In the next 36 hours, the very severe cyclonic storm Biparjoy is set to intensify and will be heading north-northwestwards in the next two days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted.As per the weather agency, the cyclone over the east-central Arabian Sea was located 840 kilometers west-southwest of Goa and 870 km west-southwest of Mumbai at 11:30 pm on June 8.“Very severe cyclonic storm Biparjoy over east-central Arabian Sea at 2330 hours IST of 08th June, 2023 over about 840 km west-southwest of Goa, 870 km west-southwest of Mumbai. To intensify further gradually during next 36 hours and move nearly north-northwestwards in next 2 days,” IMD said in a tweet.The IMD has advised fishermen not to venture into cyclone-hit areas in the Arabian Sea.Meanwhile, coastal districts of Gujarat are gearing up for the likely impact of cyclone Biparjoy brewing in the east-central Arabian Sea. The administration has readied cyclone shelters and drawn plans to evacuate people from vulnerable areas and activate control rooms at the block levels.Collectors of coastal districts, including Kutch, Jamnagar, Dwarka, and Porbandar, held meetings with officers of the respective district administrations to prepare for the likely impact of Biparjoy.Moreover, in Maharashtra, the progress of the southwest monsoon that brings rain across the Indian sub-continent is being monitored after it arrived in Kerala on Thursday, seven days later than the normal arrival date, an India Meteorological Department official said.The normal date for onset of monsoon in Maharashtra is June 10 and in Mumbai is June 11, said S G Kamble, the Mumbai head of IMD Regional Meteorological Centre.Weather forecastConditions are favourable for further advance of the Southwest monsoon into some more parts of the central Arabian Sea, remaining parts of Kerala, some parts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, IMD predicted.The Southwest monsoon might advance into some more parts of the southwest, Central and northeast Bay of Bengal, and some parts of northeastern states during the next 24 hours, as per the weather department.🌧️ GujaratLight to moderate rain is very likely at isolated places in the South Gujarat region namely Navsari, Valsad, and in Daman, Dadara Nagar Haveli, the IMD said.Further, dry weather is expected in all the districts of Saurashtra-Kutch, and Diu.🌧️ South IndiaLight rainfall with thunderstorms is very likely over Kerala, Lakshadweep, Coastal & South Interior Karnataka whereas isolated to scattered activity is expected over North Interior Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh during the next 5 days, as per IMD.Meanwhile, heavy rainfall is very likely at isolated places over Andaman & Nicobar Islands on June 9 and 10; Kerala from June 9 to 13; Lakshadweep from June 9 to 11; and Coastal & South Interior Karnataka during June 10-13.🌧️ Northeast IndiaScattered to fairly widespread rainfall with thunderstorms very likely over the northeast region during the next 5 days, the weather agency reportedMoreover, very heavy rainfall is likely at isolated places over Manipur, Mizoram, and Tripura on June 9 and Assam and Meghalaya on June 12 and 13; isolated heavy rainfall over Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and Meghalaya and Manipur & Mizoram during June 09-13.Northwest IndiaAccording to IMD, a rise in maximum temperatures by about 2°C is very likely over the plains of NorthwestIndia (except Rajasthan) during the next two days. (With ANI inputs)
A cyclonic storm that formed over east-central and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea near Goa at 11.30 pm on Tuesday, is likely to move nearly northwards and intensify into a severe cyclonic storm, and then into a very severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours, the India meteorological department (IMD) said in its morning bulletin.“The cyclonic storm ‘Biparjoy’ (pronounced as ‘Biporjoy’) over eastcentral and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea remained practically s stationary during last 3 hours and lay centred at 0230 hours IST of 7th June, 2023 over the same region near latitude 12.5°N and longitude 66.0°E, about 900 km west-southwest of Goa, 1,020 km southwest of Mumbai, 1,090 km south-southwest of Porbandar and 1380 km south of Karachi,” the meteorological department bulletin read,Cyclonic storm “Biparjoy” over eastcentral and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea at 0230 IST of 07 June near lat 12.5°N and lon 66.0°E, about 900km WSW of Goa. Likely to move nearly northwards and intensify into SCS during next 06 hour.@WMO@ndmaindia@DDNewslive@airnewsalerts pic.twitter.com/jXdgDJcHFR— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) June 7, 2023Gale winds with speed 80-90 km per hour to 100 km per hour are expected to prevail over the eastcentral Arabian Sea and the adjoining areas of westcentral and southeast Arabian Sea. It is likely to escalate to 105-115 km per hour to 125 km per hour over the same area from Wednesday evening. the IMD said. The areas adjoining westcentral and south Arabian Sea and those along the north Kerala-Karnataka-Goa coasts are likely to experience squally winds with speed 40-50 km per hour to 60 km per hour.According to the IMD, the intensity of Cyclone Biparjoy, its location of formation in the Arabian Sea and its subsequent movement are likely to affect the onset of the southwest monsoon over Kerala.This is the second cyclone to form within three weeks in the North Indian Ocean. Cyclone Mocha, which formed in the Bay of Bengal, barrelled into Bangladesh and Myanmar causing massive destruction.In 2021, Cyclone Yaas had formed at the time of the monsoon onset.
Mumbai Murder Case: Manoj Sane is accused of murdering Saraswati Vaidya.Mumbai: A 56-year-old man has been arrested in Maharashtra's Thane for allegedly murdering his live-in partner, chopping and boiling her body parts. The body of Saraswati Vaidya, who was an orphan, was found scattered in her seventh-floor apartment at Mira Road on Wednesday evening. Some parts were found in buckets, some were boiled in a cooker.Officials said a few of her body parts were crushed in a mixer and boiled in a pressure cooker, in what appeared to be a re-run of the Shraddha Walkar case.NDTV visited the orphanage where the victim, Saraswati Vaidya, grew up. A worker at the Jankibai Apte Balikashram in Ahmednagar says that Saraswati had told them that she was living with her uncle."She told us that her uncle stays in Mumbai, and I stay with him. She told us that the man is a clothes merchant and is extremely rich," Anu Salve tells NDTV.She added that Saraswati had last visited the orphanage two years ago and seemed extremely unhappy during that visit.Manoj Sane was not married. He has a house in Mumbai's Borivali, where some of his family members live, but he had been staying apart from his family. He used to work at a grocery store in Borivali. The victim often visited the shop where Sane worked, police said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comTheir friendship grew in 2014 and they started living together from 2016. They moved to the Mira Road flat three years ago.Manoj Sane was caught after a neighbour noticed a foul smell wafting from the couple's flat and alerted the authorities.
The Mumbai police have arrested an auto-rickshaw driver for allegedly robbing, injuring, and sodomising a passenger with whom he had a disagreement over fare over the weekend. The police said they are awaiting medical reports to confirm if the passenger, 28, had been sodomised.The driver is currently in police custody. An officer said the incident took place on Saturday night.According to the police, the complainant was under the influence of alcohol and asked the driver to stop at a couple of ATMs to withdraw money. Eventually, when they reached his Ghatkopar residence, the men got into an argument over the fare.As per the complaint lodged by the passenger, the auto-rickshaw driver hit him on the head with a paver block and snatched his mobile phone and wallet. He said the driver then pushed him into a garden nearby where he sexually assaulted him and fled.The officer said the passenger was initially hesitant to lodge a complaint with the police. However, a day later, he approached the Ghatkopar police and an FIR was registered based on his complaint. An officer said the complainant had injury marks on his forehead.The police then scanned CCTV cameras and tracked down the accused auto-rickshaw driver from his Ghatkopar residence and placed him under arrest. They also recovered the mobile phone and wallet of the complainant from the driver’s residence.The accused was produced before a court Monday and remanded to police custody.
Air India will send a replacement aircraft, which is scheduled to depart from Mumbai at 1 pm Wednesday, to Russia’s Magadan, where 216 passengers and 16 crew are stranded since Tuesday. Their flight AI-173 from Delhi to San Francisco had developed a technical issue with one of its engines and was diverted to the remote Russian town.“A ferry flight is scheduled to operate to GDX (Magadan) from Mumbai, India (BOM) at 1300 Hours IST on 07 June 2023, subject to necessary regulatory clearances, which would take passengers and crew of AI173 onward to San Francisco. The ferry flight would be carrying food and other essentials for our passengers,” Air India said in a statement.The Tata Group airline also confirmed that all passengers were being housed in makeshift accommodation in Magadan “after making sincere attempts to accommodate passengers in hotels locally with the help of local government authorities” given the infrastructural limitations around the remote airport.This came after videos appeared on social media showing the stranded passengers put up in makeshift accommodation in what appears to be a local school.“As we do not have any Air India staff based in the remote town of Magadan or in Russia, all ground support being provided to the passengers is the best possible in this unusual circumstance through our round-the-clock liaison with the Consulate General of India in Vladivostok, Ministry of External Affairs (Government of India), local ground handlers, and the Russian authorities,” the airline said.Sources in the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) said Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia is closely monitoring the situation and MoCA is in touch with Air India, which has informed that it is taking care of passengers.The United States has said it is also closely watching the situation, considering its strained relationship with Russia and the possibility of US citizens being among the stranded passengers.“So, we are aware of a US-bound flight that had to make an emergency landing in Russia and are continuing to monitor that situation closely. I’m not able to confirm how many US citizens were aboard the flight at this time… it was a flight that was bound for the United States. So, it is, of course, likely that there are American citizens on board,” US State Department’s Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel told journalists in Washington.“As you probably also saw, there’s public reporting from Air India that they are sending a, what my understanding is, a replacement aircraft to the destination to have the passengers carry on for their route, but I would defer to the air carrier to speak to anything further on this,” Patel added.
