Kulbhushan coerced: India on Pak’s claim that he refused case review - The Daily Guardian
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Kulbhushan coerced: India on Pak’s claim that he refused case review

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Pakistan’s claim that Indian national Kulbhushan Yadav — sentenced to death by its military court — has refused review of his case and wants to appeal for mercy, is proof of its “reticence” to implement the order of the International Court of Justice in “letter and spirit”, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday. Calling Pakistan’s move a continuation of the fouryear-long “farce”, it said that Pakistan’s statement “seeks to mask its continuing reticence”.

Pakistan has claimed that captured Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav has refused to file a review petition and has decided to go ahead with his pending mercy plea. “On June 17, 2020, Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav was invited to file a petition for review and reconsideration of his sentence and conviction. Exercising his legal right he refused to file a petition for review and reconsideration of his sentence and conviction,” Pakistan Additional Attorney General Ahmed Irfan claimed on Wednesday.

“Kulbhushan Jadhav has been sentenced to execution through a farcical trial. He remains under custody of Pakistan’s military. He has clearly been coerced to refuse to file a review in his case,” the MEA said. “In a brazen attempt to scuttle even the inadequate remedy under the Ordinance, Pakistan has obviously coerced Jadhav to forego his rights to seek an implementation of the judgment of the ICJ,” it added.

As per Pakistan media reports, Pakistan government has offered second consular access to Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” in April 2017.

Following the development, India approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence.

In July last year, the ICJ said Pakistan must review the death sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav, and it should remain suspended meanwhile. The court also agreed with India’s stand that Pa k i st a n h ad violated the Vienna convention by denying consular access to him after his conviction in a “farcical” closed trial.

Pakistan had alleged that Jadhav — a retired Indian Navy officer — was a senior Indian intelligence officer who entered the country illegally to carry out acts of sabotage at the time of his arrest.

With agency inputs.

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J-K DGP sanctions Rs 1.75 crore to families of deceased jawans

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Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], January 21 (ANI): Director General of Police (DGP) Jammu and Kashmir Dilbag Singh has sanctioned Rs 1.75 crore as Special Welfare Relief in an effort to provide financial assistance to the families of the police personnel died while in service.
As per a statement, the special welfare relief of Rs 20 lakh each has been sanctioned in favour of dependents or legal heirs of deceased police personnel Inspector Ramesh Chander Singh, ASI Showkat Ali, HC Bhag Ali, HC Ajeet Singh, SgCt Suresh Kumar, SgCt Ghara Ram, Ct Mushtaq Ahmad and Mehboob Akhter who expired while in service.
The families and next of kin received an amount of Rs 1 lakh from the main relief for performing the last rites as immediate relief. The financial assistance has been given out of the Contributory Police Welfare Fund.
The DGP has also sanctioned “Rs 15 lakh in favour of next of kin of three deceased SPOs.”
Five lakh each has been sanctioned in favour of families or legal heirs of deceased SPOs Mohammad Altaf, Mohammad Irfan and Firdous Ahmad who expired due to natural death while engaged with the department. (ANI)

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Bidding process for 6 airports conducted in a competitive, transparent manner, says MoCA

