Mild quake in Karnataka again; panicked villagers rush out of their homes

News Network
October 11, 2021

Kalaburgi, Oct 11: People living in and around Chincholi in Kalaburagi district woke up to a mild earthquake of 2.5 magnitude on the richter scale, barely 24 hours after the first jolt was felt. However, there was no loss of life or damage to any property, officials said.

The quake hit Gadikeshwar village and its surrounding areas, where people panicked and rushed out of their homes, they said.

According to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre, the epicentre was Maniyarpalli village in Sangareddy district in Telangana, which is located "very close to Karnataka".

"The epicentre was 1.9 km North East of Shivarampur village in Chincholi Taluk of Kalaburagi," the KSNDMC said in a statement. This is the fourth tremor in the North Karnataka region in the last 11 days. The first two tremors on October 1 and 5 occurred near Basavakalyan in Bidar district, which is in a close proximity to Latur and Killari in neighbouring Maharashtra, which had faced the worst earthquake in September 1993 killing several people.

It is learnt that the Kalaburagi district administration has written to the Mines and Geology Department to study the spate of tremors in the region. 

Already the Karnataka Mineral Administration department has instructed its geologists to study the phenomena and ascertain whether there was any disturbed area in terms of geological events in the past. The department has also decided to carry out awareness drive to deal with a situation in the event of some major untoward incident.

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News Network
October 16,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 16: In a veiled attack, JDS leader and former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Saturday blamed Opposition leader Siddaramaiah for the "political genocide" of Muslim leaders in Karnataka Congress.

In a series of tweets in Kannada, Kumaraswamy, without naming Siddaramaiah, said, he has long list of Muslim leaders who fell prey to the politics of the conspiratorial ideologue (Siddaramaiah), who can do anything for power.

"People should know who is responsible for the political genocide of minority leaders in Congress," he said.

The series of tweets has come in the wake of Siddaramaiah's remarks that the JDS was helping the ruling BJP to win both Sindagi and Hanagal by-elections by fielding Muslim candidates to split Muslim votes.

Kumaraswamy alleged Siddaramaiah was responsible for the defeat of Congress official candidate Iqbal Ahmed Saradagi, a protege of senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, in the legislative council polls in 2012.

Saradgi's opponent Byrathi Suresh, who contested election as an independent and a buddy of Siddaramaiah, had won the election, he said.

In another tweet, Kumaraswamy blamed Siddaramaiah for clandestinely working for Byrathi and defeating CK Abdul Rehman, the official candidate of the Congress and grandson of late CK Jaffer Sharief, in the by-election for Hebbal assembly constituency in 2016.

He also held Siddaramaiah responsible for the ouster of Roshan Baig from the party.

"The only reason for doing this was that he had questioned the state leadership's poor performance in the last Lok Sabha elections," he added.

Baig, himself, had blamed Siddaramaiah for his suspension from Karnataka Congress.

Kumaraswamy also rapped Siddaramaiah for insulting Tanvir Sait, who was making efforts to empower the secular forces in the polity.

The supporters of Sait had protested against Siddaramaiah for serving their leader notice for attempting to forge an alliance with JDS for the Mysuru mayoral election in February this year.

Kumaraswamy blamed Siddaramaiah for the six years suspension of MA Salim who had linked KPCC President DK Shivakumar to an irrigation scam as a minister and defended VS Ugrappa who entertained his conversation.

"Muslims have come to know about this infamous monarch (Siddaramaiah) who gently swings the cradle, strangles the baby and chops off the baby's neck if possible," Kumaraswamy tweeted.

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News Network
October 23,2021

Jammu, Oct 23: Security has been beefed up across Kashmir ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s maiden visit to the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370 on Saturday, officials said.

They said a thick security cover has been thrown around the BJP office at Jawahar Nagar in the city where Shah is likely to pay a visit.

Similarly, roads leading to Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) have been made off-limits for three days from Saturday as the Union home minister is expected to attend an event there, they added.

It will be Shah’s first visit to Kashmir after the Centre revoked J-K's special status and bifurcated the erstwhile state into union territories in August 2019.