Airfares in India are soaring. While they had started firming up last year itself as travel demand rebounded after the Covid pandemic subsided, this year’s summer travel season has seen an unusually high spike in ticket prices. Go First’s bankruptcy plea and subsequent suspension of its flights joined other factors such as surging demand and capacity constraints, among others, in forcing flyers to pay through their noses bang in the middle of the country’s peak summer travel season.Social media platforms are replete with consumers complaining about surge pricing. The government, too, has taken note of “abnormal surge pricing on certain routes” and asked airlines to “self-monitor” and devise a mechanism to ensure reasonable pricing on such routes.Any respite in the near term, however, is likely only if and when the tidal wave of travel demand ebbs, which is likely only once this year’s peak summer travel season is behind us. Longer-term price stability and affordability will depend on various other factors too, including travel demand trajectory, the pace of capacity addition by airlines, and jet fuel prices and other cost centres.A perfect storm: High demand, capacity constraints, Go First bankruptcyOn May 2, Go First announced that it was voluntarily filing for insolvency and the airline has not operated even a single flight since May 3. In April, the Wadia group airline had ferried close to 8.3 lakh flyers and held a domestic market share of over 6 per cent. The sudden disappearance of Go First’s capacity from the market was the last thing consumers needed. Market leader IndiGo and SpiceJet were already affected by capacity constraints as parts of their fleet were grounded due to different reasons.On the other hand, demand surged, notwithstanding high airfares. As per preliminary industry data, May saw over 1.3 crore domestic flyers, up from March and April, and likely higher than or at least comparable with the pre-pandemic peaks. For some time now, industry insiders have been highlighting that flyers seem to be willing to shell out more on travel after the pandemic. The pent-up demand from the pandemic, which scuttled travel plans of many people for up to two years, just does not seem to be abating.“Despite an increase in airfares by about 35-40 per cent for domestic routes compared to the previous year, our customers are displaying an increased appetite for travel spending. The surge in domestic airfares for favourite tourism routes are resulting in international short hauls becoming an attractive option in comparison,” said Indiver Rastogi, President & Group Head of Global Business Travel at Thomas Cook (India) and SOTC Travel.Even as other carriers did depute additional capacities on routes where Go First was a sizable player, the demand-supply mismatch could not be fully mitigated.Although airfares generally have been higher in recent weeks, it is worth noting that abnormal surges have been witnessed mostly on routes with a strong Go First presence and some others seeing rapid growth in demand. Also, surges are mostly seen in cases where flights are being booked closer to the date of travel.Go First’s absence has rewarded other airlines in the form of higher load factors. But very high load factors are a problem for flyers, particularly those who book their tickets last minute or very close to the date of travel, as very limited available inventory means they are likely to be offered seats in the top fare buckets.Most-affected routesAccording to industry insiders, routes affected the most are the ones connecting major cities with airports like Leh, Srinagar, Goa, Bagdogra, Ahmedabad, and Pune, and other popular travel destinations like Andamans and Kerala.“Despite the current situation with capacity constraints driving airfares, Indian travellers are making the most of the summer vacation period. We are witnessing brisk demand of over 3x compared to last year. Airfares for popular leisure sectors from Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru have witnessed a surge versus last month–Leh 60-80%, Srinagar, Chandigarh, and Port Blair 50-70 per cent, and Kochi and Goa 40 per cent,” Rastogi said.According to Sabina Chopra, Chief Operating Officer for Corporate Travel and Head of Industry Relations at Yatra.com, the travel booking website is seeing 20-25 per cent higher demand in the domestic travel sector compared to pre-pandemic levels. As compared to the summer travel season last year, Yatra.com has observed an increase of 15-20 per cent in domestic airfares.With regard to routes affected the most by the suspension of Go First flights, Chopra said, “According to our data, the most popular routes were Srinagar, Ladakh, Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Bangalore, and Bangalore-Chennai. These routes had consistently witnessed high demand and had played a pivotal role for the airline.”Higher fuel cost vis-à-vis pre-pandemic periodThe cost of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, might not be playing a role in month-on-month or even year-on-year rise in airfares to current levels, but it is a significant factor in how fares have moved between the pre-pandemic period and the present. ATF is the single-biggest cost for airlines and for Indian carriers, it accounts for over 40 per cent of their operational expenses.While the price of jet fuel has cooled off from year-ago levels and is also lower than in preceding months, it is significantly higher than the levels seen in 2019 and early 2020, just before the pandemic brought the aviation industry to its knees. As per data provided by the country’s largest fuel retailer Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), jet fuel is currently priced at Rs 89,303.09 per kilolitre, down from Rs 95,935.34 in May and significantly lower than the peak of Rs 1.41 lakh in the second half of June 2022. However, when compared to March 2020 and June 2019, jet fuel prices are currently higher by 57 per cent and 37.4 per cent, respectively.“Due to the escalating fuel costs, airfares have seen a significant rise of 30-40 per cent across all domestic routes (compared to pre-pandemic levels),” Chopra said.
In a second petition filed before the Gujarat High Court challenging the significant differential pricing for pilgrims undertaking Haj from Ahmedabad compared to those from Mumbai, Justice V D Nanavati on Wednesday remarked to the petitioner to be grateful that they are at least getting an opportunity to undertake the pilgrimage.Justice Nanavati issued notice to the respondent authorities on Wednesday, which includes the Ministry of Minority Affairs and the Haj committees of India, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The authorities are expected to respond to the notices by June 9.Four Muslim families in another petition had earlier challenged the differential pricing, where the Gujarat High Court had issued notice to the authorities on May 30. Both petitions are now due to be heard next on June 9.The petitioners have pointed out that while the difference in the charges in the two embarkation points between 2017 and 2022 has ranged from Rs 2,000 to nearly Rs 5,850, the difference this year is Rs 67,981.It is also the petitioners’ case that while the charges for those embarking on the pilgrimage from Ahmedabad and Mumbai have remained nearly similar since the two embarkation points are almost equidistant, this year, the cost from Ahmedabad is Rs 3.72 lakh as against Rs 3.04 lakh from Mumbai. This does not include the converted currency of 2,100 SAR (Saudi Riyal), which was earlier given to all pilgrims.Justice Nanavati on Wednesday remarked to the petitioner’s advocate M A Kharadi, “At least you have got an opportunity to visit the place of pilgrimage, be grateful for that. I think if you are going for pilgrimage you should be glad that when there were draws which were drawn, you were selected and you have got an opportunity to visit…Be happy that you are able to travel.”Once a pilgrim is selected by the draw of lots, the requisite amount — charges fixed by the Haj Committee of India — needs to be deposited. This includes the to-and-fro travel expenses from the respective embarkation points to Saudi Arabia, accommodation in Saudi Arabia, and other logistics, and exchanged and converted currency of 2,100 SAR for spending during the pilgrimage.The petitioners have also highlighted that in the previous years, the break-up of the amount recovered under various heads was made known and disclosed to the pilgrims and the same has not been done this year.
