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Bihar Deputy CM draws links to Tejashwi Yadav in NEET paper leak allegations

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Patna June 20 (IANS) The Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Vijay Kumar Sinha, claimed on Wednesday that Sikandar Yadvendu, who was arrested in the NEET question paper leak case, is a close relative Pritam Kumar, the personal secretary of former Deputy CM and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.

The investigation being conducted by the Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of Bihar Police has identified Sikandar Yadvendu, a junior engineer in the municipal committee of Danapur, as the kingpin of the NEET question paper leak case.

“Sikandar Yadvendu is a close relative of Tejashwi Yadav’s PS Pritam Kumar. An NHAI guest house was booked for Sikandar’s sister Reena Yadav and son Anurag Yadav to stay on May 4. A phone number and ‘Mantri Ji’ were mentioned in the diary of the NHAI guest house. The investigating agency is making efforts to know the identity of this Mantri Ji,” Sinha said.

Sinha, who also holds the road construction portfolio, said that he has ordered an inquiry into the booking of the NHAI guest house.

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“I am getting a thorough investigation done by my department to find out which officers or employees are working at the behest of Tejashwi Yadav. The entire system of RJD is based on crime and corruption,” Sinha said.

The EOU has found evidence that the question papers of NEET 2024 were leaked. The examination was held on May 5 and the question paper was leaked a day earlier on May 4.

The kingpin of this gang is Sikandar Yadavendu, who has been arrested. The EOU claims that Sikandar made his brother-in-law’s son and many other candidates memorise the answers by giving them the question paper in advance.

On May 5, the police arrested Reena Yadav from the NHAI guest house. The EOU also found an OMR sheet from the guest house. Reena’s son Anurag’s name is written in the register of the guest house, with ‘Mantri Ji’ written next to it.

Sikandar is a resident of Samastipur. He used to work as a contractor in Ranchi. In 2012, he became a junior engineer. He was an accused in the LED scam of Rs 3 crore and served a jail term as well.

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–IANS

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SC to hear on Monday KCR's plea seeking stay on Justice Narasimha Reddy Commission proceedings

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) The Supreme Court is slated to hear on Monday a plea filed by former Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) seeking a stay on all further proceedings of the Justice L. Narasimha Reddy Commission constituted by the Congress government to inquire into the power purchase agreements made by the previous BRS government, and the construction of two thermal power plants.

As per the causlist published on the website of the apex court, a bench presided over by CJI DY Chandrachud and comprising Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra will take up the matter for hearing on July 15.

Earlier, the Telangana High Court had dismissed in limine (at the threshold) the plea filed by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) chief seeking directions to declare the appointment of a one-man commission to conduct a judicial enquiry on correctness and propriety of the decisions taken by the then government of Telangana on procurement of power from Chhattisgarh by TS DISCOMS and construction of Bhadradri Thermal Power Plant at Manuguru and Yadadri Thermal Plant at Damarcherla by TS GENCO etc as illegal, without jurisdiction, ultra vires the provisions of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 and contrary to the provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003.

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In its order passed on July 1, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Anil Kumar Jukanti rejected the allegation of bias that the Commission was not acting impartially and that it was constituted due to political reasons.

Before the Telangana High Court, the counsel for KCR contended that the Commission was acting contrary to the law, claiming that Justice Narasimha Reddy acted against Supreme Court orders by unilaterally conducting a Press conference to announce details of the inquiry.

The Commission had issued notice to KCR seeking details relating to the power purchase agreements and the construction of power plants. Since he was busy campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections, he had sought more time to respond.

Even before the former Chief Minister could submit his reply, Justice Narasimha Reddy held a Press conference on June 15 to say that there were irregularities in the power purchase agreements and the construction of power plants.

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In his plea, KCR contended that the Enquiry Commission was illegal, arbitrary, contrary to principles of natural justice and violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

–IANS

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Nearly 3 lakh devotees perform Amarnath Yatra in 15 days

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Jammu, July 14 (IANS) During the last 15 days since it started on June 29, nearly three lakh devotees performed Amarnath Yatra as another batch of 4,889 enthusiastic pilgrims left for Kashmir valley on Sunday.

Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) officials said nearly three lakh devotees had ‘Darshan’ inside the holy cave during the last 15 days while 4,889 Yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in two escorted convoys for the Valley today morning.

Of these, the first escorted convoy carrying 1,896 pilgrims in 78 vehicles left at 3.05 a.m. for north Kashmir’s Baltal base camp.

Second escorted convoy carrying 2993 pilgrims in 105 vehicles left at 3.55 a.m. for south Kashmir’s Nunwan (Pahalgam) base camp.

The cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that wanes and waxes with the phases of the moon. Devotees believe that this ice stalagmite structure symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

The cave is situated at an altitude of 3,888 metres above the sea-level in Kashmir Himalayas. Devotees approach the cave shrine either from the traditional south Kashmir Pahalgam route or the north Kashmir Baltal route.

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The Pahalgam-Cave shrine axis is 48 km long and it takes Yatris 4-5 days to reach the shrine. The Baltal-Cave shrine axis is 14 Km long and it takes one day for the pilgrims to have ‘Darshan’ and reach back to the base camp.

4,434 Yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu in two escorted convoys for the Valley on Sunday.

