Tuesday December 12, 2017
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Haryana CM defends Church vandalisation, says Church was built on an illegal colony

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Press Conference Of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar

By Anurag Paul

Clearing the fog over the incident of church demolition in Hisar, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar  explained  to the Assembly that the building was reportedly built on an illegal colony and the dispute was the result of an altercation between the priest and those who attacked the place of worship.

In Hisar allegations of involvement of fringe Hindu groups have been made. CM Khattar explained to the House that the priest, Subhash Chand, had started preaching from the Bible to the 10 to 12 workers involved in constructing the structure on February 8. “Some people from Kaimri and Hisar had opposed it then, but the village sarpanch had settled the matter,” he said, adding that an FIR was registered against 14 people on the priest’s complaint.

While backing the Haryana CM, VHP joint general secretary Surendra  said “This is a spontaneous reaction of the local people. There are no Christians living in the village or around it where the church has been attacked. Then why was a church being made in that location? Will the Christians allow us to make a Hanuman temple in the Vatican? Let them allow that, and we will ask them to choose any place in India for a church. We will fund it.”

On the gang-rape of a nun in West Bengal, Jain said it should be considered as a criminal offense and not through the prism of faith. “It is a Christian culture to exploit nuns. We don’t have such things. The Vatican received 5,000 complaints of sexual exploitation in five years, prompting the pope to appeal for legalization of gay sex,” Jain said.

He also claimed that the allegations of communal overtones in the gang rape of a nun in Nadia in West Bengal were a conspiracy of the church and that sexual exploitation of nuns was a Christian culture, and not of Hindus. He said the Pope is so worried about rape of nuns that he is promoting gay sex to stop it.

In both Hisar and Nadia incidents, allegations of involvement of fringe Hindu groups have been made. But VHP on Monday categorically denied its involvement. “The church was for the purpose of conversion. Local people had warned against it. But when it went unheeded, they took whatever action they deemed fit.”, he further added. Indicating that such attacks would keep on happening, Jain said, “This is a country where the 1857 war was fought for the cause of religion. People will react to aggressive conversion, just as they reacted to the killing of Swami Laxmananda in Odisha in 2008.”

The VHP member also supported the statement of Subramanian Swamy that “God does not live in mosques but in temples”. “This is a truth that even Muslims agree to. Ask any Muslim if Allah lives in the mosque and he will reply in the negative. Saudi Arabia has demolished so many mosques for developmental work, nobody has objected,” he said.

The CM also gave details of a complaint made by a village youth who alleged that Chand had made objectionable comments about Hindu gods. “The youth was shunted out and beaten up when he opposed the priest’s statement,” Khattar said, quoting from the youth’s complaint.

Soon after Khattar’s statement, Congress MLAs, including Karan Singh Dalal, stood up to blame an organization connected with the BJP for the attack on the church. Dalal suggested the constitution of an all-party committee to look into the issue.

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Goodbye Holy Smoke, Vatican City bans Sale of Cigarettes

The Vatican, a tiny walled city-state surrounded by Rome, is one of the few states to ban smoking.

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sale of cigarettes
The faithful gather in front of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. VOA

Vatican City, November 10, 2017 : Pope Francis has ordered a ban on the sale of cigarettes inside the Vatican from next year because of health concerns, a spokesman said on Thursday.

“The motive is very simple: the Holy See cannot be cooperating with a practice that is clearly harming the health of people,” spokesman Greg Burke said in a statement.

He cited World World Health Organization (WHO) statistics that smoking causes more than seven million deaths worldwide every year.

Cigarettes have been sold at a discounted price to Vatican employees and pensioners.

Vatican employees are allowed to buy five cartons of cigarettes a month. Many Italians ask their non-smoking friends who work in the Vatican to buy cigarettes for them because they cost much less than in Italy, where they are subject to heavy taxes.

Burke acknowledged that the sale of cigarettes has been a source of revenue for the Holy See, adding, “However, no profit can be legitimate if it is costing people their lives.”

The spokesman said the sale of large cigars would continue at least for the time being because the smoke is not inhaled.

The Vatican, a tiny walled city-state surrounded by Rome, is one of the few states to ban smoking. Bhutan, where smoking is deemed bad for one’s karma, banned the sale of tobacco in 2005. (VOA)

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Quick View on Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Case: 20 Years of Imprisonment enough for a Rapist in India?

15 point guide to know about the latest developments in Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s case

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Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim got a jail sentence of 20 years
Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim got a jail sentence of 20 years. Twitter

New Delhi, August 28, 2017: A special CBI court gave jail sentence of 20 years (for a 15-year-old case) to rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim today.

