Citizens' Issues
Gujarat beefs up security after high alert
Ahmedabad : NSG teams were put on standby and Mahashivratri festivities at the historic Somnath temple were suspended in Gujarat after the Centre on Sunday sounded a high alert amid reports that 10 fidayeen militants have entered the coastal state.
 
"The Gujarat Police are on alert. The state government had asked the Centre to send National Security Guards (NSG) teams, which have also arrived," state Home Minister Rajanikant Patel told reporters here. 
 
Two NSG teams, which landed in the state on Sunday morning, were put on standby.
 
He said, "We have issued a high alert and beefed up security at all key installations."
 
The government was galvanised into action to step up security across Gujarat, especially the coastal borders with Pakistan, after a note sent by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval about suspected infiltration of 10 militants of the Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
 
Doval's note came after Pakistan's National Security Adviser Nasir Janjua called him up and said 10 terrorists from the two Pakistan-based outfits have entered Gujarat, according to official sources.
 
Authorities at the Somnath Temple in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra, which is the first among the 12 'jyotirlingas' of Lord Shiva in the country, said all cultural programmes slated for Sunday and Monday, the Mahashivratri day, have been cancelled.
 
Somnath Temple Trust's general manager Vijay Chavda said a 'nrityotsava' (dance festival), scheduled for Sunday evening and 'Ras-Garba' and 'Dayra' programmes scheduled for Monday were cancelled.
 
The Mahashivratri at the Somnath Temple every year sees a massive gathering of devotees from across the country and the world.
 
Chavda said elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure uninterrupted 'darshan' by the pilgrims on Mahashivratri.
 
Besides, Dwarka and Akshardham temples in Gandhinagar, which had come under terrorist attack on September 24, 2002, power plants, dams, defence and security establishments have been put on alert.
 
Officials said police stations in the state have been asked to carry out combing operations in hotels and guest houses. Forces have been moved around shopping and cinema halls and bus stands. Security personnel on leave have been asked to report for duty.
 
Besides Kutch district, which shares land and maritime borders with Pakistan, heavy patrolling and checking has begun along Gujarat's border with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
 
The central agencies are investigating the discovery of five abandoned fishing boats near Sir Creek on the Kutch coast over the last three months, including one found by a Border Security Force patrol on Friday.
 
The boat found on Friday is 20 feet long and 10 feet wide. Some rations, water jugs, fishing nets, crabs, diesel and mattresses were found on board.
 
Meanwhile, Gujarat's Additional Chief Secretary (Home) P.K. Taneja held a meeting with top officials of the armed forces, police, Intelligence Bureau and paramilitary forces.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Data pricing pressure pinching incumbents: Morgan Stanley
New Delhi : Even before Reliance Jio launches its 4G services in the country, Morgan Stanley believes the pricing pressures are already pinching the incumbents thanks to a tepid growth in the data market, warranting a cut in the revenue growth forecast.
 
"We cut our industry revenue growth forecast by 3 percent for fiscal years 2016 to 2018 and expect the industry revenue between fiscal 2015 and 2020 to grow at a 7 percent compound annual growth rate versus 8 percent previously," the investment banker said.
 
The report by Morgan Stanley said despite double-digit data volume growth, data revenues are now growing in the higher single-digits.
 
"Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margins are under pressure, with rising opex. Leverage is up, with companies recognizing spectrum liability," it said.
 
Talking about Reliance Jio, the banker said: "Jio is testing 800 MHz in 10 circles and should get spectrum in eight more circles by mid-March as per spectrum trading with RCom (Reliance Communications)."
 
The analysis comes at a time when Anil Ambani's Reliance Communications is moving towards gaining control over close to 20 percent of the total spectrum with private companies in India along with plans for airwaves sharing pact with Jio in all 22 circles in the 800 MHz band.
 
It further said Reliance Jio and RCom are the only operators having an all-India footprint sub 1 GHz. "We expect to see an Reliance Jio pan-India launch in second half of 2016, thus intensifying competition further."
 
Recently Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said Jio -- already being used by the company's employees -- will be ready for commercially launch in the second half of 2016 to offer high-speed mobile internet and voice services to 80 percent of Indians.
 
Regarding the upcoming spectrum auction in the middle of 2016, the report said: "Currently we do not build 700 MHz, however, incumbents typically underperform six months into the auction."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Forex scam: CBI conducts fresh searches in Delhi, NCR
New Delhi : The CBI on Sunday carried out searches at 10 locations in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) as part of its investigation into the alleged Rs.6,000 crore Bank of Baroda forex scam.
 
Agency's spokesperson Devpreet Singh said the searches were conducted at the official and residential premises of certain people. 
 
"Rs.40 lakh in cash, rubber stamps of about 44 different companies, 15 PAN (permanent account number) cards and various incriminating documents, including pen-drives and hard discs, connected to the case were recovered during searches," the official said. 
 
In addition, foreign currencies of China, the US, Europe, the UAE, Nigeria, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka were also found, said the official, adding the documents recovered are being scrutinised.
 
The CBI officials privy to the investigation of the case, say the agency has so far found that around 8,500 foreign remittance transactions were made from 59 bank accounts of various firms against import of goods and software from Hong Kong and Dubai. 
 
"The investigation revealed further involvement of around 11 private persons or entities," the official said. 
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on October 9 registered a case under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act, dealing with criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust, against 59 current account holders along with "unknown" bank officials and private persons on a complaint from Bank of Baroda. 
 
It was alleged that 59 current account holders and "unknown" bank officials conspired to send overseas remittances, mostly to Hong Kong, of foreign exchange worth approximately Rs.6,000 crore in an illegal and irregular manner in violation of the established banking norms under the garb of payments towards imports that were suspected to be non-existent. 
 
Earlier, the CBI had conducted searches at 53 locations, including a Bank of Baroda branch in Delhi's Ashok Vihar, various companies and other accused persons. 
 
"It was also alleged that the amount remitted in each transaction would be kept at less than USD 100,000. All the remittances were made to Hong Kong," the official said. 
 
The official said the amount was remitted as advance for import and in most cases the beneficiary was the same. 
 
"Most of the foreign exchange related transactions were carried out in newly opened current accounts wherein heavy cash receipts were observed but the branch did not generate Exceptional Transaction Report (ETR) and did not monitor the high value transactions," the official said. 
 
Following the case, the CBI on October 13 arrested then assistant general manager and another officer (Foreign Exchange) of the Bank of Baroda's Ashok Vihar Branch for their alleged involvement in facilitating the foreign exchange remittances by violating the laid down guidelines of Bank of Baroda and thereby facilitating the accused persons in money laundering. 
 
The agency had also filed a charge sheet against the two employees of Bank of Baroda in December 2015.
 
"Further investigation is continuing with reference to the role of other accused persons, including bank officials as well as alleged 59 account holders and private persons," the official said. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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