kollam l saturday l march 18, 2023 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Imran gets protective bail in 8 terrorism cases till next week The Lahore HC gave relief to the former Pak PM till March 24 in five cases registered in Islamabad and till March 27 for remaining cases in Lahore To appear before Islamabad court today The 70-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief has also got protective bail till March 27 in a case pertaining to interfering in matters of the state. Earlier, the Islamabad HC suspended non-bailable arrest warrants issued against Khan till March 18, providing him with a chance to appear before the trial court hearing the Toshakhana case over illegal sale of state gifts Bulletproof Faces over 80 cases across Pakistan ■ Khan could still be arrested as he is facing over 80 different cases in various courts across Pakistan. Imran told the court that he was not even informed of the details of some of the cases against him ■ He also claimed that as soon as he is granted bail in one case, another one is registered. The court said it can only grant bail in cases before it Vehicle was used to take Imran Khan to the Lahore high court on Friday 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 Oppn forms G-8, calls Cong for LS poll talks Wants freeze on the leadership issue till the 2024 elections are over Trinamool Congress head and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee greets Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who called on her in Kolkata on Friday | PTI SHAHID F ARIDI @ New Delhi Seven non-Congress opposition chief ministers and a deputy CM have together formed a group and had three video conferences over the last few weeks to discuss a united fight against the BJP in 2024. The eight leaders of this group include seven chief ministers - Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), M K Stalin (Tamil Nadu), Nitish Kumar (Bihar), K Chandrashekar Rao (Telangana), Hemant Soren (Jharkhand), Bhagwant Mann (Punjab), Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi), and Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav. The Congress is part of the ruling alliance in TN, Jharkhand and Bihar. Sources said the group, called G-8, has invited the Congress to start seat-sharing talks on the condition that the leadership of the united opposition group is left open until after the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress is yet to respond to the proposal. But sources said Rahul Gandhi is keen to engage with G-8 leaders. They said a united challenge to the BJP with all opposition parties coming on one platform was the plan Rahul Gandhi had referred to in London recently . Some of the group’s leaders like KCR, Kejriwal and Mamata oppose breaking bread with the Congress. It is on their insistence that the condition to freeze the leadership issue until after We will go our own way, maintain distance from the Congress and BJP. We are not talking about forming a third front at the moment Sudip Bandyopadhyay, TMC MP the elections was conveyed to the Congress. Two other chief ministers — Naveen Patnaik (Odisha) and Jagan Mohan Reddy (Andhra Pradesh) — have refused to have any pre-poll understanding with the Congress. Sources said if the Congress does not agree to their condition on leadership, they would go ahead and expand the group by including the remaining opposition CMs and other opposition parties. According to sources, Mamata Banerjee’s meeting with Samajwadi Par ty president Akhilesh Yadav on Friday was an attempt by the non-Congress opposition leaders to send a message to the grand old party not to insist on a leadership position in the opposition. The opposition leaders had not taken kindly to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s remark at an election rally that his party would lead the opposition and form the next government by ousting the BJP . An opposition leader who is privy to the discussions among the G-8 said that the Congress had failed to take on the BJP in the last two Lok Sabha elections. “It was routed in states where it was in a direct fight with the BJP .” It is time the Congress allowed the regional parties that have successfully halted the BJP’s march in their respective states to take the leadership position, he said. Muneer, Salam frontrunners for Muslim League general secy post M P P r a s h a n t h @ Kozhikode For the first time in the party’s recent history, the IUML state president is finding it hard to reach a consensus within the party on choosing its state general secretary . A day before the party’s state council meeting, Panakkad Syed Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal summoned party leaders to Malappuram on Friday and held parleys with them. Opinions have been divided between P M A Salam, who has been holding the charge for the past two years, and Dr M K Muneer, the current state secretary . Sources said the all-powerful national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty has thrown his weight behind Salam. Kunhalikutty, who resigned from the Lok Sabha to get actively involved in the state politics, also had an eye on the post. But he is keeping away for the time be- M K Muneer P M A Salam ing, sensing the mood of the rank and file, they said. Muneer, Kunhalikutty’s archrival in the party has resolved , to throw his hat in the ring and is actively campaigning for the post. Muneer has reportedly declared that he is even ready for an election if Salam or Kunhalikutty is chosen for the post. K M Shaji, whose graph has risen phenomenally in the party recently is