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Interpol issues notice for Mehul Choksi in PNB loan scam case

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The Interpol today (Thursday, Dec 13) issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against diamond merchant Mehul Choksi, said the CBI spokesperson in a statement.

The notice comes six months after the CBI sent a request to the international organisation in connection with the Rs 12,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case. The fraud is being probed also by Enforcement Directorate (ED) and other agencies.

“The Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice against Mehul Choksi on the request of the CBI,” CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said.

The Interpol has already issued an RCN against Choksi’s nephew Nirav Modi and a few other associates.

Earlier, Choksi had challenged the CBI’s request, citing the poor condition of Indian jails, which he said violated “human rights conditions”.

Choksi also sought cancellation of the non-bailable warrant issued against him, claiming there was a threat to his life. He also cited “the recent trend of mob lynching” due to which he couldn’t travel to India. The CBI in its reply to Interpol assured that Choksi was an “economic offender” and would be provided with the necessary protection, said a report in The India Express (IE).

A five-member Interpol committee court, called the Commission for Control of Files, was set up to decide on CBI’s request. Choksi is currently residing in Antigua and Barbuda after obtaining citizenship earlier this year.

Antiguan authorities had told New Delhi that the only way it could restrict Choksi’s movement was the CBI could get a Red Corner Notice issued against him. A CBI official said the international warrant would also help the Antigua and Barbuda government to take a call on Mehul Choksi’s citizenship.

Mehul Choksi became a citizen of the Caribbean islands under a programme that extends its citizenship in exchange for investment in the twin-island state of Antigua and Barbuda. The Antigua government had, however, made it clear that there were provisions that allowed it to reopen the issue of his citizenship.

Earlier this year, the ED had moved applications before a special court in Mumbai seeking confiscation of the attached assets of Choksi under the recently promulgated Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance.

The CBI has chargesheeted both Nirav Modi and Choksi separately in the scam. The CBI, in its chargesheets last month, alleged Choksi swindled Rs 7,080.86 crore, making it the country’s biggest banking scam at over Rs 13,000 crore.

Nirav Modi allegedly siphoned Rs 6,000 crore.

An additional loan default of over Rs 5,000 crore to Choksi’s companies is also a matter of probe under the CBI.

It is alleged that Nirav Modi and Choksi through their companies availed credit from overseas branches of Indian banks using guarantees given through fraudulent LoUs and letters of credit which were not repaid bringing the liability on the state-run bank, officials said. An LoU is a guarantee given by an issuing bank to Indian banks having branches abroad to grant short-term credit to the applicant.

The instructions for transferring funds were allegedly issued by a bank employee, Gokulnath Shetty, using an international messaging system for banking called SWIFT platform and without making their subsequent entries in the PNB’s internal banking software, thus bypassing scrutiny in the bank, officials said

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Tejashwi Yadav releases RJD’s manifesto, promises airports in 5 Bihar cities

Tejashwi Yadav said his party is making 24 promises to the people of the nation and Bihar.

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Former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav unveiled the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Lok Sabha election manifesto on Saturday morning, pledging the construction of five new airports in the state. Along with releasing Parivartan Patra, the political heir and son of RJD founder Lalu Yadav pledged Rs1 lakh annually to sisters from low-income families on Raksha Bandhan.

In the presence of senior RJD leaders, Tejashwi Yadav unveiled the document and said that his party had committed 24 commitments to both the national and Bihar citizen.

He said, they have released Parivartan Patra available. Twenty-four jan vachan (public promises) have been brought up for 2024. These 24 jan vachan are our promises, which we will keep, the speaker said.

Tejashwi Yadav said that his party will see to it that five new airports are built in Bihar to improve connectivity, should the INDIA bloc secure a majority at the Centre.

For better connectivity in Bihar, they are going to build 5 new airports in the state, in Purnea, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj and Raxaul, he said. Yadav also pledged to give Bihar special status. They will implement OPS (Old Pension Scheme) and we will provide special status to Bihar, he said. The former deputy CM promised to eradicate unemployment in the nation.

People will begin to be released from unemployment on August 15th. The process of providing jobs will begin on August 15th, if their government is elected, he stated.

Every year on Raksha Bandhan, they will provide their sisters who live in poor families with Rs 1 lakh. Gas cylinders would be available for Rs 500, he continued.

The RJD leader assured young people all over the nation of one crore jobs.

He further said, One crore youth across the country will receive government jobs if our INDIA alliance is elected to power. Our greatest opponent right now is unemployment, yet the BJP did not discuss this. Although they had pledged to provide 2 crore jobs, we carry out our word, he said.

On April 19, voting will start for the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections. On June 4, there will be a counting.


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi slams Rahul Gandhi, Lalu Yadav for eating mutton during holy month of Sawan, compares them to Mughals

PM Modi even compared them with the Mughals and accused them of trying to tease the people of the country.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday made a scathing attack on senior Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and RJD leader Lalu Yadav for allegedly eating mutton during the holy month of Sawan last year. He claimed that they do not care about the sentiments of the majority of people of the country. PM Modi even compared them with the Mughals and accused them of trying to tease the people of the country.

PM Modi was referring to a viral video which was released in September last year in which senior Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and RJD leader Lalu Yadav were seen cooking mutton together. PM Modi was speaking at an election rally in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur.

He said the opposition and INDI alliance do not care about the sentiments of the majority of the people of the India. He added Congress party enjoys playing with the sentiments of the people.

Talking about RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, PM Modi said a person who has been sentenced by the court and who is on bail – Rahul Gandhi visited the house of such a criminal and enjoys cooking mutton in the month of Sawan and a video was also made to tease the people of the country.  The Prime Minister claimed the intention of INDI alliance is to tease the people of the country and he even compared them with the Mughals.

PM Modi said the law does not stop anyone from eating anything but the intentions of these people are something else. He cited the example of the Mughals and said that when they attacked here, they were not satisfied until they demolished the temples. So just like Mughals, the Congress wants to tease the people of the country by showing the video in the month of Sawan.

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Akhilesh Yadav condemns deployment of cops in priests attire at Kashi temple

While the female policemen were wearing a ‘salwar kurta’, the male policemen were in a ‘dhoti-kurta’.

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Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has condemned the deployment of police officers dressed as priests at the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. The Samajwadi Party (SP) chief demanded the suspension of the officers and wondered who ordered to deployment of cops in such attire.   

On the orders of Varanasi Police Commissioner Mohit Agarwal, the male and female policemen have been deployed in the temple in the priests’ attire. While the female policemen were wearing a ‘salwar kurta’, the male policemen were in a ‘dhoti-kurta’.

Yadav questioned the system in UP and asked according to which police manual is it correct for policemen to be dressed as priests. Those who give such orders should be suspended, he added. If tomorrow any ‘thag’ (fraudster) takes advantage of this and loots the innocent public, then what will the UP government and administration answer, he further asked. He called it Condemnable in a post on X.

Police Commissioner Agarwal had earlier told reporters that people who come from far away places to have obeisance have regard for the priests and they often get hurt if they are pushed forward by the policemen.

The duty in the temple is different from other places as police have to manage different types of crowds here. The crowd here is not for creating law and order problems. The police are here to ensure easy darshan to people and help and guide them, the police officer said.

He added the devotees get hurt if being pushed by policemen, if the same thing is done by priests they take it in a positive way. Following the no-touch policy, policemen are being deployed in priests’ attire.

The Samajwadi Party had earlier announced its candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav will be contesting from her existing seat in Mainpuri.

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