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Religious revolutions of ’16

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the passing year witnessed greater disputes over various laws, people also came out disagreeing with beliefs and customary practices that had been kept on a pedestal. Not only did women come out protesting against age old traditions barring them from being as devotional as others. They also opposed religious personal laws demanding a better quality of life, denying being a victim of things which don’t hold relevance in the 21st century.While 2016 might go down in history as one of the worst years for a few, it did have some redeeming qualities. It was a good year for many a believers who received a huge return on their spiritual investment.The greatest of all victories was when the Shani Shignapur temple in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra finally agreed to let female worshippers in after 400 years. This was the result of a long-drawn-out battle spearheaded by the Bhumata Brigade, led by the firebrand Trupti Desai. The women waged a pitched battle for their right to worship and questioned age old patriarchal practices. Not stopping here, the group of feisty women are taking their battle to other temples like the Sabrimala in Kerela where women of a menstruating age are forbidden from entering and offering prayers.The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) led by Zakia Soman and Noorjehan Niaz, pitched a similar battle to enter the inner sanctum of Mumbai’s Haji Ali Dargah. The ban that was just instituted four years ago, prohibited women from entering the inner sanctum of the dargah. In August this year the Bombay High Court held that the ban against women entering the inner sanctorm of the dargah contravenes Articles 14, 15 and 25 of the Constitution of India. The court ordered the Dargah Trust to lift the ban. Though the matter went to the Supreme Court, the women emerged victorious finally entering the shrine on November 30. It was indeed a moment of pride for the Christians across the world as well, as they rejoiced at Mother Teresa being granted ‘sainthood’. The Catholic nun who had devoted her life to caring for the dying and the destitute on the streets of Kolkata, was officially canonized at the Vatican this year and rechristened Saint Teresa of Calcutta by Pope Francis. From rationalists debating over the importance given to ‘miracles’ and amid the constant accusations of conversions, no one can doubt that the Missionaries of Charity have given hope and dignity to some poorest and most miserable people in the city.Meanwhile, Pope Francis also revealed a more inclusive face of the Roman Catholic Church by asking Christians to stop hate crimes and discrimination against the LGBT community. He said that the church must apologise to gay people for marginalising them. While he did not budge from the church’s stand on marriages as being an exclusive heterosexual privilege and did not endorse same sex marriages, this has been seen as a big step forward in making the church more rainbow friendly. Mumbai’s Cardinal Oswald Gracious too asserted that gay people were not criminals and all Christians must be welcomed by the church. With the rising debate over triple talaq and the growing demand to revise the Article, the Law Commission of India released a questionnaire in October on Uniform Civil Code (UCC) asking citizens for their suggestions. With the possible introduction of UCC giving rise to a heated debate across the country many fear that the law is actually a tool to erase cultural practices and religious identities. However, the UCC, at least prima facie, is merely a uniform law that would subvert all religion based personal laws in matters related to marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption and maintenance. Different faiths see UCC as a way to do away with mysogistic practices like triple talaq in Islam, polygamy in both Islam and Hinduism (permitted in Goa) and the practice of ‘maitri karar’ or ‘friendship agreement’, a practice in Gujarat that legally allows a man to have another women in his life apart from his wife. Women also hope matters related to mehr and dowry become clear. It remains to be seen how the UCC plays its part in bringing about greater gender justice.

India rupee ban: ‘I feel like there’s a lot of chaos’

The BBC asks people in Mumbai and Delhi for their views of India’s bank note ban – which the government says is aimed at curbing illegal cash holdings, or so called “black money”.

Kurla-Ambernath train derails near Kalyan, no reports of injury

Five coaches of an Amarnath-bound local from Kurla derailed near Kalyan on the Central line of the Mumbai suburban railways on Thursday morning, reports said.

The derailment took place between Kalyan and Vithalwadi station at 5.53 am, The Financial Express reported. However, no one is reported to have been injured.

Local train services on the Kalyan-Karjat route on the Central lines have been temporarily suspended and restoration work has already begun, various reports said.

AN NDTV report said that local train services between Ambernath and Karjat have been restored, and the Central Railway has requested the Kalyan Dombivali Municipal corporation to run extra buses between Kalyan and Ambarnath and CST-Kalyan to facilitate commuters during the peak hours.

The Central line of the Mumbai suburban railways has been struggling to match up with the increasing number of passengers with trains more than often running over capacity. The Central line had been in news recently, when on 7 December, commuters staged a rail roko at Titwala station protesting against a delay in the arrival of a train. A similar protest had been staged at Badlapur, another station on the Central line in August, The Times of India reported.

First Published On : Dec 29, 2016 08:52 IST

Mumbai: Five coaches of Kurla-Ambernath local derail, services on Kalyan-Karjat line suspended

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five coaches of Kurla-Ambernath local train derailed between Kalyan and Vithalwadi railway station, on Thursday morning.According to initial information, the incident took place at 5:50 am. However, no person has been injured, but services on Kalyan-Karjat line have been suspended.”Derailment of local train on Down Line between Kalyan and Vithalwadi station on Kalyan-Karjat route. Train movement disrupted. Restoration work underway.” said DRM Mumbai Central on Twitter.Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) has been requested to run extra buses between Kalyan-Ambarnath and CST-Kalyan.However, Kasara suburban services have not been affected. DRM Mumbai also said that shuttle train services are being run between Ambarnath and Karjat.

Tackle ‘human wrong’ in the region: Hamid Ansari

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Vice President Hamid Ansari on Wednesday emphasised that there is a “crying need” to address ‘human security and human wrong’ in the region to ensure that perception and capacity can be developed for correctives. Ansari was in the city to release the book, ‘August Voices: What they said on 14-15 August 1947’ authored by Sudheendra Kulkarni, who heads Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Ansari also spoke of better respect of rights and dignity of citizens in Jammu and Kashmir and encouraging movement of people and trade including that of films for better relations in the region even as SAARC was failing. The function was held at the Fort Campus of Mumbai University after the venue was shifted from Anjuman-e-Islam in CST due to security reasons. It was attended by Vinod Tawde, education minister, Subhash Deshmukh, vice chancellor of Mumbai Univeristy, Dr. Zahir Kazi, president of Anjuman-E-Islam among others. The book pitches for rapproachment of India-Pakistan, and in Kulkarni’s words looks to “end the poisonous two-nation theory into three peace promoting nations” and bring “reconciliation and reunion” among them. For it, the book has speeches of eight eminent personalities from the freedom struggle and what they said. This, Kulkarni said, can be core for better relations and bigger union of the entirety of South Asia. “The thought did persist with some decision-makers that the impending happening was somewhat unreal, not altogether desirable, and hopefully transitory. The latter aspect, however, was not investigated or spelt out… The theme of the book before us is to project a scenario of the possibility of South Asian Union with the India-Pakistan-Bangladesh confederation at the core,” said Ansari. Backing solutions to ease relations between people that Kulkarni advocates, Ansari said, “Our author seeks a solution of plunging headlong into the core differences. He suggests a ‘cultural and spiritual confederation’ that would subdue and overcome extremist perceptions.” Such solutions, said Ansari come from common actions that are easier in times of convergence by moving beyond the “traditional paradigm of conventional security into those of human security and human wrong.”Ansari advocated this by better human security, movement of people, and trade without reasonable restrictions, and “conscious promotion” rather than “studied prevention of cultural exchanges, films and other cultural activities”. “The experience of SAARC has not been encouraging and therefore alternate strategies need to be explored. The proposed new structure would have to be voluntary and devoid of overt or covert coercion… Political commitment and modalities have to surface to resolve outstanding areas of disagreement. Foremost amongst these is what the Simla Agreement of 1972 called ‘a final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir’. Its domestic dimensions as well as trans-LOC incursions have been in the news of late. The state is doing all that is necessary to confront and repel terrorism. The state also has a duty to ensure that rights and dignity of our citizens in the state are respected and ensured and shortcomings effectively addressed.”

EC orders FIR against Maha BJP chief Raosaheb Danve for poll code violation

Thu, 29 Dec 2016-12:20am , Mumbai , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Election Commission on Wednesday asked the Aurangabad district collector to file an FIR against state BJP president Raosaheb Danve for his statement where he asked voters to accept “Laxmi” before the polls.Danve had made the controversial statement at a campaign rally in Paithan in Aurangabad district on December 17 before the municipal council polls.”On the eve of elections, Laxmi comes to your house and you should accept it,” Danve had said at Paithan rally.An Election Commission official said here that the Commission had asked Aurangabad collector to file a first information report against the BJP leader for violation of model code of conduct. Earlier the Commission had served a show-cause notice to Danve who had defended himself, saying he did not mean money when he referred to “Laxmi”. Congress and AAP had complained to the Election Commission demanding action against the state BJP chief.

Islamic State confirms Kalyan boy Aman Tandel’s death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Islamic State has confirmed the death of Kalyan boy Aman Tandel who had joined the ranks of the terrorist organisation in Syria. The IS released a martyr tribute in the name of Abu Umar al Hindi’ — Tandel’s Arabic name — alongside his photograph on its official media channel Khilafah news on Tuesday.Last month Tandel’s family in the Mumbai suburb of Kalyan received an anonymous call about his death. There was no confirmation on the same by the Indian security agencies or the government.IS releases details of death of its foreign recruits and hails them as `martyrs’. Its release on Tandel said he died in Raqqa — the centre of Caliphate declared by IS in Syria.In a propaganda video released by IS earlier this year, Tandel along with other Indian recruits and friend Fahad Sheikh vowed to take revenge against atrocities unleashed against Muslims in India. Tandel along with three other youth from Kalyan fled to Iraq in the guise of conducting pilgrimage and joined the IS in May 2014.Among them, Areeb Majeed returned last year following a six month stint with the terror group. He is currently facing trial and is confined in Arthur road prison. Saheem Tanki was announced dead. Sheikh is the only member of the group alive and fighting with the IS in Syria now.

Air safety incidents at Goa and Delhi airport; 2 pilots suspended

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was a day of miraculous escape for air passengers as two major accidents were averted on Tuesday. The first incident pertained to a Goa-Mumbai Jet flight which skidded off at the Goa airport on early morning resulting in 12 people getting injured. The flying licence of the two pilots was suspended and a probe by Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) of the Civil Aviation Ministry was launched soon after the incident. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said a thorough time-bound investigation and corrective action shall be ensured.The second incident happened at national capital’s Indira Gandhi International Airport when an IndiGo and a SpiceJet aircraft came dangerously close to each other on the runway, allegedly because of bad weather and due to ‘miscommunication’ with the Air Traffic Control (ATC). Both incidents raised questions on India’s air safety record which is obviously a cause of worry as the country is one of the fastest growing aviation market.A three-member team of AAIB rushed to Goa for inspection of the spot of accident, sources in the Ministry said. “Prima facie the runway accident appears to be the pilot’s fault. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has withdrawn the flying privileges of the two pilots, including the Commander, pending the initial outcome of the probe,” a source at DGCA said. Officials in AAIB were of the same opinion. They said that in all ‘probability’ the accident took place because of the pilot’s fault, adding that the preliminary findings on the accident are likely to be submitted in a week’s time.The Jet Airways flight 9W 2374 with 161 people onboard veered off the runway at Dabolim airport in Goa while aligning for take-off. The incident took place at 5 am when the Boeing 737 aircraft turned a full 360 degrees and its nose touched the soft land while taxiing for take off early on Tuesday in Goa airport. The Jet Airways flight had arrived from Dubai and was heading to Mumbai. There was panic among the passengers and a few passengers suffered injuries even during the evacuation process. Some passengers had to be rushed to the local hospital and five of the 12 injured passengers were hospitalised till late evening.Sources in Indian Navy, which manages the Dabolim airport, said its prompt response in rescuing passengers prevented a ‘catastrophe’. The airport, which is located in the Navy facility INS Hansa in Vasco town, was closed down for a while, impacting movements of other flights and causing some flight diversions.The incident at Delhi’s IGI airport took place in the afternoon when an IndiGo flight had just arrived from Lucknow with 160 passengers and the Spicejet flight with 187 on board was about to take off for Hyderabad . The two aircraft came face-to-face and almost collided with each other, sources said. Officials from ATC, on condition of anonymity, blamed poor visibility for the situation. They said haze was particularly intense on Tuesday. 72 flights were delayed that day because of fog. However, officials from Delhi International Airport Limited — which manages the Delhi airport — rejected ATC’s charge and said the problem occurred because of miscommunication from ATC. IndiGo as well as SpiceJet confirmed that both planes saw each other coming from opposite directions but both airlines denied that there was any risk to the passengers.

