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HC issues notice to convicts of Union Carbide trial

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April 12, 2013


23:33  HC issues notice to convicts of Union Carbide trial:  Madhya Pradesh High Court today issued notices to seven persons, convicted in the Bhopal gas tragedy case, following a petition filed by the CBI demanding their retrial.

Justice M A Siddiqui issued notices to all seven convicts, seeking replies within four weeks. The CBI in its petition is demanding the retrial of all seven for culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304-II of Indian Penal Code.

Assistant Advocate General Rashid Suhail Siddiqui said the trial court, in its judgement on June 7, 2010, convicted former Union Carbide chairman Keshub Mahindra, then Managing Director Vijay Gokhale, then Vice President Kishore Kamdar, Works Manager J Mukund, Production Manager S P Choudhury, Plant Superintendent K V Shetty and Production Assistant Shakeel Qureshi for "negligent act" causing death, under another part of section 304.
23:05  PM returns home after three-day Germany visit:  Prime Minister Mamohan Singh today returned home after his three-day visit to Germany during which key issues like India-EU FTA were discussed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel articulating the impediments in inking of the pact.

Pitching for investments from Germany and other countries, Prime Minister Singh had made it clear during the trip that government's resolve to boost economic growth remains "unwavering".

India and Germany also inked about six key MoUs including that for putting together Euro seven million for next four years towards joint research in the field of higher education and a pact for a soft loan of Euro 1 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) for strengthening the green energy corridor in India.
22:11  Three TTP members arrested in Pak:  Pakistan police today claimed to have arrested three members of banned Tehreek-e-Taliban for their involvement in bomb last month in which some 50 people were killed and over a 100 injured.

SSP Chaudhary Aslam also told reporters that they arrested three activists of the TTP who had confessed to carrying out the bomb blasts in Abbas town in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

Aslam said the three were arrested after they were returning from Waziristan where they had gone after carrying out the bomb blasts. The bomb disposal squad also diffused a one kilogramme bomb fitted in a motorcycle which was parked near a well known mosque in Gulzar-e-Habib in Garden area.
22:00  Khar not in PPP's final list of candidates:  Former Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar is not in the Pakistan People's Party's final list of candidates from Punjab province for the upcoming general election. 

The PPP today issued its list of candidates for National Assembly seats in southern Punjab. Khar's father, Ghulam Rabbani Khar, will be the PPP's candidate for parliamentary seat no 177 in Muzaffargarh district, which was earlier held by her. 

Khar had filed her nomination papers for parliamentary seat no 177, from which she was elected in 2008. However, the Returning Officer had raised objections to her candidature as her husband's textile factory owes Rs 560 million to a bank.
21:16  Death toll in China's bird flu rises to 11:  One more person died due to bird flu in Shanghai, taking the death toll from the deadly H7N9 strain to 11 in China, while two new cases were also reported in the eastern metropolis pushing the total number of infected to 43. 

A 74-year-old man in Shanghai who tested positive for the virus on April 6, died last night after treatment failed, official media reported.
20:48  Death sentence can't be commuted in terror cases: SC:  Long delay in disposing off mercy pleas by President or Governor of persons convicted under anti-terror laws or similar statutes cannot be a ground for commutation of death sentence, the Supreme Court held today.       

A two-judge bench of the apex court gave this landmark judgement while rejecting the plea of Khalistani terrorist and death row convict Devinderpal Singh Bhullar in a judgement that paves the way for his execution and can have a bearing on the fate of over 20 convicts facing execution.
20:30  Statistics on pending mercy pleas disturbing: SC:  "Disturbing" is how the Supreme Court termed the statistics which showed that 17 mercy pleas filed between 1999 and 2011 remained pending for periods ranging from one year to 13 years. 

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya also noted that the figures "give an impression" that the Centre and the President's Secretariat "have not dealt with these petitions with requisite seriousness".
20:11  Trial of Brar stabbing accused adjourned till May 20:  The trial of two Sikh men and a woman accused of attacking 1984 Operation Blue Star hero Lt Gen (retd) K S Brar here has been adjourned till May 20 as the judge was busy with another case. 

Mandeep Singh Sandhu, 34, Dilbagh Singh, 36, and Harjit Kaur, 38, will remain in custody until the next court appearance. They have pleaded not guilty to the charge of "unlawful wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm" in relation to the attack which took place last September.
19:47  Tytler's charges less serious than Modi's: Moily :   Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily today said the Congress would not protect anybody and the law would take its own course on senior party leader Jagdish Tytler in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

"Our heart goes out to the victims. We are not here to protect anybody. The law will take its own course," Moily told reporters here, while noting that the Congress leadership had owned up "moral responsibility" as far back as in 1985-86 itself on the anti-Sikh riots issue.

