DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2020, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES 4 CO-OP CREDIT SOCIETIES UNDER SCRUTINY OF AGRICULTURE MINISTRY Sahara red-flagged for fraud probe: Rs 86,000 cr from 4 cr depositors Registrar bans deposits, asks for probe into investment in Aamby Valley; Sahara says all as per law KHUSHBOO NARAYAN MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 2 BETWEEN 2012 and 2014, when two of its group firms were indicted by the Supreme Court and its chief Subrata Roy was arrested, the Sahara Group floated three cooperative societies and collected deposits worth Rs 86,673 crore from as many as four crore depositors, records accessed by The Indian Express show. These societies — and a Over Rs 62,000 cr invested in Aamby Valley, says regulator, “against principles of thrift, co-op societies”. Sushant Kulkarni fourth one set up in 2010 — and their deposits have been redflagged by the Government which has called for a probe into a slew of “highly suspect” irregularities that have put depositors’ “hard-earned” money under “serious” risk. Ofthemoneycollected,atleast Rs 62,643 crore, regulators said, wasinvestedintheAambyValley project in Lonavala in Maharashtra. This is the same project that was attached by the Supreme Court in 2017 and then releasedin2019afterseveralfailed attempts to auction the property torepaythedepositorsof Sahara. These four societies, floated under the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act, and which come under the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture are: Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Ltd (set up in 2010); Humara India Credit Cooperative Society Ltd; Saharayn Universal Multipurpose Society Ltd; and Stars Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Mission Karmayogi: Govt’s massive plan to train, skill, have ‘ideal’ civil servants EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 2 THE UNION Cabinet on Wednesday cleared major changes in the way civil services officers will be skilled and trained across the country. ‘Mission Karmayogi’ or National Programme for Civil Services CapacityBuilding(NPCSCB),will be steered by four new bodies, and will be available for civil servants from the rank of assistant section officer to Secretary, across services. The new entities will be a Prime Minister’s Public Human Resources Council, a Capacity Building Commission, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that will own and operate the digital assets and technological platform for online training, and a CoordinationUnit,whichwillbe headedbytheCabinetSecretary. An Integrated Government Online Training (iGOT)Karmayogi platform will be developed for the project. Ministerof State in the Prime Upgradeand improve THE STATED aim of Mission Karmayogi is to provide a mechanism to continuously build capacity, update the talent pool, and provide equal opportunities for personal and professional growth and esteem of government officials at all levels. Karmayogi seeks to shift the focus from ‘rule-specific’ to ‘role-specific’, the government said. Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said “Mission Karmayogi is an endeavour to reincarnate a government servant as an ideal CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WORLD PUTIN CRITIC NAVALNY POISONED WITH NERVE AGENT, SAYS MERKEL PAGE 13 DEFENCE MINISTER IN MOSCOW Rajnath Singh reached Moscow on a three-day visit to Russia, where he will attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Defence Ministry Twitter handle BENGALURU, SEPTEMBER 2 INVESTIGATIONSHAVErevealed that the Syria trip in 2013-14 of the Bengaluru doctor, who was arrested last month by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for links with the Islamic State, was facilitated by a dentist and a computer applications graduate who are currently working in Saudi Arabia, police sources told The Indian Express. AbdurRahman,a28-year-old ophthalmologist,wasarrestedon August 17 by the NIA on charges PAGE 1 ANCHOR of conspiring with a couple, Jahanzaib Sami and Hina Bashir, who were held in New Delhi in March for allegedly carrying out activities for the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP). Sami and Bashir are among five persons named in a chargesheet filed Wednesday by the NIA for their alleged association with ISKP and for “conspiring to utilise the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests toinstigateMuslims”againstthe government. The NIA’s ongoing investigation, meanwhile, has revealed that apart from Rahman, several PUBG IN BAN LIST, INDIA TOPS DOWNLOADS Govt bans 118 more apps with China links Govt says data of users was being stolen, sent to servers outside AASHISH ARYAN & PRANAV MUKUL NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 2 AMIDST CONTINUING tensions with China, New Delhi on Wednesday banned 118 apps with Chinese links, citing concernsoverthreatstoIndia’ssafety and