Mon, 27 May 2024
Rajkot fire: 9 bodies identified through DNA test

Timeline  Refresh

23:43   Pune parents ignored teen's behaviour: Ajit Pawar
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday blamed the parents of the teenager allegedly involved in the Pune car crash saying they ignored his behaviour which resulted in the death of two young professionals.

Pawar, also the guardian minister of Pune district, was speaking to reporters after attending a meeting of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

"The minor's conduct in the Pune accident is highly irresponsible. It happened because the teenager's parents ignored his behaviour. The son is in an observation home and his father and grandfather have been arrested," he said.

The deputy CM said he has instructed officials to take strict action in the 'Pune, Jalgaon and Nagpur incidents'.

A day before a Porsche allegedly driven by the Pune teenager, son of builder Vishal Agarwal, hit a motorcycle, leaving two techies dead in the city on May 19, one woman and three children were killed in Jalgaon after a car carrying four young men dashed a two-wheeler.

On May 24, an intoxicated person driving a car crashed into pedestrians and two-wheelers in Nagpur, injuring seven persons, including a three-month-old baby.

Anjali Damania, a social activist, had claimed that Ajit Pawar had called the Pune police commissioner after the Porsche accident.

Asked about her claim, Pawar said, "As a people's representative, we receive calls regarding such accidents. I police commissioner and told him that the accused boy was from a wealthy family and there was a chance police might be pressured. I told him not to succumb to any political pressure."

Pawar said CM Eknath Shinde and his peer Devendra Fadnavis have already clarified their positions in this matter.

About the opposition alleging political pressure in the Pune case, Pawar said when someone is in opposition they allege political pressure behind every probe.

He said, "A 'responsible' MLA has accused the Pune police commissioner of accepting bribes from bar operators in the city. He should give proof, if proof is given the state will definitely probe into it."

Asked about his party MLA Sunil Tingare, who had visited Pune's Yerawada police station hours after the accident in the Kalyani Nagar area, Pawar said, "Tingare himself has clarified his stand. He later met me in Pune and presented his version. I have asked top police officials to take strict action against cops or doctors who tried to dilute the probe."

Meanwhile, Deputy CM Fadnavis said in Nagpur that the police won't stop until they get to the bottom of the Pune car crash case.

The police on Monday arrested two doctors and an employee of Sassoon General Hospital over alleged manipulation of blood samples and destruction of evidence in the case.  -- PTI

IMAGE: The father of the accused 17-year-old boy involved in the Pune Porsche accident case being brought to the Crime Branch by the Pune Police officials after being arrested in an alleged abduction case, at Yerwada Jail in Pune on Monday. Photograph: ANI Photo
23:11   Rajkot fire: 9 bodies identified through DNA test
The identities of nine bodies recovered from the fire-ravaged TRP Game Zone in Rajkot have been established through DNA analysis, said Gujarat Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi on Monday.

As many as 27 persons, including children, were killed in a massive fire at the recreation centre on May 25.

Since the bodies were charred beyond recognition, the state government is taking the help of a forensic science lab to identify the victims through DNA profiling.

As the process is time-consuming, several anxious families waiting outside the Rajkot civil hospital to collect the bodies of their kin got into a heated argument with local police on Monday.

Sanghavi visited the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Gandhinagar and announced that it has so far identified nine victims by matching their DNA samples with the samples of their relatives.

"I can understand the anger of the families who have lost their loved ones. FSL is also working round the clock. Entire FSL staff have cancelled their holidays and other travel plans so that all the samples are analysed as early as possible. I have reviewed the progress and Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel is also taking updates every hour," Sanghavi told reporters.

Since it was impossible to collect blood samples from the charred bodies, forensic experts have collected bone samples to match the DNA of the deceased and their relatives, said Sanghavi.

"It would have taken nearly four hours if samples were brought to Gandhinagar by road. To expedite the DNA matching process, the CM ordered the deployment of an air ambulance," he said.

The minister said the process of matching DNA started at FSL early on Sunday morning and a team of 18 forensic experts has been working round to clock since then so that the bodies can be handed over to their relatives after identification.

"This process is lengthy and it involves nine steps. Blood samples of relatives are matched with blood or bone samples of the deceased for matching DNA. Usually, each sample analysis would take nearly 48 hours. Till now, nine dead bodies have been identified. Eight samples are currently under analysis. We will inform the relatives as soon as reports arrive," he added. -- PTI
Dr Samir V Kamat
Dr Samir V Kamat
22:17   DRDO chief gets 1-year extension
The Centre on Monday extended the tenure of Defence Research and Development Organisation chief Dr Samir V Kamat by one year, a personnel ministry order said. 

Distinguished scientist Kamat was on August 25, 2022, appointed as secretary of the department of defence research and development (DDR&D) and the DRDO chairman, it said. 

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved an extension in service of Kamat as secretary, DDR&D and chairman, DRDO for one year from June 1, 2024, till May 31, 2025, or until further orders, it said.
21:56   Don't refer to Modi as PM: Mamata to BJP
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that Narendra Modi should be referred to as a Bharatiya Janata Party leader and not as the prime minister in the saffron party's campaign as he is a 'caretaker PM'. 

