CMYK WEDNESDAY 07 JUNE 2023 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC* www.thestatesman.com KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR RAJNATH INVITES GERMAN COS TO INVEST IN DEFENCE CORRIDORS SAFFRON HICCUP IN DAHAL’S DIPLOMACY P7 P5 P9 P12 Flaws & vulnerability in system were flagged by SWR in February Humid and discomfort weather very likely.Maximum and minimum temperatures likely to be around 38 °C and 30 °C respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 88 % Min. 34 % Max: 38.8 °C (+4) SUN RISES 04:52 hrs MOON RISES 20:54 hrs Min: 29.9 °C (+3) SUN SETS 18:19 hrs MOON SETS 06:38 hrs New Moon on 18 June THUMBNAILS Members of the Sikh community raise slogans in front of the Akaal Takht Sahib building at the Golden Temple after a prayer meeting on the occasion of the 39th anniversary of Operation Blue Star, in Amritsar on Tuesday. ANI NCB busts pan-India drug network that used I darknet, cryptocurrency: Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested six people, allegedly part of a pan-India network of drug traffickers that operated through the dark web and confiscated 15,000 LSD drug blots, in one of the agency's biggest ever seizure in the last two decades. The NCN said on Tuesday, describing the seizure as its biggest ever in the last two decades. The agency has also seized 2.5kg of imported marijuana and Rs4.65 lakh in cash at (Pg 5) the instance of the suspects. CBI begins probe into Balasore train mishap Rail crash: Truth must come out, says CM after meeting injured at Cuttack hospital STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE BALASORE, 6 JUNE WEATHER TEMPERATURE ‘SHUBMAN GOT AMAZING ABILITY TO PERFORM’ MYANMAR SC TO HEAR APPEAL ON SUU KYI'S BRIBERY CONVICTION STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE CUTTACK, 6 JUNE 10-member team of the Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday began their probe into Friday's triple train accident in Balasore district, even as reports that that the “flawed and vulnerable” electronic signal management system had been flagged by railway authorities in February this year did the rounds here. The Central agency also registered a case on Tuesday and has taken over the case registered earlier at Balasore government railway police station. Meanwhile, the death toll in one of the deadliest rail crashes in India has gone up to 288 with the State Government further revised the fatality figure from 275 to 288. “We have revised the toll to 288 on the basis of reports from district collectors,” said chief secretary P K Jena on Tuesday. Highly placed sources in the railways have already suggested that tampering of the system had diverted the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express to a loop line near the Bahanaga Bazar railway station, instead of the main line, where it rammed into a stationary goods train, resulting in some of the bogies West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who is in Cuttack to meet with people from Bengal who were injured in Friday’s train crash, said on Tuesday: “We want the truth to come out. Truth must not be covered up as several passengers have lost their lives. It is not a time to argue. We want to help people”. She refused to comment on the CBI probe ordered by the Union government and ducked questions on the death toll figure. Miss Banerjee made the comments after meeting the injured persons at SCB Medical College Hospital to supervise the treatment and rehabilitation of passengers of West Bengal who were injured in the triple train accident in Balasore district on Friday. She also said that 40 officers from Bengal had been deputed to oversee the treatment of those from the state and 400 ambulances too were pressed into service to ferry the patients. Miss Banerjee had visited the accident site in Balasore yesterday as well as on 3 June, the day after the accident and had raised questions on the absence of anti-collision devices in the trains. She had also A A 10-member CBI team reached the site of train accident in Balasore on Tuesday. ANI being flung across the second line to hit the Yashwantpur-Howrah Express. On 9 February the South Western Railway had reported in detail about an unsafe incident at Hosadurga Road station of Mysore Division involving the Sampark Kranti Express where a collision was averted with a goods train on the Down line. The report noted that the point was automatically set in the wrong direction. It also questioned how anybody can meddle with the interlocking gears without opening the Relay Room and noted the vulnerability at many stations in the country where signaling cables are first brought to the junction box in the yard and then to the Relay Room making it susceptible to meddling with the interlocking. It is astonishing to see that such things are happening even as a lot of money is being invested in signalling gear with worldclass safety tag attached to them. All this noted in February is being talked about here as there are some similarities to what has happened in the triple train crash on Friday which claimed 288 lives. Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Khurda Road, Rinkesh Ray, said the signal for the Coromandel Express on the line was green but the train was switched onto another line, which leads to the suspicion of tampering with the electronic interlocking system. The 10-member CBI team accompanied by forensic experts visited Bahanaga Bazar railway station and inspected the signal room at the railway station. The team also examined different equipment and gadgets. They also spoke to the employees at the signal room and sought information about the functioning of different equipment. Besides, they inspected the accident site and the tracks. With over 100 bodies from Balasore triple train accident piling up in different hospitals here waiting for identification, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar has started DNA sampling of the claimants, an official said on Tuesday. As many as 10 samples have so far been collected from the claimants, a senior official of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar said. