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Jharkhand coal mine death toll rises to 16, some still trapped | Reuters

BHUBANESWAR, India The death toll in a coal mine collapse in Jharkhand rose to 16 on Saturday and could rise further, officials said, as some people are still feared trapped at a coalfield run by state-owned Coal India Limited.The accident occurred on Thursday evening at the Lalmatia mine, one of the country’s largest, which is owned by Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL).”At night (on Friday), the rescue operation was slow due to fog,” R.R. Amitabh, a senior officer at ECL, told Reuters, adding that about 30 percent of the collapsed mine waste had been removed.Coal India has a poor safety record, with 135 accidents reported last year, killing 37 people and injuring 141, the company said in a report.

Operations at the mine in Godda district, about 280 km (175 miles) from the state capital, Ranchi, have since been stopped, Amitabh said.The state police spokesman R.K. Mullick said the number of people still trapped may be less than the nearly two dozen assumed earlier, based on the number of families who were searching for their kin.

The mine has an annual capacity of 17 million tonnes and accounts for about half of ECL’s coal production. Last month, ECL accounted for about 9 percent of Coal India’s total production of 50 million tonnes.

The federal coal ministry has ordered an investigation and announced some cash compensation to the families of miners who died in the accident. (Reporting by Jatindra Dash; Writing by Malini Menon; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Dec 31, 2016 18:12 IST

Arunachal Pradesh to have BJP govt as 33 MLAs led by Pema Khandu join party

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The political turmoil in Andhra Pradesh has taken a positive turn for the BJP as 33 MLAs of the People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh (PPA) have joined the party on Saturday.The MLAs were led by Pema Khandu who was on Thursday suspended from PPA among 10 other members.The 33 MLAs joined the BJP after a meeting today. Arunachal Pradesh now has a BJP government as the party has 2/3rd majority. The PPA, which had total 43 MLAs, had on Thursday midnight temporarily suspended Khandu, deputy chief minister Chhowna Mein and five other MLAs from the primary membership of the party for their alleged “anti-party activities”. It later suspended four other members. A total of eleven MLAs were suspended till now.The Pema Khandu government had claimed on Friday support of 49 of the 60 MLAs on Saturday , including 35 of Peoples Party of Arunachal (PPA) legislators, a day after he was suspended from his own party.Government spokesperson Bamang Felix had claimed that 35 out of the 43 PPA MLAs have reposed their faith and allegiance in the leadership of Khandu. “We have support of 49 MLAs including 35 PPA, 12 BJP along with one associate BJP member and one independent,” he claimed at a press conference here. Arunachal has been battling political instability since December last year when Congress dissidents revolted against former chief minister Nabam Tuki.After a series of dramatic developments, which included a special session held at a hotel to vote out Tuki, Congress rebel Kalikho Pul became chief minister in February with the help of 11 BJP lawmakersThe Congress then moved Supreme Court, which turned the clock back and restored Tuki’s government. But Tuki was out within days as he did not enjoy a majority in the 60-member assembly. Pul, who insisted that he be reinstated as chief minister, was left alone in the last minute when lawmakers supposedly backing him shifted their loyalties to Khandu. Pul committed suicide in August and a month later, Khandu walked out of Congress with 42 lawmakers and joined the PPA.

Mamata Banerjee extends support to Akhilesh Yadav, asks him to stay strong

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Extending her support to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee has wished him well and asked him to stay strong. Sources said, Mamata spoke to Akhilesh last evening for about three minutes.The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo’s support comes in the wake of Akhilesh’s suspension from the Samajwadi Party for six years. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav yesterday expelled Akhilesh and national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years over indiscipline.This move comes after Akhilesh had released a list of 235 candidates out of the total 403 seats for upcoming state assembly elections on Thursday, rejecting the list announced by Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday. Akhilesh’s name did not figure in the first list. Mulayam said his son being the Chief Minister, can contest from any assembly seat he wishes to.

Yadav vs Yadav Dangal: Mulayam Singh expels Akhilesh and Ram Gopal from SP for six years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav came down hard on dissidence by suspending his brother Ram Gopal Yadav for ‘indiscipline’ and son Akhilesh Yadav for six years.He was quoted saying by ANI: “Ram Gopal Yadav suspended from the party for six years for indiscipline. No one has the right to call for a national executive meet other than party Chief; by doing this you have hurt the party’s interest. CM Akhilesh Yadav doesn’t understand, Ram Gopal is trying to weaken him How can he (Ram Gopal) call for emergency national executive meet without my permission’ Normally at least 10-15 days’ notice is given.”He added: “For us party is the most important and our priority is to save the party. To save the party, we have expelled both Ram Gopal and Akhilesh Yadav for six years from the party.” He added: “I have worked really hard to make this party, what was their role in this? I work hard and they reap the fruits? Mukhyamantri main tay karunga kaun hoga. Maine akele hi party banaya thi; Inka kya yogdaan hain? Ram Gopal aur Akhilesh Yadav party khatam kar rahe hain.” On Thursday, Akhilesh released a list of 235 candidates out of a total of 403 seats for the upcoming state assembly elections, a day after his father and party supremo had released the official list, hinting at a deepening crisis within the party. Intense political activities continued at the Samajwadi Party headquarters and at the official residence of the chief minister yesterday. Akhilesh met Mulayam Singh, but as per sources, the party chief refused to make changes in the list of 325 candidates issued by him on Wednesday.According to reports, Akhilesh has removed the name of his sister-in-law Aparna Yadav from the list of candidates that will contest next year’s state assembly polls. She was earlier given a ticket by Mulayam Singh Yadav to contest from the Lucknow Cantt seat.

Jharkhand mine collapse: Nine workers dead, several feared trapped in Lalmatia colliery

Nine bodies have been recovered from a coal mine that collapsed late evening on Thursday in the Lal Matia colliery of Godda district in Jharkhand, reports said. Rescue operations are still on and several more are feared trapped inside.

“So far, nine bodies have been recovered,” RR Amitabh, a general manager at the ECL project office told Reuters.

While initial reports put the number of trapped at around 10, a CISF official told ANI that around 40-50 workers are suspected to be trapped inside the debris along with 40 vehicles of a private company operating at the site.

Coal India has a poor safety record, with 135 accidents reported last year, killing 37 people and injuring 141, the company said in a report, highlighting concern about working conditions.

IANS said that a heap of mud caved-in at the entry point of the colliery. Rescue operation could not begin due to night fog, the police said.

The incident, a government of India release said, took place at 7.30 pm on Thursday and that a control room has been set up at project office of Rajmahal Open Cast Expansion Project.

However, the exact number of people and vehicle trapped inside is not known. “This could only become clear after the rescue operation starts,” said Harilal Chauhan, Godda Superintendent of Police, earlier.

The locals said that there was a crack in the heap of mud which collapsed and blocked the entry point of the mine.

Mining operations were taking place about 200 feet beneath the ground. Though the cause of the accident is not known, the Ministry of Coal said that “prima facie…it could have been caused by a failure of the bench edge along the hidden fault line/slip”.

Police said that rescue operation is underway and that an NDRF team from Patna is already on its way to the site of the accident. It is expected to reach by noon, IANS said.

Meanwhile, according to The Indian Express, Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das directed the DGP and chief secretary to initiate relief and rescue operations at the earliest. “As of now, there are different versions of how many machines, vehicles and people are trapped. Relief and rescue operations are being initiated,” a police official told the newspaper.

Prime Minister Naredra Modi reportedly spoke with Das who announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakhs to the dead and Rs 25,000 to those injured in the accident. Das also tweeted saying:

Meanwhile, Ministry of Coal said that an Inquiry has been ordered in the incident by the director general of mines safety and CIL has constituted a high-level committee of experts to investigate into the causes of the accident. THE ECL also announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 5 lakhs each to the family of the deceased.

Some of the injured are being treated in a nearby hospital, ANI tweeted.

Mine roof collapses in Dhanbad

In another incident, four workers suffered injuries, two of them seriously, when the roof of a mine partially collapsed at Putki Balihari area in Dhanbad district on Friday, PTI reported. The mine falls under Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited.

A senior district official said the four contractual workers were taking cable to a shaft of the hydro mines in lift when a part of the roof suddenly caved in trapping them.

The four were rescued and taken to a hospital where the condition of two of them was stated to be serious, the official said.

While the cause of the collapse in the Dhanbad mine is being looked into, more details are awaited of the mine collapse in Godda district.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 17:15 IST

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee denies rioting in Dhulagarh, blames social media

Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday denied any incident of rioting at Dhulagarh in Howrah district and alleged that “wrong information” was being given on social media.

“In the last 15 days, social media is running wrong information on an incident which did not take place at all,” Banerjee said at a programme in Kolkata, in an apparent refernce to the reports of violence in Dhulagarh, which is barely 20 km from the state secretariat.

“In order to break a news one must not act irresponsibly. If something has really happened then you (media) have every right to report but I think a field survey must be conducted,” she stated.

File photo of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

File photo of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

Her remarks came even as a senior government official had said on Thursday that strict actions were taken against those involved in the Dhulagarh violence and the process of giving compensation to the affected had started. The state government, Banerjee said on Friday, is the first to help a family when their home is damaged or they are affected.

“If there is an accident, we immediately take steps to help the family…. We do it on humanitarian grounds but we do not do any publicity.”

It was learnt from sources that the state government was paying compensation of around Rs 35,000 to families whose houses were damaged in the incident.

District police said inhabitants are wary of returning to their homes at Dhulagarh.

Delegations of BJP, CPI(M) and Congress were stopped from visiting the troubled areas of the district and police superintendent of Howrah (Rural) Sabyasachi Raman Mishra was transferred in the wake of violence in less than a fortnight of his appointment.

BJP has hit out at Banerjee over the Dhulagarh incident claiming that Hindus have been targeted in the violence. “This is height of the politics of appeasement. I want to ask those intellectuals, who cried over 2002 riots in Gujarat and then intolerant India, that when are they going to Kolkata,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday.

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 16:52 IST

Demonetization broke the myth that powerful can’t be harmed: Shivraj Singh Chouhan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming the demonetization decision as “historic,” Madhya Pradesh CM, Shivraj Singh Chouhan said Prime Minister, Narendra Modi with his “courageous” call broke the myth that powerful people can’t be harmed in the country.”India witnessed a historic decision on November 8, 2016. This day has given a meaningful reply to the queries raised by the people at large on the style of functioning of governments. “Often allegations are levelled against the governments that they can not take tough decisions under pressure. They fear to take decisions that could harm powerful people,” Chouhan said in his blog on the issue on Thursday evening.”Our PM has broken the myth with his courageous decision to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes,” he said. “The decision of demonetization is historic in a way that it surprised everyone and this is the distinct feature of it. India has seen decision of demonetization twice in the history of 100 years but those decisions gave ample time to the people having black money in the form of currency to change it.”Thus the main objective of the decision was partially met. This time, however the decision did not give any time to people with black money,” the Chief Minister said. Those criticising the decision say that it could have been taken with better planning and people should have been given ample time. It is beyond my comprehension as to whom these critics are referring to when they talk of giving time to people, he wrote in the blog.”Who are those about whom critics say time should have been given to them. It is obvious that they are favouring those who had black money in the form of currency,” Chouhan said. The decision of the Prime Minister to encourage cashless transaction is to transform the country from a developing nation to a developed one. All the aspects should be examined before criticising such a move, said Chouhan.