The officials said additional deployment of security forces has been made across the valley, especially in Srinagar.

Official sources said 50 companies of additional paramilitary forces are being inducted into the valley in the wake of the recent spate of civilian killings.

Bunkers manned by paramilitary CRPF have come up in several areas of the city as well in other parts of the valley, the officials said.

They said the aim of constructing new bunkers and putting more personnel on the ground was to cut the free movement of militants.

The officials said barricades have been put up on the roads across the valley, especially in the city, while frisking and checking of people has been intensified.

The mobile internet services on a dozen towers -- mostly in the areas where non-local labourers were killed in the past week -- were snapped three days ago as part of the security measures, they said.

The officials said police have started stringent checking of documents of two-wheelers plying on the roads and many have been seized by police.

However, IGP, Kashmir zone, Vijay Kumar had said these steps were purely related to terror violence.

"Seizing some bikes and shutting down of internet of some towers is purely related to #terror #violence. It has nothing to do with visit of the Hon'ble HM," he tweeted on Thursday. 

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News Network
October 27,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 27: Industrialist-cum-whistleblower Alam Pasha has lodged a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Bureau seeking arrest of three persons, including IAS officer Harsh Gupta and Commercial Street Inspector of Police for alleged dereliction of duties with an ulterior aim to acquit IMA chief Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who is an accused in IMA scam.

Speaking to UNI, Pasha said Gupta, who was appointed by Karnataka government as Competent Authority (CA) on behalf of Revenue Department to retrieve the investors monies of more than Rs 4,000 crore and take action as per law against Khan and other accused in the case.

Giving background of the scam in his complaint, Pasha said Khan had floated a ponzi scheme offering investors dream returns on investments made in his firm called I Monetary Advisory Group.

Around October 2018, as many as 75,000 investors began complaining of the firm reneging on payments worth Rs 4,000 crore and the firm also had come under the RBI scanner, he said.

The firm was accused of siphoning off nearly Rs 4,000 crore of funds for the personal benefit of the owners of the firm, he said.

In June 2019, Khan absconded as police initiated a probe in the case. Before absconding, he had released an audio message for the police accusing then Congress MLA Roshan Baig for the fall of the firm, Pasha alleged.

Khan alleged Baig borrowed Rs 400 crore from the firm and failed to return it. He had also accused other politicians and officials of bleeding IMA resources, the complainant said.

After the scam became a major controversy, the then Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy ordered the creation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the IMA scam, he said.

Khan was arrested by the ED at Delhi airport in July 2019. In October 2020, he was granted bail by Karnataka High Court, Pasha said.

Gupta, the complainant said, has failed to take action as per law to book IMA culprits to meet the purpose of his appointment to retrieve the monies of the investors from them.
He said the CA has failed in his duty to direct the Inspector of Police to file FIRs against the IMA culprits so that the victims of the scam get back their monies, which they had invested in nine of the companies owned by Khan.

"Unless the police file FIRs against the IMA culprits, no court in the country shall be able to deliver the verdict in favour of the victims. Filing FIRs is the first step towards providing relief to the victims," he said.

The CA also has failed in his duties to seek the intervention of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to investigate serious frauds committed by IMA Group of companies so that the investigation is carried out without depending on police and their investigation, Pasha said.

The IMA group of companies fall under the purview of the Companies Act 2013 as they are not financial establishments, Pasha said.

Also, the CA has been appointed under section 5 of the Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishment Act 2004, who enjoys powers to initiate an investigation into the financial establishments, but IMA Group of companies are full-blown firms, Pasha said.

"So, knowing that he has to depend on the investigation of the police, the CA is well within his rights to seek the intervention of the Ministry of Corporate Companies to conduct investigations under SFIO rules. If he is sincere and genuine, he would have asked for the SFIO probe," he said.

"It is very clear that the CA and the police officer are working in favour of the accused, namely Khan, rather than giving relief to the IMA victims, who are waiting for retrieval of their money. In these circumstances, I had approached the ACB and lodged a complaint seeking arrest of the three accused," Pasha said.

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