NAGAPATTINAM l thursday l september 29, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Centre extends free ration scheme for poor by 3 months The scheme to give 5 kg of wheat or rice free of cost to 80 crore poor every month will now run through December 31, 2022 PRE-POLL DECISION TO BOOST BJP’S PROSPECTS 4% hike in Da, dr for central govt staff The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana was launched in April 2020 to help the poor. The scheme, which has been extended multiple times in the past, was to end on Friday. The latest move comes ahead of the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections. It had good recall value for the BJP in the previous round of state polls early this year | P7 ■ ■ In another decision, the Cabinet increased the dearness allowance and dearness relief by 4% effective July 1, 2022, benefiting 41.85 lakh central govt staff and 69.76 lakh pensioners The combined impact on the exchequer on account of dearness allowance and dearness relief would be `12,852.5 crore per annum `44,762 cr Cost of extending the free ration scheme by three more months 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 PFI, 8 affiliates banned for five yrs, SDPI spared Home ministry notification says the outfit has links with global terror groups like ISIS E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Centre on Wednesday banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) for five years, less than a week after the National Investigation Agency conducted countrywide raids and arrested hundreds of its leaders and activists primarily across Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and the Northeast. The PFI later put out a statement saying it stood disbanded after the ban, adding as “lawabiding citizens of the country , we accept the decision”. Curiously, the government chose not to include the PFI’s political front, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), on its list of banned outfits. The proscribed affiliates and fronts of the PFI are the Centre are Rehab India Foundation, Campus Front of India, Junior Front, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation, National Women’s Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala. They all were outlawed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Claiming that investigations have established a hub and spoke relationship between the PFI and its associates, a notification issued late on Tuesday night by the home minstry said they were pursuing a secret agenda to radicalise a particular section of the society to undermine democracy . Pointing out that the UP Kar, nataka and Gujarat governments had already sought its ban, the notification warned that any delay in curbing the Senior advocate R Venkatramani is the new AG E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi THE Centre on Wednesday appointed senior advocate R Venkataramani as the new Attorney General for India for a period of three years. Venkataramani will succeed K K Venugopal after his term ends on September 30. Venugopal had expressed his unwillingness to continue in the constitutional post due to his advanced age. The development comes after Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi on Sunday declined the Centre’s offer to be appointed as the 15th AG of India. Born in 1950, Venkataramani enrolled in the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu in July 1977. He shifted to Supreme Court practice in 1979. He was designated as Senior Advocate by the Supreme Court of India in 1997. Venkataramani has practised in various branches of law, including constitutional law, law of indirect taxes, human rights law, civil and criminal law, consumer law, as well as law relating to services. He has also established himself as one of the most erudite and astute lawyers. He was recently appointed by the Supreme Court as Receiver for the Amrapali Group. He has been appearing as a special senior counsel for Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh governments. He has also served as a member of the Law Commission. 9 months on, retired Gen Anil Chauhan Cong suspense continues, is govt’s pick for Chief of Defence Staff Sonia-Gehlot meet today MAYA N K SI N G H @ New Delhi THE Centre on Wednesday appointed Lt General Anil Chauhan (Retired), a former eastern Army commander and director general of military operations, as the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). He will also function as Secretary to Government of India, Department of Military Affairs with effect from the date of his assumption of charge, a governmetn release said. Since his retirement from service in May last year, he has been serving as Military Advisor in the National Security Council Secretariat headed by NSA Ajit Doval. The appointment comes nine months after the post fell vacant following the death of former CDS in a helicopter crash on December 8, 2021 in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. The government had widened the CDS selection pool in June this year to include three-star officers who haven’t attained the age of 62 at the time of appointment. Lt General Chauhan is 61. Expert in counter-insurgency operations Police deployed outside PFI office in Coimbatore | S Senbagapandiyan PFI could be used by it to “continue its subversive activities”, “encourage and enforce terror based regressive regime”, “radicalise a particular section of society” and “aggravate activities