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Indian economy showing green shoots of recovery: Modi

NEW DELHI, July 9: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today invited the world to invest in India, saying the economy here is already "putting up green shoots of recovery".

Addressing the inaugural event at the India Global Week 2020 -- pitched as one of the biggest international events on India's globalization -- the Prime Minister said, "We are rolling out a red carpet for all global companies to come and establish their presence in India. Very few countries will offer the kind of opportunities India does today".

The three-day virtual event -- themed "Be The Revival: India and a Better New World" --- is expected to discuss ways to boost the world economy, which sustained a huge hit following the lockdown induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week, the World Bank had predicted that the global economy will shrink by 5.2 per cent this year -- the steepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.India's growth rate for 2020 will be 1.9 per cent, the International Monetary Fund said in April.

Inviting the 5,000-plus delegates of the event to invest in India anywhere from agriculture sector to defence and space industry, he said, "Indians have the spirit to achieve what is believed to be impossible... India is ready to do whatever it can to further global good and prosperity. This is an India that is reforming, performing and transforming".

Over the last six years, Modi said, India has made great gains in areas such as "total financial inclusion, record housing and infra construction, ease of doing business, bold tax reforms including the Goods and Services Tax".

Reforms have been made in the sector of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, which will complement big industry, the Prime Minister said, highlighting the recent loan initiative to boost the flagging MSME sector, which has been hit hard by the lockdown.

"There are investment opportunities in the defence sector... Now, there are more opportunities for private investment in space sector. This will mean greater access to commercial use of space technology for the benefit of people," he said.

Gangster Vikas Dubey Arrested At Madhya Pradesh Temple

BHOPAL, July 9: Uttar Pradesh gangster Vikas Dubey, accused of killing eight policemen last week, was arrested on Thursday morning from a temple in Madhya Pradesh after a five-day chase across four states. He was caught just as he emerged after praying at the Mahakal temple in Ujjain, where he had arrived after a 700-km road journey.

CCTV footage showed Vikas Dubey, in a mask, being taken away by half a dozen cops. "Main Vikas Dubey hoon, Kanpur wala (I am Vikas Dubey from Kanpur)," he shouted out while being taken to the police van.

Vikas Dubey was spotted around 7 am when he was apparently trying to enter the temple from a back gate. One version says he was buying prayer offerings to take inside the temple when the shopkeeper recognized him and alerted security guards. When he emerged from the temple, the guards questioned him.

He first produced a fake ID card of a much younger man with the last name "Paul". When prodded, he hit out at the guards, who dragged him to the police.

It is not clear how Dubey, last spotted at a hotel in Faridabad, Haryana, on Wednesday, landed up in Ujjain with the police on his trail.

According to the police, Dubey drove to Ujjain from Kota in Rajasthan after he was spotted in Faridabad, Haryana.

He was in his own car with two associates and could pass off as an ordinary visitor in a white t-shirt and mask.

Eight policemen were killed on Friday when they went in a large team to Bikru village in Chaubeypur area of Kanpur to arrest Vikas Dubey

"It is a big success for the police, Vikas Dubey is a cruel killer. The entire Madhya Pradesh police force was on alert. He has been arrested from Ujjain Mahakal temple. We have informed Uttar Pradesh Police," said Narottam Mishra, Madhya Pradesh Minister.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he was in touch with his UP counterpart Yogi Adityanath on the arrest and the criminal would be handed over to the UP police.

How Vikas Dubey, after evading cops for five days, managed to travel from Haryana to Rajasthan to Madhya Pradesh is among the questions being raised about the arrest.

"We could not arrest Vikas Dubey and he surrendered in Ujjain. We could not arrest him even after such a huge incident and he kept travelling around. This should be investigated," tweeted Amitabh Thakur, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer posted in Uttar Pradesh.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav also raised questions about whether it was an arrest or surrender. "We hear that the main accused of the Kanpur-Kand is now in police custody. If true, then the government should clarify whether this was a surrender or arrest. Also his call records should be made public so the nexus can be exposed," the former UP Chief Minister tweeted.

Eight policemen were killed on Friday when they went in a large team to Bikru village in Chaubeypur area of Kanpur to arrest Vikas Dubey.

Dubey - charged in 60 criminal cases including murder, kidnapping, extortion and rioting - had allegedly been alerted to the raid by local policemen and had set up an ambush. When the policemen reached the village, Dubey and his men, armed with AK-47s, fired from rooftops.

The notorious gangster escaped after the massacre. A massive hunt was launched and the bounty on him was raised to Rs 5 lakh.

The police inspector in charge of the police station near Dubey's village was arrested yesterday over allegations that he tipped off the gangster and regularly helped him escape the law.

