CMYK THURSDAY 09 MARCH 2023 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC www.thestatesman.com KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ‘WORLD WOULD BE HAPPIER PLACE IF WOMEN MADE EQUAL PARTNERS’ NIGERIAN POLL P6 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temperatures likely to be around 33 °C and 23 °C respectively. TEMPERATURE P5 P10 Ind vs Aus Test: Modi, Albanese to be at toss ASHWIN, ANDERSON TIE FOR NO.1 TEST BOWLER SPOT P12 FESTIVAL OF COLOURS Australian PM arrives on four-day state visit to India RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 86 % JOE BIDEN PLANS NEW TAXES ON THE RICH TO HELP SAVE MEDICARE SNS & AGENCIES Min. 27 % AHMEDABAD, 8 MARCH Max:34.3 °C (+1) Min:22.4 °C (+1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:53 hrs 17:43 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 18:30 hrs 06:24 hrs New Moon on 21 March THUMBNAILS Border Security Force women personnel pose for a photo on the occasion of International Women's Day, on Wednesday. ANI DHS visits BC Roy hospital as more babies die in city: Adenovirus and pneumonia infections ravaging Bengal claimed lives of six more babies, claimed sources quoting unofficial figures. The deaths happened at three separate hospitals, Dr BC Roy Institute of Paediatric Science, RG Kar Medical College Hospital and Medical College Hospital, in the last 24 hours. Unconfirmed sources claimed 119 babies have died so far of either adenovirus or pneumonia showing symptoms of fever, cough and lung infections with breathing distress since January. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had claimed the death figure for children admitted to hospitals with adenovirus-related symptoms to be 19, out of which six are conPG3 firmed cases of adenovirus. ustralian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday arrived in Ahmedabad on a state visit to India. Mr Albanese, who will be in India till 11 March, was welcomed by Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel. The Australian Prime Minister upon his arrival to India tweeted: “An incredible welcome to Ahmedabad, India. The beginning of an important trip for Australia-India relations.” Mr Albanese earlier told a Australian radio network that he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be at the toss for the fourth and final Test for the ongoing series between India and Australia for the BorderGavaskar Trophy, at Ahmedabad on Thursday. Prior to Mr Albanese's arrival in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said India eagerly awaits his visit. “India eagerly awaits your arrival! Looking forward to productive deliberations to further the India-Australia friendship. @AlboMP,” PM tweeted on Wednesday.Mr Albanese onWednesday tweeted: “Today I'm bringing a delegation of ministers and business leaders to India. Australia and India have a rich friendship, underpinned by our common interests, our shared democratic values, the bonds between our people, and an affectionate but fierce sporting rivalry.” “At the kind invitation of A People celebrate Holi on a street in Guwahati on Wednesday. AP Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese applies gulal on the face of Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel during Holi, in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. ANI Prime Minister @narendramodi, we will be visiting Ahmedabad, Mumbai and New Delhi. Trade with India presents Australian businesses and workers with tremendous opportunities for growth," he added. According to an official release, the first in-person India-Australia Annual Summit will take place during Mr Albanese's visit. At the Annual Summit, leaders take stock of progress made on various initiatives under the IndiaAustralia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The summit lays the way forward on new initiatives and enhanced cooperation in a diverse range of sectors between India and Australia. The Summit was first held virtually on 4 June 2020, the release said.The visit comes after a series of high-level engagements and an exchange of ministerial visits between the two sides in 2022 and in 2023. The last visit by an Australian PM (Malcolm Turnbull) to India was in 2017. Earlier, in a radio radio interview with NOVA 93.7 Perth, Mr Albanese confirmed that he and PM Modi will be at the toss for the Ahmedabad Test. “There is a lot of pressure on because myself and Prime Minister Modi are tossing the coin,” read a transcript of Mr Albanese's radio interview on the PM's official website. However, the Australian PM did not say if it will be him or PM Modi who will toss the coin. To a question by the host, Nat, on "how do two people toss one coin", the Australian PM said, "I have no idea how it is going to work. But he is the home Prime Minister. So, I think he will be in charge.” Anubrata sent to ED custody till 10 Mar STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 8 MARCH A Delhi court sent Anubrata Mondal, Trinamul Congress strongman and Birbhum district party president, to the custody of the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) till 10 March after a post-midnight hearing hours after he was brought to the national Capital from Kolkata last night. Mr Mondal, in his first day in the ED’s custody, was today subjected to marathon grilling over the abrupt surge in wealth and mushrooming growth of his and his family’s assets, but remained mostly non-committal and silent, according to sources. Ending a weeks-long tug of war between him and the ED over whether or not he could be moved to Delhi for custodial investigation, Mr Mondal was on Tuesday night brought to the national Capital by air after eight-hour trip from Asansol. He was remanded to three days in ED