Sun, 24 October 2021
ED will not come after me because...: BJP MP

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21:03   NIA arrests ISIS operative in Islamic State conspiracy case
The NIA has arrested an alleged Islamic State terrorist for allegedly radicalising and recruiting gullible Muslims and sending them to Syria to join ISIS, an official said on Sunday.

Muhammad Tauqir Mahmood (33) of Bengaluru was arrested on Saturday, the official of the premier investigation agency said.

The case was registered under sections of the IPC, the UA (P) Act against Mahmood, Zuhab Hameed, Irfan Nasir and Mohd Shihab for having affiliation with the banned terrorist organisations ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, the official said.

During investigation, the NIA had earlier arrested two accused -- Ahamed Abdul Cader and Irfan Nasir who were charge-sheeted in April, the NIA official said.

Mahmood, in association with co-accused persons, had raised funds, radicalised and recruited gullible Muslim youth of a Quran Circle group and illegally sent them to Syria to join ISIS, the official said.

In 2013, Mahmood along with his associates had also visited Syria illegally to liaise with the ISIS leadership and offered support from Indian Muslims, the NIA official said, adding that further investigation in the case continues.
ANI Photo
ANI Photo
20:55   IMD issues orange alert to 4 districts in Kerala
The India Meteorological Department on Sunday issued an orange alert to four districts of Kerala for October 26 and a yellow alert to other districts for Monday. The orange alert denotes rainfall of 6-20 cm while a yellow alert means 6-11 cm of heavy rains.

The four districts are Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Idukki.

The other districts for which a yellow alert has been issued excluding Kannur and Kasaragod.

"With the likely setting in of northeasterly winds in the lower tropospheric levels over Bay of Bengal and extreme south Peninsular India, the southwest monsoon is likely to withdraw from the entire country during the next 48 hours. Simultaneously, the northeast monsoon rains are also likely to commence over southeast Peninsular India during the next 48 hours," the IMD said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Malappuram and Palakkad districts reported heavy rains resulting in many rivers overflowing. However, there are no reports of any loss of life yet.

Kerala has witnessed heavy downpour on October 15 and 16 resulting in widespread damage to life and property.
20:46   ED will not come after me because...: BJP MP
Sanjay Patil, BJP's Lok Sabha member from Sangli in Maharashtra, on Sunday quipped that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) will not come after him as he is a BJP MP.

He made the remark while speaking at a function in Sangli.

"The ED won't come after me since I am a BJP MP...We have to take loan in order to purchase luxury cars worth Rs 40 lakh to show off. The ED will be surprised to see the amount of loan we have..," he said in a lighter vein.

Recently, BJP leader Harshavardhan Patil had quipped that he was getting "sound sleep" in the saffron party as there are "no inquiries", a remark that came on a day when NCP chief Sharad Pawar alleged the misuse of the central agencies like the CBI, ED, and NCB to target the Opposition.

Harshvardhan Patil, a former MLA from Indapur in the Pune district, had quit the Congress and switched over to the BJP before the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies - Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress - have been accusing the BJP-led government at the Centre of misusing the central agencies to target the leaders of the three ruling parties in the state. 
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19:36   Civilian killed in cross-firing in Shopian: Police
A civilian was killed in "cross-firing" after terrorists attacked CRPF personnel in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, police said.

The incident evoked strong reactions from mainstream political parties in the Valley, which demanded a probe into it.

The civilian killed has been identified as Shahid Ahmad.

"Around 1030 hrs, unidentified terrorists attacked a naka party of 178 Bn CRPF at Babapora, Shopian," police said.

They said the CRPF retaliated the fire and during "cross-firing" one person was killed.

Further details are being ascertained, they added.

Taking to Twitter, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah said the policy of "shoot first" will further alienate people.

"He was shot dead & his bag has no weapons or explosives, he's carrying fruit & vegetables. This policy of "shoot first" will further alienate people. This is no way to make friends with the people or the youth of Kashmir," Omar said. He was referring to Union Home Minister Amit Shah's remarks on Saturday that he wanted to make friends with the youth of Kashmir.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said it was sad that the armed forces "operate with such impunity" in Kashmir.

