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Bandh call by Dalit groups against Hathras incident hits normal life in parts of Punjab

The protesters raised slogans demanding justice for the victim. They were seen taking rounds in almost all markets of the city to enforce complete shutdown.

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Punjab Dalit Protest Hathras

Chandigarh, Oct 10 : Markets and commercial establishments were closed and commuters faced inconvenience as protests were held in many parts of Punjab on Saturday as part of a statewide shutdown called by Dalit organisations against the Hathras incident.

Activists of several Dalit organisations blocked roads, held demonstrations and demanded justice for the victim”s family. Police personnel were deployed at sensitive places to maintain law and order.

The victim, a 19-year-old Dalit woman, was assaulted and allegedly raped by four men in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh on September 14. She died a fortnight later at a hospital in Delhi.

The victim was cremated in the dead of the night on September 30. While her family claimed the cremation was carried out against their wishes, the police said the last rites were held “as per the wishes of the family”.

The ”Punjab Bandh” was called by Dalit bodies including Bharatiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj, Ambedkar Sena Mool Nivasi, Valmiki Adi Dharam Samaj, All India Rangretta Dal, Bhagwan Valmiki Action Committee and Bheem Sena.

The maximum impact of the shutdown was witnessed in Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, and Phagwara, among other places, where shops, markets and other commercial establishments remained shut.

In Phagwara, several roads were blocked due to the bandh call, causing inconvenience to commuters.

Traffic on the main roads was diverted due to a sit-in and rally by protesters, police said.

Protesters assembled at the Bhagwan Valmiki temple in Subhash Nagar on the Phagwara-Banga road and took out a protest march in various bazaars of the city. They carried placards and raised slogans against the Uttar Pradesh government.

They also demanded death sentence for the culprits.

All India Rangretta Dal president Joginder Singh Mann and Ambedkar Sena Punjab president Harbhajan Suman addressed the protesters.

The Dalit organisations threatened to step up their stir if their demands are not met.

Shops and commercial establishments also remained closed in Hoshiarpur. However, chemists and hospitals were open.

Activists of various Valimiki Sabhas and Dalit groups led the protests in the district.

The protesters raised slogans demanding justice for the victim. They were seen taking rounds in almost all markets of the city to enforce complete shutdown.

Superintendent of Police (Investigation), Hoshiarpur, Ravinder Pal Singh Sandhu said no untoward incident was reported from any part of the district.

The bandh call was peaceful, he said.

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Lalu Prasad ‘stable and recovering’, to undergo CT scan

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Lalu Prasad Yadav

Incarcerated RJD President Lalu Prasad will undergo a CT scan on Friday to ascertain his exact health condition even as a senior officer said he was “stable and recovering”.

An official at the Hotwar jail in Ranchi said that the former Bihar Chief Minister’s health had caused concern after he complained of uneasiness in breathing on Thursday evening. Subsequently, a team of doctors from Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences examined the RJD leader.

Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta also rushed to the RIMS and met with the doctors treating the veteran politician. Jharkhand Inspector General of Police (Jails) Birendra Bhushon said that Lalu Prasad’s health had deteriorated on Thursday but was now “recovering and stable”. Earlier, Lalu Prasad also underwent a Covid test and was found negative.

Lalu Prasad is suffering from kidney ailment, besides diabetes and high blood pressure. The RIMS doctors have diagnosed that his kidneys are damaged to the extent of 75 per cent. Doctors could go for a dialysis if his kidneys’ functioning deteriorated further.

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Fire at Delhi’s ITO building, no casualties

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A fire broke out at the Institution of Engineers building at ITO on Friday here. No injuries were reported, and the blaze has been brought under control, the Fire Department said.

The fire started from a meter board of the building. “We received a call around 8.30 a.m. about a fire in the meter board at the Institution of Engineers building at ITO. A total of 12 fire tenders were rushed to the site. The fire was on the second floor of the building,” said Atul Garg, Director Delhi Fire Service.

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Girl and father end life in UP

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A teenager battling depression for two years following her mother’s death ended her life, prompting even the father to take his life out of sheer hopelessness.

According to reports, Shalu, 18, first committed suicide by hanging herself because she could not come to terms with the death of her mother. Suraj, too followed suit, leaving behind two more daughters.

The incident took place in Nankari village in Khairabad area in Sitapur district on Wednesday. Circle Officer Piyush Kumar Singh said that Suraj, who worked as a tailor, lived there with his wife and three daughters. His wife had died two years ago and his daughter Shalu could not come to terms with the death of her mother.

“She went into depression and finally ended her life. Seeing this, Suraj also committed suicide by hanging form the same ceiling fan,” the police official said.

Both the bodies have been sent for the post-mortem. The police had filed a case and further investigations are underway.

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