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Bill Introduced in Parliament for NRIs to Register Marriage Within 30 Days February 12, 2019 05:08

According to bill introduced in Upper House, Non Resident Indians who marry an Indian citizen or fellow NRI have to register their marriage within 30 days, If they fail to register their passport may be impounded or revoked. The bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha against the backdrop of cases of Indian women being trapped in the Fraudulent Marriages with NRIs. The following bill was introduced by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the Rajya Sabha. The bill ‘Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian Bill, 2019’ it also allows the courts to attach properties, movable and immovable, of "proclaimed offenders" or people who fails to appear before courts despite warrants being issued against them. It states that, this law will be applicable to NRIs marrying Indian women within or even outside India. As per the bill, “There will be amendment in ‘The Passport Act and the Code of Criminal Procedure’ so that it allows passport authorities to revoke or impound passport or other documents of the accused, to allow courts to attach their properties” According to Ministry of External Affairs press statement, “According to the provisions of the Bill, the compulsory registration of marriage within thirty days of marriage in India or abroad would provide better enforcement of rights of the deserted spouse under various family laws. Similarly, the Amendment to the Passport Act would empower the Passport Authority to impound or revoke the passport of NRI, if it is brought to his notice that the NRI has not registered his marriage within 30 days from the date of marriage. The Amendments to CrPC, 1973 would empower the Courts for issuance of summons, warrants through the specially designated website of the Ministry of External Affairs. It also provides provisions for attachment of properties belonging to the NRI, if he does not appear before the Court and is declared as Proclaimed Offender by the Court.” “The Bill was introduced by the Ministry of External Affairs due to large number complaints received from Indian citizens mostly women deserted or harassed by their NRI Spouses.” “It proposes to offer greater protection to Indian women married to NRIs and serve as a deterrent to NRIs against harassment of their spouses. This would provide much needed relief to all Indian women married to NRIs worldwide,” according to press release. The bill is unlikely to be passed because the Budget session ends on Wednesday and is the last session before General elections, As it is introduced in Rajya Sabha and is likely to remain pending there, it would not lapse on the dissolution of the present Lok Sabha on June 3. -Sai Kumar

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NRI Couple Visits Bank After a Decade, Find Locker Empty February 06, 2019 07:26

An NRI couple who visited the State Bank of India’s branch in New Mallepally to withdraw precious items from a locker after more than a decade claimed to have found it empty. According to police, the residents of the United States Ameena and Mozzam Hussain said they have last used the locker in 2005 and they had around 80 tolas of gold at that time, which is currently claimed to be missing. On Saturday, the Non-Resident Indian couple tried to open the locker with their keys, but in vain. And when they again visited bank on Tuesday, with the bank’s help they opened the locker. It was then they realized that the locker was ‘empty’. Although the bank is said to have CCTV cameras outside the locker area, there is no footage found which records activity inside. Investigation officer Narayan Reddy said that inquiries are in process and a case would be booked shortly. -Sowmya Sangam

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NRI Chigurupati Jayaram Killed Over Rs 6 Crore Loan February 06, 2019 06:43

The death mystery of Florida-based Non-Resident Indian Chigurupati Jayaram, have found to be revealed after grilling many people including his relatives. Andhra Pradesh Krishna District's Superintendent of Police Sarvashresht Tripathi told reporters that realtor Rakesh Reddy, the main accused, and his driver Srinivas murdered Jayaram as the latter had failed to repay a Rs 4 crore loan. Jayaram, also a Managing Director of Express TV, a now inoperative Telugu channel, had come to Hyderabad from the United States a few days ago. As Reddy was demanding the money, he had blocked his mobile number. The accused contacted Jayaram on WhatsApp from some other number, using the display picture of a woman and started chatting with him. 'She' asked Jayaram to come unaccompanied to a house in Jubilee Hills. When the businessman reached there, Reddy and his driver gained control over and inflicted pain on him. The realtor demanded Rs 6 crore including the interest. As Jayaram had only Rs 6 lakh with him, Reddy, in a fit of rage, banged him against a sofa. Jayaram sustained a head injury and died on the spot. The accused then shifted the body to Jayaram's car and took it to Krishna district and left it in a field adjoining the national highway to make it seem like an accident. Before shifting the body, Rakesh spoke to two police officials of Hyderabad over phone. Police gathered clues from the CCTV footage from different toll gates on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway. Reddy, who was driving the car, also stopped at a wine shop at Nandigama to buy liquor. Empty liquor bottles were later found in the car along with Jayaram's body. Police investigations revealed that Reddy had come into contact with Jayaram after the latter had sought his help to deal with the problem created by lockout in his company on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Rakesh at that time became friends with Jayaram's niece Shikha Chowdary. The SP said their investigations were continuing to find out if any other person or persons were involved in the murder. -Sowmya Sangam

