Superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who was spotted at the premiere of adult movies star-turned Bollywood actress Sunny Leone-starrer Jackpot, hopes to work with her someday.She made her Bollywood debut with 2012 film Jism 2 and the superstar has shown interest in working with her.I have never been part of casting my films. Directors do it. If there is a film, I will be fortunate enough to work with Sunny Leone, Shah Rukh said here Thursday.The Kaizad Gustad directorial hit the theatres this Friday.
Both houses of the Andhra Pradesh legislature were rocked by protests Friday as legislators from Telangana, across party lines, demanded immediate debate on the bill for a separate state while the lawmakers from Seemandhra wanted a resolution to be passed to stop the states bifurcation.The state assembly was adjourned twice while the legislative council was adjourned for the day as lawmakers from Telangana and Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions) trooped into the wells of the two houses.With the central government sending Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013, by a special flight Thursday night, the lawmakers from Telangana demanded that the bill be taken up immediately for debate. As the bill was handed over to chief secretary, it has still not reached the assembly. Worried over the delay, ministers from Telangana called on Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and Speaker Nadendla Manohar and demanded that the bill be immediately taken up.Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leaders also called on the speaker and threatened to move a breach of privilege notice against the chief secretary. TRS leader Harish Rao told reporters that Chief Secretary P.K. Mohanty was disobeying the orders of the President to immediately send the bill to the assembly.Telangana leaders of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also met the speaker, urging him to take steps for immediate debate on the bill.As the chief minister is openly opposing formation of Telangana state, the ruling party leaders from the region are mounting pressure on the speaker not to delay debate on the bill.On the other hand, Congress leaders from Seemandhra also met the chief minister and discussed their strategy to delay debate on the bill.Utter pandemonium prevailed in the assembly even before the speaker entered the house.Legislators of all the parties, including those from the ruling Congress, besieged the speakers podium and raised slogans.Those from Telangana demanded we want Telangana bill, while the members from Seemandhra, opposing the bifurcation, countered them with slogans of Jai samaikyandhra or united Andhra.The speaker rejected adjournment motion moved by TRS members for immediate discussion on the Telangana bill.Legislators of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) wanted a debate on the attitude of the central and state governments in dividing the state. The YSR Congress party moved an adjournment motion for passing a resolution in the assembly to urge the centre to keep the state united.After rejecting all adjournment motions, the speaker announced that he was adjourning the house for half an hour. When the house re-assembled after more than one-and-half hour, there was no change in the situation, forcing the speaker to adjourn the house again for another half-an-hour.Similar scenes were witnessed in the legislative council. Chairman A. Chakrapani adjourned the house for half an hour as members from Telangana and Seemandhra resorted to slogan shouting. As the pandemonium continued after the house re-assembled, the chairman adjourned it for the day.The union home ministry Thursday night sent the bill to the state. A senior official brought the bill, flying in by a special aircraft.President Pranab Mukherjee has given time till Jan 23 to the assembly to return the bill with its members comments.The union cabinet Dec 5 approved the draft bill and sent it to the president with a request to refer it to the assembly under Article 3 of the Constitution.The winter session of the assembly, which began Thursday, is scheduled to end Dec 20. The Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the assembly will be meeting Friday evening amid demands by the legislators from Telangana that the session be extended for a debate on the bill, and their counterparts from Seemandhra are opposing this.
The East Raja Gopuam (tower) of the famous Sri Meenakshi amman temple here dating back to 1216 AD suffered damages after a lightning struck it, temple sources said today.According to the Joint Commissioner of the temple Jayaraman the Yali Mukham (the face of a mythical animal) decoration atop the tower suffered damages in the lightning last night.He said all the four towers of the temple had provided with lightning arrester two years ago and after its installation the tower had been struck by lightining four times and it had been recorded also.The 150-feet tower had some of the magnificent scupltures depicting the rare stores from Shiva puranam. The horn of the Yali had suffered damages. It is not a big damage which can be rectified, he said.The sculputure had been made of mortar and it had fallen off. It would be fixed shortly, the official said.The city experienced heavy rains accompanied by high decibel thunder and lightining. Several areas of the city did not have power since last night as the electricity officials said the transformers suffered major damages in the lightning.
The seer whose dream set the government digging for 1,000 tonnes of gold, buried underneath a dilapidated fort in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, Thursday moved a court to conduct a survey to find another 2,500 tonnes gold at a village in the states Fatehpur district.Shobhan Sarkar, through his disciple Om Baba, approached the Allahabad High Court and sought permission to conduct a survey followed by excavation to find 2,500 tonnes of gold in Adampur village of Fatehpur district.The seer pleaded that he would get the survey done at his expense and has, in fact, roped in a Kanpur-based company, ISM, for the purpose.A sum of about Rs.78,000 has been deposited with the company for the survey and Rs.85,000 for transportation of the team and necessary equipments.The seer has also claimed paying Rs.3.35 lakh to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur for assistance in the survey.Counsel for the seer told the bench headed by Justice V.K. Shukla that Shobhan Sarkar had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, district magistrate of Fatehpur and many other people, seeking permission to conduct the survey.However, he has not received any response so far. Counsel of the Kanpur-based seer, Chandan Sharma and Umesh Narayan Sharma said that the matter has been referred to another bench.Shobhan Sarkars dream of over 1,000 tonnes of gold lying buried underneath a temple in the fort of Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh in Dondiakheda village in Unnao district led the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and other central and state government agencies into action and created immense interest in the national and international media.The three-week long digging, however, came a cropper as the ASI wind up its operations after nothing much except some broken bangles and earthenware was found from the site.
