Toolkit case: Shantanu gets transit bail, order on Nikita’s plea today - The Daily Guardian
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Toolkit case: Shantanu gets transit bail, order on Nikita’s plea today

Shantanu Muluk was at Delhi’s Tikri border from 20-27 January, say Delhi Police sources.

Preeti Sompura

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Activist Shantanu Muluk, one of the three main accused in the “toolkit” case, has received interim protection from arrest. Shantanu, against whom Delhi Police had issue a non-bailable arrest warrant, got a transit anticipatory bail from the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court.

Delhi Police has accused activists Shantanu Muluk, Nikita Jacob and Disha Ravi of “spreading disaffection against the Indian state” by creating the “toolkit” document—shared earlier this month on Twitter by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg in support of the ongoing farmers’ protest—in collaboration with the pro-Khalistani group Poetic Justice Foundation.

While Ravi, a 22-year-old climate activist, was arrested last Saturday, non-bailable warrants against Shantanu and lawyer-activist Nikita Jacob were issued on Monday.

Jacob had filed an anticipatory bail on Monday. The order over her bail request has been reserved till Wednesday. Sources said that Delhi Police has assured her lawyer that no coercive action will be taken against her until the court rules on her application.

Shanatnu Muluk’s cousin Sachin Muluk is the Zilla Pramukh of the Shiv Sena in Beed. While speaking to the media, Sachin Muluk said, “Shantanu is an environmentalist. He was backing the farmers’ agitation. If it is a crime to back a stir and fight for farmers, then it displays the dictatorial nature of the government. This is an attempt to stifle dissent. The farmers and people must thwart this attempt. It is important to think about how the future of the youth is being spoiled.”

Shantanu’s parents had been contacted on 12 February by Delhi Police. A team had reached Beed for a search of the premises and questioning. “They came at 5 am and inquired for about 2-3 hours. They were polite. We told them we do not know where he is,” Shivlal Muluk, his father said. “He was passionate about the farmers’ stir,” his mother Hema added.

Shantanu is a mechanical engineer-turned-environmental activist. He had done his MS from the US. The family said he had come to Beed to attend a wedding on 7 February, but since then they have had no contact with him. Shantanu used to do a job in Aurangabad earlier, but had recently shifted to Pune to do something on his own, his family said.

On Monday, Delhi Police alleged that Shantanu, Disha and Nikita had created the document and passed it on to others for editing.

A Canada-based woman, Puneet, had got the three in touch with the banned group, the police claimed. They later had a Zoom meeting on 11 January in which they discussed generating social media buzz for the farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police sources claim that Shantanu was present at the farmers’ protest site at Delhi’s Tikri border from 20-27 January. The information was revealed as the police were interrogating 21-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi, who was arrested from Bengaluru on Saturday.

According to police sources, apart from Shantanu, several other activists were present in Delhi on 26 January when the Red Fort violence broke out during the farmers’ tractor rally.

The Delhi Police has already written to software firm Zoom to find out which activists attended the virtual Zoom meeting on January 11 organised by the pro-Khalistan Poetic Justice Foundation in which the modalities of the ‘Global Day of Action’ were worked out and based on the course of action decided in that Zoom meeting, Nikita Jacob, Shantanu, Disha and others collaborated together to draft the ‘Toolkit’ document. The Delhi Police is also verifying if global climate activist Greta Thunberg attended the Zoom meeting. According to sources, nearly 60 to 70 people from India and abroad attended the meeting.

The police said that Mo Dhaliwal, the founder of Canada-based pro-Khalistan outfit Poetic Justice Foundation, had contacted Nikita through his woman colleague Puneet, a Canadian citizen, to create a storm on Twitter ahead of Republic Day. According to sources, the name of another woman Anita Lal has also cropped up in the conspiracy.

