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CBI gets 5-day custody of ex-minister’s wife Manoranjana in Saradha scam

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www.indianexpress.com

NewsGram Staff Writer

Kolkata: A city court on Thursday sent Manoranjana , the estranged wife of Congress leader Matang Sinh, to CBI custody for five day for her alleged involvement in the Saradha scam.

Manoranjana, along with Kolkata-based entrepreneur and chairman of the now-defunct Xenitis Group, Santanu Ghosh, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday for their alleged complicity in the multi-crore-rupee ponzi.

Rejecting their bail plea, the court sent the duo to CBI custody till October 13.

According to the CBI, they were “involved in a criminal conspiracy with Saradha group head and scam kingpin Sudipta Sen and misappropriated huge amounts running into crores of rupees”.

The CBI had arrested Matang Sinh in January and charge-sheeted him for several offenses including cheating and criminal conspiracy.

The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate had since 2014 been grilling Manoranjana who, along with many other high-profile names, has been accused of complicity in the scam by Sudipta Sen in his 2013 tell-all letter to the CBI.

Manoranjana, a former journalist, had allegedly sold her shares in an audio-visual channel to the Saradha Group.

She had also purportedly taken Sen to the lawyer-wife of a former union minister for settling a deal, Sen claimed in the letter.

Santanu Ghosh, said to have made several business transactions with the tainted group, was arrested in June 2014 by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

He was subsequently granted bail in August last year by a city court.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Ryan International School Murder Mystery Solved! 16-year-old Student who wanted exams Postponed Accused of Murder

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.

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Murder mystery of the class 2 student at Ryan international school, Gurugram has finally been solved (representative image) IANS

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)

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Will India be able to get hold of Zakir Naik? India to now seek Interpol’s help locating the Controversial Islamic Televangelist

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

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Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik speaks to Indian journalists in Mumbai during a video conference, July 15, 2016. Benar News

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.

ALSO READ NIA to file Chargesheet against Controversial Islamic Preacher Zakir Naik

“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.

ALSO READ Enforcement Directorate (ED) files Money Laundering Case against controversial Preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation

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)

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IRCTC Scam: Enforcement Directorate Summons Tejashwi, Rabri

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Rabri Devi, Former CM of Bihar. Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 20: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday summoned RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav and in IRCTC Scam, connection with the alleged irregularities in a 2006 IRCTC hotels maintenance contract case, an official said.

An ED official, confirming the dates of the summons, told IANS: “We have summoned Tejashwi and Rabri Devi on October 24 and 27 respectively.”

He said Rabri Devi, who is also a former Bihar Chief Minister had asked the financial probe agency to question her in Patna. “We denied her request to question her in Patna and asked her to appear before the agency on October 27,” he said. Rabri Devi has already skipped the agency’s summons four times.

The agency had questioned fromer Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on October 10, for over nine hours in connection with alleged IRCTC Scam.

Earlier, Lalu Prasad and Tejashwi were questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for hours in connection with the case on October 5 and 6 respectively.

The ED, on July 27, had registered a separate case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act following the CBI FIR in the matter and began probing Lalu Prasad and others for alleged transfer of money through shell companies.

The CBI, on July 5, had filed a corruption case against Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav for alleged irregularities in the allotment of contracts for Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, IRCTC Scam in Ranchi and Puri in 2006 to a private firm when the RJD chief was the Railway Minister.

The contracts were given to Sujata Hotels, a company owned by Vijay and Vinay Kochhar — both named in the CBI FIR as accused — in lieu of a bribe in the form of a three-acre commercial plot at a prime location in Bihar’s Patna district, the CBI said.

A preliminary CBI inquiry found the land was sold by the Kochhars to Delight Marketing Company and the payment was arranged through Ahluwalia Contractors and its promoter Bikramjeet Singh Ahluwalia, another accused. The ED has since also questioned Ahluwalia.

Delight Marketing, which bought the property from the Kochhars, was later taken over by Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav, alleges the CBI.

Sarla Gupta, wife of the RJD chief’s close associate and former Union Minister Prem Chand Gupta and a director of Delight Marketing, is a co-accused in the case, apart from then IRCTC Managing Director P.K. Goel.(IANS)