Saturday, April 13, 2024


After HC jolt to Kejriwal, ED team reaches Delhi CM's residence

An ED team reached Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence on Thursday evening, hours after the Delhi High Court denied him relief against the agency's summons. Earlier in the day, the high court refused to grant interim protection to Chief Minister Kejriwal on his plea seeking "no coercive action" by the ED in connection with a money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam.

Delhi Police bust int'l mobile phone smuggling racket, 5 held

With the arrest of five persons, the Delhi Police on Thursday claimed to have busted an international racket that was allegedly involved in the sale and purchase of snatched or stolen mobile phones in the national capital, its peripherals, and Nepal. The police said that they have also recovered 473 mobile phones from the possession of the accused, and 91 cases of theft and snatching registered in Delhi and NCR have been worked out.

Agnikul’s suborbital rocket launch postponed

Private rocket maker Agnikul Cosmos Private Ltd has postponed the sub-orbital launch of its rocket Agnibaan scheduled for Friday. “Holding our launch out of an abundance of caution based on certain minor observations from the full countdown rehearsals last night,” the company said on X.

Excise policy case: Delhi HC refuses to grant interim protection to CM Kejriwal

Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to grant interim protection to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on his plea for "no coercive action" by the ED in connection with the money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam. A division bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Manoj Jain, after hearing arguments from both sides, declined to pass any order granting interim relief at this juncture. Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Arvind Kejriwal, contended that the ED's summons lacked clarity regarding the capacity in which Kejriwal was called to appear, accusing the agency of attempting to create an uneven playing field amidst upcoming elections. Singhvi argued against the necessity of Kejriwal's arrest, saying that the ED must demonstrate a valid reason for such action rather than exercising power arbitrarily. He labelled the ED's actions as politically motivated and vague. In response, ASG SV Raju along with special counsel Zoheb Hossain, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED), opposed granting interim relief, saying that the law must be applied uniformly to all individuals, regardless of their position. He clarified that Kejriwal was summoned in his personal capacity, not as the Chief Minister or the Aam Aadmi Party Chief, and stressed the necessity for his interrogation based on available evidence.

Pappu Yadav merges his party with Congress ahead of LS elections

In the run-up to 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) chief Pappu Yadav joined the Congress at its headquarters in the capital on Wednesday.He was welcomed into the grand old party by party spokesperson Pawan Khera and other senior Congress leaders.Pappu Yadav, a political heavyweight from Bihar, also merged his party with the Congress.The fresh political alignment, with Bihar in focus, will add strength to the INDIA bloc, hoping to counter the five-party NDA alliance in the state.Pappu Yadav, a gangster-turned politician started his political journey in 1990s with Lalu Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). He contested on RJD ticket from Madhepura, however got expelled from the party for anti-party activities.Subsequently, he launched his own political outfit Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) in 2015 after being shown the door from RJD.Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav has earlier served as Member of Parliament. His wife Ranjit Ranjan is a serving Rajya Sabha MP from Congress. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Bihar’s strongman had defeated the then JD(U) President Sharad Yadav in Madhepura.

EC removes West Bengal's acting DGP Rajeev Kumar, appoints Vivek Sahay to post

Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Vivek Sahay will be the new Director General of Police in West Bengal, succeeding acting DGP Rajeev Kumar, whose removal was ordered by the Election Commission of India earlier on Monday.The Election Commission named Sahay, a 1988 batch officer, and currently the Director General and Commandant General of the Home Guards. He was removed as Director, Security, after a breach of security at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s residence in 2022. When Rajeev Kumar, a 1989 batch officer, was appointed as the acting DGP last year, he superseded Sahay.Insiders from the office of the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said that the EC had sought the names of three senior IPS officers as replacements for Rajeev Kumar, and the names, including of Sahay, were sent. The other two names were Sanjoy Mukherjee (1989 batch) and Dr Rajesh Kumar (1990 batch).However, the Commission chose Sahay as the seniormost among the three.Besides removing Rajeev Kumar from his post, the Commission has also said that he cannot be involved in any election process for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. He was removed within three months of being named the acting DGP.

Russia to scrap contracts of Nepalese nationals who joined Russian Army: Deputy Nepal PM

Ahead LS polls, BJP opens media centre in Ahmedabad

Ahead of the Lok Sabah elections scheduled in Gujarat on May 7, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday opened a media centre in the Sarkhej area of Ahmedabad. The opening event was attended by Gujarat BJP chief C.R. Paatil and Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel.

