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Congress panel to submit report soon, Sachin may be brought to Delhi

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The three-member committee constituted by interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi last month “to oversee and follow up the smooth resolution of recent issues in Rajasthan” has completed the first round of meeting separately with Sachin Pilot and his loyalist MLAs. Soon, this committee will have meetings with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Rajasthan PCC president Govind Singh Dotasra and the MLAs who stood by the government during the political crisis in Rajasthan.

 According to sources, the committee has decided to keep Sachin Pilot away from Rajasthan state politics. The high command does not want any political fight within the Congress in the state, so that BJP could again get a chance to use it for its benefit. It is for this reason that Sachin Pilot may be brought to Delhi. A couple of disgruntled MLAs may be given ministerial positions in the state and some of them may be given organisational responsibilities.

 Sachin Pilot may be given responsibility of any department in Delhi. Rahul Gandhi is yet to make some appointments in various departments of the party. One such department may be given to Sachin Pilot. There are around a dozen departments, including the All India Kisan Congress, where new faces have to be appointed. The Kisan Congress chief’s post is lying vacant after Nana Patole went back to Maharashtra where he is Speaker in the Assembly.

 In the past, Sachin Pilot, along with 19 disgruntled legislators, had turned rebels and tried to destabilise the Ashok Gehlot government with the alleged backing of the BJP. However, the rebels could not achieve the goal due to Gehlot’s political prowess. This was followed by rebels of the Congress coming back to the party fold without any condition. After this, the interim Congress president had constituted a three-member committee under the leadership of senior leader Ahmed Patel. AICC general secretary in-charge of organisation K.C. Venugopal and another general secretary Ajay Maken, who is in charge of Rajasthan, were appointed members of the committee.

 The panel was given responsibilities to find out why the situation emerged that led to destabilisation of the government in Rajasthan. The panel is also ascertaining the facts related to horse-trading charges.

 Even at the time of the Rajya Sabha elections, attempts were made to dent the votes of Congress MLAs, but Gehlot had foiled the bid that time too. He had come down heavily on the BJP. 

According to sources, the committee has held three to four rounds of meetings in which a dozen disgruntled MLAs have been called. Now, the turn is of the loyalist MLAs who will be called for the meeting. 

The final meeting of the committee will be with Gehlot and Dotasra. In the meeting, a final shape will be given to the Cabinet expansion and organisational reshuffle, which will be discussed with Rahul Gandhi who will give a green signal to it. The high command is trying to ensure that the government runs smoothly under the leadership of Gehlot in Rajasthan so that a positive atmosphere could be created for the 2023 Assembly elections. After the fall of the Congress government in MP and crisis in Rajasthan, the Congress high command does not want any scene now.

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9-YEAR-OLD BOY KIDNAPPED FOR RANSOM, PARTIALLY DECOMPOSED BODY FOUND

Lokeswara Rao

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A charred body of an abducted nine-year-old boy was recovered in Mahabubabad district of Telangana on Thursday.

A boy named Deekshith Reddy was kidnapped on Sunday and kidnappers had been in contact with the victim’s parents till Wednesday asking for money.

However, according to the police, the child was killed the same day he was abducted.

Deekshith’s father Ravinder Reddy works for a Telugu news channel.

Parents approached Telangana police and special teams immediately pressed into action to find the missing child. Eight teams were constituted to nab the kidnappers and rescue the child.

Police found that the suspects were using private numbers and making internet calls to avoid being traced.

They had even warned the parents of dire consequences if they did not agree to pay Rs 45 lakh ransom and the parents agreed to give the money and showed the cash on video call also.

On Wednesday, police apprehended Manoj Reddy, who disclosed the plot. Police later found that the child had already been killed and his body was dumped.

According to Mahabubabad police, Deekshith had been kidnapped by a man named Sagar, who was well acquainted with the boy.

Based on the initial confession of the accused, Sagar had kidnapped the boy to demand ransom money from his parents. But he soon realised that he hadn’t thought the whole plan through and that the boy would now identify him as the culprit if he allowed him to return home safely.

Police said that Sagar has now confessed that he had already strangulated and killed Deekshith by then.

Mahabubabad SP said, “About an hour after taking Deekshith away, he (Sagar) found it difficult to deal with him, as the boy is very active. He started rethinking his plan, as the boy could identify him if he remained alive. He then strangled the boy and later burnt the dead body.”

