Wrestlers put forth 5 demands to Sports Minister, say a woman should lead WFI

News Network
June 7, 2023

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New Delhi, June 7: Olympics bronze medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, along with Satyawart Kadiyan, visited Union sports minister Anurag Thakur’s residence today as he had tweeted last night that the government was “willing to have a discussion” with protesting wrestlers.

The wrestlers put forth five demands. According to sources, these include free and fair elections to the Wrestling Federation of India and the appointment of a woman chief.

BJP MP Brij Bhushan Singh, the accused in serious allegations of sexual harassment, or his family members, could not be part of the WFI, the wrestlers told Thakur.

According to sources, Union home minister Amit Shah, whom the wrestlers met last week, has also invited the wrestlers for a second round of talks.

Medal-winning wrestlers including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia have been protesting against BJP MP and Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who they have accused of sexually harassing women wrestlers. One of the complaints against Singh was a minor. On Tuesday, some reports say the minor has “withdrawn” her complaint. However, the POCSO FIR against Singh – as well as another FIR based on complaints by six adult women wrestlers – are still in place.

Between April 23 and May 28, the wrestlers were on a sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar, where they received widespread support from various groups including farmers’ unions. On May 28 – the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi was inaugurating the new parliament building, with Singh in attendance – the Delhi Police detained the protesting wrestlers, dismantled their protest sits and filed FIRs against them. The police has since refused them permission to return to Jantar Mantar or protest at India Gate.

Earlier, the wrestlers had accused Thakur of engaging in a “hush job” on Singh’s behalf. “When we met the sports minister, the women wrestlers shared individual incidents related to sexual harassment. The girls were crying before him, but no action was taken. The sports minister tried to hush up the matter yet again by forming a committee. We have tried to raise this issue at every level but the matter was always suppressed,” Vinesh Phogat had said.

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News Network
July 10,2024

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Mangaluru: BJP leader and Mangaluru City North MLA Bharath Shetty has been booked for his alleged comments against Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi, police said on Wednesday.

At a press conference here, Mangaluru City Police Commissioner Anupam Agarwal said that an FIR has been filed by the police in Kavoor police station over the complaint lodged by K Anil, a Congress corporator of the Mangaluru City Corporation.

In the complaint, the Congress corporator alleged that MLA Bharath Shetty had made a provocative statement taking the name of Rahul Gandhi.

Mr Agarwal said an investigation is on.

Meanwhile, Congress party workers and leaders on Wednesday continued their tirade against Mr Shetty over his remarks against their party leader.

At a gathering in Surathkal on Sunday, the BJP MLA, who represents Mangaluru City North had stated that Mr Gandhi should be "arrested inside Parliament and slapped". This statement had gone viral, and Congress leaders and workers expressed their displeasure over it in the media and on social media.

Addressing a press conference, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) Working President Manjunath Bhandary took a dig at the BJP MLA asking, "How will he enter Parliament? Will he carry a weapon to attack the Leader of the Opposition? Is Shetty a terrorist?" He further said, "I am certain that Bharath Shetty cannot even talk straight to a common worker of the Congress party, let alone confront Rahul Gandhi." 

Mr Bhandary attributed the main cause of BJP leaders' and legislators' outburst at Rahul Gandhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi referring to the Congress leader as 'balak buddhi' (childish). This term must be expunged, he added.

He said that due to the behaviour of BJP MLAs in Dakshina Kannada district in recent days, "we are ashamed to elect MLAs from the coast". He accused the BJP of plotting riots because they "cannot accept the presence of the Congress government in the state".

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News Network
July 6,2024

Mangaluru: Amid a spike in dengue cases in Karnataka, Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao launched an awareness campaign in this district headquarters town of Dakshina Kannada to eliminate breeding sites of Aedes mosquito that causes the vector borne disease.

He conducted a house-to-house inspection in parts of the city along with health workers and checked breeding areas of Aedes mosquitoes.

Rao, who is also district in-charge Minister, inspected places where Aedes mosquito larvae were produced in water stagnated in coconut shells, tubs and tyres and observed the measures being taken by Health Department staff to destroy them.

