HYDERABAD THURSDAY JUNE 23, 2022 `9.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION BIDEN CALLS FOR 3-MONTH SUSPENSION OF FUEL TAX US President Joe Biden has also called on states to suspend their own gas taxes or provide similar relief, the White House said CONSUMERS TO SAVE 3.6% AT THE PUMP MOVE TO SALVAGE PREZ’S LOW RATINGS The federal tax on gas is 18.4 cents-a-gallon, while it is 24.4 cents on diesel. In his speech to Congress on Wednesday, Biden will suggest suspending fuel tax till September, the White House said. If the benefits are fully passed on to consumers, it will translate into 3.6% saving at the pump. Biden also called on energy firms to accept lower profit margins to raise oil production ■ White House had been considering a gas tax holiday for months, but held off till now over concerns how Congress will take it. The latest move comes at a time when Biden’s ratings have taken a battering as inflation soared to its highest level since the 1980s and the national average gas price has reached $5 per gallon $10 billion ESTIMATED COST OF THE THREE-MONTH TAX FREEZE TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Shinde rejects Uddhav’s CMship offer Pawar tries to play peacemaker; chief minister issues emotional appeal to the rebels; vacates official residence Rebels ‘elect’ him Sena legislative party leader S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai Locals inspect the damages caused by the earthquake Paktika on Wednesday | PTI 1,000 dead in deadly Af quake 1,500 people have been injured and many villages destroyed in the deadliest earthquake in Afghanistan in more than two decades The 6.1-magnitude quake struck around 1.30 am local time, catching many in their sleep Its epicentre was in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan, not very far from the Pak border Tremors were felt in Pakistan and India as well The toll may rise as many people are still trapped beneath the debris and rescue works are hampered by a lack of machinery Experts blame poor building quality and high population density for the high toll | P9 CBI books Wadhawan bros in `34,615 cr fraud EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against Dewan Housing Finance Corporation promoters Kapil Wadhawan, Dheeraj Wadhawan and others for defrauding a consortium of 17 banks to the tune of `34,615 crore, making it the biggest banking fraud probed by the agency. Following registration of the case on June 20, the CBI on Wednesday carried out coordinated searches on 12 properties of the accused in Mumbai. “Searches were conducted at 12 locations in Mumbai at the premises of accused, which led to recovery of incriminating documents,” the CBI said. The CBI action follows a complaint from the Union Bank of India, leader of the 17-member consortium which had extended credit facilities to the tune of `42,871 crore between 2010 and 2018. The complaint alleged that the Wadhawan brothers and DFL director Sudhakar Shetty along with other accused entered into a criminal conspiracy to cheat the banks. The FIR also names Amaryllis Realtors LLP Gulmarg Realtors , JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT June 21 10,50,571 doses June 22 30,20,119 doses TOTAL: 112,91,49,871 LLP, Skylark Buildcon, Darshan Developers, Sigtia Constructions, Creator Builders, Township Developers, Shishir Realty, Sunblink Real Estate and other unknown persons including public servants. The accused allegedly cheated the consortium by siphoning off loans after creating shell companies. The audit of DHFL account books showed Bandra Books DHFL allegedly maintained as many as 1,81,664 ghost retail loan accounts having liability of over `14,000 crore, which were kept in a parallel set of accounts database known as ‘Bandra Books’, officials said the company allegedly committed financial irregularities, diverted funds, fabricated books, round tripped funds to “create assets for Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan” using public money Both are in judicial custody . in connection with previous fraud cases. The DHFL loan accounts were declared NPAs at different points of time by the lenders. NATIONWIDE JUNE 21 JUNE 22 TELANGANA JUNE 21 JUNE 22 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 9,923 12,249 7,293 9,862 17 13 403 145 0 434 129 0 WITH the Uddhav Thackerayled government in Maharashtra wobbling following a massive revolt in the Shiv Sena, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday tried to save it by suggesting rebel leader Eknath Shinde be made the new chief minister to contain the haemorrhage, but the latter promptly rejected the offer. With the writing on the wall, Uddhav vacated Varsha, his official residence in south Mumbai, and left for his family’s Matoshree bungalow in Bandra. Pawar, the chief architect of the three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi, called on Uddhav along with Supriya Sule and housing minister Jitendra Ahwad and proposed that the chief ministership be offered to Shinde while Uddhav stays as party president. His logic was the CM post is part of Shiv Sena’s quota and must stay that way . But Shinde, whose rebel group has numerical majority among lawmakers in the Shiv Sena, rejected the offer, saying his action was in the larger interests of the party, adding there will be compromise with the Hindutva ideology . Earlier in the day, Uddhav made an emotional webcast ap- P K R I S H N A @ Sangareddy Tension prevailed at Zaheerabad National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ) during