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NCB arrests Mumbai’s celeb ‘Muchhad Paanwala’ in drugs case




The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested one of the owners of Mumbai’s famed ‘Muchhad Paanwala’ early on Tuesday morning in connection with the investigations into the drug mafia-celebrities nexus, a top official said.

Confirming the development NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede said the current owner of the shop, Ramkumar J. Tiwari has been charged under NDPS Act Sec 8, read with Sec 20(b)(ii), pertaining to manufacture, possession, buying-selling, transporting, inter-state import-export of contraband.

The son of one of the four siblings and co-owners Jayshankar Tiwari, Ramkumar J. Tiwari was summoned to the NCB on Monday and subject to a long grilling session before he was arrested.

The developments came on the heels of revelations alleging ‘Muchhad Paanwala’ as a customer for narcotics during the interrogation of an arrested British national Karan Sajnani in a drugs case.

Sajnani, residing in the country since over a year, was nabbed along with Rahila Furniturewala, a former manager of a Bollywood actress and her sister last week.

Ranked among the top paan vendors in Mumbai, ‘Muchhad Paanwala’ – named after its founder Panditshree Shyamacharan Tiwari of Tiwaripur, Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh – is currently run by his four sons, including Ramkumar Tiwari.

The landmark shop at Kemps Corner, near Malabar Hill, running for past nearly four decades, is known by the ear-to-ear bushy handlebar moustaches of the founder, his sons and even grandsons.

Over the years, the outlet became a rage among the people, attracting top film stars, businessmen, politicians, and other celebs who thronged there for his lip-smacking post-meal munchies.

In fact, in 2016, it became the first paanwala outlet to host its own website to take online orders from his discerning customers on its huge variety of mouth-melting preparations in Kolkata, Banarasi or Maggai paans, or several types of paan-masalas, whipped up with specially-sourced ingredients.


Karnataka minister Ramesh Jarkiholi caught in sex scandal




A CD allegedly featuring Karnataka water resources minister Ramesh Jarkiholi seeking sexual favours was released to news channels on Tuesday.

In this regard a social activist, Dinesh Kallahalli lodged a complaint with the Bengaluru city police commissioner seeking protection for the victim.

After filing the complaint Kallahalli told reporters that this CD contained visuals of the minister allegedly seeking sexual favours from a victim. “Complaint is filed by me and not by the victim as she is fearing for her life,” he said.

Jarakiholi comes from one of the most powerful political families in the state and is a sugar baron from Belagavi district.

He is one of the 17 defectors from the Congress and the JDS whose defection resulted in the collapse of the Congress-JDS government in the state in 2019.

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NIA takes over railway station blast probe in poll-bound Bengal




Almost 13 days after West Bengal Minister Jakir Hossain and several others were seriously injured in a bomb blast at Nimtita railway station in poll-bound West Bengal, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday took over the probe.

An NIA spokesperson here said that the anti-terror probe agency has taken over the probe into the incident of the blast at the Nimtita railway station.

At least 22 people including Hossain were injured in the bomb explosion at the Nimtita railway station on February 17.

The case was initially registered as an FIR under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and Explosive Substance Act against unknown miscreants at Azimganj Government Rail Police (GRP) police station in Murshidabad district on the statement of Mohammad Allarakha.

According to the police, a bomb was thrown on Hossain when he was waiting at a platform of the Nimtita railway station to board a Kolkata-bound train at around 10 p.m.

The minister and the two other injured persons were first taken to Jangipur sub-divisional Hospital, then to a hospital in Kolkata. Hossain reportedly sustained injuries on the left side of his body, mainly on his limbs.

A day after the incident of the bomb blast, West Bengal Chief Minister and the Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee pointed out towards a “conspiracy” behind the bomb attack in Murshidabad district that left her Labour Minister seriously injured.

The West Bengal government on February 18 also handed over the investigation into the attack to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

Meanwhile, the Indian Railways had described the bomb blast at Nimtita railway station as an “unfortunate” incident and said the law and order is a state subject and the state police was responsible for the same.

Polling to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly will be held in eight phases, on March 27, April 1, April 6, April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26 and April 29. Voting will take place on May 2.

The ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP are engaged in bitter war of words in the state.

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ED attaches Rs 1.54 cr assets of Kerala-based accountant




The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday said that it has attached properties worth Rs 1.54 crore of a Kerala-based accountant who forged documents and swindled funds while working in Qatar’s Doha.

An ED official here said that the financial probe agency has attached fixed deposits and immovable properties in the form of land worth Rs 1.54 crore in Kerala belonging to Syamraj Nadarajan, an accountant, who forged documents and swindled funds equivalent to more than Rs 3 crore while he was working in Doha.

The official said that the agency started a probe on the basis of an FIR registered by Kerala Police against Nadarajan and others.

The official added that Nadarajan was working as an accountant in a private limited company at Doha dealing with the Customs Clearance Agency in connection the import goods to the company.

“During money laundering probe, the details of transactions of various bank accounts held by Nadarajan were collected, in which a huge volume of transactions (including foreign inward remittance) through these accounts,” the official said.

The official added that an amount of Rs 60 lakh was deposited in a FD account.

“He further utilised the money for the purchase of a property and to construct a house on that property by spending Rs 90 lakh,” the official added.

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