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New Delhi (India), January 21 (ANI): The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on Thursday refuted a news article claiming that the Finance Ministry and NITI Aayog had raised ‘red flags’ before Adani’s clean sweep of six airports as ‘factually incorrect’, adding that the bidding process was conducted in a competitive and transparent manner.
According to an official release, a news article dated January 15, 2021, which said that the Ministry of Finance and NITI Aayog had raised objections before Adani’s purchase of the airports over the 2019 Public-Private Partnership (PPP) bidding process and the same was ignored by the government.
The ministry said that the bidding process was conducted in a competitive and transparent manner through e-tendering portal of the Indian government, in which 25 firms across the globe had registered and a total of 86 registrations were received in the portal for six airports.
Out of these registrations, 32 bids were received from 10 different entities for 6 airports. As the bid process was completed transparently, none of the participating entities raised any objection to the bidding process, said the ministry.
“It may also be noted that during the bid processing stage the entity which would be successful was not known to anybody. The bid parameter stipulated in the tender document was ‘per passenger fee’ quoted by the bidder and the entity whose bid is highest in terms of per passenger fee quoted would be declared as successful bidder,” it said.
After the opening of the financial bid, it was revealed that the quote of Adani Enterprises Limited was the highest in all six airports.
The MoCA further asserted that the Ministry of Finance and NITI Aayog had already deliberated and finalised the contours of the bidding process in the Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGOS) and Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC).
“Therefore the statement that the views of Ministry of Finance and NITI Aayog were ignored is factually incorrect and based on assumption, as the views of Ministry and Finance and NITI Aayog on various aspects of the proposal are part of the established procedure of PPPAC to ensure that all the aspects are examined before the proposal is placed before PPPAC for decision and same cannot be considered as overruled,” said the ministry.
According to the release, EGOS decided not to stipulate prior airport experience as a mandatory qualification to increase competition and avoid monopoly by those players having Airport experience, who would have an edge over others.
With regard to the acquisition of stake in the Mumbai airport Adani Enterprises and a subsequent extension request from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for taking over the three Airports in Ahmadabad, Lucknow and Mangalore, the ministry said both the transactions are independent of each other.
“In view of above the newspaper article is suppressio veri and suggestio falsi,” concluded the release. (ANI)

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Chandrababu Naidu slams Andhra police over arrest of party leader Kala Venkata Rao

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Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], January 21 (ANI): Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday said that senior TDP leader Kala Venkata Rao’s arrest is indicative of harassment of opposition party leaders in the state on “false cases”.
“It is very unfortunate that Kala Venkat Rao was arrested yesterday. I am asking DGP and Police – what is the crime he has committed, can he explain? Before arresting anybody, it is your duty to tell him, more so to respectable citizens,” Naidu told ANI.
“The DGP should resign from his position instead of harassing opposition party leaders on false cases. The law and order situation is an utter failure,” he added.
Naidu said that the TDP had planned to conduct ‘Dharma Parirakshana Yatra’ at Tirupati today and had asked for police permission yesterday.
“The police yesterday gave permission but this morning the police cancelled permission and detained local TDP leaders,” he said.
He asked why the controversial pastor Praveen Chakravarti’s case “is not being properly handled”.
Srikakulam district police had arrested Kala Venkata Rao from his home in Rajam on Wednesday following a complaint of YSRCP leader V Vijaya Sai Reddy who accused the TDP leader of attacking his convoy at Ramateertham on January 3. (ANI)

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NIA arrests ‘Shahadat is our Goal’ terrorist outfit member in TN

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Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu) [India], January 21 (ANI): The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday arrested an active member of a terrorist organisation, “Shahadat is our Goal”, from Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore district for his involvement in a conspiracy of waging a violent “jihad” in the state as part of efforts to establish Islamic rule (Shariah).
NIA in an official statement said that the arrested accused Mohammed Rashid (25) was produced before a special NIA court in Chennai, which sent him to judicial custody. Rashid is a resident of the Cuddalore district.
The case was registered in April 2018 under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Arms Act at Keelakarai Police Station in Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram district after the arrest of Mohamed Rifas, Muparish Ahamed and Abupakkar Sithik from Keelakarai.
Lethal weapons, including swords, along with pamphlets pertaining to the terrorist gang, “Shahadat is our Goal”, were seized from their possession, NIA said.
Other accused — Sheik Dawood, Ahamed Imithyash, Hameed Asfar, Liyakath Ali, Sajith Ahamed and Rizwan Mohammad — were also arrested during the ensuing investigation, after which the NIA re-registered the case in January 2019.
NIA said that it conducted searches at the premises of the accused in May 2019 and Rashid was identified as an active member of the terrorist gang
“Scrutiny of forensically retrieved data from the seized digital devices and their e-mail and social media accounts has revealed that the accused persons including Mohammed Rashid, had conducted multiple conspiracy meetings under the leadership of Sheik Dawood alias Seik Thavuthu and Mohamed Rifas alias Mohamed Rigbass with the intention of waging violent jihad in Tamil Nadu, as part of their efforts to establish Islamic rule (Shariah),” NIA stated.
The accused, in pursuance of the conspiracy, had also attempted to procure illegal firearms.
Further investigation in the case is underway, NIA said. (ANI)

