MONDAY ACTOR JACQUELINE STOPPED FROM LEAVING THE COUNTRY 06 Officials stop Jacqueline Fernandez at Mumbai airport over a look-out notice on a `200-crore money laundering case DECEMBER, 2021 RECIPIENT OF CONMAN’S NORA FATEHI MENTIONED EXPENSIVE GIFTS? IN CHARGE SHEET TOO epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard POLL BUGLE CONG, AAP SLAM BJP’S PUNJAB PLOY CM Channi and MP Mann accuse saffron party of using nefarious tactics PAGE 7 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 The Bollywood actor was named in an ED charge sheet filed on Saturday against smooth-talking conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar, who has a long record of duping the rich. The ED said the 32-year-old sent Jacqueline lavish gifts worth I10 crore, including a I52-lakh horse and a Persian cat valued at I9 lakh. On Sunday, Jacqueline was to fly to Dubai for a show The ED has charged Sukesh, a Bengaluru native, as well as his wife, actor Leena Maria Paul, for extorting I200 crore from a businessman’s wife while he was lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail. Sukesh also sent gifts to actor Nora Fatehi. Recently, pictures of Sukesh and Jacqueline went viral online WORTH OF GIFTS THAT INCLUDED A BMW CAR SENT TO NORA, REPORTS SAY Man from Tanzania first in Army botch-up rocks Nagaland Delhi found with Omicron State govt and army order probes into 15 civilian killings; CM rushes back from Delhi Locals attack Assam Rifles camp at Mon in retaliation; tribal outfits unite in protest V AT S A L A S H R A N G I @ New Delhi P R A S A N TA M A Z U M D A R @ Guwahati A blundered ambush by security forces on Saturday evening and its fallout led to the killing of 15 civilians in Nagaland’s Mon district, forcing the state government and the Army to order independent probes. Saturday’s civilian toll of 13 climbed after two others were killed when a mob of over 1,000 attacked an Assam Rifles camp in Mon town, torching its canteen and gate. Several tribal organisations decided to withdraw from the state’s ongoing Hornbill festival in protest. Sources said four of the six civilians injured during Saturday’s violence were admitted to a hospital in Mon while the remaining two were taken to Assam Medical College and Hospital in Dibrugarh. Local tribal organisations claimed 11 persons were injured and two were reported missing. Given the volatile situation and the likely breach of peace and tranquility, the state government suspended mobile internet/data service/bulk SMS in the entire Mon district. The district administration prohibited the gathering of more than five persons at a time in public under Section 144 of the CrPC. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who was in Delhi, rushed to Nagaland. Later in the evening, he chaired a meeting of his cabinet. He will visit Mon on Monday to attend the funeral. Villagers torch security vehicles after civilians were killed in firing in Nagaland’s Mon district on Saturday evening | PTI Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “This is heart wrenching. GOI must give a real reply What exactly is the . home ministry doing when neither civilians nor security personnel are safe?” In what looks like a total intelligence failure, defence personnel had ambushed eight daily wagers at Oting after mistaking them as militants. The victims were returning home in a truck from a coalmine around 5 pm. Six of them were killed and two others injured, a senior district official said requesting anonymity . When locals heard the sound of gunshots, they rushed to the area, leading to a retaliatory attack in which seven more civilians were killed. An Army jawan, who was g rievously injured, succumbed to his injuries. The locals also set ablaze vehicles of defence personnel. On Sunday morning, Naga- The incident and its aftermath are deeply regretted. The cause of the unfortunate loss of lives is being investigated at the highest level and appropriate action will be taken as per the course of law Statement from Army Shah snubs Raje saying Raj polls will be fought under collective leadership R A J E S H A S N A N I @ Jaipur IN a major jolt to former Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje in Rajasthan, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday told the state unit of BJP that the next Assembly elections will be fought under collective leadership. In other words, there will be no chief ministerial face for the 2023 state elections. Addressing the BJP’s state working committee meeting, Shah asked the faction-ridden unit to unitedly start preparations for Mission 2023 under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi. His collective leadership pitch is being seen as a snub to the Raje camp. When Raje’s name was called to welcome Shah, he interrupted, asking how many times would he be greeted. As a result, Raje lost the photo-op, which became a talking point. “No individual can be equal to an organisation. Everyone has to understand it,” he underscored, which was seen as a barb at Raje. For quite some time now, her loyalists have been demanding that she be named the CM face. The presence of Shah on the dais with leaders of all factions was an attempt to show unity . land’s Dimapur-based 3 Corps issued a statement stating that a specific operation was planned in the area of Tiru in Mon based on credible intelligence of the likely movement of insurgents. “The cause of the unfortunate loss of lives is being investigated at the highest level,” it said, adding members of the security forces, too, suffered severe injuries. When pictures and videos of the slain civilians