Mumbai: The Neral-Matheran narrow gauge 'toy train' will remain suspended between June 10 to October 15 for safety reasons, the Central Railway said on Tuesday.The train services are stopped during monsoon every year for fear of landslides or stone fall.The CR's announcement, notably, came three days after the train derailed while on the way down to Neral though no passenger suffered injuries.Shuttle services between Matheran and Aman Lodge, the station close to Dasturi point beyond which vehicles are not allowed, will remain operational during the monsoon, the CR release said.Six pairs of regular passenger services and one 'material special' service will be operated daily from Monday to Friday between Matheran and Aman Lodge stations, it added.Two additional special shuttle services will be operated on weekends.On June 3, one of the wheels of the engine derailed near Jumma Patti station, located some 95 km from Mumbai, around 5.30 pm while the train was heading to Neral from Matheran, a CR spokesperson said.The incident took place a day after the horrific triple train crash in Odisha in which 278 people died.The toy train, which had left Matheran around 4 pm, had 90 to 95 passengers onboard, but no passenger suffered any injury due to the engine derailment, the spokesperson said.The train was re-railed around 9 pm and was brought back to Neral station, located at the foot of Matheran hills, by 10.30 pm.The incident led to the cancellation of the last train from Neral to Matheran.The toy train moves at a slow speed, and sometimes, in the case of derailment, the support staff manually lift and put a derailed coach back on the tracks.The Neral-Matheran train route, among the few mountain railways in India, is more than 100 years old.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe 21-km narrow gauge track passes through a picturesque valley overlooked by the hill station of Matheran.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
The train was re-railed at around 9 pm and was brought back to Neral station. (Representational)Mumbai: A toy train heading from Maharashtra's popular Matheran hill station to Neral has derailed, but no passenger suffered any injury, railway officials said on Tuesday.The incident took place at around 5.30 pm on Saturday when one of the wheels of the train's engine derailed near Jumma Patti station, located some 95 km from Mumbai, they said.This happened a day after the horrific triple train crash in Odisha in which 278 people died and 1,100 were injured.The toy train, which left from Matheran at around 4 pm on Saturday, had 90 to 95 passengers onboard, the officials said, No passenger suffered any injury, a railway spokesperson said.The passengers immediately de-boarded the train and left for their destination by cabs, he said.The train was re-railed at around 9 pm and was brought back to Neral station, located at the foot of Matheran hills, by 10.30 pm, as per the railway staff.The incident led to the cancellation of the last train from Neral to Matheran and hence, fares of the passengers of both the trains were refunded, he said.The toy train moves on a slow speed and sometimes in case of derailment of coaches, the support staff travelling along with the train just lift them and put them back on tracks, the spokesperson said.A senior railway official said the toy train operation will be suspended between Neral and Matheran during the monsoon.The Neral-Matheran toy train is more than 100 years old. This is one among the few mountain railways (section) in India.The 21 km long Neral-Matheran narrow gauge track passes through the picturesque ghat of the hill station.The toy train operation is generally suspended between Neral and Matheran during the rainy season from June to October for safety reasons.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comBut, it is operated between Matheran and Aman Lodge, the closest station from Dasturi point beyond which vehicles are not allowed on the hill station. (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Doctors operated upon him to remove the knife and fix the damaged blood vessels (Representational)Mumbai: A 32-year-old businessman rode his motorcycle to a hospital with a knife pierced in his neck after he was attacked by his younger brother in Maharashtra's Navi Mumbai, a police official said today.Doctors said victim Tejas Patil had a miraculous escape as the weapon missed his viral veins and arteries.Tejas was sleeping at his home in Sector 5, Sanpada when his brother Monish, 30, allegedly stabbed a knife into his neck on June 3, he said. Monish then ran away from the spot.Despite excruciating pain and bleeding, Tejas took out his motorcycle and rode for about 1 km to reach a hospital, he said.Doctors operated upon him to remove the knife and fix the damaged blood vessels, he said. Tejas survived as the knife did not damage his viral arteries and veins, said doctors.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comPolice have registered a case under section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code against Monish and one of his friends who was with him at the time of the alleged crime, the official said Both accused are on the run, he added. (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) Monday issued a list of 88 projects of several developers who have applied for de-registration. Projects of several well-known developers such as Hubtown’s two projects namely Solaris 14 floor (Andheri) and Hubtown Siddhi (Thane), Ashwin Sheth’s project named Sheth Vasant Lawns of Thane have figured in the list.Officials said that homebuyers and other stakeholders have been given a 15-day deadline to file objections regarding the de-registration via email firstname.lastname@example.orgAccording to MahaRERA, in response to its notification on February 10 allowing developers to apply for de-registration of projects with some conditions, it has received responses from developers for 88 projects so far. These projects fell under Pune (39), Raigad (15), Thane (8), Mumbai City (4), Sindhudurg and Palghar (3 each), Nashik, Nagpur, Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar, Satara, and Mumbai Suburb (2 each), and Kolhapur, Nanded, Latur, Ratnagiri and Dadra Nagar Haveli (1 each).Explaining the rationale for allowing the deregistration of the project, the official said, “On many occasions, developers register a particular project but for reasons such as lack of funds, family dispute, litigation, the viability of the project, change in government planning authority notification, etc are unable to carry out the project. In such a situation MahaRERA allows deregistration.”The rules for deregistration stipulate that the developer should fulfil the conditions laid down for deregistration of the projects which have bookings. Such projects shall be considered for deregistration if the rights of the allottees are settled by the promoter and documents to that effect are submitted for verification.Similarly, if a project is taken up in phases and if a developer wishes to de-register some phases of the project and in such case if the homebuyers/allottees are getting affected it should first get the consent of two-thirds of the allottees for deregistration application before the MahaRERA, says the authority.“Like for instance, in a real estate project, generally amenities are developed in the last phase. Therefore, if a developer wishes to de-register the last phase of that project which comprises amenities then objections may be raised by the homebuyer,” explained the official.
Terror operative David Coleman Headley alias Dawood Gilani is back in the news. A US court has approved India’s request for extradition of his close aide Tahawwur Rana, the Pakistan-born Canadian who was convicted for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks of 2008.Rana and Headley were arrested in the US in October 2009. Rana was convicted in Chicago in 2011 of providing material support to terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for the 26/11 attacks. And Headley, a US citizen born to an American mother and a Pakistani father, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for his involvement in the 26/11 attacks.Headley’s role, however, was not just limited to the Mumbai attacks. There is a Pune trail, too, that goes via the Indian Army’s Southern Command, Jewish Chabad House and the popular German Bakery.According to Pune police records, Headley visited Pune twice — in July 2008 and March 2009. Deposing before a special court in Mumbai through video conferencing in February 2016, he claimed that he had surveyed the headquarters of the Southern Command of the Indian Army in March 2009. This operation, he said, was conducted on instructions from a man he identified as Major Iqbal of Pakistan’s ISI. The mission, he said, was to try and recruit sources for classified information. In addition, Headley said he had also conducted recces of Chabad Houses in Pune, Goa and Pushkar in Rajasthan in the ten days he was in India.But that’s not all.Pune Police suspect that during his visit, Headley visited the Railway Locomotive Diesel Shed at the Ghorpadi crossing, which is near the upscale Koregaon Park locality. He also visited the Osho Ashram in Koregaon Park, records show.Intelligence agencies suspect that Headley’s aim was to conduct a survey around Chabad House in Koregaon Park. It is believed he even visited Chabad House posing as a Jewish American. Incidentally, a book titled “How to Pray Like Jew” was recovered from Headley after he was arrested in the US in 2009.There are more details available in records that map Headley’s Pune sojourn.For instance, The Indian Express was the first to report that Headley stayed in Room No. 202 of Hotel Surya Villa in Koregaon Park, a few metres away from Chabad House, in March 2009.According to the “C-form”, which is mandatory for foreigners staying at a hotel in India, Headley checked in at 6.15 am on March 16, 2009, and checked out at 8 am a day later. He had a multiple entry Indian visa issued from Chicago on July 18, 2007, which was valid up to July 17, 2012. On the form, he wrote “180 days” to a query on his duration of stay, and listed the purpose of visit as “tourist”. Strangely, the main register at the hotel carried his purpose of visit as “business”.The hotel’s records also show that Headley stayed in a single occupancy non-AC room with a tariff of Rs 1,200. His total bill at the time of check-out was Rs 1,240. Sources said Headley also filmed a video of German Bakery as it was a popular spot in Pune for Indian and foreign visitors, and had no police security outside.Headley (aged around 63 now), however, was arrested in the US months before the German Bakery blast was executed in February 2010, which killed 17 people. He was not named as an accused in the case.How the German Bakery case was crackedIn September 2010, the Maharashtra ATS arrested Himayat Baig, alleged LeT commander, in this German Bakery case. According to ATS, the blast was the handiwork of LeT and Indian Mujahideen (IM) members. The ATS alleged that Baig was trained in Colombo in March 2008 by LeT operative Fayaz Kagzi and Abu Jundal, both from Beed in Maharashtra and wanted in the Aurangabad RDX seizure case. Baig was accused of executing the German Bakery blast with IM operatives Yasin Bhatkal and Mohsin Choudhary.Abu Jundal was deported from Saudi Arabia to India on June 25, 2012. And, Baig was awarded the death penalty by a Pune court on April 18, 2013 — it was later commuted to life sentence by the Bombay High Court. On August 29, 2013, Yasin Bhatkal was arrested on the India-Nepal border. The trial against him in the bakery case is still on before a special court in Pune.
