‘My folks called me Indira G’

Ahmedabad Mirror | 2 months ago | 20-09-2022 | 04:15 pm

‘My folks called me Indira G’

Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut kicked off the week by sharing a childhood picture on Instagram where she sported short hair and said that her uncles from the army background called her Indira Gandhi.The actress, who is currently shooting for the biopic titled ‘Emergency’, wrote in her story, “It’s uncanny growing up… Many of my relatives called me Indira Gandhi probably because of my hair style #emergency”.She shared another picture and wrote: “I didn’t follow anyone’s hairstyle as a kid I went to the village barber on my own and guided him to do hair cut that I liked it short… this inspired many jokes in the family especially all uncles from army background called me Indira Gandhi… #emergency”‘Emergency’, as the title suggests, is all about the state of national emergency declared by Indira Gandhi on June 25, 1975. It lasted till March 21, 1977, when Janata Party was voted to power in a historic election.The film also stars Anupam Kher, Shreyas Talpade, Mahima Chaudhry and Milind Soman. The film, being presented by Manikarnika Films has been written and directed by Kangana and is produced by RenuPitti and her. The dialogues are by Ritesh Shah, prefviously assiciated with films like ‘Kahaani’, ‘Pink’ and ‘Raid’.IANS

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Sanjay Kumar Mishra: The long hand of the ED
The Indian Express | 5 days ago | 27-11-2022 | 05:35 am
The Indian Express
5 days ago | 27-11-2022 | 05:35 am

