‘Sufficient evidence’: Delhi court orders framing of sexual harassment charges against Brij Bhushan

News Network
May 10, 2024

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New Delhi: In a big blow to Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a Delhi court has ordered the framing of charges against the former Wrestling Federation of India chief in the sexual harassment allegations levelled by women wrestlers. The court has said there is sufficient evidence on record to do so, and the trial against him can now begin. 

Friday's order by the Rouse Avenue court comes days after the BJP decided not to repeat Mr Singh, who is the party MP from Uttar Pradesh's Kaiserganj, as the candidate from the constituency and decided to field his son Karan Bhushan Singh instead. 

The court has ordered the framing of charges under Indian Penal Code sections Ordered to frame charges against Brij Bhushan under sections 354 (outraging a woman's modesty), 354-A (sexual harassment) and 506 (criminal intimidation). The Delhi Police had filed a chargesheet against under these sections and one additional section - 354D (stalking) - on June 15 last year. 

Charges should also be framed against the former assistant secretary of the Federation, Vinod Tomar, under Section 506, the court said. 

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Priyanka Rajpoot said the charges will be framed against Mr Singh for sexually harassing five wrestlers and that he stands discharged in the allegations levelled by the sixth.

The six-time MP has been at the centre of a huge political storm since last year, when sexual harassment charges were levelled against him and protesters had hit the streets led by Olympic medallists Sakshee Malikkh and Bajrang Punia, as well as Commonwealth Games and Asian Games medallist Vinesh Phogat.

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News Network
May 22,2024

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New Delhi: Acting on a one-month-old notice it sent to the BJP on complaints over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s provocative and communal remarks, the Election Commission of India on Wednesday directed the saffron party’s star campaigners not to make speeches along 'religious/communal lines' and desist from statements that may 'divide the society'.

Separately, it also asked the Congress' star campaigners not to give 'false impression' of abolishing or selling the Constitution, make speeches that create 'mutual hatred or cause tension' between religious or linguistic communities or 'potentially divisive statements' regarding the socio-economic composition of the armed forces.

The EC’s letters to BJP president JP Nadda and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge conveying its directions came 27 days after it issued separate notices to them on complaints against Modi, Kharge and Rahul Gandhi. Though the complaints were annexed in the notice that were sent to party chiefs and not the alleged violators, the names of violators were not mentioned.

It also comes ten days before the seven-phased elections are ending on June 1 though the notices were issued a day before the second phase of polls on April 25. While Nadda had responded to the letter on May 13 after seeking two extensions, Kharge submitted his arguments on May 6 after seeking one extension. They were initially given time till April 29.

In its letter to Nadda, the EC said he has not denied the utterances mentioned in the Congress complaint though it 'stoutly defended' the campaign methods and remarks while invoking a 'unilateral drawing of inferences and interpretations' of star campaigners of opponents. It said its star campaigners continued with objectionable utterances even after the April 25 notice.

The latest communication came against the backdrop of complaints by Congress and other parties which referred to Modi’s speech in Banswara as “communal” where he spoke about Congress seeking to redistribute people’s wealth to “infiltrators”, in a veiled reference to Muslims, and that women’s ‘mangalsutras’ will be snatched.

Emphasising that Nadda’s defence was 'not tenable', the EC said, 'directs you as party president to also convey to all star campaigners to not make speeches and statements, which may divide the society. Directs BJP and its star campaigners to refrain from any campaigning methods/utterances along religious/communal lines'.

In its letter to Kharge, the EC said Kharge too has justified Congress star campaigners’ contentious remarks while claiming that the complaint had 'wilfully extracted only specific portions, devoid of context, to mislead the Commission'. Kharge also claimed that the BJP leaders were making 'motivated statements' invoking religious sentiments to attract voters.

The EC, which had taken cognisance of complaints against Kharge and Rahul, said the assertion of Congress’ star campaigners about the BJP attempting to change the Constitution was allegedly instilling fear in the minds of voters about an uncertain future and an attempt to spread anarchy in the country and could be considered as “corrupt practice” under election laws.

