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NCB lets off Aryan: MVA feels ‘vindicated’, says its a ‘slap’ for BJP



The ruling 3-party Maha Vikas Aghadi government on Friday said it stands ‘vindicated’ after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) gave ‘clean chit’ to Aryan Khan and five other accused in the sensational raids on a cruiser in October 2021.

The MVA allies — Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress — had slammed the NCB from day one for the swoop carried out by the agency’s then Mumbai Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede.

NCP Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik — currently in custody of the ED — had run a major expose-campaign against the NCB city head Wankhede and termed the Cordelia Cruise ship raid as a “farjiwada (fraud)” perpetrated in collaboration with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

NCP Chief Spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said that Malik’s observations of how the entire raid was conducted and selection of witnesses having ‘close affinity with BJP’ was valid and now is laid bare by the NCB.

“We have always maintained that NCB is a very credible organisation with an impeccable track record, but recent actions put a question mark on its reputation. Malik’s serious allegations against Wankhede earned the ire of some powerful people in New Delhi and he is now paying the price for speaking the truth,” said Tapase.

Congress Chief Spokesperson Atul Londhe said the cruiser raid and subsequent happenings were part of the “huge conspiracy by the BJP government misusing the central probe agencies to discredit and topple the MVA government” which have failed.

“Now, they have got a slap on their face… Instead of continuing to indulge in such tactics, it will be better if the BJP learns now that it works for the welfare of the people,” Londhe said, terming the development as ‘Satyameva Jayate’.

Sena’s MoS Kishore Tiwari said that his statements in the PIL filed by him stand ‘fully vindicated” that the entire raids was a ‘fake’ perpetrated by Wankhede and his BJP supporters to tarnish the MVA regime and hog publicity.

“I will pursue the PIL and seek criminal proceedings against Wankhede, all the BJP men who were exposed later by Minister Malik, how innocents like Aryan Khan were trapped in their extortion rackets and the fake raids, etc., till its logical conclusion,” said a grim Tiwari.

Following the NCB’s statement giving a ‘clean chit’ to Aryan and others, Malik’s Team demanded to know: “Will the NCB take action against Wankhede, his team and the private army, or will it shield the culprits.”

An NCB official said that it will prosecute only the 14 against whom solid evidence along with circumstantial evidence has been found, and charges will be dropped against the remaining (six).

He also said there was no evidence of any ‘conspiracy’, ‘international drug syndicate’, ‘common intent’, based on WhatsApp chats, etc., as claimed by the previous team led by Wankhede which probed the case.

The matter started a furious debate on social media with the NCB coming under fire for the ship raids and how its credibility lay shattered, though no prominent BJP leaders have reacted so far.

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Assam CM urges Aamir Khan to postpone his visit to state




 Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has urged Bollywood actor Aamir Khan who expressed his willingness to visit the state on the eve of Independence Day to plan the trip after the conclusion of ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ celebrations.

“Aamir Khan spoke to me and he intended to come to Assam during the Independence Day celebration. But it may shift focus from Azadi Ka Amrit Mohatsav… hence I told him to fix a date after August 15,” Sarma told the mediapersons here on Friday.

The Chief Minister, however, said that he has good terms with Khan and they often speak over the telephone.

Though the intent to visit Assam is unknown, sources said Khan wanted to promote his latest release ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’, which is a remake of the iconic film ‘Forrest Gump’.

It could not be known if the actor has agreed to come to Assam after Independence Day.

Khan’s latest film has been embroiled in controversy for the last few days. Some sections were calling for a boycott of the film claiming that the Aamir Khan-starrer was disrespectful towards the Indian Army.

Notably, Khan had earlier extended a helping hand to the flood-affected people of Assam by making a contribution of Rs 25 lakh towards the CM Relief Fund.

Sarma then took to Twitter to thank the Bollywood actor.

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National News

‘Jungle Raj’ returns in Bihar: BJP




Referring to recent incidents of crime after formation of ‘Grand Alliance’ government in Bihar, the BJP on Friday said that ‘jungle raj’ has returned in the state.

Addressing a press conference in party headquarters here, BJP national spokesperson Dr Sambit Patra said that several people, including journalists, have been killed since the two parties — JD(U) and RJD — joined hands to form the government.

Patra also mentioned about the cases of sexual assault and the deaths in Chhapra due to spurious liquor.

“It will not be wrong to say that ‘jungle raj’ returns to Bihar,” Patra said.

He claimed that the BJP’s presence in the NDA government in the state had worked as a restraining influence on crime even though the party did not have home or excise departments.

Patra also hit out at Bihar deputy chief minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav over his reported comments on his party’s promise of providing 10 lakh jobs.

“Tejashwi Yadav claimed that he was not the chief minister when asked about the promise of 10 lakh jobs. He should clarify about it,” the BJP spokesperson said.

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BJP appoints new bosses for Maharashtra, Mumbai




 The Bharatiya Janata Party has appointed former ministers Chandrashekhar Bawankule and Ashish Shelar as the chief of the part’s Maharashtra and Mumbai units, respectively, according to an announcement.

Bawankule and Shelar, both sitting legislators, replace Chandrakant Patil and Mangal Prabhat Lodha, who have been appointed as ministers in the government of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, earlier this week.

As per a statement by BJP President J. P. Nadda, both appointments are made with immediate effect, and come ahead of the imminent elections to various civic bodies in the state.

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