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Press Release By Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Ontario


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This message is sent from Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Ontario, Canada. Our brothers and sisters living in India, what terrorists have done in Vienna have torn apart our hearts. They have extinguished a voice of peace, love and knowledge. Our revered Guru Sant Rama Nand Ji was most exemplary personality who had set our community on path of progress and advancement after Guru Ravidass Ji.

Your aggression at this point is understandable. We, as your brothers and sisters, in Canada can understand your reaction to 3000 years of oppression and high handedness of higher castes in Punjab, especially by so-called high caste Sikhs even though gurus preached against casteism.

Guru Sant Rama Nand Ji and Guru Sant Niranjan Dass Ji always preached against violence. We feel your pain from heart. However, protests should be done in a peaceful manner. Show your force in a peaceful manner. Guru Sant Rama Nand Ji was religious head of Ravidassia community worldwide (second in command) and what terrorists have done is attacked our community, our religious freedom and our religious institutions. After Guru Ravidass Ji, the gurus of Sachkhand Dera Ballan have carried the torch of truth, peace and equality. We have also learnt from news that terrorists were Sikhs. We know very well that Maharaj ji is equally revered in all communities in India and they are equally pained at this act by cowards but we should also understand that TERRORISTS HAVE NO RELIGION. They are only guided by their twisted logic. They have committed this act to create social unrest.

The reports that Maharaj Ji disrespected Guru Granth Sahib are false and utter nonsense. In fact, they made countless human beings to follow the path set in Guru Granth Sahib. We, as Ravidassias have different traditions. We are not Sikhs. Even though, we give utmost respect to 10 gurus and Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Ravidass Ji is our supreme. There is no command for us to follow the declaration that there is no guru after Guru Granth Sahib. We respect Guru Granth Sahib because it has our guru ji's teachings and teachings of other religious figures who have spoken against caste system, spread the message of NAAM and equality. As per our traditions, we give utmost respect to contemporary gurus also who are carrying forward the message of Guru Ravidass Ji. Guru Granth Sahib is a universal Granth. It has message for humanity. Holy Books are for the mankind to follow and not for specific religious groups. Everybody can respect and follow them in their own manner.

Protest in large numbers and make your presence felt to authorities and the world that we can not be walked over anymore but please do it in the peaceful manner. Please maintain peace and calm. This will be true tribute to Maharaj ji. Let's follow his path of progress, self awareness and peace and make sure nobody repeats such an act against our religious leaders.

Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Ontario,

6795 Steeles Ave. West, Toronto,

Ontario, Canada

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This message is sent from Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Ontario, Canada. Our brothers and sisters living in India, what terrorists have done in Vienna have torn apart our hearts. They have extinguished a voice of peace, love and knowledge. Our revered Guru Sant Rama Nand Ji was most exemplary personality who had set our community on path of progress and advancement after Guru Ravidass Ji.

Your aggression at this point is understandable. We, as your brothers and sisters, in Canada can understand your reaction to 3000 years of oppression and high handedness of higher castes in Punjab, especially by so-called high caste Sikhs even though gurus preached against casteism.

Guru Sant Rama Nand Ji and Guru Sant Niranjan Dass Ji always preached against violence. We feel your pain from heart. However, protests should be done in a peaceful manner. Show your force in a peaceful manner. Guru Sant Rama Nand Ji was religious head of Ravidassia community worldwide (second in command) and what terrorists have done is attacked our community, our religious freedom and our religious institutions. After Guru Ravidass Ji, the gurus of Sachkhand Dera Ballan have carried the torch of truth, peace and equality. We have also learnt from news that terrorists were Sikhs. We know very well that Maharaj ji is equally revered in all communities in India and they are equally pained at this act by cowards but we should also understand that TERRORISTS HAVE NO RELIGION. They are only guided by their twisted logic. They have committed this act to create social unrest.

The reports that Maharaj Ji disrespected Guru Granth Sahib are false and utter nonsense. In fact, they made countless human beings to follow the path set in Guru Granth Sahib. We, as Ravidassias have different traditions. We are not Sikhs. Even though, we give utmost respect to 10 gurus and Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Ravidass Ji is our supreme. There is no command for us to follow the declaration that there is no guru after Guru Granth Sahib. We respect Guru Granth Sahib because it has our guru ji's teachings and teachings of other religious figures who have spoken against caste system, spread the message of NAAM and equality. As per our traditions, we give utmost respect to contemporary gurus also who are carrying forward the message of Guru Ravidass Ji. Guru Granth Sahib is a universal Granth. It has message for humanity. Holy Books are for the mankind to follow and not for specific religious groups. Everybody can respect and follow them in their own manner.

