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Demonstration against Sasikala’s appointment as AIADMK chief

Sat, 31 Dec 2016-04:04pm , Cuddalore , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A small group of AIADMK cadres and supporters of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s niece, Deepa Jayakumar, on Saturday staged a black flag protest here against appointment of VK Sasikala as party General Secretary.The protesters alleged that Sasikala was chosen to the top post against the party’s rules and regulations. No arrests were made, police said. Sasikala formally assumed charge as the AIADMK general secretary today.

Madhya Pradesh plans to develop 1,100 ‘climate-smart’ villages to help farmers

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh has embarked on an ambitious plan to develop 1,100 ‘climate-smart’ villages with an aim to prepare farmers to manage the climate change risks timely and ensure good productivity.

“The government has been planning to develop 1,100 villages as climate-smart villages in a period of next six years,” state Farmer Welfare & Agriculture Development Department Principal Secretary Dr Rajesh Rajora told PTI.

He said 100 villages in each of the 11 agro-climatic zones of the state would be taken up under the plan, which would incur a cost about Rs 150 crore every year.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan. PTI

Shivraj Singh Chouhan. PTI

“The work is being taken up under the National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP) and Indian National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture,” he said.

In these villages, the farmers would be encouraged to go for short duration variety of crops, in addition to using drought-resistance seeds.

“The focus would be on integrated agriculture, which comprises animal husbandry, fisheries, in addition to traditional farming. Agro-forestry would also be adopted in these villages,” Rajora said.

Agro-forestry conserves and protects the natural resources as it helps water retention and stops soil erosion.

He said integrated nutrients management would also be implemented to help in soil fertility and plant nutrients supply through optimisation of all possible sources of organic, inorganic and biological components.

“In addition, the integrated pest management, zero tillage, raised bed gardening techniques and micro-irrigation would also be introduced in the climate smart villages. This would help farmers to increase the productivity amid all challenges of climate change,” he said.

Zero tillage technique is a way of growing crops time and again without disturbing the soil through ploughing, another agriculture expert said.

“The micro-irrigation systems like drip and sprinklers would not only reduce the water use but also lessen the use of fertilisers and energy,” he said.

Rajora said the state government would seek help of International Crops Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), an international NGO working in the field of agriculture, and Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a global agriculture research partnership.

“The Centre has set ICRISAT, the UN organisation, as nodal agency for developing the climate-smart villages. We would also seek expertise from scientists of two agriculture universities at Jabalpur and Gwalior in addition to state government’s scientists in various district headquarters,” he said.

According to agriculture department officials, various equipment and sensors would also be used in these villages to help the farmers.

The state government has already announced to open a soil testing laboratory at the block level. A plan is also on the anvil to provide soil health cards to farmers under state government’s efforts to double farmers’ income in five years.

To ensure sustainable agriculture growth, MP has also constituted a ‘Krishi (agriculture) Cabinet’ for the purpose.

The cabinet includes ministers of agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries, cooperatives, water resources, Narmada valley development, energy, panchayat, rural development and SC/ST welfare departments.

MP had also received Krishi Karman award for 2014-15, the fourth during past five years, for increasing the food grains production and productivity by 254 lakh tonnes and 1,719 kg per hectare, respectively.

The state government also claimed to have increased the irrigated agriculture area to 40 lakh hectares from 7 lakh hectares in 2003.

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 11:17 IST

Demonetisation impact: Double-digit growth in India’s tax collection figures, says Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that the impact of demonetisation is clearly visible with tax collection figures seeing double-digit growth.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. PTIFinance Minister Arun Jaitley. PTI

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. PTI

“The impact of demonetisation on tax revenue and collection is already visible. There has been a 26.2 percent increase in central indirect tax collection till November 30,” he said at a press conference here, adding till 19 December, direct tax collection increase has been to the extent of 14.4 percent against a growth rate of only 8.3 percent previous year.

Till 19 December, the net increase in direct taxes has been 13.6 percent after factoring in the refunds, he said.

“In the central indirect taxes there is an increase of 26.2 percent till 30 November. Excise duty is up by 43.5 percent, service tax by 25.7 percent and custom duties up by 5.6 percent,” Jaitley said.

“Notwithstanding the critics, it is a very significant increase in all indirect taxes till November 30,” he added.

Life insurance, tourism, petroleum consumption, flow of mutual fund investment have all increased during this period, the Finance Minister said.

Jaitley said demonetisation has brought a large part of money into the formal banking system which has increased the ability of the banks to lend.

On the liquidity situation in the markets, he said that a major part of the demonetised currency has been replaced with new notes and circulation of Rs 500 has increased.

First Published On : Dec 29, 2016 16:51 IST

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.

Ratan Tata meets Mohan Bhagwat at RSS headquarters

Wed, 28 Dec 2016-08:50pm , Nagpur , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Locked in a bitter boardroom battle with ousted Tata group chairman Cyrus Mistry, industrialist Ratan Tata visited the RSS headquarters in Nagpur on Wednesday.Tata, currently the interim chairman of the country’s biggest conglomerate, was with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for about 20 minutes, a senior functionary of the Sangh, the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP, told PTI.Earlier in the afternoon, Tata was received by RSS functionaries on his arrival at the airport, he said. Tata first visited the memorial to RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar and paid his respects. From there he drove to the RSS headquarter to meet Bhagwat.

Demonetisation countdown to day 50: Banks want cash curbs to stay beyond 30 Dec

Banks have asked the government to extend the curbs on cash withdrawal beyond the deadline of 30 December as there is not enough currency notes in the system yet to meet the demand from customers.

After the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes 8 November, there has been a cash crunch in the country as printing of replacement notes at the government and RBI-owned presses have not been able to keep pace with the demand. The demonetisation had sucked out about 86 percent of the currency in circulation.

In order to help banks, the government had restricted the withdrawal at Rs 24,000 per account per week from the branch and Rs 2,500 per card at ATMs. According to a report in The Indian Express, now the banks want the curbs to stay until there is sufficient currency notes available in the system. The government had earlier indicated that the limits will be revoked after 30 December, when the deadline for depositing old currency notes with banks ends.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The report says there is a growing consensus among bankers that the restrictions would have to continue even in the New Year so as to maintain orderly working at the banks. According to a banker quoted in the report, these restrictions are necessary as otherwise the public might flock to the ATMs and banks to withdraw cash, while there is no currency notes available. “That will become a problem,” the banker has been quoted as saying in the report.

The Indian Banks’s Association (IBA), however, has said it has not given any written representation to the government on this.

Earlier PTI haad reported that the restrictions are likely to continue beyond 30 December.

Banks at many places are not in a position to disburse even the current limit of Rs 24,000 per week due to cash crunch and are rationing the valid currency depending on cash availability. If this limit is withdrawn for individual and businesses from 2 January, it is unlikely that banks would be able to disburse the higher demand for valid currencies given the current cash position.

“Most of us think that the withdrawal limit would not be completely withdrawn. It is a possibility that it could be relaxed if the cash situation improves,” said a senior public sector bank official.

At a time when banks are struggling to meet the demand of individual customers, it would be impossible to service MSME and big corporates which requires cash in large quantity, the official said, the practical way would be to relax it gradually.

Recently, SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya had also indicated that restriction on withdrawals cannot be lifted entirely unless more cash is made available to banks.

After the demonetisation of high value Rs. 500/1000 notes, the government has fixed a limit of Rs. 24,000 per week on withdrawal from bank accounts and Rs. 2,500 per day from ATMs in view of the currency crunch that followed.

The government and the RBI has not specified when the restrictions will be withdrawn. Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa had said the withdrawal cap would be will be reviewed after December 30.

Even bank unions are also of the opinion that the restrictions cannot be done away with in one go.

