Cyclone Fani makes landfall in Puri, heavy rains batter coastal belt
Bhubaneswar: Extremely severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ made a landfall in Puri on Odisha coast Friday morning, triggering heavy rainfall coupled with high velocity winds with speed of 175 kmph in vast areas.
Large areas in the seaside pilgrim town of Puri and other places were submerged with water as heavy rains battered the entire coastal belt of the state. Several trees were uprooted and thatched structures destroyed at some places including Bhubaneswar. “The cyclone has entered the Odisha coast at Puri around 8 am and it will take around three hours for the entire landfall process to be completed,” Director of Regional Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar, H R Biswas said.
The cyclonic system, whose eye is around 28 km, is moving at around 30 kmph, Biswas said, adding the process of landfall is expected to be complete around 11 AM. Puri and neighbouring areas are experiencing wind with a speed of 175 kilometres per hour which may go up to 200 kmph. Under the impact of the cyclone, high velocity wind is sweeping across several coastal districts like Ganjam, Puri, Khurda and Gajapati, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said.
Nearly 11 lakh people have been evacuated from vulnerable and low-lying areas of at least 11 coastal district, he said, adding the evacuees have been accommodated in over 4,000 shelters, including 880 specially designed cyclone centres. No casualty has so far been reported from any part of the state, Sethi said adding the government is fully prepared to deal with any eventuality. After the landfall, the system is passing through Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore before entering West Bengal, Sethi said, adding the state capital of Bhubaneswar is likely to be hit by high velocity wind of around 140 kmph. A cyclone making a landfall implies that the first arm of the cyclone has reached the land.
PNB intentionally “destroyed” Gitanjali Gems in an attempt to divert attention, says Mehul Choksi’s lawyer
New Delhi: Lawyer of now-defunct Gitanjali Gems’ owner Mehul Choksi on Thursday said that state-owned Punjab National Bank had intentionally “destroyed” the brand in an attempt to divert attention from their own mistakes.
Alleging missteps on the part of PNB the lawyer said, “Gitanjali Gems was cynically destroyed by the PNB in an attempt to divert attention from their own wrong-doings.” Citing the credentials of the brand he added, “With the revenue of over Rs 12,000 crore, the debt-to-EBITDA ratio maintained by the Gitanjali was among the best in the industry. Notwithstanding the company’s strong balance sheet and a stellar track record of loan repayments, in February 2018, prompted by allegations by Punjab National Bank, investigating agencies raided and seized Gitanjali assets.”
He further said that several entreaties on the part of the brand’s promoter Mehul Choksi fell on deaf ears. “The one thing I want to ask everyone who has accused me is even if I were guilty, why did no one even try to save Gitanjali, a company with Rs 12000 crore of annual turnover, 6,000 employees and countless honours in its name?” promoter of the brand Mehul Choksi said. Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are key accused in Rs 13,000-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case. They fled the country a year ago. Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018.
BJP First Freed Masood Azhar, Now It’s Trying to Gather Votes in His Name: Mayawati
Lucknow: Hitting out at BJP, Mayawati, the BSP supremo alleged that the ruling party was trying to use Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, who was blacklisted by the United Nations on Wednesday, to garner votes.
"Earlier, the BJP government made Masood Azhar a guest and later freed him abroad. Now at the time of elections, they are trying to gather votes on his name. It is condemnable," Mayawati, who was also the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, told ANI in an exclusive interview. Mayawati was referring to the release of Azhar in exchange of hostages of hijacked Indian Airlines plane IC-814. The Indian Airlines plane was hijacked during its flight from Kathmandu to Delhi in December 1999 and was taken to Kandahar in Afghanistan.
The BSP supremo's comments on Azhar assumes significance as it comes close on the heels of the United Nations (UN) designating him as a 'global terrorist' after China also joined efforts to blacklist him.
Azhar, the head of Pakistan-based JeM, had claimed responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in south Kashmir, in which 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives. The UN action came a day after China called for "political consultation within the framework of 1267 committee" to "properly resolve" the issue pertaining to the listing of Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN.
In the past, China had stalled India's proposal to enlist Azhar as a 'global terrorist' at least four times in the last 10 years, the latest being in March this year. Beijing had previously blocked New Delhi's bid three times -- in 2009, 2016 and 2017. A global terrorist tag under the UN's 1267 committee will lead to a freeze on Azhar's assets and a ban on his travel and constraints on possessing weapons.
The news about UN action was broken by India's Ambassador to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, who tweeted, "Big, small, all join together. Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist in @UN Sanctions list.
(This story has not been edited by The news india staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Fire breaks out at Cama Industrial Estate in Goregaon
MUMBAI: A fire broke out at the Cama Industrial Estate in Mumbai's Goregaon in the early hours on Tuesday, officials said.
Twelve fire tenders are at the spot to douse the flames which broke out at around 2:30 am.
No casualties have been reported so far, and the cause of the fire is not yet known. Firefighting operations are on. Further details are awaited.
Will kill 100 Naxals to avenge Gadchiroli attack: UP CM Yogi Adityanath
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Wednesday paid homage to those who died in the Naxal attack in Maharashtra and said that the sacrifice of the 15 police personnel will be avenged by killing at least 100 Naxals.
