Dalit student dies after brutal punishment by ‘upper caste’ teacher for touching water pot

News Network
August 14, 2022

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A nine-year-old Dalit boy, a student of a private school in Rajasthan's Surana village died on Saturday, August 13, days after he was brutally beaten by his school teacher for touching a drinking water pot.

40-year-old teacher Chail Singh, an upper caste Hindu, who allegedly beat the boy has been arrested and charged with murder and under sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Police said the reason for beating up the Class 3 student Indra Meghwal that he touched a drinking water pot is being investigated.

The incident took place on July 20, the victim's father said. The boy suffered a serious injury to his face and became unconscious after receiving the beating. The boy was taken to the district hospital from where he was referred to a hospital in Udaipur. But even after a week, there was no improvement. The family decided to take him to Ahmedabad where he succumbed to the injuries. The photo of the boy with swollen eyes and an injured nose has surfaced on social media.

"He remained admitted at the hospital in Udaipur for about a week, but seeing no improvement, we took him to Ahmedabad. But his condition did not improve even there and he finally succumbed on Saturday," the boy's father Devaram Meghwal said.

The state education department has initiated an inquiry into the incident. Two officials have been asked to submit a report to the block education officer.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said the incident is tragic and the state government will ensure that the victim's family gets justice at the earliest. The CM has also announced an assistance of ₹5 lakh to the family of the deceased.

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News Network
September 23,2022

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New Delhi, Sept 23: India has spent nearly $100 billion in the past year to defend the rupee in a battle that has so far failed to staunch the local currency’s drop to a record low against the dollar on Friday.

Data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed that the country’s forex reserves have fallen to $545.7 billion as of September 16, from $550.8 billion a week ago, and a far cry from the $642.45 billion seen exactly a year ago. The reading is the lowest since October 2, 2020. 

To be sure, some of the drop is also due to revaluation changes, given the dollar’s move upwards. 

“The fall in reserves is a combination of factors such as intervention, balance of payments deficit, and the revaluation of reserves held in other currencies vis-a-vis the US dollar,” said Aditi Nayar, chief economist at ICRA in New Delhi. 

India’s currency fell to a record low 81 a dollar and has lost over 8 per cent so far this year against the greenback. The dollar has surged to a two-decade high against major currencies after the Federal Reserve signaled a longer-than-expected tightening cycle. 

The data comes as RBI has mounted a strong defense in the last few weeks to soothe market fears over further currency losses. The decline in the rupee is also raising worries with impact seen on inflation, external deficits and company profits. 

“You buy an umbrella to use it when it rains,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said earlier in July, indicating that the central bank had been using foreign exchange reserves to deal with currency volatility.

While India’s forex buffer should be sufficient to shield the economy against any major external shock, we expect the RBI to become more prudent in the latter part of the current fiscal year, Kotak Mahindra Bank economists lead by Upasna Bhardwaj wrote in a note. 

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News Network
September 24,2022

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Chandigarh, Sept 24: The ruling AAP in Punjab on Saturday sharpened its attacked against Governor Banwarilal Purohit, alleging that he is acting at the behest of the BJP.

The fresh attack came a day after the Governor’s office sought details of the legislative business to be taken up in the September 27 Assembly session. Purohit had come under fire after he stopped the government from holding a special session of the Assembly on September 22 to bring a "confidence motion".

AAP leader and state Cabinet Minister Aman Arora said the Punjab government does not want any confrontation but asserted that it will be unacceptable to the ruling party if anyone tries to deprive them of exercising their constitutional rights.

Arora accused Purohit of cancelling the earlier special session scheduled for September 22 at the instance of the BJP-led Centre to make the party's "Operation Lotus" a success.

The Governor is acting at the behest of the BJP, he alleged addressing the media here.

Arora said it never happened in the past 75 years that details regarding the legislative business were sought.

"A shameful incident took place yesterday, which has not happened in the past 75 years. The Governor issued a new letter to the Punjab government to know about the legislative business," said Arora.

As per convention, the Business Advisory Committee of the House, in which representatives of all political parties are there, decides the legislative business to be taken up.

