NIA picks up 4 suspects including 1 in Mangaluru after searches at 5 locations

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August 4, 2021

Mangaluru, Aug 4: The National Investigation Agency along with state police units today conducted simultaneous searches at five locations – three in Kashmir, one in Bengaluru and one in Mangaluru – in connection with investigation of NIA case RC-05/2021/NIA/DLI. 

An official release stated that NIA had registered a suo-moto case against seven known and other unknown accused persons under sections 120B, 121 & 121A of IPC & sections 17, 18, 188, 20, 38 & 40 of UA (P) Act on 05.03.2021 pertaining to terrorist activities of one Mohammed Ameen aka Abu Yahya resident of Kerala and his associates, who have been running various ISIS propaganda channels on different social media platforms such as Telegram, Hoop and Instagram for propagating the violent Jihadi ideology of ISIS and radicalizing and recruiting new members for the ISIS module.  

Earlier, NIA had conducted searches and had arrested three accused persons namely Mohd. Ameen, Dr Rahees Rasheed and Mus’Hab Anwar in this case in March 2021. 

During investigation, it has been revealed that after the decline of ISIS in Syria/Iraq, Mohd Ameen had visited Kashmir in March, 2020 and for engaging and had also raised funds in association with Kashmir based accused Mohammad Waqar Lone aka Wilson Kashmiri and his associates. As part of conspiracy, funds were also transferred to Mohd Waqar Lone by accused in the case through banking channels and digital payment methods on the directions of Mohd Ameen. Mohd Ameen and his associates were also radicalizing gullible Muslim youths for joining Jihad and unlawful activities in India and had been successful in expanding the network in Kashmir and part of Kerala and Karnataka.    

Today, searches were conducted at the premises of accused/suspects who were continuously in touch with Mohammed Ameen and his associates through various groups/channels on encrypted chat platforms and had raised funds for furtherance of activities of ISIS. During searches, several digital devices including Laptops, mobile phones, Hard Disk Drives, Pen Drives, multiple SIM cards of different service providers and incriminating documents were seized.

Subsequent to the searches, four suspects were arrested. They are Obaid Hamid, resident of Bemina , Srinagar, Muzammil Hassan Bhat , resident of Bandipora , Kashmir, Ammar Abdul Rahman, resident of Ullal, Mangaluru and Shankar Venkatesh Perumal aka Ali Muaviya ,r/o Bengaluru.

They were involved in raising funds and radicalising and motivating more people to join ISIS, according to NIA. Further investigation in the case is underway.

Note: This report is based completely on the information provided by NIA

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News Network
September 6,2021

Bengaluru, Sept 6: Schools reopened for students of classes 6 to 8 in Karnataka on Monday, by following strict COVID-19 protocols and standard operating procedures (SOP). 

As per government directions, schools have been reopened in taluks where COVID-19 positivity rate is below 2 per cent. 

Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh said that the government decided to reopen schools after approval from the state's technical advisory committee on COVID-19. 

"The department had an intention of reopening schools for some time now and teachers were also ready for it, but keeping in mind the health of the students along with education and concerns of the parents, we discussed with the technical advisory committee and after taking the opinion of expert paediatricians, we are reopening schools for classes 6,7 and 8," he told reporters. 

The Minister said, many parents and students had urged him during his recent visits to several parts of the state to reopen schools. He said the entire government machinery and district administrations have been working together with the department for the safe conduct of classes. 

It is mandatory for students to submit a consent letter from their parents to attend offline classes and these classes are not compulsory, as there is a provision of online classes also. 

The government has said that offline classes for students of class 6-8 will be held on alternate days, each with 50 per cent attendance, it will be five days a week, and the remaining two days (weekend) will be used for sanitizing and other COVID control measures. In response to a question, the Minister said, looking at how offline classes will go on, the government after consulting the technical advisory committee will take a decision on reopening schools for class 1 to 5, but did not specify any timeline. 

The government had already allowed the reopening of schools for students from classes 9 to 12 since August 23. 

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News Network
September 15,2021

New Delhi, Sept 15: After its recent withdrawal from the Afghanistan, the United States has hinted that it has been in talks with the government of India for using airfields in India as “staging areas” for carrying out aerial surveillance and launching attacks on terrorists in Pak-Afghan region.

President Joe Biden’s administration is “deeply engaged” with New Delhi, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said, testifying before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives – the lower house of the American Congress.

He was responding to Republican Party’s Representative Mark E Green, who asked if the Biden Administration had reached out to New Delhi for using “over-the-horizon” capabilities from “staging areas” in north-west India for neutralising potential threats to the United States in and around Afghanistan, in view of the collusion between the Taliban and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan.

 “We are deeply engaged with India across the board,” Blinken replied to Green.

He, however, did not share the details of the discussion between the two governments on the US launching drones from India for keeping watch on terrorist infrastructures in Afghanistan.

