23:26 Three terror suspects held in Spain: CNN
reports: Three suspected terrorists have been arrested in southern Spain in 'one of the biggest operations against al-Qaeda in Spain', Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said on Thursday.
Two of the group members were arrested Wednesday and the third Thursday, he said.
22:10 Jayalalithaa likely to back Jaswant for VP :
NDA Vice Presidential poll candidate Jaswant Singh will meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and AIADMK chief on August 6 seeking her support for his election bid. If sources in New Delhi are to be believed the party will back Jaswant Singh for the post.
Though the numbers are stacked highly against Singh and UPA candidate Hamid Ansari is virtually set to get a second term as Vice President, BJP is making all efforts to put up a respectable contest. Other than NDA partners, BJP is trying to reach out to non-Congress parties, nominated and Independent MPs.
21:19 Kofi Annan resigns as UN Syria envoy:
The UN-Arab League joint special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, is leaving his post, the UN has announced.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Mr Annan had decided not to renew his mandate when it expires at the end of August.
Annan authored a six-point peace plan for Syria which was intended to bring an end to the fighting.
But the plan was never fully adhered to by either side and the violence has continued.
21:16 Hazare's decision to end fast a surprise to aides?:
Did Anna Hazare abruptly announce the ending of the fast, taking his associates by surprise?
The dramatic announcement by Hazare came at 4 pm today when the activist said he and his aides will end the fast tomorrow. It did not come at the end of his nearly 30 minute speech, which started around 3 pm but later after his close aides Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Kumar Vishwas had spoken.
His first speech did not mention about ending the fast while Kejriwal talked about waiting for next two days to take a decision on the political alternative after going through the suggestions from public.
After the speeches of Kejriwal and Bedi, he again picked up the microphone to add some other points like Lokayukta bill in states and not just changing the system at Centre but at the states also. Then Vishwas, who was conducting the proceedings from the dais, started summarising the content of all speeches. Hazareagain asked for the microphone from him and announced that thefast will be ending tomorrow evening.
20:59 Maoist angle in Maruti violence to be probed: Govt:
The government will conduct a thorough investigation into Maruti's allegation that July 18 violence in its Manesar plant was the handiwork of "extreme left wing elements".
A top home ministry official said the probe would look into all possible angles and find out whether there was any link of Maoists to the violence in which one senior executive was killed.
Appearing in a panel discussion on TV Channel Headlines Today
, Chairman R C Bhargava described the violence as a "class attack".
"These were left-wing extreme elements who incited violence at Maruti. It was a conspiracy which was kept within a small group of people," a statement from TV Today Network, which owns Headlines Today
, said quoting Bhargava.
20:14 Civil society has right to form party: BJP:
In the wake of Team Anna stating that it is considering a political alternative, the BJP today said the civil society group has every right to form a political party and nobody has the authority to prevent anybody from contesting the elections.
Dismissing suggestions that Team Anna may pose a threat to the prospects of BJP if it emerges as a political alternative, the main opposition maintained there have always been several parties in the political battlefield.
"There are more than 60 politcal parties and seven national parties in India. Everybody has a right to form a party and to contest the elections. Nobody has the authority to prevent anybody from entering the fray," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
He pointed out that when BJP's predecessor, Jan Sangh, was formed in 1952 there was one-party dominance of Congress.
Yet, the BJP has today emerged as a formidable opponent. Asked if BJP would support Team Anna if it enters politics, Hussain said "we will join forces with whoever raises his voice against corruption."
19:32 Khurshids reply to Annas 'secret' meet allegations in Tehelka:
Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid has given a befitting reply to anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare's allegations about their "secret" meeting in the weekly magazine Tehelka
, which will hit the stands tomorrow.
In a letter to PM, Hazare had confirmed that he met privately with Law Minister Salman Khurshid on June 23 in Nashik. Separately, at a press conference in his village of Ralegan Siddhi in April, Hazare shared how the meeting was organised and what was discussed. He said the minister had asked him to keep their session confidential as far as the media was concerned, and he agreed.
19:06 K'taka journalists boycott Moily's press meet:
Newspapers and television channels from Karnataka boycotted a press meet in New Delhi called by newly appointed Union Power Minister Veerappa Moily today, reports our correspondent from New Delhi.
