The US added the Israeli spyware company NSO Group—Israeli technological firm and maker of the Pegasus software—to its “entity list,” a federal blacklist prohibiting the company from receiving some American technologies, reported The Washington Post.
The blacklisting came after determining the company’s phone-hacking tools had been used by foreign governments to “maliciously target government officials, journalists, business people, activists, academics, and embassy workers”. The action is part of the Biden administration’s “efforts to put human rights at the centre of US foreign policy, including by working to stem the proliferation of digital tools used for repression”, according to the US Commerce Department.
US Secretary of Commerce Gina M Raimondo said in a statement on Wednesday: “The United States is committed to aggressively using export controls to hold companies accountable that develop, traffic, or use technologies to conduct malicious activities that threaten the cybersecurity of members of civil society, dissidents, government officials, and organizations here and abroad.”
The move is a significant sanction against a company spotlighted in July by the global Pegasus Project consortium, including The Washington Post and 16 other news organisations worldwide. The consortium published dozens of articles detailing misuse of the Pegasus spyware by customers of NSO. The NSO Group has consistently denied the findings of the Pegasus Project, which found that some of NSO’s dozens of law enforcement, military and intelligence customers in more than 40 countries target journalists, politicians and human rights workers on a routine basis with Pegasus, which can hack into a victim’s cellphone. NSO has acknowledged problems with certain customers in the past, according to The Washington Post.
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MediaTek to enhance India’s 5G prospects in 2022: From mainstream to flagship
MediaTek, the world’s leading fabless semiconductor company powering nearly 2 billion connected devices a year, reiterated its commitment to powering disruptive technologies, R&D capabilities and opportunities for expanding India’s footprint in the coming year.
The company is upbeat on 5G prospects in 2022 and looks at expanding its portfolio in India with a comprehensive range of mainstream, premium and flagship products. This was announced on the sidelines of the 9th edition of MediaTek Technology Diaries- “Unlocking the Future”, focused on the latest technology trends from MediaTek and the smartphones/smart devices market in India. “We at MediaTek are focused on making 2022 a year aimed at rapid growth, business success, and substantial expansion in our R&D capabilities. Our journey has been sustained, and we have grown consistently in size and revenue. 2021 is significant for us as we have, with the launch of the MediaTek Dimensity 9000, covered the entire spectrum from flagship to the mainstream. This year has also been a significant one in terms of our expansion and scaling efforts. We have been hiring extensively and are ramping up capabilities across our facilities in India,” said Anku Jain, Managing Director, MediaTek India. “For 2022, we are focused on further strengthening our presence in India, offering incredible experiences to customers, and supporting the country’s technology initiatives with our expertise and collaboration with leading OEMs.”
The event witnessed engaging interactions around current topics including:
5G – MediaTek’s plans to boost technology democratisation and enable access to disruptive connectivity with its range of mainstream to flagship 5G chips. In the flagship segment, MediaTek recently announced the Dimensity 9000 chip, which is a milestone of innovation and a rise to the incredible, built-to-power flagship 5G smartphones in the world. Packing the best, most advanced technology and features on the planet, the Dimensity 9000 is super powerful yet super power-efficient in a 4nm package, ensuring superior 5G speeds and next-gen gaming technology, professional-grade imaging, videography, advanced AI and computing architecture.
Incredible In. Incredible Out – MediaTek’s focus on customer interactions and experiences was also discussed along with the ongoing campaign “Incredible In. Incredible Out”, what we put into our Dimensity 5G chips, shapes the incredible experiences you get out of it, be it incredible 5G connectivity, photography, Video Streaming and industry-leading gaming experiences
Smart Devices – Keen on designing innovative solutions for new age requirements, MediaTek remains a market leader in digital TVs, voice assistant devices, Wi-Fi routers and other smart home products with a portfolio that caters to a wide range of customers across smartphones, smart homes, automotive, IoT and home/enterprise connectivity segment.
R&D – Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture provides closer-to-metal access on the Dimensity 1200 chipset for brands to tailor smartphone features like AI, multimedia and camera, hybrid multiprocessing and connectivity, giving device makers access to customised consumer experiences.
