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Khasi woman accuses two Catholics priests of sexually abusing her

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Rape Victim

Shillong, Oct 19 : A tribal Khasi woman in Meghalaya on Friday took to social media #MeToo campaign accusing two Catholic brothers of sexually abusing her since she was five years old.

Mary Therese Kurkalang, who said she attempted suicide thrice in the past, in her Facebook post named two Catholic brothers “Br Francis Gale of the Christian Brothers and Br Muscat of Don Bosco” for sexually abusing her since she was 5.

Kurkalang told IANS over phone that she had consulted her lawyers to understand the repercussion before she put her statement on Facebook against the two Catholic brothers.

“I don’t know yet my next steps… I have taken the first steps for now and these were not easy,” she said.

Detailing her ordeal in her Facebook post, Kurkalang said, “It’s a long journey and an ongoing one to stay whole, balanced, and sane as someone who was sexually abused through my childhood, age 5 till age 12. I have attempted suicide 3 times as a teenager and young adult, twice I landed in hospital in a serious condition.”

Alleging that Gale of the Christian Brothers congregation had “sexually abused her for eight years”, the 40-year-old woman said, “He (Gale) was a trusted friend of my family and was held in great esteem as a religious man. I was sent to him for tuitions — I was 5 when he first showed me his XXXX and asked me to touch it.”

Kurkalang said that she never got the support of her family members, one of whom instead “slapped” her when she informed them about the sexual abuse committed by Gale.

“I never spoke about it again, the abuse continued all the years till, when I turned 12 and started menstruating, I mustered the courage to refuse to meet this man (Gale) or talk to him,” she said.

In her Facebook post, Kurkalang said Muscat of Don Bosco abused his victims by giving them sweets and toffees kept in a huge desk.

“He would call children to his side of the table and ask us (children) to choose toffees from his drawers and while we did, he would slide his hands up,” she said.

Kurkalang said that she never told anyone about the sexual abuse committed by Muscat because of the larger abuse she faced from Gale.

“The #MeToo movement has triggered a lot of distress, but it also brings me hope and belief that justice will come, that we, each of us who have suffered silently will finally be heard, we might not be believed by everybody but we will be believed by many, and that matters,” she said.

“Some might ask why now? Why did I wait? I did not wait, I did act then, in the ways I knew how and the little agency I had as a child. But everywhere and every one I reached out to then, did not help. I lost hope in the very idea of justice. All I knew after my failed attempts of suicide was that I had to survive and win, to live a life that I choose as an adult, or I would have let my abusers destroy my present and my future too,” she said.

Cities

Delhi-NCR wakes up to rain

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Delhi Rains

New Delhi, Nov 14: The national capital on Wednesday witnessed rains in the morning with the minimum temperature recorded at 17.6 degrees Celsius, four notches above season’s average.

“There has been light drizzles in the Delhi-NCR belt since Tuesday night. The sky will remain cloudy throughout the day with light rains. No rain is expected tomorrow,” an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said.

As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi continued to breathe “very poor” air  with the Air Quality Index (AQI) at 9 a.m. recorded  355 with prominent pollutants being PM 2.5 and PM 10.

Meanwhile, the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir saw fresh snowfall and rains and according to the Met forecast scattered rains and snow to continue till Thursday.

Kargil in Ladakh region was the coldest at minus 7 degrees Celsius, while Leh was minus 1.4.

Jammu city recorded 15.2 degrees Celsius while Katra was at 11.7.

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2 Killed In Fire At High-Rise In Mumbai’s Andheri

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Mumbai, Nov 13 : At least two persons were killed when a fire broke out on the 10-11 floors of a building in Andheri West, late on Tuesday night, an official said.

The fire was reported around 10.10 p.m. in the middle floors of the 21-storied Kadam Nagar SRA Building on Veera Desai Road, police said.

“The fire has now been confined to electrical wiring, household articles, furniture in a flat on the 10th floor and in some portion of a flat on the 11th floor,” a fire official said.

At least 10 firetenders and other specialised equipment were rushed to the scene to battle the fire.

Rescuers managed to retrieve two victims who were taken to a hospital and were declared dead, said the BMC Disaster Control.

Details of the cause of the fire and the victims’ identity were not immediately available.

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UP cabinet ratifies name change of Allahabad, Faizabad

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Lucknow, Nov 13 : The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday ratified the renaming of Faizabad as Ayodhya and Allahabad as Prayagraj district, an official spokesman said.

The cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, also decided that the Faizabad division would now be known as Ayodhya division and the Allahabad division as Prayagraj.

The cabinet also approved the tabling of the report of the Judicial Commission that probed the death of 25 persons in a stampede at Rajghat bridge in Varanasi in October 2016.

The cabinet also approved a proposal to award the Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee Award of Merit to good teachers of the financially unaided schools of the state.

There are 19,275 such schools in the state and under the award scheme, one teacher each from every division would be given Rs 25,000.

The cabinet also fixed the minimum support price (MSP) of maize at Rs 1,700 per quintal and okayed Rs 20 as carrying charges in addition to the MSP.

The procurement would be conducted in 20 districts and a budget of Rs 214.90 crore has been fixed for buying one lakh metric tonnes.

An Amendment (Fifth) in the rule book of the Medical University Service was also made, paving the way for the post of Assistant Professor in place of Lecturer.

The cabinet also approved the transfer of 48.03 square meters of land at the government polytechnic on Faizabad road in Lucknow to the Lucknow Metro and acquisition of 130 buildings around the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi for the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor project.

166 houses have already been acquired. The government has earmarked Rs 413 crore for this, of which Rs 190 crore has been sanctioned.

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