All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) General Secretary Harvinder Singh had also said that in all likelihood the restriction on withdrawal would continue for some more time in the best interest of banks as well as customers at large.

The situation of currency supply is known to everyone and it would be difficult to lift the limit from January 2, Singh said, adding that SME and small businesses are waiting for cap to go so that they can withdraw as per their requirement.

Reserve Bank of India has infused Rs. 5.92 lakh crore in the banking system between November 9 and December 19 against Rs. 15.4 lakh crore of scrapped notes.

According to RBI, banks had got deposits of Rs. 12.4 lakh crore defunct notes by December 10.

(With PTI)

First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 10:03 IST

Kanpur Train Accident: Two killed, 26 injured in Sealdah-Ajmer Express derailment

Two passengers were killed and 26 injured when fifteen coaches of the Ajmer-Sealdah Express, train no 12987, derailed near Rura, around 70 kilometres from Kanpur, on Wednesday, PTI said.

Though initial reports claimed casualties, Kanpur IG Zaki Ahmed told PTI that two passengers have been killed in the accident which took place at around 5.20 am. According to reports, rail traffic between Etawah and Kanpur is affected.

The Kanpur train accident took place when the train was crossing a bridge overhead a dry canal in the area, Northern Central Railways PRO Amit Malviya said.

Speaking to ANI, Anil Saxena, ADG, PR Railway said, “No casualties have been reported so far. Ambulances are already on the spot and rescue work is in progress. A medical train from Kanpur has also arrived on the spot. All trains between Etawah and Kanpur are affected, and we are trying to divert them to an alternate route.” Saxena also told ANI that:

Ahmed told PTI that 13 sleeper coaches and two general coaches of the train derailed in the accident. The injured have been rushed to a nearby hospital. Rescue and relief operations have been started at the accident spot with the district health department dispatching 14 ambulances and relief teams from Kanpur and Tundla, he said.

Buses have also been plied to drop the stranded passengers from the spot to Kanpur railway station.

The Delhi-Howrah route via Kanpur has been temporarily closed and the Shatabdi express from Delhi to Kanpur has been cancelled, Malviya said.

As per local sources, a few of the bogies of the train also fell into a canal, travellers stuck in it were yet to be rescued soon till 8 am, Times Now said.

Meanwhile, railway minister Suresh Prabhu said has announced an ex-gratia to the injured, on Twitter. He said, “I have directed CRB, all senior officials to personally ensure best possible help,” he tweeted, adding that a thorough investigation will be carried out to ascertain the cause. He also tweeted:

According to local police, the railway authorities have not arrived on the spot. The reason for the accident is not known as yet.

The Indian railways has also announced that four trains — 12826/Jharkhand Sampark Kranti Express, 12382/Poorva Express, 12312/Kalka Mail, 12488/Seemanchal Express — have been diverted.

The Railways have issued the helpline numbers for Kanpur — 0512-2323015, 2323016, 2323018 and for Allahabad — 0532-2408149, 2408128.

More details awaited.

With inputs from PTI

First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 09:38 IST

Suspicious movement in Valley, forces open fire at 2 places

Wed, 28 Dec 2016-12:20am , Srinagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security forces on Tuesday opened fire at two places in south Kashmir after noticing suspicious movement of people, police said.Security force personnel fired several rounds in the air at Jablipora in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district after noticing some suspicious movement of people in an orchard, a police official said. However, no casualty was reported in the incident, he said.In another incident, security forces fired a few rounds after a three-wheeler ignored a signal to stop during checking at a mobile checkpoint in Lassipora of Pulwama district, the official said. He said while the three-wheeler sped away, security forces have cordoned off the area and launched search operations.

Hafiz Saeed asks Pakistan govt not to forge friendship with India

Tue, 27 Dec 2016-03:06pm , Srinagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief and the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has asked the Pakistan government to refrain from forging friendship with India claiming that its forces are committing atrocities in Kashmir.He also alleged that the BJP government is trying to change the demographic status in Kashmir.”We are standing with Kashmiris and completely support freedom movement of Kashmir,” he said and criticised the Indian army for committing atrocities in Kashmir. He has urged the Pakistani government to solve problems of Kashmiris.”The Pakistani government should not look towards India’s friendship. Blood is being shed in Kashmir. Therefore, it is Pakistani government’s responsibility to solve their problems,” he said.

Tamil Nadu fishermen attacked, chased away by Sri Lankan navy

Tue, 27 Dec 2016-11:32am , Rameswaram , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly 3,000 Tamil Nadu fishermen from this island town were forced to return without their catch after they were allegedly attacked and chased away by the Sri Lankan Navy for fishing off Katchatheevu.At least five fishermen were injured when they were attacked by the Lankan naval personnel using pipes, yesterday, Rameswaram Fishermen Association President, S Emiret said. “The naval men also snapped the nets of about 100 boats forcing all the fishermen to flee and return to the shore last night,” he said.”The fishers had ventured into the sea in more than 600 boats and were fishing off Katchatheevu when they were attacked,” Emiret added.

No cockfights on Sankranti, orders Hyderabad High Court

Tue, 27 Dec 2016-12:20am , Hyderabad , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Hyderabad High Court on Monday directed the Andhra Pradesh government to take all possible measures to prevent cockfights during the Sankranti (Pongal) festival.Collectors must ensure that no cockfights take place in their respective districts, said the court in response to a public interest litigation against the game involving rosters. Traditionally, these fights are organised in Andhra Pradesh on the occasion of Sankranti, especially in the coastal areas of the state.They have become contentious due to animal rights issues and also because betting and other illegal activities are associated with them.

Coming a full circle: Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag on his farewell visit to Siachen

Mon, 26 Dec 2016-08:12pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Keeping the promise made to himself, army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag visited the world’s highest battlefield Siachen on Monday and interacted with the soldiers posted on the glacier. Suhag’s visit to the Siachen and the 15 Corps on Monday will be the last of his farewell visits to the Commands under him before he retires on December 31.Suhag had said that the first visit he undertook soon after taking over as army chief in 2014 was to Siachen and he wanted his last visit also to Siachen. Though Gen Suhag had wanted to visit Siachen around December 29, bad weather forced him to prepone the visit to the icy heights. Gen Suhag would hand over the baton to his Vice Chief Lt Gen Bipin Rawat at his North Block office on the afternoon of December 31.

Demonetisation: Money deposited in banks has lost its earlier anonymity says Finance minister Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: Describing the currency being deposited in banks following last month’s demonetisation of high-value notes as money that has lost its earlier “anonymity”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said these funds now available with the banks have strengthened the Indian banking system.

File photo of Arun Jaitley. PTI

File photo of Arun Jaitley. PTI

“The money that is being deposited in cash form after demonetisation, now the anonymity of that money is gone,” Jaitley said at the DigiDhan Mela event here to promote cashless transactions.

“When this money comes into the system, the banking system becomes stronger and there are funds available for rural development, social welfare programmes,” he said.

“Money in the system becomes part of the taxation system too.

The long-term benefit of this move is that the shadow, the parallel economy, which was not taxed, of which there was no accounting, which was not answerable, that is now becoming part of the economic system,” the Finance Minister said.

First Published On : Dec 25, 2016 18:21 IST

Christmas cheer: Pakistan releases 220 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Pakistan released 220 Indian fishermen, a goodwill gesture which comes amid strain in ties after the recent cross border terror incidents. The 220 fishermen released from Malir jail were arrested for allegedly entering Pakistan’s territorial waters illegally and fishing, jail superintendent Hassan Sehto told PTI. The fishermen boarded a train to Lahore, from where they will be handed over to Indian authorities at the Wagah border.”The interior ministry ordered the release of the 220 fishermen while 219 are still in our custody,” Sehto said.The goodwill gesture comes amid strain in ties between the two countries after Pakistan-based terrorists attacked an Indian army base in Uri in September.Last week, the Pakistan fishermen forum claimed that Indian maritime authorities had picked up dozens of Pakistani fishermen from inside Pakistan’s territorial waters near the Gujarat coastline and taken them away, though the government has not responded to the claim so far.