MediaTek presented the attendees with details on its host of new global launches this year, including the Filogic models for Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, the world’s first 7-nanometer 8K digital TV flagship system-on-chip (SoC), the MediaTek Pentonic 2000, and the MediaTek Dimensity 9000.
“This is for the first time in any tech transition in India that a strong device ecosystem will precede the commercial launch of services. By the time we have official 5G services kicking in, India might already have over 50 million active 5G devices,” said Tarun Pathak, Research Director, Counterpoint Research.
Sharing key highlights from the ‘The Connected Indian – 2021’ Report, Faisal Kawoosa, Founder & Chief Analyst Techarc said, “With a rapidly changing lifestyle powered by technology, consumers are reinforcing their focus on ‘smartisation’ by shifting towards smart devices ecosystem which includes personal use gadgets, devices for home and office automation. Processors continue to be key enablers in terms of main components which define the features and functions of these smart devices.”
The Technology Diaries series is an interactive, informative series aimed at demystifying the newest technologies that are transforming our daily lives. This is in tune with MediaTek’s philosophy of making great technology available to everyone so we can all connect more easily to the things that shape our everyday lives, enhance and enrich it, make us smarter and healthier.
MediaTek Incorporated is a global fabless semiconductor company that enables nearly 2 billion connected devices a year. We are a market leader in developing innovative systems-on-chip (SoC) for mobile devices, home entertainment, connectivity and IoT products. Our dedication to innovation has positioned us as a driving market force in several key technology areas, including highly power-efficient mobile technologies, automotive solutions and a broad range of advanced multimedia products such as smartphones, tablets, digital televisions, 5G, Voice Assistant Devices (VAD) and wearables.
MediaTek empowers and inspires people to expand their horizons and achieve their goals through smart technology, more easily and efficiently than ever before. We work with the brands you love to make great technology accessible to everyone, and it drives everything we do.
JOURNEY OF HOUSE OF ROHET BEGAN AS AN EXPERIMENT INTO HOSPITALITY: AVIJIT SINGH ROHET
In this exclusive interview with us on NewsX India A-List, Avijit Singh Rohet shared his journey in hotel management, vision for House Of Rohet and the heritage of his forefathers and much more.
Avijit Singh Rohet, Director, House Of Rohet, joined us for a detailed conversation as part of NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive interview, Avijit shared his journey in hotel management, vision for House Of Rohet and the heritage of his forefathers. Excerpts:
Speaking about the journey of House Of Rohet, Avijit said, “The journey of House Of Rohet began as an experiment into hospitality by my grandparents and my parents, way back in 1990. It has been a journey since then. We converted our ancestral home, which is Rohet Garh, currently one of the first heritage hotels of the country, back in 1990 as an experiment. From there, our journey kind of snowballed on. We have a small bouquet of four properties now, all offering experiential experiences to our travellers, a completely different take on what you would find in your regular city 5-star hotels. That is what our USP is, offering scratch beneath the surface if you will, into Western Rajasthan.”
Talking about the different properties under the umbrella of House Of Rohet and what makes each one of them special, he said, “Our first property is Rohet Garh, which is a heritage hotel and is our ancestral home. It has been our family home since 1622, so I am the 15th generation of my family to be living here. Lots of histories in these walls and we have been very conscious not to change any of the old structures. Everything we have been done repurposed for the hotel, has been done in the old building. It’s been a challenge to do so. It is not easy at all but it has been an experience. Today, Rohet Garh stands the testament of what heritage hotels can become and what value old buildings hold in today’s India. Our second property is Mir Garh, which really is the jewel in our crown. It’s a 9 suite only luxury bouquet property built on top of a sand dune, literally in the middle of nowhere. It is about 20 km west of the village of Rohet, just toward the sunset. You don’t find population in 2 km radius. Over there, really is the homage of art and craft of rural Rajasthan. We were very conscious while creating Mir Garh to use only and only local artists, local craftsmen and sourced everything that we put into the property only from in and around the city of Jodhpur. It’s a testament to the art and craftsmanship of the area.”
