Notice Board

Bid to smuggle in 20,000 pills foiled

KUWAIT: Customs officials foiled an attempt to smuggle 20,000 pills of Tramadol, made by an Arab expat who tried to smuggle the drugs in a new way by wrapping pieces of cloth around his legs. General Director of customs praised the customs officials for their effort and for following the new inspection procedure. Customs supervisor Sulaiman Al-Fahad said the female customs inspectors proved their mettle with the success of the operation. The suspect and the drugs were sent to the authorities concerned.

Diesel smuggling Customs sources revealed that some customs officials foiled an attempt to smuggle diesel in a trailer on its way to Kuwait through Al-Abdaly border point. The sources said Abdaly customs have sent a sample of petroleum products to Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) in order to verify whether those products are allowed to be exported from Kuwait. The customs officials stopped the trailer at the border before it was to leave Kuwait. The driver, who is an Asian expat, said the products he was carrying were allowed to be exported from the state and that he was working for a company that specialized in transporting oil products.                                                                                                                                               -KT

Four Indian warships on overseas deployment

NEW DELHI: India has dispatched four warships, including a frontline destroyer and a stealth frigate, on a long overseas deployment through the strategic Malacca Strait to Malaysia,Vietnam and Philippines.

The four warships from the country's Eastern Fleet — stealth frigate INS Satpura, guided-missile destroyer INS Ranvijay, missile corvette INS Kirch and fleet tanker INS Shakti - will make port calls at Klang in Malaysia, Da Nang in Vietnam and Manila in Philippines before returning to India towards end-June. Eastern Fleet commander Rear Admiral P Ajit Kumar is leading the flotilla.

"Constructive engagement is our principle weapon during peacetime. The idea is to enhance security and stability in the entire Indian Ocean Region (IOR) by engaging with regional and extra-regional maritime powers," said a senior officer.

India, of course, is also building strong maritime security bridges with countries like Japan and Vietnam in a bid to counter China's "string of pearls" maritime construct in the IOR.

Incidentally, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is currently inTokyo, said on Tuesday that India shares with Japan a strong strategic interest in expanding cooperation on maritime security and promoting regional stability.

India views Japan as a "natural and indispensable partner" in the quest for stability and peace in Asia. Ensuring sea lanes remain open and free is vital for the region's prosperity, given its dependence on oil imports from the Middle East, he added.

India feels its central location in the Indian Ocean, astride major commercial routes and energy lifelines like the Malacca Strait, makes it a major stakeholder in the region's security and stability.

Just last week, while laying the foundation stone of the Indian National Defence University, the PM had held that India was "situated at the strategic crossroads of Asia and astride one of the busiest sea lanes of the world".

While exuding confidence about India's growing military might, Singh said, "We have also deepened political, economic and strategic relationships in the Asia Pacific, Indian Ocean and West Asian regions."

"We have also sought to assume our responsibility for stability in the IOR. We are well positioned, therefore, to become a net provider of security in our immediate region and beyond," he added.                                                                                                                                 -TOI


MoI and MoD sent 2,798 for treatment abroad in a year

KUWAIT: Nearly 2,800 Kuwaitis were sent for treatment abroad on trips paid by two ministries in the course of one year, a local newspaper reported quoting official statistics. MP Askar Al-Enizy had sent two separate requests to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Ahmad Al-Khalid Al-Sabah, as well as First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah, to provide the number of people sent abroad for treatment by their respective ministries between January 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013. Al-Rai newspaper published the defense minister’s response yesterday, which indicates that 1143 were sent by his ministry during the specified period.

The number includes 558 people sent to London, 254 to France, 111 to Thailand, 69 to the United States, 39 to Saudi Arabia, 16 to the United Arab Emirates, ten to Jordan, two to Cairo, one to Lebanon and one to the Czech Republic, in addition to 37 sent to private hospitals in Kuwait. The defense minister’s response further explains that the patients were sent for treatment of complicated conditions that included heart diseases, arteriovenous malformation, organ transplants, chronic diseases, brain tumor and neurosurgery, cancer, and serious injuries resulting from accidents.

The minister added that the number of applications submitted during the specified period reached 2058, of which 914 were rejected. Meanwhile, Al-Rai’s report also quoted Sheikh Al-Hmoud’s answer which indicates that the Interior Ministry sent 1655 people for treatment between January 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013. They included 817 sent to London, 306 to France, 172 to the United Arab Emirates, 127 to Saudi Arabia, 54 to Jordan, 35 to the United States, 23 to Germany, nine to Egypt, two to Lebanon in addition to 110 to private hospitals in Kuwait. The minister also indicated that his ministry received 3111 applications during the specified period. —Al-Rai

DGCA to allow pilots to take nap during long flights

NEW DELHI: The next time you hear snoring sound on the public announcement system of a long flight, don't be surprised. Pilots are soon going to be allowed to take a nap — at the wheels in the cockpit — for up to 40 minutes on long flights when the aircraft is cruising and not during ascending or descending phases.

