Rail Roko: DMRC closes entry, exit at four metro stations

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) decided to shut the entry and exit games of four metro stations in Delhi on Thursday (February 18), keeping in view of the ‘Rail Roko Andolan’ called by the protesting farmers. The four metro stations closed throughout the day fall on the Green Line of the Delhi Metro network.Metro

The metro passengers in Delhi are advised to avoid travelling to these four stations: Pandit Shree Ram Sharma, Brig. Hoshiar Singh, Bahadurgarh City, and Tikri Border. The commuters should plan their travel accordingly to places that fall on these routes.

The security at borders of Delhi with Haryana and Punjab as well as at the Ghaziabad border with Uttar Pradesh has been increased. The Indian railways have sent 20 additional companies of the Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF) across India. The primary focus is on Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.

Related:- Is ‘international tukde tukde gang’ behind farmers’ protest?

Uttar Pradesh is on alert in view of the protests to keep the situation in control. In addition, additional police have been sent to the Palwal railway station in Haryana.

According to the reports, the protesting farmers blocked some of the routes for their agitation two hours ahead of the call time of the ‘Rail Roko Andolan’. The protestors reportedly blocked the Jodhpur Howrah Express at the Bhabhua station in the Kaimur district of Bihar.

Related:- Poll 2020: COVID-19 was the biggest news of the year

The umbrella body of farmer unions leading the ongoing farmers’ movement, Samyukta Kisan Morcha, had announced the ‘Rail Roko Andolan’ last week. It is the third major protest demonstration, after the Republic Day tractor rally and the ‘chakka jam’ earlier this month.

The farmer’s protest has been ongoing for many months now. The farmers want the central government to repeal three agricultural laws passed last year. These laws are the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

Is ‘international tukde tukde gang’ behind farmers’ protest?

Today’s DNA episode is very important as today, DNA is going to expose the real face behind the farmers’ movement in India, which has been going on for the last 72 days. His name is Monminder Singh Dhaliwal, and he is creating a dangerous conspiracy to break up India under the guise of the farmers’ movement and you can also call him the poster boy of the International Tukde Tukde Gang.

His aim is Khalistan. This means, even if the Government of India, today, withdraws the agricultural laws passed by the Parliament and accept all the demands of the farmers, then also this movement will not end.

farmers

Today, even if the Government repeals the agricultural laws, then tomorrow these people will demand the restoration of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. Then, they will push for repeal of the citizenship amendments and they can also put forth the demand for the release of the Urban Naxals in the jails. And even if the government agrees to all these demands then too this movement will not end. This movement will not end until Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is removed from the center.

Monminder Singh Dhaliwal is the co-founder of the NGO – Poetic Justice Foundation – the same NGO that prepared a dangerous plan against India on 26 January called Global Day of Action.

It is a Canadian NGO, which was registered on 23 March 2020. And its current status is ‘Active’, which means that this NGO is still fully active and is conspiring Khalistan under the guise of the farmers’ movement.

This NGO has a total of four Directors. The name of the first director is Hardeep Singh Sahota, who lives in a city in the province of British Columbia, Canada. The second director’s name is Monminder Singh Dhaliwal. The third director’s name is Anita Lal. And the name of the fourth director is written as Sabrina Sohi.

We came to know that these people have been propagating against India on their Twitter Handle for the past several days, which shows that these four people are associated with Khalistan and control of the farmers’ movement in India can also be with them.

Related:- Farmers union threaten to bring tractors to Republic Day

Monminder Singh Dhaliwal, who described himself as Khalistani, in his Facebook post written on 27 December 2020, also wrote against Zee News.

A company name comes up again and again in this foreign alliance working against India. The name of this company is Sky Rocket and it is a public relations company. And most importantly, Dhaliwal has described himself as the Director of Strategy of this company on Facebook.

This company also has a picture of a Canadian MP on its official website. And the name of this MP is Jagmeet Singh, whose visa was cancelled by the Government of India in 2013 because then India’s investigative agencies had talked about his connection with Khalistan. And the big thing is that this happened when the Congress had a coalition government in the country and the Prime Minister was Dr Manmohan Singh. Think for once what would have happened if Jagmeet Singh’s visa was canceled today.

