Patna: One could call it jail bharo, Lalu style. To ensure that his jail yatra in BJP-ruled Jharkhand neither dented his lifestyle nor put him at any serious discomfort, RJD president and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav had made arrangements for his helper and masseur-cum-cook to land in prison hours before his own grand arrival in Ranchi’s Birsa Munda central jail on December 23, 2017, in connection with a fodder scam case.
Helper Lakshman Mahto and masseur-cum-cook Madan Yadav turned themselves in voluntarily on December 23, 2017, over an allegedly fudged theft and assault case registered against them by their neighbour.
Sources said that the two have allegedly been personally attending to him inside the jail since December 23, the day the RJD chief was convicted and sent to prison in the Deoghar treasury fodder scam case. While the ruling JD(U) and the BJP have cried foul, sources said that the timing of the leak about Lalu Yadav’s “jail luxury” is meant to have an adverse impact on his bid to seek bail from the Jharkhand high court in the next few days.
The JD(U) and the BJP also demanded a high-level probe to find out the “real truth” behind Lalu Yadav’s helpers reaching the jail just hours before he was convicted.
The RJD jumped to its leader’s defence, insisting that the presence of Mahto and Madan Yadav in jail was “conicidental”.
The superintendent of Birsa Munda Central Jail could not be reached for comments. Other government officials remained tight-lipped.
JD(U) spokesman Neeraj Kumar, in a statement issued in Patna, said, “Lalu Yadav is a person with feudal mindset who can make his party workers go to any extent to serve his personal interest.”
“This shows that Lalu Yadav’s commitment to social justice is a sham and he cares only for himself and his family members,” said Mr Kumar, a JD(U) MLC.
Sources said Mahto and Madan Yadav, both residents of Jharkhand, had moved into a house in Ranchi a few weeks before the December 23 CBI special court verdict against Lalu Yadav. Thereafter, they had a fight with a neighbour and were booked.
The FIR against Mahto and Madan Yadav was registered by their neighbour Sumit Yadav in Lower Bazaar police station, alleging that he was beaten up and robbed.
“They abused me and assaulted me when I asked them to return my money which they had borrowed. They also stole Rs 10,000 from my shirt’s pocket” Sumit Yadav said in his FIR against Madan Yadav and Mahto.
Both the aides of Lalu Yadav have been booked under IPC Section dealing with theft, causing hurt, insulting someone and wrongful restraint, punishable with a maximum of three years in jail.
This is not the first time the two have accompanied the RJD chief to Ranchi jail. Sources claimed that in 2013, when Lalu Yadav was convicted in the first fodder scam case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from the Chaibasa treasury, Mahto and Madan Yadav used the same trick to land in jail and be at their master’s beck and call.
Lalu Yadav has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail by the special CBI court in connection with the Deoghar treasury case involving the embezzlement of more than Rs 89 lakh in government funds between 1991 and 1994.
NIA raids locations in western UP, Punjab over ISIS-inspired module probe
New Delhi:The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday morning conducted raids at several places in western Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in connection with the investigation into a suspected ISIS-inspired module. A case was recently registered against the suspected module.
Sources said that the police officials detained two persons for questioning from Athsaini village in Garhmukteshwar tehsil. They were being interrogated by the police till last report came in.
The agency rounded up a 50-year-old resident of Bulandshahr, who runs a general store and has spent over 25 years in Saudi Arabia.
Notably, this is the third time that raids have been conducted by the NIA in Hapur area of Uttar Pradesh while the searches in Amroha have been carried out for the second time.
Several teams of the counter-terror probe agency launched the searches simultaneously in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha and Bulandshahr besides Punjab’s Ludhiana, and several places early in the day, a senior NIA official said.
The raids that were still underway, kicked off after the NIA got leads from those arrested during their interrogation. The agency is looking into the role of a foreign mastermind behind the new module.
The action comes in the wake of a case it registered on December 20 under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Explosive Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Armed robbers loot passengers onboard Jammu-Delhi Duronto Express
New Delhi: Unidentified assailants, carrying guns and sharp-edged weapons, barged inside two coaches of Jammu-Delhi Duronto Express and looted the passengers on Thursday morning.
A group of about seven to ten armed assailants robbed passengers onboard B3 and B7 coaches. The incident took place in the early morning hours in Badli station, on the outskirts of Delhi.
The incident came to light after a passenger filed a complaint through the railways’ complaints portal. Passenger Ashwani Kumar, in his complaint, claimed that passengers of B3 and B7 coaches of the train were targeted by the armed men as it neared the Delhi Sarai Rohilla station.
“As train number 12266, which stops only at its source and destination stations, was approaching the Delhi station, stopped at around 3:30 am awaiting signal, seven to 10 miscreants entered coaches B3 and B7 of the train,” Kumar said.
The miscreants snatched mobiles, gold jewellery, cash and other valuable items from multiple passengers. The entire robbery took place within 10 to 15 minutes.
A case has been filed.
Railway Protection Force (RPF) has initial leads in the case and action will be taken against culprits, said the Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO) Northern Railways.
“The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has initial leads in the matter. The culprits will be nabbed soon and stern action will be taken against them,” a Northern Railway spokesperson said.
Kumar later added that the passengers tried to reach the train attendant and TT after the incident and found them after 20 minutes. “The irony is that neither staff nor security personnel were available there at the time of the mishap,” the passenger claimed.
The complainant claimed that when he could not find the TT or the attendant, he contacted the Delhi Police after which an FIR was registered at the destination station.
“… The attendant told us that there was no security personnel available in the train. We are not safe even in AC coaches and imagine the security in sleeper class and general coaches where passengers enter the train even without tickets… ,” Kumar wrote in his complaint.
Several persons took to social media questioning rail security and safety of passengers again with this incident.
The Jammu Tawi-Delhi Sarai Rohilla Express (Train no 12266) has a travel time of 9 hours with one halt at Ludhiana.
The Duronto Expresses are one of the fastest trains in India. It has only AC coaches.
SC partially strikes down stringent rules on Maharashtra dance bars
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday set aside certain provisions of a law imposing restrictions on the licensing and functioning of dance bars in Maharashtra.
A bench headed by Justice A K Sikri quashed certain provisions of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016.
The top court allowed orchestra and added that tips can be given but showering of cash and coins is not allowed inside bars.
SC upheld the condition of fixed timings of dance bars in Maharashtra from 6 pm to 11.30 pm.
Supreme Court said, “There cannot be a total prohibition on dance bars. No licence has been granted by Maharashtra since 2005. There may be regulations but that should not amount to a total prohibition.”
The court quashed conditions of Maharashtra government of putting CCTV cameras in dance bars of Mumbai, giving licence to people of good character as ‘vague’.
It also repealed a rule that segregated dancing stage from the bar area where drinks are served.
The Court has also struck down a condition by which dance bars should be 1 km away from educational and religious places.
The top court has upheld a rule of Maharashtra government by which working women should have a contract so they can’t be exploited, however, quashed a rule of monthly salary for bar dancers.