‘Undertaking detailed analysis’: Patients report eye inflammation, Intas recalls its drug batch

Representational image. Representational image.

With some patients reporting inflammation in their eyes due to Intas Pharmaceuticals’ drug Razumab, the company has advised the doctors to not use any drug of this particular batch. It has also recalled this batch from the market to undergo internal testing at its quality control (QC) lab.

“Intas is aware of few incidences of post injection inflammation reported pertaining to this specific batch, the reported incidences are well within the limits, which were managed by usual anti-inflammatory treatment. We are extremely conscious of our product quality and are undertaking a detailed analysis of the same. Since patient’s safety is paramount to us, hence till the time the analysis is completed, we have advised the doctors to avoid using the product from this specific batch,” Intas Pharmaceuticals’ spokesperson told The Indian Express.

According to an email sent by Raja Narayanan, secretary, Vitreo Retina Society – India (VRSI), to its members, the company has “advised not use Razumab injection of batch number 18020020”. The VRSI has total 750 ophthalmologists as its members spread across the country. “VRSI is gathering more facts on the situation. It is advised that all members be alert and exercise abundance of precaution with other batches of Razumab also,” Narayanan added in his email. In its preliminary report, the VRSI stated that

Intas has recalled all vials of this batch for internal testing at company’s QC lab.

This is the second time VRSI has reported the adverse reactions of Razumab. It first reported the adverse reactions in 2015, just two months after the brand was launched by Intas Pharmaceuticals. Consequently, Intas had curtailed the distribution of Razumab then. Ranibizumab is the name of the molecule; Intas Pharmaceuticals and Novartis sell them in the Indian market under the brand name Razumab and Lucentis, respectively. Lucentis is the market leader and is available for approximately Rs 75000 per 1 ml injection at a retail chemist.

In 2015, Intas became the first company globally to launch biosimilar version of Ranibizumab. According to retailers, Razumab is available at around 25 per cent lower price in the country. Meanwhile, Naryanan told The Indian Express that as a standard procedure, Intas Pharma has withdrawn this particular batch of Razumab that has caused adverse reactions in some patients.

Intas Pharmaceuticals’ spokesperson told The Indian Express: “It is a known fact that, few patients getting such intravitreal injections are likely to experience such inflammation, as also reported in published data and pack insert of innovator Ranibizumab (mentioned as 18 per cent of patients). The reported incidences are well within the limits.”

In people with a certain type of eye disease, new blood vessels grow under the retina where they leak blood and fluid. This is known as the “wet form” of macular degeneration. Ranibizumab is used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration. This molecule is also used to treat swelling in the retina caused by diabetes or by a blockage in the blood vessels.

The VRSI had issued a primary alert on March 18 after first incidents of intraocular (middle layer of the eye) inflammation were reported, after which it did a preliminary investigation. In preliminary investigation, it found that “total 11 eyes from 5 centers” have reported this inflammation.

“Batch (180200)20 was released from factory on February 28. Intas had released 824 vials of Razumab to stockists. 435 vials were purchased by various doctors/hospitals. 182 out of those 435 were used on patients. The first reports of inflammation were received on March 9. As soon as the first events were reported to Intas, the company gave two samples each for clinical testing to two VRSI members. Both reported inflammation after the first injection itself. Intas advised us to stop use of batch 20,” the preliminary report stated.

“Total 11 eyes from 5 centers out of 182 injections have officially reported inflammation. All patients were treated with topical steroids and some with oral steroids. Intas has recalled all vials of batch 20 and is undergoing internal testing in their QC lab. Other batches have not been reported to cause inflammation. Intas will share the QC report with VRSI in the next three days, “ the preliminary report of VRSI added.

Intas Pharmaceuticals’ spokesperson told The Indian Express: “Intas markets Razumab for debilitating eye complications of diabetes like diabetic macular edema, diabetic retinopathy where no other alternatives exist. We market it as social responsibility to alleviate sufferings of such patients of our country. As a responsible organization, we continuously strive to update the medical experts on the scientific aspects of our products and expected adverse events.”

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/business/companies/undertaking-detailed-analysis-patients-report-eye-inflammation-intas-recalls-its-drug-batch-4596914/

Kati fish smaller, lighter due to heavy fishing pressure: Report

Nearly one-fourth of Mumbai’s catch belongs to a fish family called Ilisha. And the most popular of this fish group is ‘Kati’, which has gained commercial importance in export, the fishing community in Mumbai believes.

