23:28 Nine IPS officers made witnesses in Prajapati encounter case:
CBI has made nine IPS officers witnesses in the Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter case, to nail former Minister of State for Home Amit Shah, and top police officers including ex-DGP P C Pande and IGP Geetha Johri.
After an investigation of over 18 months, CBI, in the chargesheet filed on September 4, has named Shah and 19 other accused, which includes top cops Pande, Johri, O P Mathur, Rajkumar Pandian, D G Vanzara and R K Patel.
They are accused to have conspired to eliminate Prajapati, a witness to the killing of gangster Sohrabuddin Shaikh in a fake encounter.
Nine Gujarat Cadre IPS officers figure as witnesses: G CRaigar(then ADGP, CID Crime), Rajneesh Rai, I M Desai (then in CID crime and was supervising the case), P P Pandey (ADGP, CID crime), V V Rabari (former head of CID crime), Rajan Priyadarshi (retd), Sudhir Sinha (then heading state IB), A K Sharma (DIG Crime Branch Ahmedabad) and Mayur Chavda (DySP,
Chief Minister's Security).
23:27 Syria: Military helicopter clips tail of jet mid-air:
A Syrian military helicopter clipped the tail of a Syrian passenger jet with 200 people aboard in mid-air today, but the larger aircraft landed safely and no one aboard was hurt, Syria's state TV said.
The helicopter crashed near the capital of Damascus, though it was not clear if there were any casualties in that crash or what had led the two aircraft to touch in mid-air.
The close call came at a time when Syria is embroiled in a civil war between the supporters of President Bashar Assad and those trying to topple him. The 18-month rebellion has claimed the lives of more than 23,000 people, according to activists, and Syria has descended into chaos.
The Syrian government has increasingly been using helicopters and other aircraft in its fight against the rebels. Rebels have claimed to have shot down helicopters and warplanes in the past, although the regime has blamed most of the problems on mechanical difficulties.
21:18 IAS officers had abused their position: Cops to HC:
The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption today informed Madurai Bench of the Madras high Court that the two IAS Officers, who were booked for alleged corruption in the illegal granite quarrying case, had grossly abused their position with a malafide intention to favour PRP Exports.
N Mathivanan and C Kamaraj were booked by sleuths of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, who conducted raids across 34 places in the state on September 15.
20:31 US warns its citizens from travelling to Pakistan:
As a wave of anti-US protest raged in Pakistan, America today asked its citizens to defer all non-essential travel to that country.
Replacing the August 27 travel warning that had reminded US citizens of ongoing security concerns in Pakistan, the warning issued by the State Department says that in view of the larges scale anti-US protests it is not safe to travel to the country.
20:05 At least 30 dead in 'air strike' on Syria fuel station:
At least 30 civilians were killed and dozens more wounded today in an explosion at a petrol station in northeastern Syria, a human rights group said, with activists saying it was an air strike.
"At least 30 people were killed and 83 were injured, although unconfirmed sources say the number of dead was actually more than 50," the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP.
"Lawyers and activists in the area say the blast was caused by aerial bombardment," the Britain-based watchdog added. Activists said that the petrol station in the village of Ain Issa, in Raqa province, was hit by a fighter jet.
19:55 Anti-Islam film protest ends in Islamabad:
Demonstrators who gathered outside the US embassy in Islamabad to protest against an amateur video mocking Islam have begun to disperse peacefully.The Pakistani authorities had earlier called on the army as police struggled to contain the crowd of thousands with tear gas and live rounds.
Some protesters had said they would not leave the diplomatic enclave until the US embassy was on fire.Protests over the film, Innocence of Muslims, have claimed several lives.
It was made in the US and is said to insult the Prophet Muhammad.Streets leading to the enclave, where most of the embassies are housed, were earlier blocked off by shipping containers in an effort to increase security.
19:49 India, China mull hotlines between Army commanders:
Aiming to avoid any misunderstanding on their borders, India and China are planning to set up hotlines between army commanders in-charge of their respective border areas along Jammu and Kashmir and Northeastern states in the next three to four months.
Under the proposal, there will be direct hot line between Indian Army's Udhampur-based Northern Commander and his counterpart in Lanzhou Military Region and the Kolkata-based Eastern Army Commander will have the same facility with the Chinese military region commander in Chengdu, sources said here.
