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Tension between Israel & Iran a matter of global concern: S. Jaishankar

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Bengaluru, April 16 (IANS) The tension between Israel and Iran is a matter of deep global concern, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said here on Tuesday.

Speaking at an interactive session titled ‘Vishwa Bandhu Bharat’ organised by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) at Rajajinagar, the minister said that tension between any two countries of the world can lead to a global crisis.

“Such tensions will lead to an increase in oil prices, food prices, and inflation. The only panacea for all such global problems is the concept of ‘Vishwa Bandhu’,” he said.

“An Indian ship is caught in the turmoil in Iran with 17 Indian nationals on board. Efforts are being made to bring them back safely,” the External Affairs Minister added.

He also said that about 18 lakh Indians are staying in that region and “it is our responsibility to evacuate them at the earliest”.

“There is tension in Ukraine. The war is continuing in Gaza. The situation in the Indian Pacific is disturbed. There are about 20 countries that do not talk to each other. There is a need for a mature leadership to face these challenges. A unilateral approach will not help in this situation. Even the UN does not do much in this regard. However, India has lent its voice to the Global South. We have drawn the attention of the world through our G20 Presidency,” Jaishankar said.

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–IANS

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JD-S MLA H.D. Revanna granted conditional bail in sexual harassment case

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Bengaluru, May 20 (IANS) The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s (ACMM) court on Monday granted conditional bail to JD-S MLA H.D. Revanna in a sexual harassment case.

Revanna, the son of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, was recently released from prison in a kidnap case.

Magistrate J. Preeth directed Revanna to furnish a bond for Rs 5 lakh along with a surety.

Claiming that a rape charge has been included in the sexual harassment case against Revanna, the prosecution argued in the court that he should be remanded to judicial custody.

On Friday, special public prosecutor Jayna Kothari, appearing for the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case, had submitted that IPC Section 376 (rape) has been added to the sexual harassment case registered at the Holenarasipur police station.

“The victim claimed that she had left her house, as she was unable to bear the harassment at the hands of H.D. Revanna and his son Prajwal Revanna. The house allotted to her under the Ashraya scheme was taken back, but a complaint to the District Commissioner in this regard made no difference,” Kothari argued.

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“Both H.D. Revanna and Prajwal Revanna committed sexual assault, and the court should not see the case against Revanna as separate from that of Prajwal Revanna. Under no circumstances should he be granted bail. Since a rape charge has been added to the case, the trial should be conducted in the session’s court,” she had claimed.

C.V. Nagesh, the counsel for H.D. Revanna, had claimed that the complaint in this regard was not lodged by the complainant in the first place.

“It is a false case created intentionally. The victim does not know what sexual assault is,” he argued.

“The rape charge against Revanna has been added only now. The alleged act was not committed on the day when the complaint was lodged. It did not occur a week ago or even a year ago. The complaint states that the alleged act was committed years ago.

“The victim did not register the complaint at the Holenarasipur police station. Instead, the sub-inspector from Holenarasipur police station went to Bengaluru and got the complaint filed as desired by the victim,” Nagesh said.

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–IANS

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SC refuses to entertain plea by a 78-year-old bedridden woman seeking to cast her vote by postal ballot

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New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea filed by a 78-year-old bedridden woman seeking to exercise her right to vote through postal ballot in the ongoing 2024 general elections.

A bench of Justices Bela M. Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal said that the petition has turned infructuous in view of the EVM voting held on May 7 in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur constituency.

The plea, filed through advocate Pranav Sachdeva, said that the petitioner, who is suffering from severe osteoarthritis in both knees and therefore unable to stand or move, and also having been bedridden for the last 3 months, should be allowed to cast her vote by postal ballot.

In an order passed on May 6, a bench of Justice Rakesh Mohan Pandey of the Chhattisgarh High Court rejected the application for interim relief, saying that issuance and collection of a postal ballot cannot be completed within 24 hours.

The special leave petition said that the impugned order passed by the high court was “erroneous” because it closed the right to vote of a 78-year-old bedridden petitioner.

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–IANS

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'Vishesh Sampark Abhiyaan' engages special category of citizens, Union Minister shares insights on workaholic PM

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New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) A Vishesh Sampark Abhiyaan (Special Outreach Campaign) organised at Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri’s residence during the weekend, saw the participation of a special category of citizens including retired Defence Services chiefs, retired High Court judges, ex-bureaucrats and former diplomats.

The group of eminent citizens, hosted by the Union Minister and MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar at the former’s residence were impressed upon about the milestone achievements and trendsetting initiatives taken in the last 10 years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government and were also informed about PM Modi’s vision for Viksit Bharat 2047.

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, later speaking to IANS, gave some valuable insights into the intricacies of Council of Ministers meetings and shared how PM Modi’s workaholic nature motivates his colleagues for better output.

“Sometimes, the meeting of Council of Ministers extends beyond 6-7 hours. The Prime Minister not only pays attention to details but also shares his views and feedback after such marathon meetings. Every month, PM Modi reviews progress of various departments by taking updates from the concerned secretaries on PRAGATI forum,” Hardeep Singh Puri told IANS.

