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Enthusiastic voters line up outside polling stations in J&K's Srinagar LS seat

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Srinagar, May 13 (IANS) Polling started on Monday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency as voter lines were seen in many polling stations, including the old city area of Srinagar city.

Braving an overcast sky, voters came out in large numbers in Pulwama, Kangan, Ganderbal, Budgam, and Pampore areas to exercise their franchise.

This is the first election in Kashmir after 1987 when the separatists have not called for a poll boycott and even in the once perceived hotbed of separatist sentiment in the Valley, the old city areas of Srinagar, voters came out without any fear to cast their vote.

Authorities have made elaborate security arrangements to provide a fearless voting environment to the people.

Despite a large number of security forces deployed in the entire constituency, there is no tension or fear anywhere in the constituency.

At many places, smiling voters exchanged greetings with the deployed troopers with some even displaying their fingers to show the indelible ink mark.

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There are 17,47,810, including 8,75,938 males, 8,71,808 women, and 64 third-gender voters in the constituency.

The Election Commission has set up 2,135 polling stations, including 1,004 urban and 1,131 rural, in the constituency.

There are 24 candidates in the fray in this constituency. Although the main contest is between Syed Ruhullah Mehdi of the National Conference (NC), Waheed ur Rehman Parra of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and Mohd. Ashraf Mir of the J&K Apni Party.

The voting started at 7 a.m. and will end at 6 p.m.

–IANS

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Drug mafia targeting educational institutes, affluent youth in Rajasthan

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Jaipur, May 30 (IANS) Rajasthan these days is making news for drug menace as peddlers from different states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha are expanding their racket in the desert state by luring students and youngsters.

Police officers told IANS that drug consumption has become a sort of status symbol for many students studying in the elite educational institutes of the state, and hence places where such youth from affluent families hang out are being raided.

On May 23, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) under a campaign called ‘Operation Shankar’ in Jodhpur seized 850 kg ganja valued at around Rs 4.30 crore after a tip-off.

NCB Joint Director Ghanshyam Soni said that the seized consignment was meant for supply in prominent educational institutes such as the NIFT, IIT, NLW, FDDI, etc. in Jodhpur.

Soni said that many students studying in premier institutions in the state have fallen prey to drugs.

The NCB official also said that there was a talk with the directors of various institutions, in which they expressed concern over students getting caught in the clutches of drugs.

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Stating that selling drugs around national-level institutions is a matter of concern, Soni said the NCB is running a campaign against it and that no drug supplier or drug mafia will be spared.

He also confirmed that the NCB team had received reliable information that ganja was being consumed at hookah bars and higher educational institutions in Jodhpur and hence the raid was conducted.

Meanwhile, officials said that cases of drug smuggling have also been registered in other educational cities like Kota and Sikar, numbering 392 and 235 cases, respectively.

Jodhpur, as per the officials, also seems to be emerging as a hub of drug manufacturing as synthetic drugs like MDMA are being supplied from the villages in the district.

Raids were conducted at two such factories where a large quantity of MDMA and the equipment used to make it were seized.

The main dealer involved in this racket is believed to be a drug peddler named Prashant Patil from Pune, on whose orders MDMA was manufactured in Jodhpur, said officials.

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Meanwhile, the Mumbai Police raided a factory in Jodhpur and seized drugs worth Rs 200 crore on May 12, in which a person named Hukmaram was arrested. The accused was running a drug factory in the garb of a service centre.

On April 27, an NCB team and the Gujarat ATS seized drugs worth about Rs 230 crore from towns located in Rajasthan and Gujarat and arrested 13 people, including six from Rajasthan.

The NCB Joint Director said, “Ganja is also being supplied to Rajasthan from Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. The ganja seized in Jodhpur also came from these states. Vehicles were changed at many places on the way to Jodhpur. The NCB is now trying to break this chain. The bureau is also keeping an eye on Nagaur Road.”

–IANS

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Woman who disguised as courier agent to attempt robbery at neighbour's house arrested

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New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) A 38-year-old woman, who disguised herself as a courier agent to rob her neighbour, was arrested in Delhi’s Dwarka area, the police said, adding that she used to work in the Civil Defence department but currently was unemployed.

The police have also recovered a courier bag, one toy gun, hand gloves, two ropes, one bag, and a helmet used in committing a crime from her possession.

According to the police, on May 23, a complaint was received at the Chhawla police station at around 11:30 a.m. regarding an attempted robbery.

The victim reported that while she was at home, a person disguised as a courier agent arrived and requested a pen to sign the delivery paper.

As the victim went inside her house to fetch the pen, the accused followed her and suddenly grabbed her.

“The attacker began striking her multiple times with a toy pistol, causing her face to bleed. The attacker had covered their face with a towel, wore a helmet, and had gloves on. The victim started shouting for help, which prompted neighbours to arrive, causing the assailant to flee the scene,” said a senior police officer.

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The police team collected intelligence and reviewed CCTV footage from Somesh Vihar to Chhawla to identify the suspect.

