India rejects charges of racism over attacks on African students

India on Tuesday rejected charges made by a group of African envoys who termed recent attacks on African students in the country as “racial and xenophobic”.

The envoys also slammed New Delhi for inaction on the issue.

African missions in India on Monday condemned the “racial, xenophobic” attacks on their students near New Delhi and called for an international inquiry.

Mobs in Delhi’s suburbs of Noida had last week thrashed several Nigerians after a local teenager died of a suspected drug overdose.

Residents blamed some African students for plying the youth with drugs.

A statement issued by Eritrean ambassador and dean of the African group of mission heads, Alem Woldemariam, had said that India had taken “no known, sufficient and visible deterring measures” to prevent the violence.

The envoys called for a probe by UN’s Human Rights Council into the attack.

However, Indian Foreign Ministry officials rejected the claim that African nations had spoken with one voice as a very small number of envoys were consulted for the statement issued by Woldemariam.

“It is unfortunate that a criminal act triggered following the untimely death of a young Indian student under suspicious circumstances has been termed as xenophobic and racial,” the ministry said.

It said that the local authorities had expeditiously arrested suspects, and the Indian government had also condemned and described the attack as unacceptable.

Authorities had also taken measures for the safety and security of African students and were holding meetings with local residents and students.

In New York, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the UN was not involved in the case, but it wanted the perpetrators of the attack to be brought to justice.


Source: dpa/NAN

African envoys hit out at India over attacks on Nigerian students

African envoys in Delhi on Monday called the recent mob attacks on some Nigerian students near the national capital as “racial” and “xenophobic acts”.

In a statement, the heads of African missions slammed the Indian government for failing to adequately condemn the violent incident.

“No known, sufficient and visible deterring measures were taken” by the Indian government, they said.

“These reprehensible events, both outstanding and unresolved cases against Africans, were not sufficiently condemned by the Indian authorities,” the group said.

It has agreed to “call for an independent investigation by the Human Rights Council as well as other human rights bodies”.

The mob attack on the Nigerian students took place on March 27 and it coincided with a protest that was organised by online groups who blamed the unexplained death of a teenage student on the African community.

The protesters had alleged that the student, identified as Manish Khari, was supplied drugs by Africans who live in the area.

India has described the attack on Nigerian students as “deplorable” and said it was committed to ensuring the safety and security of all foreigners in this country.

“People from Africa, including students and youth, remain our valued partners,” the External Affairs Ministry has said.

The police had said that some seven people had been arrested in connection with the mob attack so far, adding that efforts are on to arrest the other suspects.

Attacks on Africans in and around Delhi is not uncommon.

In 2016, several Nigerians were beaten up in Delhi’s Chhatarpur area.


Source: Xinhua/NAN

Indian police make sixth arrest over attack on Nigerians

Police have made a sixth arrest in connection with a brutal mob attack on Nigerian students in northern India that rights groups labelled a hate crime, an officer said Friday.

The students were thrashed with sticks and metal chairs in Greater Noida in a vicious assault that was captured on camera and shared widely on social media.

“He (the sixth suspect) was under tremendous pressure, so he came to the police station and surrendered himself,” Superintendent Sujata Singh told AFP, adding that police hoped to make four more arrests.

The students were set upon after the death of an Indian teenager from a suspected drug overdose, which locals blamed on the Nigerians.

Security has been beefed up in Greater Noida, with police assisting African students with their shopping runs and escorting them to class.

Police have identified roughly 60 people from footage of the attack who they plan to charge with rioting and unlawful assembly, she added.

Video footage showed a mob attacking a car, while in another clip dozens of men assaulted shoppers in a mall with metal chairs and garbage cans.

A Kenyan woman that reported a separate assault later retracted her story after it was proven false.

Hundreds of African students live in Greater Noida, where there are several popular universities, engineering colleges and other educational institutions.

Human Rights Watch said “hate-filled crimes against foreign students and vigilante attacks in India’s cities” were not new, and authorities should label this is a crime fuelled by race.

India’s foreign ministry assured Nigeria all steps were being taken to protect their citizens in India, as Abuja demanded “diligent prosecution” of the culprits.


Source: AFP

African students in India are living in fear – Amnesty International

Amnesty International has called on Uttar Pradesh authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the attacks against African students, saying the blacks in India are living in fear.

This was contained in a statement issued by the group on Wednesday.

On Monday, at least four Nigerians sustained injuries in the attacks, which began following the death of a 15-year-old who was alleged to have consumed drugs given to him by Nigerians.

Makepeace Sitlhou, campaigner at Amnesty International, India, decried the attacks which he referred to as hate crimes.

“The recent attacks in Uttar Pradesh show how black people in India – particularly African students – continue to face racist discrimination and violence,” Sitlhou said.

“Many of those injured were targeted merely because of the colour of their skin. These are hate crimes, and authorities need to ensure that those responsible are punished.

“Living in India must not become a life-threatening issue for black people. The police must not overlook the discriminatory elements of these attacks.

“Racism can end only if authorities first acknowledge and document its existence. The Uttar Pradesh government and other state governments must thoroughly investigate all reports of hate crimes, and protect the rights of black students.

Sitlhou said a Kenyan woman was also attacked on Wednesday.

“Several black African students have been attacked in a series of hate crimes in Greater Noida over the last three days. On Wednesday, a Kenyan woman was pulled out of a taxicab and beaten in Greater Noida,” Sitlhou said.

“Video footage posted online by the Association of African Students in India shows two other Nigerian students being beaten – including with metal chairs and dustbins – by a mob inside a mall in Greater Noida on 27 March.

“We kept crying for help, but no one came, not even the security marshals. I was running but they followed me and attacked me,” a student identified as Enduranca Amalawa, told journalists.

The police in Noida have registered a first information report against nine people on charges including attempt to murder in relation to the attack at the protest.

Sujata Singh, superintendent of police, Greater Noida, told Amnesty International India, “We have increased patrolling and we will be deploying 400 more police personnel to ensure the safety of students from the African community.”

However, black students in the area told Amnesty International India, that they continue to live in fear.

Samuel Jack, the president of association of African students in India, said, “We are all scared to leave our homes.

“We have issued an advisory telling all students from the African community to remain in their homes. We can’t attend our classes because we are scared that we will be beaten up.”


Source: The Cable

Indian Police tighten security around city after mob attack on Nigerian students

Police stepped up security Wednesday in a northern Indian city where a mob attacked African students following the death of a local teenager from a suspected drug overdose.

Five people were arrested over the assault in Greater Noida in which the students were beaten with sticks and metal chairs, with police examining CCTV footage to identify other attackers.

“We are increasing security checkpoints and police presence around Greater Noida,” Superintendent Sujata Singh told AFP, referring to the satellite city outside India’s capital New Delhi.

Police have also identified around 40 others after scanning security tapes and footage shot by onlookers and broadcast by the media, Singh said.

They would be charged with rioting and unlawful assembly for involvement in the mob, he added.

Hundreds of African students live in Greater Noida, where there are several popular universities, engineering colleges and other educational institutions.

The latest attack followed the death of a local 16-year-old from an apparent drug overdose.

Police detained five Nigerian students in connection with the case after a group of local people went to their home and accused them of murder.

The students were later released after police failed to find any evidence against them.

But a crowd that had assembled for a candlelit vigil to demand justice for the teenager turned violent after spotting a group of Nigerians leaving a mall.

India’s foreign ministry condemned the incident as “deplorable” and assured the Nigerian high commissioner (ambassador) that all steps were being taken to protect their citizens in India.


Source: AFP

JUST IN: Indian government orders probe into mob attack on African students

Indian authorities on Tuesday ordered an investigation into a mob attack on several African students near New Delhi, a crime for which seven people have been arrested.

