DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ● REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26, 2020, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 14 PAGES `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 Consumption shock severe, economic recovery will take longer, poorest hit the hardest: RBI GEORGE MATHEW MUMBAI, AUGUST 25 THERESERVEBANKofIndia(RBI) Tuesday indicated that the economywhichisexpectedtocontract for the first time ever, will take “quitesometimetomendandregain” the pre-Covid momentum, as the “shock to consumption is severe” and the “poorest have been hit the hardest”. The RBI also cautioned about the loss of recovery momentum since June, with states imposing localised lockdowns. “The upticks that became visible in MayandJuneafterthelockdown was eased in several parts of the country, appear to have lost strength in July and August, mainly due to reimposition or stricterimpositionof lockdowns, suggesting that contraction in economicactivitywilllikelyprolongintothesecondquarter,”the RBI said. According to the RBI, private consumption is expected to lead the recovery when it takes hold, andgovernmentconsumptionis expectedtocontinuepandemicproofing of demand. “Private consumption has lost its CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E E X P L A I NE D For recovery, private spending has to rise in discretionary sectors like transport, hospitality, recreation: RBI report Recovery tobeslow, ● painful THE OPTIMISM from upticks in May-June that recovery will be fast in the second quarter has faded. Several states extended lockdown in JulyAugust and shut down economic activities — this will delay a rebound. Firms used tax cut to pare debt, need govt spending SUNNY VERMA NEW DELHI, AUGUST 25 THESHARPCUTincorporatetax rate announced by the governmentlastSeptemberdidnothelp in restarting the investment cycleaswasintended,buthasbeen used by companies to reduce debt and build up cash balances, the Reserve Bank of India said in its Annual Report 2019-20. As investment activity has further weakened in the economy, the RBI has suggested “targetedpublicinvestment”funded by asset monetisation and privatisation of major ports as a viable way to revive the economy. Pointing to the weakness CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PULWAMA CHARGESHEET 13 dead in Mahad building collapse WhatsApp logs, ` 67 per kilo ` 95 per kilo ` 115 per kilo ` 54 per Dozen Dissenters avow loyalty to Sonia, say see intent behind letter MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, AUGUST 25 A DAY after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, where members pledged their loyalty to the Nehru-Gandhi family and targeted the 23 senior leaders for their letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, some of the signatories said on Tuesday that the party should have focused on the content of the letter instead. They also said that their loyalty to Sonia was unquestionable. AsfirstreportedbyTheIndian Express, the letter called for sweeping changes in the party. The CWC on Monday acknowledged the letter, but neither discussed its content nor gave any specific commitments on the way forward. Congress veteran Ahmed Patelsaidtherewillbeanelection for the post of party president when the AICC session takes place.AttheCWCmeeting,itwas decided that Sonia will continue untiltheAICCsessioncanbeheld. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 voice of Jaish chief kin mark trail in Pak: NIA Builder, architect among five persons booked SAGAR RAJPUT & MAYURA JANWALKAR MAHAD, MUMBAI, AUGUST 25 A DAY after the five-storey Tarique Gardens building in Mahad, about 170 km from Mumbai, collapsed, the death toll rose to 13 on Tuesday evening, even as the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Raigad district administration, police officials and locals continuedsearchandrescue operationswellpast24hoursof the incident. The 13 deceased included three minors. Of the occupants of the 41 flats in the A and B wing of Tarique Garden, two remained missing until late on Tuesday. Bodies of 12 were recovered from the site of the collapse in Mahad’s Kajalpura area while a four-year-old boy, Mohammed Bangi, was rescued from under the massive heap of cement and metal by the NDRF. Hours later, 60-year-old Mehrunissa Kazi was also extricated from under the rubble, after being trapped under it for almost 26 