Gujarat University hostel attack leads to three more arrests; relocation of international students on the cards

International students of Gujarat University are set to be relocated to a new hostel and three more arrests were made on Monday in the wake of the recent attack on scholars during a prayer session in their hostel.

Election Commission removes Bengal top cop Rajeev Kumar

The Election Commission on Monday ordered the removal of Rajeev Kumar from the chair of the acting Director General of West Bengal Police. A communication on this count was sent to the office of the Chief Election Officer (CEO), West Bengal as well as the state secretariat. “The ECI has sought three alternative names of three senior IPS officials as replacement of Rajeev Kumar. The proposed names should reach the headquarters of the commission at New Delhi by 5 p.m. on Monday,” said an insider from the office of CEO, West Bengal.

Chandrayaan-3: Next stop Moon with successful insertion into TransLunar orbit

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Tuesday successfully injected the Chandrayaan 3 -- spacecraft to the moon -- into the TransLunar orbit, an official said.

"Chandrayaan-3 completes its orbits around the earth and heads towards the moon. A successful perigee-firing performed at ISTRAC, ISRO has injected the spacecraft into the translunar orbit. Next stop: the Moon. As it arrives at the moon, the Lunar-Orbit Insertion (LOI) is planned for August 5, 2023," ISRO tweeted. Translunar orbit injection is the process whereby the moon-bound spacecraft is put into a trajectory so that it can reach the moon.

Manipur violence: DCW chief sends interim recommendations to President

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal has sent interim recommendations to President Droupadi Murmu regarding the ongoing violent clashes in Manipur, an official said on Tuesday.

NIA searches 6 places in 2021 Naupada fake currency case, suspects D-Company link

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has recovered incriminating material during searches at half-a-dozen locations in Mumbai in the 2021 Naupada case relating to seizure of high quality fake Indian currency notes (FICN), that points out the role of the D-Company.

The recovery included sharp-edged weapons, digital devices and documents, which is a strong corroboration of NIA's earlier probe findings that established a direct connection with the D-Company in the fake currency racket. Thus the role of the D-Company has been prima facie established in the circulation of FICN in India during the NIA investigation into the case.

ISRO tests semicryogenic engine at new facility

The Indian space agency has conducted the first integrated test of an intermediate configuration of its semicryogenic engine at a new test facility.

According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the test was carried out on the 2,000 kilo Newton semicryogenic engine at the newly commissioned test facility at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri.

The intermediate configuration, designated as Power Head Test Article (PHTA), comprises all the engine systems except the thrust chamber, ISRO said.

The test is the first of a series of tests planned to validate the design of the propellant feed system, including the low-pressure and high-pressure turbo-pumps, the gas generator, and control components.

The Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) of ISRO has undertaken the design and development of a semicryogenic engine with 2000 kN thrust with Indian industry participation, and will power the booster stages of future launch vehicles and works on Liquid Oxygen (LOX)-kerosene propellant combination.

ISRO said the test that was done on May 10, 2023, is a major milestone before integrating the complete engine and its qualification.

This test demonstrated the complex chill-down operations spanning about 15 hours duration that was conducted successfully, meeting all the required conditions for engine start.

Karnataka Elections 2023 Live: Highest voter turnout till 11am in Udupi. “…will be a big blow for BJP,” analysts say

After a high-voltage campaign, Karnataka is set for the mega battle of ballots. The voting for 224 assembly constituencies in Karnataka started from 7 am and will continue till 6 pm. A total of 5,31,33,054 electors are eligible to cast their votes in 58,545 polling stations across the state. The major political parties in contention are the BJP, Congress, and JD(S) The majority mark to form the government is 113 seats.

4 posing as CBI officials duped jeweller of Rs 40L in Delhi, held

The Crime Branch of Delhi Police has arrested four men, including the kingpin who was inspired by Bollywood flick 'Special-26', for impersonating as CBI official and cheating a jeweller to the tune of Rs 40 lakh in the national capital, an official said on Wednesday.

The accused were identified as Sandeep Bhatnagar (54), Pawan Gupta (47), Yogesh Kumar (58) and Himanshu alias Dinesh (35), all residents of Delhi.

Special Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ravindra Singh Yadav said that the complainant Harpreet Singh, who is running his jewellry shop at the ground floor of his residence in Delhi's Farsh Bazaar area, reported on April 17 that six individuals including one woman entered his shop, introducing themselves as CBI officials.

