REUTERS/Adnan Abidi [Representational Image]A 14-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped and set ablaze by some miscreants in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar on Friday, May 24. The victim’s body was found in a charred state at her house.According to reports, the girl used to work at a brick kiln and stayed at a makeshift room. The autopsy report suggested that the girl died of asphyxiation and burn injuries.The UP police have booked seven people for the heinous crime, although none of them has been arrested. The police said that they have not yet arrested the accused since they are still gathering evidence of the incident.The girl along with her family used to work at the brick kiln and lived in a room adjacent to it. The victim’s father had gone to the town to get some medicines on Friday evening after her mother fell ill. He left her along with her brother, 12, and the incident took place after he left the kiln. He was informed the next day that his daughter’s body was found in a charred stateAccording to the police, the girl’s family did not suspect rape initially but filed a complaint against the brick kiln owner and six others claiming so. The father claimed that she was taken by two men who work in the area and was gang-raped, after which they burnt her alive. The girl’s slippers and some clothes were recovered from the crime spot.”An FIR has been registered on the basis of a complaint by the victim’s father against the brick kiln owner and six others on charges of gang rape, murder and sections of the SC/ST Atrocities Act. The allegations of rape have not been confirmed. But the investigation is pending and arrests will be made as per evidence,” said the area’s Circle Officer, reports The Indian Express.The girl’s father also claimed that since the makeshift room does not have electricity or any other inflammable materials, how can the room catch fire. He alleged the accused to have set the dress on fire as to misrepresent it as an accident. He claimed that everyone knows what happened with his daughter but choose to remain silent and there is immense pressure on anyone who wants to speak out.The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has taken cognizance of the case, police said. A statement of the girl’s father will also be recorded before a magistrate, adds the report.
Kolkata: Despite nursing a grudge against the state government for its alleged failure to curb communal riots, the minorities in Bengal are likely to vote for the TMC to stop BJP’s march, leaders said. A deciding factor in several Lok Sabha seats in the state, the minorities especially Muslims are likely to vote for the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) which they perceive as a “credible force” unlike the Congress-Communist Party of India (Marxist) alliance, they claimed. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose “Despite having anger against the state government over various issues including several riots that took place in the state, the minorities will vote for TMC in the state to ensure their safety and security,” Mohammed Kamruzzaman, General Secretary of All Bengal Minority Youth Federation told PTI. “In Bengal, TMC is the most credible force as it is in power, when it comes to fight against BJP,” he added. Kamruzzaman, whose organization has the biggest following among Muslim youths in the state, said that the Congress-CPI(M) seat sharing talks have evoked little hopes as credible alternative among the masses. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata The Imams of the city, who hold a sway over the large Muslim population here, felt that the minorities should vote for the strongest secular candidate. “We would appeal to the minorities to vote in favour of the strongest secular forces in their respective areas. Efforts should be made to ensure that only secular and democratic candidates win,” Qazi Fazlur Rahman, the Imam, who conducts prayers on Eid at Red Road every year, told PTI. The Red Road Eid prayers witnesses the biggest congregation of Muslims in the state. Rahman’s view was echoed by Shafique Qasmi, Imam of Nakhoda Masjid, the biggest mosque in the city, who stressed that the minorities must ensure that there was no division of their votes and only a secular and democratic force comes to power. The minorities, which comprise nearly 30 per cent of the electorate, are a deciding factor in nearly 16-18 Lok Sabha seats of the state. They are a vote bank that every political party has tried to woo. Parliamentary seats such as Raiganj, Coochbehar, Balurghat, Malda North, Malda South, Murshidabad in north Bengal and seats such as Diamond Harbour, Uluberia, Howrah, Birbhum, Kanthi, Tamluk, Joynagar in south Bengal have very high Muslim population. The TMC presently holds a great influence over the minority votes in the state but several riots that took place in the last four years have angered a section of the minorities. According to Union Home Ministry data released