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Business National News Update

20% salary to be deducted as tax if PAN, Aadhaar not given

New Delhi, Trouble and hardship is looming for those earning Rs 2.5 lakh per annum but have not provided PAN and Aadhaar details to the employer.This is consequent to the Income Tax Department asking employers to deduct 20 per cent salary as Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) from all employees who fail to furnish PAN and Aadhaar details.

This rule was formulated by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and came into effect on January 16. The rule will be applicable to those who earn more than Rs 2.5 lakh per annum.

This rule is aimed at keeping a close eye on TDS payments and revenue earned by this segment. In the financial year 2018-19, revenue from this segment amounted to around 37 per cent of the total direct tax collection.

In its 86-page page circular, the CBDT has said employees have to quote PAN and Aadhaar details compulsorily as per the Section 206-AA of the Income Tax Act.The circular reads: “Section 206AA in the Act makes furnishing of PAN or Aadhaar number, as the case may be, by the employee compulsory in case of receipt of any sum or income of amount, on which tax is deductible.”

The circular states that if an employee fails to provide these details, the employer is responsible to make deductions either at the tax rate on the employee’s salary or 20 per cent or above.In case, the income is less than Rs 2.5 lakh per annum, no tax will be deducted.

After several deductions, if your salary attracts approximately 20 per cent tax, the TDS rate of 20 per cent will apply.In case your salary attracts a 30 per cent tax rate, your employer will compute the average tax rate, i.e, employee’s total tax liability divided by total annual income. If the average tax rate turns out to be 20 per cent, the TDS would be 20 per cent.

However, employees will be exempted from paying education and health cess at 4 per cent rate in case the deduction made is at a higher rate.The CBDT says the lack of PAN or Aadhaar details is creating problems in giving credit.

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Business National Special

Konark to be soon in iconic tourist sites list: Union Minister

Bhubaneswar, Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel on Friday said the Sun Temple at Odisha’s Konark will soon be included in the list of iconic tourist sites.

“The people of Odisha will soon receive the good news about Konark being included in the list of iconic sites. We will organise a special event to announce the inclusion very soon,” he said while addressing at the concluding ceremony of two-day long National Tourism Conference at Konark.

The Minister also visited the Sun temple and reviewed the necessary preservation plans with the Archeological Survey of India officials.

Last year, there was a huge uproar in Odisha about heritage place Konark not making it to the list of Iconic Sites list by Ministry of Tourism.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had requested the Union Tourism Minister to include at least two tourist places of importance from the state in the list of iconic tourist sites to be developed by the Centre.

On the concluding day of National Tourism Conference, a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) was signed between the Odisha and Gujarat governments for cross promotion of tourist sites in both states as well as across the India.

A formal Memorandum of Understanding mentioning key frameworks and policies will be signed soon after discussions with relevant departments of both the states, said state Tourism director Sachin Ramchandra Jadhav.

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National News Update

MBBS student charred to death in hostel fire

Bareilly, An MBBS girl student at the Sri Ram Murti Smarak Institute (SRMS) here was burnt alive after a fire broke out in her hostel room while she was asleep late on Thursday night.

The incident took place in Bhojipura area in Bareilly.

According to superintendent of police (Rural) Sansar Singh, room number 320 of the hostel was occupied by Sukriti Sharma, 21. She was undergoing internship after completing her MBBS, said the police.

“Prima facie, it appears that the fire was caused due to a room heater which was placed close to the bed on which the girl was sleeping,” he said.

People saw smoke emanating from the room at around 3 a.m.

“The girl’s body and the room had been badly burnt,” said the police chief adding that the chief fire officer was investigating the cause of the fire.

The girl was a resident of Patna in Bihar and her family has been informed. The body has been sent for post mortem and investigations are underway.

The SRMS management refused to comment on the accident.

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National News Update

Students paid fee in fear: JNUSU to Delhi High Court

New Delhi:  The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) on Friday told the Delhi High Court that “the students who paid the hiked fee, paid it out of fear.”

“A bunch of students paid in fear, as the varsity said that if they don’t pay, their services would be withdrawn,” advocate Akhil Sibal appearing for the Students Union in the Court said.

He further said in the court that the “draft manual be stayed and those who have paid, either be refunded or the amount be adjusted”.

