Today Picture

UP Crime: 8 police officers killed in firing while trying to arrest history sheeter Vikas Dubey in Kanpur

At least eight Uttar Pradesh police personnel, including a deputy superintendent of police, were killed in an encounter with criminals in Kanpur, officials said on Friday.

The encounter took place when the police team was approaching to arrest Vikas Dubey, a history sheeter facing 60 criminal cases, in Dikru village under Chaubeypur police station on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday, police said.

As the police team was about to reach the hideout of the dreaded criminal, a hail of bullets was showered on them from a building rooftop, leaving Deputy SP Devendra Mishra, three sub-inspectors and four constables dead, officials said. Giving details of the incident, Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police H C Awasthi said the notorious criminal might have got an inkling of the impending raid.

He and his henchmen put up massive roadblocks to prevent the police personnel from proceeding towards their hideout. As the police team was caught unawares, the criminals fried at them from a building rooftop leading to the deaths, Awasthi said.

On getting information about the incident, additional DG (Law and Order), IG (Kanpur) and the senior SP of Kanpur rushed to the spot, where a forensic team has started investigations. The forensic team will be joined by another team from Lucknow.

The Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh police has also been pressed into action, the DGP said.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath paid tributes to the slain policemen and conveyed his heartfelt condolences to their family members.

According to a spokesperson, he directed the police chief to take stringent action against the culprits and collect detailed report from the spot immediately.

Intel Capital purchases 0.39% share in Reliance Jio for Rs 1,894.50 crore

Electronic chip maker Intel's investment arm, Intel Capital, will buy 0.39 per cent stake in billionaire Mukesh Ambani's digital unit, Jio Platforms, for Rs 1,894.50 crore, the company said on Friday.

Intel Capital is 12th company to join the list of marquee firms who have recently invested in Jio Platforms, taking the total investment amount to Rs 1,17,588.45 crore.

"Intel Capital will invest Rs 1,894.50 crore in Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 lakh crore. Intel Capital's investment will translate into a 0.39 per cent equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis," Reliance Industries and Jio Platforms said in a joint statement.

Jio Platforms, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, also runs Reliance Jio telecom business. Jio leads the India market with over 38.8 crore subscribers.

"Intel Capital has an outstanding record of being a valuable partner for leading technology companies globally. We are therefore excited to work together with Intel to advance India's capabilities in cutting-edge technologies that will empower all sectors of our economy and improve the quality of life of 1.3 billion Indians," Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, said Wendell Brooks, Intel Capital President, said that Jio Platforms' focus on applying its impressive engineering capabilities to bring the power of low-cost digital services to India aligns with Intel's purpose of delivering breakthrough technology that enriches lives.

"We believe digital access and data can transform business and society for the better. Through this investment, we are excited to help fuel digital transformation in India, where Intel maintains an important presence," Brooks said.

Complete lockdown in Navi Mumbai from July 3 to July 13: Here is the full list of rules and regulations

Amid a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has re-imposed the lockdown for 10 days, starting from Friday. As per the order, the lockdown will be implemented from July 3 to July 13.

Here is the full list of rules and regulations:

1. Lockdown will be applicable within the limits of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation. The transportation of essential and perishable items will be allowed.

2. Intercity, MSRTC buses and all public transport services (excluding suburban railway services introduced by the government for essential services) will not be allowed except for emergency services. Taxis, autorickshaws are not allowed. However, passenger transport will be permitted to receive / deliver emergency medical services. The order will allow private vehicles with only one passenger other than the driver, essential commodities, healthcare and other activities permitted under the order.

3. All interstate bus and passenger transport services (including private vehicles), as well as those operated by private operators, will be closed however outbound vehicles will be allowed.

4. Every person who is quarantined in the house must abide by the rules strictly, otherwise he/she will be liable for severe punitive action and he/she will be shifted to the municipal quarantine centre.

5. All residents will remain at home and will only come out for work that is permitted, strictly following the rules of social distancing.

6. No more than five people are allowed to gather in public places for shopping of essential goods.

7. Commercial Establishment Offices and Factories, Workshops, Warehouses etc. (except Mumbai Agricultural Produce Market Committee and Thane Belapur TTC Industrial Area) all shops will be closed. However, continuous processing and pharmaceuticals etc. required production and manufacturing units will be permitted. Permission will be granted to operate manufacturing units engaged in production of essential commodities of pulses and rice mills, food and allied industries, dairies, food and fodder, etc.