The pilot and co-pilot will be allowed to sleep only one at a time and when one of them is napping, the cabin crew in charge will call up the awake pilot every 20 minutes (during night) and every half an hour (during day) to ensure that the other person also does not join the snoring. It will be allowed on at least three hour long flights.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is proposing to make this change based on best practices abroad, subject to strict conditions. Aviation regulators in US, Canada, Europe, UK, Hong Kong and many other developed countries allow this "controlled rest" as studies have shown that this to be a "another line of defence to manage fatigue risks. This practice was allowed after a Nasastudy in 1992 showed a pilot was likely to be more alert if he or she takes a short nap during the non-critical phase of a flight.

"Controlled rest will be at the discretion of the captain and by only one flight crew at a time in the operating seat. (It will be allowed in cruise phase when) weather conditions are benign and weather-related deviation is not required," the draft civil aviation requirement issued byDGCA says. The commander can end the co-pilot's controlled sleet at any time as per flight requirement.

"The resting pilot shall keep his seat belt and harness fastened and move the seat aft to such a position that unintentional interference with controls is minimized... During controlled rest, the non-resting captain cannot leave his seat for any reason," the draft says. This rest will be allowed on long flights after the aircraft is at cruise altitude and will be terminated half an hour before descent begins.

Senior pilots welcome this move as they say this happens even now. "A few minutes' sleep is very freshening. This is still happening in cockpits when one pilot goes to sleep and the other remains alert. But at present, the sleep is not peaceful as pilots know this is something that is not allowed. The DGCA move to officially allow it in cruise phase is welcome," said a senior training captain.                              -TOI



Gulfmart Inaugurates 19th Branch in Khaitan

Gulfmart Inaugurates 19th Branch in Khaitan

Gulfmart inaugurates 19th branch in Khaitan


Gulfmart, the fastest growing retail chain in Kuwait further expanded its reach on Monday 27 May with the launch of their 19th branch, which is their second in Khaitan.

Following the soft launch in the morning, Mrs. Preethi Mehta, the wife of His Excellency Satish Mehta, the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait, cut the ribbon to officially inaugurate the mini-market at 7pm amidst loyal customers, well-wishers and top Gulfmart management.

The new branch, as all the others, is dressed in the brand’s refreshing green hues — an image that was adopted late last year as part of Gulfmart’s reinvigorated, dynamic façade that is based on its underlying policy of fresh product.

“With the opening of yet another outlet, one that is over 10,000 square feet, Gulfmart continues to express its commitment to its patrons and its gratitude for their support and cooperation over the years,” said Dr. Remesh T A, Country Head of Gulfmart.

The outlet carries products that cater to all segments of the community in Khaitan with fresh produce, dairy, meat as well as beauty products from a wide variety of brands.

Arif Sheikh, Director of Gulfmart Group, said, “We are extremely thankful to all our customers who have patronized Gulfmart over the years. By opening our 19th branch in Khaitan, we are meeting the long-standing demand by customers in this area for easy access to quality products at affordable prices.”

The retailer has plans for several more outlets in the coming months in different size formats to suit the needs of customers in different areas across Kuwait, proposing to take the total Gulfmart branches to 25 by end of 2013.

Dr. Remesh said, “In the immediate future, the 20th branch — the third in Fahaheel — of 30,000 sq ft will be inaugurated in June. The next outlet in the pipeline will be the third in Hawally.”

The management team at Gulfmart expresses the view that the new branch in Khaitan is in response to clearly defined needs of customers in the area, and that the mini-supermarket format would prove to be as successful as the other outlets opened in various locations. Gulfmart continues to presenting customers in niche residential areas with enormous value through wide selection, competitive prices and excellent service, along with great offers and superb promotions.


3 more suspected bookies linked to Ajit Chandila held

3 more suspected bookies linked to Ajit Chandila held
New Delhi: Three more suspected bookies linked with disgraced cricketer Ajit Chandila were arrested Monday in connection with the IPL spot-fixing scandal with investigators claiming the trio were in touch with him for allegedly manupulating matches.

Bhupender Nagar was apprehended from Greater Noida this evening while Sayed Durez Ahmed and Sunil Saxena were apprehended from Hyderabad.

They were produced before a duty magistrate who sent them to three days police custody, court officials said.

Investigators claimed the three arrested persons were part of a fourth set of bookies Chandila, who is already in police custody, was in touch with and the player has been paid Rs 70 lakh by all of them.

Chandila had got Rs 25 lakh from one set, Rs 15 lakh from another, Rs nine lakh from a third set and Rs 21 lakh from the fourth set, police sources said.

With these arrests, Delhi Police have so far arrested 22 people, including three cricketers S Sreesanth, Chandila and Ankit Chavan.

Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals teammates Ankit Chavan and Chandila were arrested in Mumbai by Delhi police for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing in IPL matches for payments up to Rs 60 lakhs for giving away pre-determined number of runs in an over.
-Manorama Online

Charge for ‘helper’ up as crackdown continues

Charge for ‘helper’ up as crackdown continues
KUWAIT: Hasawi and Jleeb used to be the go-to places for hiring marginal labour if you want to paint your house or add bricks to your wall. This is not the case anymore. In the past two weeks, the places once flocked by labourers look abandoned since the government’s crackdown on illegal workers started. Kamil is one of those workers who used to wait by the side of the road every day to get part-time employment on a construction project in someone’s house.

Kamil, a Bangladeshi helper, is now trapped in his house and avoiding places frequented by authorities. Police nowadays are stopping cars and buses, as well as checking worksites, to sniff out illegal expatriates. “I have a friend who was caught by the police early this month and was deported. He was living illegally in Kuwait. He was caught on the bus while returning home.

Then, he was detained for some days – and now he is back home in Bangladesh,” Kamil said. “I don’t want to end up like him, so I don’t go out,” he added. Kamil’s residency status is legal; he is a 20 Visa holder. But 20 Visa now allows holders to work in domestic environments, in the capacity of gardener, family cook and driver.

If holders of 20 visa are caught working outside their respective sponsors, they will be subjected to deportation. “That is why I am very careful nowadays. As long as possible, I don’t want to be checked by police because I just got this visa. Because I already got this (visa), whatever happens to me is not the responsibility of my sponsor anymore and they’ll never intervene,” he said.

In Salmiya, particularly at Shara Amman (Amman Street), a place where plenty of labourers such as cleaners, helpers and even construction workers could be found earlier, is now virtually empty. “They were coming only for some extra money and some of them were illegal workers-but now they are hardly found. There are some who turn up but are very careful,” a source from a Bakala nearby told Kuwait Times. The ongoing crackdown is affecting low-income expatriates.

Many of them had entered Kuwait through bogus employers or companies, and are now facing difficulties in defending their rights. Another per-hour employee has a similar destiny. Muhamad Rahim was working as truck driver in Shuwaikh. He is a legal worker and is never afraid to be checked by the police. But he has a complaint. Hiring helpers is an expensive affair, and they are also hard to find. “We used to have many Bangladeshi helpers in this place who were helping us do our job fast and easy. Now, besides being expensive, they are also hard to find.

They are not coming here now like they used to a few weeks back,” admitted Rahim, who is stationed at the Shuwaikh Industrial area. Rahim, a full-time driver and a holder of Visa 18, is working with a private transport company and driving a waneet (4X4 truck). He says, “The holders of 20 Visa are not allowed to work as helpers, so they are very much afraid of the police and are not coming now.”

By Ben Garcia, Kuwait Times Staff
-Kuwait Times

Smashing Victory of India International School in class XII CBSE Exams.

Smashing Victory of India International School in class XII CBSE Exams.


India International School takes in pride to proclaim cent percent results in the Senior Secondary Examinations, for the academic year 2012-2013 conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi. Out of the 27 students who appeared for this exam, 19 students are from Science stream and 8 students are from Commerce stream.

IIS rejoices at this epoch-making victory of our diligent students and gratifies in announcing the names of the school toppers who carved a niche and added glory to the school.

In the Science stream, Munazza Sharafuddin proved her mettle with an aggregate of 90.6% and in the Commerce stream Fathimath Rishana  achieved distinction with an aggregate of 81.4

 The subject toppers in Science stream  are as follows.

English                                            Munazza Sharafuddin                95

                                                         Sandhya Suresh                        95

                                                         Shema Ashraf                            95

Physics                                            Farheen Sabah                         83

Chemistry                                        Shema Ashraf                           91

Maths                                               Munazza Sharafuddin               95

Computer Science                         Sayed Tauseef                          88

Biology                                            Munazza Sharafuddin                95

                                                         Shema Ashraf                            95

                                                         Adeeba Abdul Azeez                  95

Informatics                                      Mariyam Niyas                           95

The Subject toppers in Commerce stream are  as follows.

English                                            F. Rishana                                  93

Accountancy                                   M.Joheri Salim                            80      

Business Studies                           M.Joheri Salim                            82

Economics                                       F.Rishana                                   87

Informatics                                      Shaima L.                                    95

                                                          F.Rishana                                   95


Mr.Malayil Moosa Koya Director of the school, Principal F.M.Basheer Ahmed, Sr.Vice-principal, Vice-principals and Staff  congratulated the students for their commendable performance.

Adeeba.jpg Farheen Sabah.jpg Fathima Mariyam.jpg Munazza.jpg Rishana.jpg Salim.jpg Sandhya.jpg Shaima.jpg Shema Ashraf.jpg Tauseef.jpg




‘Repeat Offenders Face Ouster

Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs Major General AbdulFatah Al-Ali affirmed the ministry respects and takes pride in all residents, as well as full obligation to uphold human rights principles on both citizens and expatriates.

