visakhapatnam l monday l april 05, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l late 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 the 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 Heat wave for 4 more days The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts continuation of heat wave in AP for the next four days WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) Steel plant employees rally against privatisation E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Visakhapatnam Beach Road in the city on Sunday was reverberated with the slogan ‘Visakha Ukku Andhrula Hakku’ as hundreds of people participated in ‘Maha Kavatu’ organised by the Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee against privatisation of the steel plant. Even after 53 days, the steel plant agitation is gaining further momentum as more and more people are extending support to it. A lot of activity was witnessed at the relay hunger strike camps at Kurmanna- VSP employees take part in ‘Maha Kavatu’ in Vizag on Sunday | G satyanarayana palem Junction and the Gandhi statue at the GVMC office. The Beach Road was a chocka-block as the steel plant employees and their family members and leaders of various political parties participated in ‘Maha Kavatu’, which began from the NTR statue and concluded at the YSR Statue. The rallyists raised slogans denouncing the Narendra Modi government’s move to privatise Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. Enthusiasm was palpable that even children were seen running with their mothers during the rally Dubbed as pre. paratory rally for the proposed April 18 ‘Maha Sabha’, where several farmer leaders, including Rakesh Tikait, and political leaders, will participate, evoked a good response from people apart from VSP employees. Addressing a meeting, Porata Committee chairman J Ayodhya Ram and INTUC national general secretary Sanjay Singh said the Modi government was P3 selling all PSUs. T 5,818 4,174 4,617 4,563 3,108 1,423 04 Apr 4,373 04 Apr 03 Apr 2,975 31 Mar 03 Apr 02 Apr 4,234 02 Apr 2,792 30 Mar 4,991 01 Apr 4,225 01 Apr 31 Mar 3,082 49,447 04 Apr Karnataka 29 Mar 47,913 03 Apr Maharashtra 30 Mar 2,815 Gujarat 2,153 2,839 Madhya Pradesh chhattisgarh 29 Mar 3,446 3,187 Tamil Nadu 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 to cushion its economy . 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 urgent cabinet meeting, during which the chief minister 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 consulted . BJP and MNS before making the announcement,” he said. Uttar Pradesh S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i @ Mumbai “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. 81% of new cases in 8 states Cases in last 24 hrs 43,183 Night & weekend curfew in Maha to cushion economy 02 Apr Total cases 39,544 9,07,676 01 Apr Total samples tested 4,373 Active cases 3,567 10,300 1,52,08,436 Delhi Deaths 27,918 5 5,818 842 New recoveries 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 urged people to strictly follow the Covid guidelines issued by the government to prevent the spread of the virus. Karnataka New cases @ Vijayawada Chhattisgarh Samples tested E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e 1,730 31 Mar NREGS audit reveals `2 cr swindle 31,072 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. Steady rise in daily count causes concern COVID TRACKER 31,643 Rowthu Jagadish of Vizianagaram and Sakhamuri Murali Krishna of Guntur of Cobra Battalion, were killed in the Maoist attack against security forces at Bijapur in Chhattisgarh on Saturday . The fierce exchange of fire between the security forces and Maoists at Sukma-Bijapur border had left at least 22 personnel belonged to CRPF, Cobra Battalion, STF and DRG units killed, and over 35 injured. According to CRPF officials, Jagadish from Gajula Re ga village, lost his life while saving the lives of his senior officer and three of his colleagues. AcRowthu Jagadish cording to inof Vizianagaram formation reaching his family Jagadish’s body was rid, dled with bullets. Murali Krishna was also killed in the ground zero of encounter site near the villages of Jonaguda and Tekalgudam, A pall of gloom descended on the native villages of the two CRPF jawans on hearing their martyrdom in the Maoist attack. Local people and political leaders visited the houses of two CRPF jawans and consoled their family members. 30 Mar 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 security personnel 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 Union Territory 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 49,447 @ New Delhi/Raipur E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Maharashtra Sana Shakil/Ejaz Kaiser 2 jawans from AP among martyred 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 40,414 It was rerun of 2010 Dantewada attack; 22 jawans killed, 1 missing No mask needed in Assam, claims Sarma 29 Mar CRPF personnel carry the coffin of a fallen jawan in Maoist attack, at Jagdalpur camp 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 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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05-04-2021 of The New Indian Express-Vishakapatnam