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Centre issues Alapan notice under disaster law, mulling criminal action

Arup Kali

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The troubles of the now-retired Chief Secretary of West Bengal Alapan Bandyopadhyay seem to have compounded, with the Centre serving a show-cause notice under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, for refusal to comply with a direction given by the Central government.

Under the Act, the Centre could initiate criminal proceedings, including a jail term and a fine, against Bandyopadhyay for not attending the Prime Minister’s review meeting in Kalaikunda last week. The Centre sent a letter on Monday to Bandyopadhyay, asking him to explain the reason for not attending the meeting. He has been asked to respond within three days, failing which action will be taken under the Disaster Management Act. Earlier, a letter was sent to Bandyopadhyay asking him to appear in North Block in Delhi. But he decided to retire without attending.

Bandyopadhyay has been accused of violating the Disaster Management Act by not attending the meeting of the Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority Narendra Modi. He had come to the meeting place with the Chief Minister and went back with the Chief Minister, without attending the meeting. He has been asked to explain why no action should be taken against him for violating the Disaster Management Act.

Officials in the West Bengal government, however, said that such action will be fought legally in courts. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already said that she had left the meeting after taking permission from the Prime Minister. Banerjee allegedly chose to “boycott” the review meeting because the Leader of Opposition of West Bengal and MLA from Nandigram Suvendu Adhikari was also present. No issue was created by the Government of India on this because “what mattered was cyclone relief activities. It was suggested to her that the PM will meet her immediately after the review meeting as that was the reason for which he travelled to the state”.

However, Central government officials said no permission was granted by the PM to the CM to leave the meeting, and so the Chief Secretary’s action violated the Disaster Management Act.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar has claimed that Chief Minister Banerjee had called him on 27 May and indicated boycotting the meeting led by PM Modi to review Cyclone Yaas, if Leader of Opposition Suvendhu Adhikari attended the meeting.

At midnight on Monday, the Governor tweeted that the Chief Minister had already planned to boycott the PM›s review meeting on Cyclone Yaas. The Governor claimed on Twitter that Mamata Banerjee had informed him on Thursday night that she would not be able to attend PM Modi’s administrative review meeting if Adhikari is present there. In the end of the tweet, Dhankhar wrote, “Ego won, citizen service lost”. The alleged “personal message” sent to him by CM Banerjee from her mobile phone was “made public” by Governor Dhankhar.

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Three MVA leaders now inmates in Arthur jail

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Sanjay Raut

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik and Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who have been arrested in money laundering cases by the ED, are now lodged in Arthur Road Jail in three different barracks.

All these three leaders have been kept in separate cells in Arthur Road Jail for security reasons and TV, carrom, books and other necessities have been provided to them in their barracks. However, Malik, who was arrested in February in a money laundering case, is currently admitted to the Criti Care Hospital in Kurla for treatment. He is admitted to a private hospital for the last two months.

Like other prisoners in the jail, all these three leaders are also getting a money order of Rs 6,000 per month. With that money, they can buy essential things inside the jail. Sanjay Raut, who has been arrested on August 1 in the Patra Chawl land scam case by the ED, is now lodged in Arthur Road Jail as undertrial number 8959. Raut has been kept in a separate barrack alone due to security reasons.

According to his demand from the jail administration, he has been given notebooks and pens. He takes books from the jail library for reading. Even if they write a book their written work will remain inside the prison’s boundary and cannot go outside. The Shiv Sena MP is also getting homemade food at the prison as it is allowed by the Mumbai Court.

On August 8, Raut was sent to judicial custody till August 22. Since then, Raut has been lodged in the Arthur Road prison. NCP leader Malik, who was arrested on February 23 over a property deal allegedly linked to the aides of gangster Dawood Ibrahim by ED is prisoner number 4622 in Arthur Road Jail. Malik has been in custody since his arrest by the ED, but due to his health issues, he is currently admitted to the Criti Care Hospital in Kurla for treatment.

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BJP Madurai district president Saravanan announces resignation

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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Madurai district president P Saravanan on Saturday announced his resignation from the party. He met State Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan at his residence here on Saturday night and apologised for the action of a BJP worker who hurled a slipper at the Minister’s car at Madurai airport. Addressing media persons outside the Minister’s residence after the meeting, Saravanan said, “Some untoward incidents took place at Madurai Airport. The incident at the airport affected me deeply. I took some of the sharp words of the minister as a personal attack. I quit Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) a year ago and joined BJP but now I don’t like BJP.” He further claimed that the BJP was working against the minority people.

