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Tuesday,28-September-2021

Crime

NCP’s Eknath Khadse goes to ED, alleges ‘political vendetta’

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Eknath Khadse.

Appearing before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for the second time on Thursday, senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Eknath Khadse claimed he and his family members are being “politically targeted” in the alleged corruption cases against him.

“The case against me is politically motivated. My and family members and I are being targeted politically to defame us. However, I am cooperating fully with the probe agencies,” he said, while going to the ED office in Mumbai for the probe into the Pune land deal case.

The ED summoned Khadse, 68, a day after arresting his son-in-law Girish Chaudhary in connection with the alleged money-laundering and other irregularities in the purchase of a plot of land in 2016.

Khadse added that entire Maharashtra is witnessing what is going on, as the case has already been probed five times, the Anti-Corruption Bureau had given him a clean chit, yet it is being investigated again.

The ED has contended that Khadse and Chaudhary had bought the government-owned plot at Bhosari near Pune for Rs 3.75 crore against the prevailing market rate of over Rs 31 crore.

The agency also suspects that Khadse, as then Revenue Minister in the BJP-led government, had reportedly misused his official position to force the officials concerned into the transaction for his family, and contended that the source of funds for the deal was not genuine as the money had been routed through shell companies.

A former senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Khadse was shunted to the political wilderness for almost five years following political differences with the then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and he joined the NCP in October 2020.

“I left the BJP and joined the NCP, that’s why I am being harassed like this. It’s a political conspiracy,” Khadse hit out, speaking briefly to the media outside the ED offices.

Meanwhile, after interrogation on Wednesday, Chaudhary was produced before a Special Court which has sent him to ED custody.

Crime

Huge cache of weapons seized under ‘Operation Disarm’ by TN Police

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The special police team constituted by Tamil Nadu Director General of Police C. Sylendra Babu, named ‘Operation Disarm’, has seized more than 900 weapons, including three firearms.

The raids conducted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning also rounded up 2,500 rowdy elements in South Tamil Nadu.

The arrest and seizure of weapons followed the four beheadings that took place in South Tamil Nadu, specifically in Dindigul and Tirunelveli districts in the past 12 days.

The DGP in a high-level meeting of the police officers at Madurai directed them to investigate murder cases that were even ten years old. He also called upon the officers to conduct routine raids at the residences and premises of rowdy elements in these districts.

The DGP also told the police officers to round up and arrest those people who can be involved in possible retaliatory attacks. Police officers said that the DGP also directed them to intensify night patrolling and not to allow any untoward incidents to happen in the days to come.

According to a senior DSP who was present in the meeting, the DGP was furious over the back-to-back murders in these districts and the resurgence of caste wars that had dominated South Tamil Nadu during the mid-1990s.

Sociologist and Professor at a foreign university M.K. Krishnan, who hails from Madurai, while speaking to IANS said, “Police have to take stringent action against those who take law into their hands. However, unless the sublime issue of caste is not weeded out this will reappear in one form or the other.

“While the present DMK government has had a good start, the awareness on the futility of fights over castes have to be inculcated in young minds and for that good education is very important. These youths who are involved in beheadings will not be allowed to be given any heroic receptions.”

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Crime

Carcass of tiger found in Dudhwa reserve

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The carcass of a tiger was found on Sunday in the Mailani range of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.

The carcass was found alongside the Gola-Pilibhit road near Chhedipur village here and the tiger is said to be two years old.

Sanjay Kumar Pathak, field director of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR), said that all vital organs, including jaws and nails, were intact though there were some abrasion marks on the carcass.

“The circumstances indicate that the tiger died in a road accident or it could be due to fighting during the mating season,” Pathak said.

He said the exact cause of the death could be ascertained after post mortem by a team of experts from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly.

The post mortem would be conducted according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines, Pathak said.

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Crime

Pramod Tiwari denies hand in attack on BJP MP

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Former Congress MP Pramod Tiwari has rejected the allegation that he was behind the attack on Pratapgarh BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta.

Tiwari, speaking on the phone, said, “He is trying to gain attention in the party and increase his TRP ahead of the Assembly elections.”

Tiwari alleged that Gupta had himself torn his clothes and there might have been a scuffle between the workers which somebody told me. Nobody attacked the MP, Tiwari said.

The BJP MP had alleged that the supporters of Congress leader Pramod Tiwari had beaten him on Saturday as the supporters of both clashed at the ‘Garib Kalyan Mela’ in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP alleged that the video of the attack was a proof and Gupta was beaten up in the presence of Tiwari and his daughter Aradhana Mishra, who is congress leader in the Assembly.

Both have refuted the allegation and said, “Gupta was making allegations because in Pratapgarh BJP was feeling helpless, so they are resorting to such cheap tactics.”

Congress MP Pramod Tiwari, Congress legislature party leader Aradhana Mishra and 48 others have been booked under Section 307 (attempt to murder), 146 (rioting) and 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) at the Lalganj police station in Pratapgarh.

The case was registered late on Saturday night after BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta, with his supporters, blocked traffic on the Prayagraj-Pratapgarh road for several hours.

Earlier on Saturday, several people were injured as Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers came to blows during the Gareeb Kalyan Mela held at Sangipur development block auditorium in Pratapgarh district.

BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta was also allegedly beaten up and had to be rescued by the police and escorted to a safe place.

Congress leader Pramod Tiwari was also manhandled and Aradhana Mishra’s mobile phone was lost in the melee.

According to reports, BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta was invited as the chief guest at the Gareeb Kalyan Mela but he came late.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Pramod Tiwari and Aradhana Mishra ‘Mona’ reached the Mela venue and a few minutes later, the BJP MP also arrived, leading to tension among the Congress and BJP workers.

After a heated argument, both groups attacked each other. In a video which went viral, it can be seen that some people chased his vehicle and damaged it. The programme was also suspended following the chaos. Heavy force reached the spot and controlled the situation.

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