Congress leader Sachin Sawant on Monday said that Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has given orders to the Intelligence Department to probe the row over tweets by celebrities on the farmers’ issue. He also hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleging that national heroes were being intimidated by the ruling party.
“The government sprung into action after Rihanna tweeted on the farmers’ issue. This was followed by a series of tweets from celebrities. If a person, be it a celebrity, opines on their own, it’s fine. But there is scope for suspicion that the BJP is behind this. Similar words like ‘amicable’ have been used in these tweets,” Sawant told ANI.
Celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar, Lata Mangeshkar, Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty, among several others had tweeted calling for unity in the country after international pop star Rihanna, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and others extended their support to farmers protesting at the borders of India’s capital against the three agriculture laws.
“National heroes should be provided security if BJP is intimidating them. I spoke to Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and he said it is a serious matter. He has given orders to the Intelligence department to probe into this,” the Congress leader said.
He further emphasised that celebrities can and should be allowed to speak up for the country if they want to and added that there should be an investigation to see if the BJP has a role to play in the tweets. “They can speak for the country if they want of their own free will. We want an investigation to see if there is any pressure from the BJP. Was there any arm twisting? These things have happened before,” he said.
Meanwhile, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis slammed state Home Minister, Anil Deshmukh for ordering a probe into celebrities’ tweets on the ongoing farmers’ protests.
“Disgusting and highly deplorable! Where is your Marathi pride now? Where is your Maharashtra dharma? We will never find such ‘ratnas’ (gems) in the entire nation who order probe against Bharat Ratnas who always stand strong in one voice for our nation. Has this Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government lost all its senses?” Fadnavis said in a tweet. “Actually, now it seems necessary to probe the mental state and stability of the ones who made such demand and of people who ordered a probe against our Bharat Ratnas,” he added.
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Faced no hurdle from Bengal govt though some issues in Tamil Nadu during Ram temple donation drive: Champat Rai
By Pragya Kaushika
New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Members of Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust did not face any trouble in poll-bound West Bengal during the donation collection drive, trust general secretary Champat Rai has said.
Giving details of donations collected from various states, Rai, who is also a senior office-bearer of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), said that he has not received any report from West Bengal of workers who had gone for donation collection facing opposition.
“In West Bengal, our workers faced no problem. There was no hurdle from the government as well. In fact, it was in Tamil Nadu that we faced some issues,” Rai said.
He said states in northeastern India have contributed handsomely to the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
According to a tweet by Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, Arunachal Pradesh has contributed Rs 4.5 crore, Manipur has contributed to Rs 2 crore, Mizoram has given 21 lakh, Nagaland has contributed Rs 28 lakh, Meghalaya has contributed Rs 95 lakh.
“In the South, Tamil Nadu has contributed 85 crore whereas Kerala has contributed Rs 13 crore,” it said.
Samarpan Nidhi drive, an almost one and half month-long donation collection drive for temple construction for Ram temple is over. Nine lakh workers in 1.75 lakh groups reached out to 10 crore families and collected little over Rs 2500 crore.
The trust is also expecting “a donation amount” from Indians residing abroad.
VHP international working president Alok Kumar said that permissions have been sought for the same.
“The devotees who missed this samarpan (contribution) drive, can still make their contribution through our website. Devotees from outside Bharat are requested to wait a little more. They will be notified upon completion of FCRA formalities,” the trust said in a tweet.
Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust is entrusted with the task of constructing a grand temple in Ayodhya. (ANI)
Patnaik approves creation of Mission Shakti dept to promote women empowerment
Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], March 6 (ANI): To promote the idea of women empowerment, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday approved the creation Mission Shakti Department in the state.
“A momentous occasion in the transformative journey of ‘Mission Shakti’, which started as a scheme now becomes a department to carry forward the revolution with greater focus. #MissionShakti is now synonymous with women’s empowerment, transforming lives of millions,” tweeted the Chief Minister.
