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Artist, lawyer twin-murder: Four suspects held in UP, Mumbai

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Mumbai, Dec 14 : Four suspects in the sensational double-murder of painter Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambani have been detained by Uttar Pradesh Police and their Mumbai counterparts, official sources here said on Monday.

Acting on a tip-off from their Maharashtra counterparts, Uttar Pradesh Police detained two people in Varanasi, and they were likely to be handed over to Mumbai police soon.

Police also seized some personal belongings of the victims — identity cards, ATM cards and other things — from the suspects, whose identities have not been disclosed yet.

The duo is believed to have helped main accused Sadhu Rajbhar in the murder and disposal of the bodies.

A Mumbai police team has already left for Varanasi to coordinate the investigations and take charge of the accused.

Two suspects were also detained in Mumbai, as TV channels claimed that Sadhu Rajbhar has confessed to the crime. Top police officials, however, refused to comment.

The barely-clothed bodies of Upadhyay and Bhambhani were packed in cardboard boxes, wrapped in plastic sheets and thrown into a large open drain near Dahanukarwadi area in Kandivali West, a suburb in northwest Mumbai, a few days ago.

They were found in the early hours of Sunday with their hands and feet tied.

After investigation, police managed to identify them as Bhambani, 65, who lived in Sion, and Baroda-born artist Hema Upadhyay, 43, a resident of Santacruz.

“According to investigation, the bodies were taken in a tempo from Juhu to Kandivali,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkar said on Monday.

Police have questioned the transporter who confirmed that he dumped the two boxes in the Kandivali drain, believing them to contain broken antiques.

The motive behind the murder was not yet clear, but police said Hema and her estranged husband Chintan were in a divorce battle since the past five years.

Police questioned Chintan — who married Hema in 1998 — on Sunday and later allowed him to go.

Two years ago, Hema had lodged a harassment complaint against Chintan of painting obscene sketches on her room walls and, at that time, Bhambani had fought her case.

The bodies have been sent for autopsy and the boxes and plastic sent for forensic examination.

The developments took place after the maid servant of Hema and Bhambani’s family lodged separate complaints after they failed to turn up home as usual on Friday evening.

Hailing from Rajasthan, Chintan and Baroda-born Hema were classmates at the Baroda Faculty of Fine Arts and later made it big in the Mumbai art world.

Hema bagged awards from the Gujarat State Lalit Kala Academy and the (national) Lalit Kala Akademi besides a prestigious national scholarship from the union human resource development ministry.

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Girl and father end life in UP

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A teenager battling depression for two years following her mother’s death ended her life, prompting even the father to take his life out of sheer hopelessness.

According to reports, Shalu, 18, first committed suicide by hanging herself because she could not come to terms with the death of her mother. Suraj, too followed suit, leaving behind two more daughters.

The incident took place in Nankari village in Khairabad area in Sitapur district on Wednesday. Circle Officer Piyush Kumar Singh said that Suraj, who worked as a tailor, lived there with his wife and three daughters. His wife had died two years ago and his daughter Shalu could not come to terms with the death of her mother.

“She went into depression and finally ended her life. Seeing this, Suraj also committed suicide by hanging form the same ceiling fan,” the police official said.

Both the bodies have been sent for the post-mortem. The police had filed a case and further investigations are underway.

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Gujarat govt renames ‘dragon fruit’ as kamalam

It should be noted that the lotus is the symbol of the BJP and the state BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar is also named ‘Shri Kamalam’.

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Gandhinagar Jan 20: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, while interacting with the media on Tuesday, said that the government has applied for a patent to change the nomenclature of dragon fruit to ‘Kamalam’.

According to the CM, the word dragon for the fruit sounded inappropriate and so the Gujarat government had decided for the fruit to be called as Kamalam.

While interacting with the media on Tuesday during the launch of the Chief Minister Horticulture Development Mission, Rupani said, “We have applied for the patent of the Dragon fruit to be called as Kamalam. But as of now, we the Gujarat government have decided to call the fruit as Kamalam.”

“Even though the fruit is known as dragon fruit, it doesn’t sound appropriate. The word Kamalam is a Sanskrit word and the fruit does have the shape of the lotus, so we have decided to call it Kamalam, and there’s nothing political about it,” Rupani added.

According to the CM, the fruit has long since been grown as a form of cactus in the country. “Nobody has to be alarmed by the word Kamalam,” Rupani added.

It should be noted that the lotus is the symbol of the BJP and the state BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar is also named ‘Shri Kamalam’.

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Another fake social media news racket on temple attack busted

“Accused Peraka Venkateswara Rao, 35, was convicted in the case and sentenced to eight months in jail on June 23, 2015,” the official said.

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Amaravati, Jan 20: Police in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district on Tuesday busted another fake news racket regarding temple attack in Eluru town and clarified that the Anjaneya Swamy idol incident was an old one.

“It came to our notice that some persons are using this 2014 incident as propaganda material to spread fake news on the social media,” said a district police official.

Police later registered a case under Sections 153-A and 295-A of the Indian Penal Code.

Police clarified that the Anjaneya Swamy idol incident occurred in 2014 and a case was registered then under Sections 295 and 427 of the IPC at Eluru town police station.

“Accused Peraka Venkateswara Rao, 35, was convicted in the case and sentenced to eight months in jail on June 23, 2015,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Prakasam district police arrested one more person for allegedly dubbing the damage due to corrosion to the Singarayikonda temple arch idols as an ‘attack’.

In this particular case, police identified 33 persons for spreading false information on the social media, of whom six were arrested from different places in the southern state.

Prakasam district Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal on Tuesday visited multiple places to strengthen surveillance system, 24×7 beat and patrol systems for the security of all temples and religious places.

He met with members of village and mandal defence committees and gave suggestions on their security.

On Tuesday evening, Director General of Police Goutam Sawang held a videoconference with all districts police officials over the temple incidents in the state.

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