which are detrimental to the integrity security and sov, ereignty of the country”. Some of the founding members of the PFI were leaders of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The government claimed the PFI has linkages with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh. Besides, it said it has found a “number of instances of international linkages of PFI with global terrorist groups like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)”. The Centre will set up a tribunal within 30 days to adjudicate whether or not there is sufficient cause for declaring the PFI an ‘unlawful association’. While the BJP hailed the ban, several opposition leaders demanded similar action against the RSS. Cong ress leader Jairam Ramesh said his party has always been against all forms communalism. The CPM and the AIMIM criticised the ban though they said they were against its objectives. express read ED arrests businessman Sameer Mahendru New Delhi: The ED on Wednesday arrested businessman Sameer Mahendru in connection with its money laundering investigation into alleged irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy. He was produced in a Delhi court, which remanded him in ED custody for eight days. Mahendru, the managing director of Indospirit, a liquor distributor Lt Gen Chauhan has extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir and North-East India. He also played a significant role in bolstering India’s overall combat readiness along the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim sectors Tangedco to install tripping devices to end power-line deaths S G URUVA N MI K A N ATHA N @ Chennai In a move to stop loss of lives due to snapped power lines, the Tangedco is planning to install tripping devices in transformers across the State at a cost of `5,800 crore. A senior official said the device will stop power supply immediately whenever overhead power cables get snapped. Instances of humans and animals getting electrocuted by coming into contact with snapped power lines may become a thing of the past once the project is implemented successfully, officials said. A detailed project report has been submitted to the State government for approval, officials said. We expect the installation work to Will also spot start by December, they said. fluctuations According to official data, 97 people and 28 animals were A senior official electrocuted across Tamil said the device Nadu in the first three months will also spot of this year. Officials say elec- voltage trocution due to snapped pow- fluctuations and er cables is one of the major alert the central causes of electricity-related server to be set deaths in the State, and is par- up for tracking ticularly high during monsoon the devices. It will also track seasons. A senior Tangedco official transformers’ said the tripping device will temperature and act as a circuit-breaker and it oil level will also spot abnormal conditions such as voltage fluctuations and alert the common central server being set up for tracking the devices. Another official said the tripping device will also help in getting accurate details like transformers’ temperature, oil level, power fluctuation and units used. According to a technical staff, a few years ago Tangedco had installed similar tripping devices in Tirunelveli. But due to technical failure, the project was not taken forward. The age limit for CDS is 65 with no fixed tenure defined. Born on 18th May 1961, Lt General Chauhan was commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army in 1981. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy Khadakwas, la and Indian Military Academy Dehradun. , He will be the first Lt General and only the second officer to become the CDS. In a career spanning 40 years, Lt Gen Chauhan has held several command, staff and instrumental appointments and had extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir and North-East. He was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal. CBI raids D K shivakumar’s pROPERTIES Ahead of the Congress party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra’s entry into poll-bound Karnataka, the CBI raided several properties belonging to state Congress chief D K Shivakumar across the state | P5 secretary Mukul Wasnik, for mer Maharashtra chief The suspense over the Con- minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, gress presidential candidates former Lok Sabha Speaker moved to the penultimate day Meira Kumar and former Harof filing of nomination papers, yana president of Congress Kuas the widely expected meeting mari Selja. Party treasurer Pabetween party president wan Kumar Bansal’s name Sonia Gandhi and Rajasis also being mentioned than Chief Minister as a possible contender. Ashok Gehlot got postOn Wednesday Sonia , poned to Thursday . Gandhi consulted AmGehlot was closeted bika Soni and A K Anwith his confidants tony, who was called right through the day from Kerala where he at Jaipur and was ex‘To express is leading a retired life, pected to arrive in Delon the Rajasthan crifeelings of hi late in the night. sis. She was advised to loyalists’ As suspense over meet Gehlot one last “The CM is going whether or not Gehlot time to try and iron to Delhi to would agree to resign out the differences. express the as CM to file his nomiThe two central obfeelings of 102 nation papers continservers — Ajay Maken MLAs, as their ued, names of other and Mallikarjun guardian, with Congress probables