Dakshina Kannada youth, who landed in Saudi jail after sharing OTP, returns home finally

News Network
November 21, 2023

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Mangaluru: Chandrashekhara MK, 33, from Mujoor village of Kadaba, who was arrested after hackers used his credentials to open a bank account and make an illegal transaction in Riyadh, was released from the Saudi Arabian jail on Monday.

In November last year, Saudi Arabian police arrested him for a banking fraud involving SAR 22,000 (approximately Rs 4.8 lakh), after he shared an OTP number with an unidentified person.

Social activist Shridhar Gowda, who helped the family of Chandrashekhara to reach out to the Indian Embassy through people’s representatives, said he reached home via Mangaluru International Airport on Monday evening.

Gowda said that Chandrashekhara was working for Al Fanar Co in Riyadh. “More than a year ago, Chandrashekhara had visited a shop in Riyadh to buy a phone and SIM card. The shop had taken his thumb impression twice and thereafter he received a message in Arabic. Later, he received a call asking him to share an OTP sent to his mobile phone. Without knowing the consequences, he had shared the OTP,” he said.

In November last year, Saudi Arabian police arrested him for a banking fraud involving SAR 22,000 (approximately Rs 4.8 lakh). Finally, with the help of his friends and the company in which he was working, Chandrashekhara could walk out of the jail through a court order,” Gowda added.

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News Network
February 26,2024

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Bengaluru: A professor of Indian origin at the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom who was invited by the Karnataka Government to attend an event here was denied entry when she landed at Bengaluru airport and was then deported, according to her posts on social media platform X. 

Professor Nitasha Kaul, a Kashmiri Pandit academic based in London, in a series of posts on X claimed she was given no reason by immigration officials at Bengaluru airport and received no notice or information in advance from the Indian government that she would not be allowed to enter the country.

There was no immediate comment from the Karnataka government, which had organised a two day 'Constitution and National Unity Convention -2024' on February 24 and 25, to which Kaul was invited as a speaker.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the Kashmiri Pandit academic based in London wrote, “Denied entry to #India for speaking on democratic & constitutional values. I was invited to a conference as esteemed delegate by Govt of #Karnataka (Congress-ruled state) but Centre refused me entry. All my documents were valid & current (UK passport & OCI)."

Kaul claimed that she was given no reason by immigration officials at Bengaluru airport and received no notice or information in advance from the Narendra Modi-led Indian government that she would not be allowed to enter the country.

“I spent 12 hours in a flight from London to Bangalore, several hours at immig where they shuttled me here & there, provided no info on process, then 24 hours in a holding cell (no BA flight back until next day) under direct cctv w restricted movement, a narrow area to lie down," she said.

“…and no easy access to food and water, made dozens of calls to airport for basic things as a pillow and blanket, which they refused to provide, then 12 hours on the flight back to London," she added. 

Reacting to the development, the Karnataka BJP was quick to label the professor an "anti-India element" and a part of what it called a 'Break India Brigade', criticizing the Karnataka Government and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for extending an invitation to Kaul. 

The BJP also went on to label Kaul a "Pakistani sympathiser" and posted headings of a couple of her writings on X. 

The saffron party claimed the Congress government was "threatening the unity & integrity of India" by extending an invitation to the Kashmiri Pandit professor -- who has written and spoken extensively on Kashmir, Bhutan, and other topics.

The BJP used the opportunity to claim that the Congress is "now using Karnataka as its laboratory to prepare the ground for its divisive agendas". "Thanks to our security agencies, one such anti-India element was caught suspiciously entering India and detained at the airport", it further said.  

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News Network
February 19,2024

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The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has denounced Israel’s plan to restrict Palestinians’ entry to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, warning that the measure will explode the whole situation.

“An outburst of anger is waiting to go off in the face of the occupying regime in response to any restrictions on worship at the al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan,” Izzat al-Rishq, a member of the political bureau of Hamas, said on Sunday.

Earlier, Hamas had roundly condemned Israel’s plan to restrict Palestinians’ access to the al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan, stating that the decision is a reflection of the Zionist crimes and the religious war waged by hardliner elements in the Israeli administration against the Palestinian people.

In a statement, the Gaza-based group said the restrictions would be a “violation of the freedom of worship” in the holy site, adding that the plan showed Israel’s intention to increase its attacks on the mosque during the Muslim fasting month.

The statement called on Palestinians in occupied East al-Quds, the occupied West Bank and the 1948-occupied territories to reject and resist this “criminal decision”, urging them to “take action and flock to al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday gave his green light to the recommendations of so-called national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and approved the restriction of Palestinians’ entry to the al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.

A limited number of Palestinians will reportedly be allowed to enter the mosque during the month.

Several Hebrew-language media outlets, including Keshet 12 television channel, reported in the last two days that Israel’s so-called internal security service, Shin Bet, had warned the Tel Aviv regime that prohibiting Palestinians from entering the al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan “could lead to major disturbances.”

The agency warned that this decision could cause more “dangerous” disruption than the eruption of tensions in al-Quds, the West Bank, and the 1948-occupied territories.

Since the beginning of the war in the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces have restricted Palestinian Muslims’ access to the al-Aqsa Mosque, particularly on Fridays.

Last Friday, despite Israeli restrictions, approximately 25,000 Palestinian worshippers were able to enter the mosque in the Old City of al-Quds to perform Friday prayers for the first time since the war.

Ramadan is expected to begin this year on or around March 10.

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News Network
February 26,2024

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Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has announced the resignation of his government due to the Israeli regime’s relentless ground and air strikes against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, and escalating violence in the occupied West Bank.

“This decision comes in light of the political, security, and economic developments related to the aggression against Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, and the unprecedented escalation in the West Bank, including in the city of al-Quds,” Shtayyeh, who submitted his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday, said at a weekly cabinet session in the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday.

He added that the decision to resign was made because of what Palestinians, their cause and their political system are experiencing amid ferocious and unprecedented Israeli aggression, genocide, attempts at forced displacement and starvation in Gaza, besides intensified settler terrorism, repeated incursions into West Bank towns and villages.

He also referred to unprecedented financial strangulation, attempts to liquidate the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees (UNRWA), repudiation of all signed agreements, gradual annexation of Palestinian lands, and bids to turn the Palestinian Authority into an administrative apparatus with no political weight.

Shtayyeh stressed that Palestinians will remain on the path of confronting the occupying Israeli regime, asserting that the Palestinian Authority will continue to struggle to establish a sovereign independent state on Palestinian lands.

Shtayyeh, who was appointed as prime minister in 2019, said in October that the current US administration doesn’t have the political will to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “They’re managing it,” he said.

The Israeli Knesset voted on Wednesday to support prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rejection of an independent Palestinian state. Earlier, the Israeli cabinet had approved a declaration, rejecting any unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

The Palestinians hope to establish an independent state of their own in the Gaza Strip and West Bank with East al-Quds as its capital.

Israel occupied East al-Quds during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming all of al-Quds as its “eternal and undivided” capital in a move never recognized by the international community.

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