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Bhanwari case: Ex-minister, MLA charged by CBI

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February 29, 2012

19:02  Bhanwari case: Ex-minister, MLA charged by CBI:  Sacked Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna and Congress MLA Malkhan Singh Bishnoi have been named as the main accused by the CBI in the second charge sheet filed in the Bhanwari Devi case charging them with abduction and murder.

In the 97-page supplementary charge sheet filed in a jam-packed CBI court here, Maderna, Malkhan and seven others have been charged under Sections 302 (murder), 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), 364 (abduction), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence or giving false information to screen offender) of IPC and SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Bhanwari's husband Amarchand too has been charged under the same sections except for murder and those under the SC/ST Act. The seven other accused named in the charge sheet are Sahiram Bishnoi, Parasram Bishnoi, Umesharam Bishnoi, Bishnaram Bishnoi, Kailash Jakhar, Ashok Bishnoi and Omprakash Bishnoi.

Nurse Bhanwari Devi, 36, had gone missing from Jodhpur's Bilara area on September 1 last year following which her husband had filed a habeas corpus petition in the high court.

After the state government ordered a CBI probe into the case, the agency arrested Mahipal Maderna on December 3 and Congress MLA Malkhan Singh on December 19 for their alleged involvement in the case.

Soon after her death, a sleaze CD was circulated allegedly featuring Maderna and Bhanwari. Maderna was removed by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot from his ministry in October after his name cropped up in the case.
18:44  Olive Ridley turtles begin mass nesting in Odisha:  Setting aside all speculations, the Olive Ridley sea turtles started their annual mass nesting near Rushikulya river mouth in Odisha's Ganjam district.

Over 1000 female Olive Ridley, an endangered species, climbed the shore and laid eggs in the sandy beach, about 50 km from Berhampur.

The marine creatures, however, selected the two-km long stretch from Purunabandh to Podampeta this time as suitable place to lay eggs.

This new rookery is just near the traditional rookery of Gokharakuda to Podampeta, which is now submerged.
18:37  Hermann was no German tourist: Chidambaram:  Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that there was information to show that German national Sonnteg Reiner Hermann, who was deported on Tuesday, had links with the anti-Kudankulam nuclear project protests which was not consistent with his tourist visa.

Addressing a press conference, he said Hermann was sent back to Frankfurt on a flight because his conduct here was certainly not consistent with a person who comes here as a tourist.

"There was information to show that he had links with the anti-Kudankulam stir that was not consistent with a person who had come here on a tourist visa," he said.

The minister also disclosed that cases have been filed against four NGOs after it was found prima facie that they were involved in diversion of foreign funds from the purpose for which they were received.
18:30  'Flying Coffins' on their way out from 2014:   MiG 21s, which have often been involved in frequent crashes, will start getting phased out from 2014 setting the stage for giving the IAF a "new look" with the induction of modern next generation aircraft.

"MiG 21s which constitute around 40 per cent of the IAF fleet will start getting phased out from 2014... With the induction of modern next generation aircraft such as the FGFA and MMRCA, the IAF will be a new look force," Defence Minister A K Antony said.
18:27  Army places orders for 100 howitzers:  The Indian Army has placed orders for 100 artillery guns with the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) after having failed to acquire even a single howitzer in over two decades following the Bofors scandal.

The Army has issued several tenders for procuring different types of howitzers in the last two decades but has failed to do so due to some problem or the other.

"The Army has placed orders with the OFB for procuring one hundred 155mm 52 calibre howitzers and this will be developed on the basis of Transfer of Technology (ToT) done by Bofors," Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said.
17:32  Did Google Maps almost cause a war in 2010?:  

On Nov. 3 of 2010, Edn Pastora, the Nicaraguan official tasked with dredging the Rio San Juan, justified his country's incursion into neighboring Costa Rica's territory by claiming that, contrary to the customary borderline, he wasn't trespassing at all. For proof, he said, just look at Google Maps.

Read the story on the New York Times.

17:31  The BBC says that Egyptian authorities have arrested al-Qaida chief Saif al-Adel, linked to the 1998 US embassy attacks, at Cairo airport. Details awaited.
17:17  Court rejects Italy plea to witness forensic tests:  

Just in: The Kollam court has rejected the plea filed Italy in the fishermen's murder case. Italian experts wanted to witness the forensic tests of the weapons used to kill the fishermen.  