In a press release, Major General Al-Ali also stated the ministry is proud of the role played by the committees, organizations and activists in human rights aspect. He stressed that news circulating in the newspapers and social networking sites condemning the ministry on the recent deportation of foreigners for what they termed ‘ordinary violation of the traffic rules’ differ from the reality, and that field operations prove these allegations as false.

Major Gen Al-Ali pointed out that traffic policemen are continuing their field operations to monitor the traffic at intersections, the main streets and any place there is commercial and human gathering in their comprehensive, well-informed and planned traffic operations which will restore order on the roads in the short and long term. He noted these operations will continue, taking into consideration status of the place and nature of the area. “In return, we expect entire establishments and state authorities- both in the government and private sectors, and road users to be ardent and observe the rules and regulations governing traffic, and cooperate with the traffic police who are working around the clock under difficult and tough weather conditions”, he noted.

He also said those who are deported due to traffic violations were caught directly by traffic police patrol and not surveillance camera, and that traffic records had shown they repeated serious traffic violations, including excessive speeding, recklessness and indifference to law, which put their own lives and others in danger.

He revealed that officers have recorded 75,026 citations, of which 42,854 pertained to excessive speeding and 10,412 for crossing red signal, since the start of recent major traffic campaigns. This is clear evidence of the seriousness of traffic campaigns to restore order on the roads, affirming the number of violators who have been deported is not measured by the number of violations recorded.
“It really hurts, as a traffic policeman, seeing the loss of innocent souls; fathers, wives, children and sometimes entire families, due to the recklessness of those who don’t care and indifference to the laws of traffic, but we’re determined and will do our best to restore order”, he reiterated.                                                                                                                                                        -AT

New Raids In Capital, Ahmadi, Jahra & Jleeb Net 491 Illegals

Ahmadi securitymen arrested 51 people wanted by law and 167 others without civil ID cards in a recent campaign across the governorate, during which 12 vehicles were impounded, in addition to seizure of 222 bottles of local liquor.
The General Security Sector indicated the campaign will continue around the clock to arrest those who disregard the country’s rules and regulations.
Meanwhile, security operatives from Capital headed by Major General Tariq Hamada arrested 105 people for various offenses during an operation they conducted at Souk Al-Safafeer in Sharq Industrial Area, Sharq area, Mubarakiya, and other places. 
Meanwhile, in their continuing campaign against vice, officers from Jahra and Farwaniya Security Directorates led by Major General Ibrahim Al-Tarrah have apprehended 43 individuals without identification documents in Jahra, and seized 10 mobile groceries and 11 vehicles, while 34 citations were issued against various traffic offenses. 
Meanwhile, 125 residency law violators and individuals wanted for civil and criminal offenses were arrested in Jleeb Al Shuyoukh. All suspects were referred to the concerned authority without delay.

Raids to continue: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor has affirmed that sudden inspection campaigns to arrest residence and labor laws violators will continue unabated, reports Al-Seyassah daily.
The daily quoting the ministry officials said 129 expatriate workers (male and female) who were arrested last week have been deported to their respective countries.
Coordinator of the inspection team at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor Jalal Al-Kout said in a press statement according to directives issued by the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and direct instructions from the Undersecretary of the ministry Abdulmohsen Al-Mutairi, the ministry in cooperation with the Interior will continue sudden inspection campaigns on beauty and massage parlors and cafés and shops. The violators will be deported, he said.
He was quoted as saying, the ministry will not be lenient the violator irrespective whether he is the employee or the employer. If the employer is found guilty, the ministry will close the company file and deport the employee.

70 expats held: The Sabah Al-Nasser police led by Lieutenant-Colonel Majed Al-Adwani organized intensive crackdown campaign against violators of law and arrested 70 expatriates for violating residence law, reports Al-Rai daily.
Among those arrested are three people who had been sentenced in absentia. They have been handed over to the Sentences Enforcement Department and others to the concerned authorities. -AT

Indian Community Chiefs Write To Ambassador, Top Leaders

The crackdown on residence and traffic violators in Kuwait is turning into harassment of lawful residents, disrupting lives of innocents in areas densely populated by expatriates, says Indian community leaders, who have sent a letter to the Indian embassy and high level political leaders in India complaining about the situation.

The letter was dispatched to the Ambassador of India to Kuwait, Satish C Mehta, Chief Minister of Kerala, Oomen Chandi, Norka Minister of Kerala, KC Joseph, Minister of NRI Affairs, Vaylar Ravi, and Minister of State for External Affairs, E Ahmed. 

Speaking to the Arab Times one of the complainants said that in the past few days, the police have been raiding various places, especially Jleeb Al Shuyoukh, where a majority of Indian citizens are residing. “Many of them have been arrested even when holding valid residencies.

“The police do not even care to cross-check their residency status, and are apprehending the victims by putting them in different jails whose locations are sometimes unknown to the sponsors for a few days.
“People with serious medical conditions have to stay without medicines or proper healthcare.”
Giving examples, he stated that policemen arrested two of his employees Friday night during working hours without requesting for or checking the legality of their documents. 