The Maharashtra government has raised Rs 823 crore corpus since 2016 till FY 23-end as Road Safety Fund but the actual spending on safety initiatives is just Rs 65 crore despite witnessing over 91,000 deaths in road accidents during 2016-22, as per the data. As per the official documents, the RSF corpus has been mainly used for buying interceptor vehicles and some gadgets like breath analyzers and speed guns so far. Acting on the directives of the Supreme Court-appointed committee on Road Safety, the state government announced to set up RSF to raise the corpus by levying a cess collected at the time of vehicle buying and a high-power committee for monitoring the fund in September 2016. Maharashtra witnessed 91,228 fatalities in 2,31,906 road crashes between 2016 and 2022. Last year, the state reported 14,883 fatalities in road accidents including the tragic demise of former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry, which exposed chinks on the safety front. The seven-member high power committee, chaired by the chief secretary, has approved Rs 820.04 crore proposals from various departments, but most projects are on paper now, the data shows. The transport department blames the lack of spending of the RSF corpus on the coronavirus pandemic. "We have to do various projects through it (Fund), especially automatic testing centres and automatic driving tracks. Due to Covid, the tendering process of it was stopped. After Covid, the tendering process was done, but during the pre-bid, there were some suggestions and objections about RFP, because of which 4-6 months wasted," Vivek Bhimanwar, transport commissioner of Maharashtra, said, adding that the tenders have been floated now. The state government has levied Road Safety Cess on vehicles registered from October 24, 2016. The cess, ranging between 0.5 per cent to 10 per cent of one-time or annual tax, is collected only once in the lifetime of the vehicle and it varies depending on the type of vehicle. As per the official documents accessed by PTI, in FY 2021-22 and FY 22-23, the cess collected was Rs 135.14 crore and Rs 179.25 crore, respectively. During FY 2016-17, the cess collected was just Rs Rs 41.46 crore but from the next year, the cess collection jumped to over Rs 100 crore, barring FY 20-21 when just Rs 97.56 crore was collected as vehicles registration was hit due to the pandemic. After setting up RSF, the government opened a PLA account, in which funds don't get lapsed at the end of a financial year, on February 9, 2017. Thereafter, Rs 34.45 crore was deposited in the PLA account for carrying out various road safety works first time on January 30, 2018. Of the Rs 820.04 crore projects approved by the high power committees, the highest Rs 688.51 crore proposals were submitted by the transport department, followed by Rs 59.06 crore by the Highway Police and Rs 40 crore by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). As per the documents, so far RSF corpus is mainly used for buying interceptor vehicles, some gadgets like breath analyzers, bodywork cameras, speed guns, road safety awareness campaigns and a few other things. The highest amount of Rs 29.23 crore has been spent on buying more than 150 interceptor vehicles fitted with gadgets like speed guns, Lux meters and other gadgets, for RTO offices, Highway Police and Mumbai traffic police, followed by over Rs 21 crore on various road safety campaigns. A retired RTO official, who did not wish to be named, said that it seems a major chunk of the Road Safety Fund is being spent on buying interceptor vehicles, providing gadgets and building infrastructure at RTO and police departments, but nothing is done for capacity building activities. "Parallelly, the government should have also focused capacity building projects like research activities on road safety and training of officers," he said. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has spent Rs 1 crore for buying 347 Alcotest machines that are used for checking if crew members have consumed alcohol or not. The transport department has spent around Rs 2.5 crore on buying 65 simulators, two each for RTO officers and one each for deputy RTOs. Interestingly, as per the documents, Maharashtra Highway Police spent Rs 1.36 crore only on printing 2018 road accident books while the Mumbai Traffic Police spent Rs 2.42 crore on 25 VMS boards. An amount of Rs 51.42 lakh was also given to the transport department for building a protective wall on a vacant plot of the Andheri RTO office in Mumbai. "The purpose of the Road Safety Fund is to carry out various road safety activities. Building a wall is not a road safety activity," said an RTO official, adding that such expenditures will defeat the very purpose of the fund.
Mumbai: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said "love jihad" cases had been detected in "large numbers" during probe into missing person complaints in the state.Speaking to reporters, Mr Fadnavis, who holds the Home portfolio in the Eknath Shinde government, said the detection rate in missing person complaints was 90 to 95 per cent in the state."In some cases, we found that false promises were made or false identity was used, with even married persons trying to mislead women. Cases termed as love jihad have also come forward in large numbers," the senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader said."I had stated earlier that we are mulling to introduce a law on it (love jihad). We are studying various existing laws in this connection," Mr Fadnavis added.Love jihad is a term often used by right wing activists to allege that Muslim men were converting Hindu women to Islam after luring them into marriage.Meanwhile, asked about minor children from Bihar being found in a train in Maharashtra, Mr Fadnavis said his department was serious about ending the menace of child trafficking.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"In fact many cases have been exposed in Maharashtra, which has not happened anywhere else. The state is taking every effort to end this menace," he said.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
“Yaar … field-setting toh dekh le.” That Rohit Sharma cry of frustration from one of the IPL games that summed up the season where he did his best to get the most out of an inexperienced bowling attack.Watching Rohit marshal Mumbai Indians from mid-wicket should have been a ticketed event. Jio Cinema’s Bird Eye camera, which prowled the arena like a drone, captured him baring his soul more than ever in the past. Saddled with a weak bowling unit that seemed bereft of experience and skill, Rohit was severely stretched.He tried to dig deep to infuse some ideas; at times sighed and sunk his head to his knees. Often he would turn away from the bowler, peer into the distance and scratch his ever-present 7-day stubble. But Rohit never gave up, he would shrug himself out of that worry-reverie and walk to the bowler with an advice and suggestion. It made for riveting TV. It also opened a portal into what was probably one of his toughest captaincy stints, especially when combined with his poor batting outings.As he leads India’s campaign in the World Test Championship, and beyond that in the ODI World Cup, he is on to extremely vital days of his captaincy. Things are rather delicately placed. A bad WTC final could tilt the cart against him and escalate the pressure stakes on the ODI World Cup. For nothing is what it seems in the Indian cricket world, a cliche that stays forever fresh, and as tough it might be for some to imagine that he is under pressure as a captain, the truth is that he is.And more than him, Rahul Dravid as the coach is probably in hot waters already. Rohit’s fortunes are understandably, even if harshly, tied with Dravid’s yoke. If they lose the plot in the coming months, whispers would get louder against one, probably both. As the team management, Rohit and Dravid will be seen as a unit; or will the powers take a side?When he took over as India captain with Dravid as coach, it was expected he would do what he has done with Mumbai Indians: get the team selections spot on, inject confidence in youngsters, erase insecurity among new players and more so, in the old like Rahane and Pujara, have a vision about playing style.Surprisingly, the team selections leading up to the T20 World Cup weren’t precise. Kohli’s spark of genius for two balls from Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf triggered a nationalistic outpour of hope but it was a jaded campaign. The problems were plenty. There was a sameness at the top of the batting order, the inexplicable faith in death-over specialist Harshal Patel in alien conditions, the lack of trust in Mohammad Shami, injury to Jasprit Bumrah, the failure to replace Axar Patel with the attacking gamble of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, the inability to find clarity of role for Rishabh Pant.Not many “risks’ were taken by this team management. It was couched as ‘consistency’ in team selection but that’s just flimsy dressing. For a while they had Deepak Hooda floating at top, and when he hit a hundred, they pushed him down.Exit neon lights were flashing on the fate of Pujara and Rahane before the board and the selectors stepped in. First Pujara got a lease of life, then Rahane now. Pujara has made a career out of shutting out insecurity over his place, strike rates, and focusing on delivering results. Rahane hasn’t quite managed it the way Pujara has but not many can. In most neutral observers’s eyes, Wriddhiman Saha would have easily walked in for the WTC as the second wicketkeeper but the door was so firmly shut on him in that past that even the outside powers didn’t want to prise it open.How much of all this is due to Dravid, how much is it down to Rohit – the world might not know as in the perception battle they are an hyphenated pair.MI tougher to manage than CSKRohit led the team to a memorable, but hardly surprising, triumph against Australia on home pitches. Then, the IPL happened.As patchy his batting form was, and weak his bowling attack was, yet again Rohit the IPL captain came to the fore. To drag this team to the qualifiers was an achievement. Much has been said about Chennai Super Kings’s great management of the resources and it obviously was, but it was a vastly better team than Mumbai.The wondrous MS Dhoni coaxed great performances out of them but they had the necessary skillsets for him to do what he does. Pacer Tushar Deshpande could swing the ball really well, the slinger Matheesha Pathirana was raw but uniquely potent and so on and so forth. Rohit had men who were nowhere near that kind of potential and skill and it reflected in the runs conceded. But he managed to hold his head, and hold the team above water.The writer Adam Gopnik once observed: “The experience of a charismatic mentor changes us … from citizens to subjects, people who, for a little while, have the illusion of themselves as privileged, members of the court.” At this stage in his life, Dhoni had that effect on his young team-mates, who were moved to express themselves in the shadow of their charismatic leader.Rohit is at that stage in his captaincy career where he comes across as thoughtful, conscientious, aware of what a leader can do, responsive to the needs of youngsters, plans with perspicacity, a firm believer of preparation and yet trusts his instincts on the field. It’s time that the vision he shows in IPL needs to be mirrored with India, the dare he shows in IPL needs to be followed with calculated risks with India – does he have the sense of ownership he shows with Mumbai Indians with India? Here is where Dravid needs to facilitate him and allow him that space.His on-field strategising has always been pretty good. Four years back, when he won his fourth IPL crown in the seventh year of his captaincy, Rohit had carefully planned the downfall of Andre Russell. “No one had tried bowling short at his body from round the wicket to him … Lasith Malinga never goes round the wicket but when he does, his hand comes from outside the pitch,” Rohit shared with Mumbai Mirror. “We thought about all this.” He coaxed Malinga out of his comfort zone and the tactic worked. For a game against CSK, he played the off-spinner Jayant Yadav just for Suresh Raina. He was ready for it even if it was just one over. Rohit the IPL captain takes such calculated risks.It was Ricky Ponting who seeded him in the need to plan in 2013 with Mumbai Indians. Rohit has shared how Ponting would tell him ‘this is what I did, it worked for me, you try or if you want to do something else, we can do that’. “I realised that it helps my game too. My batting was improving. It wasn’t just helping the bowlers but for me it was about understanding the game. I have learnt so much about game from planning. It has helped my game immensely.”He sweats a lot in the pre-game planning of this sort, but the decision to give overs to bowlers is instinctive on the field. The flow of the game decides it for him. In this IPL, he tried his best to stem the run flow, often giving his bowlers just one over, rotating them around, trying his best to present a challenge. In the end, given the constraints, it was a creditable finish. He has to replicate that for India.Even his batting was dictated by Rohit the captain, though it could be argued if it was sensible. Aware that his team had the hitters down the order and in form, he almost obsessively tried to set an example at the top by going all-out aggressive. His frequent charges down the tracks to seamers were unwise and inefficient, but he didn’t change his approach. The wager here is that if he wasn’t the captain, he would have batted differently. As things stand, India don’t need Rohit the T20 batsman anyway, and nothing in the IPL suggested his batting has gone so pear-shaped that it would affect his Test batting. It won’t.Australia, then, at the WTC is an opportunity for Rohit. It will come down to how he sees it first internally. With Mumbai Indians, his captaincy has flowered as he has never approached it from a place of pressure. He never had to as the results have continuously been positive. With India, now, he comes from a different place. He isn’t as firmly perched in his saddle as it is when he plays for the franchise. India needs Rohit to replicate his IPL captaincy; so does he.
