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One of the Oldest Hindu Temples in Singapore Investigated for “Criminal Offences”

he temple on 141 Serangoon Road is a well-known landmark in the Little India area

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Hindu temples in Singapore
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Wikimedia
  • Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, one of the oldest Hindu temples in Singapore is being investigated for criminal offenses 
  • Commercial affairs department conducted the probe
  • Religious activities in the temple will remain unaffected during the investigation

New Delhi, August 23, 2017: A police investigation has been launched into the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, one of the oldest Hindu temples in Singapore, over suspected criminal offenses, a media report said.

The police confirmed on Tuesday that its Commercial Affairs Department was conducting the probe but said it was “inappropriate” to comment further, the Strait Times reported.

The temple on 141 Serangoon Road is a well-known landmark in the Little India area. According to the temple website, it is one of the oldest in Singapore and was built by early Indian migrant workers.

The Commissioner of Charities (COC) said it had been notified of the investigation and had also launched its own inquiry into the temple under section 8 of the Charities Act, which gives the Commissioner the power to institute such inquiries into charities.

The COC said it received feedback on the management of the temple, which led to it carrying out a review.

“The review identified certain areas of concern with regard to governance and administration, which warrant conducting an inquiry,” it said.

The COC added that it will decide on the next course of action after the inquiry.

Religious activities in the temple will not be affected and it can continue with its operations and daily services, the COC said, adding measures would be put in place to ensure the temple was properly managed. (IANS)

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Journalist Behind the Panama Papers Killed in a Car Bomb

Caruana Galizia was recently described by the American news outlet Politico as a "one-woman WikiLeaks".

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Panama papers
Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device. (Representative image) Pixabay

Valletta, October 17, 2017 : A journalist who led the Panama Papers probe into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her residence, the media reported.

Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device, reports the Guardian.

A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the American news outlet Politico as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”.

Her latest revelations accused Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.

No group or individual claimed responsibility for the attack, the Guardian reported.

Malta’s President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, called for calm. “In these moments, when the country is shocked by such a vicious attack, I call on everyone to measure their words, to not pass judgement and to show solidarity.”

ALSO READ Not Just Journalist Ram Chandra Chhatrapati, these 9 People too Bore the Brunt of Speaking Truth to Fight Corruption

In a statement, Muscat condemned the “barbaric attack”.

“Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine,” said Muscat, adding “Both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way.”

He announced in parliament later on Monday that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers were on their way to Malta to assist with the investigation, following his request for help from the US government.

According to local media reports, Caruana Galizia filed a police report 15 days ago to say that she had been receiving death threats.

The journalist posted her final blog on her Running Commentary website at 2.35 p.m. on Monday, and the explosion, which occurred near her home, was reported to police just after 3 p.m.

Over the last two years, her reporting had largely focused on revelations from the Panama Papers, a cache of 11.5 million documents leaked from the internal database of the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. (IANS)

 

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Ex CBI Investigation Chief in Dera Chief Rape Case Reveals that Manmohan Singh backed the CBI Investigation

M Narayanan reveals some important facts about the case

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Rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim
Rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim. Twitter
  • The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stood by the CBI and ordered them to go by the law
  • When powerful MPs asked him to drop cases against Ram Rahim, then CBI chief Vijay Shanker refused to do so
  • The head Sadhvi would get an order from Gurmeet Ram Rahim- to send a Sadhvi to his bedroom

Bengaluru, August 30, 2017: M Narayanan, Chief Investigating Officer in the rape case of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has revealed how Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister resisted political pressure from Punjab and Haryana and supported Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in their investigation.

Narayanan hails from Kasaragod, Kerala and was in Mysore, the day Ram Rahim was finally jail sentenced for 20 years. He expressed satisfaction over the Dera Chief’s punishment and said that Ram Rahim should also be convicted for other pending cases- murdering two people in the past (Dera follower Ranjit Singh and journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati).