Anti-graft crusader Anna Hazares indefinite hunger strike pressing for passage of Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament entered the fourth today.The 76-year-old anti-corruption crusader has said that he will not break his fast till the Jan Lokpal Bill is passed in Parliament.Hazare is fasting near the Yadavbaba temple at Ralegan Siddhi village in Maharashtras Ahmednagar district, under the banner of Jantantra Morcha.Meanwhile, supporters of Hazare thronged the village from places like Pune and Aurangabad today.MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar, who left for the village today, said he would be meeting Hazare to extend his partys support.We feel that the cause taken up by Anna is right. We request parties opposed to the bill to extend their support to the legislation, Nandgaonkar said.Hazares associate and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi is expected to join Annas fast from tomorrow. People should dislodge the government through ballot if the bill is not passed in this session, she had said earlier.The government has said it is serious about passing the ombudsman bill in the winter session, but Hazare has declared that he wont call off the fast till the bill is passed.The social activist yesterday shot off a letter to the Prime Ministers Office, calling the governments attitude on the issue a fraud on democracy as it was not even on Parliaments agenda.A team of Aaam Aadmi Party yesterday called on the Gandhian and vowed to continue lending support to his fight for an effective Jan Lokpal.
US retail giant Walmart today announced appointment of Krish Iyer as the president and CEO of its India unit.The appointment will be effective January 20, 2014, the company said in a statement. Iyer, who will report to Walmart Asia regional president and CEO Scott Price, will replace interim CEO Ramnik Narsey, who is taking a new role as senior vice president, Walmart International, it said.Ramnik will report to David Cheesewright, the incoming President and Chief Executive Officer for Walmart International.Scott Price, president and CEO of Walmart Asia said: Krish will be responsible for leading the growth and success of our India operations while also continuing to develop our future retail strategy there.Originally from Mumbai, India, Iyer joined Walmart International as a senior vice president in 2012.Prior to Walmart, he spent six years with A.S. Watson Group, a leading international health, beauty and lifestyle retailer, serving as managing director in Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines and regional business development director and regional director for store design and development for Asia and Eastern Europe.Before that, Iyer was managing director and CEO at Piramyd Retail Limited. Iyer is a Chartered Accountant, having received his Bachelors degree with honours in Commerce and Economics from the University of Mumbai in India.
Trent Boult led New Zealand to their first Test win in more than a year today when he produced career best figures in a fiery bowling display that crushed the West Indies inside three days.The West Indies lost 16 wickets on the third day as they handed New Zealand a comprehensive victory by an innings and 73 runs.It was the Black Caps first win in 11 Tests under Brendon McCullum who replaced Ross Taylor after their last success in Sri Lanka nearly 13 months ago.The West Indies resumed Friday at 158-4 in the first innings in reply to New Zealands 441.They were forced to follow on when they collapsed to be all out for 193, and the second innings ended at 175.Boult was the chief destroyer with six for 40 in the first innings where his last four wickets came in the space of six deliveries.In the second innings he returned figures of 4-40 and also pulled off a spectacular one-handed, diving catch when Denesh Ramdin (19) slashed at a Neil Wagner delivery.Boult described the outcome as a great day for me personally and obviously a great day for the team as well.That catch was pretty surreal, I dont know how to explain that one, I just seemed to dive at it and it stuck.Its something Im going to cherish for long time. Ten wickets in a Test match is obviously something very special to me.The West Indies had success at the start of the match when they won the toss and put New Zealand into bat on a green wicket, but from there they were outplayed.Tino Best and Shannon Gabriel pitched the ball up in their early overs and had New Zealand at two for 24. But once they dropped off a good length the game slipped away from them. Taylor scored 129 for New Zealand and the tail added significant cameos, including an unbeaten 38 by Boult, as for the second consecutive Test they forged a sizeable first innings following their 609-9 declared in Dunedin.But unlike the first Test, which fizzled into a draw after the West Indies posted a match-saving 507 when forced to follow on, this time New Zealand did not ease up the pressure.When the West Indies resumed on Friday Marlon Samuels and Narsingh Deonarine negotiated the first seven overs with relative ease, adding 17 runs with no hint of the destruction that lay ahead.But, with the first delivery of his fourth over, Boult found the outside edge of Deonarines bat, Taylor took the catch at first slip and the collapse was underway.Samuels, who had been the mainstay of the innings, had reached 60 when he found himself rooted to the spot against a swinging Boult delivery and edged the ball to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.Darren Sammy was bowled on the second ball he faced and Shane Shillingford followed immediately. Best survived the hat-trick ball but was bowled by another swinging Boult delivery on the second ball he faced.After being forced to follow on, the West Indies made a solid start to their second innings, reaching 75 for one before falling apart.Darren Bravo, who rescued the first Test in Dunedin with a double century, was out for a duck.Apart from openers Kieran Powell (36) and Edwards (35) the only other innings of note was an unbeaten 31 from veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
A suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative has been arrested in Haryana, police said Friday.Mohammad Shahid, 32, a resident of Choti Mewli in district Nuh of the Mewat region in Haryana was arrested from his house Dec 10.He was arrested for his alleged links with the terrorist organisation LeT. He was regularly talking to Javed Baluchi, another LeT commander who is based in Pakistan. We have recorded some conversations between the two, a police official told IANS. He is in police custody till Dec 21, he said.
Continuing its losing streak for the fourth straight day, the benchmark BSE Sensex today fell by over 163 points in early trade on sustained selling by funds and retail investors amid weak industrial output data for October and jump in retail inflation.The 30-share index which had lost 400.81 points in the previous three sessions, moved further down by 163.25 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 20,872.36 with banking, capital goods, realty, oil and gas and power sector stocks retreating.The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell 51.80 points, or 0.83 per cent, to 6,185.25.Brokers said sentiments turned distinctly weak as Industrial production entered the negative territory after three months, contracting by 1.8 per cent in October mainly due to poor performance of the manufacturing sector and retail inflation climbing to a nine-month high of 11.24 per cent in November.In the Asian region, Hong Kongs Hang Seng index rose 0.39 per cent, while Japans Nikkei gained 1.01 per cent in early trade today.The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.66 per cent down in yesterdays trade.
