Namaste Ji!

NRI Commission set up to assist non-resident Keralites

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In his customary address to the Kerala Legislature, Governor Justice P Sathiashivam of Trivandrum announced the set up of a body to be called the NRI Commission to help resolve problems faced by expatriates, and that will deal exclusively and effectively with cases related to visa cheating and criminal offences against the life and property of NRKs.

The governor also said there was a need to take up the rehabilitation of returnees and his government has taken effective steps to bring back persons from Libya and Iraq with the help of the government of India. He said the state of Kerala was much indebted to NRKs for their contribution in the development of Kerala.

The Governor said development programmes implemented by the government had made Kerala one of the fastest growing states in India. The Smart City Project, that has been dormant for five years could also be revived. The Kochi Metro Rail Project is progressing well and the Kannur airport will be completed by May 2016.

NRI woman mugged and stabbed to death in Sydney

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Prabha Arun Kumar, 41, who hails from Bengaluru was accosted and stabbed to death in Sydney, Australia as she walked through a park near her home in Westmead,

As she walked home she was talking to her husband Arun Kumar on the phone in Bengaluru, and he helplessly listened as his wife pleaded with her killer saying “Please don’t hurt me. Take whatever you want, but please spare me”. Seconds earlier she had told Arun there was a huge person near her. She then said in Kannada that she was stabbed, and the call disconnected.

An official statement from the New South Wales police department said emergency services were called after reports a woman had been attacked. She was treated by Ambulance Paramedics before being taken to Westmead Hospital where she later died.

Prabha, a Computer Science graduate went to Sydney three years ago on a project with Mindtree and was due to return home in April. She married G Arun Kumar owner of a software firm in Bengaluru 11 years ago. The couple have a 9-year-old daughter.

Mindtree said in Bengaluru they are working with officials of both countries to help the family bring the body back to India. Arum Kumar has left for Sydney.

UK to probe possible ‘cover up’ of NRI’s murder

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UK’s official police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is slated to investigate whether corrupt Metropolitan Police officers may have ignored clues and ‘covered up’ the murder of 8-year-old Vishal Mehrotra by a high profile child abuse ring in 1981, because of the alleged involvement of influential parliamentarians.

Vishal’s father, retired magistrate Vishambar Mehrotra last year said in an interview that the police deliberately covered up his son’s murder after the boy was abducted as he walked home after watching the marriage procession of Prince Charles and Diana.

Six months later the boy’s skull and several rib bones were found by pigeon shooters in a field in Sussex.

A Met Police spokesperson confirmed they were made aware of a complaint alleging corruption relating to the Met Police’s original missing person investigation into the disappearance of the boy. The complaint has been referred to the Directorate of Professional Standards, and the matter will referred to the IPCC.

The new inquiry was initiated after an alleged victim came forward claiming to have witnessed 3 boys being killed, including one allegedly strangled by a Conservative party MP during a depraved sex game in the 1980s.

Mr Mehrotra said he was pleasantly surprised because it would seem someone is finally taking things seriously for the first time after 33 years.

Saudi NRI arrested for blasphemous image on Facebook

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An Indian who worked for a catering company in Jeddah was arrested at the airport last month for posting a blasphemous image of the Kaaba on his Facebook page.

He said he saw a link to the picture on another account and he clicked ‘Like’ which automatically loaded it onto his account.

Investigators however decided that he was guilty of breaking the Kingdom’s cyber law by publishing the offensive image of the Kaaba which is the center of Islam’s most sacred mosque in Mecca.

NRI jailed for misbehaving with teen on London flight

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Manjit Singh Sidhu, 38, of Leicester was traveling on a Delhi-London flight last year when he pestered a 14-year-old school girl sitting beside him. He pawed her and told her he wanted to have sex with her. He also insisted on having more to drink even though the flight crew tried to prevent him drinking more.

The girl who was travelling home with classmates from an educational trip to Nepal tried to discontinue Sidhu’s inappropriate conversation and put on headphones to watch a film, but she was interrupted by Sidhu who perched on the armrest and tried to stroke her hair and face.

The girl reported Sidhu to a teacher and the police were waiting for him when the plane landed.

Singh pleaded guilty to being drunk on the flight and was convicted in a London court, of sexual touching. He was given four months in jail. Sidhu was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for the next seven years.

