Mangaluru: 5 arrested for abduction of NRI’s brother, cousin over gold biscuits

News Network
January 21, 2023

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Mangaluru, Jan 21: Five persons, aged between 22 and 39 years, have been arrested by sleuths of Mangaluru Rural Police in connection with the abduction of two youths and demanding a ransom of Rs 4 lakh. A case has been registered in Uppinangady police station limits.

The arrested are Aboobakkar Siddiq alias Karvel Siddiq alias JCB Siddiq (39) from Karvel in Uppinangady, Kalandar Shafi Gadiyara (22) from Gadiyara in Bantwal, Irfan (38) from Maripalla, Mohammed Riyaz (33) from Shivanagara in Pandeshwar and Mohammed Irshad (28) from Bandaru, said Commissioner of Police N Shashi Kumar.

The Commissioner said two police personnel on patrol duty at Arkula Junction in Mangaluru rural police station limits in the early hours of January 20 had noticed a car idling on the road with five men in it. When asked about their whereabouts, the men failed to furnish proper answers and began pelting stones at the cops. They attempted to run over the cops before fleeing the spot. 

Based on the CCTV footage and car details, the rural police arrested the five men. During the interrogation of the arrested, Sharuk who was in the car told the police that he was abducted by Aboobakkar Siddiq and others for a ransom of Rs 4 lakh.

The arrested on the direction of Tallath Faisal Nagar had taken Sharuk and his cousin brother Nizamuddin from Perne Sediyapu to a house in Badriyanagara. They later assaulted them and sought information about the whereabouts of Nizamuddin’s brother Shafeeq who is working in the Gulf and asked them for the 800 grams of gold biscuit which Shafeeq had brought to India and failed to hand it over to the concerned person, said the Commissioner.

The accused had later sent Nizamuddin to his house by confining Sharuk in the house and asked him to get a ransom of Rs 4 lakh to release Sharuk. Nizamuddin, who had suffered injuries in the assault, is undergoing treatment in a hospital in Puttur. 

The police are yet to arrest another rowdy sheeter, who has more than 20 cases in Mangaluru commissionerate, Dakshin Kannada, outside the district in connection with the abduction case. 

The prime accused Aboobakkar Siddiq has already five cases against him in addition to three cases pertaining to the abduction and assault on police personnel. The Dakshin Kannada police have already submitted an application to the concerned to extern him from the district.

There is one dacoity case against Kalandar Shafi in Mangaluru North station, two cases against Irfan in connection with assault in Bantwal and Ullal, and one case against Riyaz in connection with assault in Bantwal station.

It is said that Shafeeq had arrived in Mumbai recently with the gold biscuit. He had not informed his family members and returned back to the Gulf.

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News Network
January 19,2023

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday sought to woo voters in north Karnataka by showcasing the development and social welfare programmes thereby giving the ruling BJP a launchpad in the run-up to the Assembly elections due in about three months. This is Modi's second visit to Karnataka in less than 10 days after his trip to Hubballi on January 12 where he inaugurated a national youth festival and staged a massive road show.

The visit gains significance, as the ruling BJP prepares for Assembly polls and has set a target of winning a minimum of 150 out of total 224 seats. Though today's events were government programmes, Modi's push for BJP's developmental agenda in his speeches, while targeting the opposition parties, without naming any, and accusing them of vote bank politics, had political connotations attached to this visit.

Modi's visit and BJP government's string of developmental projects and schemes in the two districts of the Kalyana Karnataka region, earlier Hyderabad Karnataka region which is considered to be the backyard of Congress's national president Mallikarjun Kharge (with Kalaburagi his home town and former constituency), are seen with political significance. The BJP aims to improve its tally in the region, where the Congress is a force to reckon with.

In the 2013 polls, Congress bagged 22 seats and BJP shared second place with JD(S) with just 5 seats. While B S Yediyurappa's KJP (Karnataka Janata Paksha), which he later merged with BJP, got 3 and others won 5. In the 2008 Assembly polls too, when "resourceful" mining barons- Reddy brothers- of Ballari held sway, Congress managed to bag 19 seats, leaving 15 for the BJP and 5 for the JD(S), and others 1.

