THURSDAY ‘ADVANCED ECONOMIES TO BE BACK ON TRACK BY 2024’ 26 However, developing economies will be 5% below where they would have been otherwise, according to IMF’s Gita Gopinath MAY, 2022 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard NEW INNINGS SIBAL FILES RS PAPERS FROM UP With Samajwadi Party backing, says he quit Congress on May 16 PAGE 7 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 THERE HAVE BEEN DIVERGENT RECOVERIES Speaking at a special session on ‘What next for global growth?’ during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022 on Wednesday, Gopinath said there have been very divergent recoveries around the world. The First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund also noted that the war in Ukraine has been a major setback to the global recovery 2026-27 BY WHEN INDIA WILL BECOME A $5-TRILLION ECONOMY, ACCORDING TO IMF’s REVISED DATA ‘WE HAVE A COST OF LIVING CRISIS’ “We had a serious downgrade to the global growth rate and the world continues to face headwinds because we have a cost of living crisis. Prices of commodities including fuel and food are going up around the world,” she said, adding that central banks are trying to tackle such high inflation by raising interest rates It is among the gravest of offences, says NIA court, wants verdict to serve as deterrent to those drawn to violence LIFE-TERM TO MALIK FOR J&K TERROR FUNDING A N K I TA U PA D H YAY @ New Delhi Jailed Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik being escorted by police officers to a special court in New Delhi for sentencing on Wednesday | PARVEEN NEGI WOMAN TV ARTISTE SHOT DEAD IN KASHMIR In another targeted attack, terrorists on Wednesday killed a woman TV artist and injured her 10-year-old nephew in Chadoora in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Around 7.55 pm, they shot dead a woman TV artist and singer Amreen Bhat at her home, the police said NO REFORM, SAYS JUDGE “When he claimed to have given up the path of violence after 1994, the government gave him an opportunity to reform, and in good faith, tried to engage in a meaningful dialogue with him, and as admitted by him, gave him every platform to express his opinion,” Special Judge Praveen Singh said. However, Malik did not desist from violence, he observed OBSERVING that funding is the backbone of any operation, including terror, and is among the gravest of offences, a special National Investigation Agency court on Wednesday awarded life imprisonment to separatist leader Yasin Malik in a 2017 case related to terror funding and secessionist activities in the Kashmir Valley . The sentence also aimed to “serve as deterrence for those who seek to follow a similar path,” special NIA judge Parveen Singh warned. In Srinagar, there was stray violence after the verdict. Malik’s family members and neighbours staged a protest in at Maisuma, which is where he hails from. The youth of the area, too, resorted to sloganeering and pelted stones on the security personnel, who fired tear gas shells to disperse them. All shops in Lal Chowk, Maisuma and downtown Srinagar remained shut with security forces stepping up vigil. Also, mobile internet was suspended in Kashmir as a precautionary measure. In his verdict, the judge said the prosecution had shown how funds were received from Pakistani establishments, Lakskare-Toiba founder Hafeez Saeed and through other hawala operations. “It is these funds that were used to create unrest where under the guise of public protests, paid terror activities at mass scale were committed,” the verdict said. Malik had earlier pleaded guilty of all charges, including those under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, in the terror funding case. “In my considered opinion, it is high time that it is recognised that terror funding is one of the gravest offences and has to be punished more severely ,” the judge said. Malik was produced before the court amid high security, and awarded the life sentence, apart from a fine of `10 lakh. While the NIA sought capital punishment, the amicus curiae (friend of court) sought life imprisonment, the minimum punishment in the matter. On May 10, Yasin had said he would not contest charges levelled against him — Section 16 (terrorist act), 17 (raising funds for terrorist act), 18 (conspiracy to commit terrorist act) and 20 (member of terrorist gang or organisation) of the UAPA and sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 124-A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code. The court rubbished Malik’s contention that he was following Gandhian principles of non-violence, saying despite large scale of violence in the Valley he never condemned it. , In the Mahatma’s principles, there was no place for violence, howsoever high the objective, the judge said, adding: “It only took one small incident of violence at Chauri Chaura for the Mahatma to call off the entire non-cooperation movement but the convict despite the large scale of violence engulfing the Valley neither condemned the violence nor withdrew his calendar of protest which had led to the said violence.” Criticising the verdict, the Gupkar Alliance called it unfortunate and a setback to peace efforts. It suggested that he avail of all legal opportunities to contest the verdict. HOW IT BEGAN & WHERE IT REACHED May 30, 2017: NIA files chargesheet against Yasin Malik in connection with a case related to the funding of terror and separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir January 18, 2018: Chargesheet filed against 12 other accused persons including Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, head of LeT and Yusuf Shah