Gujarat Congress candidate attempts suicide in protest against EVM tampering

News Network
December 8, 2022

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Ahmedabad, Dec 8: Alleging tampering with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), a Congress candidate from Gujarat's Gandhidham attempted suicide on Thursday.

Earlier today, Congress candidate Bharatbhai Veljibhai Solanki tried to kill himself as he began trailing claiming BJP's handiwork behind it.

Fortunately, many Congress supporters and others who stood there rushed and thwarted any grave consequences.

While the allegations of EVM tampering continue, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has done exceptionally well in the Gujarat Assembly Elections. When reports last came in, the saffron party had broken all records, plundering a robust 157, bettering its own earlier record.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had conducted extensive campaigning in the poll-bound state, even holding an unprecedented 30-km roadshow, attracting a phenomenal 10 lakh supporters in attendance.

While BJP is revelling in its glory, the picture is rather sad with the Congress, which has managed a paltry 19 seats at the time of filing this report.

Diametrically opposite to Modi's buoyant campaigning, Congress's Rahul Gandhi did not participate enthusiastically. He was there in the state for a day as he took a break from Madhya Pradesh - where at that point in time - the Bharat Jodo was taking place. 

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News Network
January 23,2023

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Torrance, Jan 23: The hunt for a gunman who killed 10 people at a Los Angeles-area ballroom dance club ended Sunday when authorities found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the van he used to flee after people thwarted his attempt at a second shooting.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna identified the man as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran and said no other suspects were at large.

He added that the motive remained unclear for the attack, which wounded 10 more.

Luna did not have the exact ages of the victims but said they all appeared to be over 50.

Seven of the wounded people remained in the hospital, he said.

"I still have questions in my mind, which is: What was the motive for this shooter? Did he have a mental illness? Was he a domestic violence abuser? How did he gets these guns and was it through legal means or not?” Congresswoman Judy Chu said.

Earlier Sunday, law enforcement officials swarmed and entered the van after surrounding it for for hours before going in.

A person's body appeared to be slumped over the wheel and was later removed from the vehicle.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna previously released photos of an Asian man who was believed to be the suspect.

The manhunt came after the gunman killed 10 people at a ballroom dance studio late Saturday amid Lunar New Years celebrations in the predominantly Asian American community of Monterey Park.

He likely tried and failed to target a second dance hall, authorities said.

The van was found in Torrance, another community home to many Asian Americans, about 22 miles (34.5 kilometers) from that second location.

The shooting sent a wave of fear through Asian American communities in the Los Angeles area and cast a shadow over Lunar New Year festivities around the country.

Other cities sent extra officers to watch over the celebrations.

“The community was in fear thinking that they should not go to any events because there was an active shooter,” Chu said. She added that she wants residents to now feel secure.

“Feel safe,” she said to residents during a press conference late Sunday. “You are no longer in danger.”

Luna said the shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park left five women and five men dead and wounded another 10 people.

Then 20 to 30 minutes later, a man with a gun entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in nearby Alhambra.

The suspect entered the Alhambra club with a gun, and people wrested the weapon away from him before he fled, Luna said.

Hours earlier, Luna said authorities were looking for a white van after witnesses reported seeing the suspect flee from Alhambra in such a vehicle.

Members of a SWAT team entered the van a short time later and looked through its contents before walking away.

It was unclear what they found.

The massacre was the nation's fifth mass killing this month. It was also the deadliest attack since May 24, when 21 people were killed in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people on the eastern edge of Los Angeles and is composed mostly of Asian immigrants from China or first-generation Asian Americans.

The shooting happened in the heart of its downtown where red lanterns decorated the streets for the Lunar New Year festivities.

A police car was parked near a large banner that proclaimed “Happy Year of the Rabbit!”

The celebration in Monterey Park is one of California's largest.

Two days of festivities, which have been attended by as many as 100,000 people in past years, were planned. But officials cancelled Sunday's events following the shooting.

Tony Lai, 35, of Monterey Park was stunned when he came out for his early morning walk to learn that the noises he heard in the night were gunshots.

“I thought maybe it was fireworks. I thought maybe it had something to do with Lunar New Year,” he said.

“And we don't even get a lot of fireworks here. It's weird to see this. It's really safe here. We're right in the middle of the city, but it's really safe.”

