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Transgender woman files nomination for Dec 7 polls

In a first, Telengana has a transgender candidate contesting for polls in the state, scheduled for 7 Dec.

32-year-old Chandra Mukhi is a transgender activist and will contest on CPM led-Bahujan Left Front(BLF) ticket from Gosha Mahal constituency.

She is pitted against senior Congress leader Mukhesh Goud and BJP leader T Raja Singh.

“Nowadays, power is enjoyed only by a few sections and I want to change that. So, if elected to power, I will address issues relating to transgenders and child labour, which is plaguing the constituency,” she said.

Born as Rajesh, Chandramukhi underwent sex-change procedure 15 years ago and has been living with transgender community since.

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War Won : Marathas to get reservation in jobs, education

The Maharashtra govt has accepted the State Backward Class Commission’s report and agreed to grant reservation in jobs and educational institutions, to the Martha community.

The chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who made the announcement said, the Marathas will be called “Socially and Educationally Backward Class” (SEBC)  as per the Commission’s recommendation.

On question if the new reservation will cause crossing 50 percent ceiling set by Supreme Court, Fadnavis said the Commission has described the condition of Maratha community as “extraordinary and exceptional”.

“Even though the case of Tamil Nadu, where reservation has crossed 50 per cent mark, is pending in the apex court, it has not been struck down. We are confident of extending reservation to Marathas,” he said.

The community held demonstrations off and on, for its long-standing demand of quota in jobs and education.

The Commission in its findings cited that the Marathas that makes up 30 percent of the state’s population has only a minuscule representation in govt and semi-govt services.

Incidentally, the state does not need Centre’s nod for granting quota.

 

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High Court rejects Rehana Fathima’s anticipatory bail

Kochi : The High Court today turned down anticipatory bail plea submitted by activist Rehana Fathima in connection with case regarding spreading religious hatred.

Pathanamthita police had charged a non-bailable offence against Rehana for hurting Hindu sentiments, by putting up social media post showing her in suggestive pose, dressed in Sabarimala pilgrimage attire.

Like a few other women Rehana tried to trek the hill and visit Sabarimala shrine amid a ring of hundred policemen thrown about her. However she could not enter the temple after the priest shut the shrine saying pooja for the day was over.

Sensation Addict
Rehana caught headlines last year after dancing on the streets of Thrissur as “pen puli”(tigress)  in puli kali – a traditional all-male ritualistic dance performance during Onam.

She also appeared bare chested with melons placed on breasts, in reaction to a professor’s comments that women should use melons to cover themselves.

The apex communal council also noted her nude role in film Eka to mark displeasure.

Rehana struck a suggestive pose dressed in Sabirimala pilgrim attire, in a post she put out on Facebook.

In the last of her controversy series, she  trekked the holy hill of Sabarimala with a ring of hundred policemen thrown about her, but failed to enter the temple after the priest shut down gateway there, just minutes before she reached there.

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Provoking US : Kim Jong UN tests new ‘high tech” weapon

Amid faltering nuclear disarmament negotiations, North Korea tested a “newly developed ultramodern” weapon in an even supervised by leader Kim Jong Un, on Friday.

While the details of the weapon are unknown, it is latest sign that Pyongyan is prepared to return to a more militaristic relations with Washington, if talks continue to remain unfruitful.

24 News“He’s tiptoeing towards a more aggressive posture in negotiations with the US and he’s signaling that he’s not going to give way and can simply return to his old practices if (the US) don’t change their approach,” Josh Pollack, senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterrey.

This is the first time Kim has demonstrated a military-focused event, since his high-profile summits with South Korean President Moon Ja-in and US President Donald Trump early this year.

Despite huge hopes for a breakthrough in those meeting, little progress if any was made in its course.

 

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UP man thrashes daughters aged 4-10 with hammer, Sets them on fire

Little girls aged four to ten, became victims of fatal fury after their father smashed their heads with hammer and then set them on fire.

The incident took place in Uttar Pradesh’s Lalitpur district, police said today.

The man is an alcoholic and beat the girls and  and hit their heads with hammer. He then used gas of LPG cylinder and set fire on them.

Two girls died on the spot while one is being treated at a local hospital.

The man has confessed to his crime.

Frustration from his wife leaving for her parent’s home with two other daughters might be the motive, police said.

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Bowled Out : Sri Lankan Supreme Court overturns president’s parliament dissolution

In the latest twist to ongoing political crisis in Sri Lanka, its Supreme Court has suspended the president’s controversial decision to dissolve parliament.

MPs are now planning to meet to decide between the two men – Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mahinda Rajapaksha – claiming to be country’s lawful prime minister.

The verdict lends direction the the country thrown into crisis by the president first sacking incumbent prime minister Wickremmesinghe unconstitutionally and appointing Rajapaksha in his place.

Wickremmesinghe who continued to be holed up in the prime ministerial residence despite “ouster” said :

“Today we have witnessed a resounding victory for the people’s franchise,” Wickremesinghe said. “The powers of the president are limited and he must act according to the law. He is not above the law.”

The parliament is due to resume tomorrow and will hold a confidence vote on leadership.

The backdrop
The president who had problems getting along with Weickremesinghe attempted  to install Rajapaksa, who ruled the country for a decade until 2015, as  the new prime minister. In his time in office, he drew the country closer to China and fell out with the west over a litany of alleged human rights abuses.

Rajapaksa his supporters  took charge of the govt institutions but failed to garner  enough MPs to join their government.

This failure is believed to have triggered a desperate  Sirisena to dissolve the  parliament and announce fresh elections, hoping a ballot victory that would catapult  Rajapaksa back in charge and and end the constitutional crisis.

