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Vol : 05 : #70 01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021

Islamabad : In a bold decision,

Pakistan has decided and announced

that it will not provide any bases on its

soil to the US to operate from, after its

troops exit Afghanistan.

The decision came after the briefing

of the National Security

Committee, which was attended by

senior members of the Parliament

from both the government and opposition,

along with the Chief of Army

Staff (COAS), and the Directors

General of Inter-Services Intelligence

(ISI), and the Military Intelligence

(MI).

The meeting continued for at least

eight hours, where the committee

members were given a detailed briefing

on the security situation of the

country and the region at large, the situation

with India and the Kashmir

issue, and Pakistan's role in the

Afghan peace process, especially on

the US demand to Pakistan for providing

bases to operate after its withdrawal

from Afghanistan.

During the all-important meeting,

the members were informed that US

seemed to be deliberately leaving a

"mismanaged and unstable"

Afghanistan as it wanted to undermine

China, Pakistan and the region.

However, Pakistan has decided that

it is ready to face any consequences of

its decision to not provide any bases

Pakistan will not

give bases to US

to the US.

"Pakistan is not going to give military

bases to the US; we are not going

to fight their proxy war. Nearly

70,000 people were martyred since

the US did it the first time," said a

member of the parliament, who was

present during the briefing.

"The US is once again leaving

behind an unfinished job," he added.

The parliamentarians were also

informed that the reason why US has

taken a quick decision to withdraw its

troops from Afghanistan is because "it

doesn't want to see peace in the

region", said a parliamentarian.

Army chief General Qamar Javed

Bajwa and DG ISI, Lt Gen Faiz

Hameed gave detailed presentations

to the parliamentarians on what they

called "Pakistan-sponsored and coordinated

efforts for the Afghan peace

process". A senior lawmaker stated

that Pakistan has tried its best to make

the Taliban and Afghanistan President

Ashraf Ghani come to the table for

talks. However, he added that since

the US has announced its withdrawal

date, the Taliban are not ready to sit

down for talks.

"The US dream of introducing a

democratic system could not be

achieved as it is not acceptable to the

Taliban, who wish to run the system

based on Shariah," he added.

N.California wildfire spreads

to nearly 20,000 acres

Los Angeles : A massive wildfire currently

raging in Northern California's

Siskiyou County has spread to a total of

19,680 acres, with 25 per cent containment,

according to the latest information

from InciWeb, an interstate incident

information system.

The Lava Fire, which eruoted on June

24 due to lightning, exploded in size

throughout Monday, fuelled by strong

and erratic winds amid record heat,

reports Xinhua news agency.

On Monday morning, the fire had

torched only some 1,446 acres with 20

per cent containment.

The blaze burning about three miles

northeast of Weed, a city with 2,700 residents,

forced local authority issued

evacuation orders to thousands of people

living in communities nearby.

Meanwhile, another wildfire, dubbed

the Tennant Fire, broke out on the eastern

side of the Klamath National Forest

on Monday afternoon, according to Cal

Fire. It grew to 9,439 acres as of

Thursday with 6 per cent contained.

While wildfires are a natural part of

California's landscape, the fire season in

the state and across the US West Coast is

starting earlier and ending later with

every passing year.

Climate change is considered a key

driver of this trend, Cal Fire said.

Warmer spring and summer temperatures,

reduced snowpack, and earlier

spring snowmelt create longer and more

intense dry seasons that increase moisture

stress on vegetation and make

forests more susceptible to severe wildfire,

it noted.

Mayawati slams Akhilesh

over his 'preference' for

SMALLER PARTIES

Lucknow : Bahujan Samaj

Party President Mayawati, on

Friday slammed Samajwadi Party

saying that the party's working

style and anti-Dalit ideology had

forced it to ally with smaller parties

in Uttar Pradesh.

Mayawati's series of tweets

comes a day after Akhilesh Yadav

indicated that the Samajwadi Party

would tie-up with smaller political

parties in the Uttar Pradesh

Assembly elections. Mayawati

described the Samajwadi Party as

'helpless,' and said that its anti-

Dalit approach had made all major

parties stay away from it.

'The Samajwadi Party is left

with no option but to go with

smaller parties and this reflects its

helplessness now," she said.

Mayawati has been rather vocal

in attacking the Samajwadi Party

after its rebel legislators started

hobnobbing with SP president.

Akhilesh Yadav, meanwhile, has

so far abstained from directly

attacking the BSP and its president.


2

01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021 NEWS

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Legal threats move closer to Trump

as his trusted official charged

New York : Legal threats have

moved closer to former US President

Donald Trump with the prosecution of

his companies and a top official in his

inner circle currently face charges of

tax fraud. The case filed in a local

court by a city prosecutor on Thursday

alleges that the Trump Organization

hid payments of perks worth $1.7 million

over a 15-year period to the company's

Chief Financial Officer Allen

Weisselberg who evaded taxes on

them.

Trump is himself not personally

charged but the chargesheet said that

an "unindicted co-conspirator" was

also involved.

An unindicted co-conspirator is

usually someone prosecutors believe

is guilty but do not have enough information

to charge the person who could

later be named and added to the case if

they can build the case. Weisselberg is

accused of evading taxes on $1.7 million

he received in perks that included

school fees for his grandchildren and

car payments and flat rent, as well as

furniture and TV sets for his home.

"This was a sweeping and audacious

illegal payments scheme," Carey

Dunne, who appeared for the prosecution,

told the court.

After two years of investigations

into the businesses of Trump, state and

city officials built their case with the

help of Weisselberg's former daughterin-law,

Jennifer, who had financial

records allegedly showing the perks

that he had not reported. She is

involved in a court battle with her former

husband over the custody of their

children following their divorce.

Weisselberg, who surrendered to

authorities, was brought into court in

handcuffs to face 15 charges including

tax fraud and grand larceny (property

theft) for which he could face prison

terms of at least 15 years if convicted.

Trump's companies could be hit with

huge fines if found guilty and their

hotel and hospitality could suffer a

blow by losing their liquor licences.

A common tactic used by US prosecutors

is to prosecute a person who

may be able to provide evidence

against their principal quarry in hopes

that person would turn approver or

agree to help the prosecution in return

for leniency. Weisselberg has so far

stood firm unlike Trump's former personal

lawyer Michael Cohen who has

cooperated with prosecutors after

being prosecuted in connection with

hush money paid to a porn star and a

former adult film star who said they

had affairs with Trump.

Cohen was convicted of tax fraud

and election finance law violations

and sentenced to three years.

The charges against the Trump

Organization and its official came a

week after the defeated President

began holding public appearances, a

visit to the border with Mexico to

highlight the illegal immigration problem

and a rally in Ohio. Prosecutors in

New York State are elected and Cyrus

Vance, the prosecutor for Manhattan

in New York City, won the election as

a Democrat.

During Trump's presidency, his

opposition looked to Vance and New

York Attorney General Letitia James,

another elected Democrat, to investigate

and prosecute him.

Federal prosecutors are appointed

by the President. Reacting to

Weisselberg's prosecution, Trump said

in a statement: "Do people see the

Radical Left prosecutors, and what

they are trying to do to 75 million plus

Voters and Patriots, for what it is?"

"If the name of the company was

something else, I don't think these

charges would have been brought,"

Trump Organization lawyer Alan

Futerfas said.

James said that the New York State

investigations into Trump and his

organisation would continue.

State prosecutors were reportedly

investigating whether Trump and his

organisation had illegally inflated the

value of some of the properties to get

loans.

Deaths spike as heatwave scorches parts of US, Canada

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Columnists

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Nairobi : Many African countries

are reeling from a spike in hunger, malnutrition

and non-communicable diseases

(NCDs) due to the Covid-19 pandemic-linked

disruptions on the continent's

food production systems, scientists

have said.

Addressing a virtual forum here on

Thursday, Margaret Karembu, chair of

Africa Life Science Knowledge Hub,

said that inability of the continent's lowincome

population to access nutritious

diets has escalated the dual crisis of

malnutrition and lifestyle diseases,

reports Xinhua news agency.

"Our communities have been challenged

in terms of what they eat due to

Covid-19 pandemic leading to a high

burden of malnutrition and non-communicable

diseases," Karembu said.

She said that the high prevalence of

non-communicable diseases like cancer,

diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory

ailments is to blame for severe forms of

Covid-19 and fatalities in Africa.

Washington/Ottawa : Hundreds

of deaths in Canada's British

Columbia province and in the US

states of Washington and Oregon have

been linked to a record breaking heatwave

scorching the two countries,

sending thousands of people scrambling

for relief, according to authorities.

Lisa Lapointe, British Columbia's

chief coroner, said on Thursday 486

deaths had been reported in the

province between June 25, a period in

which about 165 deaths would normally

be documented, reports Xinhua

news agency.

Deaths were expected to increase,

she said. "While it is too early to say

with certainty how many of these

deaths are heat related, it is believed

likely that the significant increase in

deaths reported is attributable to the

Karembu said that awareness targeting

African policymakers and community

health practitioners is key to raising the

visibility of linkage between coronavirus

and lifestyle diseases. Deoraj

Caussy, an epidemiologist at Mauritius

extreme weather British Columbia has

experienced." Oregon's state medical

examiner's office on Wednesday

attributed at least 63 deaths in five

days to the punishing heat in the state,

including 45 in Multnomah County,

which includes Portland, where temperatures

reached a record 46 degrees

Celsius. In Washington, officials

reported nearly a dozen lives lost to

hyperthermia on Wednesday alone in

King County, which includes Seattle;

two heat-related deaths were reported

there the day before.

In Snohomish County, Washington,

at least three people died this week

from heatstroke, according to the medical

examiner's office, which added

that investigations are pending into at

least two more suspected heat-related

deaths. "This was a true health crisis

Covid worsens malnutrition, lifestyle ailments in Africa

Academy of Science and Technology,

said that disruptions to agriculture value

chains linked to the pandemic derailed

Africa's quest to eradicate hunger and

malnutrition.

He said that job losses and hike in

that has underscored how deadly an

extreme heat wave can be, especially

to otherwise vulnerable people,"

Jennifer Vines, the Multnomah

County health officer, said in a statement

on Thursday.

"I know many county residents

were looking out for each other and

am deeply saddened by this initial

death toll." This year a study found

that 37 per cent of heat-related deaths

could be linked to climate change.

"Climate change is increasing the

frequency, intensity and duration of

heat waves," Kristie Ebi, a professor

in the Center for Health and the Global

Environment at the University of

Washington, was quoted as saying.

"When you look at this heat wave,

it is so far outside the range of normal."

food prices witnessed at the onset of the

pandemic in the continent worsened

nutrition insecurity among groups that

are predisposed to chronic diseases

including the elderly.

The pandemic derailed access to food

supplements among the poor and terminally

ill in the continent, thus exposing

them to the risk of life-long deformities,

said Caussy, who added the cost of

managing non-communicable diseases

in Africa is estimated at $2.5 trillion

annually and their high prevalence has

undermined efforts to reduce Covid

deaths. Sheryl L. Hendriks, director of

the Institute for Food, Nutrition and

Wellbeing with the University of

Pretoria, South Africa, said the pandemic

has exposed the fragility of food and

nutrition security interventions in

Africa. According to Hendriks, African

governments should enact policies to

address the underlying causes of malnutrition

including poverty, obsolete farming

systems and gender inequality.

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ASIA

01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021

3

Amazon marches towards monopoly

by singing tune of antitrust

New Delhi : Amazons business

strategies and current market dominance

pose anti-competitive concerns

that the consumer welfare framework

in antitrust fails to recognise, wrote

Lina Khan in the Yale Law School

Journal. She is now the chairperson of

the US Federal Trade Commission.

"By this measure, Amazon has

excelled; it has evaded government

scrutiny in part through fervently

devoting its business strategy and

rhetoric to reducing prices for consumers.

Amazon's closest encounter

with antitrust authorities was when the

Justice Department sued other companies

for teaming up against Amazon,"

the article said.

"It is as if Bezos charted the company's

growth by first drawing a map

of antitrust laws, and then devising

routes to smoothly bypass them. With

its missionary zeal for consumers,

Amazon has marched toward monopoly

by singing the tune of contemporary

antitrust."

Amazon is the titan of 21st century

commerce. In addition to being a

retailer, it is now a marketing platform,

a delivery and logistics network,

a payment service, a credit lender, an

Uighur women face

China's forced

sterilisation campaign

New Delhi : One of the most galling atrocities

committed against Uighur women in the camps is

the Chinese Communist Partys (CCP) forced sterilisation

campaign.

In multiple reports, The Washington Times has

said that women receive shots leading to their infertility

underscores the CCP's ultimate aim: to eradicate

the Uighur race.

Every day, more Uighurs are brought to these

camps, where they face attacks on their faith, culture,

and their bodies.

This genocidal war is an attempt to wipe out a

people as an independent group, with horrors not

seen on this massive scale since the Holocaust.

Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim people, have

been the target of the Beijing government for

decades, who ruthlessly carry out campaigns of

repression to keep the area colonised under Chinese

rule. Tragically in recent years, these repressive

campaigns have only escalated, becoming far more

aggressive, the Washington Times reported.

Recent estimates suggest that millions of

Uighurs are going in and out of these camps.

By intertwining the ethnic identity of the Uighur

people with attacks on Islam, the Chinese state's

fear of religion is on display.

auction house, a major book publisher,

a producer of television and films, a

fashion designer, a hardware manufacturer,

and a leading host of cloud server

space.

Khan says that allthough Amazon

has clocked staggering growth, it generates

meagre profits, choosing to

price below-cost and expand widely

instead. Through this strategy, the

company has positioned itself at the

centre of e-commerce and now serves

as essential infrastructure for a host of

other businesses that depend upon it.

"Elements of the firm's structure

and conduct pose anticompetitive concerns,

yet it has escaped antitrust

scrutiny. This note argues that the current

framework in antitrust, specifically

its pegging competition to 'consumer

welfare' defined as short-term

price effects, is unequipped to capture

the architecture of market power in the

modern economy," Khan said in the

article.

"We cannot cognize the potential

harms to competition posed by

Amazon's dominance if we measure

competition primarily through price

and output. Specifically, current doctrine

underappreciates the risk of

Canberra : The Australian government

has launched a permanent firearms

amnesty, allowing people to hand in

illegal guns without repercussions.

From Thursday, Australians can surrender

any unregistered firearms or

firearm-related items to police or

firearm dealers for registration, sale or

destruction, reports Xinhua news

agency.

Possessing an unregistered firearm is

a criminal offence with offenders facing

imprisonment.

The amnesty grants people who

come forward with their firearms immunity

from prosecution.

Jason Wood, assistant minister for

community safety, said that unregistered

firearms were a major threat to the

Australian community.

"They are difficult to trace and can

fall into the hands of criminals to commit

terrible crimes while avoiding

predatory pricing and how integration

across distinct business lines may

prove anticompetitive.

"My argument is part of a larger

recent debate about whether the current

paradigm in antitrust has failed.

Though relegated to technocrats for

decades, antitrust and competition policy

have once again become topics of

public concern," Khan added in the

article. Last year, the Wall Street

Journal reported that "(a) growing

Australia launches

permanent gun amnesty

police detection," he

told the Australian

Broadcasting

Corporation (ABC).

"An unwanted

firearm can also be

deadly. If not properly

stored, there is

always a risk that it

could harm you or

your loved ones."

The John

Howard government's

buyback plan

in 1996-97 led to

650,000 legallyowned

guns being

seized and

destroyed after 35 people were killed in

Australia's worst mass shooting in the

Tasmanian town of Port Arthur.

More than 57,000 firearms were

turned in during another amnesty, which

was held over three months in 2017.

Crime Stoppers will hold 65 community

events across the country encouraging

people to surrender their weapons

under the latest amnesty.

"There are more than 26 million

Australians who place the highest value

on living in a safe community, and thousands

of law-abiding people with registered

firearms that they use for their

work or hobby," said Diana Forrester,

chair of Crime Stoppers Australia.

"Sadly it is the minority who use

firearms to threaten and injure others,

and it is important to limit the opportunity

for these criminals to access and

use firearms."

number of industries in the US are

dominated by a shrinking number of

companies".

In March 2016, the Economist

declared that the "profits are too high.

America needs a dose of competition".

Policy elites, too, have weighed in,

issuing policy papers and hosting conferences

documenting the decline of

competition across the US economy

and assessing the resulting harms,

including a drop in start-up growth

and widening economic inequality.

Antitrust even made it into the 2016

presidential campaign: Democrats

included competition policy in their

party platform for the first time since

1988, and in October of the same year,

presidential candidate Hillary Clinton

released a detailed antitrust platform,

highlighting not only a need for more

vigorous enforcement but for an

enforcement philosophy that takes

into account market structure.

"As Amazon continues both to

deepen its existing control over key

infrastructure and to reach into new

lines of business, its dominance

demands the same scrutiny," Khan

said. These concerns are heightened in

the context of online platforms for two

reasons. First, the economics of platform

markets create incentives for a

company to pursue growth over profits,

a strategy that investors have

rewarded. Under these conditions,

predatory pricing becomes highly

rational—even as existing doctrine

treats it as irrational and therefore

implausible. Second, because online

platforms serve as critical intermediaries,

integrating across business lines

positions these platforms to control

the essential infrastructure on which

their rivals depend. This dual role also

enables a platform to exploit information

collected on companies using its

services to undermine them as competitors,

it adds.

This Note maps out facets of

Amazon's dominance. Doing so

enables us to make sense of its business

strategy, illuminates anticompetitive

aspects of Amazon's structure and

conduct, and underscores deficiencies

in current doctrine.

The note considers two potential

regimes for addressing Amazon's

power: restoring traditional antitrust

and competition policy principles or

applying common carrier obligations

and duties.

'Phuket Sandbox program

1st step toward planned

reopening of Thailand'

Phuket : Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that

the Phuket Sandbox program is the first step towards the

planned reopening of the country in the wake of the Covid-19

pandemic. From Thursday, Phuket, the country's largest

resort island, started to waive mandatory quarantine for vaccinated

foreign tourists, reports Xinhua news agency.

They can travel to the rest parts of Thailand after staying

on the island for 14 nights under the Phuket Sandbox program.

Delivering a speech at a hotel here, the Prime Minister

said that Phuket is a small island province, which can be easily

put under control in the sustained pandemic situation and

is viewed as the model for the planned reopening of other

tourist destinations throughout the country.

Prayut, who presided over the kick-off of the Phuket

Sandbox campaign on the tourist island with the first group of

foreign visitors from Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates,

has planned to reopen the whole country in the next 120 days.

According to the country's Centre for Covid-19 Situation

Administration (CCSA), 70 per cent of the population in

Phuket have received their first dose of a vaccine, while 56

per cent have gotten their second shots.

Prayut encouraged local people to make the Phuket

Sandbox success by reopening the businesses and make it a

model for other regions in the country.

Other tourist destinations, which have reportedly planned

to follow the Phuket Sandbox, include the capital Bangkok,

Koh Samui island and Chiang Mai.


4

01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021 ASIA

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India agrees to global tax framework

on TAXING MULTINATIONALS

United Nations : India has agreed

to a pathbreaking international framework

with 129 other countries for taxing

multinationals that could impact

its ability to tax them and have the

potential to douse trade wars over taxing

tech giants.

India and the other countries issued

a joint statement on Thursday affirming

support for the proposed framework

which has at its core a global

minimum corporate tax of 15 per cent

and makes way for countries to tax

multinational enterprises (MNEs),

especially tech giants like Google,

Facebook and Amazon, on their earnings

there. "It would re-allocate some

taxing rights over MNEs from their

home countries to the markets where

they have business activities and earn

profits, regardless of whether firms

have a physical presence there," said

the Organisation for Economic

Cooperation and Development

(OECD), which coordinated the development

of the plan.

It "will ensure a fairer distribution

of profits and taxing rights among

countries with respect to the largest

MNEs, including digital companies",

the OECD said. India and the administration

of President Joe Biden are

embroiled in a dispute over New Delhi

imposing a two per cent tax on earnings

in the country by foreign technology

and e-commerce companies like

Amazon, Facebook and Google.

Biden's administration retaliated

with a threat to raise import duties on

a range of imports, from prawns and

Basmati rice to furniture and jewellery,

but kept it in abeyance hoping

the new global tax framework could

resolve it. The OECD, which said that

it expected the framework to be

finalised in October for implementation

in 2023, estimated that it would

generate additional annual global tax

revenues of around $150 billion that

will be shared by various countries.

"Additional benefits will also arise

from the stabilisation of the international

tax system and the increased tax

certainty for taxpayers and tax administrations,"

the OECD said.

The framework got the approval of

the G7 leaders last month and is

expected to come up at the meeting of

the finance ministers of the G20 group

of major economies in Venice next

week. Biden and his Treasury

Secretary Janet Yellen propelled the

negotiations for the framework with

the goal of preventing US companies

fleeing to countries like Ireland,

Hungary and Lichtenstein and those in

the Caribbean region with lower corporate

taxes. Notably most of those

Over 30% kids in Lebanon

remain hungry: Unicef

countries did not sign the statement

agreeing to the framework. In hopes

that at least the major low-tax countries

would fall in line, Yellen said:

"Today is an historic day for economic

diplomacy. For decades, the United

States has participated in a self-defeating

international tax competition, lowering

our corporate tax rates only to

watch other nations lower theirs in

response. The result was a global race

to the bottom. "Today's agreement by

130 countries representing more than

90 per cent of global GDP is a clear

sign: the race to the bottom is one step

closer to coming to an end." The deal

has two parts or "pillars", as the

OECD calls it.

The first ensures the rights of countries

to tax the MNEs on their incomes

there. "Under Pillar One, taxing rights

on more than $100 billion of profit are

expected to be reallocated to market

jurisdictions each year."

The second pillar sets the global

minimum for taxes at 15 per cent without

a ceiling on the maximum.