The arguments took place while a single Judge bench of the High Court presided by Justice Rajiv Shakdar was hearing a plea filed by JNUSU President Aishe Ghose and others seeking the direction of the court to restrain the JNU administration from imposing late fees on students for registrations in the Winter Semester-2020.

The plea also sought directions to the university restraining them from taking any action which would give effect to the draft hostel manual.

On January 20, three days after the deadline for registration for the winter semester in the University, the administration claimed that 82 per cent of the total 8,500 enrolled students have cleared their hostel dues.

The administration added that it was hoping for the number to go up further as the registration was still open but with a late fee.

“Out of 8,500 students at JNU, 82 per cent of the students have cleared their hostel dues for winter registration as of Monday,” a statement by the JNU administration had said.

On January 16, the JNU had extended the last date of the registrations for the winter semester to January 17. The extension was announced for the third time since the original deadline of January 5.

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National News Update

Not just Wifi, battery charging is also free: Kejriwal to Shah

New Delhi, Jan 24 : Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday took a jibe at former BJP President Amit Shah, saying not just Wifi, but battery charging was also free in Delhi as his government was giving free 200 units of electricity.

Kejriwal made the remarks on Shah’s statement which he made during a campaign rally on Thursday. Shah had said that while Kejriwal had promised free Wifi to the city, Shah’s “mobile battery got drained, but cannot spot any wifi spot”.

Kejriwal, in Hindi, responded that his government has ensured that not just free wifi, but free battery charging was also available.

“In Delhi, electricity up to 200 units is free.”

Delhi is going for polls on February 8 and the BJP and AAP are contesting against each other.

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National News Update

BJP to hold state-wide protest in MP on Friday

Bhopal, Jan 23: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will hold protests at the collectors offices all over Madhya Pradesh on Friday.

“The BJP workers will gherao the district collectors’ offices on January 24 in entire MP,” state BJP vice-president Vijesh Lunawat told the media on Thursday evening.

Terming the Kamal Nath government’s drive against mafia essentially meant to target the BJP cadre, the party said, the bureaucrats and the police were exploiting it to make money.

The Congress government was trying to demoralise the BJP workers by demolishing their “small negligible encroachments, while sparing the Congress leaders’ massive illegal buildings,” Lunawat alleged.

Congress spokesman Bhupendra Gupta dismissed the BJP charge saying the mafiaraj that prospered during the BJP’s 15-year reign was crumbling now.

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National News Update

Priyanka to lead Cong movement on farmers in UP

Lucknow, Jan 23 : In an apparent attempt to corner the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh and confront the ruling BJP head on, the Congress will launch a state wide movement for the problems of farmers.

According to sources, under the leadership of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the Congress will organise ‘Kisan Jan Jagran Abhiyan’ at the village level every month highlighting farmers’ problems in the state. Later, a massive rally of farmers will be held in the districts of the state.

The strategy for the movement has already been chalked out and the program will be formally announced in the coming week. The program is expected to begin after the Delhi Assembly elections are over.

This will be the first major movement under the leadership of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi in the state.

A senior party functionary said that the Congress party will take on the Yogi Adityanath government on issues like stray cattle, payment of dues to sugarcane farmers, irregularities in the procurement of paddy, and suicide of farmers in Bundelkhand.

“Party workers will reach out to the farmers to fill a form in which they can write about their problems. The forms collected from the farmers will be handed over to the Tehsildar/District Magistrate at the district level and will be sent to the state government,” he said.

The Congress workers will also distribute leaflets in which the situation of farmers will be compared during the UPA and NDA governments.

The party will also seek loan waiver for farmers, waiver of half the electricity bill, cowshed, and watchdog allowance in every village

It is noteworthy that, late on Wednesday, Priyanka had taken a dig at Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav when she said in Rae Bareli that some leaders did not stir out of their homes to support the protests against the citizenship laws.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, along with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, is in Rae Bareli on a two-day tour where the training of State Congress Committee and District Congress Committee heads is going on. During her stay, Priyanka will give directions to the leaders and workers of the party regarding the farmers’ movement.

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National News Update

UP police fails to give evidence, PFI members get bail

Lucknow:  The Uttar Pradesh government’s proposal to ban the popular Front of India (PFI), following its alleged involvement in recent violence during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests, is likely to face trouble since the Uttar Pradesh Police has failed to produce ‘substantial evidence’ against its activists.

