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Assam violence: Flights, trains cancelled, terminated




Several trains and flights were cancelled on Thursday and all long-distance trains were being terminated at Guwahati, as Assam witnessed widespread violence over the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019.

According to R.D. Vajpayee, Director (Media), Indian Railways, no long-distance train is going beyond Guwahati.

“All these trains are being short terminated at Guwahati and will commence return journey from Guwahati at their scheduled time,” he said.

He said from Delhi and other parts of the country, trains going towards the Northeast Frontier will go normally but return from Guwahati.

“Some of the trains whose linked rakes could not be returned from NFR will stand cancelled from Delhi and other parts of the country. Names of these rakes will be notified by concerned Railways. So far, the NR has cancelled three such trains with journey commencing dates on December 15, 16 and 17.”

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Northeast Frontier Railway informed that at least 30 trains were cancelled or short terminated.

This includes the Dibrugarh Delhi DBRT Rajdhani Express being cancelled for Friday, and the New Delhi DBRT Rajdhani Express will be terminated at Guwahati and will remain cancelled between Guwahati and Dibrugarh.

Flights too have been cancelled in the area.

IndiGo informed on Twitter that it has cancelled all flights to and from Dibrugarh for Thursday “due to the prevailing situation in Assam”.

SpiceJet and GoAir have offered waiver of cancellation fees for all flights to and from Guwahati and Dibrugarh for travel till December 13, “due to ongoing unrest in Assam”.

Vistara said it has also cancelled the flights to and from Guwahati and Dibrugarh till December 13, as per government advice due to current disturbances in Assam.

“Due to the ongoing unrest in Assam, we are waiving rescheduling/cancellation fee to the customers travelling to and from Guwahati and Dibrugarh till December 13,” the airline tweeted.

Northeast states, including Assam and Tripura, are witnessing violence and agitation after the Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019.

Assam witnessed widespread violence on Wednesday, with protesters, including students, taking to the streets across the state, especially Guwahati where the state government has declared an indefinite curfew aimed at maintaining law and order. The administration has also suspended mobile internet service in 10 districts of the state.

Army and paramilitary forces have been deployed in the region to bring the situation under control.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday assured the people of Assam that they need not worry about the Bill and that he and his government were committed to constitutionally safeguard the political, linguistic, cultural and land rights of the Assamese people.


CBI books 4 former CBSE officers in illegal recruitment scam




The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday said that it has filed a case against then Joint Secretary, two Assistant Secretaries, and one more official of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on charges of alleged irregularities in recruitment.

CBI officials said that the case was registered against four former officers of CBSE on charges of misusing their official position, circumventing reservation provisions, and using forged and fake documents to get jobs in the CBSE. One of the accused is also charged with paying a consultant Rs 26.92 lakh for which no contract document could be located.

The CBI named S.P. Rana, a Joint Secretary, who retired while on suspension, dismissed Assistant Secretary Babita Rani, Assistant Secretary Shikha Tomar and Assistant Programmer Ruchin Tomar in the case.

According to the FIR, Rana is accused of appointing Rani and Shikha Tomar, who belong to the Jat community, between 2012 and 2014 under the OBC quota though the community was not eligible for reservation at that time.

The FIR alleged that Rana facilitated the selection of Shikha Tomar, the daughter-in-law of his brother, as Assistant Secretary on the basis of a fake and invalid experience certificate.

The FIR also charges Rana with allowing overpayment of Rs 26.92 lakh to KPMG for its outsourced services for processing of an application for affiliation and upgradation of schools.

“During enquiry, the CBSE was not able to provide the original file for the payments,” it said.

The case was registered after a preliminary inquiry by the CBI revealed that Rana made repeated recommendations for Rani’s appointment in 2012. “Rani was selected under the OBC category despite the fact that she was not a bonafide OBC candidate,” the FIR said adding that the government had included the ‘Jat’ community in the OBC list only in March 2014.

“At the time of the interview, Rana was holding the charge of Joint Secretary (Administration and Legal), CBSE under whose supervision, the selection was made. Rana further facilitated Rani by approving the request made by her for not verifying her credentials i.e. caste certificate, experience certificate, etc,” the FIR said.

Rani was dismissed from service on January 31 this year.

The CBI FIR also alleged that Shikha Tomar was appointed as Assistant Secretary in 2013 on the basis of a fake experience certificate issued from Ozark Global Information Services (OGIS), whose Director Atul Goel said that she never worked with the organisation and the certificate issued to her is a forged one.

A charge sheet dated November 12, 2018 for major penalty proceedings has been issued by the CBSE but she has not joined duty for long and not responding to the CBSE’s correspondence.

Meanwhile, Ruchin Tomar is accused of producing a forged and fake degree certificate and mark sheets of Bachelor of Engineering in 2014 to land a job in the CBSE. He was also terminated from the job after he did not provide the original mark sheets.

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ED tightens noose around Kerala CPI-M leader’s son



Enforcement Directorate

After questioning Bineesh Kodiyeri, the son of CPI-M Kerala State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on September 9 for over 11 hours, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday sent him a notice under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The ED has asked him to give the list of his assets and has also directed the State Registration Department to prepare a list of his assets and to see that there is no transfer or sale of his assets (properties) without their knowledge.

After the 11-hour questioning ended, it was only a matter of time for the follow up action by the ED and it has now happened, leaving the ruling CPI-M red faced, as Bineesh in all likelihood would be called in again.

Trouble started for the high profile son of Balakrishnan ever since four national agencies started probing the two cases — gold smuggling and drug dealing — which were unravelled in Bengaluru by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

The ED is trying to find out if there was a common thread in the two cases and if Bineesh had a role in them.

Bineesh has denied any role in locating a hiding place for the prime accused in the gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh, in Bengaluru. She was arrested along with her business partner by the NIA in July.

Another reason why the ED started to concentrate on Bineesh was that he has registered a few companies dealing with the financial matters, but had not undertaken the regulatory compliance and they were recently blacklisted by the authorities.

One more reason is the wide ranging business connections that he has, and also partnership ventures in many areas with others.

When the now controversial gold smuggling case surfaced in July after the Customs first arrested a former public relations officer — P.S. Sarith — of the UAE Consulate and the NIA picked up Swapna Suresh, who has links with top police officers and bureaucrats, the speculation in the media was whether Bineesh was also involved.

But it was not until the end of August that his name first surfaced when a Kerala youth Anoop Mohammed was picked up by the NCB in Bengaluru. And then came the statement from Bineesh that he and Anoop were friends, and Bineesh had given a loan of Rs six lakh to him and another Rs 15,000 very recently as he had no money to return home from Bengaluru.

Even though Balakrishnan is trying to put a brave face by saying that his son will deal with all the issues, the opposition — the Congress and the BJP — is aggressively pursuing the case as two crucial elections are round the corner.

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BSF officer dies on duty in Kashmir




A Border Security Force (BSF) officer collapsed and later succumbed while on duty in the high security Raj Bhawan area of Srinagar city.

The incident happened on Saturday.

Police sources said Hayat Singh, assistant sub-inspector belonging to 163 BSF battalion, collapsed while on patrolling duty in the Raj Bhawan area of Srinagar city.

“He was shifted to the unit headquarter hospital where doctors said he was dead on arrival.

“An FIR has been registered in the incident, proceedings under CrPc have been started”, sources said.

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