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Protesters Block Highway After Fatal Blast at Nagpur Factory

Protesters Block Highway After Tragic Explosion at Explosives Manufacturing Unit in Nagpur

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Protesters Block Highway After Fatal Blast at Nagpur Factory
(Image: India Today)

Protesters Block Highway After Tragic Explosion at Explosives Manufacturing Unit in Nagpur

A devastating blast at an explosives manufacturing unit in Nagpur district claimed the lives of nine individuals on Sunday, sparking anger among locals and relatives of the deceased. The incident occurred at the Solar Industries factory in Bazaargaon, located approximately 30 km from the district headquarters.

Following the explosion at 9 am, a crowd of nearly 200 people, consisting of local residents and relatives of the workers, gathered at the factory’s entrance gate. Demanding entry to witness the bodies of their loved ones, they blocked the Amravati-Nagpur highway, leading to a tense standoff.

Authorities deployed heavy police security to manage the situation. The protesters’ demand to enter the factory premises was met with resistance as bomb disposal squads worked to secure the area, citing the presence of explosives near the blast site.

While the bodies of the victims remained inside the factory, ambulances were stationed at the entrance gate. A senior police official informed that the process of securing the explosives was underway, after which the bodies would be recovered.

The blast not only claimed nine lives but also caused significant damage to the Solar Industries factory building, according to police reports. Relatives of the deceased, visibly distraught, raised slogans and sought information about their loved ones.

A grieving father, whose daughter Aarti Sahare was among the casualties, spoke to reporters, expressing his anguish and waiting for further information about the tragic incident.

Reacting to the unfortunate event, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis conveyed his condolences through a post on social media. He announced that the state government would provide an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the deceased, a decision approved by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

Fadnavis revealed that the victims included six women and emphasized the government’s solidarity with the affected families during this sorrowful time. The Solar Industries factory is known for manufacturing drones and explosives for the armed forces, adding a layer of complexity to the ongoing investigation into the incident.

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Education Minister announces panel to probe irregularities in NEET, UGC-NET exams

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announces a high-level panel to review NTA amidst controversies over NEET-UG and UGC-NET exams.

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Education Minister announces panel to probe irregularities in NEET, UGC-NET exams
File photo of Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan | ANI photo

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has taken decisive steps in response to the recent controversies surrounding the National Testing Agency (NTA). On Thursday, Pradhan announced the formation of a high-level panel aimed at evaluating and enhancing the functioning of the NTA. This move comes amidst growing concerns and protests over alleged paper leaks and irregularities related to the NEET-UG and UGC-NET examinations.

Earlier today, students from various universities and members of student organizations gathered outside the Ministry of Education and Pradhan’s residence in Delhi. They protested against the cancellation of the UGC-NET exam and raised objections regarding irregularities observed during the NEET exams.

In response to queries about the possibility of cancelling the NEET UG exams, similar to the UGC-NET, Pradhan stressed the importance of not letting isolated incidents of malpractice overshadow the achievements of numerous students who legitimately cleared the exams.

Despite opposition demands for a re-conduct of the NEET exam, Pradhan assured that the government remains committed to maintaining the integrity of the examination process. He emphasized that any officials found guilty of misconduct within the NTA will face strict disciplinary action.

Education Minister announces panel to probe

The NEET-UG exam is crucial for admission to various medical and related courses across India. This year, approximately 24 lakh candidates appeared for the exam, conducted on May 5 across 4,750 centers. Concerns about irregularities were amplified when an unprecedented 67 students achieved a perfect score of 720, with six top scorers emerging from a single center in Haryana.

Responding to allegations of a paper leak in the NEET-UG exam, Pradhan categorically denied any evidence supporting such claims. He defended the credibility of the NTA, stating that accusations of corruption or inefficiency are baseless.

Regarding the cancellation of the UGC-NET exam due to a paper leak, Pradhan confirmed the decision and reiterated the government’s commitment to conducting error-free examinations. Plans for rescheduling the UGC-NET exam will be communicated separately.

In conclusion, Pradhan affirmed the government’s responsibility to safeguard the interests of students and improve the examination system’s integrity. The Education Ministry’s recent actions underscore its dedication to addressing challenges and ensuring fair opportunities for all aspirants.

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PM Stopped Ukraine-Russia War but Not Paper Leaks: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi attacks government on NEET and UGC-NET issues, citing PM Modi’s failure to address paper leaks and educational institutions’ capture by RSS and BJP.

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PM Stopped Ukraine-Russia War but Not Paper Leaks: Rahul Gandhi
(File Photo: bbc.com)

Rahul Gandhi, a prominent Congress leader, launched a fierce critique against the government regarding alleged irregularities in NEET and the recent cancellation of UGC-NET. He claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “psychologically collapsed” post-elections and will struggle to govern effectively under such circumstances.

Rahul Gandhi

In a press conference, Gandhi highlighted how educational institutions are being taken over by the RSS and BJP, suggesting that paper leaks will continue unless this trend is reversed. He remarked, “It was being said Prime Minister Modi stopped the Ukraine-Russia War and Israel-Gaza war, but he is either not able to stop exam paper leaks or doesn’t want to.”