standing firm be, hind Muneer. Shaji has become hugely popular among the youth in the party after he decided to lash out at the CPM. Of late, the Shaji-Muneer duo has been targeting the CPM with a precise gameplan. While Kunhalikutty was toying with the idea of taking IUML to the LDF fold, these two were busy portraying the CPM as a party with the ulterior motive of ‘promoting liberalism and atheism’. The strategy seems to have worked as majority of the IUML cadre even shun the idea of aligning with the CPM. But Kunhalikutty is a leader who is known for his ability to spring surprises at the most unexpected times and stay afloat in politics. The chance of a third name emerging as part of a compromise formula also cannot be ruled out. However, Sadiq Ali Thangal told reporters in Malappuram that there is no confusion in the IUML and that contesting for the organisational posts is not a party practice. He expressed the hope that all office-bearers will be selected unanimously . ICC ARREST WARRANT AGAINST PUTIN E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e IN a rare move, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on Friday issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, holding him responsible for the alleged war crimes in Ukraine. Accusing Putin of forced transfer of children from Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, the ICC also issued an arrest warrant against Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova for her “individual criminal responsibility” for the crimes. The ICC’s action does not mean Putin will be extradited as the court doesn’t have the power to arrest suspects; it can only exercise jurisdiction within countries that are signatories to Rome Statute, the agreement that set up ICC. Russia is not a signatory How. ever, technically, Putin can be arrested if he travels to any ICC member states. The ICC said the arrest warrants are intended to be secret in order to protect victims and witnesses, but in this case, it 9 minutes, 50 seconds & assembly is adjourned invited us for a talk after registering a case against seven UDF MLAs unThe state assembly adjourned der non-bailable sections. But the within 10 minutes for the third con- ruling front MLAs and the deputy secutive day on Friday as the Oppo- chief marshal have been charged sition members trooped in front of with bailable sections. The rights of the speaker’s dais over the refusal to the Opposition have been denied in raise slapping of non-bailable the name of asking unpleasant charges against UDF MLAs in con- things,” he alleged. nection with Wednesday’s scuffle. The CM told the meeting that perAs soon as as the House mitting adjournment moconvened, Leader of Oppotion under rule 50 was the sition V D Satheesan raised prerogative of the governthe issue. A case under nonment. “If it’s so, what’s the bailable sections have been purpose of having an Opporegistered against seven sition. If we keep our mouth Opposition members for atshut today we will be tried tempted rioting, he said. by the public,” he added. If “Here, the complainant has the Opposition is not given become the accused,” he aldue coverage by the Sabha leged. However, the speaker TV its members will record , switched off Satheeshan’s The rights of the videos and release them to mike and proceeded with Opposition have the media, Satheesan said. the question hour. Meanwhile, LDF MLAs H been denied in Enraged at this, OpposiSalam and K M Sachin Dev, the name of asking tion members trooped to the who have been accused of unpleasant well of the House shouting manhandling UDF MLAs things slogans and with raised including women, dared the banners even as minister K Opposition leaders to reV D Satheesan, Krishnankutty was replylease the video showing Leader of Oppn ing to the questions. The them attacking the Opposispeaker soon winded up the day’s tion. “If we had kicked any of the proceedings and adjourned the as- women UDF MLAs, they would have sembly for the day It took nine min- released the video,” Sachin said. . utes 50 seconds for the House to be “The Leader of Opposition is adjourned. a liar. He had earlier said that ThiruLater, Satheesan said the Opposi- vanchur Radhakrishnana was attion will not compromise on its tacked. But it proved f alse. right to move adjournment motion K K Rema had told the channels afunder rule 50 of the assembly pro- ter the skirmish that she had been ceedings. They are also considering pulled in the hand by four or five to extend the protests outside the watch-and- ward staff,” Sachin assembly, he added. “The speaker said. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram E X PRESS READ SC dismisses PFI case: NIA Alencherry’s plea files chargesheet Kochi: Cardinal George Alencherry suffered a setback in the illegal land deal case after the Supreme Court dismissed his plea seeking to quash criminal proceedings against him. The SC dismissed the special leave petition filed by the head of Syro-Malabar Church against a similar judgment delivered by the HC in August 2021. Kochi: The NIA on Friday filed a chargesheet in the case registered in connection with the unlawful activities of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI) in Kerala, in the NIA Court in Kochi. The chargesheet was filed against 59 PFI activists. PFI national leader Karamana Ashraf Maulavi was arraigned the first accused. President wins over schoolkids with humility, chocolates For Mahalakshmi, March 17, 2023, will remain a cherished memory “My happiness is be. yond words. I’m so happy that I met the President of India. She greeted me and shook my