The first escorted convoy carrying 1,721 pilgrims in 64 vehicles left at 3 a.m. for north Kashmir’s Baltal base camp. The second escorted convoy carrying 2,713 pilgrims in 101 vehicles left at 3.35 a.m. for south Kashmir Nunwan’s (Pahalgam) base camp.

This year’s Yatra will conclude after 52 days on August 29 coinciding with Shravan Purnima and Raksha Bandhan.

–IANS

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Keen to experience 'Band, Baaja, Baraat', European travellers say 'I Do' in Rajasthan

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Jaipur, July 14 (IANS) Indian marriages are something new on travel agents’ itineraries as there are many couples who want to visit India and exchange vows following Indian rituals.

For them, it is like marriages are made in heaven but are celebrated in Jaipur.

Keen to experience the ‘Band, Baaja, Baraat’, they have started requesting Indian travel agents to arrange for wedding outfits, bouquets, garlands, wedding destinations, flowers, priest, and fire so that they can tie the knot following Indian traditions.

Many of these couples are married who just want to experience the grandeur of big fat Indian weddings and hence are coming here to solemnise their wedding in Indian style.

Recently, one Monica Barbon from Milan, Italy, decided to give a surprise to her husband Enrico Scroccaro and organised an Indian-style marriage in India.

Both of them were part of a group of 14 esteemed travellers from Milan, Italy, and were taking a trip to Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur.

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Monica, deeply enamoured by the richness of Indian culture and tradition, orchestrated a heartfelt surprise for her husband Enrico, commemorating their 15 years of marriage with a sacred ceremony in the heart of Jaipur.

This entire wedding experience was filled with emotions, Rajasthani folk music, ancient rituals, and the warmth of traditional wedding customs.

The sacred vows were exchanged at the Laxmi Nritya Gopal Temple under the guidance of revered priests of Jaipur.

From the soul-stirring melodies of folk music to the intricacies of timeless rituals such as the phere ceremony and varmala exchange, every moment was infused with the essence of tradition and culture.

Adding to the enchantment, Monica and Enrico’s attire, specially designed in advance, resonated with the grandeur of the occasion, reflecting a harmonious blend of Italian elegance and Indian splendour.

Upon the conclusion of the ceremony, a decorated car awaited Monica and Enrico, ready to whisk them away to their hotel.

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Speaking in this reference, a travel agent Sanjay Kaushik from ‘Rajputana Holiday Makers’ said that foreign tourists these days want to visit India to experience the rich culture and tradition.

They have been sending emails requesting experiential tourism.

Around six to seven couples have sent their requests to tie the knot following Indian rituals in Jaipur.

Being from European nations, they want to experience the beauty of Indian weddings wearing Indian costumes, jewellery and make-up with flowers and mehendi, etc, he says.

He further says that these couples express a desire to tie the knot in places like Pushkar, Udaipur, Jaipur and Jaisalmer.

When we choose a wedding destination, we ensure that locals too benefit as they are given tasks to provide flowers, vegetables, cooks, etc.

So overall, it’s a kind of sustainability being practised simultaneously while serving such clients which makes it a win-win for all, he adds.

–IANS

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UP: Man arrested for killing brother to claim insurance money

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Barabanki (Uttar Pradesh), July 14 (IANS) A man shot dead his elder brother in Barabanki to claim the Rs 10 lakh insurance payout his brother’s death would have fetched, the police said.

However, the plan was revealed and he was arrested on Saturday.

Sanitation worker Arvind Kumar was shot dead on July 5.

Police investigations revealed that Arvind was shot by his younger brother, Virendra.

Police said Virendra had an illicit affair with Arvind’s wife. He needed money to settle his debt and decided to eliminate Arvind to claim the insurance money through his wife.

Barabanki Superintendent of Police, Dinesh Pratap Singh, said that on the night of July 5, Arvind Kumar, 35, a resident of Murai Majre Madhnapur village in the Badosarai police station area, was shot dead while sleeping in the front room of his newly constructed house.

Initially, it was reported that someone from outside shot him through a window. However, during a forensic examination by Forensic Science Laboratory experts, it was determined that the shot was fired from close range. Later, based on surveillance, it was found that Virendra’s location was at the same spot, said the police.

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“A team questioned him and Virendra could not give a reason for his location and broke down,” the police added.

Virendra, who deals in property transactions, had borrowed money from several people and was in debt.

Further probe revealed that Virendra also had an illicit relationship with Arvind’s wife and frequently visited her at a rented house in Barabanki.

The police have found the firearm used in the crime and have sent the accused to jail, the police said.

–IANS

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Akhara Parishad to issue I-cards for saints, seers in Maha Kumbh

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Prayagraj, July 14 (IANS) For the first time in the Maha Kumbh, scheduled to be held in early 2025, saints and seers of different akharas will be given identity cards that will give them access to the Mela areas, said a top Akhara Parishad official.

The decision was taken by Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP).

“The process for making ID cards is on. ID cards are being made for all officials, including seers, mahamandaleshwar, mandaleshwar, naga sanyasis, etc. associated with the 13 akharas,” said ABAP President Mahant Ravindra Puri.

The identity card will bear the name, age, name of the guru, name of the siddha, madhi, dhuni, Aadhaar number and PAN number along with a photo of the seer.

The decision is aimed at identifying fake saints and keeping them away from the Maha Kumbh.

The ABAP, after the recent Hathras stampede in the religious discourse of Bhole Baba, has announced that it would weed out ‘black sheep’ and prevent people from getting duped by fake seers.

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–IANS

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