CMYK Min in g r ef o r Ms t o in c r ea se eMpl o yMen t , g Dp: f ic c i BUSINESS Rs. 3 PATNA SUNDAY, 21 MARCH, 2021 PG-12, YEAR— 7, ISSUE—117 (RNI NO: BIHENG / 2014 / 59124) r a jn a t h -a u st in Meet f o c u ses o n en h a n c in g Def en c e t ies NATION Morning India Modi meets US Defence Secy, stresses commitment to ties AGENCIES NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has met with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and stressed the commitment to the strategic partnership between the two countries amid rising tensions in the region and around the world with China. Modi tweeted after their meeting on Friday, "Pleasure to meet U.S. @SecDef Lloyd Austin today. Conveyed my best wishes to @POTUS @JoeBiden. India and US are committed to our strategic partnership that is a force for global good." Austin also met with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, according to the US embassy. Soon after his arrival, Austin tweeted that his discussions in India would centre on cooperating to face "most pressing challenges" in the Indo-Pacific region where China's aggressive actions, from the Himalayas to the South China Sea are on the rise. He is scheduled to meet Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the delegations from the two countries are to hold discussions during his visit. MHA hands over Hiran case to NIA AGENCIES NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency has been handed over the probe into the death of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran whose body was found in a creek days after a vehicle laden with explosives was parked near the Mumbai residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, officials said on Saturday. The NIA is already probing the case related to the recovery of a Scorpio SUV, parked near Ambani's residence 'Antilia', with gelatin sticks and has arrested an assistant police inspector, Sachin Waze. The Ministry of Home Affairs has handed over the probe into the Mansukh Hiaen case to the NIA, an official said. The Maharashtra AntiTerrorism Squad was so far probing the case. Hiran was found dead in a creek near Mumbai on March 5. His wife has accused Waze of involvement in her husband's suspicious death. The first visit by a member of US President Joe Biden's Cabinet to India came as leaders of the US and China clashed at a meeting in Alaska symbolising the growing aggressiveness of China. It is particularly highlighted in the Indo-Pacific region and the US is responding by working closely with allies and partners. Austin tweeted, "Thrilled to be here in India. The breadth of cooperation between our two nations reflects the significance of our major defense partnership, as we work together to address the most pressing challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region." Outlining Austin's agenda in India, Acting Assistant Defence Secretary for Indo- Pacific, David F. Helvey, said that he will "discuss operationalising the major defence partnership that we have with India, including through enhanced information sharing, regional security cooperation, defence trade, and cooperation in new domains." The Indian Defence Ministry said that Singh and Austin "are expected to discuss ways to further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation and exchange views on regional security challenges and common interests in maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region." It added, "Discussions regarding defence cooperation would also focus on how both countries could consolidate military-to-military cooperation and defence NIA 'recreates' Antilia crime scene with Vaze AGENCIES MUMBAI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) early Saturday attempted to 'recreate' the crime scene in which a SUV (Scorpio) with 20 gelatin sticks and a threat note, was parked near the Antilia, the home of top industrialist Mukesh Ambani, officials said. The NIA ferried arrested Assistant Police Inspector (API) Sachin Vaze -- currently in its custody till March 25 -to the spot and tried to play out the crime scene, as it could have happened, around half a kilometre away from Antilia. Secured by a large posse of Mumbai Police, the NIA made Vaze 'walk down the road' near Antilia from the spot where the SUV was recovered, to check his gait, movement, timings, etc, to tally with the investigations and evidence collected so far in the case. This was an important field probe trip for NIA with Vaze who has previously been taken to various other locations in Mumbai and Thane to recreate the entire set of circumstances culminating in the SUV imbroglio on February 25. The NIA has till date seized around six high-end cars/SUVs, including two Mercedes, a Scorpio, an Innova and a Toyota LandCruiser Prado, which are undergoing special forensic tests by an expert team from Pune. While some of these vehicles were used by Vaze some were also driven by Thane businessman Mansukh Hiren, who was found dead in the Thane Creek wetlands on March 5.The development ca me hours after an NIA team comprising IGP Anil Shukla and SP Vikram Khalate met the new Mumbai Commissioner of Police Hemant Nagrale, Joint CP (Crime) Milind Bharambe and DCP (Crime) Akbar Pathan, at the police commissionerate on Friday. trade and industry cooperation." The US designated India as a major defence partner by the US in 2016 allowing it access to some defence hitech that would normally be available only to allies. The visit reflects President Joe Biden's focus on the IndoPacific region to meet the Chinese challenge. Last week Biden held a virtual summit with other leaders of the Quad nations, Prime Ministers Narendra Modi of India, Scott Morrison of Australia and Yoshihide Suga of Japan, at which they discussed security issues in the face of Chinese aggressive actions. While on his way to India, Austin spoke to Australia's Foreign Minister Maria Payne, who also holds the defence portfolio. Helvey said that Austin spoke to her about the "Quadrilateral process" of the four nations. Before coming to India, Austin had visited two US treaty allies, Japan and Korea, on the frontlines of Chinese aggressiveness at sea in the region, and the military headquarters of the IndoPacific headquarters in Hawaii. 