Modi, Pope panel mooted on Ukraine war Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador mooted a mediation panel comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pope Francis and other leaders to end the Ukraine war Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard read out the president’s proposal at the 15-nation UN Security Council briefing on Ukraine MADURAI FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 `9.00 PAGES 12 LATE CITY EDITION “This Council is the most powerful contemporary symbol of diplomacy. It must live up to its purpose,” said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar “The objective would be clear, generating new mechanisms for dialogue and creating additional spaces for mediation, reduce tension and open the path towards lasting peace,” Ebrard said | P7 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 arrested NIA, ED conduct searches across 15 states; top leaders arrested for terror funding, recruiting youth for terror acts E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Chennai/ New Delhi/ Bengaluru/ Vijayawada / Kochi RSS head Mohan Bhagwat (C) leaves after a meeting with the All India Imam Organisation chief Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, at a mosque in Delhi on Thursday | ANI Bhagwat breaks new ground, visits mosque and madrasa RAJESH KUMAR THAKUR @ 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. Bhagwat 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 hourlong 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. EXPRESS READ ‘State has achieved perfect trifecta’ Chennai: TN Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan on Thursday said the State has managed to reduce revenue and fiscal deficits and achieve growth despite keeping inflation in control. Speaking to the media here, he called it a “perfect trifecta” | P4 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, na- tional 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 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 Minister Amit Shah met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Home Secretary Ajay PFI, SDPI workers protest against the raids in Hubballi on Thursday | PTI 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 ar- rested leaders are PFI state president C P Mohammed Basheer, national council member P Koya and senior functionaries Jaseer K P, Shafeer 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 com- mittee 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 Power cut during C-section C Y N T H I A C H A N D R A N @ 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. at GH leaves woman critical M SA R AVA N A N @ Coimbatore A 22-year-old woman, who was moved to a private hospital directly from the operation theatre of Annur Government Hospital after electricity and generator failure on Wednesday, is fighting for her life at another private hospital. While her baby is recuperating in an incubator, the woman’s poor family, which has spent over `1.5 lakh on emergency medical treatment, is struggling to save her. Sources said Vanmathi, wife of M Vigneshwaran, of Kumarapalayam near Annur, was admitted to the Annur GH for delivery last Monday. After assessing her condition, doctors fixed a Caesarean procedure at 10 am on Wednesday Around 9.30 . am, after anaesthesia was administered, power went off at the hospital, and the generator too failed. A medical officer at the hospital said they had been waiting for approval from higherups for nearly a year to get the P5 generator fixed.
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