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Financial Dispute Behind the Murder of NRI Jayaram, Says Police February 04, 2019 06:41

Officials investigating the death case of NRI (Non-Resident Indian) Chigurupati Jayaram said financial dispute might have been the reason for the murder. The police who picked up a few suspects including his niece Sikha Chowdary and her boyfriend Rakesh Reddy said the accused had conceived to kill him in Hyderabad and executed their plan. According to sources, the NRI businessman borrowed money from Reddy and had a dispute over it in the past few months. The NRI, who was found dead in his car recently under the Nandigama police sub-division limits in Krishna district is suspected that he might have been killed in Telangana and miscreants left the body along with his vehicle in the Krishna district. The police said he might have been poisoned to death. The police squad deployed in Hyderabad interrogated the family members of the Chairman of the defunct Express TV on Sunday. “Financial disputes and other reasons are said to be the reasons. The accused have been taken into custody,” a top police officer was quoted as saying by The Hindu. Senior officials told The Hindu: “The apparent reason for the murder is ‘financial dispute’. We have traced the evidence establishing the role of the accused. The details of the dispute and the modus operandi will be announced on Monday.” -Sowmya Sangam

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NRI Businessman Jayaram Chigurupati Found Dead in His Car February 01, 2019 09:41

A prominent Non-Resident Indian businessman Jayaram Chigurupati was found dead in his car on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway on Thursday night. Jayaram was the Managing Director of Express TV, a Telugu news outlet based in Hyderabad. He was also the Director of Coastal Bank and also owned a pharmaceutical company called Hemarus. Speaking to reporters on Friday morning, a police officer said, "At around 11:30 pm on Thursday night, we received a call from the patrolling vehicle that a car had swerved off the highway and there was a dead man lying inside between the front seat and the backseat. We rushed to the spot immediately." Through his driving license found on the body, police were able to find out his identity, police said. "He had left his house day before yesterday. He had a driver and personal security but chose to drive the car himself and leave. Since then, he was not in contact with anyone. On Thursday evening, he messaged one of his employees in Vijayawada and stated that he was coming and asking the employee to arrange lodging for him,” the police officer added.   The police also said that the car passed the Panthangi Toll Plaza at 8:30 pm on Thursday night. “However, someone else was driving his car. The driver’s photo was not clear but he was wearing a white shirt. We suspect foul play. This is a suspicious death. We suspect that someone killed him and abandoned the car here to make it look like an accident. We are trying to make further headway into the case,” the police said. Since bottles were found in the car, the police said that they had to find out if anyone consumed the alcohol. A case has been registered. “It is not a natural death, that is for sure. We will complete the investigation soon,” the police added. The body has been sent for a postmortem and the police anticipate that the medical results will help them make further progress in the case. In 2014, Jayaram was the Managing Director of Express TV, which had shut shop after failing to pay salaries to its employees. -Sowmya Sangam

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NRI Teen in Bid to Empower Girls in India December 27, 2018 06:26

An Indian-American teenage girl, who is on a visit to India, is making efforts to make India a safe country for girls. The girls need not feel weak and worry when they were confronted by anti-social elements, said Spoorthi, a Class 11 student from the United States, while she visited the Asha Sadan, a rehabilitation home run by the HELP NGO, along with her mother, at Machavaram on Wednesday. Spoorthi, also a volunteer of Empower and Excel, an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) in the U.S. explained the girls in the home on techniques to grow strong, deal with the threats from the anti-social elements. The girls were enthusiastically involved in the training program on self-defense skills. Sunitha, Spoorthi's mother said: Ayesha Charugulla, a non-resident Indian from Chirala founded the non-profit organization, Empower and Excel in the USA. She said that as the volunteers of the organization, they were creating awareness on sex education in girls in different schools and organizations across Andhra Pradesh, starting from the one at Asha Sadan. She said that they were going to take up a similar programme at Kanigiri, Kondepi and other places in the district in the coming days. Subsequently, the HELP secretary Nimmaraju Ram Mohan unveiled a book on sex education, 'Jagruti' written by Spoorthi. He said that the girls should take inspiration from her and utilize the skills when required in the future. The India chapter head of the Empower and Excel KK Krishna Kumar, Asha Sadan in-charge Jayasri and manager M Nageswara Rao were also present in the programme. -Sowmya sangam

