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Tag: crime

Arrested IAF official was honey-trapped by spy in guise of British journo

Ranjith KK, the 30-year-old Indian Air Force official who was dismissed from service and arrested from an airbase in Punjab earlier this week, had allegedly passed on official secrets to a suspected intelligence operative.According to Delhi police crime branch, the official had been compromised after falling prey to a honey trap set up by the suspected operative, Damini McNought, who posed as a journalist on Facebook.The arrest, made during a combined operation by Delhi police, military intelligence and Air Force liaisoning unit (LU), is being considered another major breakthrough after an ISI-backed espionage network was busted in Jammu and Kashmir earlier this month.Ranjith was posted in Bhatinda as an LAC (Leading Air Craftsman) before being dismissed on Monday. Bhatinda serves as a front line airbase near Pakistan border and has a very important surveillance unit, according to the officials. He is married and has a kid as well, said police.”The accused joined IAF in 2010 and has served in other states as well. He was booked under official secrets act and produced in a city court which sent him to four-day police custody,” said Ravindra Yadav, joint commissioner of Delhi police (Crime).Investigators told dna that Ranjith was contacted by Damini on Facebook nearly a year ago. Damini told Ranjith that she was working for a leading British magazine as a war correspondent and needed his help for a story she was working on.”The suspect offered to transfer money into a bank account under Ranjith’s name. We are looking into recent transactions made towards that account,” said a senior police official. In exchange, Ranjith sent official secrets that included Air Force deployments, exercises and troop movements, he added.Sources told dna that Rs30,000 transferred into the account of Ranjith from a foreign bank had tipped off the intelligence agencies. “Air Force had kept him under surveillance for nearly three months. He had passed on critical sensitive information including air field markings through VOIP calls,” said the source.The accused has disclosed that the alleged spy has a British accent, which was apparent in their conversations during later phase of their relationship, interrogators said.Ranjith’s relationship with the suspected operative took a turn after the duo cosied up to each other. By this time Ranjith had been frequently talking to the suspected spy over WhatsApp and Viber.”We cannot delve into the exact nature of the conversation. But it is believed that the alleged Intel operative had begun to blackmail the accused, threatening to publish the content he had sent her on social media,” an investigator told dna.Delhi police are now trying to pinpoint the location of Damini. Her Facebook profile shows Leeds, United Kingdom as present address and has some others with military background too in friends’ list.The Crime Branch had earlier busted a major espionage network involving officials of the armed forces. Five persons were arrested including personnel of Border Security Force and Rashtriya Rifles. With a second espionage case coming to fore, the Crime Branch is not ruling out the possibility of multiple espionage networks in Indian armed forces.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Former IAF official arrested for ‘spying’ New Delhi

He added that Ranjith was roped in into the spy ring by an unidentified woman whom he had met over a social networking site. Ranjith’s arrest comes close on the heels of the cracking of an ISI-backed espionage racket by the Crime Branch in connection with which five persons — including a serving and a former army personnel and a serving BSF personnel — were arrested. However, the police haven’t yet been able to ascertain any specific link between Ranjith and the other racket, which was even found to have sources at the office of the Pakistan High Commission here, the official added.

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Return of jungle raj? Yet another engineer found murdered in Bihar

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Girl allegedly gang-raped by three armymen in the Howrah-Amritsar Express train

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Bihar: One arrested in connection with murder of two engineers in Darbhanga

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Delhi horror: Four-year-old girl allegedly sexually assaulted by landlord

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West Bengal: Car runs over cyclist; two killed after fleeing occupants open fire

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Apple asks court to make Samsung pay $180 million more in patent dispute | Reuters

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Real-life Gangs of Wasseypur: Man chops father’s killer’s body into 12 pieces!

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When he was captured by the police, he claimed that he had seen the man kill his father. Police SP Ram Suresh Yadav said that he confessed to the crime and showed no remorse.

File Photo

In a shocking murder that is reminiscent of Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur, the son of a murder victim has confessed to stabbing his killer’s father to death and chopped his father’s body into 12 pieces, one for every year of his father’s death. Alam Khan was 12 when he saw his father was murdered by a family friend in 2003, and he had secretly planned his revenge ever since. Recently, Alam Khan invited his father’s murderer over for a drink and after getting him drunk knifed him to death before using a hammer and hacksaw to dismember the body and chopped it into 12 pieces. He and an accomplice then threw the pieces of the body into the river. However, when the bags washed up on the river’s banks, police were able to recognise him because of a distinctive scar on his torso. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When he was captured by the police, he claimed that he had seen the man kill his father. Police SP Ram Suresh Yadav said that he confessed to the crime and showed no remorse.

Goa priest’s death case: Court rules out lie detector test for juvenile key witness

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The death of Fr Dias was initially investigated by local police but owing to pressure by various sections the probe was handed over to crime branch.

File photo

A local court has disallowed a police plea to conduct a lie detector test on a juvenile who has been made a key witness in the case of death of priest Fr Bismarck Dias under mysterious circumstances. The Goa Crime branch is probing the death of Dias, whose body was found in a river at his village St Estevam near Panaji on November 7. Dias, who was part of almost all environment protection movements in the coastal state, was last seen with the minor. The Juvenile Court rejected the application of the Crime Branch to subject the minor witness to a lie detection test even as his parents had given their consent for the same.However, the victim assistance unit of the court had objected to it. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Panjim has already allowed a lie-detector test on another prime witness in the case. Superintendent of Crime Branch Karthik Kashyap said they are ready to conduct the test even tomorrow on the first (major) witness but the date will be set based on the availability of the lab. The death of Fr Dias was initially investigated by local police but owing to pressure by various sections the probe was handed over to crime branch.

Double murder in Mumbai: Hema Upadhyay’s estranged husband Chintan arrested

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Mumbai double murder: Hema Upadhyay’s estranged husband Chintan arrested

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Delhi: Two men killed, two women injured in suspected gang war

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Bangladesh court accepts Rana Plaza murder charge sheet | Reuters

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Timeline: Here’s what happened in the aftermath of the 2012 Delhi gangrape

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Barca sweep to another title in one-sided contest | Reuters

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Wawrinka inspires Singapore to IPTL final victory | Reuters

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Delhi gangrape case: High Court refuses to stay the release of juvenile convict

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Indrani told her employers that Sheena Bora didn’t want to be contacted: Witness

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Three years after Delhi gangrape, activists say women’s safety has not improved in national capital

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Hema Upadhyaya murder case: Police arrest three persons who were detained earlier

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Ruling JD(U) MLA Ramesh Kushwaha surrenders in 18-year-old murder case, sent to jail

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Bullet-ridden body of youth found in Shopian, Jammu and Kashmir

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Mumbai double murder: Key suspect Sadhu Rajbhar detained in Varanasi

In a major breakthrough in double murder of installation artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani, the Mumbai police in joined operation with Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force on Monday detained Sadhu Rajbhar, the main suspect, from Varanasi.

Wikepedia

In a major breakthrough in double murder of installation artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani, the Mumbai police in joined operation with Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force on Monday detained Sadhu Rajbhar, the main suspect, from Varanasi.According to reports, Rajbhar is a metal facrication artist by profession.A Mumbai Police team which is probing the case had gone to Uttar Pradesh .According to police, the bodies of Hema (43) and Bhambhani (65), their hands and feet tied with ropes, were recovered from a drain in suburban Kandivali on Saturday night. The bodies were stuffed in two cardboard boxes.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Their samples have been sent for chemical analysis and their autopsy reports are awaited, the senior offical said.In this connection, police has also quizzed the transporter, who confirmed that he dumped the two boxes in a nullah in Kandivali on Saturday afternoon thinking that it contained broken antiques.Also, police on Saturday recorded the statement of the watchman at Hema’s apartment in Juhu Tara Road and her domestic servant Lalit Mandal.Besides, Hema’s estranged husband Chintan, who was in Delhi and arrived in the city on Sunday, was questioned by the Crime Branch.According to police, Hema’s domestic help had filed a missing complaint at Santacruz police station on Saturday.Hema and Bhambhani were missing since Friday evening, said police, adding the watchman of Hema had last seen her on Friday at 11 AM.Whereas according to Anita, at around 6.30 pm on Friday Bhambhani had left his King Circle home in Matunga to meet Hema.As per police, Bhambhani met Hema at her art studio in Andheri and at around 8.30 PM on Friday. Then he had a word with his wife on phone, after which the Bhambhani family couldn’t speak with the latter despite calling him frantically several times.(With PTI inputs)

Anti-corruption crusader Subramanian Swamy risks wrecking tax reform | Reuters

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First Salman, now Asaram? Godman accused of rape says he will be the next to walk free

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Bihar: Former RJD MP Shahabuddin, three others given life imprisonment for murder

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FBI looking into $28,500 deposit in California shooters’ account – source | Reuters

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Taliban says will issue audio message from Mullah Mansour soon | Reuters

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Six injured in bomb attack on a Hindu gathering in Bangladesh | Reuters

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Couple identified as suspects in California mass shooting | Reuters

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Two Americas soccer bosses arrested as FIFA corruption scandal deepens | Reuters

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Crime Branch to question ex-army officer in probe of ISI espionage network

ISI Espionage Network: Alleged spies deleted all whatsapp conversations.

