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All should cooperate for a peaceful election: Punjab CM

(Chandigarh, Jan 4, 2016): With Punjab set to go to polls on February 4, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal appealed to political parties to cooperate with the Election Commission (EC) in conducting the elections in a peaceful and fair manner.

In a statement issued here today, the Chief Minister said that Punjabis have always upheld the lofty ideals of peace, communal harmony and brotherhood and hoped the glorious tradition would be maintained.

Punjab, together with Goa, will go to polls on February 4, the Election Commision announced today.

Irrespective of political differences, every party has a right to disseminate their ideology, the chief minister said, adding that Punjab government fully respected this and was committed to carrying out elections in a peaceful, free and fair manner.

The Chief Minister also said the state government would fully cooperate with the Election Commission in strictly implementing the Model Code of Conduct. (PTI)

Hazare is part of 'RSS conspiracy', alleges NCP

(Mumbai, Jan 4, 2016): With Anna Hazare moving the Bombay High Court seeking a CBI inquiry into the alleged "Rs 25,000 crore sugar cooperative factories scam", the NCP today dubbed the social activist as an "agent of the RSS".

NCP spokesman Nawab Malik alleged that Hazare was playing a role in the "RSS conspiracy" to defame senior NCP leaders like Sharad Pawar.

"Why is Hazare not protesting over any issue in the BJPruled Maharashtra," Malik asked.

Hazare recently moved the Bombay High Court seeking a CBI inquiry into what he termed a "Rs 25,000 crore sugar cooperative factories scam".

He filed two civil PILs and a criminal PIL seeking a CBI probe into the issue. The criminal PIL is listed for hearing on January 6 before a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka.

The petitions alleged that fraud had been committed in governance by first burdening sugar cooperative factories with debts and thereafter selling these sick units at a throwaway price, causing loss of Rs 25,000 crore to the government, cooperative sector and members of public.

The petitions also demanded an inquiry by a Special Investigating Team (SIT) into alleged role of "politicians into the sugar cooperative scam, including NCP president and former Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and his nephew and former irrigation minister Ajit Pawar". (PTI)

Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma new CBI chief

(New Delhi, Jan 20, 2017): Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma was today appointed Director of CBI, country's premier probe agency.

His name was cleared by a threemember selection panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and comprising Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar and Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge as members.

Verma has been made the CBI chief, official sources said.

The post of CBI director was lying vacant for over one month following Anil Sinha's retirement on December 2.

At present, Gujaratcadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana is the interim director of the investigating agency.

Verma, a 1979 batch IPS officer of Arunachal PradeshGoaMizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre, took over as Delhi Police Commissioner from February 29, 2016. (PTI)

Notes ban: ED arrests Surat-based Bhajiawala under PMLA

(Surat, Jan 20, 2017): The ED today said it has arrested citybased financer Kishore Bhajiawala on money laundering charges and for allegedly using 1,000 fake IDs to illegally convert Rs 1 crore in old notes into new post demonetisation.

The agency said it has placed "Jignesh Kishorebhai Bhajiawala (41) under arrest as per provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at about 11:45 PM last night" at is subzonal office here. He will produced in court today.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had registered a criminal FIR against Bhajiawala and some of his family members based on a CBI FIR against him, which was booked after the Income Tax department first conducted searches and seized gold and cash from his premises as part of their operation in December last year to check blackmoney post the notes ban.

The case had gained prominence after investigating agencies detected the proverbial ragstoriches ascent of the 'chaiwala'turnedfinancier based in the diamond city of Gujarat.

"The Bhajiawala family has converted a huge amount of their unaccounted money, post demonetisation, into new high denomination currency and other valuables through collusion with bank officials and private persons by impersonating, forgery and by using forged documents.

"An amount of over Rs 1.02 crore in new currency was seized by the IT department from his premises during searches at his home, shop and bank lockers held by them. It was also found that the accused had hired several bank lockers in benami names to stash their unaccounted assets," the ED alleged. (PTI)

TN planning ordinance in favour of Jallikattu

(New Delhi, Jan 20, 2017): In a bid to defuse the swelling street protests, Tamil Nadu government today said it will issue an ordinance to ensure the conduct of Jallikattu sport in a day or two and has submitted a draft of it to the Union Home Ministry.

After discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and consultations with legal experts, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam announced this morning that the state government will amend a Central act on Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to allow conduct of Jallikattu in the state with Centre's backing and urged protestors across the state to withdraw their agitation following the likelihood of the bull taming sport to be held in a "day or two."

Panneerselvam, who stayed back in Delhi yesterday to discuss the matter with legal experts and government officials, said the draft ordinance has been prepared and sent to the Union Home Ministry today, and after Centre's approval, it will be sent for Presidential assent.

"I stayed back in Delhi yesterday and discussed with legal experts and senior government officials the matter of making amendments to Centre's animal cruelty prevention act (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960) at the state level. On the basis of that it was decided to bring an amendment to the Act at the state level," he told reporters here.

"It was also decided to issue an ordinance to make this amendment. Under the Constitution of India, this draft ordinance has to be sent to Union Home Ministry and on Centre's recommendation it has to be sent to the President for his approval," he said.

After securing a Presidential order, Tamil Nadu Governor can issue an ordinance on the matter, he said, adding, he had asked his senior officials to liaison with their Central government counterparts on the matter by staying put in Delhi.

Panneerselvam sounded confident of seeing the matter through as he recalled the Prime Minster's assurance of support to any legal steps by his government to allow the bull taming sport in the state and said the ordinance will be issued in a day or two.

"As said by the Prime Minster, we will get full Central cooperation on this matter. So, with the ban about to be removed and Jallikattu likely in a day or two, I request the public, students and other organisations who have been protesting to withdraw their agitation," he said, flanked by among others, state Animal Husbandry Minister P Balakrishna Reddy. (PTI)

26/11 mastermind's nephew killed in Kashmir

(Srinagar, Jan 20, 2017): A top LashkareTaiba militant, believed to be nephew of the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, was today gunned down by security forces in an encounter in north Kashmir's Bandipora district.

Abu Musaib, a selfstyled divisional commander of LeT, was active in Bandipora and Ganderbal districts since August 2015 and involved in many militancyrelated activities including a suicide attack on a CRPF camp on Independence Day in downtown Srinagar last year, police said.

A police spokesman said the force, aided by Rashtriya Rifles and CRPF personnel, cordoned off Para Mohalla locality of Hajin, 32 kms from here, following specific information about the presence of militants there in the morning.

The hiding militant opened fire on the joint search party, triggering an encounter. The gunfight ended with the killing of a militant who was later identified as Musaib, a Pakistani national, the spokesman said.

"Musaib, reportedly a nephew of LeT operations chief Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, was functioning as selfstyle divisional commander of the terrorist group in the Valley," he said.

An AK56 rifle, three magazines, 66 rounds, a radio set and three grenades were seized from the encounter site.

"The militant was active in Bandipora and Ganderbal districts since August 2015 and was involved in many militancy related activities which included weapon snatching of an army personnel of 14 Rashtriya Rifles in Bandipora in October 2015.

"He was responsible for injuring a civilian at Hajin, and firing on an army patrol of 13 Rashtriya Rifles in which two personnel were killed last year.

"He played an active role in organising the Fidayeen attack at Nowhatta locality of downtown Srinagar on August 15 last year," the spokesman said.(PTI)

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