Delhi: Fire in AIIMS pathology lab

Fri, 23 Dec 2016-04:06pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A fire broke out in the pathology lab of AIIMS here this afternoon.A fire call was received at 2.40 pm and five fire tenders were rushed to the spot. The fire was doused by 3.20 PM, said a Delhi Fire Services officer.No casualties were reported, he said.

Sri Lankan court extends remand of 15 TN fishermen

Fri, 23 Dec 2016-02:55pm , Rameswaram , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Sri Lankan court on Saturday extended till January 5, the remand of 15 Tamil Nadu fishermen, arrested for allegedly fishing in the island nation’s territorial waters.The Oorkavalthurai court in Sri Lanka, extended the judicial custody of the fishermen till January 5, Rameswaram Fishermen Association President S Emerite said.The 15 fishermen from this island town were arrested in two separate incidents on November 1 and 19, by the Sri Lankan Navy, while they were fishing near Neduntheevu and lodged in Yalpanam prison there, he said.The naval personnel had also taken away their two mechanised boats, he added.

NIA team visits Poonch, looks into cross-LoC trade records

Tue, 20 Dec 2016-07:12pm , Jammu , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A National Investigation Agency (NIA) team visited the border district of Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir and took the cross-LoC trade records from the Chakan- Da-Bagh Trade Facilitation Centre.”NIA has visited Poonch. They are looking into cross-LoC trade records”, Deputy Commissioner, Poonch, M H Malik said on Tuesday. They (NIA team) have taken records of Chakan-Da-Bagh Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) and are going through it.The team is looking into any suspicious activity under the grab of cross LoC trade.The NIA team is headed by IG rank officer is camping in Poonch. They have talked to several businessmen and cross LoC traders besides officials and officers of TFC.

Winter Session officially terminated, President prorogues Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

Mon, 19 Dec 2016-09:07pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Both Houses of Parliament have been prorogued, officially terminating the Winter Session which witnessed a virtual washout due to the demonetization row. The President has prorogued the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on Sunday, it was officially announced on Monday.Last week, the Cabinet Committee of Parliamentary Affairs had recommended for prorogation of both Houses of Parliament soon after there were adjourned sine die after a month-long session that was virtually washed out over the issue of demonetization. The session, which began on November 16, saw almost daily disruptions over the note ban issue. The debate on the matter began in both Houses but remained inconclusive, and resulted in one of the “least productive” sessions in the last 15 years.Due to the repeated disruptions, Lok Sabha could function only for 15.75% and lost 92 hours, while Rajya Sabha worked for 20.61% and lost about 86 hours.

CBI files charge-sheet against Kejriwal’s ex-principal secretary Rajendra Kumar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a charge sheet against Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s former principal secretary Rajendra Kumar, reported PTI sources. CBI had registered a case against Kumar and others in December last year alleging that the officer had abused his official position by “favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders of Delhi government departments”.The accused have been charged under section 120-B of IPC (criminal conspiracy) and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act relating to criminal misconduct for allegedly favouring ESPL in bagging of five contracts.CBI has alleged that the accused persons had entered into a criminal conspiracy and caused a loss of Rs 12 crore to the Delhi government in award of contracts between 2007 and 2015, and claimed that the officials had taken “undue benefit” of over Rs three crore while awarding the contracts. This is the same case in which the agency had come under scathing criticism from court which had directed it to return documents sought by Delhi government seized during December 15, 2015 search of Kejriwal’s office.Arrest of the top state government official had triggered a political storm with the Delhi government accusing Centre of indulging in “political vendetta” and “paralysing” governance.With inputs from PTI

Low-intensity earthquake in Arunachal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A low intensity earthquake was reported this morning at a place in Upper Siang district close to the Indo-China border.According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD),the slight intensity earthquake occured at 7.46 AM and the Richter scale readings showed the magnitude of the tremor was 3.8.The depth of the occurence was 106 km. The epicentre of the earthquake was recorded at Lat 28.6 degree North and Long 94.9 degree East which is around 116 km from district headquarter Yingkiong.No loss of life or damage to property has been reported so far, state Chief Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin told PTI after taking stock of the situation from district officers.She has directed officers to be on their toes to assess the situation properly and keep her posted continuously.

Hyderabad: Income Tax dept seizes Rs 66 lakh cash in new Rs 2000 notes 

Hyderabad: The Income Tax department has seized Rs 66 lakh cash, all in new Rs 2000 notes, as part of the anti-black money crackdown operations in Hyderabad.

The first incident, that occurred on the night of 16 December, was reported at the Telugu Academy in Himayatnagar when an I-T team intercepted few people who ran into a nearby apartment on seeing the team.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“Search of the apartment led to recovery of Rs 36 lakh cash, all in Rs 2000 denomination. Sources of the cash are being probed into,” I-T sources said.

In the second incident in the same city on 17 December, department investigators along with police intercepted a speeding Honda Activa in the Tank Bund area.

“Cash of Rs 30 lakh in Rs 2000 denomination was found with two persons.The case is being probed,” they said.

The sources added that these two interceptions were made in the city as part of taxman’s anti-black money probe post demonetisation.

First Published On : Dec 18, 2016 11:33 IST

Bengaluru man with alleged ISIS links held in Kullu

Sat, 17 Dec 2016-08:30pm , Shimla , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A 23-year-old man from Bengaluru with alleged ISIS links was arrested on Saturday by team of NIA and local police from Banjar area in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.Abeed Khan was arrested from a church where he was staying with a fake identity for the past four-five months, police said. Confirming the arrest, Director General of Police Sanjay Kumar said that Khan is being interrogated by intelligence agencies. Sources said that the man was named by some of his accomplices during interrogation after they were arrested in Delhi.They said that Khan has admitted that he was influenced by the ideology of ISIS terror group. The NIA and police refused to divulge further details in this connection, saying that investigations are underway.

Kerala: 13 RSS workers found guilty in 2008 murder of CPI(M) activist

Sat, 17 Dec 2016-02:04pm , Thiruvananthapuram , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Additional Sessions Court in Thiruvananthapuram postponed the announcement of quantum of punishment in the 2008 case of DYFI leader Vishnu’s murder.The court had on Friday found 13 RSS activists guilty in the murder of the local CPI(M) worker on April 1, 2008. Additional Sessions Court judge TK Unnimol will pronounce the quantum of sentence on December 19.The case relates to the murder of Vishnu at Kaithamukku. According to the prosecution, the accused armed with swords, iron rods and other weapons attacked Vishnu and killed him. There were a total of 16 accused in the case. While one accused died in 2008, another was acquitted by the court on Friday and one is absconding. Charges against the accused include that of murder, conspiracy and unlawful assembly.

Baba Ramdev, stop making oblique suggestions about PM Modi; either spill all the beans or zip it up

You know the country is hurting when even the prime minister’s best friend turns against him. Actually, let me rephrase that — the best friend is hurting, and so friendship be damned, hang it out to dry.

Baba Ramdev has spoken out against Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s note ban, by hinting at a sinister conspiracy involving the banking sector, and even the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), saying that as much as Rs 3-5 lakh crores can be involved in this scandal.

Baba Ramdev. PTI file imageBaba Ramdev. PTI file image

Baba Ramdev. PTI file image

Ramdev has clearly shrugged off his long-time support for Modi, as he adds economic insight to his quiver of authoritative arrows. The yogi-turned businessman and ayurveda champion, as adept at being spiritual guru as he is selling edible oil, but is having a rough time with sales of his consumer products probably dropping. To add to his dismay is the Rs 11 lakh fine levied on him for misrepresentation in manufacture of his products in the Hardwar factories where the ingredients are falsely marked.

