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39 Indians kidnapped in Iraq are alive,Efforts on to trace Judith, says Sushma

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Judith D'Souza-wefornews
The 39 Indians, kidnapped by the dreaded Islamic State (IS) in Iraq in June 2014, are still alive, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said, dismissing reports about their killing and insisting that efforts to trace them are on.While simultaneously claiming that Modi government was making efforts to trace Judith D’Souza, who has been abducted in Afghanistan,
In her annual press conference, Swaraj said the government was was trying its best to ensure safe release of Judith D’Souza, an aid worker and resident of Kolkata, who was abducted by suspected militants in Kabul on June 9.
“In the last two years, I have not abandoned even a single Indian national, whether he is alone or in group or in captive,” Sushma Swaraj said in her annual press conference here.

“It is my duty to save every indian whether he is stranded or captive be it Prem Kumar (a Jesuit priest who was released from Afghanistan last year), Judith or 39 Indians who are in captive. My duty is to bring them all to India,” she added.

Judith, 40, working with NGO Aga Khan Development Network was kidnapped earlier this month while she was returning home after a dinner at a friend’s place in the Qala-e-Fatullah area of Kabul.

Hailing from Kolkata, she had had been working with the NGO in Kabul as a senior technical adviser since July 2015.

Answering a query on 39 Indians missing from Iraq for the past two years, Sushma Swaraj said she had no confirmation that they had been killed.

“In fact we have been informed that they are alive, apart from the statement by Harjeet Masih (who claimed to be the only hostage to have survived after being abducted along with 40 others).

“Even the relatives have rejected the statement of Harjeet Masih. One of the relatives stated that he spoke to his brother on June 21 (2014). According to Harjeet Masih all were killed on June 15 then how can one speak on June 21?” she asked.

Sushma Swaraj further said: “I dont give false hopes. If I had the confirmation that they were killed, then I would have definitely apologised to the families and would have told them that they were killed.

“When I am saying that they are alive, then I have a huge responsibility to find them. I have been searching them for the past two years. We got information about they being alive from two heads of state. It is my duty to search them and I’ll do so. It will be unjust if I say that they have been killed.”

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Pranab stresses on education, skills and employability

Such a situation is “unacceptable” and the youth must a celook inward” if they are keen to end this.

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Kolkata, Feb 24 : With India set to become home to the world’s largest working population by 2022 and a global supplier of workforce, education, skill development and enhancing employability are the most urgent needs, former President Pranab Mukherjee said on Saturday.

If India harbours the hope of reaping demographic dividends, it must make sure its people are educated and skilled enough, Mukherjee told a large assembly of young entrepreneurs at a special session organized by Young Indians, the youth wing of the Confederation of Indian Industry.

India’s potential is huge, but the failure to tap the potential in the right manner will frustrate its aspiration to become a global power, he said.

“The oldest civilisation will be younger and younger. The responsibility lies on you to remove disparity, inequality and provide leadership. Otherwise, I am afraid, demographic advantage will turn into a demographic disaster,” Mukherjee said.

He exhorted the country’s youth to work towards ending the growing wealth gap. There is an emerging divergence of haves and have-nots, he said, adding disparity exists not just on health and education parameters, but also on income distribution.

Such a situation is “unacceptable” and the youth must a celook inward” if they are keen to end this, Mukherjee said.

According to the former head of state, developmental paradigm must be shifted to equality and harmony.

“A recent report on the Indian economic situation between 2013 and 2017 states that 71 per cent of the total wealth generated in India is accumulated by 21 per cent people; while remaining 79 per cent of the population are left with 29 per cent of the wealth. This cannot go on for long. Change has to be brought about by the young people, not by me, not by anybody else,” he said.

The former President cited yet another study that brings to fore some other social disparities. As per the report, 40 of the least developed countries have only 13 per cent of the girl child getting enrolled in schools; and just 11 per cent of the men and women have access to some sort of healthcare.

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PNB says Virat Kohli continues to be its brand ambassador

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Virat Kohli PNB

New Delhi, Feb 24: The $1.8 billion fraud hit Punjab National Bank (PNB) has said that Indian skipper Virat Kohli continues to be its brand ambassador.

“There are reports in the media that Virat Kohli, Bank’s brand ambassador is going to discontinue his endorsement with Punjab National Bank. The same is again totally false and incorrect. Virat Kohli is our brand ambassador,” the bank clarified through a public notice.

The notice further clarified: “There are media reports that the bank has engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct an investigation into the alleged fraud and PwC has been asked to gather evidence that can be used against Nirav Modi and his associates in the court. The news is totally incorrect.”

It also said that media reports saying Reserve Bank of India and government asking PNB to make payment of the fraudulent amount to other banks is also incorrect.

The bank reiterated that the bank has the capacity and capability to handle the situation and protect the interest of the institution, customers and stakeholders.

IANS

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Loan default case: Rotomac firm owner Vikram Kothari, son sent to 11 days CBI remand

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Vikram Kothari

New Delhi, Feb 24: A special CBI court on Saturday sent Rotomac Pens owner Vikram Kothari and son Rahul Kothari to the 11-days CBI remand in connection with Rs 3,695 crore Loan default case. 

Yesterday, Patiala House Court had sent Kothari and his son to the one-day transit remand.

On Thursday, the CBI arrested Kothari and his son on charges of cheating a consortium of banks of Rs 3,695 crore (including interest) by siphoning off loans sanctioned to his company for procurement of wheat and other goods for export.

The Income Tax Department also issued a show-cause notice to Kothari asking why prosecution be not initiated against the group.

The agency arrested the two after day-long questioning at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters in south Delhi’s Lodi Road area.

It was the Kotharis’ questioning for the fourth consecutive day since the probe agency lodged the case against him and his family, and conducted raids at their residential and office premises in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur.

The CBI filed the FIR on Sunday night following a complaint against Kothari, his wife Sadhana and son Rahul, from the Bank of Baroda.

Vikram Kothari is the Chairman and Managing Director of Rotomac while his wife and son are Directors.

Kothari had obtained Rs 2,919 crore from Bank of India (Rs 754.77 crore), Bank of Baroda (Rs 456.63 crore), Indian Overseas Bank (Rs 771.07 crore), Union Bank of India (Rs 458.95 crore), Allahabad Bank (Rs 330.68 crore), Bank of Maharashtra (Rs 49.82 crore) and Oriental Bank of Commerce (Rs 97.47 crore), the FIR said.

Kothari, his wife, son, firm Rotomac, some unidentified bank officials and private persons were booked over the charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.

In its complaint, the  Bank of Baroda said that the banks had extended credit to the Kanpur-based firm and its related companies from 2008 onwards.

Earlier, the probe agency had earlier seized several belongings of Kothari and his kin, including laptops and mobile phones.

WeForNews 

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