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UP officials aim to list Azam Khan as ‘land mafia’

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New Delhi, July 14 Slapped with over two dozen cases, Samajwadi Party (SP) stalwart and MP, Azam Khan seems to be facing the most difficult time of his political career. Criminal cases have been registered against him in the recent past but his woes have not ended with that.

The district administration of Rampur, the native town of the SP leader, is now contemplating listing Azam Khan as land mafia on the state government’s “Anti-Bhoo Mafia”(anti-land mafia) portal. The portal was established by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, to identify land mafia and register complaints of people relating to land grabbing, soon after assuming power in Uttar Pradesh in 2017.

According to the police, the newly-elected member of Lok Sabha, Azam Khan faces more than 30 cases in which majority of cases relate to grabbing of either government land or land belonging to poor farmers. The Superintendent of Police, Rampur, Ajay Pal Sharma said that keeping in mind the long history of his involvement in land grabbing cases, Azam Khan’s name would be recommended to be listed on the land mafia portal.

“The District Magistrate and myself would be reviewing reports (FIRs/cases) of various police stations in the district which relate to land grabbed by Azam Khan or his aides. Subsequently, his name would be recommended to be listed on the land mafia portal of the government,” Ajay Pal Sharma, an IPS officer of the Uttar Pradesh Police told IANS.

Earlier on Friday, a case was registered against Azam Khan on the basis of an FIR filed by the Revenue Department at Azim Nagar Police Station in Rampur. The FIR reveals that Azam Khan and his close aide, a former police officer called Aalehasan Khan, allegedly ‘grabbed land’ from 26 farmers and utilised it in the construction of Mohammed Ali Jauhar University, a mega multi-crore project of the SP leader. Subsequent to the FIR of the Revenue Department, 26 farmers of Rampur, who were allegedly tortured to sign a forged sale deed, would now file separate FIRs.

The complaint of the State Revenue Department also says that Azam Khan, who misused his position (as Cabinet Minister of Uttar Pradesh, 2012-2017) in grabbing land of poor farmers, also illegally occupied another huge chunk of land measuring 5,000 hectrares.

“This land comes under the riverside (of Kosi river) and cannot be acquired. However, revenue records were forged and subsequently this land, worth over several hundred crores, was illegally occupied by Jauhar Ali University,” said a Revenue Officer.

According to this Officer, the forged documents aimed at fraudulently enabling occupation of the riverbed, now seem to provide strong evidence against Azam Khan, who appears to be in deep waters. Police sources said that several complaints relating to other cases of land grabbing by Azam Khan or his aides have been received at the office of the Superintendent of Police, Rampur.

Meanwhile, supporters of Azam Khan said that their leader had been the sole voice of opposition in the district and had been talking tough against the Modi government in Parliament.

“The action against him (Azam Khan) is not justified. He did not grab any land for his personal use,” said an SP office-bearer in Lucknow.

Cities

Biggest single-day jump takes Telangana Covid tally to 18,570

Officials said 987 people recovered during the last 24 hours. The number of recoveries rose to 9,069.

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Coronavirus outbreak

Hyderabad, July 2 : In the biggest surge since the outbreak of Covid-19, Telangana on Thursday registered 1,213 cases, taking the tally to 18,570 cases.

With this, Telangana overtook Rajasthan and climbed to the seventh spot in the list of states with most cases.

The state also saw eight more deaths during the day, pushing the death toll to 275.

Under fire from different quarters for low testing, the state authorities ramped up the testing. According to the director of public health and family welfare, 5,356 tests were conducted.

This is the first time the state has conducted more than 5,000 tests. The cumulative number has mounted to 98,153, still far lower than many other states.

Hotspot Greater Hyderabad witnessed the highest single-day jump with 998 cases. Neighbouring Rangareddy and Medchal districts recorded 48 and 54 cases respectively.

Indicating the virus spread across the state, cases were reported from 26 out of 33 districts.

Officials said 987 people recovered during the last 24 hours. The number of recoveries rose to 9,069.

As many as 9,226 patients are currently undergoing treatment in hospitals or at home.

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All Nagaland declared ”disturbed area”, AFSPA extended 6 mths

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had signed a “framework agreement” with its leadership in 2015.