Addressing an election rally in Burrabazar area in Kolkata Uttar seat for party candidate Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Banerjee said, "Modi ji has every right to campaign. He has every right to come here and participate in election programmes. But I am surprised to see him being referred to as the PM in his party's campaign advertisements."

"Can he do this? I am being referred to as TMC chairperson by my campaign managers and by my party here even though it is not assembly polls. Still, I am adhering to the model code of conduct," she said.

Modi is scheduled to take part in a roadshow in Kolkata on May 28. 

Referring to Modi as the 'caretaker PM', Banerjee asserted that the BJP will not return to power for a third term and the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) will form the government at the Centre.

Banerjee accused the BJP of creating a rift between communities to get votes and described it as a 'dangerous game'.

"I love people of all communities, I love Marwaris, Biharis and others who together make up the beautiful mosaic of West Bengal. Please don't fall for any communal rift trap of the BJP," she said.

Banerjee said that even as she was addressing the election rally, her mind was filled with thoughts of providing cyclone relief and help to the affected people, asserting that her administration is taking all necessary steps to alleviate people's sufferings and that she is continuously monitoring the situation.   -- PTI
Mumbai airport
Mumbai airport
21:11   WA msg warns of bomb at Mumbai airport, Taj hotel
An unidentified person on Monday threatened to blow up Hotel Taj Mahal and the Mumbai airport claiming bombs were planted at these places.

It turned out to be a hoax after the police conducted a search but no suspicious object was found, an official said.

The mobile number from which the message was posted in the Mumbai traffic police's WhatsApp helpline number has been traced to Agra, according to the official.

The police have registered an FIR against an unidentified person under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and are conducting an investigation, he said.

"Traffic police's WhatsApp number received a message threatening to blow up Hotel Taj and the city airport with bombs planted at these places. A traffic police constable alerted the police department, following which a search was conducted, but no suspicious (object) was found," he added.
20:56   Bibhav Kumar to move HC against denial of bail: AAP
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's close aide Bibhav Kumar will approach the high court after a city court rejected his bail plea in Swati Maliwal 'assault' case, AAP said on Monday.

A court in Delhi on Monday dismissed the bail plea of Kumar who is accused of assaulting AAP Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal at the CM's residence on May 13.

"Kumar will move the high court against the lower court's decision," the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said in a statement.

Additional sessions judge Sushil Anuj Tyagi of Tiz Hazari court rejected the bail plea of Kumar, a personal assistant of the CM, after hearing arguments from both sides. A detailed order on the matter is awaited.
20:33   Fahadh Faasil diagnosed with ADHD at 41
Noted South Indian actor Fahadh Faasil said he was clinically diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at the age of 41.  

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the brain's ability to regulate attention, behaviour, and impulse control. It is common in children but can also affect adults. 

Speaking after dedicating the Peace Valley Children's Village at Kothamangalam near Kochi on Sunday, the Aavesham actor said that while roaming around the children's village, he asked a doctor whether it was easy to cure ADHD. 

"He told me it can be easily cured if it is diagnosed at a young age. I asked whether it can be cured if it is diagnosed at the age of 41. I am clinically ADHD diagnosed," said the Kumbalangi Nights actor. 

His statement comes as Aavesham, upon its release on April 11, garnered widespread critical acclaim from reviewers, who lauded its direction, standout performances -- particularly by Fahadh Faasil and Sajin Gopu --dynamic action sequences, stunning cinematography, captivating musical score, and overall technical prowess. 
20:24   Rajkot fire: Civic chief, top cop transferred
Two days after a blaze killed 27 persons in a recreation centre in Gujarat's Rajkot, the state government on Monday transferred the city's police commissioner, two other IPS officers and the civic chief.

Police Commissioner Raju Bhargava, Additional Commissioner of Police Vidhi Choudhary and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone-2) Sudhirkumar Desai were transferred without postings, the state home department said in a notification.

The government also transferred Rajkot Municipal Commissioner and IAS officer Anand Patel.

The government has appointed Brajesh Kumar Jha, Special Commissioner of Police, Sector-2, Ahmedabad, as the new Rajkot police commissioner.

Mahendra Bagria, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Kutch-Bhuj (West), will take over Rajkot's new additional commissioner of police, while Jagdish Bangarwa, Superintendent, Central Prison, Vadodara, will be the new deputy commissioner of police.

The government put Rajkot civic chief Anand Patel's service at the  disposal of the General Administrative Department for further orders , stated a GAD notification.

Patel has been replaced by DP Desai, who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) with an additional post of CEO, Gandhinagar Urban Development Authority (GUDA).

Bhavya Verma, Mission Director, Swachh Bharat Mission, Gandhinagar will hold the additional charge of CEO, AUDA and CEO GUDA, the GAD notification said.

Earlier in the day, the Gujarat High Court censured the government saying it had no faith in the state machinery 'which gets into action only after innocent lives are lost' over purported lapses in the functioning of the TRP Game Zone where a massive fire killed 27 persons on May 25.

