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Top Congress leaders detained again on day 2 of Rahul ED questioning: 10 points | Latest News India

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As Rahul Gandhi left for day 2 of questioning by the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday in the National Herald corruption case, top Congress leaders were detained again, including party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, KC Venugopal, and Gaurav Gogoi. Scenes were not different from the day 1 of the questioning as Priyanka Gandhi Vadra accompanied Rahul to the probe agency’s office. Amid tight security and barricades, Congress leaders alleged that they were not allowed to reach the party headquarters. Traffic has been diverted in the central Delhi in view of barricading and restrictions. 

Here are ten points on the National Herald case questioning and Congress protests:

1. Rahul Gandhi, the former Congress chief, was questioned for nearly nine hours on Monday – after leading the Congress’s Satyagraha’ march – and left the probe agency office late at night. The Delhi Police has restricted gatherings near the party headquarters on Akbar Road in Delhi.

2. “No one can imagine the pressure from govt on Delhi Police… we can manage with section 144, but you can’t stop us from coming into AICC office. Situation in the country is very serious,” Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who was detained on Monday, said. Visuals showed party leaders’ scuffling with the police.

3. Earlier on Tuesday, Randeep Surjewala at a press conference claimed that the questioning was an attempt at to muzzle the voice of opposition. He said the Congress won’t bow down.

4. Delhi saw high political drama and demonstrations on Monday with many top Congress leaders among those detained. Former union minister P Chidambaram alleged high-handedness in the midst of action by cops and said he had suffered a hairline fracture. Meanwhile, the BJP hit out at the grand old party for “celebrating corruption” in the form of demonstrations. Several other parts in the country saw similar dramatic scenes and demonstrations.

5. The Congress’s “Satyagraha protest” – against what it claimed the alleged misuse of the probe agencies by the centre – began early on Monday. Sloganeering, demonstrations, posters, air balloons were seen at party headquarters and other parts of the national capital.

6. Twenty-six MPs, five MLAs and more than 450 workers of the party were detained in the national capital, the Delhi Police said in a statement, news agency PTI reported. It had earlier said that the party was told to go to the iconic protest site – the Jantar Mantar – for big gatherings.

7. The Delhi Police also refuted claims of injuries to leaders and party workers during protests. However, it also assured action if any such incidents were confirmed.

8. The leaders of the BJP ripped into the grand old party. “The impasse that Congress leaders and workers are doing today on the call of Rahul Gandhi, I would like to tell the country that this is not an attempt to save democracy, but an attempt to protect the assets of the Gandhi family,” Smriti Irani said.

9. “The world is seeing how even corruption can have ‘Satyagraha’. Mahatma Gandhi taught the world to fight for truth while Congress is teaching world to celebrate corruption & fight for it. Gandhis are out on bail, it’s not a political case,” BJP’s Sambit Patra said.

9. The Gandhis – accused of misappropriation of funds – had secured separate bails from the court in 2015 after they furnished personal bonds of 50,000 in the National Herald case.

10. The probe is related to alleged financial irregularities in the party-promoted Young Indian that owns the National Herald newspaper, published by the Associated Journals Limited (AJL).

(With inputs form ANI, PTI)





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Police search for Harrisburg man convicted in absentia for having indecent contact with 8-year-old girl in 2017

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Devin Nelson, 33, did not show up for his trial and was convicted of three felonies on Tuesday, prosecutors say. Police are trying to find him.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Law enforcement authorities in Dauphin County are searching for a man convicted in absentia of indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, and corruption of minors on Tuesday.

Devin Nelson, 33, was found guilty of having indecent contact with an 8-year-old girl in a home on Bellvue Road in Harrisburg in 2017.

The victim, now 13, testified that, one night when she was in fourth grade, her mother’s boyfriend came into her room and touched her indecently, according to Dauphin County prosecutors.

The next morning the defendant told the child that “he was drunk and not to tell her mother what happened,” according to testimony. 

Nevertheless, prosecutors said, the child disclosed the abuse to her mother the day it happened.  

Testimony revealed that the mother did not report the abuse to the authorities at the time that the incident occurred. The child explained that she told some of her friends what had happened.  

This likely resulted in the anonymous report received by Dauphin County Children and Youth Services in 2018, according to prosecutors.

As part of the investigation, an interview of the child occurred at the Children’s Resource Center in Harrisburg. During the interview, the then 9-year-old told the interviewer that her mother told her that if she answered the questions, she would be ripped apart from her family and her mother would get in trouble.  

While the child made no disclosures of abuse at the CRC, the investigation was left open.  

About two months later, the child disclosed the sexual abuse during a second interview with investigators, according to prosecutors.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gettle credited the exceptional investigative work of Detective Paula Trovy of Harrisburg Bureau of Police and CYS Caseworker Aishah Calloway. 

“They went above and beyond to get justice for this child,” she said. “They recognized that the mother of the victim was interfering with the child abuse investigation — their diligence brought accountability but also, more importantly, it ensured the safety of that child.”  

The trial proceeded without Nelson, who failed to appear despite proper notice. The court issued a bench warrant for him, prosecutors said.

The Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office requests that anyone who may know his whereabouts to contact Harrisburg Bureau of Police or the Dauphin County Sheriff’s Department.  

Once the defendant is apprehended, the court will schedule sentencing, the DA’s Office said. 

In addition to facing imprisonment under the sentencing guidelines, he will be on the Sexual Offender’s Registry for the remainder of his life.


