Sangli suicide: Money lenders under lens, 20 arrested so far

The Indian Express | 2 days ago | 23-06-2022 | 03:45 am

Sangli suicide: Money lenders under lens, 20 arrested so far

ON MONDAY afternoon, nine members from the families of two brothers were found dead in their houses at Mhaisal town in Sangli district in a case of suspected suicide pact. Here is what we know about the case till now and what we don’t know yet.The death of nine from a familyOn the afternoon of June 20 around 1 pm, two brothers Dr Manik Vanmore (49), a veterinarian and Popat Vanmore (52), an arts teacher, their mother, their wives, four children of the two couples — were found dead in two separate houses located a kilometre apart in Mhaisal. The families had moved to their present houses from their ancestral home in Mhaisal seven years ago. Preliminary examination pointed to consumption of a poisonous substance causing the death of all the nine persons. Dead bodies of Dr Manik, his mother Akkatai (72), Manik’s wife Rekha (45), their children Anita (28) and Aditya (15) and Popat’s son Shubham (28) were found dead at Manik’s house. Bodies of Popat, his wife Sangeeta (48) and daughter Archana (30) were found at Popat’s house. While neighbours paint a picture of a mild mannered and an aloof family, close family friends say that the Vanmore’s had been under stress in the recent past because of debt.How did the incident come to light?On Monday morning, some people who had routine contacts with the family in the morning hours, got suspicious after the family members did not respond to them. The milkman who delivered the milk daily did not get any response to the knocks on the door, nor did the staffers at Dr Manik’s clinic get any response to their calls. Some people contacted a distant relative of the family who stays close by and asked her to come. When the relative and some others looked inside from the back door, they saw people lying on the ground unresponsive. Some people were sent to Popat’s house to tell them what had happened, and three more family members were found unconscious. Meanwhile, the police arrived and after preliminary medical examination, all nine were pronounced dead.What has the police investigation revealed till now?The starting point of the investigation were the two suspected suicide notes recovered from the two houses. The notes suggest that the family members took the extreme step because of heavy debt. Based on the probe into the content of the suicide notes, the police initially booked 25 persons, most of whom had lend money to the family members and were allegedly pressuring them for repayment.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxIn the first set of arrests made late on Monday and on Tuesday, the Sangli district police apprehended 15 persons from the 25 suspects named in the case. On Wednesday, the Sangli district police made five more arrests in the case, taking the total number of arrests to 20 till now.“The Vanmore brothers and some other members of their family had borrowed money on interest from the accused persons, most of whom the police have said are moneylenders. Although the brothers were regularly paying the interest amount, the lenders and other accused persons were repeatedly and publicly harassing them — mentally and physically,” the police have said, adding that the deceased persons ended their lives after the harassment became unbearable.A senior police officer who did not wish to be named has said, “The suicide notes say that the family wanted to set up a steel item manufacturing unit and for that they had borrowed money. But we are verifying whether this is true and whether there was any actual movement towards setting up such a plant. We are trying to find out whether or not there are any more lenders. We are also probing how and under what circumstances were these loans taken and how was the money used.”

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Koregaon Bhima inquiry commission gets another extension till December 31
The Indian Express | 9 hours ago | 25-06-2022 | 03:45 am
The Indian Express
9 hours ago | 25-06-2022 | 03:45 am

