Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 16 (ANI): Climate activist Nikita Jacob, who is involved in the controversial “Toolkit” document case related to farmers’ protest, has admitted that there was a Zoom meeting before Republic Day, which was attended by Poetic Justice Foundation founder MO Dhaliwal, and other fellow activists including Disha Ravi.
In a document submitted by Jacob’s lawyer to Mumbai police, she claimed that the “Toolkit” was being prepared by Extinction Rebellion (XR) India volunteers for presenting the whole picture with a simple breakdown for an international audience.
Despite this admission, Jacob has denied sharing any information with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and added that the document was an “informational pack” and was not intended to incite violence.
She also claimed that she has “no religious, political and financial motive or agenda for researching, discussing, editing and circulating toolkits for raising awareness.”
Apart from this, Jacob has sought protection from arrest for four weeks, interim protection from any coercive action and a direction to the Delhi Police to share with her a copy of the FIR registered against her.
This comes a day after MO Dhaliwal, the founder of pro-Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation contacted activist Nikita Jacob through his colleague Puneet, a Canadian citizen, to create a storm on Twitter ahead of Republic Day, according to the police sources.
Earlier, an investigation into the toolkit conspiracy has revealed the deeper conspiracy associated with the Google document.
According to the sources, four days ago Special Cell team went to Nikita Jacob’s house and examined her electronic gadgets. Delhi police told her that they would again question her but she is currently not available.
Previously, 21-year-old Disha Ravi was arrested from Bengaluru in connection with the formulation and dissemination of Toolkit document, in the ongoing farmers’ protest. She was one of the editors of ‘Toolkit’ document.
Disha was later sent to five days of police custody. Later on Monday, the police also issued a non-bailable warrant against activists Nikita Jacob and Shantanu, a resident of Beed in Maharashtra.
According to the Delhi Police, the editors of the toolkit collaborated with the pro-Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation to spread disaffection against the Indian State. Disha was the one who shared the Toolkit Doc with Greta Thunberg.
Last week, Disha was presented before a Delhi Court that remanded her five days of police custody. Disha Ravi broke down inside the courtroom and told the judge that she has edited only two lines and she wanted to support the farmers’ protest.
Earlier, the Delhi Police sent a communication to Google seeking registration details and activity log of the account through which a “toolkit” related to the farmers’ protest was created and uploaded on the social media platform. (ANI)
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SC stays arrest warrant of BJP leader Bharati Ghosh
New Delhi [India], March 9 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the arrest warrant issued against BJP leader and former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh in connection with the 2019 Lok Sabha polls violence case.
“We grant interim protection till May 10, 2021,” the apex court said in its order. The court also said no further coercive action be taken against Ghosh in the case.
The top court had earlier granted protection from arrest in all the cases registered against Ghosh.
On Monday, Ghosh, who has been fielded by the BJP for the assembly polls in West Bengal from the Debra constituency of West Midnapore district, had moved the Supreme Court seeking a stay of the arrest warrant issued against her on February 4, 2021, registered at the Keshpur Police Station in connection with the 2019 Lok Sabha polls violence case.
Ghosh claimed in her plea that she joined the BJP before the last Lok Sabha elections and 10 first information reports (FIRs) were registered by the West Bengal police against her “in false cases”. She said four more FIRs were filed against her after the elections.
She also sought a direction to the respondents, particularly the Union of India (UOI), to call for reports of the Central Industrialist Security Force (CISF) submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) regarding the alleged incident of May 12, 2019.
Ghosh also sought a direction to the West Bengal government to furnish the complete list of cases/FIRs registered by them, directly or indirectly, against her.
The petitioner sought directions for the West Bengal government to give the petitioner prior notice, at least 10 clear days in advance, in the event of their registering a new/fresh case/FIR against her.
She is contesting the upcoming state elections from Derba against TMC candidate Humayun Kabir. (ANI)
COVID-19 vaccination coverage in India crosses 2.3 crores
New Delhi [India], March 9 (ANI): The nationwide COVID-19 vaccination has crossed 2.3 crores coverage, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday.
The ministry said more than 2 million vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours.
According to health ministry data, as on Day-52 of the vaccination drive, 20,19,723 vaccine doses were given. Out of which, 17,15,380 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 28,884 sessions for the first dose (HCWs and FLWs) and 3,04,343 healthcare workers (HCWs) and frontline workers (FLWs) received a second dose of vaccine.
“These include 70,75,010 HCWs (1st dose), 37,39,478 HCWs (2nd dose), 67,92,319FLWs (1st dose) and 3,25,972 FLWs (2nd Dose), 7,01,809 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities (1st Dose) and 43,74,145 beneficiaries aged more than 60 years,” the health ministry said.
Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Karnataka continue to report a surge in the COVID daily new cases and they cumulatively account for 84.04 per cent of the new cases reported in the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, 15,388 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours whereas Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 8,744. It is followed by Kerala with 1,412 while Punjab reported 1,229 new cases.
