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3 dead in Gujarat even as cyclone Tauktae weakens




At least three people have died following the devastation caused by the severe cyclone Tauktae in Gujarat. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that the administration is fully functional in carrying out the search and rescue operations. The severe cyclone is expected to continue its northward journey in the state till Tuesday evening.

“We have confirmed cases of three deaths since last night in Gujarat due to the devastation caused by Tauktae. A 3-year-old child died buried under recently constructed wall. An 80-year-old lady died in Gariyadhar Tehsil and one more death was reported in Vapi,” the Chief Minister told the media.

The Chief Minister said, “Since last night, when the cyclone made a landfall it has been continuing its northward journey in the state. But the cyclone has somewhat weakened. Due to the administration’s advanced planning with details, no major damage or loss has occurred. We have shifted over 2 lakh people to safety.”

“Our biggest concern was that the Covid treatment in hospitals might get affected, but it has not happened so. Power supply was affected in only 16 hospitals, out of which the power companies have restored the power in 12. In the rest 4 hospitals, supply is being carried out through generators. Shortly the power will be restored there also,” said the CM.

“Our other concern was that most of the oxygen supplied to other states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana may be affected, but nowhere is the delivery being suffered due to the cyclone,” said the CM.

The Chief Minister also informed that power was cut off in 2,437 villages out of which it has been restored in 484 villages. “All the teams from power companies are functional and trying to restore power everywhere. Two stations of 220 kilo watts have been affected and efforts are on to restore those,” CM told on Tuesday.

According to the CM, 1,081 electricity poles have been uprooted in the affected districts of Saurashtra due to the cyclonic winds. A total of 159 roads have been damaged and it is assessed that around 40,000 trees have been uprooted or fallen. The Roads and Buildings teams have restored commutation on 42 roads.

“According to the primary assessment till now there are around 16.5 thousand houses, including shanties have been damaged, but the survey is still on, as the cyclone has not yet left the state,” informed the CM.

The severe Cyclone Tauktae hit Gujarat with gusty winds and heavy rains in many parts of Saurashtra. “The maximum rain was received by the Bagasara Tehsil of 9 inches. The Gir-Gadhada region and Una region of Junagadh received 8 inches, while 7 inches rain lashed in the Savarkundla Tehsil. Amreli, Rajula, Babara tehsils of Amreli district received around 5 inches of rain. In 35 tehsils 1-3 inches of rain was there,” informed Rupani.

The Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) revenue, Pankaj Kumar said, “The cyclone is 210 kilometres in the south- southwest from Ahmedabad approaching with 105-115 kilometre speed. The movement of the cyclone will continue till Tuesday evening.”


Nupur Sharma controversy: SC grants interim protection to journalist Navika Kumar




In a relief to Times Now journalist Navika Kumar, the Supreme Court on Monday granted her interim protection from any coercive action in multiple FIRs already registered or future cases, in connection with remarks made by suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma on Prophet Muhammed during a TV debate.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the senior journalist, submitted before a bench comprising Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli that his client did not say anything offensive during the debate on the Gyanvapi mosque, instead a participant said something, which was responded to by another participant. Rohatgi emphasized that his client doused the fire by saying we have to go by the Constitution.

He further argued that the woman who made the statement is facing flak in multiple FIRs, and his client is also facing several FIRs. “She has five or six FIRs in Kolkata alone. First FIR came to be lodged in Delhi,” said Rohatgi.

Senior advocate Maneka Guruswamy, representing the West Bengal government, contended that FIRs annexed with the plea were not the right ones as those did not concern the particular speech. Rohatgi questioned the interest of the West Bengal government in the matter.

After hearing arguments, the top court said as an interim measure, no coercive action should be taken against the petitioner in the FIRs/complaints lodged or future cases, which may be lodged in connection with the programme on May 26. The top court also issued notice to West Bengal, Delhi, and police of other states, and sought their response within two weeks.

The top court, on July 19, had ordered that no coercive action can be taken against Sharma in FIRs already registered and also future FIRs in connection with her remarks during the debate. A bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala said: “Meanwhile, as an interim measure it is directed that no coercive shall be taken against Nupur Sharma pursuant to the impugned FIRs.”

Nupur Sharma had moved the Supreme Court seeking stay on her arrest in the nine FIRs against her for her remarks on Prophet Muhammad and also sought clubbing/quashing of the FIRs with the FIR registered at Delhi.

On July 1, the top court had minced no words in slamming Sharma, whose remarks on Prophet Muhammad sparked a controversy. The top court said her loose tongue has set the entire country on fire and her irresponsible remarks shows that she is “obstinate and arrogant”.

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Maharashtra: Gang-rape of 35-yr-old woman in Bhandara sparks outrage




In another shocker, a woman was brutally gang-raped in Maharashtra’s Bhandara, sparking a political war between the ruling Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis regime and the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi.

According to the police, the victim, aged around 35, was sexually assaulted between July 30 and August 2 near Kanhadmoh village under the Kardha police station in Bhandara district.

She was dumped by the assailants near the highway where some villagers noticed her, naked and bleeding profusely from serious injuries, and alerted the police.

The police rushed her first to a local hospital in Bhandara but as her wounds were deep, she was shifted to the Nagpur government hospital where she has undergone a surgery. However, her condition is still critical.

The Chairperson of Maharashtra State Commission for Women, Rupali, took serious cognisance of the incident, while other leaders compared it to the decade-old Nirbhaya incident of Delhi.

Following an uproar, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has ordered a Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by a woman IPS officer to probe the case, which he termed as “a serious and gruesome incident”.

As per the preliminary police probe, at least three persons were involved in the crime of which two have been traced and picked up for questioning, details of which are not immediately available.

The Bhandara Police are scouring the CCTV footages on the Bhandara-Gondiya highway besides launching a manhunt for the one or more persons who may have been involved in the crime in the district and the adjoining areas.

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Sanjay Raut’s wife summoned by ED




 The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday issued summons to Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha Raut in connection with the Prevention of Money Laundering case pertaining to the Patra Chawl land case.

The ED said that the summons were issued after transactions done on Varsha Raut’s account came to light.

Sanjay Raut was on Sunday arrested by the ED after he skipped several summons. He was sent to the ED’s custody till Thursday. Now his custodial remand has been extended till Monday by the Mumbai court.

The ED had earlier questioned Pune businessman Avinash Bhosale in custody in the DHFL Yes Bank case, and sources claimed that they wanted to grill Raut in this matter too.

The sources claimed that the Patra Chawl case of the ED is also linked to the DHFL case.

In April, the ED had attached Raut’s property in connection with the land scam.

A property worth Rs 9 crore of Raut’s associate Pravin Raut and assets worth Rs 2 crore belonging to Varsha Raut, the wife of Sanjay Raut, were attached by the ED.

Pravin had eight parcels of land in Alibaug and a flat registered in the name of Varsha Raut which were attached. The ED had arrested Pravin in connection with the matter.

“We had filed a chargesheet in the matter against Pravin, Sarang Wadhawan and Rakesh Wadhawan of HDIL and Guru Ashish Construction and others were named as an accused in the chargesheet,” said an ED official.

The ED came to know during the probe that Pravin allegedly paid Rs 55 lakh to Varsha. This was paid from the bank account of Pravin’s wife.

The money was termed as proceeds of crime by the ED.

It was also alleged that the travel expenses of Sanjay Raut were borne by Pravin which included his hotel stay and air tickets.

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