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Vol : 05 : #75 16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021

Delhi HC notice to EC on PIL

against parties offering cash in polls

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court

on Wednesday queried the Election

Commission, why hasn't it taken

action against political parties, which

violated guidelines on corrupt practices

and offered cash transfers to voters

in their manifestos.

As counsel representing the poll

body said it has already issued guidelines

in relation to corrupt practices

and had sent it to the political parties,

a bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel

and Justice Jyoti Singh said: "Why are

you shying from taking action? Start

taking action. Don't just issue notices

and letters." The bench further added

that it wants to see what action has

been taken, and the poll body can also

mention its proposed action in the

matter. The high court also sought a

response from the Centre on the petition,

which claimed cash for vote

promise violates Section 123 of the

Representation of People Act.

Senior advocate Soumya

Chakraborty, representing petitioners,

submitted when cash is offered, which

is not against any labour, then it is not

supported by any policy and countenanced

in the Constitution.

The petition had also point out that

the Congress and the Telugu Desam

Periyar sowed seeds of social

justice in TN, says Stalin

Chennai : Tamil Nadu

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on

Friday credited Dravida leader

E.V. Ramasamy, popularly

known as Periyar, championing

the cause of social justice

and "resurrecting" Tamil

Nadu. "Today on his birthday

we pay homage to Periyar, the

rationalist who sowed the

seeds of social justice in the

minds of the people in all

walks of life. Tamil Nadu was

resurrected only after his birth.

It became a society of dignity

and knowledge," he said in a

tweet. Stalin had earlier

declared September 17, the

birth anniversary of Periyar, as

Social Justice Day. The 143rd

birth anniversary of the social

reformer was celebrated on

Friday with the Chief Minister

paying floral tributes at his

statue of the social reformer at

Mount Road near Chindaripet.

In another tweet, the Chief

Minister said: "I took the

pledge of social justice on such

a glorious birthday. Entire

Tamil Nadu undertook the

pledge. We will set up an egalitarian

society on your path."

Periyar was born on

Party, in 2019 general election, offered

cash to certain sections of the society.

The Congress had announced

Nyuntam aay Yogyna -- NYAY

scheme. The high court issued notice

to both these parties. Citing the SC's

2013 judgment in the S. Subramaniam

Balaji case, the EC counsel contended

before the bench that it had issued

September 17, 1879 and

passed away on December 24,

1973. Reminiscing the great

Dravida leader after offering

floral tributes, Stalin said that

Periyar was responsible for the

enactment of the first

Constitutional Amendment

Act that had safeguarded the

reservation for backward

classes. Stalin said that

Periyar's ideology was all

about social justice, selfrespect,

rationalism, and

equality which laid down the

foundation for the growth of

Tamil society in the last century.

He also said this foundation

would help to pave way for the

future of Tamil society also.

The staff and officials of the

secretariat later undertook a

pledge administered by the

Chief Minister, stating that

they would follow the footsteps

of Periyar's ideology

based on social justice, selfrespect,

rationalism, and

equality. MPs T.R. Balu and

Kanimozhi were present with

Stalin while he was offering

floral tributes to Periyar.

TALIBAN army chief says those who

defend democracy will be suppressed

New Delhi : The Chief of

Army Staff of the Taliban,

Fasihudin, has said that those

who defend democracy in

Afghanistan and oppose the

Taliban will be suppressed.

He added that they will suppress

all those who defend the

gains of the past two decades

under the name of specific ethnic

groups or resistance in

Afghanistan, Khaama News

reported. Those who defend

democracy in Afghanistan and

oppose the Taliban will be suppressed,

he said. Though he did

not directly name any group, he

probably alluded to the resistance

front led by Ahmad

Masoud in Panjshir province.

The front, which was finally

defeated by the Taliban after 15

days, was created by former

vice-president Amrullah Saleh

and the son of the slain Ahmad

Shah Masoud.

Fasihudin said these people

are disturbing security and

want bloodshed in Afghanistan,

the report said. Fasihudin, who

was talking to a gathering in

Kabul on Wednesday, said that

consultations over creating an

Afghan national army are

strict guidelines for the political parties

in relation to corrupt practices.

Chakraborty added that during the

pandemic, funds were transferred in

people's account, which was an

extraordinary situation. He added that

if a trend were to pick up, where political

parties begin giving money not

against any work, then industries, and

going on to establish a potent

army. Fasihudin, who is also

known as the conqueror of the

northern province of

agriculture will finish.

A PIL was filed by two advocates

Parashar Narayan Sharma and Capt

Gurvinder Singh claiming that offering

of cash without any work in election

manifestos has to be declared illegal.

The high court has scheduled further

hearing on the matter on

September 24.

Afghanistan, is considered one

of the toughest military leaders

of the Islamic Emirate of

Afghanistan.

China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran to strengthen

coordination on Afghan issue

Dushanbe : Senior officials from China, Russia, Pakistan and

Iran have agreed to step up communication and coordination on

the Afghan issue. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister

Wang Yi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Pakistani

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Assistant to Iranian

Foreign Minister Seyed Rasoul Mousavi reached the consensus at

an informal meeting on Afghanistan in the Tajik capital of

Dushanbe on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Wang said that it is necessary for the four countries to strengthen

communication and coordination, make unanimous voices,

exert positive influence, and play a constructive role in stabilizing

the situation in Afghanistan. Countries in the region expect the

new Afghan government to be inclusive, anti-terrorist, and friendly

to neighbors, he stressed.


2

16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

SC collegium recommends 8 Chief Justices for various HCs

New Delhi: In a major decision,

the Supreme Court collegium

has recommended elevation

of eight judges as Chief

Justices of various high courts

and recommended over two

dozen names of high court

judges for transfer.

The new eight Chief Justices

are: Justice Rajesh Bindal for

the Allahabad High Court,

Prakash Srivastava for the

Calcutta High Court, Prashant

Kumar Mishra for the Andhra

Pradesh High Court, Ritu Raj

Awasthi for the Karnataka High

Court, Satish Chandra Sharma

for the Telangana High Court,

Ranjit V. More for the

Meghalaya High Court,

Aravind Kumar for the Gujarat

High Court, and R.V. Malimath

for the Madhya Pradesh High

Court.

Justice Bindal was appointed

as the acting Chief Justice of

Calcutta High Court on April

29, as the polling got over in

West Bengal. He was caught in

the standoff between the

Trinamool Congress and the

Centre after elections in West

Bengal.

According to a source, five

Chief Justices and over two

dozen judges were recommended

to be transferred.

Justice Akil Qureshi, who is

currently Chief Justice of the

Tripura High Court, is recommended

to head the Rajasthan

High Court, while Rajasthan

High Court Chief Justice

Indrajit Mahanty will go to

Tripura High Court in his place.

Other Chief Justices to be

transferred are Arup Kumar

Goswami from Andhra Pradesh

to the Chhattisgarh High Court,

Mohd Rafiq from Madhya

Pradesh to the Himachal

Pradesh High Court, and

Biswanath Somadder from

Meghalaya to the Sikkim High

Court. According to the source,

the decisions were taken by the

Supreme Court collegium

Thursday evening. However,

the collegium headed by Chief

Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising

Justices U.U. Lalit and

A.M. Khanwilkar -- has not

formally notified these decisions.

The names of the 25 high

court judges recommended for

transfer are: Sabina from

Rajasthan to Himachal

Pradesh, A.M. Badar from

Kerala to Patna, Vivek Agarwal

from Allahabad to Madhya

Pradesh, Sudip Ahluwalia from

Punjab and Haryana to

Calcutta, Ravi Nath Tilhari

from Allahabad to Andhra

Pradesh, Chandra Dhari Singh

from Allahabad to Delhi,

Anoop Chitkara from

Himachal Pradesh to Punjab

and Haryana, Yashwant Varma

from Allahabad to Delhi, T.S.

Sivagnanam from Madras to

Calcutta, Manindra Mohan

Shrivastava from Chhattisgarh

to Rajasthan, Arindam Sinha

from Calcutta to Orissa, Ujjal

Bhuyan from Bombay to

Telangana, Sureshwar Thakur

from Himachal Pradesh to

Allahabad, Jaswant Singh from

Punjab and Haryana to Orissa,

Subhash Chand (Additional

Judge) from Allahabad to

Jharkhand,

M.S.S.

Ramachandra Rao from

Telangana to Punjab and

Haryana, M.N. Bhandari from

Allahabad to Madras,

Ahsanuddin Amanullah from

Patna to Andhra Pradesh,

Sanjaya Kumar Mishra from

Orissa to Uttarakhand, Soumen

Sen from Calcutta to Orissa,

P.B. Bajanthri from Karnataka

to Patna, Sanjeev Prakash

Sharma from Rajasthan to

Patna, Paresh R. Upadhyay

from Gujarat to Madras,

Amarnath Goud from

Telangana to Tripura, and

Rajan Gupta from Punjab and

Haryana to Patna.

According to the source,

more names of high court

judges are expected to come

out later.

The collegium, on

September 3, had made 68 recommendations,

including 10

women judges, for appointment

to high courts. However, the

Centre has not acted on these

names so far.

Breaking a nearly two-year

deadlock, on August 18, the top

court had published on its website

names of nine persons recommended

for appointment as

judges to the top court. All nine

names were cleared by the

Centre within two weeks.

India, Nepal to carry out joint army training exercise in U'khand

New Delhi: India and Nepal

will carry out joint military

training exercise 'Surya Kiran'

at Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh

from September 20, the Indian

Army announced on Friday.

During this exercise, an

infantry battalion from the

Indian Army and a formation of

equivalent strength from

Nepali Army would be sharing

their experiences gained during

the conduct of various counterinsurgency

operations over a

prolonged period in their

respective countries.

As part of the exercise, both

the armies would familiarise

themselves with each other's

weapons, equipment, tactics,

techniques, and procedures of

operating in a counter-insurgency

environment in mountainous

terrain. Also, there

would be a series of expert academic

discussions on various

subjects such as humanitarian

assistance and disaster relief

(HADR), high-altitude warfare,

jungle warfare etc.

The joint military training

would culminate with a gruelling

48 hours exercise to validate

the performance of both

the armies in counter-insurgency

in mountainous terrain.

"The exercise is part of an

initiative to develop inter-operability

and sharing expertise

between the two nations," the

Indian Army said.

This joint military training

will go a long way in improving

bilateral relations and also

will be a major step towards

further strengthening the traditional

friendship between the

two nations, it added.

The last edition of Exercise

Surya Kiran was conducted in

Nepal in 2019.

Last year, Indian Army

chief, Gen M.M. Naravane visited

Nepal to enhance the bilateral

relationship. He met then

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma

Oli, as well as his counterpart,

Gen Purna Chandra Thapa.

The ties between the two

countries came under strain last

year after China increased its

influence in Nepal.

Before General Naravane,

Research and Analysis Wing

(RA&W) chief Samant Kumar

Goel also made a visit to

Kathmandu and met Nepal

Prime Minister to strengthen

the relationship.

Team AI :

Devinder Chander

Editor-in-chief

Columnists

V.B. Rawat

Farzana Suri

Arun Kumar

Rahul Kumar

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Congress, BJP up in arms over CPI-M's note to party workers

Thiruvananthapuram: A

note by the CPI-M on how the

presence of communalism and

terrorism is attracting the youth

in the educational institutions

of Kerala has invited the wrath

of both the Congress and the

BJP. What has raised the eyebrows

is that this note was prepared

by the state unit of the

CPI-M for distribution on

September 10 to all its lower

committees, which are getting

ready to meet ahead of the

upcoming state conference of

the party scheduled to be held

in Kochi in February next year.

Incidentally, it was on

September 9 that the Syro

Malabar Church Pala diocese

bishop Mar Joseph

Kallarangatt had said that

Catholic girls are becoming

victims of 'love' and now 'narcotic

jihad', kicking up a row.

Reacting to the CPI-M note,

the Leader of Opposition V.D.

Satheesan termed it as a serious

issue. "If the CPI-M has any

data on this, it should be made

public. We wish to know if

there is any evidence on this

and if a case has been registered

on this matter. The CPI-M

and the government has a moral

responsibility on this," said

Satheesan.

Joining the issue, state BJP

President K. Surendran asked

why is it that the CPI-M is

unable to accept in public that

Love Jihad exists.

"This is what we have been

saying for a while now and it's

baffling that the CPI-M is continuing

its silence in the public

domain on this issue. A strong

probe has to be launched into

the matter," said Surendran.

Ever since the bishop made

the statement, a series of visits

has been made to the bishop by

the top leaders from the

Congress and the BJP. On

Friday, state Cooperation

Minister V.N. Vasavan, also a

top CPI-M leader, made a visit

to the bishop.

But due to the presence of

the media, Vasavan tried to

play down the visit and termed

it as just a routine call to the

headquarters of the Pala bishop,

as it falls in his home district

and he has always held the

bishop in high esteem.

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ASIA

16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021

3

US to re-assess its relations with Pakistan

Islamabad: The hasty withdrawal

of the US and NATO

forces from Afghanistan has

sparked a debate in the US

Congress, with US Secretary of

State Anthony Blinken going

through a tough session

answering some serious questions

raised by the

Congressmen.

Blinken stated that the US

will look into its relationship

with Pakistan and re-assess as

to how it can be of use to

ensure a better future for

Afghanistan.

Blinken's statement came in

response to multiple demands

and questions over taking a

harder and more strict approach

towards Pakistan.

"Pakistan has a multiplicity

of interests with some that are

in conflict with ours," he said.

"It is one that is involved

hedging its bets constantly

about the future of Afghanistan,

it is one that is involved in harboring

members of the Taliban,

it is one that's also involved in

different points of cooperation

with us on counterterrorism,"

Blinken added.

It was in this regard that

Blinken confirmed before the

House of Representatives'

Foreign Affairs Committee that

Washington would be reassessing

its relationship with

Pakistan.

"This is one of the things we

are going to be looking at in the

days and weeks ahead... the

role that Pakistan has played

over the last 20 years, as also

the role we would want to see it

play in the coming years and

what it will take for it to do

that," he said.

Blinken also highlighted that

Washington has called on

Pakistan to deny legitimacy to

the Taliban-led government in

Afghanistan unless it doesn't

meet the international demands

and expectations, which

include inclusive government

and rights to women.

"What we have to look at is

an instance that every country,

to include Pakistan, make good

on the expectations that the

international community has of

what is required of a Talibanled

government if it's to receive

any legitimacy of any kind," he

insisted.

"So Pakistan needs to line up

with a broad majority of the

international community in

working toward those ends and

in upholding these expectations,"

he added.

Various demands on taking a

hardline stand on Pakistan were

put forward, which included

removal of its status as a major

non-NATO ally, which gives it

privileged access to the US

weaponry.

It is pertinent to mention

here that the US and other

western countries are in a difficult

position to balance out

their position in the aftermath

of the hasty withdrawal from

Afghanistan, as the decision

has sparked a debate in global

quarters.

What has also now become a

major debate is how to engage

with the Taliban, especially

when aid pledges are being

made to prevent Afghanistan

from a massive humanitarian

crisis.

Afghan women protest Taliban's

hijab diktat by sharing photos in

colourful dresses

New Delhi,: Afghan women

around the world are protesting

the Taliban's new hijab diktat in

schools by posting photos of

themselves wearing colorful

traditional dresses on social

media, CNN reported.

The Taliban have mandated

the segregation of genders in

classrooms and said that female

students, lecturers and employees

must wear hijabs in accordance

with the group's interpretation

of Sharia law.

Photos have emerged of a

group of female students wearing

head-to-toe black robes and

waving Taliban flags in the lecture

hall of a government-run

university in Kabul.

Other Afghan women

responded by posting pictures

of themselves in bright and colorful

traditional Afghan dresses

-- a stark contrast to the black

hijab mandate outlined by the

Taliban.

Bahar Jalali, a former faculty

member of the American

University of Afghanistan

according to her LinkedIn profile,

helped kick off the picture

posting campaign, according to

other women who shared photos

on Twitter., CNN reported.

Jalali tweeted a picture of a

woman in a full black dress and

veil and said: "No woman has

ever dressed like this in the history

of Afghanistan. This is

utterly foreign and alien to

Afghan culture. I posted my pic

in the traditional Afghan dress

to inform, educate and dispel

the misinformation that is

being propagated by Taliban."

Other Afghan women soon

followed her lead on social

media, the report added.

Waslat Hasrat-Nazimi, head

of the Afghan service at DW

News, tweeted a picture of herself

in traditional Afghan dress

and headdress with the comment:

"This is Afghan culture

and this is how Afghan women

dress."

Shekiba Teimori, an Afghan

singer and activist who fled

Kabul last month, told CNN

that the "hijab existed before

Kabul's fall. We could see

Hijabi women, but this was

based on family decisions and

not the government."

She said before the Taliban

came to Afghanistan, her

ancestors were "wearing the

same colorful Afghan dresses

you see in my pictures".

Now Bihar farmer turns

'crorepati' with Rs 52 cr in a/c

Patna: Crores of rupees keep

pouring into individual bank

accounts of people in Bihar

these days. The latest incident

is from Singari village in

Muzaffarpur district. Ram

Bahadur Shah, an elderly

farmer has received Rs 52 crore

in his bank account.

The incident came to light

on Friday when Shah went to

the CSP outlet in Katra to

inquire whether the elderly

pension was credited to his

account or not.

The operator of CSP,

logged-in his account and was

shocked to see Rs 52 crore in

the available balance ledger.

The news spread like wild

fire in the area.

"We are poor villagers

dependent on farming. We urge

the state government to give me

some amount so that the rest of

my life becomes easy and

smooth," Shah said.

His son Sujit Shah said: "We

are facing a problem after the

money is credited in the

account of my father. We are

farmers and we need help from

the government."

"I don't know how this

money is credited in my

father's account but the bank

should give the interest to my

father from the day the money

was credited in the account. It

is not our fault. It is the fault of

the bank," Sujit Shah said.

"We have learnt from the

local sources that an elderly

person has received Rs 52 crore

in the bank account. The intimation

has been given to senior

officials of the district, as well as

the concerned bank. The investigation

is on," said Manoj Pandey,

sub-inspector of Katra police station.

This is not the first case in

Bihar. In fact, two school students

of Class 6 of Katihar became millionaires

on Thursday. Katihar

DM Udayan Mishra however

claimed that it was a technical

error. Besides, a person named

Ranjit Das of Khagaria district

also received Rs 5.5 lakh in the

bank account. Das refused to

return the amount. He claimed

that PM Narendra Modi had

promised Rs 15 lakh to every

country man and it was the first

instalment. As he did not return

the money, the bank had registered

an FIR against him. He is

currently lodged in jail.


4

16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

EU Commissioner condemns

hacking by use of Pegasus spyware

New Delhi. The EU must

swiftly legislate to further protect

the rights of activists, journalists

and politicians following

the Pegasus spyware scandal,

and the perpetrators of illegal

tapping must be prosecuted,

the blocs Justice

Commissioner, Didier

Reynders, has told the

European Parliament, The

Guardian reported.

Reynders told the MEPs that

the European Commission

"totally condemned" the

alleged attempts by national

security services to illegally

access information on political

opponents through their

phones.

He said: "Any indication

that such intrusion of privacy

actually occurred needs to be

thoroughly investigated and all

responsible for a possible

breach have to be brought to

justice. This is, of course, the

responsibility of each and

every member state of the EU,

and I expect that in the case of

Pegasus, the competent authorities

will thoroughly examine

the allegations and restore

trust," the report said.

Reynders said the EU's

executive branch is closely following

an investigation by

Hungary's data protection

authority into claims that that

the far right government had

been among those targeting

journalists, media owners and

opposition political figures

with the invasive Pegasus spyware,

the report said.

Reynders said: "Various

reports have shown that certain

national security services used

the Pegasus spyware to have

direct access to citizens,

equipment, including political

opponents and journalists.

"Let me say right at the

start that the Commission

totally condemns any illegal

access to systems or any kind

of illegal trapping or interception

of community user communications.

It's a crime in the

whole of the European

Union."

High alert in Punjab

with arrest of four of

ISI-backed module

Punjab provides

31,970 stubble management

machines

Chandigarh. To combat stubble

burning, the Punjab government

under the Crop Residue

Management scheme has provided

31,970 machines to farmers,

primary agriculture cooperatives

societies, panchayats and

customer hiring centres, state

Agriculture Sukhdev Singh

Sidhu said on Wednesday.

He said the Agriculture and

Farmers' Welfare Department

has given approval to 10,297

applications till date for purchasing

of 31,970 agrimachines

or equipment to combat

the menace of stubble burning.

According to Sidhu, the

department has issued sanctions

under five phases for purchasing

the straw management

machines with subsidies ranging

from 50 to 80 per cent.

He said 76,626 straw management

machines were given

on subsidy to the farmers in the

past three years.

Patiala, Sangrur, Barnala,

Bathinda, Ferozepur, Muktsar

Sahib, Tarn Taran, Moga and

Mansa were identified as the

hotspot districts, where most of

the paddy stubble burning

cases were reported in the past.

He said the state was also

making all-out efforts to deploy

a special task force for enforcement

and regulatory measures

in these districts so as to ensure

the prevention of stubble burning

incidents in the ensuing

paddy harvesting season.

Under the Crop Residue

Management scheme, the state

government has focused on

delivering state-of-the-art

machines to farmers, including

Super SMS, Super Seeder,

Happy Seeder, Paddy Straw

Chopper, Hydraulic Reversible

Mould Board Plough and Zero

Till Drill, for in-situ management.

Chandigarh. Punjab Chief

Minister Amarinder Singh has

ordered high alert in the state

following the arrest of four

more members of an ISIbacked

terrorist module

involved in a bid to blow up

an oil tanker with an IED tiffin

bomb last month, making it

the fourth case of a Pakistani

terror module being busted in

the state in the past 40 days.

Two Pakistan-based men,

including a Pakistani intelligence

officer, have also been

identified and booked in the

case, in which one person was

arrested earlier, DGP Dinkar

Gupta disclosed on

Wednesday.

Taking serious note of the

increased attempts by terror

groups to disturb peace, the

Chief Minister has directed

the police to be on high alert,

particularly in view of schools

and educational institutions

reopening, as well as the festival

season and the Assembly

polls ahead.

He has asked the DGP to

ensure high level of security

arrangements, especially in

busy places, such as markets

etc, as well as at sensitive

installations across the state.

Giving details of the

arrests, the DGP also identified

International Sikh Youth

Federation (ISYF) chief

Lakhbir Singh Rode, alias

Baba, a native of Rode village

in Moga district, who is currently

based in Pakistan, and

Pakistani intelligence official

Qasim as being behind the terror

module.

Those arrested on Tuesday

have been identified as Rubal

Singh, Vicky Bhutti, Malkeet

Singh and Gurpreet Singh.

While Rubal, also wanted

in a murder case of September

1, was picked up from

Haryana's Ambala around 5

p.m., the other three were

nabbed from their villages in

Ajnala, and Amritsar. Their

fifth accomplice, Gurmukh

Brar, was arrested earlier by

Kapurthala police, on August

20.

The DGP said Qasim, and

Rode had promised to transfer

over Rs 2 lakh to the terrorist

module for carrying out the

blast.

Investigations into the

financial aspects are also

being carried to unravel the

money trail, he added.

Rubal and Vicky Bhutti

were in touch with Qasim,

who was working in close collaboration

with Rode. Rode

and Qasim had reportedly

tasked the four members of a

terrorist module to blast an oil

tanker for causing maximum

damage to people and property.

The terror attempt was

made on August 8, when, at

about 11.30 p.m., the Ajnala

police received information

that an oil tanker parked at

Sharma Filling Station

Ajnala, located on the

Amritsar-Ajnala Road near

Bhakha Tara Singh village

had caught fire.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

New Delhi. O.P. Jindal Global

University has announced a

Memorandum

of

Understanding (MoU) with the

International Committee of the

Red Cross (ICRC), Regional

Delegation in New Delhi to

build awareness and develop

new academic programmes in

Humanitarian Action and

International Humanitarian

Law (IHL).

This MoU will strengthen

cooperation in the area of promotion,

awareness raising,

development, teaching and

research in the fields of humanitarian

studies and International

Humanitarian Law (IHL).

The main purpose of the

MoU is to further deepen the

understanding of Humanitarian

Studies and issues pertaining to

IHL through research, knowledge

exchange and curriculum

development. Most importantly,

through the MoU, ICRC and

JGU will seek to establish

interdisciplinary joint degree

programmes in international

Humanitarian Action and

International Humanitarian

Law. Apart from academic

exchanges, the MoU also

enhances internship opportunities

for students of JGU and

professional development

opportunities such as faculty

and personnel exchanges

between both institutions. It is

to be noted that there are several

degree programmes dedicated

to the theory and praxis of

Humanitarian Action and IHL,

but these are mainly concentrated

in Europe and the United

States. Through the MoU, both

institutions seek to develop

unique programmes of excellence,

based in the Global

South, that draw on the core

strengths of both institutions

i.e., praxis and academic

research. The ICRC will share

its global experience in the promotion

of Humanitarian

Studies and IHL as well as lend

its technical expertise in the

development of the academic

and research programmes

through the MoU.