"If 117 MLAs want to discuss and resolve public issues, then why is he fearing?," asked Arora.

He alleged that the Governor houses in states with non-BJP governments have become places for "hatching conspiracies".

In Delhi, where AAP is in power, the Lieutenant Governor is acting like an opposition, he alleged.

"In Punjab, the BJP has two MLAs and the Congress is fully supporting them. I feel that the Centre has given the responsibility of playing the role of opposition to the Governor here because of which such letters are being issued every day. It is very unfortunate," alleged Arora.

Asked whether the state government will provide the details sought by the Governor, Arora said a decision in this regard will be taken after the chief minister and the Vidhan Sabha Speaker hold legal consultations.

Whether the confidence motion will be moved, he evaded a direct reply and said, "Just wait for it. Whatever happens will be before you."

Asked if the Governor denied permission for holding the session, Arora said, "Let him do so, we will plan accordingly."

To a query, Arora asked the Governor to play his role and not to interfere in the functioning of MLAs.

As per convention, the Governor gives approval to the recommendation of the Cabinet for holding a session and then before the session, the Business Advisory Committee mutually decides about the issues to be discussed, he said.

"Now, what to say about the Governor, the kind of work he is doing, now I suspect he may say he will sit here (in the session)," said Arora.

Arora said there is no provision of sending the list of the House to the Governor.

"The House has 100 per cent right over it. Elected representatives are the members of the BAC, headed by the Speaker. There is no role of Governor in it," he asserted.

Arora also criticised the Union government for denying him political clearance for a knowledge-exchange tour on Green Hydrogen to Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The minister was to fly to Europe on Saturday. 

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News Network
September 27,2022

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 27: Kerala's ruling CPI(M) on Tuesday said imposing a ban on an extremist organisation or a communal force would not put an end to its activities and if such a step has to be taken then RSS should be the first one to be banned.

CPI (M) state secretary M V Govindan's statement came amidst reports that the Centre was planning to include the Popular Front of India (PFI) in the list of terror outfits.

His statement also comes a day after BJP chief J P Nadda alleged that Kerala was now a "hotspot" of terrorism and fringe elements and life was not safe in the southern state.

"If an organisation has to be banned, then it has to be RSS. It is the main organisation carrying out communal activities. Will it be banned? Banning an extremist organisation will not address the problem. RSS has been banned in the past. The CPI has been banned. "Banning an organisation will not end it or its ideology. They would only come back with a new name or identity. We need to create awareness against such groups and take legal action against them when they commit any illegality," he told reporters.

The CPI (M) leader was referring to the ban on CPI in 1950 and the bans on RSS in pre and post-independence India. Govindan further said that RSS, BJP and the Sangh Parivar are presently seeking the ban on PFI.

"So if communal forces are to be banned, RSS will have to be the first one. But that is not going to happen in the present political scenario in the country," he added.

The CPI(M) state secretary further said that when two communal forces confront each other, they make each other stronger and "that is what is going on now" be it RSS or a minority communal group.

He also answered in the negative when asked whether the Left front joined hands with such organisations to win elections in local body polls.

PFI, whose hundreds of leaders were recently arrested and its offices raided across the country, had called a hartal in Kerala on September 23 during which its activists had allegedly engaged in widespread violence resulting in damage to buses, public property and even attacks on the general public.

Regarding what happened on September 23, Govindan said that while the government and the Left party were not against hartals, as everyone has the right to protest, it was not in favour of violence and destruction of property in the name of agitations.

"The Chief Minister has said strict action would be taken against those who engaged in violence during the hartal. Damaging buses, attacking passengers and destruction of public property is what happened in the name of hartal."

"Strict action will be taken against those involved," he said.

On Monday too, Govindan had said banning extremist organisations will not end their activities.

He had alleged that both majority and minority communal outfits were targeting the ruling Left in the state.

Govindan's statement had come amid growing demand for enforcing a ban on PFI following last week's raids and arrest of the outfit leaders by multi-agency teams, spearheaded by NIA, at 93 locations in 15 states for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

Kerala, where the PFI has some strong pockets, accounted for the maximum number of 22 arrests.

The arrests were made by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and police forces of the states concerned.

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