While insisting that it cannot accept the Congress arguments and find it untenable, the EC directed Kharge to convey to all star campaigners that they do not make statements which give a 'false impression such as the Constitution of India may be abolished or sold'.

Amid the Congress making a campaign point on the controversial Agniveer scheme, it also directed him to convey to star campaigners that they should not indulge in political propaganda involving the military and not make 'potentially divisive statements' regarding socio-economic composition of defence forces.

Both the party presidents to ensure that star campaigners refrain from making any statement that may “aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic”.

The EC also referred to controversial statements after the April 25 notice by star campaigners from both sides in its letters, referring to complaints and counter complaints.

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News Network
May 14,2024

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Comedian Shyam Rangeela on Tuesday that he was barred from filing his nomination papers for the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections. He intended to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Varanasi seat by contesting as an Independent candidate.

Despite attempts to file his papers since May 10, Rangeela alleged he was denied entry to the district magistrate's office on the day Prime Minister Modi filed his nomination. He also said that he is not taking any team from Sriganganagar to contest the Lok Sabha elections in Varanasi. 

Shyam Rangeela further claimed that he has received several phone calls from Varanasi and people are willing to join him. "Winning or losing is a different matter, but I will contest the elections against the Prime Minister at any cost. I am not contesting elections to become famous, I am already very famous among the public."

The Congress party also waded into the controversy. Congress leader Surendra Rajput told news agency PTI that everyone is free to file a nomination including Prime Minister Modi. Rajput claimed that Rangeela was not getting nomination papers from the administration. 

"Everyone is free to file a nomination including PM Modi. However, other people are not allowed to file their nominations from the constituency. A YouTuber named (Shyam) Rangeela, who wished to file a nomination from Varanasi, isn’t getting nomination papers from the administration. Why PM Modi is afraid of people? Let them contest against you," he said. 

PM Modi, contesting for a third term, previously won the Varanasi seat by 4.8 lakh votes in 2019 and by 3.72 lakh votes in 2014. So far, 14 individuals, including mainstream political party candidates and independents, have filed their nominations for the Varanasi constituency.

Congress candidate Ajai Rai and Bahujan Samajwadi Party's Athar Ali Lari are among them. Rangeela, a YouTuber and mimic from Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh, rose to fame in 2017 with his act impersonating PM Modi. He has been critical of the Prime Minister and his policies, as evident in his videos.
 

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News Network
May 28,2024

Mangaluru: With the surge in cybercrimes in Dakshina Kannada, the police department is set to create more awareness on social media through informative short videos. These videos aim to educate the public about various cyber fraud tactics and how to avoid falling victim to them.

Awareness Campaign

Superintended of Police CB Ryshyanth announced on Monday in Dharmasthala, “We will release the videos within 10 days. These videos will be shared on social media to raise awareness about the methods fraudsters use to deceive people.”

Common Cybercrimes

The SP highlighted several prevalent cyber scams:

Part-Time Job Scams: Fraudsters lure victims with fake job offers, often asking them to write reviews.

Share Trading Scams: Malicious links promise high returns in share trading. Initially, fraudsters pay a small amount to gain the victims’ trust. However, the app showing "high returns" is a trap, and victims realize they have been duped when no actual returns are received.

Phishing Scams: Fake 'payment gateway' pages are created to trick victims into sharing their personal details, which are then used to siphon money from their accounts.

Online Market Scams: Fraudsters offer products like iPhones at significantly lower prices, only to scam the buyers.

Precautionary Measures

SP Ryshyanth urged people to be cautious and not to attend video calls from unknown persons. He also addressed the importance of CCTV cameras in commercial establishments under the Public Safety Act. “If they fail to comply, a DSP rank officer can issue a notice and impose a fine,” he explained.

The police department’s initiative aims to make the public more vigilant and knowledgeable about cybercrimes. By understanding these fraud methods, people can better protect themselves from becoming victims. Stay informed, stay safe.

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