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Bomb threat for IndiGo flight at Delhi airport turns out to be hoax (Ld)

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New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) An IndiGo flight bound for Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh received a bomb threat at Delhi airport on Tuesday morning, which later turned out to be a hoax, police said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI Airport) Usha Rangnani said that at around 5 a.m., information was received regarding a paper found in the lavatory of an Indigo flight scheduled to depart for Varanasi, with the word ‘bomb@5.30’ written on it.”

“Following the standard security protocols, a thorough inspection was conducted, and no suspicious items were found,” said the DCP.

According to airline officials, IndiGo flight 6E2211 operating from Delhi to Varanasi with 176 passengers onboard, had received a specific bomb threat at the airport.

The threat call was received at around 5.40 a.m., said officials.

“All necessary protocols were followed and the aircraft was taken to a remote bay as per guidelines by airport security agencies.

All passengers were safely evacuated via the emergency exits,” said an airline official.

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In a similar incident on May 16, a tissue paper, with the word “bomb” written on it, was found in the Air India flight AI819 lavatory at Delhi airport, prompting security agencies to conduct an inspection, but it turned out to be a hoax.

–IANS

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Finger found in ice-cream belonged to factory worker in Pune

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Mumbai, June 19 (IANS) The ‘human finger’ found in a Yummo ice-cream delivered to a Mumbai doctor may have belonged to an injured worker of a Pune-based contract manufacturer, police investigation revealed on Wednesday.

The young worker had ostensibly sustained an injury to his middle finger while working in the Fortune Dairy’s plant located in Indapur, Pune, which manufactures ice-creams for Yummo.

The Malad police station in Mumbai has already carried out a medical examination and DNA test on the worker along with forensic tests to confirm if they match with the finger that was detected in the ice-cream delivered to Brendan Ferrao.

A company source confirmed on Wednesday that the worker was from Fortune Dairy and Yummo Ice-Creams has already stopped all its third-party manufacturing there immediately after the matter came to light, besides withdrawing all stocks from the markets and warehouses.

The police probe has found that after the finger reportedly got severed in the factory accident, he was sent for treatment to a private hospital but nobody realised where the finger part had vanished – till it emerged in Ferrao’s ice-cream, sparking a huge controversy.

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The particular batch was manufactured almost a month prior to the incident that was reported on June 12, and after travelling through nearly half a dozen storage locations in Pune and Mumbai, it finally reached the unsuspecting customer’s home in an online order.

This week, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) inspected Fortune Dairy’s factory premises and suspended its manufacturing licence till the investigation is completed.

–IANS

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Cabinet okays Rs 76,220 crore Vadhavan port project in Maharashtra

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New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) The Union Cabinet during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the setting up of a major port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra with an investment of Rs 76,220 crore that includes the cost of land acquisition.

The project will be constructed by Vadhavan Port Project Limited (VPPL), an SPV formed by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) with a shareholding of 74 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively.

The Vadhavan Port will be developed as an all-weather Greenfield deep draft major port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra’s Palghar district.

The total project cost, including the land acquisition component, is Rs 76,220 crore.

This will include development of core infrastructure, terminals and other commercial infrastructure in public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

The Cabinet also approved establishing the road connectivity between the Port and National Highways by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and rail linkage to the existing rail network and the upcoming Dedicated Rail Freight Corridor by the Ministry of Railways.

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The port will comprise nine container terminals, each 1,000 meters long, four multipurpose berths, including the coastal berth, four liquid cargo berths, a Ro-Ro berth, and a Coast Guard berth.

The project involves the reclamation of 1,448 hectares of area in the sea and the construction of 10.14 km of offshore breakwater and container/cargo storage areas.

The project will create a cumulative capacity of 298 million metric tonnes (MMT) per annum, including around 23.2 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalents) of container handling capacity.

The capacities created will also aid EXIM trade flow through IMEEC (India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor) and INSTC (International North South Transportation Corridor).

The world-class maritime terminal facilities promote public-private partnerships (PPP) and leverage efficiencies and modern technologies to create state-of-the-art terminals capable of handling mainline mega vessels plying on international shipping lines between the Far East, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

Vadhavan Port, on completion, will be one of the top ten ports of the world, the statement said.

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The project, aligned with the objectives of PM Gati Shakti programme, will add to further economic activity and also have the potential for direct and indirect employment opportunities for around 10 lakh individuals, thereby contributing to the local economy, the statement added.

–IANS

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Delhi court to likely pronounce order on CM Kejriwal's bail plea on Thursday

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New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) A Delhi court on Wednesday extended Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s judicial custody in the excise policy case, while also hearing arguments at length on his regular bail plea.

