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Tuesday,09-August-2022

Maharashtra

BJP rubbishes Malik’s allegations, denies Fadnavis links with mafia

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Hitting back, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday denied the allegations made by Nationalist Congress Party Minister Nawab Malik that Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis had mafia links.

Fadnavis tellingly hit out a tweet, quoting George Bernard Shaw: “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides the pig likes it!”

Talking to media persons, BJP leader and former minister Ashish Shelar countered by displaying photos of the absconder goon Riyaz Bhatti with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, NCP President Sharad Pawar, Malik, Prithviraj Chavan, Aslam Shaikh and other top MVA leaders with a warning: “You show one, we will show you four pictures”.

“Malik had promised a ‘hydrogen bomb’, but he failed… He’s clearly frustrated and needs ‘oxygen’ now… Despite all his efforts, he could not defame or malign Fadnavis,” claimed Shelar.

He demanded to know why the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has not taken any action on all the names Malik has revealed, and said all the allegations are false.

Earlier on Wednesday, Malik said that the Prime Minister’s security may have been compromised after Bhatti managed to enter a VVIP event and even clicked photos with the PM, courtesy Fadnavis.

“There’s no link between Fadnavis and Riyaz Batti… He went absconding under the MVA rule… Is the NCP giving him protection? Is Bhatti part of the Sachin Vaze extortion gang,” Shelar asked.

He accused Malik of shielding criminals, trying to deflect the attention of the minorities by dragging in Muslim names and defaming them, including Congress Minister Aslam Shaikh.

Malik had also charged Fadnavis with rewarding persons with shady credentials or involvement in questionable activities with plum government panel postings.

Shelar said that these persons accused by Malik, like Munna Yadav, have only political cases, while others like Hyder Azam and Haji Arafat Shaikh would reply to the NCP leader’s charges independently.

Endorsing Fadnavis’ allegations of Tuesday, he questioned Malik’s Kurla land deal with persons close to the mafia and demanded that Thackeray should lodge an FIR against the NCP minister for his business deals with such elements.

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Maharashtra

Maharashtra cabinet expansion likely on Tuesday, hints CM Shinde

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The much-delayed cabinet expansion of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government is likely to take place on Tuesday morning.

Shinde gave indications to the effect in Nanded where he is on a tour on Monday, saying that “you will come to know soon” and the names of the ministers shall be finalised by latter this night or Tuesday.

More ministers may be inducted Tuesday – a day ahead of the Monsoon Session of Maharashtra Legislature which is expected to start from Wednesday.

Shinde and Fadnavis took oath on June 30 – a day after the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi regime headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray crashed – and they have been running a two-man government for the past 40 days.

The duo had a meeting on the issue on Monday – a couple of days after they had gone to New Delhi to meet the Bharatiya Janata Party top leaders – to finalise the thorny cabinet expansion issue.

The Shinde-Fadnavis government has been under severe attack from the Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar, the Nationalist Congress Party, Congress and Shiv Sena leaders for the delay in forming the cabinet due to which the state administration has been paralysed.

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Maharashtra

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut gets 14 days’ judicial remand

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A Special PMLA Court here on Monday sent Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut to a 14-day judicial custody till August 22, eight days after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged money-laundering case.

PMLA Court Special Judge M.G. Deshpande granted Raut judicial remand after the ED informed that it did not require his additional custody for the probe into the Rs 1,034-crore scam.

On July 31, the ED had raided Raut’s residence in Bhandup, detained him and arrested him in the wee hours of August 1 in connection with the alleged money-laundering case emanating from the redevelopment project of the Patra Chawl, Goregaon, by Guru Ashish Construction Pvt. Ltd., a subsidiary of the HDIL.

On August 6, the ED interrogated the MP’s wife, Varsha Raut for around 10 hours in the same case in which it had earlier arrested his close associate, Pravin Raut, a former director of the Guru Ashish Construction Pvt. Ltd.

Sanjay Raut, 61, was earlier sent to a four-day ED remand which was extended by three more days till August 8, followed by the two-week long judicial custody granted on Monday.

While ordering judicial custody, Special Judge Deshpande took cognisance of the MP’s medical records pertaining to his heart ailments and permitted him home-cooked food along with his medicines as prescribed by the doctor.

In April the ED had attached properties belonging to Varsha Raut and Pravin Raut and two others, worth around Rs 11.15 crore as part of its probe.

They included plots belonging to Pravin Raut in Palghar, Raigad, and a flat belonging to Sanjay Raut’s wife in Mumbai, and properties she held jointly with another associate, Swapna Patkar.

On July 1, Sanjay Raut was grilled for over 10 hours by the ED and then summoned again on at least two occasions, but he skipped the same citing the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament.

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Crime

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

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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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