Moily, however, said the allegation against Tytler was not "as serious" as against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi who had not taken a single step "to come clean" on the 2002 riots in Gujarat.
19:32  Mubarak's retrial to begin tomorrow:   Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's retrial for the killing of nearly 900 protesters during the revolution that ended his dictatorial regime is set to begin tomorrow in the deeply polarised country.

84-year-old Mubarak, his interior minister Habib al-Adly and six security chiefs will face trial for the killing of protesters during the January 25 revolution.

His earlier trial ended in early June 2012, where Mubarak was sentenced to 25 years in prison, the maximum amount of jail time in Egypt.

Mubarak challenged the ruling, and the courts granted him a retrial. According to Mubarak's defense team, he should be released on April 14 if new charges are not issued against him.
19:14  Modi, Mamata, Akhilesh, Nitish to skip CM meet :  The chief ministers' conference on Monday is likely to be a dull affair with most of the non-Congress state leaders giving it a miss.     

So far only six chief ministers, all from Congress, have given their commitment to attend the meeting, official sources said.       

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also not going to attend the chief ministers conference. The meeting,convened by the home ministry, will discuss and chalk out strategy to deal with issues relating to public order and police reforms.      

Though Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had initially given his consent, it is learnt that he is unlikely to attend the meet. Other CMs -- Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), J Jayalalithaa (Tamil Nadu), Naveen Patnaik (Odisha), AkhileshYadav (Uttar Pradesh), Narendra Modi (Gujarat), Nitish Kumar(Bihar), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh) are also most likely to skip the conference.   

Congress Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh,Assam, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Himachal Pradesh have confirmed participation.
18:47  Mumbai gets its first all-women post office:  The city's first Mahila Dak Ghar, a post office entirely operated by women staff, was inaugurated in Mumbai today.

Located at New Customs House in South Mumbai, the post office was inaugurated by Post Secretary and Postal Services Board Chairperson P Gopinath.

As of now, 12 female employees will run the Mahila Dak Ghar, headed by a Senior Superintendent of Posts, an official statement said today.

The post office will offer both traditional and modern postal services like booking of registered and speed post articles, e-Money Order, Western Union Money Transfer, e-payment of utility bills of MTNL, BEST and Mahanagar Gas Ltd, besides the Post Office Savings Bank transactions.
18:43  As Kims go, Jong-uns a wrong un :   How short you have to be to have a Napoleon complex in North Korea? Read
18:40  Sushmita is not marrying Wasim Akram:  Sushmita Sen tweets: Hi guys!Been reading about my upcoming wedding with Wasim..ABSOLUTE RUBBISH!!! Goes to show just how irresponsible media can be sumtimes! Wasim Akram is a friend and will always be one!! He has a wonderful lady in his life.. rumors like these are uncalled for n disrespectful! 
18:33  Bachchan guilty of provoking anti-Sikh rioters?:  Even as the Supreme Court turns its heat on former union minister Jagdish Tytler, ordering the reopening of the 1984 riot case against him, here's what you may have possibly missed in the battle cry for vengeance.

In 2011, a US-based Sikh human rights group lodged a criminal complaint against megastar Amitabh Bachchan with authorities in Australia for his alleged role in the 1984 Sikh riots in the aftermath of former prime minister Indira Gandhi's assassination by her Sikh bodyguards. Read the rediff.com report from 2011.
18:15  In Delhi, even my own car is no refuge from harassment:  For all those who think Delhi is safe if you drive your own car and not use public transport. A woman's account of what happened to her. Read
18:08  Major traffic pileup at JVLR :   Traffic is badly affected on JVLR from Seepz flyover in the direction of Jogeshwari. Expected 45 minutes of delay. For further traffic updates, call Traffline at 9223111000.

However, reports coming in just now says the traffic has cleared.


Here's a picture on Twitter...
17:56  On Twitter: Major accident at Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road... Versa, Omni Van, 3 auto, Swift, Dzire, 2 trucks all crushed. 10 dead.
17:46  Have faith in institutions of democracy: Governor :  Back to governor MK Narayanan addressing students at Presidency college:  The governor says that more policing in the campus would go a long way in ensuring safety for students.

"You can't condemn every policeman as being vehicles of incompetence or that they have political colour. Please have some degree of faith in the institutions of governance or other democracy is unsafe. We will ensure that the quality of police and policing is better. You on your part have to keep the faith," says Narayanan.
17:38  Major accident at Jogeshwari-Vikhroli leaves 3 dead:  Meanwhile, update on a major accident in Mumbai.

A major accident has been reported on the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link road in Mumbai. An dumper trick, which reportedly had brake failure, hit six vehicles leaving at least three persons dead, reports Firstpost.com.

The dumper truck was reportedly speeding when the driver slammed into six vehicles before careening to a halt. The impact killed three people and left seven injured. Traffic in the area Jogeshwari (east) has been affected. Avoid the road for now.
17:33  WB guv to Presidency students: Will ensure safety :  "If students of Presidency college can be treated like this, the reverberation goes far beyond this college, this city. Keep the faith. I urge you stand up. Don't give up," says Narayanan. 

