tirupati l thursday l October 29, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l anantapur EDITION NIA searches ngos IN SRINAGAR, b’luru IN TERROR FUNDING CASE Ten locations in the Valley and one in Bengaluru were raided in connection with a case related to NGOs diverting funds Many trusts in j&k under nia lens Money diverted to fund terror? Those whose premises were searched include Khurram Parvez (coordinator of the J&K Coalition of Civil Society), his associates Parvez Ahmad Bukhari, Parvez Ahmad Matta and Bengaluru-based associate Swati Sheshadri as well as Parveena Ahanger, chairperson, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons. The offices of the NGO Athrout and GK Trust were also searched ■ The National Investigation Agency is probing if these NGOs diverted funds meant for charitable activities to ‘secessionist and separatist activities’ in Jammu and Kashmir ■ Several incriminating documents and electronic devices were seized in the raids, the NIA said in a statement on Wednesday P8 Newspaper The office of a trust owned by greater Kashmir was also raided CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Wait a sec, polls impossible amid a pandemic: Govt tells Nimmagadda E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The government on Wednesday reportedly made it clear that the situation in the State is not conducive for holding elections to the local bodies. Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney who , apprised State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar of the Covid-19 pandemic scenario in the State, reportedly submitted a report expressing concern over the threat to public health if elections were to be held now. Amid criticism by the ruling YSRC that the SEC had not consulted the government before inviting all political parties for a meeting to elicit their opinions on conduct of elections, Ramesh Kumar sought a report from the CS on Wednesday . Nilam Sawhney, along with Panchayat Raj Commissioner Girija Shankar, submitted a report to the SEC stating that the coronavirus spread has not yet Who Said What? Ramesh Kumar Why didn’t SEC follow the process of consultations when he unilaterally deferred the elections in March? Why didn’t he consult the government before inviting political parties? Why didn’t SEC call an all-party meeting? Why these one-toone meetings? There is a threat of second wave of Covid-19. Polls must be held only after the virus threat subsides Ambati Rambabu, YSRC Telugu Desam Party is ready for elections whenever held... we asked SEC to hold polls without delay. But we want the process to start afresh as YSRC leaders had intimidated their opponents soon after the notification was issued earlier. We demand that all unanimous results be cancelled and elections be held under Central police security Election process must start afresh. The earlier unanimous results must be cancelled Paka Satyanarayana, BJP K Atchannaidu, TDP State president fresh cases Total Deaths total cases 2,949 6,643 8,14,774 come under complete control despite the best efforts of the State government. “The State government is leaving no stone unturned to tackle coronavirus but the situation is yet to come under control. Many officials and governm e n t e m p l o ye e s h ave contracted the virus and more than 11,000 policemen were affected,’’ the CS informed the SEC, sources said. At the ground level, scores of volunteers also contracted the virus, the CS pointed out and told the SEC that the government will inform him over its preparedness to conduct the elections when nor malcy returns. Earlier in the day, the SEC held consultations with political parties to elicit their opinions. It was attended by 11 political parties. While six parties, including the ruling YSRC, abstained from the meeting, two submitted their views in writing. P4 No vaccine swing in Bihar? BJP’s promise to provide Covid shots for free doesn’t appear to cut ice with the voters “When the government could not make proper arrangements @ Patna/New Delhi/Muzaffarpur for Covid-19 patients, it is foolish to believe such false promwaiting to meet the doctor at ises,” said Saroj Kumar Thakur, a nursing home in Muzaffar- 35, who runs a salon in Patna. pur, Rupesh Kumar Sinha, 44, a Why the voters are not deepmedical representative with a ly impressed by the free vacpharmaceutical company, said cine promise lies perhaps in the Covid-19 pandemic and the the Covid numbers. Despite bethreat it poses was not even a ing the third-most populated talking point among the people, state with a creaking public leave alone an election issue. health infrastructure, Bihar “I am in the field of has done well on the virus health and I have seen pafront, making it a non-istients suffering from sue and hardly a mass ear coronavirus. People are concern. to the ground a bit