tadepalligudem l monday l april 05, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l city EDITION facebook data leak leaves 53 crore users vulnerable Hackers posted user data, including phone numbers, biodata, locations, date of birth and some email IDs for free on a forum 61 lakh indians vulnerable to cyberattack The leak, found by cyber intelligence firm Hudson Rock, has compromised the privacy and cyber security of 61 lakh Indians as well. The hackers siphoned off user data from 106 countries. The worst hit was the US with 3.2 crore breaches, followed by UK with 1.1 crore. Cybercriminals now have access to the data, which can be used to scam or impersonate users online ■ 87 million Facebook claims it’s old data ■ Facebook tried to downplay the situation with a spokesperson claiming the data in question is old and was first brought to its notice in 2019. It claimed that the issue was ‘fixed’ in August ’19 But Facebook remained tightlipped on what the ‘fix’ was. It was also silent on the ready availability of user data for hackers users’ data obtained by Cambridge analytica without their consent in 2013 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 Campaign plan on Covid protocol; Modi seeks people’s participation E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi IV N P P r a s a d B a b u @ Ongole Embezzlement of nearly `2 crore by some officials of the District Water Management Agency (DWMA) in implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has come to light in social audit. It was revealed that the DWMA officials swindled the funds in plantation of fruitbearing saplings taken up in Pullalacheruvu mandal of Prakasam district in 2019-20 under MGNREGA. They had swindled the funds by submitting false bills pertaining to the implementation of MGNREGA to the district treasury office. Development works worth `8.94 crore were taken up in Pullalacheruvu in 2019-20. DWMA Project Director Seena Reddy conducted the 11th round of MGNREGA social audit at the Mandal Parishad office a few days ago. The plantation of fruit-bearing saplings was executed by the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP). It was found that some DWMA officials withdrew huge amounts by not implementing the plantation scheme at the field level in the mandal. There were no Measurement Books and other records pertaining to plantation of saplings under the rural employment guarantee scheme. Some government department officials did not even submit the records for crosschecking of P4 funds spent. We will take stringent action against the DWMA staff involved in embezzlement of `1.95 crore MGNREGA funds. We will recover the amount from them at the earliest — Seena Reddy, DWMA Project Director 2,815 Making a mockery of the Panchayat Raj system, the husband of a newly elected woman sarpanch, took the oath of office at Chudi panchayat in Kowthalam mandal on Saturday According to information, . Lakshmi, a YSRC-backed candidate, won the panchyat election. The Panchayat Raj officials conducted the oath taking ceremony of newly elected sarpanches on Saturday . In Chudi, panchayat secretary Hussainamma conducted the proceedings. When the name of the sarpanch was Upalappa (wearing white short) takes oath as Chudi panchayat sarpanch | Express called, Lakshmi did not turn up. Instead, her husband Upalappa came onto the stage to take the oath of office in place of his wife who fell ill. Without raising any objection, he was administered the oath of office by the Panchayat Raj officials. The entire episode was recorded and posted on social media platforms. When the video went viral, the Panchayat Raj offi- WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) cials swung into action. Speaking to TNIE, District Panchayat Officer (DPO) Prabhakar Rao said show-cause notice was issued to Chudi panchayat secretary and other staff pertaining to the incident. The newly elected sarpanch could not attend the oath taking ceremony due to ill-health. Hence, her husband was made to take the oath as sarpanch instead of Lakshmi by the panchayat secretary in violation of rules. Action will be taken against the panchayat secretary and other staff after getting an explanation to the showcause notice, the DPO said. 5,818 4,174 4,617 4,563 04 Apr 4,373 03 Apr 02 Apr 4,234 02 Apr T 04 Apr 03 Apr 2,975 31 Mar 4,991 01 Apr 4,225 2,792 30 Mar wave for 4 more days The India Meteorological Department predicts continuation of heat wave in AP for the next four days 01 Apr 31 Mar 30 Mar 29 Mar 3,082 49,447 Heat Man takes oath as sarpanch in place of sick wife E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kurnool A day after Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed that since there is no Covid in the state, no one needs to wear a mask, Assam’s health department made virus testing mandatory for incoming air and train passengers from Mumbai and Bengaluru. Assam’s figures are indeed low — just 68 new cases on Sunday. But Sarma’s casual attitude was off-putting cases in the country in the last 14 days and 47% of deaths in the country during the same period. Punjab has contributed 4.5% of the total number of cases in the country in the last 14 days, besides 16.3% of the total number of deaths,” said a statement. The focus of the government is in line with its strategy in June-September last, which included ramping up healthcare infrastructure, availability of oxygen, ventilators, logistics and adopting clinical management protocols in hospitals along with in-home care. Modi specifically laid stress on reducing fatalities. On vaccination, the government plans to share its daily analysis of performance with all states. COVID TRACKER “Do not forget to follow the three mandatory rules -- use of face mask, maintaining physical distance and frequent cleaning of hands. Do not be negligent and feel it is as a social responsibility to protect yourself and your family from Covid-19,’’ Dr Srikanth said, and appealed to the people to get vaccinated themselves against virus at their nearest P4 government hospital. 