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Reel hero turns real life villain: Kannada superstar Darshan arrested in fan’s murder case



Bengaluru, June 11 (IANS) Karnataka Police arrested Kannada superstar Darshan on Tuesday in connection with the alleged murder of 33-year-old Renukaswamy, a resident of Chitradurga, by the actor and his associates.

The probe revealed that the murdered man was a hardcore fan of actor Darshan.

Speaking to the media, Karnataka Home Minister, Dr G Parameshwara stated on Tuesday that Darshan had been arrested.

Earlier, police had maintained that the actor had been detained for questioned.

“His role has come forward in the investigation, and based on that lead, Darshan is being investigated by the police. Nothing more can be said about the murder. Darshan is in police custody, and considering the seriousness of the case, Darshan has been arrested,” Parameshwara stated.

Meanwhile, sources said that actor had allegedly tried to mislead the police by implicating four of his fans after Renukaswamy’s body was found in a canal.

When the Kamakshipalya police questioned them, the surrendered accused claimed they committed the crime over a financial dispute.

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However, their statements were not convincing, and after being interrogated, they revealed the truth.

When their call records were verified, Darshan’s role became apparent.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Renukaswamy was a hardcore fan of Darshan and was disturbed by the conflict between Darshan’s first and second wives.

Renukaswamy wanted Darshan to be with his first wife and son and he targeted the second wife whenever she posted her photos with the actor on social media.

Police sources said that actor Darshan and his associates brutally attacked Renukaswamy. He was hit on the head, face, chest, and back.

Burn injuries were also found on his body, and it is suspected that the accused had inflicted burn injuries with a hot iron rod.

Sources said that Renukaswamy had been hit on his private parts as well.

Sources also revealed that more than 10 people were involved in assaulting Renukaswamy and they, including Darshan, had thrown him against the wall multiple times.

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He was beaten with belts, iron rods, and sticks.

The deceased’s family said that Renukaswamy worked at a pharmacy and got married a year ago, and his wife is pregnant.

The murder came to light on June 9 (Sunday) after an unidentified body was found in a canal and a security guard called the police.



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Palakkad assembly bypoll: BJP scouts for candidates after Metro Man Sreedharan backs out




Thiruvananthapuram, June 22 (IANS) With Metro Man E. Sreedharan, who was a surprise choice of the BJP for the Assembly elections in Palakkad in 2021, now backing out from another contest, the BJP has started searching for a candidate for the soon-to-be-announced by-election.

The by-election in Palakkad was necessitated after sitting Congress legislator Shafi Parambil quit his seat after he won the Vadakara Lok Sabha seat.

In his debut election in 2021, the now 92-year-old Sreedharan managed to bring down the victory margin of Parambil from 17,483 in 2016 to just 3,859 votes.

The Kerala unit of the BJP is in an upbeat mood after the victory of Suresh Gopi from the Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency with an over 72,000 votes margin. The party that finished in second place in the Palakkad assembly constituency is confident that it will be able to open its account in the 140-member Kerala assembly too.

The names that the BJP is contemplating include that of Sobha Surendran who finished second in 2016 in Palakkad. After that, her status as a firebrand party leader increased hugely when she, though finishing third in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Attingal and in the 2024 polls from Alappuzha, garnered sizeable votes.

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Another name that has started to get traction is Padmaja Venugopal, daughter of Congress veteran and four-time Chief Minister K. Karunakaran.

She joined the BJP from the Congress in March this year and had campaigned for Gopi in Trissur, where her brother and sitting MP, K.Muraleedharan finished third.

The Congress and the CPI-M have also started their search for candidates as it is going to be a fight to the finish for all three political fronts.



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Silchar to Shanghai: Assam grocer's son to represent India at global bartending slugfest




New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) When Shantanu Chanda cleared his B.Com. in Silchar, Assam, his father, who ran a neighbourhood grocery store, said that it was time for him to tie the marital knot with a good-looking Assamese girl. Shantanu, though, had other plans.

He took a train to Kolkata and from there he set off to Goa for a career of his choice. After working in a shack for some time, he landed a job at the well-known Goan nightclub Titos, where he got paid Rs 900 for rinsing glasses and removing beer bottle caps. That was in 2011.

Cut to 2023, and you find him, now a world-travelled bartender presiding over PVR Limited’s plush Home lounge and bar in New Delhi, preparing to represent India for the Diageo World Class Global Bartender of the Year faceoff in Shanghai, China, in September. He got his ticket to Shanghai after a two-stage contest — Best of 100 followed by Best of 16 — that engaged the best bartenders from all over the country.

Shantanu’s dream for the competition — he’ll know only on July 4 about the parameters for this year’s slugfest — is to shake up a disco-inspired cocktail to the beat of Parvati Khan’s ‘Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja’ from the MIthun Chakraborty-starrer ‘Disco Dancer’.

