DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 20 PAGES TANDAV:HCREJECTS BAILPLEA,SAYSDUTY TORESPECTOTHER FAITH’SFEELINGS PAGE 9 GOVT & POLITICS FIRST JOINT STATEMENT IN EIGHT YEARS FOLLOWS MONTH-LONG TALKS Ceasefire pact: First thaw in deep India-Pak chill DGMOs reviewed LoC situation in free & cordial atmosphere, says statement KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 25 AFTER MGR IMAGE IN BJP VIDEO, KAMARAJ CUTOUT AT PM’S RALLY IN TN PAGE 8 AFTER ONE of the most active yearsontheLineof Control,with over 4,600 instances of ceasefire violationsbyPakistanrecordedin 2020,IndiaandPakistanissueda joint statement on Thursday to strictlyobserveallagreementson ceasefirealongtheLoCandother sectors, and to address "each other'scoreissuesandconcerns". It was their first joint statement 2 years after arrest, UK court paves way for Nirav Modi extradition DEEPTIMAN TIWARY NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 25 AUKcourtThursdayorderedthe extradition of fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi — wanted by the Central Bureau of Investigation andtheEnforcementDirectorate in a Rs 13,500-crore bank loan fraud case — to India. The UK Court delivered the verdictholdingthattheevidence against Modi was prima facie sufficienttoorderhisextradition to India to face the charges. The Courtalsoupheldtheassurances of the Indian government and rejected the submissions of defenceregardinghumanrightsviolations, fair trial, and prison conditions. Can appeal to the High Court Declaring it was satisfied with all conditions necessary for extradition, the court said, “Therefore, in accordance with S.87(3) EA 2003 I am sending this case to the Secretary of State for a decision as to whether Nirav Modi is to be extradited.” The court, however, said Modiwouldhavetherighttoappeal to the High Court against the decision to send the case to the Secretary of State. However, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Need to pay more to newspapers for using content: INS to Google EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 25 THE INDIAN Newspaper Society wrote to Google on Thursday asking it to compensate Indian newspapers comprehensively for the use of their content, and to share details of its advertising revenues. In a letter to Google India country manager Sanjay Gupta, INSpresidentLAdmiloolamsaid that Google should increase publisher share of advertising revenueto85%.Thefirstsuchdemand raised of Google in the country, the letter coincided with the Australian Parliament passing a law requiring Google andFacebooktopaymediacompanies for content. The INS letter said newspapers employ thousands of journalistsonthegroundatconsiderable cost for gathering information,andthatthiscontent wasnotjustproprietarybutgave Googleits"authenticityinIndia". In a press release, the INS said, "The Society insisted that Google shouldincrease the publisher share of advertising revenue to 85 per cent, and also ensure more transparency in the revenue reports provided to publishers by Google." The INS said its digital team and Google CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 in over eight years. The statement said that the Director Generals of Military Operations(DGMOs)oftheIndian and Pakistani armies had held talksthisweektorenewthepeace process.Itsaidboththecountries agreed to "strict observance of all agreements, understanding and ceasefirealongtheLineofControl and all other sectors with effect from midnight 24/25 February”. Lt General Paramjit Singh Sangha, Deputy Chief of Army CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E X P L A I NE D EXPRESS NETWORK `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 E Back-channels open for 3 months, via Doval, Imran aide and Pak Army chief After China heat ● down EVEN AS India and Pakistan are not yet talking, the understanding between the DGMOs to stick to ceasefire is a significant thaw, and will bring immediate relief to forces and citizens living on the LoC. It also comes close on the heels of the ratcheting down of heat on the eastern front with China. SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 25 INDIA AND Pakistan have been holdingback-channeltalksforthe last three months, with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval leading the Indian diplomatic initiativewithPakistan’scivilian-military leadership. Sources said BSF personnel in Akhnoor, in J&K on Thursday. ANI FIRMS WELCOME TO DO BUSINESS, BUT MUST FOLLOW LAWS: PRASAD Govt frames new rules to hold social media, OTT accountable for content Taking down posts to tracing origin: Govt says soft-touch curbs will check misuse COMPLIANCE REPORTS, GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL ■ Identify ‘first originator’ of content that authorities consider anti-national ■ Follow Press Council of India, Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act norms. ■ Self-regulatory bodies to oversee adherence to Code of Ethics ■ File monthly compliance report on complaints received, action taken NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 25 