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DySP killing Sanal was deliberate : Crime Branch

Thiruvananthapuram : Crime Branch(CB) in its findings state that Neyyatinkara DySP Harikumar getting Sanal mowed under car was a deliberate act.

Sanal's family
Sanal’s family

The CB report says that Harikumar pushed Sanal when he noticed an oncoming car come speedily. The finding is based on circumstantial evidences and witness statements.

Crime Branch will submit its report today and urge the court to reject his anticipatory bail, in view of the murder.

The submission comes as Thiruvananthapuram district sessions court is slated to hear Harikumar’s bail petition tomorrow.

According to reports, Harikumar has arrived in the state and is likely to surrender soon.

Viji will hold hunger protest against deliberate police cover-up
Viji will hold hunger protest against deliberate police cover-up

Meanwhile Sanal’s widow prepares to hold fasting protest in the capital today alleging police cover-up in the case.

The case
On late night of 6 Oct, Neyyatinkara DySP B  Harikumar came out  after, what is being described as ‘regular’ visit to the house of a moneylender-cum-jeweler  K Binu. He was irked to find another car parked in front of his.

The DySP started shouting and swearing, prompting the car owner Sanal, who was eating at the wayside stall, to come running.

Eyewitnesses say the officer, in plain clothes, beat up Sanal, twisted his arms and pushed him by neck onto the road and a car that came speeding from opposite direction ran  over.

A few onlookers chased the officer, but he sped away and later went into hiding reportedly with the jeweler friend Binu.

Sanal, father of two,  was rushed to the hospital, but succumbed to his injuries.

Incidentally, Harikumar has earned several suspensions and is accused of being notorious for demanding bribes.

 

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Pregnant woman killed for objecting to smoking in train : UP

A pregnant woman was assaulted and strangled to death for opposing co-passenger smoking inside the train.

The incident took place on board Punjab-Bihar Jaillianwala Express Friday night.

Chinat Devi (45) was on her way to Bihar for chhath pooja festivities there, along with her family. A co-passenger identified as Sonu Yadav, puffed on a cigarette, the smoke of which discomforted Devi.

She objected, but Yadav refused to stop and soon a quarrel broke. Agitated, Yadav attacked Devi and strangled her.

The train stopped at Shahjahanpur and she was rushed to the hospital, but was declared brought dead.

Yadav has been arrested and body sent for postmortem.

 

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Ardent Trump supporter arrested in mail bomb case

Authorities arrested a 56-year-old man, Cesar Sayoc Jr, on Friday in Florida on suspicions of sending mail bombs to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other leading Democratic critics of US president Donald Trump.

Cesar is a said to be a fanatical Trump supporter. His ex-bosses however put the man as “anti-everything”. “If I had the autonomy, none of these blacks, gays or jews would survive” he was quoted claiming by the Pizza distributor he worked for.

Cesar will be produced in a federal courtroom tomorrow, Monday and faces up to 48 years in prison relating to mailing 13 improvised explosive devices to the high-profile individuals and one at CNN office in Washington.

A 14th package, addressed to billionaire liberal donor Tom Steyer, was discovered in California on Friday. The charges await finds for inclusion in the list.

George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist and political activist, was the first tor receive a bomb, in the mailbox of his suburban New York home last Monday.

All devices were intercepted by secret service agents.

 

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Rahul reveals self-bleed strategy to ‘pollute’ Sabarimala, calls it plan B

Kochi : Rahul Eashwar at a press conference here, his first since release from police custody, said there were at least 20 persons in waiting, to self-inflict wounds and ‘pollute’ Sabarimala temple, if women from ‘barred’ age were to enter its premises. Blood spilled such would force shutting the shrine, he said adding that,  like the govt, protesters too need a Plan B.

Tradition has it that, if the sanctum is polluted by blood or urine, the shrine has to shut immediately for purification rituals.

Rahul proceeded to reveal how the Plan B group will be positioned inside the temple, on its  open again on 7 Nov.

It is however unclear why, a weary looking Rahul revealed the strategy, apparently kept under wraps by protesters so far.

Referring to govt remark that tantri(temple priest) is not the owner of the temple, Rahul said neither is the govt or Devaswom Board, and added that, the shrine belongs to Lord Ayyappa.

In the wake of review petition submitted against SC verdict, only devotees should be allowed at the temple, he said.

Speculating worst case scenario, Rahul added that, should the next verdict run against the tradition, devotees will continue protest to preserve age-old practice.

Rahul was arrested in abduction style by police on 20 October as protests over young women visiting the shrine got out of hand, creating a riotous situation in Sabaimala.

The Verdict and Aftermath
24 News Sabarimala Supreme CourtA group of five women challenged Kerala state rule that bars entry of women between ages 10 – 50 at the famed Sabarimala Temple. The petitioners argued that the rule violates fundamental right to equality and discriminates women. The Kerala High Court previously upheld the restriction on entry of women and the case came before Supreme Court in 2006.

On 29 Sep, Supreme Court ended the age-old ban holding that, devotion cannot be subjected to discrimination and patriarchal notion cannot be allowed to trump equality in devotion.

For centuries, women of menstrual age were restricted from entering the temple as its presiding deity, Lord Ayyappa, is considered celibate.

The state has been witnessing massive rallies against the Supreme Court verdict, putting pressure on the hesitant ruling Left to file a review petition or bring in an ordinance.

On all 5 days the temple opened for monthly pooja in October, protesters thwarted  attempts by young women to access the ancient shrine.