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Army, police probe rape of deaf-mute woman by four soldiers

They are: Ward Master Harun Rashid, Mohammed Muthazim, Ravindra Singh (both nursing assistants), and an ambulance assistant, Ahirwal.

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Rape Victim

Pune, Oct 17 : Pune Police and the Army have launched a probe into allegations of rape levelled against four soldiers of the Army Medical Corps (AMC) by a deaf-mute 30-year-old woman employee of the Military Hospital here, an official said.

“We have lodged a First Information Report (FIR) for rape and molestation, based on the victim’s complaint. We shall first investigate the matter and then seek permission of the Centre for further action as they (accused) are Army employees,” Senior Police Inspector Rajendra Mohite told IANS.

According to the complaint, the woman had got a Class IV job in the handicapped category at the Military Hospital in July 2014.

A few months later, in early 2015, she was raped in the bathroom by a soldier when she was on night duty in the family ward.

She informed her immediate superior about the incident by a text message who promised to look into her complaint. Later, he also raped by threatening to make her message viral.

Subsequently two other soldiers joined them and the foursome sexually assaulted her regularly since 2015, said the widow, who also has a 12-year-old son.

The woman claimed that the jawans had also made video clips of their sex acts with her and blackmailed her into submission.

Finally, unable to bear the ongoing exploitation any longer, in July (2018), she went to Indore and sought help from a NGO, Anand Society Deaf Institute (ASDI), which specializes in helping speech-and-hearing handicapped persons.

The ASDI arranged the services of a sign language expert, Gyanendra Purohit, who recorded her complaint, accompanied her to Pune to lodge a complaint with the Military Hospital Commandant and later with the Indore DIG H.C. Mishra.

“In July, when we approached the concerned authorities in Pune, we did not get proper response. Then, we sent a video of the woman’s plight to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Gen Vipin Rawat and Army Headquarters seeking justice for her,” Purohit told IANS.

Following a green signal from the Army authorities on August 16, the Pune Police on Tuesday lodged the victim’s FIR against the four soldiers.

They are: Ward Master Harun Rashid, Mohammed Muthazim, Ravindra Singh (both nursing assistants), and an ambulance assistant, Ahirwal.

All of them were attached to the Army Medical Corps and one is still posted at the Military Hospital here. Another has been posted in Jammu and Kashmir, one in Lucknow and another was recently transferred to a new location.

The woman said that all the four soldiers took “advantage of her handicap” threatened, abused and blackmailed her into submission for nearly four years, and her past complaints to several seniors were ignored.

An Army Court of Inquiry and the Pune Police have launched independent investigations into the matter

India

Soren meets Rahul as JMM-Cong govt completes 1 yr in Jharkhand

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Hemant Soren

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Monday met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi here as the JMM-Congress alliance government completed a year in the state.

According to Congress leaders, Soren called on Rahul Gandhi here and discussed state politics and the JMM-Congress government completing one year in the state.

Besides Soren, Congress’ Jharkhand in-charge R.P.N. Singh was also present in the meeting. Soren had arrived in the national capital after a gap of several months. The Chief Minister was unable to come to Delhi in the last few months due to the nationwide lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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India

Jaishankar raised Mallya’s extradition, UK not giving details: Centre to SC

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Vijay Mallya

he Centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that Vijay Mallya’s extradition has been raised at the highest political level, but the UK government has refused to share the details of the confidential proceedings delaying his extradition.

“In December 2020, External Affairs Minister Dr. S.Jaishankar raised the issue with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and most recently in January 2021, the Home Secretary of India raised it with the UK Permanent Under Secretary of Home. UK’s response remained the same”, said Solicitor General Tushar Mehta before a bench headed by Justice U.U. Lalit.

Mehta added that in November last year the foreign secretary of India raised the issue of Vijay Mallya extradition with UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, who responded that the UK’s legal complexities were preventing Mallya’s quick extradition.

Mehta submitted that the Indian government has been informed that there is a further legal issue that needs to be resolved before Mallya can be extradited. “Under United Kingdom law, extradition cannot take place until it is resolved. As it is judicial in nature, the issue is confidential, and you will understand that Her Majesty’s government cannot provide any more details”, said Mehta citing official response from the UK.

Mehta submitted before the bench that his extradition has been pursued at the highest level and sought adjournment on the matter. The top court has fixed the matter for further hearing on March 15.

On August 31, the Supreme Court had dismissed Mallya’s plea seeking review of a 2017 judgment which held him guilty for contempt of court. The top court also sought Mallya’s presence before the court on October 5.

The top court had held him guilty of contempt, as Mallya did not truthfully disclose the full account of his assets. In May 2017, the apex court held him guilty of contempt of court for transferring $40 million to his children, and ordered him to appear on July 10, 2017 to argue on the quantum of punishment.

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We will not quarrel, but celebrate R-Day: Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait

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Rakesh Tikait

The farmers protesting against the new Central farm laws have announced a ‘Tractor March’ on Republic Day. On Monday, the Supreme Court heard the petition of the Delhi Police on the issue. The apex court said it is for the Delhi Police to decide whether it would allow the farmers to enter Delhi or not.

The apex court asserted that it is the Delhi Police and not the judiciary that has the authority to decide on the issue.

Responding to this SC order, the National Spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Rakesh Tikait, said the highest court has taken cognizance of the matter, it is a good thing that the law and order situation must be looked into by the police. At the same time, the farmers leaders have said they would take out a parade on Outer Ring Road in the national capital so the police should come and talk to them and remove the roadblocks for the parade.

Tikait said the citizens of the country cannot be stopped by constitutional institutions or the police from celebrating Republic Day. “We are not going to the national capital to fight. We will celebrate the R-Day in Delhi, earlier we used to celebrate it in the fields and villages. Now we are here in Delhi so we will celebrate the day here,” the BKU spokesperson added.

The Delhi Police had filed a petition in the Supreme Court to ban the ‘Tractor March’ by the farmers on January 26. They had said that law and order could be affected if the march is allowed on Republic Day.

During the SC hearing, it said the entry of farmers into Delhi is a law and order issue and who are allowed to come to Delhi or not is for the Delhi Police to decide.

However, he farmers have said they would take out a parade on January 26 on Outer Ring Road. The parade would include tableaux in vehicles that would showcase the agricultural reality in various states in addition to historical regional and other protest marches.

The farmers would hoist the national flag on these vehicles and also carry the flags of the farmers organisations. No flag of any political party would be allowed in the parade.

There would be participation of the families of the martyrs of the farmer protests, defence service personnel, reputed sportspersons, women farmers etc. Several states are expected to be represented in the parade.

The farmers who can’t come to Delhi to participate in the parade will organise parades in various state capitals and district headquarters.

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