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Trinamool MP Dismisses Park Street Case As Sexual Misunderstanding

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kakoliKolkata: In yet another instance of a Bengal politician courting controversy through her comments, a Trinamool Congress MP Friday said the sensational Park Street rape case was not an assault but a misunderstanding between two parties involved in a sexual dealing. “If you are referring to the Park Street case, that is a different case altogether. That was not at all a rape case.It was a misunderstanding between two parties involved in a sexual dealing-the lady and her clients.So it was not a rape,” MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar said.

An Anglo-Indian woman was allegedly raped at gunpoint in a moving car in the early hours of Feb 6 by a gang of five after picking her up from Park Street area.
In response to Dastidar’s comment, the victim, a mother of two, said: “I don’t understand where she would get her ideas from. I would like to ask her one question. Is it legal for a sex worker (she is calling me a prostitute) to get raped and a sex worker cannot do anything about it and cannot claim justice.”
The Park Street rape case is yet to go to trial, with police yet not having submitted a charge sheet. Though three people have been arrested, the prime accused continues to be at large. “My case hasn’t even gone to trial. It is obvious they are not taking my case seriously as I am not on a ventilator system or I haven’t killed myself as yet,” said the victim referring to the barbaric Delhi gang-rape and the suicide of a rape victim in Punjab.
“All said and done, I was raped. I don’t understand how they can differentiate the term rape. A rape is a rape whether your body parts are inside or outside. A rape is a rape,” she added.
Ghosh Dastidar’s comment triggered a wave of protests. Dissident Trinamool Lok Sabha member Kabir Suman said he was speechless. “I hang my head on shame. How can a people’s representative talk like this? I apologise to the people as she is still my party colleague.”
Former city mayor Bikash Bhattacharya reminded Ghosh Dastidar that as per law, even a sex worker cannot be raped. “But I don’t think Ghosh Dastidar has spoken off the cuff. It is part of a pre-planned move to influence the case. After all, chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) had called the rape allegation ‘cooked up’ and aimed at ‘maligning’ her government,” Bhattacharya said.
Ghosh Dastidar’s remarks comes close on the heels of President Pranab Mukherjee’s son and Congress MP Abhijit’s description of women participating in the protests in Delhi after the recent gangrape as ‘highly dented and painted’ and Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Anisur Rahman asking Mamata Banerjee what she would charge for getting raped.

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SOUTH ASIA

Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin

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Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told

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The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.

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