BJP asserts bridge between India Sri Lanka must not be damaged

In a promo for its upcoming show, the channel quotes an archaeologist that the rocks on top of sand pre-date the sand.“This is what the BJP has been saying all along,” minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju said. His cabinet colleague and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also hit out at the UPA government for an affidavit in the Supreme Court that had questioned the belief among Hindus that the land bridge was built by Lord Ram to reach then Lanka to rescue his wife Sita, as depicted in the epic Ramayana. The claim made in a new show of a US science channel that the ‘Ram Setu’ between India and Sri Lanka is man-made has reaffirmed the party’s stand on the issue, India’s ruling BJP said Wednesday, asserting that it believes in the existence of Lord Ram.“It is unfortunate that the Congress has always been apologetic when it came to respecting Hindu religion. I wish once and for all this debate (on Ram Setu) is settled. We should respect Ram Setu and no damage should be done to it,” Union minister Piyush Goyal told a press conference at the BJP headquarters. The BJP, Goyal said, is not apologetic about its love for Lord Ram and for the party functionaries he was an ideal human being.“A secular democratic framework allows each Indian to respect his religion. We are proud of our religion and we are proud of every religion in India,” he said, according to the Hindustan Times. “Those who filed the affidavit should explain now. The research has supported what the BJP has been claiming all along…The setu is part of our cultural heritage,” Prasad told reporters. read more

All social workers at councils where child sexual abuse able to flourish

Every social worker working for councils where child sexual abuse was able to “flourish” must be re-screened, a government-ordered inquiry has urged.Hundreds of children were sexually abused by “predatory” foster carers and residential home staff working across Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire councils. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said sexualised behaviour by staff was “tolerated or overlooked” and, for decades, “vulnerable” children were subjected to repeated rapes as well as sexual and physical abuse.The IICSA said it had received around 350 complaints of sexual abuse from children who were under the councils’ care from the 1960s onwards.It marks the largest number of specific allegations of sexual abuse in a single investigation that the inquiry has considered to date. However, the panel concluded that the true number of victims was likely to be higher.  “We accept that the council made mistakes and should have done more to protect children from harm while they were in our care. It’s clear now that we should have closed Beechwood sooner and replaced it with the family-type homes we run today.“[…]Changes that have already happened both nationally and locally mean that children in our care today receive a standard of care that bears no resemblance to the past.” The panel published its findings today following 15 days of evidence at public hearings in October.The report made a series of recommendations as it called for all current staff to be screened and for both councils to offer their responses within six months.It concluded that both councils “should assess the potential risks posed by current and former foster carers” and said that any concerns should be flagged to the relevant body including the Disclosure and Barring Service, the local authority designated officer (LADO), the fostering panel and the police. In 2014 Samantha Morton, the Bafta and Golden Globe-winning actress has disclosed that she was sexually abused by residential care workers in children’s homes in Nottingham, where she described abuse as being “rife” within the children’s services. She was initially embarrassed but eventually told social workers, who did nothing. In an interview with The Guardian at the time, she said: “There was no support, no offer of counselling, no wanting to delve deeper … Maybe they just assumed I had been abused already, or was being, anyway.” Between the late 1970s and 2019, the report said 16 residential staff were convicted of sexual abuse of children in residential care. Ten foster carers were convicted of sexual abuse of their foster children.The panel said it was also aware of 12 convictions relating to the harmful sexual behaviour of children against other children in care.The inquiry heard about the notorious Beechwood Care Home, of which both male and female former residents described being routinely sexually abused by members of staff and being too afraid to report it.It added that the provision and consistency of support and counselling for victims “remains an issue”. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said sexualised behaviour by staff was “tolerated or overlooked” and, for decades, “vulnerable” children were subjected to repeated rapes as well as sexual and physical abuse.  Credit:NA/NA The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said sexualised behaviour by staff was "tolerated or overlooked” and, for decades, “vulnerable” children were subjected to repeated rapes as well as sexual and physical abuse.   Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Inquiry chairwoman Professor Alexis Jay said that for decades children “suffered appalling sexual and physical abuse, inflicted by those who should have nurtured and protected them”. “Despite decades of evidence and many reviews showing what needed to change, neither of the councils learnt from their mistakes, meaning that more children suffered unnecessarily.”In response, Colin Pettigrew, corporate director for children’s services at Nottinghamshire County Council, said “These terrible events took place, in some cases, many years ago and we know that the effects remain. We are committed to working with partners to ensure that appropriate support is available to all victims and survivors.“[…]Neither councils learned from their mistakes despite five decades of evidence of failure to protect children in care from the 1960s. Despite improvements, there continue to be weaknesses in foster care practice in both councils.“We are determined to do our utmost to ensure that children in the care of this council are as safe as they can be. And swift and effective measures are now in place to deal with any allegations of abuse of children in the care of this council.”Nottingham City Council Leader, Cllr David Mellen, and Chief Executive Ian Curryer added: “We accept that the council let survivors down in the worst possible way, and for that and the ongoing impact that has had on your lives, we are truly sorry.  read more