17:13  Finally, govt focusses on health; outlay upped to 2.5% of GDP:  

A meeting was held in the PMO on the government's priorities in the health sector, particularly over the next five years. The meeting decided that we must work towards increasing the total government health expenditure to 2.5% of GDP by the end of the Twelfth Plan: currently it is around 1.4%. 

The health ministry is also looking at a plan for cashless treatment, free medicines for all under NHRM. The cabinet clears the procurement of drugs in bulk.


17:12  And Anand Mahindra's tweet on the Q3 figures. 6.1%GDP is more than a wake-up call; it's a strident alarm bell warning us of imminent relegation to the ranks of global 'B-team'economies
17:10  Warning! Fresh signs of structural economic slowdown:  

The latest quarterly growth rate is just 30 basis points above the bottom touched during the worst months of the global economic crisis in early 2009.

Read the report on the WSJ.

17:03  Vice-captain Kohli excited about new role in team:  

Elevated to the position of vice-captain of the Indian cricket team for the upcoming Asia Cup in Dhaka, Virat Kohli is excited about his new role andconfident of carrying out the responsibility entrusted upon him, informed his coach Raj Kumar Sharma. 


The 23-year-old Delhi lad, who scored an unbeaten 133 against Sri Lanka in a do-or-die match yesterday, has replaced Virender Sehwag as the deputy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the four-nation tournament, starting on March 11. 


"I spoke to him over phone and informed him that he has been appointed as the vice-captain of the team. He was sleeping at that time, but on hearing his elevation in the team he was very excited," the coach, Raj Kumar Sharma said.

16:49  Prime Minister Singhs latest interview:  

If you want to know the latest candid thoughts of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, where should you look? Here's a multiple choice question.

On the NYT blogs.

16:47  WB cops refuse to confirm if Akash is WB CM's nephew:  

Though the police refused to confirm whether Akash Banerjee was really the nephew of the chief minister as claimed, eyewitnesses said that the man shouted at the police saying he is the chief minister's nephew when his car was stopped for violating traffic rules in the morning rush hour. 


Police sources said that the man hurled abuses at the police sergeant who intercepted the car for violating traffic rules near the Vidyasagar setu. The traffic guard posted at the Vidyasagar setu said that the main accused slapped the traffic sergeant and jostled with constables who rushed in.


''The man was shouting and hurling abuses at the police,'' the sources said. He was arrested along with two of his friends travelling in the car on the charge of obstructing a government employee on duty and slapping a traffic sergeant.


New Zealand captain Ross Taylor signs up for Delhi Daredevils for IPL 5

"Taylor will play for Delhi Daredevils this season. Solid batting line-up this year, isn't it," Delhi Daredevils said on Twitter.

16:41  After that report on doping, the New York Times' blogs on India: India's newest export: Whiskey. Read
16:38  A special report on doping (not 'how to'):  

Few athletes have fallen from such heights as India's gold medal winners in the 4400 meters relay at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. So unusual is it for Indian athletes to win in international sports outside of cricket'"and so awful was the government's preparation for the these games'"that the victory of the women's relay team in Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru stadium was particularly sweet.

Read the report on the WSJ

16:26  2G: Tata Teleservices flies a review petition in the SupremeCourt challenging the 122 new telecom licences.
16:22  NHRM scam: Cataract operations in UP were all Maya:  

Around 22 km from Lucknow, on the road to Varanasi, is a nondescript village called Beli that lies in Goasaiganj block. As per official records, it is a happy village, with many of the elders getting cataracts removed through surgeries funded by the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). The problem is most of the patients do not exist except on official records.

Read the report on

16:16  Pak, US agree ties must be based on mutual respect: Khar:  

In other news: Pakistan and the US, whose ties have been buffeted by several crises since last year, have agreed that their relations must be based on mutual respect and pursuing common interests, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said today.

Khar made the remarks during a meeting with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani this morning, according to an official statement from the Premier's office.

She briefed Gilani on her recent visit to Britain, where she also met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the margins of an international conference.

16:09  An eyewitness tells a TV channel that Aakash Banerjee was travelling on the wrong side of the road. The TMC plays down the incident saying it's "normal".
16:07  Mining baron Reddy to be sent to Bangalore jail:  

Mining baron G Janardhan Reddy will be sent to Bangalore on March 2 after a transit warrant was issued in his name by the Nampally special CBI court. Following this, he will be sent to the Parapana Agrahara jail also known as the Bangalore central prison.