“Our third property is a more rustic experience, which is our wilderness camp. Rohet Wilderness Camp is again a small boutique camp but a very rugged experience. Again, very different from the kind of palatial royal feel of Rohet Garh and the uber-luxury experience of Mir Garh. The camp is entirely eco-friendly. All the walls and floors are plastered with cow dung and clay and done by hand every year by the local village women. It is entirely powered by solar. It is more of an outdoor experience for those who like to be part of one with the wilderness, enjoy the birds in the morning and see wildlife outside their tents. Our newest property is the Rohet House in Jodhpur, which we opened just pre-pandemic. That is kind of an urban take on the art and craft of Rajasthan. It is a chique city villa, done up in a traditional way yet keeping it with the times. It is like a contemporary take on Rajasthani art. All the walls in the Rohet House are handpainted by local artists. They have really created masterpieces on the walls.”
“Our first property in Rohet Garh was a heritage hotel and it is our ancestral home. It has also been our family home since 1622.”
MAHAPARINIRVANA DIWAS OBSERVED ON 66TH DEATH ANNIVERSARY OF DR AMBEDKAR
The Government of India scheduled a nationwide observation of Mahaparinirvan Diwas on 6 December 2021 as part of the major commemoration of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. Marking the occasion, as the 66th death anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, programs were organised by Dr. Ambedkar Foundation at Parliament House, Dr. Ambedkar International Center, Panchteerth places associated with Babasaheb along with Ambavade, Symbiosis International University, Pune, Ambedkar Bhavan, Ambedkar Park, including further districts level programs in different states of the country.
President and Prime Minister of India along with ministers and prominent representatives from various ministries, attended Parliament House to pay floral tribute to Baba Saheb’s statue, followed by Dhamma Puja recitation by Buddhist monks at the occasion. In the memory of Dr. Ambedkar, Song and Drama Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting presented special songs and then Hon’ble President and Prime Minister donated saffron-dyed robes to honor Buddhist monks.
Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr. Virendra Kumar visited Dr. Ambedkar National Memorial, New Delhi, and paid floral tribute to Dr. Ambedkar’s statue where Buddhist monks recited Dhamma Puja.
In line with the original spirit of the famous slogan “Baba Saheb Amar Rahe”, the lead observer of Mahaparinirvan Diwas, Dr. Ambedkar Foundation organised a full-day event at Dr. Ambedkar International Center, New Delhi campus.
As the Chief Guest Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr. Virendra Kumar along with Guest of Honor, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Kaushal Kishore inaugurated the Dr. Ambedkar International Center’s Mahaparinirvan Diwas ceremony and paid floral tributes to Baba Saheb’s statue in the gracious presence of Shri R. Subramaniam, the Ministry’s Secretary, Upma Srivastava, Additional Secretary, Dr. Neeta Verma, Director General of National Informatics Centre and UGC’s Chairman DP Singh, along with other prominent attendees followed by Dhamma Puja recitation by Buddhist monks.
While Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, R. Subramaniam acknowledged the audience with a warm speech, UGC’s Chairman DP Singh, in his address, embraced the role of Dr. Ambedkar Foundation in uplifting the society with its visionary approach to education.
After that, Dr. Ambedkar Foundation displayed a documentary film highlighting the importance of Panchtirthas, associated with Baba Saheb followed by a speech of Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Kaushal Kishore. He stated, “People who honor Baba Saheb, doesn’t judge people for their caste and colour.”
Proceeding with the event, Dr. Virendra Kumar, launched a special book published by Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, named, “Social Justice and Empowerment: Reflections from Dr. Ambedkar Chairs” followed by release of a brochure based on Dr. Ambedkar’s Panchteerth, schemes and scholarships for Scheduled Caste students by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
While extending the occasion at Dr. Ambedkar International Center, Union Minister Dr. Virendra Kumar launched ‘Shreshtha Yojna’ and National Fellowship Management and Grievance redressal Portal. Recalling Baba Saheb, he reinforced the importance of Mahaparinirvan Diwas in his speech.
‘Shreshtha Yojna’ will aid in Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SRESHTA) for socioeconomics upliftment and overall development of the Scheduled Castes (SCs) students by providing quality residential education to meritorious Scheduled Caste students in Reputed Private Schools, having Residential facility.
