Investigation

CM Kejriwal visits Mundka, orders enquiry, announces 10 lakh each as Compensation

New Delhi [India]- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday reached the fire incident site near Mundka metro station, and said that the government has ordered a magisterial enquiry into the incident.

The Chief Minister also announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakhs for the family of the deceased while the injured will be given Rs 50,000 as ex-gratia.
He was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Cabinet Minister Satyendar Jain.

Speaking to reporters, Kejriwal said, “I have ordered a magisterial enquiry on behalf of the Delhi government. Ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh would be given to the family of the deceased ones and Rs 50,000 to the injured ones. The two brothers have been arrested. Strict action would be taken against the guilty after the investigation.”

Stating that the bodies of the deceased were not identified yet, the Chief Minister said that DNA tests would be conducted to ascertain their identities.

“Bodies of the deceased were charred to the extent that many of them have not been identified yet. We have deployed help to identify the missing and the dead. We will conduct the DNA test through the FSL to ascertain identities of the mortal remains,” he said.

“We are awaiting the investigation to know if any officer or an agency was responsible for the incident,” Kejriwal said.

A massive fire had broken out on Friday evening that left 27 people dead and 12 injured in the tragic incident.

However, the blaze was brought under control, informed the fire officials. (ANI)

Congress Committee Starts Investigation Into Live Nation’s Astroworld Festival

The Congress Committee has started an investigation into the Astroworld Organizer Live Nation, the event that led to the deaths of 10 people.

According to People magazine, the House Oversight Committee, on Wednesday announced that it will launch a bipartisan probe into what led to the deaths of 10 people at Astroworld last month after sending Michael Rapino, CEO of LiveNation, a letter informing him of the investigation. Live Nation– the organizers has since said it will cooperate with the said investigation.

“Concert attendees have provided firsthand accounts of being crushed within the crowd as it surged towards the stage. Live Nation Entertainment (Live Nation) was the concert promoter reportedly responsible for ‘planning, staffing, putting up the money, securing permits, finding vendors, communicating with local agencies,’ for Astroworld Festival,” the letter obtained by People magazine read.

The letter referred to reports that “raise serious concerns” about whether the company “took adequate steps” to keep the crowd safe.

The letter also referred to reports that despite the fact that law enforcement began responding to a “mass casualty event” at 9:38 P.M., the concert did not end until 10:10 P.M.

“We are also concerned by reports about Live Nation’s conduct following AstroworldFestival. Live Nation and its subsidiary reportedly have withheld pay until part-time employees who worked the festival have signed a revised employment contract, correcting the original version signed prior to the festival that was dated 2018,” the letter read.

“The revision makes it clear that the contract, which includes a broad provision releasing Live Nation from liability, applies to the 2021 festival,” the statement in the letter notes.

The committee also stated that Astroworld Festival was not the first in a “long line of other tragic events,” referring to the death of seven people at a concert in Indiana and the brain injury of a concert staffer from a forklift in 2013.

“We are deeply saddened by the deaths that occurred at Astroworld Festival and are committed to investigating what went wrong to inform possible reforms that could prevent future tragedies,” the letter read.

The committee also asked Live Nation to respond to a set of questions by January 7, 2022.

The committee also requested Live Nation to attend a briefing on January 12. The letter was signed by members Carolyn Maloney, Al Green, Bill Pascrell, Jr, James Comer, and Kevin Brady.

People magazine informed that Maloney is Chairwoman of the Committee and Congressman Comer is Ranking Member of the committee.

In an official statement to People magazine, the company said, “We are assisting local authorities in their investigation and will of course share information with the Committee as well.”

They further said, “Safety is core to live events and Live Nation engages in detailed security planning in coordination with local stakeholders including law enforcement, fire, and EMT professionals. We are heartbroken by the events at Astroworld and our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of the victims.”

For the unversed, this letter comes about a week after the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences confirmed that all 10 victims of the Astroworld Festival had died of “compression asphyxia.”

The victims also included a nine-year-old kid and a 14-year-old teen.

