23:40 Family donates Rs 11 cr worth gold platter to Somnath temple:
A Mumbai-based business family has donated a gold platter weighing about 30 kg and worth around Rs 11 crore to the historical Somnath temple of Gujarat.
The platter, donated by businessman Dilip Lakhi, his four brothers and their families, was brought to the temple in a procession today.
Managing trustee of the Somnath Temple Trust P K Laheri said that Lakhis, during their last visit three months ago, noted that the 'jyotirlinga' here had a silver platter, and vowed to donate a gold one.
22:17 Delhi police record today's protest on video cams:
A face-off between student protesters and the police ended peacefully this evening near India Gate.
A group of about 300 held demonstrations at one end of Zakir Hussain Marg, where four rows of policemen and barricades obstructed their path, reports NDTV
Some of the cops used video cameras to tape the protest so that if the rally turned violent, it would be possible to identify who was responsible.Read the full report here
22:00 In Delhi, Modi gets a hero's welcome from BJP:
Amid chants of "PM, PM" at the Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters in New Delhi, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday did little to camouflage his ambitions for a national role saying he will work hard to shoulder any responsibility the party gives him.
"As a BJP worker, whatever responsibility is given to me by the party I will fulfill them. In the past, whatever responsibilities have been given to me, I have shouldered them with full dedication," he said in response to a rousing welcome at the party headquarters on his first visit after his hat-trick.
21:39 India to be granted MFN-status as soon as possible: Pak:
Amidst speculation that Pakistan will be unable to meet a January 1 deadline for giving the Most Favoured Nation status to India, the government today said it is working to complete the trade liberalisation process "as soon as possible".
"The government of Pakistan decided to grant MFN-status to India. This is a process we have initiated. We are still going through internal processes with regard to this and hope to get this through as soon as possible," Foreign Ministry spokesman Moazzam Khan told a weekly news briefing at the foreign office.
20:36 Delhi rape victim in 'extremely critical' condition:
The Delhi gang-rape victim is in "extremely critical" condition this evening, said top officials at the Singapore hospital where she was admitted early today after being flown out from Delhi on an air ambulance, reports NDTV
"A mulch-disciplinary team of specialists is taking care of her and doing everything possible to stabilise her condition,' said a statement by Dr Kelvin Loh , the CEO of Mount Elizabeth Hospital.Read the full report here
20:11 Egypt's Mubarak health worsens, to be taken to hospital:
The health of Egypt's imprisoned former dictator Hosini Mubarak deteriorated today forcing the state prosecutor to order his transfer to a military hospital for the second in less than 10 days.
"Prosecutor General Talaat Abdullah today ordered Mubarak be moved from Torah Prison Hospital to El-Maadi Military Hospital to receive medical treatment", state-run MENA news agency reported.
Abdullah has also asked the military hospital provide his office with a detailed report on Mubarak's medical condition and his treatment and recovery process so as to have him moved back to the prison hospital once his health gets better, the report said.
19:47 Putin says he will sign anti-US adoptions bill:
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he will sign a controversial bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children. More than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted in the United States in the past two decades with Russia being the single biggest source of adopted children for years.
UNICEF estimates that there are about 740,000 children without parental custody in Russia, while only 18,000 Russians are now waiting to adopt a child. The bill has angered many Russians who argue that it victimizes Russian orphans who will be robbed of the opportunity to get a family.
19:10 Indian student brutally attacked in Germany:
A 24-year Indian student in Bonn was brutally attacked by Islamic extremists who slashed his tongue when he refused to convert, German police said today.
The Indian student was attacked on Christmas eve when he was on the way to his place in Bonn.
The men enquired about his religion and asked him to convert to Islam, warning him that they would cut his tongue if he refused to do so, Der Spiegel reported.
18:54 Rape victim remains 'extremely critical': Singapore hospital:
The 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim, who was flown in an air ambulance from India early this morning, was in an extremely critical condition at the super specialty Mount Elizabeth Hospital here. A bulletin issued this evening by the hospital said: "As at 7pm (4.30pm IST) the patient remains in an extremely critical condition. She is under treatment at Mount Elizabeth Hospital's Intensive Care Unit." "A multi-disciplinary team of specialists is taking care of her and doing everything possible to stabilise her condition," said Dr Kelvin Loh, Chief Executive Officer of the Mount Elizabeth Hospital.
18:52 Sheila Dikshit goes the Raj way, blames migrants :
It may be better put, but Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit today blamed "unbridled influx" of migrants into Delhi as a major challenge, in other words, Raj Thackeray's 'outsiders' for the the burgeoning population for putting existing infrastructure under strain and sought help from the Centre to deal with the situation.