The court asked whether the civic body had turned a blind eye to such a big structure coming up in its vicinity after its lawyer submitted that the recreation centre had not asked for requisite permissions.   -- PTI
Representational image
Representational image
19:42   Centre carries out secretary-level reshuffle
Senior bureaucrat Pradip Kumar Tripathi has been appointed as the Lokpal secretary as part of a secretary-level reshuffle effected by the Centre on Monday.

Tripathi, a 1987-batch Indian Administrative Service officer (IAS), is currently secretary (coordination) in the Cabinet Secretariat.

He has been appointed as secretary to the Lokpal till the date of his superannuation (June 30) and thereafter on contract basis for a period of two years beyond the date of his superannuation on usual terms and conditions applicable to re-employed central government officers, said an order issued by the personnel ministry.

Border management Secretary Raj Kumar Goyal has been appointed as secretary, department of justice under the ministry of law & justice.        

Rajendra Kumar, director general of Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), will be the border management secretary in place of Goyal.

New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) chairperson Amit Yadav has been named as officer on special duty in the department of social justice & empowerment.

"The officer will take over as secretary, department of social justice and empowerment vice Saurabh Garg, IAS (OR:91) upon his superannuation on 31.07.2024," the order said.

Rakesh Ranjan, special secretary in the department of agriculture and farmers welfare, has been appointed as chairman of the Staff Selection Commission (SSC). 
19:13   Promises made in poll manifesto not corrupt practice: SC
The Supreme Court has said that commitments made by political parties in their election manifestos will not amount to "corrupt practice" under the election laws. 

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and K V Viswanathan made the observation while dismissing a plea by a voter hailing from the Chamrajpet assembly constituency challenging the election of a candidate belonging to the Congress. 

The plea alleged that commitments by the Congress in its election manifesto for the 2023 Karnataka assembly polls were direct and indirect financial help to the public which amounted to corrupt electoral practice. 

"The contention of the learned counsel that the commitments by a political party in its manifesto, which eventually lead to direct or indirect financial help to the public at large, will also amount to corrupt practice by a candidate of that party, is too far-fetched and cannot be accepted. 

"In any case, in the facts and circumstances of these cases, we need not to go into such question elaborately. The appeals are, accordingly, dismissed," the bench said. 

The petitioner, Shashanka J Sreedhara, a voter from the Chamrajpet assembly constituency, had filed an election petition against the winning candidate B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan. 

He submitted that the five guarantees made by the Indian National Congress (INC) in its manifesto amounted to corrupt practice.
Representational image
Representational image
18:32   DJ shot dead at bar in Ranchi
A disc jockey (DJ) was shot dead at a bar in Ranchi, the police said on Monday.

The incident took place on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday.

CCTV footage of the incident went viral on social media platforms, in which it is seen that a man, with face covered and a rifle in hand, enters the bar and shoots at the DJ operator from point blank range. 

The deceased was identified as Sandip Pramanik, a resident of West Bengal.

Ranchi Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Chandan Kumar Sinha told PTI, "The accused has been nabbed from Gaya. He will be brought to Ranchi and a detailed interrogation will be conducted to ascertain the exact cause of the firing."

Sinha said the accused was in an inebriated state when the crime was carried out. 

He has been identified as Abhishek Singh, a resident of Ranchi.
PM Modi in Bandipur last year
PM Modi in Bandipur last year
17:59   K'taka to pay PM's pending Rs 80L hotel bill
Karnataka Forest Minister Eshwar Khandre on Monday said the state government will pay the hospitality bill of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had come to Mysuru in April last year to commemorate 50 years of Project Tiger, which runs up to Rs 80 lakh. 

 In a statement, the minister's office said it is a tradition of the state government to host dignitaries like the Prime Minister and the President when they come. But due to Assembly elections in Karnataka in April last year, the state government was not involved in planning of the programme (Project Tiger) since the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) was in force.

 Speaking to reporters, the minister said that the prime minister had visited Myrusu-Bandipur on the eve of commemoration of 50 years of Project Tiger. 

At that point of time, the MCC was in force. Elections were declared. So, it was purely a Central government programme. Initially, they had planned to spend around Rs 3 crore but the expenditure incurred was around 6.33 crore. So, balance 3.3 crore has to come from the National Tiger Conservation Authority. 

 "The state government's forest department had written to them (authority). They informed that the hotel bill (Rs 80 lakh) should be reimbursed by the state government and we have decided to reimburse. So, there is no issue," he added.

 Following media reports that the hotel where the prime minister had stayed has threatened to find legal recourse to recover his dues, Khandre had on Saturday said that he will try to resolve the issue amicably. PTI
AAP MP Swati Maliwal
AAP MP Swati Maliwal
17:34   Maliwal case: Bibhav's bail plea dismissed
AAP MP Swati Maliwal assault case: Bibhav Kumar's bail application dismissed by Delhi's Tis Hazari court. 

A magisterial court on Monday had reserved till this evening its order on the bail plea of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's aide Bibhav Kumar in the Swati Maliwal assault case. 