The police said the incident was reported around 11.46 pm on Friday.Mumbai (Maharashtra): A six-year-old was fatally electrocuted while another was injured after coming into contact with a lamp post in Vakola, the police said on Saturday.According to a hospital statement, the six-year-old was declared dead at the hospital while the 5-year-old's condition was said to be stable.The victim was identified as Teharin Parvin Mohd Iftekhar, a resident of Chaitanya Colony near the Neha building in Vakola.The police said the incident was reported around 11.46 pm on Friday.The children were electrocuted after coming into contact with a lamp post and were rushed to VN Desai hospital in Mumbai where one of them was declared brought dead, informed the police.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Besides evidence in abetment of suicide, over 55 statements in the 473-page chargesheet by Mumbai Police show glimpses of the life of 18-year old Darshan Solanki as a student at IIT-Bombay between October 2022 to February 2023. Darshan died by suicide on campus around 1 pm on February 12.The statements — by Darshan’s parents and sister, fellow students, professors and assistant professors — help piece together the criminal case, Darshan’s life on campus, the challenges he faced as a member of a Scheduled Caste community and his last few days, during which he allegedly got into a tiff with a fellow student. The police have claimed in the chargesheet that it was a series of incidents — which started in the beginning of February — between fellow student Arman Khatri and Darshan that led the latter to jump from the refuge floor of the students’ hostel on February 12.The chargesheet, filed on Tuesday, names Khatri as the only accused. He is booked under charges of abetment of suicide, criminal intimidation of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under relevant Sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The chargesheet quotes Darshan’s family members as saying that he had, during his regular phone calls with them, spoken about the environment at the institute and the caste discrimination practiced by his fellow students. His father, Ramesh Solanki, has been seeking a probe into this aspect, expressing dissatisfaction at this being buried under the “guise of investigation”.Academic record and a paper cutterThe chargesheet also includes Darshan’s academic record. Statements by fellow students claim that he lost interest in studies after a poor performance in his mid-semester exams and was even contemplating quitting IIT-Bombay to join a private college. However, his sister’s statement says Darshan had told her that he would continue to focus on his studies despite the struggles and complete his education at the institute.The police claim that Darshan had made a communal remark — around February 9 — that had hurt Khatri’s feelings. The chargesheet does not have specific details about the exact date or time or the nature of this remark.On February 10, Darshan sent text messages to Khatri, apologising to him. He told Khatri that he was leaving the institute and the city. Witness statements by fellow students claim that Darshan had also later hugged Khatri and said that he was leaving the city. As per the police, Khatri did not reply to these texts sent by Darshan. Witnesses, however, told the police that Darshan had informed them that Khatri had said even if Darshan were to leave the city, he would find him and not let him get away. This scared Darshan and on February 11, he even developed a fever.The police also quote witnesses to show that on February 10, while he was walking for an exam, Darshan had asked Khatri about the contents of his bag. Khatri told him that he had a pen, a book and a paper cutter. When asked why he was carrying a paper cutter, Khatri allegedly said that he wanted to get even with someone. Witnesses said Darshan had become nervous after his interaction with Khatri. His friends had tried to explain to him that anyone would feel bad if one were to make a communal comment and told him not to worry, the chargesheet claimed.The police also alleged that a paper cutter was recovered from Khatri, which he had used to intimidate Darshan. The police also have quoted witnesses claiming that they had seen Khatri and Darshan engaged in a conversation — days before the suicide — where Khatri was seen crying. When asked why, they both had not responded. Later, Darshan told his roommate and another friend that he felt Khatri’s tears were fake.However, on the day of Darshan’s suicide, as mentioned in the statements, Khatri, Darshan and others went for breakfast. Later, Khatri and others hung out in Darshan’s room and played a game that his roommate had installed on his laptop. The main evidence that the police claim to have against Khatri, based on which he was arrested, is a handwritten note found in Darshan’s room on March 3, nearly three weeks after his death.The note was found by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Mumbai Police, which took over the probe from the Powai police. While the Powai police had conducted a search of Darshan’s room, it was claimed that the note was not found then. The note, written behind an examination question paper, states, “Arman has killed me”. The veracity of the note was questioned by Khatri through his lawyer, while seeking bail. Darshan’s father too disputed the genuineness of the note. The chargesheet includes an analysis by forensic experts, who have said that it matches the samples of Darshan’s handwriting in his answer sheets. While granting bail to Khatri on May 6, the Special Court had said that mere allegations in a suicide note are not sufficient to conclude that he had abetted the suicide.For Darshan’s family, Khatri’s arrest has left more questions than answers. In a letter to the SIT on April 12, three days after Khatri’s arrest, Ramesh said he had learnt from media reports that the probe agency was ruling out caste discrimination faced by Darshan in light of the note naming one student. Ramesh sought for the police to investigate the fact that Darshan had felt isolated and ostracised due to his caste. On this aspect, the chargesheet mainly relies on statements by Darshan’s family.According to statements by his family, Darshan had to fill up a scholarship form in December and was worried about his friends finding out about his caste. His sister said she had told him to seek guidance from other students belonging to Scheduled Castes. A few days later, he called her up again to say that he had spoken to some seniors and that they had told him not to mention his caste anywhere or he would face ragging and mental stress like them. His sister’s statement also mentions that Darshan had told her about frequent discussions among his fellow students on the scholarship given to students belonging to oppressed castes. He said the students would taunt him about students belonging to the Scheduled Castes getting “free education” and even questioned the need for it.The family’s statements do not mention any specific person related to allegations of caste discrimination. Due to this, the SIT officials said they have not been able to gather any evidence on these allegations. The only specific mention by Darshan’s family is that of his roommate. The family claims Darshan had told them that after some friends found out about his caste, they, including his roommate, began avoiding him.The chargesheet also includes the statement of the roommate as well as others staying on the same floor who interacted with Darshan on a daily basis. His roommate told the police that when he joined the institute in October, he only knew Darshan and one other friend. As his social circle expanded, he began interacting with many others. Another witness told the police that Darshan was not very social and that his roommate included him in all activities, including outings with friends to a mall, a trek, the college fest and other such social interactions. The students had even planned a two-day Mumbai sightseeing trip, which was scheduled to begin on the day of Darshan’s suicide. The statement also mentioned the roommate’s insistence on Darshan attending classes and visiting library, claiming that he had been too dejected to attend classes after the drop in his marks.Statements of Darshan’s friends leave out any mention of caste. A student whose statement was not recorded by the police, but an excerpt submitted by a students group at the institute, states that Darshan had met him twice in November and mentioned that his roommate had cut down on talking to him after finding out about his rank. The student told Darshan that many students faced the same issue and advised him to make other friends or he would face loneliness and study pressure.During the last interaction Darshan had with his roommate at 12 pm on February 12, an hour before his suicide, the former complimented him on his looks. At 12.20 pm, Darshan spoke to his family and told them that once he returned home after two days, he wanted a get-together with all the relatives. Darshan was last seen on the refuge floor, from where he jumped about 40 minutes after the call.IIT-Bombay internal committee’s interim report, submitted on March 2, had ruled out caste discrimination. It had said that it had no information on what happened in the time after Darshan’s call to his family and before the tragic incident. The chargesheet too fails to throw light on the sequence of events that took place in these 40 minutes.
