A speeding vehicle crushed 12 Hindu pilgrims, including four women, who were sleeping in Bihars Aurangabad district early Tuesday, police said.Eighteen others were injured in the ghastly pre-dawn incident along a national highway, Aurangabad Superintendent of Police Upendra Kumar Sharma said.Sharma said more than four dozen Hindus were asleep in the open after parking their bus on the highway when a truck ran over them.The injured were admitted to different hospitals.During the month of Shravan (July-August), thousands of Hindus visit an ancient Shiva temple in Deoghar in Jharkhand to offer Ganges water that they carry from the holy river.The kanwariyas, as they are known, walk long distances to reach the Shiva temple. They return to their villages and towns in trains or in their own vehicles.
An earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale hit the coast of Andaman islands Tuesday but there was no threat of a tsunami, officials said.According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the moderate intensity quake hit the north Andaman island coast at 12:37 p.m.A tsunami warning was not issued by the IMD.
In a near replay of the incidents in Iraq, a large number of Indian nurses are caught amid spiralling violence in Libya, where rival militias seek to control the capitals international airport, and have approached the Indian mission for aid and even help in evacuation.Over the last two weeks, the North African country has plunged into chaos following deadly clashes between government forces and Islamist militants in the capital Tripoli and Benghazi where more than 150 people, most of them civilians, have been killed.Taking note of the fighting, Indian Ambassador in Libya, Azar A. H. Khan, met the nurses in the Tripoli hospitals and assured them of their safety.Everybody is safe here. We are in constant touch with the nurses, Khan told IANS over phone from Tripoli.The ambassador, however, said that only some Indian nationals, mostly nurses, have approached the embassy for help in leaving the country.It is only in some places around the airport where fighting is raging...rest of the places are fine, he said.Panic gripped the Indian nationals after incessant shelling rocked the area around Tripoli airport and elsewhere, in a two week-long battle since mid-July.However, out of 430 Indian nurses based in two Tripoli hospitals, only 88 have sought help from the Indian mission.A total of 365 nurses are based in Tripoli Medical Centre (TMC), while 71 medical staff members, comprising of technicians, paramedics and nurses, are based in Tripolis Al Khadra hospital, an embassy official said.Nearly 74 out of 365 in TMC have shown their inclination to leave the country, added the envoy.The embassy has been arranging for passports and other documents for all those who want to exit Libya by road.Also, some 350 nurses are located in Benghazi, another restive city in eastern Libya, but only a few of them have wished to leave their place.Khan said the number of those wanting to leave the country keeps fluctuating as people have financial issues, apart from their own safety.Libya has around 6,000 Indians, mostly from Kerala and majority of whom are based in Tripoli and nearby satellite towns.Meanwhile, following the closure of Tripoli airport, the Libyan civil aviation ministry has announced resumption of limited air operations from Mitiga airport in Tripoli and Misurata airport (200 km from Tripoli) by Al Afriqiya and Libyan airlines.Tripolis military airport can take a few people out of the country, while the main exit route that we advice is through the checkpoints on Libyan-Tunisian and Libyan-Egyptian borders, the ambassador said.The embassy said Indians have been advised to cross the Libyan border in small batches into safer countries like neighbouring Tunisia.The embassy has appointed area coordinators in regions across the country, to update the mission on concerns of its national residing there.The country witnessed a major evacuation of over 18,000 Indian nationals during the NATO-led military intervention and the fall of the Colonel Gaddafi regime in March 2011.At the moment, the US, the UN and Turkey have also pulled their diplomats out of Libya, while Egypt as well as France and several other western countries have evacuated their nationals amid escalating violence.The problems for Indian nurses in Libya come close on heels of the rescue of 46 Indian nurses from Iraq and even as 40 construction workers continue to held hostage by Sunni militants, who have overrun a considerable part of the country.