The Crime Branch of Delhi Police will be questioning a retired army officer based in Jammu and Kashmir after his name cropped up several times during questioning of Kaifaitullah Khan and Abdul Rasheed, both arrested on charges of spying for Pakistan. According to sources, a team of investigators will be dispatched to J&K sometime this week to question the senior ranking army officer who retired from service recently.Investigators of Crime Branch will also be hunting for more evidence in Jammu and Kashmir as most of the documents allegedly dispatched to Pakistani intelligence agencies were sent using WhatsApp and the record of the same were deleted afterwards.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Officials said that besides the retired army officer, some other colleagues of BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed, who is accused of providing secret information to his Pakistani handlers, might also be questioned in the process. Senior officials of the Crime Branch refused to name the army officer saying that “revealing any information about the accused might interfere in the ongoing investigation”.Meanwhile, investigators told dna, that new details about the modus operandi of the espionage network have emerged following interrogation of Kaifaitullah alias Master Raja. According to sources Kaifaitullah was initially reluctant to work for a Pakistani intelligence operative (PIO) named Faizal, who had approached him in Gujrawala, Pakistan two years ago.”Kaifaitullah Khan was only permitted to visit a few places, including Islamabad. But some of his relatives were in Gujrawala. A PIO by the name Faizal approached him there and told him that he would be arrested because he was not supposed to travel beyond Islamabad.”Later the same PIO took him to the local police station where he was kept for days and ultimately convinced to develop sources in the Indian Army. According to the accused, the PIO threatened to hurt his extended family in Pakistan after which he was left with no choice but to work for him,” said a source in the Crime Branch. Other than his liaison with Abdul Rasheed, Kaifaitullah had allegedly managed to infiltrate Indian armed forces as well as the BSF.Crime Branch officials also believe that this particular network for now, seems to be limited within the Jammu and Kashmir but did not deny the possibility of similar networks within the armed forces stationed across the country.”After confiscating mobile phone of the accused, we found out that the whatsapp conversation were wiped clean. We are trying to retrieve mobile phones belonging to PIO’s in Pakistan. For now we are relying on the multiple bank transactions under which money was deposited into the accounts of the two accused. The accused have mentioned the Jammu and Kashmir based bank and we will be approaching the same to retrieve concerned documents,” said a senior police officer.Kaifaitullah was arrested on Thursday when he was on his way to Bhopal for a religious gathering while, Rasheed was arrested on Sunday. Rasheed is accused of procuring documents related to security deployment in India and sending them to his cousin Kaifaitullah. Families of the accused men have claimed their innocence stating that the duo are being framed.

Patel Quota Row: Gujarat HC drops ‘waging war against govt’ charge against Hardik Patel and co

Justice J B Pardiwala, after hearing the arguments, ordered the removal of three IPC sections in the FIR – section 121 (waging war against government), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity) – against Hardik and his aides.

Hardik Patel

In a partial relief to Patel quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel, the Gujarat High Court today dropped the charge of ‘waging war against government’ against him and his five aides but upheld the stringent sedition clause against them. Justice J B Pardiwala, after hearing the arguments, ordered the removal of three IPC sections in the FIR – section 121 (waging war against government), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity) – against Hardik and his aides.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The court, however, refused to drop IPC sections 124 (sedition) and 121-A (conspiracy to wage war against government), which attract punishment of life imprisonment or up to 10 years.In October, the city Crime Branch had lodged an FIR against 22-year-old Hardik and five of his close aides under charges of sedition and waging war against the government.Later, Hardik, Chirag Patel, Dinesh Bambhaniya and Ketan Patel were arrested. They are currently behind bars. Two other aides of Hardik – Amrish Patel and Alpesh Kathiriya – were not arrested as the high court had granted them interim protection. In another development, the high court today extended their interim relief from arrest for another 15 days. This was the second sedition complaint against Hardik after he was booked under the same charge by Surat Police.In November, Hardik and others moved the high court to set aside the FIR against them, claiming that their protest to seek reservation for Patel community does not amount to “sedition or waging war against government”.During the arguments on November 2, public prosecutor Mitesh Amin had strongly defended the stand of Crime Branch for slapping stringent charges against the Patel leaders, stating that the FIR is based on the call interceptions made by it.

Is the rise of ISI agents in J&K Police, Armed Forces an alarming situation?

Back in 2012, the Jammu and Kashmir Police was left rattled after a similar busting of a militant module that was responsible for 13 attacks that Srinagar had witnessed between 2011-12, including killings of atleast four police officials and one National Conference activist .

The busting of a major espionage network involving a BSF personnel and a librarian from Rajouri area of Jammu and Kashmir, has uncovered an alleged nexus between Pakistan’s premier intelligence agencies, members of the Indian armed forces and the J&K police. Crime Branch officials told dna that the arrests might be a part of a nation wide exercise to sanitise security forces across country from suspected espionage networks. This however is not the first time when such a network has come to light since an armed insurgency against the Indian state erupted in the valley in 1989.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Back in 2012, the Jammu and Kashmir Police was left rattled after a similar busting of a militant module that was responsible for 13 attacks that Srinagar had witnessed between 2011-12, including killings of atleast four police officials and one National Conference activist . The arrested men included a policeman, named Abdul Rashid Shigan, and a released Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) militant, Imtiyaz Ahmad Gojri who were operating under the shadow name of Omar Mukhtar and General Usman.However, what makes the current bust even more important is the fact that the Crime Branch of Delhi police believes that the arrested librarian, identified as Kaifaitullah Khan, had managed to penetrate not only the security agencies but also the Indian Armed forces. He had also roped in his cousin Abdul Rasheed who is accused of directly sending secret information relating to army deployment to ISI agents.While J&K Director General of Police (DGP), K. Rajendra Kumar maintained that the security forces in the state, including JK police, are ‘professionals’ curbing terrorist activities on daily basis, Dr Ajit Kumar Singh, of the South Asia terrorism portal, said the phenomenon of providing state secrets to Pakistani intelligence needs to be curbed immediately with better selection ,training and recruitment procedures of the Indian armed forced as well as the J&K police.Kaifaitullah during his interrogation disclosed that in 1992, he was selected in BSF but he did not join the service. In 1993, he got selected in J&K police and after completing the training, he was posted in J&K armed police till 1995 after which he got job as Library Assistant in in a Higher Secondary School in Manjakot, Rajouri. The Crime Branch maintains that Kaifaitullah had begun his operation to penetrate the Indian army only 2-3 years back, but given his history, it is unlikely he was dormant from 1995, the year he joined militancy. This could well mean that he has served as an ISI handler for over 20 years even after being arrested by the state police on several occasions. Singh attributes this to botched up investigation into terror acts which according to him is detrimental to the cause of fighting terrorism.His research titled ‘J&K Police, The enemy within’ also documents one such botch up during the investigation of 26/11 attacks of Mumbai. “When Mukhtar Ahmad Sheikh (arrested on June 16, 2012) was detained by the Kolkata (West Bengal) Police in December 2008 in the aftermath of November 26, 2008 (26/11) Mumbai attacks for supplying SIM cards to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants, the cases against him were dropped after the J&K Police informed their Kolkata counterparts that he was an undercover agent, and was trying to infiltrate into the terror group”, reads his research paper.”According to the data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management, a total of 21 Policemen were arrested for their links with militants since 1990. While there were only three such arrests till 2009, 2010 alone witnessed four arrests and it increased to seven in 2011. The current year has already witnessed seven such arrests. Apart from these Policemen, four Army personnel and a Central Reserve Police Force trooper have also been arrested since 1990,” the paper reads.”We will have to look into his records. The case indeed is very alarming,” said a senior official of the JK police.