Rs 65,000 crore. That’s an amount that could fund the annual budget of many of the smaller states in the country. It’s also the value of assets attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the past four years alone. The figure captures the ferocity with which the agency has been dealing with cases of money laundering under the leadership of its chief, Sanjay Kumar Mishra.In fact, 65 per cent of all attachments carried out by the ED in the past 17 years — since the central agency began probing money laundering cases — have been made under his signature, with the agency carrying out more than 2,000 raids.Such is the terror the agency invokes that it is touted as the “new CBI” by Opposition parties, many of whose leaders have been at the receiving end of the ED’s stick. As they cry foul over the agency allegedly being a tool in the hands of the government, they point to its role as a “catalyst” in how political alliances are made and broken.Earlier this year, as the BJP and a breakaway faction of the Shiv Sena joined hands to form the government in Maharashtra, there were chants of “ED, ED” in the Assembly.Recently, West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh unwittingly underlined the aggression of the agency when he said the government had to send the ED to raid corrupt TMC leaders as the CBI was dragging its feet in those cases. In October 2021, while addressing a public gathering, BJP’s Sangli MP Sanjay Patil joked that the ED would not chase him since he was a member of the ruling party. He was only echoing Congress turncoat from Maharashtra Harshwardhan Patil, who had earlier said in a lighter vein that he had started sleeping well after joining the BJP.Critics also point to the successive extensions granted to Mishra to say that he is central to the government’s playbook. Last week, the Centre gave another one-year extension to Mishra, a day before he was to retire on November 18. This is an unprecedented third extension for the ED chief, who will be in office till November 18, 2023 — an executive-mandated tweak that will see him serving for five years, three years more than what was originally fixed when he was appointed to the post on November 19, 2018.ED officials have brushed aside these as insinuations, saying the agency has only proceeded against the “corrupt”, and maintained that its actions cannot be termed political as it follows cases already registered by other agencies.For a bureaucrat who has had such an impact, Mishra did not start out to become one.Born in a middle class family in Lucknow, Mishra has a Master’s degree in Biochemistry from Lucknow University. He then joined the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) as a senior research fellow and is said to have authored several papers on immunology.It was on his family’s persuasion that Mishra appeared for the civil services exams, clearing it in his first attempt. After joining the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) in 1984, his first posting was in Gorakhpur, UP, as assistant director in the Income Tax department.Within four years, he had his first stint with the ED when he joined it as an Assistant Director with charges of Agra and Jaipur. Those were the days when the ED only probed cases of foreign exchange violations under the now repealed Foreign Exchange Regulation Act.Sources say it was this stint that helped Mishra learn the ways of the agency. “He was meticulous and a stickler for details. More importantly, he was a keen learner. He also had the ability to be empathetic without bending rules,” remembers one of Mishra’s colleagues from his early years.According to the officer, around this time, Mishra carried out a raid in Jaipur on receiving information about a hawala transaction of Rs 20 lakh. During the raids, however, it was revealed that the suspect was a businessman from Sindh province of Pakistan and had to leave the country because of religious persecution. The hawala transaction money was all of his wealth.“Mishra felt very sorry for the businessman. Since a raid had been conducted, he did file a case, but some adjustments were made to ensure that the suspect was not judged very harshly,” the colleague said.In 1994, Mishra came back to his cadre of Income Tax and was posted in Ahmedabad for a nine-year stint. He then moved to Kolhapur in Maharashtra and was back in Delhi in 2006, where he handled international taxation and transfer pricing.His first exposure to policy formulation came when he was appointed in the Ministry of Finance as a Joint Secretary under Pranab Mukherjee and later, P Chidambaram. Some of his colleagues credit him with generating intelligence on HSBC papers that were brought from France, exposing accounts of the who’s who of India’s business fraternity who held offshore accounts. This was followed by a stint in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).With all this experience, when Mishra joined the ED in 2018, he was “hands-on”, say his colleagues. “You tell him 10 per cent of a case and he will figure out the rest. He has an elephantine memory and can remember papers he saw six months ago. This forces us to keep everything ready as he can demand anything, any time. He is also a multi-tasker and can discuss multiple cases at the same time. Thanks to a very sound legal mind, our cases seldom falter in the courts,” said one of his junior officers in the ED.Another official said Mishra’s unassuming personality can be rather misleading. “He is a tough task master,” the official said.Sources in the ED said working with Mishra is demanding, not just mentally, physically too. “He runs 10 km every day and is a believer in intermittent fasting. Sometimes his meetings last for more than an hour and he keeps standing all through. So we end up standing too,” a senior ED official said.Despite his high-profile role, Mishra, sources said, finds time to read Urdu poetry by Mirza Ghalib, Qateel Shifai and Faiz Ahmed Faiz. As someone who is known to “detest” social media, Mishra has managed to stay away from publicity. A Google search on him would not throw up more than two photographs, with practically no personal information.Initially, the government, too, didn’t seem to notice Mishra. When the NDA came to power in 2014, Mishra, then a year into his tenure as a joint secretary in the all-important Ministry of Home Affairs, was among the 50-odd senior bureaucrats who were transferred out from key ministries in the first few months of the Modi government.As Mishra went back to the Income Tax, he built two cases that caught the attention of the government — one against media house NDTV and the other against Young India, a Gandhi family-run organisation that owns the National Herald newspaper. Both cases were then in the realm of tax assessment; Mishra turned them into prosecutable offences.By November 2018, Mishra was not only appointed the new chief of ED, the government went to great lengths to retain him beyond his two-year tenure. When the first extension granted to him was challenged in the Supreme Court, the government brought an Ordinance and later pushed through a Bill in Parliament to give the directors of ED and CBI conditional five-year tenures.While the ED has rebutted the Opposition’s charge of being partisan, under Mishra, the agency has indeed gone after many Opposition politicians, including Congress leaders P Chidambaram, D K Shivakumar and Ahmed Patel, NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and Anil Deshmukh, and AAP leaders Satyender Jain and Manish Sisodia. ED has also filed cases against activists Harsh Mander, journalists Siddique Kappan and media houses such as NewsClick.This expanding scope of the ED probes has created a problem of diffused supervision. In the past three years alone, Mishra has had to remove as many as 300 officials, with sources saying that in many cases, integrity was an issue.To ensure fingers are not raised at the agency, Mishra has also set standard operating procedures (SoPs) for everything from issuing of summons to conducting searches, interrogations and making arrests. Entry to the new ED office is strictly regulated and officers are frisked even while going from one wing to another.However, for all that he has done for the ED, the one allegation that Mishra would want to shake off quickly is of ‘political partisanship’.

