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Greta Toolkit case: Ruling BJP and Oppn exchange barbs over Twitter



Even as the scenario post arrest of 22-year-old Bengaluru based climate change activist Disha Ravi is evolving elsewhere in the country, a full-blown twitter war has erupted in Karnataka between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress party.

Coming out in support of Ravi, Karnataka Congress launched #DishaRaviArrested Twitter campaign, as Leader of the Opposition Siddarmaiah said that her arrest has exposed the cracks in the Indian democracy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He wondered how can the act of supporting farmers be charged under sedition? “I strongly condemn this politically motivated act by Delhi Police,” he said in his tweet.

In his twitter, former minister Priyank Kharge charged that this country is becoming a joke. “Why is the establishment targeting kids? How come they have not bothered asking questions on how a news editor gets prior information on #PulwamaTerrorAttack,” he said.

AICC Tamil Nadu in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao in his tweet said, “Disha Ravi arrested. Two more activists in Mumbai fear arrest. Can’t believe what is happening to #India.”

“Farmers are terrorists, journalists are anti-nationals, activists are seditious, Opposition are ‘desh drohis’ (anti-national) and students are traitors. Under BJP, India has changed,” he said.

While All India Mahila Congress general secretary Sowmya Reddy in her three-part tweet quipped that arresting climate activist @climatedisha for editing an online document. Wah Modi ji wah, too much of democracy?!

She added that this is a clear message that the @BJP4India led Central government will send anyone to jail who dissents and will be punished even if you are a 21-year-old climate activist/animal lover.

“Students and activists peacefully protested today at the police station. Students, it’s time to speak up at least now. Terrorists are free and activists are in jail? This is the promised #Achhedin, dear youth!,” she tweeted.

In a strong rebuttal to Congress’ campaign, the BJP national general secretary B.L. Santhosh said in his tweet that as the great drama of #Toolkit unfolds many anarchists who are rallying behind #DishaRavi as a 21-year-old, sole breadwinner, daughter of a single mother, climate change activist will run for cover. “WhatsApp groups, editing options, conversations will unravel many characters,” he said.

Karnataka BJP termed that Greta Thunberg’s toolkit was nothing but a tool to create instability in the country. “Disha Ravi has confessed with the Delhi police that she too had a role in preparing that toolkit. Is Congress supporting terrorists?,” the Karnataka BJP questioned.

Union Parliamentary Affairs and Coal Minister Prahlad Joshi tweeted that the only thing that this arrest has exposed is @INCIndia’s poor planning to keep this anti-India conspiracy a secret.

“If you had thought about farmers half as much as you claim their condition in the State would have been different. Wake up @siddaramaiah ji, the nation already has,” he sarcastically said in his tweet.


Mumbai police nab 2 crime serial actresses for theft




Two actresses who have worked in television shows on crime have landed in the police net for alleged theft of a large sum of money, officials said here on Friday.

They are Surabhi Shrivastav, 25 and Mohsina Shaikh, 19 who have been seen in episodes of ‘Savdhaan India’, ‘Crime Patrol’, and other crime-related shows on various channels.

They were arrested in connection with the theft of Rs 3.28 lakh from the locker of a paying guest in Goregaon east suburb of north-west Mumbai.

Sometime ago, the two women had gone to a friend’s home in a posh building in the Royal Palms area of Aarey Colony which provides accommodation as paying guests.

While staying there as paying guests, they allegedly stole the cash from the locker of another woman staying there as a PG, and then quickly left the place.

After her loss, the victim lodged a complaint with Aarey Police Station which probed the case. While scanning the CCTV footage of the society, the police saw the women decamping from the building.

They were picked up and after sustained grilling admitted to the crime, said a police official.

According to police, the two female actors were going through a financial crisis owing to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown that has hit the entertainment industry hard, and they took the opportunity to make some quick money.