In the next 5 years, the Ministry has decided to extend support to 24800 meritorious SC students, involving Rs. 300 Crores approx., for providing them quality residential education from class 9th to 12th in reputed Private Residential Schools in Aspirational Districts identified by the NITI Aayog, Educationally Backward Districts and Districts having a population of SC community at the national average.
Adding further, Dr. Virendra Kumar, also launched Fellowship Management and Grievance redressal Portal software with a view to enable an area-based development approach. The scheme aims at integrated development of scheduled sastes majority villages.
Dr. Ambedkar Foundation has produced a documentary film highlighting the importance of Panchteerth places related to Babasaheb, these five places, same was displayed on the occasion of Mahaparinirvan Divas at Dr. Ambedkar International Center as well as other places.
With a successful ceremonial event for the day, the organiser of the Mahaparinirvan Diwas ceremony at Dr. Ambedkar International Center, Director, Dr. Ambedkar International Center and Foundation, Vikas Trivedi has established a new record by connecting more than 10,00,000 people nationally and internationally for this great cause.
While sharing his gratitude for the opportunity, he said “It was a great experience to host all the Hon’ble ministers and other attendees. As the day pass, we must remember the immense contribution of Baba Saheb in the formation of a free India, organising such a mega event was demanding but it shows how much we regard and respect Baba Saheb.” Moving further he addressed his vote of thanks and concluded the event.
I BELIEVE IN MEETING PEOPLE AND WORKING FOR THEM: PUNJAB CM AT INDIA NEWS EVENT
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi spoke about key issues ailing Punjab politics at the India News program Punjab Manch organised in Chandigarh.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi spoke openly during the India News programme, Punjab Manch, organised in Chandigarh. While targeting the opposition, he said that no one has any sympathy for the people of Punjab. Everyone wants to loot Punjab. Talking about his work, he said that like human nature, everyone has a different working style.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.
ITV Network founder Kartikeya Sharma welcomed Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi at the India News event in Chandigarh.
Charanjit Singh Channi spoke at the debate organised at the India News Punjab Manch event.
Former Union Minister Venod Sharma welcomed Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi at the India News event in Chandigarh.
The Chief Minister, who was the chief guest, was welcomed by former Union Minister Venod Sharma. Kartikeya Sharma, the founder of ITV Network, was also present. While responding to a question, CM Channi said, “I have my own different style. I believe more in working among people. Some people question my method, but it doesn’t affect me. My aim is to serve the public.”
EXPECTATIONS OF PEOPLE FROM CAPTAIN WERE NOT BEING MET: CHANNI
At the same time, in response to a question, CM Channi said, “the expectations of people from Captain Amarinder Singh were not being fulfilled. I had no idea at all that I would become a CM one day. When the high command gave me an opportunity to serve the public considering me capable, I became emotional and tears welled up in my eyes.”
KEJRIWAL HAS NO KNOWLEDGE OF PUNJAB
Regarding Aam Aadmi Party supremo and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Channi said that Kejriwal always finds true things bad. Kejriwal is furious with the growing popularity of the Congress in Punjab and continues to commit mistakes upon mistakes. He does not have any information about Punjab and Kejriwal is doing drama of sympathy with the public. Channi also said that Kejriwal’s promise of giving Rs 1000 to women is funny. AAP wants to inculcate the habit of free pies in people, but they do not know that the people of Punjab do not fall for greed. At the same time, the Delhi CM who is making promises here should first be implemented in Delhi. The CM, while narrating the Couplet of Rahat Indori, also said that the intervention of the Centre in the state will not be tolerated at any cost. The CM said that the Punjab Police and the Punjab Government are fully capable of protecting the state when asked about the BSF issue.
NEW CM HAS INSTILLED CONFIDENCE IN PUBLIC: MANISH TEWARI
The biggest issue of Punjab elections will be the farmers. The problem is the decreasing farm size and production. The biggest issue of Punjab is that the youth of Punjab are migrating. If you ask any youth, then you would come to know that he wants to go abroad by giving IELTS paper. The exodus of the youth of Punjab can be stopped. Along with this, there is a deep financial crisis in Punjab. Does Punjab youth expect that whenever political parties make promises, from where will the money be brought? asked Manish Tiwari.