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Urdu Bulletin: I-T raids on properties of Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu, COVID-19 vaccination reported prominently

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Thursday’s editions of various Urdu publications gave prominent coverage to the Income Tax department’s raids at the residences and offices of film director Anurag Kashyap and actor Taapsee Pannu in Mumbai.
The publications also reported about the COVID-19 vaccination drive across the country, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s remarks in the Assembly and the results of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) bypolls in five wards.
Inquilab: The newspaper led with the Income Tax department raids at the offices and residences of Kashyap and Pannu. It reported that both of them were interrogated in connection with alleged tax evasion.
The newspaper also highlighted the Supreme Court’s refusal to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah, seeking a direction to prosecute him for allegedly making a statement on scrapping of Article 370.
The newspaper also reported Maharashtra chief minister Udhav Thackeray’s dig at the Centre over changing the Motera stadium’s name to Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad, and his statement that his party does not need to learn Hindutva from BJP.
Inquilab also published a report in which it said that over 3,000 girls of ‘Khatoon volunteers’ have written an open letter demanding the resignation of Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde for asking a rapist to marry his schoolgoing victim.
Rashtriya Sahara: The newspaper led with the news of MCD bypoll results in which Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won four seats, Congress won one and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) drew a blank.
The newspaper also highlighted the COVID-19 vaccination drive. A report in the newspaper said that over 50 lakh people registered in the last 24 hours on CoWIN portal. It also said that over 1.56 crore people have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Rashtriya Sahara also reported PM Modi’s address at a webinar on the implementation of Union Budget 2021 in the education sector in which he stressed the need to reform the sector by including skill development, research and innovation for a ‘self-reliant India’. (ANI)

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Centre raids pro-farmers: Rahul Gandhi on IT raids at Taapsee-Anurag

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday took a dig at the Centre over the IT raids at properties of film director Anurag Kashyap and actor Taapsee Pannu, saying the Central government is targetting those who have been raising their voice in support of the farmers’ protest.
“Some Idioms: ‘Ungaliyon par nachaana’ – Central government does this with IT Dept-ED-CBI. ‘Bheegee billee banana’ – friendly media in front of the central government. ‘khisiyaanee billee khamba noche’ – like the central government makes a raid on the supporters of the farmer. #ModiRaidsProFarmers,” Gandhi said in a tweet.
The raids, which started on Wednesday, continued on Thursday as well with the income tax department carrying out searches at the commerce centre of KWAN Talent Management Agency in Mumbai.
On Wednesday, Income Tax officials conducted raids at the properties of Anurag, Taapsee and film producer Vikas Bahl while carrying out searches at their offices and residences.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav has also slammed the Centre over the raids, terming it as a “political vendetta”.
“BJP misuses institutions like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and IT Department for political benefits. It is a political vendetta. There is a dictator who does not want to listen to voices against him. He destroyed all institutions,” Yadav had told ANI.
Both Taapsee and Anurag have been vocal supporters of farmers’ agitation who have been protesting since November 26 last year against the three contentious farm laws.
Farmers are protesting against the 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 at Delhi’s borders. However, the implementation of the three laws was in January put on hold by the Supreme Court.
(ANI)

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Delhi CM receives first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at LNJP hospital

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday was administered his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Delhi government-run LNJP hospital here.
52-year-old Kejriwal has been receiving treatment for diabetes for the last 10 years, hence he is eligible for inoculation under the ongoing phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive.
His parents, who reached the hospital, were also vaccinated.
Speaking after getting the vaccine shot, Kejriwal said: “My parents and I have taken a jab of COVID-19 vaccine at LNJP hospital. We took Covishield. We don’t have any problems (after vaccination) and are in good health. I appeal to those who are eligible for vaccination to come forward to take the vaccine. There are good facilities at LNJP hospital. There is no need to fear. Doubts in people’s mind (about vaccine) no longer exist.”
“We are in touch with the Central government. If needed, we will increase vaccination centres,” he added.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16, 2021, and the vaccination of the Frontline Workers (FLWs) started on February 2. The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on March 1 for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan have already been vaccinated against COVID-19.
As per the Health Ministry, a total of 1,66,16,048 vaccine doses have been given to the beneficiaries in the country against COVID-19 till today.
Meanwhile, as many as 17,407 new COVID-19 cases and 89 deaths were reported from India in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

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Odisha’s coastline to emerge epicentre of India’s development: Dharmendra Pradhan