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5 held for Mumbai society Covid vaccination fraud




In a major breakthrough, the Mumbai Police have arrested five persons in connection with the allegedly fraudulent Covid-19 vaccination drive conducted at a posh housing society in Kandivali in May end, a top official said on Friday.

The action follows a complaint lodged by the Hiranandani Residents Welfare Association of the posh Hiranandani Heritage Society in Kandivali west with the local police on Wednesday.

The society management had organised a private vaccination camp for its residents and in-house staffers like security personnel, drivers or domestic helpers on May 30.

Of the 435 flats in three residential towers, around 390 residents had been inoculated during the drive that day, but belatedly realized that they may have been cheated.

Additional Commissioner of Police, Mumbai North Region, Dilip Sawant said that no permission of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had been taken for the private vaccination camp conducted at the society.

After the society’s complaint, the police moved swiftly and managed to arrest five persons — Mahendra Kuldeep Singh, 39, Sanjay Gupta, 25, Chandan Singh, 32, Karim Akber Ali, 21 and Nitin More, 32 — within 72 hours.

“So far, we have picked up five persons, including four from Mumbai and one from a railway station at Madhya Pradesh, who is being brought here for the probe,” Sawant said.

The shaken residents said that a facilitator claiming to represent the reputed Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH) had negotiated to provide 400 vaccine doses for Rs 1,260 each and around Rs 5 lakh was paid to him.

However, the KDAH management has already denied that the society had approached them and advised people to be careful, even as the police and BMC launched separate investigations.

The residents suspected something amiss when they did not get the Covid Vaccination Certificates (CVC) immediately after the dose, but some of them started getting their CVCs in early June, and none of them reported the usual side-effects post-vaccination.

Sawant said that there were errors of the vaccination date, timings, and venue, there was no doctor present which is mandatory, etc and after the residents realised that they were duped, they sought police help.

He said that the accused are suspected to have stolen the identities of various hospitals, and the vaccines were not procured from any authorised sources, while some society members are worried about what was administered to them in the name of vaccines.

After the fraud erupted this week, the Mumbai Police are now probing whether the same group or other unauthorised persons have conducted similar illegal vaccination camps in other housing complexes.

The BMC said that no permission was given to the society for the inoculation and urged the people to adhere to the civic body’s norms and verify all claims to guard against falling prey to such fraudsters.

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Supreme Court raps Munmun Dutta over Bhangi remark, but stays FIRs




“What you said may amount to bringing an entire community into disrepute,” said a Supreme Court bench on Friday as it stayed criminal proceedings against “Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah” actor Munmun Dutta for allegedly using a casteist slur.

The bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian said: “You say you are a woman but tell us if women have any better rights than men or they also have equal rights?”

Senior advocate Puneet Bali, representing Dutta, argued that in the video posted on a social media platform last month, Dutta did not use the word ‘Bhangi’ intentionally and the word was used in West Bengal to refer to those who took intoxicants.

The bench replied that was not true. “You may not be informed. Everyone knows the meaning. Same word is used in Bangla. She was in Kolkata when she said this,” noted the top court.

Bali acknowledged his client made a mistake and deleted her Twitter post within two hours of posting the video.

Bali argued that the top court in several cases clubbed FIRs arising out of the same incident and urged all cases should be shifted to Mumbai.

The top court issued notice to state governments and complainants, after hearing Dutta’s counsel that the FIRs lodged in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana, should be clubbed.

The actor had triggered an outrage with an YouTube video, leading to lodging of FIRs under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Later, Dutta tendered an apology and took down the offensive part of the video. She said she used the word because of language barrier.

Bali contended before the bench that the petitioner was a woman and five FIRs had been lodged against her. However, finally, the top court agreed to examine her plea and stayed the proceedings in the FIRs.

The top court also issued a notice to Dalit rights activist and lawyer who got the first FIR registered against the actor in Haryana’s Hisar on May 13. The FIR was filed under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for allegedly humiliating the community.

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