Sale of Ronaldo from Juventus to Manchester United being investigated

Turin [Italy]: Juventus FC have revealed that the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United in the summer transfer window of 2021 is part of an ongoing investigation into alleged false accounting in Turin.
In August, Juventus agreed the EUR14 million ($12m/$16m) sale of Ronaldo to Manchester United, with the deal including a further EUR8m (£7m/$9m) in bonuses. A statement released by Juve reads: “The club announce they have received the notification of a new search and seizure order relating to the ongoing investigations by the Public Prosecutor at the Court of Turin against the club and some of its current (Andrea Agnelli, Pavel Nedved, Stefano Cerrato and Cesare Gabasio) and previous representatives.”
“No fresh allegations have been made, following the announcement that an investigation would be opened, but Juve have confirmed that the process now includes “permanent sales on the balance sheet as of 30, June 2021, relating to the economic values of the sale of the player Dos Santos Aveiro Cristiano Ronaldo.”
They went on to say: “As already disclosed, the Company is cooperating with the investigators and with Consob and trusts to clarify any aspect of interest to it as it believes to have acted in compliance with the laws and regulations governing the preparation of financial reports, in accordance with accounting principles and in line with the international practice in the football industry and market conditions.”
Notably, the Serie A heavyweights registered a capital loss of EUR14m with Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford.

Death threat e-mails received by Gambhir traced to Pak

New Delhi [India] : Two e-mails threatening to kill former Indian cricketer and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) MP Gautam Gambhir were sent from Pakistan, Delhi Police sources said on Thursday.
According to the sources, the account handler has been identified as Sahid Hamid. The BJP MP had said that he had received two death threats via e-mails within 24 hours from “ISIS Kashmir”.
“We are going to kill you and your family,” read the first threat e-mail received from ‘ISIS Kashmir’.
The second threat mail read, “We intended to kill you, but you survived yesterday. If you love the life of your family, stay away from politics and the Kashmir issue.”
Following the threats, security has been beefed up outside Gambhir’s residence.
The senior officials of Delhi Police have also informed that Gambhir’s complaint was marked to the Cyber Cell of the Special Cell to know the source of the mail.
Further investigation is underway.

Police charge Amazon India executives in drug smuggling case

New Delhi [India] : Last week, police in the central state of Madhya Pradesh arrested two men for allegedly trafficking 20kg of the drug to other Indian states. Police say the men had traded cannabis on the site in the guise of selling stevia leaves, a natural sweetener. Amazon says it does not allow the listing and sale of illegal products. The company also said that it takes strict action against sellers found to be breaking its rules on illicit goods. “The issue was notified to us and we are currently investigating it,” Amazon added in a statement in response to the case. State police said executive directors of Amazon India had been charged under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. This was due to “differences in answers in documents provided by the company in response to police questions and facts unearthed by discussion,” police said in a statement. Authorities did not say how many executives had been charged. A total of 1,000kg of marijuana, worth about $148,000 (£110,000), was estimated to have allegedly been sold using the website. The case is the latest legal issue being dealt with by Amazon’s Indian business, which is also facing a competition investigation in the country. Along with Flipkart, a subsidiary of US retail giant Walmart, Amazon India is being probed by regulators over claims that they gave preferential treatment to some sellers. In September, Amazon also reportedly launched an internal probe after claims that one or more of its Indian employees had bribed officials.

In recent years, Indian authorities have significantly increased their efforts to crack down on both the trafficking and use of illegal drugs. Many of the country’s high-profile actors and television personalities have come under scrutiny from narcotics officials in the last year.

No role of BJP in attacks on TMC, investigation underway, says Tripura Minister

Agartala (Tripura) [India]: The state’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has distanced itself from the attacks on Trinamool Congress workers and the house of TMC steering committee state head Subal Bhowmik in Tripura and categorically denied any involvement of BJP workers in the attacks.
The Party, on the other hand, accused the TMC of plotting everything in connivance with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Congress. The tensions in Tripura increased after violent incidents in the run-up to the elections to the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) and 12 other municipal bodies slated for November 25.
Senior BJP leader and Minister of Higher Education Ratanlal Nath on Sunday said that CPIM, Congress and TMC hatched a well-orchestrated conspiracy to defame, demean and tarnish the image of Tripura at the national as well as the international level in order to show BJP in a bad light.
Addressing the reporters at BJP state headquarters late on Sunday night, Nath said, “BJP had already bagged 112 seats uncontested. In 222 seats, BJP is going to face opposition parties like CPIM, TMC and Congress in turns”.
“In this game plan, CPIM, Congress and Trinamool Congress are working all together. They are also going to stage a fresh drama in New Delhi by meeting union Home minister Amit Shah on the Tripura violence issue which is nothing but a mere attempt to hide their own shortcomings. The clandestine understanding among the opposition parties is visible and an open secret for all”, he added.
The minister said, “TMC which did not even have district or block committee in the state is trying to make a statement that they can defeat the ruling party. For that, they have taken a number of efforts which are against the interest of Tripura”.
“On several occasions, Sushmita Dev, TMC MP was seen making unparliamentary comments on CM Biplab Kumar Deb. Even Sayani Ghosh’s act during CM’s public meeting is also unacceptable. Their leader Bobby Hakim has also attacked our Chief Minister verbally with words that could not be revealed in such a platform,” the senior BJP leader pointed out.
On being asked about the visuals of people bearing BJP flags attacking the police station, Nath has categorically denied any involvement of BJP workers in the incidents but maintained that the police is investigating the matter.