In her address at 57th meeting of the National Development Council, Dikshit said the national capital was grappling with "unparallelled and unprecedented" challenges and cited continuous influx of people from across the country as a major cause of concern.
18:43 Indians in Oz, Thailand hold rally for Delhi rape victim:
The Indian diaspora in Australia gathered in front of the Indian Consulate in Melbourne and held a peaceful rally today to express support for the anti-rape stir in India and offered prayers for the recovery of the 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim hospitalised in Singapore.
In Thailand, hundreds of ethnic and expatriate Indians have signed petitions addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to take strong action against the rapists. "What happened to the young woman a few days back in Delhi is shocking," Bangkok-based Vibha Kawatra, a restaurateur, who grew up in Delhi says.
18:40 Maharashtra: 25 fast-track courts for rape cases soon :
Twenty-five fast-track courts are proposed to be set up in Maharashtra for time-bound disposal of serious crimes against women, as more rape victims in several states turned out to report sexual assault.
A mentally challenged woman, a commercial sex worker and a teenaged girl were among the rape victims from Maharashtra, Bihar, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has given an in-principle consent to the proposal for 25 more fast-track courts and the government will approach the Bombay High Court to seek its nod, Home Minister R R Patil said in Mumbai today.
The move by the state government came in the wake of a spurt in incidents of rape and harassment of girls in various parts of Maharashtra and also against the backdrop of demands for speedy measures to hand out punishment to rape convicts following the Delhi gang-rape incident.
"In Maharashtra, there are 100 fast track courts for speedy disposal of criminal cases. We will approach the Bombay High Court to earmark 25 of these courts exclusively for serious crimes against women. We feel that if dedicated courts are set up, it would certainly help in reducing violence against women," Patil said.
Patil also announced that the police would step up their drive against tinted films on window panes of vehicles.
18:29 T S Sudhir tweets: One thing is clear. AM (#abhijeet mukherjee) and PM (Pranab mukherjee) me din-raat ka farak hai.
18:12 Rajat Gupta interviews PM Dr Manmohan Singh:
On the Prime Minister of India's website, there is a section labeled "Interviews.' It is probably not viewed very often since there are only seven published there, less than one a year since Manmohan Singh took office in 2004. But there is one that makes for fascinating reading.It was conducted in 2005 for the McKinsey Quarterly. The interviewer was Rajat K. Gupta, an international Indian success story for his rise to the perch of managing director at the global consulting firm. Read
18:03 Names, pictures of rapists to be made public:
In an attempt to name and shame rapists, the government has decided to prepare a data base of all rape convicts across the country and their photographs, names and addresses would be made public.
Minister of State for Home R P N Singh said he has directed the National Crime Records Bureau to prepare a directory of all rape convicts and upload their photographs, names and addresses on its website.
"We are planning to start it in Delhi. Photographs, names and addresses of the rapists will be uploaded on Delhi Police website also," he told reporters here. Singh said that subsequently the plan will cover all states and Union Territories and websites of state police forces will carry photographs, names and addresses of the rape convicts.
The action comes as part of the government's slew of measures aimed at preventing crime against women in the wake of surge of protests after the gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi on December 16. Modalities for preparing the data-base are being prepared and the NCRB website will be ready with the photographs, names and addresses of the rapists in a few months.
17:59 Jethmalani faces 'Ram was bad husband' probe:
A court today directed the Neredmet police to investigate into allegations against suspended BJP MP Ram Jethmalani for outraging religious feelings by his controversial comments on Lord Ram. A private complaint lodged by Bajrang Dal member Navin Kumar and advocate Srinivas Yadav in the Malkajgiri Metropolitan Magistrate court sought registration of a case against Jethmalani over his comments under Sec 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of IPC, police said.
After hearing the complaint, the court today ordered the Neredmet Police to investigate and file a status report before it over the matter, they said.When asked if any case was booked against Jethmalani, police said they were seeking legal opinion in this regard.
Jethmalani had addressed a function in Delhi on November 8 where he had described Lord Rama as a "bad husband"."Ram was a bad husband. I don't like him at all. Just because some fisherman said something, he sent that poor woman (Sita) to exile," he had said.
17:45 Prez son: I withdraw remarks, unconditional apology:
Abhijeet Mukherjee, President Pranab Mukherjee's son, says he withdraws his words and apologises unconditionally. "I'm sorry if my comments hurt anyone and I apologise for my remarks. I spoke to my father and sister and they asked me to apologise," says the Congress MP from Jangipur.
