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Amit Shah orders probe into attack on JP Nadda’s convoy in WB

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Hours after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president JP Nadda’s convoy was attacked on Thursday in West Bengal’s Diamond Harbour to attend a party event, Home Minister Amit Shah ordered an investigation and asked West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar for a detailed report on law and order in the state.

He also called for two reports from the state administration within 12 hours as the BJP alleged that the state had slipped into complete lawlessness and anarchy.

The attackers, standing at both side of the road, reportedly hurled stones at Nadda’s motorcade, alleged BJP’s West Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh. BJP’s national secretary and party’s chief observer in West Bengal, Kailash Vijayvargiya’s car was also at the receiving end of stone-pelting who shared a video on his official Twitter handle of stones being tossed at his car, leaving window panes and the front of the car damaged.

“On our way to Diamond Harbour, TMC supporters blocked the road and pelted Naddaji’s vehicle and other cars in the convoy with stones. This only shows the true colour of the TMC,” Ghosh said as quoted by India Today.

Nadda’s convoy came under attack, allegedly from supporters of WB’s ruling TMC, around 60 km from state capital Kolkata. Nadda was on his way to a meeting of party workers in Diamond Harbour, which is the parliamentary constituency of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.

“If I have reached here for the meeting, it’s due to Ma Durga’s grace,” said Nadda adding that he was unhurt because he was travelling in a bulletproof car but other BJP leaders, Kailash Vijayvargiya and Mukul Roy, were injured. Some journalists were pushed and manhandled, according to PTI.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed the attack was staged by the BJP accusing the saffron party of resorting to drama to malign her government ahead of the assembly polls next year.

“BJP is creating a new Hindu dharma. It is a hateful dharma. This is how Hitler became who he was. Narendra Modi babu’s sarkar only creates drama, creates its own incident and presents in video, circulates to media and media can’t say anything or question them. Nautanki is going on. They will say Pakistan is attacking us, Nepal, Israel,” said Banerjee.

“Every day they (BJP activists) are coming out (for rallies) with firearms. They are slapping themselves and blaming it on the Trinamool Congress. Just think of the situation. They are roaming around with the BSF, CRPF, Army, CISF….then why are you so scared?” she asked.

She said there would be a police inquiry but questioned if there was a provocation or a conspiracy. She also said the BJP had not asked for security for Nadda who has Z-category protection.

The attack comes a day after Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh wrote to the Home Minister raising concerns about Nadda’s security after he was shown black flags in Kolkata yesterday.

“Bengal has descended into an era of tyranny, anarchy and darkness under the Trinamool rule. The manner in which political violence has been institutionalized and brought to the extreme in West Bengal under TMC (Trinamool) rule is sad and worrying,” Amit Shah tweeted.

The Home Minister added: “The central government is taking this attack very seriously. The Bengal government will have to answer to the peace-loving people of the state for this sponsored violence.”

Nadda, who is on a two-day tour of West Bengal to see party’s preparation for the 2021 Assembly polls in West Bengal, landed in Kolkata on Wednesday. He was greeted by protestors with a black flag during his first event of the Bengal visit.

On his way to inaugurate the party’s election control room at Hastings in Kolkata, Nadda faced the heat of unknown protestors. They were reportedly against the three new farm laws introduced by the BJP government at the Centre.

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Lawyers demand arrest of BJP MLA, to lock courts in 22 districts of western UP on March 4

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In support of their demand of arresting of the accused in the suicide case of a lawyer of Meerut in which BJP MLA from Hastinapur Dinesh Khatik was also named, lawyers of 22 districts in western UP have decided to lock the courts in these districts on March 4.

Lawyers of Meerut have been agitating for the past 15 days to pursue their demand of the arresting of the accused in the suicide case of a senior lawyer Omkar Tomar who was also the General Secretary of Bar Association in Meerut. The accused include BJP MLA from Hastinapur Dinesh Khatik whose name was also mentioned by the deceased lawyer in his suicide note, claimed the sources.

Tomar had committed suicide on February 13 at his residence in Ishapuram Colony of Ganga Nagar police station but the lawyers had to surround the Ganga Nagar police station and jam the Delhi-Pauri highway for more than 7 hours to get their FIR lodged. Since then police action is still awaited.

Meerut Bar Àssociation’s Secretary Sachin Choudhary said that on this issue a meeting of lawyers was held here on Monday in which it was decided that they would intensify the agitation to push hard their demand of arresting of the accused in the case.

He informed that the courts would be locked in all 22 districts of western UP on March 4 and judicial work would not be allowed to be done on that day. Protests would be done at the kutchery (court) gates on that day he said adding that Lok Adalats would also not be allowed to function in different districts.

