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UP reports 27 new Covid cases, 10 in Lucknow alone

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In the past 24 hours, Uttar Pradesh has recorded 27 fresh Covid-19 cases, of which the majority (10) were detected in Lucknow.

The number of active cases in the state has thus increased to 203.

At present, only two Covid patients remain hospitalised in Lucknow.

Additional Chief Secretary (Medical Health) Amit Mohan Prasad, said: “There are 27 new Covid cases reported from 1,52,506 samples tested while 20 patients have recovered in the past 24 hours.”

He advised all to follow the Covid protocol and added that all those eligible should take the vaccine doses.

Among those who tested positive in Lucknow are two of a family in Jankipuram locality, who had returned from Uttarakhand recently.

Two others from the Indira Nagar area are from a family. The son, who returned from Gurugram, and his mother, tested positive.

Three residents tested positive after returning from Agra, Punjab, and Bihar, and one person was infected before surgery.

“Contact tracing of each positive case is being done and samples are being sent for genome sequencing of travellers from other states,” said Manoj Agrawal, the Chief Medical Officer of Lucknow.

Abhishek Shukla, Secretary General, Association of International Doctors, said: “Lucknow has till now reported 2,38,943 Covid cases, including 2651 deaths, and 48 active cases under treatment at present.”

“Majority of patients who tested positive in past one week had mild symptoms and did not require hospitalisation. Their regular health follow-up is being done by teams at the Covid command centre,” said grawal.

Meanwhile, with rise in Covid cases, the district health department has identified 4,000 beds in different hospitals that can immediately be used for admitting Covid patients in case of need.

“In all, 4,000 beds in different hospitals have been notified. About 5,000 more beds can be obtained within two-three days. These beds have not been notified yet, but can be taken for Covid patients’ treatment,” said a senior health official.

Over 8,000 hospital beds are linked to the dashboard of the Integrated Covid Command Centre (ICCC) and their real-time status can be seen with patient details and admission status. Hospitals too have marked the Covid beds on their campuses.

“We have set aside Covid beds and can admit patients for up to 300 beds on our campus,” said Dr Alok Srivastava, director of Balrampur hospital.

During the devastating second wave of the pandemic earlier this yeat, over 8,000 beds were reserved for Covid patients with maximum 988 at the King George’s Medical University (KGMU).

This included many private hospitals too, where Covid wards were earmarked for the treatment of patients.

Crime

Rs 200 crore money laundering case: Delhi court defers hearing till Dec 12

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 A Delhi court on Thursday deferred till December 12, the hearing in a money laundering case involving Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez and multi-millionaire conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar.

Fernandez appeared in the Patiala House court in connection with the case this morning.

Earlier, on November 15, the court had granted pre-arrest bail to the actress.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had recently filed its second supplementary chargesheet naming Jacqueline as an accused. On September 26, the court had granted interim protection from arrest to her.
Fernandes and another Bollywood personality, Nora Fatehi, have recorded their statements as witnesses in the case.

Assets and fixed deposits worth Rs 7.2 crore belonging to Fernandez were attached by the ED. The probe agency termed these gifts and properties as “proceeds” of crime received by the actresses.

In February, the ED had filed its first supplementary charge sheet against Pinky Irani, an alleged aide to Chandrashekhar who introduced him to Bollywood actors.

It had been alleged in the chargesheet that Pinky used to choose expensive gifts for Jacqueline and drop them
at her residence after Chandrashekhar made the payments.

Last December, the probe agency had filed the first chargesheet in this matter before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Praveen Singh.

As per official sources, Chandrashekhar has spent around 20 crore on different models and Bollywood celebrities. A few had refused to accept gifts from him.

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Crime

Maharashtra to probe police ‘inaction’ on Shraddha’s SOS letter

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Taking strong cognisance, the Maharashtra government has ordered a probe into the Palghar Police’s ‘inaction’ on a letter written by Shraddha Walkar in November 2020, apprehending death threats from her live-in partner Aftab Amin Poonawala.

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the home portfolio, said he had seen the contents which were “very serious”, and said the matter needs to be investigated.

“Without blaming anybody, we need to know the truth… If the police had acted in a timely manner, this (killing of Shraddha by Poonawala) could have been avoided,” Fadnavis told mediapersons.

On November 23, 2020, Walkar had submitted a written complaint to the Tulinj Police Station expressing apprehensions from her Aftab and how he threatened to “kill and cut her into pieces”.

The letter, which has just surfaced, was duly acknowledged by the local police, who also said that though they had probed the matter, Shraddha later gave another letter withdrawing her previous complaint, signalling an end to the issue.

