DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2020, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 20 PAGES WORLD DESIGNER PIERRE CARDIN DIES AT 98 PAGE 16 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Days after Karnataka House ruckus, Dy Chairman found dead DARSHAN DEVAIAH B P CHIKMAGALUR, DECEMBER 29 TWOWEEKSafterhewascaught in the middle of a ruckus in the KarnatakaLegislativeCouncil,JDS leader and Deputy Chairman of the House, S L Dharme Gowda, was found dead on the railway tracksinKarnataka’sChikmagalur districtearlyTuesdaymorning.He is suspected to have died by suicide. On December 15, as the BJP and Congress clashed over who would S L Dharme controlthe75Gowda member Upper House, Gowda, who was ushered to the chairman’s seat by BJP members, was pushed off his chair. According to the railway police, the JDS legislator was found dead on the tracks near his hometownGunasagarainKadur taluk of Chikmagalur district. Local police said they found a suicide note near his body. According to police, on Mondayevening,Gowda,accompanied by his driver, had left his farmhouse in Sakkarayapattana CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 IN LETTER TO CENTRE, FARMER UNIONS LIST FOUR-POINT AGENDA Talks today, farmers to Govt: Will only discuss repeal, MSP legal guarantee PM appeals against damage to infra, says keep it away from politics EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE ANJU AGNIHOTRI CHABA, RAAKHI JAGGA & AASHISH ARYAN NEW DELHI, LUCKNOW, DECEMBER 29 AHEAD OF the resumption of talks with the Centre Wednesday, farmer unions, protesting at the gates of Delhi againstthenewfarmlaws,wrote to the government saying the discussion can only be on a fourpoint agenda including modalities of repealing the laws and providing a legal guarantee on minimum support price. In a letter to Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, representing 40 farmer unions, listed the two other items on the agenda as amendmentstothe‘Commission Ordinance for Air Quality Management in the National Disquiet in Punjab govt over cell tower vandalism, police seek to control damage JALANDHAR, LUDHIANA, NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 29 AMIDGROWINGconcernoverincidentsofaround2,000cellphone Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the dedicated freight corridor via video conference. PTI Capital Region and adjoining areas, 2020’, and the procedure for withdrawalofthedraft'Electricity Amendment Bill 2020'. Formally accepting the government’s invitation to the talks, the Morcha said, “It is necessary CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 towers of Reliance Jio Infocomm being vandalised, allegedly by protestingfarmergroups,thestate policehavefannedoutacrossthe affecteddistrictstorestorepower supply to these towers. On Tuesday, a day after he issued a stern warning to those vandalising mobile towers, IRAM SIDDIQUE BHOPAL, DECEMBER 29 CITING THE newly enacted farm laws,KhojaTraders,atraderfirm in Dewas owned by brothers Pavan Khoja and Suresh Khoja, duped 22 farmers in Harda dis- trict of their 2,581 quintals of lentil and gram produce worth nearly Rs 2 crore. The 22 farmers first tried to locate the trader by knocking at Dewas mandi since the Khoja brothers had shown them the trading licence registered by the mandi.Buttheyrealisedthatthe SHAJU PHILIP THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, DECEMBER 29 “ALLOFyoukilledmyfather,sir… Allof youkilledmyparents.Now you say I can’t even bury them?” criesthedistressedyoungmanin the maroon shirt, as he ferociously slams a garden hoe into the ground. A police officer tries toreasonwithhim,tellinghimto duo had cancelled the registrationwithinthreemonthsof itbeingissuedbythemandilastyear. Theywenttotheresidenceof the Khojas in Khategaon tehsil but could not find them. Finally, the farmers filed an FIR with the Khategaon police and also CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 via Davinder Singh SRIRAM VEERA MUMBAI, DECEMBER 29 MOHAMMEDSIRAJ,the26-yearoldwholosthisfatherlastmonth, was moved to tears in the dressing room as the Indian players toastedhissplendidperformance inhisdebutTestattheMelbourne Cricket Ground, the setting for “one of the great comebacks in the history of the game”, in the words of coach Ravi Shastri. India, who were blown away for their lowest score in Test history a week ago in Adelaide, rebounded spectacularly with an eight-wicket win over Australia, led by a character-defining hundred bystand-incaptainAjinkya Rahane. It was a triumph achieved in the absence of Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, and RohitSharma,anddespitelosing fast bowler Umesh Yadav in the middle of the game. The celebration was muted —somelaughterandquietbeers — until the Siraj moment came up. “We were celebrating his performance on debut, and the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Para’s lawyer declines comment; bail plea says being framed to settle political scores DEEPTIMAN TIWARY NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 29 JAMMU & Kashmir Peoples DemocraticPartyleaderWaheed Ur Rehman Para allegedly paid Rs 10 lakh to terror outfit Hizbul-Mujahideentoensureitssupportaheadof the2019LokSabha polls, an investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is said to have found. The Central agency arrested Para in November, just ahead of the District Development Council (DDC) polls in J&K, in THE EDITORIAL PAGE Ajinkya Rahane and Shubman Gill celebrate after winning the India-Australia Test in Melbourne on Tuesday. AP SECESSION OF THESUCCESSFUL BY SANJAYA BARU PAGE 12 & SOFI AHSAN NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 29 Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria to support troops