Protest in large numbers and make your presence felt to authorities and the world that we can not be walked over anymore but please do it in the peaceful manner. Please maintain peace and calm. This will be true tribute to Maharaj ji. Let's follow his path of progress, self awareness and peace and make sure nobody repeats such an act against our religious leaders.

Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Ontario,

6795 Steeles Ave. West, Toronto,

Ontario, Canada

Nice press release, but these people are totally ignoring the fact that Sikhs will NEVER allow them to disrespect Sahib Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji in their own manner. Maharaj's saroop is probably only a Holy Book for these guys, but much much more than EVERYTHING for Sikhs. On one hand they say terrorists were Sikhs, and then they say TERRORISTS HAVE NO RELIGION. Next, We, as Ravidassias have different traditions. We are not Sikhs,thanks for beginning to accept and admitting that. There is no command for us to follow the declaration that there is no guru after Guru Granth Sahib, then your best bet would be to not have Maharaj's saroop in a place where you are not going to hold them with the highest satkaar. You can put up pictures or idols of your "gurus" and "sants". No offense to anyone, but that is the way things will be peaceful in future. We cannot and will not tolerate ANY living "guru" or "sant" put himself/herself at par with SatGuru Maharaj. If you are not Sikhs, and want to worship idols and pictures, by all means please feel free to go ahead. But if you are going to place them parallel to Maharaj's saroop, then I am not going to state the concequences. It is understood. If I am not wrong, there are Gurdwaras run by Ravidasi Sikhs, and I am not sure but they probably have full satkaar of Maharaj's saroop. If these guys can't do that much, they should be banned from having Maharaj's saroop wherever they want to. Yes it is good to respect and regard "holy scriptures" of other religions, but there are protocols to be followed. Either you buckle up and follow them, or don't whine when there is a price to be paid. Yes what happened in Vienna was unfortunate. But it wouldn't have happened if Gurujee's beadbi was not done. Like they say in Punjabi, "taali ikk hath naal ni vajjdi". Before pointing finger at Sikhs and calling them "extremist", take a look at your own backyard and see what made them take that extreme step. The Pope may be the world's most holy man, but if he comes and kicks my father, his holiness will not stop me from smashing his face. Thats what the Singhs did.

If your "guru" was a holy man in the genuine sense, I feel sorry for what happened to him. If he was what we have been hearing/reading, if he tried to place himself at par with Sahib Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj, then you've seen his outcome, and this should serve as a wake up call to all similar saadhs and babas. You mess with the Khalsa of Dasmesh Pita, you are going to get it.

Please forgive any harshness or mistakes. I am being honest and want peace to prevail in future. I have nowhere mentioned anything about caste as I don't care or believe in it. Sikhi is against castes. Let us try to live together, side by side, in peace and harmony, and respect each other's religious sentiments. We Sikhs love and respect Bhagat Ravidas Ji to death, and we would expect the same from our Ravidasi brethren, to honor and respect our SatGuru Sahib Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj.

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Funny thing is that they openly state that they are NOT Sikhs. There have been numerous discussions about them and some say they are Sikh and some not. Clearly they are confused. So they have learnt nothing and are just being slowly steered away from Sikhi.

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The Ravidas Sabha UK does not agree with the press release issued by the Guru Ravidas Sabha Ontatio. It has clearly stated that it sees itself as part of the Panth and holds Guru Granth Sahib ji Maharaj in the highest regards.

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The Ravidas Sabha UK does not agree with the press release issued by the Guru Ravidas Sabha Ontatio. It has clearly stated that it sees itself as part of the Panth and holds Guru Granth Sahib ji Maharaj in the highest regards.

But Azaad, you have confirmed what I said before in my previous post.

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VaheguruJiKaKhalsa! VahegurJiKiFateh!

Sangat ji , a very interesting article from 2006...But full of interesting facts ..

Author: A Singh

Date: 03-31-06 03:14

Tapoban.org

VaheguruJiKaKhalsa! VaheguruJiKiFateh!

Ramgarhia Gurdvaras, Ravidasia Gurdvaras, Bhatra Gurdvaras Balmiki Asthaans are all the result of similar socio-political factors.