PFI president Wasim Ahmad, who was accused of masterminding violence, was granted bail and released on Tuesday.

“The government is merely trying to malign the organisation but without any concrete proof. As many as 19 of the 25 PFI members, arrested by the police, have been granted bail because the police had no evidence against us,” he told reporters.

On December 23, the Lucknow police had arrested three persons — PFI president Wasim Ahmad, treasurer Nadeem Ali and divisional president Ashfaq, charging them with possession of inflammatory literature, posters, CDs and banners.

Hearing on bail pleas of Nadeem Ali and Ashfaq is scheduled next week.

Besides, 18 PFI members arrested by the police, including a key figure, Mohammed Shadab, were also released on bail on Tuesday.

A police official said that they are yet to file a chargesheet in the case.

It may be recalled that the Yogi Adityanath government has sent a proposal seeking a ban on the PFI on the grounds that the organisation was involved in anti-national activities. The state government has said that the PFI is a reinvented organisation of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

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Special

Anti-CAA protesters chased and caned by cops in UP

Etawah (Uttar Pradesh):  The police in Etawah district chased and caned women protesters who had started a dharna against the citizenship law. A video clip that has gone viral on the social media on Wednesday, shows policemen chasing women, caning them and also barging into shops to force their closure.

The clip shows cops chasing women into the narrow lane of Pachraha area.

In a 17-second clip, the women can be heard shouting and asking the police why they are being assaulted. The police is also seen lathi-charging men who had gathered in the area.

In another video, cops are seen entering a roadside eatery and hitting the employees inside and forcing its closure. Cops are further seen hitting a roadside vendor and asking him to shut shop. A cop is also heard abusing protesters.

According to reports, the protest had taken place in Pachraha on Tuesday with about 150 women sitting on dharna. The numbers swelled by evening and more than 500 women were present when the police crackdown began.

Meanwhile, the Etawah police said in a tweet that the protesters had first pelted stones at the cops.

Protests are going on in various parts of the country over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which the government says will help minorities from Muslim-dominated Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan to get citizenship if they have fled to India because of religious persecution.

Critics of the law, among whom are students, activists, politicians, women and a number of celebrities, say the CAA, along with the National Register of Citizens, the other controversial process meant to flush out illegal migrants, would be used to target Muslims.

Lucknow has been the epicentre of protests in Uttar Pradesh.

Addressing a pro-CAA rally on Tuesday in Lucknow, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said that the citizenship law would not be withdrawn come what may.

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News Update

Mothers still face barriers to breastfeed at work: Study

New York: Despite the protections in place to support breastfeeding for employees, the burden still falls on working mothers to advocate for the resources they need, says a new research.

The study, published in the journal Workplace Health & Safety also revealed gaps in the quality and accessibility of breastfeeding resources in the eyes of working mothers.

“We know that there are benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and the infant, and we know that returning to work is a significant challenge for breastfeeding continuation,” said study lead author Rachel McCardel from University of Georgia in US.

“There is a collective experience that we wanted to explore and learn how can we make this better,” McCardel added.

For the findings, research team specifically wanted to better understand breastfeeding support in the workplace since US federal guidelines went into place over a decade ago requiring employers to provide unpaid break time and a space other than a restroom for employees to be able to express breast milk.

For their study, the research team surveyed female employees who performed a variety of jobs.

In addition to asking questions about their access to breastfeeding resources like private rooms, breast pumps and lactation consultants, the respondents were also asked about their experiences with combining breastfeeding and work.

They found that most respondents, nearly 80 per cent, had a private space at work to express milk, and around two-thirds of the women reported having break times to breastfeed.

Access to other resources like lactation consultants or breast pumps was less common.

According to the study, many respondents also said they hadn’t expected to get much help from their employers, and there was a general lack of communication about the resources available to them.

 

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Photo News

A model presents creations of Loewe Mens Fall during Paris Fashion Week

PARIS, Jan. 19, 2020 (Xinhua) — A model presents creations of Loewe Mens Fall/Winter 2020/2021 ready-to-wear collections during Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France, Jan. 18, 2020. (Photo by Piero Biasion/Xinhua/IANS)

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National News Update

India tests submarine-launched ballistic missile

New Delhi, Jan 20 The test fire of 3,500-kilometre range ballistic missile known as K-4 from a nuclear capable submarine was successful, sources in Defence Research and Development Organsiation (DRDO) said on Sunday.

