World This Week: 8 Indian Soldiers Honoured by UN
Indian soldiers are known to work in hostile conditions to protect civilians and provide humanitarian assistance. To honour soldiers who in their pursuit to maintain international peace and security gave their lives, United Nations (UN) honoured 106 peacekeepers, including eight Indian soldiers, who lost their lives in peacekeeping operations.
The fallen Indian peacekeepers are Lt Col Mahipal Singh, Havildar Heera Lal, Lance Naik Nand Kishore Joshi, Naib Subedar Shiv Kumar Pal and Havaldar Bharat Sasmal from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) who were killed in April 2013 when they were ambushed by about 200 attackers near Jonglei State. Subedar Dharmesh Sangwan and Subedar Kumar Pal Singh died in action in December 2013 in Akobo following an assault on a UN base. Sepoy Rameshwar Singh, deployed as a peacekeeper in the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was killed in February 2013.
The International Day of UN Peacekeepers was commemorated on May 29 with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at a newly-created memorial for the peacekeepers. India's Permanent Representative
to the UN Ambassador Asoke Mukerji accepted the medal on behalf of the eight Indian soldiers who lost their lives while stationed at UN missions.
Hindu Minority Woman Gang-Raped in B’desh
Hindus in the Muslim-majority regions of Bangladesh have always suffered persecution. In a recent happening on May 28, gang of perpetrators looted valuables and gang raped one Minority Hindu woman located at Sutabaria of Golachipa Upazila of Patuakhali District in Bangladesh.
The victim aged 25, has been admitted to Patuakhali Medical Hospital for treatment and has been referred for DNA test. According to sources, during the occurrence of gang-rape Mrinal Aich, husband of the victim was not present when the incident occurred but his two children who were there did not protest in fear.
The perpetrators Muhammad Mosharaf Hossain (23), Rubel Howlader (24) and Babul Palwan (25) belong to Sutabaria. One of the accused Mosharaf Hossain has been arrested by police and the other are being looked for.
Mrinal Aich lodged a First Information Report (FIR) at Golachipa police station on May 28, 2014 under section 9(3) of Women and Children Repression Act, 2002 against three perpetrators. Bangladesh Minority Watch (BDMW) has comes forward to take the issue further and has demanded exemplary punishment for the perpetrators.
Indian Worker Abducted in Afghanistan
Indians have been the targets of militant attacks in Afghanistan. But the recent incident of kidnapping of a 47-year-old Indian worker Alexis Prem Kumar, country director of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) from Herat in Afghanistan, on June 2, has set the alarm bells ringing.
Kumar was kidnapped from the JRS-supported school for the returnee refugees in Sohadat village, 25 km from the city of Herat. The abduction comes nearly 10 days after the attack on the Indian Consulate in Herat on May 23.
Herat province Governor Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi has confirmed that terrorist outfit Taliban is behind the kidnapping of the Indian worker. After the kidnapping, JRS International Director Peter Balleis said, “We are deeply shocked by Indian worker’s abduction and are in contact with relevant authorities and are doing everything possible to ensure his safe and speedy return.
According to top officials, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is in constant touch with the Afghan government and local authorities that have launched a search operation for 47-year-old, who was abducted yesterday afternoon. Meanwhile, family of the kidnapped worker, who is a native of Tamil Nadu, has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to secure his early release.
— Nishant Kumar Azad with inputs from agencies