India Goa crash: Twelve hurt as plane veers off runway

At least 12 passengers on an Indian airliner were hurt when it veered off the runway, officials say.

Shiv Sena takes a dig at Narendra Modi for greeting Nawaz Sharif on his birthday

Mumbai: In a veiled dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for wishing his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday amid chill in relations between the two countries, Shiv Sena on Tuesday invoked Chhatrapati Shivaji saying the warrior king never extended such greetings to “the enemies of the nation.”

Significantly, the Sena’s barb at Modi came within days of his laying the foundation for a grand memorial to Shivaji in Mumbai.

The ally also voiced its displeasure over the BJP supporters chanting “Modi, Modi” during a public meeting addressed by the prime minister, which was also attended by Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

File photo of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. PTI

File photo of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. PTI

“What is outstanding about Shivaji Maharaj’s thoughts is that he considered enemies of Swarajya as enemies of the nation. Shivaji Maharaj never extended birthday greetings to Aurangzeb, Afzal Khan and Shaista Khan,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.

During the build-up to ‘jal pujan’ for the memorial, Sena did not hide its feeling that BJP has sought to “hijack” the event for claiming the legacy of the Maratha icon to secure political mileage.

“We only ask politicians not to use Chhatrapati to play low-grade politics. Those who claim rights on Chhatrapati will bite the dust in the end. They would do well to remember the history,” the editorial said on Tuesday.

“Ensure that the memorial does not get trapped in selfish politics, thereby forcing Shivaji Maharaj to use his sword against these self-centred politicians,” it said.

The ruling alliance partner, however, said it understood the importance of Modi in the BJP, and that his party is what it is today only due to the “Modi tonic”.

“While the Sainiks and Shivaji fans were chanting slogans hailing the Chhatrapati, BJP workers were shouting slogans in the name of Modi. Can anyone compare himself to Shivaji? Modi himself will not approve of this,” Sena said.

Notably, during the public meeting addressed by Modi here on Sunday, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s speech was interrupted for a while, apparently by BJP supporters present among the audience by chanting “Modi, Modi,”.

First Published On : Dec 27, 2016 14:30 IST

Goa: Jet Airways passengers complain about authorities lax attitude

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a Jet Airways aircraft skidded off the runway at Dabolim airport in Goa while aligning for takeoff to Mumbai this morning, the stranded passengers said the situation was very critical even twenty minutes after the untoward incident, adding there was no one for help.”We didn’t understand what happened. There is no one, who is ready to help. The concerned authorities are keeping quiet and not giving any answer,” said one of the stranded passengers.”It was terrible. The engine exploded and we could’ve died,” said a foreigner on board the aircraft.As many as 15 persons suffered minor injuries after flight 9W 2374 spun around 360 degrees while take off from the ‘HANSA runway 26’.”We regret to inform flight 9W 2374 from GOI – BOM, with 154 guests and 7 crew, veered off the runway while aligning for takeoff. All guests and crew have been safely evacuated. Few guests have sustained injuries during the evacuation process,” said a Jet Airways statement.The airline stated that medical assistance is being given to those injured.

Mumbai-Pune Expressway: Three dead in road accident, traffic towards Mumbai affected

Three people died in a road accident involving two container trailers, a tempo and a car on the Mumbai-Pune Express on Tuesday morning, police said.

Representational image: News18

Representational image: News18

“The accident took place somewhere between 8 am to 9 am near the Khalapur toll naka, next to the food plaza,” a Highway Traffic Police official told Firstpost, adding that rescue work is in progress.

The Highway Traffic Police official also said that the accident took place on a lane towards Mumbai and that traffic towards Mumbai has been affected indefinitely. “We are making all efforts to clear the road and resume traffic as soon as possible,” the police said.

According to a Maharashtra Times report, the injured have been admitted in a nearby hospital. However, the identity of the dead has not been ascertained as yet.

“We will able to give a final detail in another half an hour,” the Highway Traffic helpline said.

The Mumbai-Pune Expressway had witnessed an on Monday as well where the driver of an SUV died on the spot.

For more details contact Maharashtra Traffic Police on the following numbers: 022-22626655, 98334 98334, 98675 98675, 95032 11100, 95035 11100

First Published On : Dec 27, 2016 12:44 IST

Jet Airways mishap: Prompt Navy response in evacuating on-board passengers helps avert ‘catastrophe’

Panaji: On Tuesday, Navy said its prompt response in rescuing passengers on-board the Mumbai-bound flight that veered off the runway at Dabolim Airport in Goa early on Tuesday morning, has averted the incident from turning into a “catastrophe”.

“The Navy responded within 15-20 minutes and all the passengers were evacuated safely out of the aircraft. It would have turned into a catastrophe had the Navy not acted promptly,” a Naval spokesperson said.

The incident took place at around 5 am when Jet Airways flight 9W 2374 that had arrived from Dubai and was bound for Mumbai, skidded off the runway while aligning for the take off.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The Goa airport is located in Indian Navy’s facility, INS Hansa in Vasco town, nearly 25 km from Panaji.

As many as 15 passengers suffered “minor injuries and fractures” during the evacuation process, Navy sources said.

“Few guests have sustained minor injuries during the evacuation process and medical assistance is being coordinated by the Jet Airways team and the airport authorities,” the airlines said in a statement.

Beside 154 passengers, there were seven crew members on board.

Meanwhile, the runway was made available for flight operations at 9 am, hours before the initial deadline of 12.30 pm.

Soon after the incident, Navy officials had cordoned off the aircraft that had tilted towards its front end, while the passengers were being alighted.

“After the passengers were evacuated, the operation to rescue the aircraft started. The damage to the runway was also accessed by a team of Indian Navy and Airport Authority of India officials,” the spokesperson said.

“There was lot of muck on the runway as the flight was grounded on the sides of the runway,” he said.

During the rescue operation hours, a chartered flight was diverted to Bangalore, while an Oman Air flight that was scheduled to arrive in morning, was diverted to Mumbai, he said.

A total of seven scheduled flights that were to land at the airport were cancelled, while one scheduled flight and another chartered flight remained grounded. The two aircrafts will take off later during the day.

First Published On : Dec 27, 2016 11:43 IST

AAIB, DGCA to probe Mumbai-bound Jet airways flight skid off

Tue, 27 Dec 2016-10:52am , Panaji , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will investigate the Jet airways accident, wherein a Mumbai-bound flight skidded off on Tuesday at Dabolim airport in Goa.As many as 15 persons suffered minor injuries after the flight 9W 2374, whilst taking off from the ‘HANSA runway 26’ aborted takeoff and spun around 360 degrees.”We regret to inform flight 9W 2374 from GOI – BOM, with 154 guests and 7 crew, veered off the runway while aligning for takeoff. All guests and crew have been safely evacuated. Few guests have sustained injuries during the evacuation process,” said a Jet Airways statement.
ALSO READ Jet Airways Goa-Mumbai flight with 161 on-board veers off runway, 15 passengers injuredThe airline stated that medical assistance is being coordinated to those injured. An Indian Navy spokesperson tweeted that the runway has been opened for operation.

Shiv Sena forces Mood Indigo organisers to remove Hanuman mural, write apology

After protests from Shiv Sena, the organisers of the annual cultural festival Mood Indigo, have erased a mural bearing “close” resemblance to Hindu deity Hanuman, reports said.

The mural, painted on a wall of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay campus, was removed after members of the political party Shiv Saina entered the campus on Monday demanding an immediate removal of the mural. The Shiv Sainiks also forced the administration to apologise for the murals and forced the students’ council, which organised the cultural fest to give a written apology.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The mural, touted as a geeky “modern Lord Hanuman”, depicts him carrying a mountain in one hand and a pen instead of mace on the other, and shows him dressed in shorts with smart watches, earphones, etc, something the Shiv Sena found in “bad taste”. The cultural festival presented several murals as part of one of the events.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Sena leader Datta Dalvi, who along with MLA Sunil Raut had reportedly directed the Sena workers to visit the campus and demand its removal, said, “The painting was in bad taste. It hurt the religious sentiments of many people. This is not the way to the portray a Hindu deity like Hanuman. Students should not have portrayed the deity like that.”

The Times of India quoted local Sena leader Nilesh Salunkhe as saying, “The painter took the liberty to distort Hanuman’s image with the Sanjeevani Parvat and it was insulting. The painting had Hanuman holding a pen, wearing shorts, knee pads, headphones, watches, a tie and spectacles. It also showed him wearing a slipper and a shoe. And the tail was replaced with the saffron flag. We found it derogatory,” said Salunkhe.

The wall depicting the controversial mural was reportedly whitewashed after the Shiv Sena leaders threatened to stall the festival until the painting was removed. The festival wrapped up on Monday.

Incidentally, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavais was one of the keynote speakers at the cultural festival on Monday.

Initially, the organisers agreed to cover it. “When we insisted on getting it removed, they whitewashed the wall and gave us an apology letter,” Salunkhe told The Times of India.

First Published On : Dec 27, 2016 10:39 IST

DNA Morning Must Reads: Mumbai-bound Jet Airways veers off runway; ED to investigate Mayawati’s kin; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Jet Airways Goa-Mumbai flight with 161 on-board veers off runway, passengers safeJet Airways flight from Goa to Mumbai skids off the runway, Airport operations closed til 12.30 PM. Read more.2. Sonia Gandhi’s attempts to revive Oppn unity coming a cropperCongress’ allies in Bihar—Left and the JD(U) decide to stay away from Tuesday’s meeting. Read more.3. Political parties relying on dubious sources of funding: reportThe report, commissioned during the UPA regime in 2011, explains how political parties receive funds. Read more.4. Rs 104 cr deposited in BSP accounts after note recall, blow to Mayawati as ED investigatesBig blow to Mayawati as ED officials investigate the bank account of her brother as well. Read more.5. IND vs AUS: Nearly two months to go but Smith starts battle with Virat KohliOz captain says India skipper is emotional and will use it against him when they tour subcontinent in February. Read more.

Jet Airways flight from Goa to Mumbai skids off the runway; all passengers safely evacuated

Jet Airways flight from Goa to Mumbai skids off the runway; all passengers safely evacuated

Dec 27, 2016 07:57 IST

#Flight #Goa #Jet Airways #Mumbai #NewsTracker

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On Tuesday, a Jet Airways flight from Goa to Mumbai skidded off the runway at Goa’s Dabolim airport, reported ANI. The flight 9W-2374 veered off the runway due to some technical glitch. There were 161 people onboard the flight, including the crew members.

Some people sustained minor injuries. According to ANI, all the passengers were safely evacuated.

Jet Airways issued a statement saying, “All guests and crew have been safely evacuated. Few guests have sustained injuries during the evacuation process.”