WILL TAKE PUBLIC OPINION IN MANIFESTO: HARISH CHAUDHARY
Punjab Pradesh Congress in-charge Harish Chaudhary said that the decision to remove Captain from the CM post and make Channi the CM has not been taken at once. Rather, a decision should have been taken in advance, because the issues on which the people had given Congress a chance to form the government could not be worked out. In such a situation, planning to change Captain was already going on, but due to Covid, it could not happen. Now what to say about Kejriwal, what he talks about, he does not stick to his words. Everyone knows the situation in Delhi during the time of Covid. The people of Delhi had to come to another state for treatment. When it comes to results in education, see our results here. Talking about employment, look at the statistics, they talk about something, but in reality, all that Kejriwal kept on saying, don’t happen on the ground.
ALL PARTIES WILL GIVE WORK TO GOVERNMENT: HARPAL SINGH CHEEMA
Harpal Singh Cheema said that AAP’s government has shown work in Delhi. First, when the government was executed by AAP, it went to the people. He said that we have done the work, and people voted us again for Delhi. But whether it is Congress or Akali Dal in Punjab, neither of them can say that. When asked AAP is trying to woo women of Punjab by giving Rs 1,000 per woman, Cheema answered if someone refuses to take these rupees, then she will not be given. Cheema said further that the most important thing is to fill the treasury of Punjab, after that the loan waiving and after that the work of eradicating corruption will be done. Regarding education, Cheema said that in Delhi, the AAP government spends 26% on education.
CONGRESS UPSET WITH SIDHU THAT HE DOES NOT KNOW WHEN TO SAY WHAT: BHAGWANT MANN
Bhagwant Mann said that Navjot Singh Sidhu does our work. He repeatedly speaks against his own government. I am in Lok Sabha, first, the list of Vocal MP is prepared, then my name remains. Now his own party is unhappy with Sidhu. Perhaps none of Sidhu’s wishes is being fulfilled. Now he was sitting outside Kejriwal’s house, I want to tell him that he should take care of Punjab. It feels good when Sidhu speaks about Punjab, about sand, against any racket on any platform. On the model of free, Mann said that it is not a freebie, if money is given to the people after saving it from the racket, saving it from the mafia, then it will not be wrong. We will save money and give it to the people. Ever since Kejriwal is the CM of Delhi, freebies have stopped, everything used to be free for the leaders, but when people are given free, then everyone has a problem. People will get used to paying taxes because they will feel that their money is being used properly.
NOW PUNJAB SHOULD GIVE CHANCE TO KEJRIWAL: MANISH SISODIA
“Heart should be clean, mine is clean. Look, people have to do politics, we have to teach children too. Hospital has to be arranged. Employment has to be arranged. This happens in countries all over the world, we are bringing it to India. It is the dream of every man that he should also go on pilgrimage. Punjab belongs to the country, the country belongs to Punjab. For them, Punjab means that the sand mafia has to be spurt. Because he is losing Rs 20,000,00,00,000. No Punjabi wants their mid-day meal money to be eaten, teachers get money, they don’t yearn for money,” said Manish Sisodia.
PUNJAB GOVERNMENT STANDS WITH EVERY SECTION: RANDEEP SINGH NABHA
Punjab Agriculture Minister Kaka Randeep Singh Nabha said that farmers have made an important contribution economically. Our Punjab works very hard, we contribute 35%. There has been negligence on the part of the earlier governments regarding MSP. Every farmer wants that Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000 per acre should come in their pocket. We have also had a meeting with 34 farmer organisations. Punjab will have to choose area-wise, crop-wise. Somewhere in the heart of the farmers, there is a fear that the traders will take their land. I think farmers will not come back unless they feel that they are secure now. The country’s agriculture budget is 70% of that in Punjab. The farmers have struggled a lot. Our farmer does not think to spend money, he raises the economy of the country.
