BHUBANESWAR l thursday l february 18, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l JEYPORE EDITION Petrol price crosses `100/ltr in Rajasthan 60% of the retail cost is govt taxes At `100.13, a litre of petrol was at its costliest in Sriganganagar town of the western state. In Madhya Pradesh, the rate is `99.90 Modi blames predecessors for spike The all-time high price comes weeks after the state slashed 2% VAT on fuel. Still, at 36% after the rate cut, Rajasthan’s levy is the highest in India. Diesel in Sriganganagar is at `92.13. Central and state taxes make up for as much as 60% of the retail price of petrol and over 54% of diesel. The Centre levies `32.90 a litre as excise duty on petrol ■ Petrol rates have risen by `19.95 a litre since mid-March ’20, after Centre hiked levy to benefit from the fall in international prices ■ PM Modi said if previous regimes had focused on reducing India’s energy dependence, global fluctuations wouldn’t have hurt the middle-class. India imported 85% of fuel in the last financial year `91.45 petrol price in chennai. In Mumbai, it’s `96, Delhi `89.54, Kolakata `90.78 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 FIR says toolkit part of plot to damage India No names of accused in it; Nikita Jacob gets three-week advance bail from HC G ayat h r i M a n i a n d S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i @New Delhi/Mumbai An accidentally-leaked toolkit Google doc was not just meant to amplify the ongoing farmers protest, it also contained a detailed plan and was part of a larger conspiracy to wage an economic, social, cultural and regional war against India, if one were to go by the first information report (FIR) the Delhi Police filed on February 4. The FIR does not name any of the accused, including activists Disha Ravi, Shantanu Muluk and Nikita Jacob, but Disha’s arrest and the subsequent actions are on its basis. Disha’s advocate got access to the FIR on Wednesday . The toolkit accidentally shared by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg said: “On 26th January, a major day of globally coordinated actions. Show your support at local and physical locations wherever you are. Either find protests happening in your city, state, country and participate in large or small numbers or organise one. You are encouraged to organise solidarity protests either near Indian embassies, near your local government offices.” The FIR also states that the January 26 violence was part of a ‘pre-planned conspiracy’ executed by the Pro-Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF). “A perusal of the said document reveals that it was promoting campaign material by Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF), a Canada-based organization that openly and deliberately shared posts on social me- dia to create disharmony and enmity, hatred and ill-will among different religious, cultural and regional groups,” the FIR states. Various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) like 123 A, 153, 153A and 120B pertaining to sedition, hatching criminal conspiracy and creating disharmony or enmity, ill-will between different groups religious, regional and social groups have been invoked. Meanwhile, Mumbai-based advocate Nikita Jacob was given three-week transit anticipa- The FIR mentions the name of the proscribed pro-Khalistani organisation Sikh for Justice (SFJ), which announced cash rewards of $2.5 lakh for anyone hoisting a seditious flag at India Gate on January 26. “The banned organisation also made provocative and seditious appeals to people,” the FIR says tory bail by the Bombay High Court on Wednesday . While passing the bail order, Justice P D Naik cited the Aurangabad bench order that gave advance bail to another accused Shantanu Muluk, while adding: “It would not be appropriate to make any observations on the merits of the case.” The Delhi Police claim that Disha Ravi and Nikita Jacob were editors of the toolkit created by Shantanu Muluk. Three armymen held for bid to kidnap minor Srinagar: Three armymen have been arrested for allegedly attempting to abduct a minor girl in Kashmir’s Bandipora. While the Army remained tightlipped, the police confirmed the arrests but refused to identify the personnel. The bid to kidnap the 8-year old was made when she was returning home after tuitions on February 10. SSP Bandipora Rahul Malik said investigations were on. However, he refused to reveal the identities the three men Cuttack doctor loses `77L to online fraud including the CVV number, the doctor received a message on his mobile from SBI that his A CUTTACK-based doctor lost ATM had been blocked on Febover `77 lakh to cyber criminals ruary 9 at 6.35 pm. who defrauded him on the pre“When I made an inquiry at text of activating his mobile SBI, Bidanasi branch, I was SIM card. told that `25,292.98 and The cyber fraud came `24,284.21 have been deto light after the victim, ducted from my bank Dr Sanatan Mohanty account in two transacof CDA Sector 7 under tions. From the bank Markat Nagar police register it was relimits lodged a comvealed that purchases plaint regarding the were made through fraudulent transacPOS machines on Febtions amounting to ruary 9 evening. When When I made an `77,86,727 from his two I met the SBI, Bidanainquiry at SBI, SBI bank accounts Bidanasi branch, I si branch manager in with the Cyber police this regard, he told me was told that station in the city on that a new ATM card `25,292.98 and Wednesday . would be issued and `24,284.21 have been