Good reasons, don’t you think, for Ramdev to get a bit teed off; so this man for all seasons now decides to interpret the downside of the demonetisation process.

But, according to him, it isn’t the prime minister who’s the bad guy — it’s the banks, and they misled Modi with their chicanery and gave him the wrong idea of what could happen. They did not tell him, for example, that Patanjali branded items would not fly off the shelf, and if they don’t do that with alacrity, then surely something is wrong with the killing of currency notes.

But, whoa, wait just a minute. Why has it taken Ramdev all of 38 days to figure it all out and share his incandescent genius with us? How quickly people change when their bottom line is adversely affected.

There is also another reason for this economic epiphany. Ramdev has probably been feeling left out of the loop at not getting his quota of media attention this past month or so. That anonymity irks, so why not make some outlandish announcement in the manner of a teaser trailer and say a lot without saying anything concrete.

In one shot, he indicts Modi, then absolves Modi, then blames the banks, and finally tells us there is a seamier undisclosed dimension, even venturing to place a huge figure on it, although he doesn’t tell us what exactly is going on.

Now, is that fair? If Ramdev knows what this Rs 3-5 lakh crore hanky panky is all about, then why be cute about it? Come out and tell us the details, so we can decide if the banking sector plotted this grand larceny on the Indian people and took Modi for a ride. Yes, we know the banks are flush with cash. Where else would the money go. But that is not an indication of their being corrupt or in on the scheming.

To play mind games and make provocative statements is not only uncharitable, it is also a cheap shot. You can certainly criticise the fallout from the ban on currency notes and have an opinion, but if you point your flinty little fingers in accusations and suggest more than obliquely that the underbelly is dirtier than we know, then you are duty bound to show us the dirt.

Till you are ready to spill the beans, it’s time to use your own toothpaste because you are just being foulmouthed.

First Published On : Dec 16, 2016 15:35 IST

Arvind Kejriwal rakes up issue of PM Modi’s degrees again

Thu, 15 Dec 2016-02:25pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal raked up the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degrees on Thursday yet again saying he was not able to grasp the “devastating consequences” of demonetization due to “less education”.Addressing a press conference, he said it was essential that the “truth” about Prime Minister’s degrees is disclosed as it is the “fundamental right” of people.”People believe since Modiji is less educated he has taken the decision to demonetize currency without discussing it with anyone. Now that it has jeopardised the lives of people he is not being able to tackle the situation,” Kejriwal told reporters at his residence here. The AAP chief, who had earlier sought rollback of the note ban measure, also demanded that the money deposited by people be used to waive the loans of farmers and small traders.

Illicit relationship: Youth burnt alive by woman, two others

Wed, 14 Dec 2016-02:58pm , Pratapgarh , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A 20-year-old youth was allegedly burnt alive by a woman with whom he was in relationship, and two others in Dandi village here, police said on Wednesday.Police suspect that the deceased and the two other accused were in an illicit relationship with the 28-year-old woman Rangili, mother of two children. Arjun Singh Chauhan (20), was set afire by the three accused yesterday when he had gone to meet the woman in Jethwara area here, they said. Chauhan was rushed to the hospital where he died during treatment.An FIR has been registered in this regard against the woman and two others. No arrests have been made as yet.

Parliament logjam,: With 3 days left in Winter Session, Disability Bill still stuck in Rajya Sabha

The logjam in Parliament has wiped out almost the entire Winter Session, and repeated disruptions over the demonetisation debate mean we go into the final three days of the session with precious little having been achieved. Protests and sloganeering were witnessed throughout the month-long Winter Session. According to PRS Legislative, as Firstpost had earlier reported, the productivity of Rajya Sabha was 20 percent over the last 30 days, while that of Lok Sabha was 14 percent.

The fate of many significant legislative bills are still stuck, including the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Bill, 2016. The bill, though listed for business four times, did not come up for discussion even once, reported The DNA. Candle light marches and rallies pushing for the passage of the Disability Bill were reported from various parts of the country.

Earlier, Sports Minister Vijay Goel was quoted as saying that he will personally talk to Opposition for the quick passage of the bill. “We are very close to passing the bill in Parliament. I will myself talk to Parliamentary affairs minister and if need arises, with Opposition too, and request them to pass the bill first and then debate on demonetisation,” he told PTI.

Disabaled Rights Group (DRG) activists at Solidarity Rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI

Disabaled Rights Group (DRG) activists at Solidarity Rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI

The Indian Express reported that while the 1995 Act recognised seven disabilities, the 2014 one covered 19 conditions. However, the amended bill covers 21 conditions. The government has proposed 119 amendments to the 2014 bill, the report added.

“In the Bill, disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept, and the types of disabilities have also been increased, from the existing seven to 21. The Centre will have the power to add more types of disabilities to it,” Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot told PTI.

According to PRS Legislative, “Persons with at least 40 percent of a disability are entitled to certain benefits, such as reservations in education and employment, preference in government schemes.” Enhancing the rights and entitlements of people with disabilities, the bill takes the “disabled-friendly access to all public buildings, hospitals, modes of transport, polling stations, etc” into account.

The amended Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014, proposes imprisonment of at least six months to two years, along with a fine ranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 5 lakh, for those discriminating against differently-abled persons, according to PTI. The bill proposes strengthening the office of chief commissioner and state commissioners for persons with disabilities which will act as regulatory bodies.

The bill proposes to increase reservation for those with benchmark disabilities in government jobs and higher education institutes from the current three percent to four percent. It also provides for penalties for offences committed against people with disabilities.

According to The Indian Express, the legislation has been pending in the Rajya Sabha since February 2014. The report added that the 1995 law had 3 percent reservation for the disabled, which was raised to 5 percent in 2014. But the proposed amendments reduces it to 4 percent. The report also added, “The proposed amendments do away with the provision in the 2014 bill for strong national and state commissions for persons with disabilities”.

Javed Abidi, disability activist, called the bill a game change and wrote in the Hindustan Times, “The disability sector has been waiting for this law patiently for the last several years. Just its making took over five years and seemed like a never ending saga.”

With inputs from PTI

First Published On : Dec 13, 2016 22:24 IST

Cyclone Vardah: Over 9,400 evacuated in SPS Nellore in Andhra Pradesh

Amaravati: Over 9,400 people living along the Bay of Bengal coast in SPS Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh were on Monday evacuated to relief camps amid heavy rains due to the influence of severe cyclonic storm Vardah.

Eight fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu were rescued from the sea near the Sriharikota High Altitude Range while search was on for ten more persons feared trapped at sea.

With the cyclonic storm Vardah set to make landfall between Sriharikota and Chennai, a state of high alert is being maintained in SPS Nellore district.

“The police and CISF personnel are on the job and all the ten fishermen are safe. But they are somehow reluctant to come to the shore. We will soon bring them out,” Nellore Superintendent of Police Vishal Gunni told PTI over phone.

Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana, who is camping in Nellore to oversee the rescue and relief operations, said Vakadu and Tada received 4.8 and 3 cms of rain, respectively, since on Monday morning.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“We have already moved over 9,400 persons in seven vulnerable mandals to safety. All necessary measures have been taken to ensure safety of people,” he said.

Earlier, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had directed the Nellore district administration to evacuate people in about 255 low-lying areas to safer places.

The Chief Minister reviewed the situation through teleconference and asked the official machinery to remain on high alert to prevent loss of lives.

The holy Tirumala Hills have been receiving rainfall since last night, causing some hardship to devotees visiting the shrine of Lord Venkateswara.