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Notably, the Vishesh Sampark Abhiyaan, also dubbed as ‘Dinner pe charcha’ is an attempt to win over the support of retired bureaucrats, retired judges, Army veterans and more.

On Monday, the Union Minister’s official X handle also shared some reviews of Modi government’s works by the Army veterans.

Major Gen S.P. Sinha (Retd.) spoke about the enhanced morale of security personnel and increased trust of armed force chiefs in the government.

“Better equipment profiles, reduced dependency on imports, the creation of a defence industrial base, greater operational freedom and more decisive responses to threats mark a stark contrast to the pre-2014 era,” he said.

Major General S.P. Rai, AVSM, highlighted how Modi government played a pivotal role in simplifying the lives of veterans while at the same time bolstering the morale of defence forces.

Sunil Kumar Gulati, a retired IAS officer, showered praise on Ayushman Bharat Yojana, which provides free medical treatment up to Rs 5 lakh to poor families.

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“This is Modi ki guarantee,” he said, with fellow retired personnel nodding in the affirmative.

–IANS

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Karnataka sex scandal: Return from abroad and surrender, Kumaraswamy appeals to nephew Prajwal Revanna

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Bengaluru, May 20 (IANS) In a major development in the Karnataka sex scandal, JD-S state chief H.D. Kumaraswamy on Monday pleaded with nephew and party MP Prajwal Revanna, who is the prime accused in the case, to return from abroad and appear before investigators if he has even the slightest respect for his grandfather and former PM H.D. Deve Gowda.

Addressing a press conference, Kumaraswamy said: “I request Prajwal Revanna, through the media, to come back from whichever country he is in. There should be no fear. The law of this land is in effect. How long can this hide-and-seek game be played?”

He reiterated that if Prajwal had any respect for him and his grandfather, he should come back to India and surrender to the police.

“I join my hands in an appeal to you. You must surrender within 24 to 48 hours. Lakhs of party workers have voted for us. How long do you want to stay abroad? Please come back to India and appear before the authorities. Let there be a conclusion. There is no need to hide.”

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“I wanted to convey this through my father. He (Deve Gowda) has extended all his support for Prajwal Revanna to grow in politics. If Prajwal Revanna wants to bring any respect to his grandfather and party workers, he should come back to India,” Kumaraswamy stated.

The former Chief Minister also said: “I publicly apologise to the victims of this scandal. I can understand their pain. Who pushed them into this situation? Many similar cases have occurred, although their magnitude might be less. This is an abominable case and it makes all of us bow our heads in shame.”

Noting that the Congress government is demanding that he bring Prajwal Revanna back to India, Kumaraswamy said: “I have said many times, that he has not been in touch with me for a long time. One person is responsible for this tragedy. Another person took the scandal to the world and ruined the families of the victims.”

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Hitting back at the ruling party, he said: “Let the Congress make hundreds of attempts to target my family. My party workers have given me the strength to fight.”

“The question is, how did it start? The episode began the day before polling. If we had known about the scandal, we would not have let it happen… If I had known about the scandal earlier, I would not have let Prajwal Revanna leave the country,” he said.

“In these cases, they act based on the advocates’ opinions. We did not ask him to go. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) could have given him seven days to appear when he sought time,” he said.

“I requested my father, Deve Gowda, to make a public announcement that if he had any respect, Prajwal Revanna should come back and cooperate with the SIT. People should not misunderstand our family,” Kumaraswamy stated.

–IANS

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IMD forecasts rain in southern states, heat wave in north

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New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast widespread rain in the southern states and a continuation of the heat wave in the northern and eastern states, in its all-India weather bulletin issued at 4:30 p.m. on Monday.

“Fairly widespread light to moderate rainfall accompanied with thunderstorm, lightning and gusty winds (30-40 km/ph) likely over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Lakshadweep, and Karnataka and Isolated to scattered light/moderate rainfall accompanied by thunderstorm, lightning and gusty winds (30-40 km/ph) over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam, Telangana, and Rayalaseema during the next five days,” the weather bulletin stated.

It attributed the rainfall to a cyclonic circulation over south coastal Tamil Nadu and the neighbourhood, and another cyclonic circulation over north Kerala and its neighbourhood.

The IMD has also forecast a heat wave and hot and humid weather warning for the next five days in the northern and eastern states.

* Heat wave to severe heat wave conditions are very likely in many/most pockets over Delhi-Haryana-Chandigarh, Punjab, Rajasthan; West Uttar Pradesh and northwest Madhya Pradesh during May 20-24.

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* Heat wave conditions are very likely in isolated pockets of East Uttar Pradesh on May 21-22; Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and northeast Madhya Pradesh during May 20-24; Uttarakhand, Bihar on May 20; and Odisha during May 21-23.

* Hot and humid weather is very likely to prevail over Konkan and Goa, Bihar, Jharkhand on May 20-21; Gangetic West Bengal and Odisha on May 20.

* Warm night conditions are very likely to prevail over West Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Rajasthan during May 20-24.

The IMD bulletin also said that conditions are favourable for further advance of Southwest Monsoon over some parts of Southeast Arabian Sea, some more parts of Maldives, Comorin area and South Bay of Bengal, and some more parts of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Andaman Sea during the next 2-3 days.

–IANS

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