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Delhi L-G recommends NIA probe into alleged funding of AAP by extremist group

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New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, V.K. Saxena, has written to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) seeking a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the alleged funding of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by pro-Khalistan extremist group Sikhs For Justice.

CM Kejriwal is presently under judicial custody at Tihar Jail in connection with the alleged excise policy scam.

The latest move came after the L-G received a complaint from Ashoo Mongia, the National General Secretary of the World Hindu Federation, alleging that AAP received a staggering amount of $16 million in funding from pro-Khalistan groups between 2014 and 2022 for facilitating the release of 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar.

It has also been alleged that a clandestine meeting took place in 2014 between Arvind Kejriwal and pro-Khalistan groups at the Richmond Hill Gurdwara in New York.

“During the said meeting, Kejriwal purportedly promised to facilitate the release of Devender Pal Bhullar, in return for substantial financial backing from the Khalistani factions to AAP,” the L-G’s letter to the Home Ministry read.

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“In his communication, the complainant referred to the contents of a video, purportedly featuring Gurpatwant Singh Pannun (founder of the banned outfit Sikhs For Justice). The complainant also said that as per some posts on X (formerly Twitter), Munish Kumar Raizada, who used to be an AAP worker, shared a picture of the meeting between Arvind Kejriwal and Sikh leaders that took place at the Richmond Hill Gurdwara in 2014,” the letter read.

It has also been mentioned in the letter that Arvind Kejriwal wrote to former President Pranab Mukherjee seeking clemency for Bhullar.

“In this context, a copy of a letter by Arvind Kejriwal addressed to a person named Iqbal Singh has been enclosed. The letter dated 27.01.2014 mentions that ‘Our government is sympathetic to the issue and would take all necessary steps to ensure full justice’.

“It further mentions that the Delhi government has already recommended to the President the release of Bhullar and would be working on other issues, including the formation of an SIT, etc. The same was widely reported by the media. As per news reports of that time, Iqbal Singh was sitting on a fast at Jantar Mantar, demanding a written assurance for the release of Bhullar,” the L-G’s letter read.

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The L-G also said that the complainant requested a comprehensive inquiry into the allegations of funding of AAP by Sikhs for Justice.

“Since the allegations have been levelled against the Chief Minister and are related to alleged funding of a political party, amounting to millions of dollars, by a terrorist organisation already banned in India, the electronic evidence adduced by the complainant requires investigation, including forensic test,” the letter said, adding that the L-G has desired that the Home Ministry may consider referring the matter to the NIA for conducting a thorough probe into the matter.

–IANS

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Army chief gets one month extension in service

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New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) India’s Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Manoj C. Pande, who was due to retire at the end of the month, has been given a one-month extension of service, the Defence Ministry announced on Sunday.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet on Sunday approved the extension for Gen Pande for a period of one month, beyond his normal age of superannuation (May 31, 2024), that is up to June 30, 2024, under Rule 16 A (4) of the Army Rules, 1954, the Ministry said.

Commissioned in the Corps of Engineers (The Bombay Sappers) in December 1982, Gen Pande was appointed the army chief on April 30, 2022. He was serving as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff when he was elevated to the top post.

–IANS

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Bangladesh national detained from village near LoC in Jammu

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Jammu, May 26 (IANS) A purportedly mentally challenged Bangladesh national was detained near the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K’s Jammu district on Sunday, officials said.

Officials said that the Bangladesh national, disclosing his name as Taffajjal Bablu, 36, was detained from a village near the LoC in the Pallanwalla area of Akhnoor in Jammu district.

“He claimed to belong to the Alupotti Natore area in Bangladesh. A Bangladesh currency note, 3 SIM cards, a student card, some bills and a pocket diary were recovered from him. His mental condition is being determined, through psychiatric examination, before any further action is taken in the matter,” an official said.

–IANS

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J&K Police constable involved in drug trade sacked

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Jammu, May 26 (IANS) A police constable in J&K’s Reasi district was dismissed from service on Sunday for being involved in the drug trade, officials said.

Selection grade police constable Tariq Hussain Shah was booked last year under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

SSP Reasi, Mohita Sharma ordered the dismissal, officials said.

