ACB raids Cong MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan’s houses, offices

News Network
July 5, 2022

Bengaluru, July 5: The sleuths of Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) are conducting raids on the properties belonging to Chamarajpet MLA and Congress leader B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan in a disproportionate assets (DA) case.

According to ACB officials, the case of DA has been registered based on a report of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The ED had conducted raids on the properties of Khan in August 2021 on the allegations of money laundering after his name surfaced in the IMA ponzi scam. 

A team of 40 officials are conducting raids in five places simultaneously. 

The searches are being conducted in the residence of Khan near Cantonment Railway station, a flat in Silver Oak apartment, a guest house at Sadashivanagar, a building housing GK Associates office at Banashankari and National Travels office in Kalasipalya. The officials are questioning a few persons and verifying the documents. 

The local police have taken the necessary security measures in all the places to avoid Khan's followers gathering at the spot. 

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News Network
August 6,2022

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Gaza City, Aug 6: Israel hit Gaza with deadly air strikes on Saturday and a Palestinian group retaliated with a barrage of rocket fire, in the territory's worst escalation of violence since a war last year.

Israel has said it was forced to launch a "pre-emptive" operation against Islamic Jihad, insisting the group was planning an imminent attack following days of tensions along the Gaza border.

Health authorities in Gaza, a Palestinian enclave controlled by the Islamist group Hamas, said a five-year-old girl was among 12 people killed by the Israeli bombardment. More than 80 others have been wounded.

The Israeli military warned Saturday it was "preparing for the operation to last a week," while the sole power station in Gaza ground to a halt due to a lack of fuel after Israel closed border crossings.

Israel and Islamic Jihad have both confirmed the killing of Taysir al-Jabari, a key leader of Islamic Jihad, in a Friday strike on a building in the west of Gaza city.

Islamic Jihad is aligned with Hamas, but often acts independently. It said the initial Israeli bombardment amounted to a "declaration of war" and unleashed a barrage of rockets towards Israel.

Sources within the group ruled out a ceasefire soon, with one saying: "for the movement the focus is on the battlefield," while an Israeli military spokesman told AFP that the army is "not currently holding ceasefire negotiations".

The rocket fire and Israeli strikes were continuing on Saturday, risking a repeat of an 11-day conflict in May 2021 that devastated Gaza and forced countless Israelis to rush to bomb shelters.

Daily life in the Palestinian enclave has come to a standstill, with streets largely deserted and most shops closed.

Israel's closure of a key goods crossing four days ago resulted in Gaza's power plant shutting down on Saturday, due to a "fuel shortage," a spokesman for the enclave's electricity distributor said.

Diesel for the plant is usually trucked in from Egypt or Israel, which closed its two border crossings with Gaza on Tuesday citing security concerns.

"Israel isn't interested in a wider conflict in Gaza, but will not shy away from one either," Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a nationally televised address on Friday.

Air raid sirens sounded across southern Israel on Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage.

Officials in border areas urged people to stay close to shelters, which have also been opened in the coastal city of Tel Aviv.

Hamas has fought four wars with Israel since seizing control of Gaza in 2007, including the conflict last May.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad are considered terrorist organisations by much of the West.

A flare up with Islamic Jihad came in 2019, following Israel's killing of Baha Abu al-Ata, Jabari's predecessor. Hamas did not join the fray in that episode.

Hamas's moves now could prove crucial, with the group facing pressure from some to restore calm in order to improve economic conditions in Gaza.

Mohammed Abu Salameh, the director of Shifa, Gaza City's main hospital, said medics are facing "acute shortages of medical supplies".

On Friday, the health ministry reported "a five-year-old girl, targeted by the Israeli occupation" was among those killed.

The girl, Alaa Kaddum, had a pink bow in her hair and a wound on her forehead, as her body was carried by her father at her funeral.

Israeli military spokesman Richard Hecht said Friday "we are assuming about 15 killed in action" in Gaza, referring to Palestinian combatants.

Israeli tanks were lined up along the border, after the military said Thursday it was reinforcing its troops.

The measures followed the arrest in the occupied West Bank of two senior members of Islamic Jihad, including Bassem al-Saadi, who Israel accuses of orchestrating recent attacks.

Israel on Saturday broadened its operation against Islamic Jihad, announcing the arrest of 19 people it said were members of the group in the occupied West Bank.

Israel has conducted a near relentless wave of often deadly raids inside the West Bank since mid-March in response to lethal attacks on Israeli citizens.

