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CBI recovers huge cache of arms, explosives from house of Shahjahan’s relative at Sandeshkhali

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Kolkata, April 26 (IANS) The CBI on Friday afternoon conducted a raid at the residence of a relative of suspended Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas District and seized a huge cache of firearms and explosives.

Sources said the CBI got a tip off about the cache of arms and crude bombs at the residence of Shahjahan’s relative Hafizul Khan, who is also an elected panchayat member from the ruling party.

Soon after getting the information, a CBI team escorted by personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces conducted the raid at the residence that was located within a pisciculture farm.

Till the time of filing of the report the CBI team was engaged in a search operation at the house.

It is suspected that the firearms, explosives and crude bombs were stocked there for use on polling day in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Sources said, following Shahjahan’s arrest and increased movement of different central agency sleuths and CAPF personnel at Sandeshkhali, those responsible for stocking the arms were unable to shift them.

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Sandeshkhali comes under Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency, where the polls are scheduled to be held in the seventh and last phase on June 1.

Till the time the report was filed there was no comment from any Trinamool Congress leader on the matter.

–IANS

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4 killed as rains lash Kerala, cause havoc in state

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 28 (IANS) Heavy rains across Kerala, including a suspected cloud burst at Kochi, on Tuesday left four people dead and caused large destruction across the state.

Kottayam and Ernakulam districts have been the worst-hit and the IMD has announced a Red alert in these two districts. Likewise, an Orange alert has been announced for Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, and Idukki.

According to S. Abhilash, Associate Professor at the Cochin University of Science and Technology, a record 98.4 mm of rainfall was recorded in a matter of 90 minutes at the rain gauge on their campus.

The Infopark IT park at Kakkanadu in Kochi was another place badly hit by the heavy rains.

Several areas in Kochi, the commercial capital of the state, were left waterlogged and water entered numerous houses in some low-lying areas.

A Class 10 student, who had ventured out for a swim at Vengoor near Kochi, was drowned, while Aravind, who was standing outside his house in Alappuzha, died when a coconut tree got uprooted and fell on him.

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Fisherman Abraham, out on his fishing boat off the capital city’s Muthalapozhi suburbs, lost his life after it overturned in the rough seas while a death was reported in north Kerala.

Water entered the ground floor of the home of 97-year-old award-winning writer and literary critic M. Leelavathy at Kochi and destroyed her awards and her collection of books.

Authorities have closed down Ponmudi, a popular hill station in Thiruvananthapuram district besides destinations in high-altitude areas in the Kottayam district, where landslides and landslips have also been reported.

Relief camps have started functioning at a few places in central Kerala where the rain waters played havoc.

Meanwhile, with the southwest monsoon expected later this week, more rains are predicted by the IMD.

–IANS

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Why waste votes by supporting Trinamool when formation of Modi govt is inevitable: PM

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Kolkata, May 28 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that when the formation of a Modi government at the Centre is inevitable, why waste votes by casting them for the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal?

Addressing an election meeting in Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency in support of BJP candidate Anirban Ganguly, the Prime Minister said, “If you ask anyone in West Bengal who will form the government at the Centre, everyone will say that it is going to be a Modi government again. If that is the case, why waste your votes by casting them in favour of Trinamool Congress?”

He also said that casting votes for the Left parties will only help the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal since Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already announced her support for the opposition INDI Alliance.

Stating that the CPI-M and Trinamool are two different parties with the same goal, PM Modi said: “Their shops are different. But the products displayed at both the shops are the same. Whatever they do or say are similar.”

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Referring to the recent order of the Calcutta High Court cancelling all OBC certificates issued in the state after 2010, the Prime Minister said the Trinamool first tried to ensure backdoor entry for Muslims under the reservation quota meant for OBCs.

“Now, when the Calcutta High Court has foiled that plot, the Trinamool leaders are saying they do not accept the verdict only to satisfy its dedicated vote bank,” the Prime Minister said.

He also said that Trinamool should be punished because of its failure to prevent events like what happened in Sandeshkhali.

“On the contrary, the Trinamool government is trying to shield the accused. It only pursues the politics of violence, corruption, and appeasement,” the Prime Minister said.

–IANS

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Bomb threat at Telangana Dy CM’s residence Praja Bhavan

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Hyderabad, May 28 (IANS) Hyderabad Police on Tuesday received a threatening call regarding a bomb at the Jyotirao Phule Praja Bhavan, which is serving as the residence of Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka.

Police teams carried out searches at Praja Bhavan, formerly Pragati Bhavan, in Begumpet area after an unknown person called the Police Control Room to say that a bomb had been planted at Praja Bhavan, which may go off anytime.

Special police teams including the Bomb Disposal Squad, Dog Squad and the disaster response force of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) were pressed into action.

However, police did not find anything suspicious during the searches.

Praja Bhavan was the official residence of Telangana Chief Minister till November when the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) was in power.

After the Congress came to power, it is now serving as the official residence of Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka.

The Congress government is also using part of the premises for receiving petitions from the people.

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Meanwhile, reacting to the incident, state minister Seethakka said many people come to Praja Bhavan to submit petitions about their problems and everyone was being allowed to enter the complex. She added that they don’t suspect anyone.

–IANS

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ECI removes Sandeshkhali SDPO three days before LS polls

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Kolkata, May 28 (IANS) The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday ordered the immediate removal of the sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district, Aminul Islam, just three days before polling in nine Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal on June 1.

Sandeshkhali is one of the seven Assembly segments under the Basirhat Lok Sabha seat where polling is scheduled on Saturday.

The ECI also ordered the removal of Koteshwar Rao, the SP of Sundarbans in South 24 Parganas district, which covers parts of two Lok Sabha constituencies — Jaynagar and Mathurapur.

The Commission also ordered the replacement of Debasish Sarkar, the inspector-in-charge of Rahara police station, which comes under the Dum Dum Lok Sabha constituency in North 24 Parganas district.

Sources in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said that there are clear instructions from the poll panel that these officers cannot be assigned any election-related duty.

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The Commission has asked the state secretariat to send names for their replacements.

–IANS

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Tripura govt to set up Ayurvedic, homeopathy medical colleges soon: CM Saha

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Agartala, May 28 (IANS) Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha said on Tuesday that the state government is planning to set up Ayurvedic and homeopathy medical colleges in the state.

After visiting the State Ayurvedic Hospital here, the Chief Minister added that the state government has recently written a letter to the Centre proposing to set up an Ayurvedic medical college first, followed by the homeopathy medical college.

“There are some issues relating to setting up these colleges in the state and I have directed the concerned authorities that these matters, including land-related issues be resolved, as soon as possible. We are hopeful that these issues will be resolved soon,” he told the media.

“The government is also planning to expand the infrastructure of the State Ayurvedic Hospital here,” said Saha, who himself is an oral and maxillo-facial surgeon and served in a key position at the Tripura Medical College and B.R. Ambedkar Memorial Teaching Hospital in the state’s capital before becoming the Chief Minister in May 2022.

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Accompanied by Health Secretary Gitte Kirankumar Dinkarrao, Chief Minister Saha, who also holds the Health portfolio, said that the people have high expectations regarding the State Ayurvedic Hospital and a significant number of patients, including outpatients, visit daily.

The state government with the support from the Union government has been trying to develop the state’s health infrastructure significantly, he said.

–IANS

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