Cong MP candidate Padmaraj R vows to eradicate communal politics in DK as he files nomination

News Network
April 3, 2024

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Mangaluru, Apr 3: Padmaraj R, the Congress candidate for Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency, today filed his nomination papers for the upcoming polls with the returning officer and deputy commissioner Mullai Muhilan at latter’s office in Mangaluru. 

He was flanked by DK district in-charge minister Dinesh Gundu Rao, MLC B K Hariprasad, district Congress president and MLC Harish Kumar and Puttur MLA Ashok Kumar Rai among others.

Prior to this, the young Billava leader led a procession from Kudroli Gokarnatheshwara temple to the DC office. The procession, which was flagged off by veteran Congress leader B Janardhana Poojary, passed through Car street, GHS road, Clock tower, and concluded at the A B Setty Circle.

Padmaraj is contesting against BJP’s Capt Brijesh Chowta in the Lok Sabha election scheduled for April 26 in Dakshina Kannada.

Addressing the people, Padmaraj vowed to end BJP’s communal and divisive politics in Dakshina Kannada. “I am committed to eradicate divisive politics from the district and fostering unity among people of all religious backgrounds,” he said. 

"Today I witness hope and expectations in the eyes of people gathered here. This proves that the message of the Congress party has reached the people,” he said adding that the advantages of having the Congress party in power are evident. 

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News Network
May 21,2024

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India is currently polling in the Lok Sabha elections, and AI-generated videos that spread disinformation have emerged as a major threat. As per a report, Meta approved several political advertisements manipulated by Artificial Intelligence that spread disinformation during Lok Sabha elections 2024.

Facebook reportedly approved ads that contained slurs towards Muslims in India like “let’s burn this vermin” and “Hindu blood is spilling, these invaders must be burned” along with disinformation about political leaders and other messages with Hindu supremacist language.

Another advert approved by the owner of Facebook and Instagram called for an opposition leader's execution who as per a false claim sought to “erase Hindus from India”. This ad contained the image of a Pakistan flag alongside the message.

The report comes at a time when the social media platform X had to recently take down an animated video shared by the Karnataka unit of the BJP after an Election Commission direction.

India Civil Watch International (ICWI) and Ekō, a corporate accountability organisation created and submitted these adverts to Meta's ad library to test the company's mechanism to detect and block harmful political content.

All adverts “were created based upon real hate speech and disinformation prevalent in India, underscoring the capacity of social media platforms to amplify existing harmful narratives," the report mentioned.

The researchers submitted 22 adverts to Meta in English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, and Kannada, of which 14 were approved. Another three were approved with small tweaks. However, once approved, the researchers immediately removed the ads before their publication.

The research concluded that Meta failed to detect the presence of AI-manipulated images in all of the approved ads.

While five of the adverts, including one with some allegations against PM Modi were rejected on charge of breaking Meta's policy on hate speech, the report noted that the 14 others approved targetted Muslims and “broke Meta’s own policies on hate speech, bullying and harassment, misinformation, and violence and incitement."

“Supremacists, racists and autocrats know they can use hyper-targeted ads to spread vile hate speech, share images of mosques burning and push violent conspiracy theories – and Meta will gladly take their money, no questions asked,” the Guardian quoted Maen Hammad, a campaigner at Ekō as saying.

In response, Meta clarified that they require advertisers to disclose their use of AI.

“When we find content, including ads, that violates our community standards or community guidelines, we remove it, regardless of its creation mechanism. AI-generated content is also eligible to be reviewed and rated by our network of independent factcheckers – once a content is labeled as ‘altered’ we reduce the content’s distribution. We also require advertisers globally to disclose when they use AI or digital methods to create or alter a political or social issue ad in certain cases," the company said in response.

Meanwhile, Meta has been accused in the past of failing to curb Islamophobia on its platforms.

“This election has shown once more that Meta doesn’t have a plan to address the landslide of hate speech and disinformation on its platform during these critical elections,” Hammad said questioning how one can trust Meta if it fails to detect even a handful of AI-generated images.

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News Network
May 18,2024

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Bengaluru, May 18: JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda, who turned 92 on Saturday, broke his silence on the sexual abuse charges leveled against his grandson and MP Prajwal Revanna. He stated that he has no objection to the action taken against him if found guilty. However, he mentioned that the cases against his son, JD(S) MLA HD Revanna, who is facing charges of sexual harassment and kidnapping of a woman, were 'created'. He refrained from further commenting as the matter is sub judice.

Recently, Gowda announced his decision not to celebrate his birthday and requested well-wishers and party workers to wish him from wherever they are.

