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Pakistan tries to thwart extradition of Dawood’s top aide to US

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London, July 1 (IANS) Pakistani diplomats in London are making all-out efforts to prevent the extradition of D-Company’s top lieutenant Jabir Motiwala to the United States.

Hearing the extradition plea of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Monday at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the D-Company’s defence lawyer, backed by Pakistani diplomats, said that Motiwala was suffering from acute depression and cannot be flown to the US to face money laundering, drug trafficking and underworld crime charges.

Motiwala, one of the trusted aides of Dawood Ibrahim, was arrested in London in August 2018 on money laundering and drug trafficking charges, following a tip-off from the FBI.

Sources close to Indian agencies informed IANS that the Pakistan High Commission in London had earlier tried to thwart the extradition move by submitting a letter on behalf of the accused’s lawyer in the court, saying Motiwala was a “well-known and respected businessman in Pakistan”.

In fact, Pakistan fears that once Motiwala is extradited to the US, the close aide of D-Company can reveal the entire nexus between Dawood Ibrahim’s underworld network (being operated from Karachi) and the don’s connection with Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

The US has already declared Dawood Ibrahim a global terrorist running an international drug syndicate and sharing the gang’s routes with Pakistan-based terror outfits.

Sources said that Dawood’s key finance aide Motiwala appeared in the magistrate’s courts in London after his arrest by Scotland Yard’s Extradition Unit on charges of money laundering and sharing the proceeds of narcotics money earned on behalf of the D-Company.

Sources said that Barrister John Hardy, appearing on behalf of the US government, revealed to the court that Motiwala, travels extensively and conducts (underworld crimes related) meetings for his boss Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian who along with his brother Anis, are wanted for terror crimes in India.

Sources said that the defence lawyer told the court that Motiwala was suffering from depression and had made several suicide attempts in the past few years. The lawyer argued that in such a situation, he cannot be extradited to the US to face trial.

Sources said that contrary to the defence lawyer’s claim, Motiwala has been investing D-Company’s black money into various projects abroad. He is said to be involved in drug trafficking and also travels to collect money on behalf of the D-Company in Europe.

Motiwala’s extradition to the US, if executed would be a setback for Dawood as well as his patrons in the Pakistan establishment, the sources said.

Cities

Fire at wholesale rice market in Kolkata

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Kolkata, A fire broke out at the wholesale rice market in north Kolkata’s Raja Bazar on Sunday. No casualty or injury was reported.

Smoke was seen billowing from a factory premises around 2.15 p.m. Eleven fire engines fought the blaze and controlled it in an hour.

“Chemicals stored in the factory helped fan the fire. Since the area is densely populated, fire-fighters faced problems in controlling the fire,” said West Bengal Fire Service Minister Sujit Bose.Cooling operation was on, Bose said.

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Cities

2 trapped in house collapse in Delhi

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New Delhi, At least two persons were feared trapped after a house collapsed in south Delhi’s C.R. Park area on Sunday, fire officials said.

“Five fire tenders have been rushed to the site,” said Delhi Fire Services Chief Atul Garg. The rescue and search operations were underway.

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India

Sedition case against 3 Kashmiri students in Karnataka

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Hubballi, Three Kashmiri students of a private engineering college in Karnataka’s Hubballi have been booked for sedition after they allegedly raised pro-Pakistan slogans, police said on Sunday.

“The three suspects are being questioned for raising pro-Pakistan and ‘Azadi’ slogans in their college hostel on Friday, which coincided with the first anniversary of Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir a year ago,” Hubballi Police Commissioner Ramaswamy Dileep told IANS.

Hubballi is about 410 kms northwest of Bengaluru. The trio, identified as Ameer, Basit and Talib from Kashmir’s Shopian district, were booked under section 124 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on a complaint by the KLES Institute of Technology for attempting to disturb communal harmony by raising anti-national slogans,” said Dileep.

The section deals with offences against the state.The institute’s principal Basavraj Anami complained to the police that the first-year students got admission under the central government quota.

“The incident occurred when the college was holding a function to pay homage to the martyrs of the Pulwama attack on Friday. Instead of attending the event, they were in the hostel taking a video of them shouting pro-Pakistan slogans,” Dileep said quoting from the complaint.

The principal came to know about the incident on Saturday when the video went viral on social media after they uploaded its footage to their friends’ WhatsApp groups.

“Pending investigation, the college has suspended the three students from the institute after the principal viewed the video and questioned their act,” added Dileep.

Condemning the students for raising pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans, state Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar, who hails from Hubballi, said the government would not tolerate such anti-national activities by anyone.

Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi, who represents the adjacent Dharwad Lok Saba constituency, said stern action would be taken against the accused for raising such anti-national slogans.

“Students who avail government scholarships and raise slogans against the country are under the impression that they can get away by indulging in such anti-national activities. Stern action will be taken against them after investigation as such actions cannot be tolerated,” Joshi said here.

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