The airport will remain shut till 12.30 pm.

First Published On : Dec 27, 2016 07:57 IST

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Watch out, bird lovers!

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>JA Baker, in his book, The Peregrine, writes how “binoculars and a hawk-like vigilance reduce the disadvantage of myopic human vision”. Mumbai-based naturalists and photographers Prakash Dubey and Sunjoy Monga, agree. As we go about our daily jaunts through the city, seeing it as mere concrete safaris, we continue to be unaware of the oases of bird-dotted spaces in the city.For starters, “keep an eye out for every bird, instead of fixating on a particular species,” says Monga. While the commonly spotted house crows, blue rock pigeons, black kites, Indian mynas, and sparrows may not excite you, chances are, with a vigilant eye, you’d also run into rose-ringed parakeets, coppersmith barbets, white-throated fantails, red-vented bulbuls, tailorbirds and purple-rumped sunbirds, koels, Indian cormorants or cattle egrets.Then there are the visitors. Dubey remembers a chance encounter with “the lovely Golden Oriole, a bright yellow bird with splashes of black and beautiful eyes,” on a peepul tree in his housing compound at Nepean Sea Road.Many other winter migrants or passage migrants park themselves in the city for a few days between late-September and March, as they escape the cold northern winters. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking at some exotic-looking species like the Eurasian roller, amur falcon, Eurasian wryneck, blue-tailed bee-eaters or even the paradise fly-catcher. How to recognise these beauties, you ask?Dubey suggests some background reading before you set out for your maiden bird excursion. Pocket-sized books by Salim Ali or Bikram Grewal are a safe bet, or you could turn to Sunjoy (Mongia)’s Birds of Mumbai.”Dubey says that birds, like human beings, have distinct personalities that can be understood only on close observation. Take the case of introverted birds like sparrows, thrushes, bulbuls and robins, who are often ousted from their territory by bigger bullies like mynas, crows or pigeons.Your chances of bird spotting depend on many things, says Dubey, especially the time of sighting. “Chances are, you’d get a better look at that beautiful plumage or the shiny beak at early morning before the sun is out, or towards late noon, when the birds are out hunting for sustenance and flitting in and out of their home,” he says.Monga recommends frequenting Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Karnala, Tungareshwar, stretches along the Uran-Palm Beach Road and the Bhandup Pumping station environs (along Thane Creek) for birding. Other sites include Elephanta, Lokhandwala Lake, Manori-Gorai belt, open lands along Thane creek and specific pockets in Aarey. Dubey says there are enough sites in Central and South Mumbai too, “Dongardwadi for peacocks and Sewry for flamingoes; Mahim Nature Park, stretches around the Byculla Zoo, Colaba Woods (Cuffe Parade), Sagar Upvan Hanging Garden, Five Gardens and parts of Navy Nagar are also ideal for bird spotting.” Monga says, “In these areas, you can have a fairly rewarding session on a quiet morning, especially if you can pick up a few bird calls over the Mumbai din.”To bring in more birds to the city, it will be nice to have authorities and housing societies replace exotic flowering plants with Indian trees like mango, peepul, kadam and ashoka tree, or the Indian fig tree, says Dubey. Using native bushes like lantana or local berry bushes instead of the usual bougainvillea hedges to mark boundaries can work wonders in attracting babblers, thrushes, bulbuls and robins, providing the smaller birds with a steady diet of insects. “What gives a city like Delhi an edge is its cover of permanently green tress, mostly the large, indigenous kind that provides shade to human beings and birds alike,” he says.

Mumbai: 3.5 year-old girl abducted, killed by two 16-year-old boys for ransom

Mumbai: In a shocking incident, a three-and-half-year-old girl was allegedly abducted and murdered by two minor boys for a ransom of Rs 1 crore in South Mumbai, police said on Sunday.

The incident came to the fore on Saturday mid-night after the girl’s body, which was cut into pieces, was recovered from Kazipura, Haji Kasam Chawl in Nagpada area.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The two accused were also placed under arrest in the wee hours, they said.

According to police, the victim had gone missing since 5 December and a case was registered by her parents in this regard with the J J Marg police station.

Victim’s parents had received a call from unidentified persons, demanding Rs 1 crore as ransom. Unable to shell out such a huge amount, the father agreed to pay Rs 28 lakh to the alleged kidnappers, DCP (Zone 1), Manojkumar Sharma said.

The abductors had later asked the girl’s father to come with ransom sum at Kalwa in neighbouring Thane.

During the course of investigation, a 16-year-old boy, who lived in the neighbourhood of the girl and had passed on the information of kidnapping to the parents, was detained and quizzed by the police.

Further interrogation revealed that the boy and his accomplice, also aged 16, had abducted the girl on 5 December and later strangulated her with a cell phone charger wire on the very same day, the official said.

Both the accused were arrested in the wee hours and further investigations were on, Sharma said, adding that the body has been sent for postmortem.

First Published On : Dec 26, 2016 10:18 IST

PM Modi eyeing BMC polls, misled people about Rs 1.06 lakh crore Mumbai projects: Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stones for projects worth over Rs 1.06 lakh crore in Mumbai, Congress today alleged that he “misled” about the cost of the projects which was actually much lower.”The PM announced various projects with an eye on civic polls including several Metro projects the cost of which is not more than Rs 44,000 crore,” Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam said.”By saying the total cost of projects is over Rs 1 lakh crore, the PM has lied and the statement was made only with an eye on the coming BMC polls,” he said.BJP-led Maharashtra Government had no concrete plan of action nor had it arranged funds for the projects, he said. Nirupam also said that police’s action against Congress workers yesterday created “an atmosphere of terror”. Congress workers had no plans to disrupt the PM’s rally at BKC (Bandra-Kurla Complex) but the police detained them on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s orders, he alleged.Modi laid foundation stones for many key infrastructure projects worth over Rs 1.06 trillion in the megapolis, including the country’s longest sea-bridge and two Metro lines. “Developmental works of over Rs 1.06 trillion are getting started in a single city at a single event. This will be a big milestone in the city’s history,” the Prime Minister said at his rally. PTI MM KRK

Mehbooba Mufti hopes to turn Kashmir into a world-class tourism destination

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Describing tourism as the best mean to promote people-to-people engagement, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said her government was making efforts to create a world-class tourist infrastructure.”Tourism promotes people-to-people contact and tourists become goodwill ambassadors of a place. Like the maxim ‘seeing is believing’, a tourist can testify the veracity of the claim about a place only after visiting it,” she said.She dismissed the notion that the state was unsafe for tourists in the aftermath of months-long unrest in the Valley. “Jammu and Kashmir is as safe for tourists, particularly women, as any other place in the country,” she said here at an meeting with a delegation of tour operators from across India.Mehbooba said her government plans to create a world-class tourism infrastructure in the state.”Road connectivity to tourist destinations, bed capacity at tourist spots, wayside facilities etc are being improved and upgraded to address the requirements of every segment of tourists. Theme-based parks and places are being added to provide variety of attraction to tourists.”Similarly, heritage lovers and trekkers would be having more spots and treks to visit by adding new heritage sites and routes to their check list,” the chief minister said.Every region in the state has a unique attraction for tourists and they should be promoted, she said.The state’s tourism department has organised a three-day familiarisation tour to the Valley for travel agents from Bangalore, Mumbai, Gujarat and Indore.The agents, who arrived here yesterday, pitched for point- to-point rail services from Mumbai, Gujarat and Kolkata to the Valley to facilitate the travel of tourists to Kashmir, and sought subsidy in aviation fuel charges to bring down air fares.

Double standard over Dalit icons: Mayawati slams BJP over Rs 3600 crore Shivaji statue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Sunday alleged the Narendra Modi government of double standards, saying that at one end Shivaji statue is getting worth Rs. 3,600 whereas statues of schedule caste and OBC are being criticised for being waste of expenditure. BSP supremo Mayawati in a statement said the double standards of the saffron party exposes the caste discriminatory attitude ‘Not against Shivaji Memorial worth Rs. 3,600 crore, but why are memorials of great OBC and Dalit leaders constructed by us being criticised” it added. According to the statement, the work done by the BSP government for great poets and writers have always been criticised by the past governments including Congress, BJP and Samajwadi Party.’These tactics used by BJP and Samajwadi Party will not be able to woo the people of Uttar Pradesh as they have exposed themselves,’ the statement added.This comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday laid the foundation stone for the grand memorial of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on board a hovercraft in the Arabian Sea off the Mumbai coast.The main feature of the Shivaji memorial is that it costs Rs. 3,600 crore.The Maharashtra Government will fund the entire project and has already set aside Rs. 2,300 crore for the first phase of construction.

31-year-old American tourist arrested for possessing satellite phone

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 31-year-old American tourist was arrested after being allegedly found in possession of a satellite phone, banned in India, while on his way to board a flight back home at the airport here, police said ton Sunday.Marks Jordan Andrew, a US citizen, was detained on Saturday after Immigration officials found the satellite phone in his bag.He was questioned by CISF, in-charge of airport security, and later handed over to local police.The American was arrested and a case registered under the Wireless and Telegraph Act, police said.He was produced before a city court which remanded him to 14 days judicial custody.Andrew, hailing from California, had arrived here via Mumbai-Bengaluru and was on his way back to US via Dubai when he was intercepted.Police said Andrew told them that he was unaware that satellite phones are banned in the country.

Mumbai: 3.5 year-old girl abducted, killed by minor boys for ransom; body cut into pieces

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a shocking incident, a three-and-half-year-old girl was allegedly abducted and murdered by two minor boys for a ransom of Rs 1 crore in South Mumbai here, police said.The incident came to the fore last midnight after the girl’s body, which was cut into pieces, was recovered from Kazipura, Haji Kasam Chawl in Nagpada area.The two accused were also placed under arrest in the wee hours, they said.According to police, the victim had gone missing since December 5 and a case was registered by her parents in this regard with the JJ Marg police station.Victim’s parents had received a call from unidentified persons, demanding Rs 1 crore as ransom. Unable to shell out such a huge amount, the father agreed to pay Rs 28 lakh to the alleged kidnappers, DCP (Zone 1), Manojkumar Sharma said.The abductors had later asked the girl’s father to come with ransom sum at Kalwa in neighbouring Thane.During the course of investigation, a 16-year-old boy, who lived in the neighbourhood of the girl and had passed on the information of kidnapping to the parents, was detained and quizzed by the police.Further interrogation revealed that the boy and his accomplice, also aged 16, had abducted the girl on December 5 and later strangulated her with a cell phone charger wire on the very same day, the official said.Both the accused were arrested in the wee hours and further investigations were on, Sharma said, adding that the body has been sent for postmortem.

Modi warns “dishonest” of ruin, says market participants should pay more taxes

Mumbai: Warning of “ruin” for the “dishonest” after 30 December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi
on Saturday said his government will not shy away from taking difficult decisions in the interest of the country and favoured more taxes from capital markets.

Addressing public events, he also asked the dishonest not to underestimate the mood of the country against corruption.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi  addressing at the inauguration of new campus of National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM), at Patalganga, in Mumbai on 24 December 2016. Image courtesy PIBPrime Minister Narendra Modi  addressing at the inauguration of new campus of National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM), at Patalganga, in Mumbai on 24 December 2016. Image courtesy PIB

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing at the inauguration of new campus of National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM), at Patalganga, in Mumbai on 24 December 2016. Image courtesy PIB

“Dishonest people, you should not underestimate the mood of 125 crore people. You will have to be afraid of it… Time has come for ruin of dishonest people. This is a cleanliness campaign,” Modi said just with a week to go for the expiry of the December 30 deadline when the scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes can be deposited in banks.