National interest is paramount. GOI’s duty is to protect it: Rahul Gandhi

NEW DELHI, July 7: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday questioned the government over the tension on the border between India and China, including the separate statements issued by the Indian and Chinese foreign ministries over talks held between two seniors officials.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had spoken with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi over video call on Sunday before soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) moved back from the standoff points in the Galwan area and near Pangong Tso.

Doval and Wang’s conversation is learnt to have focused on “full and enduring restoration of peace and tranquillity” along the Line of Actual Control. The two sides also spoke about working together to avoid such incidents in future, a top government official had said.

Doval and Wang, the two special representatives on the boundary issue, had “a frank and in-depth exchange of views on the recent developments in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas”, an external affairs ministry statement had said.

On Tuesday, the former Congress president tweeted two photographs of the statements issued by India and China after Sunday’s talk between Doval and Wang.

A part of the Chinese statement has been highlighted in one of the photographs.

“National interest is paramount. GOI’s duty is to protect it,” Rahul Gandhi posted on Twitter.

“Then, 1. Why has Status Quo Ante not been insisted on? 2. Why is China allowed to justify the murder of 20 unarmed jawans in our territory? 3. Why is there no mention of the territorial sovereignty of Galwan valley?” Gandhi asked.

Rahul Gandhi has been relentless with his attack on the government over the border standoff with China in Galwan Valley of eastern Ladakh.

The Congress party has also been taking jibes at the Centre since the June 15 violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley, which resulted in the killing of 20 Indian Army soldiers, including the commanding officer of 16 Bihar Regiment.

It has also been questioning the government whether Indian land has been occupied by China.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, on its part, has attacked the opposition party for what it called the demoralising of the country’s armed forces.

Pro-khalistan group websites blocked

NEW DELHI, July 5: The Centre on Sunday blocked 40 websites linked to the banned pro-Khalistan group - Sikhs For Justice (SFJ)-- being used to propagate an anti-India sentiment across the world and for enticing Sikh youth to join militancy, people familiar with the development said.

The ministry of information technology took down the websites on a recommendation from the ministry of home affairs after it was found that SFJ, primarily operating from the United States, was aggressively using the medium for its agenda.

The outfit has already been banned by the government in July 2019 while its leader - Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has been declared an “individual terrorist” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on Wednesday.

Both MHA and IT ministry refused to divulge the details of websites that have been blocked, one of the key websites associated widely with the group –www.referendum2020.org-- through which support from Sikh youth for a separate Khalistani state is sought by SFJ, could not be accessed as it has been blocked by the department of telecommunications.

According to a gazette notification issued last year while banning SFJ, “The outfit is involved in anti-national and subversive activities in Punjab and elsewhere, intended to disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India.”

The central government’s order had stated that SFJ was in close touch with the militant outfits and activists, and was supporting violent forms of extremism and militancy in Punjab and elsewhere to carve out a sovereign Khalistan out of the territory of Union of India.

“SFJ is encouraging and aiding the activities for secession of a part of the Indian territory from the Union of India and supporting (the) separatist groups fighting for this purpose in India and elsewhere by indulging in activities and articulations intended to disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India,” the notification had said.

The declaration to ban the group was upheld by the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal headed by Delhi High Court chief justice DN Patel.

In its judgment, issued on January 6 this year, the tribunal said, “The notification dated July 10, 2019 issued by the Union of India under the Act, declaring Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) to be an unlawful association is hereby confirmed. The reference is answered in the affirmative.”

It is in the judgment that a mention to the website, www.referendum2020.org, “which is replete with pro-Khalistani posts and anti-India insinuations” is found.

Agencies are trying to get an Interpol red notice issued against Pannun. Indian officials have claimed that Pannun is getting support from Pakistan for his anti-India activities.

Last date for filing income tax returns extended to November 30

NEW DELHI, July 5: The Income-Tax Department said on Saturday that the deadline for filing of income-tax returns (ITR) for financial year 2019-20 has been extended from July 31 to November 30, 2020.

“Understanding & keeping in mind the times that we are in, we have further extended deadlines. Now, filing of ITR for FY 2019-20 is extended to 30th Nov, 2020. We do hope this helps you plan things better,” the department tweeted.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) decided extension of various time limits last week in view of the challenges faced by taxpayers in meeting the statutory and regulatory compliance requirements across sectors due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

According to CBDT’s June 24 notification, the time for filing of original as well as revised income-tax returns for the FY 2018-19 or assessment year (AY) 2019-20 has been extended to July 31, 2020. “Hence, the returns of income which are required to be filed by 31st July, 2020 and 31st October, 2020 can be filed up to 30th November, 2020,” CBDT had said in a statement.

The date for making various investments for claiming deductions has also been extended to July 31, 2020.