Wynn Liaw, 57, who lives about two blocks from the Monterey Park studio, said she was shocked that such a crime would happen, especially during New Year's celebrations.

“Chinese people, they consider Chinese New Year very, very special" — a time when "you don't do anything that will bring bad luck the entire year,” she said.

She took a picture of the activity outside the studio to send to relatives and friends in China "to let them know how crazy the U.S. is becoming with all these mass shootings, even in the New Year.”

An Associated Press/USA Today database on mass killings in the U.S. shows that 2022 was one of the nation's worst years with 42 such attacks — the second-highest number since the creation of the tracker in 2006.

The database defines a mass killing as four people killed, not including the perpetrator.

The latest violence comes two months after five people were killed at a Colorado Springs nightclub.

President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland were briefed on the situation, aides said.

Biden said he and first lady Jill Biden were thinking of those killed and wounded, and he directed federal authorities to support the investigation.

The shooting occurred at Star Ballroom Dance Studio, a few blocks from city hall on Monterey Park's main thoroughfare of Garvey Avenue, which is dotted with strip malls of small businesses whose signs are in both English and Chinese.

Cantonese and Mandarin are both widely spoken, Chinese holidays are celebrated and Chinese films are screened regularly in the city.

The business offered dance lessons from tango to rumba to the fox trot, and rented its space for events.

On Saturday, its website said, it was hosting an event called “Star Night” from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. 

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News Network
January 15,2023

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Mangaluru, Jan 15: The Mangaluru International Airport, controlled by Adani Airports, is all set to set to increase the user development fee (UDF) for the period up to March 2026 after the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) gave the green signal.

With this the passengers flying from this airport will have to pay more from February. 

Previously, only passengers departing or embarking from MIA had to pay UDF. However, beginning February 1, all passengers arriving from various airports and leaving from MIA will be charged UDF.

MIA had moved Airports Economic Regulatory Authority, seeking a revision in the aeronautical tariff for a control period of five years from April 1, 2021, up to March 31, 2026.

MIA had pitched for a revision of airport charges, including user development fee (UDF) from passengers flying in and out of this coastal city. The fee will be hiked every financial year, both for domestic and international passengers.

New Tariff 

International travellers arriving at MIA will have to pay Rs 330 as UDF between February and March of this year which will be hiked to Rs 435 from April 2023 till March 2024 and further to Rs 480 after April 2025.

Starting April, domestic travellers will also have to pay Rs 560 towards UDF. This fee will go up further to Rs 700 from April 2024 and to Rs 735 from April 2025. Similarly, international travellers will have to cough up Rs 1,015 from April which will go up to Rs 1,120 from April 2025.

For the first time, domestic passengers arriving at MIA will have to pay an UDF of Rs 150 from April 2023 which will further go up to Rs 240 from April 2024 and Rs 315 from April 2025.

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News Network
January 17,2023

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka State Contractors’ Association has alleged that they are being pestered by the Ministers and ruling BJP MLAs to pay them bribe.

The Association members released before reporters here a purported conversation on WhatsApp and the audio of the conversation with the MLAs seeking money.

According to them, at least 14 MLAs and three or four Ministers were involved in the alleged extortion.

The Association working president Manjunath accused an MLA with arm-twisting an assistant executive engineer to collect bribe from the contractors.

He claimed that he paid money to the MLA directly and also through engineers. “I’ve been giving the bribe to the BJP MLA in installments since 2019,” Manjunath alleged.

The contractor claimed that he had paid Rs 20 lakh for a hospital construction work, Rs 12.5 lakh for PWD work, Rs 10 lakh during the COVID first wave and Rs 12 lakh during the second.

This apart, he paid Rs 22 lakh for the formation of a residential layout and for its approval from a competent authority in Chitradurga.

Manjunath charged the said MLA with demanding Rs 30 lakh as ‘advance commission.’ The Association’s charges come at a time when the Congress mounted an attack on the BJP accusing it of running an alleged 40 per cent commission government.

The Congress has been referring to an incident wherein a contractor committed suicide accusing the then Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K S Eshwarappa of demanding 40 per commission.

The BJP, however, dismissed the allegations by saying there were no credible evidences to act on its partymen. 

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