“After 50 days (from 8 November), the troubles of honest people will start to reduce and the problems of dishonest people will begin to increase,” Modi said at MMRDA ground in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai after laying the foundation of various big-ticket infrastructure projects.

Earlier in the day at a Sebi function, Modi promised more “sound and prudent economic policies” which would be “not for short-term political point-scoring” but for “larger national interests.

“Let me make one thing very clear: This government will continue to follow sound and prudent economic policies,
to ensure that we have a bright future in the long-run. We’ll not take decisions for short-term political point-scoring. We’ll not shy away from taking difficult decisions if those decisions are in the interest of the country,” Modi said.

He favoured increasing the tax contribution from various market participants in a “fair, efficient and transparent way”.

Asking the regulators and taxmen to think about the contribution of market participants to the exchequer, Modi
said, “The low contribution of taxes may be due to the structure of our tax laws. Low or zero tax rate is given to certain types of financial income.”

The Prime Minister’s remarks assume much significance ahead of the Budget to be presented on 1 February.

“We took a big decision against black money and corruption on 8 November and 125 crore Indians endured pain
but did not stop supporting me. I want to assure people of the country that this battle won’t end till we win it,” he said.

Hitting out at parties opposing demonetisation, he said, “This is not a simple battle. Those who have consumed
malai (cream) did not leave any stone unturned to foil this (demonetisation).”

Modi said, “The corrupt have made all efforts to defeat the decision (demonetisation). They even thought of managing bank officials to get their black money converted into white. And that’s how many of them got caught.”

“I said there will be pain for 50 days (after demonetisation announcement),” he said, adding people are ready to bear the pain in the country’s interest.

The Prime Minister inaugurated a new campus of capital markets regulator Sebi’s National Institute of Securities
Markets (NISM) at Patalganga on the outskirts of Mumbai at an event also attended by functionaries of the Maharashtra government led by the governor and the chief minister, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Sebi chairman UK Sinha.

Describing the 8 November announcement of cancelling as much as 86 percent or Rs 20.51 trillion worth of currency in circulation as a “difficult decision”, he said, “Demonetisation has (brought about) short-term pains, but it
will bring in long-term gains.”

On the need to increase levies on the capital markets in the light of amendments to the many of the bilateral
investment and taxation treaties, Modi said, “Those who profit from financial markets must make a fair contribution to nation-building through taxes…. We should consider methods for increasing it in a fair, efficient and transparent way.

“… Now it is time to re-think and come up with a good design which is simple and transparent, but also fair and
progressive,” Modi said, adding for various reasons, contribution of tax from those who make money on the markets
has been low due to illegal activities and frauds or due to the structure of our tax laws which offers low or zero tax rate is given to certain types of financial income.

The Prime Minister said his government has brought back the economy to good health from the brink when it was saddled with high fiscal and current account deficits and high inflation and falling rupee, since he took over in May 2014.

He further said that when the global economy is fighting lingering slowdown, “India is being seen as a bright spot.

“Our growth is projected to remain among the highest in the world.”

First Published On : Dec 24, 2016 20:54 IST

LIVE: Narendra Modi lays foundation for Shivaji Memorial in Mumbai, arrives at BKC

Dec 24, 2016

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    PM Modi talks on demonetisation ​PM Modi assures that the government will take sound economic decisions, will not shy away from difficult decisions which are in the interest of the country. He said, “Demonetisation is an example. It gives short term problems but long time gains.” He said, “India is been seen as bright spot. To see how far we’ve travelled we should look back to 2012-13 when the currency was falling sharply.”

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Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a day’s visit to Maharashtra on Saturday, where he will lay foundation stones for the grand memorial of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the metro rail projects in Mumbai and Pune.

Modi will inaugurate the newly-built campus of the National Institute of Securities Management in MIDC Patalganga in neighbouring Raigad district.

He will then proceed to the site in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai coast, where the state government is planning to build a mega memorial for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

The Prime Minister’s visit assumes political significance as the high-stake elections to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are just a few months away.

Narendra Modi. PTINarendra Modi. PTI

Narendra Modi. PTI

The main feature of the Shivaji memorial, slated to cost Rs 3,600 crore, will be a 192-metre-tall statue of the iconic Maratha king. The site is a rocky outcrop, roughly 1.5 km from the Raj Bhavan shore.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently said the ‘Shiv Smarak’ will not only be the tallest memorial in the country, but in the entire world. He had thanked Modi for “making it possible.”

Later, Modi will address a public function at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) ground in suburban Bandra, after laying foundation stone for two Metro rail projects, Elevated Rail Corridors Project and Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL).

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, whose party is an ally of ruling BJP, is expected to share the dais with Modi at the MMRDA event.

The PM will then leave for Pune, where he will lay the foundation stone of the Pune Metro Rail project. NCP leader Sharad Pawar will share the stage with Modi at this event.

The memorial project has been facing stiff opposition from fisherfolk and environmentalists, who have alleged that it would affect marine life and ecology of the Arabian Sea.

A rally was flagged off at Chembur on Saturday, where representatives from various districts gathered with collections of sand and soil from Chhatrapati Shivaji’s forts across the state.

The rally led by a ‘Shivaji chariot’ will conclude at the Gateway of India, where the Chief Minister will receive the vase carrying water and soil from all districts of the state. This will then be handed over to the Prime Minister and carried to the memorial site.

For the MMRDA event, the government has sent out invitation to over 3,000 VVIPs and dignitaries, including members of the royal family and Shivaji historians.

Ever since it came to power in Maharashtra in October 2014, BJP has been quietly trying to usurp the near-monopoly that bickering ally Shiv Sena has held over the 17th century Maratha king for the last many years.

Ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly election in 2014, BJP had used the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji for electoral gains, with a famous tagline seeking to evoke Shivaji’s blessings.

The government and BJP are trying to make the memorial event a success with hoardings at important places of all districts and also through campaigns in print, TV and social media.

Meanwhile, an official said those who would accompany Modi in the hovercraft to the jalpujan and bhumipujan venue off Mumbai coast, will include Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Fadnavis, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP’s Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale and BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP from Kolhapur Sambhaji Raje Bhosle.

First Published On : Dec 24, 2016 16:03 IST

Boat capsizes in Powai lake, 3 died and 5 saved in search operation

Five people were saved and three are feared dead after a boat capsized in Powai lake in Mumbai late on Friday night, reports said.

Search operations were started immediately after the boat capsized. While some reports said the three boys are feared dead, search operations are still going on in the lake.

A DNA report said that a police official confirmed that the boat lost balance after colliding with a bamboo, and because the boat was close to the shore, locals could rush to the spot to help the people in the boat.

Fire officials have confirmed that they got the news at 11.30 pm and rushed to the spot to help the boys.

The people in the boat were going to for a party, Maharashtra Times report said.

On 13 December, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had issued notice to 17 houseboats to stop their business in Powai lake as they had not bothered to reply to the earlier notices by the municipal corporation, as reported in The Times Of India.

First Published On : Dec 24, 2016 14:25 IST

LIVE: Demonetisation is short term pain for long term gain: Narendra Modi in Mumbai

Dec 24, 2016

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    PM Modi talks on demonetisation ​PM Modi assures that the government will take sound economic decisions, will not shy away from difficult decisions which are in the interest of the country. He said, “Demonetisation is an example. It gives short term problems but long time gains.” He said, “India is been seen as bright spot. To see how far we’ve travelled we should look back to 2012-13 when the currency was falling sharply.”

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Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a day’s visit to Maharashtra on Saturday, where he will lay foundation stones for the grand memorial of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the metro rail projects in Mumbai and Pune.

Modi will inaugurate the newly-built campus of the National Institute of Securities Management in MIDC Patalganga in neighbouring Raigad district.

He will then proceed to the site in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai coast, where the state government is planning to build a mega memorial for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

The Prime Minister’s visit assumes political significance as the high-stake elections to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are just a few months away.

Narendra Modi. PTINarendra Modi. PTI

Narendra Modi. PTI

The main feature of the Shivaji memorial, slated to cost Rs 3,600 crore, will be a 192-metre-tall statue of the iconic Maratha king. The site is a rocky outcrop, roughly 1.5 km from the Raj Bhavan shore.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently said the ‘Shiv Smarak’ will not only be the tallest memorial in the country, but in the entire world. He had thanked Modi for “making it possible.”

Later, Modi will address a public function at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) ground in suburban Bandra, after laying foundation stone for two Metro rail projects, Elevated Rail Corridors Project and Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL).

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, whose party is an ally of ruling BJP, is expected to share the dais with Modi at the MMRDA event.

The PM will then leave for Pune, where he will lay the foundation stone of the Pune Metro Rail project. NCP leader Sharad Pawar will share the stage with Modi at this event.

The memorial project has been facing stiff opposition from fisherfolk and environmentalists, who have alleged that it would affect marine life and ecology of the Arabian Sea.

A rally was flagged off at Chembur on Saturday, where representatives from various districts gathered with collections of sand and soil from Chhatrapati Shivaji’s forts across the state.

The rally led by a ‘Shivaji chariot’ will conclude at the Gateway of India, where the Chief Minister will receive the vase carrying water and soil from all districts of the state. This will then be handed over to the Prime Minister and carried to the memorial site.

For the MMRDA event, the government has sent out invitation to over 3,000 VVIPs and dignitaries, including members of the royal family and Shivaji historians.

Ever since it came to power in Maharashtra in October 2014, BJP has been quietly trying to usurp the near-monopoly that bickering ally Shiv Sena has held over the 17th century Maratha king for the last many years.

Ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly election in 2014, BJP had used the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji for electoral gains, with a famous tagline seeking to evoke Shivaji’s blessings.

The government and BJP are trying to make the memorial event a success with hoardings at important places of all districts and also through campaigns in print, TV and social media.

Meanwhile, an official said those who would accompany Modi in the hovercraft to the jalpujan and bhumipujan venue off Mumbai coast, will include Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Fadnavis, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP’s Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale and BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP from Kolhapur Sambhaji Raje Bhosle.

First Published On : Dec 24, 2016 13:09 IST

Mumbai: Three people killed, 5 rescued as boat capsizes in Powai lake

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three people were killed and five others were rescued after a boat with eight people on board capsized in Powai lake in Mumbai on Friday night.Five people including the helmsman were rescued, while three others were declared declared dead on arrival.Those rescued are out of danger and being treated.“The control room got a call at 11:30 pm about a boat being capsized. The boat capsized at 11:15 pm on Friday. A couple of them were rescued by the locals during the night while rest drowned,” said a senior police officer from Powai Police Station”Those who boarded the boat were all residents of Mumbai and were on the boat for leisure. The boat belonged to a member of the Maharastra State Angling Association, a club near the lake, however, the club claims that the boat was taken without their permission,” officer added. Police said that the boat toppled because it was hit by a bamboo or a pole in the water, the boat was only 100 meters away from the shore hence, the locals could rescue them.

PM Modi in Maharashtra for inauguration of Shivaji memorial, Mumbai and Pune metro

Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a day’s visit to Maharashtra on Saturday, where he will lay foundation stones for the grand memorial of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the metro rail projects in Mumbai and Pune.

Modi will inaugurate the newly-built campus of the National Institute of Securities Management in MIDC Patalganga in neighbouring Raigad district.

He will then proceed to the site in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai coast, where the state government is planning to build a mega memorial for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

The Prime Minister’s visit assumes political significance as the high-stake elections to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are just a few months away.