19:33 Geetika suicide case: Kanda denied bail:
Former Haryana minister Gopal Kanda was today denied bail in the Geetika Sharma suicide case by a Delhi court which said further probe was needed in view of a police report that the victim was pregnant in March this year.
The court said there was need to investigate whether there was any connection between the pregnancy and the alleged pressure by Kanda on Geetika to join his company. "In the police file, there is report of a private gynaecologist which shows applicant/accused and victim had visited the clinic on March 9, 2012, and the victim woman was pregnant.
This may be one of the cause for her first suicide note dated May 4," District and Additional Sessions Judge S K Sarvaria said.
19:11 Afghans protest against French cartoons, US film:
Hundreds of Afghans on Thursday protested for the first time against cartoons of the prophet Mohammed published in France and staged fresh rallies against a U.S.-made anti-Islam film.
About 300 students chanted "death to France, death to America" in a western neighborhood of the capital Kabul, an AFP photographer said.Nearby hundreds more gathered on a flyover and chanted "death to America" and "long live Islam, long live Afghanistan", another AFP photographer said.
18:59 Floods in Assam turn critical:
The flood situation in Assam today turned serious as 50 per cent of the population of Dhemaji district was reeling under the impact of the deluge while many villages in Tinsukia, Kamrup, Sonitpur and Lakhimpur district flooded even as two students drowned in Doomdooma.
Raj Kishore Choudhury and Dilip Mala of Doomdooma College drowned in Tinsukia district of upper Assam when their country boat capsized as they tried to cross a local river in spate at Doomdooma, official sources said.
In the flash floods in neighbouring Dhemaji district, due to rains in the catchment areas of Arunachal Pradesh, four lakh of the eight lakh people have been affected by the floods inundating 400 villages due to breach of embankments on the Brahmaputra, the sources said.
18:54 3 districts flooded in Arunachal, CM sounds red alert:
Incessant rains in the past few days have caused flood in at least three districts of Arunachal Pradesh, with Chief Minister Nabam Tuki sounding a red alert across the state.
Expressing concern over reports of floods in districts of Lower Dibang Valley, Changlang and the worst affected Lohit, Tuki asked the district administrations to take appropriate steps to mitigate the sufferings of the people.
The chief minister, who is now in Delhi, directed constitution of disaster management and mitigation cells in the districts to monitor the situation and launch rescue and relief operations, official sources said today.
18:28 Sanjiv Bhatt writes a letter to Narendra Modi:
IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who had openly attacked Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi earlier and called him a 'criminal', is at it again.
In an open letter to the Gujarat CM, Bhatt takes potshots at Modi's yatras and his constant evoking of Swami Vivekananda during speeches.
18:23 We have not tapped Mamata's phone: Shinde:
Reacting strongly to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's accusation that the Centre had tapped her phones, Home Minister Sushilkumaar Shinde on Thursday stated, "We have not tapped anyone's phones"
18:20 Students protest against anti-Islam film in Pakistan:
Police fired live rounds and tear gas on Thursday to break up a crowd of around 1,000 students, many armed with wooden clubs, protesting in Islamabad against a US-made anti-Islam film.
The demonstrators were driven back by police as they tried to reach Islamabad's heavily-guarded diplomatic enclave, which is home to most Western embassies, including the US, British and French missions.
17:33 We have not tapped Mamata's phone: Shinde:
Reacting strongly to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's accusation that the Centre had tapped her phones, Home Minister Sushilkumaar Shinde on Thursday stated, "We have not tapped anyone's phones"
16:50 Moody's cautions against rollback of diesel price hike:
Cautioning the government against rollback of diesel price hike, credit rating agencyMoody's today said that any such step would limit its subsidy reduction plan.
"If the government rolls back a part of the hike, as some coalition partners and members of opposition parties have demanded, the decline in subsidies will be smaller," Moody's said in its credit outlook report.
16:49 NO negotiations on FDI in retail: Mamata:
Mamata Banerjee also said, "Trinamool Congress ministers will resign on Friday. I have sought an appointment with the President".
She added, "FDI in retail will not be accepted at any cost. There can be no negotiations on the issue".
Banerjee said, "The Trinamool Congress will give a letter to the President withdrawing support to the UPA government tomorrow'.
