SATURDAY OVER 5L PEOPLE IN SHELTER CAMPS IN ASSAM 28 More than 62,289 flood-affected people have taken shelter in 201 relief camps, with the highest of 47,749 people displaced in Cachar MAY, 2022 epaper.morningstandard.in The flood situation in Assam improved considerably on Friday with waters receding in most rivers even as over 5 lakh people continued to suffer in the deluge in ten districts of the state facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard OIL IMPORT TOP US OFFICIAL ON INDIA TRIP Amid Biden admin’s bids to persuade India from importing Russian crude A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 7 NEW DELHI No proof, Aryan’s name cleared in narcotics case MHA orders probe against Wankhede S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai A year after he was arrested in connection with a party drug haul, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Friday cleared the name of Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan in the case. The NCB’s special investigation team (SIT) did not find any evidence of drugs or other related substance on Aryan or the other five accused. “The touchstone of the principle of proof beyond reasonable doubt has been applied... a complaint against 14 persons under various sections of NDPS Act is being filed. Complaint against rest six persons is not being filed due to lack of sufficient evidence,” a note signed by Sanjay Kumar Singh, deputy director general of NCB read. It all began on October 2, 2021 when NCB Mumbai intercepted Vikrant, Ishmeet, Arbaaz, Aryan and Gomit at the International Port Ter minal in Mumbai and Nupur, Mohak and Munmun at the Cordelia Cruise. Aryan did not have drugs with him. Yet, he was forced to sign papers admitting he was in possession of drugs. On the basis of the self-declaration in NCB custody he was put , behind bars, the note added. According to officials, Aryan was arrested on the assumption that his friend was the EXPRESS READ 4 LeT militants killed in Kashmir Four Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, including two who were involved in killing a female TV artist, were killed in two separate encounters in Pulwama and Srinagar districts of Jammu and Kashmir, police said on Friday. An encounter broke out at Aganhanzipora locality in Awantipora area of Pulwama district late on Thursday night, a police spokesman said. He said two ultras, who were responsible for killing TV artist Amreen Bhat in Budgam district a day earlier, were trapped in the cordon. Monkey pox: 200 cases in 20 nations The WHO has come across reports of around 200 cases of monkey pox in more than 20 countries. These countries are not known for the outbreak of this unusual disease. The United Nations health agency says it is yet to fully understand the reasons for the current outbreak but said there are no evidence for any genetic changes in the virus that causes the disease. Meanwhile, several countries, including the US and in Europe are evaluating if small pox vaccines can be used against the virus. File photo of Aryan Khan | PTI drug carrier. “But the SIT found that Aryan’s friend was not carrying any drugs for him. In fact, Aryan had told him to carry drugs. Besides, no drug was found on Aryan during the raid. He was also not subjected to a medical test to verify if he had consumed any narcotic. Even in Aryan’s What’sApp chat record, no substantial evidence was found to file and pursue the case. Therefore, the charges framed by Mumbai NCB have been dropped against Aryan and other five,” and NCB official said. THE NCB Mumbai operation was led by Sameer Wankhede, but NCP minister Nawab Malik called it an extortion racket and outed the former’s fake caste certificate, following which he was replaced as the probe officer. With the NCB now giving Aryan a clean chit, the Centre ordered a full-scale probe against Wankhade. New Delhi: Taking a no-nonsense approach, the Union home ministry has ordered the competent authority to begin an investigation against former Narcotic Crime Bureau officer Sameer Wankhede for initiating a baseless and shoddy probe into the Aryan Khan drug haul case. This is in addition to the government’s decision to proceed against Wankhede’’s alleged fake caste certificate case. The home ministry’s order comes in the wake of the NCB’s “clean chit” to film actor Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan in the so-called “drugs-on-cruise” case. Since Wankhede is an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, the competent authority to take action against him is the finance ministry. The names of Aryan and five others were dropped by an NCB SIT from its chargesheet in the drugs-oncruise case. The filmstar’s son and 19 others were arrested by the NCB on October 3, 2021, on charges that they were “intrinsically connected” to a conspiracy involving the taking of drugs. ENS J8.00 PAGES 12 Household savings soar to two-decade high 70% DROP IN TRANSFER TO GOVT Savings in the household financial sector surged as much as 3.6 percentage points to 11.5% of gross national disposable income in FY21 — the highest in over two decades CURRENCY IN CIRCULATION The value of currency in circulation rises 10% to A31.05 lakh cr in FY22, constituting 13% of GDP At the time of demonetisation, the value of currency in circulation was around A18 lakh crore `2,000 notes 24,510 lakh 31 March 2021 31 March 2022 21,420 lakh The value of total 2000 bank notes in circulation in FY22 was `4.28 lakh crore against `4.90 lakh crore in FY21 EXPENDITURE UP, SURPLUS DOWN RBI surplus fell from C99,122 