BJP WORKS TO CONNECT: SUBHASH SHARMA
BJP leader Subhash Sharma has said on the platform of India News Punjab, that the political history of BJP should be read. The BJP never lags behind in maintaining alliances because we wanted to do something for Punjab. Akali Dal contested 23 seats but won 19 of them. Even after that, the leaders of the Akali Dal were put forward. Made CM of their party, we decided that we will make a minister on five seats. But from Akali Dal a lost MP was made a minister. BJP is now a big party. BJP works on Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. We work for Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians in the country. We build a road, it is built for all.
ALL PARTIES ARE UPSET WITH KEJRIWAL: SANDHWA
AAP leader Kultar Singh Sandhwa said that politics is good as well as dirty. It depends on us whether we should choose the path of Lakhimpur Khiri or the second way. The second way is of Sukhbir Singh Badal and Captain Amarinder Singh. We need to give facilities to the public. Arvind Kejriwal is loved by the people of Punjab. The people of Punjab are very dear, they love good people. Amit Shah, Modi, don’t come here to Punjab, but Arvind Kejriwal keeps coming here because he has love for the people of Punjab. Employees are on strike in Punjab, there are many types of workers’ organisations, they are unhappy with the government. Punjab CM should work on this.
WE COULD NOT EXPLAIN AGRICULTURE LAW: HARJIT SINGH GREWAL
Commenting on the elections to be held in Punjab, BJP leader Harjit Singh Grewal said that the BJP leaders have struggled in the past. One should not be violent in politics, but it has happened. This is not a sign of a good democracy. Peasants are a movement of jathabandis. I am also a farmer, I know what can happen, I believe in the law. This is the issue of farmers, but it was not so. All Akali Dal leaders, including Sukhbir Singh Badal and Parkash Singh Badal, first told good things about these bills, but after that, it was said that it is wrong. The farmer never commits violence, he is also a patriot. Leaders of many political parties were also present in this movement.
THERE IS TIGHT CONTROL ON THE BUS MAFIA IN STATE: WARRING
Punjab Transport Minister Amarinder Singh Raja Warring targeted the opposition in India News’s Punjab Manch programme held in Chandigarh and said that the revenue of Punjab has been looted fiercely by the previous governments. He said that earlier the transport was occupied by the private bus mafia, due to which the government’s treasury remained empty and the bus mafia filled their coffers fiercely.
Responding to a question, Transport Minister Warring said that the present Congress government is doing a good job. Ever since he became the transport minister, efforts have been made to rein in the private bus mafia, due to which hundreds of buses have been impounded. Along with this, the revenue of roadways has increased by crores of rupees per day. He said that due to the private bus mafia in Punjab Roadways, a one lakh-kilometre scam was stopped.
STATE TO SOON GET 200 NEW BUSES
Asked about providing better facilities to the passengers, the roadways minister said that providing better transport facilities to the people is the priority of him and his government, for which he is constantly striving. Warring also said that 200 new buses would be provided to Punjab Roadways soon.
CAPTAIN AMARINDER’S BAIL WILL BE FORFEITED
Asked about former CM Amarinder Singh, the transport minister said that whatever promises Amarinder had made to the public, he was not able to fulfil them. Captain has lost the confidence of the public, due to which he has no political future at present, while his security will also be forfeited if he contests elections. The present Congress government is fulfilling more promises while working in a better way. As a result, the confidence of people in Congress has increased. At the same time, now the opposition parties are in a rage, due to which the opposition leaders are joining the Congress.
GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTED TO EDUCATION: VIJAY INDRA SINGLA
Punjab Public Works Minister Vijay Inder Singla openly discussed the policies of his government in the programme. Singla informed about the work being done by the current Congress government and called the opposition parties issueless who are misleading the public. Singla accused the BJP, SAD, and AAP and said that they have nothing to do with the suffering of the people. They are only engaged in baking political bread.
CONGRESS IS WORKING BETTER ON EDUCATION
In response to a question on education in the conclave, Vijay Inder Singla said that the present Congress government is trying to raise the level of education in the state. Singla said that after 2017, the condition of government schools in the state has improved a lot.