Sagar is a mechanic who runs an automobile repair shop and is familiar with the slain Deekshith.

Sagar called the boy by saying “sit on the bike and let’s go out, I have some work”. The boy told his friends that ‘anna’ (brother) had called so he would go along and return soon. Later this brutal murder happened.

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Farmers intensify protest against Jagan government’s capital trifurcation plan

Lokeswara Rao

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Agitated over the Jagan government’s plan to trifurcate the capital of Andhra Pradesh, the farmers have intensified their protest which is continuing for more than 300 days in the Amaravati region.

Farmers were protesting by wearing masks of Modi and demanding ‘One state One capital’. High tension prevailed in Uddandarayunipalem in the Amaravati region when police forces were deployed to evict protesters who gathered at the tents that were put up near the foundation stone for the capital city of Amaravati which was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Many farmers and women took part in a padayatra from capital villages Rayapudi, Mandadam, Guntur to Uddhandrayunipalem, where the PM laid the foundation stone.

They raised slogans and said the Jagan government betrayed them on the construction of Amaravati capital. The protesting farmers of Amaravati got due permission from the police to gather at Uddandarayunipalem. As hundreds of police personnel entered the protest area, the Amaravati farmers chanted “Save Amaravati- one state one capital Amaravati.”

Five years ago, on 22 October 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for Amaravati; the capital of Andhra Pradesh. But Jagan Mohan Reddy led Andhra Pradesh government is planning to set up three capitals – administrative capital at Visakhapatnam, legislative capital at Amaravathi and judicial capital at Kurnool.

Five years have passed but not much development can be seen in the capital city, alleged farmers.

Meanwhile, police asked the farmers to vacate the tents and return home. The police said another group owing allegiance to three-capitals gathered at the Amaravati foundation stone and raised slogans in favor of three capitals.

The farmers said that they had donated 33,000 acres of their agricultural lands for Amaravati as capital. Congress leader Sunkara Padma also actively participated in the protests and supported the farmers who have been agitating for the capital of Amaravati.

Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu has slammed the YSRCP government for the decision to trifurcate the state capital.

On the other hand, Dalits in the Amaravati capital region have come out in support of the three capital formula of the YSRCP government. They too protested against one state one capital and demanded the development should be there in all parts.

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HYDERABAD STARTUP DEVELOPS MUSHROOM-BASED IMMUNITY BOOSTER AGAINST COVID-19

Lokeswara Rao

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Many political parties and various state governments have started announcing the distribution of free Covid-19 vaccine but the invention of the vaccine may take a long time.

Even if it is invented, it is difficult to distribute to the public, says the premier research organization, The Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB)

CCMB Director Rakesh Mishra told The Daily Guardian, “It’s difficult to get the vaccine early and we must be prepared to fight the pandemic without a vaccine. The masks are the real vaccine. We must follow the Covid-19 protocol like wearing a mask, using sanitizer and maintaining social distancing.”

“We are working on the three varied platforms in association with other CSIR labs in Chandigarh and Kolkata on potential vaccines to deal with the Covid-19 virus. These platforms are slightly different from the vaccines currently under testing. They are based on ‘pseudovirus’ and ‘pre-processed proteins,” he added further.

On the other hand, a startup called Clone Deals incubated at the Atal Incubation Centre of the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (AIC-CCMB) has developed a food supplement derived from a mushroom variety that grows in the Himalayan region, which it claims will help in boosting immunity against Covid-19.

The mushroom, Cordyceps militaris, is known for its immune-boosting and antioxidant components. The novel nutraceutical developed by the startup Clone Deals has been named ‘CoronAid’.

The CEO of AIC CCMD Madhusudan Rao said, “We can use this immunity booster Coronaid to counter coronavirus. It was developed here without any side effects. If we have good immunity, the Corona cannot affect us.”

The startup Clone Deals has obtained FSSAI approval for marketing. The CCMB in a press release said that a chemical known as Cordycepin in the mushroom is known to prevent the formation of new DNA and RNA strands.

Clone Deals collaborated with scientists from CCMB to establish the potency of cordycepin in stopping the growth of the Covid-19-causing coronavirus in a cell culture system. Studies show that cordycepin inhibits the multiplication of the coronavirus.

Clone Deals representative Dr. Atik Patel hoped that the CoronAid would be a new year gift to the world and add considerable protection against the virus. The CoronAid is exclusively marketed worldwide by Nuzen Herbals Private Limited, Hyderabad.

