Tag Archives: KARNATAKA

16 Injured in Blast near BJP Office in Bangalore


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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The blast on Wednesday damaged two cars, a motorcycle and a van of the Karnataka State Reserve Police. (Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint)
The blast on Wednesday damaged two cars, a motorcycle and a van of the Karnataka State Reserve Police. (Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint)

Yesterday, April 17, 2013, just a few weeks ahead of key elections in Karnataka state (scheduled for May 5, 2013), a blast ripped through the Malleshwaram area of Bangalore near the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office. The blast gutted several vehicles including a police van parked near the BJP office and injured 16 people including eight police officers on duty.

According to several eyewitnesses on spot it was a “big explosion that shook nearby buildings.” Television footage showed several cars and two-wheelers at the blast site were badly damaged.

Television footage showed several badly damaged cars and two-wheelers at the blast site.

There are conflicting reports about the blast. Initial reports suggested that a gas cylinder had exploded. Raghavendra Auradkar, Bangalore police chief told reporters: “We initially thought it was a gas cylinder explosion. [Now] we believe it is a motorcycle blast – a motorcycle [has been] destroyed,” he said. BBC reported that “bombs had been planted on bicycles 150 metres (500 feet) apart near a crowded fruit market.”

Banglore Blast - Injured policemen - 2

Press Trust of India news agency quoted Lalrokhuma Pachau, Karnataka police chief: “Due to the blast, 16 people are injured – eight policemen on duty and eight civilians. Nobody is critically injured. All are being treated at hospital … As of now, we do not know what material was used in making the bomb.” Pachau added that officials of the anti-terrorism National Investigation Agency had reached the site.

This is the first major bomb attack in India since the September 2011 blast outside Delhi’s High Court that killed 13 people.

R.P.N. Singh, Federal junior Home Minister, said investigators were “looking at all possibilities” and requested the public not to “give credence to rumours.”

R. Ashok, Karnataka Home Minister, said it was a “terror attack”; however, he did not elaborate.

The Union home ministry has pointed to an Indian Mujahideen (IM) signature in targeting crowds.

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Extravagance at Marriages – An Austerity Lesson from ‘Soliga’ Community


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By Ramya BN

Published in Mangalorean.com on March 22, 2012

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As the marriage season approaches in April and May, a bride’s father’s pocket gets drained day by day shopping and making arrangements. Doesn’t it?

In the modern society, lakhs and lakhs of rupees are spent on marriages – on clothing, jewellery, food arrangements and the like. Most of all, lakhs need to be spent on the marriage hall just for a day or two.

But, in the middle of all this, what catches one’s attention is a unique ritual followed in the ‘Soliga’ tribe in Karnataka, where they spend just 12 rupees and 25 paise for a marriage. Something out of this world in the 21st century, where a sum of Rs 12 and paise 25 cannot even fetch a bouquet, leaving alone the fact that 25 paise coin has been de-recognized by the Reserve Bank of India.

Photo: mangalorean.com
Photo: mangalorean.com
Photo: mangalorean.com

The Soliga community  is a tribe which inhabits the Biligiri Ranga and the adjacent hill ranges in southern Karnataka, most prominently in Chamarajanagar district. They are segregated into 82 different ‘podu’ (villages). It is said that there are 82 podu  in Kollegal, 40 podu in Gundlupet, 32 podu in Chamarajanagar and 10 podu in Yellandur Taluk. Most of them are concentrated in and around the the BR Hills in Yelandur and Kollegal taluks of Chamarajanagar. Their population numbers close 46,000 in the state.

Basavaraju, a Soliga, explained the unique way of marriage rituals followed in the community, saying that the bride is chosen during a dance performance. If any girl likes any boy in the dancing troupe, she can throw a stone and he will approach her, and if both wish to marry they will go to the forest and stay there for 8 days. When they return, the podu (village) head will administer an oath to them, whereby they vow to live together. The bride will pay rupees 12.25 to the community as ‘thera’ (as a fine) and marry.

He said that even now the same rituals are followed, but as an influence of modernization, the stone is replaced by a banana or biscuit and instead of forest they go to their relatives’ house in the podu.

The story behind 12 rupees and 25 paise sounds interesting. It is believed that in the early years, Soliga Bommegowda and Rangamma couple had 7 daughters. Among them, the youngest one, Kusumaledevi, was the most beautiful daughter among the entire tribe.