The missile developed by DRDO would be equipped on indigenous Indian Navy Ship Arihant, which is nuclear-powered submarine.

These missiles, once inducted, will be the mainstay of the Arihant class of indigenous ballistic missile nuclear submarines (SSBN) and will give India the stand off capability to launch nuclear weapons submerged in Indian waters.

It is Indian Navy Ship Arihant, the first and only operational SSBN, is armed with K-15 Sagarika missiles with a range of 750 km.

The DRDO test fired successfully from submerged pontoon off the Visakhapatnam coast on Sunday afternoon. Sources said that the test met the desired parameters.

“A pontoon simulates the situation of a launch from a submarine,” the source said.

The missile has been tested several times earlier as part of developmental trials to validate different parameters, the source said.

“The missile ejecting from a submerged platform to the surface is the toughest part,” the source said.

The Circular Error Probability (CEP) is much more sophisticated than Chinese missiles. The CEP determines the accuracy of a missile. The lower the CEP, the more accurate the missile is.

Last year in November, India declared its nuclear triad stated in its nuclear doctrine operational after INS Arihant completed its first deterrence patrol.

It was commissioned into service in August 2016 and its induction was not officially acknowledged.

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National Special Sports

Want to create inclusive platform for sports innovation: CM

Bhubaneswar, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday highlighted the need of inclusive platform that not only celebrates sports innovation and entrepreneurship but also involves sportspersons, sports startups, high performance centres and students in a significant way.

“It will encourage the participants from the sports fraternity to meet, exchange knowledge, and learn from one another,” said the Chief Minister.

He was addressing the valedictory ceremony of Sport IT 2020, India’s first sports and innovation festival organised by Xavier Emlyon Business School (XEBS) and Sports and Youth Services Department.

Welcoming sports entrepreneurs, investors and students from across India and foreign nations to Bhubaneswar, Patnaik said it was a matter of happiness that Odisha has been conferred with Sports-Star Ace Award for the consecutive second year as the Best State for Sports Promotion in the entire country.

This reflects the commitment of Odisha Government for development of sport, he added.

“I am sure the festival will enhance the outcome of our efforts to bring innovation to sports and promote a sporting culture among the youth,” the Chief Minister said.

The Odisha Government has also invited the startup entrepreneurs who participated in the event for an interaction for future association.

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National Special

Arrested DSP Davinder Singh’s 2005 letter for terrorist to be probed

By Anand Singh

New Delhi, The Intelligence Bureau has found a letter written by arrested Jammu and Kashmir Police Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh in 2005 which asked for “safe passage” to one of the four terrorists arrested by Delhi Police on the Delhi-Gurugram border on their way from Kashmir to Delhi. This comes in the wake of reports that Singh had helped other terrorists as well even as it has been revealed that Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru had mentioned his name in a letter to his advocate.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will now also probe Singh’s 2005 letter, sources said.

IB sources said Delhi Police had arrested four terrorists after a gunfight from the Gurugram-Delhi border on July 1, 2005 and recovered arms and ammunition besides fake currency of face-value of Rs 50,000 from their possession following a tip-off received from the Military Intelligence on June 22, 2005.

Two of the four terrorists were identified as Saqib Rehman aka Masood, Hazi Ghulam Moinuddin Dar aka Zahid.

“During the searches, the police seized a sketch of the Palam Air Base and also a letter written by Singh from Dar,” said a source.

“The letter, signed by Singh, who was then Deputy SP, CID in Jammu and Kashmir, said that Dar, a resident of Pulwama, was allowed to carry a pistol (registration no. K 14363) and one wireless set for operation duty. The letter asked all security agencies to give ‘safe passage’ for any verification,” the source said.

The letter was written on Singh’s letter pad.

The source further said that a week after Dar’s arrest, Delhi Police went to Srinagar and raided his house from where it recovered 10 Under barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) grenades and a wireless set no. 144057. The police team recovered an AK-47, 2 magazines, 130 live cartridges, two hand grenades and three UBGL grenades at the instance of Saquib Rahman from his two-storey building in Srinagar.