 Kumar is accused of assaulting the AAP Rajya Sabha member at the chief minister's residence on May 13. He was sent to four days' judicial custody on May 24. Metropolitan Magistrate Gaurav Goyal reserved the order after hearing the arguments.
TMC chief Mamata Banerjee
TMC chief Mamata Banerjee
17:26   TMC to skip INDIA bloc meet on June 1 because...
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) is unlikely to attend a meeting of the INDIA bloc on June 1, sources said, as it coincides with the last phase of voting in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. 

 According to sources, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has convened a meeting of the INDIA bloc leaders on the afternoon of June 1, when the last phase of polling will be underway. Sources in the TMC said the voting will be done on nine seats, including two seats in Kolkata - Kolkata Dakshin, and Kolkata Uttar, in West Bengal on the day which are crucial for the party. 

Other constituencies that go to polls that day in the state include Jadavpur, Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jayanagar, Mathurapur and Diamond Harbour. 

 TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, party national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and other top leaders will be voting on the day and hence will be unable to attend the meeting, a source said, also pointing out that the party has so far attended all meetings of the opposition bloc. 

 The source added that the TMC has conveyed this to the organisers. The first meeting of the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc was held in Patna on June 23 last year, followed by a meeting in Bengaluru on July 17-18, 2023, and then in Mumbai between August 31 and September 1, where the opposition parties adopted resolutions to contest the Lok Sabha elections unitedly.
File pic
File pic
17:10   Monsoon over Kerala in 5 days: IMD
India likely to experience normal rainfall (92-108 per cent of long period average of 166.9 mm) in June, says IMD. Below-normal monsoon rainfall predicted in northeast India, normal in northwest, and above normal in central and south peninsular India.

India's monsoon core zone comprising most of the rain-fed agriculture areas likely to receive above normal rainfall. Conditions are favourable for onset of monsoon over Kerala in next 5 days.
16:56   Porsche case: Another arrest made
Pune Police have arrested another individual in connection with the luxury car accident case where two motorcycle-borne persons were killed in Pune city, officials said on Saturday. 

 The arrested person is a suspect over the alleged manipulation of the minor's blood sample, according to Pune Police officials. 

 The arrested accused has been identified as Atul Ghatkamble, who is an employee of Sassoon Hospital. Earlier today, Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar said that the doctors at Sasson Hospital had replaced the blood sample of the juvenile accused in the luxury car crash with another one and threw the real sample in the hospital's dustbin. -- ANI
16:29   Will appear before SIT on May 31: Prajwal Revanna
Exactly a month after he left the country, Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna, who is facing charges of sexually abusing many women, has said he will appear before the Special Investigation Team probing the cases against him on May 31. 

 "I will personally on Friday, May 31 at 10 am will come before the SIT and will cooperate with the investigation and will respond to it (charges). I have faith in court and I am confident I will come out of false cases through court," Pajwal said in a video statement aired on Kannada TV channel Asianet Suvarna News. 

 There was no independent confirmation from the JD(S) or the family of the suspended party MP immediately over the matter. 

 "Let God's, people's and family's blessing be on me. I will surely come before SIT on May 31, Friday. After coming, I will try to put an end to all this. Keep faith in me," he added. 

 The 33-year-old Prajwal, the grandson of JD(S) patriarch and former PM H D Deve Gowda and the NDA candidate from Hassan Lok Sabha segment, is facing charges of multiple instances of sexually abusing women. Prajwal reportedly left for Germany on April 27, a day after Hassan went to polls, and is still at large. 

A 'Blue Corner Notice' seeking information on his whereabouts has already been issued by the Interpol, following a request by the SIT via the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 

 A Special Court for Elected Representatives issued an arrest warrant on May 18 against Prajwal Revanna, following an application moved by the SIT. The Congress-led Karnataka government has urged the Centre to cancel his diplomatic passport. PTI
15:46   Close shave for Rahul at rally as dais caves in
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday had a close shave when a portion of the dais set up for one of his election rallies in Bihar caved in.

Gandhi was at Paliganj, on the outskirts of the state capital, to canvass for RJD president Lalu Prasad's daughter Misa Bharti, who is contesting Patliputra Lok Sabha seat. 

 Bharti was leading Gandhi towards his seat when he was seen struggling for balance as a portion of the make-shift stage sagged. 

 An alert Bharti quickly held Gandhi by the hand, helping him regain his balance and they smilingly told anxious security personnel, who ran to help, that the Congress leader was fine. PTI
15:36   Priyanka: TV says no other leader like PM but...
Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Modi and BJP, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi said on Monday that people are being misled that the country is progressing while the truth is that youth are unemployed and inflation is increasing.

Addressing a rally in Kangra today, Priyanka said, "PM is talking nonsense from the stage. Sometimes it is said that Congress will steal your buffalo, they will steal your mangalsutra. Their truth is absolutely clear. You are being told on TV that there is no leader like Modiji and the country is progressing. The truth is that today the youth are unemployed and inflation is increasing. 70 crore youth are unemployed in this country."

"Congress brought One Rank One Pension. Earlier the soldiers used to get disability pensions, but they have abolished that also. For whom is their government running? Today all the cold storage in Himachal belongs to Adani ji. Only he will decide what will be the price of Apple. Farmers are being cheated," Priyanka added.