8. Government offices will be allowed to operate with a minimum number of staff during this period and will take steps to ensure a social distance of 6 feet from each other near the check counter. They will ensure proper hygiene and (hand) sanitizers/hand washing facilities on their premises.

9. The following shops/establishments providing essential goods and services are excluded from the above restrictions.

A) Food establishments like essential commodities shops, milk, dairy, bakery, grocery shops, vegetables etc. will be open from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. All these shops should try to sell goods from their shop through home delivery service if possible. However, the limit will not apply to "medical stores, hospitals, clinics/ LPG Gas Cylinder/lift Repair Shops".

B) Milk shops can be opened from 5.00 am to 10.00 am.

C) The concerned Assistant Commissioner / Divisional Officer and the committee constituted for the restricted area should make necessary arrangements for the supply of essential commodities and vegetables at home and take action to ensure that these commodities will be available to the citizens through home delivery service.

D) Banks / ATMs / Insurance / and related matters.

E) Print and electronics media, eg: IT and ITES, including telecom, mail, internet and data services.

F) Transportation and availability of supply chain and essential commodities.

G) Exports and imports of agricultural commodities and products and all commodities.

H) E-commerce of essential commodities including food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment. Bakery and veterinary establishments for pets.

I) Pharmaceuticals manufacturing and their traders and their transportation.

J) Petrol pumps, LPG, gas, oil agencies, their warehouses and their related transportation operations (for essential service pass holders only).

K) Private establishments, which provide support services for essential services or services for the control of COVID-19.

L) All security and facility management services (including through a private agency) are provided to the organizations providing the required services.

M) Liquor stores will only allow home delivery.

N) Industrial units which are in operation at present will continue. However, Mumbai Agricultural Produce Market Committee and Thane Belapur TTC, companies in the industrial sector and their establishments will be required to comply with the guidelines issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Health for the promotion and control of COVID-19. (It will be mandatory to have a limited number of staff, including social disturbance, use of masks and sanitizers.)

O) Implementation of lockdown will be applicable in villages and slums within MIDC limits.

10. State Government Departments/Offices and Service Providers Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) will operate only to the extent of providing essential services.

11. All alternative surgeries should be planned in all private and government hospitals to provide health services to COVID-19 patients.

12. Regarding the concerned institutions, associations and establishments, Subordinate officers of the Commissioner of Police, officers of the Municipal Corporation and other competent authorities shall take all necessary measures for the implementation of the above rules and regulations through official judicial means.

13. Any person/entity violating any provision of these rules shall be prosecuted under Sections 51 to 60 of the Infectious Diseases Act, 1897, Disaster Management Act, 2005 and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.


Did Priyanka Gandhi pay just Rs 8,888 monthly rent for her Lodhi Estate bungalow? What we know so far

The Narendra Modi-led Central Government on Wednesday asked Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to vacate her sprawling 2,765 sq m bungalow in Lutyens Delhi within a month, saying she is not entitled to the facility following the withdrawal of her SPG protection.

According to an order issued by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, Gandhi was asked to vacate her official bungalow by August 1 failing which "it will attract damage charges/penal rent as per rules".

"Consequent upon withdrawal of SPG protection and grant of Z+ security cover by the Ministry of Home Affairs, which does not have provision for allotment/retention of government accommodation on security grounds to you (Gandhi), the allotment of Type 6B House No. 35, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi is hereby cancelled w.e.f 01/07/2020," the order said.

"One month concessional period on the same rent up to August 1 is allowed as per rules," the Directorate of Estates said in its order.

As per records, she has accumulated Rs 3,46,677 dues as on June 30, 2020. She has been issued notice to clear dues and rent for the period till she vacates the accommodation.

Meanwhile, it may come as a surprise to many but Priyanka Gandhi paid a meagre Rs 8,800 rent for the bungalow during the Vajpayee government.

