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Friday,03-December-2021

Maharashtra

How NCB released 3 detainees, rave party raids pre-planned: NCP

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 In a sensational revelation, the Nationalist Congress Party on Saturday claimed that the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) released 3 detainees including a kin of a senior BJP leader and termed the ship rave party raid as “a pre-planned conspiracy”.

Addressing media-persons, NCP National Spokesperson and Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said that a total of 11 persons were detained after the swoop on the ship (October 2), including Aryan Khan, the son of Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan.

“Later, that night 3 persons were allowed to go by the NCB officials. They are Rishabh Sachdev, the nephew of a BJP leader Mohit Bharatiya (formerly, Kamboj), Amir Furniturewala and Pratik Gabha. The NCB must reply why they were released from detention,” Malik demanded.

Elaborating further, he said that Aryan Khan had been invited to the ship party by the trio of Sachdev, Furniturewala and Gabha.

“However, after detaining 11 persons, the same three persons who had brought Aryan Khan to the party were allowed to go. This proves that the entire fraudulent raid on the ship was a pre-planned conspiracy to lure and trap high-profile individuals,” Malik said.

The NCP leader further said that several BJP leaders from New Delhi and Maharashtra made frantic calls to the NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede for the release of the three detainees, and they were allowed to go late last Saturday (October 2).

“Who were the persons calling up the NCB that night and why? The Maharashtra and Mumbai police must probe the call detail records (CDR) data of Wankhede plus Sachdev, Furniturewala and Gabha,” Malik said.

Revealing another aspect, the Maharashtra Minister said that a BJP leader and a so-called ‘private detective’ Kiran P. Gosavi had signed on two ‘panchnamas’ giving different addresses of Thane and Navi Mumbai.

“Moreover, while one ‘panchnama’ of 4-pages was handwritten by a NCB official Satish Kumar, the other 9-page ‘panchnama’ was typed by Ashish R. Prasad and was a computer printout. How did this happen?” Malik questioned.

He pointed out that normally, the ‘panchas’ are said to be prominent or respectable persons, but in this case, the NCB got at least 2 politicians – Manish Bhanushali and Gosavi – the latter wanted by the Pune Police.

Reacting to Malik’s revelation, Shiv Sena leader Kishore Tiwari, accorded a MoS status, said that the series of developments unmasked so far indicate that the NCB has become a ‘Team B of BJP’

“I reiterate the Maharashtra Police should immediately arrest Sameer Wankhede for flouting all norms to conduct such bogus operations involving famous personalities to remain in media glare and divert attention from the drug seizure at Mundra Port,” Tiwari demanded.

Congress State Spokesperson Sachin Sawant called for action under Section 59 of the NDPS Act — who were involved in the cruise ship raids, how a relative of a BJP leader was released from detention, how BJP activists like Gosavi and Bhanushali were involved in the raids and then taken as ‘independent witnesses’.

“The series of unearthing through documentary and video evidence suggests a big conspiracy and a collusion between BJP and NCB gets established. The MVA government must probe the entire plot,” Sawant demanded.

Responding, the BJP Leader of Opposition (Council) Pravin Darekar dismissed the NCP’s allegations saying it was intended to seek publicity and arising out of frustration as Malik’s son-in-law was nabbed by the NCB in a drug case.

Threatening to make more revelations in the coming days, Malik reiterated that the entire ship raid was ‘fake’ and a planned conspiracy to trap some prominent youngsters, get huge publicity, defame Bollywood and discredit the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress MVA government.

Maharashtra

Post-surgery, Maharashtra CM discharged from hospital after 22 days

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Maharashtra-CM-Uddhav-Thackeray

After undergoing a spinal surgery 20 days ago, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was discharged from the Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, here on Thursday, officials said.

The CM’s condition is described as fit and fine, but he has been advised to continue work from home for a few days.

Thackeray was admitted to the HNRFH on November 10 and was successfully operated upon on November 12 for solving problems pertaining to the cervical spine, besides a minor procedure for removing a blood clot later.

Thereafter, he was assigned for physiotherapy sessions which are expected to continue for some more weeks and he may not attend office till then.

However, the CM has been attending to important files, holding online meetings with cabinet colleagues or officials and chaired a couple of cabinet meetings, including those pertaining to the Covid-19 variant Omicron threats, during his hospitalisation.

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Maharashtra

Maharashtra: Congress livid as Didi writes UPA’s epitaph

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Relegated to the political pavement as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stormed Mumbai in her 2-day-long high-profile trip which ended on Thursday, the Maharashtra Congress unitedly slammed her for her ‘RIP’-ping comments spelling doom for the UPA.