Salahuddin, head of Hizbul Mujahideen Feb 23, 2019: Yasin Malik taken into preventive custody February 26, 2019: Malik’s house was raided wherein documents and electronic items were seized April 10, 2019: NIA takes permission from Jammu court and arrests JKLF chief Yasin Malik and starts custodial interrogation April 24, 2019: NIA court sends him in judicial custody till May 24 October 4, 2019: NIA files supplementary chargesheet March 16, 2022: Court orders charges against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, and Kashmiri separatist leaders, including Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, Masarat Alam and others, under various sections of the UAPA for terrorist and secessionist activities that “disturbed Jammu and Kashmir” March 19, 2022: A Delhi court reviews the evidence, and orders the framing of charges against Yasin Malik and others under the stringent UAPA and Indian Penal Code in connection with terror funding case May 10, 2022: Malik pleads guilty to the charges framed against him. He tells that he was not contesting the charges levelled against him including sections 16 (terrorist act), 17 (raising funds for the terrorist act), 18 (conspiracy) and 20 (being a member of a terrorist gang or organisation) of the UAPA and sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 124-A (sedition) of the IPC Separatist leader to be lodged in high-security cell of Tihar E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi KASHMIRI separatist leader Yasin Malik will serve out the sentence, imposed on him by an NIA court, at Tihar Jail here, according to Union home ministry and Delhi Police sources. As in all high profile terrorism cases, including those with potentially strong political ramifications, Malik will be lodged in a “high security cell” at the Tihar Jail. For this, the Delhi Police and the prison authorities had made arrange- ments in anticipation of the sentencing. Born on April 3, 1966, Malik gave up arms in 1994 when he led the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). Speaking to reporters after the sentencing, Malik said that since then he has “followed the principles of Mahatma Gandhi” and has been pursuing “ n o nv i o l e n t p o l i t i c s i n Kashmir”. Before the court pronounced the quantum of punishment, Malik, who argued his own ‘Nonviolent politics’ Born on April 3, 1966, Malik gave up arms in 1994 when he led the JKLF. Malik said that since then he has “followed the principles of Mahatma Gandhi” and has been pursuing “nonviolent politics in Jammu and Kashmir”. case, said that in the past had worked with seven prime ministers. He sought to put up a brave face, saying that the intelligence agencies cannot claim that he was involved in any ter- ror activity in the last 28 years. “I will retire from politics, if they (intelligence agencies) can prove this,” he said. The sentencing took place nearly a week after NIA Special Judge Praveen Singh convicted Malik before directing the NIA to assess his financial condition to deter mine the fine amount that could be imposed on him. A few days ago, Malik was directed to file an affidavit, disclosing all sources of income and both moveable and immoveable assets. Malik had earlier pleaded guilty to all charges against him, including the UAPA. Malik had told the court on May 10 that he would not contest the charges under Sections 16, 17, 18 and 20 of the UAPA. These charges relate to terrorist act, raising funds for terror acts, conspiracy to commit a terrorist act and being a member of a terror organisation. The IPC provisions slapped against him include Sections 120B (conspiracy) and 124A (sedition). A woman cries as she leaves the Uvalde Civic Center on Wednesday | AP 18-yr-old boy guns down 19 children in Texas school EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE IN one of the worst mass murders in a school in America, an 18-year-old in body armour gunned down 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas state on Wednesday The dead students . of the Robb Elementary School were aged between 7 years and 10 years, the police said. The massacre in the heavily Latino town of Uvalde in Texas, was the deadliest shooting at a US school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, almost a decade ago. The teen opened fire around 11.30 am local time before he was killed by law enforcement officers. The assailant had turned 18 this month. Soon after, he bought his guns legally — one AR-style rifle from a licensed gun dealer in Uvalde on May JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT May 24 11,38,116 doses May 25 11,30,219 doses TOTAL: 1,92,80,09,294 17; 375 rounds of ammunition the next day; and a second rifle on May 20, officials said. The needless blood-letting brought the easy access to firearms in the US market to the front burner, since the powerful gun lobby has blocked all attempts check its proliferation. “Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with and stand up to the lobbies?’ President Joe Biden wondered. “How many scores of little children who witnessed what happened seen their friends die as if they’re on a battlefield, for god’s sake,” he said. “To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away There’s . a hollowness in your chest.” Texas Governor Greg Abbott identified the killer as Salvador Ramos. His motive was unclear. He is suspected of shooting his grandmother at the start of the rampage, media reports said. NATIONWIDE MAY 24 MAY 25 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 1,675 2,124 1,635 1,977 31 17 DELHI Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 24 MAY 25 418 394 02 424 499 04 UP govt slashes VAT on petrol & diesel Lucknow: The UP government on Wednesday reduced the VAT imposed on diesel and petrol by `1.03 and `1.40 per litre, respectively, after the Centre slashed the excise duty on fuels three days ago. The move will bring down the effective prices by `8 on diesel and approximately `10 on petrol. UP CM Yogi Adityanath shared the information on the floor of Assembly while responding to a query on Wednesday. Adityanath’s submission came when SP MLA Virendra Yadav sought to know if the state government would take any step to reduce the state tax on fuels to bring down their prices in the wake of the rising inflation. The CM said the base price of petrol and diesel automatically got reduced by `8 and `6 per litre respectively on May 22. The CM added that the LPG was covered under GST for which any approval to reduce tax would have to be granted by the GST council. ENS Laundering: ED registers NO ADDITIONAL BORROWING IN FY23: third case against Karti GOVT SOURCES Fake WhatsApp IDs of Punjab netas net people THE Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money laundering case against Congress MP Karti Chidambaram and others in connection with the alleged irregularities in the issuance of visas to 263 Chinese nationals in 2011 when his father P Chidambaram was the Union home minister. According to ED officials, the case has been filed under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) taking cognisance of the FIR registered by the CBI in the same case about a week ago. The CBI’s FIR pertains to`50 lakh being paid as kickback to Karti and his close associate S Bhaskararaman by a top executive of Vedanta group company Talwandi Sabo Power Ltd, which was setting up a power plant in Punjab. Officials said the ED will FRAUDSTERS have created WhatsApp IDs of around two dozen senior officers and politicians of Punjab, including two DGP-rank officers. The Punjab Polices’ Cyber Crime Cell has cautioned people to be vigilant about messages demanding financial or administrative favours. Inspector General o f Po l i c e ( C y b e r Crime) RK Jaiswal said two such cases, wherein fraudsters impersonating VVIPs tried to defraud innocent people, have surfaced in less than a month. The cyber cell has registered two cases under various sections of the IPC and the IT Act registered on April 26 and on May 19, said Jaiswal, adding efforts were on to nab the culprits. E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi M O N I K A YA DAV @ New Delhi probe the possible ‘proceeds of crime’ that could have been generated due to the alleged illegal activity in the visa case. Last week, the CBI also raided the premises of the Chidambarams and arrested Bhaskararaman, even as Karti is expected to depose before it for questioning. This is the third money laundering case against Karti after the INX Media and Aircel-Maxis cases. Denying the allegations, Karti tweeted, “If this is not harassment, not a witch hunt, then what is.” THE Centre may not need additional borrowing in the current financial year (FY23) even after taking a huge financial hit from the excise duty cut on petrol and diesel and the newly announced cooking gas subsidy for the poor. According to sources, the Centre will stick to the borrowing calendar set for FY23. The reduction in excise duties will cause an annual loss of `1 lakh crore to the government, while the subsidy on cooking gas will put an additional burden of `61,000 a year. “At the moment, it doesn’t seem we need extra capital. So, we will be sticking to the borrowing calendar fixed for FY23. If there will be a shortfall in the capex, then we will withdraw the funds from the Consolidated Funds of India,” a government source said. The government has budgeted for `16.6 lakh crore borrowing accounting for a 6.4% fiscal deficit in 2022-23. The source added that the much-awaited GST rates rationalisation exercise will get delayed owing to the inflationary pressures. The GST Council’s 47th meeting will be held in the second half of June. However, despite inflation continuously remaining above the RBI’s upper tolerance limit of 6%, there are no plans to revise the medium-term inflation target (4% plus-minus 2). The source clarified that the rupee-rouble trade mechanism is very much on the table. “The Indian government will continue to buy cheaper oil from Russia. Talks on rupee-rouble trade are still going H A R P R E E T BA J WA @ Chandigarh COAL-CENTRIC ENERGY POLICY Coal will continue meet bulk of the power needs as it is difficult to make a transition to clean energy due to supply constraints amid geopolitical tensions, government sources said on with Russia. The Centre has not yet finalised the discount.” Privatisation of two public sector banks will be completed in the current fiscal as part of disinvestment plans. The Government will dilute its stake to 26% from 51% in these two banks, the source added. Jaiswal advised people not to contact influential people based on displayed pictures, names on WhatsApp or other social media. He asked people to be conscious about suspicious websites. “People should avoid giving confidential information such as an OTP, bank accounts of credit and debit cards,” he said. DIG State Cyber Crime Nilambari Jagdale said unscrupulous elements take unauthorized access to the mobile phones of unsuspecting and gullible individuals by using various hi-tech means. “Thereafter, the accused impersonate themselves as senior officers and dignitaries and demand financial favours in the shape of Amazon gift vouchers. They also pretend to have a m e d i c a l e m e r g e n c y, ’ ’ she said.
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