hands... She even offered me a chocolate bar. I am not going to eat the chocolate, nor will I give it to anyone, as it was given to me by my President,’’ the elated fourth-grader of Government LPS School Alappad said. On Friday, Mahalakshmi and the other students and teachers of her school lined the roadside, in front of their institution, with placards to welcome and catch a glimpse of President Droupadi Murmu, who would be en route to the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, in Amritapuri. At around 9.30am, when the President’s entourage passed them, the students waved at her, and she waved back. When the cavalcade retur ned at around 10.45am, a bigger crowd was waiting near the school. That’s when she stopped the vehicle, got out, interacted with the kids an d g ave t h e m chocolates. on international cooperation.” Ukraine welcomed ICC’s move but Russia termed it ‘meaningless’. Ukraine also is not a member of the court, but it has granted the ICC jurisdiction over its territory . Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations that its forces have committed atrocities during Russia’s invasion of its neighbour. Putin is only the third serving president to have been issued an ICC arrest warrant, after Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir and Libya’s Muammar GaddP9 afi. ruckus in Houses Surprise Stopover Has Alappad Abuzz R a h u l R @ Kollam was making it public to prevent any further abductions of children in future. The court’s president, Piotr Hofmanski, said in a video statement that while the ICC’s judges have issued the warrants, it will be up to the international community to enforce them. The court has no police force of its own to enforce warrants. “The ICC is doing its part of work as a court of law,” he said. “The judges issued arrest warrants. The execution depends President Droupadi Murmu giving chocolates to students | Twitter Nila, another fourth grader, was taken completely aback when the President presented her with her favourite chocolate. “I never thought I’d meet the President of India. I have seen her on television, but never imagined that I would meet and speak with her. Now I’m going to tell my cousins about this wonderful day said Nila. ,” The President also tweeted a photo of her interacting with students and residents. On Thursday, police officers visited the school to announce the President’s visit to Kollam, a ● More on P4 teacher said. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, former Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders at a protest over the Adani issue, at Parliament House complex in New Delhi on Friday | PTI BJP-Cong war of words gets shriller P r ee t h a N a i r @ New Delhi The war of words between the BJP and the Congress got shriller on Friday with their respective party heads sparring in the context of Rahul Gandhi’s ‘democracy under siege’ statement in London recently In Parliament, too, the Congress re. taliated against a BJP member’s demand to set up a special panel to probe Rahul’s remarks and consider his expulsion, by moving a privilege motion against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his alleged derogatory remarks against party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. The Congress also criticised the alleged ‘muting’ of Parliament’s proceedings after the day’s session began. Both Houses were adjourned after ruckus for the fifth consecutive day . Outside Parliament, while BJP president J P Nadda charged that Rahul had become a permanent part of the toolkit working against India, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge in his riposte said those who are ‘anti-nationals’ themselves must not preach about patriotism. Congress leader K C Venugopal, in his privilege notice to the Rajya Sabha Chairman, drew his attention to the PM’s remarks on the Gandhis not using the Nehru surname during a speech in the House. No need for madrasas, will shut them in Assam: CM E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ Belagavi ASSAM Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma categorically stated here on Friday that there is no need for madrasas in society and instead, colleges and universities should be built to churn out doctors, engineers and other professionals for nationbuilding. Sarma is in Karnataka to campaign for the BJP ahead of the Assembly elections. Speaking after inaugurating the Shivacharitra exhibition, depicting the life and achievements of Chhatrapati Shivaji here, Sarma said all madrasas in Assam will be closed soon, adding that 600 such religious institutions have already been shut. “Atrocities” were committed during the Mughal rule and the Congress is continuing with the same legacy, he said, adding: “The grand old party will not succeed in its efforts. Indian culture and heritage will continue to thrive.” Sarma said: “Mughals wanted to weaken the country by destroying the Sanatan Hindu culture and Congress today has a similar agenda. Mughal rulers of Delhi destroyed the country’s places of worship. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is helping people finally realise their dreams of having a Ram temple in Ayodhya and Kashi Vishwanath corridor.” Stating that Congressmen only spoke about Babri Mosque, he urged voters to “teach them a lesson in elections”. Hc intervenes Quashes chancellor order on KTU resolutions The resolutions were related to the formation of the syndicate standing committee on administrative affairs, and deferring the implementation of the transfer orders of employees
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