Vacation Judge Niyay Bindu said that she would not reserve her order.

“I will not reserve order. Everyone knows it is a high-profile matter. I will pass the order after hearing it,” she said as she posted the continuation of the hearing on Thursday.

The court heard arguments from Kejriwal’s counsel, while the Enforcement Directorate (ED) presented its case but could not complete it.

The judge deferred the hearing to Thursday, stating: “I have to pass some orders (in other cases) and give ‘dasti’ (service of notice in person) copies.”

The judge also heard CM Kejriwal’s application to allow his wife Sunita Kejriwal to be present during his medical examination, with the court awaiting a report from Tihar Jail on the matter. The judge clarified that the central agency had no role in Kejriwal’s request for treatment inside jail.

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During the bail arguments, senior advocate Vikram Chaudhary, representing Kejriwal, contended that the case against him relied on statements from individuals who were allegedly promised bail for supporting the ED’s case. He questioned the credibility of these witnesses and suggested their statements were made under duress after failing to obtain bail.

Chaudhary also cited the timing of Kejriwal’s arrest before the Lok Sabha elections, suggesting it was politically motivated. He argued that there was no material evidence or money trail against Kejriwal, describing the investigation as “the biggest instrument of oppression”.

Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, representing the ED, argued that Kejriwal had not been summoned as an accused but was now facing charges after the special court took cognisance of the money laundering offence. He said that the credibility of the statements could only be assessed during the trial, not at the bail stage, while adding that inducements given to approvers were lawful and necessary for obtaining evidence. He argued that Kejriwal was liable not only in his personal capacity but also as the head of the Aam Aadmi Party, alleging he had demanded a bribe of Rs 100 crore.

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–IANS

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Cabinet approves MSP for 14 Kharif crops

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New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) The Union Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the minimum support price (MSP) for 14 Kharif crops including paddy, ragi, bajra, jowar, maize and cotton.

“Some very important decisions have been taken in today’s Cabinet. One very important decision has been taken for the welfare of farmers. Kharif season is starting, and for that, the Cabinet has approved MSP on 14 crops. The new MSP for paddy is Rs 2,300 per quintal, which is a Rs 117 increase over the previous price. The MSP for cotton has been increased by Rs 501,” I&B Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said at a press briefing after the Cabinet meeting.

The Cabinet has also approved Rs 76,000 crore Vadhavan Port project in Maharashtra, the Union Minister said.

“The third term of PM Modi is very important as it focuses on continuity with change through many decisions for farmers’ welfare,” he added.

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–IANS

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Why PM Modi's visit to Italy for G-7 left Cong grumbling? Has VVIP chopper scam come back to haunt it?

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New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent trip to Italy for the G7 Summit was his first overseas trip in the third term and fifth consecutive visit to the Group of Seven nations.

His warm welcome in Italy, however, ruffled many feathers back home, particularly it left the Congress party ‘rattled’ as it kept questioning the purpose and rationale behind PM Modi’s Italy trip.

Sources suggest that Congress’ grumbling could be because of its ‘fears’ of AgustaWestland scam (VVIP chopper scam) coming back to haunt it, especially at a time when it is basking in the glory of Lok Sabha ‘success’.

BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya also questioned: “Why was the Congress constantly whining about PM Modi’s visit to Italy for G7 Summit?” He also shared an account of details as to what is making the grand old party ‘anxious and flustered’.

A leading international daily citing sources claimed that Italy has shared their court’s detailed judgement on the AgustaWestland chopper scam, running into 225 pages and also a trail of documents in the bribery scandal with India.

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As it is evident, the damning documents may set the ball rolling and may see the high-profile politicians and middlemen in India nailed for their wrongdoing.

It also claimed that the investigations and prosecution in the VVIP chopper scam of Congress-led UPA era may pick up pace post PM Modi’s return from his recent trip to Italy.

What will make matters worse for the Congress is the trail of classified documents that will ‘fix’ the culpability and also identify the leading faces from the political party who allegedly received kick-backs worth more than Rs 600 crore in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam in 2013.

The chopper scam may not have reached conclusion in India but the Italian court did convict the bribe-givers to Indian counterparts. The sealed Italian documents, handed over to India, are also said to have names of those received kickbacks in the defence scam.

This is bound to ring alarm bells for those who were in power during the UPA-II regime and skeletons of one of the biggest defence scams, which remained buried for a decade, are set to come out of the closet.

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Notably, AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam is a corruption case of UPA-II regime in which bribes were paid to middlemen and perhaps to politicians also, as India inked a deal to buy 12 VVIP choppers by Italian defence manufacturing giant Finmeccanica, at an estimated cost of Rs 3,600 crore.

–IANS

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