Narendra Modi. PTINarendra Modi. PTI

Narendra Modi. PTI

The main feature of the Shivaji memorial, slated to cost Rs 3,600 crore, will be a 192-metre-tall statue of the iconic Maratha king. The site is a rocky outcrop, roughly 1.5 km from the Raj Bhavan shore.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently said the ‘Shiv Smarak’ will not only be the tallest memorial in the country, but in the entire world. He had thanked Modi for “making it possible.”

Later, Modi will address a public function at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) ground in suburban Bandra, after laying foundation stone for two Metro rail projects, Elevated Rail Corridors Project and Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL).

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, whose party is an ally of ruling BJP, is expected to share the dais with Modi at the MMRDA event.

The PM will then leave for Pune, where he will lay the foundation stone of the Pune Metro Rail project. NCP leader Sharad Pawar will share the stage with Modi at this event.

The memorial project has been facing stiff opposition from fisherfolk and environmentalists, who have alleged that it would affect marine life and ecology of the Arabian Sea.

A rally was flagged off at Chembur on Saturday, where representatives from various districts gathered with collections of sand and soil from Chhatrapati Shivaji’s forts across the state.

The rally led by a ‘Shivaji chariot’ will conclude at the Gateway of India, where the Chief Minister will receive the vase carrying water and soil from all districts of the state. This will then be handed over to the Prime Minister and carried to the memorial site.

For the MMRDA event, the government has sent out invitation to over 3,000 VVIPs and dignitaries, including members of the royal family and Shivaji historians.

Ever since it came to power in Maharashtra in October 2014, BJP has been quietly trying to usurp the near-monopoly that bickering ally Shiv Sena has held over the 17th century Maratha king for the last many years.

Ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly election in 2014, BJP had used the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji for electoral gains, with a famous tagline seeking to evoke Shivaji’s blessings.

The government and BJP are trying to make the memorial event a success with hoardings at important places of all districts and also through campaigns in print, TV and social media.

Meanwhile, an official said those who would accompany Modi in the hovercraft to the jalpujan and bhumipujan venue off Mumbai coast, will include Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Fadnavis, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP’s Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale and BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP from Kolhapur Sambhaji Raje Bhosle.

First Published On : Dec 24, 2016 09:02 IST

Currency transfer: CBI case against top Mumbai oncologist

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a shocking incident, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials have registered a case against a Padma Bhushan awardee on Friday in the ongoing crackdown against black money. The accused, a resident of Mumbai, and five others have been booked in connection with a case of fraudulent transportation of demonetized currency worth Rs 10 crore.They have been identified as Yogesh B Shiroye, Dharam Raj Thigle, Krish, Gajanand Somnath, BM Shah and Dr Suresh Advani. Dr Advani, who is associated with the CIIGMA hospital in Aurangabad, is considered to be one of the top oncologists and is known for Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation procedures. He has received many awards, including the Padma Shri in 2002 and Padma Bhushan in 2012.DNA tried to contact Dr Advani on his personal mobile number. However, calls and messages sent to him went unanswered.When asked about the allegations faced by Dr Advani, a CBI spokesperson told DNA: “He is accused in the overall case of fraudulently transporting the money. His exact role will come out after an investigation.”As for the others, CBI officials say that, other than Yogesh, four of the accused are officials of the Vaidyanath Cooperative Urban Bank Ltd (VCUBL). It is also interesting to note the director of the co-operative bank is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Pritam Munde, the daughter of late BJP leader Gopinath Munde.CBI officials have claimed that three of the accused were transporting the demonetized cash in a car, when they were stopped by the police in the Ghatkopar area of Mumbai.These individuals were detained and during interrogation, they said that they were bank officials and the Rs 10 crore being seized from them was being transported from the head office of Vaidyanath Cooperative Urban Bank in Maharashtra’s Beed region. This old money, the probe agency claimed, was being used for money- laundering.”Approximately Rs 15 crore was allegedly deposited with the Maharashtra State Urban Co-operative Bank and Rs 10 crore was being transported back to Beed, when they (the accused) were intercepted by the police on December 15,” a CBI spokesperson said on Friday.He said that others are also likely to be involved. “Among the other accused are unknown bank officials and individuals,” he said. He also confirmed that searches were being conducted at 11 places on Friday, which included the official and residential premises of the accused persons in Pune, Mumbai, Aurangabad, and Beed in Maharashtra.However, a senior bank official from the Vaidyanath Co-operative Urban Bank contested the CBI’s claim, saying that the probe agency was misinformed. Speaking to DNA, the official claimed that the Rs 10 crore was part of the Rs 25 crore that was intended to be deposited in the bank’s Ghatkopar branch.The official added that the branch could accept only Rs 15 crore, following Rs 10 crore was to be sent to the branch in Pimpri Chinchwad from where it would have been deposited in another co-operative bank. “The whole case is a result of CBI’s mismanagement,” he said.

Civil Aviation Minister Raju: Biometric systems for passengers at airports are a good idea

New Delhi: Fliers may soon be able to use biometric details for security checks at airports as the government works on putting in place such systems after receiving ‘good feedback’ for a pilot project.

Giving strong indications, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that having biometric systems for passengers at airports appear to be a good idea. The innovative idea, close on the heels of authorities doing away with tagging requirement of hand baggages at select airports, comes at a time when efforts are being made to ensure that aviation security procedures are more efficient and less intrusive. “Biometric access was experimented at Hyderabad (airport).

The feedback was good… Biometric system is appearing to be a good system security-wise,” Raju told PTI in an interview.

Without much fanfare, authorities have carried out a short duration pilot project using biometric system at Hyderabad international airport recently. The exact details on how it is used could not be immediately ascertained.

File photo of A Gagapathy Raju. PIB

File photo of Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju. PIB

When asked whether the project for biometric systems would be rolled out at various airports, Raju said a framework has been put up for the authorities concerned. “Modernisation is a continuous process and they will keep at it. I am not at BCAS or DGCA… We have to give them the policy frame (work). That is what we have done and we are working,” the minister said.

Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) is responsible for security of the sector while Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the sectoral regulator. Asserting that “safety and security” of the aviation sector can never be compromised, the minister said efforts on the cyber security front is a continuous process and keeps evolving.

“(With regard to) cyber security, what was acceptable a decade ago is not acceptable a decade later,” he noted. Airports Authority of India (AAI) has awarded a contract worth over Rs 110 crore to public sector undertaking BECIL for providing biometric access control system at 43 aerodromes.

This contract basically pertains to access for employees through biometric systems. As part of efforts to ensure hassle-free movement of air passengers, the trial run of non-stamping of baggage tag has started at various airports, including Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata.

On the initiative, Raju said it would be gradually extended to other airports. “We took time to convince our people…, world over, it is happening. On an experimental basis, they have started it in the country. There is no earthly reason why it should fail. That is why I think it will slowly go to all other airports,” he said.

Striking a cautious note, the minister said BCAS should also be comfortable in implementing the initiative. “Our security guys, the BCAS should be comfortable giving it. Like, if we keep overruling them, it does not make sense. So we need to take them along,” he noted.

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 19:37 IST

Shivaji memorial row: Ahead of Modi’s visit, Maharashtra fishermen withdraw stir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fishermen in Maharashtra protesting against a proposed Shivaji Maharaj memorial off Mumbai coast have decided to withdraw their agitation, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays the foundation stone.”Fishermen have agreed to withdraw their agitation against Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial Bhoomipujan,” a senior official said, after a meeting between Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and fishermen association leaders here last night.Fadnavis assured fishermen that the government will look into their concerns.
ALSO READ BJP using Shivaji memorial event to market PM Modi, CM Fadnavis: Congress”At the meeting, it was decided to constitute a joint committee to resolve their issues. The CM thanked fishermen associations,” the official said.The main feature of the memorial will be a 192-metre-tall statue of the Maratha king. The site is a rocky outcrop roughly 1.5 km from the Raj Bhavan shore of Mumbai.
ALSO READ Shivaji memorial in Arabian Sea to be the tallest memorial in the world: FadnavisMembers of Akhil Maharashtra Machhimar Kriti Samiti (AMMKS), an association of fishermen from Cuffe Parade, Machhimar Nagar, Geeta Nagar (near Navy Nagar), near Raj Bhawan and Backbay Parade, had said they will fly black flags on their boats and homes as a sign of protest.Fisherwomen were to form a human chain from Nariman Point to Girgaum Chowpatty, holding black flags, ahead of Modi’s arrival for the inauguration, said AMMKS leader Damodar Tandel.The livelihood of 1.5 lakh fishermen residing across five villages in south Mumbai, who have 1,500 large boats and 450 small boats, will be affected by the construction, he had claimed.

Shivaji memorial: Fishermen withdraw stir against statue, ahead of Modi’s Mumbai visit

Mumbai: Fishermen in Maharashtra protesting against a proposed Shivaji Maharaj memorial off Mumbai coast have decided to withdraw their agitation, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays the foundation
stone.

“Fishermen have agreed to withdraw their agitation against Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial Bhoomipujan,” a senior official said, after a meeting between Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and fishermen association leaders in Mumbai on Thursday night.

Fadnavis assured fishermen that the government will look into their concerns.

Narendra Modi. PTINarendra Modi. PTI

Narendra Modi. PTI

“At the meeting, it was decided to constitute a joint committee to resolve their issues. The CM thanked fishermen associations,” the official said.

The main feature of the memorial will be a 192-metre-tall statue of the Maratha king. The site is a rocky outcrop
roughly 1.5 km from the Raj Bhavan shore of Mumbai.

Members of Akhil Maharashtra Machhimar Kriti Samiti (AMMKS), an association of fishermen from Cuffe Parade, Machhimar Nagar, Geeta Nagar (near Navy Nagar), near Raj Bhawan and Backbay Parade, had said they will fly black flags on their boats and homes as a sign of protest.

Fisherwomen were to form a human chain from Nariman Point to Girgaum Chowpatty, holding black flags, ahead of Modi’s arrival for the inauguration, said AMMKS leader Damodar Tandel.

The livelihood of 1.5 lakh fishermen residing across five villages in south Mumbai, who have 1,500 large boats and 450 small boats, will be affected by the construction, he had claimed.

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 09:21 IST

Lord Venkateswara comes to Belapur

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) has allotted 2.4 acres land at Belapur in Navi Mumbai to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) for construction of a Lord Venkateswara Swamy temple. Its board approved the direct allotment of two plots at Parsik Hill, Belapur.According to a Cidco official, the TTD board chairman Chandalwada Krishnamurthy and executive officer D Sambasiva Rao had met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in April to this end.“They presented him a letter of representation from AP Chief Minister,” said an official.Early this month, Cidco board allocated two plots of 1900 and 2900 sq metre for the temple.

The dairy farm putting a fresh face on India’s milk

About 70% of India’s milk is adulterated by the time it reaches consumers. We’ve been to visit one dairy farm in India offering something fresh.