The rupee fell by 30 paise to trade at 62.13 against the US dollar in early trade today at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market on strong demand for the American currency from importers.The domestic unit had lost 58 paise to close at 61.83 against the dollar in the previous session on weak local stocks and sustained demand from importers for the greenback.Besides, dollars strength against other Asian currencies overseas on speculation the US Federal Reserve may scale back its stimulus programme weighed on the rupee, dealers said.They said negative domestic fundamentals, such as weak Industrial production data which contracted by 1.8 per cent in October this year and retail inflation climbing to a nine-month high of 11.24 per cent in November, too put pressure on the rupee.Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex fell by 163.25 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 20,762.36 in early trade.
Former world champion Viswanathan Anand outclassed Frenchman Andrei Istratescu to jump to sole lead at the halfway stage of the preliminaries of the London Chess Classic in progress here at the Olympia.On what turned out to be another fine day as black, Anand came up with some brilliant planning, sacrificed an exchange and romped home without much ado to almost seal a place in the knockout stage of the Classic this year reserved for the top two finishers.Anand leads his group on seven points in three games under the soccer-like scoring system that gives three points for a win and one for a draw.The Indian ace is now followed by Michael Adams of England on five points after he was held to a draw by compatriot Luke McShane.McShane, on four points, is in close proximity of the leaders on four points with three more rounds to come in the double round-robin prelims.Anand, meanwhile, will be in the quarters in the 16-player event if he can win just one more game out of remaining three.Giving him a huge advantage are two whites remaining in the next three remaining games.There were no surprises in the third round as most of the higher seeds had a good day.In the B group, Vladimir Kramnik kept his lead on seven points after a draw with Matthew Sadler of England while Peter Svidler finally staked his claim for a berth in the quarters at the expense of Jonathan Rowson of England.Boris Gelfand of Israel kept his lead in the C group after settling for a draw with Hikaru Nakamura of United States who remained second in standings while Judit Polgar of Hungary won her first game in the event defeating Gawain Jones of England.It was a similar story in the C group wherein Fabiano Caruana kept his lead on seven points following a draw with English GM David Howeel while former world championship challenger Nigel Short got the better of Emil Sutovsky to remain in contention.
In a major diplomatic setback for India, its Deputy Consul General in New York was arrested by law enforcement authorities on visa fraud charges and released on a USD 250,000 bond after she pleaded not guilty in a court.Devyani Khobragade, 39, was taken into custody as she was dropping her daughter to school at around 9 a.m. yesterday after US Attorney for the Southern District of New York India- born Preet Bharara announced charges of visa fraud against her and alleged that she had made false statements in connection with the visa application of an Indian national employed as a babysitter and housekeeper at her home in New York.While Khobragade is the Deputy Consul General at the Consulate General of India here, significantly she was serving as the acting Consul General at the time of her arrest.She was charged with one count of visa fraud and one count of making false statements, which carry maximum sentences of 10 years and five years in prison, respectively.The Indian Embassy in Washington released a statement saying it had immediately conveyed its strong concern to the US Government over the action taken against Khobragade.The US side have been urged to resolve the matter with due sensitivity, taking into account...the Diplomatic status of the officer concerned, the Embassy said in the statement.Khobragade, mother of two young daughters and a Chevening scholar, was taken into custody and produced before US Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman late in the afternoon for an arraignment hearing.Wearing a purple sweater and dress, Khobragade appeared composed during the hearing but looked pale and stressed.The judge read out Khobragade her rights and the charges against her. Khobragade did not speak during the hearing except to say that she agrees with the terms and conditions of the bail. The next hearing has been set for January 13.Khobragade joined the Consulate last year and has previously been posted in Germany, Italy and Pakistan.The arrest sent shock waves among the Indian diplomatic corps here with some officers saying it is unprecedented and and inappropriate for a diplomat to be arrested.Khobragade was released on a USD 250,000 bond and submitted her diplomatic passport in court. Freeman ordered that Khobragade cannot leave the country but can travel within the US only if she gives advance notification of her travels.Her lawyer told the judge that his client is not subject to prosecution as she enjoys immunity as a Consulate officer. Her lawyer will be filing claims of diplomatic immunity in the case and relevant papers in court.Two officials from the Consulate were also present during the hearing. As she walked out of the courtroom after the hearing, Khobragade smiled and hugged a couple of her friends who had come for the hearing.She told PTI that she cannot talk to the press since the matter is subjudice but said that she is doing fine. She was flanked by her attorney Daniel Arshack and her colleagues from the Consulate who escorted her outside the court.The embassy said it had been informed that Khobragade was taken into custody by law enforcement authorities.It added that the action was apparently taken against Khobragade on the basis of allegations raised by the officers former India-based domestic assistant, Sangeeta Richard, who has been absconding since June this year.In this context the Delhi High Court had issued an-interim injunction in September to restrain Richard from instituting any actions or proceedings against Khobragade outside India on the terms or conditions of her employment.The US Government had subsequently been requested to locate Richard and facilitate the service of an arrest warrant, issued by the Metropolitan Magistrate of the South District Court in New Delhi under Sections 387, 420 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code, the embassy said, adding that the existing court case in India against Richard has already been brought to the attention of the US government.Announcing the charges against Khobragade, Bharara said, Foreign nationals brought to the United States to serve as domestic workers are entitled to the same protections against exploitation as those afforded to United States citizens.The false statements and fraud alleged to have occurred here were designed to circumvent those protections so that a visa would issue for a domestic worker who was promised far less than a fair wage. This type of fraud on the United States and exploitation of an individual will not be tolerated.Eminent Indian-American lawyer Ravi Batra said Bharara