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TN announces compensation to owners of fishing boats in SL custody

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the owners of mechanised boats and Rs 1.5 lakh each to the owners of country boats that are presently in the custody of Sri Lankan authorities.

At least 128 mechanised boats and 17 country boats are in the custody of Sri Lankans at present.

The Chief Minister’s office made the announcement on Friday evening.

Stalin also announced a package of Rs 5.66 crore compensation for the 105 fishing boats and equipment that were damaged during the Northeast monsoon that lashed the state.

Fishermen association leader S. Bharathi said that the state government’s announcement is a major support to the beleaguered fishermen of the state who are being hunted down by the Sri Lankan Navy and police on trivial charges.

In 2021, five fishermen lost their lives during an attack by Sri Lankan authorities, including Naval personnel.

Sixty-eight fishermen were arrested and 15 were released from prison recently. The remaining 55 fishermen are still languishing in Sri Lankan jails.

The Union Ministry of External Affairs, has already entered a diplomatic discussion with the Sri Lankan authorities on the arrest of Indian fishermen and the complaints being lodged by the fishermen of Rameswaram, Mandapam, and other areas of Tamil Nadu who were facing tough times in the sea near the Katchatheevu island as well as the International Marine Boundary Line (IMBL).

Krishnaswami Rajendran, who is the owner of a fishing boat at Rameswaram, while speaking to IANS said: “The Sri Lankan Navy is creating problems with our fishermen and it is high time that the government of India takes stringent action against the perpetrators who are attacking Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu regularly.

“There has to be an end to this. The real situation in the sea is really tough and we are being attacked regularly for no fault of ours.”

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NIA detains 8 PFI members from Bihar’s East Champaran

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 The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has conducted a raid in Bihar’s East Champaran district following which it detained eight operatives of the banned group Popular Front of India (PFI), an official said on Saturday.

The searches were carried out at Kuawan village on Friday night.

Among the detainees, Riyaz Maroof is considered as the main operative of the PFI.

They were facing charges of hatching a conspiracy to carry out an explosion at the under-construction Ram temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya.

According to sources, the NIA had intercepted a message wherein an “explosion at the temple” was mentioned. The operatives were also planning to hold a meeting to discuss their plan of action.

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Union Budget fails to address core issues of inflation, unemployment: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind

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After the Union Budget for 2023-24 was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has criticised the budget for not addressing two important core issues of price rise and unemployment.

Issuing a statement, the JIH said, “The Budget falls short of addressing the core issues of inflation (price rise) and severe unemployment. The Budget has been insensitive to the call of the Prime Minister of ‘Sab ka Vikas’ as it has reduced the budgetary allocation to the minorities from Rs 5,000 crore to around Rs 3,000 crore.”

It said that the decision to reduce the tax on income above Rs 5 crore from 37 per cent to 25 per cent is not correct. This will further increase wealth inequality as pointed out by the latest Oxfam report. Overall the Budget appears to cater to the interest of corporates and not the informal economy and the common man.

However, the JIH further said that the budget can be credited to being focused on economic growth and fiscal consolidation bridging the negative gap between revenue and expenditure. Now, those having income up to Rs 7 lakh per annum will not have to pay any income tax. This change will help the salaried class. One more positive is the boost given to capital expenditure which is now budgeted at Rs 13.7 lakh crore i.e. 4.5 per cent of GDP. This will help in easing the funding of infrastructure projects.

“Despite these positives in the Budget, it appears as if it is aimed at benefiting only one class of society while ignoring the country’s poor and those living in rural areas. While the push for fiscal prudence is good, it has squeezed government expenditures even further resulting in a decrease in allocation for the social sector. For example, the MGNREGA scheme allocation has been slashed by 33 per cent when unemployment is historically high,” the JIH added.

“Another worrying aspect of the Budget is that various subsidies have been cut. For example, food subsidy has been cut by Rs 90,000 crore, fertilizer subsidy by Rs 50,000 crore and petroleum subsidy by Rs 6,900 crore. Also, Rs 9,255 crore remained unspent in the health sector and Rs 4,297 crore remained unused in the education sector. This non-utilization of allocated funds happened at a time when both these sectors required special focus in the post-pandemic era,”, the JIH said.

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Morbi bridge collapse: Section of Patidar community throws weight behind Oreva’s MD

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Umiyadham Sidsar, a section of Patidar community, has pledged its support to Oreva Group’s Managing Director Jaysukh Patel in the �Morbi bridge collapse case. �

Jaysukh Patel is the prime accused in the Morbi suspension bridge collapse accident, in which 132 persons, including 35 children had lost their lives. Police in its charge sheet, filed before a court on January 27 had named him as prime accused.

Patel surrendered before the court on January 31, and was sent to judicial custody. On �Wednesday, the First Class Judicial Magistrate court granted his police remand till February 8.

On February 4, The Umiya Sidsar trustees issued an open letter addressing the community members defending Jaysukh Patel. According to the appeal, “Jaysukh Patel is a ‘Bhamasa’, who had taken up the suspension bridge repair work as a social responsibility. He did not have any commercial interest and knew that he was not going to recover the full cost incurred in repairs work.”

The appeal further states, if such people, who have only worked for society’s development are harassed, no entrepreneur will come forward for social cause.

Former BJP MLA Bavanji Metaliya has extended his support to Jaysukh Patel accusing the social media of portraying him in a bad light. “I stand with Umiya Sidsar trusts’ decision to extend support to Jaysukh Patel. Let the law take its own course, but we condemn all comments made on social media against Jaysukhbhai. To protect the Morbi’s heritage, he had taken the responsibility of bridge repair work.”

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