Dr. Yahya Alibi, Head of

Regional Delegation, ICRC,

said on the occasion, "The birth

of the ICRC took place in the

battlefields of the 19th Century

in the context of conflict and its

main objective was to protect

and assist the victims of armed

conflict especially on the battlefield.

The founders of the

ICRC had this vision that the

best protection is not only to

assist and protect but it is also

to build a consensus. The ICRC

has always been extensively

engaged in promotion of

humanitarian law in academic

circles. However, there is need

for expanding such programmes

in the global south.

One of my responsibilities is to

initiate such a programme with

renowned institutions which

are well-established and

respected in the field of international

law.

"The ICRC is committed to

promote education in the field

of humanitarian studies. This

opportunity to work closely

with O.P. Jindal Global

University is a unique opportunity

for ICRC to utilize our

experience and encourage academic

institutions to engage in

humanitarian studies because

today's students are tomorrow's

policy-makers. If they are sensitized

in these areas, there

NEWS

decision-making will be wellinformed

by knowledge and

learning."

Prof. (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, the

Founding Vice Chancellor of

O.P. Jindal Global University

said, "It's a very momentous

occasion for us to announce

this collaboration. The ICRC's

effort to partner with JGU will

give enormous opportunities

for developing a number of

activities and initiatives,

including learning outcomes.

At a time when issues relating

to conflict, peace and security

are at the forefront of bilateral

and multilateral engagement of

countries in the region and

beyond, the need for understanding

and appreciating the

importance of international law

is critical.

"The degree programmes

that are being launched are only

one facet of the more wideranging

collaborations we

intend to establish which would

include conferences, lectures,

webinars, seminars and internship

opportunities. It will also

include research projects and

joint research initiatives, collaborative

endeavors with other

institutions in South-Asia and

beyond."In order to realize the

objectives of the MoU in the

short-term, JGU and ICRC will

now partner in convening a

series of events including lecture

series, roundtables, conferences

and webinars on mutually

agreed upon topics. These

may include issues of climate

change, natural disasters, maritime

safety and security and

the link between sustainable

humanitarian initiatives and

development. Within India,

once the pandemic situation

improves, the ICRC and JGU

will also convene an annual

conference to discuss contemporary

humanitarian issues and

challenges.

Earlier, Prof. Dabiru Sridhar

Patnaik, Registrar, O.P. Jindal

University welcomed the ICRC

delegation and said, "Through

this partnership we envisage to

16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021

O.P. Jindal Global University signs MOU with the

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Noida. Nearly 200 farmers

from Gautam Budh Nagar district

under the banner of the

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU)

staged a protest at the Uttar

Pradesh Power Corporation

Limited (UPPCL) office here

on Wednesday.

Farmers said the UPPCL

sent arbitrary electricity bills

and if the farmers failed to pay,

they are harassed unnecessarily.

The farmers locked the door

of the power discom office at

Noida's sector 16 and continued

their protest outside.

The farmers said they are

fed up with illegal recovery by

UPPCL officials. "These days a

vigilance team visits the villages

to check power theft. The

vigilance team says they have

come for inspection on the

direction of UPPCL. They ask

people in villages to pay them,

otherwise they are charged for

power theft," said a Gautam

Budh Nagar based BKU leader,

Subhas Chaudhari.

The farmers said several

electricity transformers are

defunct in the villages and

when they ask the officials to

replace them, the officials ask

for a bribe. The agitating farmers

also alleged that the power

department officials cut the

power supply for hours.

"We are fed up with arbitrary

decisions of UPPCL and

we will not call off this protest

until we are assured that such

things are not repeated in

future," Chaudhari added.

Claiming that the villagers

have taken legal power connections

and that they pay electricity

bills every month, the farmers

alleged that UPPCL does

not send proper bills to the consumers

in the villages but later

build capacity and to contribute

to humanitarian studies and

develop professionals who can

specialize in this area. This

multi-dimensional collaboration

is not limited to joint activities

but to also possibly initiate

and develop a Master of Arts

programme in Humanitarian

Action and Policy in collaboration

with the ICRC and also a

Master of Laws in International

Humanitarian Law. The

strengths of ICRC and JGU

blend to achieve these objectives."

The International

Committee of the Red Cross

(ICRC), established in 1863 is

a neutral, independent, humanitarian

organisation whose

mandate is to protect and assist

victims of armed conflict and

other situations of violence. Its

mandate stems from the

Geneva Conventions of 1949,

their additional protocols of

1977 and the Statutes of the

International Red Cross and

Red Crescent Movement. The

ICRC has an exclusively

humanitarian mission is to protect

the lives and dignity and

respond to needs of people living

in fragile contexts.

Alongside it also works with

states and a wide range of

actors, sharing its field experience

and evidence-based

knowledge to identify the

emerging humanitarian policy

trends and to find solutions to

address these growing challenges

of the 21st Century. The

Regional Delegation of the

ICRC in New Delhi covers

India, Nepal, Bhutan and the

Maldives. It promotes humanitarian

law and values and relevant

international norms and

come to collect money.

Besides these, the farmers

also alleged that UPPCL is

denying electricity connections

in the villages that are

located along the Yamuna

Expressway. "If UPPCL wants

to stop power theft, then why

does it not send monthly electricity

bills in the villages?

And when they do not send

monthly bills, then why do

they later ask people to pay

hefty bills? There are several

issues which need to be

stopped immediately," said

another local farmer,

Suresh Awana. The farmers

5

standards with government

agencies, the armed and security

forces, academic institutions

and civil society groups across

the region.

O.P. Jindal Global

(Institution of Eminence

Deemed to be University)

(JGU) is a non-profit global

university established in 2009

by the Government of Haryana

and entitled by the University

Grants Commission (UGC).

The university received the

then highest grade 'A' of the

National Accreditation and

Assessment Council (NAAC).

The Ministry of Education,

Government of India recognized

JGU as an 'Institution of

Eminence' (IOE) in 2020. This

makes JGU one of only ten private

universities in India to be

awarded this status.

JGU was ranked amongst

the top 750 Universities in the

world by the prestigious QS

World University Rankings

2022. JGU has once again

been ranked as the Number 1

Private University in India by

the QS World University

Rankings 2022. In addition,

Jindal Global Law School

(JGLS) entered the Top 100

Law Schools of the World in

the QS World University

Rankings by Subject 2021

released in March.

JGLS, established in 2009,

is now ranked as the Number 1

law school in India and South

Asia, Number 8 in the entire

BRICS region and Number 76

in the world. JGLS is also the

only Indian law school to feature

in the QS World

University Rankings by

Subject 2021.

Noida farmers protest at UP power discom office

reached the power company

office at around noon and

camped at the main gate.

They brought with them

their traditional hookahs

and later also cooked food

at the site. The protesters

finally vacated the spot at

around 5.30 p.m.


6 16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

To decide Naga political issue, Nagaland heading for all-party govt

Chandigarh. Punjab Chief

Minister Amarinder Singh on

Wednesday said no Akali Dal

leader, especially former Union

Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal,

had the moral right to speak on

the crisis triggered by the farm

laws, which they could easily

have averted when they were

part of the Central government

and party to each of its "antipeople

decisions".

In a hard-hitting response to

Harsimrat Kaur's "irresponsible

claims and baseless allegations"

against him with reference

to his statement on the

impact of the prolonged farmers'

stir in Punjab on the state's

economy, he slammed the Akali

leader, saying "her politically

motivated remarks which were

nothing but a cover-up of her

and her party's failure to prevent

the crisis that was of their

own deliberate making".

Ridiculing the former Union

minister's remarks that he was

speaking the language of the

BJP leadership, the Chief

Minister said left to the ruling

party at the Centre and in

neighbouring Haryana, the

farmers would not have even

reached the Delhi borders to

make their voice heard.

"I never asked the farmers to

go to Delhi. They were forced

to leave their homes and sit at

the border of the national capital,

facing the elements and

even losing their lives, as a

result of your coalition government's

acts of commission and

omission," he said, asking

Harsimrat Kaur to "stop lying

about her brazen complicity in

the imposition of the farm laws

on the farmers, not just of

Kohima. With the ruling and

opposition parties making hectic

efforts for the past few

months to form an all-party

government in Nagaland, all

the political parties will meet

on Saturday to finalise the formation

of the Nagaland United

Government (NUG), sources

said on Wednesday.

According to the political

parties, the main aim of forming

the NUG is to resolve the

Naga political issue involving

various outfits including the

NSCN (IM).

As Nagaland is heading for

an all-party government, the

opposition Naga People's Front

(NPF) is most likely to join the

NUG headed by Chief Minister

Neiphiu Rio.

NPF legislature party leader

T.R. Zeliang said that a joint

meeting of the ruling People's

Democratic Alliance (PDA),

NPF and Independent MLAs

would be held on September 18

in Kohima to decide about the

Nagaland United Government.

He said that he was optimistic

that every aspect of the

formation of the NUG would

be finalised on Saturday and

then formal letters would be

given to the state assembly

speaker and the governor to

change the nomenclature from

PDA government to NUG.

An all-party meeting comprising

the Nationalist

Democratic Progressive Party

(NDPP) headed by Rio,

Bharatiya Janata Party, NPF

and two Independent legislators

was held on August 11. It

agreed in principle to form an

all-party government under the

name of NUG.

"Our aim is very clear and

transparent. We have come

together to resolve the long

awaited Naga political issue.

We wish the Naga issue is settled

before Christmas," Zeliang

told the media.

Surprising the political circles

in Nagaland and other

northeastern states, the Centre

on September 9 transferred

Nagaland Governor Ravindra

Narayan Ravi to Tamil Nadu.

He was the government's interlocutor

for the much-debated

Naga peace talks, which are

now in the last stages of finalisation.

Assam Governor Jagdish

Mukhi has been given the additional

charge as Nagaland

Governor.

With the backing of the central

leaders the BJP, an ally of

the PDA government, in principle

also supported the move for

No moral right to speak on farm

crisis, Punjab CM to Harsimrat

Punjab but the entire country".

Dubbing as "atrocious"

Harsimrat Kaur's suggestion

that the farmers should protest

in Punjab while their fight was

against the BJP-led government

at the Centre, the Chief

Minister quipped "it's like asking

someone to go to the western

front to fight an enemy that

is standing at the eastern border".

"It was evident that the

Akalis were trying to divert the

farmers' attention from the

Centre to the state, with an eye

on the Assembly polls, unmindful

of the harm this would cause

to the state and to the farmers

themselves," he added.

Taking a dig at Harsimrat

Kaur's claim of being "surprised

and pained" at his

remarks, the Chief Minister

said "either she was deliberately

lying or was totally dumb

and apathetic to the plight of

the state and its people".

"It's a joke coming from the

leader of a party that misruled

Punjab for 10 years and brought

the state to the brink of complete

ruination," he quipped,

asking Harsimrat Kaur "where

her pain had disappeared for

those 10 years when the SAD-

BJP government was inflicting

one injury after another on the

people with their corrupt acts".

"The Akali leaders never did

understand or can understand

the suffering of Punjab's people,

including its farmers," he

added.

an all-party government.

The NPF, which is the single

largest party in Nagaland with

25 MLAs, decided to join the

proposed NUG government

apparently for taking forward

the Naga political issue

between the Centre and Naga

political groups.

Led by Rio, the NDPP with

20 members and the BJP with

12 MLAs are also the leading

partners of the incumbent PDA

Ranchi. The Jharkhand government

has decided that religious

places for devotees and schools

from class 6 onwards will be

opened in the state.

A decision in this regard has

been taken in the meeting of the

Jharkhand State Disaster

Management Authority which

was held under the chairmanship

of Chief Minister Hemant Soren.

An official release said, "the

permission has been given for

the entry of devotees at all religious

places. The classes of 6 to

8 standard will also be opened".

The Jharkhand government

has already allowed opening of

classes from 9 to 12 standard.

It will be mandatory for all

the concerned persons like

priests, pandas, imams, pastors

etc to take at least one vaccine

dose against Covid-19.

A maximum of 100 persons

will be able to enter in an hour

through e-pass at religious

places identified by the District

government.

Two independent members

are also supporting the government

while one seat is lying

vacant in the 60-member

Assembly after the death of an

MLA.

The latest political development

comes after almost all

parties in the northeastern state

came together following the

formation of the Core

Committee on Naga Political

Issue (CCoNPI) led by Rio

(convener) on June 16.

Deputy Chief Minister and

leader of the BJP legislature

party Y. Patton said that his

party is also keen to resolve the

Naga political issue at the earliest.

Nagaland Pradesh Congress

Committee (NPCC) said that

the decision of the opposition

NPF to join the PDA government

"on the pretext of Naga

political issue to converge into

an opposition-less government"

was an insult to the people of

the state as they fought the

2018 Assembly polls against

Magistrate such as Baba Dham

Temple in Deoghar. People will

be permitted to gather at the religious

places at 50 per cent

capacity of the place.

However entry of a person

below 18 years of age will be

prohibited. Social distancing

will be mandatory and without

the mask people will not be

allowed to enter. Offline classes

have already been permitted for

all years of undergraduate and

postgraduate education in the

colleges. Now, in an important

decision, offline classes were

allowed in the schools for classes

6 to 8. Further, all sports

activities have been allowed

without spectators while bars

and restaurants can open till 11

p.m. Further, the government has

also given permission for construction

of Durga Puja pandals

with guidelines. There will be a

ban on the entry of devotees in

the pandal, on the gathering of

more than 50 per cent of the

the BJP.

The NPCC in a statement

also alleged that the main purpose

for the political matrimony

between the NPF and PDA

was to "raid the state exchequer

and enjoy the perks of office

while delaying the implementation

of a Naga political solution".

The Central government has

been separately holding peace

talks with the Isak-Muivah faction

of the National Socialist

Council of Nagalim (NSCN-

IM) and eight other outfits

which came together a few

years ago under the banner of

'Naga National Political

Groups' (NNPGs).

The NSCN-IM and other

outfits entered into a ceasefire

agreement with the government

of India in 1997 and in the subsequent

years and held a political

dialogue since then.

The NSCN-IM, the dominant

Naga group since August

1997, has held around 80

rounds of negotiations with the

Centre.

Religious places, schools from class

6 onwards to open in Jharkhand

capacity or more than 25 persons

(whichever is less) at a time in

the pandal.

The maximum height of the

idol will be 5 feet. There will be

no archway or reception gate.

The pandal will not be based on

any theme. The pandal will be

surrounded on three sides.

Bhog or prasad (offering) will

not be distributed.

Invitation cards will not be

distributed by the worship committees.

Bright lighting will be

restricted except when

required. Cultural programs

like Garba, Dandiya etc will be

banned. Entry of persons

below 18 years of age is not

permitted. There will be no

food stall or cart nearby. There

will be no immersion procession.

Immersion will be done at

the place identified by the district

administration.

No person shall be without a

mask in the pandal at any time.


www..co.uk

ASIA

16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021

BJP-RSS fake Hindus, doing 'Dalali' of religion: Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi. Senior Congress

leader Rahul Gandhi on

Wednesday launched scathing

attack on the BJP and said that

the party is using religion for

their gains and they do not

care about Hinduism as it is

only using the religion to further

its interest.

Addressing women convention

of the party, Rahul

Gandhi said, "Ye Jhoothe

Hindu hai, hindu dharm ka

prayog kar rahein hain, ye

hindu nahi hain, hindu dharm

ki dalali karte hain. (They are

fake hindus and using hinduism

for their gains, they are

not hindus but brokers of religion).

Attacking the BJP, Rahul

Gandhi said, "They call themselves

hindu party but wherever

they go they attack Laxmi

and Durga and kill the

New Delhi.The Supreme

Court on Wednesday criticised

the government for

"cherry-picking" from its recommendations

for tribunals

across the country, asking

what is the sanctity of recommendations

by the panel

headed by sitting top court

judges if the government has

the last say on the matter.

A bench headed by Chief

Justice N.V. Ramana, and

comprising Justices D.Y.

Chandrachud and L.

Nageswara Rao told Attorney

General K.K. Venugopal, representing

the Centre, that it is

"very unhappy" with the way

the Centre has made appointments

to the tribunals.

It clearly told the him it did

not appreciate the Centre's

"cherry-picking" names for

appointment after recommendations

made by the Searchcum-Selection

Committees

(SCSC) headed by Supreme

Court judges.

Emphasising that it is distressing

that names recommended

by selection panel,

which comprised of sitting

top court judges and two senior

bureaucrats, were not

treated seriously, the top court

gave Centre two weeks, as the

last opportunity, to make good

the appointments and furnish

reasons for the names, which

were rejected.

"We are very unhappy with

what is going on," noted the

Chief Justice, while questioning

the Centre as to why recommendations

made by the

SCSC were not accepted. The

SCSC shortlists candidates

for appointment and then

sends it to the Centre for

clearance.

"Make all appointments.

Godesses, then they say that

they are hindus -- which type

of Hindus are they?"

He said Laxmi and Durga

are symbols of empowerment

of women and the government

is using all means to destroy

them through demonetisation,

GST, farm laws and inflation.

The result of the government's

policies is that Diwali

is approaching but people's

pockets are empty as all the

money has been shifted to the

friends of the Prime Minister.

He accused the RSS of

ignoring the women power. In

RSS, they have no place for

the fairer gender while the

Congress has given a woman

Prime Minister.

"The Congress has a different

ideology and as a

Congress worker, I can compromise

with other ideologies

We give you two weeks'

time," said the bench.

The bench pointed out that

the SCSC recommended nine

judicial members and 10 technical

members for National

Company Law Tribunal

(NCLT) and the appointment

letter issued showed "as if

members were cherry-picked

and some were kept on waiting".

"We cannot ignore selected

candidates and go to waitlist.

What type of selection and

appointment is this?"

As the AG contended

before the bench that the government

has power not to

accept the recommendation,

the Chief Justice responded

that in a democracy, one cannot

say recommendations cannot

be accepted. "What is the

sanctity of recommendations

made by panel headed by sitting

top court judges, if the

government has the last say

on the matter?" he asked

"I have seen the NCLT

(National Company Law

but cannot compromise with

the ideology of the BJP and

'Very unhappy': SC on Centre's '

cherry-picking' in tribunal appointments

Tribunal) appointments....

more recommendations were

made. But in appointments,

cherry-picking was done."

Expressing unhappiness

with the decisions, he added:

"What kind of selection is

this? Same thing done with

ITAT (Income Tax Appellate

Tribunal) members also."

Chief Justice Ramana further

added that he is also part

of the NCLT selection committee

and pointed out the

committee interviewed 544

people, out of which 11 names

were given for judicial members

and 10 technical members.

"From all of these recommendations,

only some of

them were appointed by the

government... rest of the

names went to (the) wait list...

we wasted our time," he said.

Justice Chandrachud pointed

out that people are left in

lurch, when they go to the

high courts, they are told to

go to tribunals. He added,

"But there are vacancies in

tribunals".

The apex court was hearing

a batch of petitions raising the

issue of vacancies in various

tribunals and also a petition,

by senior Congress leader

Jairam Ramesh, challenging

certain provisions of The

Tribunal Reforms Act, 2021.

the RSS. This is a big question

for us -- what is the difference

7

between Gandhi's Congress',

Godse's, and Savarkar's ideologies,"

he said.

The former party president

did not stop here, and said

that Mahatma Gandhi practised

non-violence, then why

the ideology of RSS,

Savarkar and Godse pumped

three bullets in the chest of

Gandhi. He alleged that Modi

has conceded land to China

and thousands of kilometers

are now under Chinese occupation

but the Prime Minister

says nothing has happened.

The Congress leader

unveiled new symbol of the

Mahila Congress which is

celebrating its 38th foundation

day and said that the

Congress symbol resembles

in every religion, from

Hinduism to Jains to

Budhism and Christianity and

in Islam people pray while

lift their hands.

Conflicting views in BJP

over LJP, Chirag Paswan

Patna. The Bharatiya Janata

Party is not sure as to which

faction of the Lok Janshakti

Party (LJP) it needs to support

as conflicting signals are emanating

from various sections

from its Bihar unit.

After months of ignoring

Chirag Paswan, the son of late

Union Minister Ram Vilas

Paswan, in favour of his uncle

Pashupati Kumar Paras, a section

of the BJP in Bihar seems

to be reaching out to him in

order to keep him in good

humour.

Bihar Minister Neeraj

Kumar Bablu calls Chirag

Paswan "his own", while state

party President Sanjay

Jaiswal has described the

Paras faction as the real LJP,

after it got a berth in the

Union government.

"Chirag Paswan ji is a part

of the NDA and I think he will

continue to be so," says

Bablu, while Jaiswal, on the

other hand, says Paras is a

Union Minister and a part of

the NDA.

He, however, does not

directly attack Chirag

Paswan, but says that the

party is not about one individual.

Political experts say that

the BJP does not want to totally

alienate Chirag Paswan as

his faction can take control of

the party any time.

Senior journalist Manikant

Thakur says that "the way

Chirag was targeting Chief

Minister Nitish Kumar before

the Bihar Assembly elections,

there was enough indication

that the BJP was behind it.

Nitish Kumar was dead

against Chirag Paswan, due to

which the BJP had to also toe

that line under pressure, but

the party always had a soft

corner for him".

He said that under Nitish

Kumar's pressure, the BJP

may try to maintain distance

from Chirag Paswan, but it

knows that Ram Vilas

Paswan's vote bank will

remain with him only.

Thakur believes that in the

event of JD-U breaking away

from the NDA in future, the

BJP can make a new plan with

Chirag Paswan. It also

believes that if Paras gets

angry, the lure for a ministerial

post can bring him along.

In the event of uncle (Paras)

and nephew (Chirag) getting

united in future, the BJP may

still like to go with them.

Even Jaiswal, in his statement,

calls the LJP a part of

the NDA and Chirag is an MP

of the LJP.

Meanwhile, there is a tussle

in the NDA over Chirag

and Paras. JD-U spokesperson

Abhishek Jha said that the

BJP leadership has also said

that those who do not like

Nitish Kumar cannot be a part

of the NDA. Nitish Kumar is

the face of NDA in Bihar, he

said.

The BJP is said to have

played a major role in the split

of the LJP in June, when five

party MPs kicked out Chirag

Paswan and replaced him with

his uncle Paras as the president.

Next month, the Modi government

recognised Paras faction

as the real LJP and he

was made Union Minister on

the party quota. However, the

Rajya Sabha seat that fell

vacant due to the demise of

Ram Vilas Paswan was denied

to Chirag Paswan.


8 16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Delhi CM bans firecrackers on Diwali to fight pollution

New Delhi. In a move to

fight pollution, Delhi Chief

Minister Arvind Kejriwal on

Wednesday announced a

complete ban on the storage,

sale and usage of firecrackers

for the third year in a

row.

"In view of the dangerous

level of pollution during

Diwali in Delhi witnessed in

the last three years, we are

again imposing a complete

ban on the storage, sale and

usage of any kind of firecracker

to save people's

lives," Kejriwal tweeted,

appealing traders to avoid

buying or keeping stocks of

crackers this year.

The decision has been

made keeping Delhi traders

in mind as last year the same

announcement at the

eleventh hour had left many

sellers in confusion for they

had already purchased huge

stocks weeks ahead of the

festival.

With the onset of winter,

the capital starts gasping for

fresh air as pollution level

Tewari seeks clarification

from govt on US asking

India for use of airbase

New Delhi. Congress MP

Manish Tewari on Wednesday

sought clarification from the

government after reports surfaced

that the United States has

approached India to allow use

of airbases situated at North

West frontiers.

Tewari in a statement said,

"Is it correct that US Secretary

Blinken has approached India

to allow its bases in Northwest

to be used for Air Strikes

against Afghanistan?"

He said that the PMO needs

to clarify soon as whichever

nation has allowed US to utilise

its soil for Military operations,

blow back has been devastating.

"Over the past 70 years, no

foreign forces have ever been

allowed to base themselves in

India. It would constitute the

gravest violation of India's sovereignty.

From Okinawa,

Philippines, Korea, Vietnam,

Loas, Kampuchea, Iraq,

Afghanistan, Latin & S.

America, history littered with

the debris & consequences of

allow any US or other foreign

Military presence on a Nation's

soil. Such basing rights would

be a frontal attack on India's

sovereignty and a complete sell

out of our National interest. It

needs to be neutered in the

bud," he added.

Tewari was commenting on

news reports which said that

US Secretary of State Antony

Blinken in a statement to the

Senate Committee on Foreign

Relations on the Afghanistan

issue said that the United States

is in touch with India on using

as a post for aerial strikes in

Afghanistan.

