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HC tells Rohini ashram’s counsel to leave court



New Delhi, Feb 5: Irked by Rohini-based ashram Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya’s counsel’s submission that women are the gateway to hell, the Delhi High Court on Monday ordered the advocate to leave the courtroom, reminding him to mind his language.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar asked the counsel for the Rohini-based ashram why women and girls were kept captive in the ashram.

Responding to the court’s query, the counsel cited Shankaracharya’s statement, “Nari nark ka dwar hai (Women are gateway to hell).”

Irritated Justice Mittal told him to mind his language.

“This is court room. This is not your spiritual class,” the court said and asked him to leave the courtroom.

The court listed the matter for February 8, asking the Rohini-based ashram to respond on using “Vishwa Vidyalaya” in the name of its spiritual institute.

Raising questions on the legality of using “Vishwa Vidyalaya” (University), the court cited the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act and said that “University” means an institute established or incorporated by or under a central act, a provincial act or a state act.

The court asked whether the institute followed the norms prescribed by the UGC but the ashram’s counsel failed to give a satisfactory reply and sought more time.

The counsel said that the ashram is a spiritual institute.

The court told the counsel to follow the law as the ashram is not a university and also asked the counsel to file a detailed reply on the name and address of all centres.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Delhi High Court that a look out circular (LOC) has been issued against Virendra Dev Dixit, founder of the ashram where girls and women were allegedly being kept in illegal confinement in the name of religious preaching.

The CBI also told the division bench that all possible measures had been taken to trace Dixit, who is on the run.

All the centres are under surveillance and an investigation is under way, the CBI said and sought a month’s time to submit a further report, saying it is in the process of examining witnesses.

The CBI has registered three cases against Dixit for allegedly keeping several women and minor girls hostage at his ashram here.

Earlier, the High Court had transferred the case from the police to the CBI and asked the agency to forthwith set up a special investigation team to probe various FIRs of girls and women who were allegedly lured into the ashram on the pretext of spiritual guidance but then raped.

The Delhi High Court had in December 2017 appointed a committee for inspecting the institute and directed an officer, not below the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police, to conduct an inspection of the ashram. Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal was also asked to accompany the police during the inspection.

The committee had told the court that the girls and women were kept in the Ashram in “unhygienic and animal-like conditions with no privacy even for bathing”.

The court was hearing a plea filed by NGO Foundation for Social Empowerment.



Telangana employees donate one day’s salary for flood relief




Tungabhadra river floods

Hyderabad: Telangana government employees have decided to donate their one day’s salary to support the relief measures launched by the state government for the victims of recent heavy rains and floods.

Leaders of employees’ unions on Friday submitted a consent letter to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao in this regard on Friday. The employees, through their one day salary, will be donating Rs 33 crore.

Telangana’s gazetted officers, non-gazetted officers, class IV employees and drivers will be donating one day salary.

The Asian Institute of Gastroenterology has also donated Rs 50 lakh for flood relief measures. Hospital MD, Dr Nageshwar Reddy said that the financial assistance is extended to support measures taken by the government for the relief and rehabilitation of the people in affected areas.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister directed the officials concerned to complete the relief and rehabilitation measures in flood-hit areas of Hyderabad on a war footing. He reviewed the relief and rehabilitation measures taking place in the city.

KCR, as Rao is popularly known, said that due to the heavy rains and floods, water entered into the houses and damaged everything including the essential commodities.

“People were not in a position to even cook their meal. Hence we have decided to extend Rs 10,000 each family as an immediate financial assistance to them. This programme should be done actively. If the poor get this assistance before the festival it will be good for them. Ensure that every day one lakh people get this assistance,” he told the officials

Southern Power Distribution Company Ltd (SPDCL) CMD Raghuma Reddy informed the Chief Minister that due to heavy rains and floods, 33/11 KV Sub Stations were damaged at 15 places but all of them have been repaired and restored.

“At 1,080 places, 11 KV feeders were damaged and we have also restored them. 1,215 transformers were damaged in Greater Hyderabad. We have repaired and restored 1,207. The remaining eight transformers could not be repaired as they were submerged in water,” he said.

