Citizens' Issues
Tsunami hits Japan after 7.3-magnitude quake

There were no immediate reports of any fatalities after the 7.3-magnitude quake that was followed by a 6.2 aftershock. Meteorologists said the wave swept ashore at just after 6pm in Ishinomaki, a city badly hit by the 2011 tsunami 

Tokyo: A one metre-high tsunami hit northeast Japan on Friday, after a powerful undersea quake struck off the coast which was devastated in last year's quake-tsunami disaster, reports PTI.
Meteorologists said the wave swept ashore at just after 6pm in Ishinomaki, a city badly hit by the 2011 tsunami that wrecked a large swathe of the northeast coast, killing thousands.
There were no immediate reports of any fatalities after the 7.3-magnitude quake that was followed by a 6.2 aftershock, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
Residents of at least one town, Minamisanriku in Miyagi prefecture, were advised to get to safety, with reports suggesting other towns were also affected.
"We are now calling on people to evacuate to higher ground," town official Ryuichi Omori told AFP: 
"It's already pitch dark here. Calls phones -- both landlines and mobiles -- are not going through now, which makes it difficult to see people's movement.
"The quake was not so big although it felt very (strong). It was not big at all compared with last year's earthquake. The town office is now setting up a disaster taskforce." 
A presenter on state broadcaster NHK repeatedly told viewers to get to safety after the initial tremors, which set Tokyo buildings swaying violently.
"Remember last year's quake and tsunami," he said. "Call on your neighbours and flee to higher ground now!" 
NHK, quoting the national meteorological agency, said the tsunami was expected to hit the coast of Iwate at 5:40 pm, Fukushima at 5:50 pm, and Aomori and Ibaraki at 6:00 pm
The 7.3 quake struck 36 kilometres under the Pacific, USGS said.
The epicentre was 284 kilometres east of Sendai, or 459 kilometres northeast of Tokyo, according to the USGS.
NHK said the Japan Meteorological Agency had issued a tsunami warning, one notch lower than a tsunami alert, for the Pacific coast of Iwate, Fukushima, Aomori and Ibaraki prefectures.
There was no threat of a Pacific-wide tsunami, US monitors based in Hawaii said. Officials in both Indonesia and the Philippines south of Japan said there was no threat of a localised tsunami.
Nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power told AFP there were no reports of any problems at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
"No abnormalities have been recorded on instruments at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant's six reactors," a TEPCO spokesman said.
"All workers were ordered to take shelter inside buildings at the Fukushima plant.
"No abnormalities were confirmed with the radiation monitoring posts at the Fukushima plant. No abnormalities were seen with the water processing facilities." 
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda was heading to his office where he would be monitoring the situation, Jiji Press said.
Japan Railways East temporarily suspended Shinkansen bullet train services to check any damage, Jiji said, while Haneda Airport near central Tokyo was reported to be operating normally.
Narita airport was reported to have resumed operations after a temporary suspension.


EPFO bars inquiry against employers in PF cases beyond seven years

According to the EPFO circular, the inquiry against employers cannot be initiated beyond seven years

New Delhi: Retirement fund body Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has tightened the norms for initiation of its inquiries against employers and also set a time bar of seven years for such proceedings, a move which the trade unions have described as anti-worker, reports PTI.
The circular, which was issued by Central Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC) RC Mishra on his last day in office (30th November), seeks to modify the provisions that result in harassment of employers and establishments.
In a worker friendly move, the circular also redefined the meaning of "basic wages" for the purpose of provident fund deductions and said, "All such allowances which are ordinarily, necessarily and uniformly paid to the employees are to be treated as the basic wages.
According to the circular, the inquiry against employers can only be initiated after, "actionable and verifiable information," is placed for consideration before the compliance officers.
The employer, it said, would be required to make available online the complete history of the establishment for the benefit of compliance officers.
The information to be provided should include the amount remitted and the number of employees engaged by the establishment.
The order of assessment to be issued by the EPFO, it said, should be 'speaking order' (with reasoning) and should not suffer from procedural infirmities.
With regard to the time period for initiating inquiry, it said, "no inquiry or investigation shall ordinarily go beyond seven years, i.e., it shall cover the period of default not exceeding preceding seven years." 
The open assessment, inquiries and investigations serve no real purpose the circular said adding, "such inquiries often don't result in identification of beneficiaries and only tend to harass the employers and establishments." 
Opposing the circular, the trade union leaders have decided to press the government for withdrawal of the circular.
"This circular which has time-barred such inquiries is anti-worker and we would Lodge our protest with the Labour Secretary," a EPFO trustee and Secretary Hind Mazoor Sabha AD Nagpal told PTI.
Echoing similar views, another EPFO trustee and Secretary of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) D L Sachdeva said: "We will demand withdrawal of this circular and soon write to Labour Secretary about this."
EPFO has over 50 million subscribers and manages a corpus of over Rs3.5 lakh crore.


Two arrested for duping woman of Rs27 lakh for mobile lottery

The woman received calls on her mobile phone claiming that her mobile number had won prizes, after which she deposited Rs27 lakh in the scamsters account by selling her house

Nashik: Two persons were arrested for allegedly duping a woman of Rs27 lakh on the pretext of giving her prize money won by her mobile number, reports PTI.
Nashik's Tapovan area resident Jaswinder Kaur Jagatransingh Hans, in her police complaint lodged earlier this week, alleged that she had received calls on her mobile phone since October from some persons claiming that her mobile number had won prizes worth Rs25 lakh cash, a five tola gold necklace and a car worth Rs22 lakh.
The accused asked her to deposit the amount for taxes and other expenses in a bank account number given by them following which Jaswinder deposited Rs26.93 lakh in it, by selling her house.
However, when she did not receive the prize money and other things, she lodged a complaint with police.
With the help of her call records, police traced the numbers and arrested two of the accused - Amit Amarendranath Biswas (28) and Mihir Ashutosh Bhattacharya (56) - from Nashik yesterday.
A police team was also sent to Kolkata to trace the other persons based on mobile call records following which two persons - Chanchal Ghosh and Mansukh Ghosh were detained there.
The two would be brought to the city and interrogation of the accused was on to probe the case, police added.



Vaibhav Dhoka

4 years ago

It is pure GREED that is driving cheaters to be in WIN WIN position.There is regular news in papers about such frauds till one falls pray again to these fraudster.

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