BJP demands NIA probe into killing of RSS workers in Palakkad

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India] : The BJP will organise a protest across the state on November 25 demanding a National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the killing of RSS workers in Palakkad and Thrissur.
At a press conference, BJP state general secretary P Sudheer alleged that SDPI was behind these murders. “The Left government is supporting the SDPI and it should end. We are demanding the state government to hand over both cases to the NIA. On November 25, the BJP will organise a march to all collectorates in the state demanding the NIA probe into the killing of RSS workers in Palakkad and Thrissur. In Thiruvananthapuram, the protest will be held before the secretariat,” he said.
A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker was hacked to death in Kerala’s Palakkad district, police said on November 15. According to the police, the deceased identified as S Sanjith was waylaid and attacked when he was travelling with his wife on his motorbike.

Sameer Wankhede counters Nawab Malik, says fake notes allegations baseless

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede on Wednesday rubbished Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik’s allegations and said that the face value of counterfeit notes seized in 2017 was around 10 lakh not around 14 crore and three people were arrested in the matter.
He further said that the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had approached the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the case, but the latter did not do so “Nawab Malik’s allegations are baseless. The face value of counterfeit notes seized in 2017 was around 10 lakh not around 14 crore. 3 persons were arrested in the matter. At that time DRI had approached NIA to probe the matter, but NIA did not take over the case,” said Wankhede.
His response came soon after Malik alleged that after demonetisation the game of counterfeit notes was going on in the state under the Devendra Fadnavis government.
“With the blessings of Fadnavis, the game of counterfeit notes started in Maharashtra. After demonetisation was declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and counterfeit notes were being caught across the country but till October 8, 2017, no case was registered in as the game of counterfeit notes was going on in Maharashtra under Devendra Fadnavis,” said Malik.
He further claimed that on October 8, 2017, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) conducted raids at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in which counterfeit notes with a face value of 14.56 crores were seized but Devendra Fadnavis had helped suppress this matter.

Income Tax Department conducts searches in Maharashtra

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : The Income Tax Department carried out search and seizure operations at the headquarter and one of the branches of an Urban Credit Cooperative Bank located in Maharashtra and restrained Rs 53.72 crore, informed the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Saturday.
The search and seizure operation was carried out on October 27. According to CBDT, the residence of the chairman and one of its directors were also searched.
CBDT said the analysis of bank data on Core Banking Solutions (CBS) and the statements of key persons recorded during the search action have revealed the glaring irregularities in opening the bank accounts.
“More than 1200 new bank accounts were opened in the said branch without PAN. The investigations have revealed that these bank accounts were opened without following KYC norms and all account opening forms are filled in by the bank staff and they have put their signature/thumb impressions,” the CBDT statement reads.
It informed that in these accounts, multiple cash deposits each of exact denomination of Rs 1.9 lakh, were made totaling to Rs 53.72 crore.
“Out of these, more than 700 bank accounts have been identified which were opened in series, where cash deposits of more than Rs 34.10 crore were made immediately within 7 days of the opening of bank accounts mainly during the period August 2020 to May 2021,” it said.
These deposits have been structured to avoid mandatory PAN requirements for cash deposits over Rs 2 lakh. The money has been subsequently converted into fixed deposits in the same branch.
The local enquiries in a few cases of such account holders have demonstrated that these persons are not aware of cash deposits in the bank and categorically denied any knowledge of such bank accounts or even the fixed deposits, CBDT said.
The Chairman, CMD, and the manager of the branch could not explain the source of cash deposits and accepted that these were done at the behest of one of the directors of the bank, who is a prominent local businessman engaged in the trading of grains.
On the basis of the evidence gathered and statements recorded, CBDT restrained the entire amount of Rs 53.72 crore.