Further, the Congress leader said that due to two incidents in Himachal Pradesh, the truth of Congress and the BJP came in front of the people.

"The country's two biggest parties are in competition in this election. In the last 2 years, 2 incidents took place in Himachal due to which the truth of these two parties has come in front of the people of Himachal. First of all, a terrible disaster occurred here and houses were washed away and families were separated. When I came here after months, I was heartbroken to see the condition. Every Congress worker and minister was among you at that time. The entire Congress party came together and remained engaged in your support," she said.

"On the other hand, PM says that Himachal is his second family but at that time he did not even look at it. Even big leaders of the BJP did not help you. Everyone saw what is the ideology of Congress and what is that of BJP," Priyanka Gandhi added. -- ANI
14:49   Rahul, Priyanka won't be blamed for poll defeat: HM
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge will lose his job after the Lok Sabha poll results are announced on June 4 but Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi will not be blamed for the defeat, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday. 

\ Shah said Rahul Gandhi's people will also do a press conference post polls, saying they lost due to EVMs. "I have the details of the first five phases. In five phases of the Lok Sabha polls, PM Modi has crossed 310 seats. Rahul will not cross 40 and Akhilesh Yadav will not get even 4 seats on June 4," he said at an election rally in Kushinagar, UP.  

Shah said Kharge is going to lose his job as 'bhai behen' (Rahul, Priyanka) will not be blamed for the defeat. He also said that opposition parties will snatch reservation of Dalits, backwards and tribals and give it to Muslims but the BJP will not let it happen. PTI
Bibhav Kumar (left) is in jail since May 24
Bibhav Kumar (left) is in jail since May 24
14:18   Maliwal case: Kejriwal aide's bail order at 4 pm
A magisterial court on Monday reserved till 4 pm its order on the bail plea of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's aide Bibhav Kumar in the Swati Maliwal assault case. Kumar is accused of assaulting the AAP Rajya Sabha member at the chief minister's residence on May 13. 

Bibhav Kumar's counsel said they have filed a trespassing complaint against Maliwal. "She directly entered the Chief Minister's residence. This amounts to trespass. This is a Chief Minister's home, can anyone come like this? She was asked to wait outside, but she barged and crossed the security zone. Being an MP doesn't give you the license to do anything. This is trespass, and the FIR is against us. What kind of investigation is this?"

He was sent to four days' judicial custody on May 24. Metropolitan Magistrate Gaurav Goyal reserved the order after hearing the arguments.
13:54   Sensex hits 76,000-mark for first time
The BSE benchmark Sensex hit the historic 76,000-mark for the first time on Monday and the NSE Nifty hit its new all-time peak in tandem with a rally in global markets and optimistic investors' sentiment days ahead of the results of the Lok Sabha polls announcement. 

 The 30-share BSE Sensex climbed 599.29 points to an all-time peak of 76,009.68 during the afternoon trade. The NSE Nifty went up by 153.7 points to hit a new lifetime high of 23,110.80. From the Sensex firms, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Larsen & Toubro and ICICI Bank were among the major gainers. Wipro, NTPC, Maruti and Mahindra & Mahindra were among the laggards.
13:52   Modi tried to topple Himachal Cong govt: Priyanka
The only purpose of BJP leaders, starting from Prime Minister Modi, is to grab power at any cost and they indulge in corrupt practices, use money power, bribe legislators and mislead people in the name of God to achieve their purpose, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi said on Monday. 

 "Modi made all-out efforts to topple the democratically-elected Congress government in the state by indulging in corrupt practices and using money power," she said at a rally in Himachal Pradesh's Chamba. 

 The Congress general secretary, who was campaigning for the party's Kangra Lok Sabha seat candidate Anand Sharma, asked the public if they would prefer such a leader.

 She also said the Congress was in power for 55 years but could not become the richest party. The BJP, however, became the richest party in the world in just 10 years, she said. PTI
13:06   Modi Govt reshaped budget in 10 yrs: Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said the Modi government has reshaped the Union budget in the last 10 years from a mere record of expenditures to a strategic blueprint for equitable distribution. 

 The minister asserted that the government would continue to maximise the value of taxpayers' money by putting it to the best possible use. She said the Modi government has prioritised transparency in its budgeting practices and numbers. Countries with transparent budgets are often viewed more favourably by international bodies such as the IMF and World Bank. This can lead to improved global trust. 

 "This starkly contrasts the @INCIndia-led UPA government's repetitive practice of hiding the deficits through off-budget borrowings and issuance of 'Oil Bonds', which somewhat covertly shifted the fiscal burden to future generations. Under UPA, standard fiscal practices were routinely changed to make Budget numbers look favourable," Sitharaman said in a series of posts on X. 

 She said the last decade has witnessed a substantial improvement in the sanctity and credibility of the Union Budget, leaving past constraints and archaic practices behind. -- PTI
12:39   INDIA bloc meet likely on June 1 for poll review
Top leaders of the opposition INDIA bloc are likely to meet on June 1 to assess their performance in the Lok Sabha elections and chalk out their strategy ahead of the results. 

 Sources said the proposed meeting will be convened in Delhi on the afternoon of June 1 when the last phase of polling will be underway. 