The CBI stated that he needed to be interrogated in connection with the Associated Mining company scam.

Reddy faces charges in this case along with 21 others. He is likely to remain in the Bangalore jail until the investigation is complete.

CBI sources said that even if he were to get bail in Andhra Pradesh he would continue to remain in Bangalore jail as he is being tried in a different case.

15:56  The man, called Akash Banerjee, was stopped by a traffic constable for rash driving.
15:54  Man claiming to be Mamata's nephew slaps cop:  

Just in: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee's 'nephew' has been arrested for slapping a police constable. Three people were arrested for flouting traffic rules, one of whom said he was the CM's nephew.

Will Mamata now say "shob shajano" (it's all fabricated)?

15:49  It's official: Housewives are as happy as working women :  

Mothers who stay at home are as content and satisfied with their lives as those who choose to go out to work, a new government study has found. For decades, women have been told that being housewives will leave them downtrodden and unfulfilled.


In contrast, the report found that house husbands are generally much less happy. The results of David Cameron's campaign to measure well-being also revealed that the happiest people are traditional married families.

15:23  PC confirms LeT men planned to bomb crowded area:  Home minister P Chidambaram confirms that the two men held today in Delhi are indeed LeT militants and said the module had planned to detonate a bomb in a crowded place.
15:19  Porngate: K'taka may ban pvt TV channels in Assembly:  

The Karnataka Legislative Assembly Committee probing the porngate episode involving three former BJP ministers today began its three-day sitting, amid continued boycott by Congress and JDS members, saying it would try to submit its report by the March 13 deadline set by the Speaker. 

A representative of a regional television channel which telecast footage of the three ministers Lakshman Savadi, C C Patil and Krishna Palemar watching the porno clippings on mobile phones was summoned before the committee today.

The Karnataka government is mulling barring private TV channels from covering the proceedings of the legislative assembly after the scandal.

15:09  Murder accused suspected Shehla Masood of affair with husband:  

Two accused, including a city-based architect who allegedly orderd hit on RTI activist Shehla Masood, will be today produced in a designated CBI court of Indore. 

The CBI yesterday arrested interior designer Zahida Parvez from Bhopal, while the identity of the contract killer allegedly hired by her to execute the crime has not been disclosed.


The duo would be produced in the special CBI court of Judge Shubra Singh, sources said, adding both the accused were taken to Indore by CBI officials this morning. 



According to sources, Zahida has confessed before CBI sleuths that it was she who had ordered Masood's murder because she was suspicious of the activist's relations with her husband.

15:04  Spoof images of Angelina Jolie's Oscar pose go viral:  

Angelina Jolie, whose bare right leg during the Oscar ceremony made headlines all over the viral, is now ruling the web with hilarious spoof images of her leg appearing everywhere. 


The 36-year-old attended the red carpet event wearing a daring thigh-high slit gown, with her right leg on full display for the benefit of the photographers. Not satisfied, the actress walked onstage to present the award for Best Adapted Screenplay, where she stopped at the microphone for several seconds with her hand on her hip and the leg on display. 


Just 24 hours after the ceremony Jolie's 'legbombing' was a viral term with that very skinny leg appearing next to Darth Vadar, on the Statue of Liberty, on Hitler, on Pope, on Bruce Lee, a turkey, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, and also on the famous moon landing shot.


The awesome spoofs

Pictured: The Abbey Road spoof. Look at it carefully.

14:59  Krishna heads to Egypt on three-day visit:  

A number of agreements are likely to be inked during the visit of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to Egypt beginning Friday, the first high-level Indian visit to the North African country after the popular uprising. 

During the three-day visit, which is aimed at enhancing economic and trade ties besides engaging with the new leadership, Krishna will co-chair the 6th Meeting of the Joint Commission with his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Kamel Amr on Sunday.

14:55  Pak okays process of obtaining Interpol notice for Mush :  

Pakistan's Interior Ministry has given its approval for the process of obtaining a Red Corner Notice from Interpol for the arrest of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said. 

The Interior Ministry's approval has been sent to the Federal Investigation Agency, which is working on the matter, Malik told reporters during an interaction last night. 

He said he was hopeful the FIA would implement the ministry's directive in the next few days by writing a letter to Interpol.