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Anubrata Mondal taken to CBI headquarters after medical check-up

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Trinamool Congress’ Birbhum District President Anubrata Mondal, who was arrested in a 2020 cattle smuggling case, was brought to the CBI headquarters after a medical check-up at the Kolkata’s Command Hospital.

Mondal, a close associate of chief minister Mamta Banerjee was sent to CBI custody till August 20 by an Asansol court. The CBI interrogated the TMC leader for several hours in the cattle smuggling scam on Saturday.

Mondal had been summoned several times by the CBI to appear before it but had evaded citing his health. He was finally arrested on August 11 form his residence in Bolpur in Birbhum district.

Earlier, Finance Minister of West Bengal, Chandrima Bhattacharya had alleged that the CBI summons to Mondal was “political vendetta.”

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on September 21, 2020, arrested a former Border Security Force (BSF) Commandant, in connection with an illegal cattle smuggling case across the Indo-Bangladesh border. Anubrata Mondal’s name came under the CBI scanner during the investigation of the case. Mondal was also summoned by the CBI previously, for an investigation into his alleged involvement in connection with the post-poll violence.

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GHMC turns dumping sites into food courts

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With an aim to create employment opportunities for the youth, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has turned the roadside which was once a black spot and dumping ground for garbage into a food street.

The unique initiative was taken up by the GHMC to start a food court on the streets in Hyderabad through which several unemployed people will be able to earn money. Initially, an amount of Rs 19,500 has to be paid for the stall and become the owner of the food stall. One of the beneficiaries, Mohd Shareef said that he got an idli and dosa stall in the Vijay Nagar colony.

“Earlier the road was bad and later the MLA cleaned it and put up the stalls. I was unemployed and now I got the stall and I am employed,” said Shareef.

He further thanked the K Chandrashekar Rao government and the MLA of the area for giving an employment opportunity.

Another beneficiary, Mohd Ghouse said that there was a lot of garbage on the roadside but the MLA of the area cleaned it with a plan to convert the area into food Street.

“I got the food stall because of Jaffer Hussain. There was a lot of garbage earlier, they cleaned it many times but the MLA had come up with a plan to convert the area into food Street. After making it a food street, unemployed like us were given jobs. We thank the Telangana government for giving us an opportunity to get employed,” he added.

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12 BODIES RECOVERED IN BOAT MISHAP, SEARCH UNDERWAY

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A total of twelve bodies have been recovered so far in the August 11 boat capsize incident in Uttar Pradesh’s Banda district, police said. On Saturday, eight bodies were fished out. Rescue operations is being carried out by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and Kishanpur Police who employed divers. “NDRF, SDRF and police teams are carrying out rescue operations along with local divers and twelve dead bodies have been found so far and three are still missing. The flow in the river is high which is creating problems in the operation,” Banda SP Abhinandan said.

The mishap took place on Thursday morning when a boat carrying between 30 to 40 people was on its way from Marka to Jarauli Ghat in the Fatehpur district. The passengers were on their way to visit relatives on the occasion of Rakshabandhan.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath has directed officials to provide financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each of the deceased from the Disaster Relief Fund. The CM condoled the loss of life and directed the DM and DIG in charge of the district to conduct a search and rescue operation im

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WHY ARE YOU AGAINST WELFARE SCHEMES FOR POOR? KTR ASKS CENTRE

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Amid the ongoing debate on freebies culture, Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao on Saturday hit out at the Centre stating that the Narendra Modi-led BJP government has completely ignored the welfare of the people and now started the debate on freebies to make the lives of the common man “more miserable”.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been talking about freebie culture whenever he gets an opportunity. It is very surprising to hear his words. The BJP government at the Centre has completely ignored the welfare of the people during its eight-year rule and burdened the life of the common man. The Modi Government has now started the debate on freebies to make the lives of the common man more miserable,” said KTR.

Slamming the Modi government for imposing Goods and Services Tax (GST), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) working president said, “The Modi government is imposing GST on essential items like milk and curd. The ever-increasing inflation has broken the back of the poor.”

He further claimed during eight years of Modi’s rule, poverty in the country has increased so much that now we are infamous for having more poor people than that of Nigeria.

“India now ranks at 101st place among 116 countries in the Global Hunger Index – which is a matter of national shame. The statistics released by the Centre make it clear that 35.5 per cent of the children born in the country are malnourished,” he said.

KT Rama Rao said that the 14 Prime Ministers before Modi together were responsible for the country’s debt of Rs 56 lakh crores whereas Modi’s government alone borrowed more than Rs 80 lakh crores.

Recently, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) issued a severe warning that 37 per cent of the country’s annual income is being spent on paying interest for the money borrowed by the Central government, he claimed.

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