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INX case: ED attaches Rs 54 cr of Karti Chidambaram’s properties in India and abroad

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Karti Chidambaram (File Photo)

New Delhi, Oct 11: The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday said that it has attached properties worth Rs 54 crore of former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram and Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd (ASCPL) in connection with its ongoing probe into the INX media money laundering case.

A senior official of the financial probe agency told IANS: “We have attached six properties of Karti worth Rs 54 crore.”

The properties attached include a cottage worth Rs 8.67 crore in the UK’s Somerset, a tennis club and land located in Spain’s Gava worth Rs 14 crore.

The ED also attached land and properties worth Rs 16 crore in New Delhi’s Jor Bagh area (Karti’s mother Nalini Chidambaram is also a stake holder of 50 per cent in the land), a bungalow in Tamil Nadu’s Ooty worth Rs 50 lakh and another one worth Rs 3.75 crore in Ooty and an agricultural land worth Rs 25 lakh in Kodaikanal.

The ED has also attached properties belonging to Peter and Indrani Mukerjea in connection with the same case.

The properties were attached under the section of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Karti is facing probes by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in several cases, including alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to then INX Media for FDI in 2007 and the Aircel-Maxis case in 2006 and a money laundering case.

The ED and the CBI are probing how Karti managed to get clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) when his father was in office.

Karti was arrested on February 28 by the CBI for allegedly taking money to facilitate the FIPB clearance to INX Media in 2007. He was later granted bail.

IANS

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Identity of rape victims has to be protected: Supreme Court

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, Dec 11: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the identity of rape victims has to be protected at all stages of the case including during trial.

A bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur, S. Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta said that the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) reports and other documents related to such cases would be handed over to the trial court in a sealed cover without disclosing the identity of the victims.

Speaking for the bench, Justice Gupta advised the media to avoid sensationalising rape cases for the purpose of increasing the TRP and ordered that identity of minor rape victims cannot be disclosed even by their families.

The court verdict came on a PIL by advocate Nipun Saxena who had moved the court seeking steps for the safety of women in public places.

The petition was filed in the aftermath of the December 16, 2012, Delhi gangrape case.

“The media has not only the right but also duty to report” the cases of sexual assault but “should refrain from interviewing the victim”, it said.

IANS

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‘Jallianwala Bagh massacre was preceded by reign of terror by the British’

“The massacre on 13 April was part of a policy of oppression unleashed by O’Dwyer against the frequent ‘hartals’ (strikes) or the ‘Satyagraha Movement’ (launched by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)

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Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
Jallianwala Bagh, 1919: The Real Story : (Flickr)

Chandigarh, Dec 11 : As the country gears up to observe the 100th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of innocent, unarmed Indians by ruthless British forces, the events before and after the April 13, 1919, killing of hundreds clearly indicate that the British rulers of that time were unnerved by the unrest in Punjab in general and Amritsar in particular, which led them to do something which could “teach a lesson” to the Indians.

“Though Brigadier General Reginald Dyer (who ordered his troops to fire on people who had gathered at the Jallianwala Bagh on the fateful day and killed hundreds) was blamed for the action, there is hardly any documented evidence to show how he landed in Amritsar on that day as he was posted in Jalandhar (earlier Jullundur),” author and columnist Kishwar Desai told IANS in an interview here.

Desai, who has penned a book “Jallianwala Bagh, 1919: The Real Story” recently, said that her extensive research on the happenings around the massacre revealed that the British rulers were quite unnerved by the unrest in Punjab and Amritsar.

“Prior to the killings at Jallianwala Bagh, there had been signs of increasing unrest in Punjab. These signs were being interpreted as sedition, even though causes of the unrest were varied. Indeed, it is impossible to understand what happened on 13 April 1919, without an examination of the barbarism unleashed in Punjab under the regime of the then Lieutenant Governor Sir Michael O’Dwyer to suppress the so-called rebellion,” Desai, who is the chair of The Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust that set up the world’s first Partition Museum at Amritsar’s Town Hall, points out in her book.