custody following production judge Rakesh Kumar of the Rouse Avenue Court in Delhi after midnight last night. Today, he was first taken to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital for his customary health check up as ordered by the court.Sources in the Central agency said that a team of officers led by ED special director Sonia Narang will be conducting Mr Mondal’s interrogation for the next 48 hours.The team has prepared a questionnaire backed Delhi excise policy case: ED summons PM attends Tripura CM Manik KCR’s daughter, Kavitha seeks more time Saha’s swearing-in ceremony STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE HYDERABAD, 8 MARCH BRS MLC Kalvakuntla Kavitha who has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate on 9 March is seeking legal opinion on the date of her appearance before the agency in view of her planned daylong hunger strike and protest at Jantar Mantar on 10 March demanding the tabling and enactment of the Women’s Reservation Bill. Ms Kavitha’s name has been linked to the Delhi excise policy scam and she had earlier been questioned by the CBI at her residence in Hyderabad last year.In a statement, the MLC, who is also the daughter of Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, Power loss: Navy chopper ditches in Arabian Sea SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 8 MARCH Bharat Rashtra Samithi MLC K Kavitha reaches IGI Airport after she was summoned by ED, in New Delhi on Wednesday. ANI indicated that the timing of her summons by the agency was linked with the protest organised by Bharat Jagruthi, an organisation headed by Ms Kavitha along with other Opposition parties as well as other women organisations. She said: “As a law abiding citizen, I will fully cooperate with the investigation agencies. However, due to the Dharna and prefixed appointments, I’ll seek legal opinions on the date of attending.” Ms Kavitha left Hyderabad for Delhi on Wednesday evening as scheduled earlier to participate in the planned 10 March protest. News agency IANS reported, quoting sources, that Ms Kavitha has written to the Enforcement Directorate seeking time till 15 March to appear before the agency. Another accused, Arun Ramachandra Pillai, who was recently arrested by the ED, is alleged to be Ms Kavitha’s benami. According to a remand report filed in a Delhi court the ED stated that Mr Pillai was one of the key persons involved in paying huge kickbacks to the AAP in Delhi by the South cartel, which allegedly included Ms Kavitha. Telangana BJP leaders have been predicting Ms Kavitha’s arrest for quite some time. In a show of defiance Ms Kavitha said these tactics of intimidation against Mr Chandrasekhar Rao and the BRS will not deter them in any way as they would continue to expose the failures of the BJP. “Let me also remind the power mongers in Delhi that Telangana has never and will never bow before the oppressive anti people regime. We will fearlessly and fiercely fight for the rights of the people,” said Ms Kavitha. SNS & AGENCIES Septuagenarian dental surgeon-turned-politician Manik Saha on Wednesday took oath as the Chief Minister, days after the BJP-IPFT alliance retained power in Tripura for the second straight term by winning 32 seats in the 60member state assembly, for which elections were held on 16 February. Along with the 70-year-old Saha, eight other legislators, including a woman, assumed office as cabinet ministers against the total ministerial strength of 12. Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya administered the oath and secrecy to the Chief Min- ister and other ministers Ratan Lal Nath, Pranajit Singh Roy, Santana Chakma, Sushanta Chowdhury, Tinku Roy, Bikash Debbarma, Sudhangshu Das, and Sukla Charan Noatia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP President J.P Nadda, . chief ministers Himanta Biswa Sarma (Assam),N. Biren Singh (Manipur), Pema Khandu (Arunachal Pradesh), Prem Singh Tamang (Sikkim) and a host of dignitaries were in attendance at the swearingin ceremony held at the Swami Vivekananda Maidan. Among the ministers, who took oath on Wednesday, four are new faces ~ Tinku Roy, Bikash Debbarma, Sudhangshu Das and Sukla Charan Noatia ~ while Santana Chakma, the only woman minister, was also a minister in the first BJP government. Sisodia lodged in separate cell with inmates ‘Crypto transactions to come under money with record of good conduct: Tihar officials laundering provisions’ SNS & AGENCIES SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 8 MARCH Any participation in transactions involving virtual digital assets or cryptocurrency, would now come under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act or PMLA, the Centre has said.This was announced through a gazette notification, issued on 7 March. The step has been taken to tighten oversight and curb the misuse of digital assets The finance ministry in the gazette notification warned investors against "participation in and provision of financial services related to an issuer's offer and sale of a virtual digital asset". “Exchange and transfer of virtual digital assets would also fall under PMLA laws," the notification further said. According to the Income Tax Act, a virtual digital asset refers to any information, code, number, or token generated through cryptographic means.The Enforcement Directorate, which has the mandate to investigate money laundering and forex violation cases, has already been probing crypto companies including exchanges CoinSwitch Kuber and WazirX. The latest move by India aligns with a global trend of requiring digital-asset platforms “to follow anti-money laundering standards similar to those followed by other regulated entities like banks or stock brokers,” said Jaideep