went viral, it triggered a public outrage. People registered protests out on the streets in some parts of the state. In commercial hub Dimapur, hundreds protested outP7 side the DM’s office. EXPRESS READ Former BJP MP says Tikait is a terrorist BALLIA: In a controversial statement, a BJP leader on Sunday called farmer leader Rakesh Tikait a “terrorist” and said the withdrawal of farm laws will lead to losses for farmers and profit for “Khalistani gundas”. In a purported video that surfaced on social media, former Lok Sabha MP Harinarayan Rajbhar also alleged that SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar worked as “a shooter of mafia Mukhtar Ansari”. NATIONWIDE DEC 04 OMICRON has reached Delhi. The national capital reported its first case of the new Covid-19 variant on Sunday Delhi . Health Minister Satyendar said in a statement that the patient found with Omicron had returned from Tanzania. He has been isolated at Lok Nayak Hospital — Delhi’s dedicated Omicron care centre. Jain said the Delhi government is testing every person flying in from affected countries. “So far, 17 positive cases have been found and all have been admitted to Lok Nayak Hospital. Six others who came in direct contact with them have also been admitted.” According to health officials, the patient had sore throat, weakness and body ache. His travel history is being collated and persons he came in touch with are being traced. The Delhi government has set up 40 isolation wards in Lok Nayak Hospital, with an additional 500 beds ready if needed. Jain said genome sequencing of all 17 who tested positive has been done. “One person who came from Tanzania has been confirmed to have the Omicron variant. This is the first case of the Omicron variant being found in Delhi,” he said. Jain urged people not to panic and remain careful. “Omicron is not a new disease but a variant of the coronavirus itself. Its symptoms are also similar to almost all the other variants. The protocol for its treatment and prevention are also the same as before. We just need to be careful. People who have not yet taken the vaccine should get vaccinated as soon as possible,” he said. Under the new norms, RTPCR tests are mandatory for passengers arriving from the “at-risk” countries. The central gover nment recently announced the list of “at-risk” countries that include --- all European countries, including the UK, and South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel. Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths DELHI 8,603 8,190 415 DEC 04 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths DEC 05 8,895 6,918 2,796 DEC 05 51 61 00 63 15 00 7 more in Maharashtra, 9 reported in Rajasthan S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I & R A J E S H A S N A N I @ Mumbai/Jaipur MAHARASHTRA has reported eight Omicron cases so far. Seven of them were detected on Sunday — six from PimpriChinchwad near Pune and one from Pune. The condition of all the Omicron patients is stable. Rajasthan reported nine cases. Four of them are from the same family Officials said they . had recently returned from South Africa. A 44-year-old woman had come to Pimpri-Chinchwad from Nigeria on November 24 to meet her brother. She and her two daughters got infected with the new variant of Covid-19. They were admitted to Jijamata Hospital in Pune. Of the six Omicron patients in Pimpri-Chinchwad, three are below 18. The Pune patient, a 47-year-old man, recently returned from Finland. He had taken both vaccine doses and still got infected with Omicron. A health official in Pune said four persons who returned from foreign tours and three of their close contacts had tested positive for the Omicron variant. In all, Maharashtra has done RT-PCR tests on 3,839 international air passengers. Eight have reported Omicron. In all, samples of 28 international arrivals were sent for genome sequencing, done for de- MEETING ON VACCINE BOOSTER DOSE TODAY Administering an ‘additional’ dose of Covid-19 vaccine to immunocompromised individuals will be deliberated upon in the meeting of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation on Monday, sources said. The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics has recommended a booster dose for those above 40 with preference to high-risk and high-exposure population. tection of Omicron. The first Omicron patient in Maharashtra was a 33-year-old man from Thane. Marine engineer by profession and a resident of Dombivli town, he had returned from South Africa. He is currently undergoing treatment at a Covid care centre in Kalyan, about 50 km from Mumbai. He had arrived in New Delhi before taking a flight to Mumbai. Patients in Jaipur are said to be in good condition. “They don’t have cough, fever, cold, soreness or other symptoms,” said Dr Ajit Singh, superintendent of RUHS, where patients are admitted. Worrying Jaipur authorities is the fact that those found infected with Omicron had attended a marriage reception on November 28. Tracing persons who came in contact with them has become a challenge. Active Azad keeps everyone guessing next move BJP workers welcome Home Minister Amit Shah in Jaipur on Sunday | PTI In two recent by-elections in Rajasthan, BJP candidates suffered crushing defeats. Raje became more active after that which widened the rift. Other than differences between the RSS camp of the party headed by state president Satish Punia and supporters of Raje, there are many contenders for the chief minister’s post. With Assembly elections due after two years, Shah’s visit was an exercise to unite the party factions and contain the discord. Shah