"Another innocent civilian killed allegedly by CRPF in Shopian today. It's sad that armed forces show little restraint & operate with such impunity. My heartfelt condolences to his family," she wrote on Twitter.

Condemning the killing of the civilian, CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami asked the authorities to probe the incident thoroughly to fix the responsibility.

"The circumstances in which the civilian was shot dead needs to be probed. Losing precious human life is unfortunate and mere condemnation of such heinous incidents isn't enough," Tarigami said in a statement.

He also demanded compensation to the victim's family.
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18:41   UP's first Zika virus case reported in Kanpur
A Zika virus case has been reported in Kanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, a health official said on Sunday.

He said a warrant officer in the Indian Air Force (IAF) was diagnosed with the infection on Saturday, the first in Kanpur.

Chief Medical Officer Nepal Singh said that the IAF officer was suffering from fever for the past several days and was admitted to the Air Force Hospital in the district.

Following mysterious symptoms in the case, the blood sample was collected and sent to Pune for proper examination which confirmed that the patient was Zika virus positive, he said, adding the report was received on Saturday.

Twenty-two more samples of persons who came in contact with the patient and those who have the same symptoms have also been sent for examination, Singh said.

Health and civic bodies' officials have been put on alert to deal with the situation. Besides, several teams have also been tasked to check the spread of the virus in the district, officials said.
17:53   Manish Tewari slams 'chaos, anarchy' in Punjab Cong
Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday said the state must concentrate on real issues that concern every Punjabi even as MP Manish Tewari said he never saw "such chaos and anarchy" being played out in the party's state unit.

Critical of the infighting in the Punjab Congress, Tewari tweeted that party leaders are "squabbling publicly with each other like children", using "guttural language" that "even fish wives would not use".

The statements by both leaders have come amid the ongoing war of words between Congress leaders and former chief minister Amarinder Singh over his friendship with Pakistani journalist Aroosa Alam, just months before the state Assembly polls.

Amarinder was replaced by Charanjit Singh Channi as the state chief minister after a power tussle with Sidhu and had said he will form a new party.

"Punjab must come back to its real issues that concern every Punjabi and our future generations. How will we counter the financial emergency that stares upon us? I will stick to the real issues and not let them take a backseat!,"Sidhu tweeted earlier in the day.

Sidhu said,"The choice is clear between irreparable damage and the last chance for damage control. Who will bring back state's resources to the state's coffers, instead of them going to private pockets? Who will lead the initiative for resurrection our great state to prosperity!!"

"Let the mist clear, reality shine like the sun upon the roadmap for revival of Punjab, shunning those who protect the selfish vested interests and focus only on the path that will lead to Jittega Punjab, Jittegi Punjabiyat and Jittega Har Punjabi," he added in another tweet.

Meanwhile, Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tewari expressed his dismay over the ongoing developments in the Punjab Congress and asked whether the party thought the people were not disgusted by the "daily soap opera".

He never saw such "chaos and anarchy as what is playing out" in the Punjab Congress, Tewari said, adding that the "guttural language was used against each other that "even fish wives would not use".

In a series of tweets, Tewari also questioned the progress on issues like the 2015 desecration incidents, drug menace and power purchase pacts.

The Anandpur Sahib MP was reacting to his reference by Congress general secretary Harish Rawat in an interview to a media house.

"Since you referred to me in this interview I also have great regard & respect for you going back to days when I headed @nsui & you @CongressSevadal. However in my 40 years plus in @INCIndia I have never seen such chaos & anarchy as what is playing out in @INCPunjab today.

Repeated open defiance of AICC by a PCC President, colleagues squabbling publicly with each other like children. Guttural language against each other that even fish wives would not use. For the past 5 months it is @INCPunjab vs @INCPunjab. Do we think that people of Punjab are not disgusted by this daily soap opera," tweeted Tewari.

Tewari also called the Mallikarjun Kharge-led three-member panel formed by the party earlier to end factionalism in the Punjab Congress as a serious error of judgment.

"Irony is that those who complained loudest of transgressions & aberrations were unfortunately & continue to be worst offenders themselves. History would record that the appointment of the Committee that ostensibly heard perceived & real grievances was a serious error of judgment," he said.