Aam Aadmi Party wants to inculcate the habit of free pies in people, but they do not know that the people of Punjab do not fall for greed.
SSC recruitment ‘scam’: Calcutta HC orders SIT probe
The Calcutta High Court has ordered the formation of a SIT or Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the appointment of Group D staff to the School Service Commission or SSC. The SIT will be headed by Retired Justice Ranjit Kumar Bagh. There will be a total of four members. Even after the expiration of the term of the panel, the division bench on Monday gave such instructions in the case of corruption in the recruitment of Group D staff of SSC in the school. Earlier, a single bench had directed the CBI to probe the case. Challenging that verdict, the School Service Commission approached the division bench. Their petition had questioned the need for a central investigation agency. If necessary, the investigation should be led by a retired judge. On Monday, the division bench dismissed the CBI’s inquiry order. The court said a special investigation team was formed with the retired judge in mind.
During the hearing, the division bench judge repeatedly said that the inquiry would be conducted by a judge who could not be questioned. The court then said that Justice Ranjit Kumar Bagh would be in charge of the seat. He will be assisted by Ashutosh Ghosh, SSC representative, Parmita Roy, Joint Secretary, Board of Secondary Education, and Arunav Bandyopadhyay, High Court lawyer.
The Special Investigation Team will report to the High Court in the next two months.
Group D recruitment notification was issued in the state in 2016. 13 thousand were recruited like that. The Group D panel expires in May 2019. It is alleged that more than one appointment has been made since then. It is learned that 25 people have been recommended for recruitment. That information came into the hands of the High Court. The High Court wants an explanation as to how the appointment was made from the expired recruitment list. A single bench of the High Court had directed the CBI to probe the case. A single bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay passed the order. A single bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay held that there was a need for a CBI inquiry after the affidavit of the Board of Secondary Education. The court wants to form a CBI committee to investigate this.
ALLEGATION: LEADER, KIN THREATEN FAMILY OF ‘RAPED’ MINOR
The son of a Trinamool leader and a minor accused in the incident has been arrested after raping a three-year-old child. However, the child’s family has been receiving threats to withdraw the rape case since then. It is alleged that the head of the family was also threatened with death. Even their drinking water has been virtually cordoned off in the area. The child’s family has lodged a complaint against a local Trinamool leader of Bhaktipur of Malda’s Gazol police station. The district Trinamool Congress leadership is uneasy about this incident. Though vocal in demanding punishment for the culprits, the BJP has levelled allegations against the Trinamool Congress.
According to local sources, a resident of Bhaktipur allegedly raped the child on 23 October against a minor in the village. The police arrested the minor on the basis of the complaint of the child’s family. For now, he has been sent to a juvenile home. However, the child’s family alleges that since the incident, the father of the minor and local Trinamool leader Boltu Roy and his family members have been pressuring him to drop the rape case. They are not even allowing drinking water from the village taps. The child’s family is receiving death threats as soon as he leaves the house. They are practically under house arrest. They were forced to approach the district police superintendent for security. The mother of the child claimed, “We are being pressured to drop the rape case. She is also threatening to kill my husband. They are getting so much courage because they are Trinamool. I am very scared.”
As soon as this incident became public, the police administration became restless. Malda District Superintendent of Police Alok Rajoria said, “I have received a complaint from the family of that child. There are serious allegations. The matter will be seriously investigated. The police officer of Gazol police station has also been instructed in this regard.”
However, the district BJP leadership has attacked the Trinamool Congress over the whole incident. Maldah district BJP president Govind Chandra Mandal said, “The culprit has been arrested after the incident. Good thing! But the aftermath of the arrest is even more painful. For 34 years, the CPM had shut down the opposition’s laundry, shops and markets to put pressure on the opposition. The boy who has committed such a heinous crime is from Trinamool. The people of the convict’s house have forced the family of the victim to boycott from the shelter of the ruling party. The victim’s family is under house arrest. This is as if the era of CPM is back. People will not forgive them.”
The district TMC in extreme uncomfortable with the incident. The district Trinamool leadership has made it clear that such incidents will not be tolerated.
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