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Porsche crash accused Agarwals confined, lured and threatened driver to take ‘blame’ (Ld)

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Pune (Maharashtra), May 25 (IANS) In a shocking revelation, the Pune Police said on Saturday that the accused minor’s grandfather, Surendra Kumar Agarwal had confined and threatened the family’s driver, forcing him to take the blame for the Porsche car crash of May 19 which killed two techies.

Commissioner of Police Amitesh Kumar told media persons that the Agarwals allegedly lured the driver, Gangaram Poojari with cash to claim responsibility for the accident committed by the minor, and when he didn’t agree they threatened and confined him for two days at their home.

Kumar said that the driver — now a prime witness in the case — was compelled to make a statement that he was at the wheel of the luxury car at the time of the accident in a bid to save the minor boy, but he refused to oblige.

Agarwal, who was nabbed after interrogation around 3 a.m., was produced before a Pune court and remanded to police custody till Tuesday (May 28).

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The Police Commissioner said that after the crash, Surendra Kumar Agarwal and his builder son Vishal Agarwal — currently in judicial custody for 14 days — went and picked up the driver (Pujari) who was going home.

They snatched his mobile, confined him in a room, and barred him from going out or speaking with anybody.

“The Agarwals then pressured Pujari and coached him on what statement to give to the police, tried to bribe him with cash in return for taking responsibility for the accident, and when he was not swayed, they threatened him with consequences,” said Kumar.

When Pujari did not return home the next day his anxious wife and some other relatives trooped to the Agarwal home, she screamed and shouted and rattled by the loud ruckus, he was allowed to go.

Scared and shaken by the ordeal, Pujari stayed put at home till the next day when the Pune Police summoned and recorded his statement when he spilled the beans.

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Later on Friday (May 24) during the search of Agarwal’s home, the Crime Branch sleuths found Pujari’s uniform, which has been seized. The driver will be given police security as he is now catapulted as a key witness in the high-profile case, said the Police Commissioner.

During the court hearing, Vishal Agarwal had claimed that it was Pujari — and not the minor boy — who was at the wheel, but the driver’s statement proved damning for the minor boy.

“It was not my fault, the Agarwals tried to pressurise me. Initially, I was scared and responded in panic. I was in great mental stress and trauma as the family kept me in a room,” the shaken Pujari had told the investigators, said the Police Commissioner.

Agarwal’s son Vishal S. Agarwal was arrested and sent to police custody which ended on May 24 and he has now been remanded to two weeks judicial remand.

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Agarwal’s grandson and the prime accused minor boy is under detention at a juvenile correctional home till June 5 after he rammed his speeding Porsche car into the young duo returning home on their motorcycle early that morning.

The three generations of the Agarwal family are in hot soup under various charges in the same Porsche car accident case in which the Madhya Pradesh IT engineers — Ashwini Koshtha and her friend Aneesh Awadhiya — were killed and snowballed into a nationwide uproar.

Meanwhile, hundreds of citizens will take part in a silent candlelight vigil near Kalyani Nagar as a homage to the two departed souls.

Late on Friday, the Pune Police suspended two policemen of the Yerawada Police Station — PI Rahul Jagdale and API Vishwanath Todkari — for alleged dereliction of duty and other lapses pertaining to the accident, as public anger continues to simmer.

–IANS

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GST official's wife commits suicide in Lucknow residence

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Lucknow, July 14 (IANS) Neelam Bharti, the wife of GST Assistant Commissioner Santosh Kumar Bharti, committed suicide by hanging herself at her house in Lucknow on Saturday, the police said.

The post-mortem report confirmed death by hanging.

The deceased’s family has filed a complaint accusing her brother-in-law of murder.

The police are investigating the allegations.

GST Assistant Commissioner Santosh Kumar Bharti lives with his family in Sushant Golf City.

He went to the gym and his two daughters, Khushi and Shreya, had gone to school.

When Santosh returned home, he saw that the doors were open.

When he went inside, he saw that his wife Neelam was hanging from the noose following which he took down the body from the noose.

Santosh first informed an officer living in the neighbourhood while his gunman informed the police.

He also called Neelam’s family members living in Patna and informed them about the incident.

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A few hours later, Neelam’s brother Naveen, a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Basti district, arrived.

Meanwhile, the police and forensic team went to the spot and investigated.

Neelam’s brother Naveen is a bank manager in SBI. He is currently posted in Basti.

He said that the body was sent for post-mortem even before he could reach.

He alleged that Neelam was murdered.

A written complaint has also been filed accusing Santosh.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP) South, Shashank Singh, said that no suicide note has been found in the case. Neither have the family members been able to give any information that could reveal why Neelam committed suicide.

The allegations in the complaint are being investigated.

The deceased’s brother said: “I married my sister to Santosh in 2010. For about seven years, my sister was being harassed by her husband and in-laws. They used to beat her. She was mentally harassed. She used to tell me repeatedly that the whole family is against me. I tried to talk to my brother-in-law about this many times, but he did not listen to us.”

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–IANS

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Groom dies of snake bite hours before wedding in UP's Bulandshahr

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Bulandshahr (Uttar Pradesh), July 14 (IANS) A 26-year-old groom died after being bitten by a snake in Akarbas village in Bulandshahr’s Dibai area.

According to village locals, Pravesh Kumar, the groom, was on his way to marry a bride from a neighbouring village, when he stepped near a bush to relieve himself.

“When he did not return for a long time, a family member went to check and found him lying unconscious. He was rushed to a local occultist but he did not survive. He was declared dead later,” said Poonam, the groom’s sister.

A senior doctor at a community health centre (CHC) in Dibai said that in case of a snake bite, people should not panic but take the patient to a hospital.