Jharkhand mine collapse: Seven workers dead, several feared trapped in Lalmatia colliery

Seven workers have died and several more are feared trapped in a coal mine that collapsed late evening on Thursday in the Lal Matia colliery of Godda district in Jharkhand, reports said.

While initial reports put the number of trapped at around 10, a CISF official told ANI that around 40-50 workers are suspected to be trapped inside the debris along with 40 vehicles of a private company operating at the site.

IANS said that a heap of mud caved-in at the entry point of the colliery. Rescue operation could not begin due to night fog, the police said.

The incident, a government of India release said, took place at 7.30 pm on Thursday and that a control room has been set up at project office of Rajmahal Open Cast Expansion Project.

However, the exact number of people and vehicle trapped inside is not known. “This could only become clear after the rescue operation starts,” said Harilal Chauhan, Godda Superintendent of Police, earlier.

The locals said that there was a crack in the heap of mud which collapsed and blocked the entry point of the mine.

Mining operations were taking place about 200 feet beneath the ground. Though the cause of the accident is not known, the Ministry of Coal said that “prima facie…it could have been caused by a failure of the bench edge along the hidden fault line/slip”.

Police said that rescue operation is underway and that an NDRF team from Patna is already on its way to the site of the accident. It is expected to reach by noon, IANS said.

Meanwhile, according to The Indian Express, Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das directed the DGP and chief secretary to initiate relief and rescue operations at the earliest. “As of now, there are different versions of how many machines, vehicles and people are trapped. Relief and rescue operations are being initiated,” a police official told the newspaper.

Prime Minister Naredra Modi reportedly spoke with Das who announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakhs to the dead and Rs 25,000 to those injured in the accident. Das also tweeted saying:

Meanwhile, Ministry of Coal said that an Inquiry has been ordered in the incident by the director general of mines safety and CIL has constituted a high-level committee of experts to investigate into the causes of the accident. THE ECL also announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 5 lakhs each to the family of the deceased.

Some of the injured are being treated in a nearby hospital, ANI tweeted.

Mine roof collapses in Dhanbad

In another incident, four workers suffered injuries, two of them seriously, when the roof of a mine partially collapsed at Putki Balihari area in Dhanbad district on Friday, PTI reported. The mine falls under Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited.

A senior district official said the four contractual workers were taking cable to a shaft of the hydro mines in lift when a part of the roof suddenly caved in trapping them.

The four were rescued and taken to a hospital where the condition of two of them was stated to be serious, the official said.

While the cause of the collapse in the Dhanbad mine is being looked into, more details are awaited of the mine collapse in Godda district.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 13:28 IST

Uttarakhand sticks to Bhagirathi ESZ plan despite being temed ‘destructive’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite being termed as “destructive” for water resources by the union ministry, the Uttarakhand government has stuck to its zonal master plan of the Bhagirathi eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) that proposes to open up the fragile area for hydropower projects above 2 MW, mining, and roads. The last pristine stretch of Ganga flows through this ESZ.At a meeting on Thursday with the union ministry for water resources, and union ministry for environment and forest, a posse of Uttarakhand officials justified these projects and objected to water ministry’s reservations.The meeting was convened as per National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) directions which asked water resources secretary Shashi Shekhar to sit down with Uttarakhand government and environment ministry to find a way ahead on the contentious zonal master plan. Members of the ESZ expert monitoring committee and two environment ministry officials were also present during the meeting. The Tribunal is hearing a plea on effective implementation of the Bhagirathi ESZ and on compensation for victims of 2013 Uttarakhand disaster.During the meeting, Uttarakhand chief secretary S.Ramaswamy and power secretary Umakant Panwar submitted to Shashi Shekhar that they were not in agreement with the water ministry’s opposition to the hydropower projects and riverbed mining as it will hit investments. According to sources present at the meeting, Uttarakhand officials said that there was little anthropogenic pressure on the resources and even population density was low, thus making it ideal for hydropower projects.They argued that small hydropower projects are ‘white’ projects that are non polluting in nature. The state government wants Centre to allow ten hydropower projects of 82MW total capacity. In August, the environment ministry agreed to consider these projects for approval and also allowed riverbed mining up to 2m depth and road construction on steep slopes.But, DNA reported last week that these decisions were termed “disastrous” by Shashi Shekhar in a letter to the secretary, environment ministry, as they were against the provisions of the ESZ notification.Pointing out to the restrictions on road building on steep slopes and riverbed mining, the officials also said in the meeting that “special rules” were being applied to Uttarakhand, sources added. To this, expert committee member Ravi Chopra said that the restrictions were in place since the stretch of Ganga between Gaumukh and Uttar Kashi is sensitive.Responding to the state government’s submissions, water resources secretary Shashi Shekhar said that in the present form the zonal master plan is in violation of the ESZ notification and any amendments could only be done only with the approval of the union cabinet and the Parliament. Interestingly, the environment ministry, which has agreed to consider Uttarakhand government’s proposal to allow ten hydropower projects in the ESZ did not make any submission during the meeting.”The zonal master plan violates the ESZ notification and the Uttarakhand government never wanted to prepare this master plan. There is no rationale in studying the impact of hydropower projects as the notification does not allow for such kind of development,” said Mallika Bhanot, member, ESZ expert monitoring committee.

Four workers injured in mine roof collapse in Jharkhand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four workers suffered injuries, two of them seriously, when the roof of a mine partially collapsed at Putki Balihari area in Dhanbad district on Thursday.The mine falls under Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited.A senior district official said the four contractual workers were taking cable to a shaft of the hydro mines in lift when a part of the roof suddenly caved in trapping them.The four were rescued and taken to a hospital where the condition of two of them was stated to be serious, the official said.The two seriously injured were now under treatment at Central Hospital, Dhanbad while the other two were being treated at a local hospital in the neighbourhood of the mines and were out of danger, the official added.The cause of the collapse was being looked into, the official said.

Rift widens as Akhilesh meets supporters; objects to father’s list

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The war games are likely to continue within the Yadav family, a day after Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav snubbed his son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, by publicly announcing 325 candidates of the 403 assembly seats on Wednesday. The list which omitted names of candidates suggested by the UP CM, suggested that the party was in danger of splitting before the crucial polls in the state.Hectic political activities began on Thursday right from the morning as party leaders have been gathering outside the residences of Akhilesh and Mulayam and huge crowds assembled outside Mulayam’s brother Shivpal Yadav’s residence. Sources close to the UP Chief Minister said that Akhilesh was likely to announce his own list of candidates for the state polls. They also said the candidates declared by him are likely to contest on different symbols as independent candidates.”Yes, Akhilesh Yadav is likely to announce his own list of candidates for UP polls,” said SP MLA Indal Singh. Singh’s remarks came after the CM’s meeting with those of whom who had been denied tickets.The UP CM who had just arrived from Bundelkhand, convened a meeting on Thursday of his supporters and legislators who had been denied tickets. He also met ministers who were denied tickets. Among them were Pawan Pandey, Ram Govind Chaudhary and Arvind Singh ‘Gop’. Sources close to him said that in the highly charged atmosphere, several of his loyalists had asked him to defy his father and uncle Shivpal Yadav, and go ahead with his own list of candidates.Later in the day, Akhilesh met his father Mulayam, and his uncle Shivpal was also present. But the talks did not seem to have yielded the desired results.The tension before the meeting was clear as an upset Akhilesh said,”The list does not include names of certain candidates who are sure to win. I will take it up with the SP chief and tell him that some of them have done really good work and they should be given tickets.” Since then the UP CM has remained incommunicado.Akhilesh’s supporter Uday Veer Singh said, “The Chief Minister has always fought for justice and he will continue to do so.” Singh however refused to comment on whether a new party would be formed.The list Mulayam unveiled on Wednesday, included 176 sitting MLAs. It not only left out several pro-Akhilesh ministers, but also did not carry the names of over 50 sitting MLAs. On the other hand, 10 ministers, including Shivpal, who had been sacked by the Chief Minister, over the past few months, got tickets. These former ministers were in open defiance of Akhilesh and it had paid off.In a late night tit-for-tat action, the Chief Minister had struck back, sacking two Shivpal loyalists — Surabhi Shukla, vice-chairperson of UP Awas Vikas Parishad and her husband Sandeep Shukla from the post of advisor of Rajkiya Nirman Nigam. Sandeep has been fielded from Sultanpur Sadar seat.Mulayam had also ignored Akhilesh’s objections to certain names, like Sigbatullah Ansari, brother of jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari, and Atiq Ahmed who faces over 40 criminal cases including that for murder. The list also included tainted minister Gayatri Prajapati, whose sacking and re-induction as minister exposed the factional infighting in the ruling party.The SP supremo also made clear his differences with Akhilesh on the issue of a pre-poll alliance by ruling out any pact for a grand alliance. He even refused to project a chief ministerial candidate, dealing a serious blow to his son at a time when polls are to be announced very soon.A senior party leader said that by taking on political dons and criminals, Akhilesh was attempting to grow bigger than his party. The party leader also admitted that the chief minister’s image was getting bigger by the day but also added that the image was yet to grow as big as his father’s — who has the ability to turn political fortunes at the elections.

Crisis in Arunachal: PPA suspends CM Khandu and six others from primary membership

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In a fast-paced development, the Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) late on Thursday night suspended Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and five other party MLAs from the primary membership of the party temporarily with immediate effect for alleged anti-party activities.The five other MLAs are Jambey Tashi (Lumla), Passang Dorjee Sona (Mechuka), Chow Tewa Mein (Chowkham), Zingnu Namchom (Namsai) and Kamlung Mossang (Miao). PPA President Kahfa Bengia in an order stated that by virtue of the power vested in him by the Constitution of the party and the resolution adopted in the state executive committee meeting held on December 20, the MLAs are placed under suspension temporarily from the primary membership with immediate effect pending initiation of disciplinary proceedings.Bengia said prima facie he was satisfied with the proofs of their indulgence in gross “anti-party” activities. The order further stated that with the suspension, Khandu ceased to be the leader of the PPA Legislature Party.He directed the party MLAs and PPA functionaries not to attend any meeting called by Khandu and said that any members failing to comply with the order would have to face disciplinary action of the party.Bengia, in a letter to Assembly Speaker T Norbu Thongdok requested him to declare the suspended MLAs as unattached members of the House and arrange separate sitting for them in the House. He further requested the Speaker to communicate the development to the Governor

NSE’s IPO under cloud, but unlikely to be derailed | Reuters

By Abhirup Roy and Rafael Nam

MUMBAI The disclosure by the National Stock Exchange that some high-frequency trading brokers may have been provided unfair access to its servers is unlikely to derail the Indian bourse operator’s IPO plans, a senior regulatory source and investors said on Thursday.In its draft initial public offering prospectus, India’s biggest exchange said an external panel had found potential instances of some traders having preferential access to its network through co-location facilities – where private servers are placed at exchanges to speed up algorithmic trading.The NSE said the agency found certain employees may have been involved in providing that access, though it could not determine whether there was any collusion.The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is studying the potential violations, but an official at the capital market regulator said, for now, it would be hard to justify steep penalties against the NSE.”The IPO is totally a disclosure based regime. The NSE has already made adequate disclosures, and they can go ahead,” the SEBI official said, asking not to be named as he was not authorized to talk to the media – though he added that no final decision had been made.The NSE’s IPO could raise as much as $1 billion next year, bankers have estimated, making it India’s largest in six years.An NSE spokesman said the disclosure in the IPO prospectus pertained to “legacy issues”, adding the exchange operator had submitted the full report to the SEBI.

