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Kashmir Valley relieved after Kathua verdict

People in Kashmir said that it was ultimately the truth that has prevailed and the judgement by the trial court has proved that nobody is above the law.

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Kathua Rape Case

Srinagar, June 10 (IANS) The verdict of a Special Court in Pathankot on the rape and murder of a eight-year-old girl last year in Kathua convicting six of the seven accused on Monday was received with relief and satisfaction in the Kashmir Valley.

The widely reported heinous crime against a minor girl of the nomadic ‘Bakarwal’ (Goatherd) community in Rasana village of Hiranagar area had resulted in a public outrage against the perpetrators.

The minor was abducted on January 10 and her mutilated body was found in the bushes of the Rasana village on January 17.

According to the charge sheet, the girl was kidnapped and held captive at a village temple in Kathua district on January 10 last year.

The 15-page charge sheet against the accused alsosaid that the eight-year-old was raped in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district after having been sedated for four days before she was bludgeoned to death.

She was drugged, starved and repeatedly raped for days. She was finally strangled and her head was bashed in with a rock. Her mutilated body was found in a forest area on January 17. Three days later, one of the accused — reportedly a juvenile — was arrested by police, the charge sheet said.

An ugly dimension was added to the demand for exemplary punishment for the guilty when two BJP leaders, Choudhary Lal Singh and Chandar Prakash Ganga, who were ministers at that time in the ruling PDP-BJP coalition, stood up in support of the accused trying to polarise the Hindu dominated Jammu region and the Muslim dominated Valley.

Subsequently, these two BJP ministers were dropped from the Council of Ministers headed by the then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

It was because of the sentiments stoked by supporters of the accused that the prosecution was prevented from presenting the charge sheet against the accused in the Kathua court.

The Supreme Court then ordered that the trial of the case be shifted to Pathankot and directed the trial court to hear the case in camera on a daily basis.

Former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti received the judgment with relief and as vindication of the country’s judicial system.

“Amen to that. The guilty deserve the most severe punishment possible under law. And to those politicians who defended the accused, vilified the victim and threatened the legal system no words of condemnation are enough,” Abdullah tweeted.

Mufti too welcomed the judgement. “High time we stop playing politics over a heinous crime where an 8-year-old child was drugged, raped repeatedly and then bludgeoned to death.

“Hope loopholes in our judicial system are not exploited and culprits get exemplary punishment.”

Senior separatist leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also welcomed the judgement. He tweeted: “Welcome the court verdict on the Kathua gang rape-murder case. I hope that exemplary punishment is given to the culprits.”

People in Kashmir said that it was ultimately the truth that has prevailed and the judgement by the trial court has proved that nobody is above the law.

“If anybody had any misgivings about the delivery of justice in this case, those misgivings have been set to rest finally,” said Suhail Mir, a local lawyer.

Mehrajuddin, a fruit seller in Srinagar said: “The people who can even think of such a heinous crime have no religion. Justice has finally been delivered to the innocent victim in this case”.

Others felt that exemplary punishment to perpetrators of such crimes would go a long way in preventing their recurrence.

“Making an example of the guilty will ensure that our daughters are safe to whatever region or religion they belong to,” said Bashir Ahmad, a retired bank employee.

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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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Gujarat govt renames ‘dragon fruit’ as kamalam

It should be noted that the lotus is the symbol of the BJP and the state BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar is also named ‘Shri Kamalam’.

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Gandhinagar Jan 20: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, while interacting with the media on Tuesday, said that the government has applied for a patent to change the nomenclature of dragon fruit to ‘Kamalam’.

According to the CM, the word dragon for the fruit sounded inappropriate and so the Gujarat government had decided for the fruit to be called as Kamalam.

While interacting with the media on Tuesday during the launch of the Chief Minister Horticulture Development Mission, Rupani said, “We have applied for the patent of the Dragon fruit to be called as Kamalam. But as of now, we the Gujarat government have decided to call the fruit as Kamalam.”

“Even though the fruit is known as dragon fruit, it doesn’t sound appropriate. The word Kamalam is a Sanskrit word and the fruit does have the shape of the lotus, so we have decided to call it Kamalam, and there’s nothing political about it,” Rupani added.

According to the CM, the fruit has long since been grown as a form of cactus in the country. “Nobody has to be alarmed by the word Kamalam,” Rupani added.

It should be noted that the lotus is the symbol of the BJP and the state BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar is also named ‘Shri Kamalam’.

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Another fake social media news racket on temple attack busted

“Accused Peraka Venkateswara Rao, 35, was convicted in the case and sentenced to eight months in jail on June 23, 2015,” the official said.

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Fake News

Amaravati, Jan 20: Police in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district on Tuesday busted another fake news racket regarding temple attack in Eluru town and clarified that the Anjaneya Swamy idol incident was an old one.

“It came to our notice that some persons are using this 2014 incident as propaganda material to spread fake news on the social media,” said a district police official.

Police later registered a case under Sections 153-A and 295-A of the Indian Penal Code.

Police clarified that the Anjaneya Swamy idol incident occurred in 2014 and a case was registered then under Sections 295 and 427 of the IPC at Eluru town police station.

“Accused Peraka Venkateswara Rao, 35, was convicted in the case and sentenced to eight months in jail on June 23, 2015,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Prakasam district police arrested one more person for allegedly dubbing the damage due to corrosion to the Singarayikonda temple arch idols as an ‘attack’.

In this particular case, police identified 33 persons for spreading false information on the social media, of whom six were arrested from different places in the southern state.

Prakasam district Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal on Tuesday visited multiple places to strengthen surveillance system, 24×7 beat and patrol systems for the security of all temples and religious places.

He met with members of village and mandal defence committees and gave suggestions on their security.

On Tuesday evening, Director General of Police Goutam Sawang held a videoconference with all districts police officials over the temple incidents in the state.

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