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Pathankot attackers called JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar in Pakistan

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Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar orchestrated Pathankot airbase terror attack and Indian intelligence agencies have identified the six terrorists who stormed an Indian Air Force base  in the early hours of 1 January alongwith two – 92-3017775253 and +92 300097212 to clear the doubts of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif .

Indian government has given dossier  to Pakistan containing concrete evidence of the Pakistani terrorists involvement in the pathankot air force base terror attack.

92-3017775253  belongs to the mother of one of the attackers and +92 300097212 belongs to one of the handlers of the terror attack as they were taking further instructions  from their “Ustaad”.

The key conspirators include Jaish-e-Mohammed’s chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother Rauf Asghar, Maulana Ashfaq Ahmad, Hafiz Abdul Shakur and Kasim Jan.

Rauf was mastermind of hijack of Air India plane in Kathmandu in 1999 which was later taken to Kandahar in Afghanistan.
Maulana Masood Azhar remained in Jammu prison for six years before being released in the passenger swap after Indian Airlines flight IC-814 was hijacked. The eight-day hijack crisis had ended after release of three hardcore militants including Azhar in exchange for the freedom of passengers and crew members who were held hostage.

Azhar, chief of the Pakistan based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed was in constant touch with the six terrorists  that were specially trained for the operation.

The Pathankot airbase terror plot was hatched in Markaz in Pakistan.

India has shared every minute  details of  five terrorists  with Pakistan “through proper channel” and India  has asked Pakistan government  for prompt response  from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif  and appropriate action against them  as

Talks between Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistan counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry  that are scheduled on 15 January depends on the Pakistan’s action on the Pathankot perpetrators

Election

EC rejects claims of EVMs rigging in 2014, says its examining legal action

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Election Commission

New Delhi, Jan 21 : The Election Commission on Monday firmly rejected claims by a US-based self-claimed cyber expert Syed Shuja that the 2014 elections were rigged, saying it was examining legal action over the “motivated slugfest”.

Soon after Shuja claimed that the 2014 elections were rigged, the Election Commission in statement said, “It has come to the notice of Election Commission that an event claiming to demonstrate EVMs used by EC can be tampered with, has been organised in London.”

“Whereas, ECI has been wary of becoming a party to this motivated slugfest, ECI firmly stands by the empirical facts about foolproof nature of ECI EVMs deployed in elections in India,” it said.

The Commission said that it needs to be reiterated that these EVMs are manufactured in Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) under very strict supervisory and security conditions.

“And there are rigorous Standard Operating Procedures meticulously observed at all stages under the supervision of a Committee of eminent technical experts constituted way back in 2010,” it said.

“It is being separately examined as to what legal action can and should be taken in the matter,” the Commission added.

IANS

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RSS affliates warn against farm loan waiver in interim budget

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Farmers Protest

New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) Four BJP governments in states had rolled out farm loan waiver schemes but RSS affiliates have strongly warned against these in the interim budget, saying such a move would only worsen the agrarian crisis and put further pressure on the banks.

This comes in the midst of speculation that the Narendra Modi government may be showering sops on farmers in its interim budget before the Lok Sabha polls.

Instead, the sangh parivar affliates want a social security net and various forms of assistance for the farmers.

With agrarian distress expected to be a major plank for the opposition and the Congress promise of farm loan waiver that helped it majorly in its victory in the Hindi heartland state, there are indications that the Modi government may walk a similar path making the February 1 exercise more significant than a vote on account.

Buoyed by the Congress coming to power in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, party President Rahul Gandhi has flayed Modi for waiving corporate loans while ignoring the plight of farmers. He has even asserted that an “united opposition will not let Modi sleep” until and unless farmers’ loans across the country were waived.

While the Congress’ farm loan waiver attracted much ridicule from Prime Minister Modi, it was he who had triggered the trend of waiving farm loans when ahead of Uttar Pradesh elections he had announced relief for the farmers in February, 2017. Subsequently the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government announced a loan waiver package for around 86 lakh small and marginal farmers.

The BJP governments in Maharashtra and Rajasthan in 2018 had announced waiver of loans taken by small and marginal farmers.

Soon after the Congress executing its pre-poll promise of loan waiver in the three Hindi heartland states, the BJP regime in Jharkhand in December last followed suit, giving farmers financial assistance of Rs 5,000 per acre for the kharif season.

However, the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), a sangh parivar affliate, asserts that the Modi government should desist from indulging in populist measures. Its has warned about pitfalls of farm loan waivers.

“The last thing the government should do is resort to farm loan waivers. Rather than being a solution, loan waiver would further deepen the miseries of our farmers. Indeed farmers are in distress and the way the opposition parties for their electoral sake, have raised the issue, the government may deem it to be a political compulsion. But it would be a mistake if it does so,” BKS organisational secretary Dinesh Kulkarni told IANS.

Explaining the opposition to the “short-cut” of loan waiver, Kulkarni said such a move only encourages the practice of defaulting on loans contending that only a handful of farmers benefit.

