55 Somalis, Ethiopians dead or missing in sea tragedy

Updated 20 December 2012
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55 Somalis, Ethiopians dead or missing in sea tragedy

NAIROBI: 55 Somalis and Ethiopians drowned or went missing after their boat capsized off Somalia on Tuesday in the worst such disaster in the area in almost two years, the United Nations said.
The UN refugee agency said Thursday the incident represents “the biggest loss of life” in the Gulf of Aden since February 2011 when 57 Somali refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa drowned while attempting to reach Yemen.
“23 bodies have been recovered. The 32 remaining passengers are presumed to have drowned,” UNHCR said.
At least five people survived the accident. They said the boat was overcrowded and capsized just 15 minutes after leaving the port of Bosasso in Somalia’s northern semi-autonomous state of Puntland on Tuesday.
100,000 people have crossed the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden this year, despite warnings about the risks such trips involve, the agency said.
In addition to using unseaworthy and overcrowded boats, those fleeing the Horn of Africa often fall prey to unscrupulous smugglers, in whose hands they can face exploitation, extortion and even death, the agency warned.
It said 95 people have drowned or gone missing in the waters between Somalia and Yemen this year.


Indian court finds spiritual guru guilty of raping devotee

Updated 25 April 2018
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Indian court finds spiritual guru guilty of raping devotee

NEW DELHI: An Indian court on Wednesday found a high-profile spiritual guru Asaram Bapu guilty of raping a teenage female devotee in 2013 and he faces a maximum of life in prison.
The verdict against 77-year-old Bapu was read out inside a prison in the city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan state because of fears that his followers may resort to violence.
The case is the latest in a series of high-profile rape cases in India that have fueled public protests and raised questions about how police handle the cases and treat the victims.
In August last year, another popular and flamboyant Indian spiritual guru, Dr. Saint Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim Insan, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of raping two female followers.
Judge Madhusudhan Sharma will announce the prison term for Bapu later after hearing arguments from the prosecution and Bapu’s attorneys.
Bapu has denied the rape and can appeal his conviction in a higher court.
The girl in her complaint to the police in 2013 accused Bapu of raping her when she visited his retreat in Jodhpur with her mother. The girl’s family said they had been followers of Bapu for more than a decade.
Bapu has been in prison since his arrest in the case in 2013.
On Wednesday, security was tight around the prison complex and in states where the self-styled guru has a considerable following.
Religious sects also wield considerable political clout in India with several politicians as followers. Asaram is also on trial along with his son Narayan Sai in a separate rape case where two sisters have accused the two men of sexual assault.