If we stick with the last 100 year or so, in 1901 the British passed the Punjab Land Alienation Act which in a nutshell restricted land ownership to agricultural classes – in other words to Jatts – the boasts of landownership and zamindars etc actually originates from this British influenced act.

There are various political reasons as to why the Act was passed, however the biggest impact it had was upon the Tarkhans, Lohars and other artisan communities during its initial phasing, as these communities had over the previous 200 years seen considerable upwards mobility, enhanced particularly by the likes of Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia (hence the adoption of the title Ramgarhia subsequently by all Artisan Sikhs) and now stood to loose large portion of their acquired economic success as a result of this politically motivated Act.

The result was similar to what happened post-partition with the influx of largely Khatri and Arora Sikh families into Punjab who fared a similar disadvantage and in some cases in animosity from their Jatt counterparts, who now enjoyed the fruits of the Land Act. In short, these communities migrated to Delhi and set themselves up as successful traders in various areas of commerce – hence why during the 1984 riots, many of the prejudices that the attacking mobs held against Sikhs in Delhi was their apparent economic success and wealth (and likewise to that in Punjab – views to the effect that “when have you seen a Sikh begging in the street – never” soon turned into “what reason do they have to complain about problems, they are all well off “ in the hands of the politically charged Hindu right).

Back to the Artisan communites , they also migrated away from Punjab and congregating collectively as Ramgarhias, migrated in large numbers to East Africa and once more established their socio-economic success. They were subsequently uprooted and settled predominantly in the UK where they were perhaps the first community of Sikh settlers (perhaps before them only remote Bhatra groups) who did not cut their Kesh and remove their turbans upon entry into the UK on the pretence of finding work and “fitting in” as early, largely Jatt communities had done.

The end result of all of this was that the so-called scheduled castes or communities (in Punjabi, Churas, Chamars etc) suffered greatly as a result of the Land Act, who now were forced to live on the outskirts of villages and have any rights to land ownership that they may have earned stripped from them. The impact of this can still be seen to this day with some the treatment meted out these communities in various Punjab villages.

As a result, the Chamar community, congregated itself around the writings of Bhagat Ravidas, also of similar origin and begun to revere him as Guru Ravidas – this was quite different from the parallel Ramgarhia or Bhatra Gurdvaras which only used the titles to denote the management of the Gurdvaras, however in practice held firm to common Sikh belief and practice in most cases. The “Guru Ravidas Gurdvara” however came to be a mixed movement of Keshadhari Sikhs and predominantly clean shaven Sikhs (in many respects similar to many global Jatt settlements) however whilst retaining the Guru Granth Sahib as their central axis, they replaced the Kesri Nishan Sahib with a Bhagwa coloured one, similar to Nirmalas with the inscription “Har” or “So Hung”.

In latter years as tensions between the Ravidasia or “Aad Dharmi” community and others persisted, attempts were made to establish a new scripture consisting solely of the writings of Bhagat Ravi Das (this was called “Guru Sikhia Sahib”) – some Amritdhari Sikhs within this community protested and a further split occurred, one who retained the Guru Ravidas Gurdvara title and in practice were largely similar to most other Sikh Gurdvaras, another begun to establish long more partisan lines. Over time a third group emerged who reverted more to a Hindu practice and installed a murti of Bhagat Ravi Das.

The Balmikias comprised a community of so called ‘untouchable’ castes (chooras or achuuts). They pretty much immediately established their own asthaans along more Hindu lines and outraged many with their writings on the Balmiki Ramayana in which their claimed a whole manner of changes to the more popular Ramayan theme, namely that Sita was impregnated by Ravan and not Rama.

Insofar as present day Sikh practice is concerned, I personally believe we should be careful not to confuse the titles Ramgarhia, Ahluwalia, Bindravale, Ravidasia with caste per se and even terms such as Jatt, Tarkhan, Khatri, Arora, Chamar etc with caste as understood in the Hindu context, where the readings of scripture and spiritual practice are restricted on a caste basis – within Sikh, despite the existence of these various communities and whatever social tensions may arise from time to time, no one group is forbidden from participation in Sikh practices from reading or listening to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, no one group is restricted from eating Langar, no one is prevented from offering their heads for the blessings of Amrit.