With a minimum rate of at least 15

per cent, it "is estimated to generate

around USD 150 billion in additional

global tax revenues annually", the

OECD said. According to an analysis

of the implications for India by the

professional services company Dezan

Shira & Associates in India Briefs,

"India will be able to tax large MNCs

(multinational corporations) doing

business in the country, without a

physical presence or permanent establishment,

at 20 per cent of their profits

(exceeding a 10 per cent margin)".

"Thus, the measure, if globally

approved, will impact digital companies

in whichever markets they earn

revenues and make profits based on

their online presence," it said, adding

that "however, the G7 countries have

also called for the elimination of the

digital services tax or equalisation

levy". The equalisation levy is the two

per cent tax India imposed on the tech

giants that has led to the dispute with

the Biden administration.

Explaining the need for the framework,

the OECD said: "Recent, rapid

and expansive digital transformation

has had deep economic and societal

impacts resulting in significant

changes. This has sparked global

debates in many legal and regulatory

realms and international tax is no different."

It seeks to find a solution to

the issue of "whether international

income tax rules, developed in a

'brick-and-mortar' economic environment

more than a century ago, remain

fit for purpose in the modern global

economy".

Beirut : The Unicef has

said that more than 30 per cent

of the children in Lebanon went

to bed hungry and skipped

meals in the past month.

In Lebanon, one in 10 children

have been sent to work, 40

per cent of children are from

families where no one has work

and 77 per cent of them are

from families that do not

receive any social assistance,

Xinhua news agency reported

citing a Unicef survey published

on Thursday.

The survey also found that

15 per cent of the Lebanese

families stopped their children's

education, while 80 per

cent of caregivers said their

children had difficulties concentrating

on their studies at

home, which might mean

hunger or mental distress.

It also revealed that 60 per

cent of households have to buy

food on credit or borrow

money.

"With no improvement in

sight, more children than ever

before are going to bed hungry

in Lebanon," said Yukie

Mokuo, Unicef representative

in Lebanon.

"Children's health, education

and their very futures are

affected as prices are skyrocketing

and unemployment continues

to increase," Mokuo

added. The protracted economic

depression is just one of the

compounding crises in

Lebanon, which is reeling from

the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic

and the aftermath of the

massive August 2020 Beirut

Port explosions, as well as the

persistent political instability,

said the Unicef survey.

While the 1.5 million Syrian

refugees are the most hard-hit,

the number of Lebanese people

in need of support is growing

rapidly. "The World Bank has

described what is happening in

Lebanon as possibly one of the

top three economic collapses

seen since the mid 19th

Century. "What the Unicef survey

shows is that children are

bearing the brunt of this escalating

catastrophe," Mokuo

added.


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Tibetan student group ties up with

Myanmar democracy movement

Kolkata : Students For Free Tibet (SFT), a leading hardline

Tibetan group,

has tied up to

pro-democracy

groups in

Myanmar,

extending their

anti-China

campaign to

new areas in

Asia. SFT's

Campaign

Director Pema Doma told IANS they have linked up up the

Burmese democracy movement because China's repression in

Tibet and its firm backing of the oppressive Myanmar military

junta are but "two sides of the same coin".

"In June, we saw an unprecedented collaboration between prodemocracy

groups across Asia. SFT worked to further develop our

key alliances with pro-democracy and human rights groups in

Myanmar, Thailand, and other Milk Tea Alliance countries. We

organised and participated in virtual and in-person events which

have furthered democracy and self-determination in Asia," Doma

added. Doma said Tibetan activists will henceforth strongly support

the Burmese pro-democracy movement and appeal worldwide

to force the military junta to force an end to the massacre of

innocent civilians.

She said SFT staff also spoke at the Hong Kong movement's

6/12 rally to commemorate the second anniversary of the prodemocracy

movement in Hong Kong, a Milk Tea alliance rally in

Washington D.C., and a Thai rally in Washington Square Park.

Later in the month, Doma spoke at RightsCon, joining fellow

Tibet advocates from around the world to discuss the intersection

of technology and the Tibetan Resistance. Wrapping up the month

on June 23, International Olympics Day, SFT took a lead role in

organising the Global Day of Action against the 2022 Beijing

Olympics, with 50+ protests and actions in more than 25 countries

around the world, she said. From New York to Melbourne, Toronto

to Paris, hundreds of Tibetan advocates marched alongside coalitions

of Uighurs, Hong Kongers, Southern Mongolians,

Taiwanese, and allies to speak out against what SFT describes as

the 'Genocide Games'. Doma claimed the "day was a huge success"

and said they will pursue a strong global campaign to stop

the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

NEWS

01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021

Emiratis banned from travelling

to India, 13 other nations

New Delhi : UAE authorities have prohibited

Emiratis from travelling to 14

countries, including India, amidst fears of

the highly infectious Delta coronavirus

variant. Other countries in the list are

Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka,

Vietnam, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia,

the Democratic Republic of the Congo,

Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and

Nigeria.

The directive was issued by the Ministry

of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

(MoFAIC) and the National

Emergency, Crisis and Disasters

Management Authority (NCEMA).

UAE diplomatic missions in all these

countries, official delegations and previously

authorised business and technical

delegates were exempt from the decision.

The authorities have also permitted travel

for emergency treatment cases, with India

being one of the most popular destinations

among Emiratis for medical purpose.

While the Covid-19 infection numbers

continue to be under control in the UAE,

one out of three new cases were the Delta

variant. On Thursday, 1,675 new cases

were reported, with 1,556 recoveries and

eight deaths. With school year ending in

the UAE in the first week of July, it is the

peak travel time as many citizens and

expats head out to escape the heat. In a

joint statement, both authorities stressed on

the need for citizens to comply with all

Covid-related precautionary protocols, not

just at home, but also at the destination

country. The statement said that Emiratis

infected abroad will be allowed to return

after getting the necessary approvals from

EU Digital Covid Certificate

officially comes into force

Brussels : The European

Union (EU) Digital Covid

Certificate has officially came

into force, allowing citizens

and residents to have their pass

issued and verified across the

bloc. By Wednesday evening,

21 out of the 27 EU member

states, as well as Norway,

Iceland and Liechtenstein, were

connected to the system's network

while the others were

technically ready and joined

the system on Thursday, reports

Xinhua news agency.

Some countries already

began using the new health certificate

in June. According to

the European Commission, all

member states should now be

in a position to issue and accept

the pass.

The EU Digital Covid

Certificate is free and should be

recognized by all 27 member

states as well as Switzerland,

Liechtenstein, Iceland and

Norway.

The certificate will facilitate

travel, helping to exempt holders

from restrictions such as

quarantine. The EU had said it

was in talks with several other

countries, such as the UK and

the US, over mutual recognition

and operation of Covidrelated

documents.

The certificate applies in

three situations: it attests

whether a person has been vaccinated

against Covid-19,

whether they have had a recent

negative test, or whether they

are considered immune having

previously contracted the disease.

Countries are obliged to

accept vaccines approved by

the European Medicines

Agency (EMA), namely

Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna,

AstraZeneca and Johnson &

Johnson.

Welcoming its entry into

application, European

Commission President Ursula

von der Leyen said that "the

Certificate is a symbol of an

open and safe Europe that is

opening cautiously putting the

protection of the health of our

citizens first".

She said that more than 200

million certificates have

already been generated.

Under the new rules, member

states must refrain from

imposing additional travel

restrictions on holders of an EU

Digital Covid Certificate,

unless they are necessary and

proportionate to safeguard public

health.

the relevant authorities in the host country

as well as the UAE.

Meanwhile, Air India announced that its

offer for a free date change for cancelled

flights from India will be extended until

July 21. In a statement posted on its website,

Air India said: "Restrictions imposed

by the UAE Government banning entry

into UAE other than UAE Nationals and

exempted category between 25th April

2021 up to 04th May 2021."In view of the

same, one free date change to passengers

5

holding 098 documents for sector India-

UAE-India, during the period of ban will

be allowed. Difference in fare, if applicable,

will be charged. In case passenger

wants to cancel the ticket, NIL cancellation

charges will apply." Air India is currently

operating around 100 flights weekly to the

UAE under the air bubble agreement after

travel restrictions were implemented by the

UAE government. These flights can only

accept passengers eligible for travel to the

UAE under exempted categories.

Turkish women protest against withdrawal

of treaty to combat gender violence

Ankara : Turkish women

held protests in cities across the

country to denounce the country's

withdrawal from an international

treaty designated to

combat gender violence.

Turkey on Thursday formally

pulled out from the Council

of Europe Convention on

Preventing and Combating

Violence against Women and

Domestic Violence, also known

as Istanbul Convention, under a

presidential decree issued in

March, reports Xinhua news

agency. In the country's biggest

city Istanbul, women protesters

gathered on the bustling Istiklal

Avenue, carrying banners and

chanting slogans "We will not

be silenced, we will not fear,

we will not bow down".

The police fired tear gas to

disperse the protesters, preventing

them from marching

through the avenue and proceeding

toward the iconic

Taksim square. During the rallies

in several other big cities,

including the capital of Ankara

and Izmir, women demonstrators

called on the government

to retrieve the decision and

strictly apply the convention's

articles to curb the growing

violence against women in the

country. President Recep

Tayyip Erdogan said his country's

domestic regulations are

sufficient to combat violence

against women.

Erdogan on Thursday

announced a new action plan

for combating violence against

women.

"Just like our fight against

violence toward women did not

start with the Istanbul

Convention, it will not end by

withdrawing from this convention,"

he said.


6 01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Dominica PM calls claims of hatching

plot to bring Choksi 'total nonsense'

New Delhi : Dominica Prime

Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said that

his government's hands are clean with

regard to the 'mysterious' arrival of fugitive

Indian businessman Mehul Choksi,

who is wanted in the Rs 13,500 crore

Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud

case, to the Caribbean island nationon,

local media reported.

According to Dominica News

Online, Skerrit has labelled the claims

of hatching a plot with the governments

of Antigua and India as "total nonsense".

"To say that the government of

Dominica and the government of

Antigua along with India colluded in

any way, give me a break, that's total

nonsense.

We don't get ourselves involved in

those kinds of activities, those practices,

not at all. I mean, that is absurd and we

reject it and it is unfortunate that anybody

would want to propagate this

Chennai : A timely signal from a distress alert

transmitter (DAT) jointly developed by Indian

Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Indian

Coast Guard enabled the latter to save seven fishermen

stranded in mid sea.

According to the Coast Guard, in a swift sea -

air coordinated Search and Rescue Operation, it

located and rescued the distressed fishing boat with

seven crew onboard off Tillanchong Island,

approximately 350 km south of Port Blair on

Thursday. The Maritime Rescue Co-ordination

Centre (MRCC) Port Blair received an unregistered

DAT alert at around 11.30 a.m. on June 30.

Since the alert was activated from an unregistered

DAT, details of the boat and its owner were

unsubstantiated claim by a gentleman

who is before the courts," he contended.

Skerrit further vowed that his government

will evenly apply the law irrespective

of who is accused of committing

crime.

He said that such was the case with

the Iranian born, Dominican citizenship

holder and diplomat, Alireza Zibahalat

Monfared, who was wanted by the

Iranian government for allegedly

embezzling billions of dollars while the

country evaded international oil sanctions.

Monfared was arrested in the

Dominican Republic in 2017 following

a lengthy international manhunt.

"You saw all this talk about

Monfared. Had he stayed in Dominica

at the time that the Iranian government

had asked for him, we would have

apprehended him," Skerrit stated,

adding "There was a discussion and a

decision to apprehend him so that the

Signal from ISRO-Coast Guard

transmitter saved 7 fishermen

not available with the

Coast Guard.

Soon it was gathered

that the DAT was issued to

fishing boat RSN-TWO

and the boat with seven

crew had left Port Blair on

June 28 for fishing.

A co-ordinated search

and rescue (SAR) operation

was immediately

launched and Coast Guard

Ship C-422, Vishwast and

Dornier aircraft were

tasked for search in the

area and the distressed boat

was located off

Tillanchong Island.

The fishing boat was towed by Coast Guard

ship to Kamorta. "The instant case has once again

highlighted the importance of carriage of DATs by

fishing boats and proved its efficacy in saving lives

at sea in times of distress," Coast Guard said.

Developed jointly by ISRO and ICG, DAT is an

indigenous, low cost and effective satellite transmitter

built for fishermen which relays distress

alerts to SAR authorities through INSAT satellites

instantly with the press of a button.

Coast Guard, at various forums, has not only

reiterated the importance of carriage of DAT by

Indian fishermen but also emphasised on significance

of DATs registration by fishermen for effecting

timely SAR response.

Iranian authorities could present to us

the charges. Mr Monfared was a

Dominican citizen but we hold a brief to

the international law, our responsibilities

and our obligations." Earlier, opposition

leader from the United Workers

Party (UWP), Lennox Linton, had

alleged that the Dominican government

was involved in a cover-up on behalf of

the Iranian national and ex-Dominican

diplomat, who was arrested on allegations

of being involved in his country's

biggest-ever corruption scandal.

He had claimed that the government

of Dominica had refused to cooperate

with the government of Iran on the

extradition of Monfared to face trial.

Linton had alleged that the Iranian

authorities had made their interest in

Monfared known to the government of

Dominica prior to January 20, 2016. He

maintained that Monfared lived in

Dominica until September 2016,

months after January 20, 2016 on which

date the government had said his diplomatic

passport was revoked.

After the news of Monfared's arrest

broke, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

had released a statement on his status,

saying that he became a citizen of

Dominica, and eventually a diplomat,

following a comprehensive due diligence

investigation.

Skerrit went on to urge his political

opponents, mainly the UWP supporters

and its leader, to not be selective in matters

they support, especially when it's of

a similar nature.

"I'm hearing Dominicans, especially

the opposition, talking about Mr

Choksi. There's a young boy from

Grand Bay facing extradition to the US,

but we heard nothing from the opposition

in that matter. So we cannot want to

be treating different people differently

depending on who they are or how

much money they may have. All of us

are subject to the law, irrespective of our

position or how much money we have

or we don't have," Skerrit argued.

The Prime Minister said that his government

will allow the court to carry out

its process with regard to Choksi and

gave the assurance that his rights and

obligations will be respected by

Dominica. Skerrit also expressed support

for the government of Antigua in its

move to revoke Choksi's citizenship.

Choksi, who is wanted in India by

the Central Bureau of Investigation

(CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate

Bengaluru : Hours

after an alleged close aide

of Karnataka minister B.

Sreeramulu was picked

up by the police, Chief

Minister, B.S.

Yediyurappa's son, B.Y.

Vijayendra on Friday

appealed to the people to

exercise caution against

fraudsters who are trying

to misuse his name by

making false promises.

In a two-part tweet,

Vijayendra who is also

the state BJP vice-president,

said that it has come

to his knowledge that a

person has misused his

name on many occasions

to defraud people and has

received money by luring

them with false assurances.

"So beware of such

fraudulent people and immediately bring it to my

notice if you come across any such incidents of

fraudsters trying to misuse my name by making

false promises," he said in a tweet and added that

as soon as such fraud came to his notice, he lodged

a police complaint and requested the police to take

(ED), had gone missing from Antigua

on May 23, sparking a massive manhunt.

He was later captured in

Dominica. His lawyers have contended

that he was abducted forcibly, and was

subjected to physical torture. Choksi is

facing charges of entering Dominica

illegally.

On June 25, during the hearing at the

Magistrate's Court, Choksi was denied a

'doctor of his choice' as was requested

by his legal team in Dominica.

Choksi had acquired Antiguan citizenship

in 2017 through the investment

programme. He had left India on

January 4, 2018, days before the CBI

registered a case into the PNB fraud

case. He along with his nephew Nirav

Modi is wanted in the case.

K'taka CM's son cautions

people against fraudsters

appropriate action as per

the law. Karnataka social

welfare minister B.

Sreeramulu is yet to react

on this entire issue but it is

reliably learnt that he was

upset about the way and in

a manner in which the

entire episode was handled

and invariably linked his

name with the alleged

fraud. The Bengaluru

Central Crime Branch

police have picked up a 35-

year-old person, who

claimed to be a close aide

of Sreeramulu. He was

picked up after Vijaynedra

lodged a complaint alleging

that the accused was

misusing his name to make

money from businessmen

and contractors.

Yediyurappa's son

Vijayendra, has already

come under the scanner after his own partymen

accused him of taking kickbacks for awarding contracts

and projects. These allegations have continued

even after BJP Karnataka in-charge, Arun

Singh issued a gag order during his three-day visit

a fortnight ago.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NewSpace India can also

lease ISRO assets

Chennai : The NewSpace India Ltd, the commercial arm of

Department of Space (DOS) apart from buying satellites from

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) can also lease assets

from the latter, said K. Sivan, Secretary, DOS.

Sivan, also the Chairman of ISRO told IANS: "NSIL will

acquire three communication satellites- GSAT 20, GSAT 22 and

GSAT 24- made by ISRO. The company will be the owner and

operator of the satellites."

Queried about transferring ISRO's other satellites to NSIL,

Sivan said: "We are thinking about asset transfer on lease basis.

Plans are there." Presently there are about 17 communication

satellites, eight navigation satellites (six under operation, two in

messaging services) and 17 earth observation satellites of ISRO

under operation. According to Sivan, the GSAT 24 satellite will be

launched by Ariane rocket belonging to European space agency

Arianespace. "The GSAT 24 will be ready for launch by this

November/December or next January. The other two satellites

GSAT 20 and GSAT 22 are under production," Sivan added.

The GSAT 20 to be launched by Indian rocket Geosynchronous

Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) will be fully propelled

by electric power. The satellite will move from the geostationary

transfer orbit to geosynchronous orbit with electric propulsion.

Incorporated in 2019, the NSIL's broad mandate includes

owning earth observation and communication satellites, providing

space based earth observation and communication services, building

and launching satellites as per demand, building rockets

through Indian industries, providing launch services and technology

transfer to Indian industries. Sivan said NSIL is also working

towards transfer of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) to the

private sector. The NSIL has issued the Request for Proposal manufacture

of PSLV rocket to short listed companies. The company

has also signed 13 Technology Transfer Agreements till date for

transferring ISRO developed technologies to industry.

Myanmar imposes stay-at-home

order in more townships

Nay Pyi Taw : The Myanmar government has imposed a stayat-home

order in nine townships across the Bago and Mandalay

regions due to the recent spike of Covid-19 infections. The stayat-home

order, which will be effective on Friday, will be applied

to Thayarwaddy and Minhla townships of Bago region and

Chanmyathazi, Chanayethazan, Pyigyitagon, Mahaaungmyay,

Aungmyaythazan, Patheingyi and Amarapura townships in

Mandalay, reports Xinhua news agency.

So far, the Health and Sports Ministry has imposed the stay-athome

order in 20 townships across the country.

According to the ministry's figures, the number of confirmed

coronavirus cases in Myanmar has increased to 159,347 after

2,070 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours.

In addition, 13 new deaths were reported in the same period,

which increased the overall fatalities to 3,347. A total of 136,992

patients have been discharged from the hospitals and over 2.74

million samples have been tested for Covid-19 so far.

ASIA

Sanaa : The International Committee of

the Red Cross (ICRC) has confirmed its

readiness to facilitate exchanging prisoners

between the various parties in Yemen's

years-long conflict.

During a press conference held in the

country's southern port city of Aden, ICRC

President Peter Maurer reaffirmed that his

teams operating in Yemen's branches are

still working to help those affected by the

conflict, reports Xinhua news agency.

He previously spoke Yemen's Prime

Minister Maeen Abdulmalik on the urgent

humanitarian challenges in the conflict-hit

regions. Maurer reiterated the "ICRC's

readiness to continue facilitating any future

detainee release operations between the

parties to the conflict". On Wednesday,

Maurer arrived in Aden, where the internationally

recognized Yemeni government is

temporarily seated, on a six-day visit to the

war-ravaged Arab country, including the

capital of Sanaa, which is under the control

of the Houthis, to inspect the humanitarian

situation there. In October 2020, the

Yemeni government and the Houthis

released a total of 1,056 prisoners from

both sides, the largest UN-sponsored

exchange deal between them since the outbreak

of the civil war in Yemen. Yemen has

01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021

Red Cross confirms readiness to facilitate

prisoner exchanges in Yemen

Kabul : After nearly two decades, the

US military has left the Bagram Airfield in

Afghanistan and has handed it over to

Afghan National Defense and Security

Forces, sources confirmed on Friday.

At its peak, the airfield, the largest in

Afghanistan and located 69 km north of

Kabul in the central province of Parwan,

witnessed the deployment of more than

100,000 US troops, TOLO News.

The handover of the airfield to Afghan

forces shows that last of the roughly 2,500

to 3,500 US troops have left Afghanistan,

according to the Defence Ministry sources.

Ahead of leaving the base, dozens of

trailer trucks loaded with scrap from

destroyed vehicles and equipment that

belonged to American troops left the airfield

on a daily basis.

Those who purchase the material say

that so far, the scrap has been worth millions

of dollars, TOLO News reported citing

the sources.

Some residents of Bagram said that such

equipment should have been handed over

to Afghan forces instead of being scrapped

by the US military. But US forces have said

the equipment will be scrapped so it does

not fall into enemy hands.

The Afghan government has said that

equipment worth $1 billion will be handed

7

been mired in a civil war since late 2014,

when the Houthi militia seized control of

several northern provinces and forced the

government of President Abd-Rabbu

Mansour Hadi out of Sanaa.

NATO Black Sea drills destabilising: Russia

Moscow : The North

Atlantic Treaty Organization

(NATO) is purposefully destabilising

the situation along

Russia's border with the Sea

Breeze 2021 military exercises,

the Foreign Ministry in

Moscow said.

With the involvement of

more than 30 countries and

5,000 military personnel, these

exercises cannot be called

"friendly" or considered regular

drills but are clearly politically

driven, Ministry spokesperson

Maria Zakharova said at a

briefing on THursday.

"The Black Sea space is consistently

being transformed by

Washington and its allies from

an area of cooperation into an

area of violent confrontation,"

Xinhua news agency quoted

the spokesperson as saying.