Blinken's statement comes

days ahead of Prime Minister

Narendra Modi participating in

person in the Leaders' Summit

of the Quadrilateral Framework

in Washington DC on

September 24, 2021, being

organised by the US.

Australian Prime Minister

Scott Morrison, Japanese Prime

Minister Yoshihide Suga and

US President Joe Biden will

also be attending the Summit to

review the progress made since

their first virtual Summit on

March 12 this year and discuss

regional issues of shared interest.

The discussion would be

focusing around critical and

emerging technologies, connectivity

and infrastructure,

cyber security, maritime security,

humanitarian assistance, climate

change, open and inclusive

Indo-Pacific region, combating

Covid-19 pandemic and

addressing climate change

issues.

The four QUAD member

nations have always been vocal

for rule-based order in the

Indo-Pacific region amidst

Chinese military assertiveness

in the region whereas Beijing

observes this grouping as detrimental

to its influence in the

region.

New Delhi. Afghanistan, especially

its social hue, in the last

two decades has dramatically

changed, something that the

Taliban or even Pakistans Inter-

Services Intelligence (ISI) that

played a key role in government

formation in the country

after the US troops withdrawal,

may not have accounted for.

Foreign policy watchers told

India Narrative that the young

Afghans ? typically those who

are in their 20s and 30s-- are

now used to a different life

which has been free, democratic

and open.

"For the Taliban, the biggest

challenge is to gain acceptability

of the people of

Afghanistan, who are now used

to their freedom and are quite

conscious of their rights?men

and women both," one of them

said, adding that it may not be

easy for the hardline government

to manage them even in

the medium term.

As the Taliban took control

of Kabul, the prominent faces

of the outfit including the that

of Mullah Abdul Ghani

Baradar and Sher Mohammad

Abbas Stanikzai among others

had portrayed that the second

innings of their regime would

be a moderate and inclusive

one. However, the relatively

moderate faces of the Taliban

have been conveniently sidelined.

Essentially Taliban 2.0 is

just a repeat of Taliban 1.0

which is austere and anti-modern.

Paksitan's ultra-conservative

Inter Services Intelligence

which cut its teeth after former

President Zia Ul Haq had instituionalised

Islamisation of the

military, played a seminal role

in yanking back the Taliban

into its ultra-orthodox roots. ISI

chief Faiz Hameed camped in

Kabul to form a "caretaker"

government which had the terror

tainted and criminalised

Haqqani network at its core.

The UN blacklisted Mullah

Mohammad Hassan Akhundled

government has already

passed a diktat, asking women

due to burning of cropresidue

in the neighbouring

states of UP, Punjab and

Haryana starts during the

same time. Bursting of firecrackers

adds to the problem,

leaving the air highly

toxic and its citizens with

severe breathing problems

for at least a week.

Only recently, the chief

minister, citing a WAPCOS

report, urged the central

government to encourage

farmers in Uttar Pradesh,

Punjab and Haryana to use a

to stay at home.

Afghanistan traditionally

known for its progressive

thinking had granted equality

to its women in 1964. Though

under the Taliban rule in the

1990s, these rights were

snatched away, they were

restored in 2004.

"This is a turning

point?sooner or later the country

will break into a serious

civil war?that apart men and

women of the country are

unlikely to accept the Taliban

rule," the analyst pointed out.

Afghanistan and Afghan

women changed over the past

two decades, said Ramzia

Abdekhil, a university student

told Hurriyet Daily News.

Pusa-made bio-decomposer

which will resolve the issue

of stubble-burning by proving

a greener and better

alternative to get rid of crop

residue.

Other than that, the Delhi

government is also working

on a Winter Action Plan. All

the departments from environment

to transport to

MCDs have been asked to

come up with a plan by

September 21 so that a conclusion

can be reached by

this month end.

Can Taliban handle a new generation of

Afghans who have breathed the air of freedom?

"The Taliban should understand

this: Today's Afghanistan

is not like the one they ruled 20

years ago. Back then, they did

whatever they wanted to do,

and we kept silent. Not anymore,

we'll not remain silent.

We won't accept whatever they

say, we won't wear burqas and

sit at home," the newspaper

quoted Adbekhil as saying.

Notably, women from

across the country have been

spearheading protests.

That apart, the world community

is closely watching the

developments in Afghanistan.

Apart from China and Pakistan

and a few others, the world

community has not come forth

in showing their willingness to

work with the Taliban.

Several countries in the

Middle East that gave immediate

recognition to the Taliban

last time have also maintained

stoic silence.

Not just that. Several of

them, including India have

made a clear distinction

between the people of the

country and the Taliban

regime.

"In today's context the

Taliban's calculation may have

gone wrong, we will have to

carefully watch the situation

that unfolds in the next few

months," the analyst said.

4 militants still active in

Srinagar city: IGP Kashmir

Srinagar. Jammu and Kashmir

Police said on Wednesday that

four militants are still active in

Srinagar city and the police are

trying to arrest them or eliminate

them. Vijay Kumar,

Inspector General of Police

(IGP) (Kashmir) told reporters

on the sidelines of a sports

event in Srinagar, "Four militants

are still active in Srinagar

city. "We are trying to either

arrest them or eliminate them

in operations". Kumar said

sports activities are very

important to engage the youth

and keep them away from

drugs and militancy. "Now that

Covid-19 is settling down, we

will organise more sports

events in the months ahead,"

the IGP said.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk ASIA 16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021 9

Kamal Haasan's

MNM to field 1,521

candidates in TN

local body elections

Chennai. Kamal Haasan's

Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM)

will field 1,521 candidates in the

ensuing rural local body polls to

the nine districts of Tamil Nadu.

The polls are scheduled to be on

October 6 and October 9.

Party Vice president and senior

leader, A.G. Mourya in a

statement on Tuesday said

Kamal Haasan would campaign

in the elections. He said that the

party will campaign hard in the

elections and win seats.

The MNM has a good presence

in Chennai, Chengalpattu,

Kancheepuram and Vellore. One

district or zonal secretary has

been put in-charge of each of the

nine districts where elections are

to be held.

Mouraya said that the party

would field good candidates

based on the recommendations

from the district and zonal secretaries

who are in-charge of each

district.

He also said that the senior

party leaders like Thangavelu,

Sripiyaa and Senthil Arumugam

Jaipur. Rajasthan has produced

six toppers who ranked

all India first in the coveted

JEE Main exams after taking

coaching from Kota. The topper

of the latest session whose

results were announced on

Tuesday night is Pulkit Goyal.

He says, "Maths is my

favourite subject; I enjoy solving

questions."

Pulkit, who hails from

Bathinda, Punjab, has obtained

AIR-1 in JEE Main 2021.

Pulkit focused on strengthening

the foundation of all the

subjects. He did self-study for 7

to 8 hours daily. For recreation,

he spent time with his family.

He aims to crack JEE

Advanced and pursue engineering

in the CS branch from IIT

Bombay.

The other students who

scored first rank in different

editions of JEE mains from

Rajasthan are Siddhant

Mukharjee, Anshul Verma,

Guramrit Kalra, Kavya Chopra

and Mridul Agarwal.

Siddhant Mukherjee with

JEE Main AIR-1 ranking in Feb

attempt got a perfect score of

300/300.

"I focused strongly on

NCERT for the preparation of

JEE Main and paid attention to

accuracy. During the lockdown,

I went home for five

months, but during this period,

coaching institutes took online

will contest the polls. This will

be the first local body elections

since Kamal Haasan floated the

MNM in 2018.

Mourya said the party was

likely to go it alone in the elections

and that there were no discussions

with other parties.

After the drubbing in the

recent Assembly elections, several

senior leaders have left the

MNM. The party is now trying

to win a few seats in the rural

local body elections to show its

existence.

classes to help students seamlessly

prepare for the exams."

After doing a B.Tech in

Computer Science from IIT

Bombay, I want to contribute to

Innovative India by doing

something new in the CS field.

Recently I received an offer for

studies from Cambridge

University."

His father Sandeep

Mukherjee runs Risk

Management Company, and

mother Nabanita Mukherjee is

a banker. "Along with my studies,

I am also fond of karate; I

have secured a black belt and

received a gold medal in

Queens Commonwealth Essay

Competition," he says.

Another student Anshul

Verma who wasn't satisfied

with his performance in the last

two attempts attained the JEE

Main AIR-1 after scoring 100

percentile in JEE Main 2021

Third Session.

His father, Krishna Kumar

Verma is a veterinary doctor

while mother Damayanti

Verma is a Headmaster in

Primary School. Verma is a resident

of Raipur who has scored

100 percentile in the third session

of JEE Main by securing

300 out of 300 marks.

"My elder sister Roopal

Verma is pursuing B.Tech from

NIT Raipur. She had prepared

for the competitive exams from

Kota, which inspired me to

After video goes viral,

vehicles now to be checked

on Goa-Maha border

Panaji. Two days after a video showed the

absence of any entry protocol at the state's

Patradevi road

checkpost along

the Goa-

Maharashtra border

on NH-17, the

North Goa District

Magistrate on

Wednesday issued

an order making

checking of all

vehicles, especially

passenger buses,

mandatory.

"It has been noted that Covid-19 protocol

is not being followed at the Patradevi border

checkpost. In this regard, in order to contain

the spread of the said pandemic, the following

measures are taken; compulsory checking

of all vehicles specially bus passengers as per

prevailing order of Section 144 of the CrPC,

1973," North Goa District Magistrate Ajit

Roy said in his order.

Police and Transport department officials

manning the inter-state road border have also

been directed to note down details of all

buses and passengers in a "register everyday",

while also emphasising on "overall

monitoring" of the checkpost.

Earlier this week, the Aam Aadmi Party

circulated a video shot at the checkpost,

which showed that buses were being allowed

into the state without any checking for Covid

negative or vaccination completion certificates,

which are mandatory for entry into the

state. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has

repeatedly said that the state needs to be on

alert in the wake of an increase in Covid

cases in Maharashtra and Kerala.

come to the city to prepare for

my dream," he says.

The third student to top the

coveted exam is Mridul

Agarwal who scored 300/300

in March attempt.

Mridul had also achieved

100 percentile in the February

attempt but could not score a

perfect 300. Desirous to

improve his own score and prepare

for JEE Advanced, he

appeared again and managed to

get right at the top. Mridul has

Physicists accidentally discover

black holes exert pressure

London. Physicists have for

the first time discovered that

black holes exert a pressure

on their environment.

In 1974 Stephen Hawking

made the seminal discovery

that black holes emit thermal

radiation. Previous to that,

black holes were believed to

be inert, the final stages of a

dying heavy star.

The University of Sussex

scientists have shown that

black holes are, in fact, even

more complex thermodynamic

systems, with not

only a temperature but also a

pressure. The discovery is

published in the journal

Physical Review D.

The team, led by

Professor Xavier Calmet and

Folkert Kuipers in the

Department of Physics and

Astronomy at the varsity,

were perplexed by an extra

figure that was presenting in

equations that they were running

on quantum gravitational

corrections to the

entropy of a black hole.

They later realised that it is

behaving as a pressure.

Following further calculations,

they confirmed their

exciting finding that quantum

gravity can lead to a

pressure in black holes.

According to Calmet,

been preparing for the JEE

Main examinations for the past

three years from Kota institute.

He has been focused on the

competitive examination since

then. Mridul aspires to join IIT

Bombay and become a

Computer Software Engineer.

His father, Pradeep Agarwal, is

an Accounts Manager in a private

firm, and his mother,

Pooja Agarwal, is a homemaker.

Throughout the year, he got

motivation from his mother and

Professor of Physics at the

varsity, Hawking's landmark

intuition that black holes are

not black but have a radiation

spectrum that is very

similar to that of a black

body makes black holes an

ideal laboratory to investigate

the interplay between

quantum mechanics, gravity,

and thermodynamics.

"If you consider black

holes within only general

relativity, one can show that

they have a singularity in

their centres where the laws

of physics as we know them

teachers. He enjoys watching

movies during his break. In

class 10, he secured 98.2 per

cent marks.

Guramrit Singh Kalra, who

scored ALL India Rank-1 in

JEE Main 2021 and 100 percent

in JEE Main 2021 (Feb

Attempt), said, "I studied

physics for two hours in the

morning. After this, I devoted 2

to 3 hours to Chemistry during

the day. I studied Mathematics

in the night. The lockdown

must break down. It is

hoped that when quantum

field theory is incorporated

into general relativity, we

might be able to find a new

description of black holes.

"Our work is a step in

this direction, and although

the pressure exerted by the

black hole that we were

studying is tiny, the fact that

it is present opens up multiple

new possibilities, spanning

the study of astrophysics,

particle physics

and quantum physics,"

Calmet said.

Six students from Rajasthan top JEE man exams

proved beneficial for my preparations;

the faculties helped

clear my doubts. Guramrit

ensured that he took out 2 hours

every day to play cricket or

football with friends to manage

stress." "My Father

Priyadarshan Singh is a cloth

merchant, and mother Priti is a

housewife," he says adding that

he wishes to work in a multinational

company after completing

his engineering. Next topper

Kavya Chopra is the first

female student who scored 300

out of 300 marks in JEE Main.

She created history by being

the first female to secure 300

out of 300 marks in JEE Main.

"I had scored 99.97 percentile

in JEE Main 2021 February

attempt. But my target was to

secure above 99.98 percentile,

which was the reason for

appearing in JEE Main March

2021. In the first attempt of

JEE Main, I focused more on

physics and chemistry, yet I

scored less in chemistry.

Hence, I had to put more effort

into chemistry for the next 15

days for JEE March 2021,"

Kavya said. Kavya, who scored

a perfect 300 in JEE Main

March 2021, aims to pursue

B.Tech from IIT Bombay.

Kavya has been a bright student

from the very beginning. Her

father Vikas Chopra is a software

Engineer and Mother

Shikha Chopra is a Teacher.


10 16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEET cheat gang says it worked hard for

last one year to find dummy candidates

Jaipur. The police arrested a

10-member gang recently which

was engaged in helping financially

sound students crack the

NEET exam with the help of

dummy candidates who were

made to take the test in their

place by editing the pictures of

the real candidates on admit

cards.

Surprisingly, these accused

confirmed to police officials

that they too were 'working

hard' since the last one year to

zero in on the dummy candidates.

It was a hard task to find

such candidates who could take

the test and help the real candidates

crack the exam, they

revealed during interrogation.

The police arrested this 10-

member gang a few hours

before the start of the NEET

exam on Sunday.

The police received a tip-off

that Anil Nimawat and Shardul

were working to make dummy

candidates take the test by

accepting a large amount of

money from the real candidates.

When the police checked the

mobile phone of Anil, they were

stunned to find the pictures,

Aadhar and chat details with

money transactions on the

same. Police also figured out a

detailed list of 15 names and

other bank details and hence

started arresting the accused

persons since Saturday night.

The dummy candidates were

convinced to take the test and

were given a big amount of

money in return.

Arrested on Sunday, police

have taken the 10-member gang

on remand till September 15

and seized one laptop and 15

mobile cells from their possession.

Officials confirmed that the

gang had plans to bring in fake

examinees in the exam; however,

they were arrested after the

police acted on a tip-off.

Police investigation confirmed

that the gang started its

search for dummy candidates a

year back from those students

who have taken the test and

cleared it. Most of these are students

who are pursuing MBBS

now. They were convinced to sit

for the real candidates and pass

the test.

Those from a poor background

were chosen and the pictures

of the candidates edited on

the admit card to help them take

the test, said officials.

They confirmed that the

dummy candidates were also

helped financially from time to

time so that their faith in the

gang remained intact.

Police got the details about

the operation of the gang on

WhatsApp chat via a tip-off

which carried the money transaction

and students' details.

Further investigations are on in

the matter.

Green tea, cocoa-rich diet may

help boost survival in elderly

London. Drinking green tea and

taking a cocoa-rich diet may

reduce age-related neuromuscular

alterations that occur with

sarcopenia -- the progressive

loss of skeletal muscle mass and

function, finds a mice study.

Sarcopenia is one of the main

reasons for loss of muscle mass.

On an average, it is estimated

that 5-13 per cent of elderly people

aged 60-70 years are affected

by sarcopenia. The numbers

increase to 11-50 per cent for

those aged 80 or above.

"Sarcopenia is considered the

main causative factor of the

physical performance decline in

the elderly," said Jordi Caldero

from the Universitat de Lleida in

Spain.

"The compromised muscular

function associated with sarcopenia

has a negative impact

on the life quality of older adults

and increases the risk for

adverse health outcomes including

disability, fall-associated

injuries, morbidity, and mortality,"

Caldero added.

Besides skeletal muscle wasting,

sarcopenia entails morphological

and molecular changes

in distinct components of the

neuromuscular system, including

spinal cord motoneurons and

neuromuscular junctions.

The study, published in the

journal Aging, examined the

impact of two flavonoidenriched

diets containing either

green tea extract (GTE) catechins

or cocoa flavanols on ageassociated

regressive changes in

the neuromuscular system of

C57BL/6J mice.

The dietary intake of

flavonoids from green tea or

cocoa was able to significantly

increase the survival rate of

aged mice and to prevent some

regressive structural changes

occurring with senescence in

distinct cellular components of

the neuromuscular system.

Both diets clearly preserved

neuromuscular junctions' innervation

and maturity, delayed the

senescence process of the skeletal

muscle, and enhanced its

regenerative capacity, as

inferred from the more "youthfula

cellular phenotype of

myofibers, the apparent reduction

of myofiber

degeneration/regeneration

cycles, the researchers

explained.

Moreover, GTE, but not

cocoa, reduced ageing-associated

microgliosis and increased

the proportion of neuroprotective

microglial phenotypes.

"Our data indicate that certain

plant flavonoids may be

beneficial in the nutritional

management of age-related

deterioration of the neuromuscular

system," the researchers

said.

After 40 years, ABBA song among UK Top 10 Singles

London. After 40 long years, Swedish pop legends

ABBA have reached the UK Top 10 Singles chart.

The band's latest song 'Don't Shut Me Down'

(Polar) scored to No. 9 on the Official U.K. Singles

Chart. The track was streamed 2.3 million times in

the U.K. during the latest cycle, and it's the secondmost

downloaded song of the week, the OCC report

said.

The last time ABBA entered the Top 10 was way

back in December 1982, when 'One of Us' reached

No. 3.

'Don't Shut Me Down' is part of a two-pack of

new releases, both of which will appear on the

band's forthcoming album 'Voyage', due out

November 5. The other new release, 'I Still Have

Faith In You', begins its chart journey at No. 14 on

the main chart and at No. 1 on the Official Vinyl

Singles Chart following its limited-edition vinyl

release, according to Billboard.com.

With those two releases, the pop icons now have

28 total Top 40 singles in the U.K.

As ABBA mania builds ahead of the new album,

and their virtual residency next year at a custombuilt

arena in east London, the group's blockbuster,

career retrospective 'Gold' (Polydor) returns to the

Official Albums Chart Top 5 for the first time since

August 2008.

ABBA was formed in Stockholm in 1972 by

Agnetha Feltskog, Bjern Ulvaeus, Benny

Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The group's

name is an acronym of the first letters of their first

names. Widely considered one of the greatest musical

groups of all time, they became one of the most

commercially successful acts in the history of popular

music, topping the charts worldwide from

1974 to 1983. They have achieved 44 hit singles.

The band is one of the best-selling music artists

of all time, only surpassed by The Beatles and Elvis

Presley, according to the Official Charts Company

with its total sales worldwide estimated at nearly

400 million albums by September 2021.

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www.theasianindependent.co.uk

ASIA

16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021

11

The Importance of Tibet - 'Ethnic Work' in Progress

Why are Members of the

politburo of the Communist

Party of China's (CPC) Central

Committee so attracted by Tibet

these days? During the last two

months, ten out of the twentyfive

members of the politburo

travelled to the Roof of the

World.

One remembers a Party

Secretary, who later became

Chinese President (and General

Secretary of the CPC), who during

his three years posting in

Tibet tried his best to avoid to fly

to Lhasa; the young Hu Jintao

did not like the place. He once

told a journalist that he "disliked

Tibet's altitude, climate and lack

of culture". During his tenure, he

shuttled between Lhasa and

Beijing where the real power

was; there was a common joke

about Hu amongst Tibetan

cadres: 'Where is Hu?' The

answer was: 'Hu is in Beijing

Hospital.' He often reported sick

each time he was going to leave

Beijing! That was some thirty

years ago.

Today, 'important' cadres

have to make sure that they are

seen in Tibet. The 'Emperor'

himself, the 'Core Leader', Xi

Jinping paid an 'inspection tour'

of Central and Southern Tibet

between July 21 and 23; it was

his first visit to Lhasa after a gap

of ten years, though he had visited

the Northeastern province of

Amdo (today Qinghai) in June.

Five members of the Politburo

accompanied the General

Secretary (concurrently serving

as Chairman of the all-powerful

Central Military Commission).

It is interesting to look at Xi's

delegation; the composition of

which is a clear indicator of the

purpose of the 'inspection tour',

especially in a system where the

information is entirely monitored

by the State and where

watchers are left to read signs.

Xi's Delegation from

Beijing

First, Ding Xuexiang, CPC's

General Secretary and a

Secretary of the Party

Secretariat; he usually accompanies

Xi on his visits/inspection

tours. His role is to make sure

that decisions are implemented

and that there is a concrete follow-up.

Also regularly seen during

Xi's tours is Liu He, Vice-

Premier and member of the

Politburo. Liu further serves as

Director of the Office of the

Central Financial and Economic

Affairs Commission. Liu He is

Xi's trusted lieutenant, who has

several times been used to fill up

the 'perception' gap between

China and the US. He takes care

of the financial aspects of the

visit.

Yang Xiaodu is the Director

of the National Supervisory

Commission and also Deputy

Secretary of the Central

Commission for Discipline

Inspection (CCDI) which makes

sure that everybody follows the

line of the Party. We shall see in

a few months if a few heads roll;

if it happens, Yang's hand will

certainly be behind.

Incidentally, during his early

political career, Yang served several

years in Tibet (1986-1992,

Deputy Commissioner, Nagchu

Prefecture; 1992-1995, Deputy

Secretary, Chamdo, 1998-2001,

vice-chairman, TAR government);

Yang knows Tibet well,

having served fifteen years.

One noted the absence of

another Politburo member and

old Tibet hand: Hu Chunhua; the

Vice Premier was not on board

for the visit. He had served in

Tibet from 1983 to 2007 and is

the only member of the Politburo

who can fluently speak Tibetan.

Probably, the emperor does not

like to be in the shade.

Then Chen Xi, also a member

of the politburo and head of the

Organization Department and

like Xi Jinping a graduate from

Tsinghua University (they know

each other since that time). Chen

is President of the Central Party

School and Vice-minister of

Education and Vice Chairman of

the China Association for

Science and Technology. Xi

clearly wants to bring modernitye

to the borders with India.

The presence of General

Zhang Youxia, Vice-Chairman,

Central Military Commission

(CMC), also member of the

politburo is explained by the

'important' meeting between the

CMC Chairman (Xi) and all the

officers of the Tibet Military

District (TMD), including the

Commander and the Political

Commissar of the Western

Theater Command or WTC

(based in Chengdu) which had a

new Commander, Gen Xu

Qiling. The WTC not only looks

after Tibet but also the Ladakh

front (incidentally Gen Xu

Qiling lost his job since then, but

we shall come back to this).

The CMC Chairman was certainly

briefed in detail about the

borders with India when he met

the top brass of the

TheatreCommand. To this list of

six members of the politburo,

one should add He Lifeng,

Minister in charge of the

National Development and

Reform Commission (NDRC),

the equivalent of our Planning

Commission. His presence

means that a number of large

projects, including the railway

line between Lhasa and Chengdu

and the Giga hydropower plants

on the YarlungTsangpo will soon

be undertaken. Xi was personally

explained the implications of

these projects on the banks of the

mighty river, which becomes the

Siang and the Brahmaputra in

India.

The People's Daily resumed

the tour's objectives: "implement

the Party's strategy for governing

Tibet in the new era and write a

new chapter in long-term stability

and high-quality development

of the snow-covered plateau."

This refers to the 7th Work

Forum held in August 2020

which defined the development

policies for Tibet for the five

next years, particularly the

Sinicization of Tibetan

Buddhism.

But undoubtedly, the emphasis

was the military and economic

development of the borders

with India. An indication: in the

Annual Report presented by the

Tibet Autonomous Region's government

a few months earlier,

the word 'border' was mentioned

54 times, while the 'Dalai Lama'

only once.

Xi Jinping wants to change

the organization of the border for

good; we shall see how.

Visit of Wang Yang in Tibet

But that was not all; on

August 19, a central delegation

led by Wang Yang, a member of

the Politburo's Standing

Committee and chairman of the

National Committee of the

Chinese People's Political

Consultative Conference

(CPPCC) arrived in Lhasa to

attend the 70th anniversary functions.