At Kodekal village in Yadgiri district, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone and inaugurated various developmental projects for irrigation, drinking water, and a national highway Later in the afternoon, he launched the 'Hakku Patra' (land title deed) distribution drive to over 52,000 nomadic Lambani (Banjara) tribes at Malkhed in Kalaburagi district. Without naming the Congress, he blamed the party's "vote bank" politics for the backwardness of certain regions of the State. "Earlier governments had declared several districts, including Yadgiri as backward, and had shirked their responsibilities. The reason for this region lagging behind in development is the previous governments here did not spare time on thinking about how to get rid of backwardness from here, leave aside putting in efforts towards it (development)," he said.

Yadagiri is part of the 'Kalyana Karnataka' or the Hyderabad Karnataka region as it was earlier known. These districts that were under the erstwhile rule of Nizams of Hyderabad are among the backward regions of the State. The region, comprising Bidar, Ballari, Vijayanagara, Kalaburagi, Koppal, Raichur, and Yadgir, enjoys special status under the Constitution (Article 371J) owing to its backwardness.

Referring to the positive aspect of having a BJP government at both the State and Centre, he said double engine government means double benefit, double welfare and double fast-paced development, and Karnataka is the best example for this. He complimented the Basavaraj Bommai government for the fast-paced development of the north Karnataka region At Malkhed, once the capital city of the Rashtrakuta dynasty, he said, "It's a big day for the people of Banjara (Lambani nomadic) community as over 50,000 people will get their own roof by way of Hakku Patra," as he distributed five 'Hakku Patra' to five nomadic couples on the occasion. This Hakku Patra would secure the future of thousands of people living in the "Thandas" (Lambani habitats) in Kalaburagi, Bidar, Yadgiri, Raichur and Vijayapura districts, he said, adding that it's big step taken by the State government towards social justice.

It is said Karnataka has the second highest population of Lambanis (Banjaras) in the country, who are considered among 101 sub-castes that have been recognised as Scheduled Castes (SCs) in the State. The community, earlier by and large with the Congress, now seems to have veered towards the BJP, which the party wants to keep intact and wants to build upon, party sources said. The community has a considerable presence in Kalyana Karnataka region.

Kharge lost the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, his first-ever electoral defeat in his long political career, to Umesh Jadhav, a Banjara community leader, fielded by the BJP. In 1993, it was recommended to give 'Thandas' revenue village status, but the political party that remained in power for the longest period used the Lambanis as a vote bank and never tried to improve the living condition of these backward families, Modi said in a dig at the Congress. "Those living in Thandas had to wage a long struggle for their rights and face many difficulties. They had to wait for long," the Prime Minister said. "But, now, the depressing atmosphere is changing. I want to assure the Banjara mothers that their son (Modi) is sitting in Delhi."

As Modi distributed title deeds to nomadic Lambani (Banjara) tribes in Kalaburagi district, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah charged the ruling BJP in Karnataka with "feasting on the meals" prepared by the previous Congress government he headed. The senior Congress leader said the BJP was trying to project as if they were giving revenue village status to ‘Thandas’ (this community's habitations), which was "misleading".

According to the State government, the move to distribute these deeds would benefit 52,072 nomads in five districts of north Karnataka, providing them a "permanent roof", and said these 'Thandas' have already been declared as revenue villages by the State government. The fact, according to Siddaramaiah, was that the process to make Thandas revenue villages was initiated during his government from 2013 to 2018. “The then revenue minister Kagodu Thimmappa in my government brought amendments to the Forest Act and the Land Revenue Act with a slogan ‘Those who till the land should own it’. Those were historic amendments,” the opposition leader in the State Asembly, told reporters. The Congress could not give the ‘Hakku Patras’ to the beneficiaries as it lost power later, he said. “The BJP without doing anything in the last four years has suddenly started claiming that they did everything. The BJP is feasting on the meals prepared by us because of impending elections,” Siddaramaiah alleged. 

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News Network
January 19,2023

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New Delhi: Top Indian wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Anshu Malik and Bajrang Punia are among a group of sportspersons who have accused Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Kaiserganj, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, of sexual harassment and physical abuse.

Singh is president of the Wrestling Federation of India. He has denied the allegations and told ANI that if such a thing has indeed happened, he will “hang” himself. In 2021, Singh had been caught on video slapping a wrestler at the Under-15 Nationals in Ranchi.