The incident occurred in the Delhi suburb of Noida late Monday when locals staging a protest about the death of a teenage boy turned violent, leading to attacks on African students, mostly Nigerians, shopping in the area.

The attackers alleged the dead boy, Manish Khari, 16, was drugged by Africans who live in the area. He died of a

cardiac arrest on the weekend after a suspected drug overdose.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj promised “immediate action” after a Nigerian student begged her for help, saying

living in the area had become a “life-threatening issue”.

“I have spoken to Yogi Adityanath, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh about the attack.

He has assured that there will be fair and impartial investigation into this unfortunate incident,” she said on Twitter, referring to the state in which the incident occurred.

Noida police chief Dharmendra Singh said four Nigerians were admitted to hospitals and seven locals were arrested for the mob violence.

“Some people tried to give the incident a racial twist and there has been hate-mongering over the social media.

Three hundred people are listed in the police complaint and more arrests are likely soon in raids,” he said.

Attacks on Africans have been reported at regular intervals in India in recent years.

Last May, a Congolese student was beaten to death in Delhi.

Earlier, a Tanzanian student was attacked and partially stripped by a mob in the city of Bangalore.

VIDEO: Nigerian students brutally attacked by a mob in India

Narendra Mishra, a journalist with Times of India, has released a video of an assault on a student identified as a Nigerian.

Mishra, who was at the scene of the attack, captured the incident.

He later tweeted: “Sorry world, we are not like this. Shocking incident in Greater Noida. Three attacks on Nigerians in one day. Where are we heading?”

In the video, about 20 young men are seen attacking a defenceless black man.


The youths not only pounced on him at intervals, they also hurled objects at the victim.

He managed to stand up and tried to escape but his attackers caught up with him, and pulled him to the ground as the assault continued.

At a point, the man was motionless, but the attackers will not stop. A young man in white shirt tried to pacify the rampaging mob, but did not succeed.

Sushma Swaraj, India’s minister of external affairs, has demanded a report of the incident.

“I have asked for a report from government of Uttar Pradesh about the reported attack on African students in Noida,” she wrote on Twitter.


The cause of the incident is not clear, but, an Indian website, reported that residents of Greater Noida staged a protest after a student identified as Manish Khari, died of drug overdose.

Khari was said to have last been seen with a group of Nigerians.

A crowd had reportedly raided the home of African students, asking all Africans living in residential colonies in Greater Noida to vacate their rented houses immediately.

Five Nigerian students were said to have been detained in the case, but the police released them for lack of evidence.

From Libya to Malaysia, Nigerians have been victims of attacks across the world, the latest being in South Africa.

‘World’s heaviest woman’ undergoes surgery in India, loses 100 kgs.

Indian doctors said Thursday that an Egyptian who was believed to be the world’s heaviest woman had successfully undergone weight-loss surgery after losing over 100 kilograms (220 pounds).

Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, who previously weighed around 500 kilos, had not left her house in Egypt in over two decades until arriving in Mumbai last month for bariatric surgery.

“We are happy to inform all well-wishers that the medical team of Saifee Hospital has successfully performed the surgery on Eman Ahmed,” said a statement.

“She is now on oral fluids and accepting them well. The future course of action for the medical team working on her will be to correct all her associated medical problems, to get her fit enough to fly back to Egypt as soon as possible,” it added.

A spokeswoman for Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, who is leading Abd El Aty’s treatment, said the 37-year-old Egyptian’s weight had been brought under 400 kilograms since she arrived in Mumbai in early February.

“Eman has lost over 100 kilograms and has been shedding weight gradually on a daily basis with all the treatment and support,” she told AFP.

The Egyptian, who is from the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, was flown to India’s commercial capital in a specially modified Airbus on Saturday 11 February for treatment.

Abd El Aty’s sister had approached Lakdawala, a specialist weight-loss surgeon, in October, saying her sibling needed urgent medical attention.

Her family told the doctor that as a child she was diagnosed with elephantiasis, a condition that causes the limbs and other body parts to swell, leaving her almost immobile.

Abd El Aty has suffered a stroke and faced a series of other serious ailments owing to her weight including diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension and sleep deprivation.

Her request for an Indian visa was initially denied, but she was granted passage after tweeting a plea for help directly to India’s foreign minister, who intervened.

Abd El Aty had a long wait as no airlines were willing to fly her due to her health complications.

Bariatric surgery is a stomach-shrinking bypass procedure carried out on those wanting to lose excessive weight.

It is increasingly common in India, which has a growing problem with obesity, particularly in urban areas.

India is a major destination for medical tourists seeking quality services and no waiting lists at a fraction of the cost of western countries.


Source: AFP

Agriculture Ministry, NAFDAC to investigate alleged importation of garri from India

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development says it will liaise with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to investigate the alleged importation of garri from India.

Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, who made this known on Wednesday in Abuja, said that it is ”strange and ridiculous” that garri would be imported when there is enough supply of cassava and garri in the country.

He said that the country produces more cassava that India, adding that Nigerians must change their attitude towards imported goods.

“I have heard of it. I will find out by tomorrow if NAFDAC indeed did certify any garri from India; unless it is some Indian companies packaging the garri here.

“Nigerians are too ready to buy anything imported. They will bring in apples and some of them have been preserved with ethanol which is not healthy for our consumption.

“Whoever is importing garri from India, something must be wrong with them. Why import garri when you do not know the conditions through which the garri was produced over there.

“ I have no powers to stop imports, but I can recommend to the Nigerian Customs that this is unreasonable. I produce and encourage Nigerians to eat what they produce because it is safer for them,’’ Ogbeh said.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that some sections of the media reported the existence of NAFDAC certified imported garri from India in some departmental stores and open markets across the country.

NAFDAC has however, denied the certification of such imported agricultural produce.


Source: The Guardian

VIDEO: Man smashes 124 coconuts with his bare hands in less than a minute

A 25-year-old man smashed 124 coconuts with bare hands in less than a minute, muscling his way into the Guinness Book of World Records in Kerala, India.

Abeesh Dominic, a native of Poonjar in Kottayam district, achieved the feat during a spectacular show of power at a city mall on Saturday.

In less than 60 seconds, he managed to smash 145 coconuts with right elbow in less than 50 seconds. The number of fully-crushed coconuts added up to 124.

Abeesh Dominic smashed 124 coconuts with his fists in less than a minute in search of a new world record 

Abeesh Dominic smashed 124 coconuts with his fists in less than a minute in search of a new world record

The 25-year-old man in Kerala, India muscled his way into the record books beating the previous record holder by six coconuts

The 25-year-old man in Kerala, India muscled his way into the record books beating the previous record holder by six coconuts

The previous record of 118 coconuts smashed in one minute was held by German Muhamed Kahrimanovic.

Abeesh, who works as a motor mechanic, has already made it to the Universal Record Forum (URF), Limca Book of Records, American Setter Record and the Assist World Record in different categories.

He has also pulled off several unique and risky stunts such as breaking hockey sticks and helmets with bare hands, pulling a bus to a distance of 50 meters using his teeth, stopping a pedestal fan running at a speed of 2000 rpm.

Abeesh has pulled of various high risk stunts including breaking hockey sticks and helmets with bare hands, pulling a bus with his teeth and stopping a bike pedestal with his tongue

Abeesh has pulled of various high risk stunts including breaking hockey sticks and helmets with bare hands, pulling a bus with his teeth and stopping a bike pedestal with his tongue

The previous record of 118 coconuts smashed in one minute was held by German Muhamed Kahrimanovic

Abeesh also smashed 145 coconuts using only his right elbow and has amassed dozens of trophies for his explots

‘I am confident about making it to the Guinness Book of World Record.