“Lok Adalats takes place on different dates in different districts and in Meerut it is scheduled on March 6,” said Chaudhary adding that the lawyers of the respective district would ensure that Lok Adalats are not allowed to function as per the schedule there.

Deceased lawyer Omkar Tomar’s son was married to a girl from Khatauli town of district Muzaffar nagar in the month of February last year. But the marriage could not last long and the couple was separated only a few months later. The girl lodged a case of dowry against the lawyer’s son and family members. MLA Dinesh Khatik was a mediator in this case for settlement. He is charged with harassing and humiliating the lawyer due to which he allegedly committed suicide.

Since then the lawyers have been demanding immediate arresting of the accused including the MLA. They are also sitting on a relay hunger strike inside the premises of the district magistrate office for the past 13 days demanding the arrests. The lawyers had taken out a march to ADG (zone) office and handed over a memorandum to ADG Rajeev Sabharwal. They also formed a human chain at the city’s busiest Begum Bridge crossing after taking out a peaceful march last week.

source: The Statesman

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6 states show Covid surge; India’s total cases touch 1.11 crore

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Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat have shown a surge in new Covid-19 cases contributing to 87.25 per cent of 15,510 fresh infections reported in a day, pushing India’s tally to 1,11,12,241 on Monday, while 106 fatalities mounted the death toll to 1,57,157 the Union Health Ministry said.

India’s total number of active Covid-19 cases was recorded at1,68,627, comprising 1.52 per cent of the total infections, the ministry said highlighting five states that account for 84 per cent of the total active cases in the country.

Maharashtra alone accounts for 46.39 per cent of India’s total active cases, followed by Kerala with 29.49 per cent.

The positivity rate too has been rising gradually, pushing it to 1.52 per cent. As per the Ministry’s data, there are 1,68,627 active cases at present after 11,288 patients were discharged in a day.

The experts have expressed a number of possibilities which could be due to lax attitude of people towards following Covid protocols to “mutations and new strains” causing the surge, sources in the health ministry said.

This trend is alarming as in mid February the average daily new infections oscillated between 9,000 to 12,000 while the deaths were between 78 to 120.

Delhi adds 175 cases, 1 death:Delhi today recorded 175 new coronavirus infections and one fatality, even as the positivity rate rose to 0.44 per cent, according to the Delhi government’s latest health bulletin. The city’s Covid toll climbed to 10,911, the health bulletin said.

The new cases took its coronavirus infection tally to 6,39,464. These cases came out of 39,733 tests conducted the previous day.

The active Covid cases in the national capital rose to 1,404 from 1,335 the previous day, according to the bulletin.

source: The Statesman

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SUV with 20 gelatin sticks found dumped near Mukesh Ambani’s house

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In a shocking development, an SUV filled with at least 20 gelatin sticks was found abandoned outside Antilia, the lavish multi-storied home of billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani, here on Thursday evening, officials said.

“A Scorpio vehicle with 20 gelatin sticks was found near Mukesh Ambani’s Mumbai residence. The Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police is investigating the entire matter and the truth will emerge soon,” Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said late on Thursday evening.

Late in the night, Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP S. Chaitanya said that a letter has been found inside the vehicle, but declined to reveal its content.

“The registration number displayed on the said vehicle (SUV) matches with the registration number of a vehicle in Mukesh Ambani’s security detail. The SUV has been seized by the police for investigation,” Chaitanya said.

The SUV was noticed at around 3 p.m. after which some people from the vicinity alerted the local police, who rushed to the spot and cordoned off the entire area, sending the state government and the police into a tizzy.

Top police officers, including Joint Commissioner of Police Vishwas Nangre-Patil, a team of explosives experts, sniffer dog squad, bomb detection and disposal squad and others rushed to the spot and inspected the SUV in which the gelatin sticks were kept.

Minister of State for Home, Shambhuraj Desai, told mediapersons that he has instructed the top police officers to probe the matter thoroughly and ensure that the culprits are brought to book.

Desai added that if required, the government would consider other measures, including enhancing the security at the Antilia building and also around the Ambani family, even as the entire locality was brought under a high alert.

CCTV footages of the area revealed that the SUV with a couple of unidentified persons in it was driven and parked beside a tree on the Carmichael Road at around 1 a.m.

The suspicious persons seemed to have fled after deserting the SUV there, but strangely, it was noticed only after another 12 hours.

Chaitanya said that the gelatin sticks recovered in the SUV were “not an assembled explosive device” but details of the risks they posed would be known only after a thorough probe.

Efforts are on to trace the persons who parked the vehicle there, from where they came, what were their diabolic motives, who or what were the exact targets etc., officials said.

Antilia and the south Mumbai neighbourhood house the who’s who of the Indian corporate world, top politicians, official or private residences of various bigwigs, government officials, diplomats, people from the glamour industry and others.

source: The Statesman

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