The officials said due to floods in Musi River, 1,145 transformers of the farm sector in the rural areas were damaged and 386 of them were repaired. Of this, 586 transformers were submerged in Musi water in Nalgonda, Bhongir, and Suryapet.

The heavy rains and floods also damaged 1,299 electric poles in Greater Hyderabad and all of them were repaired. Due to Musi floods, 5,335 poles were damaged in the rural areas and of this, 3,249 poles were repaired.

Since it is dangerous to restore power supply to the areas submerged in water, the Chief Minister instructed the officials to restore power to the places after draining out the water.

Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Principal Secretary (MAUD) Arvind Kumar, GHMC Commissioner Lokesh Kumar, MAUD Commissioner Satyanarayana Reddy, Water Works ED Satyanarayana and other officials participated in the meeting.

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Miscreant attacks JNU professor, gold ornaments looted




robbery at gunpoint

Gurugram, Oct 23 : In a shocking incident, a 68-year-old JNU professor, who is still attached with the varsity after her retirement, was attacked at her residence by a miscreant, who decamped with a gold chain and bangles worth Rs 2.5 lakh, the police said on Friday.

According to the police, the victim, Manju Shree Chauhan, is a resident of Sushant Lok Phase 2-3. The woman is unmarried and lives alone at her flat.

“The incident took place on Thursday afternoon at around 3.15 pm when the woman was alone. The accused, who introduced himself as a courier boy, came to her flat and told the woman that there is a parcel in her name. He then asked for an ID proof, which she produced.

“As the iron gate was locked from inside, the person asked for her Aadhaar card, saying he could not see it properly. When she opened the gate, the person pushed her inside and hit her with a blunt object,” said Hari Singh Dhillon, a neighbour of the victim.

“Chauhan became unconscious after the attack. When she regained consciousness, she telephoned us at 3.53 pm and we immediately rushed to her flat. She was lying in a pool of blood in a semi-conscious state. I immediately called the police and took her to a private hospital, where she is undergoing treatment,” Dillon said.

“The unknown accused fled with the woman’s gold ornaments. We are scanning nearby CCTV footages to develop the indentity of the accused. A case in this regard has been registered at the Sector 56 police station. Further investigation is on,” said the investigation officer in the case.

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Bengaluru: Cinema theatres open – Dearth of audience hurts owners




Cinema theatre

Bengaluru, Oct 24: The cinema theatres in the state had stopped operations seven months back because of coronavirus-induced lockdown enforced by the government. The theatres were allowed to operate from October 15 subject to certain conditions. Accordingly, films began to be screened in various towns and cities including this city.

During a week which went by thereafter, the audience response has been disheartening. The theatres have been waiting to receive the audience but the movie-goers seem to be keeping a distance from the theatres.

Films like ‘Love Mocktail’, ‘Shivaji Suratkal’, ‘Shivarjuna’, ‘Mayabazar 2016’ and ‘Kaanadanthe Maayavaadanu’ had been released in single screens and multiplexes during the last week. A few more films were added in between. More films are in the line to be screened in the coming week. The films that will be exhibited this week will be ‘Kurukshetra’, ‘KGF’, ‘Tagaru’, ‘Rajkumar’, ‘Kotigobba 3’, ‘Damayanthi”, ‘Diya’ and some more.

No audience: Even though many movies are getting released, there has not been any appreciable addition to the number of audiences as compared to last week. Most of the films are being released in multiplexes where only one or two shows have been arranged. There were cases in which a few shows were cancelled for want of audiences.

Old films a problem: Some exhibitors feel that the audience response has been better but not to the extent expected by them. They point out that the films being screened now are the old ones which have already been seen by the people on OTT and television. They feel that the audience response would have been far better if new films of stars were released.

President of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, K V Chandrashekhar, admits that the audience response so far has been lukewarm but expects the collections to increase once new films are released. Producer of ‘Shivarjuna’, Shivarjuna, says that his film was exhibited in 40 theatres in the first week and 20 more theatres have been added this week. He feels that with the release of new films, more and more audience will get attracted towards the theatres.

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