Think how big and dangerous this nexus is. And in this, people like Dhaliwal are also seen sharing connections with Canadian MP Jagmeet Singh. Singh is the leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada and the Justin Trudeau government there has the support of this party. And the biggest thing is that if Jagmeet Singh’s party withdraws its support, then the government of Justin Trudeau will fall. So this shows how far the reach of Monminder Singh Dhaliwal is in Canada. And perhaps this is the reason that Canada has become the epicenter of Khalistani propaganda against India, from where efforts are being made to control the farmers’ movement.

Another big thing related to this nexus is that America’s famous pop singer Rihanna, who is tweeting in support of farmers’ protests, follows Jagmeet Singh on Instagram.

The total number of Instagram users worldwide is more than 100 crore and Rihanna only follows 1525 people out of these 100 crore users and among them is Canadian MP Jagmeet Singh. Singh in a tweet on 3 February thanked Rihana for supporting the farmers’ movement.

A few days ago, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau supported the ongoing farmers’ protest in India and said that Canada stands in defense of the rights to hold a peaceful demonstration. But when violence erupted in Delhi on 26 January during this movement, Justin Trudeau did not respond nor did he condemn the farmers who did so. Think how these people provoke the people of a country for their own interests.

Related:- Poll 2020: COVID-19 was the biggest news of the year

While Justin Trudeau has supported the ongoing farmers’ movement in India, on the other hand, Canada has been opposing the subsidy given to Indian farmers in World Trade Organization meetings for years.

Not only this, in July 2019, Canada opposed giving more MSP of rice and wheat to farmers in India and tried to tarnish India’s image in front of the WTO. Think about what farmers in India are most afraid of? That the new farm laws of the government will end the system of minimum support price for crops. Now the question is that if Canada is with the ongoing farmers’ movement in India then why does it oppose India on MSP at WTO?

Now let us tell you about the neighboring country of Canada, America, which gave its first response to the ongoing farmers’ protest in India yesterday and praised the farm laws brought by the Government of India. But this is one side of the response from America. The other side is that the United States, along with supporting agricultural laws, advised India that it should not stop internet services.

We think America forgot the violence in Washington DC on January 6 when supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked Capitol Hill, the parliament there. And to deal with these disturbances, American soldiers had to fire bullets. Five people lost their lives in this violence. But now, recall the violence in Delhi on 26 January, when an attempt was made to hurt the police personnel during the tractor parade. They were showered with stones and sticks. 394 Delhi Police personnel were injured in the violence. But the police did not take action on any farmer. But perhaps, America cannot understand this.

You should also understand what the toolkit, which Sweden’s environmental activist Greta Thunberg probably had mistakenly put on Twitter, means.

Some action points are prepared to start any movement and then to expand its scope. The document in which these action points are entered is called the Toolkit. The toolkit is part of any movement strategy, the presence of which can help in increasing the impact of the movement. In the Toolkit, people are given information about campaign materials, news articles. And they are told how to protest.

Poll 2020: COVID-19 was the biggest news of the year

The COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a stand-still in 2020. The outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, a city in China’s Hubei province, in December 2019, and was recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11.

As the year came to a close, the Coronavirus pandemic had already claimed more than 1.79 million lives across the globe. Worldwide efforts are now on to produce an effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine. Three major vaccines have already been developed and have more success rate.

The Zee News conducted the Zee Readers Poll 2020 to know your views on the key news events of the year. Here are the top News stories of 2020 shortlisted for the Zee readers.

COVID-19

1. COVID 19, 2. COVID Vaccine, 3. Lockdown, 4. India China Border Dispute, 5. Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise, 6. Sudden demise of Irrfan Khan & Rishi Kapoor, 7. Bollywood Drug Case, 8. US Presidential Election, 9. Bank Loan Moratorium, 10. Farmers Protest and Farm Laws, 11. Bihar Assembly Elections 2020, 12. TRP Scam

The coronavirus or the COVID-19, is largely believed to have originated from a wet market in China’s Wuhan province. This turned into a pandemic within weeks as rapid virus transmission occurred across the world.