The Kannada media had accused Moily of giving preference to English news channels. Moliy showed us the door, they allege.
However, the minister denied the allegations and said that he asked them to wait but they left in a huff. Today, Moily repeatedly invited media persons from Karnataka and was planning to devote an hour to them.
However, the Kannada channels forced journalists from the print media to give the briefing a skip.
18:55 Pune blasts: Watch used to trigger explosives :
A watch was used to trigger the explosives in the Pune serial blasts on Wednesday night, official sources said.
Four bombs went off within a one kilometre stretch on the busy road within 40 minutes last evening. Indian Mujahideen has once again emerged as the prime suspects in the blasts.
18:17 Fresh wave of floods in Assam:
At least 60 villages with a population of over 70,000 have been affected by fresh wave of floods in this Assam district. The water level of Singra river has been rising alarmingly in 30 villages under Naoboicha revenue circle affecting more than 40,000 people, officials said today.
The water level of Ranganadi has also been rising and inundated 30 villages under Lakhimpur revenue circle. Lakhimpur MP Ranee Narah said the erosion problem in Majuli, the world's largest populated river island, was also grave and she announced Rs 10 lakh for erosion and flood control from her MP development fund.
Everything that you wanted to know about the Olympic torch in this amazing video.
17:59 Pune blasts 'suspect' visited Jordan:
Just in: Dayanand Patil, the tailor who was a suspect in the Pune blasts is being investigated yet again on why he visited a foreign country. His passport, which has been seized, shows that he had visited Jordan.
Patil, the only person injured in the blast, had been picked up last night,
but police confirmed that Patil had picked up the bag out
of curiosity when the explosions took place.
Police say it is
routine procedure to question him since according to eye witnesses he
was the man with a bag, which led police to think Patil could have been
one of the persons who planted the bomb.
17:52 Team Anna's real intent now stands exposed: Cong:
Union Information Minister Ambika Soni said that the real intention of Team Anna stands exposed following their statements indicating their intention to form a political party.
Ambika Soni said that a few of the members in the government always felt that Anna team were inching towards active politics. "We always said that Anna Hazareji''s people, who were supporting him, were always inspired by politics. This was indicated by many of the stances they took and a large number of incidents.
We realized that they were working on a political agenda when they spoke about Members of Parliament, criticizing all of them and others holding constitutional posts" said Soni.
17:05 All have right to join politics: Cong on Team Anna:
Moments after Anna Hazare announced that the fast would end tomorrow, the BJP hit out at the Congress saying such a situation would not have arisen had the party been more serious.
Anna said he would not contest elections himself.
16:44 @PritishNandy Wise decision by Team Anna to end fast. Time for political action, not for sitting on fast. This callous Govt doesnt give a damn.
@rameshsrivatsTeam Anna may start a political party, it seems. Cool. They can call it the Bharatiya Anna's Alternative Party. The BAAP of all parties.
16:38 New fin min Chidambaram gets ready for Parl session:
The new finance minister P Chidambaram has sent out a missive to his ministry asking officers to stay put in Delhi till August 8. Officers include those above Joint Secretary in the Departments of Revenue, Expenditure and Economic Affairs. Each day, each division of the ministry will make a presentation to Chidambaram ahead of the ensuing monsoon session of Parliament.
16:23 Sushilkumar Shinde begins meet and greet:
Union Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde in a rare gesture visited the chambers of his deputies Jitendra Singh, V Narayananswamy and Ramachandran. Shinde also met 24 Joint Secretaries in the MHA.
16:10 Govt welcomes Anna's decision to end fast:
Congress spokesperson Ambika Soni says the government is happy Team Anna has decided to end their fast. She says under democracy you cannot be expected to work under pressure and slammed Team Anna for holding the government to ransom.
Anna said he would join politics, telling NDTV that he was a fakir, not a politican and did not have the wealth to contest elections. He said they were willing to provide outside support.
15:50 J-K infant deaths: Omar seeks detailed probe:
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said the report on high infant mortality at the Valley's only paediatric hospital will be sent to the State Vigilance Organisation and State Accountability Commission to fix responsibility in the matter.
