduced from their original scores, making it difficult for them to get admission in their dream colleges. Cop, BJP man, 11 others get 20 yrs for raping girl Act and the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act in NovemTHE special court for the Pro- ber 2020. Of them, 22 were artection of Children from Sexu- rested, including eight of the al Offences (POSCO) Act cases girl’s relatives, who had forced on Monday sentenced 13 people her into sex work, exploited her — including a city poand lived off the earnGirl was lice inspector, a BJP ings. Four people are functionary, two gov- detained by still at large. cousin ernment servants and It was the arrest of a media person — to 20 The crime came the BJP functionary G , years of rigorous im- to light after the Rajendran (44), who prisonment for forcing ran an agro-foods busichild’s mother a 13-year-old girl into ness in Old Washerlodged a police prostitution and rapmenpet, that revealed complaint that ing her. Eight others the involvement of the her niece had were awarded life im- illegally detained then Ennore police inprisonment. One of spector C Pugazhenthi the girl. Police t h e a c c u s e d , S booked 26 under (45) in the crime. The Mareeswaran, died prosecution had conthe POCSO Act during trial. and the Immoral tended that Rajendran The heinous crime and Pugazhenthi had Trafficking came to light after the (Prevention) Act gangraped the minor. child’s mother lodged Pugazhenthi was a police complaint that her booked under the POCSO Act niece had illegally detained the for penetrative sexual assault. girl. Police conducted inquires The All Women Police, and 26 people were booked un- Washermanpet had booked 14 der the Protection of Children others for raping the trafficked from Sexual Offences (POCSO) minor girl. P5 E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ Chennai Russian citizen Mysore pack President Droupadi Murmu, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and others offer flowers to Goddess Chamundeshwari, the presiding deity of the Mysuru royal family, during the inauguration of Mysuru Dasara on Monday | Udayashankar S express read Molotov cocktail attacks: 14 arrested Chennai/Coimbatore/Madurai: In connection with the Molotov cocktail attacks against the BJP and other Hindu outfit functionaries in various parts of Tamil Nadu, the State police have arrested 14 people in connection with 11 cases, said DGP C Sylendra Babu in a press statement released on Monday. The DGP’s said a total of 19 cases had been registered | P4 113 docus seized from house of OPS supporter Chennai: CB-CID officers on Monday recovered 113 documents and valuables from the house of Kolathur Krishnamurthy, a supporter of AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam (OPS). This comes days after the officers conducted inquiries in a case registered against the OPS faction for storming the party headquarters and stealing valuables | P4 Cabinet okays ordinance to ban online gambling, regulate gaming in TN C S h i va k u m a r / T M u r u ga n a n da m @ Chennai Online gambling — including online rummy — is likely to be banned in Tamil Nadu as a State Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister MK Stalin on Monday approved an ordinance for the same. It will be promulgated once Governor RN Ravi accords his assent. According to sources, the ordinance would ban online gambling but not online gaming. “Online games would be regulated,” the sources added. The draft ordinance had been prepared based on a School Education Department survey on the impact of online gaming on school students, and the opinions of the public received via emails and consultation meetings. On August 29, this draft ordinance was placed before the State Cabinet, and was approved after further finetuning. On June 10, the State appointed a committee headed by retired Judge K Chandru to advise the TN government on promulgating an ordinance on banning online gaming. The panel’s recommendations were also placed before the State Cabinet on Monday . The panel had received inputs from parents, think-tanks, teachers, students, psychologists, social activists and online gaming service providers on the proposed legislation. Sources said that almost all the feedback from the public was in favour of a ban on online games, while the political parties wanted a blanket ban. However, think-tanks and industry stake- Public bats for ban on online games Sources said almost all feedback from the public was in favour of a ban on online games, while political parties wanted a blanket ban. Think-tanks and industry stakeholders said games be regulated instead holders suggested the games be regulated instead. While a blanket ban is not legally tenable, the government may look into restrictions on age and time spent on the games so as to counter