along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. The IAF chief, speaking at an event organised by the Vivekananda International CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SHARIFMalik,whoseallegations form the basis of Delhi Police’s controversial search of advocate Mehmood Pracha’s home last week,wasaccusedof riotingand attempt to murder in the Delhi riots.Butamonthago,policetold thecourtthatMalik’sarrestwasn’t required. On November 24, Malik securedpre-arrestbailinthreeFIRs Mehmood Pracha connected to the riots filed at Dayalpurpolicestation,withlittle oppositionfromtheprosecution. Police, in a report submitted to a Delhi court in August, said that Pracha “called” riot victim Irshad Ali, whose shop had been set on fire during the riots, and told him that Malik was “witness”totheincidentandif heattached Malik’s complaint, it wouldmakeAli’scase“stronger”. Ali denies Pracha called him, and has told The Indian Express that he went to meet him on his own. Ali’s case itself is fraught, accordingtothesequenceof events basedonpoliceandcourtrecords accessed by The Indian Express. Indeed, the court put on recordthedefence’squestioning of the fairness and impartiality CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 All of you killed my parents...now you won’t let me bury them: son’s grief, anger shake a state PAGE 1 ANCHOR CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Adelaide hurt fuels resolve, NIA: PDP’s Para paid India make history at MCG Rs 10 lakh to Hizbul KRISHN KAUSHIK UNDERLINING THAT understanding China is “our most important national security challenge” and cautioning against its “possible game plan” and the “deepening and evolving SinoPak relationship”, Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria said Tuesday that the Chinese have “fully deployed” their air assets Punjab Chief Minister AmarinderSinghtoldTheIndian Express, “I have directed police totakeactionagainstthosevandalisingthemobiletowers.Iwill not allow anyone to take law in their hands. The situation is under control now.” Farmers in Madhya Pradesh duped by traders, lens on key clauses in farm laws IAF chief says Chinese air Behind police raid on Pracha, trail assets fully deployed, flags of a riot victim and a riot accused deepening Sino-Pak ties KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 29 `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 stop digging. A few people stand around watching silently. The viral video has shaken the conscience of the public and triggeredwidespreadprotestsin Kerala. It shows 23-year-old RahulRajtryingtodigagravefor his father, a Dalit man who died on Monday after a week of battling serious burn injuries. Rahul’smother,whowasaliveat the time, died hours afterward. Like her husband, she too had suffered grievous burns. Rahul’sfather,PongilRajan,45, andhismentally-challengedwife Ambili, 36, of Athiyannnor pan- The couple with their sons chayat in Thiruvananthapuram district, accidentally set them- selves on fire on December 22 while resisting attempts by the policetoevictthemfromthethree cents of disputed land on which they had built their small home. In his dying declaration to a local magistrate, Rajan said that hehaddoused hiswifeand himself with petrol to bluff the police into backing off. “I had lit the lighter only to keep the police away. I had no plans to end my life. But a police officer swatted at the burning lighter, which fell on us and engulfed us both in flames,” he said. In his statement, Rajan said that “he was shattered by the thoughtthathisfamilywouldbe deprived of a roof over their head. Deeply upset over that thought, I took my wife out and held her close, and then put petrol on both of us. I had thoughtthepolicewouldretreat from their attempt to evict us.” Thecouplehaderectedanasbestos-roof shedataDalitcolony where they lived with their two sons, Rahul and Ranjith. A woman named Vasantha had objected to the shed, claiming that she owned the land, which CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Waheed Ur Rehman Para was arrested in November connection with its probe into suspended DySP Davinder Singh’s links with the Hizbul. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 OFFICER TO FACE MILITARY COURT IN SHOPIAN CASE PAGE 8 6 with UK strain in India; experts say vaccine will remain effective Unproventherapiescantriggermutation: Govt;5%positivesamplestobesequenced KAUNAIN SHERIFF M & SREENIVAS JANYALA NEW DELHI, HYDERABAD DECEMBER 29 THEVACCINESdevelopedagainst the novel coronavirus would remain effective despite the emergence of the new, more contagious strain in the United Kingdom,India’stopgovernment medicalexpertssaidonTuesday. However, they cautioned that injudicious use of unproven therapies against Covid-19 puts “immune pressure”onthevirus, which can lead to mutations. The government on Tuesday announced that at least six personswhohavereturnedrecently from the United Kingdom have been found positive for the new “variant under investigation”, which is being called VUI202012/01. Threeof thepositivesamples were detected at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, two at the Centre for Nocausefor worry WHILE IT is possible that a mutant of the UK or South Africa kind can emerge in India as well, there is no immediate cause for worry as long as effective surveillance and genome sequencing is carried out to detect the new strain early. Prof K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, has also said that the vaccines being developed will work against this mutant strain as well. Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, and one at theNationalInstituteof Virology (NIV), Pune. The Pune sample is CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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