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PDP MLA’s former driver detained on suspicion of aiding Amarnath attack

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Srinagar, July 15, 2017: Claiming a major breakthrough, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing Monday’s Amarnath Yatra terror attack has arrested a local policeman who served as a driver of the ruling PDP MLA from Shopian Aijaz Ahmad Mir on suspicion of aiding terrorist strike.

As per the police sources, “The SIT is questioning a ruling PDP legislator since the arrested policeman, identified as Touseef Ahmad of state security wing, was posted on the legislator’s personal security.”

The policeman belonging to Pulwama district was picked up on Thursday by the SIT following a phone intercept.

The intercept, according to sources, is based on the policeman’s conversation with a handler of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The state police has said the attack was carried out by the LeT outfit and a Pakistani national, Muhammad Abu Ismail, along with another foreigner and three local militants were involved in the attack.

“The police are trying to ascertain as to who provided the details about the movement of the vehicle during the Yatra,” the sources said.

So far, around 20 persons have been detained for questioning by the police in connection with the investigations into the terror attack.

Read More: J&K Police constitutes Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe Amarnath Terror Attack

Within a span of five minutes, militants attacked twice in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, in which seven killed and 18 devotees injured who were headed to Jammu after visiting the Amarnath cave shrine.

However, the casualties could have been much higher, but thanks to the bus driver Sheikh Salim Gafoor Bhai who bravely drove away from the scene and saved lives of over 50 pilgrims.

Read More: 7 pilgrims killed in Amarnath Yatra terror attack, officials suspect LeT hand

Wefornews Bureau

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Another CBI officer moves SC, challenges repatration to IB

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New Delhi, Nov 17: A senior Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officer Ashwini Kumar Gupta on Saturday moved the Supreme Court alleging that his repatriation to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) was done with malafide intention.

Gupta told the apex court that he was repatriated to his parent organisation IB on the ground that the order of his extension has not been received by the CBI.

“No Objection Certificate” from the IB regarding the extension of tenure of Gupta had already been received by the CBI in June before expiry of the deputation period and was forwarded to the Department of Personnel and Training for their approval, he said.

“The repatriation order dated October 24 is vitiated by mala fide and interference in the fair and impartial investigation of the case and intended to penalise and victimise an officer for his honesty and integrity,” Gupta said in his plea.

Gupta has sought top court’s permission to intervene in the matter related to CBI Director Alok Verma challenging Centre’s decision divesting him of his charge as chief of the investigation agency.

In a dramatic midnight action on October 24, the government divested CBI chief Verma of his charge and made Joint Director M. Nageshwar Rao its interim Director. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) took the decision past midnight as war between CBI chief Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana escalated over bribery allegations hurled at each other.

Gupta told the court that at present, in CBI, a number of officers are on deputation from different police organisation who are continuing beyond their deputation tenure.

He alleged that singling him out is due to the fact that he was assisting A.K. Bassi which led to unearthing of crucial finding, implicating Rakesh Asthana in Sterling Biotech case registered on August 30, 2017.

Gupta also told the court that Bassi was victimised and unjustly penalised by transferring him to Port Blair, Andaman for discharging his duties conscientiously.

Gupta mentioned about an Income Tax raid at the Sandesara Estate, Vadodara where a diary was found which contained records of the certain transaction of the Sandesara group pertaining to the period from January 1, 2011 to June 28 2011. In the dairy, 23 suspect entries of around Rs 3 crore related to Asthana were found during the probe.

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Gadkari blames RBI and Banks for not funding infra projects

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Mumbai, Nov 17 : Union Road Transport and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday lashed out at banks saying they are not making financial closures for infrastructure projects worth Rs 2 lakh crore despite a “golden opportunity” and blamed the Reserve Bank for creating “more complications”.

“One problem presently I am facing is — We have at least 150 projects with cost involvement of Rs 2 lakh crore. The financial closures in the banks is becoming a very tough thing for the investor,” he said at the ET Awards for Corporate Excellence.

The Minister flagged the funding problem a day before the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is to hold its board meeting in the backdrop of a tiff with the central government on several issues including a liquidity crunch and placement of limits on extension of loans on some banks.

“It is the appropriate time for the Reserve Bank to support infrastructure in the country as far as growth rate is concerned. But many times the circulars issued by the Reserve Bank are creating more complications,” the Minister said.

Gadkari said there were 403 projects with a cost involvement of Rs 3.85 lakh crore when he took charge as the minister and his department, which had a good track record, alone saved the Indian bankers from non-performing assets (NPA) of about Rs 3 lakh crore.

Further, he said while bankers supported the contractors when they were not in a good position and there were several other problems like land acquisition and environment issues, they are not doing it now when things have improved and there is a good response.

“… the economic situation is good, the government is transparent, decision making process is fast and it is a golden opportunity for the investors and contractors. I don’t know what is the reason that the banks are not making financial closures,” the Minister said.

Gadkari said if the banks were to support the infrastructure projects, his department, which contributed 3 per cent to the country’s GDP last fiscal, would account for 3.5 per cent.

“If the banks support me, I am giving the guarantee that my department will make 3.5 per cent of contribution in the GDP. All projects are economically viable, IRR (rate of return) is good but this (financial closure) is the problem,” he said.

Asked whether he brought up the issue with RBI Governor Urjit Patel, Gadkari said it was not his job and he did not want to meet him due to a bad experience.

“My experience is not good. There is no point in meeting him. One should meet those where there is some benefit, some work gets done,” he said.

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Congress summons Telangana leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy miffed over ticket denial

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Hyderabad, Nov 17 : The Congress party’s central leadership on Saturday summoned senior leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy to New Delhi hours after he expressed resentment over being denied ticket to contest next month’s elections to Telangana Assembly.

With his name missing from the third list of the candidates released by the party on Saturday, Shashidhar Reddy blamed party’s state president Uttam Kumar Reddy. He alleged that Uttam Kumar misled the screening committee by stating that he will not win the election.

Addressing a news conference, Shashidhar expressed surprise over reports that Congress has left Sanathnagar seat to its ally Telugu Desam Party (TDP) under the seat-sharing agreement. He said TDP never demanded this seat.

Shashidhar Reddy urged the leadership to reconsider its decision before Monday. He also said that he will take a decision in tune with the wishes of his supporters and people of the constituency.

Son of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Marri Chenna Reddy, Shashidhar was elected to the assembly four times from Sanathnagar. He had lost 2014 election.

Earlier in the day, Congress announced third list of candidates for December 7 election to 119-member Assembly. The list comprising 13 candidates include former minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah, who was miffed at being ignored in the first two lists.

The leadership announced his name after persuading its ally Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) to give up its claim for Jangaon, a constituency Ponnala had been contesting from for last three decades.

With the third list, Congress has so far announced 88 candidates. It is likely to declare six more candidates on Sunday as the party has agreed to leave remaining 25 seats for its allies – 14 for TDP, 8 for TJS and 3 for Communist Party of India (CPI).

In a related development, TJS on Saturday announced four candidates.

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