Wang is No 4 in the

Communist pantheon.

One can ask, why not celebrate

the so-called liberation

when the 'Core leader', Xi

Jinping visited Tibet in July. I

have no answer to this. Wang

had been 'entrusted' by Xi

Jinping to "lead Beijing officials

in Tibet along with veteran senior

Tibetan officials" to Tibet; a

cohort of old Tibetan collaborators

was honoured by the visiting

VVIP.

Wang Yang was accompanied

by Admiral Miao Hua, a CMC

member, who will probably be

the lone uniformed member to

survive when the term of the

present CMC comes to an end. It

was the first visit of a three-star

admiral in Tibet.

Did Wang and Miao knew

that a few days later, Xi would

change the commander of the

Western Theatre Command for

the third time in nine months and

Xu Qiling, who had met Xi a few

weeks earlier, would be replaced

by General Wang Haijiang, a

former commander of the Tibet

Military Region. Probably not.

The visit has also to be seen

in the context of the CPC's 100th

anniversary and the 70th

anniversary of the so-called

Liberation of Tibet (read 'invasion').

Three more important visits

From September 2 to 4, Li Xi,

Party Secretary of Guangdong

and Ma Xingrui, Governor of the

same wealthy province, visited

Lhasa and Nyingchi "to earnestly

study and implement the

important speeches and instructions

of General Secretary Xi

Jinping's inspection tour e[and]

implement the spirit of the

Central Ethnic Work

Conference." Guangdong

province economically helps

Tibet, which for decades was

considered remote and backward

and out of range for modernization.

The instability of the restive

province and the importance of

the border with India have

changed all this.

From September 5 to 6, Cai

Qi, also a politburo member and

Beijing Party Secretary "led a

Beijing delegation to Tibet to

research counterpart support

work and further promote

exchanges and cooperation

between Beijing and Tibet," said

a release. The delegation wanted

to "conscientiously implement

the spirit of important instructions

of General Secretary Xi

Jinping's important speech on his

inspection of Tibet and a series

of important instructions on

Tibetan work and counterpart

support work, and implement the

spirit of the Central Ethnic Work

Conference."

Finally, Wang Chen, vice

chairman of the Standing

Committee of the National

People's Congress, was in Tibet

from September 5 to 8 to be sure

that the region had "a firm sense

of Chinese national community"

and to preach "for long-term stability

and high-quality development

of the snowy plateau."

Ten visits of politburo's members

(plus two CMC members)

have never been seen in the past.

Ethnic Work

Two words explain this new

interest in Tibet: Ethnic Work.

This word has an ominous meaning.

It practically means 'sinicization'

of the Roof of the World,

which includes building new

'mixed' villages on the Indian border,

recruiting a large number of

Tibetans in the PLA, and giving

Chinese characteristics to Tibetan

Buddhism. On September 1,

Xinhua had reported that the

Central Party School started its

Fall Training Class for Young and

Middle-Aged Cadres. It was

attended by Xi who gave an

'important' speech (his speeches

are always eimportant').

Xi recommended that cadres

have a fighting spirit in the current

situation; he said that at the present

moment, "the world's unprecedented

changes have been accelerating

and the great rejuvenation of

the Chinese nation has arrived at a

critical period. The risks and challenges

that the CCP faces have

increased significantly. It is

impractical to dream of always

living in a peaceful environment

without taking on any struggles."

He advised the young cadres:

"dare to fight e at any time,

Communists should have the

bones and courage not to be afraid

of anything, and not to yield to

anyone."

All this is quite ominous for

India's Northern borders.

On kanshi TV

channel 772.

SATURDAY at

6 :00 pm

SUNDAY at

6 :00 pm

Ambedkarites News and Views

by

BUDDHIST INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Mob : 07411 251 804, 07847 307 059


12 16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

India will host first 'Global Buddhist

Conference' in NOVEMBER

India to revise FDI policy

for space sector: Sivan

Chennai. India will soon come out with a

new foreign direct investment (FDI) policy

for the space sector, Indian Space

research Organisation Chairman K. Sivan

said on Monday.

In his address at the International

Space Conference and Exhibition, organised

by Confederation of Indian Industry

(CII), on the theme 'Building NewSpace

in India', Sivan, who is also Secretary of

the Department of Space, said with India

opening up its space sector for private

players, there has been a lot of interest by

the foreign companies to invest in India.

There is enormous scope for foreign companies

to tie up with Indian companies in

the space sector, he added.

Sivan said the FDI policy is getting

revised which would open up huge opportunities

for foreign companies to invest in

India. Presently all FDI in the space sector

has to be cleared by the government while

the industry wants the investment under the

automatic route.

The Space Bill is being reviewed by various

other ministries.

The Netherlands is interested in collaborating

with India on miniaturization of

satellites, nano satellites, components and

subsystems, said Nico van Putten of

Netherlands Space Office.

According to NewSpace India Ltd

(NSIL) Chairman and Managing Director

D.Radhakrishnan, part of India's space sector

reforms is that the company works on a

demand driven model from the earlier supply

driven model.

He said the demand driven model will

bring in more accountability and also better

usage of the space assets.

Radhakrishnan said soon the India's

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)

will be made by Indian industries and

other rockets will also follow. He said

NSIL has also started transferring technology

to private sector players.

In his opening remarks, Antrix

Corporation CMD and Chairman, CII

National Committee on Space, Rakesh

Sasibhushan, said last year the global

space sector grew by four per cent to

$447 billion.

He said 49 per cent of that is accounted

for by the commercial sector and

India's share is only two per cent.

Sasibhushan also said some of the

Indian space sector start-ups are readying

to go global.

Rocket-maker Agnikul Cosmos to

test its systems at ISRO centres

Chennai : City-based rocket start-up Agnikul Cosmos Pvt Ltd can carry out multiple

tests and qualify its single piece 3D-printed semi-cryogenic engine and other systems

of its rocket at various centres of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO),

it was announced on Friday.

Agnikul Cosmos and the Department of Space on Friday announced the inking of the

Framework MoU in this regard. As per the MoU, Agnikul Cosmos can access ISRO

facilities and expertise for the development and testing of systems and subsystems of its

rockets. The Framework MoU was concluded in consultation with IN-SPACe Board

Chairman Pawan Kumar Goenka.

This is the second MoU that the Department of Space has signed with a rocket maker,

after the first with Skyroot Aerospace on September 11.

New Delhi. India will host the

first 'Global Buddhist

Conference' in November this

year. Indian Council for

Cultural Relation (ICCR) has

also instituted an award for promotion

of Buddhist studies.

"The ICCR has planned to

launch the first edition of the

'Global Buddhist Conference'

(GBC) in November 2021 on

the theme 'Buddhism in

Literature' in collaboration with

the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara

(NNM) and International

Buddhist Confederation

(IBC)," Vinay Sahasrabuddhe,

President of ICCR said.

The GBC is scheduled to be

held at the campus of NNM on

November 19-20 and will form

part of 70th Foundation Day

celebrations of NNM.

"Eminent scholars from the

prominent Buddhist universities

or institutions in India and

abroad will participate in the

GBC. Over 150 delegates of

the IBC will also take part in

the inaugural ceremony of the

GBC scheduled to be held on

November 19," Sahasrabuddhe

said.

In the run-up to the GBC,

four regional conferences in

India (Telangana, Sarnath,

Gangtok and Dharamshala) and

abroad (Japan, South Korea,

Thailand and Cambodia) will

be organized.

Reports of these Regional

Conferences will be presented

during the GBC. Talking about

the newly instituted award, he

said that it will honour the contribution

of foreign scholars,

individuals, organizations for

the promotion of Buddhist

studies internationally.

"The award will comprise a

cash reward of US$ 20,000, a

Plaque and a Gold Plated

Medallion. If there is more than

one awardee, the amount would

be shared equally. The Award is

part of the comprehensive and

consolidated action plan for

activities related to Buddhism,

in line with realizing the vision

of the Prime Minister for

revival of India as a global centre

for Buddhism and related

tourism," the ICCR president

said. The Award is open to all

international individuals

regardless of nationality, race,

creed or sex. An association,

institution or organization

shall also be eligible for the

award.

Two Sikh students among 2021

UK Foresters National Competitive

Scholarship Award Recipients

(Asian Independent)- Under the Competitive Scholarship program

of ‘Students of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow’ Foresters

International offer tuition scholarships to exceptional students in

the UK who wish to peruse their dreams through university education.

Bedfordshire’s sole winner Jasjot Singh Sekhon and Baljinder

Singh Padda from Hounslow are the only two students from Sikh

background among 48 winners for 2021 from different parts of the

country. Baljinder from Cranford Community College achieved

great results in his GCSEs and A levels and he worked on various

charitable projects. Jasjot, a passionate student of Sharnrbook

Academy, a keen cricketer and a hockey player, supported significant

number of international students and local families during

COVID-19 through volunteering with local charities who gained

an A* in A levels. Both students will receive £3000 each from

Foresters for their university studies. Announcing this year’s winners

online, the Foresters Team said ‘our purpose is to enrich the

lives of our members, their families and the local communities.

We offer tuition scholarships through competitive program to

young leaders who demonstrate exceptional leadership through

voluntary work and strong commitment to academics. We had

very large number of applicants and pleased to announce 48 award

recipients who come from different parts of the country. Further

details about application process, the eligibility and our assessment

criteria is available on our website.’’


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Punjab okays paddy

procurement arrangements

NEWS

16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021

13

Parts of Delhi to face water shortage till Sep 17: DJB

Bihar man arrested for 'worshipping' weapons on Vishwakarma Puja

Patna. A man in Bihar's West

Champaran was arrested on

Friday for 'worshipping' illegal

arms and ammunition on the

occasion of Vishwakarma Puja,

police said.

As soon as photographs and

videos of the puja by Simpu

Singh went viral on social

media on Friday afternoon,

Superintendent of Police,

Bagha, Kiran Kumar Jadhav

immediately directed Dhanaha

police to arrest the accused.

As per the viral video, Singh

was sitting along with a priest

and placed the firearms, ammunition,

a tractor, and some bikes

for Puja.

Chandigarh. With the state

expected to produce 191 lakh

metric tons of paddy, the

Punjab Cabinet, presided over

by Chief Minister Amarinder

Singh, on Friday approved the

Punjab Custom Milling Policy

for Kharif 2021-22 for the conversion

of paddy procured by

state procurement agencies into

custom milled rice and its

delivery into the Central pool.

A spokesperson for the

Chief Minister's office said the

marketing season would start

from October 1 and the operations

would be completed by

December 15.

During the season, the paddy

so procured would be stored in

eligible rice mills situated in

the state.

The policy provides for

timely linking of the rice mills

to the procurement centres as

per the purchase centre allotment

list issued by the Food,

Civil Supplies and Consumer

Affairs Department. The paddy

would be stored at the rice mills

as per their entitlement, and the

agreement executed between

the state agencies and the rice

millers. The Cabinet also

approved the arrangements for

the procurement of 191 lakh

metric tons of paddy keeping in

view the actual production of

paddy in the state in the last

year. Accordingly, arrangements

are being made for availing

Cash Credit Limit (CCL) of

Rs 42,012.13 crore as required

to procure 95 per cent shares

allocated to the state procuring

agencies.

The Centre has fixed the

minimum support price (MSP)

for common variety of paddy as

Rs 1,940 per quintal and for

grade 'A' variety paddy as Rs

1,960 per quintal.

New Delhi. Water supply

will remain affected in

parts of the national capital

till September 17, the

Delhi Jal Board (DJB)

said on Wednesday.

The DJB said that disruption

has occurred due

to repair works in the

pump house and electric

panels at Dichaon Kalan

Underground Reservoir,

and the water supply to

several residential

colonies will be hit until

the repair works are done.

"It is expected that

pipeline water supply will

be resumed by Friday

evening," it said. The

areas that will remain

affected are Gopal Nagar,

Lokesh Park, Mitroan village,

Shiv Enclave,

Najafgarh, Nirman Vihar,

Gupta Market, Aggarwal

Colony, Ekta Vihar,

Krishna Vihar, Aradhna

"As soon as we learnt

about the incident, we raided

the house of Simpu Singh in

Piparpati village and seized

the three firearms. He showed

us an arm license but failed to

clarify the procurement of

other illegal weapons,"

Dhanaha SHO Shashi

Shekhar Chauhan said.

"We have arrested the

accused and questioning is

underway to find out details

of other weapons. We are also

checking his criminal background.

If he fails to provide

details about the other

weapons, he will be booked

under the Arms act," he

Enclave, Baba Haridas

Nagar, Sainik Enclave,

Vinobha Enclave and

Extension, Saraswati

Kunj, Janata Vihar and

many others. People in

the affected areas will

have to depend on water

supplied by the DJB water

tankers. It further stated

that water will be provided

in all affected areas by

the water tankers, and the

citizens can contact the

added.

Vishwakarma Puja has

great prominence in Hindu

DJB for these at

1 8 0 0 1 2 7 7 4 4 ,

8527995818. It said that

the problem in the pump

house and electric panels

have been caused by

heavy rainfall in the area

in the last few days. In

the last few days, Delhi

has witnessed heavy

rainfall across the

national capital, which

has resulted in huge

water-logging.

Delhi terror module bust: No recce in Mumbai, says Maha ATS chief

Mumbai. The chief of

Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism

Squad (ATS), Vineet Agrawal,

said categorically on

Wednesday that no recce has

been done in Mumbai, nor any

weapons or explosives have

been found in the wake of the

busting of a terror module by

the Special Cell of Delhi Police

on Tuesday. "We keep getting

terror alerts. But as far as this

case is concerned, Mumbai and

Maharashtra are safe," the ATS

chief told mediapersons.

Agrawal's comments came a

day after the Delhi Police

nabbed six persons, including

one Jaan Mohammed Shaikh

(47) of Mumbai, in an anti-terror

operation, sparking concerns

in the country's commercial

capital. "Shaikh took a

train from Mumbai Central for

Hazrat Nizamuddin in Delhi on

September 13. He was arrested

by a Delhi Police team from

Kota in Rajasthan on Tuesday,"

Agrawal told mediapersons. He

added that the Maharashtra

ATS is coordinating with the

Delhi Police in this regard and

a team will leave from here for

the national capital later on

Wednesday to take the custody

of Shaikh.

culture, and sees worship of

any object made of metal,

especially iron.


14 16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Step up climate action by learning from ozone layer protection: UN chief

United Nations : UN Secretary-

General Antonio Guterres has asked the

world to step up climate action by learning

from the success story of protecting

the ozone layer.

The Montreal Protocol began life as

a mechanism to protect and heal the

ozone layer. It has done its job well over

the past three decades. The ozone layer

is on the road to recovery, Xinhua news

agency quoted him as saying.

"The cooperation we have seen

under the Montreal Protocol is exactly

what is needed now to take on climate

change, an equally existential threat to

our societies." The Montreal Protocol is

more than just an example of how multilateralism

can and should work, it is an

active tool to help meet the global

vision for sustainable development, he

said in a message for the International

Day for the Preservation of the Ozone

Layer, which falls on September 16.

Under the Kigali Amendment to the

protocol, nations have committed to

phasing down hydrofluorocarbons

(HFCs), powerful greenhouse gases

used as coolants. When fully implemented,

the Kigali Amendment could

prevent 0.4 degrees Celsius of global

warming this century, he said.

Furthermore, the Kigali Amendment

can also help increase food security.

By reducing HFCs, increasing energy

efficiency and creating more ozoneand

climate-friendly technologies, the

Kigali Amendment can bring sustainable

access to vital cooling services to

millions of people. Such services would

reduce food loss in developing countries,

where food often spoils before it

can reach markets. Getting produce

from farmers to consumers would help

reduce hunger, poverty and the environmental

impact of the agricultural sector,

he said.

Another important benefit of

expanding cooling is the storage of

medicines and vaccines, such as

COVID-19 vaccines, he added.

"The Montreal Protocol and the

Kigali Amendment show us that by acting

together, anything is possible. So let

us act now to slow climate change, feed

the world's hungry and protect the planet

that we all depend on," said Guterres.

India's domestic air passenger

traffic rises in August

New Delhi : Easing Covid travel restrictions along with pent-up

demand and low base lifted India's domestic air passenger traffic in

August. According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation

(DGCA), the country's scheduled domestic flight operations ferried

67.01 lakh passengers last month.

In August 2020, the traffic numbers stood at 28.32 lakh, while on

a sequential basis, the sector had ferried 50.07 lakh people in July this

year. Last year, domestic flight services had resumed on May 25 after

the suspension of operations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in

end-March. However, during the second wave of the pandemic in

2021, limited civil aviation operations were permitted.

"Passengers carried by domestic airlines during Jan-Aug 2021

were 460.45 lakh as against 401.17 lakh during the corresponding

period of the previous year, thereby registering annual growth of

14.78 per cent and monthly growth of 136.62 per cent," the DGCA

said in its August data report.

Besides, the report cited that the overall cancellation rate of scheduled

domestic airlines for the month of August was 1.20 per cent.

"During August 2021, a total of 338 passenger-related complaints

were received by the scheduled domestic airlines. The number of

complaints per 10,000 passengers carried for the month of August

was around 0.50," the DGCA said.

Over 59 companies apply to

avail incentives under 'White

Goods' component PLI

New Delhi : The Centre on Thursday said that 52 companies have

applied to avail PLI scheme to

incentivise the domestic manufacturing

of 'White Goods' components.

According to the Ministry of

Commerce and Industry, 52 companies

have filed their application

with committed investment of Rs

5,866 crore under the PLI scheme.

The deadline for applications to

avail the benefit of the scheme

closed on September 15. Several companies like Daikin, Panasonic,

Hitachi, Mettube, Nidec, Voltas, Bluestar, Havells, Amber, EPack,

TVS-Lucas, Dixon, R.K. Lighting, Uniglobus, RadhikaOpto, Syska

among others have applied for manufacturing critical components of

air conditioners and LED lights. "Applications have been filed for

production of components which are not manufactured in India

presently with sufficient capacity."The Union Cabinet had approved

'Production-Linked Incentive Scheme for White Goods (Air

Conditioners and LED lights)', to be implemented over FY 2021-22

to FY 2028-29 with an outlay of Rs 6,238 crore.

Book on PNB scam accused Nirav

Modi to be made into web series

Mumbai : Production banner Abundantia

Entertainment have acquired the rights of

journalist, Pavan C. Lall's book based on

scam-accused Nirav Modi titled 'Flawed:

The Rise and Fall of India's Diamond Mogul

Nirav Modi' will be adapted into a dramatised,

multi-season series for streaming.

Scripting is presently underway. The

book, "Flawed: The Rise and Fall of India's

Diamond Mogul Nirav Modi" depicts the

story of high-profile tycoon Nirav Modi, one

of the biggest diamond merchants in India.

It is based on personal encounters, interviews,

and research conducted by the author,

investigative journalist, Pavan C. Lall, who

will also serve as a consultant writer for the

series adaptation.

Author Pavan C. Lall said: "It is an

extremely exciting opportunity, and I am

thrilled to be a part of this book-to-screen

Ola Electric continues

RECORD RUN, sells scooters

worth Rs 1,100 cr in 2 days

New Delhi : Ola Electric on Friday announced

that it has sold e-scooters worth Rs 1,100 core in

two days since Wednesday, when the purchase

window was opened. "In total over 2 days, we have

done over Rs 1,100 crore in sales! This is unprecedented

not just in the automotive industry but it is

one of the highest sales in a day (by value) for a

single product in Indian e-commerce history! We

truly are living in a digital India," the company

claimed in a statement tweeted on Friday. The firm

announced in July that its electric scooter had

received a record-breaking 100,000 reservations

within the first 24 hours, making it the most prebooked

scooter in the world. "While the purchase

window is now closed, our reservations remain

open on olaelectric.com and I want to let all of you

know that we will be re-opening the purchase window

on November 1, 2021, just in time for

Diwali," a company spokesperson said.

Ola Electric opened the reservation for its electric

scooter on the evening of July 15. The Ola S1

and S1 Pro were launched a month later, on August

15. The purchase process includes selecting a

colour and variant, opting for a loan or paying in

advance, and getting a delivery date.

Deliveries will start from next month. Buyers

will be notified about the estimated delivery dates

within 72 hours of purchase.

The Ola S1 is priced at Rs 99,999; for the S1

Pro, customers will have to pay Rs 1,29,999 (exshowroom).

These prices include the FAME II subsidy,

but exclude state subsidies.

The company said the e-scooters will be priced

aggressively to make them widely accessible. They

will roll out from the company's state-of-the-art

Futurefactory in Tamil Nadu.

adaptation journey." The book narrates

detailed and fascinating aspects of Nirav

Modi's rise to power and his subsequent fall,

unravelling the persona of the man behind

one of the biggest financial scandals in India

that amounted to around Rs 13,500 croreworth

of illegal transaction leaving the PNB

account holders at severe dismay.

Lall added: "Capturing the sensibility of a

book in a cinematic way is not a simple task

but I have full faith in Abundantia

Entertainment and believe that they will do

complete justice to this endeavour and give

'Flawed' the appropriate visual mounting."

The author also shared that the book is his

effort to bring to the audience "the tale of a

larger-than-life entrepreneur -- his spectacular

rise and equally dramatic fall which

brought an entire industry to its knees".

India's forex

reserves

decline by

over $1 bn

Mumbai : India's foreign

exchange reserves fell by

$1.340 billion during the week

ended September 10.

The Reserve Bank of India's

(RBI) forex reserves declined

to $641.113 billion from

$642.453 billion reported for

the week ended September 3.

India's forex reserves comprise

foreign currency assets

(FCAs), gold reserves, SDRs,

and the country's reserve position

with the IMF.

On a weekly basis, FCAs,

the largest component of the

forex reserves, edged lower by

$934 million to $578.879 billion.

Similarly, the value of the

country's gold reserves

declined by $413 million to

$37.669 billion.

However, the SDR value

inched up by $1 million to

$19.438 billion. In addition,

the country's reserve position

with the IMF rose by $5 million

to $5.127 billion.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

BENGAL gears up to FIGHT

unknown fever among children

Kolkata : West Bengal Chief

Minister Mamata Banerjee has

convened a high-level meeting

with the superintendents of the

medical colleges and senior officials

of the state health department

to discuss the rising cases

of paediatric fever in the state,

particularly in North Bengal.

According to a state health

department statement, so far,

1,195 children have been admitted

to different government hospitals

in North Bengal with high

fever coupled with cough and

respiratory problems. The state

government had formed an

expert committee to examine the

cases in the North Bengal

Medical College and the

Jalpaiguri District Hospital,

which submitted a report to the

state health department on

Thursday. Banerjee said after her

meeting with the health officials,

"The children who died had

some other diseases. The state is

taking every possible measure."

The laboratory diagnosis confirmed

different types of fever,

which are normal during this

season, including influenza and

RS virus along with some cases

of dengue and other respiratory

illness. On detailed enquiry by

the expert committee, no specific

outbreak has been found so

far. All the cases were tested for

Covid during admission, and so

far only one case (a 17-day old

baby) was found to be Covid

positive. Two children have died

so far.

However, the state is keeping

a close vigil on the situation, and

the expert team will visit the

North Bengal districts again on

Friday to further review of the

situation. "Higher level of diagnostic

facilities for respiratory

viruses is being created at the

North Bengal Medical College

and School of Tropical

Medicine. The expert committee

is developing a new standard

operating procedure (SOP) and

the paediatricians are being oriented

to diagnose and treat this

fever episode. The critical care

units for paediatric cases like

Lockdown rules slightly

eased in Australia's NSW

Sydney : The Covid-19 lockdown rules were slightly eased

on Friday in Australia's New South Wales (NSW), the current

epicentre of the pandemic, as the state capital Sydney entered

the 12th week of restrictions.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, NSW Premier

Gladys Berejiklian outlined some new initiatives in the state's

battle against the virus, reports Xinhua news agency.

Among the new measures was a home quarantine trial to

enable 175 fully vaccinated returned travellers to be quarantined

at home rather than staying in a hotel.

The trial is expected to begin in the next few weeks as NSW

moves towards opening its borders for international travel.

Berejiklian said the border opening would be considered once

80 per cent of eligible people in NSW are fully vaccinated.

"That's Aussies returning home through Sydney airport but

also our citizens having the opportunity to go overseas when

previously they weren't able to," she said.

The decision came as the state recorded 1,284 new locally

acquired cases and 12 more deaths on Friday, which have generally

been lower than the numbers earlier this month.

The vaccination rollout is also progressing strongly with over

80 per cent of people aged above 16 having had the first of their

two doses. About 50 per cent of the adult population are now

fully vaccinated. In the meantime, the government has begun to

slightly ease off on some of its more onerous clampdowns.

The authorities have announced the lift of the night curfew on

12 local government areas in Sydney's west and southwest that

suffered the most intense outbreaks.

