2 women stripped, assaulted in Karnataka’s capital for delay in repaying loan

News Network
June 29, 2022

Bengaluru, June 29: In a shocking incident, two sisters were stripped and assaulted at their residence in the limits of Sarjapur police station in Bengaluru. It is alleged that the police refused to lodge a complaint for two days, and did so only after public outrage.

The incident took place in Doddabommasandra in Anekal taluk. The complaint was lodged against three persons, Ramakrishna Reddy, Sunil Kumar and Indramma. While the police arrested Ramakrishna Reddy and Sunil Kumar, the third accused is yet to be arrested.

According to the complaint, one of the victims had taken a loan of Rs 1 lakh at an exorbitant 30 per cent interest for the education of her children from Ramakrishna Reddy, a resident of Neriga village near Doddabommasandra.

However, she was asked to repay the entire loan amount at once. The villagers had brokered an agreement that once they sell their land, the victim would repay the loan amount.

Despite this, the accused barged into their residence and assaulted and stripped the victims. They had approached Sarjapur police station in connection with the incident. However, it is alleged that Inspector Raghavendra Imbrapur refused to lodge the complaint.

The inspector had asked the victims to negotiate with the accused for a settlement. Meanwhile, the videos of the assault went viral on social media creating public outrage against the police and the accused.

The cops finally called the victims to the police station and lodged a complaint on Tuesday night.

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News Network
August 19,2022

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Ahmedabad, Aug 19: Some of the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case of the 2002 Gujarat riots are “Brahmins” with good ‘sanskaar’ or values and it is possible they may have been fixed due to their past family activities, a BJP MLA, who was a part of the state government panel that recommended remission to all the 11 men found guilty, said on Thursday.

C K Raulji, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Godhra, said he does not know whether the convicts, released after spending more than 15 years in jail, were involved in the crime.

On August 15, all the 11 convicts sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2002 case of Bilkis Bano’s gang rape and murder of her seven family members during the communal riots walked out of the Godhra sub-jail after the BJP government in Gujarat allowed their release under its remission policy.

“We took the decision on the basis of a Supreme Court order. We were asked to look at their (convicts’) behaviour and decide (on their early release),” Raulji, who was one of the members of the government-appointed committee that recommended granting of remission to the convicts, told a news portal.

“We asked the jailer and learnt that their behaviour was good in the prison…also (some of the convicts) are Brahmins. They have good ‘sanskaar’ (values),” said the ruling party legislator.

The Gujarat government’s decision has invited sharp criticism from the opposition parties who have said the move was against the Centre’s guidelines.

However, Raulji said the convicts may have been fixed.

“It is possible that they (the convicts) might have been fixed in the case due to their past family activities. When such riots take place it happens that those who are not involved are named. But I don’t know if they committed the crime, we decided (on remission) based on their behaviour,” he said.

Asked about the welcome accorded to the 11 men after their release from prison, he said they had not welcomed them.

The Gujarat government released the 11 convicts after the Supreme Court directed it to consider their plea for relief under the state’s 1992 remission policy.

A special CBI court in Mumbai had on January 21, 2008, sentenced to life imprisonment all the 11 accused in the case for murder of seven family members of Bilkis Bano, a riots survivor, and her gang rape. Their conviction was later upheld by Bombay High Court.

These convicts served more than 15 years in prison after which one of them approached the Supreme Court with a plea for his premature release.

The apex court had directed the Gujarat government to look into the issue of remission of his sentence as per its 1992 policy on the basis of the date of his conviction. Thereafter, the government formed a committee which took the decision to allow release of all the convicts.

On March 3, 2002, Bilkis Bano’s family was attacked by a mob at Randhikpur village in Limkheda taluka of Dahod district. Bilkis, who was five months pregnant at the time, was gang raped and seven members of her family were killed during the BJP backed riots. 

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News Network
August 10,2022

Bengaluru, Aug 10: Accusing the Opposition Congress of unnecessarily raking up the issue of Karnataka Chief Minister replacement, to cover up the rift within, senior BJP leader and Revenue Minister R Ashoka on Wednesday challenged the grand old party to name its CM candidate for 2023 Assembly polls.

Ruling out Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai's replacement, he said BJP's top leadership including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have already said that the election will be under Bommai's leadership and the party will abide by it. The minister was reacting to Congress's series of tweets on Tuesday speculating about Chief Minister Bommai being replaced and even calling him a "Puppet CM".

"To cover up their infighting that has come on to the streets, Congress is spreading false information that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will be replaced. Congress has no base in the country, what rights do they have to speak about BJP's leadership and CM change," Ashoka said.

Speaking to reporters, he said, Congress have not been able to appoint their party's national president, and are today talking about chief minister change in the BJP government. "Did Amit Shah or the Prime Minister tell you (about CM change)? Things have rotten within your own party because of your infighting, clear it first.....There will be neither CM change nor will BJP state President Nalin Kumar Kateel be replaced, we will go to polls under their leadership," he added.

