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ED searches on Sukhpal Singh Khaira kin’s premises in Delhi ends




ED searches linked to former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Punjab Ekta Party (PEP) founder Sukhpal Singh Khaira and his son-in-law Inder Veer Johal in connection with drugs money and fake passport racket case concluded on Wednesday, an official said.

An ED official related to the probe told IANS, “Searches in Punjab and Chandigarh at the premises linked to Khaira was concluded on Tuesday evening.”

While the searches in Delhi at the premises linked to his son-in-law Johal concluded on Wednesday, he added.

During the searches the ED seized several electronic equipments and documents related to bank transactions and the companies owned by Johal.

The Enforcement Directorate officers searched eight locations — one in Chandigarh, five in Punjab and two in Delhi.

Sharing details of the case, the ED official said that the drugs case was registered in Punjab’s Fazilka in 2015 after 1,800 grams of heroin, 24 gold biscuits, two weapons and some live cartridges, some Pakistani SIM cards were recovered. The case was registered by the Punjab Police and conviction has already happened.

The official said that Khaira was associated with some of the convicted in this drugs case, and that was the reason why the financial probe agency carried out searches at his premises.

Sharing the details of the fake passport racket case, the officer said that in this case also Khaira has been associated with the people named in the case.

When asked about the role of Khaira’s son-in-law, the officer said, “He used to help his father-in-law in money laundering through his company which works in the field of Wi-Fi systems.”

At the time of the raid Khaira was present at his Chandigarh Sector 5 home along with his lawyer son. He is a legislator from Bholath and former Leader of Opposition.

The official said that the agency was looking after the property papers as well as banking transactions of Khaira.

Khaira has denied any wrongdoing. His counsel blamed that the raids were carried out as his client was supporting the ongoing farmers’ agitation.


Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Lakhvi among India’s top 31 wanted terrorists




Maulana Masood Azhar, the founder of Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) co-founder and Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, and key Mumbai attacks perpetrator Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi feature in India’s list of 31 most wanted terrorists.

These 31 terrorists have been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and figure in the list of most wanted individuals by the Indian government for their involvement in various anti-India activities such as bomb blasts, killings and other conspiracies which somehow compromised the country’s internal security.

The names of these terrorists are mentioned in the latest updated list of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which is responsible for securing the internal security of the country besides with taking strict actions against those conspiring against India.

Azhar, Saeed and Lakhvi are among the top five in the list of 31 terrorists, along with dreaded Indian gangster-tuned-drug lord Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and Wadhawa Singh Babbar, a key leader of banned terror outfit Babbar Khalsa International (BKI).

Along with Dawood, 65, his Pakistan-based associates Javed Chikna alias Javed Dawood Tailor, Ibrahim Memon alias Tiger Memon and Shaikh Shakeel alias Chhota Shakeel are named in the list.

All are accused in the 1993 Bombay blasts, when a series of 12 explosions claimed the lives of over 250 people.

The list also features Lakhbir Singh, chief of Pakistan-based terrorist organisation International Sikh Youth Federation; Ranjeet Singh alias Neeta of Khalistan Zindabad Force; Paramjit Singh of Pakistan-based Khaliastan Commando Force; Bhupinder Singh Bhinda of Khalistan Zindabad Force; Gurmeet Singh Bagga, a key member of Khalistan Zindabad Force based in Germany; Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a key member of Sikh For Justice based in the US; Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Canada-based chief of Khalistan Tiger Force; and Paramjit Singh, the UK-based chief of BKI.

They were all declared as designated terrorists by the Home Ministry on July 1 last year.

Among the others named in the list are Sajid Mir, Yusuf Muzammil, Abdur Rehman Makki, Shahid Mehmood, Farhatullah Ghori, Abdul Rauf Asghar, Ibrahim Athar, Yusuf Azhar, Shahid Latif, Ghulam Nabi Khan, Zaffar Hussain Bhat, Riyaz Ismail Shahbandr, Md Iqbal and Mohammad Anis Shaikh.

Ahead of the next meeting of the global watchdog for terror financing and money laundering, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), scheduled later this month, Pakistan has scrambled into action by registering two cases against Masood Azhar, Rauf Asgar and Sajid Mir — the top leaders of JeM.

Pakistan had also reportedly carried out raids to locate Azhar, but the operation was unsuccessful as the raiding party only found his wife and a few aides from his Bahawalpur residence.

