‘A gift of love’! LuLu Yusuff Ali saves Kerala woman's house from bank repossession

News Network
December 7, 2021

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LulLu Group chairman and managing director MA Yusuff Ali has saved a Kerala woman’s house from being repossessed by a local bank in a random act of kindness.

The UAE-based businessman was approached by the woman, identified as Amina, while he was visiting people who rescued him and several others during a helicopter crash eight months ago, it is learnt.

Yusuff Ali, his wife Shabira, and five others, including the pilot and co-pilot, survived the crash following a forced landing of their helicopter in a swamp amid heavy rains and winds on April 11 in Panangad, a village in Kochi. The accident took place when Ali was on his way to meet with a relative at a hospital in Nettoor.

“Yusuff Ali and his team went to visit the families that rescued him during the crucial moments after the crash. While he was walking towards his car, an elderly lady named Amina ran up to him with several bank documents in her hand,” V Nandakumar, director of marketing and communications at Lulu Group, Abu Dhabi explained.

The incident took place on Sunday, December 5. Amina said her house was soon to be repossessed by a neighbourhood bank due to non-payment of dues. 

In a now-viral video that was shared by bystanders, Amina can be seen desperately asking Yusuffali for assistance.

“The bank will repossess my home. Please help me,” she is seen saying in the video. Without a moment’s notice, the UAE-based businessman promised her his support.

A day later, senior Lulu Group officials have confirmed to Khaleej Times that Yusuffali’s personal staff went to the bank, paid the outstanding amount of approximately Dh18,506 (INR 3,80,000) to the Keechery Service Co-operative Bank. “Yusuffali has also paid Dh2,435 (INR 50,000) which will go towards Amina’s family’s medical expenses,” added Nandakumar.

“The title deed of her house and other documents would be returned to her in two days,” he explained.

Ali had returned to the crash site and visited villagers who rescued him, after fully recovering from injuries he sustained during the accident.

The group said he first met with Rajesh and his wife Biji, a local policewoman.

Yusuffali recollected it was Rajesh who first came to his rescue after the chopper made a belly landing in the waterlogged plot of land. He thanked Rajesh and his wife for their invaluable rescue work during adverse weather conditions, without realising who Yusuffali was.

“It was Biji who rushed to a nearby police station to inform cops about the accident,” said the Group. The head of the retail business presented the family with gifts and a cheque, which Ali called ‘a gift of love’.

Yusuffali spent nearly 30 minutes with the family and promised Rajesh he would extend all the support that was needed to organise his cousin’s wedding.

He also visited Peter, the owner of the land where the crash took place and handed gifts over to him.

The UAE-based Indian businessman and billionaire is very closely involved in several social and charitable humanitarian activities. Earlier this year, he saved Kerala man Becks Krishnan from death row after he paid Dh 500,000 in blood money. 

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News Network
August 9,2022

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Udupi, Aug 9: The Supreme Court of India has disapproved categorically the practice of considering evidence while granting bail, or suspending a sentence, while expunging the observations made by the Karnataka High Court while granting bail to the woman who was convicted of murdering her husband, Bhaskar Shetty, a businessman from Udupi. 

The murder, when it came to light, had made headlines across the country.

A bench of Justices B R Gavai and P S Narasimha agreed with the contention, made by advocate Sanjay M Nuli on behalf of the victim’s mother Gulabi Shetty, that the High Court went into the issues of the validity of the ‘Will’, which was completely unrelated to the proceedings before it.

“The High Court has grossly erred in granting suspension of sentence in such a serious crime,” Nuli argued, contending that the high court went on to decide the matter as if it was deciding an appeal.

Concurring with his contention, the bench said: “We are in full agreement with the counsel for the petitioner that the High Court has totally erred in making an elaborate discussion of the evidence. This Court has time and again observed that courts should avoid elaborate appreciation of the evidence at the stage of grant of bail.”

The bench also observed that it was “totally unwarranted” of the high court “to have made a detailed elaboration of an evidence” while granting bail.

“We, therefore, expunge all the observations made by the High Court wherever it has re-appreciated the evidence in detail and clarify that the order would be construed as a prima facie consideration of the evidence for grant of suspension of sentence,” the bench said.

The apex court, however, also said it did not find anything wrong in allowing the application filed by the convict Rajeshwari Shetty, for suspension of her sentence, as the case was based on circumstantial evidence.

The top court also directed the high court's bench, which would hear the appeal on merits, not to take into consideration any of the observations the lower court made in its order on December 23, 2021.

It also requested the high court to expedite the hearing of the appeal.

“In case the petitioner does not cooperate with expeditious disposal of the matter, the High Court would be at liberty to take appropriate steps,” the Supreme Court ruled.

The trial court, on June 8, 2021, had convicted the victim’s wife Rajeshwari, their son, and the wife's alleged paramour for murdering Bhaskar Shetty, who ran a business in Saudi Arabia and owned a hotel in Udupi, and burning his body in a “homa kund” in 2016, and sentenced the three to life imprisonment.

