sambalpur l friday l september 23, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Government plans to license messaging apps, internet calling Whatsapp, Zoom and Google Duo may require licences to operate in India, says the draft telecommunication bill 2022 OTT PLAYERS TO BE PART OF TELECOM SERVICE Messages can be intercepted, stopped These over-the-top communication services have been included in the draft bill as part of the telecommunication service. “For provision of Telecommunication Services and Telecommunication Networks, an entity shall have to obtain a licence,” said the draft bill released for public feedback on Wednesday. The last date for feedback is October 20 ■ The bill says authorised officers of the Centre and states will have the power to stop and intercept the transmission of messages “in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity or security of India, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, or preventing incitement to an offence”. However, press matter will be exempt 117 crore Size of India’s telecom subscriber base, the world’s second largest 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 Nationwide crackdown on PFI, 106 held NIA, ED conduct raids across 15 states; leaders arrested for terror funding, recruiting youth for terror acts E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ Chennai/ New Delhi/ Bengaluru/ Vijayawada / Kochi IN one of their biggest joint operations against terror funding and terror activities, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday arrested 106 activists of the Popular Front of India (PFI) from 93 locations across 15 states, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Telangana, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi even as top officials met to discuss a likely ban on the organisation. During the coordinated nationwide operation, which began at around 3:30 am, PFI Chairman O M A Salam, national general secretary V P Nasarudeen Elamaram and the organisation’s Delhi unit head Parvez Ahmed, among others, were taken into custody Salam . was picked up from his home at Kerala’s Malappuram, after the Bhagwat breaks new ground, visits mosque and madrasa Mohan Bhagwat (C) leaves after a meeting with Umer Ahmed Ilyasi on Thursday | ANI Ra j e s h K u m a r T h ak u r @ New Delhi RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday broke new ground by visiting a mosque and a madrasa for the first time, expanding the organisation’s outreach to the Islamic community . That the visits happened on a day when the National Intelligence Agency launched a nationwide swoop on activists of the Popular Front of India for alleged acts of terror, indicated an attempt of the Sangh to draw a line between the radical elements and those in the Islamic mainstream. Bha gwat called on Umer Ahemed IIyasi, head of the All India Imam Organisation, at a mosque in Delhi’s Kasturba Gandhi Marg. He then went to the Madrasa Tajweedul Quran in Azadpur. During their hour-long meeting, Bhagwat agreed with Ilyasi that both Hindus and Muslims must work towards national unity . At the madarasa, IIyasi introduced the RSS chief to the students as Rashtra Pita, but Bhagwat intervened and said there is only one father of the nation, adding “we are Bharat ki santan” (children of Bharat). “With this visit, a message should go that we all want to work towards strengthening India,” IIyasi said. On August 22, Bhagwat had met five Muslim intellectuals — Najeeb Jung, S Y Quraishi, Zameer Uddin Shah, Shahid Siddiqui and Saeed Shervani. PFI, SDPI workers protest against the raids in Hubballi on Thursday | PTI place was searched. Ahmed’s residence in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar was also raided. Raids were also carried out in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar and Manipur. The NIA said 45 of the total arrests were made by the agency . Even as the raids and arrests were underway Union Home Min, ister Amit Shah met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and NIA Director-General Dinkar Gupta to discuss details of the case, the likely fallout and implications. Kerala, where the PFI is said to have strong pockets, accounted for 22 arrests. Among the arrested leaders are PFI state president C P Mohammed Basheer, national council member P Koya and senior functionaries Jaseer K P Sha, feer K P E Abu Backer, E M Abdul , Rahiman, Najumudeen, Sainuddeen T S, Yahiya Koya Thangal, K Muhammedali, C T Sulaiman, P K Usman, Karamana Ashraf Moulavi, Sadiq Ahmed, Shihas, Ansari P and M M Mujeeb. In Tamil Nadu, 11 people were arrested. They were identified as Syed Ishaaq, Advocate Khalid Mohammed, A M Idris, Mohamed Abuthahir, S Khaja Maideen, Yasar Arafat, Barakathullah, Fayaz Ahamed, M Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Mohammed Yousuf and A S Ismail, a national executive committee member PFI. Muhammed Saqib Sahab, PFI’s national secretary was picked up at Coimbatore Railway station and taken to Delhi. In Karnataka, the NIA, with help of local police searched suspects’ locations in Bengaluru and Mangaluru and arrested Anis Ahmed, Afsar Pasha, Abdul Wahid Sait, Yasar Arafath Hasan, Mohammed Shakif alias Shakif, Mohammed Farooq ur Rahman and Shahid Nasir. Sources said documents, cash, sharp-edged weapons and large number of digital devices were seized during the raids. The NIA is investigating a total of 19 PFI-related cases, including five registered on Thursday . It’s advantage Sachin Pilot, Tharoor C y nt h i a C h an d r an @ T’Puram The Gandhi family is learnt to have convinced Ashok Gehlot to step down as Rajasthan chief minister and hand over the post to Sachin Pilot, since the former will contest the Congress presidential polls. Gehlot is expected to quit in the coming days. “Gehlot tried his best to convince Rahul Gandhi that he would be able to handle both the posts. But Rahulji made it clear it was not possible,’’ said a source. “Priyankaji too was adamant that Sachin has to be made the CM,’’ he said. Gehlot then tried in vain to get his loyalist and Rajasthan Speaker C P Joshi chosen as his successor. Rahul spoke his mind at a press conference on Thursday when he said the one-person, one-post decision taken at the Chintan Shivir in Udaipur would apply to the presidential polls as well. A source close to Pilot said, Gehlot in his “desperation” is still trying every trick to ensure Pilot does not succeed him. “There are attempts from Gehlot’s side to delay his resignation as CM till Diwali or the Gujarat Assembly elections in December. But the ploy is unlikely to succeed since Rahul wants the rift in the party to end before his yatra reaches