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Maharashtra ‘Khoke campaign’: Shinde group, Oppn MLAs in jostling, fisticuffs outside Legislature

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In an unprecedented ruckus, rebel Shiv Sena MLAs supporting Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) legislators were seen jostling, abusing, pushing around each other and indulging in a bout of fisticuffs, outside the Maharashtra Legislature building here on Wednesday.

Seething at the ongoing tirade by MVA labelling the Shinde Group as ‘gaddars’ (traitors) and ’50 khoke’ (Rs 50 crore), Shinde Group legislators retaliated in full force, sparking outrage in political circles.

A few MLAs of Shinde Group accosted the MVA legislators who were raising slogans against the government for the fourth day since the Legislature started its monsoon session last week, resulting in shoving among the two sides.

At one point, a Shinde Group MLA Dilip Lande and Nationalist Congress Party’s Amol Mitkari engaged in mild blows and lunged at each other even as their respective groups pulled and separated them.

The Shinde Group MLAs also hit back by shouting their own slogans and waving posters to counter the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress’ rants, creating a brouhaha outside the legislature.

‘(Sachin) Vaze-BMC Khoke, Matoshri, Shiv Sena Ok’, ‘Lavasa Khoke, Baramati Ok’, screamed the Shinde Group MLAs, trying to over-shout the MVA legislators.

The development, a new low in politics, came a day after Shinde ‘warned’ the Opposition that “he could expose records of those targeting him and his group” of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs.

The Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar reacted sharply saying that the CM’s statements amounted to a ‘threat’ to the Opposition.

The Opposition has been needling the Bharatiya Janata Party-propped Shinde government with embarrassing slogans like ‘gaddar’, ‘Rs 50 crore, very ok’, ‘Tav Vati, Chao Guwahati’ (Plates and bowl, Go to Guwahati), and ‘ED jiski mummy, Wo sarkar nikammi’ (the government whose mummy is ED is useless).

Both MLA Mahesh Shinde and Mitkari have lodged separate complaints against each other with CM Shinde and Speaker Rahul Narwekar, demanding a probe into the incident by examining the CCTV footage, even as a female journalist was also pushed around in the melee.

Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar, NCP State President Jayant Patil, Shiv Sena leader Kishore Tiwari, Congress’ Yashomati Thakur and other leaders from different parties attacked the Shinde Group accusing them of making brazen attempts to “crush the democratic protests and silencing the Opposition”.

“Our agitation on ’50 khoke’ has hit a raw nerve… That’s why they have reacted in this manner,” said Pawar grimly.

Jayant Patil said the whole country has witnessed the arough’ behaviour of the Shinde Group MLAs and the electorate will not forgive them, while Mitkari demanded to know whether the Opposition legislators would be ‘finished off’.

Other Shinde Group lawmakers, including Bharat Gogawale and Dilip Lande, snarled that they were “loyal Shiv Sainiks of Balasaheb Thackeray” and would not desist from teaching a lesson to anybody who dares them, while Mahesh Shinde claimed the Opposition MVA was trying to ‘smother’ their peaceful protest.

The MVA’s daily protests and sloganeering started from August 17, and splashed widely in the media, apparently unnerving the rebel Shiv Sena Group and culminating in the CM losing his composure in the legislature on Tuesday.

Maharashtra

IAS Puja Khedkar Used OBC Quota To Get Admission In MBBS; ‘She Didn’t Submit Disability Certificate’, Claims College Director

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IAS Puja Khedkar Used OBC Quota To Get Admission In MBBS; ‘She Didn’t Submit Disability Certificate’, Claims College Director

The trainee IAS officer, Puja Khedkar, who is at the center of a controversy involving alleged misuse of power and violation of the appointment rules, secured admission to an MBBS college using the OBC non-creamy layer quota, reports showed on Monday. 

Khedkar was admitted to Pune’s Kashibai Navale Medical College under the OBC Nomadic Tribe-3 category, reserved for the Vanjari community. 

At the time of her admission, her father was a serving bureaucrat in Maharashtra. Reports suggest that Khedkar’s admission was through the private college’s entrance examination, bypassing her Common Entrance Test (CET) score.

However, Arvind Bhore, the director of Kashibai Navale Medical College, contested this claim, stating that Khedkar was admitted in 2007 through the CET. Bhore also noted that she had submitted the necessary certificates, along with a medical fitness certificate that did not mention any disability.

The scrutiny of Khedkar’s non-creamy OBC status and her Persons with Benchmark Disability (PwBD) certificate intensified after she allegedly demanded a separate cabin and staff during her posting in Pune, which led to her abrupt transfer to Washim district.

In August 2022, Khedkar applied for a PwBD certificate in Pune, but the medical board denied her request. 

It was reported that the board found it “not possible” to issue the certificate after examining her.