While discussing the recent

incidents in the Black Sea with

British and Dutch warships,

Zakharova explained that these

activities were clearly coordinated.

"This demonstrates NATO's

aggressive course towards

Russia. The North Atlantic bloc

is purposefully destabilising

the situation along the perimeter

of our borders and increasing

the risk of armed incidents,"

she said.

US forces evacuate largest

military base in Afghanistan

over to the Afghan forces.

US forces started a withdrawal on May

1, a process that is expected to be completed

earlier than the given deadline of

September 11.


8 01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

FB asks users if they know

any friend becoming

'extremist' online

San Francisco : Some Facebook users in the US are being

served a prompt that asks if they are worried that someone they

know might be becoming an extremist via suspicious online posts

or activities, as the social network aims to tackle extremism on its

platform. Other users are being notified that they may have been

exposed to extremist content.

It is part of a test the social media company is running that

stems from its ‘Redirect Initiative', which aims to combat violent

extremism, Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson, told CNN.

"This test is part of our larger work to assess ways to provide

resources and support to people on Facebook who may have

engaged with or were exposed to extremist content, or may know

someone who is at risk," Stone was quoted as saying in the report

on Thursday.

"We are partnering with NGOs and academic experts in this

space and hope to have more to share in the future," Stone added.

One of the alerts, a screengrab of which made the rounds on

social media, asks users, "Are you concerned that someone you

know is becoming an extremist?"

"We care about preventing extremism on Facebook," explained

that alert, according to a screengrab posted on social media.

"Others in your situation have received confidential support."

The alert then redirects the user to a support page.

"Violent groups try to manipulate your anger and disappointment,"

another alert reads.

"You can take action now to protect yourself and others."

That alert also redirects the user to a support page.

The Facebook spokesperson said the company is directing users

to a variety of resources, including Life After Hate, an advocacy

group that helps people leave violent far-right movements.

Branson aims to beat Bezos

in space race on July 11

San Francisco : Billionaire Richard

Branson is set to fly to space aboard his

Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity spaceplane on

July 11, days before rival Jeff Bezos who is

expected to take off in his own space

tourism rocket on July 20, the media

reported. Virgin Galactic confirmed

Branson's flight on July 11 alongside four

mission specialists and two pilots, the

Verge reported on Thursday. "I've always

been a dreamer," Branson said in a tweet

on Friday, after the company's announcement

a day earlier.

"My mum taught me to never give up

and to reach for the stars. On July 11, it's

time to turn that dream into a reality aboard

the next Virgin Galactic spaceflight," he

added.

The mission, dubbed Unity 22, will

mark Virgin Galactic's fourth crewed test

flight of VSS Unity, a spaceplane that

launches from a carrier aircraft mid-air and

ascends toward the edge of space to give

passengers a few minutes of weightlessness.

It will be "the first to carry a full crew of

two pilots and four mission specialists in

the cabin, including the Company's

founder, Sir Richard Branson, who will be

testing the private astronaut experience,"

the company said in a statement.

Unity is designed to carry up to six passengers

and two pilots. The company has

some 600 reservations for paying customers

on future space flights, with each

ticket going for around $250,000, the

report said.

Branson, in a video he tweeted, teased

an additional announcement after his July

11 flight.

"When we return, I will announce something

very exciting to give more people a

chance to become astronauts, because

space does belong to us all," he said. "So

watch this space."

Last month, Bezos announced a trip to

the edge of space aboard his venture Blue

Origin's first crewed mission of New

Shepard on July 20 with his brother Mark

and two others -- including the winner of a

28 million pound auction.

On July 1, Bezos announced the fourth

crew member -- Wally Funk, a legendary

aviator who also holds a ticket for Virgin's

VSS Unity. Virgin Galactic's announcement

also came on the same day.

Unlike Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin hasn't

announced the ticket price for future

New Shepard flights just yet, the Verge

report said. Branson's company has also

reportedly received Federal Aviation

Administration's approval to fly space customers,

last week, a first for a spaceline.

However, Blue Origin doesn't have the

same FAA approval yet, but is getting close

to securing it, the report added, citing a

person familiar with the process.

NTPC plans Rs 2.5L cr investment in green power

New Delhi : Betting big on green

power, country's largest power producer

NTPC proposes mega listing of its renewable

energy subsidiary next fiscal to raise

resources to fund its massive clean power

play. Sources in government said that the

power generator will be investing close to

Rs 2 lakh crore to Rs 2.5 lakh crore over

the next decade on expanding renewable

capacity also aimed at boosting equity

support, a big chunk of which would also

come from the market through public

offer.

NTPC recently doubled its renewable

power capacity addition target from

30,000 to 60,000 MW 2032. It aims to

have a thermal-renewable mix of 50:50

over next decade. Current try the company

has about 1500 MW of renewable capacity

with another about 3,500 MW under

construction.

NTPC will also cut net energy intensity

by 10 per cent. In this regard plan is to add

7,000-8,000 MW of renewable capacity

every year.

The equity needs for renewable expansion

is expected at around Rs 50,000 crore

while the balance investment would come

from loan and bond issues. A large portion

of the equity would be raised through market

plan for listing renewable subsidiary is

crystallised. Last year in October, stateowned

NTPC incorporated a whollyowned

subsidiary for its renewable energy

business in the name of NTPC Renewable

Energy Ltd.

26 village panchayats move SC urging

Goa mining stalemate resolution

Panaji : The representatives of 26

Village Panchayats from the mining

areas of Goa have made an appeal to

the apex court of India, to take the

matter of Goa Mining resumption on

urgent basis and provide the much

needed relief to the Goa mining

dependents.

The representatives of the village

panchayats from affected villages due

to Mining stoppage, claim that the

Goa Mining industry has been consistently

misrepresented in various government

departments and the judiciary.

These representatives earlier filed

a representation to the Supreme Court

of India demanding a solution to the

grave situation witnessed by people of

Goa since past 40 months. They further

explained that immediate resumption

of mining is the only tangible

solution to the devastating effects of

Goa Mining Stoppage disrupting over

3 lakh livelihoods followed by the

hard hitting impacts due to COVID

pandemic on Tourism sector which

further added to the sufferings of

Goans.

Jayashree Devanand Parab,

Sarpanch Village Panchayat,

Pissurlem Village mentioned, "Village

Sarpanchs, Workers' Associations and

representatives of various Truck

Associations and other ancillary bodies

have come together to discuss the

gravity of the situation. The morbid

condition of the people and business

owners post the Mining stoppage is

getting scary affecting the basic needs

of famiies. The picture of

AatmaNirbhar Bharat painted by the

Prime Minister seems to have become

a non-starter in Goa since people have

no business to run and the two biggest

job providing sectors are at the lowest

point. The first Covid wave had ruined

the Tourism industry which with time

was crawling to stand up again but the

second wave completely tarnished it.

The socio-economic thread of the

mining belt is in its worst state and we

hope that the 3rd wave do not strike as

it will completely destroys our village

economy leaving us helpless without

mining income. We are praying to the

Supreme Court to take a lenient view

on mining in Goa and give direction

favourable to revive the livelihood

through mining. It will be devastating

if mining does not start in coming season."

The mining stalemate in Goa has

completed its third year due to the

Policy paralysis, with no concrete

solution in the site for the stalemate.

There is an utter need to immediately

resume mining in the state to mete out

the disparity prevailed due to the policy

misinterpretation & Legal flaws.

The stoppage of mining in Goa has not

only brought economic instability in

the mining belt of the state but also

wrenched off confidence of people for

planning to educate their children.

There is a rise in the number of

domestic violence cases in local

households. Our trucks and machineries

are lying idle from past 3.5 years

and the debts are increasing manifold

leading tension in the households. The

long time idling of trucks and

machineries is causing rusting of valuable

infrastructure and who will give

us money or loans to repair or replace

this machinery when mining resumes

again. The delay in restarting mining

is affecting common mining dependent

people because there is no other

alternate livelihood to compensate the

mining earnings. The situation is that

the state Government looks totally lost

on the matter of loss of livelihood, so

the panchayats are approaching the

court begging for our livelihood as a

last resort " added Swati Tilve,

Sarpanch, Village Panchayat

Dharbandoda.

According to a report submitted by

State's Tourism Ministry in December

2020, Goan Tourism has suffered losses

to the tune of Rs 7,000/- crore; with

recorded job losses in the range of 35

per cent. With the second wave of pandemic

the entire structure of the state's

economy and livelihood of the people

has fallen apart, Considering the situation

of Grave concern in the state,

immediate Resumption of Goa Mining

will help in bringing back the state on

the track.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk ASIA 01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021 9

NAPM welcomes the Supreme Court judgment on

rations for all migrant workers and time-bound

registration of unorganised sector workers

SC has fallen short of delivering on its own observation of a "socialistic pattern of society":

Struggle for holding Govt and Judiciary accountable to working class must continue.

2nd July, 2021: The sudden and unplanned

lockdown imposed by the union government

in March 2020 in the wake of pandemic had

caused immense hardship to the informal sector

workers. After much criticism and concern

on its inaction, Supreme Court on 26.05.2020

took suo moto cognizance of "problems and

miseries of the migrant labourers". Later, several

persons associated with people's organisations

and movements filed intervention applications

in this writ. On 29th June, 2021

Supreme Court delivered its judgement after

the matter was taken up again during the second

wave of the pandemic.

Key directions from the judgment are summarised

below:

Dry rations: The SC, while emphasizing

right to food as a key facet of the fundamental

right to life enshrined in Article 21 of the constitution,

has directed the state governments to

bring in place an appropriate scheme for distribution

of dry ration by 31.07.21. Such a

scheme as per court's order may continue till

the current pandemic continues. Court has further

given directions to the union government

to allocate additional foodgrains for these state

schemes. The SC has said that all 2.8 crore

migrant workers identified under the

AtmaNirbhar Scheme last year by states must

also be supplied rations.

Cooked food through community kitchens:

The SC has directed state governments to run

community kitchens at prominent places

where large number of migrant labourers are

there, and these kitchens should continue to

supply food at-least till the pandemic continues.

Portability of ration entitlements- SC has

directed the states to implement the "One

nation one ration card" scheme by 31.07.21.

This scheme provides portability of ration card

throughout the country.

Revision of state-wise coverage under

NFSA- The SC has noted that more than 10

years have elapsed since the state-wise coverage

for issuance of ration cards under NFSA

was determined and updating the numbers to

the latest population count is bound to increase

the number of eligible persons. It has directed

the centre "to take steps to undertake exercise

under Section 9 of the National Food Security

Act, 2013 to re-determine the total number of

persons to be covered under Rural and Urban

areas of the State, which shall be beneficial to

a large number of persons."

Time-bound registration of migrant and

unorganised sector workers- Criticising the

tardy pace of registration of migrant and unorganised

sector workers which adversely

impacts their ability to access benefits under

various schemes, the judgment notes, "the apathy

and lackadaisical attitude by the Ministry

of Labour and Employment is unpardonable".

Further, calling out the central and state governments

for paying mere lip service to wellbeing

of workers, the judgment states, "tall

claims by all the States and Union that they

have implemented various welfare schemes

for the migrant workers and unorganized

workers remain only on paper without giving

any benefit to unorganized workers." The SC

has directed, "the Central Government to

develop the Portal … for registration of the

unorganized labourers/migrant workers. We

also impress upon and direct that the Central

Government as well as the respective States

and the Union Territories to complete the

process of Portal for registration under

National Data Base for Unorganised Workers

(NDUW Project)…the process of registration

of the unorganized labourers/migrant workers

is completed at the earliest, but not later than

31.12.2021." Further, it has directed, "all the

States/Union Territories to register all establishments

and license all contractors under the

Act, 1979 and ensure that statutory duty

imposed on the contractors to give particulars

of migrant workers is fully complied with."

National Alliance of People's Movements

(NAPM) welcomes the progressive aspects of

the judgement and sincerely hopes that the

Centre and state governments would implement

these in right earnest, to ameliorate the

conditions of the working class.The directions

on ensuring dry grains and cooked for migrant

workers till the end of the pandemic are significant.

Registration of workers, a welcome

measure, needs to be supplemented by new

schemes that provide for them.

It remains to be seen, especially after the

failure of the state to implement the

Unorganized Sector Workers Social Security

Act, 2008, how effective will be the implementation

of SC direction to identify and register

informal sector workers. Inter-state

Migrant Workman Act, if implemented properly,

can have a long-term impact on reducing

the exploitation of migrant workers.

Correcting the undercount problem in issuance

of ration cards is a crucial issue. While the

directions are important and can potentially

lead to nearly 13 crore additional people (over

and above the current 80 crore) being provided

ration cards, the SC has not given any timeline

for this. However, in the face of the severe

distress of workers in the pandemic, as recorded

by the SC itself, we are of the opinion that

the Apex Court has fallen short of delivering

on its own observation of a "socialistic pattern

of society".We are dismayed to note that the

plea for emergency cash transfers to pay for

basic necessities including rent, education of

children, gas, oil, milk has not been accepted.

Terming it a "matter of policy and being in

domain of the State", the SC has declined to

give any directions in the absence of a specific

scheme by the states/union.

When millions have lost livelihoods and are

struggling to pay for basic essentials, cash

transfers are crucial to help people tide

through this difficult period. The severe health

crisis in the second wave forced many to take

loans in order to pay for essential medicines

and oxygen which were being sold at astronomical

rates due to black markets. The world

over, countries have done cash transfer

schemes, which not only provide a life line to

people in economic distress but also keep the

local economy going.

The SC in its 80 page judgement has cited

constitution bench judgement (National

Textile Workers' Union and Others Vs. P.R.

Ramakrishnan and Others, (1983) 1 SCC 228

) emphasizing the importance of workers in

"socialistic pattern of society". During this

time of unprecedented distress, the central and

state governments have failed to provide adequate

economic package for people to meet

their basic need of food, clothing and shelter

when a large number of informal sector workers

have lost work. All evidence points to a

deep crisis of increasing poverty (23 crore

additional people have slipped below the

poverty line in the last one year as per a Azim

Premiji University report) and growing

inequality (income of Indian billionaires grew

by 35% during the lockdown while 84% of the

households suffered varying degrees of

income loss according to an Oxfam report).

We call upon the central government and

state governments to universalise food security

and provide cash transfers to the millions

who have lost livelihoods and are struggling to

survive.

Deciding cases not easy, need to focus on repercussions too: CJI

New Delhi. Chief Justice of

India N.V. Ramana on Friday

said deciding cases is not easy,

and it is also important to take

into account the repercussions of

the judgment and the precedent

it will set up.

In his address at the virtual

farewell function of Justice

Ashok Bhushan, organised by

the Supreme Court Bar

Association (SCBA), he said:

"Deciding cases is not an easy

task. We not only have to focus

on the law and precedents surrounding

the issue before us, as

well as the facts of the case, but

also the repercussions of what

we decide and the precedent we

may be setting."

CJI Ramana stressed that this

makes it necessary for judges to

be logical, objective and theoretically

sound. "However, we

should not lose sight of the people

and their difficulties behind

the cases. The little discretion

that is given to us, is the area in

which a judge has flexibility to

display his philosophy," he

added.

He noted that it is Justice

Bhushan's philosophy which sets

him apart from everyone else

and he, with his remarkable

judgments, has not only left an

indelible mark in the history of

the Indian judiciary, but, by

virtue of being a humanist judge,

has also left a mark in the minds

and hearts of the people.

"The Bar is the protector of

the institution. Lawyers must

respect the institution and protect

the judiciary from any

onslaught which is likely to

affect the functioning of the judicial

system," he added.

Attorney General K.K.

Venugopal said that compassion

is the most important quality to

be possessed by the judge of the

apex court or any other. Citing

Justice Bhushan's judgement for

providing dry ration and community

kitchesn to migrant

workers continuously till the

pandemic continues,

Venugopal said it is an example

of a judge filled with compassion.

Senior advocate and

SCBA President Vikas Singh

said it is a very emotional

farewell and described Justice

Bhushan as a fine gentleman.

He said that Justice Bhushan

wrote the famous addendum to

the Ayodhya title dispute judgment

and cited his immense

knowledge on Hindu culture.

Justice Bhushan said after

serving in the Supreme Court

for five years, he was really

moved by love and affection

showered on him by judges and

members of the Bar. While he

was supposed to retire on July

4, a virtual farewell ceremony

was held for him on

Wednesday as he had to attend

the last rites of his mother, who

passed away recently at

Prayagraj. On Friday, the

SCBA and various Bar members

of the top court organised

a virtual farewell for him.

Born on July 5, 1956 in

Jaunpur district of Uttar

Pradesh to Chandrama Prasad

Srivastava and his wife

Kalavathi Srivastava, he graduated

in Arts in 1975 and

obtained his law degree from

the Allahabad University in

1979. He enrolled as an advocate

in Uttar Pradesh on April

6, 1979. After more than 20

years of successful practice,

he was elevated as a permanent

Judge of the Allahabad

High Court on April 24, 2001.

After a stint as the Chief

Justice of the Kerala High

Court, he was elevated as a

judge of the Supreme Court on

May 13, 2016.


10 01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Sidhu mocks Punjab govt, asks to

follow AAP's Delhi electricity model

Chandigarh : Mocking at his own

government in Punjab over power outages,

Congress leader and former

Cabinet minister Navjot Sidhu on

Friday asked the government to follow

the AAP's Delhi model of extending

subsidies to generation companies.

"There is no need for power cuts in

Punjab or for the Chief Minister to regulate

office timings or AC use of the

Common People...If we act in the right

direction," said a sulking Sidhu, who

met Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul

Gandhi separately in New Delhi on June

30 and apprised them of the political situation

in Punjab that will go to the polls

early next year.

Facing severe electricity crisis, the

Punjab government curtailed timings of

government offices from Friday, and cut

down power supply to high energy consuming

industries with immediate effect

to save crops and ease the domestic

power situation.

Sidhu, in a series of back-to-back

tweets, said, "Punjab already gives Rs

9,000 crore power subsidy but Delhi

gives only Rs 1,699 crore as power subsidy.

"If Punjab copies Delhi model, we

will get merely Rs 1,600-2,000 crore as

Subsidy. To better serve the people of

Punjab -- Punjab needs an original

Punjab model, not a copied Model!!"

Indirectly hinting at a nexus between

the government and power

generating companies by

revealing the truth of power

costs, cuts, power purchase

agreements and how to give

free and 24-hour power to

the people of Punjab, Sidhu

said: "Punjab's revenue per

unit of consumption is one of

the lowest in India, due to

gross mismanagement of the

complete power purchase

and supply system...

"PSPCL pays Rs 0.18 per

unit 'extra' on every unit supplied,

even after receiving

over Rs 9,000 crore in subsidy

from the state."

Favouring investing in

renewable energy, that he

said, is becoming cheaper

along with being environmental-friendly,

Sidhu said,

"But Punjab's potential from

solar and biomass energy

remains unutilised even

though Central financial

schemes can be availed for these projects.

"PEDA spends its time just on

energy efficiency awareness".

Speaking on the lines of Delhi Chief

Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Sidhu

explained that about the Punjab model

for power by saying that the money

spent on giving unreasonable and exuberant

profits to private thermal plants

should be utilised for welfare of people,

i.e., giving power subsidy for free

power for domestic use up to 300 units,

24 hours supply and to invest in education

and healthcare. According to Sidhu,

Punjab is buying power at an average

cost of Rs 4.54 per unit, while the

national average is Rs 3.85 per unit and

Chandigarh is paying Rs 3.44 per unit.

"Punjab's over-dependence on three

private thermal plants at Rs 5-8 per unit

makes Punjab pay more than other

states."

Blaming the power purchase agreements

(PPAs) that the previous

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP government

had signed with three private

thermal power plants, he said till 2020

Punjab has paid Rs 5,400 crore due to

faulty clauses in these agreements. It is

expected to pay Rs 65,000 crore of people's

money just as fixed charges.

Favouring the need to set aside the

PPAs, Sidhu said the state can purchase

power from the national grid at much

cheaper rates. "But these Badal-signed

PPAs are acting against Punjab's public

interest. Punjab may not be able to renegotiate

these PPAs due to them having

legal protection from honourable

courts, But there is a way forward."

The cricketer-turned-politician had

resigned from his post as a Cabinet

Minister in the state on July 14, 2019

after differences with Chief Minister

Amarinder Singh over portfolio allocation.

Sidhu was in-charge of local bodies

but was shifted to the Power

Department. Party sources said a section

of the Congress central leadership

wants to suitably compensate Sidhu,

who has been pushed to sidelines, by

making him as the state party chief.

However, a section of Hindu legislators,

owing allegiance to Chief Minister

Amarinder Singh, are not accepting

Sidhu's induction. Their agreement is

that the party cannot afford to have two

Jat Sikh leaders in prominent roles --

one as a Chief Minister and another as

state party chief.

At a meeting with the Chief Minister

here on Thursday, the Hindu leaders

favoured the need to bring in a new

Hindu face to replace incumbent Sunil

Jakhar.

Sources said Sidhu's common grouse

against the government is going soft on

former Chief Minister Parkash Singh

Badal and his family as their businesses

are flourishing right under the nose of

the government. Sidhu's Friday's assertions

on power outages came days after

AAP national convenor Kejriwal kicked

off the campaign in the state by

announcing free and subsidised electricity

in the state, a tested formula of his

own in the national capital.

Addressing a press conference in

Chandigarh on June 29, Kejriwal

offered free electricity up to 300 units

and promised to waive all the old electricity

bills and arrears, if AAP forms

the government in Punjab.

Speculations in political circles are

rife that Sidhu may join the AAP ahead

of the 2022 Assembly elections.

Charred body of ISRO scientist's son

recovered from IIT Madras campus

Chennai : The charred remains of a temporary

staff member of IIT Madras, Unnikrishnan Nair,

who is the son of an ISRO scientist and hails from

Ernakulam in Kerala, was found in the hockey

ground within the IIT campus last night.

Nair returned to the IIT campus on Thursday

only and within hours his body was discovered.

