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Gujarat High Court suspends life sentence of former BJP MP’s nephew Shiva Solanki in 2010 RTI Activist’s murder

On July 20, 2010, Amit Jethwa was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court after he tried to reveal illegal mining activities that allegedly involved Dinu Solanki.

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RTI Activist's murder

The Gujarat High Court on Monday suspended the life sentence of Pratapbhai alias Shiva Solanki, nephew of former BJP MP Dinu Solanki. He was convicted of murdering RTI activist Amit Jethwa outside the Gujarat High Court premises in 2010 in conspiracy with six others including Dinu.

The two-judge bench of Justices S H Vora and Mauna Bhatt released Solanki on bail with the conditions that he continues to stay in Gujarat while his appeal is being heard, surrender his passport, mark his monthly presence at the police station, and appear in court for the hearing.

As per the prima facie, the court stated in its judgement that Shiva Solanki’s conviction by the CBI court is erroneous because there is a violation of all principles settled by the Supreme Court with regard to the circumstantial evidence and requirement for conviction.

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In 2019, the CBI court in July 2019 sentenced seven people to life imprisonment and charged them under Sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and 120B (criminal conspiracy to commit an offence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The court also ordered them to pay a fine of Rs 15 lakh in a case of murder and criminal conspiracy.

On July 20, 2010, Amit Jethwa was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court after he tried to reveal illegal mining activities that allegedly involved Dinu Solanki. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) took over the investigation after an FIR was filed against two unidentified assailants and issued a chargesheet.

Seven defendants were found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment on June 7, 2019, by a judge after the High Court handed over the investigation to the Central Bureau of Probe (CBI) the investigation in September 2012.

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India News

2024 Lok Sabha elections: PM Modi to contest again from Varanasi, Amit Shah from Gandhinagar, 34 ministers in BJP first list for 195 seats

Home Minister Amit Shah will be contesting again from Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

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With the winter making way for spring, election season is here with the BJP announcing the first list of candidates for 195 constituencies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is again contesting from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Home Minister Amit Shah from Gandhinagar, Gujarat and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh from Lucknow.

In all, 34 ministers have been fielded. Other prominent leaders include Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani from Amethi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla from Kota. Notably, the party has fielded a Muslim candidate, Dr Abdul Salam, from Malappuram in Kerala.

Earlier today, East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir and Minister of State Jayant Sinha had opted out of the contest indicating they will not be fielded by the party from East Delhi and Hazaribagh.

The 195-seat list includes 51 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 20 in West Bengal, 24 in Madhya Pradesh, 15 each in Gujarat and Rajasthan, 12 in Kerala, 9 in Telangana, 11 each in Assam, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, 5 in Delhi, 2 in Jammu and Kashmir 3 in Uttarakhand, 2 in Arunachal Pradesh, 1 each in Goa, Tripura, Andaman and Nicobar and Daman Diu respectively.  

The Prime Minister has been touring the country inaugurating a slew of projects across the country. He has also been attacking the Congress for not having the guts to face the people, an oblique reference to Sonia Gandhi looking at a seat in the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan. The vacating of Rae Bareli by Sonia Gandhi is being seen as paving the way for daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

The candidates named for the seats in Delhi include Praveen Khandelwal, sitting MP Manoj Tiwari and Sushma Swaraj’s daughter Bansuri Swaraj.

In Kerala, IT MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar will contest from Thiruvananthapuram, Congress leader AK Antony’s son Anil K Antony from Pathanamthitta and Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi from Thrissur.

Former Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay has been fielded from Karimnagar and G Kishan Reddy from Secunderabad. Former Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb has been fielded from Tripura West.

In Uttar Pradesh, Dr Mahesh Sharma has been nominated for Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida), Hema Malini from Mathura, SP Singh Baghel from Agra and Ajay Mishra Teni from Kheri.

The party has not announced a candidate for Kaiserganj, which is currently represented by Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the former Wrestling Federation of India chief, who is under a cloud of sexual harassment charges.

After getting elected from the Rajya Sabha earlier, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will also be contesting from Porbandar in Gujarat. Interestingly, the Rajya Sabha member and minister, Rajeev Chandrasekhar will contest from the Thiruvananthapuram seat, which is held by the Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. 