A year after the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world, several pharmaceutical companies across the world have produced vaccines to counter the virus. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine uses bits of genetic code to cause an immune response, and is called an mRNA vaccine.

Related:- Farmers union threaten to bring tractors to Republic Day

The government announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days to contain the highly contagious virus on March 24. Since then, the curve has not flattened and India is now among the top three-worst affected nations across the world. The coronavirus-induced lockdown led to displacement of millions of migrants, job losses, and economy hitting the rock-bottom level. The lockdown was announced in 4 phases after which Unlock period started.

Since May 5, 2020, the Indian and Chinese troops have been engaged in aggressive face-offs and skirmishes at locations along the Sino-Indian border, including the disputed Pangong Lake in Ladakh and the Tibet Autonomous Region and near the border between Sikkim and the Tibet Autonomous Region.

In a piece of tragic news, earlier this year on June 14, 2020, late actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in his Bandra Apartment. The actor’s death case which was earlier being probed by the Mumbai Police was said to be a case of death by suicide.

Legendary and prolific actors Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor breathe their last on April 29 and April 30 respectively. The sudden news of the two most loved and talented actors of the film industry leaving for their heavenly abode in less than 48 hours earlier this year left their fans across the globe in shock, leading to a massive outpouring of grief on social media.

After the tragic death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, while the Central Bureau of Investigation was probing the death case of the star, there were instances of drug abuse that had come to light when Rhea Chakraborty‘s phones and other evidence were scrutinised. Both Rhea and her brother Showik Chakraborty’s name had come under the NCB radar for procuring and alleged consumption of drugs.

Related:- US election 2020: All eyes on Tuesday’s Trump-Biden face off

The United States of America’s race to elect its 59th President was one of the most controversial and long-drawn process in recent history. Democrat candidate Joe Biden upset incumbent US President Donald Trump to secure his entry into the White House on January 20, 2021.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on March 27 issued the circular which allowed lending institutions to grant a moratorium on payment of instalments of term loans falling due between March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020, due to the pandemic.

Farmers are protesting against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. These laws were passed in Parliament in September following which there have been widespread protests.

Bihar Assembly Election was the first major election to be held amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The NDA won the state election with a wafer-thin majority and got 125 of Bihar’s 243 assembly seats, three above the halfway mark.

The Mumbai Police on October 8 busted a “TRP scam”, whereby Television Rating Points (TRPs) were allegedly being manipulated. Republic TV, owned by Arnab Goswami, has been named in the scam. Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema were also among those allegedly indulging in the fraudulent activities.

Farmers union threaten to bring tractors to Republic Day

Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait has declared that farmers are prepared to take their agitation up a notch if the Centre doesn’t accede to their demands to take back the three laws part of the Farmers Act.

Speaking at Gajrola district in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh, Tikait announced that the farmers are prepared to take over the Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2021.

Union

“If our demands are not met, we will bring tractors and trolleys with the national flag to the Republic day parade. They we are going to see who pulls out the water cannon against us at the parade,” Tikait said in Gajrola on Friday (December 25).

Related:- China broke deal with US, dreaming Biden will win: Trump

“Then we will all find out who is a desh bhakt and who is Khalistani because some of our critics have tried to call us Khalistani recently,” he added.

Tikait and other protesting farmers were stopped at Munda Pandey toll plaza near Moradabad as three days back some farmers had confronted the local police authorities there and farmers were stopped for close to 8-10 hours then.

Speaking about the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address, Tikait told IANS news agency, “Of course the Prime Minister and the government of India will have to find a solution to this issue. You can`t expect the opposition or Rahul Gandhi to do it. It has been a month and the farmers won’t return home. First, sit down and resolve the issue by withdrawing farm laws.”

“We are ready to discuss the agricultural laws, but they haven’t said they will repeal the agricultural laws. We are also ready for talks, but they are putting up a condition that they won’t repeal the contentious laws,” Tikait further said.

“Nobody is misleading farmers. The only motive of farmers gathered here is to have a legislation on MSP and repeal of these agricultural laws.

“The Prime Minister mentioned farmers in his address. The government must farmers sit down and have discussions with farmers sitting on the borders of Delhi,” he added.