ED nabs Kolkata tycoon, uncovers black money nexus

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As more and more details emerge after the recent arrest of Kolkata-based tycoon Parasmal Lodha for money laundering, Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials are unravelling a complicated nexus between Lodha and other businessmen for whom he was fradulently converting old notes into new. On Wednesday, ED officials nabbed Lodha at Mumbai airport from where he had been allegedly planning to escape to Malaysia. During interrogation, Lodha admitted that post the Prime Minister’s announcement on demonetization he and his associates had converted old demonetized currency of at least Rs 25 crores into new currency notes for various business tycoons. For this, he would receive commissions that would range from 15 to 20 per cent.Post Lodha’s arrest, officials say they are continuing investigation under the provisions of the Money Laundering Act and that further investigations are going on in the matter.Lodha’s name popped up on the ED’s radar after raids were carried out on the office of Delhi-based lawyer Rohit Tandon, who is the managing partner of T&T law firm, where Rs 13.62 crore, including Rs. 2.62 crores of new denomination notes of Rs. 2000, was recovered on December 10 and seized. Pursuant to this, an FIR was registered by the Crime Branch, Delhi.On questioning Tandon, ED officials zeroed in on Lodha’s name and two visits this week, before his arrest at Mumbai airport, were made by them to his Kolkata home, Lodha House. This is located in Queens Park in Ballygunge, one of the poshest localities in the city. Officials investigating the case told DNA that an estimated Rs 2.6 lakh in new notes was recovered from his Kolkata home in the raid. “We are hopeful that his (Lodha’s) arrest will give us new leads into who else from Kolkata was involved in the racket of converting illegal currency notes into new ones,” said a senior official investigating the Lodha case.Commenting on Lodha’s modus operandi to convert old notes into new, investigative officials said that it appeared that he and his associates acquired new currency notes illegally, through unauthorised channels, with the possible collusion with bank officials. This, say officials, is the only likely explanation, as the recovery of such huge quantity of new currency notes is not possible under the existing guidelines and restrictions put forward by the government and the Reserve Bank of India on withdrawal of cash.Lodha seemed to have had a chequered past even before his alleged involvement in money laundering. In Kolkata, a business associate, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that he would hardly mingle with the business community here, perhaps because he had run into controversies before. “He had been known for his association with several building projects where floors had been added illegally. Lodha had also been questioned by investigators after the infamous Stephen Court fire on Park Street in March 2010, which killed 43 people,” he said.Lodha had also hit the headlines in 1991 for taking over the then largest non-banking financial institution, Peerless General Finance and Investment Company Limited, alleging that it was being mismanaged and he had plans of a thorough revamp of it.Apart from real estate, he had expanded his business to mining, consultancy firms and dealing in antiques. It was believed that he had shifted his base to Delhi because he had found the antique market more lucrative there.

Bombay HC refuses furlough leave to Yakub Memon’s sister-in-law Rubina

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court on Thursday refused to grant furlough leave to Rubina Memon, sister-in-law of hanged 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blast convict, Yakub Memon.The court dismissed the petition accepting that if she is released on furlough leave, several people will come to console her in Mahim over the death of Yakub, and it could lead to a law and order situation.A division bench of Justice V K Tahilramani and Justice A M Badar rejected the petition filed by Memon who has been convicted and sentenced to suffer life imprisonment under the now repealed Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (prevention) Act for being a part of the serial blast conspiracy.Memon had moved an application before the prison authorities in March which was rejected after a report was submitted by the Mahim police claiming that her release would cause law and situation.Following, which she appealed before the Deputy Inspector General who also upheld the authorities order.Advocate Farhana Shah appearing for Memon had moved the High Court challenging the order of the authorities. “Other co-accused had been granted furlough leave, it is the right of every convict to be released on furlough,” she argued. Public Prosecutor Hitendra Dedhia opposed the plea by relying on a 2012 circular which barred released of persons convicted for terrorist acts on furlough leave.The court after considering everything dismissed the petition.

After CM Fadnavis, Maharashtra MLAs and bureaucrats to lose weight

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lawmakers and bureaucrats from Maharashtra will be walking into CM Devendra Fadnavis’ shoes in the new year. State MLAs and babus have been given the common goal of losing weight and becoming fitter, reported the Mumbai Mirror.This initiative was the result of medical check-ups of 55 MLAs and over 450 bureaucrats and other government staff during the state legislature’s winter session in Nagpur. High rate of obesity and other weight-related complications were found among the state’s decision-makers. 53 of the 55 legislators, from across party lines, and over 170 babus were found to be obese.Fadnavis, who himself lost 26 kilos earlier this year is keen to help others in the state machinery and power circles to get in shape. Pune-based bariatric surgeon Jayashree Todkar, who helped Fadnavis lose the weight has been roped in to help the others as well.“If the state has to fight the problem of obesity, we should start from the government and set an example. We are also conducting awareness campaigns at government colleges. This includes surveys for patients, their relatives and employees working there,” said Girish Mahajan, minister for medical education, water resources and command area development to Mirror.

Asif Karadia to return to Pakistan? After spending 49 years in India, he might be deported

Asif Karadia, a 51-year-old Pakistani national, was denied long-term visa extension by the Bombay High Court on Wednesday. Karadia, whose parents are India, is not a tourist in the country, but has been living in India for the last 49 years.

File image of Bombay high court. IBNliveFile image of Bombay high court. IBNlive

File image of Bombay high court. IBNlive

According to Mumbai Mirror, Karadia was born in Karachi, and his mother is a naturalised Indian. Karadia had applied for an Indian passport in 2012, but the authorities rejected the application and asked Karadia to apply for a long term-visa. This was extended twice and it was valid till last December.

Karadia, 51, could face deportation after having lived in the country for 49 years as the court said that it would not be able to decide on renewing his visa. Karadia’s case has been postponed to 17 January and he has been denied interim relief by the division bench comprising of AS Oka and Anuja Prabhudesai.

Abbas Karadia, his father, was quoted by Mumbai Mirror saying: “We never thought this would become such a big issue…Asif has never been to Pakistan again and doesn’t want citizenship of that country.”

An Asian Age report claims that the court rejected Karadia’s application on grounds that Karadia did not have a Pakistani passport and a visa couldn’t be issued without a passport. According to a report in Hindustan Times, the court ordered a probe into how the central government had been issuing Karadia long-term visas for so many years without Karadia possessing neither an Indian not a Pakistani passport.

Karadia’s father Abbas and his wife Zaibunnisa were born in India. Karadia’s mother Zaibunnisa migrated to Pakistan with her family in 1947, therefore becoming a Pakistani national, but almost twenty years after that, she came back to India and married Abbas. Karadia was born in Karachi because his mother went to Pakistan for the delivery and at the time there was no system to issue a passport to the infant.

First Published On : Dec 22, 2016 11:23 IST

State, Railways yet to form joint venture firm for rail projects

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>State, Railways yet to form joint venture firm for rail projectsOver a year after railway minister Suresh Prabhu and Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis met in New Delhi to discuss rail infrastructure and the modalities of forming a joint venture (JV) firm or special purpose vehicle (SPV) to fast-track Maharashtra’s rail projects, a Right to Information plea by DNA has shown that no such JV or SPV has as yet been formed.In its RTI reply signed by VS Dahiya, joint director (Works), Railway Board, the railway ministry stated, “The ministry of railways and the Government of Maharashtra are in process to form a joint venture company for the development of rail infrastructure in the State of Maharashtra. GoM has communicated their willingness to sign a JV with MoR. Neither any JV agreement has been signed, nor any SPV has been formed as yet.”According to railway officials, the SPV or JV will streamline the construction of rail infrastructure in the state as a dedicated team would work to carry out various legal processes to kick-start a project. “It would be like the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), a SPV between the state and the railways, that has been overseeing Mumbai’s rail projects and has been acting as a bridge between the state, the railway ministry, Western and Central railways, and the World Bank. It has increased the pace of work since the early 2000s,” explained an official.During the Delhi meeting between Prabhu and Fadnavis on November 4 last year, it was mutually agreed to form a SPV with Prabhu, even asking the state government to finalise a funding model for the SPV.According to officials, work on the SPV should be expedited as Maharashtra has got Rs 4767 crores for rail projects this year, a 206 per cent increase from the average of Rs 1171.4 crores received by the state between 2009-14. “When the funds are in, the work shouldn’t suffer,” said an official.Earlier, in a statement released on November 30 this year, the railway ministry had said that as of now five state governments — Chattisgarh, Haryana, Gujarat, Kerala, and Odisha — had formed joint venture firms with the railways. A total of 16 states had also decided to share costs in 43 projects, the total cost of the projects at current prices being Rs 62,379 crores.

No laughing matter

While the clown industry is in long-term decline in the West, it is booming in Hong Kong and India, as Kait Bolongaro reports.

Mumbai: This chaiwala wants Congress to clear his dues of Rs 2 lakh!

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They say there is no such thing as a free lunch, but it looks like the Congress has been having more cups of tea than it can pay for, at least according to one chaiwala in Mumbai. The Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) reportedly owes Rs 2 lakh to Inder Joshi, a chaiwalla who has a stall at Azad Maidan, a Mumbai Mirror report said. His stall is right behind MRCC’s headquarters. The chaiwalla, whose family moved to Mumbai from Gujarat decades ago, is the most preferred chai-wallah among party functionaries and supporters. Though he has now stopped supplying tea on credit, Joshi believes that the party will clear his dues eventually as always.MRCC president Sanjay Nirupam confirmed to the tabloid that they had not paid him for four months due to the carelessness of one functionary. “The issue of pending payment was brought to my notice a few weeks ago. We had to pay the tea vendor Rs 4 lakh and we have already settled half the bill,” he said.According to the report, Congress is facing a cash crunch and would thus be running a “low-cost” campaign for BMC elections due next year. Hopefully, it won’t affect where their daily fix of tea comes from as well!

Whoever planted the idea of demonetization didn’t know elementary economics: Chidambaram

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming demonetization a “monumental tragedy” and an “anti-poor” measure, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said whoever planted the idea should enrol in an undergraduate course in economics.”I don’t think demonetization is a reform. It is a monumental tragedy which is anti-poor and has put millions in misery and hardships,” he said at an event at the Mumbai University. By demonetization, the Modi government created a myth that all cash is black money and all black money is cash, he said. Stating that the government did not know, either before November 8 or afterwards, the estimate of the black money in the system, Chidambaram said it is akin to a surgeon carrying out an operation without doing homework.”It is like a surgeon operating upon a patient without knowing whether the patient has any disease at all, which part of the patient is affected and what kind of surgery is required,” the former minister said.Asserting that all cash is not black money, the senior Congress leader said black money is the income that has evaded tax, and there are large sections of the people who have cash but who do not evade income tax.Agricultural income is not subject to taxation, income of charities is exempted, as is the income of religious trusts.Also, the people of Northeastern states do not have to pay income tax and they have cash in hand, he said. “Is that all black money? Is the money in the hands of farmer black money?” he asked. “I think whoever planted the idea of demonetization did not know elementary economics. He should be asked to enrol in an undergraduate school of economics,” Chidambaram quipped. If a farmer has some cash in hand, it is not black money, but when he pays, say, Rs 1,000 as fees to a doctor or a lawyer and does not get a receipt, then this Rs 1,000 becomes black money, Chidambaram said.But if the doctor or lawyer goes to a restaurant and buys a meal and the restaurateur gives him a bill for Rs 1,000, then the same Rs 1,000 note again turns ‘white’, he said. “People who did not understand the elementary economics have authored demonetization,” he said, adding that all the Rs 15.44 trillion of banned notes will come bank to banks by December 30. Demonetization was the worst thing that could have happened to the economy as it crippled the farmers, self-employed, small businessmen and daily wage earners. “It is an unmitigated tragedy…certainly has nothing to do with economic reform,” he said. Demonetization is generally resorted to only in two circumstances, Chidambaram said. “One, when there is hyper inflation…you demonetize your currency because it is worthless. Secondly, when there is currency instability and to bring about stability, you demonetize,” he said.”We are in the distinguished company of Zimbabwe, North Korea, Libya and now Venezuela (which demonetized currency). Do you want India to be in the company of these countries?” he asked. As long as there is demand for black money, it will be generated, he said. “demonetization is no answer for black money. The answer is to stamp out corruption, stamp out the sources which generate black money,” Chidambaram said. The sectors which demand black money are construction, jewellery, licensing and permission granting, he added.