“Likewise the employees of the neighboring shops have also been victimized. All of them hold valid residences of their respective shops. This is harassment, and this would affect all our businesses.
“Moreover if one travels along with a friend, the driver of the car is arrested on charges of running illegal taxi entailing in arrest, cancellation of license and deportation.”

Further he alleged that policemen barge into the homes of Indians at night questioning men, women and children alike, “which has created panic in the area.

“Our community is terrified to come out of their homes, due to the baseless arrests and harassments by the police.”

The community leader appreciates the need to root out law breakers and residence violators from the country, but takes issue with what he calls the improper means of doing it, affecting even law abiding expatriates.

Other expatriates speaking to the Arab Times said that they prefer staying indoors even on weekends, “because of fear. We have our documents in place, but we are scared that we could get arrested on flimsy grounds.”

Another resident in the area said that one of his friends went to work in the morning. “His family received a call from him in the evening with news that he has reached India. He was deported with lightning effect for traffic violation.”

Expatriates complained that the authorities are only keen on sending back expatriates to bring about a balance in the state’s demographics. “They are just searching for a fig leaf to carry out that task, and are not concerned about the fairness of it.”

All the respondents that Arab Times spoke to felt that deportation for traffic violations is against the principles of human rights.                                                                                                 -AT


Electricity consumption hits 10,050 megawatts

KUWAIT: Kuwait recorded the highest electricity load this year on Sunday at 10,050 megawatts with temperatures beginning to rise, signaling the start of Kuwait’s hot and dry summer. Moreover, a Ministry of Electricity and Water official quoted yesterday by a local newspaper revealed that Sunday’s consumption rate exceeded the rate recorded on the same day last year by 600 megawatts. “The fact that consumption rates reached this level at this time of the year indicates that electricity production is likely going to barely meet expected record-breaking consumption rates this year,” said the source who spoke to Al-Rai on the condition of anonymity. Weather forecasts predicted temperatures to reach as high as 53 C degrees sometime this summer, mainly between the second half of July and the first half of August. “The MEW has plans to run all units at full capacity at that time to meet the projected demand,” the source assured.

Meanwhile, the source underlined the importance of signing the necessary contracts for the South Zoor and Subbiya power plants’ tenders, hoping that these can add 10,00 megawatts to the state’s production by next summer “when consumption is estimated to increase by eight percent.” Meanwhile, other ministry insiders blamed “a deficit in water production that resulted due to maintenance operations at the desalination units” as the reason behind water disconnections reported recently in Farwaniya and other places in Kuwait. “A number of units at the Shuaiba and West Doha plants were out of service due to required maintenance, which resulted in a deficit of 44 million imperial gallons of water when it came to the state’s daily production rate,” explained the sources who spoke to Al-Rai on the condition of anonymity. They added that the ministry resorted to the country’s strategic reserve of water in order to compensate this shortfall in production.— Al-Rai

Amir urges national unity

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, with the attendance of HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, attended yesterday a dinner banquet held in his honor by Falah bin Eid bin Jame’. In a brief speech on the occasion, the Amir expressed satisfaction to meet with his compatriots and urged Kuwaiti people to protect their national unity. “I am glad to meet my dear compatriots, from all walks of life, and around the table of brother Falah bin Eid bin Jame’,” the Amir said. “This meeting shows clearly the close and candid relations between Kuwaiti people and ruler.”

The Amir noted that the meeting, interaction and consultation between the ruler and people were long-respected traditions based on Kuwaiti people’s “religious teaching and democratic experience”. Sheikh Sabah urged Kuwaiti people to continue their hard work for the welfare and progress of their homeland. “The challenges we face are many and our ambitions and aspirations are great which require hard and sincere work for serving and achieving the prominence of our homeland.”

Sheikh Sabah underlined the importance of national unity among Kuwaitis. “I urge my compatriots to retain the one family spirit to protect national unity and to counter any attempt that aims to instigate sectarian or tribal sedition among Kuwaiti people,” he stressed. He called for upholding the state of law and the respect of judicial verdicts. “The law should be applied on all without any exception,” he said. The Amir reiterated his adherence to the democratic approach and respect of the state constitution. He thanked bin Jame’ for the kind invitation, and prayed to Allah the Almighty for Kuwait’s safety, glory and progress. – KUNA

Shukla’s quick-thinking driver saved the day with his Telugu

NEW DELHI: Veteran Congress leader V CShukla might well have met the same fate as his party colleagues Mahendra Karma and NandKumar Patel had it not been for his quick thinking driver's ability to speak Telugu. 

Speaking to TOI from Raipur, Bala, who survived the attack with a bullet wound, said he began shouting in Telugu as the heavily armedMaoists approached the SUV - a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado - claiming that Shukla was a businessman returning from Andhra Pradesh. 

The driver, who has been with Shukla for almost 10 years, hid the former Union minister's identity and maintained that Shukla was his 'Seth' caught in the Congress cavalcade but wasn't a politician. 