4 dead in Maha factory fire AGENCIES RATNAGIRI: At least four workers were killed and one other person was injured in a fire that broke out at a chemical factory in Maharashtra, a police official said. The blaze, the cause of which is not clear, was reported at around 9.15 a.m. at the Gharda Chemicals Ltd. factory in Lote-Parshuram MIDC complex. At least four fire-tenders and firemen rushed to the spot to battle the conflagration and rescue the labourers working there. "The five persons were trapped inside, and the firemen managed to rescue one. The charred bodies of four others were later found in the operation," an official of the Khed Police Station said. The injured worker was rushed to a nearby government hospital for treatment, while the bodies of the four deceased were sent to a morgue for autopsy and other formalities, the official added. 100% drop in violations since ceasefire pact: J&KDGP AGENCIES SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh said on Saturday that there has been a 100 per cent drop in the ceasefire violations since the ceasefire agreement was resumed by India and Pakistan last month and no fresh cases of infiltration have been reported. He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration of Under19 T20 Zonal level cricket tournament at SK Cricket Stadium in Srinagar. "Infiltration has been checked to a great level, our security grid is doing a good job all through the year," he said. "There has been a 100 percent drop in the cases of ceasefire violations along the borders after the resumption of ceasefire agreement." He said Pakistan is using drones to send weapons into J&K. In 2020 weapons seized were double compared to the previous year. A total of 475 weapons were seized in 2020, including pistols, AK rifles, and M4 US rifles. He said a large number of youth have shunned the path of violence and whatever little militant activity seen in Srinagar city and some other areas will also come down. NEW DELHI: Keeping in view safety of the women passengers in trains, the Indian Railways on Saturday said it has issued guidelines to all zonal railways to prevent crime against women in trains and railway premises. A railway ministry spokesperson said that about 23 million passengers travel through the Indian Railways every day out of which 20 per cent are women. He said that in the recent past, incidents of crime against women in trains and railway premises has been a big area of concern. The official said that the railways has decided to take some measures to strive for safety of women passengers and to mitigate atrocities against women in railways. The spokesperson said that the national transporter has issued guidelines to all zonal railways and production units to prevent incidents of crime against women in trains and in railway premises. He said that the railways action plan includes shortterm as well as long-term measures. Short-term plans should be implemented immediately from existing resources on priority without delay. These may include keeping a watch on suspects, regular visits to vulnerable spots by duty officers and staff during their rounds. Discussing the preventive measures to ensure safety of women, he said that proper lighting arrangements should be ensured covering all vul- nerable places identified in railway stations, circulating area, parking, foot over bridges (FOBs), approach roads, ends of platforms, yards, washing lines, DEMU / EMU car sheds, saloon sidings, maintenance depots, etc. The railways preventive plan also focuses on the abandoned structures in platforms or yards, abandoned quarters, buildings at isolated places which remain unguarded or unattended. He said that such structures should be demolished immediately in consultation with the engineering department. "Till the time of their demolition, they should be regularly checked as part of the beat of on duty staff especially during night time or period when the presence of people is minimal," the official said. The spokesperson said that the unauthorised entries and exits should also be closed, and yards or pits or nearby railway area of stations must be kept clean of unwanted vegetation which may provide cover for concealment. The railways plan also focuses on waiting rooms. The plans says these must not remain unattended and persons should be allowed to enter the waiting rooms after proper entry, particularly in nights and at times when there is minimum presence of passengers. It should be cross checked by the duty officer at odd hours. He said that no staff without identity cards should be allowed in trains and railway premises. The prevention plan also AGENCIES NEW DELHI: India saw 40,953 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, the highest single-day rise recorded in 111 days, taking the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 1,15,55,284, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Saturday. IMAGE: Swab test for the Covid 19 Antigen Rapid test held at Mumbai's CSTM. Photograph: Sahil Salvi/Rediff.com Registering an increase for the tenth day in a row, the total active caseload has reached 2,88,394, which now comprises 2.49 per cent of the total infections. The recovery rate has further dropped to 96.12 per cent, the data stated. The daily rise in infections (40,953) was the highest recorded in 111 days, while the death toll increased to 1,59,558 with 188 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. On November 29, 41,810 new infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,11,07,332, while the case fatality rate stood at 1.38 per cent, the data stated. India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20 lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 23,24,31,517 samples have been tested up to March 19 with 10,60,971 samples being tested on Friday. Registering an increase for the tenth day in a row, the total active caseload has reached 2,88,394, which now comprises 