has acted, as always, to defend the United States, while acknowledging that Constitutional presumptive innocence belongs to the accused.Absent the creation of a new legal category for diplomatic foreign domestic workers, which exempts them from US labor laws, including, wages and hours, American laws must be followed to avoid both criminal and civil liability as well as diaspora and foreign-sovereign embarrassment.Foreign nations who pay their workers at or near US labor rates are free from this risk, however of 194 countries, most nations are below US-mandated hours and wage standards, and to this later groups diplomatic corps - they remain at high risk to be in the cross-hairs of illegality and reputation-suicide, Batra said. An 11-page criminal complaint unsealed in Manhattan federal court alleged Khobragade had made false statements about the salary and employment terms of the domestic help she had got from India. The complaint did not name Richard.Diplomats and consular officers can get domestic workers, personal employees and servants on A-3 visas. The diplomats have to submit proof that the helper will receive a fair wage, sufficient to support himself financially, comparable to that being offered in the area of employment in the US.The complaint alleged that Khobragade prepared and electronically submitted an application for an A-3 visa for the Indian national who was to be her personal employee beginning in November 2012 in New York.The visa application stated that the domestic help would to be paid USD 4,500 per month. Khobragade and the domestic help also signed an employment contract which stated that she would pay her the prevailing or minimum wage, whichever is greater, resulting in an hourly salary of USD 9.75.The complaint said that Khobragade knew that the employment contract that she caused her domestic help to submit to the US State Department contained materially false and fraudulent statements about hourly wage and hours worked.Prior to the signing of the contract, it was agreed between Khobragade and her domestic worker that she would pay 30,000 rupees per month. At 40 hours per week, it was equivalent to USD 573.07 monthly or USD 3.31 per hour.However, Khobragade instructed the help to say that she would be paid USD 9.75 per hour, and not to say anything about being paid 30,000 rupees per month. Khobragade also instructed the help to say that she would work 40 hours per week.After the employment contract was submitted to the US Department of State, Khobragade allegedly told her domestic help that she needed to sign another employment contract which provided that the domestic helps maximum salary per month including overtime allowance will not exceed 30,000 rupees per month. The second employment contract did not contain any provision about the normal number of working hours per week.The domestic help worked for Khobragade as a household employee from November 2012 through June 2013. The complaint said that regardless of the terms of the first employment contract, she worked far more than 40 hours per week and was paid less than USD 9.75 per hour by Khobragade.Suneeta Dewan, an attorney present at the hearing, said Khorbragade had employed the domestic help in her personal capacity and not diplomatic capacity. This is why the reason of diplomatic immunity may not apply in the case.Dewan, a friend of Khorbragade who was among the first people she had called following the arrest, said it was very unfortunate that khorbragade was arrested. She is a very fine person, accomplished and hardworking.
Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today invited Aam Aadmi Party Convener Arvind Kejriwal to discuss government formation after BJP refused the offer, raising the prospect of fresh elections as AAP is also likely to decline.Kejriwal received a call from the LG office in the evening soon after BJPs chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan declined the offer to form a government citing lack of majority in the 70-member House.Arvind got a call from the LG, after Harsh Vardhan declined to form the government. We have been given a time for Saturday at 10:30 AM for meeting with the LG, AAP leader and party spokesperson Manish Sisodia told PTI.The party is sticking to its stand of neither taking support from Congress or BJP nor support them.We are clear on our stand. We would be sticking to our stand that we would neither take support to form the government nor support Congress or BJP, Sisodia said.Senior party leaders would be meeting tomorrow to discuss the future course of action.Earlier, Vardhan met the Lt Governor, who invited him to discuss government formation, but the BJP leader said his party would like to sit in the opposition in view of the lack of clear mandate by people of Delhi.The Delhi polls threw up a fractured mandate with no party securing majority in the 70-member assembly and BJP emerging as the single largest party with 31 seats on its own. BJPs ally Akali Dal has one MLA, bringing its tally to 32.AAP won 28 seats, followed by Congress eight. JD(U) has won one seat while the Mundka seat has gone to an Independent.Kejriwal, while addressing a public meeting yesterday, asked his volunteers to be prepared for re-election.
North Korea has executed the uncle of its leader Kim Jong-Un after a shock purge, state news agency KCNA announced early today, branding the once-powerful Jang Song-Thaek a traitor for all ages.Jang was executed yesterday shortly after a special military trial, KCNA reported, after committing such a hideous crime as attempting to overthrow the state by all sorts of intrigues and despicable methods with a wild ambition to grab the supreme power of our party and state.In a viciously-worded attack, the regime accused Jang of betraying the trust of both Kim Jong-Un and his father Kim Jong-Il, saying he had received deeper trust from the younger leader in particular.Branding Jang despicable human scum... worse than a dog, the regime accused him of attempting to stand in the way of Kim Jong-Uns succession, according to KCNA.Jang, who was married to the sister of the late Kim Jong-Il, played a key role in cementing the leadership of the inexperienced Kim.But analysts say the 67-year-olds power and influence had become increasingly resented by his nephew, who is aged around 30.Jang -- seen as Kims political regent and the countrys unofficial number two -- had earlier been stripped of all posts and titles, with the regime accusing him of corruption and building a rival power base.State TV this week showed photos of Jang being dragged out of his seat at a meeting by two officers, in an extremely rare public humiliation of a figure who was then demonised as a drug-taking womaniser.South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Tuesday accused Kim Jong-Un of resorting to extreme violence to cement his leadership.North Korea is now engaged in a reign of terror while carrying out a massive purge to consolidate the power of Kim Jong-Un, she told a cabinet meeting, according to her office.The Kim family has ruled the North for six decades with an iron fist, regularly purging those showing the slightest sign of dissent. Most are executed or sent to prison camps.Analysts warn Jangs ouster -- the biggest political upheaval since Jong-Un took power -- may cause significant instability even in the worlds most tightly controlled nation.