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‘Vocal for Local’ will be potent tool in fight against illicit trade, says Harsh Vardhan

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New Delhi [India], January 21 (ANI): Restating the call for ‘vocal for local’ (VFL) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said that the Atmanirbhar Bharat and VFL could provide solutions to a host of challenges that lie ahead of the country.
Speaking at the 7th edition of “MASCRADE”– Movement against Smuggled and Counterfeit Trade, Harsh Vardhan said, “The call for an Aatma Nirbhar Bharat and Vocal for Local could indeed provide solutions to a host of challenges that lie ahead of us. As India starts to produce strong domestic brands and gradually reduces its dependence on foreign products, avenues for profiteering by smugglers and counterfeiters will sooner become limited.”
In his address, the Health Minister expressed pleasure that the 7th edition of MASCRADE will deliberate and discuss actionable, innovative policy solutions that can reverse the rising tide of counterfeit, smuggled and spurious products.
He emphasized the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic and illegal operator of drugs and stated, “As we are all aware, amid the chaos created by the pandemic and the various policy responses designed to contain its spread, illicit players have used the pandemic as an opportunity to increase their nefarious activities, causing significant damage to the economy of the nation, health and safety of people worldwide.”
Dr Harsh Vardhan added, “The aim of MASCRADE 2021 is to foster a healthy discussion on newer and practical strategies to mitigate the challenges of counterfeiting and smuggling especially in a post COVID era. Chief among them should be a focus on generating awareness. The pandemic has placed unprecedented demands on our health system. Health care providers are reinventing existing delivery models to bring healthcare closer to the patient.”
He also called for a greater focus on coming together to address the growing hazards of counterfeiting and smuggling. In this regard, he said, “Businesses and industry must come together and partner with the government to become a greater force in fighting this growing threat with the ultimate goal of keeping consumers safe. The methods by which spurious, misbranded and adulterated drugs enter the distribution channel have become increasingly complex,” he said.
Highlighting the areas that need attention, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “Reviewing current regulations related to smuggling, counterfeiting and piracy, using the latest technology to aid security forces and enforcement agencies, raising the penalties for those committing this crime and allocation of more financial and human resources to counter this activity are some areas where adequate thrust can be given.”
The Union Health Minister applauded the efforts of FICCI’s MASCRADE and said, “I greatly appreciate FICCI MASCRADE for recognizing the work of the law enforcement agencies and felicitating the best performing officers each year for their outstanding achievement in the prevention of counterfeiting and smuggling, and enforcement of anti-smuggling and anti-counterfeiting laws.” (ANI)

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1 more held in Pantheerankavu UAPA for Maoist links

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Kochi (Kerala) [India], January 21 (ANI): The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday arrested one more person named Vijith Vijayan in connection with the Pantheerankavu UAPA case for alleged Maoist links.
According to officials, the NIA’s Kochi unit has arrested Vijayan (27) from Kalpetta in Wayanad district. NIA will bring him to its Kochi office soon.
In this case, two youths, Allen Shuhaib and Thwaha Fasal were arrested by Kerala police in 2019 November for allegedly holding a secretive Maoist meeting outside a petty shop in Pantheerankavu, Kozhikode in Kerala.
NIA took over the probe in December 2019 and later filed a charge sheet in the case.
Earlier this month, the High Court had given a direction to the NIA Court to complete the trial within one year.
Thwaha Fasal and Allan Shuhaib were arrested by the Kerala police in November 2019 under the UAPA alleging that they were supporting proscribed Maoist groups, which have been declared as terrorist organizations. The NIA took over the case later. (ANI)

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