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Pak ISI supports LeT, JeM and Hizbul,says David Headley

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Revealing more startling  facts about ISI ‘s activities in India,terrorist David Coleman Headley said Pakistan’s intelligence agency provided “financial, military and moral support” to terror outfits LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen.

Headley testified  before a court for the second day via video-link from the US, said he was working for Pakistan Army and ISI besides LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) and that he knew about ISI official Brigadier Riyaz being the handler of LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who was key man responsible for the November 26,2008 attacks in Mumbai

He also revealed that LeT had planned an attack at a conference of Indian defence scientists at Taj Mahal Hotel a year before the 26/11 strikes and had even prepared its dummy

But the plan was dropped because of logistical reasons, like difficulty in smuggling  weapons  and failure to know the schedule of the meet, he said

Headley told the Special Judge G A Sanap that he was also working  for ISI and had met many people from the Pakistan Army  and also visited India seven times to scout for targets and  conducted a recce of the famous Siddhivinayak Temple and Naval air station

He said his assessment was that ISI and LeT were coordinating with each other

“ISI provided financial, military and moral support to terror outfits Jaish-e-Mohammed, LeT and Hizbul Mujaideen,” he said and went on to claim that his opinion was formed on the basis of hearsay

When Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam asked him if he was paid by LeT and ISI, he replied in the negative and said, “There is no basis for this question.”

Headley, who had on Monday told the court that he was a “true follower” of LeT, on Tuesday said ISI official Brigadier Riyaz was the handler of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. When shown a photograph of Lakhvi, the LeT operative identified him

The 55-year-old, who has turned approver in the case, said LeT had planned to attack Indian defence scientists at a conference in Taj Mahal Hotel a year before the 26/11 strikes

The “plan to attack the conference hall in Taj was cancelled due to logistical reasons, like it was not possible to get weapons and personnel to the hall,” he said, adding another reason for dropping of the plan was that he could not get details about the schedule of the conference.

“In November-December 2007, the LeT held a meeting in Muzaffarabad (in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) which was attended by (LeT operatives) Sajid Mir and Abu Kahfa. In this meeting, it was decided that terror attacks would be conducted in Mumbai,” he said.

India

Modi to virtually inaugurate Chauri-Chaura centenary

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Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually inaugurate the year-long centenary celebrations of Chauri-Chaura incident in Gorakhpur on February 4.

One of the most ambitious programmes of the Yogi Adityanath government in 2021, the event is designed to express a sense of gratitude towards those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of this country.

Adityanath has planned a series of events during the whole year starting February 4.

School children will be made aware of the importance of this event and candles and lamps will be lit up at all the martyred monuments and statues of legendary leaders.

Beautification of the Chauri Chaura Shaheed Smarak Samiti is planned and the chief minister wants to develop it as a heritage tourist spot.

The Chauri-Chaura incident took place on February 4, 1922, at Chauri-Chaura in the Gorakhpur district of the then United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh) in British India, when over 3,000 protesters participating in the non-cooperation movement, clashed with police who opened fire.

In the protest, three agitators were martyred and the enraged mob set the police station on fire which left 20 policemen dead.

Mahatma Gandhi withdrew his non-cooperation movement after the incident and later, 228 agitators were prosecuted by the British government while 172 protesters were sentenced to death by the Gorakhpur Sessions Court.

After this incident, the revolutionaries intensified their movement and shook the confidence of the British Government.

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Crucial CWC meet of Congress begins

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Sonia Gandhi in Cong meeting

Ahead of the eleventh round of meetings between the farmers and the Centre, a crucial meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) began here on Friday to discuss the farmers’ agitation among other issues. Also likely to be discussed is the schedule of the election of a new party president.

Congress General Secretary and national media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “CWC meeting begins. Congress President Sonia Gandhi addresses the CWC.”

According to party sources, the virtual meeting being chaired by Sonia Gandhi will discuss Arnab Goswami’s alleged chat leak related to the national security, the Covid-19 situation apart from the ongoing farmers’ agitation.

Sources also said that during the meeting, the schedule of election for the new party chief will also be discussed.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting against the three farm laws on the borders of the national capital since November 26 last year, demanding that the three laws be repealed.

On Tuesday, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi slammed the government over the three farm laws, saying they were introduced to destroy the Indian agricultural sector.

On Wednesday, the Congress fielded former Defence Minister A.K. Antony, former Home Minister Sushil Shinde, former Law Minister and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad to corner the government over the alleged chat leaks involving Goswami.

The Congress described the leak of secret information as treason and demanded an immediate enquiry into the matter.

(IANS)

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Lalu Prasad ‘stable and recovering’, to undergo CT scan

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Lalu Prasad Yadav

Incarcerated RJD President Lalu Prasad will undergo a CT scan on Friday to ascertain his exact health condition even as a senior officer said he was “stable and recovering”.

An official at the Hotwar jail in Ranchi said that the former Bihar Chief Minister’s health had caused concern after he complained of uneasiness in breathing on Thursday evening. Subsequently, a team of doctors from Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences examined the RJD leader.

Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta also rushed to the RIMS and met with the doctors treating the veteran politician. Jharkhand Inspector General of Police (Jails) Birendra Bhushon said that Lalu Prasad’s health had deteriorated on Thursday but was now “recovering and stable”. Earlier, Lalu Prasad also underwent a Covid test and was found negative.

Lalu Prasad is suffering from kidney ailment, besides diabetes and high blood pressure. The RIMS doctors have diagnosed that his kidneys are damaged to the extent of 75 per cent. Doctors could go for a dialysis if his kidneys’ functioning deteriorated further.

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