Newly married man, his brother killed as bomb-laden home theatre gifted by wife’s ex-lover explodes

News Network
April 5, 2023

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The police have solved the case of a home theatre music system explosion in Kabirdham district of Chhattisgarh and arrested former lover of a newly married woman for allegedly planting a bomb in the electronic device with an intention to kill the couple, an official said on Wednesday, April 5.

The woman's husband Hemendra Merawi (30) and his brother Rajkumar (32) were killed following the explosion in the music system, gifted by accused Sarju Markam (33), a married man from Chhapla village in Balaghat district of neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, they said.

Markam was arrested from Balaghat on Tuesday after his involvement in the crime surfaced during the investigation, Kabirdham Superintendent of Police Lal Umed Singh said. 

"The accused told the police that he had planted the explosive in the home theatre and gifted it to the newly married couple in a bid to kill them," he said.

Merawi, a resident of Chamari village under Rengakhar police station limits, got married to a 29-year-old woman from nearby Anjana village on March 31 and the wedding reception was held in his house on April 1, he said.

On Monday, when Merawi was trying to switch on the home theatre received as the wedding gift, it exploded. Merawi died on the spot and five others including his elder brother suffered injuries, the official said.

His brother later succumbed during treatment at the district hospital, he added.

The forensic team spotted traces of gunpowder during investigation of the spot following which family members of the bride and groom were questioned, he said.

The questioning and call details revealed that Merawi's wife was in constant touch with Markam. The duo had an affair and Markam was unhappy since the woman stopped talking to him after her marriage got fixed with Merawi, the official said.

Merawi's call details also revealed that he spoke to Markam on March 30, the day when the former's wedding rituals began, he said.

Based on the investigation, police reached a shop in Mandai area of Balaghat from where the music system, which had Sony brand name printed on it, was purchased and questioned the shop owner who confirmed that Markam had bought it, he said.

The police subsequently zeroed-in on Markam, who worked as an auto mechanic in Birsa (Balaghat), and arrested him, the official said.

Markam told the police that he "committed the crime and revealed that he used ammonium nitrate, petrol and gunpowder retrieved from firecrackers, weighing about 2 kg, to make the bomb and fitted it inside the home theatre."

He used the device power supply as a mechanism to trigger the blast, the police official said. Markam came on a motorcycle to Chamari on April 1, the reception day, and placed the wrapped music system along with other gifts and went from there, he said.

Singh said Markam had worked in a stone crusher plant in 2015-16 in Indore and learnt from there how to make bombs using ammonium nitrate.

The accused had collected ammonium nitrate from the same crusher plant and kept it with him, the official said. After the woman refused to break up her marriage and stopped talking to Markam, he hatched a conspiracy to kill the couple, he added.

So far, the role of any other person has not been surfaced in the offence, the SP said, adding that further investigation is underway. The accused has been booked under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and provisions of the Explosives Substances Act, he added.

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News Network
May 18,2024

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Bengaluru: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar and other state ministers on Saturday rubbished allegations about their role in the circulation of pen drives containing explicit videos involving Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna.

BJP leader and advocate G Devaraje Gowda, who is in custody after being arrested in a sexual abuse case and is also facing charges of video leak, on Friday alleged that Shivakumar and four other ministers are behind the circulation of the pen drives and was being fixed in false cases as he did not agree to be part of their plan.

He has even alleged that he was offered Rs 100 crore by Shivakumar to "bring a bad name" to the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and to tarnish the image of JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy in Prajwal Revanna's obscene video case.

Speaking to reporters here, Shivakumar said, "Better, let him (Gowda) file a case before Lokayukta or any other agency. I think he has some problems mentally. I'm very sorry, the national and state media shouldn't have picked up such baseless allegations. A person who is in jail, how can he make such allegations? All these are baseless. I don't want to comment." 

Asked if he will be filing any defamation case against Gowda, he said, "I don't want to make any comment or speak on a person who is mentally sick. I appeal to his party people to get him a good treatment." Shivakumar also asserted that his government's commitment to get justice for women victims of the sexual abuse case, and expressed confidence about the Special Investigation Team's (SIT) ongoing probe.

While being taken from court in Hassan, Gowda on Friday spoke to media and alleged that Shivakumar is behind pen drive case, and a team of four Ministers -- N Chaluvarayaswamy, Krishna Byre Gowda, Priyank Kharge and another minister -- was formed to handle this, with an intention to bring bad name to BJP, PM Modi and Kumaraswamy.

He said Shivakumar had asked him to say that Kumaraswamy is behind the distribution of pen drives, but as he did not agree to it, he is being fixed in false cases.

