Friday September 21, 2018
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Solar Scam: New footage shows accused lawyer make statement against Kerala CM

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 Thiruvananthapuram: The opposition CPI-M on Friday, again demanded Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s resignation, after a TV channel broadcast footage of a lawyer accused for the solar scam, making a statement on Chandy and a few of his cabinet colleagues.

The latest development comes a day after the two main accused in the infamous solar scam – Saritha Nair and her live-in partner Biju Radhakrishnan – were sentenced to three years in jail, in a cheating case and fined Rs.1.20 crore, by a court in Pathanamthitta.

On Friday morning, a TV channel aired footage shot on a spycam, in which Nair’s counsel Feny Balakrishnan is allegedly seen and heard saying, that Chandy, a few of his cabinet colleagues and other senior Congress leaders had given money to Nair to settle her cases.

CPI-M state secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters, that Chandy should quit. “In the wake of the fresh revelations against Chandy, his cabinet colleague  and Revenue Minister, Adoor Prakash, and former Congress legislator, Thampanoor Ravi – who according to the advocate, has been an intermediary in handing money to Nair – a fresh case should be registered and Chandy should quit,” said Balakrishnan, ahead of the Aruvikara assembly segment by-election which is due on June 27.

“This is the first time I am hearing of the new footage. Nothing of this sort has ever happened. After Thursday’s court verdict, some people are unhappy and hence new things have started to come out,” Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy said. “All along, the media had been saying that the accused used a letter written by me; but the court has said it was a forged letter. But many in the media ignored this point. Is this ethical journalism?” he asked.

The chief minister said that the court’s verdict on Thursday was “a victory for the Congress government”. He said that the instant case had surfaced during the rule of earlier Left government. “They never did anything and dismissed the case as insignificant. But our government took it to its logical conclusion and the accused have now been sentenced,” said Chandy.

Meanwhile, angry youth activists of the CPI-M shouted slogans against Prakash in Kannur, and demanded his resignation from the state cabinet.

There are numerous cases of cheating registered against Saritha Nair and Radhakrishnan. Both are accused of cheating many investors by promising to supply them with solar panels worth millions of rupees. The Rs.7 crore solar panel scam surfaced in 2013, and rocked the Oommen Chandy government as three of his staff members were found to have links with Nair. The three were sacked by Chandy. While Nair is out on bail in similar cases, Radhakrishnan is yet to get bail as he is an accused in a murder case as well. (IANS)

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Indian Catholic Nuns Call Out For Justice In Kerala

The protest, now in its sixth day in Kochi, Kerala's financial hub, is gathering momentum as the locals, activists, writers and politicians come out in support.

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Nuns hold placards during a protest demanding justice after an alleged sexual assault of a nun by a bishop in Kochi, in the southern state of Kerala, India. VOA

A group of Indian Catholic nuns are staging a rare street protest in the southern state of Kerala demanding justice after an alleged sexual assault of a nun by a bishop.

Police have called the bishop named in the complaint for a second round of questioning next week. The bishop has denied wrongdoing.

The case comes at a time when the Christian community, which accounts for 19 percent of the state’s population, is reeling under an erosion of trust as sexual abuse cases involving the clergy pile up.

Five priests were arrested last month in two different sexual assault cases, while last year, a Catholic priest who was trying to flee the country was arrested after a minor he is accused of having sex with gave birth.

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Catholic bishops in Chile resign over the issue of sex scandal. Pixabay

The nun in a letter said she wanted the Vatican to intervene. She said she was forced to make matters public after several attempts to seek justice from within the church failed.

The protest, now in its sixth day in Kochi, Kerala’s financial hub, is gathering momentum as the locals, activists, writers and politicians come out in support.

A man, who is on an indefinite hunger strike, lay in front of the stage where the protesting nuns sat. A nun coordinating the protest dismissed allegations that they were trying to disgrace the church.

“Our fight is for the truth. We will not back out unless the truth is established and the nun is given justice,” she told Reuters.

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Pope Francis. Pixabay

The Catholic Church in Germany acknowledged a “depressing and shameful” legacy of sexual abuse on Wednesday after a leaked study said clerics had abused thousands of children over 70 years.

Also Read: Drying Ganga Can Hinder India From Achieving SDG’s

The leaked study was published on the day that Pope Francis, who has made several attempts to tackle a spreading sexual abuse crisis that has badly tarnished the Church’s image worldwide, summoned senior bishops from around the world to the Vatican to discuss the protection of minors. (VOA)

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