In fact, under the PM-Kisan scheme Prime Minister Modi transferred an amount of Rs 18,000 crore into the accounts of nine crore farmers on the occasion of the birth anniversary of former prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The PM also attacked the opposition by accusing them of running a political agenda.

US election 2020: All eyes on Tuesday’s Trump-Biden face off

Republican President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden face off on Tuesday (September 29) in a televised presidential debate, part of a 60-year-old tradition marked by some of the most memorable moments of modern US political history.

The first televised debate, in 1960, pitted Democratic nominee John F. Kennedy against Republican Vice President Richard Nixon, who was recovering from a hospital visit and had a 5 o’clock shadow, having refused makeup. The 70 million viewers focused on what they saw, not what they heard. Kennedy won the election.

 face off

In 1976, the first TV debate in 16 years, Democrat Jimmy Carter faced unelected incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford. In remarks seen as a major blunder, Ford said: “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration.” Carter won the election.

Another memorable moment was in 1984, when President Ronald Reagan, 73, successfully defused the issue of his age when he debated Democrat Walter Mondale, 56, quipping: “I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” Reagan was re-elected.

Related:- Post-Uighur study, Pakistan thinks China needs to understand Islam

While some question the importance of televised presidential debates six decades in, Eric Schnure, a professor at American University and former White House speech writer, said they matter a great deal.

“It’s one of these few moments during the course of a very long campaign when everyone can watch these two candidates on stage together and measure one against the other,” he said.

One challenge for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will be how to handle President Donald Trump’s notorious attacks, Schnure added.

“You’re never going to out-mean Donald Trump. And the counter is: can you be calm, cool, and collected?”

The first debate between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 drew 84 million U.S. television viewers, a record for a debate and a rare number in an age of digital streaming. An exchange of insults dominated their second debate, with Clinton jabbing at Trump for sexually aggressive remarks about women he made on a just-uncovered 2005 videotape.

Trump sought to deflect criticism by accusing Bill Clinton, the candidate’s husband, of having done worse to women. In her book published in 2017, Clinton wrote that in their second debate Trump made her skin crawl by stalking her around the stage and she wondered if she should have told him to “back up, you creep.” In the third debate, Trump called Clinton “such a nasty woman” and declined to say he would accept the election results.

Related:- China broke deal with US, dreaming Biden will win: Trump

Schnure, who previously help Gore and Joe Lieberman with debate preparations, said candidates often work on “creating moments” while making them seem authentic and off-the-cuff.

“The other side of that is the moments that happen when the lights come on and you get a hard question in real-time, and you say something that might be not as elegant as you had hoped,” he said.

In his second debate with President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, responding to a question about gender pay equality, said he had “binders full of women” as candidates for Cabinet posts. The phrase became a meme on social media, with tweets, original artwork and a Facebook group spoofing Romney. Obama won again.

“[Trump] will claim victory no matter what,” said Schnure, adding that Biden’s performance needed to inspire anti-Trump voters to get out and vote.

“He needs to give them hope that come that first week in November, they’re going to win.”

The first presidential debate will take place in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday.

China broke deal with US, dreaming Biden will win: Trump

Accusing China of breaking the negotiated trade deal draft with the United States, President Donald Trump on Sunday said Beijing was now “dreaming” that he would be replaced by a Democratic candidate after the 2020 presidential elections.

China

In a series of tweets, Trump indicated toughening of his stand against China.

After the near collapse of trade talks with China last week, Trump on Friday imposed a hefty duty on import of Chinese products from 10 per cent to 25 per cent worth more than USD 200 billion and asking for a similar increase on tariff on the rest of the Chinese import of over USD 300 billion.

“We are right where we want to be with China. Remember, they broke the deal with us and tried to renegotiate,” Trump said justifying his decision to impose a hefty tax on Chinese products. The new taxes would result in hefty revenue to the US, he said.

“We will be taking in Tens of Billions of Dollars in Tariffs from China. Buyers of product can make it themselves in the USA (ideal), or buy it from non-Tariffed countries…,” he said.