“However, on May 24, a police team received information that the criminal was hiding in a vacant house in Somesh Vihar. Based on the CCTV footage, the accused, Rekha, was arrested,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Dwarka) Ankit Singh.

During questioning, Rekha revealed that she had previously worked in Civil Defence but was unemployed and struggling to manage her household expenses and rent.

To earn money quickly, she devised a plan to rob her wealthy neighbour, Chandra Kanta, who lived alone during the day.

Rekha planned to murder Chandra Kanta and steal a significant amount of money and jewellery.

On May 23, Rekha disguised herself as a courier agent, covering her face and head with a cloth and helmet.

“She (Rekha) arrived at Chandra Kanta’s house around 11 a.m. and rang the doorbell. When Chandra Kanta opened the door, Rekha asked for a pen. As Chandra Kanta went inside her house to get the pen, Rekha followed her and attacked, hitting her several times with the toy pistol,” the DCP added.

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Chandra Kanta screamed for help, causing Rekha to flee, fearing being caught.

“Rekha then hid in a vacant house, changed out of her disguise on the stairs of a neighbouring house, and left the items used in the crime there before returning home,” the DCP said.

Later, she returned to Chandra Kanta’s house, mingled with the people, and gathered information about the incident to avoid suspicion.

“Rekha confessed that she committed the crime to manage her household expenses by robbing her wealthy neighbour, Chandra Kanta, who lived alone during the day,” the DCP added.

–IANS

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Woman strangled to death by husband in Delhi

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New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) A 22-year-old woman was allegedly strangled to death by her husband in south Delhi over some dispute on Wednesday, police said, adding that a manhunt has been initiated to apprehend the accused.

The deceased was identified as Pooja, a resident of Rajokri.

Police said that at 12.38 p.m., a police control room (PCR) call regarding a murder was received at Vasant Kunj South police station and a police team rushed to the spot to find a woman dead in the house.

Initial enquiry revealed that Pooja and Abhishek had got married a month ago – the second marriage for both of them, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Southwest, Rohit Meena said.

Abhishek had no children from his first marriage, while Pooja had a son from her first marriage. “Prima facie, a matrimonial dispute seems the reason for murder. From the initial examination of the dead body, it has been found that the death is due to strangulation,” he said.

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“The FSL and Crime teams have inspected the spot. A case is being registered under appropriate sections and multiple teams are working to nab the husband. Further investigation is underway,” the DCP added.

–IANS

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Man arrested over hoax bomb threats in Hyderabad

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Hyderabad, May 30 (IANS) Hyderabad Police on Wednesday arrested a man who allegedly made a call about a bomb being planted in Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Praja Bhavan and Nampally Court.

Shiva Kumar, a resident of Chikkadpally area in the city, was taken into custody after police traced the caller.

The accused had called the police control room that a bomb would go off soon at Praja Bhavan.

Police teams including dog squads and bomb disposal squads thoroughly checked the building, which is the official residence of Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka. It turned out to be a hoax call.

The police control room had received another call from the same mobile number about a bomb being planted in Nampally Court. Police had conducted checks at the court building.

The accused had switched off the phone after making the two calls. Police launched an investigation and on Wednesday identified the caller.

The accused reportedly told police that he made the calls in an inebriated condition after a fight with his wife. He was previously involved in a bike theft case.

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The police were conducting further investigation.

–IANS

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Progressive bodies to stage protest against Prajwal Revanna at his native district

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Bengaluru, May 29 (IANS) Progressive organisations in Karnataka have given a ‘Hassan Chalo’ call on Thursday to protest against absconding JD-S MP Prajwal Revanna, the prime accused in the alleged sex video scandal in Karnataka.

Hasaan is the native district of Prajwal Revanna, who is also the sitting JD-S Lok Sabha MP from there.

Activists attached to more than 113 organisations headed towards Hassan from across the state, demanding stern action against Prajwal Revanna, who’s is the grandson of former Prime Minister H.D. Revanna.

The organisers have erected a huge platform in Hassan where more than 10,000 people are expected to gather by Thursday.

Prajwal Revanna’s uncle and JD-S state President H.D. Kumaraswamy has claimed that the agitation is politically motivated.

Meenakshi Baali, the President of State Janawadi Mahila Organisation, said on Wednesday that H.D. Deve Gowda’s family is known for issuing false statements and lies.

Thousands of people are going to participate in the agitation demanding justice for the victims of the alleged sex video scandal, she said.

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She also said that forces in the state are making an attempt to prevent people from attending the agitation, but they are not going to succeed.

Author and senior counsel Bhanu Mustaq said that Prajwal Revanna took oath under the Constitution, yet he committed atrocities on women who had come to him seeking his assistance.

“This is an unforgivable act. This development needs to be condemned by the civil society. This agitation is being organised to demand the arrest of Prajwal Revanna,” she said.

Meanwhile, Prajwal Revanna has said that he will return to India on May 31 and present himself before the authorities.

Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara has said that Prajwal Revanna will be arrested once he lands in the Bengaluru airport.

–mka

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