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Vyapam no longer a scam, it’s a massacre: AAP

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Vyapam Scam

New Delhi: The Congress and the AAP on Sunday hit out at the BJP-led Madhya Pradesh government over the recruitment scam in the state’s Vyavsayik Pareeksha Mandal (or Vyapam), and demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe after a TV journalist covering the scandal died under mysterious circumstances.

“A Supreme Court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe is needed. There is no bar on it even as the Special Investigation Team (SIT) is already probing the case,” Congress spokesperson, Randeep Surjewala said at a press conference here.

He said the SIT set up by Madhya Pradesh Police was “not doing enough to unearth the truth” and the case should now be transferred to the CBI.

“We want the truth to come out. Justice should prevail. We all must join our heads and hands so that justice is served to the victims,” Surjewala said.

The Congress accused Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of “misleading the people and parroting his old line” on the demand to get the case investigated by an impartial investigating agency.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which said Vyapam was no longer a scam, claimed it had become a “narsanhar” (massacre) and demanded that the ongoing probe by the SIT should be overseen by the Supreme Court.

“It is sad that one of our journalist friends has died while reporting the Vyapam scam,” AAP spokesman Dilip Pandey told the media here. “Vyapam is no longer a scam, it has become a ‘narsanhar’ (massacre).”

Pandey said both Chouhan and Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav should be sacked.

“How can we expect a fair probe from the governor (who is overseeing the SIT) when his own name is in the FIR of the Vyapam scam?” asked the AAP leader.

The political parties’ reaction followed Saturday’s death of New Delhi-based TV reporter Akshay Singh in Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua district while he was covering the scandal.

Akshay Singh — of TV channel Aaj Tak — who died in Jhabua on Saturday afternoon, was cremated in Delhi on Sunday. His family, a large number of journalists and Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia were present at the cremation grounds.

Pakshi Singh, the journalist’s sister, on Sunday demanded that his viscera should be examined outside Madhya Pradesh for a fair investigation.

In a letter to Chouhan, she requested that her brother’s viscera preferably be sent to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.

“My brother’s viscera will be examined in Delhi,” she told a media outlet later on Sunday evening, confirming that her demand was accepted.

Meanwhile, Arun Sharma, the dean of a medical college in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh who was also connected with the scam probe, was found dead in a hotel near the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. He was on his way to Tripura as a member of an inspection team of the Medical Council of India.

Sharma, 64, was assisting the Special Task Force probing the recruitment scam by providing documents on fake medical entrance examinees in the state-run college, police said.

The Congress in Madhya Pradesh said at least 48 people have died in connection with the scam.

K.K. Mishra, chief spokesperson of the state Congress, on Sunday said Arun Sharma, who was found dead in a Delhi hotel, was of sound health and suffering from no illness.

Arun Sharma’s Bengaluru-based brother Deval Sharma, who is also a doctor, urged Delhi Police not to conduct any medical procedure on the body till he reaches the capital.

Journalist Akshay Singh, who was in Jhabua on Saturday to talk to the family members of scam-accused Namrata Damor, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances, suddenly fell ill and began foaming in the mouth. He was taken to a hospital, where doctors declared him dead.

Congress leader Mishra said the cause of the journalist’s death was said to be a heart attack, “but in such cases, there is no foaming in the mouth”.

He said Chief Minister Chouhan’s “refusal” to order a CBI probe shows his complicity in the scandal.

Mishra also alleged that Chouhan’s wife Sadhna Singh was also linked with the Vyapam scam, and used to regularly contact over phone the people involved in it.

The admission and recruitment racket in Vyapam (or the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board) apparently involves politicians, officials and businessmen. More than 40 people associated with the scam have died since 2013.

The most high-profile death was of Shailesh Yadav, son of Governor Ram Naresh Yadav. Shailesh, 50, was found dead at his father’s residence in Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow on March 25. (IANS)

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Ex-Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif Indicted on Corruption Charges

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Muhammad Safdar
Muhammad Safdar, husband of Maryam Nawaz, daughter of ousted Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif, waves from a a vehicle as he arrives at an accountability court in Islamabad. VOA

Islamabad, October 19: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been indicted on corruption charges stemming from information taken from the so-called “Panama Papers.”

