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Politicians, policemen named in FIR against matka gambling

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Panaji: The Goa Police Crime Branch has filed an FIR against Goa politicians, police officials, two newspapers and over 1,100 matka gambling bookies and masterminds of a gambling operation based in Gujarat.

The First Information Report (FIR) was filed on the directions of the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court on Monday, following a petition filed by activist Kashinath Shetye and four other petitioners.

Shetye had pleaded that police should probe the nexus between police, politicians and the operators of matka gambling, an illegal but popular form of lottery played across Goa.

Matka is an illegal form of gambling that has gained immense popularity in Mumbai and Konkan region since the 1970s. It functions six days a week, like a lottery, where lucky numbers are generated twice daily.

Matka’s popularity stems from the fact that one can wager a bet of even Re.1. The matka industry in Goa alone is pegged at several thousand crores of rupees.

Over the last few years, several legislators have demanded that matka gambling should be legalised, arguing that it could help the government earn additional revenue.

According to police estimates, the annual turnover of the matka industry in the three states of Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat is around Rs.10,000 crore.

The petitioner had also argued that matka was a regular source of extortion for police, who had allowed the gambling to proliferate in the state.

The crime branch has now filed the FIR against a politician named Kiran, unnamed minister, other politicians, two newspapers and police officials, apart from matka operators based in Gujarat, from where the gambling operation is controlled.

The FIR also names a matka operator named Parekh alias Budo from Goa, 1,100 matka bookies and two local newspapers which used to carry results of the matka lottery, which the petitioner claimed was against the law.

The crime branch has been directed by the high court to file a status report on the action taken against the gambling operations every six months.

(IANS)

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At this age and time of my life, I seek peace and freedom from prominence: Amitabh Bachchan

This is what Amitabh Bachchan has to say on the notice of BMC.

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Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan. Wikimedia Commons
  • Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan says at 75 he only seeks freedom from prominence, which has seen him face allegations in the Bofors scandal, Panama Papers case and most recently for “illegal construction” on his property.

“At this age and time of my life, I seek peace and freedom from prominence… To be left to lead the last few years of my life with and within myself… I do not seek epithets, I abhor them… I do not seek headlines, I do not deserve them/. I do not seek acknowledgment, I am not qualified for it,” Amitabh posted on his blog on Sunday.

Amitabh’s post comes just days after his lawyer denied any illegal construction on the actor’s property in Mumbai’s Goregaon East area in relation to a notice sent by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

“The mentioned ‘notices’ have yet to be seen or served to me. But I guess in time it shall come.”

In the lengthy post, Amitabh said when there are accusations, “at times, I would prefer to correct the manner… At times it is prudent to remain quiet”.

But on an issue such as the BMC allegation, he said it’s the “system that shall resolve it, not the media”.

The actor, who has been in the industry for over four decades, also cited past examples, such as what he went through when his family’s name cropped up in the Bofors scandal.

“For years we were grilled, declared traitors, abused and humiliated by the hour for several years…,” he wrote, and further recalled how they moved against a UK paper and won.

He said how after almost 25 years later, their name was cleared in the scandal.

“When the media carried the news here in India, the press during one of its interactions with me asked me what I was going to do about it… Whether I would seek information on who did it or seek retribution.

“What retribution and information will I seek’ Will it take away the years of suffering and mental torture that we went through’ Will it cure… Will it rest’ No, it will not… So I told them, the media, I do not wish to make any comment on it… the matter is over for me.”

Amitabh Bachchan also brought up his mention in the Panama Papers leaks.

“We were asked for reactions, for responses, for justification or not, for replies to their investigative queries… Two instant replies were given out by us… Of denial and misuse of the name. They were printed… but the questions continued.”

“The fullest cooperation has been extended at all hours as dutiful citizens. And even after, if there is any more query that needs to be addressed, we shall comply,” he added.

In the end, he quoted a Jewish joke.

“A Jew passes away and goes to Heaven, knocks on the door of the Lord, and having suffered the ostracized life that the community has, asks the Lord: ‘Lord! Is it true that we are the chosen people” The Lord looked benevolently at the Jew and in a most gentle voice replied: ‘Yes my son .. you are the chosen people’. And the Jew replied: ‘Dear Lord… Would you mind choosing someone else for a change… Coz we’ve had enough!’”

Amitabh Bachchan concluded: “I often wish that for myself.”(IANS)

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Longest Head Massage Chain by 600 women in Mumbai bags Guinness World Record

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Longest Head massage chain
Women assembled to form the world's longest head massage chain. Twitter.

A group of 600 women in Mumbai got together to make the world’s longest head massage chain, creating a Guinness World Record.

As an initiative to promote the significance of hair oiling regularly, Bajaj Almond Drops Hair Oil had organised an event wherein these women assembled to form the longest head massage chain in Mumbai’s Growel’s Mall in Kandivali.

The event went socially viral and was capable to spread the desired message to the public. People have praised the efforts of the women participating in the longest head massage chain for bringing into light the long-lost tradition of head massage in India.

A huge crowd had lined up at the location to watch the mesmerising Guinness World Record of the massage chain. Hair oiling is essential to maintain the nourishment and shine of the hair follicles which also helps in preventing hairfall, dandruff and premature greying of hair.

 

-Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana

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Abducted and Converted : 20 Year Old Hindu Girl Arti Kumari Sharma Falls Victim to Jihadis in Sindh, Pakistan

Arti’s case is not the first of its kind. Hundreds of Hindu girls are being kidnapped, raped and converted every month

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Hundreds of Hindu and Christian girls and women are kidnapped and forcefully converted to Islam annually. (representative image) Pixabay

Washington, DC, September 12, 2017 — The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has called for the immediate release of Arti Kumari Sharma, a 20 year-old Hindu woman who was kidnapped at gunpoint this past Saturday near her home in Khairpur District in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province.

Arti’s uncle, Kishwar Sharma, a Houston resident and native of Pakistan, recently escaped religious persecution in Pakistan to immigrate to the US.

“I am deeply distraught to find out my niece was kidnapped at gunpoint near her house,” said Sharma. “Arti is engaged to be married in November and is the second girl to be kidnapped in my family.”

Arti, a teacher at Qasim Model School, was abducted on her way home by a Muslim landlord, Ammer Wassan, taken to a local mosque where she was forcibly converted to Islam and married against her will to a man named Amir Bux. She was also reportedly coerced into signing an affidavit claiming that she married Bux and converted out of her own free will.

Despite her family filing a First Information Report with local police, Arti has not been allowed to return home and will be brought before the Sindh High Court on September 12.

Arti Kumari
Arti Kumari Sharma. Twiter

“Arti’s basic civil rights and freedom have been flagrantly violated, in contradiction of Pakistani law and international human rights law,” said Rishi Bhutada, HAF Board Member and Houston resident. “We urge the Sindh High Court to order the immediate release and safe return of Arti to her family.”

Many NGOs and human rights groups, including Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD) and the Movement for Solidarity and Peace, have estimated that more than 1,000 Hindu and Christian girls and women are kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam annually. The courts and legal system in Pakistan are often complicit in sanctioning this practice by accepting false documents and statements obtained through force, threats, or coercion.

The Foundation has extensively documented this trend and other human rights violations against Pakistani Hindus in its annual human rights report, Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights, 2017.