COIMBATORE THURSDAY OCTOBER 29, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY 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 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 Rajinikanth to call it quits even before taking the political plunge? S K U M A R E S A N @ Chennai AFTER at least two decades of speculation and anticipation over actor Rajinikanth’s political debut, it now appears the superstar might call it quits without even taking the plunge. A note, purportedly authored by the actor, has been making the rounds in the State’s political space, in which, he has allegedly cited the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, his age, health condition, and uncertainty over availability of a vaccine as some of the reasons for his decision not to take part in active politics in the State. Neither Rajini nor those Fans losing hope? Rajini had claimed, his focus was on the upcoming Assembly polls. However, with the polls just around the corner, the actor’s followers had been losing hope of his grand entry close to him have confirmed the authenticity of the note. “No official statement has been issued by him,” said Riaz K Ahmed, Rajini’s public relations officer. Nonetheless, fans and members of the Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM) have begun to make peace with such a possibility RMM functionar. ies have told TNIE that they had been reliably informed that an announcement to this effect would come soon. A district functionary of the RMM, who was also part of the actor’s fans’ association since 1978, said, Rajini’s health was their top priority. “All that we (fans) wish for, is his good health and not his political entry,” said the functionary, who is in the know of recent developments. “More than anything else, we want him to live a long life. We were doubtful as to whether the situation was conducive for our leader to engage in active politics ever since the pandemic crept up.” NO VACCINE SWING IN BIHAR? BJP’s promise to provide Covid shots for free doesn’t appear to cut ice with the voters RAJESH KUMAR THAKUR, SANA SHAKIL & MUKESH RANJAN @ Patna/New Delhi/Muzaffarpur ONION PRICES TO STAY NORTH WAITING to meet the doctor at a nursing home in Muzaffarpur, Rupesh Kumar Sinha, 44, a medical representative with a pharmaceutical company, said the Covid-19 pandemic and the threat it poses was not even a talking point among the people, leave alone an election issue. “I am in the field of health and I have seen patients suffering from coronavirus. People are a bit scared but not overly worried,” he said, dismissing the suggestion that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s promise to provide the Covid vaccine free to Bi- har was a game changer. health infrastructure, Bihar has done From Muzaffarpur and Saran to well on the virus front, making it a Samastipur and Patna, the BJP’s pop- non-issue and hardly a mass ulist promise grabbed media head- concern. lines and was a hot topic of debate in While the national case fatality drawing rooms last week, but for the rate is 1.5%, Bihar’s is a mere 0.499%, voters in the dust bowls of Bihar, one of the lowest in the country. Covid and the vaccine are hardThe disease’s incidence per milly issues to be animated lion in India is 5,790.1 but in EAR about. Bihar it is 1,572.5, the lowest TO THE “When the gover nment in the country . GROUND could not make proper arOn total deaths and active rangements for Covid-19 pacases also the state has not tients, it is foolish to believe such done badly. The highest death false promises,” said Saroj Kumar count is in Maharashtra at 38,717, folThakur, 35, who runs a salon in lowed by Andhra Pradesh, 9,917, and Patna. Karnataka, 9,461. Bihar’s is only 925, Despite being the third-most popu- one of the lowest among the popuCONTINUED ON: P9 lated state with a creaking public lous states. 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 in Chitradurga, Ballari, Gadag, Dharwad, Haveri and Chikkamagaluru districts contributed to the super spike in prices. “Although normally there is spike in onion prices in NovemberDecember because the March stocks tend to get exhausted and the October harvest cannot be dried and stored for long, this year’s rise is because around 70,000 hectares in Karnataka got affected by the monsoon,” said B N Prasad, managing director of Horticultural Producers’ Cooperative Marketing and CONTINUED ON: P9 Processing Society). CU R R E N T R E TAIL PRI CE PE R KG J&K H 70-80 Uttarakhand H 65-70 Punjab H 70-80 Uttar Pradesh H 70-80 Rajasthan H 60-80 Madhya Pradesh H 70-80 Bengaluru H 114 Kerala H 50-80 Bihar H 90-110 Assam H 70-80 West Bengal H 100 Odisha H 80 Chhattisgarh H 60 Vijayawada H 80-90 Hyderabad H 130-150 Tamil Nadu H 80-100 CM Edappadi K Palaniswami releasing CDs with short films and songs on Covid awareness on Wednesday. Also seen are Dy CM O Panneerselvam and other ministers EPS kicks off awareness drive amid festive season E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai THE State on Wednesday added 2,516 fresh cases to its tally tak, ing it up to 7,16,751. Additionally as many as 35 deaths were , reported on the day, taking the toll above the 11,000-mark, to 11,018. The 10,000-mark was crossed on October 8, marking a 20-day interval for the State to record 1,000 deaths. Backlogging the count, Tamil Nadu earlier took 16 days to reach the 10,000-mark from the 9,000-level which was recorded on September 23. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, through a video conference from the Secretariat in Chennai, flagged off seven of the 33 vehicles launched for the State chapter of the “Jan Andolan” campaign, meant to create awareness on Covid-19, in view of the festive season. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently launched this campaign, asking people to conduct themselves adhering to safety regulations and Covid protocols in view of the festive and the winter season. Palaniswami also released CDs with short films and songs as part of the awareness drive, the first copies of which were received by Health Minister C Vijayabaskar and Minister for Information and Publicity Kadambur Raju. The State government has so far released 54 short films and songs as part of the campaign, on various aspects, including importance of hand washing, maintaining social distancing, the dos and don’ts for people under isolation, etc. Additionally, the guidelines to be followed in work places and industries, and also an advisory are being aired on television channels. Tata Group to set up `5,000-crore electronic components plant in TN E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai TATA Group will be setting up a phone component manufacturing plant at the industrial complex in Hosur. According to reports, an electronics plant will be set up on a 500-acre land and Titan Co’s precision engineering division, and Titan Engineering and Automation Ltd will provide expertise for the project. CM Edappadi K Palaniswami, in a tweet on Wednesday said, “It is a matter of great pride that the Tata group shall invest `5,000 cr in TN. The Tatas join the ranks of international giants like Foxconn, Dell who have made their base in our State.” 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
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