‘I already have three international records to my credit for breaking hockey sticks and helmets with bare hands, pulling a bus with my teeth and stopping a pedestal with my tongue,’ says Abeesh.

The video footage and other evidence of his achievement has been sent to Guinness World Records that is expected to recognise the record in six months time.

See video of the record feat below:


Source: Daily Mail

India launches record-breaking 104 satellites into orbit from single rocket

India successfully put a record 104 satellites from a single rocket into orbit on Wednesday in the latest triumph for its famously frugal space programme.
Celebrations erupted among scientists at the southern spaceport of Sriharikota as the head of India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced all the satellites had been ejected as planned.

“My hearty congratulations to the ISRO team for this success,” the agency’s director Kiran Kumar told those gathered in an observatory to track the progress of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately congratulated the scientists for the successful launch which smashes a record previously held by Russia.”This remarkable feat … is yet another proud moment for our space scientific community and the nation,” Modi wrote on Twitter.

The rocket took off at 9:28am (0358 GMT) and cruised at a speed of 27,000 kilometres (16,777 miles) per hour, ejecting all the 104 satellites into orbit in around 30 minutes, according to ISRO.

The rocket’s main cargo was a 714 kilogram (1,574 pounds) satellite for Earth observation but it was also loaded with 103 smaller “nano satellites”, weighing a combined 664 kilograms. The smallest weighed only 1.1 kilogram.

Nearly all of the nano satellites are from other countries, including Israel, Kazakhstan, Switzerland and 96 from the United States.

Around 90 of the satellites are from a San Francisco-based company, Planet Inc. each weighing around 4.5 kilograms that will send Earth images from space.

Only three satellites belonged to India.

– World record –
Scientists sat transfixed as they watched the progress of the rocket on monitors until the last payload was ejected, and then began punching the air in triumph and hugging each other.

This was PSLV’s 39th succesful mission, known as India’s space workhorse. In 2015, it carried 23 satellites to space.

The launch means India now holds the record for launching the most satellites in one go, surpassing Russia which launched 39 satellites in a single mission in June 2014.

And it is another feather in the cap for ISRO which sent an unmanned rocket to orbit Mars in 2013 at a cost of just $73 million, compared with NASA’s Maven Mars mission which had a $671 million price tag.

ISRO is also mulling the idea of missions to Jupiter and Venus.

The business of putting commercial satellites into space for a fee is growing as phone, Internet and other companies, as well as countries, seek greater and more high-tech communications.

India has carved out a reputation as a reliable low-cost option, relying in part on its famed skill of “jugaad” — creating a cheap alternative solution.

Experts say much of its credibility stems from India’s successful launch of the Mars orbiter, which gave it an edge over its rivals in the space race.

“India is proving to be a very viable option because of the cost and the reliability factor,” said Ajay Lele, a senior fellow at the Delhi-based Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.

“India has been doing these launches successfully and has established itself as a very reliable player.”

Mathieu J Weiss, a liaison officer for France’s CNES national space agency who is currently in India, said ISRO had pulled off a major feat.

“It’s a great technical challenge to launch so many satellites at once into orbit on the right trajectory so that they don’t make contact with each other,” he told AFP.

Weiss said India had become a major player in the space race by making itself so competitive with its low costs and by working with private companies which are space specialists.

“India has become a space power in its own right in recent years,” he added.

Last June, India set a national record after it successfully launched a rocket carrying 20 satellites, including 13 from the US.

Modi has often hailed India’s budget space technology, quipping in 2014 that a rocket that launched four foreign satellites into orbit had cost less to make than Hollywood film “Gravity”.

Cyclone kills 10 in south India’s tech hub

At least 10 people were killed when Cyclone Vardah slammed into the southern Indian tech hub of Chennai, bringing down houses and cutting off the electricity supply, authorities said Tuesday.

Most were crushed by trees uprooted in winds of up to 140 kilometres (87 miles) per hour, which also cut power across large swathes of southern India on Monday.

India’s meteorological department said Vardah, which forced the evacuation of 18,000 people, was the worst cyclonic storm to hit the capital of Tamil Nadu state in more than two decades.

“So far 10 people are confirmed dead. We will get reports from rural areas as the day progresses, but the worst is over,” said Abhishek Shandiyal, spokesman for the National Diaster Management Authority.

The cyclone was weakening as it moved inland, he added.

Television footage from Chennai, where huge floods last year killed at least 250 people, showed cars overturned by the strong winds and heavy rain.

The city is a centre for auto manufacturing and IT outsourcing.

It is also scheduled to host the fifth Test match between England and India starting Friday, now in doubt after the storm.

Team India said no decision had yet been taken about moving the Test.

Chennai international airport was shut for almost 12 hours but resumed operations on Tuesday, an airport official said. Train services have also partially resumed.

India’s eastern coast and neighbouring Bangladesh are routinely hit by severe storms between April and December that cause deaths and widespread property damage.

In 1999, more than 8,000 people were killed when a cyclone battered the eastern state of Orissa.

World’s Heaviest Woman Flies To India To Fight For Her Life

Eman Ahmed, from Egypt, is believed to be the world’s heaviest woman. According to her family, she weighs 1,102 pounds (500 kg).

“Eman didn’t live life as everyone does,” Shaimaa Ahmed, Eman’s younger sister and carer, says. “She didn’t enjoy her childhood or youth. She’s been battling with her illness for 36 years.”
According to her family, Eman has barely left her bedroom in over two decades. Unable to move or communicate, she spends her days trapped inside her family home, staring at the ceiling.
A stroke two years ago impaired her speech and mobility, so the last couple of years have been particularly difficult, Eman’s sister says.
However, thanks to a social media campaign initiated by Shaimaa, the family’s situation is now looking a little more hopeful.
Publicity surrounding Eman’s plight caught the attention of eminent Mumbai-based surgeon, Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala, who set up a fundraising initiative in order to fly Eman to India.
He plans to set in motion a series of operational procedures that will reduce her weight to below 220 pounds (100kg.)
“She is battling with her life every single day,” Dr. Lakdawala told CNN. He says that as things stand, how long she lives is anybody’s guess.
“Right now she is like a living bombshell, which could blow up on her any moment.”
According to Guinness World Records, the world’s heaviest living woman is Pauline Potter from the United States, who weighs 643 pounds (291.6 kg.)
Read More: CNN

Investigations begin into U.S. tourist’s gang-rape claim in Delhi hotel

Indian police have begun investigations after a U.S. tourist alleged she was raped by five men including a tourist guide in Delhi, officials said on Tuesday.

The woman, in her early 30s, was allegedly assaulted at a luxury hotel near the central business district of Connaught Place in April.

Police said the victim had returned home without lodging any complaint and contacted them through an NGO recently.

“We have registered a case of rape and launched investigations into the allegations.

“Our teams are making efforts to arrest the accused,’’ district police Chief Jatin Narwal said.

However, he did not give further details, saying it could hamper investigations in the case.

According to reports in the domestic media, the woman alleged that her tour guide had given her a spiked drink and later raped her with four acquaintances in the hotel room.

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said those guilty would be brought to justice.

“I have also asked the Indian ambassador in the U.S. to contact the victim and assure that we will not spare the guilty,’’ she said in a series of tweets posted earlier.

Sexual violence has been a focus of public attention in India since the fatal gang rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi in December 2012.

Activists say little has changed in attitudes towards sexual assault, and attacks on women continue unabated.

In July, a 25-year-old Israeli tourist was allegedly raped in a moving car in northern India.

In 2015, five men were sentenced to life for raping a Danish tourist in Delhi in 2014.

Senate summons Kachikwu over multibillion dollars China, India deals

The Senate has summoned the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, over his claims of multibillion dollars oil and gas deals with India and Chinese firms.