Court seeks Delhi Police's status report on sexual harassment case against WFI chief

A court here on Wednesday sought from the Delhi Police a status report pertaining to the sexual harassment case against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Since April 23, prominent Indian wrestlers such as Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Vinesh Phogat, who have achieved Olympic and World Championships recognition, have been staging a protest at Jantar Mantar against WFI chief.

Farmers have also extended their support to wrestlers and had arrived from Haryana and Punjab on Monday to join the wrestlers' protest.

During the hearing, the judge issued notice to Police on protesting wrestlers' plea seeking monitoring of the investigation and recording of the statement of the alleged victims before the court.

The court then directed the police to file the report by May 12, also the next date of hearing.

On Tuesday, Delhi Commission for Women also issued summons to Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Pranav Tayal for failing to arrest the accused in the matter of sexual harassment with women wrestlers.

Man stabbed to death by minor in North Delhi

A man was stabbed to death by a minor in North Delhi's Timarpur area following past altercation and sudden provocation, an official said on Wednesday.

The deceased was identified as Kunal, a resident of Timarpur.

Jharsuguda bypoll: 20.38% polling till 11 a.m

Voting for by-election to Odisha's Jharsuguda Assembly constituency began on Wednesday morning amid tight security with 20.38 per cent voter turnout recorded till 11 a.m.

The voting will continue till 6 p.m.

Polling commenced at sharp 7 a.m. in all 253 booths in the constituency.

Earlier, during a mock polling, some EVMs and VVPATs were found to be defunct. So, those were immediately changed, said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Odisha, Nikunja Bihari Dhal.

Later, the VVPATs were replaced in another two booths. Till 11 a.m., 20.38 per cent voter turnout recorded in the bypoll, he said.

Two soldiers killed in gunfight with terrorists in J&K's Rajouri (Ld)

Two soldiers were killed and four others injured in an encounter between terrorists and security forces in the Kandi area in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district, officials said on Friday.

"On specific information about the presence of terrorists in the Kandi Forest in Rajouri Sector, a joint operation was launched on 03 May 2023. At about 0730 hours on 05 May 2023, a search team established contact with a group of terrorists well entrenched in a cave. The area is thickly vegetated with rocky and steep cliffs," the Army said in a statement.

UP students to be encouraged to take up vocational courses

With less than 1 per cent of total students registering for vocational courses in class 10 and class 12 exams of UP Board, officials of the state's Secondary Education Department have now issued orders for efforts to be made to encourage more and more students to take them up.

The board spends lakhs of rupees in getting question papers of these subjects made annually. The officials concede that the situation needs to be redressed as the entire focus of the central and state governments is on skill development and providing employment-oriented education to students.

Mahendra Dev, the director of secondary education, has sent a letter to all district inspectors of schools (DIOSs) instructing them to register the maximum number of students possible for these vocational courses.

Iran, Belgium exchange prisoner swap requests


Iran and Belgium have exchanged requests for a prisoner swap between the two countries, the Foreign Ministry in Tehran announced.

Iran has submitted a request for the transfer of its national Assadollah Assadi and Belgium also sent a request for the repatriation of its citizen Olivier Vandecasteele.

In February 2021, a Belgian court sentenced Assadi, an Iranian diplomat, to 20 years in prison after accusing him of "planning an attack" against the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization, which Tehran brands as a terrorist organisation.

Palestinian boy mauled to death by lion in Gaza zoo

A six-year-old Palestinian boy was mauled to death by a lion at a private zoo in the Gaza Strip, according to the Hamas-run police force in the besieged enclave.

The boy Hamada Iqtiet, from the city of Khan Yunis, climbed the fence and reached an opening in the cage before being hit on the head by a lion.
The police announced a temporary seal-off of the zoo after the incident.

Two held with ganja in Goa

Goa Crime branch police on Tuesday arrested two persons for allegedly possessing 1.5 kg of ganja worth Rs 1,05,000.

Superintendent of police (Crime branch) Nidhin Valsan told reporters here that the police team conducted a raid in Anjuna-North Goa and caught red-handed accused -- Vikram Uppar (21) from Uttar Kannada, Karnataka and Sahil Ujjaniya (26) native Matunga-Mumbai-Maharashtra.

Man hides inside bank to rob it in J&K's Poonch

A man hid himself overnight inside a bank to rob it in Jammu and kashmir's Poonch district.

Officials said Tuesday, "A man was arrested for hiding himself inside a bank in an attempt to rob it overnight in the Mendhar area of Poonch district.