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 DIGITAL NEWS ■ Appoint grievance officer, resolve complaints in 15 days AASHISH ARYAN & PRANAV MUKUL THE CENTRE Thursday notified newguidelinesforintermediaries in“softtouchoversight”rules,sayingthesewereneededtoholdsocial media and other companies accountable for “misuse and abuse”.ThesewillrequireBigTech platformstosetupstrongergrievance redressal mechanisms, and appoint executives to coordinate with law enforcement in India. For social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, etc, the guidelines essentially remove the “safe harbour” provided to these companies — it limited their liability over content that users posted on their platforms — if the platformsdo notcomply with due diligence norms. The rules also call for a threetier regulation mechanism for over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Netflix, YouTube, etc and require them to self-classify their content into five categories based on age suitability. The government's move comes amid a flurry of activity across geographies over the last 12 months to frame new regulations aimed at policing Big Tech, which may force some of the SOCIAL MEDIA ■ I&B Ministry to form panel, oversight mechanism OTT PLATFORMS Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar at the press conference in New Delhi on Thursday. Anil Sharma THE EDITORIAL PAGE ACCOUNTABILITY WITHACOST BY APAR GUPTA STATE PUSHBACK New rules draw the lines between Big Tech, Govt PAGE 10 THE IDEAS PAGE AFINEBALANCE BY T V MOHANDAS PAI PAGE 11 EXPLAINED SIMPLY PUT INSIDETHENEW SOCIALMEDIA CODE PAGE 15 ■ Self-classify content into five age-based categories: U (universal), U/A 7+ (years), U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A. ■ Parental locks for any content classified as U/A 13+ or above. ■ Age verification mechanism for content classified as ‘A’ (adult) SINGAPORE TO GERMANY: PRIVACY VS CURBS Rules reflect global trend but sweeping blacklist puts law and order at centre PRANAV MUKUL & AASHISH ARYAN NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 25 THE NOTIFICATION of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021,theGovernment'sfirstmove toregulatesocialmediaplatforms, is,essentially,focusedonregulatingBig Techthrough theprism of tackling law and order. This is an objective broadly aligned to interventions in countriessuchasSingapore,Russiaand Germany.Thisisdistinctfromregulations in, say the European Union,wheretheindividual’spri- BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY vacy is at the centre of policy. These rules come even as a Joint Parliamentary Committee isinthefinalstagesof discussion of a privacy Bill that covers aspects such as the role of social media intermediaries and the reachof BigTechcompanies,and theprivacyaccordedtotheusers on such platforms. Asked why the government hadchosentocomeoutwiththe newguidelinesasthelargerumbrellalawondataprotectionwas pending,aseniorofficialsaidthe rules offered an “overarching architecture” for companies to follow while the law would still have to be passed by Parliament. “There should not be double standards. If an attack is there at CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Security scare for Ambani, gelatin sticks found in car near home EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 25 AROUND 20 gelatin sticks were found in a vehicle parked outside Antilla, the south Mumbai home of Reliance Industries head Mukesh Ambani, on Thursday evening, leading to a securityscareandamassivemobilisation by the Mumbai Police to trace the culprits. The billionaire industrialist has Z-plus security cover, the highest protection the government provides to individuals assessedas facingathreat.Hepays for the security. Gelatin sticks are generally used for blasting purposes in quarries, but have been used for terror attacks in the past. However, they need a detonator tobeset off, and none was found in the Scorpio. Apart from the Mumbai Police Crime Branch, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad is looking into the matter. What first raised suspicion was the fact that the registration number of the vehicle matched thatof aRangeRoverinAmbani's securityconvoy.Policearetrying to track down the owners of the four-wheeler from the chassis number and other details of the car. Police said they had also recoveredaletterfromthevehicle, refusing any more details. An officer who is part of the investigation team said theyhad got a CCTV grab from Wednesday night showing a whitevehicleaccompanyingthe Scorpio as it parked near Antilla. Thedriverof theScorpiothengot into the white SUV and they left, leavingtheScorpiobehind.Hunt is now on for the white vehicle. