NCB WIDENS RAMPAL PROBE, SEARCHES FRIEND PAUL’S HOUSE - The Daily Guardian
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NCB WIDENS RAMPAL PROBE, SEARCHES FRIEND PAUL’S HOUSE

Preeti Sompura

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The Narcotics Control Bureau probing actor Arjun Rampal and his live-in partner Gabriella Demetriades for drug links is now also probing a close friend of the actor residing in Bandra. The friend who has been identified by his first name Paul Grier, is known to Rampal for a long time, was questioned initially by NCB officials when his residence was searched last evening. NCB officials searched Paul’s residence but there has not been any development so far. Paul was issued a summon and asked to be present at the NCB office on Thursday.

According to sources, Paul arrived at the NCB Mumbai office at 10 am and was questioned by the team probing the case 16/20 which is also known as the SSR drug case. Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede also questioned Paul before leaving for a court hearing at the NDPS court in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, actor Arjun Rampal’s live-in partner Gabriella Demetriades also reached the NCB office in Mumbai for the second round of questioning on Thursday. She arrived at around 11 am for the questioning. According to an NCB official, Gabriella has reportedly distanced herself from her brother Agisilaos Demetriades, who is currently in NCB custody in two cases for alleged procurement, storage, and sale of drugs.

Arjun Rampal had also been summoned to join investigations on Thursday. The anti-drugs bureau had conducted a raid at Rampal and Demetriades’ house on Monday, after which it summoned both of them for questioning.

According to the official, the NCB had seized their electronic gadgets including laptops, mobile phones and tablets while conducting the raid and had also questioned their driver. The agency, a day before raiding Rampal’s apartment, arrested Bollywood producer Firoz Nadiadwala’s wife after it recovered marijuana from their residence at suburban Juhu. The official also said that Demetraides’ brother Agisilaos had been arrested by the NCB last month in a drugs case from a resort in Lonavala.

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‘Threat letter’ found in car carrying explosives near Mukesh Ambani’s residence

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 26 (ANI): A ‘threat letter’ was found in the car along with explosive materials from the car found near the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence on Thursday, said a source in Mumbai Police of Friday.
According to the source, the handwritten letter in ‘broken English’ was addressed to Mukesh Ambani and his wife Neeta Ambani.
“A letter was also found in the car with the explosives near Antilia. The handwritten letter was in broken English with grammatical mistakes and was addressed to Mukesh and Neeta Ambani. It is basically a threat letter calling the planted explosives a ‘trailer’ and a warning to return with more preparations to assassinate the whole family later,” said the source.
Mumbai Police had deployed its personnel outside Ambani’s house after explosive materials were found near his residence on Thursday.
“Police deploy police personnel across the city and are conducting searches. The vehicle has been seized for investigation. A letter has been found inside the suspicious vehicle,” Mumbai Police said yesterday.
A car carrying unassembled explosive materials was found abandoned at Carmichael Road in South Mumbai on Thursday evening, near the house of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani.
The bomb squad and police teams have rushed to the site and a probe is underway.
According to Mumbai Police, the vehicle was examined by a Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS), and gelatin, a substance often used to make explosives was recovered from it. (ANI)

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India reports 16,577 new COVID-19 cases, 120 deaths

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New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): As many as 16,577 new COVID-19 cases and 120 deaths were reported in India during the last 24 hours, informed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Friday.
With this, the total coronavirus caseload in the country has gone up to 1,10,63,491, including 1,55,986 active cases and 1,07,50,680 discharges.
The COVID-19 death toll reached 1,56,825 on Friday with additional 120 deaths.
As per the Health Ministry, a total of 1,34,72,643 people in the country have been vaccinated against the virus.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16, 2021. The vaccination of the frontline workers started on February 2.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) informed today that the total number of samples has reached 21,46,61,465 as of Thursday, including 8,31,807 samples tested yesterday. (ANI)

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Amit Shah hails IAF on 2nd anniversary of Balakot air strikes

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New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): On the second anniversary of Balakot air strikes, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said the Indian Air Force (IAF) had again made clear the policies of New India against terrorism by responding to the Pulwama terror attack.
“On this day in 2019, the Indian Air Force had again made clear the policies of New India against terrorism by responding to the Pulwama terror attack,” the Home Minister tweeted.
Shah also paid homage to the martyrs of the Pulwama attack and said the country and its soldiers are safe under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I remember the martyrs of the Pulwama attack and salute to the courage of IAF for air strikes. The country and its soldiers are safe under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he tweeted (roughly translated from Hindi).
On February 14, Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) targeted a CRPF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway near Pulwama in South Kashmir killing 40 CPRF personnel.
Days later IAF launched an air-strike on a JeM camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
The air-strike was launched in the early hours of February 26 and Pakistan’s efforts to launch an offensive the next day to target Indian military installations in Jammu and Kashmir was thwarted by an alert IAF.
In the dogfight, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, flying a MiG-21 Bison fighter plane and chasing Pakistani jets, crossed over to PoK where his aircraft was shot down. He was taken into custody by Pakistan. India also shot down a Pakistani fighter jet. (ANI)