"I believe this report needs to form the (basis of) inquiry both by the Vigilance and the Accountability Commission. I believe responsibility needs to be fixed. The report (submitted by Director SKIMS) was not to fix the responsibility," Omar told NDTV.
In May this year, the state government had ordered an inquiry by Director SKIMS Dr Showkat Zargar to probe the high number of infant deaths at the G B Pant hospital, the Valley's only paediatric hospital.
More than 500 infants, mostly neonates, have died this year at the hospital, which led to a public outcry. The then Medical Superintendent of the hospital Javed Chaowdhury was attached pending an inquiry.
15:38 Anna: Will fight from outside, NOT enter politics :
Just in: Anna Hazare addressing the rally at Jantar Mantar says he will NOT enter politics, but will fight from the outside. He maintains that there is nothing wrong in forming a political party but power must go to the people.
on Open magazine: The Loneliness of Kejriwal
15:27 Mary Kom's American coach not to be with her at Oly Village:
Indian woman boxer M C Mary Kom's American coach Charles Atkinson will not join her at the Olympic Village here as he does not have an International Boxing Association 3 Star Certification, which is a pre-requisite for accreditation.
"As per International Boxing Association Rules, only those Coaches and Trainers who are AIBA approved and accredited are permitted to participate as Coaches or Seconds for Boxers at the Olympics.
Charles Atkinson who has been Coach with Marykom for the past six months is a Professional WBC Coach and has trained Thai WBC Boxers in Thailand," India's acting Chef-de-Mission Brig. P K Muralidharan Raja said in a statement.
15:22 Class X boy clicked approaching train, till it ran him over:
Fifteen-Year-Old Neel's photograph of a super-fast train in full speed was marred by the strong headlight of the engine and extreme shaking of his hand. This was the last photograph the Class X boy took, as he stood on the tracks near the Gari Harsaru railway station, in Gurgaon, on July 30.Seconds later, the train he had captured in frame ran him over.Read
the report on the Indian Express.
15:13 SBI cuts interest rates by 0.25% on deposits of 5 yrs and more:
State Bank of India today lowered interest rates on domestic term deposits of maturity of five years and more by 0.25 per cent to 8.50 per cent. "The bank has decided to revise downwards the interest rate on domestic term deposits for tenors 5 years and above to 8.5 per cent with effect from August 7, 2012," State Bank of India said in a filing to the BSE.
The country's largest bank offers an interest rate of 8.75 per cent on deposits below Rs 15 lakh, and 9 per cent on deposits from Rs 15 lakh to less than Rs 1 crore.
Punjab National Bank however, has increased the interest rates on deposits by 0.25 per cent to 9 per cent for maturity of one year with effect from today.
15:02 Chinese teen knifes eight to death:
A teenager has killed eight people and wounded five others in a knife attack in China's Liaoning province, state media says. The attack happened late on Wednesday in Yongling township, a Xinhua report said.
Those killed included two relatives of the suspect's girlfriend and six other people, the report said. The injured were receiving treatment, it added. The suspect has been detained by police.
14:51 Bad press for China at the Olympics:
Chinese viewers have been surprisingly impressed by China's less audacious, somewhat quirkier Olympic games (Exhibit A). But while China is currently tied for the US team in the medal count, the media coverage the Chinese team has received has not been so kind. Read
14:48 Emerging Power Crisis:
Also on the Foreign Policy: Will India's massive blackouts put an end to the South Asian miracle? Read
14:43 China's champion children:
As China and the United States compete for gold at the London Games, Foreign Policy takes a look at the grueling lives of the People's Republic's next generation of top athletes. Read
14:37 SBI cuts interest rates by 0.25 per cent on deposits of five years and above.
14:28 Olympic nail art is clear winner of London 2012 trends:
Nail art -- the fashion for intricately patterned painted nails -- has had a great Olympics. A growing but still niche interest, loved by teenage girls, clubbers and Dalston hipsters, nail art turned a corner on Sunday night when Rebecca Adlington showed her union-flag painted nails to the post-race cameras after winning bronze. In an instant, the sight of the British swimmer in her still-wet hair and no-nonsense one piece swimsuit transformed the image of nail art, bringing it from bling to mainstream. Read
In Durgapur, West Bengal, 27 miners reported trapped as the lift working the mine shaft shuts down. Rescue operations are on. Details awaited.