"I'm not here to blame parties. Politics in India has become coarser. But the incident should never have happened. But there is no conscious effort to harm the university. The chief minister has assured us support," he says. 
17:24  'I assure you an incident like this will never happen again' :  Taking questions from students he says he will wait the report to be out, though arrests have been made. "I will closely monitor the situation. You may want to ask me how can I be sure this will not happen again. I will work with the police and administration, it goes beyond my constitutional duty as a governor, but I assure you I will put in place a system that ensures an incident like this never happens again," he says.
17:20  WB governor at Presidency: I apologise, I failed you:  Narayanan says the violence at Presidency is a blot on us. "I will use the word again -- criminals -- entered this place. I'm sorry and I apologise for what has happened. Never ever in the history of Presidency college should this ever happen again. Presidency is a dream project and as a chancellor I have been unable to fulfill my responsibility to you," the soft-spoken governor says.   
17:16  WB governor at Presidency I have failed you :   VC Sarkar says what she saw on the day of the TMC rampage was unprecedented. She said she has also been a student of the college and what happened was unthinkable. "But we shall not be scared," she tells the students and asks the governor to address them.

Narayanan, who is also chancellor of the university, says he apologises to all the students present here and also across Bengal for what happened. "What happened was an attempt to prevent you from reaching for the stars. Nothing can and should stop you. I have failed in my responsibilities to you," he says.
17:11  Bengal governor arrives at Presidency college:   West Bengal governor MK Narayanan at Presidency college. The governor, also the chancellor will meet students, two days after he strongly criticised the rampage allegedly conducted by TMC goons at the college. Narayanan had yesterday said that those who ransacked the institution should be treated like criminals.

Presidency Vice Chancellor Malavika Sarkar speaking now.
17:06  Tibetans who commit suicide not crazy: Dalai Lama:  The Dalai Lama has said that Tibetans who have committed suicide in recent weeks are "not crazy" but were taking desperate action to escape Chinese "brutality".

The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader said this while addressing a gathering of some 3,500 supporters in the city of Trento in northern Italy, reports The News.

There have been over 100 self-immolations by pro-Tibet protesters in the past six months, during China''s leadership transition. Most of them have died from the injuries sustained in their act of protest.

Tibetan rights advocates say the self-immolations aim to protest Chinese rule and call for the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. China, however, blames the Dalai Lama''s supporters of encouraging the suicides.

Also read: Tibet's epidemic of self-immolations
17:00  Govt hopeful of $15 billion Rafale fighter jet deal going through:  Earlier this month, in a rather unusual move, the Indian Air Force (IAF) strongly refuted a report that it was working on a Plan B should its negotiations fail to buy 126 combat jets from Dassault Aviation. Read the report by Nitin Gokhale on NDTV.
16:56  Visa shortage a concern for Infosys:  India's technology outsourcing firms are likely to face higher costs in the U.S. because of a shortage in the availability of skilled-worker visas, forcing them to hire more-costly American workers rather than rely on Indian expatriates. Read
16:54  Harbhajan slapped Sreesanth not elbowed: Nanavati:  Justice (retd) Sudhir Nanavati, who headed the 'slapgate' inquiry, today contradicted S Sreesanth's claim that he was elbowed by Harbhajan Singh in the 2008 IPL incident, saying the pacer was indeed slapped by his then India teammate.

Nanavati, who was appointed by the BCCI to probe the 'slapgate' incident, said there was no provocation from Sreesanth's part and Harbhajan tried to slap him for the second time but was restrained by security guards.

"In the video footage, I have seen Harbhajan use the backside of his right palm to give him (Sreesanth) a slap on the right side of his face. It was clear cut, it was there to be seen in the video footage," said Nanavati.

"He (Harbhajan) had admitted it before me, yes slap was given. My first reaction after seeing the video footage in the BCCI office was that I was shocked and surprised. What I have seen in the frame of the video was that Harbhajan after giving him a slap was coming back once again to hit him but at that time, two security personnel had stopped him," Nanavati told 'Times Now'.

Five years after the infamous 'slapgate', Sreesanth made a series of revelations on the 2008 incident on his twitter page today, creating a fresh controversy in the IPL.
16:45  Tibets voice of realism :  China needs Japan, Japan needs China,' the 14th Dalai Lama declared, with immovable conviction, as I listened to him in a sunlit conference room in Yokohama last November, a great Ferris wheel turning outside and a jungle of high-rising grey skyscrapers presiding over the blue bay.