India bans ’50 Shades of Grey’

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India’s censor board has banned the release of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ even though they were shown a toned down version with many of the expletives and several nude scenes edited out.

The chief of the Central Board of Film Certification said the film did not pass but that is not unusual, as many mainstream films don’t get clearance on the first showing and they have the option to try to revise the committee’s opinion.

Despite mixed reviews the erotic bondage tale of a billionaire and his sadomasochistic relationship with a college graduate has been an international hit, as was the 2011 novel on which it is based that was written by British author E L James.

Malaysia and some other countries have also banned the film.

ISRO celebrates Holi with brilliant colour pictures of Mars

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) celebrated the festival of Holi by releasing brilliant colour images of the Red Planet taken by Mangalyaan’s Mars Colour Camera.

The images show in vivid colour what is possibly the Solar Systems largest volcano, valleys and mountains on the Martian surface.

Mangalyaan reached the orbit of Mars in September 2014 and has since been carrying out its science mission, which has a nominal life of six months around the plant Mars where it operates in a highly elliptical orbit.

US NRI to forfeit mansion for enslaving illegal immigrant

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Kerala born Annie George who was convicted in 2013 of enslaving illegal immigrant Valsamma Mathai, also a native of Kerala, at her upstate New York Llenroc mansion for over 5 years, has lost an appeal to overturn the verdict.

George forced the victim to work 17-hour days with no time off or sick leave. Mathai was also forced to sleep in a squalid closet.

Judges on the Second Circuit of the US Court of Appeals also ruled that the trial court was correct to rule that George must forfeit Llenroc mansion to the federal government. Forfeiture is permitted in this case because George’s interest in the multimillion-dollar Llenroc, a 30,000 sq ft was $100,000, and the home was where the crime took place for which George was convicted of harbouring an illegal immigrant.

During the trial officials testified that Mathai should have earned $317,144, but was paid only $21,000.

Whether the property will actually be seized by the government is unclear as it is technically owned by a corporation comprising George family members who paid $1.88 million in 2009 for the mansion and four years later owed $1.78 million on the property.

‘Everyone is on leave’ in this Maharashtra school !

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Social Justice Minister Rajkumar Badole paid a surprise visit to the Aashray Residential School near Nagpur, only to find everyone, both students and teachers, are on leave.

The school for the mentally challenged has some 80 mentally challenged students and 25 teachers and other staff in the school, but the minister soon found out the figures are only on paper.

Baffled, the minister said it was strange that everyone has gone on leave. Mr Badole said he will now investigate whether of the 120 residential schools in Maharashtra for the mentally challenged how many really exist.

Reports say the other hostels in the complex are no better. At another school, Swavlamban, there are just a dozen children though 50 is the sanctioned strength.

Officials say the minister’s visit has exposed one example of a massive swindle involving fake enrollments and schools on paper, that cost the government crores every year.

NRI yoga guru accused of multiple sexual crimes

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Bikram Choudhury, 69, a prominent US NRI yoga guru who founded ‘hot yoga’ an exercise routine practiced in hot rooms, and is the founder of Bikram’s Yoga College of India, is facing six lawsuits filed by six women, the latest case being filed in the Los Angeles Supreme Court this month, by a woman identified as Canadian, Jill Lawler.

In the lawsuit she is described as a bright woman who fell in love with Bikram Yoga and begged her parents to let her borrow money from her college fund to attend a gruelling 9-week teacher training that cost $10,000. She started the course in April 2010. The alleged abuse started soon after with Choudhury trying to put his hand on her privates and eventually escalated to rape, which continued for years. She was ashamed and did not think anyone would believe her and was afraid Choudhury would kick her out of training and she would have lost the money and her ability to work as a yoga instructor. Choudhury is accused of rape at that training and at a variety of other locations, including India, where he visited Lawler in 2013.

Choudhury’s lawyers say they have not yet been served with Lawler’s suit. Choudhury is not facing any criminal charges and has denied any wrongdoing.

Attorney Mary Shea, who represents the women, said the six cases will not be combined because each woman has a different story. According to one of the six lawsuits, Larissa Anderson went to Los Angeles in 2006 where Choudhury raped her at his home with his wife and children upstairs.