 The opposition leaders will discuss their strategy ahead of the June 4 results and assess their performance in the seven-phase elections, the sources said. 

 The opposition alliance has been claiming that it would be able to stop the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) from returning to power at the Centre and cobble together a government of its own. Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge has convened the meeting, the sources said.

 The ruling alliance led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also claimed that it would form the government at the Centre for the third successive time after these elections. Twenty-eight opposition parties came together to form the INDIA bloc. However, some parties such as Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal later switched over to the NDA. PTI
12:28   V Day musings
The enormity of Bharatiya Janata Party made me pull the lever for Aam Aadmi Party. But the calculus of the lesser evil as a guide to political action isn't available to everyone equally, writes Mukul Kesavan. Read the column here. 
12:14   No govt jobs for family of terrorists, pelters: HM
Sending a tough message, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said that no family member of any terrorist nor close relatives of stone pelters will get government jobs in Jammu and Kashmir. 

 Shah also said that the Narendra Modi government has not only targeted terrorists but also eliminated the terror ecosystem, resulting in a drastic fall in terror incidents in the country. 

 "In Kashmir, we have taken a decision that if someone joins a terrorist organisation, their family members will not get any government job," he told PTI in an interview over the weekend. 

 Similarly, Shah said, if someone indulges in stone pelting, his family members will also not get a government job. 

 He said some human rights activists went to the Supreme Court against the decision but, at the end, the government prevailed. 

 The home minister, however, said the government will make an exception in case someone from a family comes forward and informs the authorities that his or her close relative has joined a terror outfit. Such families will be given relief, he said. 

 Earlier, funeral processions used to be taken out in Kashmir after a terrorist was killed, Shah said. "We have stopped this trend. We have ensured that the terrorist is buried with all religious formalities but in an isolated place," he said. 

 The home minister said when a terrorist is surrounded by the security forces, he is first given a chance to surrender. "We call family members like his mother or wife and ask them to make an appeal to the terrorist to surrender. If he (the terrorist) does not listen, he dies," Shah said.

 The home minister said terror incidents have gone down significantly in Jammu and Kashmir as the government has not only targeted the terrorists but also eliminated the terror ecosystem. "Through the NIA (National Investigation Agency), we have taken strong action against terror funding and ended it. We have taken a very tough stand on terror funding," he said. In case of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI), Shah said the government has imposed a ban on publication and spread of the terrorist ideology by it.

11:44   Cyclone: 3 injured in Kolkata, metro suspended
Three persons were injured and vehicular movement was disrupted as trees lay uprooted in several parts of Kolkata in the aftermath of Cyclone Remal, which made landfall in West Bengal and neighbouring Bangladesh, officials said on Monday.

Reports of uprooting of trees have been received from Southern Avenue, Lake Place, Chetla, D L Khan Road, Dufferin Road, Ballygunge Road, New Alipore, Behala, Jadavpur, Golpark, Hatibagan, Jagat Mukherjee Park and College Street, as well as the city's adjoining Salt Lake area, they said. 

 Around 68 trees were uprooted in Kolkata, and another 75 in nearby Salt Lake and Rajarhat area. 

 Water-logging was reported from various places including Southern Avenue, Lake View Road, Pratapaditya Road, Tollygunge Phari, Alipore and Central Avenue, resulting in traffic diversion, a senior officer of Kolkata Traffic Police said. 

 Three persons have suffered injuries in Manicktala area after the cyclone struck, though the exact cause is yet to be known, an official said.

 Meanwhile, train services in the Sealdah South section of Eastern Railway resumed at 9 am after remaining suspended for three hours in the morning, an ER official said. 

 Flight services from the Kolkata airport also resumed on Monday morning after being suspended for 21 hours in view of the cyclone, a senior Airports Authority of India (AAI) official said. -- PTI
11:22   'Economy is not creating enough jobs'
"This government has gone to an extreme level by giving incentives and benefits to only cronies who have been allowed to take over everything, from natural resources to ports, airports, etc," Jayati Ghosh, the well known economist and professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, tells's Shobha Warrier in the concluding segment of a two-part interview. Read it here. 

File pic
File pic
11:15   12 injured in mid-air turbulence
Twelve people injured, with eight taken to hospital, due to turbulence on a Qatar Airways flight, aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, from Doha to Dublin. This comes a week after passengers in a Singapore Airlines flight was hit by turbulence. One person died, while 22 have spinal cord injuries and six have brain and skull injuries, according to media reports.
The mangled Porsche car
The mangled Porsche car
11:07   Porsche teen's blood samples thrown & replaced
Pune car crash: Juvenile's blood sample was thrown into dustbin, another person's sample replaced with it, say police. Blood samples of juvenile were replaced on instructions of Dr Taware and Dr Halnor of Sassoon Hospital, claim police. As juvenile's blood samples were replaced, Sassoon Hospital's report showed no alcohol traces, say police. 

 The Pune police Crime Branch has arrested two doctors from Sasson Hospital in the luxury car accident case where two motorcycle-borne persons were killed earlier this week in Pune city.

