kottayam l Sunday l january 22, 2023 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l city edition dollar-less Pak’s foreign trade by sea in jeopardy Shipping lines threaten to stop services as Pakistan fails to pay freight charges due to US dollar crunch Shipping agents seek govt intervention petroleum stocks may dry up Ship agents warned that any further payment delays will constrain Pakistan’s external trade. Pakistan Ship’s Agents Association (PSAA) chairman Abdul Rauf wrote to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar seeking urgent government intervention, warning that if intern-ational trade comes to a halt, Pakistan’s already bad economic situation will worsen ■ It comes as thousands of shipping containers are being held up at Karachi port because of lack of payment guarantees ■ The Petroleum Division warned the central bank that the stocks of petroleum products may dry up as banks are refusing to open and confirm Letters of Credit for imports $5 billion is the annual freight bill of Pakistan 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 Ministry cancels all WFI events as embattled chief opens meet On 48th day of strike, K R Narayanan film institute director quits N a m i ta B a j pa i / F i r o z M i r z a @ Lucknow/Chennai A day after wrestlers called off their protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, the Senior National Open Ranking Tournament began in Gonda (Uttar Pradesh), the home turf of embattled Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, on Saturday . In the eye of the storm after serious allegations, including that of sexual harassment were levelled against him by the agitating wrestlers, Singh has been asked to step aside from the day-to-day functioning of the federation late on Friday night. However, the WFI chief not only inaugurated the threeday tournament as a chief guest but also witnessed the day’s action from close quarters at the indoor hall. Hours later, the ministry has asked the WFI to cancel all events, including the ongoing ranking meet, until the over- sight committee it promised to appoint is in place and takes over the day-to-day functioning of WFI. The ministry directed the federation to return the entry fees charged from players. In another decision, the sports ministry issued an order to suspend the assistant secretary of the WFI, Vinod Tomar, with immediate effect. Union sports minister Anurag Thakur announced late on Friday night that a panel that will be constituted to probe the charges will submit its report within four weeks. Its members were to be announced on Saturday but the cherry-picking has been postponed by a day . All eyes will be on the emergency executive committee and special general body meeting of the WFI on Sunday. “WFI president will not attend; secretary-general V N Prasood will chair it,” said an official. Replying to the ministry’s notice, WFI earlier in the day dismissed all allegations and said the protest was motivated and part of a larger plot. YouTube, Twitter axe BBC series after govt’s fiat Pa r ve z S u lta n @ New Delhi WITH THIS ISSUE The Uncommon Flu PLUS 12 PAGES The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued directions to block multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts that shared links to the first part of a BBC documentary India: The Modi Question, , on the 2002 Gujarat riots. Twitter was ordered to block over 50 tweets containing links of those YouTube videos, officials said. The directions came from the Secretary I&B minis, try on Friday, who invoked emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021. “Both YouTube and Twitter have complied with the directions,” sources added. The ministry of external affairs had a couple of days ago had trashed the docuseries produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation, saying it was a ‘propaganda piece’ that lacked objectivity and reflected its colonial mindset. While the BBC did not make it available in India, some YouTube channels appear to have uploaded it, sources said. YouTube has also been instructed to block the video if it is uploaded in future. Sources said that senior officials of multiple ministries — external affairs, home and I&B — examined the video and found it to be an attempt to cast aspersions on the authority and credibility of the Supreme Court of India. It sows divisions among various Indian communities and makes unsubstantiated allegations regarding actions of foreign governments in India, sources said. “The documentary was found to be undermining sovereignty and integrity of India, and having the potential to adversely impact India’s friendly relations with foreign States as also public order within the country said sources. ,” While the Congress and the Trinamool Congress called it censorship, a group of 302 former judges, ex-bureaucrats and veterans slammed the BBC documentary as a “motivated chargesheet”. Ban on food parcels without expiry labels E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram The government has banned the sale of food parcels without a slip or sticker bearing the expiry time. The decision follows repeated instances of food poisoning in the state. Health Minister Veena George said the sticker should have details, including the date and time of preparation and the time within which the food item should be consumed. This will be applicable to food parcels delivered