Vol. 66 No. 72 | SATURDAY | JULY 23, 2022 | 18 Pages | BETWEEN THE LINES OBC QUOTA BY LOTTERY DRAW T he Maharashtra State Election Commission on Friday issued orders for drawing lots for giving reservation to OBCs in 14 municipal corporations, including BMC, and other local civic bodies. This is in the wake of the Supreme Court’s order restoring up to 27% OBC quota bust not exceeding 50% quota limit in urban and rural local bodies in the upcoming elections. the Of 236 BMC wards, 63 wards will be reserved for OBC candidates. –See Mumbai EC SEEKS PROOF OF MAJORITY T he Election Commission has asked both the Uddhav Thackeray faction and the Eknath Shinde camp to submit documentary evidence to prove that they enjoy majority support in the party along with written statements by 1 PM on August 8. After both the camps submit their statements, EC will hold hearings. The Shinde camp has claimed support of 40 out of 55 MLAs and 12 out of 19 Lok Sabha MPs in a letter to the EC. They have also attached to the letter an annexure on the Speaker recognising their nominee Rahul Shewale as the Sena floor leader in the Lok Sabha. The Thackeray faction, in turn, has filed a caveat before the EC seeking to be given a chance to argue its case before a verdict is given. –Sanjay Jog/Mumbai SHED YOUR EGO, ALVA TO MAMATA M argaret Alva has voiced her disappointment at the Trinamool Congress’s decision to abstain from voting in the vice-presidential election. Alva, who is the Opposition candidate, said on twitter, “The TMC’s decision to abstain from voting in the VP election is disappointing. This isn’t the time for ‘whataboutery’, ego or anger. This is the time for courage, leadership and unity. I believe Mamata Banerjee, who is the epitome of courage, will stand with the Opposition.” Mamata is miffed as NCP leader Sharad Pawar floated Alva’s name as an Opposition nominee without keeping TMC in the loop. BULLET TRAIN AT BKC: BIDS INVITED B arely eight days after Chief Minister Eknath Shinde gave all clearances, including handing over of the 4.2 hectare of land in BKC for the Rs 1.1 lakh crore Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, the National High Speed Rail Corporation on Friday invited bids for design and construction of civil and building works, including an underground station & tunnels at BKC. 3RD KERALA CASE OF MONKEYPOX A 35-year-old man, who came to Kerala from the UAE earlier this month, has tested positive for monkeypox, making him the third case of the virus from the country as well as the state. Health Minister Veena George said the Malappuram native arrived in the southern state on July 6 and had fever since July 13. He was undergoing treatment and his health condition is stable. The earlier case was from Kannur district. EDITIONS: MUMBAI*, Pune, Nashik, Konkan, Indore, Bhopal, E-paper ED attaches Nirav Modi crime booty RBI WILL ENSURE SOFT LANDING OF ECONOMY, SAYS GOVERNOR DAS LET WOMEN HAVE AGENCY OVER THEIR OWN BODIES ` 253 CR WORTH OF GEMS, JEWELLERY AND BANK DEPOSITS UNEARTHED IN HONG KONG AND CHINA SOMENDRA SHARMA MUMBAI The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached gems, jewellery and bank deposits amounting to US $30.98 million and HKD 5.75 million (INR value Rs 253.62 crore) linked to fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi as part of a money laundering probe in the PNB fraud case. These moveable assets belonging to the Nirav group of companies have been unearthed in Hong Kong, SAR and China and are deemed to be alleged proceeds of crime. According to officials, on the basis of an FIR filed by the CBI, Mumbai, on charges of forgery and cheating, the ED had initiated investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the Rs 6,498.20 crore PNB fraud case. “During the course of investigation, some assets of the Nirav Modi group of companies in Hong Kong were identified in the form of gems and jewelleries lying in private vaults and bank balances in accounts at Hong Kong, which is provisionally attached vide attachment order of Rs 253.62 crore under PMLA,” the agency claimed in a statement. