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5,384 crore paid by Reliance Communications for spectrum policy

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Mumbai: A sum of Rs 5383.84 crores was paid by Reliance Communications on Wednesday to the government as a fee for spectrum sharing and trading in 16 circles for the 800-850 MHz band. This payment comes after the announcement of a pact with Jio for nine service areas.

This also follows a statement by the company a week ago that while it heard from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) regarding its plans for sharing and trading in scarce airwaves in the 800-850 MHz space, it was awaiting the response in four other circles.

The company statement said it has already been granted a stay by the Kolkata High Court not to furnish any bank guarantee towards one-time spectrum charge, as had been demanded earlier by the government.

Sources said Reliance Communications wanted to pursue spectrum trading in nine circles with Jio and sharing it with Jio in 17 circles.

“Sharing will eventually cover all 22 circles in the 800 MHz band. But we want some clarity in Rajasthan, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir,” a source said.

Reliance Communications has a presence in all the 22 circles in the 800 MHz space, with a total of 113.75 MHz, out of which 33.75 MHz has been earmarked for Jio. This will leave the company with 80 MHz, with an option to share the same under various agreements.

Reliance Communications had announced on Monday that it has signed an agreement for trading and sharing of scarce airwaves, or radio frequency spectrum, with Jio in the 800 MHz band, covering virtually the entire country. A roaming agreement, it had added, was also on cards.

Two other developments will have a bearing on the spectrum plans of Reliance Communications to buy rival Aircel from Malaysia’s Maxis Communications and Sindya Securities, and another to merge with itself Russia’s Indian telecom arm Sistema that operates under the “MTS” brand.

However,  if these two deals happen, RCom-Aircel-MTS wireless combine will have over 150 million customers in India and hold close to 20 percent of the total spectrum highest in the country in virtually every band currently available to private players and every circle. (IANS)(image:en.wikipedia.org)

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India will soon ask Malaysia to extradite Preacher Zakir Naik

India will soon approach Malaysia with a request to extradite hardline Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.

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India will Request Malayasia to extradite Zakir Naik
India will Request Malayasia to extradite Zakir Naik. wikimedia commons
  • India will seek the Malaysian government’s help in extraditing televangelist Zakir Naik who faces charges of money laundering and inciting hatred through his sermons broadcast on Peace TV, the foreign ministry said Friday.

Zakir Naik obtained permanent residency in Malaysia 

Officials will approach their Malaysian counterparts with the extradition request sometime within the next two weeks, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar told a weekly news briefing in New Delhi.

“Any formal request seeking the assistance of a foreign government in cases of extradition requires a completion of the internal legal process involving consultation with other ministries involved in the case,” Kumar said.

“At this stage, we are nearing the completion of this process and as soon as this process is complete we will be making an official request to the Malaysian government in this matter,” Kumar said. “It could be a couple of days or a couple of weeks. But it would be soon and the nature of our request would also be clear.”

Naik fled India a month before terrorist carried out a massacre at a café in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in July 2016. This week, Malaysia’s deputy prime minister said the Islamic preacher legally obtained permanent residency in the country, and that Malaysian authorities would arrest him only if he broke local laws or was found to be involved in terrorist activities.

Naik’s speeches allegedly inspired some of the militants who carried out the siege at the Holey Artisan Bakery café in Dhaka, where 29 people, including 20 hostages and five gunmen, were killed.

In November 2016, the Indian government banned Naik’s Mumbai-based NGO Islamic Research Foundation, which partly funded the Peace TV channel that is banned in India, Bangladesh and several other countries.

Kumar said because the Indian government had knowledge of Naik’s whereabouts, the legal procedures would be tailored to requirements between the two countries in their extradition treaty.

Advocate challenges charges

“Naik is being hounded because he hails from a minority community. The charges that the investigating agencies are trying to frame are all stale and are hardly incriminating,” advocate S. Hariharan told BenarNews in a phone interview from Delhi.

“The charges lack veracity and would not stand scrutiny in the court of law. We will be challenging the extradition and deportation.”

Last week, the Indian government filed a 61-page charge sheet against Naik alleging he was involved in a criminal conspiracy by lauding terrorist organizations. In April, a non-bailable warrant was issued against him in an alleged case of money laundering through his NGO and a shell company.

In Malaysia meanwhile, the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) has urged the government to ignore any request from India to extradite Zakir Naik, Reuters reported.

“For Muslim individuals, even when they won by using arguments and not weapons, like Dr. Zakir Naik, they are considered terrorists because their arguments cannot be countered,” PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang wrote last week in an opinion piece published in Harakah Daily.(BenarNews)

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