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Excise policy case: Delhi court to hear Manish Sisodia's bail application on April 15

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New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) A Delhi court on Wednesday said that it will hear, on April 15, the bail application of former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the excise policy-related money laundering case.

Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of Rouse Avenue Court on Wednesday heard arguments from Sisodia’s counsel, who opposed the submissions made by the ED, saying that the probe agency was reiterating arguments previously presented before both the Delhi court and the Supreme Court.

The AAP leader’s judicial custody was extended till April 18 in connection with the money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam.

Last time, the ED had contended that Sisodia and the other accused persons were delaying the trial in the case.

Last week, Sisodia’s bail application was filed by his counsel alleging delay in completing the investigation in the case.

Sisodia’s counsel Mohit Mathur had argued that despite 11 months passing since the investigation concluded, there has been no evidence linking his client to the alleged bribe money.

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He had argued that the alleged proceeds of crime were not proven to cause any loss to the exchequer or private consumers. He had stressed the delay in the trial, stating that the Supreme Court’s order, allowing him to approach the court, is six months old, and the investigation should have been completed by now.

Citing the bail granted to another accused, Benoy Babu, Mathur had argued for Sisodia’s bail, saying that he no longer holds a position of influence. He had also stressed that Sisodia met the triple test for bail, as outlined by the Supreme Court, and urged for a speedy trial.

Mathur further said that Sisodia’s eligibility for bail is established, given the fulfilment of all necessary conditions and the absence of any misuse of liberties, as per the Supreme Court’s guidelines.

Sisodia’s role is being probed by both the ED and the CBI.

Earlier, the CBI counsel had told the court that the investigation was at a critical stage and releasing Sisodia on bail might impede the ongoing probe or lead to his evading justice.

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–IANS

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Haryana STF nabs notorious criminal

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Gurugram, July 13 (IANS) Special Task Force (STF) of the Haryana Police has arrested Rakesh alias Kala Khairmpuria, a notorious criminal wanted for involvement in serious crimes across Haryana and Rajasthan, officials said on Saturday.

STF Chief Simardeep Singh said the accused operated under the alias Kala Khairmpuria and had been evading law enforcement agencies since he jumped parole in 2020.

“Throughout this period, he continued to orchestrate criminal activities initially from within India and after fleeing abroad from countries such as UAE, Armenia and Thailand,” Singh said.

Rakesh entered the crime world in 2014 and was involved in several serious offences like dacoity, robbery, murder, and illegal possession of firearms.

“Rakesh was first convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for a murder in 2015 in Bhadra, District Hanumangarh in Rajasthan. He was sentenced in 2018 and after serving the sentence till 2020, he was released on parole and he never returned,” Singh said.

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During this period, he evaded arrest and further expanded his criminal operations in Haryana and Rajasthan.

He committed another murder in Darauli in Fatehabad district of Haryana in 2021. Kala could not be arrested and was declared a proclaimed offender (PO) in 2023. The Haryana Police also announced Rs 1 lakh on his arrest.

“Utilising a fraudulently acquired passport, Rakesh fled the country in early 2023 and operated his criminal gang from abroad, forging alliances with local gangs and orchestrating violent acts. His affiliations extended to notorious criminal groups such as the Himanshu Bhau Gang and Neeraj Faridpuria Gang, contributing to a crime syndicate responsible for several high-profile crimes including targeted killings and extortion, the STF Chief added.

Notable incidents include the murder of a Sarpanch in Sonipat in December 2023, the firing incident on a famous sweet shop in Gohana in January this year, a murder at Murthal eatery and the shootout at a Burger King outlet in Rajouri Garden, Delhi last month.

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To nab him, the STF carried out a thorough investigation to locate him. During the course of the investigation, STF teams were able to establish and unearth a fake identity on which Kala had got his passport.

Once his identity was established, the teams tracked his travel details and mounted surveillance on the target. After strenuous efforts, he was zeroed in a foreign country.

The STF immediately coordinated with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and also got the relevant Interpol references and notices issued against Kala.

The MHA promptly took cognizance of the matter and coordinated with the various agencies both in India and abroad.

Meanwhile, the STF teams also got his passport, which he had obtained through fraudulent means, revoked. The required legal documents about establishing his identity and criminal record were shared with concerned law enforcement agencies through MHA.

This collaborative effort led to the deportation of Rakesh alias Kala and he was then apprehended by the STF teams.

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The STF Chief said that the arrest of Rakesh sends a resolute message regarding Haryana Police’s unwavering commitment to control crime and maintain law and order in the state.

–IANS

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Parents accuse DPS Dwarka of harassing students after row over outstanding fees

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Parents of at least 20 students of Delhi Public School (DPS) Dwarka have accused the institution of not allowing their children inside classrooms and publishing their wards’ names on its official website over their outstanding fee dues.

According to some parents, the action followed their refusal to pay the revised fee, which, they claim, was increased “without following Directorate of Education (DoE) norms”.

They said that the public display of their children’s names breached their ward’s Fundamental right to personal space and privacy.