Bollywood celebrities including Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Preity Zinta and Abhishek Bachchan have wished for peace, love and prosperity on Eid Tuesday.The tinsel town stars took to micro-blogging site Twitter to wish fans and family on the special occassion. Heres what they tweeted:Amitabh Bachchan: Eid Mubarak... peace harmony and happiness for all...Shah Rukh Khan: What a beautiful rain kissed day....Eid Mubarak. May Allah grant us all with peace & a modicum of happiness. Bas itna sa khwab hai...Preity Zinta: Eid Mubarak to all my friends in India and all over the world. May this day be filled with peace, love, hugs and a lot of biryani :-) ting ! (sic)Akshay Kumar: Eid Mubarak everyone. Wishing you all love, peace and prosperity always.Anurag Basu: Eid Mubarak to everyone !! Lets pray for the people of GAZA & kids who lost their lives.Shoojit Sircar: EID MUBARAK TO ALL:)))Madhur Bhandarkar: Wishing u And Your Loved Ones A Very Happy and Prosperous Eid!Hema Malini: ID Mubarak & a very good morning to all of u! Lovely to be back amongst my own in my country!Madhuri Dixit: Eid Mubarak to all! May there be success, happiness, love and peace for everyone!Juhi Chawla: May this Eid bring a lot of love happiness peace and prosperity to the home and familly ...!!! Eid Mubarak once again Karan Johar: Eid Mubarak to all...love...peace and peace of mind...May the season enrich and enlighten you in equal measure...Abhishek Bachchan: Eid Mubarak to all of you. Happiness, peace and prosperity.Lata Mangeshkar: Namaskar. Aap sab ko Eid Mubarak. (Wish you all happy Eid)Hrithik Roshan: Eid Mubarak beautiful people. People give love effortlessly on Eid n also receive without hesitation. Lets learn to make everyday Eid.Farah Khan: GOD answers all prayers..sometimes He says YES, sometimes He says NO, and sometimes He says...youve got to be kidding!! EID MUBARAK to u all.Arjun Rampal: Eid Mubarak everyone, wish you love, happiness and peace.Varun Dhawan: Eid Mubarak. Spread love and rise above hate its one of my favourite days of the year.Satish Kaushik: Eid Mubarak to all my friends... Love, Peace and Happiness always...Nimrat Kaur: Eid mubaarak everyone...what a beautiful day to remind us of the simple pleasures of life and the reward of sacrifices and discipline.Sidharth Malhotra: Eid Mubarak everyone...love n respectAlia Bhatt: Eid Mubarak !!!!! ;)Kunal Kapoor: Eid Mubarak all you wonderful people. Peace, prosperity and love to all of you. And yummy biryani and sevaiyan to me.Sanjay Gupta: E I D M U B A A R A K. The Day of Festivities, Bonding and Celebrations is here. Have a Blessed Day.Sridevi Boney Kapoor: Eid Mubarak. Happiness, peace, love and prosperity to all.Bipasha Basu: Eid Mubarak:)Sonakshi Sinha: Eid mubarak! Dua mein yaad rakhna :)Arbaaz Khan: Eid Mubarak aap sab ko :)
A newly-elected US lawmaker has apologised for his embarrassing faux pas when he mistook two senior Indian-origin Obama administration officials as Indians during a recent congressional hearing.Republican Congressman Curt Clawson had posed questions about your country and your government to Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal, and the Assistant Commerce Secretary for Global Markets, Arun Kumar, while they were testifying before the Congressional subcommittee on the Indo-US relationship under the new Indian government.I made a mistake in speaking before being fully briefed and I apologise. Im a quick study, but in this case I shot an air ball, he said using a basketball analogy, having played the sport as a university student.During the testimony, Clawson quizzed Biswal and Kumar - both of whom are Indian Americans - as if they were representatives of the Indian government.I am familiar with your country. I love your country. Im hopeful with the new change in regime that the future and the land of promise and the land of opportunity of India can finally become so, Clawson had said.The lawmaker from Florida shared his bitter experience in India as a businessman.Just as your capital is welcome here to produce good-paying jobs in the US, Id like our capital to be welcome there and there to be freedom of capital so that both sides are on the same territory. And I ask cooperation and commitment and priority from your (Indian) government in so doing. Can I have that? Clawson asked the two bemused US officials.I think your question is to the Indian government. And we certainly share your sentiments. And we certainly will advocate that on behalf of the US government, Biswal replied.Ironically, Clawson has lived in India, has joint venture factories in Pune, understands Tamil and Telugu, and says Hyderabadi Biryani is his favourite dish!
Eid-ul Fitr, the Muslim festival marking the culmination of the fasting month of Ramzan, was today celebrated across Kashmir with traditional fervour and gaiety but for a few stray protests over the situation in Gaza.Men, women and children dressed in their best clothes made a beeline for Eidgah (prayer grounds), mosques and shrines across the Valley to offer the congregational Eid prayers in thanksgiving for the fasting month of Ramzan, which ended last evening with the sighting of the crescent moon.The biggest gathering was reported at the revered Hazratbal Shrine on the banks of Dal Lake where Chief Minister Omar Abdullah joined nearly 60,000 devotees to offer Eid prayers, police said.A big gathering was also reported at Eidgah in the old city where nearly 30,000 people offered prayers.Large congregations were also witnessed at the Tourist Reception Centre ground here and in the Anantnag, Baramulla, Shopian, Kulgam, Budgam, and Ganderbal district headquarters, police added.However, violent protests were reported in parts of the Valley soon after Eid prayers in which one photojournalist was injured, police said.The protests were held in solidarity with the people of Gaza where hundreds of persons have died in Israeli airstrikes and ground offensive over the past month.