 As per the police, the doctors have been arrested on the charge of manipulating blood samples. The minor accused was taken to the hospital for a medical check-up on the day of the accident on May 19. 

 The arrest came after it was discovered that the minor's blood report was changed with those of another person who had not consumed alcohol.
The deserted Kolkata airport
The deserted Kolkata airport
10:51   Flights resume at Kolkata after 21-hr suspension
Flights services from the Kolkata airport resumed on Tuesday after remaining suspended for 21 hours in view of the cyclone Remal, an official said on Monday. 

The first plane to depart on Monday was IndiGo's Kolkata-Port Blair flight at 8.59 am, while the first one to land in Kolkata was SpiceJet's flight from Guwahati. It landed at 09.50 am, an Airports Authority of India (AAI) top official said. Check-in was on for some other flights, the official said. 

 The last flight to depart from Kolkata airport on Sunday was at 12.16 pm. Though the process of resuming flight operations has begun, it will take some more time for the situation to become normal, sources at the airport said.

 The cyclone which made landfall around midnight on Sunday brought heavy rain in the southern part of West Bengal, including Kolkata. The authorities of Kolkata airport have decided to suspend flight operations for 21 hours from Sunday noon in view of the possible impact of cyclone Remal.
Representational image
Representational image
10:37   Man kills son as human sacrifice, held
In a suspected case of human sacrifice, a "mentally unsound" man has allegedly killing his four-year-old son by slitting his throat in Chhattisgarh's tribal-dominated Balrampur district, police said on Monday. 

 The man's family members informed the police that he had claimed to be having hallucinations and hearing voices asking him to "sacrifice" someone, they said. 

 The incident took place on the intervening night of Saturday-Sunday in Mahuadih village under Shankargarh police station limits following which the accused, identified as Kamlesh Nagesia (26), was arrested, a police official here said. 

 After having dinner, the man, his wife and their two children slept in a room of their house. The man later woke up and chopped a hen with a knife in the courtyard of the house. He then brought his elder son, who was asleep, in the courtyard and allegedly slit his throat, leading to his death, the official said. 

 When his wife woke up and did not find the child, she came outside and asked her husband about their son. The accused told her that he killed his child to "offer sacrifice", the official said.

 The woman informed other family members who live in the neighbourhood and villagers who then contacted the police, he said. The accused was arrested on charges of murder, he said. 

 "The accused is said to be of unsound mind and he had earlier told his wife and other family members that he was having hallucinations and hearing voices asking him to sacrifice someone," the official said. He had earlier also tried to kill his mother but his family members prevented him from doing so, he said.
10:28   When in Amritsar do as Amritsaris do...
Shashi Tharoor posts this image writing, "And of course I couldn't leave Amritsar without sampling the famous kulchas at Kulcha Land!"

Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Shashi Tharoor on Sunday promised the businessmen of Amritsar that if the Congress-led INDIA bloc formed its government at the Centre, the policy implemented by the BJP-led NDA government on the international trade through the Attari-Wagah border would be reviewed. The cross-border trade would be normalised to boost Punjab's economy, he said.
Kejriwal in Jamshedpur with his wife and Mrs Soren
Kejriwal in Jamshedpur with his wife and Mrs Soren
10:18   Kejriwal seeks bail extension for medical tests
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking an extension on medical grounds of his interim bail by seven days in connection with the alleged liquor policy, the Aam Aadmi Party said on Monday.

Kejriwal was released from Delhi's Tihar Jail on May 10, fifty days after he was jailed on corruption charges linked to the alleged liquor policy scam and hours after the Supreme Court granted him bail until June 1.

According to the party, the Delhi Chief Minister has lost 7 kilograms weight after his arrest and his ketone level is high which could signal some serious disease.

The party further informed that the doctors had advised the AAP convenor to undergo a Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography (PET-CT) scan and some other medical tests due to which Kejriwal has sought the extension of his interim bail.

After being released from jail, Kejriwal has been involved in campaigning for the INDIA bloc for the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

Kejriwal was arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement in an excise policy case on March 21, days after the election schedule for the general elections was announced.

The bail is applicable till June 1 and Kejriwal has to surrender to authorities on June 2. He participate in the poll campaigning but can not attend his office as Chief Minister.
10:11   Delhi hospital fire: Health Minister calls meeting
Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj has called for a meeting on Monday to discuss the east Delhi hospital fire that killed seven newborns, officials said. 

The meeting will be held at the Delhi Secretariat and Health department officials will be present, they said and added that there will also be discussions on the ongoing heatwave conditions. 

The private neonatal hospital in Vivek Vihar where the seven newborns died and five were injured in the blaze was operating despite the expiry of its license. It also did not have qualified doctors and no clearance from the fire department, police said on Sunday. 

 The police have arrested Dr Naveen Khichi, the hospital's owner, and Dr Aaksh -- who was on duty at the time of the fire late on Saturday. PTI
09:59   Remal weakens into cyclonic storm, more rain likely
Severe cyclonic storm 'Remal' weakened into a cyclonic storm on Monday morning, sustaining wind speeds of 80-90 kilometres per hour, following landfall around midnight of Sunday, the Met Department said.