NICU and PICU have already

been developed and are being

utilised for treating more serious

cases. Fortunately, the RS virus

infection is generally self-limiting

and gets cured in 3-5 days,

and the death rate is extremely

low for such infection," a senior

official of the state health department

said.

Meanwhile, the widespread

fever among the children has

triggered political debate across

the state.

The Leader of Opposition,

Suvendu Adhikari, tweeted, "I

urge WB Health Secretary to

kindly take note of the distressing

news coming from North

Bengal, where more than 750

children have been admitted to

hospitals for high fever and

undetected flu-like symptoms.

Please initiate measures at the

earliest as six infants have died

already." "WB administration

seems to be occupied with the

Bhabanipur by-election, as it's

their priority. So, I'd urge Union

Health Minister @mansukhmandviya

ji to immediately

dispatch a Central team of

experts to WB, to assist and aid

the WB Health Dept in order to

save our children," he added.

NEWS

Lucknow : The Uttar Pradesh Special

Task Force has arrested two persons, including

an assistant professor at Sefai Medical

College in Etawah, for allegedly running a

blood smuggling racket. As many as 100

units of blood have been recovered from

their possession. According to sources, the

STF had busted a syndicate involved in the

purchase and sale of adulterated blood two

and a half years ago and the team since then

had been closely monitoring blood smuggling

gangs. The STF spokesman said, "Two

people involved in smuggling blood have

been arrested once again. Assistant professor

Dr. Abhay Pratap Singh, who was involved

in smuggling blood from UP to Rajasthan,

Haryana and Punjab, was arrested with 45

units of blood during smuggling on the

Chennai : Tamil Nadu Chief

Minister M .K. Stalin on

Thursday said that he would personally

monitor the implementation

of all the welfare schemes

announced by the state government.

In his remarks while chairing

a high-level meeting of

16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021

Secretaries of various departments

here, he also called upon

the officials to be personally

involved in the various welfare

schemes announced by the state

government as a slew of

announcements have been made

during the Governor's address

and the budget. Ministers and

15

Stalin to personally monitor all welfare projects

New Delhi : A fire broke out in the basement of

the CBI building located at the CGO complex in

the Lodhi road area of the national capital on

Friday afternoon.

A fire official told IANS that the department

received a call about a blaze in the Central Bureau

of Investigation (CBI) building at around 1:40 p.m.

"A total of 8 fire tenders were immediately

rushed to the spot," he said.

As per latest reports, the firemen doused the fire

at 2.30 p.m. The official said that the fire had mainly

caught the electrical board and the false ceiling

Secretaries concerned would be

monitored by him, he said,

adding that he wanted the officers

to expedite the welfare

schemes with priority.

A "dashboard" would be created

which would help the Chief

Minister to monitor the developments

on a screen, Stalin said,

adding that he would keep an

eye on developments from his

office through this screen and

review the progress twice a

week.

Noting that efficient and better

coordination between various

departments would help the projects

announced by the government

getting completed in time,

he directed the officials not to

delay implementation of any

projects.

Fire breaks out in basement of CBI building, doused

Lucknow-Agra Expressway." During interrogation,

Dr Singh revealed that he collects

and supplies the donated blood for which he

has all the documents at home.

When the STF team took the doctor to his

Gangotri apartment in Sushant Golf City in

Lucknow, 55 units of blood were recovered

from his fridge and his partner Abhishek

Pathak was also caught from the other room

of the flat. The Food Safety and Drug

Administration (FSDA) team scanned the

documents shown by Singh and found them

to be forged. Initial inquiry revealed that Dr

Singh was not only involved in blood smuggling,

but had also been preparing and supplying

adulterated blood. The doctor said

that he buys a unit of blood from blood banks

in Rajasthan for Rs 1,200 and sells it in

due to which white smoke could be seen billowing

out from the basement area. All the staff present in

the building were quickly evacuated. "The exact

cause of the fire is being ascertained," the official

added.

Meanwhile, panic gripped the people in and

around the CBI building as the eight fire tenders

blaring loud sirens rushen in to douse the flames.

The incident occured just a day after a fire broke

out in a godown of a factory in west Delhi's

Mayapuri. The blaze was brought under control

and no casualties were reported.

UP doctor held in blood smuggling racket

Brussels : The European Union (EU)

has unveiled a new strategy for enhancing

its economic, political and defence existence

in the Indo-Pacific region, vowing to

cooperate with all members in the region

without seeking confrontation.

According to the adopted Joint

Communication on the EU Strategy for

Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, the Indo-

Pacific region's growing economic, demographic,

and political weight makes it a key

player in shaping the international order

and in addressing global challenges,

Xinhua news agency reported.

The EU intends to increase its engagement

with the region to build partnerships

that reinforce the rules-based international

order, address global challenges and lay the

foundations for a rapid, just and sustainable

economic recovery that creates longterm

prosperity.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell

told a press conference on Thursday that

the bloc will seek no confrontation but

cooperation with everybody, and the strategy

is inclusive to all actors in the region.

Borrell said in a statement issued later

that "the world's centre of gravity is moving

towards the Indo Pacific, both in geoeconomic

and geo-political terms. The

futures of the EU and the Indo-Pacific are

Lucknow and nearby nursing homes for Rs

4,000 to 6,000. "Not only this, when needed,

two units of blood packets are also made by

mixing saline water in one unit of blood," the

official said. Dr Singh is a KGMU MBBS

2000 batch pass out from Lucknow. He did

his MD from PGI Lucknow and also pursued

the course of Transfusion Medicine in 2007.

He started working at OP Chaudhary

Dental College, Lucknow in 2010, Charak

Hospital in 2014, and then became a consultant

to Neti Hospital, Mathura in 2015 and is

currently an assistant professor at the UP

University of Medical Sciences, Sefai,

Etawah. Meanwhile, teams have been dispatched

to arrest the people in Rajasthan,

Haryana and Delhi and Lucknow involved in

the entire racket.

EU announces new Indo-Pacific strategy

interlinked".

"Our engagement aims at maintaining a

free and open Indo-Pacific for all, while

building strong and lasting partnerships to

cooperate on matters from the green transition,

ocean governance or the digital agenda

to security and defence," he said.


16 16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Vitamin D may protect severe Covid-19

infection, DEATH : Study

London : Good amount of Vitamin

D in the body before Covid-19 infection

can prevent severe disease and

death, according to an international

study. A team from Trinity College in

Ireland, University of Edinburgh in

Scotland and Zhejiang University in

China for the first time looked at both

genetically-predicted and vitamin D

levels as predicted by ultraviolet B

(UVB) radiation -- key for vitamin D

production in the skin. When comparing

the two variables, researchers found

that correlation with measured vitamin

D concentration in the circulation was

three-fold stronger for UVB-predicted

vitamin D level, compared to genetically-predicted.

The paper, published in the journal

Scientific Reports, suggests that vitamin

D may protect against severe

Covid-19 disease and death.

"Our study supports the recommendation

of vitamin D supplementation

for not only the maintenance of bone

and muscle health during the lockdown,

but also the potential benefits in relation

to protection from Covid-19," said

Dr Xue Li, a researcher on the study

from Zhejiang. "Conducting a properly

designed Covid-19 randomised controlled

trial of vitamin D supplementation

is critical. Until then, given that

vitamin D supplements are safe and

cheap, it is definitely advisable to take

supplements and protect against vitamin

D deficiency," added Professor

Lina Zgaga, Associate Professor in epidemiology,

at Trinity's School of

Medicine

Further, ambient UVB radiation at

an individual's place of residence preceding

Covid-19 infection was found to

be strongly and inversely associated

with hospitalisation and death.

Previous studies have linked vitamin

D deficiency with an increased susceptibility

to viral and bacterial respiratory

infections. Similarly, several observational

studies found a strong correlation

between vitamin D deficiency and

Covid-19.

A study by researchers from the

Azrieli Faculty of Medicine of Bar-Ilan

University in Safed and the Galilee

Medical Center (GMC) in Nahariya,

Israel, showed that people with low

vitamin D levels are at least 20 per cent

more likely to die from Covid-19 than

people who are not. They found that

being deficient in vitamin D before

contracting Covid-19 has a direct

impact on the disease's severity and

mortality.

Crores of rupees deposited in bank

accounts of two children in Bihar

Irrfan Khan's son

Babil gets degree

despite dropping out

Patna : People of Bihar are surprised

over crores of rupees being credited in the

bank accounts of two children.

The incident appeared in Katihar district

where two class 6 students, Ashish Kumar

and Gurucharan Biswas received Rs

6,20,11,100 and Rs 90,52,21,223 in their

bank accounts on September 15 respectively.

Both the children are native of Pastia village

in Bagahura Panchayat. They have bank

accounts in Uttar Bihar Gramin Bank.

Udayan Mishra, the district magistrate of

Katihar also confirmed that the children have

received hefty amount. "Big amounts were

credited in the accounts of two children. The

amount can be seen in the mini statements.

The senior officials of the bank are being

informed," Mishra said.

"As soon as we learnt about the money

being credited in the accounts of two children,

we have put the accounts on freeze and

stopped withdrawal. When inquired with the

parents of the children, they were also unable

to reveal the source of the fund. Now, we are

investigating the matter to find out who is the

sender," said M.K. Madhukar, the LDM of

Uttar Bihar Gramin Bank.

Earlier, a person named Ranjit Das of

Bihar's Khagaria district also received Rs 5.5

lakh in his Uttar Bihar Gramin Bank

account.

Das refused to return the money to the

bank claiming that Prime Minister Narendra

Modi had promised every citizen to give Rs

15 lakh in their bank accounts. He said he

has received first instalment of it.

Das further said that he had withdrawn the

money from the account and spent it. Now he

has no money. After he showed inability to

return the amount, bank officials lodged an

FIR against Das and he was arrested by

Khagaria police. Now, he is lodged in jail.

Mumbai : Babil Khan, son of late acclaimed star Irrfan Khan,

has received his graduate degree from the University of

Westminster, London, despite having dropped out of college, going

by his post on Instagram.

Earlier this year, Babil had announced in an Instagram post that

he is choosing to not continue his studies further in a bid to pursue

acting. However, he shared a picture of his degree on Instagram on

Wednesday and captioned: "Somehow I've managed to drop out

and get my degree."

Babil's mother Sutapa Sikdar dropped a comment on his picture.

She said that she feels blessed as Irrfan wanted him to finish his

course. "Blessed I feel baba wanted you to finish the course so so

much ..love u.. Babila 'let's rocks jai Mata di'" she wrote.

Babil is all set to make his acting debut with 'Qala', produced by

Anushka Sharma. He has wrapped up his first shooting schedule.

The film also stars 'Bulbbul' actress Triptii Dimri.

Afghan Deputy PM Mullah Baradar releases video after death rumours

New Delhi : Under intense pressure

and questions over his whereabouts,

the Taliban's Deputy Prime Minister of

Afghanistan Mullah Abdul Ghani

Baradar has now released a video message.

"There had been news in the

media about my health and death. Over

the past few nights, I have been away

on trips. Wherever I am at the moment,

we are all fine, all my brothers and

friends," Baradar said in the clip, ARY

News reported.

"The media always publish fake

propaganda. Therefore, bravely reject

all those lies, and I'm 100 per cent confirm

to you there is no issue in the

ranks of the Taliban and we have no

problem."

On the recent visit of Qatari Foreign

Minister where he was absent, Baradar

said he was unable to meet the visiting

Qatari visiting dignitary as he was on a

trip. "Got information of the Qatari

Foreign Minister visit to Afghanistan

suddenly," he added, the report said.

Speculation intensified about the

fate of Baradar when Taliban leaders

met with senior delegates from Qatar in

Kabul on Sunday, with him conspicuously

absent from the meeting, Daily

Mail reported earlier.

On Monday, Taliban was forced to

deny that Baradar was dead after

rumours emerged that he was killed

during a gunfight with his political

rivals. The Taliban insisted that

Baradar is in Kandahar province meeting

with the group's supreme leader

Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada to

discuss the country's future now the US

has withdrawn. But the social media

rumour mill believes he was actually

killed in a gun battle in Kabul's presidential

palace that broke out during a

meeting with the powerful and ruthless

Haqqani family, the report said.

Three members of the Haqqani family

were at the summit with Qatar delegates

along with other members of the

new Afghan government - led by Prime

Minister Mohammad Hasan Akhund,

the report said. A major row broke out

between leaders of the Taliban over the

make-up of the group's new government

in Afghanistan last week, the

BBC reported. The argument between

Baradar and a cabinet member happened

at the presidential palace, the

report said.

There have been unconfirmed

reports of disagreements within the

Taliban's leadership since Baradar disappeared

from public view in recent

days. One Taliban source told BBC

Pashto that Baradar and Khalil ur-

Rahman Haqqani, the minister for

refugees and a prominent figure within

the militant Haqqani network, had

exchanged strong words, as their followers

brawled with each other nearby.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021

17

If you don’t want to give children eggs in

the mid-day meal then give them Paneer

and milk daily, says Dr Manisha Bangar

This is the second part of my conversation with Dr Manisha Bangar in which she speaks about the health crisis in

India and how the government is trying to privatise things, how our response during the Corona period was lacking

things. She also gives us understanding of people opposing nutritious meals for children in the mid-day meal.

Dr Manisha Bangar is a practicing

Senior Consultant Gastroenterologist

and Transplant Hepatologist, with

around 20 years of clinical cum research

and teaching experience. In terms of her

medical qualification, she completed

MBBS, MD and DM. She was also a

governing council member of the Indian

National Association for Study of the

Liver (INASL), and member of the Task

Force for Hepatitis B and NASH disease

of South Asian Association for

Study of the Liver (SAASL).

Interestingly, Dr Manisha Bangar,

despite her professional occupations,

have been actively engaged in social as

well as political activities. She contested

from the Nagpur parliamentary constituency

in 2019 on the People’s Party

of India s ticket. She was appointed as

the National Vice President of the

People s Party of India in November

2018 and is also a former National Vice

President, BAMSCEF. She is actively

involved in socio-cultural movements

that strengthen Bahujan communities as

well as helping build alternative media.

When the lock down was announced

by the prime minister Narendra Modi

last year in March asking people to

bajao thali , light torch or diyas and

clap for the frontline workers so that

Corona can be done away with, there

were very few in the medical fraternity

to speak up openly against it. Most of

the doctors and intellectuals had virtually

surrendered to the powerful government

and its propaganda machinery but

a facebook post by Dr Manisha Bangar

went viral and got noticed everywhere

including , The Telegraph from

Kolkata which reproduced the entire

post given below :

Dear Indians! pay no heed to

ghantology gyan of Modi-Bjp. Please

don t clap for me!! , Bangar wrote: I

have been attending to patients with

severe contaminating infections for two

decades and will continue to do so in

times of corona but I don t want anyone

to clap for me on 22nd March.

Instead, as responsible citizens who

possess fundamental rights I want you

to demand and pressurise the Modi-led

BJP government to do the needful:

Spell out the allocation of disaster

relief funds and medical aid strategy for

all.

Get him to combat this by pushing

at least double the amount of funds that

was required for the statue of Sardar

Patel.

Get him to tell corporates and his

industrialists whom he let escape or

bailed out with your money, that now

it s their turn to bail out the country

from the crisis of their own making.

Declare the tons of gold silver

money looted, hoarded and now accumulated

in temples of Tirupati

Padmanabhan Shirdi Siddhivinayak

Puri and many more as being state treasure

to be used in times of such crisis.

Who would say No to applause? It

is heart-warming to have people thank

medical professionals. But there is nothing

backing it up.... If we fail to control

the spread, the government will blame

external forces or supernatural powers,

she said.

I expected clarity from his (Modi s)

speech. He could have said how much

funds will be given, assure the public

that private hospitals can t deny them

treatment and will have to do testing at

the cost the government fixes. Leaders

and governments have the information

to anticipate. Knowing Indian society

and the stratification that exists based

on religion, he should have known

hoarding will happen and announced

steps to deal with it.

The PM could have at least come out

and said that unscientific claims like

gaumutra (cow urine) curing the coronavirus

infection or the banging of plates

chasing away the virus are false.... On

the contrary, social media handles supportive

of the BJP have put out antiquated,

religion-coloured ignorant

thinking.

(Telegraph on March 22, 2020 :

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/t

hreat-to-doctor-who-shunnedclaps/cid/1756990)

This was such an important post that

it rightly got the attention of the

Telegraph as well as the Facebook

users. When the doctors, intellectuals,

and political opposition refuse to stand

up and speak, such voices become

important even if they are less in number.

In the second part of her conversation

with me Dr Manisha Bangar shares

her concern particularly the handling of

the Mid Day Meal issues. She says,

most of the children affected with

infection, which could be easily managed

with safe drinking water which is

not there and therefore children have

swelling of tummies and bloated feet

she felt that it is not a disease. It is the

manifestation of a failed state. They are

not getting enough food to eat. Good

education, good drinking water and sanitation

is needed. It is clear that children

do not get good food to eat. The

Mid day meal scheme is faulty. They

have their nationalistic agenda and

brahmanical prejudices. The upper caste

people are making policies and there is

a huge gap . Fact is that these caste

prejudices come handy in defining our

policies. It is clearly visible when

dietary things are put in brahmanical

mode as you deny eggs and such things

to children. She says that if you don t

want to give them meat products then

give the children Paneer and two glasses

of milk every day.

She says since the advent of the

MDM, the thirst was put on pulses, dals.

There is no protein in the dals. If you

want to give vegetarian food, give them

paneer, soya, and two glasses of milk

daily. These kinds of things need to be

looked into.

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Dr Manisha Bangar exposes the

PPP model : Accessible health care

is the buzz word. Public private partnership

is a buzz word but the fact is it benefits

the corporate, upper caste upper

class .

Her busy schedule has not stopped

her from taking up further studies and

she has got admission to prestigious

Chicago University for studying public

policy issues on health. She says, I

wanted to understand public policy

issues. I am not from an administration

background. but being a doctor and having

worked with the community, I wanted

that health care be made accessible to

Bahujan people and I should be playing

a good role.

She says that Corona has exposed

our health care system. It has been a big

eye opener not just for India but for

entire world. Western world has already

learnt a lot of lessons but not us. Sri

Lanka and Bangladesh have done better

than us in the health sector. Even

Pakistan is doing good now. The budgetary

allocation is not even 1% of GDP.

Critical of India s PPP model, Dr

Manisha Bangar categorically says that

it was meant to help the crony corporate.

Public money was used to support

these corporate houses. She says, Ten

big hospitals openly claimed bankruptcy.

The loans were given by public sector

banks to these hospitals but they

were unable to seek accountability from

them. It is the revenue department

which closed them. No criminal cases

filed against them. No questions were

asked. Lots of money was spent on it.

What did we get? 70% of the health sector

is privatised and it got exposed during

Covid.

Dr Bangar has raised some extremely

valid issues which normally go out of

our mind. Moreover, only those who are

part of the structure or know things so

intimately can explain this to us. Most

of us, outsider critics of privatisation,

often give that these hospitals are

money minting machines but we always

used to think that the doctors there are

good but now Dr Manisha Bangar suggests

that things are worse in these private

hospitals.

According to her, if they are private

then they should work like corporate.

Unfortunately, none of these hospitals

are giving any social security such as

insurance, PPF, etc to their employees.

Things are happening because there is

no regulatory mechanism. As there is

no loyalty to any particular institutions

due uncertainty, doctors and health

workers are moving for better options.

The biggest casualty in this is the training

of these health workers. Today s

corporate hospitals do not have skilled

staff because they have no time for

training. Same happens to consultants

as they move from one place to another.

Privatisation has not been delivered. It

has in fact put tremendous pressure on

health workers as well as doctors .

Dr Manisha Bangar says that Health

care was never national discourse. Only

when the UN and SDGs say then it happens.

There is no discourse. They have

never spoken about health for all.

She criticises the government policy

of medical tourism which is meant to

provide cheap medical services for the

Europeans and Americans while ensuring

things are out of reach for the

common Indians. Similarly, she has

been extremely critical of insurance

schemes such as Arogyasri and

Ayushman Bharat schemes.

Hospital and insurance companies

are conniving with each other.

Government money is going to the

insurance companies and not really

helping the poor. Arogyasri was a failure.

They said we will give it to 50 crore

people. Population of people under

Poverty Line i.e. BPL in India is more

than 80 crore. This was less than 50%.

Instead of strengthening Public Health

system at PHC level, the government

was focussing more on a technology

driven thing. Almost fifty percent

amount given for the salary. There could

have been more PHCs, ambulances at

tribal areas but the money was actually

wasted.

During covid times, things went

berserk from the patient point of view

and it caused miseries. From the medical

staff’s view point and that of the

doctors, they were denied insurance.

They did not get PPP kits. The government

knew precisely, this is a ruling

class government and their own kith and

kins were handling the private sector.

They knew the fault line and hence they

wanted to deflect the people into nonsensical

things, thali taali and mysticism

to deflate pressure from people, says Dr

Manisha Bangar.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social

and human rights activist. He blogs

at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com

twitter @freetohumanity

Email: vbrawat@gmail.com


18 16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

KISAANS GAIN WORLDWIDE RESPECT

The Kisaan (farmers) endurance and

their enthusiasm have gained worldwide

respect. They started a protest against

the Government when without any

proper debate in the Parliament it introduced

three farm laws.

The farmers in Punjab were intelligent

to understand the reasons behind

this introduction so they started a

protest in Punjab. The Government

showed of no interest thus it progressed

to the borders of Delhi and has been

ongoing since November 2019.

Since start, the farmer’s protest has

been observed worldwide because the

Government has ignored their demands.

Their claim has always been that these

three farm laws are to benefit Ambani

and Adhani Corporations but the

Government refutes it by saying that

they have been introduced for their benefit.

Both parties are locked in a deadlock.

The farmers worry is that through

these laws the Corporations will eventually

take hold of their land and their

livelihood. So for their survival, they

are arranging protests all over India.

India’s Constitution holds worldwide

respect because it promotes equality

amongst all the citizens regardless of

their caste, culture or gender

Prior to the Indian Constitution, the

women in India had no freedom and the

inhabitants faced victimisation through

caste system. The sole purpose of the

caste system was to cause division

which in return safeguarded Brahmin

supremacy in India. Hatred has been the

biggest offset for the native population.

Then Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar came

on the scene and he finalised the Indian

Constitution in such a way that it has

given equal opportunity for all to

progress. India under Constitution’s

guidance has progressed in every manner

but unfortunately, this Government

through introduction of Manusmriti is

trying to bring back the same era that

was prior to Independence.

New Delhi : With the number

of people demanding visas

increasing in Afghanistan following

the closure of foreign

embassies in Kabul after the collapse

of the former Afghan government,

the black market business

for visas is skyrocketing in

the war-torn country.

A number of travel agencies

say that currently only Pakistan

visas can be obtained legally, but

visas of a number of other countries

are being sold in the black

market at high prices, Tolo News

reported. Shafi Samim, the

director of a travel agency in

If Manusmriti happens to take over

then with it will come the dawn of Dark

Age in India.

The crime, rape and corruption have

increased since this Government has

taken over in 2014. The rich with vast

amount of money are disappearing into

foreign counties. There is a big outcry

about this but it is falling on deaf ears.

The Government is standing in support

of the Corporations and showing of

on interest towards welfare of the general

public. The poor are getting poorer

and the rich are getting richer.

The Constitution has shortened the

gap between the rich and the poor but

this Government through amendments

is weakening it’s uphold.

Through amendments unconstitutional

laws are seeping in, those are in

With embassies closed, black market

for visas thriving in Afghanistan

Kabul, told Tolo News that people

are buying visas from the

black market at double or triple

the regular prices.

According to Samim, people

are buying visas from Pakistan

for up to $350, Tajikistan for

$400, Uzbekistan for $1,350,

and Turkey for up to $5,000.

Before the collapse of the previous

government, however, a

Pakistan visa cost around $15,

India's was $20, Tajikistan and

Uzbekistan's cost $60 each and

for Turkey's it was $120.

"The real price for a

Tajikistan visa is $60, but in the

benefit of the Corporations. The

Government assets are being sold to

Ambani and Adhani at knock down

prices and this is quite unconstitutional.

There is a lot of annoyance about this

in the public and the opposite parties are

also contesting this issue in the

Parliament but as to a big BJP majority

in the Parliament they are powerless.

Now all the eyes are set on the courts in

hope they can assist in this matter.

There is a lot of dismay in India

because the people have started to

realise that by voting Mr. Modi as a

Prime Minister, they have made a big

mistake. His statement that he comes

from a very poor family and if selected

he would do all in his power to bring an

end to poverty in India. This statement

won millions of voters and BJP ended

black market it is around $350 to

$400. The real price for Turkey's

visa is $120, but in the black

market it is selling for up to

$5,000. There are secrets that we

do not know, and only the firsthand

dealers know how to obtain

them," Samim said, the report

added.