These communities and titles are pretty much here to stay, rather than fighting a loosing (and largely unnecessary battle) trying to destroy them, it would be far easier to focus on more involved community projects and seva – in most towns in the UK that I have visited for example, Vaisakhi Jor Melas and Nagar Kirtans are held via a combined effort from all Gurdvaras, further development along these lines will ensure progress in the direction that ultimately everyone has in their hearts.

Gur Fateh!

A Singh

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Guest jason12

Hi Mehtab Singh Ji:

Jai Gurudev:

It is nice that you have highlighted certain words and paras which are more relevant to core sikhism and/or you find objectionable and I am glad that your tone is professional even though sometimes it tends to fringe upon the border of endorsing terroristic approach to handling conflicts which are not palpatable to Sikhs.

First of all, Ravidassi tradition dates back to long before Sikh tradition i.e it started around 1400s even before Guru Nank Dev ji met Guru Ravidass Ji and got his teachings, before they were included in GGS by Guru Arjun dev ji. One thing that could be made clear in the beginning is that customary use of word Holy Book should not imply in anybody's mind that Ravidassi's are trying to hurt feelings of Sikhs by calling it "book" As you and I know, "Holy Book" is the word you would commonly use in English. So it should not be construed as an insult. It is merely an expression. Let's for the sake of discussion call it, say GGS (Guru Granth Sahib).

Now GGS contains teachings of saints, peers, faquirs, and let's for the time being consider the religious figures, that sikhs consider gurus as saints like other saints in holy book (which they are in reality). As you may know that GGS contains only teaching of 6 gurus and as suggested by historians, Guru Gobind Singh at the time of his departure from this world, bestowed GGS the final guru to his khalsas. One of the point of contentions between Ravidassis and sikhs is that Ravidassis consider Guru Ravidass as Guru and believe in living guru or lineage of gurus which, by the way, also existed during lifetime of sikh gurus. Most of the times, sikhs give this argument that since GGS addresses Ravidass as Bhagat, then we should too, but Sikhs in the same breath forget that GGS contains teachings of 6 saints, who Sikhs consider as Gurus. But they worship 10ikhs should address the gurus gurus and not 6. So it is strange that on one had they have made 4 more gurus for themselves but they can't bear Ravidassis calling Ravidass as Guru. In other words, it reeks of casteism. How can one argue against us calling Ravidass as Guru when Sikhs worship those figures as Guru who are not even in the GGS and moreover none of the gurus addressed each other as gurus? Anyway, Ravidassis never had any issue with it because all the 10 gurus were in a lineage similar to today's dera tradition which sikhs so much worry about (because donations dry out at sikh temples as a result).

Ravidassis don't and never believed in 5Ks and whoever ravidassi takes amrit of sikhism then he/she becomes Sikh and not Ravidassi anymore. Ravidass consider Guru Ravidass as supreme guru while Sikhs consider GGS as supreme. What Sikhs follow never bothered us. After all, every religious group has their own traditions. The problem is that somehow Sikhs have got this notion that GGS belongs to them only. In fact, no saint whose teachings are in GGS are sikhs. Sikh's definition today is very narrow and guided by Sikh code of conduct. We don't qualify for that and we don't want to. Guru Ravidass is not one of 10 gurus and there is no accomodation in Sikh panth to have another guru. Since GGS doesn't contain teachings of sikhs by today's definition and some of them don't even belong to Hindu religion so they can't stop anybody from considering it as their holy book. Ravidassis have considered GGS as a holy book long before khalsas. Sikhs don't have a monoply on it.

Now coming to "matha tek" question. GGS say do the matha tek and sikh code of conduct says "don't". What do you think we would follow? We follow GGS and not SIkh code of conduct. We do what holy book says and not what Sikh code of conduct says. This should not be a surpise because we are not sikhs when we address Ravidass as Guru. This attempt to force Ravidassis to follow Sikh code of conduct is nothing but "bully" tactics. Ravidassis don't want to be part of any religion which treats them as second class citizens. Even Kukas who follow GGS do the matha tak to their gurus before holy book and believe in living gurus and core sikhs can't do anything to them because kukas strike back and this is what Ravidassis have done now. It is strange that even Bhais sit on the same place where Saints sit and there is an objection with saints. I mean, how do you respect your elders or holy men? You touch their feet, as simple as that. We bow before GGS first and then to Saints.