Banerjee met leaders of two of the 3 ruling allies – Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena’s MP Sanjay Raut and Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray, met civil society members, some industrialists, film personalities, but obviously she had no love lost for the state Congress.

The visiting leader’s shocker came during her brief media interaction, when she virtually blurted out – “What UPA? There’s no UPA now…” stunning the Congress and momentarily even the NCP supremo Pawar seemed dazed but kept his legendary cool.

An enraged Congress top brass hit back, though diplomatically – to avoid antagonising the Sena-NCP leaders or even remotely appear siding with the BJP – and harked on the grand old party’s contributions, the Gandhis’ leadership while blaming Banerjee’s “personal ambitions and ego” and painting the BJP as the real villain.

“The BJP is a threat to the Constitution and Democracy. Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are constantly challenging the dictatorial attitude of the BJP,” said State Congress President Nana Patole.

The Congress Legislature Party Leader Balasaheb Thorat dismissively said, “no individual party can fight the BJP if that party only thinks of its own political gains and personal ambitions” and the Congress remains the sole viable option before the country.

AICC Secretary Sanjay Dutt said, “if there is one party which has been fighting fascist forces and standing up for the people of India, it’s the Congress”, and others are now posturing only to grab the ‘chair’ (power).

“If any other party leader makes any baseless, sarcastic or malafide comments about Rahul Gandhi, we will give a befitting reply and show them the mirror of their past stance and statements,” hissed Dutt.

State PWD Minister Ashok Chavan hit back at Banerjee saying the “Congress and its leadership needs no certification for its commitment to Democracy and Constitution, or its tireless struggle against the BJP’s policies”.

“Since before Independence, Congress has been fighting for the commoners, the rights of the people… The (BJP) central government is using the ‘divide-and-rule’ policy on the opposition parties. In such a scenario, it becomes the responsibility of all non-BJP parties not to indulge in politics that supports this policy of the Centre,” said Chavan sharply.

Patole pointed out how Rahul Gandhi has stood firm against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP, on the land acquisition law and the three black agriculture laws, the BJP’s divisive policies, inflation, unemployment, etc.

“The country is more important than personal ambitions or egos… A political party restricted to one state cannot provide an alternative to the BJP. Given the gravity of the situation, all like-minded parties must come together in the national interest,” urge Patole, adding only Congress is the viable option to the BJP.

Thorat cautioned that criticising Rahul Gandhi would only help the BJP which he has fearlessly challenged, plus the Congress and the entire Gandhi family has borne the oppression of the BJP, but they were not cowed down.

Some political commentators have claimed that despite the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) venturing into uncharted territories where it is barely known or has any base, ultimately they will need Congress support to form the government as it happened during the tenures of the former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda or I.K. Gujral.

Besides Congress, even the Opposition BJP leaders attacked Didi, questioning her ‘private’ meeting with Shiv Sena leaders and asked whether Maharashtra would go the West Bengal way.

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Maharashtra

Omicron concerns: Mumbai, Pune, Nashik postpone schools’ reopening

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Amid concerns of the Covid-19 variant Omicron, the reopening of schools from Class 1 to 7 has been postponed by 10-15 days in Mumbai, Pune and Nashik, officials said here on Tuesday.

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner I.S. Chahal and Pune Municipal Corporation Mayor Murlidhar have said that schools in the two cities — both among the worst-hit in the Covid-19 two waves in 2020 and 2021 — will now reopen from December 15.

Similarly, the Nashik Municipal Corporation, which was also among the badly-hit cities in the past two years of the pandemic, has also postponed the schools reopening plan to December 10.

However, all schools in the rest of Maharashtra are likely to reopen from December 1, for Class 1 to 5 in the rural areas and 1-7 in the urban areas with full Covid protocols, as announced earlier by School Education Minister Prof. Varsha E. Gaikwad.

Taking precautions, the BMC is currently tracking all passengers who have arrived in the city from the 12 Omicron-hit nations since November 10 to detect if any of them are infected by the new strain.

The state government has also sought information on all passengers landing at the three international airports in the state in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, besides those arriving from other states, by flights originating from the 12 nations.

The BMC has already announced that a 14-day institutional quarantine regime will be compulsory for all such passengers and home isolation will not be permitted under any circumstances.

The state, major cities and district health authorities are gearing up to face the challenge of Omicron by readying hospitals, beds, ICUs, liquid medical oxygen stocks, medicines, doctors, para-medical and non-medical staff, and other health infrastructure to cater to a possible patient rush in the coming weeks, even as Covid-19 vaccination drive has gained momentum.

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