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Anti-Sterlite protest: HC leaves it to NHRC to decide lawyer’s plea for probe

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The Delhi High Court today left it to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to decide a lawyer’s representation for an independent probe into the killing of people in police firing during protests against Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper unit in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher said the NHRC has already taken up the matter on its own and sought a report from the state’s chief secretary and the director general of police and asked the Tamil Nadu-based lawyer to appear before it to obtain suitable directions.

The court also said his representation should be placed before the Commission for directions on May 29.

Violence broke out on May 22 during protests demanding the closure of the factory over pollution concerns with police opening fire, resulting in the death of 10 people. The agitation has been going on for over three months for the closure of the factory.

A plea was yesterday moved in the High Court by petitioner-lawyer A Rajarajan for direct intervention of NHRC into the incident.

The plea said he gave representation to the NHRC on May 23 seeking its earliest intervention into the “unlawful killings” and claimed the commission refused to consider it as a matter of urgency and ignored ground realities.

It has alleged that “human rights violation and continuous unlawful killings by indiscriminate police firing was happening even after the case was suo motu taken and report was requested by respondent (NHRC)”.

The petition has alleged that unless the NHRC directly intervenes in the issue at the earliest or through an independent agency, the “unlawful killings by police” will continue and there is a possibility of destruction of evidence.

The NHRC had sent a notice to the Tamil Nadu’s chief secretary and police chief.

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Section 144 imposed in areas surrounding Sabarimala temple after violence

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Thiruvananthapuram | Section 144 has been imposed in parts of Kerala after violence erupted near the Sabarimala Temple as protestors tried to stop women from entering the temple premise.

The local administration has imposed Section 144 which prohibits assembly of more than 4 people in an area has been imposed in Pampa, Nilakkal, Sannidhanam and Elavungal areas near the Sabarimala Temple.

Earlier on Wednesday morning, various protestors blocked female journalists and women devotees from entering the temple premises. The protesting crowds took control of the Nilakkal area and pelted stones at Police vehicles, including the KSRTC buses on way to Pamba. The women were forced to get out of there vehicles who were on their way to the shrines. To bring the situation under control the police lathi-charged and pelted stones at the protestors opposing women’s entry from age 10 to 50 in the Sabarimala Temple at the Nilakkal base camp in Kerala.

Addressing the media on the violence, Kerala Minister  EP Jayarajan said,” 10 KSRTC buses were damaged. Devotees from other states were beaten up & sent back. RSS-BJP is behind all of this. Supreme Court rule applies to all, the govt is just following & implementing it.” Jayarajan further blamed BJP’s political ideologue RSS for the violence at the Nilakkal base camp. He said, “RSS criminals hid in forests and attacked the Ayappa devotees. 10 media personnel, 5 devotees and 15 policemen were attacked.”

The Supreme Court on 28 September in a historic judgement allowed women from the age of 10 to 50 to enter in the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala. The five-judge constitutional bench headed by former Chief justice Deepak Misra in a 4:1 verdict allowed the entry of women of all age in the Sabarimala Temple. Delivering the Judgement the bench aid, “Right to worship is given to all devotees and there can be no discrimination on the basis of gender.” The bench further added that “The practice of barring women in age group of 10-50 to go inside the temple is violative of constitutional principles.”

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7-yr-old girl, returning home from school, raped in Haryana’s Rewari

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Haryana

Chandigarh: A seven-year-old girl, who was returning home from her school, was allegedly raped by a man in Haryana’s Rewari district, police said on Wednesday. The man grabbed the child and took her to the fields and raped her there on Tuesday, they said.

The girl was profusely bleeding when she reached home, police said. She narrated the ordeal to her mother following which police were informed, they added. The child was admitted to a hospital in a serious condition, police said. A case has been registered and efforts are on to nab the accused, they said.

The girl’s parents are said to be migrant labourers.

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Ten killed in car-truck collision in Odisha

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Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Ten people, including four women, were killed in Odisha’s Nuapada district early on Wednesday when their car collided head-on with a truck, a senior police official said. The victims, mostly members of one family, were on their way home to Pithora in Chhattisgarh after offering prayers at the Vaishno Devi temple in the district when the accident occurred near Silada on NH-35 around 2.30am, Nuapada Superintendent of Police Smit P Parmar said.

The impact of the collision was so severe that all 10 persons on board the vehicle, including four women and the driver, died on spot, he said. The truck driver, however, abandoned his vehicle and fled the spot, Parmar said. “After getting information, police and fire brigade personnel rushed to the site and pulled the bodies out of the mangled vehicle,” the SP said. The bodies have been handed over to the family members after post-mortem, he said.

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