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Madhya Pradesh: Two CBI inspectors and 11 others arrested in 'nursing scam'

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday arrested 13 people, including two CBI inspectors, in connection with a nursing scam in Madhya Pradesh. The scam relates to alleged irregularities in the running of the state's nursing colleges.

The accused include two CBI inspectors, Rahul Raj and Sushil Kumar Majoka, three alleged touts, Om Goswami, Ravi Bhadoria, and Jugal Kishore, and three women. All the accused were remanded to CBI custody until May 29 by a court, a CBI release said. On Saturday, CBI inspector Raj was caught accepting an illegal gratification of Rs 10 lakh from Anil Bhaskaran and his wife Suma Anil.

In a follow-up action, CBI conducted searches at 31 locations in Bhopal, Indore, Ratlam, and Jaipur and effected recoveries of over Rs 2.33 crore in cash, 4 gold bars, 36 digital devices, and over 150 incriminating documents.

The arrested CBI inspectors were allegedly accepting bribes to give a clean chit to unsuited nursing colleges.

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Phones of my family and supporters being tapped: HD Kumaraswamy

Former Karnataka Chief Minister and JD(S) second-in-command H D Kumaraswamy on Monday alleged that 40 phones including his own and those of his family members and supporters are being tapped.

Even as he made an appeal to his nephew and Hassan JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna to come back to the country, Kumaraswamy accused the government of spying on himself and his family. Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar and Home Minister Dr G Parameshwara dismissed the allegation as baseless and a means to gain publicity.

“Whatever discussions are happening on the phone are being monitored. H D Revanna’s phone is also being tapped,” Kumaraswamy alleged.

Revanna is Kumaraswamy’s brother who was released on bail in kidnapping and sexual assault cases. The JD(S) 'first family' is in trouble after a huge cache of explicit videos showing many women being sexually assaulted and filmed allegedly by Prajwal became public.

Prajwal, grandson of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and son of Revanna, is hiding in a foreign country as the Karnataka government formed a Special Investigation Team to probe the case.

Dismissing the accusation of phone tapping, Shivakumar, who is also Congress Karnataka unit president, said Kumaraswamy and Revanna were not terrorists to warrant such action.

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Miscreants vandalised property in Bengal: Ramakrishna Mission

Miscreants have vandalised premises of the Ramakrishna Mission in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district and threatened monks and other employees at gunpoint to leave the place, an RKM official said Monday.

The official said that a local land mafia was behind the early Sunday morning incident. “Around 10 armed youths barged into our ashram at 3 am, went to the first floor and threatened the eight people present there - including senior monks – at gunpoint to leave the premises,” the RKM official told PTI.

They then vandalised the premises, breaking CCTV cameras and locking the main gate before leaving, he said.

Police later broke the locks and rescued the monks and staff who were stranded in the open after the attackers left. “It was a matter of property dispute and our monks have already lodged a complaint at Bhaktinagar police station against a local tough and some of his associates. We have named him in the complaint,” the RKM official said.

The police have initiated a probe and promised security to them, the official said.

Condemning the attack on Ramakrishna Mission ashram in Jalpaiguri, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday accused the TMC regime of letting loose a reign of terror on monks just to appease vote bank politics. Addressing a public meeting in Bankura's Onda on Monday, Mamata Banerjee said, "I am not against Ramakrishna Mission. Why should I be against an institution or insult it? I have spoken to about one or two people.”

The chief minister also praised Bharat Sevashram Sangha as an organisation, saying that it works for the people.

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18 killed as mini goods vehicle plunges into valley in Chhattisgarh’s Kabirdham

As many as 17 women and a man were killed and four others injured when a mini goods vehicle they were travelling in plunged into a valley in Chhattisgarh's Kabirdham district on Monday, police said.

The accident occurred around 1.45 pm on Banjari Ghat near Bahpani village, an official said.

The victims were returning after plucking tendu leaves from a forest in the vehicle meant for transporting goods, he said. The vehicle skidded off the road, tumbled down considerably and crashed onto the road below the valley, the official said.

After being alerted, a police team rushed to the spot and launched the rescue exercise, the official said.

Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai condoled the deaths and instructed the district administration to provide the best possible medical assistance to the injured.

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Kerala government activates emergency operation centres amidst heavy rains

Amidst heavy rainfall persisting in various regions of the state, the Kerala government announced on Monday the establishment of emergency operation centres across all district collectorates and taluk offices to address any urgent situations that may arise.

State Revenue Minister K Rajan emphasised the importance of implementing stringent regulations, particularly in hilly areas, due to the potential risk of landslides. Additionally, special measures have been put in place to inform and caution tourists visiting the southern state about the prevailing weather conditions.

"The Disaster Management Authority has warned that there is even the possibility of mudslides on the road due to heavy rains," Rajan told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.

“Safety boards would be installed in such areas to warn travellers about the threat of a possible landslide,” he said. The district collectors have been entrusted to take necessary steps to impose a night travel ban in hilly areas in their respective areas if necessary, Rajan explained.

"The 24x7 Emergency Operation Centres have been opened in all collectorates and taluk offices with the coordination of various departments to tackle all urgent situations," the revenue minister added.

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Schools in Punjab closed till June 30 due to heatwave

Due to an intense heatwave with temperatures nearing 45 degrees Celsius, the Punjab government has advanced summer vacations for schools. Starting Tuesday, May 21, all government, private, aided, and other schools in the state will remain closed until June 30.

Initially, the Punjab government had adjusted school hours to run from 7 am to 12 pm starting Sunday, but the severity of the heatwave prompted the decision to close schools entirely from Tuesday. Kamal Kishor Yadav, Secretary of the State Education Department, explained that the decision to advance summer vacations was based on feedback from districts about the heatwave's impact on students. Originally, schools were set to close on June 1.

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Indian Coast Guard rescues 26 persons from tourist boat stranded off Goa coast

The Indian Coast Guard has rescued 24 passengers and two crew members from a tourist ferry boat which was caught in rough weather and faced fuel exhaustion near the Mormugao harbour in Goa, an official said on Monday.

The boat 'Nerul Paradise' was caught in the rough weather with waves over three metres and was stranded due to fuel exhaustion off the Goa coast on Sunday, a spokesperson of the Coast Guard said in a statement. "The marooned boat had sailed out from Panjim with tourists in the morning hours," he said.

Personnel of the Coast Guard ship C-148, which was returning from patrol, felt the signs of distress amongst passengers and responded swiftly, the official said.

"The ICG vessel, braving the rough seas, reached the distressed vessel. A team was sent to the boat and personnel on board the boat were calmed down," he said. The Coast Guard team stabilised the situation and brought the boat safely to the harbour, averting a potential disaster, the official said.

On arrival, all the passengers and crew members were provided with medical aid, he added.

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