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Sunday,24-October-2021

Crime

With 29K new corona cases, India’s tally mounts to 88.74L

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With 29,163 new coronavirus infections and 449 more COVID-19 fatalities in the past 24 hours, India’s overall tally and death toll stood at 88,74,290 and 1,30,519 respectively on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Currently, there are 4,53,401 active cases, whereas 82,90,370 patients have been discharged so far. The recovery rate is 93.42 per cent and the fatality rate 1.47 per cent, the Ministry said.

The Indian Council of Medical Research tested 8,44,382 more samples on Monday, taking the total numbers to 12,65,42,907.

Maharashtra continued to be the worst-hit state with 17,49,777 cases till date. There are 85,363 active cases and 46,034 COVID-19 deaths.

Delhi witnessed significantly low numbers of coronavirus tests in the last 24 hours on Monday, with latest government figures recording 3,797 new cases and pushing the national capital’s total tally to 4,89,202.

While the lesser number of cases reported in the last 24 hours may bring a sigh of relief compared with earlier days where the daily cases spiked to as high as 8,500, the fact remains that the figures came after mere 29,821 tests in the 24 hours right after Diwali celebrations in Delhi.

The other worst-hit states are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.

Meanwhile, as of Tuesday morning, total coronavirus cases and the death toll across the globe stood at 5,48,26,773 and 13,25,752 respectively, Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) said in its latest update.

The US is the worst-hit country with 1,11,97,791 cases and 2,47,142 COVID-19 deaths, according to the CSSE. India comes in second place in terms of number of cases.

Crime

NCB ‘visits’ SRK, Ananya Pandey’s homes; conducts raids in Andheri

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In a major development, teams of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) paid a formal ‘visit’ to the residences of Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan in Bandra west, and actress Ananya Panday in Khar west, and raided a location in Andheri on Thursday as part of the ongoing probe into the October 2 luxury cruiser rave party.

“The NCB Mumbai Zonal Unit officials visited ‘Mannat’, the residence of Aryan Khan in connection with the (Cr.94/21 case) for seeking certain material related to the investigation of the case from Shah Rukh Khan, by following due procedure of notice, etc.,” said NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede in a statement later.

He also dismissed reports in sections of the media dubbing the NCB trip to the superstar’s sea-facing bungalow as a ‘raid’.

The development, which grabbed national attention, came shortly after the Bombay High Court this morning decided to take up his son Aryan Khan’s bail plea on next Tuesday, October 26.

Simultaneously, Ananya Panday — daughter of Bollywood actor Chunky Panday and granddaughter of the renowned heart surgeon, the late Dr. Sharad Panday — has been summoned to the NCB offices this day for the probe and the actress.

The NCB has claimed that her name apparently figures in some WhatsApp chats of Aryan Khan recovered by the agency, along with others.

As part of its probe into the cruise ship party raids, the NCB has arrested a total of 20 persons so far, and more arrests are not ruled out.

It may be recalled that Nationalist Congress Party National Spokesperson and Minister Nawab Malik had last week claimed that among various Bollywood bigwigs targeted, Shah Rukh Khan was also on the radar of the central probe agency with sleuths keeping a watch on ‘Mannat’ in recent weeks.

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Crime

NCB drugs case: No bail for Aryan Khan, 2 others

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 Mumbai Special NDPS Court on Wednesday rejected the bail plea of Aryan Khan, the son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.

The court also declined the bail applications of Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha, the two accused in the same case.

Khan’s lawyer said that though the detailed order of Special Judge V.V. Patil is awaited, they plan to “appeal to the Bombay High Court today or tomorrow seeking bail”.

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All eyes on Mumbai special court, suspense over bail or jail for Aryan

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 The Special NDPS Court in Mumbai is the focus of national attention as the bail plea of Aryan Khan — son of Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan — and 7 other youths come up for hearing later on Wednesday.

The arguments in the bail pleas of Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha were completed last week and Special NDPS Judge V.V. Patil had deferred the verdict till Wednesday, but the hearing of the remaining accused is pending.

The hearing comes under the backdrop of a senior Shiv Sena leader Kishore Tiwari filing a plea before the Supreme Court Chief Justice N.V. Ramana demanding a high-level probe into the affairs of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the ‘violation of Aryan Khan’s fundamental rights’.

Meanwhile, the NCB has reportedly found the mention of a heroine in one of the WhatsApp chats of Aryan — who has been inside the lockup or custody for 19 nights continuously since his detention on October 2 and arrest on October 3.

The NCB has reportedly counselled him and other co-accused, offered them their religious holy books like Bhagwad Gita, Quran or Bible, Aryan reportedly is full of remorse and has promised to ‘reform’ himself after release.

However, Nationalist Congress Party National Spokesperson and Minister Nawab Malik has challenged these claims and demanded the NCB should release videos of the purported counselling sessions instead of indulging in selective leaks.

In one of the most high-profile operations, Aryan Khan, along with 7 others was caught when the NCB team led by Mumbai Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede swooped on an alleged rave party aboard a cruise ship on October 2 evening.

During subsequent investigations, another 12 persons, including a foreigner have been nabbed in the same case, while some others have been raided or questioned.

Simultaneously, fingers have been raised at the NCB’s style of working, the involvement of a fugitive and a politician, friends of the sleuths as ‘independent witnesses’, capped by the unprecedented plea to the CJI seeking a probe into the central narcotics agency’s alleged ‘mala fide doings’.

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