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Gujarat gang-rape victim ordered to undergo “purification ritual” by her community

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Delhi Gang Rape Case

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Gujarat: In an embarrassing ordeal, a gang-rape victim in Gujarat has been asked by her community’s local courts to undergo “purification tests”. This order has added to the woes of the 23-year-old victim, who got pregnant after being raped for several months by more than five men. Even her petition for abortion was turned down by the Gujarat High Court, as she was too advanced in her pregnancy.

The victim is now living with her parents as her in-laws have disowned her. According to BBC’s report, the woman’s parents are concerned that the baby she is soon to give birth to will affect the rest of the family. “I have two other children; both unmarried. If she delivers the baby and keeps it, then no one will marry them,” her mother was quoted by BBC .

“My 14-year-old son will get cast out. The only way out, is that she will have to undergo the ‘chokha thavani viddhi’ (purification ritual), and whatever the community decides, will be final,” she added.

This purification ritual, as per the report, is conducted by a Tantric (Shaman), who practices black magic. During the ritual, he asks the female a series of questions, and checks if she is telling the truth by taking a pinch of barley seeds from a bag, and asking her to say whether the number of seeds in his hand is an even number or odd number. If she answers correctly, she is considered as “purified”.

But if she answers incorrectly, she has to repeat the entire process, with a 10kg stone on her head. Once “purified” through this process, the woman is accepted in the society. Reportedly, this ritual is limited to only the villages of Gujarat’s Devipujak community, to which the victim belongs. This community follows a stringent caste and religious system, and has its own community courts which decide on various matters including infidelity and rape.

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First Hindu Temple Lays Foundation Stone in Abu Dhabi

The temple will be built in phases with all the pink stones and marble being transported from Rajasthan to the UAE capital, the Khaleej Times said

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abu dhabi, hindu temple
The temple is being built on 13.5 acres (55,000 square metres) of land gifted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Indian community. Wikimedia

The historic foundation stone-laying ceremony of the first traditional Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi was performed on Saturday in the presence of officials from India and the United Arab Emirates as well as thousands of members of the community.

The ceremony was presided over by Mahant Swami Maharaj — the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha — the organisation building the temple, along with other priests. Indian Ambassador Navdeep Suri attended the event in the presence of over 2,500 Indians from the UAE and across the world, according to Gulf News.

Suri and BAPS Hindu Mandir committee head and community leader B.R. Shetty were among those who laid foundation stones. Some 50 priests from India were part of the ceremony, the Khaleej Times reported.

Crown Prince, abu dhabi, hindu temple
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Wikimedia

UAE’s Minister of Climate Change Thani Al Zoyoudi and Ahmad Bilhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Sciences, were among the attendees.  The temple will be built in phases with all the pink stones and marble being transported from Rajasthan to the UAE capital, the Khaleej Times said.

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The stones of the temple will be hand-carved by artisans in India and then transported to Abu Dhabi. Once completed, this will be the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East.

The temple is being built on 13.5 acres (55,000 square metres) of land gifted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Indian community. (IANS)