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‘Ex-cop DG Vanzara gave Sohrabuddin contract to kill Haren Pandya’: Witness

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Mumbai: A key witness in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh alleged fake encounter case told a Mumbai court that former IPS officer D G Vanzara had given a contract to Sohrabuddin to kill ex-Gujarat minister Haren Pandya.

The witness, Azam Khan, an associate of Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram Prajapati, also said that while he had told the CBI investigator about it in 2010, the officer had refused to include it in his testimony, reports said.

On March 26, 2003, Pandya was found shot dead in his car near Law Garden in Ahmedabad.

 

Azam Khan said he met Shaikh in 2002 and became good friends with him and his wife Kausar Bi and his associate Tulsi Prajapati.

“During that time, Sohrabuddin told me he had got money from D G Vanzara to kill Gujarat’s home minister Haren Pandya and he completed the job. I then told him that what he did was wrong and he had killed a good person,” Khan was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

In 2005, Khan was arrested by the Rajasthan police and lodged in Udaipur jail where he met Prajapati who told him about Sohrabuddin’s encounter.

“Prajapati told me that the Gujarat police killed Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi,” the witness said, deposing before special CBI Judge S J Sharma.

Khan, an Udaipur-based gangster, was brought before the court on Saturday under heavy security from Udaipur central jail where he is currently lodged.

The testimony will continue next week.

Shaikh and his wife were killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2005 by Gujarat police. Prajapati was later killed in another alleged fake encounter by Gujarat and Rajasthan police.

Of the 38 people charged by the CBI for the two alleged fake encounters, 16 were discharged by the trial court. Those discharged included BJP chief Amit Shah, Vanzara and all senior officers of Gujarat and Rajasthan police.


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Fielding Sadhvi Pragya a reply to those who linked Hindu with terror: PM

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the recent Income Tax raids on certain politicians were not part of “political vendetta” and things were happening as per the law.

PM Modi also defended the decision to field Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, saying she is a “symbol” for those who described Hindus as terrorists. She will give a tough fight to the Congress there, he said.

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur is pitted against senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh from the seat in Madhya Pradesh.

 

“The decision (to field Thakur) is a befitting reply to individuals who linked a whole religion and culture to terror,” the prime minister said taking a jibe at the Congress over saffron terror remarks.

PM Modi said the Income Tax raids were happening as per the law and were not part of any “political vendetta”.

He said the raids have all yielded proof of corruption, including siphoning of money from schemes meant for the most vulnerable sections of the society like children and expectant mothers.

Responding to a question on loan defaulters Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi escaping the country, PM Modi said when they realised that under the present government, they will have to return the loan; they escaped taking benefit of the system.

In 2019, they have been brought to the steps of jails, after 2019, they will be in jail, PM Modi said.

“Why aren’t the critics talking about the fact that some have lost their cases on extradition while others are rotting in jail,” he said.

He asserted that the BJP will return to power with greater numbers and said even the NDA allies would do better than 2014 polls. It will be a complete majority, PM Modi said.

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If Indiraji is credited for 1971 Bangladesh war, why not PM Modi for Pakistan air-strike : Rajnath

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New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi deserves the credit for the country’s air strike inside Pakistan just as Indira Gandhi was honoured for the success in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

Singh hit out at the Congress for seeking evidence of the outcome of the Balakot air strike by Indian Air Force and said the BJP-led government has been able to effectively isolate Pakistan for sheltering “terror elements.:

He recounted that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was a leader of the Jan Sangh, the former avtar of BJP, had complimented Indira Gandhi for the success in the Bangladesh Liberation war and had said the party would not hesitate to accord its fullest cooperation to Indira Gandhi.

 

“Now, what is wrong in praising Modiji if he gave a fitting reply to Pakistan after the Pulwama attack ?” Singh asked while slamming the opposition parties for raising questions when there was nation-wide “euphoria” following the air strike on terror camps inside Pakistan territory.

Singh was addressing a series of election meetings in Keonjhar, Cuttack and Puri parliamentary constituencies in Odisha which are going to polls in the third phase on April 23 to bolster the prospcts of BJP candidates.

“The opposition has been seeking to know the number of terrorists killed in the air strike. How can the jawans count the number when the target is a huge gathering of terrorists? … Jawans do not count bodies, it is the work of vultures.”

Claiming that the BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been able to isolate Pakistan in the international community, Singh said “None other than Narendra Modi can give a befiting reply to Pakistan.”

Stating that India is no more weak, the senior BJP leader said “We do not attack anyone but if someone attacks us, we do not spare him.

“Our policy is very clear. We do not attack any one, never try to acquire anyone’s territory. But if anyone dares to hit us we will not sit idle,” Singh said,
Apart from strengthening the country’s security, Modi has ensured that country’s economy improved. “When BJP came to power in 2014, India’s position in terms of economy was 9th. Now within four and half years, India’s place is 6th in the world. We will be among the top three by 2030,” he said.

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Chaiwala vs doodhwala: Akhilesh’s battlecry in Azamgarh

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AZAMGARH: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav coined a new battle slogan to counter Prime Minister Narendra’s chaiwala (tea seller) catchphrase.
“If PM Modi is chaiwala, then we are doodhwala. Without good milk, good tea cannot be made,” said the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister while addressing a rally at Baitholi bypass after filing his nomination from Azamgarh parliamentary constituency for the Lok Sabha election 2019 .
Targetting PM Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the SP chief said, “BJP is calling the alliance of SP, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal as Mahamilawat. And what will be the coalition of 38 parties be called?”
Ahead of the general election, SP, BSP and RLD announced their alliance on March 6. BSP is contesting on 38 seats, SP on 37 and RLD on three seats in Uttar Pradesh.
In a subtle reference to UP CM Yogi Adityanath while urging voters to remove the “dictatorial” BJP government in the state, Yadav said, “BSP, RLD and SP will hold a new history. First the chowkidar will go away from the country and then the thekedar too.”
“The BJP showed just dreams to everyone, but did not even complete the work. BJP’s talk starts with the toilet and ends there. In any case, there is no special difference between the Congress and BJP in the matter of toilets. If one digs a pit for the toilet then the other has two crates,” said the 45-year-old SP chief.
The SP chief said Azamgarh is the ‘karmabhoomi’ of ‘samajwadis’ and that the SP-BSP-RLD coaliton is an alliance of ‘mahaparivartan’ (grand change) and not ‘mahamilawat’ (adulteration) as alleged by the BJP.
Thousands of BSP supporters joined SP chief and raised slogans like Kaam bolta hai (work speaks).
Akhilesh Yadav is seeking election Azamgarh, a seat won by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav in the 2014 general elections. The BJP has pitted Bhojpuri superstar Nirahua or Dinesh Lal Yadav against him.
Uttar Pradesh is witnessing polling during all seven phases of the election. The first and second phases were held on April 11 and April 18. The next phases are scheduled to be held on April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. The votes will be counted on May 23.

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