Khedkar’s father defends legitimacy of her disability certificate

Khedkar’s father, retired bureaucrat Dilip Khedkar, defended the legitimacy of the disability certificate, stating that Puja suffers from vision impairment exceeding 40 per cent, meeting the criteria for disability. 

He further claimed that a panel of medical experts verified her disabilities before issuing the certificate.

Khedkar mentioned that his daughter has a certain category of mental illness, which was also verified by medical professionals before the disability certificate was granted.

Pune police unable to track down Khedkar’s parents    

Meanwhile, Police have been unable to trace Khedkar’s parents as a land dispute case was registered against them after a video of her mother threatening a farmer with a pistol in Pune district went viral.

As per reports, a team of Pune Rural police visited the bungalow of Manorama and Dilip Khedkar in the Baner area of the city on Monday morning. But it was unable to enter the premises as there was no response, and doors were locked from the inside.

The police are conducting searches in Pune and other areas to find the controversial trainee IAS officer’s parents. 

An FIR was registered against the Khedkar couple and five others after a video showing Manorama allegedly threatening some persons with a gun over a land dispute emerged.

“A case has been registered at Paud police station. But the Khedkars have not visited the police station for inquiry and have turned off their mobile phones. Our teams are looking for them. Once found, they will be questioned, and legal action will be taken against them,” an official told.

The Khedkars and five others have been booked under relevant sections of the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita (BNS), including section 323 (dishonest or fraudulent removal or concealment of property) and the Arms Act.

The case was registered days after a video surfaced on social media, which showed Manorama, accompanied by her security guards, engaged in a heated argument with some people with a pistol in her hand in Dhadwali village in Pune’s Mulshi tehsil. The police are looking for others involved in the incident, including the guards, seen in the video.

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Crime

Mumbai Cyber Fraud: 42-Year-Old Homemaker Duped Of Rs 13 Lakh In Online Stock Trading Scam In Mira Road

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Mumbai: A 42-year-old homemaker from Mira Road became the latest target of cyber-criminals who cheated her of more than Rs.13 lakh by promising high returns in stock trading.

In her statement to the police, the complainant who stays in the Delta Garden area said that during her trip to Uttan she came across an advertisement regarding stock trading on Instagram. Upon clicking the provided link, the complainant was added to a WhatsApp group in which tips were provided on stock purchases.

During the initial stages she was able to withdraw Rs. 6,600, prompting her to invest a total of Rs.13.83 lakh for buying shares of various companies through 12 online transactions to specified bank accounts in less than two months.

Though she could see her investments on the online trading application platform, she was unable to make further withdrawals. After seeking a clarification from the group admin, she was asked to transfer Rs. 3.90 lakh towards 30 percent taxes. When she expressed her inability to pump more funds she was removed from the group.

An offence under the relevant sections of the IPC and Information Technology Act-2000 has been registered at the Uttan coastal police station against the yet-to-be identified cybercrooks. Further investigations were underway.

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Maharashtra

Mumbai Rains: IMD Issues Yellow Alert For Mumbai; Waterlogging Leads To Traffic Snarls At Several Parts In City

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Mumbai Rains: IMD Issues Yellow Alert For Mumbai; Waterlogging Leads To Traffic Snarls At Several Parts In City

Mumbai: Heavy rains continue to lash several parts of the city of Mumbai causing traffic disruptions at low lying areas due to severe water logging. Traffic is extremely slow moving at Eastern Freeway towards CST, Dadar TT, JVLR near the Jogeshwari Flyover connecting WEH and at Andheri Kurla Road, Airport Road and Vile Parle East due to bad road condition due to heavy rains.

IMD has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall at several places in Mumbai on July 15. On Maharashtra weather situation, Sunil Kamble IMD director, Mumbai said, ” We have given yellow alert for Mumbai and red alert for Ratnagiri, orange alert for Satara and Pune…we have received 200mm rain above normal in Mumbai…tomorrow we might change the alert to orange in Mumbai…”

IMD Mumbai has issued a yellow alert for Mumbai, Thane and Palghar and warned of extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places in Konkan. IMD said, “Heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places with extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places very likely to occur in districts of Konkan.”

Details about high tide and low tide for July 15

Taking to X (formerly known as Twitter), BMC officially said, “Mumbai city and suburbs will experience moderate rain in some places; in some places, heavy rain is likely.”

Low Tide -12:15 hours – 2.51 Meter

High Tide – 17:57 hours – 3.34 Meter

Low Tide – (Next Day – 16.07.2024) 00:56 hours – 1.50 Meter

The regional meteorological Center of Mumbai shared the local forecast for Mumbai city and suburbs for the next 24 hours. The post said, “Moderate to heavy rain is likely in the city and suburbs. Occasional heavy showers are likely. Maximum and minimum temperatures will be around 30°C and 25°C respectively.”

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