One NSE shareholder, who is among the 27 investors planning to sell shares during the IPO, said the company will have to fix its problems and make sure they don’t recur.A senior NSE official said the exchange was reviewing its trading systems, and looking to standardise procedures.TOUGHER HFT RULES?

The suspected trading violations have been a concern for the SEBI for some months, and come as the NSE has grappled with governance issues.Earlier this year, the exchange operator appointed Ashok Chawla, a former anti-competition commissioner, as chairman, and reconstituted its board. Several people said then that he had been brought in to help shore up the company’s corporate governance standards.The NSE is also scouting for a new CEO after Chitra Ramkrishna resigned last month, citing personal reasons.

The SEBI had ordered the NSE to appoint an external agency probe after a committee appointed by the regulator found sufficient grounds for further investigation.The issue could also spur the SEBI to tighten rules on brokers’ access to increasingly prevalent algorithmic and high-frequency trading.The NSE said on Wednesday it had set aside all revenue generated by co-location facilities over the past two and a half years. That came to 13.1 billion rupees ($192.5 million), or close to 30 percent of its revenue during that period.The SEBI official said the regulator was unlikely to force the NSE to give up that revenue unless it could prove the potential trading violations cited in the report.($1 = 68.0600 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Abhirup Roy and Rafael Nam; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Dec 29, 2016 22:31 IST

UP IAS officer Sanjeev Dubey allegedly commits suicide in Lucknow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior IAS officer Sanjeev Dubey on Thursday committed suicide by hanging himself at his residence in Lucknow, police said.His body was found by his family members at his 14, Gautampalli residence in Lucknow.The 1987-batch Uttar Pradesh cadre officer was posted as Principal Secretary in the Home Guard department and had held several important posts.Dubey has left behind a suicide note highlighting health problems as a reason behind his extreme step, police sources said, adding he was suffering from several painful health conditions like osteoporosis Sources close to him said he was under depression for past several months due to illness.Police said the matter came to light when he did not open the door of his residence till late in the day. Meanwhile, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav condoled Dubey’s demise even as senior officials, including DGP Javeed Ahmed and Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar visited his house.

Congress rattled at prospect of govt going after illegal money: Venkaiah Naidu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Accusing Congress of trying to “tar” the government’s image by calling demonetization a scam, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said the note ban move was an “anti-scam vaccine” but the opposition party is rattled at the prospect of the government going after illegal money.The I&B minister said the inconvenience that has been caused because of shortage of currency notes would decline further in January and the situation would rapidly improve thereafter.Naidu said that the government was trying to usher in cleanliness in all aspects of the society and this massive exercise is a form of ‘yagna’ and there could be inconvenience. “Some asuras are always trying disturb the peace during the yagna. But this Prime Minister is determined, he wants to make this transformation of India a reality,” he told reporters in New Delhi.
ALSO READ Congress should introspect its contribution to ills like corruption and black money: BJPNaidu said that while critics had claimed that Narendra Modi had mounted a tiger, he also knows how to dismount a tiger as he had done so many times in the past.He said that the Prime Minister has provided a “scandal-free government” in the last two-and-a-half years as per the mandate of 2014 and demonetization was a part of a grand strategy to usher in transparency.Demonetization was an “anti-scam vaccine introduced by the Prime Minister to prevent scams from taking place, to curb corruption and black money generation”, he said.He claimed that Congress and its friends are making baseless allegations and are “rattled by the prospect of the government going after those who made illegal deposits in banks and bought benami properties”.Claiming that politics of “spit and run” will not work, Naidu said that the government will not be distracted by “diversionary tactics.” “It will only further strengthen the resolve of the government to trace every trail of corruption over the last seven decades,” he claimed.Naidu also emphasised that the government aims to catch unscrupulous people who have tried to misuse the system and that legitimacy of big deposits will be scrutinised. The minister stressed that the government will not rest till the last rupee in black money is accounted for. Attacking Congress, Naidu said that while the party was claiming that demonetization was benefiting only the 1% who are rich, it should answer on why 99% people continue to be poor despite its long rule. He said that during the last one year, the government has initiated a series of steps aimed at benefiting the common man.The minister said that scandal-free governance, effective inflation management, increased FDI, enhanced pace of infrastructure creation, stepped up economic growth rate despite adversities, financial inclusion, transparent resource allocation, increased accountability and transparency in governance, positive macro-economic parameters among others have been the major outcomes of the efforts of the Modi dispensation in the past two-and-a-half years.On the tourism front, he said that there has been a notable growth in the comparative figures of foreign tourist arrival (FTA), foreign exchange earning (FEEs) and online sale of e tickets after demonetization.Regarding the agriculture sector, Naidu said that despite apprehensions about demonetization adversely impacting Rabi sowing, the overall sowing across the country surpassed 573.42 lakh hectares, which is higher than the average sowing area for the last five years. He said that Rabi sowing has increased by close to 6.37% this year.Referring to the railways, the minister said that earnings from cashless ticketing has increased 30% and the number of people booking reserved tickets online using credit and debit cards or online transaction which was at 58% in November, has now crossed 75%.Naidu also said that the prices of pulses were coming down while ease of doing business ranking improved from 142 to 130 at the global level.

Want to ‘amicably’ resolve all issues including Kashmir with India: Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan on Thursday said it wants to “amicably” resolve all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, with India even as it underlined that no country can unilaterally revoke the Indus Waters Treaty.Kashmir dispute is the “bone of contention” between Pakistan and India, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said at the weekly news briefing here as he appealed to the international community to “play its due role” in resolving the longstanding issue. “We want to amicably resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir with India,” he added.In his opening remarks during the briefing, which was this year’s last, Zakaria said: “We condemn unabated violation of UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir by India.” Amid reports India reviewed the Indus Waters Treaty following the Uri terror attack, he said the accord cannot be altered or suspended unilaterally. No country can abrogate the treaty, he said, adding Pakistan is keeping an eye on the evolving situation and it would follow its strategy in case of any violation of the historic accord.”We will assess India’s activities within the framework of the Indus Waters Treaty,” he was quoted as saying by the Radio Pakistan. Pointing out that there is an arbitration mechanism to resolve the dispute regarding implementation of the treaty, he said many disputes related to it were resolved amicably in the past.

No intention to ban cash transaction under ‘cashless concept’, says govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>State government has submitted before the Goa Human Rights Commission (GHRC) that it has not made any attempt to ban cash transaction under the ‘cashless society concept’, but instead wanted to facilitate business through alternate mode of payments.The government’s statement comes in response to a complaint filed by social activist Aires Rodrigues with the GHRC against a government circular, issued on November 30, seeking to make all business establishments in the state to opt for cashless transaction.”No attempts have been made to cut or stop payments using cash. State government is merely facilitating alternative modes of payment,” Commissioner, Commercial Taxes department Dipak Bandekar stated in the affidavit filed before GHRC on Thursday.The case was adjourned till January 23, 2017, for next the hearing.In the affidavit, Bandekar further stated that the circular of November 30 was only an appeal for people to go for electronic payment. In his complaint filed earlier this month, Rodrigues said that “in absolute and gross violation of human rights, Goa government had very high-handedly and without application of mind decided that the state go cashless.” The complaint also pointed out that use of cash is not prohibited anywhere in the world, even in those countries where substantial transactions happen through cash-less avenues.

Struggling since four years, Nirbhaya’s parents await justice

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The parents of December 16 gang-rape victim on Thursday expressed their anguish over the country’s justice system and said it is extremely unfortunate that tough legal action has not yet been initiated against the convicts despite four years after the incident.”We have been struggling for four years, but still the convicts are alive,” said Asha Devi, the victim’s mother, while hoping that the Supreme Court would very soon pronounce a favourable judgement.She also expressed her ire at the BJP-led NDA Government for renaming the ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ as ‘Sakhi’.”It was announced that Nirbhaya crisis centre would be set up in every district with the funds collected so far, but now we get to know that the name of this fund has been changed to Sakhi,” she added.She urged Union Women and Child Development Minister Meneka Gandhi not to change the name of this fund named in honour of her daughter.”I will not get anything from the crisis centre, but the government by doing so is actually suppressing the voices of the rape victims. I want to ask the government why the name ‘Nirbhaya’ has been removed,” she said.The victim’s mother further called for a change in mindset to ensure that such unfortunate incident never ever takes place with any ‘Nirbhaya’.”We all must join hands to bring a change in society for the better. We all must learn to respect women,” she added.

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.

Removed after IT raids, Rama Mohana Rao says, I am Chief Secy of Tamil Nadu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu’s top bureaucrat P. Rama Mohana Rao who was removed after tax raids at his home and office on Tuesday, said that he is still the Chief Secretary of the state, and claimed that his life was in danger.Speaking to the media, Rama Mohana Rao said, “I will hand over to you the panchanama of what income tax department has found in my house. I was under house arrest. It is an unconstitutional assault on the office of Chief Secretary. I am still the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu.”After the raids, senior IAS officer Girija Vaidyanathan was appointed as the Chief Secretary of the state on Thursday (December 22), replacing Rao.Stating that when the CRPF entered his house, his name was not there in the search warrant, he added, “The search warrant had name of my son. They have found nothing, no incriminate documents were found, no secret chamber.””At gun point, CRPF entered my house, my son’s house. Why did they do? I may be a big hurdle for many. I am being targeted. I have fear, my life is in danger,” he said.Rama Mohana Rao also said that they (government) had no guts to serve him with the copy of transfer order.Questioning where the state government was and who gave the CRPF the go-ahead to enter his house, he asked, “If madam (Jayalalithaa) had been alive, would this happen to Tamil Nadu? What about people’s security?”

Maha politicians among 11 arrested with fake demonetized notes worth Rs 1.35 crore, original notes worth Rs 1.80 lakh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>11 persons have been arrested for bearing fake notes of old denomination in Rs 500 and Rs 1000 to the worth of Rs 1.35 crores and original notes in the similar denomination to the worth of 1.80 lakh. These were being carried with intentions of exchange of notes fraud, the police said.According to the Nashik city police, the Income Tax department had some information regarding some illegal exchange notes and frauds through it. While the department was working on the information it asked for help from the Nashik city police and three vehicles were caught in the intervening night of Thursday and Friday on December 23, 2016 around 1.30 am. “The police got information that vehicles were moving from Dhule towards Nashik and a barricade was laid at Jatra hotel on the highway in the city. Three vehicles including a MH-15, CM-7002, MH-4 EF – 9701, and MH -15 FH – 2111 were checked at this point.The vehicles had 11 persons and it was found that gunny bags full of currency were kept in the vehicles. All the 11 persons were held and the vehicles along with the currency were seized”, senior PI Sanjay Sanap, Adgaon police station said. Among those who have been held are Sandip Raste, , Rakesh Karkhur from Thane, Ishwar Parmar, Nilesh Layase, Gautam Jadhav, and Praveen Mandhare all from Mumbai, Prabhakar Gharate, Santosh Gaikwad, Ramrao Patil and Chabu Nagre all from Nashik and Ramesh Pangarkar from Sinnar. While Chabu Nagre is the existing president of the NCP’s youth wing in Nashik, Ramrao Patil is also affiliated to NCP.Pangarkar is said to have political affiliation with his brother being a leader of a political party and being enquired in another case of exchange of notes filed a few days back in Nashik by the Income Tax department. Others from Pune and Mumbai are said to be businessmen. Speaking to the media about the case, Commissioner of Police, Nashik , Dr Ravinder Singal said that prima facie it is understood that the notes were to be used for exchange of currency through needy people on commission basis. However the police is investigating as to where the notes came from, where were they being carried, to whom were they to be given to, the modus operandi of the operation. Police also said that primarily it appears that the fake notes have been printed in Nashik but other details of printing, machines, ink are yet to be obtained. The police have filed a case under 489 (B), (C), (D), (E), 120B, 34 for use of counterfeit notes.

