Catholic Bishops meet Karnataka CM, voice concern over proposed anti-conversion law

News Network
September 23, 2021

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Bengaluru, Sep 23: A delegation of Catholic bishops of Karnataka, led by Archbishop of Bangalore Reverend Peter Machado, met Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to voice their opinion over a proposed law to ban religious conversions in the state.

They also spoke about a host of other topics, including inclusion of representatives of Christian managements in committees formed to implement the new National Education Policy (NEP).

In a statement issued here on Thursday said Machado said they had expressed displeasure over recent allegations against the community, terming it “malicious” and “untrue”. The Archbishop of Bangalore Archdiocese highlighted that hundreds of schools, colleges, and hospitals were operated under the aegis of each bishop. “There are about a lakh students but none have been advised to get converted to Christianity. Some minor events might have taken place which have been blown out of proportion now,” he added.

While speaking about the need for an anti-conversion Bill in the Assembly, Hosadurga BJP MLA Goolihatti Shekhar had recently claimed that religious conversions were “rampant” across the state. The MLA had also said 15,000 to 20,000 people, including his own mother, were converted to Christianity in his constituency.

Responding to this, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra had said the state government was considering bringing in a law to regulate religious conversion. “The issue (of religious conversions) has come to the government’s notice. Converting people from one religion to another by inducing them is a punishable offence. We will keep a strict vigil on such activities. There is a wide network working on religious conversions across the country,” Jnanendra had said in his reply in the Assembly.

When asked about the same, Machado said, “Someone is trying to malign us. While the issue is being debated in the Assembly, we have reminded people not to do such things. It is not right if someone approaches people, hands over the book and a cross, and converts them. We, too, have a conscience and moral responsibility. We are not forcing anyone.”

In a memorandum submitted to the CM on Wednesday said the bishops noted that such a law would lead to “unnecessary communal issues and unrest” with many more controversial statements and reactions made following the same.

The memorandum also noted the need to include representation from Christian managements in the NEP implementation committees. “Even though thousands of educational institutions are being managed by members from the community, we would like to bring to your notice that there is no Christian representation in various committees formed to implement NEP,” the letter read.

The bishops also urged Bommai to establish a Christian Development Board under the government to ensure their welfare and address demands made by the community on various fronts.

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News Network
July 8,2024

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A leading general medical journal has estimated that the death toll from Israel’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip could be 186,000 or even more, translating to 7.9 percent of the population in the Palestinian territory.

In a report published on Friday, The Lancet said the figure includes both direct and indirect deaths from the Israeli onslaught and those still buried under the rubble in the besieged Gaza.

The journal added that it had applied a conservative estimate of four indirect deaths per one direct death reported by the Gaza Health Ministry.

“It is not implausible to estimate that up to 186,000 or even more deaths could be attributable to the current conflict in Gaza,” it said.

Israel unleashed its brutal Gaza offensive on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out its historic operation against the occupying entity in retaliation for the regime’s intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the Tel Aviv regime has so far killed at least 38,514 Palestinians, mostly women and children, in Gaza. The ministry announces the death toll only after receiving the dead bodies. 

The figure provided by the ministry is “likely an underestimate,” The Lancet said. “The total death toll is expected to be large given the intensity of this conflict; destroyed health-care infrastructure; severe shortages of food, water, and shelter; the population’s inability to flee to safe places; and the loss of funding to UNRWA, one of the very few humanitarian organizations still active in the Gaza Strip.”

It also called for an immediate and urgent ceasefire in Gaza accompanied by measures to enable the distribution of medical supplies, food, clean water, and other resources for basic human needs.

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 28,2024

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Mangaluru: A 21-year-old woman was allegedly electrocuted in a village in Belthangady taluka in Dakshina Kannada district, police said on Friday. 

The deceased has been identified as Pratiksha Shetty, they said, adding that the incident happened in Shibaje village within the Dharmasthala police limits on Thursday evening.

According to police, the woman had stepped out of her house to collect a parcel when she was electrocuted. An insulator of an electricity wire had broken and fallen into the water-filled trench, resulting in Pratiksha’s electrocution. 

She was heading towards the main road, just 100 meters from her home, to collect an online parcel she had ordered. The trench, which becomes waterlogged during the monsoon, lay in her path. 

She was electrocuted on the spot. Her father, Ganesh Shetty, also received a shock while attempting to rescue her.

Pratiksha was a resident of Bargula hamlet in Shibaje village, a police official said. The body was handed over to the family after the post-mortem, the official added.

This is the second incident of electrocution this week. Earlier, two autorickshaw drivers had come into contact with a live cable in Pandeshwar in Mangaluru city on Tuesday and died, police said.

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News Network
July 7,2024

An elderly man from Karnataka’s Shivamogga who had tested positive for Zika virus, died late Friday. Since the patient had comorbidities, doctors are yet to ascertain whether his death was directly caused by the virus.

Nonetheless, this is the first reported incident of death in Karnataka of a patient with traces of the deadly virus in his body this year. Another patient infected with the virus in Shivamogga is currently under treatment at home.

District health officer (DHO) Dr Nataraj said the 74-year-old man who died was suffering from breathing problems and other age-related issues. "He died at his residence in Gandhinagar after being discharged from the hospital," Dr Nataraj said. The patient was admitted to a private hospital on June 18.

After his blood and urine samples were tested, the hospital referred the results to McGann Hospital. Experts at McGann analysed the samples and forwarded them to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Bengaluru for a final report.

On June 21, the report from NIV confirmed that the patient was infected with Zika virus. Since then, he was under treatment at a private hospital.
However, despite his unstable condition, his family insisted on getting him discharged against medical advice. The patient was taken home early on Friday. He passed away later that night.

"Zika virus has no special treatment, except for symptomatic treatment, like any other viral infection," the DHO explained.

"Every day, we analyse all test reports and if there is any suspicion, we send the sample in question to NIV for confirmation. Samples collected from pregnant women with symptoms are taken special care of and are invariably sent to the NIV," the DHO further said.

Symptoms

Zika virus is transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquito bites that happen mostly during the day. Patients showing symptoms such as headache, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis must be monitored for more than a week, a health official said. Seeking medical advise during the first few days after contracting the virus is crucial.

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