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Bombay HC to hear Arnab Goswami’s bail plea today

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Declining any interim relief to Republic TV Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, currently in 14-day custody till 18 November, the Bombay High Court on Thursday said that it would hear both sides in the case before passing an appropriate order on Friday.

A division bench comprising Justice S.S. Shinde and Justice M.S. Karnik directed the lawyers of Goswami to make Akshata Naik – the widow of architect Anvay Naik – and the Centre party to the bail plea and serve copies to them.

The court would also hear on Friday the plea filed by Adnya Naik, the daughter of Akshata and Anvay, seeking a reinvestigation of the A-Summary Report filed by the Raigad Police in connection with the complaint into the double suicide of her father and grandmother Kumud Naik on May 5, 2018.

Goswami was arrested on Wednesday morning in a dramatic operation by the Mumbai and Raigad Police teams and was taken to Alibaug in connection with the double suicide case.

After a marathon hearing, Alibaug Court Chief Judicial Magistrate Sunaina S. Pingle declined the police plea for 14-day police custody and sent Goswami to judicial custody till November 18.

In his plea before the Bombay High Court, Goswami’s lawyer sought an urgent interim stay on the probe into the suicide case FIR in Alibaug accusing him of abetment to suicide, and demanded interim bail.

Based on a complaint by Akshata Naik, the Alibaug Police had registered the FIR in 2018 after her husband (Anvay) and mother-in-law (Kumud Naik) committed suicide on May 5 that year.

In a suicide note, Naik had named three persons – Republic TV’s Goswami for defaulting on a payment of Rs 83 lakh, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia for defaulting Rs 4 crore and Nitesh Sarda of Smartworks for not paying Rs 55 lakh.

While Goswami was nabbed from his Worli home, Shaikh and Sarda were arrested from the Mumbai suburbs in the same case. The Naik mother-daughter duo has welcomed the police decision saying they are finally hopeful of getting justice. 

IANS

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Pragya Thakur complains of problem in breathing, taken to Mumbai hospital

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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) [India], March 6 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pragya Singh Thakur has complained of a problem in breathing and is being admitted to a hospital in Mumbai.
According to Thakur’s office, she will be admitted to Kokilaben hospital in Mumbai.
Pragya Singh Thakur is MP from Bhopal. (ANI)

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Assam polls: Sushmita Dev annoyed with seat allocation, Congress denies rumours of her resignation

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By Siddharth Sharma
Dispur (Assam) [India], March 6 (ANI): Congress leader and former Member of Parliament Sushmita Dev has been left annoyed with the seat-sharing method employed in the party’s alliance with All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) in Assam ahead of the assembly polls.
According to sources, Sushmita, who is the president of the All India Mahila Congress (AIMC), is upset with the seat allocation to AIUDF in Silchar, her own constituency and also about the selection of candidates in Silchar.
She has also expressed her objection regarding the consideration of an ex-MLA from one of the assembly seats. Sushmita also approached Congress state in-charge Bhawar Jitendra Singh over the issue, as per sources.
However, the process of candidate finalisation is still underway by the Central Election Committee for the first two phases of the assembly polls to be held from March 27 to April 6.
Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary Randeep Surjewala has denied the reports of Sushmita’s resignation from the party.
Speaking to ANI, Surjewala on Saturday said, “Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is fearing a defeat in Assam and that’s why they are spreading the news of Dev leaving the party.”
“The news of Sushmita Dev’s resignation is wrong and baseless,” he added.
In a press statement, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee’s (APCC) Media Department Chairperson Bobbeeta Sharma said, “It has been brought to the notice of APCC that speculative news about the resignation of President of All India Mahila Congress, Sushmita Dev is doing the rounds on television and web portals. We want to make it clear that she has not resigned from the party.”
Congress is expected to announce the first list of candidates soon, whereas the BJP has declared names of candidates for 70 seats ahead of the state assembly polls.
A total of 2,32,44,454 electors will elect the candidates in Assam for the 15th legislative assembly of Assam. (ANI)

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Goa police nabs 3 in connection with robbery in Dabolim

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South Goa (Goa) [India], March 6 (ANI): Goa police has arrested three men in connection with a robbery case in Goa’s Dabolim.
“After receiving a phone call on Friday, informing about theft being committed in a house in Fatima colony, we immediately alerted our patrolling staff and they rushed to the said house. The staff reached the spot and detained one person namely Sunil More, a member of the gang of four,” said the Superintendent of Police (SP), South Goa Pankaj Kumar Singh.
Sunil is a resident of Ullhas Nagar in Thane.
“After a massive manhunt, the second accused, Suraj Maruti Kambli, also a resident of Ulhasnagar, was traced at Panjim bus stand on Friday evening while he was trying to board a bus for Mumbai,” the SP added.
Around six in the morning on Saturday, the third accused, Vishal Ahuja, was nabbed near one of the casinos in Panaji.
The victim revealed that a gang of four persons led by one person namely Sanjay Verma, a known to the complainant, entered his house, tied him and forcefully demanded money. When the complainant said he didn’t have cash, they demanded other valuables.
Having not found any valuables, Sanjay Verma forcibly took the signature of the complainant on four cheques and also took the credit card along with the pin number from the complainant.
“They also ransacked the entire house and took away five imported wristwatches, around Rs 7000 cash, and a mobile handset,” the officer further informed.
Most of the robbed articles have been recovered. Further investigation is underway. (ANI)