The house was allotted to her in 1997 and the then rent was Rs 19,900 a month. It was reviewed and increased periodically. In 2002, the monthly rent was doubled from Rs 28,451 to Rs 53,421. However, on May 7, 2002, she wrote to the government and said that Rs 53,421 was "beyond her paying capacity". She requested that she may "continue to pay rent at the earlier rate of Rs 28,451 per month, instead of the increased rate of Rs 53,421 per month". After reviewing, the special licence fee was brought down to Rs 8,800 from July 24, 2003, revealed an RTI.

According to a 2016 TOI report, Gandhi was then paying Rs 31,300 for her government accommodation.

As per the latest updates, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was paying around Rs 37,000 per month as rent, an official told PTI.

Meanwhile, Congress leaders slammed the Centre after Priyanka Gandhi was asked to vacate her accommodation within a month.

Taking to Twitter, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "PM, Sh. Narendra Modi & his Govt are blinded by rage, hatred and revenge against the Congress leadership. Unnerved by political activism of Priyanka ji in UP, Modi Govt has stopped even further by issuing house vacation notice. Such frustrated attempts will not deter us."

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has urged the Union Government to withdraw the cancellation orders in the interest of her security and safety. "Political considerations and differences cannot and should not be allowed to come in the way of ensuring fool-proof security and safety of any person, especially when that persons belongs to a family that had lost two members to terror attacks," said Captain Amarinder.

(With input from Agencies)


CBI books GVK Group chairman, son for siphoning off Rs 705 cr from Mumbai International Airport Ltd

New Delhi: The CBI has booked Venkata Krishna Reddy Gunupati, the chairman of the GVK Group of Companies and his son G V Sanjay Reddy, Managing Director of Mumbai International Airport Ltd among others for alleged irregularities to the tune of Rs 705 crore in running of the airport, officials said on Wednesday.

Airport Authority of India Ltd had formed a Joint venture with GVK Airports Holdings Limited, promoted by GVK group under public private partnership firm Mumbai International Airport Ltd for upgradation and maintenance of Mumbai Airport.

On April 4, 2006 AAI entered into an agreement with MIAL for modernisation, upkeep, operation and maintenance of Mumbai airport with MIAL.

It is alleged that promoters of GVK group in MIAL in connivance with their executives and unidentified officials of AAI resorted to siphoning of funds using different ways, officials said. The agency has alleged that they siphoned funds showing execution of bogus work contracts to nine companies in 2017-18 causing a loss of Rs 310 crore, they said.

The promoters of GVK group allegedly misused reserve funds of MIAL to the tune of Rs 395 crore to finance their group companies, the CBI has alleged.

The agency has alleged that the group inflated expenditure figures of MIAL by showing payments to employees at their headquarters and group companies who were not involved in the running of MIAL causing a revenue loss to AAI, they said.

The promoters allegedly under reported revenue earnings of MIAL by entering into contracts with related parties and meeting their personal and family expenses using MIAL funds, they said. Besides GVK group chairman, the CBI has also booked his son GV Sanjay Reddy who is Managing Director of MIAL, companies MIAL, GVK Airport Holdings Ltd, nine other private companies and unidentified officials of AAI, they said.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan to expand cabinet today at 11 AM; Guv Anandiben Patel to administer oath

Bhopal: The Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Madhya Pradesh cabinet will be expanded on Thursday with some of the former Congress MLAs who joined the BJP in March expected to get ministerial berths.

While the names were yet to be announced, BJP sources claimed that about two dozen new ministers will be inducted.

The oath of office will be administered by Governor Anandiben Patel at Raj Bhawan at 11 am, officials said.

Patel, who is Uttar Pradesh governor, has been given additional charge as Madhya Pradesh governor in view of incumbent Lalji Tandon's hospitalisation. Patel took oath as MP governor earlier in the day.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan confirmed that the cabinet expansion will take place on Thursday.

Asked about the delay in cabinet expansion, Chouhan avoided a direct reply and turned to mythology.

"Only 'amrit' (elixir) comes out of 'manthan' (churning), vish (poison) is consumed by (Lord) Shiva," the 61-year-old BJP leader said without elaborating but indicating the difficult task before him.

BJP national vice president Vinay Sahastrabuddhe arrived here on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the expansion, BJP sources said.