"Every nation on this planet needs others. So a small disagreement or division of interests should not affect basic relations. Of course Chinese people must love their nation, their culture: that is good! But it's too extreme. It's almost as if they're suggesting that, across the planet, Chinese culture is the best. When we were in Tibet, we had some of that same kind of view: 'Tibet is the best!' That's wrong! Too much emotion involved. Too short-sighted.


Read more of what Pico Iyer has to say.
16:34  Pran awarded Dadasaheb Phalke :  If you've just joined us:

Veteran actor Pran has been awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke award for lifetime achievement in Indian cinema.

This is what Wikipedia has on Pran: Born Pran Krishan Sikand on 12 February 1920, he is a multiple Filmfare and BFJA award-winning Indian actor, known as a movie villain and character actor in Hindi cinema from the 1920s to the 1990s.

He has appeared in 350 films. He was awarded as the 'Villain of the Millennium' by Stardust in 2000. In 2010, he was named on the list of CNN's Top 25 Asian actors of all time.He won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award in 1967, 1969 and 1972 and was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. In 2001, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India, for his contribution to Indian cinema.
16:31  Are political parties failing democracy?:  
Conventional political parties around the world seem to be on the decline, and there are common factors too precarious economies and a leaching of ideology, for example. How can countries achieve grassroots empowerment in their village republics, and those of ordinary citizens the world over? Read
16:29  How Mourinho gave a Mexican cleaner a special ride :  In other news: A lifelong Real Madrid fan, who waxes floors for living, was plucked from obscurity to join Jose Mourinho's backroom staff for the Champions League victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford in an extraordinary tale of dedication, generosity and goodwill. Read
16:22  Pran gets Dadasaheb Phalke for lifetime achievement:  The legendary actor's name comes up in the national awards committee almost every two years and still misses the list at the last minute. Read the TOI story on the truth behind the Phalke. 
16:16  Dadasaheb Phalke award for Pran :  Bollywood actor Pran gets the Dadasaheb Phalke award for lifetime achievement in Indian cinema. 
16:10  Cong has 'excellent' chances of coming to power in Ktka: Moily:  Congress has "excellent" chances of coming to power after the next month's Karnataka Assembly elections as the BJP rule is marked by maladministration and corruption, Union Minister M Veerappa Moily said today. Moily told reporters that there was "no question" of BJP returning to power.

To repeated BJP's taunts to Congress to name its Chief Ministerial candidate, Moily said his party did not believe in projecting anyone as the practice was that the MLAs would be consulted on the issue. "They (BJP) announce their captain of and on. That is why they collapsed," Moily said. Ruling out himself from the race of chief ministership in the event of Congress being voted to power, Moily said his role would be to ensure the party's victory.
15:58  Senior leader approached me to topple UPA-II: Gadkari:  Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari has claimed that a "senior leader" had approached him to topple the Congress-led UPA-II government at the Centre.

Though the "senior leader" got in touch with him during his stint as the BJP president, he maintained that he had outrightly rejected the "advice". Gadkari did not reveal the identity of the "senior" leader.

"Main mard ka baccha hun jo karta hun saamne se karunga (I am a man of principle and whatever I do, I will do it publicly). No backstabbing," the BJP leader told a gathering at a ceremony here last evening. "My conscience is clear and I have no separate agenda."
15:54  Pity the children of North Korea:  Haunting images of the indoctrination ceremony in North Korea show how communist 'cult' leaders threatening nuclear war are poisoning next generation. Read more
15:43  Stephen Hawking admits biggest blunder of scientific career:  Cosmologist Stephen Hawking has described the biggest blunder of his scientific career -- his early belief that everything swallowed up by a black hole must be lost forever. Read
15:37  Village that plants 111 trees for every girl born in Rajasthan:  In an atmosphere where every morning, our newspapers greet us with stories of girls being tormented, raped, killed or treated like a doormat in one way or another, trust India's "village republics' to bring in some good news from time to time. One such village in southern Rajasthan's Rajsamand district is quietly practicing its own, homegrown brand of Eco-feminism and achieving spectacular results. Read
15:27  LPG cylinder blast behind Delhi slum fire?:  At least five persons were injured in a major fire that broke out at the Bawana slum clusters in Northwest Delhi today. Television and other media reports said that at least 25 fire tenders were sent to the site to douse the blaze. Police and rescue teams are at the spot. Initial reports said that a loud sound was heard before the fire, indicating that an LPG cylinder blast could be behind the fire.
15:25  Major accident, traffic pileup on Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link road:  Early reports of a major accident at Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link road. A pile-up between a dumper truck and a few cars. Heavy traffic on both sides, road is best avoided. 
15:04  Massive fire in Delhi slum, no casualties yet :  The fire in the Delhi slum cluster of Bawana has grown into a major one. At least 20 fire tenders have been rushed to the spot. Fire officials and police are at the spot, but as yet there is no clarity on how the fire started. No casualties have been reported as yet. 
15:01  Artist in hiding after threats from Hindu group:   Right-wing Hindu activists are once again targeting artists. Eleena Banik, a Bengali painter, says she fears for her life after members of a Hindu extremist organization threatened her, saying they found two of her paintings offensive. Read
14:53  Metal body parts of dead being recycled into plane engines :  Steel hips, plates and screws from legs and skulls of people, who are dead, are collected after cremation and sent off for recycling. Metal plates from false teeth and tiny fragments from fillings can also be recovered and re-used, together with metal fittings on coffins, the metals, which survive the 1,000 degree Celsius cremation, are then sold for use in the automobile and aeronautical industries, the Sun reported. 
14:48  How the chess got its look and feel :  Prior to 1849, there was no such thing as a "normal chess set". At least not like we think of it today. Over the centuries that chess had been played, innumerable varieties of sets of pieces were created, with regional differences in designation and appearance. Read more
14:45  MP govt sanctions Rs 1 lakh for Spl Olympic winner:  Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has sanctioned an Rs one lakh to Athens Special Olympics bronze medal winner, Seeta Sahu of Rewa, following newspaper reports which highlighted her plight. Seeta, 15, won two bronze medals in 200 and 1600 meter race in Athens Special Olympics in 2011 but she struggles to make ends meet selling 'gol gappas'.