A Pakistan court in January this year had sentenced Lakhvi to five years in prison for terror financing. He has been accused by India and the US of orchestrating the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, in which at least 160 people were killed.

Last year, 70-year-old radical cleric Hafiz Saeed was sentenced to 15-and-a-half years in jail in Pakistan. He played a key role in carrying out the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Originally from Dongri in Mumbai, Dawood Ibrahim reportedly resides in D-13, Block 4 at Clifton, an affluent seaside neighbourhood in Pakistan’s Karachi, with his extended family, though the Pakistan government denies it. Dawood heads the organised crime syndicate D-Company, which he had founded in Mumbai in 1970s.

Since the early 90s, India has been fighting a war against terrorism that has claimed the lives of thousands of people, including several personnel of the security forces. While the country over the last three decades has taken several steps and measures to mitigate terrorism, more needs to be done to avoid the radicalisation of the youth.

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Mumbai again takes lead in active Covid caseload




With the Covid-19 situation improving in Pune, Mumbai has again taken the lead in terms of active Covid cases in the state, accounting for 18,764 of the state’s 134,747 ill patients, health officials said here on Saturday.

Pune comes next with 17,888 active cases, followed by Thane (13,970), Kolhapur (11,453) and Sangli (10,545) in the list with 10,000-plus active patients.

In the 5,000-plus range, Ratnagiri and Satara figure below the top five with 7,766 and 7,149 cases, respectively, followed by Sindhudurg with 5,372 active cases.

Districts that figure at the bottom with less than 500 active cases are Gondia (197), Yavatmal (232), Gadchiroli (303), Buldhana (313) and Nandurbar (395).

The state’s current Covid-19 toll is 116,674 with the overall Covid tally stands at 59,54,508. With a recovery rate of 95.73 per cent, 56,99,983 patients have been fully cured and discharged till date.

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West Bengal teen killed 4 members of family, kept bodies buried in godown for 4 months




A shocking incident has come to light at Kaliachak in West Bengal’s Malda district, where a 19-year-old youth allegedly killed his parents, sister and grandmother and kept the bodies buried in the godown of the house for the last four months.

The police recovered the bodies on Saturday and are questioning the accused teen, who has been identified as Asif Mohammed, and his elder brother Arif to seek details about the motive behind the murder.

The incident came to light after Arif, who stayed away from his home, lodged a complaint with the Kaliachak police station on Saturday morning, alleging that his brother had killed four members of his family and buried the bodies under the floor of the godown located adjacent to the house.

The police immediately rushed to the spot and arrested Asif. Later, in the presence of a magistrate, the floor of the godown was dug and the four bodies were recovered from there. The bodies have been sent to the Malda Medical College for post-mortem.

“The accused has admitted that he had killed all the four persons in February end. He confessed that he had mixed drugs in their drinks and made them unconscious. After that, he pushed them into a well to confirm their death. The bodies were then pulled out of the well, taken to the godown where they were buried one after another. The police are also interrogating Arif because we don’t want to leave anything to chance,” said Alok Rajoria, Superintendent of Malda Police.

The police have also recovered Rs one lakh in cash from the house.

Sources in the police said the gate of the godown was close to the entrance and there was no gate that could open inside and so he had dug a tunnel to bring the bodies inside the godown.

“The tunnel was made so that the local people didn’t get to know anything,” a senior police officer said.

The police have also come to know that the teen hardly stepped out of his house, and none — not even the maid servant — was allowed inside the house. The teen used to order food online.

However, the police admitted there are still some grey areas in the case. According to senior police officers, it seems unlikely for a 19-year-old to kill four persons and bury them singlehandedly, and it is possible that there was some accomplice in the case.

Moreover, it is also unlikely that Arif didn’t get any information about his family for four months.

“Asif confessed that he told his neighbours that his family had shifted to Kolkata in a newly-purchased flat, but what was Arif doing? Why didn’t he have any suspicion? Why didn’t he come to the police before? These are some questions that need to be answered and that is the reason we are also questioning Arif,” the officer said.

As the news of the murders spread, a huge crowd gathered near the house.

According to the neighbours, Asif had passed his Class X board exams reportedly from a private school in Kaliachak, not far from his village. They said that after passing the exams, he had run away from his home because his parents refused to buy him a laptop.

After he came back, his parents reportedly bought him an expensive computer and other gadgets. He had told his parents that he was developing an app that would make him “very rich”, the neighbours said.

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