Indian expat social media influencer, mother of 2, falls to death from 19th floor in UAE

News Network
May 27, 2024

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An Indian expat in her late 30s fell to her death in Fujairah on Saturday morning. The deceased, identified as Shanifa Babu from Kerala, fell from the balcony of her apartment on the 19th floor of the building she lived in.

Married with two daughters, Shanifa was popular on social media with thousands of followers. At the time of her death, her mother was visiting her from Dubai.

“We have no idea what happened,” said a family friend, who preferred to be anonymous. “The incident took place around 9am, and her husband, mother and children were in the apartment at the time. Shanifa grew up in the UAE and her entire extended family lives here. On Saturday, her mother had travelled from Dubai to meet her in Fujairah.”

According to social workers, both Shanifa’s mother and husband were at the police station until the early hours of Sunday to complete the formalities. The deceased’s body has been kept in the mortuary of Fujairah Hospital.

Shanifa's husband is an entrepreneur, who has his own construction firm in the emirate. The couple hailed from the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Social media influencer

Shanifa was very active on both Instagram and TikTok commanding a joint following of more than 90,000 on both platforms. She regularly posted funny reels and about her life with her family. Her last social media post was a reel on TikTok on Thursday that said: “Don’t fall in love with me, I will break your heart.”

Messages of condolences poured in on social media, with many users expressing their shock at Shanifa's death. “I cannot believe you are no longer on this earth Shanu,” wrote one user. Another wrote: “You were someone I became friends with on social media without ever meeting in real life, rest in peace.”

Shanifa's husband Sanuj Babu posted about the tragic news. “Please pray for her,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I cannot believe what happened,” said the family friend. “They were a very loving family and very friendly with everyone. I have never even seen them have an argument. I cannot believe that such a terrible tragedy has struck them. The girls are very young and don’t understand what is happening. They spent most of Saturday at a friend’s house where they looked very scared and confused. My heart goes out to the family.”

Social workers said they are assisting the family to complete the formalities and paperwork. It is not immediately clear whether Shanifa will be buried here or in India.

Earlier this year, an Ajman teen died after falling from a residential building the emirate. He was missing for several weeks before he was found dead. In March, a 4-year-old also died after falling from a high-rise in Sharjah.

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News Network
June 11,2024

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Bengaluru/Mysuru: Well-known Kannada actor Darshan Thoogudeepa and 10 others have been arrested for the murder of 33-year-old from Chitradurga, Bengaluru police said on Tuesday.

S Girish, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West), confirmed the development.

"We have taken him (Darshan) into custody for the murder of a man named Renukaswamy. The case has been registered at the Kamakshipalya police station. Ten more people have been taken into custody and we are interrogating them," Girish said and declined to give more details.

Police sources said that the 47-year-old 'Challenging Star' was picked up from Indiranagar (Ittigegudu) in Mysuru, his hometown, around 8:30 am. He is being brought to Bengaluru.

Renukaswamy's body was recently found in western Bengaluru's Kamakshipalya. There were injury marks on the head and other body parts.

Darshan, among the A-listers of Kannada cinema, has often been in conflict with the law but this is the most serious allegation against him. 

“CCTV was examined, and the victim was identified as Renukaswamy from Chitradurga,” the Bengaluru Police said.

What is the case?

According to sources, the preliminary investigation revealed that Renukaswamy had sent obscene messages to the actor’s girlfriend Pavithra Gowda.

Police sources disclosed that Renuka Swamy had harassed Pavithra Gowda. Following Pavithra’s complaint, Darshan allegedly instructed Vinay, an associate, to bring Renuka Swamy to Bengaluru.

According to the police, the victim, Renuka Swamy, was murdered on June 8. His body was found in a drain in Kamakshipalya, located in Bengaluru, on June 9. Mr Swamy, who worked for a pharmacy company, had sent "obscene messages" on social media to an actress close to Darshan, the police said. 

Mr Swamy was from Chitradurga, over 200 km from Karnataka's capital. 

Local residents reportedly alerted the police to the murder when they saw stray dogs dragging a body from the drain. Investigations led to the arrest of some suspects who allegedly directed the police to Darshan.

"He was my only son. Last year he got married. I spoke to him on Saturday only. I want justice," Mr Swamy's father Srinivasaiah said. 

Police have provided tight security at Darshan's RR Nagar residence in Bengaluru.

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News Network
June 12,2024

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Shocking details have emerged from the probe into the murder of a man who allegedly made derogatory comments against the friend and co-star of leading Kannada actor Darshan Thoogudeepa.

According to police sources, Renukaswamy (33) drew the wrath of Darshan for making lewd comments against Pavithra Gowda on her social media posts.

"It was Pavithra who instigated Darshan to punish Renukaswamy. Accordingly, the plan was hatched," they said.

Renukaswamy hailed from Lakshmi Venkateshwara Layout in Chitradurga and worked with a pharmacy company.

"Darshan engaged the Chitradurga unit of Darshan Fan Club Convenor Raghavendra alias Raghu, who obtained all information about Renukaswamy." Renukaswamy's wife Sahana said Raghavendra picked up her husband on Friday night from near their house.

The victim was abducted and taken to a shed in Kamakshipalya area in Bengaluru, the sources said.

"Darshan beat up Renukaswamy with a belt. After he fell unconscious, his accomplices thrashed him with sticks. Further, they threw him against a wall, which proved fatal," they said adding there were multiple bone fractures all over his body.

After he died, his body was dumped in a stormwater drain.

A food delivery boy who noticed dogs eating a human body alerted the police.

When the police were working on the case, two accused approached Kamakshipalya police and "confessed" to having killed Renukaswamy over a financial dispute.

As the investigation progressed, police found out Darshan and Pavithra's involvement.

Darshan, his friend and film actress Pavithra Gowda, and 11 others were arrested in connection with Renukaswamy's murder on Tuesday.

The 47-year-old actor has been remanded to six days' police custody by a court. 

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News Network
June 11,2024

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Bengaluru: A court in Bengaluru has remanded Kannada actor Darshan Thoogudeepa, his long-time friend Pavithra Gowda and 11 others to six days of police custody in connection with the murder of a man from Chitradurga. 

Darshan, 47, an A-lister of Kannada cinema, is accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and murder of 33-year-old Renukaswamy, who allegedly posted lewd messages about Pavithra on Instagram. 

A team of Kamakshipalya police from Bengaluru apprehended Darshan at the Radisson Blu Plaza hotel in Mysuru, his hometown, around 8:30 am on Tuesday. He was subsequently brought to Bengaluru and taken to Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital for a medical examination. 

By the evening, Darshan, Pavithra and the 11 other suspects were presented before the 24th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court on Nrupathunga Road. The court granted the police's request to interrogate them in custody for six days. 

Renukaswamy’s body was discovered in a drain near an apartment complex in northwestern Bengaluru's Sumanahalli on the morning of June 9. The following day, four suspects surrendered to the police, claiming they murdered Renukaswamy over a financial dispute. 

Police sources told DH that Renukaswamy was brought from Chitradurga to Bengaluru on June 8, put up in a shed in RR Nagar owned by one of the suspects, and severely beaten. He sustained fatal injuries to his groin and at least 10 other places. His body was then transported approximately 12 km to Sumanahalli, in northwestern Bengaluru, and discarded in a drain. 

As the police dug deeper, a larger conspiracy surrounding the murder was uncovered, leading to suspicion falling on Darshan, the sources explained. 

"We have taken him (Darshan) into custody for the murder of a man named Renukaswamy. The case has been registered at the Kamakshipalya police station," S Girish, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West), said.

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