addiction. The demand to place curbs on online games cropped up after Tamil Nadu reported 20 cases of deaths by suicide, during the past three years allegedly due to online gambling. This also comes as the Union government constituted an inter-ministerial task force to regulate the online gaming industry. The Centre is consulting with States on a legal framework for a separate legislation or changes in the existing one. Meanwhile, official sources told TNIE that the State Cabinet discussion was limited to the contours of the proposed legislation. Exercise restraint in speech, don’t give space to venomous forces: CM to cadre E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ Chennai Warning that communal forces are desperately attempting to gain a foothold in Tamil Nadu and are creating confusion among the masses, Chief Minister MK Stalin warned DMK leaders to exercise restraint when speaking. In a statement, the DMK president advised party cadre not to “give any opening to venomous forces working directly and indirectly with malicious intentions”. Stalin’s caution comes after speeches by key party leaders have drawn criticism from BJP and right-wing outfits in recent weeks. Speaking on the issue for the first time, he said speeches of ministers, legisla- tors and MPs could be taken out of context by adversaries, “who will stoop to any level to discredit the regime”. Guiding cadre on how to respond to the “campaign” of right-wing forces, Stalin said, “Our journey is long. We have a lot of responsibility. We will implement our plans. Let’s take our welfare initiatives to the people who will give a befitting reply to those forces.” He added that former chief minister CN Annadurai launched the DMK with the ideals of achieving an egalitarian society on social justice, selfrespect and rationalism. For over half a century the late CM , M Karunanidhi sustained the DMK as a people’s movement that restored the rights of the oppressed, he said. “The present regime is traversing the path of these two leaders,” Stalin said. He recalled the saying of rationalist leader EV Ramasamy: “One can fight a thousand persons who have dignity but not one without any dignity .” Recently, some DMK leaders were assailed by saffron outfits. Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy got flak for his remarks on free bus rides for women and Nilgiris MP A Raja for his speech about the status of Shudras in Manusmriti. r o a d c o nn e c t i v i t y Arunachal village celebrates arrival of first LPG cylinders P r a s a n ta M a z u m d a r @ Guwahati Cooking gas has wended its way to the “disconnected” Vijaynagar circle of Arunachal Pradesh on the Myanmar border, 57 years after the first Indane LPG connection in India was released on October 22, 1965 in Kolkata. Two days ago, an agency, based in the Miao subdivision of Changlang district, delivered LPG cylinders to 15 families in Vijaynagar, 157 km away . Locals celebrated it. Minister Kamlung Mossang said the service fulfilled a longfelt need of the people. “They rely entirely on firewood for cooking and they faced a lot of difficulties especially during the rainy season,” he said. Antu Ngemu, the gas agency proprietor, said the consumers were overjoyed. Nearly 500 others applied for the LPG connection but their documents are yet to reach the agency. “We haven’t been able to extend the service to them due to issues like logistics and documentation. Even for one bank transaction, you have to wait for several days,” Antu said. Usina Yobin said her father was so ecstatic that he called her up to break the news of the arrival of the red cylinders. “He received the cylinders, not the oven which will be delivered soon, but that couldn’t Happy locals posing with LPG cylinders at Vijaynagar in Arunachal Pradesh | Express take away his joy,” Usina told this newspaper from Jairampur in the district where she was married off in 2019. The BSNL reached Vijaynagar in 2020 but one can get through only if lucky This re. Nearly 90% of the road is over. Only blacktopping is left. It’s a GSB (granular sub base) road for 130 km. That area is prone to landslides, so disruptions are common Sunny K Singh, District Magistrate porter could not reach any of the LPG consumers despite multiple attempts. After her wedding, Usina had to walk for over 100 km and five days along with her husband until reaching a road where she hopped into a car to go to his house. “Life is very difficult in Vijaynagar. Locals walk 15-20 km to go to a forest to collect firewood,” she said. Spread across 8,000 sq km, Vijaynagar was discovered in 1961 by the Assam Rifles during an expedition “Srijit II”. It was carried out under the leadership of Major General A S Guraya, the then Inspector General. He had named the valley after his son, Vijay .
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