Delhi Rape Trial: Victim’s Friend Cross-Examined

Defense lawyers started the cross-examination of the key eye-witness, the male companion of the victim in court today. The witness has identified the bus in which the crime had taken place and testified against the five accused who have pleaded not guilty to all the charges including rape and murder.

The hearing took place at the fast track court in the Saket Court Complex and the first set of 88 witnesses were deposed before court. This included eye-witnesses, police officials, and doctors who had treated the physiotherapy student. The prosecution hopes to finish examining witnesses within the month. The cross-examination of the male friend will be continued on Thursday.

The judge has banned all reporting of proceedings inside the courtroom and has ordered the lawyers not to talk to the journalists.

The fast-track courts are on course so far with the process of the trial but the victim’s family is not happy that the juvenile accused will be tried separately. The victim’s brother believes the law should be amended so that the juvenile can be hanged along with the other attackers.

The five accused and one juvenile may or may not be punished in accordance to the gruesome crimes they have committed. With the support of the government and other law machinery, this case looks like an open-and-shut case. Yet, the defense lawyers have pleaded not guilty on behalf of his clients.This may be a sign of things to come, later in the course of trial.

The bus in which the crime took place was brought to court.
The bus in which the crime took place was brought to court.


Indifferent to protests, Modi promotes Gujarat

Social and political leader, Gopal Krishna Gokhale had famously said, “What Bengal thinks today, India will think tomorrow.” Narendra Modi may want to replace Bengal with Gujarat in today’s time.

Even as protests continued outside Shri Ram College in Delhi on Wednesday, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi used this platform to talk about the Gujarat Development model. For every achievement in the State, he embedded a hope for India’s tomorrow. Modi also said that his focus was on development politics and not vote bank, which has ‘ruined’ the Nation.

Read the whole speech –


A file picture of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
A file picture of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.


The Valley’s first all-girl band calls it quits

It was indeed a sad moment when the Kashmir based all girl rock band ‘Pragaash’ called it quits facing fatwa from certain religious groups. Despite having support from Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, ‘Pragaash’ was disband after receiving threats on social media and a demand that they stop performing from a top Muslim cleric.

The band named ‘Pragaash’  which means morning light comprises of vocalist-guitarist Noma Nazir, drummer Farah Deeba and guitarist Aneeka Khalid (all students of 10th standard) .

The Grand Mufti Bashiruddin Ahmad issued a decree terming singing un-Islamic.

“I have said, singing is not in accordance with Islamic teachings,” Ahmad said.He said, he has advised the members of the first all-girls rock band of Kashmir to abandon singing as “it is against Islamic teachings and will not help them in playing any constructive role in the society.”

Pragaash performed in public for the first time in December in Srinagar, the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir. It won third place in an annual “Battle of the Bands” rock show organized by an Indian paramilitary force as part of a campaign to win hearts and minds in the region.

Soon after the show, Kashmiri pages on social networking sites like Facebook hotly debated the band. Some questioned whether the performance was appropriate in the Muslim-dominated society in Kashmir and others raised broader questions on the Islamic approach to music and role of women in the society.

Most Facebook post backed the girls, but others were abusive, calling them “sluts” and “prostitutes” and calling for them and their families to be expelled from the region.

The controversy deepened Saturday after Omar Abdullah, the region’s top elected official, promised a police probe into the threats and wrote on Twitter that “the talented teenagers should not let themselves be silenced by a handful of morons.”

The girls then became a political tool for all sides in the conflict.

Kashmir has a long tradition of poetry and music, and has produced iconic female singers including Raj Begum, Kailash Mehra, Naseem Begum and Shamima Azad, the wife of India’s health minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad . So the question to be asked is, why this double standards?

Trees being choked to death in concrete jungle

It is the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s (PCMC) job to plant trees but it has been harping on its inability to do so as there is no space left to plant trees within its jurisdiction.

Worse, paver blocks laid on pavements as part of beautification drives are packed so close around the bases of existing trees by the municipal garden department that the trees will be ‘\strangulated because of the blocks.

Now it’s Kadal’s turn

It seems as if our religious communities are never going to rest. After Kamal Hassan’s Vishwaroopam, it is Mani Ratnam’s Kadal to get grilled by few Christian communities who claim that the movie is anti-christian and even demand the deletion of several scenes.

Kadal released on Februrary 1 and stars Arvind Swamy, Gautham Karthik and Thulasi Nair.

Bumpy times ahead?
Bumpy times ahead?

For more scoop, visit Times of India.

President gives nod to sharpening anti-rape laws

On Sunday, Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the ordinance on sexual crimes against women. The law includes death penalty  in rapes leading to victim’s death or pushing her into a persistent vegetative state. President_signs20013The law made in 2013 will see itself through to be approved in the Parliament in the coming 6 months. However, protests still continue by women’s groups claiming this law to be a sham. Furthermore, demanding a law against marital rape and trial of armed forces personnel accused for rape.


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Ronaldo scores! But an OWN goal

Granada sealed a shocking victory over the mighty Real Madrid in the Spanish league. An own goal scored by Ronaldo in the 22nd minute made the probability of the Spanish giants to win the title even less. The latest defeat has allowed Barcelona to take an 18 point lead over their arch rivals Real Madrid.


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