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Friday,03-December-2021

Crime

‘The Man Who Knows Too Much’- Witness hammers NCB on cruiser raid

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The stunning revelations by an ‘independent witness’ on the circumstances preceding the cruise ship party raids seem to knock the wind out of the sails of the Narcotics Control Bureau’s claims in the sensational operation with 8 youngsters arrested, including Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan.

Prabhakat R. Sail, 40, released the affidavit of October 23, on Sunday with startling revelations on his ‘boss’, Kiran P. Gosavi, currently absconding, on the events prior to the rave party raided by NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede and his team on October 2.

He mentioned how he was ordered to remain present near the NCB office on October 2 morning when Gosavi was closeted with the agency sleuths, came out with one officer and left with him and at noon summoned him to the Green Gate.

There, Sail and Gosavi bought lot of foodstuff including Frankie rolls, cold drinks and water which they took inside the Green Gate near the boarding pad of the cruise ship, and he distributed the eats to Wankhede and other NCB staffers.

Sail remained in the waiting area of the International Cruise Terminal and that afternoon Gosavi sent him few pix on WhatsApp with instructions to keep a lookout for them.

He identified one of the persons and informed Gosavi who replied that he along with 12 others was caught by the NCB.

At 7 p.m. that day, Gosavi asked Sail to bring his Innova car inside after telling the CISF security personnel Sameer Wankhede’s name, but the security did not permit the vehicle, forcing him (Gosavi) to come out, change his clothes and again entered the Green Gate.

That night, around 10.30 p.m., Gosavi summoned Sail to the cruiser boarding area where he noticed Aryan Khan, Munmun Dhamecha and others in one of the cabins with the NCB sleuths who had just ‘raided’ the ship.

Shortly after midnight, Gosavi and an NCB officer took Aryan Khan in the Innova car to the NCB office, while Sail walked down.

Just then, Sail said he got a call from Gosavi instructing him to become a ‘witness’ in the case, and at the NCB office, Wankhede directed him to one aide named Salekar who took his signature on 10 blank papers, and provided a soft copy of his Aadhaar Card.

Later, Gosavi came down to meet one person named Sam D’Souza, after their brief meetings around the NCB office.

Then, Sail said he and Gosavi left in their Innova, while D’Souza followed them in his Innova Crysta, till the Worli Big Bazaar.

During the early morning ride, Sail said he heard Gosavi telling D’Souza to “put a bomb of Rs 25 crore” and finally settle at Rs 18 crore as “we have to give Rs 8 crore to Sameer Wankhede”.

Subsequently, SRK’s manager Pooja Dadlani reached there in a blue Mercedes car, after the quick meeting, Sail and Gosavi went near Mantralaya to meet someone, and then they went to Vashi.

Again, Gosavi asked Sail to go near the Indiana Hotel at Tardeo and collect cash, from someone who came in a white car around 9.45 a.m., handed over two bags full of cash which he (Sail) promptly took to his ‘boss’ in Vashi.

That evening, Gosavi called D’Souza and told Sail to go and hand over the cash bags to him near Inorbit Mall in Vashi, but D’Souza asked him to come near Trident Hotel instead.

After D’Souza counted the cash it was only Rs 38 lakh and Sail returned to Vashi.

“I say that Gosavi is missing now and I now fear that NCB officials and other persons involved may kill me or abduct me like Gosavi. As seen in big cases, witnesses often are killed or taken away and I therefore want to state the truth,” Sail signed off.

Though Wankhede has denied Sail’s allegations, the NCB Deputy Director, South West Region Mutha Ashok Jain has taken strong congnisance and sent them to the NCB headquarters, New Delhi for suitable action.

Sail’s closing sentence is reminiscent of the brutal end to Manshukh Hiran, probably the man who knew too much, about the sensational incident of planting a car with some explosives near the home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani in February.

Crime

Centre clarifies on 3rd wave possibility after Omicron detection

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Omicron cases are increasingly being reported from countries outside of South Africa. India has also reported two cases of Omicron Covid variant and is likely to spread to more countries.

“Given the fast pace of vaccination in India and high exposure to Delta variant as evidenced by high seropositivity, the severity of the disease is anticipated to be low. However, scientific evidence is still evolving,” said the Health Ministry on Friday. It added further that the scale and magnitude of rise in cases and most importantly the severity of disease that will be caused is still not clear.

On the question of existing vaccine efficacy against this variant, the health ministry has said that there is no evidence to suggest that existing vaccines do not work on Omicron, some of the mutations reported on Spike gene may decrease the efficacy of existing vaccines. However, vaccine protection is also by antibodies as well as by cellular immunity, which is expected to be relatively better preserved.

“Hence vaccines are expected to still offer protection against severe disease, and vaccination with the available vaccines is crucial. If eligible, but not vaccinated, one should get vaccinated,” it added.

The response measures for all variants of concern, including Omicron, is the same as that for SARs CoV2. The ministry has said that the precautions and steps to be taken remain the same as before. “It is essential to mask yourself properly, take both doses of vaccines (if not yet vaccinated), maintain social distancing and maintain good ventilation to the maximum possible”, said the ministry in a statement.

The government is monitoring the situation closely and is issuing suitable guidelines, said the ministry, adding that the scientific and medical community is geared up for developing and deploying diagnostics, carrying out genomic surveillance, generating evidence about viral and epidemiologic characteristics, and development of therapeutics.

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Crime

Trouble looms for Balakrishnan as Mumbai HC to hear son’s DNA case

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The Mumbai High Court has posted for January 4 the case of a DNA test result of Binoy Kodiyeri, the elder son of CPI-M politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan who was all set to return as Kerala CPI-M state secretary.

A woman from Bihar has alleged that Binoy had a relationship with her while she was working at a dance bar in Dubai in 2008 and till 2015, he used to send her money every month. They also have an eight-year-old child.

The woman had first filed a petition in 2019 and in July 2019 Binoy approached the Mumbai High Court seeking dismissal of the rape case filed by the woman. The court asked all the three to go for a DNA test and Binoy appeared for it on July 30, 2019.

Following which the case went into a limbo. In December 2020 the DNA result was filed before the court in a sealed cover and on Thursday the woman approached the court wanting to know the result. The court has now posted this case for January 4.

Incidentally Balakrishnan who is a cancer patient, was given medical leave by the party soon after his younger son Bineesh Kodiyeri was arrested in October 2020 by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

However Balakrishnan breathed easy when Bineesh got bail from the Karnataka High Court after being in a jail in Bengaluru in October this year. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan strongly backed Balakrishnan to return to the post and the green signal was to have come from the state secretariat on Friday, when came the news about Binoy.

The news about Binoy has come at a time when the CPI-M, ahead of the party state conference scheduled for early next year, wanted Balakrishnan to take over. Sources in the know of things say Balakrishnan will be asked to take over after the national leadership of the party last month asked the state leadership to take a call on it.

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Crime

Five dead, one injured in road accident in Gurugram

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 Five people were killed after a car crashed into a roadside wall and overturned on Sadhrana road near Gadhi village here on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday.

According to police, the deceased have been identified as Sagar, Jibech, Niaz Khan, Prince and Jagbir.

One person, identified as Hardik Tiwari, was injured in the incident.

The victims were returning to Gurugram city from Sadhrana village after attending a marriage.

“All of them were coming from a wedding ceremony in Sadhrana village. The mishap was a result of speeding and a damaged road. All the victims used to work in a city-based private hospital. Police are taking necessary action,” Gurugram police spokesperson Subhash Boken said.

“The injured man has been shifted to a hospital in critical condition. While the bodies have been sent for post-mortem. Further probe is on,” he added.

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