Let Centre complete Agusta probe, nail culprits under law: AK Antony

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former defence minister AK Antony on Thursday said let the Centre complete the investigation into the Agustawestland Scam and bring the guilty to book.”In our time, when we found something wrong, we only ordered an enquiry, cancelled the contract, fought in Italy and won. So, let them complete the probe. This Government has been there for two-and-a-half years; they must complete the enquiry and bring the guilty to justice.” Antony said.The Delhi Court had earlier adjourned the hearing on the bail plea of former air chief SP Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and businessman-cum-lawyer Gautam Khaitan in the AgustaWestland chopper scam case till December 23.”All evidences asked by ED or CBI have been provided. Details of properties, bank accounts and foreign trips were handed over,” said the former air chief’s counsel.The Patiala House court on December 17 had remanded the trio to judicial custody till December 30 as their CBI custody ended.Also, The CBI had moved court seeking a 10-day custody to interrogate Tyagi and the other accused in the case.Tyagi has been accused of influencing the deal in favour of AgustaWestland during his tenure as the IAF chief.He has, however, repeatedly denied the allegations.

Lunch pe charcha: When PM Modi brought his own tiffin to lunch with booth workers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday brought his own tiffin to lunch with BJP booth workers’ in Varanasi where he addressed a rally and shared his own experiences.”Everyone including PM Shri Narendra Modi brought their own tiffins and had discussion over a meal,” said BJP on Twitter.It also added that ‘such equality’ was possible only in BJP.The party said that Modi interacted and had lunch with more than 26,000 booth workers belonging to over 1700 booths in Varanasi.On his first visit to his Lok Sabha constituency since demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked BJP cadres in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh to tell people about the central government’s initiatives.Modi, who interacted with party cadres and had lunch with them, sought to enthuse them by sharing his own experiences and telling them how he rose through the ranks, according to Piysh Vardhan Singh Rajkumar, co-convener of the BJP’s IT cell for Kashi region.This was Modi’s first visit to his constituency Varanasi since announcing demonetization decision on November 8.(With PTI inputs)

West Bengal: BJP sends delegation to violence-hit Dhulagarh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A three-MP delegation of BJP will visit Dhulagarh in West Bengal on Saturday to look into incidents of violence, the party said on Friday claiming that its supporters and members of a particular community have been targeted.The delegation includes Satyapal Singh, a Lok Sabha member and former Mumbai Police Commissioner; Jagdambika Pal, also a Lok Sabha member, and Roopa Ganguly, a Rajya Sabha member from West Bengal. West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh will join the delegation once it reaches the state, party leaders said.BJP has alleged that the minority wing of the ruling Trinamool Congress has targeted Hindus in the area in Howrah district for their support to the saffron party. West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Thursday enquired from the state Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purakayastha about the law and order situation there.According to information received from the Governor’s residence, Purakayastha briefed Tripathi on the matter. “The governor asked the DGP to ensure peace and law and order in the area and to take strict action against the culprits,” a release issued by the Raj Bhavan said on Thursday.Tension erupted in Dhulagarh when two groups reportedly clashed as a procession was brought out in the area last week.As per a senior officer at the Howrah Commissionerate, police had to use tear gas to bring the situation under control when the groups hurled bombs at each other.

Manipur blockade | ‘This is humanitarian crisis’: Centre asks state govt to end ‘worrisome’ conditions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre on Friday reviewed the situation in Manipur in the wake of the crippling economic blockade of a highway, with Union Minister Kiren Rijiju asking the state government to end the “worrisome” conditions that have triggered a “humanitarian crisis”.At a high level meeting attended by the Union Minister of State for Home Rijiju, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and senior officials of the central and Manipur governments, the situation in the state was discussed threadbare.Rijiju, who is on a day-long trip to Manipur as a central emissary, stressed that the Manipur government must discharge is “constitutional duties” by ending the blockade and bring back normalcy in state.The blockade on National Highway 2 by United Naga Council (UNC) has been continuing since November 1 crippling normal life in the landlocked state.The UNC has been protesting against the creation of seven new districts in the state.”This is a humanitarian crisis. We want that the Manipur government end the blockade as early as possible. Whatever assistance from the central government is required, we will give,” Rijiju said.”There is a constitutional duty of the state government to bring back normalcy and they should ensure that there is no blockade along the highway,” he told PTI.The Minister of State for Home Affairs, said the ground situation in Manipur continues to be worrisome and the Central government wants that law and order prevail in the state.”I will talk to the state government and will try to find out a solution,” he said.Rijiju said the prices of essential commodities have gone up due to the economic blockade and people have been suffering a lot.So we want the problem to resolves as early as possible, he added.Home Minister Rajnath Singh had on Thursday told Manipur Chief Minister that there has been extremely distressing situation caused by the continuous blockade of National Highway-2, which has caused an acute shortage of essential and other goods in Manipur and breakdown of law and order.The landlocked state has been experiencing severe hardship in supply of essential items since November 1 after United Naga Council (UNC) imposed an indefinite economic blockade on the two national highways that serve as lifeline for the state.

Two-day GST Council meet to end today: Key points over the vexed dual control issue

The two-day GST Council meet that began on Thursday (22 December) and will continue today would take forward the discussion on the remaining 7 chapters of the model GST law.

The council headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, which is meeting for the seventh time so far, will also take up the dual control issue and try to iron out differences on the vexed issue of jurisdiction over assessees in the new indirect tax regime.

Consensus has so far eluded on the model GST law in the previous meetings of the all-powerful GST Council. The subsequent GST legislations — CGST, IGST and compensation law — could not be introduced in the Winter session of Parliament that ended last week, and this has threatened the April 2017 rollout target of the GST.

Experts now say that implementation of GST should be postponed by three months to July next year as industry would need time to prepare their IT infrastructure.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Although, the Centre plans to implement the GST from 1 April, due to Constitutional compulsion the GST now could be rolled out by 16 September next year as the existing indirect taxes will come to an end, and it would not be possible for either Centre or the states to collect indirect taxes.

Day one of the two-day Council meet ended on Thursday with no discussion on dual control but discussed the GST bills.

However, Friday’s meeting will be important as the integrated GST Bill will discuss the contentious issue over the dual control of assessees. Besides this, the three GST bills – Central GST (cGST), Integrated GST and State Compensation Law – need to be approved by the Council before they can be tabled in the Parliament.

Failure to get a consensus on the issue would make it impossible for the government to implement the ambitious indirect tax reform from its target date of 1 April 2017, said a report in the Mint.

Already, finance minister Arun Jaitley has been emphasising that the luxury of time is not available for the GST implementation for the reason that if 1 April 2017, is the first possible day it can be implemented, then the last date also is constitutionally defined as 16 September, 2017.
“So the discretion as to when to implement is only five months and 16 days and that’s why we don’t have the luxury of time because after five months, the curtains will come down on the old taxation powers,” Jaitley had said earlier.

The dual control has been a sticking point between the Centre and the states, which has so far delayed consensus amongst the council members.

Here are the key points over this vexed issue.

1) The government wants to weigh on the pros and cons on the issues of cross empowerment to ensure single interface under GST, which will subsume excise, service tax, VAT and other local levies.

2) Dual control pertains to the issue of administration of transactions above Rs 1.5 crore. At the September meeting, it was decided that states would have exclusive jurisdiction over transactions below Rs 1.5 crore. For transactions above this amount, it was decided that a mechanism would be worked out to ensure that the same transaction would not be subject to dual audit/inspection by the centre and the state. This has resulted in tug of war between the Centre and states and has become a contentious issue.

3) State governments of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu and Kerala want exclusive control over small taxpayers below Rs 1.5 crore threshold. While the Centre has agreed to forego control on goods, but it is not yielding on services.

4) The GST council also arrived at an option of two proposals– horizontal division and vertical division to overcome the issue. a) Horizontal Division means tax payers would be divided both for administrative and audit purposes based on a cut off turnover. Those with a turnover over Rs 1.5 crore would be administered both by the Centre and states, while those with below Rs 1.5 crore would be administered solely by the state. b) The Vertical Division based on ratios assigns tax payers to a tax administration, Centre or state, for a period of 3 years for all purposes including audit. Tax payers could be divided in a ratio which would balance the interest of the Centre and the state, both with respect to revenue and spread of numbers.

5) The Centre, however, feels that horizontal division would be lopsided as 93 percent of Service Tax assessees and 85 percent of the VAT tax payers have a turnover below Rs 1.5 crore.

6) Last month, GST Council had failed to reach any conclusion on the dual control issue as states objected to non-availability of updated data on assessees of service tax, excise and VAT.

7) The updated figures shared by the Centre with the states shows the likely taxpayer base in GST would be 107 lakh, of which states account for 67 percent (71.7 lakh) and Centre is estimated to account for 33 percent (35.3 lakh). There are around 81.4 lakh VAT dealers, out of which active dealers are 66.5 lakh. For service tax, there are 38 lakh assessees, out of which 26 lakh are active assessees, while there are around 4,00,000 assessees for excise. Around 4,00,000 taxpayers are common to the Centre and the states, The Indian Express report said.

With PTI inputs

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 12:56 IST

Rajasthan ATS officer shoots himself, woman’s body found next to him

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 42-year-old cop who was recently posted in the Anti-Terror Squad has been found dead in Rajasthan in the front seat of his official car on Thursday night, reports NDTV.Superintendent of Police Ashish Prabhakar allegedly shot himself with is revolver in his car. A body of a woman in her early thirties was also found next to him. The car was parked on a road outside Jaipur. A note allegedly written by Prabhakar asking forgiveness from his wife was found by the police. According to the police, the apparent reasons for his suicide seem to be family issues.Prabhakar was posted a month ago in the ATS and was given administrative work.

BJP using Shivaji memorial event to market PM Modi, CM Fadnavis: Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress on Thursday accused the BJP-led Maharashtra government of trying to derive a political mileage from a scheduled foundation stone laying ceremony of Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial, which will be performed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”Government is spending Rs 18 crore for publicity of the event. The money is being used for marketing Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image.”Instead of wasting money on marketing the two leaders, the amount should be utilised for construction of the memorial,” Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Ashok Chavan told reporters.Against the backdrop of the BJP touting the project as “vachanpurti” or fulfilment of their electoral promise, Chavan said it was the Congress which had made the commitment for the construction of the memorial in their poll manifesto.”When we assured this in our manifesto the BJP never spoke about it. We even made the budgetary provision for the project. BJP is politicising the event. Fishing community has some reservations and the government should resolve them,” he added.