"Where is progress on the issues that agitated these MLA's & other eminences--Bargari,drugs, power PPAs, illegal sand mining. Has there been any movement forward," asked Tewari.

During his meeting with Congress senior leaders K C Venugopal and Harish Rawat in Delhi recently, Sidhu too had raised his concerns over the 18-point agenda taken up by the leadership on which actions are pending.

These included action against those involved in the sacrilege issue and the drugs mafia.

Sidhu had written a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi on October 15, flagging the issues which the government "must deliver upon" and saying it is the poll-bound state's "last chance for resurrection and redemption".

Sidhu had pitched for a Punjab model with a 13-point agenda to be part of the Congress manifesto for the 2022 Assembly elections.
17:36   Sunburn Fest to be held in Goa in Dec to allow only 'fully vaccinated', say organisers
Sunburn Fest to be held in Goa in Dec to allow only 'fully vaccinated', say organisers

The 15th edition of Sunburn Festival Goa will be held in December, with access to only those audience members who have been fully vaccinated, the organisers announced on Sunday.

The festival was conducted digitally last year with no fan presence on ground. This year, the festival will be a three-day showcase from December 28-30 at Vagator, Goa.

According to Percept Live, the founding organisation behind the electronic dance music festival, Sunburn will adhere to health and safety measures and "all applicable COVID-19 government guidelines".

"Only attendees who have been fully/doubly vaccinated will be permitted to attend the festival. The festival will also be a limited capacity event and new entry and exit protocols will be put into place to ensure safe passage of attendees in and around the venue," the statement read.

With vaccinations happening in full swing across the country, Karan Singh, COO, Percept Live said there is a "renewed optimism" for the live event industry.

"While COVID-19 put a pause on life over the past 18 months, we are social beings and it's finally time to 'Live, Love, And Dance Again'. Sunburn Goa 2021 will be a limited capacity event following global live event best practices and all applicable guidelines.

"The strict measures put in place will ensure safety for all our fans without taking away from the lively open-air experience of Asia's biggest music festival. We cannot wait to welcome the Sunburn fans back to Goa," Singh added.

The 15th edition of the annual festival, themed '#LifeIsCalling', will feature over 60 international and local artistes across three stages.

The promoters will be partnering with several popular clubs across India for 'Sunburn Echo', the livestream that will recreate the on-ground festival experience across the country.

'Sunburn Home' will also give fans the opportunity to watch the live stream of the on-ground festival from the comfort and safety of their homes, the statement further read.
16:34   Modi to visit Italy for two-day G-20 Summit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to pitch for a united global approach in dealing with the situation in Afghanistan and combating challenges of climate change and the coronavirus pandemic at the two-day G-20 Summit in Italy beginning October 30, people familiar with the development said on Sunday.

The prime minister will be travelling to Rome and Glasgow from October 29 to November 2 to attend the 16th G-20 Summit and the World Leaders' Summit of COP-26 respectively, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

It said Modi will be participating in the 16th G-20 Summit in Rome from October 30-31 at the invitation of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. Italy has been holding the presidency of the G-20 since December last year.

The G-20 is a leading global forum that brings together the world's major economies. Its members account for more than 80 per cent of the global GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent of the population of the planet.

The forum has met every year since 1999 and includes, since 2008, a yearly summit, with the participation of the respective heads of state and government.

The MEA said India is scheduled to host the G-20 summit in 2023 for the first time.

The Rome summit will be attended by heads of state and government of G-20 member countries, the European Union, and other invited countries and several international organisations.

The G-20 leaders are expected to deliberate on a number of key challenges such as recovering from the coronavirus pandemic, addressing climate change and overcoming poverty and inequality in various parts of the world.

The situation in Afghanistan is expected to figure prominently at the summit, said one of the people cited above.

Prime Minister Modi is likely to present India's perspective to combat the key challenges facing the globe and is expected to call for a united approach to the situation in Afghanistan as well to deal with the pandemic and climate change, they said.

It will be the eighth G-20 summit Modi would be attending. The G-20 has emerged as the premier global forum for international economic cooperation.