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ACB traps Superintending Engineer while allegedly accepting Rs.15 lakh bribe

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It was the biggest seizure of bribe amount in State since bifurcation, says official

It was the biggest seizure of bribe amount in State since bifurcation, says official

The Anti-Corruption Bureau sleuths laid a trap and allegedly caught red-handed Kurnool Municipal Corporation Executive Engineer E. Surendra Babu (currently in-charge Superintending Engineer) on Thursday morning while he was accepting Rs.15 lakh bribe.

This is the biggest seizure of bribe amount by the ACB in the State since bifurcation.

Anti-Corruption Bureau Deputy Superintendent of Police J. Siva Narayana Swamy told The Hindu that Mr. Surendra Babu had demanded the amount from the complainant P. Srinivasa Reddy of Hyderabad to pass some bills for the works his company had executed. The bribe amount was handed over by the complainant at a pre-fixed place under the Krishna Nagar Flyover in the city for passing a Rs.152-crore bill for the work on the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation scheme. The DSP said it was the largest amount confiscated during a trap.

Soon after the accused officer accepted the amount, the ACB sleuths apprehended him and confiscated all the related files and M-Book (Measurement book) from the office.


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Honduras: Rights Agenda for the Castro Administration

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(Washington, DC) – Honduras’ new government should enact reforms to better protect basic rights and the rule of law after years of setbacks since the 2009 coup, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing a letter to President Xiomara Castro. The letter and accompanying 12-page report lay out the main human rights challenges in Honduras and key recommendations to address them.

“President Castro created high expectations for change by including in her election platform measures to uphold human rights and end years of neglect and abuse by previous governments,” said Tamara Taraciuk Broner, acting Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “President Castro should deliver on those promises by spurring a rights-based justice reform, facilitating the fight against corruption, and defending basic rights, particularly of vulnerable groups.”

The key issues Human Rights Watch addresses are judicial and prosecutorial independence, the fight against corruption, women’s and girls’ rights, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, the independent work of civil society and journalists, land rights, and migration and internal displacement.

Honduras’ justice system has suffered political interference for years. There is a lack of clear criteria to select judges, Supreme Court justices, and other high-ranking justice officials, which makes appointments vulnerable to manipulation. In addition, the Supreme Court president has ultimate power over the administration of the entire justice system.

President Castro should introduce a bill to ensure judicial independence, including by creating a fair, transparent, and independent system for the appointment, transfer, promotion, and discipline of judges. Human Rights Watch also recommends changes to procedures for appointing Supreme Court justices, the attorney general, and other high-ranking officials to ensure that their selection is transparent, based on clear criteria, and free from political interference.

Another crucial challenge is corruption. The Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), an initiative backed by the Organization of American States, brought external investment and expertise to this effort from 2016 to 2020. But then-President Juan Orlando Hernández refused to renew its mandate. A prosecutorial unit created by MACCIH investigated and filed charges against high-level officials, many involving the embezzlement of funds that were supposed to further human rights, such as the right to health and education, and alleviate poverty. Congress responded by enacting several laws that have hindered the fight against corruption and reduced transparency and accountability.

Human Rights Watch supports President Castro’s decision to seek a new internationally backed anti-corruption commission. That commission should have a broad mandate and government support to investigate individual cases, spur needed reforms, train police and justice officials, and cooperate with civil society, Human Rights Watch said.

Human Rights Watch also urged President Castro to take action to protect women against gender-based violence, including by improving police investigations into those cases, given the current widespread impunity for such acts. President Castro should also urge Congress to ratify and align laws with the International Labour Organization (ILO) Violence and Harassment Convention (C190) to combat gender-based violence and harassment at work.

In addition, Honduras’ total ban of abortion and the prohibition of emergency contraception put women and girls in danger and violate their rights. Human Rights Watch urged President Castro to introduce legislation to decriminalize abortion, abrogate the resolution that prohibits emergency contraception, and ensure emergency contraception is available and accessible to all.

On LGBT rights, Human Rights Watch says that President Castro should improve police investigation of cases of violence motivated by a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity and adopt a procedure for legal gender recognition for transgender people. She should also send a bill to Congress to allow for marriage between same-sex couples, among other needed reforms.

Honduras is one of the most dangerous countries for human rights defenders and journalists in Latin America. Threats and attacks against them routinely remain unpunished. Honduras needs to revamp its protection mechanism and drop baseless charges against human rights defenders, which defenders view as reprisals or acts of intimidation for their work, particularly those defending land rights and the environment, Human Rights Watch said.

Land conflicts are at the core of many human rights problems in Honduras. Previous governments granted rights to land and resources to companies through contracts that lack transparency and elicit allegations of corruption, without proper consultation with local communities.

President Castro should establish an efficient system for providing titles for traditional territories to Indigenous communities and communities of mixed African and Indigenous ancestry, known as garífunas in Honduras, and seek to resolve ongoing land conflicts. Her government should seek free, prior, and informed consent from these communities regarding measures that may affect them, in accordance with international standards, Human Rights Watch said.

Finally, Human Rights Watch urged President Castro to work with the international community and civil society to protect migrants in transit and internally displaced people, as well as to help reintegrate Hondurans who are returned by other countries. It is key to address the reasons that drive Hondurans to leave their homes in the first place, which requires decisive action against the very serious human rights problems detailed in the Human Rights Watch letter, from gang violence to impunity and corruption.
 


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