It is unclear how far the Maoists bought Bala's story but his speaking in Telugu might have had an effect on the Naxal leaders who are believed to be from Andhra Pradesh. 

In the event, the extremists spared a profusely bleeding Shukla when they pulled him out of the vehicle, refraining from injuring him further, unlike Patel and Karma who were found dead with several rounds of bullets fired into them. 

Bala narrated the sequence of events that ended in the carnage at Darbha. He said Shukla started a good half-an-hour after the cavalcade with other leaders left the Sukma rest house

"As we neared Jheerum ghati and began climbing it, we heard gun shots from behind and realized someone was firing at our vehicle tyres. Vidya bhaiyya asked me to speed up but we were fired at on every curve," Bala said. 

"Within minutes, we reached the cavalcade of vehicles of other leaders which was under heavy fire from all directions. With our SUV stuck in the narrow space, Vidya bhaiyya asked his PSO to jump out of the car and escape. Instead, the PSO took position below the vehicle and began shooting," Bala said. 

"VC asked us all to remain still and show no movement. We could see Naxals scanning each vehicle through binoculars from hill tops. But the firing continued, a bullet grazed me and hit VC. He was hit by more bullets which pierced the SUV," Bala recounted. 

He said that from his reclined driver's seat, he could see and hear the Maoists who checked every vehicle, yanked out survivors, took some into the jungle, shot some and asked others to run off. 

"As they neared our vehicle, I jumped out and shouted in Telugu not to shoot us. I told them I didn't know Hindi, could only speak in Telugu and my 'Seth' and other elders were inside, he was a businessman returning from Andhra Pradesh. I pleaded they should spare us," Bala recalled. 

Bala was marched off into the jungle where the extremists questioned him about his Andhra links. They instructed him to remain in the jungle while a team went back to the SUV, pulled out a dazed and bleeding Shukla and left him on the ground. Neither he nor other occupants of the car were attacked further while the PSO had already shot himself after he apparently apologized to Shukla for not being able to save him. 

It was almost two hours later when the rescue team led by the district SP arrived that Bala informed him that Shukla lay bleeding in his car. 

"The Naxals took away our mobiles. The SUV was in no position to move. The SP asked me to carry Shukla and other wounded in any vehicle of the convoy which could move so that he could be shifted to the ambulance stationed 2 km away. I then called Shukla's relative who is a doctor and Vaibhav Mishra in Raipur, his close aide. Later, I accompanied him to Raipur when he was airlifted," Bala said, adding he still could not believe he survived.                                                                                                                                                                -TOI

Reckless driver costs father KD3000

Kuwait: A Kuwaiti man had to pay KD3000 in speeding tickets for violations committed by his son using his car. While checking his traffic violations’ status online, the man was shocked to discover that he was required to pay KD3000 for multiple incidents of over speeding. He realized that his son was responsible for the violations after learning that all these violations were committed at the Second Ring Road which was his favorite driving destination. The man was given the option to contest the tickets in court but opted to pay instead in order to ensure that the suspension order imposed on his transactions at government departments was lifted.                                                                                                                         -KT

Traffic dept collects KD5 million in April – Year’s income from traffic violations could hit KD50 m

KUWAIT: Kuwait collected nearly KD5 million from traffic tickets last month, posting a significant increase that security sources attributed to the extensive campaigns led by the General Traffic Department during the past number of weeks.

The insiders who spoke to Al-Rai on the condition of anonymity believe that this year’s income from traffic violations could reach KD50 million, which will be nearly double the average annual revenue from traffic tickets, normally pegged between KD25 million and KD30 million.

The extra efforts by the General Traffic Department to collect dues from companies and individuals have also been credited by the source for encouraging quick payment of fines. “Fines reaching up to KD3000 have to be paid before any company or individual can finish transactions, including those about licenses, insurance, etc,” the sources said.

In other news, Minister of Communications Salem Al- Othaina announced that the ministry soon planned to introduce a new system that will help fight ‘theft of international phone signals,’ or cases in which people make calls internationally using methods other than those authorized by the ministry.

Al-Othaina, who is the also the Minister of Housing Affairs, did not provide details about the plan or how the system was going to “reduce the number of international calls made illegally,” a claim he made in a statement to Al-Qabas on Sunday. A report last March indicated that ‘theft of international calls’ costs the MOC at least KD50 million annually                                                                                                                                                   -KT

Amway top boses held over fraud

KOZHIKODE: Amway India chairman and managing directorWilliam S Pinckney and two directors of the direct selling firmwere arrested on Monday and charged with cheating and violation of laws dealing with chit funds. 

Pinckney, a US citizen, and the directors — Sanjay Malhotra and Anshu Budhraja — were arrested at the CB-CID office when they appeared for questioning. The accused have been charged under section 420 of Indian Penal Code (cheating) along with sections dealing with chit funds and the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978. 