16:42 Delhi court dismisses bail plea of ex-minister Kanda:
A Delhi court has dismissed the bail plea of former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda in the Geetika Sharma suicide case. Kanda had earlier surrendered before the police on August 18, after being on the run for ten days, in connection with the suicide of his former employee Geetika.
16:11 Fight by withdrawing support, not with bandh: Didi:
The all-India bandh called by non-UPA parties was unsuccessful in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday evening.
"We have proved our point politically, without resorting to political clashes, like calling bandhs. We don't need to prove anything else," she said.Banerjee said.
"This bandh culture is a failed move by the Left Front. I want to thank the police and the state administration for not letting the bandh become a success".
"The Trinamool has vehemently opposed bandhs. They do noting but damage the economy," she said.
However, reiterating her stand on the FDI she said that she will not accept the government reforms at any cost.
Mamata said that she will hold a crucial meeting with her party leaders at 5 pm on Thursday, to chalk out its future course of action.
Continuing her tirade against the "Left's culture" of bandh, she said, "This practice of calling a strike or a bandh at the drop of a hat has to be stopped".
"We are fighting against the same thing -- a hike in prices -- but we are doing so by withdrawing our support from the government, not calling a strike at my whim" she said.
15:53 Which shot will bag the National Geographic competition?:
Could a spectacular shot of Indo-Chinese tigress shaking herself dry in a Thailand zoo win this year's National Geographic photography contest? Or will an awe-inspiring image of a pair of bangled feet planted on the vivid pink floor of a temple in Maharashtra take the first prize?
National Geographic sets the standard for photographic excellence, and 2012 is no different, with the organisation calling professional and amateur photographers from across the globe to send in their most breath-taking entries in the categories of people, places, and nature.
Last year, National Geographic received more than 20,000 entries from over 130 countries for its global-wide photography contest and a brilliant image of a dragonfly caught in a sudden downpour in Indonesia's Riau Islands won the accolade, reports the Daily Mail
.See all entries here
15:46 Lewinsky to publish secret love letters to Clinton?:
Monica Lewinsky is set to write a tell-all book about her torrid affair with Bill Clinton, including her intimate love letters to the US ex-president.
Lewinsky, Clinton's favourite White House intern, wants "revenge" on the ex-president, who she believes escaped unscathed while she was never able to shake the disgrace of their Oval Office trysts, The New York Post
Lewinsky is ready to air bombshell details from her affair with the former president in a $12 million memoir, according to friends. Lewinsky never got explicit in past interviews about her relationship with Clinton, but now plans to describe his "insatiable desire for threesome," a friend of Lewinsky told the National Enquirer
15:22 FDI to divert attention from coal-gate: Gadkari:
After his protest at Jantar Mantar BJP President addressed the media where he slammed the UPA reforms. "The government has decided to bring FDI to divert attention from 'Coal-gate' and other scams," he said.
"FDI will lead to unemployment and will affect small businessmen and farmers. The Congress is not in favour of the poor. Our fight is for the poor," he added.
"The demand for rollback is above politics. If the government does not meet our demands we will escalate the protest," said the BJP President. "The government has lost its credibility. They must take action against those who have been named in the scam."
14:42 This is an aam aadmi reform, says Salman Khurshid :
Reacting to protests across the state against UPA's reforms, Law Minister Salman Khurshid said, "We have also done reforms with a humane face. This is an aam aadmi reform. It will help all citizens."
BJP leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha explains why the media and pundits are getting it wrong on reforms and politics.
The Defenders of the Faith (DFs) who were hiding in their closets all these days are out again in full force. The recent decisions of the Government of India to cut subsidies by raising the prices of diesel and LPG, to invite FDI in retail and civil aviation and to disinvest shares in some PSUs have encouraged them to do what they have always done best namely, singing paeans of praise of the Government of India and specially the great reformer Dr Manmohan Singh.
With these few decisions the paralysis of decision making is over, the government and the country are back in business, all our economic ills are cured and we are back on the high growth path. As usual, the BJP has been target number one of these DFs for daring to oppose these 'reforms'.
Once again, we are being warned that by opposing these progressive measures specially FDI in retail we shall lose the support of the urban middle-class. There is a familiar ring to it, writes Sinha.Read the full feature here
14:17 Third Front stands united against govt: Mulayam:
Mulayam Singh Yadav, crucial to the survival of the UPA government, is making the Congress squirm.