Criminals kill 8 UP Policemen

KANPUR, July 3: The Uttar Pradesh Police on Friday killed at least three criminals during an encounter in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur. The criminals were believed to be members of wanted gangster Vikas Dubey. The report said that Vikas Dubey, however, managed to escape from the site.

The incident comes shortly after at least eight policemen including senior police officer of the rank of deputy superintendent of police and four constables were shot dead in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur during a police raid to nab noted history-sheeter Vikas Dubey's house. Six police personnel and a civilian were also injured in the attack.

The raid was carried out at around 1 am on July 3 in Bithoor's Dikru village in Chaubepur police station area in Kanpur.

Teams from three police stations had gone to Bithoor's Dikru village in Chaubepur police station area in search of Vikas Dubey, who has 60 cases registered against him. A raid was planned at his village after he was accused in a fresh attempt to murder case.

As the police team was about to reach the hideout of the dreaded criminal, it came under attack of Dubey's men who were prepared with arms on the rooftop of a building, leaving Deputy SP Devendra Mishra, three sub-inspectors and four constables dead. The police believe that Dubey, along with his men, had inputs about the police raid, and were alert with arms.

They had also placed a JCB machine on the road to block police team's route from approaching them. Following the attack, all criminals managed to flee from the spot and fled into a jungle.

Among the deceased included 1 DSP, 3 Sub-Inspector and 4 constables. The other four policemen, who received bullet shots and were injured in the ambush, were immediately rushed to a nearby hospital in a critical state.

The area was immediately cordoned off and a search was launched to nab the culprits. Till late at night, the police continued the search to catch the criminals. The borders of Kanpur was sealed following the attack.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed his condolence to the families of the eight police personnel who lost their lives after being fired upon by criminals in Kanpur. He has directed DGP HC Awasthi to take strict action against criminals and has also sought report of the incident. The CM is constantly in touch with DGP Awasthi and Additional Chief Secretary Home on the incident.

Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav too offered his condolence on the incident and tweeted: "Tribute to the martyrdom of 8 policemen in the tragic incident in Kanpur! This shameful incident in Uttar Pradesh where a nexus between political bigwigs and criminals has cost dutiful officers."

Vikas Dubey, a notorious criminal, carries a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head. He has also been a former member of the district panchayat and has at least 53 cases of murder attempts against him.

Priyanka Gandhi clears dues on Lutyens’ bungalow hours after govt notice

NEW DELHI, July 1: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi cleared her pending dues hours after the government announced it has cancelled the accommodations at 35 Lodhi Estate stating that she is no longer protected by the Special Protection Group (SPG) and hence not eligible anymore.

“Ms Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has made online payment of balance amount due on her. Hence, now dues as on 30.06.2020 is nil against her,” a spokesperson for the ministry of housing and urban affairs said.

The ministry has also said that she had accumulated dues of RS 3,46,677 till 30th June.

The directorate of estate department of the ministry had issued a notice to her to vacate her house within a month.

“Consequent upon withdrawal of SPG protection and grant of Z+ security cover by Ministry of Home Affairs, which does not have provision for allotment/retention of Government accommodation on security grounds to you, the allotment of Type 68 house No. 35, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi is hereby cancelled w.e.f 01/07/2020. One month concessional period on the same rent up to 01.08.2020 is allowed as per rule,” the letter sent by the ministry said.

“Any stay beyond 01.08.2020 will attract damage charges/penal rent as per rules,” it added.

According to the current norms, there are no provisions for allotment or retention of government retention unless exceptions are made based on recommendations given by the Union home ministry.

“In view of this, she is no longer entitled for Government accommodation and her allotment has been cancelled by the Directorate of Estate,” the spokesperson of the ministry of housing and urban affairs added

Gandhi was allotted bungalow 35, Lodhi Estate on February 21, 1997 on security ground as an SPG protectee.

“Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA) in its meeting held on 07.12.2000 reviewed the guidelines on allotment of Government accommodation on security ground and decided that in future no private person, other than those who are SPG protectees, shall be given Government accommodation on security ground. Such allotments were to be done at the market rate i.e. 50 times of normal rent,” the official said.

However, the decision to modify the rules was formally taken by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in 2015.

Congress chief minister Captain Amrinder Singh has protested the move and urged Centre to revoke the order.

“Captain Amrinder Singh takes exception to orders asking Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi to vacate govt house, urges Centre to restore her SPG cover and revoke allotment cancellation on security grounds in view of threat perception to Gandhi family,” the Punjab Chief minister’s office said.

“Blind hatred and a sense of vengeance with the Congress leadership is evident by the BJP and Modi government… The notice to clear Priyanka’s house shows the uneasiness of Modi ji-Yogi ji. We are not afraid of the frustrated decisions of the authoritarian government,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

 



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