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Saturday,06-March-2021

Maharashtra

NCP leader Dhananjay Munde tests positive, 3rd from Thackeray’s cabinet

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Political circles were shocked as Social Justice Minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Dhananjay Munde has tested positive for coronavirus, days after his colleagues in the Uddhav Thackeray cabinet, Ashok Chavan and Jitendra Awhad, also tested positive for the deadly virus.

Besides, Munde’s two private assistants, two drivers and a domestic help have also tested positive for the COVID-19 and all have been shunted to isolation after their reports were received late on Thursday, an aide told IANS on Friday.

The condition of all, including the minister, is said to be stable and they are undergoing treatment in various hospitals.

A high-profile and aggressive leader, Munde, 44, is the cousin of Bharatiya Janata Party leader from Beed, Pankaja Munde, and nephew of former BJP union minister, the late Gopinath Munde.

Awhad and Chavan have completely recovered after the full COVID-19 treatment protocol and later discharged from hospitals.

Crime

SUV near Ambani home: ‘Don’t politicize Hiren’s death’

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Mansukh-Hiren

Terming the mystery death of Thane businessman Mansukh Hiren as “unfortunate”, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Saturday said it would be wrong to politicize it and point accusing fingers at the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.

Interacting with mediapersons, he said unraveling the truth behind the intriguing death of Hiren was critical for the “image and prestige” of the MVA government.

Hiren shot into the limelight after his stolen SUV, a Scorpio, was found parked suspiciously outside Antilia, the lavish multistoried home of Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani, on February 25, in south Mumbai.

The police later recovered 20 gelatin sticks and a purported typewritten threat letter, creating a sensation in the country’s corporate and political circles.

“It will be wrong to politicize the (Hiren’s) death and put the government in the dock Doubts are being raised whether his death was a suicide or a murder. The police are investigating. He was also an important witness in the (SUV) case,” Raut said.

He also called upon the home department to find the truth about Hiren’s death at the earliest and urged the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to have faith in the police probe.

“The Home Minister has already handed over the case to the Anti Terrorist Squad There’s no need for transferring it to the National Investigation Agency (NIA),” Raut stated.

Hours after Hiren’s autopsy was completed but the report and doctors’ opinion kept in ‘reserve’, his family demanded that the post-mortem report and the video-recording of the procedure must be made public.

An ATS team on Saturday morning visited the marshes adjacent to the Thane Creek near Mumbai from where the body of Hiren – an expert swimmer – was fished out on Friday morning.

ATS sleuths and Thane Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I) Avinash Ambure, and several BJP leaders visited the family at their residence in Vikas Palms society in Charai where the police have deployed tight security since early Saturday morning.

The Naupada Police on Friday lodged an accident death report even as further probe by the ATS is underway as the sensitive case sparked off a political row.

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Crime

Maharashtra Oppn red-faced as probe dubs ‘naked dance’ incident false

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Anil Deshmukh

There were red faces in the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after a probe revealed that the alleged incident of cops forcing women to ‘dance naked’ in a Jalgaon hostel was false, here on Thursday.

After the probe by a 6-member women’s panel, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, Women & Child Development Minister Yashomati Thakur and Water Supply Minister Gulabrao Patil, who is Jalgaon Guardian Minister stated in the Maharashtra Assembly that “no such incident” ever happened there.

The House was shocked and rocked on Wednesday after BJP MLA Shweta Mahale raised the issue and was supported by Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, senior leader Sudhir Mungantiwar and others.

After a ruckus, Deshmukh had announced a probe into the purported incident that took place in the government-run Ashadeep Hoste, and its report would be submitted within 48 hours.

“The initial probe report is available. It was investigated by 6 women officers. There are 17 women inmates and statements of 41 witnesses have been recorded. The entry registered were scrutinized. It is found that there is no truth in the allegations. No male police official was present, it’s a women’s hostel and policemen are not permitted inside,” Deshmukh said.

He added that a woman who reportedly made the complaint was ‘mentally unstable’ and her husband and family members have complained about her medical condition.

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Maharashtra

Uddhav Thackeray compared with Rahul Gandhi, inciting Owaisi

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Uddhav-Thackeray-5

A day after his thundering speech in the Maharashtra Assembly, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader compared Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, while a Congressman claimed it would serve to incite AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi, here on Thursday.

Congress’ Sanjay Nirupam slammed Thackeray’s statements taking pride in the demolition of the disputed structure at the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, demanding what aspect of it was part of the Common Minimum Programme of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.

“When the CM was ‘celebrating’ the razing of the Babri Mosque, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party ministers and members present were enjoying his speech Doesn’t it (CM’s speech) have enough fertilizer to spur the growth of Owaisi’s poisonous saplings?” Nirupam asked.

Taking umbrage to Thackeray’s statement that the Centre puts nails on roads to stop the farmers’ protests, but flees when China comes before them, BJP Mumbai legislator Atul Bhatkalkar slammed the CM for “insulting” the Indian soldiers guarding the borders.

“Uddhavji has become the ‘Rahul Gandhi of Maharashtra’. The CM should apologise to the country for his slurs against the soldiers. The people will definitely teach him a lesson for this ‘Rahul Gandhi-giri’,” warned Bhatkalkar.

In the Assembly on Thursday, senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar warned that the MVA should not “cry” if President’s Rule is imposed in the state for its alleged failures on various fronts.

Soon after Thackeray’s speech on Wednesday evening where he took sharp potshots at the BJP and its top leaders, the state Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis retorted by accusing the Chief Minister of resorting to falsehoods on China, the demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya, and other issues, which were aimed at misleading the people.

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