‘New mosque in Ayodhya will be of same size as Babri Masjid; will house hospital and library’

News Network
September 5, 2020

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New Delhi, Sept 5: A mosque that will come up in Ayodhya pursuant to the Supreme Court verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi case will be of the same size as Babri Masjid, said an office-brearer of the trust formed for its construction.

The five-acre complex in Ayodhya's Dhannipur village will also house a hospital, a library and a museum among others, the office-bearer said, adding that retired professor and noted food critic Pushpesh Pant will be consultant curator of the museum.

"...the complex of the mosque, which will be built in Dhannipur, will also have facilities like a hospital, a museum at the Indo-Islamic Research Centre. The mosque will be on 15,000 square feet, while the rest of the land will have these facilities," Athar Hussain, the secretary and spokesperson of Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF), told PTI on Saturday.

"Yesterday, noted food critic Pushpesh Pant gave his consent to curate the museum," Hussain said.

The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board has formed the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF), a trust, for the construction of the mosque on the five-acre plot.

Hussain said Professor S M Akhtar of Jamia Millia Islamia will be the consultant architect of the project.

Akhtar, the Head of the Department of Architecture at Jamia Millia Islamia, told PTI earlier that the entire complex will "bring together the ethos of India and the spirit of Islam".

The Uttar Pradesh government allotted the five-acre plot in Ayodhya's Dhannipur village for the construction of the mosque on the directive of the Supreme Court.

After a protracted legal tussle, the Supreme Court had on November 9 last year ruled in favour of the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot an alternative five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a new mosque at a "prominent" place in the holy town in Uttar Pradesh.

The mosque in Ayodhya was demolished on December 6, 1992 by 'kar sevaks' who claimed that an ancient Ram temple stood at the same site.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the 'bhoomi pujan' ceremony to begin the construction of the Ram temple on August 5.

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News Network
February 1,2023

Mobile phones and TV sets manufactured in India would become cheaper with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announcing cuts in Basic Customs Duty (BCD) on import of their components but smokers would have to pay more as the government has increased taxes.

Fully imported cars, including electric vehicles, and those assembled in India with imported parts will also become costlier with the finance minister increasing customs duty.

These items will become costlier:

Cigarettes

Kitchen chimney

Imported bicycles and toys

Fully imported cars and Electric Vehicles

Imitation jewellery

Compounded rubber

Silver dores

Naphtha

These goods will become cheaper as the government has slashed the customs duty:

Domestically-manufactured TV sets

Shrimp feed

Fish lipid oil used in manufacturing aquatic feed

Seeds for lab-grown diamonds

Capital good

Machinery for manufacturing lithium ion cell to be used in electric vehicles.

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News Network
February 3,2023

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Mumbai, Feb 3: The brutal stock rout in Gautam Adani’s companies continued Friday, an indication that the billionaire needs to do more to restore confidence in his conglomerate’s financial health after accusations of fraud by Hindenburg Research.

The group’s 10 stocks all fell in early Mumbai trading, with $120 billion, or more than half of their combined value, erased since the US-based short seller last week claimed that offshore shell entities were used to inflate Adani group’s revenues and manipulate stock prices. Flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd. sank as much as 25%, taking its decline to 66% in seven trading sessions.

The continued slump reflects worries about Adani’s access to funding after the tycoon scrapped a key stock offering this week, and as long-held concerns about the group’s debt load were propelled onto the global stage by Hindenburg. The embattled tycoon is in talks with creditors to prepay some loans backed by pledged shares, as some banks stopped accepting the securities of the group that spans from ports to energy as collateral in client trades.

“Clearing of pledges may not help. Now the only point is investors are not just interested in clearing pledges, they want concrete plans and actions,” said Sameer Kalra, founder of Target Investing in Mumbai. “The use of every rupee on balance sheet is critical now. There are a lot of stakeholders.”

The crisis of confidence in Adani has become a national issue with opposition lawmakers disrupting parliament on Thursday to demand answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, given how closely his interests are intertwined with the nation’s growth plans. Government officials have sought to downplay the impact.

Hindenburg Research last week accused the Adani group of “brazen” market manipulation and accounting fraud, claiming that a web of Adani-family controlled offshore shell entities in tax havens were used to facilitate corruption, money laundering and taxpayer theft.

The conglomerate has repeatedly denied the allegations, called the report “bogus,” and threatened legal action. Adani gave a video speech on Thursday stating that the group’s balance sheet is healthy.

The conglomerate has repeatedly denied the allegations, called the report “bogus,” and threatened legal action. Adani gave a video speech on Thursday stating that the group’s balance sheet is healthy.

In a reprieve for Adani, who has seen his personal fortune drop by $58 billion since the allegations, the group’s bonds rallied Friday after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. told some clients that the debt can offer value due to the strength of certain assets. All 15 dollar debt securities advanced, partly helped by news that Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd. has made a coupon payment on schedule.

Meanwhile, banks have been tightening scruty on Adani companies’ securities. Units of Credit Suisse Group AG and Citigroup Inc. earlier this week stopped accepting some securities issued by Adani’s companies as collateral for margin loans to wealthy clients.

Separately, Lord Jo Johnson, the former Conservative minister and brother of former UK prime minister Boris Johnson, has resigned as a director of Elara Capital, a London-based firm embroiled in the controversy at the Adani empire, the Financial Times reported. The firm was one of the 10 bookrunners on the record share sale that Adani Enterprises abruptly abandoned earlier this week.

Adani’s proposed loan prepayment would see lenders release some of the stock in the group’s companies that was pledged as collateral, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter. The Indian group hasn’t faced margin calls on these pledges and is seeking the prepayment proactively, the person added.

“Markets are looking for clarity on allegations and are likely not calmed via clearing of pledges,” said Nitin Chanduka, a strategist with Bloomberg Intelligence.

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News Network
January 24,2023

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Ramallah, Jan 24: A Palestinian man shot dead by Israeli soldiers last week posed no threat or danger, the Israeli army has openly admitted.

Ahmed Kahla, 46, from Ramon, near Silwad in the occupied West Bank, was shot in the neck from close range at a military checkpoint on Jan. 15.

The Israeli army initially claimed that Kahla had been shot because he got out of his car with a knife in his hand and ran toward soldiers with the intention of stabbing them.

Kahla’s son Qusai, 20, who was with his father at the time, said their car was stopped at the checkpoint and a soldier fired a stun grenade that hit the roof of the vehicle. When Kahla asked why they were being attacked, an officer used pepper spray on him and pulled him from the vehicle before the soldier shot him dead.

An army investigation found that Kahla had no intention of carrying out a stabbing attack and “the incident should not have ended in death.”

The victim’s brother Zayed, 45, said: “They killed him for no reason. We will take all measures to prosecute them.” The family intends to seek financial compensation from the army in the Israeli courts, and will also go to the International Criminal Court.

“We realize that their trial will not bring our brother Ahmed back to life, but we want them to pay the price for their crime,” Zayed said. “We want to deter them from killing more Palestinians in cold blood and without reason.”

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