The forthcoming summit will be centred around the theme 'People, Planet, Prosperity', focussing on areas of recovery from the pandemic and strengthening of global health governance.

It will also focus on economic recovery and resilience, climate change and energy transition, and sustainable development and food security, the MEA said in a statement.

The prime minister will also hold several bilateral meetings, including with Draghi.

From Rome, Modi will travel to Glasgow to attend the World Leader's summit of the 26th Conference of Parties (COP-26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the MEA said.

The prime minister is attending the climate summit at the invitation of his British counterpart Boris Johnson.

The COP-26 is being held from October 31 to November 12 under the presidency of the UK which is partnering with Italy for the event.

The MEA said the high-level segment of COP-26, titled the World Leaders' Summit (WLS), will be held on November 1 to 2. The summit will be attended by heads of state and government of more than 120 countries.

"The UNFCCC embodies the global will and vision to combat climate change. The periodic Conference of Parties to this Convention have emerged as global climate summits, providing an opportunity for stocktaking and for charting the way forward," the MEA said.

The prime minister last attended the COP-21 in Paris in 2015, when the Paris Agreement was concluded, and whose implementation commences this year.

"At COP-26, the parties will work to achieve the completion of Paris Agreement implementation guidelines; the mobilisation of climate finance; actions to strengthen climate adaptation, technology development and transfer; and keeping in reach the Paris Agreement goals of limiting the rise in global temperatures," it said.

The MEA said Modi will hold numerous bilateral meetings on the sidelines of COP-26, including with Johnson.

The COP-26 summit is being billed as one of the biggest ever congregations of world leaders and experts in combating climate change.

On Thursday, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, highlighting India's climate action in meeting its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) related to the Paris climate agreement, said that New Delhi intends to go in with a strong message with full commitment to COP26.

"We are perhaps the only G-20 country to have fulfilled our NDCs and outperformed them," Shringla said in a virtual address at the India Global Forum.
15:51   New ITBP units for China border in last stage: Govt
The process to authorise new battalions for the ITBP, guarding the LAC between India and China, is in the last stage and the government is determined to provide transport and logistical support to all security forces, Union Minister Nityanand Rai said on Sunday.

Addressing the 60th Raising Day event of the mountain-warfare-trained Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Rai said the government had last year sanctioned 47 new border posts and a dozen staging camps (operational bases for troops undertaking border patrol) to the force.

"Deliberations for providing new manpower and battalions for the ITBP are in the last stages," Rai, the minister of state for home affairs, said.

Officials said the force is expected to get a sanction of seven new battalions comprising about 8,000 personnel for its new border posts that will mainly come up in the Arunachal Pradesh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on India's eastern flank.

The proposal for sanctioning new ITBP battalions and a sector headquarter in the northeast has been under the consideration of the Home Ministry for over two years now. But with the last year's sanction of the new border outposts and staging camps, the proposal is expected to get approval soon, they said.

An ITBP battalion has a strength of just over 1,000 personnel.

At the rising day event, Rai lauded the ITBP for their bravery and for giving a "befitting reply" to their opponents during the clashes between Indian and Chinese forces in Ladakh during May-June last year.

He also decorated 20 ITBP officers and personnel as he pinned police medals for gallantry on their uniform for displaying bravery and courage during the clashes. These medals were announced by the Centre on Independence Day eve.

The minister said the 'Operation Snow Leopard' conducted by the ITBP in Himalayan ranges gave a "big message that India will never compromise on its sovereignty and security."

The force proved it was "second to none" when it came to guarding the country, Rai said, adding, "It is a matter of pride that the ITBP won these many bravery medals in one instance for the first time in its history."

Rai said the county's security forces have got "independence to operate and decide" under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The minister said the Modi government was working to plug all gaps along India's international borders and trying to enhance the capabilities of the security forces and also equip them with better weapons and technology.

ITBP Director General Sanjay Arora also praised his troops for their gallant action during the clashes with the Chinese People's Liberation Army last year in the Ladakh area.

He recounted the initiatives taken by the force to combat the coronavirus pandemic in the country by operating health facilities in the national capital region.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is in Jammu and Kashmir, greeted the personnel and their families through a Twitter message.