sovereignty. The banned apps include PUBG Mobile, one of the world’s most popular egames,withIndiaaccountingfor nearly a quarter — the largest chunk — of its downloads. Earlier, in June, soon after a faceoff between Indian and Chinese troops at Galwan Valley in Ladakh left 20 Indian soldiers dead, the government had banned 59 apps with China links, including TikTok. The apps banned in this round include utility apps by Beijing-headquartered APUS Group, popular business card scanningappCamCard,messaging apps like WeChat Work, search engine Baidu and games suchasGameof SultansandRise of Kingdoms. Chinese gaming giant Tencent Holdings developed PUBG. “The Ministry of Electronics andInformationTechnologyhas received many complaints from various sources, including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Soldiers on a highway leading to Ladakh, at Gagangeer in Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on Wednesday. Reuters Indian moves in Chushul sector aimed at forcing complete China pullback SHUBHAJIT ROY & KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 2 INDIAN AND Chinese brigade commanders met for the third consecutivedayWednesdayafter Indian troops, thwarting Chinese moves in the Chushul sector, occupieddominatingheightsonthe south bank of Pangong Tso and Rechin La near Rezang La. Troops also moved to strengthen positions at Finger 3 on the Pangong north bank, occupying heights west of Finger 4 where the Chinese continue to occupy the ridgeline after coming in 8 km from Finger 8 which India says marks the Line of Actual Control. These Indian moves, sources said, will help in military and diplomatic talks with the Chinesetoresolvethebordercrisis which began early May. The talkshavenotmademuchheadway since mid-July because of Chinese reluctance to complete the disengagement process at Pangong Tso north bank and Gogra Post. India has been seeking status quo ante — of troops on both sides returning to their April locations. A senior Army officer said Wednesday that as tensions mounted on the Pangong south CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PUBG army mourns, but says SC Bar chief says he EXPERT was muted at farewell EXPLAINS nothing bigger than country for Justice Mishra WHY QUESTION Chakshu Roy GAURAV BHATT EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Judges are afraid of the Bar, says Dushyant Dave NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 2 ALLEGINGTHAThewas“kepton mute”duringtheonlinefarewell ceremony for Justice Arun Mishra, who retired on Wednesday, Senior Advocate and Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Dushyant Dave has said “the SupremeCourthascometosuch levels where the Judges are afraid of the Bar”. Probe: Dentist, techie behind Bengaluru doctor’s Syria trip now in Saudi Arabia JOHNSON T A `6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 other Indian youths from Bengaluruinthe18-22agegroup travelled to Syria in 2013-14 via Gulf countries,includingthetwo currently in Saudi Arabia. Last month, the NIA and agencies in Karnataka tracked down and questioned another doctor and an aeronautical engineer who had travelled with Rahman. Statements provided by the duo helped identify to some extent how the youths travelled to Syria, sources said. “There seem to have been manyyouthswhotravelledfrom Bengaluru to Syria at the time. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Supreme Court sources said the confusion happened due to “technical issues”. Expressing his“strongdisappointment and condemnation”, Dave, in a letter to Chief Justice CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY HOUR & ZERO HOUR MATTER What are these institutions of parliamentary procedure, under threat from the pandemic and curtailment of the coming session? EXPLAINED PAGE 11 NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 2 AND JUST like that, the plug was pulledonthebiggestvideogame in India, leaving millions scrambling for the last chicken dinner — the ultimate prize the last standing gamer got at the end of this virtual combat. On Wednesday, the Information and Technology Ministry banned 118 Chineselinked mobile applications, including the popular multiplayer gamePUBG.Themovecomesafterthegovernmentissuedasimilar ban on 59 apps in June, and three days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann ki Baat broadcast in which he called “upon the young talent of the country to make games in India andmakegamesbasedonIndia”. Minutes after the announcement Wednesday, Naman ‘Mortal’ Mathur — PUBG’s 24year-old poster boy in India who has built a following of more than 6 million on YouTube,playing the battle royale game — NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 2 PAGE 5 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Amidst calls for big push, Govt spending up just 11 pc in April-July from last year SUNNY VERMA & SANDEEP SINGH 500 TRAINS, 10,000 STOPS COULD GO IN RAILWAY PLAN summed up the sentiment in a