14:47  How to feed yourself on $1 a day:  Also on Foreign Policy: What does it mean to be hungry and poor? With such divergence across countries as to what the "poverty line" means, we set out to visualize what poverty looks like by highlighting something that everyone can understand -- food. Read
14:45  Pak to phase out negative list with India by Dec:  

Just in: Pakistan's Cabinet unanimously approves phasing out of negative list regime for trade with India by December.

The Pakistan Government's effort to normalise trade relations with India is being opposed by two ministries, including the key Textiles Ministry that wants trade liberalisation to be put off for five years.

The Commerce Ministry recently announced that it intends to switch over to a small negative list for trade with India by the end of February and to phase out this regime by the end of the year.

However, the Ministry of Industries and the Textiles Ministry, which have a crucial say in framing strategies to protect domestic manufacturers, have opposed the move.

The Ministry of Industries wants the negative list to be increased from 636 items to 1,297 items, while the more important Textiles Ministry says that there should be "no liberalisation for five years with India', the Dawn newspaper quoted its sources as saying.

14:38  The politics of FIFA and the Hijab:  

FIFA, the international federation for world soccer, is poised to make a decision in a few days that will impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of young Muslim women -- whether or not to overturn the current ban on the hijab, or headscarf.

Read the report on Foreign Policy

14:35  Dhoni to lead, Virat Kohli (vc), Pathan brothers in:  

Update: India squad for Asia Cup: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain),Virat Kohli (vice-captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, R Vinay Kumar, Rahul Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Ashok Dinda.

Contrary to reports, Dhoni has not been rested.

14:25  Open letter to Mamata Bannerjee on the 'Fake Rapes:  

Madam Chief Minister,

We, the members of Maitree, a women's rights network inWest Bengal, are writing to protest against the manner in which the complaint of rape of a woman in a car inKolkata on Feb 5, 2012 been dealt with by the government, especially the police.


14:21  Zaheer is also likely to be rested. The first match of the Asia Cup begins on March 13.
14:20  Amitav Ghosh on the last Hindu temple in Kabul:  

This hill, which looms over the center of Kabul, was once home to many Hindus and Sikhs. There was a Sikh gurudwara on it as well as a Hindu temple the Asha Mayi Mandir.

Delicious read.

14:14  Apparently, the selection panel met for over three hours to decide the Asia Cup team.
14:13  Reports say that MS Dhoni will be rested and Gautam Gambhir will be India's Asia Cup captain.
14:03  Sachin in, Sehwag out of Asia Cup team:  

Just in: The BCCI meet for the selection of the Asia Cup team ends. Sachin Tendulkar has been included in the Indian squad.

Virender Sehwag has been left out.

14:00  Watch: Siku, the polar bear cub:  

A new live polar bear webcam which allows viewers to watch a small cub grow, also aims to promote efforts to protect polar bears and their arctic habitat.

Cute stuff. Watch


13:58  On Twitter:  

Abhijit Majumder: Morarji Desai's birthday today. Boys' loo door of our school had a graffito in his memory: 'Morarji's bar'

13:57  China considering law against domestic violence :  

China is mulling an anti-domestic violence law and it is even on the legislative agenda of the National People's Congress in 2012. A statement to this effect was issued by an official from the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the NPC on Monday.

About 24.7 per cent of Chinese women have experienced domestic abuse, according to statistics from the All China Women's Federation. 86 percent of respondents in a survey conducted by the ACWF rights department believe that domestic violence is against the law and a separate anti-violence law is needed for it.

13:52  Guantanamo detainee gets sentencing limited to 25 years:  

A US military plea deal with a Pakistani Guantanamo detainee will cap at 25 years the term to be served by the 31-year-old, a court documents show.

In exchange, Majid Khan Shoukat said he would testify against his fellow prisoners accused of terrorist attacks. Khan has agreed to plead guilty today at a military tribunal to charges that he participated in terrorist plots along with accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

13:48  'Kingfisher can't be closed down because of losses':  

Beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines cannot be closed down just because it is making losses and banks are not helping it out with funds, Civil AviationMinister Ajit Singh said today.   


"As long as passenger safety is not jeopardised, as long as they keep their schedule, why should we close down any industry," Singh said today.   He was responding to a question from reporters whether the government would take stringent action against the airlines if it flouts rules. His comments came even as the Vijay Mallya-owned carrier was asked by its bankers to infuse fresh equity on its own before they lent it additional funds.   


