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39 abducted Indians could be in Badush jail: Sushma

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New Delhi, July 17: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Sunday that 39 Indians, who went missing in Iraq in 2014, could be in a prison in Badush and more clarity will emerge once the area is cleared of fighting.

The minister told family members of the men, who had been abducted by terror group Islamic State from Mosul, about information received by Minister of State for External Affairs, V. K. Singh, who had gone to Iraq.

Minister of State for External Affairs M. J. Akbar was also present during the briefing.

Sushma Swaraj said that soon after the Iraqi Prime Minister announced that Mosul had been liberated from the ISIS, she asked V.K. Singh to go to Erbil and personally find out where the missing Indians were and how they can be rescued.

“I also asked Akbar to talk to the Foreign Minister of Iraq. I personally talked to Foreign Ministers of those nations which could help us in finding them (missing Indians),” she said.

Sushma Swaraj said that Singh returned from Erbil on Saturday where he found out that East Mosul had been completely liberated from ISIS but the area was restricted for security reasons.

“But fighting is going on in West Mosul especially in Badush,” she said.

She said one crucial information that he received from a senior official was that the Indians were first employed for construction of a hospital and were later moved to farming.

“They were later sent to a jail in Badush after which there was no contact with them by Iraq’s intelligence agencies.

“Only after the area is cleared in Badush can we get more information about their location and their well being,” she said, adding that she personally gave that information to the families of the missing Indians.

Sushma Swaraj added that the Iraqi Foreign Minister would be visiting India on July 24 and would provide further information.

IANS

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Rs 3.5 lakh crore needed for internal security in 2020-25: MHA

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New Delhi, April (IANS) The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday said it had informed the 15th Finance Commission about its budgetary requirement of more than Rs 3.5 lakh crore for internal security and other responsibilities between 2020-25.

“The budgetary requirement is meant for internal security, Central Armed Police Forces, police modernisation, border security, disaster management and Union Territories,” a Ministry statement said.

A detailed memorandum will be submitted later to the panel, it said.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting with Finance Commission Chairman N.K. Singh on Thursday whereing the Ministry made a presentation to say that its responsibilities vis-a-vis diverse and varied internal security challenges have increased, even though ‘public order’ and ‘police’ are constitutional responsibilities of the states.

“The capabilities of the states alone are not adequate to meet the threats of insurgency and terrorism which have national and international links,” the Ministry added.

The MHA said it also faced other challenges like improving the sense of security among the public, making vulnerable sections like women and children safer, meeting cyberthreats and providing immediate relief and rehabilitation during natural disasters.

There is a steady improvement in the overall security situation in the hinterland, northeastern states and Left-Wing Extremism-affected areas due to concerted efforts of the Centre and the states but relentless efforts are needed to consolidate the gains, the MHA said.

The Finance Commission was briefed on various schemes being implemented by the MHA, which require continued capital expenditure, such as modernisation of police forces crime and criminal tracking network and systems, immigration, visa, foreigners registration and tracking, coastal security, border infrastructure, and integrated check posts.

Capital investment is also required to make appropriate use of new technologies for cybersecurity and border management, it said.

IANS

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Is operating ratio of Indian Railways the worst: Chidambaram

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New Delhi, April 21: Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Saturday asked if the operating ratio of Indian Railways is the worst and added that if the ratio is close to 100 per cent or has exceeded it, that indicated a “comprehensive failure of management.”

He also asked if it was true that the accounts are being “dressed” to show an Operating Ratio just a little less than 100 per cent.

“What is the Operating Ratio of Indian Railways in 2017-18? Is it the worst ratio in recent years,” Chidambaram tweeted.

“Is it correct that the true Operating Ratio has exceeded 100 per cent? Is it correct that the accounts are being ‘dressed’ to show an Operating Ratio just a little less than 100 per cent,” he asked.

“If the Operating Ratio is close to 100 per cent or has exceeded 100 per cent, that indicates a comprehensive failure of management of the Indian Railways,” Chidambaram said.

IANS

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No parole for mafia don Abu Salem to get married

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A file photo of gangster Abu Salem being taken to jail after a Mumbai court sentenced him life imprisonment in the Pradeep Jain murder case in 2015.

Mumbai, April 21: The Maharashtra government on Saturday rejected an application by incarcerated mafia don Abu Salem seeking 45 days parole for getting married, official sources said here.

Among the grounds cited by the authorities are that parole is not permitted for those accused or convicted of terror charges under the revised parole rules of the Maharashtra government in 2016, an official, who declined to be identified, told IANS.

Abu Salem, who is currently undergoing life imprisonment in Taloja Central Jail, Navi Mumbai, had applied in March to the Konkan Divisional Commissioner for parole for his second marriage with Sayed Bahar Kauser alias Heena.

The marriage was scheduled for May 5 in Mumbai and he had also provided the names and details of two of his cousins who were willing to stand guarantee for him.

He planned to stay temporarily at the Mumbai home of his prospective wife Heena during the parole duration.

In his application, Abu Salem cited how he was in jail continuously since the past more than 12 years without stepping out on parole/furlough even once.

In September 2017, Abu Salem – a close confidante of absconding mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar – was convicted and sentenced to a life sentence for his role in the March 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai which killed 257 and wounded over 700 others.

IANS

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