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US court asks yoga guru Bikram Choudhury to pay damages in sexual assault case with all his earnings

He has also been directed to turn over his fleet of 43 luxury cars.

A Los Angeles court has ordered the founder of Bikram Yoga, Bikram Choudhury, to give up his income to pay for damages worth $6.8 million (over Rs 42 crore) in a sexual harassment case filed by his former legal adviser, AP reported on Wednesday. The court told Choudhury to turn over his earnings from his global fitness business, his book sales and from all the yoga studios he has in Europe, Asia and Americas. Choudhury has also been directed to give up his fleet of 43 luxury cars, including 13 Rolls-Royce, eight Bentley and three Ferrari, reported The Australian.

In her lawsuit, Choudhury’s former legal adviser, Minakshi Jafa-Bodden, had claimed that she was fired when she refused to help him cover up a rape allegation. Jafa-Bodden also accused Choudhury of inappropriately touching her. Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, Jafa-Bodden said “Bikram is no longer the boss of Bikram Yoga. I am.”

Jafa-Bodden headed Choudhry’s legal team between 2011 and 2013. The Los Angeles court in January 2016 had asked Choudhury to pay up to $7.5 million (more than Rs 47 crore) as punitive and compensatory damages to Jafa-Bodden. The yoga guru had then said that he was nearly bankrupt.

Using the concept of a rigorous 90-minute yoga routine in a room that can reach more than a 40° Celsius, Choudhury built an empire around Bikram Yoga. Choudhury has over 650 studios worldwide, including studios which pay him to use his name.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.


2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.