Sheena Bora murder case: Indrani denied interim bail, but can attend post-death rituals of father

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The special CBI court in Mumbai on Thursday rejected the interim bail application of Indrani Mukerjea, prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, for conducting post-death rituals of her father in Assam. The court however allowed her to attend rituals anywhere in Mumbai, including at her residence, on December 27.Indrani’s father Upendra Bora died on December 15. Special judge HS Mahajan said Indrani shall be taken out of the Byculla jail in Mumbai in the morning under a police escort and brought back to jail by 7 PM. She shall not speak to the media during this time, the judge said.Indrani had sought interim bail for visiting Assam for the rituals, but CBI opposed her request. The agency produced an e-mail sent by Indrani’s son Mikhail to CBI, saying he did not want her to visit Guwahati. Mikhail, an important witness in the case, said in the mail that his grandfather was bed-ridden for the past one year and he was looking after both his grandparents for the last three years without any financial and psychological support from Indrani.
ALSO READ Sheena Bora murder case: Peter was part of conspiracy from start, says CBIHis grandparents had legally adopted him as their son and he has already commenced the post-death rituals, he said. “Indrani has been accused of murdering my elder sister Sheena Bora and ruining my family. Therefore it is my utmost plea that I don’t want Indrani to come to Guwahati and visit me as this will create chaos and unnecessary disturbance in my life due to media and other persons, and will hamper post-death rituals of my grandfather,” Mikhail said.CBI also said that Indrani’s intention was to influence prosecution witnesses and there was also a possibility that she might try to escape from custody. Indrani’s lawyer then said she may be allowed to conduct the rituals in Mumbai.

Kolkata: Arrested businessman Parasmal Lodha no stranger to controversies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All attention turned to the palatial five-storied Lodha House at Queens Park in South Kolkata’s posh Ballygunge area on Thursday morning, after the arrest of Kolkata-based businessman Parasmal Lodha by officials of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at Mumbai airport.Lodha is alleged to have helped business tycoons in south India convert about Rs 25 crore of their unaccounted money in demonetized denominations into legal tenders, against a commission, through hawala routes.Sources said that he had been on the ED radar and officials had visited his residence two times earlier this week before he was finally arrested late last night while trying to leave the country. The agency also recovered Rs 2.6 lakh from his possession, in new currency notes.“We are hopeful that his arrest will give us new leads into others from Kolkata involved in the racket of converting illegal currency notes into new ones,” said a senior official.He said that officials who had come to Lodha’s residence had found that he had shifted to New Delhi in 2010 and used to visit his Queens Park residence once a month. “He had come to Kolkata last week and had left last Friday,” the official said.The residence was known to have been done up luxuriously and housed a collection of antiques. Officials said that Lodha’s wife was out of town, his two daughters were married and the house was taken care of by a staff of six members, including a driver and a caretaker.One of Lodha’s business associates, on the condition of anonymity, said that Lodha would hardly mingle with the business community in Kolkata and had run into controversies before. “He had been known for his association with several building projects where floors have been added illegally. Lodha had also been questioned by investigators after the Stephen Court fire on Park Street in March 2010, which killed 43 people,” he said. It had also been alleged that Lodha was involved in adding extra floors to building such as Bagaria Market and Nicco House.Parasmal 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 that 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 is believed that he had shifted base to Delhi after finding the antique market more lucrative there.

Despite bitter-sweet experiences, we did a good job in Delhi with Najeeb Jung: Manish Sisodia

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described the resignation of Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Thursday as a “surprise” move while his deputy Manish Sisodia said working with him was a “bitter-sweet” experience, but the AAP government and Jung did a “good job in Delhi together”. Kejriwal and Sisodia spoke to Jung over phone and wished him luck for his future. The Delhi Chief Minister said it was “good” working with him. “Jung’s resignation is a surprise to me. My best wishes in all his future endeavours,” Kejriwal tweeted.The Deputy CM said, “I spoke to him (Jung) who told me he was feeling tired and wanted to work for education. During the 49-day regime as well, we had bitter-sweet experience with him. In health, education, electricity, we and the L-G worked together.” “Despite all the bitter-sweet experiences, I can say that together with Najeeb Jung we have good job for Delhi,” he tweeted.
ALSO READ Jung’s tenure ‘disgraceful’, worked at the behest of Modi: Kumar Vishwas On being asked about names of Puducherry’s Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi and former Delhi police chief BS Bassi doing the rounds for the post of the Delhi L-G, Sisodia said it is prerogative of Centre to depute Lt Governor. “We want cooperation from the Centre. We will fight for the people’s interest if there is no cooperation from the Centre,” he said.
ALSO READ From Kejriwal to Maken: Politicians react to Najeeb Jung’s resignationHowever, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party slammed Jung, saying he worked under the “influence” of the Modi dispensation. “Good wishes to Najeeb Jung for his future endeavour. God should give some good sense to them who controlled him. Will the war continue even after Jung’s (exit)?” Delhi minister Kapil Mishra said.Senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas termed Jung’s tenure “disgraceful”. Vishwas alleged the L-G troubled the Delhi government at the behest of Modi dispensation and took a jibe saying Jung would get a “better posting”.
ALSO READ Black chapter for women in Delhi over: DCW chief Swati Maliwal hails ‘tyrant’ Jung’s resignation “The Modi government promotes its people. We hope, he gets a better posting after this. I am unhappy that his tenure was disgraceful. Now that he has gone, good luck to him.””Najeeb Jung’s behaviour was not his. He was under the influence of someone. We hope the next L-G gives priority to issues concerning people and does not work under anyone’s influence,” Vishwas said.In a sudden move, Jung resigned on Thursday amid a bitter confrontation with the AAP government. Without citing reasons, Jung’s office said he has submitted his resignation to the Centre. 65-year-old Jung, a former IAS officer, had assumed charge of Lt Governor of Delhi on July 9, 2013.

Jung’s tenure ‘disgraceful’, worked at the behest of Modi: Kumar Vishwas

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described the resignation of Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Thursday as a surprise even as AAP took a jibe at the LG, saying he worked under the “influence” of the Narendra Modi dispensation. The AAP also questioned whether the power tussle between the Centre and Delhi government will continue even after the appointment of a new LG.Kejriwal said Jung’s resignation is a surprise to him and wished him for his future endeavours. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, despite the “sweet bitter” experience, the AAP government and Jung did a good job in Delhi. “Good wishes to Najeeb Jung for his future endeavour. God should give some good sense to them who controlled him. Will the war continue even after Jung’s (exit)?” Delhi minister Kapil Mishra said.Senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas termed Jung’s tenure “disgraceful”. Vishwas alleged that the LG troubled the Delhi government at the behest of Modi dispensation, but took a jibe saying Jung would get a better posting. “Modi government promotes its people. We hope, he gets a better posting after this. I am unhappy that his tenure was disgraceful. Now that he has gone, good luck to him. Najeeb Jung’s behaviour was not his. He was under the influence of someone. We hope the next LG gives priority to issues concerning people and does not work under anyone’s influence,” Vishwas said.
ALSO READ Jung resigns: Kejriwal ‘surprised’, MHA cluelessIn a sudden move, Jung resigned on Thursday amid a bitter confrontation with the AAP government. Without citing reasons, Jung’s office said he has submitted his resignation to the Centre. 65-year-old Jung, a former IAS officer, had assumed charge of Lt Governor of Delhi on July 9, 2013.

Rs 2,000 notes worth Rs 1.34 cr seized from gang in Chennai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) sleuths have seized Rs 1.34 crore in new Rs 2,000 denomination besides foreign currencies from a gang of five persons at the airport in Chennai.Acting on specific input that a gang was involved in smuggling of foreign exchange out of India, the DRI Chennai zone officials intercepted five persons outside the Anna International airport here in the wee hours of Thursday, an official release said.During a search of the baggage carried by the gang, it was found containing Rs 1.34 crore in new currency of Rs 2,000 notes and foreign currencies of over US $7,000 (equivalent to Rs 4.76 lakh), which were seized, the release said.”Further investigation is on,” it said.Yesterday, the DRI officials had seized 12 lakh foreign cigarettes, worth Rs 1.63 crore, that arrived at V O Chidambaranar Port in Tuticorin, by a container from United Arab Emirates.

Tamil Nadu: Day after IT raids, Rao dropped, Girija Vaidyanathan appointed as new Chief Secretary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the Income tax department conducted raids, Tamil Nadu government on Thursday appointed Girija Vaidyanathan as the new Chief Secretary in place of P Rama Mohana Rao.”Dr Girija Vaidyanathan IAS, Additional Chief Secretary/ Commissioner of Land Administration, is transferred and posted as Chief Secretary to Government, vice Dr P Ramamohana Rao,” a Public (Special A) Department order dated December 22 said.In perhaps the first case of a top bureaucrat being raided, the house and office of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary was on Wednesday searched by Income Tax officials and recovered Rs 48 lakh cash in new notesThe IT action came in connection with a case related to the biggest cash haul of new notes post demonetization after the department raided some sand mining operators of Tamil Nadu here.The search locations included the residence of Rao, his kin and associates, besides his chamber at the Secretariat.

Manipur: Curfew imposed in Imphal East district in view of continued violence

Sun, 18 Dec 2016-08:14pm , Imphal , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Curfew was imposed on Sunday in certain parts of Imphal East district of Manipur in view of continued violence in the region following Friday’s triple blasts. The curfew comes into force from this noon and covers Porompat and Sawombung subdivisions of Imphal East district and will continue till further directions, an order issued by the District Magistrate said.The government’s decision to clamp the curfew follows the shutting down of mobile internet services in Imphal West district to halt spreading of rumours through social networking sites. The landlocked state has been experiencing severe hardship in supply of essential items since November 1 after United Naga Council (UNC) imposed an indefinite economic blockade on the two national highways that serve as lifeline for the state. The blockade was imposed following the state government’s announcement of formation of seven new districts, four of which have been formally inaugurated.Tension in the state heightened after suspected militants continued their violent attacks on Manipur Police and other state forces in the last few days that left three policemen dead and 14 others injured last Thursday. The attack was followed by triple bomb blasts at Nagaram area in Imphal West district allegedly by Manipur Naga People’s Front on Friday. In another incident, suspected militants overpowered a small outpost of Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) at Nungkao area on Saturday in Tamenglong district and fled with nine service weapons.

Chennai: Rahul Gandhi to meet ailing Karunanidhi today

Sat, 17 Dec 2016-09:45am , Chennai , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will meet the ailing DMK president M Karunanidhi on Saturday, who underwent tracheostomy at the Kauvery Hospital here to optimise his breathing.On Thursday night, the former chief minister was admitted to the hospital for the second time in the last three weeks. He was first admitted to the same hospital on December 1 for optimisation of nutrition and hydration and was discharged after he improved substantially The hospital issued a statement saying Karunanidhi was readmitted with breathing difficulty due to throat and lung infection, adding that he was stable and being treated. Karunanidhi’s daughter and Rajya Sabha MP from Tamil Nadu Kanimozhi said that he had some lung infection and breathing difficulty, adding that he was much better now.

Petrol price hiked by Rs 2.21 per litre, diesel to become dearer by Rs 1.79 per litre

New Delhi: Petrol price has been hiked by Rs 2.21 a litre and diesel by Rs 1.79 per litre, excluding local levies. The price revision was to come into effect from Thursday, but was deferred by a day, possibly to save the demonetisation-battered government from any blushes in Parliament. The revised rates will be effective from Friday midnight.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

This increase excludes local levies. The actual hike after considering VAT would be Rs 2.84 per litre in Delhi for petrol and Rs 2.11 for diesel.

After the hike, petrol in Delhi will cost Rs 68.94 per litre from midnight as against Rs 66.10 currently, said Indian Oil Corp., the nation’s largest fuel retailer. Similarly, a litre of diesel will cost Rs 56.68 as compared to Rs 54.57.

IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) revise rates on 1st and 16th of every month based
on average international price in the previous fortnight. But an increase that was warranted because of a rise in international gasoline (petrol) price to $62.82 per barrel from $57.43 and that of diesel to $60.97 from $56.79 was not announced.