14:18 Is Team Anna mulling a political role?:
The official twitter handle of India Against Corruption (IAC) as well as its official website today put a poser to the public asking "should Annaji provide a political alternative to the country? Reply YES or NO to this tweet?" It also tweeted a link which goes to an Internet page which put up two questions -- Do you have any hope from the existing political parties and Should Annaji provide a political alternative to the country?
The poser came on the ninth day of the indefinite fast by Arvind Kejriwal and two others and the fifth day of Anna Hazare and government showing no signs of negotiating with the protesters. Team Anna had on July 31 appeared set to oppose UPA in the next Lok Sabha elections, saying its mission is to ensure that "new and apt people" come to power in the 2014 polls.
14:14 Why is Pune so vulnerable to terrorism?:
In the light of Wednesday's four low-intensity blasts in Pune, there is a need for a co-ordinated revisit to reports being received from time to time since 2002 on the city being a major attraction for terrorist elements -- indigenous as well as foreign, notes B Raman
13:47 Vertigo topples Citizen Kane to top greatest movie poll:
Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 thriller 'Vertigo' knocked off Orson Welles 1941 drama 'Citizen Kane' for the first time in 50 years to claim the top spot in the prestigious BFI Sight and Sound poll of 50 greatest films of all time.
Considered Hitchcock's most mysterious film, the James Stewart and Kim Novak starrer clinched the top post with 191 votes while 'Cane', which has been the favourite till now, came second with 157 votes in the poll, which has been carried out every 10 years since 1952.
Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story was third ahead of Jean Renoir's La Regle Du Jeu. Other films in the top 10 include Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey' and John Ford's classic 1956 western 'The Searchers' about a civil war veteran hunting for his niece after she is snatched in a raid. The 1929 film 'Man With A Movie Camera', 1927's 'The Passion Of Joan Of Arc' and Federico Fellini's '8' rounded off the top ten list.
The 846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors have voted in the poll.
13:39 We played one hell of a match: Paes:
Disappointed they might be after the second-round exit from Olympics but veteran Indian tennis star Leander Paes said he and his unheralded Vishnu Vardhan played "one hell of a match" against the fancied French combination of Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga here. Paes and Vardhan lost 6-7 (3) 6-4 4-6 to Tsonga and Llodra in the men's doubles second round last night in a gruelling contest that lasted over two hours.
Paes, who teamed up with Vardhan after being rejected by both Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna in a bitter selection row, lauded his inexperienced partner's fighting spirit.
"Being the first time that we have played together as a team, we've played a hell of a match again. Our first-round match was against some really tough opponents with one player No.33 in the world in singles (Robin Hasse) and the other No.21 in doubles (Jean-Julien Rojer), and we managed to beat them," Paes said.
"Today it was tougher. We had Tsonga who is No.5 in the world for singles and Llodra who is a multiple Grand Slam champion. "I have to commend this guy Vishnu he's got a big heart and I've had such a thrill playing with him. He's a phenomenal competitor and he's got big stature as far as physique and things go and that is what champions are made of," he added. Paes said he was satisfied with the duo's performance despite an early exit.
"Today we came up one or two games short against a formidable French team, but I was just talking to Vish during the match and saying 'can you imagine a third or fourth match playing together?' We have a lot of firepower but there are still a few things that we have to improve on. We have a big game and I'm very happy about that," he said.
12:58 Modi advises govt: Adopt zero tolerance for terror:
And Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's wisdom on the Pune blasts.
Modi said today that strong measures should be taken to curb attacks like the one in Pune last night. "I hope the Government of India, by adopting a zero tolerance policy on terror, will take some stern steps to curb such terror strikes and make its presence felt, which is a common expectation of the people.
"The blast in Pune is an issue of concern. A terror strike on the eve of Rakshbandhan celebrations and on joining of new Home Minister in India shows ulterior motives of those wanting to create an atmosphere of fear and instability in the nation," Modi said.
"There is a need to remain vigilant and give it a more serious thought. The issue is not where the blast occurred, what was its intensity, how much damage was caused, but these elements are giving a message that their power should not be undermined or ignored," he said.
