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World Sparrow Day Reminds Us That We Need To Act Soon Before These Homely Birds Vanish
March 20 is World Sparrow Day, a day dedicated to the small chirpy bird which is considered the most human-friendly.

Once seen in plenty across cities, towns and villages among the human settlers, the number of the birds have been falling rapidly in recent years, to the point where they have almost disappeared especially in cities.

The rate at which sparrows are disappearing is much faster than other common birds. The loss of habitat, the spread of concrete towers and cell phone radiation, the disappearance of native plants, rampant use of pesticide all have affected the sparrow population over the years.

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Avengers: Endgame | In theaters April 26, 2019
Pollachi sexual assault: 'Tamil media is worst in the matter'
The general complaint in Tamil Nadu right now is that the sexual assault and blackmail scandal that has hit the town of Pollachi (near Coimbatore), where over 200 women have been victims, would have merited front page stories and received non-stop coverage on primetime television had it happened anywhere near Delhi or Mumbai.

A heinous and heart-stopping crime is not getting the adequate coverage it needs because much of Indian media is Delhi/Mumbai-centric.

For those just tuning in, in Pollachi, a gang of men had been luring, for around two years, unsuspecting women and girls in the area through Facebook and WhatsApp friendship and taking them to lonely spots where they were sexually assaulted by the men (or had consensual sex) that were secretly (invariably without consent) filmed. Using the visuals, the women were later blackmailed to part with money and valuables, and also used for repeated sexual favours.

From college girls to housewives to working women, these men had targeted almost all of them and the number of victims, as per rough estimates, is around 200.

And only one of the women eventually went to the police and filed a formal complaint. Yes, around 199 (if not more) women had chosen to stay silent and suffer quietly. The reason for this is not hard to guess. The consequence of speaking out is the victims are usually stigmatized. Victim-shaming is the order of the day. In a relatively more conservative State like Tamil Nadu, it is even more pronounced, says Girija Kannan, a women’s activist.

“Look at what happened to Chinmayi (the singer). She called out lyricist Vairamuthu as a sexual predator. But bulk of the Tamil media and social media users targeted and trolled her. It was a classic case of victim-shaming. If it could happen to Chinmayi, a celebrity in her own right, imagine the scenario for poor and helpless women in a small town,” she says and adds “The Tamil media is worst in the matter. They have been utterly insensitive and there is no nuance in their understanding.”

Girija is spot on.

Most Tamil media outlets (both digital and mainline print publications) have approached the case with a view to sensationalising the events and also satisfying the voyeuristic inclinations of typical male viewers/readers by focusing on the ‘titillating’ and sleazy parts.

Most media outlets have suggested that the onus is on the women to stay safe (which is typically by dressing “properly” and staying away from social media.) “This trope is depressing. How long will they peddle such puerile, patriarchal ideas? We can at least understand if these are from common public But for the media to deliver such horrible homilies is sickening,” says Varsha Gopal, a student of mass communication in Chennai.

“It is such neanderthal views that embolden men to continue with their debauched ways. Tamil newspapers still see it is as “sex scandal”, whereas it is a clear case of sexual assaults and rapes. The choice of caption is in itself revealing of a troubling mindset,” she adds.

Aside from these, one controversial Tamil magazine’s digital platform had released the video of one of the victims being sexually assaulted by the perverts. In the video, she is begging with them for mercy. The airing of the clip is a major faux pas, as such videos should not be put out for public circulation. It is in clear violation of the norms handed down by women’s organisations. It reflects the absolute lack of sensitivity in humanism as well as journalism.

The worst thing is that the magazine and a section of the media have been arguing that the airing of that video has been the reason for the public arousal against the Pollachi sex criminals.

