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First defamation in #Metoo filed

New Delhi (NM Bureau): A day after returning from his official tour from Africa, junior minister M J Akbar filed a defamation suit in the court against allegation of sexual harassment levelled on him as part of the raging #metoo campaign in India against male bosses. 


Hours after return, minister of state for External Affairs, Akbar had termed allegations against him by women journalists as "false, fabricated and deeply distressing.” He followed up his denial by legal suit today. Akbar was a celebrated Editor in India before he joined politics to become a member of the Upper House of Parliament Rajya Sabha and subsequently a minister. 

Akbar Monday filed a private criminal defamation complaint against journalist Priya Ramani who recently sparked the charges of sexual misconduct against him as an editor. Several women journalist came forward after Ramani with their similar experience against Akbar. 

In his criminal defamation suit, the Minister of State for External Affairs of India has accused Ramani of "wilfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously" defaming him and has sought her prosecution under the penal provision in India on defamation. 

“The complainant (Akbar) also had a long career in journalism, he launched India's first weekly political news magazine,” the complaint reads quoting against the allegations made by Ramani on social media.

The other women journalists who accused Akbar of sexual harassment, included Priya Ramani, Ghazala Wahab, Shuma Raha, Anju Bharti and Shutapa Paul. Couple of foreign interns who worked with Akbar as their editor have also took to social media to register their complaint.

Whilst it is apparent that the accused has resorted to a series of maliciously serious allegations which she is diabolically and viciously spreading in media, it is also apparent that false narrative against the complainant (Akbar) is being circulated in a motivated manner for the fulfilment of an agenda, the complaint further said.

Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code provides that an accused may be awarded two years jail term or fine or both if convicted. 

Indian journalist have come out in support of Priya Ramani.

In the wake of the #metoo campaign in India in which several media, sports, film and other women personalities have come forward to narrate their stories of sexual harassment, the ministry of Women and Child development of the government of India and the Delhi Commission for Women have set up separate committees to look into the complaints. 




Environment activist dies fasting

New Delhi (NM Bureau): Environment activist on a fast demanding cleaning of Ganga and demanding a ban on hydropower projects on the river died in Haridwar on Wednesday, his close aides informed the media. 87 year old GD Agarwal, popularly known as Gyan Swaroop Sanand, who was on a fast until death for 111 days for Ganga cleaning, was a faculty at Indian Institute of Technology began his fast on June 22 this year. 

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Deceased Seer Gyan Swaroop’s aid Swami Dayanand told media he today that the environment activist suffered a heart-attack at around noon on Wednesday.  Ganga has its origins in the Himalayan ranges and it gets polluted as it travels downwards in the plains of North India with multiple industrialised cities on the banks on Ganga in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar making the Holy river one of the lost polluted one. 

River Ganga is considered a God figure for Hindus and the government of India has many schemes and a dedicated ministry to take care of the river. “If the draft is enacted by parliament, most of the problems of Gangaji would be resolved for a long time. The present government can use their brut majority and whip it. I will break my fast the day it is passed. This is my last responsibility. If they are able to get it passed before the draft passed in the next session, then good. If not… many people die unhappy. It’s time for the future generation to take responsibility for the holy river,” Agarwal had told the Indian newspaper New Indian Express in an interview before his death. 

In his bid to put forth his request for clean Ganga, Agarwal had written a number of letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several ministers who have been in charge of rejuvenating the Ganga river. 

A recent performance audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India had found several deficiencies and shortfalls in the implementation of clean Ganga mission by the Indian government.


Two Men Rape Woman Bathing In Ganga

Patna (NM Bureau): In a reprehensible act of violence against females in India, a 45-year-old woman who was bathing in the holy river of Ganga in Patna Bihar was dragged out and raped by two men on Monday.


The women was bathing in river Ganga as part of a religious fast observed by Hindus. The accused not only assaulted but was also filmed and the video made viral on the social media. Local civil society members are agitated on the fact that the police swung into action only after the video was brought to the notice of the administration.

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Prime Minister Modi receives prestigious UN Environment award

New Delhi (NM Bureau): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been awarded the United Nations' Champions of the Earth award for the year 2018. The United Nations has recognised Modi with its highest environmental honour in the policy leadership category for his leadership to global solar alliance and the efforts to eliminate all single use plastic in India by 2022. Along with him, President of France Emmanuel Macron has also been awarded in the same category for his work on the Global Pact for the Environment.


"Six of the world’s most outstanding environmental changemakers will be recognized today with a Champions of the Earth Award, the UN’s highest environmental honor," the UN statement released on Wednesday said. 

Cochin International Airport of India was also awarded for its leadership in use of sustainable energy in the category of entrepreneurial vision. The airport, situated in the southern part of India is world's first fully solar-powered airport. "

“Cochin is showing the world that our ever-expanding network of global movement doesn't have to harm the environment," the UN statement said recognising the feat of the airport.

The awards, instituted by the UN Environment is presented during the Champions of the Earth Gala in New York City, on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly. The Champions of the Earth award is the UN’s highest environmental recognition celebrating exceptional figures from the public and private sectors and from civil society whose actions have had a transformative positive impact on the environment. 



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Will win 2019 polls: Prime Minister Modi

New Delhi (NM Bureau): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his strong confidence in his party with BJP along with the NDA alliance winning the 2019 General Election with the thumping majority. Prime Minister Modi was quoted this in an email interview with the English national daily Times of India. Modi in his interview also snubbed the opposition alliance as a failed idea.

“We will definitely get more seats than we got the last time and I am confident that we will break all records of seats won by NDA in the past,” Modi said. 

A non-ideological alliance of desperate and disparate groups is not a ‘Mahagathbandhan’ but political adventurism, he said adding that the proposed grand alliance of opposition parties is a failed idea which cannot succeed because people want a strong and decisive government at Centre that can deliver results. 

Modi declared that his platform for the next national election would be “development, fast development and development for all”

Modi took on Congress over the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, saying that Congress is guilty of criminal negligence on this count.

PM also strongly condemned mob lynchings as a crime irrespective of motives.

“My government is fully committed to upholding the rule of law and protecting the life and liberty of every citizen. No person can, under any circumstances, take the law into his or her hand and commit violence,” he said. 

He said the government is working actively against economic absconders, and the recent law to confiscate their properties will deliver results “Anyone who fraudulently takes public money and absconds shall not be spared,” he said.