Now, a study has found that the Kati — L filigera — is not reaching its optimum length and weight around Mumbai’s waters, probably due to “heavy fishing pressure”. The study has further found that the female of the species is bigger and yields a better catch. The study was carried out by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute in Mumbai, and its findings were published recently.

The Ilisha fish is distributed throughout the tropics, from estuaries to coastal water. Of the 11 species of the Ilisha family found in Asia, Kati is historically a significant part of the catch of the fishing community of Maharashtra, fisherfolk say.

This fish is found 100 metres below in the open sea but also possesses high salinity tolerance levels. Kati is reported to attain up to two feet in standard length and live up to almost four years. The fish, which has a good market demand in fresh as well as the dried form, is mainly caught by the bag, trawl and grill nets, but is also harmed by them, scientists observed.

“The present study was envisaged to understand the length-weight relationship and morphometric relationship of this commercially important species, which help in the future of investigations pertaining to the stock assessment and management of this resource,” the published report read. Rajesh Kumar Pradhan and V D Deshmukh were among the main the authors of the research.

During October 2010 to April 2011, a total of 353 specimen of Kati — ranging in size from half a foot or 14 cm and 1 foot two inches or 37.5 cm — were caught near the shore waters of Vasai creek, new ferry wharf (bhaucha dhakka) and Sassoon dock. The length and weight of the fish were measured separately after anatomically differentiating the sex of the fish, the report read.

Scientists observed that the fish in Mumbai seemed to measure up to 37.5 cm, considerably lower than the total length reported from Bangladesh waters at 47 cm and from Sarawak in Malaysia at 70 cm. Scientists believe that the smaller length observed in the Mumbai catch was due to “heavy fishing pressure”.

“As many as 181 males and 136 females were taken for the length-weight study. Length of males ranged from 18.9 cm to 31.7 cm and weight 45.5 to 250 grams. Similarly, the length of females ranged from 16.5 to 37.5 cm and weight 27.2 to 440 grams…The differential increase maybe attributed to the significant increase in size and weight of ovaries in females than the testes of males with onset of maturity,” the report revealed.

According to the report, the weight of fish generally increases with size but such increase may not always be proportionate. The weight increase by cube length, since length is one-dimensional, while weight is related to volume, which is three-dimensional.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/kati-fish-smaller-lighter-due-to-heavy-fishing-pressure-report-4596932/

Hindu boy, Muslim girl found hanging in Uttar Pradesh village

Two minors, a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl from the same village, were found hanging from a tree in Sikrara police station area of Jaunpur district on Sunday morning. Police suspect that the two were in a relationship and committed suicide thinking their families would not accept it.

The two, students of class 11 and 9 but different schools, lived in the same locality of Dudauli village. They had eloped about six months ago but were traced by the families and brought back, according to police.

Sikrara station officer Arvind Kumar Pandey said it appeared that the two left their homes late on Saturday night but the family members did not notice their absence until the villagers saw their bodies hanging from a tree in the village’s burial ground on Sunday morning.

“Prima facie it appears to be a case of suicide. The bodies have been sent for postmortem and the report is awaited. We would be able to say more after receiving the postmortem report,” said Pandey.

He said police did not find any suicide notes and the family members have also not raised any suspicion.

“The families are not saying anything about the relationship but that (relationship) appears to be the reason behind the incident,” said Pandey.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/hindu-boy-muslim-girl-found-hanging-in-uttar-pradesh-village-4597076/

Top 10 cities with world’s worst traffic jams

If traffic snarls in Mumbai, Delhi or Bengaluru give you the heebie-jeebies, then you can draw satisfaction from the fact that none of the Indian cities figures in the 10 cities with the worst traffic in the world.

As many as 390 cities, in 48 countries and six continents, were surveyed by TomTom, a Dutch company manufacturing traffic and mapping products, to create the TomTom Traffic Index 2017 report which ranks cities with the worst traffic congestion.

The following are the world’s top 10 cities with the worst traffic congestion (the percentage given against each city refers to the increase in overall travel time over what time it would take to commute if there was no congestion):

(Source – World Economic Forum and TomTom Traffic Index 2017 report; image credits – Getty Images)
Courtesy: https://news.yahoo.com/health/

Source: https://in.finance.yahoo.com/photos/most-congested-cities-world-slideshow-wp-125330825/

Report: Chechnya police arrest 100 alleged gays, 3 killed

A respected Russian newspaper says it has uncovered information that police in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya have rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality and that at least three have been killed.

