QBullet: Kerala Nun Rape Case Witness Dead; DSP Held in CBI Probe
Father Kuriakose Kattuthara (L), one of the prime witnesses who had testified against rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal (R), was found dead in Jalandhar on Monday, 22 October.
Father Kuriakose Kattuthara (L), one of the prime witnesses who had testified against rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal (R), was found dead in Jalandhar on Monday, 22 October.(Photo: Arnica Kala/ The Quint)

QBullet: Kerala Nun Rape Case Witness Dead; DSP Held in CBI Probe

1. Priest Who Testified in Kerala Nun Rape Case Found Dead

Father Kuriakose, prime witness in the Kerala nun rape case, found dead in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district.
Father Kuriakose, prime witness in the Kerala nun rape case, found dead in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district.
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

A witness in the case of alleged rape of a nun by the former Jalandhar bishop was found dead in his room at a church in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur on Monday, 22 October, prompting police to launch an investigation into the death.

Father Kuriakose Kattuthara had testified against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was arrested last month after allegations of raping the Kerala nun repeatedly over a period of two years.

Just before his arrest, the Vatican accepted a request from the bishop to be temporarily relieved of his pastoral duties. Mulakkal, who has denied the charges, is out on bail.

A senior police official said there were no injury marks on Kattuthara’s body and the cause of the 62-year-old’s death in Dasuya in Punjab was being investigated.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read : Father Kuriakose’s Death Pre-Planned Murder: Rape Survivor’s Kin

2. CBI Arrests DSP in Asthana Probe

Special Director CBI Rakesh Asthana was charged in a bribery case.
Special Director CBI Rakesh Asthana was charged in a bribery case.
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi told CBI chief Alok Verma on Sunday, 21 October, to “let the law take its own course” when the latter briefed him on the allegations against agency special director Rakesh Asthana, an official familiar with the development said on Monday, 22 October.

The CBI expanded its probe into the case on Monday, 22 October, by arresting a deputy superintendent of police (DSP)-rank official. Investigators are preparing to question two supervisory officers – one of superintendent of police rank and the other of inspector general – in the case. The agency will also seek a clarification from a senior intelligence official who investigators suspect may have been acting in his “individual capacity”.

“Director Verma sought an appointment with the PM to brief him on the case against Asthana. Following the briefing, the PM told the CBI chief to let the law take its own course. Director Verma separately met national security adviser Ajit Doval too,” said the CBI official cited above. He spoke on the condition of anonymity.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read : Breaking Down CBI’s FIR Against One of Its Own, Rakesh Asthana

3. Sabarimala Row: SC to Decide Date of Hearing Review Petitions Today

Many people in Kerala, including women, have demanded a review petition of the Supreme Court verdict allowing the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple.
Many people in Kerala, including women, have demanded a review petition of the Supreme Court verdict allowing the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple.
(Photo Courtesy: Rahul Easwar/Twitter)

The Supreme Court will decide on Tuesday, 23 October, as to when it would hear fresh petitions (writ and review) regarding entry of women in the age group of 10 to 50 years in Kerala's Sabarimala Temple.

At least 19 review petitions are pending before the top court in connection with the issue.

Kerala Police officials had earlier told media in Sannidhanam and Pamba to vacate the area as the cops had inputs of a targeted attack being planned on journalists.

(Source: DNA)

Also Read : Sabarimala Row: Kerala on Edge as Gates to Open for Last Day

4. No Official Decision on PM Candidate Yet: Chidambaram

Congress leader P Chidambaram. 
Congress leader P Chidambaram. 
(Photo: IANS)

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday, 22 October, said the Congress has never “officially” stated its president Rahul Gandhi should be the prime minister if an opposition alliance formed the next government.

In an interview to News18 Tamil TV channel, he said the Congress’s focus was on dislodging the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre and bringing in a “progressive” alternative.

Chidambaram said the Opposition constituents would take a decision on who will be the prime minister in case it wins the next year’s Lok Sabha poll.