A BJP leader said that Sahastrabuddhe, Chouhan and state BJP chief V D Sharma were holding meetings on Wednesday night with party legislators at the CM's house to give final touches to the list of new ministers.

They were also trying to mollify some senior BJP legislators who would not get a cabinet berth, he said.

Former Union minister and BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia will arrive on Thursday morning to participate in the oath-taking ceremony.

Around two dozen new ministers including some former Congress MLAs (who joined the BJP in March alongwith their leader Scindia) are likely to be inducted into the cabinet, BJP sources said.

The initial "mini" expansion of the Chouhan cabinet took place on April 21 with the induction of five ministers, including two former Congress MLAs close to Scindia -- Tulsi Silawat and Govind Singh Rajput.

Chouhan took oath as chief minister for a record fourth term on March 23 this year, after Kamal Nath resigned from the post following rebellion by 22 MLAs of the Congress.

Sources close to Scindia said that besides the remainingfour ministers who had quit the Kamal Nath government, six others from his camp are likely to be inducted into the cabinet.


India sees spike of 18,653 COVID-19 cases, tally reaches 5,85,493

New Delhi: 18,653 COVID-19 cases have been reported in India in the last 24 hours, taking the country's tally of coronavirus cases to 5,85,493, informed the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Wednesday.

As per the Ministry, there are presently 2,20,114 active cases in the country. The number of patients cured/discharged and migrated stands at 3,47,979. 507 deaths due to COVID-19 were reported in the last 24 hours taking the total deaths due to the virus to 17,400.

According to the ministry, Maharashtra is the worst-affected state by the virus with 1,74,761 cases including 7,855 fatalities. Tamil Nadu is the second worst-hit state with 90,167 cases including 1,201 deaths. Meanwhile, Delhi has a total of 87,360 cases. The Indian Council of Medical Research said that a total number of 86,26,585 tested up to June 30 of which 2,17,931 samples were tested on Tuesday.


National Doctors' Day 2020: All you need to know about Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy

The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc and the cases are surging each day. 507 people succumbed to the virus in a day, the highest so far, and India's COVID-19 death toll rose to 17,400 while the total tally climbed to 5,85,493 after 18,653 new cases were reported on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the country celebrates National Doctors' Day on June 1, which marks the birth anniversary of the renowned medical practitioner and former West Bengal Chief Minister Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy. Incidentally, the day is also his death anniversary.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday hailed the role of doctors in their "spirited" fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that they are saving lives by putting themselves in danger. "India salutes our doctors -- exceptional caregivers who are at the forefront of a spirited fight against COVID-19," he wrote on Twitter to mark Doctors' Day.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also said that he was "immensely grateful" to the doctors who are on the frontlines fighting against the coronavirus pandemic. "On Doctors Day, I am immensely grateful to the dedicated professionals who inspire hope in (the) Covid-19 times," the Congress leader tweeted.

Here is all you need to know about Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy:

Born at Bankipore, Patna, Roy was the youngest of the five siblings. He completed B.A. from Patna College with Honors in Mathematics. After his graduation, he studied medicine at the Calcutta Medical College. Later, his multiple admission requests at the St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London were denied. However, he was admitted after 30 requests and Roy did his postgraduation over there. He then went on to become a member of the Royal College of Physicians and a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons simultaneously.

In India, as per an article in The Hindu, he was the one to establish the Indian Medical Association in 1928 and even the Medical Council of India. He also played a crucial role in establishing the Indian Institute of Mental Health, the Infectious Disease Hospital and even Kolkata's first-ever postgraduate medical college.

Roy was also one of Mahatma Gandhi's personal physicians and a good friend. He was also known to be the medical counsel of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

"He was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta, a member of the Bengal Legislative Council and he also held the position of the Mayor of Calcutta. Later, he became the Governor of the State of Uttar Pradesh. However, it is his stint as the Chief Minister of West Bengal from 1948 to1962 during which he attained the pinnacle of his political and administrative achievements," reads an article.

How Pakistan's government ensured that its national carrier PIA was banned by Europe

Pakistan aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan has landed his nation in a lot of trouble after he claimed that 30 per cent of civilian pilots did not have a valid licence.