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SVKU Vice-Chancellor gets most inspiring VC award

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The Federation of Quality Education Council, Mumbai has awarded the most inspiring Vice-Chancellor Award to the Vice-Chancellor of Shri Vishwakarma Skill University (Haryana), Raj Nehru for his excellence and superior leadership in the field of education.

The selection has been made keeping in mind the specific contribution made under the theme of Educational Innovation, Honesty and Ethics, Track Record, Process Management, Quality of Services, and related subjects. The Vice-chancellor of the university, Raj Nehru, expressed his happiness and dedicated the award to the university staff and students. He said that the staff and students of SVSU have a significant contribution to the construction of the university.

Nehru said that to promote education, we need to ensure that children are given better education since childhood. Universities and higher education institutions play an important role in developing skills in the areas of the economy, innovation, research, employment generation, healthcare, agriculture, etc. among students.

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PMK calls for protests demanding 20% reservation for Vanniyar community

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Taking a dig at AIADMK government, Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss on Thursday said, “Jaganmohan in Andhra Pradesh does what he promises and has done more than what he promised. But the administrators here are refusing to pay heed to the demands of the people.”

This was tweeted along with a statement from Pattali Makkal Katchi founder Ramadoss calling for massive protests starting 2021 demanding a 20% reservation for the Vanniyar community.

Ramadoss has asked the cadres to be ready for the fight like they did in 1987 by blocking the roads for one week. In his statement, Ramadoss has stated that it is their 40-year-old demand seeking a 20 % special reservation for their community.

PMK, an alliance partner, slammed the AIADMK for not exerting pressure on the Governor regarding the 7.5% reservation bill. This comes at the time when the alliance negotiations are to begin for the 2021 assembly elections in the State.

PMK which holds a commendable influence over the Vanniyar community predominantly in the north Tamil Nadu contested in 7 seats during the Parliamentary elections and lost. Anbumani Ramadoss had been projected as their Chief Minister candidate for the 2016 assembly elections.

This comes at the time when there are reports that PMK is in touch with a senior leader of DMK for the 2021assembly elections and the very idea of this talks was protested by Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, the arch-rival of PMK who is in the DMK alliance.

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CYBERCRIMES AGAINST WOMEN ON THE RISE IN GUJARAT

Abhijit Bhatt

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Gujarat has witnessed a steady rise in cybercrime incidents. There has been a steep rise in complaints of several such crimes, including online teasing, blackmailing, and cheating with women.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures 2019, women’s cybercrime complaints doubled last year as compared to 2018. More than 226 FIRs have been registered in cases of online threats, cyber pornography, fake accounts and blackmail.

According to the NCRB, the state police have registered 28 cases of online stalking or hooliganism, 21 cases of cyber pornography, six cases of blackmail, five cases of fake accounts and four cases of defamation or morphing. In all these cases women were the victims.

Overall, Gujarat recorded an increase of 11.7% in cybercrimes as compared to 2018. Out of the total 784 cases, 294 cases were registered under the IT Act.

Compared to 2018, there has been a 62% increase in identity theft cases in 2019, while computer-related crimes have increased by 29%.

A webinar was recently organized by the National Commission for Women in Ahmedabad to curb the rising cybercrime with women in the state. Women from foreign countries also joined the webinar titled “Cyber Frame Against Women”.

According to the report, an estimated 74% of women block someone else’s page on Facebook because of a subversive crime.

According to the United Nations, an estimated 35% of women are victims of online violence, while 20% are cases where women have had to close their accounts. On the other hand, Ford’s conviction rate has also dropped from 40% to around 25%.

“During the lockdown period this year, we have seen an increase in cases where social media users have received money sending messages from their friends,” said a city-based cybersecurity expert.

“Always check the special identity of the person/organization before ever transferring money online. For personal safety, always change passwords regularly, avoid chatting with strangers and uploading / sending sensitive images and do not share your card personal details with anyone else”, the expert added further

According to Amit Vasava, Commissioner of Police, Cyber Crime, in the last eight months, more than 15,000 complaints of fraud and hooliganism have been received from cybercriminals, with a total of Rs. 50 crore online fraud has taken place. Half of these cases are from Ahmedabad alone. While others are reported in Surat, Vadodara and Gandhinagar.

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