In the wake of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s fall and the birth of the #MeToo movement, India has joined the conversation with a collection of sexual misconduct allegations in Bollywood. The increase in reports of sexual harassment has put greater pressure on major Indian employers to respond seriously and enforce legal protections.
India’s Supreme Court made a landmark decision, ruling that gay sex is no longer a criminal offense. The decision overturns a 2013 ruling which categorized gay sex as an ‘unnatural offense.’ Discrimination based on sexual orientation is now ruled a fundamental violation of rights. India held its first gay pride parade on Saturday before results.
Former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee died at the age of 93 on Thursday. Vajpayee eased tensions with Pakistan and improved relations with the US. At least 164 people died in the worst monsoon flood in almost a century in Kerala, India. A red alert is in place as more rains are predicted.
Authorities in Chennai, India arrested 17 men in a gated community on Monday on accusations of raping an 11-year-old girl over seven months. Police say the men filmed themselves raping the girl and threatening to release the videos if she told her family. The men were charged with rape, attempted murder, and criminal intimidation.
The Indian government has ordered the immediate inspection of all child care homes run by Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity, following accusations that employees of one home were selling babies for adoption. Indian authorities shut down the home earlier this month after learning four infants had been sold. The charity said it is investigating the ‘shocking’ news.
Dozens were trapped and at least 19 killed when a flyover collapsed in the Indian city of Varanasi on Tuesday, crushing vehicles below it. The accident is latest in a deadly string of construction mishaps in India where enforcement of safety rules is weak. A rescue operation continues for those believed to still be trapped.
Dust storms have torn across northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan – killing at least 95 people and injuring more than 160 – as trees, walls and houses were flattened by powerful winds. Some were also killed by lightning. Officials said the death toll may rise. Many of the dead were sleeping when their houses collapsed after being struck by intense bursts of lightning.
The Indian Supreme Court instructed the government to seek foreign help with the Taj Mahal’s change in color. The tomb, originally built from white marble in the 17th century, is now turning brown and green, partly due to pollution. Court justices criticized the government for lack of proper conservation, saying ‘perhaps you don’t care.’
At least 27 people including 24 children are dead following the crash of a school bus into a gorge in India on Monday. Eleven other children were injured. The reason for the crash in Kangra Valley remains unclear, although initial reports say the driver was speeding before the bus fell 200 feet to the ground.
The Indian Railways on Sunday suspended five of its employees after Ahmedabad-Puri Express train, carrying up to 1000 passengers, travelled for 13km without engine on Saturday night. The train was eventually stopped after railway workers placed wooden wedges on the tracks, averting a major disaster. Following the incident, the Railway Board instructed that a month-long joint safety drive be conducted across the country by operating and electrical departments regarding shunting at stations.