Mr. Kachikwu, in an interview with This Day in June, said Nigeria signed Memorandums of Understanding with several Chinese firms during a road show in the Asian country on “$80 billion new investments, spanning five years, in the oil and gas industry covering pipelines, refineries, gas and power, facility refurbishments and upstream financing.”


He also hinted at new investments worth $20 billion from Sinopec and Chinese National Offshore Oil Company in the Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.


In October, Mr. Kachikwu, through a statement by the Director of Press in the Petroleum Ministry, said Nigeria was set to sign with India an investment deal which would see the Indian make an upfront payment of $15 billion to Nigeria for crude purchases.


But on Tuesday, the Senate resolved the Minister should appear before its committees on petroleum, gas and foreign affairs to explain the terms of the deals and the their implications for the economy.


The Senate’s resolution followed a motion by Clifford Ordia (PDP-Edo).


In his remarks, Senate President Bukola Saraki expressed appreciation to Mr. Kachikwu for his initiatives but emphasised the need for transparency.

‘Sold Like Cows & Goats’, Read Shocking Insights Of India’s Slave Brides

The first time Muklesha was sold, she was just 12 years old. Her buyer was a man in his 70s.

Marriage and a baby quickly followed. But, three years later, the man died and Muklesha was again put up for sale.

This time, her buyer was a horrific abuser.

“He didn’t feed me. He’d take me to the fields and stuff my mouth with mud and then beat me,” she says.

Muklesha is one of thousands of India’s slave brides – girls and women sold into marriage, often destined for a lifetime of abuse and hardship, as this 101 East documentary reveals.

In India, sex-selective abortions and female infanticide, due to a preference for male babies, has created one of the most severe gender imbalances in the world.

Now, the shortage of women is generating a dangerous demand for brides among men desperate to marry, especially in states like Haryana, which has one of the country’s worst gender ratios.

Traffickers are stepping in to meet this demand, kidnapping women from other states and selling them to men in Haryana.

A survey of 10,000 households in this northern state found more than 9,000 married women had come from other states.

Al Jazeera discovered that some women living in villages in Haryana have been sold as many as three times.

The villagers call them “Paros”, a derogatory term implying they’ve been purchased.

Sanjida was trafficked to Haryana when she was just 10 years old. She says an older girl from a village near her family’s home in the north-eastern state of Assam drugged and kidnapped her.

“I was made to do field work, cut grass, feed cows, do all the work. I cried for a year. I was in captivity for four years,” she says.

She says she was then sold into marriage.

“I couldn’t run away or bring my life to an end. There was nobody whom I could ask for help,” she says.
But Sanjida was luckier than most other Indian women sold into marriage. She says her husband has always treated her well. Sanjida now works for an NGO helping other women.

“All people in Haryana are disrespectful towards women like us. Everybody says we have no self-respect … and that we are sold like cows and goats. We feel very bad when we hear all this because we are human beings and we belong to India, just like them,” she says.

Sanjida is now helping Muklesha, the girl first sold when she was 12, after she was rescued from her abusive husband.

Read More: aljazeera

SHAME: Rape Videos Are Being Sold In India

In this industrial northern state, you can buy footage of a woman being raped for the price of a cheap meal.

Al Jazeera found several videos that appeared to depict rape for sale across the state. They cost from Rs 20 to Rs 200 (30 cents to $3) and are transmitted to a customer’s mobile phone in a matter of seconds.

The faces of the women are visible in these films. Their voices are clear. The attacks on them are brutal.

In Meerut, a city in western Uttar Pradesh, an area mostly known for the manufacturing of sporting goods, local contacts indicated that the movie files, marketed as “rape videos”, were available in nearby villages.

With shopkeepers cautious about selling them to non-locals, one local man in the village of Incholi – roughly 15km from Meerut – agreed to buy one and show it to Al Jazeera.

Shahnawaz, who declined to use his real name, said that the videos are not generally made with the intention of being sold on the open market. Still, he’s heard a lot about them.

“They make it to blackmail the victims [of rape] … so that they don’t go and file a complaint in the nearest police station,” Shawnawaz explained.

Sometimes, he said, the videos are stolen from the perpetrator’s phone when he takes his device to a shop for repairs. The stolen footage is them sold to anyone who asks for it.

Most shopkeepers are careful to sell the videos only to locals, and generally deny any knowledge of them. Some, however, agreed to share explicit videos, including rape clips, with Al Jazeera.

One of them admitted that he had many such “local films”, as the videos are euphemistically referred to. There are watchwords in the trade – akin to a secret handshake – that let the sellers know that a customer seeks rape videos – as opposed to other pornography, which the kiosks also sell.

Once a rape video reaches one dealer, it spreads like wildfire, through applications such as WhatsApp, to other parts of the country. In fact, “WhatsApp sex videos” is one term used for rape videos in this part of the country.

In the village of Saharanpur in western Uttar Pradesh, one man who readily admitted that he frequently purchases pornography – particularly videos of rape – told Al Jazeera that he buys them from other nearby villages.

The videos he buys at shops and kiosks come mainly from other customers who sell the footage to the shopkeepers, he explained. He has a collection of these films on his laptop and described the rape footage as “pornography”.

He watches the videos, he said, because they give him “peace of mind”.

Read More:

Teen Dies After 68-Day Religious Fast In India

The 13-year-old girl in the southern Indian city of Secunderabad was unusually devout, her relatives said. Even in her younger years, Aradhana Samdhariya was known to undertake strict fasts from time to time to embrace her Jain faith.

Fasting is not uncommon for Jains, a centuries-old religious sect in India that embraces non-violence as its chief tenet. Jains practice strict vegetarianism and barefoot, white-robed Jain monks carry a small brush to swipe in front of them as they walk — lest they inadvertently kill a small creature.

Even among the faithful, Aradhana’s ritual was extreme, however. She died Oct. 3, not long after completing a 68-day religious fast allegedly supported by her parents, an affluent jeweler and his wife.
As she grew weaker, she was kept home from school, according to a report in the Indian Express newspaper. Her relatives dressed her in finery, praised her devotion and took selfies with her, reports said.

“We did not try to hide it from anyone. Everyone knew,” her grandfather, Manikchand Samdhariya, told the Indian Express.

The grandfather said that the devout girl was determined to fast and gave her parents a choice: either the extreme fast or permit her to take “diksha,” the Jain process of giving up ones’ earthly possessions and attachments in order to become a monk.

After her fast was complete, the Jain community celebrated her success in a grand ceremony, with banner advertisements of congratulations in local newspapers. The teen was “dressed up like a goddess” and driven through the streets of her community in a silver chariot, according to a report in Firstpost.

She collapsed and died of cardiac arrest shortly after. Hundreds then attended her funeral. After a local child welfare organization filed a complaint, police launched an investigation and the girl’s parents charged with culpable homicide and a violation of the juvenile justice act Sunday, police said.

The family has denied she was forced or coerced into the fast.

“The same people who came and appreciated that your daughter is doing something great are now saying, ‘You starved her to death,’” the child’s father, Lakshmichand Samdhariya, told Firstpost.

Credit: washingtonpost


Shaping Nigeria’s Future is Your Responsibility – India Tells FG

The Vice-President of the Republic of India, Mohammed Hamid, yesterday at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), charged the federal government to recognise its enormous responsibilities in shaping the future of the country.

Hamid, who stated this in a lecture at the University of Lagos, entitled Legacy of Indian Freedom Movement,’ said: “Nigeria and India, as large developing countries with multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual societies, have enormous responsibilities within their countries and in shaping the future of their region and beyond.

“Our youth, with 60% Nigerians under the age of 25 years and more than two-thirds of India’s 1 .2 billion population under the age of 35 years, are our strength. We have a great opportunity to work together to channelize this demographic dividend.”

