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Dhule lynching: Man, seen leading mob in video, arrested; search on for others

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New Delhi: One more person was arrested in connection with the lynching of five people in Maharashtra’s Dhule district, Dhule Superintendent of Police (SP) M Ramkumar said Thursday. With this arrest, the number of persons arrested in the case is up to 24.

Maharu Pawar (22), a resident of Rainpada who was absconding since the incident took place on Sunday, was arrested from Nandurbar on Wednesday, the officer said.

According to Ramkumar, Pawar is one of the accused seen in the video assaulting the victims mercilessly in the panchayat office.

The accused is purportedly seen leading the mob while assaulting the men with sticks and rods, news agency PTI reported.

“Our team was searching for him and was able to nab him,” the police official told PTI, adding that a search is underway to nab the remaining accused.

On Monday, 23 people were arrested and sent to police custody for four days.

The lynchings, apparently triggered by social media posts, took place on Sunday morning in the tribal hamlet of Rainpada about 325 km from Mumbai. The victims were suspected to be part of a gang of ‘child lifters’. The mob that attacked them reportedly comprised over 35 people, including some children.

Police said the five victims, along with a few others, were seen getting down from a state transport bus in the village. When one of them apparently tried to speak to a girl child, the villagers, who had gathered for the weekly Sunday market, pounced on them.

“The accused hail from a tribal village where WhatsApp posts pertaining to child kidnappers had gone viral. Based on the posts, the mob suspected the victims to be child lifters and thrashed them to death,” Ramkumar had earlier told The Indian Express.

“The victims were nomads who had come to seek alms at the weekly bazaar,” he had said.

Purported video clips of the incident showed the victims being thrashed with slippers, before being dragged to the Rainpada gram panchayat office, where they were beaten up with sticks. Some minors can also be seen punching, kicking and dragging the victims by their collars. In one video clip, a victim can be seen pleading for help, while the bloodied bodies of the other four victims are lying on the floor.

 


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National

Congress chief suffers from Modi phobia, says Amit Shah

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Bhopal: BJP national president Amit Shah took a jibe at his Congress counterpart, Rahul Gandhi, for “bashing” Prime Minister Narendra Modi “day-in-day-out.” “Rahul Baba seems to be suffering from Modi phobia,” he said.

Launching his second phase campaign for BJP from Barwani in Madhya Pradesh, Shah said, “Rahul Baba utters Modi’s name every time and everywhere, no matter what issue he talks on. He sees Modi everywhere.”

“But I do not find fault with him since he finds Modi in the hearts of people wherever he goes in the country,” Shah quipped.

The BJP chief also lambasted Mr Gandhi for seeking account of the four years of the Modi government. He dared him to reel out the achievements of Congress governments at the Centre and in the states since independence.

“Why don’t you tell the pe-ople of the country how many scams were done by the previous governments under the Congress at the Centre since independen-ce,” he said, throwing down the gauntlet at Mr Gandhi.

He said the NDA government at the Centre had undertaken several welfare measures to improve the lives of poor, women, and other weaker sections in the country in the last four years.

Lauding CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan for transforming MP from a “bimaru” or sick state to a developing one in the last 13 years, he said the CM has become synonymous with development.

“MP was turned into a backward state during the Congress rule earlier. The raja, maharaja, and industrialist cannot ensure progress of the state,” he said, while referring to the Congress trio — Digvijay Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia, and Kamal Nath.

Shah is scheduled to address a series of public meetings across the state in the coming six days, ahead of MP going to Assembly polls on November 28.

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Heavy rains as cyclone Gaja hits Tamil Nadu coast, over 76,000 evacuated

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Nagapattinam: The severe cyclonic storm ‘Gaja’ crossed the Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and nearby Vedaranniyam early Friday with wind speed gusting up to 120 kmph, a weather bulletin said.

According to Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority, as many as 76,290 people were evacuated from low lying areas and sheltered at over 300 relief centres in six districts including Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram and Tiruvarur.

A holiday has been declared for educational institutions in Nagapattinam.

An India Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin said, “Severe cyclonic storm Gaja crossed Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast between Nagapattinam and Vedaranniyam …with wind speed of 100-110 kmph gusting up to 120 kmph, early Friday.”

“Though the center of cyclone is over land, rear sector of eyewall is still over sea. It will take about an hour to move over land,” the IMD bulletin issued at 3:15 am said.

However, Deputy Director General of Meteorology S Balachandran told news agency PTI, the cyclone will take another two hours to fully cross the coast.

The severe cyclonic storm is very likely to move nearly westwards and weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm during the next six hours, the IMD said.

During the cyclone’s landfall, rains lashed Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, and Thanjavur, uprooting trees in several regions, the details of which are expected later in the day.

Electricity supply was disconnected in Nagapattinam and in several other coastal regions in view of the cyclone’s landfall.

Four teams each of National Disaster Response Force personnel have been already deployed in Nagapattinam district while two teams of the state disaster response force in Cuddalore district, officials said on Thursday.

The state disaster management authority had released an animated video aimed at creating awareness on the do’s and don’ts during cyclone.

The government has announced helpline numbers 1070 (state-level) and 1077 (districts) for those who may need assistance.

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Rahul booked for making ‘false’ claims on Veer Savarkar

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MUMBAI: Hindutva icon and freedom fighter Veer Savarkar’s family is reportedly offended with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s statement that the former had pleaded to the Britishers to be freed from jail and apologised for his activities.

Ranjeet Savarkar, the grand nephew of Veer Savarkar, has filed a police complaint against the Congress president for allegedly making a “false statement” about the iconic Hindutva leader, who is revered by the ruling BJP.

”Rahul Gandhi, while addressing an election rally, had alleged that Veer Savarkar had apologised to the Britishers to be released from jail. It’s false. Savarkar ji was jailed for 27 years by the Britishers. I’ve filed a complaint against him for defaming Savarkar ji,” Ranjeet Savarkar told ANI.

The complaint against Rahul Gandhi was filed at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park police station.

In his complaint, Ranjeet mentioned that Rahul Gandhi’s statement that Vinayak Damodar Savarkar – better known as Veer Savarkar – had apologised to the Britishers and pleaded to them in writing to be freed from jail.

Veer Savarkar is widely believed to have popularised the term “Hindutva”.

Hitting out at the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had on Saturday alleged that women in the country were now scared of coming out fearing attacks.

Rahul Gandhi also alleged that freedom fighter Veer Savarkar, who is worshipped by the BJP party as an icon of patriotism, wrote a letter to the British Government to release him when leaders like Mahatma Gandhi were in prison.

Attacking Veer Savarkar, the Gandhi scion said “Prime Minister Narendra Modi kept the portrait of Veer Savarkar in Parliament…When Britishers were ruling this country, when all the Congress leaders were in prison, Veer Savarkar wrote a letter to the British. He was not ‘veer’ (gallant).”

The Congress president further alleged that Savarkar wrote that he would do anything for them (British), according to PTI.

“I apologise you. I will not indulge in any political activities. Release me from the prison. With folded hands, I will touch your (British) feet. Please release me from the prison. On the other hand, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Ambedkar and Sardar Patel were fighting for the freedom of the country,” Rahul Gandhi said.

He said there were currently two ideologies in the country.

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