The Saturday report in Novaya Gazeta said it had confirmed the information with sources in the Chechen police and government, but gave no details.

The report was denied by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov’s spokesman, who suggested there are no homosexuals in the Muslim-majority region. Ali Karimov said, according to the state news agency RIA Novosti, “it’s impossible to persecute those who are not in the republic.”

The Kremlin-backed Kadyrov is widely accused of extensive human rights violations. He has brought Islam to the fore of Chechnya’s daily life, including opening what is called Europe’s biggest mosque.
Courtesy: https://news.yahoo.com/health/

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/report-chechnya-police-arrest-100-alleged-gays-killed-46522707

Smartphones likely to blame for unprecedented rise in pedestrian fatalities

Pedestrian deaths in the US over the past two years have skyrocketed more than 22 percent according to a recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association. While the exact reason for the increase isn’t known, one contributor may be the rapidly growing use of smartphones while walking and driving.

The association estimates that there were 5,997 pedestrian fatalities in 2016 compared to just 5,376 a year earlier and 4,910 in 2014.

Richard Retting, a traffic engineer with Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants and author of the report, notes that the increases are unprecedented and quite honestly, shocking. He’s been in the highway safety field for 35 years, he said, adding that they don’t see record increases – let alone consecutive years of record increases.

I think most (me included) would agree with the theory that increased smartphone usage is behind the sharp uptick.

Smartphones have fostered a culture in which people are always focused on where they are not. The issue has prompted several cities to enact measures such as embedding traffic lights into sidewalks and crosswalks to help protect pedestrians from themselves.

Further compounding the matter is the fact that pedestrians aren’t always to blame as distracted drivers have arguably caused even more accidents. It’d be easy to blame the vehicles themselves but with autonomous features being introduced at a rapid clip, cars are only becoming safer to operate.
Courtesy: http://techspot.com

Source: http://www.techspot.com/news/68764-smartphones-likely-blame-unprecedented-rise-pedestrian-fatalities.html

Gujarat: ‘Clean chit’ to then Modi govt on most allegations, no opinion on others

The Gujarat government on Friday tabled the report of controversial Justice M B Shah Commission, which was constituted by the then Narendra Modi-led government in August 2011, in the Assembly, after days of demands from the Opposition Congress.

The commission was an outcome of the Congress’s sustained demand to have corruption charges against the then Modi government investigated. However, the government had not tabled the report which was submitted to it in 2013.

The commission gave a “clean chit” to the then Gujarat government on a majority of the 15 allegations of corruption and giving undue favours to industries, while not opining on the others, arguing the matters were either sub judice or subjects under committees of the Assembly.

Congress MLAs, who had dressed in aprons with messages seeking an apology from BJP national president Amit Shah on Thursday, were stumped when Deputy CM Nitin Patel announced tabling of the Shah commission report in the Assembly. At this moment, both their top leaders, Shankersinh Vaghela and Shaktisinh Gohil were absent from the House.

The two-part report is running into 20 volumes. After tabling the report, Nitin Patel said, “We have tabled the report today. As we said earlier, the commission has said that all the allegations against the government are baseless. We have nothing to hide.” Patel also released a translated gist of the Commission’s report.

The commission was formed by the Gujarat government after Congress leaders Arjun Modhwadia and the then Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil submitted a memorandum to the then President Pratibha Patil. In the said representation, the two leaders had made 17 allegations against Modi-led Gujarat government. The Shah commission was formed to probe into 15 of the allegations. Justice Shah also headed the SIT to curb black money in the economy.

The Commission had submitted its interim report in 2012 and the final report in 2013.

The allegations in the memorandum were mainly related to land allotments and special packages given to various industries in the state by overlooking rules or norms, such as not following public auction process and giving land at throwaway prices, to favour industrialists of choice, and thus causing loss to the state exchequer in billions.

Some of the major projects on which the allegations were made included Nano project of Tata Motors Limited, giving gauchar land to Mundra Port and Mundra SEZ of Adani group at token rates, illegal allotment of forest land and land falling under the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) to Essar group, giving land in Kutch district to Archean Chemicals (allegedly associated with the then BJP president Venkaiah Naidu) to set up a salt chemical plant at cheap rates and giving huge land parcel of Hajira in Surat at prime location to L&T at low rates.