12:49 Plugging one hole at a time:
Sometimes, gaps can be filled only by leaving holes behind. With P. Chidambaram emerging as an automatic choice to head the Finance Ministry in the wake of Pranab Mukherjee's departure, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was left with another big vacancy in North Block. Sending Sushil Kumar Shinde to the Home Ministry may be an uninspired decision but it is a safe choice.Read
the opinion piece on the Hindu
12:41 Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata on high alert after Pune blasts:
As expected, a high alert has been issued in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata following Wednesday's low-intensity blasts in Pune. Delhi
has been put on heightened vigil with the deployment of armed police
personnel across the city. Roads were barricaded and vehicles were
checked, while security was strengthened at vital installations like the
Parliament and other key buildings.
, radio flying squads have been asked to maintain vigil in all sensitive areas of the city.
Home Minister R. R. Patil, who visited the spots last night, said that
the home department has taken the matter very seriously, and added that
all the investigating agencies have been put on the task.
12:31 India's glee at the flaws of Olympics:
Also on the New York Times' India blogs: "There was an honorable reason why many Indians followed the string of mishaps at the London Olympics with glee,' Manu Joseph wrote in The International Herald Tribune. "Such things usually happen only at home,' he wrote. Read
On the NYT's India blogs: Did 'Solar Storms' cause India's massive blackout? Read
12:19 I quit, my dreams are ruined: Disqualified Chinese player :
While on China and the Games, two Chinese Olympic badminton players and their team leader have been told to make a public apology, the country's official news agency says.China's top-seeded pair Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli were among eight players disqualified for trying to lose games. Read
12:11 Ye Shiwen hits back at critics after remarks over Olympic gold:
Relishing global spotlight, Chinese swimming prodigy Ye Shiwen dismissed doubts of doping about her two gold-winning performances in London Games, saying that the allegations are "bit unfair" but wants to know why she is being targeted even after she was cleared of the charges.
Handling bouquets and brickbats with a sense of ease, the 16-year-old Ye, who is now famously known all over her country and the world as YE'S, said, "the allegations are a little bit unfair, but I am not affected by them at all."
Asked by the state media whether the allegations were rooted in bias against China, Ye, who was grilled at the press meet by foreign media even after she was cleared of doping charges by coaches of her rivals, said, "It's possible. Nobody ever suspected other countries' multi-gold medal winners. Why doubt me? I just won two."
12:09 Hitler's nephew wanted to fight for US:
A Daily Mail story that talks about an extraordinary letter from the nephew of Adolf Hitler has been discovered in which he begs to be allowed to enlist in the US Army to fight against his uncle's facist regime. Read
11:55 Meanwhile, the sarpanch of Anna Hazare's village Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar district has left for Delhi along with some other villagers to meet the social activist.
11:53 Paes, Bhupathi and India's pointless tennis dance:
Heartbreak for India at the men's double tennis with a touch and go match by Leander Paes and Vishnu Vardhan. Will Davies writes for the Wall Street Journal -- It was like a bad school disco, with a lot of fuss about who would dance with whom -- and then a couple of French blokes prancing in and ruining it anyway.Read
Are Pune blasts a message for security agencies? That's the column by B Raman on rediff.com. Read
11:42 Actor Anupam Kher, who is a staunch supporter of IAC, asks Team Anna to end their fast.
11:40 Indian-Americans ask US lawmakers to cut aid to Pak:
The other big story today is that Pakistan's ISI chief will be meeting Congressmen today. Indian-Americans swooped down at the Capitol Hill today asking American lawmakers to cut all US aid to Pakistan. During his stay in Washington till tomorrow, visiting ISI chief Lt Gen Zaheer ul-Islam is scheduled to meet eminent American lawmakers at the Capitol Hill.
11:29 Blasts coordinated, planned act: Home Secretary:
Union Home Secretary R K Singh said forensic experts were examining the two unexploded IEDs and nature of the four blasts. "Since the blasts have taken place within an area of 500 metres and within a span of 45 minutes, it appears to be a coordinated act. I am sure there was a plan behind it," he told reporters in New Delhi.
