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NIA arrests key ISI aide in Visakhapatnam espionage case

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NEW DELHI: The NIA has arrested a key accused in the

Visakhapatnam

espionage case for his alleged involvement in snooping and working for Pakistan’s spy agency ISI, an official said on Tuesday.

Giteli Imran, 37, a resident of Gujarat’s Godhra, was arrested on Monday in connection with the case registered under sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Official Secrets Act, the NIA official said.

The National Investigation Agency

spokesperson said Imran was involved in carrying out espionage activities and working for Pakistan’s ISI.

The case relates to an international espionage racket in which Pakistan-based spies recruited agents in India for collecting sensitive and classified information regarding locations/movements of Indian naval ships and submarines, and other defence establishments.

Investigation revealed that few Navy personnel came in contact with Pakistani agents through social media platforms such as

Facebook

and

WhatsApp

, among others.

They shared classified information for which money was deposited into their bank accounts through ISI’s Indian associates who had business interests in Pakistan.

A charge-sheet was filed in the case on June 15 against 14 accused.

Imran was associated with Pakistani spies/agents under the guise of cross-border cloth trade, the NIA official said.

As per the directions of Pakistan-based spies, he deposited money into the bank accounts of

Indian Navy

personnel at regular intervals in exchange for sensitive and classified data provided by them, the spokesperson said.

Some digital devices and incriminating documents were seized in a search conducted at his house on Monday, the official said.

Further investigation in the case is underway, he said.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

Opposition parties request President Kovind not to give assent to contentious farm bills

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NEW DELHI: Opposition parties have requested President Ram Nath Kovind not to give his assent to the contentious farm bills, and conveyed to him that their passage in Rajya Sabha was “unconstitutional”, Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Wednesday.

The government should have consulted all parties, farmer leaders before bringing the farm bills, Azad said after meeting the President.

“The Constitution was undermined …We have given a representation to President that the farm bills have been passed unconstitutionally and he should return these bills,” Azad said.

The Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, have been passed by both Houses and await presidential assent.

There was a ruckus during the passage of two of the three farm bills in Rajya Sabha on Sunday following which eight Opposition MPs were suspended.

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INDIA

10 states, UTs reporting 74 per cent of new Covid-19 cases, 83 per cent of deaths

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NEW DELHI: At least 10 states including Union Territories (UTs) are reporting 74 per cent of newer confirmed Covid-19 cases and 83 per cent of the deaths in the last 24 hours due to coronavirus infection, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

“A total of 83,347 new cases (active cases) have been reported in the last 24 hours in the country. About 74 per cent of the new confirmed cases are concentrated in 10 states/UTs,” the ministry said in a statement.

According to the ministry, in the last 24 hours, Maharashtra has alone contributed to about 18,390 new cases, while Andhra Pradesh has reported at least 7,553 cases. Karnataka has contributed to 6,974 cases, Uttar Pradesh has witnessed 5,650 cases, Tamil Nadu has reported 5,337 cases, Odisha is contributing to 4,189 cases, Kerala has seen 4,125 cases, while Delhi has reported 3,816 cases. West Bengal has witnessed about 3,182 cases and Chhattisgarh has reported 2,736 cases.

“About 1,085 deaths have been registered in the past 24 hours and 10 states/UTs account for 83 per cent of the deaths in the last 24 hours due to Covid. Maharashtra reported 392 deaths followed by Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh with 83 and 77 deaths, respectively. West Bengal has reported 62 fatality, Tamil Nadu has witnessed 76 deaths, Andhra Pradesh has seen 51 mortality, Punjab has reported 66 deaths, Delhi has witnessed 37 fatality followed by Haryana which has registered 29 deaths while 28 people have succumbed in Chhattisgarh due to the virus in the last 24 hours,” the ministry said.

The Union Health Ministry also informed at least 14 states/UTs have demonstrated better Covid-19 response strategy with higher Tests Per Million (TPM) and commensurate lower positivity rate than the national average.

According to the official data, India’s national cumulative positivity rate is 8.52 per cent and the TPM stands at 48,028 on Wednesday.

India’s testing capacity has surged to more than 12 lakh daily tests. More than 6.6 crore total tests have been conducted across the country so far.

“Nearly 14 states/UTs have demonstrated better Covid response with higher Tests Per Million (TPM) and commensurate lower Positivity Rate than the national average. These include– Mizoram, Manipur, Daman and Diu and Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Sikkim, Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir (UT), Odisha, Assam, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” the ministry said.

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INDIA

Congress did what it said: Rahul Gandhi on Madhya Pradesh farm loan waiver

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NEW DELHI: The Congress did what it said, while the BJP makes only false promises, Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday, taking a dig at the MP government’s reported statement in the assembly that farmers in 51 districts benefited from the farm loan waiver scheme of the Kamal Nath dispensation.

In a tweet, Rahul Gandhi also shared a media report on the Madhya Pradesh government stating in assembly in reply to a question that farm loans were waived in 51 districts under the previous Kamal Nath dispensation.

“Congress — Did what it said. BJP — Only false promises,” the Congress leader said.

Kamal Nath on Tuesday said the Madhya Pradesh government’s “confession” in the legislative assembly was that 26.95 lakh farmers in 51 districts were benefited from the previous Congress-led dispensation’s farm loan waiver.

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