Before the contingent for the Special Olympics left for Athens, state's Social Justice Minister Gopal Bhargava had announced that those winning gold medal will be given Rs one lakh cash reward, silver medal winners will get Rs 50,000 and while bronze Rs 25,000, sources said.

However, Seeta after winning laurels for the country did not receive any reward. After her father fell ill, Seeta stopped going to school and started working full time to sustain her family. When the media highlighted the issue, the government acted swiftly with Chouhan announcing financial assistance.
14:41  Cong will not protect anyone, Moily on Tytler:  Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily today said the Congress would not protect anybody and the law would take its own course on senior party leader Jagdish Tytler in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

"Our heart goes out to the victims. We are not here to protect anybody. The law will take its own course," Moily told reporters here, while noting that the Congress leadership had owned up "moral responsibility" as far back as in 1985-86 itself on the anti-Sikh riots issue.

Moily, however, said the allegation against Tytler was not "as serious" as against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi who had not taken a single step "to come clean" on the2002 riots in Gujarat.
14:36  1 jawan, 4 Naxals killed in ongoing encounter in Maha:   Another civilian has been killed taking the toll two, while early reports says four Naxals and 1 jawan have also been killed. The toll so far: seven.
14:30  Civilian killed in ongoing Naxal encounter in Maha:  Just in: One civilian feared dead in an encounter between Naxals and police in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. An encounter is still on. 
14:27  Just in: A minor fire has been reported in a slum cluster in Bawana. Fire tenders have been rushed to the spot. No casualties reported as yet.  
14:26  BJP, SAD differ on Supreme Court verdict on Bhullar:  NDA allies BJP and SAD today came out with divergent views on the apex court order dismissing terrorist Devinderpal Singh Bhullar's plea for commuting his death sentence, with the former demanding implementation of the execution and the latter seeking a Presidential review.


"We are deeply sad at the judgement...We did not expect it. We felt that in this case, instead of going by legal and technical grounds, the sentiments of the community and humanity should have been taken into consideration," General Secretary of Shiromani Akali Dal, P S Chandumajra said.


Maintaining that no one should get an opportunity to disturb the peace and development which has returned after two decades of terrorism in Punjab, he said, "We appeal to the President to review his decision and also appeal to the PM to intervene in the matter as Bhullar is mentally ill."
14:19  Femen's obsession with nudity feeds a racist colonial feminism:  International solidarity should take its cue from the women affected, not try to impose values on communities.
Read the rebuke to Femen.
14:13  North Korea in holiday mode amid missile fears:  North Koreans crowded a Pyongyang flower show, packed theaters and pledged loyalty to their leader today ahead of a key national holiday, while the top US diplomat landed in rival South Korea for talks on how to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula.


As US and South Korean troops braced for what some feared may be an imminent North Korean missile launch, US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Seoul today for talks with South Korean officials before continuing on to China.


North Korea has not specified plans to fire a missile or carry out another nuclear test, but has warned that it has weapons on standby and would be prepared to strike if provoked by the US and South Korea, its Korean War foes.
14:04  It's a wild country in South Sudan where our soldiers died:   The new country of South Sudan is blessed with oil, water, and a safari bonanza: one of the largest, most stunning animal migrations on earth. But without roads, laws, or infrastructure, can Africa's youngest state turn potential into stabilizing profit? Read
13:59  Inspirational leader Smith looking forward to an exciting time in the Oval office - and he can't wait to play with KP and Ponting. Read more
13:57  WB Governor to visit Presidency university today:  West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan would visit the Presidency University today, two days after it was ransacked and vandalised by a group carrying Trinamool Congress flags.