After initial reports that he would remain on his home turf of Lucknow to protest against the new reforms introduced by Dr Manmohan Singh, he decided to court arrest in Delhi along with other leaders of the Left.
Apart from the SP supremo, Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechury, A B Bardhan and Chandrababu Naidu also court arrest at Parliament Street.
Mulayam and the other leaders who courted arrested were later released.
"There can be no better example of Third Front than this. The Third Front stands united against government," said Mulayam.
Earlier, Mulayam gave a snub to the BJP when he held a separate protest at Janata Mantar and did not share the dais with Nitin Gadkari.
13:19 Salman Rushide's propensity for the fairer sex...:
Author Salman Rushdie has been giving a number of television interviews as part of his publicity drive for his upcoming book Joseph Anton
His first two interviews were to Indian channels and what's even more interesting they were given to the "grand dames" of today's Indian news channels -- Sagarika Ghose and Barkha Dutt. But Arnab miss out because of Rushdie's propensity for the fairer sex, wonders Rajyasree Sen
.Read more here
13:02 Fight will go on till roll back by govt: Sharad Yadav:
JD-U President Sharad Yadav, who joined the protest at Jantar Mantar, said, "This fight will go on till the government is forced to rollback these
measures. I congratulate those who are protesting against the move
13:00 Not playing any politics by opposing govt: Gadkari :
BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and Janata Dal-United chief Sharad Yadav is joined by CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury and CPI leader AB Bardhan at Jantar Manatar to the protest against government reforms.
The BJP and Left shared stage at the protest called by Federation of All India Traders.
Gadkari said that the all-India bandh was just the "beginning of the struggle".
"The UPA government is trying to destroy marginal farmers by its policies. We are not playing any kind of politics by opposing these policies. NDA and all other non-UPA parties have united against the government," said Gadkari at a public rally in Delhi.
"The government is lying when it says FDI will create more jobs. It will affect the farmers and the aam admi," he added
The decision on FDI in retail is taken to please US President Barack Obama, said Bardhan.
12:54 PM asks Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai to quit:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked tourism minister Subodh Kant Sahai to step down immediately, reports India Today
Sahai is expected to submit his resignation to Dr Singh at 3 pm.
Both Dr Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi are livid with Sahai following allegations that he canvassed for coal blocks to be allocated to his relatives.
The move, which comes ahead of the Cabinet reshuffle, indicates that those involved in Coalgate, including Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and Congress MP Vijay Darda, may not survive it.
Read full report here
12:50 Lok Sabha polls in March 2013? Maybe not!:
A correspondent in Delhi reports:
The buzz in the corridors of North Block and in the All India Congress Committee is that the Congress is determined to present the Union Budget of February 2013 and there is no question of a vote on account.
Bureaucrats have interpreted this decision as a bold one that will send strong signals to the corporate world. Politically, this rules out the possibility of the Lok Sabha polls being held in March 2013.
12:45 Delhi: BJP, Left slam UPA; Mumbai: Munde detained:
After Ravi Shankar Prasad and C P Thakur, BJP deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde was detained in Mumbai for protests against government's big reforms.
Prasad and Thakur were detained in Patna.
11:39 BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad, C P Thakur detained:
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad, senior leader C P Thakur and several opposition leaders were detained in Patna for participation in today's bandh against FDI and diesel hike.
BJP workers carried out protests in various states across the country and even disrupted rail services.
11:17 Bharat bandh: PM's effigies burnt in UP, Punjab :
Samajwadi Party workers burned the effigy of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Allahabad to protest against FDI in retail and diesel price hike.
Shiv Sena workers in Punjab also burned an effigy of the PM as shops remained shut in the protests against fuel price hike.
10:58 Pak SC disqualifies Interior Minister Reham Malik:
Pakistan Supreme Court today disqualified 11 parliamentarians. Interior Minister Rehman Malik among those disqualified.
The Pakistan apex court ruled that lawmakers holding dual nationalities were not eligible to hold any public officers and declared all such lawmakers as disqualified, DawnNews reported.
The verdict moreover stated that Malik was not transparent with respect to his statements and was no longer sadiq and ameen.
The court in its ruling also directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to initiate legal proceedings against Malik.