31,072 1,730 Samples tested New cases 842 New recoveries 5 Deaths 10,300 1,52,08,436 Active cases Total samples tested 9,07,676 Night & weekend curfew in Maha to cushion economy S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i @ Mumbai Karnataka 29 Mar 47,913 03 Apr 43,183 02 Apr 04 Apr 39,544 27,918 31 Mar 01 Apr 31,643 Maharashtra chhattisgarh Gujarat 2,839 Madhya Pradesh 3,187 4,373 3,446 Tamil Nadu Uttar Pradesh Delhi Karnataka 3,567 81% of new cases in 8 states Cases in last 24 hrs 3,108 Andhra Pradesh reported a sharp spike of 1,730 Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours ending Sunday 9 am, which is the highest daily count since November 12, 2020. The number of active cases in the State surged past 10,000, the highest caseload after November 29, 2020, due to the surge in new infections from early March. State Covid Nodal Officer Dr Arja Srikanth said the spike is the highest in the past few days and the loss of five lives in the 24 hours span should be taken as a warning. The Nodal Officer asked people to strictly follow the Covid guidelines issued by the government to prevent the spread of the virus. 1,423 @ Vijayawada 2,153 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e 30 Mar NREGS audit reveals `2 cr swindle No mask needed in Assam, claims Sarma Steady rise in daily count causes concern 49,447 Rowthu Jagadish of Vizianagaram and Sakhamuri Murali Krishna of Guntur of Cobra 210 Battalion, were killed in the Bijapur encounter with Maoi s t s i n C h h at t i s g a r h o n Saturday . The exchange of fire between the security forces and Maoists at Sukuma-Bijapur border in Chhattisgarh had left at least 22 personnel belonged to CRPF, Cobra, STF and DRG units killed, and over 35 injured. According to officials, Jagadish from Gajula Rega village, lost his life while saving the life of his senior officer and three of his colleagues. Infor mation Rowthu Jagadish reaching the of Vizianagaram f a m i ly s a i d t h at Ja g a d ish’s body was riddled with bullets, resulting his instantaneous death. Murali Krishna also died in the ground zero of encounter site near the villages of Jonaguda and Tekalgudam, A pall of gloom descended on the villages from where the jawans hailed on hearing their martyrdom. Local people and politicians visited the houses of CRPF jawans and consoled their family members. 5,818 A group of around 200 Maoists silently observed the movement of the team of CRPF and State police jawans for nearly a day before identifying the more isolated group of 150 and then attacked them with all their might, killing 22 jawans on the spot and injuring 35 more, in what is the biggest blow to the security forces since the April 2017 Burkapal attack. Given that the modus operandi in Saturday’s encounter appears to be the same as that employed in the Burkapal attack or the 2010 Dantewada attack - in which the armed guerrillas isolate and attack a party of soldiers returning from an area domination exercise, when they are already out on the field for over 24 hours and vulnerable due to exhaustion questions are likely to be raised about the learning of the forces from their past brushes with the Maoists. According to highly placed sources, despite the best efforts of search parties, one jawan is still untraceable. “The possibility of him being captured alive by the Maoists cannot be ruled out,” a highly placed source told TNIE. The missing soldier belongs to the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, sources told. The 22 personnel who were killed in the fierce gunfight on Saturday, include eight each from the elite Cobra Battalion of CRPF and District Reserve Guards (DRG), six belonged to Chhattisgarh’s Special Task Force (STF) and one from the CRPF’s Bastariya Battalion. While the number of casualties on the side of Maoists could not be established, the body of a Maoist leader with an INSAS rifle was recovered. She was identified as Madavi Vanoja, believed to be the commander of the Local Guerilla Squad (LGS) of Pamed area. “Our aggressive antiMaoist operations will continue with the renewed strategy As per our information the . Naxals too had suffered heavy casualties and our sources revealed they carried their dead on four tractors,” said Ashok Juneja, Director General (AntiMaoist Operation). The CRPF officials informed that the troopers were attacked by the Maoists with UBGL rocket launcher and indiscriminate firing by LMG and other weapons, while they were returning from the combing opP8 erations. @ Vijayawada Maharashtra @ New Delhi/Raipur E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Chhattisgarh Sana Shakil/Ejaz Kaiser 