MADURAI l saturday l February 20, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l LATE CITY EDITION phase-1 of disengagement at pangong lake complete Senior military commanders will meet on the Chinese side of Chushul-Moldo Border for the 10th round of talks on Saturday Other friction points to be discussed China finally admits galwan casualty Both sides pulled back troops from the north and south banks of the lake in a four-step plan that comprised withdrawing armour, artillery and other heavy equipment, followed by infantry. During the Saturday’s meeting, other friction points, including Depsang, Hot Springs and Gogra, will be taken up. The process disengagement began on February 10 ■ ■ Admitting for the first time that it, too, had suffered casualties in last June’s conflict at Galwan, the China’s Central Military Commission honoured five soldiers, including four posthumously China’s figure is conservative. Russia recently put it at 45. India had lost 20 soldiers in the hand-to-hand fight at Galwan in 2020 48-hour deadline set to convene the 10th round after disengagement CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI HC raps media sensationalism Cover toolkit case based on verified sources, says court; Disha custody extended ‘Freedom of speech not negotiable’ Five days after Disha Ravi’s arrest, Greta Thunberg tweeted: “Freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest and assembly are non-negotiable human rights. These must be a fundamental part of any democracy. #StandWith DishaRavi.” E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi On a day a local court placed activist Disha Ravi in three-day judicial custody in connection with the toolkit case, the Delhi High Court on Friday underlined her right to privacy and told media houses not to sensationalise the coverage of the probe. The high court passed the directions on a plea filed by Disha regarding leak of probe details, and sensational coverage by media houses. Earlier, seeking more time to interrogate Disha, the Delhi Police told a court: “We have issued notices to several others to join the probe. We want to confront Disha and Shantanu. During the course of interroga- reporting by the media. While tion, Disha shifted the blame press briefings are held generonto Nikita and Shantanu.” ally media cannot disseminate , In the high court, Additional the information in such a senSolicitor General Suryapra- sationalised manner.” kash V Raju strongly opposed Upholding the journalistic Disha’s petition, sayethics of not disclosing the activist was deing the source, the faming and vilifying court, however, directthe police. He claimed ed media houses to that the petition was a base their coverage on systematic attempt to verified and authentic blame the police sources. and derail the Disha had moved Disha Ravi investigation. the high court seeking However, the h igh court stat- to restrain the police from leaked: “Right to privacy the sover- ing to the media any probe ma, eignty and integrity of the terial in relation to the FIR country and the freedom of lodged against her. The petition speech need to be balanced. The had also sought to restrain the recent coverage definitely media from publishing the conshows there is sensationalised tent of her private chats. Landmark UK verdict on Uber drivers as staffers, sparks hope A Unilateral decisions Among the factors the court examined were Uber dictating the fare and the driver’s share, unilateral contract terms, and penalising them through star ratings and/ or multiple rejection of rides landmark verdict of the UK Supreme Court on Friday classifying ride-hailing app Uber’s drivers as its employees and not self-employed, was widely welcomed by drivers’ unions in India, hoping it would help build their case for changing the oppressive work conditions back home. It ruled that the driver would have full protection as an employee from the moment the app is switched on and not from when the ride commences. A similar demand for the regularisation of Uber and Ola drivers is pending before the Industrial Tribunal in Kerala’s Thrissur. T R S Kumar, presi- dent of the All Kerala Online Taxi Driver Union, said online taxi drivers are upbeat about the UK verdict. “We were first in India to file a similar case. We hope the UK Supreme Court verdict would be helpful in our case as well. It will surely be a lesson to employers to treat online taxi drivers as regular employees with pension and other welfare schemes,” he said. P Anbazhagan, president of the Tamil Nadu Call Taxi Drivers and Owners Association, revealed that since the last seven days both Ola and Uber had stopped deducting trip cancellation fees of `50 from drivers. Continued on: P5, SEE also: P9 (Inputs from Toby Antony @ Kochi; B Anbuselvan@ Chennai; Nirad Mudur @ bengaluru; Sudarsan Moharana @ Bhubaneswar) chennai chills Floating cages on the Kolavai lake in Chengalpattu district swaying to the breeze on a pleasant Friday morning. These cages are built by the fisheries department for aquaculture | martin louis Puducherry: PM Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Puducherry on February 25 and address a public meeting at AFT grounds, said BJP State president V Saminathan. The PM will