17:11 Gang-rape: Parl panel questions Delhi police chief :
A parliamentary panel today questioned the Delhi Police chief over the gang rape incident in the capital and said deficiencies like vacancies at officer level and lack of vehicles to patrol the streets existed.
Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home to face questions on 'growing atrocities against women in Delhi'.
Home Secretary RK Singh, who was also to appear before the panel, could not attend the meeting. Kumar informed the panel about the sequence of events of the incident and said the police control room vans reacted "promptly' after receiving the phone call about the crime.
17:08 Cong to celebrate 127th anniversary tomorrow:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi along with party top brass will be present at the AICC headquarters tomorrow as Congress completes 127 years of its existence. The party chief will hoist the Congress tri-colours at 24 Akbar Road to mark the occassion and is expected to interact with senior party leaders in her AICC office.
One hopes the celebrations will be muted.
17:01 Protestors hit Delhi streets again, demand stronger laws:
And anti-rape protests continue in Delhi. Scores of people marched towards the India Gate here on Thursday demanding more safety for women in the capital and a faster and more effective legal process for cases of sexual assault.
The protesters, mostly young students and women, also demanded that Delhi police chief Neeraj Kumar be sacked, an estimated one lakh rape trials pending in the country be taken up by fast-track courts and special session of Parliament for enacting strong laws against sexual offences.
The protesters marched from Nizamuddin in south Delhi to India Gate but were stopped at the Zakir Hussain --Subramania Bharti Marg crossing, near India Gate, leading to traffic blockade. Police announced that they would not be allowed to move ahead to India Gate due to prohibitory orders. Raising slogans of ''Halla Bol'', the protestors'' raised slogans against the Central Government and also demanded the resignation of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Carrying posters, which read: ''Zero Tolerance For Violence Against Women'' and ''Justice for Women'', the protestors demanded that the concerned authorities should come up with stringent laws to ensure that the feminine gender moves around freely in the country without any fear.
16:55 HC upholds life term to five in 2003 Gujarat gangrape case:
The Gujarat High Court today upheld life imprisonment to five persons, who gangraped a 24-year-old city girl after a New Year night party in 2003, at a hotel, where she was lured by her boyfriend Sajal Jain.
The Division bench of Justices Jayant Patel and Mohinder Pal rejected the appeals of all five accused who had prayed to quash and set aside the sessions court order of June 2008. The victim, hailing from a middle class family, committed suicide by hanging herself in her room on January 7, 2004, a week after the crime on December 31, 2003. She was also branded with cigarettes and was badly beaten up.
According to her complaint, she was gangraped by six people, all of whom were either relatives or friends of her boyfriend Sajal, present in the hotel room.
16:40 On Twitter, reactions to Abhijeet Mukherjee's 'dented painted' comments: barkha dutt @BDUTT His son's sexism has given Pranab another chance- one that he missed- to walk down the Hill, say sorry for his son & meet the protesters
Harish Salve @hsalve It is this mindset which in aggravated form creates rapists. Common theme is lack of respect for women just the degrees of disrespect differ
16:35 Afghan girl to appear in Bollywood film:
Gihana Khan hasn't received any death threats, but she's worried they're bound to come. The 21-year-old Afghan actress is set to star in her first Bollywood movie, Mumbai Mirror
, in January, and even though she has never set foot in Afghanistan, the Sweden-born Khan is worried about how Afghans will react to her role. "I will be the first Afghan girl to appear in such a film,' she told The Daily Beast in an exclusive telephone interview from Mumbai, where she now resides. Read
16:22 Meanwhile, social activist Subhasini Ali termed Abhijeet Mukherjee's 'dented-painted women' remarks "atrocious" and "insulting" to women. "Just using these two words in the context of women is so insulting and to say that these were not students but 'dented and painted women', I cannot imagine something more insulting," she said.
16:20 India Gate out of bounds to anti-rape protestors: Rediff.com's Priyanka
reporting from India Gate: Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg leading up to India Gate has been completely blocked. Eyewitnesses say that barricades have been put on the road at least three points.
Here's what other protestors tweeted: Namita Bhandare:
Back on the street. Shambhavi:
Police barricaded the flyover nr Nizamuddin. Protesters gathered peacefully. Why so scared of us?
Protesters have planned a huge non-violent rally to revive the movement. Several student and women's rights organizations will march from Nizamuddin Sabz Burj to India Gate and place five specific demands. Many students who gathered at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday said the movement was slowing down as they were restricted to a small space at Jantar Mantar.