Industries Minister KT Rama Rao’s tour on Wednesday as the locals protested against laying of foundation stone for a defence unit. Police blocked all roads leading to Zaheerabad NIMZ, especially from the villages in Jharasangam and Nyalkal mandals. Despite heavy police presence, a large number of farmers from Mamidigi, Metal Kunta and Chilapally Thanda of Nyalkal and other villager tried to reach the place. The locals, who are demanding fair compensation for the lands acquired by the government for establishing the NIMZ, wanted to meet Rama Rao and voice their concerns. However, police stopped them from entering the NIMZ. Later, they resorted to lathicharge, during which around Murmu’s spiritual calling at Mt Abu A wave of excitement swept across the normally sedate Brahma Kumari spiritual fraternity after learning that Droupadi Murmu was set to be the country’s new President. Murmu has been a follower and a regular visitor of the Prajapita Brahma Kumari Spiritual University at Mount Abu in Rajasthan. The meditation technique she learnt from them helped her overcome grave personal tragedies in her life, as she unfortunately lost both her sons and husband in a span of just five years. Murmu who hails from the Santhal tribal community in Odisha, has overcome many other struggles in life. When one of her sons, Laxman, died File photo of Droupadi Murmu (C) at the Brahma Kumari HQ in Rajasthan in an accident in 2009, she went into depression. That was when she went to the Brahma Kumari headquarters to learn the Raja Yoga meditation from the sisters there, informed the executive secretary of the institute, B K Mrityunjay . He said Murmu was able to somehow come out of the shock, but then in 2013, her second son, too, died in an acci- CM Uddhav Thackeray after vacating his official residence on Wednesday | PTI peal saying he was ready to resign as both CM and party head if the rebels meet him face to face and ask him to do so. But after the speech, Sena leader Sanjay Raut tweeted that they will fight till the last moment. Uddhav admitted that during the pandemic and due to his spinal surgery he could not in, teract with party lawmakers earlier, but was now meeting them. He lauded Pawar and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, with whose party the Sena is in an alliance, saying they were very cooperative and kind. “I am ready to resign as the CM. Our rebelling MLAs should choose a CM from amongst themselves. The CM should be from Shiv Sena... Why speak from Surat and Guwahati, please come to Mumbai and talk to me. If you do not want to meet me, at least call and convey your thoughts,” he said. Rebutting Shinde’s charge on compromising with Hindutva, Uddhav said: “Aditya Thackeray recently went to Ayodhya with Shinde. Hindutva is part of Shiv Sena. I may be the first Maharashtra CM who spoke on Hindutva in the state Assembly . I am not a person who will stick to the CM’s chair. I have already written the resignation letter,” said Uddhav adding that he would not like anyone voting from his party against him in the floor test. Uddhav said he was pained that his own people were saying he should not be the CM. He claimed he was not worried about the numbers. “Numbers are not important, people are,” he said trying to tug at the P8 rebels’ heartstrings. Techie from N’gonda shot dead in US COPS LATHI-CHARGE OUSTEES DURING KTR’S VISIT TO ZAHEERABAD PAST CONNECT R A J E S H A S N A N I @ Jaipur rebels sought to paint the Uddhav government as corrupt, A day after the Shiv Sena sacked pointing to the serious allegarebel leader Eknath Shinde as tions against jailed Aghadi the head of the party in the Ma- leaders Anil Deshmukh and Naharashtra Assembly, his loyal- wab Malik. “The Congress and ists appointed him as the par- the NCP are using their office ty’s legislative party leader and and power to undermine the named a new party base and foundation whip. Four more our Shiv Sena cadre,” After shifting the 34 in Guwahati the resolution alleged. rebel MLAs to Guwa“The Sena is a party Another hati from Surat overwith strong ideology night, Shinde sought to chartered plane and was formed for consolidate his posi- with four Sena fighting for the rights tion, as the party brass MLAs arrived in the Marathi manoos. Guwahati on in Mumbai called a legSince the last two-andislative party meeting Wednesday to a-half years, our party join the rebel and threatened to inand its leadership comShiv Sena voke the anti-defection promised on its princilaw. Shinde’s group ap- legislators who ples. Severing the allipointed Bharat Goga- reached the city ance with the BJP has wale as the new party earlier, sources had a tremendous negsaid whip replacing Sunil ative impact on the votPrabhu. ers and party cadre at Shinde claimed he had sup- large,” the resolution read. port of 40 Sena MLAs and that It added that the party’s leadnumbers will go up by and by If . ers were facing tremendous Shinde can prove he has 37 of pressure from their electorate. them with him, then they will “We have been subjected to lot escape the defection law. of criticism for being part of A resolution adopted by the this corrupt government.” E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Mumbai dent. And a year later, she lost her husband. “These tragic incidents were like an earthquake in her life, but she held on to the strings of spirituality so tightly that she somehow developed the strength to bear the adversities. She has a deep connection with spirituality and is constantly in touch with the headquarters of our institute,” Mrityunjay said. During an event at the Mt Abu centre, Murmu said, “I come here as these brothers and sisters are very dear. The atmosphere here is full of positive vibrations.” Many at Mt Abu recall Murmu as saying that “when people change by taking advantage of the value-based education of this institution, then India will rise again.” 