Higher GDP growth a ‘statistical illusion’, inconsistent with other indicators: P Chidambaram

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the new GDP series based on gross value added, which shows a growth of 7-7.5 per cent, is “flawed” as it is based on a “statistical illusion”, and claimed the country is expanding at just 5-5.5 per cent. “GDP estimates are flawed. If you go by simple measurement, the way it is measured, gross value addition at 7-7.5 per cent, appears to be correct, but it is inconsistent with every other economic indicator that we have,” Chidambaram said at an event at the Mumbai University. As per the new GDP reading based on GVA, the economy grew at 7.2 per cent in the first half of the current fiscal.While the GDP clipped at 7.3 per cent in Q1, in the second quarter ended September it expanded at 7.1 per cent. He said other economic indicators that we should look at include credit growth, which is now at a 20-year low, core sector growth, that is only about 2-2.5 per cent, and investment, which is at an all-time low. “I go by harder numbers – credit growth, investments, stalled projects. Those are hard numbers, real numbers and I think those are the numbers we should look at. Looking at these numbers, my gut feel is that we are growing at about 5- 5.5 per cent a year,” the Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra said.He said the GVA number at 7-7.5 per cent may be statistically correct but does not reflect the true growth of the economy. He said this number is constructed by using the deflector, which many people have seriously questioned, and there is a “statistical illusion” in this number. Citing an example, Chidambaram said, “Raghuram Rajan (former RBI Governor) pointed out that exports minus imports adds to GDP. We all know exports in 2015-16 was lower than 2014-15.”Exports declined but imports declined more. Therefore, exports minus imports in 2014-15 was say number A and exports minus import in 2015-16 is B. Exports declined and imports declined even further but B is larger than A shows growth. Therefore, B upon A shows growth,” said the former Finance Minister. He said there are lot of conundrums in this and hence he does not go by these numbers.

Bollywood’s Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan have a baby boy

Top Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor has given birth to a baby boy and he has been named Taimur.

Mumbai: Fire breaks out in Air India building at Nariman Point

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A fire broke out in the Air India building at Nariman Point in Mumbai on Tuesday morning.According to initial reports, fire has broken out on the 22nd floor of the building. At least eight fire engines and 7 tankers have been rushed to the spot.The cause of the fire is not known yet.More details awaited.

Mumbai: Fire breaks out in Air India building in Nariman Point, no casualties reported

A fire broke out early morning on Tuesday at the Air India building in Nariman Point, according to reports.

When Firstpost contacted the Mumbai Fire Department, an official said that it received a call from the Air India building early on Tuesday morning. “We received a call at around 6.41 am that a fire had broken out on the 20th floor of the building,” he said.

The fire brigade has sent 10 fire tenders to the spot to douse the fire. “Rescue work is in progress,” he said.

Although, no known casualties have been reported so far, ambulances have also been sent to the spot. Given that it is a commercial building filled with offices, it is likely that there were very few people in the building at that hour.

The cause of the fire is not known yet, and investigations are own.

According to ABPLIVE, the 23-storey building used to serve as the corporate headquarters for Air India till 2013. The company had moved out of the building as part of an asset-monetisation drive. However, it retains the 21st, 22nd and 23rd floors in the building. Each floor has at least 10,800 square feet of space on each floor, it said.

Further details are awaited.

First Published On : Dec 20, 2016 08:21 IST

Just ditched: After marrying and duping 11 men, Kochi woman’s luck runs out

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A team of Kerala Police along with their Noida counterparts has arrested a woman and her two accomplices for duping over 10 men of several lakhs of rupees and jewellery after marrying them, in Noida sector 120.Loren Justin, a resident of Kochi, had registered a case in October against his wife Megha Bhargav, who, he alleged, had disappeared with jewellery worth Rs 15 lakh sometime after their marriage. Kerala Police during investigation found that Justin was the fourth man duped by Bhargav in the state. She had married fourmen in Kerala and duped them all, police said on Sunday.In total she had married 11 men in Kerala, Mumbai, Pune, Rajasthan and Indore, they said. Bhargav used to target divorcees and men with physical disabilities, they said, adding some days after the marriage she used to give food laced with sedatives to her husband and his family members and then eloped with cash and jewellery.Dinesh Yadav, SP (City), said, “Woman was traced to a house in Amrapali Zodiac Society in sector 120 here through electronic surveillance after which she was arrested last evening.” Her two accomplices were also arrested with her, police said.

Maharashtra assembly urges Centre to add ‘Maharaj’ to names of rail terminus, airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution on Friday urging the Centre to add “Maharaj” to the international airport and railway terminus in Mumbai, already named after Maratha warrior king Chatrapati Shivaji.The resolution seeks to rename the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport as “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport” and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station as “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus”.Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis moved the resolution in the Assembly saying the house recommends the Central Government to rename the two facilities. He also moved another resolution urging the Centre to change the name of Elphinstone Road Railway station in Mumbai to Prabhadevi. Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil seconded the resolutions. The entire house welcomed both the resolutions by thumping desks, with some members from the treasury benches raising chanting “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ki jai”.The sprawling railway terminus, a marvellous structure and UNESCO World Heritage Site, was built in 1887 in Bori Bunder area of Bombay (now Mumbai) to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, and had for over a century been known as Victoria Terminus before it was renamed after Shivaji in 1996, months after Bombay was renamed as Mumbai. The Sahar airport in the Western suburbs was renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in 1999. Later, domestic airport at Vile Parle also came to be known as Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

Bombay High Court wants minors protected during Muharram

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the state government whether it can implement the circular, issued in 2014, by Mumbai police, ensuring minors are prevented from taking part in Muharram procession and inflict injuries on themselves, across the state.The 2014, circular issued by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) had stated that the police will be taking all preventive measures to ensure that no follower of the Shia sect, inflict injuries on themselves. Meetings between organisers were held before the procession wherein senior members were appealed to ensure that injuries would not be inflicted. The police also kept first aid boxes and ambulances ready to meet with any unforeseen situation and video recorded the entire procession, which took place in South Mumbai.A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Anuja Prabhudesai while hearing a suo-moto public interest litigation asked the government whether it would extend the scope of the police circular to entire state and if not then provide reasons for not doing so, before the court by January 9.In 2014, the court while hearing the petition had said, “Our concern is only about injuries caused to children, we don’t want to interfere in religious rites, but at the same time we don’t want the children to be injured.” The petition had taken objection to the injuries inflicted on children during the Muharram procession. It had also sought a ban on the procession as children were being injured by sharp weapons.Further, the ‘matam’ it claimed was prohibited under the newly enacted legislation — Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifices and Other Inhuman Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act.

Watch: Rs 10.10 crore seized in old and new notes from a car in Mumbai

Thu, 15 Dec 2016-11:40pm , Mumbai , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A car carrying 10 crore in old notes and 10 lakh in the newly minted 2000 currency notes was intercepted by the Mumbai Police in Tilak Nagar area on Thursday evening. According to police, two people were impounded carrying the cash in a white Nissan car. After interrogation, they revealed that the money belonged to the Vaidyanath Urban Bank.The police, however, are verifying the claims made by the suspects and will be seeking help from the Income Tax Department on the same.

Mumbai building collapse: Three killed, 12 injured in Mankhurd

Mumbai building collapse: Three killed, 12 injured in Mankhurd

Three people were killed and 12 injured in a building collapse in the Mankhurd suburb of Mumbai on Thursday, ANI said on Twitter.

According to reports, the incident took place in the early hours on Thursday in Maharashtra Nagar, Mankhurd.

Per a report published on NewsX, two firefighting vehicles and two ambulances were rushed to the spot to take care of the casualties.

However, the reason for the collapse of the building is still not known. The local authorities are further investigating the matter, the NewsX report added.

First Published On : Dec 15, 2016 11:01 IST

The toxic waters of religion

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as numerous steps are being taken towards cleaning the Ganga, Yamuna, and other rivers, researchers continue to suggest that various religious practices are responsible for polluting the holy waters on a much larger scale than toxic industrial waste.While yagnas (fire rituals), days of fasting, and walking barefoot to the shrine make up most Hindu activities, taking a ‘dip’ in ‘holy water’ to wash away the sins of mortals is a ritual often followed during various festivals. Even the immersion of deities after keeping them for days at home is another ritual causing damage to rivers.Every time a pilgrim takes a ‘holy’ dip in those river, they swallow copious amounts of toxic material flushed from power plants or the waste thrown in the river.In the latest trend, Chath puja in Delhi was observed by taking a dip in the pond at India Gate or at the already polluted Yamuna where huge idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Kali are also immersed every year. During the month of September, devotees flock to the beaches of Mumbai with thousands of Ganesh idols for immersion, days after which the idols often wash up on shore.Also, cremated remains are floated in the river, believing the dead will not attain salvation if the last remains are not immersed. This practice is adding to the woes of the rising problem of water pollution. According to a Rishikesh based NGO, Ganga Action Parivar, “When the river in Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar is cleaned for two months we collect a large quantity of wastes like matki, plastic bags, garlands, coins, etc. Not only this, Hindu’s mostly cremate ashes here. But these don’t harm the river as much as the idols made of cement, plastic, and other non-eco friendly things does which are dumped in the river. It resists the flow of water and makes it stagnant. The only way to prevent this is to use eco-friendly idols.”Poor Hindu pilgrims stand at their makeshift campsite. Devotees believe that taking a holy dip in the Ganges washes away their sins and paves the path to salvation. —Getty Images There are some religions which follow the practice of floating the dead bodies in the river which are then eaten by crocodiles. But with the increasing pollution even the habitat of crocodiles has been disturbed hugely. As a result, bodies now get stuck in the river plants or float to the banks adding to the degradation.“The bodies that are floated in the water to make sure it gains eternity, actually get stuck on the banks and infect the river and creates an imbalance to the ecosystem of the river,” said Vineet of Ganga Action Parivar.The Ganga was known to have self-cleansing effect but with the continuous abuse the losing its charm. According to Rakesh, a taxi driver from Uttar Pradesh residing in Mumbai, there is nothing wrong with the Ganga. “It is always needed and is done for good. Ganga can never be dirty, it is holy. Ganga water is used to cure all types of diseases and wash away sins,” he said.Water pollution experts estimate that around 32k human corpses are cremated each year in the Ganges river, Varanasi — GETTY IMAGESExpressing dismay over the deteriorating condition of Ganga, Saurav Tiwari a student of Benaras Hindu University said, “The Ganga river is not in a good shape. Along with industries, various religious practices have also joined hands in slowly poisoning the river.”Not only Ganga but the Yamuna in Delhi and the Mula Mutha in Pune get religiously polluted in the months of September and October.India’s chief sources of water are becoming increasingly unsafe for drinking and for aquatic life. The idea of implementing artificial ponds for devotees to take a dip and other alternatives have never seen the light of the day.

