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Telangana RTC strike: 48,000 employees face axe

Nearly 50,000 employees are on strike since Friday midnight to press for their list of 26 demands including merger of the TSRTC with the government.

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Telangana RTC strike
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Hyderabad, Oct 7 : The indefinite strike by employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) continued third day on Monday with both the KCR government and employee unions refusing to budge from their respective stands.

The government refused to hold talk or even take back 48,000 striking employees, issuing orders to recruit new employees and hire more private buses while Joint Action Committee (JAC) leading the strike ruled out calling off the protest till their demands are accepted.

JAC, which has made 26 demands including merger of the TSRTC with the government, dared Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao to issue sack orders.

JAC, comprising various employee unions, and KCR both accused each other of being arrogant. While deciding to intensify the strike, the employees said they would challenge their sacking in the court.

However, at a review meeting with officials on Monday, the Chief Minister said the government has not dismissed the employees but they dismissed themselves by not joining the duty before the expiry of the deadline.

KCR reiterated that for the government and the TSRTC, there are only 1,200 employees.

The Chief Minister also made it clear that the government has no interest in totally privatising the RTC and that it is taking all measures to strengthen the organisation.

KCR, however, directed officials to divide the existing TSRTC fleet of 10,400 buses into three categories. Fifty per cent of buses (5,200) belong to the TSRTC and they will remain under it. He said 30 per cent of the buses (3,100) buses taken on hire should be run under the TSRTC supervision and administration. Another 20 percent of the buses (2,100) belong totally to private operators and they will be allowed to ply as the state carriages. TSRTC is currently running 21 per cent hired buses.

KCR said the measures had to be taken due to TSRTC unions’ over-action. “They have cut the branch of a tree on which they were sitting,” he said.

He asked the Director General of Police to form special teams to prevent TSRTC employees who left the organisation from creating disturbances at the bus depots or bus stations. “The DGP would take appropriate action against anyone except the 1,200,” the CM said.

He said the unions have lost their identity and existence. He made it clear that in future there will not be any unionism in the RTC.

KCR exuded confidence that RTC will not only overcome the losses but will make profits and declare bonus to the newly-joined employees.

Nearly 50,000 employees are on strike since Friday midnight to press for their list of 26 demands including merger of the TSRTC with the government.

For a third consecutive day, a majority of 10,500 buses of TSRTC remained off the roads, causing severe inconvenience to commuters during festival season.

TSRTC bus services carry more than a crore commuters every day.

TSRTC authorities claimed that they have made all arrangements to ensure that people do not face hardships in reaching their destinations on the occasion of Dasara festival.

They said on Monday, 3,105 RTC buses and 2,013 hired buses were operated. They also claimed that more than 6,000 private vehicles, school and college buses and maxi cabs were operated.

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UP To Test Every Traveller From Delhi For Coronavirus

It seems the second Covid-19 has hit the national capital, he said, pointing to a spurt in cases there.

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COVID-19 antibody testing

The Uttar Pradesh government will test all travellers from Delhi for coronavirus, an official said on Sunday.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary R K Tiwari said the state government is also considering restrictions on the number of people at weddings and other social programmes.

Tiwari said infection cases have increased in UP districts bordering Delhi.

It seems the second Covid-19 has hit the national capital, he said, pointing to a spurt in cases there.

So, we are testing everyone coming from Delhi, be it by air, train or bus, he said.

When asked about the kind of curbs that may be imposed at social gatherings, Tiwari said the decision will be taken on the prevailing situation.

“Districts in western UP like Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad have restricted social gatherings to 100. Necessary steps will be taken as per the prevailing situation in various places to stop the spread of the infection,” he said.

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Rajasthan govt hikes penalty on gathering of more than 100 people at marriages

A total of 603 cases were reported in Jaipur while 414 in Jodhpur, 210 in Ajmer, 271 in Alwar, 131 in Bhilwara, 240 in Kota, 100 in Pali and 184 in Udaipur.

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Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday announced to increase the penalty on gathering of more than 100 people at marriages from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000.

Chairing a meeting to review the steps taken to contain COVID spread in the state, he said administration and police personnel should take rounds in the market to ensure all due protocols are being followed with due care in reference to night curfew announced on Saturday as well as to ensure that set number of people’s limit is not crossed.

The wedding organisers should also be updated in this context that more than 100 people are not permitted in the wedding function, he added.

District collectors, superintendents of police and other senior officials have been given responsibility to ensure night curfew norms are maintained in eight districts as announced and not more than 100 people are gathered in the crowd. Every person should wear masks and social distancing norms should also be followed, the Chief Minister said.

Notably, the state government announced night curfew in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Kota, Alwar, Udaipur, Alwar and Ajmer.

Also the penalty for those not wearing masks was increased to Rs 500 from Rs 200 on Saturday.

The Chief Minister on Sunday said that the state government’s major objective is to save lives of people.

On Sunday, a total of 3,260 new COVID cases and 17 deaths were reported.

A total of 603 cases were reported in Jaipur while 414 in Jodhpur, 210 in Ajmer, 271 in Alwar, 131 in Bhilwara, 240 in Kota, 100 in Pali and 184 in Udaipur.

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CBI arrests ex-Karnataka Congress minister Roshan Baig in ponzi scam

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also booked Khan under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for allegedly transferring funds to overseas banks through the hawala route.

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MLA Roshan Baig, Roshan Baig Karnataka, Karnataka Congress, Congress, Karnataka Govt, Politics,

Bengaluru: In a swift development after a day-long questioning, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested former Karnataka Congress minister Roshan Baig for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore IMA ponzi scam in the southern state, an official said on Sunday.

“Baig was arrested after questioning him in the ongoing ponzi chit fund scam investigation and a competent court sent him to judicial custody for further interrogation,” CBI spokesman R.K. Gaur told IANS.

Baig (67) is a former 8-time legislator from the Shivajinagar assembly segment in the city centre and was a minister in the Congress and Janata Dal governments.

“Baig was summoned for interrogation to our office earlier in the day and taken into custody on the evidence collected against him in the scam that rocked the state in 2018-19,” a CBI source said earlier.

Sleuths of the premier investigation agency also conducted a search and seizure operation in Baig’s house in the city earlier in the day.

The I-Monetary Advisory (IMA) Jewellery kingpin Mohammed Mansoor Khan alleged that he had given Rs 400 crore to Baig ahead of the state assembly elections in April-May 2018.

Baig, however, denied the charge and said Khan had falsely implicated him.

The Rs 4,000-crore ponzi chit fund scam came to light in June 2019 after hundreds of investors complained to city police that the chit fund firm stopped returning their deposits, including gold jewellery, cash and interest.

In an audio clip to then Bengaluru Police Commissioner Ajay Kumar Singh, Khan alleged that Baig was harassing him for more money and he fled to Dubai in June second week as his life was under threat.

Though the former Janata Dal-Secular-Congress government had set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the scam, the ruling BJP government transferred the case to the CBI in August after it came to power in July 2019.

Khan was flown to Bengaluru on July 20, 2019 via New Delhi from Duabai and has been in the central jail on the city’s outskirts along with about 30 accused, including seven directors of the company.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also booked Khan under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for allegedly transferring funds to overseas banks through the hawala route.

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