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Ghaziabad Techie Who Killed Wife, Kids Arrested

Ghaziabad: Software engineer Sumit Kumar, who allegedly killed his wife and three children here last week, has been arrested from Karnataka, police said Wednesday. Ghaziabad Police arrested Kumar with the help of Udipi Police on Tuesday night. Three teams were deputed to nab him.

On the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, Kumar allegedly served sedative-laced drinks to his wife Anshu Bala (32), son Prathimesh (5), daughter Akriti and son Arav (twins aged 4 years) and then slit their throats, police had said.

The bodies were found 22 hours after the incident on Sunday, following a video posted by Kumar on his family WhatsApp group in which he admitted to the killings.

Kumar had said in the video that he will commit suicide and had purchased poison.

After being alerted, police recovered the bodies from Kumar’s flat and sent them for post-mortem.

Police will produce Kumar before the media later in the day, SP (city) Shlok Kumar said.

It was initially suspected that Kumar had purchased potassium cyanide from a medical store in Gyan Khand. However, medical store owner Mukesh, who was arrested on Monday, denied that he had sold potassium cyanide to Kumar. Mukesh claimed that he charged Kumar for cyanide but gave him some other sedative.

A thorough search was launched by the drugs department at the medical store but cyanide was not found.

Kumar was a drug addict and often purchased drugs for his personal use. Due to this addiction he faced financial crisis and lost his job, police had said.

Kumar, a native of Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, married Anshu Bala in 2011. He lost his job in December last year. (PTI)

Delhi court sends Yasin Malik to judicial custody till May 24 in terror funding case

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Wednesday sent JKLF chief Yasin Malik, arrested in a case related to funding of separatists and terror groups in Jammu and Kashmir, to judicial custody till May 24.

Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Syal also sought reply from the defence counsel on a plea of Tihar jail authorities seeking to produce Malik through video conference due to security concerns.

The court had sent Malik to NIA custody. He was brought to the national capital after a court in Kashmir granted his transit remand to the National Investigation Agency.

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has reserved its judgment on a CBI plea for reopening three-decade-old cases in which Malik was an accused.

The Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief is facing charges of kidnapping and murder for being allegedly involved in abducting Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of then Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in 1989, and killing of four Indian Air Force personnel in 1990.

The JKLF was recently banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

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India’s First Lokpal will work from a 5-Star hotel, said officials

The officials on Monday announced that the first Lokpal of the country, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose along with eight members and support staff would work from a 5-star luxury hotel. The anti-corruption ombudsman’s office has been set-up in ‘The Ashok’ hotel in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi but for a short time. Pinaki took oath on March 23 in the presence of President Ram Nath Kovind while other 8 members took oath on March 27.

Holiday mood dampens Goa’s poll spirit; 74.04% voting

Panaji: Holiday mood may have dampened the voting spirit in Goa, poll officials said, as the coastal state polled a relatively low 72.04 per cent (provisional) voting for the two Lok Sabha seats and 78.95 per cent voting for the three assembly bypolls which were held on Tuesday. There were minor EVM hiccups, officials said.

According to Chief Electoral Officer Kunal, the North Goa Lok Sabha seat saw 73.92 per cent voting, while 70.15 per cent voting was recorded in South Goa, while the Mandrem, Shiroda and Mapusa bypolls saw 81.61, 90.09 and 75.17 per cent voting respectively.

In comparison, during the 2014 general election, North Goa saw a voting percentage of 78.64 per cent, while 75.17 per cent voters cast a ballot in South Goa, taking the total state voting percentage to 76.86 per cent.

Both the Congress, as well as the BJP have expressed confidence of sweeping the two seats up for grab in the general elections and three assembly bypolls.

After estimating nearly 80 per cent voting a day earlier, Kunal on Tuesday said, that the slump in voting percentage was possibly on account of eligible voters opting for a holiday, other than taking time to cast a ballot.