He revealed that Ram Rahim was very careful of his abominable deeds, he behaved like a seasoned criminal and who never used to leave any traces behind. The investigating officer said “He had a collection of condoms and contraceptives in his room. He was a maniac, a real beast.”

Manmohan Singh backed CBI

M Narayanan, who is now a retired Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of CBI. He was the Chief Investigating Officer in Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s rape case. According to News 18 report, Narayanan said, “The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stood by the CBI and ordered us to go by the law. He went through the statement made by 2 Sadhvis before a judge and did not succumb to the pressures from Punjab and Haryana MPs.”

Narayanan also spoke about what the former Prime Minister did, “After a lot of pressure from these MPs, Manmohan Singh had summoned the then CBI chief Vijay Shanker to his office to discuss the case against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. After seeing the victim’s statements before a judge, Singh backed us.”

He lauded his boss Vijay Shanker for taking a stand for the right cause in spite of pressure from politicians of Punjab and Haryana. “When powerful MPs asked him to drop cases against Ram Rahim, Vijay Shanker refused to do so. He backed us fully,” said Narayanan.

Also Read: Why Dera Sacha Sauda Followers Ready To Die For Rapist Ram Rahim Singh?

How CBI conducted the investigation?

Narayanan also talked about how he along with his team carried out the investigation and said, “The complaint was sent in 2002. But nothing had happened till 2007. Expressing serious concerns over the progress of the investigation, the Punjab & Haryana High Court enquired CBI. It had also summoned the Chief Vijay Shanker to court seeking an explanation. After that, he gave us Sadhvis letters, files of the murder of journalist Ramachandra Chatrapati and Dera volunteer Ranjit Singh. He ordered us to go ahead and complete the investigation in just 57 days as ordered by the High Court,” mentions News 18 report.

According to Narayanan, it was a tough task to accomplish as Sadhvis letters were anonymous. He said that they came to know that over 200 Sadhvis had left the Dera between 1999 and 2002, due to sexual harassment. But they could trace only 10 victims. Many of them were married and thus didn’t come forward to file a complaint. But, they were successful in persuading 2 victims to take an action against him and filed the charge sheet before a court in Ambala on the 56th day“.

He said that it was a tough job for them to even enter Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters, Sirsa as the CBI team was constantly threatened by Ram Rahim’s goons. They had to suffer a lot of hostility in the quest for justice.

Decoding King sized life of a Godmen

Narayanan said that Dera Chief Ram Rahim was living the life of a king in what he called an ashram, he would be in a cave like room, with Sadhvis around (who were made to be at his beck and call). It was a daily occurrence as on every night around 10 PM, the head Sadhvi would get an order from him- to send a Sadhvi to his bedroom and so, she used to force one of the Sadhvis chosen by him to sleep with the “pitaji“.

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

When will Dera follower Ranjit Singh get justice?

“Ranjit Singh was a prominent volunteer at the Dera. After his sister was raped by Ram Rahim, both of them had left Sirsa. A few days later an anonymous letter reached Punjab and Haryana High Court. Suspecting that Ranjit Singh was behind it, Dera chief ordered his men to murder him. It has been proved that the pistol used by his murderers belonged to Dera manager. They had also left a walkie-talkie at the scene of the crime. I am sure Ram Rahim will be convicted in these heinous cases too,” said Narayanan (he retired in 2009).


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The True Story behind Case against NDTV Founders: Read Here!

While the mainstream media has opinionated on the case against NDTV, here are some facts that paint the true picture

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Case against NDTV founders
Prannoy Roy, founder of New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV). Twitter
  • After a case against NDTV founders had been registered, the CBI raided the residence
  • The raids prompted the NDTV to respond by alleging that the investigating agency is acting “under pressure” and further calling the fiasco a ‘witch-hunt’
  • The case has been registered by the Banking Fraud Division of the CBI alleging the NDTV founders for defrauding the ICICI Bank along with other violations 

The Background

So the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against NDTV founders – Prannoy Roy and wife Radhika Roy- on the 5th of June, 2017. Consequently, a day after, the investigative agency also raided the residences of Prannoy Roy and his wife, along with four other premises in Delhi and Dehradun belonging to promoters. Cases have been registered against their company RRPR Holding Ltd as well as ICICI Bank officials.