Here’s a 15 point guide about the Gurmeet Ram Rahim  case:

  • Jagdeep Singh, CBI Judge declared 2 sentences of 10 years imprisonment for the 2 rape cases that happened in 2002.
  • Dera chief was also fined by the court for the 2 cases amounting to a total of Rs 30 lakh (Rs 14 lakh each would go to the 2 rape victims).
  • The Dera chief allegedly cried in the courtroom and also begged for sympathy and forgiveness.
  • The defense requested the Judge to be lenient as the Dera chief has worked for the welfare of people in the past.
  • Apart from the rape cases, Gurmeet Ram Rahim is also facing trial in 2 separate murder cases- Dera follower Ranjit Singh and journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati.
  • Protests by Dera followers (after his conviction) in Haryana and Punjab have led to the death of 38 people and crores of damage to public property.
  • A special court was set up in the Sunaria Jail premises in order to avoid any further damage caused by the violent mob. For this Jagdeep Singh, CBI special court judge flew to Rohtak today.
  • Talking about safety measures, Atul Kumar, District Collector of Rohtak said that shoot at sight orders will be issued if any anti-social elements occur which tries to harm the police force or innocent public.
  • Security was increased outside Manohar Lal Khattar, Haryana chief minister’s official residence in Chandigarh before Ram Rahim’s sentencing.
  • There was high security around the Rohtak district jail with paramilitary forces and Haryana Police covering the area. The Army was on standby.
  • No movement of people (other than the authorized ones) was allowed within 10 km distance from the jail premises.
  • Panchkula, Sirsa, Uttar Pradesh, neighboring areas were on high alert and to ensure the safety of citizens Paramilitary forces were placed in various areas. There is a curfew in Sirsa and Section 144 is enforced in Rohtak. Sensitive areas of Punjab are being patrolled by security forces.
  • Locals have been asked to stay indoors as a preventive measure.
  • Mobile internet services will remain suspended in Haryana, Punjab and also Internet lease lines in Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters, Sirsa till tomorrow 11:30 a.m.

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Khaidi No 1997: Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Gets VIP Treatment in Prison from Khattar Government

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Sacha Sauda Dera Chief Ram Rahim
Sacha Sauda Dera Chief Ram Rahim. Youtube
  • Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh continued to get VIP treatment from Haryana’s Manohar Lal Khattar government in prison
  • He was provided with an air-conditioned room in the prison near Rohtak town, around 70 km from Delhi
  • Even after being taken into custody, he was shown full respect by a section of officers instead of being treated like a convicted criminal

August 26, 2017: Convicted of rape and criminal intimidation on two counts, Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh continued to get VIP treatment from Haryana’s Manohar Lal Khattar government in prison.

The Dera Sacha Sauda chief, according to police sources, was provided with an air-conditioned room in the prison near Rohtak town, around 70 km from Delhi.

 “From arranging a special helicopter to providing an air-conditioned room and helping in using facilities meant for police officers, the Khattar government is extending all help to the lawfully disgraced Dera chief even after his conviction in such a serious crime as rape. This is appalling,” a police source, who saw some of these things happen on Friday and Saturday, told IANS.

Also Read: Ram Rahim Convicted of Rape: Here is the 15 Years Old Anonymous Letter from a Sadhvi

A woman, Honeypreet, whom the Dera website describes as his daughter (not real daughter), was allowed to accompany him along with bags and suitcases when Ram Rahim, after being taken into custody was flown in a specially arranged helicopter from the police lines complex in Panchkula.

Even after being taken into custody, the Dera chief was shown full respect by a section of officers instead of being treated like a convicted criminal.

“A couple of senior officers, who tried to take the Dera chief to task and treat him like any other criminal after his conviction were physically assaulted by his (sect chief’s) security.

“One senior officer was slapped and other one was pushed in the presence of other top officers. The Haryana Police had to detain his security for some time to take him into its custody following the conviction,” the police officer said.

The sect chief had openly announced support for the BJP in the 2014 elections. Millions of his followers in the region voted as per his diktat. He even went to cast his own vote.

The BJP, for the first time, came to power in Haryana on its own in the October 2014 assembly elections.

Panchkula town, adjoining here, where the CBI court announced the sect chief guilty, bore the brunt of the violence on Friday and resembled a war zone with scores of burnt vehicles and properties damaged or torched.

CBI special judge Jagdeep Singh held the Dera sect leader, who has lakhs of followers mainly in Punjab and Haryana, guilty of raping and sexually exploiting two female disciples in 2002.

The self-styled godman is used to a life of ultra luxury and ostentatious public appearances. (IANS)