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SC stays NGT order on new approach to Vaishno Devi temple

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Vaishno DEvi

Jammu, Nov 21: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the National Green Tribunals order to direct the Vaishno Devi temple authorities to open a new approach road for use by pedestrians and battery-operated vehicles from November 24.

Issuing a notice, a bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta stayed the tribunal’s November 13 order as the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board told the apex court that it was not possible to open the new road from November 24 since the construction work was on.

Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi told the bench that the new road, costing Rs 40 crore, would be opened in February 2018.

The court was told that two existing paths to the holy shrine were already operational.

By the said order, the green court had restricted the number of pilgrims visiting the shrine in Jammu and Kashmir to 50,000 per day to avoid any mishap.

Directing the removal of mules/horses gradually from the old path to the shrine as well, the NGT had asked the Shrine Board to prepare a plan to replace the animals with battery-operated vehicles.

The NGT had also asked the authorities to impose a fine of Rs 2,000 on anyone found littering roads as well as the bus stop in base camp Katra town.

“Stop the pilgrims at Ardhkuwari or Katra if the total number exceeds 50,000,” the NGT had said, observing that the Bhawan or the shrine would not be able to accommodate more than 50,000 people a day.

Directing for the formation of a committee to check excessive traffic in Katra, the Tribunal had also asked the authorities to stop all construction activities around the Bhawan.

Read Full Story at: NGT caps number of devotees visiting Vaishno Devi shrine at 50,000 per day

IANS

 

Disaster

NDRF teams sent to Assam, Arunachal Pradesh after warning by China

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Yarlung zangbo

Guwahati, Oct 20 : The Centre has sent eight companies of National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) to Arunahal Pradesh followed by six others to Assam after intimation from the Chinese government that landslide has blocked the Milin section of the main stream of Yarlung Zangbo or Brahmaputra river recently and that it might impact the lower reaches of the river.

The Arunahal Pradesh government as well as the Assam government has instructed and alerted all the districts located near Siang and Brahmaputra river which might be affected due to the water flow of the river in near future.

It is believed that the sudden blockade caused by the landslides might burst anytime and cause flash floods in downstream areas in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

While the Arunachal Pradesh government has alerted the people living in periphery of Siang river not to venture out in the river for collection of firewood or for fishing.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday said that six NDRF companies are on the way to Assam from Kolkata, which will be stationed in Sensitive districts.

Sonowal has also asked the disaster management authorities in Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur and Tinsukia districts to remain alert for any probable flash flood-like situation and any kind of eventuality.

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Disaster

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi asks state govt, party workers to provide immediate relief

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rahul gandhi

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi asks state govt, party workers to provide immediate relief at Amritsar train accident site.

The disaster happened when a large number of people were watching the Ravan effigy in flames while standing on the railway tracks near Jora Phatak when the train crushed them.

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Cities

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.

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