The Governor, also the Chancellor, would visit the university in the afternoon, Raj Bhavan sources said.

The Governor would visit the campus to meet the students, Prabir Dasgupta, Registrar of the university, said. Strongly criticising the incident which took political overtones, Narayanan had yesterday said that those who ransacked the institution should be treated like criminals.

Vice Chancellor of the University Malabika Sarkar had said that those who vandalised various departments carried TMC flags.
13:52  Hoarding, binge eating and more new mental-disorder diagnoses:  Advocates of the fifth edition of the psychiatric 'bible,' out May 22, say new mental-disorder diagnoses will lead to more accessible treatment, but critics say we're being overdiagnosed. From sex addiction to Internet disorder, see the additions. Read the report here
13:48  North Korea's sexy guards in platform heels:  As global tensions mount, four North Korean lady-guards went out for a stroll on Thursday. They walked along the banks of the Yalu River in brown jump suits, high-waisted belts, little green furry hats... and giant platform heels. Women reportedly make up ten percent of the North Korean People's Army. 
Read the full report here.
13:45  N Korean defector who sold his house for rice:  North Korean rockets blasting across the sky. Military soldiers marching in high-step unison in Pyongyang parades. Broadcasts praising leader Kim Jong Un while putting down the United States as the country's mortal enemy. These images of North Korea from state media portray a proud, strong and self-reliant country.But behind the propaganda and beyond the capital of Pyongyang is the harsher reality of poverty, hunger and desperation, defectors say. Read
13:44  Can China convince Kim to cool it? Read
13:28  Burn them? Research suggests bras do no good:  For years, women have been taught of the virtues of a good bra in order to make the most of their assets and defy the pull of gravity. Now a French study has claimed that in fact breasts gain no benefit from underwear support, and that women would do better to go without. Read
13:22  BJP welcomes SC judgment on Bhullar''s plea:  Welcoming the Supreme Court's refusal to commute Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar's death penalty sentence to life imprisonment, Bharatiya Janata Party Vice President Balbir Punj on Friday said those who wage a war against the state should be ready to face consequences.

"The Supreme Court judgment must be respected. And whatever punishment had been awarded by the highest court should be implemented. And there cannot be any exception and those who wage a war against the state and conspire to destabilize the country through arms should be ready to face consequences," Punj said.

The apex court today rejected the petition of Bhullar, who had sought commutation of his death penalty to life sentence on the ground that he underwent great agony for 11 years awaiting the President''s decision on his mercy plea.
13:19  1984 riots: Why nobody noticed Amitabh Bachchan spewing venom:  A prime witness in 1984 anti-Sikh riots said that everyone who had been watching Doordarshan saw how superstar Amitabh Bachchan provoked the rioters.

"I wonder why no one in India lodged case against Amitabh Bachchan for provoking killing of Sikhs," said Jagdish Kaur, prime witness in 1984 anti- Sikh riots while talking to TOI yesterday.

Following Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination by her Sikh bodyguards Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, India erupted in riots against Sikhs in 1984. Reminiscing the sad memories of hate crime against Sikhs she said, "I watched live relay on Doordarshan and saw Amitabh Bachchan raising his arm and shouting the slogan, 'khun ka badla khun sae laengae' (Blood for blood) two times. " Read the full report here.
13:07  TMC partyworker held for Presidency rampage:  Four people including a TMC party worker have been held for the rampage on Presidency college in Kolkata. Witnesses said that around 11 am, on Tuesday, 150 students belonging to the TMC Chhatra Parishad broke the lock of the main gate and entered the campus armed with iron rods, knives and sticks. The party worker is believed to be Shubhojeet Burman.

They went to the Baker laboratory where students of Physics Department were attending class and beat up some of the students and assaulted the teachers.

The two students, who received head injuries, are stated to be critical. Some TMC men also reportedly chased girl students across the university campus and threatened them with rape and assault.
12:56  Erring Goa MLAs arrive for session wearing helmets:  After cutting a sorry figure for violating the traffic rules a week ago, six Goa legislators today arrived for the Session on their motorbikes wearing helmet.

Five legislators, who drove on the National Highway on April 5 without wearing helmet and one of them without a number plate, were fined by the state transport department. Total nine MLAs, including four pillion riding, were involved in violating the traffic rules.

