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DMDK calls for recounting in Virudhunagar LS constituency under supervision of retired judge

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Chennai, June 6 (IANS) AIADMK ally DMDK’s General Secretary Premalatha Vijayakanth on Thursday called for a recounting, under the supervision of a retired judge, in Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar Lok Sabha constituency where her son and party candidate Vijaya Prabhakaran lost.

DMDK’s Prabhakaran lost to his Congress rival and sitting MP, Manickam Tagore by a slender margin of 4,379 votes. While Tagore garnered 385,256 votes, Prabhakaran received 380,877 votes.

Addressing a press conference here, the DMDK leader alleged that her party candidate was made to lose the election deliberately and she had all the evidence to prove it.

“Vijaya Prabhakaran was defeated by a very close vote margin. Why did the District Collector stop the vote counting from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.?”

She claimed that there were many irregularities after the 13th round of vote counting was completed and that the official announcement and reports from the constituency were contradictory. “Why were the postal ballot votes in Virudhunagar counted at midnight?” she asked, arguing that there had been a mistake in the vote counting.

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She also questioned why Chief Minister M.K. Stalin had announced victory in all 40 constituencies (39 of Tamil Nadu and one of Puducherry) before the results of Virudhunagar were announced.

Premalatha Vijayakanth said that it was the right of a political party to demand recounting within 45 days of results being declared and she expected that the Election Commission would take a proper decision in this matter.

–IANS

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Vegetable prices skyrocket in Kolkata after scanty rainfall

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Kolkata, June 23 (IANS) Vegetable prices in Kolkata have skyrocketed following scanty rainfall in South Bengal.

Some of the staple vegetable items whose prices have skyrocketed include eggplant, bitter gourd, green chilly, cucumber, tomato, capsicum, beans, cauliflower and cabbage.

While eggplant price ranges from between Rs 120 and Rs 150 a kilogram, the same for bitter gourd is between Rs 100 and Rs 120. The price of green chilli, a must in cooking for any average Bengali family, is between Rs 150 to Rs 200 a kilogram. Cucumber, an essential salad item, is selling between Rs 100 and Rs 120 a kilogram.

Tomatoes are priced between Rs 100 and Rs 120 kilograms while capsicum being priced at around Rs 200 a kilogram has become a matter of luxury now. Cauliflower at Rs 50 a piece and cabbage at Rs 60 a piece are selling at a comparatively higher price.

A member of the task force constituted by the state government to keep the price of essential commodities in the retail markets of the state under control said that they have done a review of the situation and found that the lack of supply of vegetables as per demand is resulting in the current high price of the products.

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“We interacted with the vegetable vendors at different retail markets in the city. They claimed that because of the insufficient rainfall, there had been a hit in the production at the vegetable hubs of the state. So the supply is much less compared to the demand. As claimed by the retailers, since they are also purchasing the same vegetables at higher prices from the wholesale markets, they are charging more to maintain their profit margin thus pushing up the price of vegetables in the retail markets,” the member of the task force said.

However, he added, the task force members are not ruling out the possibility of a section of the vegetable traders taking advantage of the prevailing situation and resorting to hoarding.

He said that we expect the vegetable prices in the retail markets to stabilise with the arrival of a full-fledged monsoon.

–IANS

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Man from Andhra among 4 killed in US shooting

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Amaravati, June 23 (IANS) A 32-year-old man from Andhra Pradesh was among four persons killed in firing at a grocery store in Arkansas in the United States.

The victim from Andhra Pradesh was identified as Dasari Gopikrishna, a native of Bapatla district who had gone to the US only eight months ago.

He was working at the Mad Butcher grocery store at Fordyce, a small town in Arkansas, where a gunman opened fire on June 21.

Gopikrishna, who was at the billing counter, sustained critical injuries. He succumbed at a hospital the next day. His family in Yajali in Karlapalem mandal of Bapatla district was shattered on receiving the news.

Gopikrishna is survived by a wife and a son.

Four persons were killed and nine injured when the gunman opened fire inside the store and at the parking lot.

Meanwhile, CCTV footage of the assailant entering the store and opening fire on the man at the counter has emerged. As the victim collapsed on the ground, the gunman jumped over the counter and escaped after lifting something from the shelf.

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–IANS

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SC to hear anticipatory bail plea of OAS officer in DA case

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New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) Supreme Court (SC) will hear a plea filed by Odisha Administrative Service officer, Bijaya Ketan Sahoo, seeking anticipatory bail in connection with a money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for possession of assets disproportionate to the known source of income.

As per the cause list published on the website of the apex court, a vacation bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Rajesh Bindal will hear the matter on June 24.

Earlier, the Orissa High Court, in its May 10 order, refused to grant anticipatory bail, saying a prima facie case stands against the OAS officer since he was involved in the acquisition of the properties in dealing with the “proceeds with crime”.

However, a bench of Justice Chittaranjan Das of the High Court had directed that in the event Sahoo appears before the Special Court and moves for grant of regular bail, the same shall be considered on its own merits.