The author said that the idea to write this book and to bring out “some facets which had not been researched in detail so far” came after she chanced upon a photograph of the burnt-down Town Hall building of Amritsar. This happened in April 1919.

Further investigation and research, according to Desai, led to more evidence of the British atrocities on Indian subjects just before the Jallianwala Bagh incident and the violence that erupted in Amritsar on April 10 in which many people, including five Europeans, were killed. Properties, including the Town Hall, were targeted to protest against the British atrocities.

Disputing the commonly held narrative that the people who had gathered at the Bagh on the fateful day for an anti-Rowlatt Act meeting were outsiders who had come to Amritsar for the Baisakhi festival, Desai points out that the meeting was attended mostly by local residents of Amritsar and no more than 25 per cent of them were from outside.

“And it is very likely that the massacre was a carefully planned one, not spontaneous one as has been often made out. In all likelihood, no women were present,” Desai states in the book, adding that O’Dwyer, who was nearing retirement at that time, and others in power, were upset over the emerging importance of Punjab in the freedom struggle and retaliated with a reign of terror where people were whipped in public, bombed, incarcerated, forced to crawl, starved, beaten, caged and even executed.

“The massacre on 13 April was part of a policy of oppression unleashed by O’Dwyer against the frequent ‘hartals’ (strikes) or the ‘Satyagraha Movement’ (launched by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)… in fact, the civil administration of Punjab had already declared Amritsar a war zone (around April 11) and regarded the residents as their enemies,” Desai points out in the book.

Dyer, who had arrived in Amritsar from Jullundur on the evening of April 11, had ordered his troops to fire on the gathering inside Jallianwala Bagh on the evening of April 13, 1919. The official death figure was put at 379 while nearly 1,200 were injured. The death toll is often disputed, with claims (Indian National Congress Report) that over 1,000 innocent people were killed.

“Not a very well-known entity” when he arrived in Amritsar, Dyer had a “fairly humdrum career” till he “hit immortality as a mass murderer”, the new book says.

(Jaideep Sarin can be reached at [email protected])

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Urjit Patel’s resignation signals dangerous trend: AIBEA

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Urjit Patel

Chennai, Dec 11 : Although the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) had earlier demanded RBI Governor Urjit Patel’s resignation, his calling it quits on Monday has left the banking body shocked and disturbed and it has termed it a “dangerous trend”.

“The resignation of RBI Governor Urjit Patel is quite shocking and disturbing. The reasons for his resignation are obvious and signals a dangerous trend that institutions like RBI are no longer independent,” AIBEA General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam said.

Venkatachalam said at a time when there is a need for a more stronger and independent RBI, this vital institution is being intimidated by the central government.

The government is bent on weakening the RBI and making it pliable to meet its own political needs, he said.

When cited AIBEA’s earlier demand that Patel should quit, Venkatachalam told IANS: “We had demanded his resignation over inaction on Nirav Modi issue. This is different. He is being eased out. It is an attempt to weaken the RBI.”

In February, Venkatachalam demanded Patel’s resignation owning up moral responsibility for the massive $1.8 billion Punjab National Bank scam/fraud allegedly committed by diamond retailer.

“The continued silence of the RBI Governor with regard to the scam/fraud in PNB is surprising and astounding. It indicates the deep involvement and failure of RBI in non-monitoring the Nostro account of PNB,” Venkatachalam had told IANS then.

In April, the AIBEA had aggain demanded Patel’s resignation, charging that the central bank was grossly negligent on several issues, including the cashless ATMs across the country.

In a statement at the time, Venkatachalam had said: “RBI has increasingly become irrelevant because they are becoming an appendage of the government, not enforcing their independent powers.

“In issue after issue, RBI is found wanting. It is high time that the present RBI Governor owns up and resigns or he should be removed. RBI is grossly negligent.”

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