16:02 Woman scientist: Girl should've given in to rapists:
A shocking statement from a scientist, a woman, on the Delhi gang-rape victim.
At a seminar on 'Sensitivity towards women' organised by the Lions Club in in Madhya Pradesh, Dr Anita Shukla, a scientist, commenting on the gang-rape said, "If the girl was surrounded by six rapists, why didn't she surrender before them?
"And what she was doing with her boyfriend at midnight? [Incidentally, Dr Sharma seems misinformed as well, as the incident happened at 9.45 pm].
It will happen when she roams till late night with boyfriends," said Dr Sharma.
Blaming the girl for the rape, she even offered advice, "When she knew that she is surrounded by six drunk man, why didn't she just surrender before them. She would never have been in the condition in which she is today." -- Sourced from Samay Live.
15:41 Rape fastest growing crime in the country:
Rape is a notoriously under-reported crime, thanks to its social stigma and because the culprits in most of the cases are known to the victim. Yet, of all the major crimes, the incidence of rape has registered the highest growth in the country in the last four decades. Read more
15:30 And another gang-rape... :
And while anti-rape protestors gather at India Gate, reports of another gang-rape. A 22-year-old commercial sex worker was allegedly gang-raped by at least 10 persons in Surat, police said today. Seven out of 10 persons allegedly involved in the crime that occurred on December 25 night have been detained, they said.
15:28 Cong reacts to Abhijeet: Think before you speak:
reporting from India Gate, Delhi: The police and Rapid Action Force deployed here today seems better prepared. Though traffic has not been stopped on the road around India Gate and Amar Jawan Jyoti, there are heavy barricades at all entry points to Amar Jawan Jyoti. The police is in full anti-riot gear, barricades have been tied together with ropes. Loudspeakers have also been put up."
First Congress reaction from Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, "Whether you are in power or not, you have to be sensitive. Leaders should think before they speak."
15:00 Centre responsible for WB debts, patience running out: Mamata:
And this is what WB CM Mamata Mukherjee said at the NDC. Her speech was read out by state finance minister Amit Mitra:
Banerjee today accused it of an "unholy nexus" with the erstwhile Left Front government of West Bengal, leaving the state in a "disastrous" financial situation with a debt burden of Rs 2 lakh crore, and warned that patience was running out.
"We have waited for a year and a half but the patience of our people is running out. I am hoping that my presentation today ... will touch a chord in the heart of the government of India to move forward on the debt impasse," Banerjee warned in her speech at the National Development Council meeting in Delhi.
"I must ask as to why the central government allowed the state of West Bengal to fall into a debt trap by becoming a party to the years of profligacy of the Left Front government? In retrospect, this unholy nexus has left our government in a disastrous financial condition," she said in her speech.
It was "unfortunate that the UPA-I and UPA-II governments permitted the Left Front government to rampantly borrow and build up the debt burden," Banerjee said.
14:54 Country in grip of pessimism due to 'policy paralysis': Modi:
Moving on to other news: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today launched a fresh attack on the Centre, saying the country was in the grip of pessimism because of "policy paralysis, intellectual bankruptcy and lack of leadership".
He said the Centre's policies "lack urgency or seriousness" in tackling economic crises and thus the "sense of pessimism" in the 12th Plan.
"There is a policy paralysis, intellectual bankruptcy and lack of leadership in the country because of which the country was experiencing stagnancy. We are going on the path of negative growth," Modi told reporters at the 57th National Development Council (NDC) meeting in Delhi.
14:48 Twitter outrage over Abhijeet Mukherjee's remarks: Farhan Akhtar:
U cant blame the President for his sons comment but I think as his parents, they should ground him and start home-schooling him again.Pritish Nandy:
Abhijit Mukherjee, the President's son, should be severely spanked! What an ass, man, what an ass! Pritish Nandy:
Thank God, the President of India also has a daughter Sharmistha who speaks sense! She is embarrassed by her brother's comments.Tavleen Singh:
Painted I can understand, but what on earth is a dented woman?
And the possible answer? Shiv Aroor
: I think Abhijit Mukherjee meant 'dainty, painted', but forgot to take his pills.
: Pranab's son makes both Pratibha Patil AND her son look intelligent! No mean feat!
14:31 Karat: Remarks show Abhijeet's sick, perverted mind:
CPI(M) senior leader Brinda Karat on Abhijeet Mukherjee's sexist remarks: "It just shows his sick and perverted mentality. He has to withdraw his words. He comes from a state like Bengal where these remarks will not be tolerated."