2 jawans from AP among martyred 40,414 It was rerun of 2010 Dantewada attack; 22 jawans killed, 35 injured 29 Mar CRPF personnel carrying the coffin of a fallen jawan in Maoist encounter, in Chhattisgarh on Sunday | PTI On a day India reported 93,249 new Covid-19 cases and 513 deaths, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went into a huddle with top experts to chart out an action plan to curb the exponential infection growth. Taking a grim view of the high case load and deaths in Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh, Modi directed that central teams comprising public health specialists and clinicians be sent to the these states to address the crisis. The high level meeting called by the prime minister was given a detailed presentation, which stated that 10 states are contributing more than 91% of cases and deaths due to Covid-19. The experts attributed the rising trend line to lapses in Covid-19 protocol compliance, pandemic fatigue and lack of effective implementation of containment measures at the field level. Modi sought the rollout of a five-fold strategy of “Testing, Tracing, Treatment, Covid-appropriate behaviour and Vaccination” with a special campaign for 100% mask usage, personal hygiene and sanitation at public places/workplaces and health facilities for seven days from April 6-14. He also emphasised on community awareness and its involvement in containing the infection. “As of date, Maharashtra has contributed 57% of total Reeling under the burden of daily case surge, the Maharashtra government on Sunday introduced a raft of strict measures like weekend and night curfews, but stopped short of a complete lockdown. The new measures include a weekend curfew, starting 8 pm Friday to 7 am Monday; and strict night restrictions between 8 pm and 7 am, starting Monday (April 5). Only essential services would be allowed to operate unhindered till April 30, after which the restrictions could be eased based on an assessment of the outcome of the measures. The decision was taken at an Total cases urgent cabinet meeting, during which Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray proposed a complete lockdown, an idea his colleagues opposed, pointing out its economic fallout. Based on the inputs, Thackeray also decided to impose restrictions on gatherings by promulgating CrPC section 144, but made exemptions for commercial establishments and industries. NCP minister Nawab Malik said that the decision was unanimous, and would be in force between April 5 and April 30. “The decision is aimed at saving lives with minimal impact on economy We also con. sulted the BJP and MNS before making this announcement,” Malik said. The strategist and the votebank his election is bipolar. I don’t see anything else at the micro or macro level.” That’s one of Mamata Banerjee’s key strategists airing his views, post two volatile phases of polling, with six more to go, a process that cumulatively promises to run a bleedingedge scythe through West Bengal’s political history . Bengal, particularly Kolkata, is of course teeming with election strategists, free-floating analysts and sundry dogooders. That’s natural for a state with that kind of heightened political consciousness. But our man stands out for various reasons. For one, no one can be more free-floating than him—in an election where the ‘outsider/insider’ binary has been quite pronounced, he’s an outsider on the inside, so to speak, having travelled across a few green fields, been on all sides, peddling his professional wares like a migrant labourer of strategic thought. And he has all the swagger of a new-age visionary . It’s quite a crowded field, though. Some have come to save Bengal from cultural corruption, others have come to rescue it from petty corruption—cut money, tolabaaji (extortion), political rentseeking of many shades, all that. It has some benefits. The hotel industry and the fab cafes haven’t seen such brisk West Bengal SANTWANA BHATTACHARYA business in the last 10 years of Didi’s rule. None of them will say koro na (don’t do it) to this moveable feast, corona or no corona. Among the mig ratory flocks, some of the busiest are those who make managing elections their raison d’etre. Like our man. Quite apolitical, they look at elections clinically, through the prism of personality cults, creation of catchphrases and hashtags— all with bands of young, outsourced volunteers. “This election is about Mamata Banerjee,” claims one such strategist, “nothing else matters.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who’s thundering forth from more rally pulpits here in Bengal than he may have spoken on some other delicate occasions, pretty much confirms that in his own way. He doesn’t utter a line without mockingly invoking her, intoning the words “Arrey Didi....” The strategist obviously thinks he knows the best. But Mamata, being the Didi that she is, can’t be scripted to fit into any box—not even the one that’s labelled Banglar meye (daughter of Bengal). She’s too canny for that. In Cooch Behar, for instance, Mamata reminds voters: “This election is not about me. It is about saving Bengal.” Cooch Behar (nine seats) and Alipurduar (five seats), up north, nestled along the restive Chicken’s Neck, are going to polls on April 6. Continued on P7
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