Temple Executive Officer D Sambasiva Rao has directed the temple staff to make necessary arrangements for the comfort of the pilgrims in view of the inclement weather.

Under the influence of Vardah, Nellore and Chittoor districts are expected to receive heavy rainfall.

In Sullurpeta mandal in Nellore district, 30 persons were shifted to a relief camp this morning.

The South Central Railway has cancelled some passenger trains between Sullurpeta and Chennai in view of the cyclone.

The Vijayawada-Chennai-Vijayawada Pinakini Express has been diverted via Renigunta and Arrakkonam. Some other Express trains on the Chennai route have also been diverted via Arrakkonam.

First Published On : Dec 12, 2016 13:59 IST

Cylone Vardah LIVE: Storm unlikely to weaken after landfall; air and rail travel hit

Dec 12, 2016

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New Delhi: Cyclonic storm Vardah, which was earlier expected to weaken considerably, may not see its intensity going down when it makes landfall near Chennai on Monday. According to the Cyclone Warning Division of the India Meteorological Department, (IMD), Vardah, which is currently, a very severe cyclonic storm, will weaken, but only to a severe cyclonic storm.

Cyclone Vardah over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.Cyclone Vardah over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Cyclone Vardah over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

The earlier forecast made by the IMD was that it would weaken into a cyclonic storm, thereby reducing its intensity considerably. At 9.30 am, the cyclone was lay centered around 105 kms east-northeast of Chennai.

By the time it makes a landfall, its wind speed is expected to be 100-110 kilometres per hours with winds gusting up to 120 kmph. The wind speed during a very severe cyclonic storm is 120 to 130 kmph. In a severe cyclonic storm the wind speed is somewhere between 110 to 80 kilometres per hour. One of the major reasons for destruction in any cyclone is the wind velocity, apart from heavy to heavy rains and flooding.

Rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry is very likely during 36 hrs. The rainfall intensity will increase gradually becoming heavy to very heavy rainfall (7-19 cm) at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rainfall (20 centimetres) over Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts of Tamil Nadu and Nellore and Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh on 12 December, the IMD said.

Tidal wave of about one metre height above the astronomical tide is very likely to inundate the low lying areas of Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts of Tamil Nadu and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh during the time of landfall.

With inputs from PTI

First Published On : Dec 12, 2016 11:48 IST

I-T dept raids law firm in South Delhi, seizes Rs 10 crore, including Rs 2.5 crore in new notes

Sun, 11 Dec 2016-08:42am , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Police on Saturday raided the office of a law firm in southeast Delhi’s Greater Kailash-I area and recovered Rs 10 crore in cash, of which Rs 2.5 crore was in new banknotes released after demonetization.The raid was carried out by the Crime Branch at the office of T&T Law Firm, said a senior police officer.”Rs 10 crore was recovered. Out of which, Rs 2.5 crore was in new currency notes and the rest in old notes. The I-T department has been informed,” said the officer.When the police team raided the office, its rooms were locked and a caretaker was present.Police are searching for the firm promoter Rohit Tandon. Police said more raids would be conducted in this connection.

EAM Sushma Swaraj to undergo kidney transplant at AIIMS today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to undergo a kidney transplant at AIIMS on Saturday, with the organ being harvested from a living unrelated donor.”Living unrelated donor could be anyone who is emotionally attached to the recipient, such as friend, a relative, a neighbour or an in-law. As no suitable donor was available in the immediate family, the transplant will be done with the kidney from a living unrelated donor. As of now the transplant is scheduled to take place this weekend. The clearance from the authorisation committee has been obtained,” PTI sources at AIIMS had said on Tuesday, adding that Swaraj’s pre-transplant process was complete.The surgery will be performed by a team of experts constituted by AIIMS. According to doctors, Swaraj been suffering from diabetes for quite a long time. After the kidney failure diagnosis, she was put on maintenance dialysis. “She undergoes dialysis thrice a week,” a senior doctor said.On November 16, Swaraj had tweeted that she was in AIIMS because of kidney failure. “I am in AIIMS because of kidney failure. Presently, I am on dialysis. I am undergoing tests for a kidney transplant. Lord Krishna will bless,” Swaraj had tweeted.64-year-old Swaraj, who has been in and out of the hospital for last few months, was admitted to AIIMS on November 7. After Swaraj made public her health condition on social media, support had poured in for her with several people offering their kidneys for transplant.Earlier she was admitted to AIIMS in April for treatment of pneumonia and other health issues.

Madhya Pradesh: Ten juveniles escape from remand home after beating guard

Fri, 9 Dec 2016-11:31pm , Jabalpur , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ten juveniles escaped from a remand home on Friday after allegedly attacking a lone security guard under Ranjhi police station area in Jabalpur.The incident occurred around 10 am when some boys were taking a bath while ten of them attacked the guard. “They snatched the keys from him and escaped after unlocking the gate of the shelter,” said Remand Home superintendent Punit Verma.A complaint has been lodged with the police who are trying to track them down. When contacted, Ranjhi police station inspector Sanjay Shukla said a hunt is underway.

West Bengal: No-trust motion against TMC govt defeated

Fri, 9 Dec 2016-10:47pm , Kolkata , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The no-confidence motion against the TMC government, jointly moved by the Left Front and Congress, was defeated on Friday with 191 votes against it and 50 votes in favour.At the end of a debate over the motion lasting one and a half hours, the opposition demanded a division following which a voice vote was taken. During the debate, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “Those who do not have confidence in their own parties are bringing a no-confidence motion against our government. This is baseless since in the Lok Sabha we are adjusting with your parties on demonetization.”Left Front legislative party leader Sujan Chakraborty said, “We were forced to bring this no-confidence because of the misrule going on all over the state.” Congress’s Abdul Mannan earlier this week had said the no-trust motion was a protest against the way TMC allegedly poached its MLAs, elected representatives in rural bodies and municipalities.

Mumbai: Rs 85 lakh cash in Rs 2000 notes seized, 7 detained

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The crime branch of Mumbai Police seized Rs 85 lakh cash in Rs 2,000 notes on Friday from an Innova car at Hindu Colony, Dadar, police said. 7 people have been detained in connection with this case. They were carrying this money. They are being currently questioned in this matter. The cash was seized by unit 5 of the crime branch from Babasaheb Ambedkar road this afternoon, Mumbai Police spokesperson Ashok Dudhe said.A probe is underway in this regard, the officer added. Police had a tipoff that Rs1 crore was being transported in the Innova. Search is on for the remaining amount. With PTI inputs

Cyclone ‘Vardah’ may intensify in Andaman on Friday

Fri, 9 Dec 2016-12:11am , Port Blair , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cyclone ‘Vardah’ which is near the Andaman Islands is likely to intensify into a severe cyclone Friday morning, officials said. They said the cyclone, which is lying 240-km west-southwest of Port Blair, is very likely to intensify into a severe cyclone by early morning at around 5 AM on Friday.Very high speed winds accompanied by heavy rainfall are expected as the administration has advised general public to remain indoors. The cyclone is likely to move northward for some more time and then northwestwards towards Andhra Pradesh coast during the next four days.

Steps for cashless transactions desperate act to mislead: Congress

Thu, 8 Dec 2016-11:55pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress on Thursday termed the steps announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to promote cashless transactions as a “desperate attempt to mislead and confuse” the country.Party leader Anand Sharma charged the government with being discriminatory in announcing such measures and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologises for unleashing financial anarchy on the country. “What the finance minister has said today is a desperate act to mislead and confuse. In a country where less than 3 per cent use credit cards and debit cards, as per World Bank report only 11 per cent of Indians use cheque transactions.”How can you overnight transform India into a cashless society? I charge the government with being discriminatory and violative of the legal rights of the people. How can you say that you can do e-ticketing you will get compensation and those not having e-tickets will not get compensation in case of an accident,” he asked.Sharma said Jaitley understands law and should know the “illegality” of what he is saying.”You cannot discriminate. PM should apologise and atone for unleashing financial anarchy on the country,” he demanded.