The Wayanad Police had received four complaints against the firm. Although the three executives had obtained anticipatory bail in one case filed by Vishalakshi, for which they appeared for questioning, they were arrested on the basis of three complaints filed at another police station in the district. 

The three complainants — Jafar, T Ashraf and P Hareendran — had alleged that in 2002 Amway India attempted to collect money from them with the intention to deceive them by involving them in a money-chain scheme. 

In her complaint, Vishalakshi alleged that Amway agents collected Rs.3.5 lakh from her for products sold by the companies and asked her to add more members to the chain. As she could not add more members, she sought a refund but the agents refused. Following her complaint, last year, the Economic Offences Wing of CB-CID arrested Raj Kumar, who was in-charge of Amway's Kerala operations and seized products worth Rs 17 lakh. The three executives arrested on Monday had availed anticipatory bail from the Kerala High Court. 

In a statement, Amway said it is cooperating with the authorities. It pointed out that Pinckney and the two directors had received anticipatory bail on May 3 over a case filed in 2012 and that they have been taken into custody in another case filed in 2011. 

"We would like to clarify that with respect to the 2011 case, the company or its officials were not issued any summons to join the investigation not was any information sought by the police. The company management would have cooperated with respect to the 2011 matter as well, s we always have as a law abiding corporate citizen," Amway said in a statement. 

In addition, it said that along with industry bodies, it has been seeking an amendment to the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978, a law that is current under amendment at the Centre.                                                                                              -TOI

PF set to cover all pay, not jut basic

NEW DELHI: You may end up saving more in the months ahead with the Employees Provident Fund Organization(EPFO) readying to re-notify a new definition of "compensation" that will include all your allowances, amid intense lobbying against the move by industry bodies. 

Currently, employers get away by contributing only 12% of the basic salary and dearness allowance, which is not paid by most companies, towards their share of "matching" provident fund and the Employees Pension Scheme contribution. So, for several thousand employees, the basic salary remains constant, while increments are passed by way of enhanced or new allowances. In most cases, the tax liability for the employee goes up due to the salary hike — and companies earn tax credits on salary-related expenses — but the statutory provident fund contribution remains unchanged. 

As a result, EPFO notified the changes last year but had to withdraw the circular in the wake of protests from employers and the perception that take-home salaries would come down. Even now, industry is resisting the move but EPFO is expected to go ahead with the plan as a panel set up by the labour ministry to vet the proposal has endorsed it. 

The report is currently pending with the labour ministry but sources said the government will go ahead and notify the norms. To ensure that the proposal goes through without facing legal glitches, the EPFO board may also discuss and ratify it. 

Industry chambers have, however, not given up the fight against the move. Confederation of India Industry (CII) has already dashed off a four-page letter to labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge arguing that the plan should be deferred, while other industry bodies are expected to step up lobbying against the move. 

It has suggested that the matter is pending before the Supreme Court after a series of orders by high courts. When contacted, a CII executive said the move will reduce the investment options before an employee. "Someone may want to invest in a mutual fund scheme or buy shares. Besides, employees are happy getting allowances and if the move goes through, take-home salaries may come down," the executive said. Then, he argued for the corporate sector, saying some of the small and medium enterprises will face a higher financial burden. 

The lobby group is, however, backing another proposal that seeks to restrict reopening of cases beyond seven years, as it is meant to reduce harassment. 

Government officials, however, countered the industry argument on the new compensation definition, saying EPFO membership was mandatory only for employees earning Rs 6,500 a month. Anyone beyond that level could opt out. Although it may be difficult for several employers to give the opt-out option, reworking of the salary structure to ensure that the wage bill doesn't shoot up can be on the cards.    

Mumbai hospital advises doctors against prescribing Ranbaxy drugs

MUMBAI: A Mumbai hospital has put up a notice advising its doctors to avoid prescribing drugs manufactured by Ranbaxy Laboratories. This comes a fortnight after Ranbaxy Laboratories agreed to pay a $500-million penalty to US authorities for "selling adulterated drugs" in the American market. It is not known whether the two are linked. 

Consultants at Jaslok Hospital said an advisory was put up at the receptionist's circular desk four days ago. "The notice doesn't give any reason, but merely states that Ranbaxy medicines won't be available at the hospital and doctors should, as far as possible, not prescribe these drugs," said a senior doctor whoconsults at Jaslok. 

Ranbaxy is one of the biggest drug manufacturers in the country, having made a name for itself by producing generics. However, in 2008-09, the US Food and Drug Administration found the company had not followed adequate rules in manufacturing drugs meant for the American market. This resulted in a ban of around 30 Ranbaxy drugs. 

Jaslok Hospital authorities refused to give reasons for the "ban", despite several attempts to get a statement. There are indications that Ranbaxy officials have scheduled a meeting with Jaslok authorities on Tuesday, but Jaslok Hospital CEO Dr R R Pulgaonkar could not be contacted. His office said he had resumed work on Monday after a vacation. 

