A year after declaring bankruptcy, Anil Ambani’s offshore dealings worth $1.3 bn leaked

News Network
October 4, 2021

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A year after declaring bankruptcy to a UK court, the Pandora Papers report showed that Reliance ADAG chief Anil Ambani, along with his representatives, has at least 18 offshore companies located in Jersey, Cyprus and other companies, securing wealth in tax havens across the world.

The Indian Express, in a joint investigation led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, reported that of these 18 companies set up between 2007 and 2010, seven have received loans from bank guaranteed by Reliance/Anil Ambani and invested nearly $1.3 billion.

Batiste Unlimited and Radium Unlimited, Ambani’s companies in Jersey, were incorporated between December 2007 and January 2008 and are owned by Reliance Innoventures Pvt Ltd.

Other Jersey companies Summerhill Ltd and Dulwich Ltd are owned by a “representative of Anil Ambani”. Laurence Mutual; Richard Equity Ltd and German Equity Ltd are also based in Jersey and linked to Ambani.

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Agencies
November 20,2021

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New Delhi, Nov 20: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have caved in to farmers' demands that he scraps laws they say threaten their livelihoods.

But the reaction to the shock U-turn in the northern states, where Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faces key elections next year, has been less than positive, a worrying sign for a leader seeking to maintain his grip on national politics.

In Uttar Pradesh's Mohraniya, farmer Guru Sevak Singh said that he and others like him lost faith in Modi and his party.

"Today Prime Minister Modi realised that he was committing blunder, but it took him a year to recognise this and only because he now knows farmers will not vote for his party ever again," said Singh.

For the young farmer, the matter is deeply personal.

Singh's 19-year-old brother Guruvinder was killed in October when a car ploughed into a crowd protesting against the farm legislation, one of eight people who died in a spate of violence related to the farmers' uprising.

Thousands of agricultural workers have protested outside New Delhi and beyond for more than a year, shrugging off the pandemic to disrupt traffic and pile pressure on Modi and the BJP who say the new laws were key to modernising the sector.

"Today I can announce that my brother is a martyr," Singh told Reuters, weeping as he held a picture of his dead brother.

"My brother is among those brave farmers who sacrificed their lives to prove that the government was implementing laws to destroy the agrarian economy," he added.

Around him were several police officers, who Singh said were provided after his brother and three others were killed by the car. Ashish Mishra, son of MoS Ajay, is in police custody in relation to the incident.

Ajay Mishra Teni said at the time that his son was not at the site and that a car driven by "our driver" had lost control and hit the farmers after "miscreants" pelted it with stones and attacked it with sticks and swords.

'How can we forget?'

In 2020, the Modi government passed three farm laws in a bid to overhaul the agriculture sector that employs about 60 per cent of India's workforce but is deeply inefficient, in debt and prone to pricing wars.

Angry farmers took to the streets, saying the reforms put their jobs at risk and handed control over crops and prices to private corporations.

The resulting protest movement became one of the country's biggest and most protracted.

Leaders of six farmer unions who spearheaded the movement in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab states said they would not forgive a government that labelled protesting farmers as terrorists and anti-nationals.

"Farmers were beaten with sticks, rods and detained for demanding legitimate rights ... farmers were mowed down by a speeding car belonging to a minister's family ... tell me how can we forget it all?" said Sudhakar Rai, a senior member of a farmers' union in Uttar Pradesh.

Rai said at least 170 farmers were killed during anti-farm law protests across the country. There are no official data to verify his claims.

A senior BJP member who declined to be named said the decision to repeal the laws was taken by Modi after he consulted a top farmers' association affiliated to his party.

The politician, who was at the meeting when the party agreed to back down, said those present conceded the BJP had failed to communicate the benefits of the new laws clearly enough.

Leaders of the opposition and some analysts said Modi's move was linked to state elections next year in Uttar Pradesh - which accounts for more parliamentary seats than any other state - and Punjab.

"What cannot be achieved by democratic protests can be achieved by the fear of impending elections!" wrote P. Chidambaram, a senior figure in the opposition Congress party, on Twitter.

But farmers like Singh warned that the government could pay a price for its treatment of farmers.

"We are the backbone of the country and Modi has today accepted that his policies were against farmers," said Singh. "I lost my brother in this mess and no one can bring him back."

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News Network
November 30,2021

Udupi, Nov 30: A mechanical diploma student of Dr TMA Pai Polytechnic, Manipal, Udupi has ended his life by hanging himself in the paying guest accommodation.

The deceased has been Sunil Kumar (18), a native of Byndoor. He was staying at Charvik PG in Manipal for last one month.

Victim’s paternal uncle Shivaraya Poojary in his complaint said that Sunil was not interested to stay in the PG but his parents had advised him to stay put in the PG for a year as he was expected to get hostel accommodation in the next year.

Manipal police have registered a case under section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code and launched investigation.

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News Network
November 17,2021

Mangaluru, Nov 17: The district administrations of Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu have sounded high alert following the reports of Norovirus cases in Kerala’s Wayanad. 

The Norovirus infection was reported among 13 students of a veterinary college in Wayanad district and at least a dozen more are said to have been showing the symptoms.

The district administrations of Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada, which share a border with Kerala, have instructed the field surveillance staff to safeguard water sources shared at a community level like community wells. Consuming drinking water disinfected with chlorine has been advised.

Kodagu administration acknowledged the disease it is highly contagious but the Dakshina Kannada administration said pre-emptive screening was not possible unless people show symptoms like nausea, diarrhea or vomiting. The district administrations have also advised the students not to eat stale food from hotels around college campuses.

Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Anyone can get infected and sick with Norovirus. One can get Norovirus from having direct contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated food or water, or from touching contaminated surfaces and then putting one’s unwashed hands in one’s mouth.

Dakshina Kannada District Health Officer Dr Kishore Kumar said, “It’s a zoonotic virus and can spread through contaminated food. If anyone has symptoms similar to gastroenteritis like stomach pain and diarrhea, their family members at home are most likely to be infected too as Norovirus spreads through touch of unwashed hands.

Dr Venkatesh R, District Health Officer, Kodagu, said, “It mainly comes from stale food and contaminated water. We can treat stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting. We will be chlorinating water regularly as ours is a border district. Norovirus is rare but is highly contagious and the infected students in Kerala were living outside the college hostel. NIV Alappuzha confirmed it.

If we find any symptoms like fever and stomach pain we will test people here. We will be shortly issuing a circular asking people drink only lukewarm water. We need to give instructions to hotels to serve only freshly cooked food. Many visitors from Wayanad mostly go to Mysuru.”

Dr K H Prasad, District Health officer, Mysuru, said, “Bavali in HD Kote is the only check-post between Wayanad and Mysuru. Every day up to 200 vehicles take this route. We will be doing temperature surveillance of visitors to see if they’re feverish. We also screen Wayanad visitors coming in from Chamarajanagar’s Gundlupet to Mysuru’s tourist attractions.” 

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