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Mumbai diamantaire murder: ex-BJP member arrested, TV actress grilled

The motive, as unraveled so far, was some financial dispute between Sachin Pawar and Udani, besides the latter allegedly eyeing a woman friend with ‘wrong intentions’.

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Mumbai diamantaire murder
Picture Credit : Asian Age

Mumbai, Dec 8 : In a sensational development, a politician and a suspended policeman have been arrested while a prominent model-cum-television actress was interrogated under detention by Mumbai Police following the mysterious murder of a diamantaire, Rajeshwar K. Udani, officials said on Saturday.

The politician, Sachin Pawar, was a close friend and business partner of the victim and earlier with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the suspended policeman is the main person who executive the crime, the police said.

Earlier, actress Debolina Bhattacharya was grilled for several hours by police in Ghatkopar three days after the missing Udani’s body was recovered in the forests of adjoining Raigad district.

However, officials remain tight-lipped over her role in the case but hinted that some more women from the entertainment industry may be summoned for questioning, and did not rule out more arrests in the case.

Udani, 57, had been reported missing by his family from his office from November 28. The police had registered a missing case and launched a search for him. His mobile was tracked in Rabale, Navi Mumbai, before its signal was lost.

After nearly a week, on December 4, since he remained untraced and the family suspected something amiss, police registered a kidnapping case.

His driver told police that Udani asked him to be dropped near the Pant Nagar market where another vehicle came and he got into it.

His highly decomposed body, without any apparent injuries, was found late on December 5 and bereft of any identity paper. He was identified by his son from the clothes and shoes he was wearing.

Investigators suspect Udani’s kidnappers may have killed him at some other location before dumping the body in the Panvel forests.

Police investigations and call data records have revealed that Udani was a regular at some bars and in touch with several women, including from the glamour and entertainment industry, through Sachin Pawar, a former aide to a Maharashtra Minister, Prakash Mehta.

Admitting that Pawar was with him from 2004 to 2009, Mehta on Friday evening said since then he had severed all links with him and claimed that he had been sacked from the BJP after he contested a BMC election as an independent.

The motive, as unraveled so far, was some financial dispute between Sachin Pawar and Udani, besides the latter allegedly eyeing a woman friend with ‘wrong intentions’.

Sachin Pawar was tracked down to Guwahati, where he had reportedly fled after Udani’s murder and he was tracked by mobile records, while Dinesh Pawar was already arrested in another case on Friday.

They are being charged for murer, criminal conspiracy and other offences, said the official.

Police have questioned two dozen persons and are on the lookout for the vehicle which picked up the victim on the night he went missing.

Dancer-model Bhattacharya, 28, is also an award-winning actress, seen in several TV serials notably as Gopi Bahu in the popular “Saath Nibhana Sathiya” besides reality shows.

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Madhya Pradesh farmers hopeful of being ‘debt-free’ as loan waiver scheme kicks-off

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Earth Climate

Bhopal, Jan 22 : A week after the launch of the loan waiver scheme in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress government claims 19.54 lakh farmers have filed their applications in the six days till Sunday.

While the opposition BJP has been calling the “Jai Kisan Rin Mukti Yojana” a trick to cheat the farmers, the question is how the farmers of the state perceive the entire exercise.

Kailash Chaudhary, a farmer from Mandsaur district’s Babulda village, said: “About two years ago, six farmers sacrificed their lives for their rights in Pipliya Mandi. This is the beginning of the victory of their fight.”

“Forms are being filled for waiver of loans up to Rs 2 lakh. We feel that the government is taking our demands seriously,” Chaudhary told IANS.

Mandsaur was the centre of farmers’ agitation in 2017 when six farmers were killed in police firing in June, 2017. After the incident, the farmers’ movement had taken over the whole state, which then spread to the whole nation.

Farmer’s leader Kedar Sirohi said: “Farmers in different parts of the state are excited about the loan waiver. They are filing applications in large numbers.”

“To ensure they don’t face any difficulty in filing applications, leaders and workers of farmer organisations are helping them. Government officials is also alert to help out the farmers. Colour coding of application forms has made it easier for farmers to fill out the applications,” he said.

According to official figures, out of the 19.54 lakh forms filed till Sunday, around 60 per cent were green forms, 35 per cent were white forms and 5 percent were pink forms. The farmers are hopeful of becoming debt-free through this exercise.

As per the scheme, the farmers of the Aadhaar seeded list will have to submit green applications and the farmers of non-Aadhar seeded list will have to submit white coloured applications. Farmers have to submit a pink application to file an objection or claim against information provided in the green or white list.

However, the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had been accusing the Congress of misleading the farmers and terming the scheme a trick to cheat them.

Former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said the Congress promise of a loan waiver won’t be fulfilled by a mere announcement.

“The Chief Minister (Kamal Nath) and Congress leaders are saying they have fulfilled their promise of loan waiver to the farmers. But the promise has not yet been fulfilled. An announcement does not mean fulfillment of the promise,” he said, adding the Congress was misleading the farmers.

Congress spokesperson Syed Jaffer responded that 55 lakh farmers will get their loans waived of under the scheme, for which the due process needs to be followed.

“No matter what charges the BJP makes, the truth is that farmers are happy and they trust that the Congress is fulfilling the promise that they made to them,” he said.

“Those farmers who are in debt, neither are they now receiving notices from the banks nor is their property being seized. Under BJP rule, farmers had to go to jail and lose their property just for not paying their power bills,” Jaffer told IANS.

Calling the scheme pro-farmer, farmer leader Shiv Kumar Sharma told IANS that political parties were creating doubts about the scheme.

“Farmers were reeling under debt which had increased manifold over the last one-and-a-half decade. Now they are getting waiver of up to Rs 2 lakh. The government is new and one should wait before making adverse comments,” he said.

Kamal Nath had signed the farm loan waiver file soon after taking oath as the Chief Minister. The filing of forms for the waiver started from January 15 and will continue till February 5.

According to the government, farmers will start getting the money in their loan accounts from February 22.

The Chief Minister had said that the scheme would benefit around 55 lakh farmers by waiving their loans worth Rs 50,000 crore.

(Sundeep Pouranik can be contacted at [email protected])

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BJP accuses TMC of vandalising posters ahead of Shah’s rally

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Amit Shah BJP

Malda (West Bengal), Jan 22 (IANS) The West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday accused the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers of vandalising posters and decorative gates ahead of party chief Amit Shah’s rally here.

“Gates, welcome arches, posters, cut-outs, festoons have been vandalised ahead of our national president’s rally. Gates have set on fire. Vehicles carrying our supporters are being stopped in many places,” state BJP President Dilip Ghosh said.

BJP supporters and activists were threatened and harassed so that they could not attend the programme, he alleged.

“Despite all these, our supporters are active and the process of ‘paribartan’ (change) has been started,” he added.

After high drama over denial of permission for facilitating the landing of Shah’s chopper in Malda, the state’s BJP leadership said that they finally received the clearance at two places in the district.

The BJP received permission to land the chopper at the helipads in Golden Park Hotel here and the one used by the Border Security Force in Malda district.

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Himachal Pradesh: 26 injured after tourist bus skids off road in Bilaspur

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bilaspur bus accident
Photo Credit- ANI

Himachal Pradesh, Jan 22: At least 26 people were injured after a tourist bus skidded off the road near Swarghat area in Himachal Pradesh’s Bilaspur district on Monday.

The 18 injured people have been shifted to the hospital in Nalaghar in Solan district.

Other 8 people who were seriously injured were shifted to PGIMER at Chandigarh.

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