Pakistan High Commission’s role comes under scanner in spy ring

Kaifatullah Khan(left), in the custody of crime branch in New Delhi on Monday
BB Yadav
dna
In a development which could also result in a major diplomatic row between India and Pakistan, the crime branch of Delhi Police has put Pakistani High Commission under their scanner in connection to the espionage network busted in the National Capital on Sunday.Not only has Pakistan High Commission’s name cropped up during the busting of the espionage network, but police here believe that there is a strong possibility that the arrested ISI agents had penetrated both the Indian Army and India based security agencies.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Crime branch officials on Monday said that during interrogation Kaifatullah Khan, the alleged spy, revealed that a Pakistani Intelligence Operative (PIO) in Pakistan had directed him to apply for the Pakistan visa at the high commission and meet a ‘contact’ there.”The PIO had briefed him to contact him once he reaches Pakistan High Commission. He (Kaifatullah) was supposed to meet a contact of PIO near the Pakistan High Commission and had to hand over the passport and the recommendation letter. The recommendation letter was discovered from his possession which has been addressed to Pakistan High Commissioner. All the logistic support was to be provided by the contact of the PIO whom he had to meet near Pakistan High Commission. The passport and the recommendation letter have been seized from his possession,” said Ravindra Yadav, joint commissioner of police, Crime Branch.Kaifatullah, a librarian in a higher secondary school in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri area, was taken in police custody on Thursday last week when he was on his way to ‘Bhopal Ijtema’, an annual religious gathering, where he was allegedly supposed to scout for information and possible recruits.Subsequently Abdul Rasheed, a head constable in the Border Security Force was arrested in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday for allegedly providing official secrets to Khan who is accused of working at the behest of Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, ISI. According to sources, Abdul was first interrogated by the BSF and then handed over the crime branch.According to investigations so far, it has been revealed that Kaifatullah was able to penetrate Indian Army, BSF and various security agencies of India at multiple levels and had been “procuring secret information detrimental to the security of the country”. Rasheed, a cousin of Khan, however was one of his main sources.Kaifatullah was given specific tasks by the PIO, which were mainly concerning with the deployment of security forces and air force operations. The information was passed through e-mail, WhatsApp and Viber.Abdul, a head constable in the intelligence wing of BSF posted at the office of DIG, initially passed information to Kaifatullah but later had come in direct contact with ISI agents across the border. According to police Kaifatullah was selected in the year 1990 and was earlier posted in Gujarat and West Bengal and shifted to J&K in year 1998.”Being in the intelligence wing of BSF, he was having access to secret/sensitive information pertaining to deployment/ Border fencing/movement of the troops. He was passing the information to PIO initially through Kafaitullah but later on he developed close relations directly with the PIO and started communicating with him regularly through the App based communication.”His father had visited Pakistan in the year 2014 to meet his paternal uncle. He disclosed that he was cultivated by Kafaitullah to give sensitive/ secret information in lieu of monetary considerations. His bank account details are being verified for the same,” investigators said. “We have apprehensions that the espionage network had spread into the army and other security agencies,” Yadav said. According to sources name of at least one army official has cropped up during questioning.

Espionage racket: Police trying to track ‘money trail’ from Pakistan to India

Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja, an alleged handler of the Pakistan Intelligence Operative (PIO), running an espionage racket here backed by the spy outfit, had met another ISI-backed handler at Gujrawala in Pakistan in 2013, his last visit to the country, said an official privy to the probe.

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
With the arrest of an alleged ISI operative and a serving BSF personnel, Delhi Police is now trying to track a money trail from Pakistan to India — routed through the Middle East — to pay off spies operating in an suspected pan-India network.Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja, an alleged handler of the Pakistan Intelligence Operative (PIO), running an espionage racket here backed by the spy outfit, had met another ISI-backed handler at Gujrawala in Pakistan in 2013, his last visit to the country, said an official privy to the probe.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During investigation, Khan told the police that his counterpart in Pakistan had promised him huge money for passing on secret and confidential information. When Khan started doing so, he was put on a permanent pay roll and promised performance-based appraisals, said the official.Also read: BSF personnel arrested in espionage case; Pakistan High Commission employee under scanner”Records obtained so far from bank accounts in Jammu and Rajouri district have revealed that Khan used to get a fixed pay of around Rs 20,000 per month through money transfers,” the official said.Almost all the money transfers received by Khan were routed either through UAE or through Saudi Arabia. Further investigation revealed that the money actually came from Pakistan, said the official. However, these were transfers received only through the official banking channels. Khan could have received potentially high funds through private money transfer agencies or through illegal routes. Further interrogation is expected to provide the Crime Branch with more information on the money trail, said the official.The police are also verifying reports alleging Khan’s involvement in a human-organ trafficking racket at Jammu and Kashmir, said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav, adding that the police are currently clueless in connection with that matter. So far, Khan has claimed that he was booked by the police twice for allegedly getting involved in fights during protests at Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir between 2013 and 14, said police.

BSF personnel arrested in espionage case; Pakistan High Commission employee under scanner

The serving BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed was remanded on Monday in police custody till December 7 by a Delhi court which questioned the police on whether any senior official of the border guarding force was involved in the case.

Abdul Rasheed

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
A Pakistan High Commision employee is under the scanner of Delhi Police probing an espionage racket in which an alleged ISI operative and a serving BSF personnel have been arrested.The serving BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed was remanded on Monday in police custody till December 7 by a Delhi court which questioned the police on whether any senior official of the border guarding force was involved in the case.Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja, an alleged handler of the Pakistan Intelligence Operative (PIO), was in touch with an ISI operative in Pakistan who had told him that a source in the Pakistan High Commission will help him secure visa to travel to that country, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said. Yadav said the person in Pakistan High Commission whom the ISI operative referred to is yet to be identified but sources said it appeared he was not in the rank of a diplomat.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Once we get some leads with further interrogation of the accused duo arrested, we shall have to approach the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for their permission to question staff at the High Commission’s office,” said Yadav.The Crime Branch said Kafaitullah was running the espionage racket backed by ISI and he was to meet the spy agency’s handler in Pakistan to seek more “resources”.”Is there any involvement of any senior officers?,” Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal asked the police during the hearing on its application seeking Rasheed’s remand. Delhi Police told the court it had not yet found complicity of any officer but the probe was on.Khan told the police he was going to Bhopal where he was supposed to meet another PIO handler to seek information from him about the unidentified source who could easily arrange his visa, said Yadav. Khan was, however, intercepted in Delhi on Thursday on way to Bhopal where he was also to attend a religious congregation and recruit youths for the espionage racket, he said.During interrogation, Khan, a native of a village in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, disclosed about his cousin, Abdul Rasheed, who was posted as a head constable in the intelligence wing of Border Security Force there, police said. The Delhi Police is also trying to track the money trail from Pakistan to India — routed through the Middle East, to pay off spies operating in a suspected pan-India network.During his interrogation Khan told the police his counterpart in Pakistan had promised him huge money for passing on secret and confidential information. When Khan started doing so, he was put on a permanent pay roll and promised performance-based appraisals, said an official.”Records obtained so far from bank accounts in Jammu and Rajouri district have revealed that Khan used to get a fixed pay of around Rs 20,000 per month through money transfers,” he said.Almost all the money transfers received by Khan were routed either through UAE or through Saudi Arabia. Further investigation revealed that the money actually came from Pakistan, said the official. The police are, therefore, also investigating that money trail, said an official privy to the investigation. Khan was taken to Rajouri district and Rasheed too was arrested following a raid, a senior police official said.”The police recovered secret and confidential documents in connection with force deployment locations, movements and patrolling routes of security forces from possession of both the accused,” he said. Both of them have been booked under provisions of the Official Secrets Act.Meanwhile, a Crime Branch team sent to Jammu is also looking for an Army personnel suspected to be close to Khan and believed to have allegedly passed on secret information to Pakistan’s ISI that could pose a threat to national security, the official said.Khan was recruited in Jammu and Kashmir police several years ago. Later, he quit the job and became a library assistant at a senior secondary school in Majankote area in Rajouri district, the official said. In 2013, he visited Pakistan where he came into contact with an ISI agent and thus began his journey as a spy. Khan soon started cultivating sources in the Indian Army and BSF, and some of them allegedly started passing him secret documents, the official added.According to the police, information was largely passed on through e-mail, WhatsApp and Viber networks. Khan was given specific tasks by the PIO which were mainly related to deployment of security forces and Air Force operations. The official denied that Khan’s earlier visit to Gujranwala in Pakistan, where many of his relatives live, had anything to do with any source in the High Commission as he was not in touch with intelligence operatives then.

Pakistan spy racket busted: BSF man, ISI-linked handler arrested from Jammu

New Delhi: A BSF personnel and a Pakistani intelligence operative have been arrested for obtaining secret information related to India’s national security and sharing it with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), police said on Sunday.

Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja (44) and Border Security Force (BSF) head constable Abdul Rasheed were arrested from Jammu on 26 November.

Khan is a resident of Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, while Rasheed was posted with the BSF intelligence wing in the same district.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“Khan is a handler of Pakistani intelligence operatives, and Rasheed was one of his chief sources. They were running an espionage racket which was supported by Pakistan’s ISI,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ravindra Yadav.

“Both were arrested under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Official Secrets Act.”

Yadav said the crime branch team arrested Khan from the Jammu railway station on November 26 when he had boarded a train for Bhopal. “Later, his relative Rasheed was held.”