You and many others have suggested that we should get rid of GGS. Well, as I mentioned above GGS is not someone's personal property. It may happen that Ravidassis may do so (get rid of GGS). There are about 180 million Ravidassis all over India and many of them follow GGS but sikhs are only 20 million. You can imagine the consequences of this mass exodus of the followers from GGS. Saints were intrumental in spreading message of GGS in UP, MP, Maharashtra etc. based on Guru Ravidass Ji's teachings but the same people are now asking that it be taken out after this dastardly act where those idiots used knives against children and women. It won't be surprising that if GGS is removed from Guru Ravidass Sabhas around the world, Sikhs would be left with almost nothing but then it is their own making where they have believed in forcing a certain code of conduct on everybody rather than spreading the message of GGS. It's your calling.

This turmoil that sikhism is going through where they have fought/had friction with nirankaris, kukas in past, nanaksaris, bhaniarawalas, sacha suda, radha soamis, divya jyoti sangram and many others I guess should indicate somthing to sikh intelligentsia to think about. Those days are not far where people who are under the umberella of sikhism will feel suffocated one by one and leave, and GGS will be left with little or no followers. And guess who there followers will be? They will be the ones who use GGS for "object" worship (which gurus prevented) and not follow the message in it.

At the end you mentioned that you will be sorry if the one killed was really a holy man. Sorry ! What is this? When those thugs shot him, they have basically shot 10 gurus and Guru Granth Sahib. How can you justify killing of someone who had abosrbed GGS in his life. The downfall of Sikhism, as it is in current shape, has become. It was run on the backs on low castes anyway in Punjab like all other movements like Nirankarris and radhasoamis etc. I respect Guru Gobind Singh ji a lot. He is my personal favorite. When he created Khalsa panth, he created of those people who could give life for right cause. But he also knew that when these people follow wrong path of casteism, selfishness, hatred they will basically cut their own heads and heads of their colleagues. He had said "Jab eh karen vipran ki reet", "Main na karoon inki parteet". Sorry if words are not accurate but the internal strife that sikhism has today is because of what your guru had prevented you from doing.

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wjkk wjkf,

Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib is our King of Kings. He is the boat that carries us across. Without Guru Ji, salvation is impossible.

I am sure many (including me) are going to stand up against anyone disrespecting Guru Ji.Remember Bhai Mahtab Singh and Bhai Sukha Singh?

I apploud the bravery of the Sikhs in Austria. It was unfortunate that he got killed. But, for them standing up, bravo.

wjkk wjkf.

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Guest jason12

Guru Granth Sahib is your king which is fine, but not our King i.e not King for Ravidassias. With due respects to Guru Granth Sahib, our king is Guru Ravidass. All granths are dependent on Gurus for teachings not vice-versa.

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dear jason

that is a very informative post, and certainly clears up some of the confusion as to what Ravidasias are or are not. But your claim as to the sikhs forcing you to follow what you call the sikh code of conduct is incorrect. The protocols of the conduct were set by the Gurus themselves. The sikh gurus set these and folowed them themselves.

you claim that by not being sikhs you can do whatever you like wiv GGS, brother you are mistaken. You can not do whatevr you like cos there will always be people to stop you. If you beeliev that you are entitled as non-sikhs to treat GGS as you wish then you have fallen into the same trap that you accuse sikhs of having fallen into, ie GGS is an object.

in the uk about 10 years ago, Sant Ramanand did the same act of having people touch his feet in GGS hazuri. This led to the UK Guru Ravidas Sabha to issue a press statement that no-one can let people touch their feet in presence of GGS. I have read this statement myself. There was no pressure from any sikh org then either.

also this meetingthat you say happened between Guru Nanak and Guru Ravidas. Can you shed any light on this as this is new to me.

"All gurus are dependent on granths,not vice versa. " Not unless you have an ounce of beleif of the teachings of GGS. If this was the case why would Guru Gobind Singh give GuruGaddi to GGS? why not pass it on to a human and continue the tradition of the 9 Gurus before him. all people are dependent on the granths/holy books for learning.

Also can you tell me/us whether Guru Ravidas gave gurgaddi to anyone?

and do you bow your head to GGS? or a painting/murti of Guru Ravidas?

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Jason 12

please do the sikh community and your community a favour

Please get one of your main people and get them to declare that Ravidassia are NOT Sikh and they are a seperate religion because the media has been reporting the this Ramanand as a Sikh guru and this is a fight within sikhism.

