Indian teenager kills schoolmate to postpone exams

A man is seen with handcuffs in this April 11, 2007 file photo. (File photo by Reuters)
Updated 08 November 2017
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Indian teenager kills schoolmate to postpone exams

NEW DELHI: India arrested a teenager Wednesday for allegedly slitting the throat of a seven-year-old schoolmate in hopes the murder would lead to an exam being postponed, federal investigators said.
The 16-year-old is accused of killing his young schoolmate in September at a smart private school near Delhi in an attempt to delay an impending test and parent-teacher meeting.
Police had initially detained a bus conductor over the murder, claiming he killed the boy after the young pupil resisted a sex attack.
But a spokesman for federal investigators said they had credible evidence against the “academically weak teenager, whose motive was to postpone the examination and a forthcoming parent-teacher meeting.”
“He admitted during questioning that he wanted to shut the school to defer the exams and meeting,” Central Bureau of Investigation spokesman R.K. Gaur told AFP.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, would be sent to a juvenile detention center until his trial for murder, he added.
Gaur said the bus conductor would remain in custody until cleared by a court of any wrongdoing.
The crime made national headlines and stoked concern among parents over safety in schools.
India’s swelling middle class has fueled the growth of private schools in a country where public education is under immense strain.
Much prestige is placed on academic achievement and children face intense pressure to score good grades. Experts say this has aggravated stress and mental illness among teenagers.
India, a nation of 1.25 billion, has the world’s highest rate of suicide. Students are particularly vulnerable.
Official figures show nearly 9,000 students committed suicide in 2015.
Health experts say many young people find it difficult to cope with the pressure to succeed and struggle to accept failure in examinations.


Turkish court acquits rapper arrested over lyrics: CNN Turk

Updated 19 June 2018
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Turkish court acquits rapper arrested over lyrics: CNN Turk

ISTANBUL: A Turkish rapper who faced 10 years of jail on charges of encouraging drug use in his lyrics was acquitted on Tuesday at the first session of his trial in Istanbul, broadcaster CNN Turk reported.
Sercan Ipekcioglu, 27, better known by his stage name Ezhel, had been detained since last month after a court accepted a prosecutor’s indictment against him over his lyrics and social media posts, it said.
He denied the charges.
Ezhel, whose videos have racked up millions of views online, refers to smoking marijuana in some of his songs. In Turkey, the encouragement of drug use is punishable by law, as is the possession and sale of narcotics.
Dozens of his fans flooded the court house ahead of the trial, CNN Turk said. The hashtag #FreeEzhel was one of the top trending topics on Turkish Twitter.
“After four weeks of pre-trial detention, the judge took just 30 minutes to rule for rapper Ezhel’s release and acquittal,” said Andrew Gardner of Amnesty International, which followed the trial on Monday.
Some 20,000 Turks took part in Amnesty’s campaign for release of the singer, Gardner said.
Amnesty International has campaigned for journalists, singers and rights defenders jailed in Turkey as part of a government crackdown on the right to free expression which accelerated after a failed coup in 2016.