scared but not overWhile the national ly worried,” he said, discase fatality rate is 1.5%, missing the suggestion Bihar’s is a mere 0.499%, that the Bharatiya Janata one of the lowest in the counParty’s promise to provide the try The disease’s incidence per . Covid vaccine free to Bihar was million in India is 5,790.1 but in a game changer. Bihar it is 1,572.5, the lowest in From Muzaffarpur and Saran the country . to Samastipur and Patna, the On total deaths and active BJP’s populist promise grabbed cases also the state has not done media headlines and was a hot badly The highest death count . topic of debate in drawing is in Maharashtra at 38,717, folrooms last week, but for the vot- lowed by Andhra Pradesh, ers in the dust bowls of Bihar, 9,917, and Karnataka, 9,461. BiCovid and the vaccine are hard- har’s is only 925, one of the lowly issues to be animated about. est among the populous states. Rajesh Kumar Thakur, Sana Shakil & Mukesh Ranjan BIHAR 2020 Voter turnout 53.54% Onion prices to stay north 50% Women voters 1% drop S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i @ Mumbai There is little buzz in Nashik’s Lasalgaon, though it is Asia’s largest onion market. For, the mandi is shut as traders are protesting against Income Tax raids on 14 of them as also the ‘mindless’ stock limit imposed by the Central government. Activity at Lasalgaon matters as a whopping 35% of India’s onion supply chain is sourced from that mandi. Sulking traders are adding to the stress the kitchen staple is already facing because of heavy rains damaging the standing crop, pushing the average retail price across the country to around `90 per kg (see box). Retail prices in Telangana are particularly swollen (Hyderabad `130-150; Warangal `100-120; Karimnagar `100) as supplies from Maharashtra are just a trickle. Caught between the government and the trading community is the aam aadmi, who is being forced to reduce his onion intake. “Many people have stopped buying the king of the kitchen for now,” revealed vegetable trader Pritam Das in Jaipur. Till about a few days ago when Lasalgaon was a beehive of activity onion arrivals were , in the range of 70,000 to 75,000 tonnes per day as against the normal of 1.25 lakh to 1.50 lakh tonnes. In other words, a drop of 40-50%, informed Nanasaheb Patil, an onion growing farmer leader in Nasik. “Lasalgaon gets ample supplies in August from states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana after harvest. But this year, the standing crop in all the three states was damaged by the rains. In the first week of October, onions normally start arriving into the mandi from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. But floods in parts of Maharashtra damaged both the old stock and fresh crops. As a result, new arrivals have been delayed by 40-60 days,” Patil shared. In Karnataka, extended monsoon contributed to spike in prices. “Although there is spike in prices in November-December because the March stocks tend to get exhausted and October harvest cannot be stored for long, this year’s rise is because 70,000 hectares in Karnataka got affected,” said B N Prasad, MD of Horticultural Producers’ Coop Marketing and Processing Society More: P7 . In the 2015 Assembly elections, the voting percentage was 54.75% around one percentage point higher express read Dentist rescued from abductors Anantapur: The Andhra Pradesh police rescued a dentist from Hyderabad from the clutches of abductors near Bukkacherla village in Anantapur on Wednesday. Dr Hussain was abducted from the outskirts of Hyderabad by burqa-clad miscreants in a Bolero. | P4 Yachendra new SVBC chief Vijayawada: The State government on Wednesday appointed Dr VB Sai Krishna Yachendra of the Venkatagiri Raja family as Chairman of Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel (SVBC) of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams for a period of two years | P4 Ensure MSP for all crops: Jagan Vijayawada: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed officials to ensure that no crop is purchased at less than the Minimum Support Price and payment should be completed within 10 days of the purchase. During a review Wednesday, the Chief Minister stressed that no farmer should incur any loss. | P4 Parliamentary panel asks Twitter to apologise for Leh map goof-up E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Twitter’s geotagging feature displaying Jammu and Kashmir as part of China is a criminal offence and an act of treason, the joint parliamentary committee looking into the Data Protection Bill told representatives of the social media giant on Wednesday . The JPC, chaired by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, asked the firm to get an explanation from its US-based parent in the form of an affidavit along with a written apology . The panel