"This is a battle of the entire country and 130 crore countrymen are with our brave jawans," he said in an election rally in the state. "Our 15 jawans sacrificed their lives but in return we will kill atleast 100 Naxals," he added. At least 16 persons, including 15 security personnel, were killed in an IED blast triggered by Naxals in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district.
The explosion followed Naxals torching 25 vehicles belonging to a road construction contractor earlier in the day. Those killed were members of the Quick Response Team (QRT) of Gadchiroli Police, which was on its way to inspect the torched vehicles.
Election 2019: "Want To Give India A New PM," Says Akhilesh Yadav. Mulayam Singh Not It
Delhi : Mahagathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh wants to give India a new Prime Minsiter, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has said. The SP chief, however, clarified that the SP patron Mulayam Yadav was not in the race for the Prime Minsiter's post.
"The alliances in several states have choices but the BJP does not have any other leader. Our alliance wants to give India a new Prime Minister. My party will decide about the PM when the final seat tally is out," Akhilesh Yadav said in an interview to news agency ANI.
When asked if his father and former Defence Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav will be a prime ministerial candidate, Akhilesh said: "It will be good if Netaji gets the honour (to be the PM) but I feel he is probably not in the prime ministerial race."
A Yadav on being asked if Mulayam Singh Yadav will be a PM candidate: Our alliance wants to give India a new PM. Party will decide about the PM when final seat tally is out. It'll be good if Netaji gets the honour (to be PM) but I feel he is probably not in prime ministerial race
SC directs Centre to file response by May 4 to petitions seeking review of Rafale verdict
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a formal notice to Centre on review petitions filed against the December 14 judgement on Rafale deal. Attorney General KK Venugopal sought at least 4 weeks time to file reply on the review. The top court has asked the Centre to file a reply by May 4 and post the matter for hearing on May 6.
Earlier this month, the apex court had dismissed Centre’s objection claiming privilege over stolen documents used by petitioners to seek review of Rafale judgement. The stolen classified documents can now be looked into and considered as evidence for the re-examination of top court’s December verdict.
“We dismiss the preliminary objection raised by Union of India questioning the maintainability of the review petition,” the bench comprising of Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K M Joseph had said on the previous occasion.
WB Chit Fund Case: SC asks CBI to bring evidence for seeking
Delhi : The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the CBI to furnish evidence for seeking custodial interrogation of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, who was earlier heading the West Bengal Police SIT probing the Saradha chit fund scam case. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, to satisfy it that its request for seeking custodial interrogation of Kumar was bonafide and was in the interest of justice.
The bench also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna asked Mehta to bring evidence to satisfy it that Kumar was even remotely involved in destruction or disappearance of evidence in the chit fund case. Mehta told the court that he will file the evidence against Kumar by tomorrow after which the bench listed the matter for further hearing on Wednesday. The court was hearing CBI's application in which the agency, which was asked by the apex court to investigate the case, was seeking custodial interrogation of Kumar on grounds that he had given evasive replies during questioning.
Cyclone Fani: Rs 1,086-cr Central aid to 4 states
New Delhi: The Home Ministry (MHA) on Tuesday issued an advance financial assistance of Rs 1,086 crore to four states for preventive and relief measures in response to cyclonic storm 'Fani', a Ministry statement said.
Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal will get the aid from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) based on the decision of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC).
With 'Fani' intensifying into a 'severe cyclonic storm' over the southeast and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal, the four coastal states have been put on high alert. Of the total Rs 1,086 crore, Andhra Pradesh gets Rs 200.25 crore, Odisha gets Rs 340.875 crore, Tamil Nadu Rs 309.375 crore and West Bengal Rs 235.50 crore.
Court Grants Kejriwal, 3 Others Exemption In Defamation Case
New Delhi : A Delhi court on Tuesday granted exemption from personal appearance to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and three others in a defamation complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajiv Babbar.
However, Additional Chief Metroplitan Magistrate Samar Vishal asked Kejriwal, Rajya Sabha member Sushil Kumar Gupta, MLA Manoj Kumar and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) spokesperson Atishi to appear before the court on June 7, the next date fixed for hearing. On March 15, the court issued summons to Kejriwal and the others to appear before it on April 30.
Advocate Mohd Irshad requested the court to grant exemption to all these political leaders as they are busy in political events in Delhi and Haryana. The court was hearing the defamation case filed by Babbar, who has sought proceedings against Kejriwal and others for harming the reputation of the BJP by blaming the party for the deletion of names of "voters" from the electoral rolls in Delhi.
"All the accused made accusations against BJP in a calculated manner with the sole intention to portray a negative image of BJP in relation to the voters belonging to certain sections of society, namely, Bania, Poorvanchalis, Muslims, among others. The reputation of the complainant has been damaged beyond repair," Babbar said.
Babbar has alleged that Kejriwal has not only defamed the BJP but also all the people who are associated with the party. "The statement of the accused (Kejriwal) was made with ulterior motives to degrade the reputation of the BJP to gain cheap political mileage in the upcoming elections," Babbar said in his plea.