14:28 Remember Naqvi's 'lipstick, powder' remark?:
In 2008 BJP party Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, while reacting to the demonstrations against politicians in the wake of Mumbai terror attacks, had said, "Some women wearing lipstick and powder have taken to streets in Mumbai and are abusing politicians spreading dissatisfaction against democracy. This is what terrorists are doing in Jammu and Kashmir."
14:20 'President's son speaks like a paan vendor':
Dr Ranjana Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research reacting to Abhijeet Mukherjee's remarks on 'dented, painted' women protestors says, "His comments are similar to the remarks made by a road-side paan vendor. It's lewd, it's disgusting.
Outrage on Twitter:
Shashi Shekhar: This Abhijit Mukherjee is unfit to hold public office. It is a reflection on the casual manner in which the Congress perpetuates dynasties.
Overrated Outcast: Abhijit Mukherjee might have been a student once upon a time but it doesn't seem like he got an education.
Madhu Menon: Damn you, non-student women with makeup, who are you to protest? - Abhijit Mukherjee, President's son (paraphrased)
14:08 'Freedom at midnight, doesn't mean women can go out at night':
Another more appalling misogyny from a representative of the Congress party.
On Tuesday, Andhra Pradesh Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana on Monday opened his mouth to put his foot right in, saying women are asking for trouble if they venture out at night. Worse, he described the assault on the physiotherapy student as a "minor incident" for which party president Sonia Gandhi had reached out to agitating people.
"Just because India achieved freedom at midnight does not mean that women can venture out after dark. They should ensure that they do not board buses with few passengers," Botsa said to the shock of reporters at a press conference at Congress headquarters in Hyderabad. Read more
13:55 Prez daughter: Abhijeet's statement shocking!:
Sharmishtha Mukherjee, President Pranab Mukherjee's daughter, speaking to CNN IBN, says she is shocked at what Abhijeet said. "Any sensitive man should not have made this statement. It shows a shocking degree of of insensitivity. My father would be so embarrassed; I haven't spoken to him about this, but I know my father. I know I am embarrassed and shocked. I can hardly believe he made such a statement.
"Whether my father is the president or not, he has a daughter and he would be disappointed like I am. I humbly apologise on his behalf. Abhijeet should unconditionally apologise."
13:50 Women in Mukherjee's state unsafe:
West Bengal, the state from where Abhijeet Mukherjee was elected, has the dubious distinction of recording the largest number of crimes against women. And it isn't a recent phenomenon. According to the National Crime Research Bureau, the state has topped the charts for eight successive years, busting the myth that Bengal is a progressive state that respects women. Read
MP Abhijeet Mukherjee withdraws the statement 'dented, painted women', but refuses to apologise for his remarks.
And yes, he still hasn't explained what exactly 'dented' means.
13:20 Abhijeet Mukheree made it worse for himself by telling Sagarika Ghose that "professional people wear make-up and go to work and students don't wear make-up." That's a member of Parliament from West Bengal's Jangipur, who also happens to be President Pranab Mukherjee's son.
13:17 Abhijit Mukherjee: Women students have to look a certain way:
Abhijit Mukherjee's take on the anti-rape protestors to ABP News. Watch
Mukherjee attempts to clarify to CNN IBN. He says he was misquoted. "I was talking about students only. The person I was talking about was at least 35 years old, she was not a student. Whom I saw, giving an interview on TV, my comment is based on that. I was asked about whether it was a student movement. She was not a student. She was not young. But if I have hurt anyone, I apologise." (Quoted verbatim)
He insists his comment was only that it was not a student movement. "Professionals dress a certain way, students dress a certain way. They were not students. A student does not go for make-up," he says for good measure.
"Go to the Calcutta university campus or the Delhi university campus or Jadavpur campus (in Kolkata) and you will know what I mean. I have certain ideas, I have seen how students look," he says. "Why you dragging from one question to another. No more. no more," he tells CNN IBN's Sagorika Ghosh.
13:03 Abhijit Mukherjee set to trend on Twitter for those remarks...
Shiv Aroor: Dear Abhijeet Mukherjee, WTF does 'dented' mean? Please clarify and give the soundbite again. Sincerely.
Suhel Seth: Pranab Mukherjee should hide his son in one of the many rooms in Rashtrpati Bhavan. He is capable of collateral damage!
12:59 Prez son: Protestors highly painted beautiful women:
President Pranab Mukheree's son Abhijit Mukherjee who is a Congress Lok Sabha MP from his father's seat, Jangipur, has put both his feet right inside his mouth with his remarks on the anti-rape protestors in Delhi.