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AFSPA Armed Forces Special Act

Kohima, July 3 : The Union Home Ministry (MHA) has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland for another six months, officials said here on Thursday.

According to an official of the Nagaland Home Department, the mountainous state, bordering Myanmar, has been under the AFSPA for the past several decades.

In a notification, Joint Secretary, MHA, Satyendra Garg said that the Central government is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of Nagaland is in such a disturbed and dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of civil power is necessary.

“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (No. 28 of 1958), the Central Government hereby declares that whole of the said state to be a ”disturbed area” for a period of six months with effect from June 30, 2020 for the purpose of that Act,” said the notification, issued on Tuesday.

The Nagaland government official said that the state has been requesting the Central government to resolve the long-ending Naga issues, involving the numerous outfits. The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), which had several rounds of negotiations with the Indian government in Delhi as well as outside India after signing a ceasefire pact in August 1997, is one of the most influential rebel groups in the northeastern region.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had signed a “framework agreement” with its leadership in 2015.

Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi is also the Centre”s interlocutor to hold talks with NSCN-IM and other Naga outfits.

Recently, Ravi had written to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on the “deterioration of law and order in the state”.

The Nagaland government, however, in a series of statements, claimed that the state is in a normal situation.

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Maharashtra sees new high of 6,330 Covid cases, Mumbai cases cross 80K

Of the total 90,56,173 tests conducted in the country or 6,334 tests per million, Maharashtra’s share is 10,20,368 (11.26 percent), with 7,715 tests per million population, said officials.

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Patients infected with the novel coronavirus

Mumbai, July 2 : Maharashtra’s daily Covid-19 cases scaled a new record of 6,330 – up from Wednesday’s high of 5,537, with Mumbai’s tally crossing the 80K mark, health officials said here on Wednesday.

The number of fatalities in the state were 175, taking the state death toll to 8,178 and total cases zoomed to 186,626 till date, both being the highest in the country.

Thursday”s figures work out to roughly one death recorded every 11 minutes and a staggering 264 new cases notched every hour in the state.

However, the recovery rate improved from Wednesday”s 51.67 per cent to 54.21 per cent while the mortality rate stood at 4.38 percent.

July has started with three-digit highs of deaths and over 5,000 new patients, causing major concerns among the health officials.

The Health Department said of the total number of cases declared till date, 77,260 are active cases.

On the positive side, the second highest record of 8,018 fully cured patients returned home on Thursday, taking the number of those discharged today to 101,172.

Of Thursday”s fatalities, Mumbai alone notched 58 deaths – pulling up the city death toll to 4,689 now, while the number of Covid-19 positive patients here shot up by 1,554 cases to touch 80,699.

There were 24 deaths in Pune, 15 in Aurangabad, 10 in Jalgaon, six in Thane, five in Satara, two each in Akola, and Jalna, one each in Nandurbar, Buldhana and Kolhapur.

The MMR (Thane division) continues to see deaths and cases continue to pile up, with a total of 5,863 Covid-19 fatalities so far, while and a whopping 4,268 new patients pushed up the number of positive cases to 133,356.

Thane cases shot past the 40,000 mark to 41,349 with 1,025 fatalities – to emerge as the second worst-hit district after Mumbai in the state.

Pune district comes third with 24,432 patients and 807 deaths till now. But Pune division ranks second (after MMR) with 28,281 patients and 1,123 fatalities.

Nashik division has 555 fatalities and 9,977 positive cases, followed by Aurangabad division with 295 deaths and 6,834 cases, and Akola Division with 134 fatalities and 2,853 cases.

Kolhapur division has notched 55 deaths and 2,136 patients, Latur division had 48 fatalities and 1097 cases, and finally, Nagpur division recorded 18 deaths and 1,995 cases.

Among the eight divisions, only Nagpur and Latur recorded zero fatalities, though there were new Covid-19 positive cases.

Meanwhile, the number of people sent to home-quarantine decreased sharply to 572,032 now, while those in institutional quarantine increased to 41,741.

The state notched a new landmark in testing, achieving one million plus with 10,20,368 tests, with analysis being done in 114 laboratories comprising 64 government labs and 50 in the private sector.

Of the total 90,56,173 tests conducted in the country or 6,334 tests per million, Maharashtra’s share is 10,20,368 (11.26 percent), with 7,715 tests per million population, said officials.

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