Then remove Guru Granth Sahib Ji from your bhavans and then install pothis of Bhagat Ravidass ji

Simple

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Guru Granth Sahib is your king which is fine, but not our King i.e not King for Ravidassias. With due respects to Guru Granth Sahib, our king is Guru Ravidass. All granths are dependent on Gurus for teachings not vice-versa.

i didn wanted to get on this topic but anyways... i agree with chatanga and jason veer ji i would like to ask u something ..if a sect or community such as Ravidassis demand their own religious and spiritual rights distinct from other religions such as Sikhism then does the very leader of that community or so called "new religion" has the right to disrespect and dis value other religion and most above of all their highest spiritual leader which is Shri Guru Granth Sahib ???... am hoping tht u do know everything tht happened before this incident and something tht caused to disrespect SGGS....

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Basically, it wasnt singhs that killed Sant Ramanand Ji. It was divisions within the Ravidasia community in india at dera sachkhand. The group who were opposed to Sant Ramanand were responsible for the shooting. The killers are from the Ravidassia community. Anyway one send a statement claiming it was the khalistanis that were responsible.

They made Sikhs the scapegoats, and the Ravidassia community have been responsible to killing of innocent people in punjab and putting innocent lives at risk - That is terrorism

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Suraj and Uthra had met two years earlier, via the services of a matrimonial broker. Suraj's father was an auto-rickshaw driver and his mother a homemaker. Uthra, who was three years younger than Suraj and suffered from learning disabilities, came from a significantly more well-off family - her father was a rubber trader and her mother was a retired school principal. When the couple married, Suraj accepted a dowry from Uthra's parents of 768 grams of gold (worth about $32,000 at today's rates), a Suzuki sedan and 400,000 rupees in cash. He also received 8,000 rupees a month from her parents "to look after their daughter", investigators said. It was her parents' home Uthra returned to after being released from hospital, where she was treated for the snake bite. It had put her there for 52 days and required three painful surgeries to heal her affected leg. She had been bitten by a Russell's viper - a highly venomous earth-coloured snake responsible for thousands of deaths in India every year. IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES Image caption,The spectacled cobra is one of the most venomous snakes in the world Then on the night of 6 May, investigators say, while Uthra was still recuperating, she accepted a glass of fruit juice from Suraj which was laced with sedatives. When the mixture had put her under, Suraj brought out the container with the cobra, overturned it, and dropped the five-foot-long snake on his sleeping wife. But rather than attack her, the snake slithered away. Suraj picked it up and flung it on Uthra, but again it slithered off. Suraj tried a third time - he held the reptile by its trademark hood and pressed its head near Uthra's left arm. The agitated cobra, using the fangs at the front of the mouth, bit her twice. Then it slinked off to a shelf in the room and stayed there all night. "Cobras don't bite unless you provoke them, Suraj had to catch it by its hood and force it to bite his wife," says Mavish Kumar, a herpetologist. Suraj washed the juice glass, destroyed a stick he had used to safely handle the snake and deleted incriminating call records on his mobile phone, according to investigators. When Uthra's mother entered the room the next morning, she told the police she saw her daughter lying on the bed with "her mouth open, and her left hand dangling on one side". She said Suraj was also in the room. "Why didn't you check whether she was awake?" Manimekhala Vijayan asked her son-in-law. "I didn't want to disturb her sleep," Suraj told her. IMAGE SOURCE,SREEDHAR LAL Image caption,Uthra slept on the bed on the left in this room where she was killed The family rushed Uthra to the hospital, where the doctors pronounced her dead by poisoning and called the police. The autopsy report found two pairs of puncture wounds, less than an inch apart, on her left forearm. Blood and viscera samples revealed the presence of cobra venom and sedative drugs. Cobra venom can kill in hours by paralysing respiratory muscles. Acting on a complaint by Uthra's parents, the police arrested Suraj on 24 May in connection with his wife's unusual death. After a 78-day investigation and with charges running into more than 1,000 pages, the trial began. More than 90 people, including herpetologists and doctors, testified. The prosecution built its case using Suraj's call records, internet history, a dead cobra exhumed from the back garden, a stash of sedatives in the family car and evidence that he bought not one but two snakes. Investigators said that Suraj had also purchased the Russell's viper which had bitten Uthra months before she