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“Mechanism to limit cross-border incidents not working”

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borderIslamabad: The firing exchanges between Pakistan and India, coupled with an attack on Indian troopers in which one attacker has been arrested, has made “things worse” between the two countries, a Pakistani daily said Friday, pointing out that mechanisms set in place to try and limit cross-border incidents are not working.

An editorial in the News International said that just a day after New Delhi proposed to Pakistan that talks between the National Security Advisors of both countries could go ahead before the end of the month, “there has been further demonstration of aggression from India with firing by the BSF across the Sialkot Working Boundary… The Chenab Rangers retaliated, but that comes as little solace…”

There have been other developments too which will do nothing to improve relations.

One out of two men who allegedly attacked a bus carrying BSF personnel along the Jammu-Srinagar highway was arrested Wednesday. The Indian media identifies him as Muhammad Naveed from Faisalabad. His compatriot was killed in the incident.

“All of this makes things worse. There has as yet been no word from Pakistan,” said the daily.

The editorial noted that such skirmishes have continued now for over a year, killing dozens and displacing many more.

“They are a significant factor in the heightening of tensions between the two countries…”

“This raises questions over the wisdom of holding talks at this point – although it should be noted that dialogue is always welcome and remains the only viable way to solve the growing problems which exist between India and Pakistan.”

It went on to say that “what is disturbing, however, is that the mechanisms set in place to try and limit cross-border incidents are not working and nor does New Delhi appear to be abiding by the commitment made by its prime minister during talks with his Pakistani counterpart at Ufa in Russia to work towards an improvement in relations”.

“The loss of life is unacceptable. It is also essential to the region that stability be maintained between India and Pakistan so that they can jointly battle the problems that plague their countries. This includes militancy.”

(IANS)

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Star ICC Asks Anonymous Accuser Of Sexual Assault Charges To Step Forward

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were "clear instructions" given to make the sales team fulfil the targets.

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Star ICC
#MeToo: Star India internal panel writes to anonymous accuser to come forward

The Internal Complaints Committee of Star India on Sexual Harassment (Star ICC) has written to the anonymous accuser — who had alleged “sexual exploitation” of women employees — asking her to reach out to the committee or its external member on allegations made by her in tweets.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Star ICC, formed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 said it had reached out to the accuser through two emails on the ID provided by her through her tweets. The committee’s external member is Veena Gowda, a Mumbai-based woman rights lawyer.

The accuser, who tweeted through handle @ApurvaS17 — saying she would remain anonymous — had made sexual harassment allegations against the company’s officials in an open letter.

Star ICC
Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt.

Asked to comment on the allegations, a Star India spokesperson said in a statement that despite no response by the anonymous accuser to the messages sent, the Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy” in respect of the allegations.

“We strongly urge any genuine complainant to approach the Star ICC. At Star, we stand with women in drawing the line on any behaviour that violates human dignity or the ability for women to pursue their dreams with respect and freedom. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment,” read the statement in response to an email query by IANS.

It also said that the anonymous tweet shared on October 13 raised an allegation that “runs completely counter to everything we believe in and the norms and values that we deeply embrace.”

The statement further said: “Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt to malign and defame the reputation of the company and the CEO.” It said that Star reserves its right to initiate appropriate legal proceedings in this regard.

Star ICC
The Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy.

The accuser in her tweets had said that the #MeToo movement had encouraged her to come forward and that she had quit her job at Star India in the Airtime Sales section after 26 months and nine days and was now a homemaker, “taking care of my baby and hubby in a beautiful country, far away from Mumbai.”

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were “clear instructions” given to make the sales team fulfil the targets in case they want to continue with their employment contract, “for which even if you have to take the clients to a hotel room and sleep with them for days.”

She said there were many instances when she and three of her female colleagues (interns) had clear instructions to reach a hotel after office hours for a private party hosted for influential friends.

Also Read: India’s Junior Foreign Minister M.J. Akbar Quits Following #MeToo Harassment Allegation By Women

She says the influential friends were “mostly bureaucrats and sometimes politicians and foreign nationals” who were “all ready to violate you, force you to dance against your wishes, drink with them, make drink(s) for them, exchange your numbers and even quietly accompany them to their respective rooms if they want you to”.

Veteran writer-director Vinta Nanda, who earlier this month accused actor Alok Nath of sexually violating her 19 years ago, wrote on Twitter: “I’m neither shocked nor surprised. I salute your courage to have come out and spoken out. The rot runs deep.” (IANS)