15 protesters were injured. During the altercation, a woman fell unconscious and she was rushed to the government hospital in Zaheerabad. The oustees then smashed the windshield of a police vehicle, following which police arrested some protesters and shifted them to Raikode police station. Police sources, meanwhile, informed that around 1,200 oustees were arrested since Tuesday night. The gover nment, which decided to acquire a total of 12,634 acres in 17 villages, has so far acquired just 2,900 acres. Initially for one set of farmers, the officials paid `5.65 lakh per acre of patta land, `4 lakh per acre of assigned land and `3.25 lakh per acre of uncultivated land. Later, they paid `7 lakh per acre for patta land and `4.25 lakh per acre for assigned land to another set of farmers. The oustees are now demanding `15 lakh per acre. EXPRESS READ Ten more arrested for violence in Sec’bad Hyderabad: Railway Police investigating the attack on trains and kiosks at the Secunderabad Railway Station on June 17 in protest against the Centre’s Agnipath armed forces recruitment scheme, arrested 10 more suspects. All the 10 accused were sent to judicial custody for 14 days | P2 T’wood shoots hit as workers go on strike Hyderabad: Film shoots have come to a grinding halt after the Telugu film workers, comprising 24 crafts, announced a flash strike on Wednesday. The shooting of about 25 films, which are under production in both indoor and outdoor locations, were affected as the workers launched a protest demanding a wage hike | P3 E N S @ Hyderabad Police arrest the agitating oustees at Zaheerabad NIMZ on Wednesday FOUNDATION LAID FOR VEM TECHNOLOGY FACILITY VEM Technology Pvt Ltd’s Integrated Defence Systems, for which Minister KT Rama Rao laid the foundation stone at NIMZ in Zaheerabad on Wednesday, is being set up with an investment of `1,000 crore. The company will manufacture anti-tank guided missiles, small arms (sniper rifles), unmanned aerial systems, aerostructures for fighter aircraft, large structures for defence equipment, underwater weapon systems, radars and a range of missile and weapon systems ‘NATURAL FOR FARMERS TO PROTEST’ Industries Minister KT Rama Rao said it was but natural for farmers to protest when lands are sought to be acquired for NIMZ. He directed District Collector A Sarath to help farmers by offering something in addition to the government’s compensation if needed. “The next generation of landless farmers should be given the confidence that they have the opportunity to benefit from these industries,” he said. JH gang rape case: Bail pleas of 4 minor accused rejected EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad THE bail pleas of four of the six accused in the sensational Jubilee Hills gang rape case were on Wednesday turned down by two different courts in the city, while orders regarding the bail plea of one of the two remaining accused was posted for Thursday. Saduddin Malik, the only accused who is above 18 years of age, did not move a bail plea. According to sources, the investigative agency opposed granting bail to the accused on stating that they are politically influential and can potentially influence the investigation. Agreeing with this contention, the court rejected the appeal of the accused. On May 28, the 17-year-old student was allegedly gang raped by the six accused at a secluded place in Jubilee Hills. The accused also allegedly filmed the heinous crime and circulated the videos on social media platforms. Following the complaint from the girl’s father, police initially filed a case under Section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and later added Section 376D (gang rape), Section 9, 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, and relevant Sections of the IT Act. A software employee Sai Charan Nakka, 25, who hails from Nalgonda was shot dead in Baltimore, Maryland of the United States at about 4.30 am local time on Sunday . Local authorities believe that Sai Charan was shot at by a black man while he was returning in his car after dropping off a friend at the airport. Sai Charan went to the US a couple of years ago to pursue a Masters in Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He then started working with Envirol Civil Engineering Limited and lived in Hanover. The young man was planning to visit his parents in November. According to infor mation, “ About 4.30 am, Maryland Transportation Authority N Sai Charan Police were called to a singlevehicle crash on southbound Interstate 95 near the Caton Avenue exit.” When police reached the spot, they found that Sai Charan had a gunshot wound. They immediately moved him to the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Centre where he was declared dead. Sai Charan’s father, Narasimha, is a retired headmaster and his mother a homemaker. His parents were informed about his death on Monday evening. The body was handed over to his sister Harika, who also lives in the US. It will be brought to Hyderabad on Sunday . BOSS OF 44 JUMBOS Guruvaryur temple’s famous elephant camp, Punnathur Kotta, has got its first woman manager in its 47-year history | P5
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