Karnataka | Pipeline and PoP ceiling of this PWD junior engineer’s house filled with currency notes

News Network
November 25, 2021

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Kalaburgi, Nov 25: The sleuths of Anti-Corruption Bureau were in for a shock during a raid at the house of PWD Jewargi subdivision junior engineer Shantagouda Biradar at Gubbi colony here on Wednesday when they found currency notes worth Rs 13 lakh in the denomination of Rs 500 stuffed inside the pipeline.

The officials also found bundles of notes at the PoP ceiling of the hall.  The raid yielded Rs 54,50,000 in cash, 2 houses in Kalaburagi, one plot in Bengaluru, 36 acres of farmland, 3 cars, a school bus, a two-wheeler, Rs 15 lakh worth of household utensils and 100 grams of gold.

A team of ACB sleuths pounced on Shantanagouda’s residence in Kalaburagi at 5.30 am. Biradar, who was staying on the first floor of the building, suspected the ACB raid and refused to open the door for about 20 minutes. 

The officials grew suspicious that the JE could have stashed cash inside the pipe when the latter’s son was seen frequenting near the pipeline and got the pipeline drilled in the afternoon. Much to their shock, bundles of the currency notes started flowing out of the pipe. The JE has stuffed nearly Rs 13 lakh inside the pipe, the sources said.

The officials have information that Shantanagouda might have shifted huge amounts of cash to other locations and an investigation is going on in this direction also. 

A team of ACB sleuths led by North-East zone SP Mahesh Meghannavar raided the farmhouse located on the outskirts of Hangaraga (B) village in Yadrami taluk and the PWD office at Jewargi town. The officials found a gravel crushing machine in the farmhouse.

Shantanagouda did not cooperate with the officials initially and didn’t hand over the locker key of the house. The locker was opened by using a cutter, said ACB sources.

He has been working as a junior engineer in the Jewargi subdivision for 10 years. SP Meghannavar said the ACB officials from Kalaburagi, Bidar and Yadgir inspected three places belonging to Shantanagouda.

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News Network
May 9,2022

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Mangaluru, May 9: Six persons, including a hotel management student, have been arrested by the police in connection with the murder of a rowdy-sheeter on April 29 at Emmekere grounds in the Mangaluru South Police Station jurisdiction.

The arrested are Mahendra Shetty (27) from Emmekere, Akshay Kumar (25) from Bolar, Sushith (20) from Emmekere, Dillesh Bangera (21) from Morgan’s Gate, Shubham (26) from Bolar and Vishnu P (20) from Emmekere.

An old rivalry is suspected to be the reason for the murder, according to Commissioner of Police N Shashi Kumar. 

Four of the accused hacked the victim - Rahul Thingalaya alias Kakke - to death. The police are on the hunt for eight more suspects who were part of the conspiracy to murder Rahul.

While Mahendra, Kumar, Sushith and Bangera were arrested at Surathkal Railway Station late Sunday night, the other two were arrested at Suthan Battery and Someshwar Beach on Monday.

The police have recovered three talwars, four sickles, three knives, two scooters, one bike and five mobile phones from the suspects.

The commissioner said that those arrested along with others had conspired to murder Rahul a day before the incident near Marigudi Temple in Mangaluru.

The prime accused Mahendra and the victim Rahul had a personal enmity following a clash between two groups in Emmekere in 2016. Rahul had allegedly attacked Mahendra in 2019.

Rahul had also attacked one Karthik Shetty and his associates in 2020. So, Shubham had introduced Karthik Shetty and his brother Bharath Shetty to youth from the Emmekere group of Mahendra. As Rahul had attacked the groups of Mahendra and Karthik Shetty, they allegedly decided to murder him. After hatching the conspiracy, all were in contact with Kumar to work out their shelter and the means of escaping after the crime. Vishnu had allegedly helped the accused to flee.

About 13 members are believed to be part of the conspiracy. 

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News Network
May 14,2022

New Delhi, May 14: Rules on linking Aadhaar with the electoral rolls may be issued by the government soon, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra has said, adding that sharing Aadhaar details will be voluntary for voters, but those not doing so will have to give "sufficient reasons".

Chandra also said that the poll panel played a key role in intensifying the vaccination drive in the five states where assembly elections concluded in March this year to ensure that voters and those involved in election duty were safe from the coronavirus.

In an interview with PTI, he said two major electoral reforms which took place in his tenure as the CEC are the provision of four dates in a year instead of one to enrol those turning 18 as voters and the linking of Aadhaar with electoral rolls to check duplicate entries in the voters' list.

"Earlier, only January 1 of every year was the cut-off date. We convinced the government that this reform is very essential and these people should be enrolled as soon as they turn 18. With this reform now, there will be four dates in a year to get these people registered when they complete 18 years of age. This reform was pending for the last 20 years," Chandra said.

The four cut-off dates for enrolment is part of a Bill passed by Parliament a few months back to allow linkage of Aadhaar with the electoral rolls.

As of now, those turning 18 on or before January 1 can be registered as voters. Those who turn 18 on January 2 or later have to wait for one year to register as a voter. But once the rules are issued, young people can get registered as voters on four different dates every year.

