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Woman gang-raped by 12 near Ludhiana, police conduct raids

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Chandigarh, Feb 11 (IANS) The Punjab Police on Monday conducted raids at various places in Ludhiana district after a young woman alleged she was gang-raped by 12 men at a farmhouse near Jagraon town after she and her male friend were attacked and abducted.

No arrests have been made so far.

The victim, aged around 20 years, told the police that she and her friend were going in a car from South City area of Ludhiana city towards Issewal village on Saturday night when their car was attacked with bricks by two men on a motorcycle.

The attackers, who were joined in by three others, then got into the car and beat up the man (male friend) and took the car to a farmhouse near Jagraon town, around 170 km from here.

They also called up a friend of the man from his mobile phone and demanded a ransom of Rs 2 lakh. The friend approached the police following the call but the police did not take immediate action.

The couple, who were abducted, were allegedly beaten up at the farmhouse and the woman was gang-raped by five men.

She alleged that her attackers called seven other men who also sexually assaulted her.

The couple were set free on Sunday following which they complained to the police regarding the gang-rape and the abduction.

The police registered a case of rape at the Mullanpur Dhaka police station. Police officials said that raids were being conducted to nab the people behind the heinous crime.

Senior police officers from Ludhiana district reached the crime spot (farmhouse) on Monday as police teams started investigating the incident.

IANS

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Delhi govt bans use of hookah in hotels, restaurants to stem COVID-19 spread

Delhi has so far recorded 1,38,482 COVID-19 cases and 4,021 people have died due to the disease.

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New Delhi, Aug 3 : The Delhi government on Monday banned the use of hookahs, with or without tobacco, in all public places, including hotels, restaurants and bars, with immediate effect to control the spread of COVID-19.

Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as smoking means the fingers are in contact with the lips which increases the possibility of transmission of the virus, the health department said in an order.

“Smokers may also already have lung diseases or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase the risk of serious illness,” it said.

Smoking products such as water pipes often involve the sharing of mouthpieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of COVID-19 in communal and social settings, the health department said.

Therefore, the use and sharing of hookah, with or without tobacco (herbal hookah), “which might further increase the spread of SARS-CoV2, is strictly prohibited in all public places, including hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, eateries, discotheques, etc. in Delhi with immediate effect to prevent and control the outbreak of COVID-19”, it said.

Delhi has so far recorded 1,38,482 COVID-19 cases and 4,021 people have died due to the disease.

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Assam situation limps towards normalcy, 4 lakh still affected

With one more death on Monday in Bongaigaon district, the floods have so far left 110 persons, including women and children, dead in 22 districts, while 26 others were killed in landslides since May 22.

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Guwahati, Aug 3 : Around four lakh people in 17 districts are still in distress even as the situation in Assam, which faced an over month long spell of devastating floods, has improved in the past 11 days due to a break in the monsoon, officials said on Monday.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials, of the four lakh affected people in 17 of the 33 districts, 3.40 lakh are in the state’s seven districts — Goalpara (172,866), Morigaon (48,198), Bongaigaon (49,815), South Salmara (23,104), Baksa (16,000), Golaghat (14,700) and Barpeta (14,427).

A total of 32,028 hectares of crops in around 500 villages are still inundated.

The let-up in the monsoon rains caused the improvement in the annual flood situation in Assam and other northeastern states, India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials said.

The ASDMA officials said that four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, are still in spate at many places in five districts, including Sonitpur, where both the Brahmaputra and Jia Bharali are flowing over the danger level for the past several weeks.

With one more death on Monday in Bongaigaon district, the floods have so far left 110 persons, including women and children, dead in 22 districts, while 26 others were killed in landslides since May 22.

Forest officials said that at least 150 wild animals have died due to the deluge and 172 have been rescued, even as over 50 per cent of the 884 sq km Kaziranga National Park remains inundated. On July 24, 95 per cent area of the park had been flooded.

The animals that have died in the annual monsoon floods include 18 rhinos, 105 hog deer, 11 wild boars, six wild buffaloes, three porcupines and two swamp deer.

Officials said that besides Kaziranga, located on the edge of the eastern Himalayan bio-diversity hotspots of Golaghat and Nagaon districts, the Manas, R.G. Orang and Tinsukia national parks, and the Pabitora and Tinsukia wildlife sanctuaries were also affected.

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LG Anil Baijal sets up special court for trial of Delhi riot cases

By the means of another notification dated July 31, the Delhi Home Department declared the police quarters adjoining Mandoli Jail as a “temporary jail”.

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Delhi L-G Anil Baijal

New Delhi, Aug 3 : On the recommendation of the Delhi High Court, Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Monday designated the court of Additional Session Judge, Shahdara, as a special court for the trial of cases relating to violence which had erupted in the city in February.

In a notification, the Department of Law, Justice and Legislative Affairs stated: “In exercise of the powers conferred under Section 22 of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008, the Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, on the recommendation of High Court of Delhi, is pleased to additionally designate the Court of Additional Session Judge-03, Shahdara District, as Special Court for the trial of cases relating to communal violence/riots which took place in Delhi early this year in which Scheduled offences under the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 are also made out.”

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In June, the Delhi High Court had designated four special courts for holding trials in the cases relating to the violence and clashes that broke out in the northeast district of the national capital in February.

Violence had broken out in parts of Delhi after clashes between pro and anti-Citizenship Amendment Act agitators spiralled out of control, leaving 53 dead.

By the means of another notification dated July 31, the Delhi Home Department declared the police quarters adjoining Mandoli Jail as a “temporary jail”.

In the notification, Deputy Secretary, Home, M.K. Aggarwal, stated: “In pursuance of the provisions of the Delhi Prisons Act, 2000 read with the Delhi Prisons Rules 2018, Minister of Home of Delhi government declare Police Quarters in the Police Housing Complex adjoining Mandoli Jail, Delhi as ‘Temporary Jail’ till further orders, in view of Covid-19 pandemic.”

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