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Wednesday,28-September-2022

Crime

Maharashtra: Suspecting them to be kidnappers, Sangli mob beats up 4 Sadhus

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In a shocker, a group of at least four Sadhus was thrashed by a mob on suspicion that they could be child-lifters, officials said, even as police got into action and detained six persons.

The incident occurred on Tuesday in Lavanga village in the Jat tehsil of the district in western Maharashtra and revived memories of the lynching of three Sadhus in Palghar district.

Though no formal police complaint has been filed yet, the incident sparked a fresh political row between the government of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA).

According to locals, the four Sadhus, hailing from Uttar Pradesh, had entered Maharashtra by a car from Karnataka’s Bijapur and were proceeding to the pilgrimage centre of Pandharpur.

On Tuesday, they were reportedly asking a boy for directions when some locals intervened, and suspecting them to be kidnappers, hammered them.

Videos of the incident — showing some persons assaulting them with blows, sticks and belts — went viral on social media platforms triggering protests and allegations between the ruling and opposition combines.

Slamming the Shinde-Fadnavis government, state Congress President Nana Patole said this is part of the BJP’s “dirty politics” that Hindu Sadhus are being thrashed in such a manner.

“The BJP is virtually ruling the state, the Deputy CM and Home Minister (Fadnavis) are from the BJP… Now what face they have left to show,” said Patole.

Congress General Secretary Sachin Sawant said that a similar incident had occurred in Palghar in April 2020 in the Palghar village ruled by the BJP and several local BJP office-bearers were also involved.

“The BJP used that incident to label the MVA government as ‘anti-Hindu’… A similar situation has arisen in Sangli now. Whose government is in power? Will they hand over the probe to the CBI?” Sawant demanded.

Ruling BJP Spokesperson Ram Kadam termed the incident as “appalling and barbaric” and would not be tolerated in the state, while assuring a full probe into the matter.

Sangli Police Superintendent Dixit Gedam told the mediapersons that the police have launched suo moto investigations and detained at least six persons, and appealed to the people not to fall prey to such rumours.

Crime

Lingayat mutt sex scandal: Accused seer denied bail, custody extended

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 Denying bail to rape accused Lingayat seer of the Chitradurga Murugha Mutt, a court in Karnataka’s Chitradurga district extended the Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru’s judicial custody till October 10.

Second Additional Sessions Judge B.K. Komala has also extended the judicial custody of accused number two, hostel warden Rashmi, till October 10.

As the accused seer’s judicial custody ended on October 10, he was presented before the court and after its order, he was taken to the Central Jail in the district.

The court had earlier rejected his plea to consider bail on medical grounds and also denied him special permission to have food from the Mutt and conduct worship during the imprisonment.

Meanwhile, Veerashaiva-Lingayat leaders have called a meeting on September 29 to discuss on the accused seer’s decision not to step down as the head of the Chitradurga mutt in spite of the serious allegations under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The mutt, one of the richest among the Lingayat mutts, has 3,000 branches all across the country and runs more than 150 premier education institutions.

The letter circulated among leaders of the community states that as the accused seer is not coming forward to step down, it would affect the heritage and prestige of the mutt, sources said.

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Bollywood

Actresses Nikki Tamboli, Sofia Singh taken to Tihar Jail to recreate meetings with Sukesh

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 Two actresses — Nikki Tamboli and Sofia Singh — were taken inside the Tihar Jail to “recreate” their alleged meeting with conmon Sukesh Chandrashekhar, a senior Delhi Police official said Tuesday.

“It was part of the ongoing probe into the Rs 200 crore extortion case related to Sukesh Chandrashekhar,” the official said.

Chandrashekhar, presently lodged in Jail No. 3 of the Tihar Jail, was arrested last year for allegedly cheating and extorting money from some high-profile people, which includes former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh’s wife Aditi Singh. Many women Bollywood actors and models have been questioned by the Enforcement Directorate for their alleged links to Chandrashekhar.

In April 2021, he was arrested in another money laundering case linked to the 2017 Election Commission bribery case, which allegedly involved a former AIADMK leader and others.

Notably, the Enforcement Directorate, recently in an application in Supreme Court, had mentioned that accused Sukesh has repeatedly committed offences, including that of money laundering during his incarceration in jail by subverting the legal system and prison rules with the help of his knowledge of technology and his “ability to con people”.

According to the sources, ‘Big Boss’ fame Nikki Tamboli, ‘Bade Acche Lagte Hai’ fame Chahat Khanna, Sophia Singh, and Arusha Patil met Chandrashekhar in the jail premises and he introduced himself as a producer of the southern film industry.

A source said that Chandrashekhar’s aide Pinky Irani, who was arrested later, had facilitated their meetings with Chandrashekhar. All these four actresses were given expensive gifts of renowned brands such as Gucci, Versace, and Louis Vuitton.

Chandrashekhar also transferred some Rs 5.20 lakh into the account of Patil, who has admitted to have met him but not in the jail. When Irani introduced Khanna to Chandrashekhar, the actress was allegedly given Rs 2 lakh and a blue-coloured Versace watch.

Chandrashekhar allegedly deposited Rs 2 lakh into the account of Singh and later gifted her an LV bag. She was, later on, given Rs 1.5 lakh more.

Irani got an amount of Rs 10 lakh from Chandrashekhar for introducing him to Tamboli, and she gave Rs 1.5 lakh to Tamboli. Later on, Chandrashekhar gave her a Gucci bag and Rs 2 lakh on their first meeting.

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Crime

Ankita Bhandari’s body found from Uttarakhand’s Chilla canal

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The body of Ankita Bhandari, a 19-year-old staffer at a resort in Uttarakhand who went missing a few days ago, was recovered from the Chilla canal in the state on Saturday and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has ordered an SIT probe led by DIG P. Renuka Devi to probe the murder.

The prime accused in the case is BJP leader Vinod Arya’s son Pulkit Arya.

Ankita, a resident of Dobhin Srikot, who used to work in the Vantara resort in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal. She went missing on September 18.

The BJP has removed Vinod Arya as well as his other son Ankit following the incident.

Taking to Twitter, Dhami poste:, “Today morning, daughter Ankita’s body was recovered. Heart-broken with this heart-wrenching incident.”

On directions of the Chief Minister, the JCB razed to ground accused’s illegal resort on Friday night.

Strict action will be taken against the officers who were involved in the illegal construction of the resort, Dhami said.

“It is our resolve that the those guilty of this heinous crime will bot be spared,” he added.

Ankita’s family had lodged a missing complaint on September 21 with the revenue police and on the District Magistrate’s direction, the matter was trasferred to regular police the next day.

Taking cognisance of the incident, Ashok Kumar, Director General of Police, Uttarakhand, had directed the Superintendent of Police, Pauri for a speedy investigation into the incident.

Following their arrest, they told the police that after murdering Ankita, they threw her body in Chila Shakti canal.

Under the guidance of DGP Uttarakhand, the SDRF started search for Ankita in Shakti Canal, Chila Power House.

SDRF rescue team has been searching the spot and the deep divers were also looking for the body in the bottom of the canal.

The search operation had resumed this morning during which the body was found.

The body has been handed over to the district police.

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