Speaking to the Bengali news channel ABP news, Mukherjee said, "What is happening in Delhi is like a Pink Revolution. The people who are on the streets have no idea of what the ground reality is. Walking on the roads of India with candles, going to discotheques...
"We have also been students, we have also led the life of students. We know what the character of students should be.
"Those who are on the streets saying they are students, are beautiful women "highly dented and painted", those giving interviews on TV, as if they are there to show off to their children etc. Are they really students, I have my doubts. Because women of that age are not students, generally."
12:37 Jaya was stopped at page 10 of her 28-page speech:
Reacting to Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa's 'humiliation' at being stopped in the middle of her speech at the NDC meet, MoS Parliamentary Affairs says each chief minister was alloted 10 minutes and had been forewarned.
Coming out of the Vigyan Bhawan, the venue of the meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she said it was a "big humiliation" for her to be stopped from completing her speech at the NDC meeting.
She said the centre came out with a "new method" of limiting the speeches of Chief Ministers to 10 minutes which was not enough to articulate their views.Jayalalithaa had come to Page 10 out of her 28-page speech when the bell rang, they said. Jayalalithaa immediately left for Chennai cutting short her stay.
12:32 MHA: Govt will spare no effort to treat Delhi rape victim:
In New Delhi, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the government would spare no effort for the treatment of the victim and it would meet all the costs for her treatment.
"We are all aware of the critical condition of victim. Since the day of the incident, it has been our endeavour to provide her the best of medical care. Despite the best efforts of our doctors, the victim continues to be critical and her fluctuating health remains a big cause of concern to all of us," he said in a statement.
Shinde said when the government was advised by a team of doctors that she may be shifted abroad for treatment, it had ordered India's High Commissioner in Singapore to make necessary arrangements. "Considering the travel time, the doctors have suggested Mt Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore... Indian doctors have spoken to the doctors of the said hospital and shared the details of the patient," he said.
The minister said arrangements have also been made for the family to stay in Singapore with the patient as the treatment may stretch to many weeks. Official sources said passport and Singapore visa for the girl and some of her family members who accompanied her were expedited by the External Affairs Ministry.
12:19 Five rules of reporting on gender violence:
"Use active voice in reporting crimes related to gender violence. For example: "A 32'year'old man allegedly raped a 23'year'old woman'' instead of "a 23'year'old woman was raped by a man'."
This and four other simple rules of reporting on gender violence. Read it here.
12:11 Bangalore woos Japanese visitors:
In other news: Bangalore, one of India's most cosmopolitan cities, is reaching out to a growing Japanese community. From specialty restaurants to Japanese-themed hotels, new businesses are springing up to cater to the needs of expatriates. Read more here
12:09 Delhi gang-rape victim 'extremely critical':
Update on the condition of the Delhi gang-rape victim.
Battling for life for the last 11 days, the 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim was flown to Singapore today in an "extremely critical condition" and was admitted to a multi-organ transplant specialty hospital. The victim, who remained on ventilator support during most part of her treatment in Safdarjung hospital in Delhi, was brought here in an air ambulance early this morning. A team of doctors and her family members accompanied her.
"The patient arrived at Mount Elizabeth Hospital's Intensive Care Unit this morning in an extremely critical condition," a spokesperson of the hospital said. "She is being examined and the hospital is working with the Indian High Commission. We request that the privacy of the patient and family be respected," the spokesperson said.
Earlier, the Indian High Commission in Singapore said that the plane carrying the girl landed at the Changi International Airport at 7.30 am. The decision to shift the girl was taken at the highest level of the Indian government, which has declared that it will bear all the expenses of her treatment.
11:55 Prohibitory orders imposed at India Gate, Rajpath:
Just in: Prohibitory orders have been imposed at India Gate, Rajpath. Delhi police have asked protestors not to assemble. Section 144 of CrPC which bans the assembly of four or more persons has been clamped in the area.
11:37 45 custodial rapes in nine years, says rights forum:
The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) has alleged that that at least 45 custodial rapes were reported between 2002 and 2010.In its submission to the Justice Verma Committee set up in the wake of the gruesome rape on December 16 here, the centre said that at least 45 custodial rapes took place between 2002 and 2010 as per the complaints registered by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Read
11:35 The danger to women lurks within us:
Even as public anger on rape mounts, it is important to understand that policing is a small part of the problem -- and can only be a small part of the solution. Read
Praveen Swami's piece on the Hindu.
11:32 'Humiliated' Jaya walks out of NDC meet :
Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa walked out of the NDC meet when she was interrupted during her speech. "I was humiliated at the NDC meet. No chief minister can be expected to wind up her speech in 10 minutes. If the government has called me all the way to New Delhi to deliver a 10-minute speech, it is unacceptable," she said speaking to CNN IBN from her car. "This is the centre's way of stifling a opposition state's voice," she added for good measure.