As part of its strategy to get smaller parties to the fold of its NDA alliance in Maharashtra ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, the ruling BJP has again set its eyes on the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).Officially, the BJP-MNS alliance talks have been kept under wraps, with both sides exercising caution not to make it public unless they finalise their pact. What is however evident is that the state BJP leadership is going all out to mend fences with Raj’s outfit.Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited Raj’s residence in Shivaji Park in Mumbai on Monday night and had a one-on-one talk with him for over an hour. Confirming their meeting, Fadnavis said, “It was decided some time back we will meet. So, I finally visited Raj. It was an apolitical meeting.”Some BJP insiders however indicated that they discussed the current political situation.Significantly, Fadnavis met Raj shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with the BJP CMs in Delhi.Following the BJP’s Karnataka election debacle, the party high command has urged its state units to start preparing for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections on a war footing. To expand the party’s support base and augment its vote bank, it has also directed the state units to identify and forge alliances with smaller parties so that they could achieve their ambitious targets.In Maharashtra, the BJP’s key ally is CM Eknath Shinde-headed Shiv Sena faction, with the two parties set to fight the 2024 Lok Sabha and Assembly polls together.The BJP-Shinde Sena coalition will face a formidable challenge in the 2024 polls from the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance, which comprises of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT), Congress and NCP.Among the smaller parties, the Republican Party of India (RPI) headed by Union minister Ramdas Athavale is already a BJP ally, while Raju Shetti-led Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, a former NDA ally, has decided to go solo in the coming polls.The BJP is keen to get the MNS on its side especially for the coming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Assembly polls, given that the outfit still has some support base in certain pockets of Mumbai, Nashik and Pune. The MNS might have shrunk considerably and has been struggling to regain its salience in the state, but the BJP still sees in it a counter to the Uddhav Sena in various ways.A senior BJP functionary said, “MNS is not a political force in Maharashtra and may not help in winning seats. But if BJP empowers it then MNS can become an alternative platform for those Uddhav Sena leaders and workers, who are disgruntled there or are denied tickets during the 2024 polls.”The BJP camp also feels that Raj is still a “charismatic leader” and that due to his remarkable oratorical skills, his rallies draw huge crowds. The party’s poll strategists recall how Raj had played a notable role in building up an anti-NDA atmosphere through his public rallies ahead of the 2019 polls, which had then “benefited” the Congress and NCP.Raj had floated the MNS after parting ways with the Shiv Sena on March 9, 2006. In the 2009 Assembly elections, the MNS won 13 of the state’s 288 seats. However, the party has been on a slide since then, winning only one seat in the 2019 polls. In the 2017 BMC elections, six MNS candidates were elected as the corporators, who later defected to the Sena.The MNS’s politics was initially centred on the “sons of the soil” theme, which later shifted to the Hindutva ideology. Over the last few years there has periodically been a buzz about a possible BJP-MNS tie-up with both parties signalling their growing closeness, but it could not be finalised.At his public rally in March this year, held on the occasion of Gudi Padwa ( Maharashtrian new year), at Shivaji Park, Raj attacked his estranged cousin Uddhav Thackeray. He charged, “I had never spoken about it. But there was a well orchestrated plot to ensure my exit from Shiv Sena,” claiming that it was done even after his bid to extend his support for Uddhav’s elevation as the Sena executive president in the presence of his uncle and Uddhav’s father Bal Thackeray, the Sena founder. After Bal Thackeray’s demise in 2012, Uddhav took over as the Sena president.Raj has charged that Uddhav was responsible for his exit from the Sena and that of several other senior Sena leaders’, including Union minister Narayan Rane.By throwing its weight behind the breakaway Shinde-led Sena faction, the BJP succeeded in toppling the Uddhav-led MVA government in June last year. The BJP’s immediate target now is to bring the Uddhav Sena’s dominance in the BMC to an end. The saffron party believes the MNS could be used to dent the Uddhav Sena’s Marathi vote base in several BMC wards, which could also be replicated in the Assembly polls in various belts of Mumbai, Nashik and Pune.A BJP strategist said, “If MNS can give tough fight to Uddhav Sena in 25-30 seats in BMC, it would boostthe Shinde-Fadnavis alliance’s prospects, which could be replicated in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls too. After all, every ward or seat counts for BJP.”An MNS leader said, “What really transpired in the meeting between Fadnavis and Raj cannot be revealed. But every party ensures its own growth. And for an alliance both parties have to arrive at mutually acceptable consensus.”Tracking the BJP-MNS equations closely, an NCP leader said, “It is between BJP and MNS, so why should we comment. But everybody knows how Raj Thackeray had been critical of the Centre after the BJP’s Karnataka defeat, and over the RBI’s decision to withdraw Rs 2,000 note.”
A 75-year-old man lodged in Taloja jail for 70 days now after he was nabbed at the Mumbai international airport, carrying drugs worth Rs 37 crore, could end up spending the rest of his life in prison as the seizure of over 250 grams of heroin falls under commercial quantity category and is punishable by 20 years of imprisonment under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.While the septuagenarian has been claiming innocence, sources in the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) told that the accused DS Dube claims that he has been framed and fell into a trap laid by international miscreants.According to Dube, it was his misfortune that he said “Yes” to an email promising him a jackpot of $10.5 million (around Rs 82 crore) and was taken to Malawi in south-east Africa to complete the “formalities” related to his “prize”. When he was returning, he was allegedly handed over a bag that contained heroin worth Rs 37 crore to be handed over to a “friend”. Dube claims that he was framed and did not check the bag.An orphan and bachelor from West Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh, Dube often looked for online jobs due to his advanced age. During a job search in February, he received an email declaring that he had been chosen as the winner of a grand prize of $10.5 million. Dube initially dismissed the email as fraud but said that he was persistently contacted via email by Edvard Hics, who claimed to be a representative of the lottery company.According to a DRI source, Dube claimed that he finally gave in as he was facing an acute financial crisis. The senior citizen was informed that he would need to travel to Malawi for “paperwork and other formalities” before he could claim the prize money.When Dube informed Hics that he could not afford to pay for international travel, Hics reassured him that his financier friend “Dr Holeman” would arrange for Hyderabad-Mumbai-Malawi air tickets and his hotel accommodation in Malawi, the source said.An excited Dube travelled to Malawi via Addis Ababa on March 6 by Ethiopian Airlines flight ET877. At the hotel, he met Dr Holeman’s assistant “Jack”, who got his signatures on “lottery documents”. After completing the “formalities and the paperwork”, Dube was informed that the prize money would be deposited into his Indian bank account through electronic transfer. Dube was also handed $200 (approximately Rs 15,000) for miscellaneous expenses on his return journey.A DRI source added, “Just as Dube was leaving the hotel, Jack turned up and gave him a bag, requesting him to hand it over to a friend of Dr Holeman in India. Dube agreed to take the bag with him.”On his return to India, Dube was intercepted by the DRI on a tip-off at the Mumbai international airport. The bag he was carrying had 4.9 kilograms of heroin, estimated to be worth Rs 37 crore in the international market.“He was placed under arrest under relevant sections of the NDPS Act for carrying a commercial quantity of heroin,” an officer said.According to sources, Dube claimed during interrogation that he was not aware that the bag contained drugs. The investigation so far indicates that he might not have been aware of the presence of narcotics in the bag Jack had given him.Advocates Taraq Sayed, Ashwini Achari and Advait Tamhankar, Dube’s lawyers who are representing him pro bono, said, “He is not a drug trafficker but a victim. Dube is unemployed and poor. He has been made a scapegoat by the drug syndicate that took advantage of his vulnerable situation.”The DRI also arrested Nigerian national Chidiebere Nawchara and Nagaland resident Hekatoli Sumi for their involvement in the case. Sumi was supposed to collect the bag from Dube on behalf of Chidiebere. The DRI has also retrieved WhatsApp chats between Sumi and Chidiebere.Advocate Sayed said, “This is a classic case of non-conscious possession, which is evident from the voluntary statement of the applicant (Dube) recorded under Section 67 of NDPS Act, 1985.”Advocate Achari added, “In his entire statement, not even once has Dube admitted to or even suggested that he was aware of or intended to carry the contraband. Instead, he was fraudulently deceived into carrying the bag.”A DRI officer said, “For us, Dube is an accused in a drug smuggling case. It would be unfair to jump to any conclusion this early in the case. A huge commercial quantity has been seized from the accused’s possession. We cannot give a clean chit to him at this stage. Our investigation is still on. People are still wanted in connection with the case.”Dube’s lawyers filed a bail application at the sessions court on April 25. However, the agency opposed his bail plea. His lawyers said that Dube fears if he would ever see the outside world again.
On May 23, 2017, a police inspector in Mumbai found his wife lying dead in their home. Next to her body was a message scrawled in blood which said, “Tired of her. Catch me and hang me.” This was followed by a smiley emoticon.The nature of the message led the investigators to believe that the murder was committed by someone known to the victim, Deepali Ganore, inspector Dyaneshwar’s wife. Also, there were no signs of forced entry into the home.Though initially, the FIR was registered against unknown persons on charges of murder, the message led the police to check on the whereabouts of those close to Deepali. The police soon realised that the Ganores’ 20-year-old son, Siddhant, was missing since the murder. Also missing were his clothes and some cash.Siddhant became suspect number 1 and a search for him began. Based on call data records and other information, he was traced to Jodhpur on May 25, 2017, and brought to Mumbai and arrested.Trigger warning: The image below may be disturbing for some.During the probe, the police said that Siddhant had committed the offence over regular arguments with his mother over his studies. The police also said that during the last phone call between Deepali and Dyaneshwar, she had mentioned that Siddhant was home. This, the police claimed, proved that she was ‘last seen together’ with him. The police also seized a pair of pants from a bathroom in the house claiming that there was blood on it that belonged to Deepali.After his arrest, Siddhant claimed in his defence that he was of an unsound mind and sought to be released on that ground. The court directed him to be referred to medical experts. A report was submitted by a committee of three doctors from the state-run J J Hospital which said that there was no such evidence and that he was fit to stand trial.To distance himself from the blood-drawn message, Siddhant had also claimed during the hearing of one of his bail applications before the sessions court that the forensic report was inconclusive on the author of the message. Two of Siddhant’s bail pleas were rejected by the sessions court. He was then granted bail by the Bombay High Court in 2019. The court had said that Siddhant’s act of absconding was a “weak link” in the chain of circumstances and also considered issues with the seizure of the pants from the bathroom.The trial in the case is yet to conclude.
