VOL. 3 | NO. 325 | SUNDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2020 | DELHI | PAGES 8 | `5.00 www.thehansindia.com Forecast: Sunny. Temp: Max.36°C. Min.30°C. Humidity: 22% Sunrise: 06:08 Sunset: 06:19 H Simultaneously published from Hyderabad | Warangal | Tirupati | Amaravati | Visakhapatnam | Khammam | Kurnool | Delhi: RNI No: DELENG/2017/74095 H H Follow @ WINDOWS Decommissioned aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, INS Viraat, during its last journey from Naval Dockyard to Alang in Gujarat, where it will be dismantled, in Mumbai on Saturday Divestment of Air India may be put off New Delhi: Air India is not ﬁnding any takers and the privatisation may be put oﬀ by three years, delivering a blow to the eﬀorts to divest the national carrier. It seems that due to the turbulence caused in the aviation sector by the Covid 19 pandemic, airlines are already struggling and in that scenario, there are no buyers for Air India. Tatas were supposedly frontrunners for the divestiture, but for some reason have backed out of the race for the moment after completing the due diligence process. The question is therefore whether the books revealed a bigger ﬁnancial mess than what was anticipated. `1,350-cr package to bolster biz, jobs in Kashmir Srinagar/New Delhi: Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday approved a record Rs 1,350 package to spur growth in businesses and jobs in Jammu and Kashmir hit by terrorism and the coronavirus pandemic. The economic package will primarily act as a lifeline to distressed entities, self-employed individuals in tourism and transport sectors and will also oﬀset economic slowdown triggered by the contagious pandemic and delicate security scenarios since the last 15-20 years, the LG oﬃce said in a statement. /thehansindia | PAK-INSPIRED AL QAEDA TERROR MODULE BUSTED NIA nabs 9 from Kerala, Bengal for plot to attack vital installations New Delhi/ Kolkata/ Kochi: Foiling an attempt by Pakistan’s terror outfit al Qaeda to set up a base in India, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday swooped on its cadres in West Bengal and Kerala and arrested nine of them. An NIA spokesperson said the agency carried out simultaneous raids at several locations in Kerala's Ernakulam and West Bengal's Murshidabad after learning about a Pakistan-sponsored inter-state module of al Qaeda operatives at various locations in India. The agency said the terror module has been operational for some time and was planning to carry out terror attacks at vital installations in Alleged al Qaeda terrorists arrested by the National Investigation Agency in Kerala and West Bengal on Saturday India and kill innocent people. Three terrorists were held from Kerala's Ernakulam district, while others were arrested in Lower excise duty on diesel, petrol: CTI Pak risks Basmati export as India applies GI tag in EU Islamabad: Pakistan is facing another potential threat of a major damage to its exports as India has applied for an exclusive GI tag to Basmati rice in the European Union. Pakistan on the other hand, is still yet to implement the GI law promulgated in March. Despite the fact that Pakistan produces a wide range of Basmati rice in the country and beneﬁts from its export to the EU and other parts of the globe, New Delhi has said that it is an Indian-origin product in its application, published on EU's oﬃcial journal on September 11. /thehansindiaweb | /thehansindia | /thehansindia | /thehansindia H New Delhi: The Chamber of Trade and Industry (CTI) has written a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asking her to reduce excise duty on petrol and diesel. A copy of the letter has also been sent to Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. "Whole country is suffering from ﬁnancial crisis due to Corona. We request you to reduce excise duty on petrol and diesel so that the public can get some relief from the high prices of petrol and diesel," the letter signed by CTI Chairman Brijesh Goyal says. As of September 19, the price of petrol in Delhi stands at Rs 81.14 per litre while the same for diesel is Rs 71.82 per litre. In Mumbai, a litre of petrol is priced at Rs 87.82 while the same for diesel is Rs 78.27. Residents of Chennai are paying Rs 84.21 per litre for petrol and Rs 77.21 per litre for diesel. Similarly, a litre of petrol is priced at Rs 82.67 in Kolkata while the same for diesel is Rs 71.82 per litre. The letter goes on to add, "Everyone's ﬁnancial situation has gone awry during the caved era. In such a situation, the government should take initiative in this direction. Now people are avoiding traveling in public vehicles & they are moving with their vehicles. This has affected their pocket. Factories and farmers also use petrol and diesel, which have an impact on the economy. We Hope that you will consider our demand." West Bengal's Murshidabad. No Keralites were arrested so far. All the terrorists arrested on Saturday Murshid Hasan, Iyakub Pakistan uses drone to drop weapons in J&K Jammu: Pakistan dropped weapons and some cash in Indian currency using a drone in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh on Saturday said, announcing the arrest of three LeT terrorists who had picked up the consignment near the Line of Control. Singh said the major success was achieved on Friday evening, following a well-coordinated joint operation by police and 38 Rashtriya Rifles in Rajouri sector of Jammu region, frustrating Pakistan's design to step up violence and disturb the prevailing peace in the Union Territory. Continued on Page 4 Biswas, Mosaraf Hossen, Najmus Sakib, Abu Sufiyan, Mainul Mondal, Leu Yean Ahmed, Al Mamun Kamal and Atitur Rehman - will be taken to courts in Kerala and Bengal to seek their police custody. Murshid Hasan, Iyakub Biswas and Mosaraf Hossen – all working as guest workers – were arrested from Ernakulam district. Hasan was taken into custody from Pathalam, Biswas from Perumbavoor and Hossen from Aluva. Hasan is the leader of the gang and those arrested from Kerala are also originally residents of West Bengal, the NIA spokesperson said. A closely-monitored operation of the NIA and other central agencies began on September 11 when the premier investigating agency registered a case to probe the al Qaeda module. Continued on Page 4 Hyderabadi among six indicted in Amazon case Washington: Six people, including an Indian national and an Indian-American, were indicted by a US grand jury on Friday with conspiring to pay over $100,000 in commercial bribes to employees and contractors of Amazon for unfair competitive advantage on its merchant platform.According to the indictment, all the six accused used bribery and fraud since 2017 to beneﬁt merchant accounts