crore in 2020-21 to C30,307 crore due to a 280% jump in expenditure The expenditure includes provisioning of `1.14 lakh crore towards contingency funds RBI paid only C30,307.45 crore to the government in FY22, which was 69.42% lower than C99,122 crore paid in FY21 This was because RBI’s transfer to the contingency fund shot up to C1.14 lakh crore in FY22 against C20,710 cr transferred in FY21 COST OF PRINTING CURRENCY RBI spent `4,985 crore for printing currency notes in FY22, a 25% increase `61.9 Lakh Crore from `4,012 crore a year ago R I S K O F H I G H I N F L AT I O N Sounding a note of caution, the Reserve Bank of India said there is a risk of high wholesale price inflation putting pressure on the retail inflation, albeit with a lag RBI said structural reforms are essential for sustained, balanced and inclusive growth, and to deal with the post-pandemic world | P13 RBI’s balance sheet increased by 8.46% to `61.9 lakh crore in FY22 Source: RBI annual report SC RULING EXTRA-JUDICIAL CONFESSIONS Can’t be basis for convictions, says apex court in a landmark verdict while observing that such confessions need to be backed by other evidences are weak | P7 Haryana ex-CM Chautala gets 4 years in prison; `50 lakh fine Sacked Punjab minister sent to 14-day custody EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE FORMER Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala was on Friday sentenced to four years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of ` 50 lakh by a special judge for CBI cases for possessing disproportionate assets. The 87-year-old Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) supremo, who in the past had served five terms as Haryana chief minister, was last week found guilty of possessing disproportionate assets in a case lodged against him by the CBI over 16 years ago. According to a CBI statement, a case was registered against Chautala and others on the basis of allegations that as Haryana chief minister between July 1999 and March 2005, he colluded with some of his family members to accumulate both movable and immovable assets in his names and that of his family members. The CBI registered a case on April 3, 2006. A chargesheet filed on March 26, 2010, after completion of investigations showed FORMER Punjab Health Minister Vijay Singla was on Friday sent to 14-day judicial custody . His nephew, Pardeep Kumar, who was also Singla’s OSD, has also been sent to judicial custody till June 10. The next date of hearing in the case is June 10. Advocate H S Dhanoa, the counsel for Singla, said the two will be sent to Rupnagar jail. Both Singla and Pardeep have agreed to give their voice samples. Earlier, the court had sent Singla to three-day police custody till Friday Singla. 52, was . arrested on corruption charges on Tuesday after CM Bhagwant Mann sacked him following accusations that he was demanding commission in tenders and purchases by his department. Singla and Kumar were booked on the basis of a complaint by Punjab Health System Corporation superintending engineer Rajinder Singh. The officer had alleged that the duo had demanded `1.16 crore in bribe for the allotment of projects. @ New Delhi @ Chandigarh Former Haryana chief minister OP Chautala being taken to jail in a case related to disproportionate assets on Friday | PTI that the extent of disproportionate assets was more than `6 crore, which was 189 percent of his income. The trial court found Chautala guilty of possessing disproportionate assets to the tune of `2.81 crore (103 percent of his income) and convicted him on May 21 this year. The case against Chautala stemmed from a Supreme Court order of Nov. 25, 2003, transferring the investigation of the JBT teacher recruitment scam to the CBI. The allegation against Chautala was that his government at the time took bribes to recruit jun- ior basic trained (JBT) teachers by using forged documents between 1999 and 2000. During its probe, the CBI found a “memorandum of chargesheet” against Chautala that contained details of his assets. It reflected a list of 43 movable and immovable properties, supposedly valued at `1,467 crore. The memorandum, which was the foundation of the case against Chautala, was signed by the then Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Subsequently, the Enforcement Directorate too investigated the money trail. LITERARY FEAT Booker moment for Geetanjali’s translated work S I M I K U R I A K O S E @ New Delhi “EVEN in our encounters with death, it is possible to want to live again.” These words by Turkish-American author, Merve Emre — she was part of the 2022 International Booker Prize — provide a nuanced gist of Tomb of Sand by Delhibased Geetanjali Shree and translated by Daisy Rockwell. The book won the 2022 International Booker Prize in London on Thursday, a moment that can be noted as a triumph for homegrown literature as this is the first time an Indian language novel (and the first time a Hindi book made it to the International Booker Prize shortlist) has received this prestigious award. “I am very happy that I became a medium for the world to now take notice of Hindi. People should realise that, just like in Hindi, other Indian languages also have a literary world that they must become aware of,” Shree said. Set in Northern India, Tomb of Sand — originally published in Hindi as Ret Samadhi in 2018 — is a story that plays with both humour and poignancy while following the story of a widowed octogenarian. After a phase of feeling despondent, the 80-year-old protagonist decides to take on a new lease of life