“Probe NCB officials”

Mumbai [Maharashtra] : Maharashtra Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik on Tuesday said that he has received a letter from an unnamed Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) official alleging that a number of people have been framed in false cases by the anti-drugs agency.
Addressing a press conference here today, the Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister said that he is forwarding the letter to NCB Director General SN Pradhan, to include it in the agency’s probe into the cruise drug bust case involving Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan. “I have received a letter from an unnamed NCB official. I am sending this letter to Director General Narcotics requesting him to include this letter in the investigation being conducted on NCB’s Sameer Wankhede. We demand there should be a probe,” said Malik.
“The letter sent to me by an unnamed NCB official claims that a number of people have been framed in false cases. Panchnamas were drafted at the NCB office. We demand an investigation into this,” said Malik.
He also challenged Wankhede, his father and his sister to file criminal defamation case against him saying that he is ready to face it and fight it in court.
The NCP leader said that his fight is not against NCB but against the official who has extorted money from people.
“My war is not against the agency. I am fighting injustice. I am only exposing one official who got the job by fraud. Wankhede used a fake birth certificate to get the NCB job. He has been illegally tapping phones of some people in Thane and Mumbai,” Malik alleged.
Malik said that the letter he received mentions 26 cases in which it is alleged that Sameer Wankhede “did not follow proper rules while investigating the matter.”
Wankhede has meanwhile said that all the allegations were false.
Mutha Ashok Jain, Director General, Narcotics Control Bureau in Mumbai, told : “I have seen the letter. We will take necessary action.”
Earlier today in a series of tweets, Malik said he has “received an envelope from an unnamed NCB (Narcotics Control Bureau) official”, adding that he will soon be revealing the details. “Envelope of the letter received by me from an unnamed NCB official. Contents of which I will be releasing soon on Twitter. (sic),” his tweet read.
Malik had earlier also shared the birth certificate of Wankhede on Twitter saying “Sameer Dawood Wankhede’s fraud started from here.” Following this Wankhede said he will fight Malik legally.
An NCB team busted an alleged drugs party on the Cordelia Cruise ship which was on its way to Goa at mid-sea on October 2.
A total of 20 people, including Aryan Khan, have been arrested so far in the case.

Dhanbad Judge Death Case: CBI has disappointed again, investigation at same pace

Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India] : While hearing the Dhanbad Judge death case, Jharkhand High Court on Friday said that the investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the case is at the same place where it was earlier.
A bench headed by the Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court Justice Ravi Ranjan and comprising of Justice Sujeet Narayan said, ” the CBI has once again disappointed. Investigation pace is at the same place where it was earlier”. The court came down heavily on the agency and expressed strong discontent stating that the agency “did not inform the High Court before filing the charge sheet despite the bench comprising the chief justice monitoring the process”.
The court has also asked the CBI Director to be present at the next hearing through video conferencing.
The next hearing of the case is scheduled on October 29.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday has filed a charge sheet before a special court in Jharkhand in connection with Dhanbad judge Uttam Anand, who was allegedly mowed down by an autorickshaw.
The case has been registered under Sections 302 (Murder), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence), and 34 (Common Intention). Further investigation is underway.
Uttam Anand was an Additional District Judge posted in the Dhanbad district of Jharkhand was allegedly murdered after being mowed down by an autorickshaw in July this year. Two people involved in the alleged killing were arrested by Jharkhand police, and the vehicle used for the crime was seized.
On August 19, CBI submitted a progress report of probe into the death of Dhanbad additional session judge Uttam Anand in a sealed cover in the Jharkhand High Court.
The Supreme Court had also taken a suo motu cognizance of the alleged killing of ASG Anand.

Man accused of murder injured

Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh) [India] : A person accused of murder was allegedly injured in a police encounter that took place in a residential society of Greater Noida near the Surajpur police station area on Friday.
As per information shared by Central Noida Additional DCP Ankur Aggarwal, the accused named Arjun was injured after being shot in the leg by the police in the early hours of Friday. “The accused named Arjun killed a girl by slitting her throat with a knife after robbing her house a day ago,” stated Aggarwal.
“Earlier today, he was being taken to the murder spot for investigation. On the way, he tried to escape by snatching the pistol of a police official. In an act of self-defence, the police shot the accused in the leg,” he added.
The police further informed that the accused has been sent to the hospital for treatment.