He knows the burden of expectations lies heavy on his shoulders — because last year, when the competition was staged in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Delhi-born, Pune-based Aashie Bhatnagar was one of the 12 finalists and returned home with the People’s Choice Award.

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Unfazed, Shantanu declares with confidence, “I will be this year’s winner.” It is not an idle boast, but what he calls ‘positive manifestation’.

Whenever he has a target to fulfil, he makes it a point to wake up seeing a notice pinned on the board next to his bed. It spells out the current target he has set for himself. His wake-up note for himself now says: “I will be the Diageo World Class Global Bartender of the Year”. These notes, according to Shantanu, help him get focused on the goal and develop the positivity within himself to achieve them.

So, how did Shantanu move from being rinser of glasses to a champion bartender? It started in Goa when a bartender friend of his got selected for a cruise liner and landed a Rs 80,000 per month job.

The friend’s lucrative salary package gave Shantanu a purpose in life — he had to become a bartender, but he needed a mentor, so he tried to get into the good books of a Ukrainian expat, Artem Klymenko, a champion flair bartender who was a trainer at Titos.

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Artem first tested Shantanu’s resolve — he did not even acknowledge his presence for a week — and then made it clear to his future student that he could never become a good bartender if he only wanted to make money. He had to love bartending and be passionate about it.

Shantanu agreed, became Artem’s disciple, attended a three-month course, read up all the books he could lay his hands upon, and six months later, he made his life’s first cocktail, a Cosmopolitan.

His next break came because of two rising stars of his profession — Pankaj Kamble (who’s now no more) and Sachin Gowda, who ran Pune’s Flairology Bar School and Events. They recommended Shantanu for a job at the JW Marriott, Pune.

Shantanu’s friends had to raise money for him to buy decent clothes and a pair of shoes for Pune. Looking back at those days, he said, “I used to earn Rs 8,000 and send Rs 7,000 for my parents, which left me with very little to spend on myself.”

When he was at the JW Marriott, Pune, Shantanu attended his first World Class, becoming a part of a global community of bartenders created by Diageo to enable them to connect, get acquainted with trends, and pick up new skills.

That proved to be his gateway to the famous Buddha Bar in Dubai, where he spent six years and won international competitions — up against French and Italian bartenders. Then the call came from Reynaud Palliere, CEO of PVR’s Luxury Collection and Innovations, who head hunted him for Home, which was then a members-only club at a Delhi mall.

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Home is no longer a private club. Shantanu has helmed its transition to a popular, albeit exclusive, lounge bar with a food menu designed by Japanese Chef Yutaka Saito and MasterChef Australia finalist Sarah Todd.

Today, Shantanu’s father is proud of what his son has been able to achieve by not listening to his advice. The dutiful son, in fact, looks after their financial needs, so his parents are back to doing what they love — they have returned to their paddy fields and his father, who has shut down his grocery store, spends his days fishing when he’s not in the fields.

Shantanu takes immense pride in pointing out that John Walker, the man behind the iconic whisky brand, was a grocer like his father.

Well, he may not yet be India’s answer to John Walker, but Shantanu has up his sleeve a variant of the Johnnie Walker Highball, one of the three cocktails that booked his ticket to Shanghai.



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Metro project in Madhya Pradesh will complete by 2027: CM Mohan Yadav




Bhopal, June 22 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav on Saturday reviewed the progress of metro rail work in two big cities – Bhopal and Indore and said that the project will be completed in the state by 2027.

During the meeting with the State’s Urban Development Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya, the CM gave necessary directions to the officials associated with the project.

Later, he said work on the second phase metro from Karond to Subhash Nagar in Bhopal will start soon.

The new phase of metro development, which will have eight stations, is expected to cost around Rs 1,500 crore.

The foundation stone of this nine km long metro route was laid down by CM Yadav in March this year.

Bhopal metro is under construction.

The Chief Minister also informed that 40 per cent work of Indore rail metro project has been completed.

“Entire rail metro project will be completed by 2027, and by 2031, more than 4 lakh people will travel in the metro every day,” the Chief Minister said.

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During the Assembly elections in November 2023, it was said that the metro project in Bhopal would be completed by mid-2024 and would be opened to commuters, however, the project got delayed.



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Pro-OBC quota activists suspend hunger strike after talks with Bhujbal-led delegation




Jalna (Maharashtra), June 22 (IANS) A day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde assured that OBC reservation won’t be affected and the government will soon set up a cabinet committee to address their issues, pro-OBC quota activist Laxman Hake on Saturday suspended his 10-day indefinite hunger strike after talks with a ministerial delegation led by NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal.

Hake, however, clarified that he has not totally cancelled his protest but suspended it following the government’s move to partially accept his demands that the OBC quota would not be touched, it would take action against the issue of fake caste certificates and hold a debate on OBC issues during the monsoon session of the assembly starting on June 27.

Navnath Waghmare, who was also on a hunger strike, too suspended his protest.