Irans supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday called Israel a rabid dog for its attacks on Gaza, and urged Muslims to arm Palestinians to enable them to counter what he termed genocide. About 1,087 Gazans, most of them civilians, have been killed in 22 days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. As well as 53 Israeli soldiers killed, three civilians have died as a result of Palestinian shelling.In a speech marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Khamenei criticised the United States and European countries for what he said were their efforts to limit the military capacity of Palestinian fighters in the enclave.Of Israel, he said: This rabid dog, this rapacious wolf, has attacked innocent people and humanity must show a reaction. This is genocide, a catastrophe of historical scale.They have been pounding innocent people day and night and these men women and children are defending themselves with minimum means, and now Americans and Europeans want to take even that away ... so that those merciless beasts could pound without qualm.Khamenei denounced what he said was a ruling by U.S. President Barack Obama to disarm Palestinians - an apparent reference to U.S. opposition to efforts by Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, to obtain weapons such as missiles and rockets. Washington views Hamas as a terrorist organisation. Khamenei said Iran took the opposite view about arming Palestinians.Everyone, whoever has the means, especially in the Islamic world, they should do what they can to arm the Palestinian nation ... the Zionist regime deeply regrets starting this (war) but has no way out.Israel launched its offensive on July 8 with the aim of halting rocket attacks by Hamas and its allies. It later ordered a land invasion to find and destroy the warren of Hamas tunnels that criss-crosses the border area. Tehran is at loggerheads with Western powers on a range of foreign policy issues including its nuclear programme and its support for Hamas, Syrias President Bashar al-Assad and the Lebanese Shiite militant movement Hezbollah.Khameneis speech to a crowd of hundreds of thousands in Tehran was broadcast live on state television. Khamenei was accompanied by senior government officials.
Russia has violated the landmark 1987 nuclear missile treaty by testing a new ground-launched cruise missile, the US has said, describing it as a very serious matter.President Barack Obama yesterday wrote a letter to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, in this regard.Secretary of State John Kerry also spoke with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, a day earlier on Sunday.The United States has determined that the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a senior administration official told PTI.More specifically, the 2014 Compliance Report includes a determination that the Russian Federation is in violation of its INF Treaty obligations not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile with a range capability of 500 to 5,500 kilometres, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles, the official said on condition of anonymity.The issue was first reported by the New York Times. Signed by the then President Ronald Reagan with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, the INF Treaty prohibits the development, testing, possession, and deployment of INF-range (500- to 5,500-kilometre) ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles.The landmark treaty has been lauded often as an example of successful arms control because it eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons. This violation is a very serious matter which we have attempted to address with Russia for some time now, the official said adding that the US is committed to the viability of the INF Treaty. We encourage Russia to return to compliance with its obligations under the Treaty and to eliminate any prohibited items in a verifiable manner, the official said.The Obama administration has kept the Congress and top American allies informed of this matter, the official noted. The INF Treaty serves the mutual security interests of the parties - not only the United States and Russia, but also the 11 other successor states of the former Soviet Union, which are also States Parties to the Treaty and bound by its obligations, the official said.Moreover, this Treaty contributes to the security of our allies and to regional security in Europe and in the Far East, the official added. We have notified Russia of our determination and are prepared to discuss this in a senior-level bilateral dialogue immediately, with the aim of assuring the United States that Russia will come back into compliance with its Treaty obligations, the official said.The United States will, of course, consult with allies on this matter to take into account the impact of this Russian violation on our collective security if Russia does not return to compliance, the official said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday said India needs to increase its per hectare productivity of crops to meet the growing demand for food.The land area in the country is not going to increase... So we need to increase per hectare productivity, Modi said at a function at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.Similarly, we must find out how the crop which matures in 45 days can mature in 35 days without compromising with its quality, he said.The prime minister also emphasised on water intensive agriculture, and said there should be more crop per drop.We need to ensure scientific management of water cycle keeping in mind the (changing) weather cycle.Modi called upon agricultural scientists to develop technology to achieve this goal.The challenge is how to get what is done in the lab to the land, to the farmer.Results of scientific research must reach farmers, he said, adding that agriculture colleges could operate radio stations to propagate knowledge in the region they are located.
New sanctions would be imposed on Russia this week by the US and the European Union (EU) in the wake of Moscows continued assistance to rebels in eastern Ukraine.We expect the EU to take significant steps this week to target Russias economy, Xinhua quoted US Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken as saying.Blinken said the US will also impose additional sanctions on Russia.On Monday, Obama spoke of new sanctions in a video conference call with British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.Over the conference call, the world leaders stressed the continued need for unrestricted access to the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine, the White House said in a statement.The US and the European leaders also discussed situations in Gaza, Iraq and Libya.The leaders discussed the security challenges in Iraq, welcoming developments in the political process, and urging the swift completion of the formation of an inclusive government, the statement said.With respect to Libya, they agreed on the need for an immediate ceasefire among militias in Tripoli.
A suicide attacker killed a cousin of outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai near the volatile southern city of Kandahar today, officials said, raising tensions during a struggle over the contested election result.Hashmat Karzai was a campaign manager in Kandahar for Ashraf Ghani, one of the two presidential candidates involved in a bitter dispute over fraud that threatens to pitch the country into worsening instability.Hashmat Karzai, who famously owned a pet lion, was killed by a man with explosives hidden inside his turban when visitors arrived to celebrate Eid, the holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.A suicide bomber disguised as a guest came to Hashmat Karzais house to greet him, Dawa Khan Minapal, the Kandahar provincial governors spokesman, told AFP.After he hugged Hashmat, he blew up his explosives and killed him.Ghani and opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah are at loggerheads over the June 14 second-round election, which has been mired in allegations of massive fraud.Ghani won the vote according to preliminary results, but an audit of the ballots is under way after Abdullah refused to accept defeat due to fraud claims.With the audit triggering another outbreak of complaints from both sides, many fear the country could be at risk of a revival of the ethnic violence seen during the 1992-1996 civil war.Hashmat Karzai first worked in this years presidential election campaign for Qayyum Karzai, the presidents brother, and later moved to support Ghani when Qayyum withdrew from the race.