The weather system, which lay 150 km northeast of Sagar Island at 5.30 am, brought torrential rain in Kolkata and the coastal districts of West Bengal overnight, it said.

It is likely to move northeastwards and weaken further, the department said in a bulletin. 

Kolkata recorded a rainfall of 146 mm in the period between 8.30 am on Sunday and 5.30 am of Monday, it said.

The metropolis logged a maximum wind speed of 74 kmph, while Dum Dum in the northern outskirts of the city recorded maximum wind speed of 91 kmph, the weather office said.

Other places in south Bengal which received heavy rainfall during the period are Haldia (110 mm), Tamluk (70 mm) and Nimpith (70 mm), it said.

The weatherman has forecast more rain in Kolkata and the southern districts including Nadia and Murshidabad, with one or two spells of intense downpour, along with gusty surface winds till Tuesday morning. 

Scenes of widespread devastation were evident across West Bengal's coastal areas, with extensive damage to infrastructure and property, a day after Cyclone Remal tore through the coasts of Bangladesh and West Bengal with winds reaching speeds of 135 km per hour.

The cyclone ravaged adjacent coasts of the state and Bangladesh between Sagar Island and Khepupara, near the southwest of Mongla in the neighbouring country, after its landfall process began at 8.30 pm on Sunday, officials said.

Efforts to restore normality are underway, with emergency services working to clear debris and restore power in the affected areas. -- PTI
09:12   Porsche crash: 2 docs held for manipulating evidence
The Pune police have arrested two doctors of the Sassoon General Hospital in Pune for alleged manipulation of blood samples and destruction of evidence in the case of a car accident involving a 17-year-old boy, officials said on Monday.

Those arrested include head of the forensic department of the hospital, they said.

"They have been arrested for alleged manipulation of blood samples and destruction of evidence in the case," a senior police official said.

Those held have been identified as Dr Ajay Taware and Shrihari Harnor, the official said.

The case is currently being probed by the crime branch.

Two IT professionals died after their motorcycle was hit by a speeding Porsche allegedly driven by the minor in the early hours of May 19.
The police claim the teenager was drunk at the time of the accident.
The teenager was initially granted bail by the Juvenile Justice Board, which also asked him to write an essay on road accidents, but following outrage over the lenient treatment and a review application by the police, he was sent to an observation home till June 5. -- PTI
08:51   B'desh police team reaches Kolkata, to probe MP's murder
A Bangladesh police team, which arrived in Kolkata on Sunday afternoon, said they will seek cooperation from West Bengal CID and conduct a thorough probe into the murder of MP Anwarul Azim Anar.

The team expressed its desire to interrogate the arrested suspects and visit Baranagar, where Anar resided, along with speaking to the MP's friend and the landlord of the house where he stayed.

Speaking to PTI anonymously, a senior state CID officer affirmed their readiness to assist the Bangladesh detectives in every possible way. He said all evidence gathered by the state CID regarding the case would be shared with them.

The search for the missing MP began when Gopal Biswas, a resident of Baranagar and an acquaintance of Anar, lodged a complaint with local police on May 18, stating that Anar, who arrived in Kolkata on May 12 for medical treatment, had gone missing.

According to Biswas, Anar left his residence in Baranagar for a doctor's appointment on May 13, assuring that he would return home for dinner. However, he became unreachable on May 17, prompting Biswas to file a missing complaint the following day.

According to Kolkata Police, circumstantial evidence indicated that the MP was first strangled and killed after which his body was chopped into pieces and dumped in different areas. Traces of his body or body parts are yet to be found.  
08:42   Cyclone Remal leaves trail of destruction in Bengal
Widespread devastation is visible across coastal areas of West Bengal on Monday, a day after severe cyclonic storm 'Remal' made landfall packing winds up to 135 kilometres per hour.
The cyclone ravaged adjacent coasts of the state and Bangladesh between Sagar Island and Khepupara, near the southwest of Mongla in the neighbouring country, after its landfall process began at 8.30 pm on Sunday, causing extensive damage to infrastructure and property.

'Remal' left a trail of destruction in its wake. Roofs of thatched huts were blown away, trees uprooted and electric poles knocked down, causing significant disruption in various parts of the state, including Kolkata.

Waterlogging has been reported in several areas, compounding the misery of the affected residents.

The storm brought with it heavy rains, which continued into Monday morning, flooding homes and farmlands.

In the Gosaba area of the Sundarbans, one person was injured after being hit by debris. In Kolkata's Bibir Bagan area, a person was hurt when a wall collapsed due to the relentless downpour.

The West Bengal government evacuated over one lakh people from vulnerable areas ahead of the cyclone's landfall.

This effort was focused primarily in the South 24 Parganas district, including Sagar Island, Sundarbans and Kakdwip.

While the move certainly saved lives, damage to property remains extensive.

The North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts reported widespread damage. News footage from the coastal resort town of Digha showed tidal waves crashing into a seawall, with surging waters sweeping fishing boats inland and inundating mud-and-thatch houses and farmlands.

The cyclone caused rainfall and winds in areas such as Digha, Kakdwip and Jaynagar, which intensified on Monday. -- PTI