Multi-Agency Group investigation on Pandora Papers begins

New Delhi [India] : The Multi-Agency Group (MAG) on Pandora Papers has begun its preliminary investigation of entities and persons named in Pandora Papers and held its first meeting last week. The meeting of MAG was chaired by the Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman JB Mohapatra. Officials of Enforcement Director (ED), Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) attended the meeting.
Sources told ANI that MAG, in its meeting, discussed the information reported by the International Consortium of International Journalists (ICIJ) on October 3, 2021, where it was claimed to be a 2.94 terabyte (TB) data trove that exposes the offshore secrets of wealthy elites from more than 200 countries and territories.
According to the source present in the meeting, MAG discussed the leak of Pandora Papers reported by ICIJ. “Only a few of the 380 Indian names and entities have appeared in the media so far. MAG will fast track its investigation once the rest of the names of Indian entities are released by ICIJ,” said sources.
“It was decided in the meeting that the MAG will seek information from countries concerned on Indian entities named in Pandora Papers through Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI). Through AEIO tax authorities match the incomes earned or account held abroad, with that declared in their tax returns so as to detect instances, if any, of tax evasion,” sources added.
India has activated the AEOI relationship for receiving information from 96 countries including the British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas where Indian entities have invested their wealth.
Sources further told that the MAG also have a platform of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) where, through Spontaneous Exchange Information, India can ask for information from countries concerned.
“Tax authorities also have the provision of common reporting standard (CRS), where CRS requires financial institutions to identify the tax residency of all the customers, and in most cases report information on customers who are tax residents outside of the country/jurisdiction where they hold their accounts,” they said.
As per the ICIJ, as many as 380 Indians are on the list of the global elite who has been exposed for ring-fencing their wealth through the shadowy financial transaction and using offshore tax havens to hide assets worth millions of dollars.
The investigation is based on a leak of confidential records of 14 offshore service providers that give professional services to wealthy individuals and corporations seeking to incorporate shell companies, trusts, foundations and other entities in low or no-tax jurisdictions.
The sources said that MAG will take appropriate action as per law.
Earlier in a statement, CBDT had said that government will also proactively engage with foreign jurisdictions for obtaining information in respect of relevant taxpayers/entities.
The Government of India is also part of an Inter-Governmental Group that ensures collaboration and experience sharing to effectively address tax risks associated with such leaks.
It may be noted that following earlier similar leaks in the form of ICIJ, HSBC, Panama Papers and Paradise Papers, the government had already enacted the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 with an aim to curb black money, or undisclosed foreign assets and income by imposing suitable tax and penalty on such income.
Undisclosed credits of Rs 20,352 crore approximately (status as on 15.09.2021) have been detected in the investigations carried out in the Panama and Paradise Papers.

Delhi Police rescue minor girl sold from Rajasthan

New Delhi [India] : Delhi police rescued a 15-year-old girl from Sikar in Rajasthan who was allegedly sold to a man in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra for Rs 60,000 , Delhi Police said on Sunday adding that two persons have been arrested who are said to be involved in this hideous crime.
According to police, the 15-year-old girl had gone missing on September 16 and FIR was registered in the Shalimar Bagh Police Station. “An investigation revealed that the girl was in regular contact with a boy residing in Rohini. The boy with the help of another accused took her to a house in Agra, where she was sold for Rs 60,000 to a man belonging to Sikar, Rajasthan,” police said in a statement.
Efforts are being made to trace the second accused and further investigation in the case is in progress, police said.