A teenaged girl was allegedly gang raped at gunpoint by five people known to her in a west Delhi house, police said Tuesday.The victim, a resident of Uttam Nagar and a student of class X, was taken to a house in west Delhi a week ago by the accused -- all of whom are known to her -- when she was going to school and raped in turns, police said.Of the five accused, three are minors.In her complaint, the victim told the police that one of the accused was carrying a pistol and threatened her with dire consequences if she disclosed the incident to anyone.She added the accused also recorded the incident on a mobile phone. Incidentally, the police have not yet found the gun.The victims parents got to know about the incident, a week after it took place, when she complained of uneasiness and was taken to a hospital.Two minors have been apprehended while a 20-year-old accused was arrested from their respective houses after the girls parents approached the police. The hunt for the other two accused, who are on the run, is on, a police official said.He added that the police are verifying all the allegations.
Devouts today offered Eid prayers in Saharanpur with district authorities relaxing curfew in the violence-hit city where security forces kept a close watch on trouble-mongers.Curfew was being relaxed in two stages from 7 AM to 11 AM in the old town areas and from 3 PM to 7 PM in the new city, Saharanpur District Magistrate Sandhya Tiwari said.Large number of people gathered at the Idgah area and other mosques in the city to offer prayers but many of them said they could not make preparations for Eid because of the law and order situation.68 people have been arrested so far in connection with Saturdays violence, Tiwari said, adding minor incidents have been reported since yesterday and the situation was improving. Curfew had been relaxed yesterday to allow people to get their daily needs from the markets.Tiwari said security forces were maintaining a tight vigil on trouble-mongers to prevent any violence.Curfew was clamped on Saturday in the wake of clashes between two communities over a land dispute in which three persons were killed and 33 injured.In Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had said yesterday those behind the violent incidents would not be spared and stern action would be taken against them.Asked about the plot of land over which clashes erupted, Yadav had said the matter is sub judice and action would be taken accordingly.Home Minister Rajnath Singh had briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday on the situation in the Uttar Pradesh district.The Home Ministry has sent 600 paramilitary personnel to assist the state administration in maintaining law and order situation there.
The developmental plan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi reflected in his poll slogan of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas is a great vision, US Secretary of State John Kerry said today on the eve of his departure to India.Kerry will be in New Delhi to co-chair the fifth annual India-US Strategic Dialogue with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.In fulsome praise of the developmental agenda encompassing inclusive growth of Modi, Kerry in a major foreign policy speech on India said that the US is ready to be partner with the new Indian government in its endeavour.The new Indian governments plan, Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, together with all, development for all - thats a concept, a vision that we want to support. We believe its a great vision, and our private sector is eager to be a catalyst in Indias economic revitalisation, Kerry said in his address to a Washington audience at an event held by the Center for American Progress, a top US think tank.American companies lead in exactly the key sectors where India wants to grow: in high-end manufacturing, in infrastructure, in healthcare, information technology, all of them vital to sort of leapfrogging stages of development so you can provide more faster to more people, he said.India also wants to build a more competitive workforce, and already 100,000 Indians study each year in American universities, he said, adding US community colleges actually set a remarkable standard for 21st century skills training.We should be expanding our educational ties across the board, increasing opportunities for young people in both of our nations. I know Prime Minister Modi drew from that energy of Indias youth during his campaign. He repeatedly pointed out that while Indias one of the worlds oldest civilisations, it has the worlds youngest population.Prime Minister Modi has said that young people have a natural instinct to rise like a flame. And he has spoken about Indias duty to nurture that instinct, and we believe, frankly, thats a duty for both of our nations, he said.And that means strengthening the exchange in technical education, in vocational programs for high-skilled trades, and especially in areas where we can build on the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of both of our nations, he said, adding that everyone knows about the extraordinary work ethic that people in India have and the capacity to be able to do this and seize this opportunity, Kerry said. One of the marked contrasts of this moment is this juxtaposition to parts of the world where young people demanded a participation in this world they see around them, and rose up against leadership that had stultified over the course of years, decades even - Tunisia, Egypt, Syria.They all began without one flake of religious extremism involved in the revolutions that brought change. It was all about young people gathering and forcing the notion that they wanted something more to life. They wanted opportunity, education, respect, dignity, jobs, a future, Kerry noted.So this possibility Ive just defined between India and the United States, which fits very neatly into Prime Minister Modis vision that he expressed in a campaign which was ratified overwhelmingly by the people of his country is exactly the vision that we need to embrace now, and thats why this opportunity is actually so ripe, Kerry said.This area of cooperation is particularly exciting, I think, and Im particularly confident about these opportunities, because only countries that reward creativity the way the US and India do could have possibly launched Hollywood and Bollywood.Only countries that celebrate the entrepreneur the way we do could have launched Silicon Valley and Bangalore as global epicentres for innovation, he said.Innovation and entrepreneurship are in both of our DNA, and they not only make us natural partners; they give us natural advantages in a world that demands adaptability and resilience. The US and India cannot afford to just sort of sit back and rest on these currently existing advantages. We have to build on them and we have to build on them by investing more in one another, he said.If Indias government delivers on its plans to support greater space for private initiative, if it creates greater openness for capital flows, if it limits subsidies that stifle competition, if it provides strong intellectual property rights, believe me, even more American companies will come to India. They may even race to India. And with a clear and ambitious agenda, we can absolutely help create those conditions, he said.So as we work with our trading partners around the world to advance trade and investment liberalisation, India has a decision to make about where it fits in the global trading system. Indias willingness to support a rules-based trading order and fulfill its obligations will help to welcome greater investment from the US and from elsewhere around the world. The greater transparency and accountability that Prime Minister Modi put in place during his time as chief minister tells us he has already provided a model of how raising standards can actually increase economic growth, Kerry said.The US and India should continue to reach for the ambitious target that Vice President (Joe) Biden laid out last summer in India, to push from USD 100 billion to USD 500 billion a year in trade. And whatever impediments we may face along the way, we need to always be mindful of the opportunities and the bigger picture around this.It is completely in our mutual interest to address those obstacles that kind of raise their head here and there as you go along the way and to remember that a lot bigger opportunities will come from more robust ties, so we need to keep our eye on the prize out there and not get dragged down by one small or lesser particular aspect of a restraint. The bigger picture has to guide us and the end game has to guide us, Kerry said.
