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Bengal parties accuse Centre of using CBI as ‘political tool’

The CBI took a new turn on Monday with the agency arresting its Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar following bribery allegations against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, the number 2 who is at war with Director Alok Verma.



Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata, Oct 23 (IANS) Amid the bickering at the top in the CBI that saw the agency arrest one of its senior officials, anti-BJP parties in West Bengal on Monday accused the Modi government of reducing the agency into a “political tool”.

The internal war within the CBI took a new turn on Monday with the agency arresting its Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar following bribery allegations against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, the number 2 who is at war with Director Alok Verma.

“If such is the situation in the country’s top most independent investigating authority, then who will the common people rely on? If the government attempts to take control of an independent agency, such a situation is bound to arise,” West Bengal Congress President Somen Mitra said.

The state’s ruling Trinamool Congress, whose leaders were previously interrogated and arrested by the agency in several cases including the Saradha ponzi scam, termed the chain of events within the CBI as “laughable”.

“Those who raise questions on others’ integrity and credibility are found to be corrupt themselves. I saw a news headline that said CBI raids CBI office. It is like a thief is going to catch another thief. There is nothing more laughable than this,” Trinamool Congress MP and party supremo Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee said.

Left leaders also accused the BJP of using CBI for its political benefit.

“CBI is being used as a political tool. It is quite evident if you see the progress in the Saradha and Narada probe. The CBI sends notices to the accused when elections approach and then goes off to sleep when the elections get over,” CPI-M MP Mohammad Selim said.

The arrest of CBI official Kumar on Monday comes a day after the agency registered an FIR against Asthana and several others for allegedly accepting bribes to settle a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, who is facing multiple cases of money laundering and corruption.

The CBI has alleged that bribes were given at least five times in December 2017 and October 2018.


9 terror suspects arrested in Maharashtra



Mumbai, Jan 23: Ahead of Republic Day, the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Wednesday arrested nine youths suspected of terror links and plans to create disruptions in the state.

On receipt of reliable input about a group aligned with proscribed international terrorist organisation ISIS, ATS Maharashtra conducted searches and seizures at 5 different locations in Mumbra, Thane Dist and Aurangabad on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday.

Following the searches, the suspects were detained and
brought to Mumbai since for questioning.

Four were held up from Mumbra, the rest were caught from Aurangabad and have been brought to Mumbai since for questioning.

The ATS sleuths claimed they have found certain objectionable material on the social media accounts of one of the detenus and now the investigators were scanning the phones, laptops, emails, social network sites and other details of all those suspects.

Certain chemicals, powder, mobile phones, hard drives SIM cards, acid bottle, sharp knives etc seized during raids.

In this regard, a case has been registered under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 and further investigation underway.


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PM Modi inaugurates Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose museum at Red Fort



PM Modi

New Delhi, Jan 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated three new museums inside the Red Fort compound including one on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army (INA).

The first museum shows artefacts related to Bose and the INA, including a wooden chair and sword used by Netaji, medals, badges, uniforms and more. The INA trials were held in the Red Fort.

Modi also unveiled the ‘Yaad-e-Jallian’ museum on Jallianwala Bagh
massacre in 1919.

It will also showcase the heroism, valour and sacrifices made by Indian soldiers during World War-1.

The third museum is dedicated to the historical narrative of the 1857 War of Independence, which highlights the valour and sacrifices made by Indians in the first war of independence against the British.

The museums have been designed to provide a glimpse to visitors with photographs, paintings, newspaper clippings, ancient public records, audio and video clips, animation and multimedia


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India shares Kartarpur Corridor crossing point coordinates with Pakistan



Raveesh Kumar , MEA

New Delhi, Jan 22 : India on Tuesday shared with Pakistan the coordinates of the Kartarpur Corridor crossing point along the International Border with Pakistan to enable Sikh pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan.

“Pursuant to the decision taken by the government of India on November 22, 2018, to expeditiously realise the long pending proposal to establish Kartarpur Corridor, India has today (Tuesday) shared the coordinates of the zero point (crossing point) of the corridor along the International Border with Pakistan,” said an External Affairs Ministry statement.

“India has also proposed two set of dates, February 26 and March 7, 2019, for the visit of Pakistan delegation to New Delhi to discuss and finalise the modalities so that Indian pilgrims can visit the holy Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the corridor at the earliest,” it stated.

The Union Cabinet in November last year decided to develop the Kartarpur Corridor from Gurdaspur in Punjab to the International Border to facilitate pilgrims’ passage to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan as part of the 550th birth year celebrations of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev, later this year year.

Later that month, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan performed the ground-breaking ceremony to develop the corridor in the presence of Indian Ministers.

According to reports, in December, Pakistan issued 14 key recommendations to India on the Kartarpur Corridor to facilitate visa-free pilgrimage by Indian Sikhs to the holy gurdwara.

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