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday said that Odisha’s long coastline is going to be the epicentre for the development of India.
“The government-led initiatives in the petroleum and steel sectors will provide impetus to the maritime economy in Odisha. Integration of crucial infrastructures like road, rail and port will lead to the industrial development of the state. Potential for the port-led blue economy will be unlocked with the multi-modal rail, road and air linkages with sea and riverine ports for transport of minerals and goods at much lower logistics cost, he added.
In the 21st century, the maritime economy is going to change the face of the world, especially Odisha and India, the minister said.
Terming Odisha as the energy gateway for eastern India, he urged investors to invest in the development of ports in Odisha adding that the government’s initiatives in the Petroleum and Steel sectors will provide impetus to the maritime economy of Odisha which has immense potential for maritime trade and commerce.
“Odisha has been at the centre of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Purvodaya vision. Massive investment is being made to promote infrastructure development activities across the various industrial and commercial sectors in Odisha, It is emerging as the energy gateway of eastern India,” the Minister urging all stakeholders to unite the efforts as a team to help create an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
Addressing a special session on investment opportunities in Odisha at the maritime India Summit 2021 virtually, the Minister said, Odisha’s coast along with Paradip will be the gateway of growth of the eastern part of the country.
He urged all stakeholders to unite our efforts as a team to help create an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
“Odisha’s long coastline is going to be the epicentre of development and growth in the region.It has natural harbours, rich natural resources, long coastline and skill-able as well as hardworking manpower. The state is uniquely poised to be part of India’s AatmaNirbhar journey and contribute to the country’s target of becoming a five trillion dollar economy,” he said.
“At one point in history, we were one of the prosperous civilization in the world, which is known as the ‘Kalingan Civilization’, ‘Utkaliye Civilization’. There is a lot of anthropological, social evidence on all these issues.
Today we are at the beginning of the 21st century. PM Modi has given a clarion call for the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, for a 5-trillion economy. These are not mere words or concepts only. There are certain actionable points, there are some responsibilities, a concrete plan to achieve all these targets. Every society, every state has its own roadmap. I am happy the Government of Odisha is on a very positive note, preparing itself to be a part of this 5-trillion dollar economy and Atmanirbhar Bharat. (ANI)

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Goa DGP takes first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

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Bambolim (Goa) [India], March 4 (ANI): Goa Director General of Police (DGP) Mukesh Kumar Meena on Thursday morning took the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Goa Medical College (GMC), Bambolim.
Meena said he has urged all his colleagues to get themselves vaccinated in order to rededicate themselves to the service of the people during the pandemic.
“#goapolice has been on the frontline in the fight against #COVID19. I have urged all my colleagues to get the vaccine as a matter of pride and rededicate themselves to the service of the people during the pandemic. I took the #COVID19Vaccine today, so must you! #goa @goacm @dip_goa,” the DGP Goa tweeted.
The second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive — to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus — began on March 1.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi. Apart from the Prime Minister, President Ram Nath Kovind and several union ministers, including Amit Shah, S Jaishankar, Jitendra Singh, Dr Harsh Vardhan and several others have also received their first COVID-19 vaccine jabs.
As per the health ministry, a total of 1,66,16,048 vaccine doses have been given to the beneficiaries in the country against COVID-19 till Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, as many as 17,407 new COVID-19 cases and 89 deaths were reported in the country in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

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India reports 17,407 fresh COVID-19 infections, 89 deaths in last 24 hours

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): India witnessed a spike of 17,407 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry.
14,031 discharges and 89 deaths were recorded during this period.
The country’s coronavirus tally has reached 1,11,39,516 including 1,08,26,075 recoveries and 1,57,435 deaths.
At present, there are 1,73,413 active coronavirus cases.
With 83,556 active coronavirus infections, Maharashtra has the highest number of cases in the country. Kerala follows with 46,288 active cases.
According to the ministry’s data till March 4, a total of 1,66,16,048 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 so far.
A total of 21,91,78,908 samples were tested for COVID-19 up to March 3, of these, 7,75,631 samples were tested yesterday, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) informed. (ANI)

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