The ministry further informed that the eight states are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases.
“India’s total active caseload has reached 1,87,462 today. India’s present active caseload now stands at 1.67 per cent of India’s total positive cases,” it said.
Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura did not report any new COVID-19 cases, while Maharashtra, Punjab and Kerala had reported over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. (ANI)
Kolkata: One more arrested in Pamela Goswami drugs case
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 9 (ANI): Priyanka Singh, alias Sweety, has been arrested in connection with the drugs case in which Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Yuva Morcha leader Pamela Goswami was arrested in Kolkata earlier in February, the Kolkata Police informed on Tuesday.
“One Priyanka Singh (alias Sweety) was arrested yesterday in connection with New Alipore PS drug case (Pamela matter). She was engaged by Rakesh Singh to procure Cocaine from drug peddlers. She purchased cocaine Rs 9,500 per gram and handed it over to Rakesh Singh. She will be produced in court today,” a statement from the Police said.
This is the fifth arrest in the case.
On February 24, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Rakesh Singh had been produced before Alipore Court in connection with the narcotics case.
Kolkata Police had arrested both his sons from his residence “following their links with Goswami”.
On February 20, BJP Yuva Morcha leaders Pamela Goswami and Prabir De had been arrested with 100 grams of cocaine from New Alipore in Kolkata.
A person named Somnath Chatterjee (26) had also been arrested in connection with the seizure of about 90 grams of narcotic substance (suspected cocaine) in Kolkata. (ANI)
Vigilance submits final report in bar bribery case against K Babu
Kochi (Kerala) [India], March 9 (ANI): The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) has submitted a final report in the bar bribery case against former minister and Congress leader K Babu in the Vigilance court here.
The VACB sought the cancellation of further action into the case claiming the absence of evidence to prove the charges against Babu.
The report was submitted by the Vigilance Central Range Superintendent.
The case pertains to Babu’s involvement in the corruption of Rs 100 crore over issuing of new bar licenses and closure of liquor outlets close to bars.
Vigilance booked K Babu over the complaint of Kerala Hotel Industrial Association president and Palakkad native VM Radhakrishnan.
“Babu took action to immediately issue license to some bars while keeping some applications pending. He also took a decision to favour the interests of Kerala Bar Hotel Association owners. He misused his powers to shut down the liquor outlets situated close to the bars of his friends and benamis. Crores of rupees were collected annually to renew the bar license through the Kerala Bar hotel association. He also issued an order restricting the issuance of bar license without his consent,” the complaint said.
The probe was initiated in 2016 after Baby was accused of amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income when he was the Excise Minister in the previous United Democratic Front (UDF) government in Kerala.
He has been accused of taking bribes during the controversial closure of bars in the state and was forced to resign from his post due to the strictures passed against him by the Kerala High Court. (ANI)
SC dismisses PIL challenging Election Commission’s decision regarding WB polls
New Delhi [India], March 9 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the PIL filed by an advocate, Manohar Lal Sharma, challenging the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decision regarding the West Bengal Assembly polls.
A three-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde and also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian dismissed the petition filed by petitioner-cum-lawyer, Sharma.
The Supreme Court also dismissed the petition of Sharma, who sought a CBI probe into the alleged use of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ as a rallying slogan in the poll run-up.
Sharma stated that the EC had said that the election in West Bengal will be held in eight phases. The petitioner demanded a stay on the order of the EC.
Sharma in his plea has said that the order of the EC violated article 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
Sharma also has said that the CBI should lodge an FIR against those who had allegedly chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’. (ANI)
Delhi budget: Rs 50 crores allocated for free COVID-19 vaccines
New Delhi [India], March 9 (ANI): The Delhi government has allocated Rs 50 crores in this year’s budget to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to the people of the national capital.
“COVID-19 vaccines will be available free of cost for people of Delhi in government hospitals in the union territory. We have allotted Rs 50 crores in the budget for the same,” said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia while presenting Delhi’s first paperless budget on Monday in the Delhi Assembly.
He also said that the number of COVID-19 vaccinations will soon be increased from 45,000 to 60,000 per day.
Sisodia also announced that Delhi will have its first Sainik School alongside Delhi Armed Forces Preparatory Academy where students will be acquainted with the NDA coaching besides regular studies.
“Today I present this ‘Deshbhakti Budget’ in view of the Centre’s celebrations of India’s 75 years of independence. This budget will focus on India’s 75 as well as 100 years of independence,” said Sisodia while presenting the budget.
The budget session of the Delhi assembly is scheduled to continue till March 16.
The nationwide vaccination drive was rolled out in the country on January 16 and vaccination of the frontline workers started on February 2. The second phase of COVID-19 vaccination started on March 1 for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. (ANI)
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