In her hand-penned plea, she sounded distressed, stating that Aftab was beating her up, blackmailing her and was threatening to murder her and cut her body into pieces.

Nearly two years later now, Shraddha’s worst fears proved true with Aftab’s arrest on November 12 for her gory killing in Delhi on may 18, chopping her body into many pieces and then disposing them off over several weeks.

In her letter, Shraddha, then 25, mentioned how she and Aftab, then 26, were living together in Vijay Vihar Complex, but he had been abusing and beating her up for six months.

“Today he tried to kill me by suffocating me and he scared and blackmails me that he will kill me cut me up in pieces and throw me away.

“It has been six months he has been beating me. I did not have the guts to go to the police because he would threaten to kill me,” she wrote in the letter.

In a shocking revelation, Shraddha said that Aftab’s parents “are aware that he beats me and that he tried to kill me”.

“They also know about we living together and they visit us on weekends. I lived with him till date as we were supposed to get married anytime soon and had the blessings of his family.”

Apparently fed up, she declared that “henceforth, I am not willing to live with him, so any kind of physical damage should be considered coming from him as he has been blackmailing to kill me or hurt me whenever he sees me anywhere”.

A police officer had even gone to the rented house in Vasai east, where the young couple resided, to conduct an enquiry but she categorically told them that said she didn’t want to pursue the matter, according to local media.

Since she had already given a letter withdrawing her earlier complaint the police said they couldn’t force her to pursue the case or even forcibly enter her home.

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Crime

“In Heat Of Moment”, Says Aaftab Poonawala In Court On Killing Girlfriend

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The Saket court today extended the police custody of Aaftab Poonawala to four more days after he was produced before the court via video conferencing in a special hearing. His five-day custody had ended today.Aaftab Ameen Poonawala, accused of murdering his live-in girlfriend Shraddha Walkar, today admitted in a Delhi court that he killed her “in the heat of the moment”. He also alleged that whatever is being said about him now is “not entirely true”.28-year-old Aaftab said he has been cooperating with the police, and has also given maps of the location where he dumped the body parts. He assured the court that he would provide all the details, but isn’t able to recall many things because it has been very long.Aaftab’s lawyer, Avinash, said that the police sought extended custody saying the Investigating Officer has received a sketch of a pond from Aaftab where they want to take him for further probe. “Aaftab told the court he is cooperating with the police, and the police are also treating him well. He said he is not misleading them or lying to them. The police also didn’t contest his claim in court,” he added. Aaftab will be taken to two ponds for the search of the body parts, one in Mehrauli forest and the other in Maidangarhi — both in south Delhi.During interrogation, Aaftab said he had thrown the saw and blade he used to chop off Shraddha’s body in the bushes of DLF Phase 3, Gurugram, Delhi Police sources said. A Delhi Police team has checked those bushes twice. He threw the meat cleaver in a dustbin at the 100-foot road in south Delhi’s Mehrauli, sources said.The forensics team today broke the bathroom tiles at Aaftab’s Chhatarpur flat where he murdered Shraddha, and found blood stains. The tiles have been sent to the lab for DNA tests.After the first day of the investigation, last Friday, the Delhi Police collected some evidence from the bushes in Gurugram, which has been sent for investigation to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory. On the second day, last Saturday, the Delhi Police had gone to Gurugram with metal detectors but returned empty-handed. They also took Aaftab to the shop from where he had bought the saw blade, which is just 250 meters away from Aaftab’s house.

On Sunday, the police had recovered more human remains from the Mehrauli forest. They have so far sent 18 bones, including the base of a skull, and a decapitated jaw, for forensic examination to match with Shraddha’s father’s DNA samples. The central forensic lab has said the reports would be available in one or two weeks.

The police had last week recovered heavy and sharp cutting tools from Aaftab’s flat, which they suspect might have been used to chop off Shraddha Walkar’s body. They also found a heavy black polythene bag at Aaftab’s Gurugram workplace.

Sources say investigations into the six-month-old murder hinge on forensic reports, call data, and circumstantial evidence as there are no witnesses. Delhi police today told the court that 80 per cent of the investigation has been completed. The next few days are crucial for the investigation, as key evidence in the case is still missing.

Shraddha and Aaftab had moved to Delhi in May and four days later, following an argument over expenses and infidelity, he strangled her to death, later chopping up the body into 35 pieces that he kept in a fridge and disposed of in a jungle over 18 days, police have said. Aaftab’s narco analysis test will not be conducted on Monday, the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) has said, as he has to take a polygraphic test before that.

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