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Organised crime had been a flourishing industry in Uttar Pradesh since the eighties when Gorakhpur — the home of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath — was known as the crime capital of the state.
In the past two years since Adityanath became the Chief Minister, organised crime has lost steam and the gangs have been disorganised. The senior most mafia don in the state, Hari Shankar Tiwari, now an octogenarian, has slipped into retirement and his legendary adversary Virendra Pratap Shahi is no more.
The guns in Gorakhpur have fallen silent. Other major leaders of mafia gangs like Mukhtar Ansari, Brijesh Singh and Ateeq Ahmad are in jail while others like Abhay Singh and Dhananjay Singh have withdrawn into their shells.
Mukhtar Ansari, one of the most powerful mafia dons, is a five-time legislator and has been lodged in jail since 2005 for the murder of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai. He has recently been acquitted in the case but remains in jail for other cases. Mukhtar Ansari’s clout in eastern Uttar Pradesh can be gauged by the fact that he won the 2007, 2012 and 2017 Assembly elections from inside the jail.
In the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) regimes, Mukhtar Ansari enjoyed the privilege of attending Assembly sessions and meeting officials and supporters across the state capital. He even ran his mobile office from the central hall of the Vidhan Bhawan and people thronged to meet him in person.
Adityanath made sure that the state government opposed Mukhtar Ansari’s plea to attend Assembly sessions in court and the mafia don no longer gets permission to participate in legislative proceedings.
Mukhtar Ansari’s gang has also started disintegrating. His closest aide, Munna Bajrangi, was shot dead inside Baghpat jail in July last year and his sharp shooter Atul Rai, who was recently elected to the Lok Sabha on a BSP ticket, is also in jail on rape charges. Mukhtar Ansari’s rival Brijesh Singh had probably hoped for better times in the Yogi regime but he has also been barred from attending legislative sessions.
Brijesh Singh was arrested from Odisha in 2008 after having being on the run for almost a decade. He reportedly had 100 cases against him at the time of his arrest and he is now a member of the state legislative council. His proximity to some top BJP leaders has been spoken of in political circles. His nephew Sushil Singh is a BJP MLA.
However, Adityanath has made sure that Brijesh Singh, now in Varanasi jail, loses his clout, especially in government tenders. The Yogi Adityanath government has also ‘demolished’ the empire of mafia don Ateeq Ahmad. Ateeq Ahmad is presently in Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad while his associates have recently been raided by the CBI and his financial transactions and benami properties are under the scanner. His financial backbone has already been broken to an extent and his associates say that it will be difficult for him to regain his kingdom.
Two other mafia gangs led by Abhay Singh and Dhananjay Singh have also been rendered ineffective by the Yogi Adityanath government.
Both the leaders did not contest the recent Lok Sabha elections and have stayed away from controversies. These new generation gangs have apparently understood the mood of the government and are taking care to stay away from Adityanath’s scanner. (IANS)
Hackers have stolen crypto tokens worth $120 million from Blockchain-based decentralised finance (DeFi) platform BadgerDAO. Several crypto wallets were drained before the platform could stop the cyber attack. In a tweet, Badger said it has received reports of unauthorised withdrawals of user funds. "As Badger engineers investigate this, all smart contracts have been paused to prevent further withdrawals. Our investigation is ongoing and we will release further information as soon as possible," the company said late on Thursday.
According to the blockchain security and data analytics Peckshield, the various tokens stolen in the attack are worth about $120 million, reports The Verge. According to reports, someone inserted a malicious script in the user interface (UI) of their website. Badger has retained data forensics experts Chainalysis to explore the full scale of the incident and authorities in both the US and Canada have been informed. "Badger is cooperating fully with external investigations as well as proceeding with its own," it said. DeFi is a collective term for financial products and services that are open, decentralised and accessible to anyone. DeFi products open up financial services to anyone with an internet connection and they are largely owned and maintained by their users. While the attack didn't reveal specific flaws within Blockchain tech itself, it managed to exploit the older "web 2.0" technology that most users need to use to perform transactions, according to reports. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: crypto wallets, BadgerDAO, decentralised finance, Blockchain, 120 million, crypto tokens, Hackers)
A total of 120 top Bollywood and other celebrities are expected to attend the wedding of film stars Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal which is scheduled on December 9 in Rajasthan, said Rajendra Kishan, the District Collector (DC) of Sawai Madhopur district of the state on Friday. The District Collector told mediapersons: "These 120 guests shall follow all COVID-19 protocols and fully vaccinated guests will get entry in the much-hyped celebrity wedding."
Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols. Also, those who are not vaccinated, will not be allowed without the negative RT-PCR test report, he added. "We have been informed by organisers that a total of 120 guests are invited to the wedding and the events will take place between December 7 to December 10," he added.
Earlier at 10.30 a.m., Kishan called a meeting which was attended by administrative, police and forest department officials, hotel and event managers to ensure adequate arrangements for crowd control, smooth regulation of traffic, and law and order situation amid the VIP movement. The wedding venue Fort Barwara, that has been converted into a heritage hotel, is situated in the panchayat samiti Chauth Ka Barwara. The venue is around 22 km away from Sawai Madhopur and is around 174 km from Jaipur. Sawai Madhopur district is famous for the Ranthambore National Tiger Reserve and as per reports, the guests are likely to be taken for a tiger safari. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Rajasthan, December 9, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, film stars, celebrities, Bollywood, Katrina-Vicky)
The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), which confirmed the first two cases of the Omicron variant in Bengaluru on Thursday, is continuously monitoring the situation in four cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune. The NCBS is a part of a consortium of national laboratories performing genomic surveillance across four city clusters. The consortium was established four months ago with support from The Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute, and is led by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.
Dr Rakesh Mishra at the CCMB said on Friday that the consortium is continuously monitoring the situation in all the four cities and has upscaled its efforts to sequence as many samples as possible Apart from the CCMB and the NCBS, the consortium includes CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology - IGIB in New Delhi and the Pune Knowledge Cluster, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune.
The first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24. | Unsplash
The consortium is focused on upscaling genomic surveillance as part of national efforts led by the INSACOG - Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium - to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The consortium intensified its sequencing efforts after the World Health Organisation announced Omicron as a Variant of Concern. Such an intensified effort enabled the Bengaluru team at the NCBS, a member laboratory of INSACOG, in collaboration with Strand Life Sciences and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), to detect, rapidly sequence and verify the existence of the omicron variant in samples from two Covid-19 infected individuals.
They hope this will aid in a rapid response to contain the spread of variants of concern. Prof Satyajit Mayor from the NCBS conveyed the information to local and national authorities, and the Indian government released a statement on December 2, all within four days of receiving the samples. Both SARS-CoV-2 genomes have also been uploaded to the global repository for SARS-CoV-2 sequences, GISAID, so that they can be publicly available to the scientific community, the NCBS said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Hyderabad, New Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, The National Centre for Biological Sciences, Situation, NCBS, Omicron)