tweet: “Toofan aagya hai.” The playgrounds were emptierthanusual,andZoomtuition classes missed a few students as everybodylogged intoPUBGbefore the game vanished from mobile app stores. Mathur was soon pacifying 80,000 viewers on a live stream, rattling off video game titles he will be migrating to. Words of mourningslippedin—“Let'sjust say that all of us have lost one year of progress by this WHILE THE government has announced a Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package to counter the economic impact of Covid-19, official data shows that the Centre’s total expenditure in April-July increased by about Rs 1.07 lakh crore, or about 11.3 per cent — up from Rs 9.47 lakh crore in April-July last year to Rs 10.54 lakh crore this year. Much of this expenditure was Ministerof Financeand CorporateAffairs NirmalaSitharaman withDirectorsand DeputySecretaries of Department of Expenditure,inNewDelhiWednesday. ANI on revenue account like payment of salaries and other regular expenses. In the wake of record GDP contraction,experts,includingthe ReserveBankofIndia(RBI),noted that a government-led spending push is needed for revival of the economy. So far, the government hastriedtoaddresssupplysideissues,butaboosterdoseisneeded to stimulate demand, they said. Resources for such spending should be raised through aggressiveassetmonetisationandstake sale in state-owned companies. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Football star’s career on pause, his family faces tough medical call MIHIR VASAVDA NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 2 THERE ISN’T a lot that Razak Ali expects from others — just “dua” (prayers) for his 20-yearold son, Anwar. “Dua”isallthattheAlihousehold has been living on after it came to light last year that Anwar, one of India’s most promisingfootballersandbreadwinner of the family of six, had a congenital heart disease. The diagnosis put a fledgling career on pause. And now, within the next 10 days, the country’s football federation will decide if Anwar should ever play again. “Wehavelimitedmeans,and my son’s earnings from football helped us a lot,” says Razak, who herds cattle for a living. “But this isaboutAnwar’shealthandhappiness. It’s a dilemma I wish no one else faces.” The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has referred Anwar’scase to itsmedical committee. “They want to get an independent opinion from an expert. Based on the doctor’s analysis, we will take a decision. It will be a tough decision because it involves a player who could be the future of Indian football,” says an official. Anwar’s potential as a defender is unquestioned. Hegrew up as a cricket-obsessed child in avillagenearJalandhar.Butthen, nudged by his father, he chose to make a career in football. Anwaristheproductofthefamous Class of 2017 — the first Indian team to play in a FIFA WorldCup,albeitintheunder-17 age group. He was so impressive in the three matches that India played — against the USA, Colombia and Ghana — that the following year, Indian Super League side Mumbai City paid Rs 30 lakh to get him from his childhood club Minerva Punjab. Anwar Ali belongs to the famous Class of 2017, the first Indian team to play in a FIFA World Cup, albeit in under-17. File Backthen,itwasarecordtransfer feeinIndiaforanunder-18player. “For Anwar, it wasn’t just about being good at the game,” saysMinerva’sownerRanjitBajaj. “Football was also a way for him to help his family financially. He sawitasacatalystforabetterlife.” In May 2019, when Igor Stimac — one of the pillars of Croatia’s stellar run at the 1998 World Cup and now India’s coach — summoned Anwar for a national camp, it seemed a logical step forward in the centreback’s career. Days later, however, he was sent back. During a medical examination of the players in Mumbai, Anwar was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle wall becomes abnormally thick and affects the pumping of blood. The condition is similar to what international footballer Fabrice Muamba suffered in 2012, when he collapsed in the middle of an English Premier League match. Days later, The Guardian reported that “repeated training makes the problemworse—themusclewallcan become so thick that it stops the normal flow of blood going in and out of the heart. This is where things get dangerous”. A former Mumbai City FC official says Anwar’s case was immediatelyreferredtotopcardiologists in Mumbai. “They were of the opinion that it was a major health risk if he continued playing,”theofficialsays.Theclubthen used the connections of its owners, the City Football Group, to consult experts in France. “They, too, had a similar opinion. It was deemed too risky for Anwar to keep playing,” says the official. The contract between the player and the club was mutually terminated and for months after that, Anwar had just one question on his mind. “He kept CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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