He disclosed that Nigerian youths in India were contributory and constituting their strength, considering their size.

Hamid, who urged the youths to have a sense of history, said that natural experiences could have relevance beyond borders in a fast shrinking world.

According to him, legacies do endure but no legacy, however, strong can last forever, adding that legacy tended to erode and become irrelevant unless reinforced and developed.

‘’Youth should know that the environment that encourages their aspirations was built on the sacrifice and toil of others before them,’’ he said.

He further charged youths to emulate the legacies of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi of India, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Aminu Kano of Nigeria who positively influenced their generations.

He said: ‘’India was blessed that a set of people of incredible talent and wisdom graced the period marking our struggle.

‘’The possessed moral integrity of the highest order; the tallest among them was Mohanda Karamchand Gandhi, whose singular efforts transformed the struggle from a campaign by the elites into a true mass movement.’’

India To Invest $5bn In Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed the proposed investment of $5billion in the Nigerian economy by the business delegation that accompanied the Vice President of India, noting that India had already invested $10 billion in the economy.

According to a statement by his senior special assistant on media, Garba Shehu, President Buhari said Nigeria will continue to expand its relationship with India in the areas of health, education, agriculture, technology and trade.

Receiving the Indian Vice President, Mohammad Hamid Ansari, at the State House, President Buhari said Nigeria had over the years benefited from the cooperation of the Asian country in trade and investment, agriculture, technology and the fight against terrorism.

President Buhari said Nigeria would emulate the Asian country’s agricultural model and capacity to feed its one billion population, and also export to other countries, describing the country as “sustainable and prosperous’’.

The President noted that Nigeria would continue to support the reform of the United Nations Security Council, pointing out that it was unfair on the rest of the world for five countries to exercise power of ‘‘yes or no’’ in the UN.

In his remarks, the Indian Vice President said his country, which is the leading buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil, will increase its purchase of the commodity in addition to natural gas.

According to him, the relationship between Nigeria and India is near perfect as both countries ‘‘have nothing to quarrel about’’.

Buhari Welcomes $5bn Investment From India

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday welcomed the proposed five billion dollars investment in Nigeria by visiting Indian business delegation, led by Indian Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

According to a statement issued by Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, the President made the remark when he received Ansari at the State House, Abuja.

Shehu quoted Buhari as saying “India has already invested 10 billion dollars in the Nigerian economy.

“Nigeria will continue to deepen its relationship with India in the areas of health, education, agriculture, technology and trade.”

The President also said Nigeria had over the years benefited from the cooperation of the Asian country in trade and investment, agriculture, technology and the fight against terrorism.

According to him, Nigeria will emulate India’s agricultural model and capacity to feed its one billion population, and also export to other countries, describing the country as “sustainable and prosperous’’.

President Buhari noted that Nigeria would continue to support the reform of the UN Security Council, pointing out that it was unfair on the rest of the world for five countries to exercise power of ‘‘yes or no’’ in the UN.

In his remarks, the Indian Vice-President said that his country, which was the leading buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil, would increase its purchase of the commodity in addition to natural gas.

He said the relationship between Nigeria and India was near perfect as both countries ‘‘have nothing to quarrel about.”


The Fertility Industry In India & Stigmatization Of Childless Women

Pregnancy and childbirth take a toll at any age, but Rajo Devi Lohan has struggled to regain her health more than most other women since becoming a mother.

After she had given birth eight years ago, the Indian woman was diagnosed with cancer. She has had three operations to repair a ruptured uterus and to remove tumours, many rounds of chemotherapy, and still suffers from stomach pain.

Lohan was 70 years old when she gave birth in 2008, becoming the oldest mother in the world at that time.

“The doctor didn’t tell me anything about the dangers and I never felt that there was any danger,” Lohan says.

A doctor who is now treating Lohan believes that her health problems could have been caused by fertility treatment and pregnancy.

Stories of elderly women having babies in India have made international headlines in recent years, including a 72-year-old who set a new world record when she gave birth in April.

But the ethics surrounding such births are increasingly coming under attack.

Critics insist that doctors, eager for fame and fortune, are putting lives at risk – from the elderly mothers and the young women who provide donor eggs, to the children themselves.

At least two young Indian women have died after donating eggs.

The first IVF baby was born in India almost 40 years ago. Since then, the industry has exploded, with IVF clinics opening up across the country.

Couples of all ages have flocked to fertility specialists in the hope of having a baby and shaking off the stigma associated with being childless in India, the world’s most populous country.

Al Jazeera travelled to the northern Indian town of Hisar and visited the National Fertility and Test Tube Baby Centre, the clinic that has helped create babies for some of the world’s oldest mothers.

The son of Daljinder Kaur, who gave birth in April at the age of 72, was created there.

Kaur had been married for 46 years before she and her 79-year-old husband became parents to baby Armaan, which means “hope”.

While Kaur considers her son a miracle from God, the man responsible for his birth is Dr Anurag Bishnoi. The embryologist claims to have helped more than 100 women over the age of 50 become pregnant.

“If men can have children into their 60s and 70s, why shouldn’t women be able to?” he asks.

Bishnoi insists his older patients must pass rigorous health checks before starting IVF treatment.

“We don’t see much of a risk as far as middle-aged and older ones are concerned,” he says.

Others disagree, arguing that age limits on who can access fertility treatment are urgently needed to protect women’s health.

“Seventy-two is not the right age to have a baby,” says Dr Narendra Malhotra, president of the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction. “Getting a 72-year-old pregnant is putting her life in jeopardy.”

Malhotra accuses Bishnoi of “playing God”. He says even though science can help women give birth at any age, “it is for society to decide whether we are going to let scientists do things … which are unethical or which put the patient and the child to great harm.”

While the elderly mothers attract the headlines, the other crucial players in this industry are largely invisible – the young women who donate their eggs. Without them, India’s record-breaking births would not be possible.

An agent tells Al Jazeera that he and his colleagues can easily recruit many egg donors.

“There are no complications in this procedure at all, so my agents tell other ladies that we pay a handsome amount for egg donations,” says Subhas Chandra. “If someone works in a factory they earn less than $75 a month but we can pay $525 for the 10-day process.”

But, for some women, the true cost of being an egg donor can be much greater – the procedure can claim their life.

Read More: aljazeera

India Minister Warns Foreign Visitors Against Wearing Skirts In Public

India’s culture minister has been criticised after saying that the government was advising foreign tourists not to wear skirts in India.


Mahesh Sharma said “a list of dos and don’ts” given to tourists at airports also advised them not to venture out alone at night in small towns.


He later clarified that he was speaking “in the context of religious places”, and that he spoke out of “concern”.


Mr Sharma has also been criticised in the past for controversial comments.


He’s often made provocative statements blaming “westernisation” for India’s ills and last year, he said “nights out for girls was not part of Indian culture”.


His latest offending remark was made on Sunday when he told reporters that tourists were being handed a “welcome kit” at the airport which contains a card with “a list of dos and don’ts”.


“It has instructions like if they are in small cities, they should not roam around alone at night or wear skirts… They should take a picture of the car they are travelling in and send it to a friend as precaution.”


On being asked by reporters if he was suggesting a dress code for visiting women, the minister said India was a “cultural country” and “we have a different dress code for temples. Kindly keep that in mind while dressing up”.

Olushola Ibitayo, Spinal Injury Patient Calls On Nigerians For Help.

My names are OLUSHOLA IBITAYO a spinal injury patient, as seen in different photos, am 26 year old, a student of the ekiti state university (eksu) studying business administration. am pleading and appealing to you to please help/support me in raising the sum of #3.2 million naira required for my second spinal surgery in India at the Artemis Health Institute Sector 51, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana, India

My mobile number is 08166090656 you can call me for any information you need to know about me


Account number: 2039676241,
United bank of Africa (UBA)

Shola Ibitayo

I have been on wheel chair going through pains for the past three years since i was injured in an accident along the popular Benin Lagos express road by ovia river Edo state.