all while confronting her past—including the trauma she faced during Partition. Calling the original “a magnificent novel”, Namita Gokhale, Indian writer and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, touches upon how it is translated with “skill, empathy and exuberance as Tomb of Sand”. Satyanand Nirupam, editorial director of the publishing house, Rajkamal Prakashan, said: “It is a big achievement for not just Hindi literature but also for Indian literature.” This win, though well-deserved, does not come as a surprise to many In a conversation . with us, noted Indian translator, Arunava Sinha, who was unable to contain his joy, shared, “I was absolutely delighted [when I heard the news]. I was 99.9 per cent sure it [Tomb of Sand] was going to win because a book like this comes along very rarely and when it does, you do not really have a choice but to declare it a winner.” This was a feeling, Nirupam mentioned, the team had right from the start, “When it came in the longlist, we were certain it would move past it. We were very confident about this novel when we published it in 2018.” The beauty of this book lies in its simplicity. Sinha said: “This is a book that says ‘give up everything else, just come and spend time with me and we will journey’. While reading this book, you are forced to acknowledge the writing, the words, the sounds, etc.” At present, 799 villages are still under water and 35,384.12 hectares of crop areas have been damaged Kopili in Morigaon district was the only river flowing above the danger mark Nagaon is the worst affected with over 3.11 lakh people affected, followed by Cachar with nearly 1.47 lakh persons and Morigaon with more than 41,036 people suffering An Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) visited the flood-affected areas of Cachar and Darrang districts during the day to assess the damage Don’t need babus on the mat: Locals in Ladakh, NE P R A S A N TA M A Z U M D A R & F AYA Z W A N I @ Srinagar/Guwahati MIDDLE-rank IAS officers punished by the government are often dispatched to ‘non-family stations’ such as Ladakh or locations in the North-East. A similar fate perhaps awaited IAS couple Sanjeev Khirwar and Rinku Dugga. While Khirwar has been ‘penalised’ with a posting in Ladakh, Dugga is being sent off to Arunachal Pradesh. The government action, has however, gone against the sentiments of people who say their places aren’t meant for the babus on the mat. The couple earned public ire because they closed the government-run Thyagraj Stadium in Delhi before the scheduled time so that they could walk their pet at the facility . Konchok Stanzin, a Ladakh politician and councillor Chushul, said Ladakh should not Ladakh needs a be treated as a punishment posting. “Ladakh better IAS officer needs a better IAS officer because the elected because the representatives have no real authority to run elected the UT. For us, a difficult time has already representatives begun,” tweeted Stanzin. have no real Sajjad Kargili, a politician and civil society authority to run activist from Kargil who unsuccessfully con- the UT. For us, a tested 2019 Lok Sabha elections from difficult time has Ladakh, said transferring an IAS officer on a begun punishment posting to Ladakh shows lack of Konchok Stanzin, seriousness of the Centre towards the sensi- councillor, Chushul tive region that shares borders with China and Pakistan. “Ladakh needs upright and efficient officers. The centre needs to send efficient officers to Ladakh. Instead, it is sending officers found violating rules. Anybody in India who is incompetent is sent to Ladakh on a punishment posting,” Kargili said. In the North-East, Twitter users were aflame. “The NorthEast is a beautiful place, not meant for punishing an officer,” tweeted Pradyot Manikya Debbarma, the chief of Tripura Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance. “The mindset of the mainlanders will never change – the North-East is also considered as a punishment or retirement posting for ageing politician as governor,” Debbarma, who belongs to Tripura’s royal family tweeted. , THREE DECADES ON CBI summons Rubaiya in 1989 abduction case EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi A special CBI court on Friday summoned Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, on July 15 in a case about abduction by terrorists in 1989. Sayeed, who lives in Chennai, has been listed as a prosecution witness by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which took over the probe in 1990. Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik, chief of the banned Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) who was recently sentenced to life imprisonment over terror funding charges, is an accused in the abduction case. This is the first time Sayeed has been asked to appear in the case relating to her abduction. She was kidnapped on Dec. 8, 1989, and freed from captivity after five days after the then V P Singh govern- ment, supported by the BJP at the Centre, released five JKLF terrorists in her exchange. The case was revived after Malik was picked up by the National Investigation Agency in 2019 on charges of terror funding. In January last year, the CBI, along with Special Public Prosecutors Monika Kohli and S K Bhat, framed charges against 10 people, including Malik, in the kidnapping case. The release of the terrorists in exchange of her freedom became a turning point in the history of unrest in the Valley, serving as a morale booster for terror groups.
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