“What utter tosh?,” says M Jennifer, a content writer. “That you need videos of actual rape to impel a society into action is an idea that is so wrong at multiple levels.”
Woman Dies While Trying To Deliver Baby Alone In UP's Gorakhpur
[Gorakhpur] --- A 25-year-old woman died while attempting to deliver a baby alone in her rented room at Bilandpur, police said Monday.

According to sources, the woman was reportedly watching a video on giving birth on her mobile. She was unmarried.

She was a native of Bahraich and living in Gorakhpur for the last four years and was preparing for competitive exams, police said.

Four days ago, she took a room on rent in Bilandpur area and on Sunday, the other tenants noticed blood coming out of the door of her room, police said.

After reaching the spot, police found the woman and her baby lying in a pool of blood.

The woman's body was later taken for post-mortem.

"The woman was 25-years-old and unmarried. She died in an attempt to deliver baby alone in her room in which she came to live on rent just four days ago. However, she was living in Gorakhpur for the last four years and was preparing for competitive exams," said Ravi Rai, the SHO of Cant police station.

"No FIR was lodged as the family did not give any complaint letter and they also did not reveal anything about the man with whom she was having an affair," he said.
On Camera, Delhi Woman Dragged Behind Bike After Robbers Snatch Her Purse
[NEW DELHI, INDIA] --- A woman narrowly escaped death after she was dragged behind a motorcycle while trying to catch the assailants who robbed her in Delhi's Janakpuri on Friday. Shocking CCTV footage shows the woman, 53, falling as she held on to her bag even as the robbers moved ahead on the bike.

The incident happened right in front of a police booth at around 4pm. The video footage shows onlookers unmoved by the woman's ordeal as the she gets dragged for about 25 metres.

A case of theft was initially registered. However, the e-FIR was later converted and sections of robbery have also been added. Her bag had Rs. 20,000 in cash and the woman claimed she also lost some important documents.

The identity of the snatchers could not be ascertained immediately as they were both wearing helmets.

Ironically, the incident happened on International Women's Day. The woman sustained severe injuries on her knees, hands, waist and face but is out of danger.
Kenyan Woman Raped By Man She Met At Rishikesh Yoga Camp: Police
A woman from Kenya was allegedly raped by a man she met at a yoga camp run by an internationally-acclaimed yoga guru in Uttarakhand's Rishikesh, police said Monday.

The accused, 31-year-old Hemant Thapliyal, has been arrested on the basis of a complaint lodged by the rape survivor on Sunday, Muni Ki Reti police station in-charge Ram Kishor Saklani said.

According to the complaint lodged by the woman, the accused, who met her at the yoga camp on March 7, offered to drop her by his scooty at the hotel where she was staying.

He told her on way to the hotel that he was a professional tour guide and could show her places of tourist interest if she wanted. When she accepted the offer, he took her to a waterfall and allegedly raped her twice, police said.

She somehow freed herself and reported the matter to the police, officials said.

The accused was arrested with the help of CCTV footage obtained from the yoga camp, they said.
Woman Gang-Raped By Relatives, Children Were In Next Room: Cops
[Hyderabad, INDIA] --- A 25-year-old woman was allegedly raped by a relative of her husband and two others in Hyderabad, the police said.

According to the woman's complaint, her husband's brother-in-law's relatives gang-raped her when her husband, an auto-rickshaw driver, was not home, the police said.

The accused threatened to harm her three children if she protested, the police said.

While one man took the children to the adjacent room, the others reportedly took turns to rape her.

The family had moved to Hyderabad from Rajasthan three months ago.

A case under relevant sections has been registered and teams to arrest the accused have been formed, the police said.
20/03/2019 21:43 Comments 0 Comments
The immigration policy change comes at a time of national reflection over Australia's attitude towards migrants after the shooting of at least 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand's city of Christchurch.
20/03/2019 19:16 Comments 0 Comments
Nirav Modi has fled after allegedly siphoning off about Rs 13,0000 crore from Punjab National Bank using Letters of Undertaking in collusion with his uncle Mehul Choski.

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