Industry sources said the deferment was because Parliament was in session and any hike would have added to the discomfort
of the government, particularly when it is facing heat over hardships caused by currency demonetisation. The Winter Session of Parliament ended on Friday afternoon.

Rates were last revised on 1 December, when petrol price was hiked by a marginal 13 paise a litre, but diesel rates were cut by 12 paise.

Prior to this price change, rates were hiked by Rs 1.46 a litre for petrol and Rs 1.53 per litre for diesel, excluding local levies, on 16 November.

“The current level of international product prices of petrol and diesel and Rupee-Dollar exchange rate warrant an increase in selling price of petrol and diesel, the impact of which is being passed on to the consumers with this price revision,” IOC said in a statement.

It said the movement of prices in the international oil market and foreign exchange rate shall continue to be monitored closely and developing trends of the market will be reflected in future price changes.

First Published On : Dec 16, 2016 22:31 IST

Kharghar creche owner arrested in child assault case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The police in Navi Mumbai arrested the owner of a play school-cum-daycare centre at Kharghar on Friday, where a child was allegedly beaten up brutally by a caretaker. The Bombay High Court had rejected the application of Priyanka Nikam on Thursday, owner of Purva Play School, for pre-arrest bail. Following which the police arrested her on Friday.The caretaker/maid Afsana Sheikh, who allegedly beat up a 10-month-old baby girl, is already arrested. CCTV video clip showing Sheikh beating the girl had gone viral on social media last month. Police have registered a case of attempt to murder as well as relevant offences under the Juvenile Justice Act against Nikam and Sheikh.Police had earlier arrested Nikam under section 324 of IPC (voluntarily causing hurt), but she got bail. Later police pressed the charge of attempt to murder, so she moved the courts for pre-arrest bail. Navi Mumbai police commissioner Hemant Nagrale said the police would produce Nikam in a local court and seek her police remand.

Arnab Goswami announces new venture; Times Now gets a new editor-in-chief

On 18 November, Times Now‘s firebrand editor-in-chief and news anchor Arnab Goswami hosted his final episode of The Newshour. He had announced his resignation a couple of weeks earlier.

And ever since then, speculation has been rife about two things:

1) Where will he go next?
2) Who will replace him at Times Now?

At some point on Thursday, answers to both questions emerged.

The first question was answered by the website Exchange 4 Media, that reported that Goswami’s new venture would be called ‘Republic’. He was quoted by Exchange 4 Media as saying, “My venture is called ‘Republic’. I seek the support of the people of India.” Whether it’s a website, a news channel, a newspaper, a magazine or an IPL franchise is as-yet-unknown and further details are awaited.

The answer to the second question arrived on Twitter, where former NewsX editor-in-chief Rahul Shivshankar changed his Twitter bio and tweeted:

Shivshankar is expected to anchor The Newshour and whether or not he will be able to fill the giant shoes left behind by Goswami, remains to be seen.

Disclaimer: Firstpost is from the same stable as CNN News18 which competes with Times Now

First Published On : Dec 16, 2016 09:47 IST

Wrong to nominate ‘Chinnamma’ as AIADMK gen secy, she tried to kill Jayalalithaa: Sasikala Pushpa

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expelled Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) parliamentarian Sasikala Pushpa has said it would be wrong to nominate Sasikala Natarajan as the general secretary since she was expelled by late chief minister J Jayalalithaa for conspiring against her.”It would too wrong to nominate Sasikala Natarjan as the general secretary of the party. Because nowhere madam (Jayalalithaa) has mentioned her name. She has not even given her a councillor or an MLA seat. It shows that political life is not fit for her. She was earlier expelled by Amma for conspiring against her and trying to kill her,” Pushpa told ANI.By citing a by-law of the AIADMK, Pushpa said, “There is a rule in Class-30 sub clause-5 that a person being a primary member for five consecutive years can contest the elections. However, if this is implied, then, Sasikala is not fit to be the general secretary.”Pushpa demanded a judicial inquiry into the death of Jayalalithaa “since the time she was admitted into the hospital, there was no transparency about the status of her health.””What happened to Jayalalithaa is something everybody is questioning. Even the cadres feel the same,” she added.Sasikala said she has filed a case in the Madras High Court stating that the election of general secretary of the AAIDMK be done in a democratic manner.The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Thursday said Sasikala Natarajan, the confidante of Jayalalithaa, will be the party’s next general secretary. “It is clear that Chinnamma (Sasikala) will be the next general secretary of the party,” said AIADMK spokesperson C Ponnaiyan.

Nusli Wadia files defamation suit against Tata Sons, seeks Rs 3,000 cr damages

Mumbai – Industrialist Nusli Wadia on Thursday filed a defamation suit against Tata Sons in the Bombay High Court, seeking damages for harming his reputation while proposing to remove him as an independent director of three of Tata Group companies.

The suit is expected to come for hearing in due course, according to the HC website.

According to media reports, Wadia has sought Rs 3000 crore in damages. A report in The Economic Times said Wadia has sought compensation from the Tatas for the accusations the group has levelled against him without giving any valid reasons.

Nusli WadiaNusli Wadia

Nusli Wadia

The suit comes in the wake of the special notice seeking removal of Wadia as independent director of three Tata companies. Wadia has claimed the notice was defamatory to him.

Earlier, Wadia had served three legal notices to Tata Group, seeking to initiate criminal and civil actions against Tata Sons and its directors for his proposed removal.

No immediate reaction was available from Tata Group.

On Wednesday, four minority shareholders of Tata Group firms had moved the HC challenging proposed removal of Wadia.

The three Tata companies, on a direction of Tata Sons, have called EGMs to remove Wadia from their boards under the section 169.

Last week, another group of minority shareholders of Tata companies moved the High Court claiming damages from Tata Sons interim chairman Ratan Tata and others for losses suffered by investors after shares of group companies fell following Mistrys sacking.

With PTI

First Published On : Dec 16, 2016 08:57 IST

Gaya: Unaccounted cash worth Rs11 crore traced, may have Naxal link

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a crackdown on black money hoarders in the state, a joint team of police and income tax officials have conducted raids and traced Rs 11 crore deposited in five bank accounts in Bihar’s Gaya district till Thursday evening.The action was taken on the basis of two FIRs lodged at Civil Lines police station in Gaya in which people complained of large sum of money being deposited into their accounts without their knowledge, SHO Jamil Akhtar said.The raids commenced on Tuesday and preliminary investigations pointed to the involvement of one Moti Lal, a cotton mill owner residing in Patwatoli locality of Gaya, a police source said.“Till now, Rs 11 crore has been traced in five accounts but we expect the sum may go beyond Rs 100 crore deposited in about 50 bank accounts once we finish the raids. We are browsing through bank account statements and other documents as well as interrogating Lal and his employees to get more information in the matter,” an income tax official said.He added, “Prima facie he appears to be the kingpin of a racket that converted black money into white. We are investigating whether all money belonged to him or others are also involved in it. Indications are there that part of the corpus may belong to Naxailes in Bihar and Jharkhand.” Gaya is one of the LWE affected districts in Bihar.Police officials said all accounts are of Bank of India, GB road branch, and police is also probing the involvement of bank officials in this matter. “In some cases, apart from depositing old notes, new currency notes have even been withdrawn from the accounts without the information of the account holder. Such transactions may have been performed in nexus with bankers,” they added. CCTV camera footage of the bank is also under investigation.The Enforcement Directorate officials said they are also likely to lodge an Enforcement Case Investigation Report (ECIR) in this matter.

Govt announces incentives to the tune Rs340 crore on digital transactions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government on Thursday announced cash awards to the tune of Rs 340 crore with two new reward schemes for consumers and merchants, to encourage increased digital transactions.Calling it a ‘Christmas gift’ to the country, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said the ‘Lucky Grahak Yojana’ and ‘Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana’ schemes –pertaining to the consumer and the merchant respectively—would be implemented by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).”The focus of Lucky Grahak and Digi-Dhan Yojana is on poor, middle class and small businesses so as to bring them into digital payments revolution,” said Kant, adding that NPCI will ensure a technical and security audit of the software.Responding to questions of inadequate infrastructure to support a digital economy, Kant said incentivising digital transactions will encourage more people to go cashless and that even people from rural areas can participate in the scheme through AEPS, which doesn’t need an internet connection.The schemes will kick start from December 25 with a lucky draw. There will be 15,000 winners of Rs1,000 each for next 100 days, with weekly prizes worth Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10,000 and Rs. 5000 for consumers who use the alternate modes of digital Payments. Merchants will get weekly prizes worth Rs. 50,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs. 2,500 on digital transactions.For consumers, there will be mega awards of Rs 1 crore, Rs 50 lakh and Rs 25 lakh, while for merchants, it is Rs 50 lakh, Rs 25 lakh and Rs 5 lakh. The estimated expenditure of the scheme to incentivise digital payments is Rs340 crore and the mega award will be announced on Ambedkar Jayanti on April 14. Every digital transaction between Rs 50 and Rs 3,000 between November 8 and April 13 be eligible for a reward after which the schemes would be reviewed before extending it further.The winners will be identified through a lucky draw of the eligible transaction IDs.However, the condition is that only transactions through UPI, USSD, Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) and RuPay cards will be eligible for lucky draws. The schemes would not applicable for transactions done through private credit cards and e-wallets of private companies.It is estimated that only 5 per cent Indians use digital payment modes.Kant added that post demonetisation, PoS transactions witnessed a jump of 95 per cent since November 8 (till December 7).RuPay Card transactions were up 316 per cent and e-wallet 271 per cent, while both UPI about and USSD witnessed an increase of about 1,200 per cent each.

Ensure cash crunch ends by Jan 15, UP BJP MPs tell Amit Shah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After yet another day of uproar in Parliament stalled over demonetization, around 30 BJP parliamentarians from eastern Uttar Pradesh gathered in the heart of the city on Wednesday evening for a meeting with party president Amit Shah.The aftermath of demonetization was the predominant concern of the MPs at the two-hour meeting, which Shah had convened to get feedback on the issue, besides the impact of surgical strikes and the party”s parivartan yatra in the poll-bound state.A majority of MPs told Shah that if the inconvenience caused to people because of demonetization was not mitigated by January 15, it could hurt the party’s prospects in the assembly elections in the state due early next year, according to sources. The MPs said steps should be taken to address the cash crunch and ensure normalcy in transactions.The MPs also said that after the surgical strikes across the Line of Control on September 28 midnight there was a positive mood for the party, but demonetization has overshadowed it and dominated the narrative. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement to recall notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 on November 8.With elections drawing near, there has been a growing concern in the state party with about the opposition capitalising on the lack of cash in banks and long queues at ATMs causing inconvenience to people.This was the first meeting Shah had with his party MPs after demonetization. Some MPs are of the view that the feedback should have been taken earlier, sources said.Shah, who heard their concerns, asked them to go to villages in their constituencies before the candidates were announced.The meeting was held over dinner hosted by home minister Rajnath Singh, an MP from Lucknow.Around the same time, at another meeting convened by the RSS-affiliated Laghu Udyog Bharti, representatives of small and medium industries expressed concern about going cashless overnight and the situation leading to retrenchment. The meeting was attended by minister of state for finance Arjun Meghwal.Shah, who met another group of party MPs from UP on Thursday night, held deliberations with BJP office bearers earlier in the day. According to sources, the office bearers told him that despite the problems, there was support for demonetization.Shah said that the Modi regime was different from the previous Manmohan Singh and Narasimha Rao governments and had got the mandate to take tough decisions.According to sources, Shah described demonetization as a visionary decision of political will aimed at curbing black money and said the government will not confine itself to small reforms but will bring “fundamental changes” in the economy.

