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EC failed to ensure fare polls in Bengaluru Rural LS seat, alleges Kumaraswamy

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Bengaluru, April 26 (IANS) Former Chief Minister and JD-S state President H. D. Kumaraswamy alleged on Friday that the Election Commission has failed to ensure fair elections in Bengaluru Rural parliamentary constituency.

Bengaluru Rural is said to be a high-profile and most sensitive parliamentary seat in the state. Dy CM D.K. Shivakumar’s brother D.K. Suresh is contesting against former Prime Minister H. D. Deve Gowda’s son-in-law, Dr C. N. Manjunath here.

Addressing reporters, growing desperate from the fear of losing the election in Bengaluru Rural seat, Kumaraswamy stated that attempts were made to distribute Rs 10,000 gift cards to voters in Kanakapura Assembly constituency represented by Dy CM D. K. Shivakumar. Kanakapura comes under Bengaluru Rural seat.

In many places, incidents of violence have been reported when BJP and JD-S workers questioned this. “The police has lost its power and it is not in a position to initiate action against anyone,” Kumaraswamy alleged.

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The Congress has also been distributing Rs 505 cash along with a sweet dish from Mahadeshwara hill (Hindu pilgrimage centre) to voters. They have attacked those for questioning this, he stated.

In Kunigal town one of the workers committed suicide on Thursday night, in the backdrop of being assaulted and threatened by the Congress workers. “No one is caring for the complaints and in this scenario, the election is being held in the state,” Kumaraswamy slammed.

“The Karnataka state has been turned into a banana republic. The gift cards worth Rs 10,000 are also distributed in the names of prominent local Congress leaders of that particular Assembly constituency. Fair elections are not conducted here. Even after complaints being lodged at the Election Commission, there is no action taken,” Kumaraswamy reiterated.

“Instead of conducting elections in this manner, the Election Commission can allow distribution of money and gift cards openly. The cards have the photographs of Congress prominent leaders including MLAs and code numbers and QR codes,” Kumaraswamy charged.

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“The democratic system is turned upside down. I appeal to the voters of Bengaluru Rural seat, to not come under the influence,” he said.

Polling is underway in parts of Karnataka.

–IANS

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Priyanka, I will raise voice of Himachal in Delhi, says Rahul Gandhi

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Nahan (Himachal Pradesh), May 26 (IANS) Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday appealed to the people of Himachal Pradesh to vote for the victory of all four Congress Lok Sabha candidates, while promising them that he and his sister and party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi will “be the voice” of the hill state in the national capital.

“Priyanka and I are your soldiers in Delhi, and we will raise the voice of Himachal Pradesh in the capital,” he said at a public meeting in Sirmaur district for the party’s Shimla Lok Sabha seat candidate.

Gandhi criticised Prime Minister Narender Modi for failing to provide aid to Himachal Pradesh following the last monsoon season’s disaster, which affected over 22,000 families. He said the Union government has yet to release Rs 9,000 crore relief funds to the state.

Additionally, he accused PM Modi of colluding with big business, resulting in unfair prices for apple growers in Himachal. Gandhi charged the Prime Minister with “serving the interests of 20-25 wealthy individuals of the country” and “focused on making 22 people in the country millionaires”, alleging that Rs 16 lakh crore in loans for these individuals has been waived off over the past decade.

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Gandhi criticised the media for ignoring issues like apple prices, and problems of farmers and labourers. He said the BJP government has devastated millions of small businesses through demonetisation and the mismanagement of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation. “Dreams of a select few are being fulfilled while the rest of the country looks on,” he said.

Congress state in-charge Rajiv Shukla, state party unit President Pratibha Singh, Congress candidate from Shimla Vinod Sultanpuri, Industries Minister Harshvardhan Chauhan, MLA Ajay Solanki and party officials and workers were present.

–IANS

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Delhi: Man on the run after killing friend arrested

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New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) The Crime Branch of Delhi Police has arrested a man for allegedly murdering his friend, an official said, adding the accused also had an illicit relationship with the deceased’s mother.

The arrested individual was identified as Virender a.k.a. Mota (33), a resident of Sonipat district in Haryana. He has been on the run since Harsh, 23, was found dead over a month ago.

According to police, on April 13, the body of Harsh was detected by his roommate in their rented accommodation in Khirki Extension.