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee meets the injured persons of the Balasore train accident, at the SCB Medical College and Hospital, in Cuttack on Tuesday. ANI said that the death toll , as per local people, was much more than the official count. Both the Odisha and West Bengal governments are working in close coordination and are providing free treatment, Miss Banerjee said. At least 31 passengers who are known to have boarded the ill-fated trains are still untraceable. So far 103 bodies of illfated victims who belonged to Bengal have been iden- President Murmu conferred Suriname’s highest award ED raids realtor linked to Sudhanshu Mittal STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Seven offices of real estate developers, IREO Group, linked to BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal through his brother-in-law, and M3M Group in Gurugram and Delhi have been raided by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) for siphoning off funds received from investors through shell companies. An official spokesperson of the ED said these raids were conducted on 1 June under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). The raids took place a day after The Statesman had reported that action was likely to probe the money laundering angle of a corruption case filed against ex-CBI judge Sudhir Parmar. During the search operation, 17 high-end luxury vehicles including a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, a Land Rover, a Rolls Royce, a Bentley and a Mercedes Maybach cumulatively worth about Rs 60 crore, jewellery bullion worth Rs 5.75 crore, cash of Rs 15 lakh and various incriminating NEW DELHI, 6 JUNE President Droupadi Murmu was today conferred with the highest civilian honour of Suriname ‘Grand Order of the Chain of the Yellow Star’ by Suriname President Chandrikapersad Santokhi at a ceremony held at the Presidential Palace in that country. In her acceptance remarks, the President, who is on a three-day visit to Suriname, thanked President Santokhi and the Government of Suriname for bestowing upon her this honour. This recognition held immense significance, not only for her but also for the more than 1.4 billion people of India. She dedicated the honour to the successive generations of the IndianSurinamese community, who have played a stellar role in enriching the fraternal ties between the two countries. Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the President. “This special gesture from the Gov- President Droupadi Murmu with the President of Suriname Chandrikapersad Santokhi at the Presidential Palace, in Paramaribo on Tuesday. ANI ernment and people of Suriname symbolizes the enduring friendship between our countries,” he said. President Murmu and President Santokhi also witnessed the cultural festival on the occasion of the commemoration of 150 years of the arrival of Indians in Suriname last evening in Paramaribo. Addressing the gathering at the Independence Square in Paramaribo, the president said: “Today we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Suriname which is an important milestone in the history of Suriname. On this day, in the year 1873, the first group of Indians reached the shores of Suriname, on board the ship Lalla Rookh which was the beginning of a new chapter in the history of this country.” She said that as a multicultural society and as a land of opportunities, Suriname has welcomed all the varied communities that came and settled there. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE CHANDIGARH, 6 JUNE documents, digital evidence and books of accounts were seized. The ED has been investigating IREO Group for diverting funds of investors. The investigations were initiated on the basis of multiple first information reports (FIRs) registered against the group, which has also featured in an investigation by the Haryana Anti-Corruption Bureau. The FIR in the anti-corruption case had named Mittal, a close associate of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, and a person said to have links with judges, politicians and senior officials. The investigations done by WTC Final: India aim to end ICC title drought AGENCIES We are quite excited about the squad as well. We know what happened in the last WTC final as well and we know what happened. We have played here before LONDON, 6 JUNE India will seek to break their barren run in ICC events when they face formidable Australia in the World Test Championship (WTC) final at the Kennington Oval, here on Wednesday. India's team has been the most consistent one over the past two WTC cycles. They have also managed to reach knockout phases of major whiteball tournaments over the last 10 years but a trophy has eluded them. On the other hand, Australia will be looking to add to their enviable collection of world titles after missing a spot in theWTC final last cycle. India have dominated Australia in the recent past, winning their last fourTest series against Australia ~ two at home and two away ~ all by 2-1 margins. India will be looking for a India captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli share a light moment during a practice session ahead of the test match against Australia in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final at The Oval in London. ANI solid start from skipper Rohit Sharma, who is coming from an ordinary form in IPL 2023. His opening partner Shubhman Gill is in red-hot form and will look to continue the purple patch. And once again, there will be huge expectations from Virat Kohli, who had a superb IPL 2023 season with the bat. Ajinkya Rahahne has also made his India comeback after an amazing IPL 2023 season. The Indian team management will need to decide whether to play four fast bowlers and just one spinner in Ravindra Jadeja or pair him with R ROHIT SHARMA TEAM INDIA CAPTAIN Ashwin. Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav are likely to be India’s pacers for the game. For Australia, David Warner will likely open the innings with Usman Khawaja, followed by Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green and Alex Carey. And captain Pat Cummins, Scott Boland, Mitchell Starc, Cameron Green and Nathan Lyon form a lethal bowling attack. Squads: India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, KS Bharat, Shubman Gill, Ravindra Jadeja,Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Axar Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, ShardulThakur, Jaydev Unadakt, UmeshYadav. Reserves:Yashasvi Jaiswal, Mukesh Kumar, Suryakumar Yadav. Australia: Pat Cummins (captain), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Michael Neser, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Josh Inglis, Todd Murphy, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, DavidWarner. Reserves: Mitch Marsh, Matt Renshaw. CMYK ED showed that huge amounts of money running into hundreds of crores were siphoned off through the M3M Group also, and that the two companies had acted in concert. In one of the transactions, M3M Group received about Rs 400 crore from IREO Group through several shell companies in multiple layers, the ED said. The transactions were shown in the books of IREO as payments towards development rights. The land was owned by M3M Group and its market value was around Rs four crore. M3M Group initially sold the development rights of the land to five shell companies for a payment of Rs 10 crore. "It was claimed that the five companies are unrelated companies. Investigations show that the five shell companies were operated by M3M Group. The five shell companies thereafter immediately sold the development rights of the same land to IREO Group for about Rs 400 Crore. After receiving the amount of Rs 400 Crore from IREO Group, the five shell companies transferred the said amounts immediately to M3M Group through multiple shell companies and layers," the ED said. "All the shell companies were owned and operated by M3M Group under the directions of its promoters Basant Bansal and Roop Kumar Bansal and his family members. In this way, IREO and M3M siphoned off about Rs 400 Crore money belonging to investors and the proceeds of crime remained with M3M Group, which was used by M3M for other investments and paying off liabilities. On the other hand, IREO Group did not make any efforts to develop the land and started to write off the investments every year," it said. During the course of search action under section 17 of PMLA, 2002, the owners of the M3M Group, namely Basant Bansal, Roop Kumar Bansal, Pankaj Bansal and other key persons deliberately avoided investigations, the ED said. IREO and M3M had flourished during the tenure of the former Haryana Chief Minister Mr Bhupinder Hooda. IREO is accused of defrauding several hundred home buyers, and of diverting funds overseas. tified, 97 injured are in hospitals, she said. The West Bengal CM went on to give details of the compensation package announced by her government. Separately, a Bengal team led by the minister of state for heath Chandrima Bhattacharya and including minister Sashi Panja visited AIIMS, Bhubaneswar to take stock of the treatment of injured victims admitted there. MGNREGA funds row: Cal HC seeks report from Centre SNS & AGENCIES KOLKATA, 6 JUNE The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday sought a report from the Union government on why the latter has stopped release of central funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) to the West Bengal government. A division bench of Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hirnamay Bhattacharya directed the Union government to file a detailed report on this count to court by 20 June.The state government will file its counter-reply in form of an affidavit within seven days from the receipt of the central report, it said. The direction came on a petition filed by the West Bengal Agriculture Workers' Association, which said that although as per rules the payment under the 100-day job scheme of MGNREGA is supposed to be credited to the accounts of job card holders, the payment has stopped for the last couple of months. (Pg 3) Manipur encounter: BSF trooper killed, 2 Assam Rifles troopers hurt SNS & AGENCIES IMPHAL, 6 JUNE A Border Security Force (BSF) trooper was killed and two Assam Rifles personnel were injured in a fierce gun battle with suspected Kuki militants in Manipur's Kakching district on Tuesday, officials said here. Defence officials said that a combing operation was launched at Serou in Kakching on Monday night and continued till Tuesday morning, when suspected Kuki militants fired at the combined security forces. BSF constable Ranjit Yadav, who sustained bullet injuries, was taken at Jiban Hospital in Kakching but succumbed. The injured Assam Rifles personnel were evacuated to Mantripukhri in Imphal. During the preliminary search, two AK series rifles, a 51mm mortar, two carbines, huge quantities of ammunition and warlike stores have been recovered from the area. Sanitisation operations are currently underway and further details are awaited. The BSF trooper is the second para-military personnel killed in the ongoing violence in Manipur. On 10 May, Assam Rifles rifleman Alok Rao sustained gunshots wounds during an operation in Manipur's Senapati district and succumbed to his injury at Command Hospital in Kolkata on 17 May. Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and other senior officials paid their last respect to the slain BSF jawan.Meanwhile, a defence release said that multiple incidents of violence, arson and firing in Sugnu and Serou in the past 48 hours necessitated the redeployment of additional troops.
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