Yadav said the operation was conducted following tip-offs about ongoing anti-national activities sponsored by Pakistan’s ISI, which is suspected to have a network of civilian handlers and security personnel in various parts of the country.

“Some secret documents related to national security were also seized from their possession,” the official said.

Yadav said Khan has contacts in India’s security agencies through which he was procuring secret information detrimental to the security of the country.

Khan disclosed that he was working as library assistant at a higher secondary school in Manjakote in Rajouri district, Yadav said.

“Khan had visited Pakistan in 2013 where he came in contact with an ISI agent and in lieu of monetary benefit, he agreed to provide secret information about the defence forces.

“He later cultivated his sources in the army and the BSF and they started passing on information to Pakistani intelligence operatives. The information was passed through email, WhatsApp and Viber,” Yadav said.

Yadav said Khan was given specific tasks by ISI, mainly relating to the deployment of security forces and Indian Air Force operations.

IANS

BSF officer, Jammu and Kashmir librarian caught spying for Pakistan

According to Crime Branch officials, Khan is an handler of Pakistani Intelligence Operative or PIO, which is supported by the ISI.

In what could be called a major breach within the Indian security forces, a serving officer of the Border Security Force (BSF) was arrested in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on Sunday for allegedly providing official secrets to a civilian accused of working at the behest of Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, ISI. The civilian was arrested by the Crime Branch of Delhi police two days ago and has been identified as Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja, 44, a resident of Kalai village in Rajouri area of J&K.According to Crime Branch officials, Khan is an handler of Pakistani Intelligence Operative or PIO, which is supported by the ISI. Khan had been able to penetrate different security agencies of India at multiple levels and had been “procuring secret information detrimental to the security of the country”, said a senior official. However, a much bigger catch is Abdul Rasheed, a head constable in BSF posted in the Intelligence Wing of Border Security Force, Rajouri, J&K. According to police, Rasheed served as one of the main sources of Khan and has till now passed on information about deployment of security forces and Air Force operations within Indian territory. “Both of them have been arrested under the provisions of Official Secret Act,” said a senior police officer. According to the officer, the department received a secret input about the ongoing anti-national activities at the behest of Pakistan Intelligence Operative.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Crime Branch officials said they had to tread cautiously, as according to the input, the spy network was spread over the civilian handlers and the security forces personnel. “Looking into the gravity of the matter, the information was developed and a few involved were identified. On November 26, one of the handlers, Kafaitullah Khan, had boarded a train from Jammu for Bhopal. He was apprehended at the railway station and a few documents having implication on national security were recovered from him, said another senior official of Crime branch. According to police, Khan was supposed to attend the annual rally, also known as Ijtema, which is attended by more than 30 lakh Muslims. Khan was supposed to scout for information and possible recruits, police said. According to investigators, during questioning he disclosed that he had been working as library assistant at Higher Secondary School, Manjakote in Rajouri. In 2013, he had visited Pakistan where he came in contact with ISI agent and in lieu of monetary considerations, agreed to share secret information on Armed forces. “He cultivated his sources in Army and BSF and started passing on the information to PIO via e-mail, WhatsApp and Viber. He was given specific tasks by the PIO, mainly on deployment of security forces and Air Force operations, investigators told dna.According to police, Khan was in touch with Abdul Rasheed, who is also his relative, and lured him to part with sensitive information. “Khan was taken in police custody and a team was sent to Rajouri to arrest his accomplice. A search has been conducted on the premises of Khan and Rasheed, which led to recovery of important documents,” said Ravindra Yadav, joint commissioner of police, Crime Branch. On Friday, Uttar Pradesh special task force (STF) claimed to have arrested an ISI agent from Meerut Cantt area with sensitive documents related to Indian Army. The accused was identified as Mohammand Eizaz alias Mohammad Kalam, a resident of Taramadi Chowk, Irfanabad, Islamabad. He was arrested by STF team from Meerut Cantt area when he was on his way to Delhi.

Espionage racket with ISI links busted in Jammu, Kolkata by Delhi Police

The accused duo have been identified as Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja (44), a resident of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir, and BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed, posted at the intelligence wing of Border Security Force in the same district, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said.
Representational Image
AFP photo
An espionage racket with ISI links was busted in Jammu and Kolkata in two separate incidents today with the arrest of a serving BSF personnel and four suspected ISI operatives from whom classified information having implications on national security were recovered.Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja (44), a resident of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir, was intercepted and arrested at New Delhi railway station while he was on his way from Jammu to Bhopal and BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed, posted at the intelligence wing of Border Security Force in the same district, was arrested from his home, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said in Delhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Information was largely passed through e-mail, Whatsapp and Viber networks with Khan, an alleged handler of Pakistan Intelligence Operative, being given specific tasks mainly concerned with the deployment of security forces and Air Force Operations, a police official said.”Khan is a handler of Pakistan Intelligence Operative (PIO) and Rasheed was one of his chief sources. The espionage racket run by them is supported by Pakistan’s ISI,” Yadav said, adding that the duo has been arrested under various provisions of IPC and Official Secrets Act.Based on tip-offs about ongoing anti-national activities sponsored by Pakistan Intelligence Operative, which suspectedly has a network spread over civilian handlers and security forces personnel, Delhi Police’s Crime Branch developed a network and a few suspects were identified, a police official said.On Thursday, Khan had boarded a train from Jammu and was leaving for Bhopal to allegedly recruit more persons in the espionage racket. He was apprehended by a police team at Delhi railway station and “documents having implication on national security” were recovered from his possession, he said.During interrogation, Khan disclosed that he was working as a library assistant in a senior secondary school at Majankote area in Rajouri district, he said.”In 2013, he visited Pakistan and came into contact with ISI agent there. He agreed to share with them secret information of the defence forces in exchange of money,” said the official, adding that Khan soon started cultivating sources in the Indian Army and BSF, and some of them allegedly started passing him secret documents.Head constable Rasheed was his relative and Khan soon roped him into the network, luring him with a share of the commission he received from alleged ISI agents in Pakistan.On being interrogated, Khan told the police about his associate Rasheed and he was then taken to Rajouri on a transit remand to identify him Soon, the police raided Rasheed s residence too and recovered more secret and confidential documents from his premises in Rajouri district.In Kolkata, the Special Task Force of the city Police arrested a contract labourer, his son and another relative for their alleged links to the Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). Irshad Ansari (51), a contract labourer with Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE), his son Asfaq Ansari (23) and relative Mohammed Jahangir were arrested this afternoon from Dr Sudhir Bose Road in the Iqbalpur police station area in the southern part of the city, a senior STF officer said. All the accused are residents of the city’s Garden Reach area, he said.Besides recovering several documents revealing their links to the ISI, the STF also seized Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) with a face value Rs 2 lakh from Irshad and Rs 1.5 lakh each from his Asfaq and Jahangir, he said.”A hand-drawn map of the GRSE and the Netaji Subhas Dock in the city were also seized from Irshad who has been working with the warship building company for quite sometime. We are checking what his intention was or whether he had passed on the maps of any other sensitive area to the Pakistani agency or not,” the officer said. It was yet to be ascertained whether there were any links between the two incidents.

Jammu: Delhi Police arrest BSF personnel, ISI operative in spying racket

The accused duo have been identified as Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja (44), a resident of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir.

A serving BSF personnel and a suspected ISI operative have been arrested by Delhi Police for their alleged involvement in an espionage racket – allegedly trading secret and confidential information posing threat to national security – from the railway station at Jammu, police said on Sunday.The accused duo have been identified as Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja (44), a resident of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir, and BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed, posted at the intelligence wing of Border Security Force in the same district, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said. “Khan is a handler of Pakistan Intelligence Operative (PIO) and Rasheed was one of his chief sources. The espionage racket run by them is supported by Pakistan’s ISI,” Yadav said, adding that the duo has been arrested under various provisions of IPC and Official Secrets Act.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related read: Kolkata Police STF arrests 3 suspected ISI agents with strong links to Trinamool Congress Based on tip-offs about ongoing anti-national activities sponsored by Pakistan Intelligence Operative, which suspectedly has a network spread over civilian handlers and security forces personnel, Delhi Police’s Crime Branch developed a network and a few suspects were identified, said a senior police official. On Thursday, Khan had boarded a train from Jammu and was about to leave for Bhopal. He was apprehended by a police team at the railway station there and “documents having implication on national security” were recovered from his possession, said the senior official.

Obama says U.S. has to do something about guns after Colorado shooting | Reuters

WASHINGTON Expressing what has become regularly repeated frustration on the issue, President Barack Obama said on Saturday the United States needs to “do something” to make it harder for criminals to get guns after a shooting in Colorado killed three people and injured nine.

“We have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period,” Obama said in a statement. “Enough is enough.”

In Friday’s shooting, an assailant opened fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic, a center that provides health services including abortions, in Colorado Springs.