"The man hid himself inside the bank for hours and tried to transfer money from bank's system during late night hours.

Ayodhya priest ends life, blames police

A priest of a temple in Ayodhya was found hanging in his room, police said on Tuesday.

The body was found on Monday afternoon. A video later emerged on social media where the priest, identified as Ram Shankar Das of Ayodhya's Narasimha temple, alleged that he was driven to suicide due to harassment by local police.

Das was booked a few days ago by local police in a case related to the disappearance of an elderly mahant of the same temple who went missing a few months ago.

Ayodhya Kotwali SHO Manoj Sharma said, "The priest was addicted to drugs and ended his life under the influence of drugs. The allegations he made against the police are totally false. We are investigating the matter."

The post-mortem report is awaited.

Panic near petrol pump after loud sound in J&K's Jammu

Panic gripped the Narwal area in J&K's Jammu city after people heard a loud sound fearing it to be a blast.

Police said there was no blast, but a short circuit near the petrol pump in the Narwal area which resulted in momentary panic among the bystanders.

2 low-lying bridges in TN washed away in heavy rain

Two low-lying bridges in Tamil Nadu's Erode district were washed away due to flash floods caused by heavy rain on Tuesday.

Vehicle movement between Alamarathuvalasu and Ayyampalayam near Kavundapadi has been disrupted as a result.

Sudhanshu Pandey to feature in solo single 'Dil Ki Tu Zameen' after almost five years

Actor Sudhanshu Pandey is back with a solo single titled 'Dil Ki Tu Zameen'. Alongside the actor, the music video stars his 'Anupamaa' co-star Madalsa Sharma, who plays the role of Kavya in the show.

"Well thanks to a slightly busy schedule before Covid and during Covid, I am coming with a solo single after a four and a half years gap. The unique thing about my song is going to be the visuals."

Actor Sooraj Pancholi acquitted in Jiah Khan suicide case

A Mumbai Special CBI Court on Friday acquitted actor Sooraj Pancholi in the sensational Jiah Khan death case, in which he was charged with abetment to suicide.

The verdict came almost 10 years after Jiah, 25 was found dead in her Mumbai flat in Sagar Sangeet apartments, Juhu, around midnight on June 3, 2013.

Days later, Sooraj -- son of veteran actor couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab -- was arrested and charged with abetment to suicide.

An American citizen, Jiah was stated to be in a relationship with Sooraj who was then trying to make his mark in Bollywood.

She apparently left a note, which pointed the needle of suspicion towards Sooraj, who was later arrested in connection with her death.

In a major shocker for Bollywood, Sooraj was booked under IPC Section 306 for allegedly abetting Jiah's suicide, a week after Jiah ended her life.

Subsequently, the case was handed over to the CBI after repeated pleas by Jiah's mother Rabia Khan and directives of the Bombay High Court on 3 July, 2014.

In her note, Jiah had narrated her ordeal, intimate relationship, physical abuse, mental and physical torture she suffered allegedly at the hands of Sooraj.

Inmate dies in UP jail, family alleges murder

A 40-year-old inmate has allegedly died under mysterious circumstances in Mainpuri district jail.

The deceased, Bhura Girhar -- a resident of Agra Road in Gihar colony in the district, was arrested and sent to jail two days ago after a non-bailable warrant was issued against him, said the police.

The family of the deceased has alleged that 'he was tortured in custody'.

Class 8 Delhi student beaten to death near school premises

In a shocking incident, a Class 8 student was beaten to death near an MCD government school in Delhi's Badarpur area, an official said on Friday.

According to police, the incident occurred late Thursday evening.

"A police control room call was received at 8:20 p.m. in which a woman caller claimed that two boys had beaten up a child, who is also a school student and thrown him in a drain near the school," said a senior police official.

Upon reaching the spot, the police found the body of a boy aged around 12-13 years in the drain in his school uniform.

"The deceased boy was identified as Saurabh (12), a resident of Bilaspur Camp, Molarband village. He was a student of class 8th studying at MCD School, Tajpur Pahari," said the official.

UP reports 510 new Covid cases, single death in one day

As many as 510 fresh Covid cases were reported in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday whereas one patient from Jaunpur succumbed to the infection, taking the toll to 23,676 since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, health officials said.

With the fresh cases, the test positivity rate in the state stood at 1.5 per cent, as per health department's data.

Delhi records seven fatalities, 865 fresh Covid cases

Delhi reported seven Covid-related fatalities for the second consecutive day on Thursday and registered 865 fresh coronavirus cases with a positivity rate of 16.9 per cent, according to data shared by the city government's health department.