The Kottapuram police reached the spot and after

preliminary investigation handed the body to

Royapettah Government Hospital for post mortem

analysis.

The Police Station officer said that a case was

registered and initial probe points at suicide by

pouring petrol from a small bottle.

The forensic department has collected water

bottles and traces of petrol from the crime scene.

An eleven page suicide note was also recovered

from his residence in which he said: "I do not know

what I am doing. I am very depressed. No one is

responsible for my death."

A case under section 174 of CrPC has been registered.

Kotturpuram police have already questioned

two IIT students, who were staying with

him -- Anil Kumar from Kerala and Prakash from

Salem but the police when contacted said that it

was routine questioning.

IIT Madras in a statement said, "An unfortunate

and tragic incident occurred in IIT Madras on

Thursday involving a temporary project staff. The

project staff whose body was found joined the

institute in April 2021 and was staying outside the

campus." "We are shocked and grieved and convey

our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends,

and colleagues of the departed soul. The police are

investigating the incident and the institute is fully

cooperating with the investigation."

Unnikrishnan Nair's father Reghu is a senior

scientist with the ISRO, Thiruvananthapuram.

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www.theasianindependent.co.uk

ASIA

01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021

11

SL assures EU to change

terror law to win GSP

EXPORT FACILITY

3 LeT terrorists killed

in Kashmir encounter

Srinagar : Three Lashkar-e-

Taiba (LeT) terrorists were

killed in an encounter with security

forces in South Kashmir's

Pulwama district, officials said

on Friday.

The encounter at Hanjin

Rajpora area is ongoing, the

police said. The firefight took

place started earlier in the day

after a joint team of the police

and the army cordoned off the

area and launched a search operation

on the basis of specific

information about presence of

terrorists. As the security forces

zeroed in on the spot where terrorists

were hiding they came

under a heavy volume of fire that

triggered the encounter.

Crucial RSS meeting in

Chitrakoot from July 9

Lucknow : A four-day crucial meeting of the Rashtriya

Swayamsevak Sangh will be held in Chitrakoot from July 9. Though

the meeting of the Sangh is an annual event, it is being considered

significant in the wake of upcoming assembly elections and need for

course correction by the BJP government in the state.

Senior functionaries believe that crucial decisions regarding the

responsibilities of top functionaries can be taken at the meeting,

regarding coordination with BJP on the election eve.

"Till now Krishna Gopal ji has been coordinating between Sangh

and the BJP. At the meeting we will decide if more people are

required for coordination at various levels," said a functionary.

The four-day meet is likely to discuss the situation in Uttar

Pradesh and also draft a roadmap for the next year.

Colombo : Amidst the fear of

losing the Generalised Scheme

of Preferences Plus (GSP+) trade

preferential access to European

markets, Sri Lanka informed the

European Union (EU) that it was

ready to amend the draconian

Prevention of Terrorism Act

(PTA), the highly criticised law

which was used to arrest a large

number of Tamil political prisoners

and detained them extensively

during and after the ethnic

war against Tamil separatists in

the northern part of the island

nation. "The EU was apprised of

the process that has been set in

motion to release detainees who

have been in judicial custody for

a prolonged period, under the

PTA," the Sri Lankan Foreign

Ministry said in a statement

issued on Thursday night.

The Ministry also updated the

EU on June 25 a pardon granted

by President Gotabaya

Rajapaksa on 16 former LTTE

cadres convicted and serving

sentences under the PTA.

"Action are underway to

revisit provisions of the

Prevention of Terrorism Act, No

48 of 1979, with the study of

existing legislation, past practice,

and international best practices,"

Sri Lanka informed the

EU. The Foreign Ministry also

stated that "plans are underway

to convene the Working Group

on Governance, Democracy,

Human Rights and Rule of Law

on mutually agreed dates in the

fourth quarter of this year".

The Sri Lankan government

also assured the EU of its "substantial

progress in areas of reconciliation

and development".

As part of the reconciliation

mechanisms, the government

has informed the EU of the

release of 79 million LKR to the

Office of Reparations in June to

settle 1,230 processed claims for

reparation and the release of 80

million LKR to settle a further

1,451 processed claims, out of a

total 3,389 processed claims.

"The government of Sri

Lanka maintains a regular, cordial

and multifaceted dialogue

with the EU. This includes the

constructive cooperation existing

between Sri Lanka and the

European Commission on the

review of the country's EU

GSP+ compliance with the 27

core International Conventions,"

the Foreign Ministry stated.

Currently the Third Cycle of

Review of Sri Lanka in the

GSP+ Monitoring Process for

2020-2021 is ongoing and a

GSP+ Monitoring Mission is

scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in

September/October this year.

On June 10, the European

Parliament adopted a resolution

calling for the EU to consider

withdrawing preferential access

to its markets unless the Sri

Lankan government complies

with its commitments to replace

the PTA. Quoting the recent UN

report in which it referred to

"alarming path towards the

recurrence of grave human rights

violations", the 705-member EU

Parliament adopted the resolution

with 628 votes in favour, 15

against and 40 abstaining.

The EU Parliament also

"deplores the continuing discrimination

against and violence

towards religious and ethnic

minorities and communities in

Sri Lanka, including Muslims,

Hindus, Tamils and Christians".

In 2017, then UN Special

Rapporteur on the promotion

and protection of human rights

and fundamental freedoms while

countering terrorism, Ben

Emmerson, highlighted the history

of Sri Lankan authorities of

prosecuting minorities on

charges of terrorism, noting that

"the PTA had been used to commit

some of the worst human

rights violations, including

widespread torture and arbitrary

detention, in the run-up to and

during the conflict, particularly

to target minorities and suppress

dissent".

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the

New York-based Human Rights

Watch (HRW) called on the

European Commission to

increase its scrutiny on Sri

Lanka and to set out a timeline

and concrete benchmarks for

replacing the PTA and fulfilling

other human rights obligations"

or otherwise suspend Sri Lanka's

access to preferential trading

terms known as GSP+. While

welcoming the pardoning of 16

Tamil prisoners, the HRW on

June 29 noted that it was an

"empty gesture" that fails to

urgently address the need to

repeal the draconian PTA.

Eurozone unemployment dips to 7.9% in May

Brussels : The 19-member

eurozone's unemployment rate

fell to 7.9 per cent in May from

8.1 per cent in April, the

European Union's (EU) statistical

bureau Eurostat said.

In the EU, the unemployment

rate was 7.3 per cent in May,

declining 0.1 percentage point

over a month, Xinhua news

agency quoted the bureau as saying

on Thursday. About 15,278

million people were unemployed

in the EU in May, 382,000 less

than in April. In the eurozone,

12,792 million people were

unemployed in May, a decrease

of 306,000 from April. For both

the eurozone and the EU, the

rates were still higher than a year

ago. In May 2020, the unemployment

rate in the eurozone

stood at 7.5 per cent and in the

EU at 6.9 per cent. Greece and

Spain were the countries most

affected by unemployment in

May, with rates reaching 15.4

per cent and 15.3 per cent,

respectively. While Germany,

the Czech Republic, Poland,

Malta, the Netherlands and

Hungary all registered unemployment

rates below 4 per cent.

The overall evolution of the

unemployment rate in the eurozone

and the EU has followed

the development of the economic

changes induced by the Covid-

19 pandemic. Unemployment

rose sharply in the second quarter

of 2020, when hard lockdowns

were implemented.

On kanshi TV

channel 772.

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6 :00 pm

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6 :00 pm

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12 01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Keralite IIT Madras asst prof resigns on

caste discrimination, letter goes viral

Chennai : Vipin Puthiyedathveetil,

an Assistant Professor of Department

of Humanities and Social Sciences

(HSS) of the Indian Institute of

Technology (IIT) Madras, has

resigned from the premier institute citing

caste discrimination.

He has sent the resignation letter by

mail to the authorities. Vipin hails

from Payyannnur in North Kerala and

has been teaching at the IIT Madras

since March 2019.

The letter which he posted on social

media platforms has gone viral. Vipin

in the letter said that he had faced

caste discrimination even in his

department of Humanities and that

OBC's and SC/ST teachers are facing

huge discrimination at the premier

institute.

Vipin Puthiyedathuveetil, who was

an Economics faculty in the

Humanities department, in the letter

said, "There were multiple instances

of discrimination and I shall be pursuing

appropriate actions to address the

matter." He also said, "Individuals in

position of power irrespective of their

claimed political affiliation and gender

were involved in discrimination."

The Assistant Professor in his mail

has encouraged people in the institution

to step up and raise complaints

with the grievances committee at the

institute and even with the courts.

In the resignation letter, he suggested

that the institute sets up a committee

to study the experience of the SC

Allahabad HC gets

tough on dress

code for lawyers

and OBC faculty. The letter also suggested

that this committee should have

members from the SC/ST commission,

OBC Commission and psychologists.

People across the various spectrum,

including writers, opinion makers, and

students have commented on the

shocking mail of the Assistant professor

which has gone viral.

Writer and Poet Sabin Iqbal, who

has authored Cliffhangers and Shamal

Days, told IANS, "This is shocking.

Action has to be taken in this and

youths cutting across caste, creed, religion,

and politics should be provided

equal opportunity in all areas in this

country and our constitution guarantees

that. Then why people are discriminating

against a bright young

educated professor in a premier institution

of this country. A commission

comprising OBC, SC/ST academics,

and lawmakers must be set up and a

proper study is conducted on this."

It may be noted that Fathima

Latheef, a student of Humanities at IIT

Madras had committed suicide in her

hostel room alleging that she was discriminated

by the college due to her

religion. In her suicide note, she had

named a professor of IIT Madras

regarding discrimination. A CBI

investigation is taking place on her

suicide.

Vipin Putheyedathveetil was not

available for comments as also the IIT

Madras.

Kovind lays foundation

of Ambedkar Centre

Prayagraj : The Allahabad High Court has taken a stern view

of lawyers appearing in multi-coloured shirts and vests during the

virtual hearings.

A lawyer was recently seen attending the hearing while travelling

on a scooter.

"Appearance of advocates in casual attire is very inappropriate

and unacceptable in any circumstance. Advocates should understand

that their appearance for hearing of cases through virtual

mode from their house or office or chamber is like an extended

courtroom and it is as serious as attending a proceeding inside a

court," the court said in its order during the hearing of a case.

The single judge bench further prescribed a dress code for

lawyers. "They are required to wear 'plain white shirt/white salwar-

kameez/white sari' with plain white neck band' while appearing

in court in virtual mode.

The premises from where they appear should have decent and

presentable background with peaceful surroundings and to remain

attentive towards the court. It would be appreciated if they wear

black coats also," the court ruled.

The order further said, "Today while hearing the present case

through virtual mode, an advocate, appearing on behalf of one of

the parties, appeared wearing a collared shirt and has not shown

any remorse even after an objection was raised on his conduct.

The court has shown leniency in not imposing any cost on the

erring advocate."

In its order, the court cited previous instances of such appearances,

which included 'a lady advocate with face pack on', a

lawyer 'while driving scooter', and an advocate appearing before

court while 'wearing a vest'.

The court sounded a warning and said that it will not ignore any

more 'casual appearances' by lawyers during virtual court hearings

and has asked office bearers of the Bar Associations of the high

court to advise its members, not to adopt any casual approach

while appearing before this court through virtual mode which may

cause hurdle in the administration of justice.

Lucknow : President Ram Nath Kovind

on Tuesday laid the foundation stone for Dr

Bhim Rao Ambedkar Memorial and

Cultural Centre in Lucknow's Aishbagh,

virtually from the Lok Bhawan here.

An urn containing the ashes of the Dalit

icon will be placed in the memorial and

will be open for public viewing.

Addressing the gathering after laying

the foundation stone, the President said

that Ambedkar wanted a society and a government

that would treat everyone equally

and work for the welfare of all.

"It is a pleasant coincident that we are

laying the foundation of the Ambedkar cultural

centre on a day when Ambedkar had

launched 'Samta', a publication 93 years

ago that aimed at ensuring equality for all.

He knew that unless everyone was treated

equally, a country could not progress," he

said.

The President lauded the Yogi

Adityanath government for following this

principle and ensuring equal treatment for

all. Meanwhile, the Ambedkar Cultural

Centre will come up in an area of 1.34

acres in Aishbagh area. A 25 feet high statue

of Ambedkar will also be constructed

which will be placed on a 20 feet high

pedestal.

"The project is expected to cost around

Rs 50 crores and, at least, a part of it,

specifically the area where the statue will

come up, should be ready by Ambedkar's

death anniversary on December 6," said a

government spokesperson. The centre will

consist of a library, museum and auditorium

with a seating capacity of 750. It will

be a hub of cultural activities, including

seminars, plays. Students can visit it for

research purposes. The library is likely to

have a vast stock of digitalized literature,

including books on Ambedkar and his own

writings. Earlier, chief minister Yogi

Adityanath welcomed the president with an

'angavastam' and a memento.

Maldives records over 550K

tourist arrivals from Jan-June

The Maldives has received over

550,000 tourists between January and

tions on travel.

The country banned arrivals from

June this year, data from the Ministry Asian countries including

of Tourism revealed on Monday.

The Ministry data showed that

555,494 tourists visited the country by

mid-year, with 24.3 per cent of them

coming from Russia and 18 per cent

from India, reports Xinhua news

agency.

Data showed that the number of

arrivals in the country declined in May

and June due to a surge of Covid-19

cases requiring strengthened restric-

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan,

India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

in May. It received over 555,000

tourist arrivals in 2020, down from 1.7

million in 2019, due to the Covid-19

pandemic.

The government aims to achieve

1.5 million tourist arrivals by the end

of this year.

Tourism accounts for the largest

economic industry in the Maldives.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021

13

Aus strengthens cyber security partnership

with Quad partners India-US

New Delhi : Australia has announced

that three of its leading universities will

collaborate with their American counterparts

to explore the use of trusted

autonomous systems for cyber security

as part of the Next Generation

Technologies Fund's (NGTF)

Australia�US Multidisciplinary

University Research Initiative (AUS-

MURI) program.

The country's Department of

Defence said that the aim of the joint

project - led in Australia by the

University of Melbourne and the

University of Wisconsin in the US - will

be to develop autonomous cyber security

systems through robust and effective

teaming of bots and humans.

It will also explore how cyber bots

can learn and form teams, either

amongst themselves or with humans, to

counter cyber threats.

"Improved security through cyber

autonomy is critical for Defence's future

in highly challenging and adverse environments,"

said David Kershaw, chief

of the Science Engagement and Impact

Division.

For Australia, cyberspace and critical

technology is now a foreign policy priority.

The Oz, who have made it clear

that it will affect all aspects of international

relations, also continue to

strengthen its cooperation with India.

The Scott Morrison government had

entered into a landmark, cooperative

arrangement with India on cyber affairs

and critical technology during the

Leaders' Virtual Summit between the

two Prime Ministers, last year.

The four-year $12.7 million partnership

aimed at creating a research and

development fund for Indian and

Australian businesses and researchers,

and support other countries to improve

their cyber resilience.

A steady progress has been witnessed

in the bilateral relations between both

Militants blow up

bridge in Afghanistan

Kabul, July 2 (IANS) Armed insurgents blew up a bridge in

Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province, disconnecting the provincial

capital Sharan to several other districts, a government spokesman

said. "The bridge was built with millions of dollars few years ago and

linked Sharan city to 11 districts onward to Pakistan was dynamited

early today (Thursday) and caused big problems for the people," the

spokesman told Xinhua news agency.

He also blamed the Taliban group for destroying the key bridge,

saying the militants are behind the "crime to create problems" for the

people. The armed outfit, which has been accused of bulldozing the

roads, targeting power pylons and destructing bridges, has yet to

claim responsibility for the explosion.

Colombo :

The newly

enacted legislative

framework

for the

Port City

Colombo

project will

help raise nondebt

foreign

exchange

inflows for the

island nation,

Governor of

the Central Bank of Sri Lanka

(CBSL) W.D. Lakshman said here.

Sri Lanka's Parliament on May

20 approved a bill to establish the

first service-oriented special economic

zone in 269 hectares of land

reclaimed from the ocean and

annexed to the city of Colombo,

reports Xinhua news agency. In an

official statement on Monday,

the countries after the elevation of the

relationship to Comprehensive Strategic

Partnership (CSP).

New Delhi and Canberra are gradually

working towards enhancing their

partnership with the private sector and

academia to work together in skill and

knowledge development besides

strengthening cooperation in the multilateral

fora.

Both countries, with their technical

expertise and engaged user base, are key

players in the global development of

critical and emerging technologies such

as Artificial Intelligence (AI), next generation

telecommunications (5G/6G),

Internet of Things (IoT), quantum computing,

synthetic biology, blockchain

and big data.

In April this year, the Australian

Foreign Minister Marise Payne had

announced the funding of three successful

projects in Round 1 of the Australia-

India Cyber and Critical Technology

Partnership (AICCTP).

The grants program exists to enhance

practical cooperation and collaboration

between the two countries on cyber and

critical technology issues, which will

help shape a global technology environment

that meets Australia and India's

shared vision of an open, free, rulesbased

Indo-Pacific region.

The three projects which were

awarded funding in the first round are:

- The Centre for International

Security Studies at the University of

Sydney and the Observer Research

Foundation, to develop ethical frameworks

and best practices for emerging

quantum technologies

- La Trobe University, in partnership

with the Indian Institutes of Technology

in Kanpur and Gandhinagar, to operationalise

ethical frameworks in the critical

technology supply chains of global

companies

- And, the School of Computer

Science at the University of Sydney, in

partnership with the Indian Institute of

Technology Madras, Reliance Jio and

the University of New South Wales, to

address privacy and security challenges

in next generation telecommunications

networks.

At the same time, India and Australia

also continue to share cyber security

threat assessments as well as information

on legislation and national cyber

strategies.

Earlier this month, in the first meeting

of the Joint Working Group (JWG)

on Cyber Security Cooperation between

India and Australia, both countries

noted the need to strengthen security of

critical information infrastructure as

'Port City Colombo to

help raise non-debt

forex inflows for SL'

Lakshman dismissed speculation

over Sri Lanka's ability to service its

debt as "unwarranted" and "harmful".

Lakshman said Sri Lanka's

external debt has been brought

down despite adverse conditions

posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the CBSL was judiciously

managing imports and foreign

reserves.

well as 5G technology and Internet of

Things (IoT) devices.

The JWG on Cyber Security

Cooperation is a mechanism established

under the Framework Arrangement on

the Cyber and Cyber-enabled Critical

Technology Cooperation between India

and government of Australia to implement

the 2020-25 Plan of Action. It

brings together policy makers and

working level experts in the area to

strengthen bilateral cooperation.

The two countries have also time and

again reaffirmed their commitment to

work together in the areas of digital

economy, cyber security and critical and

emerging technologies as identified by

the Framework Arrangement on Cyber

and Cyber-Enabled Critical Technology

Cooperation.

As the world witnesses an increasing

number of security threats emanating

from cyberspace, India realises the challenges

posed by cyberspace and the significance

of cyber security.

"We are witnessing a sophisticated

use of cyberspace by terrorists around

the world to broaden their appeal,

spread virulent propaganda, incite

hatred and violence, recruit youth and

raise funds. Terrorists have also used

social media for planning and executing

their terror attacks and wreaking

havoc," said Harsh Vardhan Shringla,

India's Foreign Secretary during his

address to the UN Security Council

Open Debate on 'Maintenance of

International Peace and Security: Cyber

Security', earlier this week.

"As a victim of terrorism, India has

always underlined the need for Member

States to address and tackle the implications

of terrorist exploitation of the

cyber domain more strategically," he

added.

(This content is being carried under

an arrangement with

indianarrative.com)

Women soldiers deployment

in J&K's Ganderbal to

improve interface with public

Srinagar : Indian army deployed women soldiers on

Friday at various checkpoints in J&K's Ganderbal district

in order to bridge the gap between locals and the security

forces. Colonel R.S. Karakoti, commanding officer of 34

Assam Rifles said the Rifle women of Assam Rifles have

been deployed at mobile vehicle check posts in Ganderbal

district. Women soldiers are also known as Rifle women in

the area. They were first deployed in Kupwara district in

August 2020 after intelligence reports that militants were

employing women handlers for narco and weapon smuggling.

Colonel Karakoti said the Rifle women have been a

force multiplier and they have become the bridge between

the locals and the security forces.

"We deploy them during other operations as well. They

have been able to develop a special relationship between

the locals and the security forces," the officer said.


14 01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Nepal to resume regular visa

services for foreign residents

Monsoon Session of Parliament

likely from July 19

New Delhi : The Monsoon session of Parliament is likely to commence

on its usual timing this year with signals coming from the government

to hold the session in the third week of July, sources said. It

is expected that the session might be held from July 19 to August 13

with all Covid-related protocols.

The nearly month-long session is likely to have around 20 sittings,

sources said. The Monsoon session of Parliament usually commences

in the third week of July and concludes ahead of Independence day.

However, the final date will be officially declared after the

Cabinet Committees on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) meeting

which will be chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The CCPA

meeting is slated to be held after Rajnath Singh returns from his

three-day Ladakh visit. Modalities of holding this year's Monsoon

session are still being discussed.

Earlier, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi had said the

government may hold the Monsoon session as per its normal schedule

in July. Since the pandemic began, three sessions of Parliament -

- Budget, Monsoon and Winter Session -- were curtailed and the

Winter Session last year had to be cancelled. Last year, the Monsoon

session, which usually starts in July, had begun in September.

The authorities are confident of holding Monsoon session in July

this year as most of the parliamentarians, staff members of both the

Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha secretariats and other stakeholders

have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine.

Two drones again spotted over

military area in Jammu

Srinagar : Two drones were spotted over the military installations

on Wednesday in Jammu city which were fired upon by alert troops

forcing them to withdraw. Police sources said two drones were spotted

around 6 a.m. over the army installations in Miran Sahib and

Kunjwani areas of Jammu city. "Alert troops fired at these drones

after which they withdrew," sources said. On Tuesday, drones were

spotted over military camps in the Kaluchak and Ratnuchak areas

which were also fired upon. The Union home ministry has issued

orders to formally hand over the investigation of the drone attacks at

Air Force Station in Jammu to the NIA.