"ITBP is well known for protecting the motherland in the toughest of terrains and serving the nation during natural calamities. India is proud of ITBP's valour and determination," he said.

The about 90,000-personnel strong ITBP was raised on this day in 1962 in the aftermath of the Chinese aggression. 
15:19   Amit Shah inaugurates new IIT campus in Jammu
Amid tight security, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday arrived here and inaugurated the new campus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jammu, officials said.

Shah, accompanied by Union ministers Jitendra Singh and Dharmendra Pradhan and Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, reached Jammu airport from Srinagar and started his engagements with the inauguration of the new campus of the IIT-Jammu, they said.

Shah is on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, his first after the Centre revoked the erstwhile state's special status and bifurcated it into union territories on August 5, 2019.

They officials said the new campus of IIT-Jammu, built at a cost of Rs 210 crore, has all the facilities like hostel, gymnasium, indoor games, along with higher education for the students.

After inaugurating the new campus of the IIT-Jammu, Shah reached the Bhagwati Nagar area to address a public rally.

Heavy rains lashed Jammu on Saturday, casting a shadow on the scheduled public meeting of the Union home minister. However, with improvement in the weather, the local unit of the BJP and the administration worked overnight to ensure the success of the rally.

Policemen and paramilitary personnel were deployed in strength in and around the venue.

Shah arrived at the rally amid thunderous applause and sloganeering by the participants who had reached the venue in large numbers to hear the home minister.

An official of the IIT-Jammu said, "It is a state of the art research centre to cater to students of various disciplines. It is meant for research and development."
15:03   New twist in Aryan Khan case?
The Mirror Now television network has posted a sensational video featuring Prabhakar Sail, who claims he was Kiran Gosavi's personal bodyguard and was listed as the number 1 witness in the panchnama in the Aryan Khan case.

You can watch the video here (external link).
14:33   Over 17K Covid vaccine doses given to Delhi prison inmates
A total of 17,362 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to the inmates of three jails in the national capital so far, the Delhi Prisons Department said on Sunday.

By Saturday, 11,844 inmates of Tihar jail had been jabbed, with 9,028 of them getting their first and 2,816 their second doses.

In Rohini jail, 1,073 inmates -- 885 first dose and 188 second dose -- were administered the vaccine, while in Mandoli jail, 2794 inmates got their first, and 1,651 second dose, according to the data.

The prisons department launched a Covid vaccination drive for inmates over 45 years of age on March 18, while the inoculation of inmates in the 18-44-age group began on May 18.

Since March this year, about 383 coronavirus cases have been reported among inmates of these jails with eight of them succumbing.

A total of 225 prison staff members caught virus at some point since March with no casualty in the group.

The jail authorities are taking all precautions and following Covid-appropriate behaviour, including social distancing among the inmates, a senior jail official said.

The official said that over 4000 inmates were released from the three jails this year.

"We started the process of releasing inmates from the second week of May. Around 3,800 under-trial prisoners were released on interim bail and around 840 convicts were released on emergency parole from the prisons," he said.

These include inmates who were released last year and surrendered with no adverse report, and also new prisoners who were eligible for interim bail or emergency parole in view of the pandemic, as per the criteria laid down by a high-powered committee on May 4 and May 11.

Last year, around 5,500 under-trial prisoners and 1,184 convicts were released on interim bail and emergency parole from these jails during the virus-induced lockdown.

The first COVID-19 case was reported in Rohini jail on May 13 last year. Two Covid positive inmates of Mandoli jail -- both senior citizens -- died on June 15 and July 4 last year.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the prisons department has remained vigilant and instructed its staff to not only maintain hygiene and social distancing, but also spread awareness about the infection among the inmates in the three jail complexes, the official said.
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14:15   FPIs sell stocks worth Rs 2,330 crore in Oct
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have turned net sellers in Indian market by pulling out Rs 3,825 crore in October so far.

In the past two months, huge buying was witnessed in the debt segment when FPIs had Rs 13,363 crore in September and Rs 14,376.2 crore in August.

However, so far, in October, FPIs have pulled out Rs 1,494 crore, depositories' data showed.

