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- Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim was held guilty in the 2002 rape case by a CBI court
- The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on Aug 28
- Ram Rahim was taken to Rohtak jail through a chopper
Chandigarh, Aug 25, 2017: Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim was held guilty in the 2002 rape case by a CBI court today. He was convicted of raping his female followers, the court stated. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on Aug 28. Ram Rahim was taken to Rohtak jail through a chopper.
Tensions in the air were flowing since few days before the verdict, as around 200,000 blind supporters of the self-styled godman seized the Tricity. The protestors were seen threatening to incite violence in the city a day before the verdict.
Ram Rahim Rape Case: What happened 15 years back?
I am from Punjab and now I am presently working as a sadhu girl in Sirsa (Haryana, Dhan Dhan Satguru Tera Asara), for the last five years. Hundreds of girls also serve 16 to 18 hours in the camp. We are being physically exploited here. I am a BA graduate. Members of my family are blind devotees of Shri Maharaj, whose influence made a saint in the camp. Two years after becoming a saint, one-day Maharaj Gurmeet’s famous Sadhu Gurjot told me at 10 o’ clock in the night that Maharaj has called me in the cave (place of residence of Maharaj). Because I was going there for the first time, I was very happy, grasping that God himself has called me today. When I got up in the cave, I saw Maharaj sitting on the bed. There was remote in hand, a blue film was running on the front TV and a revolver on the bed side. I was shocked to see all this … the ground beneath my feet slipped. What is this happening? Maharaj would be like this, I did not even dream about this. Maharaj stopped the TV and made me sit with water and said that I have called you as my special beloved. Taking me in the arms, Maharaj said that I like you with all my heart. I want to love you because you have devoted your soul, wealth, and body to Satguru Ji when you became a sadhu. Hence, this body and soul is all mine. On my opposition, he said that there is no doubt that I am God. When I asked if this is how a God works, he said: Lord Krishna was God, he had 360 Gopis from whom he used to love every day, yet people consider him as divine. This is not a new thing. If I want, then you can cremate your life with this revolver. Your house believes in us by all means and is our slave. They can not go out of us, you know this thing well. I have a good stand in our government. The Chief Minister of Haryana and Punjab, the Union Minister touches my feets. The leaders support us, take the money, and will never go against us. I will expell the members of your family from the service. We will kill all the members without leaving any evidence, you know very well that we had already destroyed the manager of the dera, who have not been found till today. Nor has there been any evidence left outstanding. With the help of money, we will buy politicians and police and justice. In this way, my face was blackened and I have been raped for 20-30 times in the last three months. I was ordered to wear white clothes, keep sardine on the head, not to lift the eye on a man, and keep the distance of five to ten feet from the man. I am a goddess in the show, but my condition is like a prostitute. I once told my family that everything is not right in the tent here, so my people reprimanded me by saying that if it is not right with God, then where is it?. Bad thoughts have started coming to your mind. Adhere yourself to Satguru. I am compelled. Here the order of Satguru says that no two girls can talk to each other, can not talk to house holders by telephone. In the past, when a Bathinda girl revealed the black act of Maharaj before all the girls, many sadhu girls shunned her by whipping her together….. A girl from Sangrur district when came home and told the neighbors about the dirty activities of the camp, the attendants of the dera came to the girl’s house with guns inside the house, and threatened her by putting a pistol. So along with all these girls, I will also be killed with my family, if I will write my name in it. I would request you to examine our bodies with the help of doctors so that our parents and you will know that whether we are Kumari Devi or Not? If not then by whom ruined.
It is frightening to see that someone in this country with gigantic backing, despite the criminal accusations, can shake up the whole scenario. Army wounded, media injured, open firing and burning places for the rape trial of an accused shows that 60 million in this country are living in denial. Distortion of religion and faith is a common sight in India.
Personages like Ram Rahim who win over people by misguiding them are a threat to the entire human race. The man who claimed himself a godman devasted the parts of Punjab and Haryana, however, this is an alarming situation for the nation for the nation as well.
Japan has successfully launched a new navigation satellite into orbit that will replace its decade-old navigation satellite.
The satellite, QZS-1R, was launched onboard an H-2A rocket that lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 10.19 p.m. on Monday night, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said in a statement.
The company builds and operates H-2A rockets the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
QZS-1R is a replacement for Quasi-Zenith Satellite System 1 satellite first launched in 2010. “It was a really beautiful launch," the company said in a tweet after a successful lift-off.
"H-IIA F44 flight proceeded nominally. Approximately 28 minutes 6 seconds after launch, as planned, the payload separated from the launch vehicle," the statement said.
The official QZSS website lists four satellites in the constellation: QZS-1, QZS-2, QZS-3 and QZS-4, Space.com reported.
The QZSS constellation will eventually consist of a total of seven satellites that fly in an orbit passing through a near-zenith (or directly overhead) above Japan, and QZS-R1 is meant to share nearly the same transmission signals as recent GPS satellites, according to JAXA.
It is specially optimised for mountainous and urban regions in Japan, JAXA said.
Mitsubishi's H-2A 202 rocket launch system has been operational since 2003 and has sent satellites to locations such as Venus (Akatsuki) and Mars (Emirates Mars Mission).