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News Network
August 16,2022

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Colombo, Aug 16: A Chinese research vessel entered Sri Lanka's Chinese-run southern port of Hambantota on Tuesday despite concerns from India and the United States about its activities.

The Yuan Wang 5 entered the Hambantota deep sea port after securing permission to enter Sri Lankan waters on the condition it will not engage in any research, port officials said.

The vessel was originally due to arrive last week, but Colombo asked Beijing to defer the visit following objections by India, which shares Western concerns about Chinese activities in the region.

But on Saturday, after intense negotiations, Colombo announced a U-turn, saying permission had been granted for the ship to dock at Hambantota and remain for six days.

Shipping analytics websites described the Yuan Wang 5 as a research and survey vessel, but according to Indian media, it is a dual-use spy ship.

New Delhi is suspicious of Beijing's increasing presence in the Indian Ocean and influence in Sri Lanka, seeing both as firmly within its sphere of influence.

A day before the arrival of the vessel, India gifted a Dornier 228 surveillance aircraft to Sri Lanka in a bid to bolster the island's maritime surveillance capabilities.

The Chinese ship was allowed into port on the condition it keeps its Automatic Identification System (AIS) switched on while in Sri Lankan waters and is not allowed to carry out scientific research.

The Hambantota port is run by China, which leased it for 99 years for $1.12 billion, less than the $1.4 billion Sri Lanka paid a Chinese company to build it.

According to Indian reports, the Yuan Wang 5 could be employed for space and satellite tracking and has specific uses in intercontinental ballistic missile launches.

The Indian government has expressed concern that the ship could spy on its activities, lodging a complaint with Colombo. The United States also expressed concern about the ship.

Sri Lanka borrowed heavily from China between 2005 and 2015, and in 2017 gave Beijing its lease on the Hambantota port, which is located on major East-West shipping lanes, after falling behind on debt repayments.

China remains Sri Lanka's biggest bilateral creditor, owning over 10 per cent of the island's foreign debt.

Beijing's support is essential for Colombo, currently suffering a dire economic crisis, to restructure its external borrowing to qualify for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

On August 4, President Ranil Wickremesinghe "reiterated Sri Lanka's firm commitment to the one-China policy" after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, warning against "non-interference in the internal affairs of countries".

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News Network
August 10,2022

Bengaluru, Aug 10: Accusing the Opposition Congress of unnecessarily raking up the issue of Karnataka Chief Minister replacement, to cover up the rift within, senior BJP leader and Revenue Minister R Ashoka on Wednesday challenged the grand old party to name its CM candidate for 2023 Assembly polls.

Ruling out Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai's replacement, he said BJP's top leadership including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have already said that the election will be under Bommai's leadership and the party will abide by it. The minister was reacting to Congress's series of tweets on Tuesday speculating about Chief Minister Bommai being replaced and even calling him a "Puppet CM".

"To cover up their infighting that has come on to the streets, Congress is spreading false information that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will be replaced. Congress has no base in the country, what rights do they have to speak about BJP's leadership and CM change," Ashoka said.

Speaking to reporters, he said, Congress have not been able to appoint their party's national president, and are today talking about chief minister change in the BJP government. "Did Amit Shah or the Prime Minister tell you (about CM change)? Things have rotten within your own party because of your infighting, clear it first.....There will be neither CM change nor will BJP state President Nalin Kumar Kateel be replaced, we will go to polls under their leadership," he added.

There has been some buzz on and off within the state BJP in recent times, regarding some kind of an overhaul including at the top level, especially after the recent visit of Amit Shah to the state.

Ashoka, further challenging the Congress party said, "Our Chief Minister is Basavaraj Bommai, if you have guts, courage and morality will you be able to tell who is your Chief Minister candidate? Question yourself about it, you don't have courage to announce, but you want to speak about others."

He also said that Congress fears getting split on making such an announcement. Ashoka noted that the internal rift been Congress leaders like Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar, Mallikarjun Kharge, G Parameshwara and M B Patil, has come out in open after the Siddaramaiah's 75th birthday event at Davangere.

To counter Siddaramaiah's event, Shivakumar is organising a march in the name of 75th Independence Day, to prove his strength, he said. "It has also come to our notice that the native Congress leaders have held a meeting expressing their displeasure about Siddaramaiah's birthday event ," he said, adding that instead of going to flood affected areas Congress leaders are involved in such things.

Former BJP MLA B Suresh Gowda's recent statement indicating some changes that the high command will take a call on replacing the chief minister and other matters in the interest of the party and to win the elections in future, had added to the speculations. However, BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel rejected it by stating that Bommai would complete his tenure. 

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