His statement, which was made a few days ago, resulted in the European Union’s aviation safety agency banning all Pakistan International Airlines flights for the next six months citing safety concerns.

Khan’s statements come after a PIA flight crashed in Karachi at the end of May.

However, if one looks at a deep dive into the incident, Pakistan pilots are trained and capable of flying a commercial flight, according to several people from Pakistan. One Twitter user Omar Ali even said that many of the pilots did not get a licence because they were caught cheating in the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority Exam.

150 pilots from PIA lost their jobs last week after they were accused of cheating in their exams.

However, in a column written in Pakistan’s Nation, columnist Nusrat Javeed pointed out how dissenting voices in the Imran Khan-led PTI have been making statements to embarrass Pakistan on an international playing field. “The hyped story disregarded the fact that even Sarwar Khan had accused only FOUR PIA pilots for holding suspicious-looking credentials. But TV journalists are not in the habit of combing details. They milk the dominant themes and Sarwar Khan had, for sure, preferred to primarily hawk the same story that CNN continued drumming throughout Thursday,” he claimed in the column.

Whether it’s four or 150, the Pakistan government has been called out over claims that their pilots cheated in exams. This isn’t good for the airline, as its debt is approaching the 500 billion Pakistan rupee mark, according to The Diplomat, with the airline reportedly losing 6.3 billion Pakistan rupees every month. With the flights getting grounded and suspension of PIA flights to Europe, this loss could increase manifold.

Earlier, Pakistan International Airlines on Tuesday announced to discontinue its operation to Europe after the EU's aviation safety agency banned its flights for six months over safety concerns.

The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) said that the suspension of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights would be effective from July 1. However, the PIA can appeal against it.

In a statement, the PIA said that all passengers booked on its flights to European sectors will have the option to either extend their bookings for a later date or get full refunds.

It said that the PIA administration was in contact with the EASA to allay their concerns and to take necessary corrective measures along with filing the appeal against the decision.

"PIA sincerely hopes that with reparative and swift actions taken by the Government of Pakistan and PIA Management, earliest possible lifting of this suspension can be expected," it said.

The EU ban came after Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan in a major embarrassment to his nation told the media last week that nearly a third of the PIA pilots had fake licenses.

He also said at least three crashes in the recent history, including the latest on May 22, were caused due to negligence of pilots.

The world reacted in horror while opposition in Pakistan demanded that the minister should be sacked for washing the proverbial dirty linen in the public.

The PIA grounded more than 140 pilots and wrote to foreign missions and international aviation watchdogs that it was addressing the problem but apparently everybody was not convinced

Donald Trump 'more and more angry at China' as COVID-19 pandemic spreads its ugly face across the world

Washington DC: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday (local time) again launched a scathing attack on China over the coronavirus pandemic.

"As I watch the Pandemic spread its ugly face all across the world, including the tremendous damage it has done to the USA, I become more and more angry at China. People can see it, and I can feel it!"

Earlier during his first Presidential campaign rally at Tulsa, Oklahoma, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, "Look, everyone knows it came out of China, but I decided we shouldn't make any more of a big deal out of it." At his rallies over the past couple of weeks, several times he called the novel coronavirus causing the COVID-19 lung disease "Kung Flu".

Meanwhile, the US accounted for the world's highest number of infections and fatalities with 2,629,372 and 127,322, respectively, according to the CSSE. Brazil came in the second place with 1,402,041 infections and 59,594 deaths.

In terms of cases, Russia ranks third (646,929), and is followed by India (566,840), the UK (314,160), Peru (285,213), Chile (279,393), Spain (249,271), Italy (240,578), Iran (227,662), Mexico (220,657), Pakistan (209,337), France (202,063), Turkey (199,906), Germany (195,418), Saudi Arabia (190,823), South Africa (151,209), Bangladesh (145,483) and Canada (106,097), the CSSE figures showed.

The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are the UK (43,815), Italy (34,767), France (29,846), Spain (28,355), Mexico (27,121), India (16,893) and Iran (10,670).

The overall number of global COVID-19 cases has increased to over 10.4 million, while the deaths have soared to more than 509,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

As of Wednesday morning, the total number of cases increased to 10,434,835, while the fatalities stood at to 509,779, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.

(With IANS and ANI inputs)