“A subsequent postmortem confirmed that Harsh had been strangled, leading to the registration of a murder case,” said an official.

The case was assigned to the Crime Branch for a parallel investigation alongside the local police.

According to officials, Harsh was an active member of several ‘homosexual clubs’ in the Delhi-NCR region.

“Extensive raids were conducted across various locations, including Dehradun, Haridwar, Delhi, and Gurugram. While one suspect, Mohit, was apprehended, Virender, managed to evade capture,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), Rakesh Pawariya.

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However, on May 21, police received a tip-off that Virender would be in the Rajender Nagar area of Gurugram to meet an associate.

“After careful planning and groundwork, the team successfully tracked Virender’s movements and laid a trap at the anticipated location. He was eventually nabbed, and he confessed to his involvement in the murder during questioning,” said the DCP.

Virender told police that he had been working with his cousin Mohit a.k.a. Rahul for Rapido in the Delhi and Gurugram area.

“It was revealed that Virender had illicit relations with Harsh’s mother. About two years ago, a friend of Harsh had caught Virender in a compromising position with Harsh’s mother, leading to initial animosity that later turned into a friendship between Virender and Harsh,” said the DCP.

On April 11, Harsh invited Virender to a beer party at his flat via a video call. Virender, accompanied by Mohit, attended the party.

“The evening took a tragic turn when, during a drunken altercation, Harsh challenged Virender’s masculinity, enraging him. In a fit of anger, Virender strangled Harsh to death and fled the spot, attempting to stage the crime as a suicide by discarding Harsh’s mobile phone in Rohini,” said the DCP.

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After committing the murder, Virender went into hiding in various locations in the NCR region, including Gurugram, Dehradun and Haridwar.

“He avoided using mobile phones to evade capture, relying on train travel without tickets and sustenance from Gurdwaras and bhandaras,” said the DCP.

–IANS

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Delhi hospital fire tragedy: Cops arrest owner (2nd Lead)

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New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Delhi Police has arrested the hospital owner where seven children were killed after a massive fire broke out on late Saturday, police said on Sunday.

The accused was identified as Naveen Kichi, a resident of Bhairon Enclave, Paschim Vihar.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) Surendra Chaudhary said that on Saturday at around 11:30 p.m. a police control room (PCR) call regarding a fire at Baby Care NewBorn Hospital was received at Vivek Vihar police station, following which a police team rushed to the spot.

Upon reaching the spot, the fire had engulfed the hospital and its adjacent building.

“In the hospital, there were 12 newborn babies admitted and one was already dead before the fire incident. All the 12 newborn babies were rescued from the hospital with the help of other people and shifted to East Delhi Advance NICU Hospital, for treatment,” said the DCP.

The DCP said fire tenders also reached the spot and doused the flames.

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Delhi Fire Service (DFS) Chief Atul Garg said that seven children were declared dead at the hospital while five newly born babies are undergoing treatment.

“All 7 dead bodies have been further shifted to GTB Hospital for postmortem,” said the DCP, adding that the reason behind the fire is yet to be ascertained.

–IANS

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Rajkot fire tragedy: Seven members of same family among victims

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Rajkot, May 26 (IANS) The fire at Rajkot’s TRP Mall, which has claimed 35 lives so far, has left seven members of the same family either dead or missing.

Seven family members of Virendrasinh’s family fell victim to the fire. He tried to save his family from the blaze but also fell victim to the tragedy while five of his family members are still missing.

Virendrasinh, a native of Sanganwa, had come to the gaming zone with his wife, son, and brother-in-law’s children.

Eyewitnesses said that when the fire broke out, Virendrasinh initially found himself in a safe area, but his children were trapped. Desperate to rescue them, he became a victim himself. Two members of his family have been hospitalised, while the search for the remaining five continues.”

The intensity of the fire was so severe that many bodies could not be recognised, necessitating DNA tests to confirm the identities.

Despite ongoing efforts, many people remain missing. Blood samples from the relatives of the missing have been collected, and the bodies will be handed over to the families once the DNA results are available.

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Sources said that the investigations have revealed that the TRP Gamezone had been operating illegally in a residential area for four years without the necessary No Objection Certificate (NOC).

The amusement park was set up in a flimsy shed-like structure to bypass regulatory approvals. Despite this, the facility continued to attract visitors.

–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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