The Pydhonie police in Mumbai are looking for a man who allegedly posed as an angadia (courier carrying cash between traders) and fled with Rs 76.5 lakh from a South Mumbai imitation jewellery company.The police said the complainant, Mohamed Maharuf Kapadia, is an employee of the company, and he approached the accused as the regular angadia had refused to deliver cash for him.An officer said, “The complainant’s employee, who was out of India then, called him on May 25 and asked him to send Rs 75 lakh to one of their clients in Hyderabad.”He started looking for angadia, but all of them refused to do the job, after which he contacted one man, who identified himself as Ankit Patel.“Patel would regularly message the complainant and ask him if he wanted to deliver any cash anywhere. As it was urgent, he reached out to Patel to do the job for him,” the officer said.Kapadia handed over Rs 76.5 lakh in cash, including his transfer fees, to one Manish, who was supposedly sent by Patel. However, the complainant’s employer called him again on Tuesday and told him their client had yet to receive the cash in Hyderabad.“Kapadia then started calling Patel and Manish, but their phones appeared switched off. He then realised that he had been duped, after which he informed his employer and arrived at the police station,” said the officer.The police said they registered a case of cheating and criminal breach of trust. “We are trying to locate the suspects through the call data record and the images that may have been captured in the CCTV footage when Manish went to collect the cash,” said the police.
This triumph must feel special for Chennai Super Kings. They have tasted success before, and the first one in 2010 holds a special place and so does the one in 2018 after serving a two-year suspension. During the previous occasions when they lifted the title, CSK started as one of the favourites, like they do every season. But not this year when they started as rank outsiders and have managed to punch above their weight to claim a record-equalling fifth title that puts them on par with arch-rivals Mumbai Indians.In a cricketing eco-system where franchises seek a cutting edge every season in terms of adding new players as well as support staff and rely extensively on data, CSK remain an old-fashioned team. They don’t believe in the concept of match-ups. They don’t believe a wrist-spinner is a non-negotiable part of the XI. They don’t deep-dive into data. They don’t have in place a robust scouting system. They don’t believe in coaches having a three-year cycle or sell-by date. In a tournament where commercial elements play a big role, they don’t believe in off-field gimmicks like jersey launches.Instead, they keep it simple by being meticulous in their planning and preparation, and let the process take over. There is a reason why players (past and present) speak fondly of the CSK team culture, where there is no concept of team meetings, where training sessions are optional, players are allowed to plan their own sessions, where there is no interference from team owners and officials. There is no compulsion to train, but it is hard to see any player skipping a training session and relaxing in their room overlooking the Marina beachfront enjoying their favourite cuisine. In essence, cricket remains in the forefront without one even realising it.While much has been spoken of the influence of MS Dhoni, the Super Kings have also benefited from a strong support staff led by head coach Stephen Fleming who has been part of the side since the first IPL season. Instead of looking outside for new coaches, Chennai have looked within, with Mike Hussey and Dwayne Bravo graduating into coaches after their playing days. And when it comes to driving the team forward, they are the ones who are at the wheel, who hand it over to Dhoni on match days.Preparation is keyStarting from their pre-season camp that begins in March, training sessions are so well planned and documented that they only replicate it in the match. Having struggled last season in conditions that were totally different to the strengths of their side, the Super Kings didn’t fret too much. While most teams would have gone for a complete rejig at the auction, Chennai chose to buy two players – Ben Stokes and Ajinkya Rahane – who could potentially walk into the XI and strengthen it. With the tournament going back to the home-and-away format in varied conditions, the Super Kings showed the vision that many teams lacked, by opting for pitches at the MA Chidambaram Stadium that were far different to the ones they had played on previously. Instead of the usual low, slow pitches, they played on varied surfaces at home, something that prepared them well for the away legs as well. It meant they won only four matches at home – their joint-lowest ever, but it put them in good stead to be ready for all conditions, especially what they would face in the play-offs. For a team that has made 10 finals, prior to the 2023 edition, they had won only four, and they believed it was time to rectify the record.“In the past, we geared ourselves up for Chennai so well that we struggled in different conditions at times in the away games. So, the finals are always a little bit of a challenge, our record is about 50 percent maybe, that’s due to the style of game that we created. The victim of being so good at home is that we had to make adjustments when we went to a neutral venue. This year we’re a bit more rounded, we’ve had to be because of that reason. Going back to Chennai was hard in terms of conditions. I wanted to bowl (first vs Mumbai), MS was the other way, and in Qualifier 1, it was the opposite. So we were well off the mark in trying to get the conditions right, but this time around, the team was rounded enough to put performances together come the finals,” Fleming said.Culture kingsThis sort of attention to detail even before the start of the season is crucial, and also speaks of the culture in the team where they set their sight on the final despite talking of “one match at a time” at all points. When the Super Kings came out of the auction room, they were unsure of their playing XI, something that is not common with them. With limited resources in hand, for Chennai to go all the way, they had to maximise them and to do that, they just relied on having key conversations with players.“Everyone gets an opportunity to express themselves, to discuss with various coaches and also with the skipper. So, I think it does help a lot as a player when you know there are people around who give you a lot of confidence and positivity. Even though you face 10 deliveries and you have played seven-eight badly, there are people who will come to you and speak about those two-three good deliveries you played. I think it’s in the DNA of CSK, and that is a big plus. So, I think the doubt kind of fades away and naturally, you start feeling positive and confident. That’s what I think separates us from the rest,” prolific opener Ruturaj Gaikwad said.
Actor Manoj Bajpayee is winning accolades for his performance in ZEE5 original film Bandaa. The actor plays a lawyer who takes on a self-styled godman who is accused of raping of a minor. The actor’s powerful monologue in the film’s climax has been singled out by the members of audience.This love is nothing new for the actor who has established his place a powerhouse performer and has delivered critically acclaimed films and shows, barring a few commercial choices that he made. However, it hasn’t been an easy ride for him as there was a time when he was tired of rejection and struggle, and was ready to return home.In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Manoj Bajpayee recollected his days of struggle in Mumbai and compared them to his theatre days in Delhi. He shared that he did plays for 10 years and did not even have enough money for food. “However, it never bothered us. All of us would stay together, and walk 5-6 km every day but we were happy as we were performing. Once I was in Mumbai, theatre’s absence hit me,” he shared.Manoj Bajpayee shared that apart from being unhappy for not being able to perform there was an “immense amount of financial and physical issues.” He was not keeping well and that affected him mentally also. He added, “There were so many people standing in audition queues, and the assistants would be talking to all of us in the same manner. I would feel I have done theatre, have been part of Bandit Queen, and here is a young man treating me so badly. That was the time I felt I was probably in an illusion that I was a good actor. I wasn’t even getting work and decided that if something doesn’t come by next week, I will go back. This is not meant for me.”Talking about what made him stay on in Mumbai, he confessed to picking up a short story ‘Ram Sajeevan Ki Prem Katha’ and memorising it. He also got his friend to say the narrator’s line and they rehearsed it for 20 days before performing for friends. “Then it was either our house, Tigmanshu’s place, everywhere we went, before we started partying, we would put up a performance. It became a routine for us and we wouldn’t allow anyone to touch their food or drink before they saw our act. That day Mumbai became bearable as we had a purpose in our life,” Bajpayee shared with a laugh.Delving further into the kind of struggle he faced, the National Award-winning actor shared that people would comment on his looks, sometimes even to his face. “Chehre pe hi bol dete the. Waise accha hua bol dete the, mauka nahi diya sochu ke kabhi bada hero banunga (Good that they said it on my face. That helped me to not keep big hopes of becoming a big star). People would comment that you neither look like a hero nor a villain. So they would always put me as a sidekick to the villain, not even the hero’s friend,” he shared.Even after achieving success, the actor said that he took a long time before hiring a PR or a manager, or have an entourage as is the practice. “I never had a publicist. There was a woman who was desperate to represent me in the media, and I finally gave in. Then a friend suggested I get a digital PR for myself, saying they will pay for the same. They actually did pay for two months and then I was mat karo bhai. I must tell you this that whoever works for me has a tough time as my expectations are really high. They are really troubled by me. See, for several years I have marketed my films myself. Be it Bhosle, Gali Guleiyan or even Aligarh, I did the PR. I know how to do it and what needs to go in the market. These young people are always changing their plans. I didn’t even have a team or assistant for many years as independent films cannot bear such costs,” Manoj Bajpayee concluded.