"... I don't want to comment on things that are going on in the court regarding Revanna. Prajwal Revanna has gone abroad. Regarding that, Kumaraswamy (Gowda's other son and state JD(S) chief) has, on behalf of our family, said it is the duty of the government to take action in accordance with the law of the land," Gowda said.

Addressing reporters, the former PM said, "There are several people connected to these sexual abuse cases. I don't want to mention anyone's names. Kumaraswamy has stated that those involved in this matter should face action, and the affected women should get justice and compensation."

"There is no objection from us to taking action against Prajwal. But people have come to know the facts about the allegations made against Revanna, how the case has been created. In one case, he has been granted bail, and in another case, the judgment is expected day after tomorrow... I don't want to comment on it," he said, concurring with Kumaraswamy's statement that if found guilty, no one should be spared.

Prajwal (33) is facing charges of multiple instances of sexually abusing women. The scandal has sparked a political storm with the ruling Congress and BJP-JD(S) engaged in a slugfest.

Prajwal reportedly left for Germany on April 27 and is still at large. An Interpol Blue Corner Notice has been issued against him in an effort to bring him back.

He was the BJP-JD(S) alliance's joint candidate from the Hassan Lok Sabha segment, which went to polls on April 26.

Meanwhile, Gowda's 66-year-old son, Revanna, a former Minister, has been granted interim anticipatory bail from a court here in a sexual harassment case in which his son Prajwal is also an accused.

Asked whether there was a conspiracy to defame and politically scuttle his family, Gowda said, "It is true... considering all that has happened, several people are involved. I won't mention names. Kumaraswamy will address what action needs to be taken."

Responding to a query on BJP leader and advocate G Devaraje Gowda's allegations that Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar is behind the circulation of a pen drive containing explicit videos involving Prajwal Revanna, Gowda said Kumaraswamy will respond to all of this.

"We have seen in the media what Devaraje Gowda has said. Kumaraswamy, as the party's state President, has been actively responding to all this. He will speak. I won't at this point. I had campaigned for the Lok Sabha polls. On June 4, after the Lok Sabha poll results are announced, I will meet with you (media)," he added.

Gowda also appealed to media persons campaigning near his house to end it. "I also appeal to your owners."

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News Network
May 24,2024

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The West Bengal police suspect that Anwarul Azim Anar, the slain Bangladesh Member of Parliament, could have been lured into a New Town flat in Kolkata by a woman and then murdered by contract killers.

Apart from the honey-trap angle, the police are also probing a US citizen's role in the murder. Per the police, the person was the politician's close friend and had allegedly paid ₹5 crore for the killing. The person, who owns a flat in the West Bengal capital, is currently in the United States.

Anwarul Azim Anar was last seen alive entering a rented flat in Kolkata.

The police are now looking into the role of Shilasti Rahman, a woman who the investigators believe was acquainted with one of his killers and 'honey-trapped' the Bangladesh MP, delivering him to his end.

"The investigation indicates the MP fell into a 'honey trap'. It seems he was lured by the woman. We suspect he was murdered soon after he went to the flat," a Kolkata cop relayed info from Dhaka.

CCTV footage from the apartment had showed Mr Anar entering the flat with a woman. Shilasti Rahman has been detained by Dhaka police.

"It seems, Anar was lured into the New Town flat by the woman. We suspect he was murdered soon after he went to the flat," a senior officer said.

The CID has found CCTV footage which showed Anar entering the flat with a man and a woman. The duo came in and out of the flat later, but the MP never emerged again.

"In the CCTV footage, the politician was seen entering the flat with the two persons. The duo was later seen coming out and re-entering the flat the next day but the MP was not seen again," the officer told agency.

The duo later came out of the flat with a massive suitcase.

The police found blood stains inside the flat. Several plastic bags were also used to dump the body parts.
The police suspect that the MP was first strangulated. Later, his body was chopped into several pieces. The flesh was segregated from the bones and mixed with turmeric powder to delay decomposition.

"We suspect that after killing Anar, the murderers mutilated the body, segregated the flesh from the bones and mixed those with turmeric powder to delay decomposition," the officer added.

The body parts were placed in the trolley bag and later scattered at different locations. Some parts were also kept in a fridge.

To mislead his family members and friends, the killers sent out messages to his contacts, asking them to not contact him as he was travelling to Delhi.

Meanwhile, a Mumbai-based butcher, who skinned and cut the body of the MP, was arrested by the CID.

“One Jihad Hawaldar, 24 has been arrested. Hailing from Khulna in Bangladesh, Hawaldar was illegally staying in Mumbai. He was directly involved in the crime. Investigation is going on,” an IPS officer said.

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