Minister Priyank Kharge said Gowda has alleged that three responsible ministers in the state government were part of a team and that there was a conspiracy. "We will discuss whatever legal course, we will take it." 

"Devaraje Gowda might be doing this to defame Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah. If he had a Rs 100 crore offer, he should have told Amit Shah (Union Home Minister) and get it investigated. He could have got CBI, ED, or IT raids done. Why didn't he do it? Claims have been made that he (Gowda) was sent Rs 5 crore as advance at a club, let them get CCTV footage and see who were all there," Kharge said.

While speaking to reporters here, he further said Gowda is a lawyer. When he was deposed before the Judge he should have told about the documents he has and should have presented to the court.

Minister Chaluvarayaswamy said allegations about the role of Shivakumar and a team of ministers being formed to oversee the circulation of pen drives are 'baseless', and he questioned Gowda's morality to make such accusations.

"If Gowda proves that Chaluvarayaswamy, Priyank Kharge and Krishna Byre Gowda had held a meeting on this case and we as a team were given responsibility and we were involved in this case, I will apologise," he said and alleged that Gowda was being used to mislead and deviate from the main case of sexual abuse.

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News Network
May 22,2024

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Ireland, Norway and Spain have formally recognized the Palestinian state, angering the Israeli regime that recalled its ambassadors from the two European states.

“Today Ireland, Norway and Spain are announcing that we recognize the state of Palestine, each of us will undertake whatever national steps are necessary to give effect to that decision," Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said at a news conference in Dublin on Wednesday.

“I am confident that further countries will join us in taking this important step in the coming weeks.”

He added that the move was a statement of "unequivocal support" for the so-called two-state solution, which he described as "the only credible path to peace and security."

Shortly after Harris's statement, his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said both countries will recognize the Palestine state from May 28.

Sanchez said it is clear is that “[Israeli] prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not have a project of peace for Palestine.”

Store, for his part, noted that there cannot be peace in the West Asia region if there is no recognition.

"Norway’s formal recognition of Palestine as a state will enter into force on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. A number of other like-minded European countries will also formally recognize Palestine on that same date. These countries will be making their own announcements," added a statement by the Norwegian prime minister.

Palestine welcomes recognition 

Meanwhile, secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hussein al-Sheikh, welcomed the decision by Norway, Spain and Ireland to recognize the state of Palestine, calling it a “historical moment.”

“Historical moments in which the free world triumphs for truth and justice after long decades of Palestinian national struggle, suffering, pain, occupation, racism, murder, oppression, abuse and destruction to which the people of Palestine were subjected to,” he said in a post on social media platform X, describing the recognition as a path to stability, security and peace.

“We thank the countries of the world that have recognized and will recognize the independent State of Palestine. We affirm that this is the path to stability, security and peace in the region.”

In reaction, Israeli authorities have ordered the regime’s ambassadors from Ireland and Norway to immediately return, and said they would do the same for Spain.

The Spanish prime minister has been one of the most outspoken European leaders when it comes to criticism of the Israeli regime’s genocidal war on Gaza. He has also repeatedly asserted that the so-called two-state solution remains the only answer to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This comes amid Israel's brutal war on Gaza, which was launched on October 7 after Palestinian resistance groups carried out a surprise retaliatory operation into the occupied territories.

Concomitantly with the war, the regime has been enforcing a near-total siege on the coastal territory, which has reduced the flow of foodstuffs, medicine, electricity, and water into the Palestinian territory into a trickle.

So far during the military onslaught, the regime has killed at least 35,456 Gazans, most of them women, children, and adolescents. Another 79,476 Palestinians have sustained injuries as well.

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News Network
May 20,2024

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Mangaluru, May 20: In a heart-wrenching tragedy, a Class 3 girl student tragically lost her life due to the collapse of the compound wall of Harekala Hajabba Government Senior Primary School in Newpadpu, situated on the outskirts of the city, during the evening hours of Monday, May 20, following heavy rains.

The young victim, identified as Shazia Banu (7), was the cherished daughter of Siddique and Jamila, residing in Newpadpu. She met her untimely demise in the unfortunate accident.

Over the past two days, students from the National Service Scheme (NSS) at Mudipu Undergraduate College had been engaged in activities at the Harekala Hajabba School. 

Shazia, who lived in close proximity to the school, eagerly participated in these endeavours. Tragically, while playing near the school compound gate before returning home in the evening, the wall collapsed suddenly, fatally injuring her. Despite the prompt efforts of local residents to rescue her, Shazia succumbed to her injuries.

The incessant rainfall in Ullal taluk since the morning had significantly weakened the structural integrity of the compound wall, ultimately resulting in its collapse. Officials from the Harekala gram panchayat and the Konaje police promptly responded to the scene and have initiated an investigation into the matter.

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