From equities, FPIs took out Rs 2,331 crore.

The total net outflow stood at Rs 3,825 crore during October 1-22.

V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services, said, "FPIs have sold software stocks worth Rs 5,406 cr in the first half of October even though the second quarter (Q2) results of software companies were good. So, this is a clear case of profit booking. FPIs have been buyers in financial services."

Himanshu Srivastava, associate director (manager research) of Morningstar India, said FPIs have preferred to stay on the sidelines, adopt a wait-and-watch approach and continue to book profits along the way.

He further added that there continues to be a concern among FPIs with respect to the tapering of easy liquidity after the US Federal Reserve hinted of a rate hike sooner than expected.

Also, concerns such as rising oil prices, US bond yields and challenges to the Chinese economy have been on their radar, thus keeping them on tenterhook and preventing them from substantially investing in Indian equities.

"FPI flows October till date was mixed," said Shrikant Chouhan, head (equity research-retail) at Kotak Securities.

Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand reported FPI inflows of USD 617 million, USD 38 million and USD 679 millionn, respectively. On the other hand, Taiwan and South Korea reported FPI outflows of USD 2,956 million and USD 2,472 million, respectively, he added.

"Driven by sharp increase in energy prices globally, which can be a key headwinds for the developed and emerging markets.

"Any increase in the rate by the US Federal Reserve in the near future would also act a key headwinds for overall flow in the emerging markets," Chouhan said.
13:14   100 cr vaccination doses claim 'false': Sanjay Raut
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has alleged that the claim of administration of 100 crore vaccine doses against COVID-19 in the country was "false" and not more than 23 crore doses were given to eligible citizens so far.

Addressing a party meeting at Nashik in Maharashtra on Saturday, Raut said he would give proof that the 100 crore vaccination claim was "false".

"How much will you lie?" the Rajya Sabha member asked, without taking any names.

"In the last fortnight, 20 Hindus and Sikhs have been killed, 17 to 18 soldiers have been martyred, China is creating problems in Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh, but we are celebrating 100 crore vaccination, which is not true," the Shiv Sena's chief spokesperson claimed.

Who has counted these numbers? he asked.

When contacted, Maharashtra BJP spokesman Keshav Upadhye said Shiv Sena leaders are used to making baseless claims.

"Raut's comment on 100 crore vaccination, when the figures are clearly seen, is nothing but laughable," he said.

On October 21, India achieved a major milestone in its vaccination programme against COVID-19 as the cumulative vaccine doses administered in the country surpassed the 100-crore mark, resulting in celebratory events in parts of the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hailed the landmark, reached in little over nine months time since the countrywide vaccination drive was launched on January 16, as a "triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore".
13:01   More Myanmar refugees entering Mizoram due to clashes: Police
More refugees from Myanmar's Chin state are entering the southern and eastern border districts of Mizoram due to continuing clashes between the neighbouring country's army and rebels, a senior police officer said on Sunday.

At least 12,939 Myanmarese, including women and children, are currently taking shelter in different parts of Mizoram, he said.

Of them, the detailed information of 1,518 Myanmarese is yet to be recorded, the officer said.

The numbers keep changing as there are new entrants almost every day, while some who live near the international border enter and exit India on a regular basis, he said.

The police officer said that Myanmar nationals are being provided with shelter and food by locals, community leaders, NGOs and churches.

As per Mizoram Police data accessed by PTI, six border districts Champhai, Lawngtlai, Siaha, Serchhip, Hnahthial and Saitual together housed 9,411 refugees.

The Myanmar nationals are taking shelter in all the 11 districts, with Champhai housing the highest number at 5,998, while there are 1,622 people in state capital Aizawl, as per the data.

Young Mizo Association's Tuipuiral unit president M C Lalramenga said that around 2,690 Myanmar nationals are currently taking shelter in Tuipuiral area comprising 21 villages in Champhai district.

He said that refugees from Myanmar's Chin state are continuously pouring in and more influx is expected after their harvest season.

Lalramenga said that relief camps and temporary shelters have been set up by locals in 14 villages in the area.

Besides several NGOs, Presbyterian, Baptist and Roman Catholic churches are proving food and clothing along with monetary assistance to the refugees.