Related:- ED summons Shruti Modi in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case

“We will then spend (match or better) the money that China may no longer be spending with our Great Patriot Farmers (Agriculture), which is a small percentage of total Tariffs received, and distribute the food to starving people in nations around the world! GREAT! #MAGA,” Trump said.

A few hours later, he asserted that China’s sudden change in policy was mainly because it thought that leaders from the opposition Democratic party would be able to replace him in the White House after the 2020 presidential elections. By doing so, China was dreaming, he said.

China is DREAMING that Sleepy Joe Biden, or any of the others, gets elected in 2020. They LOVE ripping off America!,” Trump said.

Appearing on Fox News, Trump’s top economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the consumers of the United States would pay the increased taxes.

Related:- Post-Uighur study, Pakistan thinks China needs to understand Islam

“It’s not China that pays the tariffs, it’s the American importers, the American companies that pay what, is in fact, a tax increase,” he said.

“Fair enough. In fact, both sides will pay in these things, and of course it depends,” he said when asked “if it’s a tariff on goods coming into the country, the Chinese aren’t paying”.

Congressman Warren Davidson sought to impose sanctions on China on Sunday for walking away from good faith negotiations.”If China walks away from good faith negotiations, we could minimise collateral damage to US consumers and economy by using targeted sanctions against specific companies using subsidies, dumping, or stolen IP. Multiply allies instead of multiplying enemies,” Davidson said.

Post-Uighur study, Pakistan thinks China needs to understand Islam

China needs to come up with confidence-building measures in Xinjiang and a “better understanding of the religion” will be helpful for Chinese authorities in “understanding the people’s aspirations and concerns” are the key findings of the internal assessment done by Pakistan to understand the mood of the public on the situation of Uighurs.

pakistan

The internal assessment done by Pakistan on public sentiment on the atrocities against Uighurs Muslims by the Chinese govt in the restive western province of Xinjiang saw religious Urdu journals being more vocal about it.

The assessment recommended that “reliable and mature religious” leaders need to be kept on frequent communication. And these religious leaders should feel the “closeness” in which they may give a suggestion to Chinese authorities on the issue.

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But largely a relook by Chinese authorities of “governance” is what is needed–this includes revisiting the approach of compulsory and forcible re-education of Uighur Muslims.

While Pakistani internal assessment has lauded Chinese leadership in the long term strategy of mainstreaming and integration of people of Xinjiang, the report suggests the common population should not be seen as a collective threat. It hopes fasting, prayers, recitation of Quran should be allowed since these are important tenets of Islam and restrictions over them is a cause discomfort.

The internal report has recommended that Muslims should be allowed the freedom to perform their rituals which will give a positive message inside and outside of China.  

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In fact, the news of curbs and restrictions on the Muslim way of life in other parts of China as well is seen as extremely disturbing for anyone in Pakistan, the report concurs.

It is important to know, Pakistan has banned online publication of extremist journals Hittin. The primary cause has been that it has been very critical of Chinese influence in Pakistan and Beijing should not be seen as a well-wisher to people of the region. It has talked about the mammoth infrastructure project the China Pakistan economic corridor in the same context and highlighted the “plight of Muslims in East Turkistan”. Xinjiang is also referred to as East Turkestan especially by extremist and terror groups–East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

ED summons Shruti Modi in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Sushant Singh Rajput’s ex-manager Shruti Modi. She was snapped at the ED office in Mumbai some time back. Reportedly, Sushant’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty was in touch with Modi and made various phone calls to her.

ED

Rhea was spotted with her brother Showmik Chakraborty as they came before ED for interrogation in the case. While Rhea is still being interrogated, Showmik was allowed to leave the office.

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A few hours before appearing, Rhea requested the ED to postpone the recording of her statement till her Supreme Court plea hearing. Rejecting the request, the ED had reportedly also warned they would register Rhea Chakraborty’s absence as non-compliance of summons.

Both Rhea and Showmik were reportedly business partners with Sushant Singh Rajput. ED has summoned Rhea for questioning in connection with a money laundering case related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. The Bihar Police had found Rs. 15 crore missing from Sushant’s bank account. The same was also confirmed by Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.

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Sushant’s father KK Singh, in his FIR with the Bihar Police, had also stated that he suspects Rhea took Sushant’s money. KK Singh had made other claims too, including Rhea kept Sushant away from his friends and family.