Hake and Waghmare were sitting on the hunger strike since June 13 seeking the recognition of Kunbis, which is an agrarian OBC group, as Marathas, thus making them eligible for a quota in government jobs and education. The duo were opposed to any attempt to dilute the OBC quota.

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Bhujbal, who is the founder of the Samata Parishad, targeted the pro-Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange Patil and declared that his bullying will not work. ‘’Reservation is not a ‘’garibi hatao’’ programme, it is meant to gradually bring the unjust society forward,’’ he said.

‘’The battle is not over. We are not afraid of anyone. Henceforth, if you (OBC) all stay together, your reservation will last. Nothing will happen if you sit with your hands folded.

“Henceforth, if the power of the people unites, the power of money will be defeated. We want reservation in the state assembly and Lok Sabha. The caste wise census should be conducted as Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has extended his support to the same,’’ said Bhujbal.

‘’We want to stand by Laxman Hake and Navnath Waghmare. Dalit and tribal communities are with you (OBCs). False certificates were issued in many places in the state. Action should be taken against those who gave false certificates. Fake documents will be checked once again. A case will be registered against those who give false documents,’’ stated Bhujbal.

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Transcending seas and space, PM Modi and Sheikh Hasina launch futuristic India-Bangladesh partnership




New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Setting a futuristic vision for bilateral cooperation in new areas, India and Bangladesh concluded 10 agreements following a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina at the Hyderabad House here on Saturday.

Turning the historic relationship between the two neighbouring countries into a transformational partnership, both leaders jointly agreed to the India-Bangladesh shared vision for the future, including enhanced connectivity, commerce, and collaboration for shared prosperity.

The vision document for a futuristic partnership between India and Bangladesh seeks to realise respective national development visions of having a ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047 and a ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041.

Two other futuristic and forward-looking documents – ‘Shared Vision for India Bangladesh Digital Partnership’ and ‘Green Partnership for Sustainable Future’ – were also agreed upon between the two sides.

MoUs on maritime cooperation and blue economy; space cooperation; railway connectivity; oceanography; and cooperation concerning military education in strategic and operational studies were also signed.

As many as three MoUs were renewed on cooperation in health and medicine, disaster management, and fisheries.

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Both the PMs also agreed to intensify engagement in counter-terrorism, counter-radicalisation, and peaceful management of the long land border.

With connectivity being one of the most significant pillars of the India-Bangladesh partnership, it was also decided to start a new passenger train between Rajshahi and Kolkata, while the trial run for a goods train on Bangladesh Railway from Gede-Darshana to Haldibari–Chilahati cross-border interchange point is planned for next month.

“This will also help sub-regional connectivity with Bhutan. We will also start a bus service from Kolkata to Chittagong,” said Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra after the meeting between the two Prime Ministers.

The two sides also exchanged an MoU on space technology that seeks to establish collaboration for the launch of a jointly-developed small satellite for Bangladesh on India’s launch vehicle.

In terms of bilateral partnership on river management, a joint technical committee has been formed to initiate discussions for the renewal of the Ganges Water Sharing Treaty of 1996.

“We will also undertake the management and conservation of Teesta River inside Bangladesh with suitable Indian assistance,” said the Indian Foreign Secretary.

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Earlier, Prime Minister Modi reiterated India’s commitment to realising Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s vision of a stable, prosperous, and progressive Bangladesh while asserting that New Delhi will continue to give the highest priority to its relations with Dhaka.

“Bangladesh is India’s largest development partner and lies at the confluence of our ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, Act East policy, Vision SAGAR, and Indo-Pacific vision. Together, we have completed many important public welfare projects in the last one year,” PM Modi said after holding talks with the visiting Bangladesh PM.

PM Modi also said that both countries have prepared a futuristic vision for cooperation in new areas.

“The youth of both countries will benefit from the consensus reached on cooperation in areas such as green partnership, digital partnership, blue economy, and space,” said Prime Minister Modi.

“We welcome Bangladesh’s decision to join the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative. We will also continue our cooperation in other regional and international fora, including BIMSTEC,” he added.

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The two leaders have met each other 10 times since 2019, making unprecedented transformations in the relationship which has served as a role model for neighbourhood partnership.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar highlighted that the State visit of the Bangladesh PM reflects the depth of Bharat-Bangladesh Maitri.

“That PM Hasina is the first State guest in our new term shows the importance we attach to India-Bangladesh relationships. As PM Narendra Modi said, Bangladesh lies at the intersection of our Neighborhood First, Act East, SAGAR, and Indo-Pacific policies,” Jaishankar said in a post on X on Saturday.

“Being truly good neighbours, our ties are consolidating traditional areas and covering new ground. The agreements signed today show the breadth of our bonds. From seas to space, digital, green and health, military, rail and disaster, our two countries are collaborating across all avenues of human endeavour,” Jaishankar said while hoping that the partnership between the two nations will continue to grow under the leadership of both the leaders.



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