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Farmer bodies protest PepsiCo suits against potato growers

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Ahmedabad, April 24 : A group of farmers’ organisations, including the RSS- affiliated Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), on Wednesday demanded withdrawal of legal suits filed by food and beverages giant PepsiCo India against nine potato growers in north Gujarat for growing a particular variety of potatoes, which the company claims it has sole rights to make its popular brand of Lay’s chips.

These are FL2027 or FC5 variety of potatoes, which PepsiCo has registered under its name.

“PepsiCo’s claims are untenable and an attempt to intimidate farmers to wipe out competition. We demand that the company immediately and unconditionally withdraw all the cases against farmers,” BKS national Vice President Ambubhai Patel told reporters.

He expressed his shock that “PepsiCo has wrongfully used private detective agencies to entrap farmers through video-recorded sting operations and implicate them”.

The company had filed four suits in a commercial court and five in a north Gujarat court seeking Rs 1 crore each from nine farmers, alleging infringement of intellectual property rights.

PepsiCo claims exclusive rights by virtue of Plant Variety Certificate under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001 and filed cases against the farmers in the Commercial Court at the city civil court in Ahmedabad. It had alleged the farmers were illegally growing, producing, selling this particular variety of potato without permission in violation of Sections 64 and 65 of the Act.

Other than Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, representatives of Gujarat Khedut Samaj, Jatan Trust and several other civil society organizations have now sought immediate intervention of the Central and state governments to protect the farmers’ rights.

“India had designed a sui generis law of 2001 in compliance with World Trade Organisation’s agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. Under this statute, farmers’ have rights under Section 39 with regard to seeds and planting material irrespective of any other clause in the Act,” Kapil Shah of Jatan said.

These representatives have sent a memorandum to Dr K.V. Prabhu, Chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority, under the Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, urging him to take immediate action.

The Ahmedabad commercial court has, meanwhile, already prevented the farmers from growing or selling the potatoes till the next hearing on April 26 and sought their replies on the allegations leveled by PepsiCo.

The court also appointed a Court Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the dispute, prepare inventory of the potatoes, take samples and send them to government laboratories and the Potato Research Centre at Shimla for analysis.

India

Respect value of right to vote: President’s Voters’ Day message

He was happy to note that the Election Commission has taken a number of innovative and timely measures to conduct smooth, inclusive and safe elections.

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Ram Nath Kovind

New Delhi, Jan 25 : President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said that people should always respect the value of the right to vote because it is not a simple right and people around the world have struggled a lot for this right.

Speaking on the event of 11th National Voters’ Day through virtual mode, Kovind further said it is the responsibility of all of us, especially our youth, who get the right to vote for the first time, to exercise their franchise with the utmost sincerity and inspire others too to do so.

Since independence, the President said, our Constitution has given equal voting rights to all citizens without any discrimination on the basis of merit, religion, race and caste.

“For this, we are indebted to the makers of our Constitution.”

The President said that the chief architect of the Indian Constitution, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, considered the right to vote as paramount.

Praising the Election Commission of India for conducting successful and safe elections in Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh last year during the Covid-19 pandemic, the President said that it is an extraordinary achievement of our democracy.

He was happy to note that the Election Commission has taken a number of innovative and timely measures to conduct smooth, inclusive and safe elections.

The National Voters’ Day has been celebrated on January 25 every year since 2011, all across the country to mark the foundation day of Election Commission of India on January 25, 1950.

The main purpose of the National Voters’ Day celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximise enrolment, especially for the new voters. Dedicated to the voters of the country, the day is utilised to spread awareness among voters and for promoting informed participation in the electoral process.

During the event, the President conferred the National Awards for the year 2020-21 and also launched the Election Commission of India’s Web Radio: ‘Hello Voters’– an online digital radio service.

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Why Chinese involvement in financial frauds in India is alarming

G.K. Goswami Inspector General ATS said Xu Xunfu’s business visa had expired in July 2020, while Li Teng Li’s tourist visa expired in September 2020.