“Anti-venom vaccine and other medicines are available at government hospitals. People should remain cautious during the rainy season, especially in villages,” said Hemant Giri, Medical Superintendent, Dibai CHC.

Seven people have died of snake bites in the past two months in Bulandshahr district.

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Earlier last week, an elderly woman and her grandson died of snake bites in the Chhatari area of Bulandshahr while sleeping in their house.

–IANS

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NITI Aayog denies special status to any state, says Jitan Ram Manjhi

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Patna, July 14 (IANS) While JD-U leaders continue to demand special status for Bihar, Union MSME Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi asserted that the NITI Aayog has clearly ruled out the provision for any state, but noted the state’s financial needs will be met.

“The NITI Aayog has clearly denied special status to any state in the country. People from different political parties can do anything, but special status will not be given to any state, he said while interacting with media persons in Hajipur.

He added that the Central government has assured financial assistance to Bihar. “Whatever amount of money is needed for development, the central government and PM Narendra Modi will provide it,” Manjhi said.

Since the formation of the NDA government at the Centre, JD-U leaders have been advocating for special status for Bihar and Water Resource Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary and Building Construction Minister Ashok Choudhary have been vocal in their demands.

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Meanwhile, opposition leaders like RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and Congress leader Meira Kumar have mocked the JD-U for seeking special status from the BJP despite being part of the NDA government.

–IANS

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Haryana STF nabs notorious criminal

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Gurugram, July 13 (IANS) Special Task Force (STF) of the Haryana Police has arrested Rakesh alias Kala Khairmpuria, a notorious criminal wanted for involvement in serious crimes across Haryana and Rajasthan, officials said on Saturday.

STF Chief Simardeep Singh said the accused operated under the alias Kala Khairmpuria and had been evading law enforcement agencies since he jumped parole in 2020.

“Throughout this period, he continued to orchestrate criminal activities initially from within India and after fleeing abroad from countries such as UAE, Armenia and Thailand,” Singh said.

Rakesh entered the crime world in 2014 and was involved in several serious offences like dacoity, robbery, murder, and illegal possession of firearms.

“Rakesh was first convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for a murder in 2015 in Bhadra, District Hanumangarh in Rajasthan. He was sentenced in 2018 and after serving the sentence till 2020, he was released on parole and he never returned,” Singh said.

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During this period, he evaded arrest and further expanded his criminal operations in Haryana and Rajasthan.

He committed another murder in Darauli in Fatehabad district of Haryana in 2021. Kala could not be arrested and was declared a proclaimed offender (PO) in 2023. The Haryana Police also announced Rs 1 lakh on his arrest.

“Utilising a fraudulently acquired passport, Rakesh fled the country in early 2023 and operated his criminal gang from abroad, forging alliances with local gangs and orchestrating violent acts. His affiliations extended to notorious criminal groups such as the Himanshu Bhau Gang and Neeraj Faridpuria Gang, contributing to a crime syndicate responsible for several high-profile crimes including targeted killings and extortion, the STF Chief added.

Notable incidents include the murder of a Sarpanch in Sonipat in December 2023, the firing incident on a famous sweet shop in Gohana in January this year, a murder at Murthal eatery and the shootout at a Burger King outlet in Rajouri Garden, Delhi last month.

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To nab him, the STF carried out a thorough investigation to locate him. During the course of the investigation, STF teams were able to establish and unearth a fake identity on which Kala had got his passport.

Once his identity was established, the teams tracked his travel details and mounted surveillance on the target. After strenuous efforts, he was zeroed in a foreign country.

The STF immediately coordinated with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and also got the relevant Interpol references and notices issued against Kala.

The MHA promptly took cognizance of the matter and coordinated with the various agencies both in India and abroad.

Meanwhile, the STF teams also got his passport, which he had obtained through fraudulent means, revoked. The required legal documents about establishing his identity and criminal record were shared with concerned law enforcement agencies through MHA.

This collaborative effort led to the deportation of Rakesh alias Kala and he was then apprehended by the STF teams.

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The STF Chief said that the arrest of Rakesh sends a resolute message regarding Haryana Police’s unwavering commitment to control crime and maintain law and order in the state.

–IANS

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Parents accuse DPS Dwarka of harassing students after row over outstanding fees

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Parents of at least 20 students of Delhi Public School (DPS) Dwarka have accused the institution of not allowing their children inside classrooms and publishing their wards’ names on its official website over their outstanding fee dues.

According to some parents, the action followed their refusal to pay the revised fee, which, they claim, was increased “without following Directorate of Education (DoE) norms”.

They said that the public display of their children’s names breached their ward’s Fundamental right to personal space and privacy.

“The school maligned the reputation of children calling them defaulters though the parents have paid the complete fee and that too in advance,” a parent said.

Parents accused the school of harassing their children by demanding “unapproved” revised fees. “We have submitted numerous complaints since 2021 but got no relief,” another said.

They also accused the school management of hiring bouncers in 2022 to stop children (who have outstanding fees) from entering the school.

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“They (school management) sent bouncers in school buses so that children cannot board the bus. Teenage girls felt so uncomfortable travelling with bouncers who are more of a threat than a safety,” a parent told IANS.

“The DoE has not taken any concrete action so far… and has continuously failed to get its order implemented. The DoE nominees are not even allowed to enter the school and they just remain mute spectators,” another parent said.

“We are left with no choice but to accept the school atrocities as the matter relates to our children’s future,” said the father of a student, whose name was published on the school’s website.

“We moved the court against the DoE and the school… and the court ordered that parents will have to pay 50 per cent of the revised fee and names which had been struck off from the rolls should be immediately restored immediately but the school has no respect for the court order either,” another parent said.

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“It seems that the Chairman and Vice Chairman (of the school) are so powerful that even no court or no department can touch them and they can do whatever they want,” he claimed.

–IANS

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