Union Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia will be contesting from Guna in Madhya Pradesh, a constituency the former Congress leader had a grip on since 2002 but he lost to the BJP’s Krishna Pal Singh Yadav in 2019. Rajya Sabha MP Bhupender Yadav will be contesting from Alwar and Union Minister Kiren Rijiju from Arunachal West.

Former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will be contesting from Vidisha in the Lok Sabha elections. Last year, Chouhan could not make it to the Chief Minister post despite the BJP’s stunning victory.

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Won’t Lose My Way Again: Nitish Kumar assures PM Modi in Bihar

Nitish Kumar was addressing the gathering in Bihar’s Aurangabad.

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he would not lose his way again and stay with the BJP-led NDA from now and not switch his allegiance. PM Modi along with other leaders were seen laughing at the Kumar’s jibe at himself.

Addressing a gathering in Bihar’s Aurangabad, Kumar said that PM Modi had come earlier as well but he had vanished, adding that, he said but he is with him now. Kuumar further assured PM Modi that he would not go here and there. He will stay with NDA only, the Chief Minister told PM Modi.

CM Kumar made a promise just over a month after his party JD(U) left the Mahagathbandhan alliance and joined the NDA again. He mentioned that even though his party and the NDA had not been together for the entire five years, they had still managed to work together and accomplish a lot.

PM Modi visited the state to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 34,800 crore in Bihar.

Addressing a public rally, PM Modi said that Bihar will develop only with the poor of the state will progress. Therefore, his government is focused on increasing the capacity of every poor, Dalit, Adivasi and deprived, he added.

The Prime Minister, taking a jibe at RJD, said since NDA has become stronger, dynastic politics in Bihar is moving towards its end. One might inherit a political party and post from parents, but they don’t dare to even once mention the work done by the mother and father. PM Modi also said that he has heard that their party leaders are not ready to contest Lok Sabha elections. They are now looking for Rajya Sabha seats, he further attacked.

A few days ago, the pride of Bihar, Karpoori Thakur was conferred with Bharat Ratan by his government. This is an honour for the entire state of Bihar, PM Modi said while addressing the public in Aurangabad.

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India News

India responds to dancer Amarnath Ghosh’s murder in US

Ghosh was the recipient of a National Scholarship for Kuchipudi, from the International Cultural Ministry.

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The Indian government on Saturday, responding to the murder of renowned Kuchipudi dancer Amarnath Ghosh, said that it has taken up the case strongly with St Louis Police the University for investigation of the reprehensible gun attack in US’ Missouri.

The Indian consulate in Chicago said that they are in touch with the US authorities and are constantly following the investigation. The Kolkata dancer, who was pursuing an MFA in Dance at Washington University in Saint Louis, was shot dead on Tuesday while he was taking an evening walk in Missouri, as per the reports.

Taking to X, the embassy expressed their condolence to the family and friends of deceased Ghosh and said that they are following up forensic, investigation with police and providing support.

Emphasising that, the embassy further said that the consulate has been extending all help to relatives of deceased Ghosh and has taken up the case strongly with St Louis police and the University for investigation of the reprehensible gun attack.

The television actor Devoleena Bhattacharjee, who in a post on X, highlighted the incident and had sought the help of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the case.

Bhattacharjee said that her fried Ghosh was shot and killed in St Louis Academy neighbourhood, US on Tuesday evening. He was the only child in the family, his mother died 3 years back, and his father passed away during his childhood, she added.

The reason behind it and the accused details everything has not been revealed yet or perhaps no one left in his family to fight for it except his few friends. He was from Kolkata. Excellent dancer, was pursuing PhD, was taking an evening walk and suddenly he was shot multiple times by an unknown, Bhattacharjee further added.

She appealed to the Indian embassy and PM Modi to kindly look into it and said some friends in the US have been trying to claim the body but still no update about it. At least we should know the reason for his murder, the TV actor said.

A champion in four dance styles, Amarnath Ghosh was an alumnus of the Kalakshetra Academy in Chennai. He was the recipient of a National Scholarship for Kuchipudi, from the International Cultural Ministry.

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