Senior fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah was executed tonight for genocide during Bangladeshs 1971 liberation war, making him the first politician to be hanged for such crimes.He has been executed at 10.01 pm (9.31 pm IST), an official told reporters outside Dhaka Central Jail.Mollahs body was kept hanging for 20 minutes before it was brought down, Dhakas Deputy Commissioner Sheikh Yususf Mreedha said.The 65-year-old Mollah was notorious as the Butcher of Mirpur for atrocities like rape and the killing of women and children perpetrated in a suburb of Dhaka during the war of independence from Pakistan.Tight security was put in place around the prison complex as the execution was carried out shortly after Mollahs family saw him for the last time. Earlier reports had suggested the execution would take place after midnight.Jail sources said 60-year-old prisoner Shahjahan Mian carried out the execution as the chief hangman, with assistance from five other prisoners serving long sentences.TV channels showed an ambulance entering the jail after its huge iron gates were opened, presumably to carry Mollahs body to his village in western Faridpur.Dhakas district magistrate, civil surgeon and prison officials witnessed the execution in line with rules while an Islamic cleric administered a special prayer when Mollah sought Gods mercy while taking his last bath.Paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and riot police formed a three-tier security blanket as the Jamaat had earlier warned of dire consequence if its assistant secretary general was executed.Witnesses said Mollahs two sons, four daughters and wife were his last visitors at around 6:25pm.Mollah, the fourth-highest Jamaat leader, was the first war crimes convict to be sent to the gallows since Bangladeshs independence in 1971.The apex court earlier today rejected Mollahs petition for a review of his death sentence, removing the last barrier for his hanging two days after his execution was dramatically put on hold in a last-minute reprieve.Jail officials earlier in the day said Mollah refused to seek presidential clemency under a constitutional provision despite being approached thrice.Mollah sided with Pakistani troops during the war and gained notoriety for leading the infamous Al-Badr militia in the Dhaka suburb of Mirpur, where he had a role in slaughtering a large number of people, including women and children. Anticipating protests from Islamists, authorities enhanced security in the capital Dhaka and deployed paramilitary troops in several cities and sensitive areas.Jamaat has called Mollahs hanging a political murder and warned of exacting revenge for every drop of his blood.On Tuesday, the execution of Mollah was stayed less than two hours before he was set to be hanged.A war crimes tribunal sentenced Mollah to life imprisonment on February 5 but the Supreme Court revised the verdict on September 17 and raised it to death penalty.After the Supreme Court this morning upheld Mollahs death sentence and rejected his review petition, Islamists and opposition activists rioted in several cities across the country, clashing with police with crude bombs and rocks.The Jamaat is a key member of the 18-party opposition alliance led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.Mollah is one of five Islamists and other politicians sentenced to death by a special war crimes tribunal. The opposition has claimed their trials were politically motivated and aimed at eradicating its leaders.The special tribunal issued the death warrant for Mollah earlier this week after the Supreme Court released the full version of its verdict confirming his capital punishment for committing crimes against humanity during 1971 Liberation War.Mollahs death is the most high-profile execution since January 2010, when five ex-army officers were put to death over the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the nations founder and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasinas father.
The Aam Admi Party might not be able to use a broom, its election symbol, to sweep away mainstream political parties once it expands its reach beyond the national capital.The Naitik Party, a new political outfit from Uttar Pradesh, has claimed the broom to be its election symbol. It claimed to have contested the 2012 Assembly polls in the state with the same symbol.Allotment of symbolThe party, which also claims to be fighting for a corruption-free India, has written to the Election Commission of India (ECI) seeking allotment of broom as its election symbol for the ensuing Lok Sabha polls.The AAP contested the Delhi Assembly polls with the 'broom' symbol, but we had contested the 2012 Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh with the same symbol. Our party was registered in 2010, said Naitik Party president Chandra Bhushan Pandey, a former judge.We were allotted the symbol by the EC in 2012 for the state Assembly polls. It was a one-time symbol under rule 10 (B), Pandey told Deccan Herald here on Thursday.Modfied rulesNow the rules have been modified, but the EC has said those who had applied under the old rules could again apply under the modified rules. So we have applied for the same symbol, he said.Of course the AAP can have the symbol as far as Delhi is concerned. We cannot claim it there but in rest of the country, 'broom' will be ours, he added.Pandey said his party plans to field candidates in the general elections all over the country. We will contest all seats in Uttar Pradesh and put up our nominees at some seats in other states as well, he said.With the AAP planning to contest the 2014 polls as well, a tussle over the election symbol could not be ruled out.