It was the latest in a long series of U.S. mass shootings during Obama’s seven years in office. He has called the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, his toughest day as president.

Obama said it was too soon to know the Colorado Springs shooter’s “so-called motive” but said the tragedy was more evidence pointing to the need to reform firearms laws.

“This is not normal,” said Obama, who has become increasingly forthright in urging gun control measures when he makes statements after such events. “We can’t let it become normal.”

Obama tried to tighten up gun laws after the Newtown shootings, but met resistance in the U.S. Congress, including from some of his fellow Democrats, and failed to push a measure through.

After another deadly shooting at an Oregon community college last month, Obama said White House lawyers would pore through existing laws to look for new ways he could use his executive powers to enforce regulations.

One of those options would require more gun dealers to get a license to sell guns, which would lead to more background checks on buyers.

The White House had drafted a proposal on that issue in 2013, but was concerned it could be challenged in court. Administration officials are now hopeful they can find a way to advance the plan.

Obama has also pledged to elevate the issue of gun laws during his remaining time in office, and has denounced lawmakers for bowing to pressure from the powerful National Rifle Association lobby group.

On Saturday, he said Americans could not “offer up our thoughts and prayers” for the families of the dead police officer and of the two other victims of the shooting “with a truly clean conscience” unless they also pushed for changes to make it harder to get guns.

“May God bless Officer Garrett Swasey and the Americans he tried to save – and may he grant the rest of us the courage to do the same thing,” Obama said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Frances Kerry)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Four boys arrested for gang rape after video goes viral on Whatsapp

A teenage girl was allegedly gangraped by her friend and three other boys, with the crime coming to light after her aunt came across the video of the incident that they had circulated on WhatsApp.

File Photo

A teenage girl was allegedly gangraped by her friend and three other boys, with the crime coming to light after her aunt came across the video of the incident that they had circulated on WhatsApp. All the four accused who are minors have been taken into custody, DCP (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni said. They were later sent to a remand home. The four boys, studying in classes IX and X, allegedly gangraped the 15-year-old girl on November 8 and made a video of the crime. They then threatened the girl not to reveal the incident or else they would post the video online, Malad police station’s senior inspector Shashank Sandbhor said. One of the accused is a friend of the girl. She had gone for studies at his home in suburban Malad, where he and three of his accomplices allegedly gangraped her, he said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The accused later posted the video of the incident on the internet and some social networking sites, police said. The video later went viral on mobile messaging application WhatsApp and caught the attention of the victim’s aunt, who then informed her parents. Subsequently, the girl’s family lodged a complaint with Malad police which took the four boys into custody yesterday. “We took the four boys into custody yesterday and have sent them to Dongri remand home,” Sandbhor said.

Report says combination of errors led to U.S. bombing of MSF hospital – NYT | Reuters

WASHINGTON A U.S. air strike that destroyed a hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz last month resulted from “human errors, failures in procedure and technical malfunctions,” the New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing military officials briefed on an internal investigation.

The Oct. 3 attack, condemned by the medical charity as a war crime, killed 30 people and wounded at least 37. The findings of a U.S. military investigation into the incident will be made public on Wednesday, the Pentagon said.

“It’s a combination of factors,” the Times quoted an unnamed senior Defense Department official as saying, describing the findings in what it said was a 3,000-page investigative file.

Two other military officials said the Air Force AC130 gunship that attacked the hospital was intended to target a different compound several hundred feet (metres) away that was believed to be a Taliban base of operations, the paper reported.

The “crew had been unable to rely on the aircraft’s instruments to find the target. Instead, they relied on verbal descriptions of the location that were being relayed by troops on the ground, a mix of American and Afghan Special Forces,” the Times said.

President Barack Obama apologised for the bombing of the hospital. MSF, or Doctors Without Borders, has demanded an international humanitarian commission to investigate the attack.

(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Peter Cooney)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

India’s ruling party confronts Gandhis as parliament gathers | Reuters

NEW DELHI Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has just suffered a bruising election setback, yet his party appears in no mood to compromise with the main political opposition to get stalled economic reforms back on track.

Instead, the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has launched an all-out offensive against the Congress party, in a potentially dangerous game of brinkmanship that risks turning the next parliamentary session into a prolonged slanging match.

“It’s a political vendetta,” said veteran newspaper editor and commentator Shekhar Gupta of the BJP’s attacks on Congress, and specifically Rahul Gandhi, heir apparent to his mother and party leader Sonia Gandhi.

Yet behind the sound and fury on TV news networks may lie a more considered tactic, party strategists and political analysts said: isolate Congress while quietly persuading regional parties to back a tax reform bill that is the BJP’s top priority.

“We are trying to convey to everyone that the government is willing to tweak the bill and present it in a form that benefits all the states,” said one senior BJP source, who did not want to be named.

Sanjay Kumar, director of the CSDS think-tank and a leading opinion researcher, said: “They keep hitting the line that Congress is a dynastic party. The idea is to split the opposition.”

In May, 2014, Modi won India’s strongest election mandate in three decades, but his dominance in the lower house is neutralised by an upper house where the BJP is in the minority.

And, while he has pushed through some reforms by executive order, that solution is temporary and likely to put off foreign companies who want stable legal frameworks in place before investing in Asia’s third-largest economy.

One of the biggest changes Modi envisages to make the economy run more smoothly, a unified tax system, requires altering the constitution.

Securing that amendment in the winter session of parliament that starts on Thursday would be vital to implementing tax reform in 2016, as Modi has repeatedly assured global investors he would.

APPEARANCE OF STRENGTH

The BJP’s aggression may serve as cover for backroom deals that recognise the realities created by its defeat this month in the eastern state of Bihar, Modi’s biggest setback as prime minister.

That election result has given a sense of empowerment to regional leaders like Nitish Kumar, chief minister of Bihar, who teamed up with a local ally to rebuff Modi’s challenge in the state of more than 100 million people.

So, while the BJP strategist spoke of exposing rampant corruption during the decade of Congress rule that ended in May 2014, he saw no contradiction with the idea that “Modi may consider having a cup of tea with Sonia Gandhi“.

The two party leaders have not held face-to-face talks in this parliament since it was elected.

Congress, part of the victorious Bihar alliance, sees no sign that the government wants to engage in sincere dialogue.

Instead it has chided Modi for going on a series of foreign trips since the Bihar landslide and neglecting his work at home.

“Where is a conciliatory attitude?” asked Anand Sharma, a senior Congress leader and interlocutor on the key tax reforms.

“You have a prime minister who has a confrontational mindset, who is arrogant. He humiliates the opposition, day in and day out,” Sharma told ET Now, a financial news channel.

That is despite some senior aides recommending to Modi that he engages the opposition more actively, while a handful of top BJP figures have openly questioned his leadership.

GST OR NOT GST

Perhaps more worrying for businesses waiting with increasing frustration for the new national goods and services tax (GST), there appears to be a lack of consensus on how it would work in practice.

The GST would create a single market in India for the first time since independence in 1947 and, the government estimates, boost the economy by up to two percentage points.

But there is as yet no agreement on what rate the tax should be levied at; three separate committees have yet to make their final proposals.

And, at a meeting of federal and state officials last week, there was no agreement on the threshold at which the tax should apply to small businesses. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley skipped that discussion to attend a film festival.

Some officials express doubts over the Modi government’s strategy for securing the passage of the GST amendment, saying it could miss its self-imposed deadline.

“You have to go more than half the way to convince the Congress,” said a senior government official involved in the policy process. “You have to be more than generous. But the BJP is still behaving as if it was in the opposition.”

(Additional reporting by Manoj Kumar; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Surat Police opposes bail plea of Hardik Patel

As Hardik’s lawyers sought time to go through the police affidavit, Principal Sessions Judge Geeta Gopi scheduled the next hearing for December 4.

Surat Police on Tuesday filed an affidavit before a sessions court opposing the bail application of Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel, who is facing a sedition case here.As Hardik’s lawyers sought time to go through the police affidavit, Principal Sessions Judge Geeta Gopi scheduled the next hearing for December 4. The grounds on which the police have opposed the bail petition were not immediately known as the affidavit was filed in a sealed cover.Hardik, lodged in Surat Jail at present, filed the bail plea on November 16, claiming that he is a victim of political vendetta. His application alleged that the Gujarat government slapped false charges against him to keep him away from the local body polls in the state.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Last month, Surat Police arrested Hardik on the charge of sedition for allegedly advising a fellow activist to kill policemen instead of committing suicide. Later, Ahmedabad Crime Branch also invoked the sedition charge against him and five of his key aides. After the completion of his police custody in Ahmedabad on November 2, Hardik was sent back to jail in Surat by a court.

Rajasthan govt concerned about suicides among coaching students

According to data released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recently, Kota has registered 100 suicide cases in 2014 and 45 of them were coaching students.