Other lawmakers who have been disqualified as a result of the verdict include
Zahid Iqbal, Farahnaz Ispahani, Muhammad Ikhlaq and Ashraf Chauhan.Read full report here
10:25 Bharat bandh: BJP to march to PM's residence:
The Bharatiya Janata Party workers are likely to march to the Prime Minister's 7, Race Course residence by 11 am to protest against FDI and hike in diesel prices at 11 am today. They will court arrest, say sources.
The Left may block the ITO and Delhi Gate.
10:02 Bharat bandh: Mumbai retailers down shutters:
Buses, trains, autos and taxis operate normally in Mumbai after Shiv Sena and MNS decide not to support NDA's call for Bharat bandh. Retailers in the city have supported the bandh and downed their shutters. Kolkata:
In Howrah, the BJP and TMC workers clash as two rallies meet. The BJP was supporting the bandh and the TMC rally was against the bandh.Delhi:
The transport in the capital not affected with rickshaws and taxis plying on roads. However, shops remain closed. Bangalore:
Public transport is off the roads. Offices and shops remain shut.Chennai:
The city remains largely unaffected by the bandh. Only trucks remain off the roads.
09:30 Richard Olson to be next US envoy to Pak:
A Senate Committee has approved the nomination of Richard Olson to be America's next ambassador to Pakistan.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Olson's nomination along with that of eight other ambassadors during a confirmation hearing for Robert Stephen Beecroft to become the next ambassador in Iraq.
The ambassadorial confirmation would now have to be confirmed by the full Senate, where Republican Senator Rand Paul has threatened filibuster and has been demanding a voteon his amendment to cut off American aid to Pakistan, Libya and Egypt.
08:56 Aung San Suu Kyi given America's highest civilian award:
Visiting Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has received prestigious Congressional gold medal, a rare honour bestowed to any foreign leader by the US administration.
The National League for Democracy leader also met US President Barack Obama on a day when the America lifted additional sanctions on Myanmar. "This is one of the most moving days of my life, to be here in a house undivided, a house joined together to welcome a stranger from a distant land. This is a moment for which I have been waiting for many years," Suu Kyi said moments after receiving the honour.
An emotional Suu Kyi also addressed a gathering of top American lawmakers, in which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former First Lady Laura Bush was present. In her Congressional gold medal acceptance speech Suu Kyi said it has always been her opinion that democracy offers the best balance between freedom and security for all of them.
"To be a full human being, we need both security and freedom. Without security, we cannot rest in peace necessary to discover the world to be the beautiful place that it can be. Without freedom we will be deprived of the opportunities that will make us more human and more humane," she said.
08:49 Attack on Benghazi consulate was a terror act: US official:
A top US intelligence official today said the attack on its consulate in Benghazi, in which US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed, was an act of terror.
"I would say yes. They were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy," said Matthew Olsen, director of the US National Counterterrorism Center.
During a Congressional hearing, Olsen said investigation into the attack is ongoing and facts are being developed continually. "The best information we have now, the facts that we have now, indicate that this was an opportunistic attack on our embassy. The attack began and evolved and escalated over several hours," Olsen said.
08:42 Bharat bandh: Trains stopped in Bihar, UP:
The nationwide bandh called by the NDA and the Left parties started early today with the Samajwadi Party workers stopping trains in Allahabad.
The BJP and JD-U workers also stopped trains in Varanasi and Patna. In Bihar's Darbhanga area, CPI-ML workers have stopped the Ganga Sagar Express.
Schools and restaurants remain shut in Bangalore.
In Delhi, while many autorickshaws will remain off the roads, some of them were working early in the morning.
08:32 Bharat Bandh: Mumbai unaffected, Delhi badly hit :
Opposition parties have given a call for a nationwide bandh today to protest the government's reform measures announced last week.
The government, took some politically tough decisions -- hiked the price of diesel by Rs
5 per litre, capped the supply of subsidised liquefied petroleum gas cylinders to six per household and cleared 51 per cent Foreign
Direct Investment or FDI in multi-brand retail. These reforms, saw its
biggest ally, Mamata Banerjee, pull out of the UPA.
Today's bandh is supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Samajwadi Party, the Left Front and the DMK, the only UPA ally to support it.
Mumbai will remain unaffected by the bandh with the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena saying no to it because of Ganeshotsav. The BJD, TMC, ADADMK, BSP are also not supporting the bandh.
Life in Delhi, Gujarat and Karnataka is likely to be hit by the bandh.