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 2-DAY TEST Ahead of MP civic polls, Cong inducts ‘Godse follower’, says ‘wants to reform’ WORLD ■ India beat England by 10 wickets in just under two days in the pink-ball Test. ■ Spinners from both sides took 28 of the 30 wickets in the third Test. ■ R Ashwin took 7 wickets and became the second fastest after M Muralitharan to reach 400 Test wickets. PRO-MILITARY AND ANTI-COUP GROUPS CLASH IN MYANMAR AUSTRALIA PARLIAMENT PASSES MEDIA REFORMS R Ashwin celebrates the dismissal of England’s Ollie Pope at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Thursday. PTI REPORT,P19 PAGE 14 PAGE 1 ANCHOR “more steps” towards peace are likely in the coming weeks, with both sides “engaged” and “cautiously optimistic”. Sources told The Indian ExpressthatwhileDovalhadmet his counterpart Moeed Yusuf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister ImranKhan onsecurity affairs, in a third country, he had IRAM SIDDIQUE BHOPAL, FEBRUARY 25 INFAMOUS FOR lending a hand in the setting-up of a temple for Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse in the Hindu MahasabhaofficeinGwalior,the Councillor of the district’s Ward 44, Babulal Chourasia, was on Thursday inducted into the Congresspartyinthepresenceof KamalNath,stateCongresspresident and former Chief Minister. Babulal Chourasia joins Cong in the presence of former CM Kamal Nath on Thursday. ANI Chourasia’shriday parivartan (change of heart) happened ahead of the upcoming local body elections. “Mein janamjaad Congressi hoon (I have been a Congressman since birth). Ihave joined my first family,” he told The Indian Express. He had quit theCongressafterhewasdenied a ticket by the party for municipalelectionsin2014,afterwhich hejoinedtheHinduMahasabha. Justifyingthedecision,Kamal Nath said, “If Mr Modi wants to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘22 yrs too long... always believed I deserve justice, and will get it’ ALAKA SAHANI BHUBANESWAR, FEB 25 AFTER YEARS of wait, Anjana Mishra says she had lost hope that the mastermind behind her gangrape would ever be caught, or that the "political conspiracy" behind the crime be exposed. But, she never stopped fighting. On February 22, more than two decades after Mishra, then 29, was assaulted while on her way from Bhubaneswar to Cuttack, prime accused Bibekananda Biswal alias Biban was arrested from Lonavala, Pune,wherehewaslivingunder an assumed identity. “Twentytwo years is too long a period. Therewastalkof theaccusedbeing dead or having been sent out of the country,” says Mishra, speaking on the phone from her parent'shome,addingthatsheis notdone."Itiscrucialthattheinvolvement of powerful politicians be exposed. The three accused assaulted me at their behest... I will get some sort of closure if the conspiracy angle is proved." Mishra was sexually assaulted at gunpoint for nearly fourhoursonJanuary9,1999,afterthecarshewasinwithajournalist friend was forcibly stopped. Mishra was at the time fightinganattempt-to-rapecase against then state advocate general Indrajit Ray, known for his closeness to Chief Minister J B Patnaik. She snubbed multiple offersto"compromise"anddrop her charges against Ray, whom she had met regarding her divorce from her IFS husband. Two decades ago, a woman thus going public with rape charges, especially taking on the high and mighty, was unheard of. Soon after the gangrape charges, Patnaik stopped down. ACBIcourtinFebruary2000upheldtheattempt-to-rapeallegation against Ray. Anjana Mishra (left) at a press conference in Gajapati district of Odisha on February 22. ANI Mishracontinuestoholdthat PatnaikandRaywerebehindthe attack on her, to intimidate her into dropping the charges. Both Ray and Patnaik are now dead. Mishra hopes that the next legalbattlethatloomswillfinally lead to the CBI establishing the "conspiracy" angle. “He (Biswal) will be questioned, tried and convicted. I want him to be hanged or to stay in prison for the rest of his life." One of Mishra's earliest supporters, Saila Behera, secretary of the Cuttack-basedNGOBasundhara, says the political involvement in the case must be probed. Fifty-onenow,Mishraadmits that it's been a long and "lonely" battle — a far cry from what the high-scoringschoolstudentwho pursued literature, and who got married at 17 to a man 13 years older, imagined for herself. “When you are raped, your life is destroyed. However much you try to be normal, it (the pain) doesn’t go away. There is certainly rage and it will always be there." Her family doesn't want her attracting attention, and hence she is almost always indoors at her parents' house, she says, refusing to meet for an interview. In the days following the gangrape, Mishra used to interact with journalists (including this reporter) at the gate of her parents' home, ignoring disapproving eyes from inside. She can't really explain what gaveherthecouragetogoon,says Mishra.In1996,shewasfoundin a mental hospital in Ranchi, put therebyherhusband,andgotout byapproachingtheStateHuman RightsCommissionandsocialactivists. When the divorce came through in December 2000, she lost custody of her two sons as, she says, she was not financially independent. Mishra points out that it has not got any easier for women two decades later. “The judicial process is not easy,” she says. However,heradviceistonotgive up. "I have always believed that Ideservejustice,andIwillgetit."
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.