Tehran: Seventy-six people have been killed in Iran by floods in recent weeks, according to a new toll published with warnings still in place for large swathes of the country.
“With the death of five people in the Khuzestan province flood and another person in Ilam province the death toll has now reached 76,” since March 19, according to a statement published online by the coroner’s office.
The two southwestern provinces are the latest overwhelmed by floods that first hit the northeast of the usually arid country, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate from cities and villages.
Officials have again issued flood warnings for the east of Iran with heavy rains that began on Saturday forecasted to continue. The floods have caused immense damage with homes, roads, infrastructure and agriculture all hit.
“More than 14,000 kilometres (8,700 miles) of roads have been damaged,” transport minister Mohammad Eslami told parliament, according to the official IRNA news agency. He added that “725 bridges have been totally destroyed.”
The head of Iran’s meteorology service told the same parliamentary session that the floods do not necessarily mean that a decades-long drought has ended.
“The recent floods were due to climate change and global warming,” Sahar Tajbakhsh said. The Islamic republic has received aid from neighbouring countries and further afield, with France on Saturday donating 210 tents and 114 pumps.
In biggest drug haul, 150-kg heroin seized in Delhi
NEW DELHI: In the biggest ever narcotics haul in the national capital to date, Delhi Police Special Cell seized about 150 kilograms of Afghan-origin heroin, exposing an Afghan-Pakistan narcotics cartel in the process. Five persons, including two Afghanistan nationals, were arrested.
The international market value of the seized heroin is over Rs 600 crores, police told.
The police busted the heroin reconstitution and processing unit which was functional at the time of the arrests. Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, Corolla Altis and other luxury vehicles, used to transport the Afghan heroin in Delhi, have also been seized.
The two Afghan nationals – Shinwari Rehmat (30) and Akhtar Mohammad Shinwari (31) – are chemical expert who were handling the production. The other accomplices have been identified as Vakeel Ahmed (36), Raees Khan (43), and Dheeraj (21), who worked for the Afghans in Delhi, reported IANS news agency.
With this major drug haul, the Modus Operandi (MO) of another trans-national narcotic cartel has been exposed.
“A team of Special Cell during separate raids on Wednesday and Thursday initially arrested Dheeraj, a native of Haryana and Raees Khan, a resident of Maharani Bagh when they assembled at Ashram flyover with 60 kgs of heroin,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Manishi Chandra told IANS.
The accused disclosed the names of two Afghan nationals who were then arrested from their hideout in Zakir Nagar with another 60 kgs heroin and another accused Vakeel Ahmed with 30 kgs of heroin.
“At a site in Zakir Nagar, a huge amount of preparatory and precursor chemical agents, solutions and implements etc were also found. Also, a semi-industrial set up of relatively sophisticated design was found almost operational. The entire premises were sealed,” he added.
During interrogation, police stumbled upon a intricate method that uses jute bags to transport the drug. The crude heroin is first dissolved in a preservative solution. Jute gunny bags, meant to transport spices and condiments, are then soaked and dried in this heroin solution. After emptying the contents, the jute sack is again dipped in another chemical that helps creates the heroin residue.
“Vakeel Ahmed disclosed that with the expertise gained by years of clandestine operations, the Af-Pak drug cartels have recently adopted this novel modus operandi whereby crude heroin is dissolved in a preservative solution and ordinary jute bags, meant for carrying various kinds of spices and condiments, are soaked and dried in this heroin solution,” said Chandra.
Indian masterminds of the syndicate have been identified and efforts are on to nab them, Chandra said.
Nehru, Sardar Patel, Bapu appealed Muslims to not migrate to Pak: Azam Khan
New Delhi: In another controversial statement, Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan said on Saturday that Muslims in the country are being punished for their decision to not go migrate to Pakistan after the partition in 1947.
“Why our ancestors did not go to Pakistan? Well, they considered India as their nation. This is our fault. Maulana Azad, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and even Bapu had appealed Muslims to not migrate to Pakistan,” he said when asked about his views on growing incidents of mob lynching.
Khan, an MP from Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, claimed that Muslims have not been able to live a dignified life in the country. “We have been living a very disgusting life since 1947, and we are very ashamed of it,” he said.
He also alleged that the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh is fabricating land dispute cases against him because he managed to defeat BJP candidate Jaya Prada in the Lok Sabha elections.
The state government recently put Khan’s name on anti-land mafia portal after several complaints were registered against him for allegedly grabbing lands in Rampur, his home district.
Khan, a former state Cabinet minister, is known for his controversial remarks. During the Lok Sabha elections, he said Jaya Prada wears khaki underwear, a reference to her alleged affiliation with the RSS.
“I won the election against powerful people despite their several tactics. I am being punished for that mistake. The Rampur district magistrate went to counting stations wearing a saffron shirt and harassed voters. Still, I emerged victorious,” he said.
Centre, Assam move SC seeking extension of deadline for final NRC
New Delhi: The Centre and the Assam government on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking extension of the July 31 deadline for finalisation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The Centre told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that India could not be the refugee capital of the world.
The Union and state governments also sought sample verification of the citizens included in the NRC, saying lakhs of people had been wrongly included in areas bordering Bangladesh due to involvement of local officers.
The first draft of the NRC for Assam was published on the intervening night of December 31, 2017 and January 1, 2018 in accordance with the top court’s direction. Names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated then.
Assam, which had faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC which was first prepared in 1951.