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Sikkim Landslides : Toursists airlifted from Gangtok and Sevoke

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Sikkim, Sep 16 : Hundreds of tourists that were stranded due to landslides  on two important national highways connecting Sikkim’s capital Gangtok with northern West Bengal, were  airlifted by Army, Air Force , in coordination with civil administration.

Helicopters have made several sorties from Gangtok and Sevoke and evacuated around 100 people, including a pregnant woman.Evacuation operation is still underway as fresh landslides on Saturday on two important national highways connecting Sikkim’s capital Gangtok with northern West Bengal hit traffic movement badly, leaving hundreds of tourists and goods-laden vehicles stranded.

The two affected roads are National Highway 10, which connects Darjeeling district’s headquarters Siliguri and northern West Bengal’s Kalimpong with Sikkim, and National Highway 31C that links Siliguri with Bengal’s Dooars and also Assam.

A heavy downpour in northern West Bengal had triggered the landslides, state officials said.

Landslides at three places at Mongpong near Sevok wreaked havoc as a 50 metre stretch caved in on NH-31C and several trees fell on the road.

The most affected stretch was earlier repaired after Thursday’s landslide but it got damaged again, according to officials from the West Bengal Public Works (PWD) department.

“Work is going on to clear the road and the damaged stretches need to be rebuilt. It will take two days to resume vehicle movement,” an official said.

The landslide-hit NH-10 was partially opened for vehicular movement through a one-way arrangement from Saturday evening after the PWD workers repaired the damaged stretches, officials said.

Following Thursday’s landslide, the traffic movement was commenced on NH-10 from Friday evening but Saturday’s fresh landslides halted the movement in the morning, they said.

The West Bengal government arranged special buses to rescue stranded tourists, state minister Goutam Deb said.

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VVIP Chopper case: Delhi Court extends 5-day remand of Michel

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New Delhi, Dec 10 :As Delhi court on Monday extended by another five days the CBI custody of British national Christian Michel, the middleman accused in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, Michel’s counsel Anjos said she would be visiting India in the coming days.

Anjos from Milan said that the Indian court has permitted to meet Michel once she is present in the court on the next date of hearing.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to quiz the middleman till December 15. The CBI had sought nine days custody of Michel.

Special Public Prosecutor D.P. Singh told the court that documents have been received from five countries pursuant to the Letter of Rogatory sent to these countries and there was incriminating material which the CBI needed to confront him with.

The prosecutor added that the agency needed to confront him with some witnesses to identify his accomplices including IAF officers, bureaucrats and politicians.

Michel was presented in the court after a five-day CBI custody. He was extradited to India on December 4 from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Michel’s defence counsel Aljo K. Joseph and Vishnu Sankar opposed the CBI plea and said there was no incriminating material against the accused and that the Italian court had found nothing wrong against him.

The counsel also told the court that his lawyer in Italy, Santrolli Rosemary Patrizi Dos Anjos, wanted to meet him.

 

The CBI also filed an application seeking direction to Michel for giving his specimen signatures. This will be heard by the court on Tuesday.

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Urijit Patel’s “forced” exit blot on India’s banking system: Ahmed Patel

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Ahmed Patel
Ahmed Patel , File Photo

New Delhi, Dec 10: Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Monday said that the forced exit of RBI governor Urjit Patel is a blot on India’s monetary and banking system.

“The manner in which RBI governor has been forced to quit is a blot on India’s monetary & banking system. BJP Govt has unleashed a defacto financial emergency. The country’s reputation&credibility is now at stake”, the Congress leader tweeted.

“Every institution carefully built & nurtured over the last 70 years is being trampled upon with complete impunity”, he said in another tweet.

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London’s Westminster Court orders extradition of Vijay Mallya to India

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Vijay Mallya

London, Dec 10: London’s Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday ordered the extradition of fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India.

Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot has found prima facie a case against Mallya for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

The matter of extradition of Vijay Mallya to India has been referred to the Secretary of State.

The Central Bureau of Investigation welcomed the UK court orders.

Reacting to the verdict, the CBI spokesperson said that “We hope to bring him soon and conclude the case. CBI has its own inherent strengths. We worked hard on this case. We are strong on Law and facts and we were confident while pursuing extradition process”.

The Court announced the verdict following a prolonged litigation involving Mallya, who fled India in March 2016.

The development took place came six days after British national and alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, Christian Michael, was extradited to India from Dubai.

Mallya has repeatedly denied fleeing from India and said he was ready to pay back the money he owed to Indian banks.

Proceedings are on in the Mumbai Special Court against the businessman under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Last year, India filed extradition proceedings against Mallya which he has contested. He is currently on bail in London.

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