Pope Francis apologises for clerical sexual abuse in Chile


Santiago [Chile]: Pope Francis has apologised for ‘irreparable damage’ done to children who were raped and molested by priests in Chile. According to the Deutsche Welle, on his first day of a week-long Latin-America trip, Pope Francis on Tuesday expressed his “pain and shame” for the “damage” caused by priests who sexually abused children in the country.

He said the Catholic Church was committed to “ensuring that such things don’t happen again.” Pope Francis also met with the Chilean President Michelle Bachelet at La Moneda Palace. Pope’s apology comes at a time when attacks on the Catholic churches in Chile have increased significantly over the past week.

Addressing lawmakers, judges and other authorities later, the pope said he felt “bound to express my pain and shame” that some of Chile’s clergy had sexually abused children who were in their care. “I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask forgiveness and make every effort to support the victims, even as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again,” he said.




Delhi High Court suggests airlifting Karol Bagh’s Hanuman statue


NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday suggested “airlifting” the massive 108-foot Hanuman statue near Karol Bagh to tackle congestion and encroachment in the area.

While listening to a PIL filed by an NGO seeking removal of unauthorized constructions and encroachments in the Karol Bagh, the court expressed anguish over several illegal constructions in the national capital.

Using the reference of United States where entire skyscrapers have been airlifted, bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar asked Delhi civic body to speak to Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.

'Airlift' Delhi's 108-feet Hanuman statue to tackle congestion, suggests Delhi High Court

The court further added such an act could people's mindset about laws were being enforced. It added enough opportunities are given to the municipal corporations to enforce the law "but no one wants to do it".

The bench further directed Karol Bagh SHO, the central range DCP and PWD's chief engineer to submit an inquiry report on people responsible for erecting the idol and list of people who funded the unauthorised constructions and in charge of encroached areas.

The next hearing on the matter is listed on November 24.




Dera crackdown Day 2: Curfew continues, internet suspended in Sirsa


By IANS
Sirsa/Chandigarh: The search operation of the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters near Haryana’s Sirsa town continued on Saturday with hundreds of security personnel and local administration involved in the exercise.

Curfew continues in the area around the sprawling Dera campus.  The search operation to sanitise the sect premises started on Friday with a few computers, a luxury SUV and some currency notes being seized.  According to sources, the search teams had also found hundreds of pairs of shoes, designer clothes and colourful caps of the disgraced sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was convicted on two counts of rape of female disciples in August.
The search operation began amid tight security and curfew in the area on Friday morning. The media was stopped at some distance from the Dera premises.  JCB machines, locksmiths, forensic experts and dog squads were called in to assist in the comprehensive search.  Internet services in Sirsa district were suspended by local authorities on Friday.

The search was being conducted under the supervision of Court Commissioner A.K. Pawar appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.  Senior district administration and police officers, along with the paramilitary forces and Haryana Police, were involved in the videographed operation around the sprawling 700-acre campus.   Duty magistrates were appointed for various zones of the Dera.

Officials from the Police, Revenue, Health, Education, Tourism and other departments are involved in the operation.   Bomb disposal squads and commandos were also deployed inside the sect premises as a preventive measure.  All roads leading to the headquarters from Sirsa and nearby places were sealed.  The Dera is spread over two campuses, 600 acres and over 100 acres respectively, about eight km from Sirsa and 260 km from Chandigarh.

It houses a stadium, a hospital, educational institutions, luxury resort, bungalows and markets. Hundreds of people and sect followers permanently live and work in the mini-township.   The premises, where the sect chief lived, known as the “gufa” (cave), is itself spread over an area of nearly 100 acres. It is said to have ultra-luxury facilities.

The campus has palatial bungalows of his other family members, none of whom are in the premises since August 25, when the sect chief was convicted of rape and sent to jail.  Ram Rahim was convicted in the 1999 rape cases by a CBI special court in Panchkula on August 25.   He was later sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment and is lodged in the District Jail at Sunaria near Rohtak.  His conviction led to violence in Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana, leaving 38 people dead and 264 injured. Isolated incidents of violence were also reported from Delhi and several other places in Punjab.




Lashkar-e-Taiba militant arrested in Jammu and Kashmir


Srinagar: The security forces on Friday arrested a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district, police said.  The militant, identified as Shahnaz Mir is a resident of Hajin in north Kashmir. He was arrested from an orchard in Markundal village, the police added.  “A pistol, two magazines and one hand grenade have been recovered from the arrested militant,” police said.




Will win 2018 Assembly, 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Rajasthan, says BJP


Jaipur: Enthusiastic over the trends indicating a major victory in Dholpur bypoll, the Rajasthan BJP today expressed confidence that it would win the 2018 Assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha elections in the state.

BJP state President Ashok Parnami said the people have voted for the party and have expressed faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

“The trends clearly show that people have voted for development. They are happy with the development carried out by the BJP government in the last three years,” Parnami told reporters here. He exuded confidence that the BJP would win the 2018 Assembly elections and 2019 Lok Sabha elections in the state.

“PCC chief Sachin Pilot had said the results will reflect the three years of works of the BJP government and the trends now show that the people are happy with the government’s functioning,” he said.

By-election 2017 Live results: BJP wins bypolls in Delhi, HP, MP, Assam; Congress bags Karnataka seats
Parnami alleged that the Congress has always followed divisive policies and divided people in the name of caste and religion. State Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria said it was the victory of the works carried out by the BJP government in the state.

“This is the victory of the efforts of the chief minister and the party leaders. The party will create history in the 2018 Assembly elections,” he said.

BJP candidate Shobha Rani is leading by 29,605 votes after 13 out of total 20 rounds of counting.




Kuala Lumpur: Foreign ministers from the y launched clearance operations while


Kuala Lumpur: Foreign ministers from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation will meet to discuss the Rohingya Muslim crisis next week in Kuala Lumpur, a Malaysian official told AFP Wednesday, as thousands continue to flee Myanmar.

Fifty-six OIC representatives are expected to attend the January 19 meeting which will be led by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who recently called on Myanmar to stop the “genocide” of Rohingya Muslims.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar refuses to recognise the Rohingya as one of the country’s ethnic minorities, instead describing them as Bengalis — or illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh — even though many have lived in Myanmar for generations.

There has been a large exodus of Rohingya from northern Myanmar’s Rakhine state after the army launched clearance operations while searching for insurgents behind deadly raids on police border posts three months ago.

Escapees from the persecuted Muslim minority in Bangladesh have given harrowing accounts of security forces committing mass rape, murder and arson.




Rakesh Roshan may change Krrish 4 release date for Shah Rukh Khan


Kuala Lumpur: Foreign ministers from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation will meet to discuss the Rohingya Muslim crisis next week in Kuala Lumpur, a Malaysian official told AFP Wednesday, as thousands continue to flee Myanmar.

Fifty-six OIC representatives are expected to attend the January 19 meeting which will be led by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who recently called on Myanmar to stop the “genocide” of Rohingya Muslims.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar refuses to recognise the Rohingya as one of the country’s ethnic minorities, instead describing them as Bengalis — or illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh — even though many have lived in Myanmar for generations.

There has been a large exodus of Rohingya from northern Myanmar’s Rakhine state after the army launched clearance operations while searching for insurgents behind deadly raids on police border posts three months ago.

Escapees from the persecuted Muslim minority in Bangladesh have given harrowing accounts of security forces committing mass rape, murder and arson.




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