The FIR has been filed by Sanjay Dutt, a former consultant at NDTV. The NDTV is also being investigated by Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate when it was discovered that NDTV received funds from a foreign institution but settled the account at 80% less than the actual amount received.

The case comes as a consequence of an allegation against the founders for causing over Rs. 48 crore losses to ICICI bank. They are booked under the Indian Penal Code and Prevent of Corruption Act for criminal conspiracy, cheating, and criminal misconduct.

The ICICI had given the founders’ private holding company-RRPR Holding Private Ltd-a loan of Rs 366 crore. The Roys had guaranteed their NDTV shares at a price more than the prevailing price at Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

The loan was closed within a year, however, the interest was waived off resulting in a loss of Rs 48 crores for the bank. The equivalent amount was moved out of the holding company’s bank account.

The FIR report explicitly states that NDTV as well as ICICI “entered into a criminal conspiracy to transfer ownership of a news company, i.e NDTV, to a shell company against banking rule and SEBI Act.”

On the basis of last year’s letter by the Enforcement Directorate to the CBI showcasing irregularities by the ICICI bank, a FIR was registered.

The NDTV responded by calling the whole incident a ‘witch-hunt’ after stating that the founders have not defaulted any loans. The media organization has called Dutt’s allegations false. The NDTV and its allies have countered this as an attack on free speech.

Case Against NDTV Founders
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Wikimedia

The Focus

The NDTV issued a statement calling this whole incident a ‘witch-hunt’ and a political attack on the freedom of speech. It also argued that the CBI has no jurisdiction to investigate such matters that concern the private banks and EVEN IF there has indeed been a loss incurred. CBI, in counter, has cited the example of ‘CBI vs Ramesh Gelli’ case which was ruled in the favor of the investigating agency. CBI has the right to investigate the matter.

It is worth noting that the CBI is not just investing the loan default case but violations of SEBI guidelines and RBI rules. NDTV’s decision to address the CBI as “acting under pressure” is shameful.

Dutt has also claimed that the collateral shares that the Roys had guaranteed were never notified to stock exchanges and SEBI. SEBI has also initiated a probe.

The priority of the investigation is to explore “wrongful gain” of Rs 48 crores to the Roys and their holding company. That clearly implies how NDTV’s claim that this whole fiasco is an “agenda” is simply not true.

NDTV and allies that have been questioning the investigations must understand deeper forms of suspicion that have surrounded the transactions.

Manisha Pande, from Newslaundry, has explained with the remarkable simplicity about the essential factor that investigations are to keep in mind. So RRPR, the holding company, received Rs. 403.85 crores from a shell company- Vishwapradhan Commercial Private Ltd. Now this shell company had received this same amount from Shinano Retail as a loan. The Shinano Retail is fully owned by Reliance Industrial Investments and Holding which received this same loan from the main source Reliance Ventures Ltd, subsidiary of Reliance Ltd.

Hence, Dutt urges to find out “who is the true owner of NDTV?” by calling it, what many would agree, a Hawala (money laundering) transaction.

Manisha Pande has thus rightly pointed out the “investigation cannot start and end at NDTV.” She continues “CBI would have to probe some other important people” especially since the trail points to other noticeable direction.

It is also worth noting how NDTV had been enjoying heavenly fortunes when the UPA came to power. The company raised $417 million in different parts of the world through 20 wholly-owned subsidiaries.

Therefore, while the mainstream media and Twitterites will continue to raise and justify political factors, continuing with their blame game and bargaining, at the end of the day it is the law which is over everything. The law and justice must prevail. None of the facts point to the CBI trying to “silence the media under pressure”.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

ALSO READ: Salil Gewali’s ‘Exclusive: Fall of the Draconian Roar of NDTV?’ on NewsGram

You can follow Manisha Pande and her views on her Twitter handle @MnshaP