BHUBANESWAR l thursday l september 29, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 14 l JEYPORE 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 | P9 ■ ■ 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; Tribunal to be set up within 30 days 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 Police deployed outside PFI office in Coimbatore | S Senbagapandiyan 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, Karnataka and Gujarat governments had already sought its ban, the notification warned that any delay in curbing the 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 sovereignty , 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. Congress 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. Retired Gen Anil Chauhan is govt’s pick for CDS M AYA 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 Advi- express read R Venkatramani is the new AG New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday appointed senior advocate R Venkataramani as the new Attorney General for India for a period of three years. He will succeed K K Venugopal after his term ends on September 30 | P7 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. Naveen offers X-plus incentives to investors at Bengaluru meet E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar ASSERTING that the Odisha government walks the talk, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday appealed to industry captains to become partners in the State’s transformative journey and work together for the growth of the nation. Naveen offered X-plus incentives to investors at the Bengaluru roadshow held by the government ahead of the Make-in-Odisha conclave. “Odisha is committed to provide an ecosystem for job-linked industrial growth. If any State is providing X incentive for promotion of business opportunities, we w i l l p rov i d e X - p l u s, ” h e promised. After one-to-one interactions with 20 business leaders as part of the investors’ meet, the CM called upon the industrialists to invest in Odisha that has been steadfastly pursuing the agenda of inclusive growth and sus- Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at investors meet in Bengaluru on Wednesday | Express tainable development. “The State is a land with verdant natural and mineral resources, skilled manpower and stable govern- Cuttack’s tryst with man-elephant conflict leaves two dead The elephant that drowned in Mahandi river on Wednesday | Express A r a b i n d a pan d a @ Cuttack CUTTACK woke up to the tragedy of man-animal conflict after a herd of elephants entered the city where it trampled to death two elderly persons, including a woman, during wee hours of Wednesday . Taunted and chased by locals, one of the elephants roamed through Jagatpur area, damaging cars and houses, leaving the area panic-struck. A calf, another member from the herd, lost its way and wandered around the area before emerging in Birupa river bank. A third elephant, believed to be from the same group, drowned in Mahanadi river and its carcass was detected near one of the gates of Jobra barrage. The two persons who lost lives in the incident were identified as Kamala Nayak (55) of Bhairpur and Anand Chandra Behera (80) of Chudangapur in Choudwar. Kamala was plucking flowers at Munda Sahi near Jagatpur Old Industrial Estate when she encountered the elephant which lifted her with its trunk and threw on the ground. The elephant then made a dash from Jagatpur’s Nima Sahi towards Khaira Bridge on Cuttack-Chandbali State Highway and damaged several vehicles in and around Jagatpur locality . Four persons including an autorickshaw driver suffered serious injuries in the melee and were admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack. The Forest department officials tried to bring the situation under control but its efforts confronted stumbling blocks as local administration failed to control the crowd which kept teasing the elephants that had dispersed in differCONTINUED ON: P7 ent directions. ance with a peaceful and conducive atmosphere for investment. It is ranked among the top states of the country in terms of live manufacturing investments,” he said. Appreciating the technocrats and investors in IT/ITes, Naveen said, India has emerged as a major force in the world of technology and manufacturing for the innovative and inspiring works. “Most of the top Indian IT companies have established their centres in Bhubaneswar. The government is also providing continuous support to the Startup ecosystem in the city the CM said and in,” vited them to participate in the Make-in-Odisha conclave scheduled from November 30 to December 4. During the discussions with investors, Naveen highlighted the major pro-business reforms undertaken by his government and asked the industrialists to explore Odisha for their CONTINUED ON: P7 businesses. One killed after hit by shell splinters inside defence zone E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar A fisherman was killed and another sustained injuries after splinters of an artillery shell fired from a defence establishment in Balasore district hit them on Wednesday . Police sources said the incident took place inside the prohibited area of Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE), a unit of Defence Research and Development Org anisation (DRDO) at Chandipur. The deceased has been identified as Kamal Lochan Majhi (35) of Sartha Bindha near Kasaphal. The splinters hit him as he unknowingly entered the firing zone of the PXE while returning from fishing. A police official said an autopsy conducted showed he died on the spot after the splinters hit his chest. Another fisherman Padma Lochan Mallik (28) has been admitted in Balasore district headquarters hospital. His condition is stated to be critical. PXE tests shells of various calibers at regular intervals. People of the nearby area often enter the prohibited area risking their lives to collect the exploded and unexploded shells and extract CONTINUED ON: P7 metals. sor 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. 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 Expert in counter-insurgency operations 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 in 1981. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla 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 NorthEast. He was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal. Cong suspense on, Sonia-Gehlot meet today Shah i d F a r i d i @ New Delhi The suspense over the Congress presidential candidates moved to the penultimate day of filing of nomination papers, as the widely expected meeting between party president Sonia Gandhi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot got postponed to Thursday . Gehlot was closeted with his confidants right through the day at Jaipur and was expected to arrive in Delhi late in the night. As suspense over whether or not Gehlot would agree to resign as CM to file his nomination papers continued, names of other Congress probables started doing the rounds. Right on top of the list was that of former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Digvijaya Singh, who shares a close personal equation with Rahul Gandhi. Gandhi family loyalist Ambika Soni, considered close to Sonia, could also be on the ballot. Others include the party’s top Dalit leaders like Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik, former Maharashtra chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, for mer Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and former Haryana president of Congress Kumari Selja. Party treasurer Pawan Kumar Bansal’s name is also being mentioned as a possible contender. On Wednesday, Sonia Gandhi consulted Ambika Soni and AK Antony, who was called from Kerala where he is leading a retired life. She was advised to meet Gehlot one last time to try and iron out the differences. The two central observers Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge shielded Gehlot in their report after returning from Jaipur where they were not able to meet the MLAs loyal P9 to the CM.
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