China warns against ‘manipulation’ of WHO COVID-19 origin probe

Beijing [China]: A day after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a launch of an expert group to study the origins of COVID-19, China on Thursday warned against “political manipulation” of the fresh investigation by the global health body.
This statement comes after the WHO launched an expert group on Wednesday that will study the origins of new pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the news during his press briefing from Geneva, “following a public call for experts.” “China will continue to support and participate in global scientific origins-tracing and firmly oppose any form of political manipulation,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during a press conference on Thursday.
“We hope that all parties concerned, including the WHO Secretariat and SAGO will adopt an objective, scientific and responsible attitude, follow the requirements and relevant mandates of the WHA resolution, take the first phase of the joint study as the basis, adhere to a global perspective, perform their duties in an objective and fair manner, and truly make a positive contribution to global origins-tracing and anti-epidemic cooperation,” he added.
The proposed members of the WHO Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO) were selected for their expertise in areas such as epidemiology, animal health, clinical medicine, virology and genomics. The 26 experts were selected from over 700 applications and were chosen for their world-class expertise and experience in a range of disciplines, as well as their geographic and gender diversity.
“SAGO will advise WHO on the development of a global framework to define and guide studies into the origins of emerging and re-emerging pathogens with epidemic and pandemic potential, including SARS-CoV-2,” he said.
“The emergence of new viruses with the potential to spark epidemics and pandemics is a fact of nature, and while SARS-CoV-2 is the latest such virus, it will not be the last.”
Answering a question, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Technical Lead on COVID-19, had stated that SAGO will recommend further studies in China, and potentially elsewhere, to understand the origins of the new coronavirus, UN News reported.
While SAGO will advise WHO, any future missions will be organized by the UN agency and the country in question. “I want to make it very clear that the SAGO is not the next mission team. There’s been some misrepresentation about that going forward,” she said.
A WHO-led team of scientists that travelled to China in early 2021 to investigate the origins of the virus struggled to get a clear picture of what research China was conducting beforehand, faced constraints during its visit, and had little power to conduct thorough and impartial research.

WHO investigating new Ebola case in DR Congo

Geneva [Switzerland]: The World Health Organization is investigating a new case of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the WHO chief said Saturday.
“WHO is working with the government of DRC on the investigation of a case of Ebola in North Kivu,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted on Saturday. On Friday, the Congolese health ministry confirmed that a child who died in the eastern North Kivu Province on October 6 had contracted the viral disease.
According to Sputnik, the patient came from Butsili, which is close to the town of Beni, the epicenter of the previous large outbreak, and to Butembo, which experienced a new Ebola outbreak in May.
Congo’s last major outbreak of Ebola had infected 3,481 people between 2018 and 2020, killing 2,299. The flare-up in Butembo was over after three months with 11 confirmed cases and six deaths, it reported further.

SC exploring “alternative” investigation mechanism

New Delhi [India]: Senior Congress leader and former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar on Friday welcomed the observation made by the Supreme Court while taking suo-motu cognisance of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case and said that the court exploring an alternative investigation mechanism is a vote of no confidence in the Uttar Pradesh government investigation agency.
Speaking to ANI, Kumar said that the observation of the Supreme Court constitutes a severe indictment of the way the investigation of the Lakhimpur Kheri tragedy was being conducted by the Uttar Pradesh government. “Supreme Court has also said that it would seriously explore an alternative investigative mechanism. This is a clear vote of no confidence in the investigation being conducted by the state government and they have asked pertinent questions. How can this kind of laxity be tolerated in a murder case registered under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” the former Law Minister said.
The senior Congress leader Kumar further said that the observation made by the court expresses concern regarding a fair investigation in the case.
Earlier in the day, Supreme Court said that it is not satisfied with the steps taken by the Uttar Pradesh government in the investigation of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.
The court further directed the Uttar Pradesh government to apprise the court of an alternative agency that can conduct the probe. The top court observed that a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe is also not a solution because of reasons known to the Uttar Pradesh government.
“We are not making comments. CBI is not a solution for reasons known to you… because of the persons involved… better some other people look into it,” observed the court.
Taking suo-motu cognisance of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, the Supreme Court said that it was a brutal murder of eight persons and the law must take its course against all accused. Court further said that it hoped that the UP government would take necessary steps due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Chief Justice Of India (CJI) NV Ramana directed the Uttar Pradesh government to ask its Director General of Police to ensure that the evidence in the case is protected till the time another agency takes it over.
On Tuesday, advocates Shiv Kumar Tripathi and CS Panda wrote to the top court, seeking punishment for politicians allegedly involved in the ghastly incident. The letter stated, “Having regard to the seriousness of the killing of the farmers at district Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, it is incumbent upon this Court to intervene in the matter as flashed in the press.”
As many as eight people died in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident that took place on October 3.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of several farmer unions, alleged that Union Minister of Home Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish Mishra arrived with three vehicles around the time that farmers were dispersing from their protest at the helipad and mowed down farmers.
However, Ashish Mishra refuted SKM’s allegations and said he was not present at the spot where the incident took place.

Britney Spears Under Investigation After Housekeeper Files Complaint Over Dispute

Pop singer Britney Spears has been sued by one of her housekeepers for allegedly striking her during a dispute while in singer’s Thousand Oaks home on the morning of August 16.

