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Tensions rise as RSS leader calls for Kerala CM’s murder

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Pinarayi Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram, March 2 : Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan declared on Thursday he was not bothered by a RSS leader’s offer of Rs 1 crore to have him killed, but the CPI-M warned the RSS to behave.

And even as the Kerala units of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) distanced themselves from Madhya Pradesh RSS leader Kundan Chandrawat’s threat on Wednesday, the latter on Thursday said he did not regret making the remarks.

“The RSS in the past has taken the heads of others but I have to move around, and I will,” Vijayan, who took power in May last year, said in his characteristic style and broke into a laugh.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) announced protests on Friday across Kerala and demanded that a case be registered against Chandrawat on terrorism charges.

“The true colour of the RSS has come out again,” the CPI-M said in a statement.

CPI-M Kerala Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the RSS won’t be able to “remove even a hair of Vijayan” and warned the organisation “not to play with the CPI-M”.

“If they do, then we will be forced to teach them certain things.”

Opposition leader and Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said the RSS leader should be immediately arrested.

CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence after Chandrawat’s announcement of a bounty to have Vijayan beheaded.

Holding Vijayan responsible for the killing of 300 RSS activists in Kerala, Chandrawat said on Wednesday he will give away his entire property worth over Rs 1 crore to whoever kills the Marxist veteran.

The statement was made at Ujjain in the presence of BJP MP Chintaman Malviya, BJP MLA Mohan Yadav and other RSS leaders. The video of the RSS leader has gone viral.

In his speech, Chandrawat warned that the RSS would respond to the killing of its 300 activists by presenting a “garland of 300,000 skulls” to “Bharat Mata” and said, “Leftists, beware”.

He also boasted that for the killing of 59 Hindus at Godhra in Gujarat in 2002, “we sent 2,000 (Muslims) to the graveyard”.

But the Kerala unit of the RSS said Chandrawat did not speak for the Hindu nationalist group whose growth in Kerala has led to violent clashes with Marxists over the years.

Kerala RSS unit leader J. Nandakumar said: “The RSS never speaks in such a manner and we strongly condemn it.

“We have always followed the policy of engaging in democratic forms of protests. We will continue to do that despite the attacks the CPI-M in Kerala has launched on us.”

Kerala BJP leader A.N. Radhakrishnan denounced the Madhya Pradesh RSS leader’s statement.

“The BJP believes in democracy even when hundreds of its workers have been killed. Everyone knows who are the ones who shield murderers and the CPI-M even has a minister charged in a murder case,” he said.

Yechury said: “RSS reveals its true colours as a terrorist outfit. Will the PM and his government stop remaining silent?”

The CPI-M said in a separate statement: “The frustration of RSS is coming out in the open. Will the BJP government in (Madhya Pradesh) and at the Centre take action?”

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UP To Test Every Traveller From Delhi For Coronavirus

It seems the second Covid-19 has hit the national capital, he said, pointing to a spurt in cases there.

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COVID-19 antibody testing

The Uttar Pradesh government will test all travellers from Delhi for coronavirus, an official said on Sunday.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary R K Tiwari said the state government is also considering restrictions on the number of people at weddings and other social programmes.

Tiwari said infection cases have increased in UP districts bordering Delhi.

It seems the second Covid-19 has hit the national capital, he said, pointing to a spurt in cases there.

So, we are testing everyone coming from Delhi, be it by air, train or bus, he said.

When asked about the kind of curbs that may be imposed at social gatherings, Tiwari said the decision will be taken on the prevailing situation.

“Districts in western UP like Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad have restricted social gatherings to 100. Necessary steps will be taken as per the prevailing situation in various places to stop the spread of the infection,” he said.

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Rajasthan govt hikes penalty on gathering of more than 100 people at marriages

A total of 603 cases were reported in Jaipur while 414 in Jodhpur, 210 in Ajmer, 271 in Alwar, 131 in Bhilwara, 240 in Kota, 100 in Pali and 184 in Udaipur.

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Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday announced to increase the penalty on gathering of more than 100 people at marriages from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000.

Chairing a meeting to review the steps taken to contain COVID spread in the state, he said administration and police personnel should take rounds in the market to ensure all due protocols are being followed with due care in reference to night curfew announced on Saturday as well as to ensure that set number of people’s limit is not crossed.

The wedding organisers should also be updated in this context that more than 100 people are not permitted in the wedding function, he added.

District collectors, superintendents of police and other senior officials have been given responsibility to ensure night curfew norms are maintained in eight districts as announced and not more than 100 people are gathered in the crowd. Every person should wear masks and social distancing norms should also be followed, the Chief Minister said.

Notably, the state government announced night curfew in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Kota, Alwar, Udaipur, Alwar and Ajmer.

Also the penalty for those not wearing masks was increased to Rs 500 from Rs 200 on Saturday.

The Chief Minister on Sunday said that the state government’s major objective is to save lives of people.

On Sunday, a total of 3,260 new COVID cases and 17 deaths were reported.

A total of 603 cases were reported in Jaipur while 414 in Jodhpur, 210 in Ajmer, 271 in Alwar, 131 in Bhilwara, 240 in Kota, 100 in Pali and 184 in Udaipur.

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CBI arrests ex-Karnataka Congress minister Roshan Baig in ponzi scam

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also booked Khan under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for allegedly transferring funds to overseas banks through the hawala route.

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MLA Roshan Baig, Roshan Baig Karnataka, Karnataka Congress, Congress, Karnataka Govt, Politics,

Bengaluru: In a swift development after a day-long questioning, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested former Karnataka Congress minister Roshan Baig for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore IMA ponzi scam in the southern state, an official said on Sunday.

“Baig was arrested after questioning him in the ongoing ponzi chit fund scam investigation and a competent court sent him to judicial custody for further interrogation,” CBI spokesman R.K. Gaur told IANS.

Baig (67) is a former 8-time legislator from the Shivajinagar assembly segment in the city centre and was a minister in the Congress and Janata Dal governments.

“Baig was summoned for interrogation to our office earlier in the day and taken into custody on the evidence collected against him in the scam that rocked the state in 2018-19,” a CBI source said earlier.

Sleuths of the premier investigation agency also conducted a search and seizure operation in Baig’s house in the city earlier in the day.

The I-Monetary Advisory (IMA) Jewellery kingpin Mohammed Mansoor Khan alleged that he had given Rs 400 crore to Baig ahead of the state assembly elections in April-May 2018.

Baig, however, denied the charge and said Khan had falsely implicated him.

The Rs 4,000-crore ponzi chit fund scam came to light in June 2019 after hundreds of investors complained to city police that the chit fund firm stopped returning their deposits, including gold jewellery, cash and interest.

In an audio clip to then Bengaluru Police Commissioner Ajay Kumar Singh, Khan alleged that Baig was harassing him for more money and he fled to Dubai in June second week as his life was under threat.

Though the former Janata Dal-Secular-Congress government had set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the scam, the ruling BJP government transferred the case to the CBI in August after it came to power in July 2019.

Khan was flown to Bengaluru on July 20, 2019 via New Delhi from Duabai and has been in the central jail on the city’s outskirts along with about 30 accused, including seven directors of the company.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also booked Khan under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for allegedly transferring funds to overseas banks through the hawala route.

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