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More snow falls over Shimla, Manali, Dalhousie

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Jammu and Kashmir Snowfall

Shimla, Jan 29 More snow fell over Shimla, Manali and Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday, making the tourist towns more picturesque, but traffic was hampered in many parts of the state as a thick blanket of snow piled on the roads.

The temperatures remained below the freezing point in many places after widespread snow and rain, a meteorological department official here told IANS.

Kalpa, around 250 km from here, recorded a low at a minus 3.5 degrees Celsius. It saw 26.4 cm snow in the past 24 hours.

Keylong, headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti district, the coldest in the state, recorded a low of minus 5.7 degrees Celsius. Temperatures were minus one degree Celsius in Shimla and 1.4 degrees in Dharamsala. Shimla saw 10.2 cm snow, while Dharamsala had 49.6 mm rain.

Manali, which saw a low of minus 1.8 degree, saw 8 cm snow.

Shimla’s nearby destinations Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda experienced moderate to heavy snowfall, the official said. Kufri experienced the state’s highest 45 cm snow.

Snow could be seen in several areas of Shimla like the Mall Road, the Ridge, the US Club and Jakhu hills.

The snow has cut off Kinnaur district and towns in Shimla district such as Kufri, Narkanda, Jubbal, Kotkhai, Kumarsain, Kharapathar, Rohru and Chopal, a government official said.

The road link to towns in upper Shimla is likely to be restored by Wednesday evening, the official said.

Officials said the bad weather had affected road network in the higher reaches of Kinnaur, Shimla, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu and Sirmaur districts and efforts were being made to reopen them.

The rain and snow are likely to continue till Thursday, said the Met official.

India

Bombay HC: Unzipping pants, holding minor’s hand not ‘sexual assault’

The Nagpur bench observed that the case comes under the gambit of “sexual harassment” and not “sexual assault”.

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Rape Sexual Violence

Mumbai, Jan 28: Bombay High Court has held that holding a minor girl’s hands and opening the zip of pants cannot be called “sexual assault” under POCSO Act, but would amount to “sexual harassment” under Section 354-A(1)(i) of the IPC.

The same judge, Justice Pushpa Ganediwala, recently held that groping a minor’s breast without “skin to skin contact” cannot be called “sexual assault” under POCSO Act.

The ruling was pronounced in a criminal appeal against the conviction and sentence awarded to a 50-year-old man for molesting a five-year-old girl.

The Nagpur bench observed that the case comes under the gambit of “sexual harassment” and not “sexual assault”.

The Session Court had convicted the man and ruled it to be “aggravated sexual assault” punishable under Section 10 of POCSO and sentenced him to five years of rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs 25,000 with a default simple imprisonment for six months.

However, Justice Ganediwala set aside his conviction under Sections 8, 10 and 12 of POCSO Act, but held him guilty under Section 354A (1) (i) IPC, which carries a maximum imprisonment of three years.

The police had registered a case based on the complaint lodged by the victim’s mother, who said that she saw the accused, whose pants zip was opened, holding the hands of her daughter. She had also testified that her daughter informed her that the accused removed his penis from the pant and asked her to come to the bed for sleeping.

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CJI cites Internet shutdown on Jan 26 amid Tablighi Jamaat hearing

“It’s as important as providing lathis to policemen…and deploying barricades. It’s an important preventive part of the law and order situation,” said the Chief Justice, drawing an analogy.

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Mobile tower

New Delhi, Jan 28 : The Supreme Court while hearing a Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind petition against fake and motivated news during the Nizammuddin Markaz incident, cited the Internet ban as a preventive measure to contain violence, taken by the authorities during farmers protest in Delhi on January 26.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde emphasized that at some point in time the government has to control news and cited the shutting down of Internet in various parts of the capital following violence on streets on Republic Day.

The Chief Justice said the government shut down the Internet over mobile because of the farmers visit to Delhi and so “couldn’t it do the same when it finds certain news channel indulging in bad reporting, which may lead to violence or targeting a certain community”.

“I’m using the non controversial term… You have shut down internet mobile…These are problems that can arise anywhere…,” said the Chief Justice.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, objected to the word ‘visit’ used by the Chief Justice.

To which, Chief Justice replied that he “deliberately was using a non-controversial word”.

After making this reference to the January 26 incident, when farmers rampaged through the national capital, the top court got back to the hearing on the matter in hand in which various petitioners had objected to the motivated reporting by various media houses against the Muslim community post the Markaz incident that was regarded as a superspreader of Covid in March 2020.

The Chief Justice emphasized that “fair and truthful reporting is normally not a problem, but the problem begins when it is used to agitate others and target a particular community”.

The Chief Justice stressed that “controlling the flow of information, which may cause damage is extremely important and it should be done through preventive measures”.

“It’s as important as providing lathis to policemen…and deploying barricades. It’s an important preventive part of the law and order situation,” said the Chief Justice, drawing an analogy.

The top court said that the government is not doing its bit to control new channels showing programs which instigate a community.

“There are programs which instigated or impacted a community. But as a government, you do nothing,” the Chief Justice told Mehta.

The Chief Justice also told Mehta: “Control over some news is as important as some preventive measure and check law and order situation. I don’t know why you are blind to this. I don’t mean anything offensive but you are doing nothing about it.”

The court has posted the matter for further hearing after three weeks.

Jamiat and others have moved the top court citing bad reporting by various media houses, which demonized the Muslim community in the backdrop of the Nizamuddin Markaz incident.

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Deep Sidhu, Lakha Sidhana named in Red Fort FIR

The Delhi Police on Wednesday issued notice to farmer leader Darshan Pal asking him to explain why legal action should not be initiated against him, post violence during the rogue rally on the Republic Day.

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Red Fort

New Delhi, Jan 28 : Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu and the gangster-turned-social activist Lakha Sidhana have been named by the Delhi Police in an FIR in connection with the unprecedented violence in the capital on Republic Day and the Red Fort incident on January 26.

The Delhi Police has registered the case at Kotwali police station of North district under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and other legislations.

The premises of the historic monument was vandalized as the protesters went on a rampage destroying checking machines, ticket counters, furniture, and everything that came in their way. Some of the protesters climbed the walls of the fort and installed their flag at the flagstaff.

The Red Fort will remain closed for visitors from January 27 to January 31, according to an order issued by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Delhi Police Commissioner S.N. Shrivastava said that police has taken serious note of the Red Fort violence and everyone found involved would be taken to task. He also said that face recognition system would be used to identify those found involved in the violence.

The Delhi Police have also named 37 farmer leaders, including Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav, social activist Medha Patkar and Bharatiya Kisan Union’s Haryana unit President Gurnam Singh Chanduni, in the FIR filed in connection with the violence during the Republic Day tractor rally on Tuesday.

Avik Saha, Jai Kisan Aandolan and Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait along with Darshan Pal Singh, Satnam Singh Pannu, Boota Singh Burjgil and Joginder Singh Ugraha have also been named in a an FIR filed in Outer North Delhi.

The Delhi Police on Wednesday issued notice to farmer leader Darshan Pal asking him to explain why legal action should not be initiated against him, post violence during the rogue rally on the Republic Day.

More than 25 criminal cases have been registered, 19 people arrested and as many as 50 protesters detained so far.

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