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Kerala nun rape case: Accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal relieved of duties by Vatican

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Rape-accused Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal.

New Delhi, Sep 20: Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who allegedly raped a nun in Kerala, was on Thursday relieved of his pastoral duties.

“The Vatican relieves Franco Mulakkal of his pastoral duties in diocese of Jalandhar,” reported ANI.

The step came as Kerala police began questioning Mulakkal for the second day after a seven-hour interrogation on Wednesday.

Yesterday, Mulakkal was questioned for around seven hours here at the Crime Branch office. He was asked to return on Thursday for further questioning.

A 44-year-old Kerala based Nun has alleged that she was raped several times between 2014 to 2016.

Following this, an FIR was registered against the bishop on June 27 this year.

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India reports 86,052 new Covid cases

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Coronavirus India

With 86,052 new cases in the last 24 hours, India’s coronavirus cases are nearing six million-mark, according to the health ministry updates shared on Friday.

There were 1,141 fatalities also confirmed in the 24 hour-period bringing the death toll to 92,290. The total infections stand at  5,818,571, including 9,70,116 active cases and 4,756,165 people getting cured/discharged/migrated. 

India’s Covid-19 recovery rate stands at 81.74 per cent and the mortality rate remains below 1.6 per cent, according to government figures. 

In a positive development, Wednesday was the sixth consecutive day when the number of people recovered in the country was more than the total number of cases detected in the 24-hours period. 

In the last few days, India has seen a significant drop in daily cases, but there needs to be more evidence to suggest whether the nation has surpassed the virus’s peak or not. 

Maharashtra continues to be India’s worst-hit state with nearly 300,000 active cases and a death toll of 34,345. 

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said he had been told by experts that the second wave of Covid-19 in the national capital has peaked. 

Globally, the United States is the worst-hit country with over 7 million cases and 200,000 deaths. 
 


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ECI set to announce Bihar election dates on Friday

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New Delhi, Sep 25 (IANS) The Election Commission of India is set to announce the dates for the Bihar Assembly polls on Friday, official sources said.

A press conference is scheduled to be held at 12.30 pm at the Vigyan Bhavan in this regard, the EC spokesperson Sheyphali Saran said.

Due to Covid protocols, only journalists accredited with the PIB would be allowed to attend the presser.

Bihar has 243 Assembly seats. In 2015, the alliance of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal-United and the Congress had swept the polls but JD-U has since aligned with the BJP.

Earlier this month, the EC said that the Assembly elections will be completed before November 29, the date on which the tenure of the present Assembly ends.

The EC also said that by-elections to 65 seats in different states will also be held simultaneously.

The EC has already issued the guidelines to all political parties to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The candidates will file nomination papers and deposit security money online. Facial masks, hand sanitisers, social distancing norms would be mandatory during political campaigning or at rallies.

Earlier, the EC had asked political parties for their opinions on the conduct of Assemblly elections.

The RJD, LJP and some others had suggested postponement of the electoral battle until the coronavirus pandemic was over. However, the ruling JD-U, BJP and others wanted the elections to be completed before the Assembly’s term ended.

–IANS

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2 terrorists killed in Kashmir encounter

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Jammu and Kashmir Shopian Indian Army

Security forces and terrorists have engaged in a massive encounter in Sirhama in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district. As per preliminary reports, heavy exchange of fire has been reported from the area where the encounter broke out last night.

The Kashmir Zone Police has said that two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists have been killed in the encounter.

“Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, have been recovered. A search operation is currently underway,” the police said.

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