in 2018, communal violence increased sharply since 2015 in West Bengal. While the state recorded 27 incidents of communal violence in 2015, the number almost doubled by 2017 when 58 such incidents were recorded. The recent ones being the Basirshat riots in 2017 and Asansol riots in 2018. The TMC, however, blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for trying to flare up communal passions to serve its own political purpose and expressed confidence that it will repeat its 2014 feat with the help of minorities. “The minorities are very well aware of developmental work that the TMC government has done. Bengal is known for communal harmony but BJP is trying to disturb that for its own political gains,” TMC leader and minister Firhad Hakim said. According to TMC sources, minorities are likely to vote for the party to stop the march of the BJP. Since independence, the minorities in the state voted in favour of the Congress in order to keep outfits like the Hindu Mahasabha and Jan Sangh at bay. However, since the late sixties, they gradually started drifting towards the Left forces, which under the leadership of Jyoti Basu and Promode Dasgupta put up an alternative against the Congress rule in the state. After the CPI(M)-led Left Front came to power in 1977, through its iconic policies of ‘Operation Barga’ – giving land to landless farmers which benefited lakhs including Muslims – cemented its support base among the minorities. Riding on the support of minorities and rural Bengal, the Left Front in 1996 and 2004 had sent the largest bloc of 33 and 34 MPs, respectively, to the Lok Sabha. But things started falling apart for the Left Front after the Sachar Committee report in 2008 painted a dismal picture on the condition of minorities in the state. Adding to their woes was the anti-land acquisition movement in Nandigram and Singur that made the TMC, led by Mamata Banerjee, as the new “saviour” of minorities. Banerjee unseating the 34-year-old Left Front regime in the state but has been accused of appeasing minorities by the BJP-RSS, which emerged as the main opposition in West Bengal. “The policies of the state government were only aimed at protecting the interests of a specific community in the state. This has ignited anger among the majority community which feels only BJP can protect their interests,” BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said. Senior CPI(M) leader and MP Mohammed Salim said the assertion by TMC that it is a saviour of the Muslims in the state has fallen flat in the last few years. While Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan said that minority voting pattern would depend a lot on the credibility of the CPI(M)-Congress alliance in the state. “If we are able to put up a credible alternative then we too will receive considerable minority votes. But if we fail to do so, TMC will take away the entire share,” the senior Congress leader said.
If you have developed a spare tyre, it is time you saw a doctor to assess your cardiovascular health as researchers have found that belly fat, even in people who are not otherwise overweight, is bad for the heart. “People with a normal weight but a fat belly have more chance of heart problems than people without a fat belly, even if they are obese according to BMI (body mass index),” said study author Jose Medina-Inojosa from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”This body shape indicates a sedentary lifestyle, low muscle mass, and eating too many refined carbohydrates,” Medina-Inojosa said. BMI, which is weight relative to height in kg/metre square, is used to categorise adults as underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. However, BMI does not account for the amount and distribution of fat and muscle.Central obesity is a store of excess fat around the middle of the body and is a marker of abnormal fat distribution. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThis study tested the hypothesis that people with normal weight and central obesity would have more heart problems than people with normal weight and normal fat distribution.From 1997 to 2000, the study enrolled nearly 1,700 people aged 45 years or older in the US. Participants underwent a clinical examination and measurements were taken of weight, height, waist circumference and hip circumference. Patients were followed-up from 2000 to 2016 for the occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events such as as heart attack, stroke, and death from cardiovascular causes. Participants with a normal BMI (18.5-24.9 kg/metre square) and central obesity had an approximately two-fold higher long-term risk of heart problems compared to participants without central obesity, regardless of their BMI, the study said.”If you have fat around your belly and it’s greater than the size of your hips, visit your doctor to assess your cardiovascular health and fat distribution. If you have central obesity the target will be waist loss rather than weight loss,” Medina-Inojosa said.