A number of travel agency

officials have urged foreign

countries to reopen their

embassies in Kabul in order to

issue visas to Afghan people.

Mohmmad Haroon, a Kabul resident,

said he has a Pakistan visa

but he cannot cross at the

Torkham gate. According to

Haroon, in order to cross the border

into Pakistan, in addition to a

visa, one needs a 'gate pass',

which some people near the

Pakistan embassy are selling, the

report said. "People have been

waiting here for long. They have

visas but cannot pass via the

Torkham gate. They (sellers)

have created a black market and

are selling the gate pass for $200

to $300," Haroon said.

London : UK Prime Minister

Boris Johnson has reshuffled his

cabinet with an aim to put in

place "a strong and united team

to build back better from the

pandemic", according to

Downing Street.

Wednesday's reshuffle will

also have a focus on "uniting and

levelling up the whole country",

Xinhua news agency quoted the

Downing Street as saying in a

statement. Dominic Raab, who

has removed as the Foreign

Secretary, will now become

Justice Secretary and also take

up the role of Deputy Prime

Minister. He had been under fire

for his handling of the UK's

withdrawal from Afghanistan

and his decision to stay on holiday

until hours after Kabul's fall

to the Taliban, according to local

media. His replacement Liz

Truss, who was International

Trade Secretary, has become the

second woman to hold the position

of Foreign Secretary in

Britain. She has reportedly

received praises for securing

trade deals between Britain and a

number of countries following

with a landslide victory.

But Mr Modi has made no effort at

all to fulfil the promises he had made so

now the general feeling is that their trust

has been breached by the Government.

Therefore, protests against the

Government are taking place all around

India.

Mr. Modi also assured that he will

bring back all the black money resting

in the foreign banks and use it for

improving conditions in India.

Unfortunately the conditions have worsened

since BJP has taken over. Now

anguish against the Government is at

large because the promises have not

been fulfilled.

The Valmikians are also not happy

with Mr Modi because in his book

KARAM YOGI he has insulted them by

the Brexit. Raab replaced Robert

Buckland who was removed

from the Justice Secretary post.

Buckland tweeted: "It has

been an honour to serve in government

for the last seven years,

and as the Lord Chancellor for

the last two. I am deeply proud

of everything I have achieved.

On to the next adventure."

Johnson's reshuffle also

brought about the exit of Gavin

Williamson as Education

Secretary and Robert Jenrick as

Housing Secretary.

The removal of Williamson

from his post came as he was

criticised for his handling of disruption

to schools and exams

mentioning that Scavenging and

Sweeping for them is God’s blessing.

The book has been withdrawn but there

are some presenters who are purposely

mentioning it in their programmes.

Their intention is to show that they

are better than the Valmikians. It regrets

to say that they have very limited

knowledge about development of the

Valmikian religion, if they had than it is

quite likely they would not raise it in

their programmes.

Gandhi Ji for nearly nine months

took shelter in the Bhagwan Valmiki

Mandir – Delhi also when Gandhi Ji

started death fast, a Valmikian – Chuni

Lal Thapper and Babu Mangoo Ram

Mugowalia – a Ravidassian, in oppose

to Gandhi Ji sat on death fast.

Pandit Bakshi Ram – a Valmikian

was a close associate of Dr. Bhim Rao

Ambedkar. It was Pandit Bakshi Ram

who asked Dr. Ambedkar not to adopt

Sikh religion because he told him that

the Valmikians who are converting to

Sikh religion are being named Majabi

Sikh and are graded as lower class Sikh.

Also restrictions are imposed on them.

After listening to Pandit Bakshi Ram

Ji’s explanation Dr. Ambedkar dropped

the idea of converting to Sikh religion.

Finally, we must not forget that in

time of need, it was Punjab that stood by

the side of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar and

this is why two people in oppose to

Gandhi Ji sat on death fast in Punjab.

Jai Bharat

– Mitej Teji

UK PM reshuffles cabinet

during the pandemic, according

to local media. Jenrick has faced

calls for resignation after he

admitted last year his decision to

unlawfully approve a controversial

property development bid by

a Conservative donor.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan,

Minister for Energy, Clean

Growth and Climate Change,

has filled the vacancy left by

Truss to become the

International Trade Secretary.

Nadhim Zahawi, Minister for

Covid Vaccine Deployment, has

been promoted to Education

Secretary. Michael Gove,

Minister for the Cabinet Office,

has been appointed as the new

Housing Secretary. Nadine

Dorries, Minister for Mental

Health, has become the new

Culture Secretary. Home

Secretary Priti Patel, Defence

Secretary Ben Wallace and

Health Secretary Sajid Javid

have retained their posts. The

UK's previous major cabinet

reshuffle was in February 2020,

just before the Covid-19 pandemic

started and the country

went into its first lockdown.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021 19

One year of farm laws: Punjab CM asks Centre to scrap them

Chandigarh : As the contentious

farm laws passed by the Centre completed

a year, Punjab Chief Minister

Amarinder Singh on Friday demanded

immediate scrapping of the legislations

by the union government, calling for

detailed discussions to find a way forward

with the farmers, who have been

on a mass protest since November 26

last year. Pointing out that many farmers

had died in these protests, the Chief

Minister said it was high time the

Central government realised its blunder

and withdrew the legislations in the

interest of the farmers and the nation.

The Chief Minister, wearing a #nofarmers_nofood

bade, was inaugurating the

third state-level virtual Kisan Mela

organised by Punjab Agricultural

University, Ludhiana. The two-day

mela is centered on the theme on eliminating

stubble burning. "Till date, the

Indian constitution has been amended as

many as 127 times, so why can it not be

amended once again to scrap the farm

Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh) : The Uttar Pradesh

Police have arrested two men from Uttarakhand

for circulating fake currency notes in the Bahedi

area of Bareilly district.

The police have also recovered 897 fake currency

notes in denomination of Rs 100 from the

accused who belong to Udham Singh Nagar district

in Uttarakhand.

The accused, who were arrested on Thursday,

have been identified as Shafiq Ahmad and Daulat

Ram. The accused were caught exchanging counterfeit

by paying 30 per cent in original currency

National Coalition for Strengthening

SCs and STs (PoA) Act (NCSPA), a

platform of more than 500 Dalits and

Adivasis civil society organisations,

communities, leaders and activists welcomes

the release of Crime in India

2020 report. Data on crimes against

Dalits and Adivasis draws a distinct pattern

of similarity between rural and

urban spaces. The latest data published

by the National Crime Records Bureau

(NCRB) also captures some anomalies

and interesting trends. The 2020 NCRB

report on atrocities against Dalits and

Adivasis, shows that a large proportion

of crimes against Dalits and Adivasis

involves crime against women. The

Crime in India Report 2020 data has

revealed that:

• Atrocities/Crime against Scheduled

Castes have increased by 9.4% in 2020

(50291) over 2019

(45,935). Uttar Pradesh (12,714

cases) reported the highest number of

cases of atrocities against Scheduled

Castes (SCs) accounting for 25.2% followed

by Bihar with 14.6% (7368) and

Rajasthan with 13.9% (7017) during

2020. The next two states in the list are

Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra

accounting for 13.7% (6899) and

Maharashtra 5.1% (2569). The above

top five states reported 72.5% of cases

laws and resolve the imbroglio resulting

from them," asked the Chief Minister.

"What is the problem in doing it a 128th

time," he demanded to know from the

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government

at the Centre, which was out to

ruin the farmers.

What was happening with the farmers

today was extremely sad, given the

immense contribution made by them to

India's development and progress, said

Amarinder Singh, calling for immediate

revocation of the laws, which he said

were detrimental to the interest not just

of the agricultural community but the

entire country.

Recalling that he had been asked by

the Centre to stop Punjab's farmers from

going to Delhi last November, the Chief

Minister said he had refused point blank

to do so, as protest is the democratic

right of farmers. "Why should they not

protest? How can I stop them," he

asked, making it clear that he continues

to stand with the farmers in their fight

of atrocities against Scheduled Castes.

The recent incidents of atrocities against

Scheduled Castes in Delhi, Chhattarpur,

M.P and Bijnaur, U.P, reflects the harsh

realities at the grass roots.

• Atrocities/Crime against Scheduled

Tribes have increased by 8.4% in 2020

(8272) over 2019 (7570). Madhya

Pradesh (2401, cases) reported the highest

number of cases of atrocities against

Scheduled Tribes (STs) accounting for

29.02% followed by Rajasthan with

22.7% (1878 cases) and Maharashtra

with 8.01% (663 cases) during

2020.Odisha was next in the list with

7.54% (624) followed by Telangana at

6.9% (573). The above top five states

reported 74.17% of cases of atrocities

against Scheduled Tribes.

• Cases of Rape against Schedule

caste women account for 6.70% (3372

cases) of the total cases reported. Cases

of Rape, Attempt to rape and Assault on

women to outrage her modesty cumulatively

stood at 12.6% (6835). Similarly,

cases of Rape against Schedule Tribe

women stood at 13.7% (1137 cases) of

the total cases reported. Cases of Rape,

Attempt to rape and Assault on women

to outrage her modesty cumulatively

stood at 24.7% (2047). Cases of Murder,

Attempt to murder and Grievous hurt

were reported as 855, 119 and 1587

against the 'draconian' legislations, with

his government continuing to give compensation

and jobs to the families of the

deceased farmers. Noting the contribution

of Punjab and its farmers to the

country's growth, the Chief Minister

said the state, with only 1.53 per cent of

total geographical area of India, produces

about 18 per cent of the country's

wheat, 11 per cent paddy, 4.4 per cent

cotton and 10 per cent milk. For the past

many decades, Punjab has been contributing

about 35-40 per cent of wheat

and 25-30 per cent of rice to the central

pool, he said, expressing pride in the

achievements of the state's farmers.

The Chief Minister pointed out that

the state had attained a record wheat

productivity (5,188 kg per hectare) and

production (182.6 lakh tons) during

2018-19. It also achieved a record rice

productivity (4,366 kg per hectare) and

production (133.8 lakh tons) during

2017-18. Record cotton productivity

(827 kg lint per hectare) was also

achieved during 2019-20, he added, giving

full credit for these achievements to

the hardworking farmers of Punjab and

the improved agricultural technologies

developed by PAU. The Chief Minister,

who recalled that he had been attending

Kisan Melas since 1970, stressed on the

importance of agriculture as the lifeline

of Punjab, and urged farmers to take full

advantage of PAU's advancements in

2 from Uttarakhand held with

FAKE CURRENCY in UP

notes from a supplier

in Uttarakhand.

Police have booked

them under sections

489-B (using currency

notes as genuine)

and 489-C

(possession of

forged or counterfeit

currency notes). The police said that they will

take the remand custody of the accused to trace

the other members of the gang. Additional

Superintendent of Police Rajkumar

Agarwal said, "The accused said that

they were acquiring the counterfeit currency

from Uttarakhand. We have shared

the details with the intelligence agencies

to check if there is a connection with any

terrorist outfit." The additional SP also

said, "Multiple teams have been sent to

Uttarakhand to find the kingpin. We are

also taking the support of local police. The

accused will be sent to jail now, but we will apply

for their remand custody."

respectively against Scheduled Caste.

Similarly for Scheduled Tribes, Cases of

Murder, Attempt to murder and

Grievous hurt were reported as 172,144

and 125 respectively. When the country

was still pleading for the justice for Dalit

women, incidents of violence against

Dalit Women in Delhi, Chhattarpur,

Bijnaur emerged as a shock for the

nation.

• Total of 68456 cases of atrocities

against Scheduled Castes were pending

for investigation at the end of the year

2020, including previous year cases.

Similarly, 11200 Cases of atrocities

against Schedule Tribe were pending for

investigation. A total of 48560 cases of

atrocities against SCs and 7840 Cases of

atrocities against STs were disposed off

by police. Charge sheeting percentage

for the atrocities against Scheduled

Castes ended with 80.6% and 82.7% for

Scheduled Tribes.

• A total of 230653 cases of atrocities

against SCs and 36652 cases of atrocities

against STs came for trial in the

court. Out of these cases, trials in 7637

of atrocities against SCs were completed

and 1219 cases for STs. Conviction

percentage under the SCs and STs

(PoA) Act in conjunction with

IPC remained at 42.4% for SCs and

28.5 % for STs. The acquittal percentage

(includes acquittal as well as the

cases where the accused is discharged)

ended with 57.5% for SCs and 71.5%

for STs. At the end of the year 96.7 % of

cases of atrocities against SCs were

pending whereas for STs, the percentage

stood at 96.6 %.

Even after the amendments came in

force in year 2016, which generated a

hope to the Dalit and Adivasis victims

in accessing speedy justice, again the

concern remains is the implementation

of the amended SCs and STs (PoA)

Amended Act 2015 as the experience

says that even after the passage of more

than 5 years the new provisions of SCs

and STs (PoA) Amendment Act 2015

are not being enforced in a proper manner.

With the audacity with which

crimes are conducted it is very much

evident that there is complete absence

of fear. Shoddy law and governance is

very much responsible for encouraging

the perpetrators to get away with the

crimes. Escalating atrocities against

Dalit and Adivasis across the country

even in pandemic shows that Dalits and

Adivasis communities are still suffering

from inhuman atrocities like murders

and mass- murders, social boycott and

economic boycott, mass arsons, rapes,

gang rapes etc. These are only a few

examples, large number of the cases go

technologies, seeds, etc. He underlined

the importance of continued research to

keep pace with the developments in

agriculture the world over. Citing

Israel's success in use of drip irrigation

for judicious use of the fast-depleting

water table, the Chief Minister said

Punjab's groundwater level had been

continuously going down. The state's

diversification programme was linked

to ensure minimal use of water, he

added. Inderjeet Singh, Vice Chancellor

of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and

Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana,

described the mela as an important platform

to support farmers.

These Kisan Melas are a source of

great information on latest advances in

agriculture -- on quality seed and planting

material of improved varieties of

various field, horticultural and vegetable

crops is being made available to

farmers from PAU campus as well as

from outstations all over Punjab, he

said.

4 pistols, ammunition

recovered in J&K's

PULWAMA

Srinagar : Four pistols

and ammunition were

recovered by the security

forces on Friday in

Jammu and Kashmir's

Pulwama district.

The police said these

were recovered during

joint searches carried out

by them and the Army in

Telangam village of

Pulwama district.

"The matter is being probed further," police said.

Whether or not any arrest was made in this connection

so far, has not been clarified yet.

Atrocities/Crime against Dalit and Adivasis as per Crime In

India Report, 2020 National Crime Record Bureau-NCRB

unreported and are often compromised.

We call upon the Government of

India that they must: Robustly, enforce

and implement the new provisions of

the amended SCs and STs (PoA) Act

1989. Take swift and robust action

against the dominant caste perpetrators

violating the human rights of Dalits and

Adivasis. Conduct an open and transparent

investigation under the

Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled

Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities)

Amendment Act, 2015 and prosecute

those Government and police officials

who are found to have aided and abetted

criminals. Robustly implement the

Exclusive Special Courts mandated in

the amended act for speedy trials.

We, on behalf of Dalit and Adivasis

communities assure the Govt. of India,

political parties elected representatives

that we will not stand for continued

inequality. We want immediate action to

end atrocities against Dalit and Adivasis

and have grown in awareness enough

not to trust mere promises declarations.

Dalit leaders across the country are setting

out on a common mission to end

this deliberate delay. We will not rest

until elected representatives and political

parties take responsibility for this

failure and take action on the promises

that have earned them the power.


20 16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Tibetans will never accept CCP’s fake Panchen Lama

The Tibetan people, in the last few

decades, have had to face differing situations

and have had to comply with the

bitter truth that the matter regarding

Chinese illegal occupation of Tibet has

still not been resolved.

The people have led the freedom

struggle and are still fighting diligently

for the cause of Tibet. The illegal annexation

is an issue that undoubtedly saddens

the Tibetans immensely, but there

is yet another issue that has had no status

update since it happened.

This specific matter is that of the

abduction of the Eleventh Panchen

Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, in 1995

when he was just six years old by the

Chinese Communist authorities.

The Panchen Lama holds the second

highest position in Tibetan Buddhism

after the Dalai Lama. The Chinese government,

like their constant claims that

Tibet was not occupied but was rather a

part of their land always, has also

denied any claims or accusations

regarding them being the perpetrators

behind the Panchen Lama's abduction.

It has been made through China's

boisterous claims and their well-plotted

deeds afterwards that they were behind

this horrendous scheming regarding the

true Panchen Lama. Their authoritarian

nature of ruling is apparent for the

world to see, but when it comes to the

Tibetans, this very form of ruling has

exceeded all levels of sanity and

humanity.

In the year 1995 itself, China selected

a boy named Gyaltsen Norbu and

appointed him as the Panchen Lama in

Tibet. This should have never happened

since the Chinese government officially

has no say in the matters of the spiritual

hierarchy of Tibet.

The Communist government even

went to great lengths to organise religious

teachings and ceremonies led by

the fake Panchen Lama and forced the

Tibetans in Tibet to attend it.

China's well-calculated plans are

clearly laid for the world to see and to

appraise them in how thoughtful they

are being to the Tibetans and in this

case, how the selected Panchen Lama is

being accepted and revered by the people

of Tibet.

What the rest of the world doesn't see

or hear about is the ways in which the

Tibetans are forced to take part in these

so-called religious teachings against

their will and if they try to avoid it, they

are severely punished, tortured and even

jailed.

The Chinese fake Panchen Lama is

being paraded around with an accompaniment

of policemen and officials,

clearly a publicity stunt. He is also supposed

to be a member of the top

Communist party advisory body, but a

Chinese government official had

revealed in the past how he holds no

power as such despite having a position

that big.

That is also China's way of publicising

how the Panchen Lama is revered as

a spiritual leader in Tibet and is given

such a high post in the government. The

truth about the current, Chinese

appointed Panchen Lama is also a bit

sad. He is kept under house arrest mostly

in Beijing and is neither allowed to

speak to anyone nor travel as per his

will. He is guarded at all times by a set

of policemen and officials and is kept

under strict surveillance.

Many speculations and assumptions

have been made since his appointment

that he will hold significant power in the

time that he'll remain as the Panchen

Lama.

The Chinese government plans to

make him the official face of Tibetan

Buddhism in Tibet. They have cunningly

led his visit to other Asian countries

to spread his name and to gain support

and popularity for his status as the

Panchen Lama.

The Communist government being

well aware of how Tibet and Tibetans

are known for their religion, Buddhism

has always eyed it and tried to cause as

'Khalistani-Kashmiri nexus in US

could be detrimental for India'

New Delhi : As many

as 55 interlinked Kashmiri

and Khalistani groups,

currently operating handin-hand

within the US,

has become increasingly

apparent in North America,

the UK, and Europe, with the

extremist groups often operating

in tandem, the report

could be detrimental for

said: "For example, in

both India and America, a

August 2020, Khalistani and

US-based think tank

Kashmiri activists staged an

warned. In its report, the

indication in New York

Hudson Institute also said

against India, and, in

that the activities of

September 2019, activists

Khalistani groups located

in North America should

be investigated within the

limits prescribed by US

appropriated imagery and

slogans from the Black Lives

Matter movement, whose

aim is to redress systemic

law to prevent a recurrence

and structural white

of the violence

supremacy in the United

orchestrated by the

States."

Khalistan movement in

"Joint protests of

the 1980s. It also apprehended

the possibility of

these groups receiving funding, support, and

military training from Pakistan, which could

have ties with terrorist groups operating in

India. Such diaspora-based efforts are worrisome

because Pakistan's intelligence agency,

the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), may be

assisting pro-Khalistan groups financially

and organisationally, it observed.

Noting that the US government has

shown reluctance to act on intelligence from

observed that the US administration now

needs to investigate the increasing hobnobbing

between the two separatist groups.

In addition, the report further said that

since Pakistan cannot take direct action

against India, Indian intelligence agencies

have warned that it will support militant

groups in Jammu and Kashmir and Khalistan

cadres to scale up their activities to carryh

out a proxy war through militancy.

Khalistani and Kashmiri separatists

have occurred in

Washington DC, Houston, Ottawa, London,

Brussels, Geneva, and other European capitals,"

it noted.

Importantly, the recent increase in

Khalistan-related anti-India activism within

the US has been occurring as the United

States and India are collaborating to confront

the rise of China, especially in the Indo-

Pacific region. Pakistan is a critical Chinese

ally and therefore has a vested interest in

India concerning Pakistan-supported Referring to the recent cooperation weakening this India-US collaboration, it

Khalistan militancy, the think tank also between Khalistani and Kashmiri groups that said.

much destruction to it as possible. The

attacks on religious institutions in Tibet

and the damaging of thousands of religious

relics have been saddening and

yet they still continue and will continue

in the future if not stood up against.

China wishes to gain power in the

field of religious authority so that it can

destroy Tibet's authenticity and rule

over the people till the end of time.

It has been made clear to protests led

worldwide by Tibetans about how they

want the information regarding the real

(abducted) Panchen Lama to be released

and how they would never accept or follow

the fake Panchen Lama enthroned

by the Chinese government.

Gyaltsen Norbu has been called a

"stooge of atheist Chinese Communist

Party" by the Tibetans in exile. The

Tibetan people's feelings about such

enforcement have been clear from the

beginning. The Communist party's lack

of success in this endeavour led to them

making statements about how the successor

of the 14th Dalai Lama should

also be reviewed and appointed with

their permission.

Tibet's history makes it very clear

how the Dalai Lamas and the Panchen

Lamas are chosen through the predecessor's

will. China has, however, come up

with yet another boisterous claim as to

how they should be the one who would

have the power to choose the next Dalai

Lama.

The US policy of the Tibet Policy

and Support Act (TPSA) passed in

December 2020 proved to be a ray of

hope for the Tibetans since it mainly

focused on how China would have no

hand or say in the reincarnation of the

next Dalai Lama. The issue regarding

the 11th Panchen Lama's abduction was

also stated in the content.

Recently, in April, the United

Nations Commission on International

Religious Freedom (UNCIRF) reiterated

its call for the Chinese government to

release Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. US

representative James McGovern also

rendered his support in this matter to

advocate on behald of Gedhun Choekyi

Nyima through the Tom Lantos Human

Rights Commission's Defending

Freedoms Project.

Such international support regarding

the Tibetan issues is a great step for the

Tibetan in raising their freedom struggle

further on the global platform. Tibetans

in exile are able to protest openly

against the authoritarian rule and the

illegal occupation. The fellow Tibetans

back in Tibet are unable to do so openly

because of China's austere surveillance

and brutal handlings.

Tibetans will, however, never support

China's horrendous oppression and

will fight even harder for justice. The

Chinese Panchen Lama will never be

accepted and the bout for the Gedhun

Choekyi Nyima (real Panchen Lama)

will go on till the truth about his status

is revealed.

After ED, CBI, now IT

’searches’ Anil Deshmukh’s

Nagpur properties

Nagpur : After the Enforcement Directorate and the Central

Bureau of Investigation, the Income Tax Department on Friday

was "searching" premises

linked with former

Maharashtra Home

Minister Anil

Deshmukh in Nagpur

and other places for

alleged tax irregularities.

The developments

came in the wake of the

ED filing a charge sheet

in the Deshmukh case

which claims that the

senior Nationalist

Congress Party leader

and an associate had

allegedly received

amounts of Rs 20 crore

each.

The IT action covers educational institutions run or managed

by the ex-minister or his family members or their close associates,

certain offices, and residential premises.

The ED charge sheet came in the alleged corruption case

against Deshmukh in which now dismissed cop Sachin Vaze had

claimed that he was given a target to collect Rs 100 crore per

month from Mumbai restaurateurs in his statement to the ED.

Vaze also alleged that Deshmukh and another minister had

received kickbacks of Rs 40 crore from some police officers for

reversing their transfers ordered by the then city police chief

Param Bir Singh. On Thursday, the state government suspended

Deshmukh's ex-personal secretary Sanjiv Palande - an officer of

additional collector rank - after his arrest by the ED on June 26

in the same case.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021

21

Is Xi Jinping playing Don Quixote in Tibet?

Going by the hysteria of the

Chinese establishment at the sight of

Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai

Lamas photos, the efforts of President

Xi Jinping to occupy Tibetan religion

from within appear to be another

replay of Don Quixote.

Some contradictions are quite difficult

to understand, especially when

they reflect deep rooted fears in the

conduct of powerful governments and

their almighty leaders. The schizophrenic

reactions of President Xi and

his all-invasive communist security

apparatus merely at the sight of the

Dalai Lama's photo in the hands of

their Tibetan subjects is one such glaring

example.

According to the Chinese laws and

rules, as practiced in today's Tibet,

possessing the Dalai Lama's photo is

illegal and considered as a 'threat' to

the national security of China. For this

'crime' one can be sentenced up to

seven years in jail in addition to losing

basic privileges like job, medical support

and children's school admission.

