Bangladesh PM asks Myanmar to take back Rohingya refugees

This screen grab taken on Jan. 4, 2017 from a YouTube video originally taken by Myanmar Constable Zaw Myo Htike (pictured at far L - looking at camera) shows a policeman kicking out at a Rohingya minority villager seated on the ground with others, in the village of Kotankauk during a police area clearance operation on November 5, 2016. (AFP)
Updated 11 January 2017
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Bangladesh PM asks Myanmar to take back Rohingya refugees

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s Prime Minister on Wednesday asked Myanmar to take back tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees who have fled a military crackdown in the Buddhist majority nation’s Rakhine state, an official said.
According to the UN, at least 65,000 people belonging to the Muslim minority have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar — a third of them over the past week — since a military operation was launched in October following attacks on police posts.
The figure marks a sharp escalation in the numbers of Rohingya fleeing a military campaign which rights groups say has been marred by abuses so severe they could amount to crimes against humanity.
The sudden influx has put enormous strain on impoverished Bangladesh, with Dhaka under pressure to open its border to the refugees. But it has instead reinforced its border posts and deployed coast guard ships to prevent fresh arrivals.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called for a resolution to the crisis during a meeting with Myanmar’s deputy minister for foreign affairs Kyaw Tin in Dhaka.
“She said Myanmar should take back the Rohingya who migrated to Bangladesh,” Hasina’s spokesman Ihsanul Karim said.
Last month the Bangladesh foreign ministry summoned Myanmar’s ambassador to express “deep concern at the continued influx” and called for the repatriation of some 300,000 Rohingya who have been living in the Muslim-majority nation for years — most of them illegally.
The most recent arrivals have brought harrowing accounts of rape, murder and arson at the hands of Myanmar’s army or police.
Their stories have raised global alarm and galvanized protests against Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been accused of not doing enough to help the Rohingya.
Myanmar’s government has said the claims of abuse are fabricated and launched a special commission to investigate the allegations.
Last week the commission presented its interim report, denying accusations of “genocide and religious persecution” and saying there was insufficient evidence that troops had been committing rape.
The government refuses to recognize the Rohingya as one of the country’s ethnic minorities, instead describing them as Bengalis — or illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh — even though many have lived in Myanmar for generations.


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.