Meanwhile, an army soldier was injured in a firing exchange

between hiding militants and the army personnel in Dadal village of

Sunderbani tehsil of Rajouri district. A search operation was

launched in the area after a small group of suspicious, armed persons

were seen in the village few kilometres away from the Line of

Control (LoC). "The injured soldier has been shifted for treatment to

hospital. The operation is going on in the area," sources said.

4 INJURED IN PAK BLAST

Islamabad : Four people were injured in a blast in Quetta, capital

of Pakistan's Balochistan

province, local reports said.

The explosion targeted a

security forces' convoy in the

city on Thursday night,

Xinhua news agency quoted

the reports as saying.

Fire erupted in one of the

vehicles following the explosion.

The impact was so

strong that window panes of nearby houses were also destroyed. The

injured were shifted to a nearby military hospital while a state of

emergency has also been declared in Civil Hospital, Quetta to meet

any untoward situation, the reports added.

Kathmandu : Nepal is set to resume regular

visa services for foreigners residing in

the country from Friday after suspending

them for over a month due to the Covid-19

pandemic, the Department of Immigration

said. The Department said that it had decided

to restart all the visa services suspended

since May 20 by strictly following the health

and security protocols of the government,

reports Xinhua news agency.

"With the resumption of the regular visa

services, an estimated 1,000 to 1,100 foreign

passport holders residing in Nepal, who

failed to renew or regulate their visas due to

the lockdown, will benefit from it," Narayan

Prasad Bhattarai, the department's director

general, told Xinhua. The move comes after

Nepal has greenlighted limited resumption

of international and domestic flights from

July 1 with less coronavirus infections

reported and the restrictive measures eased

over the past two weeks.

Many foreign passport holders in Nepal

could not have their visas regulated as they

could not reach the immigration offices amid

a lockdown enforced since late April to contain

a second wave of the epidemic.

According to the notice, foreigners with

valid visas of Nepal until April 28 and who

are departing from Nepal by July 8 will have

their visas regulated without any charge at

the time of departure from the Tribhuvan

International Airport in Kathmandu.

Foreigners with valid Nepali visas until

April 28 and who shall be applying for visa

renewal by July 8 for continuing stay in

Nepal will have their visas regulated without

late fee and penalty.

Foreigners who are departing from Nepal

but applying for visa regulation after July 8

will have to pay all the regular visa-related

VCK plans massive rally

to retrieve encroached

Dalit lands in TN

Chennai : Viduthalai Chiruthaigal

Katchi of Tamil Nadu which is part of the

ruling DMK alliance and works mainly for

upliftment of Dalits and downtrodden plans

massive movement across the state to

retrieve lands belonging to the Dalits

encroached upon by others. The land popularly

known as Panchami land was gifted by

the British to the Dalits of the state and

according to a Madras High court judgment

12 lakh acres were given. However state

government records show only 1.09 lakh

acres of land under the Panchami lands, of

which 17,159 acres was encroached by people

of other communities.

Thol Thirumavalavan, President of VCK

and Member of Parliament has already met

the Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on June 25

and handed over a representation requesting

Stalin to intervene in the matter and to provide

justice to the Dalit community.

The VCK has already formed a committee

to chalk out future action plans including

massive agitations and protest marches

across the state even as the party is part of

the ruling alliance. The party will commence

the movement to retrieve the

Panchami lands in the budget session of the tee member, Tada Periyasamy, who is working

on the issue for several years is follow-

assembly with the VCK floor leader

Sinthanai Selvan already having sent questions

regarding the land and its present "The government of Tamil Nadu had three

ing up the matter. Periyasamy told IANS:

occupants. The VCK leader told IANS: "I commissions studying the issue and had

have already sent questions and is expecting given report but nothing much was

a reply on the floor of the house during the achieved.

budget discussions and we will commence "The 2011 state government data has

the official movement for restoring the lost revealed that 17,159 acres of Dalit land are

Panchami land hereon." The BJP is also encroached upon in Tamil Nadu and successive

governments have not done anything

upping its ante regarding the lost Panchami

lands and party national executive commit-

for that."

fees, according to the notice. Foreign tourists

can have their visas extended up to 210 days

from the previous limit of 150 days, noted

the notice.

Bhattarai said, however, that on-arrival

visas for foreign tourists would remain suspended.

"Certain foreigners, including diplomats

who need to come to Nepal, can get Nepali

visas based on recommendation of concerned

government agencies," he said.

One held with gold worth

Rs 31 lakh at Chennai airport

Chennai : Air Customs officials here have

arrested one person

and seized gold worth

Rs 31.50 lakh that he

was trying to smuggle

in, the Commissioner

of Customs at the

Chennai International

Airport said on

Tuesday. According to a statement issued here,

26-year old Fazuludeen of Cuddalore arrived

by an Air India flight from Dubai and was

intercepted by the officials at the exit point.

After a search, three bundles of gold paste

were recovered from his rectum.

On extraction, 648 gm of 24K purity gold

valued at Rs. 31.50 lakh was recovered and

seized under the Customs Act and the passenger

was arrested.

B'desh records highest daily

deaths amid new lockdown

Dhaka : Bangladesh has recorded the highest-ever

daily

Covid-19 deaths

amid the new

ongoing lockdown

enforced to

curb a resurgence

of the pandemic,

the country's

Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS)

said. On Thursday, 143 people succumbed to the

virus, which increased the overall death toll to

14,646, Xinhua news agency reported citing the

DGHS as saying. The official data showed 8,301

more new cases were recorded, raising the infection

tallt to 921,559. The total number of recovered

patients in the country stood at 820,913,

including 4,663 new recoveries on Thursday,

said the DGHS. According to the official data,

the fatality rate in Bangladesh is now 1.59 per

cent and the current recovery rate fell to 89.08

per cent. The confirmed cases have been rising

in Bangladesh since last month. To curb the

virus transmission, Bangladesh on Thursday

entered the one-week strict lockdown and Army

personnel have been deployed to patrol alongside

civilian forces to maintain law and order.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021

15

Afghan civilians take up arms against Taliban

Kabul : Afghan civilians have

started taking up arms in an effort to

defend their towns and villages falling

to the Taliban as violence has intensified

in the war-torn country in recent

weeks, according to a media report.

So far, hundreds of locals have

taken up arms in support of the government

forces across the provinces of

Takhar, Balkh, Badghis, Baghlan,

Nangarhar, Laghman, Jawzjan,

Samangan and Kapisa, Herat, Patkia,

Ghor and Kunduz, the TOLO News

report said.

Sources said that since Saturday

evening, five districts fell to the

Taliban –- Sayed Abad and Chak-e-

Wardak in Maidan Wardak, Rustaq in

Takhar, Arghistan in Kandahar and

Shortepa in Balkh.

During this period, the government

forces have had some progress but

could not recapture any of the fallen

districts, TOLO News reported.

"Paktia residents pledge to the government

and the security agencies that

we are with you," said Abdul Mallik

Zazai, head of the provincial council.

Some residents of Enjil district in

Herat who have taken up arms warned

the Taliban to quit violence or they

RJD attacks Nitish

Kumar after

minister's

resignation offer

Patna : After Bihar Social Welfare

Minister Madan Sahani on Thursday

offered to resign, the Rashtriya Janata

Dal (RJD) attacked Chief Minister

Nitish Kumar over his governance

model. "The double engine government

of Nitish Kumar is undergoing a

huge internal dispute. The boat of

NDA is wobbling and it would sink

anytime," RJD leader Mritunjay

Tiwari said.

"Social Welfare Minister Madan

Sahani has offered resignation as he is

miffed with the bureaucrats. There are

several other ministers in Nitish

Kumar government having a similar

plight. They are ready for resignation.

The bureaucrats are ruling in their

respective departments and not listening

to the ministers. "Our leader

Tejashwi Yadav is pointing out the

same for long time and it has been

proven on Thursday after Sahani

offered his resignation and BJP MLA

Gyanendra Singh Gyanu levelled allegations

on ministers for taking massive

bribes during transfer-posting of

officials and personnel in different

departments come under Bihar government,"

Tiwari added. "We believe

that the Nitish Kumar government will

soon lose its majority in the house as

ministers like Madan Sahani are offering

their resignation. In this case, the

Nitish Kumar government may collapse

soon," he claimed.

will face resistance from the people.

"We pledge to the people that we

will defend the country until the last

drop of our blood," Farid Ahmad, a

Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh) : A

Bajrang Dal leader was arrested and

later released for barging into a temple

in Aligarh and allegedly destroying the

foundation stone of a water cooler that

was donated by a Muslim.

Deepak Rajput, was released on

bail on Thursday evening amid

protests by the right-wing outfit.

Several Bajrang Dal members had

reached the Lodha police station

where Rajput was being held and

protested.

Lodha police station in-charge

public uprising force member.

In Ghor and Kunduz as well, people

say they have been left with no option

but to take up arms to fight the

Gajraj Singh said that Rajput was

arrested under section 151 of CrPC

(arrest to prevent the commission of

cognizable offences) and released on

bail.

Bajrang Dal convenor (city)

Gaurav Sharma told reporters, "There

was no need of a foundation stone

bearing the name of Muslim leader

inside the temple. This was a conspiracy."

The temple committee had filed

a police complaint saying that some

'anti-social elements' entered the

Khereshwar Mahadev temple and

Taliban. "We will suppress the Taliban

wherever they are. We will always

support our security forces," said

Abdul Rahman, a Ghor resident. Some

destroyed the foundation stone of the

water cooler that had been donated by

Samajwadi Party leader Salman

Shahid. The temple committee head,

Satyapal Singh, had demanded a probe

into the matter.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Satish Gautam

said that having a Muslim leader's

name inside the temple was an attempt

to "hurt the sentiments of the Hindu

community" and was being done with

an eye on elections, next year.

"How would they feel if my name is

mentioned in a similar way inside a

politicians said that arming the people

is a serious need given the current situation

and they welcome this move.

"Those who lead these forces

should be responsible so that when the

fighting is over they will not create

any problems for Afghanistan," said

Asadullah Saadati, the deputy head of

the High Council for National

Reconciliation.

The Presidential Palace said recent

moves in the last few weeks were in

favor of the Republic, reports TOLO

News.

The Ministry of Defence assured

that the activities of the public forces

will be well managed.

"The mobilisation of the people in

support of the security and defence

forces has had a considerable role in

retaking territories, especially in the

north, and has prevented the fall of

some areas," Ministry spokesman

Fawad Aman said.

Meanwhile, the Taliban warned that

those who have taken up arms against

them will not be forgiven.

The militants have so far captured

more than 70 districts since the start of

the withdrawal of the US-led forces

from Afghanistan on May 1.

Bajrang leader held for damaging

temple cooler donated by Muslim

Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh) : After

four of a family in Shahjahanpur committed

suicide last month owing to

pressure from moneylenders, now a

school teacher in Bareilly has ended

his life for similar reasons.

The deceased, Chandrapal

Gangwar of Sanjarpur, shot a video in

a field and also left behind a suicide

note in which he named three Bareilly

residents of "forcing him to pay more

money, even though I have paid more

than the amount I had borrowed from

them". He then ended his life by consuming

poison on June 30.

His family told the police that

Chandrapal had gone missing on June

26 and they had been searching for

him since then.

They found him lying unconscious

in a field in a village in Mirganj.

They rushed Chandrapal to the district

hospital where he succumbed

after being treated for four days on

June 30, said the family.

Police, meanwhile, said that

Chandrapal had shot the video after

consuming poison. In the video, the

victim alleged that he was taking the

extreme step because the accused --

Gudiya, Pappu and Kapil Chhabra --

mosque?" he asked.

The SP leader had donated the

water cooler to Khereshwar Mahadev

temple in Aligarh's Lodha area on June

28 after discussing it with the temple

committee.

Satyapal Singh said, "We did not

find any problem in installing the

foundation stone inside the temple

with his name. Unfortunately, after

this incident, we had to apologize to

him and return the water cooler to

maintain a peaceful atmosphere in the

town."

Another suicide in UP due to

moneylenders' harassment

forced him to pay more money

than he had borrowed.

The accused threatened that

they would kill his wife if he

did not pay the money.

Chandrapal urged police to

take strict action against the

accused, saying he had

"cleared all the dues, yet they

are threatening me. They are

responsible for my death".

Mirganj police station SHO

Daya Shankar on Thursday

said, "An FIR has been registered

under relevant IPC sections.

We have arrested

Santosh, while others will also

be arrested soon. Further

investigation is underway." It

may be recalled that a family

of four had committed suicide on June

8 in Shahjahanpur, blaming a moneylender

in the suicide note.


16 01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Gauri Lankesh murder: SC notice on dropping

of organized crime Act against an accused

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on

Tuesday sought a response from the

Karnataka government on an appeal

filed by filmmaker Kavitha Lankesh,

sister of journalist Gauri Lankesh,

challenging the Karnataka High Court

order quashing charges under the

Karnataka Control of Organised

Crimes Act (KCOCA) against one of

the accused in the murder of her sister.

The plea claimed the investigation

by SIT has revealed that Respondent

No. 6, Mohan Nayak, is part of the

syndicate led by Amol Kale which has

committed multiple organized crimes

apart from the murder of Gauri

Lankesh.

The plea said charge-sheets have

been filed with respect to the murders

of Dr Narendra Dabolkar in 2013,

Govinda Pansare in 2015, Dr M.M.

Kalburgi in 2015 and conspiracy to

murder Prof Bhagavan in 2018.

"Accordingly, the condition of at least

2 charge-sheets having been filed

against the syndicate in the last 10

years along with cognizance by competent

court stands fulfilled and invocation

of KCOCA against Respondent

No. 6 stands justified", added the plea.

The plea added that Nayak had

moved the Karnataka High Court for

bail after charges against him under

Stalin sanctions

Rs 100 cr to face

'third' Covid wave

Chennai : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister

M.K. Stalin on Tuesday sanctioned an

amount of Rs 100 crore from the Chief

Minister's Public Relief Fund (CMPRF)

towards procuring liquid oxygen for treating

Covid patients. The sanctioned fund

would also be used to take precautionary

measures to face the possibility of a third

wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

An official statement from the Chief

Minister's Office said that an amount of Rs

353 crore was received by the Chief

Minister's Public Relief Fund (CMPRF).

The Chief Minister had earlier sanctioned

Rs 50 crore from CMPRF towards

procuring essential medicines and another

Rs 50 crore for sanctioning RT-PCR test

kits. The official statement said that the

Chief Minister had sanctioned an amount

of Rs 41.40 crore for importing oxygen

concentrators and other equipment, while

Rs 25 crore was allotted for buying essential

medicines to treat patients infected by

Mucormycosis (black fungus).

KCOCA were quashed by the High

Court, and the bail hearing has been

completed in the matter. A Bench of

Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh

Maheshwari and Aniruddha Bose after

hearing arguments by senior counsel

Final easing of

curbs in England

set for July 19

London : UK Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed

that the final easing of coronavirus lockdown measures

in England is set for July 19 as planned.

In his first statement in the House of Commons

since taking on the new role as Health Secretary, Javid

said on Monday: "We see no reason to go beyond the

19th of July. Because in truth, no date we choose

comes with zero risk for Covid. We know we simply

cannot eliminate it, we have to learn to live with it.

"We also know that people and businesses need

certainty, so we want every step to be irreversible.

Make no mistake, the restrictions on our freedoms

must come to an end. July 19 remains our target date."

Javid made the remarks as the UK reported another

22,868 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period,

the highest since January 30 this year, according to

official figures released Monday. The total number of

coronavirus cases in the country now stands at

4,771,289, while the death toll stood at 128,367.

Javid's statement came less than 48 hours after he was

named the Health Secretary following his predecessor

Matt Hancock's resignation on June 26. Hancock

resigned after admitting that he broke social distancing

guidelines during an alleged affair with his aide,

which caused an outrage in the country.

Huzefa Ahmadi assisted by advocate

Aparna Bhat, representing the petitioner,

issued notice to the Karnataka

government and scheduled the case

for further hearing on July 15.

The High Court on April 22

Kathmandu : Nepal on

Monday launched a digital visa

system to replace its 45-yearold

hand-written visa regime.

Deputy Prime Minister and

Home Minister Bishnu Prasad

Paudel inaugurated the new

system under which visas are

produced digitally from the

integrated information system

of the Department of

Immigration, the Xinhua news

agency reported.

According to a statement by

the Department of

Immigration, key features of

the digital visa system include

hologram and water mark as

security features and QR code

in visa sticker with details of

the visa enabling authorities to

determine whether the visa is

authentic with the help of QR

code readers. The department

said that as the digital system

generates visas, their details

cannot be tempered. Likewise,

the software system itself will

generate visa numbers and

three visas can be accommodated

on a single page of passport.

"With the new system, the

security and management of

visas is expected to be strengthened,"

the department said.

"Currently, we issue visas by

quashed the order of the Bengaluru

Commissioner of Police passed in

2018 and the supplementary chargesheet

filed thereafter. Offences under

Sections 3(1)(i), 3(2), 3(3) and 3 (4) of

the Karnataka Control of Organised

writing manually on a printed

copy of visa sticker and such

visa is pasted on the passport of

foreigners," Jhanka Nath

Dhakal, information officer at

the Department of

Immigration, told Xinhua.

"Under the new system, nothing

should be done manually to

issue the visa." He said the new

system would pave the way for

the issuance of e-visas in the

future.

On the day, over 150 digital

visas were issued to foreigners,

with a Portuguese citizen being

Crime Act, 2000 against Mohan

Nayak were, thereby, dropped.

The top court observed that the

accused cannot be granted bail till the

plea is heard and disposed off by the

Supreme Court.

The plea claimed Nayak has been

actively involved in providing shelter

to the killers prior to and after committing

the offence and has participated

in a series of conspiracies, abetting,

planning, providing logistics. "With

regard to Respondent No. 6's involvement

in the murder of Gauri Lankesh,

the investigating agency has collected

sufficient material to connect him with

the case and establish his intimate

nexus with the mastermind behind the

entire event i.e. Accused No.1 Amol

Kale and master arms trainer Accused

No. 8 Rajesh D. Bangera who are part

and parcel of an "organized crime syndicate"

from its inception", added the

plea. The plea said: "The High Court

has failed to appreciate that on a bare

perusal of several judgments on the

question of invoking provisions of

KCOCA, it is revealed that the

requirement of one or more chargesheet

relates to unlawful activity of an

organized crime syndicate and does

not pertain to a particular member of

the crime syndicate."

NEPAL introduces

digital visa system

the first to receive such a visa,

said Dhakal.

The Department of

Immigration started the new

system at its headquarters, but

it aims to introduce it to all of

its offices within four months

after the new 2021-22 fiscal

year begins in mid-July.

While launching the digital

visa system, Paudel said it

would make Nepali visas more

credible and help ensure

national security, according to a

press statement released by the

Home Ministry.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021

17

Philippines extends travel ban

on India until July 15

NZ to resume travel bubble

with some Aus states

Wellington : New Zealand will resume the quarantine free travel

bubble with some Australian states from Sunday after Wellington

relaxes Covid-19 restrictions on Tuesday night.

The capital will move back down to alert level 1 from midnight on

Tuesday due to zero community transmission found after the Covid-

19 alert moved up to level 2 about a week ago, Director-General of

Health Ashley Bloomfield told a press conference.

The raising of alert level on Wednesday was due to a Sydney

tourist who visited Wellington between June 18 and 21 and tested

positive for the more infectious Delta variant of Covid-19 upon

returning to Australia, reports Xinhua news agency.

Under alert level 2, any mass gatherings are prohibited and limited

to 100 people.

Facial masks are mandatory on public transport.

As Wellington prepares to return to Alert Level 1 tonight, people

in the region are urged to remain vigilant and get tested if they are

feeling unwell or were at a location of interest, Covid-19 Response

Minister Chris Hipkins said.

He said there have been no cases of Covid-19 detected in the community

after nearly 2,500 negative results from contacts of the case

(including repeat negative results from the case's close contacts) and

wastewater testing The pause on the quarantine free travel from

South Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania and Victoria

will be lifted at 11.59 p.m. on Sunday, Hipkins said, adding this could

change if the situation in Australia evolves. The pause with Western

Australia, Northern Territory, New South Wales and Queensland will

remain in place so that outstanding test results can be returned and to

"give New Zealand time to assess next steps", the Minister said,

adding this will be reviewed again next on July 6.

Australian Deputy PM fined

for not wearing mask

Canberra : Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has

been fined A$200 ($151) for failing to wear a face mask inside a

petrol station in New South Wales (NSW) state.

Joyce, also the leader

of the National Party of

Australia, confirmed the

incident of breaching

coronavirus restrictions,reports

Xinhua

news agency. "I went

into the Caltex service

station. I was going to

the airport, fuelled the

car up with fuel, went in,

30 seconds later, A$200

it cost me, because I didn't

wear one of these

(masks)," he told Sky

News Australia on

Tuesday.

NSW police said they

were called to the petrol

station by a member of

the public and issued the

fine to a 54-year-old

male after reviewing the security camera footage.

"That person was apologetic and cooperated with police being

firm and fair," deputy commissioner Gary Worboys told reporters.

"Police are rostered 24/7 right across the state and they will take

action, and certainly the incident at Armidale is clear evidence that

police will investigate and take action."

It comes a week after Joyce was returned as the Deputy Prime

Minister after a successful leadership challenge against former

Nationals leader Michael McCormack.

The governing coalition government in Australia is formed by the

Liberal Party and the National Party, with the leader of the later serving

as the Deputy Prime Minister.

Joyce previously served as the Deputy Prime Minister from 2016

to 2018 when he resigned after being accused of sexual harassment,

an allegation he strongly denied.