The Chinese government uses

extreme kinds of expletives like 'a

wolf in the robes of a monk', 'gang

leader of bandits', 'a serf owner' and a

'splitist' for the same the Dalai Lama

who is the winner of the Nobel Peace

Prize and has topped the international

popularity charts since decades.

The most hilarious part of this contradiction

is that President Xi has

announced it to the world that the

Communist Party of China (CPC) will

have the exclusive rights to identify

and install the next incarnation of the

Dalai Lama after he passes away.

Latest news from China's Sichuan

province show that large contingents

of China's dreaded People's Armed

Police (PAP) and agents of the Public

Security Bureau (PSB) have been

swooping on Tibetan homes and temples

in the DzaWonpo town of Kardze

to confiscate photos of the Dalai

Lama. By the first weekend of

September they had arrested 121

Tibetans who were found guilty of

possessing the photos either in printed

form or in their mobile phones. The

arrested persons included six monks

from the DzaWonpoGaden Shedrup

Monastery.

Similar police raids and arrests

were reported in early March this year

when the troops of Snow Wolf

Commandos, an anti-terrorism elite

Hyderabad : The Telangana government

has decided to provide reservation

to Gouds, Scheduled Castes, and

Scheduled Tribes in allotment of liquor

shops in the state.

The state Cabinet decided to give 15

per cent reservation to Goud, 10 per

cent to SCs and five per cent to STs.

The decision was taken as per the

recent assurance given by Chief

Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

The six-hour-long Cabinet meeting

chaired by the Chief Minister took several

key decisions.

It instructed the medical and health

officials to prepare comprehensive

plans for the development of health

infrastructure in the state and place it

before the next Cabinet meeting.

It reviewed the construction of four

super specialty hospitals in Hyderabad.

unit of PAP had raided houses, the

local old-home and the community

temple of DzaWonpo to search for and

confiscate photos of the Dalai Lama.

When China occupied Tibet in

1951, its supreme spiritual leader and

ruler Dalai Lama was just a teenager,

16 years old to be exact. China claims

that it was 'peaceful liberation' of

Tibet, based on a '17-Point Agreement'

which was drafted by Beijing itself.

However, China's supreme leader

Mao and his mighty People's

Liberation Army (PLA) broke every

single promise which they had made

to the people of Tibet and the Dalai

Lama through this 'Agreement'.

In 1959 when the Tibetan people

stood up against their colonial masters,

the PLA killed more than 80,000

Tibetans which forced the Dalai Lama

to secretly escape to India. In spite of

70 years of colonial control over Tibet

and 62 years of absence of Dalai Lama

from Tibet, the Chinese rulers have

failed both in winning the hearts of

their Tibetan subject as well in weaning

them away from their deep faith in

the spiritual leader.

In recent years over 150 Tibetans,

most of them youths, monks and nuns

committed self-immolation to express

their longing for Tibetan freedom and

return of the Dalai Lama.

During the first four decades of

Tibet's occupation, the Chinese government

tried every trick from the

communist history to tame the

Tibetans. At the time of occupation in

1951, they had promised the Tibetans

that they will respect their culture and

would not interfere in the social and

religious system of Tibet.

In one of the 17-Points it was

expressedly promised that the CPC

and the PLA would pay even for "needle

or thread" which they take from

Tibetan people. But very soon Tibet

was pushed into a situation of serious

food shortage, sky rocketing prices of

essential commodities and starvation

when the PLA started taking away

food stocks to feed its ever increasing

number of soldiers.

The things went to extreme when

Chairman Mao's crazy campaign

"Great Leap Forward" pushed the

entire mainland China into a serious

drought, industrial failure and economic

catastrophe.

Confiscation of lands and properties

of monasteries and wanton killing

of protesting Tibetans made it worse.

The Tibetan public's anger resulted

into a mass uprising in 1959 which

was crushed with a heavy hand by the

Chinese army. Ten years of Cultural

Revolution which followed the "Great

Leap" saw near total destruction of

almost everything which represented

Tibetan culture and identity. It was

during this decade when Mao's Red

Guards worked zealously on the premise

that a Tibetan minus faith in religion

would make a perfect Chinese

patriot.

The two campaigns ended up with

30 to 50 million unnatural deaths in

China and killing of about 1.2 million

Tibetans from a total population of 6

million. This period marked the end of

whatever faith was left among the

Tibetan masses in their colonial masters.

It was only after the massive

Tibetan uprising and anti-China public

demonstrations in 1987 and 1989

when Beijing leaders realised that it

was impossible for them to kill

Tibetan people's faith in Buddha

Dharma and the Dalai Lama.

This led to Beijing's new approach

and policy of using religion as a tool to

control the Tibetan minds and hearts.

In 1992 and 1995, Beijing officially

organised religious exercises of

searching and installing reincarnations

of two prominent Tibetan Gurus

namely the Karma Pa and the Panchen

Lama who had died in 1981 and 1989,

respectively.

The CPC, which has been following

and promoting late Chairman

Mao's belief that "religion is opium of

the masses", appointed search committees

of Lamas under overall supervision

of a senior communist leader

each to find out the new incarnations.

The committee, appointed to look

out for the reincarnation of 16th

Karma Pa identified a seven-year-old

boy Apo Gaga. Under his new name

UgyenTrinley Dorje, he was installed

in a colourful ceremony for which

China invited followers of the previous

Karma Pa from Europe and

America. The ceremony was telecast

live on the national TV channels of

China. The other committee too identified

a six-year-old boy Gedhun

Choekyi Nyima as the new incarnation

of the 10th Panchen Lama in

1995. But Beijing rejected this boy

and arrested him and his parents

because the monks involved in the

process had leaked out the information

to the Dalai Lama in exile and had

sought his approval for this boy.

Angry communist rulers installed

another 5 year old boy of their own

choice as the new 'Panchen Lama'.

Beijing has since refused to either free

the arrested boy or make any information

public about him.

In reaction to this the ordinary

Tibetan masses too refused to accept

the Chinese sponsored Panchen Lama

as a 'fake' and a 'Chinese stooge'. As

fate would have it, the Karma Pa quietly

escaped from Chinese control on

the new-year night of 2000 and landed

up in Dharamsala on January 5, 2000

to join the Dalai Lama in exile.

But these developments could not

stop the communist rulers of Tibet

from going ahead with their new policies

on religion. Over the past three

decades, Beijing has installed over

870 incarnate Lamas belonging to various

traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.

In September 2007, Beijing

announced a new law which brought

all reincarnations of Tibetan lamas,

It directed the department

to take immediate measures

for the construction

of these hospitals. The

Roads and Buildings, and

the Medical and Health

Departments were directed

to make arrangements

for the opening of the

new medical colleges

from the coming year.

Medical and Health

Department officials

briefed the Cabinet on the

Covid-19 situation in the state, especially

after reopening of schools and other

educational institutions. They said after

opening of the schools and colleges,

there was no increase in the corona

cases and the situation was under total

control. All the required medicines, vaccination,

oxygen, and test kits are available.

The Cabinet instructed Medical and

Health Department officials to increase

the oxygen production capacity to 550

tonnes per day from the present 280

tonnes. The capacity of oxygen generation

was earlier

increased from 130

tonnes to 280 tonnes

per day.

The officials

informed the Cabinet

that the state is ready

to face corona if it hits

the children. As a precautionary

measure,

5,200 beds have been

provided at a cost of

Rs 133 crore exclusively

to treat children.

About Covid vaccination, they said

two crore people have been administered

vaccines so far. A special drive to

vaccinate 3 lakh people every day was

launched on Thursday. The Cabinet has

instructed every village, Mandal, district

level Panchayat Raj, Municipal

including the Dalai Lama, under the

direct control of the CPC. As per this

law, the entire process of appointing

search committees, identification of

new incarnations and installing them

shall be the exclusive prerogative of

CPC which will execute this authority

through its respective branches of the

Buddhist Association.

The Dalai Lama has warned the

Chinese government against these

plans. Following a joint conference of

all senior monks and scholars of various

Tibetan Buddhist traditions in

Dharamsala, he declared: "Bear in

mind that, apart from the reincarnation

recognized through legitimate methods

no recognition or acceptance

should be given to a candidate chosen

for political ends by anyone, including

those in the People's Republic of

China." Expressing full support to the

Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people,

the US government passed a new law

entitled 'Tibetan Policy and Support

Act-2020' last year which warns the

government of China and its leaders

against interfering in the reincarnation

process of the Dalai Lama.

The European Parliament too has

put on record its support for the spiritual

leader's rights to decide about his

reincarnation and has asked China "to

respect the Dalai Lama's succession in

accordance with Tibetan Buddhist

standards". But China still hopes that

by installing a Dalai Lama of its own

choice after the current Dalai Lama

passes away, it will be able to control

its Tibetan subjects effectively. On the

personal initiative of President Xi,

aimed at establishing 'Buddhism with

Socialist Values,' a massive campaign

is being run in all monasteries across

Tibet which aims and training the

monks in communist philosophy. In

Tibetan schools too, Tibetan language

has been replaced by Mandarin as the

main medium of learning. History of

Tibet and China, written from communist

Chinese angle is being taught in

Tibetan schools with the hope that a

'patriotic' generation of Tibetans with

full commitment to China shall take

over. But going by the near complete

rejection of Beijing appointed

'Panchen Lama' by Tibetan masses and

hysteria of the Chinese establishment

at the sight of Dalai Lama's photos, the

efforts of President Xi to occupy

Tibetan religion from within appear to

be another replay of Don Quixote.

Telangana fixes quota for Gouds, SCs, STs in liquor shop allotment

Administration officials, Sarpanches,

MPTCs, ZPTCs, MPP, ZP Chairperson,

MLAs, MLCs and other public representatives

to play an active role for the

success of the special vaccination.

The Cabinet discussed rainfall

details, the extent of land cultivated during

the Monsoon season, estimates on

crops yield etc. It discussed the purchase

of crops during the monsoon and

the preparedness of the marketing

department. It also sanctioned Rs 100

crore in addition to Rs 300 crore already

sanctioned for the repairs of roads in the

state due to the heavy rains recently.

The Cabinet also approved

Sangameswar, and Basaveswara Lift

Irrigation Schemes to provide water to

3.84 lakh acres in Sangareddy, Andol,

Zaheerabad and Narayankhed Assembly

segments.


22 16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Afghanistan : The Tricky

Situation for INDIA

New Taliban Government

(Samaj Weekly)- On 07.09.2021 a

new Taliban government in Afghanistan

was formed. Mullah Muhammad

Hassan is declared Prime Minister of

Afghanistan. Two important members

of Taliban are appointed Deputy Prime

Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani and

Moalvi Abdul Salam Hanafi. All stakeholders

were expecting an inclusive

government in Afghanistan but that did

not happen. The Taliban have also

announced important portfolios. The

irony is that many of the Taliban

Ministers in the new government are on

the list of hardcore terrorist of the USA

agencies. Will they change themselves?

Will they renounce their ideology of

violence and fundamentalism? Will the

new government allow Afghan women

to participate in the power structure? It

is yet to be seen.

The idea of inclusive government has

been negated. It shows that the Taliban

leaders think that they are capable of

running the country efficiently. Any

opposition to their government in any

form either within the country or outside

the country will not be tolerated.

The Taliban claims that they have captured

Panjshir valley. However, the

leaders of Panjshir valley told the

Afghan media that it is a false claim. It

seems that the fight between the Taliban

new government and leaders of Panjshir

valley would go on. It is apprehended

that the people of Afghanistan especially

women, children would suffer

because of this fight.

Afghan Men and Women are suffering

Most of the developed countries have

put up several visa restrictions for the

Afghan immigrants who are currently

seeking visas. India has announced that

it will welcome Afghan Hindus, Sikhs

who are coming from Afghanistan. The

launch of E-visa by India, however, is

facilitating these desperate migrants but

according to Indian media reports they

are suffering due to a corrupt and lethargic

bureaucratic system. Many of the

Afghan men and women with small

children are living in shanty areas of

Delhi. It is reported that they are currently

short of money to buy food items,

milk for their children. Afghan Muslim

men are desperately looking for jobs in

New Delhi. They feel discriminated

against as the Hindu businessmen are

not ready to offer them jobs. New Delhi

should formulate a comprehensive legislative

framework for Afghan men and

women unless there is a complete surety

from the new government for their

safety and employment. Indian women

should come forward to extend a helping

hand to Afghan women till they feel

that they can safely go back to

Afghanistan.

Tricky Situation for India

All major stakeholders like the USA,

Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, Qatar and

Turkey in Afghanistan are going to play

a major role in the governance of

Afghanistan. Before the formation of

the new government, the top leaders of

these countries have issued several

statements on the political, social and

economic circumstances in Afghanistan

but India remains in a silent mode. India

is likely to suffer due to wait and

watch policy. However, the Taliban

have welcomed India to continue its

development projects in Afghanistan yet

the Pakistan factor would remain there.

The media reports from Pakistan imply

that the majority of the Pakistan leaders

of the ruling party think that the capture

of political power by the Taliban is a

defeat of India. This mentality shows

that Pakistan is going to play a dangerous

game against India with the support

of the disgruntled elements of the

Taliban. Media reports reveal that the

Taliban have released many Taliban

hardcore terrorists recently. These terrorists

are in touch with the Inter-

Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan.

New Delhi is quite distrustful about the

role of ISI of Pakistan in Jammu &

Kashmir over the last few years. Indian

security agencies have alleged that

behind every bomb in Jammu &

Kashmir there is a hand of ISI of

Pakistan. A statement appeared in The

Tribune and other national dailies on

07.09.2021 in which Russian

Ambassador in New Delhi Nikolay

Kudashev said that any flare-up of the

D r. Rahul Kumar

Senior columnist and Researcher

civilian conflict would result in terrorism

spilling over across the region

including Jammu & Kashmir. Russia is

one of the major stakeholders in

Afghanistan. This statement shows that

the situation for India is tricky in the

coming years. Russia is a reliable, trusted

friend of India. India can depend

upon Russia as Russia extended a helping

hand to India during the 1965 war

between India and Pakistan. A capitalist

America under Joe Biden Presidency is

militarily engaged in more than 70

countries. Its economic resources are

drying up; its political dominance is

250 private schools in UP threaten to stop RTE admissions

Lucknow : Around 250 unaided private

schools in Uttar Pradesh have decided not to

admit students from the economically weaker

sections (EWS) until the state government

reimbursed the last three years’ fees payable

to private schools for admitting students

under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The

Unaided Private Schools Association

(UPSA) delegation met senior officials of the

basic education department with a request to

look into their demands, failing which they

will not be able to admit a single student

under RTE from the new academic session

2021-22.

UPSA president Anil Agarwal, said,

"Under section 12 (2) of the Right to

Education 2009 and a Supreme Court judgment,

a government has to pay a certain

amount to schools for admitting students

under RTE. "This amount is the actual

expense incurred per pupil in a year according

to his or her class. For the last three years

the government has not paid the private

schools for admitting students under RTE."

He also said the state government did not

come up with any formula on how the perstudent

expenditure of the students admitted

under RTE will be paid to the schools.

It was declared that Rs 450 will be given

per RTE admission by the government but

how this amount was calculated or what formula

was used was never communicated to

the schools.

Agarwal said that the expenditure of the

students in all classes cannot be the same, as

the salary paid to teachers of the senior class

is more than that of junior classes.

"According to rules, the government has

to calculate and notify the re-reimbursement

amount every year on September 30 but this

has not been done," he said.

weakening. Today European allies of

America feel that it is of no use in taking

up fight with the Muslim countries.

Post pandemic European nations are utilizing

their energy to boost up their

economies.

Over the last seven years, New Delhi

foreign policy makers have lost many

friends in the countries of South Asia,

Middle East. The conflict between India

and China has further pushed India to

the back foot at the international level.

China has strengthened its political

engagement with the countries in South

Asia. India contributed military aid to

Bhutan($403 million), Mauritius

($143), Nepal($112),

Afghanistan($56million before Taliban

took over in August 2021),

Maldives($42million), Myanmar

($42million), Bangladesh($200 million),

Sri Lanka($28 million)

Iran($14million), Seychelles ($19million).Despite

huge military aid to these

countries by India, China is ruling the

roost in these countries. India‘s Cheque

Diplomacy in countries like Sri Lanka,

Nepal did not yield the political results

that New Delhi was expecting. SAGAR

programme (Security and Growth for all

in the region) is lying in a cold storage.

The submissive attitude of India‘s

leaders including Dr. S Jai Shankar-

India‘s External Affairs Minister has

projected India as a weak country

before the international community.

Sitaram Yechury, leader of Communist

Party of India and former member of

Rajya Sabha said, Today India has

become a subordinate partner of the US

military and strategic affairs. Our isolation

in Afghanistan is testimony to this.

Our foreign policy is not integrated with

their policy. He further said, India is a

puppet of America . India under Prime

Minister Narendra Modi is living under

delusion that India is a big market hence

foreign investors would come and contribute

to the economy of India. Rather,

foreign investors have earned and taken

money out of India through black

money channels.

Dr. S Jai Shankar, Indian Minister for

External Affairs said, India favours an

inclusive government . This statement

before the formation of the new government

shows that Dr S Jai Shankar was

clueless about the movement of the

leaders of Taliban. India did not show

any perkiness to find out about the role

of Pakistan ISI in the formation of the

Afghan new government without having

diverse members of the opposition

parties. In the last few years, Dr S Jai

Shankar has been ineffective in carrying

out the diplomatic assignments.

Therefore, the Modi government must

replace Dr S Jai Shankar, EAM, with an

experienced, seasoned diplomat who

can think out of the box. This is the need

of the hour.

India is going to suffer if its intelligence

fails in Afghanistan. Sooner or

later the UN USA or other stakeholders

would recognize the new Afghan government

in Afghanistan, will India follow

suit? If yes, on what ground when

there is no inclusive government; when

there is no India‘s sympathizer like

Ashraf Ghani the former President of

Afghanistan. New Delhi has to speed up

its engagement with the new government

and win friends to sustain its

investment in Afghanistan. Iran being a

neighbouring country of Afghanistan is

very important for India.

India has to change its foreign policy

towards Iran and deal with Iran minus

the pressure from the USA administration.

The delay at this critical time will

cost India huge economic and political

losses.

Dr. Rahul Kumar, PhD, is an independent

researcher. He writes on international

affairs, foreign policy, and

diplomacy. The views expressed in this

article are his own and do not represent

the views of the paper.

China suspends group travel

to Covid risk areas

Beijing : Travel agencies

and online tourism companies

in China have been asked to

immediately suspend transprovincial

group tours, air

ticket and hotel reservation

services for high- and medium

Covid-19 risk areas,

according to the Ministry of

Culture and Tourism (MCT).

Such tours will resume after

the high- and medium-risk

areas in the affected

provinces are cleared, Xinhua

news agency quoted Hou

Zhengang, an official with the

MCT, as saying at a press conference on Thursday.

As the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday and the National Day

holiday are approaching, the MCT has asked localities to take

strict measures to guard against possible imported Covid-19

cases, Hou added. This year’s Mid-Autumn Festival holiday

lasts from September 19 to 21, while the National Day break

runs from October 1 to 7.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021

23

The beautification/renovation of

Jallianwala Bagh Memorial done by the

central government through a Gujaratbased

private company has come under

criticism. It was inaugurated by the

Prime Minister on 28th August. The

details of observations made and objections

raised by a range of people

scholars, common citizens, peoples

representatives - from India and abroad

have come in the press. Simultaneously

the details of the changes made to the

massacre site have also come in the

public domain. A great deal of anguish

has been expressed by the people stating

that in the guise of beatification a

historical site of sacrifice has been

turned into a picnic spot. Some people

have expressed their surprise about the

mind which can think of beautification

of a place like Jallianwala Bagh

Memorial.

Before addressing the issue, it would

be appropriate to re-iterate certain facts

about the massacre of Jallianwala Bagh

which took place on April 13, 1919 in

order to juxtapose the spirit of sacrifice

against the celebratory intent behind the

beautification venture. It was the day of

Baisakhi festival. Thousands of males,

females and children had come to

Amritsar from nearby villages and

towns. Many of them had camped in

Jallianwala Bagh’s open ground. There

was an atmosphere of tension in Punjab

due to the agitation organized to oppose

the infamous Rowlatt Act. The public

and police forces had clashed in

Amritsar for three days prior to the

Jallianwala Bagh incident. In the

protest against police suppression, on

April 10, 5 British people murdered and

mischief with Miss Sherwood was

reported. The Congress leaders Dr.

Satyapal and Saifuddin Kitchlew had

been arrested. A public meeting was

organized in Jallianwala Bagh in the

evening where resolutions were sought

to release the arrested leaders and withdraw

the Rowlatt Act. General

Reginald Edward Dyer (who was called

to Amritsar by the Lieutenant Governor

of Punjab, Michael Francis O’Dwyer)

directly ordered the soldiers to open firing

on the gathering without any

proclamation or warning. There were

15 to 20 thousand Indians present in the

meeting. Among them 500 to 1,000

people were killed and thousands were

Jallianwala Bagh : Erasing

the Spirit of Sacrifice

injured. After firing, General Dyer

refused to take the injured to the hospital

for treatment saying that this was not

his duty! Martial Law was not applicable

in Amritsar on April 13. The Martial

Law was imposed three days after the

massacre, in which the British government

heavily oppressed the public.

The eyewitnesses, historians, and

administrative officials have analyzed

the "role" played by General Dyer from

various perspectives and angles - starting

from Dyer’s racial hatred towards

Indians to his psychiatric disorder. The

British government constituted Hunter

Commission for investigation and the

Congress also set up its own probe

committee. The Army Commission was

also set up in England to investigate the

role of General Dyer. Dyer’s action of

direct firing was discussed in England’s

lower and upper houses also. Although

the majority in the Lower House rejected

Dyer’s action but the majority in the

Upper House was in favor of Dyer. The

Morning Post, a newspaper in England,

collected around 30,000 Pounds for

Dyer in recognition of his services to

the Empire. The British in England and

British officials in India mostly

acclaimed Dyer as the protector of the

’Raj’. Jawaharlal Nehru has written in

his autobiography that while returning

from Lahore to Delhi by train, he himself

heard General Dyer telling his military

companions that he did precisely

what he ought to do on April 13, 1919.

General Dyer was returning

in the same compartment

after giving testimony

before the Hunter

Commission. General Dyer, in his

every testimony and conversation, had

justified his action without any sign of

regret or remorse. There are indications

that he even said that if he had more

ammunition and soldiers, he would

have taken more strict action. It seems

that if Dyer had been able to carry the

two armored cars with built-in guns,

which could not be taken inside the

Jallianwala Bagh due to the narrow

road, the scale of the massacre would

have been enormous! Based on Hunter

Prem Singh

Nepal seeks to draw $10bn investments in 5 yrs

Kathmandu : The Investment Board

Nepal (IBN), a high-level government body

formed to facilitate large-scale investments,

has unveiled a strategic plan aiming to attract

projects worth $10 billion in the next five

years.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who

is the board’s chairperson, rolled out the

"Business Plan 2021-2025" on the occasion

of its 10th anniversary on Wednesday,

reports Xinhua news agency. "The IBN aims

at attracting projects worth $10 billion in the

next five years as per the plan," the IBN

statement.

Under the five-year business plan, efforts

would be made to create jobs for at least

100,000 people through the implementation

of investment proposals. Addressing the

anniversary ceremony, Deuba said his government

is committed to creating a conducive

environment for private sector investment

through necessary legal and policy

reforms.

He acknowledged, however, that attracting

large-scale investments in the aftermath

of the Covid-19 pandemic is challenging.

"The Covid-19 has led nations to lean

toward inward investments, so attracting

investments is likely to be more challenging,"

he said. According to Deuba, Nepal

faces an annual fiscal gap of $6 billion in its

effort to achieve sustainable development

goals by 2030. "The IBN has an important

role to play in mobilising private sector

investments, including FDI (foreign direct

investment), to fulfil this gap," he said.

On the occasion, Finance Minister

Janardan Sharma also said that domestic

resources are not adequate to take the country

toward strong economic growth. "We

want to bring foreign investments and

encourage domestic private sector too," he

said. "But we have to approve the investment

proposals in a timely manner so that the

investors could implement the projects at a

cost as low as possible."

According to Sharma, who is vice chairperson

of the IBN, the board has approved

investments worth 833 billion NPR ($7 billion)

for 27 projects over the past decade.

Commission’s report and other evidences,

General Dyer was removed

from his military post and barred from

further employment in India. Dyer, who

was born in India, returned to England

and died on 24 July 1927 from illness.

Revolutionary Udham Singh shot and

killed Michael O’Dwyer on March 13,

1940 at Caxton Hall in London, as he

had pledged just after the massacre.

