sambalpur l wednesday l september 08, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Despite SC order, Army says 28 women officers ‘unfit’ A total of 28 women officers have been declared unfit to serve in the Army, with 11 of them set to leave the forces soon Seven Officers move Supreme Court sO FAR, 424 WOMEN granted p.c. Out of the 28 who were found unfit, seven officers have knocked the doors of the apex court terming the Army order discriminatory. One officer told this paper that the Army is not accepting the same criteria based on which they were given extensions twice earlier. The Supreme Court had given the ruling to grant permanent commission (PC) to women officers in Feb 2020 ■ ■ Following the SC order, a special board was set up to identify women officers to be given permanent commission As many as 615 women officers were considered, of which 424 were granted PC. The results of 77 have been withheld and 28 have been declared unfit to continue 20 yrs Most of the women officers have over two decades of service 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 Farmers begin indefinite dharna Mullah Hassan to head Taliban’s interim govt, Baradar deputy PM Talks with Karnal administration fails; action sought against brutal caning on August 28 H a r p r ee t B a j w a @ Chandigarh Express News SErvice Mullah Hasan Akhund Interim PM Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Deputy PM Sirajuddin Haqqani Acting Interior minister India won’t recognise govt soon India is unlikely to recognise the Taliban government but will remain enganged with it. “It is very unlikely that we will have diplomatic relations with them,” sources said, adding Delhi will not have any physical presence in Afghanistan. In terms of peopleto-people contact, sources said, India will continue to receive Afghan citizens | P7 Twenty-three days after taking control of Kabul and promising a broad-based, inclusive and internationally acceptable government, the Taliban on Tuesday announced an interim regime comprising their own leaders. The new Afghan government will be led by Mullah Hassan Akhund, an associate of the movement’s late founder Mullah Omar, as prime minister. There will be two deputy prime ministers – the outfit’s political head Mullah Abul Ghani Baradar and Abdul Salam Hanafi, a member of the Islamist group’s political office in Doha, Qatar. Sirajuddin Haqqani of the dreaded Haqqani network will be the interior minister, while Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob (son of Mullah Omar), will be defence minister. Hailing from Kandahar, Akhund served as governor of the province during the outfit’s first reign in the 1990s. Baradar was the leader of the Taliban delegation in the Qatar peace talks. Haqqani, a US-designated terrorist, has a $10 million bounty on his head. While there was no mention of what role Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban supreme leader, will play in the government, AFP reported quoting the secretive leader as saying in a statement that the new government will uphold the sharia law. The announcement of the new government, which doesn’t have a single woman member, came on a day when the capital city witnessed huge protests by women denouncing Pakistan’s airstrikes in Panjshir province. Chanting ‘death to Pakistan’ and ‘Freedom’, the protesters gathered at the gate of the Pakistani embassy in Kabul and asked its staff to leave Afghanistan, local media reported. Taliban gunmen broke up the protests by repeatedly firing into the air and threatening the protesters. They also detained several journalists covering the protests and allegedly thrashed some of them with rifle butts. When questioned about the handling of the protests at a press conference to announce the new government, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said illegal demonstrations would P9 not be allowed. Farmers participating in a protest at Haryana’s Karnal on Tuesday before beginning their indefinite dharna | Special arrangement RSS outfit’s turn to hit the streets to support kisans E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Striking a chord with the agitating farmers, the kisan wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh will hold a nationwide protest on Wednesday demanding a law guaranteeing procurement of foodgrains at remunerative prices after realistic assessment of variables like input cost and inflation. Unlike the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which has been pushing for total repeal of three controversial farm sector reform laws, the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) wants the laws amended to accommodate its concerns. BKS general secre- tary Badrinath Choudhary demanded that the government come out with a law on guaranteed purchase of foodgrains at remunerative prices across the country He also sought a mech. anism where traders can be registered and on-the-spot payment made to farmers. “The prevailing situation wherein procurement of foodgrains takes place largely in Punjab and Haryana, must change. Farmers across the country should be able to sell their produce at fixed prices with facility for immediate payments,” added Choudhury . The BKS said any purchase below the fixed price for grains should be declared a crime. Fear of violence Earlier in the day, the Karnal district administration and police issued a statement citing intelligence reports to claim that some anti-social elements had reached the city armed with lathis and iron rods etc. “It does not show good intention. All such elements with be strictly dealt with in accordance with law,” the statement read Internet down Haryana has suspended mobile internet services in Karnal, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind and Panipat districts. Also, 40 companies of security forces, including 10 of CAPF, have been deployed. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed charge the agitators on August 28.” Thousands of farmers on Their demands included a Tuesday laid an indefinite compensation package of `25 seige around the mini secre- lakh to the family of Sushil Katariat in Haryana’s Karnal city jal, a farmer who succumbed to demanding immediate action his injuries allegedly after the against officials involved in a police baton charge, and a govbrutal lathicharge on agitating ernment job for his son. As for farmers on August 28. Three the other farmers injured in rounds of talks earlier in the the caning, they demanded a day with the district adminis- compensation of `2 lakh each. tration failed to resolve the Earlier in the day, a 11-memmatter, after which farmers ber delegation of farmers held marched 5 km to reach the talks with Deputy Commismini secretariat, crossing six sioner Nishant Kumar Yadav, police bar ricades in the Inspector General of Police, process. Karnal range, Mamta Challenge Attempts to disSingh, Superintendfor Khattar perse them at the last ent of Police of Karbarricade using water The focus is now nal Ganga Ram Punia cannons failed. Till on Chief Minister and other officials for then they were alabout two hours. The Manohar Lal lowed to proceed un- Khattar, as Karnal talks remained inconhindered. When the clusive as the farmers is his Assembly march began, senior refused to budge from constituency. leaders of the Samy- “The Khattar govt their demands. ukt Kisan Morcha, inSenior farmer leadshould agree to cluding Rakesh er Balbir Singh Raour demands or Tikait, Balbir Singh else arrest us. We jewal said during the Rajewal, Darshan Pal, talks Nishant Kumar are ready to fill Yogendra Yadav and Yadav had sought to Haryana jails,” Gurnam Singh Chabuy time — as much Tikait tweeted duni, were briefly deas a month — to probe tained by the police if former SDM Ayush but let off within minutes. Sinha’s objectionable words acIndicating the farmers were tually led to the police lathichprepared for the long haul, arge. Harinder Singh Lakhowtents and kitchens quickly al, general secretary of BKU sprung up at the dharna spot (Lakowal), said they were alAnnouncing the indefinite ways ready for further talks. dharna, Tikait said, “We will Addressing a mahapanchaystay put till our demands are at at the new grain market, Yomet. We want action against gendra Yadav said, “We have IAS officer Ayush Sinha, the come to ask the government then Karnal sub-divisional which law under the Constitumagistrate (SDM), whose tion gives an IAS officer perviral video showed him direct- mission to give orders to break ing the police to brutally lathi- the heads of farmers.’’ Senior YSR Congress leader arrested by Odisha Crime Branch in chit fund scam Cairn ready to accept refund, withdraw case E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Former MLA and senior leader of YSR Congress Party Malla Vijay Prasad was arrested by Economic Of fences Wing (EOW) of Odisha Crime Branch for duping investors over ` 2 crore through a chit fund scheme in the State. Prasad, currently chairman of Andhra Pradesh Education and Welfare Infrastructure Development Corporation, is accused of duping more than 150 depositors in Bhubaneswar, Narasinghpur (in Cuttack district) and Nayagarh between 2009 and 2014, official sources in EOW said. He was produced before a designated court at Cuttack on Tuesday and remanded in judicial custody. The former Visakhapatnam West MLA was held from his Seethammadhara residence in Visakhapatnam on Monday . In 2016, the CBI had raided Malla Vijay Prasad Prasad’s house and offices in connection with the an alleged `1,200 crore chit fund scam committed by Wellfare Building and Estates in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal. As managing director of M/s Wellfare Building and Estates private limited, he along with two directors of the firm had allegedly promised investors high rate of interest on deposits under different schemes. EOW’s investigation revealed that M/s Wellfare Building and Estates was initially registered with Registrars of Companies (ROC), Hyderabad. Later, the company was enlisted with ROC, Kolkata in 2011 with its head office in Visakhapatnam. Wellfare Business and Estates operated in Odisha through its branch offices in Bhubaneswar, Narasinghpur and Nayagarh between 2009 and 2014. During the period, the firm reportedly lured depositors with schemes that promised to double their investments or provide plots in Visakhapatnam. The company apparently closed its offices after collecting a huge amount of money from the investors. So far, EOW has collected documents from 150 depositors and the number could rise. EOW has information that the former Andhra Pradesh MLA’s company’s operation may have spread to some other parts of the State like Sambalpur district. However, probe is on to collect more details. CONTINUED ON: P5 @ Chennai Jab-o-meter Take your shot September 6 1,10,40,809 doses September 7 67,43,698 doses Total doses: 70,63,55,796 NATIONWIDE sept 06 sept 07 Fresh cases 38,948 31,222 Recoveries Deaths 43,903 42,942 219 290 odisha sept 06 sePt 07 Fresh cases 609 638 Recoveries Deaths 727 08 801 07 UK-based Cairn Energy Plc will drop litigations to seize Indian government properties abroad, including diplomatic apartments in Paris