The report mentions the stress of studies and failure in examination among the key causes of suicide among coaching students in Kota.

The Rajasthan government is deeply concerned about the rising number of suicides among students of coaching institutes in Kota and is thinking of ways to check such deaths including regularisation of such centres, a state minister said today. Rajasthan Technical and Higher Education Minister Kali Charan Saraf told reports here that the district collector of Kota had been directed to formulate guidelines in this regard in consultation with directors of coaching institutes. “The coaching institutes in Kota have been asked to add recreational activities in their curriculum and provide psychological counseling to its students to help them deal stress better,” Saraf said. “All students are not of equal talent and merit. This should be understood by the parents before putting the burden of their dreams and aspirations on the kids.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Proposals have been sought from Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh governments to formulate a policy on coaching institutes in the state,” he added.The minister, however, said he was unaware about the recent National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) report which claimed that 45 suicides by coaching institute students were reported from Kota in 2014. “Around 10-11 suicides by the students in Kota are in my knowledge.”According to data released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recently, Kota has registered 100 suicide cases in 2014 and 45 of them were coaching students. The report mentions the stress of studies and failure in examination among the key causes of suicide among coaching students in Kota. Over 1.50 lakhs students are taking coaching in various coaching institutes in Kota the city that has made name as coaching hub of the country.

Putin says seeks global anti-terrorism fight after 19 killed in Mali attack | Reuters

BAMAKO Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he wanted global cooperation to combat terrorism in the wake of an Islamist militant attack on a luxury hotel in Mali that killed 19 people including six Russians.

Friday’s assault came a week after militants killed 130 people in gun and bomb attacks in Paris claimed by Islamic State, and three weeks after a Russian airliner was downed over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula by what Moscow and Western governments say was a bomb, killing 224 all people aboard.

The bloodshed at the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali, a former French colony, evoked the problems French troops and U.N. peacekeepers face in restoring security and order in a West African state that has battled rebels and militants in its weakly governed desert north for years.

Jihadist groups Al Mourabitoun and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for the attack, which ended when Malian commandos stormed the building and rescued 170 people, many of them foreigners.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said two militants were killed in the commando operation.

His government increased security at strategic points around Bamako at the start of a declared 10-day state of emergency.

“Mali will not shut down because of this attack. Paris and New York were not shut down and Mali won’t be. Terrorism will not win,” Keita said during a visit to the hotel on Saturday.

Six employees of Russian regional airline Volga-Dnepr were killed, Russia’s foreign ministry said, while six others were rescued.

Putin sent a telegram of condolences to Keita and said “the widest international cooperation” was needed to confront global terrorism, according to a statement by the Kremlin.

On Tuesday, Putin pledged to hunt down militants responsible for blowing up the airliner, as well as intensified air strikes against militants in Syria, after the Kremlin concluded a bomb had destroyed the plane.

Putin and French President Francois Hollande also spoke by phone on Tuesday and agreed to boost coordination of their military actions in fighting jihadist militants in Syria.

Chinese President Xi Jinping condemned the “cruel and savage” attack, whose dead included three Chinese executives of a state-run railway firm.

“China will strengthen cooperation with the international community, resolutely crack down on violent terrorist operations that devastate innocent lives and safeguard world peace and security,” the Beijing Foreign Ministry quoted Xi as saying in a statement on its website.

One American and a deputy from a regional parliament in Belgium were also killed in the Bamako hotel attack, though French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said he was not aware of any French nationals killed.

FLEEING IN TERROR

The attack began at 7 a.m. on Friday when gunmen killed guards at the entrance of the hotel and barged inside.

Malian commandos subsequently stormed the hotel and rescued around 170 people, many of whom had been hiding under beds or in side-rooms and rushed terrified from the building to safety as shooting continued inside.

By around 4 p.m. the hotel was secured but Malians woke on Saturday to a sense of shock at the latest high-profile raid by Islamists this year.

“I feel bruised by this atrocious act, which cannot be justified. No nation, no human life deserves such criminal barbarity,” said Oumar Fomba, a teacher. “I urge the Malian government to fight more fiercely against terrorism.”

In a speech on the sidelines of a summit with Asian nations in Malaysia, U.S. President Barack Obama described the raid in Mali as “another awful reminder of the scourge of terrorism”.

“Once again, this barbarity only stiffens our resolve to meet this challenge. We will stand with the people of Mali as they work to rid their country of terrorists and strengthen their democracy. With allies and partners, the United States will be relentless.”

SETBACK FOR FRANCE

The attack was another jolting setback for France after the shock of the Paris carnage. France has stationed 3,500 troops in northern Mali to try to restore stability after a rebellion in 2012 by ethnic Tuaregs that was later hijacked by jihadists linked to al Qaeda.

“We (France) have proved to be as blind as the Malian elite. Nothing changes in Mali. The elite continues to act like it always has, as does the international community,” said Laurent Bigot, former undersecretary in charge of West Africa at France’s foreign ministry, alluding to U.N. peacekeepers.

“People have been ringing the alarm bell for a long time, but it doesn’t do any good,” Bigot, who now works as a consultant, told Reuters.

The attack also refocused attention on a veteran leader of Al Mourabitoun, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a few months after reports, never confirmed, that he was killed in an air strike.

Northern Mali was occupied by Islamist fighters, some with links to al Qaeda, for most of 2012. They were driven out by a French-led military operation, but violence has continued.

Al Mourabitoun has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks, including an assault on a hotel in the town of Sevare, 600 km (375 miles) northeast of Bamako, in August in which 17 people including five U.N. staff were killed.

Belmokhtar is blamed for a large-scale assault on an Algerian gas field in 2013 and a major figure in insurgencies across North Africa.

In the wake of the Paris attacks, an Islamic State militant in Syria told Reuters the organisation viewed France’s military intervention in Mali as another reason to target France and French interests.

(Additional reporting by Joe Penney in Bamako, John Irish in Paris, Jason Bush in Moscow and Michael Martina in Beijing; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Six employees of Russian airline killed in Mali attack | Reuters

MOSCOW Six employees of Russian regional airline Volga-Dnepr were killed in Friday’s attack on a hotel in Mali, Russia’s foreign ministry said on Saturday, confirming earlier media reports.

“Among the many foreigners captured as hostages there were citizens of Russia – employees of the airline Volga-Dnepr,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.

“Among those killed – six citizens of our country, who together with 13 citizens of other states were shot by the militants in the restaurant literally in the first moments of the terrorist attack on the hotel”.

Zakharova said six other Russians had been rescued.

Earlier on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said global cooperation was need to confront terrorism in the wake of the attack.

Friday’s assault on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako came a week after militants killed 130 people in a spate of gun and bomb attacks in Paris claimed by Islamic State.

It also comes three weeks after the downing of a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai peninsular that killed 224 people, which Russian officials say was caused by a bomb.

Islamic State has also claimed responsibility for that attack, the most deadly against Russian citizens for over a decade.

(Reporting by Jason Bush; Editing by Mark Potter)

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ADVISORY: Bangladesh war crimes story withdrawn | Reuters

The Nov. 21 story UPDATE 2-Bangladesh opposition leaders to hang for war crimes has been withdrawn. It repeats a story from Nov. 18 and was re-issued in error.

STORY_NUMBER: nL3N13D2C8

STORY_DATE: 11/21/2015

STORY_TIME: 11:04:45 GMT

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Brussels police end house siege, key suspect not found | Reuters

BRUSSELS Belgian police arrested at least one person after a four-hour siege at a house in the Brussels district of Molenbeek on Monday but failed to find a man wanted in connection with the Paris attacks.

Molenbeek mayor Francoise Schepmans told broadcaster RTBF that the operation was over with no one injured and that “arrests” had been made. RTBF later said one person had been detained.

Police said the operation was related to the Paris attacks and the search for Saleh Abdeslam, a 26-year-old Frenchman based in the Belgian capital for whom an international arrest warrant has been issued.

A Reuters journalist at the scene said that three special force commandos wearing gas masks entered the sieged house via the roof. After some 10-15 minutes, they came out of the front door. Armoured vehicles were also in position.

The poor district of Molenbeek, home to many Muslim immigrants, has been at the centre of investigations of militant attacks in Paris over the weekend, after it emerged that two of the attackers had lived in the area.

(Additional reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek, Philip Blenkinsop and Alastair Macdonald)

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Obama vows effort to eliminate Islamic State as G20 seeks common Syria strategy | Reuters

BELEK, Turkey U.S. President Barack Obama vowed on Sunday to step up efforts to eliminate Islamic State in Syria and prevent it from carrying out attacks like those in Paris, while European leaders urged Russia to focus its military efforts on the radical Islamists.

Speaking at a G20 leaders summit in Turkey, Obama described the killings in Paris claimed by Islamic State as an attack on the civilised world and said the United States would work with France to hunt down those responsible.