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.

Demonetization hits terror hard in Kashmir: Starved of cash, militants resort to looting banks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Demonetization has hit the militants hard in the strife torn Jammu and Kashmir. Starved of funds post demonetization, militants have resorted to looting banks to replenish their coffers in the restive Kashmir Valley.Post-demonetization, robbers have looted four branches of Jammu and Kashmir Bank and decamped with around Rs 69.45 lakh of which Rs 25.16 lakh comprised of old denomination notes of Rs 500 and RS 1000. One of the attempts to loot the bank was foiled in Budgam district of central Kashmir.Most of the banks were looted by militants in militancy-infested south Kashmir belt. Latest being the J&K bank Ratnipora branch in Pulwama district where militants looted around Rs 10 lakh on Thursday. “Obviously they must be feeling the heat of demonetization. Demonetization has apparently squeezed them financially,” Dr SP Vaid, special director general of police, Jammu and Kashmir, told DNA.Terror financing has been a problem area for the security forces given the underhand dealings using different hawala and cross border channels. Most terror money used to be in old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes because it was easy to carry and distribute.After demonetization, the militants and their over ground workers have suddenly faced cash crunch that has hit their activities hard in Jammu and Kashmir.“They (ultras) are facing the heat. Since demonetization it is the third incident of bank robbery and each time they have decamped with around Rs 10 lakh. It is same four-member Lashkar-e-Tioba group comprising two Pakistani ultras and two locals who carry out bank robberies”, Rayees Mohommad Bhat, senior superintendent of police, Pulwama, told DNA.Police said the militants are facing cash crunch because they require huge money for paying to their cadres and buying logistics. “They pay their cadres as per their need. There is no fixed amount that they pay to their cadres. Plus they need money to buy phones, SIM cards and for transportation. They also need money to pay their over ground workers (for arranging logistics). But post demonetization they are facing the shortage of finances”, he said.Figures reveal last year security forces seized Rs 6,75,684 in Indian currency from the militants during different counter terror operations. The cash seizure is the tip of the iceberg because most of the money is handled by over ground workers and the currency seized was from the ultras.“Everything is done in cash. The demonetizing has hit them hard. The money they might be having has gone waste because they were dealing mostly in old high denomination notes”, said an intelligence officer.The cases:Nov 21: Suspected militants barged into the Jammu and Kashmir Bank branch in Central Kashmir’s Malpora village and looted the Rs 12.45 lakh on the gunpoint. However, Rs 11 lakh of the total looted money comprised of the old currency notes.Nov 23: Unidentified robbers opened the locks of Jammu and Kashmir bank branch at Sarthal in Kishtwar district in the dead of night and walked away with Rs 34 lakh cash. Of the total looted amount, Rs 12 lakh was in old de-registered currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000.Dec 8: Unidentified gunmen looted a Jammu and Kashmir Bank branch at Arihal in Pulwama district and decamped with more than Rs 13 lakh cash including Rs 11 lakh new currency.Dec 8: Militants bid to loot the J&K bank at Poshkar village in Budgam district was foiled.Dec 15: Militants barged into the Ratnipora Branch of Jammu Kashmir and Rs 9. 86 lakh cash. It included Rs 16,000 in old denomination notes

SC cracks whip on BCCI, Thakur faces jail on perjury charges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur was asking for it for a long time. And when the Supreme Court (SC) took him and other erring officials to task on Thursday for obstructing justice and lying under oath, Thakur took no time to surrender by offering “apology”.
It came as no surprise as Thakur has apparently been guided by former BCCI president N Srinivasan, who also tendered an unconditional apology when it was proved that he was defying the apex court orders during the time of spot-fixing trial “by not keeping distance from the board’s functioning”.But it will be sleepless nights for Thakur till the time the apex court decides on “whether he committed perjury by asking the International Cricket Council (ICC) to clarify if the recommendations made by the Justice R? Lodha panel amounted to interference in the board’s running”.Till then, the BCCI’s top boss has just one job left to do: to suggest his choice of names, if any, to be considered by the SC to be included in the panel of observers to replace the current crop of defiant officials. The Lodha panel, from its side, has already submitted the names of GK Pillai (former home secretary), Vinod Rai (former CAG) and Mohinder Amarnath (former India all-rounder) as interim administrators.BCCI’s senior counsel Kapil Sibal refused to name any on Thursday but opposed the name of Pillai. He opposed naming administrators saying “it would not solve any problem”.DNA has learnt that Pillai could still be appointed by the court. The name of Amarnath has been proposed by Cricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma. Last but not the least, amicus curiae and senior counsel Gopal Subramaniam could also be asked to help the panel in implementing the orders.In simple language, the first and foremost job for the new administrators will be to oversee the lucrative media rights contract for the Indian Premier League from 2018 onwards.Manohar fixes ThakurIt does not appear that it is the affidavit filed by former BCCI chief Shashank Manohar, the current ICC chairman, that is now haunting BCCI’s Thakur. Chief Justice of India TS Thakur on Thursday observed that the BCCI president seems to have “committed perjury” after going through the different affidavits filed by ICC, Thakur and BCCI CAO Ratnakar Shetty.The amicus curiae, when asked by the court if Thakur has committed perjury or not, said: “Thakur lied on oath to the Supreme Court. In his affidavit, he said he sought Shashank Manohar’s opinion as BCCI chairman”. It further noted that Thakur “obstructed reform process”.”Your client (Anurag Thakur) will have no other way but to go to jail,” the CJI said, adding: “Prima facie, Anurag Thakur committed perjury. You (Thakur) ought to absolutely apologise if you want to escape. These kinds of things don’t help. Please don’t force us. You go to ICC and ask for a letter, so that you can return to say BCCI will be out of ICC. The whole objective was to stop the court. This seems to be a lucrative business (to be BCCI official) and everyone wants it to go on.”The apex court has, time and again, rapped the board on the knuckles asking whether it believes “it is a law unto itself” before freezing three bank accounts on October 21. However, the money was later released to enable the state associations to hold the ongoing Test series against England.BCCI has all along objected to three conditions — age and tenure, cooling-off period and one state, one vote — laid down by the SC. The top court will pass the order on January 2 or 3 when it opens after the winter break. The court has asked the BCCI to suggest the names of those who can oversee the matter. On Monday, the court had dismissed the BCCI’s plea, seeking a review of its July 18 verdict.

West Bengal: Angry customers pelt stones at bank, smash ATM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of agitated customers pelted stones at a branch of a nationalised bank and smashed a closed ATM in the Ratua area of the district on Thursday after officials informed them that they would be unable to dispense adequate amount of cash, police said.Several local residents of Ratua had queued up outside the Balupur branch of State Bank of India to withdraw cash from their accounts and as the branch opened, they were informed that every customer would be given only Rs 1,000, the police said.A section of customers first tried to reason with the bank officials urging to give at least Rs 2,000 in cash, which was going on for the last couple of days, but when they came to know that there was not enough cash in the branch, they started pelting stones at its premises.Police said a closed ATM near the branch was also smashed by angry residents. The staff of the branch downed shutters and informed the police. A large contingent of police personnel rushed to spot from Ratua police station and the branch resumed business after the situation was brought under control.Malda Superintendent of Police Arnab Ghosh said there was a commotion and tempers flared while withdrawing cash from the SBI, Balupur branch, but timely intervention by the police ensured that the situation did not escalate further. “No one has been arrested in connection with the incident,” Ghosh said.

Manipur: One police commado, two constables killed in ambush

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Manipur Police commando and two police constables were killed while nine others were injured when militants ambushed road opening parties (ROP) at two different places in Chandel district of Manipur on Thursday. Earlier reports said four personnel were killed and another four injured in the ambush at Lokchao and Bongyang areas in the hill district of Chandel.The twin attacks took place as United Naga Council (UNC) was gearing up for a mass rally in four Naga district headquarters on Thursday against the creation of the seven districts in the state by the O Ibobi Singh-led government. The first ambush occurred at Lokchao, 21 km from the border town of Moreh, when the police team was heading for Tengnoupal where Chief Minister was scheduled to attend a programme in connection with the inauguration of the newly created Tengnoupal district, which was carved out of the existing Naga-dominated Chandel district.The Chief minister was scheduled to attend another programme in connection with the formal inauguration of Kangpokpi district which was bifurcated from the Naga- dominated districts Senapati and Ukhrul districts.Ibobi Singh, who attended the formal inauguration of Tengnoupal district, returned to Imphal by a chopper, the police said. Speaking to reporters in Tengnoupal, the chief minister said, “It is of no use to attack Manipur Police and all disputes must be resolved through dialogue”.He announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the nearest kin of the police personnel killed in the ambush. The two police constables were identified as Ayub Khan and Nonglei Charang Marring.While Ayub Khan died at the Lokchao ambush spot, the other police personnel died on way to Imphal for treatment.The Manipur police commando, who succumbed to injuries in the second ambush at Bongyang, has been identified as Havildar Yengkhom Jeevan, the police said. The nine policemen were injured at Lokchao, the sources said, adding security forces rushed to the two spots in Chandel district.The nine injured were identified as Sub-Inspector(SI) Pratap, SI Sarat, SI P Samsung, Head constable Basir, Head Constable Jam Kholen, Constable Md.Lukaman, Constable M Somendro, driver Janminthang and VDF personnel Md Nasir were injured, the police said. The United Naga Council, which has been enforcing economic blockade on NH 53 and NH 39, the lifeline of the landlocked state, since November 1 last, is also demanding imposition of President’s Rule in the state.

Watch: RBI governor Urjit Patel heckled by Congress workers at Kolkata airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After being shown black flags by Trinamool Congress supporters, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, Urjit Patel was allegedly heckled by Congress supporters at the Kolkata International Airport. Surrounded by an infuriated mob comprising Congress supporters, Patel had to be escorted by CISF personnel inside the airport. The Congress supporters were also seen sporting black flags.Earlier in the day, Patel was shown black flags by Trinamool Congress supporters. Shouting slogans like ‘Go back Urjit’, party supporters put up a protest outside the regional RBI office in Kolkata.He was in the city to conduct the central board meeting following demonetisation, when was shown black flags by Trinamool Congress supporters outside the regional RBI office in the city.Even the Left had put up a demonstration outside the RBI office. Patel met senior officials of RBI for taking a stock of the situation prevailing post-demonetisation in eastern and north-eastern states.On Thursday morning, Patel’s meeting at the RBI regional office was scheduled for 10am. However, he reached the office ahead of the scheduled time and entered through the ‘out’ gate of the office to prevent any interaction with the media.Around 3.30pm Patel met the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee to discuss issues faced by the banks in the state.