When asked about the reason for the drop in the vote percentage, Kunal said: “Maybe holiday season. There was a long weekend kind of thing”.

While the final vote tally, as well as count of votes polled in every constituency assembly segment, is awaited, voting percentage saw a relative drop in the state’s mining belt, where a large section of the residents have expressed displeasure at the inability of the BJP-led governments, both in the state as well as the Centre, to restart mining, banned by the Supreme Court last year.

Polling in Goa was also marred by several reported instances of EVM malfunctioning.

EVMs at a polling station in Cuncolim assembly constituency in South Goa had to be replaced after discrepancies were reported, Kunal said, adding that cases of EVM malfunctioning were minimal.

The decision to replace the EVMs at polling number 31 was taken after Aam Aadmi Party’s South Goa candidate Elvis Gomes complained to the Election Commission.

“During polls, 11 control units, 11 ballot units and 35 VVPATs were replaced,” Kunal said.

A dozen aspirants are in the fray for two Lok Sabha seat, North Goa and South Goa, and 16 candidates are contesting the three assembly bypolls from Mapusa, Shiroda and Mandrem constituencies. As many as 11,36,113 voters were eligible to cast a ballot in Goa’s Lok Sabha and state assembly bypolls.

Among the key contestants for the general election, four-term BJP MP and Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik took on state Congress president Girish Chodankar for the North Goa seat, while in South Goa sitting BJP MP Narendra Sawaikar contested against former Chief Minister and Congress candidate Francisco Sardinha.

In the bypolls, which are key to secure the future of the Pramod Sawant-headed BJP-led coalition government, the saffron party was in for a shock following the open defiance of former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, who openly dissed his party candidate Dayanand Sopte, who represents the BJP from Mandrem assembly constituency.

“By-elections are forced on people and they do not like it. The common man is angry and is likely to express this anger by voting against the candidate who has forced the bypoll. But overall, there is an impression for the Lok Sabha polls is that people want Narendra Modi back,” said Parsekar, who has represented the Mandrem seat on a BJP ticket since 2002.

Sopte’s main challengers are Congress’ Babi Bagkar and independent candidate Jeet Arolkar.

In the Mapusa bypoll Congress’ Joshua D’Souza, son of former deputy Chief Minister late Francis D’Souza whose death necessitated the bypoll faces a tough challenge from Congress’ Sudhir Kandolkar, while in the Shiroda assembly bypoll, BJP’s Subhash Shirodkar, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party’s Deepak Dhavalikar and Congress’ Mahadev Naik are engaged in a tri-corner contest.

State BJP president Vinay Tendulkar said the BJP would win all the five seats, because of the faith the voters of Goa had in the party’s state unit, as well as the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We are confident of a victory. The people of Goa know they need Modi Ji to lead India and the BJP to lead Goa,” Tendulkar said.

State Congress president Girish Chodankar, on the other hand, said, that the BJP would face a 5-0 rout.

“As far as the Lok Sabha elections are concerned, the BJP has failed to raise issues related to Goa in Parliament, like the mining ban which has affected thousands of people. The by-elections have been thrust on the people of Goa, so that the BJP clings to power. The people will reject them,” Chodankar said.

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Moderate Intensity Quakes Hit Nepal, Tibet Today

Kathmandu: A 5.2-magnitude quake struck Nepal on Wednesday, a day ahead of the fourth anniversary of the deadly 2015 earthquake. No casualties have been reported so far. The tremors hit Dhading, bordering the capital, at 6.29 a.m., the National Emergency Operation Centre tweeted.

The early morning quake was followed by another of 4.3 magnitude in the same district, a Chinese news agency reported.

A 6.3-magnitude quake also hit Medog county in Tibet earlier on at 4.15 a.m. at a depth of 10 km, the China Earthquake Networks Center said.

Thursday marks the fourth anniversary of the massive earthquake on April 25, 2015, which killed around 9,000 people and making more than a half million homeless in Nepal.