Reddy, counsel at law firm Trilegal. Refuting allegations made by the Aam Aadmi Party that former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia has been lodged with hardened criminals and murderers, Tihar jail officials on Wednesday said that Mr Sisodia has been assigned a separate ward for his security where the inmates are not gangsters and have maintained "good conduct". The officials denied the "aspersions" on Sisodia's lodgings as "unfounded". AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj earlier today claimed that Mr Sisodia was lodged in Jail No. 1 of Tihar, which he alleged is home to some of the most dreaded criminals and murderers. Mr Bharadwaj alleged that the BJP was conspiring to kill his party leaders. Responding to the allegations, Tihar Jail authorities issued a statement: “Manish India slams Pak for raking up Kashmir issue at UNSC AGARTALA, 8 MARCH NEW DELHI, 8 MARCH An Indian Navy Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), on a routine sortie off the Mumbai coast, ditched in the Arabian Sea after it experienced a sudden loss of power and rapid loss of height onWednesday.According to Navy authorities, the ALH’s pilot managed to carry out a controlled ditching. All three crew members on board were rescued by naval patrol craft.The ditched chopper had deployed its emergency flotation gear and efforts are on to salvage it even as the Indian Navy has ordered an inquiry into the cause of the incident. “An Indian Navy ALH on a routine flying mission off Mumbai experienced a sudden loss of power and rapid loss of height. The pilot carried out controlled ditching over water. All three aircrew exited the helicopter safely and were recovered as part of a swift Rescue Operation," said the Navy. with documents and other evidence generated during the ED’s investigation and previous interrogation of him and his kin including his daughter Sukanya. A source claimed that the ED would now press hard to elicit information from Mr Mondal about the alleged surge in his wealth in a short time and how the bank accounts of his daughter, other kin and domestic help as well were found to have witnessed a surge in cash worth despite his being only a party district president. Sisodia has been assigned a segregated ward keeping his security in mind. The ward of CJ-1, where he is lodged has a minimum number of inmates who are not gangsters and are maintaining good conduct inside the jail." They further said that the allocation of a separate cell to the AAP leader makes it possible for him to meditate or do other activities without any disturbance. “All arrange- CMYK ments, as per Jail Rules, are in place to ensure his safety and security. Any aspersions cast about his lodgings are unfounded," the prison officials said. Mr Sisodia was arrested by the CBI on 26 February in an ongoing investigation of a case related to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Special Judge MK Nagpal on 6 March remanded Sisodia to 14 days in judicial custody after expiry of CBI custody noting that the probe didn't demand further custody of him at this time, but it may be sought later if required. Mr Sisodia's lawyer sought the court's permission for him to keep with him a pair of spectacles, a diary, a pen, and a copy of The Gita during the judicial custody period. The court had granted the permission. As requested by Mr Sisodia's side, the court also directed the Jail superintendent to consider the request of keeping the accused in the vipassana cell/ Meditation cell. Amid allegations that former Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia has been lodged with dreaded criminals which was rebutted by Tihar jail authorities, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday grilled him for the second consecutive day in connection with the Delhi excise policy case. ED sources told IANS that the agency has got permission to quiz Sisodia for three days. Like Tuesday, the ED reached Tihar jail at 11 a.m. on Wednesday and questioned Sisodia about the alleged kickbacks of Rs 100 crore which the AAP/its leaders received through hawala channel from the South Group.Sisodia was also asked about Arun Pillai and K. Kavitha, the daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao. Let me dismiss the frivolous, baseless and politically motivated remarks made by the delegate of Pakistan regarding the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. My delegation considers it unworthy to even respond to such malicious and false propaganda. Rather, our focus is where it shall always be positive and forward-looking RUCHIRA KAMBOJ INDIA'S PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UN AMBASSADOR NEW YORK , 8 MARCH India slammed Pakistan over raising the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at a Security Council debate on women, peace and security and said that it is unworthy to respond to such “malicious and false propaganda”. While addressing the United Nation Security Council, on Tuesday, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said, “Let me dismiss the frivolous, baseless and politically motivated remarks made by the delegate of Pakistan regarding the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. My delegation considers it unworthy to even respond to such malicious and false propaganda. Rather, our focus is where it shall always be positive and forward-looking.” “Today's discussion is critically important to strengthen our collective efforts to accelerate the full implementation of the women's peace and security agenda. We respect the topic of the debate and we recognize the importance of time. As such, our focus shall remain on the topic,”she added. See Pg 5
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