I was on my way back from Lagos, going to the city of Benin in Edo state on April 25, 2013 when the car i was travelling in rolled of the road into the bush leaving me with a spinal injury and i undergo a major surgery behind my neck down to my back.

I was first treated at Oreste medical center and later underwent a surgery at the university of Benin teaching hospital (Ubth) under the care of Dr udor and Dr azeez where a screw bolt was screwed into my skull with a rope tied on it holding a metal bucket filled with stones to stabilize my spine.

“After the surgery i stayed at the Hospital for about a month and was discharged to be undergoing physiotherapy,”

My father and siblings met the physiotherapy costs as well as the buying of adult diapers and weekly changing of a urinal catheter until they were unable to raise the required amount and stopped taking me to the physiotherapy session.

“During the second year I called for help from family and friends and they started carrying me to churches, herbal homes and bone setters believing God for a miracle for me to be on my feet again.

Last year, my family ran out of funds and even the extended family and friends were unable to raise more money.

My family has been struggling with purchasing diapers as my father business has run down and my siblings who are running a small businesses hardly earn enough money required for my upkeep.


Shola Ibitayo2

“We have exhausted all avenues of fund raising and have come out to ask good Samaritans to help me so that the second surgery to finally correct the wrong in my spine and help me regain my ability to move with support and at least visit the toilet hence reducing the diaper budget,”

My family has obtained a quote from the Artemis Health Institute Sector 51, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana, India which indicates that the xrays, drugs, tests and surgery will cost #1.5 million naira.

“When we calculated the physiotherapy required after the surgery plus other expenses while in India we came to a figure of #1.7million naira which make up round figure of #3.2 million naira.

But we are still looking for a cheaper option,”


#HelpSeun: Stranded In India After Successful Kidney Transplant, Seun Adeyemi Needs Your Help

On Wednesday, 16 March, 2016, the Punch Newspaper published the story of Mr Peter Seun Adeyemi asking well-meaning Nigerians for financial assistance to undergo a surgery abroad. Mr Peter Seun Adeyemi is a 38-year-old Applied Chemical Scientist married with two lovely kids.
In September 2014, Seun felt there was a need for him to go for a medical check-up at Gbagada General Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria not knowing this would mark the beginning of another phase in his life, at the hospital he was diagnosed of Chronic Renal Failure (popularly known as Kidney Failure) where he was immediately prescribed necessary medications.
Sadly, in July 2015, the General Hospital at Gbagada, Lagos, Nigeria later confirmed that his condition had deteriorated and the only way to save his life was through a kidney transplant (i.e. a surgery to change his kidney) as the two kidneys were completely damaged.
Due to his critical and terminal condition, he was required to fly to India for treatment, unfortunately, his family could not raise the funds needed for the treatment and the trip, therefore, pending the time they would source for the money and donor and secure the Visa to travel to India, he began dialysis at Dialyzer Specialist Hospital, Arowojobe, Lagos, Nigeria. His family had to pay (millions of naira) through their nose for the dialysis which ran for three sessions per week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) and lasted till 15, February, 2016.
Unable to find a donor, Seun’s kind and generous 69-year-old father decided to donate his kidney in order to save his son’s life. With the support of family, friends and well-meaning Nigerians and organizations (including The Punch Newspaper), out of the USD28,000 needed for the entire trip to India for treatment, USD18,000 was raised and immediately deposited at the hospital. This catered for preliminary investigations, screenings and operations.
After the initial operation (which lasted for two days), Seun and the kind father developed complications. The father had to receive further treatment, and for a longer period, before he could be stabilized while Seun had to undergo new rounds of surgery. Fortunately, after the numerous surgeries, their conditions stabilized and they have been recuperating ever since. The father returned lately to Nigeria leaving Seun with his younger brother, Segun Adeyemi, who also serves as the Chaperon in India.
The new surgeries conducted led to extra charge by the hospital and in addition to the initial USD10,000 owed at the hospital, an extra USD21,000 has been incurred which brings the total amount of debt owed to the hospital to ?2,073,397 rupees (USD31,000 / N10,000,000) as at 8 August 2016. Due to their financial inability to make the outstanding payment, they have been unable to fly back to Nigeria, as a matter of fact, their visas have expired and have been quizzed by the Police, but the hospital will not discharge them until they offset all medical bills.
Sadly, the longer they stay there, the higher the bill accrues and it is for this reason that they are appealing to well-meaning Nigerians to support them financially in making the outstanding payment needed at the hospital so they can return to Nigeria and Seun can continue a peaceful recovery process.
Segun Adeyemi, who is currently with Seun in India, can be reached on +918268696181
Thank you as you express your generosity and we pray that God will bless you richly and you will not have any cause to experience this kind of dilemma in life.

Below are the bank details of Mr Seun Adeyemi 
Bank: FirstBank Plc
Acct No: 2011052296
Also, find below the details of the hospital where they have been admitted for verification purposes.
Global Hospitals, Dr Borges Road, Parel, Mumbai, India
Mobil: +917506403832
Email: international.mumbai@

FG Gets $100m Loan From India For Power

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday welcomed the $100 million credit facility from India for Nigeria’s power sector.
Speaking at the State House Abuja yesterday while receiving a delegation led by Indian High Commissioner in Nigeria Nagabhushana Reddy, Osinbajo called for more active engagement between both countries.

He said there were opportunities in agriculture and technology for Nigeria and India, noting that diplomatic and economic relationship between both countries had been extremely good.
The vice president said the federal government expected to achieve a 50 percent target reliance on renewable energy for the power sector by 2020.
“We are doing some expandable work in solar energy adding about 1000MW of solar. We are looking at 50% reliance on renewable energy sources by 2020. The Buhari Presidency is determined to improve access to electricity for our people,” he said.
In his remarks, Reddy said his country supported President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s economic plan.

Credit:  dailytrust

Many Feared Dead In Flyover Collapse In India

Many people were feared dead on Thursday after a flyover under construction collapsed in a congested area of eastern Indian metropolis of Kolkata, a report said.

Cars and rickshaws parked under the bridge were crushed and people trapped, the report said.

“Monumental tragedy, rescue operations on, many feared dead,” said a lawmaker, Derek O’Brien, member of the Trinamool Congress party that governs West Bengal state of which Kolkata is capital.

“Two units of the National Disaster Response Force were being rushed to the site.

“Heavy cranes were being used to lift debris.

“We do not have figures of how many people have died, but at least 20 injured people have been admitted to nearby hospitals,” an official at the Kolkata Police control room said.

The flyover passed close to houses and shops in an extremely congested area in the northern part of the metropolis.


Elephant Kills Man After Straying Into Indian Village

due to the destruction of natural habitat. One such encounter ended in tragedy when two elephants strayed into the village in Burdwan district in India after being separated from their herd.

They wrecked havoc in a nearby field destroying crops before one of them caught a man who came too close and flung him in the air before trampling him to death. Villagers tried unsuccessfully to help
the man and chase the animals away. See more photos after the cut…

Hindu Cow Activists Drink Pesticide In India, One Dies

Eight Hindu cow rights activists drank pesticide as part of a protest in India calling for the animals to be given greater protection, with one protester dying of his injuries, police said.

The “gau bhakt”, or cow worshippers, consumed the poison at a rally outside a government office in western Gujarat state Thursday.

They were protesting at what they say is the ongoing slaughter of cows, considered sacred by India’s large Hindu population, despite a widespread ban on killing the animals.

“These men had come with bottles of poisonous substance and consumed a small portion in front of the collectors office”, Manish Nakum, a police inspector investigating the case, told AFP.