Pune: IT dept seizes Rs 10.80 crore cash from bank lockers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Income Tax department has seized Rs 10.80 crore cash, of which Rs 8.8 crore is in new notes, after searches on several lockers of a bank in Pune.Officials said the searches were conducted at 15 lockers, belonging to one person, in the Parvati area branch of Bank of Maharashtra of the city on Wednesday and the seizures were effected Thursday.The department has also found alleged irregularities in the operation of these lockers, acquired in a single name in August, which it feels is a fit case for tax evasion. “Search on 15 lockers of the said branch of Bank of Maharashtra yielded Rs 9.85 crore (39896 notes of 2000 which is 7.97 crore and rest in mainly 100 notes). Other premises yielded another Rs 94.50 lakh of which Rs 80 lakh in new currency. Total seizure was 10.80 crore out which 8.8 crore was in new currency,” a source in the I-T department said.”As per bank records, two lockers were shown to be operated 12 times each, post demonetization on different dates in November and December and all operations were found to be done by a single person who was acting as the authorised signatory,” the source added.The CCTV footage in the bank showed big bags being carried in and out by the person who operated the lockers along with other same set of people accompanying him. The tax sleuths have brought to the notice of the bank authorities about the CCTV footage they “shows difference in time from the time shown in the bank records”. Probe in the case was still continuing, they said.
ALSO READ Bengaluru: IT seizes Rs 2.89 cr from flat guarded by dogs, old womanThe department, in the same context, also searched Axis bank branches in Noida and in Connaught Place in the national capital. No seizures have been made in these cases till now, they added.

Mamata Banerjee meets RBI Governor Urjit Patel, expresses concern over note ban

Kolkata: Amid protests by Trinamool Congress against demonetisation, RBI Governor Urjit Patel on Thursday met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during which she expressed concern over hardship faced by people and “political discrimination among states”.

“The meeting was good,” Patel told reporters at the state secretariat after meeting Banerjee.

Earlier, Patel attended a meeting of RBI central board at the apex bank’s office here where TMC and CPM staged demonstrations.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File photo. PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File photo. PTI

When asked about the meeting, Banerjee told reporters, “I am satisfied with the meeting (with Patel)”. “I availed the opportunity to express views of the common people of the country who are facing immense hardships (due to demonetisation)… The prime minister, Parliament, nothing is available. No one is responding. He (Patel) is a direct man,” she said.

“RBI is a big institution. We respect it. It should not be politically misused,” Banerjee said.

The TMC chief also handed over a letter to Patel in which she said, “As the governor of RBI, an autonomous institution with a great history, which issues currencies to the nation, we expect you to stand up against this demonetisation onslaught against the common people of the nation at this moment of crisis, rather than falling silent and remaining opaque”.

“We would also like to know from you the nature of allocation of new currency to each of the states in a spirit of transparency and accountability, since there are serious concerns of political discrimination among states,” the letter said.

The whole country, she said, is going through “unprecedented misery and suffering” due to the “cruel
misadventure” of demonetisation which has not been seen in any modern democracy.

“You are perhaps aware that already five crore workers across the country and across the sectors are facing
unemployment and hunger. Unorganised sector of the country which provides 2/3rd jobs in the country has literally collapsed,” Banerjee said in the letter.

“The small and medium enterprises are shutting down shops in lakhs. The massive trading sector of the economy has been brought down to its knees due to cash crunch, unable to conduct its business.”

The farmers of our nation are going through a trauma never seen before and that too not due to natural calamity but due to a man-made disaster of massive demonetisation. Even the middle and large industries have dropped their production by at least 50 per cent,” she added.

First Published On : Dec 15, 2016 19:45 IST

House disrupted: What will I show to the students visiting Parliament? says Javadekar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Wh Expressing displeasure over the ongoing Parliament logjam, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday wondered what he will he will show to the students of Kendriya Vidyala during their visit to the House. Javadekar was present at an event to mark the foundation day of the Kendriya Vidyalaya schools.Criticising the opposition for not letting the parliament function, he said, “Where is the Parliament functioning?” even as he expressed concern over the impact it would make on the school children, who visit Parliament to watch the proceedings. “I wonder what should I show to the school children from Kendriya Vidyalayas who will come to watch the proceedings. Should I show them what kind of ‘hungama’ is going on in the Parliament. They come having learnt lessons of discipline but would go back getting learning indiscipline,” Javadekar said.”People choose a government after five years and in a Democracy, people’s mandate is above all. And in this way, if the Parliament does not work, this is undemocratic and an insult to the mandate,” he said.”I think gradually the people’s opinion will create pressure on these people that this won’t do. Everyone has to work and in Parliament you should give your opinion, that is democracy. You should oppose, that too is democracy. But this is no way to not let function an elected government. And my pain is what should I show to the KV students,” Javadekar added.The HRD minister also anounced of a National Conference in education to be held in March and said those who have come up with new innovations and experiments will be felicitated. There will be discussions so that we share best practices, he said.

IAF officers can’t grow beard on religious grounds: Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday held that personnel working in the Indian Air Force cannot sport a beard based on religious grounds.A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said that the Centre’s decision to prohibit personnel of a particular community from sporting beard does not infringe upon the fundamental rights.The bench also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao dismissed the pleas filed by two Muslim personnel of IAF who had challenged the dismissal of their pleas by the Delhi High Court.The apex court verdict came on two petitions filed separately by two personnel, Mohammed Zubair and Ansari Aaftab Ahmed, challenging the IAF authorities’ “confidential” order dated February 24, 2003, prohibiting Muslim personnel from sporting a beard.Zubair in his petition had contended that the order was in contravention of fundamental fights of the citizen and also a government letter issued through the Ministry of Home on July 18,1990.The said letter of the home minister permitted the uniformed Muslim/Sikh personnel to sport beard on religious grounds, provided prior permission was sought from the authorities, he said.The Centre had said that the IAF order was in the interest of cohesiveness in a combat force and it also has security implications.It had said that these policies are secular in character and have not been framed to govern the conduct of air force personnel of any particular religion.The Centre has earlier told the court that IAF is undoubtedly a secular force having due regard for all religions and it is imperative that its personnel are guided by a sense of brotherhood without any distinction of caste, creed, colour or religion.The petitioners had challenged the IAF order by way of a writ petition before the Delhi High Court and a single judge, citing certain Muslim religious texts, took the view that sporting beard was not compulsory and hence dismissed the plea.They then approached a division bench which had also concurred with the order of the single judge and dismissed the plea following which the appeals were filed in the apex court.

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.

Parliament disruption: ‘Should I resign?’ Upset LK Advani asks lawmakers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Upset over continuous disruption of Parliament, BJP veteran LK Advani on Wednesday expressed deep distress and wondered if he should resign.”LK Advani told me that he feels like resigning,” said TMC MP Idris Ali, adding “Had Atal ji been in the Parliament today, he would have been upset.”This is the second time Advani has expressed his distress due to unending disruptions in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.Idris Ali also said that the BJP veteran said, “Iss sab hungame se sansad ki haar ho rhi hai, speaker se baat karke kal charcha honi chahiye (Due to continuous disruption, the Parliament is being defeated. Discussion should take place tomorrow after speaking to the Speaker).”Last week, a visibly agitated Advani was heard expressing his unhappiness to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar over the continuing protests in the House at a time when some Opposition members had even come to the side of Treasury benches to raise slogans in the well.For the 20th day, Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day on Thursday, following heated exchanges between the Opposition and the BJP benches. Rajya Sabha also witnessed sharp exchanges between Treasury and Opposition benches as they tried to shout each other down over different issues, throwing the House into pandemonium and forcing its adjournment till noon.

SC to hear various pleas on demonetization today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday will hear pleas related to a transfer petition filed by the Centre on demonetization of high-value currency notes along with several other petitions.Earlier on December 9, the apex court asked the Centre whether its decision to bring in demonetization was taken in absolute secrecy while hearing a bunch of petitions questioning the Narendra Modi government’s rationale behind the implementation of the policy.Chief Justice of India TS Thakur had asked the government to see if something can be done. “People are suffering, it is a serious problem.” he had said then.The Centre had submitted an affidavit last week on the demonetization move in the Supreme Court, saying it is an attempt to unearth black money stashed over the last seven decades. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that the Centre had filed a reply in the Supreme Court in compliance with the top court’s earlier order on the issue.The Centre in its affidavit told the apex court that demonetization is a step to reduce ratio of cash transactions, adding the objective is to unearth illegal parallel economy.Attorney General Rohatgi had earlier filed a transfer petition before the Supreme Court seeking a stay on all pending pleas against demonetization.The apex court had on November 18 refused to put a stay on hearings in various High Courts and lower courts related to the demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes.

Hand baggage tags not necessary in airports; CISF does away with security feature

Mumbai: It has been announced that hand baggage will not need tags at seven airports — four metro cities, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad — from Thursday as part of trials to scrap security stamping procedure.

The move follows a decision by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which handles the security at airports, to do away with stamping of cabin baggage tags. “We have taken a conscious decision of doing away with the process of stamping handbag tags from Thursday. We have this system of stamping boarding pass and hand baggages (since 1992). This is an unique system only in India,” director general of CISF OP Singh told reporters.

The security stamping indicates that the baggage was thoroughly checked and is safe to be carried into the aircraft cabin.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Aviation sector is expanding and we are set to become the third largest in aviation by 2020 and may be the largest in 2030. So in order to make it more hassle free and convenient for passengers and without compromising on security, we will have a trial run for a week or ten days, at six metro airports and Ahmedabad,” Singh said.

Besides Ahmedabad, the other airports where the trial will be conducted are Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

Singh, who was in the city for the first time after becoming CISF DG, said, “If the experiment is successful, we will go in for the second phase and do away with the system of stamping boarding pass as well.” “We are protecting vital installations whether it is shipping sector or coal sector or aviation. Only yesterday the government has sanctioned 35,000 more personnel for the agency,” he said, adding, two new battalions have also been sanctioned by the government.

The official said CISF is undertaking various steps to make airport security fool-proof and one such step is installation of full body scanner at Delhi airport. “We have installed a full body scanner at Delhi airport. However, since there can be questions related to privacy we are doing it on a voluntary basis. Over 3,000 people have been subjected to the full body scan as of now,” he said. “You don’t have to go through exhaustive check. It just takes four seconds to scan the body. This is a parameter of international security standards,” the DG added.

“One issue that we have deliberated upon, but haven’t come to conclusion is implementation of one person, one hand baggage rule. I am not committing, but in due course of time we may have to go for that, looking at the volume of traffic that airport handles,” he explained.

Singh said CISF also provides services to eight establishments in private sector and have received over Rs 132 crore in this regard. “Right now, we are giving security to eight private sector undertakings, including Reliance and Infosys. We have got over Rs 132 crore for services provided to them,” he said.

First Published On : Dec 15, 2016 11:14 IST

Bulandshahr gangrape: Supreme Court to hear Azam Khan’s ‘unconditional apology’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court, which had earlier this month rejected Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan’s ‘unconditional apology’ for his alleged remarks on the Bulandshahr gang rape case, will hear the matter afresh on Thursday.The apex court had earlier on December 7 asked Khan to submit a fresh affidavit. An apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra had asked the Samajwadi Party leader to file a fresh affidavit after noting that the earlier one filed by him has errors in it.The Attorney General also raised questions about the draft copy submitted by Khan in connection with the apology given by him. Earlier on November 18, the Samajwadi Party leader had told the apex court that he was ready to unconditionally apologise for describing as “political conspiracy” the gang-rape of two women near Bulandshahr in July.Appearing for Khan, senior advocate Kapil Sibal argued that his client had made a general remark which was not targeted at the family of the victim. However, the judges were not convinced and they asked Sibal as to how a public figure like Khan could make such a comment.The apex court had earlier directed media organisations to submit the video clip of the press conference in which Khan had made this statement.The Uttar Pradesh Minister created a controversy after he alleged that a “political conspiracy” is involved in the gang-rape of a minor girl and her mother on the highway in Bulandshahr on July 29.On August 29, the apex court issued a notice to Khan for his reported comment. The case was subsequently handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).