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DDCA official sought sex for selection: Kejriwal

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New Delhi, Dec 29 : Escalating his attack on the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused one of its officials of seeking sex for selecting cricketers and said he had no qualms about calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “coward” and a “psychopath”.

Kejriwal said Modi, at whose order the CBI raided his office on December 15, was ready to befriend hostile Pakistan, but won’t let the Delhi chief minister work.

In an interview to NDTV, Kejriwal, whose government has set up a Commission of Inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the DDCA, said sexual favours were being sought for selecting players.

“You will be surprised to know that a senior journalist phoned me and said that his son, who plays cricket, was selected,” Kejriwal told NDTV.

“But his son’s name was not there in the list. And can you believe it… the next day his wife gets an SMS that said ‘come to my house and your son’s name will be there (in the list),” he said.

Kejriwal said the journalist was willing to depose once the Commission of Inquiry starts working.

Kejriwal, who said there were more sordid tales in the DDCA which was headed by now union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for many years.

On December 15, the Central Bureau of Investigation raided the third floor of the Delhi Secretariat — also housing the chief minister’s office — in connection with corruption charges against Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar.

However, Kejriwal alleged that the investigation agency, which reports to the central government, raided his office too and read the files related to DDCA to save Jaitley.

An incensed Kejriwal had called Modi a psychopath and coward after failing to handle the chief minister politically.

“I don’t regret anything. I accept I use bad language, I speak from the heart,” he said.

Referring to the impromptu stopover of Modi in Pakistan on his counterpart Nawaz Sharif’s birthday, Kejriwal said: “I appeal to you (Modi)… we don’t want any fight. You can befriend Pakistan, yet you won’t let Arvind Kejriwal work.”

He said Modi should decide “whether to make the DDCA inquiry null and void to protect Jaitley”.

The AAP leader has said massive bungling happened under Jaitley’s nose and he should resign and face the probe.

Refuting the allegations, Jaitley filed a defamation suit against Kejriwal and other Aam Aadmi Party leaders.

“Mr. Jaitley was repeatedly told many times about the corruption. He was president for 14 years and a scam took place on such a large scale. The moment we said there is corruption in the DDCA, Mr. Jaitley filed a defamation suit against us.”

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Delhi air not fit for morning walks: Met

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Delhi Air pollution

New Delhi, Nov 21: It was a misty morning in the national capital on Wednesday with pollution levels ‘very poor’ as the Met noted presence of smoke in the air calling it “not supportive” for walking or jogging.

The minimum temperature fell over past the 24 hours, with Wednesday recording 12.4 degree Celsius, the season’s average, against 13.5 degrees on Tuesday.

The maximum temperature was likely to hover around 28 degrees Celsius.

“There will be mixture of smoke and haze. In the morning, the sky will remain clear but later it may get partly cloudy,” an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official told IANS.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was 391 at 10 a.m., merely 10 points from being ‘severe’, on a scale of 0 to 500.

According to the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the Air Quality Index (AQI) data on Wednesday at Delhi’s Lodhi Road area was recorded in ‘poor’ category.

Major pollutants PM 2.5 is at 273 (poor category) and PM 10 at 266 (poor category).

The humidity also remained high at 93 per cent in the morning, making it difficult for pollutants to disperse.

The national capital faces westerly and southwesterly winds, which being moist were also not supportive of pollution dispersion.

The average presence of particle pollutants, across 37 areas of Delhi during the morning hours were on the verge of ‘severe’ category.

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5 killed, 9 injured as car falls from Jindal Bridge in Hisar

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Chandigarh, Nov 21: Five persons were killed and nine others injured in Hisar town of Haryana on Wednesday when a speeding car ran over two men sleeping on the roadside and then fell from a bridge, police said.

The out of control car had first hit another car on the Jindal bridge before running over the two sleeping labourers from Bihar, a police officer said.

It had three occupants when it fell from the bridge, killing all on board.

The accident happened after traffic was allowed along one-way on the bridge causing congestion, as work was going on in the other part, the police officer said.

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Ahmedabad court frames sedition charges against Hardik

The Gujarat High Court had earlier dropped charges under IPC Section 121 (A) pertaining to “waging war against the state,a which could attract death penalty.

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Hardik Patel

Ahmedabad, Nov 21 : The Ahmedabad Sessions Court here on Tuesday framed sedition charges against firebrand Patidar agitation spearhead Hardik Patel and two of his former associates in connection with alleged rioting after a massive Patel rally in Ahmedabad on August 25, 2015.

Sessions Judge D P Mahida framed the charges under Sections 124 (A) (sedition), 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) and others of the Indian Penal Code against Hardik Patel, 25, and his then close aides Dinesh Bambhaniya and Chirag Patel. All the three were out on bail in the sedition case filed by Ahmedabad crime branch in January, 2016.

Chirag Patel later joined the ruling BJP while Dinesh Bambhaniya quit the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, though never joined any political party.

The court fixed January 29, 2019, as the next date of hearing when the trial on the sedition charges against the trio would begin.

The Gujarat High Court had earlier dropped charges under IPC Section 121 (A) pertaining to “waging war against the state,a which could attract death penalty.

The framing of charges got delayed as Hardik Patel was not present in the court and was away to attend a social function. The court rejected his application for absence and threatened to issue an arrest warrant if he failed to turn up, prompting him to immediately reach the court. He was attending an OBC convention.

Dinesh was arrested in the morning and presented in the court as he had remained absent from the court several times in the past during hearings. Chirag Patel was duly present.

All the three unanimously pleaded not-guilty against the charges framed.

According to the chargesheet, Hardik and his aides, who were part of the PAAS then, were allegedly involved in inciting the Patel community youths to resort to violence as part of their conspiracy to put undue pressure on the government to accept their demand of reservation to their community under the OBC category.

Going by the allegations, inflammatory messages and rumours were spread by the accused and resulted in large-scale riots across Gujarat, which forced the police to impose curfew in several parts, as people resorted to stone pelting, arson and damaging public property for almost four days, the charge-sheet alleged.

The chargesheet claimed that the police was forced to open fire at different places in which 14 Patel youths were killed.

The police also attached call detail records, transcripts of calls intercepted, CDs containing video and audio clips, forensic reports of mobile phones of Patel leaders, Hardik’s speech at the mega rally and statements of 502 witnesses.

Meanwhile, the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday granted bail to Alpesh Kathiriya, a close aide of Hardik Patel, in the Ahmedabad sedition case. Alpesh, who had been in jail for the last eight months, but was not released immediately as the police subsequently detained him in connection with a separate sedition case in case.

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