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Church Sex Scandal: Kerala HC dismisses anticipatory bail plea of 3 priests

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Kerala HC

Kochi, July 11: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of three of the four Malankara Orthodox Church priests who have been accused of raping and molesting a woman parishioner.

As the bail plea was strongly opposed by the prosecution, the counsels of the three priests told the court that their clients were willing to surrender.

But the court pointed out that there was enough evidence against Father Sony Varghese, Father Job Mathew and Father Jaice K. George and declined them bail.

The Crime Branch was expected to nab the three, and also a fourth priest, who is on the run.

A woman who regularly visited the Malankara Orthodox Church had accused five priests of sexually abusing her for a decade.

The case pertains to the blackmail and sexual abuse of a woman by priests after she confessed to a priest about her relationship with another priest.

The priests of the Kottayam-headquartered Malankara Orthodox Church were also suspended following the allegations.

According to the Victim’s husband, one of the priest who first exploited his wife was blackmailing her. When she sought help on this from another priest, he too, threatened her and shared her contact with another fellow priest and in the end she came under the duress from at least five priests.

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Lok Sabha to discuss “No Confidence Motion” on July 20

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Parliament

New Delhi, July 18: The Lok Sabha is scheduled to discuss “No Confidence Motion” moved by the opposition against the Narendra Modi government on Friday (July 20).

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday accepted a no-confidence motion.

“We have decided that we will send all 34 TMC Lok Sabha MPs on a whip to be present for discussion and voting of No Confidence Motion in the Parliament, on Friday, said TMC leader Derek O’ Brien.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party issued a three-line whip over #NoConfidenceMotion, also asks its allies in NDA to issue the whip.

Mahajan said she had received notices from at least six MPs seeking no trust vote against the Narendra Modi government and was duty-bound to put it to the consideration of the House.

She told the house that Kesineni Srinavas of the Telugu Desam Party was the first to give his no-confidence notice and asked members if it can be moved.

The speaker asked Srinavas to introduce the motion which was supported by over 50 members, including from the Congress and other opposition MPs.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government was ready to face the no trust motion and asked Mahajan that it may be tabled.

“Everything will be clear after the discussion. I want to make it clear in the House that the people of the country have full confidence on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.”

Meanwhile, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge asked the Speaker why the other members who had handed over their notices were not allowed to read them.

In response to this, she said rules allowed her to table the notice that was submitted first.

Mahajan further stated she read out the names of these members.

The Names include Mallikarjun Kharge, K.C. Venugopal (Congress), Tariq Anwar (Nationalist Congress Party), N.K. Premachandran (Revolutionary Socialist Party) and Thota Narsimham (TDP).

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Terrorist violence sees new high in Jammu and Kashmir in last 3 years: MHA

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New Delhi, July 18: A total of 256 incidents of terrorist violence — a steep hike from 2017 and 2016 — have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir in just six months of 2018, Home Ministry data presented in Parliament on Wednesday revealed.

Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir told the Rajya Sabha that 100 terrorists, 43 security personnel and 16 civilians have been killed in the 256 incidents in the strife-torn state between January 1 and July 8.

The data mentioned that 342 and 322 incidents of terrorist violence were reported in 2017 and 2016 respectively.

It said a total of 213 terrorists, 80 security personnel and 40 civilians were killed in 2017 while 150 terrorists, 82 security personnel and 15 civilians were killed in 2016 as a result of terrorist violence.

“As per reports, two youths from other states of the country have been found involved in stone pelting in Jammu and Kashmir and in this regards two separate FIRs have been registered in 2018,” Ahir said while responding to a question.

IANS

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Bill against human trafficking introduced in Lok Sabha

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Parliament

New Delhi, July 18: A Bill seeking to prevent trafficking, especially of women and children, provide rehabilitation to the victims and prosecute offenders was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018, was introduced by Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi.

Besides taking up prevention, rescue and rehabilitation, it covers aggravated forms of trafficking such as forced labour, begging and marriage.

The Bill provides for confidentiality of victims, witnesses and complainants and time-bound trials and repatriation of the victims.

It proposes to create institutional mechanisms at district, state and central levels. It calls for punishment ranging from 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine not less than Rs one lakh.

Officials said that human trafficking is the third largest organised crime in the world.

IANS

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