The winning Aam Aadmi Party candidates, most of whom are first-timers, are preparing themselves for another election.For them, the time for celebrations is now over: the focus is to reach more voters. Jhadu pe button dabane ke liye, dhanyavad, dhanyavad (For pressing button next to broom - AAP's election symbol - thanks, thanks), shouted supporters of Vinod Kumar Binny at a victory march in Pandav Nagar, part of Laxmi Nagar constituency. Binny, 39, defeated A K Walia, a cabinet minister in Sheila Dikshit's government, by a margin of 7,752 votes.He was a municipal councillor from Khichripur which is now a part Laxmi Nagar constituency. His supporters say even when the elections are over his campaign continues.Water and sewage are major issues in this area, said Binny. Binny plans to organise mohalla sabhas (neighbourhood-level grievance forums) in his constituency. He is not sure whether his party would form the government, if invited by the Lieutenant Governor. We are still going door to door, he said. Greater Kailash winnerLike him, Saurabh Bharadwaj, AAP nominee from Greater Kailash, is still in campaign mode. Bharadwaj is meeting various groups which supported him in his campaign, said Harkirat Singh Kapoor, an AAP member. He couldn't come to Arvind Kejriwal's rally on Wednesday because he had back-to-back meetings with resident welfare associations, Kapoor said. Bharadwaj, 34, a qualified engineer plans to bring professionalism in public life. He worked for an MNC in Gurgaon, before taking up social work - providing legal aid to the poor and marginalised sections. He defeated the leader of opposition in state Assembly Vijay Kumar Malhotra of BJP.When you become an MLA people start treating you like VIPs, he said, stressing the need to fight such perceptions. My wife doesn't enjoy being a politician's wife, Bharadwaj said, pointing out that he now gets less time to spend with his family. He is hoping for a bigger voter turnout in his favour, in case of a re-election.Bandana KumariMy self-belief has increased, says Bandana Kumari who won from Shalimar Bagh on an AAP ticket. She defeated incumbent BJP MLA Ravinder Nath Bansal by a margin of more than 10,000 votes.Bandana on Thursday met junior engineers to talk about the sewage problem in her locality. Security is another problem that concerns her. The parks in some areas, especially the villages of Shalimar Bagh are not safe, she said. She thinks that the door-to-door campaigning has worked in her favour. People in the slums already know me since my days as a social worker, but still I went there twice-thrice, said Bandana who worked for women's rights and handled cases of domestic violence while working for an NGO. If re-elections happen, we will get a higher vote share. People have come to believe in us, she said.
The Department of Pre University Education Board is likely to come out with a blow up syllabus for the science stream, which the staff and students have to focus for the upcoming second year PU exams.The blow up syllabus would cover the crux of each chapter in physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology. They will narrow down the syllabus for each subject. Such a move is being planned as the syllabus which was revised last year on a par with that of the CBSE is being considered too vast. The first batch of students under the new syllabus will be appearing for the IIPU exams in March 2014.Department of PUEducation Director Rame Gowda told Deccan Herald on Thursday that the proposal was under consideration and a decision would be taken in two days.An official in the department said the idea is to guide teachers and students to focus on the crux of each chapter. For instance, a chapter in biology may deal with reproduction in human beings, animals as well as birds. The blow up syllabus could indicate that focus can be on reproduction in human beings, he explained. The DPUE has already prepared the blow up syllabus, he added. Sources in the DPUE said during an ongoing training for PU lecturers, lecturers fared poorly in the tests given to them based on the revised syllabus. Lecturers fear that the vast syllabus may have severe impact on the results of II PUC exams of March 2014.Fearing a fall in the pass percentage across the state, several lecturers have asked the DPUE to define focus to the syllabus at least now, so that students would benefit during revisions over the next three months.Colleges are not only finding the CBSE books too vast but also fail to find link between one chapter and another. Moreover, lecturers themselves admit that not all of them are able handle the new syllabus. A chemistry lecturer in Bangalore who is teaching II PUC students from the last 20 years said, The syllabus is haphazard, to say the least. The lessons stretch for pages together and the basic concept is introduced only in the end while the complex parts are explained in the beginning.Those who have recently joined the profession are clueless. Vinay Kumar, a lecturer in KLE College, said: Earlier, the syllabus was for 75 hours per subject. Now, it is for 120 hours. For mathematics, it is 135 hours. The number of experiments are also more. Either the syllabus has to be reduced or they have to scrap one subject to sustain this exam module. To top this, majority of the lecturers are not open to learning things afresh.
Three days after a 16-year-old girl was found in a dishevelled condition after being gang raped by four-five men in the Connaught Place area, Delhi Police have not made any arrest in this connection so far.Police are examining the CCTV footage of the parking of N Block behind Scindia House in Barakhamba area, where the girl was found and the nearby areas to get some clues regarding the accused persons. Many secret informers have already been quizzed and arrests are likely soon, police said.The girl, who is a resident of Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, has been sent to a government-run Nari Niketan.The victim, who has been in trauma since the incident took place, is unable to answer any question properly, police said.The girl had come to the city onSunday by a Delhi-Gorakhpur train after having a fight with her father and stepmother. According to her complaint, a group of five men met her in Outer Circle of CP at 7.30 pm. One of them identified himself as Deepak, a driver by profession, and promised to provide her an accommodation and a job.They took her to an isolated place on a lane behind Scindia House and took turns to rape her. They threatened her not to tell anybody about the crime before fleeing, the girl's statement said.She was produced before a Child Welfare Committee which had sent her to Nari Niketan.A case under section 376G (gang rape) of the Indian Penal Code and ProtectionOf Children from Sexual Offences Act has been registered with Barakhamba Road police station against unknown persons.
A private airlines employee sacrificed his life to save a woman from being molested by two miscreants in south-west Delhi's Palam, police said on Thursday.Victim Manoj Kumar Sharma, 25, worked as a technician with Indigo airlines at Indira Gandhi International Airport. Police said, the victim's body bore multiple stab injuries.The incident came to light around 10 pm on Wednesday when Manoj was on his way back home on a motorcycle.Eyewitnesses told police that while on his way back, Manoj saw a woman was being molested by two persons. He stopped and tried to save the woman from the clutches of the miscreants, they added.When Manoj objected, the assailants started a fight with him.One of them whipped out a knife and stabbed Manoj. He fell and was screaming in pain. Hearing the commotion, some locals rushed to his rescue and found him lying in a pool of blood. Soon they informed police.Police reached the spot and rushed him to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital in west Delhi, where doctors declared him brought dead. He was stabbed in the abdomen.He received grievous injuries in abdomen and one of his stab wounds was on his chest, said a police officer.A case of murder was registered with the Palam police station. A team has been launched to nab the culprits, police said.The victim stayed with his family at Sadh Nagar in Palam Colony. Manoj is survived by his 72-year-old father Hazarilal Sharma, wife and an 11-year-old son.Auto driver killedAn autorickshaw driver was stabbed to death in east Delhi's Shakarpur late on late Wednesday, police said. The victim was identified as Suraj.The incident came to light when a call was made to Shakarpur police station around 10.15 pm.According to the call, a man was stabbed under a flyover in Shakurpur.Police reached there and found Suraj in a wounded condition. They rushed him to Lal Bahudar Shastri Hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead.He was last seen with a person named Sonu. We have launched a manhunt to nab him and are raiding some of his possible hideouts, a police officer said.
