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Man held for poppy cultivation in Uttar Pradesh




One person has been arrested by a joint team of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and Special Task Force (STF) for illegally growing poppy plants in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj village.

The team seized opium poppy plants, which were being cultivated in an area of 4,200 square feet in the Malaq Payagi village in the trans-Ganga area on Sunday.

Additional Superintendent of Police (STF) Neeraj Kumar Pandey said, “This was the first time when STF had arrested a man on the charges of illegally cultivating opium.

The arrested man is Maan Singh Patel, a resident of the village.

According to official sources, the cultivation of opium is permitted only in four districts of Uttar Pradesh, including Barabanki, Badaun, Bareilly and Ghazipur.

The Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN) provides license for poppy cultivation, the official added.

Acting on a tip off, a joint team of STF, NCB and revenue officials conducted a raid and arrested the accused who had grown a mustard crop around the opium poppy crop field to hide the cultivation of “poppy plants.

The joint team of NCB and revenue department destroyed the entire crop of poppy plants as per the norms on the spot.

A case under section 818 and 48 of the NDPS Act has been lodged in this connection.


Cyclist hit by van in Delhi, dies



A 40-year-old cyclist has died in a road accident here after a speeding van hit him from behind at Lala Lajpat Rai Marg in the Nizamuddin area, police said.

According to police, Ajay Kumar Singh, a resident of Sangam Vihar, was hit by a Champion delivery van on Friday.

“The cyclist died on the spot. He was working as a security guard at a showroom in Connaught place,” said R.P. Meena, DCP South East Delhi.

Satender Singh, the driver, a resident of Delhi’s Govindpuri, was apprehended on the spot. 

Police said that a case has been registered.

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Pakistan resorts to unprovoked ceasefire violation on LoC




Pakistan army on Saturday targeted Indian positions by using small arms and mortars on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, officials said.

“At around 11.15 a.m. today, Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing with small arms and shelling with mortars along the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district,” Defence Ministry spokesperson Colonel Devender Anand said.

“Indian army is retaliating befittingly,” he added.

Pakistan has been violating the bilateral ceasefire agreement signed by India and Pakistan in 1999 with impunity since the beginning of this year.

At least 24 civilians have been killed and over 100 injured in more than 3,186 ceasefire violations by Pakistan on the LoC since January 2020.

The frequent cross border shelling has brought insurmountable suffering into the lives of thousands of people living along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.

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CBI books 4 former CBSE officers in illegal recruitment scam




The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday said that it has filed a case against then Joint Secretary, two Assistant Secretaries, and one more official of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on charges of alleged irregularities in recruitment.

CBI officials said that the case was registered against four former officers of CBSE on charges of misusing their official position, circumventing reservation provisions, and using forged and fake documents to get jobs in the CBSE. One of the accused is also charged with paying a consultant Rs 26.92 lakh for which no contract document could be located.

The CBI named S.P. Rana, a Joint Secretary, who retired while on suspension, dismissed Assistant Secretary Babita Rani, Assistant Secretary Shikha Tomar and Assistant Programmer Ruchin Tomar in the case.

According to the FIR, Rana is accused of appointing Rani and Shikha Tomar, who belong to the Jat community, between 2012 and 2014 under the OBC quota though the community was not eligible for reservation at that time.

The FIR alleged that Rana facilitated the selection of Shikha Tomar, the daughter-in-law of his brother, as Assistant Secretary on the basis of a fake and invalid experience certificate.

The FIR also charges Rana with allowing overpayment of Rs 26.92 lakh to KPMG for its outsourced services for processing of an application for affiliation and upgradation of schools.

“During enquiry, the CBSE was not able to provide the original file for the payments,” it said.

The case was registered after a preliminary inquiry by the CBI revealed that Rana made repeated recommendations for Rani’s appointment in 2012. “Rani was selected under the OBC category despite the fact that she was not a bonafide OBC candidate,” the FIR said adding that the government had included the ‘Jat’ community in the OBC list only in March 2014.

“At the time of the interview, Rana was holding the charge of Joint Secretary (Administration and Legal), CBSE under whose supervision, the selection was made. Rana further facilitated Rani by approving the request made by her for not verifying her credentials i.e. caste certificate, experience certificate, etc,” the FIR said.

Rani was dismissed from service on January 31 this year.

The CBI FIR also alleged that Shikha Tomar was appointed as Assistant Secretary in 2013 on the basis of a fake experience certificate issued from Ozark Global Information Services (OGIS), whose Director Atul Goel said that she never worked with the organisation and the certificate issued to her is a forged one.

A charge sheet dated November 12, 2018 for major penalty proceedings has been issued by the CBSE but she has not joined duty for long and not responding to the CBSE’s correspondence.

Meanwhile, Ruchin Tomar is accused of producing a forged and fake degree certificate and mark sheets of Bachelor of Engineering in 2014 to land a job in the CBSE. He was also terminated from the job after he did not provide the original mark sheets.

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