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Mumbai police books man for murder in Colaba

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 26 (ANI): Mumbai police on Friday registered a case against a wanted accused in the case of a murder in Colaba Area of South Mumbai on Thursday evening.
According to an official police statement, a man named Ismail Sheikh (51) was attacked with a sharp weapon and killed on Sassoon dock in Colaba.
“Accused had some old dispute with the deceased. He assaulted the victim with a sharp weapon last evening around 7.30 pm near Sassoon dock and killed him,” police said. (ANI)

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Allahabad HC denies anticipatory bail to Amazon Prime India head over ‘Tandav’ row

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Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) [India], February 26 (ANI): The Allahabad High Court on Thursday refused to grant anticipatory bail to Aparna Purohit, the head of India Originals, Amazon Prime Video, in a case filed in Noida against makers of the web series ‘Tandav’ over the depiction of police, the Prime Minister and Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
A single-judge bench of Justice Siddharth passed this order yesterday while hearing an anticipatory bail application.
According to the order, the anticipatory bail application had been filed by Purohit in the case under Sections- 153 (A) (1) (b), 295-A, 505 (1) (b),505 (2) IPC, Section 66 and 67 of the Information Technology Act and Section 3 (1) (r) of SC/ST Act.
It said that the allegation in the FIR lodged against the applicant and six other co-accused persons is that a web series is being shown on Amazon Prime Video, which is an online movie OTT (over-the-top) platform, has objectionable content.
The web series is being shown through Amazon Prime Video through Head of India Originals, as a paid movie.
The order further said that the movie has been directed by co-accused, Ali Abbas Zafar. The content of this movie is affecting the image of the Uttar Pradesh police adversely. In a Dial 100 police vehicle, two actors are shown travelling with open doors in a police uniform, consuming liquor and hurling abuses, it added.
It is also seen that Hindu gods and goddesses have been depicted in a bad light with the intention of inciting communal sentiments.
The post of Prime Minister has been depicted in a manner that will adversely affect the democratic system of the country. Caste and community-related utterances have been made deliberately so that they may affect public peace, the judgment noted.
A disclaimer is included in the movie in this regard. The cast and crew of the web series Tandav have already issued an unconditional apology and have removed the offensive scenes.
Purohit, along with other co-accused persons, filed a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India before the apex court praying for quashing of the number of FIRs and complaint cases lodged against the applicant and other co-accused persons on January 27, 2021.
Notices have been issued to the opposite parties, leaving it open for the accused persons to approach the High Court of the state for grant of bail/anticipatory bail. Hence, the applicant sought bail from the Allahabad High Court.
The state government, meanwhile, had vehemently opposed the application by Purohit. Additional Government Advocate (AGA) has submitted that total of ten FIRs and four criminal complaints have been filed relating to the disputed web series in the country.
The Allahabad HC said there have been attempts in movies to subvert the image of historical and mythological personalities and mentions “Padmavati”.
The court further noted that there appeared to be a design behind such acts. (ANI)

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Rajnath Singh salutes IAF on 2nd anniversary of Balakot air strikes

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New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): On the second anniversary of Balakot air strikes, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday saluted the exceptional courage and diligence of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and said “the success of strikes has shown India’s strong will to act against terrorism”.
“On the anniversary of Balakot Air Strikes, I salute the exceptional courage and diligence of the Indian Air Force. The success of Balakot strikes has shown India’s strong will to act against terrorism. We are proud of our Armed Forces who keep India safe and secure,” the Defence Minister tweeted.
On February 14, Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) targeted a CRPF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway near Pulwama in South Kashmir killing 40 CPRF personnel.
Days later IAF launched an air-strike on a JeM camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
The air-strike was launched in the early hours of February 26 and Pakistan’s efforts to launch an offensive the next day to target Indian military installations in Jammu and Kashmir was thwarted by an alert IAF.
In the dogfight, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, flying a MiG-21 Bison fighter plane and chasing Pakistani jets, crossed over to PoK where his aircraft was shot down. He was taken into custody by Pakistan. India also shot down a Pakistani fighter jet. (ANI)

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