“With regard to any specifics about over-the-horizon capabilities and the plans we put in place or continue to put in place, I would rather take that up in a different setting,” Blinken replied to Green.

The Taliban of late returned to power in Afghanistan through a swift military campaign across the country taking advantage of the withdrawal of the US troops.

Biden and other senior officials of his administration in Washington DC repeatedly stated over the past few weeks that the US had sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001 in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and to neutralise the threat posed by Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda – the objectives, which had been achieved over the past two decades.

Though terrorism continued to remain a threat and spread around the world, the US no longer required to deploy a large number of soldiers overseas to combat the menace as it had now developed the “over-the-horizon” capabilities of carrying out aerial surveillance and launch drones to eliminate such threats, they argued, justifying the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

But what may limit the US' capabilities of launching drone attacks on the terrorists and terror infrastructures in the region is the fact that some of the airbases it had earlier used for the purpose are no longer available to it after its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The nearest airbases the US can use are in Qatar, Kuwait and other countries in the Gulf and far away from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region where the targets may be located – a fact Green pointed out while asking Blinken about the Biden Administration’s discussion with New Delhi.

New Delhi did not officially make any comment on Green’s query or the reply given by Blinken.

The Commander of the US Special Operations Command, General Richard D Clarke, had visited New Delhi in July and held a meeting with the Indian Army chief Gen M M Naravane.

Admiral John C Aquilino, Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, also visited New Delhi and held a meeting with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, just about 10 days after the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan.

India is a “major defence partner” of the US and the two nations had inked a Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016, creating a framework to support each other's aircraft, ships and personnel with logistics, fuel and spares.

They also signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) in 2018 and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) in 2020 to enable the exchange of geospatial information between the two countries. 

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News Network
September 7,2021

After two cases of the deadly Nipah virus emerged in the neighbouring state of Kerala recently, out of which, one 12-year-old boy died, the Karnataka government on Tuesday directed districts bordering that state to strengthen the surveillance and preparedness. 

It said that all those coming from Kerala should be monitored for symptoms like fever, altered mental status, severe weakness, headache, respiratory distress, cough, vomiting, muscle pain, convulsion, diarrhea. 

Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday said that he had instructed the experts to study the Nipah virus and give suggestions to tackle the disease.

"I have instructed the experts to study in details about the Nipah virus. I have also told them to give suggestions regarding how it will spread, how to tackle it," Bommai said.

A 12-year-old boy died of the Nipah virus infection at Kozhikode in Kerala on September 5. The test results of eight people, including the child's parents and health care workers, who came in close contact with him, returned negative. The Kerala government had put the health departments in four districts -- Kozhikode, neighbouring Kannur, Malappuram and Wayanad -- on high alert.

 "In view of confirmed cases of Nipah virus (NiV) infection reported recently in the neighboring state of Kerala, it is imperative to strengthen the surveillance and preparedness in the larger interest of Public Health in Karnataka also, with special focus in the districts bordering Kerala -- Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Mysuru, Kodagu and Chamarajanagara," the government advisory said. 

Issued by the Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Jawaid Akhtar, it gave certain instructions to be implemented by district administrations to ensure the well being of the community, that includes monitoring those coming from Kerala for symptoms. Also, necessary public awareness should be spread among the public on Nipa, it said, adding that a systematic surveillance system is a necessary method to identify clusters of encephalitis cases, resulting in early detection of Nipah outbreaks. 

The advisory said suitable samples have to be collected with all necessary precautions from suspected, probable and contacts and sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, for laboratory confirmation. However, Kerala's health minister Veena George informed news agency ANI that all 24 samples of eight persons sent to the NIV Pune have tested negative for Nipah virus

"All 24 samples of eight persons sent to National Institute of Virology, Pune were found negative (for Nipah virus). We are testing more samples. We have started field surveillance and will begin house-to-house surveillance in containment zones today," she told ANI.

As there is no known treatment or vaccine available, Ribavirin, an antiviral, may have a role in reducing mortality among patients with encephalitis caused by Nipah virus disease, it further said, adding that intensive supportive care with treatment of symptoms is the main approach for managing the infection in people. 

The advisory also instructed district authorities to send the daily reports, even if Nil, in a prescribed format, to the Commissioner, Health and Family Welfare Services, Arogya Soudha, Bengaluru. District Authorities should take all the necessary measures as instructed and as per the local situation, it added. Stating that Human Nipah Virus (NiV) infection is an emerging zoonotic disease, the health department said that in India, two outbreaks in humans were reported from West Bengal and neighboring Bangladesh in 2001 and 2007. 

Further, confirmed cases and deaths were also reported from Kerala during the outbreak in 2018. Large fruit bats of the Pteropus genus are the natural reservoir of Nipah virus, whose cases tend to occur in a cluster or as an outbreak. In general, the case-fatality rate is estimated at 40-75 per cent. However, this rate can vary by outbreak and can be up to 100 per cent, it added.

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