The government said on Thursday that it was exploring options to overturn the Supreme Court order that declared homosexuality illegal.Law Minister Kapil Sibal said options before the government were bringing the matter before Parliament at the earliest or approach the Supreme Court with a plea to review the judgment, which has sent shock waves among the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) community across the country.Congress leaders saw an opportunity to identify with the popular opinion and party president Sonia Gandhi issued a statement expressing her disappointment over the Supreme Court's reversal of a Delhi High Court order decriminalising gay sex.By evening, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also spoke in favour of gay rights saying he believed that these are matters of personal freedom and should be left to individuals.I personally believe that these are matters of personal freedom. I think, I would agree more with the High Court verdict, Rahul said in brief remarks to media without taking any questions.Naz Foundation, an NGO working for gay rights, said it would file a review petition against the Supreme Court order.In 2009, the Delhi High Court overturned an archaic colonial law (Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code) that made gay sex an offence punishable by up to life imprisonment.The Congress president hoped that Parliament would address this issue and uphold the Constitutional guarantee of life and liberty to all citizens of India. The Congress response in identifying with a cause which had struck a chord among millions, including those directly affected by the judgment, comes in the wake of reports that the LGBT community was 100-million strong.The Congress had alienated itself from the urban middle class over its handling of social issues such as the Delhi gang-rape. And statements by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul are seen as an attempt to correct the past wrongs. The Supreme Court order had sent shock waves among the LGBT community as not many expected a reversal of a forward looking lower court order.We will have to change the law. If the Supreme Court has upheld that law, then we will certainly have to take firm steps. Change has to be made fast and any delay cannot take place. We will use all means available to make changes at the earliest, Sibal told reporters here.Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the Supreme Court ruling was wrong and all options would be looked at to set right the apex court order.He said the government should file a review or curative petition and that the matter should be heard by a five-bench judge.Well-researched verdictChidambaram, a former home minister, said the Delhi High Court judgment was a well-researched one which the Union government accepted and did not challenge in the Supreme Court.The Bharatiya Janata Party was cautious in reacting to the apex court judgment fearing that an outright support would antagonise its predominantly conservative voters.The Aam Aadmi Party said the Supreme Court order went against the liberal values of the Constitution.Leading Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband welcomed the Supreme Court verdict and asked the Centre not to repeal Section 377 that makes homosexuality a crime.
Under pressure from social activist Anna Hazare going on hunger strike seeking enactment of Lokpal, the hesitant United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is expected to table the anti-corruption legislation in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. But the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suspects that the Lokpal bill the government intends to bring in the winter session is a diluted version of the unanimous recommendation of Congress MP headed select committee.Monday is decided as the day for it in the Rajya Sabha. It is our heartfelt desire that the Lokpal bill is passed. That we have enlisted it in this session for passage is a clear indication of this, Union minister Harish Rawat told reporters. Separately, Congress MP Satyavrat Chaturvedi, who chaired the select committee, said six hours had been allotted for the discussion in the Upper House. Since Fridays are reserved for private members' business and Parliament takes weekend break, the bill can be tabled only on Monday.Rawat, however, denied that the government is not keen on passing the bill in the winter session.The Lok Sabha passed the bill on December 27, 2011, but the BJP and other parties sought amendments since the government retained its control on the anti-corruption mechanism as well as the CBI. The Rajya Sabha debated the bill on December 29, same year, but the House was adjourned sine die referring the matter to select committee having MPs from all parties to prepare a blueprint of the independent anti-corruption watchdog. About a year later, the select committee after thorough deliberations gave a unanimous report. Rajya Sabha Leader of opposition Arun Jaitley, who along with Lok Sabha leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj addressed media in the Parliament House, said that government has introduced two amendments to the 13 findings of the select committee which will bring the bill to a naught.Though the select committee report cannot be amended by the government, as it is the property of parliament unlike standing committee finding, the government proposes that the Lokpal should issue show-cause notice to public servants seeking their views before initiating inquiry against them, Jaitley said, referring to one of the amendments in the bill.This alteration of a select committee suggestion will defeat the purpose as under scanner bureaucrats will come to know in advance the action against them, he said raising objections to the move.Similarly, the lawyer-turned senior politician also pointed out that the draft bill proposes to empower the Centre to transfer officers of the CBI investigating cases that are being supervised by the Lokpal. The CBI will be the investigating arm of the Lokpal.He said this is another attempt to scuttle free and independent probe. The select committee had proposed that the power to transfer officers of the investigating team should rest with the Lokpal as it can be exploited to tinker with the case. BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said that since the select committee recommendations were unanimously accepted by all parties, the government should bring the bill and get it passed in the Rajya Sabha on Friday afternoon and introduce it again in the Lok Sabha on Monday. Hitting out at the Congress for convening but not allowing Parliament to work, she said: Usually it is the Opposition which is blamed if there are disruptions in the House but in the last two sessions—monsoon and winter—the ruling side has been fully responsible for it. The Congress, YSR Congress, Telugu Desam Party MPs are in the well of the House as soon as it assembles. The Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, allies of the UPA, too, disrupt the House.