Fisheries Minister Avertano Furtado, who was earlier fined, told media persons that they came wearing helmet today as "they had realised the mistake."
12:52  From Anna Acolyte to Sheila's Nemesis:  Also read on Open magazine: The transformation of Arvind Kejriwal. 
12:51  Read Tavleen Singh's piece on the anti-Sikh riots: 1984: When Delhi smelled of burning flesh
12:12  Women and Film in South Asia:  Indian cinema is a male-dominated industry where the portrayal of women in films is a reflection of the woman's role in Indian society from a man's viewpoint. So is Bollywood really good for women? Read 
12:10  Islamists, safety fears threaten kite festival :  The kite festival of Basant is hugely popular in Lahore, but many in Pakistan are lobbying against lifting a seven-year ban on kite flying. Read why
12:01  Bhullar's target Bitta: Will ensure he's hanged:  Former president of the Indian Youth Congress Maninderjit Singh Bitta, who was the target of the 1993 blast that Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar is accused of carrying out, said he was happy with the Supreme Courts verdict. The SC has  refused to commute Bhullar's death sentence to life. In an impassioned statement to TV channels, Bitta said he he would work to ensure it was carried out.
11:48  Bhullar's lawyer: Will approach Prez to review decision :  Lawyer Majid Memon tells CNN IBN that if someone is mentally unfit, he cannot be given the death sentence. Bhullar's lawyer says he will ask the President to review the petition, but reports suggest that a plea to commute a death penalty can be sent to the president only once. It may be recalled that the state had declared Bhullar mentally unfit.
11:36  Bhullar's death sentence to affect 17 death pleas:  The Supreme Court's decision on Bhullar's petition is likely to impact the petitions of 17 other condemned prisoners, who have approached the apex court in the meanwhile challenging the President's decision to reject their mercy pleas either on the ground that it was long delayed or the lack of procedure to deal with the mercy pleas.

Among the 17 are three awarded death for their role in Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, four associates of killed forest brigand Veerappan and nine others whose mercy pleas were rejected this month by the President. In all these 17 cases, the apex court has stayed execution of their death sentence.

Bhullar was handed down death penalty for his role in the bomb attack on then Youth Congress president M S Bitta in 1993 in which nine policemen were killed and 25 were injured including Bitta.

Bhullar had pleaded for commutation of the death sentence on the ground that he had undergone imprisonment for 20 years which was akin to a life term and that he had lost mental equilibrium in the despairing 11-year wait.
11:34  Delay in mercy plea can't lead to commutation of death sentence:   The apex court has basically said that delay in mercy pleas cannot lead to the commutation of a death sentence. The SC said that the petitioners have failed to make out a case for commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment on grounds of delay.
11:29   First reactions from the Congress. Spokesperson Rashid Alvi says the party respects the decision of the Apex court.
11:29  Bhullar to hang, SC refuses to commute death plea:   The Supreme Court has rejected the petition of condemned prisoner Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, who had sought commutation of his death penalty to life sentence on the ground that he underwent great agony for 11 years awaiting the President''s decision on his mercy plea. The Supreme Court has said there is no merit in commuting the death plea and that the death plea cannot be commuted.

A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya had heard elaborate arguments on three petitions - one by Bhullar, second by his wife Navneet Kaur and third by NGO ''Justice on Trial Trust''.


The bench had reserved its verdict on April 19 last year. Bhullar was sentenced to death in 2001 for plotting terror attacks on Punjab SSP Sumedh Singh Saini and the then Youth Congress President M.S. Bitta in 1993, leading to several deaths in New Delhi.

The apex court had on 26 March, 2002, dismissed Bhullar's appeal against the death sentence awarded by trial court and endorsed by the Delhi High Court.


He had filed a review petition, which was also dismissed on 17 December, 2002. Bhullar had then moved a curative petition, which too had been rejected, by the apex court on March 12, 2003.


Bhullar had filed a mercy petition before the President on 14 January, 2003. The President, however, rejected his mercy petition on May 25 last year, clearing the decks for his execution.
11:18  Abortion row: Savita's husband welcomes apology of midwife:  Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar's husband on Thursday welcomed an apology given by a midwife for her remarks about Ireland being a "Catholic country" while denying termination to his 17-week pregnant wife.

As Praveen Halappanavar arrived for day four of the inquest into thedeath of 31-year-old Savita at Galway Courthouse, he was asked if he understood and forgave the comments by midwife Ann Maria Burke.
11:11  Supreme Court verdict on Bhullar's plea today:  The Supreme Court will on Friday pronounce the verdict on the petition of condemned prisoner Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, who had sought commutation of his death penalty to life sentence on the ground that he underwent great agony for 11 years awaiting the President''s decision on his mercy plea.

A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya had heard elaborate arguments on three petitions - one by Bhullar, second by his wife Navneet Kaur and third by NGO ''Justice on Trial Trust''.