They used to go digging mud in search of sweet potato, which was then the staple food for the tribal people. Once when Kusumaledevi went with her sisters in search of sweet potato, Lord Biligiri Ranga was impressed by Kusumaledevi’s beauty and wanted to marry her.

So to speak to Kusumaledevi, with his magical powers he made all her sisters get more sweet potato and return home.  Kusumaledevi was made to stay back, still digging for sweet potato. When she was alone after her sisters had left, again with his magical powers, he made her get more sweet potato so that she was not able to lift it on her head.

When she screamed for help the Lord appeared in front of her disguised as an old man and promised to help her if she agreed to marry him. She thought that the old man was saying so for fun and she agreed. As he helped her lift the sack, he showed his real face and she also fell in love with him.

However, not having enough courage to seek her parents’ approval, they went and stayed in the forest for eight days and came back. Lord Biligiriranga Swamy gave diamonds and gold to Kusumaledevi’s father Bommegowda as penalty for taking her without his consent. An enraged Bommegowda pushed it aside, but Kusumaledevi’s mother grasped it in the ‘pallu’ of her sari and prevented it from falling down. A sum of 12.25 annas (old coins) fell into her ‘pallu’ which are now accounted for as 12 rupees and 25 paise.

From then on the ritual has been followed in the Soliga community. With a firm belief that Kusumadevi as tribe’s common sister and to celebrate the happiness of her marriage with Lord Biligiri Ranga, they dance for the appeasement of community deities like Jadeyappa, Ketappa, Dodasampige and others.

They also dance and celebrate ‘Rotti habba’ during ‘Suggi’, once in a year, in the month of March or April.

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Re-posted from Mangalorean.com

Missing Children Bureau Is Missing


 

Pramila Krishnan By Pramila Krishnan

 Published on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 in Deccan Chronicle

Chennai: The missing children bureau, started in Tamil Nadu in 2001 under the Tamil Nadu social defence department to trace children, is missing for the last four years. The bureau’s web portal has not been updated since 2007 and there was no information about whether the 200-odd children registered on the site as missing were restored to the families or not.

Take this case: M. Kart­h­ik Kannan, age 11, height 3.5 metres; missing date: 28/12/2002. Place: Coimba­tore. Identification marks: Fair looking boy, a scar on the right elbow and protruding teeth. His photo and details were registered on the website but the site has no details about whether he was traced or not. Like him, over 10,500 children went missing in Tamil Nadu in the last five years, according to the national crime records bureau. Child rights acti­vists question the absence of the bureau.

Jebaraj of NGO JustTr­ust, which works against child trafficking, said, “Several missing children are trafficked and forced into bonded labour, sexual exploitation and begging. When the MCB itself is missing, it shows the lack of love and commitment to work for the rights of children in our state.”

Requesting anonymity, a senior officer who worked in the department said, “The bureau stopped functioning long ago. The photos of children reported by the parents with the police as missing were uploaded on the website. But no big measure was taken to reunite the children with their families.”

The officer said now the department is considering to post a nodal officer to regulate the bureau. Social defence department director N. Mathivanan told DC that the bureau was closed and a new project, ‘Track the child’, would soon be implemented.

Re-posted from Deccan Chronicle

Family Court Disputes Taken Away From Honourable Justice K. Bhakthavatsala


High Courts and the Supreme Court are courts of principles. The judges should not speak anything beyond the principles of a particular case. Let us not give lectures to the society. The problem is sometimes we judges impose our own values; our own likes or dislikes on the society.” – Chief Justice S H. Kapadia

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All family court disputes, along with child custody and guardianship matters, got moved from the court of Honourable Dr. Justice K. Bhaktavatsala and Justice B.S. Indrakala of the High Court of Karnataka to the court of justices K.L. Manjunath and V. Suri Appa Rao. Official sources said the changes should come into effect from September 10.

Dr. Justice K. Bhakthavatsala
Dr. Justice K. Bhakthavatsala

This move transpired after the outrage triggered among women lawyers and activists over a number of oral comments expressed by the justices.

Recently, women advocates headed by Ms. Pramila Nesargi, a well-known senior attorney and former Chairperson of Karnataka State Commission For Women gave a representation to Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen. They expressed their concern and objection to the remarks articulated especially by Justice Bhaktavatsala.