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The ED initiated a probe under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after an FIR was registered with Cuttack’s Vigilance Police Station against Odisha Financial Official Nalini Prusty, her husband Sahoo, and other family members for possession of disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs. 5 crore.

The enquiry further revealed that the bureaucrat couple had acquired six plots and flats and had constructed a triple-storied building at Bhubaneswar’s Chandrasekharpur in the name of their relative who had no independent source of income.

On the basis of the ED’s complaint, the PMLA court in Bhubaneswar issued summons to Sahoo for his appearance.

–IANS

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JD(S) MLC Suraj Revanna arrested in sexual assault case

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Hassan, (Karnataka) June 23 (IANS) In yet another jolt to former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s family, Karnataka Police arrested JD(S) MLC and Gowda’s grandson Suraj Revanna in connection with a forceful unnatural sex case.

Suraj Revanna is the brother of arrested former JD(S) MP, Prajwal Revanna, the prime accused in the sex videos case.

Suraj Revanna was arrested in the wee hours of Sunday by the Holenarasipura Rural police in Hassan District.

Suraj Revanna had appeared before the police on Saturday night following the lodging of an FIR against him.

The Karnataka Police had lodged an FIR against Suraj Revanna on Saturday night and summoned him to the police station for questioning in connection with the alleged sexual assault case lodged by a JD(S) worker, police said.

The police had registered an FIR against Suraj Revanna under IPC Sections 377 (unnatural sex), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

The victim in the case had sent his complaint to the office of both the DGP and the Hassan Superintendent of Police.

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The police after getting the copy of the complaint in this regard had transferred the case to the jurisdictional Holenarasipura Rural police station.

The police had contacted the victim in connection with the alleged sexual assault case and recorded his statement.

The police had also taken the victim for a medical test.

Reacting to the development, Suraj Revanna had said that it was a political conspiracy against him.

“Baseless allegations are made against me and I outrightly reject these allegations. Things will be dealt with legally and an FIR has also been lodged,” he said.

The victim alleged that he had met Suraj Revanna at a function organised by him. Impressed by his organisational skills, Suraj Revanna allegedly shared his mobile number and started sending cosy messages with love symbols.

The man was called to Suraj Revanna’s farmhouse where he was allegedly sexually abused.

Suraj Revanna’s elder brother and former JD(S) MP, Prajwal Revanna has been arrested in connection with the sex video scandal.

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His father JD(S) MLA, HD Revanna was jailed and is out on conditional bail in a kidnapping case linked to the sex video scandal.

His mother Bhavani Revanna is facing an investigation in a kidnapping case and was recently granted conditional bail by a court.

The Karnataka Police have also filed an FIR against two persons on charges of extortion following allegations of sexual abuse against Suraj Revanna.

Suraj Revanna’s aide Shivakumar filed a case against the victim and his kin at the Holenarasipura police station.

Shivakumar said in the complaint that false allegations were made against Suraj Revanna to extort money.

The complaint claimed that the accused had threatened Suraj Revanna with lodging a case of sexual abuse if he failed to pay Rs 5 crore.

The police have registered a case under IPC Sections 384 (extortion) and 584 (criminal intimidation).

–IANS

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IT Ministry, Indian Army forge strategic partnership for advanced technologies

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New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) The Military College of Telecommunication Engineering (MCTE), Indian Army and Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering & Research (SAMEER) have forged a strategic partnership to strengthen the technological capabilities of the Indian Army.

The MoU plans to establish an ‘Advanced Military Research and Incubation Centre’ at MCTE, to focus on advanced wireless technologies for the Army, according to the Ministry of Electronics & IT.

SAMEER is an autonomous R&D laboratory under the IT Ministry.

The key objectives include joint research and development towards leveraging combined expertise in 5G, 6G, advanced cellular technologies, software-defined radios and cognitive radios, satellite communications, antenna design, free space optics, and tropo-scatter communications, as well as AI, Quantum, and military-specific chip design.

The MoU was signed by Lt Gen K H Gawas, Commandant, MCTE; Dr PH Rao, Director General, SAMEER, in the presence of senior officials.

“This initiative marks a significant milestone in strengthening the Indian Army’s technological capabilities which are aligned towards the declared vision for 2024 as ‘Year of Technological Absorption for Indian Army’ by the Chief of Army Staff,” the IT Ministry said.

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The partnership between SAMEER and MCTE represents a shared commitment to exploring new technological frontiers and addressing modern battlefield challenges.

As part of the MoU, an incubation centre will support the development of military-specific innovative solutions from conceptualisation to large-scale production, involving MSMEs and start-ups.

In addition, the MoU also aims at knowledge exchange, training and development aspects.

“The collaboration between SAMEER and MCTE aims to enhance national security and technological infrastructure, with potential benefits that will not only be limited to the military but will go much beyond,” said the IT Ministry.

–IANS

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