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NIA arrests one more accused from Karnataka in ISIS-Voice of Hind case

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested one Jufri Jawhar Damudi from Karnataka’s Bhatkal in connection with an ISIS module case after carrying out searches at two locations.

Damudi had created multiple pseudo IDs on different chat platforms, officials said on Friday.

An NIA official here said that the anti-terror probe agency has arrested Damudi in connection with ISIS-Voice of Hind case.

“A cyber entity by the name of ‘Abu Hazir Al Badri’ was a key ISIS operative, who was involved in translating Voice of Hind into south Indian languages. After further dissemination, the entity was identified as Damudi, a resident of Bhatkal, who was arrested on Friday in a joint operation carried out by the NIA and Karnataka Police,” the official said.

“This cyber id was also used to radicalise and recruit people,” the official said, adding that Damudi is the younger brother of Adnan Hasan Damudi, who was arrested for ISIS related activities in 2016 and is currently under detention in a separate NIA case.

The official said that Damudi was in touch with the ISIS leadership operating out of Afghanistan-Pakistan region, who provided him propaganda materials and also gave directions for their dissemination.

For this purpose, Damudi had created multiple false Ids on encrypted chat platforms. He was also a member of various online propaganda channels of ISIS.

During the searches conducted on Friday, a large number of digital devices such as mobile phones, hard disks, SD cards etc. were seized, the official said.

A case was registered on June 29 this year in connection with the conspiracy of the proscribed terrorist organisation ISIS to radicalise and recruit impressionable Muslim youth in India to wage violent jihad against the Indian state.

ISIS terrorists operating from various conflict zones along with ISIS cadres in India had created a network by assuming pseudo online identities wherein ISIS related propaganda materials were disseminated for radicalising and recruiting people into the ISIS fold.

The official said that earlier, the NIA had conducted multiple searches in Jammu and Kashmir on July 11 and arrested three accused persons — Umar Nisar, Tanveer Ahmad Bhat and Rameez Ahmad Lone — all residents of Anantnag in J&K.

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Extortion case: Mumbai Police file charge-sheet against Param Bir, others

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The Mumbai Police on Saturday filed a voluminous charge-sheet against suspended DGP Param Bir Singh and three others in an extortion case lodged by a businessman before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’S Court, officials said here.

This is the first charge-sheet filed against Singh — a former Mumbai Police Commissioner, who was suspended on December 2 — in the five FIRs lodged against him in Mumbai and Thane.

The chargesheet, with evidences and the recorded statements of witnessses, also names sacked cop Sachin Vaze, currently in police custody, and two others in the extortion case filed by a hotelier, Bimal Agarwal.

The two other accused named are Alpesh Patel and Sumit Singh, who are currently out on bail, while the police are yet to file charges against two more accused, Vinay Singh and Riyaz Bhati.

Singh, the Maharashtra State Home Guards Commandant General, who was ‘untraceable’ for nearly six months till he resurfaced in Mumbai 10 days ago, had recorded his statement in the case, which was registered by the Goregaon Police on August 25 and later transferred to the Crime Branch.

As per Agarwal’s complaint, Singh, Vaze and the others allegedly threatened to file fake cases against him and extorted nearly Rs 12 lakh between January 2020 and March 2021. The Crime Branch is probing the case now.

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INX media case: Former director Peter Mukerjea gets regular bail

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A Delhi Court on Saturday granted regular bail to former media baron Peter Mukerjea, in connection with an alleged criminal conspiracy involving former Union Finance minister P. Chidambaram, his son Karti and others in relation to foreign direct investment to a firm, INX Media, in 2007.

The special CBI judge M.K. Nagpal granted the bail to Mukerjea, who was the erstwhile director and Chief Operating Officer of INX Media.

The bail application was argued by Adv Sandeep Kapur, Senior Partner, Karanjawala and Co and assisted by Adv Apoorva Pandey, Adv Ashneet Singh, Adv Mridul Yadav, and Adv GG Kashyap.

According to the case, excess Foreign Direct Investment was approved by INX Media (P) Ltd without the approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board which was allegedly scuttled by Karti Chidambaram by influencing public servants from various government departments by virtue of his relationship with the then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and receiving huge kick-backs as consideration.

On November 27, the same special court had issued summons to Chidambarams and others in ED and CBI cases in connection with Aircel Maxis money-laundering and corruption cases, in which the CBI and the ED have alleged that as the former finance minister granted approval to the deal beyond his capacity, which benefited certain persons and he received kickbacks in return.

It is alleged that Chidambaram withheld Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance of the deal until his son, Karti Chidambaram received the five-per cent share in the company.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for probe agencies had earlier informed the court that agencies have sent Letters Rogatory — documents making a request through a foreign court to obtain information — to different countries and there are some developments on that.

According to rules and the foreign direct investment policy in force at that time, Chidambaram was allegedly empowered to give approval to proposals involving foreign investment only up to Rs 600 crore.

Special Judge M.K. Nagpal had noted that there was sufficient evidence to summon Chidambaram and the other accused in the corruption and money-laundering cases.

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Gujarat’s first Omicron case detected in Jamnagar

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 Gujarat on Saturday registered first Omicron case after a Zimbabwe resident, who arrived in Jamnagar, was found infected with Covid-19’s new mutant.

The Nodal officer for Corona, GG Hospital, Jamnagar, Dr S. Chatterjee told IANS: “Samples of the 72-year-old Zimbabwe resident sent to Biotechnological Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad tested positive for Omicron. The patient is in isolation since his admission. We had traced all his close contacts, screened them and they tested negative. But we will conduct the test of all his contacts once again.”

As he had returned from Zimbabwe, an African nation and one of the “at risk” countries identified by the authorities, his samples were sent to Ahmedabad for genome sequencing, which tested positive.

The man is believed to be a native of Jamnagar who has been living in Zimbabwe for many years.

He arrived on November 28 to meet his father-in-law. After he got a fever, his doctor advised him to get an RT-PCR test done. As mandated, the private laboratory informed the health authorities that his report was Covid-19 positive.

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