Free Press Bulletin
Free Press Bulletin

Here are the top 5 news updates of June 26, 2021:

1. ED arrests two aides of ex-Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh in PMLA case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) late on Friday night arrested former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh's personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The agency is investigating money laundering charges against Deshmukh. The agency sources also said that Deshmukh is likely to be summoned to visit the ED office on Saturday.

On Friday, ED had claimed that they have found a money trail of Rs 4 crore that was allegedly extorted from around a dozen bar owners by Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze, (now dismissed from service) over a few months. The agency sources had alleged that the said money was then allegedly diverted to Deshmukh through some shell companies.

Following this revelation, the ED officials conducted searches at Deshmukh's residence in Nagpur and Mumbai and few other places on Friday.

2. Derek Chauvin gets 22.5 years in prison for murder of George Floyd

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd, whose dying gasps under Chauvin's knee led to the biggest outcry against racial injustice in the US in generations.

The punishment - which fell short of the 30 years that prosecutors had requested - came after Chauvin broke his more than yearlong silence in court to offer condolences to the Floyd family and say he hopes more information coming out will eventually give them "some peace of mind." With good behavior, Chauvin, 45, could be paroled after serving two-thirds of his sentence, or about 15 years.

In imposing the punishment, Judge Peter Cahill went beyond the 12 1/2-year sentence prescribed under state guidelines, citing "your abuse of a position of trust and authority and also the particular cruelty" shown to Floyd.

3. OBC reservation protest: Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis detained in Nagpur

Nagpur Police have detained former Maharashtra chief minister and leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis during a protest held by BJP workers in support of OBC reservation today, ANI reported.

The Maharashtra unit of the BJP on Saturday held 'chakka jam' protest across the state to press for its demand of restoring reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in local governing bodies.

The party had earlier announced that it would hold agitation at 1,000 locations across the state. Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis participated in a protest in his home district Nagpur, while Leader of Opposition in the Council Pravin Darekar took part in an agitation in Thane, due to which the road connecting the city with Mumbai got blocked for some time.

Former minister Pankaja Munde, who led a protest in Pune, said if the BJP's demand are not met, the party will launch bigger protests in future.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state has failed to retain political reservation for the OBCs, she alleged.

4. India's active COVID-19 tally drops below 6 lakh mark: 48,698 cases and 1,183 deaths reported in last 24 hours

India reported 48,698 new COVID-19 cases and and 1,183 deaths in the last 24 hours. At the same time, data from the Health Ministry on Saturday morning indicates that 64,818 people recovered from the virus. With this, the total number of active cases in the country has dropped below the six lakh mark after 86 days, now standing at 5.95 lakh.

The latest update puts India's cumulative COVID-19 tally at 3,01,83,143 since the pandemic began in 2020. The death toll stands at 3,94,493. Daily recoveries continue to outnumber new cases for the 44th consecutive day, with the recovery rate increasing to 96.72%. The weekly positivity rate now stands at 2.97%.

5. What did Jammu and Kashmir leaders discuss with PM Modi during all-party meeting? Here's what we know so far

On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with political leaders from across Jammu and Kashmir. The all-party meet in Delhi was the first high-level interaction between the Centre and the political leadership from the Union Territory since August 2019. While initially slated to last for one-and-a-half hours, the meeting reportedly went on for over three hours.

While there was no set agenda for the meeting, delimitation, statehood and assembly elections were expected to be key issues for discussion. As per updates shared by news agency ANI, the Prime Minister had noted during the meeting that a government run by the bureaucracy was no substitute for one run by public representatives. He reportedly said that he wanted to remove 'Dilli ki Duri as well as Dil Ki Duri'.

"It was definitely an ice breaker. If Delhi was looking south and we were looking north. This meeting brought things in a similar direction. All Jammu and Kashmir leaders heard everyone uninterruptedly in the meeting," explained Congress leader Ghulam Ahmad Mir on Saturday.

While several political leaders who attended the meeting are allied under the Gupkar Declaration, National Conference vice president explained that the leaders had not been called to the meeting as a single unit. "We did not say anything at the meet that is outside agenda of Gupkar Alliance," he explained.

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