2.49 per cent of the total infections New RSS team announced: Ram Madhav returns home Arun Kumar is new joint general secretary AGENCIES NEW DELHI: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Saturday declared its new team. While Arun Kumar and Ram Dutt have been appointed as the new joint general secretaries, Ram Lal has been appointed the Akhil Bharatiya Sampark Pramukh. Significantly, Ram Madhav has returned to the RSS fold from the BJP. Former BJP general secretary Madhav has found place in the RSS's All India Executive Council (Karyakarini Mandal). He was part of the RSS before becoming a general secretary in the BJP. The new team was announced after the appointment of Dattatreya Hosabale as general secretary earlier on Saturday at the the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS), the RSS's highest Rlys issues guidelines on women passengers’ safety AGENCIES Over 40,000 Covid cases in India, highest in 111 days discusses barring the entry of people without proper identity cards in the yards and coaching depots. To keep tabs on people watching porn through free WiFi internet services being provided by railways in the station premises , the official said that railway employees must communicate with service providers to stop this. The official said that the cases of crime against women must be followed up till their logical conclusion. The official also said that to control incidents of eveteasing, the GRP and RPF officials must promptly take necessary action on receiving complaints regarding any type of crime against women. The official said that the CCTV surveillance system should be used effectively. The new team was announced after the appointment of Dattatreya Hosabale as general secretary earlier on Saturday decision-making body, which is meeting in Bengaluru to discuss the new appointments, apart from deliberating on other important issues. The five Sahsarkaryavahs (joint general secretaries) are Dr Krishna Gopal, Mukund C.R., Dr Manmohan Vaidya, Ram Dutt and Arun Kumar. Gopal, Mukund and Vaidya were looking after the same responsibility even earlier. Kumar and Dutt have been added to the select list. Suresh Soni moves to be part of the All India Executive Council. Arun Kumar was the prachar pramukh (media head) before this and played a crucial role in forming public opinion on the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. Ram Lal, who returned to the Sangh from the BJP in 2019, has been elevated to Akhil Bharatiya Sampark Pramukh. Sunil Ambekar gets a promotion as well to become Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh (media head). Romesh Pappa and Alok are the two new All India Sah Sampark Pramukhs and Mahendra will take up the responsibility of Regional Pracharak for Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. 3 held for murder of sub-inspector OUR CORRESPONDENT PATNA: Three persons have been arrested in Bihar's Saran district in connection with the murder of SubInspector Rana Raviranjan Singh, the police said. Singh was found murdered near Dumri Juara halt under the Avatar Nagar police station on Wednesday morning. Munishwar Prasad Singh, the Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Sadar, said,"During the investigation, all the three accused claimed they were being exploited for unnatural sexual acts by Rana Raviranjan Singh. Hence they decided to kill him." "There were four persons involved in the crime and one of them managed to flee from the spot during the raid," he added. "As per the accused' Singh called them on Tuesday evening seeking sexual favours at a secluded farm near Dumri Juara halt. Earlier, Singh had promised to give them a new mobile phone. When one of the accused asked him for it, he refused," the SDPO said. "While one of the accused was involved in the sexual act, three others smashed Singh's head an with an iron rod, killing him," added the police officer. BJP issues whip to LS MPs for March 22 AGENIES NEW DELHI, March 20 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party has issued a whip for its Lok Sabha MPs for March 22. Sources say that the government may bring the Bill related to the creation of new banks for infrastructure funding on this day. Apart from this, there are preparations to bring two other Bills. A three-line whip issued by Chief Whip Rakesh Singh stated, "On March 22, some very important legislative functions will be brought to the Lok Sabha for discussion and passage. In this case, all the Lok Sabha MPs of the party are requested to vote in favour of the government by compulsorily appearing in the House throughout the day on March 22." ‘On March 22, some very important legislative functions will be brought to the Lok Sabha ‘Minister asked cops to collect money from market’ AGENCIES MUMBAI: In a sensational twist to the SUV case, former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh on Saturday hit out at Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh by virtually alleging that the minister wanted his team member, arrested cop Sachin Vaze, to ‘collect Rs 100 crore per month from bars and hookah parlours. Taking strong umbrage at Deshmukh's remarks that Singh's transfer as Commandant-General of Maharashtra Home Guards was not for administrative purposes, but for "unpardonable lapses" by his team, the ex-Mumbai top cop shot off an eight-page missive to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, making shocking revelations. Hitting back at Singh, Deshmukh tweeted that the ex-Mumbai police chief was leveling false allegations against him to save himself from action in the SUV case and the case related to the death of Mansukh Hiran. But even as the issue threatens to shake the foundation of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress, top leaders remained incommunicado. The SUV case refers to the explosives-laden Scorpio that was found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence in Mumbai last month. Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran, who was in possession of the Scorpio, was found dead under mysterious circumstances on March 5.