India should plan offensive, adversary should ‘feel the pain’: Ex army chiefs

Tue, 6 Dec 2016-10:06pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India should plan offensive and covert operations to take target militant leaders and hit the Pakistani Army hard, two former Army chiefs said on Tuesday. Former Army chief Gen (retd) Bikram Singh was of the view that Indian should exploit the fault lines in Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) so that the Pakistani Army is forced to concentrate internally and not externally. “We need to create asymmetric capabilities which includes doing covert operations and targeting militant leaders,” he said, adding the adversary should “feel the pain” and be put in an “embarrassing spot”.Speaking at Agenda Aaj Tak here, former Army chief Gen (retd) VP Malik said, “Till now we have been focusing on defensive operation. We now have to look at offensive operation.” He was of the view that an all-out war between India and Pakistan or India and China was “unlikely”. To have a better planning of security needs, military experts should be roped into the government and be made minister of state for Defence, Malik suggested.

Two IT Parks to be set up in Himachal Pradesh

Tue, 6 Dec 2016-03:00pm , Dharamshala , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two IT Parks will shortly be developed in Himachal Pradesh with the help of Software Technology Park of India (STPI), a senior official said on Tuesday.”One of such park shall be developed in Gaggal near Dharamsala,” IT Advisor to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Gokul Butail informed. As it is valley area and adjacent to airport, experts consider it as the best place, he said.The second (IT) park shall be constructed in Shimla, he added.Butail said that the formal announcement regarding this will be made after the next cabinet meeting. He further said that such parks will give a boost to hundreds of IT engineers of state working out side state.

IIM-Shillong student found dead in hostel room, reason of suicide not known

Mon, 5 Dec 2016-11:20pm , Shillong , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An IIM-Shillong student was on Monday found dead in her room at the women’s hostel in Shillong and a purported suicide note recovered in which she sought forgiveness from her parents for the action, police said.The 28-year-old deceased was a first year post-graduate programme student and hailed from Kerala, city superintendent of police Vivek Syiem said.She was found hanging from a ventilation rod inside her room at around 11:15 am, he said.She had joined M Shillong in June. In the purported suicide note left behind by her, the student said she was taking her own life and sought forgiveness from her parents and grandparents, Syiem said. Police said her family members have been informed and they are expected to arrive on Tuesday.

Nagrota attack: Army probe to look into how terrorists entered camp

Mon, 5 Dec 2016-10:42pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The army has initiated an inquiry into the deadly Nagrota attack that will also look into how the terrorists entered the force’s camp from the forest area on its rear side.Preliminary investigations have so far indicated that three terrorists had entered the army’s artillery camp from the rear side and carried out the deadly strike in which seven army personnel, including two Major-rank officers, were killed, official sources said. The attack is being probed and the final report will clarify everything, Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag said on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi on Monday.Five jawans were also killed in an eight-hour gun battle at the military camp near the Army’s 16 Corps headquarters in Nagrota on November 29. Three militants were also neutralised in the attack.The army unit is located just three kms from the Corps Headquarters at Nagrota. A statement by the army soon after the attack had said that the terrorists forced their way into the Officers Mess complex by throwing grenades and firing at the sentries.

Demonetization: Saibaba Temple in Mumbai gets Rs 3 cr in scrapped notes post Nov 8

Mon, 5 Dec 2016-05:36pm , Mumbai , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shri Sai Baba Shirdi Sansthan, managing one of the most revered temples in the country, received Rs 3 crore in the scrapped notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations after the government’s demonetization move, the temple trust said on Monday.Following demonetization, temples have been asked to submit a report of the donated currency notes for the duration of November 8 to 24.Sai Baba Sansthan Trust chairman Suresh Haware told reporters here that, “The Union government has asked the temples to declare the details of scrapped notes donated in the donation box. The trust received Rs 1.27 crore in the denomination of Rs 1,000 while it received Rs 1.57 crore in the denomination of Rs 500 currency notes.” There are 47 donation boxes inside the temple that are opened daily in front of the devotees and trust, Haware said.

3 airline employees held at IGIA for stealing liquor bottles

Sun, 4 Dec 2016-09:40pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three airline ground handling staffers working at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in New Delhi have been apprehended for allegedly stealing liquor bottles from the registered baggage of a flier.Officials said the incident was reported on Saturday noon when an on-duty CISF personnel detected suspicious activity of the three employees in the terminal area, on the CCTV surveillance system.Upon interception, they said two liquor bottles were recovered from their possession which the trio, identified as E Moses, J Jolly and C Mehroliya, had allegedly taken out from the baggage of a Bhubaneswar-bound traveller. They said the airport entry passes of the three had been cancelled and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has been informed for further action against them.

Admitted in same hospital, Swaraj comes to AIIMS PhD scholar’s rescue

Sun, 4 Dec 2016-08:59pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday assured help to a PhD scholar in AIIMS, where the minister is undergoing treatment for kidney failure.”Geeta – I am also in AIIMS. Pl come and see me here. I will do my best to help you,” Swaraj tweeted.Minister’s response came as she was approached on twitter with a request,”@SushmaSwaraj I am PhD scholar in AIIMS. Can you please help me to get my VISA for AUS (Australia) in order to present a paper?”

Muzaffarnagar: Rs 47,000 cash stolen from man in bank queue

Sun, 4 Dec 2016-06:13pm , Muzaffarnagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly Rs 50,000 in cash were stolen from a man who was standing in a bank queue to deposit his old currency notes in Shamli district, police said on SundayThe victim, Satish Kumar, had gone to the bank to deposit Rs 47,000 in old currency notes when the money was stolen, a police official said.In another incident, Rs 10,000 in new currency notes were stolen from a man who was returning after exchanging old currency notes from a bank in Morna town, the official said.

Demonetisation: Retailers can’t be forced to accept old Rs 500 notes for mobile recharges, says COAI

New Delhi: Amid complaints about non-acceptance of old Rs 500 notes for mobile recharges at some places, cellular operators body COAI has said the companies have given strict guidelines to accept these notes from customers but retailers and distributors cannot be forced.

COAI Director General Rajan Mathews told PTI that operators have provided strict guidelines to their distributors and retailers for accepting and processing Rs 500 demonetised notes so that no inappropriate activity, contrary to the objectives of the government, takes place.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“However, these retailers and distributors cannot be forced to do something they do not want to do, if they believe the process is tedious. “This is unfortunate for customers who wish to use these distributor and retailer points of sale and companies are disappointed with this companies can only encourage their distributors and retailers to follow the guidelines and assist customers who are facing difficulties obtaining currency from banks,” Mathews said.

He said that company-owned points of sale are accepting these notes and hopefully this will help reduce some of these problems for customers. Government allowed use of old Rs 500 for pre-paid recharges to a limit of Rs 500 per recharge till 15 December after telecom operators requested it that dealers and distributors should be permitted to accept withdrawn notes till adequate replacement currency is available for the daily needs of ordinary citizens.

However, retailers said that company distributors and agents are not accepting old Rs 500 notes from them even as they are accepting them from customers along with ID proofs for recharges. “None of the companies is accepting old notes from us. So we are unable to entertain any customer if he comes with old Rs 500 note,” Jai Prakash, who runs mobile recharge shop in Nadesar area of Varanasi said.