Central Young Mizo Association vice president Lalhmachhuana said that the organisation has recently disbursed Rs 15 lakh, collected from people as donation, as assistance among the Myanmar refugees.

He said the outfit will send two truckloads of cloth to two southern districts next week.

Mizoram shares a 510-km-long international boundary with Myanmar.

Among six border districts, Champhai, Siaha, Lawngtlai and Hnahthial have witnessed more influx from Myanmar since September 7, officials said.

The northeastern state has been facing a steady influx from Myanmar since the military junta seized power through a coup in February.

The Myanmar nationals, who have taken refuge in Mizoram, are mostly from the Chin communities, who share ethnic ties with the Mizos.
12:16   Covid vax drive shows India's capability: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the success of India's Covid vaccination drive shows its capability and noted that the country is moving ahead with new energy after crossing the 100 crore vaccine doses milestone.

In his monthly Mann Ki Baat broadcast, Modi hailed healthcare workers for the vaccine milestone and said he knew that they would leave no stone unturned to vaccinate the people of the country.

The success of our vaccination drive shows India's capability and the strength of 'sabka prayas' (collective effort) mantra, he said.

Modi said the country is moving ahead with new energy and enthusiasm after crossing the 100 crore Covid vaccine doses milestone.

On October 21, India achieved a major milestone in its vaccination programme against COVID-19 as the cumulative vaccine doses administered in the country surpassed the 100-crore mark.

In his Mann Ki Baat radio programme, Modi also said India has always worked for world peace and this is seen in the country's contribution to the UN Peacekeeping forces.

India is also working to make Yoga and traditional methods of wellness more popular, he said.

The prime minister also praised the rise in number of women police personnel and noted that it has jumped to over 2.15 lakh from 1.05 lakh in 2014.

Referring to the 'vocal for local' campaign, the prime minister urged people to buy local products in the festival season. 
11:46   COVID-19 tally: Top 15 worst affected states in India
Even as both Kerala and Maharashtra reported drop in the number of COVID-19 cases, they continue to top the list of worst affected states in India. 
11:03   Bill to facilitate privatisation of PSBs likely
The government may introduce two key financial sector bills, including the proposed law for facilitating privatisation of public sector banks as announced by the finance minister in the Budget.

The government is also likely to table amendments to the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Act, 2013, to enable separation of the National Pension System Trust (NPS) from the PFRDA for ensuring universal pension coverage.

The government is likely to table amendments in the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, during the forthcoming Winter Session of Parliament, sources said.

Apart from this, amendments would be needed in the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970, and the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1980, for privatisation of banks, sources said.

These Acts led to the nationalisation of banks in two phases and provisions of these laws have to be changed for the privatisation of banks, they said.

A month-long winter session of Parliament is expected to start by the end of the next month.

The second batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants, allowing the government to undertake additional expenditure other than the Finance Bill, would also be introduced for approval.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Budget for 2021-22 had announced the privatisation of public sector banks (PSBs) as part of disinvestment drive to garner Rs 1.75 lakh crore.

"Other than IDBI Bank, we propose to take up the privatisation of two Public Sector Banks and one General Insurance company in the year 2021-22," she had said.

For ensuring privatisation of a general insurance company, the government has already received approval from Parliament for the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021, in the monsoon session ended in August 2021.

With the amendment in the PFRDA Act, sources said, powers, functions and duties of NPS Trust, which are currently laid down under PFRDA (National Pension System Trust) Regulations 2015, may come under a charitable Trust or the Companies Act.

The intent behind this is to keep NPS Trust separate from the pension regulator and managed by a competent board of 15 members.

Out of this, the majority of members are likely to be from the government as they, including states, are the biggest contributor to the corpus.

The Trust was established by PFRDA for taking care of the assets and funds under NPS.

The proposal to separate the two job roles has been under consideration for the last couple of years.

The PFRDA was established for promoting and ensuring the orderly growth of the pension sector with sufficient powers over pension funds, the central record keeping agency and other intermediaries.

