India: Terror accused Pragya Thakur, two others exempted from court appearance

Mumbai, May 21 (PTI) A special court here has granted exemption to the 2008 Malegaon blast case accused Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt Col Prasad Purohit and Sudhakar Chaturvedi from appearing before it this week.

When the matter was taken up by the special NIA court on Monday, the three accused filed applications through their lawyers seeking exemption from appearance.

While Thakur and Chaturvedi said they are busy with preparations for the upcoming results of the Lok Sabha polls, which they had contested, Purohit cited personal difficulties.

India: Naxal terrorists, commandos exchange fire in Gadchiroli

Nagpur, May 20 (PTI) Commandos and naxals exchanged fire Monday in jungle in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, more than 140 kms from here, police said.

A team of C-60 commandos of Gadchiroli police came under fire at around 7-7:30 pm while conducting an anti-naxal operation in Koparshi jungle in Bhamragad area, a press release stated.

Police said naxals fled after commandos returned the fire.

India: Six held for stealing copper worth Rs 1.5 cr

Thane, May 20 (PTI) Six persons were arrested Monday from Uran in Navi Mumbai for allegedly looting 25 tonne copper, worth Rs 1.5 crore, from a container truck on May 14, police said.

The incident occurred between Ghavan Phata and Belapur Reti bunder when the truck carrying copper was headed towards Silvassa, the capital of Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

A gang of six men sitting in a car stopped the truck, attacked its driver, and fled with 25 tonne copper, a police officer said.

India: Man gets 7-year RI for sexually abusing minor girl in Maha

Thane, May 19 (PTI) A court here has awarded seven years' rigorous imprisonment to a 55-year-old man for sexually abusing a minor girl in 2017.

Special judge (POCSO court) Kavita D Shirbhate in her order last Wednesday also imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on the accused, Janardhan Kapse.

According to the prosecution, on December 13, 2017, the accused called the girl, then aged five years, to his house here on the pretext of giving her a chocolate and sexually abused her.

India: Man gets 20-year RI for raping minor girl

Palghar, May 18 (PTI) A 22-year-old labourer has been handed a 20-year rigorous imprisonment by a sessions court in Vasai in Palghar district of Maharashtra for raping a four-year-old girl in 2016.

Additional Sessions Judge Rahul Bhosale convicted the accused, Suresh Mukne, under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and under section 366 A (procuration of a minor girl) of the Indian Penal Code on May 16.

India: All Malegaon blast accused asked to appear in court once a week

Mumbai, May 17 (PTI) A special court here conducting trial in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, Friday directed all the seven accused, including BJP's Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Purohit, to appear before it once a week.

Upset over the frequent absence of the accused during the trial, NIA court judge Vinod Padalkar gave this direction.

He also directed that exemption sought without cogent reasons will be rejected.

India: BJP's ideology same as that of Godse, says Chavan

Mumbai, May 17 (PTI) Targetting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his statement that he will not forgive BJP's Bhopal candidate Pragya Singh Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a "patriot", Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan Friday said the definition of "patriotism" was different for the ruling party.

"Its definition is different from the rest. Modi and Amit Shah might have distanced themselves from her comments but the fact is Godse's ideology and BJP's ideology are the same," Chavan alleged.

India: 26 Maha dams hit zero water storage level as on May 18

Mumbai, May 18 (PTI) In a far cry from last year's situation, 26 reservoirs in Maharashtra have reached "zero storage" as on May 18, according to statistics put out by the Water Conservation department of the state government.

The department's website informed that water storage in Aurangabad Division, which comprises Aurangabad, Beed, Hingoli, Parbhani and Osmanabad districts, was 0.43 per cent as against 23.44 per cent at the same time last year.

Shah Rukh Khan, David Letterman come together for Netflix special

Mumbai, May 17 (PTI) Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and veteran talk show host David Letterman have collaborated for a Netflix stand-alone special.

As per the press release issued by the streaming service, the show will be all about in-depth conversations, for which Letterman is renowned, and in-the-field segments expressing his curiosity and humour.

The 53-year-old Indian star said he was honoured to share his story with Letterman.

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