11:16 What the controversy is about :
A controversy erupted over the cause of the cop's death as two eye-witnesses who were present during the anti-rape protests at India Gate contradicted the police's claim that he died due to injuries suffered in the violence. A doctor at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital where Tomar was taken said, the cop had "no major external injury" except for some cuts and bruises or "(no) severe internal injuries".
However, the post-mortem report said the 46-year-old constable died due to cardiac arrest caused by injuries he suffered on his chest and neck "produced by blunt impact", giving Delhi Police relief amid doubts about the cause of his death.
Additional Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) K C Dwivedi said the post-mortem noted that there were injuries on his chest, neck and legs because of which he had a cardiac arrest and he died.
11:10 channels for footage:
Notices have been sent to 22 news channels for footage which will confirm or otherwise whether constable Subhash Tomar was indeed beaten up by anti-rape protestors. The controversy, meanwhile, rages on.
11:07 Crime Branch to probe dead constables case: Onkar Singh
reports: Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar has shifted investigations in the death of constable Subhash Tomar to the crime branch to speed up the probe.
Tomar was allegedly beaten up near India Gate during the anti-rape protests, and was injured in the chest, head and neck after protesters repeatedly kicked and punched him after he fell on the street.
Sources claim that the case was transferred because the local police has to deal with the Republic Day celebrations.
The two eyewitnesses are being questioned now.
11:05 And again. Yet another gang-rape in Delhi :
Another gang rape has taken place in Delhi when a 42-year-old woman was allegedly gang raped by three people and dumped in Kalkaji area.
The incident took place in South Delhi on Wednesday night and the victim was thrown in the Kalkaji area. The police registered a case on against three people, out of which one person has been reportedly detained.
The victim was reportedly on her way from Vrindavan to Delhi. The police registered a case of rape after the victim was given medical assistance and examined. The recent incident can put the Delhi police in more trouble as they are yet to arrest the accused.
10:57 Bush senior shifted to ICU for persistent fever:
Former US president George H W Bush has been admitted to the intensive care unit at a hospital here after battling a persistent fever all week, but he is alert and talking to medical staff, his spokesman said today. Bush Sr, who has been in the hospital with a lingering cough since November 23, was not even able to celebrate Christmas with his family. His spokesman Jim McGrath said the 88-year-old former president's fever rose yesterday, but doctors at Methodist Hospital report he is doing better than the day before. He was admitted to the ICU on Sunday and since has been on an all-liquid diet.
10:56 Bodies of NCC cadets flown to Delhi:
In other news: The bodies of five NCC cadets, who drowned in Periyar River in Kerala, were airlifted to Delhi this morning by an IAF aircraft. Defence sources said floral tributes were paid to the departed on behalf of Defence Minister A K Antony, Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy and others.
The students were part of the National Trekking Camp of the National Cadets Corps at Malayatoor, when tragedy struck them yesterday. While two boys first slipped into the waters as they were clicking photographs of the picturesque spot, the three others jumped to help them.
10:49 PM@NDC: State govts must ensure women's safety :
PM Manmohan Singh addressing Chief Ministers at the National Development Council meet in Delhi.
On safety: Talking about the recent Delhi gangrape and the massive outburst that ensued, PM assures speedy trial in the case. He says, women's security is of paramount importance.
A panel will be formed to look into women safety issues and the government will review rape laws in the country. "State governments must ensure safety for women," says the PM.
On economic growth: The percentage of population below poverty line has declined. The target of 8 per cent is an ambitious target, but the overall growth target for the 12th Five Year Plan is set at 8 per cent. "Our priority should be to reverse the slowdown of the Indian economy. Domestic constraints are hurting the Indian economy and global economic condition continues to be a cause for worry," says the PM.
10:35 PM@NDC: Growing threats to women's safety in India:
"Must address growing threats to women in the country. The safety of women is a must," says PM Manmohan Singh at the NDC meet.
The Delhi gang-rape victim who has been flown to Singapore's Mount Elizabeth hospital last night is said to be extremely critical with her hopes of survival put as slim by doctors treating her.
10:28 Economic crisis worrying, difficult: PM:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while addressing the National Development Council meet on Thursday, admitted that the global economic crisis was a cause for orry.
Stating that it was crucial to get the economy back on track, Dr Singh said it was important to reverse the slowdown. He added that the 12th Plan would set 8 per cent growth rate as its target.
