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Karnataka court defers seer’s bail plea hearing to Friday

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Chitradurga: On Thursday, a local court adjourned the bail hearing of accused seer Dr. Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru in the Lingayat mutt sex scandal case until Friday.

The Second District and Sessions Court also ordered the prosecution to file objections to the bail request. Vishwanathaiah, the lead attorney representing the accused seer, said the matter will be taken up on Friday.

When asked about the demands for the accused seer’s arrest, Vishwanathaiah stated that the law can be understood from his own perspective and that people could have given their opinion based on that.

The seer faces charges under the Prevention of Sexual Offenses Against Children (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The issue has become national news due to police inaction in the case. Although the FIR was registered six days ago, the police have not yet questioned the accused.

According to police sources, the investigating officer will obtain the statement filed under Section 164 with the local court by the survivors on Thursday and the accused seer could be notified to appear for questioning.

Additional police force has been deployed to the mutt premises and the front gate was closed following the advice of the National Commission for the Protection of Children’s Rights (NCPCR). The medical reports of the girl victims are also available from the police.

Previously, Chitradurga SP Parashuram was questioned by the NCPCR and the State Commission for Children regarding the case.

NCPCR has sought answers to 9 questions from the SP about the sexual assault case and asked him to file a report within 7 days. The NCPCR and the State Commission for Children have taken up the case suo motu in this regard.

The silence of the opposition Congress and other parties is also questioned on the issue. The ruling BJP is proceeding cautiously as he is not ready to take any chances in the upcoming Assembly elections, experts say.

Accused Murugha seer is facing charges of sexual assault against two underage girls who are staying at the Murugha mutt hostel premises in Chitradurga. Including the director of the hostel and the junior pontiff, the case has been registered against five people for collusion in the sexual assault case.

Demanding a judicial investigation, the survivors have told the police that they are in possession of the videos and that they will only send them if a judicial investigation is ordered. The girls explained that they were drugged before the sexual assault, but could remember what was happening, police sources said.

(IANS)


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33 persons killed in Colombia landslide

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Bogota: At least 33 people died from a landslide that buried vehicles along a highway in Colombia, Interior Minister Alfonso Prada said.

The landslide that occurred on Sunday buried a bus carrying passengers from Cali to Condoto, along with a car and a motorcycle on the Pereira-Quibdó highway, in the central-western department of Risaralda, the Xinhua news agency reports.

“We have identified 33 deceased people, including three minors. We have rescued nine people, four of them are currently in critical condition,” Prada said Monday.

Personnel from Colombia’s Risk Management Unit and the Transportation Ministry’s Transit and Transport Directorate, as well as the police department and the army, rushed to the rescue, he said.

Following the landslide, authorities plan to declare a nationwide high alert to prepare for weather-related disasters amid a cold snap that is expected to continue for several more months, Prada said.

President Gustavo Petro ordered the installation of a Unified National Command Post in the capital Bogotá by Tuesday at the latest to determine the state of the roads in adverse weather conditions, he said.

Risaralda Governor Víctor Manuel Tamayo told reporters that the road where the accident occurred is in poor condition, complicating efforts to find survivors and recover the bodies of the victims.

(IANOS)


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At 6, Indian-origin boy is youngest S’porean to trek to Everest Base Camp

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Singapore: A six-year-old boy of Indian origin has become the youngest Singaporean to reach Everest Base Camp in Nepal at an altitude of 5,364 metres.

Om Madan Garg walked for 10 days in October together with his parents, covering an elevation gain of around 2,500m from Lukla village at 2,860m to the base at 5,364m, according to the Singapore Book of Records.

Om, a Kindergarten 2 student at Canossaville Preschool, “managed well despite bad weather, flight cancellations, lack of amenities, hot days and cold nights.”

The Garg family reached Lukla, which is the starting point and also the gateway of the base camp trek on September 28, and arrived at the base on October 7.

They were accompanied by a licensed guide and two porters.

From Lukla, they walked to Phakding and continued until they reached Namche Bazaar, the commercial center of the Everest region.

From Namche Bazaar the trail goes to Tengboche and eventually to Everest Base Camp at 5364m.

“I threw my hat into the sky and caught it and we climbed to the top of the rock at Mount Everest Base Camp and took a photo. “We flew the Singapore flag,” he told Channel News Asia in an interview.

The preschool student received a certificate from the Singapore Book of Records.

Their entire stay has been documented in a seven-part series on the family’s YouTube channel, The Brave Tourist.

Three-year-old Heyansh Kumar from India is the youngest person to reach Mount Everest Base Camp.

Kumar was three years, seven months and 27 days old when he achieved the milestone.

(IANOS)


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AAP looks poised to sweep MCD elections

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New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is set to sweep the civic polls held in Delhi on December 4 and end the BJP’s 15-year stronghold in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), according to the results of the mouth-of-mouth polls. ballot box from different agencies published on Monday.

According to the India Today-Axis My India survey, in the 250-district MCD, AAP is projected to win 149-171 districts, followed by BJP 69-91, Congress 3-7, while others may get 5 to 9 seats.

In Chandani Chowk, which has 30 districts, 20 can go AAP while BJP is projected to win 10 districts.

In East Delhi, where there are 36 districts, AAP can win 22, followed by BJP with 14.

Out of 25 districts in New Delhi, AAP can win 21 followed by BJP in 4.

The exit poll further predicted that out of 41 districts in the North East district, 21 will go to BJP, followed by AAP with 17, Congress with 2, while 1 district will go to others.

According to the India Today exit poll, AAP will get 43 percent of the vote while 35 percent of the vote will go to the BJP. Congress will finish a distant third with a 10 percent vote share.

The India News-Jan Ki Baat exit poll gave AAP 159-175 constituencies, while the BJP is projected to win 70-92 constituencies.

The Times Now exit poll predicted the AAP to win 146-156 districts, followed by the BJP in 84-94 districts. The exit poll projected that Congress would win only 11 districts.

The Zee News-BARC exit poll projected the AAP to win 134-146 constituencies while the BJP will win 82-94 constituencies. Congress is likely to win between 8 and 14 districts, while others will win between 14 and 19 districts.

The MCD elections held on Sunday witnessed a low voter turnout of 50 percent. The results will be announced on December 7.

The BJP has been in power in the MCD since 2007.

(IANOS)


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