Up to 10 years jail: Karnataka govt likely to promulgate ordinance against religious conversion

News Network
May 12, 2022

Bengaluru, May 12: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said his Cabinet will today decide on promulgating an ordinance to give effect to a controversial law against religious conversions.

The Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill was passed in the Legislative Assembly in December last year. It is pending passage in the Legislative Council, where the ruling BJP is one short of majority. 

“Because the Assembly and Council got prorogued, we are placing a proposal to promulgate an ordinance in the Cabinet today,” Bommai told reporters. 

The controversial bill aims to prohibit religious conversion by way of marriage or inducements such as free marriage, employment among others. 

The bill proposes imprisonment of 3 to 5 years with a fine of Rs 25,000 for “forced” conversion. Converting a minor, woman or an SC/ST person will attract a jail term of 3 to 10 years, with a Rs 50,000 fine. Mass conversions will attract 3-10 years of jail time, with a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.

Under the proposed law, any person wanting to convert into another religion must intimate the authorities one month in advance.

Karnataka will become the ninth state to enact the anti-conversion law. 

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Agencies
May 10,2022

Colombo, May 10: Sri Lanka's former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is facing calls for his arrest from Opposition politicians for inciting violence against peaceful anti-government protesters that claimed at least eight lives, left over 200 people injured and saw arson attacks on the homes of several politicians.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, 76, resigned as Sri Lankan Prime Minister on Monday amid unprecedented economic turmoil, hours after his supporters attacked anti-government protesters, prompting authorities to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy Army troops in the capital.

The resignation of the prime minister has automatically annulled the Cabinet and the country is currently being run by his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Mahinda Rajapaksa has been accused by the Opposition of inciting the ruling party mobs to attack peaceful protesters by making a defiant speech while addressing several thousands of his supporters to deflect calls for his resignation.

“Rajapaksa (Mahinda) must be arrested and brought before the law," M A Sumanthiran, the main Tamil legislator, said in a message.

The same sentiments were expressed by former President Maithripala Sirisena and the main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya party's leader Ranjith Madduma Bandara.

“He must be arrested for encouraging violence. There was no reason to attack the peaceful protesters," Sirisena said.

At least eight people were killed in the violence. The Colombo national hospital said at least 217 people had been admitted for treatment.

One of the protesters who had been brutally assaulted by the Rajapaksa supporters remains in a very critical condition.

Mahinda Rajapaksa later resigned, saying he was making way for his brother president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to set up an all-party interim government.

There were reports from all parts of the island of arson attacks on the homes of ruling party politicians, including on the ancestral house of the Rajapaksa family in the deep southern district of Hambantota.

Meanwhile, Mahinda Rajapaksa vacated the Temple Trees, the official residence of the prime minister, Tuesday morning, according to media reports.

The police on Monday used tear gas and fired in the air to stop a mob which was trying to break into Temple Trees, the office cum residence of the prime minister.

An all-island curfew, which was scheduled to be lifted on Tuesday, was extended last night until Wednesday as arson attacks were reported from most parts of the country.

Army chief General Shavendra Silva called for calm and said the necessary action would be taken to maintain law and order.

In the current state of emergency, the troops are given extensive powers to arrest people.

The Opposition parties urged the reconvening of Parliament before the scheduled date of May 17.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena also requested the President to immediately summon Parliament.

The trade unions announced that they would launch a continuous strike from Tuesday to protest against the government-backed crackdown on the peaceful protests.

The violence occurred as pressure mounted on the embattled government led by President Gotabaya to form an interim administration to overcome the worst economic crisis facing the country.

Sri Lanka is currently in the throes of unprecedented economic turmoil since its independence from Britain in 1948. The crisis is caused in part by a lack of foreign currency, which has meant that the country cannot afford to pay for imports of staple foods and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.

Thousands of demonstrators have hit the streets across Sri Lanka since April 9 seeking the resignation of President Gotabaya and Prime Minister Mahinda, as the government ran out of money for vital imports; prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed and there are acute shortages in fuel, medicines and electricity supply.

In a special Cabinet meeting on Friday, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency with effect from Friday midnight. This is the second time that an emergency was declared in Sri Lanka in just over a month as the island nation was in the grip of the worst economic crisis.

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News Network
May 12,2022

ramya.jpg

Film actress and former Lok Sabha member Divya Spandana aka Ramya has asked the All India Congress Committee General Secretary K C Venugopal to clear her name in the media regarding reports that said that she had duped the party of Rs 8 crore.

She further tweeted that she didn’t run away and resigned from the party for personal reasons and claimed that the story was planted to discredit her credibility.

“Humble request to @kcvenugopalmp to please clarify with the media about this whenever you’re in Karnataka next. The least you can do for me Venugopal ji, so I don’t have to live with this abuse and trolling for the rest of my life. (sic)”, she tweeted. 

He remarks come after some media reports claimed that Rahul Gandhi's most-trusted aide Praveen Chakravarty along with Divya Spandana were in incommunicado since the day of the 2019 general election results after allegedly charging huge sums of money in the name of research. It was further reported that Spandana was said to have received Rs 8 crore for her research and social media drive during the electioneering phase. 

Yesterday, Ramya had alleged the Congress instructed the workers to troll her on social media for a statement she’d made against Karnataka Congress President D.K. Shivakumar. 

“So the ‘office’ has circulated these messages among the congress leaders & volunteers asking them troll me. Save yourself the trouble — I’ll do it myself.(sic)”, Ramya wrote, attaching a series of screenshots that showed various messages in English and Kannada allegedly circulated to troll her. She also tagged Shivakumar and Congress’ Srivatsa Y.B. presently a member Rahul Gandhi’s team and former social media head of the Karnataka Congress.

The day before yesterday, Ramya had criticised the Mr Shivakumar for claiming BJP leader and Karanataka Higher Education Minister Ashwathnarayan C.N., had met the Congress’ M.B. Patil to “seek protection” from being questioned on public platforms in the PSI recruitment scam.

“People across parties meet each other, go to functions, some even get married into families — I’m surprised @DKShivakumar would say this about @MBPatil who’s a staunch congressman. Shouldn’t the party be fighting elections as one [email protected],” wrote Ramya on Twitter, in response to Shivakumar’s comment.

In May 2019, during the Lok Sabha elections, BJP came back for the second time with a majority, defeating Congress. The following month, Spandana deleted her Twitter and Instagram accounts citing a “break from politics.” She even cut off all communication with party leaders. She was subsequently removed from the post of the Congress’ social media head.

Divya joined the Indian National Congress in 2012 as a member of its youth wing. She won Mandya Lok Sabha seat by-election in 2013 but was subsequently defeated in the 2014 Ggneral elections. As the Congress’ social media head, she was known for post hard-hitting tweets, especially taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

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News Network
May 11,2022

Bantwal, May 11: A man killed his younger sibling following scuffle at Shiramkallu Nanderabettu village near Vittla in Bantwal taluk of Dakshina Kannada yesterday. 

The victim has been identified as Balappa Naik. The accused is his elder brother Aithappa Naik, said to be a Hindu activist. 

It is learnt that the duo has been quarrelling over trivial issues for past few years. 

On Tuesday, May 10, the brothers quarrelled once again during a religious programme in their new house. In a fit of rage, the elder brother attacked the younger one killing him on the spot. 

A case has been registered at jurisdictional Vittta police station. The accused has been arrested. 

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