Thiruvananthapuram: A Keralite was arrested in Abu Dhabi on Thursday for his alleged involvement in the Rs.200 crore nurse recruitment scam in Kerala, a CBI officer said.
A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officer told IANS that M. Varghese Uthup, 48, was arrested by Interpol officers with the help of UAE officials. His name was included in the Interpol’s list of wanted people in July.
“Even though the arrests have been made, there are lots of procedures to be followed before he is actually brought to Kerala. It could even take more than a week for all the formalities to be conducted and only after that will he be brought to Kochi, where the case has been registered,” said the CBI official on condition of anonymity.
Uthup’s anticipatory bail was rejected by the Kerala High Court in June, following which the CBI was working with the authorities to seek Interpol’s help.
He runs a travel agency in UAE and ever since he was on the run after failing to appear before the CBI, he was moving between UAE and Kuwait.
After his anticipatory bail was rejected by the Kerala High Court, he is reported to have approached the Supreme Court but the CBI sources here said that they have no idea of such a thing as no notice was served to them.
Uthup has been charged with cheating, criminal conspiracy with a public servant to commit criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act, and collection of excess service charge from emigrants.
Uthup’s Kochi-based recruiting firm is alleged to have been recruiting nurses to Kuwait and instead of collecting a service charge of Rs.19,500, it was collecting Rs.19.5 lakh.
Reports indicate that they have recruited close to 1,000 nurses in the past one year.
Uthup came under scanner two months ago when a raid by the Income Tax department found huge sums of unaccounted money at his recruitment agency in Kochi.
The CBI stepped in after a nurse who had paid fees to the agency but later decided not to take up the job, alleged that she did not get her money back.
She said she approached the Protector of Emigrants (PoE) L. Adolfus for help to get her money back from the recruitment agency but got a cold response.
Adolfus, an accused in the same case, who was arrested by the CBI in June, got bail last month.
Gurugram, November 8, 2017 : A 16-year-old student of Ryan International School in Gurugram who wanted exams and a scheduled meeting between teachers and parents delayed is the prime accused in the murder of Class 2 student Pradhuman Thakur, the CBI said on Wednesday.
CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said the Class 11 student was detained on Tuesday night after “inspection of the crime spot, scrutiny of CCTV footage, call records, statements and questioning of several people” revealed that he had carried a knife inside the school campus on the day of the crime and used it to kill his junior school mate.
“The weapon used in the commission of crime is a knife which was recovered initially by police in Gurugram (Haryana). It is now with us,” Dayal told reporters here.
He said the detained student was weak in studies and “wanted to have examination and parent-teacher meeting postponed”. Pradhuman, 7, was his random target.
The parents of the detained student were kept informed throughout the investigation, said the spokesperson for the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The CBI took over the case on September 22 from Haryana Police, nearly two weeks after the Class 2 boy was found with his throat slit in a bathroom of Ryan International School.
The accused will now be produced before the Juvenile Justice Board, where the court is expected to decide whether he is to be treated as a major or a minor as per the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
The Haryana Police had earlier claimed that Pradhuman was killed by Ryan International School bus conductor Ashok Kumar inside the toilet as the boy resisted a bid to sodomise him.
While Ashok Kumar was arrested, Pradhuman’s parents and two other staffers have claimed that he was being made a scapegoat. (ians)
Naik, 51, came under the Indian government’s radar after Bangladesh media reported that at least two perpetrators of a terrorist attack at Dhaka’s Holey Artisan Bakery café, where 20 hostages were killed in July 2016, were influenced by his sermons
Mumbai, October 29, 2017 : India plans to ask Interpol to help track down Zakir Naik, an Islamic preacher accused of making inflammatory speeches that inspired attackers at a Bangladesh café in July 2016, an official said Friday, one day after the cleric was charged with inciting communal hatred.
In a charge-sheet filed in a Mumbai court late Thursday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) alleged that televangelist Zakir Naik was involved in a criminal conspiracy to foment terrorism and hatred among religious communities by lauding terrorist outfits.
The 61-page document viewed by BenarNews also accused Naik’s now-forbidden Mumbai-based NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and his company Harmony Media Pvt. Ltd. (HMPL) of forwarding his agenda.
Naik, 51, came under the Indian government’s radar after Bangladesh media reported that at least two perpetrators of a terrorist attack at Dhaka’s Holey Artisan Bakery café, where 20 hostages were killed in July 2016, were influenced by his sermons.
“We are already preparing papers to get him deported back to India,” an NIA official told BenarNews on condition of anonymity. Naik, who left the country in June 2016, is believed to be traveling between the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.
Meanwhile, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) president on Friday defended Naik against the charge sheet filed in India, the Malay Mail reported.