He advised the local residents to be vigilant.

Speaking to reporters later, the Minister said the Department has launched a campaign to destroy breeding sites of Aedes mosquitoes every Friday for dengue control and urged the public to extend their cooperation.

Health workers are engaged in creating awareness among people. People need to ensure that water does not stagnate in places around their houses. Aedes mosquito breeding sites are being identified and destroyed, he said.

"It has been suggested to identify hot spots where dengue fever is more common and open fever clinics. It is advised to conduct dengue testing on people with fever, who come from those regions where dengue is prevalent and provide treatment. This can prevent deaths," Rao said.

The Minister also said his Department along with the Rural Development Department, district administration, local Corporation officials and teachers have been engaged in efforts to control dengue.

According to the data shared by the Health Department, total positive dengue cases reported in the State since January till July 4 was 6,676 and out of these, total active cases were 695. Dengue has claimed six lives in the state in the current calendar year.

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News Network
June 28,2024

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The Karnataka Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which filed a chargesheet against former CM and BJP veteran BS Yediyurappa and three others, has claimed that Yediyurappa not just sexually assaulted minor at his house but also tried to cover it up by giving cash. 

In the chargesheet, three of Yediyurappa’s aides have been charged for destruction of evidence and trying to cover up the case on his behalf. 

The charges have been filed under IPC Sections 354A (sexual harassment), 204 (destruction of document or electronic record to prevent its production as evidence), 214 (offering gift or restoration of property in consideration of screening offender) and Section 8 (sexual assault) of the POCSO Act.

Bengaluru Police had registered an FIR against the 81-year-old BJP leader on March 15 under the law based on a complaint from a woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her 17-year-old daughter. The girl had allegedly gone to meet the leader along with her mother at his home in February this year, seeking his help to speed up a probe into a past rape case. Her mother, who had made the complaint against Yediyurappa, died of lung cancer last month.

The government later transferred the case to the CID. A Bengaluru court had issued a non-bailable warrant for the leader’s arrest earlier this month, but the Karnataka High Court halted his arrest.

With the case back in the news last month, the BJP had sharply retaliated at the renewed interest, insinuating that the Congress government was doing this to divert attention from its loss in the recent general elections in the state. Yediyurappa had denied the charges, saying “people would teach a lesson to those indulging in conspiracies against me.”

750-page chargesheet

The 750-page chargesheet filed by the CID explains the minor girl’s ordeal.  The investigators found that on February 2, 2024, at around 11.15 am, the survivor, along with her 54-year-old mother, the complainant who died on May 26, visited Yediyurappa, 81, at his residence in Dollar’s Colony, Bengaluru seeking help in a previous case of sexual assault and other matters. While Yediyurappa was speaking with the mother, he was holding the survivor’s right wrist with his left hand.

Yediyurappa then called the minor inside a meeting room next to the hall and locked the door. He then asked the survivor, if she remembered the face of the person who had sexually assaulted her earlier. After the survivor replied twice that she did, Yediyurappa asked her what her age was then and proceeded to sexually assault her, the investigations found.

The survivor, startled, pushed the former CM’s hand, moved away and asked him to open the door. Yediyurappa put some cash in the hand of the survivor from his pocket and exited the room. He told the survivor’s mother that he couldn’t help them, gave her some money from his pocket and sent them away, the investigations revealed.

On February 20, after the survivor’s mother uploaded a video related to the crime on her Facebook account. Arun Y M, accused No.2, at the behest of Yediyurappa, along with Rudresh M and G Mariswamy, accused No.3 and 4, initiated contact with the survivor and her mother.

Rudresh and Mariswamy, along with another person listed as the witness, went to the survivor’s house and ferried her and her mother to Yediyurappa’s residence in their car. Investigations found that the three accused then coerced the survivor’s mother into taking down the video from her Facebook account and deleted the video from her iPhone’s gallery.

At Yediyurappa’s directions, Rudresh paid the survivor Rs 2 lakh in cash, the investigations revealed. Another conversation recorded by the survivor in her phone, which was not deleted, and the voice samples of Yediyurappa, formed key pieces of the evidence, reported Deccan Herald quoting sources.

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