Weightlifter Vikas Thakur showed tremendous grit as he fought back pain to clinch a silver while three boxers inched closer to a medal by advancing to the quarterfinals of the 20th Commonwealth Games here.Writhing in pain, Thakur produced the lift of his life to clinch the silver in mens 85kg weightlifting, as Indian lifters continued their spectacular show.Thakur lifted 333kg (150+183) to bag the silver while Richard Patterson of New Zealand won the gold with a total lift of 335kg (151+184). Canadas Pascal Plamondon was third with 333kg (151+182), but Thakur bagged the silver on lesser bodyweight.In the ring, Vijender Singh (75kg), Mandeep Jangra (69kg) and L Devendro Singh (49kg) entered the quarterfinals.Vijender, a former Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist, outpunched Namibias Mujandjae Kasuto 3-0 in a lopsided contest to make the last-eight stage.Mandeep, on the other hand, was equally dominant in his 3-0 triumph over Jamaicas Kestna Davis in a late night contest.Asian Championships silver-medallist Devendro made the last eight after notching up a tough 2-1 victory over Sri Lankas Madushan Gamage.With the addition of four more medals, Indias overall haul swelled to 25 with seven gold, 12 silver and seven bronze and the country was placed fourth in the standings.Australia were at the top with followed by England and hosts Scotland. In weightlifting, Thakur was trailing at third with a lift of 150kg after completion of snatch though the gap with the leaders -- Patterson and Plamondon -- was just one kilogram. The Indian began with 142kg and then went onto lift 147kg and 150kg in his next two attempts. Patterson, the favourite and last years Commonwealth Championships winner, began with 147kg and lifted 151kg in his second attempt. He went for 154kg in his third attempt but failed to lift it.The 20-year-old Thakur had finished second in the Commonwealth Championships. In clean and jerk, Thakur went for 179kg in his first attempt, but could not lift it.However, he was successful in his second attempt to jump to the top spot. Plamondon then lifted 182kg to take the top spot. Thakur was non-plussed and he came out to lift 182kg to total 333kg and equal Plamondon.Hammer thrower Narayan Singh Chandrodaya was the only Indian to qualify for the final round in a disappointing outing for the Indians on the second day of athletics meet.Chandrodaya finished fifth with 67.95m in qualification group A and his effort was good enough to make it to the final rounds of hammer throw competition at Hampden Park. The other Indian in the fray, Kamalpreet Singh finished sixth in qualification round B to miss out on finals.Shot putter Om Prakash Karhana finished sixth in the final round. In womens 400m race, M R Poovamma failed to advance to the final round after finishing fifth in semifinals number one with an effort of 52.88secs. She finished 14th.Shradha Narayana also failed to advance to the finals after finishing sixth in the semifinal number one with a timing of 11.71secs. In mens para-sport discus throw F42/44 finals, Jai Deep finished fourth with a best throw of 38.68m.