Singh said teams of the National Investigation Agency, National Security Guards and Central Forensic Science Laboratory reached Pune early this morning and were examining the explosives.
"They have examined two IEDs which had not exploded. There are three detonators in each and other peculiarity. Investigation is on. We are making progress," he said. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said there was no update on the blasts so far.
11:05 Team Anna supporters keep all-night vigil fearing cop action:
Team Anna doesn't seem to realise that in the aftermath of the Pune blasts, the spotlight has moved away from them.
Fearing forcible hospitalisation of three fasting activists, including Arvind Kejriwal, scores of Team Anna supporters kept vigil throughout the night at the Jantar Mantar protest venue.
The intervening night of August one and two saw around 300 supporters camping at the protest venue, where the fast of Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai entered the ninth day today, and keeping a watch on every step of policemen.
At 1 am, even the routine change of duty of police personnel was initially perceived by protesters as a sign of mobilisation to forcibly take Kejriwal and two others two hospital. A volunteer immediately alerted others and as supporters started gathering, a senior police official informed them that it was change of duty of personnel and they were there not to take anybody to hospital.
The night also saw groups of protesters leaving for residences of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to stage protest in a bid to step up pressure on the government to initiate talks. Delhi Police had yesterday advised Team Anna to hospitalise the trio and warned that they would be "squarely responsible" if anything happened to the fasting activists.
10:53 PMC didnt pay contractor, CCTVs were not working:
The Pune Municipal Corporation had installed CCTV cameras across the city, including at the junction where a man was injured in Wednesday's blast, as part of its intelligent traffic system. However, the cameras were out of order as the contractor who installed the system reportedly stopped the connectivity service after non-payment by the municipal corporation.Read
the report on the Indian Express.
10:46 Pune blasts: Tailor NOT a suspect anymore:
The local tailor who was being questioned as one of the suspects in the Pune blasts is not a suspect, police sources say.
Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa
reports that Dayanand Patil, the only person injured in the blast, had been picked up last night, but police now confirm that Patil, a tailor, had picked up the bag out of curiosity when the explosions took place.
Police say it is routine procedure to question him since according to eye witnesses he was the man with a bag, which led police to think Patil could have been one of the persons who planted the bomb.
Meanwhile, the police still remain clueless over the motives and also the group which could have carried out the attack.
10:40 Home Secy: Blasts appear to be coordinated act:
Meanwhile, Home Secretary RK Singh says the Pune blasts appear to be a coordinated act. Two IEDs have not exploded. Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil today said investigating agencies were probing all angles to determine whether any terror outfit was behind the low intensity serial bomb blasts that rocked Pune on Wednesday night. CCTV footage of the three blast sites are being explored, for which the ATS and NIA have been called in.
"Whether it was a terrorist act or not will be determined only after proper investigations are carried out by Maharashtra ATS, city crime branch and central agencies," Patil told media persons after visiting the four blast sites on Jangli Maharaj Road in Pune.
10:32 Team Anna suspends Pune protests on police advice:
Team Anna has suspended agitation in Pune for a day after advice from the police.
Four coordinated low-intensity explosions struck the busy arterial J M
road in the heart of Pune on Wednesday night. The explosions occurred
near Balgandharva Theatre, Dena Bank branch, a McDonald food outlet and
10:23 All angles are being probed, Maha HM Patil on Pune blasts:
Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil on Thursday said investigating agencies were probing all angles to determine whether any terror outfit was behind the low intensity serial bomb blasts that rocked Pune on Wednesday night.
"Whether it was a terrorist act or not will be determined only after proper investigations are carried out by Maharashtra ATS, city crime branch and central agencies," Patil told media persons after visiting the four blast sites on Jangli Maharaj Road in Pune.
Four coordinated low-intensity explosions struck the busy arterial J M road in the heart of Pune on Wednesday night. The explosions occurred near Balgandharva Theatre, Dena Bank branch, a McDonald food outlet and Garware Bridge.
Asked whether there could be a "saffron terror" angle to the incident, he said, "All angles are being probed and it will not be proper to comment at this stage."
10:23 CPI-M enforces bandh in Kerala against leader's arrest:
The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the Communist Party of India-Marxist in Kerala to protest the arrest of its senior leader P Jayarajan in a murder case disrupted normal life across the state on Thursday.
