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Kasturirangan says pressure on land resources could be the reason behind rain fury

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Kerala

Hyderabad  |  Pressure on Kerala’s limited land resources due to the growing population, denudation of the Western Ghats and climate change could be the reasons behind the floods that have ravaged the state, eminent scientist K Kasturirangan has said.

The former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) noted that the state’s population had increased in the last century and it “has its own pressures on the environment and resources”.

“So, together there has been an impact on the environment … The population has increased, there is more demand on resources, which includes land, agriculture and many other activities,” he told PTI.

Kasturirangan, who was a member of the now-defunct Planning Commission and hails from Kerala, said that heavy rains have in the past been “well managed” by nature through an exceptionally thick vegetation and other kinds of natural endowment that the state has, including the backwaters”.

But the size of the backwaters has shrunk to 50-60 per cent of what it was in the 1940s, he said.

Kasturirangan said the Western Ghats have denuded at many places, “and agricultural practices have been pursued there… population pressure has caused this”.

Climate change could also be a reason behind the heavy rains, according to him.

“There are multiple factors. One has to really analyse it,” he said.

He called for “proper planning” to minimize damage due to heavy rains.

Kasturirangan said steps should be taken to enable sustainable livelihood for Keralites, “make them happy and contented”.

The fierce monsoon rains in Kerala have claimed 210 lives since August 8 and displaced over 7.14 lakh people from their homes.

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Goa women Congress chief questioned in POCSO case

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Goa Congress

Panaji | Goa Pradesh Mahila Congress Committee (GPMCC) president Pratima Coutinho was on Wednesday questioned in connection with a POCSO case lodged against her for allegedly revealing identity of a molestation victim, a police official said. Investigation officer police sub-inspector Sandhya Gupta questioned the Congress leader for over an hour at the Women’s Police Station here this afternoon.

Coutinho was booked under section 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act,section 4 ofthe Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and section 8 (2) of Goa Children’s Act on complaints lodged by the Shiv Sena and some NGOs earlier this year. She was questionned in this connection on July 14.

The Congress leader had courted a controversy after she allegedly posted a picture of her with the mother of the minor girl who was allegedly molested by a man from Jharkhand earlier this year. The victim is a resident of Netravali village in Sanguem assembly constituency in South Goa. A delegation of the Mahila Congress led by Coutinho had visited the victim, after she filed a formal complaint with local police station.

Meanwhile, Coutinho Wednesday alleged that she was being “harassed” by the police, “as the accused in the molestation case works with an influential minister in the Goa government”. “All attempts are being made to harass me so that my voice is suppressed. I am being targetted by using police machinery because the Mahila Congress has taken up several causes, which has caused discomfort to the Goa government,” she alleged.

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Bengaluru court grants bail to G Janardhan Reddy in alleged bribery case

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G Janardhan Reddy

Bengaluru | The  Bengaluru court on Wednesday granted Mining baron and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader G Janardhan Reddy on a bond of Rs 1 lakh. The Karnataka minister was arrested in connection with a multi-crore Ponzi scheme case.

The Court had earlier reserved orders on the bail petition filed by BJP leader G Janardhan Reddy. Reddy was arrested on Sunday in connection with a money transaction worth crores of rupees allegedly linked to a Ponzi scheme. He was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Money Laundering Ac, and remanded to judicial custody till November 24.

 Reddy’s lawyer on Tuesday had submitted that his client had no connection with the ponzi case and he had not cheated any investor. The lawyers said, “The irony of this case is that the accused number one — Ahmed Fareed of Ambidant Marketing pvt Ltd — is roaming free on bail and my client (Reddy) has been sent to judicial custody”. Reddy has claimed the allegations against him were part of a “political conspiracy”.

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Delhi HC seeks Centre’s response on guidelines regarding explicit content on Netflix and Amazon prime

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Delhi HC

New Delhi | The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought Central governments response on the seeking regulations and guidelines on online platforms like Netflix and Amazon.

The bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V. Kameswar Rao responding to the petition was filed by NGO, Justice for Rights has given the Union government a 4 week period and scheduled the further hearing on February 8. The Court had also asked the government whether there are any specific guidelines or license for the content.

The petitioners in its plea claimed that the content of the online platform violate the  Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act alleging that the online platforms offered vulgar, sexually explicit, pornographic, profane, virulent, religiously forbidden and morally unethical contents in order to attract more subscribers and generate profit.
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