“The Congress governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have waived farm loans but has it solved the crisis of the farmers. The only thing that it did is pressuring the banks and making them wary of giving further loans to the farmers,” Kulkarni said.

He said that unless there was holistic mechanism to ensure that farmers get the right price for their produce and middlemen are eliminated, the vicious circle of debt will continue.

“Loan waiver may halt the vicious debt circle for a short period of time but it won’t bring them out of that. Without a mechanism to make agriculture profitable or even allowing the farmers to recover their cost of production, they will be back to being debt ridden from the next season,” said Kulkarni adding that the government must sit with peasant bodies and other stakeholders to chalk out long term plans to resolve the agrarian distress.

Talking about its expectations from the budget, the RSS’ labour wing the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) said the focus should be on expanding the social security net to the unorganised sector including agriculture workers and also advocated against farm loan waiver.

While admitting that the government may be inclined towards presenting a populist budget, BMS President C.K. Saji Narayanan said farmers should be incentivised to procure seeds , fertilisers and equipments rather than waiving their loans.

“Our farmers are in distress and indeed need lot of assistance from the government but loan waiver should be the last thing. Waiver as a short term measure is acceptable but then it has its long term effects on the economy which the government should guard against.

“The need is put up a mechanism to ensure that farmers gets right price of their produce. They should be given subsidy to purchase seeds, fertilisers and equipments instead of loan waiver,” Narayanan said.

A critic of the Modi government’s labour and economic policies, Narayanan said the budget should focus on giving relief to the middle class and urorganised sector workers.

“This government for most part of its tenure, has functioned like Congress-led UPA. But in the last year or so there has been substantial change in its attitude. However, with elections on the horizon, it may indulge in populist measures. But that doesn’t mean it should go for loan waivers.

Narayanan said the government in the budget should look to providing relief to the middle class and the workers in the unorganised sector.

“Our major demand is that the income tax exemption limit should be raised to Rs 10 lakh besides that we hope that government will no more neglect our workers especially contract labourers. In addition to hiking contract labour’s wages, unorganised sector has to be brought under social security net including agricultural labours,” he added.

While Prime Minister Modi and his government have been touting GDP growth as FDI inflow as its major achoevemnets, the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), the economic wing of the RSS said, job-less growth was meaningless.

“GDP growth or FDI inflow should not be the parameters for development, what matters is how much employment is generated.

“As regards the agrarian crisis, the question is why our farmers are debt ridden, and answer to that question can never be loan waiver,” SJM National Co-Convener Ashwani Mahajan said.

He held the “historic neglect” of the agriculture sector by successive governments to be the core issue.

“Besides their persistent failure to even recover their cost of production, the steady rise of prices of farm inputs and farm equipments being under GST, has further pauperised the farmers,” he said.

He said instead of giving the farmers “alms” in form of loan waiver, the need was concrete policies aimed at reforming and reviving the farm sector and making it economically viable and profitable.

“There are large numbers of seasonal agricultural labourers who are rendered jobless for a large part of the year. The focus should be on rehabilitating them as also come with policies to make agriculture profitable.

Mahajan recommended giving major focus on food processing, oil seeds protection, change in crop production, subsidizing farm inputs.

“The one thing that must be immediately done is to exempt farm equipments from GST. We sincerely hope the government will use this budget to lay out long term plans to revitalize the economy and resolve the agrarian crisis instead of falling trap to electoral populism,” added Mahajan.

(Anurag Dey can be contacted at [email protected])

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CBI seeks Centre’s nod to prosecute Chidambaram in INX Media case

The source said the agency will soon file a chargesheet against Chidambaram.

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P Chidambaram

New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) The CBI on Monday said it has sought prosecution sanction against former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram in its ongoing investigation into the INX Media case for giving Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to the group in 2007.

A Central Bureau of Investigation source confirmed to IANS that the prosecution sanction has been sought from the Centre.

The source said the agency will soon file a chargesheet against Chidambaram.

The CBI had on May 15, 2017 filed an FIR accusing P. Chidambaram, his son Karti Chidambaram and others of involvement in irregularities in giving INX Media the FIPB clearance to receive Rs 305 crore in foreign investment.

The CBI had on February 28 last year arrested Karti, accusing him of taking money to facilitate the FIPB clearance to INX Media in 2007 when his father was the Finance Minister. Later, he got bail.

The CBI initially alleged that Karti received Rs 10 lakh as bribe for facilitating the FIPB clearance, but the figure was subsequently revised to about $1 million or Rs 6.5 crore at the current exchange rate.

The ED has also lodged a money laundering case on the basis of the CBI FIR and has questioned him twice in the last one-and-a-half months.

The ED probe so far showed that for the FIPB approval, INX Media directors Peter and Indrani Mukerjea met P. Chidambaram, so that there was no hold-up or delay in their application.

The ED has attached properties worth Rs 54 crore belonging to Karti Chidambaram and a firm in the case. It has also attached properties belonging to the Mukerjeas in connection with the same case.

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