‘I have to earn back people’s trust’: Deve Gowda issues warning to grandson Prajwal in sex abuse case

News Network
May 23, 2024

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Bengaluru: JD(S) patriarch and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on Thursday issued a 'stern warning' to his grandson and suspended party MP, Prajwal Revanna, asking him to return to the country and face probe into sexual abuse allegations, while asserting there will be no interference from him or other family members into the enquiry.

He asked Prajwal, the party's Hassan MP who is facing allegations of sexual harassment of many women, to return to India and surrender before the police. Prajwal had flown reportedly to Germany in the last week of April.

The JD(S) supremo reiterated that his grandson should be given the harshest punishment under the law "if found guilty".

"At this juncture, I can do only one thing; I can issue a stern warning to Prajwal and ask him to return from wherever he is and surrender before the police. He should subject himself to the legal process," the 92-year-old veteran politician said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter).

Gowda made it clear it was "not an appeal that I am making, it is a warning that I am issuing".

"If he does not heed this warning, he will have to face my anger and anger of all his family members. The law will take care of the accusations against him, but not listening to the family will ensure his total isolation. If he has any respect left for me, he has to return immediately," Gowda said.

"I wish to also make it clear that I will ensure that there will be no interference in the enquiry against him from me or my family members. There is no emotion in this regard in my mind whatsoever, there is only the cause of justice for those who have suffered as a result of his alleged actions and misdeeds," the former PM added.

He recalled he had spoken to the media about Prajwal Revanna on May 18.

"It took me some time to recover from the shock and pain he (Prajwal) has inflicted on me, my entire family, my colleagues, friends and party workers. I have already said he should be given the harshest punishment under the law if found guilty," the nonagenarian leader said.

Stating that he was aware that people had spoken 'harshest' words against him and his family in the last few weeks, apparently over the issue, Gowda said he would not wish to stop them, criticise them and argue with them saying "that they should have waited until all the facts were found out".

He also cannot convince people that he was unaware of Prajwal's activities, or that he has no desire to shield him, unaware of his movements, and also about his foreign trip.

"I believe in answering to my conscience. I believe in God and I know the Almighty knows the truth," the JD(S) patriarch said.

He also opted "not to comment on political conspiracies, exaggerations, provocations and falsehoods that have been maliciously spread in recent weeks."

"I am very sure people who have done it will have to answer to God and pay for it heavily one day. I place my truth and my burdens at the feet of the Lord," he said.

The former Prime Minister underlined that it was of utmost importance for him to earn back the trust of the people.

"It is of utmost importance to me to earn back the trust of the people. They have stood by me for over 60 years of my political life and I am deeply indebted to them. As long as I am alive, I will never let them down," he said.

Prajwal, who is seeking re-election from Hassan as an NDA candidate, is absconding and is holed up abroad ever since a huge cache of explicit videos become public, showing women being sexually assaulted allegedly by him.

There are two rape cases registered against Prajwal. An arrest warrant has also been issued against him besides a blue corner notice by the Interpol.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has written to the Centre to cancel his diplomatic passport.

Prajwal’s father and Holenarasipura MLA H D Revanna is out on bail in two cases. One is related to molestation of a cook, who was also allegedly raped by Prajwal, and the other relates to the kidnap of a woman.

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News Network
June 11,2024

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Mangaluru: A woman from Andhra Pradesh drowned in the sea off Ullal beach. The locals were successful in rescuing four others from drowning.

The deceased was identified as Parimi Rathna Kumari (57), wife of P L Prasanna from Serilingampally. When a group of women were on the shore of Ullal beach, a huge wave washed them away.

A group of five women from Hyderabad had gone to Mysuru on June 6. After touring in Mysuru, they hired a car to travel to Kodagu on June 7. On June 9 they visited Kukke Subrahmanya. On Monday, they had visited Dharmasthala and Ullal beach where the mishap occurred, said a member in the group.

The locals rescued four women, however, Parimi Rathna lost consciousness in the water. Later, her body was retrieved and taken to the hospital where she was declared dead. 

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News Network
June 12,2024

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Kuwait: At least 49 people, including many Indians, were killed in a massive fire in a six-storeyed building at Mangaf block in Kuwait's Ahmadi Governorate on Wednesday. 

According to reports, the casualties also include people from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. 

Out of the 35 placed under intensive care, the condition of seven is understood to be critical. At least five people are on ventilator support.

