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Massive fire in Delhi’s Bawana area guts 17; injures two

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As much as 17 people were burnt to death and two were injured in a horrific fire at a firecracker packaging factory unit in Delhi’s Bawana area.

In a horrific incident, a fire at firecrackers packaging factory in north Delhi’s Bawana region gutted as many as 17 people. According to the reports, the fire started on Saturday evening.

Also Read: Kamala Mills incidence is a clarion call for the party-goers – This new year eve, boycott joints that serve killer hookah!

According to Delhi Fire Service official, the fire was started at the storage unit on the ground floor of a two-storey building. However, the police department is yet to confirm the report. According to police ten women and seven men have died in the mishap. Most of the deceased were the workers in the factory. Most of the people burnt to death while rest died due to choking on smoke.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the hospitalised victims and announced compensation of ₹5 Lakh each to the family of the deceased and ₹1 Lakh to injured. As the news of fire spread, leaders from all the parties rushed to the spot.

Also Read: Mumbai Police arrests cricket bookie Vishal Karia in connection with Kamala Mills fire

Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain said, “The factory possessed the license of a chemical factory, however, a firecracker packaging unit was set up here. We have ordered a probe into the matter. The guilty will not be spared.” He also said that according to one of the survivors, the cartons were brought to the factory to package the firecracker and manufacturing did not take place at the site.

Meanwhile, the Delhi police have arrested the owner of the factory- Manoj Jain. They have also filed an FIR under section 304 of IPC for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. He told the police that the factory started operating from January 1. He had rented the place for packaging of firecrackers. Jain also claimed that his company dealt with the packaging of low-intensity “cold firecrackers”, meant to be sold during Holi. However, he admitted that he was running the factory alone. Earlier the Delhi police have suspected that the factory was run in a partnership with Lalit Goel.

A senior Delhi police official, Rajneesh Gupta told the media here that the probe is underway and the police are investigating whether manufacturing of firecracker also took place at the warehouse.

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PNB fraud: Mehul Choksi cites TV debate phone-in plea to get non bailable warrant cancelled

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Mehul Choksi

Mumbai | Fugitive jeweller Mehul Choksi, a co-accused in the Punjab National Bank fraud case, on Friday moved the special CBI court here for cancellation of a non-bailable warrant against him claiming he has reasons to believe that his return to India might endanger his life.

On May 22 this year, after taking cognizance of the second charge sheet filed in the Rs 12,636-crore PNB fraud case by the CBI, the special court had issued the NBW against Choksi. Choksi, in an application filed Friday through his lawyer Sanjay Abbott, said his apprehensions over his safety are based upon what transpired during a recent television debate on the fraud.

He told the court that he was “shocked” to watch a debate on a national television news channel where two callers phoned in to share their opinion on the fraud. The callers, Choksi claimed in the plea, “suggested that a special team be formed to track Mehul Choksi down and shoot him to death once he was brought back to India”.

Choksi claimed that the callers said that such treatment would send out a strong message to society and prevent further cases of frauds and fiscal scams.

The fugitive jeweller also claimed that the news anchor concerned and the panellists did not object to the comments made by the caller. Instead, the anchor even laughed at the comments and the same makes it apparent that the anchor and the panellists too “tacitly” agreed with what the callers suggested, Choksi said in the plea.

“From the above two calls made by the callers and the tacit approval given to the same by the news anchor and the panellists, it is clear that the averments made by the applicant (Choksi) in the application filed before this court regarding a threat to his life and the fear of mob lynching is vindicated,” the application read.

Choksi also sent some audio and video CDs claiming that they contained the cited footage from the news channel debate. He has urged the court to make his submission a part of the court records and, in light of the same, to cancel the NBW issued against him.

The special court has now directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to file its reply to the application by October 3 this year, which is the next date of hearing in the case. This is the second such application filed by Choksi before the special court, claiming a threat to his life and seeking that the NBW be cancelled.

In June this year, he had filed a plea claiming that he had been advised bed rest on account of his ill health following a “heart operation,” and he feared that once in India, the probe agencies would not help him secure the kind of medical treatment and supervision he required.

At that time, he had also said that there existed a “trend of mob lynching” in the country presently, and he feared that if he returned to India, he might become a victim of such lynching.

The CBI charge sheet named Choksi, the managing director of Gitanjali group, former PNB MD and CEO Usha Ananthasubramanian, then PNB executive directors Brahmaji Rao and Sanjiv Sharan, and PNB deputy manager Gokulnath Shetty, among others as key accused in the case.

While urging the court to issue the NBW, the CBI had argued that its issuance would allow the probe agency to approach the Interpol for issuing a Red Corner Notice against Choksi, Nirav Modi and some other persons accused in the case.

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India to rethink meeting with Pakistan after soldiers killing: Sources

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New Delhi | The Narendra Modi led Indian government has decided to rethink over the meeting of the Indo-Pakistan foreign ministers on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) after the barbaric killing a BSF soldier on Thursday.

Earlier on Thursday Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will be meeting Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister in the last week of September on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.  India earlier decided to hold a meeting with the Pakistani counterpart after Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking to resume the dialogue that has been suspended since 2015.

Speaking on the development MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “It’s obvious that behind Pakistan’s proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed & true face of new Prime Minister of Pakistan has been revealed to world in his first few months in the office.”

Kumar further stated added,” Since yesterday’s announcement of meeting of foreign ministers of India & Pakistan, 2 deeply disturbing developments took place. Latest brutal killings of our security personnel by Pakistan entities & recent release of series of 20 postal stamps by Pakistan glorifying terrorists.”

India’s decision to rethink on the meeting has come after a nationwide outrage over the killing a BSF jawan by the Pakistani Army near the International Border. Narendra Singh who was a part of the BSF party which had gone to clear the grown Elephant grass along the International border in the Ramgarh sector of Jammu went missing heavy firing began from the Pakistani side of the International border. The body of Narendra Singh was found nearly 40-50 metres inside the Pakistani territory alo ng side the International border. According to the report submitted by BSF to Union Home Ministry Singh had been hit by three bullets on his left eye, left side of his chest and left leg. The report also confirmed that the body of Singh was mutilated as the body had several “cut marks” on his body, including on his neck.

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No precipitative action should be taken on Salem-Chennai highway project: HC

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Chennai | The Madras High Court today made it clear that no precipitative action shall be initiated by the authorities on land acquisition for the proposed Salem-Chennai green corridor highway project.

A division bench comprising Justices T S Sivagnanam and Bhavani Subbaroyan issued the directive during the resumed hearing of a batch of petitions from landowners and public interest litigation pleas against the eight-lane project.

It was responding after counsel for one of the petitioners asserted that four people, who were assisting the public in submitting written objections over the land acquisition, had been arrested.

“We have made a very pointed observation in several of our earlier orders that nothing should be precipitated by the state government or its officials,” the bench said.

It also directed the Government Pleader to issue necessary instructions to the officers more particularly those in the field level not to precipitate any problem further, saying the court would view very seriously any such action.

On concerns over the impact of the project on wildlife, state Advocate General Vijay Narayan said clearance had been granted by the Forest department strictly in accordance with the procedure and with the available technology.

The bird sanctuaries falling along the corridor were situated well beyond the eco-sensitivity distance of 10 km from the point of land acquisition, he added.

Recording the submissions, the bench posted the matter to September 24.

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