Former Congress minister in Karnataka Roshan Baig was arrested by the CBI on Sunday in connection with the Rs 4,000-crore IMA ponzi scam. He was later produced in a court and sent to a 14-day judicial custody.
Baig was summoned to the CBI office and based on “material evidence”, he was arrested, the agency said.
The scam linked to a ponzi scheme run by the Bengaluru-headquartered IMA Group came to light in June 2019, when payments to investors in the company’s schemes abruptly stopped. The founder, Mansoor Khan, later fled abroad, leaving thousands of investors in the lurch. He was arrested a month later.
While abroad, Khan had released an audio message accusing Baig of taking Rs 400 crore from him and not returning it. Baig had refuted the allegation, saying the statement was “frivolous, baseless and mischievous”.
In 2019, Baig was expelled from the Congress for criticising the state party leadership over its dismal performance in the general election. He was also among the MLAs whose revolt led to the collapse of the JDS-Congress government. He was, however, not inducted into the BJP like others.
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We want leader like him: Rahul Gandhi hails K Kamaraj for implementing mid-day meal scheme in TN
Tenkasi (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 28 (ANI): Recalling former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kumaraswami Kamaraj for his leadership quality, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said that when it came to implementing the mid-day meal in state, the leader did not care about the economists’ opinion that it would be a bad idea, he only listened to the people and introduced the scheme.
Kamaraj served as the Tamil Nadu chief minister for three consecutive terms from 1954-1963.
“Economists had said Mid-day Meals would be bad idea, but Kamaraj ji (former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister) listened to people and brought in the scheme. Tamil Nadu showed direction to India as the scheme was introduced later in country. That is the kind of leader we want,” said Gandhi while addressing a rally in Tenkasi.
Cornering the Central governmet, the Wayanad MP allleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government does not respect the people of Tamil Nadu, their culture and language.
“The Narendra Modi government does not respect the people of Tamil Nadu, the language of Tamil Nadu, and the culture of Tamil Nadu. He says India has one language, one culture, one religion and one history,” he added.
He further said the Congress party looks forward to a government in Tamil Nadu that looks after the interest of farmers, small businesses and labourers.
On Saturday, Gandhi had slammed the Union Government, stating that the Centre thinks they can control the people of Tamil Nadu. He even targeted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and alleged that he is a corrupt leader.
“I fall asleep at night in 30 seconds as I am not afraid of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. How long does Tamil Nadu CM take? He can’t sleep at night as he is not honest. Since he is dishonest he cannot stand up against Mr Modi who thinks he can control people of Tamil Nadu because Chief Minister is corrupt,” he had said.
Tamil Nadu assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Friday.
With this announcement, the model code of conduct comes into force. The assembly elections in the southern state are important for the national as well as the regional political parties.
Polls will be held for 234 seats in Tamil Nadu with the Congress-DMK and BJP-AIADMK alliance being the major groups contesting against each other. (ANI)
Keep tractors ready as you may have to reach Delhi anytime: Rakesh Tikait to farmers
Shamli (Uttar Pradesh) [India], February 28 (AN): Amid the ongoing protest against the new farm laws, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Sunday asked the farmers to keep their tractors ready stating that they may have to reach the national capital anytime.
“This is my appeal to farmers that they should continue to work in their fields and also keep their tractors ready with their tanks full of oil as they may have to come to Delhi anytime,” he told reporters here.
He alleged that the Centre formulated the new farm laws without the consent of the farmers and demanded the government to take back the laws.
“You formulate laws without asking us, and then ask us to point out the shortcomings. When the entire laws are black then they should be taken back. They (Centre) want to lock grains inside a locker, want to do business on hunger in the country, then that will not happen,” the farmer leader said.
“It is necessary to hold mahapanchayats across the country because this is the problem of the entire nation. Dharna will also continue alongside these panchayats. As of now, we have planned programs till March 24. We will travel across the country,” Tikait said.
He also asserted that the ‘dharna’ will continue as the government has not agreed with the farmers’ demands.