Massive raids across country unearth big black bucks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government’s crackdown on black money continued with a series of raids all across the country on Wednesday. From Pune to Delhi, to Bengaluru to Panaji, raids conducted by the CBI, Income Tax, ED, and police officials, unearthed large sums of money all across the country.In the national Capital, a raid carried out by the Crime Branch and the Income Tax department recovered over Rs 3.25 crores in old currency in denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 from a budget hotel in the Karol Bagh area of Delhi. Five people have been arrested in conjunction with this raid.Officials said the accused had arrived in the Capital on Monday via a flight from Mumbai. They had received the cash from a Delhi-based hawala operator, identified as Vinod. The accused were supposed to then carry the black money back to Mumbai where it would be converted into white.Investigators said the accused had taken great pains to conceal the money. The cash had been kept in different suitcases and a cardboard box. Specialists had then been hired to pack the notes so that the money could not be detected by the airport scanning machines. The money was also packed with special tapes and wires to cheat X-ray machines, police sources said.In another raid, police entered the residence of one Sukhbir Shokeen. Shokeen works as a real estate agent and is the director of a company named Shokeen Real Estate. In his home, police officials found unaccounted for cash worth Rs 64,84,000 out of which Rs 11,34,000 was in denominations of Rs 2,000. Jewellery worth Rs 1,06,57,235 was also recovered from Shokeen’s residence. Police officials say that raids are also being conducted at his office premises which is said to be located in Rangpuri in south west Delhi.In Bengaluru, the IT department also seized Rs 2.93 crore in total with a large amount being recovered from a flat guarded by two ferocious dogs. IT officials told DNA that they had received a tipoff that an apartment in the Yeshwanthpur locality had some cash but they could not execute the search on Tuesday as the old lady living in the flat refused to cooperate with them.Finally, IT officials, along with the help of the local police, entered the flat on Wednesday upon which they found a locked room. “The locked room was opened and unexplained cash to the tune of Rs 2.89 crore, which included Rs 2.25 crore of new Rs 2,000 notes, was found. The cash has been seized and further investigations are on,” the IT department said in a statement.Meanwhile, in Goa’s capital Panaji, the IT department seized Rs 67.98 lakh in new notes of Rs 2,000 from a person who met the officials. Acting as decoy customers in desperate need of cash, the officials arrested the man and confiscated the cash “The seizure was made from a place called Banda on the Maharashtra-Goa border,” an official said.Post demonetization, the department’s investigative wings of Karnataka and Goa have seized a total of Rs 29.86 crore, with Rs 20.22 crore in new notes, 41.6 kg bullion and 14 kg jewellery so far. Officials in the investigative departments of these two states said that they have detected unaccounted income worth Rs 1,000 crore in these two states, so this is just the tip of the iceberg. So far, 36 raid operations have been carried out in both states.Other parts of India too saw raids with over Rs 2 crores, mostly in new notes, being seized in Chandigarh on Wednesday. And in a surprise incident, IT officials nabbed two men driving a two-wheeler which was carrying new notes worth up to Rs. 67 lakh, in Panaji. IT officials have now seized the cash, and are analysing the mobile phone data of the arrested men. The phone allegedly has details of those who are involved in money-laundering.The large amount of illegal cash being unearthed through raids, carried out by officials in the past few weeks, shows the government’s bid to unearth black money may be working. But officials continuously have to keep a sharp eye out as more and more innovative methods are being employed to smuggle out black money. In a recent instance, customs officials at the Delhi airport caught a couple returning from Bangkok, who were trying to smuggle 16 kg gold into the country. The gold had been placed in diapers.CBDT Tightens Rules for Revised ReturnsThe Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has warned taxpayers against misusing provisions for filing revised tax returns by manipulating earlier years’ figures of income, cash-in-hand, profits etc. with an intention to manipulate the current year’s undisclosed income.The CBDT stated that the provision to file revised returns of income u/s 139(5) of the Act has been stipulated for revising any omission or wrong statement made in the original return of income. It asserted that revision provisions cannot be used for resorting to making changes in the income initially declared so as to “drastically alter the form, substance and quantum of the earlier disclosed income.”Such manipulation in the amount of income, cash-in-hand, profits etc. and fudging of accounts may necessitate scrutiny of such cases and may also attract penalty/prosecution in appropriate cases as per provision of law.

CISF has seized Rs 70 cr cash, 170 kg gold from airports post demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over Rs 70 crore in cash, in both old and new notes, and more than 170 kg gold have been seized from passengers at various airports of the country after demonetization, Director General of CISF OP Singh said in Mumbai on Wednesday. “We have seized more than Rs 70 crore of cash. More than 170 kilograms of gold has been attended to since the demonetization, at various airports across the country,” Singh told a press conference here.Asked if the cash seized consisted of the new currency notes, he said, “They were a mix of both, but mostly new notes”. The seizures were made as CISF has a commitment to the country and has to realise dreams of the government, he added. The seizures were made by various agencies after the CISF provided them tip-offs about the passengers carrying cash and gold. “We don’t detain any person by ourselves. Whenever we see a person carrying enormous amount of cash, we check them and inform it to relevant departments,” the DG said.

National Anthem verdict: 20 arrests made in two days after Supreme Court ruling

About 20 people have been arrested after the Supreme Court made it mandatory for all cinemas across the country to play the National Anthem before every movie screening and that all audience members should stand in respect.

Before the latest order, the playing of the National Anthem was only compulsory in the state of Maharashtra, home to the Bollywood film industry, and standing was optional. There were, however, a number of reports of cinemagoers being attacked for failing to stand, even before the court gave its ruling, as for instance in October, a wheelchair-user was assaulted in a Mumbai cinema by fellow members of the audience.

In its 30 November order, the apex court had said that “love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the National Anthem as well as to the National flag. That apart, it would instill the feeling within one a sense committed patriotism and nationalism”.

And all 20 arrests after the ruling have taken place in the span of just 48 hours, according to the Financial Express report.

On Monday, 12 people were taken into custody for showing disrespect to the National Anthem during the International Film Festival of Kerala when they refused to stand up while ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was being played, the police have said, adding that cases under IPC section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) had been registered.

“They were formally arrested and later released on bail,” said Sparjan Kumar, police chief of Thiruvananthapuram.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

Kumar said six of the 12 had been assaulted after refusing to stand, but that no charges would be brought against the attackers. However, he said that the cinemagoers had been charged with various related offences, including contempt of court.

“We are yet to receive a complaint over the assault. There is no investigation in (that) incident,” he told AFP by phone.

After this happening, a group of people staged a protest in front of a theatre in Thiruvananthapuram. “The National Anthem is not a digital song. National flag is not an audio visual. Cinema is primarily an entertainment. Cinema hall is a place to sell entertainment,” a placard held by protesters at Tagore Theatre, the main venue of the ongoing festival, said.

“Please don’t degrade my National Anthem,” another placard said, held by protesters who said, “We love Bharat. Nationalism cannot be imposed.”

However BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekhanran said, “A section of people were trying to create an impression that nationalism is obsolete and raising objection against it is progressive…Those who find fault with the Supreme Court directive on National Anthem should fight it legally, rather than showing insult to it in the street.”

Another eight people were arrested on Sunday at a cinema in Chennai after being assaulted by a group of 20 men during the interval for allegedly refusing to stand up. They were reportedly charged under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act and can face up to three years in jail if found guilty.

These arrests comes after the incident at Chennai’s Kasi Theatre in Ashok Nagar, where violence broke out during the interval of a Tamil film and twenty men assaulted three students, including two women for allegedly taking selfies when the Anthem was being played, according to a Firstpost report.

The Supreme Court has not specified a penalty for failure to stand, or indicate who was to take charge of monitoring rule-breaking and assigning punishment. The Supreme Court did, however, modify its order on the National Anthem and exempt physically handicapped persons from standing for the Anthem on 9 December, and also clarified that doors of theatres need not be bolted when the National Anthem is played. It said that those who may be physically disabled were to conduct themselves in a manner commensurate to that of standing up for the Anthem and the ingress and egress of crowds were to be regulated appropriately during the playing of the National Anthem.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Dec 14, 2016 15:01 IST

DNA Morning Must Reads: Congress guns for Rijiju over Rs 450-cr ‘scam’, Cyrus Mistry voted out as director of TCS; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress guns for Rijiju over Rs 450-crore ‘scam’, minister says ‘I am not connected with the audio tape’The Congress on Tuesday demanded Union minister Kiren Rijiju’s resignation on account of an “audio proof” and documentary evidence which claimed that he facilitated a Rs 450-crore scam embedded in a huge hydro-electric project in his home state of Arunachal Pradesh. Read more here.Cyrus Mistry voted out as director of TCS amid high dramaCyrus Mistry was supposed to feverishly oppose his ouster from the chairmanship of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) at the extraordinary general meeting of the shareholders, didn’t show up at meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon. Read more here.Parliament Session: From other side of the aisle…counting hours lostThe Congress is facing the blame for disruptions that have led to less than 20% of business being conducted in both houses so far in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament. Read more here.Pristine white Amul says ‘cheese’ to demonetization, shifts to online payment for big farmersDairy farmers in Gujarat are busy opening bank accounts and learning the basics of going cashless as Amul — owned by India’s largest milk cooperative chain, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) — just decided to take the bull by the horns. Read more here.Sunny Leone’s brother gets marriedSunny Leone’s brother, chef Sundeep Vohra, tied the knot with Karishma Naidu in Los Angeles for which Sunny and her husband, Daniel Weber flew down from Mumbai to LA. Read more here.

AC rake trial pushed back again

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The first set of field trials of the air-conditioned rake scheduled for the early hours of Wednesday was postponed after officials from the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) expressed their inability to carry out trials at the present moment, said Central Railway officials. According to CR officials, the postponement came about after a team from Netherlands-based Strukton Rail was to be in Mumbai to take part in the filed trials had to reschedule their trip.The electrical systems and the Train Control and Management System of the train has been jointly built by BHEL and Strukton under a transfer of technology arrangement the former has with the Dutch firm.”The plan was to take the rake from Kurla Carshed to Karjat and then run it on the 14km Karjat to Khopoli section so that several initial readings of the rake could have been taken. There are 7-8 readings that will be ascertained during the Karjat-Khopoli section. Once permissions come in, we can start field trials in other sections beyond Kalyan,” said a CR official.The chances of the rake being run on the section between Kurla and CST is remote, said officials, because the AC rake is taller at 4295mm than conventional rakes. With Christmas round the corner, more delays in the field trials cannot be ruled out, said officials, as the number of leaves of staff increases. The chances that the rake might not be commissioned this financial year ending March31, 2017 is now higher with these delays, said officials.The first of the static trails within Kurla Carshed, where the rake is parked, started on November 2. According to railway officials who oversaw the trials then, the rake was tested for ‘coherence’ among all its different components.The rake was supposed to cost Rs 43 crores when the layout was approved by the railway ministry in March 2014. It was finally finished in March 2016- two years later- at a cost of Rs 54 crores. The Rs 54 crore tag is a sizable 25 percent increase in construction cost. It arrived in Mumbai on April 5.

Ahead of New Year, excise department seizes liquor worth Rs 35 lakh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of new year celebrations in Mumbai, the Konkan division of the state excise department on Saturday midnight seized illicit foreign made liquor worth Rs 35.7 lakh in a tempo in Vadkhal Naka in Raigad district. The liquor was being transported in the tempo from Goa to Mumbai, officials said.Excise officials called it a big seizure. “We received information of liquor being transported from Goa to Mumbai. We laid a trap and during a check of vehicles, the tempo was caught with the liquor,” said Nilesh Sangde, SP, Raigad excise department. The seizure was carried out under the supervision of the newly appointed excise commissioner V Radha.According to official of the excise department, every year, ahead of the New Year, supply of illicit and sub-standard liquor to the city increases, which results in revenue loss of the state.The excise officials seized over 500 boxes of foreign made liquor from the tempo and arrested the driver, who has been identified as Santosh Pandurang Deulkar, 25, a resident of Sindhudurg. “Deulkar has been sent to excise department custody for four days after being produced at a court in Pen in Raigad district. Now, we are carrying out further investigation as to where the liquor was supposed to be declared,” said Sangde.The driver of the tempo has been booked under section 65E, 108 and 83 of Bombay Prohibition Act.About two months ago, the excise department had caught a truck in Rasayani in Panvel on the Mumbai-Goa highway and seized a total 1,900 boxed illicit liquor worth Rs1.1 crore.

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