MAHARASHTRA GOVERNMENT has granted yet another extension to the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry. An order to this effect has been issued by the home department on June 20. As per this order, the commission has been given an extension of six months till December 31, 2022.The two-member commission, headed by retired high court judge Justice J N Patel with former chief secretary Sumit Malik as the other member, was constituted by the state government on February 9, 2018, to inquire into the “exact sequence” of events that led to violence on the 200th anniversary of Battle of Koregaon Bhima on January 1 that year. One person had died and several others were left injured in the violence.The commission was initially given four months to submit its report, but its tenure had to be repeatedly extended to allow it to complete its work. Subsequently, the commission received extensions from time to time. The Commission received a two months extension from February 8, 2020 to April 8, 2020. But due to the Covid-19 outbreak, on March 23, 2020, the commission issued a letter postponing the hearings till further notice. Meanwhile, the period of extension granted to the commission by the government expired on April 8.The commission then sought further extension of at least six months, saying that it intended to examine nearly 40 to 50 more witnesses, including police and revenue officers, and a few prominent political leaders. Accordingly, the state government gave the commission an extension till December 31, 2021. The commission then conducted hearings in Pune and Mumbai, but a few important witnesses remain to be examined. So, the panel sought another extension of six months from the state government.Then, the government again granted extension to the commission till June 30, 2022. During this period, the commission examined some witnesses including Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar. However, some important witnesses are part heard and yet to be examined.“So we submitted a status report of the commission and sought one more extension from the government. So far, examination of 38 witnesses is completed. And the commission wants to examine about 15 more witnesses. Government has granted an extension of six months till December 31, 2022. The schedule for the next hearings will be released soon,” said V V Palnitkar, secretary of the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry.On Thursday, IPS officers Vishwas Nangare Patil and Suvez Haque deposed as witnesses before the commission in Mumbai. Their examination in chief was recorded by commission’s lawyer Aashish Satpute. Currently, joint commissioner (law and order) of Mumbai police, Nangare Patil was the special inspector general of police, Kolhapur range at the time of violence in Koregaon Bhima area (in the jurisdiction of Pune rural police), which was under his supervision. Haque is currently attached to the CBI and was the superintendent (SP) of Pune rural police at the time of Koregaon Bhima violence.

Koregaon Bhima inquiry commission gets another extension till December 31
Maharashtra: Top police brass asked to be on alert
The Indian Express | 9 hours ago | 25-06-2022 | 03:45 am
The Indian Express
9 hours ago | 25-06-2022 | 03:45 am

TOP officers of the Maharashtra Police held meetings with commissioners and SPs across the state, asking them to be on alert in the wake of the political crisis prevailing the state. Officers have been asked to identify possible troublemakers and ensure there is no breakdown of law and order in the state.An IPS officer said, “We are concerned about any law-and-order situation in the state especially when the rebel faction comes to the state. We are also keeping an eye out for any possible violence by the Shiv Sainiks against some of the MLAs, who have joined ranks with Shinde.”The officer added that so far, there have been three instances in Mumbai and one in Kolhapur linked to the political crisis. In Mumbai, Shiv Sena workers damaged the offices of rebel MLAs Kudalkar, Sada Sarvankar and Dilip Lande on Friday when their posters blackened. “Local police stations have been asked to ensure that family members of rebel leaders are not attacked,” an officer said.The officer added that they are wary of any street fights between supporters of either side, especially in areas like Thane, which is Shinde’s stronghold. “We have kept reserve police like the State Reserve Police Force on standby to ensure that if there is any issue, prompt action can be taken,” an officer said.“Generally, every MLA in his constituency has rivals, who we fear will use the situation to their advantage in cases where the legislator has defected,” an IPS officer told The Indian Express.There are indications that the Union government may provide the rebel MLAs CRPF cover when they come to Mumbai. “It is the prerogative of the Centre to provide security to any individual or group that it deems fit,” the officer added.

Maharashtra: Top police brass asked to be on alert
Two held for over 50 ATM frauds
Times of India | 10 hours ago | 25-06-2022 | 03:26 am
Times of India
10 hours ago | 25-06-2022 | 03:26 am

Rajkot: Junagadh local crime branch busted a gang allegedly involved in ATM card fraud. Two members of the Andhra Pradesh gang who were arrested have admitted to have committed 51 frauds in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh using the same modus operandi. According to the police, Krishnamurthy Sunpushetty (44) and Mohana Gaund native of Andhra Pradesh were arrested two days ago. Police recovered 52 ATM cards in their possession.Their modus operandi was to target senior citizens and those who were not well versed with technology. They used to stand near ATM centre and deliberately dash into the victim. When victim’s card fell down, one of them while picking up the card swapped it with other card. When the victim tried to withdraw money the transaction would fail. During this time the accused noted the ATM PIN that the person feeded. In last six months they targeted several people in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Junagadh district with the same modus operandi.The duo were nabbed after they had withdrawn cash and purchased a mobile phone using the ATM card of a 71-year-old teacher Chandrakant Makwana in Gondal on June 21.Later in the day, Makwana got a call from Junagadh LCB asking if he had lost any money from his account. Makwana was unaware but when he took out a mini statement from the bank, he realized that Rs 20,000 cash was withdrawn from an ATM kiosk in Rajkot while a mobile worth Rs 39,000 was also purchased using his card. In all, Makwana lost Rs 68,000 in three transactions.

Two held for over 50 ATM frauds