Bank chiefs have been quoted as saying that Kingfisher would need to arrange fresh equity of Rs 1,000-2,000 crore before seeking additional funds from the consortium of banks, led by the State Bank of India.   


To another question, the Minister said closing down of any airline would impact passengers. He said Kingfisher has submitted a new schedule of its flights to the DGCA which would closely monitor it.

13:31  Interesting. How to illustrate for a rape story. See
13:17  The big thaw? Jennifer Aniston sends Angelina flowers!:  

Former 'Friends' star Jennifer Aniston reportedly sent Angelina Jolie flowers to congratulate her on her directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey.
The pair have been pitted against each other since Brad Pitt, 48, left Aniston in 2005 and started a relationship with Jolie, 36, who he met on the set of their film Mr and Mrs Smith.

"Brad Pitt sent Jen a copy of Ange's new film In the Land of Blood and Honey. Jen sent Ange flowers and a note telling her how beautifully directed it was. It's a sign that things are thawing between them. Jen's so happy she thinks all her past heartbreak might have been worth it for her to have what she does now," a source said. Aniston is currently dating actor Justin Theroux.

13:09  1 in 17 Brits will be affected by a rare disease:  

The major paradox about rare diseases is that collectively rare diseases are not rare. In fact, 3.5 million people in the UK will be affected by a rare disease at some point in their lives -- 1 in 17 of us.

Doomsday news before you bite into your lunch...  Read

13:04  Bin Laden hid terror codes in the Bible:  

Two hidden copies of the Bible have been found at the house where terror chief Osama Bin Laden died. The books had been concealed at the building in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where Bin Laden was shot by US Navy Seals last May.

Read the story on the Sun.

12:58  Dear Dick...:  

Maldives Interim President Waheed responds to Richard Branson's (founder of the Virgin group) open letter to him.


12:48  Angelina Jolie's right leg or the leg that launched a 1000 tweets:  

On Oscar night, the internet went weak at the knees for the actor's jutting leg.



12:45  US Congressman to Obama: Don't abandon doctor who helped CIA:  

A top US Congressman has asked President Barack Obama to "personally intercede" to ensure that Pakistan government does not punish a doctor who helped CIA in tracking down al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. 

Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's remarks came in the wake of Pakistani media reports that the government has sealed all of Dr Shakil Afridi's bank accounts and property, including his house. Since May of last year, Afridi has been incarcerated by Pakistan and awaits possible trial for treason and execution.

12:43  10 ways Saif Ali Khan can sort it out like a man:  

Actor Saif Ali Khan, who was involved in a much-publicised brawl with businessman Iqbal Meer Sharma recently, says he wants to avoid going to court to sort the issue. "There has been too much noise about it, so we will sort it out between ourselves like men.'

-- Hindustan Times, Feb. 29, 2012.


India Real Time, amazingly, was given exclusive access to Mr. Saif's proposals. As far as we know, Mr. Sharma has yet to respond.

Read the irrepressible Paul Beckett on the WSJ.

12:39  Pak Guantanamo detainee awaits sentencing :  

Pakistani Majid Khan Shoukat has agreed to plea bargain that would cap his sentencing to 25 years in exchange testifying against fellow prisoners.

Read the report on Newsweek.

12:36  Here lived Muslims, rarely missed:  

Thirty-five kilometres from Vadnagar, birthplace of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Dipda Darwaza village misses its Muslims "sometimes'. The community that moved away down to the last member after the 2002 riots was a loyal voter of the dominant Patels. The main accused in the riots, the Patels longer have it that easy.

Read it on the Indian Express.

12:33  The Twitter bird has a name -- Larry:  

World, meet Larry.

While most of us have (unfortunately) become well-acquainted with Twitter's "Fail Whale," it's likely we aren't on a first-name basis with the site's official mascot, Larry the bird. The little guy may have been named after former NBA player, Larry Bird, who played for Twitter co-founder Biz Stone's home-state team, the Boston Celtics.


More on the Huff Post.

12:32  Do not disagree:  

Blaming NGOs reveals the diminishing space for dissent in our democracy.

Read the report on the Indian Express.