The wrestlers, who sat in an unprecedented protest at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, pointed to Singh’s alleged “dictatorship” in running the federation, noting that mistreatment of wrestlers had been going on for years. Among the 30 gathered were also Sarita Mor, Sangeeta Phogat, Satyawart Malik, Jitender Kinha, and Commonwealth Games medallist Sumit Malik, according to India Today.

“Women wrestlers have been sexually harassed at national camps by coaches and also the WFI president,” Vinesh Phogat said, stressing that the WFI president is also involved in the sexual harassment of “so many girls.”

Some coaches who the federation considers “favourites” misbehave with women coaches too, Vinesh said.

“Today I have said this, I don’t know if I will be alive tomorrow. People in WFI are very powerful,” Vinesh was quoted by Indian Express as having said.

Part of Haryana’s Phogat wrestling family, Vinesh is the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold in both Commonwealth and Asian Games. She has multiple golds from the World Wrestling Championships. Vinesh’s cousin, wrestler Babita Phogat and her uncle, Mahavir Phogat, had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2020.

Vinesh reportedly said that she had been trying to get the federation to listen to her concerns for a decade now. She told ANI that she and other wrestlers are ready to “submit evidence” to the prime minister and any high court that might ask for it.

“This is not fair and we have been silently tolerating this. But not anymore,” Bajrang Punia, who has won Olympic Bronze, told Indian Express.

Punia also added that wrestlers have taken care not to involve politicians in their protest, but told the news agency PTI that while their grouse was not against a political outfit or the Sports Authority of India, this was going to be a “fight to the finish.”

“Wrestlers are being harassed by the Wrestling Federation of India. Those who are a part of WFI know nothing about the sport,” Punia told reporters as well.

Wrestler Sakshi Malik, also an Olympic medalist and related to the Phogats, said that the wrestlers are ready to “speak to the prime minister and home minister to reveal details.”

“Whole federation should be removed so that the future of new wrestlers is safe. A new federation should come into existence,” she said.

MP Singh has responded to the allegations by asking Vinesh Phogat why she wore “a costume with a company’s logo on it” at the Olympics.

“Is there any person in front who can say that the Federation harassed any athlete?” he asked news agency ANI. He also said that there has been “no incident of sexual harassment” and that he would hang himself if such a thing has happened. 

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P A Hameed Padubidri
January 26,2023

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India and Indian diaspora across the world are once again celebrating the Republic Day commemorating the date on which the Constitution of India, described as one of the largest constitutions in the world, came into effect. 

The real spirit and ethos of the India's independence became visible when the full-fledged constitution of India came into existence in January 26, 1950. 

India's capital-Delhi-takes vibrant colours with the display and reverberation of national flags and songs on each and every street and avenue, demo of military parade, exhibition of the Indian cultural vibes and various programs. 

We can describe this national day as an embodiment of Poorna Swaraj or the complete autonomy. It's a plaque of pride to rule and to be ruled by ourselves with our own laws and rules without any play of foreign rule, say the British reign. Also, it's described as the fervent vibes of a great deal of sacrifices done by our great personalities, who shed their blood & flesh for this great country as a one family. 

Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and others had stood as a solid wall against the British Raj and as a result, now India stood out tall with its largest democracy & constitution in the world; that makes every Indian in India and  across the globe proud of their identity & stature. Fundamental, civil rights and human rights are securely guaranteed under the provisions of this Constitution. 

This national carnival makes a special stint for the Indian diaspora living in the different parts of the world especially for those who are residing in the gulf countries and MENA regions. This makes them to stand in all the pomp and pride & to share the good message to their host countries' citizens. 

Indian Embassies, Missions & High Commissioners in their respective host countries celebrate this Republic Day by hoisting the Indian flags on the top of the roofs and by organizing various events. Interestingly, this year's Republic Day came as coincidental with the diamond jubilee year of the India's independence, which is termed as "AZADI KA AMRIT MAHOTSAV" as well as the initiation of the Indo-Saudi diplomatic relations. This brings all the pomps & prides among the NRIs especially residing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. That too with the posting of new Ambassador,  to the KSA, Dr. Suhel Aijaz Khan, after the gap of around 9 months. 

Besides, this year's Republic Day celebrations coincides with the year of India's taking on the prestigious Presidency of G20. The tangs of all these co-incidents makes this Republic Day more meaningful and historical. 

ONE EARTH, ONE FAMILY & ONE FUTURE is the catchphrase of G20 that makes this day fervent & more spirited. 

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