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Monday,27-September-2021

Crime

Arnab Goswami violated Official Secrets Act: Maharashtra Congress

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Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami

Expressing serious concerns over the recent leaks of social media chats of two media personalities, the Maharashtra Congress on Tuesday said they compromised national security and violated the provisions of the Official Secrets Act.

In a memorandum submitted to Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, a Congress delegation led by spokespersons Sachin Sawant and Raju Waghmare said that the leakage of the purported social media chats conducted between Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami and ex-BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta undermined national security of the ‘highest order’.

On his part, Deshmukh assured that he would take up the matter in the state Cabinet before taking a decision. Headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government comprises Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.

The developments came a day after the NCP demanded a joint parliamentary committee probe into the matter and Deshmukh said on January 18 that the government is trying to ascertain how Goswami got access to such highly classified details pertaining to national security.

Sawant and Waghmare pointed out how, in one of the chats, Goswami tells Dasgupta that he had confirmed information about India planning a cross-border strike on Pakistan in retaliation for the Pulwama terror attacks on CRPF troopers.

“Even the date and time stamps on this message show that this chat happened 3 days before the Indian Air Force conducted an air strike on Balakot in Pakistan on February 26, 2019,” the Congress memorandum said.

Both leaders informed Deshmukh how it was a matter of serious concern that Goswami was not only privy to information of the highest secrecy regarding national security operations of the armed forces but was also openly sharing it with Dasgupta, and it is not known as to how many other people he (Goswami) may have leaked these secrets to.

“Goswami’s actions are a clear violation of Section 5 of the OSA, 1923 which forbids a person with knowledge of classified national security operations from revealing them to unauthorised persons,” the two leaders said.

Besides, the OSA 1923 vests the power of investigating and prosecuting offences related to to Sec. 5 with the concerned state government, said Sawant and Waghmare.

They urged the state home minister to order a probe and register an offence if needed against Goswami for compromising national security, probe how he was privy to the information and who leaked such sensitive information to him.

Sawant and Waghmare raised another issue of Republic TV allegedly illegally using Doordarshan Prasar Bharati satellite frequency signals without paying the uplinking fees to reach millions of additional subscribers free in an illegal manner.

The matter figured in another chat of Goswami in which he is claiming that the then Information & Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore kept the matter pending till Republic TV escaped action from the government.

This issue, the duo demanded must be investigated along with the TRP probe of Mumbai Police in which Republic TV and certain other private television channels manipulated viewership data causing huge losses to the Indian exchequer.

Crime

Huge cache of weapons seized under ‘Operation Disarm’ by TN Police

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The special police team constituted by Tamil Nadu Director General of Police C. Sylendra Babu, named ‘Operation Disarm’, has seized more than 900 weapons, including three firearms.

The raids conducted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning also rounded up 2,500 rowdy elements in South Tamil Nadu.

The arrest and seizure of weapons followed the four beheadings that took place in South Tamil Nadu, specifically in Dindigul and Tirunelveli districts in the past 12 days.

The DGP in a high-level meeting of the police officers at Madurai directed them to investigate murder cases that were even ten years old. He also called upon the officers to conduct routine raids at the residences and premises of rowdy elements in these districts.

The DGP also told the police officers to round up and arrest those people who can be involved in possible retaliatory attacks. Police officers said that the DGP also directed them to intensify night patrolling and not to allow any untoward incidents to happen in the days to come.

According to a senior DSP who was present in the meeting, the DGP was furious over the back-to-back murders in these districts and the resurgence of caste wars that had dominated South Tamil Nadu during the mid-1990s.

Sociologist and Professor at a foreign university M.K. Krishnan, who hails from Madurai, while speaking to IANS said, “Police have to take stringent action against those who take law into their hands. However, unless the sublime issue of caste is not weeded out this will reappear in one form or the other.

“While the present DMK government has had a good start, the awareness on the futility of fights over castes have to be inculcated in young minds and for that good education is very important. These youths who are involved in beheadings will not be allowed to be given any heroic receptions.”

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Crime

Carcass of tiger found in Dudhwa reserve

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The carcass of a tiger was found on Sunday in the Mailani range of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.

The carcass was found alongside the Gola-Pilibhit road near Chhedipur village here and the tiger is said to be two years old.

Sanjay Kumar Pathak, field director of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR), said that all vital organs, including jaws and nails, were intact though there were some abrasion marks on the carcass.

“The circumstances indicate that the tiger died in a road accident or it could be due to fighting during the mating season,” Pathak said.

He said the exact cause of the death could be ascertained after post mortem by a team of experts from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly.

The post mortem would be conducted according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines, Pathak said.

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Crime

Pramod Tiwari denies hand in attack on BJP MP

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Former Congress MP Pramod Tiwari has rejected the allegation that he was behind the attack on Pratapgarh BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta.

Tiwari, speaking on the phone, said, “He is trying to gain attention in the party and increase his TRP ahead of the Assembly elections.”

Tiwari alleged that Gupta had himself torn his clothes and there might have been a scuffle between the workers which somebody told me. Nobody attacked the MP, Tiwari said.

The BJP MP had alleged that the supporters of Congress leader Pramod Tiwari had beaten him on Saturday as the supporters of both clashed at the ‘Garib Kalyan Mela’ in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP alleged that the video of the attack was a proof and Gupta was beaten up in the presence of Tiwari and his daughter Aradhana Mishra, who is congress leader in the Assembly.

Both have refuted the allegation and said, “Gupta was making allegations because in Pratapgarh BJP was feeling helpless, so they are resorting to such cheap tactics.”

Congress MP Pramod Tiwari, Congress legislature party leader Aradhana Mishra and 48 others have been booked under Section 307 (attempt to murder), 146 (rioting) and 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) at the Lalganj police station in Pratapgarh.

The case was registered late on Saturday night after BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta, with his supporters, blocked traffic on the Prayagraj-Pratapgarh road for several hours.

Earlier on Saturday, several people were injured as Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers came to blows during the Gareeb Kalyan Mela held at Sangipur development block auditorium in Pratapgarh district.

BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta was also allegedly beaten up and had to be rescued by the police and escorted to a safe place.

Congress leader Pramod Tiwari was also manhandled and Aradhana Mishra’s mobile phone was lost in the melee.

According to reports, BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta was invited as the chief guest at the Gareeb Kalyan Mela but he came late.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Pramod Tiwari and Aradhana Mishra ‘Mona’ reached the Mela venue and a few minutes later, the BJP MP also arrived, leading to tension among the Congress and BJP workers.

After a heated argument, both groups attacked each other. In a video which went viral, it can be seen that some people chased his vehicle and damaged it. The programme was also suspended following the chaos. Heavy force reached the spot and controlled the situation.

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