The allegations of corruption were also made in government projects like Sujalam Suflam irrigation project and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation’s (GSPC’s) deal with Geo Global on gas exploration in KG Basin. The Congress leaders had also levelled allegations against Modi for using luxurious private planes of industrial houses.

The commission has called majority of the allegations as baseless and the government’s decisions on them in consonance with government policies.

On Tata Nano project, the report said, “Public interest, particularly for the state of Gujarat, was a paramount consideration for inviting Tata to establish Nano project and automotive hub in the state of Gujarat. The said policy decision was taken in conformity with the central government policy of establishing automotive industry…There is no substance in the allegations that Tata Motors Limited was favoured in anyway as contended.”

It also said that the project was given benefits by the Gujarat government as per the policy of the Central government to promote automobile industry for years between 2006-2016.

The commission said that earlier also benefits were given to General Motors in a special case. It added that due to Tata Nano project, automobile related ancillary industries have developed a lot in the state. The government was facing allegations that it gave financial relief of Rs 33,000 crore to Tata Motors to relocate its Nano plant in Sanand.

On giving gauchar land to Adani group in Mundra, the panel said that by calling establishment of an SEZ as a “public purpose” the Supreme Court and the High Court have given a right to the state government to give gauchar land for this purpose. It called the allegations on the land allotment as not acceptable.

On the allegation of giving forest and CRZ land to Essar Group in Hajira, the commission said the land in question was 500 metre far from the coastline. The panel also stated that the land in question was allotted way back in 1983 by the then Congress chief minister.

“If the Congress chief minister is conveyed the allegations made by his own party on the land allotment, he will surely be shocked,” said Nitin Patel in a press conference.

Congress leaders had alleged that the Gujarat government gave huge land to a company associated with Venkaiah Naidu to get political benefit. However, the commission said that looking at the documents of the company, neither Naidu nor his direct descendants are director or partner in the company.

The commission, however, refrained from going into the details on some allegations citing their subjudice nature or those being subject matters of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) or Public Undertaking Committee (PUC) of the Assembly.

The commission said that it did not find it fit to discuss allegations on the GSPC oil exploration project since the allegations have to be looked into first by PAC-PUC and then by the Gujarat Assembly in the wake of judicial decisions in that regard by the Supreme Court. Similarly, it refrained from giving opinion on allegations of corruption in the Sujalam Suflam Scheme in which the CAG had reportedly pointed out financial irregularities.

Shah report ‘highly misguiding’: Congress

Reacting to the M B Shah Commission’s report, Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil said that the state government must have made changes in the report, otherwise it would not have waited for so long to table the report in the Assembly.

“Also, I have seen all the volumes of the report. The commission has not given the government clean chit, it has cited technicalities.” Former Congress president Arjun Modhwadia termed the report as “highly misguiding’’ . Alleging the Shah commission was nothing but “Modi Bachao’’ inquiry commission, he said Congress would get it re-investigated if the party came to power.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/gujarat-clean-chit-to-then-modi-govt-on-most-allegations-no-opinion-on-others-4594703/

US exports to India encounter barriers, says Donald Trump administration

According to the report, US goods exports to India were USD 21.7 billion, up 1.1 per cent (USD 237 million) from the previous year. According to the report, US goods exports to India were USD 21.7 billion, up 1.1 per cent (USD 237 million) from the previous year.

US exports to India continue to face barriers as Indian customs officials generally require extensive documentation, leading to frequent and lengthy processing delays, the Trump administration has alleged.

Despite the Indian government’s efforts to pursue economic reforms, the structure of India’s customs tariff and fees system are “complex and characterised by a lack of transparency” in determining net effective rates of customs tariffs, excise duties, and other duties and charges, the US Trade Representative (USTR) said it its annual report.

Noting that US exporters have raised concerns regarding India’s application of customs valuation criteria to import transactions, it said India’s customs officials generally require extensive documentation, inhibiting the free flow of trade and leading to frequent and lengthy processing delays.

This is a consequence of India’s complex tariff structure, including the provision of multiple exemptions, which vary according to product, user, or intended use, it said.