and Air India airplanes in the US, after getting $1 billion refund of retrospective tax collected by the Centre, Cairn CEO Simon Thomson said. The government had last month enacted a new legislation to reverse the controversial retrospective tax law of 2012, which had led to tax claims worth over `1.1 lakh crore against multinational companies such as Cairn Energy Plc, Vodafone Plc, pharma major Sanofi, and alcohol sector fir m SABMiller. The government had already secured around `8,100 crore from such companies express read No State for wildlife Odisha lost 1 jumbo every 5 days in last three and half yrs E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar ODISHA has lost 282 elephants in last three and half years. Between the financial year 2018-19 and first five months of 2021, one jumbo died almost every five days in the State. At least 43 elephants fell to electrocution during the period. Train mishaps claimed 13, while four elephants lost their lives in road accidents in the State, according to in- formation furnished by Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh in the State Assembly Only sev. en deaths were attributed to poaching. As per the Minister’s information, 59 elephant died due to other accidents which included fall from hills and drowning in rivers and water bodies as well as infighting. Arukh while replying to a question from member Pra- fulla Samal said the State has managed to bring down elephant deaths. A total 93 elephants had died in 2018-19. The number came down to 82 in 2019-20 and 77 in 202021. At least 30 pachyderms died between April and August this year.Anthrax and other diseases claimed 95 elephant lives. Cause of death is yet to be ascertained in 21 cases, which includes six this year. In Odisha, rapid urbaniza- tion, mining and industry ex, pansion of linear infrastructure and fragmented habitats have sent elephants into a growing conflict with humans over the last several years. The Minister stated that no declining trend of elephant population is seen in the State as the jumbo population has continuously grown. Census 2012 had pegged their head count at 1,930 which subsequently increased to 1,954 in 2015 and 1,976 in 2017. The Minister also informed through a variety of routes. Of this, `7,783 crore (of $1.06 billion) was collected from Cairn alone. From this refund, Cairn plans to return up to $700 million to shareholders — $500 million through a special dividend and a share buyback programme worth $200 million. “The remainder of the proceeds would be allocated to further expansion of the low cost, sustainable production base,” it said. Cairn also plans to enter into statutory undertakings with the GoI related to the new legislation. While it admitted that the final form of these statutory undertakings has yet to be published by the GoI, it went on to note that it anticipates that the principal condition prescribed will be the withdrawal of Cairn’s rights under the international arbitration award. that the state lost 17 leopards in this period which included two Royal Bengal tigers, killed in electrocution and disease separately in 2018-19. Five of leopards were killed in poaching.The Special Task Force of Odisha Police, State Forest department as well as the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau have seized at least 29 leopard skins since April 2020. Nine leopard skins were seized by Forest officials in Kalahandi alone in July this year. HC says reports on Covid deaths ‘inadequate’ Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Tuesday directed Additional CS Health department Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra to file a detailed supplementary affidavit on the issue of discrepancies in the audited Covid-19 deaths in second wave | P2 Assembly okays Bill to amend Municipal Act Bhubaneswar: The Assembly on Tuesday passed the Odisha Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 keeping the maximum limit of reservation of seats at 50 pc for SCs, STs and backward class citizens in ULBs | P3 Don’t lower guard during upcoming festivals, CM warns people E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar CHIEF Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday warned that lockdown will again return to the State if people continue to flout Covid guidelines. Reviewing the Covid situation, the Chief Minister said responsible behaviour from people during the coming festival season can only prevent a third wave of the pandemic in Odisha. He said that lockdown restrictions have been relaxed keeping the interest of people in mind, but there should be no complacency and everybody should wear masks, avoid crowds and maintain social distance. The Chief Minister expressed concern over the spike in Covid cases in many countries including America and Kerala in India and said that guidelines are the only weapons we have to fight against the pandemic. Stating that as children are yet to be vaccinated, he said that everybody should be careful to prevent infection among them. The heads of the schools and other educational institutions will be held responsible for laxity in obeying Covid guidelines, he said and added that special teams should be constituted to check on educational institutions. Directing officials to keep a close watch on marketplaces, all religious and health institutions, the Chief Minister said that there should be regular testing of high risk groups of people including health workers, school-going students, pregnant women, government employees and police. CONTINUED ON: P5
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