During his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, Gandhi noted that thousands of people complained about exam paper leaks, indicating widespread dissatisfaction. He drew a parallel between the recent controversies and the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, which involved large-scale corruption in exams and recruitments. “There has been an expansion of the idea of Vyapam to the rest of the country,” he said, emphasizing the severity of the issue.

Gandhi criticized the arbitrary handling of exams, insisting that consistent rules should be applied across all papers. He affirmed that the Opposition would bring up the issue of exam paper leaks in Parliament, signaling a strong stance against the perceived mismanagement.

The controversy around NEET, the medical entrance exam, has escalated with allegations of irregularities reaching the Supreme Court. In response to concerns about the integrity of the UGC-NET exam, the Union education ministry canceled the test and transferred the investigation to the CBI.

This development follows accusations that the exam’s integrity had been compromised, prompting immediate government action. Gandhi’s remarks have added fuel to the ongoing debate, questioning the government’s ability to maintain fair and transparent educational assessments.

Gandhi’s critique not only targets the handling of specific exams but also touches on broader concerns about the influence of political ideologies on educational institutions. By pointing out the alleged capture of these institutions by the RSS and BJP, he underscores a deeper issue of politicization affecting the education system.

The government’s response to these allegations and the subsequent investigations by the CBI will be closely watched. The outcome could have significant implications for the credibility of the country’s examination processes and the overall trust in the education system.

Rahul Gandhi’s intervention has brought renewed attention to these critical issues, highlighting the need for transparency and accountability in the administration of exams. As the debate unfolds, it remains to be seen how the government will address these challenges and restore confidence in its handling of educational matters.

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Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal Granted Bail in Money Laundering Case Related to Alleged Excise Policy Scam

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal granted bail in excise policy scam. The court imposed conditions on his release, marking a significant development in the case.

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CM Arvind Kejriwal Granted Bail in Money Laundering Case
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (File Photo: ANI)

In a major relief to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the city’s Rouse Avenue Court granted him bail on Thursday in the money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam. Special Judge Niyay Bindu ordered Kejriwal’s release on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh after hearing arguments from both the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader’s defence team.

Arvind Kejriwal Granted Bail

The ED, which is investigating the Delhi liquor case along with the CBI, requested the court delay the bail order for 48 hours to allow an appeal, but Judge Bindu declined this request. The court imposed several conditions on Kejriwal’s release, including directives to not interfere with the investigation or influence witnesses. He is also required to appear before the court whenever summoned and to fully cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

Earlier in the day, Judge Bindu reserved the order after considering the ED’s allegations that Kejriwal was the mastermind behind the alleged crime, and the defense’s argument that there was no substantial evidence against him. On June 5, the same court had rejected Kejriwal’s initial bail plea, citing potential involvement in the crime. In previous court proceedings, the ED had labelled Kejriwal as the main conspirator in the case, with Assistant Solicitor General SV Raju asserting, “We have all the evidence against him.”

Following the rejection of his bail plea by the Delhi High Court on April 9, Kejriwal approached the Supreme Court, which granted him temporary bail until June 1 to participate in the Lok Sabha elections campaign. He surrendered back on June 2. The AAP leader has consistently maintained his innocence, arguing that his arrest was politically motivated, particularly in the context of the Model Code of Conduct. He had also emphasized that the timing of his arrest was intended to humiliate and hinder his political activities.

Kejriwal has been in Tihar jail since March 21 and is likely to be released by tomorrow evening, pending completion of the necessary formalities. As the summer vacations are currently ongoing in courts, duty judges are presiding over important cases involving human liberty and bail matters. The bail bond for Kejriwal is to be presented before the duty judge tomorrow.

The bail granted to Arvind Kejriwal marks a significant development in the high-profile case that has attracted widespread attention. The conditions of his release highlight the court’s cautious approach, balancing the need for judicial oversight with the rights of the accused. Kejriwal’s legal team is expected to continue challenging the allegations, while the ED and CBI pursue their investigations.

The court’s decision comes amid a politically charged atmosphere, with Kejriwal’s supporters arguing that the charges are part of a broader attempt to undermine his leadership and the AAP’s influence. Critics of Kejriwal, on the other hand, view the case as a test of accountability and transparency in governance.

As Kejriwal prepares to resume his political activities, his immediate focus will likely be on addressing the legal challenges ahead and maintaining his public image. The case has implications not only for Kejriwal’s political career but also for the broader political landscape in Delhi and beyond. The outcome of the investigation and subsequent legal proceedings will be closely watched by political analysts, party members, and the public alike.

In the meantime, Kejriwal’s release on bail is a moment of reprieve for the AAP leader, who has faced significant pressure over the past few months. His ability to navigate the legal complexities of the case while continuing to engage with his political base will be crucial in the coming weeks and months. The case underscores the intricate relationship between law, politics, and public perception, with Kejriwal’s future hanging in the balance as the investigation unfolds.

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