India, the report said, lacks an overarching government procurement policy and, as a result, its government procurement practices and procedures vary among the states, between the states and the central government, and among different ministries within the central government.

In its annual 2017 National Trade Estimate, the first under US President Donald Trump, the US goods and trade deficit with India was USD 24.3 billion, a 4.2 per cent increase (USD 970 million) last year, the USTR said.

The report came hours before Trump was expected to sign an executive order instructing his administration to examine the cause of trade imbalances with over 15 countries, including China and India.

According to the report, US goods exports to India were USD 21.7 billion, up 1.1 per cent (USD 237 million) from the previous year. Corresponding US imports from India were USD 46.0 billion, up 2.7 per cent.

India was the US’ 18th largest goods export market last year, the report said.

On the other hand, US exports of services to India were an estimated USD 18.1 billion in 2015 (latest data available) and US imports were USD 24.7 billion.

Sales of services in India by majority US-owned affiliates were USD 22.7 billion in 2014 (latest data available), while sales of services in the US by majority India-owned firms were USD 13.4 billion, it said.

Further, the US Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India (stock) was USD 28.3 billion in 2015 (latest data available), a 4.4 per cent increase from 2014. The US FDI in India is led by professional, scientific, and technical services, manufacturing, and wholesale trade, USTR said.

Taking note of the national Goods and Services Tax (GST), the report said it would replace most indirect taxes, including various charges on imports.

The GST is designed to simplify the movement of goods within India, it said.

In 2015, the Indian government introduced the GST Bill in Parliament and it was passed in July last year. India is working on the implementation of the GST law, which would put in place a two-part system.

The first part of the system are the State and Central GST that will be levied simultaneously on every transaction of goods and services within a state. The second part is an “integrated GST” that covers goods and services sold between all Indian states. The integrated GST would apply to imports. India intends to implement GST by July, the report said.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/business/business-others/us-exports-to-india-encounter-barriers-says-donald-trump-administration-4595081/

PHOTOS: Bollywood box office 2017 report card: SRK’s Raees or Akshay Kumar’s Jolly LLB 2, which film ruled the first quarter?

Several Bollywood films have marked their success, thus wrapping up the first quarter of the year on a good note. Four films including Shah Rukh Khan starrer Raees and Akshay Kumar starrer Jolly LLB 2 have crossed Rs 100-crore mark. Raees also faced a big clash with Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil at the box office, as both released on the same day. However, instead of coming in the way of each other’s performance, both managed to do well. While Raees collected Rs 137.51 crore, Kaabil collected Rs 103.84 crore.

Raees starring Shah Rukh Khan has emerged as the biggest hit of the first quarter of 2017. Directed by Rahul Dholakia, Raees was loosely based on Gujarat’s bootlegger Abdul Latif. The film also starred Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mahira Khan in important roles. However, due to trouble between India and Pakistan, the action-drama didn’t release on the other side of the border.

Jolly LLB 2 swept through the box office too, with a collection of Rs 116.92 crore. The film starring Akshay Kumar, Huma Qureshi, Annu Kapoor and Sauravh Shukla, kept entertaining the masses throughout February.

Hrithik Roshan starrer Kaabil, also starred Yami Gautam, Ronit Soy and Rohit Roy. The film earned Rs 103.84 crore.

Badrinath Ki Dulhania, starring Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt, came out as a surprise package in March. The film has minted Rs 107.69 crore and is still running at the theatres.
Courtesy: http://indianexpress.com

Source: http://indianexpress.com/photos/entertainment-gallery/bollywood-box-office-2017-report-card-shah-rukh-khan-raees-or-akshay-kumars-jolly-llb-2-which-film-ruled-the-first-quarter/

Madhya Pradesh EVM trial reignites ‘tampering’ row, EC calls for report

MP Chief Electoral Officer Saleena Singh in Bhopal on Saturday. PTI MP Chief Electoral Officer Saleena Singh in Bhopal on Saturday. PTI

FOLLOWING REPORTS that a Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine used during a trial in Madhya Pradesh only dispensed slips with the BJP’s poll symbol, the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday asked the Election Commission to probe the “tampering” of electronic voting machines (EVMs). The Election Commission, meanwhile, has sought a report from the district election officer in Bhind. It has also decided to send a team of high-level officers to supervise the bypolls in two assembly segments of Ater and Bandhavgarh on April 9.