Manila : The Philippines has extended

the travel ban for all inbound travellers from

India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh,

Nepal, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates

(UAE) until July 15, presidential spokesperson

Harry Roque said on Tuesday.

"This is one of the proactive measures

imposed to implement international border

control because of the Covid-19 Delta variant,"

Roque said in a televised press conference.

The Philippines has detected the more

transmissible Delta variants in the samples

taken from 17 returning Filipinos, among

whom a seafarer has died, the Department of

Health of the Philippines said.

The Southeast Asian country initially

imposed travel restrictions on India from

April 29 amid the devastating second wave

of the pandemic in the South Asian giant,

reports Xinhua news agency. It widened the

ban to include travellers from Bangladesh,

Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka from May 7.

It also banned international arrivals from

Oman and the UAE from May 15 after overseas

Filipino workers who flew in from these

countries tested positive for the Delta variant

Abu Dhabi : The Abu-Dhabi

based Etihad Airways said on

Tuesday that suspension of

flights from India to the United

Arab Emirates' (UAE) capital

city has been extended till July

21.

In a reply to a query on

Twitter, Etihad said: "We were

expecting some updates regarding

the travel ban extension

which we just received few

moments ago. I can confirm that

the ban is not lifted yet and has

been extended until 21st of July.

Our website will be updated

shortly."

The UAE's General Civil

Aviation Authority (GCAA) had earlier clarified that passenger flights between the Gulf nation

first detected in India. The Philippines has

reported a total of 1,408,058 confirmed cases

of Covid-19 as of Tuesday, with 24,557

deaths.

General Bipin Rawat visits forward

areas along LAC in Himachal

New Delhi : Chief of Defence Staff of

the armed forces, General Bipin Rawat, on

Tuesday visited the forward areas along the

Line of Actual Control with China in the

central sector in Himachal Pradesh.

On arrival at the forward most post in

the Sumdoh sub-sector, the Chief of

Defence Staff was briefed on the operational

preparedness of the forces towards

safeguarding the territorial integrity of the

nation. He interacted extensively with the

Indian Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police

and General Reserve Engineer Force personnel

deployed in the remote areas and

appreciated their state of high morale.

He encouraged all ranks to keep up the

high state of alertness and professionalism

displayed by them.

Later in the day, General Rawat visited

the headquarters of the Western Command

of the Indian Army at Chandimandir,

where he reviewed the operational situation

along the western borders.

The CDS commended the formation for

their efforts to ensure force preservation

and at the same time stepping forward to

provide support in terms of establishing

Covid hospitals in Chandigarh, Patiala and

Faridabad, providing paramedical staff in

aid of civil hospitals, assistance in vaccination

of common citizens and revitalising

oxygen plants at various places in the

nation's fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

He stressed upon the need to focus on

training hard and remaining vigilant to

thwart the nefarious designs of our adversaries.

He emphasised that all ranks must

keep themselves abreast with the latest

trends in information technology, emerging

cyber threats and counter measures.

India-Abu Dhabi flight suspension

extended till July 21: Etihad

and India will remain suspended

until further notice, reports the

Khaleej Times.

On Sunday, Dubai's flagship

carrier Emirates said that expects

to resume its flights from India

from July 7. But said that it was

waiting for exact travel protocols

and relevant permits from the

government authorities.

The Dubai-based airline had

announced the suspension first

on April 24 as a devastating second

wave of the pandemic hit

India, leading to record high

number of daily cases and

deaths. In May, it had extended

the suspension till at least June

14.


18 01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Life could exist in clouds of Jupiter,

not Venus : Research

New Delhi : Jupiter's clouds have

water conditions that would allow

earth-like life to exist, but this isn't

possible in Venus' clouds, according to

the groundbreaking finding of

research led by Queen's University

Belfast scientists.

For some decades, space exploration

missions have looked for evidence

of life beyond earth where we

know that large bodies of water, such

as lakes or oceans, exist or have previously

existed.

However, the new research shows

that it isn't the quantity of water that

matters for making life viable, but the

effective concentration of water molecules

-- known as 'water activity'.

The new study also found that

research published by an independent

team of scientists last year, claiming

that the phosphine gas in Venus'

atmosphere indicates possible life in

the sulphuric acid clouds of Venus, is

not plausible.

Through this innovative research

project, Dr John E. Hallsworth from

the School of Biological Sciences at

Queen's and his team of international

collaborators devised a method to

determine the water activity of atmospheres

of a planet.

Using their approach to study the

sulphuric acid clouds of Venus, the

researchers found that the water activity

was more than a hundred times

below the lower limit at which life can

exist on earth.

The research also shows that

Jupiter's clouds have a high enough

concentration of water, as well as the

correct temperature, for life to exist

there. The study has been published in

Nature Astronomy.

Hallsworth said: "Our research

shows that the sulphuric acid clouds in

Venus have too little water for active

life to exist, based on what we know

of life on earth. We have also found

that the conditions of water and temperature

within Jupiter's clouds could

allow microbial-type life to subsist,

assuming that other requirements such

as nutrients are present.

"This is a timely finding given that

NASA and the European Space

Agency just announced three missions

to Venus in the coming years. One of

these will take measurements of

Venus's atmosphere that we will be

able to compare with our findings."

Co-author of the report, an expert

on physics and chemical biology of

water, Dr Philip Ball, commented:

"The search for extraterrestrial life has

sometimes been a bit simplistic in its

attitude to water. As our work shows,

it's not enough to say that liquid water

equates with habitability. We've got to

think too about how earth-like organisms

actually use it -- which shows us

that we then have to ask how much of

the water is actually available for

those biological uses."

Co-author of the report, NASAbased

planetary scientist Prof.

Christopher P. McKay, said: "We

derive water activity of atmospheres

without a model of any sort, based

only on direct observations of pressure,

temperature, and water concentration."

Hallsworth added: "We have also

performed calculations for Mars and

earth and show that these calculations

can be done for planets outside our

solar system. While our research doesn't

claim that alien (microbial-type)

life does exist on other planets in our

solar system, it shows that if the water

activity and other conditions are right,

then such life could exist in places

where we haven't previously been

looking."

Co-authors of this paper include

planetary scientist Christopher P.

McKay (NASA Ames Research

Center, CA, the US); atmosphere

chemistry expert Thomas Koop

(Bielefeld University, Germany);

expert on physics and chemical biology

of water Philip Ball (London, the

UK); biomolecular scientist Tiffany D.

Dallas (Queen's University Belfast);

biophysics-of-lipid-membrane expert

Marcus K. Dymond (University of

Brighton, the UK); theoretical physicist

Maria-Paz Zorzano (Centro de

Astrobiologia (CSIC-INTA), Spain);

micrometeorology and aerosol expert

Juergen Burkhardt (University of

Bonn, Germany); expert on acid-tolerant

microorganisms Olga V. Golyshina

(Bangor University, UK); and atmospheric

physicist and planetary scientist

Javier Martin-Torres (University of

Aberdeen, the UK).

Pakistan terror network abroad

OVERLOOKED by FATF

A decision to maintain Pakistans

status in the grey list of the Financial

Action Task Force {ISI} was taken on

June 25 in Paris. A dissatisfied panel

comprising China, among other things

questioned why there is a seemingly

unnecessary delay in the court proceedings

of the 1373 UN designated

terrorists imprisoned in the country.

Pakistan was told to do more with

regards to tracking and cracking down

money laundering which they believe

is a means to supply dosh for carrying

out acts of terror.

One aspect that comes to mind that

might thus far has been ignored by the

FATF team is perhaps Pakistan terror

financing operations involving their

foreign missions. It would be interesting

to note that recent news articles

published in international print media

manifest Pakistani Diplomats not only

of indulging in antisocial and but even

criminal behaviour and acts that are of

terrorist nature.

Is it not true that individuals chosen

to serve their countries in alien lands

are carefully selected and trained? As

a matter of fact, two Pakistani diplomats

were recently caught

stealing a hat worth $10.70

and chocolate worth $1.7 in

Yongsan, South Korea, this

April.

One might give them the

benefit of doubt and call it a

one off incident.

However, during recent

years' irrefutable evidence has

been mounting regarding the

criminal behaviour of

Pakistani diplomatic community

which is of a worrying

nature. An incident took place in

Bangladesh and resulted in the expulsion

of Farina Arshad, Second

Secretary (Political) working at the

Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka.

She was accused of facilitating terror

financing in 2015.2

Amir Zubair Siddiqui, a visa counsellor

at the Pakistan High

Commission in Colombo had been put

on the terror watch list by the Indian

National Investigation Agency for

indulging in

espionage and terror activities, and

then came the arrest and deportation of

two employees of the Pakistan High

Commission in New Delhi in 2020

who were accused of espionage.

An isolated incident may reflect an

individual act, but regular and repeated

offences tell a different story about

Pakistani diplomats.

It is common knowledge that

Pakistan's foreign policy is controlled

by the army at GHQ in Rawalpindi.

The Inter-Services Intelligence

Agency (ISI) personnel are routinely

deputed to Pakistani missions abroad.

They have been caught red-handed on

several occasions while pursuing terrorism-related

and activities.

For instance, in 2001,

Mohammad Arshad

Cheema, First Secretary at

the Pakistani high commission

in Kathmandu,

was arrested for possessing

16 kg of RDX.5 Few

years back in 2014

Pakistani Defense Attache

(and ISI representative) in

Colombo, Colonel

Shahryar Butt, was repatriated

because he kept on ‘checking'

into the High Commission's affairs.

The key to understanding the above

phenomena lies in recognizing that ISI

cells are present in almost all Pakistani

Embassies. Perhaps, Pakistan has different

standards for when it comes to

diplomatic responsibilities. No wonder

during the period between May

2018-19 the US had restricted the

movement of Pakistani diplomats to a

few square miles within Washington.

However, even more alarming is a

spate of morally shameful acts that

Pakistani diplomats have indulged

into in the recent past. Allegations

such as domestic abuse conducted

against his spouse by Munir Akram,

Pakistan's current Permanent

Representative to UN; arrest of

Mazhar Khan, the Assistant Visa

Officer at the Pakistani High

Commission in Dhaka accused of

dealing in fake currencies in 2015,

abduction and rape charges brought

against two Pakistani diplomats in the

UK in 20146 and Waqas Ahmed, a

Pakistani diplomat in Harare was

arrested and imprisoned for human

trafficking in May 2020. These were

crimes of such serious nature that

Islamabad was forced to voluntarily

surrendered their diplomatic immunity.

The murder of Baloch journalist

Sajid Baloch in Sweden and that of

human rights activist Karima Baloch

are also attributed to the clandestine

network of Pakistani ISI cells working

from Pakistani missions abroad. In

any future meeting of the FATF it

would be wise to look into Pakistan's

involvement in global terrorism and to

curb acts of terrorism that have made

our world a less safe place.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

INDIA FACING TOUGH WATERS

Few years back, India was

addressed as a country having vast

potential to become one of the biggest

economies on the economic map of the

world. From the title of Third World

Country to Developing nation, Our

Prime Minister promised Trillion

Dollars Economy to the World.

Accordingly he travelled far and wide

to garner support from European, Gulf

and North American Countries.

The sole purpose of tours of Prime

Minister along with the CEOs of big

Corporates was to invite investments as

well as signing MoUs for finalising

business ties with the MNCs in those

countries. It seemed as if Mr Modi had

allotted foreign affairs portfolio to

PMO. Back in India , impression was

made that India should project its ambitious

development projects to the

Advanced Countries which was hitherto

not precisely explained by his predecessor

Dr Manmohan Singh. But as the

famous saying goes,” You can befool

some people for sometimes, but you

can not befool all the people for all the

times.” Consequently, Indian economy

crashed miserably during Corona

Pandemic which was already scrambled

due to thoughtless

Demonetisation, unprepared GST modules

and mistrust in banking sector due

to scams. This was the most crucial

period for the country to emerge

stronger at the face of recession, unemployment

and low response from

investors.

Misfortune never comes alone when

we recall Corona entry in India

declared in mid February in 2020.

Instant jumping to lockdowns without

consulting the medical fraternity on

Virus behaviour deteriorated the impact

of the steps put in use to handle pandemic

especially in densely populated

cities. Central Government lead by the

Ministers with non medical approach

issued directives un-matching to the

sympathetic approach towards low

strata of the society. GDP started drifting

backward as the production atmosphere

was hampered under the clamped

Curfew. This was the testing time for

the government to rise to the occasion

with proactive and long range planning

, collective wisdom of all economists

with expertise and supportive incentives

to maintain optimum demand levels

especially in the masses.

Due to the failure of the above said

mechanism, India has reached to the

bottom level of 117 out of the comity of

193 Nations as per the ranking by UNO

report on Social Development Goals

set under 17 goals. Even neighbouring

countries like Bhutan, Maldives, Sri

Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar Bangladesh

have secured better positions. These

K. S. Ratra

Kapurthala

goals were utmost essential for a

Sustainable Growth. The main factors

cited for low performance are inadequate

attention towards challenges to

starvation and food security. Apart

from this, gender inequality, basic

structural framework, heavy industries

and absence of research and development

were the indicators of development.

India’s position on

Environmental Issues is dismal too. It

reflects weather, air and water pollution,

sanitation, supply of drinking

water, Bio-diversity and Environment

management Services. India stands172

in environment health preservation.

Even Pakistan is on better footing on

this count.

First and foremost goal of

Sustainable Growth is to erase starvation

from this planet by concerted

efforts by countries of the world by

providing nutritious food to each Child.

Children deserve to have a balanced

physical growth and to control infant

mortality in every country. More than

49 crore people in India suffer from

food insecurity. This number gets

increased in each next year reflecting

indifference of the government in command.

Industrialization must get top

priority at policy making forums. It

provides long term employment,

ensures sustainable economic growth

and reduces dependency on agriculture.

But the cautionary point here is to protect

environment from its residual

wastes as well as leakage of lethal

gases. It is very dangerous trend to regularize

the working of those defaulting

units which ignore environment safety

issues and consequently resulting into

deaths of hundreds of workers and

damaging effects on thousands of

human lives as was done in LG polymer

project at Vishakhpatnam. Disaster

01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021

19

Risk Reduction report of United Nation

records 321 natural calamities killing

more than 80000 people and loss of

property or displacement of more than

100 crore of people during the last 20

years. Cyclonic storms caused more

damage in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and

Chhattisgarh states. Corona increased

additional problems limiting the management

actions. Lack of oxygen cylinders

and ventilator Learning points for

the present Central government in India

is to lend patient ears to these facts and

govern with transparency. Hiding the

facts is an illusion which creates doubts

and criticism of its organs at implementing

level. Free flow of information

wakes administration up timely for mid

term corrections. But misrepresentation

of facts , deliberate concealment of

vital information can create devastating

situation which is legally and ethically

unbecoming of a democratically elected

Government. Judiciary too must

redefine its role in fast delivery of justice

especially on the cases involving

corruption and twisting of facts at the

cost of human lives. Last but not the

least, third wave of Corona with variable

strains needs to be dealt jointly by

the Central as well as state governments

like a well knit-team. There is lot

of time already wasted-in politics during

Assembly elections. Revival of

sense of security and trust among the

masses has to be ensured.

UK, EU extend grace period for

chilled meats into N.Ireland

Gulshan Kumar murder:

Bombay HC upholds life-term

for killer, acquittal of Taurani

London : The UK and the European Union (EU) have agreed to

extend the grace period for another three months for chilled meat

products coming from Britain to Northern Ireland.

The temporary arrangement was announced just hours before

exemption on customs checks expired on Thursday, reports Xinhua

news agency.

The extension means that Northern Ireland consumers will be able

to buy chilled meat products from Britain, and allows for further discussions

to continue on a permanent solution, a statement from the

UK government said.

"We are pleased we have been able to agree a sensible extension

on chilled meats moving from Britain to Northern Ireland -- one that

does not require rules in the rest of the UK to align with future

changes in EU agrifood rules," the British Brexit minister, David

Frost, said. Frost called it "a positive first step", but both sides still

need to agree a permanent solution.

Recognising chilled meats issue is only one of a very large number

of problems with the way the Northern Ireland Protocol is currently

operating, Frost said solutions need to be found with the EU to

ensure it delivers on its original aims, to protect the Good Friday

Agreement, safeguard Northern Ireland's place in Britain, and protect

the the bloc's single market for goods.

Earlier on Wednesday, a high court in Belfast ruled the Northern

Ireland Protocol is lawful after a group of unionist politicians had

challenged the protocol in judicial review proceedings.

Northern Ireland is at the centre of the post-Brexit trade dispute

with the EU. As part of the Brexit deal, the Protocol stipulates

Northern Ireland remains in the EU single market and customs union

to avoid a hard border between the region and the Republic of

Ireland. However, this leads to a new "regulatory" border between

Britain and Northern Ireland, which exacerbates the conflict between

pro-Britain and pro-independence groups in Northern Ireland.

Protests and riots raged for days in April in Northern Ireland.

Mumbai : The Bombay

High Court on Thursday

upheld the life imprisonment

awarded to convict Abdul

Rauf alias Daud Merchant for

the sensational daylight murder

of music baron and T-

Series owner Gulshan Kumar

Dua near a temple here 24

years ago.

The court also confirmed

the acquittal of TIPS music

company co-founder Ramesh

Taurani, but set aside the

lower court's order acquitting

Merchant's brother, Abdul

Rashid Merchant, and sentenced

him to life imprisonment,

said the Merchant brothers'

lawyer Satish

Maneshinde.

A division bench comprising Justice

Sadhana Jadhav and Justice N.R. Borkar has

found the Merchant siblings guilty of murder,

conspiracy, common intentions, and

under the Arms Act.

"The appellant (Abdul Rauf) should not

be entitled to remission if any. He has criminal

antecedents and continued in similar

activities thereafter. In the interest of justice

and society at large, the appellant doesn't

deserve any leniency," the court observed.

The court further noted that soon after the

1997 incident, Abdul Rauf was absconding

till his arrest in 2001, and was later released

on furlough in 2009 and re-arrested in 2016.

The court's order came in the Maharashtra

government's appeal through state counsel

Prajakta Shinde against Taurani and Abdul

Rashid's acquittal, and Abdul Rauf's appeal

against his conviction and life sentence,

which was awarded in April 2002 by the then

Sessions Judge M.L. Tahilyani.

It may be recalled that on August 12,

1997, Delhi-based music baron Gulshan

Kumar was shot dead with 16 bullets fired at

him outside a temple in Juhu in suburban

Mumbai, triggering a massive upheaval in

Bollywood.

The prosecution contended that the killing

was an outcome of business rivalries

between Kumar and Taurani, and a rift

between Kumar and music director Nadeem

Saifi of the erstwhile Nadeem-Shravan duo,

and the plot was hatched in Dubai, in the

premises of Anees Ibrahim Kaskar, the

brother of mafia don Dawood Ibrahim

Kaskar. As part of the differences, Saifi

allegedly hired gangster Abu Salem of

Dawood Ibrahim gang to eliminate Kumar,

but sneaked away to London in June 1997

and has not returned since. His partner

Shravan Rathod died in April 2021.

The killing of Kumar, 40, who ignored

death threats against extortion by the mafia,

sent terror in Bollywood circles and culminated

in a series of mafia attacks on film personalities.

Soon after the sensational murder,

the Mumbai Police filed a chargesheet naming

26 accused, of which 15 were arrested

and the rest is absconding, while one

Mohammed Ali Shaikh had turned approver.

While on furlough in 2009, Abdul Rauf

had slipped away to Bangladesh and was

rearrested only after his deportation to India.

He is currently lodged in the Arthur Road

Central Jail here.


20 01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Gray's Inn unveils the Ambedkar Room

and a NEW PORTRAIT

Dr Ambedkar, 30 June 2021

Master Ali Malek QC, Master

Treasurer, Gray's Inn, unveiled the

Ambedkar Room at Gray's Inn on 30

June 2021. The new room dedicated to

Dr Ambedkar is the result of discussions

over the years between Ms Santosh

Dass MBE, President of the Federation

of Ambedkarite and Buddhist

Organisations UK (FABO UK) and

Brigadier Anthony Harking OBE,

Under Treasurer, at the Inn. The

Ambedkar Room will be used by barristers

in training and as a meeting room.

Master Ali Malek QC also unveiled a

new portrait of Dr Ambedkar by David

Newens, the Buckinghamshire- based

artist. The portrait was donated by FABO

UK for the Ambedkar Room and was

unveiled in presence of Sujat Ambedkar-

Dr Ambedkar's great-grandson. The new

portrait commissioned by FABO UK in

2020, is based on a photo of Dr

Ambedkar taken for LIFE magazine in

May 1946 by the American Margaret

Bourke-White (1904-1971). She was one

of the most respected photojournalists of

her time. David Newens's portrait shows

Dr Ambedkar in a relaxed mood on his

veranda in his beloved garden at 26

Alipur Road, Civil Lines, Delhi. He

stands in the summer sunshine with a

hint of a smile with a cascade of magenta

pink bougainvillea beside him.

Arun Kumar and C Gautam, FABO

UK, presenteda copy of India's

Constitution to Master Ali Malek QC.

Alumni of Gray's Inn,

Ambedkarites, academics including Dr

Suraj Yengde, and other distinguished

guests took part at the reception hosted

jointly by Gray's Inn and FABO UK.

David Newens and the parliamentarian

Lord David Alton of Liverpool also

attended. Covid restrictions meant a

larger event could not take place as originally

planned.

Master Ali Malek QC said: Today

we proudly celebrate the connection Dr

B. R. Ambedkar had to Gray's Inn. He

could not have known that over half a

century after his passing, his portraits

would grace his Inn, that the Walks

would boast a tree dedicated in his

name, and people would gather to dedicate

a room to his memory. Even for a

man of his talents, that may have

seemed too much - but one does not

shape a nation in the way he did without

the capacity to dream. Dr Ambedkar

was an agent for change. From today, he

will be woven much deeper into the fabric

of his Inn, reminding us that no challenge

is insurmountable and that the law

can be a vehicle for social evolution that

may previously have been considered

impossible. Today I am honoured to

unveil the Ambedkar Room and the

graceful new portrait donated to the Inn

by the Federation of Ambedkarite and

Buddhist Organisations UK."