“The Congress party has not officially said Rahul Gandhi should be installed as prime minister. When one or two persons spoke about it, the AICC (All India Congress Committee) leadership asked them not to discuss the issue,” he said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read : Congress Never Said It Wants Rahul Gandhi as PM: Chidambaram

5. Assam Faces Shutdown over Bid to Amend Citizenship Law

Different activist groups took part in a mass hunger strike to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, in Guwahati on 29 May, 2018. Image used for representation.
Different activist groups took part in a mass hunger strike to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, in Guwahati on 29 May, 2018. Image used for representation.
(Photo: IANS)

Indigenous Assamese organisations have called for a shutdown on Tuesday, 23 October, against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, while police have refused permission to Assam’s Bengali groups for holding a rally in the proposed legislation’s support amid fears of violence.

Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said all shops and business establishments should remain open Tuesday. “All government employees must report for their duties or else it will be treated as contempt of the Guwahati High Court order of 2013 which termed bandhs as illegal.”

The bill proposes to grant citizenship to religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Assam’s indigenous groups, 46 of whom are supporting the bandh, oppose the bill as they feel it will marginalize them by encouraging more migrations of the Hindus from neighbouring Bangladesh.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read : Assam Bandh on Tuesday against JPC meeting over Citizenship Bill

6. India to China: Back Bid to Dub Masood Azhar a Global Terrorist

Masood Azhar, Chief of the Jaish-e-Mohammad. 
Masood Azhar, Chief of the Jaish-e-Mohammad. 
(Photo: Reuters)

India asked China on Monday, 22 October, to support the pending application in the UN to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

It also asked Beijing not to give shelter to hardline Ulfa leader Paresh Baruah on its soil, officials said. The two issues were raised at the first India-China high level meeting on bilateral security cooperation which was co-chaired by home minister Rajnath Singh and Zhao Kezhi, state councillor and minister of public security, China, Delhi.

“The key concerns of both the countries were flagged and both sides assured each other of full cooperation,” an official, who was also a part of the Indian delegation, said.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read : India Seeks China’s Support in UN on Masood Azhar and ULFA Chief

7. #MeToo: SC Declines Urgent Hearing of PIL Asking for FIRs Based on Allegations

India’s #MeToo Movement is here. 
India’s #MeToo Movement is here. 
(Photo: iStock/Altered by The Quint

The Supreme Court on Monday, 22 October, declined urgent hearing on a PIL seeking registration of FIRs and prosecution against those accused of sexual misconduct and assault on women, who have called out names across sectors as part of the #MeToo movement in the country.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul said there was no need for an urgent hearing on the PIL and it would come up for hearing in regular course.

"We have seen the writ petition. There is no need of urgent hearing," the bench told lawyer M L Sharma who has filed the PIL in his personal capacity and was seeking urgent hearing.

(Source: The Economic Times)

8. Rajnath Singh to Visit J&K Today to Review Security Situation

Rajnath Singh. 
Rajnath Singh. 
(Photo: IANS)

Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, 23 October, during which he will review the security situation in the state and interact with political leaders, officials said.

During the day-long visit, Singh will attend a high-level meeting with Governor Satya Pal Mailk and top civil, police and security forces officials and assess the prevailing situation.

The home minister will review the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in the valley and along the border with Pakistan, during his visit on 23 October, a home ministry official said Sunday, 21 October.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read : Rajnath Singh’s Challenges in Changing “Fate & Face of Kashmir”

9. Monday Blues: Multiple Strikes Hit Transport Services in Delhi

Office-goers and commuters who had to catch flights or trains in Delhi faced “Monday blues” as cab and bus services were hit because of multiple strikes by different unions.
Office-goers and commuters who had to catch flights or trains in Delhi faced “Monday blues” as cab and bus services were hit because of multiple strikes by different unions.
(Photo: IANS)

Office-goers and commuters who had to catch flights or trains in Delhi faced “Monday blues” as cab and bus services were hit because of multiple strikes by different unions.

Commuters complained of facing difficulty in booking cabs or being charged higher than usual rates by app-based cab aggregators. Adding to the woes were the fewer number of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses on the roads due to a protest by DTC employees demanding revision of their wages.

The only relief for commuters was that Metro and autorickshaw services remained normal.

Passengers who had to board flights or trains or had just arrived in the city were left stranded by the difficulty in booking app-based cabs.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read : Commuters Suffer as Delhi Auto-Cab Unions & Ola, Uber Call Strike

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