Modi govt in touch with Taliban after kidnap of Indian businessman by miscreants in Afghan

News Network
September 17, 2021

In the wake of abduction of an Indian citizen by unknown miscreants in the capital city of Afghanistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in New Delhi has been in touch with the new Taliban government in Kabul.

“We are in touch with all concerned. We have seen reports about local authorities undertaking investigations into this matter. We will continue to monitor the situation," Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), told journalists in New Delhi.

Bansri Lal Arendeh was purportedly kidnapped at gunpoint in Kabul on Tuesday.

Bagchi said that he was “given to understand” that Arendeh was a citizen of India but the government was in the process of checking his citizenship status. Arendeh’s family lives at Faridabad in Haryana. He has been engaged in business in Kabul for the last two decades.

The Taliban has announced a government in Kabul after taking over Afghanistan through a military offensive across the country – taking advantage of the withdrawal of troops by the United States and its NATO allies. New Delhi’s envoy to Doha, Deepak Mittal, had a meeting with Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of the Taliban’s political office in the capital of Qatar, on August 31. It was New Delhi’s first publicly-acknowledged contact with the Taliban in 22 years.

New Delhi did not make it clear if it would recognize the new Taliban Government in Kabul, but the kidnapping of Arendeh apparently prompted it to acknowledge that it was in touch with the authorities in the capital of Afghanistan.

Though India could evacuate most of its citizens willing to leave Afghanistan, some are still left in the country. "Till now operations at Kabul airport is not resumed, it is difficult to say how to bring them back. Our focus is that operations at Kabul airport resume. Then, it will be easier for us to bring back the people," Bagchi said.

New Delhi had evacuated its envoy to Kabul, Rudrendra Tandon, and 175 other officials posted in the Embassy of India in Kabul on August 17. 

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News Network
October 18,2021

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Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and four others have been sentenced to life imprisonment in the murder case of a former dera manager, Ranjit Singh.

Ranjit Singh, who was also a follower of the dera, was shot dead in 2002. He was murdered for his suspected role in the circulation of an anonymous letter, which narrated how women were being sexually exploited by the dera head.

A special CBI court in Panchkula, Haryana, on Monday, also imposed a fine of Rs 31 lakh on the dera chief.

The others convicted along with the self-styled godman are: Krishan Lal, Jasbir Singh, Avtar Singh and Sabdil.

The dera chief had pleaded leniency, citing the welfare works carried out by the dera. However, the CBI opposed it and demanded the "maximum punishment" under the IPC Section 302.

The court had, on Friday, convicted the five for the murder.

Over two years ago, the godman was also awarded life imprisonment for the murder of a journalist, Ram Chander Chhatrapati.

Meanwhile, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed in Panchkula.

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News Network
October 13,2021

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Mumbai, Oct 13: The Narcotics Control Bureau on Wednesday opposed the bail plea filed by Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, arrested in connection with the seizure of banned drugs on board a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast, saying the probe so far has revealed his role in the conspiracy and illicit procurement and consumption of drugs.

The NCB in its affidavit also said that Aryan Khan was in touch with some persons, who appear to be a part of an international drug network for procurement of drugs.

Further probe is on with regard to financial transactions done abroad, the agency said.

“During initial investigation, some international linkages pertinent to this applicant (Aryan Khan) have been unearthed which prima facie indicate towards illicit drug procurement. The investigation requires sufficient time so as to approach the foreign agency concerned,” the affidavit said.

The NCB also submitted in the affidavit that the case of each of the accused cannot be considered individually or separately, as prima facie investigation reveals that there is a close link/nexus among all the accused, including Aryan Khan, for conspiracy to commit offences.

“It is not feasible to dissect or separate each from the other. All ingredients of crime, that are preparation, intention, attempt and commission, are present for this applicant (Aryan Khan),” the affidavit said.

The NCB submitted its affidavit in response to the bail plea filed by Aryan Khan before special judge V V Patil, designated to hear matters related to the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

The judge is currently hearing the bail plea.

Aryan Khan was arrested on October 3 following a raid on the Goa-bound cruise ship and is presently in judicial custody.

He is lodged at the Arthur Road prison in Mumbai. He approached the special court seeking bail after a magistrate's court rejected the same last week.

“It is prima facie revealed that accused No 1 (Aryan Khan) used to procure contraband from accused No 2 (Arbaaz Merchant) and the sources connected to accused No 2, from whose conscious possession six grams of Charas was recovered,” the NCB said in its affidavit.