The State Legislature on Monday passed an amendment to the Goonda Act, seeking to bring sexual offences, including rape, under its ambit. The Bill was passed without any discussion, as the proceedings in both Houses—the Assembly and the Council—were disrupted for most part of the day. Acid attacks, illegal sand mining, quarrying, land grabbing and money laundering have also been included under the amended law — the Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug-Offenders, Slum-Grabbers and Video or Audio Pirates Act, 1985 (widely known as Goonda Act). The government took the decision to bring sexual offences under the Goonda Act following a public outcry against increasing rapes across the State.The Congress government had assured the legislature that it would try to amend the Goonda Act to bring sexual offenders under its purview when the Opposition BJP had created a ruckus over the alleged rape of a six-year-old student by a skating instructor at Vibgyor High school, Bangalore.The BJP had also raised the illegal sand mining menace in the State and charged the government with allowing the law-breakers to escape. Under the Goonda Act, an accused may be arrested without warrant and detained up to one year. The government pushed through the amendment in order to apply the stringent law in the Vibgyor case. The amendment bill describes a person involved in a sexual offence as a sexual predator.It defines sexual predator as a person who commits or attempts or abets the commission of any offence under Sections 376, 376a, 376b, 376c, 376d and 376e of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The amendment bill was tabled by Home Minister K J George amidst a dharna by Opposition BJP, demanding a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in denotifying BDA land by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. The JD(S) members were demanding the setting up of a House committee to probe alleged irregularities in power purchase and encroachment of lakes in Bangalore.Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa declared the bill passed even as Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar opposed it saying a bill cannot be passed when the House was not in order. The Council, too, passed the bill without any discussion as the Opposition BJP members were staging a dharna over the MES row in Belgaum. The bill also seeks to regulate offences under any law relating to protection of environment, rivers and relating to illegal sand mining from any place or under any law governing quarrying or mining. Even those who commit or abet the commission of offences punishable under any law relating to conservation of forest or wildlife also come under the Goonda Act, as per the bill.The bill also proposes to bring digital offenders and land grabbers — of both government and private lands — under the Goonda Act. Any person who knowingly or deliberately violates, for commercial purposes, any copyright law in relation to any book, music, film, software, artistic or scientific work and illegally uses any computer or digital network for pecuniary gain under the Information Technology Act, 2000, will also be tried under the Goonda Act.
Indian weightlifter Vikas Thakur won the silver medal in the mens 85kg category at the 2014 Commonwealth Games here Monday.The gold was clinched by Richard Patterson of New Zealand with a lift of 335kg -- 151kg in snatch and 184 in clean and jerk.The 21-year-old Vikas lifted a total of 333kg - 150kg in snatch and 183 in clean and jerk. Both Vikas and Canadas Pascal Plamondon were tied on 333kg but Vikas won the silver on the account of lesser body weight. Plamondon also lifted 150kg in snatch and 183kg in clean and jerk.
A sanitation worker, who has been a daily wager for around 15 years, set himself ablaze in south Delhi's Najafgarh on Saturday alleging that the corporation officials were demanding a bribe to give him a permanent post. The worker, Phool Singh, 50, has been admitted to the Safdarjung Hospital.The issue disrupted the East Corporation's House meeting on Monday. A councillor from Vishwas Nagar, Rattan Singh, said that regularisation of sanitary workers is a long pending matter and it should be dealt with immediately.The safai karamcharis have been demanding permanent posts since there was a unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi, said Rattan Singh, a Congress councillor.The apathy towards them is brought to the fore when a sanitation worker tried to immolate himself after corporation officials demanded Rs 40,000 for giving him a permanent post, he added.When will the 11,000 contractual employees under the East Corporation be given permanent jobs? Is the civic agency waiting for a real suicide case? Singh queried.Commissioner S Kumarswamy said that the East Corporation is in the process of regularising around 6,000 employees. These contractual sanitation workers will be regularised within six months. The corporation is working on fixing a time frame to expedite the process of regularisation of employees, said Kumarswamy.Even the South Corporation officials said that the civic agency has been regularising contractual employees at regular intervals. The south civic agency has suspended sanitary inspector and assistant sanitary inspector of Department of Environment Management Service of Najafgarh Zone with immediate effect.Chairman of the standing committee of South Corporation, Satish Upadhyay, said that the civic agency has zero tolerance towards corruption. A thorough probe has been ordered into the case and the guilty will not be spared, said Upadhyay, who is also Delhi BJP unit president. A case has been registered and the matter is under investigation, said a senior police officer.
As the ruling Congress and the Opposition BJP fight it out over the Arkavathi Layout land denotification, the real losers are the 8,813 allottees who are unlikely to get possession of their sites.Top Bangalore Development Authority sources state that with the judicial probe ordered by the State government, there is only a bleak chance of the Arkavathi Layout allottees getting their sites any time soon. BDAofficials are unsure as to when they would be able to take possession of the land and form the layout. Officials say the allottees might possibly have to forgo sites in this layout and be prepared to get sites elsewhere.It is said the BDA presently has only 1,000-odd acres of land in its possession. The rest 766 acres, as approved by the Congress government for the formation of the layout, is yet to be taken possession of, due to various litigation and compensation issues.The BDAhad not even conducted proper surveys during the last 10 years due to continuous litigations and denotifications. This is not all. Of the 8,813 sites allottees, many have lost their sites following alleged illegal denotification of 541 acres of land meant for the layout. It is said that some of the allottees had even started house construction. Layout formationBDA commissioner TSham Bhat said the Authority was still ready to proceed with the formation of the layout with the existing land.But it will depend upon the outcome of the judicial probe, he said. While this may be enough for the formation of sites for allottees, the BDAmay face the wrath of the landlosers who are to be given 40 per cent of the developed land in the layout. The State has agreed to form sites under the 60:40 ratio scheme with only 60 per cent of the land available for the allottees.Sources state that the land denotification, or the 're-modification' of the layout, is primarily based on the six High Court guidelines. However, the BDA has not conducted a single survey of the denotified 541 acres of land which is at the centre of the entire controversy. Officials estimate that while 75 per cent of the cases appear genuine, prima facie, it is possible that the rest 25 per cent may be bogus. The BDA officials claim that the decision to drop the 541 acres was taken on April 18, 2014, after receiving reports from the Special Land Acquisition Officers, who had quasi-judicial powers.