A few days back, in response to the uproar, Justice Bhaktavatsala conveyed his displeasure regarding the reports showing up in various sections of the media with regards to the oral observations made by him in the courtroom. He alleged his comments were “twisted out of context” and that he never intended to condone physical violence against women.

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Bangalore Police, Railway Officials Say, “The Exodus Has Stopped.”


At Guwahati Railway Station on August 20, 2012
At Guwahati Railway Station on August 20, 2012

Since last week, as many as 30,000 people from the northeast have fled from Bangalore. The exodus was triggered by rumours of attacks. The city is now under heavy security. To instill trust in the minds of the panic-stricken Northeasterners, as many as 17,000 police force, supported by Rapid Action Force are standing by. The Karnataka State Reserve Police, has been recalled for active duty.

A few days ago, Indian Railways, ran additional train services to Guwahati to meet the sudden onrush of fleeing Northeasterners. However, for the past two days, they did not operate any special services. Travelers from Bangalore are now being told to board the Yeshwanthpur – Howrah Express from Yeshwanthpur and then proceed to Guwahati from Howrah.

On Sunday night, Mr. R. Ashoka, Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister of Karnataka went on rounds with top police officials. He visited places largely populated by people from the northeastern states. He said that he would work incessantly to ensure their safety.

On Monday August 20, the police and the railway authorities in Bangalore said that the exodus of North-easterners back to their home-states seemed to have ended. This they believed was due to the scaled-up security along with measures implemented to create confidence.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Suneel Kumar told PTI, “The situation is absolutely peaceful and normal with people observing the Ramzan festival with usual bonhomie. People from the northeast are going about their chores without any disturbance, and the exodus has completely stopped. People from the northeastern states are safe and secure.”

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Exodus of People from Northeastern States Back to Their Native Places


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Thousands of workers and students from Assam and other northeastern states living in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala have already left for their native places. This was due to the threat spread via SMS, that a set of miscreants probably would seek them out after Eid. This has prompted the Assam government to stay on high alert to reduce recurrence of violence after Eid.

On Sunday, August 19, Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Assam convened a high-level emergency meeting attended by the State Chief Secretary N.K. Das, Director General of Police J.N. Chaudhury, three former DGs of Assam law enforcement and government officials. The Chief Minister informed them that in Jalpaiguri area of West Bengal, miscreants killed four people and injured at least nine others in an Assam-bound special train originating from Bangalore. The train that was among three Bangalore-Guwahati specials, which were coming to Assam, had reached Guwahati that Sunday morning.

The chief Minister then told them that Assam government had dispatched officials to Jalpaiguri area to find out what exactly triggered the death of the four people. He said that occurrence of fresh violence that could erupt as soon as the Eid festivity comes to an end in the state worried him. He asked his officials to set up a contingency plan straight away to meet any emergency that could happen in the next few days.

In the meantime, the Assam government has asked the Indian Railways not to offer any more special trains from any state to Guwahati for the panic-stricken people from the region. The Chief Minister said most people who had come due to panic were now eager to return to their workplaces and educational institutes outside the state.

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Raised voices against Internet censorship


The protest against Internet censorship was organised by the Free Software Movement of Karnataka (FSMK), in collaboration with the Software Freedom Law Centre. The performances, singing and short speeches delivered by students and bloggers culminated in a candle light vigil here.

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Raised voices against Internet censorship

STAFF REPORTER, The  Hindu

Students and IT professionals performing a skit against the ‘clampdown on freedom of speech’ online. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
The HinduStudents and IT professionals performing a skit against the ‘clampdown on freedom of speech’ online. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

It’s a regular day at the Parappana Agrahara prison in Bangalore. The media has arrived to interview high profile criminals held there. Among politicians accused of land grabbing and corruption, and industrialists, is a young boy. When asked what he had done to land up there, he says: “I blogged.” The media and other “high-profile” criminals scoff at him for not being “criminal enough”.

This was the plot of one of the skits performed outside Town Hall, where a young, energetic crowd gathered to protest against the “clampdown on freedom of speech on the Internet”.

Over 100 people participated in the protests, including IT workers and students from engineering colleges here.

The protest was organised by the

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