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Indian-American Medics 'Surprised' by Jharkand Doctors' Practices December 26, 2018 10:40

A group of 19 Indian-American students, pursuing pre-medical courses at different universities are on a 10-day education tour of Jharkhand and to other parts of the country to acquire the first-hand experience of medical practices in the state. The educational program is organized every year by the Health Foundation for Rural India (HFRI) in collaboration with the Arogya Foundation in India which is running 35 resource centers across the country with five of them in Jharkhand alone. "This is the fourth time I am visiting Jharkhand with a new set of students and the objective is to provide the aspiring medical students a first-hand account of Indian medicine and the practice, which will be great exposure for all of them. We have a 10-day schedule where these students will visit various hospitals, medical camps in rural areas and attend lectures among other events," said Dr. Veena S Gandhi, a gynecologist from New Jersey and the chief architect of the HFRI. On Tuesday, the students visited an Ayurveda clinic in Lalpur and Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (Rims) campus interacting with patients and doctors. The students also have lectures scheduled at Rims for the next four days by senior professors. "Some of the practices here surprised us completely. For example, I saw paramedics weren't using masks all times during their stay in the operation theatre. Also, no one uses shoe covering inside hospitals," said Nupur Dapatardar, a student of allied health science at the University of Connecticut. Radhika Patel, a physical therapy student of St. Louis University, Chicago, said: "The most important thing is that treatment in India is way cheaper than the U.S." Dr. Yogendra Patel, a surgeon from New York and a member of the advisory committee of HFRI, said that such visits help students get wider experience. The group will also travel to Gola in Ramgarh district for a medical camp and will visit a resource center by Arogya foundation of India at Shikharji in Giridih district later this week. -Sowmya Sangam

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NRI to Launch Project in Bid to Fight Anaemia in Gujarat December 22, 2018 06:32

An Indian-origin Thakor Patel is set to launch a project in Gujarat for villagers suffering from iron-deficiency anemia. The villagers through the project will get iron 'Mirchis' or 'balls' that can be dipped while cooking 'kadhi' or 'dals.' Earlier, Kenya-born Patel initiated a Sevak project. Now, about to launch project will distribute the mirchis' or round-shaped balls in villages where anemia is an acute problem. Gujarat being to a great extent vegetarian state, iron-deficiency anemia has been identified as a major health problem by Sevak project which was started in 2010 as an initiative of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPIO). "Worldwide, iron fish which is a fish-shaped cast iron ingot is used to as dietary supplement for those having iron-deficiency anemia. These ingots are placed in a pot of boiling water to leach elemental iron into the water and food," said Patel. "Being a vegetarian state, iron fish may not get easily accepted in Gujarat. So, we are developing iron 'Mirchi' or iron 'balls' that can be distributed amongst villagers," he said, adding that the project will be rolled out from Nardipur in Gandhinagar where Sevak is already running its health project. "We will start distributing the iron ingots in partnership with the Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH), Gandhinagar, U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University and Swedish conglomerate Hoganas," he said. The mirchis will act as a continuous supplement as they can be used again while cooking the curries. Through $1 million grant given by U.S.-based Non-Resident Indians Chirag Patel and Chintu Patel to IIPH, Gandhinagar, Sevaks working under the project are already screening girls in the age group of 11 to women up to 40 years of age for anemia in over 80 villages of 33 districts of Gujarat. "As part of the maternal child health projects, the Sevaks are screening the girls and women by using TouchHb machines that have been developed by Biosense of Pune. The plan is to treat all the females with anemia and to fortify the family food with iron to prevent anemia in future," said Patel. After taking in one village each in each district, Sevak is currently spreading out its wings to Tamil Nadu and Orissa. "At first, we had only 26 villages, 26 sevaks in 26 districts of Gujarat. But, now we have 33 sevaks who are covering 80 villages of 33 districts of the state and all of them are trained in healthcare, sanitation, water purification, prevention of diseases and lifestyle modification education," he said. -Sowmya Sangam