Other city hospitals have not taken similar steps. Hinduja Hospital medical director Gustad Daver said, "We haven't taken any decision on Ranbaxy drugs. If the Indian government makes a statement, we will follow it." 

But a consultant at Jaslok said, "Normally, one doesn't see an individual hospital taking such a stand. But it's not a bad thing. Moreover, the management note is more of a general caution.'' 

Altaf Patel, also a consultant at Jaslok, said, "I believe the drugs that are under the US FDA scanner are anti-cancer ones. I don't need to prescribe those drugs in my practice. I have seen the efficacy of Ranbaxy drugs and I will prescribe them if needed. But it is good for hospitals to issue such cautions." 

A senior doctor said the only take-home lesson from the Ranbaxy fiasco for the Indian consumer was that drug companies have separate manufacturing facilities for local and export markets. "Why should Indian consumers be treated differently?" he asked.                        -TOI

Beckham puts full stop on football career

Beckham puts full stop on football career
For David Beckham the footballer, this really was the very end.

Now begins the rest of his already very famous life.

At a small, homely stadium on the Brittany coast of western France, with seagulls flying overhead and a world away from football temples like Manchester United’s Old Trafford where fans used to sing his name, Beckham on Sunday officially became football’s most famous new retiree.

Beckham announced his retirement May 16. He shed tears two days later at his last home game for Paris Saint-Germain, getting a rousing send-off and standing ovation in Paris. That, as it turned out, was the last match of his career. Coach Carlo Ancelotti said Beckham picked up a thigh injury in that game, was unable to train in the week since, “and so he was not able to play” on Sunday.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti had also previously suggested that the plastic turf pitch in Lorient’s stadium might be too taxing for Beckham’s 38 year-old legs.

So Beckham sat this one out. He didn’t have to make the trip, since he wasn’t on the team, but still he tagged along for the ride one last time.

Even though he had no role in the 3-1 win for PSG, Beckham will find this match hard to forget and not merely because it marked the finish to his 21 seasons as a professional footballer, a journey that saw him win titles and trophies with Manchester United, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy and now the new French champions.

Lorient President Loic Fery marked the occasion Sunday by giving Beckham one of his team’s bright orange jerseys with Beckham’s name on the back above the number seven and the word “Kenavo,” which means “Goodbye” in Breton, the Celtic language of Brittany. Up in the stands, fans played bagpipes and luxuriated in the warm evening sun.

In the 81st minute, the match turned bizarre. Referee Benoit Bastien sent off PSG’s keeper, Ronan Le Crom, for felling Julien Quercia as the Lorient forward was sprinting for the ball in front of the Paris goal.

Le Crom is a reserve keeper for PSG. He was born in Lorient. At age 38, it’s possible this is his last season. So Ancelotti brought him on, a kind gesture, for the last 30 minutes, replacing Alphonse Areola.

When Le Crom was then sent off, that left no one to guard PSG’s goal. Ancelotti called on Mamadou Sakho, a defender, to do the job. Sakho was sitting next to Beckham on the bench. They had shared a blanket to warm their legs and joked around while watching the game. Then, suddenly, Sakho borrowed Areola’s used pink jersey and pull on a pair of goalkeeper’s gloves.

Le Crom trudged off in tears. PSG teammates consoled him with a group hug. Beckham patted him on the head.

“It’s most likely the last match of his career,” PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi said of Le Crom. “The referee could have been a bit softer with him and shown a bit of compassion.”

After Bastien blew the final whistle, Beckham sought out the referee to give him a piece of his mind. He made the “Are you crazy?” gesture tapping a finger against his temple.

What was said remained between them, because Beckham walked quickly past reporters without talking after the match.

“I didn’t play” was all he said, by way of explanation for his silence.

Then he disappeared up a flight of steps to PSG’s waiting bus and fans shouting “Daveeeed!” The bus has Beckham’s name and those of his teammates painted on its side.

And that was it.

All in all, this was a very low-key final footnote to one of football’s most storied careers. One couldn’t help but feel sorry for two Irish fans who travelled by boat, bus and train from Dublin and paid almost 10 times the going rate over the Internet for tickets, in hopes of seeing Beckham bend it just one last time. Ciaran Donnelly, 22, and Aidan Mulvey, 21, hung their home-made banner marked “thanks for the memories Becks” on a fence by the stadium. Donnelly said Beckham had been his hero from childhood when he’d owned a Beckham teddy bear and slept in Beckham pyjamas under a Beckham duvet.

Although Beckham the footballer is finished, Beckham the brand, the fashion maven, the businessman, the sport ambassador — the list is long and varied — is not. The challenge now will be to adapt his brand, so that it and he continue to thrive without the limelight that playing football brought.

“We might just never see the like of David Beckham again,” said Simon Chadwick, an expert in sport business and marketing at Coventry University in England, in an interview. “I don’t think there’s anybody in the world right now who has the potential to become the next brand Beckham.”
-The Hindu