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New Delhi, Jan 25 : Within a span of 15 days, two major financial fraud cases involving Chinese nationals have come to the forefront. Soon after the Delhi Police unearthed a transnational malware and fraud syndicate and arrested two Chinese women in a gang of 12 in multiple raids starting January 13, two Chinese have been caught by the UP ATS from Noida for fraudulent monetary transactions.

UP ATS arrested two Chinese citizens in money laundering case, fraudulently  carrying fake SIM card - The India Print : theindiaprint.com, The Print
Two Chinese nationals arrested by UP ATS for money laundering worth crores

This is cause for alarm as it raises apprehensions that multiple Chinese syndicates have been operating within the country to cheat and defraud Indian citizens and capture personal data of unsuspecting people for illegitimate purposes.

When it arrested Chinese nationals Chaohong Deng Daoyong, 27 and Wu Jiazhi, 54, the Delhi Police said the accused were installing malware in devices of people in the garb of a multi-level marketing application.

Police said that around 40,000 confirmed victims have been identified who have been cheated of crores in two months. Almost Rs 4.75 crores of cheated money has been blocked in various accounts and more than Rs. 25 lakhs recovered in cash from the arrested Chinese nationals.

“The malicious app was also making millions of Indian users follow thousands of social media accounts of unknown origin and ownership, with huge potential of future misuse of this by a foreign entity,” said Anyesh Roy, DCP Crime Crime.

Now the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad (UPATS) has arrested Xu Xunfu a.k.a July and Li Teng Li a.k.a Alice from Gautam Buddha Nagar, following a red corner notice against them by the Interpol.

Additional Director General (law and order) Prashant Kumar said, “The UPATS arrested the two for purchasing SIM cards by submitting forged documents and then making fraudulent monetary transactions with those SIMs via banks. It is for the first time that the ATS has arrested Chinese nationals.”

He further said, “We traced the duo after interrogating 14 persons arrested last week from Delhi and different parts of Uttar Pradesh in a similar fraud.”

G.K. Goswami Inspector General ATS said Xu Xunfu’s business visa had expired in July 2020, while Li Teng Li’s tourist visa expired in September 2020.

The Delhi Police have also hinted two Chinese nationals Yangqing Zhang and Bao Peng , are the kingpins of this criminal conspiracy to cheat and defraud Indian citizens and hack into their devices through malicious mobile applications. This is a serious concern as kingpins of Chinese origin are hatching the conspiracy from locations outside India

Not just financial frauds but alleged Chinese involvement have also been claimed by Delhi police in a spying case as on September 14 last year, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police had arrested 61-year-old freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, for allegedly working with Chinese intelligence.

During Sharma’s police remand, a Chinese woman Qing Shi and her Nepalese partner Sher Singh alias Raj Bohra were also arrested. They were allegedly found supplying the scribe with huge amounts of money routed through hawala channels for conveying sensitive information to Chinese Intelligence, DCP Special Cell Sanjeev Yadav had said.

This is why the Indian Police force in a coordinated manner is keeping extra vigil on the working of these fraudster syndicates involving Chinese nationals.

(Zafar Abbas could be reached at [email protected])

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Indian, Chinese soldiers clash at Naku La, many injured

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India China Border Sikkim
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Indian and Chinese soldiers clashed at Naku La in North Sikkim last week with many injuries reported, said a government source. The situation is said to be under control though as of now.

Naku La, incidentally, was one of the original face-off sites, along with Pangong Tso, Galwan, Gogra, Hot Springs, in early-May last year.TRENDING NEWS

The government source said the clash took place three days ago. It happened while both the countries’ government and military were readying for another round of talks to resolve border dispute along the 3,488 kilometre-long Line of Actual Control.

On Sunday, India and China held a 16-hour long marathon military dialogue that eneded at after 2 a.m. on Monday to resolve the ongoing nineth month long border dispute and thinning of forces along the LAC.

The ninth Corps Commander level talks between both the countries took place at the Moldo Meeting point in Ladakh region. It had started at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday and ended at 2.30 a.m. on Monday.

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