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World Bank clears $250 million for Kerala scheme

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Thiruvananthapuram, July 15 (IANS) The first tranche of $250 million of the $500 million fund set aside by the World Bank for the Resilient Kerala Programme (RKP) to help improve the state’s resilience against natural disasters and climate change has been cleared, according to a top bank official.

Kerala had become the first Indian state to get this fund, said Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank, India, here on Monday.

“The future of India is in the states and hence we decided to invest in state schemes besides concentrating on citizen-centric programmes. That’s what we have done in the RKP,” said Ahmad.

Ahmad along with his team was here to take part in the Development Parties Conclave, organised by the Kerala government with participation of top international agencies, like World Bank, Asian Development Bank, JAICA and UNDP, to discuss ways to help the state rebuild after last year’s floods.

Elaborating on the bank’s initiatives, he said they would invest $250 million in the state account for specific programmes, like improving the Ariver basin planning, sustainable agriculture besides improving resilience of the core road network.

“We will be providing technical assistance to the state for these programmes. Besides this, we have an urban service project. Also, the new programmes in the pipeline would look into sanitation and solid waste management,” Ahmad said.

Balakrishna Menon, World Bank India Task Team Leader for the programme, said in the RKP they “will not only bring about additional financial resources but also help leverage other development partners and connect the state to lessons from global good practices.”

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Accused harassing victim’s family for one year: Priyanka

The victim’s father told Priyanka Gandhi that the family has been harassed for a year.

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Priyanka Gandhi at Unnao

Unnao, Dec 7 : After the death of the Unnao rape victim, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi met her family members here on Saturday. The family told Gandhi that the accused had been harassing and threatening them for the last one year.

“It is clear from the Maakhi incident and now the rape victim’s death that women are not safe in Unnao,” she said.

The victim’s father told Priyanka Gandhi that the family has been harassed for a year.

He said: “I have also heard that the culprits are linked to the Bharatiya Janata Party. There is no fear among criminals in the state.”

The Congress General Secretary said: “The incidents of female harassment are increasing under the BJP government in the state. The rape victim and her family were receiving threats, but the police did not take any action.”

“The Chief Minister should answer the question that what is the place of women in the state. The way Maakhi and another daughter died yesterday, has raised questions about the system.”

Hitting out at the BJP government in the state, the Congress General Secretary said: “Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath says that there is no place for criminals in the state, but I think there is no place for women here. The administration has to answer why it is happening? “

The sister-in-law of the Unnao victim informed: “Priyanka said that she will fight for justice with us. Our only demand is that the culprits should be hanged, only then the soul of our girl will get peace.”

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Priyanka meets family of Unnao rape victim, attacks Yogi govt

Priyanka Gandhi, who was on a two-day visit to the state left for Unnao to meet the family members of the victim.

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Priyanka Gandhi

Unnao, Dec 7 : Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra cancelled all her scheduled events in Lucknow and reached the home of the Unnao rape victim on Saturday afternoon, where she met the family members of the deceased.

She was accompanied by party state president Ajay Kumar Lallu. The Unnao rape victim died at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi on Friday.

During the meeting with the victim’s family members, she assured them of all possible help and said that she was with them in their hour of grief.

Earlier, Priyanka Gandhi attacked the Yogi Adityanath government over the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh after the death of the Unnao rape victim.

She tweeted: “It is a failure of all of us that we could not give her justice. Socially, we are all guilty, but it also shows the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh.”

Priyanka questioned why atrocities on women were rampant in the state and given the rape incident in Unnao, why no protection was given to the victim.

“Keeping in mind the previous incident of Unnao, why did the government not give immediate protection to the victim? What action was taken against the officer who refused to register her FIR? Everyday there are cases of atrocities against the women in Uttar Pradesh, what action is the government taking on this?”, Priyanka Gandhi tweeted.

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Girl gang-raped by minors in Bulandshahr, 4 arrested

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Bulandshahr A 15-year-old girl was allegedly held hostage and gang-raped by three minors in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district, police said on Saturday.

According to the police, the incident happened four days ago and the accused were the victim’s relatives who also got the crime video uploaded on the social media.

According to the police, the 15-year-old girl had gone to the field to fetch some vegetables when the minors held her hostage and gang-raped her in the Pahasu area of the district.

Bulandshahr Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) S. K. Singh told IANS that the police have arrested three minors in this connection.

He said the fourth accused who had posted the video on the internet was also arrested.

The arrests were made within two hours after the uncle of the rape victim registered a case with the police on Friday evening, said the police.

The SSP said that the incident happened on December 3, but the girl kept silent for three days. She revealed the ordeal only after her video went viral on the social media.

The incident was reported hours after the Unnao rape case victim died in the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi.

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