It further said the material collated during investigation primarily revealed that Aryan Khan has a role in illicit procurement and distribution of the contraband.

As per investigations carried out so far, accused Aachit Kumar and Shivraj Harijan had supplied Charas to Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchant, the anti-drugs agency said.

“The role and involvement of this applicant (Aryan Khan) in the commission of grave and serious offences under the NDPS Act, including illicit drug trafficking, is apparent considering the nexus and connection of this applicant with the other accused in the case,” the NCB said.

All the accused are inextricably connected and hence, it is not possible to dissect the role of each accused from the other, it added.

Prima facie investigation reveals a close nexus between all the accused persons and their involvement in conspiracy to commit illegal acts cannot be ruled out, the agency further said.

“The case of each applicant cannot be considered in isolation. All these persons are an integral part of a common thread which cannot be separated or dissected from one another. In such a situation, the quantum of recovery (of drugs) from one accused becomes inconsequential,” the NCB said in the affidavit.

“Even though from some of the accused there is no recovery or less recovery of contraband, the participation by acts of such persons, who have acted in concert, conspiracy forms the basis of the investigation,” it said.

From the investigation, it is revealed that all the accused persons form a part of a "larger chain/nexus" and their involvement in the conspiracy to commit illegal acts and violations under Section 29 of the NDPS Act cannot be ruled out, the affidavit said.

Section 29 of the NDPS Act pertains to abetment to commit an offence or criminal conspiracy.

The NCB further said there have been several seizures of intermediary quantities of drugs from Aryan Khan's co-accused and there has also been seizure of commercial quantities of Mephedrone from one accused – Abdul Sheikh.

It said the allegations that the accused have been falsely implicated are untrue and misleading, as there is sufficient material in the form of WhatsApp chats and photographs which show the ingredients of conspiracy.

“Considering the influence that Aryan Khan holds in the society, it is very much possible that he may tamper with evidence and influence other witnesses whom he personally knows,” the affidavit said, adding there is also a possibility of the accused fleeing justice.

The court is also hearing the bail pleas filed by Arbaaz Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha, Nupur Satija, Aachit Kumar, Mohak Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer and Avin Sahu.

So far, 20 people have been arrested in the case. 

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News Network
October 19,2021

Lakhimpur Kheri, UP, Oct 19: Four more miscreants, including a prominent BJP leader who was seen inside the SUV that mowed down protesting farmers in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri, were arrested yesterday.

"Accused Sumit Jaiswal, Shishupal, Nandan Singh Bisht and Satya Prakash Tripathi have been arrested by Lakhimpur Kheri Police and SWAT team of Crime branch. Licensed revolver and three bullets were recovered from Satya Prakash Tripathi and seized," a statement released by senior police official Prashant Kumar said.

Local BJP leader Sumit Jaiswal, who was seen in a viral video escaping from the lead SUV in the convoy of vehicles that crushed the farmers, had earlier filed a murder FIR against unnamed farmers, claiming his driver, friend and two BJP workers were beaten to death after their vehicles lost control due to heavy stone pelting and accidentally hit farmers.

In the viral video, Mr Jaiswal was seen running from the Thar SUV that drove into protesters from behind.

Four farmers and a journalist were run over on October 3 by a convoy of three vehicles, one of which belongs to Union Minister of state for home, Ajay Mishra. Mr Mishra's son Ashish was arrested on October 9, five days after he was named in the murder related to the incident on charges which usually merit immediate arrest. The families of farmers who died alleged in their complaint to the police that Ashish was inside the lead SUV that crushed the farmers. His arrest followed 12 hours of police questioning which in turn came after an intervention by the Supreme Court. 

An FIR was lodged at the Tikonia police station on October 3 over the episode. Later, a counter-FIR was lodged at the same police station on the basis of a complaint by Sumit Jaiswal, who has now been arrested.

Sumit Jaiswal had also claimed that the protesters attacked Ashish Mishra's convoy, not the other way round. He also claimed the car was not moving, and it was the protesters that attacked the convoy.

"We were at the programme venue. There was an atmosphere of fear. They were armed with sticks and rocks and they kept attacking us, abusing us," he said. They also shouted "Khalistan Zindabad. They climbed the car," he said.

Ashish Mishra has denied the charge that he was at the crime scene when the murders took place; he has claimed he was in his paternal village (around two km away) and stayed there all day.

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