Seventy-two-year-old Ramesh, a retired bank official and his 66-year-old wife Prem Latha, living in Bangalore for a decade, could never imagine they will travel by air to meet their son in Chennai. Besides apprehensions of sitting in an aircraft, it was the expensive air tickets that saw them prefer train journeys even if it meant long travelling hours. But that was before airfare wars began and changed the way middle class travels.The stiff competition between low cost airlines has come as a boon for railway commuters from City, especially those travelling to Chennai, Kochi, Goa and most recently to some northern cities as well, with airfares as low as Rs 999 to Rs 1,500 being charged by the airlines.The discounts on air tickets or flash sales as they are called by the airlines could not have been better timed after the recent steep hike in rail fares which went up to by 14 per cent for all the trains.Win-win situationExperts say that its a win-win situation both for the passengers as well as the airlines. While the former get to travel faster and conveniently, the airlines get money. Sample this: A train ticket between Bangalore-Kochi is Rs 1,350 for second class AC train covering a distance of 587 km, while Bangalore-Goa train ticket costs Rs 1,425 in second class AC covering a distance of 700 km. At the same time, the cheapest air tickets being offered by the newly launched airlines AirAsia is at Rs 1,299 for both the destinations.Similarly, while as per new flights launched between Bangalore-Jaipur, Bangalore-Chandigarh, the tickets are priced at about Rs 2,000, the second class AC train tickets which is a 36-42 hour journey costs between Rs 4,000-Rs 5,500.Recently, SpiceJet also announced that its pan India flights will cost between Rs 2,999-Rs 3,999. For instance, Delhi-Bangalore flight starts at Rs 3,999. Low priced tickets A spokesperson from SpiceJet, which has been offering fares as low as Rs 999 till recently under the Super Sale Scheme for pan India, said the response to low priced tickets has been very good and the airlines has been able to attract many first time fliers and has thus expanded its base of customers.Thomas Cook Chief Operating Officer & Head Corporate Travel Indiver Rastogi said this year so far has seen a slew of discounted offers, setting in motion a domino impact of air fare wars which served to benefit both the Indian consumer and travel operators alike. An analysis at Thomas Cook has highlighted 2 clear positives: a significant growth in transactions upward of 40 per cent as also a quantum leap in the advance booking window — from a typical 30 to 115 days.The spin off benefits too have been significant — converting traditional troughs (low or shoulder periods) into semi-peaks; introduction of new unique bookers and non-air consumers into air travelers comprising approximately 70 per cent of our increased ticket transactions plus an impressive 38 per cent increase in advance bookings, he added.
BJPMLACTRavi on Monday justified his controversial tweet on the Saharanpur riots, which was perceived as a 'hatemonger' statement in social media circles.Speaking to reporters, Ravi said that his statement on Twitter had more to do with the stringent action taken by the Gujarat government in the aftermath of the 2002 riots rather than encouraging a pogrom against minorities, as is being alleged.The Gujarat government took immediate steps like issuing shoot-at-sight orders against rioters and arresting 20,000 people in the aftermath of the 2002 pogrom. This is what I referred to in my tweet, when I said that the Gujarat model must be followed across the nation, said Ravi.Ravi, in his tweet on Sunday, had said:Only the Gujarat model that worked from 2002 in containing their rioting elements can work. Apply across Bharath.On Monday, he said that the UP government must take the same tough stance of the then Gujarat administration to control the riots. Since 2002, for the last 13 years, there has been no riot or communal clash reported in Gujarat. Why is it that in UP, there is recurrence of riots? he asked.Ravi accused the media of not addressing the other side of the story when during the same Gujarat riots, 200 Hindus were shot by the police and 17,000 of the 20,000 arrested were Hindus. Even those riots occurred due to the massacre of karsevaks in Godhra, said Ravi.Ravi, after his tweet about the 'Gujarat model', retweeted other views on the Saharanpur riots. These include: Fact that Momins from Moradabad and Muzaffarnagar were assembled in Sahranpur speaks of a conspiracy #Saharanpur riots and @rsyashasvi: Only eating is a sin during the holy month, rioting isn't!
