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Friday,03-December-2021

Crime

Wankhede family was Muslim: Sameer’s ex-in-laws bombshell

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 The Wankhede family was Muslim, performed ‘namaz’ and ‘Ramadan fasts’ and were known to the family of Sameer’s former wife Dr. Shabana Quraishi almost four years before marriage, revealed the latter’s father Dr. Zahid Quraishi, here on Thursday.

Speaking to hordes of mediapersons, Dr. Quraishi — the ex-father-in-law of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede — said that the two families had “excellent relations” prior to his (Sameer’s) wedding with his daughter.

“The marriage took place before they were Muslims… Otherwise it would not have materialised… They were good Muslims, performing ‘namaz’ and ‘Ramadan rozas’ also,” Dr. Quraishi asserted, dropping a bombshell.

Dr. Shabana Quraishi was acquainted with Sameer Wankhede over three years before their engagement and got married some 10 months post-betrothal, and later they had a child out of the wedlock.

The new disclosures come a day after the Wankhede family members vehemently denied that they were Muslims and asserted that they were Hindus.

In a climbdown of sorts following the furore, Sameer Wankhede’s father Dynaneshwar Wankhede said that his late wife addressed him by a pet name of ‘Dawood’, while his wife Kranti Redkar-Wankhede said he (Sameer) married in a Muslim ceremony as per the desires of his deceased mother.

Nationalist Congress Party Minister Nawab Malik reiterated that the issue he had raised was not about Wankhede’s religion, but his forged caste-papers on the basis of which he secured a Central government job in the IRS.

“I challenge them to prove me wrong… I shall quit my Ministerial post immediately… I dare them to drag me to any court of law and I shall ensure that all my charges are true with evidence,” said Malik grimly, after his series of exposures on Sameer Wankhede’s role in the NCB kicked up a huge political dust-storm.

The Muslim priest Maulana Muzammil Ahmed, who performed the ‘nikaah’ (marriage) of Sameer Wankhede-Dr. Shabana Quraishi in Andheri west, on Wednesday confirmed that the bridegroom was a Muslim and his father’s name was Dawood.

“The bride was a Muslim, the bridegroom was also Muslim, their parents were Muslims… Otherwise I would not have performed it (nikaah),” Maulana Ahmed told mediapersons.

The row over Sameer Wankhede’s religious credentials erupted after Malik on Wednesday posted his ‘nikaah-nama’ with his signature and the December 7, 2006 wedding pix of the couple in Muslim attire, and how he had allegedly forged his caste certificate later to get a reserved category government job.

However, the Wankhede family has rubbised all the allegations and some Bharatiya Janata Party activists have demanded his sacking from the state cabinet for misusing his official position.

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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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