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Poll fever goes high with wall paintings in Kolkata streets

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By Syeda Shabana Parveen
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 6 (ANI): Soon after the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) announced candidates for the forthcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal, the wall paintings and flexes are all set to intensify the poll fever in the city.
Be it TMC candidate Aroop Biswas from Tollygunj or Jawed Khan from Kasba, the walls in south Kolkata have been adorned with party’s ‘joda phool’ (double flower) symbol and candidate names.
The flexes across the city are dominated by TMC slogan “Bangla nijer meyekei chaye” (Bengal wants its own daughter) featuring Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Some of the graffiti also has catchy lines, like “Jokhon daki tokhon payi, Arup da ke abar chai” (Whenever we call Arup Biswas is accessible). Arup Biswas is TMC’s candidate from Tollygunj.

Elections also bring employment opportunities for painters and flex makers who give expression to all political parties’ messages, be it Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘Sonar Bangla’ or TMC’s ‘Khela hobe’.
“In Bengal, Mamata Banerjee is going to make a come back again. We were benefitted from her schemes like Swasthya Sathi, Kanyashree and others. Most importantly, she has been with us whenever we need her,” said Subrata Mukherjee, a local resident from South Kolkata.
Another local resident Ranjit Ghatak said, “Bengal believes in development which we have seen in the past 10 years.”

On Friday, Mamata Banerjee released the list of 291 TMC candidates for the elections and said she will contest from Nandigram instead of Bhawanipore, her current constituency, where she has been the sitting MLA since 2011.
“We are the first political party to announce the candidate list. Today, we are releasing a list of 291 candidates, which includes 50 women, 79 SCs, 17 STs and 42 Muslim candidates. On three seats of north Bengal, we are not putting up our candidates. In three seats — Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong — Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) will contest the elections and whoever wins will support us,” she said.
The TMC chief said the party was not able to provide seats to many because they have to bring new candidates forward.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting on April 29. The counting of votes in the state will take place on May 2. (ANI)

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Health Ministry tells states, UTs with rising COVID cases to ‘Test, Track and Treat’

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Saturday urged the states, exhibiting surge in daily new COVID-19 cases and high active caseload, to return to the fundamentals of ‘Test, Track and Treat’.
According to an official release issued by the ministry, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and member of NITI Aayog Vinod K. Paul today interacted with Health Secretaries and Managing Directors of National Health Mission of Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Union Territories of Delhi and Chandigarh.
“These States/UTs have in the recent past seen increased positivity and increased number of daily positive cases,” the release said.
The officials reviewed the ongoing public health measures of surveillance, containment and management of COVID-19 cases in wake of the steep rise in daily new cases of COVID-19 and the high number of active caseload being reported from these eight States/UTs.
“These state/UTs have been asked to continue with the effective strategy of ‘Test Track and Treat’ that had yielded rich dividends at the height of the pandemic,” the release said.
During the meeting, it was pointed out that that 9 districts in Delhi, 15 in Haryana, 10 in Andhra Pradesh, 10 in Odisha, 9 in Himachal Pradesh, 7 in Uttarakhand, 2 in Goa and one district in Chandigarh continue to be of concern as these districts are seeing a decrease in total tests being conducted, low share of RT-PCR tests, increase in weekly positivity and low number of contact tracing of the COVID positive cases.
These together can pose high risk of transmission to the neighbouring States and UTs.
The ministry has urged the officials of these states/UTs to increase the share of RT-PCR tests in districts dependent on high levels of antigen testing, to refocus on surveillance and stringent containment of those areas in selected districts which are seeing cluster of cases and carry out an average close contact tracing of minimum of 20 persons per positive case.
The ministry has also asked them to accelerate the vaccination against the virus for priority population groups in districts reporting higher cases.
The state and UTs officials have also been asked to promote COVID-appropriate behaviour through communication and enforcement. (ANI)

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Rape survivor set ablaze, succumbs to burn injuries in Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh

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Hanumangarh (Rajasthan) [India], March 6 (ANI): A rape survivor who was burnt in Goluwala village of Hanumangarh district succumbed to injuries on Friday in Jaipur during treatment.
“The accused was undergoing trial after the woman had filed a complaint. Family members expressed their doubts about him. We are investigating,” Preeti Jain, Superintendent of Police (SP) Hanumangarh told ANI.
The survivor was earlier admitted to a hospital in Sriganganagar but later referred to Bikaner as her condition went serious. Yesterday, she was taken to Jaipur where she died in the night.
The maternal grandmother of the survivor has filed a case against Pradeep Bishnoi at Goluwala police station for burning the victim. The grandmother also said that the survivor had filed a case against Bishnoi for rape and he had been on bail for one and a half years.
According to the deceased’s family, Bishnoi had been threatening and stalking her for the last 15 days.
Bishnoi has been in the custody of Goluwala police for two days and he is being interrogated.
According to police, the CCTV footage shows another person apart from Bishnoi. Meanwhile, the survivor named Bishnoi in her statement to police.
Further investigation is underway. (ANI)

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