Udham Singh did not run

away from the spot. He

was arrested and hanged

on July 31, 1940. Udham

Singh was raised in an orphanage. He

was an admirer of Bhagat Singh and a

proponent of Hindu-Muslim unity. It is

said that while living in the orphanage,

he had named himself Ram Mohammed

Singh Azad. After the Jallianwala Bagh

massacre, Rabindranath Tagore and

Gandhi returned their titles of

’Knighthood’ and ’Kesar-e-Hind’. After

this watershed incident, the Indian

Independence Movement entered a new

phase. After three decades of strong

struggle and sacrifices, the country

attained Independence.

Needless to say, that in order to preserve

the spirit of sacrifice made for

freedom, it is necessary to preserve the

monuments associated with it. For this,

along with imbibing the spirit of sacrifice,

latest technology and expertise are

needed for the conservation of historical

heritage. There is a difference

between conservation and beautification.

Although the work is intended to

preserve and enhance the spirit associated

with the monument for generations

to come. The beautification would

tamper the original character of historical/national

monuments and would

convert it into a picnic spot. This is

what has been done in Jallianwala Bagh

Memorial. India’s ruling elite - political

parties, governments and intelligentsia

- which has been in the service of neoimperialism

(via neo-liberalism) for the

past three decades always plans to

destroy the spirit of the struggle and

sacrifice made during the freedom

movement for the generations to come.

It is not without reason. The ruling elite

is engaged in selling the sovereignty

and resources/assets of the country

openly to the corporate houses/MNCs.

In order to keep its business going without

any opposition, the ruling elite is

destroying the spirit of freedom movement

that inspired Indians against colonial

subjugation so that the very basis

of opposition to neo-imperialism can be

destroyed.

It can be argued safely that most of

the political elite of the country is

indulged in this business of misrepresenting,

distorting and demeaning the

values of freedom movement and sacrifices

of known-unknown martyrs.

However, the RSS/BJP has its own

additional agenda in this campaign:

when the spirit of the struggle and sacrifice

of the freedom movement would

completely be destroyed, it will be

freed from the stigma of opposition to

the freedom movement; The obstacles

in the way of making India a ’Hindu-

Rashtra’ will also be removed.

Therefore, those who are opposing the

changes in the original character of

Jallianwala Bagh Memorial should also

understand and oppose its root cause -

the neo-imperialist grip on India.

The author taught Hindi at Delhi

University

Japan’s ex-Communications Minister

announces LDP leadership bid

Tokyo : Japan’s former Communications Minister Seiko Noda

has announced her decision enter the presidential election of the

ruling Liberal Democratic Party

(LDP) to be held on September

29, becoming the fourth candidate

to join the race.

In a statement on Thursday,

Noda said she has secured the

necessary 20 nominations from

lawmakers to enter the contest,

though not belonging to any

LDP factions, reports Xinhua

news agency. One of Noda’s

policy priorities is to strengthen

support for parents and solve

the problem of Japan’s low birth

rate.

Born in Fukuoka prefecture,

Noda had worked at the highend

Imperial Hotel in Tokyo

before entering the House of Representatives in 1993 from an

electoral district in Gifu. Besides Noda, the other candidates in the

fray are former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, former

Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi and Vaccine Minister

Taro Kono. Noda, aged 61, as well as Takaichi are both seeking to

come into power as Japan’s first woman Prime Minister, a position

the new LDP leader will take as the party controls the lower house

of parliament.


24 16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Aus-NZ QUARANTINE-FREE

travel to remain suspended

Wellington : The suspension of quarantine-free

travel (QFT) between New

Zealand and Australia has been extended

for another eight weeks, given the current

Covid-19 outbreaks fuelled by the Delta

variant, a Minister said here on Friday.

Taliban govt bans women from playing any sport

Kabul : With the announcement of

the newly elected cabinet of the Islamic

Emirates of Afghanistan (IEA) in the

non-time bound interim government

setup under the Taliban, statements and

orders have started to come out from

various ministries, which are putting the

issue of acceptance and legitimacy of

the group's rule in the country, under

serious scrutiny.

One of the decisions taken by the

IEA's cultural commission, womens

have been barred from playing cricket

or any other sport, in which their bodies

could be seen. "It wasn't necessary for

women to play cricket because they

might face a situation where their face

and body will not be covered. Islam

does not allow women to be seen like

this", said Ahmadullah Wasiq, deputy

head of Taliban's cultural commission,

during an interview with SBS News.

The decision has raised many questions

over the future of Afghanistan in

Beijing : The mausoleum

of Qinshihuang,

known for the famous

Terracotta Army in

China's Shaanxi province,

reopened on Friday after

the Covid-19 resurgence

suspended operations for

over a month. To visit

Emperor Qinshihuang's

Mausoleum Site Museum,

tourists need to make a reservation

online as the museum is

operating at 30 per cent capacity

at this time, Xinhua news

agency quoted the authorities

as sayinh.

The museum will not accept

tour groups, and tourists from

"When the QFT was established with

Australia, both our countries had very few

recent cases of Covid-19 community transmission,

and a very similar elimination

strategy. This has changed significantly

leading to our decision to suspend QFT for

international cricket and other sports.

The ban has already started to get

strong reactions as Cricket Australia has

said that it would cancel the upcoming

Test match against Afghanistan, scheduled

for November this year, if women

are not allowed to play the sport under

the Taliban regime.

"If recent media reports that women's

cricket will not be supported in

Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket

Australia would have no other alternative

but to not host Afghanistan for the

proposed Test Match due to be played in

Hobart," said Australian Sports minister

Richard Colbeck. "Individual

Afghanistan athletes would continue to

be welcome in Australia but not under

the Taliban flag if females cannot compete."

The International Cricket Council

(ICC) has also stated that the issue of

Afghanistan's new status will come

under discussion at their next board

meeting.

Mausoleum in China housing

Terracotta Army reopens

medium- and high-risk areas

are also not permitted. Museum

operation was suspended in late

July after sporadic locally

transmitted Covid-19 cases

were reported in several

provinces of China.

Discovered in 1974, the

a further eight weeks," Xinhua news

agency quoted New Zealand Covid-19

Response Minister Chris Hipkins as saying.

Uncontrolled community transmission

is still occurring in Australia, with case

numbers continuing to steadily increase in

Australia's New South Wales, Victoria, and

the Australian Capital Territory.

A small number of cases also continued

to appear intermittently in other states and

territories, he said, adding New Zealand is

also "getting on top of" an outbreak in

Auckland, the country's largest city.

Protecting New Zealand from any possible

further spread of the Delta variant is an

"absolute priority", the Minister said.

He added that resuming quarantine-free

travel with Australia at this point could put

those gains at risk. Hipkins said people

coming from Australia should book rooms

in New Zealand's managed isolation and

quarantine facilities in advance, which will

be released again on September 20. The

QFT from Australia to New Zealand was

suspended on July 23, and it was originally

due to end on September 24.

The ICC said that it is closely monitoring

the situation in Afghanistan and

expressed concerned about reports of

women being barred from playing

cricket.

"This and the impact it will have on

the continued development of the game

will be discussed by the ICC Board and

its next meeting," said a Council

spokesperson. On the other hand, the

Afghanistan Cricket Board expected

such a stance by the Taliban led government

and admitted that women game

was in perils. Afghanistan's men's cricket

team is a full member of the ICC and

is due to play in the T20 World Cup.

However, with the ban on female

cricket and sports in the country, cricket

authorities are now looking towards the

implications of the ICC recognition to

Afghanistan, a country that happens to

be the only nation to be given full membership

status to the ICC without having

an operational women's team in place.

Terracotta Army was built

by Emperor Qinshihuang

of the Qin Dynasty (221

B.C.-207 B.C.), who unified

China for the first

time. The figures vary in

height according to their

roles, the tallest being the

generals.

Estimates from 2007

were that the three pits

containing the Terracotta Army

held more than 8,000 soldiers,

130 chariots with 520 horses,

and 150 cavalry horses.

Other museums of the

province, including the Shaanxi

History Museum, have also

reopened to the public recently.

Washington : Some five

million peoples in parts of the

southern US are under flash

flood watches as Post-Tropical

Cyclone Nicholas lingers over

the central Gulf Coast, local

media reported.

Nicholas, which made landfall

in Texas as a

Category 1 hurricane on

Tuesday morning,

soaked parts of

Louisiana, Mississippi,

Alabama and the Florida

Panhandle as it weakened

to a tropical depression,

Xinhua news

agency quoted a CNN

report as saying on

Imran Khan cuts off Pakistani

poet critical of his policies

New Delhi/Dushanbe :

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran

Khan interrupted a poet who was

criticising his policies after he

addressed the Pakistan-Tajikistan

Business Forum in the Tajik capital

Dushanbe to attract foreign

investment.

During a Q&A session on

Thursday, a man started reciting

poetry critical of the Prime

Minister, Geo TV reported.

"I have a verse for you, (which

goes like) 'itne zaalim na bano'

(don't be so unjust). Imran bhai,

this is for you," said the Pakistani

man in the audience, when handed the microphone.

"You have become a prisoner now. You used to be great when

you were (protesting) on the container. Right now, we aren't sure

what you've gotten yourself involved in," said the man, the report

said. The man went on to recite part of the verse, "Zaalim na

banoon, kuch toh murawwat..." before he was cut off.

At first, the state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) cut off his

poem and then Khan also interrupted him.

"Please speak about matters related to business. We can make

time for poetry later as well," the Prime Minister added.

Khan is currently in Tajikistan to attend the Shanghai

Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State 2021

and is accompanied by a high-level delegation including the representatives

of 67 companies from multiple sectors including

textile, mineral, pharmaceutical, logistics and others.

Some 5mn people in US

under flash flood watch

Thursday. Nicholas became a

post-tropical cyclone Thursday

morning, the National Weather

Service (NWS) Weather

Prediction Center said.

An additional 2 to 4 inches

of rain may fall in the region

through Friday, with some

areas at risk of seeing 12 inches,

the Weather Prediction

Center said. Flash flood watches

are in effect when weather

conditions are conducive to

flash flooding, but it doesn't

necessarily mean that flash

flooding will occur, according

to NWS. Nicholas, the

Atlantic hurricane season's

14th named storm,

formed in the Gulf of

Mexico earlier on Sunday.

A 14th named storm in

the Atlantic basin, the

total number of storms in

an average season, typically

does not form until

November 18.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021

25

Ford India owes Rs 602 cr as deferred sales tax liability

Chennai : The US automobile

major Ford Motor Company that had

announced the closure of manufacturing

facilities in Tamil Nadu and in

Gujarat owes about Rs 602.3 crore as

deferred sales tax liability, as per a

research report.

Ford Motor Company’s Indian

manufacturing operation is carried out

by its subsidiary Ford India Private

Ltd with two manufacturing plants --

one at Chennai and Sanand in Gujarat.

The Rs 13,520 crore revenueFord

India set up its first plant near Chennai

with Tamil Nadu offering tax incentives

like sales tax waiver/ deferral.

Similarly, the Gujarat government

too offered tax incentives to Ford

India when it decided to set up a plant

in Sanand.

A day before the Ganesh Chaturthi

festival -- September 9 -- Ford India

announced that it will wind down

vehicle assembly in Sanand by the

fourth quarter of 2021, and vehicle

and engine manufacturing in Chennai

by the second quarter of 2022.

Ford India has four plants in the

country -- vehicle and engine plants in

Chennai and Sanand.

Ford India has decided to continue

operating the engine plant in Sanand

while closing down

the other three.

In its report, credit

rating agency India

Ratings and Research

last month said Ford

India’s unguaranteed

external debt was

largely in the form of

a deferred sales tax

liability of Rs.602.3

crore.

Queried on payment

of the dues to

the governments and

the timeline following the decision to

close down the plants the company

told IANS: "We continue to work

closely with the relevant governmental

agencies in relation to the restructuring

and are thankful to

Governments in Tamil Nadu and

Gujarat, as well as the Centre, for their

support and understanding."

According to India Ratings, Ford

India has strong legal linkages with its

ultimate parent, Ford Motor Company

that has extended corporate guarantees

to 85 per cent of the former’s sanctioned

working capital facilities at the

end of FY21.

The credit rating agency said it

expects a major portion of Ford India’s

future external debt will continue to be

backed by a guarantee from Ford

Motor Company.

Announcing its decision to shut

down Indian plants, Ford Motor

Company said it currently expects to

record pre-tax special item charges of

about $2.0 billion, including about

$0.6 billion in 2021, about $1.2 billion

in 2022 and the balance in subsequent

years.

"Within that total will be about $0.3

billion of non-cash charges, including

accelerated depreciation and amortization.

The remaining cash charges of

about $1.7 billion will be paid primarily

in 2022 and are attributable to settlements

and other payments," the

company said.

According to India Ratings, Ford

group companies accounted for over

49 per cent of the sales volumes of

Ford India, which exports to various

countries on a cost-plus basis, during

FY21 (FY20: 66 per cent).

"Furthermore, FIPL (Ford India) is

the sole manufacturer of the Ecosport

model sold in the US; and the Aspire

and Figo models sold in Mexico and

South Africa," the credit rating agency

said. "However, in FY21, FIPL’s total

sales volume constituted only 4.6 per

cent of FMC’s (Ford Motor Company)

total global volumes during the year.

Moreover, FIPL is also one of the two

manufacturers of powertrains for the

top selling Rangers model sold in the

Asia Pacific region (excluding China),

Middle East and Africa," India Ratings

said. The credit rating agency said

Ford Motor Company has infused

equity of Rs 8,748 crore in Ford India

since its inception.

Further Ford Motor Company has

been supporting its Indian subsidiary

through intercompany loans, which

stood at Rs 4,396 crore in FY21 constituting

79 per cent of Ford India’s

total debt. India Ratings said 94 per

cent of Ford India’s total capital

employed (before accumulated losses)

has been infused by Ford Motor

Company in the form of equity or

inter-company loans or supported

through guaranteed debt.

According to the rating agency,

Ford India’s credit metrics like interest

coverage deteriorated in FY21 due to

weakened operational performance.

Ford India’s net debt increased marginally

to about Rs 5,163 crore in

FY21 from about Rs 5,003 crore in

FY20. On the other hand the interest

expenses fell to about Rs 459 crore in

FY21 from Rs 483 crore in FY20.

The company declined to answer,

when queried by IANS about Ford

India’s total borrowings, its lenders

and the timeline to settle the dues.

As regards the liquidity India

Ratings said the company had strong

cash and equivalents balance of

around Rs.379.7 crore at end of FY21.

On the reported interest shown by

MG Motor in its two facilities Ford

India told IANS: "We continue to

explore alternatives for our manufacturing

facilities and have nothing to

comment on the ongoing speculations."

Gritty K’taka woman on her

mission to get road to her village

Davanagere (Karnataka) : Bindu R.D. (26), who shot to fame

after she got the system moving

by writing a letter to the

Chief Minister’s Office saying

she will not marry until her

villahge, H Rampura in

Davanagere district, gets roads

and buses, told IANS on

Friday that the letter was not

about her marriage, but it was

all about getting the necessities for her village.

"The letter was not about my marriage, which can happen at a

later point in time. I wanted to highlight the pathetic condition of

the road in our village, which was hampering the movement of

people besides affecting the education of girls. Now that the government

is building the road, girls who would have earlier dropped

out from schools after Class 5 now stand a better chance of getting

educated," Bindu told IANS. Bindu had mailed a letter to Chief

Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s office on September 9. Highlighting

the pathetic condition of the road in her village, she had pledged

that she wouldn’t marry until a new road is built in her village.

Stating that for more than 70 years the road has not been laid,

she had said in the letter that it is impossible to commute on bikes

or in any other vehicle. The condition is such that only bullock

carts could move on the muddy road, she had said.

"My parents had sent me to a hostel as they felt that it is not safe

to come back to the village after 4 pm by foot. There is fear of wild

animals attacking us and other safety issues. My parents could

afford it. I thought of those daughters of labourers and poor people

who cannot think of sending their children out of the village. I

surfed on the net and got the email address of the Chief Minister

and shot a mail," Bindu said.

After her letter, Davanagere District Commissioner Mahantesh

Bilagi has visited the village and spoke to the villagers. The Zilla

Panchayat officials too came down, and started the work to build

the road from Thursday. However, Bindu, a teacher at a private

school in Koodalasangama town, was not present at that time.

"The villagers are calling me and thanking me. They are sending

me pictures of the road being built. I am extremely happy. The

government bus will also come to the village from Saturday

onwards. Now I can see many of my friends going to schools to

study after 5th standard," she explained.

When asked what motivated her to write the letter, Bindu said

that her constitutional right empowered her to do so.

"As we have voted, we have every right to ask for development.

What is the use of being educated if we do not ask questions? I

appeal to everyone who put up with difficulties for years to start

questioning for development," she said.

Bindu had also taken special classes for children during the

Covid lockdown, besides campaigning to increase the attendance

of students when schools were on the verge of closure.


26 16-09-2021 to 30-09-2021 WORLD

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

TN Police forms 8 teams to curtail violence in Tirunelveli district

Chennai : The Tamil Nadu Police

have constituted eight special teams to

maintain peace in Tirunelveli district,

which reported five murders, including

two caste killings this week so far, the

police said.

Tirunelveli Superintendent of Police,

Manivannan told IANS, "Police have

constituted eight special teams to bring

in peace and social harmony among the

people after some killings took place."

Sankara Subramanian (37), a caste

Hindu was beheaded allegedly by a

gang from the SC community in retaliation

to a murder that was committed on

an SC member, Manthiram in 2013. The

deceased's head, according to the police,

was placed on the grave of Manthiram.

The killing of Sankara Subramanian and

the removal of his head and placing it

on the grave of Manthiram on Monday

TRUDEAU in tight race

after timing of Canada

elections draws scrutiny

New Delhi : Canada Prime

Minister Justin Trudeau is now

in a tight race against

Conservative Leader Erin

OToole in the final stretch of a

36-day campaign that ends

Monday.

If Canadians elect a minority

government next week, Liberal

or Conservative, Justin Trudeau

loses, the Politico reported. The

Liberal Prime Minister gambled

on an election he did not

have to call. If the

Conservatives win, he'll suffer

the worst kind of bad beat. And

if the Liberals scrape by, he'll

still take heat for Canadians

calling his bluff, the report said.

Trudeau's proposition that

the election needed to happen

now, two years early and in the

midst of an ongoing pandemic,

has drawn repeated scrutiny.

His critics have blasted the

campaign as an exercise to feed

the prime minister's ego rather

than an act of good governance,

the report said.

E'ric Grenier, author of The

Writ, said Trudeau's favourable

Gandhinagar : The Gujarat

Election Watch and the Association

for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on

Friday published a report on the members

of the newly-formed Gujarat

Cabinet.

The report came a day after newlyappointed

Gujarat Chief Minister

Bhupendra Patel allocated portfolios

to 24 newly-inducted ministers.

As per the report, seven ministers

(28 per cent) face criminal cases, of

which three have serious criminal

charges levelled against them.

After the swearing-in ceremony of

the new Gujarat Cabinet on Thursday,

the Gujarat Election Watch and the

ADR analysed the affidavits of all the

25 ministers, including the CM, and

published the report, which showed

night sent shock waves across the area.

In retaliation on Wednesday morning a

group of alleged caste Hindu community

members beheaded an SC man,

Mariappan (35), and placed his head at

the place where Sankara Subramanian

was murdered. Mariappan according to

the police was accused in a caste killing

case of 2014.

Police arrested six people, including

Manthiram's son, Maharaja (20) of

Kothankulam in the case related to the

murder of Sankara Subramanian. Eight

people were arrested in the murder of

Mariappan. Senthil Raj, a local government

employee told IANS, "The retaliation

happened even as there was heavy

police deployment. After a lull, killings

on caste lines are back in Tirunelveli

and police have to crush this and the

government must take a strong stand

trend lines started to turn as

soon as the election was called

in mid-August, the same day

Afghanistan's capital Kabul

fell.

People's voting intentions

are unlikely to move solely

because they're upset about the

timing of the election, Grenier

said. However, the perception

that calling the election is in

Trudeau's self-interest could

influence how people vote, he

said. "I think that it raised the

question of why are we doing

this," he said.

and should put all those involved behind

the bars and not allow any of them to

take the law into their hands. This is not

a banana republic and an elected government

is in place." Three other murders

also took place in the district with

Abdul Khader (45) murdered in retaliation

to the killing of a Sathankulambased

moneylender. Pondurai (71) was

hacked to death by his son-in-law

Krishnan. Thanganpandi (32) was killed

by his neighbours taking the toll of the

number of deaths in the district to five

since Monday. At several places in the

state, caste is a major factor and in certain

pockets, huge walls have been

erected to separate upper caste Hindu

colonies with the Dalit colonies. In certain

areas of Tamil Nadu, Dalits were

not even provided with tea in hotels frequented

by upper caste Hindus.

This was supposed to be an

election about policy, a referendum

on the future of Canada,

the prime minister said. But to

many observers it seems more

about Trudeau's ego and cynical

vote-buying, Politico

reported. It's possible Trudeau

could end up back where he

started with a minority government.

The results would again

challenge the need for the

C$600 million election and

raise questions about his leadership

and future prospects, the

report said.

7 Guj ministers face criminal cases; 19 are crorepatis

that 19 of the new ministers as

crorepatis (millionaires).

According to the report, the average

assets of the 25 ministers are estimated

to be Rs 3.95 crore.

The minister with the highest

Covid booster dose not central theme

at the moment: ICMR chief

New Delhi : The Director

General of Indian Council of

Medical Research (ICMR),

Balram Bhargava, said on

Thursday that a booster dose for

Covid-19 is not the central

theme of scientific and public

health discussions at the

moment. At a media briefing on

the Covid situation in the country,

Bhargava said that administering

both doses of the vaccine

is the major proirity now.

Talking about the ongoing

vaccination drive in the country,

Union Health Secretary Rajesh

Bhushan said that 20 per cent of

India's adult population have

received both the doses of the

vaccine, while 62 per cent have

received at least one dose of the

vaccine. Bhushan said that 34

districts in the country are still

reporting a weekly positivity rate

of over 10 per cent, while 32 districts

are reporting between 5-10

per cent weekly positive rate.

The Health Secretary said that

Kerala and Mizoram continue to

be the major concern areas with

the southern state reporting

67.79 per cent of India's total

Covid cases last week.

Kerala is the only state which

has over 1 lakh active cases at

present, while five states have

over 10,000 active cases, including

Mizoram (13,000), Andhra

Pradesh (14,000), Karnataka

(15,700), Tamil Nadu (16,000)

and Maharashtra (53,000).

According to Bhushan, India

presently has 3,42,000 active

cases.

Bihar DM lodges criminal complaint against wife, mother in law

Patna : The District Magistrate in Sheohar

district in north Bihar on Friday filed a criminal

complaint against his wife and mother-in-law.

Sajjan Rajshekhar, the DM of

Sheohar, has levelled seven serious

charges, including extortion and

defamation, against his wife Sitara

GSS and mother-in-law Bharti

Venkateshan.

The FIR has been registered at the

city police station of the district. Rajshekhar has

also filed a divorce petition at the district family

court. Earlier in June, Sitara had filed a criminal

case against Rajshekhar at the city police station

in Muzaffarpur, levelling serious charges of

domestic violence and dowry against the DM.

Rajshekher has alleged that his wife and

mother-in-law are putting mental pressure on

him, besides extorting money from

him. He also termed the allegation of

domestic violence and dowry levelled

against him as completely baseless.

Meanwhile, Sitara has said that she is

not prepared for divorce.

"We got married on September 4,

2017 in Chennai and have a daughter named

Heera and a son named Daivik. The daughter is

staying with him (Rajshekhar) while my son is

staying with me. He did not give any money for

the maintenance of my son and me," she said.

declared assets is Hrishikesh

Ganeshbhai Patel from the Visnagar

constituency with assets worth Rs

14.95 crore. He is followed by Jagdish

Panchal Nikol from the Ahmedabad

constituency with Rs 14.75 crore

assets, while Kuber Dindor from the

Santrampur constituency has asstes

worth Rs 10.94 crore. Unlike the first

two who studied till Class 12, Dindor

has a doctorate degree.

The minister with the lowest

declared assets is Chauhan Arjunsinh

Udesinh from the Mehmedabad constituency

with assets worth Rs 12.57

lakh.

On the education front, there is a

mixed bag of ministers in the new

Cabinet. A total of 13 (52 per cent)

ministers have declared their educational

qualification to be between

Class 8 and Class 12, while 11 (44 per

cent) are graduates or have higher

degrees. One minister has declared his

education qualification as 'just' literate'.

The BJP top brass has expressed

faith in the junior MLAs led by

Bhupendra Patel, with more than half

under 51 years of age. A total of 13 (52

per cent) ministers have declared their

age to be between 31 and 50 years,

while the remaining 12 (48 per cent)

have declared their age to be between

51 and 70 years.

As many as 18 ministers in the

Cabinet have declared liabilities out of

which the minister with the highest

liabilities is Jagdish Panchal at Rs 3.13

crore.

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