asked the state unit to gear up for 2023. He claimed that BJP will form the next gov- ernment with a thumping majority. “This incompetent and corrupt Ashok Gehlot government has to be thrown out in the 2023 elections,” said Shah. In response to Rajasthan CM Gehlot’s remarks that BJP is trying to topple his government, Shah said BJP has no intention of bringing down the government because it will fall on its own. “Gehlot is afraid his government will fall. What is he doing that his government should fall? BJP will not topple the Gehlot government, but form the government in 2023 with a thumping majority .” F AYA Z W A N I @ Srinagar SIDELINED by the party for being a member of the Congress dissident group, senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has kept everyone guessing about his future plan by plunging deep into the field of politics in Jammu and Kashmir. Though other Kashmiri leaders too have upped their activities, Azad’s outreach to the people has triggered speculation that the veteran Congressman is either plotting a comeback to national politics through his homeland or wants to essay some major role in J&K. On Saturday, Azad told a news outlet that he has no in- tention to float a new party but cannot predict the future at the same time. Beginning with public meetings since last month, Azad has crisscrossed Jammu and then forayed into Kashmir. Currently he is camping , in Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley region. Azad has been demanding restoration of statehood after the completion of delimitation exercise followed by elections. Meanwhile, at least two dozen senior Congress leaders — all Azad loyalists — have re- signed from various party positions to build pressure on the high command to change Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir alleging that the party has fared badly electorally under him. Political analyst Noor Mohammad Baba said Azad is trying to cultivate the goodwill that he generated when he was the CM. “Now, he is trying to strengthen and consolidate his support base. He is trying to politically rehabilitate himself as he is sidelined. He is trying for a role and some footing in politics after consolidating his position in J&K.” According to Baba, Azad wants to make a comeback in national politics or desires some role in J&K because the political situation is fluid with the emergence of several groups and formations. Another political commentator said Azad has given a clear message to the Congress brass that he remains an influential leader in J&K and that the party cannot ignore him. “This situation may benefit Azad as either the party will like to give a role to him in national politics or may be forced to give him a key role in J&K.” TIPPLERS’ TALE Liquor prohibition measures lead to overcrowding of Bihar prisons R A M A S H A N K A R M I S H R A @ Patna JAILS getting overcrowded is not new in Bihar. But a sudden surge in the number of prisoners in the last 15 days, especially after a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on prohibition of liquor, has set alarm bells ringing at the prison directorate. Rough data from the 59 jails across the state revealed that the number of prisoners has gone up to over 72,000 against a sanctioned capacity to accommodate 46,669 prisoners. "There has been an increase of more than 10,000 prisoners in November. Of them, 8,000 were in the last 15 days. If the trend continues, it will be difficult to cope with the situation," a senior prison department official said. Beur central jail in Patna has at present 5,600 prisoners against a capacity of 2,360. Jail superintendent Jitendra Kumar said the count was 5,400 before the review meeting on prohibition on November 16. He claimed that the capacity of 96 wards has been rationalised to lessen the pressure. Hajipur district jail in Vaishali district has around 2,500 inmates against a capacity of 1,141. Superintendent Sanjay Kumar said he was facing problems due to sudden rise in the number of prisoners. Shaheed Khudiram Bose central jail at Muzaffarpur is no exception. It has 4,535 prisoners despite having a capacity to accommodate 2,135. Of them, around 606 have been lodged after the review meeting. One of the jail superintendents has requested authorities to expedite the bail process for There has been an increase of more than 10,000 prisoners in November. Of them, 8,000 were in the last 15 days. If this continues, it will be difficult to cope with the situation —Prison department official those booked on charges of violating the prohibition law to lessen the burden. "Some of the habitual drunkards lodged in the jail have made the life of other inmates difficult. They cry for liquor at night, forcing other inmates to go sleepless," he said, requesting anonymity . The state’s prison department officials attributed this to the chief minister’s directive to go after the violators of the prohibition law and check illegal smuggling of liquor. After receiving flak from the Opposition for his failure to check bootlegging, Chief Minister Kumar held a high-level meeting attended by Chief Secretary Tripurari Sharan and DGP SK Singhal among others. Senior IAS officer KK Pathak was made Additional Chief Secretary in the prohibition, excise and registration department. The police department intensified raids on liquor mafias. Even marriage ceremonies were not spared. POLLS SEAT-SHARING HEADACHE In UP, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav may have to part with more seats if he gets into alliance with more regional parties PAGE 8
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