The source said that in its chargesheet in the court, Delhi Police claimed that Dar and Rahman had revealed that they were working as per the directions of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). They had also given information about their associates in Jammu and Kashmir and the arms and ammunition kept by them.

Delhi Police later arrested Bashir Ahmed Shah, Nazir Ahmed Sofi, Abdul Mazid Bhat, Abdul Qayoom Khan and Birendra Kumar Singh in the case.

The source said Singh later told Delhi Police on phone that he had indeed written such a letter for Dar.

Sources said the letter written by Singh raises many questions: “How did Singh allow a private person to travel with a wireless set? How did Singh justify his letter for Dar, against whom the Central Military Intelligence had alerted Delhi Police?”

Singh was arrested on January 11 with top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Naveed Babu, his accomplice Rafi and a lawyer, Irfan, from a car on the highway near Kulgam.

He was allegedly taking Babu to Jammu to help him travel to Pakistan in connivance with Irfan.

As per police sources, a sum of Rs 12 lakh might have been given to Singh to move out the two Hizbul militants to Jammu on their way to Chandigarh and onward to Delhi to carry out attacks on or before the Republic Day.

Singh, who was posted in the anti-hijacking squad at the Srinagar international airport, was suspended from service on January 13 and is likely to be stripped of all his awards, including a gallantry medal, for anti-militancy operations on August 15, 2019.

Earlier, during his interrogation Singh hinted at the role of many more police personnel involved in helping the terrorists.

The NIA has taken over the probe from the Jammu and Kashmir Police. Senior officials probing the case said that NIA will also look at the letter written for Dar by Singh.

Earlier, Singh, who was part of the special anti-militancy Special Operations Group (SOG) in 2002 and was also named by Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, in a letter to his lawyer, where he also suggested that another Parliament attacker Mohammad was taken to Delhi on the direction of the police officer.

(Anand Singh can be contacted at anand.s@ians.in)

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Special

CESU runs with hare and hunts with hound! Be pragmatic

Samikhsya Bureau

The haste behind the actions of the CESU, more so after handing over the responsibility to the Tata Power in a hurry for a stipulated period, CESU in its speed up to recover the arrears from consumers, seems suffering from a kind of phobia of the powerful.

Earlier it had issued a notice period of 15 days, and by that it showed its overnight gargantuan appetite for diligence. Which was missing for years and years on, and even today, its trajectory moves far from the bigger defaulters.

A selective plucking of reasons from which the powerful ones are given a go by!

So it has been compelled to re-set its priorities and aims to target the companies and commercial institutions first.

There had been lot of criticism over the way the Reliance Power allegedly siphoned out revenue worth Rs. 2,400 cr through power pilferage but the authorities then looked the other way.

According to one RTI feedback, privately run educational institutions like KIIT and KISS had defaulted payment to the tune of about Rs.2 crore. But then the CESU had not woken-up from its slumber.

Besides that, there are many more who remain defaulters and to name a few are the Maruti Steels & Casting, MCL Talcher, GMR Energy, T K Marine, Bharti Airtel, Infosys and many more sitting over a whopping arrears.

If, now, even in hindsight wisdom, the CESU has revised its preferences over payments, then so be it. Why hounding after hares when the real culprits allowed to escape.

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National News Update

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik receives Prestigious CSI E- Ratna Award

Bhubaneswar :  On the occasion of its 53rd Edition, the Computer Society of India (CSI) 2020 conferred the Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik with ‘CSI E-Ratna Award’ for recognition of his selfless service to its citizen and state through e-Governance and & ICT Initiatives in the presence of Dr. Achutya Samanta MP, Fellow, CSI & Manas Ranjan Patnaik, Convener CSI 2020 on the Second day of 53rd Annual International Convention which is the largest and prestigious IT convention of CSI held in first time in Bhubaneswar at KIIT University.

Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik said, “I congratulate CSI for holding the IT Convention in Odisha. We in Odisha are transforming the state through 5T and we have taken up many developmental issues through Information Technology in Odisha.”

Apart from Chief Minister, other eminent dignitaries who received the SIG CSI e-governance Award on this ceremony were CSI Lifetime Award to Satish K.K, Hon Fellowship Awards to, Prof. Dr. Sasmita Samanta, Pro. VC KIIT and Minister of State, E&IT and Sports,Govt. of Odisha, Er Tushar Kanti Behera, Fellow Award to Dr. Gulshan Rai, Dr. A.K. Saini. The Computer Society of Odisha also conferred different states in which it conferred the IT Department of Govt of Odisha recived by Minister of State, E&IT and Sports,Govt. of Odisha, Er Tushar Kanti K Behera and IT Secretary Manoj Mishra.

