Goa-bound flight from Russia diverted to Uzbekistan after bomb threat

News Network
January 21, 2023

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Panaji, Jan 21: A Goa-bound chartered flight from Russian capital Moscow with 240 passengers on board was diverted to Uzbekistan in the wee hours of Saturday following a bomb threat, police said.

This is the second such incident on the Moscow-Goa route involving the same airline in less than two weeks. The flight, operated by Russian airline Azur Air, was scheduled to land at the Dabolim airport in South Goa at 4.15 am, a senior police official said.

"The flight (AZV2463) was diverted to Uzbekistan after an email was received at 12.30 am by the office of the Dabolim airport director, which said that a bomb was planted on the plane.

The flight was diverted before it entered the Indian airspace. It landed at an airport in Uzbekistan around 4.30 am," he said. Apart from passengers, there were seven crew members on board, he said.

On January 9, a Moscow-to-Goa flight had made an emergency landing at Gujarat's Jamnagar airport following a bomb threat.

That flight was also operated by Azur Air. After the threat mail, the Dabolim airport was put on alert and the personnel of Goa Police, Quick Response Team (QRT), Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and dog squad were deployed at the facility as a precautionary measure, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Vasco) Salim Shaikh said.

"Additional police force was mobilised at the airport," he said.

In the January 9 incident, the Azur Air office in Russia had received the threat mail, while this time it was received by the office of the Dabolim airport director, sources said. A senior official of the Dabolim airport said a police complaint would be lodged in connection with the incident.

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News Network
February 18,2024

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Kamal Nath, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Congress strongman, is mulling a switch to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the party's leadership denied him a Rajya Sabha ticket, India Today TV reported citing sources aware of the matter. 

"Kamal Nath is likely to switch to the BJP and the Congress leadership has made no attempts to reach out to him. Things have come to a knot with Kamal Nath actively lobbying for a Rajya Sabha ticket," sources aware of the matter said.

They claimed that Kamal Nath even met Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge for a Rajya Sabha nomination. "The former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister even hosted MLAs to endorse his nomination, but the leadership refused to blink," they added. 

Congress blames Kamal Nath for fall of MP govt

The sources, however, added that the party "bent backwards to please" Nath. They also blamed Kamal Nath and his "adamance" for the fall of the Madhya Pradesh government. These sources added Nath refused to cooperate with anyone sent from Delhi. 

"Senior leader JP Agarwal was shunted out because he (Kamal Nath) didn't want him as the in-charge and refused to corporate with him. Randeep Surjewala was given the assignment later, but Kamal Nath continued to have a one-way traffic as far as ticket distribution and campaigning in Assembly elections were concerned," the sources said. 

There were reports suggesting that Kamal Nath, along with his son Nakul Nath and other MPs may switch over to the BJP.

Kamal Nath on joining BJP

The speculations peaked when the former Madhya Pradesh CM arrived in Delhi on Saturday. While speaking to reporters, Nath said if there was any such thing, he would inform the media first.

"It is not about denying, you are saying this, you people are getting excited. I am not getting excited, this side or that side, but if there would be any such thing, I would inform you first," Nath said. 

Kamal Nath's close aide spills the beans

Kamala Nath's close aide Sajjan Singh Verma said: "Three things work in politics- respect, insult and self-respect, when these are hurt a person changes his decisions... When such a top politician who has done a lot for Congress and the nation in the last 45 years, thinks of moving away from the party, then all three factors work behind it. No decision has been taken that Kamal Nath ji is going, right there is just speculation..."

MP Congress on Kamal Nath-BJP reports

The Madhya Pradesh Congress on Saturday refuted rumors of party veteran Kamal Nath and his son, MP Nakul Nath, defecting to BJP. PCC president Jitu Patwari, during a press conference, dismissed the news about former CM Kamal Nath as baseless.

He emphasized the long-standing relationship between the Nath family and the Nehru-Gandhi family, dating back to the 1970s. Patwari recounted Nath's 45-year political journey, highlighting his seven-year tenure as Congress president in Madhya Pradesh and his steadfast support for the party.  

"In his political career of 45 years, he spent the last seven years as president of the Congress in Madhya Pradesh," Patwari said. "He stood shoulder to shoulder with all of us Congress workers and stood firmly for the party in every situation.  By imbibing the ideas of the people, he led us to perform our duties fearlessly while playing the role of the opposition," he said.

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News Network
February 19,2024

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New Delhi, Feb 19: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will once again skip the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) summons, marking the sixth time he has failed to appear for questioning in connection with the Delhi excise policy case. The AAP has reiterated its stance, declaring the summons as "illegal" and asserting that the matter is now before the court.

In a statement released today, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emphasised that the ED had approached the court itself. The party suggested that instead of repeatedly issuing summonses, the ED should await the court's decision on the validity of the matter.

The ongoing legal battle between Mr Kejriwal and the ED has escalated, with the probe agency persistently summoning the Delhi Chief Minister, who has consistently refused to comply. The sixth summons comes in the wake of a Delhi court's directive to Arvind Kejriwal to appear and explain his non-compliance with the previous summons.

Mr Kejriwal's refusal to appear before the ED raises the possibility of him becoming the first sitting chief minister to face arrest.

The ED, investigating money laundering charges, has been probing allegations related to the Delhi liquor excise policy. The case revolves around accusations that the AAP government's revamped alcohol sales policy allowed it to receive kickbacks from cartels, allegedly funneled into funding election expenses in various states, including Goa.

While Mr Kejriwal has not been named as an accused in the case, two senior AAP members, including ex-Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, have faced arrests.

The AAP vehemently denies all charges, asserting that the BJP is manipulating investigative agencies to target the party.

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News Network
February 11,2024

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Palestinians in Rafah, in which more than half of the Gaza Strip's population have been forced to seek refuge from an ongoing genocidal Israeli war, vow to remain in the city, despite the imminent threat of an all-out Israeli assault.

More than one million people have fled to the southern Gaza city amid the October 7-present war that has so far killed around 28,000 Palestinians, mostly women, children, and adolescents.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli military on Friday to prepare to evacuate civilians from Rafah ahead of a planned ground operation against the city. Aid organizations, however, say such a move will be nearly impossible to fulfill, given the scale of devastation elsewhere in Gaza, and the huge numbers of people trapped in the besieged area.

In a statement on Saturday, Palestinians in the city asserted that "we will not leave Rafah under any circumstances. We have decided to either die here or return to our homes victorious when the war has stopped."

"We will not leave Rafah. And we will die standing tall. Either victory... or martyrdom," they said.

"On behalf of every displaced person and on behalf of the people of Rafah, we call on all world powers to act forcefully to curb the aggression, stop the massacres, and prevent the Rafah catastrophe."

Philippa Greer, head of Legal Office at UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, in the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, posted on X, underlining the appalling humanitarian condition in the city.

"1.4 million people are amassed in deteriorating conditions, many displaced multiple times," she said, underlining that "the population has already endured intolerable pain, suffering, hunger & fear," and noting that the city suffered from "acute shortages of shelter, clean water, food & medicine."

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