On February 24, addressing a Kisan mahapanchayat in Rajasthan’s Sikar, Tikait had threatened the Central Government and said that if the three laws are not repealed, the farmers will ‘gherao’ the Parliament on 40 lakh tractors.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)
No new cases of COVID-19 in Mizoram in last 24 hrs
Aizwal (Mizoram) [India], February 28 (ANI): No new COVID-19 cases were reported in Mizoram in the last 24 hours, the state health department informed on Sunday.
However, five people recovered from COVID-19, taking the total number of active cases in the state to 20.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the state now stands at 4,423, including 4,393 recoveries.
According to the health department, the recovery rate in the state is 99.23 percent.
A total of 10 people have succumbed to the virus in Mizoram till now. (ANI)
Srinagar-Leh highway reopens for vehicular traffic after 58 days
Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], February 28 (ANI): The Srinagar-Leh highway which was closed for 58 days has been reopened on Sunday for vehicular traffic after the snow has been cleared along the Zojila pass, informed the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
Vehicles carrying essential commodities were initially allowed to move towards Leh-Laddakh from the Zojila pass.
According to BRO, snow clearance of Zojila Pass is a big challenge owing to snow accumulation of 30-40 feet, threats of avalanches and inclement weather conditions.
“Due to the ongoing border dispute in Eastern Ladakh, keeping Zojila pass open for an extended period was a strategic requirement. BRO with grit dedication to serve the nation, kept Z-axis trafficable till December 31 last year,” read a statement issued by the organization.
“Snow clearance was resumed again on February 7 and link up with Drass was made on February 15. The pass has been declared opened February 28,” it said.
“In recorded history, this has been the earliest opening of Zojila and also a minimum period of closure of this axis,” the statement further said. (ANI)
Congress must set their house right to fight ‘divisive forces’: Farooq Abdullah
Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], February 28 (ANI): Amid the criticism of Congress by its own leaders, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Sunday said Congress party “must set their house right” and asked them must to unite to fight the “divisive forces” of the country.
“It is a problem in their house and they have to set their own house right. I want the Congress to be strong and I want the Congress to unite and fight divisive forces of the country. Congress must unite and Congress must become strong,” Abdullah told reporters.
“People look forward to Congress, in trying to sort things out in the country. They have been a party for nearly 150 years,” he added.
Senior Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and Anand Sharma on Saturday had stated that the G-23 or the group of 23 dissenting leaders are seeing the Congress party “getting weaker” and are raising their voice for the betterment of the party.
On the death of Krishna Dhaba owner’s son, the J-K National Conference leader today said, “It’s unfortunate those who shout from the top of the mountain that everything is well. They should answer: Lt Governor should answer and the DGP should answer who say everything is well.”
“They have to find what is the cause and find why it’s happening and try to treat the cause,” he added.
On February 17, terrorists belonging to the ‘Muslim Jaanbaz Force’, an offshoot of proscribed terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba attacked Krishna Dhaba’ in Srinagar’s Durganag area when 24 foreign diplomats were visiting the union territory.
The son of the owner of popular food joint Krishna Dhaba, who was injured in the terrorist attack on the eatery, succumbed to his injuries on Sunday morning. (ANI)
Foreign cigarette worth over Rs 4.75 cr seized in Mumbai
New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Sunday intercepted and seized 21,60,000 cigarette sticks of foreign origin worth over Rs 4.75 crores at a Container Freight Station (CFS) near Nhava Sheva Port in Mumbai.
“Specific intelligence was received by officers of the DRI, Mumbai, that a large number of cigarettes of foreign origin was being attempted to be smuggled into India in an import consignment arriving from Dubai. Hence, the DRI officers identified the suspected consignment and intercepted it at a CFS near Nhava Sheva Port,” read the official statement by the DRI.
“The examination of the said Import consignment was done under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 which resulted in the recovery of cigarettes of foreign origin. A total of 21,60,000 cigarette sticks of smuggled cigarettes, valued at Rs 4,75,20,000, were seized,” the statement added.
An investigation by the DRI had revealed that the consignment was imported using the Importer Exporter Code (IEC), which had been obtained by misusing Know Your Customer (KYC) documents.
No arrest has been made so far but the DRI has some leads about the persons involved in this smuggling racket. (ANI)
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