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NRI Couple's kind Gesture for Homeless Family in Telangana December 18, 2018 12:21

The United States-based Non-Resident Indian (NRI) couple showed their humane nature by building a four-room house with cement sheets roof for a poverty-stricken family behind the market area in Jagtial town in Telangana. Jagtial based couple, Papatti Aadi alias Harish and his wife Sri Laxmi migrated to the United States in hunt of employment and settled there. Recently, Aadi decided to construct a house for a homeless family in the remembrance of his mother Ramalaxmi and contacted local social worker Renikunta Ramesh, who identified Badri Sujatha's family to construct a house. A beedi roller, a thin cigarette or mini-cigar filled with tobacco flake, Sujatha is striving hard to stay in a dilapidated hut along with her three daughters and in-laws. Besides providing education to her three daughters, Sujatha is taking care of her in-laws after the death of her husband Venkatesh three years ago. With an intent to provide permanent shelter to family, Ramesh had decided to construct a house with the amount donated by NRI couple. Besides the NRI couple, local philanthropists came forward to donate cement bags and doors. Aadi's mother-in-law Damarapati Bharathi along with local corporator Pippari Anitha inaugurated the house on Monday. The construction of the house was completed by spending Rs 1.80 lakh. While NRI couple provided Rs 1.30 lakh, remaining amount was pooled locally, social worker Ramesh told Telangana Today. When Aadi explained regarding his idea to construct a house to hapless family, he began searching for an impoverished family and found Sujatha, who was going through terrible hardships to staying in a dilapidated hut along with her daughters and in-laws. Earlier, he managed to construct houses to 17 poor families besides providing Rs 62.50 lakh financial assistance to 43 needy families during the last three years. -Sowmya    

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Indian-origin Businessman Brings Christmas Cheer to UK Homeless December 18, 2018 06:40

An Indian-origin businessman Prakash Bhojani, based in the East Midlands city of Leicester, has brought Christmas merrymaking to scores of homeless people by donating to a local project and arranging to provide renovated housing to them. The homeless people, to be chosen by campaign group Action Homeless, will be able to move into their new homes prior to Christmas. Bhojani, 70, has been involved in local charity organizations. He also runs a factory and real estate company. The renovated houses owned by Bhojani's company are being leased to the campaign group for a nominal fee. Bhojani donated £100,000 to the project that will benefit those who have recent experience of sleeping rough on the streets. Bhojani told 'Leicester Mercury', a leading local daily: "We've worked hard to make sure the properties have all been renovated to a high standard. We want this to be the first step to people getting back on track, it's important that the homes help them to do that". "I'm in a position where I can give something back. There are lots of reasons someone might find themselves homeless, these people deserve a second chance and they should have somewhere to live that makes them feel that way." Mark Grant of Action Homeless added: "We are really pleased to be able to offer this additional accommodation to people who are affected by homelessness in Leicester. The city as a whole is suffering from a lack of good-quality affordable housing and this has a huge impact on people, leaving many vulnerable. "I am particularly delighted that people without a home will have somewhere safe and comfortable to call their own in time for Christmas. My sincere thanks go to our generous donors who have made this possible." Leicester, the city held up as a symbol of Britain's policies of multilateralism, has a sizable number of people of Indian-origin, many moved there after being expelled from Idi Amin's Uganda in the early 1970s and went on to come through in various professions and business. -Sowmya  

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Indian-Origin Woman Dupes Family of £250,000 Faking Brain Cancer December 17, 2018 06:00