Rajasthan in October-November.” As for Shashi Tharoor, the other presidential contestant, he may get a berth in the CWC, the highest decision making body in the Congress, regardless of how he fares in the polls. A decision in this regard was taken when Tharoor met Sonia Gandhi earlier this week. “Tharoor has always maintained warm relations with the Gandhis even when he was with the G-23. They appreciate his potential and are aware of the harm he is capable of doing if he were to leave the party,’’ said a well-placed source. e x p r e s s r ead At least 31 killed in Iran’s crackdown on protests: NGO Tehran: At least 31 civilians have been killed in an Iranian security forces crackdown on protests that erupted over the death of Mahsa Amini after her arrest by the morality police, an Oslo-based NGO said Thursday | P9 End of Ukraine war need of hour, India tells UNSC artistic finesse An artisan busy giving shape to clay idol ahead of Durga Puja, at Old Town in Bhubaneswar, on Thursday | DEBADATTA MALLICK Woman delivers on road, walks 2 km with newborn A tribal woman gave birth alongside a road and walked around 2 km with the newborn to reach the ambulance in Koraput | P4 New Delhi: India on Thursday told the UN Security Council that the need of the hour is to end the conflict in Ukraine and return to dialogue and said that the nuclear issue is a particular anxiety, underlining Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion to Russian President Vladimir Putin that this cannot be an era of war | P7 Hijab ban: Hearing over, SC verdict likely by October 14 New Delhi: The Supreme Court bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia on Thursday reserved verdict in pleas challenging Karnataka HC’s ruling of upholding ban of hijab in educational institutions | P7 Panic button, VLT now mandatory for commercial vehicles E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar ODISHA government has decided to make panic button and vehicle location tracking (VLT) device mandatory in all commercial and passenger vehicles plying in the State from next year. The decision has been taken in pursuance of the direction issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in 2018 to ensure medical care reaches faster to the vehicles meeting an accident. As per a notification by the Commerce and Transport department, the vehicles registered on or after January 1, 2023 will have to comply with VLT and panic button at the time of registration and the vehicles registered on or before December 31, 2022 will have to comply by March 31, 2023. Except three-wheeler, all commercial and passenger vehicles, including both government and private buses, school and college buses and cabs/taxis will be equipped with VLT and panic buttons for the safety of women and children. While passengers travelling alone will be content to know that their vehicle is being tracked and there is a panic button to rely on in case a situation goes haywire, the system will also help the drivers of the public utility vehicles. Transport department officials said fitment of VLT and panic buttons will be mandatory for all commercial vehicles and private vehicles can install the gadgets if they want. Joint Commissioner (Technical) of State Transport Authority Dipti Ranjan Patra said all commercial vehicle owners will have to install the VLT while the passenger vehicles will have to be equipped with both VLT and panic buttons. The gadgets designed to ensure the safety and security of travellers will respond to emergencies and medical needs, along with curbing speeding. The devices will be tracked from the command and control room to be set up at Bhubaneswar. Commerce and Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu said in case of emergencies, travellers will not have to call anyone. Once the driver of a vehicle or any traveller presses the panic button, the vehicle’s location will be directly transmitted to the emergency response team, which can easily track the vehicle and come to rescue, she said. flood control Govt to construct two barrages on Baitarani, Kochila rivers in Jajpur and Bhadrak districts E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Bhubaneswar In view of the increasing incidence of floods in the Baitarani river system, the State Cabinet on Thursday approved a `200 crore project for construction of barrages on Kochila and Baitarani rivers in Bhadrak and Jajpur districts. The in-stream storage structure will be constructed across Kochila river near Kuturia village of Bhadrak district and Baitarani river near Dhobabil village of Jajpur district. The work is proposed to be completed in 30 months. This storage structure will control the flood situation in Kochila river and rejuvenate the Baitarani river. It will also meet drinking water and domestic requirements of the people of Dhamnagar block of Bhadrak district and Dasarathpur block of Jajpur district leading to improvement of their socio-economic condition. The scheme was formulated by the State government during 2019-2020 with an outlay of `11,700 crore to create large water bodies within river embankments without displacement of people. The Cabinet also approved `634.14 crore project to take water from the Lower Suktel reservoir through intake well/ channel and subsequent lifting through pressurized underground pipeline network to left command area of Balangir district. The project has been targeted to be completed in 30 months. It will provide irrigation facility to 13,000 hectares in Balangir district. A proposal to create additional irrigation potential of about 12,914 hectares in Jajpur and Kendrapara districts by lifting water from Kharsua, Kani and Baitarani rivers through intake system and subsequent flow through pressurized distribution under Parbati Giri Mega Lift Irrigation scheme was approved. The `366 crore project will be completed in three years. The farmers of Jajpur and Kendrapara districts will be benefited on completion of this project. Besides, a `430 crore project was approved under the Parbati Giri Mega Lift Irrigation Scheme to create additional irrigation potential of about 13,547 hectares in Kalahandi, Bargarh, Balangir and Gajapati districts by lifting water from Mahanadi, lndravati reservoir, lndravati, Ong and Suktel rivers. Similar projects were also approved to benefit the farmers of Cuttack, Angul, Jajpur, Keonjhar and Kendrapara districts. The Cabinet gave the green signal to the `87 crore project for widening and strengthening of 30 km stretch of Sonepur — Binka — Rampur - Dunguripali road to provide better connectivity and reduce traffic congestion.
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