WEDNESDAY 15L tonnes 28 OCTOBER, 2020 Kerala’s annual vegetable production, according to the state government epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard KERALA FIRST STATE TO FIX FLOOR PRICE FOR VEGETABLES PA N D E M I C NO UNLOCK RELAXATION Unlock guidelines issued in September to remain in effect till Nov 30: Centre PAGE 7 PRICE TO BE REVISED ON A REGULAR BASIS ■ ■ A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 The 16 vegetables include potato, tomato, beans, tapioca, lady’s finger, bitter gourd, carrot, beetroot, banana among others Farmers with a maximum of 15 acres of vegetable cultivation per season will be eligible for the scheme. The state government will revise the floor price on a regular basis, the chief minister said Floodgates now opened for anyone to buy land in Jammu & Kashmir IN a move that can have longterm political and economic implications for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre on Tuesday notified several laws, including major amendments to the Jammu and Kashmir Land Revenue Act to allow any Indian citizen to buy land in the Union Territory . Agricultural land will be an exception to the law as it can only be transferred or sold to an agriculturist in J&K. However, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs can authorise an agriculturist to ‘alienate’ the HATE CONTENT Five accords, including the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement, at 2+2 Dialogue indicate US solidarity against Chinese hostility S A N A S H A K I L & F AYA Z W A N I @ New Delhi/Srinagar Under-fire FB official Ankhi Das calls it quits EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi CONTROVERSIAL India policy head of Facebook Ankhi Das, who had opposed blocking of right-wing hate content on its platform, put in her papers on Tuesday . She was outed by US media reports that criticised Facebook for its skew in regulating hate content. The resignation to pursue her interest in ‘public service’ also came close on the heels of her grilling by a parliamentary committee on data protection. She had joined Facebook in 2011. “Ankhi has decided to step down from her role in Facebook to pursue her interest in public service. Ankhi was one of our earliest employees in India and played an instrumental role in the growth of the company and its services over the last 9 years,” said Ajit Mohan, vice -president and managing director, India in a statement. In August last, articles in the Wall Street Journal had said Das had intervened in internal review of the communal posts of BJP’s Telangana MLA T Raja Singh. Das, the reports said, had argued that penalising BJP workers’ posts would hurt the social media company’s business prospects in India. The reports soon lit a political fire with the Congress alleging a nexus between Facebook and the BJP . Sharp message to Beijing from India-US pacts P U S H K A R B A N A K A R & M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi INDIA and the US on Tuesday signed five pacts, including the long-negotiated Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) on geospatial data during the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue at a time when New Delhi and Beijing are engaged in a stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. BECA will give India access to accurate US satellite data, which will help in navigation and pinpoint accuracy for weapons. “We are happy that we’ve completed the BECA, which will open new avenues in the information sharing. We are eager to discuss further issues with US,” Singh said after the meeting. Experts say BECA will usher in a new era in ties, especially in defence cooperation. “IndiaUS are looking at geo-spatial intelligence and greater cooperation in all fields. Further, a fair amount of congruence has been achieved in terms of the idea of an inclusive Indo-Pacific. The wider Indo-Pacific sweep includes freedom of navigation, use of global commons and the sea lanes of communication,” Major General (Retd) S B Asthana said. Kriti Upadhyaya of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies said that signing of BECA in the backdrop of the India-China tensions definitely sends a message to China that the US stands by India in improving its defences against China. Discussions in the meeting involving US Secretary of State Agriculture land Agricultural land will be reserved for farmers and it can only be sold another agriculturist. However, the land can be transferred for non-agriculture purposes with the Centre’s permission granted to domiciles of J&K. Before the reading down of Article 370 and Article 35-A last year, non-residents could not buy any immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir. But the new order titled the ‘Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi / Lucknow THE Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Allahabad High Court to monitor the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged Hathras gangrape and murder case. The apex court also ordered CRPF protection for the victim’s family and witnesses in the case as a ‘confidence building’ measure. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde asked the CBI to submit its status report to the high court, which shall look into all the aspects of the case, including providing security to the victim’s family . The court, while hearing a batch of petitions seeking an independent probe into the case, said the plea to transfer the case out of Uttar Pradesh Below-the-belt punch Taking cheap shots at opponents before polls is not new, but the Bihar discourse is getting snarky. Nervousness? Overconfidence? You decide. P8 HIZBUL CHIEF IN NEW TERROR LIST Does anybody care? They produce 8-9 kids. They have no faith in daughters. They had 7-8 daughters before a son. If this is their ideal, what will happen to Bihar? Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s barb on Lalu Yadav who has 9 children When Lalu Yadav was in power, the poor used to walk before ‘Babu Saheb’ with their head held high. However, we will take everybody along RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. He claimed his Babu Saheb phrase denoted the bureaucracy, but the Opposition saw it as a slur against the forward castes Nitish’s Saat Nishchay (seven resolves) scheme will be probed after LJP government is formed. If found guilty, the CM will also go to jail LJP chief Chirag Paswan A young girl was shot dead outside her college at Ballabgarh in Faridabad district of Haryana bordering Delhi by her jilted lover along with a friend. Both the accused have been arrested by the Haryana Police. Some residents were joined by rightwing groups to block a road. They demanded death for the accused, alleging that it was a case of ‘love jihad.’ Reports said Nikita Tomar was a third year B.Com student of Aggarwal College. On Mon- day as she came out of the col, lege after her exam, she was stopped by two youths, Tausif (22) and his friend Rehan (21) around 3.30 pm. Taufeek allegedly tried to drag her inside the car at gunpoint. When she resisted, the accused shot her point blank with a pistol. Rehan then dragged Tausif to the car and they drove off. The incident was recorded in the CCTV The . victim was rushed to a private hospital, but succumbed to her injuries during treatment, reports said. The main accused Tausif, identified as her school classmate, had allegedly been harassing her for the past few years. A murder case was egistered against Tausif and Rehan on the complaint of Naveen, the victim’s brother. The two were sent in police remand. Naveen had reportedly told the police that Tausif had been stalking his sister. Tausif was arrested late evening on Monday from Nuh after a five-hour operation against it. The MHA has also amended the domicile law declaring the “spouse of a domicile shall also be deemed to be a domicile”. This earlier pertained to children of central government officials posted in J&K for 10 years who are also eligible as CONTINUED ON P7 domiciles. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addresses the media after the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (R), US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (2L) and US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper (L) look on, at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Tuesday | PTI Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defence Mark Esper, External Affairs Minister S Jaishnakar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh focused around a plethora of regional and global issues, including coronavirus, trade, free and fair Indo-Pacific and enhancing bilateral ties. Earlier in the day, Pompeo and Esper paid tributes at the National War Memorial and had a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. “Warm conversation today with Indian Prime Minister @narendramodi. Our close relationship, which is rooted in our vibrant democratic traditions and fostered by the free and open exchange between our peoples, is beneficial for the world,” Pompeo later CONTINUED ON P7 tweeted. Rajnath raps reckless China aggression P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi WHILE US belligerence against China was on expected lines, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh sharp rebuke of the neighbour for its “reckless aggression on our northern borders”, in his opening address at the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue on Tuesday, became one of the day’s talking points. “Excellencies, in the area of defense we are challenged by reckless aggression on our northern borders,” a State Department release after the bilateral dialogue quoted Singh as saying. However, a statement issued by the Ministry of Defence made no such mention. has been left open. The petitions sought an independent probe and for the case to be transferred out of Uttar Pradesh, preferably to Delhi. The petitioners argued a fair trial was not possible in UP . Another prayer was made to ensure adequate witness protection for the victim’s family . Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the apex court that a three-fold protection mecha- nism was in place for the family and witnesses. Reacting to the Supreme Court order, the victim’s family said they welcome it. “We had demanded monitoring of the CBI probe by a sitting or retired SC judge. But now that the apex court has decided it should be done by the high court, we hope justice will be ensured,” the victim’s brother P8 told TMS. EXPRESS READ NCB summons Deepika’s manager NCB officials raided a residence of Karishma Prakash, the manager of actor Deepika Padukone, in Mumbai and seized some hashish. Prakash was asked to “join the probe” on Wednesday. RELIEF NORTH MCD CLEARS SALARY OF DOCTORS Modi takes swipe at Congress on corruption Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a swipe at the Congress, saying that a “dynasty of corruption (that passed) from generation to generation.” Entire “generations of corruption” had acted with impunity, he added. Salary of doctors has been cleared upto the month of September, those of safai karmacharis sanctioned till