On Wednesday too, the city had reported seven fatalities, the highest so far this year.

According to the Delhi government's health bulletin, the overall Covid tally has increased to 20,37,061, while the death toll rose to 26,620.

Jharkhand: BJP leader's body found hanging from tree

The body of a BJP leader was found hanging from a tree in Jharkhand on Thursday, an official said.

The deceased has been identified as Pramod Singh, a resident of Manatu block in Palamu district.

Pramod, the president of the BJP's Scheduled Tribe Morcha cell had left home at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and was missing since then.

Minor rape & murder: Calcutta HC seeks report from Mamata govt

A single-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court on Thursday afternoon sought a report from the West Bengal government on the rape and murder of a minor girl at Kaliyaganj in North Dinajpur district, whose body was detected by the local people there on April 21.

While hearing the petition of the victim's father for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the matter, Calcutta High Court's single-judge bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha also directed the state government to furnish a copy of the said report to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

As per the order by Justice Mantha, the video-recording and pictures of the post-mortem process of the victim's body will have to be restored.

Man's body found in Delhi garbage centre

The body of an unidentified man was found lying in a garbage centre in Delhi's Pratap Nagar area on Thursday, a police official said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi said that on Thursday a PCR call was received at the Gulabi Bagh police station about the body at the garbage centre.

"The same was enquired, investigated and even after sincere efforts, the body could not be identified," said Kalsi.

Gangster-turned-politician Anand Mohan released from Bihar's Saharsa jail

Convicted in the murder of a Dalit IAS officer G. Krishnaiah, 'Bahubali' leader Anand Mohan Singh was released from Bihar's Saharsa jail on Thursday.

Jail superintendent Amit Kumar confirmed his release. He said that Anand Mohan was released from the jail at 4.30 a.m. on Thursday. He had surrendered before the jail on Wednesday evening after his parole period of 15 days was over.

Anand Mohan was released on the basis of an amendment in 481A of the jail manual of 2012 by the Nitish Kumar government. Anand Mohan was serving life imprisonment in the murder of a government servant and there was a provision that the accused has to serve jail term till his/her last breath. The Nitish Kumar government removed this clause from the jail manual 2012 and issued a notification on Monday to release 27 prisoners for their good conduct. Anand Mohan was one of them.

The Nitish Kumar government was facing flak after the family members of G. Krishnaiah objected to Anand Mohan's release. They have appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Droupadi Murmu to intervene in the matter. T. Uma Krishnaiah, the wife of slain DM G. Krishnaiah, also said that she will knock the door of the Supreme Court to get justice.

Bangladesh Army chief in India, discusses anti-terror collaboration

Bangladesh Army Chief General S.M. Shafiuddin Ahmed, who on Thursday arrived here for a three-day visit, met General Manoj Pande, the Chief of the Army Staff, and discussed anti-terrorism collaboration and overall bilateral cooperation.

Apart from this, the two Army chiefs also discussed various issues pertaining to enhancing and strengthening interoperability, training, and overall bilateral cooperation as part of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations.

During General Ahmed's visit, he will also meet India's senior military and civilian leadership where he will discuss avenues for enhancing India-Bangladesh defence relations.

After meeting General Manoj Pande, General Ahmed later called on General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff, Air Marshal A.P. Singh, Vice Chief of Air Staff, Defence Secretary and the Foreign Secretary.

The Ministry of Defence informed that he was also briefed on the Indian indigenous defence equipment manufacturing eco-system by the Department of Defence Production (DDP) and the Army Design Bureau.

An 'Implementing Arrangement' for UN Peacekeeping Operations and Training Cooperation between Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping (CUNPK), India and Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operations Training (BIPSOT), Bangladesh was signed between both Armies during the visit, the defence ministry official added.

Centre monitoring evacuation of Indians from Sudan, 600 reach home: Foreign Secy

Even as the evacuation process of Indian citizens from violence-hit Sudan is underway through Operation Kaveri, government on Thursday said that is monitoring the situation.

Addressing mediapersons, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said: "We are constantly monitoring the situation in Sudan since the conflict began on April 15. Our estimate is that there are approximately 3,500 Indians and 1,000 PIOs in Sudan."

He further informed that around 600 Indian citizens have already reached India.

"We have received requests for the evacuation of citizens of other countries from Sudan. This is subject to the fulfilment of the procedures," he added.