Citing a lack of clear majority, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday told Lt Governor Najeeb Jung that it cannot form a government in Delhi.Jung then decided to put the ball in the court of the Aam Aadmi Party which is the second largest party in the House after the BJP.Harsh Vardhan, the chief ministerial candidate of the BJP which has support of 32 legislators, met Jung for over 45 minutes at Raj Niwas and expressed his ability to take the next step to form the government.I have told the lieutenant governor that since we don't have a majority we will continue to serve the people of Delhi and prefer to sit in the opposition, said the 59-year-old practising doctor. Sources said soon after Harsh Vardhan's meeting with Jung, the lieutenant governor initiated the process for inviting the AAP, the second largest party in the House, to try and form the government. The AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal has been invited to convey his decision on Saturday.In a 70-member House, the BJP and its ally Akali Dal have 32 seats, the AAP has 28, the Congress has eight and others have two.Harsh Vardhan, who reached Raj Niwas about 40 minutes late for the meeting earlier scheduled for 6.30 pm, said: I know I do not have the majority. I am not inclined to disturb other parties and we had no other alternative.Transparency and integrity should be the foundations of politics - which for the BJP is a means to serve the people... we want to tell the people that we had dreamt big for developing the city...we will serve them only when we get a clear mandate, he said.He said if the situation was taking us to another election, the BJP is not to be blamed. We are ready for the poll.Harsh Vardhan said he had given a letter to Jung expressing his inability to for the government without have the numbers. If any other party wants to form the government, it is free to do so, we will support all activities that will be for the benefit of the people, said the BJP leader.Using the opportunity for striking an emotional chord with Delhiites, Harsh Vardhan said the Bharatiya Janata Party had refused to form the government knowing fully well that the party has got the best mandate - highest number of seats - and that the voters have punished the outgoing Congress government which failed to protect their interests during the last 15 years.Harsh Vardhan's letter to Jung said: The main reasons of people's woes in Delhi are Congress misrule and aimless policies. In place of listening to people's problems, the Congress government did not pay heed to them. This led to the Congress rout in Assembly elections and the party was left with just eight seats.We wanted to bring smiles on faces of Delhi residents after the Assembly elections, but that could not happen as we fell short of majority by four seats, he said in the letter.Fresh pollKejriwal has maintained that his party would prefer fresh election in Delhi than form a government with support from the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Congress.Party spokesman and legislator Manish Sisodia confirmed to Deccan Herald that the party has been invited by the Lieutenant General to explore the possibility of forming a government.Our stand is clear, we cannot form a government on our own and we do not want any support from the Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party, he said.Meanwhile, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi indicated that his party could play a role in supporting the Aam Aadmi Party for forming the next Delhi government. Congress supportTo a question if the Congress will support a government headed by the Aam Aadmi Party, he said: It is under consideration.Rahul Gandhi also met with the party's eight legislators from Delhi for dissection of the party's rout.Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party president Vijay Goel also held talks with party MLAs and ascertained their views on what could be done in the event of a repoll.A fresh election in Delhi is expected to cost over Rs 50 crore. The exercise would involve over 1.19 crore voters.
A nondescript village in Punjab's border Tarn Taran district is getting a facelift to welcome its VIP visitor this Sunday. Pakistan Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is scheduled to visit Jatti Umra, the ancestral village of the Sharif family.Shahbaz Sharif, who arrived in New Delhi on Thursday and met top leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will arrive in Punjab on Friday evening. He will be the highest ranked Pakistani leader and Sharif family member to visit the family's ancestral village, located about 50 kilometres from the India-Pakistan international border.The village, comprising mostly Sikh families now, celebrated the election of Nawaz Sharif as Pakistan's prime minister in May this year by distributing sweets and dancing bhangra to dhol beats.The Sharif family migrated from Jatti Umra before the Partition of India and creation of Pakistan in August 1947.Punjab's Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, who is supervising arrangements for Shahbaz Sharif's visit to the village, said the visit will help better ties between both countries.The visit will help bring east and west Punjab and their people closer. Both Punjabs can benefit from trade, Majithia said.Shahbaz Sharif will arrive in Chandigarh on Friday evening. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will host a dinner for him in Mohali town the same evening.On Saturday, he will visit Punjab Agricultural University in -Ludhiana. He will also address a joint press conference with Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. The same evening, he will be chief guest at the World Kabaddi Cup (WKC) in Ludhiana.On Sunday, Sharif will visit the Talwandi Sabo thermal power plant in Bathinda district. He will round up his trip with a visit to Jatti Umra and by offering prayers at holiest of Sikh shrines Harmandir Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple, in Amritsar.
Dismissing the PIL seeking for celebrating November 17 as the Republic Day in Jammu and Kashmir as violative of the spirit of the Constitution, BJP on Thursday said the contention itself is erroneous because the constitution of J&K came into force only on 26 January 1957.We dismiss the contention in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in J&K High Court as mischievous, absurd, factually incorrect and violative of the spirit of constitution, BJP National Executive Member & J&K Chief Spokesperson Dr Jitendra Singh told reporters.A petition was filed in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday seeking directions to the state government to observe November 17 as the state's Republic Day.Abdul Qayoom Khan, a former Forest officer, filed the PIL seeking directions to the government for celebrating November 17 as the Republic Day of the state.BJP's Chief Spokesperson in J&K said PIL, which seeks to celebrate November 17 as its Republic Day because it was on this day in 1956 when people of the state adopted their Constitution, is factually incorrect.He said, First of all, the contention itself is erroneous because the constitution of J&K came into force only on 26 January 1957 and secondly, the Republic Day on 26 January is observed to commemorate the constitution of India which has precedence over the constitution of J&K and the constitution of J&K itself acknowledges this fact.The PIL is deliberately prompted by certain vested interests in the wake of a countrywide debate currently going on about the merits and demerits of Article 370, he said.Dr Singh said the mindset behind this PIL is also a vindication of the argument that Article 370 has not only created physical but also psychological barriers to the ultimate disadvantage of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.