“The school maligned the reputation of children calling them defaulters though the parents have paid the complete fee and that too in advance,” a parent said.

Parents accused the school of harassing their children by demanding “unapproved” revised fees. “We have submitted numerous complaints since 2021 but got no relief,” another said.

They also accused the school management of hiring bouncers in 2022 to stop children (who have outstanding fees) from entering the school.

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“They (school management) sent bouncers in school buses so that children cannot board the bus. Teenage girls felt so uncomfortable travelling with bouncers who are more of a threat than a safety,” a parent told IANS.

“The DoE has not taken any concrete action so far… and has continuously failed to get its order implemented. The DoE nominees are not even allowed to enter the school and they just remain mute spectators,” another parent said.

“We are left with no choice but to accept the school atrocities as the matter relates to our children’s future,” said the father of a student, whose name was published on the school’s website.

“We moved the court against the DoE and the school… and the court ordered that parents will have to pay 50 per cent of the revised fee and names which had been struck off from the rolls should be immediately restored immediately but the school has no respect for the court order either,” another parent said.

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“It seems that the Chairman and Vice Chairman (of the school) are so powerful that even no court or no department can touch them and they can do whatever they want,” he claimed.

–IANS

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Left calls 12-hour Tripura shutdown on Sunday to protest murder of CPI-M Zilla Parishad candidate

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Agartala, July 13 (IANS) Tripura’s opposition CPI-M-led Left Front called a 12-hour statewide shutdown on Sunday to protest against the murder of a CPI-M candidate for the South Tripura Zilla Parishad in the August 8 three-tier Gram Panchayats elections.

The Congress has expressed its support.

Tripura Left Front convener Narayan Kar alleged that Badal Shil was critically injured in a deadly attack by ruling BJP-backed assailants on Friday at Rajnagar in South Tripura district. The CPI-M leader, after preliminary treatment in the local hospital, was shifted to the government-run Govind Ballabh Pant Medical College and Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Saturday afternoon, Kar told the media on Saturday night.

More than a dozen Left party leaders and members were injured across the state in the BJP attacks after the panchayat election schedule was announced on July 10.

CPI-M Tripura state Secretary Jitendra Chaudhury said that the Left parties would not organise any picketing on Sunday in support of the state-wide shutdown and appealed to the people to spontaneously observe the dawn-to-dusk strike.

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Congress Working Committee member and former Minister Sudip Roy Barman said that his party would support the Left Front-sponsored shutdown on Sunday.

However, BJP spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjee said that his party would strongly oppose the shutdown as it would disturb the normal situation of the state ahead of the panchayat elections.

Elections to the three-tier Gram Panchayats in Tripura will be held on August 8 and the votes will be counted on August 12. Amidst sporadic incidents of political violence, candidates of various political parties are submitting their nominations in 370 seats in 606 Gram Panchayats, 423 seats in 35 Panchayat Samitis, and 116 seats in eight Zilla Parishads.

–IANS

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Sajad Lone terms amendments as systematic disempowerment in J&K

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Srinagar, July 13 (IANS) J&K Peoples Conference President Sajad Lone on Saturday voiced strong opposition to the recently passed amendments, characterising them as part of a continued systematic disempowerment of the people of J&K.

“The amendments passed yesterday are part of a continued systematic disempowerment of people of J&K. Another move to disempower and humiliate the people of J&K,” he wrote in X.

He added that these amendments even violate the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act – 2019.

“Yet again a humble appeal. Please don’t strengthen the perception of being at war with your own people in J&K,” Lone said.

–IANS

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Assam flood situation continues to ease up, 8.40 lakh people affected

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Guwahati, July 13 (IANS) The overall flood situation in Assam further improved on Saturday while one more death was reported from Dhemaji district and 8.40 lakh people remain affected in 21 of the state’s 35 districts, Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials said.

According to ASDMA officials, as of Saturday, at least 91 people died due to the current flood in 23 districts and around 10 more people died due to landslides and other calamities after the monsoon rain started early last month.

The highest number of deaths (22) were reported in Cachar district.

The number of affected people has come down from over 24.20 lakh in 30 districts as of July 5, the ASDMA officials said.

Flood water also submerged over 29,386 hectares of crop area in 1,705 villages in 21 districts while over 5.03 lakh domestic animals have also been badly affected by the flood.

Of the 21 flood-affected districts, Dhubri, Cachar, Dhemaji, Darrang, Goalpara, Golaghat, Nagaon, Sivasagar, and South Salmara are the worst hit.

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The Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger level at Neamatighat, Tezpur, and Dhubri, while Burhidihing, Disang, and Kushiyara rivers are also flowing above the danger level in three areas.

Over 36,000 people including women are sheltered in the 221 relief camps set up by the district administrations, while 52 relief distribution centres are functioning in different districts.

The flood water also inundated the vast areas of Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR), where wild animals were also affected. The Forest and Wildlife Department workers have so far rescued 135 wild animals while more than 180 animals, including deer, rhinos, and hog deer, have drowned in flood waters.

–IANS

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