The latest H2-A rocket launch is the first since November 29, 2020, when Japan launched an advanced relay satellite with laser communications tech into orbit, the report said. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Science, Space Satellite, Communications, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, satellite QZS-1R
Everyone loves firecrackers, even the most environment-friendly advocates cannot hide their joy when they see these delightful lights colour the skies. India celebrates Diwali in the true spirit of her culture and heritage by spraying the navy-blue skies with sparkling hues of gold, silver, red, and green. Firecrackers are not just a tradition in this country, they are a legacy.
The original connotation one makes with fireworks in China. The elaborate Chinese celebrations with dragons and zapping firecrackers have left their mark in human memory, but the use of fireworks is not limited to heralding the Chinese New Year. All over the world, fireworks have come to symbolise the ultimate celebration. During Diwali in India, this spirit is re-ignited every year.
Indians have known the use of gunpowder for many centuries now. Sanskrit texts name a substance called 'agnichura' which is described as a 'powder that creates fire'. This is believed to be saltpetre.
A single firecracker ablaze Photo by Unsplash
Sometime during the rule of the Vijayanagar Empire, and the Adil Shah Dynasty in South India, the use of the Chinese pyrotechnic formulae became extensively common in entertaining the royals. Weddings, Festivals, and other special celebrations in the palace were marked with a spectacular display of fireworks.
Between the 1920s and 1940s, the dynamics of fireworks changed in India. Ayya Nadar and Shanmuga Nadar, from Tamil Nadu's Sivakasi who migrated to Kolkata, set up a fireworks factory there. It began as a match factory, but after receiving the required permission, it was converted into a fireworks unit. Within a few years, another factory was set up in Sivakasi. Before long, multiple units were set up there, and today, it is India's fireworks hub. Most of the crackers that are used during Diwali come from Sivakasi.
Recently, environmental concerns have caused the ban of fireworks as it causes air pollution. The sale of crackers has reduced drastically after this new law. During the lockdown, the factory labourers underwent great losses, especially in Sivakasi. But keeping the spirit of Diwali in mind. crackers cannot be entirely done away with, and continue to light up the skies at least for a few hours every year.
Keywords: Diwali festival, Fireworks, Sivakasi, the Vijayanagar Empire, culture and heritage in India.
PARIS — In a decision with potential ramifications across European museums, France is displaying 26 looted colonial-era artifacts for one last time before returning them home to Benin.
The wooden anthropomorphic statues, royal thrones and sacred altars were pilfered by the French army in the 19th century from Western Africa.
President Emmanuel Macron suggested that France now needed to right the wrongs of the past, making a landmark speech in 2017 in which he said he can no longer accept "that a large part of many African countries' cultural heritage lies in France." It laid down a roadmap for the controversial return of the royal treasures taken during the era of empire and colony. The French will have a final glimpse of the objects in the Musée du Quai Branly–Jacques Chirac from 26-31 October.
French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot tried to assuage jitters among European museums, emphasizing that this initiative "will not create a legal precedent."
A royal seat of the 'Royal treasures of Abomey kingdom' (Œuvres des tresors royaux d'Abomey) on display at the Musee du quai Branly in Paris, Sept. 10, 2021. Photo Credit: VOA
A French law was passed last year to allow the restitution of the statues to the Republic of Benin, as well as a storied sword to the Army Museum in Senegal.
But she said that the French government's law was intentionally specific in applying solely to the 27 artifacts. "[It] does not establish any general right to restitution" and "in no way calls into question" the right of French museums to hold on to their heritage.
Yet critics of such moves — including London's British Museum that is in a decades-long tug-of-war with the Greek government over a restitution of the Elgin Marbles — argue that it will open the floodgates to emptying Western museums of their collections. Many are made up of objects acquired, or stolen, during colonial times. French museums alone hold at least 90,000 artifacts from sub-Saharan Africa.
A woman looks at the Parthenon Marbles, a collection of stone objects, inscriptions and sculptures. Photo Credit: VOA
The story of the "Abomey Treasures" is as dramatic as their sculpted forms. In November 1892, Colonel Alfred Dodds led a pilfering French expeditionary force into the Kingdom of Danhomè located in the south of present-day Benin. The colonizing troops broke into the Abomey Palace, home of King Behanzin, seizing as they did many royal objects including the 26 artifacts that Dodds donated to the Musée d'Ethnographie du Trocadéro in Paris in the 1890s. Since 2003, the objects have been housed at the Musée du quai Branly–Jacques Chirac.
One hundred and twenty-nine years later, their far-flung journey abroad will finally end.
Benin's Culture Minister Jean-Michel Abimbola called the return of the works, a "historic milestone," and the beginning of further cooperation between the two countries, during a news conference last week. The country is founding a museum in Abomey to house the treasures that will be partly funded by the French government. The French Development Agency will give some 35 million euros toward the "Museum of the Saga of the Amazonians and the Dan home Kings" under a pledge signed this year.
The official transfer of the 26 pieces is expected to be signed in Paris on Nov. 9 in the presence of Macron and the art is expected to be in Benin a few days later, Abimbola said.
While locals say the decision is overdue, what's important is that the art will be returned.
"It was a vacuum created among Benin's historical treasures, which is gradually being reconstituted," said Fortune Sossa, President of the African Cultural Journalists Network. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Benin art, Emmanuel Macron, European museums, Abomey Treasures, anthropomorphic statues