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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Gurmeet Ram Rahim faces more trouble after 20 years sentence, India-China standoff at Doklam ends: Top stories

Gurmeet Rahim Rahim Singh sentenced for 20 years in jail, Doklam standoff ends as India withdraw the troops, no word on Beijing’s road along the border. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday announced that his wife Priscilla Chan has given birth to their second daughter‬.‬

india Updated: Aug 29, 2017 07:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
FILE - In this May 17, 2017, file photo, an Indian spiritual guru, who calls himself Dr. Saint Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim Insan, attends the premiere of the movie
FILE - In this May 17, 2017, file photo, an Indian spiritual guru, who calls himself Dr. Saint Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim Insan, attends the premiere of the movie "Jattu Engineer" in New Delhi, India.(AP)

Gurmeet Ram Rahim breaks down, pleads for mercy as judge sends him to 20 years in jail

A CBI court on Monday sentenced self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to 20 years in jail and fined him Rs 30 lakh for raping two disciples. CBI court judge Jagdeep Singh, who was flown to the district jail in Haryana’s Rohtak where the Dera Sacha Sauda chief is lodged to pronounce the punishment, said the sect leader did not deserve leniency as he had sexually exploited and intimidated his disciples. “The convict did not even spare his own pious disciples and acted like a wild beast,” the judge said. “Both the victims put the accused on the pedestal of God and revered him like that only. However, the convict committed breach of gravest nature by sexually assaulting such gullible and blind followers.” The flamboyant dera leader was in tears and pleaded with folded hands for mercy as the judge read out the verdict. Read the story here.

Jailed Dera chief Ram Rahim stares at more troubles as murder-plot trials near end

Two 10-year prison terms given to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh by a special CBI court on Monday in a rape case could just be the beginning of a trail of troubles for the self-styled godman. There are three more cases pending against the 50-year-old head of the quasi-religious sect. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is investigating the three cases. Two of the cases pertain to conspiring murders, while the third is over alleged castration of 400 Dera followers at the sect’s headquarters in Haryana’s Sirsa. In the two murder cases, which are in the final stages of trial before a special CBI court in Panchkula, Singh could be awarded life sentence. The castration case is still under investigation. Read the story here.

Doklam standoff ends: India pulls troops, no word on Beijing’s road along border

India said on Monday it had agreed with China to pull back troops to end a months-long face-off along a disputed Himalayan region, with reports from Doklam suggesting Beijing has halted work on a road that triggered the row. The decision came days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels to China to attend a summit of BRICS, a grouping that also includes Brazil, Russia and South Africa. A brief statement issued by external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Monday evening said the “expeditious disengagement of border personnel” that both sides had agreed on had “been almost completed under verification”. Without giving details of the disengagement, New Delhi said the two sides had diplomatic exchanges in recent weeks over the situation on Doklam plateau in the eastern Himalayas that allowed them “to express our views and convey our concerns and interests”. Read the story here.

Chinese experts welcome Doklam resolution but cautious about future face-offs

Chinese academics have cautiously welcomed the resolution of the two-month-long military standoff with India in the Donglang (Doklam) region near the Sikkim border, with one expert warning that the pullback of troops is just a temporary solution. “It may be just a pause. I don’t think it is over,” a South Asian authority with a leading Chinese think-tank told Hindustan Times on Monday. “There continues to be a big gap between the two countries on the issue,” the academic said, referring to the differences in perception of the strategic China-India-Bhutan tri-junction, close to where the standoff began in mid-June. “I don’t think China would have stopped building the road,” the academic said, indicating potential conflicts of similar nature in the future. Read the story here.

Doklam showed India can dig in its heels, stand up for an ally

Chinese diplomacy’s favourite phrase “win-win situation” is likely to be much in use following the resolution of the two-month-long standoff between troops of the two countries at Donglang or Doklam near the Sikkim border. India could now say it supported a friend, Bhutan, when it needed help but decided to resolve the impasse with its most powerful neighbour, China, through diplomatic channels despite much talk of escalation. With the announcement from India’s external affairs ministry and China’s foreign ministry, the aggressive posturing by the Chinese state media is likely to be toned down. Read the story here.

8 Indians killed in UK road accident, three were Wipro employees

Three Wipro employees were among eight Indians and British Indians killed in a deadly accident on a highway in southern England in which a mini bus got crushed between two trucks. Three passengers, including a five-year-old girl, are fighting for their lives. Three of the six men and two women who lost their lives in the pile-up have now been named as Indian nationals who were working for Nottingham firm Capital One. “It is with deep regret and sadness that we confirm the passing away of three of our colleagues, Karthikeyan Ramasubramaniyam Pugalur, Rishi Rajeev Kumar, and Vivek Bhaskaran in a tragic road accident in the UK,” said a spokesman for Wipro. Read the story here.

Indian-American helps with life-saving medication during Hurricane Harvey

When a Texas hospital called to request a rare disease medication, an Indian-American CEO of a pharmacy firm got it shipped to Houston from Orlando by sending one of his employees to pick it up as all logistics companies were unable to deliver it overnight due to Hurricane Harvey. Harish Katharani, founder and CEO of Southside Group of Companies, said Impavido -- the only oral treatment drug used for critically ill patients with Leishmaniasis -- costs about $49,000 and hence is not readily stocked by pharmacies. Kathrani sent one of his employees to get the drug shipped to Texas Children’s Hospital in the midst of Harvey, the most powerful hurricane to hit the US mainland in 13 years. Read the story here.

Get to know India first before learning about world: Prakash Javadekar

Union human resources development minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday underlined the need to discover the history of India before setting out to learn the history of the rest of the world. “Forgetting about India is not a prerequisite to learn about other countries…Our education system had so become that Indian history is shrinking from the textbooks,” he said. The minister’s statement, echoing the view of the RSS on bringing the spotlight on ancient Indian history was made at a lecture organised by a Sangh offshoot — Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal — and the government-run IGNOU. The RSS and its affiliates have repeatedly flagged the issue of Indian history being taught through a ‘colonial prism’ and have advocated rewriting history to bring to light India’s contribution to sciences such as metallurgy. Read the story here.

Did nothing wrong during India visit: Nepal PM Deuba

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Monday rejected criticism of his remarks in New Delhi about amending Nepal’s Constitution by saying he had done nothing wrong during his state visit to India. Deuba facing a backlash in Nepal after he said during a joint news conference with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday that he would “continue to push for” amending the Constitution. The main opposition CPN-UML and even the ruling CPN-Maoist Center opposed the statement by Deuba, saying that amending the new Constitution is no longer an issue as a move in this regard had been rejected by Nepal’s Parliament. Read the story here.

‘Welcome to the world!’ Zuckerberg announces birth of August, their second daughter in FB post

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday announced that his wife Priscilla Chan has given birth to their second daughter and posted a photo of his family saying that he and his wife “are optimists about your generation and the future”. “Priscilla and I are so happy to welcome our daughter August! We wrote her a letter about the world we hope she grows up in, and also hoping she doesn’t grow up too fast,” he posted on his Facebook page. Read the story here.

England take control of Headingley Test as West Indies need 317 more to win

England wrested control of the second test away from the West Indies late on the fourth day on Monday, declaring its second innings on 490/8 after being 94/3 and setting the tourists a target of 322 to win. West Indies batted for six overs in their second innings and were 5/0 at stumps on Day 4, needing 317 runs more. England earned its supremacy through half-centuries by captain Joe Root (72), Dawid Malan (61), Ben Stokes (58), Moeen Ali (84) and Chris Woakes (61 not out). Read the story here.

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 07:17 IST

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