Security was stepped up in politically volatile areas of north Kerala. Two companies of Central Rapid Action Force had been requisitioned by the state government for deployment in Kannur to meet any eventuality, police said.
Mobility of people was virtually crippled as buses, taxis and autorickshaws kept off the road. Train traffic, however, was not affected.
Universities have postponed the examinations scheduled for the day.
Jayarajan, party's Kannur District Secretary, was arrested and remanded to judicial custody on Wednesday in connection with the murder of Indian Union Muslim League's youth wing activist Abdul Shukkoor at Ariyil in Kannur district in February last.
09:33 While govt looks away, Anna fast enters day 5:
Social activist Anna Hazare on Thursday continued with his indefinite hunger-strike for the fifth day at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, a day after his team opposed any forcible removal of fasting activists.
Notably, Delhi Police have written a letter to Team Anna saying that its members, including Arvind Kejriwal -- fasting for the past nine days for a 'strong Lokpal', needed immediate hospitalisation.
As the health condition of Team Anna members who are fasting is deteriorating, the big worry at this point is that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government seems to be in no mood to engage with the anti-corruption crusader.
Anna Hazare yesterday saw a conspiracy by the government to end the stir by forcibly removing them from the Jantar Mantar protest site. He warned that he will not negotiate with the government if it adopts such a strategy.
09:23 Raj Travels owner Lalit Sheth commits suicide:
Lalit Sheth, 56, founder and chief managing director of Shree Raj Travels and Tours Ltd, allegedly committed suicide by jumping off the Bandra-Worli sea link (BWSL) on Wednesday afternoon. The police later found a suicide note from the rear seat of his car which said: I could not fulfil the commitment towards my family. I am sorry. No one is to be held responsible for my death.
Deputy commissioner of police (zone V) Dhananjay Kulkarni said the incident took place at 12.30pm when Sheth, a resident of Girgaum, and his driver Ajit Jha were returning in a car after attending a meeting in Bandra. On reaching the Worli end of the BWSL, Sheth asked Jha to stop the car, saying he had to make some calls. He told the driver to move ahead and that he would join him in some time.
Twenty minutes later, when there was no sign of Sheth, Jha dialled his mobile number only to find it switched off. Jha then informed Sheths son Akash about his fathers disappearance. The duo contacted Worli police officials who called on Sheths mobile, but to no avail.
09:20 Local tailor behind Wednesday's blasts in Pune!:
The man who was suspected to have carried one of the four bombs that exploded in Pune on Wednesday night and was injured has been identified as a local tailor, the city's Police Commissioner Gulab Rao Pol said.
His name is Patil who is a local resident and working as a tailor in Junglee Maharaj Road, he said.
Pol said that "from the low-intensity blasts, we think there is no involvement of terrorist group. There may be other groups which are not related with terrorist activities", he said.
Asked about the possible motive behind the blasts, he said "the intention was to make mischief and create panic in the mind of the public".
03:41 US lawmaker compares Iran exile camp to Auschwitz:
Lawmakers in Washington accused United States and Iraqi leaders on Wednesday of perpetuating appalling conditions for Iranian exiles housed near Baghdad, with one Republican comparing the facilities to Auschwitz.
The outrage over the conditions came as the US state department expressed concern over Iraq's threatened forced closure of Camp Ashraf, where 1,200 members of the People's Mujahedeen of Iran remain despite a United Nations-brokered accord to leave as a first step toward resettlement.
02:33 Dissident Chen raises China concerns with US:
The dissident who was at thecenter of a standoff between China and the United States on Wednesday accused Beijing of failing to live up to its promises as USlawmakers rallied behind him.
Chen Guangcheng, a blind activist who was jailed after exposing abuses in China's one-child policy, has lived in NewYork since May 20 after a dramatic escape from house arrest to the US embassy in Beijing.
00:15 Closely monitoring the Pune situation: Chavan:
Reacting to the Pune blasts, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said a thorough probe would be conducted and all efforts would be made to find the culprits.
He said two teams of national Investigation Agency have been sent to Pune to probe the blasts. "We are closely monitoring the situation," Chavan said
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar left for Pune on Wednesday night.