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE ‘I HAVE NEVER DONE A ROLE LIKE THIS BEFORE,' SAYS DHANUSH EDIT Builders absconding, court turns the heat ORBIT VENTURES URVI MAHAJANI / MUMBAI The Bombay High Court has directed the Mumbai Commissioner of Police to take immediate take steps to trace the whereabouts of two builders – Rajen Dhruv and Hiren Dhruv – of Orbit Ventures, after the duo absconded instead of surrendering before the court on Friday to serve their six months civil imprisonment for contempt of court. A division bench of Justices KR Shriram and Arif Saleh Doctor on Friday while directing the CP to take immediate steps, di, rected the concerned banks and financial institutions to freeze the accounts of these builders. The HC, on Thursday had asked , them to surrender on Friday to enforce their six months’ civil imprisonment for failing to honour their undertaking given to the court on March 23. “The Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, is therefore directed to immediately take steps to trace the whereabouts of these two persons and arrest them wherever they are found and present them before this court. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE Check Anil Parab’s phone, says Shinde camp; Thackeray’s media adviser Harshal Pradhan has already denied that any such call was made Even though the Eknath Shinde camp has said that it will not target Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya Thackeray it , sought clarification from them on a purported phone call by Thackeray to BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis after Shinde’s rebellion, to hold direct talks for a Sena-BJP government, excluding Eknath Shinde. Shinde camp spokesman Deepak Kesarkar said that the phone calls of former minister Anil Parab, who was the legislative affairs min- ister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and is a close confidant of the Thackerays, should be checked to find out whether such a call had been made by Thackeray to Fadnavis for an alliance asking him to sideline Shinde. The Shinde camp hopes to corner Thackeray and his son over a patch-up with BJP . “I know phone calls are not made from Thackeray’s phone. Therefore, it should be checked whether it was made from Anil Parab’s phone to Fadnavis on SC notice to Govt, BMC COMPULSORY MARATHI SIGNBOARDS FOR SHOPS URVI MAHAJANI MUMBAI The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the Maharashtra government and the BMC on a petition filed by the Retail Traders Welfare Association (RTWA) challenging the decision of the Maharashtra government mandating all shops and establishments to display their names in Marathi (Devanagiri) script as well. RTWA had challenged the order of the Bombay High Court of February this year which had upheld the government decision. An amendment to the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2017, mandated that all shops and establishments shall display signboard of their names in Marathi in Devanagari script, the font of which shall be the same as that of the other script and not smaller. The government had set May 31 deadline for the same, failing which prosecution will be initiated. An SC bench of Justices KM Joseph and Krishna Mu- rari issued the notices and kept it for hearing in September. Counsels for RTWA – senior counsel Gopal Sankaranarayanan and advocate Mohini Priya – contended that they have challenged the constitutional validity of the amendment in the Act to incorporate the rule of compulsory signboard in Marathi. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE Sunrise: 06:12 am Sunset : 07:18 pm A COUPLE OF PERFECT SCORES CBSE Class 10 & 12 results out; Dip in overall pass percentage, as against that in 2021 ABHISHEK NAIR, ADITI ALURKAR & CHAITALI DHARAMSHI MUMBAI The results of the CBSE examinations for Classes 10 and 12 were declared by the Central Board of Secondary Education on Friday While . the pass percentages dipped by 4.64 and 6.66 per cent for Classes 10 and 12 respectively as compared to those in 2021, the overall pass percentage for both grades were 94.4 per cent and 92.71 per cent respectively . Thiruvananthapuram emerged as the top district for both classes with the highest pass percentage of 98.83% for (From the left) Tanya Singh from Bulandshahr and Yuvakshi Vig (centre) from Noida scored a perfect 500 in their Class 12 results class 12 and 99.68% for class 10. Girls outperformed boys in both grades by a slight margin. Students who had self-identified as transgender had a 100 per cent pass rate for Class 12, while it was 90 per cent for Class 10. This year, the CBSE exams were conducted over two terms, the first of which Row over Shinde Z+ cover Shinde camp legislator Suhas Kande alleges that despite threats from Naxals, Shinde was denied Z-plus security by Thackeray; Aaditya Thackeray questions timing of allegations SANJAY JOG MUMBAI The Shinde and Thackeray factions of the Shiv Sena engaged in a verbal slugfest on Friday over former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s denial of Z-plus security to Eknath Shinde, the then guardian minister of Gadchiroli