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CBI arrests 3 in Pollachi sexual harassment case




In a major development in the Pollachi sexual harassment case in Tamil Nadu, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested three persons, allegedly involved in the crime.

According to CBI sources, the three accused will be produced before a court on Wednesday.

In April last year, the CBI had registered two cases and started investigation in the case in which a college girl alleged that two of her friends along with their two other associates sexually assaulted her and clicked a video, threatening to upload it on the internet.

The first FIR in the case is based on the sexual harassment and snatching of gold chain reported in Coimbatore district on February 12. The second FIR is related to the assault on the victim’s brother on February 26.

The victim on February 24 last year complained to Tamil Nadu Police that Thirunavukarasu, Sabarirajan, Satheesh and Vasanthakumar forcibly removed the clothes from her upper body parts in a car and clicked a video, the CBI FIR said.

As per the FIR, the victim alleged that they also snatched her gold chain and forced her to make physical relations with them, and also threatened her with uploading the video on the internet.

The second FIR is based on the statement of the victim’s brother, who had complained to the Tamil Nadu Police that Senthil, Babu, Mani and Vasanthakumar on February 26 last year, two days after his sister lodged a complaint, assaulted him when he was going on a two-wheeler near his house in Pollachi.

The agency registered the FIRs in April last year under various charges, including sexual harassment, assault or use of criminal force on woman, sections related to the IT Act and criminal intimidation.

In the two first FIRs, the CBI named eight persons identified as Sabarirajan, Thirunavukarasu, Satheesh, Vasanthakumar, Senthil, Babu, Mani and Vasanthakumar.

Earlier, Tamil Nadu Police registered two separate cases — one on February 24 and other on February 26 last year.

The CBI took over the cases on the direction of the Centre following a request from the Tamil Nadu government.


Supreme Court: Porn content on OTT platforms, ‘need screening’




The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed displeasure on streaming of films on web platforms without any prior screening of the content and also cited some films having pornographic content.

The observation was made by the top court during the hearing of a plea by Amazon Prime Video India head Aparna Purohit against Allahabad High Court order, which declined to entertain her anticipatory bail in connection with the FIRs lodged against her over the web series ‘Tandav’.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said: “There should be some screening (of content on web platforms). There is pornography in some films.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, said some programs have filthy abuses.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Purohit, contended this “as a matter of free speech” and cited that his client is not the producer of the show, instead an employee of the company which is streaming the web series Tandav.

Justice Bhushan replied that a balance needs to be struck in such matters and reiterated there should be some screening by somebody.

The top court indicated that there should be a body like censor board which screens the films.

A counsel in the matter informed the top court that the government has recently notified OTT guidelines. The top court scheduled the matter for further hearing on Friday.

In January, the top court refused to grant interim protection to Tandav crew from any coercive action and had asked them to move the concerned courts to seek bail in the matter.

Purohit has been accused of inappropriate depiction of Hindu deities, Uttar Pradesh Police personnel and for adverse portrayal of a character in the role of prime minister in the web series.

On February 25, the Allahabad High Court declined to grant her anticipatory bail in the matter. The high court had observed, “Western filmmakers have refrained from ridiculing Lord Jesus or the Prophet but Hindi filmmakers have done this repeatedly and are still doing this most unabashedly with Hindu gods and goddesses”.

One Balbir Azad lodged an FIR on January 19, 2021, at Rabupura police station of Greater Noida.

Azad had alleged that the web series had deliberately denigrated Hindu gods and goddesses and depicted Uttar Pradesh and its police in a poor light.

Several other FIRs have also been lodged in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar and Delhi against the web series. ‘Tandav’, a nine-episode political thriller starring Bollywood A-listers Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, started streaming recently on Amazon.

The top court on Friday saying will see the new OTT guidelines issued by the Centre.

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Armed robbers strike in 3 Bihar districts, loot Rs 21L




Armed robbers looted over Rs 21 lakh in three separate incidents in Bihar’s Champaran, Samastipur and Begusarai districts, within a span of 48 hours.

Around four masked men looted over Rs 10 lakh at gunpoint from a microfinancing firm in Motihari town of East Champaran district on Wednesday.

N.C. Jha, SP of East Champaran, said: “The robbers executed the crime at gunpoint and took away Rs 10,95,975 from the counter of the finance company after it was opened at 8:30 am.”

“We are examining the CCTV footage of the company to gather evidence about the identity of the accused. We have also raided multiple possible hideouts,” Jha said.

In another incident in Samastipur district, three unidentified men struck at the Jitwapur’s SBI branch and decamped with Rs 5 lakh cash.

On Tuesday, four assailants looted Rs 6 lakh from UCO bank branch in Begusarai district.

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Men involved in UP jailer’s murder killed




The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) has shot dead in an encounter in Prayagraj district two criminals allegedly involved in the 2013 murder of a then deputy jailer.

Both were members of the Munna Bajrangi gang and notorious sharpshooter Dilip Mishra gang. They killed in the encounter on Wednesday night in Arail locality of Naini neighbourhood.

A 30mm and a 9mm pistol, live cartridge and a motorcycle have been recovered from the spot where the encounter took place.

Deputy Jailer Anil Kumar Tyagi was killed in 2013 allegedly at the behest of gangsters Munna Bajrangi and Mukhtar Ansari, police said.

The two criminals have been identified as Vakeel Pandey a.k.a Rajeev Pandey and H.S. Amjad a.k.a Pintu.

Navendu Singh, Circle Officer, STF, said, “Two criminals died in an encounter at Arail in Prayagraj. Both the criminals hailed from the Bhadohi district of Uttar Pradesh.

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