August. Salary of teachers cleared upto June | P4 Girl shot dead outside college in Faridabad, ‘love jihad’ alleged H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh 2020’ changed this status. The order issued by the Union home ministry evoked sharp reactions from J&K political parties, ranging from ‘unacceptable’ to ‘betrayal’. Several regional parties, under the umbrella of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, vowed to fight “on all fronts” Predictably, visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was more upfront while slamming China. “We paid our respect to the soldiers who laid down their lives in the Galwan Valley recently. The US will stand with India in its efforts to defend its sovereignty and its liberty Our nations are com... mitted to working together into expanding our partnerships across many fronts,” Pompeo India and the US are taking all steps to strengthen cooperation against all threats and not just those posed by the CCP Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State Allahabad HC to monitor CBI’s Hathras probe GLARE The Centre on Tuesday designated 18 more individuals as ‘terrorists’, including Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Sallahudin, taking the total number of such proscribed persons to 31 | P7 land to a non-agriculturist for sale, gift or exchange. The new amendment implies domiciles of J&K would now effectively get protection only in government jobs. The Union government had earlier hinted that some protection on land-rights on the lines of Himachal Pradesh will be across three districts (Faridabad, Palwal, and Nuh). Rehan too was arrested. He was reportedly angry with Nikita as she had stopped taking his calls as had also blocked his number, said the police. Faridabad Police Commissioner OP Singh said Tausif was arrested from his hometown Sohna. An SIT headed by an ACP level officer has been set up for a speedy trial, he said. Sources said Tausif had kid- napped Nikita in 2018 and that her father Mool Chand Tomar had complained against him to the police. But he later withdrew the complaint. The family alleged that the accused had been forcing their daughter to change her Hindu faith. The incident sparked protest on Tuesday as residents and rightwing activists demanded death for the accused. They claimed that it was a case of ‘love jihad’. The NCW has taken note of the incident and has written to the Haryana DGP . TESTING STATUS 7,585 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted 33,17,377 Total tests done so far 1,74,598 Tests per million DELHI COVID WATCH said after the talks. India and China have been involved in a stand-off along the Line of Actual Control with tensions peaking after 20 Indian soldiers were killed by Chinese troops in Galwan Valley of Ladakh on June 15. Pompeo said a robust discussion has been set off about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) due to the pandemic ‘that came from Wuhan’. “Our leaders and our citizens see with increasing clarity that the CCP is no friend to democracy, the rule of law, transparency nor the freedom of navigation, the foundation of a free and open and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” CONTINUED ON P7 he said. STATUS OF CASES Today Cumulative RECOVERED 2,722 3,30,112 DEATH 44 6,356 ACTIVE CASES -27,873 TOTAL +VE CASES 4,853 3,64,341 PATIENT MANAGEMENT Total beds Occupied Vacant HOSPITAL 15,765 5,453 10,312 CARE CENTRE 7,887 847 6527* HEALTH CENTRE 527 305 222 16,415 HOME ISOLATION *513 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights Source: Delhi health bulletin | October 27 Fears of third wave as cases peak in Delhi are now stepping out. So, cases are rising and there DELHI’S Covid-19 case tally are also chances of people , which is seeing a constant getting re-infected. Also, surge for past one week, the festive season is going touched 4,853 on Tuesday to see more cases, maybe recording the highest sin- not as much as predicted by gle-day spike ever. the Dr VK Paul expert comThis has raised fears of a mittee. But certainly postthird wave in the city Ear- Diwali, we’ll see cases go. lier this month, ing up,” said Dr CM Arvind KejriJug al Kishore, wal had said Delhi Head, Community was past the peak Medicine, Safdarof the second wave jung Hospital. Delhi is seeing which saw the dai- variation in cases Another epideowing to ly cases rise to miologist said polbehaviour of 4,473 on Septemlution was a key population. ber 16. With Tuesfactor for the Similar spike is day’s figure, the surge this time. seen in other cities total cases stand “Those who are as well. Also, at 3.64 lakh. facing respiratory people have Experts attrib- chances of getting problems are gouted the rise in ing to doctors and reinfected again cases to pollution getting test done. Dr Jugal Kishore, and general laxity In the process, Safdarjung Hospital during festival more Covid-19 casseason. But, they es are getting deplayed down the fears of tected. Positivity rate is another wave, saying ‘local also increasing.” phenomenon’ could not be Delhi has seen a see-saw called ‘wave’. Covid battle, with the graph “Delhi is seeing varia- declining after the first tion in cases owing to the peak in June and then gobehaviour of the popula- ing up in August-end, to dip tion. A similar spike is seen again in mid-September. in some other cities as well. For past four days, Delhi’s People who have been in- daily tally has been above side their home for so long the 4,000-mark. S O M R I TA G H O S H @ New Delhi
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