The country’s anti-corruption court indicted the 67-year-old Sharif during a hearing Thursday in Islamabad. His daughter Maryam and son-in-law Mohammed Safdar were also indicted. Maryam Sharif and Mohammed Safdar appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A lawyer for the elder Sharif, who is in London with his wife as she undergoes cancer treatment, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Maryam Sharif angrily dismissed the allegations as “baseless.”

Sharif was disqualified by Pakistan’s Supreme Court and removed from office in July after leaked documents last year from a Panama-based law firm revealed the family held a number of unreported overseas assets.(VOA)

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Journalist Behind the Panama Papers Killed in a Car Bomb

Caruana Galizia was recently described by the American news outlet Politico as a "one-woman WikiLeaks".

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Panama papers
Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device. (Representative image) Pixabay

Valletta, October 17, 2017 : A journalist who led the Panama Papers probe into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her residence, the media reported.

Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device, reports the Guardian.

A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the American news outlet Politico as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”.

Her latest revelations accused Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.

No group or individual claimed responsibility for the attack, the Guardian reported.

Malta’s President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, called for calm. “In these moments, when the country is shocked by such a vicious attack, I call on everyone to measure their words, to not pass judgement and to show solidarity.”

ALSO READ Not Just Journalist Ram Chandra Chhatrapati, these 9 People too Bore the Brunt of Speaking Truth to Fight Corruption

In a statement, Muscat condemned the “barbaric attack”.

“Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine,” said Muscat, adding “Both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way.”

He announced in parliament later on Monday that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers were on their way to Malta to assist with the investigation, following his request for help from the US government.

According to local media reports, Caruana Galizia filed a police report 15 days ago to say that she had been receiving death threats.

The journalist posted her final blog on her Running Commentary website at 2.35 p.m. on Monday, and the explosion, which occurred near her home, was reported to police just after 3 p.m.

Over the last two years, her reporting had largely focused on revelations from the Panama Papers, a cache of 11.5 million documents leaked from the internal database of the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. (IANS)

 

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Amit Shah Rejects Allegation of Money Laundering on Son Jay Shah

"Where has money laundering been done? All the transactions happened through cheques and banks," claimed Amit Shah at an event.

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Amit Shah, BJP National President. Wikimedia

Ahmedabad, October 13, 2017 : Breaking his silence, BJP president Amit Shah rejected allegations of money laundering against his son Jay Shah whose company had reportedly recorded an extraordinary spike in business after the BJP came to power at the Centre, and asserted that it had not done any business with the government nor taken any kickbacks.

He also said that unlike the Congress, which had faced many corruption charges in the past, his son has shown courage to file a civil and criminal defamation suit on the allegations levelled against him and “invited a probe against himself” by this step.

“There is no money laundering involved in Jay’s company. This company is completely in commodity business, where turnover is more while the profit is less. We have exported bajra, corn and rice while coriander was imported. And after doing a turnover of Rs 80 crore, they don’t tell how much they made profit,” Amit Shah said at an “India Today” event “Gujarat Panchayat”.

Answering questions, he said that after making a turnover of Rs 80 crore, Jay made a loss of Rs 1.5 crore. “Where has money laundering been done? All the transactions happened through cheques and banks,” he said.

Asked about Jay Shah filing a defamation suit against the publication, Shah said: “Before answering your question I would like to ask you one thing. After Independence, how many corruption charges have been made against the Congress?

“Please understand this is not corruption. Many allegations of corruption were made against the Congress. Did it ever file a civil suit or defamation suit? No. Why they lacked such courage? Today Jay has filed a defamation as well as civil suit and is demanding a probe himself. Those who have the evidence can submit it to the court, and then the court will decide,” the BJP president said.

He said: “We have ourselves invited a probe and on the company issue I want to clarify that it has not done business with the government of even Re 1 nor taken any government land or tender. Neither has it received kickbacks as in the case of Bofors.”

When asked about Jay’s company securing unsecured loans, Shah said it was not unsecured loans. “It was a line of credit,” he added. (IANS)