The two-day summit brings Obama and fellow world leaders just 500 km (310 miles) from Syria, where a 4-1/2-year conflict has transformed Islamic State into a global security threat and spawned Europe’s largest migration flows since World War Two.

“Traditionally the G20 has been a forum primarily to discuss economic issues facing the globe … (but) the sky has been darkened by the horrific attacks that took place in Paris just a day and a half ago,” Obama said in a statement after meeting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

“The United States and its allies will redouble efforts to find a peaceful solution in Syria and prevent Islamic State militants from perpetrating attacks like those in Paris.”

Obama and his Western allies now face the question of how the West should respond after Islamic State again demonstrated it posed a threat far beyond its strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

Washington already expects France to retaliate by taking on a larger role in the U.S.-led coalition’s bombing campaign against Islamic State.

But European Council President Donald Tusk said Russia too should focus its military operations on Islamic State, rather than on the Syrian opposition battling President Bashar al-Assad, urging cooperation between Washington and Moscow.

“It should be our common aim to coordinate our actions against Daesh (IS) and for sure the cooperation between the United States and Russia is a crucial one,” he said.

OBAMA-PUTIN HANDSHAKE

Russia joined the conflict a month and a half ago with air strikes in Syria, but has been targeting mainly areas controlled by the moderate Syrian opposition fighting Assad, its ally, rather than Islamic State, its critics say.

Turkey and Western allies, by contrast, want Assad out.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he welcomed the renewed sense of urgency to find a solution to the war in Syria after the Paris attacks, adding the world had a “rare moment” of diplomatic opportunity to end the violence.

Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have no formal bilateral meeting planned. As the leaders moved into place for a group photo on Sunday, Putin approached Obama and they shook hands, exchanging words for only a few brief moments.

Obama is also seeking to coax other European and Middle Eastern countries into more tangible steps to show their military commitment and will hold a bilateral meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, U.S. officials said. In a call late last month, the two leaders affirmed the need to cooperate in fighting Islamic State.

Obama said he had also discussed in his meeting with Erdogan the progress made by foreign ministers in Vienna, who on Saturday outlined a plan for a political process in Syria leading to elections within two years, although differences over Assad’s fate still remained.

MIGRATION CONCERNS

The coordinated attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers in Paris on Friday puts Obama and other leaders of the world’s major economies under increased pressure to find common cause.

It remains to be seen, however, whether Washington itself has an appetite for much deeper involvement after already stepping up air strikes and committing small numbers of special operations troops to northern Syria to advise opposition forces in the fight against Islamic State.

The Paris carnage, in which 129 people were killed in attacks on a concert hall, restaurants, bars and a sports stadium, also poses a major challenge for Europe, with populist leaders rushing to demand an end to an influx of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa.

In a diplomatic coup for Europe and for Turkey, the G20 leaders will agree that migration is a global problem that must be addressed in a coordinated way, according to a draft communique seen by Reuters, although it has yet to be accepted by all and is due to be published only on Monday.

Europe and Turkey, the most heavily hit by the crisis, had been pushing for the G20 to recognise the issue as a global problem and help to deal with it financially, despite opposition from China, India and Russia. A million migrants from the Middle East and Africa are expected to come to Europe this year alone.

According to a separate statement due to be released later on Sunday, a draft of which was also seen by Reuters, they also agreed to step up border controls and aviation security in the wake of the Paris attacks, which they condemned as “heinous”.

The summit follows not only the Paris attacks but also comes two weeks after a suspected bomb attack on a Russian airliner killed 224 people in the Sinai Peninsula.

It also comes just over a month after two suspected Islamic State suicide bombers blew themselves up in Ankara, killing more than 100 people in Turkey’s worst such attack.

(Additional reporting by Lidia Kelly, Denis Dyomkin, Jan Strupczewski, Dasha Afanasieva, David Dolan, Humeya Pamuk, Orhan Coskun, Asli Kandemir; Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Keith Weir)

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Maldives lifts state of emergency early, foreign minister says | Reuters

MALEThe Maldives on Tuesday lifted a state of emergency declared last week and greeted by international criticism, saying security had improved after the authorities detained individuals and seized illegal weapons.

The emergency, intended to be for 30 days, was declared by President Abdulla Yameen on Nov. 4 after officials discovered explosive devices near his residence, as well as stashes of weapons. That followed an explosion on Yameen’s boat in September that the government said was an attempt on his life.

“The security forces are satisfied that they have found most of what was out there and the threat level has been minimised,” Foreign Affairs Minister Dunya Maumoon told Reuters in a telephone interview after announcing the decree had been lifted.

She said a “handful” of individuals had been arrested in connection with the alleged assassination attempt and discovery of the explosives, although the hunt for others who were on the run continued.

The emergency, which gave security forces wide-ranging search and arrest powers and suspended citizens’ basic rights, was condemned by the United States and European Union, among others. Maumoon said the government had considered that when it decided to lift the decree.

The Maldives was also worried the emergency would scare away foreign tourists, whose expensive trips to the archipelago’s palm-fringed beaches contribute close to a third of the country’s gross domestic product.

During the emergency, Yameen’s government impeached Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, who was arrested in connection with the alleged plot to assassinate the president. Yameen escaped unhurt in the Sept. 28 blast, but his wife and two aides were injured.

The emergency decree is the latest political turmoil to hit the country. Former President Mohamed Nasheed was imprisoned in March for 13 years on terrorism charges following a trial the international community and human rights groups have said was politically motivated.

Maumoon said the opposition was now free to carry out a protest it had planned to hold before the emergency was imposed, calling for Nasheed’s release.

(Reporting by Daniel Bosley and Shihar Aneez,; additional reporting and writing by Tommy Wilkes, editing by Larry King)

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No relief for Hardik Patel in sedition case; SC says plea will be considered after completion of probe

Supreme Court on Friday rejected bail to Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and asked Gujarat government to conclude its investigation within 45 days.

Supreme Court on Friday rejected bail to Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and asked Gujarat government to conclude its investigation within 45 days.Supreme Court said that the plea will be considered after completion of probe. However, the court has asked Gujarat Police not to file charge sheet in sedition case without its permission and posts the case for hearing on January 5.The city Crime Branch had on October 21 charged Hardik and other members of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) Chirag, Dinesh, Ketan, Alpesh and Amrish Patel in the case of sedition and waging war against the State government. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The plea of Patel challenging the invocation of sedition charge against him for allegedly inciting a fellow activist to ‘beat up or kill’ Gujarat police men instead of committing suicide was referred by a Supreme Court bench to another bench on Wednesday.A bench of Justices V Gopala Gowda and Amitava Roy, which heard Patel’s lawyer Kapil Sibal for over half-an-hour, merely had said “we will send it to another bench” but did not assign any reason. The decision was taken after both the judges discussed with each other for nearly 2-3 minutes after Sibal concluded his arguments that the charge of sedition was not made out against his 22-year-old client.Invoking charges including sedition, the state police had said in its FIR that Hardik had exhorted activist Vipul Desai not to commit suicide but rather beat or kill 2-3 policemen.Referring to constitutional schemes on freedom of speech and expression, Sibal said the question is whether the alleged statement disturbed the “public order” or related to “incitement to commit an offence”. He also referred to the legal positions prevalent in the United Kingdom and the USA and said that the offence of sedition has been abolished in England.So far as the USA is concerned, various case laws suggest that the offence of sedition cannot be invoked by merely considering the “word of mouth” and there has to be a proximate relationship between the statement and the consequence, the senior advocate said.Sibal had sought urgent hearing of Hardik’s plea and said the alleged incident took place on October 3, the FIR was registered on October 18 and as a matter of fact no incident as a consequence of the statement took place. He also referred to statements by various persons and said the charge of sedition has not been invoked on them, whereas Hardik was forced to face the charge.The six people were booked under IPC Sections 121 (waging war against the government), 124 (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity). The city Crime Branch in its FIR, against Hardik and five others under serious charges of sedition, said the young leader had allegedly instigated his community to adopt violent means to wage “war against Gujarat government”.The probe agency had also put transcripts of various telephonic conversations and speeches of PAAS members and Hardik, wherein they had allegedly instigated the agitators of Patel community to wage war against the government. The complaint was lodged again.

Cyber crime has become a big threat: Rajnath Singh

Inaugurating an information security conference — ‘Ground Zero Summit-2015’ here, the Home Minister said the government was concerned about cyber security and steps have been taken in this regard. “Cyber crimes are a big threat and they are increasing.