10:17 Modi@NDC: To meet Vajpayee, Gadkari later:
A correspondent from Delhi adds:
Gujarat CM Narendra Modi has a choc-a-bloc schedule in Delhi today.
After attending the NDC meet in the morning, Modi will meet senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi at 3 pm, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj at 3.30 pm and party patriarch L K Advani at 4 pm.
He will then visit the BJP headquarter 4.30 pm.
At 5.45 pm, Modi will meet the ailing Atal Bihari Vajpayee and at 6.30 pm he will meet party president Nitin Gadkari, before leaving for Ahmedabad.
09:33 Narendra Modi in Delhi to attend NDC meet:
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is in Delhi today to attend the meeting of the National Development Council.
This will be Modi's first visit to the capital after coming back to power for the third time in the recently-held elections.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa will also attend the meet, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
08:53 Bilawal Bhutto to formally enter Pakistan politics:
Pakistan People's Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto is all set to make his formal entry into politics today.
Bilawal is the son of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007.
04:10 TDP may firm up Telangana stand today:
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu has said his party's position on Telangana will be finalised in the politburo meeting on Thursday, ahead of the December 28 all-party meet on the statehood issue in New Delhi.
"Telugu Desam Party is not against Telangana. We will respect the sentiments of Telangana people. However, the TDP would reveal its stand only in the Politburo meeting to be held on Thursday," Naidu said while addressing gatherings at Gangaram and Ushannapalli villages in Karimnagar district.
The former chief minister, who is on a 'padyatra' in the Karimnagar district, went into a huddle with party leaders
of Andhra Region at Gangaram village, about 40 km from here, ahead of the New Delhi meeting.
The Union Home Ministry has convened the meeting of recognised political parties in Andhra Pradesh on December 28 to discuss the contentious Telangana issue.
Andhra region TDP leaders Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, Gali Muddu Krishnama Naidu, Payyavula Keshav, Kala Venkatrao, Lal Jan Pasha, CM Ramesh, Deveneni Uma and others participated in the meeting at Gangaram village.
04:09 Mumbai murders: First witness to depose in court today:
Over a year after two youngsters were allegedly killed by eve-teasers in Andheri while trying to protect their female friends, the first witness in the Reuben and Keenan murder case will depose in a court on Thursday.
Avinash Solanki, who is the complainant and also an eye-witness in the case, will depose in the court. The sessions court on October 23 had framed charges against four accused who have been arrested.
Prosecution had said that Keenan Santos (24) and Reuben Fernandez (29) were stabbed after a scuffle near a paan shop in suburban Andheri on October 20 last year. Police later arrested Jitendra Rana, Sunil Bodh, Satish Dulhaj and Dipak Tival for the murder.
According to police, the duo were attacked outside an eatery when they tried to protect their female friends from the group of eve-teasers who after retreating initially came back at the spot with over 10 aides and brutally assaulted Keenan and Reuben in full public view.
01:28 Syria death toll spirals to 45000:
The death toll in Syria's civil war has topped 45,000, a watchdog said today, as peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi looked to Russia for help in his faltering new bid to find a negotiated settlement.
At least another 20 people including eight children were killed in tank shelling of a farming village in the north of the country, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which put the day's nationwide death toll at 118.
The grim statistics added gravity to a UN warning that the humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating and predictions that the number of Syrian refugees could double to 1.1 million by next June if the war is not ended.
"In all we have documented the deaths of 45,048 people," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP, adding that more than 1,000 people were killed in the past week alone.
01:27 Mandela released from the hospital:
South Africa's presidency says Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon and former president, has been released from the hospital.
The 94-year-old had been in the hospital since December 8. He was diagnosed with a lung infection and also had a procedure to remove gallstones.
In recent days, officials have said Mandela is improving, but doctors have taken extraordinary care with his health because of his age.
Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj says Mandela will receive more medical care at his Johannesburg home until he fully recovers.
Maharaj requested that the public respect Mandela's privacy at this time
00:25 New Year treat! Alcohol to flow all night in Mumbai:
As Maharashtra Police tried to play spoilsport, the state government has given a go ahead to allow serving of alcohol through the night on December 31 and January 1.
"Though the police recommended to the government that liquor should not be served till 5 am the government decided to give the permission. But we have all the right to stop the party if we anticipate trouble," Mumbai Police Commissioner Satya Pal Singh said.
The police chief said loudspeakers will not be allowed beyond the stipulated deadline of 10 pm, but it will allow alcohol to be served till the break of the dawn.
"I appeal to the members of the public that they enjoy the New Year within limit of law and respect the dignity of women", he said.