died. Suresh, the snake catcher, turned on Suraj and confessed to selling him both snakes. A herpetologist told the court that it was highly unlikely a cobra would have entered the couple's bedroom through a raised window. The crime scene was even recreated, using a live cobra, a snake handler and a dummy of the victim on a bed. IMAGE SOURCE,SREEDHAR LAL Image caption,Police found the plastic container in which Suraj kept the cobra that killed his wife "Cobras are not very active at night. Every time we dropped a cobra on the supine dummy, it slithered to the floor and went into a dark corner of the room," Mavish Kumar said. "Even when we provoked the cobra, it did not try to bite." He then caught the neck of one cobra and "induced" the bite on a piece of chicken tied to the plastic hand of the dummy. The distance between the bites was the same as it had been on Uthra's arm. "This is a case of diabolical and ghastly uxoricide," said Judge M Manoj, referring to the murder of a wife. Judge Manoj sentenced Suraj to life in prison, saying he had schemed to kill Uthra and "disguise it as a death from an accidental cobra bite". According to investigators, the fatal cobra bite was Suraj's third, not second, attempt to kill his wife in just four months. The Indian tribesmen catching giant snakes in Florida The global fight against snake bites Suraj, who worked as a collection agent for a local bank, met the snake catcher Suresh in February last year, and bought the Russell's viper from him for 10,000 rupees. He took the snake home in a plastic container and hid it under a heap of firewood in a shed. Then on 27 February, Suraj released the snake on the landing of the first floor of his home, investigators said, and asked his wife to go upstairs to fetch his mobile phone. Uthra saw the viper coiled up on the marble floor and raised an alarm, her mother told the police. Suraj came up, picked up the snake with a stick, and left the house. He put it back in the container. On the night of 2 March, Suraj tried again. He laced his wife's pudding with sedatives, and released the viper in the bedroom while she slept. IMAGE SOURCE,SREEDHAR LAL Image caption,The murder took place on the ground floor of this house in Kollam district This time, investigators said, the snake attacked. Uthra woke up screaming in pain, bites on her leg, and Suraj threw the snake out of the window. "Snakebite cases are common in Kerala, so we didn't suspect any foul play here," said Vijayasenan Vidhyadharan, Uthra's father. (About 60,000 people die of snakebites in India every year.) It took more than two hours that night to find a hospital that provided critical care treatment. Uthra was suffering from swelling and haemorrhage. Three skin transplant surgeries later, she returned home to her parent's two-storey house in a verdant village in Kollam to rest. Suraj remained with his son and parents at his home in Pathanamthitta. But he was already plotting again. "While his wife was in the hospital, Suraj was trawling the internet about handling snakes and learning about snake venom," said Anoop Krishna, one of the investigators. IMAGE SOURCE,SREEDHAR LAL Image caption,Suraj (middle) had been planning to kill his wife for more than a year, police say Investigators say Suraj had been plotting the murder since the birth of his son, Dhruv, in 2019. His internet history revealed that he searched venomous snakes and watched snake videos on YouTube, including a channel by a locally well-known snake handler. One of the snake-handler's most popular videos is about the "dangerous and aggressive Russell's viper". Suraj reportedly told his friends that his wife was "haunted by the curse of a serpent" in her dreams, in which she was "destined to die of snakebite". In reality, Suraj was determined to kill his wife, steal her money, and marry another woman, investigators said. "He planned it meticulously and succeeded in the third attempt," said Apukuttan Ashok, the lead investigating police officer. Public prosecutor Mohanraj Gopalakrishnan called the case a "milestone in police investigations in India, when prosecutors could decisively prove that an animal was used as a weapon of murder". Suraj received a rare double life sentence for the crime. According to Gopalakrishnan, he showed no remorse.
    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nayel_Nassar Nassar was born in Chicago and grew up in Kuwait, before moving back to California in 2009. He was born to Fouad Nassar and Iman Harby, owners of Kuwaiti architectural firm Diwan Interiors International,[6] which has worked with companies such as Citigroup Kuwait, JW Marriott and Mercedes Benz.[6] He first began riding at the age of five and jumping at ten. Nassar has published that, on his Instagram page, many times, he is always proud to say that he's been an equestrian since day one.[3] Nassar is a graduate of Stanford University. He earned his bachelor's degree in economics from Stanford in 2013.[2] On 29 January 2020, Nassar and Jennifer Gates, daughter of Bill and Melinda Gates, announced their engagement.[7] They married on 16 October 2021 in Westchester County, New York.[8]
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