It also safeguards the interest of members.   -- PTI
Image only for representation
Image only for representation
10:06   Terrorists injure 3 security personnel in Poonch
Two policemen and an army jawan sustained injuries after terrorists opened fire on Sunday morning in the Bhata Durian area of Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir.

An official communique by the Jammu and Kashmir Police today said, 'Zia Mustafa, a Pakistani LeT terrorist was taken to the Bhata Durian for identification of terrorist hideout during the ongoing operation in which three army jawans and a JCO were martyred.'

Terrorists again opened fire on a joint team of police wherein two policemen and an army jawan sustained injuries.

'During the search when the team approached hideout, terrorists again opened fire on the joint team of police and army personnel in which two policemen and an army jawan sustained injuries. Mustafa also sustained injuries and he could not be extracted from the site due to heavy fire,' Jammu and Kashmir Police said in a statement.

Today morning, heavy gunfire was heard as the Indian Army's counter-terrorist operation was underway in the Bhata durian forest area of Poonch district.

More details are awaited in this matter.   -- ANI
Representative image only
Representative image only
09:45   China launches satellite to test space debris mitigation technology
China successfully launched a new satellite on Sunday to test and verify space debris mitigation technologies.

It was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

The satellite, named Shijian-21, was launched by a Long March-3B carrier rocket and it entered the planned orbit successfully.

The satellite will be mainly used to test and verify space debris mitigation technologies, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.   -- PTI
09:36   Petrol, diesel prices increased for 5th consecutive day
Petrol and diesel prices witnessed a hike for the fifth consecutive day across the country on Sunday.

With a hike of Rs 0.35, the price of petrol in the national capital increased to Rs 107.59 per litre.

The price of diesel also saw a hike of Rs 0.35 in Delhi thereby amounting to Rs 96.32 per litre respectively today.

Mumbai also reported a surge in fuel prices as compared to yesterday.

Petrol witnesses a hike of Rs 0.34 and costs Rs Rs 113.46 per litre, while diesel rates sored by Rs 0.38 amounting to Rs Rs 104.38.

As for Kolkata, the price of petrol is Rs 108.11 per litre, while diesel is Rs 99.43 per litre.

In Chennai, petrol and diesel cost Rs 104.52 and Rs 100.59 per litre respectively.

Rates have been increased across the country and differ from state to state depending on the incidence of value-added tax.

The rising fuel prices in the country are not going to come down immediately.

The central government is in talks with several oil-exporting countries on the issue of supply and demand of oils but there is no possibility of immediate relief in prices.

On Monday, a source told ANI that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas recently raised concerns about the matter of pricing, supply and demand of oils to the major oil-producing countries.

"As crude oil prices rise internationally, the petroleum ministry has called on the energy ministries of many countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Russia and others," the source told ANI.
09:32   NCB to widen its probe into cruise drugs case
As Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) busted an alleged drugs party on the Cordelia Cruise ship on October 2, the probe agency may soon go to other states too in connection with the investigation of this case, NCB sources said on Saturday.

"Investigation of this case has some important connections with the other states too. The probe agency may soon go to other states to investigate the case," sources said.

According to sources, nearly five to six drug peddlers are on the radar of NCB officers who are allegedly involved in the cruise drugs case.

"Now NCB is looking for the financial trail in the case. The agency will now check all the financial transactions of the accused arrested so far," sources added.

An NCB team busted an alleged drugs party on the Cordelia Cruise ship which was on its way to Goa at mid-sea on October 2.

A total of 20 people, including Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan's son Aryan Khan, have been arrested so far in the case.  -- ANI
08:05   Lakhimpur: Ashish Mishra shifted to hospital
Ashish Mishra, the main accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence incident, has been shifted to a government hospital after suspected dengue symptoms, a senior jail official informed on Sunday.

"Main accused Ashish Mishra, who is currently lodged in district jail has been shifted to a government hospital due to suspected dengue," a senior jail official said.

He further informed that the accused's blood sample has been also sent for the confirmation of dengue infection.

Earlier on Saturday, a SWAT team of the Uttar Pradesh Crime Branch arrested three more persons in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case taking the total number of arrests to 13.

A total of eight people including four farmers died in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence that took place on October 3. -- ANI