The bench had reserved its verdict on April 19 last year.Bhullar was sentenced to death in 2001 for plotting terror attacks on Punjab SSP Sumedh Singh Saini and the then Youth Congress President MS Bitta in 1993, leading to several deaths in New Delhi.
11:04  1984: No more clean chits:  The dark cloud of 1984 still hangs low over senior Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, but despite a judicial inquiry's findings against him in 2005, no credible prosecution of the former minister has been launched to date for his alleged role in instigating the anti-Sikh massacres that took the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent persons in the aftermath of the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Read
11:03  The death of a poet:  Chile deserves to know how Pablo Neruda, who gave shape to his country in the collective imagination of its people with unmatched verve, died. Read
11:01  Day of the Iron Lady:  Margaret Thatcher's influence has been primarily intellectual. Swapan Dasgupta writes for the Hindu. Read
10:56  Wiki: Sanjay Gandhi snubbed by RSS during Emergency:  The US diplomatic cables, released by WikiLeaks, have revealed that during the Emergency days in India Sanjay Gandhi had reached out to the RSS, then a banned organisation, but was refused. The cables also painted a picture of the ups and downs of Indira Gandhi's coterie that had Congress heavyweights.Sanjay reached out to RSS during Emergency. Read
10:50  Away from home, Manmohan Singh admits to gender insecurity in India. 'We have drafted a Bill to deal with violence against women'. Read
10:44  Gutka severely corroding Howrah Bridge: Study:  The Howrah Bridge is under attack from gutkha-chewers. The Kolkata Port Trust, which maintains Kolkata's best known landmark, has said that saliva laced with gutkha is corroding the iconic 70-year-old bridge.

KoPT chief engineer A K Mehra said studies had found thick layers of gutkha deposits on the covers of hanger bases on either side of the bridge, and chemical tests had shown a severe reduction in the thickness of the covers. It was obvious that the corrosion had been caused by chemicals in gutkha, Mehra said. Read the full story here.
09:57  Congress seeks CBI probe against MP CM:  The Congress's Madhya Pradesh unit has demanded a CBI probe into allegations that family members of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan fraudulently obtained plots in a posh housing society in Bhopal.

Read the full story here
09:50  A guide on how corrupt politicians make money:  Corruption is not an anomaly but a way of life in India. From the small bribe needed for chai paani to the million-dollar bribes for top politicians and bureaucrats, corruption is the ugly reality all Indians have learnt to live with.

A US State Department cable released by WikiLeaks talks about the "extent and modalities of corruption in India".

Read the cable here
09:43  RJD to hold major rally in Patna:  As the rift between the BJP and the JD-U widens over Narendra Modi being the saffron party's likely prime ministerial candidate, the RJD is losing no time in making the most of the political bickering.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad is planning to hold a major rally at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna on August 15 to drive home his agenda of "secularism and development of Bihar".

Read the full interview here
09:34  Low-income consumption in India holds steady:  While two of the three pillars of the Indian economy -- investments and middle-income consumption -- seem to be wobbly in this uncertain economic climate, the third pillar of low-income consumption is holding steady.

Read more here
09:32  Traveling around India alone: A woman speaks:  Tourism in India has suffered severely due to some highly publicised rape cases in the last few months. Several countries have issues an advisory, warning woman travellers against visiting India.

But in spite of some unpleasant experiences, the visit to India turned out to be the trip of a lifetime for one woman traveller.

Read more about her experiences here
09:28  US lawmaker warns about N Korea nukes:  North Korea has nuclear weapons capable of delivering by ballistic missiles, an unclassified intelligence report says, according to a US lawmaker. 

"Defence Intelligence Agency assesses with moderate confidence that North Korea currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivering by ballistic missiles, however the reliability will be low," Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn said during a Congressional hearing, which was soon confirmed by the intelligence agencies.
09:24  Kerry sends 'Poila Baisakh' greetings to Bengalis :  US Secretary of State John Kerry has sent his Poila Baisakh or New Year greetings to Bengali speaking people across the world, in particularly those living in Bangladesh and West Bengal. 

"On behalf of President Obama, I convey my warm greetings to all Bengali-speaking people around the world as you celebrate Poila Baisakh. The American people wish you all happiness and prosperity in the New Year," Kerry said in a statement.
02:08  Pakistan candidate targeted, killed, official says:  CNN reports: A candidate in May's 2013 national elections in Pakistan was shot and killed Thursday by two gunmen on a motorbike, a senior police official in Hyderabad told CNN.

Candidate Fakhar Ul Islam was targeted on his way home from his office, said Saqib Ismail Memon, the police chief of Pakistan's southern district of Hyderabad.Islam was a member of Muttahida Quami Movement or MQM, Pakistan's most liberal and secular political party that is firmly opposed to the Pakistani Taliban or TTP.

Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud has told Pakistanis to stay away from the elections."We are not in favor of democracy, democracy is for Jews and Christians" he said in recent propaganda video.

Read the full story here
00:59  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  
Sidhu sidelined by BJP, feels suffocated, says wife

Assam: Prime accused in serial blasts case granted bail

37 Mumbai cops caught taking bribes, suspended

UP announces Rs 20 lakh aid to kin of slain Indian peacekeepers

Congress NOT worried or scared about Modi: Digvijay

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