Connect with us
Saturday,28-January-2023
Breaking News

Crime

Malegaon 2008 case: End threats, enticement of witnesses, urges Congress

Published

on

In a significant development, the Maharashtra Congress on Thursday urged the Maha Vikas Aghadi government to ensure that the witnesses in the sensitive Malegaon 2008 blasts case “are not pressurised, threatened or enticed”.

In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil, Congress state Working President Arif Naseem Khan said the terror case has prominent names as prime accused, including Bharatiya Janata Party MP Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Col. P.S. Purohit, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Dayanand Pandey and several others.

“I have learnt that in order to save all these accused in the Malegaon 2008 bomb blast case, some organisations and individuals are threatening, pressurising and luring the witnesses to make them ‘hostile’ before the court,” Khan said.

The blast occurred in Malegaon on September 29, 2008, near a mosque when Muslims were offering prayers, and left at least nine dead and another more than 80 injured, and the subsequent probe revealed the involvement of what was called ‘saffron terror groups’.

Khan urged Thackeray and Walse-Patil that such groups or persons should be investigated by a high-level committee and stringent action must be initiated against them for influencing or harassing the witnesses.

The case was probed by the Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad and later taken over by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), and has a total of 495 witnesses.

From these, 220 witnesses have already testified, out of which 15 have already been declared ‘hostile’, with the likelihood of more witnesses going against the probe agency owing to pressures exerted by some organisations and persons, Khan pointed out.

The Congress leader said that Walse-Patil had assured he would do the needful in the matter in order to ensure a free and fair trial at the day-to-day hearing before a Special Court.

Khan’s letter assumes significance, coming a day after a witness in the case made a shocking claim that he was allegedly detained for a week by the ATS in 2008 and then compelled to name five RSS leaders, including Yogi Adityanath, who is now Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

The witness, who is one of the trustees of Abhinav Bharat, a right-wing group, also contended that the ATS did not record his statement though the agency had attached his purported five-pager statement in its charge sheet filed in 2009.

During the cross-examination, the witness named Adityanath, Swami Aseemanand, Indresh Kumar, a Prof. Deodhar and one Kakaji, whose names he was allegedly forced to take by one police official Chavan, DCP Shrirao and an IPS officer Param Bir Singh.

Crime

Mumbai: Minor boy detained for raping 5-year-old girl in Nagpada; victim to get free education till 10th std

Published

on

By

A minor boy was detained for allegedly raping a 5-year-old girl in Nagpada and sent to a juvenile correction centre.

He was detained within six hours of the crime.

Free education till 10th standard for victim

The Nagpada police officials have collected Rs 1.10 lakh for the victim and have made provisions for giving her free education till the 10th standard.

A case has been registered under sections of IPC and POCSO.

Continue Reading

Crime

Teachers scam: WhatsApp chat hinting question paper leak recovered

Published

on

By

 The Enforcement Directorate (ED), probing the multi-crore teachers’ recruitment scam, has recovered WhatsApp chats hinting at possible advance leaking of question papers to select candidates who took the written examination for primary teachers’ posts in West Bengal in 2016.

Sources said that the selective leaking of question papers were mainly done by the youth Trinamool Congress leader, Kuntal Ghosh, who was arrested by the ED from his residence on January 21.

The probe agency has also recovered Whatsapp chats indicating that Ghosh enjoyed the patronage of former state education minister and Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee.

From the documents seized from Ghosh’s residence, the central agency officials have also recovered copies of the admit cards of certain candidates who appeared for the recruitment examination for primary teachers in 2016.

The ED sleuths have come across the names of 35 individuals who secured jobs as teachers in state- run schools by paying money to the arrested youth leader and all of them are currently employed with different schools. Each and every one of them will be questioned to take the investigation forward.

“The recruitment scam seems to be in multiple layers, which again have sub-layers involving multiple players and multiple angles. The uncovering of one layer is leading to other layers. That’s why the investigation process is getting prolonged,” said a legal associate of ED.

The fact that question papers were leaked to select candidates was established after the ED sleuths noticed that some extremely below-average candidates, as per their academic records, scored exorbitantly in the recruitment examination.

Sources said that the marks secured in their academic examinations did not justify their scores in their optical mark recognition (OMR) sheets.

Continue Reading

Crime

Israeli fighter jets strike Gaza in response to rockets firing

Published

on

By

Israeli fighter jets on Friday carried out a series of airstrikes on facilities belonging to militant groups in the Gaza Strip in response to rockets fired from the coastal enclave, witnesses said.

Israeli army drones and fighter jets were heard buzzing in the air, and several explosions were heard in central Gaza Strip, the witnesses told Xinhua news agency.

They added that more than 14 missiles were fired at a military post that belonged to Gaza militant groups.

Palestinian medical sources said that no injuries were reported during the strikes that mainly targeted posts and facilities that belong to the Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

The airstrikes were in response to the firing of two rockets at southern Israel, said a spokesman from the Jewish state’s army.

No group has claimed responsibility for firing the rockets, which was a response to the killing of nine Palestinians during an Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp, deemed to be the most deadly in nearly two decades.

During the Israeli airstrikes on Friday, militants in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave also fired at least five rockets at southern Israeli communities close to the borders with the Gaza Strip and anti-craft missiles were fired at Israeli fighter jets by Hamas militants, sources close to Hamas security told Xinhua.

Media outlets in Gaza quoted an Egyptian source as saying that Egyptian intelligence is in intensive contact with the Palestinian factions to prevent an escalation in Gaza.

More than 170 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank in 2022, and at least 29 have been killed in January this year, according to figures from the Palestinian Health Ministry.

According to the UN, 2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinians since 2006.

The tensions have been further aggravated since Israel’s most right-wing government, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, took office last month.

Continue Reading

Trending