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News Update

Nirbhaya accused to be hanged on February 1

After the President of India Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy petition of the four accused in Nirbhaya case, the hanging of the accused has been fixed for February 1 by a Delhi court. Earlier the court had ordered the hanging of the accused for January 22 but, the sentence was subsequently postponed after the mercy petition by Mukesh Singh.

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Entertainment News Update

Ajay Devgn’s ‘Tanhaji’ made tax-free in Haryana

Chandigarh, Ajay Devgn’s “Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior” has been declared tax-free in BJP-ruled Haryana, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s office said on Wednesday. The Chief Minister has taken the decision to declare “Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior” tax-free in Haryana, the CM tweeted. On Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh had declared the movie tax-free in the state.

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National News Update

CBI arrestes a sub divisional postal inspector for accepting bribe Rs 15000/

Bubaneswar: The Central Bureau of Investigation has today arrested a Sub-Divisional Postal Inspector posted at Rairangpur of Odisha, while demanding & accepting a bribe of Rs. 15,000/- from the complainant.

CBI registered a case on a complaint alleging that the Sub-Divisional Postal Inspector at Rairangpur has demanded a bribe of Rs. 20,000/- from the complainant for forwarding his application for Combined Duty Allowance to the concerned Superintendent of Posts. On negotiation, the accused agreed to accept Rs.15,000/- as bribe from the complainant and the remaining amount of Rs.5,000/- later on. CBI laid a trap and caught the accused red-handed while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs.15,000/- from the complainant.

The arrested accused will be produced tomorrow before the Special Court for CBI cases at Bhubaneswar.

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News Update

‘Tanhaji’ vs ‘Chhapaak’: a Cong vs BJP ‘tax free’ game

New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) “UP govt has made Tanha ji movie tax free. Actor Ajay Devgan has thanked Yogi ji for this. #ThankYouYOGIji,” declared Department of Silk and Textile, Uttar Pradesh, on its official twitter handle. The announcement comes after the Deepika Padukone-starrer “Chhapak” was made tax free in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan a couple of days ago.

There is a pattern here. Ajay Devgan’s “Tanhaji” is being tax-exempted where there is a BJP government while Chhapak has been made tax free in the Congress states.

If one observes pattern closely, one will find that these movies have been declared tax free not because of the subject or merit but what political stand the actors or filmmakers may have taken on issues like Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the JNU violence.

Ajay, who essays the title role in “Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior”, had tweeted on January 10: “I have always maintained that we should wait for proper facts to emerge.I appeal to everyone — let us further the spirit of peace and brotherhood, not derail it either consciously or carelessly. #JNUViolence”

According to reports, Ajay’s tweet was seen as his stand on Deepika’s JNU visit, which many felt was planned in haste. During her visit, the “Chhapaak” leading lady stood silently in solidarity of JNU students, causing a political storm over the film. Thus both actors made their stand clear on the CAA as well as the JNU violence.

Speaking to IANS, Janata Dal United general Secretary and Rajya Sabha MP KC Tyagi said, “We are living in a time which is so unfortunate that real heroes like Tanhaji are divided into Hindu-Muslim and subjects like acid attack become the whipping goats of politics.”

Tyagi added: “Both films deal with great subjects and should be watched by the entire country and not just a few states. State governments should make films tax free not as per their political convenience but the subject they deal with.”

He also said that “Chhapak shows how women have been subjected to violence through acid attacks. It should be declared tax free everywhere because it makes people aware of subjects like acid attack and protects womanhood. Tanhaji is a Maratha hero but he is unsung and unknown. It is unfortunate that this film is made tax free only by BJP-led state governments and not in Congress-ruled states. This film should also be watched by everyone so that this unsung hero is celebrated”.

“Tanhaji” has grossed Rs 75.68 crore at the domestic box-office so far, according to the Bollywood trade website koimoi.com, while the figures for “Chhapaak” stand at Rs 21.37 crore. It will be interesting to which state gives both the films a tax-free status.