deducted In the FIR, Mohanty also assured that no from my bank stated that he received fraud transaction account in two a call on February 9 would occur further,” transactions wherein the caller told stated the doctor. him that his BSNL Dr Sanatan Mohanty, However, when he SIM card would bewent to Tulasipur SBI cyber fraud victim come inactive soon. branch on February The caller, while offer15, he came to know ing help to activate the SIM that multiple transactions were card, asked him to provide his continuing from February 9 to ATM card number and bank de- February 15 without his knowltails. After sharing his debit edge amounting to `77,86,727, card number and bank details the FIR alleged. @ Cuttack E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday announced a `200 crore package for beautification and peripheral development of the famous Samaleswari temple in Sambalpur. Launching the Samaleswari Temple Area Management and Local Economy Initiative (SAMALEI), the Chief Minister said the government will spend `200 crore in 2021-22 to develop an area of 108 acres around the temple. Unveiling a slew of measures, the Chief Minister said four gates will be erected on the four sides of the temple to facilitate smooth entry and exit of devotees. The temple office, an interpretation centre and other facilities will be developed at the main gate for convenience of the visitors and smooth darshan of the presiding deity . The temple situated on a 12acre land on the bank of Maha- nadi river will have adequate facilities for religious functions, a bhoga mandap and rest rooms for sevayats. Steps will be taken for a housing project for the sevayats. As per the plan, a kilometre- long heritage corridor will be constructed around the temple for Parikrama of devotees. Facilities like yatri nivas, parking lot, information centre, vending zone and other amenities will be available. Apart from widening the Ring Road, a 30 mtr-wide road will link the temple to Mahanadi river bank which will facilitate visitors to have a view of the riverside. Arrangements will be made for holding Mahanadi Aarati on the lines of Ganga Aarti for which the 30 mtr-long deck will be constructed. The river bank will also have pavilions and food plaza. The 22 acre wetland of Sambalpur will be developed into a tourist spot with all modern amenities. While the government offices coming under the proposed area will be relocated, other affected people including those residing on government land will be compensated under a new rehabilitation package, the CM said. Delhi court chucks Akbar’s defamation suit against Ramani committed in the close doors or privately. Sometimes the Stressing that women can- victims herself does not unnot be punished for raising derstand what is happening to their voice against sexual them or what is happening to a buse, a Delhi cour t on them is wrong. Despite how Wednesday acquitted journal- well respected some persons ist Priya Ramani in a are in the society, they defamation suit filed in their personal lives, by former Union miniscould show extreme ter M J Akbar contestcruelty to females.” ing her allegations of The court took note sexual harassment by of the systematic abuse him in the past. at the workplace due to Additional Chief lack of grievance rePriya Ramani Metropolitan Magisdressal mechanisms at trate Ravindra Kumar the time Priya Ramani Pandey said, “The right and witness Ghazala of reputation cannot Wahab were allegedly be protected at the cost sexually harassed. of the right of life and “Time has come for dignity of woman as society to understand guaranteed in Indian sexual abuse and harMJ Akbar Constitution under Arassment and its impliticle 21 and right of cations on the victim,” equality before law and equal the court said, adding most protection of law as guaran- women do not speak about it teed under Article 14 of the because of social stigma. Constitution.” “This judgment is a validaThe court accepted Rama- tion of the stand taken by us ni’s contention that Akbar and all women during the wasn’t a man of stellar reputa- #Metoo campaign,” Ramani’s tion. In its 91-page verdict, the lawyer Rebecca John later court said, “It cannot be ig- said. Ramani had in 2018 made nored that most of the time, allegations of sexual harassthe offence of sexual harass- ment against Akbar in wake ment and sexual abuse (was) of the #MeToo movement. K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi Khalistani outfit’s footprint visible express read E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e CM unveils `200 cr SAMALEI for Samaleswari beautification Tight vigil Armed security personnel deployed at the entrance of Odisha Assembly on the eve of Budget session on Wednesday | Express Centre plans to extend mining clearances till expiry of lease B i j o y P r a d h a n @ Bhubaneswar As the new lessees of auctioned mines are facing difficulties in obtaining fresh approvals and clearances from statutory authorities within the specified time of two years, the Ministry of Mines has proposed to extend all rights and statutory clearances to them till the expiry or termination of the lease. Since the move of the Centre needs further reforms in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, the Ministry has invited views of the states and other stakeholders on the draft additional amendment proposals to the principal Act by February 24. “It is proposed to amend section 8B of the Act to provide that all valid rights, approvals, clearances, licences