The Indians, who were killed in the fire are Umarudheen Shameer, 33, from Kollam's Oyoor,  Ranjith, Shibu Varghese, Thomas Joseph, Praveen Madhav, Lukose Vadakkott Unnoonni, Bhoonath Richard Roy Anand, Kelu Ponmaleri, Stephen Abraham Sabu, Anil Giri, Muhammad Shareef, Saju Varghese, Dwarikesh Patnaik, P V Muraleedharan, Viswas Krishnan, Arun Babu, Sajan George, Raymond, Jesus Lopez, Akash Sasidharan Nair and Denny Baby Karunakaran.

The building, which accommodates over 195 labourers from the nearby commercial area, housed people from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and North India. The building belongs to NBTC group owned by Malayali businessman KG Abraham. Employees at NBTC's supermarket also lived in the building.

Deputy PM orders action

Kuwait Deputy Prime Minister Fahad Yusuf Al-Sabah visited the site and ordered a police inquiry in the matter. He has instructed the police to detain the owner of the building, its janitor, and the employer of the workers living there until the conclusion of the criminal investigation into the fire. He has also directed the Kuwait Municipality and the Public Authority for Manpower to take immediate action to address similar violations, where a large number of workers are crowded into residential buildings. 

The incident was reported to authorities at 6:00 am local time (0300 GMT), Major General Eid Rashed Hamad said."The building in which the fire occurred was used to house workers, and there was a large number of workers there. Dozens were rescued, but unfortunately there were many deaths as a result of inhaling smoke from the fire," another senior police commander told state TV. "We always alert and warn against" cramming too many workers into housing accommodation," he said, without providing details on the workers' type of employment or place of origin.

Embassy opens helpline

"In connection with the tragic fire-accident involving Indian workers today, Embassy has put in place an emergency helpline number: +965-65505246. All concerned are requested to connect over this helpline for updates. Embassy remains committed to render all possible assistance," the Indian Embassy in Kuwait said in a post on X.

"Deeply shocked by the news of the fire incident in Kuwait City. There are reportedly over 40 deaths and over 50 have been hospitalized. Our Ambassador has gone to the camp. We are awaiting further information," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in a post on X.

"Deepest condolences to the families of those who tragically lost their lives. Wish early and full recovery to those who have been injured. Our Embassy will render the fullest assistance to all concerned in this regard," he added.

The incident

The fire originated from a kitchen in one of the lower floors within the labour camp at 4.30 am on Wednesday. Preliminary investigation suggests that a short circuit led to the fire. According to sources, the fire quickly spread to all the rooms in the apartment. The presence of gas cylinders aggravated matters.

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News Network
June 11,2024

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New Delhi: Indian universities and higher education institutions will now be allowed to offer admissions twice a year on lines of foreign universities with the University Grants Commission giving a go ahead to the plan, UGC chief Jagadesh Kumar said.

The two admission cycles will be July-August and January-February from the 2024-25 academic session.

"If Indian universities can offer admission twice a year, it will benefit many students such as those who missed admission to a university in the July-August session due to a delay in the announcement of board results, health issues, or personal reasons," Kumar said.

"Biannual university admissions will help students maintain motivation since they do not have to wait one full year to be admitted if they miss admission in the current cycle. With biannual admissions in place, industries can also do their campus recruitment twice a year, improving employment opportunities for the graduates," he added.

The UGC chief explained that biannual admissions will also enable the higher education institutes (HEIs) to plan their resource distribution, such as faculty, labs, classrooms and support services, more efficiently, resulting in a better functional flow within the university.

"Universities worldwide already follow a biannual admission system. If Indian HEIs adopt the biannual admission cycle, our HEIs can enhance their international collaborations and student exchanges. As a result, our global competitiveness will improve, and we will align with the global educational standards," Kumar said.

"If HEIs adopt biannual admissions, they need to work on administrative intricacies, good planning for increased use of available resources, and providing seamless support systems for the smooth transition of students admitted at dissimilar times of the year. HEIs can maximize the usefulness of biannual admissions only when they sufficiently prepare faculty members, staff and students for the transition," he added.

Kumar, however, clarified that it will not be mandatory to offer biannual admissions for universities and those HEIs that have the required infrastructure and teaching faculty can utilise the opportunity.

"Offering biannual admissions will not be mandatory for the HEIs, it is the flexibility that UGC provides to the HEIs which want to increase their student intake and offer new programmes in emerging areas. To be able to admit students twice a year, HEIs must make suitable amendments to their institutional regulations," he said. 

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