Rajnath Singh

Cyber crime has become a big threat for the country as various disruptive forces are trying to lure and mislead young minds over the internet, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday.Inaugurating an information security conference — ‘Ground Zero Summit-2015’ here, the Home Minister said the government was concerned about cyber security and steps have been taken in this regard. “Cyber crimes are a big threat and they are increasing. Many forces in this domain are trying to lure young minds. We can’t be fully secure until we have good cyber security,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh said efforts must be made to ensure that the country’s systems and networks were updated properly. The Home Minister said the government will soon set up a cyber crime coordination centre following a suggestion of an expert committee in this regard. The Home Ministry had recently said a Rs 400 crore cybercrime control hub, to be called ‘Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre’ (IC4), will be set up to check cyber crime, including child pornography and online abuse, as per the recommendations of the committee.One of the priorities of IC4 will be to check attempts by international gangs to penetrate Indian government’s official communication network and hack them. Key objectives of IC4 are to act as a nodal point in the fight against cyber crime and as an early warning system for law enforcement agencies with active cyber crime monitoring.It will also set up an open platform for victims to raise cyber crime complaints with the protocol for resolution such as online crime reporting, to support and coordinate electronic investigations of cyber crime and assist the law enforcement agencies in criminal investigation. IC4 would provide all necessary technical assistance to CBI and state police on all cyber crime related issues. The Home Minister has already directed speedy implementation of recommendations of the committee.

Gujarat HC reserves order on second sedition FIR against Hardik Patel

During the arguments in the court of Justice J B Pardiwala, public prosecutor Mitesh Amin strongly defended the stand of Crime Branch in slapping stringent charges against Hardik and five other quota leaders — Ketan Patel, Chirag Patel, Dinesh Patel, Alpesh Kathiriya and Amrish Patel.
File Photo
PTI
The Gujarat High Court on Monday reserved its order after hearing arguments on a plea of Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and five others seeking quashing of FIR against them by city Crime Branch on stringent charges of sedition and waging war against government.During the arguments in the court of Justice J B Pardiwala, public prosecutor Mitesh Amin strongly defended the stand of Crime Branch in slapping stringent charges against Hardik and five other quota leaders — Ketan Patel, Chirag Patel, Dinesh Patel, Alpesh Kathiriya and Amrish Patel.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to Amin, the FIR against them is based on call interceptions made by Crime Branch. In all, the Crime Branch has recorded more than 200 such calls made by these Patel leaders between July and September this year, he said.Amin alleged that the conversations were of “very caustic” in nature, such as the accused could be heard asking their supporters to torch police chowkies, dislodge railway tracks and murder policemen. These conversations were made as part of an attempt to topple the government, the prosecutor argued.Apart from the calls, police learnt that as many as 35 lakh messages, urging the community to resort to violence, were sent using social media platform immediately after Hardik was detained by police on the night of August 25. Amin submitted that the fallout of such communication was the statewide violence, which claimed seven lives, including that of a policeman.In the FIR filed on October 21, Patel leaders are charged under IPC sections 121 (waging war against the government), 124 (sedition — bringing hatred, contempt or disaffection towards the government), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity).Countering the prosecution’s arguments, Hardik’s lawyer B M Mangukiya said that people have all the right to express their dissent against the government, as it is a fundamental right in a democracy. He said that even if people get aggressive in their expression, it does not amount to sedition or waging of war against the government.According to him, dislodging railway tracks does not amount to sedition or waging war, as such protests take place across India frequently, yet no one is booked under such stringent charges. He also argued that the protests, though may be violent, were against the elected government run by the ruling party (BJP), and not against sovereignty of the government.After the conclusion of the arguments, Justice Pardiwala reserved the order. This is the second case of sedition against Hardik.The first case was filed by Surat Police on October 19 against him for allegedly advising a Patel youth “to kill policemen rather than commit suicide”. The 22-year-old firebrand leader is in the custody of Crime Branch in connection with the second sedition case till on Tuesday. The other two accused — Chirag Patel and Ketan Patel — are in the custody of the city’s Special Operations Group.Another accused Dinesh Patel is in the custody of Mehsana Police, while Alpesh Kathiriya and Amrish Patel were earlier granted interim relief from arrest by the high court.

Frame welfare policies to prevent farmer suicides: Bombay HC to Maharashtra

The state government should also create an environment of awareness so that farmers get knowledge about cultivating diverse crops

Bombay HC

dna
Expressing concern over unceasing farmer suicides in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court on Thursday suggested that the state government should frame policies for their welfare. The division bench of Justices Naresh Patil and S B Shukare also asked the government to ensure that the benefit of such policies and schemes reach the intended beneficiaries. The court has taken cognisance of the issue suo motu (on its own) following media reports stating that over 600 farmers have committed suicide in the state this year alone. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Advocate Ashutosh Kumbhkoni, appointed as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the case to assist the court, informed that according to the National Bureau of Crime Records, 15,978 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra in the last five years. The judges asked the government to furnish gender-wise break-up of the figure at the next hearing. The HC also suggested that one of the ways of preventing suicides was to introduce `joint farming’. The Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act should be amended if necessary for the benefit of farmers, it said.The state government should also create an environment of awareness so that farmers get knowledge about cultivating diverse crops. The farmers should also get an assurance from the government that their produce would be procured at the rates fixed by the authorities, it said. The government had informed earlier that it was also providing counselling to the farmers, apart from concessions such as waiver of loans and electricity charges. The bench, however, said the government must come up with long-term measures to address this socio-economic issue. The matter has been posted for next hearing on December 2.

Will submit papers to Centre to seek custody of Chhota Rajan: Maharashtra CM Fadnavis

Mumbai: Maharashtra Government will submit all relevant documents related to underworld don Chhota Rajan to the Centre to seek his custody once he is brought to India from Indonesia, where he was arrested two days ago, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Tuesday.

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

“We will send all documents to the Central Government and subsequently, we will ask for his custody. The Red Corner Notice against Chhota Rajan was issued by Maharashtra and Mumbai Police,” Fadnavis told PTI in Mumbai.

Rajan, one of India’s most wanted gangsters, was arrested in the tourist town of Bali on a Red Corner Notice issued by Interpol after eluding law enforcement agencies for over two decades.

“Chhota Rajan has committed many crimes in Maharashtra. We will provide evidence against him,” said Fadnavis, who also holds the Home portfolio.

He said Rajan will face trial in the state, where he is wanted in multiple criminal cases ranging from murder to extortion.

The cases in which his involvement is suspected include the murder of crime journalist J Dey in June 2011.

The Government is also planning to compile a list of cases in which Rajan is wanted so as to put him on trial after he is sent to Mumbai where he spent much of his early underworld life.

According to serving and former police officers, who have dealt with the Mumbai underworld, the arrest of Rajan is a “major development” and his questioning is expected to shed light on hitherto unknown facts related to cases linked to his syndicate.

PTI

Sedition charges: Voice-matching test on Hardik Patel soon; aides’ houses searched

The voice-matching test, to be conducted in a day or two, was needed to verify claims of Ahmedabad Crime Branch that Hardik’s phone interceptions revealed he intended to wage a war against the Government.
File Photo
PTI
Police will conduct a voice spectrography test on Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel, who along with five associates, is facing charges of sedition and “waging war” against the Gujarat Government, officials said on Sunday.In a related development, Crime Branch sleuths late Saturday night conducted searches at the houses of three aides of Hardik and claimed to have found “material evidence” in connection with the sedition case.The voice-matching test, to be conducted in a day or two, was needed to verify claims of Ahmedabad Crime Branch that Hardik’s phone interceptions revealed he intended to wage a war against the Government.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We will conduct a voice spectrography test on Hardik Patel tomorrow or the day after in Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) at Gandhinagar,” K N Patel, ACP (Crime Branch) told PTI.Crime Branch late last night conducted searches at the houses of three Hardik aides – Chirag Patel, Ketan Patel and Dinesh Patel – who are also members of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) – on the city’s outskirts and “found material evidence” in connection with the case, he said.Besides Hardik and his three aides, two other leaders of PAAS – Alpesh Kathiria and Amrish Patel – were booked by Crime Branch under IPC Sections 121 (waging war against Government), 124 (sedition – bringing hatred, contempt or disaffection towards the Government), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity).”During the searches, we recovered two pen drives, one hard disk and one laptop. These items will be sent to the FSL for examination as part of the ongoing probe,” Patel said.The ACP said Crime Branch yesterday conducted voice spectrography test on Ketan, Chirag and Dinesh at the FSL with a view to substantiating the allegations against them in the sedition case.Meanwhile, Hardik, who faces two cases of sedition (in Surat and Ahmedabad), was today produced before a city court which extended his police remand by seven more days. He was booked for sedition by Crime Branch on October 21. The first case was filed against the 22-year-old firebrand Patel leader by Surat Police on October 19 for allegedly advising a youth of his community to kill policemen.Hardik, spearheading the agitation seeking reservation under OBC category for the Patel community, has been hogging the limelight since he held a massive rally here on August 25. His detention from the venue had sparked state-wide violence, in which 10 people were killed.

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