“He was dismissed for prolonged unauthorised absence from duties and for being an accused in drug trafficking. He was booked under sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act at Jammu’s Bakshi Nagar police station last year,” an official said.

“The SSP said in the order that charges of violations of police rules and regulations, absenteeism, grave misconduct, indiscipline, and negligence were proved against the constable making him unfit to serve the department. The stern departmental action of dismissal has been taken after the delinquent cop did not pay heed to series of signals, attendance notices and show cause notices which were served upon him,” the official added.

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After the present DGP R.R.Swain took over the command of the J&K Police, instances of misconduct, indiscipline, corruption, or rudeness to the public which have been brought to his notice have received prompt attention and action.

–IANS

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Doctors save 18-month-old girl who ingested mosquito repellent

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Hyderabad, May 26 (IANS) Doctors at a hospital in Hyderabad saved an 18-month-old girl who accidentally ingested a mosquito repellent. The girl from Bhilai was airlifted to Hyderabad after her condition deteriorated.

After struggling to breathe, she was initially taken to a local hospital and then transferred to a hospital in Raipur, where she was placed on a ventilator. As her lungs began to fail, and she couldn’t breathe properly despite full ventilator support, the hospital in Raipur contacted KIMS Cuddles, Kondapur in Hyderabad.

A specialised team of six, including two intensivists, a perfusionist and a cardiac surgeon, flew to Raipur.

Upon examination, they diagnosed severe chemical pneumonitis caused by hydrocarbons in the insecticide.

As the ventilator was ineffective in oxygenating her body and her heart was failing severely, the medical team decided to use ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) to support her breathing and stabilise her condition.

The girl received one of the rarest and most complex treatments, involving the insertion of a cannula near her neck to bypass her heart and lung to save her life.

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After the procedure, the baby was transported via road ambulance to Raipur Airport and then transported via charter air ambulance to Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad.

From there, she was taken to KIMS Cuddles, Kondapur.

She was on VA-ECMO for nine days, showing gradual improvement. Then, she spent another five or six days on a ventilator.

Afterward, she was placed on high-flow oxygen, and eventually low-flow oxygen.

During this period, an infection was treated with antibiotics.

After 18 days of treatment, the baby fully recovered, became active, and was discharged last week in good health with a normal neurological outcome.

“The treatment provided significant support to her heart and lungs. The advanced facilities at KIMS Cuddles Kondapur, combined with the expertise of a highly skilled medical team, made it possible to transport her to ECMO from Raipur and treat her successfully. Experienced cardiac and vascular surgeons ensured precise blood vessel cannulation,” said Dr. Parag Dekate, Clinical Director of Pediatrics and Head Of Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, KIMS Cuddles, Kondapur.

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–IANS

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Rajkot fire: CM Bhupendra Patel conducts on-site inspection

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Rajkot, May 26 (IANS) Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Sunday conducted an on-site visit to assess the aftermath of the devastating fire at TRP Gamezone in Rajkot, which claimed 35 lives.

Chief Minister also visited the Rajkot AIIMS and other hospitals to check on the injured and interacted with victims and their families.

He also met the families of those who lost their lives, offered condolences and assured them full support.

At Rajkot’s Hirasar Airport, Chief Minister Patel held a high-level review meeting to discuss the relief and rescue operations. He directed a thorough investigation and insisted on strict punitive action against those responsible.

A 100-bed burn ward has been set up at PDU Medical College in Rajkot to treat burn victims. Additional doctors and paramedical staff have also been deployed to ensure no lapse in medical care. Expert surgeons and trained nurses from Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Morbi, Junagadh, and Bhavnagar have also been deployed in Rajkot.

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At least 20 ambulances have also been put into service to enhance transportation facilities for quick intensive care.

Air ambulance services have also been put into service to transport DNA samples of the deceased and their family members’ referral samples to the Gandhinagar Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for urgent identification.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) has also been formed to probe the incident which will be headed by Additional Director General of Police Subhash Trivedi.

The SIT has been asked to furnish the preliminary report to the state government within three days.

Rajkot City Police has ordered the closure of all game zones in the city as a precautionary measure as the inspections for fire safety and other security measures are ongoing.

Administration has said that immediate punitive action will be taken against game zones operating without a Fire No Objection Certificate (NOC) or any other necessary permissions, and they will be shut down.

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–IANS

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