"The second biggest reform is the linking of Aadhaar with electoral rolls to check duplicate entries. It will make the voter list pure. It will make the electoral roll more robust," he said.

Asked when the rules will be notified by the government, Chandra said "I think very soon because we have already sent draft proposals in this regard. We have also sent the forms which are to be changed and they are with the (law) ministry. Very soon, I think they will be cleared. We will also have to tone up our IT system."

On whether sharing Aadhaar details will be voluntary, he replied in positive. "It will be voluntary. But sufficient reason will have to be given by voters for not giving their Aadhaar numbers. The reason may include not having an Aadhaar or not having applied for one or any other reason they can think of. I can not think of any other reason," the CEC said said.

Chandra was of the view that sharing Aadhaar number will help the EC purify the voter list. It will also ensure that the poll panel is able to give more services to the voters through its communication system, he added.

"If we know about the voter more clearly, then we can give more services such as when the elections will be held and booth (details) on their phone numbers... We should know clearly that he/she is the right person," Chandra said.

Asked about the biggest challenge he has faced as the CEC, he said the "toughest" one was to conduct elections in five states and various bypolls during COVID-19.

"Because when these elections were coming near, we never thought at that time that Covid will intensify. Suddenly, we came to know about the onset of Omicron. We had to prepare as nobody knew much about this variant.

"So suddenly, we had to gear up to make the voting process and the election machinery safe," he added.

During this period, the EC intensified the vaccination process and ensured booster (precaution) doses for its polling personnel, including security forces.

"We had to take the unusual step of stopping campaigning in physical form. Initially, we said only door-to-door campaigning with just five people will be allowed and there will be more emphasis on digital campaigning," Chandra recalled.

"We had regular meetings with health secretaries and chief secretaries of the states. We asked them to intensify vaccination and we kept a close watch every week. We were giving a very graded response to our campaigning methodology. We opened it gradually. By the time electioneering started, the vaccination rate was very high in all the five states, and the voters had been given the first or the second doses as per protocol," he added.

Chandra replied in positive when asked whether it was the EC which had in a way been responsible for intensifying the vaccination drive in the five states.

"Definitely. In states where it was especially less like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur, we reviewed the situation and asked the chief sectaries and the health secretaries to boost the vaccination drive.

"Each and every person should have taken at least the first dose. If the first dose had been administered, then the second should be given. In Uttar Pradesh, the first dose coverage was 100 per cent. The percentage of vaccination in Punjab and Manipur also went up. We took each and every step possible to check the spread of Omicron during the elections in these states so that the voters and the voting process can be safe," he said. 

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News Network
May 8,2022

Mandya, May 8:  Sri Rama Sene chief Pramod Muthalik on Sunday said the playing of Hanuman Chalisa or Suprabhata or Omkara or devotional songs will commence at over 1,000 temples in Karnataka at 5 AM from May 9, as he accused the state government of having failed to take action against loudspeakers installed at mosques.

He asked Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Home Minister Araga Jnanendra to show the “guts”, shown by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath there, by taking action against unauthorised loudspeakers from religious places and setting the volume of others within permissible limits.

“Across Karnataka we have contacted more than 1,000 temples. Temple priests, Dharmadarshis and management committees have agreed to play (Hanuman Chalisa, Suprabhata, Omkara or devotional songs) at 5 AM from tomorrow. There is a good response,” Muthalik said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, there is anger against the government for not taking action against those violating Court orders regarding the use of loud speakers.

Alleging some Muslims of being adamant on the issue, he further said, “we will begin our protest against it from tomorrow.” Sri Rama Sene had earlier warned that it will counter morning Azaan with Hanuman Chalisa or Suprabhat or Omkara and devotional songs from 5 AM on May 9, if the government does not take action against loudspeakers installed at mosques.

Accusing the government of trying to scuttle Sri Rama Sene’s protest by threatening temple committees using the police, Muthalik warned the administration, stating that their “dadagiri” will not have any impact.

“Show your dadagiri against Muslim’s mics or loudspeakers and not against us. Keep in mind that you (BJP) are in power because of Hindu votes…we will do it peacefully and won’t create any disturbance,” he said, adding that, temple management committee will do it with the support of Sri Rama Sene workers.

He repeatedly pointed at the action taken by the Uttar Pradesh government against the use of loudspeakers there at religious places.

Nearly 54,000 unauthorised loudspeakers were removed from religious places and the volume of over 60,000 was set to permissible limits across Uttar Pradesh, as part of state-wide drive undertaken by the government there.

Noting that as the first phase of Sri Rama Sene’s drive Hanuman Chalisa or Suprabhata or devotional songs will be played at temples at the morning 5 AM, Muthalik said, “remaining four times Azaan that Muslims perform, for that we will take up, at later stages.” “Why we are doing early morning first because they cannot use mics or speakers between 10 pm to 6 am according to Court, but they use it at 5 AM. So we too will violate and thereby warn the government…our fight is not against Azaan in mosques or offering prayers, but against using loudspeakers,” he said.

Responding to a question, he said, in case the police try to stop Sri Rama Sene workers, it may lead to confrontation, “our Karyakartas will oppose it,” he added. 

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