12:30  From the Indian Express: Smirks that speak and a doctor with no prescription. Read
12:27  Early presidential elections in Maldives, suggests India:  

India has proposed early presidential elections in Maldives to end the political impasse in the country following the ouster of the first democratically elected President Mohamed Nasheed. During his talks with leaders of political parties last night, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai proposed a paper which hinted at presidential election before the end of this year, local media quoted participants at the meeting as saying. 

Mathai arrived here yesterday on an unannounced visit to hold meetings with various stakeholders. This is his second visit here following the political unrest that sieged the country early this month following Nasheed's ouster.

12:01  Actor Fardeen Khan acquitted in 10-yr-old drug case:  

Film actor Fardeen Khan's application has been acquitted under section 64A of the NDPS Act, reports's Toral Varia.

The acquittal is based on the proviso that he has already undergone a detoxification process which entitles him to immunity.

In October Fardeen Khan had pleaded not guilty to the charge of attempting to buy cocaine in a 10-year-old case in which a special court framed charges against him and two others.

The special NDPS (Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) court framed charges against Khan, son of yesteryear actor-filmmaker Feroz Khan under section 21 (A) of Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances act, which carries a maximum punishment of 6 months and fine upto Rs 10,000 or both.  

11:53  The Artist's Jean Dujardin gets Oscar welcome in France:  In the film he's mobbed coming out of premieres as the biggest silent film actor in Hollywood. And just like The Artist, Jean Dujardin was set upon by excited fans as he arrived back in his native France today. Read the story on the Daily Mail.
11:47  Sonia's pals turn critics on the Food Security Bill:  

The UPA's flawed Food Security Bill is now under attack from its most ardent supporters '" for varied reasons. One campaign is led by Right To Food (RTF), an umbrella grouping of non-governmental organisations that include people like Aruna Roy, who is on Sonia Gandhi's National Advisory Council (NAC), and Jean Dreze, an economist and former member of NAC.

Read the report on

11:42  Sherlock star's relationship with Patty Hearst's daughter:  The actor has struck up a 'very close' friendship with Lydia Hearst, daughter of notorious kidnap victim and bank robber Patty Hearst. Read the story on the Daily Mail.
11:38  Is honesty the best policy? Would would you do? :  Lottery vendor hits 'jackpot of honesty' by returning his friend's winning ticket that cashed in Rs 40 lakh and a Toyota Innova. On the Daily Mail.
11:34  India to sell five percent equity stake in ONGC :  In more biz news, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister S Jaipal Reddy has said that the Indian Government has approved in principle, the sale of a five per cent equity stake in the state-run ONGC through a share auction. The move is being undertaken to revive the government''s faltering divestment programme.

The share sale could raise as much as 121 billion rupees at ONGCs closing price of 283.40 rupees a share earlier. The shares closed 0.8 percent higher in a firm Mumbai market ahead of the announcement.

11:30  Mormon church 'baptise' Mahatma Gandhi:  A researcher has claimed that a US church belonging to the Mormon sect has baptised Mahatma Gandhi in proxy, drawing sharp reactions from a grandson of the Mahatma and Hindu activists. Read
11:27  Govt to auction 4G spectrum this year: Sibal:  

India is looking at holding spectrum auctions for the fourth generation (4G) mobile services by the end of this year, besides finalising plans to sell off radio waves for the 2G services, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has said.

"By the end of the year, we are actually going to auction 4G (spectrum). That is what our intent is. We have enough spectrum now to share with everybody," he said at the India Day function organised by his ministry at the Mobile World
Congress here. 

Sibal said the government will have enough radio waves for all operators after it is released from the defence services as well as the cancellation of 122 2G new licences by the Supreme Court in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

11:24  I'd like to see what I look like: Blinded chimp attack victim:  

A woman who had a face transplant after she was badly disfigured and blinded by a rampaging chimpanzee said that she would like to be able to see her own reflection.  

Charla Nash, a 58-year-old single mother from Stamford, Connecticut, almost died after the mauling three years ago. Her friend's pet, a 14-year-old male ape, tore off her hands, nose, lips and eyelids and left her blind.

Read the amazing story on the Daily Mail.

11:20  Sharp drop in growth, lowest in 10 quarters:  Just in: GDP growth has slowed down to 6.1 per cent in the third quarter 2011-12, from 8.3 per cent in Q3 of last fiscal.
11:15  Portrait of a Syrian rebel:  

Sitting in a hospital bed in Lebanon, a wounded Zakaria Moutlak, 26, talks about how he and two friends joined the rebels in Homs, what they endured, and what it cost them.