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah may be blaming the previous BJP government headed by Jagadish Shettar for allowing BDA pass resolutions pertaining to denotification of lands meant for the proposed Arkavathi Layout. But questions are being raised whether resolutions pertaining to the entire 541 acres of controversial land were passed during the previous government.Documents released by chief minister's office give information on only 423 acres, the BDA resolution for which was passed on February 12, 2013. The government appears to be tight-lipped on the remaining 119.09 acres. It has not answered as to how 423 acres went up to 541 acres.Leader of Opposition Jagadish Shettar, who was the chief minister in 2013, claimed that he had sent back the BDA resolution pertaining to only 423 acres and that the rest of the 119.09 acres were added by the Congress government. Though the government has been blaming that it was Shettar who received the request for denotifying the additional land, it has not provided documents to corroborate its allegation. Siddaramaiah has been arguing that a representative of chief minister will be in the BDA board and hence the chief minister will be aware of all activities of BDA. He also alleged that Shettar did not deliberately stop BDA from passing the resolution on denotification.The file for denotification of 119.09 acres of land was sent to the then chief minister Jagadish Shettar on February 12, 2013. We did not add a single inch of land to the list, Siddaramaiah said .BDA sources said the government, irrespective of the party in power, had no option but implement the recommendation of the Special Land Acquisition Officers (SLAOs) of the BDA. The SLAOs were appointed to submit a re-modified layout plan and recommend lands for denotification based on the six guidelines of the High Court. Officials admitted there might be a few instances wherein SLAOs would have erred and violated the court guidelines. Shettar has alleged that the government has ordered a judicial probe in order to cover up the issue. He insisted that the file pertaining to the denotification was before him when he was chief minister, but did not deal with it as he had doubts regarding the proposed denotifications. The BJP has been demanding a CBI probe, which Siddaramaiah opposed.
The two Houses of the State legislature passed a total of 10 Bills including two appropriation bills (the State budget) without discussion amidst din with BJP members staging dharna in the wells of the Legislative Assembly and the Council.Only a vote-on-account for four months was taken in March this year, when the budget proposals were tabled in the legislature. The passage of the two appropriation bills gives the State government the go-ahead to draw a total of Rs 1.45 lakh crore (including supplementary estimates of Rs 4,326 crore) from the State exchequer till March 31, 2015.The finance bills were passed without the customary reply of the finance minister. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who holds the finance portfolio, said his reply be deemed laid.In the Assembly, the BJP members were demanding a CBI probe into the alleged illegalities in the denotification of Arkavathy Layout lands, while in the Council the BJPmembers staged protest demanding that discussion on the violence in Yellur in Belgaum be taken up for discussion even before the Question Hour.An amendment bill to enhance the scope of Goonda Act, which has stringent penal provisions, to include sexual offences, land grabbing, environment depredation and money laundering, was passed sans discussion.Among other bills passed include Karnataka Souharda Sahakari (amendment)Bill that gives powers to the government to reject by-laws framed by cooperative institutions; the Universities of Agricultural Sciences Bill, which makes provision for initiating action against vice-chancellors when they disobey directions of the chancellor or State government; Sri Malai Mahadeshwara Kshetra Development Authority (amendment bill), which gives more power to the authority. The Karnataka Tank Conservation and Development Authority Bill, 2014 and the Karnataka Land Reforms and CertainOther Law (amendment) Bill, 2014, which provides for cutting procedural delays after land allocation, already passed by the Assembly was passed in the Council.The Legislative Assembly passed a resolution to use Kannada as a communicative language in High Court while passing orders. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who was to read out a written statement on the Arkavathi Layout allegations, was forced to just table his answer.The Assembly was adjourned sine die. However, the Council will meet on Wednesday to discuss the Karnataka Land Revenue (Amendment)Bill 2014 which provides for extending the tenure of Bagair Hukum regularisation committees by two more years.The ruling party wanted to table the Bill at a time when Chairman DHShankaramurthy had made his concluding remarks and was about to adjourn the House sine die. As BJP members protested the government's move, Shankaramurthy adjourned the House to Wednesday.
Excise and District in-charge Minister Satish Jarkiholi said that he would hold talks with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Home Minister K J George regarding the ban of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES). Jarkiholi told the reporters here on Monday, The government has been giving thought to ban MES. I would talk with the chief minister and home minister regarding this. Action would also be taken against MLAs Sambhaji Patil from Belgaum South and Arvind Patil from Khanapur after conducting inquiry regarding their involvement in instigating violence and installation of Maharashtra State plaques, he said. He said that normalcy had been restored at Yellur village in Belgaum taluk which had witnessed violence after the administration first removed a plaque reading 'Maharashtra State Yellur' on Friday, and the reconstructed plaque on Sunday. Similar plaques installed at other villages in Belgaum and Khanapur taluks have been removed, he added. Those instigating the people to instal Maharashtra State plaques and those involved in installing/constructing them would be booked under IPC section 153 (A) for Promoting Disaffection among Communities, he said.
The High Court on Monday passed orders to wind up Mysore Lamp Works Limited. Justice Ram Mohan Reddy passed orders following the recommendations by the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) and Appellate Authority for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (AAIFR) to wind up the company as it had incurred loss of nearly Rs 90 crore from 1993 to 2002. The State government in 2002 has ordered closure of MLWL following the recommendation of BIFR and AAIFR. The company then had around 1,600 employees on its roll, which was subsequently reduced to 100.MLWL started to incur loss when it hired more number of employees than required and had outsourced the manufacturing of bulbs to another company. The Board of Directors of MLWL referred the matter to BIFR and subsequently to AAIFR which recommended to wind up the company.The Mysore Lamp Staff and Employees' Union also had challenged the closure order before the court, which was allowed by a single judge in 2012. State government had filed an appeal against this order before a division bench which is still pending.