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SC to hear nirbhaya gang-rape plea

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The juvenile convicted for the 2012 gang rape case is out from the correctional home and moved to an NGO-run shelter on Sunday, 20 December. According to reports, plea against the release of the youngest of the six men convicted for raping a medical student on a moving bus in Delhi will be heard by the Supreme Court on Monday.

A juvenile at the time of the crime and conviction, he was given the maximum punishment for an underage offender, causing a furore across the country and sparking a raging debate on treating juveniles as adults in case of heinous crimes such as murder and rape. A bill with similar provisions is pending in Parliament.

Massive protests erupted in the Capital over the weekend as the police readied to hand over charge of the released convict to an NGO on Sunday where he will be kept till the Delhi government finalises a rehabilitation plan.

The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) had moved a last-minute appeal to stay the convict’s release, but the apex court dismissed it. However, the court posted the appeal with a holiday bench that scheduled the hearing for Monday.

Swati Maliwal, the DCW chief, also wrote to the Juvenile Justice Board to not free the underage convict as the matter was before the apex court.

She tweeted on Sunday:

Media reported on Saturday that the convict was moved out of a correctional facility to an NGO-run shelter on December 9 due to safety concerns. He is now no longer under police protection. His criminal record has also been expunged as per legal provisions and his identity shall not be disclosed.

The release triggered strong condemnation from sections of the civil society and the victim’s parents, who were detained by the police after sitting on a dharna at India Gate.

“We will not stop our fight here. We will now intensify our protest as my daughter has not got justice. Our government, whether Centre or state, they only listen to you when you protest and get lathicharged, else they don’t care,” said the victim’s father.

The parents of the victim – a 23-year-old paramedical student, however, said the DCW’s last-minute efforts were a “pretense” and “just for show”.

“Our fight was all about this convict not being allowed to walk free. If he has come out, what is the point of the hearing at the Supreme Court?” the victim’s mother told reporters.

The convict escaped the gallows because he was 17 years and nine months old at the time of his arrest. Four of his co-accused are on death row.

The decks were cleared for the release on Friday after the Delhi high court said it could not halt the process because his sentence had complied with existing laws.

On December 16, 2012, the juvenile along with five other men, brutally raped the paramedical student aboard a moving bus. The incident triggered unprecedented public outrage over sexual crimes in the country with many saying existing laws were too soft on underage criminals.

Wefornews Bureau

India

SAD condemns Akali worker’s murder in Punjab

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Chandigarh, May 25 (IANS) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal, here on Monday, condemned the murder of Akali worker Manjot Singh and murderous assault of two other youths, including an NRI, saying political killings continued unabated in Punjab even during lockdown.

The SAD chief said the Batala police district continued to remain the vortex of political killings, and added, earlier the district had witnessed murder of Dhilwan sarpanch Dalbir Singh in a shootout.

Like in the earlier case, the Batala police had failed to move quickly and arrest the accused even though they had been identified, he said and demanded immediate arrest of those associated with the murder and assault.

He also asked Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to rein in Congressmen who were taking the law in their hands to settle political scores.

Badal also assured free legal aid to the aggrieved family.

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After spurt in cases, Ghaziabad seals border with Delhi

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Ghaziabad, May 25 (IANS) In more woes for the people travelling from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi, the Ghaziabad district administration on Monday once again decided to seal its borders with the national capital after witnessing a surge of 10 fresh cases of coronavirus in last 24 hours.

The district administration in an order said, “In Ghaziabad district, there is an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the last few days. A large chunk of these cases are linked to those who travel between Delhi and Ghaziabad.”

“Hence, on the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer, the district administration has decided to seal the Delhi-Ghaziabad border until further orders,” the order read.

The district administration had earlier ordered to seal its border with the national capital on April 26.

According to the district administration on Sunday, 10 people tested positive for the virus in the district.

The administration said that the people employed in essential services will be allowed. Doctors, paramedical staff, police, media personnel and bank employees will not need passes. Their identity cards will be enough.

Meanwhile, the officials of the third and fourth grade working with the central and Delhi government offices where 33 per cent attendance system is in place, would be required to produce temporary passes from their offices to gain entry into the district and their identity cards alone would not be considered.

The order also stated that till the time the central and Delhi government employees don’t get proper passes their ID cards will be valid to travel. Even the advocates have been allowed to travel to Delhi.

The order also asked the government employees to enter Delhi before 9 a.m. and return to Ghaziabad after 6 p.m.

The order also stated that in case of emergency. residents willing to get e-passes will have to apply. Such applications will be assessed and then e-passes issued, it said.

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Kerala CM’s hometown turns coronavirus hotspot

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 25 (IANS) When the figures of the Covid-19 impact on Monday was reviewed, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s hometown — Pinarayi in Kannur has been declared as a new hotspot.

Kannur, the home district of Vijayan reported 10 new cases on Monday, taking the total positive cases there to 77.

With Pinarayi turning a hotspot along with three other places on Monday, at present there are 59 hotspots in the state. Vijayan however has not visited his hometown for a while now, as he has been staying put in the state capital.

Meanwhile, the total number of fresh positive cases on Monday in Kerala stood at 49, keeping with the increased numbers that have been reported in the past few days.

On Saturday, there were 62 cases and on Sunday it was 53.

Of the 49 cases, 18 came from abroad and 25 from within the country.

Currently there are 359 active positive cases in the state and 532 people have by now turned negative, since the first case reported in the country was at Thrissur on January 30.

On Monday, hugely popular national award winning Malayalam comedian Suraj Venjaramoodu was asked to go into quarantine after he took part in a function along with a police officer at his hometown, near here, who has gone into isolation following a remand prisoner, who was arrested by the police official, turned Covid positive on Sunday.

With around six lakh people registered to return to Kerala (around 4 lakh from abroad and 2 lakh from within the country) since the travel was permitted, so far 97,247 people have come which includes 9,900 who came by air and sea and over 87,000 who came by train and road.

As on date, 98,486 people are under observation in homes, while 792 are in hospitals.

State Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunilkumar reacting to the increase in cases, said that this was much expected and the state is fully geared to face the challenge.

“The need of the hour is all those who have been asked to sit in quarantine have to adhere to that in its true spirit. Kerala’s home quarantine has been a huge success and all what the people should do is just follow the system in place and listen to the health authorities,” said Sunilkumar.

Meanwhile top Indian Medical Association official Rajeev Jayadevan said complacency should not set in.

“As things stand today, they are still under control in Kerala. Fourteen-day quarantine is a must for all those who come from outside our state. In a pandemic situation, there should be no let up on the way our state has taken utmost care till now. If an error happens, cases will multiply in geometric progression. So each and everyone here have to be careful,” said Jayadevan.

Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court on Monday dismissed a petition demanding the postponement of the remaining Class 10 and 12 examinations, where a record 1.3 million students will have to write the examination in the various schools in the state.

The state government assured the court that all the necessary health protocols will be followed for the smooth conduct of the examinations.

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