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Thursday,20-January-2022

Crime

Indian in FBI’s top 10 most wanted list, biggest ever hunt launched

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Considered as one of the biggest ever simultaneous chases in the US and India, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is hunting for an Indian fugitive, Bhadresh Kumar Patel, for the past four years.

Patel, who hails from Viramgam in Ahmedabad, figures in the FBI’s top 10 list of most wanted fugitives and carries an award of $100,000.

FBI considers Patel as a cold-blooded murderer and an ‘extremely dangerous’ criminal who killed his young wife at a Dunkin’ Donuts store in Hanover, Maryland, in a most bizarre way.

Though the top 10 list of most wanted fugitives is constantly updated and changed, as Bhadresh Patel continues to run from one place to another, his name continues to figure in the latest FBI list (2019), which includes some of the most dreaded fugitives. Patel’s name first figured in the top 10 list in 2017.

Assisting the FBI in its investigation, County police detective Kally Harding said, “Patel’s wife Palak was young and the scene was very brutal… She was killed in a horrible way, that’s the kind of person (killer) we are dealing with.”

Palak (21) and Patel (then 24) were working in night shift in the Dunkin’ Donuts store. The CCTV footage retrieved from the store shows Bhadresh and Palak walking together towards the kitchen before disappearing behind the racks. Moments later, Patel reappears. He then shuts off the kitchen oven and walks out of the store, as if nothing had happened. His body language and facial impression seem to be very normal.

The FBI investigation into the brutal murder, which sent shock waves in Maryland, disclosed that the body of Palak, found hours later in the night of April 12, 2015, carried multiple stab wounds.

After brutally beating and stabbing Palak to death, Patel left the store and returned to his nearby apartment by foot. He then picked up some personal items and hired a cab to a hotel near an airport in Newark.

The taxi driver later reported that Patel was looking normal during the ride. CCTV footage revealed that Patel later checked into a hotel in Newark and was seen at the counter paying in cash for a room. He slept over the night and left the hotel in the morning.

Since then the FBI sleuths and their vast network of informers are trying hard to gather clues about Patel’s whereabouts. The hunt for Patel is on in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi.

Posters with different photographs of Patel have been printed in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and even in French and they have been circulated in different parts of the world where Patel could hide.

FBI’s agent in Delhi is also coordinating with different state police and law enforcing agencies to keep a tab on Patel’s known friends and relatives. According to a senior IPS officer of Delhi Police, all efforts would be made to trace the fugitive if leads are provided by the FBI.

On several occasions, Indian probe agencies have coordinated with the FBI and other foreign police organisations to nab fugitives. In 2004, Indian immigrant Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, wanted in the sensational murder of British teen Hannah Claire Foster (17), was arrested from Darjeeling on a tip-off by the the British agencies.

Crime

Odisha police seizes live pangolin, arrests one

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The Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha police has seized one live pangolin and arrested one wildlife criminal in Bolangir district, police said on Wednesday.

“STF, with the help of Balangir forest officials, seized/ rescued one live pangolin near Baragaon, Balangir. One accused was arrested. Further investigation is on,” the STF informed through twitter.

According to police officials, the STF team conducted a raid on the road near Baragoan Chhaka under Deogoan police station of Bolangir district on Tuesday and rescued the pangolin. Later, the police handed over the pangolin to DFO, Bolangir for safe custody, they said.

The accused, identified as Ajit Kumar Budek of the same district, has been handed over to Bolangir forest officials for legal action at their end.

During the last one year, the task force has seized 10 live pangolins and 16 kg pangolin scales and arrested the wildlife criminals involved in the illegal trade.

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Crime

Punjab sand mining case: ED recovers Rs 10 cr cash, documents

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 The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday recovered more cash during ongoing raids in connection with illegal sand mining case of Punjab. The ED team conducted raids in Pathankot and in other areas.

“We have recovered around Rs 10 crore cash so far. The team has also found few documents which connect Bhupinder Singh Honey with shell companies,” said a source.

The sources in ED have claimed that Bhupinder Singh Honey has alleged connection with sand mafia in Punjab. The ED has recovered a few documents during raid on Wednesday. A source said that the documents recovered by them have confirmed that Kudratdeep was running two firms and Bhupinder was joint director in them. The firms are basically shell companies but ED has found a lot of money transactions.

The ED had on Tuesday recovered Rs 6 crore cash during the raids.

About Rs 4 crore was recovered from the house of Bhupinder singh Honey, the nephew of Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi. And Rs two crore was recovered from the house of one Sandeep Kumar.

On Tuesday, the raids were conducted by the ED at more than ten locations including Honey’s home.

On Wednesday, the ED team again started conducting raids in Punjab. The ED official were tight lipped over the raids.

As of now they have not shown any arrest in the case.

This is a two years old FIR on the basis of which the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted raids at ten different locations including one belonging to Punjab Chief Minster Charanjit Channi’s nephew Bhupinder Singh Honey.

Punjab Police had on March 7, 2018, lodged a case against more than ten accused. The ED initiated a money laundering probe on the basis of this FIR.

The FIR has been accessed by IANS which was filed under several sections of the IPC.The ED found that money was being laundered by the accused involved in the case and they started probing the matter.

The ED team that started raids at different premises including of residence of Bhupinder Singh Honey which is at Homeland Heights on Tuesday morning, went on till late Tuesday evening.

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Crime

Bajrang Dal workers allegedly beat Muslim man in MP

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A group of Bajrang Dal workers allegedly beat a Muslim man, who was travelling with a married Hindu woman, in an Ajmer-bound train and was forcibly picked up from the train at Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain railway station.

Bajrang Dal members assaulted the Muslim man, accusing him of being involved in ‘Love Jihad’ and they (woman and man) were made to sit for several hours at the Ujjain railway police station until their family members reached there from Indore and said that they were family friends known to each other.

The man and the woman were let off by the police after parents’ statements that the Muslim man was travelling with Hindu woman because they were known to each other and there was no angle of alleged ‘Love Jihad’.

Bajrang Dal workers not only deboarded both friends forcibly from the train but thrashed the man in the name of ‘Love Jihad’ and after handing him over to the railway police, one of the Bajrang Dal workers briefed the local media.

In one of the videos of the incident, which went viral on social media, three men who identified themselves as Bajrang Dal workers are seen dragging Asif Shaikh out of the train coach. As they take him to the police station, the woman is seen walking behind them. In another video recorded inside the police station, the woman is seen screaming at the Bajrang Dal men.

“Your one misunderstanding can spoil my life. I am an adult and work as a teacher in a school, I teach children,” the woman was heard saying in one of the videos. One of the Bajrang Dal men identified as Pintu Kaushal is seen telling her that he was not talking to her.

They (Hindu woman and Muslim man) have not lodged any complaint against Bajrang Dal members. The incident had occurred on January 14, said the railway police.

While the man was identified as Asif Shaikh, owner of a small electronic shop, the woman is a private school teacher.

Government Railway Police (GRP) Superintendent of Police (SP), Nivedita Gupta said Shaikh and the woman were family friends and had known each other for years.

“Bajrang Dal members had brought the man and woman alleging Love Jihad, however, when questioned it was found that they were family friends and both adults, and there was no offence. They were let scot-free after the statement of their parents were recorded,” Gupta added.

Railway Police said they were not aware that the man was beaten up while being brought to the police station.

“Neither man nor the woman said that they were thrashed during the interrogation, hence no case was registered. It was just an incident that occurred due to misinformation,” the GRP SP said.

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