On the Daily Beast

11:12  UK offers free HIV treatment for foreign nationals :  Foreign nationals are to be offered free treatment for HIV on the NHS under plans backed by the government. Campaigners say the move in England will reduce the risk of Britons being infected and cut the costs of more expensive later treatment. Currently only British residents are eligible, which excludes migrants. Read the bbc report.
11:10  Malaysia cancels rock concert over Allah tattoos:  

Back to world news...

Malaysia has cancelled a concert by US singer Erykah Badu after a publicity photo showed her with the Arabic word for "Allah" tattooed on her upper body. Officials say the photo of Ms Badu in The Star newspaper was "an insult to Islam". The paper has apologised, says the BBC.

11:09  J&K, Jharkhand, Delhi police join hands to foil terror:  

Details of the foiled terror attack in New Delhi.

In a major operation, the Delhi Police has arrested two suspected LeT terrorists who were allegedly planning to carry out terror strikes in the capital targeting vital installations and VVIPs. Delhi Police sources said the operation was launched to nab the two Lashkar-e-Toiba men after receiving inputs from
Central intelligence agencies that the duo have entered the capital to carry out strikes. Effective coordination with Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand Police helped nab the two terrorists, the sources said.

11:04  Pentagon: 9/11 victims' remains went to landfill:  

Details awaited on that terror scare.

Meanwhile, on to world news today...  


Partial remains of some victims of the 11 September attacks ended up in landfill, a Pentagon report has found. Read the story on the

10:59  Major terror attack foiled in Delhi, 2 LeT men held:  Just in: A PTI newsflash says that a terror bid has been foiled in the capital with the arrest of two LeT men. The Delhi police said that the terrorists were planning to carry out major strikes and target VVIPs and vital installations.
10:53  Mamata Banerjee and her 'shajano ghatana' (staged incident):  

On the Telegraph, Kolkata: Shajano Banerjee aka CM and her conspiracy theories Brutalised before spectator police.


10:50  Deaf and dumb patient raped in Bengal hospital :  

A deaf and dumb patient has allegedly been raped at the Bankura Medical Hospital near Kolkata. The patient is believed to have been raped by the house staff. The bed sheets and the patient's clothes have been sent for a forensic examination.

Awaiting Mamata Banerjee's comment on the incident. Is this also shajano?

10:43  Bengal beats bandh and those who tried to work :  

If attendance at government offices is the yardstick, the general strike flopped. If attendance at homes is the barometer, the general strike triumphed. Matters of livelihood and choice should not be reduced to such a shallow contest but the general strike has done that '" and set the stage for more disquiet.

Tomorrow evening, former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will lead a procession in Jadavpur to protest a Trinamul attack today on a CPM office that served as his election office. A STAR Ananda reporter who covered the attack was mercilessly beaten by Trinamul supporters for doing his job. 

Read the report on the Telegraph, India.

10:36  Headlines this morning:  

Budget 2012: Cash-strapped govt to cut defence spending? (The Times of India)
Sources say the reluctant move is due to acute fiscal distress thanks to huge shortfall in tax collection, disinvestment and miscalculation of subsidies. Read


Relief to NRI couple as uncle is to get custody of children (The Hindu)
The district court is to hold hearings on March 23, when it is expected to overturn its own ruling sending the children into care until they become majors.



2002 Gujarat riots: Court to hear Jafri's fresh petition (Hindustan Times)
An Ahmedabad court is likely to hear a fresh petition filed by Zakia jafri, wife of slain Congress MP Ehsan Jafri today in the Gulbarg Society case. Read


Karkare was under pressure to nail RSS: Bhagwat (Hindustan Times)
Five days before he was killed in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the then ATS chief Hemant Karkare had told RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat that he was under tremendous pressure to nail Sangh activists in unsolved blast cases. Read


 Interior designer, shooter held for Shehla murder (Indian Express)
While these are the first arrests in the case, three others were also detained today. Read


Letters Rogatory sent in Maran-Aircel Maxis case (The Hindu)

Admitting that sniffing out the trail was a "painstakingly slow'' process, the sources said investigators were treading cautiously as the probe involved getting assistance from appropriate authorities in foreign countries. Read


Kudankulam: case filed against four NGOs (The Hindu)
Senior Home Ministry officials said the bank accounts of the NGOs had been frozen. Read

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