Another retailer Nand Kumar Rai from Ghazipur said that telecom companies are accepting Rs 500 notes at their offices but not from retailers. “Collection agents are saying that they don’t have time to fill up forms required for accepting Rs 500 notes. I am accepting every currency note number with ID card and mobile number details but agents are not ready for it,” Vinay Popli, a retailer in Basti district of Uttar Pradesh, said.

Anjeev Thakur, who runs a mobile recharge shop at Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, said, “Retailers here are accepting old Rs 500 notes along with valid IDs preferably for high value recharges due to shortage of change. Distributors are accepting new currency notes only, and we are depositing old notes in our own accounts.”

Aijaz Ahmad from Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir said that he is required to deposit recharge amount in his bank account which has led to 10-fold rise in his deposits. “I get recharge balance from distributors only after paying from my bank account. Most of the customers these days are opting for entire Rs 500 recharge. I have to stand for almost entire day to deposit old Rs 500 notes in bank,” Ahmad said.

First Published On : Dec 4, 2016 15:11 IST

Sushma Swaraj asks Kerala govt to expedite trial of Japanese woman rape case

Fri, 2 Dec 2016-09:45pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has asked the Kerala government to expedite the trial in a case of alleged rape of a Japanese woman in the state’s Kovalam district last month.In a series of tweets, she said, “I asked for a report from Government of Kerala about the rape of a Japanese tourist on 25 Nov 2016. We have received the report.””The statement of the victim has been recorded before a Magistrate and the accused has been apprehended.””I have asked Government of Kerala to expedite the trial and keep us informed about the case.”According to Kerala Police, the 35-year-old Japanese woman was allegedly raped by a man from neighbouring Karnataka at Kovalam and a case was registered against him under section 376 (punishment for rape) of the Indian Penal Code.

Demonetisation: 27 public sector bank officials suspended over corrupt practices, 6 transferred

New Delhi: In a major crackdown on bank employees involved in irregularities post demonetisation, as many as 27 senior officials of various public sector banks have been suspended and six others transferred to check corrupt practices.

The suspensions comes amid reports of income tax authorities conducting search and seizure at many places, including one at Bengaluru where Rs 5.7 crore cash in new currency notes was recovered from two businessmen.

Allahabad: Passengers gives 500 rupees for train ticket at a booking window at Alalhabad Railway station in Allahabad on Wednesday. PTI Photo(PTI11_9_2016_000066B)

PTI Photo.

Some cases have come to notice of officials involved in carrying out transactions which were irregular and violative of RBI’s instructions, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

“Action has been taken in such cases and 27 officials of various public sector banks have been placed under suspension and six officials have been transferred to non-sensitive posts,” it said.

It also cautioned that while all efforts are being made to facilitate genuine transactions, “illegalities will not be tolerated and appropriate action will be taken against individuals involved in irregular and unauthorised activities”.

Following the decision of the government to demonetise of old Rs 500/1000 notes from midnight of 8 November, 2016, people have been depositing the invalid notes into banks.

The Reserve Bank has put in cash withdrawal limits for individual as well as businessmen.

The ministry further said that banks have done commendable work by putting in long hours of untiring effort in managing banking transactions.

In the biggest-ever seizure of cash in new currency, over Rs 5 crore even as the Income Tax department said it detected unaccounted income worth Rs 152 crore after it conducted searches in a dozen premises in Bengaluru and other locations.

Earlier, RBI had asked banks to take action against erring officials to ensure cash availability for customers thronging banks.

First Published On : Dec 2, 2016 19:42 IST

Puducherry: Official ordered probe for sexual assault charges

Fri, 2 Dec 2016-03:28pm , Karaikal , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Karaikal district administration on Friday ordered an inquiry into the allegations of sexual harassment, levelled against a top official of the Municipal office.The action comes following a complaint lodged by a female staff of the Karaikal Municipality on Thursday, alleging that Municipal Commissioner Gandhirajan had tried to misbehave with her. Members of the government employees association also met the Collector and sought action against the civic official.Ordering an inquiry into the charges, District Collector P Parthiban says, a four-member committee has been formed to carry out a detailed probe into the allegations against the Municipal Commissioner.”Suitable action will be taken based on the findings of the committee,” he said.

Haryana board makes Aadhaar mandatory for Class 10 and 12 exams

Thu, 1 Dec 2016-10:53pm , Chandigarh , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Board of School Education Haryana (BSEH) has made it mandatory for students of Class 10 and 12 to have Aadhaar card while applying for the 2017 examination. The candidates will benefit from the move in many ways.The use of Aadhaar will prevent forgery of certificates and impersonation cases, and ensure that the candidates’ details are complete and accurate, Chairman, BSEH, Jagbir Singh said in a statement on Thursday. Aadhaar was used in the examination process earlier too, though it was not mandatory, Singh said.The Board has taken several steps to ensure smooth implementation of the decision. Schools which did not provide Aadhaar of candidates earlier may now fill up the relevant column in the checklist sent by the Board, he said.

Nagrota attack: Army clears two complexes, combing operations continue

Jammu: Two main complexes at the army unit in Nagrota, which witnessed a fierce gunbattle and hostage-like situation, have been cleared by the army as combing operation continued for the second day at the camp targeted by terrorists.

“Combing and sanitisation operation have resumed to clear the entire area of the unit. It will take some more time. No one has been allowed inside so far”, a senior army officer said.

Jammu: Security personnel stand guard during the search operations following the militant attack on Nagrota Army camp, near Jammu on Wednesday. PTI Photo(PTI11_30_2016_000067B)

Jammu: Security personnel stand guard during the search operations following the militant attack on Nagrota Army camp, near Jammu on Wednesday. PTI 

The officer said two main building complexes where the gun-battle and hostage-like situation took place have been cleared and they are totally free from blinds (unexploded shells). Most of the blinds blast on the spot and the area is being cleared inch by inch so it will take some time before the unit area is opened for normal operation and activity, he said.

“Operation is on to see whether there is presence of any other militant in the area. We cannot take chances”, he said. “Blinds were destroyed today at the site of the deadly terror attack on an army base in Nagrota by a bomb disposal team during combing operations that are still underway,” said a Defence spokesman.

Huge number of blinds of various types have been found in and around the two complexes and other areas of the unit, which were left behind by slain terrorists.

The army launched combing, search and sanitisation operation using sniffer dogs, bomb disposal squads with technical teams armed with equipment after conclusion of the day-long gun-battle between troops and three heavily armed militants, who stormed at 166 artillery unit of Army at Nagrota on Tuesday.

Jammu was rocked by two terror attacks in which seven army personnel, including two Major-rank officers, were killed and eight other security-men, including a BSF DIG, were injured, before six heavily-armed terrorists were eliminated in separate fierce encounters.

First Published On : Dec 1, 2016 16:44 IST

Lok Sabha pays tributes to Nagrota terror attack victims

Thu, 1 Dec 2016-03:15pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lok Sabha on Friday paid tributes to seven Army personnel, who were killed in a terror attack in Nagrota near Jammu, a day after Speaker rejected the demand of opposition for an obituary reference for the same incident on the grounds that final details were yet to emerge.As soon as the House assembled, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan referred to Tuesday’s incident and said the House strongly condemned the dastardly act of terrorists in which seven soldiers were martyred and several others were injured.Mahajan also expressed deep condolences to the bereaved families and wished speedy recovery of those injured.The obituary reference was made a day after Opposition members walked out of Lok Sabha as their demand for an obituary reference on the soldiers who died in the same terror attack was rejected by the Speaker on the grounds that final details were yet to emerge.