and the like granted to the lessee shall continue to be valid till exhaustion of mineable reserves and on expiry or termination of lease,” said the supplementary proposal of the Ministry . The Centre had amended the Act in January last year by inserting of a new section 8B to transfer statutory clearances to successful bidders of the mining leases expiring by March 31, 2020. The Mineral Laws Amendment Act, 2020 provided All the working mines auctioned before expiry of their leases have valid approvals and clearances. Extension of all rights would save time for the miners and boost production Industry sources that new lessees deemed to have acquired all valid rights and clearances for a period of two years for seamless mining operations. Nearly a year after the auction of working mines, the Ministry observed that the lessees are facing hardship in obtaining the clearances and it would not be possible for them to comply with the provisions of the new mining laws within the stipulated time. “The new lessees have to obtain 20 approvals to start the mining operations, of which nine are from different Central ministries and the remaining are from the State government. In normal course, the minimum time period required to obtain these approvals vary from two to three years,” sources said. The lengthy process of getting all clearances is not only delaying the commencement of mining operations by the new lessees but has adversely affected the mineral production in the country pushing the ore price in the market and making steel production uncompetitive in the international market, the sources maintained. Appreciating the move of the Ministry, industries sources said, “All the working mines auctioned before expiry of their leases have valid approvals and clearances. Extension of all rights would save time for the miners and boost production.” The changes were necessary as 46 working mines (24 mines from Odisha), whose leases expired on March 31 last year, have miserably failed to produce 80 per cent of the rated production capacity in the previous three years. In view of the shortfall in iron ore production, the Ministry has also proposed to amend the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960. harvest of success Congress sweeps Punjab civic polls, BJP gets zilch H a r p r ee t B a j w a @ Chandigarh As expected, the ruling Congress swept the civic polls in Punjab held in the backdrop of a prolonged farmers’ protests being supported by it. The Shiromani Akali Dal came a distant second and the BJP last, with the main opposition AAP faring well below its expectations. The civic polls were held barely a year ahead of the Assembly polls. The Congress swept seven municipal corporations in the state as it bagged Hoshiarpur, cabinet stamp DMs to approve adoption, ease bottleneck S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved a key change in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 to authorise district magistrates to validate adoptions. The decision is meant to address the rather slow in-country adoptions in India, as hundreds of prospective parents are forced to wait for years to adopt orphaned or abandoned children. As of now, prospective adoptive parents are re- quired to go to civil or family courts to get the final go-ahead after all formalities are over. However, with pendency high in civil and family courts, it is not easy to get a date for hearing, said officials in the Central Adoption Resource Agency under the Union women and child development ministry . Government figures show that 2,160 adoptions took place in India in 2020-21 but officials pointed out that about 1,000 adoption cases are pending in courts at any given time. “Though the JJ law mandates that courts have to dispose of adoption cases within two months from the date of filing of application, it rarely happens,” said an official. “The parameters for appointing CWC members Defining eligibility parameters for appointment of child welfare committee members, and categorising previously undefined offences as “serious offence” are some of the other aspects of the proposal latest amendment will clear these major hindrances in the way of children reaching their adoptive families.” As per the norms, orphaned and abandoned children are required to be declared legally free for adoption within two months in the case of a child up to the age of two years and within four months in case of a child above the age of two years, after following due procedure. Further, surrendered children are required to be declared legally free for adoption after two months, called reconsideration period, from the date of surrender of the child. K a p u r t h a l a , A b o h a r, Pathankot, Batala, Moga and Bathinda. It was after decades that the party wrested the Bathinda civic body from the Akali Dal. The results of Mohali Municipal Corporation will be declared on Thursday . Bathinda Lok Sabha constituency is represented by former Union minister Harsimrat Badal of SAD, which broke off from the NDA last year over the new farm laws. Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh said the victory was due to its “progressive policies”. Tsitsipas stuns Nadal in five-set thriller Stefanos Tsitsipas came back from two sets down to beat Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinal of the Australian Open. The five setter scoreline read 3-6, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, 7-5 I AFP P11
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