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Raped, starved, burnt: Horror tales from Bihar shelter where 29 inmates were assaulted

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Patna:Horrifying stories of torture and exploitation are emerging from the shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur where 29 girls were raped by operators and visitors last year, according to the state women commission.
Members of the Bihar state women commission who met the rescued inmates of Muzaffarpur short stay shelter home at the Mokama Nazareth Academy on Thursday said the girls were duped and drugged to keep them silent and allow sexual exploitation.
The girls were starved and beaten with shoes at any hint of rebellion.
Those who complained and protested were stripped, beaten and burnt with cigarettes. A girl who dared to stand up to the oppressors, despite repeated threats, was beaten to death and her body disposed of in a rickshaw, the commission said.
Altogether 31 girls rescued from the Muzaffarpur shelter home are staying at the Nazareth Academy, Mokama where they are being counselled by two experts from Bangalore and Delhi for the last few days.
“Most of the girls are in a better condition from the day I met them at a hospital in Patna. But the memories of physical and mental abuse they have suffered may take time to wipe out. At the shelter home they were denied food and clothes and were beaten with shoes,” Dilmani Mishra, state women commission chairperson said.
She said out of frustration, one of the inmate had even tried to end her life by slashing her wrist with a broken piece of windowpane glass, but her wounds were nursed and she somehow survived. As her wounds have not healed completely, she is undergoing treatment by a visiting doctor at the Nazareth Academy. Another girl had etched out the name of her brother on her wrist as a sign of protest, she added.
Dr Nikki Hembram, another member of the commission who had spoken to the rescued girls, said all their protests and oppositions had failed to give them any solace. “There was none to help them and in utter helplessness they had compromised and continued to bear the torture and trauma. All these years officials from child welfare committee (CWC)and district monitoring committee kept visiting the shelter home, but no one had the courage to speak out.”
She said, it was not possible for the girls to speak out before the CWC?members because the shelter home employees never left them alone during those moments. “Fear of being punished if they opened her mouth loomed large on each one of them. The officials kept making routine enquiry and monitoring while the girls kept giving positive replies,” she said.
Dr Hembram said, “The girl (who was killed) continued to oppose the shelter home employees’ directions despite repeated threatening and tortures. One evening, she was brutally beaten even after she felt unconscious. When she stopped breathing, her body was packed in a sack and was thrown down the stairs. Next morning, it was loaded on a rickshaw and disposed of somewhere,” she said.
Reports of repeated sexual abuse of inmates at the short stay home in Muzaffarpur surfaced after Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) carried out a social audit of shelter homes across Bihar last year. The institute submitted its report in April this year. The government lodged a first information report on May 31.


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National

SC issues notice to Centre on MHA’s ‘snooping’ order, seeks reply within six weeks

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New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre and sought a response, within six weeks, on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed against the Ministry of Home Affairs’ notification authorising 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt any computer system. The top court had earlier denied an early hearing in the case.

The petition, filed by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, seeks quashing of the government’s December 20 order which empowers the agencies to intercept any computer under the Information Technology (IT) Act. According to the notification, the subscriber or service provider or any person in charge of the computer resource will be bound to extend all facilities and technical assistance to the agencies and failing to do will invite seven-year imprisonment and fine.

The 10 agencies notified under the new order are the Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (for Income Tax Department), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, Directorate of Signal Intelligence (in service areas of J-K, North East and Assam) and Delhi Police commissioner.

 

The government had come under fire for its order with the Opposition accusing the Centre of running a “police state”. The government, however, later clarified that “no new powers” had been conferred to the agencies and that the same rules were brought in by the UPA government in 2009.

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26/11 plotter Tahawwur Rana, in US jail, may be extradited: report

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Washington/New Delhi: There is a “strong possibility” of Tahawwur Hussain Rana – currently serving a 14-year jail term in the US for plotting the 2008 Mumbai terror attack – being extradited to India, an informed source said.

The Indian government, with “full cooperation” from the Trump administration, is currently working on completing the necessary paperwork to ensure the extradition of the Pakistani-Canadian national before his current jail term ends in December 2021. Rana was arrested in 2009 on the charges of plotting the 26/11 terror attack.

Some 166 people, including US nationals, were killed in the attack carried out by 10 Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was captured and hanged after handed down death sentence by an Indian court.

 

In 2013, Rana was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment. According to the US officials, he is set to be released in December 2021. “There is a strong possibility of extradition of Rana to India on completion of his jail term here. We (US and India) are working on this,” a source told PTI.

But the “challenge” is to complete the necessary paperwork during this period and overcome the cumbersome bureaucracy of the two countries and the independent judiciary, the source said.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Law and Justice and the US’ State Department and the Department of Justice, each of them has their own extradition procedure in place. And they are unwilling to cutdown or speed up their own process when it comes to extradition, it added.

Following a recent visit to the US by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) team, officials from both sides have agreed to cut down on the bureaucratic procedures so that all the necessary paperwork is ready before the current jail term of Rana ends in December 2021.

From now on, the NIA is expected to have direct communication with their US counterparts to cut short the timeframe and bureaucratic formalities.

In case, the US government in co-operation with the Indian government is unable to complete the necessary paperwork before that, officials in Washington said it would become very tough to ensure a smooth extradition of Rana once he is released from the jail in Chicago, where he is currently serving his sentence.

As per the existing US law, Rana, a Pakistan-born Canadian national, would most probably be deported to Canada if India and the US are unable to complete the cumbersome extradition process before his release.

However, people familiar with the matter told PTI, that there is a “desire” so there is an assurance from the highest level in the Trump administration that all necessary steps would be taken in a timely fashion to ensure extradition of Rana before his release.

According to the US officials, the extradition of Rana would help in cementing the relationship between the two countries, boost up the counter-terrorism cooperation and enhance America’s image among Indians.

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Talks of CPI(M)-Cong alliance for LS polls to be ‘initiated at state level’: Yechury

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Kolkata: Any talks of a CPI(M)-Congress adjustment for the parliamentary election have to be “initiated at the state level” as the political situation is different in various states, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has said, virtually ruling out a nationwide tie-up between the two parties.

Yechury’s remarks came at a time a section of the state CPI(M) leadership was keen on an electoral understanding with the Congress to defeat the Trinamool Congress and the BJP in West Bengal.

“We had said the political situation is different in various states. So any sort of talks with the Congress have to be initiated at the state level,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a condolence meeting for former West Bengal industry minister and politburo member Nirupam Sen here on Sunday night.

 

He was replying to question on why the CPI(M) was not initiating talks with the Congress at the national level to put up an anti-BJP front.

Yechury said the alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh was a “positive” development and that a “lot more is yet to happen”. The CPI(M) leader said he is looking forward to an anti-BJP secular and democratic front at the Centre in 2019 in a “post-poll scenario”. Majority of the state Congress leaders are in favour of an informal seat-sharing arrangements with the CPI(M) in West Bengal for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, senior state Congress leaders said.

Some of the top state Congress leaders have already begun “informal talks” with some CPI(M) leaders over the issue of seat adjustment.

However, the state Congress unit maintained that the final call on the decision of state-specific adjustments with the CPI(M) will be taken by party president Rahul Gandhi.

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