There has been some buzz on and off within the state BJP in recent times, regarding some kind of an overhaul including at the top level, especially after the recent visit of Amit Shah to the state.

Ashoka, further challenging the Congress party said, "Our Chief Minister is Basavaraj Bommai, if you have guts, courage and morality will you be able to tell who is your Chief Minister candidate? Question yourself about it, you don't have courage to announce, but you want to speak about others."

He also said that Congress fears getting split on making such an announcement. Ashoka noted that the internal rift been Congress leaders like Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar, Mallikarjun Kharge, G Parameshwara and M B Patil, has come out in open after the Siddaramaiah's 75th birthday event at Davangere.

To counter Siddaramaiah's event, Shivakumar is organising a march in the name of 75th Independence Day, to prove his strength, he said. "It has also come to our notice that the native Congress leaders have held a meeting expressing their displeasure about Siddaramaiah's birthday event ," he said, adding that instead of going to flood affected areas Congress leaders are involved in such things.

Former BJP MLA B Suresh Gowda's recent statement indicating some changes that the high command will take a call on replacing the chief minister and other matters in the interest of the party and to win the elections in future, had added to the speculations. However, BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel rejected it by stating that Bommai would complete his tenure. 

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News Network
August 10,2022

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Patna, Aug 10: After taking oath as Bihar Chief Minister an eighth time, thus continuing in the chair with a change of partners, Nitish Kumar took a shot at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the next Lok Sabha elections: "He won in 2014, but will he in 2024?"

Though Nitish Kumar repeatedly spoke of "working towards Opposition unity" to unseat the BJP at the Centre, he told reporters that he is "not a contender for anything", when asked if he wants to be PM candidate. "The question to ask is, if the person who came in 2014 will win in 2024,” he said.

Elections in Bihar are due in 2025, a year after the Lok Sabha contest. Nitish is likely to still be in the chair in 2024, which means the who'll-be-the-challenger speculation isn't likely to die down soon, especially with the Congress weakened and the Opposition still far from united. His deputy once again, RJD's Tejashwi Yadav has said Nitish Kumar is the "most experienced chief minister in India right now".

It helps Nitish Kumar's case that another regional leader with national ambitions -- Bengal's Mamata Banerjee — has had to halt her march after corruption charges against her party colleagues. 

Analysts have for years floated the theory that Nitish Kumar could be the Opposition candidate against PM Modi, if the Congress plays a non-leading role. But that's drowned out as he floats in and out of alliances — with and against the BJP. Till yesterday, he was chief minister with BJP support. And now he is back with the RJD of old pal Lalu Yadav, whose son is his deputy in the new government — a new version of their 2015 alliance. The Congress is among the partners.

The first version of the JDU-RJD-Congress tie-up — called the 'Mahagathbandhan' or Grand Alliance — won power in 2015. Nitish Kumar had broken up with the BJP two years before that, ending a two-decade relationship. He had problems with Narendra Modi's past, particularly the 2002 Gujarat riots, and left the NDA after he became the PM face. 

But he made up with PM Modi's party in 2017, walked out the Mahagathbandhan and took a fresh oath. The JDU and BJP remained together for the 2019 Lok Sabha contest, and then won the 2020 assembly polls. Nitish Kumar remained in the chair. Two years on, he has switched again. 

Today he said he did not want to be Chief Minister after the 2020 win with the BJP. "Ask people in the party (JDU), what they have been reduced too. I did not want to become CM... but I was put under pressure. Then you see what happened. I have not even spoken to you (journalists) in two months." 

He pointed towards the drop in JDU's numbers. "How many seats did we win in 2015? And then we went with the same people (BJP) and look at what we have been reduced to." Besides those in the JDU, Tejashwi Yadav too has said the BJP "wants to finish off regional parties" and "usurps its partners".

In 2015, Nitish Kumar's JDU had won 71 seats as part of the Grand Alliance's 170, in a House of 243. The RJD was the single largest party with 80 seats, but he became chief minister as leader of the pact.

At present, the JDU has 45 seats. The BJP, which has 77, made him chief minister in 2020 despite these numbers — but with two deputies from its stable. Why the switch now? Nitish Kumar and his party, it is learnt, were spooked in the latest by the Maharashtra coup in which the BJP backed a split in the Shiv Sena to return to power.  

On his fate after yet another flip, Nitish Kumar today said, "Whether I will stay or not... let people say what they have to say." After staking claim yesterday, he said he "never allowed corruption", and "we want brotherhood in society". Standing next to him, Tejashwi Yadav accused the BJP of dividing people along communal lines: "We are socialists. All of us want that the BJP's agenda shouldn't be implemented in Bihar."

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