Kharge — shielded the party started doing the Gehlot in their report leadership,” rounds. Right on top after returning from minister Pratap of the list was that of Jaipur where they Khachariyawas former chief minister were not able to meet said of Madhya Pradesh the party MLAs loyal Digvijaya Singh, who to the CM. T hese shares a close personal equa- MLAs opposed to the high comtion with Rahul Gandhi. Gan- mand’s plan to replace Gehlot dhi family loyalist Ambika with his former deputy Sachin Soni, considered close to Sonia, Pilot and refused to sign a resocould also be on the ballot. lution authorising Sonia to Others include the party’s pick the successor. top Dalit leaders like Leader of Gehlot was originally schedOpposition in Rajya Sabha Mal- uled to leave Jaipur at 5.30 pm likarjun Kharge, AICC general but delayed his departure. S h a h i d F a r i d i @ New Delhi Privatisation move: Pondy power staff go on strike E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ Puducherry monsoon trial run Several areas in Chennai witnessed heavy downpour late on Wednesday. Rainfall with thunder will continue across Tamil Nadu till Friday due to cyclonic circulation, the IMD has said| Ashwin prasath M a mm o t h g o o d b y e ‘Has innate ability to learn new skills’ “Kaleem has the ability to learn about his terrain quickly and he has the innate skill to overcome challenges. He will also sincerely follow all the orders of his old mahout Palanisamy and present mahout Mani in learning new skills,” said a former officer The 5,000kg behemoth seen with mahout Mani has captured and tamed nearly 100 elephants | Express Gentle giant Kaleem may call it quits after 30 years of service as kumki S Sen t h i l K u m a r @ Coimbatore Kaleem, the 57-year-old superstar kumki of Tamil Nadu, who had helped catch and discipline several rogue elephants in his 30 years of service with the State forest department, may hang up his boots next year. The impending retirement of the 5,000kg behemoth, instrumental in capturing, taming and chasing away nearly 100 wild elephants back into the woods, would leave a huge void in the State tusker force. The ‘gentle giant’ has been an intelligent, obedient, friendly force-multiplier and a leader among kumkis, senior forest department sources said. In its long years of service, the kumki had not only assist- ed the Tamil Nadu forest department to keep wild elephants that cause loss of lives and damage to crop and property under leash in Tamil Nadu, it has travelled up to West Bengal and has taken part in several operations in Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Sources said the animal is known for cornering wild elephants to help veterinarians administer sedative darts to capture them. Kaleem was brought to Kozhikamuthi elephant camp near Topslip in 1972 after he was separated from his herd in Sathymangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) when he was six years old. NS Manokaran, former Joint Director of Animal Husbandry department, said, “The animal is over eight-foot tall and weighs more than five tonnes. It has a strong body. The shape of its head and trunk, the shape and girth of its tusks, and its long body are all naturally suitable for a kumki elephant. I spotted these characteristics most suitable for a kumki in Kaleem even when he was 15 years old.” The former official said, “The mammoth tusker is also skilled in rescuing wild elephants that fall into pits and in pulling huge wooden logs even in the slush in the Topslip region. Twenty-five years ago, Kaleem was sent along with Pallava, another kumki, to Jaldapara in West Bengal in a forest department truck (the animal used to take rest during journey) and spent nearly a month there.” continued on: p5 Employees of the Puducherry electricity department, including engineers, began an indefinite strike on Wednesday against the UT government after it floated a tender to privatise power distribution. More than 20,000 workers struck work across the UT on Wednesday. “We have decided not to attend to any failure or outage, bill collection, meter reading or maintenance work,” said Velmurugan, head of the ‘electricity engineers and employees privatisation protest committee’ formed to carry forward the strike. Our main demands include withdrawal of privatisation move and securing our status as government employees till retirement and benefits thereafter as per service rules, Velmurugan said. Though the Union government had decided to privatise the power sector, the ball was set rolling in Puducherry when a draft transfer scheme specifying service conditions was presented to employees. However, the employees refused to accept it. The anti-privatisation committee was formed and the members began a strike in February. The protest was withdrawn based on an assurance from Chief Minister N Rangasamy that the government would not proceed with the privatisation move without consulting employees. However, the UT Cabinet subsequently took a decision to accept the Union government’s directive. The employees, once again, started a protest, only to give it up after a government assurance. Against this backdrop, the tender for power privatisation was published on Tuesday , leading to the strike. Power supply was disrupted in several places, including Nehru Street, on Wednesday Power secretary . T Arun held discussions with the representatives of the protest committee.
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