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39 Indians kidnapped in Iraq are alive,Efforts on to trace Judith, says Sushma

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Judith D'Souza-wefornews
The 39 Indians, kidnapped by the dreaded Islamic State (IS) in Iraq in June 2014, are still alive, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said, dismissing reports about their killing and insisting that efforts to trace them are on.While simultaneously claiming that Modi government was making efforts to trace Judith D’Souza, who has been abducted in Afghanistan,
In her annual press conference, Swaraj said the government was was trying its best to ensure safe release of Judith D’Souza, an aid worker and resident of Kolkata, who was abducted by suspected militants in Kabul on June 9.
“In the last two years, I have not abandoned even a single Indian national, whether he is alone or in group or in captive,” Sushma Swaraj said in her annual press conference here.

“It is my duty to save every indian whether he is stranded or captive be it Prem Kumar (a Jesuit priest who was released from Afghanistan last year), Judith or 39 Indians who are in captive. My duty is to bring them all to India,” she added.

Judith, 40, working with NGO Aga Khan Development Network was kidnapped earlier this month while she was returning home after a dinner at a friend’s place in the Qala-e-Fatullah area of Kabul.

Hailing from Kolkata, she had had been working with the NGO in Kabul as a senior technical adviser since July 2015.

Answering a query on 39 Indians missing from Iraq for the past two years, Sushma Swaraj said she had no confirmation that they had been killed.

“In fact we have been informed that they are alive, apart from the statement by Harjeet Masih (who claimed to be the only hostage to have survived after being abducted along with 40 others).

“Even the relatives have rejected the statement of Harjeet Masih. One of the relatives stated that he spoke to his brother on June 21 (2014). According to Harjeet Masih all were killed on June 15 then how can one speak on June 21?” she asked.

Sushma Swaraj further said: “I dont give false hopes. If I had the confirmation that they were killed, then I would have definitely apologised to the families and would have told them that they were killed.

“When I am saying that they are alive, then I have a huge responsibility to find them. I have been searching them for the past two years. We got information about they being alive from two heads of state. It is my duty to search them and I’ll do so. It will be unjust if I say that they have been killed.”

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Chhota Shakeel’s brother Anwar Babu Sheikh detained in Dubai

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Chhota Shakeel

Mumbai, Dec 15 : The D-company received a major blow as  Gangster Chhota Shakeel’s brother Anwar Shaikh, who is wanted in Mumbai for 1993 Mumbai serials blasts, was arrested from Abu Dhabi Airport on Friday.Chhota Shakeel is considered the trusted right hand of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar.

Sheikh, who is wanted in Mumbai and Thane in connection with several offences including the March 1993 Mumbai serials blasts, was detained and questioned by the Dubai Police at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Among other things, Sheikh is wanted for allegedly co-ordinating the Mumbai serial blasts from a location abroad.

After the Mumbai serial blasts red corner notice has been issued against him  and Indian authorities are trying to seek Anwar’s custody.

After search and interrogation, the Dubai Police are understood to have recovered a Pakistani passport from Sheikh, raising questions on his extradition to India.

Both Indian and Pakistani embassies in the UAE are said to be in touch with the Dubai authorities seeking his deportation to their respective countries.

 

Mumbai and Thane police sources said that Sheikh is linked to Pakistan’s ISI and was involved in several terror acts in India before he fled this country.

Earlier this year, Thane Anti Extortion Cell chief Pradeep Sharma had nabbed couple of persons for illegally keeping AK-56 Army assault rifles in their Mumbai suburban home in Goregaon.

 

 

 

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Priority is to eradicate terrorism from J&K: Governor Satya Pal Malik

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Jammu, Dec 15 : Asserting that terrorism prevails in the “minds” and “not in guns”, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik chaired review meeting of security-related issues at Raj Bhavan in Jammu  on Saturday and said his priority is to eliminate terrorists but to eradicate terrorism in the state.

The Governor, who was here as the chief guest at Sarvoday Inter College in Jawli village, said the whole scenario in Jammu and Kashmir is “different” now.

Malik expressed grief over the loss of 7 civilian lives following an encounter in Pulwama today.

” Arrangements will be done for IAS, KAS, NEET, JEE coachings. Additional 1,000 cr will be given for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. In health, we’re giving Rs 100 Crore for equipment & Rs350 cr for building. Rs 300 cr to be given for balancing work in Power,” Malik said.

“Budget doubled for agriculture, horticulture&animal husbandry.For education, we’ve approved a new University in Leh named Ladakh University. 40 new colleges will be established in the state in Rs 250 cr. Benches, desks, drinking water will be provided in all schools,” Governor said.

” Our total budget is of Rs89,000 crore.Deficit is in control.Wasteful expenditure has been stopped. Development Expenditure is highest at approx Rs10,000 crore. We’re giving Rs130 cr to Tourism dept which is an addition to Rs2000 cr from PM’s Development Package,” Governor said.Senior officers of J&K and of Central Police Forces were present in the meeting.

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Kushwaha meets Ahmed Patel, set to join grand alliance

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New Delhi, Dec 15 : Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) leader Upendra Kushwaha met Congress Treasurer Ahmed Patel here on Saturday amid indications that the former’s party will join the grand alliance in Bihar soon.

RLSP spokesperson Madhav Anand told that Patel came to meet Kushwaha at his residence and they discussed political issues concerning Bihar.

He said there was a possibility of Kushwaha also meeting Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in the coming days.

Party sources said that an announcement of RLSP joining the grand alliance is expected soon.

Kushwaha had resigned as a Minister in the Narendra Modi government on December 10 and his party had also quit the ruling National Democratic Alliance.

Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress and former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular (HAM-S) are part of the grand alliance in Bihar.

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