Captain Eric Buschow confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Britney is under investigation over misdemeanour battery after allegedly striking an employee during a dispute at her home. Buschow told that the employee called the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department to report the incident.

According to TMZ’s law enforcement sources, the housekeeper told cops that she had taken one of Britney’s dogs to the vet, claiming there were issues with the treatment of the pet. The singer confronted her when she got back from the vet, they argued about the dog’s wellness and then Britney allegedly slapped the housekeeper’s phone out of her hands.

Deputies conducted an investigation and will be forwarding reports to the Ventura County District Attorney to determine if charges will be filed against Britney.

Britney’s lawyer Mathew Rosengart called the claim “sensational tabloid fodder,” telling The Hollywood Reporter in a statement that this is “nothing more than a manufactured ‘he said she said’ regarding a cell phone, with no striking and obviously no injury whatsoever. Anyone can make an accusation, but this should have been closed immediately.”

Mathew added, “To its credit, the Sheriff’s office itself has acknowledged that the incident was classified as a ‘very minor misdemeanour’ and confirmed ‘there were no injuries.’ If this did not involve Britney Spears it never would have been reported at all.”

The ‘Toxic’ singer is currently engaged in a conservatorship battle, seeking relief from her “abusive” father who has been the conservator of her estate for 13 years.

However, last week, after more than a decade of legal strife, her father, Jamie P. Spears, agreed to step down as her conservator once a proper plan is in place.

According to a court filing, Jamie hopes to work with the court and his daughter’s attorney, Mathew to resolve pending matters related to his job as he passes the torch in order to facilitate a “smooth transition.”

Rafale Deal: Congress Demands JPC Probe, BJP Terms Claims As Lies After Reports Of Investigation In France

The Congress party’s fresh salvo comes after reports stated that a criminal investigation has been opened into the 2016 Rafale deal in France.

The Congress party has once again raised the demand to conduct a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Rafale deal.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Saturday claimed that Congress and its former president Rahul Gandhi’s statements about corruption in the Rafale deal have been proven.

The Congress party’s fresh salvo comes after reports stated that a criminal investigation has been opened into the 2016 Rafale deal signed with India for the sale of 36 Dassault-built fighter jets.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that “French website ‘Mediapart’ has made public all the evidence in the Reliance-Dassault deal”.

“Modi Government’s ‘sweetheart’ deal (Rafale Deal) is clear. Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi allow Joint Parliamentary Committee investigation now?” he questioned.

Congress has been stating from the beginning that the Supreme Court cannot investigate this matter and hence, the party did not approach the Supreme Court, Surjewala said, adding that the party maintains that the deal should be investigated through JPC.

The Congress leader hinted at the plan to raise this matter in the upcoming Parliament session, saying “we will raise this matter concerning national security inside and outside Parliament”.

Responding to this, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra held a press conference wherein he termed Congress’s claims about the Rafale deal as lies. He said that the party and its former president have been lying to people be it about French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement or approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

“Congress is synonymous with lies and myths. Today they lied about Rafale deal, again. If a country’s (France) NGO (Sherpa) complains over a charge and its financial prosecution body orders a probe accordingly, it should not be seen as corruption,” he said.

Sambit Patra also stated that Congress and Rahul Gandhi have been quoting different figures while alleging corruption in the Rafale deal.

“As far as the investigation is concerned, the Supreme Court of India and the CAG have placed their report on Rafale in the public domain. The people have seen both these reports,” he asserted, adding that “the illusion that Rahul Gandhi tried to spread before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections did not work for him and Modi Ji got a huge victory in the court of public”.

The matter of Rafale deal with France becomes the eye of controversy from time to time. This time, the issue has been stoked after reports of an investigation being opened into the Rafale deal came in. The pact was signed between France and India in 2016 for the sale of 36 Dassault-built fighter jets.

Investigation In France

French publication ‘Mediapart’ on Friday reported that the criminal investigation will be conducted under the leadership of an independent magistrate “who will, among other elements, examine questions surrounding the actions of former French president François Hollande”.

Former French president Hollande was in office when the Rafale deal was finalised, while the current French president Emmanuel Macron was Hollande’s economy and finance minister at that time.

The financial crimes branch of the French public prosecution services (PNF) has stated that the investigation will look into allegations of corruption and favouritism in the pact for 36 fighter planes between the Indian government and French aircraft manufacturer Dassault.

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