also be taking part in a government function on that day EVEN as the Puducherry government inches forward to undergo a floor test on Monday, the question in everyone’s mind is if the nominated legislators — all of who belong to the BJP — would be allowed to vote. The Opposition, including the BJP, is trying all means to stop the Congress from continuing as the caretaker government. This, they say, is necessary to ensure a “free and fair” elections. But, what does the law say about voting by nominated legislators? “If the government cannot prove that it enjoys the support of a minimum of 16 MLAs, it loses majority an analyst told ,” Express. “The nominated MLAs, however, are not an integral part of the formation of the Assembly, and hence must not morally participate in the motion.” However, he pointed out that the Home Ministry, which nominated them, did not categorise them as BJP legislators. So, technically, they cannot be construed as BJP MLAs. “In the absence of an explicit mention, they are required to E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Tenkasi IN a major move, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said on Friday that his government has dropped almost all cases registered against antiCAA protestors and those who violated Covid lockdown norms. The announcement comes weeks after he announced dropping of charges against participants of the 2017 Jallikattu protests. Addressing a rally in Kadayanallur, Palaniswami said that around 10 lakh cases were registered against those who violated the lockdown norms. “Except cases of fake e-passes and preventing police from discharging duties, all others will be dropped,” he said. With regards to those who protested against Centre’s controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Palaniswami said, “Many people conducted rallies and burnt copies of the Act. The police had registered over 1,500 cases. We have dropped all cases but those registered for preventing the police from discharging their duties.” more on: p4 AU ordered to admit students in line with Centre’s quota E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Chennai THE Madras High Court on Friday directed Anna University to proceed with the admission of 45 students to two M.Tech courses for the current academic year in keeping with Centre’s 49.5 per cent reservation policy. A student, Chithra, had moved a petition after differences cropped up between the Centre and the State on the quota system to be followed for admitting students to M. Tech courses in biotechnology and computational biology . While the Centre insisted on the 49.5 per cent quota, the State wanted the university to follow its 69 per cent reservation, following which it was decided not to offer the course this year. During Friday’s hearing, the petitioner’s counsel, Saravanan, submitted that the decision to scrap the courses had left the applicants in a dire and dicey situation. Students who had prepared hard for the course and taken the GAT-B examination were left with a bleak future, he said. Appearing for the State, special pleader, E Manoharan, contended that if the 49.5 per cent reservation had to be followed, the Centre should be selecting the candidates and not the University . Recording the submissions, the single-member bench of Justice B Pugalendhi, orally directed the Central government and Anna University to admit the 45 students under the Central government reservation policy . Can nominated MLAs vote in Pondy House? D E B J A N I DUTTA @ Puducherry eps drops cases on caa protestors 49% vs 69% big question modi in ut on Feb 25 ‘good’ friday remain non-partisan,” the analyst added. Interestingly though, Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Thursday termed the nominated persons as “BJP members” in her letter to Chief Minister V Narayanasamy causing an uproar in the , Congress camp. “They may belong to the BJP, but inside the House, they are not members of any party said government ,” whip RKR Anantharaman. “If they claim to be BJP members, they could get disqualified under the Anti-Defection Law. Hence, the L-G should reconsider her statement.” P4 Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami shares a lighter moment with a boy at Sankarankovil in Tenkasi on Friday | Express express read Grandma held for killing newborn Terrorists gun down two cops in Valley Madurai: Investigations have revealed that the newborn girl, who was brought dead to the GH in Usilampatti on Wednesday night, was murdered. The police, on Friday, arrested her grandmother for allegedly gagging her to death. According to sources, K Nagammal (55) confessed that she was unhappy over the birth of a third girl to her son and his wife. p3 Srinagar: A day after visiting foreign diplomats departed, terrorists gunned down two policemen in the city on Friday. Their firing at two unarmed policemen was caught on camera near Baghat Chowk. Both of them later died at the police hospital. Inspector General of Police blamed the Lashkar for the attack. Meanwhile, three militants were shot dead while a policeman died in an encounter at Badigam in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Thursday evening.
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