An Indian-origin woman has been sentenced to four years in prison in the United Kingdom for faking terminal brain cancer and conning her family, friends for 250,000 pounds. In 2013, the 36-year-old Jasmin Mistry told her then-husband, Vijay Katechia, that she had cancer, along with a supporting WhatsApp message from what he thought was her doctor. However, investigations later revealed that the message had been sent by her using a different SIM card. At the end of December 2014, she told her ex-husband that her severe brain cancer meant she had no more than six months to live, with further messages from another fictitious doctor suggesting that it could be treated in America - at a cost of around 500,000 pounds. Jasmin's ex-husband became suspicious when a friend of his saw a picture of a brain scan she had said was taken at one of her consultations. The plot was ultimately unearthed after her ex-husband showed a "scan" to a doctor friend, who told him it had been lifted from Google. Her husband likewise found SIM cards Jasmin had been using send messages posing to be other people, and when confronting her she confessed that she made up a story. She was arrested in 2017. During interviews, she confirmed to officers that she was not terminally ill and that she did not know why she had lied, Met Police said. According to the report, it was found that 20 members of her extended family and eight others were found to have lent her money. The total fraud sum of money was calculated as 253,122 pounds. Jasmin had pleaded guilty to the crime after her arrest earlier this year. Jasmin, a medical secretary from Loughborough town in the Midlands region of England, was convicted of fraud by mendacious representation and imprisoned for four years at Snaresbrook Crown Court this week. Described in court as a "pathological liar", she created a fake online account of a counterfeit physician to message her husband and as well posted "Stand up to cancer" messages on social media. "This is a terrible crime. To tell everybody you have cancer and take money from them... It's an awful situation," Judge Judith Hughes told Jasmin in court. -Sowmya  

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Indian-American Ph.D. Scholar Accuses BHU Faculty of Harassment December 14, 2018 11:07

An Indian-American Ph.D. scholar has accused Banaras Hindu University's Ayurveda Head of Department Anand Chaudary of harassment and stalking over five years. Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya, who received her doctorate in Rasa Shastra from the Faculty of Ayurveda from aforementioned university lodged a complaint with the Lanka police in Varanasi against Anand on November 22 and has claimed no First Information Report (FIR) has been registered in the case at the behest of the university. "For the past 5 years, Mr. Anand Kr Chaudhary has threatened me using defamation, derogation, stalking and both sexual and academic harassment. In fear for my career, withstanding threats that I would not be allowed to complete my studies, I withheld complaints until I safely received my Ph.D. degree certificate today," she wrote in the complaint. Bhaswati believes that there is pressure from the BHU on the police to not pursue the case, however, the BHU administration has denied this claim. Bhaswati enrolled in BHU for mid-career a Ph.D. in 2014, with a senior Fulbright faculty grant. She alleges that Anand began harassing her when she started her course. "He has tried to stop my progress in so many ways - from preventing me from attending classes and conferences to phantom violations on attendance, to sexually colored remarks about me to students in the department and faculty. He spread rumors that I had been sleeping around with other students and professors in the department," she says. Bhaswati says that Anand also stalked her. "He has also admitted over an email to faculty that he spent hours on my Facebook page trying to gather 'evidence' against me," she says. Although she approached the university regarding the harassment in 2015, and the Vice-Chancellor passed an order that Anand must ensure Bhaswati was not denied any opportunities, the harassment has continued, she alleges. The administration enabled his abusive behavior, and it is more or less an open secret, she says. After April 2015, the harassment - and social exclusion at the university - worsened, she says. In that month, she had filed a case after five men in the campus allegedly attempted to rape her and another colleague. The faculty saw this complaint as an attempt to defame the university, she says. BHU Public Relations Officer Rajesh Singh, when questioned about whether it was on BHU's behest that an FIR had not been filed in Bhaswati's case, said, "See, it is the police's job to file the FIR. What role do we have to play in it? Anyone can go to the police and file a complaint, if the police find that the allegations are authentic and true, they will register an FIR." When asked about the allegations against Anand Chaudhary, he said, "Our internal inquiry committee under the chairmanship of Institute of Medical Sciences Director, looked into the allegations made by her (Bhaswati) and has given Dr. Anand Chaudhary a clean chit." Anand Chaudhary denied Bhaswati's allegations, "There was never any stalking or sexual harassment. Nothing was done from my side as the Head of my department which may harm her in her academic pursuits." He alleged that this complaint is a "conspiracy" by Bhaswati to sabotage his career, that she tried to work around the Ph.D. rules of BHU, and he has only worked to enforce them. Anand added that in June 2017, Bhaswati had withdrawn her complaints against him. However, Bhaswati counters that she was forced to do that under threat that her thesis submission seminar would not be scheduled or else. -Sowmya Sangam

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