The ED is seeking details of the financial transactions of the firm Vividrage Rhealityx, in which Rhea is a director. They will also investigate the financial transactions of ‘Front India For World’, in which her brother Showik Chakraborty is a director.

Home Minister Amit Shah hospitalised for COVID-19

Union Home Minister Amit Shah tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Sunday. The minister himself confirmed the news from his official account on Twitter. He has currently been admitted to a hospital in Delhi.

In the meanwhile, reactions started pouring in from across the political spectrum in connection with the development.

Amit Shah

BJP President JP Nadda wrote, “Received news of Union Home Minister Amit Shah testing COVID-19 positive. I pray to God for his speedy recovery.”

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan tweeted in Hindi, he wrote: “May God heal you completely soon and you join the service with full energy. We wish you all the best!”

Notably, Chouhan himself had tested positive for coronavirus last month.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu wrote: “Our Prayers for a speedy recovery, get well soon Amit Shah Ji.”

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Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy wished recovery to Shah on Twitter and wrote, “I  am sorry to hear from news media that Amit Shah has to be admitted to hospital because he has tested positive for Coronavirus. I wish him a speedy recovery and pray for his early discharge.”

Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma wrote, “My good wishes for your speedy recovery Adarniya @AmitShah Ji. With your resolute determination and strong will power, you will soon come out of this.”

Earlier, Union Home Minster Amit Shah himself confirmed the news from his official handle on Twitter. He said that due to early symptoms coronavirus, he went for a test and the test result came positive. Although his health is fine, he will get himself admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors, Shah said.

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He also urged those who came into close contact with him in the past few days to get themselves tested for the virus.

“On getting the initial symptoms of coronavirus, I got the test done and the report came back positive. My health is fine, but I am being admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors. I request that all of you who have come in contact with me in the last few days, please isolate yourself and get your tests done,” Shah tweeted out in Hindi.

Meanwhile, India has witnessed a huge single-day spike of 54,735 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking its tally over the 17.50 lakh mark, informed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

With this latest spike, the total cases in the country stand at 17,50,724. Among these cases 5,67,730 are active. A total of 11,45,630 patients have been cured/discharged/migrated.

 

chinese army’s secret ‘61398’ unit spying on india’s defense and research

The Chinese Army’s secret unit ‘61398’, known for cyber espionage, is eyeing information related to India’s defense and research, the security agencies sounded an alert on Monday. According to a report of the security agencies, this secret unit of the People’s Liberation of Army (PLA) has intensified its activities against India.

Chinese

Many cases have been reported in the last few months in which Chinese hackers associated with the PLA attempted to gather sensitive information of the country through cyber espionage.

Headquartered in Datong Avenue of Pudong district in China’s Shanghai, unit ‘61398’ is witnessing a spurt in these activities, asserted an officer deployed in the central security speaking to Zee Media. “Through unit ‘61398’, China has been engaged in gathering information like cyber, space, and geolocation intelligence around the world for a long time. These units are found to be very active against India,” said the officer.

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Since 2015, PLA has centralized its space, cyber and electronic warfare (EW) assets in the newly raised PLA Strategic Support Force (PLASSF). Therefore the unit ‘61398’ which deals with cyber warfare and was under erstwhile 3 PLA (General Staff Department Third Department) have been subordinated under the network system department of the PLASSF.

Another officer who is aware of the development said that there is a report of at least three cyber hackers supporting cyber espionage activities. Recently, there have been attempts made by these hackers to send a special computer program worldwide by attaching malware tools to cyber espionage. Icebug, Hidden Lynx (a professional advanced persistent threat using the program), and APT-12 have been used for attacking government and industrial organizations by Chinese hackers.

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In 2014, the US had charged five PLA military officers for espionage and they were part of unit ‘61398’. The US agencies believe that, like Unit ‘61398’, many such groups exist in China with the active support of the PLA, who are engaged in cyber spying around the world.

Many analysts believe China now has the capability to successfully target critical infrastructure during the war. There is also concern that Chinese hackers may disrupt the electric grid and banking system through cyber attacks.