on Amazon Marketplace, a platform where third-party merchants sell goods, resulting in more than $100 million of competitive beneﬁts to those accounts, harm to competitors and harm to consumers, the US Justice De- COVID THREAT LOOMS OVER PARLIAMENT Monsoon Session likely to be curtailed by week New Delhi: The ongoing monsoon session of Parliament is likely to be curtailed as several parties on Saturday reached a consensus on wrapping up the session by next Wednesday. However, the government is intent on passing the rest of the legislations scheduled for this session. “There is a consensus on curtailing the Parliament session. We left it to the discretion of the Speaker while adjusting business of the House,” a participant of Parliament’s Business Advisory Committee meeting said. Parliamentarians in the Rajya Sabha during the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament The Speaker will announce the last working day of the House later. The session started on September 14 and was sup- posed to end on October 1. So far, around 30 MPs, including Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Prahlad Patel, have tested positive New Delhi: With ‘Hara Hai Toh Bhara Hai’ as the slogan, the Green India Challenge, tags people on social media to plant a sapling and challenging three others to do the same to continue the chain. Green India Challenge initiated by Rajya Sabha TRS MP J Santosh Kumar has reached crores of mark in planting trees across the country. Renowned personalities from all sectors have joined the drive as an ini- tiative towards making India more green and pollution free. Like 'Saaho' costars Prabhas and Shraddha Kapoor, Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari, Union Minister of State Agricultural Parshottam Rupala, Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and many others. In a candid interview to The Hans India, Santosh Kumar said, a few years ago there was charity drive trending on social media named as 'ice bucket' and rice bucket challenges. While discussing with friends on for Covid-19 after the session began amid strict protocols. After Prahlad Patel, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Nitin Gadkari tested positive, the Covid-19 testing protocol in Parliament was tweaked. Repeat RT-PCR tests for MPs, mandatory tests for government officials visiting parliament, and daily antigen tests for reporters and Parliament officials were introduced as it was found that none of the three MPs tested positive when they took the test earlier — during the weekend. Continued on Page 4 ‘Centre should admit country is at community spread stage’ Delhi Health Minister takes dig at govt over Covid New Delhi: Taking a dig at the Centre on the rising Covid-19 cases in the country, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the Union government should have admitted that the country is at ‘community spread’ stage. “When cases are increasing on such a large scale in Delhi and other parts of the country, we should have accepted that there's community spread. I think we are stuck in technical terms here… but only ICMR (country's top medical research body) or the Central government can comment on this,” Satyendar Jain said. India recorded 93,337 new infections in the last 24 hours, and has been posting the highest single-day caseload in the world since early August. It is the second-most badly hit country after the United States with total recorded coronavirus cases at 5.3 million. When asked if there is a community spread in Delhi, the Delhi minister said, "It doesn't matter what I think. I can, for sure, say there's spread within the community. Community spread is a technical term... scientists are better equipped to tell this." Satyendar Jain also said there has been a downward trend in positivity rate and it will lead to good results by next week. "The positivity rate was 6.76 per cent on Friday. It has remained below 7 percent in the last two-three days. Last week, it was around 8 per cent," he said. All happy with Santosh’s tree challenge PURNA SINGH partment said. The illegal arrangement with consultants based in New York, California and Georgia who advise sellers on the online marketplace started as early as 2017, and allowed them to reap $100 million worth of competitive beneﬁts, according to an indictment announced on Friday.The Indian employee charged was identiﬁed as Nishad Kunju, 31, of Hyderabad. Others indicted are Ephraim Rosenberg, 45, of Brooklyn, New York; Joseph Nilsen, 31, and Kristen Leccese, 32, of New York City; Hadis Nuhanovic, 30, of Acworth, Georgia; and Rohit Kadimisetty, 27, of Northridge, California. Continued on Page 4 'Hara Hai Toh Bhara Hai' makes green cover grow by tagging celebrities across India taking up some activity that could do good for society and environment, we came across the idea to start green challenge. Explaining how the Green India Challenge was initiated, Santosh Kumar said he had planted one about two years back and challenged three. From then to now it has crossed huge numbers. Thousands of people, including movie stars, politicians and business persons were joining the movement and tagging us on our micro blogging sites. Replying to a question, Santosh Kumar said, "his inspiration is Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who took up 'Haritha Haram' programme about six years back and around 185 crore plants have been planted so far. This has helped in increasing the green cover from 24% to 30%. What I want from people is to create awareness among them about the importance of plants. A lot of celebrities joined this campaign across the country like Sachin Tendulkar, actor Prabhas, Bollywood star Shraddha Kapoor and politicians across country are now motivating their fans and followers. Not only that, but there are a lots of schools and colleges who are now the part of the challenge." Continued on Page 4 Delhi journo held for passing border strategy info to China New Delhi: The Delhi Police on Saturday said arrested freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma was passing sensitive information about India’s border strategy and Army deployment to Chinese intelligence. At a press conference, Special Cell DCP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav said Sharma was writing on defence-related issues for some Indian media organisations, as well as China’s Global Times. He was contacted by Chinese Intelligence agents in 2016. Sharma was also in contact with some Chinese intelligence officer, the police officer said, adding the freelance journalist got Rs 40 lakh in one-anda-half years and he was getting USD 1,000 for each information. Continued on Page 4
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