hours. In what many called a ‘miracle’, the child, who was rescued almost 18 hours after the incident, emerged from under the debris to cheers from the crowd gathered in hundreds at the site of the incident. However, the child’s mother Naushin Bangi (32) and sisters Aisha (6) and Rukaiya (2) were among the 13 casualties of the incident. The 13 deceased also include Sayyed Samir (45), who suffered a CONTINUEDONPAGE2 MORE REPORTS PAGE 4 Masood Azhar, his brothers, nephew among 19 named for Feb 2019 attack Mohamed Bangi, 4, after his rescue on Tuesday from the rubble of the five-storey building that collapsed in Mahad, in Maharashtra’s Raigad district, on Monday evening. His mother and two sisters were killed. Narendra Vaskar 4-year-old survives 19 hours in debris SAGAR RAJPUT MAHAD, AUGUST 25 FOROVER19hours,helayunder the collapsed five-storey building,trappedinapocketof airunder a fallen pillar. Finally, around 1 pm on Tuesday, four-year-old Mohamed Bangi was pulled out of the rubble that was once Tarique Gardens — a lone face of hope for rescuers who had dug out 12 bodies since the building collapsed last night. But just 30 minutes after the boy was carried out by NDRF personnel, with minor injuries, GST set to meet, Sushil Modi says Centre morally bound to pay states TheBihar DeputyChief Ministerat theIdea Exchange session SANTOSH SINGH PATNA, AUGUST 25 BIHAR DEPUTY Chief Minister and Finance Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said on Tuesday that the Centre should borrow and pay GST compensation to states even if it is not legally bound to do so. “But the Centre is morally LIONEL MESSI TELLS BARCELONA THAT HE WANTS TOLEAVE SPORT, PAGE 14 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY boundtodoso”,Modi said ahead of the GST Council meeting on August 27. “State finances are under stress. We are able to pay only PAGE 1 ANCHOR salaries,wagesandpensions.We are heavily dependent on the Centre as 76 per cent of our revenue comes from the Centre...,” Modi said at an online Idea Exchange of The Indian Express. “States should get GST compensation.Wewillraisethematter during the upcoming meeting. States cannot borrow. It is the Centre that should borrow.It is the moral responsibility of the Centreto help the states. If states CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Rescue operation in progress. Narendra Vaskar As if no rule of law: SC panel chief to govt on Char Dham ‘violations’ JAY MAZOOMDAAR NEW DELHI, AUGUST 25 POINTING TO “brazen” violation of forest and wildlife laws by the Char Dham Pariyojana of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), the chairperson of the Supreme Courtappointed High Powered Committee (HPC) has asked the Environment Ministry to take strict action. Underlining that laws have been violated “as if the Rule of Law does not exist”, HPC chairpersonRaviChopra,inanAugust 13 letter to the Environment Secretary, said the project has caused “incalculable and longterm damage to the Himalayan ecology” by felling trees, cutting hills and dumping muck (excavated material) without valid permission on various stretches. Theprojectismeanttowiden 889 km of hill roads connecting major pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand.Mandatedtoexamine the ecological impact of the CONTINUEDONPAGE2 the mood at the site in Maharashtra'sMahad,about170 km from Mumbai, turned dark. Rescuers had come across the lifeless body of Mohamed's mother,32-year-oldNaushin.By 5 pm, the bodies of his two sisters — Aisha (6) and Rukaiya (2) — were also found. AccordingtoMohamed'suncle Bashir Parkar, the family had moved out to their village after the lockdown was imposed but returned “just a few days ago” so that Aisha could pursue her online classes with better Internet connectivity. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Photos of accused released by NIA Tuesday. PTI REPORTS,P8 DEEPTIMAN TIWARY & ARUN SHARMA NEW DELHI, JAMMU, AUG 25 CALLING THE Pulwama attack a “well-plannedcriminalconspiracy hatched by Pakistan-based leadership of terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad”, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), in its chargesheet filed on Tuesday, has listed key evidence including the “forensically matched” voice of JeM chief Masood Azhar's brother, Rouf Asgar, discussing the attack, and a Pakistan government identity card issued to Azhar’s nephew, Mohammed Umer Farooq, the key conspirator. The other pieces of evidence include photographs of “every step” of the attack, from planningto execution,spanning over 10 months; logs of WhatsApp callstonumbersinPakistanwith pinpointed locations; records of severallakhsof rupeesdeposited intwoPakistanbankaccountsin Umer Farooq’s name. Forty CRPF personnel were killed when a suicide bomber, later identified as Adil Ahmed Dar, a local resident, rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14 last year. The NIA has said Dar used about 200 kg CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Bhushan firm on no apology; SC says criticise, but don’t attribute motives ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, AUGUST 25 WITH ADVOCATE Prashant Bhushan, convicted of criminal contempt of court over two tweetshepostedthisJune,refusing to apologise, the Supreme Court Tuesday expressed anguish over his criticism of “sitting and retired” judges. The bench of Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari, whileconsideringasup- Whichjudge isleftout: Courton criticismby Bhushan plementary statement filed by Bhushan, said criticism is welcome,butone“shouldnotattributemotivestojudges”sincethey cannot go to the press to defend themselves and “can only speak through our judgments”. The bench reserved its order on the quantum of punishment for Bhushan. OnAugust14,ithadheldhim guilty of contempt of court for two tweets which it said were based on “distorted facts”, constituted a “scurrilous/malicious… attack” on the “entire Supreme Court”, and had the effect of “destabilising the very foundation” of the judiciary. “Which judge is left out, sitting or retired,” Justice Mishra CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Jamtara is back, this time in a new e-SIM phishing racket AASHISH ARYAN & PRANAV MUKUL NEW DELHI, AUGUST 25 STEP 1: Acquire a series of mobile numbers, use all of them to try and log in to a bank account. If a number prompts an OTP, it’s time for the next step. STEP 2: Call the number’s owner and pretend to be customercareexecutivesof themobileoperatorofferingtoupgrade SIM cards or Know Your Customer (KYC) details. Gain trust,obtainthevictim’semailID. STEP 3: Send an email to the victim containing text to be sent to the official customer care number. It’s a ruse to register your email ID with the victim’s number, so that you can put in an official request to convert the SIM into an e-SIM. Once done, the victim’s phone number and everything else it’s linked to, including the bank account, is under your control. SO FAR, this is what police in Haryana’sFaridabadhavepieced together about a new phishing racketthattheysuspecthasbeen used to access over 300 nationalisedandprivatebankaccounts across five states — Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, West Bengal and Bihar JAMTARA Dhanbad Ranchi Jharkhand Durgapur West Bengal Jharkhand. Police are yet to ascertain the amount of money involved. But they have made five arrests — among the first in a racket involving e-SIM frauds. And four of those five are from Jharkhand’s Jamtara, a district that has gained notoriety as a Four of the five arrested are from Jharkhand’s Jamtara, a hub of cyber crime, say the police. Deepu Sebastian Edmond hub of cyber crime, even inspiring a popular web series. “The case is unique, with the use of e-SIMs as the main conduitandwithpreliminaryinvestigationsestablishingprocedural infirmities and lack of due diligence on the part of banks and telecom companies,” O P Singh, Commissioner of Police, Faridabad, said. “What sets this apart is the novel modus operandi adopted, and mind-boggling layering done by apparently low-tech offenders,” Singh said. Officers investigating the case said the perpetrators have confessed to gaining control of bank accounts after obtaining the e-SIMs of victims. In several instances, they said, the target was ICICI Bank, through the desktop version of its website, and the numbers used were of Airtel. Preliminary information from records analysed shows thatseveraltransactionsranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 99,000 have been made, an officersaid.“Thefraudstersbreakup transactions into smaller amounts for it to be undetectable. An amount of Rs 1,00,000 is transferredin several transactions of Rs 500-Rs 1,000, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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