Ms Santosh Dass MBE said: For a

number of years The Honourable

Society of Gray's Inn and I discussed

ways in which we could raise the profile

of Dr. Ambedkar at Gray's Inn. Dr.

Ambedkar was one of most educated

people of his generation with degrees

from India, America and Britain. He

was a politician, socio-political

reformer, economist, jurist and prolific

writer. He inspired the Buddhist movement

in India and was the chief architect

of India's Constitution. It is therefore

demeaning when he is merely reduced

to a leader of the 'Untouchables'. He

was much, much more than that. Dr.

Ambedkar ought to be part of the

British school curriculum. The social

and economic reforms he passionately

steered have helped change the lives of

millions of people for the better. Dr

Ambedkar believed in good and fair

laws. He believed in secular society. We

can imagine his outrage at the draconian

laws that are being liberally used by the

Indian Government now to incarcerate

without bail, academics (including Dr

Anand Teltumbde), human rights

activists who raise their voice against

atrocities against minorities or corruption,

and the lawyers who defend them.

I am confident the new Ambedkar

Room and the new portrait donated

today by FABO UK will arouse legal

students' curiosity to look into, and

learn about Dr. Ambedkar's accomplishments.

I would like to thank Under

Treasurer, Brigadier Anthony Harking

OBE for his unswerving support and the

many hours of discussion we have had

over the years that have made the

Ambedkar Room possible. This is a

great honour for all Ambedkarites

around the world." Lord David Alton of

Liverpool said: "It is remarkable, and

highly instructive, just how frequently

DrB. R. Ambedkar is still referred to

during debates in both Houses of

Parliament - not least when we have

deliberated the rank discrimination still

experienced by Dalits and Adivasis, or

issues such as modern slavery and

human trafficking, and the plight of persecuted

minorities.

See on Page 21


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

The story of Dr

Ambedkar's life represents a

route out of enforced misery

into to emancipation, justice,

and equality. The life of this

extraordinary man continues

to offer hope and encouragement

to millions of downtrodden

people, living on the

periphery of society because

of caste or stigmatisation.

Gray's Inn's decision to

dedicate a new portrait and

room to his memory is a wonderful

way of introducing him

to generations yet to come

and we should also take other

opportunities - such as an

annual conference, marking

Dr Ambedkar's birth anniversary,

perhaps hosted by the

All Party Parliamentary

Group on Dalits - to explore

the many facets of this wonderful

man's heroic life."

Sujat Ambedkar said: "I

am delighted to be here at

Gray's Inn to witness this

historic unveiling of the new

Ambedkar Room and the

new portrait for the room

donated by the Federation of

Ambedkarite and Buddhist

Organisations UK. It makes

us very happy to see the new

painting of our great-grandfather

looking very relaxed

and happy in his beloved

garden at his home in New

Delhi in 1946. His love of

bougainvillea's magenta

pink form is family lore. We

are grateful to Gray's Inn and

FABO UK for this unique

honour that marks his 130th

birth anniversary. Our greatgrandfather

was a remarkable

man who helped change

for the better the lives of millions

of people in India. He

continues to inspire millions

more around the world. The

Ambedkar Room and the

new portrait will no doubt

inspire many more to learn

about him."

Dr Suraj Yengde, Harvard

University, and University of

Oxford said, "Barrister

Ambedkar was a fearless,

fierce fighter.

His career as a lawyer was

noteworthy in that he could

have easily become the luminous

judge occupying the

highest office of court in the

state. But Barrister

Ambedkar instead utilized

his legal training to practice

with merit and argue for justice.

His diverse clientele is a

proof of his successful legal

career. FABO's organizing

efforts have been inspirational

to many and especially

me. With another London

landmark bequeathed to

Ambedkar's story, an archive

for the pilgrims has been

Continue Page 20

Gray's Inn unveils the Ambedkar Room ...

inaugurated. The believers in

Ambedkar's idea of caste free

society and democratic

equality will find a soughtafter

shrine in this august

space at Gray's Inn. Like the

LSE, where I just participated

in a panel on Dr.

Ambedkar and witnessed the

inauguration of his archive,

London Ambedkar is an

important city in the history

of the Dalit struggle."

Mr Arun Kumar and C

Gautam, Joint Secretaries

of FABO UK said:

"FABO UK's members'

association with Gray's Inn

spans over half a century. In

1991, under the auspices of

FABO UK, the Ambedkar

Centenary Celebrations

Committee organised a

reception at Gray's Inn. It

was a marvellous event that

lives in our memories still.

Since then, FABO UK's

association with the Inn has

grown. In 1999, we were

grateful when the Inn

allowed the filming of the

Gray's Inn scenes in the film

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar

(2000). Today we express

our deepest appreciation to

The Honourable Society of

Gray's Inn for the new

Ambedkar Room. We had

hoped it, and the new portrait

could have been

unveiled in 2020. That

would have marked the centenary

of Dr Ambedkar's

return to Gray's Inn."

Dr Ambedkar at Gray's

Inn

Dr Ambedkar spent two

periods study at Gray's Inn

whilst also studying at the

London School of

Economics and Political

Science. The first stint was

from October 1916 to July

1917 - straight after he had

completed his studies at

Columbia University.

Unfortunately, his studies in

London were cut short when

the Diwan ('Minister') of the

State of Baroda (present-day

Gujarat) recalled Dr

Ambedkar to India because

his scholarship had ended.

The second stint began when

Dr Ambedkar returned to

London in July 1920. This

time he relied on his savings,

supplemented by loans. He

was called at the Inn in June

1922.

Two portraits of Dr

Ambedkar already hang at

the Inn. The Ambedkar

Memorial Committee of GB

donated the first one in 1974.

The Government of India

donated the second in 2016

to mark Dr Ambedkar's 125th

birth anniversary. The 2016

portrait features on the back

cover of Gray's Inn book An

Illustrated History of Gray's

Inn (2018) alongside the portraits

of eleven other distinguished

alumnus of the Inn. A

short biography Dr Bhimrao

Ramji Ambedkar and the

Indian Constitution' under

1947 is contained in the same

publication.

There is an Indian bean

tree (Catalpa bignonioides)

in The Walks dedicated to

Dr. Ambedkar. The then-

High Commissioner of India

to the UK, Mr L. M. Singhvi

donated to the Inn in 1997.

In 1991 one of the

Ambedkar Centenary

Celebrations Committee's

receptions under the auspicious

of FABO UK was held

at Gray's Inn. Lord Goff of

Chieveley called Dr

Ambedkar the "Moses of

India". Mr Anthony

Scrivener, Chairman of the

Bar said: "To honour Dr

Ambedkar is to honour the

importance of dignity of

each human life, for it was

he who fought for equality

for the under privileged, for

the poor and for the forgotten."

The Gray's inn scenes in

Jabber Patel's 2000 film Dr

Babasaheb Ambedkar were

filmed at the Inn and FABO

UK supported this.

The Ambedkar Room

unveiled on 30 June 2021 is

the culmination of Gray's Inn

and FABO UK working

together for a number of

years on ways to raise the

profile of Dr. Ambedkar at

Gray's Inn, and more generally

in Britain. The new portrait

commissioned and

donated by the FABO UK by

David Newens based on a

1946 photo by the American

photojournalist, Margaret

Bourke-White now hangs in

the Ambedkar Room at

Gray's Inn.

Ambedkar Museum

London

On 2 September 2014,

FABO UK wrote to the then-

Government of Maharashtra

(GOM) with a proposal that

they fund the purchase 10

King Henry's Road, NW3

3RP where Dr Ambedkar

lived in the 1920s, and turn it

into a memorial. The house

was bought by GOM a year

later after intense lobbying.

In March 2020, following a

Public Inquiry in 2019, it was

agreed this house - known as

the Ambedkar House London

since September 2015 -could

have museum status. The

museum is open to the public.

NEWS

01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021

Chandigarh : Virasat-e-

Khalsa, the landmark museum

showcasing heritage and culture

of Punjab at Sri Anandpur Sahib,

has accomplished a rare achievement

by bagging the top state

energy conservation award for

the third year in succession.

The award has been

announced by Punjab Energy

Development Agency, the state

sponsored agency that gives

these awards annually for making

extra efforts for efficient utilization,

management and conservation

of energy in different

sectors.

Minister for Tourism and

Cultural Affairs Charanjit Singh

Channi said, on Thursday, that

Virasat-e-Khalsa has bagged the

first prize for the third consecutive

year. He applauded the

efforts of the staff of the museum

for their special efforts in conservation

of energy. He said the

award this year is special as it

comes on top of awards for

Virasat-e-Khalsa in the two preceding

editions besides a host of

21

Third energy award for

Punjab's Virasat-e-Khalsa

Lucknow : The Suheldev

Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP)

president Om Prakash Rajbhar

has proposed a seemingly

bizarre power-sharing formula

for Uttar Pradesh.

He has said that if his tenparty

'Bhagidari Sankalp

Morcha' came to power in the

2022 Assembly polls, "there

will be a new chief minister

every year, representing a different

caste". He said that he was confident that

his Morcha would win a comfortable majority. "I

will ensure that every major caste group among

the poor and downtrodden get a share in power. I

am not interested in holding all posts myself and

other museum awards Virasat-e-

Khalsa has bagged in the recent

years. Showering praise on the

museum, he said the it has set

new benchmarks for other museums,

monuments and government

or official buildings to

emulate.

Rajbhar's power-sharing formula

for UP: 5 CMs in 5 years

Johannesburg : The

South

African

Constitutional Court on

Tuesday found former

President Jacob Zuma

guilty of contempt of court

and sentenced him to a 15-

month jail term. A BBC

report says that Zuma has

been given five days to

hand himself to the police.

The country's State

Capture Inquiry accused

Zuma of accepting bribes,

gratification and unauthorised

payments from other parties in

relation to the procurement of

the arms worth billions in 1999.

Zuma's time in power, which

ended in 2018, was dogged by

graft allegations.

Businessmen along with

politicians were accused of

conspiracy in influencing the

decision-making process. The

former President made one

appearance at the inquiry into

what has become known as

"state capture" but then refused

to appear subsequently.

The inquiry headed by

Justice Raymond Zondo asked

the Constitutional Court to

intervene. Acting Chief Justice

Sisi Khampepe was damning in

her ruling. Zuma refused to

depriving others.

"After Babasaheb

Ambedkar, I am the second

person to resign as a cabinet

minister. People fight elections

to become an MLA,

MP, or Minister, but I continued

to fight with the chief

minister even in power for the

rights of the poor. People

have faith in me," he told

reporters. The SBSP, which

was a part of the ruling BJP alliance till last year's

Lok Sabha elections, is now fighting as a Morcha

for the 2022 Assembly polls. The SBSP has four

legislators in a house of 403 legislators in Uttar

Pradesh.

Ex-S.African Prez sentenced to jail

come to the court to explain

his actions, she said, and he

"elected instead to make

provocative, unmeritorious

and vituperative statements

that constituted a calculated

effort to impugn the integrity

of the judiciary.

"I am left with no option but

to commit Zuma to imprisonment,

with the hope that doing

so sends an unequivocal message...

the rule of law and the

administration of justice prevails."

Zuma was not in court to

hear the majority ruling and has

repeatedly declared that he was

the victim of a giant political

conspiracy.

In a separate legal matter,

the former President pleaded

not guilty last month in his corruption

trial involving a $5bn

(£3bn) arms deal from the

1990s.


22 01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Chinese Navy's growth trajectory

a cause for concern for India

New Delhi : Jon Huntsman,

the US Ambassador to Russia,

post landing on the USS

Abraham Lincoln on April 23,

2019 had remarked, "Each of the

carriers operating in the

Mediterranean represent

100,000 tonnes of international

diplomacy."

Exactly two years later, on

April 23, 2021, the Chinese

Communist Party (CCP) Navy

demonstrated its own capability

of naval military diplomacy

when, on the same day, it commissioned

a Type-55 Renhaiclass

cruiser, a Type-75 Landing

Helicopter Deck and a Type-094

SSBN with a cumulative tonnage

of 70,000 tonnes.

The statement of intent is

clear. Discarding its continental

mindset, China, the second

largest economy in the world,

aims to be a global maritime

power of the magnitude of the

British Empire in the late

17th/18th century and the United

States in the 19th/20th century.

The rate at which the CCP

Navy has been inducting new

warships has been the cynosure

of many world navies. Between

2000 and 2020, the CCP Navy

commissioned a staggering 195

major combatants such as

destroyers, frigates, tankers, submarines,

landing ships and

corvettes.

More astounding is the fact

that 138 of these were inducted

into service in the last 10 years at

an average of 13.8 per year, with

26 platforms being commissioned

in 2020 itself.

Whether it be through reverse

engineering or licensed production

or cyber espionage or

through outright copying, the

feat is truly remarkable by any

account.

Sometime between 2015 and

2020, the CCP Navy also

crossed a critical threshold. It

fielded more warships than the

US Navy, making it the world's

largest navy numerically.

Today, at around 360 hulls, it

exceeds its American rival by

more than 60 warships and the

gap continues to grow rapidly.

Add to it the two other maritime

forces -- the Coast Guard

and Maritime Militia -- and the

CCP Navy in total has over 700

ships even by conservative

accounting.

While there was been some

scepticism with regard to the

combat capabilities of CCP

Navy assets, the new generation

platforms, like the Type-55

Renhai class, are technologically

similar to the latest being inducted

by Western Navies and are

likely to be the mainstay of the

CCP Navy's Carrier Strike Force

as well as distant operations task

groups. Anyway, the numbers

too do matter sometimes, especially

if one is to contest in the

dense combat environment in the

littoral waters of South and East

China Sea.

So, borrowing the tagline of

the popular Discovery Channel

series – ‘How did they do it'?

It all started in the 1980s and

90s when the CCP famously

‘opened up' all defence manufacturing

sectors to civilian production.

The booming global commercial

shipbuilding industry

was an added bonus and China,

taking advantage of a state provided

economic stimulus and

cheap labour market, soon surpassed

South Korea as the

world's largest shipbuilder in

2010. This resulted in sudden

mushrooming of smaller and

medium-sized shipbuilding

enterprises, all vying for the

lucrative global market. At one

time in 2013, China had more

than 800 shipyards and a large

number of dry docks. In comparison,

matured players like South

Korea had only about 20 shipyards.

This unprecedented

growth, pushed by the senior

most leadership of the CCP, has

seen the shipbuilding industry in

China grow by 13 times between

2002 and 2012.

Trouble began after the 2008

global financial crisis, which

resulted in a sudden downturn in

demand for shipping. As a result,

most of the Chinese shipbuilding

enterprises were operating at

drastically lower capacities. This

is when the CCP decided to step

in to protect its shipbuilding

industry and started giving government

contracts for warship

production to some of its preferred

yards.

This resulted in the sudden

spurt in warship production, primarily

due to China's socio-economic

necessities rather than its

operational requirements.

As mentioned earlier, the

period between 2013 and 2020

witnessed a meteoric rise in warship

production. Such a rise in

force levels surely met CCP's

geo-strategic agenda too.

The CCP Navy is likely to

become a 4-carrier Navy by the

end of this decade and could

have 10 carriers by 2049.

Presently, they appear to be

focusing on integrating their aircraft

carriers and the associated

carrier battle groups (CBG) with

their fighter squadrons. And it's

not just the numbers, even the

speed of construction has been

astounding. Just to put it into

perspective, while the

Indigenous Aircraft Carrier or

IAC-1 of the Indian Navy was

launched in 2013 and is still

undergoing trials, the CCP Navy

launched its first domestically

built carrier, Shandong, in 2017,

and commissioned the ship in

2019. Such rapid buildup of

ships has never been seen since

the end of World War II.

This barrage of Chinese ship

construction has great potential

implications for the CCP's

efforts to coercively envelop

Taiwan, resolve other sovereignty

disputes in its favour, carve

out regions as zones of exceptionalism

to international rules

and norms, and project Beijing's

authoritarian power and influence

around the globe, especially

in the Indian Ocean.

What all this brings out quite

starkly are four critical issues.

First is the need for India to

similarly build-up its own Navy

in strength. There is an urgent

need to address the shortfall in

numbers of major combatants

and fleet-support ships.

While it is true that over 45

warships are currently being

built in the Indian shipyards, the

rate of production is painfully

slow and as a consequence, the

numbers may not be enough in

the available time before a possible

scenario wherein Indian

Navy is pitted against the CCP

Navy in the Indian Ocean.

Another matter of concern is

with regard to the naval budget.

Although India continues to be

active in the Indian Ocean

Region, it continues to spend far

too little on its navy compared to

its peers and competitors.

This under-allocation means

that the Indian Navy could barely

cover its planned expenditure,

leaving no money for new purchases

or further modernisation.

The resultant shortfalls in terms

of capable surface combatants,

submarines, surface and aerial

surveillance assets, anti-submarine

capabilities etc. mean that

India is less capable of deterring

China. It also brings into focus

the need for three aircraft carriers

to safeguard national maritime

interests within our areas

of interest, against the backdrop

of changing geo-politics in the

Indian Ocean Region. Carrier

Battle Groups are our primary

source of power projection and

provide the Navy with freedom

to manoeuvre. Three aircraft carriers

would arm the Indian Navy

with the required teeth to deter

our potential adversaries from

any misadventure, as well as to

establish credible deterrence.

And finally, the most important

aspect that needs immediate

attention from the policy makers

is with respect to the slow pace

of naval shipbuilding in India,

especially those related to complex

weapon platforms.

There is a need for the government

to accept the capacity

limitations of the defence public

sector undertakings and encourage

private players.

Akin to the Chinese model,

greenfield yards in the country

may be encouraged to either

build relatively low-end platforms

so as to free-up capacity in

the more established defence

shipyards, or to take up construction

of major surface-combatants

themselves. There is an enormous

scope for private players in

the national effort to ramp up the

numbers in the Indian Navy's

destroyer and frigate holdings.

It is also imperative that, akin

to the Chinese, Indian policy

makers show the intent and

invest capital into the indigenous

ship-building industry to ensure

that the skilled manpower and

captive infrastructure remain as

a well-oiled unit.

In the interim, the Indian

Navy will have to rely upon its

superior training, well-oiled

strategy and nimble-footedness

in terms of use of the available

resources to keep the CCP Navy

at bay.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021

23

China shares Zhurong rover's landing

footage, sounds from Mars

Beijing : China has released landing

process footage from its Zhurong

rover as well as video and sounds of

the vehicle roving on Mars.

Footage of the entry, descent and

landing shows the deployment of a

supersonic disk-gap-band parachute,

separation of the backshell, followed

by powered descent, a hazard-avoidance

hover phase and landing,

SpaceNews reported on Sunday.

The China National Space

Administration (CNSA) published the

footage in a Zhurong mission update

on early Sunday Beijing time.

Video of the descent of the Zhurong

rover from its landing platform,

including sounds made by the vehicle's

egress, was included in the

release.

The sounds were created by the

metal on metal interaction of a rack

and pinion system and recorded by

Zhurong's climate station, which

intends to capture sounds of Martian

winds.

"With the files, we released this

time, including those sounds recorded

when our Mars rover left the lander,

we are able to conduct in-depth analysis

to the environment and condition

of Mars, for example, the density of

the atmosphere on the Mars," Liu

Jizhong, deputy commander of

China's first Mars exploration programme,

told media.

NASA's Perseverance captured

similar sounds of driving on Mars in

March.

The 240-kilogram Zhurong rover

successfully landed in Utopia Planitia

on May 14. The deployment took

place late May 21 Eastern, following a

week-long series of checks and analysis

of the environment.

The six-wheeled, solar-powered

Zhurong has since covered 236 meters

on the Martian surface, the report said.

An undated panorama shows

Zhurong and tracks leading back to the

landing platform, along with surface

and horizon features, it added.

Zhurong had earlier dropped a

remote Wifi camera when still close to

the landing platform.A

The rover then returned to pose for

a joint selfie with the lander. The new

update this time featured footage of

Zhurong's drive back to the landing

platform and later making a turn.

The rover is part of the Tianwen-1

mission, China's first independent

interplanetary mission. Consisting of

an orbiter, a lander, and a rover,

Tianwen-1 launched in July 2020. It

entered Mars orbit on February 10.

Pak Interior Minister admits

country hosting Taliban families

RLD questions

new memorial for

Dalits in UP

Lucknow : The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has questioned the

Yogi Adityanath government's intention behind the announcement

of a memorial after Dr B.R. Ambedkar and asked why the government

did not remember the Dalit icon in the last four and a half

years.

"Now that only a few months are left for the elections, instead

of starting welfare programmes for Dalits, a desperate attempt is

being made to mislead them," said Anupam Mishra, national

spokesperson of the RLD.

Two days ago, the state government had announced a proposal

to set up a Dr Ambedkar Cultural Centre in Lucknow.

"When a grand Parivartan Sthal has already been constructed

by the BSP government in the past, what is the need for wasting

crores of rupees on a new centre? If the chief minister wants to

establish a cultural centre, he should get it constructed at Samajik

Parivartan Sthal, so that the money to be spent on land can be

saved and put to good use. But the chief minister will not do this

because he feels that by doing so, the credit for this would go to

former Chief Minister Mayawati," Mishra said. He said Dalits had

risen above superficial politics and the Rs 45.4 crore meant for the

memorial could be used for the uplift of Dalits. "Today, Dalits

want health, education, security and prosperity and not any memorial

or museum. If the state government wants to do something for

Ambedkar and his society in true sense, the government should

strengthen the social and economic condition of Dalits which

would be a true tribute to Dr Ambedkar," he added.

Islamabad : Pakistan

has for long completely

rejected assertions of having

Taliban footprints on its

soil. However, incumbent

Interior Minister Sheikh

Rasheed Ahmed has admitted

that Islamabad not only

hosts families of the

Taliban, but it also is aware

of fighters getting medical

treatment in the country.