“To ensure the correct functioning of EVMs and VVPATs being deployed in the two assembly constituencies, the Commission has decided to depute two teams of officers… along with technical experts… The integrity of the EVMs and the VVPATs to be used in the polls will be demonstrated to the complete satisfaction of all stakeholders,” it said in a statement.

On Friday, a VVPAT trial was conducted in the presence of Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Saleena Singh in Ater, in Bhind district. There were varying reports of what transpired during the trial. Some reports said the VVPAT machine dispensed slips with the BJP’s lotus symbol twice, although different buttons were pressed on the EVM. Another version, however, said different symbols were printed.

Addressing a press conference in Bhopal on Saturday, Singh said the VVPAT dispensed one slip each with the BJP and the Congress symbols. But the high-level Congress and AAP delegations, which approached the EC separately on Saturday, claimed the paper trail machine only dispensed slips with the BJP symbol.

“The video that went viral from MP yesterday is shocking. Whether the BJP, Congress or BSP buttons are pressed, only the BJP’s symbol registers a vote… Are elections still being conducted independently in this country? Are the people of India voting for their choice of nominee or is the machine deciding their votes? Cases similar to that in Madhya Pradesh have earlier been reported during the Assam elections and even the Delhi Cantonment Board elections,” said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal after meeting Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi.

“It could be that some machines are indeed faulty. But how is it that all faulty machines only register votes in favour of BJP? Why do we never find ‘faulty’ machines that record votes for other parties like Congress or SP,” he said. “I am an engineer and have studied at IIT. I have some understanding of technology. There is a problem with the software of EVMs as they have been tampered with. Iss tarah se EVM ke keechad mein sirf kamal khilega (In this EVM mess, only BJP’s lotus will bloom),” he added.

“Every single EVM must be checked… If some EVMs can be faulty, many others may also be tampered with. The EC keeps reiterating that EVMs are tamper-free, but these reports make it clear that not only is the EC’s claim incorrect, it is also brushing such cases under the carpet. Why do they not order an investigation into why certain machines behave in this manner? Who is changing the software and writing faulty code for the chips used in the machines? We demand that the EC set up a probe,” said Kejriwal.

The Congress delegation, led by Digvijaya Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia, told the poll panel that “there is an extraordinary suspicion about the fairness of the EVM machines” after the recent round of assembly elections, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Stating that the VVPAT trial was held in the presence of the state’s chief electoral officer, a memorandum submitted by the party leaders said “the issue gets further compounded by the sad fact that (Saleena) Singh threatened the press and media representatives with police action… if they try to go public”.

Calling it a case of EVM tampering, the party said: “The conduct of the (state) chief electoral office trying to muzzle the media and later phone calls to the press representatives by the DRO/ Collector issuing veiled threats is completely incompatible with the transparent and constitutional democratic norms…It is for the Election Commission to take note of these serious facts or else it will erode the faith of the people from Indian democracy.”

It said that “the posting of favourite officers to manipulate and mutilate the electoral process and the mute silence of DEO, CEO and observers is also a telling instance of loss of faith in the impartiality of the election process.” Chief Electoral Officer Singh, however, denied that she had threatened mediapersons. A video of the event also showed her making the comment in a lighter vein.

Explaining the VVPAT procedure, she said after the voter presses a button on the EVM, the choice is displayed for seven seconds in the paper trail machine. If the VVPAT slip doesn’t reflect the voter’s choice correctly, he has to sign an undertaking before a test vote is cast. While voting can be stopped if the voter’s claim is found to be correct, he can be jailed for six months or asked to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 if he is found to be lying.

Meanwhile, both the Congress and AAP revived the demand for returning to the ballot paper. The Congress asked the poll panel to direct “impartial and unimpeachable experts to revisit and re-verify the authenticity of all voting machines being deployed in the two bypolls in MP.” “In the face of the revelation about tampering of EVMs, it is necessary that the entire process should be re-examined thoroughly” including “all agencies and persons involved in maintenance, operationalisation and data feeding in the machines and all others performing duties and responsibilities including storage before use of EVMs in further elections,” it said.

“When the entire world uses ballot paper for elections, even developed nations use ballot papers…then why should we have an objection? Why are we bound to trust the EVM machines, the chip of which is imported from outside,” AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh said.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/madhya-pradesh-evm-trial-reignites-tampering-row-ec-calls-for-report-4595847/