district, despite a Naxal plot to kill him. Shinde was quite particular about visiting the district and pursuing security and development related projects. Suhas Kande, elected from Nashik district, and one of those who crossed over from the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena to join the Shinde camp, started the debate, after making the serious allegation that it was Thackeray who had, in his ca, Did Uddhav call Fadnavis? SANJAY JOG MUMBAI 310c. 250c. holding direct talks without involving Shinde. If by excluding Shinde the party was in favour of an alliance with the BJP , then why speak against us for joining hands with the BJP?” he asked. Kesarkar admitted that Thackeray’s media adviser Harshal Pradhan had denied any phone call by Thackeray to Fadnavis. He reiterated that phone calls made from Anil Parab’s phone should be checked to find out a reality . “If Thackeray wanted to sideline Shinde and form an alliance, so be it; then why were they rejecting the BJP?” he asked. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE SC approves Z security for Ambani, kin OUR BUREAU / NEW DELHI The Supreme Court on Friday approved the “Z” category security cover provided by the Centre to billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani and his family in Mumbai, noting that he was fully paying the cost. A Bench of Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli also quashed a PIL pending before Tripura High Court challenging his security cover, stressing that the High Court has nothing to do with the security cover in far off Mumbai. Directing the Centre to continue with the security cover, the Bench questioned the locus of the petitioner in the PIL filed before the High Court. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE pacity as the chief minister, denied Z-plus security to Shinde despite the Naxal threat. “When Eknath Shinde received death threats from Naxalites, both the home ministers (state and cabinet) considered giving him Z-plus security But Uddhav Thackeray . called Shambhuraj Desai (a former minister of state and now with the Shinde camp) and told him not to provide security to Eknath Shinde,” alleged Kande. “Also, why was a ‘Marathi Manoos’ not provided Z-plus security cover in the wake of death threats while fighting Naxal forces?” he demanded.CONTD. ON NATION PAGE The CCTV footage of a mishap involving an interloper on railway tracks in Kandivali, which ended in fatal injuries, has gone viral. According to the GRP , the incident occurred on Thursday at 4.45 pm, at platform number 1/2 of the Kandivali railway station. While crossing the track, an unidentified person – around 30 years of age – was crushed under the train and sustained serious injuries leading to the Car-smash rampage in plush Worli GAUTAM S. MENGLE MUMBAI severing of his hand and foot. He succumbed to his injuries two hours later in the Shatabdi hospital. The GRP is trying to track two men who were seen accompanying the deceased when the latter was moving in the direction of the incoming train, but walked away after the incident. None rushed to help the victim. CCTV footage showed the man walking to the edge of the platform and being hit by a Churchgate-bound local train as it streamed into the station. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE A 23-year-old man, who was armed with an axe, allegedly went on a rampage near a plush luxury hotel in Worli in the early hours of Wednesday. Police officials rushed to the spot and arrested him before he could harm anyone but not before he had led them on a short chase, injuring one of them. According to the Worli police, the incident was reported at around 2 a.m. on Wednesday. “The control room received a call from a local resident, informing them that a man was breaking windows of parked cars near the Four Seasons Hotel in Worli. The information was relayed to us and the night shift officer rushed to the spot with a team, while the nearest patrolling vehicle, too, was diverted there,” said senior police inspector Anil Koli, Worli police station. By the time the police reached the spot, the man had already shattered windows of seven cars parked near the hotel, including privately owned vehicles and taxis. A small crowd of local residents had gathered and the accused was holding them at bay with the axe. Meanwhile, the crowd was growing and a riot-like situation was brewing. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE 1958 at Mayurbhanj Odisha. The 163-cm (5'4") tall Murmu, a soft-spoken tribal leader from Odisha and former Jharkhand governor, was declared elected on Thursday by a huge margin over the Opposition’s joint candidate Yashwant Sinha, a former minister in the Atal Behari Vajpayee government. Present President Ram Nath Kovind, whose 5-year term ends on Sunday is , packing his bags and will move to his new residence; in fact, he will be a neighbour of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Prime Minister Modi is slated to drop him at his new house at No 12, Janpath, which was occupied by late Union Minister Ramvilas Paswan for almost three decades. Short-cut on tracks turns fatal for youth KAMAL MISHRA MUMBAI was objective and the second, subjective. Both exams were administered offline. The first term exams carried 30 per cent weightage while the secondterm exams had 70 per cent weightage, for calculating the results. The CBSE board has refrained from declaring ranks, to discourage unhealthy comparison amongst students. The subject toppers, however, will receive merit certificates. Tanya Singh from Bulandshahr and Yuvakshi Vig from Noida scored a perfect 500 in their Class 12 results. Mayank Yadav from Noida has also achieved a perfect score in his Class 10 board exams. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE Murmu oath next Monday OUR BUREAU NEW DELHI Elaborate arrangements are being made for the newly elected President Droupadi Murmu to be sworn in by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana in the Central Hall of Parliament on Monday morning. At the age of 64, she will be the youngest to occupy the top position besides being the first tribal woman. She is also the first person born in independent India to become the President: She was born on June 20, Ranveer does not care a fig Is Salman pressing for an arms licence? T hat celebs are narcissists is an open secret. The love for the arc lights invariably gets better of their innate longing for privacy So, there is . nothing like going full Monty for the shutterbugs. It is not surprising then that Ranveer Singh, who is known to dress up to look like a Christmas tree, did a nude photoshoot for PAPER magazine. Predictably , his pictures went viral. In the pictures, Ranveer has stripped down to nothing, as he poses on a Turkish rug. According to TAILPIECE media report, the spectacle was inspired by Burt Reynolds, who did a similar shoot for Cosmopolitan magazine. Speaking with the magazine, the actor bared his soul. “It’s so easy for me to be physically naked, but in some of my performances I’ve been damn f******g naked. You can see my f******g soul. How naked is that? That’s being actually naked. I can be naked in front of a thousand people, I don’t give a s**t. It’s just that they get uncomfortable.” LAST WORD STAFF REPORTER MUMBAI Actor Salman Khan on Friday visited the Mumbai Police headquarters, located opposite Crawford Market in south Mumbai, to meet senior police officers to discuss several issues, including an arms licence that he had applied for earlier and a recent case pertaining to a death threat to him and his father. According to police sources, Khan reached the headquarters compound in Crawford Market around 3.30 p.m. on Friday and met Mumbai Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar as well as Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Vishwas Nangre Patil. Khan left around 40 minutes after he arrived, and did not speak to the media on his way out. A senior Mumbai Police officer said that the discussion between the actor and the top cops revolved around the recent case, where a death threat was received by him and his father, as well as an arms licence that he had sought from the Mumbai Police sev- eral months ago. The actor reportedly made a fresh plea that his application be approved in light of the recent death threat. In June this year, the Bandra police had registered an FIR against unknown persons after Salman’s father, Salim Khan, found a handwritten letter at Bandstand. The letter was placed on a bench where the older Khan would usually sit after his morning walk, and warned that the father and son duo would soon meet the same fate as murdered singer Sidhu Moosewala. The investigation was subsequently transferred to the Mumbai Police Crime Branch, while the Khan family’s security was stepped up. Salman had earlier received a threat from gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, who is also accused of Moosewala’s murder, after the actor was charged for poaching a black buck. The animal is regarded as sacred by the Bishnoi community. However, when the Free Press Journal contacted Phansalkar, he denied that Khan’s arms licence application was discussed in the meeting.