On Sunday, at the gigantic Narendra Modi Stadium, the IPL 2023 final will pit the defending champion Gujarat Titans against the four-time champion Chennai Super Kings. In their first meeting this season, which was also the first game of IPL 2023 at this same venue, it was GT that won after a thrilling run-chase. Chennai levelled things up by winning Qualifier 1. Having lost the first qualifier, the hosts breezed through to the final with Shubman Gill’s brilliant century against the Mumbai Indians and a career-best showing from Mohit Sharma with the ball on Friday. Here are the factors that Gujarat will rely on heading into the final:Lethal bowling arsenalWhen it comes to GT’s bowling arsenal, the ancient adage, “Batters win games, bowlers win tournaments” couldn’t be more true. The side’s bowlers have been particularly impressive this season. The Titans will be fired up to take on the fierce Chennai batters with the likes of Afghans Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmed and Irishman Josh Little part of their assault. Usually for IPL teams, the template is to pick foreign players from the big cricket-playing nations like Australia, England, West Indies and so on. But GT have reposed their faith in two Afghans and an Irishman, who form the crux of their team. All-rounder Rashid has once more demonstrated his value to his team. He is now the second-highest wicket-taker of the season with 27 wickets under his belt thanks to his lethal spin. In addition to this, he has also established his abilities as a superb batter with a 79-run knock of just 32 balls against MI. Apart from having strong spin options in the form of Rashid and Noor, they also consist of a scorching pace attack led by Mohammed Shami (28 wickets) and Mohit Sharma (24 wickets). With 28 victims to his name so far this season, Shami has taken the most wickets, while Mohit will play in this game brimming with confidence having taken a fifer against MI.Our bowling attack 💙💯Their precision, power, and passion make them an unstoppable force in the game! 💪@MdShami11 | @rashidkhan_19 | #MohitSharma#PhariAavaDe | #CSKvGT | #TATAIPL 2023 Final pic.twitter.com/zWYqb57Y4R— Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans) May 28, 2023Shubman Gill’s red-hot formWith three centuries this year, the most recent being against Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 2, opener Shubman Gill has made it a habit to put on a show each time he steps onto the pitch. Gill, who has scored the most runs in this season so far, will be aiming to continue his outstanding batting performance. He has the stats against every bowling style and in every phase. He has three centuries and an average of 94.1 in Ahmedabad this year, with a strike rate of 176.2. Only England’s white-ball captain Jos Buttler, who scored 863 runs for Rajasthan in 2022, stands between the Gujarat batsman and the season’s top performer, Virat Kohli.Perk of playing at home It will already be advantageous for them to play their home games in Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium in front of a potential 100,000 fans. On top of that, the Titans have the team, particularly the bowling attack, for all types of playing surfaces.Titans organised three preseason camps under head coach Ashish Nehra before the commencement of the season to prepare for the competition. To put it briefly, everything is in place to do a repeat in their second season in IPL.Vijay Shankar to bat at No 3When it comes to going after large totals, GT’s middle-order seems to have incredible potential with players like David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, and Vijay Shankar in their lineup. Miller and Tewatia haven’t had many chances this season, but Vijay has had a stellar season, scoring 301 runs in 13 games with three half-centuries, and is most likely to bat number three in the championship game.Sweating it out in the nets ahead of the 𝐃-𝐃𝐀𝐘! 💪🏻@vijayshankar260 | #CSKvGT | #PhariAavaDe | #TATAIPL 2023 Final pic.twitter.com/FZaKFxjCqs— Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans) May 27, 2023Gujarat Titans Predicted line-up: Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha, Sai Sudarshan, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma. Predicted Impact Sub: Josh LittleGujarat Titans Squad: Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Hardik Pandya (c), Shubman Gill, Sai Sudharsan, Vijay Shankar, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Mohit Sharma, Noor Ahmad, Mohammed Shami, Joshua Little, Srikar Bharat, Shivam Mavi, Odean Smith, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Pradeep Sangwan, Matthew Wade, Jayant Yadav, Dasun Shanaka, Abhinav Manohar, Alzarri Joseph, Darshan Nalkande, Urvil Patel, Yash Dayal
IPL 2023 Final: MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings will take on Hardik Pandya’s Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Going into the game, both teams have won a game against each other in the tournament.Titans would be looking to win back-to-back titles in front of the home crowd. Winning two trophies in a row is a feat achieved only by CSK and Mumbai Indians so far. However, for GT to do it against a team led by MS Dhoni will not be a walk in the park.Chennai may not make any changes for this high-stakes contest. However, they might make a few tactical tweaks in the game. The likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Shivam Dube, who have gone off the boil a bit in the second half of the tournament, could come back to form in this blockbuster contest on a nice batting strip at Ahmedabad.A dream batting surface for RahaneThe CSK number three batter — who started IPL 2023 with a bang with a couple of match-winning knocks against Mumbai at Wankhede and Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens — has gone off the boil a bit. He could not replicate his heroics in home conditions at the Chepauk where the ball gripped a bit and the surface was on the slower side. However, in Ahmedabad with a bit of bounce and carry, the ball comes on nicely onto the bat and if Rahane can get going on the day, he could propel CSK.How many sixes can Shivam Dube hit?Ahmedabad is one of the grounds that has made six hitting fairly easy. It has witnessed 143 sixes. This season, there have been very few clean strikers of the cricket ball as Shivam Dube. He has smashed 33 sixes and has been brutal on both spinners and seamers. If he gets going on the night against the Titans bowlers, we are sure to witness some fireworks.Will MS Dhoni bat up the order?This could be the last time that Chennai fans will witness their beloved “Thala” batting. In the World Cup final of 2011, when the pressure was on the team, Dhoni promoted himself up the order. He might do it again today and finish things off in style.However, for the last few seasons, his decline as a finisher has been sharp. Despite that, this season he gave glimpses of what he can do from time to time. Against Rajasthan Royals while chasing 176, he almost pulled off the chase with a blistering 17-ball 32. The approach in his batting also has been notable: he used to take his time early on in the previous campaigns, but this season, he has been trying to go after the bowling from ball one.CSK Predicted XI: Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ajinkya Rahane, Shivam Dube, Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana. Predicted Impact Player: Ambati RayaduChennai Super Kings Squad: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Shivam Dube, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana, Mitchell Santner, Subhranshu Senapati, Shaik Rasheed, Akash Singh, Ben Stokes, Dwaine Pretorius, Sisanda Magala, Ajay Jadav Mandal, Prashant Solanki, Simarjeet Singh, RS Hangargekar, Bhagath Varma, Nishant Sindhu
The 38-year-old woman from Peru was on a solo trip to Mumbai. (Representational)Mumbai: Stating that his crime tarnished the country's image and leniency will send the wrong message outside India, a city court has sentenced a 19-year-old man to two years in jail for molesting a woman tourist from Peru.Metropolitan magistrate at Mazgaon court P I Mokashi convicted and sentenced accused Riyaz Ahmed on Friday, a little over two months after the incident.The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on him.The judgement, which became available on Saturday, held that "no such woman like the informant with good background and reputation and being a foreigner can come to the court merely to falsely implicate the accused without any reason unless such incident shall have taken place." During arguments on the quantum of punishment, the accused's lawyer had prayed for leniency considering his age.As he was young and it was his first offence, he should be released on probation of good conduct, the lawyer had said.But the court noted that the accused had entered the woman's room only to touch her, and now she was afraid of traveling in India."Thereby this act of the accused has maligned the image of our country. If the accused is given benefit under Section 4 of Probation of Offenders Act, wrong message will be sent throughout the world," the magistrate observed.The accused worked as a manager at the guest house where the 38-year-old woman from Peru, on a solo trip to Mumbai, was staying in March this year.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comHe kept visiting her room, insisted that she click selfies with him and touched her inappropriately on multiple occasions, she had alleged.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
"The state has made significant progress in implementing Gati Shakti Master Plan," E Shinde said (File)New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Saturday said his administration has removed all obstacles that held up the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project during the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government.E Shinde made this statement during the meeting of the Niti Ayog Governing Council here."My government has removed all obstacles from the ambitious national scheme, Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train, which were pending in the last government's tenure," E Shinde said.He said the Shiv Sena-BJP government had also resolved the Aarey land dispute for the Metro Car Shed and mobilised the Metro projects. "A 337-km-long metro network is being developed in Mumbai, Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Thane which is a network bigger than in Europe," E Shinde said.The Mumbai-Ahmedabad semi-high speed railway, popularly known as the bullet train, is a showpiece project of the Modi government. It had run into delays during the MVA government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray owing to problems in land acquisition for the project.Uddhav Thackeray had criticised the high-profile project, and questioned its benefits.The chief minister said the state was making great strides in improving transportation infrastructure such as the Mumbai-Nagpur expressway, Nagpur-Goa Shaktipeeth Expressway and the Virar-Alibaug Multi-modal corridor."I am pleased to inform you that the state has made significant progress in implementing the Gati Shakti Master Plan," E Shinde said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comHe said under this plan, the state has created an institutional setup in line with the Centre with three tiers -- Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS), Network Planning Group (NPG) and Technical Support Unit (TSU).(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)