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Malfunctioning of 2,400 VVPAT machines leaves voters flustered

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Voting turned out to be extremely frustrating for many voters across the city during Saturday’s polling as the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) malfunctioned in several booths. The Election Commission put the figure at 4.18 % of the total 57,786 VVPAT machines deployed.

While voting was disrupted in some places, the process was deferred to Monday in Lottegollahalli under Hebbal constituency. This means that voters had to come again on a weekday to cast their votes. Not a single vote was cast in Lottegollahalli till 4 pm on Saturday.

“The percentage of VVPATs that developed snag is very high. However, the percentage is still lower than the acceptable limit of 5%,” Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar told reporters here on Sunday.

In all, 2,419 VVPAT machines developed technical glitches, of which 1,702 were during the polling. Instances of polling getting disrupted owing to glitches in VVPAT machines or EVMs had been reported from across the state.

Another obstacle that surfaced was a glitch in the voter verified paper audit trail machine, which prints the voters choice for confirmation, wherein the machine printed the names other than the ones the voters chose.

Mr Kumar said the commission had taken note of it. “BEL engineers will also be looking into the matter, ” he said. The commission ordered repolling following the recommendation by BEL engineers.

In fact, the malfunctioning of a VVPAT unit at Gandhi Vidyalaya Kannada and Tamil School at Lottegollahalli in Hebbal constituency has been termed as “first of its kind” in the electoral process that forced the election authorities to announce repolling on Monday.

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Four arrested for assault on a TV journalist in Mumbai

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Tv Journalist

Mumbai | Four persons have been arrested for allegedly assaulting a television journalist near his house in south Mumbai, police said on Monday.

The accused, all city residents aged between 20 and 25 years, were nabbed late Sunday night from Tardeo area, a senior police official said. Herman Gomes, working with a private TV channel, was returning home along with a friend in a taxi on Sunday when he saw four to six men waiting near his house in Gamdevi area.

The men started abusing Gomes and later allegedly assaulted him and also hit his friend, as per the victim. Gomes was injured in the attack and later received six stitches near his eyes.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (zone-II) Dnyaneshwar Chavan, said prima facie it appears the incident might have taken place in the heat of the moment following some argument. “However, we are trying to go into the depth of the matter,” he said, adding, the accused do not have any criminal background.

Based on Gomes’ complaint, the Gamdevi Police had registered a case under IPC sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 324 (voluntary causing hurt by dangerous weapons) and other relevant provisions.

Journalists’ associations in the city had Sunday condemned the attack and alleged that police did not file the victim’s complaint promptly. The Mumbai Press Club termed the attack on Gomes a “dastardly act”.

An association of crime reporters in the city have urged Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to take action against police officers who allegedly delayed registration of the First Information Report (FIR) in the matter.

Minister of State for Home (urban), Ranjit Patil had later said an investigation was on into the incident and “correct steps will be taken in the direction”.

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Delhi court grants bail to Naveen Jindal, others in coal scam related case

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Naveen Jindal

New Delhi | A Delhi court on Monday granted bail to industrialist and Congress leader Naveen Jindal and 14 others, accused of money laundering in a case pertaining to irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar granted the relief on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and one surety of the like amount.

Besides Jindal, those granted relief are Jindal Steel and Power Ltd’s then adviser Anand Goel, Mumbai’s Essar Power Ltd’s Executive Vice-Chairman Sushil Kumar Maroo, Nihar Stocks Ltd’s Director BSN Suryanarayan, Mumbai-based KE International’s Chief Financial Officer Rajeev Aggarwal and Gurgaon-based Green Infra’s Vice-President Siddharth Madra. Those arrayed as accused also include K Ramakrishna Prasad, Rajiv Jain and Gyan Swaroop Garg.

The case filed under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) pertains to the allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.

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Kolkata: Nagerbazar blast death toll rises to three

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Nagerbazar blast

Kolkata | A 36-year-old man who was injured in an explosion at Nagerbazar area succumbed to his wounds at a state-run hospital here, an official of the medical establishment said on  Monday.

With this, the death toll in the explosion has risen to three. The man identified as Sharat Sethi, a washerman, was sitting at a nearby tea stall when the low-intensity blast took place on October 2 morning. Sethi died at the RG Kar Hospital here Sunday night, the official said. Another victim of the blast, Ajit Halder, had passed away at the hospital on Saturday night.

West Bengal CID, which is investigating the blast, said the death of fruitseller Ajit Halder on Saturday night would slow up their probe. “He (Halder) was giving us important information on what had happened on that day,” a senior officer of the CID said.

A seven-year-old boy was killed and nine people, including his mother, were injured in the low-intensity explosion in front of a fruit stall in the northern suburb of the metropolis. The boy’s mother is undergoing treatment at the SSKM hospital, an official of the state-run facility said.

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