“For Muslim individuals, even when they won by using arguments and not weapons, like Dr. Zakir Naik, they are considered terrorists because their arguments cannot be countered,” Hadi said in an opinion piece on Islamophobia published in Harakah Daily.
Naik had been scheduled to appear at a PAS-organized gathering of Muslim scholars in Malaysia’s Kelantan state in July, but cancelled after India revoked his passport.
Arrest warrant issued in April
In April, the Mumbai court issued a so-called non-bailable arrest warrant against Naik after he repeatedly ignored summons issued by India’s Enforcement Directorate to appear to respond to allegations of misuse of foreign funds donated to his NGO.
The Indian government imposed a five-year ban on IRF in November 2016, citing violations by the NGO under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act and the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
“Since the money-laundering case against Naik hinged on the NIA investigation, it was necessary that the agency filed its charge-sheet,” public prosecutor Hiten Venegaonkar told BenarNews.
The NIA’s charge-sheet will allow the agency to approach Interpol for assistance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can then initiate the process of bringing Naik back, Venegaonkar said.
The NIA accused Zakir Naik of praising late al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, supporting suicide attacks and denouncing Hindu gods during sermons delivered through Peace TV. The channel partly funded by the IRF is banned in several countries, including India and Bangladesh.
The NIA has “firmly established that the incriminating public speeches have been in circulation through electronic media such as CD/DVD and web portals Facebook/YouTube etc.,” the charge-sheet said.
“The minutes of IRF board of trustees’ meeting disclose that IRF has approved, organized, promoted and funded public lectures of accused Zakir Naik, including his incriminating speeches. The seized material such as DVD and books list IRF as the publisher,” it said.
The agency also established the role of HMPL in editing the incriminating material and “forwarding [Naik’s] speeches to the Global Broadcast Corporation Dubai for broadcast in the Peace TV.”
“The derogatory and malicious remarks were not just confined to faiths and beliefs of Hindus or Christians but also included non-Wahabi Muslims, particularly Shia, Sufi and Barelwis,” the NIA said.
The charge-sheet cited cases of several youths who were allegedly influenced by Naik’s sermons and attempted to join the Islamic State.
The accused “never included any reference to alternative interpretations by Muslim scholars of the views he presented nor sought to mitigate the potential offence by providing sufficient context for his remarks,” it said.
Lawyer prepared to challenge extradition
Zakir Naik’s lawyer S. Hariharan said he would wait to decide the next course of action.
“I have yet to receive the charge-sheet. Although as per protocol the charge-sheet is handed to the accused. But in this case, the accused is not present in the country,” Hariharan told Benarnews without divulging Naik’s current location.
“We will most certainly be seeking discharge after we receive the charge-sheet and will also challenge demands for extradition,” he added. (Benar News)
Hurling anti-left maneuver during Janaraksha Yatra Kerala, Indian BJP National President Amit Shah launched serious allegation against the ruling CPM government for triggering political violence and imputed to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan the culpability for the mass killings of party workers in the state.
The BJP Chief traced back the origin of violence-centric politics in ”God’s Own Country” to the inception of the Communist regime. “Left always paralyses the state it rules. West Bengal and Tripura witnessed similar political vehemence under the CPM government”, elucidated the President.
Criticizing the Human Rights Activists of the nation, Amit Shah pointed out that they are very selective when it comes to what they support. “You turn your eyes away when our workers die. Why is there no march in Delhi? Violence has no color. More than 120 workers of the BJP have succumbed due to political violence so far. What was their fault? They were working for the betterment of Kerala”, complained the BJP Chief.
Acclaiming BJP’s ideology enthusiastically, Shah called upon the people to join as workers. Addressing the gathering at ‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’, the President added that family members of the deceased have stood by the BJP and he wouldn’t let the martyrdom of the workers go waste.
Amit Shah inaugurated the ‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’ at Payyannur to protest against alleged killings of party workers. The “padayatra” was led by the party’s State President Kummanam Rajashekhharan.
The National President of BJP attributed the diminishing power of the CPM to their increasing reliance on political violence. Apart from CPM, the once dominating Congress is also losing momentum thereby giving BJP the opportunity to flourish with their ideology. “More the mud of violence, more the lotus will bloom” added Shah.
The BJP Chief assured his party workers and volunteers that BJP would fight the war with CPM until emerging victorious. Shah declared, “We must all unite against the rule of the Left Government.”
Shortly after the launching of the yatra, three BJP workers adorning the National Highway 66 were ambushed by anonymous men on Monday. During his address, Shah alleged that the assailants were CPM cadres who have also destroyed BJP flags in the area.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is ready to augment the saffron stand with his visit to Kerala on Wednesday. As per the report of Times Now, Adityanath will basically be in the Muslim-dominated district of Mallapuram.