“All were rushed to the government hospital where one of them, identified as Gabhru Bharwad, 40, died during treatment in the evening?,” he said.

Nakum said he did not believe the men, who drank a mild pesticide used on cotton plants, intended to commit suicide.

Cow slaughter and the consumption of beef are banned in Gujarat and several other states in officially secular India.

But the activists claim cows are still being killed illegally and want cows to be given the special status of “rashtra mata” (“mother of the nation”).

Four of the protesters, aged in their twenties and thirties, were moved to a private hospital after their condition deteriorated, police said.

Dhaval Pandya, who participated in the protest in Rajkot city but did not drink pesticide, told reporters that cow slaughter was rampant in India.

“So to protect cows, which are holy to us like gods, we need to declare it as the mother of the nation,” he said.

Around 27 members of the same group also tried to block roads in Rajkot, but were detained, police said.

Around 80 percent of India’s 1.2 billion population is Hindu, but it is also home to large numbers of Muslims, Christians and Buddhists.

A spate of attacks on secular intellectuals and Muslims suspected of killing cows have heightened concerns of mounting intolerance under rightwing nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-year-old government.

Credit: Guardian

Eight Killed As Earthquake Hits India

At least eight people were killed and scores injured Monday when a strong 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck northeast India, sending panicked residents fleeing into the streets even hundreds of kilometres away in Bangladesh.

Five were killed in India, the government said, while three people died in Bangladesh after suffering strokes or heart attacks following the early-morning quake.

Anurag Gupta of India’s National Disaster Management Authority said buildings had been damaged in Imphal, capital of Manipur state where the quake centred.

“Five people are confirmed dead and 33 have been injured in Imphal. A six-storey building in the capital was partially damaged and some small structures have also developed cracks,” he told AFP.

An official at one of the main hospitals in Imphal however said more than 50 people had been admitted since the quake with head injuries and limb fractures.

Imphal resident Deepak Shijagurumayum whose house was severely damaged described scenes of chaos after the quake.

“Almost everyone was asleep when it struck and were thrown out of their beds,” Shijagurumayum toldAFP by telephone from the city.

“People were crying and praying in the streets and in open spaces. Hundreds remained outdoors for several hours fearing aftershocks.”

The US Geological Survey said the quake hit at 4:35 am (2305 GMT Sunday) 29 kilometres (18 miles) west-northwest of Imphal.

The Press Trust of India news agency said buildings had collapsed near the epicentre and the electricity supply had been cut in parts of Manipur, which borders Myanmar and has a long history of separatist unrest.

Nearly 60 victims were being treated for their injuries in hospitals in Bangladesh, where the earthquake triggered panic on the streets of major cities.

One 23-year-old Bangladeshi man died after suffering a stroke when he ran out of his house, while another two people — a farmer and a university official — died of heart attacks, police said.

One of the wounded was a university student who jumped from a fourth-floor balcony and was in a critical condition.

There were similar scenes in the northeast Indian city of Guwahati, the main commercial city of the mineral-rich state of Assam, where an AFP correspondent said residents were “in a state of shock” after being woken by the shaking.


India Bans James Bond Movie, Spectre, Over Long Kissing Scenes

The Mumbai-based Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has reined in the fictional British spy’s famously lusty romantic life by cutting the length of two passionate embrace scenes, its chairperson told AFP.

“We have reduced them,” CBFC head Pahlaj Nihalani said, referring to separate kissing scenes between Daniel Craig, who plays Bond, and his co-stars Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux. “Our work is for censoring the movie according to the rating of the film so we have done that,” Nihalani said of “Spectre”, which hits screens in India on Friday.

Nihalani said the film had been given an unrestricted adult rating, which means parental guidance is required for children under 12 years old. A source at Sony Pictures Entertainment confirmed to newsmen that the edits had been made. “Two kissing scenes have been reduced by a few seconds,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding that two swear words had also been deleted.

Nihalani said the film’s promoters had the right to object to the edits but had not done so. However, It’s the country that gave the world the Kama Sutra.

Credit: Vanguard

Buhari Receives Portrait From Nigerian Community In India

President Buhari was honoured by the Nigerian community in India with a lovely portrait of the president wearing the Igbo attire.

Received by the Nigerian community in India, earlier today, President Buhari explained to Nigerians living in India why he is fighting corruption. Read report here and see photos of the event below.

Why I Am Fighting Corruption, Buhari To Members Of Nigerian Community In India

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his main target for fighting corruption was to stop corrupt individuals from seeking to occupy public offices for selfish gains.

This is even as he stated that his government would not relent in the current anti-corruption war, stressing it would continue to many years.

According to him, the prosecution of alleged criminals would serve as a deterrent to others, stating that he was committed to curbing corruption, plugging all loopholes in public sector accounting and deploying available resources for the good of all Nigerians.

The president spoke, Wednesday, during a meeting with members of the Nigerian community in New Delhi, India where he is attending the 3rd Summit of the India and African Nations.

President Buhari also prioritized the recovery of looted funds, saying he was conscious of the devastating consequences of the illegal diversion of public resources meant for national development into private bank accounts.

He said: “The anti-corruption campaign will be on-going for many years. We are committed to the enthronement of good governance that plugs the loopholes in public sector accounting, and the use of scarce resources for public good.

“We are determined to demonstrate exemplary leadership that will make our citizens to change their ways in a manner that lays a solid foundation for reconstruction and development.

“I am confident that our approach to fighting corruption through value re-orientation, improved internal processes and systems and the rule of law, as well as enhancing the capacity of the various anti-corruption agencies and institutions will prove more enduring in addressing this evil.

“In the meantime, we will continue to prosecute those who have been indicted for corrupt practices and ensure that stolen funds are recovered, to serve as deterrence to others who nurse the ambition of seeking public office solely for illegal personal gain”.

Credit: Vanguard

Afghanistan-Pakistan Earthquake Leaves Hundreds Dead

More than 260 people have died, mostly in Pakistan, after a magnitude-7.5 earthquake hit north-eastern Afghanistan.

Tremors from the quake were also felt in northern India and Tajikistan.

At least 12 of the victims were Afghan schoolgirls killed in a crush as they tried to get out of their building.

The earthquake was centred in the mountainous Hindu Kush region, 76km (45 miles) south of Faizabad, the US Geological Survey reported.

The death toll is set to rise as the most severely affected areas are very remote and communications have been cut off.

A girl injured in the earthquake receives medical treatment at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan (26 October 2015)Image copyrightEPA
Image captionThis girl was among those being treated at a hospital in Peshawar, in Pakistan
The abandoned shoes of Afghan schoolgirls involved in a deadly stampede are seen outside a school following an earthquake in Takhar Province (October 26, 2015)Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe shoes of Afghan girls involved in a deadly stampede at their school in Takhar Province were left outside their building

In Pakistan, the death toll has risen to at least 214, in the northern mountainous areas.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province alone, authorities said at least 179 people were known to have died, and more than 1,800 were injured.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is cutting short a visit abroad and returning home.

Sunnatullah Timour, a spokesman for the governor of the Afghan province of Takhar, told the BBC that as well as the fatalities at the girls’ school, another 25 students were injured in the stampede.

Deaths and injuries have also been reported in the Afghan provinces of Nangarhar, Badakhshan and Kunar, with at least 52 killed in total.

Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah tweeted that the government had asked aid agencies to work with it to help those in need.

As it happened: Afghan earthquake

Injured brought to hospital in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, October 26, 2015Image copyrightReuters
Image captionInjured people were brought to a hospital in Jalalabad, Afghanistan
An Afghan repairs his roof damaged in an earthquake, in Badakhshan, Afghanistan (26 October 2015)Image copyrightEPA
Image captionThese buildings in Afghanistan’s Badakshan province, near the epicentre, were damaged

However as the earthquake originated more than 200km (125 miles) below the earth’s surface, the damage is less than that which a similarly powerful but shallow tremor might cause.