Ahmed, well known for

his outspoken attitude, has

admitted that families of

Taliban fighters reside in

the country and many of

the group's members

receive medical treatment

in local hospitals.

In an interview to a local

television network, the

Minister said many of

those familiesreside in the

surrounding areas

Pakistan's capital

Islamabad.

"Taliban families live here, in Pakistan,

in Rawat, Loi Ber, Bara Kahu and Tarnol

areas. Sometimes their (fighters) dead bodies

arrive and sometimes they come here in

hospital to get medical treatment," he

added.

Ahmed's admission bcompletely

negates Islamabad's outright rejection of

allegations leveled by Kabul and

Washington that Taliban terrorists use

Pakistani soil to direct and sustain their

activities in Afghanistan.

On the other hand, Pakistan has counterblamed

Afghanistan for facilitating militants

and other illegal movements from its

2,600 km-long open border into Pakistan.

Pakistan has also maintained that it

facilitates about three million Afghan

refugees for decades, which at times does

serve as a hiding place for the Taliban

insurgents.

Recently, the Pakistan Foreign Office

had categorically rejected the remarks of

the Press Office of the Afghan Minister of

Foreign Affairs, regarding activities of the

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in

Afghanistan.

"The assertion of the Afghan side are

contrary to facts on ground and various

reports of the UN, which also corroborate

the presence and activities of over 5000-

strong TTP in Afghanistan"" said the

Pakistan Foreign Office.

"Over the last many years, TTP has

launched several gruesome terrorist attacks

inside Pakistan using Afghan soil without

any retribution from its hosts. The 12th

Report of the UN Monitoring Team issued

in June 2021, acknowledges TTP's distinctive

anti-Pakistan objectives and notes its

location within Afghanistan near the border

with Pakistan.

"The TTP following its orchestrated

reunification with its splinter groups with

the help of Hostile Intelligence Agencies

(HIAs), its continued presence in

Afghanistan with impunity and its crossborder

attacks against Pakistan pose persistent

threat to our security and stability,"

the Office added.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood

Qureshi has stated that Pakistan's gains

against terrorism, could be undermined

severely if the security situation worsens in

Afghanistan, and lead towards a civil war.

"We are already hosting and looking

after almost three million Afghan refugees

and we cannot take more because we are

not in a position to shoulder the burden,"

said Qureshi, insisting that the worsening

security situation in Afghanistan could also

trigger another exodus of refugees into

Pakistan. However, the statement by the

Interior Minister certainly has raised many

eyebrows, who are now questioning the

Imran Khan-led government and reminding

it of its claims of now allowing terrorists

to operate from its soil.


24 01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

'Pak effort for Taliban return via power-sharing

can be undermined by quick pull-out'

Islamabad : The quick withdrawal

of foreign troops from Afghanistan and

increasing terror attacks and claiming of

various areas by the Taliban would

undermine Islamabad’s efforts to facilitate

Taliban’s return to Kabul through

power-sharing arrangements, says a

report compiled by the International

Crisis Group.

The report titled "Pakistan: Shoring

Up Afghanistan’s Peace Process", compiled

by the Washington/Brusselsbased

think tank, warns that the quick withdrawal

of foreign troops would have a

direct impact on Pakistan-US and

Pakistan-Kabul ties. "Should the

What do you think when the first citizen

of the country feels helpless of income

tax deduction on his salary. President

Kovind must be getting rupees five lakh per

month as part of his salary but in a public

meeting organised at his birth place , he said

that over two lakh seventy five thousand

rupees per month get deducted from his

salary every month. He complained that a

local teacher is getting more salary than him

and that government bureaucrats get more

than him. I am sure President Kovind must

know that all teachers and bureaucrats too

get tax deduction as none of them get that

luxury which actually the president of India

has. One does not know why the president of

India was feeling

so bad when the

salary of the

President is

absolutely tax

free. It is time,

our able finance minister must explain to

the nation as why they are deducting more

amount from poor rashtrapati ji.

It is a shocking statement to say the least.

One, the President s office has luxuries

attached to it apart from perks and facilities.

Even after retirement , he should be getting a

decent salary including a luxurious house

and one assistant. I have never heard any past

president of India speaking about their salary

when the salaries were never even the concern.

The President of India is the custodian of

our rights. He should encourage us to pay tax

but it is also important that for a person

whose salary and perks are Income tax free,

to be part of any such campaign would be

Afghan peace process continue

to sputter or altogether fail,

Islamabad’s relations with

Kabul and Washington would

sour," it warns. "Further instability

or Taliban gains in

Afghanistan could embolden

Pakistani militants aligned

with their Afghan counterparts,

deepening insecurity in

Pakistan," the report added. It

is pertinent to mention that the

US had expected Pakistan to persuade

the Taliban to announce a ceasefire and

show some flexibility on their reinstating

their version of Islamic governance.

hypocritical. When the president of India

speaks to people and complains that he does

not get anything and college teachers get

more salary than him apart from sarkari

babus, he is generalising the things. One,

they too are teachers who are not paid and

used in government duties. Second, even in

the universities, things are not the same

everywhere. Third, I am sure, teachers are

not getting a tax free salary and fourth

about power and perks.

During the President s visit to his hometown,

he went by a special train provided

by Indian railways. We have to

book our tickets much in advance and

have to pay for the same. I am sure

whether the railway charged money

from Rashtrapati Bhavan or not.

Second, the security protocol of the

President in Kanpur was reportedly responsible

for two deaths. One child died and got

crushed and another woman who was suffering

from post covid complications could not

reach hospital because of traffic diversions

and stoppage as President s motorcade was

passing through it. VIP culture in India

remains powerful and reminds all of us

hamari aukat kya hai .

The police officials apologised to the person

who got killed but is this apology enough

? More importantly, it is the officials who

will have to pay the price of these things happening

but the question is the protocols are

The report further warns that

Islamabad’s failure in persuading the

Taliban to opt for a peacefully-negotiated

political settlement, would strain its

ties with Washington and the Kabul

Is President Kovind paying more

tax than the AAM JANATA ?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

social and human rights activist

created by the officials under the guidance

from the top leadership of the country.

Shouldn t the president s office speak of it.

How many of us have the luxuries of moving

and stopping traffic at our will.

President Kovind should not be worried

about his salary. He must seek clarification

from the finance ministry as to why his

salary was being deducted disproportionately

i.e. more than 50% of his earnings. Income

Tax rates in India are not higher and why

should the president pay more. There is no

need for the president to justify his tax

deductions which actually never happen nor

should he make us feel like an ordinary citizen.

He is the president of India and the first

citizen and should get whatever luxuries,

power, prestige, perks along with it. We

don t question it. We only wish him to be the

custodian of our rights and our constitution

drafted by Baba Saheb Ambedkar.

I have not seen the President speaking

much about Baba Saheb. I just want to

remind him how President Giani Zail Singh

and President K R Narayanan functioned in

their offices. Both these presidents were the

best presidents of India who gave a new

meaning to the office of president. Giani Zail

Singh took on the might of Prime Minister

Rajiv Gandhi who was not consulting him.

Giani ji showed Rajiv

mirror that the president

has enough power

to dismiss him.

President K R

Narayanan protected

our constitution and its

secular values. He did

not sign on the dotted

lines of the government

of Atal Bihari

Vajpayee. Narayanan

returned the order

which wanted to impose president rule in

Uttar Pradesh. He reminded the government

time and again about its constitutional duties

much to the discomfort of the ruling party

that time. Hope President Kovind enjoyed

this trip to his native place. Uttar Pradesh is

going to polls early next year and rashtrapati

ji has a lot to protect our constitutional rights

and political freedom in the state of Uttar

Pradesh. Hope he will act whenever there is

an attempt to throttle the rights of the people

as he has a shining example of President K R

Narayanan reminding the government to follow

constitutional path and protect rights of

the people.

administration. "Pakistan should double

its efforts to convince the Taliban to

scale back both their attacks and their

aspirations to reinstate their version of

Islamic governance," read the report.

The report raises serious concerns

over the probable worsening situation in

Afghanistan after the foreign troops’

withdrawal, and that it could only reassure

and bolster factions of the Pakistani

Taliban and could also trigger massive

influx of Afghan refugees. It claims that

Pakistan has facilitated and played an

important role in the Afghan peace

process, because it wants to ensure existence

of a power-sharing arrangement

with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

However, the Biden administration’s

announcement to withdraw all US

troops by September 11 has put difficult

timelines and deadlines for the peace

process to materialise and tackle a probable

intensified conflict. Pakistan’s position

remains pivotal to the Afghan peace

process. Even though its ties with the

Taliban are not as strong as they used to

be, but since the Taliban shura still operates

out of Pakistani havens, Islamabad

could still use its efforts and pressure to

persuade the Taliban to break the deadlock

in the peace talks and reduce violence

in Afghanistan.

Would be foolish to seek

US arbitration on

Kashmir issue: PoK PM

Muzaffarabad : Raja Farooq Haider, the Prime Minister of

Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), has said that it would be foolish

for Islamabad to seek US intervention on the Kashmir issue with

India.

Haider said Pakistan’s efforts and repeated demands to the US

administration to act as an arbitrator in the Kashmir issue, will be

against the true essence of the Kashmir cause, insisting that the dispute’s

resolution remains in the hands of the people of Kashmir,

who deserve the right to self-determination and hold the authority

to decide their fate.

"The government of Pakistan cannot take matters like this after

India’s usurpation of Kashmir on August 5," he said.

Haider alleged that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan are no different, calling them

the two sides of the same coin.

"If they want to forget the past, forget it. But we will not forget,"

he said while questioning the authority of the Pakistani Prime

Minister to change the map of Kashmir.

"Who game Prime Minister Imran Khan the power to change the

map of Kashmir?" he asked.

Haider lashed out at Khan for also carrying out "naked aggression

to win the election in Azad Kashmir".

Haider has been demanding the Pakistan government to not seek

the US’ arbitration in the Kashmir dispute, as that would undermine

the demands of the Kashmiri people.

He has urged Pakistan to take stronger steps to stop what he

called "ongoing aggression by Modi led government in Jammu and

Kashmir", and stop opting to rhetoric statements.

Pakistan has been trying to seek international intervention in the

Kashmir dispute, aimed at pressurising India to come to table talks

on the matter. However, the US has made it clear to Islamabad that

it can only mediate between India and Pakistan, if both parties

agree to it. Prime Minister Khan has stated that no bilateral or

diplomatic relations with India would move not forward until New

Delhi reverses its decision taken to abrogate Article 370 and 35A

to change the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into

two union territories.

However, Islamabad’s failing efforts to attract global attention

on the Kashmir dispute has irked Haider, who has questioned the

Khan government’s intention and efforts.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

Trouble looms for BJP as JD-U,

RPI seek share in UP pie

Lucknow : The Janata

Dal-United and the

Republican Party of India-

Athawale may be BJP

allies at the centre but the

two parties are set to create

problems for it in Uttar

Pradesh.

Both the parties have

announced their decisions

to contest the upcoming

Assembly elections in

Uttar Pradesh.

RPI state President

Pawan Gupta said: "A

large number of people

from the Bahujan Samaj

Party are joining the RPI.

Our president Ramdas

Athawale has held talks with BJP

President J.P. Nadda on contesting UP

elections and the response has been

positive."

The JD-u, on the other hand, has

already stated that it will contest the

UP elections even if it is not accommodated

by the BJP. JD-U General

Secretary K.C. Tyagi has already said

that his party was determined to contest

the UP polls - with or without the

BJP. A state party leader said: "We are

keen to revive our party in Uttar

Pradesh. Our first choice will be to

contest as part of the NDA, and we

hope it works out. We have had old

presence in UP since the days of the

erstwhile Samata Party, though we did

not contest in 2017. We had MLAs in

the UP and we also had ministers in

the government."

The stand taken by these two parties,

who are BJP allies at the centre,

has rattled the BJP leaders in UP.

"We already have allies in the Apna

Dal and talks of an alliance have been

fruitful with the Nishad Party too. If

Congress’ ’formula’

for Punjab not

acceptable to all

New Delhi : After disgruntled Punjab Congress leader Navjot

Singh Sidhu met Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi separately

on Wednesday, there is a speculation that Priyanka Gandhi has

suggested that Sidhu be

made Punjab Congress

chief, but Punjab Chief

Minister Amarinder Singh

and some of the other factions

in the party are not

accepting this formula.

Apart from the state

leaders, even Rahul Gandhi

has reportedly not given his

consent to the formula

though he met Sidhu on the

insistence of Priyanka

Gandhi.

Sources said that Punjab

leaders may accept him as

the working president, but

not as a full-fledged state

unit chief as the Chief

Minister is keen on having a

non-Sikh face as the state Congress president. The Punjab in-charge

for Congress, Harish Rawat, has said that it’s a good sign that Rahul

Gandhi has met the former-cricketer-turned politician, adding that

the issue is likely to be resolved around next week. Meanwhile,

Amarinder Singh had called the MLAs supporting him for lunch in

Chandigarh on Thursday and is believed to have discussed the future

strategy. The move has reportedly upset the party high command,

which sees it as a show of strength, especially when the panel formed

by the Congress to look into the Punjab issue has said that there is no

question of removing the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, Sidhu has remained tight-lipped about what transpired

during his meetings with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi

on Wednesday, neither did the Congress make any official statement.

Sources, however, said that a solution is being worked out to

defuse the tension between the two factions of the party in Punjab.

The cricketer-turned-politician’s meeting with Rahul Gandhi came

a day after the latter said that no meeting was scheduled between him

and Sidhu.

we keep acceding to the

demands of other allies, we

will be denting our own

party organisation. After all,

how many seats can we give

away?" said a senior BJP

functionary.

BJP sources said that

while the JD-U would get a

percentage of Kurmi votes,

the RPI could get some Dalit

votes.

If these two parties contest

independently -- as they

have announced -- they will

be cutting into the BJP’s

vote base.

"We will try and convince

these parties not to

insist on seats in UP elections and

jeopardise our game plan. We are

hopeful of bringing them around," the

functionary said.

The BJP is unlikely to leave much

space for smaller parties even as the

opposition is trying to stop it from

returning to power.

The JD-U, on the other hand, is

also determined to spread its wings in

the Hindi belt and emerge stronger

before the next Lok Sabha elections in

2024.

01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021

25

2 European tourists complain of

harassment at Varkala beach

Thiruvananthapuram : In a matter of

shame for Kerala Tourism, two European

ladies, on Thursday, complained to the

Varkala Police that they were harassed by

two men who came on a bike, while they

were taking a stroll on the beach.

Varkala is a hugely popular beach destination

about 40 kms from the state capital

and the incident occurred on Monday

late evening when they went for a stroll on

the beach.

"While walking on the beach, a man

came towards us and we were scared.

Soon we started to run, he also came after

us. When a third person saw this happening,

the person behind us stopped and he

ran away," said the lady who was at the

receiving end.

These two ladies have been staying at

Varkala at a home stay for the past six

months and have been trying their best to

return to their home countries, but have

not been able to go because of the lockdown.

A police official attached to the Varkala

Police station told IANS that the complaint

was received on Thursday and the

police has started the probe.

The police will be examining the

CCTV footage in the area.


26 01-07-2021 to 15-07-2021 WORLD

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Ex-CM Kamalapati Tripathi's kin

booked in UP land grabbing case

Mirzapur (Uttar

Pradesh) : Once

known as the 'first

family of Congress'

in Uttar Pradesh,

former chief minister

late Kamalapati

Tripathi's clan is

now facing trouble.

Tripathi's grandson

and former MLC

Rajeshpati Tripathi,

great-grandson and

former MLA

Laliteshpati Tripathi

and 40 others have

been booked for

allegedly grabbing

132 acres of land in the name of

a cooperative society in

Manihan area of Mirzapur district.

A high-level probe into

transfer of land to cooperative

societies had been launched

following the Umbha incident

in Sonbhadra in July 2019

where 10 tribals were shot dead

in a land dispute.

According to official

sources, the revenue department

investigated the land

transferred to Gopalpur

Sanyukta Krishi Sahkari Samiti

Limited in Manihan area.

The probe report was produced

before the state government

which ordered the

Mirzapur district magistrate to

initiate legal action.

Assistant Commissioner &

Assistant Registrar (cooperative)

Mirzapur, Mitrasen

Verma, while providing details

of the FIR lodged at Manihan

police station, said, "As the

matter belonged to my department,

the district magistrate

forwarded the report to me after

which I lodged a FIR with the

Manihan police station."

Station officer (SO)

Manihan, Rajkumar Singh,

said, "The FIR was registered

under sections 419 (cheating by

personation), 420 (cheating and

dishonestly inducing delivery

of property), 467 (forging document),

468 (forgery for the

purpose of cheating) and 471

(fraudulently or dishonestly

uses as genuine document) of

IPC." "Police investigation in

this case has been started. It is a

very old case. Therefore, collection

and verification of documentary

evidence is a lengthy

process as it has to be collected

from many districts. Besides,

many related issues are also

under investigation," he said.

The report said that since

most of the primary members

are not alive, they legal successors

should be booked for committing

fraud and misleading

courts and officials.

Quadcopter from Pak

repulsed by BSF at IB

The lists of 17

primary members

and their 42 legal

successors of the

samiti was provided

to the probe committee

by samiti's

secretary Baijnath

Singh.

This list contained

the names of

former minister and

Rajeshpati

Tripathi's father late

Lokpati Tripathi,

Mandavi Prasad

Singh and others,"

the report stated.

The report further stated that

land pooling after formation of

the samiti was not as per law

while in 1961, when the courts

were informed that samiti has

105 members, no land pooling

was done by them except for 17

core members.

Membership given to people

from other states was also

found to be illegal.

"The report also contains

that sale of 132.6-acre land to a

food park limited by samiti's

deputy chairman Rajeshpati

Tripathi in September 2016 and

further deal in 2018 was done

without seeking permission

from the authority concerned

and overlooking prescribed

rules.

"Terming the managing

committee, core members and

their successors as guilty, legal

action was recommended," said

Verma.

Kamalapati Tripathi served

as Uttar Pradesh chief minister

from 1971 to 1973.

Notices to 2 ex-BSP

ministers in UP

MEMORIAL SCAM

Lucknow : The

vigilance department

in Uttar Pradesh has

served notices to former

Bahujan Samaj

Party ministers,

Naseemuddin

Siddiqui and Babu

Singh Kushwaha, in

connection with the

Rs 4,200-crore scam,

involving construction

of memorials in

Lucknow and Noida

under the Mayawati

government.

Naseemuddin

Siddiqui is now in

the Congress while

Babu Singh

Kushwaha heads the

Jan Adhikar Manch

party.

So far, 20 people have been

arrested in connection with the

scam which has been probed

since 2013. The inquiry was

initiated after a Lokayukta

probe indicted 199 persons,

including Siddiqui, Kushwaha

and 12 BSP MLAs.

A source in the vigilance

department said that notices

have also been served on 40

government officers who were

in service at that time for

recording their statements.

Vigilance officials said that

project managers had used red

sandstones which were purchased

at exorbitant rates.

Sandstones used in the construction

of parks and memorials

were procured from

Mirzapur district, but were

routed via Rajasthan to

increase the cost, causing huge

revenue losses to the state

exchequer.

The officials had filed the

first charge sheet in the memorial

scam in October 2020 in

which it had named six government

officials.

The enforcement directorate

had also registered a case of

PMLA in the memorial scam

and had attached properties of

engineers and contractors in

Lucknow.

Mayawati had allegedly

taken personal interest in the

construction of these monuments,

named after Dalit icons

and Rs 4,500 crore was earmarked

for the projects in the

state Budget.

After the Lokayukta report

was submitted, the then

Samajwadi party government,

led by Akhilesh Yadav, had

lodged an FIR in 2014.

The Lokayukta report pointed

out that while labourers and

machines used for cutting

stones were hired from

Lucknow, the payments made

were allegedly ten times the

normal wages/charges.

TN naval base will destroy

drones within 3km radius

Jammu : The Border Security Force (BSF) have fired at a

quadcopter from Pakistan to repulse it from crossing the

International Border (IB) in the Arnia sector of Jammu, officials

said. "Alert BSF troops fired at a small quadcopter belonging to

Pakistan today morning at about 4.25 a.m. as it was trying to cross

IB in Arnia sector," BSF said.

"Due to this firing it returned back immediately. It was meant

for carrying out surveillance of the area."

Jammu is witnessing heightened drone activity.

On June 29, drone activities were thwarted by the army at

Ratnachuk-Kaluchak military area in Jammu. On June 27, there

were two bomb blasts at the Jammu airforce station which security

agencies suspect were carried out using drones.

Chennai : The naval air station, INS

Parundu, in Tamil Nadu has warned that it

will destroy any drone flying within its 3-

km radius.

A statement from INS Parundu situated

in Uchipuli of Ramanathapuram district on

Friday said that there is a prohibition on the

flying of non-conventional aerial objects,

including remotely piloted aircraft (RPS)

or Drones within a 3 km radius of the naval

air station.

Ever since China took over the

Hambantota port on lease for a period of 99

years with more than 70 per cent of the

stakes of the port vested with the China

Merchants Port Holdings Company Private

Limited (CM Port), Indian defence establishments

have been on a high alert.

The Chinese control of Hambantota

port, which is hardly 100 miles from Tamil

Nadu, has always been a matter of concern

for India and given the drone attack in

Jammu, the intelligence agencies had given

high alert to the Southern Coastal line and

hence the statement from INS Parandu.

The statement said, "Any non-conventional

aerial objects including RPA's

(drones) found violating this prohibition

will be destroyed or confiscated without

any liability and action will be taken under

the Indian Penal Code(IPC) against the

operator."

The warning issued on Friday, comes

after the recent asymmetric drone attacks

carried out by terror elements from across

the border to an Indian Air Force station in

Jammu on June 27.

INS Parundu has been on high alert following

the unexpected Jammu drone

attack.

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