Today, while addressing a gathering at FICCI-FLO’s Odisha Women’s award ceremony, Chief Minister Patnaik said: “I remember Biju Babu (former CM Biju Patnaik). We celebrated his birthday yesterday. Biju Babu, all through his life, championed the cause of women empowerment in India. In Odisha, he reposed faith in women to run Panchayati Raj institutions. He envisioned women leaders in every sphere of society. Today we are much ahead in women empowerment.”
“In fact, the empowerment model for women in the state is one amongst the best in the country. My government has always been a champion of the cause of women’s empowerment. Mission Shakti, one of the key initiatives of our empowerment model, has successfully brought over eight million women from the four walls of family to socio-economic vibrancy. The rural women in Odisha are, now, increasingly becoming a major contributor to our growing economy,” said the Chief Minister.
“I am also glad that with initiatives like Make-in-Odisha, Start-Up Odisha, and Skilled-in-Odisha, more and more women in Odisha are coming to entrepreneurship. Our women have also been achieving great feats in national and international sports. Furthermore, we became the first state in the country to walk the talk and resolved in State Assembly to allocate 33 percent of seats in the Parliament and State Legislative Assembly last year. Since 2011, Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies in State are represented by over 50 percent of women,” Patnaik said.
In February 2019, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women) lauded the Naveen Patnaik-led Odisha government for the women’s reservation proposal.
In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the UN Women had said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the support extended by your government in the implementation of the joint programme between UN Women & the Panchayati Raj Department, Govt of Odisha to promote Gender Responsive Governance in the state.” (ANI)
ED arrest directors of Tamil Nadu based firm in money laundering case
Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 6 (ANI): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday arrested the directors of Tamil Nadu based Shinago Plantations Pvt Ltd, in connection with its probe into a Rs 325 crore money laundering case.
“ED arrests Hittesh Patel and Suresh N Patel, Directors of M/s. Shinago Plantations Pvt. Ltd. under PMLA for money laundering to the tune of Rs. 325 Crore,” the investigation agency said in a tweet.
The accused have been arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). (ANI)
104-year-old administered COVID vaccine at Delhi’s Ganga Ram Hospital, urges all to take a shot
By Joymala Bagchi
New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): A 104-year-old citizen, Tulsi Das Chawla, a resident of Delhi got vaccinated at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on Saturday.
The hospital authorities felt enthusiastic while administering the COVID-19 vaccine dose and said that this 104-year-old octogenarian was successfully vaccinated for COVID-19. No adverse effects were witnessed at the hospital today.
As per the official records, Tulsi Das Chawla was born on November 1, 1917, and is a resident of Patel Nagar in New Delhi. Previously, he was an Indian Foreign Service (IAS) from where he retired in 1975.
He was successfully vaccinated with the first dose of the ‘Covishield’ vaccine and even at this age, does not suffer from any major comorbidities.
The octogenarian told ANI, “I urge everyone who is eligible to come forward and get themselves administered with COVID-19 vaccine. It is totally safe.”
Dr DS Rana, Chairman, and Head of Department of Nephrology at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital told ANI: “We are witnessing huge enthusiasm among more than 60 years of age group to take their vaccine shot. Chawla is an inspiration to all of us, and inspires us to come forward without any hesitation for vaccination drive.”
“Today 476 people were vaccinated at this hospital,” Rana said.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16, 2021, and the vaccination of the Frontline Workers (FLWs) started on February 2. The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on March 1 for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. (ANI)
Delhi court grants bail to man accused of Rs 111.92 crore tax fraud
By Sushil Batra
New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): A Delhi Court on Saturday granted bail to a person allegedly accused of wrongfully availing and passing Input Tax Credit (ITC) on purchase and sale of goods by issuing fake invoices without actual delivery of goods and causing loss to the government to the tune of Rs 111.92 crores.
Sanjay Khanagwal, Additional Sessions Judge, Patiala House Courts in New Delhi granted bail to Mohinder Kumar on a personal bond of Rs 5 lacs with one surety of like amount.