Wing tips of two taxiing planes touch each other at Mumbai airport

Wed, 30 Nov 2016-09:35pm , Mumbai , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A major mishap was averted on Wednesday when the wing tips of two aircrafts – one of them taxiing and the other on the verge of takeoff – touched each other at the city’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai.No passenger or crew member of either IndiGo or Kuwait Airways aircraft was hurt in the incident, which took place at around 0545 hours, airport sources said.Both the aircraft are now grounded and the incident has been reported to the aviation regulator DGCA, they said.Kuwait Airways’ Airbus A330 was taxiing at the runway for parking (rpt) parking while IndiGo’s Airbus A320 was taking off for Kolkata via Jaipur, they said.

Nagrota terror attack: When the bravery of two Army wives thwarted terrorists

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Bravery of the wives of two army officers who were staying in the family quarters helped in averting a major hostage crisis during the encounter that took place in Nagrota area of Jammu today.Soon after the heavily armed terrorists disguised in police uniform entered an army unit located within three kms from the headquarters of the 16 Corps, they wanted to enter the family quarters where they could take the families of the soldiers and officers hostage.However, due to the bravery of these two women, who were staying in the family quarters along with their newborns, the plans of the terrorists could not materialise.”The wives of the two army officers, who were on night duty when the encounter broke out, displayed exemplary courage as they blocked the entry of their quarters with all the household items, making it difficult for the terrorists to break into the houses,” an army officer privy to the encounter told PTI.Had the women not shown this alertness, the terrorists would have been able to take them hostage and would have succeeded in causing huge damage to the army and the families, he said.”The terrorists entered two buildings which were occupied by officers, families and men. This led to a hostage-like situation. The situation was very quickly contained and thereafter, in a deliberate operation all were successfully rescued, which included 12 soldiers, two women and two babies,” Defence spokesman Lt Col Manish Mehta said.The two babies rescued are 18 months and two months old, the officer said.However, in the rescue attempt one more officer and two jawans sacrificed their lives, the spokesman said.He said the bodies of three terrorists have been recovered and operations were in progress to sanitise the complete area.”The terrorists forced their entry into the Officers Mess complex by throwing grenades and firing at the sentries. In the initial counter action, one officer and three soldiers of the Army were martyred,” he said.The Army has not called off the operation but suspended it as they want to be fully sure that the area has been completely sanitised.”The operation is going on, we have suspended it for the night, but the area has been placed under tight cordon, the Army does not want to take any risk and we will resume the operations with the first light of the morning,” the spokesman said.

It is necessary to discuss bill, but there was an urgency: Sumitra Mahajan defends passage of IT Act

Tue, 29 Nov 2016-06:33pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Tuesday defended the passage of the bill to amend the IT Act without discussion amid protests by opposition members, saying there was urgency to pass it. She maintained that a discussion should have taken place as it was a very important bill and said opposition members, who did not participate and continued to protest, could have raised all the issues they wanted. “It would be very good if a discussion had happened. It was a very important bill. Everybody will agree that a discussion is necessary. All the issues could have been raised which they (opposition) wanted during it. I requested for it again and again. Without discussion, bill should not have been taken up but urgency is also there,” the Speaker told reporters.Asked if the continuing impasse in the Lok Sabha will break in the coming days, she said everybody is trying for it. “Impasse should break. Parliament is for debate,” she said. Amid a din, the bill which seeks to tax money deposited in banks post demonetization was passed in the House within minutes without any debate.

Demonetisation: Cash deposited in new currency can be withdrawn over weekly limit, says RBI

Mumbai: In a bid to woo bank deposits, the RBI has said people depositing money other than the old currency will now be allowed to take out that amount on top of the stipulated Rs 24,000 weekly limit.

The Reserve Bank of India notification on Monday night is aimed at encouraging people to deposit money in their bank accounts.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“It has been reported that certain depositors are hesitating to deposit their money into bank accounts in view of the current limits on cash withdrawals from accounts,” the RBI said.

“As it is impeding active circulation of currency notes, it has been decided to allow withdrawals of deposits made in current legal tender notes on or after 29 November beyond the current limits,” it said.

Preferably, available higher denominations bank notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 will be issued for such withdrawals, it added.

“Because of the current withdrawal limits, people may be holding on to cash in new Rs 500 and 2,000 or Rs 100 notes,” a RBI official told IANS.

“People are not depositing because they fear that if they do so, they will not be able to withdraw it,” the official added.

If a person deposits Rs 10,000, of which Rs 6,000 may be in old currency and Rs 4,000 in new notes or other legal tender, he can withdraw Rs 4,000 any time in addition to the Rs 24,000 weekly limit, the RBI said.

This will stand true for any amount of large deposits in legal tender made from Tuesday, the official said.

“This will be very useful for traders who receive cash in large amounts in new notes and may not be depositing it in view of withdrawal limits,” the official added.

First Published On : Nov 29, 2016 14:27 IST

BSF foils border infiltration bid in Samba district of Jammu; two militants killed

Security forces killed two militants early Tuesday morning when a group of militants tried to sneak in from Pakistan through the International Border near a border outpost in Samba district Jammu.

According to ANI, the firing is over and the area is being sanitised.

According to reports, the two militants were killed following a “heavy firing exchange” with the Border Security Force (BSF).

The BSF noticed some suspicious movement in the general area of Border Out Post Chamliyal in Samba, Jammu and Kashmir. The area was immediately cordoned off. When challenged, BSF patrol was fired upon by miscreants holed up in a tube well pumphouse, reported ANI.

According to PTI, a BSF jawan was injured in the gunbattle with the infiltrating group of militants.

The infiltration bid on the border in Jammu came amid a fierce gunbattle between security forces and heavily armed militants who opened fire on an army camp in the garrison town of Nagrota near Jammu.

— With agency inputs

First Published On : Nov 29, 2016 09:45 IST

Man arrested after trying to sneak into high security ISRO complex

Sun, 27 Nov 2016-11:20pm , Tirunelveli (TN) , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A man who attempted to sneak into the high security ISRO-run Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri, near here, was arrested on Sunday, police said.The man was spotted attempting to enter the state-of-the-art centre for ISRO’s space research programme.The security guards caught hold of him and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) officials subsequently handed him over to the police.Police said they were interrogating the man and refused to divulge further details.

Demonetization: Man held for depositing fake notes in Thane bank

Sun, 27 Nov 2016-04:21pm , Thane , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A paper scrap merchant from Ulhasnagar township in the district has been arrested for allegedly possessing counterfeit notes of the demonetized currency and depositing it in a bank, police said on Sunday.Pankaj P Kori (30) went to the Ulhasnagar branch of a leading public sector bank on November 24 and deposited cash in the now defunct Rs 500 notes worth Rs 1.05 lakh. After verification, 11 notes were found to be fake, they said. Subsequently, an offence under IPC section 489 (B) (using as genuine, forged or counterfeit currency-notes or bank-notes) was registered against him under zero category with the Ulhasnagar police station on October 25.The case was transferred to Thane Nagar police station on for further probe and Kori was arrested, police said.

J&K: CM Mufti, opposition leaders express grief over Narwal fire deaths

Sat, 26 Nov 2016-08:35pm , Jammu , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed grief over the death of three persons and gutting of around 80 hutments in Narwal area of Jammu city on Saturday.The Chief Minister expressed heartfelt sympathies with the families of three persons who were charred to death in the tragic fire incident, officials said. She has directed the divisional administration to extend all humanitarian assistance to the affected families at the earliest, they said.Opposition National Conference leaders and former chief ministers, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah too expressed grief over the incident. Describing as “most unfortunate” deaths, the two leaders conveyed their condolences to the bereaved family and expressed solidarity with all those whose dwelling units were gutted in the fire.
ALSO READ J&K: Fire in Narwal kills 4, 80 slums guttedThree persons were charred to death and as many others sustained serious burn injuries when their huts caught fire in Narwal area of Jammu city in wee hours of Saturday. Over four dozen huts were damaged in the fire which was later brought under control by deploying several fire tenders.