DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2020, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES `6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 MORE TALKS SOON STANDARD CHARTERED, NEW YORK India, China agree no more escalation, to see if it holds SHUBHAJIT ROY & KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 22 RETURNING TO the talks table after their foreign ministers reached a pact to dial down tensions in Ladakh, India and China haveagreednottoengagein“escalatory behaviour” along the Lineof ActualControl,The Indian Express has learnt. Thisisthekeytakeawayfrom the 12-hour meeting at the Moldo border point between Indian and Chinese military commanders Monday. Sources said while there has been no agreement on “disengagement” at the friction points, the two sides have come to an understanding on not escalating thesituationgiventhat troopsof the two armies are within firing range of each other. This, sources said, is the first step towards efforts to “ease tensions” following the September 10 agreement in Moscow between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on a five-point approach to resolve the tense situation. A joint press release Tuesday stated: “On September 21, the Chinese and Indian Senior Commandersheldthe6thround of Military Commander-Level Meeting. The two sides had candid and in-depth exchanges of viewsonstabilizingthesituation along the LAC in the China-India border areas.” “Theyagreedtoearnestlyimplement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen communicationontheground,avoid misunderstandings and misjudgments, stop sending more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground, and avoid taking any actions that may complicate the situation.” “The two sides also agreed to hold the 7th round of Military Commander-Level Meeting as soon as possible, take practical measurestoproperlysolveproblems on the ground, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border area,” it stated. Sources said “non-escalation” could hold the key to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SANDEEP SINGH NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 22 Vacant seats in the Rajya Sabha after Opposition MPs staged a walkout on Tuesday. PTI Oppn to boycott RS till suspension revoked, Govt says ‘express regret’ To err is human... but some leaders justifying it, says Venkaiah Naidu; Azad leads Oppn walkout in Upper House; suspension echoes in Lok Sabha MANOJ C G & ESHA ROY NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 22 DRAWING THE battle lines, the Opposition on Tuesday decided to boycott Rajya Sabha proceedings till the suspension of eight members is revoked. But the government insisted that the MPs — suspended for “unruly behaviour” during the passage of two key farm Bills on Sunday — should first “express regret”. The suspension of the eight Opposition MPs -- Congress’s RajeevSatav,SyedNaseerHussain and Ripun Bora, Trinamool Congress’sDerekO'BrienandDola Sen, AAP’s Sanjay Singh and CPI(M)’s K K Ragesh and Elamaram Kareem -- echoed in As Sept surge sweeps rural Maharashtra, hunt for beds More than 34% of new cases in rural areas, officials try to catch up BY AMARINDER SINGH PAGE 10 THE IDEAS PAGE PUTS FARMERS FIRST BY HARDEEP S PURI PAGE 11 LokSabhaaswell,withsomeparties,includingtheCongress,TMC, DMKandTRS,boycottingtheproceedings for a day. With the Opposition deciding to boycott Rajya Sabha, the After failing to get a bed for Poonam Badwe in five hospitals, the family arranged for oxygen at home. Tabassum Barnagarwala Panic, overuse: Centre pinpoints oxygen issues KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 22 THE CENTRE has identified three major “problem areas” in the managementofoxygeninventory and clinical management of patients on oxygen support, which resultedinpooravailabilityofoxygen, especially in big states with high Covid-19 caseloads, The Indian Express has learnt. Over the past week, the Centre has held multiple meet- ings with states about the availability of oxygen. A senior central official who is part of the empowered committee that met with state officials said that the number of patients requiring oxygen support hasgoneupbyalmost1percentage point over the last 45 days. At the same time, discrepancies in inventory management had led to a shortage of oxygen supply, sources said. “Forty-fivedaysback,around CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 eight MPs, who held a sit-in next to the Gandhi statue at Parliament through the night, ended their dharna. SpeakinginRajyaSabhaminutes before 9.30 am, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “There is a proverb in English: the last straw which broke the camel's back. I think, daybeforeyesterdaywasthelast straw which broke the camel's back... Today, Bills are not sent to the standing and select committees...Anattemptismadetopass all Bills. Why did the fight take place? It should not have happened. I don't approve (members)breakingmicrophonesand climbing on tables. Nobody approves it. But, as I said, it was the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Shapoorji ready to exit as Tata offers to buy out its stake ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU SATARA, SEPTEMBER 22 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 IT’S AGAINST FARMERS NEW DELHI, MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 22 TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA FOR THREE days earlier this month, 65-year-old Kashabha Kumbhar lay outside the Karad Sub-District Hospital as his family, which had made its way there from a village 20 km away, hunted for a hospital bed. It was onlywhenKumbharturnedcritical that the hospital admitted him on September 10. The Karad hospital had been converted into a Covid facility in March, but as cases lagged, had gone back to taking in other patients. Now, as coronavirus spreads to rural areas, hospitals like Karad’s in Maharashtra are struggling. Again declared Covid-only this month, the SubDistrict Hospital has 45 beds and none in ICU due to the lack of an intensivist and oxygen tank. Accounting for 54% of the state’s11.23crorepopulation,ruralMaharashtrahadonly16.5%of itscoronaviruscasestillmid-July. THE EDITORIAL PAGE THE SHAPOORJI Pallonji (SP) GroupsaidintheSupremeCourt Tuesday that it would exit from Tata Sons, provided it gets an “early resolution” and a “fair, equitablesolution”intheprotracted legal battle between the two sides.Thiscouldpotentiallymark anendtothe70-yearrelationship betweentwoofIndia’soldestand biggest business groups. The SP Group is the largest minority shareholder in Tata Sons, the holding company of Tata Group, with 18.37 per cent stake. But it said in a statement that a separation “is necessary” due to the potential impact of the continuing litigation between the two sides on “livelihoods and the economy”. “It was crucial that an early resolutionisreachedtoarriveata fairandequitablesolutionreflecting the value of the underlying tangibleandintangibleassets,”it said. “The SP-Tata relationship, spanning over 70 years, was forgedonmutualtrust,goodfaith, and friendship. Today, it is with a heavy heart that the Mistry familybelievesthataseparationofinterestswouldbestserveallstakeholder groups.” E E X P L A I NE D No disengagement pact yet, say more troops will not be sent to frontline Cyprus to Isle of Man: Over 100 transactions linked to Max chairman New flashpoint ● inties THE FACE-OFF between the two heavyweights marks the latest turn in a long-running legal battle, which started in December 2016 soon after Cyrus Mistry was ousted as Chairman of Tata Sons. In the latest salvo, the SP Group has accused Tata Sons of taking "value destructive business decisions" ever since Mistry's sacking. The statement came hours after the Tata Group informed thecourtthatitwasreadytobuy out the SP Group's stake. The court restrained the SP Group from pledging or transferring its stake in Tata Sons and asked the Mistrys to maintain status quo until October 28, when it starts hearing final arguments. TheTata Group saiditis open to buying shares held by the SP Group to aid the latter’s fundraising efforts, itslawyer toldthe Supreme Court. The Tata Group had moved the court earlier this CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 First Covid lay-offs by BCCI: 11 coaches at national academy; they say were not alerted PAGE 1 ANCHOR DEVENDRA PANDEY MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 22 NO INDIA matches since February,itsshowpieceIPLplaying out in a bio-bubble of empty stands in the UAE, the world's richest cricket body is now quietly tightening its belt. Marking its first big staff layoffssincetheCovidoutbreak,the BCCI has decided to not renew the annual contracts of 11 coaches at its premier National Cricket Academy (NCA), including five retired India players — Ramesh Powar, SS Das, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Subroto Banerjee and Sujith Somsundar. The Indian Express has learnt that former India captain Rahul Dravid,whohadhandpickedthe teamaftertakingoverasHeadof Cricket at NCA, informed the coaches last week about the terminationof their services. Those whohavebeenaskedtoleavein- clude domestic stalwart Sitanshu Kotak. The 11 coaches were employedonone-yearcontractsthat are set to expire this month, on salaries ranging from Rs 30-55 lakh.Andatleastfiveofthemtold TheIndianExpressthattheywere not alerted before the decision wastakenorgivena“realreason”. Dravid,BCCIpresidentSourav Ganguly and board secretary Jay Shah did not respond to queries from The Indian Express. "We received a call from Rahul (Dravid) two days ago and he informed us that BCCIhas decided not to renew our contract. There was no real reason given to us. He said he tried his best to retain us but he couldn't do anything further. For the past three months,wehavebeenattending webinarsandplanningactivities for after Covid-19. Now suddenly, we are told that our services are no longer needed," said one of the coaches. Another coach rued the timing of the decision. “We have been told this at a time when many state associations have al- ready appointed coaches for their teams. It will be tough for ustogetnewassignmentsinthis Covid time," another coach said. Cricketing activities at the NCAhadcometoacompletehalt since the Covid lockdown in March. However, earlier this month, BCCI-contracted players weregiventheoptionof training attheBengaluru-basedacademy. In 2019, on Dravid's recommendation, the Supreme Courtappointed Committee of Administrators had recruited CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY LS PASSES 3 LABOUR CODE BILLS AMID OPPN BOYCOTT PAGE 6 THE WORLD CHINA EXPANDS MASS LABOUR PROGRAMME IN TIBET PAGE 14 OVER 100 transactions worth $104.4 million by companies associated with Max Group founder and chairman Analjit Singh were red-flagged by Standard Chartered Bank, New York, to US financial watchdog FinCEN. Thesetransactions,between July 2014 and November 2016, were between entities in India and those located in Cyprus, UAE, Singapore, South Africa, Jersey and Isle of Man. Some of these companies had Singh as a director as well, according to thebank’srecordsof Suspicious ActivityReportsinvestigatedby The Indian Express. In two SARs, the bank said that Singapore-based LGO Pte, a company where Analjit Singh ANEXPRESS INVESTIGATION PARTTHREE is a director, which had an accountwiththebank,carriedout transactions with “unknown entities, located in high-risk jurisdictions.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 2010-2017: TRANSACTIONS OF $27.88 MN Antiques smuggler in Tamil Nadu jail, and a trade that flourished even after his arrest SHYAMLAL YADAV NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 22 DATA FROM the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the US regulatory agency for enforcing money laundering laws, provide a glimpse into the network of companies and individuals tradingwithantiquessmuggler Subhash Kapoor who is now in a Tamil Nadu jail. The data show that dealings of stolen artifacts and transactions continued years after the arrest of the alleged kingpin. Kapoor was one of 17 subjects in a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) filed on March 20, GARMENT FIRMS RED-FLAGGED BY US BANK PAGE 15 2017bytheStandardChartered Bank, New York, “for obtaining millions of dollars in trafficking looted artifacts from international smugglers and selling them illegally”. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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