The prosecution claimed that Rajeshwari, along with her 20-year-old son Navneet, threw chili powder into her husband’s eyes and assaulted him with a rod. Thereafter, the two tied the victim’s hands and feet, and poisoned him. Later, they carried the body to another location and burnt it by organising a ‘yagna’. To further destroy the evidence, they threw the bones and remains into a river.

Bhaskar suspected Rajeshwari of adultery and had lodged a police complaint with Manipal police station on July 9, 2016; he was murdered on July 28. The police unearthed the murder while acting upon a missing person’s complaint filed by Gulabi.

The prosecution relied upon a DNA report to conclude the recovered body parts were that of the complainant’s son.

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News Network
August 6,2022

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Gaza City, Aug 6: Israel hit Gaza with deadly air strikes on Saturday and a Palestinian group retaliated with a barrage of rocket fire, in the territory's worst escalation of violence since a war last year.

Israel has said it was forced to launch a "pre-emptive" operation against Islamic Jihad, insisting the group was planning an imminent attack following days of tensions along the Gaza border.

Health authorities in Gaza, a Palestinian enclave controlled by the Islamist group Hamas, said a five-year-old girl was among 12 people killed by the Israeli bombardment. More than 80 others have been wounded.

The Israeli military warned Saturday it was "preparing for the operation to last a week," while the sole power station in Gaza ground to a halt due to a lack of fuel after Israel closed border crossings.

Israel and Islamic Jihad have both confirmed the killing of Taysir al-Jabari, a key leader of Islamic Jihad, in a Friday strike on a building in the west of Gaza city.

Islamic Jihad is aligned with Hamas, but often acts independently. It said the initial Israeli bombardment amounted to a "declaration of war" and unleashed a barrage of rockets towards Israel.

Sources within the group ruled out a ceasefire soon, with one saying: "for the movement the focus is on the battlefield," while an Israeli military spokesman told AFP that the army is "not currently holding ceasefire negotiations".

The rocket fire and Israeli strikes were continuing on Saturday, risking a repeat of an 11-day conflict in May 2021 that devastated Gaza and forced countless Israelis to rush to bomb shelters.

Daily life in the Palestinian enclave has come to a standstill, with streets largely deserted and most shops closed.

Israel's closure of a key goods crossing four days ago resulted in Gaza's power plant shutting down on Saturday, due to a "fuel shortage," a spokesman for the enclave's electricity distributor said.

Diesel for the plant is usually trucked in from Egypt or Israel, which closed its two border crossings with Gaza on Tuesday citing security concerns.

"Israel isn't interested in a wider conflict in Gaza, but will not shy away from one either," Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a nationally televised address on Friday.

Air raid sirens sounded across southern Israel on Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage.

Officials in border areas urged people to stay close to shelters, which have also been opened in the coastal city of Tel Aviv.

Hamas has fought four wars with Israel since seizing control of Gaza in 2007, including the conflict last May.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad are considered terrorist organisations by much of the West.

A flare up with Islamic Jihad came in 2019, following Israel's killing of Baha Abu al-Ata, Jabari's predecessor. Hamas did not join the fray in that episode.

Hamas's moves now could prove crucial, with the group facing pressure from some to restore calm in order to improve economic conditions in Gaza.

Mohammed Abu Salameh, the director of Shifa, Gaza City's main hospital, said medics are facing "acute shortages of medical supplies".

On Friday, the health ministry reported "a five-year-old girl, targeted by the Israeli occupation" was among those killed.

The girl, Alaa Kaddum, had a pink bow in her hair and a wound on her forehead, as her body was carried by her father at her funeral.

Israeli military spokesman Richard Hecht said Friday "we are assuming about 15 killed in action" in Gaza, referring to Palestinian combatants.

Israeli tanks were lined up along the border, after the military said Thursday it was reinforcing its troops.

The measures followed the arrest in the occupied West Bank of two senior members of Islamic Jihad, including Bassem al-Saadi, who Israel accuses of orchestrating recent attacks.

Israel on Saturday broadened its operation against Islamic Jihad, announcing the arrest of 19 people it said were members of the group in the occupied West Bank.

Israel has conducted a near relentless wave of often deadly raids inside the West Bank since mid-March in response to lethal attacks on Israeli citizens.

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News Network
August 4,2022

Mangaluru, Aug 4: City Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar has extended the prohibitory orders under section 144 under the limits of commissionerate till 6 am on August 8.

The prohibitory orders was imposed after a group of Hindutwa activists hacked a Muslim youth to death at Surathkal on July 28.

No ban on pillion riders

Meanwhile, the police withdrew a ban order on male pillion riders on two-wheelers. 

Earlier in the day, as per the direction of ADGP (law and order) Alok Kumar, the Commissioner had issued a formal order banning male pillion riders on two-wheelers from 6pm to 6am. 

Following opposition from various quarters, the police took a U-turn. The order was withdrawn in the public interest, said the commissioner. 

According to ADGP 18 check posts are being opened across the bordering district of Dakshina Kannada as per the directions of the Home Minister and DGP.

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