by all restaurants — small and big. The move is aimed at preventing the consumption of food items after two hours, the time when it would start to stale. Hot food items supplied after two hours should have been kept at the prescribed temperature, 60 degrees, until the time of supply to the consumer, including transportation. Food Safety Commissioner V R Vinod said the consumption of food after the safe time period is crucial to avoid instances of food poisoning. “As per the law, cooked hotel food kept at normal temperature should be consumed within two hours. Only food items kept at a prescribed temperature, at 60 degrees for hot food and minus 18 degrees for cold food items like ice cream, could be sold beyond this time,” ● More on P5 he said. Oh Boy! a fan moment A youngster invaded the pitch to hug captain Rohit Sharma during India’s innings against New Zealand in the second ODI at Raipur on Saturday. Rohit later asked security to not take action against him. Chasing 109, India won by 8 wickets to seal the series 2-0 | PTI Blasts in Jammu add to worry as Rahul’s Yatra to arrive in 2 days Fayaz wa n i @ Srinagar AT least nine persons were injured, one of them critically, in twin blasts in the outskirts of Jammu, the winter capital of J&K, where security has been tightened following Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra and ahead of the Republic Day The . Yatra is scheduled to arrive in Jammu on Monday. ADG Mukesh Singh said the blasts took place at the Transport Nagar area of Narwal in the morning. “Around 11 am, a blast took place in a Bolero vehicle. Soon after the blast, security personnel rushed to the area and launched an operation. Just as they went about their job, another blast took place, near the first site,” said Singh. The injured have been shifted to the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu. The condition of one of them is critical. The police, CRPF and Army personnel along with other officials rushed to the spot and sealed the area. A b h i l a s h C h a n d r a n @ Kottayam Amid criticism from various corners over alleged caste-discrimination, Shankar Mohan on Saturday resigned as director of the K R Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts, Kottayam. He handed over the resignation to the office of the chief minister as the students’ agitation demanding his ouster completed 48 days. Also, pressure has been mounting on the Left government over the undue delay in addressing the issue. Chairman of the institute, veteran filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan, who is also in the eye of a storm for his firm support to Shankar Mohan, chose not to comment on the new development. Meanwhile, there are indications that Adoor too may choose to part ways with the institute soon. When asked during TNIE’s ‘Express Dialogues’ last week whether he was planning to end ties with the institute, Adoor indicated that it would be a matter of time. He had outrightly rejected allegations of caste discrimination in the institute. Shankar Mohan, however, denied students’ protest having any connection with his resignation. “I decided to step down as I completed my ten- TURN OF EVENTS December 5, 2022: Students launch indefinite strike demanding Shankar Mohan’s ouster Dec 6: Higher education minister deputes a panel to study issues Dec 22: Students declare hunger strike from Christmas Day Dec 23: Kottayam collector orders to shut the institute Dec 27: CM constitutes 2-member panel to look into the issue Jan 8, 2023: Students launch ‘Art of Protest’ and resume academic activities on their own Jan 13: Panel submits report to CM Jan 15: In TNIE’s ‘Express Dialogues’, Adoor backs Shankar Mohan, rejects students’ allegations ure. I am the only director to have completed a full term in this institution,” he told TNIE. It’s lear nt that Shankar chose to quit as the office of the higher education minister indicated that the government wanted him to quit without any further ado. Hours after he quit, the higher education department accepted his resignation and issued an order constituting a search panel to appoint a new director for the ● More on P5 institute. Foe turns friend: Tiger-culling stand takes Gadgil closer to Church in state M a n o j V i s w a n at h a n @ Kochi Surprising both his friends and foes alike, ecologist Madhav Gadgil’s call for culling of tigers and licensed hunting outside national parks has made him a friend of the Church in Kerala, which had burned him in effigy in 2013 over his report on Western Ghats. The Church welcomed his new stand which gives preference to human rights over wildlife, and said it will provide a new spirit for the Church to fight for human lives. Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council home justice and development commission sec- retary Fr Jacob Mavunkal appreciated the change in the stand of Gadgil. “His recommendations on declaration of an eco-sensitive area around Western Ghats had added to the perils of farmers. The Church endorses the stand to cull the wild animals that cause trouble to the farmers living in forest fringe areas. We should ensure protection to the life and property of farmers,” said Fr Jacob Mavunkal. Gadgil also participated in an online discussion on Saturday which was presided over by Thamarassery Bishop Mar ● More on P2 Remegious Inchananiyil.
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