Sanjay Kumar Mishra: The long hand of the ED
7 cops hurt in liquor den raid Surendranagar
Times of India | 5 days ago | 26-11-2022 | 10:51 am
Times of India
5 days ago | 26-11-2022 | 10:51 am

RAJKOT: Seven police personnel were injured when a raiding party was attacked by a mob during the arrest of a woman bootlegger in Surendranagar on Thursday night. The police booked 18 persons. According to a complaint filed at A Division police station in Surendranagar, the police raided the country-made liquor den of Fatima Jeda in the new railway station area of the town based on specific information. Police have been strictly instructed to shut down all liquor dens in view of the assembly election. During the raid, the police found three kilns for brewing of liquor and arrested Fatima. When the police team was taking her outside, she started screaming and asked people to gather and prevent the police personnel from taking her. Soon, a mob gathered there and she provoked people to attack the police team. The mob asked police to release Fatima. The police tried to convince them but they did not listen to police and attacked the personnel with sticks and pipes. The police also used sticks in their defence. In the process, seven police personnel received injuries and were hospitalized. The police booked 18 persons — Fatima Jeda, Rehman Jeda, Juned Jeda, Abu Jeda, Javed Jeda, Aamin Jeda, Nizam Jeda, Aarif Jeda, Anwar Samtani, Nurjaha Jeda, Aayesha Jeda, Rasik Jeda, Irfan Jeda, Firoz Jeda, Nasim Jeda, Mariyam Jeda, Faruk Jeda and Latif Jeda — under various sections of IPC.

7 cops hurt in liquor den raid Surendranagar
Captive parakeets, turtles, rare corals seized
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | 16-11-2022 | 10:45 pm
Times of India
2 weeks ago | 16-11-2022 | 10:45 pm

VADODARA: The Gujarat forest department and the Wildlife SOS-GSPCA team recently seized two turtles, rare corals and several animal body parts from Kuber Bhandari temple in Karnali located in Dabhoi taluka, about 30km from Vadodara. Four people have been arrested and the matter is being investigated further. In another raid held across the city of Vadodara, the Wildlife SOS-GSPCA team seized 15 captive parakeets, which included 9 Alexandrine parakeets and 6 Rose-ringed parakeets. In a massive raid conducted by the Gujarat Forest Department and the Wildlife SOS-GSPCA team, a total of 68 Black corals, 15 Monitor lizard genitals, 31 Siyar singhi (believed to be jackal horns), two live Softshell turtles and 71 sea shells and conchs were seized from four shops located on the premises of Kuber Bhandari temple in Dabhoi taluka. The temple is a popular pilgrimage site situated 30 km from Vadodara. This operation was a culmination of weeks of intel gathering by the Wildlife SOS-GSPCA Rapid Response Unit. The NGO alerted the forest department about several wild animals and body parts being kept for illegal trade in temple shops. The shops, meant for selling items related to temple offerings, worked as a cover for the trade of marine wildlife and other contraband. After confirming the location, the team assisted the Forest Department in an under-cover operation to nab the perpetrators. Raj Bhavsar, Project Coordinator at Wildlife SOS and President of GSPCA said, “The four culprits have been arrested and based on initial investigation, we believe the traffickers have smuggled the wild animals from Saurashtra. Further enquiry will provide forward and backward linkages. Our network of informers engaged in intensive intel gathering for weeks and once we received confirmation, a raid was launched by the Forest Department.”

Captive parakeets, turtles, rare corals seized
Online fraud: Four arrested days after crores of rupees seized during Howrah raids
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | 22-10-2022 | 05:35 am
The Indian Express
1 month ago | 22-10-2022 | 05:35 am

Kolkata Police have arrested four persons in connection with the recovery of crores of rupees from two apartments in Howarh in a case of an alleged online fraud.Three of the accused, identified as Shailesh Kumar Pandey (49), Arvind Kumar Pandey (35) and Rohit Pandey (29) were arrested from Rourkela in Odisha, police claimed.The fourth, Prasenjit Das (42), was arrested from Ahmedabad, Gujarat.A look-out circular (LOC) was issued against Shailesh, a businessman and chartered accountant, and his brothers Arvind and Rohit after the raid. The four will be brought to Kolkata on transit remand, its is learnt.Shailesh and his brothers were allegedly running an online racket that lured people to take lessons in online foreign exchange trading by promising high returns. The operation was being run through a mobile phone app. It is also alleged that the accused were involved in converting black money into white.Police said while the Pandey brothers were directly involved in the fraud, Prasenjit had created a rent agreement for the office address which was submitted for opening a bank account where transactions worth crores of rupees were made.The Canara Bank had submitted an initial complaint after coming across suspicious transactions in some accounts.Police had seized Rs 8.15 crore besides jewellery and laptops during raids recently.

Online fraud: Four arrested days after crores of rupees seized during Howrah raids