Advocates Vijay Aggarwal. Mudit Jain and Nagesh Behl appearing for the accused argued that Rs 57.39 crores which have been averred as the amount availed as a fraudulent ITC and the amount of Rs 54.53 crores which have been shown as passed on amount of ITC, the accused cannot be said to be liable for the entire amount as the difference is merely Rs 3 crores and out of which accused has already deposited a sum of Rs 1.14 crores.
Advocate Vijay Aggarwal also argued that in the case of fake billing, there is no loss to the exchequer as the government is not entitled to anything if both arises as to where is the loss to the government. He said that as the offence is punishable with imprisonment for five years then the arrest cannot take place so casually. He also challenged the arrest memo stating that there can be no arrest memo unless and until the liability has been determined.
Advocate Aggarwal further argued that in accordance with the provision of section 132 of GST Act 2017, the liability of the accused is less than Rs 5 crores therefore, in terms of section 132(5) of the CGST Act, the offence is bailable and accused has been wrongly arrested in this case. He also argued that bail cannot be withheld as a punishment and bail is the rule and jail is the exception.
Meanwhile, advocate Harpreet Singh appearing for the department contended that the accused is a proprietor in two firms namely VMW Enterprises and Shree Bahadur Steel Company, and upon the physical verification of these two firms both firms were found as non-existent. “Moreover, accused was found operating these two firms only to avail and pass on the ineligible fraudulent input tax credit,” said Singh.
According to the GST department, accused Mohinder Kumar allegedly received fraudulent GST ITC of Rs 111 crore in his two firms- VMW Enterprises and Shree Bahadur Steel Company – from several bogus firms and passed on this credit to several other firms without actual supply of goods. Kumar was placed under arrest on February 13, 2021. (ANI)
Bus conductor who planted 3 lakh saplings in 30 years wins praise
Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 6 (ANI): A bus conductor in Tamil Nadu, who has planted over 3 lakh saplings in the last 30 years using his own money, is garnering appreciation on social media.
Marimuthu Yoganathan is a bus conductor in the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation by profession.
A known eco activist, Yoganathan has been awarded “Eco Warrior” award by Vice-President of India, ‘Unsung Hero’ award by wildlife film-maker Mike Pandey and film actor John Abraham in “Timberland” function held in Delhi.
Recently, a Twitter user with the handle name of @JainMaggii shared a picture of the bus conductor holding a sapling and wrote, “Marimuthu Yoganathan, a bus conductor who has planted over 3 lakh saplings in the last 30 years using his own money. Meet the ‘real environmentalist’!”
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also replied to the tweet dated March 5, 2021 and said, “Inspiration on my birthday. Thank you for sharing.”
The tweet also drew the reactions of several people who praised Yoganathan for his efforts.
“Noble work by Shri Yoganathan….Clapping hands sign.
It doesn’t have any impact whether he has planted with his own money or not. He has planted 3 lakh trees. That is enough….. we are getting how much of oxygen from those….just imagine…Once again salute you, sir…,” wrote a twitter user.
Another Twitter user said, “Great work! Thank you for sharing! Hero, who is saving our lives and this planet! inspiration these are! Hero what made him so dedicated, please highlight his stories. Would love to know more about him.”
“Mind-boggling. Almost 100 trees per day without fail! #Legend,” wrote another while calling Yoganathan a legend.
Yoganathan visited around 3,743 universities, colleges, schools and industries and took classes to raise environmental awareness.
He has been conferred with the tiltle ‘Sutru Suzal Seyal Veerar’ by the Tamil Nadu Government.
He was also conferred the Eco Warrior Award by the Indian government.
“My request to have the award sent to me by post was declined. I was concerned about the train fare, the days taken for my leave, and accommodation costs in New Delhi. But, I’m glad I received the award in person from none other than the Vice President of the country,” said Yoganathan on receiving the honour. (ANI)
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