In the city of Karimabad, in Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan, a witness who gave his name as Anas told the BBC that the quake had sent a landslide crashing into the Hunza river.

“At first it was as if someone was shaking us. There were about 20 of us and we just held on to each other,” he said.

“Right after that we saw a major landslide. Some people say it was a glacier that came down, some people say it was a hill. It fell right in front of our eyes.”

Pakistan Geological Survey head Imran Khan told the BBC there were reports of landslides disrupting the Karakoram highway between Gilgit and Baltistan. However, he said it was too early to say if any glaciers were destabilised by the quake.

A picture shows a landslide in Pakistan's northern Hunza valley following an earthquake (26 October 2015)Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe earthquake triggered a landslide in Pakistan’s northern Hunza valley

Analysis by Jonathan Webb, BBC News science reporter

Even at its revised magnitude of 7.5, this was a powerful tremor. Around the world only about 20 quakes each year, on average, measure greater than 7.0.

But its focus was deep – much further below the surface than the 7.8 quake which brought widespread destruction to eastern Nepal in April. That event was only 8km deep and was followed in early May by an aftershock with magnitude 7.3.

Similarly, the devastating 2005 Kashmir earthquake was magnitude 7.6 and just 26km deep. Today’s quake, at a depth of more than 200km, appears to have caused widespread but less severe ground shaking.

FG Writes India Over Nigerian ISIS Suspects

The Nigerian embassy in Delhi, India, has written to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to see the two Nigerians that were arrested in Punjab recently while on their way to Pakistan, allegedly to join the Islamic State terrorist group.

The two youths from Kano, identified as Imran Kabeer and Sani Jamiliu, are currently being detained by the Punjab Police in India.

The spokesman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ogbole Ahmedu-Ode, confirmed that the Nigerian embassy officials had applied to see the suspects to “ascertain their claim of Nigerian nationality.”

“Our embassy in India has applied for consular access to see the boys so that we can ascertain their claim of Nigerian nationality,” he said.

Read More: punchng

India Blocks Pornographic Websites

The Indian government on Monday in New Delhi, told internet service providers and telecom operators in the country to block 857 pornographic websites.

The directive came after the Supreme Court in July expressed concern, over the Home Ministry’s failure to block websites, featuring child pornography.

An official said on the condition of anonymity that the original petition, which led to the Supreme Court response in June argued that crimes against women and children were influenced by the proliferation of porn sites.

The official said the move was not a ban since several such websites were still available, and also through Virtual Private Networks and proxy servers.

“This is an interim measure as the government contemplates building up a regulatory framework, which could include various measures, including mass awareness”, the source said.

Telecom executives told local media it would take a few days to block all the websites.
Meanwhile, some users complained that the conservative and prudish move by the Hindu nationalist government ran counter to the Supreme Court’s position protecting the right of adults to access the internet.

“Watching porn is legal in India, although distribution and sale of pornographic material is illegal”, one of the users said.

Local media cited data from Pornhub, one of the world’s largest porn content providers as saying Indians were among the most “prolific consumers” of internet porn, accounting for 40 per cent of its 14.2 billion visits.

Indian filmmaker, Ram Gopal Varma, said that given its level of popularity, any government that embraced a ban on pornography would lose the next election.
“To ban porn, saying it will be seen by who shouldn’t see it, is like saying to stop traffic because there will be accidents”, he said.

Credit: NAN

India Appoints Minister Of Yoga

Living up to his promise to promote India’s therapeutic traditions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi created a ministry of yoga and alternative therapies for the country this week.

Reuters reports that the AAYUSH portfolio will include traditional medicines and practices of ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha and homeopathy. Shripad Yesso Naik was appointed to head the ministry.

“This is our system and it has not received enough prominence. We will take it to the masses,” Naik said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

 India’s prime minister is known as an avid yoga fan.

Modi used his September address to the United Nations General Assembly to promote the practice and call on member countries to mark June 21 as International Yoga Day.

“Yoga should not be just an exercise for us, but it should be a means to get connected with the world and with nature,” Modi said at the U.N. “It should bring a change in our lifestyle and create awareness in us, and it can help fighting against climate change.”

India’s mission to the U.N. has started preparing a draft resolution on the topic of International Yoga Day and will push for its adoption by the end of the year. So far, the resolution has received support from countries like the United States, China, Nepal, Bhutan and Canada.

The formation of the AAYUSH ministry is part of a major cabinet reshuffle in which Modi added 21 ministers to his government. In a key shift, his reforms include the separation of the finance and defense portfolios.

Credit: Huffington Post

Malala Feels “More Powerful and Courageous”

After becoming the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai urged children to “stand up for their rights”.

Malala dedicating the award to “all those children who are voiceless”, she said: “My message to children around the world is; stand up for your rights and that she was “honoured” to receive the award, saying it made her feel “more powerful and courageous”.

She also said she was “really happy to be sharing this award with a person from India”, before joking that she couldn’t pronounce Mr Satyarthi’s surname.

She said she and Mr Satyarthi had decided to invite Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to the award ceremony in December in Oslo in a bid to improve relations between the two.

She went further to thank her father for “not clipping her wings” and said she was proud to have shown that “a girl is not supposed to be a slave”.

She will receive a medal and $1.4m (£860,000) pounds in prize money.

Speaking at a news conference in Birmingham, UK, where she now lives, she revealed she found out the news after being called out of her chemistry class at school. Despite her excitement, she said she attended her afternoon lessons in physics and English.

Heaviest Rain Kill Over 100 in India & Pakistan

A Pakistani man uses a rope while he wades through a flooded field beside his house following heavy rain in Pindi Bhattian

The heaviest rains said to fall on Kashmir in 50 years caught Indian and Pakistani authorities off guard, with criticism of their disaster preparedness growing on Tuesday as the number of dead hit 420 and thousands remained trapped on rooftops.

On the Indian side of the heavily militarized de facto border that divides the Himalayan region, more than 2,000 villages and the city of Srinagar were submerged.

A senior official of National Disaster Response Force said in New Delhi, that “the damage is shocking, people have been stranded on rooftops of their homes for the last three days in some parts of Kashmir.” The official, who requested anonymity, said he would have deployed disaster response teams in Kashmir before the floods if his office had been given accurate weather predictions.

He said, “we were all caught off guard because there was not a single warning issued by the weather office. The flash floods took us by surprise.”

India’s metrological department forecast heavy rains in Kashmir last week, but the Central Water Commission, which issues flood advisories, has been criticized by Indian media for not warning the state.

A massive rescue operation led by the military was under way in both countries. Some 22,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in India, where 217 have so far been reported dead.

The flooding is the first major humanitarian emergency under new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who called it a “national disaster”. It comes at a difficult time for Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has faced weeks of street protests aimed at forcing his resignation.

S. A Denies Dalai Lama Visa Again


South Africa has denied a visa to the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader. This constitutes the third time in five years, said one of his representatives on Thursday.

The Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India and is at loggerheads with China over Tibet, had been hoping to join a Nobel peace conference in Cape Town next month but withdrew his visa application after being told it would be unsuccessful.

The South African foreign ministry confirmed that its High Commission in India had received a visa application but denied it had been rejected, saying it was being subjected to “normal due process”. It then said the Dalai Lama had canceled his trip and did not provide details.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang thanked South Africa for its “support” saying,

“China highly appreciates the respect given by the South African government on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the support given to China on this issue…,We believe that South Africa will continue to support China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” He said, adding that the Dalai Lama had “destroyed” China’s ethnic unity “under the guise of religion”.