grilled Shagufta Kamran, senior manager, public policy Twitter , India; Ayushi Kapoor, legal counsel; Pallavi Walia, policy communications; and Manvinder Bali, corporate security for about two hours. Sources said , the Twitter executives apologised for the “technical issue” but the JPC members were not satisfied. The JPC also sought to know on what basis Twitter takes down content and blocks accounts. Cu r r e n t r etail pri ce pe r kg J&K H 70-80 Bihar H 90-110 Assam H 70-80 Madhya Pradesh H 70-80 West Bengal H 100 Bengaluru H 114 Chhattisgarh H 60 Vijayawada H 80-90 Hyderabad H 130-150 Kerala H 50-80 Tamil Nadu H 80-100 1,90,740 11,420 Active cases Case fatality rate 0.499% Cases per mn 1,572.5 Voters patiently await their turn to cast votes for the first phase of Bihar Assembly elections at Bhabhua police station in Kaimur district on Wednesday | PTI As for active cases, the worst five states are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra and Tamil Nadu. With 11,420 active cases, Bihar’s numbers are one of the lowest among heavily populated states. The state is at the 11th position in terms of total cases, sev- enteenth position in active cases and eleventh in recoveries. But perhaps more important than the Covid figures is the socio-economic profile of the people affected by the deadly disease, which has the potential to make the BJP’s promise continued on: P7 a dud. Case recovery rate 95.24% Seventeenth position in active cases Eleventh position in total cases AP police win 48 SKOCH awards for excellent performance in various areas E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Vijayawada The Andhra Pradesh police have bagged 48 of the 83 SKOCH Order of Merit - 2020 Edition Awards for their outstanding performance in various areas of policing. The police also won two gold and 11 silver awards announced at the 67th SKOCH Summit held in New Delhi on Wednesday . Elated over the performance of the State police, Director General of Police Gautam Sawang said of the 48 awards, the district units received 20 in individual areas of policing, 24 awards by the Police Headquarters, comprising technical services, communication, welfare and Law and Order and four awards by the Crime Investigation Department (CID). Along with AP, Kerala received nine awards, followed by Maharashtra and West Bengal with four awards each. “So far, the AP police have Police counsel the child labourers rescued as part of Operation Muskaan in Tirupati on Wednesday | madhav k received 85 national level Health dept bags award awards and stood first in the for Covid-19 Handling country in using technology widely in policing. We got the best system in police and our men at ground level are improving their skills to adapt to the new technologies,” the DGP P5 said. The Department of Medical, Health and Family Welfare has received SKOCH Award 2020 for the impeccable work done during Covid-19 pandemic. The Health Department got SKOCH Award in ‘Covid-19 – Digital Handling’. Joyous outing turns tragic as six boys meet watery grave in stream Uttar Pradesh H 70-80 Rajasthan H 60-80 total cases deep waters Uttarakhand H 65-70 Punjab H 70-80 Factfile City Name E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Six boys aged between 15 and 16, met a watery grave in Pedavagu at Vasanthavada in Velerupadu mandal of West Godavari district on Wednesday. Velerupadu Sub-Inspector T Sudheer said the boys went to Pedavagu for Vana Bhojanam as part of Dasara festivities. One of them entered the stream, which got filled with water due to the recent heavy rains, unaware of its depth. When he started drowning, one after the other entered the stream to rescue their friends and all of them met a watery grave, the SI said. The police with the help of expert swimmers fished out the bod- ies from the stream after nearly two hours search. The deceased were identified as K Babji, S Shivaji, G Venkat Rao, K Radhakrishna, K Ranjit and Ch Bhuvan of Bhudevipeta. Gover nor Biswabhusan Harichandan expressed deep sorrow and sadness at the death of six students. “The unfortunate inci- dent occurred when several families of Bhudevipeta went to the place for a religious get together,’’ he said, and offered his heartfelt condolences to bereaved families. Deputy Chief Minister (Health) Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas condoled the death of six boys and offered all possible support from the government to the bereaved fami- lies. Alla Nani spoke to West Godavari District Collector R Muthyala Raju and SP Narayana Nayak and enquired about the tragic incident. He also spoke to Polavaram MLA T Balaraju and asked him to extend all help to the bereaved families. He instructed the officials to take measures to ensure that such incidents do not recur in the future.
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